top of page

Indians Loved Molasses

 52 West 2nd Street, still standing in 2021, 154 years old.
52 West 2nd Street, still standing in 2021, 154 years old.

William Hutchens was always a friend to the Indians; he learned their language and planted every third row in his garden for his Indian brothers. One day in about 1870 when they were living at today’s address of 152 West 2nd Street, Jack Indian paid them an unexpected visit. Usually, he called out to William before entering the house, but on this day, he simply opened the door and came in.

“One morning Jack Indian, dressed in a new blanket, opened their door and walked in when the family was seated at breakfast. He pulled John away from his place and gave him a shove, then he seated himself in John’s place, and no one dared say anything, because Jack was a chief and felt that he had a right to do anything he pleased. William Hutchens said, “Well, Jack, how are you? Will you have some potatoes and gravy?”

He said he would, so her father passed them and then told Jack to eat whatever he wished. Jack helped himself to a plateful of potatoes and gravy and then took the molasses pitcher and covered the whole plateful with molasses and then ate it all with great relish. He finished long before the rest of the family, as her father was talking to Jack all the time, and the children couldn’t eat much for watching Jack gobble his up. When Jack was finished, he turned to John and told him he could come and eat now, and then he walked out of the door and went away.” [1]

The Hutchens house was located about 400 feet west of the Sam Gates Molasses Mill; both were located in the confines of the old Bingham Fort. William grew sugar cane and took the cane to the Sam Gates Molasses Mill for processing. The Hutchens house still stands in 2021.


[1] - Autobiography of Mary Elizabeth Hutchens Sherner, Mary Elizabeth – Her Stories, dictated to her daughter Dorothy A. Sherner, manuscript, 1933, p. 83.

[object Object]

bottom of page