Private Samuel Hawkins was born Nov. 8, 1762 in Hawkinsville, Shenandoah County, Virginia. He died July 2, 1814 in Eaton, Ohio. Samuel was the son of Joseph and Sarah Hawkins and the husband of Christina Worthington.
When Samuel was 15 years old he left the farm owned by his widowed mother and enlisted in the Virginia Militia.
He spent the winter of 1777 at Valley Forge under the command of General George Washington. Family history suggests that his mother tracked him down and paid a visit to Valley Forge with the intent of taking Samuel home with her. General Washington, who may have been a friend of her late husband, intervened and said that he would take care of Samuel if she would allow him to stay.
For the duration of the American Revolution, Samuel traveled with General Washington and his army. It is very possible that Samuel was with General Washington at Yorktown and witnessed the surrender of British General Cornwallis.
Samuel Hawkins was discharged at Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia) where he met his wife. Instead of returning to his home in Virginia, he and his young wife joined a group of settlers that were going to what would later become Kentucky, specifically Bourbon County. While there, he again joined the militia.
He fought through most of the Indian Wars, north of the Ohio River, with General Anthony Wayne. When the Treaty of Greenville was signed and the land north of the Ohio River was relatively safe for settlement, Samuel Hawkins briefly returned to Kentucky to prepare his family for the move to the Ohio territory.
Samuel first settled, briefly, in an area north of what is now Cincinnati. Next, he moved to the village of Germantown (now Germantown in Montgomery County). It is possible that he may have moved to what became southern Preble County for a short time. Samuel’s final move was to the village of Eaton, which was then part of Montgomery County.
The Hawkins family established a business known as Hawkin’s Tavern. When Preble became a county, Samuel Hawkins became one of the original trustees, and Hawkin’s Tavern was used as a location for the earliest sessions of court.
As time progressed, the War of 1812 became inevitable. Once again, Hawkins was serving his country, this time as a member of the Ohio Militia. He attained the rank of a Lieutenant Colonel and later a full Colonel. Hawkins died in 1814 before peace was declared. He is buried at Mound Hill Cemetery in Eaton.
Thank you, Samuel Hawkins, for a job well done and for your support of a new nation.
Commodore Preble Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution