Henrich Devault
Marie Catherine Graever-Geaver
Henry Dawalt


Family Links

1. Elizabeth (Kitty) Gross

Henry Dawalt 1

  • Born: 1 Jan 1774, Buffalo, Erie County, New York, USA 2
  • Marriage (1): Elizabeth (Kitty) Gross before 1801 in Sullivan County, Tennessee, USA
  • Died: 20 Sep 1864, Washington County, Indiana, USA at age 90 2
  • Buried: Dawalt Family Cemetery 2

bullet  General Notes:

The following was taken from "Henry DeWald, 1733-1817, York County, Pennsylvania" by DeVault, Newland.Pg 137-149
7th child of HENRY & MARY CATHERINE DEWALD of York Co., Pa.
HENRY DEWALD Jr., or Dewalt as he spelled his name after his marriage in Tenneesssee and moving to Indiana, was born near Hanover, Pa., on Jan 1st 1774 and died near Salem, Ind., September 20th 1864. His wife, Elizabeth Gross was born Oct 10, 1776 and died Nov 15 1851. She originally being from Rockingham Co., W. Va.
Henry and his brother Gabriel, then married, were the first of the Dewald, Davault, DeVault, brothers to settle in Tennessee -- coming in the fall of 1797. Gabriel, with his family, settled at DeVault's Ford, on the old John Bean Plantation, which had previously been purchased by their father, Henry Dewald, from John Bean -- for the court records of Washington Co., shows a permit issued to "Gabriel DaVault" in Nov of 1798 to operate a ferry across the Watauga river. There Gabriel remained until the fall of 1800 when his brothers, Valentine and Frederick Davault, came and settled, for their father had purchased the old John bean Plantation for them; then Gabriel moved a little ways north on the Holstein River to the two adjoining farms, which their father had purchased for Gabriel and for Henry -- purchased them from a John Bishop on Sept 25 1797.
It is most likely that Henry settled at once, upon arrival in late 1797, on the land his father had purchased for him on the Holstein River. "John Bishop to Henry DeValt, consideration $400.00 current money of Va., dated Sept 25 1797, part of a track of land in Sullivan Co., and State of Tennessee -- 400 acres more or less." Another adjoining track was purchased or recorded on November 29, 1800. These two tracks were to belong to Henry and Gabriel at the death of their father, and the track at DeVault's Ford (John Bean's old Plantation) was to belong to Valentine and Frederick.
Henry's and Gabriel's farm adjoined that of Jacob Gross, who had a daughter, Elizabeth Gross, whom Henry was soon to marry -- date not known, but their first child was born in December of 1801 in Tennessee, and about a year later Henry was to move to Indiana and settle near what was later to be known as Salem.
There are several discrepencies in the local Histories of Washington County, Indinan concerning Henry Dewalt and his arrival. He is reputed to have built the third house in Salem, in 1803 -- then until 1808 he operated a Tavern; shortly after that he moved to a farm near Salem where he was to spend the remainder of his life. However Henry's third child, Elizabeth Dewalt (married to Wm. Payne) in the census of 1850 lists her birth place as Tennessee -- she was born 3-15-1807 and if that is so she must have been born while her parents were back in Tennessee on a visit.
Henry Dewalt had a varied career -- I have his picture, given me by Wm. and Bernice Hilton, of Salem, the only picture to my knowledge of any of the children of Henry and Mary Catherine Dewald of Pa. He is a big, burly, gruff looking type of man with typical German features. It is said that Henry and three others picked the site of Salem and named it. They first decided to call the place Vernon, but Henry with his strong German accent, could not pronounce the name -- called it WERNON -- so they changed the name to Salem. Henry's brother, Phillip, had a son, Daniel Dewald, who too looked German and had a very strong German accent and could not pronounce many English words.
