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View Tree for Demas LindleyDemas Lindley (b. June 03, 1733, d. January 22, 1818)

Demas Lindley (son of John Lindley and Sarah Plumb)661 was born June 03, 1733 in Morristown, Morris, NJ661, and died January 22, 1818 in Upper Ten Mile, Washington Co., PA661. He married Joanna Prudden on January 25, 1755 in Mendham, Morris, NJ661, daughter of Joseph Prudden and Joanna Lyon.

 Includes NotesNotes for Demas Lindley:
Built Lindley's Fort and Lindley's Mills, private in revolutionary war, according to Patrick Harrington on
Demas and Jacob Cook led a colony of about 20 families from Mendham, New Jersey to southern Washington County, Pennsylvania. Demas was also County Commissioner in Washington County.[

from James B. Lindsley
Birth: 3 JUN 1733 in Mendham, Morris Co., NJ 13 1
Death: 22 JAN 1818 in Near Prosperity, Washington Co., PA 13 1 14
Military Service: Private, PA; Revolutionary War
Census: 1790 Age 16+; Morris Twp., Washington Co., PA 15
Census: 1800 Age 45+; Morris Twp., Washington Co., PA 16
Census: 1810 Age 45+; Morris Twp., Washington Co., PA 17
Will: 20 DEC 1802 Washington Co., PA 9
Probate: 28 MAY 1818 Washington Co., PA 9
Burial: 1818 Upper Ten Mile - Prosperity Cemetery; Prosperity, Morris Twp., Washington Co., PA 18
In the late 1700's Demas Lindsley led a band of pioneers from Mendham, NJ, to Washington Co., PA, where they settled in 1773 and built the Lindsley Fort near Upper Ten Mile, now called Prosperity. Demas was a church elder, miller, county commissioner (1783), land owner, and operator of the first post office in Morris Township. His lands consisted of about four hundred acres located on the middle fork of Ten-Mile Creek adjacent to lands owned by Caleb and John Lindley. He obtained warrant to this property, called Mill Place, on February 5, 1785, and had the land surveyed in December of that year. On April 18, 1796, he acquired an additional three hundred eighty-six acres which he named 'Headquarters.' Demas' brothers, Levi and Caleb, joined the settlement in 1788.

Demas and Joanna Lindley were founders of what was to become the Upper Ten-Mile Presbyterian Church. An organizational meeting was held at the home of Jacob Cook (Demas' brother-n-law) in August of 1781. As no specific structure was available meetings were held at various sites. On Wednesday, April 30. 1783, the congregation met at the Lindley Fort. Later they met in Daniel Axtell's barn to celebrate the Lord's Supper on the third Sabbath of May, 1783. The first church was erected in 1792 on land donated by Demas Lindley 'for the occupancy and use of a Presbyterian church and for no other purpose whatever.' A second structure measuring forty-five by fifty feet with twenty-five foot posts and a gallery on two sides and one end was erected in 1818. From 1831 to 1846 controversy reigned, and the church was essentially without membership. It was revitalized after 1846, and a third structure was built in 1854. This was destroyed by fire in January of 1860, so a brick structure was built to replace it. A parsonage was built in 1872.

Demas Lindley with his family came in 1773 to settle west of the Monongahela, in the section of country which afterwards became Washington County, and with him came about twenty other families, all from New Jersey, and nearly all from the county of Morris, which had been Mr. Lindley's home before his emigration. Four of the families settled on the south fork of Ten-Mile Creek, near Jefferson, Greene County. The others settled at different points on the north and middle forks of the same creek. Demas Lindley located upon four hundred acres of land situated on the middle fork of Ten-Mile, adjacent to the lands of Caleb and John Lindley, James Draper, and J. McVaugh. This property was warranted to him Feb. 5, 1785, and surveyed December 6th of the same year, receiving the title of "Mill Place," its location being very near the present village of Prosperity. Mr. Lindley became the owner of another tract of land called "Headquarters," which was warranted to him April 18, 1796, as containing three hundred and sixty-eight acres.

