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Thread: Quadrule Indians of Harlan County Kentucky

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Massachusetts by way of WVa.

    Quadrule Indians of Harlan County Kentucky

    This was sent in by Penny

    I found it interesting and thought I would share:

    Can anybody think of an Indian name similar to Quadrule or provide any
    genealogy for Edmon Middleton?

    Quadrule Indians of Harlan County Kentucky

    Edmon Middleton, 1905-1935, was murdered by a dynamite blast in his car
    September 4, 1935. Evidence showed that the dynamite was wired to the ignition
    the night before, and exploded when he started his car. The explosion could be
    heard all over the city of Harlan, Kentucky. Mr. Middleton was in his second
    year of his second four-year term as County Attorney in Harlan county.
    (Harlan Dailey Enterprise, September 4, 1935; Edmon Middleton 1905-1935 by Kathryn
    H. Trail, Harlan Mountain Roots)

    Mr. Middleton contributed many ways in his short life---one was by writing a
    history of Harlan County Kentucky, which to my knowledge was never published.
    His daughter, Mary Elmon Middleton graciously allowed this history to be
    placed in the “Harlan Mountain Roots.” According to my research so far
    Middleston was the first to write a history on Harlan County, all others seem to refer
    to his work or use his work almost word for word in part.

    I was surprised and pleased to see that Mr. Middleton not only mentioned
    Quadrule Indians but elaborated on them in his history and told much the same
    story my grandmother had told. In other words---he confirmed an oral story in my

    Middleton said, “The early settlers at first found the Indians who were
    living in Harlan County, but no roving bands, friendly and hospitable towards them.”
    He goes on to tell that later as the Indians became alarmed of the growing
    danger of losing their lands, they became hostile. These hostile Natives were
    soon either killed or driven from Harlan County. The friendly Indians “
    remained until comparatively recent years.” Some married in with the surrounding
    families. He writes, “The chief tribes of Indians in Harlan County were the
    Cherokees and Quadrules. The Quadrules inhabited Wallins Creek, and the
    Cherokees were scattered in smaller bands throughout the county, some of them on
    Wallins Creek. The Quadrules were friendly and mingled freely with the whites.
    The Cherokees usually were unfriendly and lived more secluded from the whites.
    The Quadrules were very adapt (sic) at spinning and weaving woolens and flax
    and making beautiful pottery. Often they did the spinning for the White
    people. The women wore beautifully colored clothing, and were just as fond of
    pottery of many colors. They made this pottery from the clay around Wallins
    Creek. S.J.C. Howard, who died in Harlan just a few years ago, and who was
    formerly County Attorney for Harlan, gave many interesting accounts of this colony of
    Quadrule Indians at Wallins. When a boy he used to hunt and fish with those
    Quadrule Indian boys. They lived as a tribe at Wallins Creek until after the
    Civil War, and then many went West when the Indians were colonized by the
    Government. It is said that the Quadrule Indian girls were very beautiful. Some
    of the older Indians returned to Wallins Creek after the colonization, and
    later scattered about through the County. After the mass of the Indians from
    Harlan moved West, it is reported that occasionally some of them would return,
    and take back packages of very heavy materials, which they would allow no one to
    see, and which the old settlers thought were some kind of very valuable

    Mr. Middleton tells of an Indian mound that was unearthed just off main
    street in Harlan, giving up all kinds of flints, arrowheads, tomahawks, a little
    pottery, beads, and Indian skeletons. He mentions that in a large portion of
    Harlan County Indian relics have been found, giving evidence of early Native
    American existence there.

    Lisa Kirk, of the Enterprise Staff wrote an article titled “Wallins Named For
    An Early Surveyor.” It tells that Wallins Creek was named after the
    longhunter who early on came into the area. Wallins Creek in Tennessee is named for
    this same man. Kirk says, “The Quadrule Indians were a settled, peaceful
    people living at Wallins Creek, and when the early settlers came in the
    Quadrules accepted them as friends. -------------Eventually the Quadrules were moved
    to a western reservation. The exact year is not known, but it is believed to
    have been sometime after 1865, following the close of the Civil War.
    --------Forest, parks and other sites were named for the belligerent Cherokees and
    Shawnees, but few remembered the Quadrules ever existed. As a belated honor to
    the friendly people, one of the scenic spots in the county, on Upper Martins
    Fork, now bears the name of Quadrule Falls.”

