Wiley Memorial Overpass
on October 14, 2000 by
V.P., JENNY WILEY ASSOCIATION
Being a direct
descendant of Jenny Wiley makes me feel humble to be a part of this memorial
I have held the
spectacles Jenny used for reading her Bible.
I have a stone
from the chimney of the cabin from which Jenny was captured.
I have painted
pictures of this famous frontier lady.
I have read stories
to my students; done genealogy charts proving relationship to this frontier
heroine; written plays for Kentucky history projects; but I have never
had to endure what this courageous woman had to endure.
The minute details
of this pioneer episode Iíll leave to others. Let me speak of the ordeal
Jenny Wiley went through.
She saw her children
butchered and scalped before her very own eyes. She saw her cabin set on
fire by the same Indians who butchered and scalped her children. Although
pregnant at the time, she took along her fifteen-month-old baby on the
long march that was intended to go to the Shawnee village at Chilicothe,
With this child
in her arms, she waded creeks, thickets, briar patches; descended and ascended
hills and mountains almost beyond imagination. Then, as she began to falter
and not keep up with the indians too well, she saw an Indian chief take
her fifteen-month-old child from her arms and dash its brains out against
a beech tree.
she gave birth to another child, she saw the Indians give it the Warriors
Test. This was done by placing it on some tree bark and placing the bark
in the cold water of a nearby stream. When the cold water touched the child,
it naturally screamed. IT FAILED THE WARRIORS TEST. Jenny rushed
into the water and got the child. She took the child to a nearby rockhouse
but, they followed her and killed it.
With all her children
dead, the Indians brought her to Little Mud Lick Falls, where they forced
her to cook for them and make bullets.
She still was
not through wading streams. When she escaped, she waded up what is
now known as Jennyís creek, crossed Cannel Coal Gap to Little Paint Creek
at the Johnson/Floyd County line. She climbed Spruce Pine Point from
where she yelled across the river and identified herself to Henry Skaggs.
Henry rescued her on a raft of mulberry logs tied together with grape vine.
left Blockhouse Bottom and was restored to her husband in Bland County,
Let this marker
here be a reminder that Jenny Wiley, along with numerous pioneer women,
paid a high price for the settlement of this region. Think of the
sons and daughters of those pioneers whose lives were cut short by the
tomahawk and the butcher knife.. .who never lived to reach manhood or womanhood.
Yes, think of
the pioneer women who perished in the Westward movement...one of whom we
honor here today...JENNY WILEY.