Van Campen Family


Allegany County is not the only place where Moses Van Campen is a hero. In April, the Fort McClure Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Bloomsburg, PA, venerated his memory with a gala celebration, reenacting the unveiling of a marker placed in his honor on April 10, 1907. The foundation of the marker is made from part of the chimney of the original Fort McClure House, the second oldest house in Bloomsburg and recognized as an important part of American history. It bears this inscription:

This stone marks the site of Ft. McClure built by Moses Van Campen 1781. Erected by Fort McClure Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, 1907.

Having been taken captive in earlier years by the Indians, Moses knew firsthand of the perils posed by them, and built the house as a place of refuge for family and neighbors in time of danger. Later, in 1796, Moses and Henry McHenry came with the original band of settlers to Almond with the McClure sisters, whom they had taken as wives. Henry married Priscilla McClure and Moses married Margaret McClure.

“Every effort was made to reenact an exact portrayal of the events of 1907,” Vinniedee McHenry Hippensteel, an AHS member and Ft McClure DAR Regent, reported. After the unveiling ceremony, she, along with other DAR dignitaries, were taken by horse and carriage to the Columbia County Court House where the reenactment continued. The DAR members and guests were dressed in Edwardian period clothing representative of 100 years ago. Flowers, speeches, and music highlighted the program, preceded by a luncheon featuring the same menu from the original ceremony.

Newspaper clippings of the proceedings were provided by Vinniedee and are on file at the Hagadorn House. Vinniedee, who just returned from a bus trip to Washington, DC, for the DAR Continental Congress, reported that her daughter a niece, who is like a daughter and her granddaughter, who raised the American Flag, participated in the Van Campen celebration. She writes in an email: “Although my lineage goes back to Thomas McHenry, brother of Henry, I feel very much at home in Allegany County and would rather vacation there than any other place. We do all go back to John and Susanah (McNeil) McHenry and welcome any contact for these lines.”

To read more about Moses Van Campen: