Isaac Walker of Walker Mill, PA
Presented with notes by Charles M. Ewing - Revised 1994 by Jerry D. Leeper
The following narrative was written at an early date by Isaac Walker, of Walkers Mill, Penna. While but a small scrap in the records of the western movement as a whole, it is, however, an important contribution to the perspective of that horrible picture of the Indian wars as they affected our pioneer stock. The narrative as now presented is a verbatim copy of the original manuscript. When the transcript was made some forty years ago, the original document was in the possession of the late Mr. William Green, of Boyce Station, Penna.
Gabriel & Isaac Walker
Gabriel and Isaac Walker were born in Lancaster County, Penna. Gabriel in 1735 and Isaac in 1746. They emigrated in 1772 and purchased land adjacent to and west of the Ewing tract. Gabriel built his cabin on Robinson Run, and Isaac built his near the confluence on Scott’s Run and Robinson Run. For several years after settlement Isaac traveled back and forth to Lancaster Co. in the fall and spring for lead, tinware, axes, etc., which at that time were much in demand, the country being an unbroken wilderness. The only means of conveyance was by pack horse, the road, only a trail over the mountains and through the valleys.
Colonel H. Benton has said: “The Buffalo and the Elk were the first engineers in the art of road making.” In 1779 Isaac married Mary (Stewart) Richardson, whose husband had been killed by the Indians on the Loyal Hanna. He brought his new wife to his western cabin where they settled down to the joys and hardships of pioneer life. (Note) Gabriel Walkers cabin was located near the present Rennerdale Station, and Isaac’s near the old Walker home at Walkers Mill. Mrs. Richardson’s husband, William Richardson, was tomahawked and scalped by the Indians, November 2, 1777, three miles from Ligonier, PA.
“Shortly before this the Revolutionary War broke out and the Indians were incited by the British government to make war on our white settlers. A reward of $8 apiece was offered for every scalp taken. This barbarity continued to the close of the war, and was a disgrace to the English nation.” WALKER 39
“In September, 1782 a band of Indians, about twenty-five in number, approached the cabin of Gabriel Walker. They concealed themselves nearby, intending to surprise the family at dinner. An intervention of providence saved them from destruction, two travelers with guns on their shoulders came at this time, Indians are a cowardly race, and these waited to do their bloody work until the travelers and extra guns had taken their departure. Before this occurrence, however, the younger members of the family including the bound boy Bill Harkins, were send to hoe Timothy Grass in a field near the house. After seeing the strangers leave, Mr. Walker started to the field, and while on his way saw the Indians creeping toward the children. He called to them to run as the Indians were coming. They started to run but were soon captured by the Indians. Five children were taken prisoners, but Mr. Walker made his escape. Two Indians pursued Bill Harkins, but not being swift on foot ran to the corn field and through it to Robinson Run, which stream he followed down to the Ewing Fort over two miles away, where he spread the alarm.”
“Mrs. Walker was in the house with two children when the alarm was given, she started to make he escape, snatching up her baby to run, but the other child said, “Mother don’t leave me for the Indians,” so she grasped them both, and under the cover of the high weeds back of the house she managed to conceal herself and so made her way to the fort. Young Harkins in his flight also gave the alarm to Isaac Walker, who also with his family made their way to the fort.”