SOME OF THE EARLIEST HISTORY OF THE ICE FAMILY
MARY ANN HULL HAYES
GRANDDAUGHTER OF CLARA ELLA ICE HULL
FREDERICK ICE, The Father of the Ice Family.
Frederick Ice was the first Ancestor of the Ice Family in America. He was born about 1680 in Holland, Prussia or Russia (probably East Friesland in the northwest corner of Germany). Frederick's name was never Iceler, for a signature on an Indenture dated Jan. 30th, 1791, which was a release or sale to Robert Kile of Hampshire County lands owned by Frederick, by purchase from Lord Fairfax, Aug.12, 1761, was Frederick Iaac and Nelley Iaac; Adam Iaac; Hinson Bright and Michael Cain were the witnesses to this sale - of old land on the drains of Patterson Creek in Hampshire County. The deed of release of the Hampshire County land can be found in the Deed Book No.8, page 178, Hampshire County, and the Lord Fairfax Deed to Frederick Iaac can be found in the State Land Office, Northern Neck, Book K, page 311. Another deed of release was made of more land in that county March 19, 1764. This was to Robert Gregg.
Sometime about 1700, Frederick Iaac (now Ice], sailed from Holland to America. Probably he was single, young, and ready for adventure and opportunity, which this new country promised. Nothing much is known of Frederick's early life in this country; where he lived, when and to whom he married.
The following story of Frederick was written by Virginia Hall Conaway, his great, great granddaughter, having been told to her by her Grandmother, Elizabeth Ice Hall, who had visited her father, Andrew Ice, in the State of Indiana in the year 1848. Andrew, at that time, was 90 years old!
"Grandmother Hall told me that her grandfather, Frederick Ice, said that the settlement on the South Branch of the Potomac was doing well. They had cleared ground enough to raise plenty for them to eat, and with the abundance of game and fish that abounded in that country, the pioneer was satisfied. In the year 1745, they had a remarkably good crop. After living at this place for several years, he and several of the men went to the mill. They had a long distance to go. Probably to Winchester, Virginia, which at that time was the center of trade for northeastern Virginia. When they returned to the settlement, they found that the Mohawk Indians had raided it, and killed or taken prisoners the inhabitants, burned the homes, destroyed the crops, and driven off the livestock."
According to the Family Bible of Frederick Ice, (now in possession of Mrs. Patricia Gohring family, as she has now passed away, Toledo, Ohio), his four children by his first wife were William, Mary, Christena and John. Frederick's wife was supposed to have been killed by the Indians, and the children carried away, except for John, who may have been with his father, or able to escape at the time of the Indian raid. The men of nearby settlements gathered in force to pursue the Indians, but the Indians got beyond the safety line with their prisoners and booty before the white men could overtake them.
According to the traditional story handed down through the Ice Family, the two daughters of Frederick Ice were carried into Ohio and adopted by an Indian Chief. Mary is supposed to have married a son of the Chief, and became the mother of the famous Chief Tecumseh. The son William is supposed to have been raised for over five years by the Indians before he escaped and came back to his father. Also, Mrs. Marindo Ice Middleton says her Grandfather, Oliver Perry Ice, told her that when he was only four years old, Mary, who had lived with the Indians, came back to visit her people, and he remembered the big feast which the relatives made for her. They wanted her to stay there, but she would not. He said she was very old. This was in 1825, as Oliver Perry Ice was born in 1821. Tecumseh was born in 1768. Virginia Conaway says the Indian raid was in 1745. Mary was between 5 and 10. William (Indian Billy) was 10, so she would be 28 - 33 when Tecmseh was born, and between 85 and 90 when she returned home for a visit. He always insisted she was very old.
Quoting again from Virginia Conaway's book, "Ice's Ferry," Andrew Ice said: "My father, Frederick Ice, had a good learning, and could read and write five or six different languages. He was educated in Germany, but did not teach his own sons to read or write. Daddy always had a good crop raised. He got some men to help him, and we boys hunted and fished most of the time. Father never paid any attention to us. He would ask us sometimes how we were off for powder and lead. I do not remember when we came to the Ferry. There were several families living there, who had their houses close together. When the men went out into the woods to work, they took the women and children along, as well as their guns. Daddy never let the women and children out of his sight, because he had lost his family once. The Ferry settlement was never troubled by the Indians. There were a good many men, and they all stayed close together for a good many years. Daddy always had plenty. He had salt, leather, powder and lead. We had good clothes for that day, which consisted of pants made from tanned deer hide, or knee breeches of the same, with silver buckles, a woolen hunting shirt, a long coat, belted at the waist, and a large fur cap."
