Wellsville Daily Reporter - December 8, 1894 -- Transcribed by Mary Rhodes
REMINISCENCES OF WELLSVILLE - Part III
LOST IN THE WOODS
Another Tale of Early Life I the Town of Wellsville
The Father of Job Straight Spends Eight Days Lost in the Wilds – While Two Hundred Men Hunt for Him…Dr. Sheerar’s Reminiscences Continued.
The incident I am about to relate will be remembered by but a very few now living, and the reader will see that in the very early life of Wellsville the people had some exciting times.
In a former letter I referred to Mrs. Job Straight. Her husband’s father, a man 90 years old, lived with them, their house being located where the present trotting park is.
One day in April 1833, father Straight started, as was supposed, to go to his grandson’s not very far distant. He did not return the next day as expected, and Mr. Job Straight Jr. went in search of him, and found to his great surprise that the old gentleman had not been there at all. The way leading to the grandson’s being but a narrow path through the woods, the natural inference was, he had strayed. Mr. S. Jr. immediately visited Mr. Rowley’s and an alarm was sounded, and a search promptly instituted. Torches were made ready and a few earnest ones started in the twilight for the wanderer. Not finding him, they enlisted what people they could, and held a consultation to decide as to the most probable course the lost man had taken. The search was then continued; all hoping and expecting very soon to find him, but their efforts were in vain. Next day with an increased force they scoured the woods. Thus the search went on for several days, the number of searchers increasing and the interest becoming greater and greater as no trace of the lost man could be found. Various conjectures were made, some thought violent hands had been laid upon him, or an evil beast had slain him, or he had perished from cold and hunger. On the 8th day, which was Sunday, men from the towns of Andover, Willing, Wellsville and Scio formed a company of some 200 or more and resolved to make one grand effort to discover the lost one.
Under the leadership of Mr. Willard Adams two lines of men were formed, one leading from Mr. Zenas Jones nursery, to what was known as Uncle B. Adams place. The other, the Andover company, extended from Shoemakers Corners to Dykes’ creek. The men were in speaking distance of each other, armed with guns and horns. Mr. Zenas Jones carried a first rate conch shell. The signal of success was to be the firing of three guns and the horns to be blown.
The two lines began to swing towards each other about 8 o’clock in the morning on the 8th day, slowing and cautiously they moved, scanning every nook and corner of the dense forest. About 3 o’clock in the afternoon, three guns were fired and then a blast of horns and conch shell awakened such echoes as have never been heard in Wellsville since. All rushed to the place, shouting “The lost is found, the lost is found”.
Mr. Straight was discovered by the Andover company (but the place cannot be identified now) he was lying upon his face and wonderful to relate was alive, but almost unconscious. His mouth was filled with roots, which showed evidently that he had subsisted upon such food as he could find. He was kindly cared for and lived some time after this remarkable episode in his life.
There are two men and possibly only two now living who helped to make up the company that rescued this unfortunate man. Mr. John Cline of Wellsville and George W. Cate of Standards Corners.
Jan 1895 H. M. Sheerar