MIKE FINK'S GRAVE NEEDS HELP - Contributions Needed Now Historic Site


By Bob Weaver

Emma Deel and her brother Jim Stalnaker are on a mission to restore one of Calhoun's most famous grave sites - the burial ground of Mike Fink and the unknown Indian on Milo Road.

Deel said financial help has been slow coming, although "We thank the Hur Herald readers who have sent donations."

She said "We need just a few hundred dollars to get the project done. We appreciate any contributions," she said.

The site is located a short distance from Route 16 near Minnora.

Deel, a longtime civic-minded person in her community, says the site has continued to be in disrepair, including damaged headstones.

"We want to make it a more permanent site, including placing a better fence around the graves," said Deel.

She estimates the cost to be about $1,000.

She and her brother have been maintaining the site.

The incident began while historic figure Adam O'Brien and Mike Fink were watching a salt lick along a trail in the late 1700s.

Col. D. S. Dewees (1821-1905) in his "Recollections of a Lifetime" writes:

"These two adventurers, seeking a new country, conquesting for hunters and backwoodsman's paradise, when a small party of Indians in quest of revenge, seeking to strike a blow upon the usurper of their homes and hunting grounds...coming unexpectedly together, the Indians firing upon Fink, who together with O'Brien retreated up the branch (Fink Fork), wounded Fink in the heel, whose wound becoming so painful against they reached the low gap, that he advised O'Brien to seek his own safety, and leave him to his fate...He dispatched one of them (an Indian), which he in return was laid low in death...O'Brien in a few days returning with others, found the two common enemies cold in death's embrace, whereupon they were buried by O'Brien."

Hur Herald readers and former Calhoun residents can help with this project by sending a check to Emma Deel, HC 73, Box 26, Orma WV 25268.

A historic account around this incident and the life of Adam O'Brien can be found on the Hur Herald under People, Humor and History 10/29/03.