Surviving on the Frontier: Israel Stone

Israel Stone 1749-1808

Although I would not usually relate the story of as distant a relative as a remote cousin, but Israel Stone and his two wives are just too interesting to ignore. According to he is my 7th cousin 3x removed.  But he is also my 1st cousin 8x removed, if that’s better.]

Israel was born on April 15, 1749 in Rutland, Massachusetts. His parents were cousins. Deacon John Stone was the son of Nathaniel Stone  (whose parents I haven’t worked out yet) and Elizabeth Stone (Stone) who  was the daughter of Capt. Samuel Stone and sister to Nathan Stone, my 5th great grandfather.

  [ADDED May 2016] The lines go like this:

Israel Stone → Deacon John Stone (1702) →Nathaniel Stone (1660)→ John Stone (1618) →Gregory Stone (1592) and his 1st wife. (Note: My line is descended from Gregory Stone’s 2nd wife)

Israel Stone→Elizabeth Stone Stone (1713)→Capt. Samuel Stone (1684)→Samuel Stone, Jr. (1656)→Samuel Stone (1630)→Gregory Stone (1592) and his 2nd wife.

Modern view of Buckley Island in the Ohio River near Marietta, Ohio.

  Modern view of Buckley Island in the Ohio River near Marietta, Ohio. The settlers were forced to try to pasture animals on islands to keep them safe from Indians. But then wolves got them.

Israel and Lydia Barrett

The couple married in 1767 in Rutland, MA and had ten children in Massachusetts. They are an interesting bunch, especially Sardine Stone, who became an Ohio Senator. One of the younger brothers, Benjamin Franklin Stone (1782-1873) became a teacher. In his eighties (finishing at 91) he wrote an autobiography, which gives wonderful details of life in early Ohio territory.

Israel was a militiaman, and when he had been married only 8 years, The record shows:

  • On April 19, 1775, Israel marched to the alarm at Lexington and fought at Cambridge (probably was at Bunker Hill), a duty that lasted 12 days. He served under Cpt. Thomas Eustis.
  • Later, still a private, he served in the company of Cpt. David Bent, Col. Nathan Sparhawk’s Regiment and marched from Rutland to Bennington,8-20-1777, serving for eleven days. In these two companies, he was with his cousin Jeduthan Stone, the Minuteman I wrote about earlier.
  • In 1777, now a Corporal, he served for three months with Capt. Samuel Hubbard’s company, Col. Job Cushing’s Regiment. He entered September 5, 1777 and was discharged 29 November 1777.

Israel’s son, Benjamin Franklin Stone, who was ten when they moved to Ohio, remembered from the Massachusetts days when his father would drive a wagon to Boston (presumably with farm produce.) They lived on the “old Stone farm” until 1786 when he sold that farm and moved to another one. After the Revolution, currency became so devalued that he was having a hard time getting by. This spurred his move to Ohio with the Ohio Company.

Israel was one of the men of Rutland who followed General Rufus Putnam to Marietta, Ohio. In 1789, according to Benjamin Franklin Stone (whom I will call B. F.), Israel set off for Ohio with another man to survey the prospects. His son Jasper (1774-1830) followed a year later. Two daughters stayed with their mother in Rutland, but all the other children were scattered to live with other families in Massachusetts.

In September 1790 a group of 26 people, including Lydia and most of her children — Sardine, Matilda, daughter Lydia, son Israel, Augustus, Christopher Columbus, Polly Buckley and Benjamin Franklin — set out in a train of 3 ox carts with General Putnam’s family. I cannot believe that Lydia was happy to have to make this journey with her huge family.

B.F. says that his brother Israel kept a detailed journal of the trip, but it was unfortunately lost.

Mother Lydia took a cow and Putnams had three cattle.  They traveled through Massachusetts into New York and across Pennsylvania. When they reached the Ohio River, they took a barge to Marietta. The journey took a total of 8 weeks. When they arrived, they were met by their father Israel, whom they had not seen for a year and a half, brother Jasper and sister Betsy who had traveled ahead with another family.

A tragedy of sorts befell them along the way when 100 pairs of socks were lost.  Knowing they would not have sheep for a while, hard-working Lydia and her daughter had knitted the socks to supply the company for a year or two. They were left with only two pair of socks each.

LATE BREAKING: A contributor to the Ohio History & Genealogy Board on Facebook, brought to my attention a site focused on Marietta History.  A search for the Stone name brings up an article called “First Settlement of Rainbow” in the September 7, 1876 issue of the Marietta Register with additional information about Israel’s family.

Bigger tragedies lay ahead with a five-year war against hostile Indians, the death of the young son Israel by drowning in the Ohio River and the death of the mother Lydia.

Picketed Point, reminder of the Indian Wars along the Ohio River 1791-1796 Photo by Photo by Richie Diesterheft, Flickr.

