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■ W40 

Last Union Veteran of 

Braxton County Dies 

SUTTON, March 31 (Special).— 
Funeral services for Colonel John 
Davison Sutton, 97, Braxton 
county's last surviving Union vet- 
eran of the Civil war who died 
Saturday evening at his home near 
here, were to be held at 2 o'clock 
this afternoon at the home. Rev. 
E. O. McLaughlin of Flatwoods, 
and Rev. J. P. Atkins, Sutton, 
Methodist ministers, were to offi- 


ciate, and burial was to follow in 
the family cemetery near , the 

Colonel Sutton observed his 97th 
birth anniversary on March 1. Dur- 
ing his long career he had been a 
soldier, author and statesman and 
was a member of a family promi- 
nent in the development of south- 
ern West Virginia. The town of 
Sutton was named for a relative, 
James Sutton. His grandfather, 
John Sutton, settled in Sutton in 

Born Feb. 4, 1844 at Flatwoods, 
Colonel Sutton was a son of Felix 
and Susan Skidmore Sutton. At 
the outbreak of the Civil war, when 
he was 17 -years old, he enlisted in 
the Union army, seeing action at 
the battles of the Valley of Vir- 
ginia, Richmond and Appamattox 
as a member of the 10th West Vir- 
ginia infantry. 

Returning at. the close of the 
war, Colonel Sutton was married 
Oct. 23, 1866, to M'ariah Virginia 
Morrison, who died several years 
ago. He engaged in farming and 
stock raising and during the ad- 
ministration of President Harrison 
was connected with the federal 
revenue bureau. In 1919 he pub- 
lished "A History of Braxton 
County and Central West Vir- 
ginia," which is considered authori- 
tative. Other works include "The 
Rise and Fall of the Bull Moose 
Party," "Lottery in the Pines." "A 
Confederate Scout," "Sixty Years 
in a Dream," and "The Soldier 

In 1916 Colonel Sutton was a 
delegate to the Democratic na- 
tional convention at St. Louis, and, 
at the age of 79, was elected to the 
house of delegates, serving from 
1923 to 1927. His title of Colonel 
came through his designation by 
Governor Gore as a member of his 

Surviving the veteran are tw 
sons, O. O. Sutton, attorney, • 
Sutton, and Clarke Sutton, farm 
of Gassaway, and one daugh 
Mrs. J. H. Watkins, at home. 


J. D. Sutton, Statesman And 
Soldier, Enters 95th Year 

Member of Pioneer Family Which Founded Brax- 
ton County Town Active on 94th Birthday 

Sutton Man Is 94 

SUTTON, Feb. 4.— John Davison Sutton, author, soldier and 
statesman, is observing his ninety-fourth birthday today at his 
home near Sutton. In spite of his age, he is still active and enjoys 
walking. <S> 

He and members of his family 
have played an important role in 
the history of this community, from 
the time his grandfather first vis- 
ited this section in 1798 until the 
present time when his son, Oley 
Ord Sutton, is the mayor. 

In 1798, John D. Sutton, at the 
request of his father, John Sutton, 
made a journey from Alexandria, 
Va., to look over 7,000 acres of land 
which the latter owned in this sec- 
tion. In 1810 he returned and settled 
where Sutton now stands. He gave 
an acre of land for a public square 
and the town was named in his 
honor. In 1839 the first session of 
circuit court for the newly organ- 
ized county of Braxton was held in 
his home. 

Fought in Civil War 

His son, Felix Sutton, spent his 
life in the community, where he 
was a successful farmer and served 
as a county judge, assessor, sheriff 
and school superintendent. He was 
a member of the first constitutional 
convention and served in the first 
West Virginia legislature. 

John Davison Sutton was born at 
Flatwoods on Feb. 4, 1844. the son 

of Felix and Susan Skidmore Sut- school as was available at the tune. 
ton. He was reared in Braxton He planned to attend a Virginia col- 
county and took advantage of such lege and study law but the Civil 


war broke out and changed his 
plans. He was 17 years old when 
he enlisted in the 10th West Vir- 
ginia infantry and saw service in 
many battles, mostly in the valley of 
Virginia. He served until the end of 
the conflict when he returned to 
his home and in 1866 was married 
to Mariah Virginia Morrison. They 
settled at the old homestead, about 
4 miles from Sutton, where Mr. Sut- 
ton still resides. 

Was in Legislature 

He engaged in farming and stock- 
raising, in which he was successful, 
but throughout his life has had 
many other interests. During the 
administration of President Harri- 
son, Mr. Sutton held a position in 
the United States revenue depart- 
ment. After he had passed the age 
of 80 he served two terms in the 
state legislature and was appointed 
by Governor Howard Gore as a 
member of his staff. 

He was the first chairman of the 
Droop Mountain battlefield com- 
mission. The battlefield has since 
been taken over by the state park 

Always interested in writing. Mr. 
Sutton is the author of an author- 
itative history of Braxton county 
which he published in 1919. This 
book is invaluable to the people of 
this community, giving the geneal- 
ogies of many pioneer families and 
preserving much of the folklore of 
an early day. Mr. Sutton has begun 
a second volume of his history. 
Wrote Several Stories 

He is also the author of several 
stories which were published se- 
rially under the nom de plume of 
"Si Allen." Among them were "Life 
and Courtship in Virginia in the 
Forties." "A Conspiracy," "Soldiers 
Return." and "Sixty Years in a 

At his family home Mr. Sutton 
has an extensive library which con- 

Claims He Was Born 
In Hanks Log House 

PENNSBORO, Feb. 4 (AP).— 
William Edward Doll, 89-year-old 
Ritchie county resident, claims 
the distinction of having squalled 
his first lusty cries in the same 
log house in which Nancy Hanks, 
mother of Abraham Lincoln, was 

Doll was born in Mineral coun- 
ty, then Hampshire, Nov. 11, 1848, 
on the farm and in the house 
which have belonged to the Doll 
family for 150 years. 

Four of his 11 brothers and sis- 
ters were born in the house and 
three brothers and a sister died 
there of diphtheria within one 

Doll, a retired stone mason and 
a farmer, recalls clearly interest- 
ing pioneer days spent beyond 
the mountains but his most vivid 
recollection is: 

"I was refused frequently by 
the Union army because of my 
youth although I tried innumer- 
able times to enlist." 

tains many valuable old books. His 
most prized possession is the Sut- 
ton family Bible. The book is more 
than 300 years old and was brought 
from England to America in 1785 by 
John Sutton. It has belonged to the 
family through six generations and 
names recorded in the volume show 
that each owner was named John 

!yfTfT r ' T !I 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS members and Sloan Foundation 


History of Braxton County 


Central West Virginia 



Author of "Sixty Years in a Dream" 
and other serial stories 




This work is dedicated to my Father and Mother and 
to the noble men and women who helped redeem the 
land from a savage empire, and planted amid the verd- 
ant hills of West Virginia the seeds of civilization; 
and may their sons and daughters ever keep green their 
undying memory. 


We are indebted to the following persons for assistance in the preparation 
of this work: Prof. R. M. Cavendish, Fred L. Fox, the late A. W. Corley, of 
Sutton; Dr. Wm. P. Newlon, John A. Grose, Editor Braxton Democrat; Win. 
R. Pierson. of Twistville ; Charles Bland, James and Hanley Humphreys, of 
Sutton, Squire Benjamin Gillespie, and John P. Berry. 

We also note the following historical works to which we had occasion to 
refer: Baxter's Notes of Braxton, Chambers' Works, History and Antiquities; 
of Virginia, Annals of Augusta County, Maxwell 's History of Randolph County, 
Wayland's History of Rockbridge Count;/, Lewis' History of the Battle of 
Point Pleasant, Virginia Militia in the Revolution, Kerchival's History of the 
Valley of Virginia, Wither \s Border Warfare, Col. Haymond's History of 
Harrison County, Semi-Centennial of West Virginia, History of Upshur County 
by Cutright, Morton's History of Pendleton County, Colonel Deweas' Notes on 
Gilmer County, Moccasin Tracks by Dodrill, and Traditional History by the 
late Felix Sutton. 




The Value and Purpose of History; Virginia; Its Governors and Officials; 
Its Early Settlement; Its Name and Origin; The Great Range of Mountains 
Separating the Old State from the New ; The Bison Range. 


West Virginia; Its Birthplace in the Hearts of the Freemen of the Moun- 
tains ; Constitutions ; West Virginia Legislature ; Governors, etc. ; Elevation of 
West Virginia; Counties of State With Names of County Seats; When Formed, 
etc.; The History of Song, "West Virginia Hills.'' 


Braxton County; Its Origin; When Formed; Population; Wealth; Its 
Representatives; Its Rivers and Natural Scenery; Its Wealth in Mineral Pro- 
ducts; Its Schools. 


Mound Builders; Cliff Dwellers; Indians; Early Emigration; Defenses 
and Early Forts. 


State and County Roads; County Towns; Central Counties of the State. 


Organization of the County Court ; First Court ; Last Circuit and County 
Court Held in the County Before the Organization of the Board of Supervisors ; 
First Officers Appointed and Elected, County Roads, Early Marriage Licences, 


Virginia in the Revolutionary War ; General Averill 's Great Raid to Salem ; 
Morgan's Raid; Confederate Raids in the State; Cronology of Military Event; 
Roster of Soldiers of Braxton County, both Union and Confederate; Civil War 
Incidents and Tragedies. 



Early Commerce; West Virginia's Great Wealth in Native Genseng; Its 
Value to the Early Settlers; Old Mills: Lumbering on Elk; Great Floods. 


Prominent Men of Central West Virginia ; Men of Great Strength ; Church 
Organizations and -a History of Each Church. 


Miscellaneous, including Animals. Game and Fish, Large and Wonderful 
Trees, Meteorology, Incidents, etc. ; Generals of the U. S. Army ; Burial Place 
of our Presidents, etc. 


Tragedies; Early Habits of the Citizens; Stock Raising; Anecdotes. 


Personal Writings; Pisgah Mountain, by Dr. A. B. Riker; Henry G. Davis 
at Mount Bayard; Lists of Old Pei'sons; Fifth Generations, and Large Families; 
Biographical Sketches and Family History; The Nation's Fifth Foreign War, 
with Lists of Volunteers and Drafted Men from this County. 


Give me a subject for my pen, 
And let me write in haste; 

And give me wisdom for my task 
That T may write with taste. 

If the pen should glide too fast, 
And brain should work too slow, 

Not all I'd say nor all I'd do, 
The world need ever know. 

If brain should be the masterpiece, 
And pen should trace the lines, 

Then what the pen or brain might do, 
Thev'd teach to other minds. 



LL nations have history, and the combined histories of nations compose 
the world history. It is in keeping with this universal desire of the 
human family to know more of the happenings of the past, and to 
preserve a record of this knowledge for those coming after them. For 

that reason we dig down into the ruins of ancient and hidden cities, and read 

the record which they have kept. so long concealed. 

The history that interests us which transpired fifty years ago, is not so 
important as the history of things that had their existance one hundred or five 
hundred years in the past. The further advanced by time, from events which 
have transpired, the more interesting they become. It is said that America is 
a history-making nation, not only of events of interest to be kept and read by 
other nations to come, but that she is foremast in trying to discover the things 
of the past. 

Braxton County, the very central county of the state of West Virginia, 
has never recorded a line of her history. Her citizens have not been ignorant 
of their duty, neither have they wilfully neglected it, but they have been too 
busy in digging from her soil a living for their families, felling forests and 
bringing to use some of her valuable resources, to thus write. 

Braxton County, one hundred and twenty-two years after her settlement 
and seventy-eight years after her organization as a county, together with central 
West Virginia, wishes in this humble way to join in this great aggregation of 
historical matter that is being thrown to the public in almost limitless variety, 
covering a period of over twelve decades, and embracing a semi-wilderness 
without historical data, the first half century without any certain credential 
history. The decayed cabin of the wilderness, the flint lock rifle and the toma- 
hawk are the unwritten works that form the basis of a record which must of 
necessity require a work of labor and patience that, even by a skilled historian, 
would be difficult to approach. 

We believe that from the gleanings at our disposal, we cannot produce as 
full a shock as might have been gathered in the past while the harvest was full ; 
but if from a past that is rapidly disappearing by the passing of the early 
settlers in the county, we shall be able to collect a few notes of interest, and 
preserve a brief historical sketch of the incidents and early customs relating 
to central West Virginia, with biographical sketches of some of her early 
citizens, it may be of interest to some in future years. 


In this history of Braxton County, embracing some of the incidents and 
leading characters of central West Virginia, we deem it unnecessary to go 
extensively into the early history of Virginia or of publishing minutely the 
various causes leading up to the separation of West Virginia from the mother 
state or of giving in detail the movements of the armies during the Civil War. 
These have been so often put into print and made a study in the public schools 
of the state that a repetition here would seem unnecessary; neither is it con- 
sidered advisable to record many of the bloody and atrocious murders com- 
mitted by the Indians. A few incidents and a reproduction of a series of letters 
written by Wm. Haymond and recorded in Colonel Haymond's history of 
Harrison County, covering a period of the greatest activities of the Indian 
war-fare against the white settlers in central West Virginia, will give the 
reader an idea of the cruelty, the persistent activity and relentless warfare be- 
tween the savages of the forests as well as the patriotic devotion and sacrifices, 
deprivations and dangers of a border warfare endured by our fathers. 

In order to preserve more fully the historical . features of the present, we 
have added as a supplementary addition to this work the portraits of many of 
the topographical features of the more important points of interest, also those 
of many of the citizens of the county and the state. While the pen might fully 
describe the rainbow or the waterfall, paint in brightest colors the sunflower, 
yet the most perfect information and best impressions come, from seeing the 
objects themselves, as it is through the vision that the mind photographs the 




Assisted in the organization of the new State of West Virginia, and 
represented his county in the 1st and 2nd sessions of the Legislature 


Its humble and tragic beginning — 
Its magnificence and its grandeur- 
Nothing comparable to Virginia has ever brightened the pages of historj' 
or crowned the world with such splendor; the first to give to mankind the 
forms of civil government, a constitution and the spirit of universal liberty and 



The Value and Purpose of History, Virginia, Its Governors and Officials, Its 
Early Settlement, Its Name and Origin, The Great Range of Mountains' 
Separating the Old State from the Neiv, The Bison Range. 


The vast, section of America between 34° and 45°, originally bore the name 
of Virginia. In 1608, King James divided this empire into three districts. 
That granted to the London Company sent out in 1607, one hundred fifty 
colonists under Newport G-osnold and John Smith, and they settled Jamestown 
on the James river. In 1609. the London Company was granted the territory 
for two hundred miles north and two Imndred miles south of old Point Comfort, 
and westward to the Pacific. In 1634, the London Company was arbitrarily 
dissolved, and Virginia became a Crown Colony, remaining so for nearly one 
hundred and fifty years. The King appointed the Governors and Counsel, and 
the people elected the House of Burgesses. The first constitution was dated 1621, 
and the laws were codified in 1632, after the vast and rich domain northwest 
of the Ohio river to the Pacific Ocean was added. The Governors of Virginia, 
from 1606 to 1776, included fifty-two nobles, knights and gentlemen of Great 
Britain and the province. They were followed from 1776 by such illustrious 
men as Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, 
James Monroe and many others of note. 

In 1584, Queen Elizabeth of England,' hearing of a rich and pleasant 
country in the new world, was so delighted therewith that she was induced to 
name the country Virginia in honor of her virgin state. In 1586, the first 
white child born on the continent of North America was named Virginia Dare. 
Her mother was Eleanor Dare, the daughter of Captain White, and wife of one 
of the Assistant Governors of the Colony. After several fruitless attempts to 
establish a colony on the James river and elsewhere, and after great suffering 
and privation, famine and pestilence, Indian massacres, separated from friends, 
kindred and native land, .by a deep sea, in 1606, a colony which was destined 
to become a great state with a citizenship unequaled by any other state or 
nation of which history gives an account, established itself on a firm footing. 

The vessel, bearing this charter and colony, sailed up the James river 
about fifty miles when a settlement was made. The name was given the beau- 
tiful smooth stream in honor of their sovereign. The southern cape of the 
Chesapeake received the name of Henry, and the northern that of Charles, the 
two sons of James, and they called the town Jamestown. 

Virginia, the mother of states and the home of illustrious men and women, 


has been the pride of every American citizen born and reared within her 
borders. Her shores were the landing- place of the first settlers, and within 
her borders have occurred the most striking events of any land. She furnished 
the General whose genius and sublimity led our armies to victory, and who 
served as the nation's first president. Men of learning and eloquence prepared 
the American people for independence. Her own sons prepared the Articles 
of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill 
of Rights and they promulgated the Monroe Doctrine. Upon her soil was 
fought some of the greatest battles of modern history. Her sons pushed back 
from the Atlantic Ocean and the James river to the mountain barriers west- 
ward, fighting the savages concealed behind bush and boulder, and at last 
ascending to the summit, these noble heroes stood with gun and tomahawk 
between savagery and civilization, while the boldest and those of the fleetest 
limbs looked westward to her impenetrable forests and richest valleys. They 
heard the scream of the panther, the grumbling of the bear, the howling of the 
wolf and the war whoop of the savage, and with powder and flint, they dashed 
forth in the mighty forests and became western pioneers with the sublimity of 
character and heroism that has had no equal. Such was the character of our 
fathers. These men lived in a period of the world's history when patriotism 
was the crowning shield of American manhood; the travail period before the 
birth of a great nation. They blazed the way to a great country and a greater 
civilization. They opened up a new world, and baptized the waters of the 
western slope with their own blood. 

In the course of time, the people began to see that their interest west of the 
great barrier which had so long divided the two sections, east and west, had no 
interest in common with the east, and the first great movement was heard when 
the Constitution of 1829 was placed before the people for ratification. The 
greatest and most powerful intellects of West Virginia were arrayed against 
its adoption. Harrison county gave less than a dozen votes for the Constitution, 
while the influence of Phillip Doddridge, the greatest orator perhaps who lived 
west of the Alleghanies, was so bitterly opposed to its adoption that he said he 
would rather see its contents committed to the flame ; that his county of Dod- 
dridge didn't give a single vote for its ratification. As the breach between the 
two sections, grew wider there was almost universal desire from the people 
west of the Alleghanies favorable to the division of the State, and they waited 
only for an opportunity, such as the Civil war gave them for carrying their 
desires into effect. 

The geographical and topographical conditions of the two sections left 
them without homogeneity of interest. It was soon discovered that slavery 
would be confined to the East as its soil and climate were adapted to the 
cultivation of tobacco in which slave labor could be made profitable. The 
Shenandoah and Potomac valleys lying bctAveen the Blue Ridge and Alle- 
ghanies being a fertile limestone soil and well adapted to grazing, and more 
especially the cultivation of wheat and corn, her trade being north, the sec- 
tion bad but little commercial interests with the tidewater interests of the State. 


That vast region lying between the Alleghanies and the Ohio, comprised a very 
large portion of the state, and being so long wrapped in the grandeur of the 
forests, had no interests in which slavery could be made profitable; hence less 
than four per cent of the population was colored. 

Before the building of the railroad, and before the hand of commercialism 
entered the forests with ax and saw, it presented a veritable earthly paradise. 
There was no distraction of the forest except where, prior to the Civil war, 
small farms were cleared. The rich bottom land, the gentle slopes of the 
mountain ranges that, had gathered its soil for untold ages from the vegetable 
growth, was covered with a forest of native timber that was unsurpassed by 
that of any other land. 

The richest valley of land was found on the South branch of the Potomac. 
Land that could not be excelled for fertility in any part of the vast Alluvial 
soils of the Mississippi valley. Some of the bottom lands of that valley pro- 
duced one hundred consecutive crops of corn. A great deal of ■ the mountain: 
and rich cove land of the central part of the state has produced thirty and 
forty com crops, and some of this land is now covered with a heavy blue- 
grass sod. 

The coal lands of the northern part of the state have attracted wide at- 
tention, and they have drawn vast wealth to that section as well as to other 
sections more recently developed. While the Pittsburgh coal veins are heavy 
and easy to mine, often their impurities render portions of that seam useless 
as a coking coal. The coals that are now being sought lie under the Pittsburgh 
vein, and crop out after that vein has vanished above the surface. The series 
of coal known as the Preeport, the Kittanning, the Kanawha and the New River, 
all crop out in the head of the streams flowing west from the Appalachian 
range, making a vast area of the finest coals in America. A very great per 
cent of this coal runs high in carbon' and low in ash, making it a most valuable 
steam and coke coal. 

If the Alleghanies were the natural divide between eastern and western 
Virginia, it was also a friendly barrier between the early settlers of Virginia 
and the savagery of the West. The long and almost impenetratable mountain 
ranges with their lofty peaks stretching for hundreds of miles, held back the 
warlike tribes that infested the western world, until the white settlers of the 
East grew strong enough to raise formidable armies sufficient to give battle to 
the savage tribes of the west. 

The conquest of civilization has ever been westward. The white man 
filled with the spirit of enterprise and goaded on by desire to acquire the 
valuable lands that he knew to be in his front, and stung by the cruelty which 
had been inflicted on his people by the warriors of the forest, made him an 
aggressive soldier that knew nothing but a forward march and ultimate con- 
quest. The Indian, strong and alert, cunning and brave, fighting for • his 
wigwam and his hunting grounds, was at once a Spartan of the forest. 

Standing on the summit that divides the headwaters of the East and those 


of the West, one can in some degree appreciate the feeling of the savage as he 
stood on the same spot viewing the approach of the white settler who occupied 
the valley of the James and drove from the rich hunting and fishing grounds 
those whose fathers for so many generations feasted in a paradise of luxury. 
Wild game, yellow sucker and eel, in eastern waters, were once as the stars of 
heaven in number. It may be that the untutored savage, like the wild animal, 
sought the highest ground in time of danger, and viewed from the summits of 
the mountain that stand at the fountain head of West Virginia's principal 
rivers, and gave a long lingering look to the land which he loved, and to the 
battlefield that was lost to him forever. 


There rises near Hightown, Virginia, the eastern base of a mountain that 
has its western terminus at Point Pleasant, West Virginia, nearly, four hundred 
miles in length. This mountain or ridge divides the waters of the Greenbrier, 
the Gauley, the Elk, the Sandy, the Poca and other smaller streams on the 
south from the Potomac, the Cheat, the A 7 alley river, the West Pork, the Little 
Kanawha and other minor streams on the north. This divide has innumerable 
peaks and elevations of considerable height, and a vast number of low gaps 
which form a natural passway for county roads, and even for railroads by 
making cuts and short tunnels in a few of the low gaps. In many low places 
among the mountains, springs rise up and flow to either side, dividing their 
waters between the New river and the Ohio. We have named this divide the 
Bison Range where once the Buffaloes roamed in great numbers on the rich 
native pastures which were unsurpassed for luxury for various animals that 
fattened on this range. The rich soil along the water courses and the accumu- 
lation on the northern coves of humus and decayed vegetable matter, pro- 
duced an abundant crop of pea vines and other food of great fattening quality 
which lasted well into the winter. The winter fern also was a source of supply. 

The deep gorges once cut down by the stream, the cliffs of rocks, the laurel 
and the spruce afforded an elegant shelter in the roughest storm. The water 
was pure and unexcelled, with occasional salt springs from which the Buffalo, 
the elk and the deer often slacked their thirst. The roads traveled in going 
from one buffalo lick to another showed greater skill in grading and construc- 
tion than is shown in the average West Virginia road. The streams and their 
tributaries that have their rise on the Bison Range, water the largest and by 
far the richest portion of our state. If the savage viewed with alarm the ap- 
proaching skirmish line of the citizen soldier of Virginia from the eastern 
terminus of the Bison Range, he met him later in solid rank at the western 
terminus, where the greatest of all their chieftains with his united tribe met 
defeat, and were driven across the Ohio to their silent wigwams of the West. 

When we speak of a nation, we consider it in relation to other nations of 
the world; or of a state, we view it in relation to other states of the union in 


its intricate form. "When we consider the relative greatness of West Virginia, 
sometimes referred to as the Switzerland of America, with her mountains and 
valleys, her limitless resoui'ces, her varied climate and soil, her coal and oil, 
gas and rock, her magnificent streams that rise at the base of her great moun- 
tains that pierce her borders— we pause to find a State comparable to ours. 

In the midst of the great Civil war, West Virginia came forth and threw 
her influence and power in the Nation's favor, and in the conflict she established 
a republican form of government, with a system of free schools which has 
grown from a weak and experimental beginning to one of which we all have a 
just pride. The Civil war gave the people living west of the Alleghaney moun- 
tains an opportunity long cherished for a separation from the mother state. 
Virginia had tolerated a system of slavery with its varied institutions for over 
two hundred years, all of which was out of harmony and distasteful to the 
mountaineer. He had with his own hand built his log cabin, felled the forests 
and driven back the savage and the bear ; he was his own master ; he kindled 
his fires from the sparks of his own. flint; and in every emergency relied upon 
his rifle that ever hung above his cabin door. From these sturdy mountaineers 
came the backbone of our citizenship. 

In the fifty years of our state's history, many of the land marks of the 
fathers have been removed. We fear that too often their memories have been 
forgotten, so wonderful and varied has been the march of her development. Her 
rich soil has been yielding treasures to the hand of the husbandman. If fifty 
years, beginning in the wilderness and coming down to the present, have pro- 
duced so much wealth and the various institutions of our state, what may we 
expect in the next fifty years with the great natural storehouse of her treasures 
lying open before us? 

During the two hundred years of our civilization in America, God kept 
concealed from the commercial world, the wealth hidden in her mountains and 
buried in her bosom. If the savage knew, he told it not, for to him it was a 
sealed book; and the rivers and mountains murmured it not. Even the winds 
conspired to keep the secret. Her industries are diversified, being one of the 
great coal producing states of the union, with a natural flow of gas that is 
giving heat and power to thousands of furnaces as well as light and warmth 
to her citizens. Her oil which is flowing from ten thousand wells or more 
is a source of great wealth. Her virgin forests unsurpassed of grandest mag- 
nificence has added millions to the wealth of her people. Her soil is well 
adapted for the production of all the finest, grasses, making West Virginia one 
of the first states of the union for stock raising. West Virginia stands at the 
front as a fruit growing section, her production of fruit becoming one of the 
state's leading industries, in quality as well as quantity. Surpassing the 
famous fruit states of the West; the Red Shale belt of the eastern panhandle is 
to the fruit interest of West -Virginia what the famous Grape Belt of France 
as' to the Wine product of that nation or the South Sea Cotton Belt is to the 
cotton market of the world ; but greater than all these is the intelligence and 


independence of her citizenship. Men and women of noble birth and par- 
entage, often those who came from the more humble stations of life, have dis- 
tinguished themselves in their various professions. What an inspiration to the 
intellectual greatness of West Virginia to stand amid the forests and see their 
magnificence, behold the mountains robed in ten thousand different hues and 
the rivers which flow through our state whose power if utilized would turn 
all the spindles of the world. The state beginning with a population of one 
hundred and seventy-six thousand has increased to a million and a quarter. 

But we would remember the eastern portion of our state which has stood 
so loyally by the west, and whose interests are identical, one with the other. 
Men of the same blood descended from the same noble pioneers. There is not 
perhaps a spot of ground in all the vast dominion of our government of equal 
interest historically to the Valley of Virginia. There is not a State nor a 
Territory within the Union or a civilized country beneath, the sun where does 
not live someone who at some time trod her smooth and dusty limestone roads, 
and drank from her great fountains; who does not remember seeing the smoke 
and fire from some belching gun or the more exciting dash of the charger. 
Such is the magnetism of the Valley. Its productiveness, its associations and 
environments none will ever forget who have been charmed with its 
uneqnaled splendor. Her fields are as rich and mellow today as they were 
when the blood of the Indians and pioneer was mingled with its soil in their 
contention for its possession ; when the cabin and the wigwam were subject 
alike to the scalping knife and the torch, and as long as there are showers and 
sunshine, will this grandest and noblest of all lands yield abundantly to the 
hand of those who toil. 

Generations may come and go, strangers may take the place of present 
inhabitants of the land, but the influence and impress of the steady pioneer, 
the nobility of the men and women who inhabit the valley from the Potomac 
to the watershed of the James, will never be obliterated ,and their manhood 
and virtue will stand like a monument as majestic and imperishable as time 
itself. Who could measure the greatness of our state or keep pace with the 
flight of her march? Such in brief, is West Virginia. 


Jamestown had been burned in 1676 during Bacon's rebellion and was re- 
built by Lord Culpepper, but in the last decade of the century was again de- 
stroyed by an accidental fire, and as the location was considered unhealthy, 
was not rebuilt. 

The seat of Government was in 1699 removed by Governor Nicholson to 
the middle plantations, half way between the James and York Rivers, and 
named Williamsburg in honor of King William III, at which place the William 
and Mary college had been established in 1693, the first assembly being held 
in the college building in December, 1700. 




Williamsburg remained the eapitol of Virginia until the Revolution when 
in May, 1779, an act was passed directing its removal to Richmond, the last 
Assembly being held in Williamsburg in October of that year, and the first one 
in Richmond in May, 1780. 


Sir Thomas Smith 1607 

Sir George Yeardly... 161S 

Sir Francis Wyatt 1621 

Sir George. Yeardley 1622 

Francis West 1627 

John Pott ....1628 

Sir John Harvey 1620 

Capt. John West- 1635 

Sir John Harvey 163G 

Sir Francis Wyatt 1639: 

Sir William Berkeley 1641 

Richard Kempe 1644 

Sir William Berkeley 1645 

Richard Bennett 1652 

Edward Digges 1656 

Samuel Matthews 1659 

Sir William Berkeley 1659 

Francis Moryson 166 1 

Sir William Berkeley 1662 

Sir Henry Chickerly 1678 

Lord Culpepper 1680 

Nicholas Spencer 1683 

Lord Howard 1684 

Nathaniel Bacon 1687 

Francis Nicholson 1690 

Sir Edmund Andross 1692 

EFrancis Nicholson 1698 

Edward Nott : 1705 

Edward Jennings 1706 

Alexander Spottswood 1710 

Hugh Drysdale 1722 

Col. Robert Carter 1726 

William Gouch : 1727 

Robert Dinweddie 1752 

Francis Fauquier 1758 

John Blair 1768 

Lord Bottetourt.... 1769 

William Nelson 1770 

John Murray, the Earl of 
Dunmore 1772 

The Earl of Dunmore continued Governor until 1775, when he fled. 

Presidents of Conventions, who executed the office of Governor : 

Peyton Randolph .....1775 

Patrick Henry 1 177G 

Thomas Jefferson 1779 ' 

Benjamin. Harrison 1781 

Patrick Henry 1784 

Edmund Randolph .1786 

Beverly Randolph 1788 

Henry Lee 1791 

Robert Brooke 1794 

James Wood. 1796 

James Monroe 1799 

John Page 1802 

William H. Cabell 1805 

John Tyler 1808 

James Monroe 1811 

James Barbour ....1812 

Wilson C. Nicholas 1814 

Edmund Pendleton 1773 

James P. Preston 1816 

Thomas M. Randolph 1819 

John Tyler 1825 

William B. Giles 1827 


John Floyd,, , ,....1830 John M. Gregory ............ 1842 

Littleton W. Tazewell .,..., .1834 James McDowell 1843 

Wyndam Robertson... 1836 William Smith ..... r 184o 

Davison Campbell 1837 Joseph Johnson.. 1852 

Thomas W. Gilmer 1S40 Henry A. Wise 1856 

John Rutherford 1841 John Letcher 1860 

Francis H. Pierpoint ......1861 


At the beginning of the century our country was in its infancy- a gov- 
ernment in its initial state, though containing a population of nearly five and 
one-half millions of earnest, patriotic citizens. A war lasting eight years had 
terminated less than twenty years prior to the close of the century — a war by 
which the colonies had broken down the barriers and severed the bands that 
bound them to the old world. Flushed with victory and with faith in the 
ability of their leaders they entered the new century with the utmost hope and 
confidence of the ultimate greatness of a land whose freedom they had bought 
at such a sacrifice of life and physical endurance. 

The eighteenth century was prolific of men of renown, leaders to whom 
the people looked with confidence and admiration, though the unexpected death 
of General Washington which occurred just a few weeks before the close of the 
century, cast a gloom over the whole country; but such had been the patriotic 
sentiment of the people, such the inspi ration of the leaders, such the burning, 
flashing eloquence of statesmen, and orators, and the unswerving fidelity of 
those whom the people had chosen as their representatives, that the young 
Republic was bounding on to greatness and power. 

So abhorrent had been the sentiments of the people against the colonial 
policy of the old world that the faintest whisper adverse to the fullest and 
freest liberty of every land and people would have been regarded as the voice of 
oppression. The eloquence of a Henry, the wisdom and philosophy of a Frank- 
lin, the statesmanship of an Adams, the democracy of a Jefferson, the life and 
character of the immortal Washington closed out the century in a halo of tri- 
umphant glory. 


We publish below a sentiment expressed in a few brief paragraphs, and if 
the talented author had published a book whose pages were blank from cover 
to cover, save this alone, it would be worthy a place in the library of any 
scholar or historian of the land: :.:'... 


"What the people of today have gained in educational advancement, has 
been discounted in the lack of genuine hospitality, good cheer, upright living, 
and the passing opportunity of enjoying the good health (and the appetites 
incident to pioneer life. In some remote period, when Webster county is 
peopled with a hetoregeneous population, and, when their great, great grand- 
children have arrived at distinction, there will be a movement started, and 
carried to a 'successful termination, to erect tablets and monuments to the 
memory of the first settlers. The first Centennial of the first settlement has 
come and gone and nothing has as yet been done to mark the graves of the men 
who wore the moccasin and the hunting shirt. " 




West Virginia; Its Birthplace in the Hearts of the Freemen of the Mountains; 
Constitutions;, West Virginia Legislatures; Governors, etc; Elevation of 
West Virginia; Counties of State With Names of County Seats; When 
Formed, etc.; The History of Song, "West Virginia Hills." 

We copy from a letter published in a Virginia newspaper under the sig- 
nature of C. C, a graphic sketch of the Virginia Convention of 1829-30 : 


I attended the debates of this body a foi'tnight. The capitol, in which the 
convention sat, is a fine building, nobly situated — iftpre so than any other I have 
seen in this country. Richmond is a picturesque place; the James looks beau- 
tiful there in a spring morning; the rocks and islands, and foaming rapids, 
and murmuring falls, and floating mists, all light and glorious, under a clear 
blue sky. The convention boasted several men of distinction — Madison, Monroe, 
Giles, Marshall, Randolph, Leigh, Tazewell, etc. Mr. Madison sat on the left 
of the speaker, Mr. Monroe on the right. Mr. Madison spokei once for half an 
hour; but although a pin might have been heard to drop, so low was his tone, 
that from the gallery I could distinguish only one word, and that was, "Con- 
stitution." He stood not more than six feet from the speaker. When he rose, 
a great part of the members left their seats and clustered around the aged 
statesman, thick as a swarm of bees. Mr. Madison was a small man, of ample 
forehead, and some obiquity of vision, (I thought the effect probably of age,) 
his eyes appearing to be slightly introverted. His dress was plain ; his over- 
coat a faded brown surtout. Mr. Monroe was very wrinkled and weather- 
beaten — ungraceful in attitude and gesture, and his speeches only common- 
place. Mr. Giles wore a crutch — was then governor of the state. His style of 
delivery was perfectly conversational — no gesture, no effort ; but in ease, 
fluency, and tact, surely he had not there his equal ; his words were like honey 
pouring from an eastern rock. Judge Marshall, whenever he spoke, which was 
seldom, and only for a short time, attracted great attention. His appearance 
was revolutionary and patriarchal. Tall, in a long surtout of blue, with a face 
of genius, and an eye of fire, his mind possessed the rare faculty of condensa- 
tion, he distilled an argument down to its essence. There were two parties in 
the house; the western or radical, and the eastern or conservative. Judge 
Marshall proposed something in the nature of a compromise. John Randolph 
was remarkably deliberate, distinct, and emphatic. He articulated excellently,, 
and «ave the happiest effect to all he said. His person was frail and uncommon 


• — his face pale and withered — but his eve radiant as a diamond. He owed, 
perhaps, more to his manner than to his matter; and his mind was poetical 
rather than logical. Yet in his own peculiar vein, he was superior to any of his 
cotemporaries. Benjamin Watkins Leigh cut a distinguished figure in the 
convention, as the leader of the lowland party. His diction is clear, correct, 
elegant, and might be safely committed to print just as spoken. Yet high as 
he stands, he is not perhaps in the highest rank of speakers. He never lightens, 
never thunders, he can charm, he can convince, but he can hardly overwhelm. 
Mr. Tazewell, I never saw up but once, for a moment, on a point of order ; a 
tall, fine looking man. P. P. Barbour presided over the body with great dignity 
and ease. Of these seven extraordinary men, four have since died, to-wit: 
Monroe, Giles, Randolph, and Marshall. Mr. Leigh is now a United States 
senator, and Mr. Tazewell governor of Virginia. 


"In 1772, that comparatively beautiful region of country, lying on the east 
fork of the Monongahela river, between the Alleghany mountains, on its south 
eastern and the Laurel Hill, or as it is there called the Rich mountain, on its 
north western side, and which had received the denomination of Tygart's 
valley, again attracted the attention of emigrants. In the course of that year, 
the greater part of this valley was located, by persons said to have been enticed 
thither by the description given of it, by some Iranters from Greenbrier who 
had previously explored it. Game, though a principal, was not however their 
sole object. They possessed themselves at once of nearly all the level land lying 
between those mountains — a plain of 25 or 30 miles in length and varying from 
three fourths to two miles in width, and of fine soil. Among those who were 
first to occupy -that section of country, we find the names of Hadden, Connelly, 
Whiteman, Warwick, Nelson, Stalnaker, Riffle and Westfall; the latter of these 
found and interred the bones of Piles' family, which had lain, bleeching in the 
sun, after their murder by the Indians, in 1754. 

Cheat river too, on which no attempt at settlement had been made, but 
by the unfortunate Eckarly's, became an object of attention. The Horse Shoe 
bottom was located by Captain James Parsons, of the South Branch ; and in his 
neighborhood settled Robert Cunningham, Henry Pink, John Goff and John 
Minear. Robert Butler, William Morgan and some others settled on the Dunk- 
ard bottom. 

In this year too, settlements were made on Simpson's creek, the West Fork 
river and on Elk creek. Those who made the former, were John Powers, who 
purchased Simpson's right (a tomahawk improvement) to the land on which 
Benjamin Stout now resides; and James Anderson and Jonas Webb who 
located farther up the creek. 

On Elk, and in the vicinity of Clarksburg there settled Thomas Nutter, 
near to the Forge-mills — Samuel Cottrial, on the east side of the creek and 


nearly opposite to Clarksburg — Sotha Hickman, on the west side of the same 
creek, and above Cottrial — Samuel Beard at the mouth of Nanny's run— - 
Andrew Cottrial above Beard, and at the farm now owned by John W. Patton — 
Daniel Davisson, where Clarksburg is now situated, and Obadiah Davisson and 
John Nutter on the West Pork; the former near to the old Salt works, and the 
latter at the place now owned by Adam Hickman, Jr. 

There was likewise, at this time, a considerable accession to the settle- 
ments on Buchannon and Hacker 's creek. So great was the increase of popu- 
lation in this latter neighborhood, that the crops of the preceeding season did 
not afford more than one third of the breadstuff, which would be ordinarily 
consumed in the same time, by an equal number of persons. Such indeed was 
the state of suffering among the inhabitants, consequent on this scarcity, that 
the year 1773 is called in the traditionary legends of that day, the starving 
year ; and such were the exertions of William Lowther to mitigate that suffering, 
and so great the success Avith which they were crowned, that his name has been 
transmitted to their descendants, hallowed by the blessings of those, whose 
wants he contributed so largely to relieve. 

1 These were the principal settlements begun in North Western Virginia, 
prior to the year 1774. Few and scattered as they were, no sooner was it 
known that they were commenced, than hundreds nocked to them from dif- 
ferent parts; and sought there the gratifications of their respective predilec- 
tions. That spirit of adventurous emigration, which has since peopled, with 
such unprecedented rapidity, the south western and western states, and which 
was then beginning to develope itself, overcame the fond attachments of youth, 
and impelled its possessors, to the dreary wilderness. Former homes, encircled 
by the comforts of civilization, endeared by the grateful recollections of by- 
gone days, and not unfrequently, consecrated as the spots where their tenants 
had first inhaled the vital fluid, were readily exchanged for "The variety of 
untried being, the new scenes and changes," which were to be passed, before the 
trees of the forest could be supplanted, by the fruits of the field. 


The period between the flight of Governor Dunmore in June, 1775, and the 
adoption of the first Constitution, June 29, 1776, is known in history as the 
Interregnum. During this time, the convention which met July 17, 1775, at 
Richmond, conducted the government of the colony through its president. This 
convention passed ordinances, organizing troops for the public defense and 
appointed a general committee of safety to carry on the government, and also 
authorized the selection of county committees of safety by the inhabitants 
thereof, who executed the decrees and orders of the general committee. The 
Constitutional Convention which met at Williamsburg, May 6, 1776, on June 
12, 1776, adopted a bill of right, and on June 29, 1776, adopted a Constitution, 
the first one in America, and on the same da> elected Patrick Henry pro- 

8 TJ.-.T.T O-N ' S HISTORY. 27 

visional Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. From this. time, dates 
t ehfirst year of the Commonwealth. This Constitution, having been adopted 
without being submitted to the people for approval, was in force for fifty-f-ur 
years, but as the people outgrew its provisions a change was demanded in hopes 
that many of its restrictions in regard to the qualifications of voters and basis 
of representation might be remedied under its provisions. All State and 
County officers were appointed, and the only privilege the voters had was to 
vote for members of the Legislature, Overseers of the Poor and Town Trustees, 
and voters were required to be free holders. The Assembly on February 10, 
1829, passed a bill submitting to the voters a proposition to call a Convention 
to adopt a new Constitution. This was carried, but by far the largest vote 
favoi'ing it came from west of the Blue Ridge. The Convention assembled in 
Richmond October 5, 1829, and contained a remarkable body of men, among 
them being James Madison and James Monroe, ex-presidents of the United 
States, John Randolph and others distinguished as lawyers, statesmen and 

The new Constitution was unpopular in the west, aud in a short time de- 
mands were made for a radical change in the organic law. This finally resulted 
in the Legislature calling a Constitutional Convention which met on the 14th 
of October, 1850, and adopting a Constitution which was ratified by the people 
on the fourth Thursday of October, 1851. The election for officers under this 
Constitution was held on the second Monday of December, 1851. The property 
clause heretofore required of voters was swept away, and universal suffrage 
granted. The Governor, Judicial and County officers for the first time were 
now to be elected by the people. While the basis of representation was not 
entirely satisfactory to the west, yet they had gained so many privileges that 
it was acquiesced by the people. The first Governor elected under this Con- 
stitution was Joseph Johnson of Harrison county, and the only one ever elected 
west of the mountains. We lived under this Constitution until the formation 
of West Virginia. 

This period embraced a remarkable chain of events leading up to the for- 
mation of the new state. A Convention of the people met June 11, 1861, and 
reorganized the government of Virginia. They met in August and passed an 
ordinance that an election should be held in the western counties of Virginia 
on the fourth Tuesday in October to take the sense of the voters on the question 
of dividing the state, and at the same time to elect delegates to a Constitutional 
Convention. The vote on the formation of the new state having resulted fav- 
orably, the Convention met in Wheeling November 26, 1861, and having com- 
pleted its labor by adopting a Constitution adjourned February 18, 1862. The 
Constitution was ratified by the vote of the people at an election held April -3, 
1862. The act of Congress admitting West Virginia into the Union, was con- 
ditioned upon the section of the Constitution being amended in regard to 
slavery. It was approved December 31, 1S62. The Constitutional Convention 
met February 12, 1862, and made the changes proposed by the act of Congress. 


This Amendment was approved by the people at an election held March 26. 
1863. President Lincoln issued his proclamation which admitted the new state 
into the Union, June 20, 1863. President Lincoln, having been satisfied with 
the provision made for the payment of the new state's proportion of the Vir- 
ginia debt, signed the bill, creating the State of West Virginia. 

The first Legislature under this Constitution met in "Wheeling June 20, 
1863. The Legislature on the 23rd of February, 1871, passed an act to take 
the sense of the voters of the state upon the call of a Convention to enact a new 
Constitution at an election to be held on the fourth Thursday in August, 1871, 
which resulted in approving a Convention. The Convention met in Charleston 
on the third Tuesday in January, 1872. The election on the adoption of the 
Constitution was held on the fourth Thursday in August, 1872, and resulted in 
its ratification, and is the Constitution tinder which we ai-e now governed 
(1917). At the same time an election was held for State, Judicial, Legislative, 
County and District officials, who were to be seated in case the Constitution was 
adopted, which resulted in a wholesale turning out of all officials without re- 
gard to the fact that they had not yet served out the terms for which they had 
been elected. The Governor and other State officers were to be ushered into 
office on March 4, 1873. The first Legislature under this Constitution met on 
the third Tuesday in November, 1873. 


We publish below a very interesting letter written by Granville D. Hall 
who took stenographic notes of the May Convention and the Constitutional 
Convention which sat in Wheeling in the winter of 1861 and 1862, was recalled 
in the sprin'g of 1863 and framed the first Constitution of West Virginia, con- 
sisting of sixty-one members. Of these, seven were past sixty years of age when 
the Convention met, November 26, 1861, the eldest of the group being sixty-six : 
fifteen of them were in the fifties, the eldest being fifty-six; twenty-four were 
in the forties, the eldest being forty-nine; in the thirties, there were only ten; 
younger than thirty years of age, there were but five, their names are : Andrew 
W. Mann of Greenbrier, twenty-nine; J. P. Hoback of McDowell, twenty-six; 
Gustavus F. Taylor of Braxton, twenty-six; E. W. Ryan of Fayette, twenty- 
five; Thomas R. Carskadon of Hampshire, twenty-four. 

It has been nearly fifty-four years since the Convention met. If Mr. 
Carskadon is living, he should be now about seventy-eight years of age ; Mr. 
Ryan, Seventy-nine; Mr. Taylor, eighty; Mr. Hoback, eighty; Mr. Mann, 
eighty-three. Of the group in the thirties, Ephraim B. Hall of Fairmont, when 
the Convention met was thirty -nine; John J. Brown of Kingwood, thirty-five; 
Judge "Tom" Harrison of Clarksburg, thirty-seven. Of the group in the 
sixties, Abraham D. Soper of Tyler, was sixty-six; Lewis Ruffner of Kanawha, 
sixty-four; Col. Ben. Smith of Kanawha, sixty-three; Dudley S. Montague of 
Putnam, sixty -one ; Joseph Wheat of Morgan, sixty. Of the group in the fifties, 


John Hall of Mason who was made president, was fifty-six; Judge Elbert H. 
Caldwell of Moundsville, fifty-two: Hiram Haymond of Palatine, fifty-free; 
Daniel Lamb, fifty-one; Peter G. Van Winkle, fifty-three; and Waitman T. 
Willey, sixty. Harmon Sinsel of Pruntytown was forty-four, and "Chap' - 
Stuart of Doddridge, forty-one. 

Of the sixty-one delegates, forty-six were born in Virginia ; six in Pennsyl- 
vania : three in New York ; two in Ohio ; two in Massachusetts ; one in Ireland. 
Of whom, again, seventeen were lawyers, twenty-three farmers; five, ministers; 
three, physicians ; three, merchants ; one. a teacher and one, a bank cashier. 

John Hall of Mason, was the lone son of the Emerald Isle ; Daniel Lamb, 
bom in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, was the bank cashier who did not go 
back to the bank, but took up his profession of the law after performance of 
his duties as legislator and publicist. Lewis Ruffner, freightened by nature 
with an uncommon cargo of the hardest horsesense, was a manufacturer of salt. 
Rev. Gordon Battelle of great native ability and superior culture, laid the foun- 
dations of the existing West Virginia public school system. He was the one man 
in the body who had the courage to advocate provision for Emancipation, and 
to declare that he entered into no compromises. Granville Parker, native of 
Massachusetts, a very astute lawyer, understood better and appreciated more 
than others the extraordinary abilities of Daniel Lamb and the work done by 
him, and in a book published by Mr. Parker after. the war, he endowed Mr. 
Lam!; with the merited title of ' ' Our West Virginia Madison. ' ' 

The working team of the convention embraced Lamb, Van Winkle, Battelle, 
Willey ; Chap. Stuart, Hervey of Brooks ; Smith and Brown of Kanawha ; 
Brown of Preston; Stevenson of Wood; Hall of Marion; Harrison of Harrison; 
Dering of Monongalia; Caldwell of Marshall, and Dille of Preston. 

John Hall of Mason who was president of the first session, did not come 
back when the convention was recalled, for reasons of a personal and tragic 
nature, and Mr. Soper, as the eldest member, was made president, Mr. Lamb 
having assumed the chair and called the convention to order. 

Ellery R. Hall of Pruntytown was chosen secretary and his brother 
Sylvanus of Fairmont, for many years afterwards clerk of the West Virginia 
Supreme Court of Appeals, was made his assistant. 

James C. Orr, stationer and bookseller on Main street. Wheeling, was 
made sergeant-at-arms. 


When, nearly fifty-four years ago, the first West Virginia Legislature con- 
vened at Wheeling, the Senate consisted of twenty members, ten less than at 
present; and the membership of the House of Delegates was fifty-one, while 
at the last session eighty-six members sat in the lower house of the Legislature. 

Under the provisons of the old Constitution which was in effect from 1863 
to 1872, the Legislature met annually, the Senators being elected for terms of 


one year. Under the present Constitution, the Senators are elected for four 
years, and the Delegates for two years. 

The first West Virginia Senate was presided over by a minister as presi- 
dent. He was the Hon. John M. Phelph of Mason county. Ellery R. Hall of 
Fairmont was Clerk of the Senate; Edmund Kyle of Pine Grove, sergeant-at- 
arms; W. M. Dunnington, door-keeper; Charles M. Wheat and Alex. R. Camp- 
bell, then fifteen years of age, were pages. The members of the first Senate were : 

First District — Chester D. Hubbard, Wheeling; John H. Atkinson, New 

Second District — James Burley, Moundsville ; Aaron Hawkins, Bametts- 

Third District — John J. Brown, Kingwood ; Edward C. Bunker, Morgan- 

■ Fourth District — Daniel Raymond, Federal Hill; Edwin Maxwell, Clarks- 

Fifth District — Edward S. Mahond, Ravenswood; William E. Stevenson, 

Sixth District — D. D. T. Farnsworth, Buckhannon; William D. Rollyson, 
Braxton Court House. 

Seventh District — Greenbury Slack, Kanawha Court House ; John M. 
Phelps, Point Pleasant. 

Eighth District — John B. Bowen, Buffalo Shoals; William H. Copley, 

Ninth District — Aaron Betchel, Berkeley Springs; James Carskadon, New 

While the seventh district furnished the first president of the state Senate, 
and Kanawha county was a part of this district, Kanawha county furnished the 
first speaker of the House of Delegates in Dr. Spicer Patrick, who a few months 
before was chairman of the first nominating convention ever held in the new 
state, which nominated Arthur I. Boreman for governor. Granville D. Hall 
was the first clerk of the lower house. The members of the first House of dele- 
gates were: 

Monroe, Lewis Ballard; Marion, John S. Barnes and Isaac Holman; 
Hampshire, James I. Barrick and George W. Sheetz; Doddridge, Ephriam Bee; 
Pendleton, John Boggs; Putnam, George C. Bowycr; Mason, Lewis Bumgard- 
nor; Wayne, Thomas Copley; Hancock, William L. Crawford; Wood, Horatio 
N. Crooks and Peter G. Van Winkle; Brook, IT. 0. Crothers; Taylor, L. E. 
Davidson; Ritchie, S. R. Dawson; Raleigh, W. S. Dunbar; Marshall, Michael 
Dunn and Joseph Turner ; Harrison, Solomon Fleming and Nathan Goff , Sr. ; 
Wirt, Alfred Foster; Greenbrier, John C. Cillilan and Andrew W. Mann; 
Pocahontas, Benoni Griffin; Boone, Robt, Hager; Lewis, Perry M. Hale; Logan, 
James H. Hickman; Jackson, David J. Kenny; Randolph, Cyrus Kittle; Mon- 
aognlia, Lcroy Kramer and John L. Lough; Ohio, Daniel Lamb, Andrew F. 
■ and W. W. Shriver; Mercer. Thomas Little; Preston, James C. 


MeGraw and William Zinn; Roane, J. M. MeWhorter; Hardy, John Michael; 
Kanawha, Spicer Patrick and Lewis Ruffner • Nicholas, Anthony Rader ; Wetzel, 
S. I. Robinson; Braxton, Felix Sutton; Tyler, Daniel Sweeney; Barbour, 
Joseph Tetler, Jr.; Morgan, Joseph S. Wheat; Gilmer, T. Wiant; Cabell, Ed- 
ward D. Wright. 


Arthur I. Boreman, June 20, 1863; Dan'l. T. T. Fariisworth, Feb. 27, 
1869; William E. Stevenson, Mch. 4, 1869; John J. Jacob, Mch. 4, 1871; Henry 
M. Mathews, Mch. 4, 1877; Jacob B. Jackson, Mch. 4, 1881; Emanuel W. 
Wilson, Mch. 4, 1885 ; A. Brooks Fleming, Feb. 6, 1890 ; William A. McCorkle, 
Mch. 4, 1893; George W. Atkinson, Mch. 4, 1897; Albert B. White, Mch. 4, 
1901 ; William M. 0. Dawson, Mch. 4, 1905 ; William E. Glascock, Mch. 4, 1909 ; 
H. D. Hatfield, Mch. 4, 1913; John J. Cornwall, Mch. 4, 1917. 

Under the constitution of 1863, the term of office of the Governor was two 
years. The constitution of 1872 increased the term to four years. 

Hon. Daniel T. T. Farnsworth as President of the Senate became Governor 
upon the resignation of Governor Boreman, on February 27, 1869, who had 
been elected to the United States Senate, and served until March 4th. 

Governor Wilson held the office nearly one year beyond his term owing 
to a contested election between Hon. Nathan Goff and Hon. A. Brooks Fleming. 

The Constitution of 1776 provided that the Governor's term of office should 
be limited to three years. 

The Constitution of 1830 established the term at three years. 

The Constitution of 1852 fixed the term at four years, and provided for 
the election of the Governor by the people, which had previously been done 
by the Legislature. 

Joseph Johnson of Harrison county, was the first Governor elected by the 
people, and the only one ever chosen from West of the mountains for the old 
State of Virginia. 


Exact measurements showing the elevation of West Virginia in various 
parts of its area, when studied in connection with a map of the State, show 
clearly that the area rises in altitude from all sides, culminating in the nest of 
peaks clustered around the sources of the Potomas, the Kanawha and Monon- 
gahela. The highest point in the State is Spruce Mountain, in Pendleton 
County, 4,860 feet above sea level; the lowest point is the bed of the Potomac 
at Harpers Ferry, 260 feet above the sea ; the vertical range is 4,600 feet. The 
Ohio, at the mouth of Big Sandy, on the boundary between West Virginia and 
Kentucky, is 500 feet; the mouth of Cheat, at the Pennsylvania line, is 775. 
The general level of Pocahontas County is about 3,000 above the sea. The bed 


of Greenbrier River where it enters Pocahontas is 3,300 feet in elevation. 
Where Shaver's Fork of Cheat River leaves Pocahontas, its bed is 3,700 feet. 
A few of the highest peaks in Pocahontas, Pendleton, Randolph and Tucker 
Counties are : Spruce Knob, Pendleton County, 4,860 feet above sea level ; Bald 
Knob, Pocahontas County, 4,800 ; Spruce Knob, Pocahontas County, 4,730 ; High 
Knob, Randolph County, 4,710 ; Mace Knob, Pocahontas County, 4,700 ; Barton 
Knob, Randolph County, 4,600 ; Bear Mountain, Pocahontas County, 4,600 ; 
Elleber Ridge, Pocahontas County, 4,600 ; Watering Pond Knob, Pocahontas 
County, 4,600 ; Panther Knob, Pendleton County, 4,500 ; Weiss Knobb, Tucker 
County. 4,490; Green Knob, Randolph County, 4,485; Brier Patch Mountain, 
Randolph County, 4,480; Yokum's Knob, Randolph County, 4,330; Pointy 
Knob, Tucker County, 4,286; Hutton's Knob, Randolph County, 4,260. 

In Berkeley county, there is a small eminence near the old home of General 
Stevens from which you can see the residences of General Gates, General Lee 
and General Dark, three Major Generals and one Brigadier General of the 
Revolution. Is there a state in the union of even comparable historical great- 
ness to our own? 


Following is a list of the counties of West Virginia, with the date of for- 
mation, area, from whom named and the county seat: 

Hampshire, 630 square miles; formed 1754 from Augusta; named for 
Hampshire, England; settled about 1730; Romney. 

Berkeley, .320 square miles; formed 1772 from Frederick; named for 
Governor Berkeley of Virginia ; settled about 1730 ; Martinsburg. 

Monongalia, 360 square miles; formed 1776 from. West Augusta; settled 
.1770; named for the river; Wheeling . |V\ i- \ o 

Greenbrier, 1000 square miles; formed 1777 from Botetourt; settled 1750; 
named for briers growing on the river bank ; Lewisburg. 

Harrison, 450 square miles; formed 1784 from Monongalia; settled 1770; 
named for Benjamin Harrison, Governor of Virginia; Clarksburg. 

Hardy, 700 square miles; formed from Hampshire in 1785; settled 1740; 
named for Samuel Hardy of Virginia; Moorfield. 

Randolph, 1080 square miles; formed 178b from Harrison; settled 1753; 
named for Edmund Randolph; Elkins. 

Pendleton, 650 square miles; formed 1787 from Augusta, Hardy and 
Rockingham; settled 1750; named for Edmund Pendleton; Franklin. 

Kanawha, 980 square miles; formed 1789 from Greenbrier and Mont- 
gomery; settled 1774; named for the river; Charleston. 

Brooke, 80 square miles ; formed from Ohio 1796 ; settled about 1772 ; 
named for Robert Brooke, Governor of Virginia; Wellsburg. 

Wood, 375 square miles ; formed from Harrison 1798 ; settled about 1773 ; 
named for James Wood, Governor of Virginia ; Parkersburg. 


Monroe, 460 square miles; formed 1799 from Greenbrier; settled about 
1760; named for James Monroe; Union. 

Jefferson, 250 square miles; formed 1801 from Berkeley; settled about 
1730; named for Thomas Jefferson; Charlestown. 

Mason, 430 square miles; formed 1804 from Kanawha; settled about 1774, 
named for George Mason of Virginia; Point Pleasant. 

Cabell, 300 square miles; formed from Kanawha 1809; settled about 1790; 
named for William H. Cabell, Governor of Virginia ; Huntington. 

Tyler, 300 square miles; formed from Ohio 1814; settled about 1776; named 
for John Tyler; Middlebourn. 

Lewis, 400 square miles ; formed from Harrison 1816 ; settled about 1780 ; 
named for Colonel Charles Lewis; Weston. 

Nicholas, 720 square miles; formed 1818 from Kanawha, Greenbrier and 
Randolph; named for W. C. Nicholas, Governor of Virginia; Summersville. 

Preston, 650. square miles; formed 1818 from Monongalia; settled about 
1760; named for James P. Preston, Governor of Virginia; Kingwood. 

Morgan, 300 square miles; formed 1820 from Hampshire and Berkeley; 
settled about 1730; named for Daniel Morgan; Berkeley Springs. 

Pocahontas, 820 square miles; formed 1821 from Bath, Pendleton and 
Randolph ; settled 1749 ; named for Pocahontas, an Indian girl ; Marlinton. 

Logan, 400 square miles; formed from Kanawha, Giles, Cabell and Taze- 
well 1824; named for Logan, an Indian; Logan. 

Jackson, 400 square miles; formed from Kanawha, Wood and Mason in 
1831 ; settled about 1796 ; named for Andrew Jackson : Ripley. 

Fayette, 750 square miles; formed from Logan, Kanawha, Greenbrier and 
Nicholas 1831; named for Lafayette; Fayetteville. 

Marshall, 240 square miles ; formed 1835 from Ohio ; settled about 1769 ; 
named for Chief Justice Marshall ; Moundsville. 

Braxton, 620 square miles ; formed 1 836 from Kanawha, Lewis and Nicholas ; 
settled about 1794; named for Carter Braxton; Sutton. 

Mercer, 400 square miles; formed 1837 from Giles and Tazewell; named 
for General Hugh Mercer; Princeton. 

Marion, 300 square miles; formed 1842 from Harrison and Monongalia; 
named for General Marion; Fairmont. 

Wayne, 440 square miles; formed 1841 from Cabell; named for General 
Anthony Wayne; Wayne. 

Taylor, 150 square miles; formed 1844 from Harrison, Barbour and 
Marion; named for John Taylor; Grafton. 

Doddridge, 300 square miles; formed 1845 from Harris, Tyler, Ritchie 
and Lewis; named for Philip Doddridge: West Union. 

Gilmer, 360 square miles ; formed 1845 from Kanawha and Lewis ; named 
for Thomas W. Gilmer of Virginia; Glenville. 

AVetzel, 440 square miles; formed 1846 from Tyler; named for Lewis 
Wetzel; New Martinsville. 


Boone, 500 square miles; formed 1847 from Kanawha, Cabell and Logan; 
named for Daniel Boone; Madison. 

Putnam, 320 square miles ; formed 1848 from Kanawha, Cabell and Mason ; 
named for Israel Putnam; Winfield.^ 

Barbour, 360 square miles; formed 1843 from Harrison, Lewis and Ran- 
dolph; named for James Barbour, Governor of Virginia; Philippi. 

Ritchie, 400 square miles; formed 1844 from Harrison, Lewis and Wood; 
named for Thomas Ritchie of Virginia; Harrisville. 

Wirt, 290 square miles; formed 1848 from Wood and Jackson; settled 
about 1796; named for William Wirt; Elizabeth. 

Hancock, 100 square miles ; formed 1848 from Brooke ; settled about 1776 ; 
named for John Hancock: New Cumberland. 

Raleigh, 680 square miles; formed 1850 from Fayette; named for Sir 
Walter Raleigh; Beckley. 

Wyoming, 660 square miles ; f ormed 1 850 from Logan ; an Indian name : 

Pleasants, 150 square miles; formed 1851 from Wood, Tyler and Ritchie; 
named for James Pleasants, Governor of Virginia; St. Marys. 

Upshur, 350 square miles; formed 1851 from Randolph, Barbour and Lewis; 
settled about 1767; named for Judge A. P. Upshur; Buckhannon. 

Calhoun, 260 square miles; formed 1856 from Gilmer; named for J. C. 
Calhoun ; Grantsville. 

Roane, 350 square miles ; formed 1856 from Kanawha, Jackson and Gilmer ; 
settled about 1791 ; named for Judge Roane of Virginia ; Spencer. 

Tucker, 340 square miles ; formed 1856 from Randolph ; settled about 1774 ; 
named for Judge St. George Tucker: Parsons. 

Clay, 390 square miles; formed 1858 from Braxton and Nicholas; named 
for Henry Clay; Clay. 

McDowell, 860 square miles; formed 1858 from Tazewell; named for James 
McDowell, Governor of Virginia; Welch. 

Webster, 450 square miles; formed 1866 from Randolph, Nicholas and 
Braxton; named for Daniel Webster; Webster Springs. 

Mineral, 300 square miles; formed 1866 from Hampshire; named for its 
coal ; Keyser. 

Grant, 620 square miles; formed 1866 from Hardy; settled about 1740; 
named for General U. S. Grant; Petersburg. 

Lincoln, 460 square miles; formed 1867 from Kanawha, Cabell, Boone and 
Putnam; settled about 1799; named' for Abraham Lincoln; Hamlin. 

Summers, 400 square miles; formed 1871 from Monroe, Mercer, Green- 
brier and Fayette ; named for Lewis and George W. Summers ; Hinton. 

Mingo, about 400 square miles; formed 1895 from Logan; named for 
Logan, the Mingo; Williamstown. 



There has been some controversy, and quite a lot of inquiry as to who 
wrote the "West Virginia Hills." Those not familiar with the history of the 
origin of this very popular music, are not aware of the fact that there are two 
distinct songs written at different times and by different parties. 

In 18S5. Dr. D. H. King and wife from Vineland, N. J., were visiting 
Mrs. King's father, Captain Ruddill of Glenville, W. Va., and within the time 
of their visit, Dr. King who was a Presbyterian minister, wrote the verses and 
published them in the Glenville Crescent, crediting the production to Mrs. 
King. Mr. Everett Engle of Loydville, Braxton co\mty, seeing the verses in 
the paper, composed the chorus to -the lines and wrote the music for the song, 
entitled, "The West Virginia Hills." 

In 1891, Dr. D. B. Purinton, President of the West Virginia University, 
published a song that he had written some years before, and also wrote the 
music, entitled, "West Virginia Hills." For some reason, Dr. Purinton laid 
away his manuscript and neglected to publish it until the above date which 
was six years after Prof. Engle had written the chorus and music to the "West 
Virginia Hills." 

While there is some similarity in the wording of the two songs, there is 
none whatever in the music. Dr. Purinton wrote his song and "laid it away 
in a napkin. ' ' Dr. King and Professor Engle wrote their song without know- 
ing of the existence of the other, and copyrighted it six years before Dr. Purin- 
ton copyrighted his production. 

Dr. King's song is called (The) "West Virginia Hills." This song has 
become deservedly popular. It has been sung in every, public place in West 
Virginia, and all over the United States, and doubtless in foreign lands. Sen- 
ator Peck delighted in singing "The West Virginia Hills" to the great delight, 
of the West Virginia Legislature, and those who had gathered at the Capitol 
from every part, of the state. This song belongs to West Virginia, and par- 
ticularly to Braxton and Gilmer counties, and will be handed down to coming 
years as West Virginia's grandest and most inspiring song, keeping the names 
of Dr. King and Professor Engle in the role of popular authors and composers. 




Braxton County; Its Origin; WJien Formed; Population; Wealth; Its Repre- 
sentatives; Its Rivers and Natural Scenery ; Its Wealth in Mineral Products; 
Its Schools. 


At the time of the formation, in 1836, the territory now embraced within 
the county formed parts of Lewis, Kanawha and Nicholas counties. A petiton 
prayktg for the formation of a new county was forwarded to Richmond and 

laid before the general As- 
sembly then in session in 
that city. It was heard 
with favor by that body, 
and in the winter of 1836, 
Braxton county, with a 
population of 2,371 of 
whom 400 were voters, 
was checkered on the map 
of Virginia. 

The county then formed 
was named in honor of 
Carter Braxton, one of 
the signers of the Declar- 
ation of Independence. 
Braxton county geograph- 
ically considered, occupies the central part of West Virginia, lying between 
the 38° 30' and 38° 57' parallels of north latitude, and 80° 27' and 81° 03' 
meridians of longitude west of Greenwich, and contains 621 square miles. 

In the counties of which the territory now embraced in Braxton was a 
part, prior to 1710, the mountains were thought to be impassable, though the 
country east had been settled for over a hundred years. The first passage of the 
Blue Ridge, and entrance to the valley by white men, was made in 1716. The 
country thus discovered and claimed for the British Crown, became a part of 
the county of Essex. Essex was taken from old Rapahannock in 1692, the 
western boundary being undefined. Spottsylvania was formed from Essex and 
other counties in 1720, and Orange from Spottsylvania in 1734. Augusta was 
taken from Orange in 1738, Monongalia was taken from Augusta and West 
Augusta in 1776, and Harrison was taken from Monongalia in 1784, and Ran- 

The only living grand-daughter of Capt. John Skidmore 


dolph was taken from Harrison in 1786. Nicholas was formed from Randolph 
in 1818 ; . and Braxton was formed from Nicholas in 1836. 

In the succession of the counties named, we speak of them without refer- 
ence to the entrical parts of the other counties out of which they have been 
taken; thus we see that the county of Braxton wandered in the wilderness for 
154 years, without a name upon the map or a line of history, only as a part of 
some other formation. Twenty-eight years in old Rapahamiock, 4 years in the 
undefined territory of Essex, 14 years in Spottsylvania, 4 years in Orange, 38 
years in Augusta and West Augusta, 8 years in Monongalia, 2 years in Har- 
rison, 30 years in Randolph, 18 years in Nicholas, and from 1836 /to the 
present, we have had a place upon the map, and occupy the proud distinction 
of being the central county of the great state of "West Virginia. 


At the close of the second decade of the century, the large area of territory 
afterwards within the lines of Braxton county, at the time of its originization, 
did not probably contain more than 12 or 15 hundred, and certainly not more 
than one person for every square mile of territory. 

At the time of the ,early settlement of the Elk River, the territory south 
of the ridge, now called Bison Ridge, which divides the waters of the Elk from 
the waters of the Little Kanawha, down to a marked line usually designated as 
the Old County line, was in Randolph county. This line was made to mark 
the boundaries of Harrison and Randolph counties, and two years later, 
Nicholas was formed out of the counties of Kanawha, Greenbrier and Ran- 
dolph, and had for its northern boundary, the same ridge that bounded Lewis 
county on the south. The most noted line running through central West Vir- 
ginia, was surveyed by Thomas Douglass, not eai'lier than 1785, known as the 
Greenbrier Harrison county line. It extended from the Allegheny mountains 
at the corner of Botetourt county to the Ohio river, at the mouth of Pond Creek, 
the direction of the line was N 55 W. All territory in West Virginia not em- 
braced in any of the county north of this line was Harrison ; south was to re- 
main Greenbrier, as organized in 1777. The line enters Webster near the forks 
of Williams river, passing through Upper Glade, and leaves the county be- 
tween Skyles and Laurel creek, passing through the Little and Big Birch 
country, and crosses Elk near Prametown. 


In 1784 John Allison laid a treasury land warrant on eleven thousand 
acres of land in Monongalia (now Braxton) county. The surveying was done 
the latter part of the summer of that year. The party came through the wilder- 
ness to the headwaters of Salt Lick and Granny's creeks and marked a poplar 
tree standing in a low gap about four rods north of the B. & 0. railroad cut in 


the "Bison Range." This was the first corner made in what is now Braxton 
comity, fifty-two years before the formation of Braxton and eight years before 
the last Indian raid and massacre of the Carpenter family. This comer was 
the governing point for all other corners and lines subsequently made adjacent 
to it. The tree became hollow and had a defect on one side. It had at some 
time caught fire, the defective wood being burned out and showing plainly the 
tomahawk marks on the inside of the tree. About the time the tree was round- 
ing out its hundredth year as a marker, a storm broke off the body of the tree 
about fourteen feet from the ground, and in a year or so another fire broke out 
from a clearing and destroyed this the first land mark of the county. The 
marks of the tomahawk showed that the tree could not have been large when 
it was marked. The marks were much plainer in the hollow of the tree than on 
the outside, the hollow being about fourteen inches in diameter. The lands of 
Allison extended over the "Bison Range" to the head of Cedar creek, down 
Granny's creek to the Elk river, embracing the land where the town of Sutton 
now stands, and down the Elk river as far as the old Boggs mill. Seven thou- 
sand acres of this land became the property of John Sutton, of Alexandria, 
Virginia, and later of his son, John D. Sutton. 

The first inhabitants that came to the territory which now embraces Brax- 
ton, were the Carpenters. They Avere a bold and adventurous people. Pour of 
the Carpenter brothers had been in the Revolutionary army. They settled at 
the mouth of the Holly river about the year 1789 or 1790. 

Adam O'Brien, the famous Indian scout and hunter, helped to make these 

In 1795, Samuel Young made a large survey of land on the waters of 
Elk and Holly rivers. A man named Strange, that was lost on Strange creek, 
was a member of this surveying party, and in 1800, David Scott, of Monongalia 
county, who came to the wilderness to hunt, made a suiwey of 500 acres at 
Bowling Green, and a tract on Scotts mountain, from which Scotts mountain 
is named. In the year 1807, Col. John Havmond moved from Harrison county 
and settled near the Falls of Little Kanawha. Three brothers, Benjamin, 
Daniel and John Conrad, settled three miles below; another brother, Jacob P. 
Com ad, settled and lived for many years, at Hackers Valley, in Webster 
county. John Conrad had two sons who became prominent; Asa R. and Cur- 
rence B. About this date, Joseph Friend settled at Pork Lick, (Webster 
county. He had but one child, a daughter, who married Wm. Arthur, and raised 
a large family. 

Richard A. became a distinguished Methodist minister. 

Henry Robinson was an early resident on Holly river. His wife was a 
daughter of John Skidmore, son of Capt. John. About 1810, Hedgemon Trip- 
lett came to the county, and settled near Tate Creek, from a few miles below 
Sutton and embracing most of the territory of Clay County. South of Elk, 
there were but few families. This territory was kept unsettled by a large tract 
of land known as the Wilson suiwey, embracing over one hundred thousand 


acres, owned by non-residents. About the year 1837, some of the parties claim- 
ing this land organized a company known as the "West Virginia Iron & Manu- 
facturing Company, and built a mill at what is now known as the Yankee Dam; 
but the enterprise failed, and the lands were decreed to be sold. These large 
land titles retarded the settlement of the country, until recent years. The terri- 
tory from the mouth of Birch to the Big Sandy was known as the Wilderness. 
About 1807 or 1808, Nicholas Gibson settled at the lands now known as 
the Lancaster place. Asa Squires settled at Salt Lick in 1807, and later, his 
brother Elijah, settled on adjoining lands to Nicholas Gibson. About 1812, 
Andrew Skidmore settled at the mouth of Skidmore Run. He had a large family 
of grown children. About this time Tunis McElwaine came from Pendleton 
county, and settled on the bottom below the mouth of Grannies' Creek. Three 
sons and several daughters who were grown, came with their father, only one 
son, Thomas, remained here. He inherited the old homestead, and remained 
here during his life. About 1810, three brothers by the name of Davis, George, 
Wm. and Nathan, came to Elk from Randolph county. They were single men 
at the time, but they got married, and made homes near Sutton. Jacob Long 
came about this time, from Pocahontas county, as did Charles Rogers. Long 
settled on the north side of Elk, opposite Little Buffalo, and Rogers on Otter. 
Patrick Murphey settled at the mouth of Strange Creek, about 1800. He came 
directly from Ireland, early in this century. John and James Boggs, brothers, 
came to Elk river. John settled on Duck creek, and James on Elk, at what is 
known as the Boggs farm, where he built, and for many years operated a water 
mill. George Mollohan, of English descent, came from Bath county, Virginia, 
to Birch river, and settled near the mouth of Skyles Creek, and afterward re- 
moved to Elk. He had a family of five children, three sons and two daughters, 
all of them grown, and settled in this county. The sons were named George, 
John and James. The father, George Mollohan, lost his life between Little 
and Big Birch rivers, in attempting to pass through the wilderness from the 
settlement between Sutton and Big Birch. Mr. Mollohan was quite old, and 
had almost lost his eye sight, and it was supposed that his horse strayed from 
the path, and he was unable to find it again. He was never found, it is said 
his saddle blanket and gloves were found hanging on a tree oh the ridge be- 
tween Little and Big Birch rivers. Early in the settlement of the eouaty, 
James Frame, together with his parents, and three brothers, came from the 
county of Pocahontas and settled on Big Birch river, about the mouth of 
PoAvell's creek. One brother, John, and the father, remained on Birch, but 
James, Thomas and David settled on Elk. Thomas located near the mouth of 
Birch, James at what is known as Frametown, where he built a water mill, and 
David settled three miles below Sutton. He was a man of exemplary char- 
acter, a very devoted member of the M. E. church, and celebrated the riles of 
matrimony. The Frame family is a very numerous one, and compose a large 
part of the population in the lower end of the county. They were generally 
noted for their uprightness and intelligence. A family by the name of Harris, 


Wm, and Henry, perhaps from Pocahontas, settled at Bowling Green. Henry 
emigrated west, Wm. settled at the month of Flatwoods run, where he spent, 
most of his time hunting and trapping for beaver and otter. He had a small 
mill on Flatwoods run, for grinding corn. About this time Wm. Bell, a former 
citizen of Augusta coimty, settled near Bowling Green. The Friend family, 
several brothel's, came early from Pendleton and Randolph counties and settled 
on Elk, near the mouth of Otter. John Gibson, brother to Nicholas Gibson, 
settled on Flatwoods run ; Wm. Berry moved from Loudin county, Virginia, in 
the spring of 1818, and settled on O'Briens Fork of Salt Lick. About 1807 or 
1808, Jackson Singleton settled on Salt Lick. At a very early date. Jacob 
Westfall located on Cedar creek. Jeremiah Mace was one of the first settlers 
of Braxton. Isaac. Shaver and Nathan Prince settled at Flatwoods, and also 
Leonard Hyer about this time. Hiram Heater, the ancestor of the Heater 
family, settled on Little Kanawha. 

It might be of interest to some to know how Granny's creek received its 
name. At the time the survey was made there was great danger of the In- • 
dians, and there being no settlement the surveying party had to live as best 
they could. In the party was a young man who complained of the hardships 
and often made the remark that if he were at home with his grandmother he 
could get green beans and other vegetables to eat, and the surveyor called the 
stream "Granny's creek," a name which perhaps it will retain until grand- 
mothers are no more. At this point some one :might ask. "What about Old 
Woman's run?" This stream empties into the Elk river at the upper end of 
the town of Sutton, and Granny's creek at the lower end. These streams run 
parallel for a distance and head not. far apart. Lying between Granny's creek 
and Old Woman's run is a break in the formation land there are many large 
cliffs of rock and dens where, in an early day. wild animals gathered in great 
numbers to shelter. As late as 1870 it was difficult ^o raise pigs or lambs in the 
neighborhood. A few years after the settlement had been established there was 
a very large bear which made its home in this wilderness of rocks and laurel, 
and reared several broods, and hunters gave it the name of "old woman." The 
bear had escaped for several years. It was known by its very large track. At 
last it was killed a little above where Moman Rhea now lives and the citizens 
gave the stream the name of Old Woman's run. 

Salt Lick creek a tributary of the Little Kanawha river, derives its name 
from the fact that there is a salt spring, or lick, near where the Weston and 
Gauley Bridge turnpike crosses the stream. The buffaloes traveled from that 
lick to a similar one on the island in the Elk river at the mouth of Granny's 
creek. They had worn down a road between these two points which the early 
settlers said was superior to many of the county roads. In many places it was 
suitable for a wagon way. Any fanner who owns a hill farm will observe that 
his cattle will make a much better grade for their own convenience in going up 
and down the hill than he can do without instruments. The buffalo came up 
O'Brien's fork and crossed the ridge at or near where the railroad cuts through 


the low gap at the Dyer hill. The presumption is that the John Allison sur- 
veying party were directed to this spot hy the buffalo road. The path then led 
down Granny's creek to its mouth. The first county road that was made fol- 
lowed this trail. The buffaloes had for centuries, and in countless numbers, 
made daily pilgrimages dm-ing the summer months to these saline springs. Just 
a short distance below the mouth of Granny's creek, Big Buffalo creek empties 
into the Elk river on the opposite side, and a short distance below Big Buffalo 
treek, Little Buffalo creek empties into the Elk. These streams head against 
the high ridge separating the waters of the Elk and the Little Birch rivers. 
They cut down the mountains very rapidly and leave deep, rich coves facing 
the northeast, making great peavine ranges, winter fern and spice brush. It 
is evident that these two streams received their names from the fact that they 
were great buffalo range's where the wild herds of the forest could have access 
to the salt licks spoken of. The majority of the larger and smaller streams of 
West Virginia derive their names from some local cause. Strange creek, a 
tributary of the Elk, flowing into that stream from the south side, about 
eighteen miles below Sutton, was the scene of a sad tragedy. In a very early day 
when the whole land was a wilderness a hunter named Strange, who was as- 
sisting in making a survey of lands of the Elk and Holly rivers, known as the 
Samuel Young lands, became lost from the surveying party and wandered to 
Strange creek, where his gun was afterward found with his initials cut on the 
stock. He wandered in destitution and perished on the stream which bears 
his name. This unfortunate frontiersman cut his name on a beech tree along 
with this inscription: "Strange is my name, and strange is the woods, and 
strange it is I can not be found." West Virginia is a land of tragedies if we 
but knew them all — tragedies that brought the deepest sorrows to the mountain 
homes of a race of fearless pioneers. 

Many of the smaller streams have local names such as Bee run, Spruce 
Fork, White Oak, Slab Camp, Beech Fork, Camp run, Three Forks, Lefthand, 
Pigeon Roost, Toms Fork, AVolf creek, Cowskiu, Wolf Pen, Chop Fork, O'- 
Brien's Fork, Bakers' Run, Bennie's run, Long run, Camp run, SMdmore run, 
Snake, Bear run, Bull run, Copen run, Flatwoods run, Carpenter fork, Perk- 
in 's Fork, Shaver Fork, Westfall Fork, Diitch Fork, Crooked Fork, Grass Lick, 
Buckeye, Mill run, Horse Fork, Millstone, Pistol Fork. 

Battle ran, a branch of Big Otter, Clay county, was the scene of a battle 
between a bear and a large boar hog which belonged to a man living in a log 
cabin at the mouth of the stream. The boar came running to the house one day, 
ran into the house and under the bed and died a few minutes /later. His body 
was covered with gashes and he. was bleeding from every wound. His owner 
took his back track and followed it by the blood to the battle ground, where his 
enemy, a large black bear was lying dead. The ground showed that there had 
been a deadly struggle. The boar had large tusks and had given the bear a 
stab in a vital place. 


Braxton county at the time of its formation comprised the Elk river and 
most of its tributaries from Fork Lick in the present county of Webster; it 
also embraced the Little Kanawha river and most of its tributaries above the 
mouth of Buffalo shoal run. 

The surface is hilly, rising from 760 feet above sea level to an elevation 
of 2,085 feet. Braxton lies on the western slope of the Allegheny mountains 
and about one-half from the tops of these mountains and the Ohio river. The 
county is well watered, having a number of streams forming branches of those 
larger ones. The Elk river crosses the county in a south-western direction, 
traversing it for a distance of about forty miles. The Little Kanawha river 
crosses the northeastern part of the county, flowing in a northwestern direction, 
and traverses the county for a distance of about twenty-three miles. The 
Holly river flows through the county for a distance of twenty-five miles in a 
, due westerly direction, and empties info the Elk at Palmer, eight miles above 
Sutton. The Birch river flows northwest, is twenty-one miles long and empties 
into the Elk at Glendon, twenty miles below Sutton. Its principle tributary 
is the Little Birch, flowing in from the northeast. 

There were but few permanent settlers in Braxton county until about the 
year 1805. The early emigrants to Braxton came principally from Pendleton, 
Randolph and Greenbrier counties. 

The neighboring counties are Nicholas on the south, Summersville, the 
county seat, being 36 miles distant from Sutton ; Webster on the southeast, 
Webster Springs, the county seat, situated on the Elk river, 34 miles east of 
Sutton; Upshur on the east, Buckhannon, the county seat being 46 miles from 
Sutton ; Lewis on the northeast, Weston, the county seat, situated on the West 
Fork river, 43 miles from Sutton; Gilmer on the west, Glenville, the county 
seat, situated on the Little Kanawha river, 35 miles from Sutton; Calhoun on 
the southwest, Grantsville, the county seat, situated on the Little Kanawha 
river, 35 miles from Sutton; and Clay county on the southwest, Clay the county 
seat, situated on the Elk river, 40 miles from Sutton. These, our neighboring 
counties, were all settled in an early day by a good and substantial class of 
citizens, many of the descendants of whom are yet living. The blood relation- 
ship existing among the people of the central counties is very great by inter- 
marriage, and being descendants of large families, the blood of the old pioneer- 
has been kept up, and the change is very slight, as compared with many sections 
of our country. 

The natural resources of the county are very great. Its forests, its fertile 
soil and rich grazing lands, its vast seams of coal, its oil and gas that are just 
in the process of development, make the comity one of exceptional interest to 
capital and labor, or to those seeking homes where farming and stock raising 
is profitable. 



In a small pocket diary kept by John D. Sutton, dated at Alexandria, Vir- 
ginia, in 1796, he speaks of teaching a school in Sonth Carolina, and of coming 
to Alexandria where his father and brother James lived. At his father's re- 
quest-, he made a trip to what is now Braxton county to look at some lands 
which his father had bought out of the John Allison survey, lying on Granny's 
creek and the Elk river. He relates that he came by Winchester and Lewis- 
burg, thence to Charleston. At Charleston, he hired a canoe and procured the 
assistance of a riverman to bring him up the Elk liver to the mouth of Big 

Birch. He then crossed the country, and came to the home of 

Carpenter on Laurel creek. This man was probably a brother to Jerry and 
a grand-uncle of Dr. John L. Carpenter. 

Prom there he came down Laurel creek, noting the roughness of the stream, 
and telling how often the path crossed the creek between Carpenter's and its 
mouth. He then noted the fact that he stopped for a few days at Jerry Car- 
penter's home who lived on the Elk. This was only six years after the massacre 
of Benjamin Carpenter and his wife at the mouth of Holly. Solomon, the boy 
who was born at the Camp Rocks, was then a lad of but six years. He gives no 
account of the boy in his diary, but he says that the Carpenters prepared pro- 
visions to last him a few days. He speaks of getting venison meat at 

Prom there, he came down the Elk to what is probably Platwoods ran, 
and there he crossed the country to the head of Granny's creek, and after look- 
ing at the land, he says that he went down the creek and camped under a cliff 
of rocks. Evidently this must have been at or near the mouth of Laurel Pork. 
He then went down the creek to its mouth. He speaks of going up the river 
about a mile to a fine bottom, and says there was some person living in a little 
cabin on the bottom. He then described the land across the river, also another 
bottom some distance up the river near the mouth of Wolf creek, and closed 
his diary by saying that he would make a full report of the lands when he re- 
turned to Alexandria. The report to his father may have been verbal, but if 
it were written no record has been found. We are therefore left without any 
information as to the settlers who may have been living at or near where the 
town is now located. 


We give a list as far as we have ascertained of the tributaries and shoals 
of the Elk river: 

Big Spring, Berque (S), Leatherwood (S), Backfork (N), Brook's ran 
(S), Bear run (S), Huston (S), Laurel creek (S), Holly (N), Ben's run 
(N), Platwoods run (N), Stony creek (S), Wolf (S), Buckeye (S), Old 
Woman's ran (N), Skidmore run (S), Bear creek (S), Granny's creek (N), 
Big Buffalo (S), Little Buffalo (S), Otter (N), Sugar creek (N), Upper Rock 


Camp (N), Coon creek (S), Big ran (N), Lower Rock Camp (N), Upper Mill 
creek (S), Lower Mill creek (N), Birch river (S), Strange creek (S), Snake 
creek (S), Lower .Mill creek (N), Duck creek (N), Grove's creek (S), Jumping 
gut (S), Waters Defeat (S), Log Shoal (N), Big Otter (N), Big Standing Rock 
(S), White Oak Top (N), Little Standing Rock (S), Long's ran (S), Big 
Buffalo (S), Camp creek (S), Big Leatherwood (S), Middle creek (S), Little 
Beechy (S), Big Beechy (S), Blue Knobs (S), Little King (S), Big Sycamore 
(S), Birch (S), Big Laurel (N), Deel's creek (N), Porter's creek (S), Upper 

King (N), Lower (N), Queen (S), Morris' creek (S), Big Sandy (N), 

Little Leatherwood (S), Mother-in-law (N), Blue creek (S), Little Sandy (N), 
Falling Rock (S), Jordan's creek (N), Mink (N), Two-Mile (S), Coal Branch 
(S), with numerous smaller streams that drain but a slight portion of its 
water shed. 

Lower Flatwoods inn has its source in a low gap on the Bison Range, and 
flows through the Bowling Green flats as a sluggish stream until it pours over 
a cliff of rocks near the Adam J. Hyer residence, then rushes madly over pre- 
cipitous rocks and boulders for about a mile and a half where it empties into 
the Elk, after making a descent, of four hundred feet. The next stream to this 
coming into the Elk from the north side is Bee run. It has a descent of three 
hundred and eighty feet from its source to its mouth, which is but little over a 
mile in length. 


The Elk river has its birth in the junction of Old Field Fork and Big 
Spring Fork, just east of Sharp Knob in the northwestern part of Pocahontas 
county and flows in a general western!} 7 direction, emptying into the Kanawha 
river at Charleston. The length of the Elk river, from source to mouth, fol- 
lowing its meanders, is 172 miles. It flows 5 miles through Pocahontas county, 
7 miles through Randolph, 41 miles through Webster, 44 miles through Braxton, 

45 miles through Clay and 30 miles through Kanawha county. From its source 
to Addison, Webster county, the Elk river falls about 1250 feet in 34 miles, or 
the rate of about 37 feet to the mile. From Addison to Gassaway the fall is 
660 feet in 46 miles, or the rate of 14.3 feet per mile. From Gassaway to 
Clay the fall is 132 feet in 41 miles, or at the rate of 3.2 feet to the mile. 
From Clay to Porter, the fall is 65 feet in 23 miles, or at the rate of 2.8 feet 
to the mile. From Porter to its mouth the fall is 42 feet in 28 miles, or at 
the rate of 1.5 feet per mile. Its drainage area in Kanawha county is 294 
square miles. 


The Gauley river has its source in the junction of the North, Middle and 
South Forks in the southeastern part of Webster county, 3 miles northwest 
of Buck Knob of Gauley mountain, and 6 miles due west of the source of the 
Elk river, and flows in a general western direction, 31 miles through Webster 



county; then in a general southwestern direction 41 miles through Nicholas 
county; thence in a general western direction as the dividing line between 
Nicholas and Fayette counties for 25.5 miles; thence in a southern direction 
through Fayette county 5.5 miles to Gauley Bridge. The entire length by the 
meanders is 101 miles, the air line distance between the same points being 55.5 
miles. From its source to the mouth of Meadow river, the Gauley river falls 
1685 feet in 73 miles, or at the rate of 23.4 feet per mile. From the mouth 
of the Meadow river to the mouth of the 'Gauley it falls 530 feet in 29 miles, or 
at the rate of 18.3 feet to the mile. 



Little Kanawha. 


.Lewis 17 sq. miles 

Little Kanawha Upshur 65 sq. 

Little Kanawha Webster 19 sq. 

Elk River Braxton ..158 sq. 

Elk River Webster ...200 sq. 

Elk River .Randolph 76 sq. 

Elk River ..Pocahontas 71 sq. 

Holly River Braxton 22 sq. 

Holly River Webster 128 sq. 

Holly River Randolph 4 sq. 

Birch River Braxton 61 sq. 

Birch River ...Nicholas 54 sq. 

Birch River Webster 32 sq. 

Gauley River .Nicholas 109 sq. 

Gauley River .....Webster 114 sq. 

Gauley River Randolph 6 sq. 

Gauley River Pocahontas 4 sq. 

Williams River Webster 70 sq. 

Williams River .Pocahontas 65 sq. 

Cranberry River Webster 49 sq. 

Cranberry River Pocahontas 32 sq. 

Cranberry River Greenbrier 1.5 sq. 

Cranberry River Nicholas 20 sq. 

Cherry River Nicholas 48 sq. 

Cherry River Greenbrier 124 sq. 

Cherry River.. Pocahontas 5 sq. 

Hominy River Nicholas 95 sq. 

Hominy River Greenbrier 12 sq. 

Muddlety River... Nicholas 71 sq. 




Between Webster and 

Excludes Birch and Holly 
Excludes Holly 
Excludes Holly 

Above and Excluding Mud- 
dlety and Hominy Basins 
(Gauley Proper) 
(Gauley Proper) 
(Gauley Proper) 



There is a peculiar formation called Basin Rocks on a branch of Missouri 
run of Laurel creek. This is a basin or rich cove in the head of a hollow,com- 
prising seventy-five or eighty acres. This basin is surrounded by a cliff of 
rocks which average in height about thirty feet, standing perpendicular and 
in the form of a horseshoe, with an opening at the lower side as between the 
corks of the shoe. In this enclosure, wild game is accustomed to feed, and the 
only way of getting in or out is by the opening mentioned. This was a favorite 
place for the hunter to pen the game. The pasture was luxuriant as the land 
was very fertile, and it was not unusual for a hunter to make a good haul. The 
wildcat, the catamount, the panther and many other wild animals made this a 
special rendezvous as they had an opportunity there to capture such game as 
they preyed upon. 

On one occasion Mr. Hosey succeeded in killing two nice deer 

at the Basin Rocks. Night coming on, and being unable to get home with his 
game, he lay down by the side of it to camp for the night, but when the tired 
hunter awoke next morning, his two deer had been almost entirely consumed. 
Within the stillness of the night while Mr. Hosey was wrapped in that sweet 
embrace which slumber brings to the tired man, the panthers had congregated 
and in cat-like stealth and silence had enjoyed a royal feast, preferring venison 
to human flesh. We have sometimes imagined that other causes intervened to 
save the life of this hunter. Ramps give an odor almost equal to the cigarette 
of the present day and grew plentifully at that time in the wilds of the forest, 
and the hunter might have enjoyed an evening meal of ramps. 


Theory and all known facts lead to the conclusion that a cave of enormous 
dimensions exists in Randolph county, under or near the course of the Elk 
river, between the Pocahontas county line and the mouth of Valley Fork, six 
miles below. But no one has ever yet found an entrance into the cave, and its 
existance cannot be positively affirmed. The facts, which are explained on the 
theory of a vast cave, are these: The Elk river, except in time of freshet, 
flows into a crevice at the foot of a mountain, or when very low disappears 
among the boulders of its channel. In Pocahontas, near the Randolph line and 
six miles below, the water rushes to the surface. Its underground course is 
through limestone and it must flow through o-allcries of large size. In 1896, 
near the point where the water sinks, a portion of the river bottom dropped 
down, leaving an opening about fifteen feet square, into which the whole river 
plunged and disappeared. No bottom Avas visible, and no one attempted to 
enter or examine. The next flood filled the opening with boulders. Between 
the points where the river sinks and where it rises to the surface, a distance of 
six miles, there are no streams emptying its channel on the surface, except in 
freshets ; but they all sink, and the most of them pour into sinkholes, and unless 


this water reaches a subterranean channel of the river, its destination is un- 
known. The area of the region whose streams flow into sinkholes is from fifteen 
to twenty square miles; and the supposed underground course of the Elk river 
passes beneath the region. The conclusion is that all these streams which sink, 
reach the waters of the Elk somewhere under the ground; and those meeting 
places of the waters and galleries through which they flow form a series of 
caverns and chasms of great dimensions. Few attempts have been made to 
penetrate through the sinkholes to the caves, but that some practicable opening 
exists somewhere in the region is reasonable. 


Near the "Brady Gate," at the head of the Elkwater, is a ledge of flint., 
from which, no doubt, the Indians obtained the material for their arrowheads. 
Flint is very scai'ce in West Virginia, only a few ledges being known, the chief 
one being on the Kanawha river. Indians frequently traveled long distances to 
obtain this mateiial, sometimes carrying it from Ohio, as is supposed from the 
character of the specimens found about old Indian town-sites in the valley of 
the Monongahela and its tributaries. Flint is a deposit in crevices of rock 
and lias a resemblance (in form) to veins of coal. It is quartz, in character, 
but it splits like slate, and in this respect differs from ordinary quartz, which 
breaks with a ragged fracture. The flint ledge on the head of the Elkwater 
was discovered by Claude W. Maxwell, of Tucker county, while collecting 
material for the history of Randolph. 




Braxton being in the interior of the state and very sparsely settled, it was 
not until about the year 1823 that schools were taught in the territory now 
embraced in Braxton county, and then it was only in the most thickly settled 

neighborhoods that there could be children 
enough gathered at one place to make a 
school that would justify the patrons to 
employ a teacher. What was true in refer- 
ence to the scarcity of pupils was also true 
in reference to school houses. Neighbor- 
hoods built their own houses and furnished 
them. The way of building a school-house 
was by voluntary labor. The citizens of 
a neighborhood would agree first upon the 
location, then they would meet and cut 
logs. Some patron having a team would 
draw the logs together, and some one handy 
with the fi'oe and broad-ax would make 
the boards and hew out the puncheons for 
the building. Then they would set a day 
for a public gathering to raise the walls of 
the house, and if the day were fair and the 
attendance good, the house would be raised 
and covered. Then a chimney was built 
as high as the mantel, the stem of the 
chimney being built of cat and clay. The 
jams and backwall were made, of rocks. The mantel was often made out of a 
large piece of hewn timber. The fireplace, being very wide, it was inconven- 
ient to get rocks long enough for a mantel piece. The house being raised and 
covered and the puncheon 1 floor laid, the next thing was to chink and daub the 
cracks. This was done by splitting out pieces of timber with one thin edge to 
fit the cracks, these pieces were kept to their places by keys or wedges. Mortar 
or moss was used to close up the joints, thus making the house comfortable. 
In addition to this, a log was taken out of the side of the house and the open 
space covered with paper, this being the window. The paper was first greased 
to preserve it as well as to render it more transparent. In front of this space 
was the writing desk. This consisted of a wide plank extending across the 
space made by the removal of the log, and was supported by wooden pins 
driven in augur holes immediately below. The seats were another important 
item. They were made of split logs with the round side placed down, sup- 
ported by legs at each end. The seats were made in heights for large scholars, 
the little folks letting their feet hang down. A door was sometimes made of 
plank, but often of thin split timber or boards, the doors being from five to five 
and a half feet high. Joists were placed across the building at a height of six 


One of the old shouting Methodists, 
65 years a member of church 


or six and a half feet, and these were covered with clapboards. The house 
being completed, the teacher would take the contract and get the patrons to 
subscribe so many scholars. The contract would read about as follows: 

"We, the undersigned, William Lyons, teacher, of the one part, 
and the undersigned patrons of the school, witnesseth : 

' ' That the party of the first part agrees to teach a school of not 
less than twelve scholars at Buffalo school-house, beginning Novem- 
ber 15, 1851, embracing a term of three months, and agrees to teach 
the following branches: McGuffey's Spelling Book and Third Reader, 
Ray's Arithmetic and the New Testament, for the amount of two 
dollars and fifty cents per scholar. And we, the patrons of the second 
part, agree to send the number of scholars hereby subscribed. 

"Given under our hands this the day and date above. 

William Lyons, Teacher. 
Jacob Delany, 3 scholars. 
Albert Johnson, 1 Vo scholars. 
Marshall James, 2 scholars. 
Martin McDuff, 4 scholars. 
John Mace, 3 V 2 scholar's. 
Susan Murphy, 1 1.4 scholars. 

The required number of scholars having been subscribed, all looked forward 
with great interest to the winter school. The teacher, being a stranger, there 
was great speculation among the scholars as to his ability as a teacher, his 
morality and the rules and order of the school. Some of the larger boys were 
anxious to size him up and discern from his manner and the snap of his eye, 
which is the index of the human character, whether it would be safe to bar 
him out of the house, should he refuse to give Christmas holidays. This was 
very frequently done with teachers. It was nothing less than what we call 
in modern days, a strike. The larger scholars first demanded a suspension of 
so many days during Christmas and New Year, and this being refused, they 
went on a strike and endeavored to enforce their demands by barring the door 
against the teacher. Sometimes they Avent so far as to take him to some pool 
of water for a winter bath. All the differences arising among the boys that 
called for a vindication of honor were scheduled to be pulled off on the last day 
of the school. When boys in the heat of passion, will let an opportunity pass 
and grant a continuance, the case is rarely ever tried. But the good old 
winter days have gone by, possibly never to return. 

