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Greathouse Point > Greathouse Archives > USA > WV > Harrison County

Greathouse of Harrison County, WV

Do you have any Greathouse kith and kin who resided in Harrison County, WV? If so, please join us in our efforts to better document the Greathouse kith and kin who lived in this county, by sending your additions and corrections to Greathouse Point.

Greathouse of Lee Creek 1791

Based on the following manuscript:

Bonar, Jennie. History of Lee Creek Community Wood County, West Virginia. Morgantown, West Virginia, Agricultural Extension Division, 1926. (On-line version) Xwv 1. Agr 3. 2: L3

It has been believed that a Mr. Greathouse arrived with the rest of the settlers that Joseph Wood brought to Lee Creek, Harrison County, VA [Wood County was created from Harrison County, VA in 1798], arriving on 16 Dec 1785 based on the following information available in Bonar's manuscript:

In the year 1785 Joseph Wood of New Jersey became the agent and surveyor for the colonization and sale of a large tract of land near Bellville. He brought four Scotch families with him and they landed at what is now Bellville December 16, 1785. Others came later. They brought cattle and farming implements with them. Clearing was commenced immediately and from the timber a block-house 20 by 40 feet was erected, surrounded by a stockade ten feet high. The block-house was the usual type with loopholes from which to shoot intruding Indians.

The first settlers who came with Mr. Wood came from Wyoming and Carlisle, Pennsylvania and from above Wheeling, West Virginia. The following are the names of the Scotch families that came with Mr. Wood and those that came the following spring. McDonal, Greathouse, Taylor, Jemerson, Andrew McCash, F. Andrews, and Thomas Gilruth. In 1787 they were joined by the following persons: Joel and Joseph Dewey, Stephen Sherrod, Malcolm Colman, Petre and Andres Anderson and their families. Decendants from some of these families still live in the southern part of this county and in Jackson County.

In the online version there was no source cited for this information, however when the manuscript was examined at the WV Archives and History, Charleston, WV, there was only one source cited, that of:

Donald F. Black, History of Wood County, Volume 1, Pioneer History of Wood County, West Virginia, 1975. Roane County Historical Society Genealogy Room, Spencer, WV.

A copy of that history was not available at the WV Archives and History, Charleston, WV, however a copy was available at Roane County Historical Society's Genealogy Room at the Library in Spencer, WV.

The answer to the question about whether a Greathouse was among the early settlers who arrived at Lee Creek with Joseph Wood in 1785, was answered by Joseph Wood himself, in letters he wrote to Dr. Samuel Prescott Hildreth concerning the events which transpired at Belleville during his residence there prior to 1791. The relevant excerpt regarding the landing of a Greathouse at Belleville, from Joseph Wood's letters, which was cited in Black's, History of Wood County, follows:

Sometime after the above transaction [Indians killed an un-named man in 1788/9], a boat landed at Belleville with one man by the name of Greathouse, he came from Pennsylvania and had enticed a handsome young woman away with him having a large Kentucky Boat as they then called and loading a family of the name of McDonald consisting of himself and wife, a son and daughter grown up and a number of smaller children all went on board and set out for Kentucky. I had heard of the Indians being at the mouth of Scioto and told the young McDonald but he did not believe it they went and fell in company with six other boats, but as five of them were very dilatory spending their time in fiddling and amusements without working the boats foreward one boat that was manned with eight well armed men concluded to leave them and go ahead and Greathouse and McDonald resolved to keep with them but not suspecting danger fell behind two or three hundred yards by the time they got to the mouth of the Scioto which was early on a thick foggy morning. The Indians attacked the armed boat with several perogues or large canoes but were beaten off with the loss of a number of them killed and wounded, they then made for the other boat that was not in a situation to make any resistance having but one musket on board, [after capturing the other boat, the indians] they put the two young women in the bow of a perogue and run for the foremost boat thinking they would not fire at them while they had the women in front and they were so determined to take the boat they struck the stern of the boat with the bow of their craft but they were beaten back with great loss and several in the boat were killed and others wounded. This shameful defeat of several hundred by so small a number so exasperated the Savages that they took all the prisoners of the other boat into the woods where they stript them naked and whipt them until they were dead, they then took their scalps and left the river.


Donald F. Black, History of Wood County, Volume 1, Pioneer History of Wood County, West Virginia, 1975. Roane County Historical Society Genealogy Room, Spencer, WV.


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