Person:William Felton (19)

Watchers
William Felton
b.abt 1770 Germany
m. abt 1770
  1. Robert FeltonAbt 1768 -
  2. William FeltonAbt 1770 - 1857
  3. John FeltonAbt 1770 -
m. abt 1792
  1. Katherine "Katie" FeltonAbt 1793 -
  2. John FeltonAbt 1796 -
  3. Robert FeltonAbt 1800 -
  4. Mansfield Felton1804 - 1844
  5. William FeltonAbt 1810 -
  6. Charles FeltonAbt 1812 -
Facts and Events
Name[1] William Felton
Gender Male
Birth[1] abt 1770 Germany
Residence[1] 1792 Pennsylvania, Unites States
Marriage abt 1792 Pennsylvania, United Statesto Margaret Mansfield
Residence[1] abt 1800 Lexington, Fayette, Kentucky, United States
Residence[1] abt 1805 Hamilton, Ohio, United StatesNW of Cincinnati, near the mouth of Indian Creek
Death[1] 25 Mar 1857 Wayne, Indiana, United States
Burial[1] Felton Cemetery, Hagerstown, Wayne, Indiana, United States
References
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 15 Feb 2003 post by thesler, in Ancestry. com.

    [no sources provided - posted here pending addition of primary sources]

    William is said to have been born in the lowlands of Germany. His father, William, and mother brought him over to America when he was about 6 years of age. They died in a short time after they reached Pennsylvania, leaving William Felton, then a small child, and two older brothers, John and Robert Felton, orphans in a strange land. William was bound to a man who brought him up in the Presbyterian faith. He was sprinkled by a Presbyterian minister.

    William married Margaret Mansfield,the daughter of John and Margaret Mansfield, about 1792. Her parents were born in Ireland. They moved from Tyroon Co. to Pennsylvania where she was born. She was christened by a Catholic priest and was brought up by Catholic parents. She became acquainted with William Felton and they were joined in marriage when she was 18 years of age. They were married at the foot of the Shade Mountains in Pennsylvania. One child, Katie, was born to them there. They then emigrated to Kentucky near Lexington Co., on the headwaters of the Licking River. Two boys, John and Robert were born to them there on the wild frontier.

    William was a farmer and by the help of his trusty rifle kept the family in wild meat such as bear, elk, deer, and wild turkey.

    They then moved to Ohio, them and 25 or 30 more families colonied together on the west side of the big Miami River about 25 or 30 miles northwest of Cincinnati, near the mouth of Indian Creek. On the old coal reign road. The land was what they called squatters claims. The colony took with them a hand mill and the women done the grinding. They put the mill as near the middle of the colony as they could to make it as convenient as possible for all the women to grind their corn. They lived in crude log huts. Their beds were constructed of slabs stood on edge the same as we make flower beds. Now there was no floors in their huts and they carried leaves and put inside of those slabs and spread blankets over the leaves for a bed as there were no bedsteads or straw in them days in their colony to be had. The whole country abounded in game, both north and west. The rivers and creeks abounded in fish and here they depended on their guns for their meat.

    There were no soldiers nearer than the for at Cincinnati. While William was back in Kentucky, settling up some business, word came to the little colony that the Indians were coming to make a raid on them. This news put the whole colony in commotion and preparations were made to fly to the fort at Cincinnati for safety. As he was gone, Margaret had to do the best she could. They had two horses and Margaret put the pack saddle on one and threw a salt sack (salt sacks were different in them days to what they are now, as they were a long strip on hemp cloth with a pocket in each side) over the saddle and put Robbie in one pocket and Johnny in the other one and she got on the other horse and took Katie on her lap and led the horse with the precious load on it and got to the fort in safety.

    When William came back from Kentucky down the Licking River to Covington and crossed the Ohio River to Cincinnati, and there he found his wife and the little ones safe at the fort. But on learning this to be a false alarm, they left the women and children at the fort and they took the soldiers and went back to their claims and found their huts all right and there they built Fort Derrah or Derrahs station. When they got their fort completed, they went and moved their families back in the fort and went to work over their claims again and still they depended on their guns for their meat. Running short of meat they detailed four men, Margaret's brother, Charlie Mansfield, and Robert McLeland, William Crumm, and John Larison, to go out on a little hunting expedition. They hadn't went more than one-half mile, when McLeland shot a deer and they had just got the entrails out and were just going to put it on a stick when the sentinels, Crumm and Larison, gave the alarm that the Indians were coming for sure this time. They thought the report of the gun had attracted the Indians attention and they had to drop the deer and run for the fort.

    Larison, being the slowest on foot, got behind and one of the Indians being swifter on foot than the others, placed poor Larison in a close place. The Indian got close enough to give him a flesh wound in the calf of the leg, which greatly impeded his speed. This encouraged the Indian, and throwing down his gun, he grasped his tomahawk and came on faster than ever. Crumm, seeing the danger Johnny was in, called to the others to stop and help save him and he jumped behind a tree and let Larison pass and when the Indian came close enough he stepped out and gave him the contents of his trusty rifle and that gave them time to get Larison into the fort before the other Indians came up.

    When the sentinel at the fort saw them coming they opened the gate and let them in, and there was an old man at the fort about 50 years old, and he got a musket and slipped out at the gate. He got down on his knees and rested his gun on a stump and said he was bound to kill one of them redskins and they had to pull him in and close the gate.