Henry Dewalt was a Captain in the Militia (1812), later a Colonel, an Indian fighter, an operator of a Tavern for four years, a flat boat operator to New Orleans, a deputy Sheriff at one time (1817) and a County Commissioner for several years. He made considerable money flatboating down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. The story is told that Henry was drowned on one of his trips to New Orleans. The report was verified and accepted as true by his friends and family. Their shock was great (and their relief) when he came walking in to his home one dark night.
He was a Lutheran, like his parents; a "proslavery" man, and took slaves from the underground "railway" and returned them to their masters.
In the fall of 1820, shortly after the settlement of his father's estate, at which time Henry came into possession of his interest in the two farms on the Holstein in Sullivan Co. (the will stated that Henry and Gabriel had an equal interest in these farms) he rode horseback to Tennessee where he sold his interest to his brother Gabriel, who had been farming the two farms. This transfer was made Sept 7, 1820; the signatures on the deed are interesting. Henry of Indiana had been spelling his name as "Dewalt," but the two brothers, and a nephew (as witness) had to spell the name the same as on the original deed -- hence "Devalt." The description of this land is as follows: "beginning at the original bounded trees, a hickory and a dogwood, thence nearly west to a white oak beginning at a Spanish oak on Jacob Gross line (his father-in-law) (Henry's) west 64 poles to the two white oak saplings."
When Henry returned to Salem he carried with him on horseback two small pine trees (evergreen) from the farm which he had sold, and planted them on his farm in front of his house -- his old homestead. These trees were pointed out to us, with pride, by Charlie and Earl Dewalt, when we visited the place in 1946. We also say several old land transfers of about 1820 or later. Henry Dewalt made a trip to Pennsylvania on horseback in the spring of 1844 -- see copy of letter written by his son John Gross Dewalt to his cousin, John Devault in Leesburg, Tennessee. What interested me the most was an old German Lutheran Bible, which both Charlie and Earl think is the original family Bible of Henry Dewald of York Co., Pa. But NO PROFF. Earl says he remembers his Farndfather, John Gross Dewalt, handling the Bible very carefully, allowing no one during his lifetime to handle it except himself; stating further that the Bible was "brought over from the old country in an especially constructed wooden box." I turned though the pages, could not find any dates of births or deaths -- no marriages -- and no pages for such data, which is strange for old Bibles of that period.
But I question this being the original Bible of Henry and Mary Catherine Dewald of Pa.; for in the settlement of the estate of HENRY DEWALD there was a Bible listed, value $5.00 which went to his widow, who died later in 1837; she at the time of her death living with her youngest daughter, Juliane Wortz, and it is most likely that Julianne gave it to her youngest daughter, Louise, who married Abner Forney. For a Granddaughter had this to say (Mrs. Bertha Newcomber of Hanover, Pa in 1955): "When my Grandmother Forney (daughter of Julia Wortz, youngest child of Henry Dewalt) passed on in 1917, the household effects were sold, and of course we were young, and did not care for antigues, and did not buy anything, but found out later that this Bible was the one belonging to Grandmother's family, probably Henry's Bible -- we have since tried to find it, but have not been successful."
If the Bible in Indiana is the original family Bible of Henry Dewald of Pa., which could be the case, there are no dates whatsoever and I could not determine if any pages had been taken out or out out that might have contained family records. The two children most likely to come in possession of the Bible, would be Henry Jr. of Indiana and the youngest daughter, Julianne Wortz, with whom his wife lived after Henry's death in 1817.
At the death of his father in 1817, Henry of Indiana, received in addition to the farm in Sullivan Co., TN -- 33 pounds in cash. He left no will.