Sometimes the patrons of the school would meet on Saturday, and get 
wood, but the greater portion of the wood for the school was obtained by the 
scholars. The large boys would drag in good sized trees by dulling a chain 


around the log. They would then twist some hickory withes and attach to the 
chain. They would then place cross-bars about six feet long and by these the 
boys would pull, often having three or four couples, making a team of six or 
eight strong boys. It was surprising the loads of wood they were able to pull. 
Some one of the patrons, having an extra ax, would lend it to the school during 
the winter. The fire-place being from four to six feet wide, it required two 
strong young men to put on a back log. Wood-getting was not a burden, but 
was entered into with as much zest and energy as a ball game. The young 
ladies of the school took great interest in Avatchhig the boy teams haul in logs 
and play baseball, while they would have their little plays! going on near the 
ball yard. There never was a country school taught in which there were not 
little love affairs springing up which often ripened into the most happy mar- 
riages. Usually twice a month, the school would have a spelling race on Friday 
afternoon, and occasionally one would be held at night. Frequently two schools 
would meet and spell against each other. Sometimes a scholar would keep the 
floor until the whole school would be turned down, or the book gone through 
without missing a word. 

Many of the young ladies who attended the primitive schools of centra] 
West Virginia, with forms of beauty and cheeks as pink as a rose, whose hearts 
beat true with womanly love and virtue, have laid the foundation for a higher 
education for their children and their grandchildren, and Ave doubt whether 
there is a man living who secured his education in the old school-hoyse who 
does not recall those early days with pride and animation. Some of them have 
made successful business men; others have filled positions of honor and trust; 
some have distinguished themselves in the various professions ; others on the 
battle field. 

Following is a partial list of teachers who taught in fthis county before the 
Civil war: Joseph House who is said to have taught the first school in a log 
cabin on O'Brien's fork of Salt Lick, in the year 1823; William Berry who 
taught a school at or near the above date in the same locality ; Elizabeth Chaney, 
Adam Given, William Morrison, William Bates, William Davis, William Hutch- 
inson, William D. Baxter, William Lyons, Felix Sutton, W. F. Corley, James 
H. McCutcheon, Asa Squires, Nancy Mealey, Nancy Young, Jackson Singleton, 

Catherine Berry, Haynes, Charles Ruckman, Henry Mitchell, Andrew 

Robins, Theodore Robins, Dr. Job McMorrow, Jonathan Koiner, F. J. Baxter, 
Dr. Thomas Duffield, Henry A. Baxter, Augustus Beamer, Adam Given, Ann 
McAnany, John D. Baxter, Charles S. Smith. 

It was the custom for scholars at school, at least the larger, ones, to visit 
one another over night, within the short term of school, and the following day 
they would eat dinner with the parties with whom they had been visiting. Vis- 
iting at school was a great social function. Often the teacher would spend the 
night with his scholars. This occasion was greatly enjoyed at the children's 
home as the teacher was looked upon as a kind of royal guest. 



Under the old system, when the State furnished assistance only to those 
who were unable to send their children to pay schools, it was thought by some to 
be a reflection to be thus assisted in their education; but some might object, and 
doubtless have, to send their children to the public schools of the present day. 
Moreover, it takes time and experience to perfect any system or form of govern- 
ment. If, under the old system, we had possessed the great wealth and resources 
to draw upon that we have at this time, the country would have responded as 
cheerfully and as liberally to the cause of education as it does today. 

Following is a copy of a case where assistance was given children to attend 
school : 

The. School Commissioners of Braxton County. 

For tuition of poor children entered by John Given, Esq., School Commis- 
siner of District No. 2, under his subscription of one hundred sixty-nine 
days, in account with J. Given, for the quarter ending the 2nd of Feb.. 






Subjects Taught 














Writing and 



Braxton County, to-wit: 
This day John Given came before 
me, a Justice of the Peace for the 
County aforesaid, and made oath 
that the above account is just and 
true, given under my hand this 
18th day of July, 1849. 

L. D. Camden, J. P. 

To the Superintendent of 
Schools of Braxton County, pay 
John Given or order Five Dollars 
and seven cents for the tuition of 
poor children, entered by me at 
his school, agreeable to the above 

John Given, S. C. 
July 18, 1849. 



We wish here to show the form of disbursement of school funds, and the 
tax receipts showing the amount of taxes collected in 1842 from Andrew Skid- 
more, and the amount on the same land with scarcely better improvements, and 
buildings of no greater value: 


Andrew Skidmore to the Sheriff of Braxton Du. 

To County & Parish Levy on 2 Titles $4.50 

Revenue on 3 Horses , '37 

Same on 140 acres of land, south side of Elk 1.0,3 

Received payment, Sept. 21, 1842 ....$5.92 

Felix Sutton S.B.C. 

The taxes on the same land at this time are about twenty times as much as 
in 1842, yet the increased facilities are such on this particular farm which is a 
fair sample of all other farms of similar value in the country , can stand the 
present rate of taxation, with less effort than the burden bourne in 1842. There 
is no unprejudiced mind that can point with derision to the fathers. They did 
the best they could; they made as great an effort to advance the general inter- 
ests of education with the means at their command as is being put forth today. 

Ft may be that the present school system fifty years hence may be subject 
to as. great a comparison as now exists against the old school system of our 
fathers. We never see an old pile of burned stone where once stood the chimney 
at the end of the old log schoolhouse, that we don't say, "All hail and veneration 
to the splendid type of citizenship that sacrificed for their own and future gen- 
erations. " The general public was fortunate if they received as much as three 
winter terms of three months each, aggregating nine months, and from that 
general class of students came the most intelligent men and women, doctors, 
lawyers, ministers, statesmen, farmers and law-makers. It is no exaggeration to 
say that the close application of the scholars in the schools rendered them as 
efficient for good citizenship and the various positions of life, as is now 7 acquired 
by the eight-year primary course. 

The old log schoolhouse, with all of its surroundings, primitive and simple 
though they were, yet around them cluster memories never to be forgotten. 




Erected before the Civil War — 
now standing 

Neither wealth, fame nor any earthly gift 
could detract one jot or tittle from the old 
moss-chinked schoolhouse of our youth. The 
associations of that day formed a basis, and 
gave inspiration that lent dignity and grace 
to every pulpit, learning to every bar, made 
creditable and honorable all the professions, 
drove forward with energy and skill the 
business of the State, sent teachers out into 
the world and clothed the farmer with dig- 
nity and independence. 

The people of central West Virginia 
had but limited opportunities to obtain an 
education in the higher branches. The first 
school of any note, was called Randolph 
Academy, established in 1795, and in 1843 
the Northwestern Virginia Academy was 
opened to pupils. These educational insti- 
tutions were located in Clarksburg. They 
did a great deal to build up the interests of 
education in their locality and the surround- 
ing country. About the year 1845 or 1850, 
some of the leading citizens of Nicholas coun- 
ty established a grammar school at Summersville which was quite a factor in 
that and adjoining sections in giving the rudiments of an education!. The town 
of Charleston before the Civil war had quite a good school. A few years prior 
to the war, and immediately afterwards, quite a number of people from. Brax- 
ton and adjoining counties attended the Academy at Morgantown, an institu- 
tion which was finally merged into the West Virginia University. 

J. W. Humphrey taught a subscription school at the forks of Otter in the 
year of 1S63, and the house burned a few weeks before the three-months' term 
ended, and he then taught a school on the Middle fork of Cedar creek, in a 
house near Harvila Shaver's place. This was perhaps the last school taught in 
Braxton county under the old subscription system, except some select schools 
after the war closed. 

Mr. Humphrey relates that he taught on that memorable New Year's day 
when the extreme cold held the land in an Arctic grip; that within the day 
a squad of Federal soldiers came into the house, set their guns down and 
warmed themselves, then went on their way. 

Mi . Humphrey taught the first free school which was taught in the county, 
in the same lumse, a picture of which is shown. He began on Monday, the 3rd 
day of September, 1S66. The new school system was late in being organized. 
The Superintendent of Schools was D. S. Squires. The Trustees of the school 
were Jacob Shaver, Jacob Riffle and Jacob Westfall, three Jacobs living on the 
heads of the Three forks of Cedar creek. The township was called Lincoln. 


One crippled Federal soldier, M. D. Shaver, attended this school. His salary was 
Thirty dollars. 

Mr. Humphrey says his birthday is the 16th of April, and that on that day 
President Lincoln declared war, and on that same day, four years later, Presi- 
dent Lincoln died, it being Easter Sunday. 

Parties who have represented Braxton county in the various Legislative 
bodies of the State and Nation: 

It is very probable that John Haymond was the first man, residing in what 
is now Braxton County, who ever sat in the Virginia legislature. John Hay- 
mond was in the Senate of Virginia in the sessions beginning in 1797, 1798, 
1799, 1800 and 1801, the last session in which he served beginning on the 7th 
day of December, 1801 and ended January 2, 1802. Haymond 's History of 
Harrison County, states that John Haymond was born in 1765 in Maryland,, 
and came with his father to near Morgantown in 1773, and that about the year 
1807 he moved to Little Kanawha. We know that this John Haymond located 
at Bulltown and established the salt works there. It may be that John Hay- 
mond did not move to Braxton County until after the expiration of his term 
of office as member of the Virginia Senate but it is probable that he was still 
a member of that body when he moved to Bulltown. 

Hedgeman Triplett was elected to the Virginia Assembly and served in the 
sessions of 1821, 1822 and 1826. Triplett lived in what is now Birch District, 
Braxton County. Addison McLaughlin served in the Virginia Assembly from 
Nicholas Comity in the years of 1828, 1829 and 1831. These gentlemen were 
the only ones who resided Avithin the limits of what is now Braxton County and 
served in the Virginia Assembly prior to the formation of the county. 

Braxton County was formed in 1836 and a delegate district composed of 
the counties of Braxton and Lewis was created. This district was represented 
in the various seessions of the Assembly as follows: 

For 1836— Thomas Bland. 

For 1838— Marshall Triplett. 

For 1839 — January session, Weeden Hoffman. 

For 1839 — December session, Jacob J. Jackson. 

For 1840 — Jacob J. Jackson. 

For 1841— Philip Cox. 

For 1842— Cabell Tavener. 

For 1843— Matthew Edmiston. 

For 1844— Samuel L. Hays. 

Of the gentlemen above named, Marshall Triplett was the only one who re- 
sided in Braxton County. Hays lived in what is now Gilmer County. All the 
others resided in Lewis County. 

Gilmer County was formed in 1845, so that the delegate district was them 
made up of the counties of Braxton, Lewis and Gilmer. 

This district was represented as follows: 

1845 — John S. Camden. 

1846 — James Bennett. 


1847 — Addison McLaughlin. 

1848 — Benjamin W. Byrne. 

1849 — James Bennett. 

1850 — Samuel L. Hays. 

Of these gentlemen, Camden. McLaughlin and Byrne lived in Braxton 

About 1852 there was formed a delegate district of Braxton and Nicholas, 
which was represented as follows: 

1852— Eobert Dunlap. 

1853— James F. Given. 

1855— Marshall Triplett. 

1857 — Benjamin W. Byrne. 

I understand Dunlap lived in Nicholas County and Given, Byrne and 
Triplett in Braxton County. 

About the year 1859 there was formed a delegate district of Braxton, 
Nicholas and Clay. Joseph A. Alderson of Nicholas represented the district 
in the session of 1859 and Duncan McLaughlin in the session of 1861. 

In the session of 1863, the delegate district of Braxton, Nicholas, Clay and 
Webster was represented by Luthur D. Haymond. This was the last session of 
the Virginia Assembly in which a resident of Braxton County appeared as a 

The constitution of West Virginia of 1863, provided that the county of 
Braxton should be entitled to one member in the House of Delegates. The con- 
stitution of West Virginia of 1872 contained the same provision. This county 
regularly elected one delegate until 1892. In the session of the legislature of 
1891 there was created a delegate district composed of Braxton and Clay, with 
two delegates, and this was continued until 1901, when in the new apportion- 
ment, Braxton was given two delegates which has continued to this date. The 
following named gentlemen have represented Braxton County in the legislature 
of West Virginia in the sessions which precede their respective names. 

Session 1863— Felix Sutton. 

Session 1864 — Felix Sutton. 

Session 1865 — Harvey F. Hyer. 

Session 1866 — James F. Given. 

Session 1867— G. F. Taylor. 

Session 1868 — Henry Bender. 

Session 1869 — Elias Cunningham. 

Session 1870— Alpheus McCoy. 

Session 1871— W. D. Rollyscn. 

Session 1872— W. D. Rollyson. 

Session 1873 — George F. Morrison. 

Session 1875 — Daniel S. Squires. 

Session 1877— B. F. Fisher. 

Session 1879— Ellis S. Hyer. 

Session 1881— B. F. Fisher. 


Session 1883 — James A. Boggs. 

Session 1885— B. F. 'Fisher. 

Session 1887 — Peyton Byrne. 

Session 1889 — George Goad. 

Session 1891 — George Goad. 

Session' 1S93 — George Goad, Richard Shelton. 

Session 1895 — J. W. Kidd, Joseph A. Pierson. 

Session 1897— E. W. Cutlip, J. B. Sirk. 

Session 1899 — Jake Fisher, John H. Long. 

Session 1901 — Jake Fisher, J. S. Cochran. 

Session 1903— John S. Garee (died in office), E. B. Carlin, R. M. Caven- 
dish elected to succeed Garee. 

Session 1905— E. B. Carlin, R. M. Cavendish. 

Session 1907— S. Wise Stalnaker, T. M. Dean. 

Session 1909— W. L. Brosius, P. H. Murphy. 

Session 1911— L. J. Shock, Frank H. Kidd. 

Session 1913— M. T. Morrison, John L. Rhea. 

Session 1915 — John I. Bender, James C. Boone, L. T. Harvy, Lee Rader. 

This ( completes the list of representatives in Virginia Assembly and the 
House of Delegates of West Virginia, to this date. 

At the time of the formation of Braxton County in 1836, the senatorial 
district in which Braxton County was included was composed of the counties 
of Harrison, Wood, Lewis and Braxton. Richie was formed in 1843 and added 
to the district, Taylor in 1844, Doddridge and Gilmer in 1845 and Wirt in 
1848 and were all added to the district as formed, these counties being included 
within the original boundaries of the counties of Harrison, Wood, Lewis and 
Braxton. This district was continued until 1852. 

About 1852 a new district was composed of the counties of Greenbrier, 
Nicholas, Fayette, Pocahontas, Raleigh and Braxton. Clay Avas added in 1859, 
a part of Webster in 1861 and all of Webster in 1863. Below appears a list 
of the members of the Virginia Senate who represented Braxton County for 
the sessions which precede their respective names. 

1836— Waldo P. Goff of Harrison County. 

1838— Thomas Bland of Lewis County. 

1839- -Thomas Bland of Lewis County. 

1840 — Thomas Bland of Lewis County. 

1841 — Wilson K. Shinn of Wood County. 

1842— Wilson K. Shinn of Wood County. 

1843— Wilson K. Shinn of Wood County. 

1844— Wilson K. Shinn of Wood County. 

1845 — John G. Stringer of Harrison County. 

1846 — John G. Stringer of Harrison County. 

1847 — John G. Stringer of Harrison County. 

1848 — John G. Stringer of Harrison County. 

1849 — Matthew Edmiston of Harrison County. 


1850 — Matthew Edniiston of Harrison County. 
1852 — Thomas Creigh of Greenbrier County. 
1853 — Thomas Creigh of Greenbrier County. 
1855 — Thomas Creigh of Greenbrier County. 
1857 — William Smith of Greenbrier County. 
1859 — William Smith of Greenbrier County. 
1861 — Joseph A. Alderson of Nicholas County. 
1863 — Joseph A. Alderson of Nicholas County. 

Under the constitution of West Virginia of 1863 the counties of Barbour, 
Tucker, Lewis, Braxton, Upshur and Randolph constituted the Sixth Senatorial 

Under the constitution of 1872 the counties of Kanawha, Clay, Nicholas, 
Braxton and Webster constituted the Sixth Senatorial District. In the re-dis- 
tricting which followed, these same counties made up the Ninth Senatorial 
District, which continued until 1901. In the session of the legislature in 1901 
the present Tenth Senatorial District was formed, composed of the counties 
of Braxton, Calhoun, Gilmer, Webster and Pocahontas. Below will be found 
a list of members of the senate of West Virginia who represented the county 
of Braxton from 1863 to this date, the session in which they served preceding 
their respective names. 

1863— W. D. Rollyson, Braxton County; D. D. T. Farnsworth, Upshur County. 
1864 — W. D. Rollyson, Braxton County ; D. D. T. Farnsworth, Upshur County. 
1865 — James M. Coxiey, Lewis County; D. D. T. Farnsworth, Upshur County. 

1866 — James M. Corley, Lewis County; Ernest J. O'Brien, 

1867— D. D. T. Farnsworth, Upshur County; Ernest J. O'Brien, 

1868 — D. D. T. Farnsworth, Upshur County; Willis J. Drummond, Barbour 

1869 — D. D. T. Farnsworth, Upshur County ; Willis J. Drummond, Barbour 

1870 — D. D. T. Farnsworth, Upshur County; Spencer Dayton, Barbour County. 
1871 — William C. Carper, Upshur County; Spencer Dayton, Barbour County. 
1872 — William C. Carper, Upshur County; Geoi-ge H. Morrisjon, Braxton 

1872-3 — Winston Shelton, Nicholas County; Albert E. Summers, Kanawha 

1875 — Winston Shelton, Nicholas County: William T. Burdette, Kanawha 

1877 — Felix J. Baxter, Braxton County ; William T. Burdette, Kanawha County. 
1879 — Felix J. Baxter, Braxton County; Albert. E. Summers, Kanawha County. 
1881 — Albert E. Summers, KanaAvha County; Harvey Samples, Clay County. 
1883 — Benjamin W. Byrne, Kanawha County; Harvey Samples, Clay County. 
1885 — Benjamin W. Byrne, Kanawha County ; J. W. Morrison, Braxton County. 
1887 — Robert S. Carr, Kanawha County; J. W. Morrison, Braxton County. 
1889 — Robert S. Carr, Kanawha County; J. W. Morrison, Braxton County. 


1891 — C. C. Watts, Kanawha County; J. W. Morrison, Braxton County. 
1893 — C. C. Watts, Kanawha County; John E. Peck, Nicholas County. 
1895 — George W. Patton, Kanawha County; John E. Peek, Nicholas County. 
1897 — E. G. Pierson, Clay County; George W. Patton, Kanawha County. 
1901 — Walter L. Ashley, Kanawha County; A. J. Horan, Nicholas County. 
1903- -R. F. Kidd, Gilmer County; A. J. Horan, Nicholas County. 
1905 — P. F. Kidd, Gilmer County; Jake Fisher, Braxton County. 
1907 — R. F. Kidd, Gilmer County; Jake Fisher, Braxton County. 
1909— R. F. Kidd, Gilmer County; Jake Fisher, Braxton County. 
1911 — R. F. Kidd, Gilmer County; Jake Fisher, Braxton Coiinty. 
1913 — R. F. Kidd, Gilmer County; Fred L. Fox, Braxton County. 
1915— E. H. Morton, Webster County; Fred L. Fox, Braxton County. 

In the apportionment of the Congressional District made under the census 
of 1830, what is now Braxton County was located in the two districts, the Nine- 
teenth and Twentieth. The Nineteenth District was composed of the counties of 
Fayette, Nicholas, Greenbrier, Monroe, Kanawha, and Cabell. The Twentieth 
was composed of the counties of Harrison, Wood, Lewis, Mason, Jackson, Ran- 
dolph and Pocahontas. Braxton County having been made up of territory 
taken from the counties of Nicholas and Lewis, was therefore, in both of these 

In the census of 1840, Braxton County was placed in the Fourteenth Con- 
gressional District of Virginia, composed of the countie-s of Kanawha, Jackson, 
Mason, Cabell, Wayne, Lewis, Harrison, Braxton, Wood, Fayette and Nicholas. 

Under the census of 1850, Braxton County was placed in the Eleventh 
Congressional District of Virginia, composed of the counties of Lewis, Upshur, 
Harrison, Barbour, Randolph, Braxton, Doddridge, Richie, Gilmer, Wood, 
Wirt, Jackson, Mason, Putnam, Cabell, and Kanawha. This apportionment contin- 
ued until the formation of West Virginia. The names of the gentlemen who were 
elected to the House of Representatives from the district in which Braxton 
County was included appear below, the date of their election preeeeding their 
respective names. 

1836 — Joseph Johnson of Harrison County; Andrew Beirne of Monroe County. 
1838 — Joseph Johnson of Harrison County; Andrew Beimc of Monroe County. 
1840 — George W. Summers of Kanawha County; Samuel L. Hays of (now) 

Gilmer County. 
1842 — George W. Summers of Kanawha County. 
1844 — Joseph Johnson of Harrison County. 
1846 — Robert A. Thompson of Kanawha County. 
1848--James M. H. Bealle of Mason County. 
1850— James M. H. Bealle of Mason County. 
1852 — John F. Snodgrass of Wood County; Charles S. Lewis of Harrison 

1854 — John S. Carlisle of Harrison County; Albert G. Jenkins of Harrison 


1858 — Albert G. Jenkins of Mason County. 

1860 — John S. Carlisle of Harrison County; Jacob B. Blair of Wood Comity. 
John F. Snodgrass died in office and Charles S. Lewis was elected for his 
unexpired term. John S. Carlisle was elected to the United States Senate in 
1861 and Jacob B. Blair was elected to succeed him for the unexpired term. 

After the formation of West Virginia, the state was divided into three Con- 
gressional Districts by an act of the Legislature passed September 10, 1863. 
Braxton County was placed in the Third district, composed of the counties of 
Kanawha. Jackson, Mason, Putnam, Cabell, Clay, Wayne, Logan, Boone, Brax- 
ton, Nicholas, Roane, McDowell, Wyoming, Raleigh, Fayette, Mercer, Monroe 
and Greenbrier. 

This district continued until 1882. On March 14, 1882, an act was passed 
dividing the state into four districts, Braxton was placed in the First District, 
composed of the counties of Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler, 
Doddridge, Harrison, Gilmer, Lewis and Braxton. 

In 1901, the state was divided into five districts. Braxton County was 
placed in the Fourth District, composed of the counties Tyler, Pleasants, Wood, 
Richie, Doddridge, Gilmer, Braxton, Calhoun. Wirt, Roane and Jackson. 

In 1915 the state was divided into six districts, Braxton County was placed 
in the Third District composed of the counties of Harrison, "Upshur, Lewis, 
Braxton, Nicholas, Webster, Doddridge, Gilmer, Calhoun, Clay and Richie. 

Since the formation of West Virginia, the County of Braxton has been 
represented in the House of Representatives by the following named gentlemen, 
the dates of their election preceding their names. 

1866 — Daniel Polsley of Mason County. 

1868— John S. Witcher of Cabell County. 

1870— Frank Hereford of Monroe County. 

1872 — Frank Hereford of Monroe County. 

1874 — Frank Hereford of Monroe County. 

1876 — John E. Kenna of Kanawha County. 

1878 — John E. Kenna of Kanawha County. 

1880— John E. Kenna of Kanawha County. 

1882— Nathan Goff of Harrison County. 

1884 — Nathan Goff of Harrison County. 

1886 — Nathan Goff of Harrison County. 

1888 — George W. Atkinson of Ohio County. 

1890— John C. Pendleton of Ohio County. 

1892— John C. Pendleton of Ohio County. 

1894— B. B. Dovenor of Ohio County. 

1896— B. B. Dovernor of Ohio County. 

1898— B. B. Dovenor of Ohio County. 

1900— B. B. Dovenor of Ohio County. 

1902 — Harry C. Woodyard of Roane County. 

1904 — Harry C. Woodyard of Roane County. 

1906 — Harry C. Woodyard of Roane County. 


1908 — Harry C. Woodyard of Roane County. 
1910 — John M. Hamilton of Calhoun County. 
1912— H. H. Moss, Jr., of Wood County. 
1914— H. H. Moss, Jr., of Wood County. 
1916 — Stewart F. Reed of Harrison County. 

In the fall of 1861 the Braxton county records were removed from the 
clerk's offices in Sutton to the residence of the late Felix Sutton. They were 
kept there for awhile and then sent to Weston where they were kept until the 
close of the war. William Gibson, a citizen of Sutton, hauled the records out 
in a wagon drawn by oxen. It is fortunate that the records and papers were 
thus preserved from destruction. 


At a Circuit Court held for the County of Braxton at the Courthouse 
thereof on Monday, the 9th day of October, 1865, present the Hon. Robert Ir- 
vine. Judge of the 5th Judicial Circuit. 
Grand Jury to-wit: 

James W. Morrison, foreman, David U. Bright, Jesse Shaver, Archibald 
Taylor, Samuel E. Rollyson, James Carr, Daniel B. Friend, Daniel Engle, Fred- 
erick Gerwig, Christian F. Gerwig, Isaac N. Loyd, Craven Berry. George W. 
Mealy, John D. Armstrong, Ezekial 0. Marple, Benjamin F. Fisher, Allen Skid- 
more, Washington H. Berry, and Francis Carr, were empaneled and sworn a 
Grand Jury of Inquest for the body of the County who after receiving their 
charge, retired to their room to consider of their indictments and present- 
ments, and after some time returned into Court and presented an indictment 
against Marcellus B. Cogar for Trespass, Assault and Battery. "A true Bill," 
also a presentment against Thomas Cadle and Clark Cadle for Robbery, "A 
true Bill;" and the said Grand Jury, having further business before them, aud 
it growing late, were adjourned until tomorrow morning, ten o'clock. 

Wm. Newlon, gentleman, is by the Court appointed Prosecuting Attorney, 
Protempore, of this County, thereupon the said Newlon appeared in open Court, 
took and subscribed the several oaths prescribed by law. 

George H. Morrison, Sheriff of this County, with the consent of the Court, 
this day appointed Ephraim A. Berry, his Deputy, whereupon said Berry ap- 
peared in .Court, and took the several oaths prescribed by law. 

Addison McLaughlon, Jos. A. Alderson, Homer A. Holt, Henry Brannon, 
Felix J. Baxter, Wm. Newlon, Gentlemen, who have been duly licensed to prac- 
tice law in the Courts of Virginia on their motion, have leave to practice in 
this Court, whereupon they appeared in Court and took the several oaths pre- 
scribed by law. 

Ordered that this Court do now adjourn until tomorrow morning at nine 
o 'clock. 




West Virginia to-wit: 

Whereas a vacancy exists in the office of Recorder for the county of Brax- 
ton. State of West Virginia, I, Robert Irvine, Judge of the 5th Judicial Cir- 
cuit, in vacation, do hereby appoint. Gustavus F. Taylor, a citizen of Braxton 
county, Recorder, to fill the said vacancy until his successor is qualified. 

Given under my hand and seal as such Judge, as aforesaid, in vacation, 
this the 12th day of January, A. D., 1865. 


William D. Baxter, having produced to the Recorder, credentials of his 
ordination as a Minister of the Gospel, in the Methodist Episcopal church, and 
of his being in regular communion with that Christian society, leave is given 
him to celebrate the rites of matrimony, agreeable to the forms and customs of 
said church, and thereupon the said William D. Baxter, together with Wesly C. 
Frame, his security, entered into an acknowledged bond in the penalty of fifteen 
hundred dollars, payable to the state of West Virginia. 

G. F. TAYLOR, Recorder. 

Given under my hand this 10th day of August, 1865. 

William B. Rose, having produced to the Recorder, credentials of his or- 
dination as a minister of the Gospel in the. Methodist Episcopal church, and of 
his being in regular communion with that Christian society, leave is given him 
to celebrate the rites of matrimony agreeable to the customs and usuages of 
said church, and thereupon the said William B. Rose, together with Francis B. 
Stewart, his security, entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of 
fifteen hundred dollars, payable to the state of West Virginia. 

Given under my hand as Recorder for said county, this 15th day of Sep- 
tember, 1865. G. F. TAYLOR, Recorder. 

David Frame, having produced to the Recorder, credentials of his ordina- 
tion as a minister of the Gospel in the Baptist church, and of his being in regu- 
lar communion with that Christian society, leave is given him to celebrate the 
rites of matrimony, agreeable to the forms and customs of said church, and 
thereupon the said David Frame, together with Philip Troxell, his security, 
entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of fifteen hundred dol- 
lars, payable to the state of West Virginia. 

Given under my hand as Recorder for said county, this 10th day of October, 
1865. G. F. TAYLOR, Recorder. 

Know all men by these presents that we, Morgan H. Morrison, John Given, 
James Saulisberry, Elijah Perkins, James A. Boggs and Homer A. Holt are 
held and firmly bound to the state of West Virginia, in the penal sum of Three 


Thousand Dollars to the payment of which we bind ourselves jointly and sev- 
erally, and by each of us, binds his heirs, executors and administrators, wit- 
ness our hands and seals this 13th day of December, 1865. The conditions of 
the above obligation is such that whereas the above bond Morgan H. Morrison 
was on the 26th day of October, last, duly elected Clerk of the Circuit Court 
cf Braxton County, by the qualified voters of said county, to continue in office 
until his successor is elected and qualified. Now, therefore, if the said Morgan 
H. Morrison shall faithfully discharge the duties of said office during his con- 
tinuance in office, then shall his obligation be void; otherwise, it shall remain 
hi full force and effect. 

JOHN GIVEN. - [Seal] 




HOMER A. HOLT. [Seal] 

The within bond was this day acknowledged before and approved by the 
undersigned Judge of the 5th Judicial Circuit of West Virginia, December 13, 

A copy Teste. 

M. H. MORRISON, Recorder. 


At the close of the Civil war, as stated elsewhere, Robert Irvine, Judge of 
the 5th Judicial Circuit, in vacation, appointed G. P.- Taylor, Recorder of Brax- 
ton county, on the 12th day of January, 1865. who served in that capacity until 
the loth of December, 1865. He was succeeded by Morgan H. Morrison who 
was elected to the office of Recorder, and also Circuit Clerk, on the 26th of Oc- 
tober, 1865, and held the office of Recorder until January 1st, 1867. He was 
succeeded by John H. Cunningham who remained in office until April, 1868, 
when he was succeeded by N. B. Squires who remained in office until January 
1st, 1873. at which time the office of Recorder ceased, and W. L. J. Corley as 
County Clerk succeeded to the duties of that office. 

Francis 0. Boggs was on the 24th day of May, 1860, elected to the office 
of Sheriff for a period of two years, and was the last Sheriff of Braxton under 
the Old State. George H. Morrison was on the 8th day of September, 1865, 
appointed by Robert. Irvine, Judge of the 5th Judicial Circuit, Sheriff of Brax- 
ton county, to serve until his successor is elected and qualified, he being the 
first Sheriff of Braxton county after the Civil war, and was succeeded by James 
AY. Morrison, Sr. 

The last Board of Supervisors under the Constitution of 1863 was John 
Given, President, M. H. Morrison, Asa GT'eathouse and John H. Cunningham, 
W. P. Morrison, Clerk. Their last meeting was held December 20, 1872. The 


County Court, under the Constitution of 1872, held their first meeting at the 
Courthouse on the 28th day of January, 3873. 


On the 31st day of July, 1863, the legislature passed a bill entitled an 
"Act to provide for the division into townships of the various counties com- 
posing this State." The act also provided for the appointment of several 
gentlemen in each county, who should perform the work m their respective coun- 
ties. Those named for Braxton were Charles S. Hall, James W. Morrison. James 
J. McCoy, Jacob Shaver, and Elmore Frame. These gentlemen, with the as- 
sistance of the county surveyor, proceeded to perform the work assigned to 
them, and divided the county into four townships (name changed to district:; 
under the constitution of 1872) and named them as follows: Clay, Lincoln, 
Franklin and "Washington. 

By these names they were known until the July term of court, 1873, when. 
in accordance with a petition of the citizens of the county, their names were all 
changed on the 24th day of the above month. Clay was changed to Kanawha, 
Lincoln to Otter, Franklin to Holly, and Washington to Birch. 

Thus ihey continued until the year 1875, when the citizens of Kanawha 
district petitioned the court asking that the said district be divided. The court 
at its July term granted the request, and adopted the division line as presented 
in the petition, viz: Beginning at the three corners of Braxton, Gilmer and 
Lewis counties and terminating at the Webster county line. The new district 
thus formed was named Salt Lick. The present districts are Kanawha, Salt 
Lick, Otter, Holly and Birch. Kanawha district has since been embraced in 
Salt Lick. 



Mound Builders; Cliff Dwellers; Indians; Early Emigration; Defenses and 
Early Forts. 


As the Indian method of warfare was an indiscriminate slaughter of all 
ages and sexes, it was necessary for the settlers to provide ;for the safety of the 
women and children as well as for the men, and each neighborhood generally 
combined together and built rude log structures called forts, in which they 
could take refuge when warned by the scouts that Indians were approaching 
the settlements. 

The regularly constructed forts were rectangular in shape, the outside walls 
being in part cabins joined to one another by a stockade, which was com- 
posed of strong logs set on end firmly in the ground in contact with one another. 
The outer wall of these cabins were from ten to twelve feet high with the roofs 
sloping inward. The doors of the cabins opened into a common square or 
Court. Blockhouses or bastions were sometimes erected at two or more corners 
of the fort and projected foeyond the cabins and stockade, so as to sweep the 
outside walls. 

A large folding gate made of thick slabs nearest the spring closed the fort. 
The cabin, walls and gates were pierced with port holes at proper heights and 
distances and the whole structure made bullet proof. 

The block house was a square two story log structure, with port holes both 
above and below. 

The walls of the upper story projected on all sides about two feet over 
those of the lower story, thus leaving an open place through which the inmates 
could fire from above and downward upon an enemy, attempting to force the 
heavy slab doors or to climb or set fire to the walls. 

In some less exposed locality the cabins would be surrounded by a stock- 
ade enclosing them in a square. These were called stockades but generally the 
name of fort was applied to all of these different places of defense. 

The families belonging to these forts were so attached to their own cabins 
on their clearings that they seldom moved into their fort in the spring until 
compelled by some alarm as they called it ; that is, when it was announced by 
some murder that the Indians were raiding the settlements. 

Dr. Doddridge says that the Fort to which his father belonged was, during 

the first years of the war, three-quarters of a mile from his cabin. He says: 

, "I well remember that, when a little boy, the family were sometimes waked up 

in the dead of night by an express rider with a report that the Indians were 


at hand. My father seized his gun and other implements of war. My step- 
mother waked up and dressing the children as well as she could, and being 
myself the oldest, I had to take my' share of the burdens to be carried to the 
fort. There was no possibility of getting a horse to aid us in removing to the 
fort. Besides the little children, wc caught up what articles of clothing and 
provisions we could get hold of in the dark for we durst not light a candle or 
stir the fire. 

"All this was done with the utmost dispatch, and with the silence of 
death. The greatest care was taken not to waken the youngest child. As for the 
older ones it was enough to say 'Indian' and not a whimper was heard 

"Thus it often happened that the whole number of families belonging to 
a fort who were in the evenings at their homes, were all in their little fortress 
before the dawn of the next morning. 

"In the course of the succeeding day, their household fimiiture was 
brought in by parties of the men under arms." 

All of these works were built without the use of a nail, spike or any other 
piece of iron for the simple reason that such articles were not to be had. 

Such places of refuge seem very trifling in a military point of vieAV, but 
they answered the purpose in a frontier war, as the Indians had no artillery. 

The Indians rarely made an attack on one of these rude fortresses and 
seldom captured one of them when a determined resistance was made. But at 
times the forest diplomats have lulled the garrison of one of them to a sense of 
false security to surrender under promise of protection, which was no sooner 
done, than an indiscriminate slaughter was at once begun. 


The following is a list of the forts or places of defense built by the settlers 
in what was originally Harrison county, between the years 1774 and 1795 : 


This fort stood on the Ohio river below Parkersburg on the site of the 
present village of Belleville, Wood county. It was built in 1785 and 1786 by 
Captain Joseph "Wood, and was considered a strong fort. 


Buckhannon fort stood on or near the site of the town of Buckhannon, and 
when the settlement was abandoned by the whites, it was burned by Indians in 
1782. The renegade Timothy Dorcnan was of this party. 

Bushes Fort. 

This was situated on the Buckhannon river, one and a half miles northeast 
of the Upshur county court house on land first settled by John Hacker, and 
near where is now the Heavener cemetery. 

66 sutton's history. 

Currance Port. 

A small fort in the upper part of Tygart's Valley, a half mile east of the 
present village of Crickard in Randolph county. It has sometimes been called 
Cassino's Fort. 

Coon's Port. 

This fort, was situated on Coon's run near the West Pork river below the 
town of Shinnston and now in Marion county. 

Edward's Port. 

This was a small place of defense built in Booth's creek district, now in 
Taylor county. 

Herbert's Block House. 

Was situated on Jones run in Eagle district. 

Hadden's Port. 

Was in Tygart's Valley at the mouth of Elk water, Randolph county. 

Jackson's Block House. 
Was situated on Ten Mile creek in Sardis district, exact location not known. 

Minear's Port. 

This fort was located on Cheat river at the present site of St. George, Tucker 
county, and was built by John Minear, in 1776. 

Neal's Station. 

Was situated on the south side of the Little Kanawha river, about one mile 
from its mouth in the Ohio river, now in Wood county. It was built by Captain 
James Neal and was a prominent place of defense in the Indian wars. 

Plinn's Port. 

Was situated on the Ohio river at the mouth of the Lee creek, Harris dis- 
trict, Wood county. 

Nutter's Fort. 

This was located on the southern bank of Elk creek, two miles from Clarks- 
burg on the Buckhannon road on the land of Thomas Nutter. It bore a promi- 
nent part in the defense of the county, and was a house of refuge for settlers 
fleeing from a savage foe for many miles around. 

Power's Port. 

Was on Simpson's creek, Harrison county, below Bridgeport and was built 
by John Powers. 

Richard's Fort. 

This was near the mouth of Sycamore creek, six miles from Clarksburg on 
the land of Jacob Richards. 


Westf all's Fort. 

This was a large house enclosed in a stockade, and was built by Jacob 
Westfall about a quarter of a mile south of Beverly, about the commencement 
of Dunmore's war. 

West's Fort. 

This fort was on Hacker's creek near the present town of Jane Lew in 
Lewis county, and was in a locality that suffered more from Indian raids than 
any portion of the Virginia frontier. 

Wilson's Fort. 

Was built by Colonel Benjamin Wilson in Tygart's Valley, now Randolph 
county, near the mouth of Chenowith creek, between Beverly and Elkins, and 
bore a prominent part in the Indian wars. 

In addition ,to the forts mentioned on the east bank of the Ohio river in 
Harrison county, the United States government built Fort Harmer at the mouth 
of the Muskingum, now Marietta, in 1786, and a fort built by the settlers at 
Belpre, opposite Parkersburg, in 1789, called Farmer's Castle, gave additional 
security to the frontier. 


The question has been asked in every age of our civilization, "Who were 
the Mound Builders ? ' ' And while volumes have been written and many theories 
advanced, and after research by men of science and learning, no satisfactory 
answer has been given, and we know as little now, perhaps, as we did when the 
first Anglo-Saxon discovered their little mound of earth, save the fact that they 
were far more numerous in sections where the Indians were known to have their 
habitations. It may have been that many centuries in the past, a nation civil- 
ized and learned in many of the arts inhabited this continent. Whether they 
were the progenitors of the Red Men of America and degenerated into bar- 
barism, or whether they were driven out of the land by a fierce and more war- 
like nation, is unknown. 

Geologists tell us that great portions of the earth have at different periods 
been submerged beneath the waves of the ocean, only to rise up again and be- 
come exposed to the ah*, warmth and sunlight of heaven. History informs us 
that civilization has often been dashed beneath the waves of cruel barbarity, 
superstition and savagery. In Mexico, the land of the Mound Builder, excava- 
tions have disclosed the fact that these mounds were not only sepulchres of the 
dead, but receptacles for many articles indicating a knowledge of the arts. 
Judging by the amalgamated savagery of the present inhabitants of that coun- 
try, it is a question whether they possess the moral fibre of civil government 
and social purity of the ancient Mound Builders. 

Some of the mounds are large and pretentious. These might indicate 
the resting places of great governors or warriors. They may have had their 


Washingtons and Lincolns. They may have built in commemoration of great 
events; and the little mounds of earth, over which we plow and cultivate the 
soil, covering those less distinguished, we see the analogy. 

How striking it is compared with our own and other civilized nations. 
"We build monuments, statues and obelisks, on down to the less pretentious 
humble slab. And alas ! how many noble men and women rest beneath the sod 
in a spot forgotten and unknown. 

Whether the Mound Builder was a race preceding the Indian, of greater 
intelligence and more skilled in the arts, we know not ; but true it is, if the sav- 
age followed the Mound Builder, he adopted many of his customs, for in all 
the mounds of West Virginia there are found evidences, of Indian war-fare — 
the tomahawk, the flint, the arrowhead and other implements known to have 
been used by the savage race. 

It is not unreasonable to conjecture that if Powhattan — the once most pow- 
erful monarch of the Red Man, governing a confederacy of tribes extending 
from the Atlantic for hundreds of miles, covering the tidewater regions of the 
Alleghenies, living in two rude palaces decorated with all the art and refinement 
known to his nation, and within his palace when he slept, one of his wives 
standing at the head and one at the foot of his richly furnished couch — had 
died before the advent of the white man that at his tomb would have been 
erected, within the sound of the breakers of the mighty ocean, a fitting monu- 
ment, whether of pebbles or of earth, to honor the memory of the great chieftain. 
When we consider the character of Tecumseh, a great leader of men, a mighty 
warrior, a man gifted in oratory, — if he and his nation had been undisturbed 
by a vastly superior race in numbers, and civilization, and had been gathered 
to his fathers in the quietude of his wigwam — who can say how magnificently 
grand would have been the monument erected to his memory? But whoevei' 
were the Mound Builders, if they were not the Indians, it is evident that they 
used and buried with their dead, implements such as were later used by the 
Indians of North America. 

The greatest number of mounds have been found in Randolph county on 
the Tygart's Valley river, a region noted as a favorite hunting ground, and on 
the South Branch of the Potomac where the Indians dwelt in great numbers. 
The streams of this region abounded with fish and eels in countless millions. 
The West Fork and its tributaries were famous for fish and game. Near the 
city of Clarksburg, many Indian trinkets and war implements have been dis- 
covered. One of these articles, now in the hands of a citizen of that town, is a 
fish hook made of bone. It is very hard and smooth, and thought to be made 
from the shank of a deer. But in every section of the country where condi- 
tions were favorable for hunting wild game, collecting together in towns or 
cultivating the rich bottom lands, there are found the mounds and the greatest 
evidence left by the Red Men of the forest, showing their habits of savagery, 
civilization and warfare. 

In Braxton County, on Laurel fork of Grannie's creek, there is a mound 
situated on a beautiful flat about two hundred yards west of the creek. The 


mound is about forty-five feet in diameter at the base, and from eight to ten 
feet high. Originally, it must have been much higher. It has been there over 
four hundred years from its own record, and how many hundred years more, 
we have no knowledge. Over fifty years ago, Henry A. Baxter, who cleared the 
land around the mound, built a dwelling house and lived there for several years, 
cut a large chestnut tree which stood on top of the mound. This tree was per- 
fectly sound, and showed by its growth that it was over three hundred and 
fifty years old. Mr. Baxter worked it up into fence rails, the first cut of 
which made one hundred and four rails. Mr. Baxter said that its circumference 
was so great that he had to chop clear around the tree in order to get it down, 
it being too large to be felled with an ordinary saw. He brought a cedar sprout 
from Parkersburg during the Civil war, and planted it where the chestnut tree 
stood. This cedar is now a tree of considerable size. 

There is a mound on Duck creek, at the Mollohan farm, which is sixty feet 
or more in diameter at the base. It seems to liave worn down in height, owing 
perhaps to the quality of the soil, or it may not have been built in proportion 
to the mound found on Laurel fork. 

There is a mound on the farm of the late Felix Sutton at the head of 
Grannie's creek. This mound is situated on a fiat, north of the creek about one 
hundred and fifiy yards. It is twenty-five feet in diameter, and two and a half 
feet high. In exploring the mound, we found a little stratum of white clay one 
inch thick which had been placed at the surface of the ground. Immediately 
below this stratum there was a little dark earth or mold, evidently the decom- 
posed substance of some human body. We found nothing in this excavation in 
addition to that described, except a piece of broken flint and a lump of shining 
metal or substance called "fool's gold." There is a whitewash bank, as we 
used to term it, where the family of my father and his neighbors obtained clay 
with which to whitewash their houses. The clay found in this burial place was 
evidently taken from this bank which is near the mound. We have often plowed 
over this spot of ground in working the field surrounding it, and have discov- 
ered many flints and arrowheads. 

There is a large mound situated on the waters of Kanawha run, not far 
from the mouth of Holly river, similar in size to the mound on Laurel fork. 
There have been many flints and arrowheads found in the location of this 

It is evident from the vast number of mounds scattered over the State, 
and usually located on the most fertile lands or flats suitable for cultivation and 
for camps or villages, that many years, or perhaps many centuries, before West 
Virginia was settled by white people, great numbers of Indians inhabited this 
region. They were known, to cultivate corn, squashes and other vegetables in 
Ohio and other western states, and it is not improbable, and most reasonable to 
suppose, that the Indians did not live on wild game alone, but cultivated some 
of the richest spots of land. Prom the growth of the timber near these mounds, 
it is evident that they were built centuries ago. Near the mound on the Sutton 
farm, was a giant poplar tree which stood for many years after all the timber 


around it had fallen and decayed. The fact that the pioneers found only a few 
Indians in West Virginia, is no evidence that at the time the mounds were built, 
there were not numerous settlements and vast numbers of Red Men, or some' 
prehistoric race, reveling in the luxuries that West Virginia has ever so boun- 
tifully bestowed on her inhabitants. 

The great range of mountains, the abundant herds of game, buffalo, elk, 
deer, the bear, raccoon and other smaller game; the salt springs, the sparkling 
falls, the boundless number of fish and the shelter of the ivy and the spruce, 
rendered this a land not to be abandoned even by the untutored savage or the 
nations preceding them without a cause, and that cause was doubtless a battle- 
field that reddened the streams and forests of West Virginia with human blood, 
centuries before the presence of the white man. 

It is not presumed that all Indians were buried in mounds, no more than 
that all white citizens were buried beneath imposing monuments. What the 
general mode of burial by the Indians was, we are not fully informed. It is 
stated somewhere that some tribes placed their infants above the ground on 
scaffolds built in trees. While in battle or on raids, they disposed of their dead 
by throwing them in streams or concealing the bodies with brush and leaves. 
The bodies of those who died in their wigwams were either covered with piles 
of stone or buried in shallow graves. Some of the older Indians now inhabiting 
a number of the western states, say that the early tribes buiied their dead by 
covering the bodies with loose stone. This has often been found to be the case 
in West Virginia as many skeletons have been discovered beneath piles of stone. 
This is more particularly true in a rocky country; and where the land is free 
from stone and easy to excavate, they buried in graves. It may be true that 
the wild and untutored tribes had no well-established method of disposing of 
their dead, but were governed by circumstances most suited to their indolent 


Near the Union Mills on the Elk river, when Jordan Cogar was having a 
well dug, the workmen foimd a fire-place with a backwall, at a depth of eighteen 
feet. The land where the well was dug is at the upper end of a narrow bottom. 
This land had been cleared for over a hundred years, and had been covered by 
large timber. One of the persons making the discovery, related that on the 
backwall there was soot which seemed as fresh as if it had been but recently 
burned. Many ages must have come and gone since some unknown race dwelt 
around that fire-place on the banks of the Elk. 

Just below Baker's run, there is a spur of a mountain running down from 
Poplar Ridge to the Elk river. Near the river, the hill is something like three 
hundred feet, high, and back a half mile from its temiinus, there is a very low 
gap where the Baltimore & Ohio railroad crosses. There are marks in this low 
gap which show conclusively that the Elk river at one time ran through the 
gap at this point. Going up the ridge, it rises to a considerable height, and a 


short distance above the first low gap where the railroad crosses, there is another 
gap which has every appearance that the river at a much earlier period passed 
through the mountain at that point. 

There is a similar appearance to this on the Little Kanawha river just 
above the falls. The river at one time ran around a high point and came into 
the present channel of Fall run, about a half mile above its present mouth. The 
marks are visible and indisputable that the river at some unknown age cut its 
way through the earth and rocks, and plunged across, making the waterfall 
which some day may be of great value for its power. In the great floods of 
1861 and later, floods ran around the old channel. This break through the hill 
made the famous Kanawha Falls, where the TIaymond mill has so long been 

We conclude that the fire-place referred to was at the surface, but as the 
river receded from near its level the land filled up by the slow growth of vege- 
table matter, and may have been covered at some time by great floods; about 
that time the river cut its present channel through the mountain and shortened 
its distance to the sea, for the natural tendency of water courses is to straighten 
their channels. This, we believe, to be a law in harmony with the law of grav- 
itation. None who have ever seen the turbulent water where the elevation is 
great, or from heavy rains, but have observed the movements of the sand and 
pebbles cutting down the channels of streams, however slow and seemingly im- 
perceptible the process may be. 

The two causes which affect the surface of the earth are the elevating and 
the depressing forces — fire and water — two all-powerfid and (never-ceasing 
agencies which seem to be in continual warfare to keep an equilibrium between 
the land and the sea. The whole science of geology rests on certain natural 
laws. If we eordd look back to the time when the rivers first began to flow 
from the Appalachian mountains, we would probably see the Elk river gently 
flowing down from a plateau just beginning to rise above the surrounding 
country, and as the mountains grew in height, its elevation became greater and 
the process of cutting down was increased by its greater velocity. How many 
thousands of years have gone by since this grand old river flowed through the 
low gap where it once ran, geologists can only approximately give an answer. 
If the process of filling up is as slow as the process of cutting down, the ages 
must be great since some prehistoric family lived at the fire-place referred to 
which was buried beneath the solid earth and clay so far beneath the surface. 

Lying near the base of the Freeport coal measures, there is what is termed 
a black flint, a very hard substance, and this rock is harder for the river to cut 
down than ordinary rocks. This flint outcrops at Queen Shoals in Clay county, 
and at some points south of that on the New river, but the New river has cut 
a deeper channel through this formation than has the Elk. In speaking to a 
geologist about this flint formation, he claims that the New river is a much older 
stream than the Elk Reasonable as this appears, we conclude that there may 
be additional agencies, the New river being much the larger of the two streams, 
with a heavier body of water and perhaps a coarser sand, thus cutting faster 


than the Elk. If in the course of time, the Appalachian mountains should rise 
to a greater height, it is not improbable that many streams might change their 
courses or that new ones might be formed. 

Near MeNutt switch on the B. and 0. railroad, there is an anticlinical for- 
mation. The rock which the stream is trying to wear down,' is so very hard that 
the flat lands and bottoms have been formed above this narrow passage, and m 
time, if the present process of wearing away continues, this rock may lie at the 
base of the low gap in the Bison range, and Grannie's creek may flow either into 
Salt Lick or Cedar creek, as these low gaps are wearing down much faster than 
the rocks below. Hence we conclude that there have been many changes in the 
streams and the elevation underlying them. 

If an anticlinical formation would cross Salt Lick and Cedar creeks, thence 
crossing Steer creek, continuing to cut off the headwaters of the West fork and 
minor streams, and terminate somewhere at the Ohio river north of Point 
Pleasant, Granny's creek, Salt Lick and Cedar creek would form the headwaters 
of a new river which would flow into the Ohio somewhere above Point Pleasant ; 
or we might imagine an anticlinical formation southeast of the head of the Elk, 
cutting off parts of the waters of the Greenbrier, the Gauley and the head- 
waters of Birch, crossing the Elk between Sutton and Clay Courthouse, con- 
tinuing west, dividing the waters of the Two Sandys, Poca and the minor 
streams, and terminating at the Great Kanawha above Point Pleasant, forming 
a new river. Thus we can see how it is possible for one river to be older than 
another though the elevations guiding them to their outlet might be a million 
or ten million years in forming. Considering these natural changes, great 
changes may also have taken place in the different prehistoric nations which 
may have dwelt amid the mountains and along the stream of our rivers. 

Whether a nation more warlike drove out a weaker nation of a different peo- 
ple, or whether the same people continued in the long lapse of years to inhabit 
the land, alternately lapsing into barbarism, then rising to a greater degree of 
civilization, the evidence disclosed by the different mounds scattered throughout 
the Mississippi Valley tends to the latter conclusion. However, the final and 
conclusive proof must be revealed by discoveries yet to be made. 

Various views are entertained as to the birthplace of man. Some writers 
claim that America was first his home; others, that it was the Jewish tribe that 
once possessed our land. Some think that wild tribes from India drove out the 
more pastoral people who were acquainted with many of the arts. 

The works of Chambers, Hardesty, Taylor, Squier, McLean, Dickinson and 
others which we have examined, are all forced to incline to one conclusion — 
that a prehistoric race occupied this country in the ages of the unknown past, 
and the. disclosures tend to link the Indian very closely with a prehistoric, an- 
cestry, with customs and habits identical. 

Chambers, in his work published sixty-eight years ago, observed that the 
Red Man in America was becoming extinct. This prediction is being rapidlv 



If the Mohawks, in their fierce savagery, exterminated the various Indian 
tribe.s of West Virginia, is it not also probable that age after age witnessed eon- 
test after contest, war .and extermination amongst the nations that dwelt in 
America? The Mound Builders of West Virginia, whether thej r were Indians 
centuries prior to the knowledge of the present age, or whether they were a 
people further advanced in the arts and possessed a higher degree of civilization 
and pastoral pursuits, which may seem probable, though the ages have rolled 
on, covering more deeply and obscurely the mysteries of the past, may there not, 
after all, be an analogy between the obscurity of the Mound Builders and the 
Cliff Dwellers? 

There may be some reason for the belief that these people, driven from the 
Mississippi Valley, by more warlike people found temporary shelter, at least, in 
the great canons, gorges and cliffs cut out by the river of that wonderful coun- 
try where they dwelt. The advent of the Cliff Dwellers to their lofty abode in 
the cliffs, their departure or their nationality is as much a mystery as the nativ- 
ity or the advent of the savage. What may seem to be retributive justice, is that 
the savage is now being driven and exterminated near the beautiful gorges and 
valleys where the Cliff Dwellers bvalt their temples to the sun, before their final 

When we speak of a period in the past that is prehistoric and obscure, we 
associate the time with the biblical chronology of a few thousand years ; but when 
we consider that the word "day" with reference to the creation means an age 
or a period of time divided into six parts, there can be no. discord in relation 
to science and the Bible. The truth of the Bible as revealed to man has in all 
the ages of enlightenment been proven by science and discovery. He who 
would close his eyes to science would be less able to defend the truths of the 

In the limited space which we have to devote to this topic, we quote briefly 
from the pen of such authorities as Dr. Lund, Prof. McLean and others, whose 
investigations have led them back to the darker ages of the world from dis- 
coveries of human skulls and other parts of the human anatomy, fixing a period 
as far back as eighty thousand years, and no author gives man's existance in 
America as less than ten thousand years, or eight thousand years before the birth 
of Christ. 

Geologists go down into the bosom of the earth, and read there the language 
so plainly written upon the fossils and the rocks with the same accuracy that 
we estimate the ages of the forest trees by their growth, or the nationality of 
men by the shape of their skulls. 


Nearly thirty years elapsed after settlements were planted on the upper 
waters of the Potomac before the tide of emigration gained sufficient force to 
cross the Alleghenies and take possession of the valleys of the west. The country 


beyond the mountains, when spoken of by the Virginians, was called ' ' the waters 
of the Mississippi," because the streams having their sources on the western 
slope flowed into the Mississippi River, while those rising eastward of the summit 
found their way into the Atlantic Ocean. It was usual, from about 1760 to 
1780 for the Virginia records to distinguish between the eastern and western 
country by calling the former "Hampshire County," and the latter "the waters 
of the Mississippi," because Hampshire included the most important settlements 
between the Valley of Virginia and the summit of the Alleghenies, and did not 
include any country on the western slope, except about eighty square miles in 
the present county of Tucker. Hunters and explorers crossed the mountains 
occasionally from very 'early times, and the country westward gradually be- 
came known. The purpose of this chapter is to mention the routes by which 
the early settlers and explorers found their way over the Alleghenies to the 
upper valleys of the Cheat River and the Monongahela, particularly that section 
now included in Randolph and Tucker counties. The subject has been much 
neglected by writers who have pretended to cover the field, they having given 
their attention to the great highway to the west, from Cumberland to Pittsburg, 
and losing sight of the fact that there were other paths, which were of no small 
importance although now almost forgotten. Before proceeding to a considera- 
tion of some of them, a brief history will be given of the highway from Cumber- 
land west, by which settlers of the lower Monongahela found their way across 
the mountains. 

About the year 1750 the Ohio Company, a wealthy corporation engaged 
in trading with Indians, and also dealing in lands west of Laurel Hill, employed 
Colonel Thomas Cx*esap, who lived fifteen miles east of Cumberland, to survey 
a path by which traders could carry their goods to the Ohio River. The com- 
pany had a store and a fort at Cumberland, then called Will's Creek. Colonel 
Cresap offered a reward to the Indian who would mark the best route for a 
path from Cumberland to the site of Pittsburg. An Indian named Nemacolin 
received the reward, and a path was marked. Part of the way it followed a 
buffalo trail by which those animals had crossed the mountains for ages. 
Traders with their packhorses traveled the path from that time, if indeed, they 
had not been traveling it, or one similar to it, for years. Traders by the hun- 
dred, and packhorses by the thousand, had made their way to the Ohio before 
that time. In 1748 three hundred English traders crossed the Alleghenies, 
some by way of the Kanawha, others by Cumberland, and others by still other 
routes. In 1749 the French explorer. Celeron, met a company of six traders in 
Ohio, with fifty horses loaded with furs, bound for Philadelphia. The Nemacolin 
trail was widened into a wagon road as far as the Monongahela in 1754, by 
George AVashington. This was the first wagon road made from the Atlantic 
slope over the mountains to the Mississippi basin. The next year, 1755, Brad- 
dock, with his army, widened the road and completed it within nine miles of 
Pittsburg. He was defeated and the road remained unfinished. The National 
Road now follows nearly the route of that road. Braddock took 1500 horses 


over the route, and more than one hundred wagons, besides several heavy can- 
non. Although the road was a good one, yet for twenty-five years not a wagon 
loaded with merchandise passed over it. Traders still packed on horses. In 
1784 the people on the Monongahela, in Pennsylvania, paid five cents a pound 
to have their merchandise carried from Philadelphia, and in 1789 they paid 
four cents for carrying from Carlisle to Uniontown. Packing was a trade. 
There were those who followed it for a living. Wages paid the packhorsc 
driver were fifteen dollars per month, and men were scarce at that price. In 
1789 the first wagon loaded with merchandise reached the Monongahela River, 
passing over the Braddock road. It was driven by John Hayden, and hauled 
two thousand pounds from Hagerstown to Brownsville, and was drawn by four 
horses. One month was consumed in making the trip, and the freight bill was 
sixty dollars. This was cheaper than packing on horses. 

Prior to the time the first wagonload of merchandise reached the western 
waters, a movement had been set on foot for opening a canal along the bank 
of the Potomac from Alexandra, in Virginia, to a point on the North Branch 
of the Potomac near where the Northwestern pike crosses that stream at Gor- 
mania, in Grant County, West Virginia. Thence a road was to be made across 
the mountain, thirty or more miles, to Cheat River, and a canal constructed 
down that stream to a point where it could be navigated, or, if more practi- 
cable, the road was to be made from the North Branch to the nearest navigable 
point on the Monongahela. The prime mover in this scheme was George Wash- 
ington. He had thought over it for years, and in 1775 he was about to take 
steps to organize a company to build the canal when the Revolutionary War 
began, and he could do nothing further till the war closed. As soon as peace 
was established he took up again the canal scheme. He believed that easy 
and adequate communication should be opened between the Atlantic Coast and 
the great valleys west of the Alleghanies; because, if those valleys remained 
cut off from the East by the mountain barriers, the settlers who were flocking 
there by thousands, would seek an outlet for trade down the Ohio and Mississ- 
ippi, and their commercial interests would lead to political ties which would 
bind them to the Spanish colonies in the Mississippi Valley, and gradually they 
would become indifferent to the Atlantic Coast States. Washington believed 
that the people west of the mountains should be bound to the East by commerce 
and community of interest, or they would set up an independent republic, and 
enter into an alliance or union with the Spanish. He therefore urged that two 
canals be built, one by way of the Potomac and the Monongahela; the other by 
way of the James and the Kanawha. In 1784, the year after peace was signed 
with England, he crossed the Alleghanies, and visited the Monongahela, on a 
tour of observation, as well as to look after large tracts of land which he owned 
in the West. On his return he ascended Cheat River and crossed the mountains 
to Staunton. The wisdom of America's greatest man is shown no more in his 
success in war and his foresight in politics than in his wonderful grasp and 
understanding of the laws governing trade, and the effects of geography on the 
future history of a country. 

76 Sl'TTON'g HISTOB ¥. 


The nearest neighbors of the emigrants who lived on the South Branch, on 
the one side, at the month of the Youghiogheny, in Pennsylvania, on the other, 
while southward there were two white men living in the present territory of 
Pocahontas county, and a settlement still further south in Greenbrier county. 
It is stated by Withers, the earliest historian, that an Indian village was near 
the settlement. This was doubtless a mistake. No Indian town is known to 
have been in that part of West Virginia at the time under consideration. Bull- 
town, on the Little Kanawha, in the present county of Braxton, about fifty 
miles from this settlement, was probably meant. It was near enough to be 
considered dangerously near ; but, fortunately, the village was not there at that 
time. It was not founded until about twelve years afterwards, when a Delaware 
chief, Bull, with five families came there and settled. They were from Orange 
county, New York, and were living in New York as late as 1764, at which time 
Bull was arrested, charged with taking part in Pontiac 's conspiracy, was carried 
to New York City and subsequently was released, and he moved with his fam- 
ilies to Bulltown, and remained about five years. The settlers from Hacker's 
Creek, in Lewis county, destroyed the town in 1772. It is further stated by 
Withers that an Indian trail passed near the settlement. This was, no doubt 
the path up the Little Kanawha and down the North Pork of the Potomac, or 
that branch called the Shawnee Trail, which led into Pendleton county. 


A remarkable female character penetrated the forests of West Virginia, 
and aided the native's in their warfare with the Indians. This eccentric person 
lived in this section of the country towards the latter part of the 17th century. 
Her name was Ann Bailey. She was born in Liverpool, and had been the wife 
of an English soldier. She generally went by the cognomen of Mad Ann. Dur- 
ing the wars with the Indians, she very often acted as a messenger, and con- 
veyed letters from the fort, at Covington, to Point Pleasant. On these occasions 
she was mounted on a favorite horse of great sagacity, and rode like a man, 
with a rifle over her shoulder, and a tomahawk and a butcher's knife in her 
belt. At night she slept in the woods. Her custom was to let her horse go free, 
and then walk some distance back on his trail, to escape being discovered by the 
Indians. After the Indian wars she spent some time in hunting. She pursued 
and shot deer and bears with the skill of a backwoodsman. She was a short, 
stout woman, very masculine and coarse in her appearance, and seldom or never 
wore a gown, but usually had on a petticoat, with a man's coat over it, and 
buckskin breeches. The services she rendered in the wars with the Indians, 
endeared her to the people, Mad Ann., and her black pony Liverpool, were 
always welcome at every house. Often, she gathered the honest, simple-hearted 
mountaineers around, and related her adventures and trials, while the sym- 
pathetic tear would course down their cheeks. She was profane, often became 


intoxicated, and could box with the skill of one of the fancy. Mad Ann possessed 
considerable intelligence, and could read and write. She died in Ohio many 
years since. 


It has been generally supposed that western Virginia was a savage empire 
when the white man first entered its wilderness and penetrated its forests, but 
early historians tell us that it was a wilderness in solitude. It is said that be- 
tween the years 1656 and 1672, there was a war of extermination waged by the 
Mohawks, a fierce, warlike race, whose home was in western New York. They 
had obtained firearms from the white settlers by the use of which they became 
a nation of conquerors. Having driven out and exterminated a race supposed 
to have been the Hurons, they abandoned the territory which they had con- 
quered, and on the approach of the white race into western Virginia, they met 
only roving bands of warriors and hunters from the different tribes whose 
towns were principally in Ohio. 

Picturesque and lonely must have been the solitude where the buffalo, the 
deer and the elk browsed amid the abundance of the rich valleys and the winter 
fern of the lofty peaks, whilst the savage and vulturous panther, wolf and cata- 
mount, ferocious and predatory in their nature, made the forest hideous with 
their midnight shrieks. All these things, we presume, had a fascination which 
nothing else could give to the frontiersman whose native cunning and trusty 
rifle gave inspiration to their onward conquests. The cruelty of the savage, 
and the intense suffering of the people who were unfortunate enough to fall 
within their power, is too revolting to be minutely related. 

The Virginia frontiersmen in 1774 were dwelling upon the borderland of 
a savage empire, the boundary of which they had been forcing back for many 
years. By the treaty of Albany in 1720, the Blue Ridge was agreed upon as 
the boundary line between the possessions of White and Red men. In 1744, 
by that of Lancaster, this was made an imaginary line extending from the Po- 
tomac through the sites of the present cities of Martinsburg, Winchester and 
Staunton, in the Shenandoah Valley. At the treaty of Fort Stanwix — now 
Rome, New York, — between the English representative, Sir William Johnson 
and the Six Nations — Cayugas, Onondagas, Onedias, Senecas, Mohawks and 
Tuscaroras — the Ohio was made the bondary. the title to all the region east of 
that river being transferred to the King of England. 

From it, the tribes that once dwelt therein had previously removed. The 
Kanawhas had gone from the upper tributaries of the river which bears their 
name, to join their kinsmen, the Troquois in New York; the Shawnees had 
abandoned the Indian Old Fields of the valley of the South of the Potomac ; the 
Cherokees who claimed all the region between the Great Kanawha and the 
Big Sandy rivers, had never occupied it. The Indian Nations who were to be 
history makers in their wars with the Virginians, were dwellers in the Ohio 


Wilderness. These were as follows: Miamis, Ottawas, Shawnees, Delawares, 
Wyandots and Mingoes. 

The Miamis were a powerful nation whose habitat was in the region drained 
by the great Miami and Maumee rivers. Their ancient name was ' ' Twightwee, ' ' 
and they claimed to be the original proprietors of the lands they occupied — 
that they had always had them. They were the only Indians that ever waged 
successful war with the Six Nations. This ended in 1702 by a council between 
the two belligerant powers. (Journal of Capt. "William Trent.) 

They were a warlike people, and were much of the time in broils with their 
neighbors. In 1763, they removed from Piqua, their chief town, the site of 
which is now in Miami county, Ohio, to the Miami of the Lakes. 

The Shawnees were the most remarkable of all the people inhabiting the 
region east of the Mississippi. Thirty-one of them were present at the treaty 
with William Penn at Shackamaxon in 1682. Soon thereafter, they fell under 
the rule of the Six Nations, and henceforth, for more than half a century they 
existed in branches in various regions. Some of them occupied the Lower 
Shenandoah Valley where they had a town at "Shawnee Springs" now Win- 
chester, Virginia; at one time the hunting grounds of the principal part of 
them were in Kentucky; thence they removed to the valleys of the Cumberland 
and Tennessee rivers, but were forced by the Cherokees to abandon this region ; 
and four hundred of them, in 1678, found a home on the Mobile river, in New 
Spain ; where, in 1745, they had four hundred and fifty warriors. Four hundred 
more leaving the Mississippi Valley, settled on the Congaree river in South 
Carolina. Seventy families later, removed from here to the valley of the Sus- 
quehanna in Pennsylvania; others followed, and in 1732 there were seven hun- 
dred and fifty Shawnee warriors on that river. But now there was to be a gath- 
ering of all the Shawnee people. Their future home was to be on the Scioto, 
where, on the Pickaway Plains, the "Wilderness Garden" of the valley of that 
river, their principal towns were located. Here prior to 1760. the nation was 
completely reunited. It was composed of four tribes or branches — the Piqua, 
men born in ashes ; the Kiskapoke, men of war ; the Mequacheke, the fat men ; 
and the Chilicothe, dwellers in a permanent home. They could put into the field 
a thousand warriors. Because of their past wanderings, they have been called 
the "Bedouins of the American Wilderness;" and because of their braverv 
and heroism in defending their wilderness home against the advance of white 
invaders, they won the proud title of "Spartans of their Race." ("Hist, of the 
Shawnee Indians" by Henry Harvey.) 

"Of all the Indains, the Shawnees were the most bloody and terrible, (they) 
holding all other men, Indians as well as Whites in contempt as warriors in 
comparison with themselves. This opinion made them more restless and fierce 
than any other savages; and they boasted that they had killed ten times as 
many white people as had any other nation. They were a well formed, active 
and ingenious people. — were assuming and imperious in the presence of others 


not of their own nation, and were sometimes very cruel." ("Memoirs of the 
Indian Wars and Other Occurrences" by Capt. John Stuart.) 

The Delaware Nation consisted of five tribal organizations. They, like the 
Shawnees, were one of the parties to the treaty with William Penn in 1682. 
They once occupied New Jersey and both sides of the Delaware river from 
which they derived their English name. From here they were driven by the 
Six Nations, and took ref age in the valley of the Susquehanna, then in that of 
the Monongahela, and finally, about 1760, in the Ohio Wilderness, where they 
established themselves in the valley of the Muskingum and Tuscarawas rivers 
and their tributaries. Here, in 1770, they had their densest population, though 
they were really in possession of the eastern half of the present state of Ohio. 
They had now reached their highest degree of greatness, and could put in the 
field six hundred and fifty warriors. In history, tradition and fiction, the 
Delawares have been accorded a high rank among the Indians of North Amer- 
ica. ("History, Manners and Customs of the Indian Nations" by John 

The Wyandot Nation had its chief towns in the valley of the Sandusky 
river, in what is now Wyandot county; but they were spread out over the 
whole region from Lake Erie to the Ohio river, with villages along the Hock- 
ing and other adjacent streams. By the French they were called Hurons, 
and sometimes Guyandots. They were of the Iroquois linguistic stock. It was 
a common saying along the border that a "Wyandot will not be taken alive." 
("Indian Nations" by Heckewelder.) 

The tribe of Mingoes of the Ohio Wilderness, was a small organization of 
the Senecas, one of the Six Nations of New York. When first known to the 
Whites, they occupied the Mingo Bottom and all the region round about the 
present city of Steubenville in eastern Ohio; but later gave place to the Dela- 
wares, and removed to the upper waters of the Scioto, where they built their 
towns on the lands on which Columbus, the capital city of Ohio now stands. 
(Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society Publications.) 

These. Nations of the Ohio Wilderness denied the right of the Six Nations 
of New York, to convey to the English a title to the hunting grounds south of 
the Ohio ; and they prepared to defend them against their White invaders. 
They had commingled to some extent from the beginning of their sojourn 
in Ohio; and this increased as their animosities toward each other were sup- 
planted by a common fear of the enemy of their race. They gradually grew 
stronger in sympathy, and more compact in union as the settlements encroached 
upon their forest domain. ("History of the Lower Scioto Valley.") 

Colonel James Smith, a native of Pennsylvania, was captured by Indians, 
in 1755, when he was eighteen years old. and detained amongst them five years ; 
but being adopted into the tribe, was treated with great kindness. He became 
a prominent citizen of Bourbon county, Kentucky, and in 1899 published an 
account of his life and travels. He says : "I am of the opinion that from Brad- 
dock's war until the present time, there never were more than three thousand 
Indians at any time in arms against us, west of Fort Pitt, and frequently not 


half that number. According to the Indians' own accounts, during the whole 
of Braddock's war, or from 1755 till 1758, they killed or took fifty of our peo- 
ple for one that they lost." Afterwards, the frontiersmen, especially the Vir- 
ginians, learned something of the Indian mode of warfare, and fewer whites 
and more Indians were killed; yet, even then, the savages claimed, and Smith 
believed with good reason, that they killed or took ten of our people for one 
that they lost. Colonel Smith thinks the Indians displayed admirable skill in 

Kercheval states that the Catawba and Delaware Indians were said to have 
been engaged in war at the time the Valley was first entered by white people, 
and that the feud was continued for many years afterwards. Several bloody 
battles were fought between these tribes on or near the Potomac. One of these 
occurred at the mouth of Antietam creek, in 1736, it is believed. "The Dela- 
warcs, " says Kercheval, "had penetrated far to the south, committed some acts 
of outrage on the Catawbas, and on their retreat were overtaken at the mouth 
of this creek, when a desperate conflict ensued. Every man of the Delaware 
party was put to death, with the exception of one who escaped after the battle 
was over, and every Catawba held up a scalp but one. This was a disgrace not 
to be borne; and he instantly gave chase to the fugitive, overtook him at the 
Susquehanna river, (a distance little short of one hundred miles), killed and 
scalped him, and returning showed his scalp to several white people, and ex- 
ulted in what he had done." Other battles between these tribes occurred at 
Painted Rock, on the South Branch ; at Hanging Rock, in Hampshire ; and near 
the site of Franklin, Pendleton county. According to Kercheval, a few Shaw- 
nee continued to live in the lower valley till 1754, when they removed west of 
the Alleghany mountain. 

According to tradition, a battle between Indians occurred on the Cowpas- 
ture river, near Millborough, Bath comity, Avhere there is a small mound sup- 
posed to cover the remains of the slain. In the spring of 1886 the floods washed 
away a portion of the mound, and exposed to view five large skeletons in a good 
state of preservation. Tradition also says that an Indian maiden, from a neigh- 
boring eminence, watched the battle in which her lover was engaged. (Waddell.) 

The Indians east of the Mississippi were not in the habit of violating the 
persons of their female captives ; it was otherwise with the Western Indians. 

Logan was the chief of the Mingos, a part of the Senecas. 

John Hacker located on Hacker's creek in 1773, from whom the stream 
took its name. 

Tecumseh was killed in 1813, in the battle of the Thames. 

Logan and Tecumseh were said to have been born on the West fork waters, 
and it was also the birth place of Stonewall Jackson, all being eminent warriors. 


About the close of the nineteenth century, Mrs. Eliza Ann Davis, who moved 
to Skidmore run, camped a few days under a ledge of rocks about a half mile 


above the mouth of the run, while she repavred a house. which stood near by. 
Some time after that, her boys wanted some stone to fortify the bank of the 
run, and in getting some flag stone which bad evidently fallen from the over- 
hanging ledge, they unearthed five human skeletons which were covered about 
two feet deep with this shelly stone. Three of the skeletons were lying side by 
side with their heads pointing clown stream. Two were lying a little below 
them with their heads up stream. One of these was a large skeleton and the 
other a small one. evidently a small woman or girl. The skulls, jawbones and 
teeth, also some of the other bones were in a fair state of preservation. Evi- 
dently no white person has been missing or unaccounted for since the first set- 
tlement of the country which dates back to about 1793. 

William Davis, who is a correct and reliable young man, and one of the 
persons making the discovery, gave us a very minute description of the cir- 
cumstance. He said there were some flints, a broken piece of stone or earthen 
pottery, and two tusks, supposed to be beaver teeth, buried with the skeletons. 
John Humphreys, who assisted in unearthing the skeletons, sent the tusks 
which were about two inches in length and of a reddish cast, to Washington 
to have them examined, but received no report. Mr. Humphreys, who was a 
man of unquestioned truthfulness, says that he found among the bones some 
human hair, in appearance a dai'k auburn color. The natural conclusion would 
be that they were Indians camping under the rock, and that within the night 
while they were asleep — and the position in which their skeletons were found 
would indicate that they had retired — a portion of the overhanging rock be- 
came detached and fell on them. The rock indicates a slate or flag-like forma- 
tion. There are two other questions to be considered : Would human hair last 
a hundred years when buried? And would it change its cast? If not, it was 
not the hair of an Indian. If human hair would last for a century in the grave 
and not change its color, it must have been the hair of a captive. If this theory 
is correct, it would indicate that there were three Indians and two prisoners, 
the small skeleton being that of a girl ; or the Indians may have had a bunch 
of scalps. Some historian has said that the Indians usually selected from their 
prisoners to be tomahawked and scalped those having auburn hair, and those 
they chose to keep in captivity were brunettes. But however this may be, we 
are of the opinion from all the circumstances that the skeletons found were 
those of Indians with one or more captives. 


Within the month of February, 1917, while some workmen were digging 
holes for telephone poles on the side of Chestnut street where Mat James 
now lives in Skidmore addition, one of the workmen discovered some bones 
about two feet under the ground, and upon examination they proved to be 
human remains, partly decayed, supposed to be that of an Indian. There were 
quite a number of beads and some animal teeth with holes through them, and 
these doubtless, had been worn on a sti'inff around the neck. 


The authorities made no effort to collect the bones and trinkets, but in- 
stead, the town boys gathered the beads and teeth and sold them at about ten 
cents each. A portion of the skull and jaw bone were given to a dentist, but 
no effort was made to ascertain the age or sex nor of the number of beads and 
teeth the savage sported as a necklace. It is to be regretted that such careless 
indifference was manifested by the physicians and authorites of the town. 
Some scientific knowledge might have been gained and some human considera- 
tion shown to the crumbling remains of a human being though he had long 
been dead. 



Stats and County Roads; County Towns; Central Counties of the State. 


Central West Virginia embraces the counties of Braxton, Lewis, Upshur, 
Webster, Nicholas. Clay, Roane, Calhoun and Gilmer, and contains 4,100 square 
miles. This section is penetrated by the Balt.iro.ore & Ohio railroad, the Coal 
& Coke, the West Virginia Midland, the Spruce Lumber railroad, the Buckhan- 
non & Pickens, the Elk & Little Kanawha, and various lumber railroads. 

This central territory is watered principally by the Elk, the Little Kan- 
awha, the Buckhannon, the Holly, the Gauly, the Big Birch, and Little Birch 
rivers, the West Fork, Steer Creek, Cedar Creek, Laurel Creek, Buffalo, and 
many smaller streams. Along the shores and mountain ranges of these streams 
are some of the finest soils of the state, and on the shores of these streams grow 
the largest and finest timber of any section of our country. The Bison Range, 
running for a distance of over ninety miles through the center of its territory, 
divides its principle streams, and forms its highest elevations. On the north 
of this divide is the Pittsburgh and Allegheny coal seams, and on the south 
are the Freeports, the Kanawha & New River coals. 

This central region of the state was once referred to as the mountains 
where the people dwelt in cabins, and grew up without education and refine- 
ment. Now we pass this on to the mountains beyond us, and when we arrive 
there, the people will have to discover mountains and a wilderness some place 
beyond. This region of West Virginia is destined in the future to become 
valuable as a grazing and agricultural country. 

Braxton county is not only the central county, but it is becoming one of 
the richest oil and gas producing sections of the state. Cropping out from 
the Bison range and the numerous streams flowing from its summits and under- 
lying its valleys, are some of the greatest coal deposits of the state. We do not 
hesitate to give it as our opinion that the valley of the Elk, will in time become 
the greatest coal producing country in the United States, the Bee Hive of 
America, when her valleys shall be tapped and her mountains penetrated for 
the rich and exhaustless deposits. 


Clay county was formed in 1858 from Braxton and Nicholas counties; it 
has 390 square miles. The Elk river traverses the county from east to west for 
a distance of over 40 miles. The counti*y contains some small sections of superior 
farming and grazing lands, but the greater portion of the county is hilly and 


rough with a light soil. The county is rich in mineral products, being under- 
laid with the Kanawha and Freeport coals, with numerous mining operations 
along the Elk river. The Coal & Coke railroad runs through the county along the 
Elk river, a branch road leading from the mouth of Big Buffalo creek some twenty 
miles up that stream to the Widen coal field. There is also a branch road up 
Middle creek for about ten miles, which opens up a new coal field. The county is 
rich in oil and gas, already having many producing wells. Henry, the county 
seat, is situated on the Elk river opposite the mouth of Big Buffalo creek 48 
miles from Sutton and 54 miles from Charleston. It has a bank, several stores, 
good High School, new court house and churches. The population is about 450. 

Jacob Summers 

of Clay county, came from Virginia about the year 1813, and settled on the 
Elk river. Mr. Summers was a soldier in the war of 1812. He married a Miss 
Davis, and by this union, fourteen children were born. 

For his second wife, he married Eleanor Cozad, and seven children were 
born. Mr. Summers died at the advanced age of eighty-six years, leaving a 
great many descendants. His twenty-one children lived to become heads of 
families. His son, David C, is a prominent citizen, serving his countrymen as 
a member of the Board of Education. 

A. J. Stephenson 

son of Franklin Stephenson, formerly of Nicholas county, and grandson of 
Samuel Stephenson, came to Clay, county in 1863 and volunteered in Captain 
Stephenson's State company. He was made Clerk of the Court in 1865, and 
held the office for about thirty-five years. ■ He accumulated considerable 

Madison Stephenson 

came from Nicholas in an early day. He was the son of Johnson Stephenson. 
He was extensively engaged in stockraising. This entire family has taken a 
conspicuous part in the affairs of the county. 


Calhoun county was formed in 1856 from Gilmer. It contains 260 square 
miles, and was named for John C. Calhoun. Its county seat is Grantsville, 40 
miles from Sutton and 22 miles below Glenville on the Little Kanawha river. 
The first county seat was located at Brooksville at the mouth of Yellow creek 
and from there it was moved to Arnoldsburgh on the West Fork, and was after- 
ward removed to its present location. The county is rich in oil and gas deposits, 
and its lands are excellent for farming purposes. 

Colonel Dewees says in his sketches of Calhoun county, that after the death 
of his parents, he stayed with Daniel McCune's family. He gives* quite a little 
histoiy of two or three families that figured conspicuously in the wild regions 


of the West fork of the Little Kanawha. Daniel McCune then lived on what 
is now known as McCunes run which empties in the West Fork just below 
Arnoldsburg, Calhoun county. Daniel McCune was a son of the old original 
Peter McCune, an Irishman, who served as a soldier in the Revolutionary war, 
and married a daughter of Adam O'Brien, famous as a noted character on the 
frontier border prior to and during the Revolutionary war, and roamed over 
the then wilderness comprising the counties of Calhoun, Braxton, Gilmer, 
blazing the paths that were ultimately to lead the hardy pioneers who were 
to found homes in the wilderness of central and western West Virginia. Daniel 
McCune was along with Joseph Parsons, Alexander Turner and Jackson Cot- 
trell, convicted of the murder of Jonathan Nicholas, about the year of 1843, 
they being members of a clan that was organized by an element of pioneers who 
were early settlers on the West Fork waters, calling themselves the Hell-fired 
band, roving from place to place, living in camps and desiring the wilderness 
country of the West Fork for a paradise for hunters and those who desired, 
to live a roving life, discouraging improvement of every kind, such as clearing 
of land, making settlements, opening up roads, organizing churches and civili- 
zation in general. The foregoing parties were all sentenced to the penitentiary 
at Richmond, Virginia, for eighteen years each, all of whom died except Jack- 
son Cottrell who on the account of his being only about seventeen years old was 
pardoned after serving five years, leaving Daniel McCune in the penitentiary, 
the other two being dead; in fact, Alexander Turner dying on the road to the 
penitentiary, near the White Sulphur Springs, in Greenbrier county. Parsons 
died soon after going to the penitentiary, and McCune lived two or three years 
after Cottrell was pardoned. Jackson Cottrell was a son of Thomas Cottrell, 
whose father in turn was Thomas Cottrell, the old and original Cottrell of all 
the Cottrells of the West Fork and adjacent territory. iThomas Cottrell married 
a daughter of Adam O'Brien, and consequently was a brother-in-law of Peter 
McCune. Thomas Cottrell had sons, Thos., Andrew, Smith, William, John 
or Whig, and Silas, together with several daughters all of whom were the prop- 
agators of a large posterity, which, together with the O'Briens and. McCunes 
are widely disseminated over central West Virginia, an account of which is 
given on another page. 

Mr. Arbogast relates that while he was a member of Captain Stevenson's 
company that the County Seat of Clay county was called Marshall in honor of 
Marshall Triplett who was then in the South. He also relates that the late 
Felix Sutton, who being on his way to Wheeling as a member of the Legisla- 
ture, proposed that the County seat be called Henry, in honor of Patrick Henry, 
and that a vote of his company was taken and the name was changed from Mar- 
shall to that of Henry, in 1863. 

At an election held at the Walker voting place in Pleasant district, Clay 
county, in 1860, there were, Douglas, Bell, Brackenridge and Lincoln, and as 
the custom was at that day, each candidate had a bucket of whiskey at the poll- 
ing places. The platform of Douglas was that Slavery is Right, but that it 


should exist only where the majority of the people say. The platform of Lin- 
coln was that Slavery is wrong, but we have it under the law. and it should 
exist only where the majority of the people say it should. 

When George Arbogast stepped up to vote, James Wolter cried the vote 
and pulled his "specks" down and looked up and said, "George, there is no 
bucket here for Lincoln, but you drink out of my bucket, the platforms are so 
near alike, you may be right." 


The first white men who stood within the present limits of Gilmer county, 
were William Lowther, Jesse Hughes and Elias Hughes, the latter of whom was 
tthe last survivor of the battle of Point Pleasant, fought October 10, 1774. It 
was in tthe autumn of the year 1772, that these three daring adventurers, whose 
names are all illustrious in the annals of pioneer history, left the spot where 
Clarksburg now stands, and traveled up the West fork of the Monongahela 
river to the place where Weston, the county seat of Lewis county, now stands. 
From there, they crossed the dividing ridge, and journeyed down Sand creel", 
to its junction with the Little Kanawha river, upon the banks of which they 

Here was a beautiful mountain river, upon whose rapid current the eye 
of civilized man had never before rested, and amid the surrounding hills the 
sound of his voice had never befoi'e been heard. But they must follow its tor- 
tuous course — its windings like a silver thread — to its junction with some other 
mighty river, they knew not what. So the journey was continued down the 
river, and as they proceeded they bestowed the names upon its tributaiies 
which they have borne ever since. The first they reached, from its general 
course, they supposed was the one which they should have descended from the 
point near Weston, instead of Sand creek, it being a more direct route to the 
river which they were now exploring, and they christened it Leading creek. 
And the next stream was one, the banks of which were fringed with cedar, and 
Cedar creek was left behind ; then one flowed out from beneath lofty pines, and 
it was named Pine creek; then high yellow clay banks indicated the mouth of 
another, and Yellow creek was passed ; after this, a stream stretched away into 
the hills, a long line of its course being visible, and it was called Straight creek; 
then one flowed in from towards the setting sun, and it was West Fork. From 
another they drank of its cool, transparent waters, and it has ever since been 
known as Spring creek; then the descent continued a short distance, and upon 
the banks of the river, the course of which they were now traversing, was dis- 
covered no less a curiosity than a burning spring, and the creek which here 
discharged its waters was called Burning Spring creek. 



A New County. 

Until the year 1845, what is now Gilmer county, continued to be parts of 
the counties of Lewis and Kanawha ; hut in that year the Legislature on the 
3rd day of February, 1845, passed a bill entitled "An act establishing the 
county of Gilmer out of parts of the counties of Lewis and Kanawha." 

By the first section of that bill, the boundaries of the new county were de- 
fined to be as follows : ' ' Beginning at the corner of Braxton county line, situ- 
ated at the left-hand ford of Three Lick fork on Oil creek; thence a straight 
line to the fork of the road on Leading creek, between Robert Benson's and 
Aai'on Schoolcraft's; thence with the Ritchie, Wood and Jackson county lines, 
to a point thence such lines as will embrace all the waters of the said "West 
fork of the Little Kanawha river to Braxton county to the beginning; the 
enclosed area to form one distinct and new county, and to be called and known 
by the name of Gilmer county." 

The fourth section provided for the location of the seat of Justice. 

Section fifth, provided for the holding of the first County Court, as follows: 
"The Justices of the Peace, commissioned and qualified for the said county of 
Gilmer, shall meet at the house now the residence of Salathiel G. Stalnaker, 
in the town of DeKalb, on the fourth Monday in March next." 

First County Court. 

- 'A, m:ii u.;ii; -m ?! 

In compliance with the above section, the first County Court ever held in 
Gilmer county, convened at the residence of Salathiel G. Stalnaker, on the 
24th day of March, 1845. The following Justices, each holding commissions 
from his Excellency, the Governor of the Commonwealth, composed the Court, 
viz: Benjamin Riddle, Michael Stump, Beniah Maze, Barnabas Cook, Samuel 
L. Hays, Alexander Huffman, Salathiel Stalnaker, ' Currence B. Conrad, Wil- 
liam Bennett, Philip Cox, Jr., Robert A. Benson, Joseph Knotts, John F. W. 
Holt, James N. Norman and William Arnold. 

Jonathan M. Bennett, was appointed by the court as Prosecuting Attorney 
for the County. 

Michael Stump was appointed surveyor for the County. 

Salathiel G. Stalnaker was appointed as Commissioner of the Revenue. 

Joseph Knotts and Benjamin Hardman were granted license to celibrate 
the rights of matrimony. 

James M. Camp was appointed Clerk, protem. 

Glenville, the County Seat. 

Is situated on the north bank of the Little Kanawha river, 27 miles south- 
west of Weston and 125 miles from Parkersburg. It was laid out by S. L. 
Hays on lands belonging to William H. Ball, in the year 1845, and made the 


county seat the same year. It was named by Colonel 0. B. Conrad, the name 
being suggested by the glen or valley in which it is situated. The place had 
before that date been known as ' ' The Ford, ' ' for the reason that the old State 
road leading from Weston to Charleston here crossed the Little Kanawha. 
The first merchant was Jesse Miller. The town was incorporated by act of the 
legislature in 1871. There are at present four general mercantile stores, one 
book store, two drug stores, two newspaper offices (Gilmerite and Crescent), 
two blacksmith shops, one wagon shop, one barber shop, one flouring mill, one 
saw mill, two churches, one public school, one normal school, two hotels, and a 
population in 1910 of 500. 

The Glenville Normal School. 

The State normal school at Glenville was established by an act of the legis- 
lature, passed on the 19th day of February, 3872, and was opened for the ad- 
mission of students on the 14th day of January, 1873. The building, donated 
by the citizens of the town, to the State, is fitted up with the best modem school 
furniture, and stands on a three acre lot which has been improved and beauti- 
fied by the State. The site of the school is an excellent one in all respects. Al- 
though within the corporate limits of Glenville, it is on an eminence outside 
of the town, where it readily receives the pure air and bright sunshine of this 
notably healthful climate. 


The movement for the formation of a new county out of parts of Nicholas. 
Braxton and Randolph began in 1848. In compliance with the law of Virginia, 
a notice was posted on the front door of the court house of the three counties 
concerned, stating the intention of the citizens to ask the General Assembly for 
the creation of a new county. Thomas Miller took the notice to Braxton county 
and Adonijah Harris posted the notice in Nicholas. 

The act creating Webster county provided that: 

The court bouse or seat of justice of said county of Webster shall be located 
on the farm of Addison McLaughlin at the Fork Lick on the Elk river, between 
the said river and the Back fork of same; Avhich said seat of justice shall be 
known by the name of Addison. 

The following persons, to-wit, Samuel Given, Thomas Cogar, William Given, 
and Thomas Reynolds shall be and are hereby appointed commissioners, a ma- 
jority of whom may act, for the purpose of selecting a site for a court house, 
jail and other public buildings for said county of Webster, who are hereby re- 
quired to meet at Fork Lick on the first day of March, 1860. 

The following county officers were elected on the fourth Thursday in May, 
I860: Sheriff, Walter Cool of Holly district; clerk of the County Court, and 
also clerk of the Circuit Court, Albert J. Baughman of Glade district; commis- 
sioner of revenue, Thomas Cogar of Fork Tack district, and attorney for the 
Commonwealth, David Lilly of Randolph county. The following Justices of 


the Peace were elected: Fork Lick district, William 6. Gregory, Adam G. 
Hamric, Ezra B. Clifton and David Baughman; Glade district, Edward Morton, 
Arthur Hickman, Thomas M. Reynolds and Enos Weese; Holly district, Wil- 
liam H. Mollohan, A. G. J. Burns, Christopher C. Cogar and Ezra Clifton. 
Thomas M. Reynolds was elected presiding justice of the county court by the 
other justices at their first meeting. 

The first Court House was destroyed by fire on the seventeenth day of 
June, 1888. The board of supervisors employed Patrick Carr to build a jail. 

All governmental functions were suspended during the four years of the 
Civil war. Neither taxes were collected nor courts held. 

But one election was held in Webster county within the Civil war period, 
and but one officer was elected. Moreover, polls were opened at but one pre- 
cinct. William Gregory, at that time, lived at the mouth of Leathemvood, and 
the election was held in his residence in 1863. 

At this election Benoni Griffin was elected a member of the house of dele- 
gates for the fourth delegate district, composed of the comities of Webster 
and. Pocahontas. But few citizens, besides a number of Federal soldiers, cast 
their votes. Many of the voters did not know that an election was being held. 
The following persons voted: William G. Hamric, William McAvoy, Addison 
Fisher, James Green, James M. Cogar, Addison Dodrill, Benjamin Hamric, 
William G. Gregory and James Wooddell. 

The second general election held in the county of Webster occurred on the 
fourth Thursday of October, 1865. 

The following county officers were elected: Sheriff, William G. Gregory; 
Prosecuting Attorney, David Lilly; Surveyor of Lands, Bernard Mollohan, 
Recorder, Joseph Dodrill; Assessor, Arthur Hamric; Clerk of Circuit Court, 
Isaac Mynes. Lilly and Mynes could not prove their loyalty to the Union from 
1861 to 1865, therefore they were ineligible. Robert Irwine, Judge of the Cir- 
cuit Court, appointed Robert G. Putman to fill the place of Lilly, and Adam 
Gregory that of Mynes. 

The following were elected as Supervisor for each of the three townships : 
Fork Lick, James Hamric; Glade, Thomas Reynolds; Holly, John E. Hall. 
Reynolds was elected president of the Board of Supervisors at their first meeting. 

Isaac Gregory. 

One of the very prominent and early settlers in Webster county was Col. 
Isaac Gregory, who built a two story log house just above the mouth of Beaver 
run on a hill overlooking Gauley in the year 1800. A large crowd of people 
came from Bath and Greenbrier counties to the hanging of the crane, and at 
that time it is said the first meeting of Free Masons in central West Virginia 
was held in the house. Col. Gregory becoming dissatisfied with his location 
moved to Elk river five miles above Webster Springs. He raised a company of 
soldiers in 1813 to fight the British. He reared a large family of children. 

90 sutton's histo b y. 

William Hamric. 
Wm. Hamric, a son-in-law of Col. Gregory, lived on Elk river. He was 
a noted hunter and kept a well trained pack of dogs, and it is related that he 
sometimes killed as high as lifty bears and one hundred deer in one season. 

William Doddrill. 

Wm. Doddrill settled on Birch river near Boggs in 1799; he came from 
Greenbrier county and was a tailor by trade. The Hamrick and Doddrills 
raised large families that scattered over Webster county and other portions of 
the country. 

Some of the early and most prominent pioneer families of Webster County 
are the Hamricks, the Doddrills, the Gregorys, the Arthurs, Cogars, Givins, 
Cools and others, who bore the hardships of pioneer life, raised large families, 
and established churches and schools. Men and women of character, who set 
an example to a generation of noblemen, who were to follow in their footsteps 
and impart to their country and state a name that is as firmly established as 
the lofty lulls upon which they dwell. 


Nicholas county was fomied in 1818 from Kanawha, Randolph and Green- 
brier counties and has 720 square miles. Summersville, the county seat, has 
a population of about 350; real estate assessed at $92,335 and personal pi'operty 
assessed at $148,140. Its altitude is 1894 feet, and is beautifully situated on 
two small water courses which empty into Peters creek and Muddlety creek. It 
is surrounded by a beautiful flat country and on many of the streams are wide 
bottom lands. The town has one newspaper called the Nicholas Chronicle, edited 
by A. L. Stewart; two Methodist churches, one Baptist, one Presbyterian and 
one Catholic ; has fine county buildings, one very fine bank building made of 
native stone, and some very elegant private residences. The distance from Sut- 
ton is 36 miles, from Gauley Bridge 31 miles and from Charleston 75 miles. 

Standing in the public lot is a handsome monument erected by George A. 
Alderson in memory of the Morris children, killed on Peters creek in May, 
1792, Betsy 14, Peggy 12, daughters of Henry Morris. The Monument is dedi- 
cated to the pioneers of Nicholas county. 

Some of the early settlers of the county are the McCues, the Hutchinsons, 
Raders, McClungs and Hamiltons. One of the very early settlers of the terri- 
tory now embraced in Nicholas county was Benjamin Lemasters, born in 1751, 
died in 1837. He was a Revolutionary soldier and his wife, Rebecca Martin 
Lemasters, was born in 1759 and died in 1844; they were married in 1778 or 
'79. and lived together for 59 years. Their children were Jennie, who married 
Charles Boggs, Polly, married James Boggs, Nancy, married John Boggs, Cath- 
erine, married David Given, Agnus, married Frame; Betsy, married 


James Robinson, Charity, married John Stephenson, Kasiah, married Abraham 
Campbell. Rebecca, married Joseph Rader. Thus we see this large family of 
girls married into prominent and respectable families. They reared large fam- 
ilies from whom are many descendants of prominence. 

Richwood, a large lumber center, is situated on Cherry river, 65 miles 
from Sutton and at the terminus of the B. & 0. railroad in Nicholas county. It 
has a population of about 5,000. Besides large, lumber plants, there is a pulp 
and paper mill, one of the largest taneries in the world, a clothes pin and tray 
factory, extract plant, and other industries. Richwood's total wealth is about 

Curtin is situated at the mouth of Cherry river on Gauley river, 55 miles 
from Sutton, on the B. & O. railroad. Lumber is the chief industry, one of the 
large plants of the Pardee & Curtin Lumber Company being located there. 
General G. W. Curtin established the town, which has a population of about 
400, and an assessed valuation of $800,000. Hominy Mills, another large plant 
of the Pardee & Curtin Lumber Company, is situated on Hominy creek at 
the mouth of Grassy creek, about 60 miles distant from Sutton. The popula- 
tion is about 300. 

Tioga, on the head of Strouds creek, with a population of 300, is another 
one of the large manufacturing centers of the county. 

Powell's Mountain. 

Powell's Mountain, situated in Nicholas comity, is one of the greatest ele- 
vations in the central part of the state. It is the source and fountain of several 
water courses, the Big Birch river, Powell's creek, Strange creek, Buffalo, 
Muddlety, Beaver. Glade creek, McMillan's creek, Antiny, Poplar and other 
smaller streams have their sources at the base of this mountain. It is about 
nine miles across the mountain by way of the Weston & Gauley Turnpike which 
crosses near its summit. 

Powell's Mountain is 2,552 feet above sea level at its highest point on the 
pike, but its greatest elevation is 3,015 feet between Beaver and Stroud's creek, 
and from one of its elevated peaks, it is said the valley of the Ohio can be ob- 
served, sixty miles in the distance. 

The general quality of the land on Powell's Mountain is thin on the Birch 
and Powell's creek side. There is very little first-class farming land on its 
tributaries, but on the streams flowing from the southwest side of the mountain, 
there is some fine land. 

Underlying this great mountain and along its water courses on either side, 
is a wonderful deposit of coal, and was once covered with a magnificent forest 
of timber. Near the summit of this mountain, Henry Young, a southern soldier, 
was approaching the Turnpike from a path leading up the mountain, and as 
he stepped out into the open space in the road, he came in full view of a. regi- 
ment of Federal soldiers coming up the pike. Young refused to surrender or 
save himself by flight; undaunted even in the presence of an entire regiment. 


he stood his ground until he fell. Some years since, his friends assembled at 
the lonely grave on the mountain near where he fell, and erected a monument 
to mark the resting place of this daring citizen. 


Settled in 1780. 

In 1816, while John McWhorter and E. B. Jackson were Representatives of 
Harrison County, an Act was passed creating a new county, the boundary as 
follows : 

Beginning at the head of the left hand fork of Jerry's Run, thence a 
straight line to Kinchelo Creek; thence up said creek to the dividing ridge; 
thence a west course to the Wood County line, to include all of the west part 
of Harrison, to the mouth of the Buckhamion River ; thence up straight line to 
the beginning. 

This county was named in honor of Col. Charles Lewis. At the time of its 
formation it included 1754 square miles, but has been reduced to 400 square 
miles. The Act directed that the first, court should be held at Westfield, and 
named the following Committee to locate a County Seat: Edward Jackson, 
Elias Lowther, John McCoy, Lewis Maxwell and Daniel Stringer. 

The first Court, held March 10th, 1817, the Rev. Henry Camden, Elijah 
Newlon. James Keith, Samuel Jones, Jacob Lorentz, Payton Byrne, George 
Bozarth, John Hardman, Abner Abbott, Wm. Peterson, Wm. Simms, Wm. 
Hacker, John Mitchell, John Jackson, Daniel Stringer, John Bozorth, Wm. 
Powers, John Hacker, Thomas Cunningham, and Philip Regar, each a Justice, 
met at Westfield and resolved themselves into the first Court of Lewis. 

The first lawyers admitted to the Bar were Samuel E. Davison, George 
I. Davison, James McCauley, Jonathan Jackson, (father of Stonewall) and 
James Pindell. 

Wm. Martin and Thos. I. Hacker were appointed Deputy Sheriffs and 
George Bush Surveyor. Robert W. Collins was appointed Deputy Clerk. 

Westfield is located on the West Fork River, about five miles below Weston. 
The next Court was held in April, at the home of a Mrs. Newlon. It was then 
ordered that on the farm of Henry Flesh er was the most suitable place for the 
Court. This farm was near the mouth of Stone Coal, east side of the river. It 
was ordered that the next court should be held there, and be called Preston. 

The first road order was from Elk River by way of Nathan Prince's by 
Salt Works to Col. Haymond's mill; viewers, Nicholas Gibson, John Hills and 
Jacob McMahan. The Court of December 8, 1819, ordered that Lucy, a slave 
belonging to Thomas H. Batton. who had been sentenced to be hung for murder 
of a child on the 14th day of February, at the town of Fleshersville, between 
the hours of 12 and 4 o'clock. 

Of the first Court house, little is known. Order April 11, 1820, for Court 


house, at Weston, to be built of brick, and has since been the seat of justice of 
a flourishing town of great wealth, and an able citizenship. 22 miles from 
Clarksburg, and 43 miles from Sutton. 

Weston is one of the richest inland towns in the state. It is situated in 
the valley of the West Fork river, and surrounded by a fine mineral and agri- 
cultural country. The West Virginia Hospital for the Insane, one of the finest 
public institutions in the state is located there, and the B. & 0. railroad shops 
for the Richwood and Piekins division contribute largely to the business inter- 
ests of the town. Weston has long been noted for her prominent citizens and 
business men. Albert A. Lewis, Mathew Edmiston, Draper Camden, Jackson 
Arnold, John and Henry Brannon. J. M. Bennett, and Minter Bailey are 
among the many prominent citizens who gave character and impress to the. 
town. Judge Henry Brannon, for many years a member .of the Supreme Court 
of the State, was perhaps her greatest jurist. 


Settled in 1767. 

The first effort by petition to establish a new county was made in 1S48. 
A vote being taken at the regular spring election of 1848. A large majority o£ 
the voters were in favor of the new county of Upshur, which was to be formed 
out of parts of Lewis, Randolph and Barbour counties. It was not until 1851 
that the new county was organized. The county was named in honor of Abel 
P. Upshur, who was Secretary of the Navy in the Administration of President 
William Henry Harrison. 

The Governor of Virginia commissioned the following gentlemen as justices 
of the peace for the new county: Adam Spitler, Simon Rohrbough. George 
Bastable, James T. Hardman, Jacob Lorentz, Daniel Bennet. K. Hopkins, 
George Clark, and John W. Marple. The first magisterial court met at the 
house of Andrew Poundstone in April, 1851. John Reger was recommended to 
the Governor as a suitable person for sheriff, and Stewart Bennet was nomi- 
nated as Commissioner of the Revenue. The first circuit court was held at the 
residence of Andrew Poundstone on the 17th day of June, 1851. 

The town of Buckhannon was made the county seat and the new county 
started off with all the functions of a well organized county. Buckhannon is 
now a town of about 4,000 inhabitants. For many years it has been recognized 
as a school town, and more recently the West Virginia Wesleyan College has 
been established there. The town is beautifully located on the Buckhannon 
river. Its railroad facilities are a branch of the B. & 0. running from Weston 
to Piekins, and the Coal & Coke from Elkins to Charleston going near the 
town, with a branch road running to the town. Buckhannon is 16 miles from 
Weston, 38 miles from Clarksburg and 46 miles from Sutton. 



Following is a very interesting letter written by Harrison Kelley, now in his 
ninety-third year: 

Mabie, West Virginia, Oct. 1,*1909. 

I notice a letter in the Barbour Democrat of Thursday, September 2, 1900, 
from N. Poling, Phillipsburg, Kansas, wondering whether there were any be- 
sides himself living who w 7 as employed on the Philippi bridge in 1852. ■ I was 
employed on the Philippi bridge in its construction from, start to finish, and 
was one of the following workmen: 

Lemuel Chenoweth, architect, builder and contractor, Jacob Sargeant, 
Christian Capito, John Capito, Carr McCutcheon, John S. Chenoweth, Wm. 
Marstiller, David Boyles and Harrison Kelley, carpenters. 

I was employed by Mr. Chenoweth for fourteen years in the building of 
bridges on the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike. Within that time we built 
the following bridges: Stalnaker bridge, two miles above Beverly; the Beverly 
bridge; Middlefork bridge; Buckhannon bridge; Stone Coal bridge; Weston 
bridge; Polk creek bridge; South Pork Hughes river bridge; North Fork 
Hughes river bridge. I built the Jane Lew bridge and the Salt Lick bridge 
over the Salt Lick Fork of the Little Kanawha, in Braxton county, myself. 
I also repaired the bridge over the Cheat river on the Staunton and Parkers- 
burg pike. The Cheat river bridge was built by Captain Kidwell. The above 
bridges w r ere all covered structures. 

I also helped to build open bridges over the following creeks and rivers : 
Leading creek, Randolph county; Files creek at Beverly; Mill creek, Huttons- 
ville; the Bull Pasture liver, Highland county. Va. ; Ramsey's draft, Augusta 
county. Va. ; and Walker 's creek, Wood county. Nearly all these useful struc- 
tures went down in the Civil war, and have been replaced by steel ones. 

I am a citizen of Mabie, Randolph county, West Virginia, and reside on 
the north side of the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike, hard by the viaduct 
of the Roaring Creek and Charleston railroad. I recollect Mr. Poling very 
well, and together with my wife and five sons, hasten to send him and family 
our best regards. 

I was born on the 12th of September, 1822, on Kelly's Mountain, near Bev- 
erly, Randolph county. My exact age is 87 years, and 19 days today. 

Very respectfully yours, 


The bridge over Little Kanawha and Salt Lick, are in a good state of pres- 
ervation, they withstood the movements of troops during the Civil war and the 
great floods, that have occurred since their construction. — Editor. 

The foregoing is copied from the Barbour Democrat of October, 1909, and 
A. W. Corley of our town tells us he knew many of those people when he was 
a boy; that he often saw Lemuel Chenoweth who was known as the "Bridge 
Builder of West Virginia;" that Chenoweth has often been here; that Benj. 
Skidmorc was his uncle, and his grandfather, Andrew Skidmore, is buried in 


the Skidmore graveyard in South Sutton; that John S. Chenoweth was also a 
grandson of Andrew Skidmore and has been here ; that Mr. Coiiey has seen and 
crossed many of the bridges referred to, and is well acquainted with Harrison 
Kelley; that he was at Mr. Kelley's house this Fall; that he is now in his 
ninety-third year, is well preserved and intelligent, and very interesting to talk 
with. He claims to be the oldest Free Mason in this state. His memory is 
clear on the historical events of this county, and in conversation could interest 
and entertain a person exceptionally for a day or two. He is the survivor of q 
family of eighteen. 

When the Weston & Gauley Bridge Turnpike was being constructed in 
1851-1852, the only recollection we have of the road-making, was watching a 
large fleshy Irishman digging a ditch in Father's meadow, leading from the 
culvert under the pike to the creek. Wm. Haymond was the engineer, and we 
had his field notes until they were destroyed in the fire which destroyed the old 
homestead in 1897. Felix Sutton was the superintendent, and as we remember, 
spent much of his time on the road from Weston to Gauley Bridge. 

Singleton Anawalt had a five-mile section near Kanawha and Salt Lick 
Bridge. John Stout had section from Flatwoods to Sutton. Jesse Jackson had 
section south of the Elk. The abutments of bridge were built in the Fall oi 
1853, and the span was completed the following summer. The road was mac- 
adamized in the Fall of 1853, extending from near Benjamin Skidmore 's to 
near the lime kiln, distance one mile. The contract was let to Anawalt parties 
working on the road, Henry Perrine, Wm. B. Davis, Jack Skidmore, Simon and 
George Dean, Peter Coger, Henry MeKisic and Peter McAnnia. 

The first explorers west of the mountains came on foot and carried all their 
effects on their backs, following the trails made by wild animals and the Indians. 

As the settlements increased, pack horses were used and all the early set- 
tlers brought their belongings in this way. 

Long before the permanent occupation of the county, traders with a string 
of horses loaded with goods crossed the mountains in Pennsylvania to trade 
with the Indians in the Ohio Valley. 

The first mention of vehicles crossing the mountains was in General Brad- 
dock's disastrous expedition against the French at Fort Duquesne (Pittsburg) 
in 1775. Upon this occasion a large number of wagons carrying supplies and 
ammunition accompanied the army, and a fairly good road was cut out through 
the forest from Fort Cumberland to the Monongahela river. 

The General Assembly in 1776 appointed commissioners "to view, lay out 
and direct a road to be cleared from the North branch of the Potomac to Fort 
Pitt on the Ohio, by or near the road called Braddock's road, in the most direct 
and cheapest manner the said commissioners think fit," and two hundred 
pounds were appropriated for that purpose. 

Over the Braddock road most of the early pioneers traveled to Western 
Pennsylvania and Virginia. 


Some time later, the Assembly authorized the construction of a road called 
the State road from Winchester by way of Romiiey to Morgantown. 

The Assembly in October, 1786, appointed a commission consisting of Wil- 
liam Haymond, Nicholas Carpenter, Hezekiah Davisson, Thomas Webb, John 
Powers and Daniel Davisson, of Harrison county, to lay out and open a wagon 
road from some point on the State road as deemed best by them to the mouth 
of the Little Kanawha river, now Parkersburg. 

The work was to be let to the lowest bidder, the road to be thirty feet wide, 
the commissioners to receive five shillings a day (83 1-3 cents), and the ex- 
penses to be borne by Harrison county. 

This road was the first made from Claifeburg east to some point at or near 
the Cheat river, where it is supposed to have joined the State road. 

The work west from Clarksburg must have been very deliberately con- 
ducted, as from the report of a traveller as late as 1798 it appears that there 
was nothing but a blazed way through the woods on this end of the road at that 

Another traveler in going east from Clarksburg in 1790, speaks of a wagon 
road near the Cheat river. 

Another one says he left Alexandria with wagons June 30 and arrived at 
Morgantown July 18, 1796. 

The celebrated National road, which practically followed the Braddock 
route, was the work of the National Government. It went by Cumberland, 
Uniontown and Wheeling, and was completed in 1820. 

The original intention was to extend it to the Mississippi river, but the 
era of railroads prevented this being carried out. 

This road was the most traveled thoroughfare in this country, being the 
great commercial artery from the west to the east. Taverns were strung all 
along the road and from Wheeling east to the mountains droves of cattle, horses, 
hogs, sheep, wagons, carriages and stage coaches were always in sight. 

Rut the shriek of the locomotive caused the taverns to close their doors, 
and the grass to grow on the path which the great procession had trod for years. 

The National road cost the government seventeen hundred thousand dol- 
lars, and was fourteen years in process of construction. 

The North Western Turnpike. 

[n 1827 a charter was granted to the Northwestern Turnpike Company 
to construct a turnpike road from Winchester to Parkersburg by way of Rom- 
ney and Clarksburg, the State being a large stockholder. 

In 1831 the State practically assumed charge of the construction of the 
road which reached Clarksburg in 1836, and where it passed through the town 
is still known as Pike street. 

The chief engineer of the road was Colonel Claudius Crozet, a French en- 
gineer, who was said to have been a soldier in the wars of Napoleon. Ho was 
assisted by Charles B. Shaw. 


Iii 1848 the State appropriated $60,000 for macadamizing the road from 
the Valley river to Parker sburg. 

The distance from Winchester to Parkersburg is given as 236% miles, 
of which 8% miles was in Maryland. The cost of construction was given at 

The building of this road was looked forward to with the highest antic- 
ipation by the people living along its course, as it gave them a much better out- 
let to the east than they had ever had before. 

Stage lines were put on, tavern stands opened, mails were carried and con- 
nections made at Parkersburg with steamboats. 

The first coaches or public conveyances in Harrison county ran from 
Clarksburg to the National road at Uiiioiitown about 1830. 

The Clarksburg merchants rode on horseback to Baltimore, generally mak- 
ing the trip in six days. 

Wagons hauling 4000 pounds of goods were about fifteen days on the road 
from Baltimore; the bills of lading allowed twenty days for the trip. The 
round trip from Clarksburg to Baltimore was considered to be thirty days. 
Freight rates were from 2y 2 to 3 cents per pound. 

Live stock was driven east at an ea.rly day as they furnished their own 

The drivers of these freight wagons would often have a number of bells 
attached to the harness, and took pride in making a good appearance and pre- 
sented an interesting sight. 

The driver of a stage coach was an important personage along the road, 
and the arrival of a coach at a town always caused a crowd to assemble to view 
the passengers and hear the. news. 

Long after the stage coach had given way to the locomotive old drivers used 
to boast of their crack teams, and how they had driven Andrew Jackson, Henry 
Clay, Thomas H. Benton and General Zachary Taylor and other celebrities 
safely on their way to Washington, over the National road. 

An act of incorporation was granted to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 
Company by Maryland February 28. 1827, which was confirmed by Virginia 
March 8, 1827, and by Pennsylvania February 22, 1S28. 

The road was opened to Ellieott's Mills and the first locomotive ran on it 
August 30, 1830. 

Frederick was reached December 1. 1831, Harpers Ferry, December 1, 
1834, Cumberland November 5, 1842, Piedmont June 21, 1851, Fairmont June 
22, 1852, and Wheeling December 24, 1852, a distance of 379 miles. 

The work of constructing the Parkersburg branch from Grafton was com- 
menced in August, 1852. at Brandy Gap Tunnel, Thomas S. Spates being the 
contractor, and same was completed in January, 1857. 

The first locomotive reached Clarksburg in July, 1856, from Grafton. As 
the construction of the railroad progressed west from Baltimore, freight and 
passengers were hauled from the terminus of the road to Clarksburg, Fetter- 
man being .the last station hauled from, beginning in 1852 and ending in 1856. 


The Kanawha turnpike was an incentive to the opening of several later 
lines. By 1827 there was a post road from Gauley Bridge to Nicholas county. 
In 1838, the Charleston and Point Pleasant turnpike was built. About 1848 
the Giles, Fayette and Kanawha turnpike (begun in 1838) was completed, start- 
ing at Pearisburg and passing through Peterstown, Red Sulphur Springs and 
the present site of Beekley, Mt. Hope, Oak Hill and Fayetteville, joining the 
Kanawha turnpike at Kanawha Palls. About 1850 a "state road" was con- 
structed from Logan through Boone to Cbarleston, and over it passed much 
traffic which declined after the completion of the Norfolk and Western in 1891. 
About 1850, a turnpike (begun in 1848) was constructed from Gauley Bridge 
via Summersville, Sutton, Platwoods and Bulltown to Weston, at which it 
connected with another road leading to the Northwestern turnpike at West 

One of the first roads leading into the territory now embraced in Braxton 
was a road ordered by the county court of Randolph county in the year 1793. 
This was a road from Beverly to the Carpenter settlement on the Elk river. 
This road evidently came by way of the Hackers creek settlement, the forts on 
the West Fork, Bulltown and followed the buffalo trail by way of Salt Lick 
Bridge, and either up Salt Lick and some of its tributaries heading toward the 
Elk or by way of O'Briens fork and Granny's creek to the Elk river, and up 
the Elk to the Carpenter settlement. 


On March 15, 1849, an act passed by the Virginia Assembly authorizing 
the opening of books for receiving subscriptions to an amount not exceeding 
twelve thousand dollars, in shares of twenty-live dollars each, looking to the 
incorporation of The Buckhannon and Little Kanawha Turnpike Company, 
who shall construct a turnpike road from Buckhannon, by way of Haymonds 
Mills, in Braxton county, to some convenient point in said county to intersect 
the road from Weston to Sutton. 

D. S. Haselden, George Bastable, A. R. Ireland, James Mullins and C. G. 
Miller of Buckhannon; Samuel T. Talbot, David Bennett, Samuel Wilson, 
Ezra Morgan and A. B. See of French Creek ; F. Berry, W. P. Haymond, and 
C. L. Hurley of Haymonds Mills were appointed to superintend at their re- 
spective places the reception of the subscription. 

The state subscribed three-fifths of the capital stock which was to be paid 
parapassu as the individual subscriptions were paid. The road was not to be 
less than fifteen feet wide and constructed on a grade not to exceed four degrees, 

The act also provided that three-fourths of -the two-fifths had to be sub- 
scribed by individuals before the company could be formed. This road was 
built during the 50 's. 



The act authorizing the formation of a'joint stock company to construct 
this turnpike road was passed March 8, 184.8. 

The books were opened at Clarksburg and Buckhannon. The necessary 
two-fifths of the capital stock was subscribed by private citizens in these two 
town's' and along the proposed nrate. The road was built on the same grade 
and with the same width as all the turnpike roads in the state of Virginia. 


In 18-.., the Virginia Assembly passed an act authorizing a committee of 
citizens of Staunton and Parkersburg, Virginia, the two termini of the pro- 
spected road to open up books of subscription to private citizens. The state 
promised to subscribe three-fifths of the capital stock for the construction of 
this turnpike. 

The road was begun and constructed out of Staunton, Virginia, eastward 
along the most feasible and practicable route suggested by the board of super- 
vision elected by the stockholders of this turnpike company. 

As it proceeded westward, the company deemed it advisable to open its 
books in order that the citizens of any town or county might be permitted to 
bid and subscribe its bids in capital stock for the construction of the road 
through the county and town. 

Pursuant to this policy of the company, on November 15, 1840, there was 
signed on condition that the road pass through both Beverly and Buckhannon, 
and that the money subscribed be expended in making the road between these 
two towns. This subscription was an inducement to bring the road to Buck- 
hannon. It was completed in the year 1847, and previously was constructed 
from Buckhannon to Weston. 


The act opening the subscription books for the formation of the Philippi 
and Buckhannon Turnpike Company was passed March 7, 1849. 

The capital stock was limited to ten thousand dollars, three-fifths of which 
was subscribed by the board of public works of Virginia and two-fifths by the 
citizens of Philippi and Buckhannon, and other citizens along the proposed 

The same act named Laird D. Morrall, Edwin D. Wilson, Charles S. Hall, 
Isaac Strickler, Elam D. Talbot of Philippi and D. S. Haselden, Mifflin Lorentz, 
James Miller, George Bastable and George W. Miller of Buckhannon, a commit- 
tee to solicit and receive subscriptions from private individuals. 

The turnpike was not to be less than fifteen feet wide, and was to be built 
on a grade not to exceed four degrees. This road was completed in the early 
50 's. 



Postal service, established in the colony of Virginia as early as 1692, was 
first extended to the trans-Allegheny territory of Western Virginia in 1794 by 
the creation of post offices at Morgantown and Wheeling. 

The first later official reference to improved mail routes in what is now 
West Virginia occurs in a report on the "finest" route in the country, from 
New York to Cincinnati. Railroad service extended to Cumberland, Md., 
thence to Wheeling by four-horse coach daily, at a "running speed" of seven 
miles an hour. Troubles seemed to center at Wheeling. The Postmaster-Gen- 
eral complained that "this important mail was always detained at the ferry of 
the Ohio River some ten or twelve hours, ' ' because ' ' the proprietor of the f erry 
could not be induced to encounter the danger of crossing the mail stages in 
the night. ' ' He regrets that ' ' the General Government, while expending much 
money in constructing the Cumberland road east and west of the Ohio, omitted 
to construct a bridge over that stream." 

There was a controversy Avith Virginia as to tolls at the toll-gate east from 
Wheeling. The General Government had ceded the National road to the states 
tthrough which it passed, reserving the right to alter the conditions of the 
cession at will regardless of Congress. The cession appears to have been 
made in 1832 and in 1836 Virginia receded and proceeded to charge toll. 
The toll for each mail coach was eighty-eight cents and the contractor refused 
to pay. Mail from the east, when stopped, returned to Triadelphia and re- 
mained there until the Wheeling postmaster supplied the necessary cash. There 
was much correspondence, but the records fail to disclose how the matter was 

It may be interesting to note that the "running time" from New York 
to Wheeling in 1835, was 83 hours ; in 1837, 67 hours ; in 1885, 18 hours and 15 
minutes, and in 1913. 17 hours and 45 minutes. 

The first Post-Office Directory obtainable was included in the report of 
the Postmaster-General for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1841. At that time 
there were 206 post-offices within the limits of the present State of West Vir- 
ginia, embraced in 28 counties, as follows : 

Berkeley, 7 ; Braxton, 4 ; Brooke, 4 : Greenbrier, 10 ; Hampshire, 16 ; Hardy, 
6; Harrison, 14; Jefferson, 7; Kanawha, 13; Logan, 4; Marshall, 6; Mason, 5; 
Nicholas, 3; Ohio, 3; Pendleton, 7; Pocahontas, 5; Preston, 5; Randolph, 6; 
Tyler, 7; Wood, 13. 

Hampshire headed the list with 16 officers, while Mercer had but one, 
Princeton, the county seat. Jefferson paid her post-masters $1,584.96, and af- 
forded $3,818.49 revenue to the Department. Ohio comity came next paying 
postmasters $2,162.49, leaving but $2,589.30 "net proceeds." The salary of the 
postmaster at Wheeling was $2,000. 

The Postal Guide for 1912 reports 2,117 post-offices in the State, two- 
thirds of which have money-order facilities. About 600 offices have been dis- 
continued by rural delivery. Post-offices of the first class arc Bluefield, Charles- 


ton, Clarksburg, Fairmont, Huntington, Parkersburg and Wheeling. Those 
of the second class are Buckhannon. Charles Town, Elkins, Grafton, Hinton, 
Keyser, Mannington, Martinsburg, Morgantown, Moundsville, New Martins- 
ville, Piedmont, llichwood, Sistersville, Welch, Wellsburg, Weston and Wil- 
liamson. There are 76 third-class offices, in all, 101 Presidential post-offices in 
the State. Postal development during the past fifteen years has been phenom- 
enal. West Virginia has kept pace with her most progressive sisters and has 
distanced many of them in the race. 


To West Virginia belongs the honor of being the State selected for the 
first experiment in rural free delivery. . The first rural service in the United 
States was installed at Charles Town, Jefferson County, October 6, 1896. Hon. 
William L. Wilson was Postmaster-General, the only West Virginian to hold 
that position. A. W. Machen, the Superintendent of Free Delivery was in- 
trusted with the task of installing the service. The matter had been passed 
over for two years by Mr. Wilson's predecessor, and it can truthfully be said 
that he was not favorably inclined, fearing the cost. Supt. Machen detailed 
his chief clerk and instructed him to proceed to Jeffei*son county and arrange 
the service, as a compliment to Mr. AVilson. The recommendation was for three 
routes at Charles Town, one at Halltown, and one at Uvilla. Carrier Gibson, 
Route No. 1, Charles Town, is still in the service and is Carrier No. 1, United 
States of America. Salaries of carriers were fixed at $200 the year. Service 
was crude but highly appreciated by the people. 


According to J. H. DisDebar, who visited Clarksburg in 1846, the citizens 
were "a somewhat exclusive conservative set with all the traditions and social 
prejudices pertaining to an ancient moss-grown aristocratic town" with pre- 
tentions "by common consent founded upon antiquity of pedigree and superior 
culture and manners." 

In 1845, the town had a population of 1100, seven stores, two newspaper 
offices, two churches and two academies, and the county had an estimated min- 
eral wealth which was already regarded as an element of prosperity. 

Connection with the National road by a line of coaches or stages was estab- 
lished about 1830, enabling merchants to reach Baltimore by horseback in six 
days, although their loaded wagons required fifteen days or more. The town 
especially felt the influence of the wide Northwestern turnpike which was com- 
pleted about 1836, and macadamized from Tygart's Valley river to Parkersburg 
in 1848, increasing facilities for travel and news. By 1845 tri-weekly stages 
connected on the west with Parkersburg and on the east with Romney and 
thence with Green Springs on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. 

With the increase in he number of settlers and the development of settle- 


merits around the headwaters of the West Fork, the inconveniences of commu- 
nication with the county seat at Clarksburg found expression in the demand 
for the formation of a new county. This demand was satisfied in 1816 by an 
act of the assembly which created Lewis and provided for the location of a 
permanent county seat by five commissioners. Fleshersville, which was chosen, 
was incorporated in 1818 as a town under the name of Preston, changed in 1819 
to Fleshersville, and later to Weston which has since borne the honor with no 
serious opposition. In the following spring the first survey of the West Fork 
and the Monongahela, with a view to the improvement of navigation, was be- 
gun just below the Weston court house. 

Gradually the earlier log houses were succeeded by better structures ex- 
pressing refinement, social tastes and prosperity. The early settlements of the 
northern and eastern parts of the county were supplied with lumber from choice 
yellow poplars and black walnuts prepared by water power saw mills located 
along the neighboring streams. Trees which were too large to be easily sawed 
were split into fence rails or burned in the clearings. Although in 1843 por- 
tions of Lewis were detached to contribute to the formation of Barbour and 
Ritchie counties, the population of the county steadily increased — about 2,000 
each decade — until 1850, after which it Avas decreased by loss of territory occa- 
sioned by the formation of Upshur county in 1851. By 1845, Weston contained 
about sixty dwellings. 

The large development and aspirations of the people of Leivis at the middle 
of the century found expression in many ways — the most prominent of which 
probably were the Weston and Fairmont turnpike the Weston and Gauley 
Bridg turnpike, and the Weston and West Union turnpike. A branch of the Ex- 
change Bank of Virginia was established in 1853. On the eve of the Civil war, 
Weston secured the location of the hospital for the insane. 


The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Depot was established in 1856 in 
Clarksburg, at the East End at the base of Pinnickiirnick on the Jackson place, 
and remained there for forty-two years. 

In June, 1898, it was removed to its present location opposite the center of 
the town. 

The Monongah Railroad was built 1889. 

Short Line Railroad built 1901. 

West Virginia and Pittsburgh Narrow Gauge road to Weston 1879. 

The Standard Gauge road was built to Weston in 1891, and the line com- 
pleted to Sutton in April, 1892, and to Richwood in 1893. 

The Coal and Coke Railroad from Charleston to Elkins was completed in 

The Elk and Kanawha narrow gauge railroad was built from Gassaway 
to Rosedale in 1912, and has since been extended from Rosedale down the creek 
as far as Shock. 




The County Seat. 

Sutton is the central town of the state of "West Virginia, and was formerly 
called Kewville. It was a small village containing only a few residences. John 

D. Sutton says that when he visited the place 
in the year 1798, there was but one small 
cabin in the bottom where the town now 
stands, but we learn that a few years prior 
to this John O'Brien lived in a sycamore 
tree which stood at the upper end of the bot- 
tom. This was after the year 1792, for at 
that date O'Brien had his cabin on O'Brien's 
Fork of Salt Lick. His home at that time 
was presumably a rude camp. How long 
O'Brien, the first resident of Sutton, occu- 
pied Iris dwelling place in the hollow syca- 
more, has not been handed down to poster- 
ity ; neither is it known who lived in the 
cabin spoken of by Mr. Sutton (evidently 
a sauatter) nor is it definitely known who 
the residents of Newville were at the time of 
the formation of the county. 

John D. Sutton settled on the land about 
the year 1810, Andrew Skidmore, about the 
year 1812; then followed his son, Benjamin, 
and perhaps other members of his family, but Benjamin succeeded to the own- 
ership of his fathers' land which embraced what was known as the Skidmore 
bottom, now called the Skidmore addition, where he continued to reside until 
his death. The record does not show that there were auy lots laid off or sold 
prior to the formation of the county in 1836. 

There was a road leading from the settlements of Harrison and what is 
now Lewis county, coming by Bulltown, Salt Lick following in part the Buffalo 
path which led from the saline springs of Salt Lick to those on the island at 
the mouth of Granny's creek. In a very early day, there was another road or 
path leading to Newville from Union Mills, also down the Elk to the settlement 
near the mouth of Otter and Frametown on the Elk, but at what date the vil- 
lage received the name of Newville we have no record, but that the village was 
settled by a sturdy, industrious citizenship, there is no question. Some of them 
had seen service in the border warfare, and sought homes in the forest where 
they might provide for themselves and families, the comforts of life. 

From Baxtor's history, we learn that Mr. Sutton, the founder of the town, 
was cultured and scholarly, and doubtless the villagers from the beginning as- 


104 S U T T ON'S H I S T O.K Y. 


sumed an air of refinement that has been a distinct characteristic of tha 

"William and Robert Jackson who built a small mill at Sutton, are said to 
have kept the first groceries for sale. They were carried on horseback from 
Clarksburg. The settlement was called Newville, and a postoffice was estab- 
lished, the place retaining this name until the county seat was established in 

Thomas Barnett lived near the village, and it is said he died from cholera. 
He had just returned from Charleston where he was supposed to have con- 
tracted the disease. 

When the town was established, John D. Sutton lived where the John 
Byrne residence stands, now owned by Wm. Fisher. Nathan Bamett lived on 
the hill, not far from the Cary Mines' residence. Thomas McElwain was the first 
settler on the south side of the Elk, and he later moved across to the McElwain 
residence where he resided until his death. James Sutton lived at the upper end 
of the Buckeye bottom, and perhaps the first school house in Sutton was built 
near his residence. Henry Eye, a blacksmith lived near where the Gas office 
is now located. James Jones is said to have been a resident of the place. A 
man named Murrey is said to be one of the first settlers. He was from eastern 
Virginia. He died here, and was probably the first person buried in the Skid- 
more cemetery. His widow moved back to Virginia. Benjamin Skidmore 
lived on the south side of the Elk at the Skidmore bottom. His father, Andrew 
Skidmore, having settled on the bank of the river at the mouth of Skidmore 
run, about the year 1812. Andrew Sturett lived above the mouth of Buckeye, 
and owned the Sterrctt mill, later called the Dyer and Spriggs' mill. Aaron 
Facemire was a resident near the town. Jerry Mace was an early settler, and 
lived on Cranny's creek. 

Sutton has two commercial flouring mills, one wholesale grocery, one 
wholesale hardware, four drygoods stores, one hardware, several grocery stores, 
two blacksmith and one repair shop, three hotels, two drug stores, an opera 
house and an armory. 

The Court House was built in 1886-87, same being a well arranged build- 
ing with office rooms for the county officials. The County Jailwas built in 
1005 from native stone. 

Sutton has five churches, M. E., M. E. South, Baptist, Presbyterian and 
Episcopal. It is 96 miles N. E. from Charleston and 46 miles south from 

The citizens of Sutton have evei been exemplarly in character, model hi 
Christain spirit, scarcely willing that the law should be enforced on those who 
might chance to err. The town has always maintained the best schools possi- 
ble, commensurate with her means. Her enterprising citizens erected a large 
and elegant school building, and recently there has been added a normal course 
of training which will give Sutton a great impetus as an educational center. 

As a residence town, it is unsurpassed for natural scenery, situated on the 
most beautiful river in the state, surrounded with smooth rolling hills, covered 

S UTTON'S li I S T O R Y. 105 

with a rich native soil. A magnificent wire suspension bridge spans the Elk 
at this point. The town iias more paved streets than any other town in the 
state perhaps, according to her wealth and population. It has long been con- 
ceded that Sutton maintains the strongest bar of any town in central West 
Virginia. Her board of physicians have occupied enviable positions in their 
professions. The services of her professional citizens have not been confined 
to the county or the state alone, hut they have rendered distinguished service 
in other states. Sutton has ever maintained a ministry above reproach, men 
of piety and learning. 

The population of the town at the last census was 1,200, and her taxable 
property is $592,155, real estate, and $263,940, personal. 

John D. Sutton gave one acre of ground for a public square, together with 
the streets and alleys to the town whose name it bears. 

Fiom a letter written by William E. R. Byrne to the Braxton Democrat, 
giving his recollection of Sutton in 1885, he states that the principal hotel was 
kept by Mrs. A. V. Kelly. The Sutton Brass Band was composed of the follow- 
ing members: Leader, Houston Humphreys, and John Humphreys, Granville 
S. Berry, Charles Y. Byrne, Marshall I. Griffin, Taylor Frame, Frank, Harry 
and Lee Bland, L. H. Kelly and C. Armstrong. 

Henry Brannon was Judge of the Circuit Court, William E. Haymond. 
Prosecuting Attorney, Wm. L. J. Corley, Clerk County Court, C. Y. Byrne, 
Clerk Circuit Court, and A. N. Lough, Sheriff. 

The County Court consisted of Abel M. Lough, Jacob M. Evans and John 
W. White. 

Attorneys living in Sutton at that time were Major P. B. Adams, Felix 
J. Baxter, Edwin S. Bland, William E. Haymond, A. W. Corley, Alex Dulin, 
and L. M. Wade. 

At that time Sutton was a little shoestring town of practically one street — 
what is now Main street — from Old Womans Run to the L. M. Wade property. 
There was the Methodist parsonage out near the mill dam, Neal Armstrong's 
residence and a few shanties on back street, but it is not missing it much to say 
it was a village of one street. There was but one house in what is now North 
Sutton. That was a small frame dwelling owned and occupied by Felix J. 
Baxter, on the site of which the Baxter residence now stands. On the South 
side of the river, the only buildings at that time were the E. D. Camden resi- 
dence. "Uncle Benny" Huffman's residence and mill, John Poole's residence 
on the site of which W. E. Haymond's residence now stands, the Fred Sprigg 
residence, a small house at the end of the bridge, and further down, the Jen- 
nings Skidraore residence. There was not a building in what is now "Skidmore 

There was but one brick building and that was the courthouse. The "Uncle 
Charh e'' Frame brick residence further up the street was in process of con- 
struction at that time. There are very few of the buildings of thirty years ago 
standing today- -in fact, only fifteen on the north side of the river which was 


then the town proper: the Blagg residence, the Baptist church, the J. S. Hyer 
residence, the C. Y. Byrne cottage just below and in the same block, the cottage 
just above Lee's Hardware store, the Methodist parsonage, the courthouse, the 
T. J. Berry residence, the old John Byrne residence, the Wade residence, are 
all on that side of the street. On the other side of Main street was the Troxell 
housi;, the Democrat office (since enlarged) the old G. F. Taylor store room, 
now a dwelling, the G-illespie residence, the Jackson Evans' residence and the 
Taylor Frame residence across the creek. 

The following is a list of the citizens of Sutton who lived here at the 
beginning of the Civil war: 

Wm. and John Kelley, merchants, John S. Camden, hotel keeper, Pem- 
brooke Berry, cabinet maker, B. W. Byme, attorney, P. B. Adams, attorney, 
Levi Waybright, carpenter, Hanson Byrne, deputy clerk, Wm. McCorkle, tan- 
ner, John and James Addison Sterrett, farmers, Benjamin Skidmore, farmer 
and hotel keeper, J. M. Coxiey, deputy sheriff and farmer, Joseph Dillon, tailor, 
Benjamin Canfield, saddle maker, Jacob Irvin, jailer, David .Irvin, town ser- 
geant, Isaac Dilly, wagon maker, Hanson and Frank Pierson, blacksmiths, B. 
G. Sprigg, miller, Mrs. Jane Byrne, widow of John P. Byrne, Wm. Gibson, 
miller, John and Samuel Heffner, carpenters, Harvey Heffner, merchant, 
Thomas Wayne, farmer, Edwin Barker, miller, H. A. Holt, attorney, Luther 
Haymond, attorney, A. C. Kincaid, M. D., F. G. Boggs, merchant and sheriff, 
A. 0. Humphrey, M. D., Benjamin Starbuck. saddler, Charles E. Singleton, 
eonnty clerk, Charles S. Evans, farmer and teamster, Captain James Berry, 
carpenter. L. A. Griffin, hotel and bar, Joseph Osborn, boot and shoemaker, 
Elizabeth Dunlap, school teacher, Phillip Duffy, merchant, R. M. White, cab- 
inet maker, Phillip Troxell, hotel and bar, James Wing, farmer and teamster, 
Wm. Mace, miller, Isaac Evans, carpenter, Wm. Tonkins, miller Ezekiel Boilen, 
tanner, and Isaac Evans. 


W. E. Haymond, Fred L. Fox, B. P. Hall, Van B. Hall, C. F. Greene, W. 
E. Hines, L. H. Kelly, Alex. Dulin, 0. 0. Sutton, W. L. Armstrong, C. C. 
Hines, R. M. Cavendish, C. H. Bland, L. M. Wade, W F. Morrison, Jr., E. 
G. Rider, W. F. Frame, James E. Cutlip and Judge Jake Fisher. 


W. P. Newlon, W. II. MeCauley, M. T. Morrison, R. J. Brown, and H. 
II. Brown. 

L. Beagle and J. B. Plate. 



Flatwoods, a thriving village six miles northeast of Sutton on the Western 
and Gauley Bridge turnpike, and on the B. & 0. railroad, contains two churches, 
four drygoods stores, one hardware, two blacksmith shops, two barber shops, 
and one shoe and harness shop. The railroad runs through the town, its depot 
and junction of the branches leading to Sutton and Richwood, are located at 
the southwest end of the town. The population is about two hundred. The 
town maintains a fine school, is incorporated, and has no indebtedness. 

Flatwoods was so named by reason of the flat and rolling land lying on 
the headwaters of Salt Lick of the Little Kanawha, Granny's creek, Flatwoods 
run and other small tributaries of the Elk. 

The first post office named Flatwoods was kept at Elijah Squires.' It was 
later moved to Dr. Jno. L. Rhea's and kept until its discontinuance during the 
Civil war. In the fall of 1865, it was re-established at the residence of Felix 
Sutton, and kept by J. D. Sutton until 1872. It was then discontinued for a 
short time, and re-established with Dr. John L. Rhea, as postmaster. For 
many years, mail was carried on a horse once a week, and later the trip was 
made three times a week. Since that time the office has been kept by different 
parties in Shaversville at the junction of the Salt Lick road with the pike at 

The M. E. church and M. E. church. South, had each built a church house 
before the Civil war. These were both destroyed by Guerillas in time of the 
war, and have since been rebuilt on the same ground that the others occupied. 

The first permanent settlers of Flatwoods were Nathan Prince, Isaac 
Shaver, Elijah Squires, Christian Hyer, John and James W. Morrison, 
Felix Sutton, Wm. Fisher, Sanford Skinner, and others. 

About the year 1880 Perry Currance and A. C. Dyer built a store house 
and entered the mercantile business. at the junction of the roads. The place 
was then designated Shaversville. While the post office is called Flatwoods, 
the town has assumed permanently the name of Shaversville. The place is 
often referred to by a great many persons as the "Burned Churches." 

O'Brien's fork of Salt Lick creek has its rise near Shaversville. About two 
miles from its source, Adam 'Brien, the great Indian fighter and scout, had his 
cabin, and from him the stream took its name. 

His camp is reported to have stood near the old Baily place. It was sup- 
posed that it was 'Brien whom the Indians had trailed from the settlements 
north of here, and failing to find him at his cabin, discovered the Carpenter 
settlement at the mouth of Holly, an account of which is given elsewhere. 

About the year 1892, A. C. Dyer and James Lemons put in a roller mill 
near the depot, and this mill has changed hands several times since. The rail- 
road was built to Flatwoods in 1892. The town has been growing steadily ever 
since. The eastern portion of this section lying on Flatwoods ran and embrac- 



ing the Morrison settlement and Boling Green, is sometimes referred to as upper 

Flatwoods was incorporated in 1902. Its first Mayor was A. B. Sparks, 
and its first Council consisted of the following men : F. H. Stout, N. W. Linger, 

A. L. Shaver, W. C. Bartlett, and A. H. Goad. Town Sergeant, A. V. Mahone. 

The taxable property of the town is $244,371.00. Population of the 
town about three hundred, present mayor, E. W. Squires. 

One of the indi dents relating to "the burial place of some of our earliest 
citizens to be regretted is the total wiping out and obliteration of the old grave- 
yard at Flatwoods, where Nathan Prince was buried. He was son of Captain 
Prince, of the Revolutionary army, was an early settler where the town of 
Flatwoods now stands. One of Mr. Prince's daughters died young. She was 
a sister of the late Levi and Simon Prince and Barbara High, of Kanawha 
county. On account of wolves and other animals they buried her near the cabin 
in which Mr. Prince lived. That was the beginning of the graveyard at that 
place. Afterward Mr. Prince was buried there and also some of his neighbor's 
children. The Prince heirs sold the land to B. C. McNutt, who sold it to James 

B. Hyer, and he built a blacksmith shop on or near the grave. Other encroach- 
ments were made until now buildings cover the graveyard, thus wiping out 
forever this old historic burial place of one of Braxton county's early pioneers. 



This town is located on Little Kanawha river at the mouth of Salt Lick 
and where the B. & 0. railroad crosses the river, sixteen miles north of 

Sutton. The town was established by Cap- 
tain John Burns from whom it derived its 
name. In 1866, Captain 'Burns and two 
brothers came from Monongalia county 
shortly after the close of the Civil war, and 
bought 'large quantities of poplar and wal- 
nut timber on the Little Kanawha and its 
tributaries. This region was noted for its 
magnificent timber ; walnut trees that would 
make from one to five thousand feet of sawed 
lumber, and poplars were not uncommon 
that would saw from four to six thousand 
feet. When we consider that much of this 
timber standing on the banks of the streams 
sold as low as one cent per lineal foot, it 
seems almost incredible at this day, and yet 
the method' of handling timber at that time 
and the hazardous and expensive way of get- 
ting the lumber to market, left no alluring 
profit to the operator, and but a pittance to 
DR. J. w. kidd the owner. Captain Burns marketed his 

S U T T O N ' S HISTO R i". 109 

lumber at Parkersburg and towns along the Ohio river, transporting it in flat- 
boats from Burnsville to the mouth of the Little Kanawha river. 

Captain Burns died in the 80 's after which time the business was carried 
on for many years by his two brothers, David and Gideon Burns. About the 
year 18...., they associated with the firm of Huffman who installed a band saw, 
the first one used, it is said, in the state. About 1.899, the company moved their 
plant to Elizabeth in Wert county, this state. In the meantime, other industries 
located in the town. In 1892, the West Virginia & Pittsburg railroad was built 
through the town, and in 1906, the Coal & Coke railroad was completed from 
Elkins to Charleston, passing through Burnsville. When the road running 
from Parkersburg or beyond, which is now completed as far as Elizabeth in 
Wert county, passing through the rich coal fields of Gilmer, and a fine farming 
and grazing section in the Little Kanawha valley, tapping the Coal & Coke and 
the B. & 0. at Burnsville, that town will have the finest railroad facilities of 
any town in the central part of the state. 

In addition, Burnsville secured th° Growing Veneering plant, the 
Star Wagon factory, three wholesale groceries, — one of them including the mill- 
ing industry. The Philadelphia and the Hope Gas companies each has a pump- 
ing statiion. There are two hardware stores, four general stores, one retail 
grocery, one meat market, four restaurants, two insurance agencies, one black- 
smith shop, four churches and five church organizations, and one jewelry shop. 
But what perhaps gave Burnsville its greatest uplift was the interest her cit- 
izens manifested in education. In the year 1895, the citizens erected a commo- 
dious school building, and established a fine school. Professor Brown, a man 
of high moral character and splendid attainments, was for several years its 
principal. We cannot measure in dollars and cents the benefit to the town or 
the surrounding country derived from such an influence, nor do the years as 
they come and go, cease to return and give back in increased measure for all 
the effort that these splendid citizens put forth. At the present time, the num- 
ber attending the school is about 369. 

Burnsville was incorporated in 1902, the first mayor having been P. H. 
Kidd. The first Council consisted of W. H. Gough, H. H. Cuberly, LL. L. Mc- 
Kinny, W. T. Brosious and J. B. Hefner. Alvin Barker was town sergeant and 
C. A. Wade, Recorder. 

The taxable property in 1902 was $18,360 Realty, and $21,945 Personal, 
while in 1917, the real estate was valued at $334,095, and the personal at $336,- 
791, thus showing a considerable increase within a few years' time. In 1902, 
the population of the town was 270, in 1910 it had increased to 770, and at the 
present time, 1917, the ppulation is 1200. The town has one mile of paved street 
which has recently been completed, two railroad bridges, one wagon bridge, and 
one foot bridge. 

The present officers of the town are: Dr. W. S. Barns, Mayor, W. L. Mc- 
Coy, Recorder, J. H. Dodrili, Collector and Street Commissioner, Luther Hef- 
ner, Police, and the council consists of John I. Bender, S. F. Davis, W. C. 
Kuhn, J. Lee Jefries, and H. J. Lloyd. 





Gassaway is a flourishing town on the Coal & Coke railway, situated mid- 
way between Charleston and Elkins, ninety-one miles from Charleston and 

eighty miles from Elkins, 
on the south bank of the 
beautiful Elk, and contains 
about twelve hundred in- 
habitants. The railroad 
company have their shops 
at this point which is the 
main industry of the town. 
The land ijpon which the 
town is built was formerly 
owned by Israel J. Friend 
and Jas. A. Boggs. The 
railroad was completed be- 
tween the years 1902 and 
1904. The town was laid 
out in 1904, and the building commenced in the spring of 1905. 

The Gassaway Development Company composed of the following gentle- 
men, C. M. Henry, Arthur Lee and W. H. Bowers, bought the land and laid 
off the town in accordance with the shape of the land, making the streets 70 
feet wide. The town was incorporated in 1906, with the following named gen- 
tlemen acting as the official body: Wm. Chinowith, Mayor, P. M. Dumond, 
Recorder, W. M. Funk, Dr. A. S. Boggs and Henry Tuidon, Members of 
Council. The Gassaway Hotel, now called the Valley House, was erected in 
1905. Natural gas was installed in the town in 1907. The first public build- 
ings erected were the Bank, schoolhouse and railroad shops. The schoolhouse 
was used as a place of public worship until 1907, when two churches were 
built, one M. E. and one M. E., South. In 1909, Senator Kehrens built a Catho- 
lic church. This building cost about $20,000, being an elegant and substantial 
structure made of native stone. The town inherited one church building, a Bap- 
tist frame church that stands on the north side of the Elk, just below the mouth 
of Otter, but this denomination has since built a more modern church. 

In 1907, the Gassaway Development Company established the Water Plant." 

Nineteen dates the beginning of the Gassaway Times. In 1910 and 1911, 

Senator Henry G. Davis erected a very elegant Presbyterian church which cost 
$20,000. This church was erected as a memorial to his wife, and is called the 
Davis Memorial church. It is also built of native stone. In 1912 and 1913, 
the iron bridge was built across the Elk. The county had been asked to contrib- 
ute to this enterprise, and the matter being placed before the people, it was 
voted down, and the town of Gassaway bore the entire burden of its construc- 
tion. In 1914 and 1915, the railroad built a very handsome and commodious 


A few years ago, the town was enlarged by the Stewart addition. A plot 
of ground was laid off on the north side of the Elk and sold in town lots. Dr. 
Perry installed a planing mill, and was active in building up this new addition. 
A wire suspension foot bridge connected the addition with the main town in 

the year 19 The Standard Oil Company who owned a large tract of timber 

on the waters of Steer creek, built a narrow gauge railroad from Gassaway to 
Frametown, ten miles below, thence to Shock and on to Bear's Fork of Steer 
creek. This road, called the Elk River & Little Kanawha, penetrates a rich and 
fertile country, underlaid with Freeport coal and a magnificent forest of native 
timber that is being principally sawed into oil barrel staves. The distance from 
Gassaway to where the Coal & Coke R. R. crosses the B. & 0. R. R. at Orlando 
is twenty-eight miles. Gassaway is six miles below Sutton, the county seat. 
Gassaway has several dry goods stores, two jewelry stores, one hardware, one 
fine millinery store, bowling alley, photograph studio, a commodious school 
building and armory, flouring mill, and many minor enterprises. It has a fine 
hospital building, but at present is not in use. Senator Davis laid off a beautiful 
park, adjoining the depot. 

The. town is composed of an industrious, enterprising people. J. A. Pat- 
terson, who was one of the first citizens of the town, also the engineer who laid 
it off, has been very active in promoting its interests, and to him belongs more 
credit perhaps than to any other private citizen for the rapid progress the town 
has made in the few brief years of its existance. 

„ As stated, Gassaway is on a line of railroad leading from the state capitol 
to Elkins, the eastern terminus of the road where it has connections with the 
Western Maiwland and other roads. From Gassaway, there is a branch road 
of six miles which terminates at Siitton. 

Some years ago, the town built a wh*e suspension foot bridge at the lower 
end of the town, and a very substantial iron bridge at the head of town. Gassa- 
way is poorly situated to county roads leading to the toAvn. The river hill 
on the south of town is rugged and steep, while the river road on the north 
side from Gassaway to Frametown is almost exclusively occupied or made dan- 
gerous by the Elk & Little Kanawha railroad. 

Gassaway is quite a business place with many enterprising and business 
citizens. The post office in 1908 was made a Presidential office. It pays about 
$1,000. The railroad shops work about one hundred and fifty hands, and its 
weekly pay-roll is $3,000. Gassaway is situated near a gas and oil field that 
is being developed on the northwest side, while a great coal field undeveloped 
lies on her south. ' 

Resident lawyers are, Van Wilson, C. W. Flesher and G. D. Armstrong. 


Frametown is situated on the Elk river sixteen miles southwest of Sutton. 
The place has been known as Frametown for a great many years, James Frame 
having built a water mill there about the early part of the first decade of the 


eighteenth century, and many years later Henry Waggy put up a steam mill 
there with the roller process for making flour, but both mills have gone out of 

Frametown had a post office, blacksmith shop, one or more stores, M. E. 
Church and a country inn in 1903. When the Coal & Coke railroad was com- 
pleted, the principle business was moved to the south side of the Elk. The 
county built an iron bi'idge across the Elk river a short distance below where 
the old frame mill stood. There is a large tract of beautiful bottom and flat 
land on the north side of the Elk, extending back and up the river from the 
old village that would be a splendid site for a town of eight or ten thousand 

In 1912, the Elk & Kanawha narrow gauge railroad was built from Gassa- 
way to Rosedale on Steer creek, and has since been extended from there down 
the creek. This road is said to belong to the Standard Oil Company, and was 
primarily built to ship oil, staves and lumber from the company's land lying 
principally in Gilmer and Calhoun counties. This road passes through Frame- 
town. It traverses the north side of the Elk from Gassaway to the mouth of 
Frame's mill ran, thence up that stream to its source, and crosses Bison ridge 
to the waters of Steer creek. At present however the road has but slight com- 
mercial intercourse with the town. 

Frametown is surrounded with an excellent class of citizens, many of the 
families having settled that portion of the county in an early day. The town 
maintains an elegant graded school. The town was incorporated at one time, 
but the incorporation was not kept up. It will always make a good up-to-date 
town on account of its location, the surrounding country and its railroad fa- 
cilities. Its population is about 150. 


Cowen, often called i: The Savannah of the Mountains," is a beautiful and 
thriving town situated in Glade district of Webster county, on the B. & O. 
railroad, about thirty-eight miles east of Sutton. It is situated in a beautiful 
country called Welch Glades, embracing one thousand acres of flat land, with 
a gentle sloping country surrounding the town. It is watered by Glade run 
which empties into the Gauley river. The town occupies an altitude of 2,255 
feet above sea level. The first white settler in that region of country was a 
German named Stroud whose family was murdered by the Indians about the 
year 1785 or 1790. Stroud's Glade took its name from this man. Some of the 
early settlers in the Glade before the Civil Avar were Caleb' Gardner, Arthur 
Hickman, Jas. Hamric, John Woods, Major Reynolds, and several families of 
the Mortons settled Stroud's creek. 

The soil of this region is well adapted to grass, and part of the glade land 
produces good corn and vegetables. The town and glade district has recently 
completed a very fine high school building. A. L. Goff had the contract at $2.- 
300. The same contractor built during the year a Baptist church which is a 


very neat and substantial brick building at a cost of $6,000. There is an M. 
E. church, also an M. E. church, South. The town has six stores, planing mill, 
two barber shops, blacksmith shop, pool room, etc. 

Mr. Caleb Gardner who has reached the good old age of ninety, moved from 
Augusta county to the Glade in 1853. We found Mr. Gardner to be a very in- 
telligent and hospitable gentleman. lie had quite a varied experience during 
the Civil war. His home was burned, all his property destroyed, as was that 
of some of his neighbors, by the Federal soldiers. There was a battle fought on 
his farm called the Gardner battle. 

Cowen is only a few miles' drive from the famous Salt Sulphur Springs 
in Webster County. The Kessler Bros, have a hospital building at Cowen. 
Dr. D. P. Kessler who lives there, enjoj r s a very large and lucrative practice. 
He is also largely interested in coal lands and mining. 

The town was established about the year 1895, and a few years later was. 
incorporated. Its first Mayor was M. L. Shriver, and the first Council consisted 
of C. D. Howard, Luke Pitzsimmons Wallace Holden, D. P. Kessler, and E. H. 


Centralia, fifteen miles east of Sutton in Holly district, is located at the 
mouth of Laurel creek on the Elk river, and on the B. & 0. railroad. It was 
laid off for a town about the year IflOO. It is well situated with good building 
ground. It is in the heart of a coal field, and is surrounded with a vast timber 
region. A railroad coming down the Elk River will tap the B. & 0. at this 
point. A company owning a large tract of timber on the Elk is preparing to 
build mills at this point. A circular saw mill has recently been put in opera- 
tion on the site of the old mill which was recently removed to another point. 
The town consists of one M. E. church, hotel, two stores, and quite a number of 
new homes are being built. Centralia is destined in the near future to be a 
town of considerable interest. In its immediate vicinity, some of the first 
settlers of the county lived. 


This place is eight miles east of Sutton in Holly District. 

Shortly after the Civil war, Griffin Gillespie pivt up a store house and 
sold goods at the mouth of Flatwoods run. Adam Gillespie for many years had 
run a grist mill at this point, and this mill was equipped with an up-and-down 
saw, and the ploee was called Slabtown. The store house in Slabtown was one 
of the first voting places after the war. 

Afterward, for several years, J. S. Hyer kept a store at this point. From 
there, he removed his store to Sutton after the B. & 0. railroad was built. The 
business continued at the mouth of Ben's run, about a mile above, and the 

114 SUTTON'S HISTOfil'. 

place was called Hyer. It has one or more stores, M. E. church, B. & O. depot, 
■a post office and several residences. 

Two miles above Hyer is located the Holly Sand Company. An elegant 
quality of sand is deposited on a large sand bar on the south side of the Elk, 
opposite the B. & 0. depot at Holly Junction. A fine railroad bridge spans 
the river at this point. The rocks from ten thousand shoals and ravines on the 
Elk and Holly rivers and their tributaries, are being washed down by every 
freshet. The sand deposited on these streams is inexhaustible. The company 
ships to the various towns for building purposes, cement blocks, paving blocks, 
engine sand, etc. Hyer is about ten miles east of the county seat. 


Tesla. a post office village on Two Lick run in Holly district, is six miles 
south of Sutton on the Turnpike leading from Sutton to Gauley Bridge. There 
are two or three residences, one store, post office and schoolhouse. 

Some of its citizens are Dr. 0. 0. Eakle, Henry Long, member of County 
Court, Wm. Davis, a prosperous farmer and cattle dealer, Rev. Perry Roberts 
and others. 


Newville is in Holly district, twelve miles east of Sutton, situated on Bee 
run, a tributary of the Elk river, and on the county road leading from the 
Platwood road to the Holly river, and a road leading from the Elk river to 
High Knob, Salt Lick crossing the main road at that point. 

Newville was established as a post office village soon after the close of the 
Civil war. It has an M. P. Church, blacksmith shop and two stores. 

Silas Morrison, a veteran of the Civil war, kept the post office for twenty- 
three years. L. P. Cuireiice, a Confederate veteran, has been engaged in the 
mercantile business for a number of years. Qirite a number of the descendants 
of Captain John Skidmore of the Revolutionary war are clustered near the 


Birch River post office is fourteen miles south of Sutton at a point midway 
between Sutton and Summersville on the Big Birch river where the Weston 
& Gauley Bridge Turnpike crosses. For many years, this place has contained 
one or more stores, a tavern and post office. 

The place was first settled by Wm. Frame, Col. John Brown, and later, 
Richard Scott for many years sold goods. Here Powell's creek empties, and 
near its mouth Wm. Frame had a small corn mill before the Civil war. There 
was a saw mill on the river a short distance above the village. In time of the 


war. Captain Wm. H. Kantner who commanded a military post at Birch river, 
used this mill to saw timber with which to build a fort. 

This village is situated in the center of a great coal and timber region. 
There is a branch, road leading from the B. & 0. railroad at Erbacon in Web- 
ster county that strikes the Big Birch river a few miles above the village, thence 
down to the mouth of Powell's ci*eek, and up Powell's creek to its source. The 
Eakin Lumber Company owns a large boundary of timber along this route, 
and has built a large band mill on the Birch river. 

Birch post office, where the pike crosses the river, is fifteen miles above its 
mouth. This region lies at the foot of the great Powell's Mountain, and its 
lands are all underlaid with the finest coal seams. 


The Little Birch is seven miles south of Sutton, midway between Sutton 
and Big Birch River post office, and situated on the Weston and Gauley Bridge 
Turnpike where it crosses the Little Birch. This village was settled about 1812 
or 1815 by Jesse Jackson, John Crites, Joe Barnett, Wm. Ellison, John Cutlip, 
Dr. A. N. Ellison, Robert Jackson and John Cutlip. 

Jesse Jackson built a mill where the pike now crosses the Little Birch 
about 75 or 80 years ago. David M. Jackson, now in his 77th year, is running 
the same old mill. For many years a post office has been kept at this point, 
a store, etc. There is a public road leading up and down the river, crossing 
the pike at this point. 


In about the period of 1875 or 1876, a Mr. Savage of Ohio discovered iron 
ore on the waters of Strange creek, and proceeded to erect an iron furnace. 
Strange creek empties into the Elk river twenty miles below Sutton. The 
county made extensive preparations for the manufacture of pig iron. The ore 
found in the locality was said to be of superior quality, but the only means of 
transportation to the markets was by flat boats on the Elk. The river being 
navigable for flat boats only in freshets, and as tides occurred occasionally in 
the spring of the year, the business was found to be unprofitable, and the enter- 
prise was soon abandoned. The town lost its name of Savage, and is now called 
Strar.c?-- Creek. It has a post office, hotel, one or more stores and a few good 
residence buildings. Strange Creek is in Birch district, and is one of the voting 
places. See the derivation of the name of Strange Creek on another page. 

John Frame, James Panter, Isaac Evans and other old settlers have resided 
at or in the vicinity of this village. The Hon. George Goad whose death oc- 
cured in July, 1917, has long been a resident of Savage Town. 



Servia, a small village about twenty miles west of Sutton, is situated on 
Duck creek in Birch district, on the main road leading from Sutton to 

It contains three stores, a Baptist church and blacksmith shop. Nathan 
Mollohan, one of Braxton county's most worthy citizens, owned a large farm 
and lived for many years at this place where some of his descendants now re- 
side. A large Indian mound stands on the bank of the creek near the old Mol- 
lohan residence. Duck creek flows through a wide fertile bottom, surrounding 
the village. 


Bulltown is on the Little Kanawha river where the Weston & Gauley Bridge 
Turnpike crosses fifteen miles north of Sutton, and two miles below the falls. 
It has long been noted as the Indian town where Chief -John Bull and four or 
five other families perished at the hands of the white man ; and for the further 
fact that it was a point at which for many years salt was manufactured in 
quantities sufficient to supply a great region of country. It was carried on 
pack-horses to various neighborhoods in Braxton, Lewis, Upshur, Gilmer and 
Webster counties before the Civil war. A very substantial wooden bridge was 
constructed across the Little Kanawha, and notwithstanding its constant use 
for over half a century, carrying large bodies of troops, artillery, cavalry, and 
thousands of heavily laden army wagons, the bridge is still in general use. 
John B. Byrne settled at this point many years ago. 

Early in the 18th century, in the early settlement of Braxton, there lived at 
Bulltown and in its vicinity, many prominent men : John B. Byrne, Col. B. W. 
and John P. Byrne, Win. Haymond, Col. Addison McLaughlin, Gen. Curance 
Conrad, Jesse Cunningham and others. At Bulltown was fought the battle be- 
tween the Union and Confederate forces, an account of which is given on 
another page. 

At Falls Mills, two miles above Bulltown, is the finest water power in the 
central part of the state. Bulltown is surroimded by the best-lying and most 
productive lands of the county, embracing the fine bottom lands once owned by 
the Conrads and Currences. The adjacent grazing lands are unexcelled. 


Roane county was formed in 1S5C from Kanawha, Jackson and Gilmer 
counties. It contains 350 square miles; was settled about the year 1791, and 
was named for Judge Roane of Virginia. Its county seat is Spencer, 50 miles 
from Sutton, located on the head waters of Spring creek. The county is rich 
in oil and gas and its soil is fine for grazing and agricultural purposes. 



Canfield is a village on Middle run of the Little Birch river, teu miles 
southwest of Sutton, in Otter district. It contains one or more stores, a black- 
smith shop, Baptist Church and schoolhouse. It was named for B. T. Canfield 
who owned a farm and lived for many years adjacent to the village. 

John S. Garee, James Dunn and Hiliard Skidmore were some of the older 
citizens who lived near the town. 


A. little village situated on Salt Lick creek in Salt Lick district, less than 
a mile below Tom Hughes' Fork, is ten miles northeast of Sutton. There was a 
water mill there before the Civil war, known as the Hutchison mill, afterward 
owned by Eugeus Haymond, then by Frank Harper. Still later, it assumed the 
name of Corley by reason of a party by that name keeping goods there for sev- 
eral years. Mortimer Rose & Sons have kept goods at Corley. The mill has 
disappeared, and there is nothing but a store, post office- and a few residences 
in the place. 


Napier is a post office village on the Weston & Gauley Bridge Turnpike, 
fourteen miles north of Sutton in Salt Lick district. It contains a store and 
post office. The surrounding country is fertile, and well adapted for grazing 
purposes. The village is on Big run of Little Kanawha, two miles above its 
mouth, and on the Weston & Gauley Bridge Turnpike. 

The widow of Addison Rader, whose maiden name was Curry, an estimable 
lady, has for many years resided there, and kept a country inn. 


A flag station in Salt Lick district, named for Major Wm. D. Rollyson 
who kept a store there when the railroad was first built. The store is now kept 
by Daniel Singleton. Rollyson is two miles below Heater on O'Brien's Fork, 
and near its mouth. A considerable amount of stock is shipped from this point 
to market. 


A railroad station and village on the B. & 0. railroad in Salt Lick district, 
ten miles north of Sutton. It contains two stores, post office, blacksmith shop, 
schoolhouse, M. P. church, also several, good dwellings. 


It is at the junction of the two branches of O'Brien's Pork and the Berry 
Fork, and is surrounded by a splendid farming and grazing country. Heater 
took its name from the Heater family who have owned the land and resided 
there for three generations. 

In 1792, Captain John O'Brien's cabin stood about one mile above the 


The village called Salt Lick Bridge is one among the oldest settlements in 
the county. It is situated in Salt Lick district, and has been a voting place 
since the formation of the state. It is twelve miles north of Sutton on the Wes- 
ton & Gauley Bridge Turnpike. 

About the year 1807, Asa Squires and Jackson Singleton settled on ad- 
joining lands, Salt Lick creek dividing their possessions. For many years, 
Charles E. Singleton and D. S. Squires each carried on a mercantile business, 
then Major Wm. D. Rollyson and C. E. Singleton conducted the business for 
several years. Nicholas Mick had a grist and saw mill. Jas. D. Sprigg carried 
on a boot, shoe and harness shop. John Colerider had a blacksmith shop. Salt 
Lick bridge is a wooden structure built several years before the Civil war, and 
is in a good state of preservation yet. The lands on Salt Lick and its tributaries 
are very fertile, with a deep red soil that produces elegant grain and blue grass. 
Salt Lick creek has its rise on the Bison range, and heads directly opposite 
Granny's creek, a tributary of he Elk. One of its principle tributaries is 
O'Briens Fork that heads near the main head of Salt Lick. It takes a more 
northerly course, and empties into the main stream about a mile below Salt 
Lick Bridge. The main creek runs east, and receives one of its main tributaries, 
called Tom Hughes' Fork, near the little village of Corley. The creek then 
turns north and makes a long circuitous route, turning soutlnvest until it flows 
beyond the mouth of O'Briens Fork. This stream was once famous for fish, 
especially pike and catfish. It empties its water into the Little Kanawha river 
at Burnsville. 

The old store house of Singleton and Rollyson, also that of D. S. Squires, 
have all been torn down, and the fine lands that they owned are principally in 
the hands of their descendants, many of whom, are prosperous farmers and 
business men. 


A lumber town which is the oldest inhabited place in the county, the land 
being taken up and settled by Benjamin Carpenter about the year 1790 or 
possibly a year or two before that time. 

Palmer was established as a town in 1896. The first improvement was a 
very fine band saw mill built by the Holly Wood, Lumber & Coal Co. This 
mill claimed a capacity of 75,000 feet per day. The company that operates this 
mill, owned large holdings of timber in Braxton and Webster counties. 


About this time, the West Virginia Midland, a narrow guage railroad was 
constructed from a point on the B. & 0. railroad, one mile below the mouth of 
Holly to Addison, a distance of 31 miles. The Lumber Company built from 
the forks of Holly a branch road for several miles up the left hand branch of 
Holly. On this branch and on the main line to Webster Springs are situated 
seven saw nulls, besides a great many logs are shipped to Palmer and other 
points. A few years ago, Nicholas Ruth established a veneering mill at Palmer, 
but after operating the mill for two or three years, he moved his machinery to 
Buckhannon. He claimed the rates were too high, and the service unsatisfac- 
tory on the Midland railroad. 

In 1913, the large and valuable saw mill at. Palmer was destroyed by fire, 
and has recently been replaced by a large circular saw mill, having a capacity 
of from 25,000 to 30,000 feet per day. This mill is largely owned and managed 
by J. W. Cook of Pennsylvania. The shops of the Midland railroad are located 
at Palmer. There is one M. E. Church, a post office, one large mercantile store 
owned by Henry Gillespie and Robert Lynn. Henry Gillespie is the present 
post master. The population of the town is about 300. 

Palmer is spread out along the shores of two beautiful rivers. The country 
surrounding Palmer is rough, the hills are high and precipitous, but the natural 
scenery is magnificent. The spruce that skirts the river banks, interspersed 
with a numerous growth of holly wood and the rhoderdendrum, makes the 
scenery when the snows are falling, one of rapturous beauty, and no less so 
in the verdure of spring when the wild honeysuckle and the ivy are in bloom. 


Rosedale, a thriving town, is situated on Steer creek, twenty miles west of 
Sutton in Birch district. It has two or three dry-goods stores, one hardware 
store, two churches, M. E. and Baptist, post office, two taverns, schoolhouse, 
blacksmith shop, flouring mills, etc, 

Rosedale is in the center of the Rosedale Oil field, with several producing 
oil wells. It is on the Elk & Little Kanawha narrow gauge railroad, and is in 
the midst of a great timber region that is being worked principally by the 
Standard Oil Company into tight barrel staves, though large quantities of tim- 
ber are floated down the streams to the Little Kanawha river, thence to Par- 
kersburg, W. Va. 

The land of the surrounding country is very fertile, and is fine for grain 
and grazing purposes. 

Rosedale is built on the old Jacob Shock farm. It was laid off as a town 

in 19.... and incorporated with the following officers: Mayor, , 


The town is in the midst of a fine gas field. Quite a number of wells have 
been bored for oil and gas, and a number of fine gas wells have been struck. 

A certificate of incorporation was granted the town of Rosedale by the 
circuit court of Braxton county on the 24th day of August. 1911. The com- 


missioners of election for or against the incorporation were B. E. Rider, ('. B. 
Beatty, Jr., and C. T. King. Election resulted in favor of the incorporation, 
and B. E. Rider, J. W. Twyman and U. S. Upton were appointed by C. H. 
Bland, clerk, to hold first election, which resulted as follows: For Mayor, 
C. N. Snodgrass, Recorder, H. M. Turner, Oouncilraen, T. P. Dobbins, C. B. 
Beatty. Sr., C. T. King, M. E. Riffle, J. W. Smith. 

The present population of the town is 180 : the value of real and personal 
property, including the property assessed by the Board of Public Works is for 
the year, 1918, $91,947.00 


Erbaeon contains about two hundred inhabitants, and is situated on the 
B. & 0. railroad, twenty miles southeast of Sutton in Webster Co. There is a 
lumber railroad running from the town to a point on the Big Birch river. Other 
lumber camps are located near the town. 

Erbaeon was settled as early as 1798 by a Carpenter family. Laurel creek, 
from a short distance below Erbaeon to Wainville, is a smooth stream with 
some beautiful bottom lands, surrounded with high precipitous mountains on 
both sides of the valley. These hills are filled with numerous coal veins, rang- 
ing from a few inches to over six feet in depth, and some of this coal is of a 
superior quality. In the Pall and Winter of 1916-17, the Sutton Coal Com- 
pany began to operate a colliery at Erbaeon, and the Lewis Coal Company of 
Baltimore began operating about the same time. Some years previous, Dr. 
Kessler operated what is known as the Kessler seam. In 1917, the Sutton 
Coal Company transferred its mining plant to the Withville Black Coal Com- 
pany. The coal field surrounding Erbaeon is a very desirable one. 

Erbaeon has two stores, postoffice, M. P. church and two hotels. 


Needmore is a post village on a star route on the Little Kanawha river, 
about sixteen miles northeast of Sutton, near the great Bison range. It has 
one dwelling and the ashes of one store building which recently burned. Need- 
more embraces all that its name implies, and needs more of all that it now 
possesses. Its future depends upon its ability to acquire more of that which 
its name suggests. Its motto is symbolical of its future, and its future will 
always justify the wisdom bestowed upon its name. 




Organization of the County Court: First Court; Last Circuit and County Court 
Held in the County Before the Organization of the Board of Supervisors: 
First Owcers Appointed and Elected, County Roads, Early Marriage Li- 
censes, etc. 


The institution of County Courts originated 'in Virginia as early as 
1623-1624, and as the most ancient, so it has ever been one of the most important. 

of our institutions, not 
only in respect to the ad- 
ministration of justice, 
but for police and fiscal 
affairs. They were first 
called Monthly Courts, 
and at first only two of 
them were established, 
their jurisdiction jealous- 
ly limited to the most pet- 
ty controversies, reserving 
the right of appeal for the 
party east, to the Gover- 
nor and Council who were 
the Judges of what were 
then called the Quarter 

In 1642-1643, the 
style of Monthly Courts 
was changed to County 
Courts, the Colonial As- 
sembly having previously 
begun, and continuing 
thenceforward to enlarge 
their duties, powers and 
SPURGEON HEPPNER tend the gystem to eyery 

county as it was laid off. 

As eaiiy as 1645, they had been matured into courts of general jurisdiction 
in law and equity, and the most important matters of police and fiscal affairs 
were confided to them. 


Previous to 1661-1662, the Judges of the County Courts had been styled 
Commissioners of the Monthly Courts, and afterwards Commissioners of the 
County Courts; but at the time, it was enacted that, they should take the oath 
of a Justice of the Peace and be called Justices of the Peace. 

These tribunals now assumed a perfectly regular form, and their functions 
have ever since been so important that their institution may well be considered 
as a part of the constitution both of the colonial and present form of govern- 
ment. No material change was introduced by the war of the Revolution in their 
jurisdiction or general powers and duties of any kind. 

Up to the time of the adoption of the State constitution in 1852, the 
Justices composing the County Court were appointed by the Governor for 
life, upon the recommendation of the members of the Court, thus making that 
body self -continuous. They also recommended a candidate to the Governor for 
appointment of Sheriff, Surveyor and Militia officers, and also appointed their 
Clerk, Assessors and Constables. The only local officers elected by the people 
were members of the Legislature and Overseers of the Poor. 

By the Constitution adopted in 1852, the Justices were elected by the peo- 
ple for short terms, as were also the Sheriff and other county officers but in 
other particulars, the system underwent no change. 

When West Virginia was created, the system was changed to a Board of 
Supervisors for each county, which discharged the same duties as the old County 
Court, except that it was shorn of its powers as a Court of law and equity jur- 
isdiction; each county district elected one member. 

The Constitution of 1872 abolished the Board of Supervisors, and we now 
have a County Court that still discharges the important duties of all matters 
concerning county affairs, but has no law and equity jurisdiction. 



At a Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery held for the county 
of Braxton at the house of John D. Sutton on this 11th day of April 1836, 
and in the 60th year of the Commonwealth ; present, the Hon. Edwin S. Dun- 
can, a Judge of the General Court, and by Law appointed to hold a Circuit 
Superior Court of Law and Chancery for the said county of Braxton. 

Ordered that William Newlon be appointed Clerk pro tempore of this 
Court, whereupon the said William Newlon appeared in Court, and took the 
several oaths required by Law. 

Ordered that Samuel Price be appointed Attorney for the Commonwealth 
to prosecute in this Court, whereupon the said Samuel Price appeared in Court, 
and took the several oaths required by law. 

Gideon D. Camden, Samuel Price, Solomon Wyatt and Cabell Tavennen, 
Gentlemen, who have been licensed to practice to law in the Courts of this 
Commonwealth, on this motion have leave to practice in this Court, whereupon 



the said Gideon, Samuel, Solomon and Cabell took the several oaths prescribed 
by law. 

Ordered that the Clerk's office of this Court be held at William Newlon's 
residence in the Flatwoods till the next Court. 

Ordered that Samuel Price, Attorney for the Commonwealth, be allowed 
fifty dollars for his ex-officio services during the present term which is ordered 

to be certified to the auditor of public ac- 
counts for payment. 

Ordered that William Newlon, Clerk 
pro tempore of tins Court, be allowed fif- 
teen dollars for his ex-officio services during 
the present term which is ordered to be cer- 

Ordered that this Court do now adjourn 
till the first day of the next term. 


The first Grand Jury that ever sat as a 
jury of inquest for the body of the county 
was impaneled at the second term of the Cir- 
cuit Coiirt which convened on the ]2th day 
of September, 1836, and the following nam- 
ed gentlemen composed it: 

John C. Haymond, foreman, William D. 
Baxter, Peter Conrad, Andrew Skidmore, 
Robert Chenoweth, Samuel Skidmore, An- 
drew Sterrett, John Given, Nathaniel Davis, 
George Keener, Peter Hamric, Lamastas M. 
Boggs, Nathan Mollohan, James Duffield, 
Sinnett Triplet, John I. Murphy, Robert G. 
Duffield, John B. Byrne and Marshall Triplet. They found but one indictment, 
and that was "a true bill against Alexander R. Ireland for a nuisance." 

■Who lived to be a hundred and one 
years of age, and the five gen- 
erations, all lived together 
in the same house. 


April 26, 1836. 

Asa Squires receiving the following vote of Justices, viz: Nicholas Gibson, 
John Clifton, John B. Byrne, Peyton B. Byrne, Andrew Sterrott, Lorenzo D. 
Camden, Marshall Triplett and William Given, is elected Commissioners of the 
Revenues for the said county, whereupon the said Asa Squires, together with 
Nicholas Gibson and Gideon Camden, his security, entered into and acknowl- 
edged a bond in the penalty of one thousand dollars, conditioned as the law 


The .Court proceeded to appoint a Crier of the Superior and Inferior Court 
of this County, whereupon Charles Byrne receiving the following' vote of Jus- 
tices, viz: Nicholas Gibson, Asa Squires, John Clifton, John B. Byrne, Andrew 
Sterrett, Lorenzo D. Camden, Peyton B. Byrne, Henry Duffield, William Given, 
for the said office, and at the same time was appointed a Constable who to- 
g-ether with Joseph Wyatt, Jacob Gibson, Samuel Morrison and John Morrison, 
his security, entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of two thous- 
and dollars, conditioned as the law directs, whereupon the said Charles ap- 
peared in open court and took the several oaths required by law. 

April 27, 1836. 

Charles Byrne and William Rose, and by Asa Squires, Commissioner of 
the Revenue of this County, appointed assistant under him. they appeared in 
Court and took the several oaths required by law. 

The Court proceeded to the election of a surveyor of the County ; of Brax- 
ton, whereupon, Felix Sutton, George Berry and Samuel Skidmore were con- 
sidered for said office. They proceeded to vote viva voce ; votes for Felix Sut- 
ton, the following Justices, viz: Nicholas Gibson, Asa Squires, John Clifton, 
John B. Byrne, Lorenzo D. Camden, Andrew Sterrett and Peyton B. Byrne; 
for George Berry, the following Justices, viz : Marshall Triplet!, Henry Duffield, 
William Given. The said Felix Sutton having a majority of the Justices pres- 
ent and voting, was duly elected for the term of seven years which is ordered 
to be certified to the Governor to be commissioned as Surveyor as aforesaid. 

Ordered that the new house of John B. Sutton on the Elk river be the 
place for holding the Courts of this County until further provided for. 

Ordered that William Newlon, Clerk of this Court, keep his office at his 
residence in the Flatwoods until further provided for. 

William Rose, Adam Given, John Morrison, Samuel B. Byrne and John 
Sisk, and by the unanimous vote of the Court, appointed Constables for the 
County of Braxton until June Court next, the Court being of opinion that they 
are men of honesty, probity and good demeanor. 

May 24, 1836. 

Andrew Sterrett, Asa Squires, David Given, John 0. Haymond, and John 
B. Byrne are appointed Commissioners under the act. of the General Assembly 
for the said County passed March 3, 1835. Considering Commissioners of 
Roads who after taking the oath required by law, shall enter upon the duties 
of their office. 

Benjamin Skidmore, having produced to the Court, William Newlon 's re- 
ceipt (Clerk of this Court) for two dollars, the amount imposed by law, leave 
is granted him for keeping a house of private entertainment in the said County 
until the first day of May Court next. 

The Court proceeded to regulate the charges of all ordinances to be kept 
within the County, and adopt the following rates, viz : For breakfast, 25 cents, 

S U TTON'S HISTOfi Y. 125 

dinner, 25 cents, supper, 25 cents ; lodging, 61/4 cents ; horse to hay over night, 
18% cents, oats per gallon, 12y 2 cents, corn per gallon, 12i/ 2 cents; French 
brandy per half pint, 25 cents ; wine per half pint, 25 cents ; rum per half pint, 
C 1 /^ cents; whiskey per half pint, 12y 2 cents; apple brandy, per half pint, 
12y 2 cents. 

The Court proceeded to regulate the charges for keeping property, stock, 
etc., taken by Sheriffs and other officers by virtue of exeeixtions, and lay the 
same at the following prices, viz: for keeping every slave per day, 20 cents; 
for keeping every horse or mule per day, 8 cents; for all homed cattle or 
hogs, 41/2 cents each per day; for keeping sheep or goats, every day 3 cents 

Ordered that the Sheriff summon all the acting Justives of this County to 
appear here on the first day of the next term to take into consideration the 
propriety of adopting or rejecting the 1st and 2nd sections of the Act of As- 
sembly paper, March 3, 1835, concerning roads, etc. 

Wednesday, July 6, 1836. 

The Court most agreeable to the adjournment, of yesterday, present, John 
Clifton, Asa Squires, John B. Byrne, Andrew Sterrett, Lorenzo D. Camden, 
Marshall Triplett, Peyton B. Byrne and William Given, Gent. Justices. 

Ordered that Andrew Sterrett, John B. Byrne and Solomon Wyatt be, 
and they are hereby appointed Commissioners on behalf of this Court to make 
a contract with James Sutton, the owner of the Court house of this County, for 
holding courts therein until a new one is provided for by the County, and that 
they report to Court. 

The Commissioners appointed in the foregoing order to contract with James 
Sutton for the preesent Court house of this County, this day returned their re- 
port which is received and confirmed. 

The Court proceeded to liquidate the claims of the County and order that 
the following claims be paid to-wit: 

To John McHamilton, Com. for locating County Site $30.00 

To William Carnefix for same 33.00 

To James Radcliff, for same 33.00 

To John Gilliland, for same 8 45.00 

To George H. Beall, for same 33.00 

To William Newlon, Clerk, for extra services 12.50 

To Solomon Wyatt, attorney, for the Court, for same 12.50 

To the Crier of Braxton County 12.50 

To John James, 1 young wolf scalp 1.50 

To Jepa Shaver, 1 old wolf scalp 3.00 

To Robert Shock, 2 old wolf scalps 6.00 

To Alexander Shock, 1 old wolf scalp 3.00 

126 S IT T TON'S II I fe T O R Y. 

To Joseph James, 3 young wolf scalps 4.50 

To William Newlon, for procuring books, etc 4.50 

To David Evans, for repairing Court house 6.9934 

To Richard P. Camden, for books, etc 74.62i/ 2 

Ordered that old wolf scalps be three dollars and those under six months, 
$1.50 for the present year. 

Ordered that each tithable pay the sum of two dollars. 

Ordered that John Haymond, Asa Squires and Alex. Spinks, be appointed 
Commissioners to report to the next Court of this County suitable plans to 
build the jail of said County, and that the Sheriff notify them of their 

The Court proceeded to nominate suitable persons to his Excellency, the 
Governor of Virginia, to be added to the Commission of the Peace of this 
County, pursuant to an order of Court made at the last term of this Court, 
summoning them for that and other purposes which being returned by the 
Sheriff '"Executed." The following persons were put in nomination, viz: 
Thomas B. Friend, Jacob Friend, Felix Sutton, William V. Hutt, Samuel Skid- 
more, Charles Mollohan, Robert Chenoweth, James Morrison, Asa Squires, Jr., 
Elijah Squires, Peter Lough, Thornton Berry, Fielding Berry, Samuel Cut- 
lip, Jacob P. Conrad, Benjamin L. Boggs and Archibald Taylor. The Court 
proceeding to elect eight persons out of the foregoing number. These voted for 
Thomas B. Friend, viva voce, the following Justices, viz: Asa Squires, John 
B. Byrne, Andrew Sterrett, Lorenzo D. Camden, William Given; for Jacob 
Friend, the following Justices, viz: John Clifton, Peyton B. Byrne, Marshall 
Triplett; for Felix Sutton and William 0. Hutt, the following Justices, viz-. 
John Clifton, Asa Squires, John B. Byrne, Andrew Sterrett, Lorenzo D. Cam- 
den, Peyton B. Byrne, Marshall Triplett and William Given ; for Samuel Skid- 
more, the following Justices, viz: Andrew Sterrett; for Charles Mollohan, the 
following Justices, viz: John Clifton, Asa Squires, John B. Byrne, William 
Given, Marshall Triplett and Peyton B. Byrne; for Robert Chenoweth, the 
following Justices, viz: Lorenzo I). Camden; for Asa Squires, Jr., the follow- 
ing Justices, viz: John B. Byrne, William Given, Andrew Sterrett, Marshall 
Triplett, Peyton B. Byrne and Lorenzo D. Camden; for Elijah Squires, the 
following Justices, viz: John Clifton, John B. Byrne, William Given, Andrew 
Sterrett, Peyton B. Byrne and Lorenzo D. Camden ; for Thornton Berry, the 
following Justices, viz: Marshall Triplett; for Fielding Berry, the following 
Justices, viz : John Clifton, Asa Squires, William Given ; for Jacob P. Conrad, 
the following Justices, viz: Andrew Sterrett, Marshall Triplett, Peyton B. 
Byrne and Lorenzo D. Camden ; for Benjamin L. Boggs, the following Jus- 
tices, viz: John Clifton, William Given, Andrew Sterrett, Marshall Triplett 
and Lorenzo D. Camden; for Archibald Taylor, the following Justices, viz: 
Asa Squires and John B. Byrne. The aforesaid Thomas B. Friend, Felix Sut- 
ton, Wdliam V. Hutt, Charles Mollohan, Asa Squires, Jr., Elijah Squires, Ja- 
cob P. Conrad and Benjamin L. Boggs, receiving a majority of the Justices 


present and voting as aforesaid were by the Court declared duly elected as 
Justices of the Peace as aforesaid which is ordered to be ceritfied to the Gover- 
nor of Virginia to be commissioned as such. 

Nicholas Gibson, Crier of the said County, this day appeared in open 
Court and resigned his office, whereupon James Sutton of the said County 
Constable, was appointed in his stead. 

July 7, 1836. 

The Court met agreeable to the adjournment of yesterday. Present, Asa 
Squires, Andrew Sterrett, Lorenzo D. Camden, Peyton B. Byrne, Marshall 
Triplett, Gent. Justices. 

Ordered that Robert G. Duffield, Archibald Taylor, David Duffield, John 
Given and John Rogers be appointed commissioners to view and mark a way 
for a road from John Howell 's mill on the north side of the Elk river, running 
directly up the Elk river to Braxton Court house (or any three of them after 
being sworn for the purpose, and report to Court. We are not advised where 
Howell's mill was situated. 

Ordered that David Given, Robert Given. Jonathan Pierson, James G. Mur- 
phy or any three of them after being first duly sworn for the purpose, do view 
and mark a way for a road from the forks of the Leatherwood run, the nearest 
and best way to Braxton Court house, and that they report to Court. 

Ordered that William V. Hutt, Thomas Given, Asa Squires, Jr.. Lorenzo 
D. Camden, and Andrew Sterrett or any three of them after being first duly 
sworn, for the purpose do view, and mark a way for a road from the Union 
mills on the north side of the Elk river to the Court house of Braxton county, 
and that they report to Court. 

Ordered that James G. Peebles, Robert Chenoweth, Charles Mollohan, and 
Henry Roberson, or any three of them, after being first sworn, for the purpose 
do view and mark a way for a road from James Peebles Mill on Holly river and 
up the same to the forks, and that they report to Court. 

Ordered that William Fisher be Surveyor of the road from the head of 
Granny's creek down the same to Braxton Court house, and that Jeremiah 
Mace and David Evans assist said surveyor in keeping the land in repair. 

Ordered that Samuel B. Byrne, Peyton B. Byrne and Elijah McNemar, 
after being first sworn, do view and mark a way for a road from the long 
Shoal run to the mouth of Oil creek, and from thence to Wilson Haymond's 
mill on Salt Lick, and that they report to Court- 
Ordered that Samuel Cutlip, Benjamin Conrad, Isaac Riffle, Peyton B. 
Byrne, or any three of them, after being sworn for the purpose, do view and 
mark a way for a road from the mouth of Oil creek up the Kanawha river to 
Bull Town Salt works, and that they report to Court. 

On motion of John Sisk, it is ordered that Jacob Westfall, John Sisk, Mar- 
tin Riffle, after being first sworn, do view and mark a way for a road, leading 

128 S U T T OX'S HIS T E V . 

from John Sisk's mill, the nearest and best way to George Wilson's on O'Brien's 
fork, and that they report to Court. 

Ordered that Moses, and Nelly, his wife, colored people, be exempt from 
the payment of county levy. 

Ordered that Cato and Mill, his wife, colored people, be exempt from 
payment of county levy. 

August 2. 1836. 

Felix Sutton, Gent, producing to the Court a commission under the hand 
and seal of the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, bearing date the 7th of July, 
1836, appointing him surveyor of this county, this day appeared in open court 
together with Andrew Skidmore, William D. Baxter and John Conrad, his 
security, entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of three thous- 
and dollars which is in the words and figures, following, viz: "Know all men, 
etc." Conditioned as the law direct, the said Felix Sutton appeared in open 
court and took the several oaths required by law. 

December 6, 1836. 

Ordered that Thomas Byrne, Elijah Squires, Lewis Perrine, William 
Fisher, Archibald Taylor, James Boggs and Marshall Triplett be appointed 
School Commissioners of the County, and that the Sheriff notify them of their 

On November 8th, 1860, the County Court laid off the county into sixteen 
school districts, and appointed the following persons as School Commissioners: 

Lewis Perrine to be School Commissioner of District No. 1, Henry Pierson 
of District No. 2, James Sutton of District No. 3, James Hefner of District No. 
4, Thomos Skidmore of District No. 5, Geo. W. Huffman of District No. 6, 
Felix Sutton of District No. 7, Wm. Hutchison of District No. 8, John Heater 
of District No. 9, Fielding Berry of District No. 10, Benjamin Posey of Dis- 
trict No. 11, Andrew J. Hopkins of District No. 12, Samuel Cutlip of District 
No. 13, Willis Thompson of District No. 14, Wm. B. Frame of District No. 
15 and James G. McCoy of District No. 16. 


June 4, 1861. 
Grand Jury, To-wit: 

C. W. Kelly, foreman, Benj. Huffman, B. F. Fisher, Archibald Taylor, 
Wm. G. Squires, Wm. D. Keener, Thos. McElwain, John Given, F. F. Single- 
ton, A. B. Keener, Levi Prince, S. R. McCorkle, Jno S. Hefner, Wm. Perkins, 
Philip Moyers and Wm. Cart were empanneled and sworn a grand jury of in- 
quest for the body of the county, who after receiving their charge, retired to 
their chamber to consider of their indictments and presentments, and after 


some time returned into Cmu*t and presented an indictment against Isaac 
Thrasher for trespass, assaidt and battery — a true bill — and an indictment 
against Benjamin Dobbins for seditious speaking — a true bill — and the grand 
jury having nothing further to present are discharged, and in motion of the 
attorney for the commonwealth, it is ordered that summons issiie against the 
defendants on the foregoing indictments returnable on the first day of August 
term next. 

Upon the petition of Philip Duffy and of the sureties in the official bond 
of Francis C. Bogg, Sheriff of this county, the Court doth require the said 
Boggs to give a new bond as such Sheriff, whereupon the said Francis C. Boggs, 
this day appeared in Court and together with Felix Skidmore, James A. Boggs, 
John C. Taylor, Joseph James, William Hutchison, J. M. Corley, Samuel Fox, 
H. F. Hyer, John Morrison and Martin Rollyson, his securities entered into 
and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of thirty thousand dollars, condi- 
tioned for the faithful execution of the duties of his office, which bond is or- 
dered to be recorded by the clerk of this Court who is also directed to trans- 
mit a copy of said bond and a copy of this order to the Auditor of Public 

May 9, 1861. 

The justices of the county of Braxton, having been summoned to meet 
this day, and being present, to consider the propriety of arming and equiping 
the militia of said county, and of providing means for that purpose under an 
act of the Legislature of Virginia, enacted on the 19th day of January, 1861, 
entitled an act to authorize the Coimty Court and any incorporated city or 
town to own the militia of their respective counties, cities and towns, and to 
provide means therefor, and all of the Justices of this county being present 
and accepting said act, it is ordered that the sum of $4,000 be raised and appro- 
priated for the purpose of arming and equiping the militia of said county or 
such portion thereof as may hereafter be deemed proper. And Jno. S. Cam- 
den, P. B. Adams, Chas. E. Singleton, B. W. Byrne and H. A. Holt are hereby 
appomted agents for the purpose of making such purchases of arms and other 
military equipments as they may deem proper, within the limits of said appro- 
priation, and for the purpose of raising the necessary means — are hereby au- 
thorized to negotiate loan or loans for and in the name of said county or to 
execute bonds as agents of said county as they may see fit. And to act in the 
matter subject to the directions of the County Court of this county at any term 

Ordered that this Court now adjourn until the first day of the next term. 


At a Court held on the 4th day of June, 1861, Allen S. Berry, this day 
resigned his office as Presiding Justice of this Court, to take effect on the 1st 
day of August Court next. 

130 S U T T O N ' S H I S T O R Y. 

The Court proceeded to make choice of a Presiding Justice of this Court. 
Allen S. Berry and James M. Corley were put in nomination, and the Court 
proceeding to vote. There voted for Allen S. Berry, the following Justices, 
viz : Samuel Cutlip, Asa Coger, Jac. M. Evans, John C. Taylor and James M. 
Corley; and for James M. Corley, the following Justices, viz: Martin Eollyson, 
I. J. Friend, W. Thompson, A. J. Young, A. R. Cunningham, U. Duffield, S. 
W. Hines, Thomas Skidmore, Nathan Mollohan, Thomas Saulsbury, M. H. Mor- 
rison, E. Rader and A. S. Berry; and the said James M. Corley, receiving a 
majority of the votes, was declared duly elected Presiding Justice, to take effect 
on the 1st day of August term next. 

Ordered that this Court now adjourn till tomorrow morning 10 o'clock. 

The Court adjourned on the following day, June 5, 1861, and was the 
last County Court held by that body. The following Court met during the 
interim, and proceeded to transact business. 

At a Court held for the county of Braxton in the Jail of said County, 
the Courthouse having been destroyed by fire on the 4th day of March, 1862. 

Present gentlemen Justices James M. Corley, Martin Rollyson, Felix 
Sutton and Henry A. Baxter. 

Felix Sutton and Henry A. Baxter came forward and presented their cer- 
tificates of qualification as Justices of the Peace for the County of Braxton. 

Asa Squires who was on the 21st of November, 1861, elected by the quali- 
fied voters of said county for the term prescribed by law, to fill the vacancy 
occurred by Charles E. Singleton failing to take the oath required by the Wheel- 
ing Convention, late Clerk of said County, this day tendered aloud in the 
words and figures following: 

Know all men by these presents, that we, Asa Squires, John Morrison and 
Wm. W. Morrison, hold and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Virginia, 
in the just and full sum of Three Thousand dollars for the payment of which 
we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators, jointly and sever- 
ally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals, and dated on the 4th day 
of March, 1862. 

The conditions of the above obligations is such that where as, the above 
bound Asa Squires was on the 21st day of Nov. 1861, elected a Clerk of the 
County Court by the qualified voters thereof for the residue of an unexpired 
term of said office for the term of six years, dating from the 1st of July, 1858. 
Now, if the said Asa Squires shall faithfully perform the duties of his said 
office of Clerk of the County Court of Braxton County for the residue of said 
term, then the above obligation to be void; otherwise, to remain in full force 
and virtue. Witness the following signatures and seals, 


Wm. W. MORRISON (seal) 

which bond being approved of by the said Court, the said Asa Squires ap- 
peared in Court and took the several oaths prescribed by law. 


Felix J. Baxter appeared in Court, and qualified as Attorney for the 

Ordered that John Morrison be appointed Crier for the Court. Ordered 
that all Justices whose offices are vacated under the organization of the state 
by the Wheeling Convention, return their books to the Clerk of the County 
Court, viz: the new edition of the Code of Virginia, together with the Acts 
of 1859-60, also Mayo's Guide. 

Ordered that the House belonging to the heirs of Morgan Dyer be taken 
in custody and used for a Courthouse, and J. M. Coriey be appointed Commis- 
sioner to repair said house with such repairs as will suit the convenience of 
the Court. 

Ordered that a special election be held on the 1st Thursday in April next, 
to elect a Sheriff and Commissioner of the Revenue to fill the vacancies of F. 
C. Boggs and A. R. Given. 

Ordered that an election be held on the 1st Thursday in April next for 
the election of a Constable in each District in said County, also four Justices 
of the Peace in District No. 2. 

Ordered that an election be held to elect Overseers of the Poor in each 
District in said county except District No. 4. 

Ordered that an election be held on the 1st Thursday in April next to 
elect four Justices of the Peace in District No. 1. 

The Court then proceeded to appoint officers and Commissioners to con- 
duct and superintend said elections. 

It is therefore .ordered that James Skidmore, Samuel and Hosey Skidmore, 
be appointed Commissioners to superintend the election at the old house for- 
merly occupied by Thomas Saulsbury in District No. 1, and that Morgan Mor- 
rison be appointed conductor of said election. 

That Thomas H. Squires, James Blagg, Joseph Gregory. Ananias Ana- 
wolt be appointed Commissioners to superintend the election at Raymond's 
mill in District No. 2, and that Samuel P. Leslie be appointed conducting of- 
ficer at said election. 

That Peter Conrad, William Cutlip and George Williams be appointed 
Commissioners to superintend the election at the Cunningham store house in 
District No. 2, and that C. P. Townsend be appointed conducting officer. 

That Benjamin Skidmore, John Sterrett, Joseph Dillen be appointed Com- 
missioners to conduct the election at the Court house. District No. 3, and that 
John Morrison be appointed conducting officer at said election. 

That Jesse Jackson, Robert Jackson, David Cutlip be appointed Commis- 
sioners to superintend the election at the old Crites' house. District No. 3, and 
that Allen Skidmore be appointed conducting officer. 

That Martin Rollyson, Daniel Engle, Benjamin Dobbins and Michaei 
Smith be appointed Commissioners to superintend the election at the house of 
Daniel B. Friend on Steer creek, and that Christian Gerwig be appointed eon- 
ducting officer in District No. 4. 


That Israel J. Friend. Sampson Friend, Daniel Friend be appointed Com- 
missioners to superintend the election at the old Stonestreet house, and that 
Able Lough be appointed conducting officer District No. 4. 

That James F. Given, Samuel Given, George Hamric be appointed Com- 
missioners to superintend the election at the mouth of Birch, District No. 5, 
and that Joe McMorrow be appointed conducting officer. 

Ordered that this Court do now adjourn until tomorrow morning at ten 
o 'clock. 


Wednesday, March 5, 1862. 

The Court met in pursuance of the order of yesterday, present the same 

Ordered that Martin Rollyson be appointed Commissioner to repair the 

Ordered that William Rollyson be appointed Commissioner to furnish Poll 
Books for the elections to be held in April next. 

Ordered that this Court do now adjourn until the first day of next term. 


At a Court held for the county of Braxton at the Commissary office in 
the town of Sutton, on the 1st day of April, 1862, present Gentlemen Justices, 
James M. Corley, Felix Sutton, Martin Rollyson, Henry A. Baxter, David P. 

Ordered that Wesley C. Frame be appointed Surveyor of the road from 
the Court house, down the Elk river to the creek opposite the house of Archi- 
bald Taylor, and that Archibald Taylor and hands, James Skidmore, James 
R. Frame, Elmore Frame, Marshall Long, James Brady, Thomas Cogar, John 
S. Hannah and hands, Thomas McElwain and hands, James M. Corley and 
hands, L. A. Griffin, James Wine, John N. Skidmore, John Sterrett, Benjamin 
Skidmore and hands, aid and assist said Surveyor in keeping said road in 

Ordered that James A. Boggs be appointed Surveyor of the road from the 
creek opposite the house of Archibald Taylor, down the Elk river to the mouth 
of Otter, and that Isaac Boggs, II. N. Bell, Israel J. Friend, F. B. Stewart, 
Benjamin S. Boggs, Anderson Davis, Henry P. Evans, Abel Lough, Willis 
Thompson, Morgan Simmons, Phillip Troxell, together with the hands of J. 
A. Boggs, aid and assist said Surveyor in keeping said road in repair. 

