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                              Don Norman




    William Strange was probably born about 1750 and died in Kanawha

County VA in 1795.  He married Mary Ann (Hitt) Martin about 1783.

Mary Ann, a daughter of John and Sara (Pace) Hitt, was born

in Fauquier County VA in 1755 and died in Harrison County VA in 1810.

She was the widow of Joel Martin.  Mary Ann married Joseph

Hall in Barbour County VA about 1795. The following relates the story of

the death of William Strange.

    from an article by Shirley Donnelly

 A Strange story is the one of William Strange, a pioneer settler of

the Peck's Run County in Upshur County of our day. Strange Creek which

empties into Elk River some 20 miles below Sutton derives its name

from the Strange man.

In the autumn of 1795, a surveying party under the direction of Henry

Jackson, noted surveyor of the pioneer period of Upshur County Set out

for the Holly River and Elk River area of present day Webster County WV.

In that party were the surveyor, two chain bearers, a marker, a cook,

who also helped in the work, a packer and a couple of hunters whose

job it was to supply meant for the surveying crew.  The hunters also

had to serve as scouts as the party thought that Indians still

infested the area which they were to survey.  Truth was there was no

trouble to be expected from the savages as their sachems had signed the

Treaty of Greenville falling the defeat of the fighting force of  the

Indians at Fallen Timbers, on the Maumee, now in Lucas County  Ohio in

August 1795. That battle of Fallen Timbers, incidentally, was won by

the 3000 man army under the command of Gen. Anthony "Mad Anthony"

Wayne .

But the Jackson survey party had not heard of the Indian defeat. When

the surveying party reached the mouth of Holly River, the services of

Jerry Carpenter, who lived there and knew the lay of the land fairly

well, were secured to piolet the survey crew.  There were no

settlements in the area where the surveying was to be done except the

Carpenters on Elk River.

That Carpenter settlement has been set upon in 1792 by a roving body

of savages, who had massacred Benjamin Carpenter and his wife.  As

there were no settlements at hand for which  to stem out, the survey

force had to carry their provisions and cooking utensils on a pack

horse and use them as need arose.

The lower line of the survey was to begin with the left hand fork of

Holly River about six miles above its junction with the main branch of

the Holly, so they crossed in a south-easterly direction to main Holly

and thence over the mountain to the Elk, to a point near the site of

Carpenters Settlement. Strange was directed to take the pack horse

down the trail on the left hand fork to its mouth and then continue up

main Holly to a certain creek, where they would meet him the first


Strange was not to good on sensing direction, so got lost and never

found alive in spites of efforts of searching party to find the lost


Strange tied his horse to a tree and went wandering around trying to

get bearings that might get bearings that might get him in contact

with surveying crew.  Searchers found the horse.  They fired their

guns in the effort to tell the lost man they were looking for him.

That gun fire apparently frightened Strange, who allowed as how it was

the gunplay of Indians shooting the other members of the party.

In the year 1835, some hunters found on the south side of the Elk

River, hear the site of the present, Dille Post-office in Clay County,

the skeleton of a man at the foot of a big beech tree.  There was a

rifle gun by the bones.

Hanging to the hickory ramrod of the rifle was the shot pouch and

powder horn.  Into the bark of the beech tree carved with a hunting

knife, was this strange couplet "Strange is my name, and I'm on a

strange ground, and strange it is that I can't be found".

This was the remains of William Strange, packer of the Jackson survey

party. He had wandered more than 40 miles from where he first



Children of Joel and Mary Ann (Hitt) Martin.

 (Step children of William Strange).


  2.  (1). Joel                    b.       1778   d.Jun  4 1864

         m.Catherine Simonds


  3.  (2). Stephen                 b.Apr 14 1782   d.Jan 29 1864

         m.Catherine Reger  Jan 28 1805 Harrison Co VA


Children of William and Mary Ann (Hitt) [Martin] Strange.


  4.  (1). Eliza                  b.Sep 22 1784


  5.  (2). James                   b.Oct 18 1787


  6.  (3). Sara                    b.Apr 26 1792

         m.Leonard Hall Sep 5 1809 Harrison Co VA


  7.  (4). Margaret                b.Apr 11 1794

         m.Daniel Gould Feb 18 1811  Harrison Co VA




"Lewis County WV, Her People and Places",2000, p. 139

Lew, Margaret C., Hall, Martin, Strange family group sheets

Norman, Don, "Descendants of Peter Hitt"