Pioneer Settler of Cassell
Russell County, Virginia
Whether Frederick Froelich who appears in Augusta Co., VA, in 1750 (Augusta
Will Book 1, pages 267, 348), was the same Frederick Fraley who having
emigrated from Augusta Co., VA, to Rowan Co., NC, and back through
the wilderness to Southwest Virginia, to
make a settlement at Cassell s Woods, in the year 1769, is not definitely
known. Some think Frederick of Cassell s Woods was a son of Frederick Froelich
of Augusta Co., I think they were one and the same.
Frederick who settled
at Cassell s Woods in 1769, was married to one Chloe Fraley (maiden name
unknown), (Russell Co. Order Book 2, page 56).
Upon his arrival
at Cassell s Woods, Frederick Fraley, (variously spelled Friley, Froley,
Frayley, etc.) appears to have settled in Upper Cassell s Woods, near the
mouth of Mill Creek on Clinch River. For proof of this we go to
the letter of Col. Daniel Smith, Surveyor
for Fincastle Co., VA, written to Col. William Preston, dated "Castle s"
Woods March 22, 1774. (Draper s Mss 3 QQ 15) Smith has this to say: "So
the next day I came down here and surveyed Mr. Lynch s Mill Seat yesterday".
In Survey book C, page 199, Washington Co., VA, there is a survey for 325
acres for Henry Hamlin on Clinch at the mouth of Mill Creek, and the certificate
says, in part, "who was assignee of Frederick Fryly who was assignee of
John Lynch...in Castle s Woods on both sides of Mill Creek on the south
side of Clinch, 216 acres of which was surveyed the 21 March 1774." The
foregoing shows that Fraley got the land of John Lynch, which had the mill
located upon it, and in turn sold the same to Henry Hamlin, which is again
borne out by a letter written by Col. Daniel Smith, to Col. Arthur Campbell,
dated May 19, 1783, (Calendar Virginia State Papers, Vol. 3, p. 485), in
which he has this to say: "On my return from Cumberland I come through
Castle s Woods, just after
the Indians had been at the Fort at Hamlin
s Mill." This is the same mill that later became the famous Bickley Mills
of Castle s Wood, and which first belonged to John Lynch, may have even
been built by Frederick Fraley, as it seems John Lynch was not a resident
of this area, and certainly Fraley must have operated the mill while he
owned and lived upon the land.
After assigning the
lands on Mill Creek to Henry Hamlin, Frederick Fraley moved to Lower Castle
s Wood. Just when this movement actually took place is hard to determine,
but it was possibly sometime around 1780. The Castle s Wood settlement
of 1769 to 1774 while a part of Fincastle Co., had quite changed by a decade
later when many of the earlier settlers had re-assigned their lands and
moved elsewhere, and those left behind were living on lands, some of which
had belonged to the former. In Lower Castle Wood Frederick acquired and
settled upon a tract of land, first belonging to, and settled by old John
Smyth in 1769, and here he spent the remainder of his life.
Old Frederick seems
to have been quite energetic and capable. We find his name in the court
records in various cases and causes. He was serving as a soldier in the
defense of Moore s Fort on June 30, 1777. (Draper Mss I XX 20, 24). In
1776 he was one of the appraisers of the estates of Isaac Crisman and Samuel
Cowan, both of whom were slain by the Indians, (Washington Co. Court Records),
and according to the Revolutionary pension statement of his son, James,
"he was the Surgeon who removed the bullet from the dying James Coil",
also killed by Indians. From this statement some have written that Frederick
was a Surgeon, which of course he was not, but was a sensible pioneer merely
meeting the expediency of trying to help a dying man.
A very amusing bit
of history to us, yet probably not so amusing to the person concerned,
comes from a letter written by Col. Arthur Campbell to Gov. Patrick Henry,
dated June 7, 1785 (Vol. 1, p. 32, Calendar of Virginia State Papers),
in which he says: "Sir: Since my last (letter) the Indians chased a son
of Mr. Friley s on Clinch, and run him until within sight of his father
s house." Too bad Col. Campbell did not tell us which of Mr. Fraley s sons
had been chased home by the Indians, but we might well imagine it to be
the 12 year old William.
