|This Marks The|
Site Of The
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In July 1813
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The First White Settlers
In This County
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Here they lived and prospered, with happiness and contentment, until the restless savages began to show unmistakable symptoms that they mediated warlike intentions. In the spring of 1813, it became evident that troubles with the Indians were inevitable. For a time they were afforded protection by the Rangers, but after a time this proved to be inadequate, and Lively and Huggins began to seriously discuss the subject of leaving their homes, and seeking protection at the fort at Hill's Station in Randolph County. At this time these men and their families were the only settlers as well as the first, of Washington County.
The discussions about leaving their home and going to the fort were frequent, Huggins advocating leaving and Lively desiring to stay. Finally Huggins took his family and removed to the settlement near the present site of the town of Fayetteville. Lively with his family, consisting of a wife, two sons, two daughters -- one about grown, and a hired man, remained at home. At this time there were no "settlements" nearer than Shoal Creek on the north-west, and Hill's Station on the south, either of which was twenty-five or thirty miles away.
Lively was a brave man, and was considered reckless. He told Huggins that he had no fear of the Indians. That with his rifle and his dogs he could whip twenty Indians. After the departure of Huggins the family of Lively enjoyed quiet and peace, having nothing to excite their fears except the continued anxiety and uneasiness incident to their exposed condition.
Lively himself did not suffer from the fear of the Indians, but his wife seemed to have a presentiment of the terrible scenes that were soon to be enacted by the merciless savages.
Lively had an enclosure into which he had his stock driven at night to protect them from the marauding bands of Indians. For several nights previous to the night that witnessed the fearful tragedy that was enacted in July 1813, Lively and his family were greatly disturbed. The stock gave evidence of alarm by their unusual conduct; the dogs barked continuously, and Lively began to realize the imminent danger of himself and family. He frequently, with rifle in hand, would go out and search for the cause of the alarm, but his efforts to discover the source were unavailing. He endeavored to calm his wife's fears by telling her it was nothing but wolves or other wild animals that created the disturbance. This, however, did not suffice to quiet her feelings, and she labored more assiduously to convince her husband that their safety depended on their immediate removal to the fort.
The last night before the massacre was so exceedingly noisy that Lively began to lose his composure, and agreed to accede to the oft-repeated request of his wife to leave and go to a place of safety.
He began the preparations for removing about two hours before sundown. He directed his son and hired hand, his nephew, to get up the horses, while his wife and daughters milked the cows, and got things in readiness to start for the settlements. The young man and boy started in quest of the horses, leaving the old gentleman in the cow-pen with his wife and daughters, who were milking the cows. He was on the stump of a fallen tree with his loaded rifle across his knees ready for use, chatting to his wife and daughters, whose spirits were buoyant in anticipation of leaving the dreaded place.
But alas! their fond hopes were never to be realized! The young man and boy had proceeded but a short distance in the direction of the horses when they were alarmed at the report of firearms in the direction of the house. They hurried to the scene of the firing, and when they had come in sight of the house a scene met their gaze that was calculated to freeze their young hearts! The premises were covered with Indians; the death-dealing tomahawk and scalping-knife were doing their work of destruction. The piteous wail of the dying as they begged in vain for their lives; the demoniac yells of the merciless savages as they accomplished their terrible work of death, was sufficient to freeze the blood in their youthful veins.
All were found where they were slain, on the premises, scalped, and their bodies horribly mutilated except one boy, who was found by a party that followed the Indians, a few miles distant from the premises.
He was carried off a captive, but the savage heart it seems was not satisfied with gore, and he too was despatched. His head was cut off, a hole cut in his body and his buckskin hunting shirt drawn through the wound, to be sure that their work was well done.
The young man and boy were powerless to avert the tragedy, or arrest the murderers.
To add to their horrible situation, the horses had become frightened, and ran from them, and by no means could they get hold of them. There was no alternative other than to make the perilous and arduous journey to the nearest Post, which was situated near the present site of Fayetteville. With bleeding hearts they left the old homestead, and the mangled remains of the members of their family, and traveled the greater part of the night, arriving at a grove in the southwest part of the county at a late hour in the night, when they found that fatigue had overcome them and they could proceed no further. The lad had, long before they reached this place, become so tired, that he could not walk, and the young man had carried him upon his back.
