Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
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Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
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Samuel Beidelman & Elizabeth Hess of Chemung


Samuel Beidelman was known as the Indian fighter.  He was born October 9, 1750, in Springfield Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  He was the son of Elias and Anna Maria Beitelman/Beidelman.  Elias Beidelman was born September 27, 1707, in the Palatinate, Germany.  Elias Beidelman came to America on the ship "Thistle" of Glasgow, with Colin Dunlap as Master, sailing from Rotterdam, but last out of Dover, as by Clearance from that port.

An individual desiring passage to America presented himself to a merchant in Frankfort, Germany, and paid 3 pounds; 2 pounds was for transportation and 1 pound was for provisions.  Ships had to wait for favorable winds and escorts.  Piracy thrived on the seas.  Emigrants feared shipwreck or capture and being sold into Turkish slavery.  The rate of sickness and death was high, especially from smallpox and ship-fever, known as "Palatine fever."  Small children from ages one to seven rarely survived the voyage.  The ocean voyage took 17 weeks, or around 120 days.  Elias Beidelman landed at Philadelphia on August 29, 1730.  He was Naturalized on April 14, 1747.

Elias Beidelman settled in Springfield Township about 1748.  In 1751, he obtained two tracts of land in the area of Springtown.  One tract consisted of 44 acres and one consisted of 58 acres.  Date of Patent is November 20, 1751, Patent Book A-16-41.  Elias Beidelman also owned a tract of 607 acres on Squooks (Cooks) Creek, near Pleasant Valley.  On this tract, in 1759, he erected a grist mill with a residence attached, all under one roof.  Later, Samuel Mann took over the mill, and for many years afterwards the mill was known as Samuel Mann's mill.  In 1850, the mill became known as Hawk's Mill, a grist (feed) and sawmill.  Its owner, Samuel Hawk, was a farmer and manufacturer of flour, feed, and lumber.  The wife of Samuel Hawk was Elizabeth Hawk.  During one period, a Leidy Kratz ran  Hawk's mill.  In 1876, a C. Kressler took it over.  A mill was still indicated at that location on the 1891 Atlas Map of Springfield Township.  In 1862-1886, Joseph Hawk and wife Clara Apple Hawk were owner and proprietor of a grist mill in Pleasant Valley.

Elias Beidelman was one of six original elders and trustees of the Springfield Lutheran Church in Pleasant Valley.  His initials are on the original cornerstone, dated 1763.

Elias Beidelman had seven sons, one of whom was Samuel Beidelman.

Elias Beidelman died October 25, 1781.  His wife died February 15, 1795.  They are buried in the Springfield Church Cemetery in Pleasant Valley.

Samuel Beidelman's youngest brother, Abraham, was a potter by trade.  He plied his vocation at Springtown.  He resided on and later owned a tract of 23 acres at the west end of the village.

January 29, 1785.  Conrad Hess, son of Nicholas Hess, sold 23 acres located on Cooks Creek in Springfield Township to Abraham Beidelman.  The 23 acres was a part of 158 acres & 95 perches of land sold by Catherina Greenleafe on May 9, 1784, to Abraham Funk & wife Mary recorded in Book G. Volume Page 480   "Excepting reserving unto Conrad Hess full use of all streams of water running through said premises for use of Abraham Funks' mills with free egress & regress for Abraham Funk."

Samuel Beidelman married Elizabeth Hess.  She was born January 4, 1753, in  Springfield Township.  Elizabeth Hess was the third child of immigrant settler Nicholas and Catherine Funk Hess, and a sister to Conrad Hess.

Samuel and Elizabeth Beidelman took up residence at the west end of the village of Springtown, on the property that afterwards became Conrad Hess's homestead in his later years.  A residence was erected on the same site in 1885 by the then owner Jacob B. Pearson, who was still owner of the property in 1912.  The property is located in Springtown at the area of the conjunction of Main Street, Springtown Hill Road, and Lower Saucon Road.

