Ellis Askey

Male 1816 - 1900  (83 years)


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  • Name Ellis Askey 
    Born 06 Oct 1816  Howard, Centre, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Census 1850  [1
    Reference Number *** 
    Died 17 Jan 1900  Ridott, Stephenson, IL Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I20522  mm
    Last Modified 31 May 2007 

    Father John Askey,   b. 1772, Path Valley, Fannett Township, Franklin, PA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Sep 1840, Howard, Centre, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Anna Evans,   b. 09 Apr 1784,   d. 11 Aug 1868, Howard, Centre, PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years) 
    Married 07 Nov 1802 
    Family ID F7407  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Married 07 Nov 1844  Centre Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Last Modified 1 Mar 2020 
    Family ID F7416  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 06 Oct 1816 - Howard, Centre, PA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 07 Nov 1844 - Centre Co., PA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 17 Jan 1900 - Ridott, Stephenson, IL Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend Address Cemetery Farm Town Parish City County/Shire State/Province Country Region Not Set

  • Notes 
    • In the Footprints of the Pioneers, Stephenson County, IL, The PioneerPublishing Company, Freeport, IL, 1900.

      'Ellis Askey, Ridott, Stephenson County, is a retired farmer and standshigh in public estimation as an honest, upright many and a good citizen.He belongs to an old and distinguished Irish family, whose firstrepresentative in this country was Thomas Askey, the grandfather ofEllis. Thomas Askey came from the north of Ireland and emigrated toAmerica before the French and Indian Wars. He was a soldier in thatprotracted struggle, and wore the continental uniform in theRevolutionary War seven years later, entering as a private and rising tothe rank of Captain, being at times under the immediate command ofGeneral Washington. He received from the State of Pennsylvania a gift ofone thousand acres in the Susquehanna Valley as a reward for hisdistinguished services in both the Revolutionary and French and IndianWars, but being one of the last ones to claim his land, he only received640 acres on account of the shortness of the survey. His wife, BetsyBaker, was daughter of Colonel Robert Baker, who served under GeneralWashington and died in Centre County, PA.

      'John Askey, the father of Ellis, was born in Bradford County, PA, in1765, and died in Centre County in 1837. He was a farmer and made hishome on the land which his father had received from the government. Theland remained in the Askey name until 1897, when it was sold. He was ademocrat and supported Jefferson and Jackson. His wife, Elizabeth Evans,was born in Lancaster County, PA, and her father was a native of Wales. She was the mother of a family of six sons and five daughters, of whom only two are now living: Orphia Fletcher (sic) (Orpha Pletcher), whose home is in Pennsylvania, and Ellis, the subject of this sketch.

      'Ellis Askey was born in Centre County, PA, October 6, 1816 and wasreared in his native county. His schooling consisted of what boys in thecountry usually had at that time: three months in the winter and ninemonths of hard work in the woods and fields. He helped his father on thefarm until he was twenty-two, quitting school when he was eighteen. Helearned the trade of stone mason after leaving the farm and worked withhis brother several years, receiving in the long summer seasons themunificent wages of five dollars a month. He built a cabin on aneighboring mountain, where he spent the winter chopping wood and earningthirty-five cents a cord. One winter he chopped three hundred cords, andtook half his pay in store order and the other half in cash. He wouldmake his winter's work into a raft and float it down the river to PortDeposit and then walk home over two hundred miles. In this way he workedsummer and winter until 1849, when he concluded to seek a home in thewest. He drove over the mountains to Pittsburg (sic), whence he made thejourney by boat down the Ohio and up the Mississippi to Savanna, IL, andby wagon road to Freeport. Here his first work was plastering. In thewinter he worked in the timber. Later he purchased a farm of 160 acresthat now adjoins the village of Ridott for $3.10 per acre and made it oneof the attractive places in the county. He lived there for many years,then moved into the village of Ridott and retired.

