Jenny Wiley Memorial Overpass Dedication
October 14, 2000

  • Dedication Address - by Betty Hazelette, V.P. Jenny Wiley Association

  • Kentucky House of Representatives Notice of Recognition - 
  • Read Text
    View Image
  • Photos of the Meeting and Dedication

  • Return to Articles and Genealogies

    Return to Menu

    This Site is  Copyrighted 1999 - 2001 
     The Jenny Wiley  Association -  All Rights Reserved

     Contact the Webmaster
     for questions or  problems about this site

    Photos of the October, 2000 Meeting, and Dedication

    JWA President Jim Daniels presides 
    at October, 2000 Meeting

    Unveiling the Sign at the 
    Jenny Sellards Wiley Memorial Overpass

    Jenny Sellards Wiley Memorial Overpass
    US 23 bridge over US 460
    Johnson County, KY

    Prayer Service at the Jenny Wiley Gravesite


    The House of Representatives
    of the
    Commonwealth of Kentucky


    The House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
    hereby recognizes and honors
    The Jenny Wiley Association
    as its members assemble in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, in celebration of the homecoming festivities and to dedicate the US 23 bridge over US 460 as the Jenny Sellards Wiley Memorial Overpass.  Named in honor of the late Jenny Wiley who exemplified the strength, endurance and true spirit of pioneer mothers in our state, this bridge stands as a lasting testimony of the hardships that she endured and the personal victory that was won on the pioneer front in the late 1700's to early 1800's.  The members of the Jenny Wiley Association are applauded for their tremendous effort in bringing this remarkable plan to fruition and for their consistent dedication to preserving the rich heritage of our courageous ancestors in this fine Commonwealth.  Inasmuch as The Jenny Wiley Association has labored with great integrity and honor to reach this significant goal, the members of this august body are pleased to join Representative Gregory D. Stumbo in applauding the efforts of this remarkable group of citizens and in extending to them best wishes for future success and good fortune as they continue to explore the fascinating history of this Commonwealth.

    Done in Frankfort, Kentucky, this 
    thirteenth day of October, in the
    year two thousand.
    Jody Richards
    Speaker, House of Representatives

    Gregory D. Stumbo
    Member, House of Representatives


    Jenny Sellards Wiley Memorial Overpass

    as presented on October 14, 2000 by


         Being a direct descendant of Jenny Wiley makes me feel humble to be a part of this memorial service today. 

         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, Ohio.

         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.

         Shortly after 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.

         Jenny eventually left Blockhouse Bottom and was restored to her husband in Bland County, Virginia.

         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 of whom we honor here today...JENNY WILEY.

         Thank you.