Kansas City, Mo.Christmas Day, 1900
Mrs. Mary Boggess-Bennett,
316 S. 7th. Street
San Jose, Calif.
Dear Cousin Mary,
The recent photographs of yourself and son Charles came this morning, a welcome Christmas gift.Answering your inquires relating to our Marion County, West Virginia ancestors on the Boggess side, I take pleasure in saying that in September, 1888, when you and I visited our vernerable grandfather, Henry Boggess, as his home on Little Pawpaw Creek, I had a copy of "Dunningtons's History
of Marion County" along with me, and together we went over this question.As you know, we are the descendants of his first marriage with Nancy Dragoo, your father, John being the eldest son and my mother, Elvira, being the only daughter of that union.
From that history, as well as from my recollections of tales told me and the notes then taken from grandfather's lips now before me, I glean and give you the following sketch, not doubting its correctness.
One of our great-great grandfathers on this side of the house was Josiah Prickett, who was killed by the Indians in 1774, near Fort Prickett, where now stands the town of Catawba, about five miles from Farimont.He left four children- Ann, Zair, Job and John. I recollect "Uncle Zair"
(whose name was probably Isaiah) as a very old man, living with his son Eli, just across the Monongahela River from Rivesville, when I was a small boy.
Josiah Prickett's daughter, Ann, our great-great grandmother, was the second wife of John Dragoo.They left four children: Nancy, who was the first wife of our grandfather, Henry Boggess; Milly, who first married Thomas Clayton and after his death John Baker; Rebecca, who was the first wife of Rev. Foreman, and I believe there was another who married a Cunningham, but I do not recall the christian name of either.
The (following) is an interesting scrap of history, no where correctly outlined, concerning the first wife of our great-grandfather, John Dragoo, and her children.In September ?, 1786, this Mrs. Dragoo and her son, William, then aged nine years and her young baby were captured by the Indians on the old John Dragoo farm (as children we knew it as the Major Cramer farm) near where Straight's Run empties into Finche'sRun and about a mile above where now stands the town of Barrackville.At the same time and place the Indians killed Nicholas Wood and Jacob Straight, the latter being a brother of Mrs. Dragoo.The Indians at once started with their captives to their villiages in NorthernOhio; but the continued cries of the Dragoo baby angered them and when they got to a big rock on Buffalo Creek, about a mile above the mouth of Plum Run, between where now stand the towns of Farmington and Mannington, one of the savages took this baby by the heels, swung is around over his head, and then dashed its brains out against that rock.
When I was a boy this rock stood between the public road and the creek and was pointed out to me by my father in passing.In some way Mrs. Dragoo's thigh was broken, and she was unable to travel futher and for that reason she was tomahawked and scalped some-where between that rock and the Ohio River. The son, William Dragoo was carried into captivity, remained with the Indians at their villiages for 34 years, and then married an Indian wife by whom he had four children.In 1820 at the solicitation of his white family and friends, William Dragoo determined and did returned to the old home.
Before leaving his adopted tribe, however, he religiously divided his fortune, consisting, all told, of four children and eight horses with his wife; and brought back to Virginia with him two of his children, both sons, and four horses.
Afterwards he again marries, this time Rebecca Matheny, but later returned to Ohio where he died.Williams's half-breed sons were named John and Issac and neither could speak a word of English when they came to Virginia.John died at the old Dragoo farm in 1823.
After the return of his father to Ohio and the death of his brother, as a missionary among the people and the tribe of his Indian mother, Issac returned to northern Ohio and was never afterwards heard of in Virginia.
Grandfather Boggess, who in 1814 had married Nancy Dragoo, the half-sister of Issac's father, William, being in the family became intimately acquanted with this half-breed nephew of his wife.And I have often heard him say that although unletteredd, Issac Dragoo was the noblest man in natural intellect, bearing, politeness and dignity he ever met, that he has a splendid presence, deep musical voice and when he spoke at church or the muster or other gatherings, no man of his day in all that country was listened to with more respectful attention.
No doubt he was a great success as a missionary after he returned to his tribe.
My vernerable father, John Fletcher McDougal, who is still living hale and hearty, at Bancroft, Mo. and now 87 years of age, has often told me that when a boy, he knew these half-breed Dragoo boys well, and the peculiarity about their tastes and habits which he best remembers was that they would spend hours wading the creek, catching and eating raw the tails of the Crawfish- now esteemed a rare delicacy by epicures.
With this data you will readily understand that by tracing the descendants of the Pricketts, Dragoos, Boggesses, Claytons, Bakers, Foremans et al, we find ourselves related by blood to many of the families in good old Marion County.
When on a visit all too short, back there in September last, I interviewed many old citizens to fill in gaps and get more accurate information concerning our ancestors, but found and not to my surprize that the history of a century ago, except as preserved in print, had died with Grandfather Boggess.
With love to thee and thine, I remain.
Your affectionate cousin,
H. C. McDougal
a gift to all of the Dragoo researchers...