Harmon Henry Arbogast (1846-1922
A beautifully built and well situated home was built around 1895, in the hills of Ritter, by a Civil War veteran, Henry Harmon Arbogast.
Henry, who moved his family to the region in 1885, homesteaded the land where the family home still stands in Ritter. The house was built from timber that surrounded the property. The foundation is made of granite rock. There are two large black walnut trees in front of the home as well as a few out buildings.
Henry was born in Saybrook, McLean County, Illinois, in 1845. He enlisted with the 116th Volunteer Illinois Infantry, F Company, of the Union Army in August 1862. He joined up with General Sherman’s regular Army and the siege at Vicksburg. He was wounded twice, shot once, in the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, requiring hospitalization at the Big Shanty field hospital. He later joined back up with his regiment and was discharged in June 1865 in Washington, D.C.
He married Fannie Fairchild in October 1869 in Linn County, Kansas. He moved the family via railroad to Oregon in June 1888. In 1896, Henry built the Arbogast Family Homestead in Ritter. He took up farming, ranching and operated a saw mill. The couple had seven sons and two daughters.
In April 1916, they moved to Pendleton. Fannie Fairchild Arbogast died in August 1916, and is buried in Ritter Cemetery not far from the family home.
Henry moved with his daughter, Fannye, to Corning, Calif., where he later died in January 1919 at the age of 74.
During a recent visit to the home, I was able to see how well built it was. To withstand the elements, harsh winters of Ritter and the test of time, is nothing short of amazing.
Henry and Fannie still have a grandchild who is alive and nearing 101, Emma Leola Arbogast Speed. Emma Leola is the daughter of Henry’s son, Roy Arbogast. Emma Leola still remembers Henry and Fannie, and can recall several memories. Leola was born in 1912 and spent her childhood in Ritter where she attended school until she was about 8 years old.
The property and home were purchased around 1940 from the Arbogasts, and remains privately owned.
4 April 2017
| Arbogast Family
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The Life & Times Of John Justus Henckel
Written and submitted by Sarah Hinkle Warner
From Pendleton County, WV Past and Present, page 61
John Justus "Jost" Henkel, son of Rev. Anthony Jacob Henckel, was born in Daudenzell, Germany, 10 February 1706 and died August 1778 in Germany Valley, Pendleton Co., WV. He was eleven years of age when he reached Pennsylvania where he grew to manhood on his fathers farm in New Hanover Township.
After he married Maria Eschmann, a German-Swiss, about 1730, they removed to Upper Milford Township in Bucks (now Lehigh) County,. near Dillingerville, Pennsylvania where they joined the Gossenhoppen Congregation. Until 1748 he paid taxes there, but in 1750 he sold his land, and by 1751 he and his family, which then included ten children, were living on Dutchmans Creek in the Forks of the Yadkin in Rowan (now Davidson) County, North Carolina. Two more children were born in Rowan County, North Carolina.
After only ten years in Rowan County, NC, John Justus Henkel in 1760 removed to Germany Valley on the north fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River in Augusta, later Rockingham County, VA, and now Pendleton County, WV. All of his children including three of his married children and their families were said to have accompanied him to Germany Valley, but there is doubt that his daughter Catherine who married John Adam Biffle made the move. The successful arrangements for the migration of so many individuals required the mind and leadership of a remarkable individual. The records of his family clearly indicate that John Justus Henkel was indeed an exceptional man.
A careful study of Henkel and Biffle records raises serious doubt if Catherine Henkel and her husband Adam Biffle accompanied her father to Germany Valley. A daughter Mary was born ca. 1758 in Rowan Co., NC; son John, their eldest son, was born there in 1760, the same year of the removal, and their youngest son, Jacob, was born there in 1763. If the couple did remove to Germany Valley, they must have soon returned because other Rowan County records place Adam in that county as late as 1779. By 1779 he removed from Rowan County and entered land on the south bank of the Holston River Valley in what is now Sullivan County, Tennessee. In this move, as already mentioned, he was accompanied by his son-in-law, John Jacob Eller, Jr.
Among the married children who removed to Germany Valley with John Justus Henkel were his oldest daughter, Anna Maria Henkel and her husband Moses Elsworth, his oldest son, Jacob Henkel, and his wife Barbara Teter, and daughter Rebecca Henkel and her husband Paul Teter. Among the three couples were several grandchildren, including young Paul Biffle, son of Jacob and Barbara Teter Henkel, who was destined to become a most distinguished Lutheran minister, printer and publisher of the southeastern frontier.