"After losing his first family, Frederick Ice married Eleanor Liviston (or Livingstone), a widow with a daughter, Mary Jane. The first child of this marriage was Andrew Ice, born Oct.16, 1757, and died 1858: Magdalene, born Feb. 16, 1760, and died young: Frederick, born July 9, 1762, and died before Feb. 29, 1788, as he was not mentioned in his father's will: Abram, born Nov. 7, 1765, and died 1790. The family moved to Ice's Ferry, Monongahela County, Virginia [now W.Va.]. David Adam was born Aug. 5, 1767, and died July 5, 1851. David Adam was said to be the first white child born west of the Allegheny Mountains, in what is now West Virginia."
"When we lived at the Ferry, our houses were of logs; a double chimney; glass windows; and boards sawed at a saw mill for partitions and doors. There were men at the Ferry who could split as straight a slab as the old mill could saw. The houses all had puncheon floors, split out of logs with an ax, and fastened to the sleepers with wooden pins."
"At Ice's Ferry we had apples and peaches in plenty. There was a good deal of cleared land, which belonged to Frederick Ice. He had good fences and was better fixed to live than when we boys married and moved on Buffalo Creek, but we had taken up land for ourselves, and wanted to work it. Father and mother did not want us to come to Buffalo Creek at all. They said we were leaving as good a home as there was in America, and were worse than the Prodigal Son, who spent his father's substance in riotous living, but we (William, Andrew, Abram and Adam) disdained our father's Heritage and concluded to hew out a living for ourselves."
"Frederick Ice bought of the Indians, four 200 acre tracts of land, paying $15.00 for each tract for his four sons, William, Andrew, Abram, and Adam. This land consisted of ground from Barrackville to Barnesville, and a part of the Dakota mines."
"William is buried in the Ice cemetery, and Abram in the Baptist Cemetery at Barrackville. Andrew is buried at Mount Summit, Indiana, and Adam is buried on the Old Ice Farm a mile below Barrackville, W.Va. Part of this original land is still owned by some of the Ice Family connections. In fact all the Churches and cemeteries were deeded by some of the Ice's for that purpose."
"An account of the death of Frederick Ice, found in Myer’s History of West
Virginia, Vol. 2, page 481, from the autobiography of Rev. Harry Smith, written about 1794, says: 'During the summer I saw a man, said to be 113 years old, ride to meeting on a horse, led by his son, himself an old man. He was a German (Hollander) , known by the name of "Daddy Ice" throughout all the country; I visited him in his last sickness and found his intellect had not failed. as much as might be expected. I preached at his funeral, and it was a solemn time, attended by his children, then old gray headed people, and his grandchildren and great grandchildren."
So ends the history of Frederick Ice; his grave is on his island in Cheat River at Ice's Ferry, but it now is covered by the waters of Cheat Lake, since the damming of the river covered the island with water.
George Washington at Ice's Ferry
[Copied from George Washington's Diaries, Vol. 11, pages 304 & 305]
General Washington spent the night of Sept.24, 1784 at the home of Col. Phillips, about 16 miles from Beacontown, near the mouth of the Cheat River. The entry for the next day follows.
