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John Keener[1]

Male 1746 - 1774  (28 years)

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  • Name John Keener 
    Born 1746  near Narrow Passage, Frederick (now Shenandoah) County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 10 Jun 1774  Lantz Bottom, Greene Twp, Greene County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Was killed by indians.
    Buried Abt 12 Jun 1774  Lantz Bottom, Greene Twp, Greene County, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I5768  foot | David Jones b 1831
    Last Modified 31 May 2016 

    Father Ulrich "William" Keener,   b. 1710, Electoral Palatinate, Holy Roman Empire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Sep 1784, German Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Ann Ehrehard,   b. 1710, Electoral Palantinate, Holy Roman Empire now, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1782, German, Fayette, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Married 1727  Ship Goodwill, Atlantic Ocean Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F3905  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Hannah Ann Doll 
    Last Modified 30 May 2016 19:20:29 
    Family ID F20  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 

    • The Keener Family
      The Tenmile Country by Howard Leckey

      When Betty Spicer was released from captivity amoung the Indians, she related the events of June 5,1774, the day on which her parents and five brothers and sisters were killed by the Indians, and she and her brother, William Spicer were carried off into captivity. She told how the Indian Chief Logan with another Indian called The Snake left the scene of the massacre and went directly west, where they met and killed a man named Keener. Various family traditions have identified this man as the father of Sebastion Keener or David Keener, but it is now definitely evident that both these traditions are incorrect. Both these men were living at a period of ten or more years after this event.

