It is not known whether the children after that awful morning, when they came out from their hiding places and found each other, had lived on together in their home or not. Adam Earnest says the children fled to the Fort. It was a day never to be forgotten by them, and they told this story over and over again totheir children and grandchildren , and they told it over and over again to their posterity.
The neighbors were not very near in those early days, but they came and buried the body and scalp of the father and the other men in a field near by. Mother and the little boys gone and dread of the Indians again, it would have been great bravery for them to live on in this old home.
When Mrs. Earnest found her children again, her son George had been married to a daughter of Conrad Samuels, named Elizabeth.
After her coming back she was always called "Indian Eve." Sometime after her return, she married George's wife's father -Conrad Samuels. He owned a lot of land and lived in what was then one of the best houses in the country. Mr. Howard Blackburn in his late history of Bedford County gives a good description of this old house, which I quote in full.
Speaking of the oldest settlers of Bedford township, Mr. Blackburn says, "On the farm of Mr. Wm. Phillips, near the village of Cessna in the northern part of this township, is located what is, in all proba-
bility, the oldest house in the county. The building is a one and a half story log structure, about twenty eight by forty feet in size. It has a small stone walled cellar at the southeast corner, and a large outside stone chimney on the west end. In its construction the building is not much unlike others of its kind, though the notching and saddling on the corners are deeper and more neatly executed than usual. Just when the building was erected is not now known. Some of the old residents of the community remember having gotten information from an old Mrs. Earnest, who died many years ago at a very advanced age, concerning the history of the house in its earlier days, and from this source we learn that it must have been built nearly two hundred years ago. This theory is supported also by two dates carved upon stones in the cellar wall, the one of which is "1710" and the other "1736." It is presumed that the former is the date of original construction, and the latter that of one of the changes or improvements subsequently made. There are well marked evidences of such improvements in the way of enlarged windows, changing of a door-way to a window, the removal of an inside chimney, and other similar improvements, all of which have been done many years ago. Besides the quaintness of the building in its appearance, and the evidences of its great age, the feature wich makes it especially interesting is the tradition that it was at one time used as a fort to protect the settlers from Indians' assaults. There are evidences still to be found that a stockade at one time surrounded or partially surrounded the building, and there are evidences also that a stockade protected a pathway from the building to a spring a few rods distance on
the south side. Who knows but what this may have been the fort called 'Wingawn' which is named among the early forts of Bedford County, but which our learned historians have never been able to locate."
"It is said that a family by name of Earnest was captured at one time near Alum Bank (now on the Rininger farm) and Mr. Earnest killed by the Indians. The mother and two sons, after being held in captivity for some time, in some way procured their release, and returned to this community, the mother riding a pony furnished her by the Indians. Mrs. Earnest married a man by the name of Samuels, who dying, left this house, together with some surrounding land, to his widow, as her share of his estate. It afterwards passed through the ownership of the Earnests and possibly others down to Jacob Walter, whose son-in-law, Mr. William Phillips, is its present owner. Mr. Phillips is a progressive farmer, has new buildings and many other improvements on the premises, but takes considerable pride in preserving this old historic land mark unchanged as far as possible from its appearance of ages past."
This picture was given me by Mr. Phillips and is the same as the one Mr. Blackburn has in his history. This is Mr. and Mrs. Phillips on the old porch. They use it to live in during the summer as it is cool, pleasant and roomy. There are four parts in it down stairs, two rooms on the east side and a kitchen, and room on the west, and a good room upstairs. The stairway in the corner of the kitchen shows a more primitive way of going up. Beneath this is a cellar-way of stone steps of excellent masonry, easy to ascend. They are not used now. There is a good entrance from the out-
WILLIAM PHILIPS' OLD HOUSE, WHERE "INDIAN EVE" LIVED AFTER HER RETURN, AND, DIED IN 1815,
side at the east. Many of these changes - partitions etc., were made by Jacob Walter, Mrs. Phillips' father. Mrs. Phillips showed me a place in the cellar near the inside stairway where there was a low stone wall around for a milk trough. Here she said the people said " 'Indian Eve' kept her milk and made such good butter. "
From incidents given by direct descendants of those who lived in this old historic house, we must come to the conclusion that it was used for a fort very early as I have stated in a previous chapter.
Mrs. Sill said, "When my grandfather, George Earnest, lived here, in the house at the foot of the hill, just below the old one, one time they all went to the fort at Bedford but one man. He said, 'he wasn't afraid.' When they came back he was killed."
