m. BET 1795 AND 1800
Facts and Events
12. Elizabeth PATTON. Born in 1777. Elizabeth died before November 9, 1835; she was 58.
McCune, Elizabeth - will dated 16 Nov 1830. All property I own by virtue of will of my late husband William McCune, equally divided among my 4 children, to wit: William P., Polly L., Susannah & Joseph L. McCune. One dollar each for my other two children, viz, Jane Patterson & Sally Reading. They have been provided for. Exr, John McCune. Wit: Daniel F. Stark, Susannah Stark, Jeremiah Stark & Lewis Rogers. Filed 4 Nov 1835. John McCune declined to act as exr of the estate. Court apointed William P. McCune. Sec, William L. McCune & Fountain D. Edwards. Heirs: William P. McCune, Polly (McCune) Edwards, Susannah McCune, & Joseph P. McCune are the only heirs, All of Pike Co. ("Missouri Pioneers of Pike County," InfoTech Publications, P.O. Box 86, Bowling Green, MO 63334, pp. 71-73)
20 i. Sarah D. (1801-1869)
Jane married John PATTERSON.
"I was at Corn's, when Riddle, (that was taken at Riddle's,) got back. One McCune, who was at Bowman's Station when Riddle got there, went out & got a hoop-pole, of which he had a parcel, & wore it out on Riddle. McCune had been a prisoner with (fellow) Riddle and had been planning to run away, where Riddle went and told the British on him, who put McCune in irons. 'Now,' says McCune, 'tell on me again.'"
My name is James Sellers and I have been researching the lives of Hinkson and McCune for some time. I'm not related in any way, but I do have an indirect connection to these men. My gr gr..... grand uncle, John Sellers, was living in Westmoreland County near Hinkson and McCune in 1775. I know about Hinkson coming to KY in 1775 and I am certain he returned to PA that same year. I Have a copy of a deed from Westmoreland Co. for John Woods that has John Hinkson and John Sellers as witnesses. (dated Dec 1775)
I just received a book in the mail called "The Scotch Irish" and it has part of a diary by Reverend David McClure. He was a Presbyterian minister who traveled through western PA in 1772 and 73 preaching to the people there. There is mention of him preaching the first sermon at Squirrel Bill, where Hinkson and McCune were living. It even mentioned Wm. McCune twice in the diary. I'll send it to you. You'll enjoy reading it because it will give you the general character of the people living in that area at the time.
Since the McCunes figure prominently into the Shawhan family--Margaret "Peggy" McCune (1775-1857) married John Shawhan (1771-1845) and her older sister Nancy (1770-1842) married George Reading, Jr., and Nancy and George's son William (1792-1868) married Margaret Shawhan (1797-1860), daughter of John and Peggy McCune Shawhan--I felt that it was appropriate to include a brief biography on the patriarch William McCune (1751-1830).
Background. William has proven exceptionally interesting from this researcher's standpoint. For almost two years, I tried without success to discover William's roots when, in February 1998, I got a break from a most unusual direction. A Mr. James Sellars wrote to me concerning my research on another ancestor, John Hinkson. James had read internet correspondence that I had with other Hinkson researchers and decided to contact me. The correspondence that followed not only provided a wealth of information on John Hinkson, but also opened the doors to understanding William McCune. As it turns out, McCune and Hinkson were half-brothers! The opening lines of James' initial correspondence, dated February 3, 1998, reads:
"My name is James Sellars and I have been researching the lives of Hinkson and McCune for some time. I'm not related in any way, but I do have an indirect connection to these men. My 5th great-uncle, John Sellers, was living in Westmoreland County near Hinkson and McCune in 1775. I know about Hinkson coming to KY in 1775 and I am certain he returned to PA that same year. I have a copy of a deed from Westmoreland Co. for John Woods that has John Hinkson and John Sellers as witnesses. (dated Dec 1775)
"John Sellers was with Hinkson in 1776 when they were in KY. Sellers settled about 4 miles north of Hinkson's (aka Ruddle's) Station on Sellers Run. Sellers returned with Hinkson to PA in Aug of 1776 and lived with Hinkson and others at Palmers' fort in Fairfield Township, Westmoreland Co., PA. Sellers served as a Lieutenant under Capt. Hinkson from 1777 to 1780. He returned to KY in 1780 w/Hinkson and McCune and was taken at Ruddles with them."