    I spoke with the Virginia Parks Department historian, and he felt that the
    Indian mounds would have contained the earlier Native Americans who lived in the
    area, and that these Quadrules were more than likely a group of Natives who
    had broken off from a local tribe, probably the Cherokee or Shawnee.
    Everything I find seperates these Quadrules from the Cherokees, as did my grandmothers
    story. All accounts seem to point out that they were not the same

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Elisha Wallen, Middletons, Harlan Co Ky

    The Long Hunter would be Elisha Wallen (also Walling, Wallin).
    Edmon Middleton is "Elmon" on three different census records.
    In 1930, he was living at 113 Cumberland Ave, City of Harlan, Ky, at the home of his parents:
    P.16B, ED#2, at 11, 11 :
    Middleton, John, 68, M'd @ 22, b.Ky. Real Estate Agent
    " , Polly, wife, 62, m'd @ 15, Ky.
    " , Dave, son, 40, sgl, Veteran, Ky, Salesman - Dry Goods.
    " , Elmon, son, 26, sgl, Ky, Attorney- Law.
    " , Andrew, son, 22, sgl, Ky.
    " , Effie, dau, 20, sgl, Ky.
    Choushom, Louie, dau, 23, m'd @ 22, Ky, Teacher - Public School.
    " , Earl, son-in-law, 22, m'd @ 21, Tenn, Engineer - Electricity.
    John M. Middleton, b.21 Mar 1862, Ky. d. 25 Dec 1932 Harlan Co.
    m'd Mary Ann Howard ( in Feb 1884 (?) Harlan Co.
    1910 Harlan Co Census gives more detail :
    ED# 79:
    Middleton, John M., 48, Ky (same occupn. as 1930)
    " , Mary A., 41, wife, Ky (nee: Howard)
    " , David G., 21, son, Ky
    " , James Henry, son, 18, Ky
    " , Martha, dau, 15, Ky
    " , Eddie, son, 13, Ky.
    " , Willie, son, 10, Ky
    " , Elmon, son, 6, Ky
    " , Lewis, dau, 4, Ky
    " , Andrew, son, 2, Ky
    " , Effie, dau, -/12, Ky
    Franklin, Nancy, Mother, 74, Ky.
    1880 Letcher Co., Ky Census - Lane Fork, p.553D :
    Bird S. V. Franklin, farmer, m, w, 73, NC, NC, NC.
    Nancy " , wife, f, w, 48, Ky, Ky, Ky.
    Sarah " , dau, f, w, 46, Ky, NC, NC.
    John Middleton, Gd-son, m, w, 18, Ky, Ky, Ky.
    Manerva " , Gd-dau, f, w, 13, " " " .
    John M. Middleton's mother Nancy Sargent, m'd 1st) David P. Middleton (son of Walter, b.1795 Ky? and Sally Turner, Knox Co., Ky (Indian Land then). Nancy m'd 2nd) Byrd (Benjamin or Bird) Franklin (Bird's 1st wife was Agnes Stallard).
    Nancy Sargent, b. 1 Oct 1833 Harlan Co., Ky; d.13 oct 1918 Harlan Co, Ky.
    She's the dau of David S. Sargent, b. 16 Oct 1807 Caswell Co., NC; d. 13 Apr 1897 Knott Co., Ky; and David m'd 31 May 1829 in Harlan Co., Ky, Christina Lucretia Morgan, b.23 Feb 1811 NC or VA.
    David is son of Abraham Sarjant, b.1777-'79 in NC or Holland per family lore (sound like a Black Dutch story?), d.1839 Harlan Co. - Abraham's wife Elizabeth Hodge, b.1774 NC.
    one Abraham Sargent appears on 1807-'11 Patrick Co., Va Tax Lists. Family says he moved to Harlan Co in 1816 when it was Knox Co (My note: This was Indian Land until 1819, on U.of Virginia maps of Kentucky - but there were white people living there, too).
    You can access this and other family trees at 's home page (FREE) ...... plug in the name; Country: "U" for United States; plug in the State or not, hit "search".
    Look near the top of the results for "Ancestry World Tree" and here are some of the names to look for concerning Elmon Middleton's people :
    Bird Franklin, b.29 Dec 1806.
    Abraham Franklin, spouse Sally Spears (b.1780 NC) m'd Tazewell Co., Va. - Bird's parents.
    John M. Middleton, b. 21 Mar 1862.
    It's not much but hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Quadrule Indians / Harlan Co

