James S. Brock, son of Aaron N. Brock & Barbara Shepherd

James S. Brock was born in 1847 at Clay Co., KY; age 3 in 1850 census, age 23 in 1870 census. He married Rutha Jane Griffith, daughter of William Griffith and Polly Ann Minyard, on 9 Jun 1867 at Perry Co., KY. He died on 28 Jan 1923 at Harlan Co., KY. He began military service circa 1863? at Clay Co., KY, Pvt in the 2nd Veteran Cavalry and/or Pvt in Co. C, 49th Infantry, a Union soldier in Civil War in Battle of Cumberland Gap, one of the retreating soldiers who hid in a cave to avoid capture. His father-in-law William Griffith was an officer in the Union Army killed at the battle of Vicksburg.

He appeared on the census of 16 Sep 1870 at Dist. 32, Pct. 6, Manchester P.O., Clay Co., KY; in hh 88-88 as James Brock 23, Ruth Jane 21, Pollyan 3, Sarry E. 3/12, all b. KY.

He was appointed Surveyer of Road Trace Road in 1886 at Leslie Co., KY. He was appointed County Supervisor in 1898, Deputy Sheriff in 1899, and appointed Constable in 1913 at Leslie Co., KY.

Children of James S.1 Brock and Rutha Jane Griffith were as follows:

2 i. Pollyann2 Brock; b. circa Sep 1867 at KY; age 3 in 1870 census.

3 ii. Sarah Elizabeth Brock; b. 5 Apr 1870 at KY; Sarry E. age 3 mos. in 1870 census; d. 24 Feb 1964 at age 93.

4 iii. William Aaron Brock; b. 1871. He was relieved from Road work in 1892 at Leslie Co., KY. He was appointed Deupty Sheriff in 1893 at Leslie Co., KY. He was appointed Election Officer, Marrowbone Dist in 1893 at Leslie Co., KY.

5 iv. Joseph Brock; b. 1872.

6 v. John Brock; b. 1874.

7 vi. Matilda Brock; b. 1875.

8 vii. Tilda Jane Brock; b. 1876.

9 viii. Dora Brock; b. 1877.

10 ix. Hiram Montgomery Brock; b. 12 Jun 1877 at Perry Co., KY; d. 20 Mar 1963 at Harlan Co., KY, at age 85.

11 x. Clora Brock; b. 1878.

12 xi. Nancy Brock; b. 1879.

13 xii. Amon Brock; b. Oct 1879 at Perry or Leslie Co., KY; m. Martha Etta Roberts Sep 1899; d. 11 Jun 1925 at Harlan Co., KY, at age 45.

14 xiii. Timothy Brock; b. 1880.

15 xiv. Myrtle Brock; b. 1881.

Dr. John J. Dickey Diary, Fleming County, Ky. Recorded in the 1870's and beyond. Reprinted in Kentucky Explorer, Vol 11, No. 8, Feb 1997. pp. 90-91.

James Brock
January 3, 1898, Hyden, Kentucky.

I live in Leslie County. I am 55 years old. I was born in Clay County. My father's name is Aaron Brock. My mother was Barbara Shepherd. Her father's name was James Shepherd. He was born in Virginia. I do not know what county it was; it was near Fort Yokum and Fort ____, which was taken when he was about ten years old by the Indians who were led by Benge, the white man who was taken by the Indians when a boy seven years old. His capture was as follows: His mother had sent him to gather elderberries for the ducks. A party of Indians came upon him and attempted to kill him. He gathered stones and began to fight them. Pleased with his valor they took him prisoner saying, "He will make a good warrior."

I have heard my grandfather tell this and many other things, among other things, among them the taking of Fort ____ and the killing of Benge. At the taking of this last mentioned fort, the Indians killed all but two women, the wives of George and Peter Levice. (Livingston in Collins). Among the slain were the aged mother and father Benge. After the massacre one of the captured women asked Benge if he did not remember an old man and an old woman who were killed. He said he did. She said, "They were your father and mother." He dropped his head and wept.