Over the following months, James and I swapped information, compared notes, and sent original source material to one another. The result of this collaboration has been a much clearer picture of the life of William McCune, both in Pennsylvania and in Kentucky.
A second piece of the puzzle on William came in May, 1998. A fellow McCune researcher wrote and told me about a genealogy that had been published on a Pennsylvanian named William McCune that might have something to do with my ancestor. The genealogy was titled "William McCune, The Pennsylvanian and Kindred Families" by Kathryn Hutcherson Campbell. The work is housed in the Daughters of the American Revolution Library, Washington, DC. I contacted the library and received a portion of the document. To my great joy, the genealogy indeed documented the history of my William; but, my, at what cost! Despite the highwayman's prices for the copies, the information on William was very helpful. It provided a wealth of data on his life in Kentucky and Missouri.
I will draw upon these two sources extensively in the coming pages. Now to the main task at hand.
The Pennsylvania Years. William McCune, the father of Nancy and Margaret McCune, was born about 1751 in Pennsylvania. He may be the son of John McCune (1712-1766), of Hopewell Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. The earliest mention of William is in John McCune, Sr.'s will:
"In the name of God Amen--the thirty first day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty-six I John McCune of Hopewell Township in the County of Cumberland in the Province of Pennsylvania Farmer being very sick and weak in body but in perfect mind and memory Thanks be given unto God therefore calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die Do make and ordain this my last will and Testament that is to say Principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it and for my body I recommend it to the Earth to be buried in a Christian like and decent manner at the direction of my executors hereafter named nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the Mighty Power of God and a touching such worldly estate wherewith it had pleased God to bless me I give and devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form Impremis--I give and bequeath unto my dearly beloved son John McCune one dollar Item I give and bequeath unto my dearly beloved son Robert McCune one Dollar and the land that he now possesseth and one half of that third of Land I now possess to be by him and his heirs after one year after my decease enjoyed forever--Item I give and bequeath unto my Dearly beloved son James McCune that part of my plantation he is now possessed of and the one half of that third of my plantation which I now Possess to be by him and his heirs after one year after my decease Enjoyed forever and one dollar and one pot one fourth of the Pewter and the fourth part of the hogs--Item I give and bequeath unto my Dearly and well beloved wife Agnes McCune one Brown mare called Boney with a Patch in her face her bed and bed cloaths two cows and one pot all the Vessels about the shelf and the one half of all my grain for her maintenance Item I give and bequeath unto my Dearly beloved son William McCune Eighty Pounds and a roam mare and a mare called Jewel two cows and all the sheep and a bed and bed cloaths and one gridle and one pot and one saddle Bridle one trunk two coutters one shear Plow and tackling one Grubbing and Weeding hoe one folling ax and all the table linen and the half of the Pewter Maue wedges my Bible and the one half of the grain one Gun and all my wearing aparel and the three Quarters of the Hogs and I likewise constitute and ordain William Lamond Sr. and Agnes McCune Executor of this my last Will and Testament and hereby disallow revoke and disannel all and every other forms testaments Wills Legacies Executors by me in any wise before this time named Wills and bequeathes Ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be my last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal in the fourth year a four Soverign Lord George the third and Signed Sealed Published and Pronounced by me as my Last Will and Testament in the Presence of
Samuel Whar John X McCune
George Wear mark
Letters and Testimony Issued this 23 day of June 1766 unto William Lamond Sr and Agnes McCune Executors named in the Last Will and Testament of John McCune Dec'd of which the written record is a true copy Inventory to be Exhibited the 23 day of July next and an account of Administration rendered thereunto to Legally required.
