delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 36 NUMBER 12


Will Hoffine,  N8HDM

Jonathan Alder


Jonathan Alder (1773-1849) was born in Gloucester, New Jersey on Sept 17,1773. His family moved to a place called Greenbriar* in Wythe County, Virginia when he was young. About a year after moving to Virginia, his father died. When he was 9 years old, he and his brother, David were sent out to find a mare and a colt that were missing and were attacked by a group of Indians. After attempting to escape, David was led back by an Indian with his hand on a spear that had been run through David's body. The spear was removed and David was led away. Soon afterward the Indian returned with David's scalp. ( A neighboring family of Alder's, named Martin, received similar treatment, Mr. Martin and their baby were killed, his wife and two year old child were kidnapped. Finding the toddler too burdensome for travel, was soon killed and scalped.) Jonathan and Mrs. Martin were brought to present day Ohio and were separated soon afterward. During the journey, an Indian raised his tomahawk, preparing to kill Jonathan. Jonathan turned and looked at the assailant. The Indian, seeing Jonathan's black hair, stopped and felt it. Thinking Jonathan would make a good Indian, decided to let him live. The journey took him across the Ohio River, up the Scioto River to Chillicothe and then on to the Mad River in present day Logan County. Upon arrival  of the Mad River ,he was made to “run the gauntlet”.  Afterwards, he was adopted by Chief Succohanos and his wife Winecheoh of the Seneca- Cayuga tribe. He learned the language and lived as an Indian for nearly fifteen years. The summer after his abduction, Colonel Crawford was burned at the stake. He lived at the Mackachack towns ( near the present day Piatt Castles close to West Liberty) in Logan County, when the towns were destroyed by Benjamin Logan in 1786. He was also involved in the attack on Fort Recovery and recounted the details of the Battle of Fallen Timbers. He remained with the Indians until after the Treaty of Greenville in 1795. Although he was content with living the Indian lifestyle, he was convinced by his Indian friends and family to return to his former way of life. Jonathan returned to his favorite hunting grounds on the Big Darby Creek north of present day Plain City. He married an Indian woman and they had a stillborn child. She  was opposed to living so close to new settlers in the area, so they separated. During this time, he met a man named John Moore from Virginia. Through conversation, Moore was familiar with people in the Greenbriar area and helped Jonathan reunite with his mother and siblings. The Alder family moved from Virginia to the Darby Plains , now Madison County, Ohio afterwards and settled near the present day intersection of  Plain City - Georgesville Rd and Lucas Pike. Jonathan became a farmer, married Mary Blount and they had 12 children. He remained here until his death on January 30, 1849. Descendants of the Alder family remain in the area. Jonathan Alder was the first settler of Madison County and his name is recorded in the history of many Ohio counties.  His cabin was moved less than a mile from it’s original location and sat for many years next to the Foster Chapel Church and Cemetery, where he is buried. Though the Foster Chapel Church was razed in the last several years , his cabin was again moved to London, the county seat and was restored. . Wythe County and Wytheville Virginia, named for George Wythe, a law professor, who taught Thomas Jefferson, Henry Clay and others. He also signed the Declaration of Independence. * Greenbriar Rd in Wythe County runs approximately one mile from the Carroll County line to state route 100 in Wythe County. However, present day Greenbriar, Va. Lies nearly 200 miles to the Northeast of Wythe County. Alder, dictating of his life story, described lead mines and cliffs where he and David once played. Very near Greenbriar Rd in Wythe County are cliffs and a stone quarry. I believe the quarry began as a lead mine and Greenbriar Rd once ran to a small town near the intersection of Greenbriar Rd and ST RT 100. Re: Wikipedia Remarkable Ohio and others
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