All of his sons-in-law, his sons and some grandsons were active in the Revolutionary War. His family fort became a military fort and was used to quarter and drill the militia. The Henkel Family Association in 1938 placed a handsome granite arrow-head monument honoring John Justus Henkel near the site of his fort. Also a West Virginia Historical marker which mentions the Hinkle Fort is placed adjacent to highway # 33 overlooking Germany Valley. (Note: My wife and I visited these sites soon after Conf III but were advised not to attempt to reach the Henkel cemetery without making prior arrangements.)
One reason often mentioned for the move of the Henkels from Rowan County was to escape Indian problems associated with the uprising among the Cherokees in 1760. This explanation seems implausible since the land on which they settled in Germany Valley was adjacent to the Seneca and Shawnee Indians trail along which much Indian traffic still passed between the northern and southern tribes. The first task facing the family upon their arrival was the erection of a fort large enough to protect the large extended Henkel family from Indian attack. It seems unlikely that John Justus Henkel would not have known that Indian problems existed in Germany Valley prior to his arrival there.
A more logical explanation suggested by some for his move to Germany Valley, was his concern about the legacy he would leave his large family of children and grandchildren. He was past fifty years of age when he decided apparently that sufficient fertile land could not be acquired in Rowan County to insure the future security for his children and grandchildren. He was attracted to the more fertile limestone soil in Germany Valley where cheap land was abundant. His decision then sprang apparently from that same impulse, common to all early settlers of that period - the desire for more and better land that would provide economic security for his immediate family and future descendants.
John Justus Henkel and members of his family are buried in a grave on the hillside overlooking the site of the fort. The dimensions of the character, intelligence, and accomplishments of John Justus Henkel are revealed in part by his great courage and skill in safely removing such a large number of family members from Rowan County to Germany Valley and building a historic fort. Equally revealing was his concern for his families future, and his acquisition of much land to insure that future. Perhaps the major revelation about this remarkable man was the transmission of the essence of his own character and moral values to his children and grandchildren
25 Mars 2017
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About Hinkle Chair Company
Since 1834, five generations of the Hinkle family have been making quality hardwood furniture at the same location in Springfield, Tennessee, just north of Nashville. The Rev. Anthony Jacob Henckel emigrated from Germany in 1717 with his wife Mary Elizabeth and their eight children, settling in Germantown, PA near Philadelphia. The spelling of their last name was changed from Henckel to Hinkle in 1797. In 1803, Rev. Henckel’s great grandson Anthony and his wife Catherine Nancy Frey moved their family to Robertson County in northern middle Tennessee. The last of their eight children, Andrew Hinkle, was born in 1815 and is recognized as the founder of Hinkle Chair Company. Andrew Hinkle was a farmer, but he and his family supplemented their income by making ladder back chairs. During the hot summer months the family would hand carve chair frames out of oak, hickory and beech. During the winter months when the crops had been harvested and the fields were laid by, the family worked indoors weaving the seats using hand cut strips of various hardwoods and assembling the finished chairs. Andrew and his wife Catherine had twelve children; among them was Henry Ywell who was born in 1860. Henry Hinkle continued in his father’s footsteps, farming during the growing season and producing ladder back chairs during the cold winter months to help support the family. Henry and his wife Eva had five children, including Willie Bell who was born in 1896. Willie Bell Hinkle wed Ellie Mae Clinard in 1915; they continued the family tradition of farming and making chairs. As demand for their products grew, the family gave up farming in 1932 to produce chairs full-time. A small country store and a tobacco barn served as a makeshift factory and as production increased rocking chairs were added to the line of products. William Winford Hinkle was born to the couple in 1917. In 1946, William (Cat) Winford Hinkle Sr. returned from serving in World War II and bought the business from his father. He married Ora Sue Smith in 1949 and they had three children. By then, Hinkle Chair Company had sixteen full-time employees and could produce over two hundred chairs a day. The operation moved from its cramped facilities into two buildings which were used exclusively for manufacturing. In the 1980’s, as the company grew, several new buildings were added including a show room and new finishing system. New styles of rockers and chairs were added to the product line along with dining room tables, hutch and buffets. In 1990 after the death of his father, William Hinkle Jr. took over as CEO of the company and today along with his brother Jeff and sister Diane, Hinkle Chair Company is still a family owned and operated business. In 1996 the company broke ground on a new production building and followed in 1997 with a state of the art finishing facility. These additions have enabled us to increase our rocker production as well as offer new and exciting furnishings for your home. Remember, whenever you purchase your next rocking chair, insist that it is a genuine Hinkle rocker. The quality and comfort of your Hinkle products are carved out of over 176 year old tradition.
