THE LITTLE RED CAP
From The Studebaker Family in America by Chuck Dean, Columbia, MD, copyright 1976.
Here is a story about one of Adele Just's ancestral families. The mother with the little red cap was an unknown Killough woman whom Studebaker descendants have unsuccessfully been trying to identify for a long time. Her son, Joseph Studebaker, was born in 1744 in Cumberland Valley, PA.
Joseph helped his father, Heinrich, to clear the land for farming in Peters Twp, Cumberland Co., PA (now Montgomery Twp, Franklin Co, PA). On a cold, blustery day, Mar 1756, he was in the field with his father clearing out stumps. Suddenly, shots rang out, blood curdling war whoops rent the air with Indians leaping out at them brandishing tomahawks. His father fell dead and young Joseph ran toward the cabin to warn his family. A brave grabbed Joseph and held fast to the struggling boy while the rest of the Indians besieged the cabin. They broke in and captured Joseph's mother and her young family. After the Indians looted the cabin, they urged the family to hurry along the Indian paths. It was Joseph who saw his mother's little red cap on an Indian as he rode by, and that was how he learned of his mother's death. When the procession finally reached the Indian camp (at Kitanning, PA), the squaws proceeded to "wash the white blood" out of their bodies. This was part of the ceremony of adopting them into their tribe. Little Joseph was given the task of hunting bears in hibernation. It was his duty to enter the cave with a torch and drive the bears out. Then the Indians would have a bear feast. The thick bear fur made a nice winter blanket.
While the three Studebaker children were learning Indian ways and growing up, the French and Indian War was being fought. After the peace had been signed, there were still scattered incidences of border massacres by the Indians. It grew steadily worse until Colonel Henry Boquet marched into the Indian lands with his large army to the forks of the Muskingum River (near Parral) in what is now the present state of Ohio in the fall of 1764. There he demanded that the Indians return all of the white captives that they had in their possession. After many speeches the Indians agreed to Colonel Boquet's demands. It was a poignant scene when the soldiers in the army saw their long lost wives, sweethearts, sons or daughters. Some of the children, such as the two Studebaker children, had been living with the Indians for nine years and had lost all memory of the relatives, friends and home. These were the children that Colonel Boquet took to Carlisle, PA in the hopes that their relatives would recognize and claim them. Joseph's name is the only Studebaker name in Col. Boquet's record of the returning captives. At Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh, PA) Joseph was given one shirt and one pair of shoes on Nov. 30, 1764. Thus it was at Carlisle where Joseph and Elizabeth were reunited with the Studebaker family who had traveled from near Gettysburg in the hopes that there might be survivors of their long-dead brother Henry's family. They were overjoyed to find that the two children were alive and well, but the children in the past nine years had grown tall, sun-bronzed and uncivilized.
Joseph had promised his Indian father that he would return to him but Joseph's friends, aunts and uncles always arranged a party on the day that he planned leave. He loved parties and soon he became interested in a young girl by the name of Mollie Teeter. Then he really had to work hard in order to win Miss Mollie's favor. He worked many long hours to earn the money that he would need when he and Mollie were married. In 1774, the wedding took place and there was much celebration and a house-raising party.
Joseph had developed a restless spirit while he lived with the Indians, and in 1776 Joseph and Mollie Studebaker, with their young son, David, and Joseph's brother, Philip, moved to Franklin Twp, Westmoreland Co, PA by way of covered wagon and oxen.
The Revolutionary War was beginning to thunder in the east. Joseph left his young family and marched off to war during 1778-79 with Captain James Leech's Company of Westmoreland County Militia of PA. He probably was on many scouting parties due to his Indian training. It is not known if he was wounded.
After the war Joseph returned to near Greensburg to his family. Then came troubled times. A lawyer found a loophole in the law and informed Joseph that he did not own his land. So Joseph asked his eldest son, David, to go north and explore some of the territory that Joseph had traveled over when he was a boy with the Indians.
David built a cabin in 1790 and later the whole family left Westmoreland Co, PA and moved to David's cabin in Worth Twp, Butler Co, PA. The evergreen trees that were planted in front of that cabin are still there (1975) and are magnificent in their height. This land originally was four hundred acres that David had surveyed by William Elliott.
Joseph preferred to sleep on the floor wrapped up in a blanket in front of the fireplace Indian style. He died of typhoid fever and was buried in the Plain Grove Presbyterian Cem. (April 1813) The minister at the funeral told the congregation that he knew that Joseph believed in God even though he hadn't attended church. He was more of a hunter and trapper than a farmer. His nickname was "Injun Joe" and he came by it honestly.
This story reminds one that two or three children of Allen and Elizabeth Brasher Killough and five children of his sister Jane and George Woods disappeared in the Killough Massacre of 1838. Whether they were killed or taken by the Indians is not known. Legend says that one of the Woods' boys was adopted by the tribe and finally became its chief.