Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The Frontiersmen of New York
by Jeptha R. Simms
Albany, NY 1883

Volume II, Page 533. Fall Hill and Fate of Nicholas Bell.-- For more than a century the high land on the south side of the Mohawk at Little Falls, has been known by the name of Fall Hill; and at the beginning of the Revolution, three substantial farmers were settled upon it, viz.: Peter Ten Broeck, George Henry Bell and Warner Dygert; the latter being at the lower or easterly end. Early in the summer of 1777, Ten Broeck, in company with a Tory acquaintance, Joseph Herkimer went to Canada and did not return. The bell family went to reside at a place of less exposure in Palatine during the war; and the fate of Dygert is elsewhere shown. The Ten Broeck dwelling was spared the general conflagration, in the expectation that its owner would again occupy it.

In the fall of 1781, only a few weeks after the murder of Capt. Small, Nicholas, a young married son of G. H. Bell, who resided below the Falls, set out to go to ____ Casler's dwelling, on the south side of the river above the falls. The errand was to pay Mrs. Casler some money he owed her husband, at his death, for blacksmithing; Bell having heard that she was preparing to go to Canajoharie, and might need the money. Peter Bellinger, a young man, chanced to be there and consented to go with him for company. Bell's wife expressed no little anxiety, fearing they might encounter Indians, and turning to his companion she said playfully, "You'll take care of Nicholas, won't you?" "Yes," he replied, "and if I don't bring him back to you, I'll take good care of the widow." Two miles above the falls, near the road to Newville leaves the river road, now stands a stone dwelling. When the two friends arrived near the site of this dwelling, they were fired upon by six or eight Indians,and Bell was killed. The friends were well armed, and Bellinger returned the fire and brought an exposed adversary to the ground. He fled down the river and was pursued by several of the enemy for a long distance, but finally escaped them. The Indian's secured what plunder bell's person, besides his gun, afforded, or course taking the money intended for Mrs. Casler, and with one more scalp, bearing off their own dying companion they retired to the forest. Bell was buried near the grave of Gen. Herkimer. Sad was this blow to Mrs. Bell; but many a word spoken in jest is made by fate a stern reality. In process of time Bellinger redeemed his pledge to Mrs. Bell, led her to the altar, and they lived a happy future life. --Adam Bell.

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