folks have visited this page since 3/13/1998

See Dragoo for the family is a story about the family in West Virginia

from pg 298 Tri County Recorder, Wheeling WV via James R. Ewing, 19 Holly Road, Wheeling WV 26003

A couple  of miles up the North Fork of Fishing Creek, above Pine Grove,
 WV is the mouth of a small stream known as Betsy's Run.  It received its 
nickname because it is thought that the body of Betsy Dragoo was found there 
by the party who were pursuing the band of Indians which had kidnapped
 her and her 7 year old son, Billy, from their home about 3 miles NW 
of Fairmont.  Her 12 year old daughter Elizabeth, was not captured
 and grew up and married James Hays.  In 1805 they moved to the South 
Fork of Fishing Creek, near present day Jacksonburg, and were the first 
settlers in that area.  They had eight or more children of whom three
 are of interest in the Anderson story.
"Betsy's Run is a small stream which flows into the North Fork of Fishing 
Creek about three miles above the forks oat Pine Grove, Wetzel Co. The 
mouth of that run was the site of a killing and of the finding of the 
body almost 200 years ago
   By the year 1780,Jacob Straight and John Dragoo had settled with their
 families on adjoining farms of 400 ac. each on Straight Run, north of 
what is now Barrackville, in Marion Co.,WV.  John Dragoo had married
 Elizabeth, sister of Jacob Straight and Jacob had married Elizabeth
 Dragoo, sister of John.  Elizabeth Straight Dragoo was known as Betsy.
  They had moved west together and had finally settled next door to each other.
    A party of nine Shawnee Indian braves left their town in Ohio in
 Sep. 1786 intent on causing serious trouble to the white settlers 
in the Monongahela Valley.  On 10/3/1786, most of the white men and
 older boys of the Straight Run area were across the hill in what is 
now Bellville, the north end of Fairmont, slearing a new settlement.
  That morning, Betsy Dragoo and her 7 yr old son Wm. were picking beans
 near their home when they were surprised adn captured by the Shawnee 
raiding party. 4 of the indians took the captives away and the other 5 
hid themselves hoping to capture or kill some white men when Betsy and 
Billy were missed and a search party came looking for them.  They were
 soon successful in killing Jacob Straight and a neighbor named Wood:
 and then the 5 moved on and re-joined their 4 companions 
and the white captives.
    At that time, a well defined trail which had been used 
by the Indians for many yrs led from the Monongahela 
River up Buffalo Creek, through present
Mannington and Logansport and on up Warrior Fork to a gap
 in the ridge.  It crossed the ridge and went down Willey
 Fork through Coburn to the North Fork of Fishing Creek,
 following the creek to its mouth in present New Martinsville. 
 There it crossed the Ohio River and extended to the Shawnee 
Towns in Ohio.
    The raiding party of Indians used theis trail and
 they were in a hurry since they were certain that 
there would be pursuit when the white men returned
 from their work and found the two bodies and the two 
persons missing.
    Betsy had long hair, dark red in color, and the Indians 
had argued about using its beauty as a trophy scalp but
 had decided instead to take her along with them.  There
 are three stories of how Betsy Dragoo came to be accidentally
 injured on that trip but  all stories agree that she 
lost so much blood from her injuries that she was too weak
 to keep up the pace, even on horseback.  Some of the Indians
 took the little boy on ahead on the trail and in a short 
time the other Indians joined them carrying a fresh scalp
 with long dark red hair.
    The next day, the pursuing party, including John Dragoo,
 found Betsy's body along the trail at the mouth of  a small 
run in present Wetzel Co.  The pursuit continued but the white
 men could not pick up the trail on the West side of the
 Ohio River.
    Twenty years later, after the final defeat of the Indian
 tribes and the signing of a peace treaty, William
 Dragoo returned to his family in the Fairmont area.
submitted by James R. Ewing, gr-gr-gr-grandson of Betsy Dragoo.
  found by Ruth Ellen Derby in the Pine Grove Public Library,
 P.O.Box 416, Pine Grove, WVA 26419 for Kandi Anderson McLaney
 4/4/1995 from History of Wetzel co, W. Va by John C. McEldowney Jr.
 @1901 from Pine Grove, WV Public Library pgs 24-25
" The Drygoos, or the Two Half Indians
    John Hays came to what is known as Lot in the year of 1805
 and with him he brought his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Hays,
 who was born the same day as her husband , which was in 
the year of 1748, in Prickett's Fort, Monongalia County (WV).
  They were but 11 years olf when the latter's mother, 
Mrs. Drygoo, was killed by the Indians.
    The following is and incident which fell from the lips 
of Mrs. Hays, told to her daughter, Mrs. Malinda Anderson:  
It was in a fort situated on Clinton's Run, Monogalia 
county, known as Prickett's Fort.  The Drygoo family were
 some of its occupants. There was a garden about half a mile
 from the fort and Mrs. Drygoo and her son Charles, who
 was but four years of age, went to the garden to pick beans,
 when the Indians came upon them unawares and made them
 prisoners before giving them time to call for help.  They
 tied Mrs. Drygoo to a tree near the for but not in sight
 and returned to the garden to see if they could catch some 
more in the same way.  In a little while Mrs. Hays and her
 sister came out of the fort and started towards the garden 
to help their mother (Mrs. drygoo) pick beans, and as they