      I assume this to be John Keener. jf
    • The Spicer Massacre
      "In the beginning" of pioneer life in the territory now within the boundaries of Greene county a
      man by the name of Spicer was "lord of all he surveyed," from the summit of the range of high
      hills separating waters of
      Dunkard from those of Big Whiteley creek. The exact location of his
      fatal cabin cannot be certainly ascertained. Some traditions locate it in the head of Deep run,
      which flows into Dunkard creek a short dis
      tance above Bob T
      own. Some would have it on the
      old Dave Keener farm on the head waters of a branch of Meadow run. Other
      s place it on the old
      Eberhart F
      arm, now belonging to Stephenson Garard, I believe, which lies in a cove at the head
      of a con
      siderable run which flows i
      nto Big Whiteley on Sebastian Keener's farm, near a mi
      below the Willow Tree post
      office. However, these three streams have their source so very close
      together that the locality is de
      fined sufficiently accurate by either or all of them. Indeed it is said
      that there were two cabins, which was probably the fact, one at the source of Deep run and the
      other on the Eberhart farm and both belonging to Spicer.
      In one of the cabins, with a wife and seven children, he was living a quiet, unobtrus
      ive life.
      is no evidence that any neighbors lived within neighboring distance, in the very midst of
      the unfathomed forest alone they dwelt. 'Twas in the early summer of 1774, about the 5th day of
      balmy June, when Spicer was cho
      pping wood hard by. His daugh
      ter, Eli
      zabeth, a sprightly
      twelve year old lass, was ironing the clothes. William, a nine year old lad, was set
      ting traps to
      catch the gray squirrels that were preying upon the tender corn, and doubtless each of the other
      members of the household were pursuing s
      ome useful calling or in
      nocent amusement. A more
      tranquil home can hardly be imagined, when suddenly Logan, the enraged and desperate Mingo
      Chief, with a party of warriors made their appearance, Intent on murder and thirsting for blood.
      Upon observing the
      ir presence Spicer stuck his axe in the log, walked to the house, took his seat
      and calmly awaited their coming. An Indian took up the ax, followed into the house, and
      deliberately clove him down. His wife and two little children shared a similar fate. Thr
      ee other
      children were found or chased over on the Meadow run side, and fell victims of the reeking
      hawk and scalping knife. But Eliza
      beth, better known as Betsy, ran with great celerity, and
      for some dis
      tance carrying the Iron in her hand, not taki
      ng thought to throw it down. Finally,
      however, she landed it in a brush heap, and finding her brother William, she thought to get him
      away with her, but on account of his sullenness and apparent indifference, she was overtaken in
      the vain en
      deavor to get
      him over the fence. The two were carried into captivity.
      Devereux Smith, in a letter dated Pittsburgh, June 10, 1774, says "The 6th of this month we had
      an account from Muddy creek, which empties into the river Monongahela near Cheat river, that
      the Indians had killed and scalped one man, his wife and three children, and that three more of
      the same man's children were missing. We suppose this to be Logan's party, and that they will do
      more mischief before they return. On the 12th he adds a postscript: "We a
      re this day informed
      that the three children before mentioned that were missing near Muddy creek were found dead
      and scalped." He un
      doubtedly refers to the Spicer massacre localities not being very well defined
      at that day. The same writer adds, "And two
      men were killed in sight of a fort lately built on
      Dunkard C
      reek, up the Mononga
      hela, all supposed to be done by Logan's party." Who these two
      men were I am as yet unable to deter
      mine. In another postscript added to this letter on the 13th of
      the month, this writer gives a rumor of the bat
      tle fought on the Ten Mile, a short distance west of
      the present site of Waynesburg. an account of which will appear in a subsequent sketch.
      John Crawford, in his recollections of a hundred years ago, whose father col
      lected a party and
      went out next day to bury the murdered family, de
      scribes the scene as a pitiable and dreadful
      sight, so much as that one of the party who had never witnessed the like before became terror
      stricken and wanted the party to clear itself, l
      est it meet a similar fate from Indians still lurking
      near in the weeds. Crawford relates that Capt. Logan sent on the prisoners and plunder with the
      main body, whilst he and another Indian named S
      nake went over on Big Whiteley C
      reek and
      killed or mortally
      ed a man named Keener, whose body was not found till the buzzards, by
      their circling flight, indicate
      d the spot where it lay. Keener was buried in the bottom, now the
      famous meadow of John Lantz. And it was t
      his same party, I have
      no doubt, that we
      re attacked
      and routed by a company of savages on Rees's hill, above Waynesburg.
      But to return to Betsy Spicer. She and her little brother were car
      ried away to the haunts of the In-
      dians beyond the Ohio. But Lord Dunmore's war, as that of 1771 was calle
      d, having been
      brought to a suc
      cessful issue, a treaty was entered in
      to in the mouth of November of the same
      year, by which it was stipulated that all prisoners of war should be delivered up, and in
      December fol
      lowing, Col. Wilson was commissioned to proceed to the appointed place,
      somewhere on the Ohio frontier to receive them. As he journeyed to that appointment he passed
      through the present site of New Geneva, and was so enamored with the situation that he
      afterwards returned to it and improved the f
      arms now owned by Judge Crow, Michael Franks, J.
      T. Springer, J. F. Gans and James Hess, dubbed the acquis
      ition "Elks Hills," settled upon them,
      built a fine mill and founded "Wilson's Fort,'' since New Geneva. He procured the re
      lease of
      Betsy along with the other prisoners on Christmas Day, and re
      turned her to her friends. But, the
      William had been borne into another tribe still farther away and could not be released. He
      never was retrieved, spent all his life with the Indians, married a squaw and it
      is said became a
      chief. Upon one oc
      casion he was induced to return in order to give his legal assent to the
      disposition of certain propert
      y in this sister's favor, but he could not be in
      duced to quit his life in
      the woods for one of civilization.
      sy was a girl of more than or
      dinary mind. Her perceptive facul
      ties were very quick, and her
      powers of observation extraordinary for one of her years. Short as was her cap
      tivity she had
      learned the language of her captors so as to readily inter
      pret thei
      r words. She gathered also many
      facts as to the medicinal properties of roots and herbs and the Indian method of treating diseases
      that rendered her services invaluable in case of prevailing sickness in the neighborhood in which
      she lived. Having married a
      man by name of Bowen and living to the advanced age of 81 years,
      she was familiarly known to many who live to read this sketch as the kind hearted nurse and
      good old "granny Bowen."
      After Betsy returned to her friends she visited the site of the awful tragedy where she was
      rendered an orphan child, and remembering that one of the Indians, finding himself overloaded
      with plunder, had concealed some things under a log, she repaired to the spot and among other
      articles found her father's scalp, which she re
      ligiously preserved all her life with the intention of
      having it enclosed in her own coffin when she should be called to that "bourne whence no
      traveller returneth." She also remembered where she had thrown her smoothing iron when
      endeavoring to escape, an
      d found it and it is yet preserved by her descendants as a sacred relic
      and momento of their historic relative.
      She related that she heard Captain Logan telling his braves that he and Snake were lying behind
      the fence close to Jenkins' fort (now Garard's
      , I presume) that night when the party which buried
      the Spicers came in; that he heard a woman with a shrill voice call, "Who will turn out and guard
      the women while they milk the cows?" A long string of men came out with guns on their
      shoulders and freque
      ntly pointed them in different directions. Several times they pointed towards
      him so directly as to put him in the notion of running for his life, but hoping they did not see him
      lie laid still till night, when he and Snake stole noiselessly away.
      In thi
      s connection it may not be amiss to no
      te that John Crawford states th
      at the next day Logan
      and Snake went to Muddy creek to the cabin of James Flenniken where they killed a mare and
      pet wolf, thence to the cabin of John Crawford where they cut in pieces s
      ome bags of rye and
      stuck a tomahawk through a copper kettle; thence to Thomas Hughes' where they broke up the
      furniture and cooking utensils; thence to James Moredock's where they did similar mischief;
      thence to near Vanmeter's fort where they killed and scalped a man named Way. He says
      mischief was also done on the waters of Ten Mile, which I presume has reference to the light
      alluded to above.
      Mrs. Betsy Bowen died in the year 1845, within the recollection of the writer hereof. Her life
      was one of kindness and charity, dispensing blessings on every hand. She lived and died in the
      neighborhood of her early misfortunes. She raised a large family of children, one of whom, Mrs.
      Nancy Steel, is still living, aged 74 years, who is the mother of Mrs. Azariah S
      tephens, near
      Garards Fort, from whom I have ascertained many interesting facts concerning this thrilling amid
      sorrowful incident.
      L. K. Evans
      Source: Cornerstone Genealogical Society

  • Sources 
    1. [S96] Craig Trout.