HANCOCK COUNTY, WVA


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INDIAN ROCKS, HANCOCK COUNTY, WVA
The following article from the Jan. 17, 1912, "East Liverpool Tribune"newspaper,
abstracted and contributed by Janet Waite.


Immense Boulders On Stewart Historic Farm

Between Stones Pioneer Women Were Hidden During Battle With Indians,

Only to Be Captured by Red Skins and Rescued.


On the Stewart property, a short distance northeast of this city, are two immense rocks which are known to the residence of this vicinity as "Indian Rocks," and the history connected with them, and from which they derive their name, is often related by old residents.

Many years ago when this part of the country was very thinly settled by white people, a primitive log cabin stood a short distance from the large rock. In the pioneer home resided an English family consisting of father, mother, two sons and a daughter. Here they lived in such peace, as primitive settlers in a country inhabited with wild animals and hostile Indians, usually enjoy.

One day the two sons had returned from a hunting expedition which had taken them many miles from home, and they caused consternation in the family by the announcement that a band of Red Skins were on the warpath, and were reported coming that way, killing and plandering.

The first thought of the men was to devise some means for the safety of the women. Finally the boys thought of a plan for conceling the mother and sister form the sight of the Indians.

Between the two large rocks was a slight hollow. The two women were placed with in this depression and the men worked rapidly carrying brush and under wood which they placed above them until they were completely covered from sight and the hiding place presented the appearance of an ordinary brush pile made while clearing.

The men then move a barrel of water which stood near the house into the cabin, thinking that possibly they might need it. The door was then fastened and the appearance of the enemy was awaited with anxiety.

Soon the yells of the hostile Indians announced their approach. Surrounding the little cabin the red men attacked the door. It refused to yield to their efforts and they retreated for a short time to reappear a moment later armed with a log which they preceded to use as a battering ram. As the heavy timber struck the stout door the father fired through a chink in the log wall and his aim was good, for one of the Indians staggered and fell. The others desisted from their efforts to break in the door long enough to pick up the wounded brave and carry him back form the scene of action. He was placed on the ground beside one of the large rocks, the other side of which lay the two women.

After several more shots were fired by the settlers the Indians gave up their attempts to force the door, and gathering some leaves and chips, proceeded to set fire to the cabin thinking thus to route the white men.

The prisoners, however, smelled the smoke and using the water from the barrel freely, succeeded in extinguishing the fire. They then began a systematic firing at the Indians whenever the latter came within range and after two of the attacking party had fallen dead from the white men's bullets, the rest finally retreated.

When the Indians had vanished and all was once more peaceful the father and sons ventured forth to release the women from their enforced seclusion. What was their horror when rounding the rocks they found the brush disarranged and the wife and daughter gone. (It afterward developed that the wounded Indian lying beside the large rocks had heard the breathing of the women and had told the others to investigate. They did so and the cries of the two prisoners muffled by Indian blankets thrown around their heads, they were hurried away with their captors.)

The settlers were soon on the trail of the abductors and easily followed them until darkness fell when they were compelled to proceed more slowly.


The trail lead through the valley now known as Yellow Creek, over the hills in the vicinity of Somerset, Hammondsville and Irondale, and as the gray twilight of early morning was faintly appearing the trailers came upon the camp of the Indians several miles beyond the latter place. The red men, tired from their long tramp, and possibly thinking that the pursuit had been abandoned, were not as alert as usual. The three white men crept close to the camp without discovery.

Becoming accustomed to the dim light they discovered the two white women tied to trees near two sleeping Indians. Two shots, resulting in two dead Indians, was the introduction of the settlers, and the remaining Indians, perhaps fearing that the trio of pursuers had been reinforced, beat a retreat into the forest. The women were found to be unharmed save suffering from the effects of their long trip and hunger. The family, again happily reunited, was satisfied to allow the Indians to escape.

From that time the big rocks were spoken of by the settler's family as the Indian Rocks, and the name still clings to the immense stones.



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