In his lifetime
Frederick acquired three tracts of land in Lower Castle Wood, by buying
the patent warrants of old John Smyth, William Moore and Mathias Mounts,
totaling some 900 acres, more or less, all, or most of which he was in
possession of at the time of his death in late 1792 or early 1793, as evidenced
by his wife, Chloe Fraley being granted administration of his estate. (Russell,
Law Order Book 2, p. 56, 70, and Will Book 4-A, p. 103).
s home after moving to Lower Castle Wood was on the tract of land originally
settled by John Smyth in 1769, and on which Moore s Fort seems to have
been located. Moore s Fort presents an interesting enigma to students of
early Castle Wood history. If the fort was located, as is presumed on the
home tract of Fraley (formerly that of John Smyth), it may well be asked
why it was not called Smyth s or Fraley s Fort instead of Moore s Fort.
The fort was supposed to have been the home of William Moore, or at least,
nearby his home, but was not located on the lands owned by him at all.
Fraley also owned a tract of land referred to as Moore s Fort tract, which
never belonged to William Moore, but was that owned by his brother Joseph
We do know that
the old log home in which Frederick Fraley lived in Lower Castle Wood was
a "fort house" but, whether it was the original home of William Moore,
surrounded by a stockade in earlier days when Indian dangers were great
is hard to say. Unfortunately no one has left a description of what Moore
s Fort actually looked like.
The late Mr. S.
A. Fraley of Abingdon, great-great-grandson of Frederick, in an undated
letter (which was written sometime in the 1930s) to the late James Taylor
Adams, says, "The house that Frederick Fraley built was made of oak logs,
sawed square and fitted tightly together. The corners dove-tailed and spiked
together with iron spikes, which was said to have been carried on horseback
from Lynchburg, VA. The floors, window frames and doors, and almost all
the inside woodwork was of black walnut. There were port holes cut in the
walls upstairs, on all four sides."
The late Mr. R.
L. Gose, has this to say: "I do remember knowing and seeing the Indian
Fort located at the Sally Meade place, willed to her for life by her late
husband Charles Meade. I remember distinctly seeing the old building built
of logs with port holes in the walls to shoot through. I am now 89 years
of age. My next birthday the 2nd of August, 1954, I will be 90 years
Old Frederick was
just about as prolific in begetting children as he was in acquiring land,
having at least thirteen known children, reaching maturity, marrying and
scattering out over Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The thirteen children
of eleven sons and two daughters, not in order of birth were:
1. James Fraley
2. Jesse Fraley
3. Caleb Fraley
4. Frederick Fraley,
5. Daniel Fraley
6. William Fraley
7. Isaac Fraley
8. Henry Fraley
9. Sarah Fraley
10. Nancy Fraley
11. Reuben Fraley
12. Benjamin Fraley
13. Thomas Fraley
To further substantiate
the above listed children of Frederick and Chloe Fraley, reference is made
to Russell Co., VA, Will Book 4-A, page 103, for the will of Chloe Fraley,
dated 29 May 1823, and recorded July 1, 1823. In the will she mentions
the following sons: Henry Fraley; James Fraley; Daniel Fraley; Isaac Fraley;
Frederick Fraley; Reuben Fraley; Benjamin Fraley and William Fraley. Daughters:
Sarah Donaho and Nancy Tabor. Granddaughters: Chloe and Juda Fraley.
The only two sons
not mentioned in the will of Chloe Fraley were Jessee and Caleb, both of
whom were dead; Jessee died in 1801, and Caleb in 1835, proof of which
is shown under the write-up of each in this manuscript.
James Fraley, who
was perhaps the oldest child of Frederick and Chloe Fraley was born in
Rowan Co., NC in 1759. He was married to Elizabeth (maiden name unknown),
Russell Co., Order Book 3, p. 189.
He enlisted in Washington
Co., VA, (now Russell Co.) for service in the Revolutionary War on March
3, 1779, as an Indian Spy, in Captain John Snoddy s Company, Colonel William
Campbell s Regiment. He enlisted for a second tour of duty in May, 1782,
also as an Indian Spy, under Colonel Daniel Smith and Captain Charles Bickley.
He made application for pension in Floyd Co., KY, June 24, 1834, wherein
he stated that he had always lived in the woods (frontier). When he applied
for pension he stated that he had lived for many years in Floyd Co., KY,
but was then living in Cabell Co., VA (now West VA) at the home of his
son-in-law. (From Pension statement in Floyd Co. Court).
Just when James
left Russell Co., VA, is not known, but probably about 1803, when he sold
land in Russell Co. (Order Book 3, p. 313). Apparently after leaving Russell
Co. he first settled in Cabell Co. (now West VA) where he was living in
1812 and 1813, (Russell Co. Deed Book 4, page 597, 646).
He moved to the
Newcomb Fork of Sandy River, (then Morgan, later Lawrence, Floyd and Elliott
Counties). He was one of the first five settlers to make a home at the
forks of Sandy River, arriving there in 1818. (Statement of
Jessee Fraley, the
second child listed for Frederick and Chloe Fraley, was married to Mary
"Polly" English, daughter of John and Molly English, who settled on "Sugar
Hill" overlooking the town of St. Paul, VA, in the year 1772, on the north
side of Clinch River, the first settlement ever made in the present bounds
of Wise Co., VA. While living here the wife of John English and mother
of Mary Fraley, along with her two sons were cruelly murdered 8 March 1787
by the Indians and their scalps were carried into the Cherokee towns. (Vol.
4, p. 262, VA State Papers).
Jessee Fraley was
dead by June, 1801, (Russell Co. Order Book 3, page 148). At the time of
his death, Jessee and Polly Fraley had at least two children, James and
Jessee, Jr., who were bound out to the Uncle James Fraley in October, 1802,
(Russell Order Book 3, p. 230).
At the death of
John English in 1797, (Russell Order Book 2, page 290), Jessee and Mary
English Fraley became sole heirs to his Estate, which seems to prove that
John English had only three children, Mary, the wife of Jessee Fraley,
and two little boys killed by Indians, along with their mother in 1787.
Caleb Fraley, the
third son listed in the children of Frederick and Chloe Fraley, married
Elizabeth Puckett, the daughter of the Revolutionary soldier, Drury Puckett
and his wife Nancy.
On June 16, 1800,
Caleb and Elizabeth Fraley were living on "Lott E", near Norris, TN. (Draper
Mss 7 ZZ 45).
Caleb Fraley was
dead before January 9, 1835, (Russell Co. Deed Book 9, p. 45), where Elizabeth,
James and Martin Fraley are listed as his heirs.
Jr., listed as the fourth child of Frederick and Chloe Fraley, was married
to Mary (maiden name unknown) (Russell Order Book 2, p. 236, and Will Book
2, p.1, where Jessee and Mary sell to Isaac Fraley, "my part of land that
comes to me by my father".)
Daniel Fraley, listed
as the fifth son of Frederick and Chloe Fraley, as married to Mary ______
(Russell Will Book 4-A, p. 103 and Order Book 1, p. 236).
William Fraley, listed
as the sixth child of Frederick and Chloe Fraley, born 1773 and died 1847
(Russell Co. Will Book 4, p. 57, Recorded 20 Sept. 1847.) William Fraley
married Nancy Smith, and lived at the old Frederick Fraley homeplace in
lower Castlewood. At the partition of the lands of Frederick Fraley, William
became owner of 550 acres of his fathers' land (Russell Co. Deed Book 9,
p. 549, 29 Aug 1835) To the union of William and Nancy Smith Fraley was
born twelve children:
1. Reuben Fraley,
b. 1796, m. Hannah __
2. Andrew Fraley,
b. 1798, d. 1884, m. Barbara White.
3. Celia Fraley,
4. Nelson H. Fraley,
5. William R. Fraley,
b. 1805, m. Caroline _____, b. 1806.
6. Boone Fraley,
b. 1808, m. Mary ______
7. Clarey Sue Fraley,
b. 1809, m. _______ Lee.
8. Nancy Fraley,
b. 1811, m. James Renfro.
9. Elizabeth Fraley,
b. 1813, m. John Murphy. Had one child: Eliza Murphy.
10. Ibbie Fraley,
11. Martin Fraley,
b. 1817, d. 1862, m. Mary Horne.
12. Judith C. Fraley,
m. Oliver Powers.
2. Andrew Fraley,
son of William and Nancy Smith Fraley, married Barbara White and settled
near his father. His will is recorded in Russell Co. Will Book 10, page
324, recorded Feb. 4, 1884). In this will he mentions his wife, Barbara
and children: (1) Nelson Fraley, who married Elizabeth Osborne, daughter
of Samuel, who was the son of James Osborne (the original settler) father
of Mr. W. H. Fraley of Abingdon; (2) Harvey D. Fraley; (3) Ephraim Fraley;
(4) Ellen Fraley, m. Mack Jessee; (5) Mattie Fraley, m. Sam Jessee; (6)
Eliza Fraley, m. Thomas Riley; (7) Elizabeth Fraley, m. Albert Jessee.
Also mentions five grandchildren, who are the children of his deceased
son, Martin Fraley: (A) George Fraley; (B) Thomas Fraley; (C) John Fraley;
(D) Ellen Fraley; (E) Buck Fraley.
The Martin Fraley,
mentioned in the Will of Andrew, father of the five grandchildren (above),
was born in 1816/17 and died or was killed during the Civil War, on 25
August 1862 (Scott Co. Death Register).
Martin Fraley cast
the first vote in the first election held in Wise Co. in 1856. He volunteered
in the Confederate Army under Col. L. H. N. Salyers, at Wise Courthouse,
June 3, 1861, when Salyers organized his company of 101 men, known as the
"Yankee Catchers". This company later became part of Co. H 50th Virginia
Volunteers and served throughout the war, first under Gen. Floyd, then
Stonewall Jackson, and at Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania Courthouse and
the Wilderness under Gen. Robert E. Lee.
At the battle of
Greenbrier, it is said that Col. Salyers commanded his men to lay down
and fire on the enemy. All obeyed, except Martin Fraley, who had been commanded
three times by Col. Salyers to do so, but still refusing and still firing
on the enemy was soon shot down. Listed on Col. Salyers' payroll as sick
at White Sulphur Springs, August 11, 1861.
3. Ephraim Fraley,
son of William and Nancy Smith Fraley, and grandson of Frederick and Chloe,
was born at the old Frederick Fraley place in Russell Co., VA July 19,
1831, died near Duffield, Scott Co., VA, September 27, 1926. Married
first _____ Todd. His second wife was Nancy Jane Ramsey, daughter of James
Whitley and Jane Culbertson Ramsey. He moved from Rock Creek in Russell
Co., to Wise Co. settling on Bear Creek, near Norton, VA. Later in life
he moved to Duffield, Scott Co., VA. His children were: By first marriage:
(1) George W. Fraley, m. Mary McNeil; (2) William Jackson Fraley, m. Mattie
Holmes; (3) Jeff Davis Fraley m. Mattie Dickenson. Children by 2nd marriage:
(4) Andrew Whitley Fraley m. Mary Anderson; (5) Henry Fraley m. Susan Shepherd;
(6) David Fraley m. Melissa Redwine; (7) Harvey Fraley; (8) Emmett Fraley
m. Ida Vance; (9) Elizabeth "Lizzie" Fraley m. 1st Frank Dean, 2nd Joe
Bord; (10) Lisa Fraley m. 1st David King, 2nd Harmon Lewis.
5. William R. Fraley,
son of William and Nancy Smith Fraley, born 1805, m. Caroline E. _____,
born 1815. (List of children with ages from 1850 Russell Co. Census): (1)
Granville Fraley, 13; (2) Amanda J. Fraley, 12; (3) Dorthula A. Fraley,
9; (4) Henderson F. Fraley, 8; (5) Christopher C. Fraley, 6; (6) Herschel
B. Fraley, 5; (7) Helen C. Fraley, 1.
12. Judith C. Fraley,
daughter of William and Nancy Smith Fraley, married Oliver Powers, born
1776, and had issue: (1) Jeremiah Powers; (2) Reuben H. Powers; (3) William
R. Powers; (4) Lucy Powers m. George Bond (had son, "Buck" Bond a minister);
(5) Nancy Powers; (6) Meeker Powers; (7) Harmon Powers.
Isaac Fraley, son
of Frederick and Chloe Fraley, was born at Castlewood, Russell Co., VA,
in 1778. He married Catherine Shoemaker, daughter of James and Catherine
Emerick Shoemaker. James Shoemaker was descended from an old English family
and immigrated to America in the year 1749. (Addington, "History of Scott
February 18, 1803,
Isaac Fraley bought the interest of his brother Frederick Fraley, Jr.,
in the lands of their father. (Russell, Will Book 2, p.1). After emigrating
from Russell Co., VA, he settled at Newcomb, Lawrence Co., KY, where he
died in 1881. (statement of descendant). He had two children born in Russell
Co., VA, and a third child was born while on their way into Kentucky. (Statement
of great granddaughter, Lovie S. Ison, Mesa, AZ).
The children of
Isaac and Catherine Fraley were:
1. James E. Fraley,
born Russell Co., VA, 25 January 1813, d. 7 March 1898, m. Jemimah Waggoner.
2. Isaac Shelby
Fraley, b. Russell Co., VA, 1815, d. 17 March 1904, m. (1) Elizabeth Lynn
(2) Hannah Caskey.
3. Britton Fraley,
m. Abagail Barker.
4. Elizabeth Fraley,
b. 6 March 1820, d. 24 March 1904, m. Doctor Ison.
5. Nancy Jane Fraley,
b. 15 Oct 1824, m. Alvin Sturgill.
6. Diannah Fraley,
b. 1822, m. Chesley Gilliam.
7. Farlina Fraley,
b. 1829, m. (1) Lafayette Phipps (2) James Hayes.
8. Alexander Fraley,
b. 1830, m. Susannah Hannah.
9. Catherine Fraley,
b. 1832, m. Rufus Humphrey.
10. Pattie Fraley,
b. 1834, m. John Day.
Will of James Shoemaker,
Will Book 4-A, p. 100, Russell Co., VA, dated November 25, 1822. Recorded
June 3, 1823. Mentions wife, Catherine.
Sons: Joseph Shoemaker
(m. Elizabeth Litton, daughter of Solomon Litton, and was captured by the
Indians in 1778 and carried into Canada along with her father and other
members of her family.)
The other son mentioned
in the will was James Shoemaker and his wife, Elizabeth, and their son
Samuel. His will also mentions his daughter Catherine Fraley (wife of Isaac
eighth listed child of Frederick and Chloe Fraley, was married to Mary
Turner, born 1790, died March 2, 1853, (Russell Co., Death Register). Mary
Turner Fraley was a daughter of James and Mary Bush Turner of Russell Co.,
VA. Her mother, Mary Bush Turner, along with her sister, Ann Bush Neece,
were captured by Indians in Russell Co., VA, and were rescued in Floyd
Co., KY, Anne later being tomahawked and scalped in another Indian raid,
survived and reared a family. The details of the capture of the Bush sisters
is told in the pension statement of James Fraley.
The will of Henry
Fraley was recorded in Russell Co., VA Will Book 5, page 88, June 6, 1837.
In the will he mentions his wife, Mary, and eight children, but only names
two - Hugh and James Fraley.
Sarah Fraley, the
ninth child listed for Frederick and Chloe Fraley, married Henry Donaho
(Will Book 4-A, p. 103, Russell Co.). Henry Donaho died at Norfolk, VA,
21st November, 1814, as a soldier in the War of 1812. They had ten children
prior to his death:
1 Nancy Virginia
Donaho, b. May 11, 1798, d. June 28, 1875. She was married September 18,
1823, to Nicholas Horne, son of Jessee Horne, b. NC 1777 and his second
wife, a widow, Mrs. Nancy Langley, b. SC 1770. The Horne family of Wise
Co. are descendants of this couple.
2. William Donaho,
b. April 11, 1799
3. Sarah Donaho,
4. Henry Donaho,
5. Deliah Donaho,
6. George Donaho,
7. Martin Donaho,
8. Polly Donaho,
b. 1811, m. __________ Whittaker
9. Chloe Donaho,
b. 20 April 1812
10. Peggy Donaho,
b. 25 Sept. 1813.
Nancy Fraley, tenth
child listed for Frederick and Chloe Fraley, married William Tabor (Russell
Co., VA Will Book 4-A, p. 103 and Order Book 3, p. 195.)
Reuben Fraley, eleventh
listed child of Frederick and Chloe Fraley, was born in 1793. His wife
was Hannah (maiden name unknown) and was born in Montgomery Co., in 1800.
Reuben Fraley was possibly a posthumous child, born after the death of
his father Frederick in 1792/3, and was therefore the youngest of the thirteen
children. (Will book 4-A, p. 103, Russell Co., VA and 1850 census of Russell).
twelfth child of Frederick and Chloe Fraley, Will Book 4-A, p. 103, Russell
Thomas Fraley, the
thirteenth listed child of Frederick and Chloe Fraley (Order Book 3, p.
224, Russell Co.)
Jessee Fraley, living
in Russell Co. 1850 census and later in Carter Co., KY. He was born 1880,
m. Barbara ______. Children: (1) William; (2) James; (3) Elizabeth; (4)
Mary M.; (5) Daniel; (6) Christian; (7) Stephen; (8)
Sidney; (9) John; (10) Sarah. Who was this