Demas Lindley and his brother-in-law, Jacob Cook, were the two most prominent and influential men among the early settlers along Ten-Mile Creek. They were very active in the frontier movements against the Indians, and a fort was early established upon the property of Mr. Lindley, called Lindley's Fort, and was a rendezvous for the residents in this part of the country. Demas Lindley swore to the Oath of Allegiance on December 9, 1794, in Morris Township before Ebenezer Goble.

Mr. Lindley built a grist- and merchant-mill on his property soon after his settlement here, and mills which are known as "Lindley's Mills" still occupy the same site. Both Mr. Lindley and Mr. Cook, mentioned above, had much to do with the organization and establishment of the Upper and Lower Ten-Mile Churches.

Demas Lindley's sons located about him, and all owed their prosperous start in life to his influence and assistance. They were Zenas, Joseph, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. When Demas Lindley died, in 1818, his will was found to have been made Dec. 20, 1802. It devised the whole of his estate to his son, John Lindley (as the only one who had not been previously provided for), with the provision that he pay to each of his sisters, i.e. Joanna, Sarah, and Abigail Lindley, twenty pounds in produce.
As noted above, the will of Demas Lindley was written December 20, 1802, but not filed for probate until May 28, 1818; witnesses were Joseph Morris, James Taylor, and Dennis Drake. Demas' son John was named executor. The will mentions Demas' wife and names the following children; John, Zenas, Joseph, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joanne, Sarah, and Abigail.
Among the January - February, 1818, death notices printed in the Washington Reporter (a weekly newspaper) was that for Demus Lindsley (sic), aged 84 years, of Morris Township.
Tombstone inscription:
In memory of Demas Lindly
Departed this life the 22nd of January 1818 in the 83rd year of his age and about the sixtyeth
year of his Eldership in the Church.

Blessed are the Dead which die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
By 1798, Demas had built and occupied a one-and-a-half story frame house measuring twenty-six by twenty-four feet. In the Direct Tax of 1798 this structure was valued at $278. The one hundred twenty acre home farm on which it sat was valued at $660.

Demas Lindley - Jacob Cook excerpts from an old book about Daniel Lindley
Posted by: Norm Smith on

One day last year I spotted the name "Lindley" on the spine of a book in an antiquarian book store. It contained this passage:

Daniel Lindley is the son of Jacob Lindley who is the brother of Issac Lindley, both sons of Demas Lindley and Joanna Prudden. Daniel achieved some fame when he became a missionary to the Zulu tribe in South Africa.

The following information is excerpted from “The Life and Times of Daniel Lindley, 1801-80” by Edwin W. Smith.

“In the seventeen-seventies a typical frontier fort stood on rising ground above a small river in Western Pennsylvania. The traveler who today drives through Washington County may see the monument of white granite that marks the site near the village of Prosperity. It is known as Lindley’s Fort.

It consisted of a bullet-proof and loopholed stockade of rough fifteen-foot logs, trimmed to sharp heads and planted in the form of a square. Block-houses of timber, jutting from and rising above the four corners, commanded the walls. Backed against the palisades within, and with roofs sloping inwards, several log-cabins provided for the accommodation of fugitives. A folding gate made of stout slabs afforded means of ingress and egress on the side nearest the spring, which supplied water. The whole was constructed without a nail or spike of iron. There was no stronger private fort on the marches; and none was more needed.

Whenever an alarm was raised that Indians were out on the war-path and marching thitherward, backwoodsmen seized their guns and conveyed their women and children to the fort. Any of them who were caught unawares lost their scalps and there lives or were carried off into captivity.

In the summer of 1774 there were may such alarms.