There is a tradition, that the boy, was hidden away under a log, and instructed not to leave his hiding place until the young man's return. This however, is not well authenticated. Upon their arrival at the Post, they related the scene of the atrocious massacre of the Lively family; obtained help and returned to the sad scene at the Lively homestead.
The dead were buried, and pursuit was given to the Indians. They were overtaken by the Rangers, and some of them killed. A part of Lively's stock was recaptured and brought back.
From the circumstances of the young man and boy being the first white persons to stay over night in this grove, it is supposed that it took its name of Lively grove; a name now applied to the whole precinct.
David Huggins remained in St. Clair County, for a little more than a year after the massacre of the family of his brother-in-law Lively, when he removed to Perry County, where his brother, Robert Huggins, then resided. He remained there until 1816, When he again returned to the place in Washington County that he had left in the spring of 1813. He remained on this place until his death.
He left quite a family surviving him, and many of his descendants are now residents of Washington County.
Only Indian Atrocity in County
The Massacre at Lively Spring
People travel far to visit historic shrines, monuments and memorials, traverse a dozen states to stand at the foot of a mountain, a canyon, or a waterfall, yet paradoxically, only a very few people of Washington County have seen the memorial that for years has marked the the site of the massacre of the late John Lively family near Covington.
There is a reason for the above statement. All through the years, since the monument was erected 30 years ago, only an indistinct foot-trail led to the spot, a condition the Washington County Historical Society hopes to amend shortly.
Lively Spring, the site of the massacre, is located east of Covington, north of Crooked Creek. Roughly the spot is almost due east from the Covington quarry.
Forget the present for a moment and let us grow reminiscent. Picture a hilly woodland or scrub oak and elm, ash and hickory, with a good-sized creek meandering through the valley. Even today it is as isolated as it was in 1810, when upon the slope facing the spring, a new settler's mud-chinked cabin greeted the morning sun.
Historians differ on the Lively story and much must be left to the imagination. But here is the gist of the much-told tale.
Two brothers-in-law, John Lively and David Huggins, residing in Randolph county, decided in 1810 they would move eastward to find better grazing for their expanding herds of livestock. They were hardy pioneers, industrious and unafraid.
The place decided upon was near Crooked Creek, about two miles above the spot where the creek empties into the Kaskaskia river. The country was rolling timberland, interspersed with grassy prairies. A nearby spring provided ample drinking water. Here they built their log homes and barns. planted their small fields and began the busy life of a pioneer homesteader.
Always there was fear of an Indian uprising, but both Lively and Huggins were unafraid, relying on their guns and dogs. Nearby was an Indian trace, over which roving bands traveled north and south, but the two pioneers disregarded any signs of danger at the time.
In the spring of 1813 it became evident that trouble with Indians was inevitable. For a time they were afforded protection by a small company of Rangers, but after a time this proved to be inadequate, and both Lively and Huggins began to discuss plans to move back to Randolph county.
Remember, at this time these two families were the only settlers within the county. At last Huggins decided to leave, but Lively said he would stay, despite the fact that the nearest settlers ere at Shoal Creek, to the northeast, and Hill's Station, to the south. With Lively and his wife was a hired man, plus the four children, two sons and two daughters.
After the Huggins family left, Lively lived unmolested at the spring. He had a corral into which he nightly drove his livestock. In July, the stock began to grow restless, and Lively realized prowling Indians were the cause. He decided to move out at once and sent the hired man and one son to round up the livestock.
The hired man and the boy had gone only a short distance when they heard the sound of shots and yells of Indians. From the edge of the forest they saw the carnage taking place, the burning of the buildings, the death of the family. The hired man and the one Lively boy made their escape, finally getting help from the rangers, who returned to the spot, buried the bodies, and pursued the Indians to a place called Buckingham Branch, where they were supposedly killed.
With the Indian trouble seemingly over, David Huggins and his family returned to the spring in 1816, and lived out their days there. He left a large family.
As long as people can remember, the site of the massacre has been known as Lively Spring. The cabin sites are here, several marked graves, an old Indian wash pond, and the spring still gushing forth clear water.
Historians differ, too, as to which tribe killed the Lively family. The Illini were five tribes in a federation, the Tamaroa, the Michigamies, Kaskaskia, Peoria's and Cahokia's. The red men frequenting this section were also known as the Meadow Indians. The Sacs and Foxes farther to the north, were marauding redskins, and it is possible that a war party of this nation dipped this far south to test the mettle of its warriors.
