For a while now I have been mulling over an idea for a posting on some stories told to me by my uncle, Kenneth Dan Henthorn (18-Jul-1926, 25-Sep-2005). Shortly before his death Uncle Ken wrote down a few of these tales and I recently ran on to them. The trouble I was having was whether they were appropriate or not. While they are not exactly flattering, neither are they damaging. Then I ran on to another paper I had found that was contained in a published court document.
I have decided to share some of the stories Uncle Ken told. These stories show some of the characteristics still found in our line of Henthorns today, our tempers when we feel wronged, our determination to stand behind our decisions, and our willingness to take responsibility for our actions.
The first tale is the reprinting of the court document I spoke of from page 48 the book History of Chester Co., Pennsylvania written by J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert Cope, and the others are Uncle Kens recollections, the first of which you will notice has the other family involved names blanked. This is done to spare any resentment or disrespect to that family and its heirs. To get a good picture of ones heirs, I believe you must know all you can of them. I hope you find these stories entertaining as well.
Charges Brought Against
James and Mary Henthorn
Court of Quarter Sessions
November Term 1736
Assault and Battery on John Owen (Constable)
Chester County fs.
The Grand Inquest for the County of Chester - upon their... affirmation do present that John Starr late of the County...Labourer, James Starr late of the same County Labourer, Ganiel O'Neal late of the same County Labourer, John Henthorn late of same county Labourer, James Henthorne late of the same county Labourer, Anne Downard Wife of William Downard late of the same county Labourer, Jane Downard late of the same county Spinster, & Mary Henthorne wife of James Henthorn late of the same county Labourer, together with divers other malefactors and of the Peace of our Sovereign... the King who now is, Disturbers, the fifteenth Day of November in the tenth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France & Ireland, King. Defender of the faith......... at the Township of London Grove in the County of Chester within the jurisdiction of this Court themselves so disturb the Peace of our Sovereign Lord the King riotously... & unlawfully did assemble and gather & so between themselves assembled & gathered together being upon John Owen, Esq; then High Sheriff of the County being & then and there in the Peace of God and of our sovereign Lord the King being then and there the force and arms so ......................and unlawfully an assault did makeand him the..... John Owen then and there did beat wound and ill-entreat So that of his Life it was greatly despaired and other Harms to him the.... John Owen then and there did to the grievous Damage of the...... John Owen in high Violation of the Laws of the most evil and pernicious Example of Others in the like Case Delinquents And against the Peace of our Lord the King who now is his Crown and......
The Examination of Sarah Southby upon her oath said yt upon ye 16th day of the instant 9br, at ye house of William Downard, John Owen ye High Sheriff being there as she heard to take Charles Hickinbotom, sshe saw John Starr take down a gun but saw him do no more, and saw John Henthorn knock down a man so yt ye blood run out of his head, and saw James Henthorn and Mary Henthorn strike with sticks and saw Jean Downard throw scalding broth and a stone at ye Sheriff which hit his shoulder, and saw Daniel Oneall strike ye sheriff with his fist and then went and got a bow and threaten tostrike any yt come near him, and then he went and said the Henthorn's who knew nothing of it before. Taken before me Abra Emmit
This story was told to my uncle Kenneth Dan Henthorn by his grandfather Eli Henthorn (14-May-1865, 7-Mar-1962) using a newspaper article as his guide and written by him from his memory . This battle involved his great grandfather Eli (About 1829, 13-Nov-1913), and his great great Uncle Jacob Henthorn (About 1835, Unknown).
Eli Henthorn had been called to service a few months before and had failed to report for duty, feeling that three brothers and two brother-in-laws away fighting was enough.His brother Jacob, a Private in the 61st Ohio Infantry, was home on furlough, reccuperating from wounds received in battle. While Eli was in the house, 3 B_____s and a brother-in-law came to the farm to take Eli into custody and deliver him to Woodsfield. When Jacob was asked the whereabouts of Eli he replied that he was away from home at that moment.