The following is an article taken from the "History of Washington Co., Indiana," concerning the "Dewalt" family of Salem Indiana:
HENRY C. DAWALT -- his father and Grandfather
Henry C. Dawalt, farmer, Salem, Washington Co., was born on March 6 1852, on the old Dawalt homestead and is the son of John and Mary Tatlock Dawalt. He grew up under the paternal roof, on the farm entered by his Grandfather from the government, and attended the Quaker Seminary, when it was conducted by Prof. Ponkha, about five miles east of Salem, which was at that time a famous school, students coming from all parts of Indiana.
John G. Dawalt, father of the subject of this sketch, was born about 1816 where the farmers store is now located on South Main Street, where his father then kept a Tavern. He was the son of Henry and Elizabeth Gross Dawalt -- he lies buried in the old Dawalt burial grounds on the farm. Mr. Dawalt was united in marriage with Mary Tatlock by whom he had four children: Wmeline, Scott, Henry G. and Commodore. Emeline died when about 11 years old; Scott died whet about 16 years old and Commodore died in 1912.
HENRY DAWALT, the paternal Grandfather and wife, Elizabeth Gross Dawalt, were natives of York Co., Pa. and Rockingham W. Va. resp., and both of German Lineage. Mr. Dawalt came to Washington County frist in 1803, settling in Sect. 15 where he spent the remainder of his life, with the exception of four years. His death coming at the age of 90. Mrs. Dawalt died at the age of 75. He was Commissioned Captain of the Militia by the Territorial Governor Harrison, receiving several promotions until he was made a Colonel of his Regiment and was at the head of his Company during the Pigden Roost Massacre. Mr. Dawalt kept Tavern for four years in Salem, in the third house build in town, erected by himself in 1805-07. He bought many tracks of land.
On his farm, three miles east of Salem, was a cabin, that was used as a defense against the Indians, where settlers gathered for mutual protection during the time of Indian scares. Mr. Dawalt was frankly a "Pro-Slaver Man," and did his duty as he saw it, taking runaway slaves from the "underground railway," and returning them to their masters. Besides being a Colonel in the Militia, Henry Dawalt was a County Commissioner, serving several terms. To Henry and Elizabeth Dawalt were born the following children: Henry, Daniel, John G., Betsy (Eliza), Susan, Polly, Kate and a girl who died young. He died at the age of 90 and lies buried in the old Dawalt burial grounds on his old farm.
The name "Dawalt," was formerly spelled as Dewald and is of German origin, signifying, "of the woods." -- From "History of Washington Co. Indiana."
The following article from the "Western Sun" of 9-8-1812 -- concerning the Pidgen Roost Massacre, mentions our Henry Dawalt, then Captain of the Militia:
Indiana Territory - 1812
"An express has just arrived in town from Pidgen Roost which brings the distressing intelligence of the Indians having killed 23 souls in addition to which one young man is missing. They were pursued by a party under Captain DeVolt, who fell in with the Indians on Driftwood and had a skirmish with them in which one man was mortally wounded." Note: the name was spelled with a V instead of a W.
In 1946, I first visited the old homeplace of Henry and Elizabeth Gross Dawalt, then the home of Charlie and Earl Dawalt. Examined the old German Bible, the old clock and old papers - photographed the old stones in the old apple orchid and enjoyed a ride on an old hay bailer - as they were putting up hay. They gave me brief data about their family, as prepared in 1922 by Eva and Nora Dawalt, sisters. About 1964, Earl and his brother, Perre Dawalt visited us in California. Much data of names and dates have been obtained though Walter and Bernice Hilton, of Salem -- Bernice being the Gr Gr Granddaughter of Henry Dawalt of Indiana -- through their many letters. We first met them in 1968 when we visited together the old DeVault and Kitzmiller homes in Washington Co., Tenn., along with Bernice's Uncle, Earl Dawalt. Also much data from local Histories and especially from censusses of 1850 and 1880 - the 1860 census being almost impossible to read.
Walter Milton called my attention to an interesting speculation -- that there is a possiblility that today, 1966, there might be only one person in the Henry Dawalt line of Indiana, to carry on the Dawalt name -- a Joseph Dawalt of Peru, Ind., born 1952. However Daniel Dawalt had four sons, of whom we know nothing, except that one died in the Civil War -- whether the others had male heirs -- we do not know. ~End "Henry DeWald, 1733-1817, York County, Pennsylvania" by DeVault, Newland.


Henry married Elizabeth (Kitty) Gross before 1801 in Sullivan County, Tennessee, USA. (Elizabeth (Kitty) Gross was born on 10 Oct 1776 in Sullivan County, NC 2 and died on 15 Nov 1851 in Salem, Washington County, Indiana, USA 2.)



1 Biography of Daniel Dewalt (http://members.tripod.com/debmurray/washington/wb8.htm#0152).

2 Descendents of Elizabeth Gross Dawalt (http://members.fortunecity.com/shariben/family/elizadawalt.html).

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