While there is no verifiable proof that the William mentioned in this will is our William, circumstantial evidence clearly points in his direction. In a deposition given by John Hinkson, Jr., son of the Kentucky pioneer, we read:
"From John Hinkson - now (1845) about 72 - born on the Monongahela, son of Col. John Hinkson. (John Hinkson) Went and settled at Mann's Lick and stayed there till '81; then moved to Haggin's Station, near Danville and about '83, re-occupied his old settlement on Hinkson's Fork. William McCune, a half brother of Hinkson's, moved with Hinkson to Kentucky in '80, and was captured with him; and was kept nearly two years."
In a deposition given by William McCune in 1811, we read:
"He came to this country (Bourbon County, Kentucky) in the spring of the year 1780 and settled at Ruddell's Station which stood on the bank of the South Fork of Licking, and he continued to reside at said station until it was taken by the Indians during the same year. Said Ruddell's Station was well known throughout the western country at the time he came to it. Thinks it consisted of thirty or Forty men, ladies, women and children, and it was much resorted to by adventurers to this country. John Haggin was his kinsman and informed him at Lexington when on his way to Ruddell's Station, that he had settled a place near said station but was compelled for danger of Indians to leave it…"
The "kinsman" John Haggin's relationship to John Hinkson and William McCune was his marriage to their niece, Nancy Gibb. Haggin was a brave and resourceful woodsman who had many harrowing adventures with the Indians. In one such account, mention is given of his relationship to John Hinkson:
"Capt. John Haggin was born in 1753 near Winchester, Va. In early life he removed to western Pennsylvania, where he married and served in Dunmore's campaign of 1774. He was one of the earliest settlers of Kentucky, coming out in the spring of 1775 with his wife's uncle, Col. John Hinkston. The next year he brought out his family and built a cabin on Hinkston's fork of Licking; but because of Indian hostilities he removed that summer to McClelland's Station, on the site of the modern Georgetown. Haggin was at McClelland's when George Rogers Clark arrived at Limestone (Maysville) with gunpowder for the Kentucky settlements, and was one of the party who helped to carry it in to Harrodsburg. About that time (Jan. 1777), McClelland's Station was broken up, and the Haggins removed to Harrodsburg. There he had numerous adventures with Indians, was closely pursued, and at one time he was supposed for over two weeks to have been killed or captured. But later he walked into his cabin quite unconcerned, greeting his wife with, 'How are you by this time, Nancy?'"
Agnes "Nancy" (Gibb) Haggin was the daughter of Elizabeth Hinkson and Robert Gibb. Nancy's mother, Elizabeth, was John Hinkson's full sister and William McCune's half-sister. While it may be coincidental, I find it interesting that Elizabeth's daughter's name was Agnes. Was she named after the "Agnes" mentioned in John McCune, Sr.'s will?
Another piece of circumstantial evidence is the name of Robert Gibb. A Gibb(s) family lived in Hopewell, Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, during the same time period as the McCunes. Secondly, John McCune, Sr.'s son, Robert, married an Elizabeth Gibb.
Other links tie William McCune and John Hinkson together. A John Hinkson is listed as living in Hopewell, Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in 1764, and land deeds in Pennsylvania leave a paper trail that is easy to follow:
John Hinkson to T. Galbraith 400 pounds, 270 acres on Conemaugh bounded by William McCune, John Woods, being the Squirrel Hill Old Town. Aug 29, 1774.
William McCune to Barnard Dougherty, 750 pounds on north side of Conemaugh. Jan 10, 1780.
William McCune to B. Dougherty, 2000 pounds, on north side of Conemaugh bounded by David Wilson on the east. 336 acres. Jan 10, 1780.