Mrs. Sarah Fetters says, "My grandmother was a daughter of Conrad Samuel and they lived in this old house. When she was a baby less than a year old, the Indians came upon them suddenly. They could not get in to get the baby, as it was upstairs asleep; they mounted their horses and escaped to Fort Bedford. They were in great suspense and could not sleep. The next morning a lot of men came out in great fear and found the baby upstairs asleep unharmed."
Mr. Blackburn in speaking of the early churches in Bedford County refers to the Messiah Lutheran Church in Bedford Township as one of the early organizations. He says, "its date is about 1790. A log building, thirty by fifty feet, was erected soon after this time, which was replaced in 1838 by a stone structure 38 by 52 feet in size, which in 1867 gave place to a still larger frame building 40 by 60 feet in size."
When this log church was built Mrs. Phillips says, "Indian Eve cooked for the men who built it. She hung a red handkerchief on a pole when the meals were ready, as it was in sight of this old house where she lived."
While Mr. Blackburn was writing the above the congregation was considering whether they should
repair the frame church or build a new one. The same year I think they built a fine brick building, this being the fourth church by this large old cemetery.
I shall never forget one morning in the autumn of 1906, when I stood in the sunlight on the porch of this historic old house. Just a few feet to the east is Mr. Phillips' modern house with large lawn--a very pleasant country home. I had spent the night with them. Mrs. Phillips' sister- Mrs. Zimmers - was to be buried that morning. The former had just told me that they had all been reared and married in this old house, and she had always lived on this place. I went over into the old house and walked all through it and came out and stood on the porch. Just then the bell at the new Messiah church, just in view over on a pretty slope, tolled about 87 times, telling the age of Mrs. Zimmers.
I stood long in silent meditation. It seemed like a sacred place. Here they came in and out in their childhood, here were their glad wedding days, and Mrs. Phillips, the last one left to tell the story. Then I looked at the old shrubbery, some of it planted no doubt by Indian Eve, but the house with its stockades was old when these were planted. If its old walls could speak, what a history!
Mrs. Sill and Mrs. Phillips were cousins, their mothers being Dibert sisters. Mrs. Sill's mother dying when she was young requested Mrs. Phillip's mother, Mrs. Walter, to take her and raise her. So they grew up together in this old house and were married here.
Geo. Earnest's widow lived to be quite old and she told the Indian story again and again to these girls. Mrs. Sill said, "once when I was a little girl, I went down to Grannie Earnest's house as a 'belsnickle' to
scare her. She went by the name of 'Grannie Earnest.' I peeped in and saw her reading in their large old German family Bible. I could not do it."
Indian Eve lived quite a while after her return. She lived sometime after her husband and was left with plenty as he willed her 50 acres of land with the old house.
In the beautiful old cemetery at Messiah Church she is buried. She was laid to rest beside the little log church she helped to build. No marble slab marks her resting place, but a large snowball bush at a gray headstone blooms every spring and tells the story of her life. Just a few weeks ago we scratched away the leaves and read "E. S. 1815," on the old stone.
Her son, George, is buried by her side with date on tomb stone. Born April 3, 1762, died March 28, 1817, aged 55 years. Beside his grave is his wife's, Elizabeth Earnest. Born April 25, 1764, died Nov. 8, 1847, aged 83 years..
All around her lie many of her descendants.
There has been talk of erecting a monument to her memory . Some of the descendants have told me they would help if it is started. Surely such a brave and noble woman ought to be remembered. However, if this is not done the large snowball bush will if it lives bloom on as Mrs. Phillips says, "So beautifully every year." The memory of her brave and noble life is more than marble.
I have learned just recently that Mrs. Sarah Fetters has her trunk as a relic-one of the little old hide covered trunks. Her husband John Fetters was a great grandson.
The Samuel husband is not buried here but in an old grave yard in a field on the farm without tomb stone where doubtless one of his other wives was buried. He had been married twice before. His second wife was called Else. She was of Irish descent. Ludwick Samuels likely a brother of Conrad owned the land south of this farm, now the Zimmers' farm.
After "Indian Eve" died there was a man lived in the old house by the name of Broadhead - a noted early settler. He was a weaver - had a terrible high temper, he would get so angry at the tangled yarn. He had lived in this community when the settlers were at Fort Bedford frequently. He had a large dog that would stay out at the home and come to the Fort when ever the Indians came.
On the morning of the massacre a few miles from this spot it looked as if about all was over for this mother, but what a posterity is hers! What a family tree it would make! There are not many families in this part of Bedford Township who are not in some way connected with her descendants and many are found all over most of the western states.
Starting down the line with each child who escaped there is a lot of interesting history.