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CHAPTER II

The Tall Oaks and Towering Pines

of Gallant Little Fulton

- * -

Fulton County was organized in 1850. It was taken out of Bedford County. Mr. Samuel Robinson of Big Cove Tannery was a Representative in the State Legislature from Bedford County. He introduced a bill and had it passed, authorizing the organization of a new county to be called Liberty. When the bill went to the Senate, the vote was a tie. Finally, one senator agreed to change his vote if he were permitted to name the county. This was agreed, and he named it Fulton.

Ayr Township was organized in 1761 by an order of the Court of Cumberland County (then). The name comes from the Scotch Ayrshire.

McConnellsburg was laid out by William McConnell and for a long time was called McConnellstown. Mr. McConnell gave a large tract of land on the outskirts of the town called The Commons. This was intended for a pasture land for the cows belonging to the residents of the town. McConnellsburg was organized as a Borough in 1786 and the Court House was built in 1851. We are proud of this old Court House which is said to be architecturally correct.

A great many of the people of this Valley were soldiers in the Revolutionary War and a number of them were officers. I recall but a few of the names: Captain Taggart, Captain Truax, the great grandfather of Judge David Humbert of Fulton County; Colonel George Ashman and Colonel William Patterson.

At the close of the Revolutionary War, Captain Truax was given a british prisoner to hold until ordered to return him to Headquarters in New York. The prisoner was a demoted British officer, a man of superior intelligence and considerable mystery. It was believed he was the second son of a titled English family. He was known as Joe Jerry. The Captain brought his prisoner with him to his home in Thompson Township in the southern part of this valley where he remained for more than a year. He became attached to the place and spent much time fishing and hunting. He built himself a cabin and cleared a piece of land and when Captain Truax was ordered to return the prisoner to New York, he was very reluctant to go. They walked all the way and before arriving Joe Jerry procured a bottle of whiskey. They arrived in the evening and the Captain presented his prisoner to the stockade. When he entered the enclosure, Jerry offered the guard a drink and as he put the bottle to his lips, he knocked him senseless and made his escape. He returned home with the Captain and a few years later went back to England. He stayed there only a short time and upon his return to America brought with him many valuable seeds of various fruits and vegetables. He also brought back with him a young woman whom he introduced as his wife. For some reason, Captain Truax insisted in their being married in his home, so an Episcopal clergyman was brought on by horse-back from Martinsburg, Virginia, and the ceremony was performed. After the birth of several children, the Jerry family moved West. Judge Humbert, the great grandson of Captain Truax, is an old man now, and he tells me that for many years he exchanged letters with the great grandchildren of Joe Jerry.


Prologue by William Remington Patterson, Jr.

Introduction by David Hunter Patterson

Chapter 1 The Valley of the Big Cove

Chapter 2 The Tall Oaks & Towering Pines of Gallant Little Fulton

Chapter 3 The Pattersons and the Hunters

Chapter 4 Concerning Some of my Forbears

Chapter 5 Childhood Memories

Chapter 6 Some Church History

Chapter 7 Boyhood Days

Chapter 8 I Go Away to School

Chapter 9 Incidents of the Civil War

Chapter 10 Springfield - Graduation

Chapter 11 Your Mother

Chapter 12 A Quaker Family of Western Pennsylvania

Chapter 13 From 1870 to 1880

Chapter 14 Home Again at Webster Mills

Chapter 15 The Centennial - I Buy a Farm and get into Politics

Chapter 16 Last Years in the Old Home

Epilogue by Elizabeth Patterson Neeson


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