We are not certain when he married Elizabeth McClintock, but family records indicate their marriage before 1770. By 1772, the family had moved to "Squirrel Hill," Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. We find these remarkable references William in the diary of the Rev. David McClure:
[December] "29. Rode in company with Mr. Wm. McCune 13 miles to Squirril Hill.
"30. Wednesday preached to the small new settlement there. It lies on the River Connemoh, which is foremed by the junction of Stoney Creek & Quamahone, and empties into the Allegany River. There are about 12 families here. Experienced much kindness, particularly from Mrs. McCune and family.
"This place was formerly a settlement of Indians. Here are vestiges of their corn fields, & on the bank and ancient fortification, similar to many that are found through all this country.
"Wednesday, preached the first sermon ever preached in this place, on the rich provision of Gospel salvation."
[April 6] "Tuesday. Received a present of a location of land on Connemoh (about 300 acres) of my good friend Mr. McCune. (This right was however lost to me by the war, & my absence.)
[June 7] "Monday. Mr. McCune of Squirril Hill, sent a horse for me to ride to that settlement, 13 miles, to preach there in the afternoon. Preached to them my last sermon. The settlement is the most easterly of those to whom I have preached, & is not far distant from the western foot of the Appalachian mountains.
"Truly the people here, in this new country, are as sheep scattered upon the Mountains, without a Shepherd. At this time, not a single church has been formed, or Minister of the Gospel settled, west of the Appalachian Mountains, from Pennsylvania to Georgia, through an extent of many hundred miles, of new & sparse settlements. A great proportion of the people manifest a desire for the Gospel, and would gladly make provision, for the support of ministers, according to their ability. We had the satisfaction, if I may so express it, of planting the seeds of some future churches, by forming several settlements into something like ecclesiastical order, during 7 or 8 months of our preaching among them. May the good Lord, raise up & send forth faithful labourers into this part of this vineyard.
"8. June. Wednesday. Mr. Wm. McCune, Benja Sutton & myself, sailed in a boat up the River Connemoh, in one place, saw a solid body of stone coal, jutting from the bank. Same day went to see an Indian Fort, near the River."
The Kentucky Years. William remained in Pennsylvania until the spring of 1780 when moved with his family to Kentucky. It is probable that he accompanied his half-brother, John Hinkson, on the journey. The following narrative, taken from an account of the Emison family, details the trip:
"During the latter part of 1779 many of the pioneers were becoming restless from their somewhat temporary stay in western Pennsylvania, and were anxious to move on westward to their new lands in the Kentucky country, of what was then western Virginia. Capt. Wm. Lytle had sold his lands back in Cumberland County, and came west where he set up a camp on a small island in the Ohio River just below Pittsburgh. There he sent out word that an expedition of settlers was being assembled for migration down the Ohio to Kentucky.
"Because of their previous association with Lytle, Hugh and Ash Emison, joined him. Most of the streams in this area had been frozen over during this severe winter. And it was not until April 1, 1780 that a large expedition of over 1,000 settlers, with their families and possessions started down the river in 63 Kentucky boats or Arks…On April 11th a stop was made at Limestone, where Capt. Hinkston, the Emisons, Stephen Archer, Moses Cherry, and members of the Baird, Holmes and McClure families started overland to their new lands. Here it may be noted that James and Thomas Baird, two brothers-in-law of Hugh Emison, had descended the Ohio a year before where they purchased lots No. 25 and No. 1 in the new village (Louisville) at the Falls. These two brothers later founded Bairdstown, now known as Bardstown."
Here, we pick up the story from John Hinkson's son, John, Jr.:
"…(John Hinkson) moved to Kentucky in Spring of '80, four or five boats came with him with about half a dozen families, stopped at Limestone about a week, built a block-house, the first erected there, and sent a message to his old station (better known as Ruddell's) to get help to aid in moving the families over, and while waiting at Limestone the Indians stole all the horses belonging to the company - some 20 in all - At the old station there was not a sufficiency of men to share, and advised a continuation to the Falls of Ohio.