25 Mars 2017
| Arbogast Family
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Son of Isaac K. Nelson Sr. and Catherine Pennington
Husband of Amanda (Wilfong) Nelson — married 20 Dec 1838 in Pendleton County, VA
Brother of Prudence (Nelson) Arbogast
Prudence married Joseph Jr. Arbogast
Joseph Jr. Arbogast s / o Joseph Arbogast & Sarah Ketterman , Pendleton Co. Va/Wv
23 Mars 2017
| Arbogast Family
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Israel Friend, Frontiersman
ISRAEL FRIEND, FRONTIERSMAN
By Corinne Hanna Diller
When an ancestor was the first pioneer in an area, it can be a source of
bragging rights-if you can prove it. Most often the researcher curses,
though, because the ancestor seems to be "lost". Such is the case of
Israel Friend, who does not appear on tax lists, deeds, etc., till he was
past forty years old. The trouble with being the first is that usually
no records were created. There were no neighbors to sue, no estate sales
to attend, not even a tax man to come around and list your assets.
I have long-suspected that Israel Friend was the first permanent
white settler to come to the area along the upper Potomac, above the
Shenandoah River. I believed he lived there as much as ten years before
other white settlers came. Proving it has been a challenge. He had been
born circa 1693, at Upland, Ridley Twp., Chester (now Delaware) Co.,
Pennsylvania, to Andrew Friend, alias Nilson, and his first wife Miss
Rambo.(1) On 25 July 1725, Governor Calvert commissioned Israel Friend
as an Indian trader and ambassador to the Shawnee tribes on the Potomac
River.(2) Little had been known about him, though he was a prominent man
later in life.
On 10 January 1727, a deed was made from six chiefs, styled
"Kings of the Five Nations", named Cunnawehala, Taw-Senaw, Captain
Sivilite, Toile Hangee, Shoe Hays, and Callakahatt, "for love to our
brother Israel Friend," for land on the Potomac River and Antietam Creek,
described as 100 shoots of an arrow in such-and-such a direction, etc.(3)
This land was above Harpers Ferry, in present Washington Co., Md. The
original deed was said to have been written on birch bark. Different
branches of descent claim that Israels wife Sarah was actually
"Bokavar", an Indian princess. Much has been made of the language of
this deed, however nothing has been found to prove who his wife was, one
way or the other.
It is his dealings with the Indians which provide the key to his
early years. In 1712 in Cecil Co., Maryland, Andrew Friend and Charles
Mounts Anderson (both traders), were involved in a lawsuit against Anne
LeTort.(4) She was the widow of Jacque LeTort, an Indian trader who
lived at Conestoga, Pa.(5)
On 24 October 1720, we find a complaint in the records of the
Upper House of the Maryland General Assembly which tells us "the Shaw-wan
Indians have carried away three Negro slaves belonging to the petitioner;
the Indians have been told by Andrew Neal and other traders that they
would be given a reward for returning the slaves to the petitioner, but
they have not done so."(6) The issue of the Shawnee harboring escaped
slaves was to be a bone of contention for over two decades. Their
principal chief for many years was Opessa, who lived in Pennsylvania and
the area of Cecil County, Maryland, circa 1697-1700. Around 1711 he
moved to what became known as Opessas Town on the upper Potomac, now Old
Town.(7) He is known to have argued against returning slaves to the
whites, and his influence was felt for many years after his death,
estimated at about 1720. I imagine that when his father, Andrew Neal
(Friend) took the message to the Shawnee in 1720, young Israel would have
wanted to be a part of the action.
We have already seen that Israel Friend was appointed as an
Ambassador to the Shawnee Indians in 1725, and this fact has been
widely-quoted. It would seem that both his father, and Israel, were
well-enough-acquainted with the Shawnee that the Maryland Governor
thought the tribes would listen to their pleas. As early as 1722, Andrew
Friends trading partner Charles Anderson had been asked to travel up the
"Potomack" River to forge an agreement with the Shawnee about harboring
slaves.(8) On 20 May 1725 the Maryland Assembly had empowered John
Powell and Charles Anderson "to go to Shuano town on Potomack, commonly
called Opessas Town..."(9) Having failed in their mission to bring the
chiefs to Andersons trading post on the Monocacy river, Israel Friend
received his appointment on 25 July 1725. It was confirmed on 6 August
1725, when the Council Meeting records that "Shuano Indians not meeting
his Excellency there Resolved that Israel Friend be sent up immediately
to the said Indians with following instructions...to invite Indians to next
meeting of the Assembly at Annapolis on 5 Oct. 1725..."(10)
The chiefs did not come to the Assembly Meeting held in
October(11), and the issue remained up in the air for many years.