The tablet marking the site of the massacre was designed by the late Oren Brandis of Nashville. Funds were raised by public subscription. Recently Nashville Boy Scouts cleaned the site, an act that is commendable
|Lively Spring, much the same today |
as it was back in 1810 when it
was used by the
for their water supply.
|Gary Stricker of Okawville|
looks at the five crude stones
that mark the graves.
|The old Indian wash pond, |
north of the site,
in use by the Indians long before
the white man came.
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Manuscript Throws New Light on Old Tragedy
By Grover Brinkman
Over the years a great deal has been written about the massacre of the John Lively family on Crooked Creek, east of Covington. How much of this story, the only massacre ever to take place in Washington County, is history or much-told legend is debatable. It is known that the Lively family was murdered; the cabin site is marked with a monument; nearby are the graves of the victims. According to old records, this atrocity was committed by a small band of roving Redskins who were later run down and slain.
But were they?
What are the facts in the case?
This writer recently had access to an ancient manuscript that was transcribed from the original notes of Bennington Boone, the first white man born in Jackson County, incidentally a relative of Daniel Boone. Bennington Boone's grave is on the top of a hill called Fountain Bluff along Highway 3, east of Gorham.
Quoting Bennington Boone: "In 1812, war was declared against England. The hostile Indians sided with the British and generally arrayed themselves against settlers. General Harrison kept great bodies of them in check, yet wandering bands managed to kill many whites. For protection of settlers, Gov. Edwards recommended (and Congress approved) of raising companies of Rangers. The marauding Indians were in the north and northeast of the long string of settlements from the Illinois River, all along the Mississippi to the Ohio and up that stream to Shawneetown.
"William Boone, my father, was elected captain of one of these companies of Rangers. A few hostile Indians somehow slipped in and killed a family by the name of Lively. Boone's company, or part of it, went in pursuit. He had with him a celebrated hunter by the name of Dozan. They traced and followed the savages for several days and finally came in sight of their encampment, but to their dismay saw that there were several hundred and so beat a hasty retreat to save their own lives . . ."
This is the only mention of the Lively massacre in Boone's lengthy manuscript. However, it gives a new preface to the atrocity. Locally, it had been assumed that the Indians were a small band, and all were killed. But, according to Boone it was just the opposite. Boone goes on to tell about the cholera epidemic that came in 1813, and the big earthquake, but only this brief mention is made of the massacre.
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The Nashville Journal 3
February 6, 1936
"The Editor's Week" ( Part of various subjects mentioned in the section )
A movement has been on foot for a number of years to do something about the marking of the Washington County site of the Lively family massacre in order that this county would have at least one historical spot that they thought enough of to call the attention of passerby. At a meeting last year, the county board turned the proposition down and this week a group of interested citizens met with the idea of starting a drive for funds to carry the project through.
In the opinion of this newspaper, this a worthy project and is commended to your pocketbook for whatever amount you can afford to give. This is the county's one real historical spot and should be perpetuated. Those of you who read the interesting account of the massacre in last week's Journal must have felt something of the hardships that the county's first family went through in crossing the line into what is now Washington County and the lease we can do 123 years later is contribute a little towards marking the spot.
Drive Organized to Raise Funds for Lively Tablet
-Plan to Preserve Spot Where First County Family Met Doomsday.
One hundred and twenty-three years after the massacre of the first white settlers to inhabit what is now Washington County, definite plans are underway to erect a suitable marker at the site.
The funds necessary to purchase the marker will be raised by popular subscription from the citizens of the county, who are interested in preserving this historic spot where in 1813, the entirely Lively family, with the exception of one son, were wiped out by the warring Redskins.
A committee composed of Henry Ankersheil, John J. Hawkins and the editors of the four county newspapers met and organized the drive in the courthouse Monday morning and appointed William Altmansberger of Nashville as the committee's authorized representative to solicit funds which will range from a five cent piece from school children to whatever amount the adults with to give. An effort will be made to have every school in the county represented on the list of contributors even if they can only give a penny apiece. Henry Ankersheil was selected as the chairman of the committee and County Clerk Hawkins as secretary. Anyone not solicited and desiring to contribute can do so by sending his money to Mr. Hawkins at the courthouse.