      'Mr. Askey and Elizabeth Fox were married in Centre County, PA, in 1842.She was born in that county and is a daughter of John and Elizabeth Fox.To Mr. and Mrs. Askey seven children have been born, five of whom arestill living. Elizabeth married Herman Shallenberger, and is a widow inMontgomery, IA. John T. is making his home with his sister, Elizabeth.Francis M. lives on his father's farm in Ridott. Albert is living inRidott with his father. Mary married a William H. Beard of Wheaton, IL.Mr. Askey is a Republican and is an influential man in local circles, hasbeen school director and is now a member of the village board. He is oneof the last of the early pioneers and his family history is interestingfor its close linking of the present with the old colonial affairs. Hestands high in the community and is spoken of with the utmost respect bythe public generally.'

      * * * * * * * * * *

      OBITUARY -- Freeport, IL, Bulletin

      The Askey Family --- Were Among Centre County's Famous Pioneers

      Pale twin of sleep, who do men dread to meet thee?
      For all earth's ills, thy anodyne is best.
      Come gently, death, then weary life shall greet thee,
      As greets the sun the rosy curtained west.

      Ellis Askey, one of the oldest residents of Ridott and one of the bestloved men of Stephenson County, died Wednesday, January 17, 1900, at 10o'clock. His age was over 83 years. The cause of his death wasrheumatism.

      Ellis Askey was born near Howard in Bald Eagle Township, Centre County,PA, October 6, 1816, died at Ridott, Stephenson County, IL, on January17, 1900.

      He was married in Centre County, PA, to Eliza Fox, November 7, 1844. Shedied at their home in Ridott, IL, on June 6, 1892. Their children towit: Lizzie, widow of Herman Shallenberger, Red Oak, IA, F. M. andAlbert Askey of Ridott, IL, Mary, wife of William Beard, Maywood, IL. Abrother, Nelson, died in infancy.

      Ellis Askey is the fourth and last survivor of the sons of John Askey.The latter was also born in the homestead near Howard, PA, A.D., 1772,died at the same place from injuries received from a spirited horse,September 20, 1840, at the age of 68 years. The maiden name of his wife,mother of Ellis, was Elizabeth Evans, of Scots-Irish descent. She diedat the old homestead August 11, 1868, aged 84 years, 3 months, and 23days.

      Ellis Askey is of a family of eleven children, six sons and fivedaughters, all born in the old homestead, namely: William, born February5, 1804, died at home July 23, 1827; Thomas, born November 10, 1805, wasa resident of Rock Grove, Stephenson County, IL, at the time of his deathwhich occurred in 1875; John, born October 1, 1807, died at Nittany Hall,PA, August 11, 1890; Rachel (Mrs. Snavely), born. March 24, 1810, died atNittany Hall in 1894; Eliza (Mrs. McKibben), born. June 28, 1812, d. atCedar Springs, Clinton County, PA, February 19, 1897; Mary Ann (Mrs.Reber) born July 29, 1814, died at Howard, PA; Ellis, born October 6,1816; Rebecca (Mrs. Beachdale), born November 18, 1818, died at BeechCreek, August 9, 1855; Nelson, born May 6, 1821, died at Williamsport;Orpha (Mrs. Pletcher) still living at Mount Eagle, PA, born February,1825; Armstrong, born August 17, 1821, died at Jackson Amador County, CA.

      Ellis Askey made his first trip from Pennsylvania to Illinois with horseand buggy in 1846, in company with John Swanzey, who was a cherishedfriend and neighbor until his death. Mr. Swanzey remained in the west.Ellis Askey returned to the east for his family and moved to StephensonCounty in 1849, located upon his farm south of the village of Ridott, nowoccupied by his son, F. M. Askey.

      Ellis (affectionately known as Father Askey) was one of nature's noblemenand gentleman of the old school, the representatives of which are rapidlydiminishing. He was of a genial and hospitable disposition, never sowell pleased as when dispensing his liberty and good will to those withwhom he was associated.

