Mead, Darius I
Darius Mead I descends from an English Family. Darius’s immigrant ancestor, William Mead, emigrated from Lydd, County Kent, England, on the vessel Elizabeth to the Massachusetts Colony. He eventually moved to Connecticut, and was one of the original settlers in Stamford, part of the New Haven Colony.
Darius Mead I was born on March 28, 1728 in Greenwich, Connecticut. Darius married Ruth Curtis around 1750 and had children: David (January 17, 1752), Asahel, John, Ruth (April 16, 1761), Darius II (December 9, 1764) Betsy (June 1, 1769) and Joseph Mead. Darius purchased a farm in Hudson, New York, and moved there. After his first son was born in Hudson, Darius moved to Pennsylvania and became proprietor of some valuable lands in Wyoming County under Pennsylvania titles, which were patented for £5 per 100 acres. Darius lived near Fort Augusta (modern day Sunbury, Pennsylvania), which was a frontier trading post for commerce with the Indians.
The colony of Connecticut had been granted an overlapping claim to the same area by King Charles II, and Connecticut tried to settle the area under the Susquehannah Company. This led to quarrels between the settlers from Connecticut and Pennsylvania, in which Darius was driven from his lands in Wyoming County. On February 8, 1772, the Assembly of Pennsylvania voted to given money to the families driven off their land, including Darius, his wife and five children. Darius then moved to the western bank of the North Branch of the Susquehanna River, six miles north of the town of Northumberland. Around 1778, the Indians of Western Pennsylvania began to prey upon the white settlers. Darius’ son Asahel was found killed and horribly mutilated by Indians.
During the Revolutionary War, Darius served as a private in the Pennsylvania militia. Darius followed his children to western Pennsylvania in 1791. That year, Darius Mead was captured by Captain Bull, a Delaware chief, near Fort Franklin. He was working in his field when he was captured, and the hostile Indians took him twenty miles to Conneaut Lake, where they camped for the night. Darius managed to untie his hands, and he crept up on Captain Bull, drew the Indian’s hunting knife, and stabbed the Indian through the heart. The other two Indians managed to overpower him after being mortally wounded themselves. Darius was brutally cut to pieces with a tomahawk. Several days later, Conewyando, a non-hostile Seneca Indian, found Darius Mead dead, with the dead Captain Bull at his side. Conewyando then sent his daughter to Fort Franklin to inform his family. Two men from the garrison of Fort Franklin found Darius and Captain Bull, and buried them side by side where they were found, near Shenango Creek in Mercer County.