    I did a google "web" search for "quadrule indians" and turned up all kinds of posts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Columbia Mo., Boone Co. Mo.


    I hope it's alright to bring this old thread out of the closet. I would like to speculate on the origin of the name "Quadrule." I think it is a slur of the French word "Quadrille." Quadrille is supposed to translate to "square" in English but I think it is more accurate as "four-square." Dancing the French Quadrille dance has four couples dancing in a square.
    The most important thing, I think, in ancient Native American Tribal society was the ceremonial dance. Their dancing was performed at sacred dance grounds and those grounds were configured or set up according to each tribe's customs or beliefs. At a webpage you can view a square four-sided dance ground according to the customs of the Creek tribe. I believe that the Cherokee dance grounds were rectangular and not square in order to accomodate the seven clan beds (shelters for participants) of their seven clans. Is it possible that the Yuchees also had a square dance ground?
    The previously posted info mentions both Cherokees and Quadrule Indians on Wallins Creek in Harlan Co. Ky. Isn't Wallins Creek a former location of RedBird's village as claimed by the oral history of the Brock descendants? Wasn't Wallins Creek a hunting camp location of the Longhunters from present Henry County Va. which included Wm. Blevins, Elisha Wallin, Henry Scaggs, John Rice (my 6th greatgrandfather), and others?
    Any comments?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Central Virginia
    Dan brought up an interesting take in feeling that the name "quadrule" might be derived from the word "quadrille",a dance.

    To me,quadrule could have been a corruption of
    "quadroon",a person of 1/4 black ancestry. Perhaps they might have been a triracial group.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Massillon, Stark Co., OH
    I found this on the web. It is a secondary - at least- source, but interesting.

    by Holly Fee-Timm
    [originally published 3 June 1987
    Harlan Daily Enterprise Penny Pincher]

    "Many families in the mountains have traditions of being part Indian. Ed Ward refers to just such a tradition about Susannah Skidmore Farmer in his letter to the editor Saturday, May 30. Other families with a tradition of Indian blood are descendants of Isaac Callahan, some of the King and Jones families and the Sizemores. ......

    .........The three major tribes in the Kentucky area with the greatest possibilities for intermarriage were the Cherokee, the Chickasaw and the Shawnee with the Cherokee being the most numerous in the immediate area. The Quadrule Indians mentioned as living locally were probably not a separate tribe. They were most likely a small group of one of the major tribes who simply settled here, more peaceful than many of their brethren.

    There are two local families with documentary evidence supporting their claims to Indian blood. These are the Cole and Bowman families. The Coles are listed in census records for 1860 Lee County, Va., and for 1870 Harlan as being Indian. The state and counties of birth given for the Cole family of 1860 implies they moved around frequently. The head of the household, John Cole, was born about 1799 in Lincoln Co., North Carolina. His daughter Eliza was born in Scott Co., Va., and daughter Elisabeth, in Knox Co., Ky. Eliza's two children, Jacob and Elmira were born in Lee Co., Va.

    Next door to John's household is another Eliza Cole, born about 1834 in Lee Co., Va., with two daughters - Jane born in Claiborne Co., Tenn., and Elisabeth born in Lee Co., Va. All of these Coles and a Jefferson Cole living in the same neighborhood were listed as Indians. Elsewhere in Lee County was a John M. Cole, 20, also of Indian blood.