Ordered that Francis C. Boggs be appointed Surveyor of the road from 
the mouth of Little Otter, down the Elk river to lower Rock Camp run, and 
that all the hands living on both sides of the Elk river on the streams running 
into said river between the mouth of Otter and lower Rock Camp, except James 
W. Gibson and hands, aid and assist said Surveyor in keeping said road in 


Ordered that Hiram Frame be appointed Surveyor of the road from Lower 
Rock Camp run to the mouth of Mill creek, and that all the hands living on both 
sides of the Elk river between said Rock Camp run and Mill creek, including 
the hands on both sides of Mill creek and on the streams running into the Elk 
river, aid and assist said Surveyor in keeping said road in repair. 

Ordered that Samuel Pox be appointed Surveyor of the road from the 
mouth of Mill creek, down the Elk river, through the farm of said Fox, to the 
line of Clay county, and that Archibald Armstrong and James McLaughlan on 
the south side of the Elk river, and all the hands on the north side of said river, 
between said Mill creek and Clay county line, to the head of the streams run- 
ning into the Elk river, aid and assist said Surveyor in keeping said road in 

David McMorrow who has been commissioned a Justice of the Peace 
to continue in office until the first, day of August, 1864, this day presented to 
the Court his certificate of having taken the several oaths of office, prescribed 
by law. 

Ordered that this Coui*t do now adjourn until tomorrow morning, 8 
o 'clock. 

J. M. CORLEY. . 
Wednesday, April 2, 1862. 

Pursuant to adjournment of yesterday, the Court met present Gentlemen 
Justices James M. Corley, Felix Sutton, Martin Rollyson, D. P. McMorrow. 

Ordered that David Engel be appointed Surveyor of the road from the 
forks of the creek above William C. Rime's place to the mouth of Lick Hollow, 
below Daniel Engel's, and that John H. Weihert, Daniel B. Friend, Ballard S. 
Rogers, John W. Buckhannon, John Bender, Andrew Bender and John Per- 
kins, aid and assist said Surveyor in keeping the said road in repair, etc. 

Ordered that Jacob Gerwig be appointed Surveyor of the road from the 
mouth of Lick Hollow, down Steer creek to the Gilmer line, and that Mathias 
Gerwig, Andrew Belknap, Arthur Kyer, John Moss, Thos. Belknap, Wm. Bel- 
knap, William Shafer, aid and assist the said Surveyor in keeping the said road 
in repair, etc. 

Ordered that Martin Rollyson be appointed Surveyor of the Road from 
the mouth of the Rush fork of Little Otter, over the hill by Joseph Dillion's 
to intersect the Granney's creek road, and that Joseph Dillion and hands, and 
all the hands living on the waters of Little Otter, except those on Willis 
Thompson's farm, aid and assist the said Surveyor in keeping the said road 
in repair, etc. 

Ordered that John Morrison be appointed Commissioner to superintend 
the taking care of brick on the public square, to-wit: to have it stacked and 
covered, also to have the lot taken care of by having the fence kept up around 
said lot. 

Ordered that this Court do now adjourn until Court in course. 



At a Court held in the county of Braxton on the 3rd day of June,. 1862, 
at the Harvey Hefner house in Sutton, Present James M. Coi'ley, Felix Sutton, 
Henry A. Baxter, Martin Rollyson, Gentlemen Justices. 

Grand Jury to-wit: James W. Morrison, foreman, Uriah Singleton. Wash- 
ington H. Berry, Harvey F. Hyer, G. D. Mollohan, David H. Bright, B. F. 
Fisher, Thomas McElwain, Benjamin Huffman, Wm. Huffman, A. J. Hyer, 
Jesse Shaver, W. D. Baxter, James Skidmore, Daniel Engle, Elijah Perkins 
were impanneled and sworn a Grand Jury of Inquest for the body of the coun- 
ty, for reasons appearing to the Court, the Jury is discharged. This was the 
only Grand Jury impaneled under the authority of the Wheeling Convention 
or during the interim. 

Samuel Knicely, this day proved to the satisfaction of the Court that his 
vote on the ordinance of secession was polled wrong, being polled in favor of 
secession, the Court being satisfied that he voted for the Union. 

Ordered Wm. Brady be added to Daniel Engle 's Precinct of Road to aid 
and assist in keeping said road in repair. 

Ordered that this. Court do now adjourn until the next term. 


At a Court held for the County of Braxton on the 1st day of July, 1862, 
at the Harvey Heifner house in Sutton, present James M. Corley, Martin Rol- 
lyson, Henry A. Baxter, N. M. Hyer, Gentlemen Justices. Ordered that the 
Crier summon all the acting Justices of this County to meet here on the first 
day of next Court to lay the county levy, and for other purposes. 

Ordered that Morgan H. Morrison be appointed Surveyor of the road from 
the town of Sutton, up the Elk river and Bee run mill to the bridge across Lit- 
tle Flatwoods run, opposite Adam J. Hyre's, and that Ancel Tinny and hands, 
John Sterritt, Seth Thayer and hands, Michael Carle, Benjamin Huffman and 
hands, Wm. Huffman, A. L. Hyre, Henry A. Baxter, Michael Griffin and hands, 
Michael McAnany and hands, Elias Perkins, James W. Matthews, E. G. Sprigg 
and hands. James H. Facemire and Andrew Facemire, aid and assist said Sur- 
veyor in keeping said road in repair. 

Ordered Franklin Beamer be appointed Surveyor of the road from the 
bridge across Little Flatwoods run, opposite A. J. Hyre's to the mouth of 
Brock's run on the Holly river, and that James Bleigh- and hands, Simon 
Prince, Marshall Perkins, Adam Gillespie and hands, Jeremiah Gillespie, Johu 
Hoover and hands, Thomas Thorp, Thomas Skidmore, James Skidmore, Philip 
Rogers, Sr., and hands, James W. Morrison and hands, John Irwin and hands, 
James W. Irwin, John Warford, John Gillespie, Sr., and hands, John J. Skid- 
more, Phillip Rogers, Wm. Cochran, Thomas Saulsbury and hands, Enoch Per- 
kins, Robert J. McClure, aid and assist said Svxrveyor in keeping said road hi 

Ordered that this Court do now adjovirn until tomorrow morning at 8 
o 'clock. 


S TJ T T O N ' S H I S T O R Y. 135 

July 2, 1862. 

Pursuant to adjournment of yesterday, the Court met, present Gentlemen 
Justices, J. M. Corley, Martin Rollyson, Henry A. Baxter, N. M. Hyre. 

Ordered that James M. Corley, John Morrison and Asa Squires, Jr., be 
appointed a committee to list the claims of the county for the year ending the 
31st day of May, 1862. 

Ordered that George Duffield be appointed Surveyor of the road from 
Benjamin Skidmore's down the Elk river on the Birch road to the ford of the 
Birch river, P. A. Griffin. John N. Skidmore, E. B. Cunningham, James W. 
Gibson and hands, Ansel Mollohan, Berton Pierson, David Frame, Wm. James, 
Arthur Cotter and hands, Washington Pierson, George Keener and hands, 
Samuel Keener, Charles D. Keener, Theodore Given, John Given and hands, 
aid and assist said Surveyor in keeping said road in repair. 

Ordered that Samuel Given be appointed Surveyor of the road from the 
ford of the Birch river to Strange creek at John Frame's, and that Uriah 
Duffield and hands, Samuel Given and bands, Thomas Cox, John Frame and 
hands, Irvin D. Johnson, aid and assist said Siu*veyor in keeping said road in 

Ordered that George Cart be appointed Surveyor of the road from Strange 
creek to the Clay county line, that Isaac W. Evans, Thomas Lamb and hands, 
A. J. Nottingham, James Painter, aid and assist said Surveyor in keeping said 
road in repair. 

Ordered that Havilah Shaver be appointed Surveyor of the road from the 
three forks of Cedar creek, up the middle fork of said creek, to the head and 
down the Rush fork of Granny's creek to its mouth, and that Isaac Shaver, 
Henry Ulrich, Elliott McNeamer, Hiram Foster, Alfred Westfall, Henry Smith, 
Felix Smith, Isaac Loyd and hands, Jacob Shaver and hands, John Crawford. 
Charles Corrick, aid and assist said Surveyor in keeping said road in repair. 

Michael Rollyson was this day authorized by the Court to celebrate the 
rites of matrimony in this county, whereupon the said Michael Rollyson, to- 
gether with Leonard Hyer, Martin Rollyson, his securities, entered into and 
acknowledged a bond in the penalty of fifteen hundred dollars, payable to the 
Commonwealth of Virginia, conditioned according to law, whereupon the said 
Michael Rollyson took the oath of fidelity to the Commonwealth, together with 
an oath for the faithful performance of his duty. 

Ordered that this Court do now adjourn until the first day of next term. 


At a Court held for Braxton county at. the Harvey Heifner house in 
Sutton on the 5th day of August, 1862, 

Present James M. Corley, Felix Sutton, Henry A. Baxter, Israel J. Friend, 
David H. Bright, Samuel P. Leslie. Martin Rollyson, N. M. Hyre, Michael 
Rollyson, Gentlemen Justices. 

David H. Bright, Samuel P. Leslie and Michael Rollyson, who having been 


commissioned Justices of the Peace, to continue in office until the first day of 
August, 1864, appeared in Court, and took the several oaths of office pre- 
scribed by law before. 

A majority of the Justices of the county being present, the Court pro- 
ceeded to lay a levy to pay a list of claims. 

Ordered that the Sheriff of this county collect from each tithable of this 
county, one dollar and pay these claims. 

Ordered that the Sheriff of this county collect from each tithable of the 
county, twenty-five cents and pay to the order of the Court for the benefit of 
the poor. 

The Court proceeded to classify the Justices for the performance of their 
duties, a majority of all the acting Justices of the county being present, the 
classification being as follows: 

For the August term, 1862, Henry A. Baxter, L. J. Friend. 

For the Sept. term, 1862, Martin Rollyson, David H. Bright. 

For the Oct. term, 1862, Michael Rollyson, David P. McMorrow. 

For the Nov. term, 1862, N. M. Hyer ; Felix Sutton. 

For the Dec. term, 1862, Samuel P. Leslie, Elias Cunningham. 

For the Jan. term, 1863, Henry A. Baxter, L. J. Friend. 

For the Feb. term, 1863, Martin Rollyson, David H. Bright. 

For the March term, 1863, Michael Rollyson, David P. McMorrow. 

For the April term, 1863, N. M. Hyer. Felix Sutton. 

For the May term, 1863, Samuel P. Leslie, Elias Cunningham. 

Ordered that this Court do now adjourn until tomorrow morning nine 
o 'clock. 


In pursuance of adjournment of yesterday, the Court met on Wednesday, 
the 6th day of August, 1862. 

Present, J. M. Corley, Henry A. Baxter, L. J. Friend, Gentlemen Justices. 

Ordered that Harvey Hyre be appointed Surveyor of the road from the 
pike at the upper end of the Samuel J. Singleton farm, up the left hand fork 
of O'Brein'siork, through the Flatwoods, to intersect the pike at the farm of 
Levi Prince, and that John Daily, "Washington H. Berry, Allen S. Berry and 
hands, John Eubank, and all the hands living on the Craven Berry farm, the 
hands living on the Elijah Squires farm, Hanson B. Hudkins, Elijah H. Squires, 
Wm. R. Lancaster, Jesse Shaver and hands, Richard Stewart, John L. Rhea 
and hands, aid and assist said Surveyor in keeping said road in repair. 

Ordered that Samuel E. Rollyson be appointed Surveyor of the road, be- 
ginning at the Braxton and Gilmer county line on O'Brien's fork of Steer 
creek, and up said fork to the hill above the Benjamin Dobbins farm, and that 
John M. Dobbins, Allen Meadows, John Clark, Addison Willson, Jacob Keener, 
William Dobbins, James Dobbins, Mason Minny, Seth F. Hambric, William 
Perkins, Andrew Carr, James P. Carr, aid and assist said Surveyor in keep- 
ing said road in repair. 


On motion of Win. Griffin who made oath according to law, and at his 
request a certificate is granted Adam J. Hyer for obtaining letters of adminis- 
tration of the goods and chattels of Joseph N. Griffin, and there being no se- 
curity required, said A. J. Hyer appeared and took the oaths prescribed by 

Ordered that Henry A. Baxter be appointed a Commissioner to superin- 
tend the repairing of the Dyer house in Sutton, with such repairs as will make 
it convenient for a court house in room of J. M. Corley. 

Ordered that B. F. Fisher, Adam Perkins, Hanson Stout and Joshua Jones 
be added to the Precinct of road that Morgan H. Morrison is Surveyor of. 

John Morrison who was appointed Crier at a former term of this Court, 
this day appeared in Court and took the several oaths prescribed by law. 

The Court has this day prepared a list of eighty-four inhabitants of this 
county, being persons of sound mind and free from legal exceptions, to serve 
as Jurors for the trial of causes in the Circuit and County Courts of this county, 
in which Jurors are required for the ensuing year, which list has been disposed 
of as required by law, concerning the compensation and empanneling of Jur- 
ors, their qualifications and manner of selection in certain causes. 

Ordered that this Court do now adjourn until the first day of next term. 


At a Court held for the county of Braxton at the Dyer house in the town 
of Sutton on Tuesday, the 6th day of January, I860, 

Present, Felix Sutton, Martin Rollyson, L. J. Friend, Henry A. Baxter, 
D. P. McMorrow, Gentlemen Justices. 

Ordered that a special election be held in this county on Tuesday, the 27th 
inst., to elect a Commissioner of the Revenue for said county, and that a writ 
of election issue to the Crier to cause the same to be held in the several election 
districts of this county, and that the Commissioners and Conductors heretofore 
appointed, superintend said elections. 

A copy of the last will and testament of William Morrison, Dec, late of 
Galia county, Ohio, was this day presented in open Court, the Court being of 
opinion that will was in due form of law, ordered the same to be recorded, and 
on motion of James W. Morrison, the. executor therein named, who made oath 
thereto, and together with John Morrison, his security, entered into and ac- 
knowledged a bond in the penalty of six hundred dollars, payable to the Com- 
monwealth of Virginia, cnditioned according to law, certificate is granted the 
said James W. Morrison for obtaining a probate of said will in due form, and 
on the further motion of said executor, it is ordered that George D. Mollohan, 
Harvey F. Hyer, Elijah H. Squires be appointed to appraise the personal 
estate of said deceased. 

Wm. Newlon, Gentleman, who hath been duly qualified to practice law in 
the Courts of this Commonwealth, on his motion, hath leave to practice in this 
Court, whereupon the said Newlon appeared in open Court, and took the sev- 
eral oaths prescribed by law. 


Ordered that this Court do now adjourn until tomorrow morning 9 o'clock. 


"Wednesday, January the 7th, 1863. 

The Court met in pursuance of adjournment of yesterday, present Felix 
Sutton, Martin Rollyson, L. J. Friend, Henry A. Baxter, David P. McMorrow, 
Michael Rollyson, Gentlemen Justices. 

It appealing to the satisfaction of the Court that Elijah Perkins of Brax- 
ton county is now in custody of Colonel David J. Hews of the 3rd Virginia 
Regiment Int. of the United States, upon a charge of felony at Bulltown in 
said county. Upon the suggestion of Felix J. Baxter, the Attorney for the 
Commonwealth, with the assent of the Court, it is ordered that John Morrison, 
Crier of the Court, take the body of the said Elijah Perkins, and take him be- 
fore some Justice of the Peace of Braxton county who is hereby authorized to take 
bail of the said Perkins, in the sum of two hundred dollars, with one or more 
sureties in the like sum of two hundred dollars, payable to the Commonwealth 
of Virginia, conditioned for his personnel appealing before the Court of Brax- 
ton county at the February term next of said Court, then and there to answer 
to such charge as may be made against him, touching the said felony, and will 
not depart thence without leave of the said Court, then the said obligation to be 
void — else to remain in full force and virtue, the said Perkins by "Win. Newkm, 
his council here in Court, waiving a trial before a Justice of the Peace, and 
that said Justice make return of his proceedings to the Clerk of this Court 
without delay. 

Ordered that this Court do now adjourn until the first day of the next 

February 4, 1863. 

At a Court held for the county of Braxton, at the Dyer house in Sutton, 
Present, Felix Sutton, Michael Rollyson, David P. McMorrow, L. J. Friend, 
Gentlemen Justices. 

Henry A. Baxter who, on the 27th day of January, 1863, was duly elected 
Commissioner of the Revenue for the county of Braxton, by the qualified vo- 
ters thereof, for the term of two years, commencing on the first day of Febru- 
ary, 1863, this day appeared in Court, and took the oath of office, and entered 
into and acknowledged a bond in the sum of five thousand dollars, payable to 
the Commonwealth of Virginia, conditioned according to law, with Harvey 
F. Hyre and Elijah Perkins his securities, which bond is ordered to be recorded 
by the clerk of the Court of this county, who is also directed to transmit a copy 
of said bond to the Auditor of Public Accounts. 

Ordered that Asa Squires be appointed a Commissioner to see to the 
condition of the papers belonging to the Clerk's office of this Court, which by 


military authority, having been removed to Weston, Lewis county, Va., and that 
he as Clerk of this Court, and by virtue of this appointment is authorized to 
take in care all papers and books belonging to said office, and to do all things 
necessary for their preservation. 

Ordered that this Court do now adjourn until the first day of next Court. 


At a Court held for the county of Braxton, in the Dyer house in Sutton, 
on Tuesday, the 7th day of April, 1863, Present, Felix Sutton, Martin Rollyson, 
David Bright, Gentlemen Justices. 

John L. Rhea, this day, produced before the Court, a certificate of his hav- 
ing taken the oath of fidelity to the United States, and also to the restored 
government of Virginia, under the Wheeling government, dated the 19th of 
September, 1861. 

The Court being of the opinion that there has been no intentional violation 
of the law on the part of the said John L. Rhea, who was authorized to celebrate 
marriages as an ordained minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
and the said John L. Rhea, has sworn to and subscribed a certificate of said 
oath which is placed on file. 

John G. Morrison was this day appointed Guardian of the minor children 
of James Shawver, deceased ; who appeared in Court and gave a bond with 
Harvey F. Hyer, his security, in the penalty of one thousand dollars, condi- 
tioned according to law for the faithful performance of his Trust. 

Ordered that this Court dc now adjourn until the first day of next term. 



State op West Virginia, County of Braxton. 

First day, first meeting, held June 20, 1867. 

The following named persons were duly elected to the Offices of Super- 
susors of said county on the 23rd day of May, 1867, to-wit : 

Washington township, Milton Frame; Lincoln township, Israel J. Friend; 
Franklin township, Asa Squires; Clay township, Robt, H. Mealy. 

In accordance with law, the Supervisors met on the 20th day of June, 
1867, all present and organized by appointing Israel J. Friend President, and 
Ellis W. Squires Clerk. Whereupon the said Ellis W. Squires together with 
Craven Berry, his security, entered into and acknowledged a Bond in the pen- 
alty of One Thousand Dollars for the faithful performance of the duties of his 
office. The Board proceeded to business. 

Be it ordained that John G. Young be appointed Assistant Assessor to aid 
Felix Sutton in completing (he assessment of said county for the year 1867. 

Be it ordained that Wm. H. Perkins obtain permit to retail ardent spirits 
at his house in Sutton, Braxton county, upon his complying with the law 
made and provided in such eases. 


Be it ordained that John MeH. Kelly obtain permit to keep private en- 
tertainment at his house in Sutton, Braxton county. 

Be it ordained that the following claims after being considered were 
allowed : 

Wm. Newlon, States Attorney, for fractional part of the year ending 20th 
day of June, 1867, $50.00. 

Same for services as agent for O. S. Poor for year ending on the 20th day 
of June, 1867, $25.00. 

John H. Cunningham, Clerk of Circuit Court for ex-officio services, $75.00. 

Same for ex-officio services as Recorder, $37.50. 

Henry Bender, Justice of Lincoln township, for holding inquest over the 
dead body of Peter Cogar, $5.00. 

Solathiel Skidmore for summonsing twelve Jurors for said Inquest, $3.00. 

Ordered that this meeting do now adjourn until tomorrow morning at ten 
o 'clock. 

ISRAEL J. FRIEND, President. 
E. W. SQUIRES, Clerk. 

Second day, first meeting, June 21, 1867. 

Pursuant to adjournment of yesterday, the Board met, same members 
present. The orders of yesterday being read, corrected and signed, the Board 
proceeded to business. 

Be it ordained that the following claims were considered and allowed : 

G-. F. Taylor for building Bridge as per contract with John S. Hannah, 

John S. Taylor for building Bridge as per contract with John S. Hannah, 

Archibald Taylor for b adding Bridge as per contract with John S. Han- 
nah, $26.00. 

Abel M. Lough for building Bridge as per contract with John S. Hannah, 

Henderson H. Beall for building Bridge as per contract with John S. 
Hannah, $90.00. 

The above claims are ordered to be paid out of a levy laid in Lincoln 
township for Bond purposes. 

Be it Ordained that the Books and Files belonging to the Clerk's office 
of this county be removed to the Clerk's office of said county, and that John H. 
Cunningham be appointed a Commissioner to superintend the same. 

Be it ordained that the Books and Files belonging to the Recorder's office 
of this county be removed to the Recorder's office of .said county, and that 
John H. Cunningham be appointed a Commissioner to superintend the same. 

First day, second meeting, July 20, 1867. 

Agreeable to adjournment of June 21, 1867, the Supervisors of the County 
of Braxton met, the members all being present, to-wit : 


Israel J. Friend, President, Milton Frame, Robt. H. Mealy and Asa 
Squires. The Board proceeded to business. 

Be it ordained that an order made by the Supervisors of this county at a 
meeting ln-ld on the 9th day of April, 1867, allowing the county Superintendent 
of Free Schools of this county, Four Hundred Dollars per annum, be rescinded 
from and after the 20th day of June, 1867. The present Supervisors being of 
opinion that said allowance was extravagant, and not warranted by law, and 
that the Clerk forward a copy of this order to the State Superintendent of 
Free Schools. 

Be it ordained that John Bender be appointed Constable of Lincoln town- 
ship, it appearing to the Supervisors that there is no Constable in said township. 

Be it ordained that the following claims be allowed and certified for 
payment : 

David E. Cutlip for fractional part of year as Clerk of the Board of Su- 
pervisors, $5.55. 

David E. Cutlip use Wm. H. Byrne making out Poll Books for county, 

John H. Cunningham for removing offices, $10.00. 

Third day, second meeting July 23, 1867. 

Agreeable to adjournment of yesterday, the Supervisors of the County of 
Braxton met, same members present, the Board proceeded to business. 

Be it ordained that the following claims be allowed and ordered to be cer- 
tified for payment: 

D. P. McMorrow for two years' clerking in Washington township, $40.00. 

M. S. Barnett for one year's clerking in Franklin township, $20.00. 

Mathias Gerwig, one year's clerking in Lincoln township, $25.00. 

Elijah Perkins presented his Bond to the Supervisors of Braxton county 
on the 21st day of June, 1867, together with Geo. H. Morrison, W. L. J. Corley, 
J. H. Cunningham, M. Rollyson, Jacob Riffle, Wm. H. Perkins and C. W. Kel- 
ley, his securities who severally appeared before the Board on that day and ac- 
knowledged the same whereupon the Supervisors confirmed the contract with 
said Perkins for building Jail for said county. 

Be it ordained that Asa Squires be and is hereby appointed a Commis- 
sioner to furnish the Court House of this county with a stove. 

Be it ordained that Ellis W. Squires be allowed Fifty Dollars for services 
rendered as Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, and that the same be certified 
for payment, $50.00. 

Ordered that this meeting do now adjourn until the 5th day of November. 

ISRAEL J. FRIEND, President. 

E. W. SQUIRES, Clerk. 

At a stated meeting of the Supervisors of the county of Braxton held at 
the Court House of said county on the 5th day of November, 1867, it being the 


12th day after the election held on the 24th day of October, 1867, members 
present, to- wit: 

Israel J. Friend, President, Milton Frame, Hobt. H. Mealy and Asa 
Squires. The Board proceeded to business. 

By carefully and impartially examining the returns of the election held 
in said county on the 24th day of October, 1867, and certify that for the office 
of Senator of the 6th Senatorial district. 

That Wm. J. Drummond received in said county one hundred and eighty- 
five (185) votes, and 

That E. J. O'Brien received in said county o^^e hundred and twenty-four 
(124) votes, and 

For County Delegate, Henry Bender received in said county one hundred 
and eighty-two (182) votes, and 

Wm. D. Rollyson received in said county one hundred and twenty-six (126) 
votes, and 

For the office of County Superintendent of Free Schools, Norman B. 
Squires received in said county one hundred and eighty-two votes (182), and 

G. F. Taylor received in said county one hundred and twenty-five (125) 

Therefore, be it ordained that Henry Bender was on the 24th day of Oc- 
tober, 1867, duly elected Delegate to the Legislature of West Virginia from 
said county. 

Be it ordained that Norman B. Squires was on the 24th day of October, 
1867, duly elected to the office of County Superintendent of Free Schools for 
the term prescribed by law. 

At a Special meeting of the Supervisors of the county of Braxton held at 
the Court House of said county on the 28th day of November, 1867, members 
present to-wit: 

I. J. Friend, President, Milton Frame and Asa Squires. The Board pro- 
ceeded to business. 

Be it ordained that G. F. Taylor be appointed a Commissioner to settle 
with F. C. Boggs, late Sheriff of Braxton county, for the year 1861, and report to 
this Board the amount of taxes collected by F. C. Boggs for said year. 

Be it ordained that G. F. oppointed a Commissioner to settle 
with Geo. H. Morrison, Sheriff of Braxton county, and ascertain the amount of 
tax receipts given by F. C. Boggs for taxes collected by him in the year 1861, 
designating the amount of state tax and report to this Board. 

This day, Henry Bender appeared before the Supervisors of Braxton 
county, and tendered his resignation as Justice of Lincoln township which was 
accepted by said board. 

Be it ordained that Elmon Frame be appointed a Justice in Lincoln town- 
ship of Braxton county in place of Henry Bender, resigned, until his successor 
is elected and qualified. 


February 5. 1868. 

Be it ordained that OJiver L. Jones be allowed Five Dollars for furnishing 
chairs to the Court House, $5.00. 

The above order to be issued in favor of Thomas Kennedy. 

Be it ordained that Felix Skidmore be appointed a Commissioner for the 
purpose of letting out the Turn Pike "Road in this county from the Lewis 
county line to the Nicholas county line, upon contracts for a certain length of 
time, not exceeding five years, to contractors who will undei-take to repair and 
keep said road in repair for the tolls on same. 

Be it ordained that P. B. Duffy be permitted to occupy the south end of 
the Clerk's office at one dollar per month until called on by Mr. Berry to be 
repaired at which time he will give up the room. 

Be it ordained that Joel Berry, John Heater and Thomas H. Squires do 
view and mark out a way for a road from the mouth of the run on Salt Lick 
on Ellis Singleton's farm to the Pike at his store house, being first duly sworn 
for the purpose and report to this Board, according to law. 

Be it ordained that F. B. Smith obtain permit to keep private entertain- 
ment at his house in Sutton, Braxton county, by his complying with the law 
made and provided in such cases. 

The Board of Supervisors .doth certify that Jhn H. Cunningham, gentle- 
man, who wishes to obtain a license to practice as an attorney in the courts of 
this state, hath resided in this county for the last preceding twelve months, that 
he is a person of honest demeanor, and is over twenty-one years old. 

The Board of Supervisors doth certify that Geo. H. Morrison, gentlemen, 
who wishes to obtain a license to practice as an attorney in the courts o^f this 
state, hath resided in this county for the last, preceding twelve month, that he 
is a person of honest demeanor, and is over twenty-one years old. 

March 16, 1869. 

It appearing to the Board that Jacob "W. Westfall is assessed with 100 
acres of land on the waters of Cedar creek, Lincoln township, at $11.06 per 
acre, when in truth said land is not worth more than $6.00 per acre. Therefore, 
be it ordained, 

That said tract of land be assessed at $6.00 per acre, and that the Clerk of 
this Board certify a copy of this order to the Assessor of District No. 2 of said 
county, that he may correct his Books thereby. 

Be it ordained that G. F. Taylor be appointed a Commissioner to settle 
with H. A. Baxter, State Treasurer of said county, and report to this Board. 

March 17, 1869. 

It appearing to the Board that B. F. Fisher is assessed with a tract of 174 
acres of land situated on Scott's fork of Cedar creek, Lincoln township, at 


$4.74 per acre, when in truth the east value of said land does not exceed $3.00 
per acre. Therefore, be it ordered 

That the said tract of land aforesaid be, and the same is, hereby assessed 
at $3.00, the actual cast value aforesaid, and that the Clerk of this Board cer- 
tify a copy of this order to the Assessor of District No. 2 of said county, that 
he may correct his books thereby. 

March 18, 1869. 

By order of the Board of Supervisors of the county of Braxton, bids will 
be received by E. W. Squires, Clerk of said Board, for the construction of a 
fence enclosing the public lot and buildings of said county until the 3rd day 
of April, 1869, to be constructed according to the following specifications, 
to- wit : 

Posts to be of locust, not less than six (6) inches in diameter, and not more 
than 8 feet apart, from center to center, to be placed at least 20 inches in the 
ground, to be boarded with white Oak plank, not less 6 inches wire, said fence 
to be five feet high, containing six planks to the panel, five upon the side, and 
one upon the top. Two gates one 9 feet wide, placed on the south side of the 
lot, the other gate to be 4 feet wide, placed on style, 8 feet wide and 3 feet 
high, constructed of 2 inch white Oak plank, said work to be completed by the 
20th day of June, 1869. 

Be it ordered that N. B. Squires be appointed a Commissioner to super- 
intend the cleaning up of the loose rubbish on public lot, said work not to ex- 
ceed four days, with team. 

May 17, 1869. 

It is ordered that I. C. Ocheltree be allowed TAvelve dollars and fifty cents 
for services rendered as Clerk of Clay township, and that the same be certi- 
fied for payment. 

Be it ordered that Norman B. Squires be allowed Twenty-two Dollars and 
twelve cents for cleaning off the Public Lot, and furnishing Blanks and Station- 
ery for the county. 

September 2, 1869. 

At a called meeting of the Supervisors of the county of Braxton held at 
the Court House of said county on the 2nd day of September, 1869, members 
present, to-wit: 

I. J. Friend, President, Henry A. Baxter, Milton Frame and Zebedee. 
Brown. The Board proceeded to business. 

It is ordered that Henry A. Baxter, Commissioner of Turn Pike road in 
this county, be allowed One Hundred and Sixty Dollars to be expended on said 


road by said Commissioner, said amount to be issued in two checks, to-wit: one 
$100.00, and one, $60.00. 

Ordered that this meeting now adjourn. 

ISRAEL J. FRIEND, President. 


October 5, 1869. 

Ordered that N. B. Squires be allowed Twelve Dollars and thirty-five cents 
for stationery furnished Board for use of county. 

Ordered that N. B. Squires be allowed Twenty-Five Dollars for services 
rendered in examining Commissioners' Books of said county. 

Ordered that G. F. Taylor be allowed Five Dollars and sixty-four cents 
for stationery furnished county. 

Ordered that H. A. Baxter be allowed Eight Dollars and eighty-four cents 
for services rendered as member of Board for quarter ending September 30, 

Ordered that N. B. Squires be allowed Twenty-five Dollars and thirty-six 
cents for copying in Book delinquent lands, etc. 

Ordered that I. J. Friend be allowed Seventeen Dollars and sixteen cents 
for services rendered as President of Board, for quarter ending September 30, 

Ordered that Zebedee Brown be allowed Eleven Dollars and sixty cents 
for services rendered as member of Board for quarter ending September 30, 

Ordered that Milton Frame be allowed Seventeen Dollars and twenty cents 
for services rendered as member of Board for quarter ending September 30, 

Ordered that E. W. Squires be allowed Fifty Dollars for services rendered 
as Clerk of Board for quarter ending September 30, 1869. 

Ordered that this meeting now adjourn to meet tomorrow morning at 9 
o 'clock. , 

ISRAEL J. FRIEND, President. 
E. AY. SQUIRES, Clerk. 

At a stated meeting of the Supervisors of the county of Braxton held at 
the Court House of said county on the 2nd day of November, 1869, Members 
present to-wit : 

I. J. Friend, President, Henry A. Baxter, Milton Frame and Zebedee 
Brown. The Board proceeded to business. 

By taking up and fairly and impartially examining the returns of the 
election held in said county on the 28th day of October, 1869, and do hereby 
certify that for the office of State Senator in District No. 6, Spencer Dayton 
received in said county Two Hundred and sixty-two (262) votes, and that 
Blackwell Jackson received in said county four (4) votes. 


For the office of Delegate, Alpheus McCoy received in said county One 
Hundred and Fifty (150) votes, and Wm. D. Rollyson received in said county 
one hundred and twenty-five (125) votes. 

For the office of Superintendent of Free Schools, Wellington F. Morrison 
received in said county One Hundred and thirty-seven (137) votes, and tbat 
Asa Squires received in said county ninety-three (93) votes, and that G. F. 
Taylor received in said county Forty-three (43) votes. 

First Day — First Meeting. 

At a stated meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the county and State 
aforesaid, held at the Court House of said county, on the 4th day of January, 
1870. Members present to-wit: 

Craven Berry, Geo. D. Mollohan, George Dobbins and Geo. McCoy. Where- 
upon said Board proceeded to organize, and failing to agree ujion a President, 
it was moved and ordered that Geo. D. Mollohan be appointed President pro- 
tempore. Whereupon the said Board proceeded to business by electing Ellis 
W. Squires Clerk. Said Ellis W. Squires together with Norman B. Squires, his 
escurity, entered into and acknowledged a Bond in the penalty of Fifteen Hun- 
dred Dollars for the faithful performance of the duties of his said office, said 
Bond being approved by said Board. Said Squires- took the several oaths pre- 
scribed by law. 

The Board further proceeded by drawing a list of Jurors for the year 
Eighteen Hundred and Seventy as prescribed by law. 

E. W. SQUIRES, Clerk. 

G. D. MOLLOHAN, Pres. Pro. tem. 

First Day — -Second Meeting. 

At a meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the county of Braxton held 
the Court House of said county on the 1st day of February, 1870. Members 
present to-wit: 

Geo. D. Mollohan, Craven Berry, Geo. Dobbins and Geo. McCoy. Where- 
upon said Board proceeded to elect a President, having failed at their first 
meeting to agree upon a President. It is moved and ordered that Geo. D. Mol- 
lohan be appointed President Protempore, whereupon said Board proceeded 
to business. 

Order No. 6. 

The Supervisor doth certify that G. F. Taylor, a Gentleman who wishes 
to obtain a license to praactice as an Attorney in the Courts of this State, hath 
resided in this county for the last preceding twelve month, that he is a person 
of honest demeanor, and is over twenty-one years old. 


Order No. 8. 

The Supervisors doth certify that G. P. Taylor, a Gentleman who wishes 
to obtain a license to practice as an Attorney in the Courts of this State, hath 
resided in this county for the last preceding twelve months, that he is a person 
of honest demeanor, and is over twenty-one years old. 

First Day — Third Meeting. 


At a meeting of the Supervisors of the county of Braxton held at the 
Court House of said county on the 3rd day of March, 1870. Members present 
to-wit : 

Craven Berry, Geo. D. Mollohan and Geo. McCoy. Whereupon said Board 
proceeded to elect a President, and failing to agree upon a President, it is moved 
and ordered that Craven Berry be appointed President protempore. The 
Board then proceeded to business. 

Third Day — Third Meeting. 

March 5, 1870. 

Agreeable to adjournment of yesterday, the Supervisors met. Same mem- 
bers present, the Board proceeded to elect a President by ballot, whereupon it 
appears that Geo. McCoy was duly elected President. The Board proceeded 
to business. 

Second Day — Seventh Meeting. 

August 4, 1870. 

Agreeable to adjournment of yesterday, the Supervisors met, the same 
members present, the Board proceeded to business. 

Order No. 83. 

The Assessors of tliis county having this day made returns showing that 
the Real Estate and Personal Property of this county subject to taxation 
amounts to $1,179,898.49, and that the indebtedness of the county amounts to 
$3,835.00, including Road- and Poor Tax. 

Order No. 84. 

Therefore, be it ordained that the sum of Thirty-eight cents be levied on 
the One Hundred Dollars' worth of all the personal property and Real Estate 
of said county to deft-ay the expenses of the fiscal year ending on the first Wed- 
nesday in August, 1871. 

148 suttok's history. 

First Day- -First Meeting. 

At a regular meeting of the Supervisors of the county of Braxton held at 
the Court House thereof on the 3rd day of January, 1871. Members present 
to- wit : 

M. H. Morrison, Washington H. Berry, Nimrod W. Loyd and John Carr. 
Whereupon said Board proceeded to organize by electing Morgan H. Morri- 
son President and Ellis W. Squires Clerk. Said Squires together with Geo. 
D. Mollohan and Henry Bender, his securities, entered into Bond in the penal 
sum of One Thousand, Five Hundred Dollars for the faithful performance of 
the duties of his office as said Clerk. 

Order No.'l. 

The Board further proceeded to business by directing their Clerk to make 
an order requesting the Board of Registration of this County to call a meeting 
at one of their Board for the purpose of placing upon the Register of Voters 
the names of all persons who are entitled to be registered in order to enable the 
Supervisors to draw from said Register a list of Jurors to serve for the year 

Second Day — First Meeting. 

January 4, 1871. 

AgreeabLe to adjournment of yesterday, the Board of Supervisors met, 
members present to-wit: 

M. H. Morrison, President, Washington H. Berry, Nimrod W. Loyd and 
John ,Carr. The Board proceeded to business. 

Order No. 5. 

This day, Wm. H. Perkins, a citizen of this county, applied to the Super- 
visors for license to retail ardent spirits, which application was refused by the 

Order No. 6. 

Be it ordained by the Supervisors of the county of Braxton that a Bounty 
or Reward of seventy-five cents be paid for the scalps of every full grown Red 
Fox, and thirty-seven and a half cents for every half grown Red Fox, killed in 
said county, and within the year 1871. Any and all persons claiming the afore- 
said Bounties or Reward must make it appear to the satisfaction of this Board 
that they were the identical persons who did kill and scalp the aforesaid Foxes, 
and that the same was done in this county and the year aforesaid. 

At a stated meeting of the Supervisors of Braxton county held at the Court 
House thereof on the 1st day of November, 1871. Members present to-wit: 

M. H. Morrison, President, W. H. Berry, J. A. Boggs and John Carr. 

The Board proceeded to business by taking up, and fairly and impartially 
examining the returns of the election held in said county on the 26th day of 


October, 1871 ; and do hereby certify that for the office of Constitutional Con- 
vention, 6th District, Blackwell Jackson received in said county Eight Hundred 
and forty-four (844) votes; Samuel Woods received in said, county Eight Hun- 
dred and forty-seven (847) votes; M. W. Coburn received in said county One 
Hundred and thirty-three (133) votes: Craven Berry received in said county 
One Hundred and twenty-eight (128) votes. 

For the office of State Senate, 6th District, Geo. H. Morrison received in 
said county Eight Hundred and fifty (850) votes; Hoy McClain received in 
said county One Hundred and twenty-four (124) votes. 

For the office of Constitutional Convention from the county of Braxton, 
Homer A. Holt received in said county Nine Hundred and twenty-three (923) 

For the office of Delegate to the Legislature, W. D. Rollyson received in 
said county Eight Hundred and twenty-eight (828) votes; Jas. A. Boggs re- 
ceived in said county ninety-eight (98) votes. 

For the office of County Superintendent of Free Schools, Thornton J. Ber- 
ry received in said county Nine Hundred" and twenty-five (925) votes. 

At a stated meeting of the Supervisors of the county of Braxton held at 
the Court House thereof on the 2nd day of January, 1872, members present 
to- wit : 

John Given, M. H. Morrison, Asa Greathouse and John H. Cunningham. 

Whereupon said Board proceeded to organize by electing John Given Pres- 
ident and Wellington F. Morrison Clerk. Said Morrison together with Samuel 
Fox, Felix J. Baxter. T. J. Berry, H. A. Baxter, L. D. Camden, J. W. Morrison 
and W. L. J. Corley, his Securities, entered into and acknowledged Bond in 
the penal sum of Two Thousand Dollars for the faithful performance of the 
duties of his office as said Clerk. Said Bond being approved, thereupon the 
said Wellington F. Morrison took the several oaths prescribed by law. 

An order of Survey for a road having been granted by the Board of Su- 
pervisors of this county on the 4th day of August, 1871, from the Holly and 
Kanawha Road, near the farm of N. E. Lake, by way of John 0. McCoy's, 
crossing England run to Webster county line; which said order was executed 
by H. Mollohan, G. D. Mollohan and N. E. Lake, the Commissioners appointed 
for that purpose. And by a subsequent order made by said Board on the 2nd 
day of February, 1871, John C. Cunningham, Marcellus Byrne and John G. 
Morrison were appointed to review and mark out a road from same points., 
and it appearing by their said report that said route was materially changed, 
which change is objected to by George D. Mollohan and others, tenants and 
land holders on said route. 

It is ordered by the Board that John Morrison be appointed a Special 
Surveyor to survey both reviews, and report to this Board the distance of each 
review, together with the grade and actual cost of making said road by either 
route, and any other matter touching said routes that he may deem pertinent, 
and report on the 20th of June to this Board. 


And it is further ordered that M. H. Morrison and E. W. Squires be ap- 
pointed Chain Carrieres for said Surveyor on said routes. 

Ordered that this meeting now adjourn until to-morrow morning at nine 
o 'clock. 

E. W. SQUIRES, Clerk. 

M. H. MORRISON, President. 

May 3, 1871. 

Asa Long this day produced his certificate under oath of his having taken 
and destroyed two full grown Red Foxes for which he was allowed 75 cents 
each, which claim was ordered to be certified for payment. 


March 4, 1862, Win. Hutchison, County Surveyor, surveyed for Wm, Ton- 
kin, one hundred acres of land, lying on Salt Lick of the Little Kanawha, by 
virtue of part of a land office treasury warrant for 10,000 acres, No. 21107, 
dated March 30, 1853. This was the last entry surveyed and recorded by Wm. 
Hutchison under the laws of Virginia. 

On May 3, 1866, John D. Sutton, County Surveyor of Braxton county, 
surveyed 303/2 acres of land for John Rodgers, by virtue of part of a land 
office Treasury Warrant for 390 acres, No. 21900, dated Dec. 16, 1853. 

This was the first tract of land surveyed and patented in the county after 
the formation of the new state. The law provided that all entries made prior 
to June 20, 1863, could be patented, and after that date, vacant lands were to 
be sold and the proceeds go to the state. 

O. F. Taylor as Recorder, made his first record May 14, 1865, and closed 
his office work December 13, 1865. He was succeeded by Morgan H. Morrison 
who was also elected as Recorder and Clerk of the Circuit Court, and as Re- 
corder, made his first entry on Dec. 15, 1866. The Recorder was elected for two 
years, and the Circuit Clerk for four years. 


John Clifton, John B. Byrne, Andrew Sterrett, Nicholas Gibson, Felix 
Sutton , Charles Mollohan, John Morrison, William Hutchison, James M. Corley, 
F. C. Boggs. 


George H. Morrison, James W. Morrison, Henry Bender, Able M. Lough, 
John Byrne, A. C. Dyer, A. N. Lough, David Berry, Emory A. Berry, John 
Adams, George Goad, John Adams, B. C. McNutt, R. N. Rollyson, and H. Wirt 

S TJ T T O N ; S HISTORY. 151 


The average number is only a fraction over 20 per year, some years there 
seems to have been a dirth, while other years the spirit of matrimony seems to 
have been abroad in the land. 

Some of the names may be mispelled as it was often with difficulty we were 
able to make them out as the paper upon which the licenses were written was 
badly faded, and in no case was the name of the minister given. 

A penalty of $150.00 was required in every marriage license and in giving 
their bonds and certificates of applicants' age and consent of parents and guar- 
dians, we find the clerk often spelled the names differently from that given by 
the parents, and we sometimes had to refer to these certificates to enable us to 
decipher what had been written in the body of the license. 

We find many familiar names of old citizens, and the hand writing of many 
that could nowhere else be found. The perusal of some of these certificates is 
very amusing. Some of the parties whose names we have recorded have long 
since left the country, and their names have become extinct. 

List of Marriage Licenses. 


Simon Prince (Son of Nathan Prince) and Peggy Sisk, July 23, 1836. 

Sampson Hoffman and Elizabeth Baker, Oct. 28, 1836. 

Wm. G. Pierson and Julian Friend (Daughter of A. P. Friend) Aug. 25, 1836. 

John Ward and Jane Skddmore, April 26, 1836. 

Nathan G. Duffield and Elizabeth P. Duffield, Aug. 2, 1836. 

Samuel Given and Cintha Duffield (Daughter of Robt. Duffield), Nov. 7, 1836. 

James F. Given and Ruth Duffield (Daughter of Robt. Duffield), Nov. 7, 1836. 

Benjamin Wine and Nancy Williams (Daughter of Joseph Williams). May 3, 

Nathan D. Barnett and Elizabeth Sutton (Daughter of J. D- Sutton), Sept. 21, 

Benjamin Possey and Cyntha Robinson (Daughter of Mary Robinson), Nov. 

7, 1836. 
James G. Duffield and Eviline M. Duffield (Daughter of John L. Duffield), 

Oct. 5, 1S36. • 
George Gibson and Martha Ann Chenoweth, Dec. 22, 1836. 
Harrison Sheltra and Danna Chester, Aug. 22, 1836. 

Elias Perkins made oath to the age of Danna Chester, 21 years. 


Uriah Singleton (Son of John Singleton) and Elizabeth Heater (Daughter of 

John Heater), Oct. 1, 1838. 
James Pritt and Rachael Miller, Aug. 9, 1838. 


Joseph W. Arnold and Elizabeth Byrne, Dec. 16, 1838. 

Joseph W. Westfall and Margaret Brown, Nov. 3, 1838. 

Adam Given and Miss Rose, Nov. 23, 1838. 

Samuel Cutlip (Son of Henry) and Rachael Brown (Daughter of Joseph 

Brown), Sept. 12, 1838. 
Silas Dean and A. Tunny, May 20, 1838. 
Benjamin Coger and Marian Miller, April 5, 1838. 
Norman Boggs and Marian Mollohan, Aug. 3.1, 1838. 
L. Knight and Nancy Mace, Aug. 1, 1838. 
Jesse Shaver (Son of Isaac Shaver) and Matilda C. Squires (Daughter of Asa 

Squires), Aug. 1, 1838. 
John High and Eleanor Shields, Sept. 26, 1838. 
Wm. G. Murphy and Susan H. Murphy (Daughter of David Murphy), July 

3, 1838. 
Wm. T. McCoy and Lucinda A. Squires (Daughter of Asa Squires), June 5, 



Lewis Keener and James, July 13, 1841. 

Jacob Irwin to Catherine Perrine, April 22, 1841. 

Jacob Tomblenson and Anna Friend, Oct. 13, 1841. 

Edward Robinson and Mahola Bickel (Daughter of Geo. Bickel), Oct. 13, 1841. 

Peter Dobins and Margaret Hall (Daughter of Alexander Hall), Oct. 3, 1841. 

Andrew Carr to Sarah Young, Nov. 7, 1841. 

Arthur Mollohan (Son of George) and Susanna Reep, Feb. 23, 1841. 

Daniel Heater of Randolph Co., and Mary Heater, Oct. 18, 1841. 

(Mary Heater makes oath that her son Daniel was 24 years old on the 
24th day of last month). 
Allen Skidmore (Son of Andrew & Margaret Skidmore) and Sally Shaver 

(Daughter of Isaac & Mary S.), March 1, 1841. 

(Authority was given by Mary Shaver). 
James Lough and Francesca Mollohan, Jan. 21, 1841. 
Thomas Skidmore and Mariah W. Hines, Sept. 13, 1841. 
George Brown and Elizabeth Lough, Aug. 3, 1841. 
Andrew Carr (Son of James Carr) and Sarah Young, July 19, 1841. 
Allen S. Berry (Son of Wm. Berry) and Rebecca Alkire (Daughter of David 

Alkire), June 19, 1841. 
Wm. Fisher and Jane Green, Oct. 6, 1841. 
John L. Carpenter and Nancy Perrine (Daughter of Joseph Perrine), Nov. 

27, 1841. 
Simeon Strader and Jane Wine, Aug. 19, 1841. 
Joseph M. Baxter and Catherine Robinson (Daughter of Henry Robinson), Oct. 

11, 1841. 
James McCray, of Lewis Co., and Amanda Jane Berry (Daughter of Lewis 

Berry), Aug. 13, 1841. 


Andrew Ocheltree, Jr., (Son of Hannah Ocheltree, widow of Isaac Ocheltree) 

find Ann Williams (Daughter of Margaret), Feb. 27, 1841. 
James R. Dire and Romena Catherine Byrn, Feb. 13, 1841. 
Andrew Cutlip and Mary Smar, May 7, 1841. 


Robert Duffield, Jr., and Polly Pritt (Daughter of Wm. Pritt), Feb. 7, 1837. 

Moses Cunningham and Pheba Raymond, Sept. 5, 1837. 

John Posey and Maria Gundecker (Daughter of Michael Gundecker). Dec. 26, 

Peyton B. Byrne and Sary Ann Gundecker (Daughter of Michael Gundecker), 

Dec. 26, 1837. 
Addison Cutlip and Elizabeth Friend, Sept, 23, 1837. 
Silas Wilson and Sarah Cart, Oct. 2, 1837. 

John C. Perrine and Nancy Brickel (Dnughter of Geo. B. Bickel), July 31, 1837. 
Hiram Hess and Phebe Lough (Daughter of Adam Lough) Sept. 14, 1837. 
George Duffield and Virginia Pierson, April 4, 1837. 

Wm. Posey- and Sarah Sten , June 6, 1837. 

George High and Barbara Prince (Daughter of Nathan Prince), Jan. 30. 1837. 
Lewis Cutlip and Hannah Brown (Daughter of Josiah Brown), Aug. 2, 1837. 
Leonard Hyer (Son of Christian Hyer) and Margaret Anna McPherson 

(Daughter of Jos. McPherson), Dec, 5, 1S37. 
Isaac H. Loyd and Catherine Mary McPherson (Daughter of Joseph Mc- 
Pherson), May 23, 1837. 
Samuel Dobins and Elizabeth James, Feb. 24, 1837. 

Henry Cart and Margaret Irwin (Daughter of Jacob Irwin), Aug. 14, 1837. 
John Harris and Eleanor Howell, Aug. 14, 1837. 
Bazel L. Williams and Lucinda Howell (Daughter of John Howell), Aug. 1, 

Philip F. Dyer and Jane Miller (Daughter of John Miller), May 21, 1837. 
Alexander L. Morrison and Agnes Frame. July 17, 1837. 
Andrew Hollins and Elizabeth Heffner (Daughter of Jacob Heffner), June 10, 

Wm. Maee and Sarah Green, June 7, 1837. 
John Horniek and Lydia McMahon (Daughter of Jacob McMahon), May 23, 

John Crawford and Nancy C. Conrad (Daughter of John Conrad), June 19, 

Samuel Wyall and Louisa Butcher, June 22, 1837. 


Isaac Hines and Mary Skidmore, Oct. 28, 1839. 
Edward Ware and Elizabeth Long, Oct. 28, 1839. 
George Lake and Solomo Boggs, Oct. 5, 1839. 


Andrew W. Murphy and Caroline Squires. Oct. 1. 1839. 

Benjamin Hutchison and Mary Dobins (Daughter of Samuel Dobins), Jan. 5, 

Calvin M. Gibson and Nancy Wyatt, Jan. 31, 1839. 

Wm. Singleton and Margaret Lake. Aug. 13, 1839. 
Thomas Carpenter and Eunice Cowger (Daughter of John Cowgar), Dec. 20, 

John S. Pharis and Cintha Woods, Oct. 8, 1839. 
Andrew Boggs, Jr., and Molly Lake, Nov. 18, 1839. 

Allen Hamrick and Martha Miller (Daughter of John Miller), Oct. 28, 1839. 
Chrisman Conrad and Elizabeth Wine (Daughter of George Wine), Jan. 9, 

James Sands and Mary Riffle, Dec. 3, 1839. 
Milton Frame (Son of David Frame) and Amanda Rose (Daughter of Ezekiel 

Rose), Feb. 26, 139. 
Hezkiah Boggs (Son of Wm. Boggs) and Diana Shock (Daughter of Jacob 

Shock), Feb. 26, 1839, 
John Roberts and Margaret Davis (Daughter of Wm. Davis), Aug. 21, 1839. 
Samuel Heater and Jane Robenson, Jan. 18, 1839. 


Enoch Roberts and Eliza Wyatt, June 3, 1840. 

Jonathan Hall and Margaret Young, Sept. 14, 1840. 

Albert N. Ellison and Eliza Mace, Oct. 16, 1840. 

George Cart (Son of John Cart) and Isabel Duffield (Daughter of Robert V. 

Duffield), Dec. 14, 1840. 
Isaac McHenry and Amanda Haymond, Aug. 4, 1840. 
Francis C. Boggs (Son of Jas. Boggs) and Emsy Bets (Daughter of John Bets), 

Jan. 30, 1840. 
John G. Bauer and Rachael C. Huffman (Daughter of Michael Huffman), Mar. 

10, 1840. 
Wm. R. Arters and Mary Baxter, Nov. 27, 1840. 
Robert V. Duffield and Elizabeth Notingham, Aug. 13, 1840. 
Benjamin Green and Jane Clifton (Daughter of John Clifton), Aug. 26, 1840. 
Jacob Stump (Son of Absalom Stump) and Mary Shock (Daughter of Jacob 

Shock), (no date). 
Charles W. Duffield and Jane Murphy, April 13, 1840. 
Jacob L. Friend and Phebe Gibson, Nov. 19, 1840. 
Seth Thayer and Rebecca Carpenter, June 23, 1840. 
Wm. Conrad and Anna Murphy, Aug. 10, 1840. 

Hiram Hines and Susana Skidmore, , 1840. 

Tunis Davis and Keziah Given (Daughter of David Given), Dec. 18, 1840. 
James C. Frame and Louisa Gibson, Aug. 5, 1840. 
Jesse Clifton and Nancy Green, Oct. 26, 1840. 



Vincent Lake and Rebecca Ewing, May 6, 1843. 

Asa R. Conrad andLydia Elizabeth Singleton (Daughter of John F. Singleton), 

Nov. 13, 1843. 
Samuel S. Cutlip and Nancy J. Murphy, June 19, 1843. 
Alexander C. Riffle and Susanah Lake, June 7, 1843. 
Wm. Fox and Sarah Ann Gibson, Aug. 1, 1843. 
Joseph C. McNemer and Rocena Heater, Sept. 5, 1843. 

Wm. A. Davis and Hannah Steel ( Daughter of John Steel), July 14, 1843. 
Lemuel Conrad and Ingra Shields (Daughter of John Shields), July 14, 1843. 
Wm. Chapman and Matilda Hanna, Oct. 9, 1843. 
Christian Long and Elizabeth Murphy, Dec. 11, 1843. 
Lamastus Stephenson and Mary Evans (Daughter of David Evans), Aug. 19, 

Uriah Duffield (Son of Robt. V. Duffield) and Melvina James, Aug. 29, 1843. 
William Cutlip and Agnes Berry (Daughter of Wm. Berry), June 14, 1843. 
Felix Skidmore (Son of Andrew Skidmore) and Cynthia Frame (Daughter of 

David Frame), Sept. 28, 1843. 
Alfred C. Westfall and Anna Riffle, Nov. 15, 1843. 
Godfrey C. Heffner and Ruth Ewing (Daughter of Thomas Ewing), Oct. 17, 

James Chapman (Son of Wm. Chapman) and Love Lamb, July 3, 1843. 
John P. Brown and Malinda McBain (Daughter of Wm. MeBain), Aug. 1. 

Esemund D. Collett and Sarah Ann Rader, Dec. 7, 1843. 
Wm. C. Murphy and Lydia Flyman, Jan. 4, 1843. 
Henry Pierson (Son of Jonathan Pierson) and Sarah Jane Rose (Daughter of 

Wm. Rose), Feb. 24, 1843. 
Joseph H. Goff (Son of Alexander Goff) and Angeline S. Davis, Feb. 2, 1843. 


John May (Son of James May) and Jemina Wilson, Feb. 19. 1842. 

Richard A. Cutlip (Son of George Cutlip) and Elizabeth Rose, , 1842. 

Wm. Hutchison and Elizabeth Bell (Daughter of Wm. and Mary Bell). Dee. 
28, 1842. 

Wm. Gillespie and Mary Hamrick, Dec. 13. 1842. 

Samuel Thorp and Matilda Woods, Dec. 24, 1842. 

Joel Hamrick and Elizabeth Gillespie, Oct. 22, 1842. 

Salotheal Riddle and Nancy Betts, Oct. 10, 1842. 

Josiah Cowger and Sarah Cowger, March 3, 1842. 

Joe Bland and Margaret M. Cunningham (Daughter of Henry and Nancy Cun- 
ningham), Sept. 7, 1842. 

Henry C. Murphy and Margaret E. Duffield (Daughter of Henry Duffield), 
Oct. 6, 1842. 


Council H. Rodgers (Son of John Rodders) and Catherine Friend (Daughter 

of Israel Friend), Sept. 17, 1842, 
Francis B. Stewart and Rhoda Dove, Nov. 1. 1842. 
Owen J. Murphy and Emma Ellen Chenoweth (Daughter of Robt. Chenoweth), 

July 27, 1842. 
Ansil P. Tenney and Elisa Davis, Dec. 13, 1842. 
Samuel Ellis Stout, of Lewis Co., and Mary Townsend (Daughter of S. B. 

Townsend), Oct. 5, 1842. 


James M. Corley and Edith Skidmore (Daughter of Jas. Skidmore of Randolph 

Co.), Nov. 5, 1844. 
Jacob Carpenter and Sarah E. Green (Daughter of Robert Green), Oct. 3, 

Enos B. Cunningham and Sarah Long (Daughter of Jacob Long), Nov. 9, 1844. 
Beverly W. Lewis and Margaret Townsend (Daughter of Solomon Townsend), 

July 13, 1844. 
Jacob W. Notingham and Mary L. Chestnut (Daughter of Jno Chestnut of 

Bath Co.), Aug. 7, 1844. 
Jonathan H. Burk and Phebe Skidmore (Daughter of Nancy Skidmore), 

, 1844. 

¥m. C. Riffle and Polly Perrine (Daughter of Hannah Perrine), Dec. 16, 1844. 
Jacob S. Boggs and Clementina Frame (Daughter of Andrew B. Frame), Oct. 

30, 1844. 
George W. Hickel and Nancy M. Oldham (Daughter of Wm. Oldham), Nov. 

20, 1844. 
Henry P. Evans and Elizabeth Rader (Daughter of Robert Rader), June 22, 

James P. Graham and Jane C. Ewing (Daughter of Moses Ewing) Feb. 9, 

James B. Tinney and Zutulba Given (Daughter of David Given), Jan. 20, 1844. 
John S. Hanna and Rebecca Gillespie (Daughter of Wm. Gillespie), Dec. 17, 

Council H. Rodgers and Katherine Kyer (Daughter of Lewis Kyer), Dec. 17, 

1844. ■ 
Christopher M. Hamrick and Eva Gregory (Daughter of Joseph Gregory), 

March 4, 1844. 

Washington Pearce and Matilda Shield (Daughter of Peter Shield), , 1844. 

Joshua Ewing and Mary Friend (Daughter of Jonathan Friend), Oct. 21, 1844. 
Simon Weese and Eady Clifton (Daughter of John Clifton), Jan. 12, 1844. 
Oswald P. Newby and Susanah Fisher (Daughter of Wm. Fisher), Jan. 24, 

John Ware and Mariah Belknap (Daughter of Jane Belknap), June 20, 1844. 


Daniel Carper and Sarah Jane Squires (Daughter of Asa Squires). Aug. 

20, 1845. 
Benjamin Roberts and Rebecca Jane Given (Daughter of David Given), March 

1, 1845. 

Wm. Ellison and Catherine Cutlip (Daughter of David Cutlip), July 2, 1845. 
Win. C. Johnson and Elizabeth Williams (Daughter of Hugh Williams), July 
29, 1845. 

Peter Bosley and Malinda Dencho (Daughter of Sarah Dencho), , 1845. 

John Conrad and Mary May (Daughter of James May), Aug. 11, 1845. 
Andrew L. Barnett and Emily Cutlip (Daugher of John Cutlip), Aug. 9, 1845. 
John P. Byrne and Sabina C. Sterrett (Daughter of Andrew Sterrett), April 

2, 1845. 

John Jenkins and Rebecca Jane Cutlip, July 31, 1845. 

Wm. P. Ellison and Elizabeth Skidmore (Daughter of Nancy Skidmore), Nov. 

13, 1845. 

Samuel B. Heckle, Jr., and Mary Ann Gibson (Daughter of James Gibson), 

Marcb 19, 1845. 
Jacob Heater and Susannah Riffle (Daughter of Isaac Riffle); Sept. 6, 1845. 
David Grunt and Mary M. James (Daughter of Joseph James), Dec 29, 1845. 
Wm. Coger, Jr., and Mary Bender (Daughter of Isaac Bender), Jan. 13, 1845. 
Andrew A. Wilson and Rebecca Frame (Daughter of James Frame), April 

14, 1845. 

Adam d. Hyer and Hannah Rodgers (Daughter of Levi Rodgers), May 17, 

Jesse Shoulders and Mary Posey (Daughter of Edward Posey), Sept. 26, 1845. 

Lindsey B. Shield and Sarah Shield (Daughter of John Shield), ..., 1845. 

Abel R. Cunningham and Mary C. Boggs (Daughter of Benjamin L. Boggs), 

Sept. 10, 1845. 
David Frae and Charlotte Pierson (Daugbter of Jonathan Pierson), Nov. 18, 

Silvanus N. Dennis and Katherine Boggs, Aug. 15, 1845. 
Samuel Lockard and Amy Gibson (Daughter of James Gibson), July 22, 1845. 
Wm. M. Hall and Agnes Triplet (Daughter of Sinnett Triplett), July 7, 1845. 
Thomas Roby and Catharine Townsend (Daughter of Solomon Townsend), 

July 28, 1845. 
Wm. S. Hall and Margaret James (Daughter of Joseph James), Jan. 7, 1845. 
James Hosey and Naomia Belknap (Daughter of Thos. Belknap), Jan. 20, 1845. 
Thomas James and Eliza Pritt (Daughter of Robert Pritt), Sept. 1, 1S-15. 
Wm. G. Squires and Maria Morrison (Daughter of John Morrison), Aug. 20, 

Daniel H. Lough and Elizabeth Jordan (Daughter of Andrew Jordan), Jan. 

25, 1845. 
Norman Frame and Susanna Sands (Daughter of George Sands), May 17, 1845. 


John Windon (Windon was hung) and Nancy Ross (Daughter of Thomas Ross), 

May 15, 1845. 
James J. Williams and Rebecca Jane Williams (Daughter of Wm. Williams), 

May 3, 1845. 

Number Issued Each Year. 

1836 .* 16 

1837 25 

1838 15 

1839 17 

1840 18 

1841 23 

1842 15 

1843 ...„. 24 

1844 20 

1845 : 32 

Total 205 





Virginia in the Revolutionary War; General Averill's Great Raid to Salem; 
Morgan's Raid; Confederate Raids in the State; Cornology of Military 
Events; Roster of Soldiers of Braxton County, both Union and Confederate; 
Civil War incidents and Tragedies. 

We cannot read the speech delivered by President Lincoln at Gettysburg 
without entertaining the belief that he was one of the greatest of men ; and 
when we read Mr. Bryan's oration ,we class it as one of the great productions 
of the human mind and a solace to the Christian world. Again we read a gem 
from the pen of that brilliant statesman and gifted orator, the late John J. 
Ingall, when he portrays in the richest language the equality of all things 
earthly at the grave, and another little gem called, "Opportunity." 

We publish these together that the wayfaring man, the student and the 
philosopher may read for himself and feel an inspiration that might lift him 
to a higher plane: 




■ 'To every created thing God 
has given a tongue that pro- 
claims a resurrection. 

"If the Father deigns to touch 
with divine power the cold and 
pulseless heart of the buried 
acorn and to make it burst forth 
from its prison walls, will He 
leave neglected in the earth the 
soul of man, made in the image 
of his Creator? If He stoops to 
give to the rose bush, whose 
withered blossoms float upon thf 
Autumn breeze the sweet assur- 
ance of another springtime, will 
he refuse the words of hope to 
the sons of men when the frosts 
of winter come? If matter, mute 
and inanimate, though changed 
by the forces of nature into a 
multitude of ftfrms, can never 
die, will the spirit of man suffer 
annihilation when it has paid a 
brief visit like a royal guest to 
this tenement of clay? No, I am 
as sure that there is another life 
as I am that I live today ! 

"In Cairo, I secured a few 
grains of wheat that had slum- 
bered for more than three thous- 
and years in an Egyptian tomb. 
As I looked at them, this thought 
came into my mind: If one of 
those grains had been planted on 
the hanks of the Nile the year 
after it grew, and all its lineal 
descendants planted and replanted 
from that time until now, its 
progeny would today be suffi- 
ciently numerous to feed the teem- 
ing millions of the world. There 
is in the grain of wheat an in- 
visible something which has power 
to discard the body that we see, 
and from earth and air fashion 
a new body so much like the old 
one that we cannot' tell one from 
the other. If this invisible germ 
of life in the grain of wheat can 
thus pass unimpaired through 
three thousand resurrections, I 
shall not doubt that my soul has 
power to clothe itself jvvith a 
body suited to its new existence 
when this earthly frame has 
crumbled into dust." 

"Fourscore-and-seven years ago 
our fathers brought forth on this 
continent a new nation, conceived 
in liberty, and dedicated to the 
proposition that all men are cre- 
ated equal. 

"Now we are engaged in a great 
civil war, testing whether that 
nation so conceived and so dedi- 
cated, can long endure. "We are 
met on a great battlefield of that 
war. We have come to dedicate a 
portion of that field as a final 
resting place for those who here 
gave their lives that that nation 
might live. It is altogether fitting 
and proper that we should do 

"But, in a larger sense, we 
cannot dedicate — we cannot con- 
secrate — we cannot hallow — this 
ground. The brave men, living 
and dead, who struggled here, 
have consecrated it, far above our 
power to add or to detract. The 
world will little note nor' long 
remember what we say here, but 
it can never forget what they did 
here. It is for us the living, 
rather to be dedicated here to the 
unfinished work which they who 
fought here have thus far so no- 
bly advanced. It is rather for us 
to be here dedicated to the great 
task remaining before us — that, 
from these honored dead we take 
increased devotion — that we here 
highly resolve that these dead 
shall not have died in vain — that 
this nation, under God, shall have 
a new birth of freedom — and that 
government of the people, by the 
people, for the people, shall not 
perish from the earth." 

"In the democracy of the dead 
all men at last are equal. There 
is neither rank, station or pre- 
rogative in the republic of the 
grave. At this fatal threshold the 
philosopher ceases to be wise and 
the song of the poet is silent. 
Dives relinquishes his millions 
and Lazarus his rags. The poor 
man is as rich as the richest, and 
the rich man as poor as the pau- 
per. The creditor loses his usury 
and the debtor is acquitted of his 
obligation. There the proud man 
surrenders his dignities, the poli- 
tician his honors, the worldling 
his pleasures, the invalid needs 
no physician, and <thte laborejr 
rests from unrequited toil. Her* 
at last is Nature's final decree in 
equity. The strongest there has 
no physician, and the weakest 
needs no defense. The mightiest 
captain succumbs to the invinci- 
ble adversary, who disarms alike 
the victor and (he vanquished." 


Master of human destinies am I, 
Fame, love and fortune on my 

footsteps wait ; 
Cities and fields I walk ; I pene- 

Deserts and seas gemote, and, 
passing by 

Hovel, and mart : and palace, soon 

or late, 

I knock, unbidden, once at every 

If sleeping, wake ; if feasting, rise 

I turu away. It is the hour of 

A ad they who follow me reach 

every state 

Mortals desire and conquer every 

Save death ; but those who hesi- 

Condemned to failure, penury and 

Seek me in vain and uselessly 

implore ; 
I answer not and I return no 




In regard to the Militia, very little is known, and that little is extremely 

In 1776, the available militia in Virginia is thought to have been about 
45,000 men; probably it was never less than 40,000, of whom possibly one-fourth 
saw real service. Other states have counted their militia in the strength which 
they gave to the .Revolutionary cause. For the lack of data, Virginia has not 
received credit on this score. The reports of Secretary-of-War Knox fail to 
do justice to Virginia along this line. The figures given by him are mere 

In 1776, a large number of Virginians were in the field against Dunmore. 
Some went to the relief of North Carolina and others were in the Cherokee Ex- 
pedition in the West. 

In 1778, Virginia had a number of militia in the operations in the West 
and for defense along the frontiers. 

In 1779, Virginia was authorized to send militia to South Carolina. 

In 1780, the militia were out in large numbers. 

In 1781, 700 militia joined General Gates, some were at King's Mountain 
and others were serving around Norfolk. In the latter part of this year Dan'l. 
Morgan had some of them serving in Green's Army. In 1781, practically all 
of the available militia of Virginia were summoned into service, taking part in 
the Battle of Guilford Court House, serving with Lafayette and at the Siege 
of Yorktown. 


It is difficult after a lapse of half a century to give a correct roster of the 
soldiers who participated in the Revolutionary war, as no regidar or authentic 
records have been kept, and owing to the destruction of the records of the 
Revolution by the British in 1812, but few of the names of the soldiers of that 
war are now known who served from the territory now embraced in West Vir- 
ginia or who may have emigrated to this part of the country. 

At the time of the Revolutionary war, the territory now embraced in Brax- 
ton county belonged to the county of Augusta, and while that grand old county 
was noted for its patriotism and the splendid soldiers she furnished the war, 
this portion of the county was yet in an unconquered wilderness. It had 
neither soldiers, scouts, pioneers nor hunters. While a few of the old soldiers 
came to the bounds of Braxton county after the war and made this their home 
and were buried here, yet during the Revolutionary struggle there were no 
white inhabitants nearer than the Monongahela valley, extending as far south 
and west as the present site of Clarksburg, the West Fork as far up as Hacker's 
creek and the Buckhannon settlement. 

The Pringles and Simpsons came to this territory about the year 1765, 
followed later by the Jacksons, Hackers. Hughs, Cartrights, Hefners and others. 
These settlements were made about ten years before the Revolutionary war 


At the time of the war of 1812, the territory now embraced in Braxton 
county belonged to the counties of Harrison and Kanawha, and was very sparse- 
ly settled, and we have no account of any organization being made up from this 

We have received a few names of soldiers, either residents at the time or 
became so later. Andrew Skidmore, a soldier of the Revolution was buried in 
the Skidmore cemetery at Sutton; his grave is marked by a plain cut stone. 
Martin Delany, soldier of the Revolution, served in Penna. line, died near the 
mouth of Birch river in 1837. Joseph Carpenter, buried on the Westfork of 
Little Kanawha river. Jacob Fisher of Hardy county, Virginia, lived with 
William Cutlip on Holly river in 1840 ; was a pensioner of the Revolution. 
Jeremiah Carpenter, buried at Union Mills. Benjamin Carpenter was buried 
at the mouth of Holly river. 


Nicholas Gibson, Jacob Rose, buried on Birch, Peter Cogar, buried on Elk 
river, John Shawver, buried at High Knob, was a pensioner, Isaac Gregory, 
William Hamric, Benjamin Hamric, they were likely buried in Webster county, 
John Kyer, Jacob Cogar, Daniel Matheny, Thomas Cogar, George McElwaine, 
buried on Laurel creek, James Miller, Thomas Belknap, Robert Chenoweth, 
Elijah Squires, buried at Platwoods, Lewis Berry, buried on Kanawha, Andrew 
Skidmore, buried on Elk, Jesse Carico, Jesse Clifton, buried on Holly, Andrew 
P. Friend, buried on Elk, Samuel Skidmore, buried at Union Mills, Jesse Cun- 
ningham, buried on the waters of the Westfork, John D. Sutton, who was ap- 
pointed Adjutant of a regiment at Norfork, buried at Sutton, James P. Carr, 
buried near Belf ont ; his father James P. Carr was a soldier of the Revolution 
and was buried in Greenbrier county, Virginia. 

In the Mexican war we find the names of Edga,r Haymond and his brother 
Alfred from Braxton county, enlisting in the 11th U. S. Infantry. Alfred died 
while in the service, and Edgar shortly after his return. Ballard Wyatt aud 
Elwin Morrison, Jacob and Isaac Evans enlisted, but their regiment was not 
called into service. 


There was a time in the history of the country when a young and stal- 
wart Nation looked upon her heroes and national defenders with admiration 
and delight. The men who fought at Lexington and Concord and whose suffer- 
ings at Valley Forge were unequalled and had no parallel in the annals of war- 
fare, were the heroes wherever the people gathered together. 

These men who made our free government a possibility, passed away one by 
one, while a grateful people cast flowers in their pathway and wept at their 

A half century ago a great army was made necessary to preserve what they 
had gained. Through four years of battle, the severest of the world's history; 
through swamps and prison pens, these men endured that the flag might nob 


perish from the earth. But time is doing her work. The ranks are being thin- 
ned. Fifty years of toil, of wound and disease have transformed the once young, 
strong and powerful to the deerepid and aged. Once these tottering veterans 
whom we now see, marched like giants to the battle. Their hearts swelled with 
emotion when the drum beat and the flag was unfurled. 

A few more years, and these grand old men will not be in our midst. As 
they pass by, let us take off our hats for they are ' ' heroes forever. ' ' 


The territory of the present State of West Virginia was not invaded by 
a British army, except one company of forty, within the war for American in- 
dependence. Its remote position made it safe from attack from the east ; but 
this very remoteness rendered it doubly liable to invasion from the west where 
Great Britain had made allies of the Indians, and had armed and supplied 
them, and had sent them against the frontiers from Canada to Georgia, with 
full license to kill man, woman and child. No other part of America suffered 
more from the savages than West Virginia. Great Britain's purpose in employ- 
ing Indians on the frontiers was to harass the remote country, and not only 
keep at home all the inhabitants for defense of their settlements, but also to 
make it necessary that soldiers be sent to the west who otherwise might be em- 
ployed in opposing the British near the sea coast. Notwithstanding West Vir- 
ginia's exposed frontier on the west, it sent many soldiers to the Continental 
Army. West Virginians were on almost every .battlefield of the Revolution. 
The portion of the State east of the Alleghanies, now forming Jefferson, Berke- 
ley, Morgan, Hampshire, Hardy, Grant, Mineral and Pendleton counties, was 
not invaded by Indians within the Revolution, and from this region large num- 
bers of soldiers joined the armies under Washington, Gates, Greene and other 

As early as November 5, 1774, an important meeting was held by West 
Virginians in which they clearly indicated under which banner they would be 
found fighting, if Great Britain persisted in her course of oppression. This was 
the first meeting of the kind west of the Alleghanies, and few similar meetings 
had then been held anywhere. It occurred within the return of Dunmore's 
Army from Ohio, twenty-five days after the battle of Point Pleasant. The 
soldiers had heard of the danger of war with England, and, although they were 
under the command of Dunmore. a royal Governor, they were not afraid to 
let the country know that neither a royal Governor nor any one else could 
c-Tverve them from their duty as patriots and lovers of liberty. The meeting was 
held at Fort Gower, north of the Ohio river. The soldiers passed resolutions 
which had the right ring. They recited that they were willing and able to bear 
all hardships of the woods; to get along for weeks without bread or salt, if 
necessary; to sleep in the open air; to dress in skins if nothing else could be 
had; to march further in a day than any other men in the world; to use the 
rifle with skill and with bravery. They affirmed their zeal in the cause of right, 


and promised continued allegiance to the King of England, provided he would 
reign over them as a brave and free people. "But," they continued, "as at- 
tachment to the real interests and just rights of America outweighed every 
other consideration, we resolve that we will exert every power within us for 
the defence of American liberty, when regularly called forth by the unani- 
mous voice of our countrymen. ' ' It was such spirit as this, manifested on every 
occasion during the Revolution, which prompted "Washington in the darkest 
year of the war to exclaim that if driven from east of the Blue Ridge, he would 
retire west of the mountains and there raise the standard of liberty and bid de- 
fiance to the armies of Great Britain. 

At two meetings held May 16, 1775, one at Fort Pitt, the other at Hamias- 
town, several West Virginians were present and took part in the proceedings. 
Resolutions were passed by which the people west of the mountains pledged 
their support to the Continental Congress, and expressed their purpose of re- 
sisting the tyranny of the mother country. In 1775, a number of men from the 
valley of the Monongahela joined Washington's army before Boston. The 
number of soldiers who went forward from the eastern pai't of the State was 


The battle of Point Pleasant, fought on Oct. 10, 1774, between the Vir- 
ginia soldiers under Gen. Andrew Lewis of Augusta county, Va., and the 
United Indian tribes, commanded by the celebi*ated chief, Cornstock, is but 
slightly understood, owing to the meager reports that have been handed down 
to posterity. A few brief accounts, meager in their details, written by some of 
the officers at the time, is the basis of what information has been perpetuated 
in history. It is not at all probable that the country or the outside world 
appreciated the wonderful importance of the results of that battle. It was the 
last battle fought under the Colonial government, and the first test made by 
the Virginia frontiersmen against an intrepid foe. The flower of the citizenship 
of the mountains, men inured to hardships and trained to the use of the rifle 
from infancy, men who knew no fear, who could picture the consequences to 
the country on the frontier if the brave Virginians had been slaughtered as it 
was the design of the enemy to do, if the savage army of the Chickasaw plains 
had been turned loose on the defenceless inhabitants of the country, the Alle- 
gheny mountains would have been no barrier to their depredations, and this 
catastrophe was averted only by the fact that two soldiers of Gen. Lewis' army 
went out in the early morning to hunt for deer, and discovered the enemy. If 
the army had been taken wholly by surprise and destroyed, the censure of the 
commander would have been greater than that which befell Braddock in his 
great disaster. 

Gen. Lewis, brave soldier that he was, allowed his army to quietly repose 
in slumber in a hostile land, without an advance picket or a scout to give warn- 
ing of danger. We are told that on the evening before the battle that his scouts 
reported (';;:! (here was not an Indian within fifty miles of the camp, but that 


was not assuring, for if the scouts had been fifty miles in the army's front, and 
saw no enemy, it was no evidence that the Indian being as fleet and intrepid 
as themselves, couldn't reach the camp as soon as they could. The circum- 
stances bear out the belief that Gen. Lewis did not use the necessary precaution 
in the very midst of the' enemy's land. Captain John Stewart says that two 
young men were sent out early to hunt deer and met the enemy two or three 
miles up the river. He gives their names as Joseph Hughy of Captain Shelby's 
company and James Mooney of Russel's. Haywood, the historian of Tennes- 
ese, says that those who discovered the Indians were James Robertson ,and Val- 
entine Servier, Sergeants in Captain Evan Shelby's company. Captain Shelby 
says that on Monday morning about a half hour before sunrise, two of Cap- 
tain Russel's company discovered a large body of Indians about a mile from 
camp, one of which scouts was shot down, and the other made his escape and 
brought the intelligence. We find some discrepency here as to the names of 
the parties sem out who discovered the enemy, the companies to which they be- 
longed, and the distance the enemy was from General Lewis' camp. In all 
that has been recorded in reference to this battle, no account is made of either 
pickets .or scouts on the morning of the battle, whether General Lewis over- 
looked the importance of the situation or felt over-confident in the strength of 
his command the student of that occasion may judge. It will be borne in mind 
that every victory in battle has to have a hero. We think that in this case ample 
justice has been done General Lewis, while but few lines have been written in 
commendation of any other officer or even the rank and file in that great battle. 
It is said in the account given of the battle in Lewis' History that Captain 
George Matthews, John Stewai't and Evan Shelby were called from the front 
and sent up Crooked creek, and got in the rear of the Indians; but traditional 
history does not say this. Captain Arbuckle of Greenbrier county, one of the 
most capable and renowned Indian fighters in that expedition, was always 
said by the old soldiers to be the one who conceived the idea, and the man who 
led a company of volunteers and executed that great strategic movement. Cap- 
tain John Skidmore who was on the right wing of the army, being next to the 
Kanawha river, told Archibald Taylor and others that the army was being so 
hotly pressed that Captain Arbuckle called for volunteers to follow him, and 
that they jumped over Crooked creek at. its mouth and kept under cover of the 
high bank of the Kanawha until they got in the rear of the Indians, then at- 
tacked them. 

Andrew Skidmore, brother of Captain Skidmore, gave Felix Sutton the 
same account of the battle, and he related that Arbuckle called to all men who 
were not cowards to follow him. Jeremiah Carpenter who belonged to Captain 
John Lewis' Company, told his sons, grandsons, and others, some of whom are 
yet living, that they were being hotly persued when Captain Skidmore was 
shot in the thigh and fell. His company gave way, and he called to his men 
to stand by him, that he was not dead, and just as the company made a charge 
to secure their wounded captain, Arbuckle 's flanking company opened fire and 
the Indians gave way. This is traditional history. That it came down from 


these men substantially as we have written it, there is not the least shadow of 
doubt. Captain Skidmore, as before stated, was on the right wing of the army 
commanded by Colonel Chas. Lewis. Andrew Skidmore was wounded in the 
battle, and Jeremiah Carpenter was onee a captive, being with the Indians nine 
years, and there undoubtedly was no other man in that battle more alert, or 
observed with keener interest the various movements, than the brave and fear- 
less Carpenter. These three men told the same story. Captain Skidmore was 
from Rockingham county, Va., Andrew Skidmore was from Randolph county, 
Va., and Carpenter's home was near the big bend on Jackson's river in Vir- 
ginia. Captain Taylor, in his work on the Aborigines of America, says that: 
''A tradition is a verbal account of transactions handed down from father 
to son, through successvie generations, and where strict harmony of statements 
respecting a date, an event or a condition is arrived at through various and oppo- 
site channels, we are fully justified and authorized by the rales of evidence in 
giving it the prominence and weight of a fact; as, to throw aside as spurious 
all the traditional history of this world Avould be to sever at one stroke more 
than one-half of our knowledge respecting the past. Moses was the first, sacred 
writer and true historian of his time, and to inform us of the creation of the 
world and following events down to his own time, he used more than two thous- 
and five hundred years of traditional history. And as to profane history, 
should we use nothing but written records, we at once lose three thousand, two 
hundred fifty years of adopted history during the most eventful periods in the 
life of mankind, as all knowledge previous to 750 B. C, is termed mythical by 
the interpreters of historical textbooks." 

Now, let us compare the accounts given of tbe battle by Isaac Shelby who 
was a Lieutenant in Captain Evan Shelby's company. This account was writ- 
ten six days after the battle. He says that General Lewis being informed of 
the presence of the Indians, ordered . Colonel Chas. Lewis to take command of 
one hundred and fifty of the Augusta troops, and with him went Captain Dick- 
ison, Captain Harrison, Captain Wilson, Captain John Lewis of Augusta and 
Captain Lockridge which was the last division. Colonel Fleming was also or- 
dered to take the command of one hundred and fifty more of the Botetourt, Bed- 
ford and Fincastle troops, viz: Captain Thos. Bedford from Bedford, Captain 
Love of Botetourt, Captain Sheldon and Captain Russel of Fincastle, which 
made the second division. 

After giving these fonnations, he says among other things in his account 
of the battle that shortly the line was reinforced from the camp by Colonel 
Field with his company, together with Captain McDowell, Captain Matthews, 
Captain Stewart from Augusta, Captain John Lewis, Captain Pauling. Captain 
Arbuckle and Captain McClennehan from Botetourt. And in closing his de- 
scription of the battle, says the line of battle was about a mile and a quarter in 
length and had sustained until then, a constant and equal weight of action from 
wing to wing. It was still about half an hour of sunset, they continued firing 
on us, scattering shots, and at last night coming on, they found a safe retreat. 


In this account, Captain Shelby gives no account of any flank movement being 

Colonel Wm. Fleming's orderly book has the following account of the bat- 
etl. This was written on Oct. 10, 1774, the day of the battle. We will give 
only what he says in reference to the formation of the army. "The right 
column headed by Colonel Chas. Lewis, with Captains Dickison, Harrison and 
Skidmore, the left column commanded by Colonel Fleming, with Captains 
Shelby, Russel, Love and Bedford." Now, this formation is entirely different 
from the one given by Lieutenant Shelby. Colonel Fleming continues in closing 
by saying that about three or four o'clock the enemy growing quite despirited, 
and all attempts of their warriors to rally them, proving vain, they carried off 
their dead and wounded, giving us now and then a shot to prevent a pursuit 
so that about an hour by sun we were in full possession of the field. However. 
he gives no account of any flank movement. 

Captain John Stewart, nephew by marriage to General Andrew Lewis, in 
his account of the battle, says that the troops ordered out under Colonel Lewis 
and Colonel Fleming were composed of the companies commanded by the oldest 
captain, and the junior captains were ordered to stay in camp, and aid the others 
as occasion might require. The lines marched out and met the Indians about 
four hundred yards from our camp, and in sight of the guards. After further 
describing the battle, he says that the Indians formed a line behind logs and 
trees across the bank of the Ohio to the banks of the Kanawha, and kept up. 
their fire until sundown. General Lewis now knew that if the battle was not 
ended before darkness settled down upon the field, it would be a night of mas- 
sacre, or the morrow a day of great doubt. He resolved to throw a body of men 
in the rear of the Indian army, and accordingly sent three of the most renowned 
companies on the field to execute the movement. They were those of Captains 
George Matthews, John Stewart and Evan Shelby. They were called from the 
front to a point where the two rivers meet, and there proceeded under cover of 
the bank of the great Kanawha for three-quarters of a mile to the mouth of 
Crooked creek, and along the bed of its torturous course to their destination. 

In reference to the battle of Point Pleasant, one is at a loss to know whether 
the commander would allow his army to slumber without pickets to apprise 
them of danger; also, the statement that the commanding General waited until 
sundown before he conceived the idea of- a flanking party to relieve the army 
that was hotly pressed between two rivers and a savage foe. We would not 
detract one syllable from the fame of these old Spartans because every fiber 
of their nature was heroic, every drop of their blood was immortal. We do 
believe, however, that inadvertantly the heroic Captain Arbuckle was forgotten, 
and that the traditional account which we have is stronger and more authentic 
than the statment which found its way into print; that three of the most re- 
nowned companies were drawn from the front on the left wing at sundown 
and marched to the mouth of the two rivers which was a mile distant, and UP 
the Kanawha for three-quarters of a mile, and then up the torturous stream 
of Crooked creek, and made an attack. No commander would want to weaken 


his force by the withdrawal of three of his best companies when there was a 
reserve force in camp, and the further fact that only a few men could secrete 
themselves and gain the rear of the enemy. 


December 3rd. Averell moved from Keyser with Federal troops upon his 
great Salem raid, which he concluded on Christmas Day. He had 2500 cavalry, 
and artillery.. It was a momentous issue. General Burnsides was besieged at 
Knoxville, Tennessee, by General Longstreet, and it was feared that no re- 
inforcements could reach Burnsides in time to save him. The only hope lay 
in cutting Longstreet's line of supplies and compelling him to raise the siege. 
This was the railroad from Richmond to Knoxville, passing through at Salem, 
sixty miles west of Lynchburg. Averell was ordered to cut this road at Salem, 
no matter what the result to his army. He must do it, even if he lost every man 
he had in the execution of his work. An army of 2500 could be sacrificed to 
save Burnsides' larger army. With his veteran cavalry, mostly West Vir- 
ginians, and equal to the best the world ever saw, Averell left Keyser December 
8, 1863, and moved through Petersburg, Monterey, Back Creek, Gatewood's 
Callighan's, Sweet Sulphur Springs Valley, Newcastle to Salem, almost as 
straight as an arrow, for much of the way following a route nearly parallel 
with the summit of the Alleghanies. Four Confederate armies, any of them 
larger than his, lay between him and Salem, and to the number of 12,000 they 
marched, counter-marched, and maneuvered to effect his capture. Still, eight 
days he rode toward Salem in terrible storms, fording and swimming overflow- 
ing mountain streams, crossing mountains and pursuing ravines by night and 
by day, and on December 16th, he struck Salem, and the blow was felt through- 
out the Southern Confederacy. The last halt on the downward march was 
made at Sweet Sulphur valley. The horses were fed and the soldiers made cof- 
fee and rested two hours. Then at one o'clock on the afternoon of December 
15th, they mounted for the dash into Salem. 

From the top of Sweet Springs Mountain a splendid view was opened be- 
fore them. Averell, in his official report, speaks of it thus: ''Seventy miles 
to the eastward, the Peaks of Otter reared their summits above the Blue Ridge, 
and all the space between was filled with a billowing ocean of hills and moun- 
tains, while behind us the great Alleghenies, coming from north with the gran- 
deur of innumerable tints, swept past and faded in the southern horizon." 
Newcastle was passed during the night. Averell's advance guard were mounted 
on fleet horses and carried repeating rifles. They allowed no one to go ahead 
of them. They captured a squad of Confederates now and then, and learned 
from these that Averell's advance was as yet unsuspected in that quarter. It 
was, however, known at that time at Lynchburg and Richmond, but it was not 
known at what point he was strildng. Valuable military stores were at Salem, 
and at that very time a train-load of soldiers was hurrying up from Lynchburg 
to guard the place. When within four miles of Salem a troop of Confederates 


were captured. They had come out to see whether they could learn anything 
of Averell, and from them it was ascertained that the soldiers from Lynchburg 
were hourly expected at Salem. This was nine o'clock on the morning of De- 
cember 16th. Averell 's men had ridden twenty hours without rest. Averell 
saw that no time was to be lost. From this point it became a race between 
Averell 's cavalry and the Lynchburg train loaded with Confederates, each try- 
ing to reach Salem first. The whistling of the. engine in the distance was heard, 
and Averell saw that he would be too late if he advanced with his whole force. 
So he set forward with three hundred and fifty horsemen and two rifled cannon, 
and went into Salem on a dead run, people on the road and streets parting 
right and left to let the squadron pass. The train loaded with Confederates 
was approaching the depot. Averell wheeled a cannon into position and fired 
three times in rapid succession, the first ball missing, but the next passing 
through the. train almost from end to end, and the third following close after. 
The locomotive was uninjured, and it reversed and backed up the road in a 
hurry, disappearing in the direction whence it had come. Averell cut the 
telegraph wires. The work of destroying the railroad was begun. When the 
remainder of the force came up, detachments were sent four miles east and 
twelve miles west to destroy the railroad and bridges. The destruction was 
complete. They burned 100,000 bushels of shelled corn; 100,000 bushels of 
wheat; 2.000 barrels of flour; 50,000 bushels of oats; 1,000 sacks of salt; 100 
wagons; large quantities of clothing, leather, cotton,, harness, shoes; and the 
bridges, bridge-timber, trestles, ties, and everything that would burn, even 
twisting the rails, up and down the railroad sixteen miles. 

At 4 p. m., December 16th, Averell set out upon his return. Confederate 
troops were hurrying from all sides to cut him off. Generals Fitzhugh Lee, 
Jribal A. Early, John McCausland, John Echols and W. H. Jackson each had 
an army, and they occupied every road, as they supposed, by which Averell 
could escape. Rain fell in torrents. Streams overflowed their banks and de- 
luged the country. The cavalry swam, and the cannon and caissons were hauled 
across by ropes where horses could not ford. The Federals fought their way 
to James river, crossed it on bridges which they burned in the face of the 
Confederates, and crossed the Alleghenies into Pocahontas county by a road 
almost unknown. More than 100 men were lost by capture and drowning at 
James River. The rains had changed'to snow, and the cold was so intense that 
cattle froze to death in the fields. Such a storm had seldom or never been 
seen in the alleghenies. The soldiers' feet froze till they could not wear boots. 
They wrapped their feet in sacks, Averell among the rest. For sixty miles 
they followed a road which was one unbroken sheet of ice. Horses fell and 
crippled themselves or broke the riders' legs. The artillery horses could not 
pull the cannon, and the soldiers did that work, 100 men dragging each gun 
up the mountains. Going down the mountains a tree was dragged behind each 
cannon to hold it in the road. The Confederates were hard in pursuit, and 
there was fighting nearly all the way through Pocahontas county, and was 


carried by train to Martinsburg. Averel] lost 119 men on the expedition, one 
ambulance and a few wagons, but no artillery. 


Letter by Granville D. Hall. 

Recalling the list of the membership of the old-time first West Virginia 
Constitutional Convention printed in your columns several weeks ago, I have a 
note today from John D. Sutton of Sutton, Braxton county. West Virginia, 
mentioning that Gustavus F. Taylor, who was next to the youngest of the 
youngest group in that convention "Died but a few weeks since." Mr. Sutton's 
letter is dated January 11th, 1916. "So far as I know," Mr. Sutton adcLs, 
"Mr. Taylor was the last survivor of that convention." Mr. Taylor married in 
Wheeling, I believe, and resided there some years of his earlier life." 

Mr. John D. Sutton, who favors me with, this information, is the son of 
Felix Sutton, who was the founder and gave his name to the city of Sutton, the 
present capital of Braxton county. Felix Sutton was a member of the first 
West Virginia house of Delegates which met in the Linsly Institute June 20th, 
1863, to organize the then (very) new state of West Virginia. I remember 
him well, a man even then foil of years (sixty-one or two) quiet, unassuming, 
thoughtful, brainy, gentle and kindly in his intercourse with officers and col- 

Mr. John D. Sutton mentions in his letter that his father joined a company 
for the protection of Wheeling and other towns against the Morgan raid. "I 
would like very much," he says, "if you would give me any information you 
may have in reference to that company, its officers, etc. My recollection is that 
the captain's name was Cramer, but am not sure. Father's discharge became 
lost. Any recollection of him or his service, either in the Legislature or in his 
brief military service, would be greatly appreciated. Father died in 1884., 
in his 82nd year." 

It was a ?nemorable day when John Morgan was moving northward, in 
eastern Ohio, seeking a crossing of the river into West Virginia, and the "escape 
to the mountains" vainly enjoined on Lot. at Gomorrah by the divine injunc-- 
tion. Co'. Leroy Kramer of Morgantown. who became speaker of the second 
West Virginia house, quickly became the storm center around whom the mem- 
bership and the officership of the two houses quickly rallied, upon report that 
Morgan was seeking to cross at or near Wheeling. "Col. Jim" Wheat, a 
brigadier of militia, who ought to be yet well remembered in Wheeling, was 
the superior in rank, to whom all looked for information and direction. As the 
hot, dusty day wore on, it developed that Morgan had moved northward; and 
Hhe aggregate legislative valor was later in the afternoon loaded into a steam- 
boat, with a musket for each man (but no visible "munitions") and run up to 
Brown's island where rumor said Morgan was likely to attempt a crossing. We 
spent the night on board the boat. There was nothing to eat, and I don't think 


anybody thought it worth while to be hungry. As I remember, my next chair 
neighbor was Mr. Lewis Ruffner of Kanawha. 

For a long time I carried the remembrance of a good deal of the detail of 
this adventure ; but it got away from me at last, and now I can speak only in 
general terms. The company was made up of all the members and officers of 
both bouses. An old man whose name I never knew, who had been a regular 
attendant in the lobby of the house, went to work after the excitement was over 
and made up a list of the company which served under Captain Kramer. Then 
he prepared a form of honorable discharge for each man, certifying that the 
bearer had served his county in time of peril, and had this printed in good 
shape with, I think, a good display of Eagle and Stars and Stripes at the top. 
These he took to Governor Arthur I. Boreman, the first governor of the new 
state, who signed the discharges ; and the old father of the scheme presented 
one to each of the heroes who had — as John Hay said of the Prairie Bell — 
' ' Held her muzzle agin the bank till every galoot was ashore. ' ' 

I should mention that next morning, after a rather restless night, the ques- 
tion of the commissariat became more acute, and a party left the boat to ex- 
plore the neighborhood with a view to breakfast. There was a generous look- 
ing farmhouse near the river, just at the head of Hoiliday's Cove, where the 
party met a warm welcome as soon as it was found they were not Morgan's men. 
At first on their approach, the family was much frightened. "Big Bowyer," 
member of the house, from Putnam, walked at the head of the explorers. He 
was a royal looking grenadier, "six feet two" in his stockings, and wore a 
tremendous beard which fell down to his breast; while he had the broad shoul- 
ders which made him a truly splendid specimen of physical (and martial) 
manhood. "When the family saw Bowyer in the lead, they -thought he was John 
Morgan, and gave themselves up for lost. When the truth had been explained 
to them, the glad and generous family simply threw open all the resources of 
farm and family, and told the party to bring on their men, and they would 
feed all that came. And every one of the hungry men who had breakfast there 
that morning, if he were alive to tell the tale, would testify that this family 
did feed them up to the handle. 

It is one of the many regrets a failing memory leaves that I cannot give 
the name of this family. I knew the name at the time and carried it many 
years, but at last it dropped out. The same is true of a farmhouse farther 
down the cove where the Kramer Guards had their dinner. It was the same 
splendid hospitality; and soon after dinner definite news was received that Mor- 
gan and his men had been captured farther north in Columbiana county. 

To aid a failing memory of the details of this company, I cannot even 
appeal to the journal of the two houses of legislature, my copies having been 
lost many years ago. So far as the story is told, I give you the substantial 
truth, and regret the details which, once familiar, do not respond to my call. 

I would hope, if such a thing were probable, that there may be some one 


still living, within reach of this publication who could give other details. I 
have even forgotten the name of the steamboat which gave us sleeping accommo- 
dations that Saturday night — for it. is my recollection the following day was 

Glencoe, 111., January 13, 1916. 


A raid made by Major Dun of the Confederate forces made a feint to at- 
tack Sutton. Major Henry H. Withers was commanding the Post with a por- 
tion of the 10th "West Virginia Infantry. The Confederates approached from 
the south side of Elk, and crossed the river at the mouth of G-ranny's creek, 
and came in on the rear of town. The Federal forces were down in town, but 
the presence of the Confederates was discovered in time for the Federals to 
rally their forces, and' the Confederates instead of rushing down from the hill 
bark of the Baxter residence in North Sutton, and occupying the breastworks, 
they took out on the old road that leads to the Low gap on the Camden hill, 
and thence up through Boling green and upper Flatwoods, and on through 
Webster county. James M. Corley had loaded his goods in wagons and started 
them for Weston, and just as they reached the top of the hill they met the 
Confederate forces, and they burned the wagons and what goods they did not 

Major Withers took his forces and struck the trail of the enemy on the 
hill above the mouth of Granny's creek, and kept the hillstide between the creek 
and the top of the- ridge, and marched around near the Camden Low gap and 
stopped to reconnoiter, and as we were perfectly familiar with the woods, the 
Major asked the author to go ahead and spy out the enemy. We took through 
the woods, and came up with the command who had stopped to rest on the 
hill between the Pike at the Camden Low gap and the. Baxter place. One of 
their soldiers had stepped out a little distance from the camp, and we saw him 
first, and having the drop on him, we ran him down to the Pike. Being so proud 
of our prisoner, instead of going back and reporting to the Commander where 
the enemy was, we doubleqixicked the poor fellow out the pike, and finally met 
two or three Cavalrymen £>nd turned h;m over. We had no definite plan, out 
suppose if we had met no one, we might have gone on to Bulltown or Weston. 
W T e did not go back to report \intil the Confederates had gone several miles. 
If all the rest of the command had done as well as we had, there would have 
been about a man apiece for them. We have no doubt that the prisoner was 
marked a deserter which would have been a great injiistiee. 


