Monday, August 19, 2013

BETTY ZANE--MORE THAN JUST A POPCORN BRAND

                                                  By Laurie Kingery                                                           
                                                         







For my blog this month I'm going to write about Betty Zane. I had always thought of her as an Ohio heroine—or at least, that's what my foggy memory from fourth grade Ohio history study told me. But I'm always learning things from this Christian Fiction Historical Society blog, even when I'm the one writing the blog. :)  As I researched for this blog, I learned that Betty Zane's heroism took place in West Virginia, not Ohio—and of course it wasn't West Virgina then, but the colony of Virginia.

Betty Zane was born in 1760, the daughter of one of three Zane brothers who moved to the new settlement of Wheeling on the Ohio River. This was an illegal move because this area had been reserved as a royal colony for the natives. It was a dangerous area with thick forests and hostile Indians. Betty was sent to Philadelphia to finishing school but returned to Wheeling in 1781. The British defeat at Yorktown took place that same year, but the war was not formally over yet on the frontier due to the Indians and Canadians.

On Sept. 10, 1782, Ft. Henry, of which Betty's brother Silas was the commander, was besieged by Wyandot and Delaware Indians, pro-British American loyalists and British Troops. Inside the fort, forty-seven civilians tried desperately to hold them off until their supply of gunpowder was exhausted. Her father was wounded and fell from the top of the fort right beside her. Her brother remembered he had left a keg of gunpowder back in the cabin, and Betty volunteered to go get it. "You have not one man to spare; I can't fight, but I can fetch gunpowder for the defense of the fort," she is quoted as having said.                                                         


She ran to the cabin, some 60 yards outside the fort, much to the enemy's amazement, and after pouring the gunpowder into her outstretched apron, ran back to the fort. Realizing by now what she was doing, the British opened fire on her but she managed to reach the safety of the fort without being hit, though a bullet tore her dress. The British and their allies retreated two days later. Two other girls, Molly Scott and Lydia Boggs, also later claimed to have done the same, but Betty is generally given the credit, especially since a collateral descendent, the famous writer Zane Gray, wrote a novel about her in 1903.


Betty later moved to Martin's Ferry, Ohio, which is perhaps why Ohio claims her as her own. She was married twice, but prior to being married had an out-of-wedlock baby whose father was compelled to deed land for the child. She was married to John McGloughlin and had five daughters, then married Jacob Clark and had two more children, a boy and a girl. She died on August 23, 1823, and is buried in Walnut Grove Cemetery in Martin's Ferry. There is a large monument there to honor her.


Now that you've read all the way to the end, I'll announce that it's my month to do a giveaway. I will once again be offering my latest book out from Love Inspired Historicals, HILL COUNTRY CATTLEMAN. However, if you're my winner and you have already read this book, when I contact you we can discuss which other of my books you might not have read and I will be happy to send you that one. J
                      Blessings, Laurie Kingery

43 comments:

  1. Betty Zane was quite the heroine! Thank you for sharing her story!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is so much fun reading this blog. Today was amazing. I had never heard of Betty Zane. Thanks for sharing her story. Stories like these are what makes reading fun! I'd love to be entered in the giveaway!
    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sally, thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed reading about Betty Zane.
      Blessings, Laurie Kingery

      Delete
  3. Interesting post. Here is a free e-book download of the book Betty Zane ~ http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1261
    Would love to win your book! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the link--I'll have to check it out. And thanks for commenting!
      Blessings, Laurie Kingery

      Delete
  4. I've never heard of Betty Zane, the popcorn or the heroine! Thanks for the informative post...

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patty, I'm probably dating myself by referring to the popcorn brand. :) This was from the pre-microwave popcorn days. Thanks for commenting.
      Blessings, Laurie Kingery

      Delete
  5. Wow, how brave a woman! Thank you for sharing this story, I had not heard of that part.
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, yes, she was. Much more so than I. :) Thanks for commenting.
      Blessings, Laurie Kingery

      Delete
  6. I had not heard this story before, My dad read lot of Zane Grey books too. what an amazing woman to be brave enough to do this in the heat of battle. It is good to see ya here Laurie..
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Paula O! Yes, Zane Grey was a great writer from "yesteryear"--also a famous Ohioan I believe. I think my dad read him too, and I've read some of his books on tape and CD.
      Blessings, Laurie Kingery

      Delete
  7. This was great, and very interesting!! I would love to win your book, I havent read it and it sounds fabulous! jelliott53(AT)hotmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jojo, thanks! And good luck!
      Blessings, Laurie Kingery

      Delete
  8. This is the first I've heard of Betty Zane. She has a fascinating story and must have been a very brave woman to leave a besieged fort and run for supplies. I love reading about these little known characters in history.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vickie, yes, this is why I enjoy reading this blog as well as writing for it. I've learned so much!
      Blessings, Laurie Kingery

