First inhabitants in this community.

Records indicate that the Indians were first inhabitants here

The Mound builders may have been here for a little time at least, as a small mound is said to be on the late David Lemley farm. History records that the Mound Builders were here before the Indians, but from whence they came, or where they have gone is a mystery. They built a small mound near Clarksville but their mounds are confined chiefly to Ohio and West Virgi nia. These mounds may have been monuments to their dead.

Trails and Camping Grounds

The Indians left well-beaten trails such as the Catawba War Trail and the Nemacolin Trail.

One small branch of a trial crossed the farm owned by Walter Dulaney. It went t o the top of the hill, then followed the ridge to Claughton Chapel, thence by ridge to Wheling. The record of this trail was handed down to the writer by the late E.E. Harley. The Nemacolin Trail ran east of Mt. Morris and crossed Dunkard Creek within 100 feet of the Turkey Foot Rock on the late J.C. Lemley farm.

Camping grounds may be located by observing several objects, characteristic to the Indian, as musselshells, in the soil or rock pots, in which they ground their corn. The Margaret Bodley farm h as been camping place also in the Pine Grove on the Charles Lemley farm near Mt. Morris. The largest town or camping ground was on the John. I. Worley farm, now that of Solomon Chalfant, near Blacksville, WV, ten miles from here. They also camped near the Herbert Wise home and on David Lemley's farm.

In the Pine Grove ar found thirteen holes of different sized, made in the rocks to grind corn. Several of these holes have been destroyed, in trying to secure them for the Waynesburg Centennial. We believe these rocks should remain where they are and all historic data gathered and placed on a bronze tablet near this grove, along the highway. This is the only Pine Grove in this community and what a beautiful grove it is, and could be made more beautiful if a little civic pride were manifested by the community. Tourists passing by, stop and comment upon its beauty.

In this grove is an old beech tree, about two feet in diameter. It has peculiar markings made, no doubt, by the Indians. These markings resemble a large eye, and a boomerang. The Indians referenced beech trees and tradition has I that no beech tree was ever struck by lightening, therefore, they sheltered there during electric storms.

One Indian Trail left the Ohio River at Fish Creek, crossing Dunkard Creek and followed its course to the Monongahela River. The Warrior's Branch kept on by Crow's Mills towards the mouth of Red Stone Creek.

Bow Leg Reservation

This reservation was west of Mt. Morris and records indicate that the eastern boundary was near the late J.C. Lemley farm. This reservation was for hunting only, and was made by the different Indian tribes for their own benefit.

The First Crossing of Dunkard Creek was near the boundary of this reservation. Plates buried by the French, to mark the supposed boundary of the Louisiana Purchase, are buried near here and marked by the Turkey Foot Rock. \par Tradition has it, that the French had vast stores of supplies, in caves in this section, but no record has been found as to the exact location of these stores. It is believed that the Indians found them and carried away the food, clothing, guns, and ammunition.

Chief Bow Legs had a stone map said to locate these French plates. This stone was carried by Chief Bow Legs as sacred and kept him immune from harm. It is now in the possession of William F. Horn, who is assisting in the Historical Survey in this county [editor's note - the Horn papers turned out to be partially fiction!].

Bow Legs held a council near Turkey Foot Rock, with Mason and Dixon during the survey of the Mason-Dixon Line. The Indians would not permit the finishing of this line for 14 year s. There was a small skirmish near the sugar house on the late J.C. Lemley' farm, and some of the boards in the sugar house are said to still bear the marks of this encounter, as they were cut from the trees that were marked by the bullets in the fight. A small ax, used in this survey, is still in this community.

Indian Battle Grounds

History records that different tribes of Indians, to settle their difficulties, fount battles t o the death on the Floyd Kiger farm, located on a small ridge coming down to the Old Fish Pond. It is said many battles were fought here and the ground was strewn with the dead and dying.

The last Indian seen in this community was seen on the John J. Long farm. Some of Mr. Long's ancestors were in a woods cutting lumber when this Indian came along. He used the sign language. He was last seen going west. He did not molest Mr. Long, and he seemed to have lost his way in the forest.

Indian Burying Grounds

Indians buried their dead in different ways. Whether there were different tribes in theis section is not known. They may have been here at different periods of time.

On the Margaret Bodlye farm, two Indian skeletons have been found. They were small children and were buried in a curled up position, under a flat stone. One was found in the summer of 1936, the other several years ago. This seems to be a bury Creek on a high point , close to the Indian Trail. Their trails never crossed burying grounds.

Another is located on the Walter Dulaney farm. These graves were filled in with stones, no doubt to keep wild animals from devouring the bodies. These graves were four feet deep, with a flat stone in the bottom. Few bones were ever found here.

The skeleton of an Indian was found several years ago on the Samuel Lemley farm, by Oliver, Bud and Jake, who were boys at that time. It was a rainy day and they were playing along the creek under a shelving rock. They were digging under this rock an found the skeleton and a pipe, supposedly belonging to this Indian. This is supposed, the Indian may have been wounded and taking a last smoke to east the pain, passed on to the happy hunting ground . His bones rest under the sand of Dunkard Creek and may they rest in peace.

Return to History of Mt. Morris, PA page