Samuel Beidelman was a potter by trade.  The pottery where he was employed stood on a site near the road, immediately south of Jacob Pearson's front yard.  Later, Samuel Beidelman moved to the property of his older brother, Adam.  Adam Beidelman owned a tract of 194 acres located about one and one-half miles south of Springtown.  The land was previously owned by his father, Elias Beidelman.  Later the farm was owned by William H. Gruver, and still later by David F. Hess.

Samuel Beidelman started a tannery at his brother's place.  The tannery business failed after a few years.  He then rented a farm near Easton, Pa.  In 1783, he purchased a tract of 278 acres in Lower Smithfield County, now a part of Monroe County, Pa., from the estate of his father.

Throughout 1778 and 1779, the British instigated Indian raids against settlers in the Mohawk Valley of New York.  On July 3, 1778, settlements of the Wyoming Valley on the Susquehanna River, in the area of Wilkes-Barre and Kingston, Pa., were attacked by Tories and Indians.  The series of raids that took place is known as the Wyoming Massacre.  In 1779, the United States Congress dispatched forces into Wyoming Valley against the hostile Indians.  General John Sullivan of Washington's army was commissioned to lead a retaliatory expedition against the Indians.

It was during the latter period of the Revolutionary War that Samuel Beidelman, at age 29 years, joined General Sullivan's army of over 3,000 men.  In August 1779, Sullivan's army marched from Easton, Pa., to drive the Iroquois Indians from the Wyoming Valley region.

The Iroquois Indians and Tories (Loyalist allies) under the leaders, Johnson, Colonel Butler, and the half-breed Mohawk Chief, Joseph Brandt, had abandoned the Wyoming region, then known as Kingston Flats, and had advanced into the Chemung Valley in New York.  They fortified themselves by throwing up an extensive entrenchment along the Chemung River, at a point known as Lowman's, about seven miles southeast of Newtown, now Elmira, New York.  General Sullivan and his army attacked them.  After more than two hours fighting, the Indians were completely routed, and fled in disorder to the forests.  General Sullivan's army destroyed forty Indian villages, burned a great quantity of corn, and left no trace of vegetation behind.

Several days afterwards, Sullivan's army returned over the same route, which led through the Wind Gap.  The route is known to this day as Sullivan's Trail.  Sullivan's army reached Easton on October 15, 1779.  A thanksgiving service was held on October 17, 1779.  General Washington congratulated the army on General Sullivan's success.

Samuel Beidelman, charmed by the beautiful countryside of the Chumung Valley, returned with his family over the Sullivan Trail to the Chemung Valley in 1784.  He settled near the scene of his adventures with the Indians.  On August 15, 1795, he purchased a tract of 183 acres on the banks of the Chemung River, in the village of Chemung, in Chemung County, about three miles east of the battle-ground.  Samuel Beidelman was one of the earliest settlers in the Chemung Valley.  Samuel and Elizabeth Hess Beidelman raised a family of ten children.

Samuel Beidelman died April 16, 1836, at age 85 years 6 months and 7 days, having lived for more than fifty years in the Chemung Valley.  His wife, Elizabeth Hess Beidelman died November 28, 1833, at age 82 years 6 months and 11 days.  They are buried about one-quarter mile from their homestead, in Riverside Cemetery (also called Lounsbury Cemetery) on Chemung River Road, Nicols Township, Tioga County, New York.

Today, a stone monument stands on the summit of a high hill overlooking the valley where the battle occurred.  An inside stairway leads to the top of the monument.  In 1907, a huge granite boulder was erected in the village of Lowmans by the Battle Chapter Sons of American Revolution.  It is inscribed "Newtown Battlefield - August 29, 1779." 

Source of Information

PA German Pioneers  Strassburger and Hinkle  pg 34

Encyclopedia Britannica  Vol IX

Descendants of Nicholas Hess   1912 Edition  Asher Hess

The Nicholas Hess Family   1962 Edition  Alice Hess Schlegel

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Bradford County PA
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Published On Tri-Counties Site On 01 AUG  2004
By Joyce M. Tice
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