E. H. Cunningham contributes the following account of the battle of Bull- 
town from memory, after a period of over fifty years. Mr. Cunningham was 


an eye witness of the battle. His father, Moses Cunningham, lived less than a 
half mile from the fort, and was wounded by a ball from one of the contending 
forces : 

The battle of Bulltown, "West Virginia, was fought on the Moses Cun- 
ningham farm at Bulltown, on October 13, 1863. 

A part of the Sixth and a part of the Eleventh W. Va. Regiments, number- 
nig about four hundred men, commanded by Captain Wm. H. Mattingly of 
the Sixth Regiment, was encamped on the Cunningham farm, and had the hill 
on the northeast side of the Little Kanawha river overlooking Bulltown for- 
tbled. They had bomb-proof trenches entirely around the hill. They had no 
cannon, their only weapons being shoulder and side arms. There was a Federal 
out-post and winter quarters ; but they did not occupy it in the summer. 

On October 13, 1863, about four o'clock A. M., they were attacked by Colo- 
nel W. L. Jackson, a Confederate commander with a force of about six hundred 
men; they marched from the southeast through Webster county; the attacking 
army divided at Falls Mill, a distance of three miles up the river, and to the 
southeast of Bulltown where Major Kessler with about half of the command took 
the right wing and was to attack the Federal intrenchments from the northeast, 
while Colonel Jackson with the left wing was to attack from the southwest. 

Jackson's position was on the opposite side of the river from the Federa'i 
fortification, and on ground of almost exactly the same elevation as that which 
the Federals held; Jackson held this position throughout the battle, and did 
not cross the river. 

Jackson had one cannon, a Howitzer which shot a three-pound shell, and 
was carried on a mule (called the Jackass battery). 

Kessler and Jackson were to attack at the same time, Jackson to fire his 
cannon as a signal for Kessler to charge, but Kessler did not wait for the sig- 
nal, and attacked before Jackson arrived at bis designated position. The bat- 
tle continued at intervals until about four o'clock P. M., when the Confederates 
became worn and retreated southwestward along the Weston and Gauley Bridge 

Seven Confederates were killed and four wounded; the wounded were 
John Sumpter. William Benson and Allen L. Weese, privates, and Lieutenant 
Norris. The retreating army took Weese with them, but he died and was buried 
on Big Run, three miles from Bulltown. Lieutenant Norris was shot in the el- 
bow, and Avas cared for at the home of Moses Cunningham. William Benson 
also had a limb broken, and was cared for at the home of P. B. Berry. As ,soon 
as Sumpter and Benson were able to travel, they were taken to prison by the 
Federals, (Benson afterward became a Protestant preacher.) 

The seven Confederates who were killed were buried on the battle field, 
but in 1889 a southerner had them removed and buried on his farm on the west 
side of the river, and had a cut stone placed around the grave, all being placed 
in one grave. 


None of the Federals were killed and only two wounded. Captain Mat- 
tingly was wounded, and the command fell on Captain Simpson. Lieutenant 
Holt was also wounded, but neither wound was serious. Captain Mattingly 
was shot in a lower limb and Lieutenant Holt was shot in the top of the 

After Captain Simmons took command, the Confederates put up a flag of 
truce and sent a message to Captain Simpson, asking him to surrender, but 
Simpson answered back that he would fight them until Hell froze over, and if 
he had to retreat he would retreat on ice. 

The retreating Confederates encamped for the night at Salt Lick Bride, five 
miles to the southwest of Built own. The same night a company of cavalry com- 
manded by major Howes, of the Fourth W. Va. Cavalry, marched from Weston 
to Bulltown, where they encamped for the night, and on the morning of October 
14th, Major Howes marched his men to Salt Lick Bridge to attack Jackson. 
Jackson -was behind a stone wall on the southwest side of Salt Lick creek. 
Howes did not cross the creek, but after firing a few shots, he returned with his 
command to Weston, and Jackson marched toward Sutton. No one was killed 
or wounded in this skirmish at Salt Lick Bridge. Jackson retreated on to 
Pocahontas County. 

A short time after the battle, the Federals at Bulltown procured a cannon 
that would shoot a six-pound ball or shell. 


West Virginia furnished 36,500 soldiers for the Union, and about 7,000 
for the Confederate armies. In addition to these, there were 32 companies of 
troops in the state service, some counties having one company, some two. Their 
duty was to scout, and to protect the people against guerrillas. The majority 
of them were organized in 1863 and 1864. These companies with their captains 
were as follows: 

Captain M. T. Haller Barbour County 

A. Alltop .1 .....Marion County 

" H. S. Sayre Doddridge County 

J. C. Wilkinson Lewis County 

George C. Kennedy Jackson County 

John Johnson Jackson County 

William Logsdon. Wood County 

" William Ellison Calhoun County 

" Alexander Donaldson Roane County 

Hiram Chapman Roane County 

H. S. Burns :.Wirt County 

John Boggs Pendleton County 

" M. Mallow Pendleton County 

John Ball Putnam County 

J. L. Kesling ...Upshur County 



William R. Spaulding Wayne County 

M. M. Pierce Preston County 

William Gandee. ...Roane Connty 

Nathaniel J. Lambert Tucker Counuty 

James A. Ramsey Nicholas County 

John S. Bond Havdy County 

William BartrumL Wayne Connty 

Ira G. Copeley Wayne County 

William Turner Raleigh County 

Sanders Mullius Wyoming Coanty 

Robert Brooks Kanawha County 

B. L. Stephenson Clay County 

G. F. Taylor ....Braxton County 

W. T. Wiant Gilmer County 

Isaac Biown Nicholas County 

Benjamin R. Haley Wayne County 

Sampson Snyder Randolph County 


Home Guards of '61. 

In 1861, when the Federal Troops came to Sutton, Samuel A. Rollyson 
organized a company of Home Guards. This company was composed princi- 
pally of men living in the lower end of the county. They were recognized by 
the Federal authorities, and drew rations and arms from the Government. Cap- 
tain Rollyson resigned, and was commissioned First Lieutenant of Company F, 
10th W. Va. Infantry, May 29, 1862. 

Michael Rollyson organized, and was made captain of the Home Guards 
under the reorganized government of West Virginia. This company was com- 
posed principally of the men who had served in the first organization. Cap- 
tain Rollyson was commissioned Dec. 1, 1863, and served until Aug. 5, 1864. 

The company was re-organized, and G. F. Taylor was commissioned Cap- 
tain of the W. Va. Scouts under the laws of- West Virginia in 1864, and 
served until , 1865, at the close of the war. 

We have been able through the records in the Department of Archives at 
Charleston, to obtain the names of the men who served in one or more of the 
different companies named. Some of Captain Taylor's men served in Samuel 
A. Rollyson 's company, and also in Captain Michael Rollyson 's company. 
Quite a number that composed the First Home Guards, volunteered in Com- 
pany F, Tenth W. Va. Volunteer Infantry. James Carr, a veteran of the War 
of 1812, was a member of Michael Rollyson 's company. Wm. D. Rollyson was 
commissioned Major of Independent Company Scouts in the service of the 
state of W. Va., under date of May 16, 1864, to rank from May 6, 1864, under 
general orders No. 7. 

The records give in addition to the commissioned officers noted, the names 


of John S. Taylor, Thomas Dobbins, Mathias Gerwig, Morgan Simmons, Henry 
Bender, Ballard Kogers, Isaac Carr, Silas Carr, John J. Meadows and Lewis 

The following are the names of the enlisted men : Andrew Boone, Robert 
Boone, Solomon Brady, George T. Brock, John Buckhannon, Solomon Carpen- 
ter, Anderson Carr, Francis Carr, James Carr, James C. Carr, James P. 
Carr, John Carr, John C. Carr, Silas Carr, Michael Carroll, John Carroll, 
Samuel Caroll, John Clark, John Crites, Benjabin F. Cutlip, James Cutlijj, 
Henry T. Davis, Adam G. Dobbins, George Dobbins, James Dobbins, Joel Dob- 
bins, John M. Dobbins, Samuel P. Dobbins, Thomas Dobbins, Israel G. Engel, 
Jacob Gerwig, John F. Gerwig, Mathias Gerwig, Jonathan Green, Alban Hall, 
Seth F. Hambric, John S. Hannah, John W. Hannah, Perry H. Jarvis, Jacob 
S. Keener, Thomas B. McClaughlin, Jacob McCoy, George McCoy, Andrew 
McMorrow, David P. McMorrow, Granville McMorrow, Marshall McMorrow, 
Oliver H. McMorrow, John S. McPherson, Alexander Meadows, Allen Mead- 
ows, John A. Meadows, Robinson Meadows, Samuel E. Meadows, Thomas 
Meadows, Thomas C. Meadows, Thomas Miller, William Mitchell, William C. 
Mitchell, John J. Moore, Isaac Perkins, Weadon Perkins, Jr., William Perkins, 
Jacob Riffle, William C. Riffle, Benjamin E. Rider, William W. Rider, James 
M. Rose, Mortimer Rose, Shelton R. Rose, Andrew Rollyson, Andrew P. Roily- 
son, Charles M. Rollyson, Charles M. Rollyson, Sr., Isaac M. Rollyson, James 
Rollyson, John Rollyson, Sr., John Rollyson, John H. Rollyson, Martin Rolly- 
osn, Michael Rollyson, Peter Rollyson, Samuel E. Rollyson, William Rollyson, 

Sr., Siers, John Sears, Perry Shock, Elijah Tanner, John Tanner, 

Joshua Tanner, A .T. Taylor, Ward, Wade, John R. Wade, John 

E. Young, Robert J. Young, Granville T. Loyd, Oliver McMorrow and Andrew 
Carr. It will be observed in the three organizations as they appear, there were 
fourteen Rollysons and nine Carrs. 

List of the wounded of the 10th Regt. W. Va. Vol. Infantry in the battle of 
Droop Mountain, Greenbrier County, W. Va., November 6, 1863, also remarks. 

James Pickens, private, Co. A; gun shot wound through left leg, not 
serious. , 

Samuel Swecker, private, Co. A ; gun shot wound through left leg, very 

George Walton, private, Co. A; gun shot wound in knee joint, right side, 

Benjamin Moore, private, Co. C ; gun shot wound through right shoulder, 

Isaac Buckhannon, private, Co. C ; gun shot wound in left hip, ball retain- 
ed, serious. 

A. J. S. McDonald,' private, Co. C ; gun shot wound through left forearm, 
not serious. 

George Osborn, coropral, Co. C : gun shot wound through right arm, 


Franklin Fisher, private, Co. D ; gun shot wound right thigh middle third, 
flesh wound. 

John Queen, private, Co. D ; gun shot wound through left shoulder, serious. 

Ezra M. Hours, private, Co. D ; gun shot wound through right arm above 
and below elbow, serious. 

Mortimer Stalnaker, sergeant, Co. D; gun shot .wound through little finger, 
right hand. 

John Forrester, private, Co. E ; gun shot wound through left lung, serious. 

James H. Dodd, corporal, Co. E ; gun shot wound left knee joint, retained, 

Wm. M. Barnett, private, Co. F ; gun shot wound right leg near knee 
joint, serious. 

John Blagg, private, Co. F ; gun shot wound right ankle involving joint, 

Newlon Squires, private, Co. F ; gun shot wound top of right shoulder, 

E, B. Wheeler, private, Co. F; gun shot wound left shoulder, serious. 

Jacob Riffel, private, Co. F ; gun shot wound left arm shatter humurus, 
serious, left behind. 

Silas M. Morrison, private, Co. F ; gun shot wound through both arms, not 

Addison "Willson, private, Co. F ; gun shot wound middle, ring and little 
fingers, first two amputated. 

George C. Gillespie, private, Co. F ; gun shot wound left leg, not serious. 

Milton Rollyson, private, Co. F ; gun shot wound left forearm, not serious. 

John Rollyson, private, Co. G; gun shot wound middle finger right hand. 

Coleman Wyant, private, Co. G; gun shot wound abdomen, flesh wound. 

M. A. Jeffer, corporal, Co. G ; gun shot wound left thigh, ball retained, 

Nimrod Weiss, private, Co. II ; gun shot wound right side perforating 
bowels emerging near naval. 

James M. Randle, private, Co. H ; gun shot wound left thigh low, third, 
flesh wound. 


B. Curry, sergeant, Co. A; gun shot wound in head. 

G. J. Shaw, private, Co. A; gun shot wound, mortally. 

Charles Bryson, private, Co. D ; gun shot wound in head. 

M. Shriever, private, Co. E ; gun shot wound, mortally. 

John D. Baxter, orderly sergeant, Co. F ; gun shot wound in bowels. 

Coleman Channel, corporal, Co. IT ; gun shot wound, mortally. 

David Sanders, private, Co. II; gun shot wound, mortally. 

Wesley Pullens, private, Co. II ; gun shot wound, mortally. 

Five killed and 21 wounded in the 281 h Ohio, their orderly Sergeant of 
Co. F killed. 




Company F, 10th Regiment (Federal) West Virginia Infantry: This 
company was composed of Braxton county men as follows: Captain 
Nimrod M. Hyer, taken prisoner June 7, 1863: first lieutenant, Samuel A. Rol- 
lyson; second lieutenant. Henry Bender; Joseph B. "Westfall, wounded at Ope- 
quon September 19, 1864; Samuel E. Knicely; Nimrod W. Lloyd; William T. 
Husing; Isaac Carr; Azariah H. Bright, wounded at Winchester, July 24, 
1864; William C. Riffle; Francis Carr; Thomas B. MeLauthlin, wounded at 
Fishers Hill, September 22, 1864; Robert L. Blagg; Newlon Squires, wounded 
at Droop Mountain, November 6, 1863 ; Thomas C. Meadows ; Solomon Brady ; 

William B. Barnett, wounded at Droop 
Mountain, November 6, 1863 ; James K-. Bar- 
nett: Austin M. Brown; Abraham Brooks; 
Wesley A. Brooks, wounded at Winchester, 
July 24. 1864; William C. Berry; John 
Blagg, wounded at Droop Mountain, Novem- 
ber 6. 1863 ; Michael Carroll ; James M. Cor- 
ley; Andrew H. Clutter; Harvey H. Clut- 
ter; Silas Carr, wounded at Fishers Hill, 
September 24, 1864 ; John Clark ; James Duf- 
fey; Thomas Dobbins; Lewis A. Dawson, ac- 
cidentally wounded at Leetown, Va., July 
3, 1864; Israel Engle; Andrew Graff, wound- 
ed at Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864; Fred- 
erick Gerber, wounded at Cedar Creek, Oc- 
tober 19, 1864- George' C. Gillespie, wounded 
at Droop Mountain, November 6, 1863 ; 
James M. Gillespie; Jonathan Green; Rob- 
ert P. Givens, wounded at Winchester, July 

24, 1864; Leonard W. Hver; .John Knicely: 
JOHN D. BAXTER, Orderly Sergt. Jogeph R Kuicdy . wmiam N _ Knicely : 

Charles Krafft : William Krafft ; Lewis 
Kyer; John Morrison ; George H. Morrison; 
Silas M. Morrison, wounded at Droop Moun- 
tain, November 6, 1863; W. F. Morrison; 
John S. McPherson; Marshall McMorrow, wounded at Cedar Creek, October 19, 
1864, Harrison Mollohan; Isaac C. Ocheltree, wounded at Winchester, July 24, 
1864; Weadon J. Perkins; William H. Perkins; William H. Petry; William 
W. Rider, wounded at Opequon, September 19, 1864; Benjamin E. Rider; 
Charles M. Rollyson; John Rollyson, wounded at Droop Mountain, November 
6, 1863 : James Rollyson, wounded at Opequon, September 19, 1864 ; Milton 
Rollyson, wounded at Droop Mountain, November 6, 1863; Mortimer Rose; 
Ellis W. Squires ; John D. Sutton ; Anthony Simon ; Salathiel Skidmore ; James 
M. Stilly ; Andrew J. Short ; William G. Sands, taken prisoner July 23, 1864 ; 

Co. P, 10th W. Va. Inft. 
Killed in Battle at Droop Moun- 
tain, W. Va., Nov. 6, 1863. 


"Willis Shaver; Harvey F. Shaver, wounded at Opequon. September 19, 1864; 
Morgan D. Shaver; James Stewart, missing in action at Cedar Creek, October 
19, 1864; Bernhard Veith; John D. Weihert, taken prisoner December 10, 
1863; Eldridge C. Warner; Edward B. Wheeler, wounded at Droop Mountain, 
November 6, 1863; William Wyatt; Addison Wilson, wounded at Droop Moun- 
tain, November 6, 1863; Samuel J. Brown; Harrison Beasley; Benjamin P. 
Cutlip; Nathaniel C. Davis; Henry T. Davis; Asa B. Gregory; Elijah Skid- 
more; Norman B. Squires, discharged at Gallipolis, Ohio, September 28, 1864, 
on account of wound received in right leg, December 6, 1863 ; Thomas Meadows, 
discharged for disability April 1, 1863, at General Hospital. Cumberland. Md. ; 
William C. Mitchell, discharged for disability from General Hospital at Cum- 
berland, Md., April 1, 1863 ; Jacob Riffle, discharged at York, Pa., on account 
of loss of left arm from wounds received in action November 6, 1863 ; John D. 
Baxter, died Nov. 7, 1863, from wounds received the day previous in action at 
Droop Mountain ; Sheldon C. Morrison, killed in action at Winchester, Septem- 
ber 19, 1864; John H. Rollyson, died of scrofula in hospital at Winchester, 
February 19, 1863 ; Jesse Berry, died November 14, 1864, from wounds re- 
ceived in action at Winchester; John P. Corley, supposed to have been killed 
near Winchester, July 24, 1864; Abraham Blagg, died September 22, 1864, 
from wounds received in action at Winchester; James F. Dobbins, died of 
consumption at Winchester, March 20, 1863 ; Samuel P. Dobbins, died at Bev- 
erly, W. Va., from accidental wound; Joel Dobbins, died of consumption at 
Grafton, W. Va., January 25, 1864 ; Thomas S. Greenleaf, died of fever at Win- 
chester, May 8, 1S63 ; Levi J. Griffin, died of fever at Martinsburg, W. Va., 
October 13, 1864; John A. Meadows, died of pneumonia, at Cumberland, Md., 
December 14, 1862 ; Robinson Meadows, died November 15, 1864, of wounds 
received at Snickers Ford, July 17, 1864; John J. Moore, died of fever at Har- 
pers Ferry, August 22, 1863; Mathias C. Smith, died of measles at Sutton, W. 
Va., March 14, 1864. Aggregate, 108 men. 

In Company E, Third West Virginia Cavalry, we find the following names: 
Taylor Sutton, Lee Brooks (killed at Petersburg, Va.), Thomas Coger, Jerry 
Sawyers, Nick Butcher, Enoch Heater, Isaac Fisher, James P. Hudkins, Payton 

Eleventh West Virginia: Johnson Squires, Orderly Sergeant. 
Ninth West Virginia: J. Y. Gillespie, Sergeant (wounded at Floyd Moun- 
tain), George Dobins. 

Dump. Conrad, colored, served through the war, company unknown, was 
a pensioner, and recently died. Many other names not given. 


Fully three hundred men from Braxton county went South and cast their 
fortunes with the Confederacy. Aside from those mustered in the county, 
many went into companies raised in other parts of the State. Of these, the 


names or the record has not been fully preserved, but herewith are given all 
that can be obtained: 

The first company of soldiers that volunteered from Braxton Co. served 
in Company C, 25th Regiment, commanded by Colonel Hickembottom. Captain 
Pat. Duffy (deceased) was afterward promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. 1st 
Lieutenant of the Company was J. M. Boggs; 2nd Lieutenant, E. D. Camden, 
(Lieutenant Camden was promoted to Captain) ; 3rd Lieutenant, James Mc- 
Corkie; Orderly Sergeant, Willis Lawrence; 2nd Sergeant, Wm. L. J. 
Corley (wounded and deceased) ; 3rd Sergeant, Side Camel. F. J. Sutton was 
later promoted to Lieutenant. 

Private James P. Hefner, wounded, living. 

Private Samuel Hefner, Color Bearer, dead. 

Private Jahugh Carpenter, dead. 

Private Edward Brady, Corporal, wounded, living. 

Private Marlow Mace, living. 

Private J. B. McLaughlin, living. 

Private Thomas B. Wilson, wounded, deceased. 

Private Alfred Dilley, wounded at. Wilderness, dead. 

Private John Satler, wounded at G. B., living. 

Private Thomas Frame. 

Private Johnson McLaughlin, dead. 

Private Thurman Tinney, killed at Allegheny Mountains. 

Private Hanson Pierson, died at Allegheny Mountain. 

Private Charles Taylor, lost leg, living. 

Private George Johnson, lulled. 

Private Felix Wilson, killed. 

Private John Taylor, died in prison. 

Private Addison Long, wounded, still living. 

Private Willis Lawrence, killed. 

Private James A. Johnson, wounded at McDowell, Va. (Promoted to 

Members of Hampton's Legion from Braxton county: I. D. Johnson, 
dead ; Wm. Johnson, dead ; James Matheny, dead ; Ui-iah Given, taken prisoner, 
died at home on return. 

62nd Virginia Infantry: Jas. W. Spicer, dead; Harvey Spicer, dead; 
Thomas D. Wood, living; Capt. James Berry, deceased; Pembroke Berry, de- 
ceased; T. J. Berry, deceased (to- go with 25th Infantry). 

36th Battalion: Colonel Swan; II. C. Dufneld, captain, killed at Opequon; 
A. N. Duffield, wounded at Opequon, deceased; Eli Taylor, deceased since; 
Henry Perrine, deceased since; John Cutlip, living; George Keener, died in 
prison; Nathaniel Keener, died in prison. 

John L. Caynor's Co., 6th Va. Infantry: Peter Hardway, killed at Cloyd 
Mountain ; Pinkney Fulks, killed at Cloyd Mountain ; Clark Dean, deceased ; 


Peter Dickey. Orderly, taken prisoner, died on way home; Wm. Callison; Spi- 
der Callison, deceased; Harvey Armstrong-, deceased; Milton Bragg, living; 
Henry Given, wounded, deceased; Robert Johnson, deceased. 

Company B, 19th Virginia Cavalry: John S. Sprigg, captain; Reynolds 
Davis, first lieutenant, killed ; James D. Sprigg, second lieutenant ; John J. 
Williams, third lieutenant; James W. Squires, killed, Richard Williams, Hugh 
Williams, J. E. Williams, Hanson Williams, Granville Wilson, Hiram West- 
fall, Jacob Westfall, George Westfall, James Westfall, William H. Mathews, 

F. F. Squires, Jehu Carpenter, Stanley Conrad, Benjamin Riffle, Edmund 
Barker, Johnson Barker, Isaac Barker, Sheldon Knight, Wesley Knight. Fran- 
cis Knight, Charles Nutter, killed, H. H. McElwain, Mortimer Thayey, Thomas 
Belknap, Joseph McCray, Perry Heater, Calvin Heater, Elijah Heater, Robert 
Givens, Isaac Thrasher, Thomas Goff, Wm. L. Perine, Henry Perine, Robert 
Perine, Samuel Perine, Joseph McMillin, James K. McMillin, James Shrader, 
Patrick Foley, Mathew Hines, lulled, James Heffner, Samuel Given, James 
K. Baker, Nathan Hutchinson, Hudson D. Knight, John May, William W. Tay- 
lor, died in service, James Lake, Ambrose Tonkin, A. B. Stonestreet, Jesse 
Smith, John Gardner, killed, James Gardner, killed, Lewis Weese, killed, John 
I. Tonkin, died. Aggregate, 65 men. 

Company G, 62nd Regiment Virginia Mounted Infantry: Captain Con- 
rad Currence, killed at New Market, Virginia, May 15, 1864; Thomas Saun- 
ders, killed at New Market, May 15, 1864: Andrew Heater, killed at New 
Market, May 15, 1864 ; James L. Berry, killed at New Market, May 15, 1864 ; 

G. W. Hopkins, died at Harrisonville, Va., 1863 ; T. W. Myers, killed at Charles- 
town, Va., 1863; William Gardner, killed at Beverly, W. Va., 1864; Henry 
Allen, died at Harrisonville, 1863 ; Newton Conrad, lolled at Richmond, 1863 ; 
Michael Heffner, died at Shenandoah Mountain in 1862 ; Salathiel Coger, died 
at Shenandoah Mountain, 1862; Levi Waybright, died of smallpox at Shenan- 
doah Mountain, 1862; G. W. Dyer, died at Shenandoah Mountain, 1862; Sam- 
uel Jones, killed at Berryville, Va., 1864; Thomas 0. Williams, killed at Wil- 
liamsport, Md., 1S63 ; William Berry, died in hospital at Memphis, Term., 
1864 ; F. J. Berry, died at Moorefield, Va., 1862 ; J. D. Lenenson, died at Win- 
chester, 1863 ; John Dennison, died at Winchester, 1863 ; John S. Singleton, 
Asa Coger, S. (C. Heffner, J. J. Dyer, J. W. James, William James, Henry 
Boggs, Frank Holden, T. W. Saunders, William Harren, J. W. Han-en, J. 
C. Dennison, D. J. Dennison, Frederick Hoover, Dexter Posey, John Heater, 
James Bragg, Richard Lake, W. L. Ware, K. R. Heater, William Heater, J. 
W. Hacker, Asa Stump, J. J. Blake, G. B. Ocheltree, Jackson Skinner, J. W. 
Singleton, F. F. Singleton, Harvey Spiller, B. C. Conrad, James Spicer, Jack- 
son Coger, Cornelius Coger, Joseph McPherson, S. B. Myers, P. W. Shields, 
Jonathan Rattliff, Addison Williams, S. Y. Farrar, J. P. McNemar, John Lake, 
Benjamin Hamilton, J. H. Berry, Charles Riffle, James Riffle, T. M. Moore, D. 
H. Wine, James Heffner, T. B. Cunningham, Thomas McPherson. Aggregate, 
69 men. 


Compnaj, I, 17th Virginia, Confederate Veterans, mustered into service at 
Birch River, Nicholas County, Virginia, Oct. 2, 1862: 
French, W. H., Colonel. 
Bland, John, Capt. of Lewis County. 
Long, W. A., 1st Lieutenant; died since war. 
Given, Theo. 2nd Lieutenant; wounded in Maryland; deceased. 
Pierson, W. F., 3rd Lieutenant; deceased. 
Duffield, Uriah, Orderly Sergeant; died in prison. 
Ameigh, Charles; died in service. 
Brown. Israel, Sr., Nicholas Co. ; deceased. 
Brown, Israel, Jr. ; died since the war. 
Boggs, John; died since the war. 
Bailin, David; gone. 
Cunningham, John ; deceased. 
Duffield, C. B. ; deceased. 
Duffield, John; wounded, living. 
Duffield, E. D.; living. 
Dobbins, B. F. ; living. 
Dobbins, H. C. ; deceased. 
Dickey, Benjamin; killed at Boonsboro, Md. 
Dickey, A. L. ; deceased. 
Duffield, Driden; deceased. 

Frame, A. P., promoted to Orderly; wotmded at Monacasy. 
Frame, John, Birch River ; living. 
Frame, John, Clay Co. ; deceased. 
Frame, Dr. Thomas; died in prison. 
Frame, V. B., Sergeant; living. 
Frame, Hanson; living. 

Frame, H. C, Corporal ; wounded at Boonsburg, Md. ; living. 
Frame, Andrew, Clay County; died. 
Frame, Mortimer, Clay County; wounded, died. 
Garee. Cortez ; died since the war. 
Given. Hamilton; deceased. 
Given, Wm. B. ; deceased. 
Given, H. C. ; deceased. 
Given, Benton; living. 
Hamric, Benjamin, Sr. ; died in prison. 
Hamric, Benjamin, Jr. ; deceased. 
Hamric, John P. ; deceased. 
Holt, Homer A. ; deceased. 
Hughes, Bartlett; deceased. 
James, H. C. ; living. 
James, Joseph; deceased. 
James, P. C. ; wounded, living. 
Jackson, Lasson ; deceased. 


Jackson, James; deceased. 

Keener, Samuel; died in prison. 

Keener, Wm. A.; living. 

Leach. Polka, Monroe County; living. 

Camden, "Will, Lieutenant, Company C, 17th; deceased. 

Camden, Polk, Company C, 17th; died in Baltimore. 

Camden, Wm., from Rockbridge; living. 

Molohan, Anson, wounded at Pt. Republic; deceased. 

Molohan, W. H., Sergeant; living. 

McLaughlin, H. N. ; wounded, living. 

Nottingham, J. Stewart; deceased. 

Nottingham, Jacob Jasper; died in prison. 

Nelson, Amos, Clay County; living. 

Perrine, John; wounded at Monacasy, living. 

Pierson, G. W. ; deceased. 

Pierson, W. R. ; living. 

Pierson, Jasper; living. 

Due, Samuel, Sergeant; killed at Monacasy. 

Brady, James, Corporal; killed at Monacasy. 

Rose, Fielding; living. 

Sirk, Jno. A. ; deceased. 

Sirk, G. Wesley; deceased. 

Dean, G. W. ; deceased. 

Coulter, James; deceased. 

Coidter, Perry C. ; living. 

Schoonover. Benjamin ; killed at P.ulltown. 

Steel, Wm. 

Skidmore. Jackson; deceased. 

Walker, George, Clay County; deceased. 

Frame, Martin; died in prison. 

Gibson, J. W. ; died in prison. 

Fox, Tyburtus; died in prison. 

Riffle, Martin, Clay County; deceased. 

Strange, Wm. ; woiuided, living in Kansas. 

Given, S. F. ; transferred, deceased. 

Truman, Barnabus; deceased. 

Shock. James, Gilmer County; deceased. 

Smith, James; deceased. 

Wilson, Albert; deceased. 

Barnett, Nathan; deceased. 

Long, Henry; deceased. 

Dodrill, B. F. ; deceased. 

Rogers, Ballard; deceased. 

Walbridge, Jack; deceased. 

Long, F. A. ; living. 


Nearing the close of the Civil wav, the Timings of which mention has been 
heretofore made, were harrassing the citizens and trying to press men into the 
Confederate service, also looking after those who had become tired of the ser- 
vice and returned to their homes. In order to protect themselves, they organ- 
ized a company with John D. Barnett as Captain, J. M. Hoover as First Lieu- 
tenant, Silas Hosey Second Lieutenant, and George Hoover as Orderly Ser- 
geant. We have a partial list only of the members of the company : John W. 
Knight, Prank Knight, Hudson Knight, Silas Hosey, C. D. Barnett, Andrew 
Facemire, John Gillespie. 

These men saw but little service as a company; they participated in the 
battle of Bulltown only, and through their organization avoided being further 
molested or taken to the army. 

Those in Other Organizations. 

In addition to the foregoing, other companies and parts of companies were 
made up of Braxton comity men. Captains James M. Berry and William Mol- 
lohan both raised companies, and the company of Captain Bland was composed 
largely of men from this county. Captain Mollohan was killed near Shenan- 
doah Mountain ; Isaac Willoughby was killed at Gettysburg, Pa. ; William 
Berry, Babe Coger and James Shields, died in a northern prison ; Charles W. 
Berry, died in prison at Elmira, N. Y., and Granville MeNemar was the last 
man killed at Appomattox Court House. 

Such were the men from Braxton who went to battle for the cause which 
seemed to them right, and in defence of which, many yielded up their lives. 
We doubt whether any county in the state, in proportion to the number of men 
enlisted, can show such a death roll. Prom tidewater, Virginia to the Ohio 
river, from Pennsylvania to Tennesee, her sons repose, and will answer roll-call 
no more; but amid the scenes in the land which gave them birth, their mem- 
ories will be cherished, and for long years to come the names of Braxton's 
honored dead will be remembered and revered. 


Union soldiers from Webster county: George W. Bender, deserted Con- 
federate sendee and joined Union, deceased: Renick Buchanan, deceased; 
Andrew Buchanan, Wm. Jeffers, deceased; Jerome L. D. Brake, John Fisher, 
deceased; Wesley Collins, deceased; Arch Collins, Wm. Riley Collins, deceased; 
Addison Fisher, wounded; Z. R. Howell, deceased; Wm. G. Hamric, wounded; 
Adam G. Gregory, went west ; Isaac Griffin, Owen Brinegar, Wm. McAvoy, de- 
ceased, and Jas. Green, killed in battle. 

Confederate soldiers from Webster county: Company G, 62nd Regiment, 

Virginia Infantry, Conrad Currence, Captain; , Lieutenant; 

Henry R. Boggs, Corporal; and enlisted men, James P. Ware, G. D. McCartney, 
deceased; Tobias Sizemore, deceased; Z. T. Sizemore. Ezra Clifton, killed in 
battle ; James and John Clifton, both killed in battle. ; Wilburn Baldwin, killed 


in battle; George Sizemore, died in war; Henry W. Anderson, Alexander An- 
derson, Tobias Rose, George W. Arthur, deceased; William Oummens, deceased; 
Vincent M. Hamric, Martin R. Hamric, deceased; John Lynch, and James M. 

Company , 40th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry: enlisted men, Samuel 

Given, Robert Given, Robert L. Henderson, Marshall Triplett (all dead), Isaac 
Weese, died in prison, and George W. Weese, living. 

Names of men, company unknown (Webster county) : James M. McCray, 
Captain of a company, killed in 1861 ; M. W. Perrine, Captain of a company, 
deceased; Lewis Weese, Lieutenant; J. W. Weese, living; John Hamric, James 
McAvoy, George McElwain, Lewis McElwain, A. Mc Weese, Robt. Morton, 
George W. Morton, Arthur Weese, John L. Carpenter, Jacob Carpenter, Ben- 
ijah Green, Robert Green, Tom Green (killed in battle), John Green (killed in 
battle), Isaac Sawyers, Jerry Sawyers, Wm. H. Holcomb (died in prison), 
Doc Green (killed in battle), Sam C. Miller, Wm. Woods (living), Chany 
Woods (living), Isaac Woods, Washington Woods, John B. Goff (living), 
Thomas Goff (living), Ai'thur Hickman, John Gardner (killed in battle), James 
Perrine, William Perrine, Thomas M. Reynolds, Eli Boyd, Anderson Cutlip 
(wounded, now dead), Isaac Green (killed in battle), Wesley Barnett (living), 
George Griffin, E. (killed in battle). Most of the men above mentioned are 
now dead, except where otherwise stated. 

Miscellaneous, Webster county: A. C. Mace and Wm. Brady from Com- 
pany F, 31st Virginia Infantry; B. F. Potts, Artillery; Lewis Garvin, 

Company , 10 Cavalry. 

The two Confederate companies made up and conmianded by Capt. Wm. 
H. Mollohan and Capt. James M. Berry, were merged in one, and commanded 
by Capt. Mollohan until he was killed, at Allegheny Mountain; the company 
was then commanded by Capt. James M. Berry. 

Company G, 25th Infantry: Captain James M. Berry; Lieutenants Jona- 
than M. McCray, Thornton J. Berry and John Yancy ; First. Sergeant, Granville 

Berry, Second, Marcellus Haymond; Corporals, Bland, and Brown; 

Privates, Charles Berry, Homer Berry. James W. Berry, Lewis Berry, Wm. 
Berry, Wm. D. Berry, Clint Cutlip, Frank Cutlip, Charles McCray, Ervin D. 

McCray, Haymond, Frank Lough, James Lough, Gus Lough, Washington 

Lough, Isaac Ware, Ware, Isaac Brown, Geo. W. Brown, Wesley Brown, 

James McPherson, Shedrick Perrine, David Perrine, Joseph Perrine, John 
Hardman, Sampson Jordon, Meshediah Jordon, Hezakiah Jordan, Josiah Jor- 
don„ Marshall A. Jordon, Andrew Ware, Henry Ware, John A. McCartney, 
Wm. Pritt, Thomas Bender, Isaac Bender, Geo. W. Bender, George D. Ander- 
son, Jesse Cowger, Wm. M. Rader, Henry Hinkle, Abel Hinkle, Morgan Fisher, 
David Perrine, Shedrick C. Perrine, Arthur Bickle, Norman Belknap, Jesse 
Cole, Arch Cole, Tobias Cogar, Wilson Howell, O. C. Payne, Emanuel Metz, 
B. C. Conrad, E. W. Tbarp, Laben Currence, Perry Currence, James Mc- 
Cartney, Martin Mulvy, Jonathan Ratcliff, Moss. 


Several names of this company we failed to secure, and some of the above 
were transferred to other companies. Most of them belonged to Webster 


Company G, 10th West Virginia Federal Infantry: This company was 
mustered in Gilmer county early in 1862. We here append the roll with the 
record of each. Those of whom no record is given, were discharged at the close 
of the war. James M. Ewing, captain, killed in action at Winchester, Virginia, 
September 19, 1864; John McAdams, 1st lieutenant, captured by the enemy 
December 18. 1863; Robert W. Varner, 2nd lieutenant; John S. Brannon, 1st 
sergeant, wounded in action at Winchester, September 19, 1864, leg ampu- 
tated; Joseph C. Gluck, veteran volunteer, wounded in action at Leetown, Vir- 
ginia, July 3, 1864; Alfrend C. Holmes, George W. Taylor, Isaac Beall, John 
W. Cain, wounded at Winchester, September 19, 1864; George W. Staton, 
August J. Liebur, Hiram A. Brannon, Alfred Beall, wounded at Maryland, 
July 7, 1864; George W. Garvin, Rowley W. Amos, Benjamin F. Amos, Isaac 
Barnhouse, Samuel Barnhouse, wounded in action at Winchester, September 

12, 1864; James P. Cain, Lemuel Current, captured by the enemy in 

24, 1864; John Crites, John W. Flanagan, Amos F\irr. Benjamin F. Frederick, 
William T. Frederick, William Griffin, Robert Grubb, Garret. J. Gayner, Na- 
thaniel Heffner, Joseh Hinchman, Benjamin F. Halbert, George C. Heckert, 
wounded in action at Fisher's Hill, September 22, 1864; John Jones, James 
Jones, absent without leave since August 20, 1864; Amos Jarvis, wounded at 
Cedar Creek, Va., October 19, 1864, arm amputated; James E. Johnston, John 
B. Kelley, wounded in action near Winchester, September 19, 1864; William 
Kuhle, transferred to Battery B, 1st West Virginia Artillery; Jacob Keller, 
Frederick Keller, wounded in action at Winchester, July 24, 1864; Bradford 
Lake, wounded in action September 19, 1864; George W. Miller, Henry Mep- 
man, Hira Q. Messenger, John T. McCord, John A. Miller, captured by the 
enemy July 24, 1864; James M. Miller, Henry Miller, Jacob Miller, captured 
by the enemy July 24, 1864; jfmes E. Norman, Philip Nirers, Robert Pritt, 
George M. Riddle, George W. Riddle, Franklin Riffle, captured by the enemy 
October 19, 1864; John Reed wounded at Winchester, July 24, 1864; Uriah 
Roberts, Benjamin Smarr, woitnded at Fisher's Hill, September 22, 1S64; 
Anthony Shutter, John Snyder, Samuel Taylor, Edward Townsend, William A. 
Taylor, William J. Wigner, wounded at , July 24, 1864; Abra- 
ham F. Wilson, David W. Wilson, Hannibal T. Wilson, Silas J. Yerkey, cap- 
tured by the enemy October, 19, 1864; Daniel Bush, Michael Gainer, John L. 
Persinger, Lewis Skinner, Daniel Childers, Adam S. Westfall, John Riddle, 
Henry D. Dettamore, David J. Ezekiel, Michael E. Jeffries, killed in action near 
Winchester, September 19, 1864; Jobn Cathorn, killed in action at Winchester, 
July 24, 1864; James Holbert, killed in action at Maryland Heights, July 7, 
1864 ; Jacob J. Stover, killed in action near Winchester, September 19, 1864 ; 
William H. Turner, killed in action near Winchester .July 24, 1864; Adam E. 


Varner, killed in action at Winchester, July 24, 1864; Hanson Black, died 
January 15, 1864 ; Thos. A. Bailey, died December 25, 1863 ; Hamilton Edwards, 
January 15, 1863; Joseph Grog, died January 15, 1864; Benjamin Kerens, ac- 
cidentally shot January 10, 1864: William Ratcliffe, died March 10, 1863; 
John E. Powers, died May 15, 1863; Elijah S. Riddle, died May 15, 1863; Wil- 
liam P. Riddle, died May 4, 1863 ; James P. Riddle, died January 15, 1864 ; 
•Samuel S. Riddle, died March 6, 1863 ; Leroy Short, died September 5, 1863 ; 
Wolcott B. Whiting, died April 20, 1863. The following deserted: Christopher 
Coger, Ashley M. Cuberly, Nathaniel Demoss, Allen G. Greenlief, Asa Hamric, 
Joseph Kerrens, Martin Marks, Henry Norman, Jeremiah Putman and Albert 
A. Townsend. Aggregate 107 men. From the foregoing it will be seen, too, 
that many of those who wore the blue likewise sleep on the battle-field, but the 
cannon's roar has long since died away and today Gilmer county honors her 
brave and gallant dead, whether they wore the blue or the gray. 


Just before the close of the war, the Confederate Congress, at the sugges- 
tion of the ablest leaders in the Southern army, authorized the enlistment of 
negro soldiers. A company of colered men was raised in Richmond, Va., and 
for a time drilled on the Capitol Square there. Cox, a colored plasterer, who 
was a sergeant in this company, is still living. These negro men were, however, 
never sent to the front. The war ended before the work of enlisting them could 
be carried out. 

Note. We saw this company after it. had been captured near Petersburg, 
Va. They were uniformed, and rather a firm looking company of soldiers, 
and were kept under heavy guard to protect them from threatened violence by 
the colored soldiers of the Union army. — T~he Author. 

In the Confederate service, there were quite a number of commissioned 
officers from Braxton and adjoining counties : P. B. Duffy was Lieutenant Col- 
onel of the 25th Virginia Infantry, W. I/. Jackson was Brigadier General, E. 
D. Camden was Captain of Company C, 25th Va., John S. Sprigg was captain 
of Company B, 19th Virginia Cavalry, Currance Com-ad was Captain of a 
company in 62nd Virginia Regiment, and was killed at New Market in 1864. 
Wm. Mollohan was Captain of a company in the 25th Virginia Regiment, and 
was killed at Alleghany in 1862, James M. Berry was Captain of a Braxton 

As before stated, many others of Gilmer county's sons went south, but 
we have been unable to secure other names than the following: William Lusa- 
dcr, John Lusader, Elijah Heater, Victory Fry, William Ford, James Arnold, 
John K. Snyder, S. B. Snyder, Jacob Snyder, G. W. Wilmoth, Elliott Town- 
send, Charles Wright, Richard Wright, Perry Snyder, Nathaniel DeMoss, 
Henry Norman, George Isinhart, Samuel Beckner, Samuel Bush, Alfred Bush, 
Henry Bush, Mark Riddle, Saiit. Stalnaker, Evan Alltop, Benjamin Lynch, 
Newton Ratliffe, Henry Ratliffe, Allen Greenlief, Frank Greenlief, John Green- 


lief, George Greenlief Jehu Bush, John Heckard, Henry Heckard, Benjamin 
Webb, John Powell, Samuel Stout, Robert Marshall, Albert. Shock, Benjamin 
Wires, Israel Davison, Lewis Chrissman, Joseph Chrissman, Levi Lynch, Levi 
Boggs, Wesley Fell, Peter Fell, Cornelius Ruddel, Thomas McGinniss, Charles 
McGinniss. Grandison Wolf, Elmer Wolf, John Davison, Joseph Clemens, M. 
J. Bush, S. T. Bush, H. V. Springstonc, J. B. Springstone, James Cooper, 
Robert Cooper, Warren Bush, John Chrissman, John E. Hays, S. H. Campbell, 
W- H. Campbell, William Ball, Claudius Winter, Martenia Minter, George Min- 
ter, Benton Ball, Joseph Burson, Harrison Cain, Lemuel Marks, William Nor- 
ris, Edward Norris, Thomas Yerkey, Lewis Alltop, Michael Stout, Johnston 
Stout and Benjamin Campbell. Of these, many -went never to return. 

There were but two men who rose to prominence in the military arm of the 
government in central West Virginia. T. M. Harris of Ritchie county was 
breveted a Major General, and commanded a division in Grant's Petersburg 
campaign, and it was his division that charged and captured Forts Lee and 

Also I. A. S. Lightburn of Lewis county commanded a division in the 
Atlanta campaign. Hall of Richie county was Lieutenant Colonel and Henry 
H. Withers of Gilmer county was Major of the 10th West Virginia Infantry. 
We recall no other one holding a higher rank in the service from, the immediate 
interior counties. 

Braxton county furnished only three commissioned officers : Captain Hyer 
of Company F, 10th West Virginia Infantry, Samuel A. Rollyson, 1st Lieuten- 
ant, and Henry Bender, 2nd Lieutenant of Company F, 10th West Virginia In- 
fantry. Lieutenant Bender was breveted Captain for gallantry at the close of 
the war. Major W. D. Rollyson, Captain G. F. Taylor, and Michael Rollyson 
held commissions in the State Guards. 

The Militia of Braxton consisted of one regiment, commanded at the be- 
ginning of the Civil war by Colonel B. W. Byrne. Jonathan Koiner was Lieu- 
tenant, Col. P. B. Adams was Major, and .was Adju- 
tant. The captains were 

These militia organizations had what was termed petty musters by com- 
panies, and two general musters each year. They had but slight knowledge of 
military tactics. The Braxton militia disbanded at the commencement of the 
Civil war, and was never called into service, except it is related that some of 
the militia did guard duty at Sutton for a short period, with John S. Taylor, 
Commanding Adjutant. Curance B. Conrad of Gilmer county, was a Briga- 
dier General of Militia. 


Soldiers who served in the Spanish-American war from Braxton county. 
This list was obtained from the Adjutant General's office. 

First West Virginia Volunteer Inf antry : Isaac J. Collison, Co. F, Strange 
Creek; William E. Marple, Co. M, Marpleton; John B. Marple, Co. M, Corley; 
..Holinsworth, Co. M, Sutton. 


Second West Virginia Volunteer Infantry: Charles D. Elliott, Major, 
Third Battalion, Sutton; Robert T. Colebank, Sergeant, Co. F, Sutton; Charles 
F. Greene, Corporal, Co. M, Orlando; William H. Corbett, Corporal, Co. F, 
Sutton; James S. Grintmett, Co. F, Sutton; Warren W. Dyer, Co. A, Sutton; 
Van Lewis, Co. E, Fallsmill; James L. Ray, Co. F, Newville; Charles E. Rich- 
ardson, Co. K, Sutton; John M. Shields, Co. F, Napier; Okey M. Stump, Co. 
M, Rosedale; Charles M. Skidmore, Co. K, Sutton; Thomas B. Thomas, Co. M, 
Strange Creek; Albert N. West, Co. M, Rosedale; Allen P. Young, Co. C, Servia. 


In 187.., a Grand Army Post was organized at Sutton, called the John 
D. Baxter Post, No. 41, department of West Virginia. Its charter members 
were Jacob Riffle, Wm. H. Perkins, James K. Barnett, Henry Bender, John 
D. Sutton. James Dent, and others. 

After the organization of this Post, many other soldiers joined and they 
held their meetings in Sutton for several years. The soldiers becoming old 
and many of them having died, the Post ceased to exist as an organized body. 

Henry Bender was Commander of the Post, John D. Sutton, Adjutant, 
and Jacob Riffle, Treasurer. It is to be regretted that the charter and other 
officials papers became lost, together with a complete roster of its members. 


It is related that Perry Cutlip, Alonzo Brown, James and Francis Lough, 
while on a furlough and returning to camp, arrived in the night at the place 
of their old camp, and discovered some dead and wounded men, a battle having 
been fought and they were not aware of it. Perry Cutlip saw a gold watch on 
a wounded soldier, and started to remove it. The soldier resisted, and told 
Cutlip the watch was a gift from his father, and that if he got the watch he 
would have to kill him. At this, Cutlip drew his gun to strike the wounded 
man, and Frank Lough shot Cutlip, the ball taking effect in the neck, but he 
recovered, and the Confederates are all living at this time, 1916, except one. 

Sinking of Sultana. 

William S. Conner of Beaver Falls, Pa., a survivor of the Civil war, re- 
calls vividly the sinking of the packet Sultana at the close of the Civil war, 
which was a worse catastrophe than the sinking of the Titanic in that more 

lives were lost, and hundreds of men burned to death. 

,, — | 

The sinking of the Sultana occurred on April 27, 1865. The packet was 
loaded with 2,300 Federal soldiers just released from Southern prisons, and 
were returning home. One of the boilers exploded while the boat was in the 
Mississippi below Memphis. Seventeen hundred men were burned or drowned 
in squads, while about six hundred floated down the swollen river for miles 


where they were picked up by rescuring steamers, many of them from tops of 
trees where they had taken refuge. Nearly half of the rescued died later from 

Mr. Connor was in the United States navy at the time of the terrible ac- 
cident, and assisted in the work of rescue. 

John D. Weihert, a Braxton boy, soldier in Company F, Tenth West 
Virginia Infantry, was captured and sent south to prison, and on his return at 
the close of the war, lost his life on the ill-fated Sultana. 

James B. Corley who belonged to a branch of the Corley family, related 
to the Corleys of Randolph and Braxton, was on General Lee's staff in the 
late Civil war, and James A. Corley, a relative, was an aid of General Garnett 
at Laurel Hill, and wrote what is believed to be General Garnett 's last dispatch 
before he was killed at Carricks Ford on Cheat river. It was to Colonel Scott, 
and reached him near Huttonsville while he was eating breakfast, July 12, 
1861, and read as follows: General Garnett has concluded to go to Hardy coun- 
ty, and toward Cheat bridge. You will take advantage of the position beyond 
Huttonsville, and draw your supplies from Richmond, and report for orders 

After the battle of Droop Mountain, a squad of soldiers was detailed to 
gather up the dead and wounded, and among the number thus detailed was 
Andrew Jackson Short of Company F, Tenth West Virginia Infantry. They 
were working in the night, and Short discovered a dead soldier, and took hold 
of his body to remove him to the place where they were bringing the dead and 
wounded together. He felt a crooked finger on the soldier's hand, and the size 
and feel of the man convinced Short that it was his brother John. He there- 
fore called for someone to bring a light, saying that he had found his brother, 
and when he had the light, he discovered for a certainty that the man was his 
brother John. In relating the incident to Dr. W. P. Newlon many years after 
the battle, he said that he took his brother by the hand and recognized some 
peculiarity by which he knew the lifeless body of his brother. 

This is an incident so rare that nothing similar has ever, to our knowledge, 
been recorded in the annals of warfare. When John and Andrew grasped each 
other by the hand when they last parted before the bloody conflict, who could 
have pictured in his imagination the tragic meeting again when Andrew should 
take the same hand in his, though that hand was cold in death. After the fatal 
ball had laid the soldier low in battle, his affectionate brother, though separated 
in the great cause, was the first to lay his hand upon the pulseless brow of 
him who had given up his life on the battle field. 

In 1861 Nathan D. Barnett and his son, John D., were sent by the Fed- 
eral authorities to Camp Chase, a Federal prison, but their friends soon in- 
terceded and secured their release. On their return they stopped at the resi- 
dence of Felix Sutton to stay over night. During the night Nathan Barnett 
took violently ill and lived but a day or two. It was some derangement of the 


bowels or kidneys. Dr. Samuel Cutlip, of Cedarville, was sent for, but could 
give no relief. 

After the town of Sutton was burned, Colonel Anas Ansal brought a com- 
pany to Sutton, and part of them went up Laurel creek, and part up Birch 
river. They killed George Cutlip and Chapman on Laurel creek, wounded 
Sam. Carpenter, killed John Given, and at Gardners killed Perry Conley, 
burned Lewis McElwaine's house, also those of Arthur Hickman and Caleb 

Asa Squires who lived on Salt Lick was the only man in the county who 
furnished four sons to the Union army, and his fifth son wanted to enlist, but 
his parents thought he was too young. 

John Knicely who lived in the same neighborhood, served through the 
war with three of his sons. 

Throughout the war the courts were open, and their authority was re- 
spected. In November of this year, several "detailed farmers," called into 
military service, sued out writs of habeas corpus, and brought their cases be- 
fore Judge Thompson at Staunton. He decided that they were not liable to 
serve as soldiers, and ordered their discharge. 

In time of the Civil war, Caleb Gardner of Webster county went South 
and worked during the straggle at a saltpeter cave. He was pressed in the 
service and ordered to Kichmond, but applied to the Civil authorities, and was 
released by a magistrate. 

Elijah Perkins, a citizen, was arrested by the Federal military authorities 
in 1862, on some charge, and was detained in custodj 7 , and taken in charge by 
the county authorities and released. 

Within the Civil war, there was a little battle near the Three Porks of 
Cedar creek between some Federal cavalry and a squad of Confederate sol- 
diers. One cavalryman was so badly wounded that he died. 

In the Battle at Bulltown, the Confederates had a four-pound cannon that 
they carried on a mule and used in the battle, and on their retreat up Laurel 
creek, they concealed the cannon in a laurel thicket, a short distance above 
Wainsville where it remained in silence during the remainder of the war, and 
until the time when Dr. Nicholas Gibson brought his bride to Sutton in 1871. 
Then the boys prepared for a royal serenade, and the old cannon was brought 
from its hiding place and taken to Sutton by Johnson Barker, one of its old 
defenders who had been in the Bulltown battle, and knew where it was con- 
cealed. In the excitement of the serenade, they charged the old war relic too 
heavily and it burst, and while no one was seriously hurt, some of the party 
were considerably shaken up. 

In time of the Civil war a young man named Jasper Johnson belonged to 
Company B, 19th Virginia Cavalry. It seems that Johnson was at one time cap- 


tured by Federal soldiers and volunteered in the Union army. He then de- 
serted and went back to his old command. Becoming tired again of the ser- 
vice, he left and desired to stay at home, but the Federals caught him, and he 
was sentenced to be shot but made his escape, and went back to the Confeder- 
ates. He was court martialed by William L. Jackson's command and shot at 
Camp Cameron near Warm Springs, Virginia, for having twice deserted his 
army. His comrades in arms thought that Johnson was young and a victim of 
circumstances, and should not have been executed. Accordingly they planned 
for his escape, but he refused, saying that if he was caught by the Federals 
he would be shot. This was the fate of many a young man during the Civil 
war, but whether by civil or militarj^ authority, the death sentence is a relic of 
the dark ages which civilization and Christianity will at last correct. 

A Federal courier named Benum who carried dispatches and mail from 
Sutton to Summersville, was captured at Big Birch and taken south, and as 
far as we know, never returned to this part of the war zone. 

Milton Frame, a Union man, who lived on the waters of Steer creek, not 
far from the little village of Servia, was attacked at his home by some Con- 
federates. There were three or four men at his house and they had some fire- 
arms, but the Confederates outnumbered them and they all took shelter in the 
Frame residence and tried to shield themselves. Mrs. Frame, being armed, 
bid defiance to the intruders and stood them off with a bravery and heroism that 
would be commendable in the bravest frontiersman of our country. The Con- 
federates tried to shield themselves behind a little out-building, but Mrs. Frame 
kept up such a fire that they retreated and left her in possession of her home 
and the battlefield. She received a bad gunshot wound in the hand. Mrs. 
Frame's maiden name was Amanda Rose. She was oblivious to fear. Whether 
the Confederates in their defeat or the inmates of the house who sheltered 
themselves behind Mrs. Frame's gun had the greatest reason for exultation we 
cannot conjecture. 

A story related to the writer from a very reliable source was to the effect 
that just before the town of Sutton was burned, Phoebe, a daughter of James 
Hefner who lived three or four miles south of Sutton, came to town to get a 
doctor to go to her father's house and see her sister Elizabeth who was very low 
with typhoid fever. She secured the services of Mrs. Humphreys who prac- 
ticed medicine in Sutton and surrounding vicinity. The Commander of the 
post refused to allow Miss Hefner's return, but permitted Mrs. Humphreys to 
go. The following day, the girl was allowed to return, but her sister had died. 
This so incensed Miss Hefner that she determined to have revenge, and having 
heard the night she was kept in Sutton, the roll call of the soldiers, she observed 
their position and formed a very accurate idea of their strength. She went 
immediately to Jackson's Camp, not waiting for her sister's burial, and ap- 
pealed for a force to be sent and capture Sutton which was done, and its de- 
struction followed. This incident shows the determination of a woman when 
she is driven to desperation by a wrong. 


In 1862, Lieutenant Henry Bender of Company F, Tenth Virginia Volun- 
teers, commanding a squad of men, had a battle at the residence of Andrew 
Ware, with some Confederates under Eli Goff. 

Men whose respective names were Smith, Warner, Lake, Goff — a brother 
of Eli C. Goff — John Butcher and others of the Confederates, were in the 
house. The fight was a spirited one, Butcher being killed. The Confeder- 
ates, finding they were surrounded by men who were resolute and determined, 
surrendered. Goff was a bold and daring man who had committed many dep- 
redations on the citizens of the central part- of the state, and the capture of 
him and his gang was one that Lieutenant Bender felt justly proud of when he 
delivered them to the authorities at -Wheeling. 

Incidents of a Storm. 

The first day of January, 1863, was the coldest -day of which we have 
any knowledge. How low the mercury fell, we do not recall, but between 
Grafton and Piedmont, a number of Federal soldiers perished, and at other 
places soldiers and citizens perished. In addition to the intense cold, the wind 
blew constantly all day on New Year's, also that night. It was. our good for- 
tune to be on picket duty that day and night, on what was called the back road 
across the river, opposite the town of Beverly. 

On the Harper farm, I had become acquainted with Mrs. Harper who was 
a New England lady, and she had taught a school in Braxton county many 
years before the Civil war. She mentioned a little girl who stayed at the home 
of the writer's father and went to school, and spoke of her as a very bright, 
active, sweet-natured little girl. We informed her that the child in question 
was Hannah Bodgers, and then she remembered the name. The writer their 
told her she was still living, being the wife of Adam J. Hyer, and was a most 
noble woman. 

Mrs. Harper had invited us to take dinner with them that day. The picket 
post stood about a half mile above the Harper residence in a large open field 
so we left the post long enough to go down and eat dinner, but it was so in- 
tensely cold that we could hardly stand it in the dining room. Mrs. Harper 
lived in a good house, and had prepared a most appetizing m|eal, but it was 
too near the Arctic regions on that day, and we were unable to enjoy the feast. 

When night came, we suffered most and came very nearly losing our 
life. We had a fire on the outside of a rail pen, but the wind blew it in eveiw 
direction, and the only thing we could do was to constantly shift from one 
side to the other, and walk around the fire for hours. Finally becoming so 
cold and sleepy, we lay down in the pen, and memories soon ceased, and with 
a feeling of comfort, went to sleep. Had some of the boys not wakened the 
sleeper soon afterwards, he would have been frozen to death, and it took active 
tramping around the fire the remainder of the night to keep circulation alive. 

194 sutton's histoe y 

Burning of Sutton. 

The company that captured and burned Sutton on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 
1,861, was commanded by Captain John S. Sprigg. The town had as its de- 
fenders, Lieutenant Dawson with about sixty of Roan's cavalry who retreated, 
and the town was promptly occupied by the Confederates. It is said that in 
the absence of Captain Sprigg, some time within the day, that the Tunings set 
fire to the town and partly destroyed it. Sprigg returned and was appealed 
to by John S. Camden and others to stop the burning. Hanley Humphreys re- 
lates that he saw a soldier going with a torch to set fire to a house, and some 
soldiers told him that the order. was not to burn any more. He said, "Whose 
order?" and the reply was, "Captain Tuning's." 

Pembrook B. Berry was instrumental in putting out fires and saving much 
property. The town was again attacked by Chas. Rodgers who had but a small 
squad of soldiers. They burned the Camden hotel and some other buildings. 
A house stood where the Racket Store now stands, opposite the hotel which 
had been used as a Federal hospital. It caught fire from the hotel and was 
burned. When Spriggs' command captured the town, there were about thirty- 
five soldiers in the house whom he paroled. Dr. Lafayette Woodruff was in 
charge. He had accepted an invitation to eat turkey with Joseph Osburn on 
the following day, but he made his escape by riding double out of town be- 
hind a cavalryman. 

General Rosecrans left Sutton on Sept. 7, 1861 , and three days later fought 
the battle of Carnifax Ferry. This command consisted of ten thousand troops, 
the greatest army and number of men ever bivouaced in Sutton or marched 
through central West Virginia. 

It is said when Clinebell's Confederates retreated from Sutton, that as 
they marched down the main street, Daniel J. Stout, a musician, played on his 
fife one of the most inspiring airs that ran like this, "If you have any good 
thing, save it, save it — if you have any good things, give them to me." Now, 
the discomfiture of the Confederates and the excitement of the citizens render- 
ed the music very amusing, and as Uncle Daniel's shrill notes sounded amid 
the surrounding hills of Sutton, they gave an air of cheer and hilarity to an 
excited throng. 

Sutton in the War, 

J. W. Humphreys relates that the first Federal soldiers to enter Sutton 
was Colonel E. B. Tyler's brigade, composed of the 7th and 13th Ohio Three 
Months men, and one other Ohio regiment, one or more batteries, some cavalry, 
and a company of soldiers called the Snakehunters, commanded by Captain 
Biggs. As they marched down the street about where Lee's hardware store 
stands, they saw a squad of men going up the hill on the other 
side of the river. They were ordered to halt, but they kept going 
and the soldiers fired at them. They were Enos Cunningham, Chas. S. Evans, 
Levi Weybright, P. B. Berry, two of the Tonkins boys, and perhaps one or two 


others. C. S. Evans' gun stock was cut in two with a niinnie ball. This was 
the first real taste of war that Sutton had experienced. These soldiers as 
they inarched down the street with flags flying and bands playing, dressed in 
new uniforms with shinning gunbarrels and bayonets fixed, was one of the 
most imposing sights that the town had ever beheld. 

Jacob Ervin, a very old man, and James W. Humphreys were the only two 
men left in Sutton to welcome the army. General Tyler treated the citizens 
with great civility and kindness. 

A thrilling incident. Was the dream of Captain Hyer, prophetic? In 
the summer of 1863, a portion of Co. F, 10th W. Va. Volunteer Infantry, was 
on a scouting visit to their homes in Braxton county, a county from whence 
that stalwart company was recruited, and where 90 per cent or more or those 
noble and generous boys were born and raised. While at home, Captain Hyer 
and some of his men were captured by the Tuning brothers and others, who 
alternated between W. L. Jackson's camp and anything they could pick up 
within the Federal lines. The night that Captain Hyer was captured, he was 
at his home on Salt Lick, and had as his guests John D. Baxter, who was orderly 
sergeant of the company; Sergeant S. E. Knicely; private E. B. Wheeler and 
Wm. M. Barnett. 

As well as we remember, this was the company at Captain Hyer's on the 
night of the attack and capture; George D. Mollohan, Harvey Hyer and M. L. 
Barnett, civilians, were either there on the night in question or captured in 
the immediate neighborhood and were present as prisoners when the attack 
was made. After several shots had been fired and a demand to surrender had 
been made, Captain Hyer thinking that the house would be fired and his family 
exposed and further resistance would be useless against the protest of Orderly 
Baxter and perhaps others, surrendered to a party, part of whom at least were 
thirsting for the blood of some of the inmates of that house. 

We know little of the history of Timings, but think they came from Ty- 
gart's valley, and settled on Salt Lick. Prior to the war, Jack, the one they 
called captain, was a very stout and rugged man. and it is said that the only 
time he ever met his match was when he fought the invincible Crawford Scott 
of Kandolph county. The Tunings seemed somewhat vicious and vindictive 
in their nature, whether they had any special grievance growing out of the 
war that imbittered them we know not; but early in the war they were known 
to be hostile and disposed to wage a guerilla wai*fare, and for that reason the 
commander of the post at Sutton sent Orderly Baxter with a squad of men to 
their residence on Salt Lick to confiscate some property. This order he obeyed 
as a soldier ; as General Sheridan did the order of the war department at Wash- 
ington to burn the barns of the valley to prevent the Confederate forces from 
obtaining the resources of that fertile land, and as McCauslin did the orders of 
General Early to burn Chambersburg in retaliation for some private property 
he claimed had been destroyed in Virginia by the Federal forces. 

Tunings, like a great many other people, not looking beyond the mere 


surface, nor comprehending the true cause, swore vengeance in their wrath 
against Orderly Baxter, and after the capture of Captain Hyer and his com- 
pany, they gloated over the satisfaction they would have in subjecting the al- 
ready doomed soldier to the indignities unworthy of our civilization, and later 
in the deep recesses and lonely glens of the mountains beyond Webster C. H.. 
he was to be put to death like a savage or an outlaw. After the captain and 
his men surrendered, they were tied two and two and started on their march. 
The destination of some were Libby prison; others were to be put to death. 
No one knew this better than the brave Baxter. With him, like every good sol- 
dier, obedience and discipline was the first law to be observed. Until in the 
midst of battle he rushed forward without restraint. We remember him at 
the battle of Droop Mountain, when the lines of battle had approached within 
a few rods of each other, I spoke to the orderly, who was in advance of his 
company, and requested him to go back and rally the men and keep the com- 
pany in line. Captain Hyer was in prison, and Lieutenant Kollyson was on 
staff duty; Lieutenant Bender, who was bravely leading his men on in battle, 
was the only commissioned officer of the company present. 

We thought some of the men were falling and dropping behind. Poor 
fellows were being shot and wounded, and in looking back the cause I had not 
observed, for not a man of that company failed to do Ms duty on that day. 

Baxter paid no attention to my suggestion, rushed forward as an example 
for his men, and kicking down a portion of an old rail fence behind which the 
Confederate line had but a minute before used as a covering, he sprang across 
the fence and discharged his gun at very close range, and in the act of re- 
loading, I saw him place the butt of his gun on the ground, grasp the barrel 
with both hands and eased his body to the ground. He was mortally wounded 
and died in a few brief hours. Thus perished a noble soldier, brave and gen- 
erous — as oblivious to fear as the birds that flit amid the branches of the trees. 
We were boys together, though he was somewhat older and stronger. We had 
participated in all the outdoor sports of that day and time. No roads were 
found too lonely and no night loo dark to deter us from hunting the wild 
game of the forest. We had tamed steeds; had ridden young horses, kept 
fierce dogs; chased and captured the wild hog. When we had nothing very 
amusing on hand we would indulge in a good natured scrap. 

Possessing a flint lock grin, and loading it with a large charge of powder 
and a paper or toe wad, one would stand beside the lane fence while the other 
would run by on the opposite side and fire upon him. We called it running 
the gauntlet, a custom that prevailed among the Indians. More than once I 
felt the stinging sensation as I would pass that old rifle. When it came my 
turn to load and fire. I put in as big a charge of powder and paper wad as I 
though he had used; when the. sterner realities of life came and the exciting 
scenes which were being enacted ' our companionship seemed inseparable, and 
I think it impossible that the youths of this day can fully appreciate the 
warmth, cordiality, unselfish comradeship of the sixties. The reader will par- 
don me for this personal reference. 


The Confederates were composed of two Tunings, Jack and Al., F. F. 
Squires, and others whose names I have forgotten. Wm. M. Barnett gave me 
all the circumstances some years ago, and the last time I saw him at his home 
in Washington, he repeated the story. Being one of the actors and partici- 
pants in the affair, nothing escaped his keen observation and the slightest de- 
tail never became obliterated from his memory. 

The prisoners all being secured, ihe march was taken up near midnight 
for Wm. L. Jackson's camp in Pocahontas county. Baxter and Wheeler were 
tied together and Knieely and Barnett. A word as to the personnel of these 
men. Captain Hyer's consideration for his family had caused him to capitu- 
late and now that he was a prisoner, knowing the desperate character of the 
Tunings, doubtless, thought that the safety of all depended upon their sub- 
mission. Hyer's activity for the cause of the Union and his influence in the 
community had incurred the displeasure of some of the secessionists. He was 
captain of the home company, a company some of whose members were ac- 
tually indispensable to the success of the Union cause in his section. Baxter 
was a militai-y man, a born genius ; did nothing under excitement ; stood 6 feet, 
2 inches in height; weighed 180 pounds and was handsome and commanding in 
appearance. His determination was to get away from his captors or die in 
the attempt, and not be shot down like a savage or a dog. 

E. B. Wheeler was a rich prize, known as an abolitionist, bold and aggres- 
sive to assert his views ; over 6 feet tall and strong as a lion ; a slugger of the 
old school, but didn't take kindly to military life; had a keen sense of honor 
and was a noble and generous man with more than ordinary ability. From the 
time they started, his eye pierced the darkness and roamed the hillside for a 
favorable opening to make a break for liberty. 

Wm. M. Barnett, the youngest soldier in his company, a boy of only 15 
years of age, was less concerned, for his youth had rendered him less conspicu- 
ous an object of their vengeance. If Barnett had had an inch of ground to 
stand upon, Tuning's arm would have been too slow, and his brain too dull 
to have conquered him. He 'was the Kit Carson of the whole crowd, and while 
he was not so particularly concerned for his own safety, he was active in ar- 
ranging by signs the unloosening of the cords that bound their wrists one to 
another, and the time and location most suited for their escape. 

S. E. Knieely, who was coupled with Barnett, was an elegant citizen, a 
sturdy and conscientious soldier. His father and two brothers were in the 
army, making four of one family. It is needless to suggest that Tuning and 
his company were elated at their capture. A richer prize could not have been 

Baxter was to be taken through Webster county, tortured and shot, and 
possibly Wheeler was to share the same fate. The others were to be taken with 
an air of triumph, to Jackson's camp. This to Timing was a most fortunate and 
important military capture. He did not stand very high at Jackson's camp. 
While Jackson was an extreme partisan, he was a poor military commander. 
The Jacksons like Boneparts, while in Napoleon was concentrated all the genius 


of that family, so did ' ' Stonewal] ' ' possess the military genius of the Jackson 
family. He held a position between the regular army of the Confederacy and 
the ragged edges of the territory lying between the two opposing forces, and 
all the odds and ends that could be gathered together in a section of country 
without law or order, civil or military. He was handicapped by irregular 
bands and small companies of men like the Tunings, the Campbells, the Con- 
leys, G-offs and Dusky Men, who had no well defined relation to the Confederacy, 
unless they occasionally acted as scouts and spies, but whose main object was 
plunder. They reveled in a country that was powerless to resist. 

The mountainous counties of the interior offered a shelter for refugees, 
skulkers and deserters. These men preyed upon the country and often brought 
down the vengeance of the Federal authorities upon innocent families, whose 
fathers or sons were in armies of the south. 

Jackson's discipline was not of that character that would give protection 
or inspire confidence and respect to a countay helpless in the absence of civil 
government. Jackson had some good men, we have no desire to say that he had 
not. Many of them we knew personally, who had good families, and prided 
themselves as being good soldiers, and, if I were to name two men representing 
the two armies the equals of any soldiers of the interior of the State ; men who 
developed more natural military genius and soldierly bearing and courage, I 
would name John D. Baxter and John S. Sprigg. Captain Sprigg was a splen- 
did specimen of manhood; tall, erect and of pleasing manners, a superb horse- 
man, a dashing cavalier. One incident will illustrate his stratagem and the 
generalship that he used this occasion to save his men and assure an easy 
victory. When he attacked the Federal forces at Sutton, he approached by 
marching his forces down the turnpike on the south side of Elk, and as the 
road winds around a high ridge, one point for some distance was in full view 
of the Federal position. Then there was a depression in the ridge that was 
hidden from their view. When his command came in sight he marched them 
quietly and in soldieily order until they reached the depression and were 
hidden from view. Then they would gallop around the opposite side of the 
ridge, and as the last of the column was coming around in view of the Federal 
position the head of the column by this time had gotten back and would pass 
in review again, thus the same soldier passed many times in review and the 
strength of his forces was magnified until the Union forces began to think 
that the Confederacy had turned loose a considerable portion of their forces, 
and they evacuated the town without hesitancy or preliminaries. If Jackson 
had been in immediate command of the forces that captured the town of Sut- 
ton, the great probabilities are that there would have been a fight and a differ-^ 
ent fate awaiting the town, and if Captain Sprigg had been the commander of 
Jackson's forces, there might have been more activity in the military depart- 
ment of the mountains. 

The Tunings and their- men were marchiug in triumphant splendor through 
the darkness with their, prisoners and what booty they had succeeded in appro- 


priating; at a point on the ridge near Ben's Run through a signal or sign, two 
of the couple communicated the fact that they had removed the cords by which 
they were tied, and at a place in the road that seemed to invite the attempt to 
escape, Baxter and Wheeler plunged into the brush, running in the same direc- 
tion; Knicely and Barnett made a dash in the opposite direction. Barnett got 
tripped or entangled in the brush and fell at the edge of the road, and the balls 
that were fired at the noise that his fleeing comrade made passed harmlessly 
over his head. Every shot went wild of its mark, and only acted as an incen- 
tive to excellorate the movements of those stalwart men who were winding 
down the brush and sapplings as if they were but dry stubble, in their flight 
down the rugged hillsides of the Elk Valley. 

Barnett lay still, but was soon discovered and one of the company ex- 
claimed, "We have killed the boy." Baxter and Knicely being on familiar 
ground, soon found their bearing and got out of the wilderness, but not so to 
Wheeler, and it was some time the next day before he found himself. The next 
night I slept with Baxter, on a laiob of Grannies creek, that William Fisher 
ha? since cleared and planted in fruit trees. We slept on the bare ground with 
no covering save the clear blue sky. Baxter was restless — not nervous or ex- 
cited, but his nerves were strung. He was on his metal and ready for action. 
The war drama was being enacted in its realities. He had just been before 
the footlights and looked into the grim visaged face of his enemy, while his 
strong limbs were being manacled in cords with guns and desperate men on 
either side. He knew what his capture meant but he was a soldier without 

When Tunings realized that they had lost in a moment Avhat they had long 
sought to win, and the great prize over which they felt so elated, their ven- 
geance and anger knew no bounds. We were told by some of those who re- 
mained in captivity that they raged and swore, lamenting the escape of Baxter. 
They sullenly trudged on with occasional vile oaths and frequently threatened 
the lives of the other prisoners. George D. Mollohan, M. L. Barnett and Henry 
Hyer, the three civilian prisoners, after the exciting spectacular scenes of that 
m'dnight hour, were taken with the other prisoners to a point near the mouth 
of Brock's run on Holly, river. There they halted to hold a war council and 
wait for daylight. There was a tide in the river and the only means of cross- 
ing was on a broken boat gunnel. At this point it was decided to release two 
of the prisoners, Hyer and Barnett. Hyer was a brother of Captain Hyer — a 
firm and conscientious citizen; a union man, mild and pleasant in manners; 
useful as a conservative citizen and to carry off and thrust into prison such a 
man would be an injury to any cause. Barnett was a brother to the boy 
prisoner, and lived in a neighborhood that was strongly allied in sympathy to 
the southern cause, but in principle was a union man. He had taken no pro- 
nounced part in the great struggle ; was kind and gentle, and had the good of 
his country and neighbors at heart. One of nature's noblemen, and in after 


years, no minister of the Gospel that ever graced a West Virginia pulpit was 
more genuinely and universally beloved by his people. 

George D. Mollohan was taken to Richmond and the cruel treatment he 
received came near ending his life. 

After the escape of Baxter, Knicely and Wheeler. Mr. Mollohan 's hands 
Mere tied, also Barnett's. We do not know whether Capt. Hyer's hands or 
whether be as an officer was placed on his honor to remain a prisoner. After 
the halt at Brocks run, the march was resumed and the prisoners taken across 
Holly river. The Tunings were importuned to untie the cord that bound Mol- 
lohan "s hands until the river was crossed, but they positively refused. To 
cross a stream on a piece of boat gunnel with your hands tied behind you is 
extremely hazardous. The river crossed in safety, the march was continued 
through Webster count,/ to Jackson's camp; thence to Richmond and Libby 

' In passing through Webster C. IT., weary and footsore with the march, 
warmed up by the autumn sun, MolJoban's thirst was intensified by the sigh' 
of the pure crystal waters, but he was denied that slight privilege of appeasing 
his thirst, that to him would have been a blessing. The prisoners had one 
friend in the company of whom I wish to speak more particularly, because jus- 
tice should be done every man and he should have credit for his good acts, and 
a friend under these circumstances and in such trying need should be remem- 
bered, and appreciated. F. F. Squires wanted Tunings to untie the cords that 
bound Mollohan while crossing the river and give him a chance for his life, 
in case that frail craft should sink or capsize but refused and on the march 
he frequently besought Tuning to grant decent treatment to the prisoners, but 
without effect. He confided with the prisoners and advised for their welfare, 
and through his influence saved them great and trying iniquities. He admin- 
istered to their wants while in Jackson's camp. These facts I learned from 
one of the prisoners long years after the tragic event when he was on his last 
bed of sickness. 

F. F. Squires was of noble and gentle parentage. The influence of a Chris- 
tian home could not be obscured by the strenuous irregularities of a boarder 

I now came to a point in my narrative that to me seems to be of very great 
importance. A subject that any person might give more than a mere casual 
observance or consideration. It indicates a providence that is unseen — a hand 
that is invisible. Several years ago, Captain Flyer related a very remarkable 
dream that he had when he was a very small boy, and it so impressed me that 
when I visited him during his last sickness, I had him relate his dream to me 
as fully as he was able. His mind was clear, but his once strong frame was 
wasting, tottering to a fall. He realized that the sands of time had well nigh 
run out, but he gave me the story just as he had related it years before. When 
Captain Hyer was a small boy he dreamed that he and his brother Harvey and 
two strange men were in captivity and confined in a loathsome and revolting 


hog pen. But in a short time, Harvey regained his liberty, and he and the two 
strange men remained, what appeared to be a lone confinement. He became 
familiar with their voices, gestures and personal appearance. 80 vivid and 
realistic were these impressions on his mind that in all the years intervening 
between that time and the war they remained imdimmed, and after the capture 
as we have described, his brother Harvey was released at Holly i*iver. Then 
the Captain's privations began. He was taken to Jackson's camp, thence to 
Libby prison. After a lon!>; confinement there, he was taken to Salisbury, N. C, 
and when he was ushered into the new and strange prison pens, nearer dead 
than alive, the first men he met were the two he saw in his dream when he was 
a boy. And during the remainder of his prison life they were his constant com- 
panions. They ministered as far as they could to his wants, and with him they 
lived to escape the horrors of prison life and returned to their homes in Ohio. 
The question is, was it prophetic? Do the teeming millions exist in invisible 
form before they came upon life's stage? Captain Hyer was made to see 
through a dream, a prison pen that he should in the future occupy, and the 
faces of two companions that perhaps were not born at that time. The provi- 
dences of God are mysterious to mortal vision. 

Fifty years have come and gone since the event occurred of which we have 
been writing — eventful years, years in which history has been written as with 
an electric pen. The angel of death has not been idle, but has thrown its cycle 
in the fields of mortality and some of the noblest, purest characters, men and 
women of our land, have been its victims, and as far as I know not a man who 
participated in that episode at Captain Byer's in 1863, is now living. They 
have all, one by one, crumbled into dust. The participants of that great strug- 
gle who remain are ageing ; the vim and vigor of youth have passed, our battles 
are history, and there is nothing left us but memory. 

"The tumult and the shouting dies; 

The captains and the kings depart; 
Still stands thine ancient sacrifice 

An humble and a contrite heart, 
Lord Gfod of hosts be with us yet. 

Lest we forget, lest we forget." 

Capt. Wm. Kantner who commanded a company in the 3rd W. Va. Cav- 
alry, while stationed at Martinsburg, W. Va., was sent with a squad of soldiers 
to capture a Confederate Major whom it was said was to be married near 
Charlestown. The Captain relates that John Shuttlesworth, Quartermaster of 
the Eegiment, requested to accompany the scout, but. when they reached the 
place where the marriage was supposed to take place, they found that the re- 
port was mi true, and on thier return, about four miles from Charlestown, they 
surrounded a house and captured a prisoner or two, and among the crowd was 
Wm. L. Wilson. The Captain said that Wilson escaped from the house, and a 
search failed to reveal his presence but just before they left a soldier spied him 


hiding under an out building, and when they came through Charlestown, the 
ladies of the town expressed great sympathy for the prisoner whom the Cap- 
tain described as a very youthful, delicate looking soldier, but one who was 
destined to become a statesman of international reputation. 

Silas M. Morrison related to the author that Isaac Brown, a soldier, made 
some report against George Blankcnship that caused a squad Of soldiers in 
company with two or three citizens to waylay and kill Blankenship which was 
an outrage. He also related that a renegade from Greenbrier county named 
Andy Williams, piloted the troops that killed Jacob Tonkin. 

It is related by David M. Jackson who lived at the for i of Little Birch 
during the Civil war, that a soldier named Outright (possibly from Harrison 
county) and George Leonard of Cincinnati, carried dispatches from Sutton to 
Summersville, and stayed at his father's home. He states that Cutright was 
shot in the shoulder from ambush. 


Early in the war some Confederates went to the residence of John Crites 
.on Crites Mountain and killed Isaac, his son. Isaac was a boy scarcely grown. 
This so enraged the family that all the other boys who were able, joined the 
Union army, and the father of the boy acted as scout and spy, great harass- 
ing the citizens of Braxton and Webster counties during the remainder of the 

In 1863, while a scouting partj r commanded by Major Withers of the Tenth 
West Virginia Infantry, were coming down the Elk river, they saw James Mc- 
Court run from a house not far above where the village of Centralia is now 
located. McCourt was halted and commanded to surrender, but he continued to 
run, and just as he was entering some high weeds and brush he was killed. He 
was said to be a harmless citizen, but through fear and excitement he lost his 

John 0. Cool, John and James Clifton and MeLure Bickel were killed by 
'Federal soldiers on the Holly. Al and Fred Tuning were killed at James 
Dyer's near the close of the war by Federal soldiers. Jack Tuning was said to 
have been hung in Texas after the close of the war. 

John Mace of Hacker's Valley, a Union man, was killed by bushwhackers. 

William Arthur was killed by the Tunings. The Tunings also killed 

Arbogast, a local preacher in the M. E. church, and Buzzard, a class 

leader, who lived in Pocahontas county. 

Dr. John L. Rhea of Flatwoods, while in Weston during the Civil war, was 
shot by some lawless soldier and wounded, the ball taking effect in his jaw. 
He recovered without serious trouble. Many acts of wanton cruelty and in- 
justice were perpetrated by reckless, irresponsible persons. War develops and 
brings out the worst that is in man. 


Just at the beginning of the Civil war when the first Federal troops passed 
through the county, a boy from Ohio had followed the army as far as Glenville. 
Some parties say, however, that he came as far as Sutton, but it is in doubt as 
to what place he left the army. At any rate, he desired to return to his home, 

and started across the country by way of Steer creek, stopping at ...Cole'? 

to get something to eat. Cole, a man named Windon, also a Conrad, were some 
distance down the creek working in the hay harvest. Mrs. Cole, when she found 
out that the boy had come from Ohio and had been with the Federal army, 
ran down and told her husband and Windon, while the boy was eating his din- 
ner, that there was a Yankee at the bouse. They waylaid him as he came down 
where they were at work. They killed the boy, cut his head off with a scythe 
and hid his body in a stone or log pile. Conrad fled and was never heard of. 
"Windon hinted it to a man named Simpton while they were both intoxicated. 
Cole and Windon were arrested and tried by a court in Charleston, Kanawha 
county, and sentenced to be hanged. The execution took place in Sutton in the 
fall of 1862, the same being carried out by the military authorities. Their 
bodies were buried on the Town Hill. One of the streets now passes over their 
remains. Mrs. Cole being in delicate health, was allowed to escape. One of 
Cole's sons afterward volunteered and served through the war in the Tenth 
West Virginia Infantry. Nothing is recorded in the border warfare of our 
country that equals this in cold blooded atrocity. 

Late in the Civil Avar, William Wine and a young man hardly grown, 
named McCourt, of Webster county, visited the residence of Joseph Green, liv- 
ing in that comity, for the purpose of robbery. While McCourt was handing 
some meat down from the loft of the cabin, Wine was putting it in a sack. 
Green, who had been made a prisoner, was standing between Wine and the 
fireplace. He got hold of a poker, and as Wine was stooping over to put the 
stolen goods in a sack, Green struck him a fatal blow on the head. Green 
then took Wine's gun and made McCourt come down from the loft, and kept 
him a prisoner that night. 

Early in the Civil war two Federal soldiers, couriers, coming from Weston 
to Sutton were attacked at Wines' Gap by Ben Haymond, a man named Foley 
and a man named Riffle. One of the soldiers was killed, his name was Debolt; 
the other soldier, Henry Brooks, was wounded, but made his escape. Shortly 
after the close of the war, Riffle was killed while attending a sugar camp, it is 
said, by Debolt 's brother. 

One of the most brutal and cold blooded murders that occurred in Braxton 
county (excluding the lulling of a boy by Cole and Windon) was the betrayal 
of another boy, son of John Arthur. He was taken upstairs in Dr. Humphrey 'a 
home in Sutton and beguiled by some soldiers dressed in southern uniforms, 
professing to be prisoners. The young man knew nothing of the war except 
what he had heard southern sympathizers say, and being placed in prison as 
he supposed, he talked freely by being asked leading questions. He was taken 
out by two of Roan's men, Moneypenny and Steambeck. and marched up the 



road, leading to North Sutton. He suspieioned something and showed fight, 

but they told him that they were going to take him upon the hill to camp. 
There was no camp on the hill, and they took the boy out by the side of a little 
ravine in the brush. There he showed fight, and one of the soldiers engaged 
his attention in front, while the other one shot him in the back of the head. He 
was laid by the side of the little stream an dcovered with some sticks and leaves. 
Afterward Michael McAnana and some other citizens, built a little rock wall 
between the body and the creek, filled in with dirt, and covered the body. 

Captain Harrison of the Sixth "West Virginia Infantry was the commander 
of the post, and must have been apprised of the treachery that led to the youn<j 
man's death. 

The most atrocious and revolting murder that was committed in central 
West Virginia was the brutal killing of Jacob Tonkin, an aged and respected 
citizen living on Salt Lick of Little Kanawha. Mr. Tonkins was a local 
preacher in the M. E. church. It is said that a scout of Federal soldiers ac- 
companied by some young men of the neighborhood, went to his house and 
professed to be southern soldiers, and led Mr. Tonkin to say something which 
indicated to them that he was a southern man, and from this a report was 
circulated that led to his murder. He was out in a lot near his house, and a 
squad of soldiers rode up and fired at him, and it is said that six balls took 
effect in his body, but he was able by the assistance of his wife and some other 
members of his family to get to the house. Two of the soldiers went to the 
house and his aged wife begged them not to Imrt him as he was already mor- 
tally wounded, but one of the men drew his carbine and shot him in the back 
of the head. The squad of soldiers were said to belong to Roan's Cavalry, 
commanded by Lieutenant Lawson. The two men who went to the house and 
did the last shooting were said to be from Wheeling, their names being Burn- 
hart and Skinner. Nowhere in the annals of savage warfare when savagery 
and civilization clashed in deadly combat, was there a more brutal spirit of 
the lower instincts of humanity shown than in the murder of this aged Chris- 
tian gentleman. 

John G. Morrison relates that he was pressed as a guide by a Lieutenant 
and some soldiers who belonged to General Wise's forces at Gauley Bridge, and 
that they met some of General Rosecran's forces on Powell's Mountain, com- 
manded by Colonel Litle. The Federals fired on them and while the skirmish 
was going on, Henry Young, some other citizens and the militia came to the 
road in front of the soldiers. Young was carrying a gun and showed fight. 
Young was killed and the others made their escape. Litle 's horse was shot, and 
he lost his sword in the skirmish. 

Nathan Blankenship, said to be a peaceful citizen, who lived on Ben's run 
was shot and killed by some Union citizens. 

Early in the Civil war, some Federal soldiers who were camped at the 
churches at Flatwoods, captured Campbell Perrine, a man considerably ad- 


vanced in years. They brought him to their camp and then started him with a 
detail of soldiers to prison at Sutton. The squad brought him to the low gap 
at the head of Granny's creek and there told him to run. When he did so 
they shot him. The turnpike makes a bend and the old road went straight 
down the hill. He ran from the pike toward the old road and fell in the 
road. A detail of soldiers came and buried him in a shallow grave on the bank 
of the road at the root of a large poplar tree. In a day or so Adam Gillespie 
made a coffin and he and some other citizens came and buried him in the hill 
field on the Linger farm. Mr. Perrine was a very harmless man, not strong 
minded, but very ingenious. He could make clocks and almost any kind of ma- 
chinery out of wood. Seldom occurs a more cruel or unjustifiable murder. 

James Squires, son of Elijah Squires, while at home on a furlough from 
the Confederate army, was captured by a Federal scout near the headwaters 
of Flatwoods run. He was left in charge of Robert Blaggs, a member of Com- 
pany F. Tenth West Virginia Infantry, while the other members of the party 
went down the hill a short distance to a house, looking for parties who might 
be in hiding there. While Squires and Blagg were alone, Squires tried to wrest 
Blagg's gun from him and in the tussle the gun was fired and Blagg succeeded 
in getting his revolver from its scabbard and killed Squires. When the other 
parties came back Squires was not yet dead, and said that he was in the fault. 
of Flatwoods run. He was left in charge of Robert Blagg, a member of Corn- 
federate soldier, helped Blagg to steal his wife, a cousin of theirs, the daughter 
of William G. Squires. 

Two Federal couriers, coming up the Wine hill from Big run, were fired 
on by Ben Haymond and some other parties near the Wine low gap and one of 
the couriers was lulled. 

Just over the hill on the west side of the Wine gap. near the foot of the 
bill, some Federal soldiers, having captured Thomas Stout and two of his sons, 
Johnson and Isaac, at their home, brought them to this place and killed the 
father of the boys and shot Isaac and wounded him very badly. Johnson made 
his escape by flight. Thinking Isaac was killed, the soldiers ran after Johnson, 
shooting at him, and while this was going on Isaac made his escape. Johnson 
lived through the war and for many years thereafter, and was finally killed by 
a falling tree. Isaac, though badly wounded in the mouth, recovered and is 
still living. 


The depression and stringency following the war were soon overborne by 
the rising spirit of progress and the on rush, of material prosperity. Condi- 
tions in May, 1866, are thus graphically portrayed in a Rockingham paper. 

"The remarkable display of energy by the people of the Valley, since the 
close of the war, is the most forcible commentary that could be given of their 
character. Without a currency, almost destitute of money, their fields laid 


waste, barns and other farm houses destroyed, stock stolen and driven off, no 
surplus supplies on hand, and their labor system broken up, yet they have 
managed to rebuild their fences and barns, repair their premises generally, and 
(make) progress in improvements heretofore not enjoyed. Throughout the 
entire Valley steam saw-mills dot almost every neighborhood, factories and 
foundries are being built, and the slow and imperfect implements of agricul- 
tural husbandry heretofore used supplanted by the most improved labor-saving 

"At Mt. Crawford, a large Woolen Factory is in process of construction; 
also," an Earthen "Ware establishment. In Han'isonburg, Messrs. Bradley & 
Co. have in successful operation their Foundry, and will shortly commence 
erecting a much larger one, on ground recently purchased for that purpose 
near the old building. At Port Republic and McGaheysville the spirit of en- 
terprise is fully awakened, factories, foundries and nulls being put into opera- 
tion as rapidly as the workmen can complete their contracts. Carding mills 
are, also multiplying throughout the county, and many other improvements are 
being inaugurated, which we have not space to enumerate." 

The author remembers seeing many Confederates in uniform building and 
repairing fences around grain fields three or four days after the surrender of 
General Lee. 




Early Commerce; West Virginia's Great Wealth in Native Ginseng; Its Value 
to the Early Settlers; Old Mills; Lumbering on Elk; Great Floods. 


The first wants of the settlers of central West Virginia were gunpowder, 
lead, flint, salt and corn meal, the scantiest outfit of cooking utensils, a few 

dishes, knives, forks, etc., according 
to their ability to buy, and their op- 
portunities to exchange certain ar- 
ticles of commerce which they ob- 
tained in the forest, such as furs, 
bear skins, venison hams and gin- 
seng. The wants of the people were 
not great, but what little they pos- 
sessed were luxuries at that day. 

The men dressed in tow linen 
and buckskin; the women wore lin- 
en and cotton goods winter and 
summer, the products of their own 
toil. The men almost universally 
wore moccasins and fur caps. A lit- 
tle later the people began to tan 
their own leather, using wooden 
troughs for vats. Bear skins and 
deer hides were sometimes used as 
a part of their bedding, as well as 
the buffalo robe. 

The communications over the 
mountains from the eastern settle- 
ment was at first by pack-horses, and later by Avagons. As the settlements in- 
creased in numbers and the people became more domesticated and stable in 
their local societies and government, the commercial interests of exchange be- 
came greater, and increased as time went on. While ginseng at one time 
brought but twelve and one-half cents a pound, quinine sold as high as thirty- 
two dollars an ounce. Ginseng has since advanced to twelve' dollars a pound 
while quinine has been reduced to a few shillings an ounce until the late Euro- 
pean war when it has again advanced as high as thirty-five dollars a pound; 
however, this is only a temporary fluctuation. In an early day, the great for- 



ests of West Virginia were a veritable bed of ginseng, black snakeroot, yellow- 
root and other valuable herbs of medicinal qualities. Still as the population 
grew and the people had greater road facilities, the necessities of the settlers 
increased and the people became enabled to supply themselves with articles 
such as hitherto had been denied them,. There was nothing to bring money into 
the country except the articles above mentioned, and they, as a rule, had to be 
exchanged for various articles of strenuous domestic necessity. 

The first live stock taken to market from the central and southern parts 
of the state was driven over the mountains on foot. The greater portion of 
the early traffic was in hogs as the abundant masts of that day enabled the 
farmers to raise them with the use of but little grain. The greatest trouble 
was to keep bears and other animals from destroying the hogs. A great many 
went wild in the woods and the boars became very large and savage, having 
wonderful tusks. To catch one alive required several men and dogs. The 
chase and fight with a wild boar was equal to the excitement of a bear hunt, 
and often the dogs were killed by the long sharp tusks of the boar. It was 
common at that clay for farmers to mark the ears of tbeir stock, and frequently 
the ear marks were altered. People would put their own mark on any un- 
marked hog they could find and litigation became a very common thing, and 
was the subject of much controversy. Some marked by a crop in the left ear 
and a slit in the right; others by a crop in the right ear and a slit in the left; 
some by a crop in the left ear and a swallow fork in the right ; others by a crop 
in the right ear and a swallow fork in the left ; some by two slits in the right 
car and an upper bit in the left ; others by two slits in the left ear and an upper 
bit in the right; some by a slit in each ear; some by a swallow fork, bits and 
half upper crops; some by swallow forks and half crops, and a vast number of 
other marks to which the ear was subject. Two whole crops were considered a 
rogue's mark. Some had the ear-marks recorded in the Clerk's office. 


Old Uncle Ezra Clifton, one of the first settlers on the Holly river, had t; 
very fine hog to stray off, and at last he found trace of it, and discovered that 

one of his neighbors named was feeding the hog under 

a cliff of rocks which stood above his cabin. He allowed the feeding to go on 
until one day he saw his neighbor starting to Bulltown to get a load of salt, 
then he knew that butchering time was at hand. He took two of his sons and 
his clog, and went up to the house and inquired of the wife whether they had 
seen anything of a stray hog, and she said, "Indeed, Uncle Ezra, we haven't 
seen a stray hog about, this fall." Uncle Ezra and the boys went up to the 
rock cliff and found the hog in a fat and fine condition, with quite a pile of 
corn cobs close by. The hog took fright at the men and dog and bounded 
down the mountain, and being large and fat and terribly frightened, happened 
to get in line with the door of the cabin and bounded in. As there was a door 
opposite the one facing the hill, the hog closely pursued by the dog, Uncle Ezra 


and the boys, ran through the lower door and plunged into the river where 
the dog held him at bay until Mr. Cliff ton shot him. He then proceeded' to- 
dress the hog. He had brought two horses and sacks to carry the meat in, 
and had left them concealed below the cabin until ho had the pork ready for 

transportation. He then told Mrs that he had hung the entrails 

on the fence, and to tell her husband when he came home that he might dress 
them for what lard he could get. 

This same Mr was a hunter and lick watcher, and went at 

one time with Colonel Newlon to watch a deer lick on Steer creek. Some time- 
in the night, he stole the Colonel's pistol and hid it in a hollow beech tree. The 

Colonel swore out a warrant, against him for stealing the pistol. Mr.... 

was at the time engaged to be married, and Charles Mollohan, the sheriff, hav- 
ing the warrant, went to the wedding and placed the intended groom under 
arrest. As he was starting away with the sheriff, the mother of the intended 
bride said, "Now, , go on, and if you are guilty, take your medi- 
cine like a man (which was the whipping post) and if you are innocent, come 
back and be married if my daughter is willing to have you." It. developed at 
the trial that the Colonel was unwilling to state positively that the man had 

stolen his pistol, but swore that either ., his horse or his dog had 

stolen the pistol. Then the man was discharged and went back and married 
the girl. This was the same woman who later in life said, "Indeed, Uncle 
Ezra, there has been no stray hog here." 

Some years after the Colonel had watched the deer lick, his pistol was 
found near the place, where it had been concealed at the root of a hollow beech 
tree. The stream has since been known by the name of the Pistol Pork. 

It was a general custom to put bells on the stock. Some large, well-made 
bells could be heard three and four miles. The smaller bells called sheep bells, 
could be heard for a long distance. Some woodsmen became as familiar with 
the sound of their neighbor's cow bell as they did with the human voice. 
Israel A. Friend, the gun-maker, made a great number of bells. His make of 
bells always bore his initials, and were the finest on the market. It was not 
unusual on public days at the county seat to see Israel going up and down the 
street, rattling a great string of bells. 