"Went down there in his boats - got horses to transport some of the property leaving the family at the Falls, and he had been at Ruddell's but three or four days when Bird came…"
It is likely that William McCune was in the Hinkson party that dropped the families off at the Falls of the Ohio--the newly formed village of Louisville--and continued on to John Hinkson's former settlement, now built up and fortified by Captain Isaac Ruddell. It is in this place that William McCune enters into Revolutionary War history as one of the "defender's of Ruddle's Fort" against the British and the Indians. While a full account of the taking of Ruddle's fort by the British and their Indian allies is not possible in this short essay, it is important to provide a summary of the events leading up to, and including, the capture of the fort. Maude Lafferty, in her article on the taking of Ruddle's and Martin's forts, provides an excellent summary of the events:
"One of the outstanding events of the Revolutionary War in the West was the invasion of Kentucky by the British officer, Captain Henry Bird, of the Eighth Regiment of his Majesty's forces, and the destruction of Ruddle's and Martin's Forts. Coming in the summer of 1780 with an army of more than a thousand British regulars, Canadian volunteers, Indians and Tories, and bringing the first cannon ever used against the log forts of the wilderness, he captured 470 men, women and children, loaded them down with the plunder from their own cabin homes and drove them on foot from Central Kentucky to Detroit, a distance of 600 miles. There they were divided among their captors and some of them were taken 800 miles farther to Mackinac and to Montreal. The story of their capture, of the separation of families, of the hardships endured during the six-weeks journey and of the conditions under which they lived during the fourteen years of their captivity is one of the most shocking in the pioneer period of Kentucky's history.
"The invasion was planned by British officers at Detroit, their object being not only to exterminate the pioneer forts, but to force our western frontier back to the Alleghany Mountains, thus bringing out in bold relief the policy of Great Britain in the Revolutionary War-to prevent the westward growth of the American Colonies.
"In executing their plan they waged the War of the American Revolution on Kentucky soil, for they came under the command of a British officer flying the British flag, demanding surrender in the name of his Britannic Majesty, King George III, and made official report of the expedition to Sir Frederick Haldimand, the British Lieutenant General, who was then Governor of Canada."
The actual taking of Ruddle's fort is described in graphic detail by Daniel Trabue, a brother of one of the captives, James Trabue:
"The land office was opened this spring at Wilson's Station for entering land warrents. James Trabue and I went their to make some entries, but their was so many people their we had to cast lots. And according to lot he (James Trabue) made some few entries, and it would be several days before he could make any more. And it would be several days before I could make my entries as my warrents was not on the first day.
"So we went home and James Trabue told me he would make my entries for me when he made his, if I would stay at home and attend to howing our corn planted. I agreed to it and gave him my warrents and a memorandum where my land was to be laid. It was 2,000 acres and choice land. James Trabue said he would go to licking on his commessary business. He was very much [needed] their and could be back to Wilson's Station in time to lay our warrents.
"So he went to Licking and got Ruddle's Station at night. And when morning [June 24, 1780] came their fort was surrounded by Indians; and Col. Byrd, a british officer from Detroyt, soon arrived with a cannon. He (Byrd) sent in a flag to the fort, demanding them to surrender to him as prisoners of war, etc., to which they refused. The cannon was twise fired. Done no damage except knocked one cabin log so it was moved in about six inches.
"Capt. Ruddle insisted it would be best to cappitulate. Capt. Hinkston and James Trabue insisted to defend the fort. At length Capt. Ruddle got a majority on his side and petitioned Col. Byrd to capitula[te]. The flag was sent back and forward several times before they agreed and the articles was sighned and agreed to. James Trabue was the man that did wright in behalf of Ruddle and the people in the fort. The terms of cappitulation was that Col. Byrd and his white soldiers should protect the people that was in the fort and march thim to Detroyt as prisoners, and that the Indians should have nothing to do with them, that the peoples cloathing and papers should be sicure to themselves with some little exceptions.
