John Daniel Helm, Junior, was born Apr 1, 1773, perhaps in Sharpsburg, Maryland or Sharpsburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, and died Apr 1, 1854 in Muscatine County, Iowa at age 81. According to the Baptisms at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church near Littlestown, Adams County, Pennsylvania, he was born Mar 31, 1773 and christened May 9, 1773. His parents were listed as Johan Daniel Hulm and Sophia Magdalena. His sponsors were Johan Franz Hulm and frau (wife) Anna Maria.
His first wife was Lucy Grant. Their marriage bond was dated Jun 25, 1797. His second wife was Catherine Barger, whom he married on Oct 11, 1798. She was the daughter of Philip Barger, Jr. and Eve Clements. She was born May 26, 1782 and died Jun 20, 1858 at the age of 76.
There were apparently other John Daniel Helms in the vicinity at the same time.
According to researcher Susan R. Bloom, the John Daniel Helm who was born Mar 31, 1773 in Adams County, Pennsylvania and who was baptized May 9, 1773 at St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church, Littlestown, Adams County married Lovelass Upperco and Mary Null, and died in September, 1846. However, we know from Wesley Kenerly Helm's notebook that John Daniel Helm, Sr. and Sophia More were our John Daniel Helm's parents.
On Oct 3, 1792, the following appeared in an issue of the Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser: "Peter Piper, of Marsh Creek settlement, Franklin Twp., offers reward for return of runaway indented German servant, Daniel Hellam. 5'2" high, 18 years of age, swarthy complexion & pitted with the small pox."
According to the records of Samuel K. Helm, there was a John Daniel Helm who first lived in Christiansburg, Montgomery County, Virginia and then moved to Bedford County, Virginia which at that time was called The Plan of Liberty, formerly called New London. He bought land there, and is included with the records of Lt. John Helm and Major Thomas Helm, who were sons of Moses Helm. This John Daniel Helm loved fine furniture and favored black walnut.
The following record is found in the Botetourt County, Virginia circuit court:
"Know all men by these presents that sd. Daniel Hillams & Michael Book are held and firmly bound unto James Wood Esquire governor of Virginia in the just and full Sum of One Hundred Fifty Dollars to which payment well and truly to be made to our Said Governor we bind Ourselves Our Heirs Ex'ors (?) & Severally firmly by these presents Sealed with our Seals and dated this 25th day of June 1797
"The Condition of the above obligation is such that whereaas there is a Marriage Shortly to be had Solemnized between the above Be and Daniel Hillams and Lucy Gaunt --If therefore there be no lawful cause to obstruct said Marriage then this Obligation to be Void Otherwise to remain in full force
"Signed & Acknowledged in the presence of - Bowyer. (signed) John D Helms, Michael Book"
According to a journal written by his son Wesley Kenerly Helm (1822-1871), "John D. Helm, Jr. the son of John D. & Sophia Helm was born Aprill 1st 1773, maried to Catharine Barger (daughter of philip and Eve Barger) October 11th 1798, had 12 children, lived to have (104) one hundred and 4 children grand children & great grand children. Children 13, grand children 58, great grand children 34. entered the army 1792 at the age of 19 under Gener Anthony Wayn against the indians in the North western Terratorys so when Cincinnati was but a fort cald Ft. Washington. Was in three battles. His horse shot from under him at the great Battle of the miamma. Helped build ft recovery on st Clairs defeat ground. Also ft Defiance. Lived a week on half pint flower per day, then 24 days on roots and acorns. Served a soldier 3 years."
Two family photos from perhaps the 1950s with "Fort Recovery Ohio" written on the back show signs with the following inscriptions: "Fort Recovery. This stockade was erected by order of General Anthony Wayne in the winter of 1793-94 on the site at the St. Clair defeat of 1791. It signalized recovery of the position lost in the previous battle. It was attacked on June 30th and July 1st 1794. In what proved to be an important stragic (sic) loss to the British and Indians enduring the campaign which culminated in the battle of Fallen Timbers and the Treaty of Greeneville. The present Fort one third the size of the original was constructed in 1935." "Original Well. This well was located within Gen. Wayne's stockade Fort Recovery. It was dug in 1794. The wood curbing constructed by Wayne's men is still in the well."
He also was a part of General Anthony Wayne's army which built Fort Defiance in August of 1794. The army was on the march against the Ohio Indians and Fort Defiance gave them a safe base deep inside Indian country. The fort was located at the confluence of the Auglaize and Maumee rivers at the site of modern Defiance, Ohio. It was a square fort with block houses at each of the four corners. In addition to the stockade, the fort was protected by a wall of earth eight feet thick and a ditch eight feet deep and fifteen feet wide. Lieutenant John Boyer, an officer of General Wayne's army who served at Fort Defiance, claimed the fort was strong enough to defy "the English, Indians, and all the devils in hell."
According to Jess Helm, a grandson of Wesley Kenerly Helm, "Hazel Dempster Dyson in her family history research found in army records that John D. Jr. was General Anthony Wayne's chief scout and Wagon Master because he knew all of the trails and roads of the west. The west of course was Ohio." Jess Helm also states in the same letter that, "The story was handed down to my father that John D. Jr. had a wound from the Indian wars that never properly healed."
Wesley's journal also records: "Joined the Methodist Church June 1806. Lived a devoted Christian in the early days of Methodism, when they was looked upon as heratics, fanatics, deluded, dangerous persons, and for this reason was denyed his bred for the money. Made 2 coats for that eccentric man Loranzo Dow. His house was the preachers home. His honasty integraty and religen was unquestionable."
