The Patriot

{Flora L. VerStraten submits the following speech she read during the graveside service for William Maple. Some of her comments were taken from a history written by Fay Vance Morrison.} The Maple family is of French origin – the earliest ancestor to come to America was an exiled Huguenot who settled in Middlesex Co., NJ near Princeton in colonial days. They followed John Calvin. In NJ the name was spelled Shake-Maple.

Wm. Maple was born in Middlesex about 1738 and lived there during the Revolution. He would have been about 38 when he served as a teamster or wagonmaster in the Battle of Trenton (in the Army) considered one of Washington’s greatest victories and he served in other engagements as well. He later moved from NJ to Fayette Co., PA and from there migrated to the Northwest Territory.

Wm. Maple came to Ohio June 15, 1797 landing on the Ohio shore at a point between Elliotsville and Empire. Wm. arrived in the Northwest Territory in what is now Knox. Twp. in his late 50’s so he must have been a hardy man. We can only imagine the life of that family, the first settlers to clear land, build and provide food by hunting. They may have had a friend in Henry Vantilburg for he too, was from the same area in NJ as well as John Spiller and Nathan Shaw, all patriots from the same area.

Wm. had a new wife, Anny Moore when he arrived here. His first wife was Kiziah Larrison. Their children were listed in the old family Bible as: Abigail; Wm.; Dolley; George; Sarah; Ann; Clarrissa; Benjamin; and Kiziah. His second wife, she gave birth to Jacob May 1, 1798; Elizabeth; Rachel; and Mariah. His son, Benjamin was a Captain in the War of 1812. Benjamin had 21 children. His son was a soldier in the Mexican War and several descendants of Wm.’s lineage served in the Civil War for the Union. This family follows a long line of men that served their country throughout many generations that lead us here on this beautiful countryside morning to honor the patriot, William Maple.

Wm. and his family settled on the hill above Port Homer. In The History of Jefferson County, pg. 792 it states, “He was buried on the hill above Port Homer, on the Patrick Haley place.”