"Sept.25, 1784: "___ set out before sunrise. Within 3 miles, I came to the Cheat River, abt. 7 miles from it's mouth. At a ferry kept by one, Ice, of whom making inquiry, I learnt that he himself had passed from Dunker 's Bottom, both in canoes, and with Rafts. That a new canoe, which I saw at his landing had come down the day before only, (the owner had gone to Sandy Creek), that the first rapid was about 1½ miles above his Ferry; that it might be between 50 and 100 yards through it, that from this to the next might be a mile of good water; that these two rapids were much alike, and of the same extent; that to the next rapid, which was the worse of the three, it was about 5 miles of smooth water; that the difficulty of passing these rapids lies more in the number of large Rocks which Choak the River and occasion the water, not only (there being also a greater dissent here than elsewhere) to run swift, but meandering thro' them, renders steering dangerous by sudden turnings; that from this ferry to the Dunker's Bottom, along the River, is about 15 miles; and his opinion, there is room on one side or the other of at each of the rapids for a Canal. This account being given from the Man's own observation, who seemed to have no other meaning in what asserted than to tell the truth. Though he, like others, who for want of competent skill in these things could not distinguish between real and imaginary difficulties, left no doubt in my mind of the practicability of opening an easy passage by Water to the Dunker’s Bottom. The river at his house may be a hundred or more yards wide; according to his account (which I believe is rather large.) near a hundred Miles by water to Fort Pitt."
"The Road from Morgan Town or Monongahela Ct. House is said to be good at this Ferry - distance abt. 6 miles - the dissent of the hill to the river is rather steep and bad - and the assent from it, on the north side is steep also, though short, and may be rendered much better from the ferry, the Laurel Hill is assendibly an easy, almost imperceptible slope to it's summit thro' dry white Oak Land - along the top of it the Road continues some distance, but is not so good, as the soil is richer, deeper and more stony, which inconveniences (For good Roads) also attends the dissent on the East side, tho' it is regular and in places, steep. After crossing this hill, the road is very good to the Ford of Sandy Creek at one, James Spurgeons, about 15 miles from Ice's Ferry. From Spurgeons to one, Lemons is reckoned 9 miles. From Lemons to the entrance of the Youhigany Glades is estimated 9 miles more, thro' a deep, rich soil. At the entrance of the above glades, I lodged this night (Sept. 25th) with no other shelter or cover than my cloak, and was unlucky enough to have a heavy shower of rain." [Note: It is evident that Washington visited Ice's Ferry in the forenoon of Sept.25, 1784, and that he did not spend the night there since he says he spent the night in the open 33 miles from the ferry.)
WILL OF FREDERICK ICE
"In the name of God amen, the Twenty-ninth of February, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, in the County of Monogalia. Being in great age, weak in body, but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be unto God, therefore calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die - do make and ordain my last will and testament, that is to say, principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul unto God that gave it, and for my body, I recommend it to the earth, to be buried in a Christian-like, decent manner. At the declaration of my executors, nothing doubting, at the General Resurrection, I shall receive the same by the mighty power of God and as touching my worldly Estates, wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this life, I give divided of the same in the following manner and form:
In prime, it is my will and good order that in the first place, that all my debts, including funeral charges, be paid. I give and bequeath unto Ellen, my dearly beloved wife, all the moveables in the dwelling house, cows and hogs, during her life, and then to dispose of them to whom she pleases. Also, the third of the plantation at the Ferry during her life time, and then to fall unto my son, Andrew, wholly at her death. I give to my son Abraham and my son Adam a tract of land on Buffalo Greek, also to William, to be equally divided between them. I further give my son Adam the Roan Mare Colt. I further give unto my grandson, Jessey, a horse and one hundred acres of land, the one half to my son Andrew is to be the expense of purchasing for Jessey for land, and I do ordain Francis Warman Esq., John Mansey Simeon to be Sole Executors of this my last Will and Testament and I do hereby utterly dismiss every other testaments, Wills and legacies and executors by me in any ways before this time, named, willed and bequeathed.
Notifying and confirming this and no other to be my last Will and Testament, In witness I have here unto set my hand and Seal and year within written.