    In 1870, the younger Eliza Cole, her two children mentioned above and three more children, Robert, Mary Jane and Mollie were listed in Harlan County. All were indicated as being Indian. It must be noted that the degree of Indian blood is not listed in census and even a small fraction could be cause for such a listing.

    Jacob Cole married Kizzie Eldridge, another family with a strong tradition of Indian blood. Mary Jane Cole married William Brittain, son of James and Jane Ely Brittain. The Coles were closely connected with another area family with proven Indian blood, the Bowmans. Hawkins Bowman was born about 1790 in North Carolina. In 1838, in Lee Co., Va., he married Nancy Barbour.

    In 1879, his widow applied for a pension on his military service. She stated that he had served in the Tennessee Infantry in the War of 1812 under Captain Jesse Cole. She described him as being of dark complexion, commonly called part Indian and that he was about five-feet nine inches tall. They had at least seven children: George, Mary who married Hiram Fugate, Lucinda, John, Nancy, Thomas who married Mary Moore, and Elijah. In the 1860 census of Harlan County. Hawk Bowman is listed as a blacksmith. In the 1870 Harlan, the family is listed as Indian."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    High Point, NC
    There are Coles in Boydton, VA clearly Indian, but listed as "mulatto." If these families could be shown to connect and there's census info documenting the Harlan county people as Indian, that would be something, wouldn't it?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Massillon, Stark Co., OH
    I think so. Wonder if Bill could help us verify this census info. in the article? I could help later, but I have to make myself prepare for a meeting here soon. That might really give us a solid, connected migration route.

    The Mr. Fleenour [spelling] that wrote the book BENGE! that people got all up in arms about [ another interesting topic]-- he must have made a few genalogical mistakes-- said in something I saw a while back that Harlan County was heavily Indian.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    The info for Hawkins & Nancy (Barbour) Bowman & family; John Cole, Eliza Cole & family & John M. Cole are essentially correct with the exception being that some of the 1860 Lee Co., Va COLEs are listed as COAL and Jefferson Cole was not found.
    All were listed as "I" or "Ind" .
    Eliza Cole, b.1834 Lee Co., Va, with dau's Jane and Elizabeth, were in the household of William Jones, 65, W, b. Lee Co., Va with a Wm. H. Lunsford, 8, W, b. Carter Co., Ky in that household.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Columbia Mo., Boone Co. Mo.

    Quadrule Indians

    Here are a few things that I'm asking you all to concider on this subject of Quadrule Indians. When you take a look at Goodspeed's 1886 map of Tenn. at http:/ you will find in the northeast section along the Powell River "Old Indian Towns." This is in the lower Powell Valley. The Powell Valley extends to the northeast into southwest Va. When you reach the area just NE of the Cumberland Gap and cross over Cumberland Mountain to the NW then you are in the Wallin's Creek area of Harlan Co. Ky. Wallin's Creek is between the Cumberland River and Cumberland Mountain.
    When you go to the Tngenweb site for Campbell Co. Tn. you can find info. on the Well Spring Methodist Church. "The Well Spring Church and School's history is directly associated with Powell Valley since Thomas Henderson crossed the Cumberland Mountain to secure 200,000 acres of Virginia territory from North Carolina in 1795. Within this beautiful valley he discovered THREE NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES, one at Caryville, one at La Follette, and one at Well Spring. A general belief is that the Indians in this area were Cherokee at the time white settlers came across the mountains." Also, from the section titled "The History of Campbell County, Tennessee; The first settlers to the Campbell County area were the Cherokee Indians who made their reservations at the present-day sites of Caryville, La Follette, and Well Springs, and at OTHER SMALL COMMUNITIES... The last of the Indians were chased across the Cumberland Mountains, and the chief of the tribe was killed near the Campbell County line in Kentucky."
    La Follete is on Big Creek just below the mouth of the Powell River where it empties into the Clinch River.
    Another thing to remember is the 1784 report of John Sevier of a band of "White Indians" living within the "State of Franklin."
    I also remember from somewhere that some of the Indians living in Powell's Valley were thought to have been attacking travelers on Daniel Boone's Wilderness Road between 1777 and 1800.
    When I concider all of this information it would appear possible that small villages of unknown tribes, probably remnants of at least three seperate tribes, were living along the Powell and Clinch Rivers and, after the destruction of one of these confederate villages, two villages relocated to the Wallin's Creek area. It would seem that for these villages to be isolated during this time-frame they must have been remnants of farther eastern tribes or outcast villages from closer tribes.
    I am just guessing.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Columbia Mo., Boone Co. Mo.


