Daniel Greathouse, born about 1750, is credited with masterminding the 1774 massacre of Mingo Chief Logan’s family in what is now Hancock County. Daniel was the son of Harmon Greathouse, an early settler of the region and a renowned frontiersman. The massacre of Chief Logan’s family is believed by some to have precipitated Dunmore’s War, although historians such as Otis Rice have labeled the massacre as only one of a series of incidents leading to that conflict.
Daniel Greathouse apparently was an Indian hater who organized a group of men to attack the Indians at Yellow Creek, Ohio, across the Ohio River from the Northern Panhandle. On pretext of a friendly visit, Greathouse entered the Indians’ camp but found them to be too well-established for an attack to succeed. When he discovered that several Indians had crossed the river and had gone to a tavern owned by Joshua Baker, at Baker’s Bottom in present Hancock County, Greathouse prevailed upon Baker to allow the Indians to have too much alcohol. When the Indians were inebriated, some of Greathouse’s group of men murdered them. Among those killed were Chief Logan’s brother and sister. In retaliation, Logan led raids along the Virginia frontier that accounted for more than 13 deaths. Greathouse died sometime between 1776 and 1778 of measles.
Written by Kenneth R. Bailey
Cranmer, G. L. History of the Upper Ohio Valley. Madison, WI: Brant, Fuller & Co., 1891.
Wayne, Audra Rickey & Barbara Ellen Wayne. The Greathouse Family of West Virginia. Booklet Wheeling, 1977.
Rice, Otis. Introduction. A Biographical Sketch of the Life of the Late Captain Michael Cresap. John J. Jacobs. Parsons: McClain, 1971.