Indians were fighting desperately to withstand the inflooding despoilers of their lands resorted to the most abominable cruelties, sparing neither woman nor child in their savage butcheries. The white colonists often retaliated in kind. …. Pious Presbyterians found in the old commands to slay the Amalekites a warrant for the indiscriminate slaughter of the indigenous heathen. To many frontiersmen the only good Indian was a dead Indian. “
Following the brutal slaughter of most of his family, Tagajute, a half-breed Indian vowed vengeance, swearing to take twenty white scalps for each of his murdered family. The frontier quickly blazed from end to end. A thousand refugees crossed the Monongahela River in a single day, seeking refuge from tomahawk and scalping knife.

“The settlers on Ten Mile Creek hastened to Lindley’s Fort. On the 13th of June 1774, while the men in their buckskins stood on guard within the fort and the women clad in linsey-woolsey were busy with their cooking pots, Joanna, wife of Demas Lindley, owner of the land on which the fort stood, brought forth her ninth child. She already had an Abraham and an Issac among her sons so this one must be named Jacob.

The family is of English stock. (The history of the Lindley, Lindsley-Linsey Families in America, by John Lindley) Three Lyndeleys fought at Agincourt in 1415, but we have no warrant for claiming them among Daniel Lindley’s forebears. The earliest to whom any certainty attaches is John Lindley, who makes his appearance in 1592, a year before Parliament passed an act ‘to retain the Queen’s subjects in subjection’. Any person who obstinately refused to attend the services of the Established Church, or should frequent other religious meetings, was thereby liable to be imprisoned without bail until he conformed. John Lindley was one of the non-conformists. Since his property was confiscated, we may infer that he was a contumacious rebel. For seven or eight years he languished in prison. In 1608 he was released, or escaped, and joined other exiles in Holland. What he did for the next thirty years is not known. He certainly did not, as some descendants have imagined, sail in the Mayflower. But he was on board one of the two hundred ships, which anchored off the New England coast after 1633. With him were his two sons, John and Francis. The younger men are mentioned in the record of a lawsuit at New Haven, a young colony on the coast, in 1645. Francis Lindley was among the men who refunded the 12 pounds the colony had paid the Indians and moved out to found a new settlement named Branford. Francis and John were admitted to share in the first distribution of land at Branford. The settlers cleared the forest and built a meetinghouse surrounded by palisades, which during worship was guarded by armed men against the Indians. Francis was several times selected for the dangerous and responsible duty of herding the towns cattle……

The Lindley’s were associated with that most rigid of rigid Puritans, Abraham Pierson, a graduate of Cambridge, who before leaving England was a clergyman at Yorkshire. … Pierson held inflexibly to the opinion that only members of the Church should be Freemen and enjoy the franchise. … in 1665m New Haven was absorbed into Connecticut, where the vote was not restricted to Church members, he shook the dust of the colony off his feet and departed southward, with almost the whole congregation and other like-minded Puritans, and founded a new settlement on the banks of the Passiac in New Jersey: it was named Newark after his parish in England. Only members of Congregational churches were to be admitted freemen or free burgesses.

The three Lindleys were among the forty-eight men who remained at Branford; but soon afterwards Francis followed his pastor to Newark, where he died in 1704. By his wife, Susana Cullpeper, whom he married at Branford in 1655, he had eight children. The eldest son John, removed from Newark to Morristown, a few miles distant, and was buried there in 1749. He gave his name to a son, distinguished as “Judge John”, born in 1694. Of this John’s ten children, the seventh, named Demas, saw the light in 1733. He took for wife Joanna Prudden, who came to America in 1637; he removed to Mendham, New Jersey, and after begetting eight children joined the adventurous spirits who were seeking new homes in the West. In 1773, when he was forty years of age, he and Jacob Cook (who had married Demas’s sister Phebe) led out twenty families from the neighborhood of Mendham. …..’’

The Lindley-Cook party may have had wagons for the first part of the venture but as the primitive roads disappeared into Indian footpaths they surely traveled on foot most of the way.

