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John Hendricks, Native American, lived on Mahoning River banks.
Posted by: Barbara Wright (ID *****4798) Date: July 27, 2008 at 11:02:07
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HENDRICKS is the family surname I'm researching. The statement following came from an article about an Indian boy's burial in Deerfield Cemetery, Portage Co. Does anyone know anymore about John HENDRICKS a Native American living on the bank of the Mahoning River. "The story began more than two centuries ago. The boy's father, John Hendricks, was a Native American who lived on the bank of the Mahoning River with his wife and two sons."

6/21/2007 article from the Review. First-ever Burial [1802] at Deerfield Cemetery Honored with New Gravestone by Shannon Harsh.

"More than 200 years ago, the body of a 4-year-old Native American boy was laid to rest in what is now known as the Deerfield Cemetery, with only a round, red stone marking his grave. He was the first person buried there and Jerry Schilling, cemetery sexton and president of the cemetery association, thought it was long past time the young boy got a gravestone.

The story began more than two centuries ago. The boy's father, John Hendricks, was a Native American who lived on the bank of the Mahoning River with his wife and two sons. He was respected by the settlers and had befriended them. In 1802, when his 4-year-old son grew ill and died, Hendricks wanted him to be buried where the whites would be buried and according to their customs.

The year before, Lewis Ely, known as Deerfield's first settler, had donated a plot of ground to be used as a burial site. Hendricks got his wish for his son, as settlers James Laughlin and Alva Day made a wooden coffin and stained it with the juice of maple bark and his son was laid to rest in the donated land.

The grave of the boy was marked with a large, red stone. It remained there as decades and centuries went by and others joined him at the final resting place, including Ely who was buried near the boy. It wasn't until recently that the boy's grave would be properly marked. ...

Don Rock of Logue Monument originally quoted a price of $1,700. When he was later given the text to go on the stone and learned more of the story, Rock and his family decided the stone should be donated. "We were touched by the story and we just decided to donate the stone instead of having them pay for it," he said. "It just seemed like he needed to have a monument and it was something that should be free."

The stone was inscribed by Rock and his son Gregory, who also took it to the cemetery and set it. The inscription reads: "Here lies the son of John Hendricks, born 1798, went into the spirit world on March 4, 1802. He was Indian. Because of the relationship between the James Laughlin and Hendricks families, young Hendricks was the first to be laid to rest in this cemetery." ...

Sampson said it is not known what type of Indian the boy was although he was most likely Mohawk or Seneca. She said Deerfield was a trade center in those times. Visitors for years to come will now know the story of the Indian boy. They will also be able to view the original colored stone that was used when the boy was buried in 1802. Schilling said he dug two feet down and never found the bottom of the large stone. He left the stone in the center of the grave and surrounded it with flowers. ... The grave site can be viewed by driving in the center drive and looking to the left side at the front of the cemetery. The cemetery is located just east of the Deerfield Circle."


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