Watching from inside the house, Eli saw one of the B_____s act glad to see Jacob and give him a hearty hug. While he was hugging him, the B_____ slipped a knife from his sleeve and began stabbing and cutting Jacob. Eli grabbed up squirrel gun and fired twice, hitting one B_____ through the arm and another in the chest. Rushing from the door he knocked another down and picked up a maul, chasing them from the yard. Eli rushed to the barn and hooked the horses to the wagon while threst of the family, he had six children and his wife Barbara Ellen (Hendershot, born about 1832 ,20-Apr-1909), was pregnant with the 7th on the way. Loading him into the wagon, they took him to the house of his father, Adam (About 1802, About1875). When they arrived at Adams, Jacob had bubbles coming from his chest when he breathed and his spine was visible in some of the cuts on his back. As the women began to do what they could for him, a rider was sent to Clarington for Dr. Nimrod Henthorn (9-Mar-1811, 1-Mar-1879).
Believing that the B_____s would retaliate, Eli borrowed an old musket* that his father had and loaded it with powder and ball. At one time it had been a flintlock but had been converted to percussion. It took a larger cap than the smaller bore "squirrel" guns so he split a cap and placed it on the nipple and let the hammer down to rest on it. Leaving his wife and children at his fathers, he returned to his home, sitting in the woods, watching and waiting, suure they would return.
Shortly after dark they came and started to burn the barn. He pulled the hammer back, took careful aim, and pulled the trigger. Click! The percussion cap had fallen out and they had split up, lighting several spots. He was forced to set there and watch them burn his home and barn.
After that night he went and bought a Colt Navy 6 shot pistol. A few days later Eli was riding towards Woodsfield and met up with one of the B_____ clan and pulled his Colt. The B_____ pleaded and reasoned with him and said that if he was let go, never again would he have trouble with a B_____. Eli allowed the man to leave and true to his word the was never trouble between the Henthorns and the B_____s again.
*Postscript-This muzzle loader was passed down and was given by his grandfather Eli, my greatgrandfather, to Uncle Ken. In 1978 when I graduated high school, Uncle Ken returned from Utah and gave me the gun as a graduation present. I in return have given it to my oldest son, Joshua Earl Henthorn (20-Jun-1980, ). Lettering on the breach plate says it was made by a smith named Parker in Maryland.
Uncle Jake lived on Sunfish Creek in Monroe County, Ohio. One morning he awoke to find a neighbors cow in his garden, eating and tromping it to pieces. He put a rope on the cow an took it back to his neighbors and told them if he found it in the garden he would shoot it and use it to replace the food it had destroyed. A few mornings later he awoke to find the cow again in his garden. Taking his gun he went out side and shot the cow.
The neighbors immediately went to Woodsfield and swore out a warrant against him. He was arrested by the sheriff, convicted, and sentenced to one year in the county jail. His reasoning was that the garden was his food for the comming winter, no garden, no food.
Jake had traded for a mule that ended up being balky. Sometimes it would stop and he would'nt be able to get the mule moving until it was ready. Sometimes as long as an hour. One day the mule balked and Jake got mad. He walked up to the mule and hit it with a balled fist in its neck dropping it dead in its tracks. He had to work with out the mule for three months, doing its work, till it could be replaced.
One time Jake's brother-in-law, Sanford Durkee, Martha's husband got mad a Jake and decided he was going to give him a beating. Jakes was a big man, 6'7", weighing 240 pounds. He was narrow of hip with wide shoulders and long arms. Durkee was just shy of 6', though stocky of build.
When Durkee came at him, Jake would'nt fight, and instead ran for the corn field. Durkee followed, cursing Jake for a coward. Jake ran till he ran out of cornfield and came up against the corner of a split rail fence and could'nt make it across because Durkee was right on his tail. Jake backed into the corner and told Durkee to stay away from him, he did'nt want to hurt him. Durkee tied into Jake and Jake swung one blow, hitting him in the forehead.
They had to haul Durkee home on a sled and it was four days before he was able to get up and walk.
Jake said maybe Durkee would leave cowards alone now.
Uncle Jake was in the Civil War and was at Appamatox when Lee surendered. Rather than hand his sword over, Lee stuck it into an apple tree. The union soldiers cut the tree down and cut it into chunks for the taking. Jake brought home a chunk and used the wood to make a brace* and bits. The wood brace was bound in brass.
*Postscript. Uncle ken still owned this piece at the time of his death.