The proposed marker is in the form of a white granite monolith, the approximate cost is only $125. However, if a greater amount is contributed the memorial will be in the form of a huge granite arrow-head.
Either one gearing the following inscription: "This marks the site of the John Lively family massacre by Indians in July, 1813, the first white settlers in this county, erected by Washington County citizens, 1936."
This massacre is Washington County history and there has been considerable misunderstanding as to where this tragedy happened, some are under the impression Lively Grove is the place, others think different places north of Nashville.
The burial site is located near the often mentioned Lively Springs on land owned by Wm. Poehler, in Covington township. Mr. Poehler has granted permission for the erection of the memorial. The site will be enclosed with galvanized fence.
MEMORIAL PROJECT ASSURED
The drive for funds to erect a memorial to Washington County's first settlers who perished in an Indian massacre has resulted in a better than 90 per cent response, indicating the goal set by the committee has every chance of being surpassed. This being the case, a more elaborate monument is now planned.
A contribution was received this week by John J. Hawkins, committee chairman, from Atty. Vilas Vernor of Muskogee, Oklahoma, who endorsed the project and recalled that his first client in Nashville was a descendant of the original Lively family.
History of Washington County
By Hon. Amos Watts
The Murder of the Lively Family
About the year 1810 or 1811 the county of St. Clair was becoming thickly settled and it was then said by some. The west bank of the Kaskaskia river was, in some places, skirted with small farms, or "improvements," as they were then called, to such an extent that there was a disposition on the part of some of the inhabitants thereof to cross that stream for the purpose of getting more room and bigger range for stock. The fear of Indians restrained them from passing over for a considerable time. The forts to which the people retire for safety in time of danger were all on the west side of that stream, until you would go down to Hill's station in Randolph county below what is now New Athens. About the time mentioned above as near as can now be ascertained, there was not a white man, woman or child living in what is now Washington county. In the northeast part of Randolph county, or southeast corner of St. Clair, there lived two hardy, courageous pioneers named john Lively and David Huggins, aged respectively between 45 and 50 years, each having a wife and children, some of the latter being grown. They were brothers-in-law by marriage, each having considerable stock of his own; agreed between themselves that there was not sufficient range to supply their fast increasing herds of horses and cattle, and finally, after exploring the country for some distance up and east of the Kaskaskia river, concluded to remove from their them homes to the east bank of that stream, and selected the west side of timber along Crooked Creek, about a mile and a half above the place where the creek empties into the Okaw, and about the same distance southeast of the place afterward known as the old town of Covington. They moved to the point above named in the spring of 1810 or 1811 (the precise time cannot now be ascertained); had splendid range and were well pleased with the location. All went well with them; their herds increased as rapidly as they could desire, but the Indians were a little troublesome at times. Yet they got along well enough until the spring 1813, when there were unmistakable evidence all along the frontier of Indian trouble.
Lively and Huggins were the first and at that time the only white inhabitants of Washington county. The Rangers protected them awhile, but this seemed inadequate, and during the spring of 1813 they frequently talked of leaving their homes and going to the fort at Hill station in Randolph county. David Huggins advocated leaving, but Lively refused. Finally Huggins took his family and went down to the settlement at the present site of the town of Fayetteville, but Lively with his family, consisting of a wife, two sons, two daughters, one about grown, and a hired man, remained at home, with no one nearer than Shoal creek northwest, or Hill station south some 25 or 26 miles.
Lively was considered a brave man, rather rash, and told Huggins when they parted that he did not fear the Indians, that himself and his two dogs (he had two very stout, fierce dogs and an excellent rifle gun) could whip 20 Indians. After Huggins left, Lively and his family enjoyed peace and quiet for a time, except the alarm incident to the exposed conditions surrounding them, which did not seem to affect Lively himself, but affected his wife more than anyone else.
How long this continued is not known, but for some three nights prior to the tragedy enacted in July, 1813, the residence of Lively was disturbed greatly. There was an enclosure in which the stock was driven every night, near the house to protect them from depredations of the red men. The stock gave evidences of alarm by extraordinary snuffing, snorting, bellowing and the like. The dogs were barking and baying, something in a northeasterly direction from the dwelling; they would start in that direction and proceed a short distance, when they would return in dismay, and place themselves by the door and growl, keeping an eye to the east and northeast. Lively frequently took his gun and went out, but could discover nothing; would quiet the alarm of his wife by assuring her that it was nothing but wolves or other wild animals creating the disturbance.
