m. 2 Apr 1778 Mount Pleasant, Hunterdon, New Jersey, United States
Facts and Events
Complete quotation from: Clearfield County, Present and Past: Chapter II
William Bloom, who was also a Revolutionary soldier, came to the mouth of Anderson Creek and built a cabin on what is now (1911) the Irvin Farm near Curwensville, presumably in the spring of 1801. He brought with him his sons John and Benjamin and his daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth was about 16 and Benjamin 9 or 10, therefore as Elizabeth was born in 1784 and Benjamin on the last day of the year 1790, they must have come in 1801. Paul Clover who is said to have been an uncle of the Bloom children, was the only neighbor, living about three-fourths of .a mile away at the mouth of the creek.
That summer after the cabin was built, without any door except a blanket hung up to keep the wind out, (in style again because there were no sawmills yet to make boards for a door) the Blooms cleared a little patch of ground and sowed turnips which did well, so they at least had plenty of turnips for winter, if not much else. Then Mr. Bloom went back to Nittany in the fall to bring over the rest of the family, leaving the children to keep the cabin until he should come back. But for some reason, he did not get back until spring and the children were left to shift for themselves. John though fourteen, liked to live with the Indians and hunt, and did not bother at all about Elizabeth and Benjamin.
How Betsy and Ben Kept the Cabin all Winter Long. There were two Clover boys, Paul and Seth, who were about Ben's age, and they and Ben spent a good deal of time wrestling. But Ben could always throw the Clover boys, which they, boy like, somewhat resented. Anyway they thought they would have some fun with Ben, and so told him that an old Indian, whose tribe was camped where the P. R. R. station now stands in Curwensville, was going to kill him and Betsy. Now these Indians were perfectly friendly, and before going away, Mr. Bloom had asked the old Indian to go over sometimes and see how the children were getting along, and the Indian had promised to do so. But Ben believed the story the boys told him. So he hunted up his father's old Revolutionary musket and some powder, but could find no bullets, so he cut up a pewter spoon for bullets and loaded it up. Then Ben posted himself in the cabin behind the blanket to wait for the old Indian, and sure enough . the Indian, thinking he had better go over as he had promised, went up the path to the door.
When Ben saw the old Indian's outline through the blanket toward the light, he pulled the trigger of the old musket expecting to shoot him, but the gun, being a flint lock, and likely not in the best of order and probably not properly "primed", did not go off. However Ben made considerable noise in the act of trying to fire it, and too, the Indian could see enough around the blanket to know what was going on inside and so started to run. Now Ben was so bent upon getting away with the Indian that he did not intend that he should escape so easily. He had a bull dog in the cabin with him and immediately hissed him on the Indian, but the dog did not catch up until the old fellow was near the camp and the other Indians drove the dog off with clubs.
After a while the old Indian went over and complained to Paul Clover, and asked him what Ben meant by trying to shoot him when he went over to see how the children were getting along, as he had promised their father to do. Mr. Clover didn't understand it, but agreed to go and see Ben about it.
Ben, who told the story to his grandson afterwards, said he noticed that his uncle whom he considered a rather stern man, seemed to be in an unusually good humor when he came over that day. He said to Ben "I understand you tried to shoot the old Indian?" "Yes", Ben said. "The old fellow was planning to kill me and Betsy, so thought I would shoot him, but the gun wouldn't go off." "Who told you the Indian was going to kill you?" Clover asked. "Why your boys, Paul and Seth," said Ben. "Well," said Clover, "let me see the gun, maybe I can fix it so it will go off next time." Ben handed over the gun thinking nothing of it.
Now Clover was lame and walked with a cane and as he took the gun from Ben and set it aside, he collared him and gave him a most thorough flogging with the cane. "You little fool" he said, "didn't you know that if you were to kill the old Indian, the other Indians would come over and kill us all?" But Ben smarting under his flogging was angry and resentful, and putting a turnip in his pocket, slipped off through the woods and started for Nittany where his father and mother were.
After a while Elizabeth found he had disappeared and went and told her uncle that Ben had run off. So they got on the horses and started after him, but did not catch up to him until they were nearly to Philipsburg. Then they pretended they were going to Nittany too, and Clover induced Ben to get on the horse with him. When he was once on, and within Clover's hold, they turned around and went back to Anderson Creek, and by that time Ben's temper having cooled off, he was agreed to stay.
However, the Clover boys were not satisfied to let Beta alone but put up Catfish, an Indian boy who lived at the Indian camp, to banter him for a "wrastle." Now Ben knew that Catfish was hot-tempered, and suspected that he would get "mad" if Ben threw him. So he refused. However, being "egged on" by the Clover boys, Catfish still persisted in wanting to "wrastle", and finally Ben told him he would, if Catfish would promise not to get angry if Ben threw him. Oh, he was perfectly ready to promise to keep in a good humor no matter who got the best of the "wrestling match." So Ben agreed to wrestle, and, quick as a flash threw Catfish, who lit on his head and got up in a terrible rage, flying into Ben and ' biting his shoulder until Ben had to choke him to make him let loose.
Soon after this, Ben was across the river helping the Clover boys to haul in "corn - tops", when Ben who had a pitchfork and was loading the "tops" on the sled, saw Catfish coming plauting right through the river, and decided that he was coming after Ben. So when Catfish got pretty close, he jumped off the sled and made for Catfish. This was too much for the Indian boy, and he turned and ran with Ben close behind him and had nothing to do but plunge into the river and run for his own side, making the water fly at every jump!
Soon after this, Catfish's father, thinking it better to avoid trouble with the white boy, took his boy away and left him with another party of Indians at some distance.
As winter came on, it became harder and harder for Ben and Betsy to get along by themselves. They had only a crude fireplace over which to cook their meals and by which to keep warm. It took a lot of wood, for much of the heat went up the chimney and most of the remainder escaped out through the crevices between the logs of the cabin. They had all their wood to gather out of the surrounding forest and then cut up so it could be burned in the fire place.
Four feet of snow fell and everything was eaten up but the turnips. So it was turnips for breakfast, dinner and supper until they decided they could stand it no longer, and finally succeeded in making a path through the deep snow three quarters of a mile to Paul Clover's to try to get something else to eat. Now Clover's were not very flush of eatables, but gave the Bloom children a hunk of corn bread, all they had, to take home. This they are said to have relished wonderfully, and they made it last them two weeks. So by one means and another, these children made out to help themselves and to get along until spring when their father brought over the other members of the family.
As before mentioned, Betsy (Elizabeth) afterwards married Matthew Ogden, and they lived for many years on the Daniel Ogden place where Clearfield now stands.