Indians often caught the bell cow, and took the bell off and allured some 
of the family to the woods by rattling the bell, and in this way many, not 
expecting danger, lost their lives. Another ruse of the Indian was to gobble 
like a turkey, causing the unsuspecting hunter to venture too near, and some- 
times the experienced hunter would turn the trick on the Indian. The stock 
bell has become a thing of the past. Often at this day thousands of cattle and 
sheep are driven to the scale pens and loading stations without the .sound of a 
bell. The fur trade and ginseng have been from the first, great pources of 
revenue, being the first means of bringing money into the interior. Some of 
the more provident farmers would have a surplus of corn. They would dis- 
pose of this to families moving in, to travelers and hunters, and later to 


The farmers, in addition to raising flax, began to raise a few sheep. The 
wool was carded by hand and spun on wheels made by some ingenious person. 
Tradesmen followed civilization. Some of the home-made wheels and looms 
were very crude implements, but they answered the purpose. Nearly every 
farmer raised a patch of flax. After the flax ripened, it was pulled and spread 
on the ground in swaths to cure and become brittle. It was then stored away 
in somte out-building or shed until the following spring, and in the warm clear 
days of March or April farmers would break and scutch flax. Usually some ex- 
pert flax-breaker residing in the neighborhood would be employed. A flax 
break was a simple machine, consisting of a wooden frame about five feet long 
and eighteen inches wide, standing on four legs the height of an ordinary table. 
There were three slats or bars placed edgewise, extending the full length of the 
frame. These were made of strong oak. with edges shaved down thin. The 
three bars were placed close together at one end, and widened a little at the 
other. The break-head was made with two similar bars which fit into the 
interstices of the three bars beneath. This break-head was fastened at one end 
by a hinge, and the operator would stand by the side of the break, raise and 
lower the loose end with his right hand, and hold a bunch of flax with his left. 
This he would place across the machine, and move it as required until the wood 
fiber was broken up, leaving the lint free. First the seed was threshed off. 
One good hand with a break would keep two or three busy scutching. This was 
done by driving a broad piece of board into the ground or nailing it to a block 
with the lower end over which the flax was whipped, dressed down smoothly 
to an edge. The board was placed at a convenient height to suit the operator. 
The scutching knife was a flat blade made of hard wood. The operator would 
hold a bunch of flax after it had gone through the first operation in one hand 
across the board, and use the scutching knife with the other. The scutching was 
usually done by the young ladies of the household. It can readily be seen how 
natural it became for them in after life to hold a "kid" out at arm's length 
and give him a "good scutching,'' sometimes called a "flaxing. " The flax 
after it was scutched, was ready for the hackle. This was the last process be- 
fore spinning. A hackle was made by driving a number of spikes into a block, 
and through the teeth or spikes the flax was drawn repeatedly until it was 
thoroughly combed out, leaving nothing but the fine fiber. Flax-breaking came 
the first warm days of spring when all nature rejoiced in the sunlight and 
warmth, when the air was balmy, the birds sang and the hens cackled and began 
to m,ake nests. Flax-breaking was a day of festivity. Nearly all the wearing 
apparel of the family was made of flax. The men and boys wore tow linen 
shirts and trousers. Later the women made a cotton cloth with a check of 
blue out of which they made elegant looking garments for themselves — dresses, 
aprons and sun-bonnets. Table linen, bed sheets, sacks and towels were first 
made of home-spun linen. When the country became sufficiently cleared of 
wild animals to admit of raising a few sheep, the wool was worked by hand. 
After it was washed, dried, picked and made free of all burs and dirt, it was 
carded and made into short rolls ready to spin. The cards were made on 


boards about five by eight inches with a handle much the size and shape of an 
ordinary currycomb. The teeth of the cards were made of fine wire, and 
placed on one side of the card board. The other side of the board was made 
smooth by the use of which the rolls were made by rubbing the wool between 
them after it had been carded. The carding was usually done by the women, 
by the light of a pine-knot fire. 

The ginseng industry mentioned in another place was a great source of • 
revenue to the people. They not only obtained their groceries, hardware, salt 
and many other useful articles which they pushed up the river in canoes, but 
the trade circulated considerable money. Charleston was .a good market for 
venison ham's, bear skins, furs, vegetables, butter, eggs and poultry. Flat- 
boating on the Elk river required the finest poplar trees for gunwales, boat 
bottoms, siding, etc. The larger- boats were built one hundred and sixty feet 
in length by twenty-two in width, and were sided up about four feet above 
the gunwales. One of these barges would carry an immense load of staves or 
hoop-poles, but could not be loaded to anything near their capacity until 
they reached the Great Kanawha river as they were too heavy with a full load 
to be taken down the rapid swirls of the Elk. They were guided by means 
of two long sweeps or oars hung on a pivot at either end of the boat. Five 
men, three on the bow and t« r o on the stern, consituted a full crew. One on 
the stern was called the steersman, and he gave the commands to the bow hands. 
It required on an ordinary tide, about twenty-four to thirty-six hours to make 
the run from Sutton to Charleston. The lumbermen of central West Virginia 
were a hardy and industrious set of men who earned more than they received 
out of their product and their labor. The lumbermen of the Elk were noted 
for the amount of strong coffee they consumed. The advent of railroads and 
commercial sawmills have consumed the timber, and stopped the operation of 
the boatmen forever. Peace to the memory of their heroic lives. After the 
Civil war, the population increased, money became more plentiful and rail- 
roads began to pierce the interior of the state. Before the introduction of rail- 
roads 'in the interior of the state, the people never thought of buying their 
flour and meat, but each farmer tried to produce enough for his own consump- 
tion with some to spare. But public works and the lumber trade have called 
men from the farms and reduced the country to want. Many, even farmers, 
rely upon the importation of flour and meat, and the amount of hay, straw 
and chop consumed is far in excess of the county's production, and in some 
counties what has been obtained for labor, timber and the minerals are being 
consumed by what the country reqtiires for its own sustenance. Hence, with 
the introduction of the more modern improvements, agriculture in many coun- 
ties is seriously crippled. 

Central West Virginia is a grazing section. Some of the finest horses, 
cattle and sheep have been sent to the eastern markets from the interior coun- 
ties. Harrison, Lewis, Gilmer and Braxton have fine grazing lands, and han- 
dle a great deal of stock. Nicholas has fine meadow land, and winters a great 
many cattle and sheep, but her lands are not as well adapted to grazing. 


Since the development of oil and gas in some of the interior sections, many 
have allowed to grow up in brush and briars such as were once the finest graz- 
ing lands ; but the stock that might be raised on the oil producing lands would 
be insignificant compared to the great wealth of the mineral production. A 
land that a few generations ago was the wild battle field of the savage and the 
frontiersman, is now checkered with railroads and electric lines, as well as with 
public buildings. From the pack-horse, the fur and the ginseng, great com- 
mercial centers have grown up. The villages have grown into thriving towns, 
and the towns into cities, and her banks are filled with their surplus millions, 
and what is true of Harrison as well as many other comities of the State will 
doubtless be true of Lewis, Braxton and Gilmer. 

Many thousands of acres of land in various sections of the state are drawing 
oil rentals, the usual price being $1.00 per acre, paid quarterly. This has 
been a source of considerable revenue to the people, especially the farmer. 
Everything of a primitive character has been modernized, increased and be- 
come of greater utility to the public. The simple methods of the early settlers, 
or even of the last generation, would be wholly inadequate to the needs of the 
present generation. 

Perhaps the largest patch of ginseng ever discovered in the world, at least 
in the wild state, was found in Randolph county in 1840 by W. H. Wilson 
while surveying the line between Randolph and Pocahontas counties. The 
discovery was lost sight of until Thomas Woods, a scout re-discovered it. He 
told of the "find" to some friend in Webster county. They gathered a com- 
pany and dug the "seng. " At the low price then prevailing, not perhaps one- 
twelfth of what it is now worth, they sold six hundred dollars' worth from the 
patch, at fifty cents a pound, which at that day Was perhaps the top price. 
This would indicate that they dug twelve hundred pounds, which, at the price 
of fifty cents an ounce ruling now, would place the value of that patch of gin- 
seng at this time at oi^er nine thousand dollars. The ginseng which has been 
dug in West Virginia would, at the present prices, amount to a fabulous sum. 

In 1909, James W. Foley came to Braxton from Monongalia county, and 
commenced the cultivation of ginseng. He purchased ten acres of land on 
Buffalo mountain about one and a half miles from Sutton. Two acres of the 
land had been cleared. Mr. Foley, with the help of his family, built a residence 
and cleared out the greater portion of the remaining eight acres of woodland. 
He laid off a seng garden containing a little over one half acre, and a portion 
of this he planted in ginseng the first year, continuing to plant each year until 
the entire plot was planted, except a small portion which he planted in golden 
seal, commonly known as Yellowroot. He obtained the seed from the native 
plants. In the ginseng garden, the rows are twenty-two feet long and six feet 
wide. The ginseng stocks are planted 6 x 10 inches in the beds. 

Yellowroot is now worth in the market about four dollars a pound. The 


first sale of ginseng Mr. Foley made was $106 worth of three year old roots, 
and the fourth year he sold $115 worth. The price obtained was $4.75 per 
pound. The fifth year, he will market one hundred pounds, and the price 
quoted is $9.00 for first-class roots. As he markets a portion of his oldest beds, 
he replants. Mr. Foley gathers his own seed. It requires all the seed he can 
raise to restock his garden. The pods average seventy-five or eighty seeds. 
They are quoted in the market at about one dollar a thousand. Native wild 
seng is quoted at twelve dollars a pound for first-class roots, being one-fourth 
higher in price than the cultivated seng. This garden is regularly laid off. 
There are three hundred posts placed regularly apart and (overlaid with 
poles or slats, over which he places brush for shade. He has grape vines grow- 
ing all through, the garden and they now cover a considerable portion of the 
ground. Some, of them are in bearing. The seng looks nraeh thriftier where 
the shade is most dense. It is one of the few plants that perish in the sun- 
light. The ivhite honeysuckle grows in the dark and secluded glens and per- 
haps would perish if exposed to the rays of the sun. At a place called "The 
End of the World," in Clay county, in the cliffs hidden from the sun a white 
honeysuckle is said to grow. The white-blooming series, a delicate and lovely 
flower, blooms only at midnight, when the sun is farthest, from the earth. 
The seng stock, being green like other herbs and plants in the forest which sur- 
round it, one will have to look elsewhere for the cause of its nature to avoid 
the light of the sun. Mr. Foley speaks of three kinds of seng — the Japanese, 
the Korean and the American. The Korean is quoted in its native country as 
high as fifty dollars a pound, while the Japanese is comparatively worthless 
and is quoted in America as low as fifty cents a pound. The cultivated Ameri- 
can seng roots, at five years of age, average about five ounces. Seng root? 
weighing two ounces and up bring the highest prices. In Mr. Foley's garden 
there is one single seng stock having six leaves and two seed pods. This is 
the only instance in Mr. Foley's experience of a single stock bearing a double 
pod. It is a splendid sight to see this magnificent garden of seng while it is 
maturing its red berries. This garden is worth many hundreds of dollars. 
The. cultivation of native ginseng might be made very profitable in a small 
way by many farmers. 'Without considering the matter it might seem incred- 
ible to some if we were to make the statement that the value of the wild ginseng 
has been many times greater in a commercial sense to the inhabitants of cen- 
tral West Virginia than all the magnificent timber that has stood as stately 
sentinels in the forest for a thousand years. Ginseng was the greatest source 
of income the common people had for a half century after the settlement of 
the country. While it took only forty pounds of seng to bring ten dollars at 
the early low prices that prevailed, it required a medium three-year-old steer 
to bring an equal amount; and while it required four pounds of seng roots to 
bring one dollar, which amount a boy could dig in a half day, it took a walnut 
tree with two thousand feet of lumber or a poplar with twice that amount, to 
bring a dollar. Those who sold their timber at the extreme low prices offered 
had so much on the clear, and those who undertook to manufacture theirs 


usually lost it all. While the timber lasted but a season, the seng-digger had 
his source of income last for fifty years or more. Skins and furs were the first 
articles of commerce. It was not the wild woodsman and professional hunter 
who derived a profit from this trade alone, but the farmer as well who com- 
bined fanning and hunting, to get such articles as he required. Neither was 
it the professional seng-digger who derived most benefit from seng, but the 
man and his family who used their spare time. Ginseng has always been in 
demand and was eagerly sought by all the merchants who usually paid half 
cash and half in goods. The farmer and his small boys could at odd times 
supply the family with such articles as they required and often pay their taxes 
with money derived from the sale of this product. A great many of the best 
citizens and successful business men of central West Virginia bought their 
school books and made their first pocket change by digging the greatest of all 
the herbs known. For half a century or more men and horses, wagons and 
canoes loaded with ginseng were streaming out of central West Virginia to the 
Eastern markets. No estimate can be placed upon the amount of seng that 
was dug, but it amounted to thousands of dollars annually, and may, by cul- 
tivation, continue to be a commodity of great value. D. S. Squires, in his 
diary, says that from June to November, 1859, he shipped four hundred and 
fifty pounds of ginseng and twenty-eight pounds of seneca. We note some 
single roots of very great size: S. Wise Stain aker relates that he has paid as 
much as fifty cents for a single root. Sheridaai Wolverton dug a seng root 
which brought him, at George Gillespie's store, $1.20. Peter Hamric dug a 
ginseng root on Big run, a small tributary of the Elk river in Webster county, 
which weighed fourteen ounces, and sold it at Joseph Hamric 's store at the 
mouth of Leatherwood for $2.33 1-3. Bailey Stump of Gilmer county relates 
that he dug on Steer creek two roots which weighed twelve ounces each. John 
G. Morrison relates that he dug near the north slope of High Knob a root 
weighing twenty ounces in the year 1848. It grew near the root of a very 
large walnut tree, and this tree he bought and shipped to market nearly fifty 
years later. John Frame, of near Sutton, is cultivating a large patch of gin- 
seng and yellow root. 

The seeds of ginseng remain twelve months in moist earth, then plant 
in the Fall, and in six months the plants come up, thus making eighteen months 
the period of germination. 

Thomas B. Hughes, a noted minister of the M. E. church, who recently 
died, and who was the father of two Methodist Bishops, dug ginseng to sup- 
port himself in school and to buy books. We should not despise the day of 
small things. 


On Nov. 1, 1836, L. D. Camden and Joseph Skidmore were granted leave 
to build a mill dam across the river at Sutton for a water, grist and saw mill. 
On the same day, Andrew Sterret was granted leave to build a dam across the 
Elk river one mile above town. 


John Sargeant, millwright of Harrison county, Va., built a saw mill near 
the mouth of Granny's creek in the year 1825. The mill was lifted up by back 
water from the Elk river and floated off soon after it was built, except one sill 
which is lying near the foundation to this day, and is still sound. 

John Jackson who built the first mill at Sutton, went back to Buck- 
hannon and his mill was washed away by a very high rise in the Elk river. 
It is said that James Skidmore who lived on the Poca below Charleston, cap- 
tured the mill on the Big Kanawha, and rebuilt it on the Poca. 

One of the first grist mills was built in the year 1810, by Colonel John 
Haymond, the founder of the "Bulltown Salt Works." It was a small round 
log structure, a tub wheel being the propelling power. The bnhrs were gotten 
out on Millstone run. The bolting was done by hand. This primitive mill 
continued to do the grinding until 1833 when a much better structure was 
erected in its stead. 

Early in the nineteenth century, Andrew P. Friend built a grist mill at 
a point on Elk river since known locally as Beall's Mill. This was one among 
the first, if not the first mill built in the county. Many years before the Civil 
war there was a mill on Elk, opposite the town of Sutton, known as the Jack- 
son Mill. This mill was washed away and rebuilt afterward. It occupied the 
site later occupied by the Huffman Mill. This mill was built at the close of 
the Civil war by James A. Boggs and Benjamin Huffman. Huffman bought 
Boggs' interest, and became the sole owner. The mill was then known as the 
Huffman Mill, and did a large business as a grist and saw mill. It also had 
a, carding machine attached. The carding machine was operated for many 
years by David Bosely. The mill's business was conducted by Benjamin Hiiff- 
man and his son Granville, and was a great benefit to the public. This mill 
was torn down about the time the Coal & Coke railroad was built to Sutton, 
and there is nothing now left to mark the place of this old landmark except 
the fragment of an old dam. 

Some years before the Civil war, Morgan Dyer and Edward Sprigg built 
a mill about one mile above the county seat. They put in buhra for grinding 
wheat and corn, a carding machine and an np-and-down saw. This mill was 
first known as the Dyer Mill, but afterward as the Sprigg Mill. It was washed 
away by the great flood of 1861. 

For many years Adam Gillespie conducted a mill just below the mouth 
of Bens run. This mill ground wheat and corn, had an upright saw and 
a bolt operated by hand. These old up-and-down saws were used principally 
for cutting boat patterns. This mill was afterward operated by his son Griffin 
Gillespie and finally went to decay. 

The mill sites of the Sprigg and Gillespie Mills were said to be equal to 
any, if not the best, on the Elk river. 

About 1830, Asa Squires, Wm. McCoy, Samuel Skidmore and others built 
the Union Mill on the Elk river some distance below the mouth of Laurel creek. 
This was at the head of the fiatboat navigation, and did considerable business 


in cutting lumber for flatboats. Union Mill was so named for the reason that 
different interests were concerned. 

Ilayxnond's Mill, seventeen miles northeast of Sutton on the Little Ka- 
nawha river, was built by John Haymond in the year 1808, and was for many 
years owned by William Haymond who was one of the county's best known 
citizens. This mill was equipped Math buhrs, carding machine and saw. 
It was run by an overshot wheel, and was considered a very valuable prop- 
erty. It did more business than any other mill in the county. This property 
has fallen into different hands since the death of Mr. Haymond. Mr. Milton 
Johnson from Preston county, came into possession of the mill and put in a 
roller process, but the mill has since gone down and there is now nothing of 
value left except the water power. 

About four miles above Burnsville, on the Little Kanawha river, there was 
an old mill which stood for many years, and which was built and owned by 
Williams Cutlip. The mill has since practically fallen into disuse as all the 
water mills have served their usefulness, and have been replaced by steam, the 
roller process and the circular saw. As the people now almost universally 
buy their clothing ready made, the carding machine is almost a thing of the 

About the year 18.... Dr. Samuel Cutlip built a grist and saw mill at the 
Three Forks of Cedar. This mill stood for many years, and did a considerable 
amount of business. 

About 1825, James Frame built a grist and saw mill fourteen miles below 
Sutton. This mill did business for a great many years, and was known as 
the Frame Mill, and the place more recently is known as Frametown. 

An old mill which stood at the mouth of Duck creek before the Civil war, 

built by , was after the war rebuilt by 

Elliott Mollohan. 

The old Boggs Mill, ten miles below Sutton, was built by James Boggs, 
and operated for several years before the Civil war. At a later date, it was 
owned and operated by Felix Skidmore. 

Samuel Fox owned and operated a mill at the mouth of the Birch on the 
Elk river. 

One among the early mills of the county was owned .by Robert Jackson, 
and was operated by him for more than a half century. This mill was lo- 
cated on the Little Birch river about two miles below where the turnpike 
crosses that stream. At this ford, David Jackson owns a grist mill which lie 
has operated for many years. 

Wellington L. Frame owns and operates a small grist mill on Buffalo 
creek, and is using the corn stones used in the old Jackson mill at Sutton. 
These stones have been in almost constant use for nearly a century of years. 

All the mills on the larger streams of the county have been washed away, 
and there is nothing left to attract the passer-by except the indications of where 
the dam stood. 

Roller mills have taken the place of the old-time water mill. There are 


two roller process mills in Sutton, one in Burnsville, one in Platwoods and one 
in Gassaway, each of which is doing a large business. They not only manufac- 
ture the home grown wheat into flour, but import great quantities of grain into 
the county, principally to supply the lumber camps. 


About the year 1825, there came a very great flood in the Elk river. It 
was known as the Moss flood. A man named Moss lost a great deal of lumber, 
in the tide, and his creditors lost also. Thomas Green and some other man 
went on a boat to secure it more firmly to the shore, and while they were on 
the boat the cable broke, the boat swung out into the middle of the river and 
took its flight with the surging waters. They had no oars or sweeps, therefore 
no possible means of escape. The tide was furious and rapid. They started 
somewhere near the town of Sutton in the forenoon, and landed in Charles- 
ton before night the same day, where they were rescued on the Great Kanawha. 
The flood being in the Elk, and the Kanawha being in a common stage, the 
Elk plowed across the Kanawha, and dashed its waters against the opposite 
shore. The Moss tide was the greatest up to that time known to the inhabi- 
tants, and has been exceeded in volume only by the great flood of 1861. It 
required about five days to push a load of goods from Charleston to Sutton in 
a canoe. Two thousand pounds made a good load for two hands. So inured 
to hardships were the lumbermen of the Elk that they would sometimes push 
up the river when the ice would freeze to their push poles. They had to un- 
load their goods at each mill in order to get across the dam. 

One of the greatest floods in the Elk river, pi'ior to the flood of 1861, was 
the Moss tide which is mentioned in another place. The next great rise 
in this river since the '61 flood, occurred in the year of the "three eights." 
The water at that time touched the bottom of the wire suspension bridge at 
Sutton, while the big flood of 1861 ran over the hand railing of the bridge. The 
water ran down Main street, and was belly-deep to a horse at the head of town. 
It rose to the top of the front door in the Camden tavern which stood on the 
corner of Main and Bridge streets. This was the most remarkable flood that 
had ever been in the Elk river within the history of man. It occurred in April, 
1861. The rain had poured down in torrents for several days, and the smaller 
streams were all out of their banks. The Elk washed away mills, houses, 
stables, flatboats and fencing, and the driftwood that was carried down stream 
was an immense quantity. 

Andrew P. Friend and his aged wife lived in a small house near the Otter 
salt works. The tide caught them, and they had to be taken out through the 
top of the house in a skiff. "We remember seeing as late as 1884, a flatboat on 
the bank of the river in Kanawha county which had been thrown out on the 
shore and lodged. Some family had made it the foundation of a dwelling 
house, and were occupying it at that time. 

A great deal has been said and written with reference to floods in the 
great streams of the country. Every now and then, we read an article from 


some alarmist with reference to the best plans to adopt to hold back floods. 
Some advise the building of great reservoirs to hold the water in cheek. Others 
advise that great areas of land should be re-forested at the head of the large 
water courses, and that in addition, we could have great game 'reserves, etc., etc. 

After some years of investigation, and viewing the matter from a different 
point of view, we conclude that the opposite of the common theory advanced 
is correct. In the first place, it is claimed that the forest is an aid in producing 
rainfall. If this be true, and there is reason to believe that it is, there will be 
more water to be disposed of by flowing away in a regular channel which 
would add to the volume of the flood. Again, every one who is at all familiar 
with the forest knows that the leaves lay flat like shingles on the roof, and that 
the rain glides off more rapidly than it would over sod or plowed lands. We 
have often observed with what difficulty a sheet of water after a hard rain 
would percolate through a sod field or meadow. The grass holds it back to a 
far greater extent tha,n forest leaves. Then between the periods of rainfall, 
the sun and air dry the surface and this native reservoir has to be supplied by 
the next shower, while in the forest the dampness keeps the natural reservoir 
full, there being but slight absorption, and every shower flows rapidly into 
the stream and augments the great floods. 

The streams, big and little, in central West Virginia, and we presume it 
is true elsewhere, rise more slowly after rains than they did thirty or forty 
years ago, for since that time the forests of those sections have been removed, 
and a greater portion of the improvement of the lands have been made. Far 
better for the safety of the inhabitants of the lower valleys if every acre of 
the forest lands was in sod or plowed fields. The sun and air would absorb 
a very great portion of the rainfall. The great reservoirs that have been advo- 
cated by some as a means of holding the waters in check are no more practi- 
cable, in our opinion, than it would be to build great sheds to stop the storms 
that occasionally sweep across the country, or the Chinese wall which marks 
the folly of an ancient people. 

Forty years ago, or before the greater portion of the lands on Granny's 
creek, and its tributaries and adjoining streams were cleared, it was common 
to have floods after every dashing rain. The rain would soon fill the channel 
and overflow the banks, but since the lands have been cleared the streams rise 
more gradually, and the height of the tides comes from two to three hours later 
after the rainfall. The same principal holds good along the larger streams. If the 
grass and weeds will hold the showers in check, as they fall, and retard their 
flow in the smaller streams, the branches of the timber growing along the banks 
of the streams will retard the rapid flow of the water along the greater water 
courses, and in this way lessen the destructive tendencies of these rivers. 

Horace Greeley, in speaking of the obstinacy of water, said that often at 
the head of a small stream or overflow, you might change its course by holding 
a hand across its channel. So we conclude that it is not the forests, neither is 
it great reservoirs, that bring safety to the inhabitants from floods, but it is 
the tiny blade of grass, the porous condition of the surface, the air that sweeps 


over the smooth, open lands, and the gentle but all-powerful rays of the sun 
that raise the surplus rainfall from the earth by evaporation, and holds the 
waters and the floods in check. 

The flood of 1917 which occurred on March 12, exceeded that of 1896 by 
one foot, and lacked eight feet of being as high as the spring flood of 1861. 

The flood of 1917 wasted much faster than the flood of 1861 which seemed 
to carry its full volume of water to its mouth whilst that of 1917 was greatly 
reduced in volume before it reached Clay. Some of the upper tributaries of 
the Elk were about as high as they were ever known, indicating the fact that 
the heaviest rains must have been nearer its source. 



Prominent Men of Central West Virginia; Men of Great Strength; Church 
Organizations and a History of Each Church. 


A few of the more prominent citizens of central West. Virginia prior to 
the Civil war, as we recall them: 

Allen G. Caperton of Monroe county, a self-made man, practiced law in 
Nicholas, Braxton and adjoining counties. He was a TJ. S. Senator from this 
state in the seventies. 

Samuel Price who practiced law in Braxton, was a man who, like the 
great majority of the men of prominence in West Virginia, rose from a condi- 
tion of poverty to positions of honor and responsibility. Mr. Price was one 
of the able men of this state. He was a native of Greenbrier county, and 
grew up contemporary with Moses Tichonal who was a native of Preston 
county and became a minister of much prominence in the M. E. Church. 
By his own efforts and close study, he became a Greek and Latin scholar. He 
was a man of great, eloquence and power in the church. Like Lincoln, he was 
a rail splitter in his youth. He split on a wager, 1600 rails in one day. The 
timber was chestnut, and it had been cut and hauled out in the cleared land. 
Price and Tichonal both pursued their studies by the light of the pine knot. 
Price said that he intended to make as good a lawyer as Tichonal was a 
preacher, and both succeeded to a marked degree of learning and prominence 
in their chosen professions. 

Jonathan M. Bennett of Lewis county was a man of superior native abil- 
ity. He held several positions of honor and trust. 

Judge Nathan Goff, G. W. Atkinson, Senator John E. Kenna, Senator 

Samuel Hays of Gilmer county represented his district in Congress. Ho 
had but slight early advantages — little save his native ability. 

Mathew Edmonson of Lewis county was an able lawyer, also Judge Homer 
A. Holt, Henry Brannon, John J. Davis, Jackson Arnold, John Brannon and 
Colonel Withers, author of "Border Warfare." 

Michael Stump and Conrad Currence of Gilmer county were prominent 
men. Governor Johnson of Harrison county. 

Judge Gideon Camden, B. W. Byrne, Johnson N. Camden, Joseph A. Alder- 
son and many others were as able in statesmenship and learning at the bar or 
in the pulpit as the men of the present day. 

Among noted ministers from this section of the state were Peter T. 


Lashley, Asbury Mick, Prof. E. A. Arthur, Daniel H. Davis, Rev. Richmond, 
T. S. Wade, John and Alpheus Reger, Rev. Dr. John S. Stump, Levi J. 
Huffman, C. Warman, M. L. Bamett, and many others faithful and true that 
space forbids us naming. 


The settlers, brought together and held by the paramount feeling of 
mutual protection against savage, forays for so many years, and inured to 
hardships indescribable, were very remarkable in their endurance and strength. 
The fireside conversations of the early, bold and hardy inhabitants consisted 
mainly in relating each to the other and to the members of their respective 
families their trips of bold adventure, successes or failures of hunting expedi- 
tions and personal feats of strength and endurance. Numerous were the in- 
stances, when a band of hunters would return from the chase with a deer, a 
piece on their strong backs held in' position by the hands grasping either leg 
of the game. One man alone is said to have ldlled a deer for every day in the 
month of January of which record he was justly proud, and gave him good 
reasons to boast of his hunting ability. But the most remarkable authentic 
story of personal strength we have from tradition is this: Philip Reger, who 
had done some very valuable scouting work for the settlement, and his com- 
panion. Samuel Jackson, on an occasion after the year 1795, went out to Big 
Skin creek for the twofold purpose of ascertaining the possibility of savage 
presence and incidentally killing what game might cross their path. Hidden 
in the thick underbrush on these waters to evade observation, Reger was bitten 
by a rattlesnake which is very venomous: these dangerous serpents were very 
numerous among the rocks and thickets of this woody country. Soon after the 
fangs of the poisonous reptile had entered Reger 's flesh he became blind, and 
fearing that exertion on his part would cause a dangerous state of heat to his 
body and facilitate the fatal spreading of the poison, the two scouts were in 
a dilema how the snake-bitten man should get back to the fort. Jackson was 
an exceedingly bold, strong man. knowing no limitations of his endurance 
and power and he proposed to take no chances and carried Reger to the fort. 
On the back of this strong man, Reger with their two guns, and the snake 
which had thrown its deadly fangs into him, rode triumphant for eight miles 
into the fort. Arriving at the fort and pursuing the superstitious remedy 
known to them for snake bite, the reptile was cut open and the raw flesh was 
applied to the poisonous wound. The remedy failed. Reger says, "I threw it 
away. It was so cold it seemed painful." Another and better cure of re- 
moving poison was adopted. But. history can furnish fewer instances of 
greater strength and endurance than that of Jackson on this occasion. 

John Short was a soldier in the Confederate army. His parents lived for 
several years in Braxton county. He was a man of very remarkable strength. 
His weight was nearly three hundred pounds, and it was said that he could lift 
the end of an eighty foot boat gunwhale off the ground, a feat which perhaps 
four ordinary men could not perform. 


James Wyatt and his brother William were great rail-makers. James 
cut his timber on one occasion, it being white oak, and made one thousand 
rails in four days. He also made his maul and wedges. This was a feat in 
rail-making seldom, if ever, equaled. It was before the cross-cut saw was 
used for cutting rail timber. 

Wm. Stout, who was a fine mower with a scythe, at one time, in one day, 
on a wager, mowed four acres of grass. He fixed up two first-class scythes 
and placed a grind stone in the field, hiring two men to grind and whet his 
blades. In this way he had nothing to do but to swing the sharp, keen scythes. 
Beina; a very strong man and an expert mower, he won the wager. 

John G. Morrison, when a young man, cradled seven acres of oats in one 
day. That was a feat in cradling grain that required a man of splendid nerve 
and endurance to accomplish. 

About the year 1880, we were harvesting a crop of wheat in the field ad- 
joining John G. Young's farm and opposite his house. David Minis, a colored 
man, was binding. There was to be a circus in Sutton on the 4th of July, 
and on the morning of the 3rd the temperature fell and it remained very 
pleasant all day. Minis wanted to go to the show, and we wanted to finish 
cutting wheat that day, so we agreed to finish the field. We had a splendid 
cradle made by Philip Rogers, which we called "Yellow Bets." We cradled 
and gripped the grain and Minis bound. At intervals we would stop and shock 
up, and when we finished in the evening we had cut, bound and shocked one 
hundred and three dozen. We both enjoyed the circus on the following day. 

William Fisher cleared a hundred acres of land one season. 
John Stout, his son Michael, Daniel J., and Wm. Stout, had the contract, 
and on an average they grubbed an acre a day. 

James McCray was a great worker, and cleared land, doing a great deal 
of work in the Flatwoods country. 

In an early day there were some remarkably strong men in Braxton 
county and central West Virginia. We recall the names of Andrew Boggs, 
William Gillespie, James Carr, William Delany and others. These men were 
very large, weighing considerably over two hundred pounds, muscular and 
hardened by toil. 

It was related that William Gillespie had a cow to fall in a well, and he 
went down, tied a rope around her body, stood at the top of the well and 
pulled the cow out. Gillespie would lift the end of a boat gunwale to his 
knees, this ordinarily requiring four men to raise it off the ground. 

Martin Delany fought a black bear in Charleston on a wager. When they 
came together, Delany struck the bear in the side just behind the shoulders 
and killed it with one blow. An Englishman from Richmond, Virginia, hear- 


ing of Delany's great strength, rode horseback the entire distance from Rich- 
mond to Delany's home in Greebrier county, found Del any in the field and 
challenged him for battle. Without much ceremony, the challenge was ac- 
cepted, and the battle of the giants began. Delany was the victor. After he 
had given his antagonist a good thrashing, he threw him over the fence into 
the road. The defeated pugilist said if he had his horse, he would return. 
At this, Delany took the horse and threw it over the fence also. The English- 
man returned a sadder but a wiser man. It was said that Martin Delany's 
ribs had no parting. They were a solid sheet. He died and was buried near 
the mouth of the Big Birch river. 

Andrew Boggs was a gunsmith and made prize guns for expert marks- 
men. In comparing his great strength with that of ordinary men, it is said 
that he would place a handspike under a log and let a good strong man take 
one end of the spike and he the other. When the load would become too heavy 
for the other fellow, he would put his arm around the log and pull it over on 
his hip and carry it. along with ease. It is related that he at one time went 
into a den of bears on the Little Kanawha river, , after stationing some men 
at the mouth of the den. He chased the bears out, and at the sight of the 
bears the men lost their nerve and ran. Boggs came out greatly infuriated at 
the loss of the game, and threatened dire punishment for what he considered 
rank cowardice. 

Jacob Stump, one of the old citizens of G-iliaer county, whose weight was 
never over one hundred fifty-five pounds, went deer hunting, accompanied 
by his wife who was a large strong woman. He succeeded in killing two 
yearling deer. He tied their feet together as was the custom, and slung them 
across his shoulder. On their return they found Steer creek considerably 
swollen, and as it was some distance across the stream the old hunter, with his 
two deer across his back, took his wife in his arms and with rifle in hand, 
landed that most precious cargo safely on the home shore. Mr. Stump raised 
ten children whose aggregate weight was over two thousand pounds. Some 
of his. sons possessed remarkable strength. Melvin, whose weight at birth was 
three pounds, grew to be a man weighing two hundred twenty-four pounds. 
He was so fleet that he could outrun an ordinary horse for a hundred yards or 
more. Lemuel, another son, whose weight was two hundred forty pounds, 
nearly a hundred pounds heavier than his father, shouldered at the mouth of 
a threshing machine six bushels of wheat and carried it for a distance of one 
hundred and fifty yards. One of Mr. Stump's daughters married Rev. Daniel 
Huffman. On one occasion she requested him to butcher a hog. Upon his 
failure to do so, she waited until he retired then proceeded to kill the hog 
herself. She dressed it up and when Mr. Huffman arose the next morning and 
went out in the yard, he found his hog hanging up neatly dressed and ready 
to be salted down. The hog netted about two hundred pounds. 

William Barnett was a man of great strength. It was said that he could 
carry a bundle of hickory hooppoles in his teeth, and one under each arm. 
Hooppoles were cut in the forests, and tied in bundles of fifty Math small 


twisted withes. The poles were cut about seven feet long, and had to be of 
sufficient size to split, each pole making two hoops for a salt barrel. 

Our father related to us the following story of a woman whose name we 
cannot recall: When alone one day, the bees swarmed and settled in a beech 
tree on a hill some distance from the house. The woman gathered her young 
child, a bee gum and the axe, and went up, placing her child some distance 
from the tree, and cut the tree down and hived the bees. 

'Aunt Matty" Sprigg. mother of the late Captain John S. Sprigg and 
wife of Edward Sprigg, was one of the noble women of the country. She was 
a faithful attendant on the sick, and before the days of professional nurses 
was a constant visitor at the bedside of the afflicted. She had a knowledge 
of diseases and remedies that sometimes excelled that of the physicians. Her 
great physical strength enabled her to handle a patient with ease. Her indus- 
trious habits knew no bounds. She was an expert hand in putting up fruit 
butters and providing a sustenance for her family. She coidd lift a two-buchel 
kettle of boiling apple butter off from the fire with one hand. Her death oc- 
curred some years ago. She was loved by all who knew her. 

Marshall Triplett, James Carr and his son, Andrew Carr, were all men of 
great strength. 

Prank Rhea, a colored man Who belonged to Dr. John L. Rhea, weighed 
about two hundred twenty-five pounds and was a remarkably strong man. He 
could pick up a barrel of salt and pitch it into a wagon with ease. On one 
occasion he was dragging wood with a yoke of oxen for a man named Shobe 
Ward, and going up a bank the near ox broke his bow, and not discouraged at 
this mishap, Prank took hold of the end of the yoke, placed his shoulder against 
it and went on with the load. 

Andrew Skidmore, one of the old pioneers, whose weight was one hundred 
eighty pounds, carried a yearling bear from four miles above Sutton, on Wolf 
creek, to his home three miles below Sutton, a distance of seven miles. He rest- 
ed but twice. He had in addition to his gun a hunting outfit. This was a feat 
of strength and a very remarkable endurance rarely if ever equaled. His 
nephew. Crawford Scott, who lived in Randolph county, was a pugilist of the 
old school. He could take a man of ordinary size on his shoulder and run up 
a hill with apparent ease. 

Peter Francisco was thought to be a Portuguese, kidnapped and taken to 
Ireland when an infant. He was then kept for some years by a sea captain 
and brought to America and sold to Anthony Winston, Esq., of Buckingham 
county, Virginia. At the age of sixteen, he secured the consent of Mr. Winston 
to volunteer in the American army. He was in nearly all the battles of the 
Revolution, and had many daring encounters with the British scouts. His 
height was six feet and one inch, and his weight two hundred sixty pounds. 
He could easily shoulder a cannon weighing eleven hundred pounds. He car- 
ried a sword, the blade of which was five feet long, which he could weld like a 
feather. His colonel, William Mayo of Powhattan, presented him with a thous- 




and acres of land, and the House of 
Delegates of Virginia appointed him 
Sergeant at Arms, in which service 
he died in 1836, and was interred 
with military honors in the public 
burying-ground at Richmond. 

Melville Stump of Gilmer coun- 
ty was said to be one of the most 
strong and fleet of foot of any in all 
the Stree Creek Valley. He could rim 
almost as fast' as a horse, and in his 
young days foot-racing was a very 
popular sport. The custom was for 
the referee to stand at a starting 
point, and the two who were to run 
the race would stand a few paces 
in his rear, and holding each other 
by the hand they would start at the 
signal, and coming to the referee 
they would part and one go on each 
side, thus insuring an even start. It was related to the author by parties who 
were present that about sixty-five years ago at a general muster at Stumptown, 
Samuel Brown and Thomas Smith arranged to run a foot race of one hundred 
yards, and Melville Stump was one of the referees, and when the contestants 
passed him he started after them and passed them before they reached the other 
end of the race as they came out, to the great enjoyment of those who witnessed 
the sport. 

It is said that Benjamin Hameric and his nine sons of Webster Springs 
are the most remarkable family, physically speaking, in West Virginia. Mr. 
Hamric measures 6 feet, 5^2 inches in height, and his sons draw the fathom line 
as follows: Arnold, 6 feet, 1^4 inches; Isaac, 6 feet, 5% inches; Adam. 6 feet, 
3 inches; William, 6 feet, 1 inch; Eli, 6 feet, 3 inches; Samson, 6 feet, 1*4 
inches; Felix, 6 feet, 2 inches;' Ellis, 6 feet, 5 inches; and George, 6 feet, 3 
inches. The average height of the family is 6 feet, 2%. inches, and the average 
weight ; 8 174 pounds. 

Judge A. N. Campbell of Monroe county, measures 6 feet, 3 inches in 
height, and weighs 323 pounds. He has four brothers whose heights and weights 
are as follows: Rev. J. P. Campbell of Hinton, height 6 feet, 4 inches, weight 
200 pounds; L. E. Campbell of Pickaway, height 6 feet, 3 inches, weight 280 
pounds; N. B. Campbell of Underwood, height 6 feet, 2*4 inches, weight 255 
pounds. The average height of the five is 6 ft. 2 in., and the average. 
We doubt whether these magnificent proportions can be exceeded by any family 
of equal numbers in West Virginia. Another member of this family, Archi- 
bald Campbell, who was killed at the first battle of Manassas while fighting in 


the 27th Virginia Infantry, Stonewall Brigade, was also a man of superb 

physique, standing 6 feet 2 inches and weighing 250 pounds. 

a man of supei'b physique, standing 6 feet 2 inches and weighing 250 pounds. 

The father of these gentlemen, the late Andrew Campbell, for years one 
of the prominent citizens of Monroe county, was one of the most majestic and 
powerful men who ever dwelt in Virginia. He stood 6 feet 3 inches in height, 
his weight was 250 pounds, and when in the prime of life, his strength was 
prodigious. He though nothing of lifting two anvils by their horns one in each 
hand, and swinging them above his head. He was of the clan of MacGregor- 
Campbell, and was as renowned for his warm heart and high spirit as for the 
splendor of his physical gifts. 

God has created' man with wonderful gifts of strength, endurance and 
length of days. It is now near midnight, and we close this chapter. In about 
two hours, should we live, we will have rounded out the time allotted to man, 
and we are reminded of the language of the poet who said: 

Life is composed of a thousand springs 

That would fail if one goes wrong; 
How strange it is that a harp with a thousand strings 

Should keep in tune so long. 


Quakers, a sect which took its rise in England about the middle of the 
seventeenth century. It rapidly found its way into other countries in Europe, 
and into the English settlements in North America. The members of this so- 
ciety, we believe, called themselves at first Seekers, from their seeking the truth ; 
but after the society was formed, they assumed' the appellation of Friends. 
The name of Quakers was given to them by their enemies, and though an epithet 
of reproach, it seems to be stamped upon them indelibly. George Fox is sup- 
posed to be their founder ; but, after the restoration, Wm. Penn and 
Barclay gave to their principles a more regular form. 

They tell us, that, about the beginning of the seventeenth century, a num- 
ber of men, dissatisfied with all the modes of religious worship then known in 
the world, withdrew from the communion of every visible church to seek the 
Lord in retirement. Among these was their honorable elder, George Fox, 
who, being quickened by the immediate toiiehes of divine love, could not satisfy 
his apprehensions of duty to God without directing the people where to find 
the like consolation and instruction. Tn the course of his travels, he met with 
many seeking persons in circumstances similar to his own, and these readily 
received his testimony. They then give us a short account of their sufferings 
and different settlements; they also vindicate Charles IT from the character of 
a persecutor- acknowledging that, though they suffered much during his reign, 
he gave as little countenance as he could to the severities of the legislation. 
They even tell us that he exerted his influence to rescue their friends from the 
unprovoked and cruel persecutions with which they met in New England; and 
they speak with becoming gratitude of the different acts passed in their favour 


during the reigns of William and Mary, and George I. They then proceed to 
give us the following account of their doctrine. 

"We agree with other professors of the Christian name, in the belief of 
one eternal God, the Creator and Preserver of the universe ; and in Jesiis Christ 
his Son, the Messiah and mediator of the new covenant, Heb. xii. 24. 

"When we speak of the gracious display of the love of God to mankind, 
in the miraculous conception, birth, life, miracles, death, resurrection, and as- 
cension of our Saviour, we prefer the use of siich terms as we find in Scrip- 
ture; and contented with that knowledge which divine wisdom hath seen meet 
to reveal, we attempt not to explain those mysteries which remain under the 
veil; nevertheless we acknowledge and assert the divinity of Christ, who is the 
wisdom and power of God unto salvation, 1 Cor. i. 24. 

"There are not many of our tenets more generally known than our tes- 
timony against oaths, and against war. With respect to the former of these, 
we abide literally by Christ's positive injunction, delivered in his sermon on 
the mount, 'Swear not at all,' Matt. v. 34. From the same sacred collection of 
the most excellent precepts of moral and religious duty, from the example of our 
Lord himself, Matt. v. 39, 44, etc., Matt. xxvi. 52, 53, Luke, xxii. 51, John, 
xviii. 11, and from the correspondent convictions of his Spirit in our hearts, 
we are confirmed in the belief that wars and fightings are in their origin and 
effects utterly repugnant to the Gospel, which still breathes peace and good 
will to men. We also are clearly of the judgment, that if the benevolence of the 
Gospel were generally prevalent in the minds of men, it would effectually pre- 
vent them from oppressing, much more from enslaving, their brethren (of what- 
ever colour or complexion,) for whom, as for themselves, Christ died; and w T ould 
even influence their conduct in their treatment of the brute creation, which 
would no longer groan, the victims of their avarice, or of their false ideas of 

"Some of our ideas have in former times, as hath been shown, subjected 
our friends to much suffering from government, though to the salutary purposes 
of government our principles are a security. They inculcate submission to the 
laws in all cases wherein conscience is not violated. But we hold, that, as 
Christ's kingdom is not of this world, it is not the business of the civil magistrate 
to interfere in matters of religion, but to maintain the external peace and good 
order of the community. We therefore think persecution, even in the smallest 
degree, unwarrantable. We are careful in requiring oiir members not to be con- 
cerned in illicit trade, nor in any manner to defraud the revenue. 

"It is well known that the society, from its first appearance, has disused 
those names of the months and days, which, having been given in honour of the 
heroes or false gods of the heathen, originated in their flattery or superstition; 
and the custom of speaking to a single person in the plural number, as having 
arisen also from motives of adultation. Compliments, superfluity of apparel 
and furniture, outward shows of rejoicing and mourning, and the observation 
of days and times, we esteem to be incompatible with the simplicity and sin- 
cerity of a Christian life." 




The first Methodist society in the United States of America, was formed in 
the City of New York, in the year 1766, by a few Methodist emigrants from Ire- 
land. Among these was a local preacher, 
by the name of Philip Embury. He 
preached the first Methodist sermon in a 
private room, to those only who had ac- 
companied him to this country. The name 
of "Methodist" as well as his manner of 
preaching being a novelty in this country, 
soon attracted attention, and many came 
to hear the stranger for themselves, and 
the number of hearers so increased that 
the house in which they assembled very 
soon became too small to contain all who 
wished to hear. They accordingly pro- 
cured a larger ;place. About this time 
considerable attention was excited by the 
preaching of Capt. Webb, who came from 
Albany, where he was stationed, to the 
help of Mr. Embury. This gentleman had 
been converted to God under the preach- 
ing of Mr. Wesley in Bristol, England, 
and being moved with compassion towards 
his fellow men, although a soldier, he now 
employed his talent in calling sinners to repentence. Through his and the 
labours of Mr. Embury, the work of God prospered, and the society increased 
in number and stability. From the place they now occupied, which soon be- 
came too small to accommodate all who wished to attend their meetings, they 
removed to a rigging-loft, in William street, Avhich they hired, and fitted up 
for a preaching room. 

Such was their continual increase that, after contending with a variety of 
difficulties for want of a convenient place of worship, they succeeded in erect- 
ing a meeting house in John street, in the year 1768. 

About the same time that this society was establishing in New York, Mr. 
Strawbridge, a local preacher from Ireland, commenced preaching, and formed 
a small class in Frederick County, Maryland. 

In October, 1769, two preachers, Messrs. Richard Boardman and Joseph 
Pilmore, being sent under the direction of Mr. Wesley, landed in America; 
and in 1771, Messrs. Francis Asbury and Richard Wright came over. The first 
regular conference was held in Philadelphia, in the year 1773, under the super- 
intendence of Mr. Thomas Rankin, who had been sent by Mr. Wesley to take 
general oversight of the societies in this country. These zealous missionaries, 

Fifty years a treveling minister 


spreading themselves in different directions through the country,* cities and vil- 
lages, were instrumental in extending the influence of evangelical principles -and 
holiness among the people. 

During the revolutionary war, all the preachers from Europe, except Mr. 
Asbury, returned to their native land. But prior to this event, the Head of 
the church had, under the energetic labors of Mr. Asbury and his colleagues, 
called forth some zealous young men into the ministry, whose labours were 
owned of God in the awakening and conversion of. souls. These men of God, 
under the superintendence of Mr. Asbury, who laboured hard and suffered 
much during the sanguinary conflict, continued in the field of Gospel labour; 
and, notwithstanding the evils inseparable from war, they witnessed the spread 
of pure religion in many places. 

At the conclusion of the revolution, in the year 1.784, Dr. Thomas Coke 
came to America with powers to constitute the Methodist societies in this coun- 
try into an independent church. Hitherto the societies had been dependent on 
other churches for the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper, as the 
Methodist pi-eachers were considered only lay-preachers, and according to the 
uniform advice of Mr. Wesley, had declined administering the ordinances. This 
had occasioned much uneasiness, among both preachers and people, in this 
country. They therefore earnestly requested Mr. Wesley to interpose his au- 
thority, and furnish them with the ordinances independently of other denomi- 
nations. After maturely weighing the subject in his own mind, he finally re- 
■ solved, as the United States had become independent of both the civil and eccle- 
siastical polity of Great Britain, to send them the help they so much needed. 
Accordingly, being assisted by other presbyters of the Church of England, by 
prayer and imposition of hands, he set apart Thomas Coke, L.L.D. and as pres- 
byter of said church, as a superintendent of the Methodist societies in America; 
and directed him to consecrate Mr. Francis Asbury for the same office. In con- 
formity to these instructions, after his arrival in the United States, a confer- 
ence of preachers was assembled in Baltimore, December 25, 1784, amounting 
in all to 61. Having communicated his instructions, and the contemplated 
plans for the future government of the societies, which were generally approved, 
Mr. Asbury, being first elected by the unanimous voice of the preachers, was 
ordained by Dr. Coke first to the office of deacon, then elder, and then superin- 
tendent or bishop. Twelve of the preachers were elected and ordained elders 
at the same conference. 

In 1819, the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church was 
formed; and it received the sanction of the general conference in 1820, accord- 
ing to the following constitution: This association shall be denominated "The 
Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church." 

It was about the year 1808, that the first ministers found their way into 
what is now Braxton county. These were a Baptist minister of the name of 
Mathew Mattox and one of the name of Jamison, representing Methodism. They 
preached once a month at private houses, that of Colonel John Haymond being 
a regular appointment for both. 


The Methodists formed the first society, but the exact time of its institu- 
tion cannot be ascertained for the reason that the records have long since been 
lost. They worshipped however for a number of years in a house erected by 
Henry Cunningham for church and school purposes. This, no doubt, was the 
first church building in this section of the country. It was built by, and at 
the expense of Henry Cunningham and son, with the exception of the "raising" 
in which the neighbors assisted. 

Of the early ministers, we have the names of: 

David Read, Presiding Elder, Asa Shin whose circuit extended to Morgan- 
town to Gauley Bridge, Andrew Dixon, an Englishman, who had the Braxton 
Circuit. Rev. Munsel was on the circuit in 1844 when the division of the church 
took place. Rev. Stewart was Presiding Elder. John Biringer and Wm. Bing 
rode the circuit, Rev. Dolliver, J. B. Feather, Rev. Brooks, Rev. Totten. R. L. 
Woodyard, Rev. Pinchon, Rev. Hatfield and Wm. H. Wiley. Wiley was on the 
Circuit at the beginning of the Civil war in 1860. 

The first Quarterly Conference after the close of the Civil war for Braxton 
Circuit, Charleston District, West Virginia Conference, met at Morrison School- 
house, June 16, 1866. Conference opened with singing and prayer, the fol- 
lowing members present: Rev. R. A. Arthur, P.E., Rev. C. H. Conway, P. in 
C, William D. Baxter, L.P., James W. Morrison, Thos. H. Squires, Zebedee 
Brown, Milton Frame, William B. Rose, Samuel Brown, Norman B. Squires. 

On motion, N. B. Squires was appointed Secretary. There are no com- 
plaints and no appeals. Pastor's Report No. 3 was made. Brother John Mor- 
rison came in, and was admitted a seat in the Conference. 

In 1868, the Rev. Arthur was followed by G. D. Richmond with James D. 
Stricklen as preacher in charge; in 1889, Samuel Steel was Presiding Elder, 
with L. A. Tallman, preacher in charge; in 1870, O. W. Richmond was Pre- 
siding Elder, with L. F. Smith, preacher in charge; in 1871, M. G. Sayre suc- 
ceeded Rev. Smith. This was the last Quarterly Conference held under the 
old Charleston district, and was convened at Sutton, Feb. 17, 1872. 

The next Quarterly Conference was held at Pleasantdale, April 27, 1872, 
with John W. Regar, Presiding Elder, and M. G. Sayre, Preacher in charge; 
in 1873, Asbury Mick was assigned to the Braxton Avork; in 1876, T. B. Hughes 
as Presiding Elder, and C. W. Upton came to the work; in 1878, the timje of 
holding the Conference was changed from Spring until Fall ; in 1879, C. Poling 
served the Braxton circuit, and in that year, Wm. R. White was made Pre- 
siding Elder of the district; in 1880, Renox Weese was sent to the charge; 
in 1882, Rev. Weese was assisted by Fred Cotrel; and 1882, C. Warman served 
the circuit; in 1883, Wm. G. Riheldaffer was made Presiding Elder; in 1884, 
C. Warman was assisted. by Renox Skidmore; and in 1885, T. C. Exline was 
Rev. Warman 's assistant; in 1885, G. H. Williams was sent to the Braxton 
work; in 1887, L. H. Jordan was made Presiding Elder; and in 1888, Paris 
Bent was made pastor of the work; in 1889, John Norris and P. L. Bent, as- 
sistant; in 1890, R. E. Hughes was pastor; in 1892, Gilbert Rodgers was as- 
signed to the work; in 1894, J. H. Hess was made Presiding Elder, with G. D. 


Smiht, pastor; in 1898, T. M. Hawkins was made assistant; in 1899, 
E. R. Skidmore was assigned to the Braxton charge; in 1899, S. P. 
Crummitt was made Presiding Elder with W. G. Loyd, pastor, in 
1904, G. H. Williams was sent to the charge; in 1905, Rev. Albert Cameron 
was made Presiding Elder and R. G. Backus was preacher in charge ; in 1906, 
B. H. Shadoek was preacher in charge; in 1907, Wm. Anderson was Presiding 
Elder and G. R. Williamson was preacher in charge; in 1909, "Wm. 
Anderson was Presiding Elder and J. O. Bolton, preacher in charge ; in 1911, 
L. E. Ressegger was Presiding Elder and A. Mick, preacher in charge. Rev. 
Mick was followed by C. G. Stater, in October, 1913, then by I. F. Rickett, 
in October, 1915. Dr. Ressegger was succeeded by Rev. J. B. Workman as 
Presiding Elder in October, 1916. Rev. Rickett was followed by A. Backus, in 
October, 1917. 


Theodore Given and Wm. Dobbins (Baptist). 

Nathan H. Prince (Methodist Episcopal). 

Daniel H. Davis, Isaac Ocheltree and two of Ms sons, M. L. Barnett, 
Jonathan Y. Gillespie, Anderson McNemar, Wm. Betts, Jonathan Friend, John 
I. Tonkin, Simeon T. Davis (Methodist Protestant). 

Okey J. Jackson, Wm. G. Loyd (M. E.) 

Curtis Ellison (S. M. E.). 

P. C. Roberts (M. P.). 

Henry Pierson, J. B. McLaughlin, James Frame (Baptist). 

W. M. Given (S. M. E.) 


In 1860, the Braxton circuit of the M. E. Church embraced almost, if not 
the entire comity and part of Webster county. W. H. Wiley was the pastor. 
He related to the author a few years ago that in the year 1860 which ended his 
pastorate here, and embraced the most exciting and strenuous period of the 
church's history, except perhaps its division in 1844, that he had fourteen 
appointments, that he held thirteen protracted meetings, that there were one 
hundred and fifty conversions, and a hundred and seventy accessions to the 
church, that he preached every day in the week except Monday and Tuesday. 
At that time there were but few church buildings in the circuit, Cunningham 
church which was the oldest, the Morrison church, a frame building, one among 
the first churces built in 1856 or 1857. It stood on the old site where the pres- 
ent church stands in upper Flatwoods. It has been twice rebuilt. The Prince 
chapel was a frame building and stood where the present church stands in 
Flatwoods. It was burned down in time of the Civil war, and was rebuilt 
with a parsonage. 

There was a church house on Tate creek, built principally by Milton Frame. 
The people worshipped principally in private houses, and since the school 


houses were built by the state, they were very generally used by the people as 
places of worship. Not many years after the Civil war, the church built a 
house of worship on Steer creek, called Simpson chapel, and later another 
one was built on Big Buffalo called Frames' chapel. More recently a 
church was built on Salt Lick near the mouth of Bickel's fork, called Tichnal. 
The widow of Moses Tichnal contributed largely to its erection. It has since 
burned down, and a new church has been built on the same site. A church 
was built on Perkins fork near Shavers. The society built a house called the 
Riffle chapel on the Perkins fork of Cedar creek. Jacob Riffle was the principal 
one in its construction. A church house was built on the Isaac Loyd farm on 
Cedar creek, called the Loyd chapel. Mrs. Isaac Loyd contributed liberally to 
its construction. At the confluence of the Westfall fork and the Scott's fork 
of Cedar creek at a place called Bonny, the society built a house called the 
Bonny chapel. Another church was erected near the head of the Middle fork 
of Cedar creek, called Sunrise. A church house was built on the Bison range 
near the head waters of Bee run and the waters of Salt Lick, called High Knob 
church. It was largely through the energy and Christian influence of Estiline 
Morrison 'that this house was built. These churches were all frame buildings. 
About the year 1879. a frame church was built in Sutton, but it was re- 
placed by a very commodious brick building, dedication of which took place 
June 6, 1897, by Bishop McCabe. In the year 1906, Sutton was made a station. 
They have a parsonage and pay about $1,000 salary to their preacher. The 
average salaries of the circuit riders of the county is about $600. Churches 
were built at Burnsville and Copcn's run. Gassaway built a house in the year 

The territory once embraced in the Braxton circuit has been divided and 
thrown into three or four circuits. The M. E. church was once a great spiritual 
power in this county, but it has so changed its manner of worship that formal- 
Ism has taken the place, to some extent at least, of spiritualism, and this has 
all occurred in an incredibly short space of time, possibly thirty years or less. 
The church cried out for an educated ministry; this was not objectionable 
within itself. An educated ministry should keep pace with an educated laity. 
The trouble seemed to arise in the fact that the young men who attended the 
liigher schools sought to supplant the experienced ministers of many years' a,v- 
duous labor and devotion to the cause, and by their zeal and experience, their 
knowledge of the needs of the church, their knowledge of human nature ren- 
dered many of them eminently qualified men to fill the best appointments, but 
loo often they were relagated to the rear, and the church suffered spiritually. 
There was a time when the church looked forward to the Quarterly Meeting as 


a time of great spiritual enjoyment. Friday before the Quarterly Meeting was 
a day set apart for fasting and prayer, and on Saturday the official members 
of the Quarterly Conference from every appointment, with members of other 
churches would assemble, and the meeting would begin with a good gospel ser- 
mon by the Presiding Elder. Then those from a distance would be invited to 
the homes of the good people living in the neighborhood, irrespective as to what 
branch of the Christian church they belonged. At 3 P. M.. the conference 
would meet and transact the business of the church, and at 3 :30 the Elder would 
preach again, and the people from a distance would be taken care of. Sunday 
morning at 9 A. M., Love Feast would begin, followed by a public collection, 
then preaching by the Elder, after which the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, 
then an adjournment for dinner after which the Presiding Elder would preach 

This gathering of the officiary of the church, the four good sermons of 
the Elder, the Love Feast, the Sacrament, the Fraternal meeting of the various 
denominations, was of itself a great revival and building up of the Christian 
fraternity that could' be brought about by no other means. A Quarterly Meet- 
ing in its true sense is a thing of the past. A Presiding Elder is called a Su- 
perintendent, more strictly speaking, a Financial Agent. He holds two or 
three Quarterly Meetings of the official board each week, but seldom preaches. 
A' Superintendent is chosen by the Annual Conf erence for his ability to finance 
the church more than for his preaching ability. However these changes may 
work in other respects, it is apparent that the church has lost one of the John 
Wesley levers of its spiritual life under the old-time meeting. What blessed 
assurance our fathers and mothers enjoyed, the hopes of their final triumph, 
as they sang with the power of the Spirit, some of the old-time gospel songs, 
and with the spirit related their experiences to the world. 

In the Lewis county records, we find that as early as 1824, John F. Single- 
ton deeded to Elijah Squires, Jacob Gibson, Christian Hyer, Peter Lough and 
Asa Squires, Trustees of the M. E. Church, two acres of land in the neighbor- 
hood of Flatwoods whereon stands the church and campground on the waters 
of Salt Lick. 


We are indebted to the Rev. Daniel Huffman Davis, who is one of the most 
faithful and able ministers that Braxton county ever sent out to preach the 




A traveling minister for over 

50 years 

Gospel for much of the information of this 
chapter on the Methodist Protestant 
Church. As early as 1824, agitation over 
the mutual rights of the ministry and laity 
of the church began to be heard, and in- 
dependent bodies sprang up under Conven- 
tional Articles, and under these, several 
Conferences were held until 1828, when 
a largely delegated convention was held in 
Baltimore, with representatives from sev- 
eral states. In 1830, the Methodist Prot- 
estant Church was duly organized under 
a Constitution and Discipline at a General 
Conference in Baltimore. 

In West Virginia, the M. P. Church 
was first organized on Hacker's creek, in 
Lewis county, in October, 1829. Rev. 
John Mitchell organized the first class at 
the old Harmony meeting house. In the 
following spring this society was visited 
by the Rev. Cornelius Springer who re- 
ported the membership at sixty. Soon af- 
ter, a class was organized at the forks of 
Hacker's creek; the territory embraced by these two societies now constitute 
the Lewis Circuit, with a membership of nearly 1,000. In the spring of 1830, 
the Rev. C. Springer, with the Rev. Wm. H. Marshall as assistant preacher, 
organized a church in Morgantown. In the fall of the same year, Springer 
and Marshall formed a class in Cheat Neck, near the old Woodgrove furnace. 
Very early in the history of the denomination, a church was formed in 
Shinnston. At Pruntytown, the church was organized between 1830 and 1834. 
A church was also formed at or near Rockford in Harrison county. 

At Fairmont, then Middletown, and very early in the M. P. history, the 
church was organized in the county of Greenbrier. It was between the years 
1830 and 1835 that the Rev. John Clark visited the county of Braxton, and 
organized an M. P. Church in the Flatwoods. Elijah Squires and wife, and 
Elizabeth Haymond were among the first members of this, perhaps parent, 
society, and nucleus of the Braxton circuit. At the fifth session of the Ohio 
Conference, held in the city of Cincinnati, in 1833, the Pittsburg Conference 
was established, embracing eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and western 
Virginia; all, or nearly all, of what is now West Virginia, was then embraced 
in the Pittsburg Conference. 

It was mainly under the jurisdiction of the Pittsburg Conference that 
the Methodist Protestant Church in western Virginia was constituted and ful- 
ly organized. Many local churches had been formed in different parts of the 
state under the former Articles of Association, even before the denomination, 


as such, was fully organized. The first President of the Pittsburg Conference 
was Asa Shinn, the man whom Dr. Adam Clark, of England, rated the great- 
est reasoner in America. Cornelius Springer and his colleague, Wm. H. Mar- 
shall, organized the Methodist Protestant Church within the bounds of West 
Virginia. The Rev. Noble Gillespie, an Irishman, served Middletown, now 
Fairmont, Harrisville, Tyler and other charges. Nelson Burgess, J. I. Stillians, 
John and Daniel Degarmo or D'Garmo, R. H. Sutton, an Englishman, served 
Palatine. "Williams served Braxton Circuit and other charges. John Clark, 
a native of Monongalia county, W. Va., Isaac Holland of the same county, trav- 
eled the Braxton Circuit in the 40 's. A small man named Simmons, was one 
of Braxton's very early M. P. preachers. It was said that he lived in Pitts- 
burg at the time, and rode horseback to and from his circuit. Many years 
ago, the Rev. James Robinson, author of "Recollections of Rev. Samuel Claw- 
son," furnished the above information. Rev. Thomas Lawson was on the 
Braxton work. Mr. Lewis Lawson Long was born about the time of this gen- 
tleman's pastorate, and was named for him. Williams, Lawson, Simmons and 
Holland served the original Braxton Circuit between the years 1835 and 1850. 
In 1833, the year in which the Pittsburg Conference was established the Rev. 
Zachariah Ragan was assigned to the Middletown Circuit in W. Va. The Rev. 
Wm. Sisk lived for many years in the county, and rode the Braxton Circuit. 
The Rev. Richard H. Walker of Greenbrier county rode the Circuit about the 
year 1850. Walker was assisted by the Rev. Geo. G. Westfall in 1851. This 
was Westfall 's first charge. Walker, many years afterward went west, and 
identified himself with the Western Confereiices, and became its president. In 

1853, Rev. Westfall was returned in full charge of the whole work in Braxton. 
He and Walker had served in 1853, twenty -three appointments, and a round of 
three hundred miles, up and down the Elk and the Little Kanawha rivers, and 
up into the mountains of Braxton and Gilmer comities. His salary was $60.00 
the first year, and $100.00 the second year. The Rev. John Elim Mitchell was 
next in 1854, 1855 and 1856, though during his series of terms, the Circuit was 
divided. Rev. Mitchell entered the itinerancy in the Pittsburg Conference in 

1854, in Allegheny City, from which he received his first appointment to the 
Braxton Circuit. At this session, the Western Virginia Conference was es- 
tablished, Dr. Peter T. Laishley being its first president. The first regular 
session of the West Virginia Conference was held in Pruntytown in September, 

1855, from which Rev. Mitchell returned for his second term. During that 
year, the Quarterly Conference employed Rev. G. W. Pierson to assist the 
preacher in charge on the Circuit. 

The West Virginia Conference of 1856 met at Jesse's Run in Lewis county. 
The Braxton Circuit at that time extended from the mouth of Oil creek, north 
of the town of Burnsville, to Peter's creek, seven miles south of Summersville 
in Nicholas county, and from Brown's Mountain to the mouth of Duck creek 
on the Elk river. This charge had over fifteen appointments. In 1855 or 1856, 
that which had been known as the Braxton Circuit was divided, setting off the 
Nicholas Circuit, which included all of the original Braxton Circuit lying south 

236 sutton;s histor\. 

of the Elk river; also detaching a number of the lower appointments on the 
north of said river, and attaching them to the Gibner Circuit. The name of the 
remaining portion of the old Braxton. circuit was changed to that of the Sutton 

In 1856, Rev. Mitchell, as stated above, was assigned to the Nicholas Cir- 
cuit; Rev. Samuel P. Lesley to the Sutton Circuit, and Rev. Richard H. Wal- 
ker to the Gilmer Circuit ; thus there were by this time three Methodist Protes- 
tant intinerants operating in Braxton county. In 1857. the West Virginia 
Annual Conference convened in Palatine. That was the first Annual Con- 
ference I ever attended, but I went only as a spectator. Living south of the 
river. I was of course a member of the Nicholas Quarterly Conference which 
licensed me' to preach at its fourth session in August, 1857. 

Prom the Palatine Conference of 1857, Brother Mitchell was assigned to 
the Barbour and Rowlesburg Circuit. The Rev. Samuel Young was sent to 
Nicholas Circuit; Rev. Kinzie Ward to Gilmer, and possibly R. H. Walker to 
Sutton. In 1S58, Conference met in Harrisville. Young was returned to 
Nicholas, and I think Brother Sisk to Sutton, and probably Rev. Randolph S. 
Welsh to Gilmer. 

In 1859, Conference met in Fairmont. Rev. Moor McNeil was assigned to 
the Nicholas Circuit. I cannot recall just now who served Sutton in that year, 
but possibly Brother Sisk, and I think R. S. Welsh remained on the Gilmer 

In 1860, Conference was held at St. Marys. From this session, Rev. F. H. 
Martin went to Nicholas, Rev. R. S. Welsh to Sutton, and Rev. J. E. Mitchell 
to Gilmer,. 

During the summer of 1860, I assisted the Rev. John Bolton on the Tyler 
Circuit. The town of St. Marys was included in our pastorate; and after I 
had preached to and mingled with those people all summer, and had formed 
many warm attachments among them, when the Annual Conference convened 
in our midst, I entered the itinerant ranks as a member of the body. I was 
assigned to a mission at Tennytown. 

In the fall of 1858, I left Braxton county, and started out into the big 
world, not to see what I could make for myself, but to see what I could make 
of myself. After footing the rounds — which I figured then to be about two 
hundred miles — I rounded into Barbour county, to the parsonage where resided 
my old pastor and counselor, the Rev. John Elam Mitchell. He was delighted 
to welcome me, and called a Quarterly Conference at which I was employed to 
assist him on his large circuit which lay along the western base of the Alle- 
gheny mountains, embracing Barbour county, east of the Tygart's Valley river, 
including the towns and villages of Beelington, Mea do'wville, Philippi, Goai'd- 
town and Nicholas. Crossing the Laurel Hill on to the Cheat river near the 
town of St. George — then county seat of Tucker county — cutting through the 
center of said county to the state line between Virginia and Maryland, thence 
to the town of West Union in Preston county, thence to Rowlesburg. From 
here back across Laurel Hill via Fellersville and Evansville on the N. W. Turn- 


pike road, and then to the parsonage, a round of two hundred miles, embrac- 
ing between twenty and thirty appointments. The latter part of that, year, 
now into the summer of 1859, I spent in Barbour and Upshur counties, pur- 
suing my studies along theological lines as well. Removing in the fall I attend- 
ed school in Taylor county, and to some extent assisted the pastor on the Tay- 
lor Circuit who was no other than my same old clerical sire, J. E. Mitchell, 
assigned to that charge at the recent session of Conference. 

In the spring of I860, under direction of said Rev. Davis, the president, I 
went as before stated, to assist, the Rev. J. Bolton on the Tyler Circuit, and this 
brings me back to where I left myseif before this little interlude was interjected. 
The spring of 1861 finds me in charge of my first official pastorate at Tennvtown. 
Here I had taught a term of school the preceding winter, and in the early 
spring (1861) I made a visit home for the first time in two years, and it 
proved the last time for five and a half years more, for before I landed back on 
my work, hostilities had commenced. The war was on. 

After the close of the war, the following are a part of the ministers who 
served the Braxton charge: 

J. Dunn, Perry Lowther, Samuel Clawson, Joseph Flint, "Win. Sisk, G. W. 
Barrett, Oliver Lowther, M. OOrland, Thomas Ireland, J. "W. Bibbee, J. H. Nes- 
ter, Rev. Pool, Rev. Delany, C. P. Bailer, D. C. Jones, J. H. Lough, S. J. Safe- 
field, F. T. Kelley and Jackson. 


"We wish, in this connection, to give a few brief extracts from Kerchivel's 
Early History of the Valley of Virginia, and publish in full the reminiscence 
of the venerable Levi J. Huffman who has closed out his half century of ac- 
tive pastoral work, and whose memory goes back, vividly portraying incidents 
which transpired three quarters of a century in the past. Kerchivel says : 
"The Baptist were not among our early immigrants. About fourteen or fifteen 
families of that persuasion migrated from the state of New Jersey, and settled 
probably in 1742 or 1743, in the vicinity of what is now called Garratstown in 
the comity of Berkeley. 

Mr. Semple in his history of the Virginia Baptists, states that in the year 
1754, Mr. Sterns, a preacher of this sect, with several others, removed from 
New England. They halted first at Opequon in Berkeley county, Virginia, 
where he formed a Baptist Church under the care of the Rev. John Gerard. 
This was probably the first Baptist Church founded west of the Blue Ridge in 

The first camp meeting held in the valley took place at. what is called 
Chrisman's Spring near Stephensburg, on the great highway from Winches- 
ter to Staunton, about the month of August, 1760. It is stated that the prac- 
tice of camp meetings originated with a Baptist preacher somewhere, about the 
James river. As stated above, the Baptists were not among the number of the 
earliest immigrants. Mr. Semple says the Baptist in Virginia originated from 


three sources ; the first were immigrants from England who, about the year 1714, 
settled in the southern part of the state. About 1743, another party eame 
from Maryland, and founded a settlement in the northwest. A third party 
from New England came in. 1754. The last were Mr. Sterns and Ms party. 
They settled for a short time at Capon river in the county of Hampshire. 
The Quakers and Baptist suffered great persecution in Virginia, meeting vio- 
lent opposition from the established Episcopal clergy. 
The Rev. Huffman says, in ' ' Looking Backward : ' ' 

"In the history of the Baptist denomination in our part of the state of 
West Virginia, I remember many events which I will now endeavor to chron- 
icle. The first is a brief history of the Broad Run Association whose bounds 
embraced the counties of Harrison, Lewis, Upshur, Doddridge, Ritchie, Gil- 
mer, Calhoun, Webster, Roane, Clay, Braxton, and a portion of Kanawha. 
This Association was organized about the year 1835, four years prior to my 
birth. When I was six years old, this Association met with the Bethlehem 
church, near where Grantsville is located now in Calhoun county. In one of 
its anniversaries, the ministers present at that session were Rev. Alexander 
Holden, Samuel Bailey, Jas. Griffin, Cornelias Huff, James Woods, Anthony 
Garrett, Hineman, the father of the late Judge Hineman of Charles- 
ton, and Rev. John Bennett who had just entered the ministry and was or- 
dained at this session. My father's home was the home of at least two-thirds 
of those in attendance on that occasion. On Sunday, Revs. Garratt and Woods 
preached in the grove. 

The Mt. Pisgah Association was stricken from the Broad Run Association 
about the year 1855. In its bounds were Gilmer, Calhoun, Roane, Braxton, 
Clay and a portion of Kanawha county. The ministers of this Association were 
Revs. John Woofter, John Bennett (father of Atty. N. M. Bennett), John 
Stump, Daniel Huffman, Joe Smith, Joe Wright, Jonathan Smith, Dave Frame 
and Theodore Given, all of whom are now gone to their reward. It was the 
writer's privilege to attend their session of September 9, 1915, which met with 
the old Bethlehem Church near Grantsville, Calhoun county, at which place 
he was ordained more than fifty years ago, and where the Broad Run Associa- 
tion met seventy years ago. All who were then living in that community had 
died except my brother Absolem and Peter Johnson, and the reader may imag- 
ine my feelings, if he can, while standing on that historic ground, thinking of 
the past and the many whom, he had loved being gone that he would some day 
see in that general Association on high. 

The Sutton Baptist church was organized in the year 1857 with eight mem- 
bers, by Revs. John Woofter, John Bennett and John Stump. In the same 
year a committee was appointed to select and puchase in the town a lot on which 
to build, and the building was begun when the Civil war broke out in the 


year 1861. This building was destroyed by the Union soldiers for which the 
government recently paid $775.00. 

Rev. John Stump was the first pastor, and served the church until 1870. 
Many prominent members were added during his pastorate. Rev. L. J. Huff- 
man was his successor who began his pastorate October, 1870, and continued 
sixteen consecutive years. Many precious revivals were enjoyed during those 
years, and scores of members were added. In the year 1886, Huffman resigned 
and Rev. Theodore Given was called to the care of the church, and served as 
pastor two years. Next, Rev. J. F. Brown was called to the care of the church, 
and served one year. Rev. Voleoff, a Bulgarian, was called and served three 
years. Rev. J. E. Hutchinson was next called to take charge of the church, 
and served ten years. Next pastor was Rev. Dr. Tupper who served the church 
three years, whereupon, Rev. L. J. Huffman was again called to the pastoral 
charge of the church and served seven years, after which Rev. A. A. McQueen 
was called, and he is now the pastor of Sutton Baptist church. There has 
been more than three hundred members connected with this church, many 
of whom have died, and others have gone to other parts of the country, being 
a blessing to the communities in which they live. 

The Elk Valley Association was organized in the year 1903 at Long Run 
church in Braxton county. It embraces the counties of Webster, Braxton, 
Clay, and portions of Gilmer and Nicholas. Fourteen churches were organized 
into this Association. Revs. L. E. Peters, L. J. Huffman and Mr. Alexander 
Dulin prepared the constitution and rules of order. Alex. Dulin was chosen 
its first Moderator, N. B. Hamric, its first Secretary and Treasurer. Dulin 
served as Moderator eleven years then resigned, and Van B. Hall was chosen 
his successor and he served two years. Frank Sutton is the present Modera- 
tor. Mr. J. Arthur Pierson was chosen as Rev. Hamric 's successor, and served 
as Secretary and Treasurer eleven years. Dr. Chapman of Webster Spring 
was chosen, and is the present Clerk and Treasurer. 

Present number of churches, 44, with a membership of more than 2,000. 
The anniversary of this Association was held with the Long Run Baptist church 
in August, 1916, at which place the Elk Valley Association was organized in 
the year 1903." 


The division of the Methodist church took place in 1844, slavery being the 
principal cause. The organization of the church in Braxton began early in 



the year 1847. The church prop- 
erty was a matter of some conten- 
tion and litigation, but as a rule 
went to the societies having a ma- 
jority of members. These ques- 
tions between the two churches 
caused intense feelings, but happi- 
ly they have passed away, and M. 
E. Church, South, has done a 
work in the southern states that 
perhaps no other organization 
could have accomplished. There 
has been for several years, an agi- 
tation for a re-union of the two 
churches which might in time re- 
sult in undue political power, and 
the church lose its 1 influence for 

The recording stewards' book 
of the M. E. Church, South, does 
not go farther back than April 10, 
1847, and from the minutes of the 
church of that date, it would seem 
that this was the beginning of the 
church of the first organization in 
Braxton county. 

At a quarterly meeting con- 
ference for Braxton county, Ken- 
tucky Conference, held in Plat- 
woods meeting house on April 10, 1847, the following members were present: 
W. G-. Montgomery, Presiding Elder, "Wm. Sisk and Wm. P. Ellison, local 
preachers, Samuel Black and W. M. Prottsman, visitors from Summersville 
and Payette circuits, and Asa Squires, steward. On motion, Col. Asa Squires 
was elected secretary. The following resolution was adopted : Resolved that 
the societies of Sutton circuit that have adhered South by majorities, be 
placed under the pastoral care of the Kentucky Conference, and this quarterly 
conference now organized under the jurisdiction of said conference. The ques- 
tion was asked for a report from meeting houses, and Asa Squires reported 
that the Trustees of the Platwoods meeting house by majority South, also 
the majority of the members South. Ordered that W. M. Prottsman take the 
pastoral care of Braxton Circuit. On motion A. N. Ellison, Lewis Berry and 
John R. Sawyers were elected Stewards. Asa Squires, being an old steward, 
was continued. At a quarterly meeting held in June, 1847, Adam Lough, a 
local preacher of the M. P. church, having presented a certificate of his accept- 


Who served as a Chaplin in the 
Southern Army 


able standing in said church and a license of his authority to preach, was re- 
ceived as a member of the M. E. .church, South, and of this Quarterly confer- 
ence. On motion, Wm. Sisk was employed to labor on this Circuit. 

From this period until the beginning of the Civil war, the following men 
served the church : Wm. G. Montgomery was Presiding Elder, and W. M. Potts- 
man was preacher in charge of the circuit, and in November, 1847, W. D. Train- 
er was Presiding Elder and Samuel Black, preacher in charge. In 1848, Michael 
Lancaster was preacher in charge. In 1850, S. K. Vaught was Presiding Elder 
and Wm. Bickers, preacher in charge. In 1851, Jacob Brillhart was preacher 
in charge, and in 1853, Samuel Black was preacher in charge. In 1855. G. S. 
McCutcheon was preacher in charge. In 1858, S. H. Mullen, was Presiding 
Elder, and J. R. Brown, preacher in charge. In 1859, Samuel Bran nan was 
preacher in charge. Col. Asa Squires was Recording Steward from the organ- 
ization of the church in 1847 until 1859, the last record we have prior to the 
Civil war. The circuit remained in the Kentucky Annual Conference, Guy- 
andotte Circuit. 

The last quarterly conference held before the war met at Platwoods meet- 
ing house May 28th and 29th, 1859. The Presiding Elder being absent, Rev. 
Claughton attended in his place. S. M. Brannan was preacher in charge. 

The first quarterly conference held after the war was at the residence of 
Wm. G. Squires on Salt Lick, Dec. 3, 1866. This circuit was then in the 
Clarksburg district. The following ministers were present: William Kennedy, 
Presiding Elder, J. K. Hedges, preacher in charge, Jesse Shaver, steward and 
Asa H. McCoy, class leader. 

The next quarterly conference was held at Sutton Nov. 13, 1867 ; next 
conference met at Lumberport, (now Burnsville), and Rev. J. R. Hedges was 
elected secretary, the following being present: W. Kennedy, Presiding Elder, 
J. W. Lambert, preacher in charge, A. H. McCoy and Jesse Shaver, stewards. 
Same Presiding Elder and preacher in charge for 1868. 

The minutes of the first quarterly conference of the following year having 
been lost from record, we take this from the second conference held at Sutton, 
March 6, 1869, W. Kennedy, Presiding Elder, J. I. Pullen, preacher in charge, 
J. L. Rhea, local preacher. 

The next quarterly conference was held at Sutton Nov. 13, 1869, Rev. John 
P. Pullen in the chair, Dr. J. L. Rhea, secretary; members present, J. L. Rhea, 
local elder, Albert Ellison, local deacon, Allen S. Berry, James Paintiff, stew- 
ards, Harding R. Friend, class leader. 

The minutes of the 4th quarterly conference held at Flatwoods, Aug. 13, 
1870, the following members being present : S. H. Pullin, Presiding Elder, John 
S. Pullen, preacher in charge, John L. Rhea, local elder, Wm. G. Squires. John 
C. Taylor, Allen S. Berry, H. R. Friend, David BeiTy, stewards. John L. 
Rhea was nominated and appointed secretary. 

Commencing with the year 1870, the following men have served the church 
as preachers: G. W. Young, T. Cooper, J. E. Wasson, John S. Purlin, T. R. 
Houghton, Wm. N. Childress, C. S. Mnrrill, W. W. Rew, E. W. Reynolds, 


J. J. Fontaine, W. N. Childress, C. R. Taylor, E. T. Caton, W. R. Chambers, 
J. W. Lambert, E. S. MeClung, T. S. Wade, C. A. Slaughter, L. S. Cunning- 
ham. F. F. Shannon, L. S. Cunningham, A. E. O'Dell, W. L. Reid. C. N. Coff- 
man, A. P. Keyser, R. J. Yoak, and W. L. Reid, the present preacher in charge. 

Since the war, the following men have served this district as presiding 
ciders: W. Kennedy, S. H. Mullen, T. S. Wade, James IT. Burns, T. S. Wade, 
E. M. Murrill, C. W. Cook, J. W. Lambert, A. P. Sturm, T. S. Wade, J. M. 
Boland, B. F. Gosling, I. N. Fannin, H. M. Smith. W. I. Canter, L. S. Cun- 
ningham and F. S. Pollett, the present presiding elder. 

This circuit was first in the Guyandotte district, Kentucky Conference, 
and in 1850 was changed to the Western Virginia Conference, Greenbrier dis- 
trict, in 1853, the name of the district was changed to Clarksburg. 

(Braxton circuit had only two houses of worship before the war — the one 
mentioned above, in Flatwoods, built in 1830 ; the other was built on a sire now 
in the village of Shaversville, about the year 1858. The latter would have 
been a good house, perhaps, until this time, but some one in time of the war, 
with malice aforethought, and without the fear of God before his eyes, touched 
it with fire, and it went up in flame. In 1866, there was no church house in 
the bounds of Braxton circuit belonging to us. Our people worshipped in 
groves, in private houses, and in schoolhouses. In the last half century, seven 
churches have been built.) — The Pastor. 

A church was built in the Flatwoods section in 1870, during the pastorate 
of Rev. John S. Pullin, and dedicated in 1876. It was first known as Flat- 
woods church, and is now known as Berry church. It was built of logs sawed 
with a whip-saw, weather-boarded and ceiled. At that time, it was considered 
the finest church in Braxton county. Allen Berry, Jesse Shaver and Wm. G. 
Squires were the prime movers in building this honse. 

An excellent frame church was built in time of the pastorate of Rev. P. T. 
Caton, in Shaversville, and Jesse Shaver, A. C. Dyer, Lee Shaver, B. F. Shaver, 
Dr. J. L. Queen, W. H. L. Queen and J. L. D. Queen were the moving spirits 
in building the house. 

Rev. E. T. Caton was preacher in charge when St. Paul's church in Sut- 
ton was built. The leading people in building the church were: Mrs. Ammie 
Hamr.ion, Mrs" A. V. Kelly and her daughters. Potro Evans, Mifflin Lorentz, 
D. A. Berry, E. A. Berry, E. S. Bland, Chas. Y. Byrne, John Byrne, Mrs. H. 
H. MoEiwain, Mrs. W. L. J. Corley, Mrs. Emily Sterrett, Mrs. Taylor Frame, 
Mrs. Jane Byrne, the family of C. S. Evans', G. S. Berry, Mrs. Luther Pierson, 
Mrs. R. H. Humphreys, and many others whose names are not recalled at this 

Reynolds chapel, on Long run, was built while Rev. E., W. Reynolds was 
in charge of Braxton circuit, and the church was named in honor of him. 

Mt. Zion church, at Burnsville, was built in time of Rev. E. S. MeClung 's 
pastorate. The work on the building was begun in 1895, and same was dedi- 
cated by Rev. T. S. Wade, May 24, 1896. W. S. Hefner donated the lot for 
this budding, besides liberal contributions. The men prominent in this work 


were, W. S. and Samuel C. Hefner, Hugh Amos, Prank W. Hefner, Claude 
Hefner, E. W. Hefner. J. E. Heater, J. C. Berry, E. A. Berry, C. W. Wade, 
and many others. 

In J 896, a small class was organized by Rev. E. S. McClung in a house once 
used as a dwelling on Long Shoal run. Special meetings were held in a school- 
house which resulted in many additions to the church membership. A subscrip- 
tion was started, and a church was built which was dedicated in 1897 as Maggie 
Hoover Memorial, in memory of the wife of Frederick Hoover who died shortly 
before this time. The contributors and helpers in the work were Fred. Hoover, 
Wm. Stout, W. S. Hefner, E. C. Exline, John Watson, George I,. Smith, ¥m. 
Davis, "W. W. Johnson, Homer Ewing, Adetha Hefner, S. D. demons, A. J. 
Knight, and many others. 

The corner stone for the church w T as laid at Cogers station, in the village 
of Gem, by Rev. T. S. Wade and Rev. E. S. McClung in 1896. This house was 
duly dedicated the following year. 

Daring the pastorate of L. S. Cunningham, Elizabeth Chapel was built 
on Oiler. It is a beautiful church and in a flourishing condition at this time. 

Otterbein Church (United Brethren) was organized in 1841, by a German 
colony from Baltimore. For nine years after the organization services were 
held at the private residences of George Gerwig, Daniel Engle, Mathias Ger- 
wig, Michael Smith, Christian Long, Jacob Cramer, John Wyatt, Jacob Ru- 
mach, John Miller, Conrad Leopard and others. But in 1850, all joined to- 
gether and erected a neat hewed log church, 28 x 36, with a seating capacity of 
1200. Rev. Daniel Engle was the pastor at the lime of organization, and in that 
capacity continued for twelve years. The present pastor is the Rev. Mr. Hess; 
steward, Daniel S. Engle; class leader, Christian Engle; trustees, Christ'an 
Gerwig, Levi Weitzel, Jacob Rumach and Israel Engle. 

In the year 1841, Daniel Engle, Jacob Rumach, George F. Gerwig, God- 
frey Moyer, Mathias Gerwig, J. H. Wyatt, Mathew Hines, M. Eckerman and 
son, and a Mr. Leopartd, came from the eity of Baltimore, settled on Steer 
creek, and founded what is known as the "German settlement." They were 
of the United Brethren faith, and soon after their arrival built a church, which 
was dedicated to the worship of God according to the teachings of that 


The first stated service held by the Presbyterian church at Sutton, was 
in 1871. The preacher was the Rev. W. R. Sibbit, evangelist, working under 
direction of the Presbytery of West Virginia, 1871-74, although many years 
before Mr. Sibbit came, the Rev. James Brown, D.D., of Charleston, and the 
Rev. Mr. Young, had held services in Braxton county. Mr. Sibbit 's chargo 
then included Burnsville, Glenville, Sutton, and other adjoining neighborhoods. 
He labored here for three years before a church was organized, or a bouse of 
worship erected. He held services in the Sutton court house. 

In 1873, the Presbytery of West Virginia, then in session at Fairmont, ap- 


pointed a commission, consisting of Rev. W. R. Sibbit and Elder Floyd Chris- 
man, of Glenville, to organize a church at Sutton. On the 10th of August, of 
the same year, the church was organized with the following named persons 
as members: Messrs. A. B. Beamer, Amos Gorrell, James Humphreys, Martin 
Van Buren McElwain, Mrs. A. B. Beamer and Mary McQueen Humphreys. 

Mr. Sibbit was succeeded in his work by the Rev. C. C. G-ould, 1877-84. 
The church was then without any pastoral oversight for four years — 1884-88. 

The Rev. F. S. McCue was the preacher from 1888 to 1894. 

The Sutton church Avas, until April 1C, 1887, in the Northern Assembly. 
But when the Northern and Southern Assemblies agreed to make the Baltimore 
and Ohio railroad the dividing line, the Sutton church, being south of that line, 
was received into the Lexington Presbytery, Va. 

After Mr. McCue, came Rev. R. D. Stimpson, who labored in the field a 
short time. 

The man who was most energetic and untiring in his work was the Rev. 
W. H. Wilson, who was pastor of the church from 1895 to 1900. It was during 
his pastorate that the house of worship was erected. In this Mr. Wilson showed 
untiring zeal, not only in helping to secure funds for the building, but in doing 
much of the work with his own hands. Prior to this time, the little congrega- 
tion worshiped in the M. E. South church, to whose good people we owe a last- 
ing debt of gratitude, for the use of their sanctuary. It was within Mr. Wilson's 
pastorate that the Sunday school was organized, with Mr. Lee Himrod as super- 
intendent, which was later guided by the steady and faithful hand of Mr. J. 
W. Humphreys, for fourteen years. Mr. Wilson passed from his earthly la- 
bors to his Heavenly rest soon after leaving Sutton, but his works do follow 

Mr. W. H. Wilson was succeeded by the Rev. M. E. Sentelle, D.D., whose 
life and labors endeared himself greatly to our people. Mr. Sentelle remained 
in the Sutton pastorate only about one year, when he resigned to become Pro- 
fessor of Moral Philosophy and Physicology at Davidson College, N. C, which 
chair he has held ever since. 

In January of the year following Mr. Sentelle 's resignation, Rev. C. L. 
Altfather became pastor, and was much beloved by all whose privilege it was 
to know him. His pastorate lasted one year, when he resigned to accept a call 
to Bethel church, in Virginia. Mr. Altfather is at present laboring in Fort 
Worth, Texas. 

Rev. R. E. Steele, who was much beloved by the young people, was pastor 
from 1905 to 1907, and was succeeded by Rev. J. M. Sedgwick, 1909-1910. Mr, 
Sedgwick is now pastor of Marion Presbyterian church, Marion, Va. 

The present pastor came first in 1910, but has been a regular pastor only 
since June 15, 1913. 

The church has been greatly handicapped much of the time for lack of a 
pastor, but it has shown steady progress during all these years. Although it 
has suffered to some extent for want of a pastor so much of the time, let it be 



said to the credit of the loyal people of this church and Sunday school and their 
faithfid workers, that this little church has always been a living oracle of God. 
"Behold the Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save, neither His ear 
heavy that He cannot hear." Isaiah 59-1. 

J. W. ROWE. 

Rev. J. \V. Rowe resigned his pastorate in Sutton in the fall of 1916, and 
removed to a charge near St. Louis about Jan. 1, 1917. Rev. Rowo was well 
beloved by all who knew him, and it was with regret that the people whom ha 
had so faithfully served, were called to part from him and his charming wife, 
both of whom are exemplary characters. ( 





Vol. 1. 

Sutton, Braxton ounty, West Virginia, Fri., 

Jan. 7, 1876. 

Published every Saturday 
at Sutton. Braxton Co., W. 
Va., by Hyer & Huff, Pro- 
prietors and Publishers, at $1 
a year; 65c. for 6 months; 
35c. for 3 months. 


G. F. Taylor, Editor. 

One inch or less, one in- 
sertion $1.00 

Each additional inser- 
tion , .50 

$2.50 $ 4.00 $ 6.00 $10.00 
3.00 6.00 10.00 15.00 
4.00 8.00 15.00 25.00 

5.00 15.00 25.00 45.00 
Local notices, 15c. per line 
for the first insertion ; 10c. 
per line each additional inser- 
tion, cash in advance. 

For announcing candidates 
for county and district of- 
fices, $3.00: for State offices 
and for Congress, $10.00, cash 
in advance. 

Obituary and marriage no- 
tices exceeding five lines will 
be charged 10c. per line. 

All transient advertise- 
ments must be paid for in ad- 

Job printing in the best 
style on short notice and at 
reasonable rates. 


Arrives daily, except Sun- 
day, at 8 p. m. ; leaves for 
Weston at 6 a. m. 

Arrives daily, except Sun- 
day, at 7 p. m. ; leaves for 
Nicholas C. H. at 6 a, m. 

Arrives Fridays and Tues- 
days at 6 p. m. ; leaves for 
Glenville Saturdays and 
Wednesdays at 6 a. m. 

Arrives Saturdays at 7 p. 
m.: leaves for Clay C. H. 
Fridays at 7 a. m. 

Arrives Tuesdays at 8 p. 
m. ; leaves for Middleport 
Tuesdavs at 5 a. m. 

Birch District. 

Justices — Jas. McLaughlin, 
Wm. R. Pierson. 

Constable — Joseph P. 

Poor Overseer — Chas. 


Otter District. 

Justices — John E. Eakle, 
Francis B. Stewart. 

' Constable— John J. Wil- 

Poor Overseer — Jas. M. 

Holly District. 

Justices — Henry C. Hose, 
James T. Frame. 

Constable — Matthew Skid- 

Poor Overseer — Thos. W. 

Salt Lick District. 

Justices — Jacob M., Evans, 
M. P. Haymond. 

Constable— J. M. Taylor. 

Poor Overseer — John M. 

'Kanawha District. 

Justices — Elias Cunning- 
ham, Moses Cunningham. 


Poor Overseer 

Circuit Court meets March 
18th and August 18th. 

County Court meets first 
Tuesday in January, March, 
May, July, September and No- 

Fiscal Term, July. 

Grand Jury Terms, May 
and September. 

We intend to make this de- 
partment as instructive as 
possible, and earnestly solicit 
the aid of those who can help 
us. If in your experience 
there remains questions un- 
answered, forward them and 
we will publish all such in- 
quiries as may be generally 

The Farmers on the Revenue 
The State Farmers' Asso- 
ciation profitably expended 

to the state government. This 
is only an estimate, for the 
fact is, there is no officer in 
the state who knows how 
much the people pay for road 
taxes, school taxes, town 
taxes, city taxes and county 
taxes. Not only is this true, 
but it is also true that the 
tax-payers themselves are ig- 
norant of the amount of 
money levied, collected or ex- 
pended by most of these local 
governments. The Farmers' 
Association may reasonably 
expect from its numbers to 
exert a considerable bearing 
upon public opinion and legis- 
lation. Reform in revenue is 
not only demanded, but essen- 
tial ; for the people of the 
state cannot go on forever 
paying the heavy taxes at 
present levied. We suggest 
that the association should 
take such action as will tend 
to produce the most essential 
reform in this direction. The 
first thing the people need is 
the knowledge of how much 
local taxes they are paying, 
and how it is expended. Let 
the Farmers' Association 
therefore pass resolutions call- 
ing upon the general assem- 
bly to so amend the revenue 
law that any officer or board 
of officers in the state, who 
has the power of levying or 
collecting taxes for any pur- 
pose whatever, or the power 
of expending public money, 
shall make out and cause to 
be published in some news- 
paper exact statements of the 
amount of taxes levied, the 
amount collected, the amounts 
expended and the purpose of 
expenditure. This provision 
will give the tax-payers of 
each local subdivision of the 
state full information as to 
what their local governments 
cost, and they can then judge 
of whether the cost is too 



Arrives Thursdays at 5 p. 
m.; leaves for Clendennin 
Fridays at 7 a. m. 

James T. Frame, P. M. 

Braxton County Official 


County Officers. 

Judge Circuit Court 

Homer A. Holt. 

State's Attorney 

M. T. Frame. ' 

President County Court 

Allen S. Berry. 

Clerk Circuit Court 

John M. Jones. 

Clerk County Court 

W. L. J. Corley. 


A. M. Lough. 

Deputy Sheriff 

M. Morrison. 


Marcellus Byrne. 

Superintendent Schools 

J. W. Humphreys. 

Wm. H. Bryant. 

J as. A. Johnson. 

the afternoon in discussing 
the state revenue question. 
The basis of the discussion 
was an extempore address by 
Hon. S. M. Smith upon what 
is called the Pennsylvania sys- 
tem of taxation. After speak- 
ing of the evils of the pres- 
ent system, the speaker show- 
ed how, in Pennsylvania, a 
state revenue of over seven, 
millions of dollars was raised 
by licenses, taxes on banks, 
corporations, etc. Although 
no conclusion was reached, 
the discussion was not the less 
profitable, for it will no doubt 
induce thought on the most 
important question of the day 
— the method of raising rev- 

It is to be observed, how- 
ever, that the discussion was 
upon state revenue alone, and 
that the much more importaut 
question of local taxation and 
revenue were left wholly un- 
touched. In this state the 
people pay ten dollars to their 
local government to one paid 

great or not, and where the 
reform in expenditure shall be 
begun and how it shall be ac- 
complished. Until this is 
done there can be no genuine, 
effective reform in revenue 
matters, and this fact the 
farmers will do well to remem- 

The ladies of Chicago are 
to canvass that city for sign- 
ers to a petition, to be pre- 
sented to the board of educa- 
tion, asking for a reinstate- 
ment of the Bible in the public 

' ' If you don 't believe times 
are hard." says Flora Mc- 
Flimsey, "just feel my muff; 
it's stuffed with rags instead 
of cotton." 

Michigan has eighteen per- 
sons who are over a hundred 
years old. 


The Mountaineer continued under different editors until 1882, when it 
went into, the hands of a stock company and the name was changed to the 
Braxton Central, and thus continued for a few years with Iiev. Gould, minister 
of the Presbyterian church, as editor, but shortly after this it was sold to James 
H. Dunn of Clarksburg, West Virginia, and has since been published as a 
Republican paper. The Central has always been bright and newsy. Its circu- 
lation is 1500. 

The Braxton Democrat was established Feb. 2, 1883, by a company of 
Democrats composed of A. C. Dyer, J. M. Boggs, E. S. Bland, A. M. and A. N. 
Lough. W. P. and Chas. K. Newlon, W. E. Haymond and John and Chas. Y. 

C. Y. and Peyton Byrne were the first editors, followed in the order named 
by Geo. M. Hamilton, John A. Grose, Ben Gillespie, E. B. Carlin, R. M. Caven- 
dish, J. E. Baughman, J. L. Stewart, L. H. Kelly and Jas. E. Cutlip. 

The editors at this time are Ben Gillespie and John A. Grose, the latter 
being manager and publisher. 

The paper is owned by G. B. Fisher, J. L. Fisher, C. C. Hines, Jas. E. Cut- 
lip, Chas. H. Bland, B. B. Boggs, E. W. Hefner, Ben Gillespie, John Edwin 
Grose and John A. Grose. 

It is an 8-page, 6-column quarto, all home print and enjoys a growing 
patronage. Its weekly circulation is 2450 copies. 

John A. Grose has been connected with the paper in different capacities since 
September, 1885, when he purchased an interest of C. Y. Byrne, who had be- 
come the owner. Ben Gillespie has been connected with the paper since Decem- 
ber 24, 1889. 



Miscellaneous, including Animals, Game and Fish, Large and Wonderful Trees, 
Meteorology, Incidents, etc.; Generals of the U. S. Army; Burial Place of 
our Presidents. 


The last panther killed in the county was killed by F. B. Carr more than 
twenty-five years ago. The panther was discovered passing through the lower 
edge of Braxton. Prank Carr, a man who kept hunting dogs, was a good marks- 
man and inordinately fond of sport. He got on the panther's tract and chased 
it for several miles before coming up with this terror of the forest, on a branch 
of O'Briens fork of Steer creek. When the dogs came up with the panther, 
it went to the top of a very tall, smooth-barked tree. At the first shot Carr 
gave, the panther turned a handspring backward, and caught the tree with its 
steel-like claws, slid for some distance down the tree, tearing great furrows in 
the bark. About half way down, it turned another backward spring and 
slid down as before, coming to the ground in a dying condition. 