The confirmation that Israel Friend was the only permanent white
settler on the upper Potomac during all this period comes from a letter
to the Maryland Assembly, dated 12 January, 1731/2, which reads: "I
Captain Civility make bold with these few lines, for I certainly did hear
as their Intention to take the land from Us if possible... above Andahetem
(Antietam) and I heartily desire you not to do it...for we are very much
disturbed and I would have you not to press too much upon Us for We have
given no body of Land yet but Israel Friend at the mouth of Andahetem..."
mark of Captain Civility (Sivilite) and Toyl Hangue.(12)
Hence, in the words of two of the chiefs who had granted him his deed in
1727, he was the only white living in that area before 1732.
In my work on western Maryland families, I have found that it is
quite common for them to have transactions, landholdings, or kinfolks in
either Pennsylvania or Virginia. Boundaries are, after all, imaginary
lines. Many times Ive heard from people who are researching Israel
Friend of Frederick Co., Maryland, but cant find much about him. He did
leave a will there, and operated a forge and mill. So, who was his wife,
and where are his children? And, what happened to all that land along
Antietam Creek? By expanding the search slightly, we get a much fuller
picture of the family.
On a map dated 1736, Israels land along the Potomac River is
indicated in Virginia downstream of Antietam Creek.(13) He is not shown
on the Maryland side. On the same map, land of his brother Charles is
indicated where Conococheague Creek meets the Potomac (present
Williamsport, Md.). In Maryland, he is known to have had an iron ore
furnace on Antietam Creek, and a mill south of Frederick town.(14)
One tract has been significant in tracing the family for over 60
years after it was obtained. On 3 October 1734, 300 acres was granted to
Israel Friend on the south side of the Potomac, two miles north of
Harpers Ferry.(15) This land was mentioned in his will dated in 1749,
and as late as 1805 was the subject of a lawsuit involving his heirs.(16)
In 1772 the land became part of Berkeley Co., Va., and is presently in
Jefferson Co., West Virginia. Under date of 12 October 1736, in the
Potomac River Notebook of surveyor Benjamin Winslow is written: Israel
Friend house 10 poles (165 feet) from river...paid Israel Friends wife for
wash, etc...(17) This area was then part of Orange Co., Va. Winslow noted
him on the Virginia side of the river, but did not include him in his
surveys of the north side of the river. Though mentioned in other
places, the only place I find Israel owning land is along the Potomac,
between Harpers Ferry and Williamsport.
In the late 1730s he seems to have lived on the Virginia side of
the river. In November 1736, in the deed book of Orange Co., Va., one
Patrick Sim of Prince George Co., Md., appointed Israel Friend of Prince
William Co., Va., as his agent to collect a debt on his behalf.(18) At
this time, Orange Co., Virginia included all land west of the
Rappahannock River, above Spottsylvania Co., including the Shenandoah
Valley and Greenbrier Valley.
In the meantime, he seems to have lost title to his land along
Antietam Creek. Though no documents have yet been found to verify it, the
"legend" says that in 1736 the Maryland Governor declared that Natives
had no right to make legally-binding documents, and hence the 1727 deed
was declared invalid. The governor confiscated the land along Antietam
Creek and the Potomac River, estimated by some researchers to be 72
John Moore was recipient of a grant for 300 acres dated 4 August
1739.(19) He called this land "Antietam Bottom" and it encompassed the
lower reaches of Antietam Creek, where it met the Potomac River.
On 16 April 1741, a deed in Prince George Co., Md., from John Moore to
Israel Friend refers to the latter as "of Orange Co., Va., planter".(20)
This tract is described as 50 acres called "Friends Purches", being part
of "Anteatum Bottom" at the mouth of Anteatum creek where it falls into
the Potomac River, near Teaggs (Taylors) Ferry. This appears to be
part of the land he had purchased in 1727 from the Natives. That he had
to re-purchase part of it back again indicates his previous loss of the
He had returned to Maryland by 1742 when he sold 40 acres of "Antietam
Bottom" to John House.(21) He is described as a Maryland resident on
this deed. On the 1756 debt books for Frederick Co., John Houses heirs
are in arrears on 50 acres of "Antietam Bottom".(22) Perhaps he had sold
the entire 50 acres, and the 1742 deed was copied wrong.
