David Studebaker Born in 1773. Died 12/21/1840. Married Catherine Michaels 6/14/1803 in Worth Twp, Butler Co. David was the first pioneer settler in Butler County in 1790 and his marriage to Catherine was the first marriage recorded in Worth Twp. David served in the War of 1812 in Capt John Shaffer's Co. as a private from January 12, 1814 to March 19, 1814 at the battle of Lake Erie. He served with the 138th Regiment, Pennsylvania Militia. From Volume II The Studebaker Family in America 1986 LOC#86-61143
In 1776, he traveled West with his parents in a covered wagon to Franklin Twp, Westmoreland Co, Pa. As a child, David enjoyed the hair-raising tales his father told him about living with the Indians during his captive life. Joseph taught David some Indian language which later saved his life. After the Revolutionary War was over, Joseph asked David to go North into Indian territory (which now encompasses Butler Co, PA) to pick out a good piece of land which would be in payment for Joseph's Revolutionary War service. David and a group of light-hearted young men crossed the Allegheny River at Logan's Ferry. The people at the ferry told such blood-chilling stories of the dangers north of the river that all of the young men turned back except David and his friend, Abraham Snyder. They crossed the river in a canoe. On land they traveled North and camped on the site of the present city of Butler, PA. They then pushed further north and explored the virgin forest for many days, as far north as French Creek where the present city of Franklin, Venango Co, PA now stands. This was in 1790.
One rainy evening they were returning to one of their camps and had to cross over the Slippery Rock Creek on a log. The creek had risen due to the rain so they were unable to cross and return to their camp. Presently, they saw a light and went to it. It was a camp of Indians having supper of venison. The Indians invited David and Abraham to join them. While eating the deer meat David remarked to Abraham that the meat would taste better with salt. One Indian overheard him and left the campfire. Soon he came back with a pot of salt water which he placed on the fire and shortly afterward turned out some salt on a piece of bark for the white man.
David and Abraham built a log cabin near a spring near the present village of Jacksville, Worth Twp, Butler Co, PA and returned to Greensburg to tell of their travels and adventures in the spring of 1791. Historians agree that David Studebaker was the first pioneer settler of Butler County, PA.
In 1791 David returned to the cabin in the wilderness and cleared the land for an orchard. In 1792 he brought young fruit trees from Greensburg and planted his orchard. David had brought his young sister, "Kitty", with him to be his housekeeper, but she became lonesome for her family in Greensburg. The Indians and wild forest terrified her. David took her home to Franklin Twp, Westmoreland Co, PA and brought his older sister, Susannah, back to his log cabin home. Later David brought the rest of his family to live with him on his four hundred acres of land that he had surveyed by William Elliott.
On June 14, 1803, David Studebaker married Miss Catherine Michaels. Their marriage was the first in Worth Twp, Butler Co, PA. David bought land on Honey Creek and built a cabin. Leter he built a handmade brick house, which is still in use today ...
David served in the War of 1812 in Capt John Shaffer's Co, as a private from January 12, 1814 to March 19, 1814 at the battle of Lake Erie. He served with the 138th Regiment, Pennsylvania Militia.
In the winter when David was unable to farm, he would hunt wolves for the bounty that was placed on them. These wolf bounties helped to tide the family over the winter months when cash reserves were low.
David was tall, had a dark complexion, black hair and brown eyes. He died on Dec 21, 1840 and was buried at the old Baptist Cem, Harlansburg, Lawrence Co, PA. After the original Baptist church was torn down years later, the cemetery decayed and was unkempt. Now, it is impossible to find the headstone which he himself carved from a field stone. Some well-meaning group made a new stone for him, but it has incorrect dates on it.