      Delete
  9. Loved the new (for me) historical information on Betty Zane who I'd never heard but I do know Zane Grey and love his western novels.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Marlene, thanks for commenting. Yes, Zane Grey was a great and prolific writer. Do you read Louis L'amour too? I've discovered him this year--well, I always knew about him but just started reading his books since they're available on CD.
    Blessings, Laurie Kignery

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sheesh, I can't even spell my own name right today--that was supposed to be Laurie Kingery. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have never heard of Betty Zane or Betty Zane's Popcorn, but she was a brave woman. What she did was very dangerous and many men and women would not have offered for that position. I enjoyed the posting and thank you for sharing. Please enter me in the giveaway.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've never heard of Betty Zane or the Popcorn, but have ready many, many Zane Grey books. He was one of the best, or might even say the best western writer.but then Louis l'amour might have beat him, but both great writers. Read bunches of his also. Love the movies made from his books. Read everyone I could get hold of. Had to get rid of a lot when my husband had cancer and we had to move to TX. near the children. So, sold those books and brought a high cost. This was in 1996. I would love to win one of your books Karen. Thanks to the Historical Society and you, Karen for this give-away. Please put my name in.
    MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Maudemaxine--I have to agree, Louis L'amour was the better writer of the two. Thanks for commenting.
      Blessings, Laurie Kingery

      Delete
  14. I had never heard of Betty Zane but this was a very interesting post! I love learning random facts about history! I'd love to be entered in this awesome giveaway! I have read the first four books in this series and I currently have The Preacher's Bride waiting to be read (I'm going to be buddy reading it with someone) so I would love the chance to win this one! I love this series so much! Thanks!
    gatorade635(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Abbi, thanks for commenting. Thanks for reading the other books in my "Brides of Simpson Creek" series. Buddy-reading? Does this mean you both read the same title at the same time?
      Blessings, Laurie Kingery

      Delete
    2. Yeah it's a fun thing one of my Goodreads groups does. You find a book that both of you have to read and then we'll read half, discuss it, read the second half and discuss that. It's really cool since it gives you the chance to talk about the book with someone who knows what you're talking about and often they'll catch things you didn't and vice versa!

      Delete
  15. I think my Dad once owned every Zane Grey book, and I read them all, so I know that I read "Betty Zane", but I'd forgotten all about her. Thanks for the refresher! :)
    I'm guessing that Zanesville, OH was named for Betty's family. For 4 years I lived in Ohio and traveled through Zanesville on occasion.

    jimmynmatthewsmom [at] netzero [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bethany, yes, I believe Zanesville was named for Betty Zane. I have extended family there. Did you go over the famous Y-Bridge at Zanesville?
      Blessings, Laurie Kingery

      Delete
    2. I was only a young pre-teen/teen when we lived in Ohio, so my memory is a little shaky! But I think that I do remember that famous bridge.....at least vaguely! ;)

      Delete
    3. Oh, and we have a similar bridge to the Zanesville Y bridge near us called "The Tridge", although it's a pedestrian only bridge.

      Delete
    4. The Tridge--I like that! :)
      Laurie

      Delete
  16. The only thing you mentioned in the blog that I was familiar with was Zane Grey. It's just like anything you want to get knowledgeable on, there is a lot to learn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's fun to dig a little deeper than the history stories that are well-known, isn't it, Martha? I always like something new. Thanks for commenting.

      Delete
  17. I love learning new history facts like this! What an interesting story. Thanks for the chance to win your book.
    Brittany McEuen
    kbmceuen(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brittany, glad you enjoyed my blog this month. I appreciate your comment.
      Blessings, Laurie Kingery

      Delete
    2. Britanny, YOU ARE MY WINNER! I'll be emailing you to get your snail mail address. Congratulations!
      Blessings, Laurie Kingery

      Delete
  18. I had never heard about Betty Zane and now I know lots about her. Thanks for the blog post. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharon, thanks. I learned a lot too--such as the fact her famous heroism did not take place in Ohio, as I had thought. :)
      Blessings, Laurie

      Delete
  19. Interesting story, enjoyed it - had heard of Zane Grey, of course, but never Betty Zane -nor the popcorn. Brave lady!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bonton, thanks for commenting. Yes, she was brave! I'm beginning to think I imagined this popcorn brand--if not for the picture I found. :)
      Blessings, Laurie Kingery

      Delete
  20. I love reading the backgrounds with all the details that make a book so much more enjoyable!

    missionwife AT hotmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melody, thanks for commenting. I agree, knowing the background makes books and history itself more interesting. I noticed your email name--are you on the mission field?

      Delete
  21. Enjoyed reading about Betty since i have read all of Zane Grey's books. He had a cavbin near Payson, Az nearby where our summer cabin is located. During a forest fire a few years ago, it was destroyed. Interesting family. I understand Zane's son Loren also writes Western books.
    JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. I didn't know that about Loren Grey, Joye. Thanks for the info. How many books did Zane Grey write?
      Blessings, Laurie Kignery

      Delete