"The fort gate was opined. The Indeans came rushing in and plundered the people, and they evin striped their cloaths of[f] them and dividing the prisoners among the indians. In a few minuts the man did not know where his wife or child was, nor the wife know where her husband or either of her children was, no the children where ther parrents or brothers and sisters weare, all contrary to the cappitulation. Nor they had no chance of seeing Col. Byrd, as the Indians kept them to themselves. They went and took Martain's station also."
Though it does not really fit into this biography of William McCune, I cannot resist telling one last tale concerning his half-brother, John Hinkson. It is one of the most colorful tales of this tragic affair and has entered into the folk-lore of this period. The story is taken from an early newspaper article written by John Bradford, October 20, 1826. Though it suffers somewhat from the encrustation of folk-legend, it is, nevertheless, a wonderful story:
"Immediately after it was decided not to go forward to Bryan's Station, the army commenced their retreat to the forks of Licking, where they had left their boats, and with all possible dispatch got their artillery and military stores on board, and moved off. At this place the Indians separated from Byrd, and took with them the whole of the prisoners taken at Ruddle's Station. Among the prisoners were Capt. John Hinkston, a brave man and an experienced hunter and woodsman. The second night after leaving the forks of Licking, the Indians encamped near the river; every thing was very wet, in consequence of which it was difficult to kindle a fire, and before a fire could be made it was quite dark. A guard was placed over the prisoners, and whilst part of them were employed-in kindling the fire, Hinkston sprang from among them and was immediately out of sight. An alarm was instantly given, and the Indians ran in every direction, not being able to ascertain what course he had taken. Hinkston ran but a short distance before he lay down by the side of a log under the dark shade of a large beach tree, where he remained until the stir occasioned by his escape had subsided, when he moved off as silently as possible. The night was cloudy, and very dark, so that he had no mark to steer by, and after travelling some time towards Lexington, as he thought, he found himself close to the camp from which he had just before made his escape. In this dilemma he was obliged to tax his skill as a woodsman, to devise a method by which he should be enabled to stear his course without light enough to see the moss on the trees, or without the aid of sun, moon or stars. Captain Hinkston ultimately adopted this expedient: he dipped his hand in the water, (which almost covered the whole country) and holding it upright above his head, he instantly felt one side of his hand cold; he immediately knew, that from that point the wind came-he therefore steered the ballance of the night to the cold side of his hand, that being from the west he knew, and the course best suited to his purpose. After travelling several hours he sat down at the root of a tree and fell asleep.
"A few hours before day, there came on a very heavy dense fog, so that a man could not be seen at twenty yards distance. This circumstance was of infinite advantage to Hinkston, for as soon as day light appeared, the howling of wolves, the gobling of turkeys, the bleating of fawns, the cry of owls, and every other wild animal, was heard in almost every direction. Hinkston was too well acquainted with the customs of the Indians, not to know that it was Indians, and not beasts or birds that made these sounds-he therefore avoided approaching the places where he heard them, and notwithstanding he was several times within a few yards of them, with the aid of the fog he escaped, and arrived safe at Lexington. It was the 8th day after Ruddle's Station was taken, when Hinkston arrived in Lexington, and brought the first news of that event."
William was not as lucky as his half-brother. He was forced to march to Detroit where he remained as a prisoner for almost two years. We know nothing of those lost years other than a rather cryptic story told to Lyman Draper:
"I was at Corn's, when Riddle, (that was taken at Riddle's,) got back. One McCune, who was at Bowman's Station when Riddle got there, went out & got a hoop-pole, of which he had a parcel, & wore it out on Riddle. McCune had been a prisoner with (fellow) Riddle and had been planning to run away, where Riddle went and told the British on him, who put McCune in irons. "Now," says McCune, "tell on me again."
After returning to Bourbon County, Kentucky, William and Elizabeth settled into the life of farming and raising their family. Over the course of the next seven years, William made a number of land purchases.
