Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Town Bell (Bells) To Warn the Residents ~ Fire, Indians, Curfew, School, Lost Child and More.

 The following are excerpts taken from Hyrum Fechser's biography "Your Family and Mine ~ The Fechsers"
The town bell was ringing furiously, something was wrong, men, women and children were in the street, every one asking these very questions, "What's wrong?"  "Maybe a Fire, maybe a child lost".  "Maybe Indians".
The town bell was really the church bell and the town was now about four years old.  .......
John Fechser, the miller (Hyrum's father) was in the crowd. He had come here from Germany, where he had learned the milling business.
During the past ten years there had been a lot of Indian trouble, they were reported to be in Pigeon Hollow near Ephraim.  Uncle John and some other men were sent to head the Indians off, he was the only one to return, the rest were kiled by the Indians, some emigrants were coming to Fairview, and were way laid by these Indians; all were killed.  Today at Fairview (Pioneer Cemetery) you can see an old plank head stone with this inscription, THE GIVENS FAMILY, KILLED BY THE INDIANS 1869.

GIVEN FAMILY MASSACRE In the spring of 1865 John Given and his wife Eliza and their four children, John Jr., Mary, Anna, and Martha settled in the meadowland about 110 feet west of here. They built a cabin and willow shanty. Charles Brown and Charles W. Leah were helping them plow and plant crops. Early in the morning of May 27th they were attacked by a band of Indians. Brown and Leah escaped and ran six miles for help which came too late. The entire Given family was massacred and their cattle and household furnishings taken. The murdered people were buried in Fairview.

Editor note:  The Hamilton School Bell served the same purpose as the church bell in later years.  I well remember it ringing  at 8:00 a.m. in the morning, telling you that you only had one hour to get to school.  It would also ring at noon and at 9:00 p.m. for curfew as well as ring when there was a fire.  That bell now sits in front of our Blacksmith Shop and Relic Home as a DUP marker. 


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