      His beloved face was an index to his character. His dark Hazel eyes--thewindows of his soul--would beam when pleased and flash with excitementwhen aroused. He was quick in action, loathed with contempt anything lowand degrading and his firm set lips were not slow in giving expression tohis thoughts. His voice, in accord, was ever on the side of thehelpless, and many are living who will have cause to mourn his departure. He rounded out more than half a century of his life in the neighborhoodwhere they claimed him, and his highest eulogy is the good words and deepfeeling expressed by all that a truly good and upright man has left anunblemished record upon the scroll of life--a noble example to hischildren, relatives, and friends.

      His ancestry--he comes of rugged Scots-Irish Revolutionary ancestry,paternal and maternal--whose history settled in the annals of theearliest settlements of central Pennsylvania. A quote from thePennsylvania Historical Collections, page. 29, 'In 1763 General Gage haddetermined to repel invasion of the Indians by carrying the war intotheir own country. (Col. Henry) Bouquet was to proceed with all armyagainst the Delawares and Shawnees beyond Ohio. Mark the following: Id.,'It creates a feeling of sadness to know that this grandson of WilliamPenn, in the City of Brotherly Love, itself, in July, 1764, offered byproclamation the following bounties for the capture or scalps and deathof Indians ranging from $50 to $150, according to the age of the victim.'

      'Od quam mutatbus ab illo! Id., Bouquet's to the Muskingum in the autumnof 1764 overawed the Indian who sued for peace, etc. ' The foregoing isquoted as an introduction of what is to follow:

      In the Annals of Buffalo Valley, 1755-1855, pages. 26 and 27, I quote,'November 15, 1768. On the 15th of November 1768, Thomas and Richardspurchased from the six nations at Fort Stanwix (now Rome, NY) theremainder of the valley whose annals we are writing. As one of theparticipants to this purchase, I may state that as early as the year1764, the officers of the first and second battalions who served underCol. Bouquet made an agreement with each other, in writing, at Bedfordthat they would apply to the proprietaries for a tract of landsufficiently extensive and conveniently situated whereon to erect acompact and defensible town and also to accommodate each with areasonable and commodious plantation, whereby by their industry theymight procure a comfortable subsistence for themselves and by their armsand increase become a powerful barrier to the province and they,therefore, prayed the proprietaries to make the purchase and make them agrant of forty thousand (40,000) acres of valuable land on the WestBranch of the Susquehanna River. The mementoes of the association arepublished in full in the first volume of the collections of theHistorical Society of Pennsylvania. On February 3, 1769, thecommissioners of the officers of the first and second battalions met atthe governor's and obtained an order, allowing them to take uptwenty-four thousand (24,000) acres to be divided among them in districtsurveys on the waters of the West Branch of the Susquehanna, each threehundred (300) acres to be seated with a family within two years from thetime of survey, paying 5 pounds sterling per hundred and one penny peracres, etc. Among the names of the officers in whose favor the order ofsurvey was issued were: Col. Francis Major deHaas (id. p.o.). In thelatter part of February many of the officers of the first and secondbattalions met at Fort August and agreed to take the land upon the termsproposed by the proprietaries and that one of the tracts should besurveyed on the west branch adjoining Montour's place (ChillisquaqueCreek) and one in Buffalo Valley. In order to expedite business it wasagreed that Captains Plunkett, Piper, Brady and Lieut. Askey should goalong with Mr. McClay to Buffalo Valley and Captains Hunter and Irvinewith Mr. Scull to direct the survey in the Forks. (Id. May 16, 1769).Lots were drawn for the choice of lands. Lieut. Askey chose the site ofMifflinburg. (Id. page. 36, March 9, 1771). The officers of the firstand second battalions held another meeting. Charles Lukens reported thatthe whole tract surveyed by him on Bald Eagle Creek contained only eightthousand, three hundred and eighty acres, which is 1,524 acres less thanthe quantity allowed them. He divided the Bald Eagle tract into twentyshares, the last of which Lieut. Askey got.

