A Story about Eva Wampler
who is L.K. Harris' great-grandmother


The following story was related to the Historical Society of Dayton Ohio on April 21, 1900 by Mrs. Z. LUTHER, a great granddaughter of Eva WAMPLER.

Eva WAMPLER was born in Botetourt County, Virginia in 1738. Her parents were of the early Holland settlers who emigrated to Virginia in 1710, locating on the frontier of that state. The Indians were very troublesome to the early settlers and one day in 1745, when Eva was only 7 years old, her parents left her in their house to care for the younger children, while they went to work in the fields, and a band of roving Indians entered the house, ransacked it and destroyed everything they could. Then they took the feather beds, ripped them open and poured molasses over them, not daring to burn them for fear of detection. Then they carried the little girl, Eva, off with them.

She was inconsolable and refused to eat. The Indians would take their tomahawks and chop the trees making motions to her that they would treat her that way if she would not eat. Finding they could not force her to eat, they had her feed the papooses on sweet cakes, and while chewing their cakes to feed the papooses, hunger overcame her and she ate the cakes, and in that way her fast was broken.

The chief of the tribe became interested in her and she became his favorite and at the early age of 14 years was his promised bride. At that time a reward was offered by the U. S. Government for the return of all whites that had been stolen by the Indians and she was stolen from the tribe and returned to her parents. Upon her return she could not understand or speak a word of English although her parent made great efforts to have her speak or understand. Finally they all gathered in a circle around her and began singing a familiar hymn which she recognized and she joined in singing, but could not speak a word of English for a long time. One day she went with her father to a field where he was building a fence. He had just brought a rail and was starting after another, when she exclaimed, 'I will fetch that rail.' Her father was so overcome with joy that he took her home at once to tell the family she had spoken.