W.W. Bailey Retells Mike Fink Legend in 1967

(07/25/2002)

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 12/21/1967.

Story of Mike Fink is Retold
By W.W. Bailey

Mike Fink and an unknown Indian were both buried in a grave in a low gap between the waters of West Fork and Beech Fork in Calhoun county in 1780.

One small stream of water runs east from this low gap and empties into the West Fork.  This stream or run is now called Hardways Run, named after the man who first built a log cabin there.

Another small stream runs west from this place and empties into Beech Fork.  Each of these two streams is a little over a mile in length.  The stream or run is now called Fink Creek, named after Mike Fink, who was killed by the Indians.

It was on this stream that Mike Fink, Adam O'Brien and another man were watching a deer lick when they were suddenly attacked by four or five Indians.  The white men ran up the stream, but Fink was shot in the foot.  By the time they reached the low gap, Fink was so weak, due to loss of blood he could go no further.

The other two men left Mike at the low gap while they went down on the West Fork to get some men to help.  When they returned they found Mike and an Indian, both dead.  A grave was dug and they were buried in the low gap.

This legend has always been handed down to all the boys and girls of this locality.  When passing by the graves if you will ask the Indian what he killed the white man for, he will answer "Nothing."  This is true, for I tried this out myself, when I was a boy and I know it is true.

We know not where he came from.  He left no relatives here, but by accident he left his name stamped on the pages of history.  He seemed to be a character like Ichabod Crane, who just happened along, and was staying with some pioneer hunters, perhaps like himself.


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