They crossed the Cumberland Mountains at Benge's Gap. One of the women was tied to an Indian chief but the other, led by Benge (Peter Levice's wife), marked the path of their retreat by pieces of her clothing torn and scattered. As the whites pursued, they came to the house of my great-grandfather, Nimrod Shepherd. My great-grandmother was baking bread. It was not more than half-cooked but was divided among them hastily. They took down some dried bear meat and venison saying, "We will use the bear's flesh for meat and the venison for bread."

The first sight they got of the Indians was an Indian who had been stationed as a picket. He was roasting a turkey and nodding. Peter Levice slipped within 31 feet of him. They feared to shoot, lest the prisoners should be murdered. Springing from behind a tree, Levice, at three bounds, fell upon his victim and dispatched him with his tomahawk. He fell into the fire, and the pursuers first ate turkey and then went on in their pursuit.

Peter had lost a wife before this by the Indians and had recently remarried. He swore he would have her if he had to pursue them into Ohio. George Levice's wife was sleeping. Peter Levice's wife was sitting awake. Benge was asleep with his hand in her lap. Only one Indian was awake. A bird hovered over Benge's head, fluttered, and darted off in the direction of the pursuers. The waking Indian shook Benge and told him there was danger. He grunted but fell back to sleep. The bird repeated its performance. The Indian then awakened Benge and told him, "Get up. Bad luck. Bad luck." Benge rose and climbed a black gum tree nearby and got some mistletoe, saying, "I have always gotten mistletoe from this tree when coming to Powell's Valley and have always had good luck." He put it in his shot pouch and they started. The white men overtook them near Benge's Gap.

Mrs. Peter Levice first saw her rescuers, and her husband was the first one she saw. He was peeping from behind a tree. He caught her eye and shook his fist at her to keep her quiet. She went only a few steps, when she broke away and started toward her husband, screaming. Benge made three leaps after her, but seeing his danger, he turned in retreat. Levice fired at him as he was pursuing his wife but feared lest he would kill his wife. As Benge retreated he bounded from side to side to prevent his pursuers from hitting him.

Vinton Hobbs saved his load till Benge would get into the narrow gap and then at a distance of 55 yards he put a ball through his head. Benge had a "blackjack" cup tied to his body which he clapped over his forehead, and it filled with blood and brains. He also had a small keg of brandy swung over his shoulder.

The white men were so infuriated that they turned the contents of the cup upon the ground and drank the brandy from it. They took three strips of flesh from his back, 18 inches long, saying, "These are for razor strops." They put his skull in the cleft of a rock, and my mother said she had seen it often.

George Levice's wife clenched the Indian to whom she was tied and held his arms. He struck at her with his tomahawk over his shoulders but she had his arms pinioned and he could only use them below the elbows. She would dodge his lick as far as her head was concerned but her collar bone received the blows. She held him till her husband came to the rescue and dispatched him. Soon after she died. A party of white men had gone another route in pursuit of the Indians and they killed all that escaped from this party save one and he died after reaching home. This was the last Indian raid into that country. My grandfather died about 20 years ago (1878), he was about 80 (88-94) years old. This would place this event late in the last century. (Collins' account is from Beiy Shaw's in American Pioneers.) Collins says 1793, Bell County.

The Indians had captured a little Negro boy. They had him in one end of a sack and a keg of liquor or brandy in the other end of the sack. When they were attacked they tumbled the sack over the cliff. It struck the top of a spruce pine which softened the fall. After they had settled with the Indians and had started back they heard the little boy crying. Going down under the cliff they found him. When they asked him how he got there he said, "Why, they just throwed me over here and didn't care whether they killed me or not."

A man named Wallin, with a squad of seven men came from Virginia to Harlan County to hunt. Near the mouth of what is now called Wallins in Harlan County one of the party saw an Indian sitting on a log patching his moccasin and raising his trusty rifle shot him dead. Within two hours the whites were surrounded by Indians and were all shot dead but one man. He escaped to Virginia, and it was 7 days before he returned with a party to bury the dead.

Each hunter had a dog. These dogs had attacked the bodies of the dead, except Wallin's. His dog lay by the side of his master's corpse and would neither touch it himself nor suffer another to do so. They buried them where they were shot, which was on Laurel Branch, a little above the mouth of Wallins Branch, at the foot of Pine Mountain. Wallin's Creek got its name that way.