His oldest daughter Nancy was married to George Reading, Jr., May 7, 1789. The Readings were long time friends of the McCunes, having arrived in Bourbon County at about the same time. George Reading, Jr.'s brother, John Mullin, in fact, shared a unique bond with William, having also been captured and taken prisoner by the British at Ruddle's fort. Susanna, William and Elizabeth's third child, married John Patton in 1791. On October 24, 1793, their third daughter Margaret (called "Peggy") married John Shawhan, a young man who lived on a nearby farm. John was engaged in the whiskey distilling business with his brother Joseph. The brothers continued the business begun by their father Daniel who--with his family--had immigrated to Bourbon County in 1789 to get away from the mounting problems concerning the newly formed federal government's desire to tax whiskey. A month later, on November 21, their oldest son John tied the knot with Polly Shannon. Tragedy struck the McCune family in 1795 when William's wife Elizabeth died. Over the next several years, William continued to farm the land and engage in family and civic activities.
Sometime in 1812, the 61 year old William fell in love with and married the much younger widow Elizabeth Patton. Elizabeth was the daughter of William Patton (1730-1795) and the sister of John Patton, the husband of William's daughter Susanna. To make the family relationship even more complicated, Elizabeth Patton's sister, Martha, married William Holliday (1755-1811). William and Martha Patton Holliday's son, Joseph Holliday, married William McCune's granddaughter Nancy (the daughter of John McCune and Polly Shannon). Is the reader confused yet? Let's add one more intermarriage to this mix: Joseph Holliday's eldest brother, William Patton Holliday, married Rebecca Reading, the daughter of George Reading, Jr., and Nancy McCune. Also, Elizabeth (Maxwell) Patton McCune's daughter from her previous marriage, Sarah Maxwell, married John Reading, son of George reading, Jr., and Nancy McCune. Enough, already!
Four children were born to Elizabeth Patton and William McCune: William Patton, born circa 1813, Joseph P., born circa 1815, Polly Lucy, born circa 1816, and Susanna, born circa 1820.
The Missouri Years. Sometime in 1817, William and family, including several other families, moved from Kentucky to Pike County, Missouri. The following account documents the route taken by the families:
"I married Nancy McCune, dau of John McCune on Mar 26 - 1816, she d Jan 9 1834. Our eldest son Wm was b in Ky--
"My Wife's gr father Wm McCune was a prisoner of the Indians 3 yrs during the Rev War. He saw sights, My dear, He was ironed frequently, and handcuffed. His wife never heard from him during the time, her father used to "quiz" her about "setting out".
"The McCunes and Hollidays moved from nr Carlisle, Cumberland Co, Pa to Kentucky and in 1817 they moved to the Territory of Mo and settled on Ramsey Creek, now Pike Co, Mo. Shortly after Mar 1816 this Company moved from Ky to St Charles Co, Mo, now Pike Co, Mo, by way of Louisville Ky then crossed the Ohio River, then to Smelsers Ferry about 2 mi above Alton, Ill, where we crossed the Mississippi River, thence to St Charles Mo, hence up to Ramsey Creek.
"The families composed the Company were: My wife's Grandfather Wm McCune and family; Benjamin Gray and family; he M a dau of Wm McCune, my wf's gr father; Wm Holliday, my eldest bro and his family, his wf was Rebecca Reading; Wm Biggs and family, he M "Betsy" Elizabeth McCune my wife's eldest Sister; John McCune, my wife's father and his family, His wf was Polly Shannon, dau of John Shannon; Myself and family (Joseph Holliday) and wf Nancy McCune. Six families in all."
