Monday, April 27, 2009

James Galloway Family

James Galloway, Sr. and Family

By Rosalie Yoakam

James Galloway Sr. was an early pioneer of Greene County who, along with his children, contributed to its early development.

Galloway was born in 1750 in Pennsylvania. He served in the Revolutionary War for eighteen months as a hunter, providing game for the soldiers. While in Pennsylvania he married Rebecca Junkin.

The Galloway family moved to Kentucky and James is described in Robinson's History of Greene County as having "many of the traits of Daniel Boone".

Once Galloway was in the woods, alone and unarmed, when he encountered Simon Girty. Girty was one of the most hated men on the frontier, a renegade white man who fought along side the Indians. Girty shot Galloway believing he had killed him. Galloway, however, managed to turn his horse and rushed to his camp, a mile away. He arrived safely but fainting. The ball had passed through his shoulder and lodged near the back of his neck. It was decided to leave the ball and it remained for many years. It stayed painful and was influenced by the weather, behaving somewhat like a barometer. Sometimes, when an important event was planned in the community which required good weather, Galloway was consulted for a forecast. The ball was finally removed; some say by Dr. Joshua Martin and others claim it was a cobbler.

In 1782 Galloway was with General Roger Clarke on his second expedition against the Indians at Old Chillicothe. This village was located near present day Oldtown, north of Xenia. Clarke burned Old Chillicothe along with several other Indian villages.

Perhaps this service impressed Galloway with the area as he returned in the spring of 1798 with his family: his wife, four sons and one daughter. Another son and daughter were born in later years.

The family built a log house near what is now Goes Station on US 68. The house has been moved several times and is now located on the grounds of the Greene County Historical Society in Xenia.

The original house location was near the destroyed Old Chillicothe. Tecumseh, the famous Shawnee chief had been born there and often visited in the area. He became friends with James Galloway and through his association with the family developed a relationship with Rebecca. She taught Tecumseh the English language, how to read it, and she read the Bible to him. The book Women of Greene County credits Rebecca for having "improved his attitude toward women" and says she "advanced the cause of social justice for all the women of Greene County". Legend says that Tecumseh proposed marriage to Rebecca but she refused. She later married a cousin, George Galloway.

James Galloway Sr. served as the first county treasurer and held the position for sixteen years. His son, James Jr. was the first County Surveyor.

At the age of eight-eight James Sr. died and was buried in the church yard at old Massies creek.


  1. Rosalie: This is a wonderful idea. I like the photo and think they will be a nice addition. The newspaper column must require you to edit a lot of the material you have gleaned. Think how much more you can share here. I am looking forward to your future posts. Ruth Campbell

  2. General James Galloway was one of my ancestors. I visited the cabin last summer and was very impressed. My family played an important role in U.S. history. I am a very proud relative and enjoy reading about my family's history!

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