Tt was unusually large, measuring nine and one-half feet from the end 
of its nose to the tip of its tail. The description of that battle, the wonderful 
venture of the dogs, the awfulness of the brute's appearance as it clung to the 
tree, viewing his pursuers with balls of fire, the frailty of the dogs in the 
presence of such an animal, and the uncertainty of the rifle with a single barrel 
and a single load, rendered the situation one of unusual danger. Carr had been 
a brave soldier in the Civil war. He participated in many battles, he had chafed 
in defeat and exulted in victory, but he had never stood under the fiery blaze 
of a panther at bay. His feelings can better be imagined than felt or described. 
If he gave a shot that would slightly wound and infuriate the animal, he would 
lose the battle and possibly his life. If he succeeded in killing the monster, he 
would have a trophy that no other citizen of the county could boast. Though 
the years have come and gone, and the natural forces of this once powerful*" 
frame is giving way to feebleness and old age, yet to meet this old veteran, al- 
low the conversation to lead up to this panther hunt, listen to a description of 
the battle, one forgets for the time that the years are stealing on. 

He still has his old rifle which he has owned for sixty-six years. 

On Buffalo on the land now owned by A. W. Corley, it is said 
J. N. Lonsi killed the last bear that was killed in the county. 


It is related that while Jerry Carpenter and his brother Amos were down 
the Elk trapping beaver, that a panther came to Jerry 's cabin one night, and 
that Mrs. Carpenter saw him through the opening in the door, and threw some 
live coals of fire on him that burned some of the fur off his back, and the next 
day she sent some of the children to the turnip patch, and she saw the panther 
creeping toward them, and she called them to the house. The next night the 
panther came back, but Carpenter had returned, and he shot the animal by 
moonlight. The brute was known by the burned hair on his back. 

The mode of catching game was mainly by steeltraps and snares. A bear 
trap was necessarily made very strong and was difficult to set, as were also traps 
for wolves.. One mode of trapping bears was to build a covered pen of strong, 
heavy logs, raising it high enough on one side to admit the bear. This was 
arranged with a trigger which the bear threw after entering the pen. Some- 
times the bears would gnaw a log off and escape if they were left in too long. 
A wolf trap was made by building a log pen, beginning the pen larger at the 
bottom and .gradually drawing it in. This would enable the wolves toclib up 
the outside of the pen and jump in, when his doom was sealed. Sometimes an 
old sheep would be placed in the pen for bait, hence the term wolf bait. Wolves 
were said to be very fond of hoi'se flesh. Persons trapping for wolves would 
go a long distance to get the flesh of a dead horse to use either in a trap or for 
bait in which to place poison. Wolves in traveling would take a straight course. 
When hunters got the course the wolf was going, it was not difficult to follow. 
The wolf and wild bee would go in a direct line with as much accuracy as 
though guided by the compass. 

Hannah Etyer killed a deer at Boling Green in the absence of her husband. 
Some dogs ran a young deer near her house, and it took shelter under a bridgs 
that crossed the creek. She took the butcher knife, went under the bridge, 
and by the assistance of here daughters they succeeded in cutting the deer's 

Joseph Carpenter relates that his grandfather, Jeremiah Carpenter tracked 
a very large elk from some point on the Elk river near his home to the Island 
just below the Wolf shoal, and there he killed it. He made a kind of skiff by 
first making a framework out of grape vines and placing the hide of the elk 
over this frame. Then he loaded his gun and meat in this rudely devised skiff, 
and proceeded to make his way home. 

He said that the horns of the elk were so immense that by resting their 
tips on the ground, his brother Joseph who was over six feet tall could walk 
under them erect. 

About the year 1880, squirrels were so plentiful in the county that Mason 

, living in Gilmer county, killed and salted down a barrel full of 

this delicious meat. 

It is said that the last buffalo killed in the bounds of Braxton county was 
on the lands owned by Lewis Harris on Buffalo creek. We are not advised who 
killed the buffalo nor the vear in which it was done. Possibly about this time a 


buffalo was killed on Grass Lick of Steer creek, said to have been killed by 
Timothy O'Brien. 

John D. Baxter, Peter McAnany and perhaps other persons, late in the 50 's 
killed a bear on Laurel Fork of Granny's creek. 


William Barnett, the old bear hunter : was a noted character who lived on 
the waters of Birch river. He was a gun-smith; had a small grist mill and did 
the neighborhood grinding. Barnett was a woodsman of great skill. He was 
probably the most fearless hunter who lived in this part of West Virginia. On 
one occasion, he had a fight with a bear. The bear mangled his right arm, and 
while Barnett was trying to rill the bear with a butcher knife, he circ an artery 
and came near bleeding to death, but he succeeded in killing the bear. He then 
tied a piece of bloody cloth to his dog's neck and drove him home, and in this 
way he was discovered and brought home, but he was ever afterwards a cripple. 

On one occasion, he ran a wild cat into a cave of rocks. He laid his gun 
down, and crawled in at a small opening, taking a torch and butcher knife, and 
in his tussel with the wild cat, his torch went out, leaving him in the cavern 
to struggle in utter darkness. From this place, he had great difficulty in finding 
his way out. 

His daughter, Mrs. B. F. Clifton, said that on one occasion, just after dark, 
they heard a peculiar rattle of the sheep bell and her father going out with 
his gun, discovered a bear going up the hill carrying the bell ewe in his arms. 
He shot the bear, but the sheep had been killed. She also relates that on one oc- 
casion when a girl, she, with one of her sisters, was out gathering ginseng, and 
tliey heard a sound on the opposite hillside, as they thought, calling. This 
frightened the children so much that they made no reply, but the noise kept up 
for some time. When they went home and related it to their father, the old 
hunter told them it was a panther, and that they had been in great danger. 

After she married and settled near Erbacon, she said that she went out to 
hunt the cow late one evening, and was in her bare feet. She stepped on a log 
and heard a rattlesnake. Presenty they began to whiz all around her, and she 
was afraid to move, fearing she might jump on one. She began calling for her 
husband, and coming with his gun, he shot and killed six rattlesnakes and three 
copperheads. The log on which she was standing had fallen down, and the 
roots had thrown up considerable dirt. Nearby was a flag rock, under which 
the snakes had their den, and they had worn the ground smooth to the fallen 
tree. She said the following season, they went back to the same log and killed 
three rattlesnakes and six copperheads, and for several seasons afterwards they 
killed two or three at the same place before they exterminatd them. 

She relates that her father, one of her brothers and some other party, found 
a nest of young panthers, the old ones being away hunting food for their young, 
as they supposed. They killed the kittens, and not willing to risk a battle with 
such ferocious animals as they would have encountered on such an occasion, left 
the place. 


Mrs. Clifton says her father preferred bear meat above all other kinds. 
Venison was his next choice. It is the general concensus of opinion among old 
hunters, that there is nothing equal to bear meat, and next to bear meat and 
venison is raccoon which is very similar to the bear meat, and was held in great 
favor by the early inhabitants. Many incidents and adventures might be re- 
lated of this old pioneer hunter. 

It is said that within the war of 1S12, Solomon Carpenter, Joseph Friend 
and another man, went hunting and on Sugar creek they killed thirty-three 
bears in ten days. The meat was all destroyed except what they ate in camp. 
It is not related what they did with the hides nor how they got them to market. 

A bear at its birth is the smallest animal according to the size of the 
animal when grown. Solomon Carpenter said that a young bear when born is 
about the size of a grown mouse, and that the mother has two teats and holds 
her young to her breast with her paws. Two are about the usual number of 
cubs at a birth. A panther is said to give birth to three or four kittens. 

Jeremiah Gillespie relates that he at one time killed an opossum that had 
thirteen young hanging to the breast, each being no larger than a grain of corn. 
They were protected by a false receptacle that folded over them, forming a 
kind of pocket. This was lined with the finest fur, but at what time or size 
these anomalous creatures are disconnected from the breast is not stated. 


The wild pigeon, a bird that was once as numerous as the stars, 
went in flocks. Their visitations to this country occurred in the autumn while 
the forests were yet standing, therefore they found an abundance of mast of 
some kind every season. The white oak and beechnuts were the favorite masts 
of all animals and fowls as late as forty years ago. We have .seen flocks of 
pigeons that covered the horizon and darkened the sun. Often when flocks were 
passing over, the front of the flock woiild pass out of sight before the last of the 
vast number would come in view. They were harmless, and never interrupted 
crops, their search being for mast. Nature seemed to have endowed them with 
a knowledge of the abundance of the forests. Often the timber would bend be- 
neath its load. After the domestic and wild animals and birds would feast and 
fatten during the autumn and winter months, the ground would yet be cov- 
ered. In contemplating the vast number of animals and fowls that inhabited the 
country, as well as the untold numbers which annually visited it, and then to 
consider the wonderful provisions which Nature made to feed them with a store- 
house bursting and to waste, we are transported in amazement to the thought 
that kind Providence not only makes abundant provision for its creatures, but 
creates them with wisdom which will enable them to search it out. The same 
knowledge that apprises'the wild goose that winter has come, or that spring has 
opened up, is proof that every thing is destined to labor in some form or in 
some degree to obtain its food. 

The habit of the mid pigeon was to collect in great numbers to roost. The 


roosting places were in the forest, and often covered several hundred acres of 
ground. Persons who have visited the pigeon roosts say they are never quiet ; 
that limbs of trees are constantly beraking, and often whole trees are crushed 
to the ground with the weight of the birds. It was dangerous to go under the 
roosts on account of the falling timber. When a limb would break or a tree fall, 
thousands of pigeons would become dislodged and flutter around, thus disturb- 
ing others, and the roost would be in movement all night. Parties have been 
known to visit the roosts and gather sackloads of pigeons. The meat of the wild 
pigeon is of a poor quality. They were often cooked and made into "pot pie," 
and greatly relished by the natives. 

There was a pigeon roost on the mountain between the Little and Big Birch 
rivers. How many seasons they occupied that locality, we have no definite knowl- 
edge, but the land became very fertile. There was another roost on a branch of 
Fall run, in Braxton, now called Pigeon Boost. There was once a very famous 
roost near Harpers Ferry in Maryland. 

Since writing the above the author saw two wild pigeons in the hollow be- 
tween Laurel fork and the Camden hill, in the fall of 1917. 


Doubtless it will be remembered by every old soldier who tramped through 
the Valley of Virginia in the 60 's, the numerous flocks of crows that could be 
seen in almost every field and around every camp. We supposed at the time, 
that the large body of troops in the Valley and the great number of horses had 
a tendency to concentrate the crows along the highways and about the camps, 
but since living here, and after frequent visits through the country, we find that 
the crow is here also in endless numbers, and that they have a habit of going to 
a particular place to roost. 

The Valley of Virginia and the Cumberland Valley which is only a con- 
tinuation of the valley on the Cumberland side of the Potomac, lies between the 
Blue Ridge and the North mountain, and averages about twenty or twenty-five 
miles in width and extends from beyond Lexington, Virginia, to Harrisburg, 
Pennsylvania. There is a peculiar formation here. The valley is a limestone 
country, but about five miles from the North mountain and running parallel 
with that and the Blue Ridge, is what is known as the Pine Hills, a strip of 
Slate Strata, generally broken by steep gullies and abrupt bluffs, and densely 
covered with small cedar and pine — this strip being from two to three miles 
wide. The land is very poor, but much more easily cultivated than the lime- 
stone land. These woods furnish an admirable place of shelter for small game 
and birds, and it is to these woods and similar woodland on the Blue Ridge that 
the crows gather in numbers that cannot be estimated with any degree of accu- 
racy. I have often observed the crows going in the direction of the Blue Ridge 
from here and the North mountain, especially in the winter time. About five 
o'clock in the evening, it is not unusual to see di'oves or flocks extending from 
beyond the North mountain to Martinsburg, a distance of five miles or more. 


At one time, the writer was coming from Kearneysville, a small town in Jeff- 
erson county, — deriving its name from General Kearney of Revolutionary fame, 
who settled near there after the close of the war with Great Britain. After we 
had crossed the Opequan, we saw nearly a mile ahead, a column of crows flying 
across the road. We drove leisurely along, and coming nearer, we could see the 
column which resembled a black cloud as far as the eye could extend up the 
valley, sweeping down in the direction of the Potomac. As we came directly 
under the column, — it was on a little ridge, they were flying very low, — their 
numbers were so great that the heavens seemed darkened. Observing them for 
a time from this point, we drove on perhaps three-quarters of a mile, and dis- 
covered that they were alighting, and as we supposed, going to roost. The left 
of the column was resting in a field by the roadside. They were standing as 
close together as they could be packed, and every bush, tree, shrub and fence 
was literally covered. The timber beyond the fields was covered so that not a 
limb or branch could be seen. We could hear their caws and the rumbling 
noise for miles beyond. It was then becoming dark, and the unbroken column 
could be seen coming in. Just then a lady and gentleman drove up, and the 
writer asked them whether they knew who fed all those crows, and they said 
the farmers did. The gentleman said that they were not going into camp then, 
but would continue to come in until nine or ten o'clock then move on in sec- 
tions to their regular roost which was beyond the river near Harpers Ferry. 
We subsequently learned that their roost was on the west side of the Blue Ridge, 
beginning near Marylaud Heights and extending up the ridge, a distance of 
more than eight miles. 

From information obtained through two old citizens living near here, Mr. 
Derry and Mr. Grub, we learned that the same roost, now occupied by the crows 
was, in an early day, and up until the Civil war, a great pigeon roost. The older 
citizens can remember the vast and unnumbered legions of North American pig- 
eons which once swept over this country periodically, but within the war a por- 
tion of this land was cleaned of the large timber, and the operations of the 
army that occupied Maryland Heights drove the pigeons away, and after the 
growth of the underbrush the crows took possession. It was a great resort for 
sportsmen who came from Washington, Baltimore and other cities to bag the 
pigeons in the roost. These noble birds of the wing, however, have almost disap- 
peared and while they were not first class or a delicious fowl, we remember 
enjoying some elegant pigeon "pot-pies." 

We leam that the crows came from the Loudin Valley to the roost in great 
numbers, crossing the Blue Ridge over Loudin Heights. Other columns swept 
in from the direction of Gettysburg and Frederick. One can imagine the num- 
bers only in millions as they came in from four states to this nightly rendezvous. 

The habits of the crows are like domestic fowls. They have their time to 
start to roost; hence if those that are near the roost early in the evening and 
others continue to come for three hours or more, it indicates the fact that they 
have been on the wing that length of time, and represent a distance traveled of 


over two hundred miles. Why they lose from five to six hours daily in travel 
is a mysteiy, but that they have some kind of government in arranging to enter 
the roost is known by everyone at all familiar with the crow. It is also a well 
known fact that they place a watch on picket to give an alarm of danger while 
they are feeding. It is said by those who have visited the roost at night that 
each crow seems to be chatting to his nearest neighbor incessantly from the time 
they enter camp until nature sounds the i-eveille in the morning. It is also 
said that the hum and roar of the blending, perhaps of ten or twenty million 
voices, is deafening and heart rending. 

The same wisdom that guides the wild horse when he appoints his leader, 

■ or the wild goose that leaves the northern lakes on the approach of winter or 

the rice fields of the South when the last storm breaks in springtime and flies 

with such perfect directness by the North Star, guides the crow in his great 

gathering to the roost. 


The wild goose, which was once so plentiful, was the surest barometer we 
had. They warned the eai'ly settlers of the certain approach of winter, and 
bore the glad news of the coming springtime. Of late years, the wild goose is 
not so plentiful. A flock of them could be heard a long distance, and usually 
flew above the tops of the highest hills. Their alignment while in flight was 
in the shape of the letter V, the leader going in front with the two wings ex- 
tending back, and their "honk, honk" that rang out in the stillness of the clear 
night was an inspiring song. 

The wild geese hatch their young on the northern lakes, and just before 
winter sets in they migrate south to enjoy their winter home 'mid the rice fields 
and swamps of that sunny region. Why this pilgrim of aerial flight for many 
thousand generations, has crossed the continent and cheated the frozen north 
and the burning soiith of the severity of their climates is beyond the knowledge 
of man. Occasionally they would become stranded by winds and thunder 
storms, and often when the night was dark they could be attracted to the earth 
by the use of lights. In this way they were sometimes caught, but seldom were 
domesticated. It would be necessary to have their wings cropped in the spring 
and autumn to prevent them from soaring for their native clime. About fifty 
years ago there was a wheat grown in the country known as the "wild goose 
wheat." It had been obtained from the craw of a goose, gathex*ed from some 
distant field. 

The wild goose is a beautiful bird, and is said to exist in countless millions 
in its favorite resorts. William Cull en Bryant wrote the following beautiful 
lines on "The Wild Goose:" 



Thou art gone; the abyss of heaven 
Hast swallowed up they form, but on my heart 
Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou bast given, 
And shall not soon depart. 

He, who from zone to zone 

Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight, 

In the long way that I must tread alone, 

Will lead my steps aright. 

An inspiring sentiment, this. 


The Elk river was as famous for the great abundance and fine quality of its 
fish as for its pure waters. We have heard it said by the old settlers that it 

was not difficult to kill 
the very finest redhorse in 
the shoals with a slunge 
pole. They went in great 
schools, making the water 
flutter by their move- 
ments as they passed 
through the shallow chan- 
nels. In the fall season, 
the redhorse, bass, pike, 
sucker, catfish, buffalo, 
carp and all fish native to 
these waters would stay 
motionless while sunning 
themselves, and could be 
seen in great numbers. All 
the branches of the Elk of 
any considerable size, were famous for the number and quality of the fish 
which inhabited these streams. The Little Kanawha river and its tributaries 
were noted for pike and catfish. One of the principal ways of catching fish 
in an early day was by means of traps, some being made with wooden slats, 
funnel-shaped. Others were often made of hickory bark, and later netting was 
stretched over a frame, having an entrance the shape of a funnel. One of the 
most successful ways of catching fish is with the gill net ; but the most common 
way, outside the angling rod, is with a trout] ine. It is great sport to run a 
troutline and take off a few large redhorse or catfish. As late as 1870, Griffin 
Gillespie found a large school of fish near his mill on the Elk river, and killed 
and salted down two barrels of fine fish. Others have lulled great numbers by 
driving them from the eddies into shoals, across which temporary rock dams had 
been built. Perhaps the greatest sport is fishing with the gig, but this is now 

Taking fish out of the Elk River 


prohibited by law, as is also the use of the gill net. A skillful gigger can 
strike a fish darting through the water one or two rods away. The late Sena- 
tor Johnson N. Camden spent much of his time when a young man. fishing on 
the Elk. Henry A. Baxter related that he and Johnson N. Camden were fishing 
one day, and they caught a large fish that had mulberries in its stomach. 

To speak of the skill and prowess of all the fishermen on the Elk, Birch 
and Little Kanawha rivers and their tributaries, would fill a volume. Some 
of the most noted fishermen of Braxton county — men who knew more about 
the life and habits of fish and wild animals — are, in our opinion the aged and 
venerable William Carpenter, Thomas Cogar and James H. Facemire. There 
is a fascination about fishing which is not confined to the boy with the fishing 
rod and a red worm, but to the aged as well. We have seen old men tottering 
along the sterams with hook and line, manifesting as much eagerness and ani- 
mation as a boy with a minnow hook starting out on his Saturday evening 

n • m 

Turkey buzzards, which used to be plentiful in central West Virginia, are 

becoming almost extinct. We have observed them in great flocks surrounding 
some dead animal. The buzzard is a native of a warm climate and is seldom 
seen as far north as West Virginia in the winter season. When the wild geese 
fly in the. spring' and the turkey buzzard is seen, it is a sure sign that spring 
has come. Of recent years the buzzards have rarely made their appearance 
in this locality. A few years ago and for several years prior, it is related 
that every spring, one or more buzzards had a hatching place in a cliff of 
rocks on the headwaters of Cedar creek on the lands of Jacob Shaver, and that 
they lay but one egg and hatch one chick. Young buzzards, until they become 
almost grown, are said to be as white as goslings. For many years a few buz- 
bards have nested and hatched their young in the cliffs at the Basin Rocks. 
They are very numerous in the South and ai'e conservators of health. 

On the Jacob Shaver farm there was at one time a denof poison snakes 
in a ledge of rocks. The snakes are very hard to dislodge from these dens, 
but as the lands are cleared out and the country becomes more thickly settled 
the poisonous snakes to a great extent disappear. Snake dens were at one 
time very common in the mountainous regions of this country. It is related 
that oh a mountain farm in Pendleton county which seems to be their habitat, 
there is a den of rattlesnakes which in dry seasons come off the mountain to 
get water. Within one season one of the family — a little boy — who lived near 
there killed nineteen snakes near the spring. How remarkable that so few 
people are bitten by these poisonous reptiles. It is related by woodsmen that 
poisonous snakes are never found in laurel thickets. 

It is said that prior to the settlement west of the Blue Ridge there were 
no crows or humming-birds in that, region. 

Many years ago, Jake Dean discovered a large black snake in a clearing 
near High Knob, where some men were at work, and he told them that tobacco 
was a deadly poison to snakes, whereupon he took a chew of tobacco out of his 


mouth, and put it in the snake 'smouth. The snake was turned loose, and it 
died in about an hour. What would the odor of a cigarette do to a den of 
snakes ? 


A petrified snake, supposed to be a rattler, was taken from his solitary 
abode, by some lumberman, who in order to remove a heavy stone blew it apart 
by dynamite and found the petrified snake embedded in the sandstone rock, 
on the banks of the Gauley river. This once dreaded monster of the forest with 
his poisonous fangs and dreadful bite inhabited the gorgeous mountains of 
West Virginia, whether it was one thousand or ten thousand years ago, we know 
not. He may have drunken from the famous salt sulphur on the beautiful 
Elk and then followed the Buffalo trail across the Miller mountain, to the 
banks of the rigid Gauley. where he seems to have shuffled off his mortal coil. 
How this reptile met his death, we could not even conjecture. Whether by 
reason of age or in deadly combat with an enemy will never be known. He may 
have been disputing the possession of the forest by the red men before that 
gallant band of patriots led by General Lewis camped at the mouth of the 
river on whose banks his snakeship perished and turned to stone. 

The rattlesnake is lubberly in his movements. The female has a beautiful 
yellowish skin, the males are darker in color, sometimes entirely black. Their 
flesh is white and tender, and is said to be. delicious when cooked. The rattler 
coils himself up when he prepares for battle. His head which is in the center 
of the coil is raised a few inches, his tail upon which the rattles are attached 
is slightly elevated to give it force and unobstructed motion. This musical out- 
fit and danger signal called rattles, is peculiarly formed ; the first year a button 
forms on the tip of the tail, then each year a little cupshaped scale slightly 
oblong, is attached to it, one cup fitting into the other, fastened together in 
the center by a little ligament, like beads strung together. These cups arc 
about the consistency of fish scales. By the number of rattles, the age of the 
snake can be determined; to a certain number of years at least. 

His teeth or fangs are two in number situated on the upper jaw. being cir- 
cular in shape not uidike in size and appearance to a cat's claw. At the root of 
each fang is a little sack of poison that is transmitted through a small cavity of 
the tooth. When the snake is feeding or not in action, these fangs fold down 
like the blade of a knife. When the rattler is captured and kept on exhibition, 
as a matter of precaution, his fangs are extracted, but one would think that 
most any dentist of ordinary skill could treat and fill the teeth and render the 
snake entirely harmless, if it had patience and endurance to withstand the oper- 
ation. The rattlesnake has many enemies .and among his own species the black- 
snake perhaps is the most persistent and deadly. Being much quicker and 
more active, he seizes the rattler by the back of the neck with a motion too 
quick to be observed by the natural eye, and in his effort to free himself the 
rattler straightens himself out, while his antagonist with one quick motion coils 
around and instantly crashes out the life of his enemy. 


The wild deer loses no opportunity to attack the rattler. He stands off a 
few paces, and with all his agility, gives a wild leap in the air, then placing all 
four of his feet together he strikes. The snake whirls, and the deer repeats the 
attack until with his long sharp hoofs, the snake is cut in pieces. Woods fire is 
the greatest destroyer of the rattlesnake. In the Spring and Pall when the for- 
est burns, a blacksnake will flee from a burning woods with the rapidity of an 
arrow, while the rattler will give warning of danger, square himself for battle 
and fight the flames until he perishes in their embrace. This terror of the for- 
est is disinclined to bite unless he is first assailed, hence the motto, "Don't 
tread on me." The warning which he gives when he is approached often leads 
to his discovery and death. 

This petrified lump of sand was once a living, creeping reptile ; it may have 
lived and propagated its species on the beautiful grassy plateau known as 
Stroud's Glades, before the bold adventurer, Stoond, the first white settler of 
the Glades was slain by the Indians. Or it may have been in the dim vista of 
the past, even before the days of the Pharoah; or even before the sand period, 
perhaps, that he reveled amid the ferns that grew in the valleys that are now 
incased in the coal seams that underlay our mountains. Some of his family may 
have pushed their way from the mountains of the Gauly to the western plains 
as the waters receded, and an unknown sea became dry, where the species be- 
came dwarfed, but almost as numerous as the great Buffalo herds that once 
shook the earth with their mighty tread. But notwithstanding the cycle of 
years that may have elapsed or however distant and remote the blood relation- 
ship, the same characteristics are retained, the same golden yellow skin and 
deadly fangs, the sacks of poison at their roots more deadly than the Lyadite 
thunder of the Japanese, the same alarm of danger is given by a quiver of the 
tail that sets the rattles in motion, a noise that has a terror for every living crea- 
ture that inhabits the forests. No other soiuid is so alarming, no other challenge 
to mortal combat so terrorizing, no jargon combination or harmony of sounds, 
no burr or whiz of any instrument, though it be of a thousand parts or ten thous- 
and vibrations, can in the least, imitate the rattler of the forest, when aroused 
to danger on his native heath. 

Ask not of this crumbling sand 

Its age or native land. 
Mystic ages time nnknown, 

Changed this creeping flesh to stone. 


That the horse and dog are endowed with more knowledge than we some- 
times think, has very often been demonstrated through unmistaken instances. 
Occurences coming under our personal observation, lead us often to wonder 
what opinoin is formed in the mind of the horse or the dog toward a master who 
is cruel or a task that is unjust. 

At the Hannis Distillery Company at Martinsbnrg, there was much hauling 


to be done on a cart. They had a very fine brown mare, well bred and very 
spirited, and it was with much difficulty that they broke her to the cart, but 
she became tractable, and did service there for nearly or quite twenty years. 
They called her "Nelly," and Nelly knew where to back her cart up at the 
stone quarry or cinder pile; she knew as well and better than many of the 
drivers where every saloon was in the city, and where to turn around and back 
her cargo of whiskey at the cellar door of the saloon. "We knew Nelly on one 
occasion when she had a shoe off, and the barnlot gate happened to be left open, 
she walked up the alley and turned the corner, going out the street to the black- 
smith shop where she walked in and turned around. The blacksmith who did 
the work for the distillery and had often shod Nelly, saw what the trouble was, 
and drove on a shoe after which this faithful old animal walked back to the barn- 
lot, and the blacksmith charged the bill to the company. 

We knew a dog in the same town that was noted for his understanding of 
things. He was a well bred cur, rather large, yellow in color with some white 
on him. Before he was fully grown, he had one of his front legs cut off by a 
train. We cannot, after this lapse of time, recall his name, but he was knovn 
by everybody in the town. He was peaceable, and visited every public place. — 
the saloons and meat shops being his principal loafing places. He became, 
it seemed, by common consent a veritable privileged sojourner wherever he 
chose to go. The railroad men learned to know him, and he was known on 
several occasions to hop upon the Cumberland Valley train and go up to Win- 
chester, stay a few days, and on coining back to his old home again, seemed to 
enjoy seeing his friends and visiting his loafing places. 

He was a veritable tramp, and we have no doubt he gathered a great many 
facts in reference to many things and could he have had the power of express- 
ing himself, many very interesting tales might have been told. Many facts 
were related concerning this dog which seemed to show him to be possessed with 
almost human wisdom. What reasoning power could have possessed that dog's 
mind when he decided to take a trip to Winchester or when he became ready 
and concluded to return? Another case showing the power of a dog to reason, 
came under our observation quite recently while getting some work done at Mr. 
Kollin's blacksmith shop at Erbacon. It was a cold stormy day, and while we 
were at work, a small dog with long shaggy hair come into the shop, dripping 
wet and shivering with cold. He had swam Laurel creek. He got upon the 
hearth by the forge, and lay down. We said something about the dog, and the 
blacksmith said it was his dog, and that he always lay upon the forge by the 
fire. Presently the smith quit blowing the bellows and went out in the front 
to shoe a horse, and very shortly the heat died down, when the dog' got up and 
began to put coal on the fire. He did it by shoving the coal and cinders up with 
his nose. He worked up a nice little pile of coal on the fire, then lay down again. 
His master said he would often rake up coal on the fire when it would burn 
down low. If it should be contended that the dog did not put fuel on the fire, 
by any process of reasoning of the mind, he showed more industry than many 


people. I have known some persons who would sit by a stove and freeze before 
they would offer to build a fire. 

Many instances have been pointed out proving conclusively that many ani- 
mals have reasoning faculties approaching almost that of man. Animals are 
capable of showing their affection to those who treat them with kindness, and 
their hatred to all who may have treated them harshly. 


On Old Lick run of Holly, Webster county, it is related there was a mam- 
moth poplar tree that measured thirty-three feet in circumference. The Curtin 
and Pardee Company cut two logs twelve feet long, and they had a special saw 
made to cut them. They then split the logs and sawed them at their mill on 
Old Lick run. 

J. R, Huffman cut on the same land a walnut that measured seven feet in 
diameter. On this land grew, beyond any doubt, the largest timber that the 
mountains of West Virginia ever produced. 

Above Webster Court House, Ben' Conrad cut for the Woodruff Lumber 
Company some poplar logs that measured in diameter eight feet. These logs 
he cut eight feet long, and thought the high water would take them out, but 
they lodged along the l'iver and decayed on its shores. 

The remarkable preservation of timber under water was witnessed by a 
hickory tree that Adam Gillespie put in the mill clam at the old Gillespie mill. 
This log was put in the dam several years before the. Civil war, and was taken 
out by James P. Gillespie forty years -after it had been placed there. While 
the under side of the log had turned dark, the wood was remarkably solid. 
They sawed it up, and used part of it for making cogs for the machinery. When 
it became dry, it was almost as hard as iron. 

On Laurel creek, just above Custis' siding, it is said that some one about 
sixty years ago grafted a cedar in the top of a pine. The tree now appears to 
be about fifty or sixty feet tall, and the bushy cedar top is perhaps twelve or 
fifteen feet high. It makes a very striking appearance, and is often pointed out 
to travellers on the train. The tree stands in a little bottom near the creek 
bank, and about a hundred feet to the right of the railroad. Whether this ce- 
dar was grafted in the pine or whether there might have been a break in the 
pine tree and an accumulation of dirt from which the seeds of the cedar took 
root, and in some way united with the tree, is unknown. It may be that the 
pine was broken off and sprouts came out thick around the broken trunk 
giving the appearance of a cedar. A similar tree stands on a creek in Monroe 

Some very large poplar and walnnt timber grew on the Elk river and its 
tributaries, much of it being too large to be handled iin the ordinary way. 

There is a poplar tree of mammoth proportions, described by Captain G. 
F. Taylor, standing on a branch of the Birch river. This tree shows great age. 


It was a place where the bears hibernated in winter and much of its bark was 
worn and carved by their claws. 

An elm standing on the banks of the West Fork river, in Marion county, 
near the Harrison county line, shows great age. This giant of the forest, was 
standing perhaps centuries before the trees surrounding it had shot forth their 
branches in the sunlight. Deep and wide must this mammoth tree have pene- 
trated the rich, moist soil of the valley with its tap roots, for a careful and ex- 
act measurement discloses its girth three feet above the surface to be twenty- 
seven feet in diameter, resembling in the distance a huge smokestack. It was 
awarded a prize at Philadelphia as being the largest tree of its land in the 
United States. When the traction company surveyed its route from Clarks- 
burg to Fairmont this huge monster stood directly in its pathway, but the citi- 
zens interferred and asked to have it spared, that it might continue to stand as 
a monument of its own greatness. It had not only sheltered many generations 
of the white settlers of the valley but doubtless many tribes of the red men, 
and possibly the Mound Builders may have sheltered under its branches. A 
story of rare beauty has been written by Granville Davisson Hall, entitled 
"Daughter of the Elm." This book has gone through three editions. In the 
immediate neighborhood of the elm, lived a disorderly gang of bandits who, 
prior to the Civil war terrorized the surrounding country. They maintained 
a relay of horse thieves extending from their haunts in the Monongahela valley, 
to distant markets. Several murders were traced to their dens of vice. Under 
this tree was a place of meeting where many schemes were concocted. The lowly 
and elite of the neighborhood often strolled and talked of love — undying love 
beneath the branches of the great elm. 

The largest apple tree perhaps in the state, is standing on the farm of John 
Fisher, on the head waters of the Westfall fork of Cedar creek. This tree was 
planted by Jacob Westfall, early in the nineteenth century. The tree stands on 
a hillside facing the northeast, and is situated on a plateau that appears to have 
been a slip many centuries ago. The land is very fertile and moist, being mixed 
with stone and gravel. 

The body of the tree, six feet from the ground, measures twelve feet in 
circumference, and eight feet above the surface the tree divides into three 
branches. One of the branches is twenty-six inches in diameter and extends 
five feet from main body. One of the other branches is twenty inches in diame- 
ter, and divides into three parts, seven feet above the main body, while the 
third branch is twenty-four inches in diameter and divides five feet above the 
main body, into three parts. One of these branches occupies the center of the 
tree, and the apples from the topmost limbs hang from forty to forty-five feet 
above ground. The space covered by the tree is thirty-eight feet in diameter. 

It bears a yellow apple, medium size, and very acid. The tree is in a healthy 
condition, and under favorable conditions, may live the greater part of another 

The finest field of corn that ever came under our observation was grown on 


Steer creek during the summer of 1916, at Mr Fetty's, on a bottom near 

his house. The corn was of the silage variety, very thick on the land, and some 
of the stalks were eighteen feet in height by measurement. Benj. Huffman 
related that his father-in-law, Jacob Stump, raised a field of corn at the mouth 
of Crooked fork of Steer creek, when he first cleared the land, that excelled 
anything he had ever known. He said that they measured one stalk which 
was twenty-two feet in length. 

Kerchival speaks of a very large sugar tree on the waters of the South 
Branch that measures about f our feet in diameter, and from the sap of this tree, 
its owner made in one season, over fifty pounds of sugar. 

On the Abel Lough farm, near the mouth of Little Otter, stood a white 
oak tree from which five hundred rails were made. On Bealls run of Granny's 
creek William Wyatt cut a white oak tree that made over five hundred rails. 
Out of the main body of the tree, he made four hundred and fifty rails. The 
tree forked in almost equal parts about fifty feet from the ground. These 
forks were two feet in diameter and made sixty rails. The tree was brash and 
the rails were made unusually large. Ordinarily the tree would have made over 
six hundred fence rails. 

E. L. Boggs cut a poplar tree which stood on Upper Rock Camp into lum- 
ber, that made fifteen thotisand eight hundred feet, board measure. The first 
log measured in diameter eight feet. Mr. Boggs was offered by Mr. Gowing, 
who had a veneer mill at Burnsville, sixty dollars per thousand for the choice 
logs. A poplar tree similar in size to this one grew on O'Briens creek in Clay 
county, but the parties who cut the tree failed to get the logs to the river and 
they laid on the creek bank until they were damaged. Near where this tree 
stood there was a sassafras two feet in diameter and twenty-four feet to the 
first limbs. 


It might be of interest to some to recall from tradition the fact that the 
snow in 1831 between the Alleghanies and the Ohio river, an elevation of 1,000 
feet, accummulated to the depth of 36 inches, and in 1856 and 1880, the snow 
was still deeper. 

The summer of 1838 and 1854 were almost rainless west of the mountains. 
In the same region in 1854, snow fell 4 inches deep on the 15th of May, and on 
June 5, 1859, a frost killed almost every thing grown in the northern and central 
part of the state. 

The night of November 13th, 1833, the stars fell. In 1816 it frosted every 
month in the year. 

In the summer of 1838, there occurred one of the greatest drouths that was 
ever known in the central part of the state. There was scarcely anything raised, 
corn in many places grew only knee-high. It was said that fish died in the 
Elk river, and one remarkable thing afterward discovered was, that the timber 


made no -growth that season, only a slight trace of growth being shown. There 
was no rainfall from late Spring until Fall. Snow in November marked the 
close of the dry season. 

On April 29, 1850, there was an earthquake in this section and on May 2, 
1853, there was an earthquake in this country that shook the earth and caused 
considerable alarm. It scared the animals, and the teams that were plowing in 
the fields, became frightened. There were some women washing wool on the 
flat rock above the fails at the Adam Ilyer farm at Boling Green who said that 
the rock seemed to raise up a foot or more. Aaron Pacemire who lived in a 
small house at the mouth of Bee run, had the chimney of his house shaken down. 
We have no account of any other earthquake in this part of the country so 
severe as this one. 

Early in the 50 's, there was a comet passed over the country. It was travel- 
ling, as we now remember, about northwest. We arrive at this course by cer- 
tain boundary lines of the farm. About the middle of the forenoon, we were 
with our father about half way up the bottom near the pike, and the meteor 
passed directly over us. It seemed to be about twenty or thirty feet long, a 
bright blazing ball with the appearance of a tail. It made a rushing noise as it 
flew through the air. It seemed to be near the tree-tops as it passed over the 
Cedar creek mountain near where the Sunrise church now stands. James Mollo- 
han saw it as it passed near the Mollohan mill on the Holly. It passed directly 
over the farm of J. W. Morrison, and was seen by him and his family, and 
seemed to be near the tree-tops. It was thought by some that it burst or came 
to the ground somewhere on Cedar creek, but nothing authentic was ever learned 
concerning it. 

While John G. and James Morrison, Jr., were plowing for oats on the Wyatt 
place, about the year 1850, there came up a wonderful hail storm. John Wyatt 
lived on the place at that time. It is related that hail stones as large as goose 
eggs fell. They whipped the limbs from the fruit trees and much of the bark 
from the limbs, killed all the chickens which could not find shelter, and a num- 
ber of sheep. It is said that never in the history of the country has there been 
such a hail storm. Mrs. Wyatt thought the woiid was coming to an end, and 
shouted and praised God that her deliverance from the world and its cares was 
at hand. 

In 1859, there was a cold wave on the night of the 4th of June. The tem- 
perature fell and on the morning of the 5th there was quite a freeze. The corn 
was bitten down to the ground. Many people furrowed their com land out and 
replanted. Others took shears and cut the stalks close to the ground, and others 
left the corn standing, but it all came on in good time, nature having repaired 
the damage. Where the corn had not formed joints it was but slightly injured. 
The wheat crop suffered worst. It had jointed and the freeze was destructive 
to it. Garden vegetables were partly destroyed. Possibly the coldest weather 
during the summer months since that time was on the 23rd day of August, 
1915. In Platwoods, the temperature fell to about 38 degrees, and for a day 
and a night it was too cold to be comfortable. It is said that in some parts of 


the Northwest, quite a snow storm prevailed. At Elkins, W. Va., there was 
considerable frost, and in several other sections of the country frost was re- 
ported. On the nights of the 5th and 6th of July the temperature fell as low 
as 40 degrees. Persons returning to the country from the Chautauqua at Sut- 
ton had to use wraps and overcoats to be comfortable. On the 19th and 20th 
of August the temperature fell to 48 degrees, having been 90 degrees 10 days 
previous. August 29th the mercury stood at 52 degrees. On the 2Sth snow 
fell at Terra Alta. 

About 1870 the mercury fell as low as 30 degrees at Sutton, 28 degrees 
at the writer's home, and as low as 26 degrees in many other places in the cen- 
tral part of the state. 

The next very cold time was about twelve years later. We were in Clay 
county, buying sheep, and at George Hickman's place on Willson ridge, the 
cold and wind were so intense that the wind blew a portion of the chimney down, 
the smoke and fire nearly driving the family out of the house. That evening, 
we went down on Strange creek, and stayed at a Mr. Duffield's home. There 
were two or three comfortable beds in the large room of the house where we 
all slept, but the cold was so intense the next morning that we could scarcely en- 
dure it. That afternoon, we drove our sheep down to the river at the mouth of 
Strange creek, and the river had frozen over so solidly the'previous night that 
we crossed them over on the ice. 

In the year 1886, there came a great flood that washed out the timber booms 
of the Elk, the Gauly, the Greenbrier and the Coal rivers, and many thousand 
logs were washed away and lost. Timber thieves on the large streams had a 
great harvest. Their method was to conceal and change the marks and brands, 
then saw the logs before their owners came to claim their property. 

In 1883, at the boom near the mouth of the Holly river, the ice was fifteen 
inches thick in the middle of March. 

The winter of 1913-1914 was one that will long be remembered. The snow 
began falling and winter set in about the latter part of December, snow storms 
repeating themselves at short intervals until the latter part of March. There 
were only a few nights that the mercury fell as low as zero, but the snows were 
deep and the storms unusually severe, attended by high winds. In many places, 
snow was drifted over the fences, blocking the roads. The rural mail carriers 
at times were forced to turn back. In some places on the head of Granny's 
creek the snow drifted eight or ten feet deep. It is related that in 1842 about 
8 o'clock one morning in December, it began snowing and the snow fell to the 
depth of three feet or more. It covered the rail fences and sheep were covered 
up in the fields. Farther up the streams toward the Alleghenies the snow was 
yet deeper. Wild animals perished. This snow, it is said, lay on the ground all 
winter. It was related by some hunters that in the spurs of the Alleghenies, the 
snow in places drifted to the tops of some of the timber, and on the crust of 
the snow deer would walk and browse from the twigs of the branches of the 
trees, and that many perished. The present winter, though very long and se- 
vere, has made no ice suitable for putting up, while several years ago ice froze 


on the Elk river twenty-two inches thick in places. Before the Civil war, John 
S. Sprigg, while hauling coal from the Bee Hill mines, went over the road on a 
steep bank a short distance above the month of Old Womans run with a four- 
horse team. The river was frozen over. His wagon and team went into the 
river, but the ice bore them up, and he drove down to the mouth of the run on 
the ice and there went on shore. 

The season of 1915 was one of remarkable productiveness. The constant 
summer showers kept the earth moist and the sunshine brought forth a crop of 
vegetables such as the country had not witnessed or enjoyed for many years. 
Wheat, oats, rye, grass and hay were harvested in abundance. The potato crop 
excelled anything in quantity, central West Virginia has ever known. Corn 
went a little too much to fodder and shuck, but the crop was about an average 
one. / 

The pleasant Pall months and mild weather up to Christmas marked the 
season of 1915 as one of ideal splendor, but the last part of the winter was 
marked by warm spells, followed by zero weather, then excessive rains, and in 
the months of February and March, much sickness prevailed, notably La Grippe 
and Pneumonia, followed by many deaths. April was very inclement, wet and 
cold. The farmers did not start their spring work until about May 10th. 

On Wednesday, May 17, 1916, there was quite a wind and rain storm, the 
mercury fell rapidly, the day folloAving was cool and clear, and the morning 
of the 19th there was a white frost. The damage to vegetation was slight 

The cold May rains are caused, it is said, by the breaking up of the ice on 
the northern lakes, and this occurred later this season than any previous year 
within our memory. The cold rains and chilly weather continued until about 
June 20th, and many fields at that date had not been planted in corn. 

While this climate is very changeable and subject to extremes in tempera- 
ture, yet we recall nothing in many years as severe as the cold spell of February 
2, 4, and 5, 1917. On Friday, the 2nd, it became very cold with high wind, snow 
and frost flying in the air all day, making it so cold that only the sturdiest per- 
sons could venture out in safety. On the evening of the 4th, the temperature 
rose very rapidly, the sun shone out, and it became very pleasant for a few 
hours up to four o'clock P. M., and about an hour later it became cloudy, the 
snow began to fall from the northeast, the temperature fell rapidly, and in 
a few moments, we saw a storm coming from the west that darkened the earth. 
The houses began to creak and the metal roofs to clatter as the storm increased 
in fury. Every loose object, like leaves and sticks, was whirling with the snow 
in the air. It began to look dangerous like a tempest at sea. On the 5th and 6th, 
the mercury fell below zero, and with high wind, the cold was almost unbear- 
able. On the 6th, the rural mail failed to go out. This storm in our opinion was 
the most severe since New Year's, 1803. 

The spring of 1917 continued cold and disagreeable, with high winds 
through April and May. May entered with a frost that damaged the gardens. 


Grass started late, in fact everything was backward due to the extremely cold 
weather which lasted until the 17th of June. 

The winter of 1917 and '18 was the most, severe ever known by our people. 
It began in November, after thirteen successive frosts, and the mercury fell 
at one time to 23 degrees below zero, at. Sutton, Dee. 30th, at Erbacon 29, at 
Cowen, 30. The cold wave enveloped all sections. At Alderson, the thermome- 
ter registered from 22 to 26 below, and on the outlying hills, 36 below; at Pick- 
away 38; at Gap Mills several thermometers registered 38 below zero, and one 
40 below. Wheeling reports 9 degrees, Huntington 14, and Charleston 13. 
Winter held on with great severity, one Wizard after another, for several weeks. 
When the winter broke, we had some very heavy wind and rain storms, followed 
by high waters. It is said that the rise in the Little Kanawha River in March 
was greater than the unprecedented flood of 1861 ; in Elk, near Bealls Mills, it 
reached about the same mark. Its greatest heighth was about 10 o'clock P. M. 
At Sutton, the water stood ten inches deep in the court house and nearly all 
the buildings on Main Street and Skidmore Addition were flooded. The floods 
were followed by five or six heavy frosts in succession. Then the weather be- 
came mild, and Easter Sunday, March 29th, was a most lovely day, bright sun- 
shine and balmy air, and full moon the 27th conspired to add to the loveliness 
of the season. The nights were brilliant, with a clear sky and fragrant breezes. 
On April 1st to 11th, we had a A r ery disagreeable spell of weather. The snow 
fell to a depth of 6 inches, and 12 to 14 in Webster County. 

On Monday and Tuesday, the 5th and 6th of August, 1918, the thermome- 
ter registered one hundred. At Sutton, Gassaway, Flatwoods and other points 
in the county the nights were almost unbearably hot. At 5 o'clock the evening 
of the 6th it was 95, in the shade of the buildings. 


The Capitol of the United States has been located at nine different places, 
namely : 

Washington, D. C. ; Baltimore and Annapolis, in Maryland ; Trenton and 
Princeton, in New Jersey; Philadelphia, Lancaster and York, in Pennsylvania, 
and New York City. 

The first session of the Continental Congress was held in Carpenter 's Hall, 
Philadelphia. September 5, 1774. Thereafter the American Congress was for a 
long time something like the Philippine Congress while the latter was dodging 
the American troops — and for much the same reason. Fearing to remain in 
Philadelphia after the defeat on Long Island, Congress went to Baltimore and 
voted George Washington dictatorial power for six months. Congress returned 
to Philadelphia two months later, February 27, 1777. Lancaster and York got 
their sessions after the defeat of Brandywine, Congress again retreating. 

Nine months the lawmakers remained in York; the news of Burgoyne's 


surrender was received there. Then six months in New York and another term 
in Philadelphia. Menaced by unpaid ti - oops, Congress went over to New Jer- 
sey. Sessions were held in Princeton College library. Annapolis next, where 
General Washington resigned his commission. Trenton had a trial then, with 
Henry Lee as president. Here Lafayette took leave of his American allies. 


Through the courtesy of the Secretary of War, the following facts have 
been obtained, showing the Generals who have commanded the army from 1775, 
with dates of command, to the present time : 

Major General George Washington, June 15, 1775, to December 23, 1783 ; 
Major General Henry Knox, December 23, 1783, to June 20, 1784; Lieutenant 
Colonel Josiah Harmer General-in-Chief by brevet, September, 1788, to March 
4, 1791; Major Arthur St. Clair, March 4, 1791, to March 4, 1792; Major Gen- 
eral Anthony Wayne, April 11, 1792, to December 15, 1796, 

to July 3, 1798 ; Lieutenant General George Washington, 

July 3, 1798, to his death, December 14, 1799 ; Major General James Wilkin- 
son, June, 1800, to January 27, 1812; Major General Henry Dearborn, January 
27, 1812, to June, 1815; Major General Jacob Brown, June, 1815, to February 
21, 1828; Major General Alexander McComb, May 24, 1828, to June 18, 1841; 
Major General Winfield Scott, (brevet Lieutenant General) June, 1841, to No- 
vember 1, 1861; Major General George B. McClellan, November 1, 1861, to 
March 11, 1862; Major General Henry W. Halleck, July 11, 1862, to March 12, 
1864; Lieutenant General Ulysses Simpson Grant, March 12, 1864, to July 25, 
1866, and as general to March 4, 1869: General William T. Sherman, March 4, 
3869, to November 1, 1883; Lieutenant General Philip Sheridan, November 1, 
1883, to August 5, 1888; Lieutenant General J. M. Schofield, August 14, 1888, 
to September 29, 1895; Major General Nelson A. Miles, October 5, 1S95, to 
March, 1901, and as lieutenant General to 1903; S. B. M. Young, Chief of 
Staff, 1903; H. C. Corbin, Chief of Staff, 1906; Arthur McArthur. Senior Gen- 
eral, 1906-1909; J. Frank Bell, Lieutenant General and Chief of Staff, 1909- 
1910; Leonard Wood, Major General, 1910-1914; Hugh L. Scott, Major Gen- 
eral, 1914. 


William Henry Harrison died at 12:30 A. M., April 4, 1841, of a disease 
of the lungs and liver. 

Zachary Taylor died at 10:30 P. M., Sunday, July 9, 1850, at the White 
House, of cholera morbus. 

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by J. Wilkes Booth, at 10:30 P. M., 
April 14, 1865, while at Ford's Theater, on 10th street, witnessing the per- 
formance of "Our American Cousin." He was carried to the home of Mr. Pe- 
terson, 516 10th street, where he died at 7:22 A. M., April 15, 1865 


James A. Garfield was assassinated by Charles J. Guiteau at 9:30 A. M., 
July 2, 1881, while passing through the Baltimore and Potomac depot at Wash- 
ington, D. C, to take the train, for Long Branch. He lived for eighty days, 
suffering intensely most of the time, and died at Elberon, New Jersey, Monday. 
September 19, 1881, at 10 :35 P. M., and was buried at Lake View Cemetery, 
Cleveland, Ohio. 

William McKinley was assassinated by Leon Czolgosz at Buffalo, N. Y., Sep- 
tember 8, 1901, and died September 14, 1901. He was buried at Canton, Ohio. 


The. body of George Washington is resting in a brick vault at Mount Ver- 
non, in a marble coffin. 

John Adams was buried in a vault beneath the Unitarian church at Quincy. 
The tomb is walled in with large blocks of rough-faced granite. 

John Quincy Adams lies in the same vault by the side of his father. In 
the church above, on either side of the pulpit, are tablets of clouded marble, 
each surmounted by a bust, and inscribed with the familiar epitaphs, of the only 
father and son that ever held the highest office in the gift of the American 

Thomas Jefferson lies in a small, unpretentious private cemetery of one 
hundred feet square, at Monticello, Va. 

James Madison's remains rest in a beautiful spot on the old Madison estate, 
near Orange, Va. 

James Monroe's body reposes in Hollywood cemetery, Va., on an eminence 
commanding a beautiful view of Richmond and the James river. Above the 
body is a huge block of polished Virginia marble, supporting a coffin-shaped 
block of granite, on which are brass plates, suitably inscribed. The whole is 
surrounded by a sort of gotbic temple — four pillars supporting a peaked roof, 
to which something of the appearance of a bird cage is imparted by filling in 
the interstices with iron gratings. 

Andrew Jackson was buried in the corner of the garden of: the Hermitage, 
eleven miles from Nashville. The tomb is about 18 feet in dameter, surrounded 
by fluted columns and surmounted by an urn. The tomb is surrounded by mag- 
nolia trees. 

Martin Van Buren was buried at Kinder hook. The monument is a plain 
granite shaft 15 feet high. 

John Tyler's body rests within ten yeards of that of James Monroe, in 
Hollywood cemetery, Richmond. It is marked by no monument, but is sur- 
rounded by magnolias and flowers. 

James K. Polk lies in the private garden of the family, in Nashville. .It is 
marked by a limestone monument, with Doric columns. 

Zachary Taylor was buried in Cave Hill cemetery, Louisville. The body 
was subsequently to be removed to Frankfort, where a suitable monument was 
to be erected, commemorative of his distinguished service. 


Millard Fillmore's remains lie in the beautiful Forest Lawn cemetery, of 
Buffalo, and his grave is surmounted by a lofty shaft of Scotch granite. 

Franklin Pierce Avas buried in the Concord, N. H., cemetery, and his grave 
is marked by a marble monument. 

James Buchanan's remains lie in the Woodward Hill cemetery, at Lancas- 
ter, Pa., in a vault of masonry. The monument is composed of a single, block 
of Italian marble. 

Abraham Lincoln rests in the Oak Eidge cemetery, Springfield, 111., en- 
closed in a sercophagus of white marble. The monument is a great pile of mar- 
ble, granite and bronze. 

Andrew Jonhson's grave is on a cone-shaped eminence, half a mile from 
Greenville, Tenn. The monument is of marble beautifully ornamented. 

The body of James A. Garfield has been placed in a tomb at Cleveland, 

Grover Cleveland was buried at Princeton, New Jersey. 


We owe it to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the 
United States and the allied powers, to declare that we should consider any at- 
tempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere 
as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependen- 
cies of any European power, we have not interf erred, and shall not interfere; 
but with the governments which have declared their independence and main- 
tained it, and whose independence we have on great consideration and just 
principles, acknowledged, we could not view an interposition for oppressing 
them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny by any European 
power, in any other light than as a manifestation of an unfriendly disposition 
toward the United States. 

In his message to Congress in 1823. 


(A form sometimes used in the days of slavery.) 

Know all men by these presents, that I, A B , 

of the County of , and State of Virginia, being the owner and 

possessor of a negro man named C (Otherwise C D ), 

for divers causes and consideration to me thereunton moving, do and by these 

presents do forever quit claim to said negro C , who is hereby forever 

set free and emancipated by me, or my heirs or assigns, over the person and 

property of the said C ...., and he is hereby declared by me (so far as in 

my power to do) as free to all intents and purposes as if born free. In tes- 
timony whereof I have hereunto set my kand and seal this day of , 




Bulletin No. 68 issued in September, 1900, from the Agricultural Experi- 
ment station of the State University at Morgantown, by Professor A. D. Hop- 
kins, gives an interesting account of the Cicada or Seventeen year locust, which 
appears in swarms of countless numbers throughout the State. They do not ap- 
pear at the same time generally over the State, but by district or certain boun- 
daries in different years, but the swarms appear in each district always seven- 
teen years apart. 

In the District in which Harrison County is included, the swarm appears 
during the latter half of the month of May. 

They emerge from the ground in appearance like an uncouth worm, in the 
evening, usually between sundown and ten o'clock and proceed to the nearest 
upright object, which may be a tree, fence, post, weed or the side of a house, 
anything upon which they can climb and expose their bodies to the open air. In 
about an hour after emerging, the skin on the back splits open and the adult 
insect works its way out. 

The wings, which are short and soft at first, rapidly develop, the body wings 
and legs harden and by the following day it is ready to take its flight and enter 
upon its short aerial life of about thirty days. 

The males sing almost constantly and owing to their numbers with their 
shrill piping voices, make a deafening uproar. 

Each female deposits from three to five hundred eggs in numerous ragged 
punctures, made by her powerful ovipositors in the twigs of shrubs and trees. 
These eggs hatch in about six or eight weeks from the time they are deposited, 
and the young cicada larvae, emerges from the twigs and fall to the ground, 
burrow beneath the surface, and enter upon their long residence of seventeen 

The following letter written to the University gives record of 102 years 
of the coming of the Cicada : 

Clarksburg, W. Va., January 18, 1898. 
Dear Sir: 

I have received your letter of the 14th inst., asking for such information as 
I can furnish in regard to the periodical Cicada generally known as the Seven- 
teen Year Locust. 

May 15, 1795 ; May 25, 1812 ; May 25, 1829 ; May 14, 1846 ; May 25, 1863 ; 
May 17, 1880 ; May 21, 1S97. 

The first two dates, I procured from my father, the others are the result 
of my own observations. I was three years and three months of age when the 
Cicada appeared in 1812, but I do not recollect that I saw them. 

The date of their first appearance is influenced somewhat by the weather 
and the temperature. In 1897, it was cold about the 22nd of May, and many of 
them perished. They continued to come up for about two weeks this year, and 
by the 21st of June seemed to have disappeared in this neighborhood. 

I have endeavored to ascertain the extent of this locust district, but have 


made poor progress. I am informed that they did not appear at Charleston, 
but were numerous in Nicholas County. They appeared in Meig's County, 
Ohio. I suppose in this State that the district does not extend to the Great Ka- 
nawha River, and is bounded by an irregular line North of that river. It is 
said that they appeared in Grant County of this State. I had previously sup- 
posed that this district did not extend east of the Allegheny Mountains. It ex- 
tends quite extensively into the State of Ohio. 

As to Pennsylvania, I have no information in regard to the Cicada. All 
the harm this insect is properly chargeable with, is in puncturing the small 
branches of trees with their ovipositors to lay their eggs for the next brood in 
1914. They do not eat anything and the males do the singing. 

In old times, there was a superstition that sometimes the Cicada had the 
letters P and W on their wings indicating Peace and War, but I find the same 
character appear on the wings every year, generally resembling the letter "N. " 

I regret that I cannot furnish you with more valuable information, but 
such as it is, I furnish it cheerfully. 

Very respectfully, 


We were but two years of age when the Locust of 1846 appeared, but we 
very distinctly remember the Locust years of May 25, 1863, May 17, 1880, May 
27, 1897, and May 25, 1914.— The Author. 


Mrs. Sallie Sutton Stump, mother of Rev. Dr. John S. Stump, of the 
Baptist church, recently related an experience of her girlhood days, and told 
of her fear of passing a graveyard. She said that she often went to the old 
Adam Gillespie mill on horseback. The path led from her home on Granny's 
creek over the hill by the Bowlinggreen, and down a branch of Flat-woods run 
to the Elk river. There were but few improvements 'along the way. By the 
side of the path on the old William Bell place, was a graveyard. Sometimes 
she was delayed in getting her grinding, and it would be dusk before she would 
pass that point. She would make eveiy effort to pass the graveyard before the 
shades of evening fell upon that lonely spot. 

Cabin standing at Hominy Falls, Nicholas county, built in 1855, and oc- 
cupied as storehouse for many years on the road from Summersvillc to Gauley. 




It was the oldest or first store kept in that 

Early in the forties, there was quite .1 
delegation of emigrants from Braxton 
county to Illinois. Among the number was 
Michael and James Gibson, Charles Byrne, 
George Peter, Win. and Chauncy Lough, 
Tramel Gillespie, Andy, Charles, Samuel 
and Balard Wyatt, Chapman Gibson, An- 
drew Murphy, and others whose names we 
do not have. 

Later on, about the year 1857, another 
delegation went west, locating principally 
in the state of Kansas. Among this num- 
ber was Robert and Washington Given, 

Duffield, Benjamin Enos, John Roberts, 
Frank, Scott, Tunis and Call Davis, Joseph 
Huffman, John Raner and possiblly some 

These people moved from Sutton to 
Charleston in flatboats, carrying their pro- 
visions with them. They have numerous 
descendants now scattered through the western states. 

It is said that Steward Donalme, John Sands and Rob Thoma,s Olden of 
Pocahontas county, ran off and came to the mountain between the Elk and the 
Holly. They were the first settlers to make an improvement on the mountain. 
They planted a peach orchard which grew there, the fruit of which became 
noted for its fine flavor. They were afterwards taken back to Pocahontas county, 
tried for the crime of robbery and sent to prison for a term of years. After- 
wards, John Hoover of the Valley of Virginia settled at that place. He was 
the father of John and Paul Hoover, and the mountain went by the name of 
Hoover for many years. It has since gone by the name of Ware Mountain. 
There are several families of that name living there. The locality is noted for 
its production of fine fruit, and it is said that at one time rattlesnakes abounded 
there in great numbers. 

John G. Morrison went south during the Civil war, looking for his father's 
horses which some bush whackers had taken and disposed of in Pocahontas 
county. He recovered his horses, and traded one of them to Isaac Mann Avho 
lived on the head of Anthony's creek, taking as part payment a Waltham 
watch, No. 30,164. Morrison is still carrying the watch, and values it very 

In August, 1875, there came a tide in the Little Kanawha river, and as 
Captain Burns was running some flatboats down the river, his rivermen struck 
slack water four or five miles above the mouth of Leading creek. They ran on 


for some distance and tied up in an orchard. They then discovered that Lead- 
ing creek had a rise of twenty-four feet and six inches of plumb water which 
was flowing across the Little Kanawha like a milltail, dashing its turbulent wa- 
ters against the opposite shore. As the tide receded, the boatmen loosened their 
crafts, got them in the channel of the river and went on their way. Jeremiah 
Gillespie was one of the boat's crew, and related this circumstance to the author., 

What might seem remarkable in the preservation of sweet potatoes is shown 
by the following story related by Mrs. Sallie Stump of Gilmer county: One 
spring, in taking her sweet potatoes out of the box in which they had been kept 
during the winter, she overlooked one. In the fall when she went to put away 
her seed for the coming spring, she found the potato and placed it back in the 
box with the new seed potatoes. It saved over another winter, was planted in a 
hotbed the following spring, and grew. 

About 1888, a party of men, supposing that the MeAnany family had a 
large amount of money and other valuables, attempted to rob them, the attempt 
being made after the family had gone to bed. The family was composed of 
Michael MeAnany and his two sisters, Mary and Ann, also John Smith, an old 
man who was making his home with the family. Michael slept in the back room 
downstairs, and being a strong and ambitious man attempted to fight the rob- 
bers. They shot a time or two at him, one ball striking the bedstead. One of 
the women got out and ran down to John Young's who lived close by, for as- 
sistance. Young grabbed his gun, took a colored man named Carrington with 
him, and started on the run. Carrington who was unarmed, kept saying to 
Young, "Don't go so fast, Mr. Young." Young was a fearless man who had 
seen service in the Civil war and was anxious to relieve his neighbor and get 
a shot at the robbers. They were gone however before he arrived, and they had 
succeeded in getting some jewelry and about two hundrd dollars in money. 
John Glenn, Bose Wine and another man Avere indicted for this robbery. Glenn 
and Wine were tried, convicted and sent to the penitentiary. 

The early frontiersmen, being exposed to danger and having to rely upon 
their wits, studying the nature and habits of wild animals, became as shrewd 
in their examination of tilings that came under their observation as a modem 
detective. A company of hunters on one of the streams emptying into the Elk 
river, came to a camp which had recently been abandoned. They examined the 
camp and ascertained that there had been three men and a dog there, and also 
that two of the men had ordinary rifles and one a gun with a short barrel; also 
that the dog was small and had a stump tail. They examined the tree against 
which the hunters had leaned their guns, and ascertained their lengths by meas- 
uring the distance between the impressions made in the ground by the stocks 
of the guns, and the places where their muzzles had rubbed the bark on the 
tree. They saw from where the dog sat in the snow, leaving his imprint as 
perfect as if a modern dentist had taken an impression for a new tail, that the 


dog "had lost part of that member with which he so often indicates his friend- 
ship for man. 

In the early settlement of the country, there was a colony on the West 
fork of the Little Kanawha composed of Cottrils, McCunes and perhaps some 
other families who were noted for their native shrewdness and their repeated 
violations of the law. In felony cases, they have been known to hold moot 
courts in which they would go through the whole case with as much skill as is 
often displayed by the legal profession at the bar. They would introduce their 
evidence, and see that there Avas no conflict in the testimony. Each witness 
knew what the others were expected to state, and each one was to corroborate 
the testimony of the other, thus, it was seldom that the law made a conviction 
out of the numerous violations committed. In the days when men were put in 
jail for debt, Felix Sutton who was Sheriff, had a capias for a man named 
Murphy who lived on the West Fork. Going to Murphy's house one day to 
make the arrest, Murphy ran around the table and prevented the Sheriff from, 
placing his hand on him, without which there was no arrest, and no violation 
for resisting an officer. Murphy sueceecleed in keeping the table between him 
and the Sheriff, and dinner being on the table, both finally sat down and ate 
dinner, after which Murphy made his escape. Nearly fifty years after this 
occurrence Mrs. Murphy, then a very elderly lady, related the circumstances 
to the author and spoke of it as one of the very remarkable and amusing occur- 
rences that had taken place in the early history of the country. Mrs. Murphy 
recently died having lived to be 110 years of age. 

"Old Pioneer" Jack Cottrill who lived on the headwaters of the West 
Fork, was one of the noted characters of that region. The Cottrills, it is said, 
had Indian blood in their veins. Jack lived a typical wild, rural life. He was 
a hunter, a seng-digger, lived in the woods, followed bee hunting, roamed 
the mountains, crossed every low gap, followed every hog trail, fiddled and 
danced in every cabin, but never laid \ip any store ahead. The writer stayed 
over night many years ago at a Mr. Chenoweth's who kept a store near Jack's 
cabin, and early the following morning Jack's wife came to the store with a 
little launch of ginseng roots which they had dug the day before, and said she 
had stayed up nearly all night drying the ginseng, getting it ready for market 
early the next morning. They had no meal, she said, and would have no break- 
fast until she returned. Old Jack told the merchant one day that as soon as 
"the blessed root began to blossom" he would have plenty of ginseng, and his 
summer's living would be assured. Such was the wild and savage-like state 
of a few neighborhoods in central West Virginia as late as thirty-five or forty 
years ago. 

The cabins in which the great majority of the people lived were built like 
the early schoolhouses, except they did not have as much space left to admit 
light. An ordinary dwelling or log cabin was* usually about 16 x 20 feet, made 
of round or split logs, covered with clapboards, had a puncheon floor, and but 
one door. The chimnej'' was built to the mantel, the material used being loose 


rocks and mortar, and was either left open or built out with "cat and clay," 
being small flat strips split out and cut the length required for the stem of the 
chimney. These were laid up in mortar and plastered on the inside with the 
same material, answering a very good purpose for a time, but never safe from 
fire. At the time of which we are speaking, the people were very fond of danc- 
ing. Usually they danced the single reel or "hoedown." The music was very 
fine, some of the old pioneers being hard to excel on the violin. The dances 
were usually held where there was the most room and in cabins having the 
smoothest floors. Some of the puncheon floors were very uneven and rough. 
It was related to the author that, on, one occasion where they were having a 
dance, there was a man present who had been very fond of dancing, but who 
had recently made a profession of religion and refused to engage in the dance. 
He was sitting in the chimney corner listening to the music, and after awhile 
he began patting his foot. This he kept up for a while, and as the merriment 
of the occasion went on and the music rang out in the still hours of the night, 
he jumped out on the floor and began to dance. Doubtless the man had been 
sincere, but he made two mistakes. Tn the first place, we are commanded to 
avoid the appearance of evil. This injunction he disobeyed by lending his 
presence. In the second place, if occasion called for his presence there he 
should have kept his foot still. This, through grace, he might have done. The 
early settlers had but little recreation. They had endured great privations 
and dangers, and their coming together under most any circumstances was to 
them a source of great pleasure. More recently, a lady asked a Methodist 
Bishop whether he considered it any harm for a Christian to dance. The bishop 
said he didn't know that it was, but that a Christian did not want to dance. 

Note: A Christian under the influence and in the enjoyment of the 
knowledge of his acceptance with God must possess a joy that can not be har- 
monized by placing himself tinder the influence of and his body subject to 
emotional music without doing violence to his profession. — The Author. 

We remember when quite a boy of seeing some wild turkeys fly out of a 
wheat field for some distance, and alight in a meadow near a high rail fence. 
The timothy grass was waist-high to a man. We conceived the idea of capturing 
a wild turkey alive and proceeded to come up, concealed by the high grass, 
keeping the turkey between us and the fence; and, as luck would have it (it 
must have been luck for no feat of the kind as we then thought had ever been 
accomplished before), we succeeded in getting close to a large turkey hen, and 
as we made a dart for the game she rose out of the grass and started to fly, but 
was too close to the fence and struck the top rail. We grabbed her and then 
we had a tussle in the high grass, but we held her and well remember the little 
stringy, blue home-made suspenders that we wore and succeeded in getting 
them off without entirely losing our pantaloons and using them to tie the tur- 
key's wings and feet and carried her home in triumph. We tried to keep the 
turkey alive, but she refused to eat and pined away and died. 

About the year 1853, a stone cutter named John Spinks, from Nicholas 


county, came to Braxton and made the first tombstones that were put up in 
the county as far as we have any knowledge. He used a fiat rock gotten out on 
the land of Craven Berry on Berry fork of Salt Lick creek. The same stone was 
sometimes used for grindstones. Mr. Spinks did very good work. His lettering 
was very plain. He had a uniform price of ten dollars. After a period of 
sixty years or more, these stones show but little sign of disintegration. About 
this time, a Mr. McCoy, from the same county, passed through the country 
making and hanging gates. This work he did by hand. He went to the woods 
and split his lumber and posts out of white oak. He dressed his materials with 
an axe and drawing knife. The gate was mortised together, and the posts 
were hewn out about ten inches square, made very high and a fancy notch cut 
at the top. These gates were very strong and lasted for a great many years. 
His price was three dollars a gate. 

Lewis Knight made and erected draw bars. He mortised his posts, mak- 
ing posts and bars out of white oak. The posts were made high with tenant's 
initial cut at the top, then a piece of mortised timber went across to hold the 
posts in position. Each bar rail was numbered and placed so far apart and the 
letters L. K. cut on each post. 

After the Eevolutionary war, it is said, there was a test made in Paris, 
France, of close-shooting guns, and the American squirrel rifle, which shot a 
patched ball, was declared to be the most accurate shooting gun in the world. 
In Braxton county, there were some very fine gunsmiths. We remember An- 
drew Boggs, Israel A. Friend, Wesley Frame and others who made a great 
many rifles. They were fine marksmen and would test the guns of their own 
make and those which they would repair for others. We have known marks- 
men who could bring squirrels from the tallest forest trees, shooting off-hand. 
On one occasion James Sutton's boys were squirrel hunting and Sylvester 
wagered with the other boys that he could cut the hair on a squirrel's head 
which they had treed without killing the squirrel. When he fired the squirrel 
seemed greatly frightened. He then reloaded his rifle and killed the squirrel, 
and on examination they found that the first ball had grazed the hide on the 
squirrel's head. Sylvester won the wager. It was very common to have beef 
and turkey matches. In a beef match there were six chances — first and second, 
hind quarter; third and fourth, fore quarter; fifth, hide and tallow; sixth, the 
lead. The lead was saved by placing the mark in front of a block of wood or 
tree, and the person winning the last chance had the privilege of cutting the 
lead out. It often required a close shot to get even the lead, and nothing but 
a shot driving a plumb center would scarcely ever get a quarter of beef or a 
live turkey. The rule was to shoot' one hundred yards with a rest, or sixty 
yards off-hand. 

Sennett Triplett was one of the earliest settlers of the Elk River Valley. 
He lived in Braxton (now Clay) county. Triplett was a man of fine intellect, 
well educated and was far above the average citizen in intelligence. He was 


very plain in his manners and dress. Pie was fond of hunting and kept a pack 
of well-trained dogs. Triplett was a surveyor, and was summoned to attend 
court in Nicholas county in a land suit of considerable importance. When he 
presented himself in open court he was accompanied by his gun and dogs, and 
was dressed in buckskin. He wore moccasins and coonskin cap with the tail 
hanging down his back. He had on the rudest kind of hunting shirt, girded - 
around his loins with a piece of leatherwood bark, and it is said that when he 
walked into the -courthouse, followed by his dogs and set his gun down in one 
corner of the room and hung the shotpouch on the muzzle of the gun, the dogs 
all lay down by the gun. The people were amused and somewhat surprised 
to see such an outfit. The lawyers thought that the man was demented and 
consequently not qualified to give testimony, and the side against whom Trip- 
lett was to give evidence objected. The court said they could question the 
witness as to his sanity, and' the lawyer thereupon asked him who made him. 
Triplett replied, "I reckon Moses did." Triplett then said to the lawyer, "Who 
made you?" The lawyer said, "I suppose Aaron did." Triplett, being well 
versed in Scripture, said, "I have read in the Bible where Aaron made a calf, 
but I didn't know that the darned thing was bleating around yet." Triplett 
gave testimony. 

When the old Superior Courts were held in the district, a majority of the 
lawyers of the circuit usually gathered at the county seat where the courts 
were to be held. It sometimes happened then, as it does now, that strangers 
coming to a town were exceptionally smart and tried to display it at the ex- 
pense of others. It happened on one occasion that a citizen of Braxton attended 
a court held in a neighboring eounty where there were some young lawyers at- 
tending court. When they noticed a quiet man sitting in the room where they 
were, plainly dressed in home-made clothing, they thought to have a little fun 
by asking him some foolish questions. He answered them in a quiet way. When 
they had finished he started a conversation with them on a different subject 
He took an invoice of their general information. He lead them back to Greece 
and Rome, and inquired about the rulers and conquerors of these ancient coun- 
tries. Then he asked them about certain fundamental principles of law, Eng- 
lish jurisprudence and so forth. When he had explained to them things that 
they did not know and asked them about things that they should have known, 
they keenly felt their humiliation, and when they had opportunity they in- 
quired who the gentleman was to whom they had been talking. They were told 
that he was one of the greatest historians of Virginia, a man of superior learn- 
ing and exalted character. 

It is related that Cato, a colored ma.n, who belonged to John D. Sutton, 
brought with him when he came to this country, a little poke of apple seeds, 
which he planted near the mouth of Granny's creek, about where the B. & 
0. depot now stands. From this little nursery were started the first orchards 
in this section of the country. Cato's wife's name Avas Milly. They lived in a 
cabin near the mouth of Granny's creek. They had been given their freedom. 


They were honest and industrious and lived to a good old age. How thoughtful 
in this old colored man to plant in a wilderness the seeds that produce, from 
generation to generation, the most delicious fruit, and thus perpetuate the 
names of Cato and Milly. Mrs. Naomi S. Young, a now aged lady, has in her 
possession the old broadhoe with which Cato and Milly cultivated their truck 
patch and little nursery, and also a wooden box in which they kept their little 
valuables. Mrs. Young calls it the "Milly box." 

• n 'f-m 

Some historians claim that Logan and Tecumseh were born in the Hackers 
Creek valley. Hackers creek is a stream of considerable size traversing a rich 
and beautiful valley, and empties into the West Fork river near where the his- 
toric Jackson mills are located. If the great strategist Stonewall Jackson was 
born and grew to manhood near these waters, and if the historian be correct that 
this section sent forth from savagery to the battlefield such splendid warriors 
as Logan, the white man's friend, and Tecumseh, a born leader of men, surely 
no other spot, embracing but a few miles of territory, can claim such distinction 
of honor as the birthplace of these renowned warriors. 


Shortly after the close of the Civil war, Arch Hickman, Fielding McClung, 
Colonel Ruffner, of Charleston, Homer A. Holt, John G. Morrison and John 
Shawver went deer chasing on Rays Knob of Little Beaver, in Nicholas county. 
Judge Holt had no gun but was armed with a Colt's revolver. The parties 
stationed themselves at the different points at which the game might pass. It 
was not long after the dogs were started in the chase, until a large bu'ck came 
by Judge Holt's stand. He commenced shooting and the last shot from his 
revolver struck the butt of one of the deer's horns and knocked it clown. The 
deer sprang up and before it gqt out of gunshot range Fielding McClung killed 
it. In dressing the deer, which seemed to be a very old one, they discovered an 
old scar in its side. When they opened the deer Colon! Ruffner discovered a 
wound in the point of its heart, and lying there encased in the interlining was 
a minnie ball. The ball was not battered, and evidently had been a spent ball. 
It was said that Judge Holt was so animated over the chase and over his success 
in pistol shooting that he wanted to further continue the chase. 

Charles Perkins had a little saw mill about two miles above what is called 
the Gulf on the Elk, and something like ten miles above the old Union mill 
property. Mr. Perkins built a flat boat and loaded it with walnut lumber, 
and when the tide came, he "cut it loose," in the parlance of the lumbermen. 
Acting as steersman, and with his bowhands, he dashed down the turbulent, 
swollen Elk. He was twelve miles above the navigable waters, and as he ap- 
proached the head of the island, he tried to hold his boat to the right, but the 
heavy current drew him to the left, amid the swirls and rocks. Seeing his 
condition, and being powerless to control his craft, as well as frightened, the 
dauntless Charles and his crew leaped into the water and swam to shore, while 


his boat with its valuable cargo of black walnut lumber dashed amid the swirls 
and played upon the seething, maddened waves, coming out below the Gulf 
unharmed, only to dash on without a steerman to direct, its course, and at last 
plunged against an island below which rendered it (but a broken mass. Some 
of the heavy boat lumber was used by Isaac Skidmorc in building a stable. 


About the year 1868 or 1870, hoop skirts went out of style, same having 
been fashionable sometime in the 50 's. This style became very popular and was 
universally adopted by all classes. No lady would think of being presentably 
dressed without a hoop skirt. They were said to be cool and pleasant, and 
caused a wonderful inflation of the lower garments. They were made of the 
best of spring steel and very light. They enlarged from the waist to the bottom 
of the skirt. The hoops were placed a few inches apart, and were held in place 
by a network that was strong and 1 durable. Each steel hoop was 'covered with 
cloth; the usual price of a good class of hoops being about $3.00. They 
were sometimes inconvenient in time of wind storms, and would occasionally 
envelope the entire upper part of the body. The fashion was very popular as 
well as stylish and becoming. 

Milton Humphrey relates that as the Confederates were making a retreat 
through Gauly county, he planted a battery on a bill near a farm house, and 
that an old man, a little girl and three young ladies came out. At the same 
time, the Federals were planting a battery on another hill. Humphrey told 
the old man that they ought to get out of the way as they were going to be 
fired on. The old man said he reckoned not, and just then a shell burst im- 
mediately over them, and the little girl began to scream. The old man picked 
her up and ran to the house, but Humphrey noticed as he picked the child up 
that her white garments began to stain with blood. The three young ladies 
dressed in hoop skirts ran to reach the house, and became lodged in the doorway. 

Before the Civil war, it was very common for the men to comb their hair 
forward, parting it behind, wearing a roach in front, wearing the hair long, 
except the roach which was combed back or made to stand up. Following that 
style, the hair was still worn long and combed back so as to lay back of the 
ears, leaving bare the temples. It was much easier thus to keep the hair in po- 
sition. As you would go forward or face the wind, it naturally fell back. 
The present style is to part the hair on one side of the forehead, combing it 
over to one side, and it is also worn much shorter. A few young men part 
their hair in the middle; this style is neither fashionable nor becoming, but 
may be useful in keeping the head balanced. 


The smallest child born in the state, of which we have any knowledge, was 
Ruth Avilla Given, daughter of E. S. Given, of Cedar Creek, Braxton county. 


Ruth weighed at her birth a little lesr than two pounds, and at four months 
her weight had increased to six pounds. At five, months she had gained in 
weight until she tipped the scales at seven pounds. Her mother died when 
she was three weeks old and she is being raised on Pratt's food and is being 
eared for by her aunt and sister, who say that when Ruth was born an ordinary 
teacup would cover her head and neck to her shoidders. When we held this 
little one on our lap she looked up with an intelligent and inquiring gaze, as 
much as to say, "Am I to be the subject of a historical sketch?" We thought 
what a frail human bark that the mildest tempest might destroy. How insig- 
nificant and helpless to enter the battle of life when the seas are lashing the 
shores with maddened fury and the strong are striving for the mastery. 


Ezra S. Rexroad, son of William and Sarah J. Curry Rexroad.. is per- 
haps the smallest man that West Virginia has ever produced. Ezra was born 
in time of the Civil war, and is noM fifty-three years of age. His greatest 
weight has never exceeded sixty-five pounds, and sixty pounds is his usual 
weight. He married Elizabeth McCray who tips the scales at one hundred 
thirty pounds, or a little more than double the weight of her husband. They 
own a good farm on Fall run of the Little Kanawha. Mr. Rexroad is an expert 
teamster, and follows teaming and fanning. They have no children. 


Wm. M. Campbell who married a Miss Lockard, beats the record. Just 
nine months to a day after the birth of one of her children, she gave birth to 
a set of twins. 

An Englishman, traveling in Virginia in its early settlement, said that so 
rich and virgin the soil, so charming the atmosphere, so majestic the moun- 
tains and lofty the forests, that every hut in America was as full of the native 
offspring as the birds' nests in the forests were of young birds.. 

Whilst the forests and the cabins are gone, we still have the mountains 
and the atmosphere, and what was true of the cabin is true of the more modem 


Henry Rittenhouse of Lewis county in his eighty-second year married for 
his second wife a Miss Wilfong of Braxton county. She was about thirty years 
of age. There were two children born to this union who are now about grown. 
Mr. Rittenhouse died in his eighty-eighth year after a long and busy life, leav- 
ing a valuable estate to be divided among his children. 

Abram Reager of Upshur county in his eighty-first year married the wid- 
ow Hall. 

The widow Burk married for her third husband a man named Mesenger. 
She was eighty-one or two years of age. 


Mary Beamer married her second husband in her seventy-third year. 
i a- t 

Thomas Colter, a minister of the M. P. church, and for many years a won- 
derful pedestrian, walked from his home on Ben's run to Richwood, a distance 
of forty miles in one day, carrying forty pounds of books, and at another time, he 
carried a bushel of seed-corn from beyond Gauley river to his home in this 
county, an equal distance. 


There were but few colored people in this county at any time prior to the 
emancipation. The following list will show the names of those who owned 
slaves : 

Asa Squires, John D. Sutton, Jackson Singleton, Dr. John L. Rhea, Wm. 
Bell, C. E. Singleton, James M. Corley, William Hutchison, Elijah Squires, Ad- 
dison McLaughlin, John P. Byrne, Phillip Duffy, William Morrison, John S. 
Camden, William Fisher, P. B. Adams, Samuel Skidmore, William Haymond, 
John C. Taylor, John W. White, Benjamin Conrad, Daniel Conrad, John Con- 
rad, Peter Conrad, B. P. Fisher and Uriah Duffield. William Morrison and 
Elijah Squires liberated their slaves. 

Braxton county has had but few coloi*ed people within its borders. Wil- 
liam Bell brought a family of slaves to Braxton when he settled here. This 
family has been noted for their honesty, piety and industry. They have main- 
tained to this day a reputation that commands respect among all classes. Mo- 
man Rhea, one of the progressive farmers of the county, has accummulated con- 
siderable property, and is noted for his acts of lundness. He is one of the 
very few remaining persons of the county who was brought up in bondage. 


Daniel Boone, son of Squire Boone and grandson of George Boone, came 
from England in 1717, and settled near Philadelphia. He was a Quaker and 
sought the colony established by William Penn. Squire Boone settled near 
Reading, Pa., and here in a log cabin, Daniel was bora, Nov. 2, 1734, and it is 
said that at the age of twelve, Daniel was the owner of a gun and was a marks- 
man of great skill, and when he was about fifteen years of age, his parents re- 
moved to Linville creek near Harrisonburg, Va. It is said that settlers from 
Pennsylvania were buying choice lands in that neighborhood at ten cents an 
acre. At or about this time, John Lincoln, grandfather of the President, was 
living there. The Boones went to North Carolina in 1757, and before Daniel 
Boone was twenty years old he became a soldier and in 1754 marched to Win- 
chester, Va. He was a teamster and blacksmith in the Braddock expedition, 
and escaped the disaster there, by mounting a horse. 

He was married in 1756 to a Miss Biyaiit with whom he lived for 57 years. 
About 1769, Boone, with some other companions, went to the wilds of Ken- 


tucky to hunt game. In 1774, Boone was commissioned a captain of militia by 
Governer Dunsmore at the head of a band of settlers. 

Boone established on the 6th of April, 1775, the settlement of Boonesbor- 
ough. In 1777, he was a Justice of the Peace, and in 1780, he was 'Colonel of 
Militia. He was three times a member of the Virginia Legislature. 

During 14 years, Boone was a resident of West Virginia. He lived in 
Kanawha County, and was in 1789, Lieutenant Colonel of Militia, and repre- 
sented Kanawha in the Virginia Legislature, and was Deputy Surveyor. He 
went to Missouri, and when past eighty years of age, he visited the prairies of 
Kansas and Nebraska, roaming nigh to the foot of the Rockies. 

His last days were serene, and he was taken care of by his grandchildren. 
He died September 26, 1820, without illness, at the age of about 86. At that 
time Missouri was about to become a state, and the Constitutional Convention 
was sitting, and as a mark of respect, adjourned for one day. 

Daniel Boone was the father of five sons and four daughters. Two of his 
sons were killed by the Indians. 


Rebecca Lincoln, who married Matthew Dyer, was related to the war 
president. The family is of New England origin, and its pioneer settlement 
in Rockingham was on Linville Creek. In 1785, there is mention of John, a 
deputy surveyor, and of Jacob, a constable and deputy sheriff. In 1782, a 
Thomas Lincoln Avas married to Elizabeth Kessner. The father of the president 
was also Thomas, and he was born in Rockingham. In 1781 he went with his 
father, Abraham, to Kentucky, where the parent was killed from ambush by 
an Indian in 1786, the Indian being promptly shot dead from the cabin window 
by a son about twelve years old. He was perhaps the same Abraham who is 
mentioned in the Rockingham records about 1780. 

In 1903, Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Lincoln Pennypaeker told that some time 
prior to the Revolution, John Lincoln came from Pennsylvania and bought 
laud on Linville creek. The place is a short distance below Wenger's Mill. 
The house now occupied by Mr. S. M. Bowman ,built about 1800 by Captain 
Jacob Lincoln (1751-1822), is at or near the original Lincoln homestead. The 
old Lincoln graveyard is nearby on the hill. 

John Lincoln had five sons, Abraham, John, Jacob, Thomas and Isaac. 
Jacob (Captain Jacob), grandfather of Mi's. Pennypaeker, was the only one 
of the five to remain in Virginia. Abraham, with his little son Thomas, aged 
about four, went in 1781 or 1782 to Kentucky. Abraham Lincoln, later Presi- 
dent, was born in Kentucky, Febraary 12, 1809, when Thomas was about thirty- 
one years of age. The family of Boones of which Daniel was a boy about fifteen 
years of age, William Bryan who married a Boone, Henry Miller who was a 
cousin to Boone and a hunter and trapper, a family or more of the Friends and 
others, settled on Linville creek. 



Beautifully situated on the banks of the Pamunkey, is the mansion known 
as "The White House." It stands on the site of the one in which Washington 
was married. Prom Custis' Life of Mrs. Martha Washington, we extract the 
account of his courtship and marriage : 

It was in. 1758 that Washington, attired in a military uniform dress, and 
attended by a body servant, tall and militaire as his chief, crossed the ferry 
called William 's, over the Pamunkey, a branch of the York River. On the 
boat touching the southern or New Kent side, the soldier's progress was ar- 
rested by one of those personages who give the beau ideal of the Virginia gen- 
tleman of the old regime, the very soul of kindness and hospitality. It was in 
vain the soldier urged his business at Williamsburg, important communications 
to the governor, etc. Mr. Chamberlayne, on whose domain the militaire had 
just landed, would hear of no excuse. Colonel Washington was a name and 
character so dear to all Virginians, that, his passing by one of the castles of 
Virginia, without calling and partaking of the hospitalities of the host, was 
entirely out of the question. The colonel, however, did not surrender at dis- 
cretion, but stoutly maintained his ground till Chamberlayne, bringing up his 
reserve, in the intimation that he would introduce his friend to a young and 
charming widow, then beneath his roof, the soldier capitulated, on condition that 
he should dine — only dine — and then, by pressing his charger and borrowing 
of the night, he would reach Williamsburg before his excellency could shake 
off his morning slumbers. Orders were accordingly issued to Bishop, the colo- 
enl's body servant and faithful follower, who, together with the fine English 
charger, had been bequeathed by the dying' Braddock to Major Washington, 
on the famed and fated field of Monongahela. Bishop, bred in the school of 
European discipline, raised his hand to his cap, as much as to say, "Your or- 
ders shall be obeyed." 

The colonel now proceeded to the mansion, and was introduced to variotis 
guests, (for when was a Virginia domicil of the olden time without guests?) 
and, above all, to the charming widow. Ti*adition relates that they were mu- 
tually pleased, on this, their first interview — nor is it remarkable; they were 
of an age when impressions are strongest. The lady was fair to behold, of fas- 
cinating manners, and splendidly endowed with worldly benefits. The hero 
was fresh from his early fields, redolent of fame, and with a form on which 
"every god did seem to set his seal, to give the world assurance of a man." 

The morning passed pleasantly away, evening came, with Bishop, true 
to his orders and firm at his post, holding the favorite charger with one hand, 
while the other was waiting to offer the ready stiri'up. The sun sunk in the 
horizon, and yet the colonel appeared not. " 'Twas strange, 'twas passing 
strange;" surely he was not ■ wont to be a single moment behind his appoint- 
ments — for he was the most punctual of all men. 

Meantime, the host enjoyed the scene of the veteran at the gate, while the 
colonel was so agreeably employed in the parlor; and proclaiming that no visi- 


Tor ever left his home at sunset, his military guest was, without much difficulty, 
persuaded to order Bishop to put up the horses for the night. The sun rode 
high in the heavens the ensuing day, when the enamored soldier pressed with 
his spur his charger's side, and speeded on his way to the seat of government, 
where, having dispatched his public business, he retraced his steps, and, at 
the White House, the engagement took place, with preparations for marriage. 

And much hath the biographer heard of that marriage, from the gray- 
haired domestics who waited at the board where love made the feast and Wash- 
ington the guest. And rare and high was the reveiry at that palmy period of 
Virginia 's festal age ; for many were gathered to that marriage, of the good, 
the great, the gifted, and they, with joyous acclamations, hailed in Virginia's 
youthful hero a happy and prosperous bridegroom. 

"And so you remember when Colonel Washington came a courting of 
your young mistress ? ' ' said the biographer to old Cully, in his hundredth year. 
"Ay, master, that I do," replied the ancient family servant, who had lived to 
see five generations; "great times, sir, great times — shall never see the like 
again!" "And Washington looked something like a man, a proper man — hey, 
Cully?" "Never seed the like, sir— never the like of him. though I have seen 
many in my day — so tall, so straight! And then he sat on a horse and rode 
with such an air! Ah, sir, he was like no one else. Many of the grandest 
gentlemen, in the gold lace, were at the wedding; but none looked like the 
man himself." Strong, indeed, must have been the impression which the per- 
son and manner of Washington made upon the "rude, untutored mind" of this 
poor negro, since the lapse of three-quarters of a century had not sufficed to 
efface it. 


Lincoln thought it necessary to write only a short letter at the most critical 
presidential elections. The vice president, Hamlin, wrote a letter about twice 
as long. Both are in the True Delta of Happy Memory June 12, I860. Here 
is the Lincoln letter: 

Springfield, 111., May 22, 1860. 
Hon. George Ashma.7i, President of the Republican Notional Convention: 

Sir: I accept the nomination by the convention over which you presided, 
and of which I am formally apprised in the letter of yourself and others, acting 
as a committee of the convention for that purpose. The declarations of prin- 
ciples and sentiments which accompany your letter meet my approval, and Jt 
shall be my care not to violate it nor to disregard it in any part. Imploring 
the assistance of Divine Providence, and with due regard to the views and feel- 
ings of all who Avere represented in the convention, to the rights' of all the 
states and territories and people of the nation, to the inviolability of the Con- 
stitution and the perpetual union, harmony and prosperity of all. I am happy 


to co-operate for the practical success of the principles declared by the 

Your obliged friend and fellow citizen, 


President Lincoln said, "You can fool part of the people all the time and 
all the people part of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. ' ' 

• Through the following letter, written nearly a half century ago the great 
heart of Abraham Lincoln speaks eloquently of the type of man he was. Most 
of those who knew the martyred president in life are gone. It is by picture 
and relic that he is remembered by the present generation. And this letter to 
a sorrowing New England mother is one of the most treasured of the relics. 
Couched in its simple, beautiful language, it has always been regarded as one 
of the grandest masterpieces ever written in America : 

Executive Mansion, Washington, 
Nov. 21, 1864. 
To Mrs. Bixby, Boston, Mass. 

Dear Madam: I have been shown in the files of the War Department a state- 
ment of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts t>at you are the mother of 
five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and 
fruitless must be my any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you 
from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering 
you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the republic they died 
to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your 
bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, 
and the solemn pride that must, be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon 
the altar of freedom. 

Yours very sincerely and respectfully, 




Tragedies; Early Habits of the Citizens; Stock Raising, Anecdotes. 


About the year 1858 or 1859, eane which is commonly called sorghum, was 
introduced in the central portion of our state. The people had no knowledge 
of the method of extracting the juice from the stalks, and but little faith in 
its value as a food product. The first method or test that was given it, was by 
cutting the stalks at each joint and stripping the outside of the stalk off with 
a knife. " This could be done as it was hard and tough, leaving the pith which 
contained the juice. This was then either pressed or boiled in order to extract 
the juice. When the people had become convinced of its value and gained 
some knowledge of its manufacture, they made wooden mills. These were simp- 
ly two rollers made usually of sugar wood. These rollers were about twelve 
or fourteen inches in diameter by eighteen inches long, turned by hand, with 
journals from five to six inches in diameter. One of the journals extended 
above the frame about three feet, and on this was placed a sweep about twelve 
feet in length to which a horse was attached. The rollers were supplied with 
wooden cogs, and in order to make the journals as well as the gearing work 
smoothly, tallow was used as a lubricant. The bench and cap of the frame were 
made something like five or six inches thick so as to give the joiirnals a good 
bearing. The rollers were tightened by means of keys, and when the rude 
wooden machinery was in operation the friction of the journals and cogs created 
a noise that was simply deafening, and could be heard for miles. You couldn't 
stop the horse readily as it was impossible to make it hear, consequently many 
accidents occurred. It was not an unusual tiling at that day to see a boy with 
his hand or arm ground off. At a later time, the local foundries made cast iron 
mills. Now a much better class of mills is made with three turned rollers placed 
in iron frames. While for many years the juice of cane was boiled in iron kettles, 
now evaporators are used. From the eane is made an excellent quality of syrup 
which is most palatable and healthful. Some people prefer it above sugar for 
making fruit butters. Farmers make a mistake in not raising more cane as a 
half acre planted to cane will amply supply any family. It requires from 
seven to eight gallons of juice to make one of syrup. The quality of the soil 
as well as the season, has much to do with the quality of the juice. The juice 
of cane grown in a dry season is much sweeter, and produces more syrup per 
gallon of juice. 


When the country was first settled, and for many years afterward, nearly 
all the sugar consumed in the interior of the state was made from the sap of 


the sugar tree which grew in great abundance along the water courses and in 
the rich coves and flat lands. Some sugar camps contained as many as five 
hundred trees. In the early Spring after a hard freeze and the sun had 
warmed up the sap, the farmer would tap his trees. The process of making 
sugar was very simple. There were two ways of opening the trees — one was 
by the use of a gouge, a piece of flat iron about the size of an inch and a quar- 
ter chisel, and end being cupped. This gouge was driven far enough through 
the bark and into the sap of the tree to allow a spile of similar size and shape 
to be driven into the incision made by the gouge. These carried the water 
from the tree to the bucket. 

Another way of tapping a sugar tree was by boring a small augur hole in 
the side of the tree, and putting in a spile made of a hollow alder or sumac. 
The custom was to make sugar troughs out of small poplar or linn trees. These 
were made by cutting blocks about two and a half feet long, splitting the block 
so as to make two troughs. These troughs when full contained about three 
gallons. If there were but few trees, the water was collected in buckets and 
taken to the house and boiled down in large kettles on the fireplace. If the 
number of trees justified it, a camp was built and a furnace that would hold 
four or five kettles was placed by the camp. 

The usual method of gathering sugar water was by collecting it in bar- 
rels and hauling it to the camp with a horse. When the trees were situated on 
a hillside, the water was often conveyed to the furnaces by means of spouts 
which were sometimes made of bark pealed from saplings. The water when 
boiled down usually made upon an average of three pounds to the tree, Some 
seasons were much better than others for sugar making. Seasons following 
severe winters being much the best as this seems to be nature's method of 
sweetening the sap in the branches of the trees. After the sap begins to be 
ropy in the Spring, it is used only for making molasses until the warm days 
dries up the sap and converts it into wood. It requires abotn forty-eight gal- 
lons of sugar water to make a gallon of syrup ; and a gallon of miaple syrup 
when reduced, will make about two and a half pounds of fine sugar. 

When Lewis and Clark were sent out by the government to explore its 
western possessions, they rescued a tribe of half-famished Indians who had 
been driven from the plains and were living on the bare mountains. They 
gave the old chief a piece of dried pumpkin to eat, and he remarked that it 
was the sweetest thing he had tasted since his sister, a half century or more 
before, had given him a lump of maple sugar when he was a small boy. All 
these years had not removed from the lips of that savage the taste of the little 
lump of maple sugar. We should spare and cultivate the tree, remembering 
that it is a luxury which God has placed within the reach of so many of his 

I. C. Bishop who lives on Hacker's creek, Harrison county, says that the 
Spring of 1915, he put nineteen or twenty spiles in one large sugar tree, and 


that they made and put away for summer's use fifteen gallons 'of syrup, be- 
sides what the family used while they were making. 

The season of 1915 was the best sugar season that has been known for 
many years, and the number of spiles must have drawn all the sugar water 
from the tree. 


Before the commercial saw-mills entered the interior of the State, a great 
many of the young men found employment on the farm and furnished the 
labor that was required on the neighboring lands. Very few of the young 
men left the farm in search of work. They supplied, as a rule, all the posi- 
tions, such as lawyers, doctors, teachers, mechanics, and merchants. In the 
sections where the farmers became wealthy by reason of the development of 
coal, oil and gas, as a rule they abandoned the farm and moved to the towns 
and cities. Very many of them had learned habits of industry and economy. 
They were vigorous and strong. The early dew of the morning, the sunshine 
and the fresh air, wholesome vegetables, good exercise and refreshing sleep had 
given them robust constitutions, but in a great majority of instances they re- 
versed the whole order of tilings. In the larger towns and cities, they fell in 
with the city boys. In too many instances, they learned habits of idleness and 
dissipation. They were unaccustomed to city life and were unable to take 
care of themselves and conserve their interests. The fortunes which at first 
seemed to them to be immense and inexhaustible soon shrank to a minimum 
and at last bcame exhausted, leaving the lobsters on the sand-bar after the 
floods had disappeared. The card table, the saloon, the beer bottle and the 
cigarette became the inheritance of the weak and the foolish. 

The young men of the lumber districts and oil fields, as a rule, leave the 
farm for other employment. Those of the lumber districts, not coming in pos- 
session of fortunes sufficient to justify city life, generally went to the lumber 
camp. There is a fascination about the camp and woods that is to be enjoyed 
nowhere else. The pure water of the mountain stream, the aroma of the newly- 
cut timber, the well-trakied skidding team, the inclines, the skidways, the 
lightning-like revolutions of the band-saw cutting its thousands of feet of lum- 
ber a day, the whirr and buzz of the machinery fascinates the young man and 
keeps him wedded to his job. But they are not altogether free from bad in- 
fluences and environments. The whiskey jug, the cigarette, cocaine and other 
drugs equally destructive to humanity, follow the camp. Profanity increases 
as men gather in camp as well as in war, and such expressions as the following 
may be heard from young men in a short time after they have left the farm, 
"Look here, feller," "You bet," "You're damned right, old man," "Yes, my 
feller. ' ' But after all, they work. Many of the young men remain for several 
years at the camp and become useful citizens, but the vulgar expressions spoken 
of rarely ever leave the lumberman. Horrible as it may seem, this form of vul- 
garity is often communicated to others. 



