William Nathan Hintzen


Author and historian William Nathan Hintzen, 77, of Freetown, passed away Feb. 27, 2016, at his home.

He was born in Indianapolis and raised in Richmond and Freetown.

William was the author of “Border Wars of the Upper Ohio Valley, 1769-1795,” and “The Heroic Age: Tales of Wheeling’s Frontier Era.”

He attended school in Richmond, then in 1951 he and his family moved to a farm two miles west of Freetown. After graduating from Freetown High School in 1956, he attended Indiana University in Bloomington, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology in 1960.

Three years of military service in the U.S. Army’s Security Agency included a year at the Army Language School in Monterey, California, where he qualified as a Russian interpreter. This was followed by a 1½-year tour of duty in Japan.

He was always interested in education, and he began his career as a teacher in 1967, teaching German and psychology at Flora High School in Flora, Illinois. In 1971, he returned to Indiana University to obtain his masters degree. He then accepted a position at Tell City High School in Perry County in 1975 where he taught German, psychology and sociology. In 1990, he returned to the family home at Freetown.

Because of his expertise in the Revolutionary War era, he was commissioned to write a major work on the Eastern Woodland Indian Wars; the result was “Border Wars” which was published in 1990. Immediately following that, he completed “The Heroic Age” in conjunction with Joe Roxby of Wheeling which concentrated specifically on the events surrounding Fort Henry during the 1770s and early 1780s.

Since 1997, he wrote and published a historical journal, “The True Wetzelian,” and he recently was working on a major biographical work on the quintessential Indian fighter, Lewis Wetzel.

He was a member of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association, a life member of the American Single Shot Rifle Association, and an endowment member of the National Rifle Association. In between the writing and the historical research, he built muzzle loading rifles, along with the occasional knife, powder horn and tomahawk.

Survivors include his brother, Martin Hintzen of Granbury, Texas.

A private graveside service will be at 2 p.m. April 20 with full military graveside rites by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1925, American Legion Post 89, Disabled Veterans 47, Korean and Vietnam Veterans, all of Seymour.

Voss & Sons Funeral Service, Seymour, handled the arrangements.