      These surveys are recorded as the officers surveyed in the new purchase.Major deHaas, one of the officers mentioned, located his tract adjoiningLieut. Askey. Bear in mind that the foregoing history is previous to theRevolutionary War--the officers were the actors in the French and IndianWars.

      (Historical Collections, page. 201) Few details of the adventures of theearly settlers of Centre County have been preserved. Prior to theRevolution, most of the country was comprised of Bald Eagle and PotterTownships of Northumberland County and its history is interwoven withthat of the lower settlements on the West Branch.

      'History says that Capt. John Askey, another soldier of the RevolutionaryWar, etc., with McGee and others, located where the village of Howard,PA, is now in 1782. The first settlers of the country were, as a generalthing, people of education and ability. I quote the foregoing in orderto correct the statement with reference to Capt. Askey. The pioneer'sname was Thomas, not John, as stated. He was Lieut. Askey of theRevolution, and grandfather to Ellis Askey of Ridott, IL. John was a sonof Thomas, the pioneer, and father of Ellis, born at the old homesteadnear Howard, PA, in 1772. Thomas Askey, pioneer--place of birthuncertain. He hailed from Cumberland County, PA, during the French andIndian Wars, was married to a daughter of Col. Robert Baker, of PathValley.

      Thomas Askey, the pioneer, served during the (original print unclear totranscriber) under that noble, ardent and daring Gen. Wayne, with whom hewas a personal friend and of whom he was a great admirer. His oldestson, Robert (sic; oldest son was James), also served under Wayne in lateryears against the Indians. General Wayne was known to the Indians as'Mad Anthony'.

      Capt. Askey was in the army facing the British invaders at a time whenhis wife and family in their habitation where nightly could be heard inthose days the howl of the wolf and the cry of the panther and they wereexposed to the tomahawk and scalping knife of the ruthless savages undertheir noted chieftain, Bald Eagle, upon the banks of the stream thatbears his name--a chief that showed no mercy to the white race.

      It will be remembered that Lieut. Askey was a co-worker and companion ofCaptain John Brady.

      Bald Eagle, who was bold and fearless, had his wigwam and his house onthe banks of the stream of that name where Milesburg stands, in CentreCounty, PA, in the midst of an Indian village, which is called the BaldEagle Nest. He led the party of savages in 1778 that murdered JamesBrady, son of Capt. John Brady and younger brother of the brave Sam Bradyof the rangers, in a harvest field along with his fellow laborers a shortdistance below the present site of Williamsport, with a spear. Tomahawkedand scalped, young Brady still lived long enough to describe the horriblescene with great minuteness.

      He said that the Indians were led by Bald Eagle. 'Vengeance not loud,but deep,' says the historian, 'was breathed against Bald Eagle, but helaughed it to scorn till the fatal day at Brady's Bend on the Allegheny.'Hazzard, in his Register of Pennsylvania, v. 9, page. 237, gives thefollowing account of the death of the celebrated chief. 'Several yearsafter the death of Jas. Brady, a large party of Senecas was marchingalong the Allegheny River on their way to Bald Eagle Nest. Capt. SamBrady recognized Bald Eagle that day and fired at him. When the battlewas over he searched for the body and found it. The ball had piercedBald Eagle's heart and the blood of the young captain at Loyal Rock wasfatally avenged by the hands of his brother on the banks of theAllegheny.'

      There is nothing on record and not a tradition to prove that Bald Eaglewas ever anything but an enemy to the whites, yet they have honored himand perpetuated his name by conferring it upon an extensive valley, abeautiful stream, and a grand range of mountains. The finest point ofview is from the elevation of the old Askey homestead where the home nowstands.

