THE WETZEL FAMILY
The following story is reproduced from a book titled, the "Combined History and Atlas of Monroe County, Ohio." The material for this book was taken from two nineteenth century books: (1) 'History of Monroe County Ohio,' a product of the H.H. Hardesty & Co., publishers, Chicago and Toledo, 1882 and (2) 'Caldwell's Atlas of Monroe County, Ohio,' a product of Atlas Publishing Company, Mount Vernon, Ohio, 1898. The "Combined History and Atlas of Monroe County, Ohio" was reprinted and is available from the Monroe County Historical Society.
Probably the most noted family, as Indian fighters, about Wheeling and in eastern Ohio, was the Wetzels. John Wetzel came out with the Zane in 1770, and settled on Wheeling creek. He had five sons and two daughters. The sons were Martin, Lewis, Jacob, George and John. The whole family became celebrated hunters and Indian fighters, but the most daring and successful was Lewis.
It is said that Martin Wetzel, when a prisoner among the Indians, was brought about twenty miles up Sunfish Creek. This would be near where Woodsfield now stands. It is a tradition that Wetzel said the Indians stopped under a ledge of rock, and then left him under guard and went off. After being gone about an hour they returned with a large quantity of lead, which they molded into bullets. They fused the metal in a large wooden ladle with live coals. After Wetzel had escaped from the Indians he returned to search for the lead, but was unable to find it.