 neared the garden started to call for their mother, but
 she did not answer.  Fortunately they got scared by 
something (not the Indians) and started toward the fort at
 full speed, and on reaching it informed the occupants 
that their mother, Mrs. drygoo, and their brother, 
Charles Drygoo, started out in the garden some time ago to 
pick beans and that they were not in the garden now.  The
 men immediately suspicioned that which was correct and
 soon raised a company under Captain David Morgan and 
went in pursuit.  The Indians, seeing that they had been
 discovered, beat a hasty retreat.  They untied Mrs. Drygoo
 and put her on a pony, which was very wild, and made off 
with great speed.  After traveling for about ten miles, the 
pony she was on jumped a run.  The calf of  one of her legs
 was torn open, having caught on a sharp limb of a tree. 
 They stopped and bandaged the wound up the best way they 
 could, after which they continued their journey, 
but the bandage did no good and she became very weak from 
loss of blood.  The Indians, seeing that it as delaying their
 journey, decided to kill her.  When they began to untie her
 from her pony, Charles began to cry and a big Indian picked
 him up and said "Don't cry", and that they wouldn't kill
 his mother, but she couldn't travel and that he could be his 
boy after this.  They killed and scalped her near the place
 known as Betsy's Run, which was named fopr her and made off
 with Charles into Ohio, where he lived with them until he
 was 27 years old.  While he was with them, he was one of
 them and when very young married an Indian squaw, and
 from her had four children, two boys and two girls.  
At the Morgan Treaty at the mouth of the Little Miskingum, 
James Hays was one of the men under Levi Morgan, and inquired 
of the Indians as to the whereabouts of his brother,
 Charles Drygoo, on which he was informed that he was dead
 but the he had some children.  He asked for them and 
he was given the two boys.  He brought them to where the
 town of Lot stands, where they lived and died in the cabin 
built by James Hays in 1805.  There are a number of people 
in Wetzel County who are pround to say that the blood of 
Charles Drygoo and his squaw floats in their veins."
from newspaper-type article copy supplied by Pine Grove Public Library, Ruth Ellen Derby, Pine Grove, WV 1995
    It was a thousand moons ago and on a summer night that
 a lonely grave was made as a six year old boy looked on.
  There was a giant tree and a rippling brook.  The brook
 still ripples but the giant trees are gone.  This place
 is called Betsy's Run.  Who was Betsy?  From whence came
 she?  Whither was she going?  Why this nighttime
 burial with but fleecy clouds, a wanning moon and a 
scattering of stars witness with this captive child his
 mother's burial.
    Three miles north of Pine Grove is located Betsy's Run.
  It makes a confluence there with the waters of North Fork 
near the residence of carl Long.  This home is one of the
 pioneer Long houses in the North Fork valley.  It is ten
 miles south of the wirter's ancestral home at Coburn.
    What about Betsy Dragoo?  The racing clouds and murmuring
 brook and eerie moonlight do not suggest an answer. 
 They do provide gloom and sounds and shadows.  The bark 
of a distant fox and a plaintive song of the whippoowill
 still shatters the seemingly unbroken silence.  It's gloomy
 up there.
    On an August afternoon long ago, Betsy Dragoo
 picked beans far removed from Betsy's Run.  The bean patch 
was at Decker's Creek, near present Morgantown, as was the
Dragoo home.  Betsy's six year old son held the basket for 
his mother.  The Indians came suddenly.  The mother and 
young son were captured and placed upon fleet footed ponies
.  They were to be taken to the Ohio country and held hostage.
    The Indians and their two captives sped westward. 
 In jumping a stream, Betsy's pony came too near a sharp branch
 inflicted a deep wound on her leg which bled profusely. 
 At the end of a three days journey the savages made camp 
at the gloomy place called Betsy's Run.
   The Indians said to the    young lad, "We would not 
kill your mother but she is slowing up our march."  
In the presence of the child his mother was slain and 
buried beneath the tree.  The child was taken to the Ohio 
country and adopted into an Indian tribe.
    When Captain Morgan took part in the treaty of the
 Muskinggum, he demanded to know if a white man dwelled 
among the tribes.  He was told that Charles Dragoo had 
married an Indian maiden and that he had died at the age of 
28 with a fever.  Morgan demanded to know if there were
 children.  He was told, "Yes, a baby girl". Morgan 
arranged to claim the child and it was given to him.
    The child of Charles Dragoo was brought to present 
Jacksonburg.  Here she grew to womanhood.  When a young 
woman, she married a member of the pioneer family 
whose names are well known.  Many of her descendents
 are to this day numbered amoung our distinguished 
and illustrious citizens.
    With the passing of generations the unmarked grave cannot 
be found.  One momento remains.  The late Missouri 
Morgan Detwyler, in her life time, had a baby bonnet, pressed 
between two glass panels.  This was the baby bonnet which 
was worn when the child of Charles Dragoo made the final trip 
to a new home at Jacksonburg long ago.
    Across a high ridge from (the) child's new found home 
(is) Betsy's Run.  The plaintive...of the whippoorwill 
can s... heard and the wild fox still...his nighttime journey."
Return to Home Page