Picketed Point, reminder of the Indian Wars along the Ohio River 1791-1796 Photo by Photo by Richie Diesterheft, Flickr.

The Indian raids made going into the fields or woods dangerous. There was a massacre of several of their group in 1790, and they were disheartened by the defeat of General St. Clair in November 1791 in a battle with 1000 Ohio Miami, Shawnees and Lenape with Potawatamis from Michigan. The Indian forces were known as the American Indian Confederacy. Only 48 of about 1000 American troops escaped death.

I will return to talk about the Ohio Indian wars later, but the underlying problem was that the treaty ending the American Revolution with Britain treated the American Indians as part of the defeated, and although they were not part of the treaty talks, their lands were given to the American government. Understandably, they disagreed.

But life went on among the settlers and on February 27, 1792, little Harriet Hubbard Stone was born, Israel and Lydia’s eleventh child. Lydia died when her baby was only eight months old.  B.F. says that his mother had told him “her constitution was much impaired by excessive hard work even before she was married.”

In March of 1794 Israel was granted a patent of 100 acres of land out of the 1000 that the government had given to Putnam and his company. After living in blockhouses within a fort at Marietta, Israel Stone and a few others moved in 1795 upriver to build another garrison which was known as Farmer’s Castle in the settlement of Rainbow.

Israel and Mary Broadbent Corner

Meanwhile, in England, Mary Broadbent, who was born in Cheshire England in 1764, had married William Corner in 1783.  In 1795 William and Mary Corner and their children — William, George, Sarah and Mary — sailed to America and joined a group that started the Westward trek.  However, unlucky William died of a fever in the mountains of Pennsylvania  and was buried there.

Mary, who must have been an intrepid soul, buried William in Pennsylvania and continued west with the children.  Wherever she had intended to go, she stopped in Marietta. Although the Ohio Company was offering free land to settlers, as a woman whose oldest child was still under twelve, she did not qualify.  But she met Israel Stone and they married in August 1796.

So Israel Stone added three step-children to his family, and he and Mary had one more.

Israel, who is sometimes referred to as Capt. Stone, died July 3, 1808 and is buried in Rainbow. How poetic to pass away in Rainbow! And how peaceful it sounds compared to the life of Israel Stone with his wives Lydia and Mary.

Mary lived with her son George after Israel died at Corner’s Mills, later Cornerville.

 How they are related to me

  •  Vera Marie (Badertscher) is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson (Kaser), the daughter of
  • Vera Stout (Anderson), the daughter of
  • Hattie Morgan (Stout), the daughter of
  • Mary Bassett (Morgan), the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Stone (Basset), the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Howe (Stone), the wife of
  • Jeduthan Stone, the son of
  • Nathan Stone, the brother of
  • Elizabeth Stone (Stone), the mother of
  • Israel Stone

Additionally, Lydia Barrett is the step-sister of Jeduthan Stone’s wife Elizabeth Howe (Stone).

Research Notes

  • Israel Howe’s Revolutionary War service record is from a compilation found on sourced from the Massachusetts State Archives and Revolutionary War Rolls.
  • Most information about the family comes from Benjamin Franklin Stone’s autobiography. An excerpt appears in “From Rutland to Marietta: Leaves from the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Stone”, New England Magazine, New Series Vol 16 (1897) p. 210 ff. Both the entire book (1873) and magazine available for search at Google Books. [NOTE: It does not seem to be available for search at Google books any longer. Check for a library near you.]
  • Information on St. Clair’s defeat in WIkipedia.
  • History of Marietta and Washington County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, Edited and compiled by Martin R. Andrews, M.A., Biographical Publishing Co. (1902) Available free on line


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7 thoughts on “Surviving on the Frontier: Israel Stone

    1. Avatar photoVera Marie Badertscher Post author

      I once tried to read a book about settling the Northwest Territory. It was called The Dark and Bloody River. So gruesome I couldn’t finish the book. But these people actually LIVED it!

  1. Tom A.

    Hi Vera- I found this blog post when searching for my fourth and fifth great grandfathers, Israel and Benjamin Franklin Stone. This information is priceless! I have been unable to find the text of BF’s authobiography online, but I would love to read it. Do you have access to it? Thank you,

    1. Avatar photoVera Marie Badertscher Post author

      Well, darn! Although I said it is available for search on, apparently they have changed their policy or something. The site lists libraries where the biography can be found, and also the New England Magazine, where it apparently was originally published. You might luck out and find something close to you. If you’re in Ohio, I noted that both the Columbus library system and the Marietta one have copies.
      Other than that, you can go to an LDS Family Center and they can order the microfilm for you. Let me know if you find a copy, but since there were only 250 printed originally, I imagine they would be pretty rare and expensive. The New England Magazine might be a better source. Information here: Says it is $34 at Barnes and Noble.


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