*Contributed by Blaine Standiford. Thanks, Blaine!
From: Unknown PA Newspaper, pub. February 24, 1969.
THIS POTTER TOWNSHIP HOME was the scene of an Indian massacre in 1778. Original building, left foreground, is of log construction, the siding being added later. Mrs. Earl Grove is present owner-tenant.
Occupants Were Scalped:
Home, Site of Massacre 191 Years Ago, Still Standing
|A Potter Township home, then a log cabin, which was the
scene of a brutal massacre by Indians in 1778, is still standing and is
in regular use as a residence. The present owner is Mrs. Earl
The house is south of the Linden Hall-Old Fort Rd. and is about one-half mile from the Black Hawk Stone Quarry.
The original part of the building was built by Abraham Standford, a German.
The writer of an obituary of Robert Moore in The Centre Democrat of May 7, 1831, giving a statement apparently received from Moore, says he was returning from the Great Island to Brown Fort (Reedsville) in May 1778 when he stopped at the cabin of Abraham Standford.
On entering the cabin he discovered that none of the family was in the house, but going around the cabin towards the spring he saw the body of Mrs. Standford, scalped. At a few rods' distance lay the bodies of two children. Life was hardly extinct in the body of Mrs. Standford.
A Col. Hunter, in a letter dated at Fort Augusta May 14, 1778, said an express had come from Penns Valley with information that Indians had killed and scalped Jacob Standford, his wife and two children, being all that was of the family. On receiving the news Col. Hunter ordered the seventh class of Col. John Kelly's battalion to march into Penns Valley, where the sixth battalion already was stationed,
In the Standford massacre there seems to be some confusion on the identity of the victims. Some records indicate Jacob, his wife and daughter were killed and scalped and a son, aged 10 or 11 years, was missing. The son by some accounts was carried off by the Indians and was released some time later and returned to relatives. The daughter's body in some accounts was found along a path leading to the family's nearest neighbor, John Willcott at Earlytown, to which place she was apparently fleeing.
At all events, the bodies were buried in a corner of one of the fields on Ephraim Keller's farm, on the northwest corner of the manor, a little north of Leonard Rhone's. The site of the graves was unmarked and there are no traces remaining today.
Col. James Potter on May 17, 1778, wrote from the Upper Fort of Penns Valley: "Our savage enemy continues to murder, scalp and capture. It there is not something done, the country will be entirely given up to the savages. We have two forts in this valley and are determined to stand as long as we are supported.
On May 31 all the inhabitants of Penns Valley were gathered at one place in Potter Township and a panic generally pervaded the county. June 17, Gen. Potter wrote that Capt. Pealer's men in Nittany Valley had discovered the tracks of about 30 Indians leading down Logan's Gap, and a woman and two children were missing at the head of Kishacoquillas Valley, and one man wounded.
Trouble with the Indians finally resulted in what is known as "the great runaway" by white settlers. They fled the area for a short time, but eventually drifted back and took up their lives where they had been interrupted.
From: History of Centre and Clinton Counties, PA by John Blair Linn; p. 19-20
....Again, on the 11th of May, Mr. Buchanan writes that he had just received intelligence by express from Maj. Miles, in Penns Valley, that on last Friday Jacob Standford, his wife, and daughter were killed and scalped, and his son, a lad of ten or eleven years, is yet missing, and that the savaged ravage all parts of our frontiers in a very public manner.
Jacob Standford resided within the present bounds of Potter township, about three miles west of Old Fort, near the path that came through the McBride's Gap. The bodies are buried in a corner of one of the fields of Ephraim Keller's farm, on the northwest corner of the manor, a little north of Leonard Rhone's. Henry Dale (grandfather of Capt. Christian), who helped bury them, said four of the family were killed. The nearest neighbor to the Standfords was John Willcott (Earlytown), and the body of the daughter who was killed was found on the path to Willcott's, to which place she was trying to make her way.
The writer of an obituary of Robert Moore in The Centre Democrat of May 7, 1831, giving a statement apparently received from Robert Moore, says he was returning from the Great Island to Brown Fort, now Brown's Mills (Reedsville), Mifflin Co., when he stopped at the cabin of Abraham Standford, a German, who lived on the farm now owne3d (1831) by Peter Ruble, in Potter township. On entering the cabin he discovered that none of the family were in the house, but going around the cabin towards the spring he saw the body of Mrs. Standford, scalped and blood yet oozing from the wounds. At a few rods' distance lay the bodies of two children. Life was hardly extinct in the body of Mrs. Standford. The writer then goes on to say that Mr. Moore's horses having strayed among the Seven Mountains, the latter went in search of them, and discovered the body of an Indian, with his rifle and accoutrements, by a large pine log, under leaves, in a state of preservation; that after peace was restored Mrs. Moore inquired of an Indian chief called Capt. Hunt, who was with the party, who told him that after the murder of the Standford family they held a council and determined upon an attack upon the inhabitants of Kishacoquillas valley, and had arrived at the gorge west of where William Thompson once lived in the east end of valley, near where the old Lewistown road entered; that accidentally the gun of one of the chiefs exploded, killing the owner. This was deemed an ill omen, a council was called, and that expedition abandoned, and so great was their alarm that, after covering the chief hastily with leaves, they retire.
Col. Hunter, in a letter dated at Fort Augusta, May 14th, says an express has come in from Penn valley. informing me that the Indians had killed and scalped Jacob Standford, his wife, and two children, being all that was of the family. Immediately after receiving the news I ordered the seventh class of Col. John Kelly's battalion to march into Penn's valley where the sixth class of that battalion was before.
From Potter Township; General Potter's Empire by Ruth E. Rishel, 1976; p. 38
An early settler in Potter Township was Jacob Standford. About 1777 Mr. Standford built a cabin by the Indian path from McBride's Gap in Nittany Mountain.
During the years 1777 to 1780 the Indians of the region were unruly and created many scares among the settlers. In May of 1778 some Indians passing through McBride's Gap toward the Kishacoquillas Valley came upon the Standford family and scalped Mr. Standford, his wife and daughter. The son disappeared. It is believed he was taken away to live with the Indians.
The Standford house still stands along the Rimmey Road which connects the Earlystown Road (Route 45) and the Brush Valley Road. It is very likely the oldest building in Centre County. An addition to the house was built in 1870. Recently the house was restored by Mr. Marvin Lee of Houserville for the present owners, Mr. and Mrs. S. V. Mariorana.
The Standford family was buried near their home in a corner of a field. No one has ever been able to locate the exact location of the burial ground.
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