|By James C. Haught 2005 |
“Lige” Schoolcraft was not a very good man,” My grandmother, Lydia Hoskins, would say. She never told me why but she would add that he left the country and was never heard of again.
Elijah Schoolcraft married Lucinda Shock on 4 May 1873. Lucy was the daughter of Alexander and Eliza (Stump) Shock from near Rosedale in Gilmer County. Elijah was the son of John and Martha (Hall) Schoolcraft.
At 28 Lucy would have been considered a “spinster” or an “old maid.” Most women of that period were married much earlier.
Elijah was the same age. Seven months after they were married Lucy gave birth to Alexander. His birth on 20 November 1876 raised a few eyebrows. Lucy would give birth to another child, Martha, in 1879. It all appeared to be the beginnings of a happy family.
That was the case until January 1882.
The circuit court of Gilmer County handed down an indictment to Elijah for running a house of ill fame. “Lige” was afraid that his conviction would give a prison sentence.
One evening while Lucy was away from home he saddled a horse and packed up to leave the area. His next act was a strange one. He took his three year old daughter, Martha, with him. He left Gilmer County for Ohio.
When Lucy was returned home she was devastated.
However, she was quick to act. She figured that “Lige” was on his way to Ohio. She took her son, Alexander, who was six years old to her mothers.
Then she set off on foot to find her daughter. She lost his trail over in Ohio. She returned home broken hearted – never to see her daughter, Martha, again.
The Shocks, Stumps and Schoolcrafts cover the history of America and this area of Central West Virginia for the past 400 years. Each family has an interesting story. The story of Elijah and Lucinda (Shock) Schoolcraft is just one small incident in a long history.
Alexander and Eliza Stump Shock
L-R - Lucinda "Lucy" Shock Schoolcraft, Eliza Stump
Shock, and Henry Shock (Photos courtesy of Bessie Gumm)
Henry Shock, Lucy’s younger brother, was born in 1851. Henry married Nancy Dobbins. She was 18 and he was 22. During their 32 years together they had seven children.
The Shock family lived on the left fork of Steer Creek. Nancy (Dobbins) Shock died in 1905 at the age of 50. Henry was lost without Nancy. Since his mother (Eliza Stump Shock) was a widow and aging he went to live with her and Lucy. It was probably during this time that the above picture was made.
Of the three families the Stumps have the longest known history. The earliest record was of Hans Stumpff. He was born in Germany’s Neckar Valley about 1600.
The Stumpffs were important people in this area of Germany. However, after four generations Hans Michael decided to immigrate to America. He followed a typical path to what is present day West Virginia.
He entered the colonies through Philadelphia. In Lancaster County he met and married Maria Catherine Neff. She was also a German. The young couple’s path took them south crossing the Potomac River at the Pack Horse Ford near Shepherdstown.
They lived for a while in the area before taking up land in the south branch of the Potomac. Here Hans Michael became a large and prominent land owner.
In 1748 young George Washington was surveying the lands of Lord Fairfax in the South Branch. He stayed at the home of Hans Michael Stump for several days.
Before supper Washington and Stumpff went hunting. They killed two turkeys and several squirrels. Washington suggested that Stumpff anglicize his name to Michael Stump. Lord Fairfax signed the Stump’s land grant.
Michael Stump II married Sarah Hughes in 1763. This is important for the area of central West Virginia because Sarah Hughes was the sister of the famous frontiersman, Jesse Hughes. Although Michael Stump II would not move to this area it set the stage for the future.
Michael Stump II was in the militia during Lord Dunmore’s War and in all likelihood participated in the Battle of Point Pleasant on 10 October 1774.
When General Cornwallis surrendered his British army to George Washington at Yorktown, Michael was there. He was a captain in General Weeden’s Army.
Michael Stump III was the one that came to the Gilmer-Calhoun County area. He first came to Hacker’s Creek with his uncle Jesse Hughes. This area was then a part of Harrison County.
It was here that he married Magdalene Richards on 19 February 1786. When Indian hostilities renewed, the young married couple returned to Hardy County. They moved to Steer Creek in 1804. He died on 27 March 1834. He was 68 years old.
One of Michael and Magdalene’s sons was Absolom. He was born on 21 February 1794. He married Margaret Bush. They lived at what is now Gilmer County and raised ten children. Their second child Eliza (pictured above) would also give birth to ten children, Lucinda and Henry, the 4th and 5th respectively.