    That's for the map.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Columbia Mo., Boone Co. Mo.
    Bill; I think I saw your reply to this on a tottally different topic location. I don't know how it got there???? You could be right that there was just one tribe represented, but why did both accounts specifically mention that there was more than one?
    Here is something from the "Aaron Brock, aka Chief Redbird, 2 " site ; "Elijah Brock Testimony given personnally to Annie Walker Burns (deceased 1942): Jesse Brock was the first settler on Wallin's Creek, Kentucky. He was about three-quarter Indian, and had so much Indian blood in him, that he had no trouble in living among THE INDIANS WHO WERE THICKLY SETTLED IN THE MOUNTAINS WHEN HE FIRST CAME, raised his family among them, hunted along with them, with no trouble whatever..." Jesse Brock's sister is supposed to be Mahala Susan Brock who married Edward "Ned" Callahan. Edward Callahan arrived in the Wallin's Creek area around 1800. Edward and Mahala Callahan had a son named William Callahan. He settled, no one knows exactly when, ca. 1815, in Boone County Mo. along what became known as Callahan's Creek. One of the first settlers of Boone County, he is recorded in "Switzler's History of Boone County Mo." as having been accused of being an Indian. It is an accusation "of which he did not deny."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Columbia Mo., Boone Co. Mo.


    Bill; Callahan and Callaham are used interchangably in Boone Co. Mo. history. I wonder if the "Edwd Callaham" listed on the 1767 Pittsylvania County Va. Tithe list of Peter Copland is not this same Edward Callahan. Also on Copland's list, of course, is John Rice, Elisha Wallin, Neel Roberts, James Roberts etc.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Southern Indiana


    Bill and Brenda,
    Hawkina and Eliza Bowman are my relations! Eliza is my grandmother! I got very excited when I found your info on them. I've seen the article about "Indian Blood Runs Deep in Harlan ..." and there seems to be some mistakes in the article. I do know that there are two Eliza Coles in Harlan Co. Mine was born in 1842. To make matters more complicated, it seems both had daughters named Rebecca Jane Cole. My dad remembers "Aunt Becky" and has plenty of stories about her. Aunt Becky lived with my gr. grandmother, her sister, until her death. I have a picture of Aunt Becky. I also have a good picture of Eliza Bowman sitting in front of her cabin shortly before her death in 1927, but the forum server says it's too big to post. If anyone wants a copy, email me or leave your email and I'll send it to you. I want to find the cabin site which I'm told by my gr. aunt Willa Mae Thompson was in the Poor Valley, VA but I doubt if much is left of the cabin itself. I make regular trips to Lee County, VA.
    Someone also mentioned the name "Benge" which is also in my lineage. Many great stories about Bob Benge on the web.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2004
    elkhart, indiana

    Quadrule Indians of Harlan co Kentucky

    # Name: Mary STOTT
    # Sex: F
    # Birth: 1689 in Lancaster, VA
    # Death: ABT 1761
    # Note: Mary was a Cherokee Indian according to records by Sheryl Holland. Her death is estimated at about 1761 as there is an inventory of her estate dated 8 Aug 1761

    Father: John STOTT b: ABT 1660 in Lancaster, VA
    Mother: Jane TOMLIN b: ABT 1669 in Lancaster, VA

    Marriage 1 John CALLAHAN b: ABT 1681 in Lancaster, VA

    * Married: ABT 1708 in Lancaster, VA


    1. Has Children Darby CALLAHAN b: ABT 1717 in Halifax, VA
    2. Has No Children Edward CALLAHAN
    sue Janz

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