The families settled on Ramsey Creek, Pike County, Missouri, and continued their lives as farmers. William and Elizabeth's last child, Susanna, was born in Pike County, Missouri, circa 1819. William died on December 6, 1830. His wife Elizabeth died before November 9, 1835. William's will, originally drafted in November, 1819, reads as follows:
I, Wm McCune, being advanced in life and knowing that I must shortly die think it proper as I am now in helth and injoy the right use of my reason to set my house in order and dispose of that earthly substance which God in his graft kindness hath bestowed upon me in the following manner:
1st - after by boddy is decently buried and all my debts paid it is my will and I do hereby bequeath to Nancy Reading, my eldest daughter four dollars.
2nd - It is my will and I do hereby bequeath to my eldest son John McCune four dollars.
3rd - It is my will and I do hereby bequeath unto the children of my decesed daughter Susanna Patten,, wife of John Patten four dollars to be equally divided among them.
4th - It is my will and I do hereby bequeath to my daughter Margarit Shawhen four dollars.
5th - It is my will and I do hereby bequeath to Betsy Gray four dollars.
6th - It is also my will and I do hereby bequeath to my beloved wife - Elizabeth McCune the third part of all my estate, real and moveable.
7th - I will and bequeath all the ballence of my estate to be equally, divided between my four youngest children; Wm P McCune, Polly Lacy McCune, Joseph P. McCune, and Susanna McCune, on conditon there should be no more heirs, but in case there should, they are to have an equal divide with, Wm, Joseph, Polly Lacy and Susan.
It is my will that my wife Elizabeth McCune and my son John McCune be and they are hereby appointed Executrix and Executor of this my last will and testament signed and sealed present of this 9th of November, 1819.
Wm McCune (Seal) Pike Co. Mesura Territory. Jacob Matthews; James Stark; Henry Matthews; John Patterson (supplement or codicil )
As a suplement to the within will, I Wm McCune have thought proper to leave the home place where I now live on containing 300 ackers to my son Wm P. McCune and my son Joseph P. McCune, providing they should think proper to keep it at its apraes value of their Guardens for them it is clearly to be understood that this suplement is to have no other change or careing on the within will except giving William and Joseph the right to keep the homeplace at its apraised value given under my hand this 8th day of August 1827.
Elizabeth's will, dated November 10, 1835, reads as follows:
Last will and testament of Elizabeth McCune.
In the name of God Amen, I, Elizabeth McCune of the County of Pike State of Missouri being weak in body but sound in mine and disposing memory and perfectly aware that ere long my body must return to its Mother earth, do ordain and publish this my last will and testament.
First, my desire is that my body may be decently buried in a plain coffin to be provided for that purpose.
Second, it is my desire that my just debts be paid if at this time of my death, I shall owe any and,
Thirdly, it is my will and desire that the balance of my property which I derived title to, by virtue of the last will and testament of my late husband, William McCune should be equally divided among my four children to wit; William P. McCune, Polly L. McCune, Susannah McCune and Joseph P. McCune except that my executor herein appointed is directed to pay out of my property to my other two children vizt: Jane Paterson and Sally Reading the sum of one dollar each and no more they having been sufficiently provided for and lastly I do nominated and appoint John McCune executor of this my last will and testament to acct according to law, In witneas whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this 16th day Nov, in the year of our Lord 1830.
Elizabeth X McCune
Witness: L Rogers; Jeremiah Stark; Daniel F Stark; Susannah Stark
Epilogue. This concludes my brief essay on the life of William McCune. In closing, I thought I should add that McCunes continue to live in Pike County, Missouri, to the present day. In the northwestern part of Cuivre township, Pike County, Missouri, about seven miles from Bowling Green, lies McCune Station. The spelling of the town's name has varied slightly over the years with the 1899 Pike County atlas listing it as "McCunes Station", the map of 1893 calling it "McCune's Station" and an 1886 map calling it simply "McCunes." The town was named for John and William McCune from Kentucky, who settled on Ramsey Creek in 1817. There was for a time a small settlement there with a railroad station and a post office, which operated from 1886 until 1918. In the 1930's, McCunes Station had a population of approximately 50 people. The population is less than that in 1980.