July 2 1936, Page 2
The Murder of the Lively Family
The last night was so fearfully noisy, that Lively was somewhat unnerved and began seriously to consider the oft repeated request of his wife to go to the fort. It was late in the evening when his wife last urged him to go, and his own knowledge of the Indian character, with some footprints he discovered that evening on the premises induced him to take the advice of his wife, and he decided to go to a place of safety. About two hours before sundown, he directed his son and hired hand, his nephew, a man nearly grown, to go and get up the horses, while his wife and daughters milked the cows, and they would start for the settlements that night. The young man and boy started in the direction where the horses were usually found, leaving the old man and family in the lot or cow pen. The old man was seated on a stump, with his gun across his lap, loaded and ready for use, the woman milking the cows, only too glad to escape another night of alarm. But a worse fate awaited them than that of alarm or fear. The boy and young man had gone but a few hundred yards, when they heard firing in the direction of the house; they turned back, and when they came in sight, beheld Indians around the premises, killing the family, all of whom were outside of the house, except the old man, who was shot and killed in the house. All were afterward found scalped, their bodies more or less mutilated after death by the savages - all on the premises except one boy, whose body was found by those who followed the Indians, some miles from the premises. He had been taken prisoner; was carried away, and killed that night. His head was cut off, but never found. He had on an old-fashioned buck-skin hunting shirt. The Indians after killing him cut a hole in his body and drew his hunting shirt through the center of his body, to be sure that he was dead. The work hand and the boy were unable to arrest the murderous work of the savages - seven in number, supposed to be Kickapoos. Their own safety demanded the attention of the survivors of Lively family.
The screams of the family and the firing of guns, mixed with the war-whoops, alarmed the horses so that they ran from the survivors and they were unable to get a hold of the animals and were compelled to proceed on foot. They spent no time in making their way to the nearest Post in their knowledge, in the vicinity of what is Fayetteville and New Athens. They traveled all night on foot; made Lively Grove that night, at a late hour. They both gave out and could go no further. The young man had been compelled to carry the boy on his back nearly all the way.
Some accounts say the boy was hid under a log and instructed to remain there until the young man returned, while others say the two went on together. They went on, arriving at the post and reported the death of the Livelys, obtained help, returned, (and one account says, found the boy under the log and safe.) From this circumstance, that the Lively boys were the first white men staying an night in the grove, it is supposed; the Grove has ever been called "Lively Grove."
Thus perished under the merciless tomahawk and scalping knife, all save one of the first family that settled in what is now the County of Washington. The Indians were pursued, overtaken and some of them killed by a company of rangers; some of Lively's stock that was driven off by the Indians was captured and brought back, the dead buried and the County was left without a white inhabitant for some time.
David Huggins remained in St. Clair County for a year or more, then ___ with his brother, Robert Huggins, in what is now Perry County, ___ finally in 1815 moved back near the place he left in the spring of 1813 and remained there until his death. He left several sons surviving him, and some of his grand and great grandchildren are now residents of the county of which he was one of the first settlers.
Nashville News 3
November 24, 1955
Historical Marker No One Sees
By: Grover Brinkman
Twenty years ago the citizens of Washington county, spearheaded by the county press, raised funds and had a fitting monument placed at the site of the Lively family massacre on Crooked Creek, near Covington.
At the time it was hoped that the site would eventually be visited by the entire populace. It is really the one spot in the county that has been given the honor of an historic marker. However, in promoting the marker, the committee evidently forgot one important item: there's no road to the site. It is in the center of a large timber tract and can be reached today only on foot after a brisk walk. So very few people, who ordinarily would like to see the site, have visited the historic site. Nearby is the famous Lively Spring.
Photo shows three Okawville Boy Scouts, Ted Cross, Bart Lammers and Laddie Kugler, who decided this week to clean up the site and restore some of the faded markers in an effort to renew public enthusiasm in securing a suitable road or trail to the site.
This is my Paternal grandfather of wife of 1st cousin 5x removed
This is my Maternal side through the following ancestor's