††††††††††† On a beautiful spring morning on May 1, 1791, four daughters of Jacob and Susan (Secris) Crow of Greene County, Pennsylvania set out for a Sunday morning walk along Dunkard Creek. The area had been hit by many Indian attacks over the past couple of decades, but those had abated somewhat in recent months, giving settlers a fragile sense of security. The Crow family were not strangers to tragedy. Indians had killed their son, John, while he was on a hunting trip with his brothers on Fishing Creek in present-day Wetzel County, West Virginia. The beauty of the May morning gave no indication that tragedy was soon to strike the Crow family again.

††††††††† Family tradition states that the girls, Lisbeth, Katherine, Susan and Christena, were walking to visit an elderly couple that lived on Crabapple Run. When they were about a mile and a half from home, they met their brother Michael, who had been sent to find a horse that had strayed out of their pasture. Michael talked briefly to his sisters and asked the youngest one, Christena, to return home with him, but she wanted to continue walking with her sisters. Michael continued on his way home.

††††††††† Shortly after Michael was out of sight, two Indians and a white man believed to be a Spicer, appeared from behind a large rock and seized the girls. They led the girls up a small hill. As they walked up the hill, the girls began to speak in their fatherís native tongue of German knowing their captors would not know the language. They thought if they all tried to break away, they could possibly escape. The sisters were told to be quiet or be killed. Lisbeth, the oldest sister, encouraged her sisters to pray and once again, their captors silenced them.

††††††††† The Indians and Spicer began asking questions about the forts, the number of settlers, and the settlements in the area. Then a debate began between the Indians and Spicer. One was in favor of killing the girls while another wanted to take them into captivity. Sadly, they decided on the former. Susan was struck with a tomahawk and died instantly. It is believed that Spicer killed Katherine. The third Indian was holding both Lisbeth and Christena. When he swung his tomahawk at Lisbeth, Christena jerked her arm and broke away. As she fled from the scene, one of the Indians threw a tomahawk at her. It hit her in the back of the neck, momentarily stunning her. She recovered and raced up the hill where she secreted herself in the bushes before fleeing for home.

††††††††† When Christena arrived home, she delivered the devastating news to her family that her sisters were dead. The family immediately fled to the nearest fort and sent the alarm of the Indian attack to their neighbors.

††††††††† The settlers formed a scouting party to pursue the Indians but had not overtaken them. On Tuesday morning, one of the party, a hunter named Enlow, found Lisbeth still alive by the creek. She had been scalped and had crawled to the creek for water but was too weak to return to the shade. He carried her down the road leading to her home where her father and brothers met him. She weakly recounted the story of her sistersí deaths and then gently asked her brother, "Oh, Michael, why didnít you come sooner?"

††††††††† Her sisters were buried together and a rough-hewn sandstone was set on their graves that say simply, "KC" and "SC 1791." Lisbeth died on May 4 and she was buried alongside her sisters. Her grave is marked with the same type of stone. It reads "LC 1791."

††††††††† Christena, the only sister to survive the attack, later married John McBride, the son of William and Nancy McBride. He was born 26 Jun 1779.

††††††††† Around 1806, John and Christena became some of the earliest settlers on the east fork of Duck Creek, Union Township, Monroe County, Ohio. (This area later became Noble County.) They built one of the first mills and also one of the first brick homes in the area.

††††††††† Their children were: John, William, Martin, Jacob, Michael, Susan, Nancy, Christena, Elizabeth, Mary, and George.

††††††††† Her older brothers, Frederick and Martin joined Christena in Monroe County. Frederick and his wife, Rachel Enochs, lived in Seneca Township. Martin Crow, and his wife, Elizabeth Cackler, lived on Clear Fork of the Little Muskingum River, Union Township, Monroe County, Ohio as early as 1805. A younger sister, named Esther and her husband Jacob Sailor lived for a while on Duck Creek before moving to Indiana and later Iowa.

††††††††† Christena, who was born 17 November 1783, carried the scar of the tomahawk on her neck for the remainder of her life. She died on 27 August 1853 or 1854 at her home near Carlisle. John McBride died 26 February 1874. They are both buried at the Carlisle Methodist Cemetery in Noble County.

Source: The Fireside Stories of the Jacob Crow Family by J. Homer Crow


Just as the name 'Spicer' was a speculation of who was the murderer of the Crow sisters, alternate speculation is offered to suggest that the culprit may have been Simon Girty.The following links are worth exploring for a more complete understanding of this story.


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