Signed Sealed, published, pronounced and declared
By Frederick Ice, his last Will and Testament in the
performance of us the Subscribers
Frederick * Ice (seal)
THOMAS ICE, SR., FAMILY AND DESCENDANTS
Thomas Ice, Sr., (1-2-6-1) born 1/11/1808 died 1/24/1896. married 11/17/1831 to Sarah E. Watson, who was born 10/17/1807 and died 4/15/1900. Both were born in W.Va. and died in Kansas, and are buried in Clinton, KS. They had been married in W.Va., and lived in Marion County, not far from Farmington. Later they bought one of the farms allowed to Abraham (Thomas' Dad) when Indian Billy's deeds were set aside by court order. This farm was located on East Run, some distance east of Mannington. In 1853 Thomas sold the farm to his sister Ruth and her husband, George Watson. The 1860 Census of Barbour County lists Thomas, Sarah, Ruth, Thomas Jr., John and Levina, as living near Philippi. Also in the County at that time was their oldest son, George W. Ice, and Mary as well as their son John, one year old. Another son, Daniel and family, and a daughter Mary, and her husband Oliver Wilson, and family of five children., Thomas, Egbert, Alva, Sarah, and Leeato. Some of the early battles of the Civil War were fought near where Thomas lived, and companies of soldiers, from both sides, were constantly passing through their property. The soldiers would leave worn out horses and take fresh ones, take whatever food stuff they could find, and so on. Because of this constant turmoil everyone was looked upon with suspicion. Thomas was accused by the Northern Forces of harboring rebel soldiers, and taken forcibly on a march toward Richmond. The soldiers decided on the way that he was guilty, so they would hang him, and not have to go to Richmond. A rope was placed around his neck, and he was being pulled up to a tree, when some rebel soldiers, happened by, and dispersed the Yanks, freeing Thomas and saving him from hanging. Afraid to go home, he hid out in the hills under an overhanging rock ledge, or outcropping. According to some of his great grandchildren living in the area, he wintered there, food being taken to him by his wife and son Thomas Jr. Union Soldiers tried to get Thomas Jr. to tell them where his father was, and even held a knife to his throat, threatening him if he didn't tell them. He bore the scars of cuts on his throat, and his Dad the burn of the rope the rest of their lives. But the Yanks did not get Thomas Jr. to tell.
Thomas Sr. had the Bible to read during his time hiding out, and is said to have memorized it so that often times in later life he was known to have corrected anyone, including ministers, when it was misquoted. The Author visited the hideout in 1968 and found it to be less than a quarter of a mile from Thomas Sr’s home, which was on the road traveled by the armies of both sides at that time. Because he couldn't go home he took his family and went further into Southern Territory, to near Hightown, Highland County, Virginia, to live until after the War was over. They settled on a farm in Crab Bottom, and were neighbors of a family by the name of Folks. The men of the Folks family were gone, being in service of the Confederate Army. Thomas Jr. helped the Folks family with their farm chores, and Eliza Folks, a daughter in the family, was later to become his wife.
After the Civil War, Thomas Sr. and his family moved back to Barbour County, W.Va., and lived in Barker Township near Belington. His son Daniel also was living near and had several children. The 1870 Census listed Martha, Martin, Samuel, Laverna, and Sarah. The Census also listed Sarah Ice, and a hired man, Nicholas Vandwenter, and a Rebecca Ice, age 17, who was apparently Thomas' sister. Thomas was listed in Taylor County, where he had purchased a Grist Mill on Little Sandy Creek near Eby, W.Va. Thomas sold the mill in 1886, and moved to Kansas in 1890 to live with his son Thomas Jr. on the farm in Douglas County, where Thomas Jr. had previously moved from Highland Co., VA. Thomas and his wife Sarah lived with his son Thomas Jr. until their deaths, some six to ten years later, attending church services held sometimes in the homes, or in the schoolhouse nearby. The Ice family, always one to help out, always took in the minister, who came from Topeka. One, a Rev. Alex Reed, on a particular Kansas blizzard day, was found by Thomas Jr. between Topeka and the home, with horse going in circles. Thus Tom saved him from death. The Bible of Thomas Ice Sr. was held these many years and at this writing in 1967 is still in the hands of his granddaughter, Dr. Sallie Ice Mebius, living in Denver, CO.
Thomas Ice Jr. (1-2-6-1-7) was a small man, about five feet tall, and in his later years probably weighing only about 120 lbs. He wore a large chin beard which in later years was cut to a goatee that was white. He chewed tobacco a great part of his life but when between 75 and 80 years old he decided he had the will power to quit, and did. Eliza was quite a bit larger in person than her husband, being about five and a half feet tall, and in her later years probably about 150 to 180 lbs. Thomas Jr. and Eliza had ten children, one of whom died at birth and was buried on the farm near Stull.
Some information came from A History of Barbour County by Hu Maxwell.