The Eastlicks were a family of seven from Seneca County, Ohio. In 1856, they moved to Illinois where they found the price of land to high for them to afford. In 1857, they moved to Minnesota seeking cheaper land. It wasn't until 1860 that they moved to Murray County on Lake Shetek.The members of the Eastlick family were Lavina & John Eastlick, & there children Merton, Frank, Giles, Freddy, & Johnny. They suffered many losses in the Dakota Conflict. They found out about the Sioux when one of their neighbors, Charley Hatch, ran to warn them about a band of Sioux coming from the North towards them. They had already killed John Voigt and Mr. Koch, two other settlers in the area. They decided to flee, first to the Smith's house where they found it abandoned, then they headed to the house of John Wright. When all the settlers got to the Wright's house they decided to flee across the prarie to another settler's house, but when the indians found them they tried to hide in a slough (later called Sloughter Slough).
There were at least 15 settlers killed at Slaughter Slough by the indians including 4 members of the Eastlick family they were, Freddy, Frank, Giles, and their father John Eastlick. After the attack, Lavina Eastlick had only two boys that survived the incident in the slough, they were Merton and Johnny. Merton Carried Johnny about 50 miles towards New Ulm because he promised never to leave his brother. The boys’ mother, Lavina Eastlick, had been shot several times while in the slough. When she left the slough the Indian, Old Pawn, told her to leave before the other Indians took her captive but while she was running away, Old Pawn, shot her in the back. After that she wandered for several days until meeting up with the mail carrier. Lavina then told the mail carrier to go back to Dutch Charley’s to see if her children were there. Merton was carrying his baby brother Johnny on his back. When they found the children weren't there, they headed for New Ulm along the way they found the children resting by the road. When she found them Merton was near collapse and had no food or water. He told her how he had stayed awake all night, yelling at wolves while Johnny slept. When they made it to Mankato, she had someone get all their belongings from the prairie. She got most of it back including her Husband's guns. She published her own eye witness account called "A Personal Narrative of Indian Massacres 1862."
This is a picture of Merton, Johnny,
Photo by : Minnesota Historical Society
The Tracy Headlight-Herald, Lake Shetek
Massacre Edition, 2nd section, Vol. 80, Aug. 16, 1962
Dakota Meadows Middle School. "The Eastlicks".
Created by: Tyler H. & Derek F.
Nov. 8, 1999