“The Lindley-Cook party probably comprised at least a hundred persons, great and small. Demas Lidley and his sister Phebe seem to have had twelve children between them at this time and possibly most of not all of these accompanied their parents. The horses, cows, possibly pigs, must have made up a considerable caravan. They had to ford swift mountain torrents and large rivers bearing picturesque Indian names. The trail thridded (sic) long narrow defiles between thickly wooded heights, through dark, gloomy, steamy forest aisles; it climbed hazardously and fell precipitously over mountains where a slip or stumble might send horse and burden hurtling hundreds of feet below. When night fell the party sought the shelter of some deserted cabin or stretched themselves out around the camp fires. The farther west they went the fewer were the signs of human habitation-and they were never free of danger from marauding Indians.

….. They descended the mountains somewhere near Braddock mountain, passed by Gist’s plantation on to Redstone at the Monongahela river. After crossing this stream, some miles to the south-west they struck Ten Mile Creek and followed it though the dense forest. Then the party divided; Jacob Cooke’s section of four families settled down first on the southern fork of the Creek, where the village of Amity would one day arise; Demas Lindley went with the rest two or three miles farther and settled at various points on the northern and middle forks of the same creek. They had traveled some six hundred miles. Ten miles north of them was the place occupied by the Indian chief Tingocqua; it became Bassettown and later Washington.

Farms were then to be obtained on easy terms. The building of a cabin and the raising of a crop of grain entitled a man to ownership of four hundred acres. Demas Lindley’s farm, named ‘Mill Place’, was of that size and was warranted to him on 5th February 1785; and he also acquired another of three hundred and sixty-eight acres which he named ‘Headquarters’. He built the first gristmill in the region, damming the creek and leading out a race. Tradition says that the millstones were imported from France and carried across the mountains in sections. Such stones may be seen today on the site amid the ruins of the old mill.

After the Revolution Demas’s two brothers, Caleb and Levi, joined him on Ten Mile Creek. Caleb’s thirteen children were all born in New Jersey; five at least of them went with their parents. Levi purchased a farm known as Bucks Flat at what is called Lindley’s Mill, two miles down the creek from the fort. These early generations of the Lindley family were both prolific and long-lived; we know the names of Demas’s sixty-two grandchildren, of Caleb’s twenty-one and of Levi’s thirty-six; Demas lived to be eighty-five, Caleb eighty-three, Levi seventy.

Demas Lindley was a pious man; his tombstone at Upper Ten Mile records that he was an elder of the Church for sixty years. He gave a site near the fort for a house of worship and there on an eminence a building of hewn logs was erected by the men in 1782. Demas and his wife were among the twenty-three constituent members of the church which was organized in the fort the preceding year.

Life was inescapably rough in these pioneer settlements. They were situated within the belt of hardwood forest which extends south through Kentucky. The first dwellings were cabins of logs piled one on another. Game abounded and the settlers lived largely by their guns. What they called ‘bread’ was really lean venison and breast of wild turkey. The staple food was ‘hog and hominy’, with milk and mush for supper. They made their own candles, spun and wove their own cloth. Men’s garments were fashioned for the most part from deer- skins. In summer, which was the season of war, the men went armed into the fields, while their families sheltered in or around the fort. Their dread was not without reason. In one month the Indians killed or captured seven persons on Ten Mile Creek. Most of the men of the settlement took active part in the expeditions against the Indians. (One could get 12 pounds 10 shillings for an Indian scalp in 1782.)

The book continues with the life of Daniel Lindley.

More About Demas Lindley:
Burial: Unknown, Presbyterian Church, Prosperity, Washington, Pa.

More About Demas Lindley and Joanna Prudden:
Marriage: January 25, 1755, Mendham, Morris, NJ.661

Children of Demas Lindley and Joanna Prudden are:
  1. +Zenas Lindley, b. December 25, 1755, Mendham, Morris Co., NJ661, d. September 15, 1838, Piqua, OH661.
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