Harvesting apples on the McIntosh Tree

America’s role as a melting pot of different races, religions, and ideas has often been commented upon.  Sometimes these differences bring the nation together as “Americans” and other times they separate the country into fanatical opposites.  The melding process was never more apparent than among the descendants of Ann Huffstutter, the daughter of Ulrich and his first wife Catherine.

Certainly the exploits of Ann’s husband, Peter McIntosh, both during the Revolutionary War and on the frontier in Pennsylvania and Indiana contain enough guts and glory for any history buff , but there is more to the family story. Ann and Peter’s two sons both married into the Boone family.  This brought more prestige to the family line with connections to Daniel Boone and his famous extended family.  However, the story did not end there.

Recently, through The Huffstutter Family website, we connected with a McIntosh descendant named Clay Jones and he had a whopper of a family story to add to the family history.  Mr. Jones in his e-mail declared his American Indian ancestry stating : “Besides Cherokee I am also Sac and Fox through a g-g-grandmother Keti-aqua (Eagle girl) and thereby a Sac and Fox tribal member. Her father was a Wa-she-ho-wa, a chief to which I find no other record. The Sac and Foxes were at Tippecanoe and were known earlier as the “British Band” because of their allegiance to them. So my ancestors were probably on the other side in the French and Indian War. Actually I am Mesquakie which is the “Fox” part of Sac and Fox.”

Mesquakie (Fox) Indians, 1857.  Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

Mesquakie (Fox) Indians, 1857. Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

Having caught my attention with his opening statement from here the story only became more intriguing to me.  Using the bits and pieces of history Mr. Jones tossed about so cavalierly in his e-mails I was able to piece together the family line which goes like this:

George Baxter McIntosh and his wife Elizabeth Ann Boone had 15 children.  Among them was a son, Moses Boone McIntosh who married Elizabeth Marksbury.  Their daughter Amaltha  Elizabeth McIntosh married John Jacob Case in Harrison Co., Iowa in 1868.  Their daughter Aseneth Aletha Case married as her second husband Leroy Jones.  So now we are down to the Jones branch of the McIntosh tree and explains how Clay Jones became a Huffstutter descendant dangling from one of the twigs.

As Clay Jones continued to tell his story, “Keti-aqua was the squaw of William Washington Jones whose enlistment papers show his occupation as gold miner enlisting from Breckenridge CO in 1862 and serving in the 3rd CO Cav…The Jones were from KY in the early 1800’s and “lived near the Lincoln’s and moved west”… He is said to have served in the Black Hawk Indian War acquiring his Sac and Fox wife and my g-grandfather Henry Clay Jones was born on the Iowa River near Tama, IA in 1844.”

Now that was a terrific story but it does not end here.  Mr. Jones added to the tale: “…A great uncle, William Jones, I did not tell you about. He was my grandfather’s half-brother. [sic Henry Clay Jones] He began by his mother dying when he was 1 or 2 and then being raised by his grandmother Kati-aqua so that his first language was Meskwakie. He was a cowboy in Kansas. His father encouraged him to go to school, I think at Carlisle, Hampton Institute, Harvard, then a Ph.D at Columbia. Some of his essays at Harvard were beautiful and were online at one time. He produced several texts, such as Fox Tales, which is the mythology of the Meskwakie and is written in that language which he devised a writing for on one page and the English on the other. But being the 2nd Indian to get a Ph. D. in ethnography under Franz Boas (the first native American having gotten a Ph. D in the 1600’s) there would be difficulty in finding an academic position. He took on a field trip to the Philippines funded by the Field Museum to establish his name. But after a couple of years as he was pressing to go home he was killed. ..Much of the story is recounted in a book written about him in about 1912 by a Harvard friend.”

After a little hunting and pecking online I managed to find the book: William Jones, Indian, Cowboy, American Scholar, and Anthropologist in the fields, by Henry Milner Rideout and if you like cowboy and Indian stories I recommend it.  You will enjoy the poetical  “Indian” views of life as much as I did. 

Here is a personal description of William Jones from Rideout’s book:

“It was always regret to him as well as to his friends that he had not been able to conquer his shyness and learn enough of music to write out the songs he knew so well. A friend to whom he was willing to sing them tried to take down some of the simpler songs, but never succeeded in getting them quite as he knew they ought to be. One only — a simple little one — remains to bear the stamp of his approval — the song he as a little boy sang to the snake, begging him to find the arrow he has lost in the grass.

As a little child he learned to imitate the call of the birds and squirrels, the wild prairie animals and the horses, and often amused himself, even in the East, by, as he said, ‘talking to them’. Any horse was of interest, and sometimes on the crowded streets he would stop to ‘say just a word to that tired old horse’. Whatever it was, the horse would prick up his ears and seem to understand.

He also had a trick of patting on his knees the different gaits of a horse— trotting, cantering, loping, galloping or running — so accurately that one could almost see the action. Imitating the reports of different firearms was another form of amusement. ‘Hark’, he would exclaim, under his breath, ‘do you hear that Winchester way over yonder?’ And sure enough from ‘way over yonder’ would come the sound that one could hardly believe was made by a human throat.”

Knowing the Joneses would have been a pleasure. Thank you, Clay Jones, for sharing your wonderful family history with us. We can safely say the descendants of Ann Huffstutter McIntosh garnered their share of fame and truly represent the diversity of America and the amalgam of different cultures that glues us together. 

Connie Graves

11 Aug 2013