      Grandmother Askey, mother of Ellis Askey, was a prim, unassuming littlelady and a favorite with her grandchildren. She lived to a ripe old ageand retained her mental faculties unimpaired to the close of life. Oftenhas the writer sat, gathering from her lips the incidents and hardshipsof a pioneer's life, of the time when the grandmother of Ellis wasrearing her family on the banks of the Bald Eagle, while her husband wasin the Army, when she had for neighbors the Mileses, the Boggses, and theHolts, etc., of the time when she gathered her children and hastened tothe woods and remained overnight, listening to the whoops and howls ofBald Eagle's savages who she imagined were massacring her friends andneighbors. When the morning dawned she saw an Indian who she knew andwho had been friendly approaching and passing her place of concealment onhis way to her habitation. His appearance and movements did not indicatehe was on the warpath, and she made known to him her presence. Heinformed her that his tribe was executing capital punishment upon anIndian of another tribe by stoning him to death. This was about the timewhen the Indians were preparing to go on the warpath and it was necessaryto be on the alert for fear of treachery. Finally, in the year 1778, thealarm was given to the inhabitants on the frontier to flee to thesettlements further east in order to escape the tomahawk and scalpingknife. This flight is recorded as the 'Big Runaway'.

      She (Grandmother of Ellis Askey) martialed her family and hastened to herformer home in Path Valley. She remained in Path Valley until the closeof the Revolutionary War when, in company with her husband and family,she returned to their homestead in Bald Eagle Valley. Capt. Askeyreceived pay for his services in the Revolutionary War in continentalmoney, which very soon became worthless, thus leaving him, as was thecase of thousands of soldiers of that war, comparatively poor in hisdeclining years. The names of his sons were: Robert, William, David,John (father of Ellis), Samuel and James--may not be named in order of(original print unclear to transcriber)--was the oldest, also the sonreferred to as being in General Wayne's army when operating against theIndians in Ohio. The writer knows nothing further than the names ofWilliam and Brady given by Ellis.

      Samuel, known as Uncle Sam, was the pioneer of Snow Shoe, having settledthere in 1818. His record would fill a volume. He was with the army onthe banks of Lake Erie when Commodore Perry, with his vessels, went forthto engage the enemy. He was not permitted to go along with the gallantman on account of having a wife and family--only single men were taken.He was a witness of the engagement, however, and one of the first to goon board afterwards with dispatches for the Commodore. He was a notedhunter and trapper in the Alleghenies--a destroyer of wild savages andbeasts that roamed the forests, the record of which in payment ofbounties for pelts, were published at the time of death, probably has notbeen exceeded by any hunter in central Pennsylvania.

      He (Samuel) bore to the grave scars on his body received from the clawsof a panther with which he engaged in a terrific encounter with a knifeand which, with the aid of his dogs, he destroyed. James died inmanhood, leaving a widow, who afterward became the wife of Col. Wm.McKibben and the mother of Joseph, Thomas and Jesse McKibben, all of whomreside in this county, Joseph still living in Freeport, IL. Widow Askeydied at Ridott, IL, at an advanced age. Capt. Askey had three daughters,two of whom were married to Lucases, descendants, I am told, of CharlesLukens, the name being afterwards changed to Lucas. Another daughtermarried a many by the name of Turner (sic; Taylor)--nine children in all. (Actually, 10 children. The fourth daughter, Margaret, married DavidTipton. Gloria Askey Kerns, SLC, UT, 1999.)

      The biography of Thomas Askey, the pioneer, is not yet a part of thehistory of Centre County as far as is known to the writer. A portion ofthe material is gathered and verified as will be seen from the Annals ofBuffalo Valley, taken from v. 2, Historical Collections of Pennsylvania.

      A portion came through the mother of Ellis Askey, also from Ellis, thelast male survivor of John (son of Thomas, the pioneer), the descendantsof whom kept in mind the traditions and who remained the longest upon thetract surveyed and allotted to the pioneer.'

      Centre Democrat, Bellefonte, PA.

      the 1890 census of Snow Shoe Township, Mosahnnon, PA, confirms thisfamily, with Francis' brother, John T., was living there at that date. [1]

  • Sources 
    1. [S587] Askey Family File, Compiler: Wheeler, Seth, (2002).