19 Sep 1757 the young people had gathered at the Jacob Hochstetler home to pare and slice apples for drying. After social and bedtime, the dog began barking. Jacob, the son, opened the door to investigate. He received a gunshot in the leg. He managed to close and lock the door before the Indians could enter. The family sought refuge in the cellar so the Indians set fire to the house. When the family finally emerged, they were captured. The wounded son Jacob and his sister were tomahawked and scalped. (The Indians at that time believed that to die under the tomahawk or to be shot was the death of a warrior and therefore an honorable death.) The mother was stabbed through the heart with a butcher knife and scalped. When one of the Indians had raised a tomahawk over the head of Christian, he looked up. As the Indian beheld his blue eyes, he took a liking to him and spared him.

Bio Photo

Jacob Brandt, born February 18,1865 in Pleasant Township, Winneshiek county. Married Mary Arndt of Sattre. Carpenter by trade. Brother of Delia.

Christian, his brother Joseph and Jacob, Sr. were taken captive. The father picked up some ripe peaches and advised his sons to do likewise. Prisoners were always subject to many abuses upon arriving at Indian villages. Jacob with his sons approached the chief and those near him with the peaches. This so pleased the chief he ordered the abuses stopped and they did not have to run the gauntlet.

They were separated, adopted into the tribe in Indian ceremonies and into an Indian family. They were assigned certain duties in the village. All except Jacob learned to like the Indian life, laws and customs. They endured the Indian life for several years. The summer of 1758 brought the war to a close.

Along the roadside in Shartlesburg is an historical marker describing the Hochstetler Massacre by the site which I have visited.

Jacob never became reconciled to Indian life. He longed for his home, desolate as it was after being burned.

He carefully planned and managed to escape but he had no idea where he was or where to go to get home. The place from where he started and how long he was on his perilous journey is not known. He subsisted on crawfish, berries, nuts and buds until he finally found his way home.

The Delawares and Senecas finally signed agreements and agreed to return all captives. About 300 captives were brought in. Several years had elapsed and one historical day Christian walked to his father's house and stepped into the kitchen where the family was at dinner. After a greeting, he returned outside and seated himself on a stump. After Jacob finished eating, he went to the man in the yard whom he supposed was an Indian and began a conversation with him. In broken German the stranger said "My name is Christian Hochstetler.” We can easily imagine the surprise and joy of the father who had difficulty in getting his son back into the house for dinner. For some time he would not make up his mind to forsake his Indian friends and rejoin the whites.

Joseph, even after the terrible treatment of his family by the Indians, had become so attached to the Indian friends and their customs that he hesitated long before he decided to leave them and live with the whites. In due time he married, became a landowner and had children of his own.

My great grandmother Katie Hochstetler (20 Jun 1834-22 Jun 1898) was the daughter or Jeremiah Hochstetler. Jacob, the immigrant, was Jeremiah’s great, great grandfather. Katherine (Katie) married Eli Brandt (4 Jan 1831-18 Nov 1871), the son of Conrad Brandt. Together with the other son John S., Conrad and Eli were early pioneer millwrights in Pleasant Twp. In addition, Eli was a farmer and a cooper by trade. Early children Albert and Jeremiah died in infancy. Surviving children were: Henry Jefferson, Josephine, my grandmother Delia, Susan, Jacob, Charles and Willis. Henry (1854-1904) married Mary Conner. Josephine married Edwin C. Lee. They lived in Canby, MN. Their children were: Ada, George, Minnie and Clarence. Ardelia "Delia" (b. 2 Dec 1858) married David H. Musser on 10 Mar 1887. They had 5 children: Mabel (b. 23 Dec 1887), Grace (b. 15 Jun 1889), Blanche (b. 14 Apr 1892), Hattie (b. 12 Jul 1896) and Alaric (28 Jul 1898). Susan married Charles Thoam. They lived at Round Prairie, MN. Jacob (b. 18 Feb 1865, Pleasant Twp.) married Mary Arndt, the daughter of John and Trena (Mocness) Arndt, 15 Dec 1890 at Sattre, IA. Their children were: Charles Edward (b. 1 Sep 1891), John Harry (b. 11 Feb 1895), Wallace Walter (b. 28 Feb 1901), Gladys Marie (b. 1 Jan 1905) and George Leonard (b. 31 Mar 1910). Charles Martin (b. 1868) married Agnes Andrus of Hazel, SD. They had 6 children: Fern (b. 1897), Eva (b. 1899), Irene (b. 1901), Jasper (b. 1902), Eugene (b. 1903) and Howard (b. 1909). Willis (b. 1871) married Maggie Thompson. They had 2 children: Carl (b. 1901) and Harris (b. 1905).

Katie and Eli Brandt lived where there now is a “Y" in the road about a half mile north of the Lundy Bridge in Pleasant Twp. The place is now the home of Mark and Lana (Faldet) Oyloe and family.

Complete OCR transcription. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

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