    Then the battle began. The men hurried to the portholes and Margaret and her sisters, Nancy Swimm and Becca Goble had to run bullets all night and they burned their hands into blisters with the hot lead. They fought hard all night. But when morning came the Indians took their dead and left the fort, leaving the little colony with but one wounded man. He got shot in the hand through the porthole. From that time until the next summer, their hostile movements ceased, and the people at the fort began to feel so secure that they would let their little ones outside the fort to play.

    The people had their huts built close to the blockhouse and they held church in the blockhouse and everyone had to go for they were afraid to stay at their huts. They would all take their guns and stand them up in the corner till church was out. They had sentinels posted to watch for the Indians, for they had not forgot the sad event that had happened so short a time before. But they saw nothing of them till the next summer, when William and his brother-in-law, Henry Whitaker, and some of the other men went over to the fields to see how their corn was doing and they heard a rail fall off the fence and looking up they saw the Indians right there, almost on them, and they broke and ran for the fort. Henry, being slower than the rest, was left behind, and to make a bad matter worse, he catched his foot under a grapevine and threw him flat on the ground. Seeing he couldn't make it to the fort, he crawled in under the large bunch of grapevine and hid until the Indians were gone past. As soon as they found they could not catch the men, they turned and sneaked back and when Henry heard them coming back he laid quite still, but they turned and went a different path and when he thought it safe, he crawled out again and ran for the blockhouse. He had just got to the bank of the creek when he saw an Indian behind a tree. His appearance seemed to frighten the Indian and he broke and run and Henry jumped in to ford the creek, but when the Indian saw he was alone, he whirled and shot at him but the bullet struck the water, and Henry got home safe.

    The Indians were defeated so many times they thought they would go and make their raids somewhere else, for they never came back very close to the fort, but once after that time.

    And yet, they stuck to their claims and improved them up and most of them got rich right there. It was in these troublesome times, two more sons were born to William and Margaret Felton, William and Charlie.

    The land was very rich and fertile and the large bottoms were covered with peavine, while the grapevines hung suspended from the buckeye, hawthorn, hackberry and walnut and pawpaw, giving it the appearance of an Eden, while the fish by moonlight played in the broad ripples on the great Miami and the otter and the beaver traversed the banks. While emigration came pouring in, the Indians kept going back while the howl of the wolf and the whoop of the savage began to die out.

    As there was no railroad and no steamboats, it made it very inconvenient to the people as their nearest trading point was Cincinnati about 25 or 30 miles away. Yet, as cultivation increased, the farmers sowed flax and the women were busy scutching and hackling and spinning flax and weaving it into cloth and making that into garments. But it wasn't long till villages began to spring up. The people built a mill and a town on Indian Creek and they named the town Millville and another one Rossville, and one Hamilton, which finally became the capital of Butler Co., Ohio.

    The people kept coming in there so fast and taking up claims that the land was all taken up at least, clear to the boundary line, and William came to the conclusion, he would sell out and go where he could get land for his children. So, he sold his farm, and left his family there. He took his four oldest boys and two other men and went into Indiana on the Big Muscatatuk bottom where he took a squatters claims and him and his men went to work and cleared out 4 or 5 acres, and piled their brush and in the spring there came a fresh and took all their brush and the water stood a foot deep all over the ground and swam their logs all apart. So he left there and went farther north into the new boundary on the west fork of Whitewater, just below the junction of Nettle Creek.

    He took squatters claim there again and then went back into Ohio for his family and there was 25 or 30 families went back to Indiana with him and they colonized there again and took squatters claims. They found the land there as rich and fertile there as it was in Ohio. They went to work and built their huts and began to improve the land. He had to go to Connersville to do their trading. That was about 20 miles from Nettle Creek junction and we had to go back to our old home in Ohio for our wheat, for he thought it best not to sell it.

    William bought out all the squatters and they took other lands. He kept buying till he had six hundred acres all in one body. He then told his neighbors if they would help him, he would build a mill. The people were well pleased with this, and were willing to help what they could. He was willing to pay them in part for their labor. William employed a millwright and the leveling up and work began by their help and by and working bees, the first saw mill was built in that colony. There was more than 30 men there at work and he boarded them.

    The emigration kept pouring in and in a short time William built a grist mill. He had plenty of money and he bought his three oldest children 80 acres apiece about 15 miles from his six hundred acres. The river ran a southeast course. The land was rich bottom running the full length of the river. Those bottoms differed in width from one half to a mile wide. The timber on this bench of land was buckeye, hackberry, burr oak, sycamore, box elder, interspersed with grapevine and willows bending their waving branches along the river banks formed a cover for the otter, mink, coon, muskrat and some beaver. The second bench of land was about ten or twelve feet higher than the first. It was rich black soil and the timber was wild cherry, walnut, blue ash, gray ash, buckeye and pawpaw. The land was well watered and lots of fish in the water while upon the divide the land was level and good wheat land. It was about 40 feet above the level of the creek. The timber up hear was poplar, sugar tree, red oak, white oak, beechwood, ironwood, and dogwood and an immense quantity of blue grapes grew amongst the dogwood and ironwood. There was plenty of game here amongst the timber such as bear, deer, wildcat, catamount, and hundreds of timber wolf and thousands of possum.

    William died 25 March 1857 in Wayne Co., Indiana and is buried in the Felton Cemetery, which is located near the Hagerstown airport, with his wife, who died 3 July 1854, and son Mansfield, who died in 1844.