Speers & Fryes

The following transcription was submitted by Helen S. Durbin of Greene Co., PA for inclusion at the Genealogy in Washington Co., PA web site in January 1998.

Charleroi Diamond Jubilee 1890-1965, Historical Souvenior Program.

Henry married Regina Froman settled on farm known as Gibstoton, on the Mon River, below Belle Vernon. Abraham Frye and family located on the opposite side of the river. Owned land from Maple Creel on the outskirts of Charleroi, to Pigeon Creek in Monongahela, from the Mon River, to where Fallowfield township school now stands, except for the Grant and Wickerham Farms, near what is now Fisher Heights.

They came here from their homes in a place 18 miles south of Winchester, Virginia. Abraham Sr. settled near the river and built a home on the portion of land now owned by Carrie Coyle and Dr. A.S. Sickman. Samuel went back a little further along the hills and built his first cabin, near where the West Penn Sub-Station now stands. The second log cabin and a stone and brick residence built in 1811 stood until about the early 1950's. The Frye brothers bought this ground from the Indians for a coat and a gun. Abraham Frye owned and afterwards gave to his childern, among others, the farms owned by John Conrad at Lock #4, by Jos. Sampson and William Rogers, Robert McKean, and Thomas Redd.

The Speers and the Fryes were intimately associated in everything that partained to each others comfort, and this fact, in these days of trial and danger, was no small affair. In going from place to place or in the field, these settlers were compelled for personal safety to carry firearms so as to meet the attacks of the Indians.

At one time the children of the Frye family, having, gone across the river to milk cows, were overtaken by a storm. They sought shelter under a tree, and while there, one of their number was killed by lightning. In the midst of the trouble, the Indians war whoop, was heard in the distance, warning them of new dangers. Leaving the dead child, the others sought security beneath the floor of an old cabin. They were hardly quiet in their new retreat before the Indians entered the cabin, in which they remained all night, dancing and whooping, unconscious of the prize within their grasp. It was a long night for the prisoners beneath the floor, but when morning came, the Indians departed and the milkers escaped to their dwelling, where the sad story was related. The bones of the dead child, no doubt, were the first of the Frye family to bleach on the banks of the Monongahela.

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