The Genealogy of the Sheldon and Watson Families
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History of Hinckels Fort

HINKLE'S FORT (Germany Valley, Pendleton County, VA/WV) Hinkle's Fort, built 1761-62, was located in Germany Valley, near Riverton. It was built by John Justus Henckel, Sr. (1706-1778), who came in 1760 from North Carolina with most of his twelve children, some with families, in search of a new home where Indians were less hostile and the soil more fertile. After a journey of weeks, they caught sight of their "promised land" when they reached the top of North Fork Mountain. Three sons, Abraham, Sr., John Justus, Jr., and Isaac, and three Teter son-in-laws were with him. John Justus, Sr. son of Rev. Anthony Jacob Henckel, had immigrated to America in 1717 with his parents who settled near Philadelphia, PA. He later moved to North Carolina. The fort was built as a protection against the Indians not only for the Hinkle family but for other settlers in the area. The settlement became know as Germany Valley because the families, all of German descent, conversed in their native German. Unlike Fort Seybert and Fort Upper Tract, Hinkle's Fort was spared destruction. During the Revolutionary War, Hinkle's Fort became the only outpost in Pendleton County for the patriot forces. John Justus Henckel, Sr. had been officially recognized for his services as commander of the fort and in furnishing supplies to the troops (detachments of the Virginia Militia) quartered there. The fort was headquaters and training grounds for the North Fork Military Company which had been organized by settlers early in the Revolutionary War and whose first captains were son-in-laws and sons of John Justus Henckel, Sr. After the Revolutionary War and when danger of Indian raids was past, the fort was torn down and some of the timbers used to build a large house on the site. The family of John Justus Henckel, Sr. became a leading one in the early settlement and history of Pendleton County. Most of his sons and grandsons served in county offices. Isaac Hinkle and his nephew, Moses Hinkle,were two of eleven justices commissioned by the governor of Virginia to organize the new county of Pendleton, 1788. Eleven years earlier, Isaac Hinkle had been similarly commissioned to assit in the formation of Rockingham County, VA. Markers at the site of the fort and at the graves of John Justus Henckel, Sr. and wife were dedicated on September 19, 1936 at a Henckel family reunion with several hundred descendants from throughout the United States in attendance who came to pay a lasting tribute to the memory of one of their patriarchs. Written and submitted by Sarah Hinkle Warner From Pendleton County, WV Past and Present, page 61

Linked toJohann Justus Henckel

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