Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ellison Ridge and James Ellison (also see my later posts)

The following is taken from notes by Charles Hatcher (Ellison Ridge borders Streeter area to the south):

"James Ellison and Matthew Farley were cribbing corn on Crump's Bottom, October 19, 1780, when they were attacked by seven Shawnee Indians. Farley swam across New River and escaped, but Ellison was wounded so badly in the shoulder that he was unable to swim. He did, however, run up the stream, but was captured later within a mile of Fort Field. His captors carried him about 15 miles up the Bluestone and Paint Creek Indian Trail which ran along a spur of Flat Top Mountains. It was this spur that was afterwards known as Ellison Ridge. The Indians arrived on the ridge with their prisoner just after dark. They camped on the east sid e of the ridge, across from the present forks where one road leads to Streeter and the other to Flat Top, both in West Virginia. The site of the camp is on the land formerly owned by John E.C.L. Hatcher, the father of this compiler. The Indians bound Ellison's hands and feet, then removed his moccasins for purposes of torture. He finally worked the thong loose from around his ankles and escaped later in the night with his hands still bound behind him. He hid among some cliffs about 500 feet away.

The Indians searched the cliffs and surroundings, but over looked one small space, where Ellison was hiding under the side of a cliff. They passed on, still continuing their search. On a sharp stone Ellison sawed the thong loose from around his hands and returned to Farley's Fort on Crump's Bottom.

[He] revisited the place where he escaped from the Indians several times during the lifetime of William (Dr. Bill) and Frances Lilly, the grandparents of this compiler. The place where Ellison escaped from the Indians in 1780 was on the land later owned by Dr. Bill Lilly and John E.C.L. Hatcher."

Ellison Ridge was used by many Indian tribes for hunting purposes. The ridge was named in honor of James. It remained untamed until 1833 when Robert Lilly, John Lilly (a direct ancestor to my family via Lillie Basham's mother Ida Jane Lilly. He is a great grandfather to Lillie) , Josiah Lilly, and Jonathan Lilly purchased from Alfred Beckley 3000 acres of land, known as Lilly's Panther Knob Survey.

Note: James Ellison's descendant Mary Eleanor Ellison is an ancestor to my family (Basham side). Also, Nancy, a descendant, married a Halstead. Genealogists are not able to verify due to lack of sources, but they believe that Nancy probably married a grandson of James Halstead (forefather to my cousins who descend from Ed Halstead)

Sources: Dee Wheaton, "James Halstead: Pioneer of Indian Creek";
Charles Hatcher, "Historical Genealogy of the Basham, Ellison, Hatcher, Lilly, Meadows, Pack, Walker, and other Families"


  1. I am a direct decedent of Jammes Ellison on my mothers side.My Grand father was W.L (bill) Ellison of Hinton. My Uncle H.O. (herb Ellison of Hinton has a pretty good geneology of our Family tree

  2. Sounds great. Would you like to share your information on the blog?