On 6 May 1746, a deed from Israel Friend of Frederick Co., Va.,
to William Stroop sells 100 acres originally patented 12 Nov. 1735 on the
west side of the Cohongo (aka Potomac) River, taken from the south end of
his tract.(23) Dower was released by his wife Sarah, and this is the
only known record found of her given name before his death.
It is said that Israel Friend had been a guide for Lord Fairfaxs
surveyors, and was present when the Fairfax stone was placed in 1746,
marking the source of the Potomac River, and the boundary of Fairfaxs
lands. His initials were supposedly carved onto a tree, along with those
of the surveyors.(23a)
Israel had many family members who followed him to the Potomac
area, including two siblings. Charles Friend (1699-1751) lived in the
area that is now Williamsport, Washington Co., Md.(24) Mary Friend had
been married in1727 in Cecil Co., Maryland to Robert Turner, who is found
in Frederick Co., Md. deed records as late as 1769.(25)
On 12 August 1749, Israel Friend, styling himself "of Frederick
Co., Maryland" made his will.(26) To his wife Sarah he left one third of
his estate, excluding lands. To his eldest son Jonas he left land. To
his second son Jacob he left the land where Israel lived. To his
youngest son Charles he left 120 acres. He also left legacies to
daughters Catherine and Mary. His Negroes were to be equally divided
between his three sons. The executors were his "brother" Charles Friend,
and Capt. Thomas Swearingen. Witnesses were Nathan Shepherd, Isaac
Horsey Sr., and Anne Lennard.
On 9 May 1750, in Frederick Co., Va., administration of the
estate of Israel Friend was filed by executrix Sarah Friend.(27) His
inventory was filed on 10 November 1750 in Frederick Co., Virginia, total
personal assets being L.168.7.1.(28) At his Virginia plantation his
assets included much livestock, including 14 horses (but no buggy or
wagon), 3 female Negroes and 1 female Negro child, 3 spinning wheels, two
sets of bed and bedding, one book "The Whole Duty of Man", and a violin.
This represents only part of his estate. That he had assets in Maryland
is evidenced by the fact that his will was also proved in that place.
Inventories and accounts in Maryland have not yet been found, though.
From 1754, through 1790, land of Israel Friend along the Potomac
River is mentioned in no fewer than ten deeds as adjoining land that was
being sold. Though his children scattered, his name seems to have lived
on as a reference point in the neighborhood. It was common in Virginia
to maintain an estate intact until after the death of the widow. Whether
she was still alive as late as 1790 cannot be said. At any rate,
Israels will had excluded his lands from her share of the estate. On 8
September 1754, Jonas Friend and wife Sarah, of Augusta Co., Va., sold 66
½ acres of land from his father.(29) This was part of the 300 acres that
Israel received in1734.
Israels sons had followed their fathers example, and had moved
to the leading edges of the frontier to find their fortunes.
Eldest son Jonas Friend was born circa 1725. He had lived at
Friends Fort, now Elkins, Randolph Co., West Virginia, where he died 15
Nov. 1807.(30) He had married by 1754 to Sarah Skidmore in Rockingham
Co., Va., and they had five children.
Second son Jacob Friend was born circa 1727. He lived in
Rockingham, later Pendleton, Co., Va. He died in 1818.(31) He had
married in 1756 to Elizabeth Skidmore, sister of Sarah, and they had at
least nine children.
It has been said that Jonas and Jacob met their brides in
Rockingham Co., Va. However Joseph Skidmore (their father) is found in
Frederick County, Maryland in 1750.(32) He is also found on the 1766
list of debts owing to merchant James Dixon of Frederick, Md. (33)
The youngest son Charles Friend was born circa 1730, and died in
1816 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia.(34), leaving at least four
An irony surrounds the life of Israel Friend. He made his life
trading with, and living with, the Shawnee in their upper Potomac
territory. We know that others had tried to settle in this area, because
in 1706 the Shawnee filed a protest with the government against two
whites who had built a cabin among them.(35) Those settlers were ejected
by the authorities. Israel Friend, however, was allowed to live and
build there for many years. When the level of trust was high enough, he
tried to do the right thing by obtaining land via deed, instead of
conquest. For his attempt to represent his race as an honest man, he was
penalized, loosing the land he thought was his. That disappointment must
have played a role in his childrens decisions to move further away to
make their homes.
22 Mars 2017
| Arbogast Family
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