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The story of the Pringles

Samuel Pringle was our earliest known relative in the United States. He came to America with his brother, John. They had come from Scotland and joined the British Army to fight the Americans. They were stationed at the garrison at Fort Pitt. In 1761 Samuel, John and 2 other men deserted from the fort and ascended the Monongahela as far as the mouth of Georges Creek( the town of Geneva). They were not satisfied in this area and crossed over to the head of the Youghiogheny and camped in the glades about 1 year.

On one of their hunting trips Samuel came on a path which he supposed would lead into what was then Virginia (now West Virginia). The men decided to explore the area and found it lead to a settlement called Loone's Creek. There 2 of their party were recognized as deserters and captured. John and Samuel succeeded in making their escape back to the glades where they remained until 1764. During this time they worked as trappers for John Simpson. As the area became "crowded" with hunters, the Pringles decided to move further west. After parting company with Simpson they contiued up the Valley (Tygart) River until they observed a large right hand fork (now Buckhannon). They proceeded several more miles, and at the mouth of a small branch (now Turkey Creek) they setted in the cavity of a large sycamore tree (which still stands at a park site just outside of Buckhannon off Rt.20N).

Life for the Pringles during their several years at this site could not have been enviable. Of course it was necessary because of their desertion from the army. They lived in constant fear of discovery. In the vicinity were also Indians as well as wildlife--panthers, wolves,herds of buffalo, elk and deer.

In 1767 the men were reduced to only two loads of powder, so John left his brother intending to make for a trading post on the Shenandoah. In the absence of his brother, Samuel suffered a good deal. his food stock became entirely exhausted and one load of powder was lost in a fruitless attempt to shoot a buck. With his remaining load of powder, he was fortunate enough to kill a buffalo, and soon after his brother, John, retuned. With him, he brought the good news of peace with both the French and the Indians. With the news, the brothers felt they were no longer in danger, and agreed to leave their hiding place.

Their wilderness home was left with some regret. Every object around had become dear to them. The tree in whose hollow they had so frequently been sheltered from storms was regarded with reverence, and they resolved that as soon as they could get other to accompany them they would return to this area.

In the following year(1768) Samuel returned to the area with others, and cultivated the area for growing corn.

A story has it that when John Pringle went to the South Branch for ammunition, Samuel's wife, Charity, upon hearing the whereabouts of her husband, immediately left on her own, following the trail John had blazed for his own return, and found her husband.

Samuel Pringle is buried in Upshur County near the community of Sago, between Buckhannon and French Creek.