The Stump family has made a great contribution to Gilmer and Calhoun County.
The county seat of Calhoun, Grantsville owes its very existence to Simon Peter Stump. He laid out the town in lots and gave the county the land on which the court house is built.
Besides the regular prominent Stumps of Grantsville, another well known West Virginian has ancestry with the "Four Michaels." Felix B. Stump was born in Clarksburg on 15 December 1894. Early in World War II he became commander of the Aircraft Carrier Lexington. Toward the end of the war he was commander of a carrier division. He ended his career commanding officer of the Pacific forces.
The Shock family is also from Germany. Six year old Henry Shock came to America with his parents in 1750. In all likelihood the Shocks entered the Pennsylvania Colony through Philadelphia.
The next record of Henry was in York, Pennsylvania, where at 26 he married Elizabeth Holtzapfel. The Shocks took a different route to reach present day Gilmer-Calhoun Counties. From York, they surely crossed the Potomac River at Shepherdstown.
From there they went down the Shenandoah Valley (1783) crossing over the mountains into Greenbrier County (1793). By the time they reached Nicholas County, where their fourth child, Jacob, was born. The Shocks had a total eight children.
Jacob Shock was born on 4 September 1789. He married Margaret Green when he was 21 years old. Jacob and Margaret had 12 children. Their fourth child was Alexander. Jacob and Margaret are buried in the Methodist Cemetery in Rosedale, Gilmer County.
By the time Alexander Shock was born, the family was in Nicholas County. Alexander was born on 9 March 1815. He would die in Gilmer County on 10 August 1892 at 77 years old. He married Eliza Stump. Alexander and Eliza would have ten children. The fourth child was Lucinda born 13 September 1849 and the fifth child, Henry, born on 9 December 1851. Lucinda and Henry are pictured above with their mother, Eliza.
Several Schoolcraft’s from the Arnoldsburg and Sand Ridge area are members of my family. They are also members of a family that suffered the greatest single tragedy on the early American frontier.
John Schoolcraft, son of Astien and grandson of James, settled on Finks Run between Buckhannon and Weston about 1774. John was married and had a family of 15 children.
In the spring of 1779 Leonard Schoolcraft, son of John, went to West’s Fort on an errand. Along the way he was captured by Indians and taken to their villages in Ohio. There he was made to run the gauntlet. As he started toward the council house he tackled one Indian youth, took his switch and beat the remaining Indians in the gauntlet. He made it to the council house with only minor injuries.
The warriors were so impressed that they adopted him into the tribe. Leonard would become a renegade, leading the Indians on raids back to the settlements.
The fall of 1779 was rather cold. The men of the border thought the Indian raids were over for the year.
They met at West’s Fort to elect a captain. While they were there an Indian raiding party came up on the cabin of John Schoolcraft. They dispatched Mrs. Schoolcraft with one quick blow of a tomahawk.
With their mother murdered the children were in disarray. The older children, Lucy, and twins, Mary and Martha, were quickly killed with a tomahawk.
The five younger children, Astein, Sarah, Patty, and twins Nancy and Charity, crying for their mother and father received blows to the head. They were then scalped.
One of the children had been scalped and tomahawked until a portion of her brain was forced from her skull, living for a few days. Her brains oozed through the cut in her skull.
Two boys, Simon and Michael were taken to their Ohio villages where they were absorbed into to the Shawnee way of life. They remained with the Indians.
John Schoolcraft had now lost all of his children except John Jr. and Jacob. These two boys were also captured by the Indians. They remained with the Indians for several years, gaining the confidence of the warriors. They were even permitted to go hunting.
Their powder and ball was allocated so there was no excess. When they returned home they had to account for each. They would shave a little lead from each ball and squirrel away a small amount of powder during each hunting trip. After several years of doing this they escaped during one hunting trip. They made their way back to the settlements. History has lost sight of John but Jacob became the ancestor of the future Schoolcrafts.
Jacob Schoolcraft married Rebecca Parsons. They lived on the West Fork of the Little Kanawha River. Their home was in Calhoun County.
They had six children. Their youngest was named John. He was born in Harrison County. He married Sarah Martha Hall. They had 16 children. Their eighth child was Elijah. He was named after his mother’s father, Elijah Hall. The Schoolcraft family, in this article, is now up to the woman in the picture, Lucinda Shock Schoolcraft.