The fact that he was a tailor and Methodist was confirmed in a book entitled, Methodism in Blacksburg 1798-1948: "One of the first Methodists in Blacksburg was Daniel Helm, a tailor who made the suits for the members, cut in the regular Methodist style. He was very hospitable and the preachers loved to dine with him." (page 16)
John D. Helms was one of the original lot owners in the town of Blacksburg, Montgomery, Virginia. (Kegley, Mary B. and F.B., Early Adventures on the Western Waters, Volume 3, The New River of Virginia in Pioneer Days 1745-1800, Green Publishers, Orange, Virginia, p. 197)
The 1810 census of Montgomery County, Virginia (Roll 70, page 31) lists John D. Helm as the head of a family with the following: 2 free white males under 10 (Samuel, 2; John 4), 1 male 26-44 (John, 27), one male over 45 (likely, his father, age 69), 3 females under 10 (Eve, 7; Sophia, 6; Elizabeth as a baby), 1 female 10-16 (Hannah, 10), and 1 female 26-45 (Catherine, 28).
The 1820 federal census of Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia (Roll M33_130, page 176, image 339), lists John D. Helm as the head of a family the with following: 1 free white male under 10 (Daniel Fertig, 1), 2 males 10 and under 16 (Samuel M., 13, and John Barger, 15), 1 male 45 or older (John D. Helm, 53), 3 females under 10 (Catherine, 4, Sarah Fry, 7, and Elizabeth, 10), 1 female 16 and under 26 (Sophia M., 17), 1 female 26 and under 45 (Catherine, 38).
The 1830 federal census of Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia (Roll 198, page 69) lists the John D. Helms family as follows: 1 male 5-9 (Wesley, 8), 1 male 10-14 (Daniel, 11), 1 male 50-59 (John, 57), 1 female 0-4 (Harriet, 3), 1 female 5-9 (Susan, 6), 1 female 10-14 (Catherine, 14), 1 female 15-19 (Sarah, 16), 2 females 20-29 (Elizabeth 20, and ?), and 1 female 40-49 (Catherine, 48).
The 1840 federal census of Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia (Roll 567, page 14) lists the John D. Helms family as follows: 1 male 5-9 (?), 1 male 15-19 (Wesley Kenerly, 18), 1 male 60-69 (John Daniel Helm, 67), 1 female 10-14 (Harriet C., 14), 1 female 15-19 (Susan Jane, 17), 2 females 30-39 (Sophia M., 37, and ?), and 1 female 50-59 (Catherine, 58).
The 1852 Iowa census listed John D. Helms in Muscatine County, Bloomington Township, with the household consisting of one male [John D. Helms] and four females [possibly his wife Catherine Barger Helm, and three unmarried daughters, Harriet, Susan Jane, and Sophia M.]. The family included one voter and no militia members, for a total of five individuals. (Roll IA_120, line 33)
A photo of a church altar inscribed on the back and "signed Charlotte M. V. Kerr (Lottie) taken 1949" states: "Altar built in church near Muscatine by my Grandfather & his father, years ago. My mother's (Georgia Helm Vennink Hutchinson) father Henry (sic) Helm & his father." Her grandfather was Wesley Kenerly Helm; his father was John Daniel Helm, Jr.
He was buried beside his wife and daughter Sophia in the Vanattta (Houtz) Cemetery, Seventy-Six Township, Section 4, Muscatine County, Iowa. His tombstone reads: "John D. Helm Apr 1, 1854 Aged 81 Year's." The cemetery is located in a farmer's field 5.3 miles east of Iowa route 70 on Highway 22, then two miles south and 1.2 miles west, on the north side of the road. Alternate directions (2001): 6.0 miles west of the Muscatine 61 bypass on County Road G28 (also known as 231st St.). There are two signs on the 61 bypass-- larger sign showing Hershey street which goes east towards Muscatine and a small blue and yellow sign showing G28 which goes west towards Conesville, IA. Go west at this intersection towards Conesville for 6 miles. Another set of directions: Travel west of Muscatine on Highway 22, turn left on High Prairie Road and go about two miles south, turn right, go past Jasper Avenue and past the house on the right. The cemetery will be on the right. No church is standing nearby.
John Daniel Helm, Jr. and Lucy Grant had one child:
i Lucy Grant, b. Mar 1, 1798, m. William Hindulight ( Hinderlet), 6 children
John Daniel Helm, Jr. and Catherine Barger had the following children:
ii Hannah, b. Jan 3, 1800, m. James B. (Francis?) Harris on Jul 16, 1819, d. Aug 1880, 7 children iii Eve, b. Jul 28, 1802, m. John Surface on Dec 9, 1819, d. Jun 25, 1875, 15 children iv Sophia M., b. Nov 13, 1803, bap. Sep 2, 1804, never married, d. Oct 6, 1854 v John Barger, b. Dec 9, 1805, m. Christiana Peterman on Dec 27, 1829, d. Apr, 1886, 1 child vi Samuel M., b. Dec 18, 1807, m. Francis Wilson on Apr 7, 1830, d. Sep 22, 1834, 3 children vii Elizabeth, b. Mar 10, 1810, m. 1st, Harrison Barger in 1833, 1 child; m. 2nd, Jacob Barger in 1844, d. Feb 25, 1890, 5 children viii Sarah Fry, b. Aug 13, 1813, m. George Washington Barger on Aug 15, 1834, d. May 23, 1858 ix Catherine, b. Apr 21, 1816, m. William Argabright on Jul 26, 1837, d. Mar 4, 1856, 12 children x Daniel Fertig, b. Jul 17, 1819, unmarried, d. Mar 24, 1865 *xi Wesley Kenerly, b. Feb 27, 1822, m. Charlotte Houtz on Oct 21, 1851, d. Oct 30, 1871 xii Susan Jane, b. Oct 23, 1823, d. Mar 23, 1864 when a tree fell on her xiii Harriet C., b. Oct 19, 1826, d. Mar 1904