John C Fea and Martha Jane Scheller

John C. Fea was born on 14th October 1849 in Evie, first son of John Hadden and Eliza Fea. As a youth of 11 he worked as a cattle boy for the Craigie family at Nisthouse. By age 21 he was an apprentice blacksmith in Kirkwall, living in a boarding house on Main Street.

In 1869 John traveled to America, landing at Port Nelson, Manitoba, Canada where he was employed by the Hudson Bay Company. In the spring of 1870 he emigrated to the United States and by 1871 was a civilian blacksmith for the U.S. Army at Fort Abercrombie in (North) Dakota Territory. In 1873 he accompanied General George Armstrong Custer on the first of what would be a total of three expeditions, but did not join him in 1876 on the one to the Big Horn River in Montana that resulted in the massacre that is now referred to as Custer’s Last Stand.

On 26th August 1879 John married Martha Jane Scheller at Fort Abraham Lincoln. Martha was born on the 15th May 1860 in Ashtola, Pennsylvania, daughter of German parents. John had learned to speak some of the Indian dialects and continued working for the US Government until approximately 1890 when he and Martha moved west to Montana. By 1895 they had continued on to Washington State, living in Cumberland, Tacoma, Wilkeson, Franklin, Bayne and finally to Enumclaw in 1916. Their children were:

John C. Fea died suddenly on 8th February 1936, aged 86 and Martha on 27th October 1946 and also aged 86, both at Enumclaw. They are buried along with John Irwin Fea and Florence Toman in the family plot at Evergreen Memorial Park of Enumclaw, Washington.