The following is an extract from an article written by John MacRay, and 
printed in the Greenbrier Independent, telling of a visit he made to the oil 
wells of "Wirt county in 1861. As some of Braxton's citizens developed the 
Wirt oil fields, the portion of the article reproduced below will be of interest 
to ,our readers : 

Burning Springs as it was called, came out and collected gradually in a 
boggy place, covering a space of a number of square rods. This spring, like 
many springs of continental Europe and of America west of the Allegheny 
Mountains, ran oil as well as water, and the custom was to absorb the oil from 
the top of the water by means of flannel cloths, and this was sold as "Rock 
Oil." There are readers now who remember this Rock Oil as it was sold in 
small bottles years ago, and recommended as a Panacea for all the ills to which 
flesh is heir. This was done before the boring for oil began, and it was the 
scarcity of the oil that lent the enchantment to its curative power. Our Eng- 
lish word "petroleum" coming from two Greek words meaning "rock" and 
oil", literally means "Rock Oil." 

About the year 1857, some Pennsylvania men came to "Wirt county and 
bored a well for salt. This well was sunk right near the Burning Spring and 
was pointed out to us. They struck some oil, and as it greased up everything 
and impeded their work they became disgiisted, quit and went back to Penn- 
sylvania. Some neighbors of their 's heard of it, procured their rights, came 
down, put in pumping machinery and worked away, getting two or three bar- 
rels of oil per day when a joint stock company was formed in Sutton with 
such men as Jonathan N. Camden, Thomas B. Camden, Col. B. "W. Byrne, 
Homer A. Holt and others who made a lease for a term of years of an old Mr. 
Rathbone. This company bored a well very near the spring about the close of 
the year 1860. This well was known in the oil parlance as the "Camden well." 
"When this well was bored, it was done for the express purpose of the discovery 
of oil. At the distance of one hundred and twenty-five feet, oil and gas were 
struck in such vast quantities that it spouted more than one hundred feet in 
the air, blowing the drills and everything in its Avay entirely out. The people 
loved to tell this, and everyone who saw this marvel of nature woidd become 
excited when he told it. 

This was the first big oil well in Wirt county. For weeks, the oil ran with 
all the force that nature could give it. The owners of the well could do noth- 
ing to stop the flow. All the appliances that could be brought to bear upon 
it had no effiect whatever, and immense quantities of sand were used to stop it, 
but all in vain. The oil wasted in enormous quantities and the Kanawha river 
ran black for miles with this. Finally every available boat on the river was 
procured and filled with oil to the water's edge, and by this last means the oil 
was spouted into the boats and much of it saved. 


Finally to add to the already intense excitement, someone set this oil on 
fire and Kanawha river was for miles a burning stream of water. 

The Camden well and spring caught fire as all surface oil did within reach 
of the flames, and the fire continued for weeks amid the wildest excitement. 
This is how the name "Burning Spring" originated. When this was made 
known to the public, there was a mad rush for the place, principally by the 
Pennsylvania and Ohio people. Oil had been discovered before this time in 
Pennsylvania, and they knew its value better than anyone else. When we were 
there, the crude oil was worth thirty-three cents per gallon in iron hoop barrels 
on the river bank. The river was the only means of transportation at that 

There were only a few people in Wirt county when this Camden well was 
bored, but within a few weeks there were fully 10,000 people on the ground. 
This Camden well continued to waste and burn until another well, larger and 
stronger, was bored, known as the "Llewelyn," and the immense flow from 
this well practically stopped the Camden well. 

We were at these oil wells fully a week, and of all the places ever seen, 
this one took the lead. There was not a convenience or a comfort of any kind; 
everything looked greasy; there was nothing that you could taste, touch or 
handle but that coal oil was on it, and the crude oil is very offensive. The der- 
rick hands would actually wash their faces and hands in this crude oil, claiming 
that it would cleanse the skin without soap. Their occupation had rendered 
them insensible to its disagreeable odor. 

The state of society at these oil wells was something fearful to contem- 
plate. "Every man was a law unto himself and did that which was right in 
his own eyes." v In addition to the fierce greed for money, the feeling created 
by the approaching war was intense and terrible. There had been bloodshed 
and murder committed a short time before our coming, and acts of this kind 
were likely to occur at any time. It was "abolition" and "secesh" as each 
party named the other. The abolitionists had the greater numbers. We never 
heard the name of God mentioned save in profanity, and the swearing and vul- 
garity was simply fearful. 


In 1841 or 1842, a company was organized in Clarksburg to propogate the 
silk worm and manufacture silk. 

The silk worm is fed on mulberry leaves, and at the approach of cold 
weather, spins a web of fine threads which covers it over completely, making 
an oblong sack called a cocoon, and when unwound from around the worm, 
is used to make silk. When the cocoon is undisturbed, a butterfly comes from 
it in the Spring which lays eggs and creates the silk worm. 

The building used for this purpose was located near the Barnes' Crossing 
and was called a co-coonery. The result was unsatisfactory, only about enough 
silk being made to make the town editor, McGranahan, a vest. 


About the year 1875, Pembrook B. Berry of Sutton, a cabinet maker, 
brought the first planing mill and set it up in Sutton. He made a dinner and 
invited quite a number of the citizens in honor of the event. It was some- 
thing new to the people, and was in the line of progress, and sounded the 
death knell to the jack-planes in Sutton. 


Many years before the Civil war, Asa Squires began the manufacture of 
salt near Salt Lick bridge in a very small way. He sunk a gum to catch the 
salt water that comes up in the side of the creek, and with six large iron ket- 
tles he made some salt, but soon abandoned the project. Some of the old kettles 
are still in the possession of the Singleton family. 

John Haymond and Benjamin Wilson commenced the manufacture of salt 
at Bulltown on the Little Kanawha river, (now in Braxton county) in the year 
1809, and discontinued it in 1823. A great quantity was made during the war 
with Great Britain. 

The salt qualities of the waters became known by a lick being frequented 
by the cattle of the neighborhood. It has always been said that Conrad's cow 
discovered the salt deposit. 

John B. Byrne afterwards made salt there as did also Adison McLaugh- 
lin, but the business was discontinued about the close of the Civil war. 

Terra Salis, or Kanawha Salines, is a flourishing town about 6 miles 
above Charleston, containing 4 dry-goods and 2 grocery stores, an extensive 
iron-foundry, 1 Episcopal, 1 Presbyterian and 1 Methodist chruch, and a pop- 
ulation of about 800. 

The Kanawha salt-works commence on the river, near Chai'leston, and 
extend on both sides for about 15 miles, giving employment, directly and in- 
directly, to about 3,000 persons. 

The discovery of salt water in this region was led to by a large buffalo- 
lick on the northeast side of the river, 5 miles above Charleston. In this lick 
the first salt-well was sunk, in 1809. 

The whole product of the salt district is estimated at 1,200,000 bushels 
annually ; and this product must continue to swell with the increasing demand, 
and with the employment of additional capital. It is a curious fact, and 
worthy of philosophical inquiry, that while the salt water is obtained by bor- 
ing at a depth of from 3 to 500 feet below the bed of the Kanawha, it in- 
variably rises to a level with the river. When the latter is swollen by rains, 
or the redundant waters of its tributaries, the saline fluid, enclosed in suit- 
able gums on the shore, ascends like the mercury in its tube, and falls only 
when the river is restored to its wonted channel. How this mysterious corre- 
spondence is produced, is a problem which remains to be solved. Theories and 
speculation have been heard on the subject, but none seem to be precisely 
consonant with the principles of science. 


Several vestiges remain on the Kanawha, which show that the Indians 
were acquainted with and made use of the salt water. Remains of rude pot- 
tery are found in abundance in the neighborhood respecting which there is but 
little doubt that they are the remains of vessels used by them for the evapora- 
tion of the salt water. That the neighborhood of the Big Lick was their fa- 
vorite resort, is evinced by the traces of their idle hours to be found upon the 
neighboring rocks. A short distance below the Big Lick was, some years 
since, a rock called the pictured or calico rock, on which the natives had sculp- 
tured many rude figures of animals, birds, etc. This rock was finally de- 
stroyed to make furnace chimneys. Another similar sculptured rock is, or 
was lately, on the southwest side of the river, upon the summit of the nearest 
hill. The article annexed, originally published in the Lexington Gazette in 
1843, above the signature of H. R., describes a curiosity peculiarly interesting 
to the scientific, and promises to have a wonderful influence upon the pros- 
perity of this region. 


These wonderful wells have been so lately discovered, that as yet only a 
brief and imperfect notice of them has appeared in the newspaprs. But they 
are a phenomenon so very curious and interesting, that a more complete de- 
scription will doubtless be acceptable to the public. 

They are, in fact, a new thing under the sun, for in all the history of the 
world, it does not appear that a fountain of strong brine was ever before 
known to be mingled with a fountain of inflamnable gas, sufficient to pump it 
out in a constant stream, and then, by its combustion, to evaporate the whole 
into salt of the best quality. 


After the country became somewhat settled so the people could keep do- 
mestic stock, they began to tan their own leather. This was a simple process. 
The first thing to be done w r as to dig out a large trough and partially fill it 
with beaten or ground tan bark. Chestnut oak bark was commonly used. 
These, troughs were kept full of water. A similar trough was prepared in 
which lime or acids were used to remove the hair. The hides were then placed 
in the oak ooze, fresh bark being added occasionally to keep up the strength 
of the tanning solution. It required about twelve months to properly tan a 
hide. The hides were taken out of the ooze and placed on a bench, one end of 
which stood on two legs and made waist-high to a man, the other end resting 
on the floor. The tanner would take what was termed a currying knife, and 
with this he would remove all the fleshy parts that adhered to the leather, and 
usually prepared it for use without blacking the flesh side. This rude way of 
tanning leather usually left it hard and bony, but it wore well. 

Deer hides could be either tanned or dressed. After removing the hair 


from the pelt, the hide was usually dressed in deer brains. This method left it 
soft and pliable, and it was used for moccasins, and often for men's pantaloons, 
as well as for strings and other various purposes. Public tanneries took the 
place of the home tannery, and persons would have their leather tanned on 
shares, one-half for the other. These tanyards were built close to running 
springs of water. Several vats were made in a building and kept full of tan- 
bark, and the hides were transferred from one to the other during the process 
of tanning. These tanneries, as a rule, made good leather — better than the 
steamed product that is thrown on the market at this day. In Ireland, it is 
said, leather is kept in the vats for seven years, and is unsurpassed in quality. 
David Ireland is said to be the first man to establish a tanyard in this county. 
He located at Sutton, near where the Jackson mill stood. Gus Hinkle was per- 
haps i the first tanner to locate at Bulltown. Later John Lorentz conducted a 
tanyard there, and Neil Hurley had a tanyard at the same place still later. 
Samuel McCorkle, early in the fifties, had a tanyard on the Old Woman's run, 
also keeping a tollgate. His building stood just below the mouth of a little drain 
which heads near the C. C. Hawkins property in North Sutton. He closed 
his business at the beginning of the Civil war, and with his family, went back 
East to their former home. 

William Berry, the founder of the Berry family in this county, tanned 
leather in a small way at his residence on 'Briens fork of Salt Lick, as early 
as 1833. He used troughs for vats, and it is not likely that he did very much 
work for the public. It is said when the stars "fell" in November, 1833, and 
the people became so alarmed, thinking the world was coming to an end, Mr. 
Berry told his boys to get up, that the leather was all in the tan vats and 
would be destroyed. 

Perhaps the last public tannery in the county was conducted by Benjamin 
Huffman on the site of the one established by David Ireland. This was torn 
down about the time the Coal & Coke railroad was built to Sutton. The great 
commercial tanneries of the present have taken the place of the county tan- 
neries, just as they did of the individual tanneries. 

Contemporary with the early tannery, was the journeyman shoemaker, 
but the large shoe manufacturers have driven him out of existence. The jour- 
neyman shoemaker was an important adjunct to civilization, and at one time 
the people thought he was an indispensable being. As a rule, a travelling 
shoemaker was wise beyond the commonality of men, and often it was with dif- 
ficulty that he could comprehend his own greatness. He travelled from house 
to house, and would usually be the inmate of a family for a week at a time; 
he saw and heard all that the family knew ; he gathered from the children what 
they knew, and heard the gossip of the neighborhood; he travelled from one 
neighborhood to another, and was a veritable encyclopedia of gossip ; he was 
full of sayings and witticisms, and catechised the children with an overflow 
of his knowledge. His shop was always in the parlor of the cabin where the 
family cooked, ate and slept, and to keep the children from handling his tools 



required all his powers of forbearance, patience and resistance. He manufac- 
tured his own lasts, obtained the rosin for his wax from pine knots and pulled 
the bristles from the wild hog. He manufactured his own shoe pegs with a 
saw and pocketknife, and some sldllful housewife spun the flax for his shoe 
thread. Out of the home-tanned leather, the travelling shoemaker shod the 
early inhabitants of West Virginia. One pair of shoes was all that any mem- 
ber of the family had during the year. About mid- winter, the boys' shoes 
would have to be half soled and the toes capped, waiting for the good old sum- 
mer days to come. Fifty cents or a bushel of corn was the price for making 
men's and women's shoes. 


With the exception of a few counties in West Virginia, but few well-bred 
horses were raised until recent years. The counties of Harrison and Green- 
brier were perhaps the foremost in introduc- 
ing a good strain of horses. The principal 
horse raised in the State was the common 
native horse called the "West Virginia 
plug." These horses were bred for genera- 
tions without very much care or intermix- 
ture with the more improved breeds. They 
have been bred and inbred until they have 
become of slow growth and "pluggy", by 
reason of hard usage and little care. Some- 
times they were belled and turned into the 
woods to gather their own food with the 
cattle. As a rule they are low and strong, 
seldom weighing over a thousand pounds, 
and are inured to hardships. They have 
climbed the mountain sides and traveled over 
steep and rugged paths until they have de- 
veloped every muscle of the body. Some of 
them have style and are first-class travelers, 
'and can endure without fatigue what would 
kill an ordinary horse raised and pampered 
in a level country. Central West Virginia in 
recent years has given more attention to the breeding of horses. A great many 
of the heavier breeds have been brought into the state from France, Germany 
and Belgium, also the Western states, and crossed with our native stock. In 
some parts of the state, the English coach horse and the saddler have been in- 
troduced, but the breeds have rarely been kept pure for any length of time, 
almost invariably becoming crossed with the native horse. The size and style 
of the West Virginia horse has been greatly improved, but the durability and 
longevity of our native horses have never been surpassed by any other breed, 

Milking the cows 


and with the "West Virginia plug," the veterinary surgeon has but few calls. 
The first blooded horses and cattle that came to Braxton were brought 
here by William Fisher about the year 1835 or 1840. They had an imported 
horse in Pendleton county called "Rattler," and the horses brought here by 
Mr. Fisher were of that stock. They were iron grey and very hardy service- 
able animals, and as a rule were fine workers. Some of this stock is yet in the 
country and retains its color wherever there is any considerable mixture of the 
blood. B. F. Fisher raised two stallions some time within the fifties that were 
dappled grey and very fine animals. They sold for about six hundred dollars 
each which at that clay was considered a very fine price. William Fisher in 
an early day, introduced the Durham cattle. This was the first effort made 
up to that time to improve the cattle of this section. They were white cattle 
brought from Pendleton and Hardy counties, and locally were known as the 
Fisher cattle. 

Stock raising has always been a profitable business with the farmers of 
West Virginia. Greenbrier and Monroe counties are noted for fine cattle and 
saddle horses, Mason county is also a noted stock county. Harrison, Monon- 
galia, Marion, Taylor, Upshur, Lewis and Braxton, with some other counties, 
have been engaged in stock raising since the Civil war on an extensive scale. 
The lands of these counties are fertile and well adapted to grazing. Gilmer 
county also handles considerable stock, her lands being very fertile. Nicholas 
county for many years availed herself of the wild lands within the county 
and adjacent to it on which to range her stock in the summer season. That 
county has a great deal of meadow land on Beaver. Muddlety, Peters creek, 
McMillions creek and other smaller streams. The glades and marshes of 
Nicholas county when cleared of the timber and alder brush, produced an 
abundant amount of coarse hay, and the quality is being improved by a system 
of drainage. Nicholas county is now handling a better grade of cattle as the 
country is being settled and the native range destroyed. Stock raising will 
become far more profitable as the silo is just being introduced. This method 
of feeding cattle is destined to revolutionize the stock raising business in West 
Virginia. Men with a small area of good land can fatten a load of cattle at a 
profit in excess of what could be realized, under the old system, on three or 
four times the acreage of land. Cattle fed on silage can be advanced in weight 
and condition so as to go to market a year sooner than under the present plan 
of dry feeding and grazing. 


It has been fifty years or more since the silo began to attract attention, 
and came into use in some of the eastern states. The system of silage feeding 
has always had favorable mention in the agricultural journals of the country, 
and also by most writers. Too much praise can not be given the silo as the 
most economical way of feeding stock, and especially so in dairy farming. It 


is only within the last half dozen years that the silo has been tried to any ex- 
tent in West Virginia. 

John Loyd who keeps a dairy near Sutton, was the first man to build a 
silo in Braxton county, with the result of three years' experience he has built 
two more. 

A. C. Sutton of Big Otter, Clay county, built the first silo in that county 
in 1914, and the fall of 1915, the Boggs Brothers built nine silos on their 
farms, and a few others were built in different sections of the county. Brax- 
ton county commenced to build silos in earnest during the season of 1915. 

The hoop and stave silo is the most common in use, and the most popular 
size is 12x30. We believe the -silo is destined to revolutionize the stock busi- 
ness in West Virginia, and greatly increase the number and quality of the 
cattle raised and fattened for the markets. 

Cattle raising in the coal and oil districts of West Virginia has declined 
in recent years, owing to the development of these mineral resources. Betore 
the West Virginia & Pittsburgh division of the B. & 0. railrorad was built 
from Clarksburg to Richwood, Bridgeport was the principal shipping point 
for a great portion of the stock from several counties south of that point. The 
cattle pens at Bridgeport were a fine paying property. They were valued at 
about ten thousand dollars, or equal to a paying capital of that amount. After 
the railroad was completed to Sutton, a great deal of stock was loaded at Mc- 
Nutt siding. We have known as many as eight carloads of cattle loaded in 
one day at that point, also as many as six hundred head of sheep loaded from 
the pens in one day. However since the railroad has been extended to Rich- 
wood, a great deal of the stock from Nicholas county and south of there is 
shipped from that point. Since the completion of the Coal & Coke railroad, 
quite a number of cattle and sheep are now loaded from Clay and Nicholas 
counties at points along that line. Before the railroads were built to the 
points named, we have seen as many as a thousand head of sheep going over 
the Weston and Gauley Bridge turnpike in one day. Tt was not uncommon 
in the Fall or Spring seasons to see two hundred head of cattle in one drove 
passing over the same route. These cattle were bought up as feeders or to be 
grazed and put in good condition for the market. 

The Shorthorn Durham was for many years the favorite cattle in West 
Virginia, but in recent years the Hereford has taken the lead. They are a 
hardy cattle, and seem to stand the winters better when calves, and fatten at 
an earlier age. As milkers, the Hereford and Black Polled Angus which is a 
hardy beef cattle, are as a rule very inferior. The Durham cattle are the most 
beautiful cattle in the world, and to feed them and give them a little more 
time for development, they are superior to all other cattle in weight and style. 

The Jersey breed of cattle is but a slight improvement over the lowest 
breed of scrub cattle, and that consists in the quality of the milk which they 


give. They have greatly damaged the breed of beef cattle in sections where 
they are kept. The slightest admixture of blood can be detected, showing in 
th pale color of the hair, the cat hams and a large paunch. While the fat Dur- 
ham or any of the improved breeds of beef cattle will dress sixty pounds to the 
one hundred pounds gross, the Jersey will dress less than fifty, and their tal- 
low is yellow and objectionable. 

Hornless Cattle. 

A citizen of Illinois bred the Polled Durham. He started by 
crossing the thorough-bred Durham bull with a muley cow, and by sixteen 
crosses he succeeded in breeding a hornless cattle of very superior quality. 
Some of his herd found their way to West Virginia, and other breeds of cattle 
have also been bred hornless. 

The practice of dehorning has of recent years prevailed generally among 
stock raisers. This operation is very painful, and sometimes results in the 
death of the animal. Two methods are employed. One is by a knife placed 
in an iron frame and worked by means of a lever. This is very practical when 
used on small cattle, but with older cattle it sometimes crushes the horn, often 
injuring the skull. The saw is the implement most generally used when de- 
horning large cattle. When the horn or nub of the young calf first appears, 
it may be destroyed by an application of some caustic acid. Removing the 
horns of cattle with either clippers or saw is extremely brutal, and should be 
discontinued. While it is not practical under existing methods of stock raising 
to handle horned cattle, hornless cattle might be bred and would become uni- 
versal if the method of dehorning was prohibited. 

The solution of, and highest attainment in stock raising in West Virginia 
will be reached when the level lands are cultivated in corn and other grains to 
be fed through the silo, while the rolling or steep lands can be used as sheep 
pasture, and in this way maintain their fertility and become a source of profit. 
At the World's Fair in St. Louis, there were four prize winning steers ac- 
knowledged to be the largest and finest specimens in the world. The largest 
was the famous "Advance" which tipped the scales at the enormous weight 
of 4,270 pounds, was I8V2 hands high, girth 14 feet and 2 inches, and meas- 
ured 4 feet and 3 inches across the back. 

The second largest steer was "Baron Lyndale" which weighed 4,000 
pounds, and the third largest was "Lord Raleigh," weighing 3,830 pounds. 

Samuel Ludington of Greenbrier county, this state, raised a thorough- 
bred Short Horn that tipped the scales at 4,400 pounds. This is the largest 
steer of which the world has any record, and perhaps in the six thousand 
years of its history, no steer of greater weight has been recorded. He was 
taken to the railroad station in a truck made for that purpose. 

Huston Carr, near Belfont, this state, raised a Durham steer with one- 
fourth Polled Angus, which at two years of age weighed 1,520 pounds. Carr 


sold the steer to L. D. Peppers of Glenville, West Virginia, who sold it to John 
Goff. He was exhibited at several State Fairs. His weight at five years was 
3,600 pounds. Goff sold the steer to Captain O'Brion of Gilmer county who 
took him to California. It is said that he attained to the enormous weight of 
4,200 pounds. 

Asa Carr of Belfont raised a yearling Short Horn, one-fourth Polled 
Angus, that weighed 1,170 pounds at fifteen months of age. 

A yearling bull, bred by Daniel O'Brien, was brought to Braxton county 
in the Pall of 1914, and his gross weight was 1,105 pounds. 

The largest hog butchered in the county was raised and fattened by S. B. 
Singleton of Salt Lick in 1913. It was a cross between the Jersey and Poland 
China. The hog was two years old. Its gross weight was 886 pounds, and its 
net weight was 760 pounds. One of the midlings made into bacon weighed 110 
pounds, and 141/9 gallons of lard was rendered from the hog. 


was held at Sutton October ...., 1916. The first Agricultural Fair Association 
was composed of the following members: James Balangee, Vial Sands, J. B. 
McCoy, J. W. Howell, C. L. Engle, D. L. Long, G. R. Rose, G. S. A. Barrett, 
M. E. McCoy. The organization was effected by the election of John D. Sut- 
ton, President, G. S. A. Barrett, Vice President, James Balengee, Secretary, 
and C. L. Engle, Treasurer. 

The Fair was held in the large building known as the Rink, standing be- 
tween the lower end of the town and the B. & O. depot. This large room, 140 
feet long, by 50 feet wide, furnished an elegant place for the agricultural ex- 
hibit, while underneath the main building which is open and stands some nine 
or ten feet above ground, was divided into stalls for the stock. The stock ex- 
hibit was not large, but showed some very good live stock, including horses, 
cattle and sheep. The horticultural exhibit of fruit, cereals, art and needle 
work, was exceptionally fine, contributions coming from all parts of the county. 

The donations for premiums used at this event, amounted to about $300.00, 
and was contributed principally by the citizens of Sutton. 




Jacob Heater who lived on O'Brien's fork of Salt Lick, was in the woods 
some distance from his home when bitten by a rattlesnake. From a memoran- 
dum found among the papers of Colonel Asa Squires, we learn that he was 
bitten on Friday, July 6, 1838, about eleven o'clock A. M., and that he died 
that night about eleven o'clock. He was buried on the following Sunday in 
the old Flatwoods cemetery. His remains and those of his wife were exhumed 
in September, 1906, sixty-eight years after the death of Mr. Heater, and fifty- 
three years after the death of his wife. Mr. Heater was born March 27, 1798, 
and his wife, Delila Riffle Heater, was born Dec. 28, 1798. 

Many years ago a free negro came from the East, and as he passed 
through the county some of the people supposed that he was an escaped slave, 
and tried to have him arrested. The poor fellow became frightened, and tried 
to avoid arrest. He escaped down the Elk river, and a constable and a posse 
pursued him. Just at the lower end of the eddy, where the town of Gassaway 
now stands, he tried to escape by swimming 7 the river, and was drowned. It 
was later learned that the man was free, and was making his way westward. 

Felix Sutton was the sheriff and coroner, and summoned a jury to view 


' } 
the remains and ascertain the cause of his death. He related to the writer 
that when the examination was over, it was sundown, and every person who 
was present left the ground. He then dug a shallow grave and buried the 
unfortunate man without any assistance, being detained until after dark in 
accomplishing it. The grave was pointed out as being on a little bank be- 
tween the river and a deep drain which emptied into the Elk at that place, 
just a short distance below the south end of the wire bridge at the lower end 
of the town. This may have been the first tragic death after the formation 
of the county, and is doubtless the last in which the coroner dug the grave, 
acted as pall-bearer, friend, minister and congregation all alone, beautifully 
exemplifying the doctrine of his church which recognizes the universal broth- 
erhood of man. 

A young man named Ashire, stepson of Peter Coger. was crushed to death 
by a saw log on the Elk river about 1847. 

Before the war, three miles below Stump town, a Mr. Bennett's wife and 
three children were drowned while attempting to cross the swollen waters of 
Steer creek in a wagon. Mr. Bennett succeeded in rescuing one of the chil- 
dren and made his own escape. 

At the tavern house and saloon of Samuel J. Singleton, who lived on 
O'Briens fork of Salt Lick, where Newton G. Singleton now lives, a boy named 
Mollohan was urged to drink a quantity of whiskey on Sunday about 5 o'clock 
and died about 10 o'clock Monday morning. He lived about seventeen hours, 
and was buried Tuesday night about 11 o'clock. It was thirty-seven hours 
befoi'e the corpse was released by the coroner. The date of this occurrence, 
not definitely stated, was in 1859. 

At the same tavern house and barroom on August 27, 1859, Samuel J. 
Singleton shot B. P. Farrow with a pistol. Singleton claimed the shooting 
to be accidental. The ball entered the bowels. Farrow lived about eleven 
hours, having been shot about 5 o'clock in the evening, and died about 4 the 
next morning. On Monday, the 29th, a coroner's jury was called and sat, and 
on Monday night the corpse was taken to his father's house, on Salt Lick 
creek, and buried about eleven o'clock that night. 

About 1857 or 1S5S, within wheat harvest, Jesse Farrow was killed by 
lightning on the hill back of his residence, near the mouth of Rock run, on 
Salt Lick. 

About the year 1858 or 1859 Mrs. Margaret Fisher, while looking along 
the branch back of the Fisher residence for young gosllings, discovered a 
colored infant lying in some drift along the creek. The family owned two 
colored women named Hannah and Fannie. Fannie was supposed to be the 


mother of the child. Mrs. Fisher communicated the fact of her discovery to 
her husband, who got John D. Baxter to stay with his family while he went 
to Sutton to confer with the authorities. The two colored women were sold 
and sent South. 

Some years before the Civil war, a boy named Fox whose parents lived 
near the mouth of Birch river, was playing in the water near where some folks, 
were washing. A large pike caught him by the leg and would have drowned 
him had he not been rescued. Samuel Fox killed the fish, and it measured 
four feet and three inches in length. Some years later, this same boy was 
shot and badly crippled by a man named Harrison Beasley. ♦ 

Before the Civil war a man named Harris was drowned at the mouth of 
Birch river. 

A man named Berry, who lived near the mouth of Big Otter, Clay county, 

was killed by McLaughlin, brother of Warwick McLaughlin. 

This occurred before the Civil war, and domestic trouble was said to be the 

Sarah Frances Humphreys, daughter of Dr. A. C. Humphreys, in her 
ninth year was attending a school taught by Mrs. Dunlap in Sutton about 
time of Civil war. She was standing in front of the grate, and with some 
others was looking on the mantel for something when the girls standing be- 
hind her, pushed her dress forward. Having on a hoop skirt, the front of 
her skirt went over the blazing fire in the grate, and she was so badly burned 
that she died the eighth day, the victim of a useless fashion. 

William Squires, son of Elijah Squires, was drowned in Salt Lick creek, 
near Salt Lick Bridge, while attempting to cross the swollen stream. This 
occurred before the Civil war. 

Early in the 50 's, John Gibson, brother of Ellicot Gibson, was drowned 
in the Elk river at a point called Breechclout, near the mouth of Flatwoods 
run, while trying to cross the river on the ice. 

Jemima Green who had just moved to Little Otter, was assaulted by some 
persons, some of whom were thought to be women, and beaten to death. She 
was found the next morning lying in her bed. Her young child was in the 

bed with her. The child grew to womanhood, and married 

It was never fully known who committed this atrocious crime. 

Before the Civil war, it is related that Isaac Bender who lived on Ferry's 
run, Webster county, was gathering ginseng on a steep hillside, and was bit- 
ten on the neck by a rattlesnake. Pie died almost instantly. 


In Sept., 1852, Lemastes Stephenson, while returning from Charleston 
on horseback, reached down with his penknife to cut a switch from the road- 
side. In some way the knife blade slipped and cut him in the knee joint, from 
which wound he died. He was forty-eight years of age. 

In Sept., 1855, near Bumsville, John M., a son of Benjamin Haymond, 
who was about two years of age, was drowned by falling over a bank into a 
stream of the Little Kanawha where there was a depth of about a foot of 

Sometime i nthe 50 's, while Elijah Perkins, B. F. Fisher and Pinkney El- 
lison were crossing the Elk river, coming from the old Jackson mill to town, 
their canoe capsized and went over the milldam, and Ellison who was a good 
swimmer, was drowned. Perkins and Fisher, neither of whom could swim, 
made their escape from drowning by clinging to the canoe. 

On Brooks run of the Holly river, while hauling logs with a team of cat- 
tle, Hedgeman Davis was caught by a log rolling over him, and was instantly 
killed. This was early in the 50 's. 

Some years before the Civil war, John Morrison, in company with Ellicot 
Gibson, Avas bringing a raft of lumber down the Elk, and in crossing Breech- 
clout rapids the raft tore up and Gibson was drowned. He had previously 
made the remark that God Almighty had never made that water in which he 
could not swim. Morrison who was unable to swim clung to some floating lum- 
ber and escaped. 

In 1861 William Blagg was drowned at the forks of Holly while in bath- 

Before the Civil war, Benjamin Starbuck had a whiskey still at the forks 
of Wolf creek. The still was located near the present residence of E. D. Bar- 
nett, and about twenty-five or thirty years ago, Mr. Barnett found what he 
supposed to be a grave just across on the other branch of the creek. He and 
a Mr. Weese opened the place, and found some human bones in a shallow 
grave. Bocks had been set up on edge, and flat stones laid over them, making 
a kind of vault. It was said that a stranger had been hanging around the 
still, and it was supposed he had considerable gold on his person. Who mur- 
dered the man, in case he was murdered, is not known. Mr. Barnett relates 
that they placed the remains back where they found them, and that later the 
public road was made over the grave, and the remains of this unfortunate 
man, like those of General Braddock. rest beneath the traveling public. 

Some years after the war, a man named Pritt, at the head of Grassy 
creek, Webster county, built a ring fire around some woodland to drive the 


deer out, and the fire caught him. and burned him and his dog to death, and 
the stock of his gun was also burned off. 

Mark Hutchinson, a colored man belonging to Wm. Hutchinson, was fight- 
ing forest fire, and the fire burning very rapidly up the hillside and being be- 
low him, the colored man climbed a tree, and thereby escaped with his life. 
His dog however perished in the flames. 

One of John Singleton's little girls was scalded to death in a salt kettle 
which belonged to the family. It was the remnant of an old salt kettle that 
Asa Squires used in making salt near Salt Lick Bridge over a hundred years 

About forty years ago, George Dean who lived on Coon creek, cut a small 
beech tree which stood near the house. Two of his children were in the yard, 
one of them, a little girl, was in the cradle and a little boy named Thomas, 
was rocking the cradle. The tree fell across the cradle and killed the little 
girl, also crippled the boy in the hand. He is still living, but his hand grew 
badly deformed owing to this accident. 

In the time of the Civil war, a boy named Samuel Thorp was drowned in 
Crawford eddy at Centralia. 

Peter Cogar was drowned at the mouth of Granny's creek in the 70 's. 

William Dillion who had been a Federal soldier, while assisting Dr. New- 
Ion to remove some drugs from his office in Sutton, drank some aconite which 
he supposed to be whiskey. He lived but a few minutes after drinking the 

A few years after the close of the Civil war, Lieutenant "Ob" Wilson 
who had gone through the war as a commissioned officer of the Tenth West 
Virginia Infantry and had seen much hard service, was joking with a weak- 
minded fellow who became offended and struck Wilson with a rock, killing 
him instantly. 

A young man named M. T. Long was squirrel hunting below the mouth 
of Big Buffalo, and was drowned. His gun was found near the water's edge 
by Curt Skidmore. A few days later, his bodv was recovered below Strange 
Creek. It was supposed that he had fallen into the river while in a state of 
unconsciousness as he was subject to fits. This sad occurrence took place in 
the year 1875. 

Clinton Townsend, son of Granville Townsend, was killed in Huffman's 
mill in Sutton in 1879. He fell in the water wheel, and his body was horribly 


A young man named Fancher of northern Ohio, salesman for Greer & 
Laing of Wheeling, W. Va., was drowned while bathing in the eddy in the Elk 
just below the Sutton suspension bridge. This occurred about thirty years ago. 

May 15, 1880, Susan C. Baxter, daughter of William D. and Annie C. 
Baxter, perished in the flames while burning some brush and trash heaps on 
a piece of new ground which she was cleaning up on the hillside between the 
public road and the top of the hill near the Baxter graveyard. She was alone 
at the time and it was supposed that her clothing caught fire. Her body was 
so badly burned and disfigured that her father in searching for her passed 
near where she lay without recognizing her body. Henry A. Baxter, her 
brother, then went to search for her and found her body. Thus perished this 
noble Christian woman. 

John Sheperson was shot and killed on March 3, 1882, on the farm of 
Vena Floyd. He was working in a clearing and was shot from ambush. He 
was originally from Jackson county. 

August 23, 1887, Sampson Conrad was killed near the Floyd farm while 
driving .an ox team for Alex. Dulin and H. C. Floyd. He fell under the 
wheels of the wagon and was crushed to death. 

A son of Isaac Lynch was drowned in the eddy below the Skidmore farm 
near the mouth of Baker's run, many years ago. 

A young man named Mick was drowned in Salisbury eddy in the Elk 
river while bathing and swimming a horse. He pulled the rein of the bridle 
and turned the horse backward. It is supposed that he became injured and 
strangled, thus was unable to rise. The body was recovered by Norman 
Knicely diving into twelve feet of water. 

About 1888, Elliott Mollohan was drowned in the Elk river near the 
mouth of Duck creek. 

About the summer of 1888, Calvin G. Squires was killed by lightning 
about a half mile above the forte of Salt Lick. He was going in the direction 
of Shaversville, and was sheltering from a rainstomi under an oak tree that 
stood by the side of the road at Captain Hyer's field. He and his horse were 
found dead. 

In June, 1889, Lafayette Prunty killed Wright Childers of Copen run by 
striking him on the head with a handspike. They were engaged in fencing a 
piece of land, is said some dispute arose over a trivial matter. 


Sylvester W., son of Salathiel S. Dennison M r as accidentally shot by his 
brother, and died May 19, 1890, near High Knob. 

•Perry Wine, about the year 1890, while living 'on the lands of Wm. J. 
Perrine on Cedar creek, cut a tree which fell across his cabin and killed his 
wife who before her marriage was Amanda Shields. 

Scott Rains who at one time lived near Stumptown, was shot and killed 
in Webster county about 1890. He was hiding from the officers of the law, 
and it is said was betrayed by some one. 

About the time of the construction of the railroad through Braxton, an 
Italian was sitting on the porch at the residence of B. F. Fisher and while 
handling a gun, accidentally discharged it, the contents going through his 
body, causing instant death. 

In the railroad camp at the head of Granny's creek, during the construc- 
tion of the railroad, a vicious colored man shot one of the bosses named Hugh 
MeLane. For this murder, he was tried and sent to the penitentiary, but was 
pardoned a few years later. He was said to be a very bad character, and 
some time after his release he got into some trouble and was killed. 

In October, 1894, while working in a sawmill at Palmer, J. Conde Gilles- 
pie, son of Rev. J. Y. Gillespie, was killed by a piece of plank or narrow strip 
of lumber which was thrown from the machinery with great force. After 
being struck, the unfortunate young man' survived but a short time. 

A boy named Mead Meadows, about the year 1895, hanged himself in a 
strip of woodland facing the farm of Captain Hyer on Salt Lick. He was a 
son of Thomas C. Meadows who lived near the Morrison church. 

James Matheney whose home was on Keener 's Ridge, was driving a team 
near Cowen, Webster county, when he was in some way thrown under his 
wagon, receiving injuries which resulted in his death a few days later. This 
occurred in 1896. 

About the year 1898, Wesley J., a son of Jacob Knicely, twelve or four- 
teen years of age, was killed by a tree striking him in some way as it fell. 

About the year 1900, a man by the name of Ward, while hauling lumber, 
fell from his wagon and was killed. 


Simon Edgar Tonkins, son of Jacob Tonkins, was killed several years ago 
by a falling rock in a coal bank. 

Mathew B. Hines was killed in the year 1902 by a B. & 0. train while 
crossing a bridge over Laurel creek. He was walking under an umbrella dur- 
ing a very hard rain and the rain and noise made by the stream were thought 
to be the cause of his failure to hear the approaching train, which was coming 
around a curve. Hines had gotten to the bridge crossing the stream and was 
knocked for quite a distance down the creek. 

A grandson of John Prince, while bathing in Elk river at the mouth of 
Old Woman 's run about 1902, was drowned. 

About the year 1902, David Hosey, son of John G. Hosey, was stabbed 
.to death by a young man named Grover Coberly. The difficulty occurred at 
a saloon in Centralia, this county. Coberly was tried, convicted and sentenced 
to five years in the penitentiary. He escaped from jail and his whereabouts are 
still unknown by the authorities. 

Alfred Squires, a colored man : inmate of the county infirmary, was burned 
to death about 1902. He was alone at the time and was lying in bed smoking. 
The bed caught fire and he was too aged and infirm to help himself, and per- 
ished in the flames. 

About 1903 or 1904, the wife of Jasper Carpenter, while washing at the 
river, by some means exposed her clothing to the fire and they were ignited. 
With her clothing burning, she ran up the bank to the house, then around the 
house and finally reached the door, ran into the house and jumped in the bed. 
Her indvalid sister pulled off her clothing, but she was so badly burned that 
she lived only a day or so. The unfortunate woman was a daughter of John 
Perkins. , 

It is evident from this and other similar circumstances that most persons 
entirely lose thier minds when their clothing catches fire. How easily Mrs. 
Carpenter might have extinguished the fire, being so close to the edge of the 

A young man named Van Horn was drowned in Steer creek about 1904. 
It was supposed that he and some parties who were with him fishing were us- 
ing dynamite, and that he received a shock which caused him to sink after he 
had been stunned by the explosion. 

In 1904, while in camp on a hunting expedition, a man's voice was heard 
in the forest crying for help. K. M. Hoover, Sherman Hyer, George Dunford, 
James Hinkle and Albert Quin, being in camp, answered the cry of the lost and 


started in pursuit. When they approached the man, he seemed wild and de- 
lirious, and would run from them, and it was with considerable difficulty that 
he was caught. He was in a wild, starved and emaciated condition, but after 
he had become composed, he said that his fright became so great that if he 
heard a stick crack or the least rustle of the leaves, he would run. He had 
become partially blind while working in the coal and coke fields on the New 
river, and was trying to come through the mountains to his home in Harrison 
county. He was a foreigner, and said his name was Kave Cole, and had been 
in this country about ten years. 

William Lacy, a colored man, was shot and killed in Sutton, near the Thayer 
boarding house, in the year 1905. 

A very sad occurrence took place in 190.. at Heater station on the B. & 0. 
railroad at the residence of John S. Singleton, Jr., a son of Asa Singleton. 
In the night, the house caught tire from a gas pipe an dburned, and three 
of Singleton's children perished in the flames. 

In 1906, during the burning of the Riverview Hotel in Sutton, occurred 
one of the saddest tragedies in the history of the county, being the fatal burn- 
ing of Loyd Garee and his wife, who had just been married. They were on 
their way to the Garee farm five miles south of Sutton, where Mr. Garee 's 
mother lived. The fire originated from a defect in one of the heating pipes in 
the basement of the hotel and spread so rapidly that nothing was saved, Mr. 
Garee and his wife, who occupied an upstairs room!, were trying to save some 
of their belongings and were suddenly cut off by fire, smoke brusting through 
the hall. What was left of their bodies was deposited in the family graveyard 
on the Garee farm. 

In 1906 Luther Wright, a colored man, was waylaid and shot to death in 
the public road leading from Sutton to Buffalo, near the summit of the hill. 

Adam Moore, who resided on Steer creek, committed suicide by hanging 
about the year 1907. 

At Centralia, in the year 1907 or 1908, David Cool, while bathing in the 
Elk, took cramps and was drowned. 

Samuel Hosey, son of Silas Hosey, who lived near Centralia, was killed by 
a log rolling over his body near Curtin. 

Matthew Knight, of this county, was shot in Webster county about 1908, 
near Webster Springs, by a man named Tracy. His body was found in the 
woods several days later. Knight and Tracy had gone squirrel hunting to- 


gether. There was trouble between the men on account of domestic affairs. 
Tracy was granted a change of venue to Braxton county, confessed and got ten 
years in the penitentiary. 

A few years ago Wesley Tracy was drowned in the Elk river below Web- 
ster Springs. 

About 1907, a young man named Utt was drowned near the mouth of 
Baker's run. Aunt Delilah Cogar says the water was very clear, and that she 
could see the corpse plainly. 

Two sons of John Armentrout were drowned in the Elk while bathing. 
Date not known. 

About the year 1909, Willie Garrettson, a small boy, was killed while rid- 
ing on the turntable at Centralia. This was a most sad occurrence. It was 
with great difficulty that the boy's body was extricated from between the turn 
table and the stone wall surrounding it. 

About 1908, while Sherman Rollyson. his wife and mother-in-law were at- 
tempting to cross the Elk river at G-assaway in a skiff, it being dark, the boat 
capsized as they pushed it from the shore. Rollyson was unable to swim, but 
by an effort, after going under a few times, reached the shore. His mother-in- 
law held to the boat, which was upside down. His wife, it is said, was found 
some distance down the river by a party who heard their cries for help and 
was found to be dead when taken out. She was subject to some kind of spells 
and it was thought that the shock caused heart failure, as the doctors who ex- 
amined her said she had not died from drowning. 

James Thayer, son of Seth Thayer, while sitting in Jehu Carpenter's house 
on Wolf creek, was shot and instantly killed by the accidental discharge of a 
gun. This occurred in 1909 or 1910. 

The burning of Mrs. J. D. Harden and her family in Sutton in 1911 was 
one of the saddest tragedies that ever occurred in the central part of the State. 
Nothing else so touched the tender emotions of the people as did this sad occur- 
rnce — the fatal burning of Mrs. Harden and five of her children and a little 
girl named Green who stayed with the f amily. Mr. Harden succeeded in es- 
caping from the burning building with slight injuries. His wife, after vainly 
trying to save the children, was cut off from escape by the flames, and fell or 
jumped from an upper window, dying a few moments later. Mrs. Harden 
was an estimable woman with an interesting family of children. They lived 
in a pleasant home in Sutton. The sad occurrence cast such gloom and sadness 
over the town and country as our people had never so fully experienced be- 



A Miss Cogar, who lived on Camp run, a branch of Laurel creek, in the 

edge of Webster county, while picking beans in a cornfield was shot by a young 

man named Cogar, a nephew of the woman killed, who said he thought he was 

shooting at a squirrel. This was about the year 1912. 

About 1912 Lewis Propst was killed by a B. & 0. train about a mile above 
Holly Junction. This tragedy occurred in the night. 

About the year 1912, a little girl of Samuel Holcomb, while playing with 
matches got her clothing on fire and was so badly burned that she lived only 
a few hours. 

In 1913, Thomas McFall, an Irishman, who lived on a small tributary of 
Cedar creek, near the Cutlip neighborhood, was found lying in the creek dead. 
The deceased was an elderly man who had no family. He had been hiving sev- 
eral years on a piece of land which he owned. He had some money and other 
property. It was the opinion of some of the citizens that he had been mur- 

In 1914 a boy named Keip, son of Thaddeus Reip, was drowned in the Elk, 
near the mouth of Mill creek. 

A woman named Stout, formerly known as Mrs. Laura Woodall, interfered 
in a fight between her son and a young man named Cogar. Willis Cogar, 
brother of the boy engaged in the melee, in attempting to take a stick from 
Mrs. Stout in order to prevent her from striking his brother, gave her a 
wrench which, it is supposed ruptured a blood vessel and she lived but a few 
moments. The boys engaged in the fight were intoxicated. This occurred at 
Centralia in 1914. 

Bell Gibson, wife of S. J. Gibson, aged about 41 years, was drowned in a,- 
well at Centralia June 24, 1915. Her mind had been bad for some time. Al- 
though the family looked after her as closely as they could she, in the absence 
of her husband, went to the well, which was some distance from the house, and 
fell head foremost through a small aperture which had been cut through the 
platform on which the curb rested. One of her little boys discovered her in 
the well a few moments after she had fallen in. Mrs. Gibson was a daughter 
of the late John Jenkins, who lived on O'Briens Fork of Salt Lick creek. 

In July, 1914, Miss Orlean Plyman of Clarksburg, and a man named Wm. 
L. Fielder (or Fidler) were drowned while bathing in the Elk at Webster 
Springs. The young man was employed as bookkeeper for Greer & Laing at 


Robert Carpenter, an aged and respected citizen, who had very recently 
moved from Bakers Run, where he had been engaged in farming and mer- 
chandizing for some years, to his farm near Erbacon, Webster comity, was 
killed in May, 1915, by his team running away. It seemed that Mr. Carpenter 
and a boy were riding on a wagon which was loaded with lumber, and when 
he laid down the check lines to draw the rubber, the horses became frightened 
and started to run. The boy escaped unhurt. 

On April 26, 1915, Robert Perrine committed suicide by hanging himself 
in Riley Lewis' undertaking sbop at Bens Run. In the undertaker's absence, 
he placed one coffin box on another and tied a rope around a joist and from this 
elevation jumped off and strangled himself to death. Difficulty with his family 
seemed to be the cause of this rash act. 

In 1917 a young man named Bright committed suyicide by taking a poison- 
ous drug. Bad health was said to be the cause. 

In April, 1916, a young man named Audra Davis, son of Emma Davis, 
while working on a B. & 0. railroad bridge at Grafton and carrying one end 
of a heavy board, fell through the bridge, a distance of thirty feet to the water, 
falling on his back. He made some effort to swim, but sunk. His body was 
recovered in about fifteen minutes. He was brought to his home near Plat- 
woods, and buried at the Evans church. 

During the Christmas holidays of 1916, while at a dance at a house on 
Granny's creek, Hank Haymond, a colored man, shot Wm. Lacy, colored. The 
wounded man was taken to a hospital at Clarksburg, but he lived only a few 

A young man named Caruthers of Clarksburg, while spending his Christ- 
mas in the neighborhood of the Little Birch, on Dec. 25, 1916, got into trouble 
with a young man named Facemire, son of Van Facemire of that neighborhood. 
In the fight, Facemire cut the other man's throat, a wound from which he 
died a few days later in a hospital at Clarksburg. 

On Dec. 18, 1916, a sad occurrence took place at the home of Charles 
Singleton, who lived on the waters of Salt Lick when his wife was trying to 
kindle a fire by pouring lamp oil on it from a can. The oil caught fire and 
enveloped her in flames. She was so badly burned that death soon relieved her 
suffering. She left four young children. 

In August, 1917, Lee Dillon, son of Absolum Dillon, was killed while at- 
tempting to turn a log at a saw mill on Laurel creek. The canthook which he 
was using, suddenly slipped or came loose, and the log fell back and caught 
the young man, causing instant death. 


Col. John Brown, a prominent citizen of Nicholas county, in attempting 
to go from his home near Big Birch River to Mucldlety, was found on Powell's 
Mountain by the mail carrier, with his foot hanging in the stirup of the saddle. 
It is said that the horse was feeding by the road side. ' The Colonel died a few 
minutes after he was released from the horse. 

In the summer of 1916, Clyde, a son of Etta James, accidentally shot 
himself while squirrel hunting. He only lived a few hours. 

In Gilmer county in the month of September, 1917, -Hanson Glen Heater 
and Okey Heater; while out squirrel hunting, separated to meet at a certain 
place. Hanson returned first, and sat down to await the return of Okey, and 
Okey coming up from an. opposite direction, and seeing the. ton of Hanson's 
head thought it was a ground hog and fired on him, killing him instantly. 


Quite an amusing little incident occurred at the beginning of the Civil 
war. Paul Hoover lived on Little Otter and was engaged in getting out a set 
of boat gunwales, assisted by his brother John, and his son Wesley. 

Vague and alarming stories had been in circulation as to the barbarity of 
the Northern soldiers. While the parties referred to were in the woods at work, 
some one went out in great alarm, and notified them to flee for their lives — that 
the Yankees were coming. All three broke for the house. Paul was light and 
more fleet than the other two, and was in advance. As they approached the 
house, Paul's Avife whose name was Martha, was standing on the porch watch- 
ing the race. Paul cried out to his wife, saying, "Wes it here and John's 
a-comin'. Get us a bite to eat, Marth, and we'll be out of here." 

Many years after the war had levied its toll of sacrifice and the anguish 
and conflict had abated, the Hoover boys had it for a by-word, "Wes is here 
and John's comin'. " It was one of the jokes that made merry in the harvest 
field when we cut the ripened grain and rested on the swaths of the new-mown 

A very amusing incident occurred a few years ago at Bee run school- 
house on Salt Lick ci'eek. The Methodists were holding a revival meeting which 
seemed to be attended with great success. There was quite a number of seekers 
at the altar. The meeting had been going on for several days and nights, and 
th congregation was nearly worn out. At one of the services at night the sing- 
ing had almost ceased. In his zeal and desire to keep up the interest in the 
meeting, Newlon Squires jumped up on a bench and cried out, "Farther On." 
This was the name of a favorite hymn they had been singing, and being very 
hoarse he could not well be understood. The congregation thought that he 
halooed fire, and the panic started. Some ran out through the door, others 
made their escape through the windows, and it was said that some, having 
more presence of mind, began to drag the "mourners" out into the yard. 


This is one of the most amusing incidents that ever occurred in our country. 

About the close of the Civil war, Samuel Holcomb and his wife Nancy, 
together with their family of children mostly grown, settled on Laurel creek 
in Webster county. Mrs. Holcomb was a remarkably strong woman, and a 
great worker. One spring. Mr. Holcomb had a contract to do a job of grubing 
for Lewis Waine. The season was getting late, and the work had been sus- 
pended for some time, and Lewis saw Mr. Holcomb one day and urged him to 
finish the work. "All right." said Holcomb. "Me and Nance will be there 
Monday morning and finish the work." True to his promise, they came on 
and did the work. Mrs. Holcomb lived to be over a hundred years old, ac- 
cording to the account they had of her age. Their son, Black Holcomb, is a 
Free Gospel preacher, and though limited in education, he has a knowledge 
of the Scriptures and a flow of language that renders his sermons of interest. 

Many years ago a colored man in Braxton commenced preaching. To be- 
gin with, he was a very fine singer so it wasn't, long until his fame as a minister 
went out among the colored people. He was invited to one of the large towns 
to preach, and accepted the call. At the appointed hour, the church was filled 
with the gentry and dusky maids of the town, gorgeously attired. The choir 
sang. The pastor of the church was commanding in appearance and lordly in 
bearing. This was too much for the recent convert to the ministry, and when 
he read his text and began his discourse, a dimness came across his memory. 
This is the first sign of stage fright. The ceiling began to revolve; the con- 
gregation was a blank ; and the pulpit seemed to be an uncertain foundation on 
which he stood. His native wit, however, came to the rescue, and grabbing 
his jaw with both hands he cried out, "Oh, Lawd! oh, Lawd! my tooth." He 
was assisted from the stage in convulsions. For a long time after that appoint- 
ment, he passed through that town on through trains only. 

About the year 1858 or 1859, Dennis 0. Wade lived at the Dyer place in 
Flatwoods. Dennis had come from the lew lands of Virginia where extrava- 
gance was unknown, and Mrs. Wade was a careful, frugal housewife. Late in 
the Fall, they butchered a fat hog and Mrs. Wade cooked the ribs. About sup- 
per time James C. Griffin, a demented tramp, called for supper and a night's 
lodging. Griffin was a stranger to the family, but was known by most every 
one else along the road. He was noted for his capacity to devour whatever was 
placed before him. On this occasion he seemed to be particularly hungry, and 
after he "cleaned up" what Mrs. Wade had prepared for her family, she told 
the writer, who chanced to come along, that "Griffin is a mighty h'a'ty man — 
he left no less than fo'teen spa 'ribs at his plate, and other things acco'din'." 
Griffin claimed to be from the county of Fluvianna, and said that he had a 
sweetheart, there by the name of Melvina Mendevender. 

In time of the Civil war while the Tenth West Virginia Regiment was in 
•camp at Beveraly, West Virginia, Lieutenant Kerens, who was acting Adju- 


tant of the Regiment, ordered John D. Baxter, who was Orderly Sergeant of 
Company F, to detail two soldiers to report at once with three days' rations. 
It so happened that Wesley Loyd and the writer were first on the list for duty. 
We made all possible haste to become ready, and report ourselves before the 
hadquarters tent. The Adjutant came out and viewed us most critically, first 
looking at one, then the other, from head to foot, and said, "You go back to 
your quarters and tell Orderly Baxter to report here at once." The Orderly 
with that alacrity and promptness for which he was noted, hastened down to 
the Colonel's tent. The Adjutant said, "I thought I ordered you to send me 
two men." "I did so," said the Orderly. "You did not," said the Adju- 
tant, "you sent me a club-foot and a greenhorn. I want two soldiers. You 
go back and send me two men at once." 

At a reunion of soldiers in Buckhannon, West Virginia, a number of citi- 
zens brought cider to the camp to sell, and as the festivity and hilarity of the 
soldiers on this occasion lasted nearly all night, venders of cider became very 
anxious to sell out about midnight, offering to reduce, the price. One man 
cried out that he would sell two quarts for a nickel ; another that he would sell 
his cider for five cents a gallon. The boys seemed to have about all they wanted 
when some one announced that he would give his cider away. Nobody seemed 
to want it as a gift; then some one cried out, "If you men will sell your cider 
on credit, we will take all you have." 

After General Garnett was killed at Cheat river and the Confederates were 
retreating by a forced march through the mountains in the directions of 
Staunton, late one night, expecting any moment to be attacked by the Federals 
coming up from Piedmont or some point on the B. & 0. railroad, the soldiers 
were almost exhausted, but were urged to march, on and keep perfect silence, 
when suddenly a soldier in the ranks started a song — not such a song as might 
be heard in a public assembly, yet it was comical and his voice was strong and 
musical. As it rang out on that clear, cool night on the spurs of the Alle- 
ghenies, the soldiers were inspired by that song, forgetting they were tired ; 
those who were half asleep, woke up ; others who were straggling, marched on 
with renewed energy. Just then one of the general's staff officers came dash- 
ing back and inquired what soldier had sung that song. No one answered, and 
the officer said, "Tell him to sing it again." The soldier was AVesley Heater 
of Braxton county. 

The writer had occasion one time to inquire of a lady at a wayside store, 
the road to a Mr. Bailey's residence. She said, "You can follow the railroad 
to the mouth of the next creek, then go up the creek to his place. This route 
is about three miles; or, you can go over the hill (pointing to a low gap in the 
ridge) where you will find a dim path leading over, and this will save you half 
the distance or more if you don 't care to rough it. ' ' AVe said that we had been 
"roughing it" all our life, and as we possessed a kind of hog knowledge of the 


woods, we would try the hill route. We saw a twinkle come in the lady's eye 
and a smile on her face as she said, "You will find mast all along the path." 
For pure wit, this is a gem that we have never seen equaled in any work we 
have read. 

Uncle John Kaldrider, as he was familiarly called, was a blacksmith and 
loved a joke, but was uncompromising with a man who would get work done 

and refuse to pay for it. A Mr ., living in the neighborhood, 

who was considered a noted liar, had on one pretext and another had become 

indebted to Kaldrider, and finally was refused further credit. So Mr 

had to go about two miles beyond Kaldrider 's place to get his work 

done. Early one morning as Uncle John was standing in his shop door, Mr. 

came up the road and seemed in a great hurry, carrying a 

mattock on his shoulder. He said, ' ' Good morning, Mr. Kaldrider, ' ' and never 

halted. Mr. Kaldrider said, "Good morning, Mr , what's your 

hurry? Stop and tell us a good one this morning." "No time for stories this 
morning. Wm. Squires died last night, and T am going up to Corley to get my 
mattack fixed. I have to help dig the grave," and he kept going all the time. 
"Hold on," said Mr. Kaldrider, "if that is what you are going for, come in 
and I will fix your mattock, and it will save you all that walk and time, and 

will cost you nothing." Mr brought his mattock into the 

shop and Uncle John fixed it as quickly as possible-, discussing with him Mr. 
Squires' sudden death and his many good qualities. When the work was com- 
pleted, Mr. ...'. stai'ted back as hurriedly as he had come. Mr. 

Kaldrider went to the field, caught his horse and notified his family of Mr. 
Squires' death, hurrying down the creek to the Squires' residence to lend his 
presence and any assistance that he could to the bereft family. Imagine his 
surprise when he rode up to the house and saw Mr. Squires sitting on the front 
porch smoking his pipe, and looking across the creek to the far hillside he saw 
his friend grubbing with as much energy and haste as he displayed that morn- 
ing going to the shop. 

Colonel Addison McLaughlin who was fond of cracking jokes, met Andrew 
P. Friend one public day at the courthouse and said to him, "There is no ac- 
count given in history, ancient or modern, where a miller has ever gone to 
heaven. ' ' This greatly amused the crowd which was standing around as Friend 
was the owner of a grist mill. Friend said, "I believe you are right, except 
in one instance. We learned of one miller who slipped through the gates, and 
the angels when they discovered him, thought to ptu him out, but the miller 
objected and inquired for counsel, and they told him there was not a lawyer 
in heaven." This greatly amused the crowd to see the joke turned on the 

Perhaps the greatest natural wit we had in the central part of the state 
was William M. Barnett. He was a soldier and lost a leg in the battle of Droop 


Mountain. Barnett had quite a family of half-grown boys and lived at Salt 
Lick bridge, and there was another family of boys by the name of Mick living 
there also. Mr. Mick was a miller, and his boys had some dogs and were fond 
of hunting opossums, quite often insisting upon the Barnett boys going with 
them. The father objected to them going with the Mick boys, and he told them 
that the boys would keep all the game and not divide with them fairly; but 
this objection was met by the Mick boys agreeing to give them half of the fur 

Before they started on the hunt. Barnett told his boys to watch the Micks ; 
that the only valuable fur on a "possum was a little, very fine bunch on the tip 
of his tail, and that the Mick boys would be sure to steal that off; and the bal- 
ance of the fur would be no good. Everything being arranged, the boys gath- 
ered the dogs and sallied forth in quest of game and the prospect of making a 
few nickels. When they had gone far out into the forest, they heard the dogs 
give a yelp, and the boys broke for the dogs. The Mick boys being more active 
and more accustomed to the woods, were the first to arrive, and when the other 
boys came up the boys who had landed first had shaken a large fat 'possum 
from a bush, and were holding him up in triumph. When the Barnett boys, 
who had been cautioned to look for the bunch of valuable fur on the 'possum's 
tail, saw that its tail was smooth, they supposed that the Mick boys had stolen 
the valuable fur as their father had told them they would do. The Barnetts 
then immediately accused the Micks of bad faith and dishonesty, and the fight 
began. After the boys had exhausted themselves in a rough-and-tumble scrap, 
they returned in mute and sullen silence to their homes. 

In an early day when goods to Webster Springs were hauled from Clarks- 
burg, by way of Sutton, and the Big Birch river, to Webster Springs, Dick 
Scott who kept goods at the ford of the Birch, was fond of playing pranks. 
Scott always kept some whiskey, and on one occasion Charles S. Evans and 
some other teamsters were going up the Birch loaded for Webster Courthouse. 
They wanted Scott to furnish them some whiskey but he refused, thinking they 
would take too much and be unable to drive over the rough roads. A mile or 
so above Scott's store, Charley Evans made out, while adjusting his harness 
with his hand resting on a log which lay by the roadside, that lie was bitten by 
a snake. One of the teamsters ran down and told Scott that Evans was snake- 
bit. He no sooner heard this than he took a bottle of whiskey, and went in 
haste to administer to the relief of the suffering man. When Scott landed al- 
most out of breath with his whiskey, Evans was sitting by the roadside ap- 
parently in great agony, holding his hand. Scott gave him the bottle and told 
him to drink all he could. He took a good big drink and said he didn't believe 
he could drink any more, but Scott urged him to drink. He said, "Charley, 
you must drink it — you are just bound to drink it : and he urged him until he 
drank the whole pint of whiskey. After the excitement had died down, and 
they began to look for the snake and the marks on the hand, neither could be 


found. Evans said he felt better and that he believed that he was entirely 
cured. About that time Scott began to realize that he had Bret one who was 
able to play him at his own game. 

William M. Barnett was captain in the general entrance and lobby depart- 
ment of the U. S. Pension office in Washington, I). C. He gave directions and 
information to visitors and persons having business with the various depart- 
ments of that great institution. We chanced to be present on one occasion when 
a stranger came in and inquired of Captain Barnett how he could find a certain 
chief of one of the divisions. Barnett pointed to one of the rooms in an upper 

story, and told the visitor to go up there and call for Mr — The 

party started, went to the foot of the stairway, came back and asked the cap- 
tain would the official come out. "Oh, yes,' : said Barnett; "knock on the door 
and if he doesn't come out, butt your head against the door and 'holler' fire, 
and he'll come out." The party then appeared satisfied and went on his way. 

One of the old settlers, never having seen a dish of fruit jellies or pre- 
serves, went one day to dine with one of his neighbors who had recently landed 
in the wilds of the forest, and as the cabins of the people stood far apart the 
social call of a neighbor was an hour of keen enjoyment, and awakened the 
proverbial hospitality of the settlers. When the puncheon table was spread, 
in addition to the bark tea, the Johnie cake and the bear meat, the hostess set 
a glass of preserves down which she had brought from her home in the East, 
more as a reminder of the sacrifices she had made to become a citizen of a new 
and wild country, and as a delicacy to be observed rather than to be eaten. 
But the social friendship being awakened by the occasion, the lady of the house 
insisted that the visitor try the preserves which he did very reluctantly. He 
placed a little on his plate and very cautiously tasted this strange dish. After 
he had convinced himself of its delicious flavor he said to the lady, "That stuff 
is damned good," and thereupon reached over, drew the glass to his place and 
consumed its contents. Doubtless tlris was the first glass of preserves ever con- 
sumed in that portion of central West Virginia now embraced in Braxton 
county. The man, either by a lack of civility or his inability to control his ap- 
petite, consumed the luxury of a whole county at one meal and brought all 
future social functions on a common level. We have often thought that many 
of his posterity are yet living. 


One of the old settlers of Braxton, having some business at the Lewis 
county court, shouldered his old hunting rifle and started to the ex-seat of jus- 
tice. On his way he killed a wild turkey and carried it to town. He went to 
the old Bailey tavern and negotiated a deal for the turkey. ' He was to receive 
so much for his turkey in money, and in addition was to have his dinner. They 
cooked the fowl and had dinner prepared when the hunter came in and said 
he had a considerable distance to travel. It was a little too early for court to 
adjourn, and having transacted the business which brought him to town, he 


believed that if they would give him an early dinner he would start home. 
The request seemed so reasonable that they complied with it at once; and as 
the turkey was done and the gentleman was to have" his dinner out of it they 
sat him down, placed the turkey near his plate and invited him to help him- 
self which he proceeded to do. As he was neither slow nor bashful, it is related, 
not as a romance but as a fact, that the old man cleaned that turkey up, and 
its skeleton had to be removed to the kitchen before the regular dinner was 
served. The hunter had the advantage of the contract, and the landlady was 
off her guard. The probabilities are that when he reached town he took a little 
grog which gave him an abnormal appetite, and he imagined himself in the 
solitude of the forest, sitting under his little bark shelter and enjoying a feast 
of wild game. 

On one occasion, Mr. James Frame borrowed a few dollars in money from 
John Daly, promising to pay the money back. Some time having elapsed Mr. 
Daly told Mr. Frame that he had some work to do . and that he could pay the 
borrowed money in work. ' ' Oh, no, ' ' said Mr. Frame, ' ' I can 't pay that debt 
in work. It was borrowed money, and I can discharge the obligation only in 
money." The debt, we are told, was promptly paid in cash. i 

At another time, Mr. Frame was hard pressed, times were hard and money 
scarce. He went to Uriah Singleton's to get some work to do. Mr. Singleton 
knew his aversion for a tough proposition and said, ' ' Yes, Jim, I want a few 
rails made, and I have heard you tell of your feats in railmaking. You go 
up on the ridge out in the pasture field, cut one of those large oak trees stand- 
ing there, and split t into rails." Mr. Frame went up and chopped the tree 
down which had become tough and knotty by standing in the cleared land. He 
cut off one rail length and was using the maul vigorously when the horn blew 
for dinner. It was a hot June day, and as Mr. Frame approached the house 
immersed in perspiration and gasping from fresh air, Mr. Singleton said, "Well, 
Jim, how did you get along?" "Very well," said Jim in a tenor voice. "I cut 
the tree down, took off the butt cut. drove in all my-wedges and I think it will 
be open by the time I get back. I left it in a powerful strain. ' ' 

Uncle Christian Hyer was a noble Christian gentleman. He owned a farm 
and lived about a mile below where Shaversville now stands. Uncle "Chris" 
had several boys at home, and they were very jolly and fond of sport. They 
had a fondness for whiskey, but never indulged to any extent. The boys had 
acquired the habit of playing cards, without the knowledge of their parents. 
They would sometimes go coon-hunting and spend part of the night playing 
cards. On one occasion they had been out quite late, and when they came in 
they laid their deck of cards on the wall-plate of the house. In the night there 
came up quite a wind and rain storm. The wind caught the cards and scat- 
tered them in the yard. Captain Hyer in relating the incident, said that the 
yard was completely covered with cards. No two seemed to light in the same 


place. He said the morning, after the rain storm, was clear and bright, and 
when he called them in the morning the sun was shining through the cracks 
of the house. He said to them, ' ' Boys, get up ; it rained last night, and there 
was a powerful storm. It rained spades and clubs— the ground is covered — get 
up." When they went down they realized how awful was their exposure, but 
their father said nothing. He called the family in, read a chapter and had 
family prayer. They ate breakfast, and he did not indicate by his manner that 
anything unusual had occurred. In after years he never referred to the great 
wind storm. The Captain said the boys gathered up their cards and committed 
them to the flames, and were so thoroughly disgusted with themselves that none 
of them in the long years after this incident occurred, had ever played another 
game of cards. 

Frank Rhea, a colored man, making his first trip to the city, and not being 
familiar with the different modes of preparing beef steak, on being asked by 
the waitress how he would have his steak, done or rare, he said "Rare, madam, 
please," and when she brought the steak, it was raw and not to Frank's liking; 
and unwilling to forego the pleasure of a fine steak, handed it back and said, 
"Please, madam, rare it again, madam." 

Many years prior to the Civil war when the country between Sutton and 
Summersville was very sparsely settled, the only stopping place between these 
points was at Colonel Brown's who kept hotel and store at the Big Birch river. 
Travelers going that way usually stopped at the Colonel's. His home was the 
half-way place between the points named, and the judge and lawyers from 
Weston going to the Nicholas court would make Sutton the first day, the second 
day would feed and take dinner at Colonel Brown's, then cross over the moun- 
tain and land in Summersville that night. Edwin S. Duncan with Judge 
Draper Camden, Matthew Edmiston and other lawyers from that town and 
other places as far distant as Clarksbiirg, practiced there, and in the courts 
of adjoining counties. Court coming on in Summersville, one of the lawyers 
from Weston had occasion to go a day in advance of the others, leaving the 
Judge and two or three lawyers to follow the next day. He told the Colonel 
of some distinguished guests who would be at his house the following day for 
dinner; he also told him that the guests would want the most frugal meal that 
his hostlery could supply, and named the course. They ordered cold cornbread, 
the oldest that he had ; the sourest buttermilk that could be obtained, and a raw 
onion. Nothing more, nothing less. The Colonel said he would fill the bill. 
His by-word was "I say, I say, I'll fill the bill." He immediately ordered a 
pone of cornbread baked, and the buttermilk and onion were always on hand. 
The cornbread had a day and night in which to cool and the crust to harden. The 
buttermilk had reached a state of fermentation. The onion being of the Dutch 
variety, every requirement had been fulfilled. About one o'clock the following 
day the distinguished guests rode up, cold and hungry. The Colonel had their 


mounts put away and fed. Dinner being announced, these half-famished legal 
lights hastened to the kitchen where meals were served, the family having 
eaten. The lawyers sat down in silence. The Colonel came into the room, in his 
most affable manner to keep them company, and to see how they would enjoy 
the meal. They tried the bread, sipped a little of the buttermilk, looked at 
the onion, and said, "Colonel, can't you do a little better than this?" The 
Colonel said, "I say,M say, I've filled the bill." They finished the meal in si- 
lence and ordered their mounts which had been well fed, paid the usual- hotel 
bill, and proceeded to cross the great mountain which lay before them, in mourn- 
ful silence. When they reached Summersville late that night, cold and hungry 
and were plied with questions, it dawned upon them that they had been the vic- 
tims of a joke. 

This same Colonel Brown was a surveyor, and on one occasion he was called 
as a witness to testify with reference to some particular piece of road. When 
he was asked whether he knew this certain road he replied that he did as he 
had traveled the road a thousand times. The Judge, knowing the Colonel's 
candor and congenial temperament, said to him. "Colonel, isn't that a great 
many times for a man to travel one road?" The Colonel said, "I am the sur- 
veyor of Nicholas county, and I say Judge, I say, I have traveled that road a 
thousand times." 

When General Rosecrans marched his army from Clarksburg through the 
country to Carnefix Ferry, he learned of Colonel Brown's knowledge of the 
country and sent for him, requesting him to make a map of the county roads 
and streams on which his army was operating. The Colonel told General Rose- 
crans that it would be endangering his life to do this as the country in which 
he lived was strongly Southern and subject to scouting parties from the Con- 
federate army. The General said he would fix that, and requested the Colonel 
to return home. He had not been long at home when a squad of soldiers came 
and pretended to make an arrest, and took him back to camp. He was pro- 
vided with a tent and all the material necessary with which to work, and a 
guard was placed at the tent door. In a few days the guard was removed and 
the Colonel went home, having made the map which was of great value to the 
army. Colonel Brown, in relating this incident to Captain William Kantner 
of the Federal army, said that his family and neighbors never suspected him of 
being a Union man. Colonel Brown lived and died, loved and respected by all 
who knew him. 

Elem Mitchell, a Protestant Methodist minister, was in his belief an im- 
mersionist, and sometimes advocated that mode of baptism in his discourses. 
In one of his sermons, his subject led him to a discussion of the subject of bap- 
tism, and he concluded by declaring immersion to be the proper form. At the 
close of his discourse, a lady came forward bringing her infant child for bap- 
tism. The Rev. Mitchell said, "Brethren, while this is contrary to my belief, 


I don't know a better way to do away with a bad practice than to put it into 
use, and he baptised the child. 

Many years ago there was a trial in Sutton of some parties living on the 
Little Kanawha river who had engaged in a kind of general battle. One of the 
witnesses stated that while the fight was going on in the yard some of the par- 
ties ran out of the house through a hole in the fireplace. One of the parties 
declared that he was wild and woolly and had never been curried. The idea 
of a hole in the fireplace large enough for a man to go through and the declara- 
tion that the man made in entering the melee greatly amused the court and 

Charles Mollohan was a fearless man of unusaul physical strength. On 
one occasion he had an execution against John Wyatt, and the only property 
owned by Wyatt was a gray mare which he locked up in his stable, and refused 
to deliver her to the Sheriff. Mollohan undertook to pry the door off the Avooden 
hinges with a piece of timber, when Wyatt came out with an axe for battle. 
After, making some threats, he laid the axe down. Mollohan picked it up and 
said, "Why, John, this is the very thing I need," and proceeded to cut off the 
wooden hinges of the door. He took the mare to Squire Morrison 's and put her 
in pasture, and it wasn't long before Wyatt paid the debt and redeemed his 
property. . 

On another occasion, he went to collect a deft off Mr , who 

was a very strong man, and a fighter. Mollohan found him at work in the field, 
and his coat laying close by. He picked up the coat and this very much en- 
raged the man who threw down his hat, and prepared for battle. The Sheriff 
picked up his hat also and laughing at the man's predicament, walked off with 
his hat and coat. 

A Mr. Gillespie and his wife of Cedar creek were thought to be extremely 
low with grip and pneumonia. They were so poorly that the doctor said Mrs. 
Gillespie had no possible show for recovery. It happened that Johnson Car- 
penter came along and Mr. Gillespie asked him to take a basket of eggs to the 
store, saying that there might come a cold spell of weather and freeze them. 
Mrs. Gillespie also was anxious that he take the eggs, saying she was afraid the 
price would come down. When Carpenter reached the store, the merchant asked 
him how the sick people were, and whether Mrs. Gillespie were living yet. 
Said Johnson, "They are both going to get well." "Get well," said the store 
keeper, "Why, the doctor gave Mrs. Gillespie up to die. "I don't care," said 
Johnson, "Gillespie wanted to get to market before the freeze came, and Mrs. 
Gillespie wanted to strike the market before the price went. down, so I am sure 
they will both get well." And in a few days, they were both up and going 
around. Carpenter had a way of arriving at a fact that beat the science of the 


Sometime in the nineties, Edward Lorentz kept a drug store in Sutton, and 
as he was congenial and liked company, his store was a place where the men 
often gathered to pass away the time, and on one of these occasions they saw 
deaf James Perrine coming toward the drug store. Perrine was almost entirely 
deaf, and inordinately fond of whiskey. For many years he travelled over the 
country as a cobler, making and repairing shoes, fixing chairs, etc. They kneis 
what he wanted, and some one said to Ed to give him a drink of alcohol which 
he proceeded to do. He poured out a tumbler full, a half-pint or more, not 
thinking he would drink very much of it, but to their astonishment he drank 
it all down and walked off. They soon became alarmed, thinking that amount 
of alcohol taken raw might prove fatal, but concluded to wait not knowing just 
what to do. It wasn't long, however, before they saw Perrine coming up street 
and coming into the drug store, he said, "Ed, have you any more of that, it's 
the most satisfyinest whiskey I ever drunk in my life." 

Many years ago, John Knight who lived south of the Elk on Poplar Ridge, 
was very fond of coon hunting, and on one occasion the dogs treed a coon on a 
tall chestnut tree and Knight saw the coon hanging on a limb ; so he proceeded 
to climb the tree, taking the axe with him. His object was to cut the limb and 
let the coon fall, but he climbed out on the limb some distance from the body 
of the tree, and proceeded to cut the limb off between himself and the tree, thus' 
precipitating himself, coon and all. Knight had the good fortune, however, to 
lodge on a lower limb of the tree which broke the force of the fall. "Whether 
he became excited when he climbed the tree or whether the shadows at night 
turned him around, he didn't explain, but we imagine the coon took advantage 
of the situation. 

Cato, a colored man who blonged to John D. Sutton, was very pious. He 
was a member of the M. E. Church, and Wm. D. Braxton was his class leader. 
"When the Protestant church was organized, Cato without any letter or cere- 
mony, joined, but still claimed to be a Methodist. He was called up to give an 
account of himself, and Mr. Baxter who was a very plain-spoken man, and the 
feeling between the two churches at that time was not the best, said, "Cato, 
what made you join the radical church?" and Cato said, "I wants to be in 
good favor with all the societies," so they had to let Cato continue to have a 
good deal of latitude, but that wasn't the only time that Uncle Baxter, as we 
always called him, had to call on Cato for an explanation. Some one had killed 
a hog which belonged to old Uncle Davy Frame, and they accused Cato of the 
act so Uncle Baxter called him up for trial, and he said, "Cato, what did you 
kill Davy Frame's hog for?" "I didn't kill his hog, sir," said Cato. "Well, 
what is your mark?" "I marks with a crop on one ear, sir." "Well, what 
ear do you crop?" "I crops the ear next to the river, sir." This ended the 
trial, and Uncle Baxter had to restore Cato to fellowship in the church. Cato 
and Milly, his wife, lived to be old. They were well respected by the com- 
munity, and were released in 1836 by the County Court from paying taxes. 


Aunt Hannah Aldridge, as she was familiarly called, was a very pious old 
lady and passionately fond of her children. She was the wife of Richard Al- 
dridge who was killed on Wolf creek near their home by the Federal troops in 
the Civil war. They were honest people, but very poor as many of our people 
were. On one occasion, Aunt Hannah started to Sutton, carrrying a half -bushel 
of corn to the mill to have it ground. Their provisions had run very low, and 
this was the only means she had to replenish her supplies, and on the way she 
saw a very large fat opossum near the road which she proceeded to kill. As 
the fur was good, she skinned the animal and took the hide with her to the 
store, trading it for coffee. She had hung the carcass on a bush until her 
return which she hastened to make after her com was ground and the trading 
done. She always referred to her children as "My dear children" or "my dear 
blessed children," and when Aunt Hannah returned, her family gathered 
around her and she said, "My dear blessed children, your mother has brought 
you meat, meal and coffee. ' ' She lived to be quite old, her family grew to be 
men and women, and later the family moved West, settling in the state of 

At the close of the Civil war, Squire Frank Stewart was the first man in 
the country to receive the appointment of Notary. This was something new to 
the citizens, and they inquired of the Squire what the duties of the office con- 
sisted of, and he told them that it was a kind of judicial office, that in all diffi- 
cult questions coming before the Court, he was associated with the Judge. His 
neighbors thought that the Civil war had developed great possibilities for the 
man who was lucky enough to be a Notary Public. 

Squire Stewart was naturally intelligent and congenial, but we never heard 
of it being necessary for the Court to call on the Notary for assistance. 

When G rover Cleveland was first elected President, the matter was in 
doubt for some time. First the word would come that Blaine was elected, then 
the report Avould change and the Democrats would have a season of rejoicing. 
Later, the matter would be in doubt again. 

One day a delegation of the Carr boys came to Sutton, determined to know 
the truth, and they called on Mrs. Catherine Berry, a Republican and a lady 
of sterling character and intelligence. They inquired of her what the latest 
news was and she said, "Gentlemen, I am sorry to tell you, but the election has 
been settled, and Cleveland is elected, New York going fourteen hundred Demo- 
cratic. " This was a chill and they all looked sad and dejected, but made no 
reply. Finally one of the Carr boys, a big, overgrown lad of sixteen or seven- 
teen years, raised his head and said, "Pop, that damned registration law done 

About the year 1900, Wm. Riffle who lived on a small stream emptying into 
the Little Kanawha, a few miles above Burnsville, discovered what he supposed 
to be a medical spring, possessing great curative properties. The curious soon 


began to flock to the spring, especially on the Sabbath day, the fame of the 
mineral spring spreading far and wide, and quite a number of patients came 
to try its virtues, many declaring that they had been greatly benefitted. Nat- 
urally, Mr. Riffle had unbounded faith in the water. It happened that one 
of his neighbors became ill and died, and had not tried the healing qualities of 
the mineral spring. After the man's death, some of the neighbors were speak- 
ing to Mr. Riffle of his good qualities; lamenting his death, when he said, ' ' Yes, 
he was a veiy good man and we deeply regret his loss, but then, he knew that 
the water was here." 

One of the amusing incidents of the Civil war occurred on the ridge be- 
tween the farm of James W. Morrison and Carpenter's fork. Early in the 
war, a squad of Dutch cavalry was scouting in that vicinity, and came across 
Thomas Saulsburg who, they thought, was an enemy, and they were talking 
and gesticulating in a threatening manner. Saulsbury began to think that his 
time had come, and Avhile they were deciding his fate, N. B. Squires, a Union 
man whom the soldiers seemed to know, came along and told them that Sauls- 
bury was a peaceful citizen, so they released him and rode away. Squires said 
that Saulsbury who was a veiy large man was standing with his back against 
a white oak tree by the roadside, and as he heard the sound of horses' feet and 
the clinking of the bayonets dying away in the distance, his limbs seemed to 
give way, and he sank down by the roots of the tree and said, "Squires, it is a 

d ticklish thing to tinker with this government." Tom Saulsbury was a 

veiy sensible man, and told many quaint and humorous stories, and one only 
had to know him to enjoy his wit and humor. 

When oil was discovered at Burning Spring and the Rathbone family sud- 
denly became rich, Judge Camden, Johnson N. Camden and others were congrat- 
ulating the elder Mr. Rathbone who was then on his deathbed, on the great 
good fortune. He says, "Gentlemen, it comes a little too late for me, but it is 
a Godsend for the boys." 

In time of the Civil war, two brothers of a prominent family lived neigh- 
bors ; one was a Confederate, and the other a Union man. The Southern broth- 
er had two half grown boys, who on the occasion of which we speak, were at. 
their Uncle's. On looking down the road, they saw a large number of Con- 
federate soldiers dashing toward the house, and it proved to be the command 
of Col. Witcher; and as they had started out to recruit their army with men 
and horses, and also to procure beef cattle for the Southern army, they were 
not slow in appropriating anything needful for themselves. So after they had 
gone through the house, and carried off such articles as they desired, and had 
started away, the Union brother went out in a rage, and told the boys that the 
first Union soldiers that came in, he would have them rob their father of every- 
thing he had, for the Rebel thieves had taken all he had. Just then one of the 
Company that had straggled behind and had been contending with the women 


of the house for some cream, came round the corner and said, "Mr. can't you 
make these •women let me have some cream?" and he turned to his wife and 
said, in the most plaintiff tones, "Mother, can't you let the gentleman have a 
little cream?" 

Andrew Sterrett, who lived on Elk, near Sutton, followed lumbering. One 
very high rise in the river, he sent his brother, Jackson Sterrett. down to watch 
the river. Uncle Jack was not long from the old country, and proceeded to 
gauge the river by sticking his knife blade in the gunwall of a flat boat, and 
after some time watching, he went up to the house and reported to his brother 
that the river was at a stand, neither rising nor falling. 

A few years ago the doetoi's and newspapers began to talk about disease 
germs. An old lady in Sutton said that she was so glad that she had gotten 
her family raised before germs came in fashion. 

In time of the Civil war some of the Braxton boys commanded by Major 
Withers went on a scout to Webster county and camped one night at old Mr. 
McCourts just below Addison. He was extremely poor, and the old man with 
that shrewdness common to the natives seemed very kind, and said: "Now 
gentlemen you are welcome to anything I have, but for God's sake don't bother 
my onions." Except for a nice bed of onions the old man had nothing that 
any mortal, would want. His manner and shrewdness so amused the soldiers 
that the onions were left undisturbed, and during the period of the war, when 
the boys were weary and foot sore some one wo aid say, "take anything I have, 
out for God's sake spare my onions;" then for awhile they would forget their 
hardships and toil. 

Before the Civil war, B. P. Fisher was building a cabin house for a tenant, 
and stone being scarce on his farm, he was using a good deal of mortar in the 
chimney. About the time he had finished the chimney, Charles S. Evans came 
along, and in surveying the work, he told Fisher that he had plowed more 
rocky ground than that chimney. "Yes," said Fisher, "but it wasn't any 

Mr. G. B. Browning, while taking the census several years ago, was inter- 
viewing a Mrs. Knight as to the ages of her children. She said she was unable 
to give their ages, but if he could see Mary Morton, she could tell him, as one of 
her children was born the same time. Another child was born the same time 
that Jesse Skidmore's wife had a child, and if she just knew what year John 
Frank Beamer had wheat in the hill field, she could give him the age of the 
other one exactly. 

A man commonly calLed Ett Rhea joined the M. P. Conference on proba- 
tion as William Eldridge LeGrand Rhea. He was subsequently dropped and 
later entered the Conference as Schuyler Graves Rhea. His full name would 
have been William Eldridge LeGrand Schuler Graves Rhea. 



Personal Writings; Pisgah Mountain, by Dr. A. B. Riker; Henry G. Davis at 
Mount Bayard; Lists of Old Persons; Fifth Generations, and Large Fami- 
lies; Biographical Sketches and Family History; The Nation's Fifth For- 
eign War, with Lists of Volunteers and, Drafted Men from this County. 


A boundless and luxuriant forest had scarcely been touched. Nature stood 
thus robed, buoyant and sublime. A little clearing and farm house here and one 
there, clustered in neighborhoods, and an occasional church and schoolhouse 
supplied the frugal demands of the people. To stand on some eminence look- 
ing out through an unbroken horizon until mountain range and valley faded 
away, and peak after peak, with all of their grandeur and magnificence was 
lost in the distance, and then to behold with admiration and delight a deep, 
silent and unbroken forest on whose topmost branches in springtime could be 
seen the variegated bloom of the poplar and lin, nature's once limitless flower 
garden, when the dewdrops and the early sunlight unfolded their petals, was 
a sight as enchantingly grand, even as sublime, as would be the falling of the 
stars. No artist could paint it ; no pen could describe it. Its enchantment will 
fade as the mists disappear, or as those who saw it shall see it no more. 

Surely nature has painted a fancy sketch in the mountain gorges of the 
Elk that can but awaken in one's mind an admiration for the hand that directed 
their formation and existance. We can never forget the majestic scenery as 
we stood on a pinnacle on an autumn evening. We looked out over a glorious 
sunset with all its sublimity, and saw the mountains in the distance rolling 
away and disappearing in the mist, and as the sun was sinking in the west, and 
casting his golden rays upon the mountain tops, we could see the clouds be- 
neath us, and the mist rolling up from the foaming waters of the river far down 
its channel. 

The dizzy heights, the deep chasms, the clouds beneath our feet, the gor- 
geous sunset, made the scene one of enraptured delight. If we can in the even- 
ing of life stand upon an eminence that rises above the breakers whose founda- 
tion is laid in wisdom and truth, though the shadows may lengthen as they 
will, the step may falter and the eye grow dim, yet the flowers of the autumn 
will be bright and the evening sunset be calm and joyous. 


The sun was casting its golden rays 

Far upon the crest of the hill, 
While the waters were washing the sands on the beach 

And turning the wheels of the mill. 

The autumn winds were chilly 

As they shrieked to the mountains a sob, 
And they kissed the flowers a winter's good-night 

As they passed o'er Jonathan's Knob. , 

And as the shadows lengthened 

And the rays began to fall. 
The darkness of the twilight 

In silence veiled them all. 

At the beginning of hostilities, several companies of soldiers and militia, 
under command of Clinebel, came out as far as Flatwoods to meet the enemy. 
We remember it was suggested to one of the captains who in company with 
several other officers and soldiers, was taldng supper at our home, that as 
they were in the immediate presence of the enemy it would be a precautionary 
measure to put a few of the men on watch during the night. The captain said 
that all military bodies had an officer called a "cor-po-ri-al" whose business 
it was to command a guard while the main body of the army slept. This was, 
to me, a new phase of military parlance and tactics. Subsequently, we learned 
more about that class of heroic mortals, and yet we never rose to the rank and 
dignity of a "Cor-po-ri-al" during the entire unpleasantness. A corporal 
meant two stripes on each sleeve, and they numbered from one to eight in a 
company. The eighth corpoi'al was subordinate to the seventh, and the lawful 
and legitimate terminal of all military authority. An order emanating from 
the commander-in-chief goes down the gradation of rank and expends its fury 
at his feet. The grace and dignity of a corporal lends enchantment to the mili- 
tary spirit of the age, and gives inspiration to the vanity of the American 

At the beginning of the Civil war, quite a few of the citizens of the interior 
of the state had never seen a colored person, a gum shoe or had ever heard the 
click of a telegraph instrument. The first Federal soldiers that came in cap- 
tured Zack Howell of Webster county. Zack's keen native instinct and curiosi- 
ty soon observed that the gum coat, the "coon" and the telegraph were part 
of the army's outfit, and his environments while in captivity aroused his poeti- 
cal powers and he wrote a poem, one verse of Avhich was : 

A gum elastic overcoat 

And Yankeedoodle shoes, 
A nigger on the telegraph 

Was trying to read the news. 


It should be regretted that more of this untutored woodman's talent was 
not preserved as a portion and infinitesimal past and atom of the history of 
the great struggle. In looking back over five decades, and more since we be- 
gan to remember events which were transpiring, we find the landmarks of that 
youthful period are being rapidly swept away. Sod and flowers are growing 
over the dust of noble ones. Hearthstones that were once moistened with tears 
of joy, and sometimes of grief, are crumbling with the decimation of time. 
Yet there is not a day nor an hour of that period that we would not live over 
again. While all was ont sunlight, btu toil and sorrow, we would go through 
the shadows to again enjoy the radiant sunlight of youth. 


Strolling from our Hotel across the wire suspension bridge, one bright 
Sabbath morning, and reflecting on the memories which the sacred day brings 
to the mind, we heard the church bells calling the children to Sabbath School. 
As we lingered on the shores of this beautiful river, watching the waters pass, 
the church bells again rang calling the people to the morning services, but 
children were seen everywhere-— some crossing the bridge, others in different 
directions going toward their homes, and some of them loitering on the way. 
We thought there could be no morning services in the town. Going up Main 
street, and meeting a group of young men, we ventured to inquire whether 
there would be preaching, and no one seemed to know; but going on, we saw 
a child and a lame man enter a church, and we ventured in to find a sparsely 
assembled congregation of middle aged people. We supposed that by agree- 
ment, the people divided the services, the children going to one and the parents 
and adults to the other. 

An aged man was in the pulpit, and he was introduced by the pastor as 
the Rev. J). H. Davis, a native of Braxton county, but one who had for many 
years been preaching the Gospel in other fields. It seemed that nativity and 
age, if nothing more, should have called the people together in greater num- 
bers, but when this aged minister stood erect in the pulpit, we discovered that 
we were in the presence of no ordinary personage. After his introductory re- 
marks which were touching and eloquent, he showed that he was master of the 
English language. His face was that of a Roman nobleman, and as he warmed 
to his subject with extended hands and flashing eyes that seemed to penetrate 
the very souls of men, we realized that he was a man of surpassing eloquence, 
a reasoner and a student. When he spoke of the mountains, the flowing rivers 
and the shifting sands as being nothing in comparison and duration to the 
message that he brought, cold and indifferent must have been the heart that 
was untouched. Wonderful in knowledge and greatness are some of the char- 
acters that the mountains of West Virginia have brought forth. 

Additional mention of Rev. D. If. Davis is made. .See Family History. 





By John D. Sutton. - 

In the death of "Mrs. Bessie Sutton, wife of F. 0. Sutton, a line by a mem- 
ber of the family might be excused. For eight years she had been a member of 
the family. Her sweet, pure character had endeared her to the home. In the 
heart of each member, her virtues had been enshrined as well, we believe, as 
in the affections of all who knew her. During this brief union with the family 
she. had fully shared every blessing, every aspiration, as well as every sorrow 
and bereavement. When the deepest sadness came to our home, Bessie's heart 
was touched and her sympathy helped to bear that great load. For the few 
brief years of her married life and motherhood she exemplified everything that 


that implies. The first lesson she taught her children was to repeat the Lord's 
Prayer before they retired, and her custom was to take them to the Sabbath 
school and in every way to influence their minds that were so young and im- 
pressionable with the lessons of truth. But after a brief pilgrimage of thirty- 
two years, or less than half the time allotted to man, and after eight years of 
wedded life, the star, that had shone with such brilliancy, that had illumined a 
home with such joy, that sanctified motherhood and virtue, sat in the full tide 
of life. She had often shed the tear that flowed by her friends around her 
bier — the tear that Rev. Warman so forcibly and eloquently described in the 
great prayer that he made, the tear that is the universal language of the human 
family, a language that every creature under stands. We had often thought 
that in our declining years Bessie's love would be a comfort and joy, but how 
forcibly Ave now realize that we have lost a friend, and that the home from 
which she has been taken has lost a sweet companion and affectionate mother. 
As we laid her to rest beneath a bank of beautiful flowers contributed by lov- 
ing friends, the day seemed to be wrapped in gloom ; the sun was hidden behind 
the clouds, and we thought that nature was displeased that death by sin had 
entered into the world. But at the evening sunset we visited the grave, the 
clouds had dispersed in the west, the sun was just going down, and as we looked 
towards the south and east, we beheld a clear, limitless, blue sky in the back- 
ground, and on it the reflection of the sun was painting the most magnificent 
picture we had ever beheld. In that picture there were mountains and valleys; 
and the mountains were terraced and painted only as God can fashion the paint 
with the richest, golden tints. Such a magnificent scene the hand of man would 
be powerless to imitate and the pen would be unable to describe. And when 
the early morning came, we went again to the newly made grave, and as the 
sun had made its reflection again on the little dew drops that had come down 
during the night to keep fragrant the beautiful flowers— nature's dew drops, 
nature's tears, were falling where human tears had fallen but yesterday to 
melt down the little clods on the tomb. Nature seemed to be dispelling gloom 
and rejoicing that Bessie had gone home. 


One of the rules that Washington laid down was that against eating on the 
streets. It is not unusual at this day to see persons walking the streets eating 
something from their hands, and since ice cream has been put up in small 
cones, and other viands in convenient form, this habit among young people has 
become very common. To what extent Washington's advice corrected the habit 
of impoliteness that must have prevailed at his time we can not say, but the 
habit has broken out to a considerable extent in recent years, and to see young 
ladies walking the streets licking a cone of cream greatly exposes the tongue 
to view and renders them less affable and polite, while she is not at all times 
in position to greet friends with a handshake. Moreover', cream being absorbent 


is subject to the foul odors of the streets and can be enjoyed very much greater 
in a clean cream parlor or at home. — The Author. 


Parents and teachers should teach children this rule, and older persons 
should know that one person approaching another should always speak first. 
A person standing on the street or in the doorway or by the roadside should 
expect to be spoken to by those moving by. A person approaching your home, 
the salutation should be mutual as well as by parties meeting or by mutual 
friends. Younger persons should not wait to be addressed by those much older 
than themselves. This rale is prompted by the difference in age, and for the 
further reason that the younger should recognize older persons much more 
readily than the older ones recognize the young. The young will gain the affec- 
tion of the aged by referring to them as "Uncle" or "Aunt," or by addressing 
them by their proper name. Some may ask why the one should address the 
other first. The one approaching can judge more accurately at what distance 
the salutation should be given or at what speed he will approach or pass by; 
the one is active, the other is passive and should be first addressed. — The Au- 

At the entrance to the cemetery on the Sutton farm at McNutt siding 
stands a beautiful arch, erected in memory of Felix and Susan Sutton by their 
children and grandchildren dated 1911. It is of native stone, and the design 
is beautiful. The work was done by Messrs. C. C. Stoyle and J. R. McClain 
of Clarksburg who put in several weeks on the job. The corner stone was laid 
March 2nd, 1911, and the ladies of the Woman's Home Mission Society of the 
Sutton M. E. church, South, placed in the cavity many documents of historic 
and family interest contributed by the Sutton family, also coins, engraved 
copper plates, etc., contributed by friends of the family. One of the plates 
officials. It is a worthy monument to the memory of two of the county's most 
worthy pioneer citizens by his descendants. — (Braxton Democrat.) 

June 16th, 1912, about one thousand persons attended the unveiling of 
the statue of Miss Jessie L. Sutton at the Sutton cemetery and the union Sun- 
day school picnic at the Sutton Grove The crowd gathered at 

the grove, where an address of welcome was made by Attorney F. 0. Sutton of 
Clarksburg, and then marched to the cemetery. The statue which is the work 
of a noted Italian sculptor, was unveiled by Misses Mabel Stump, Mabel Great- 
house and Gertrude Loyd; Revs. A. Mick of Siitton and Dr. John S. Stump 
of Parkersburg, officiating at this service. Afterwards, Dr. Stump and Miss 
Roena E. Shaner, the latter a "W. C. T. U. national lecturer, delivered addresses 
in the grove. Ten Sunday schools participated in the picnic which was the 
largest and most enjoyable picnic of the kind ever held in Braxton. One who 


was present says it was the best looking, most intellectual and most orderly- 
crowd of people he had ever seen in this part of the state. — (Braxton Dmo- 
crat, ) 



(By Heney G. Davis.) 

At the time this was written, the marvelous development of "West Virginia's 
natural resources and the consequent expansion of the railway system is at- 
tracting the attention of the entire world, with the result that capital is flowing 
into the state by the millions. It is difficult for our older residents to realize 
the wonderful changes that are taking place, or to comprehend how it has 
been brought about. Each day brings new wonders. 

For a century the tide swept past us to the far West, where great com- 
monwealths sprang into existance and mighty industrial achievements were 
performed. Yet, all these years the wealth of our mountains lay dormant and 
hidden from view. But at last the awakening has come. The magic hand of 
enterprise has touched our hills and valleys, and today there is greater activity 
here in West Virginia, with a greater prospect of development than in any 
other part of the western hemisphere. And, best of all, this new era of indus- 
trial development has come to stay. 

Colonel George H. Moffett, who for a number of years was connected with 
the Ohio River railroad, and retains his position as associate counsel under the 
B. & 0. management, was a member of the constitutional convention of 1872, 
which framed the present constitution of the State. In that body, he was a 
member of the committee on corporations and took an active part in the effort 
to incorporate liberal provisions relating to corporations into organic law. Dur- 
ing the legislature of 1879, he was speaker of the House and a member of the 
same body in the memorable session of 1881-1882, when the first railway legis- 
lation was enacted. He led the fight against the Wilson railroad bill which 
was most drastic in its nature, and while the bill was not defeated, yet it was 
so amended and pinned down as to eliminate the most objectionable features. 
He based his opposition to the Wilson bill upon the ground that the state should 
stand ready to extend an open hand and pledged to a liberal policy towards all 
enterprises looking to its development. The debate on the Wilson bill was the 
most notable forensic display in our legislative history. Besides Colonel Moffett, 
the active participants in the discussion were Governor Wilson, the father of 
the bill, Judge James H. Ferguson, Hon. W. P. Hubbard, Hon. D. H. Leonard, 
Hon. W. A. Quarrier, Judge James Morrow, Hon. John W. Grantham, Judge 
Beckwith and others of equal celebrity. Colonel Moffett once made a speech 
of ten hours' length which was printed in all the daily papers of the state, and 
its concluding sentences read as if he had been touched by the spii'it of prophecy. 
They read as follows: 


"Mr. Speaker, this is a critical period in the history of West Virginia's 
development. The boundless variety of onr resources makes the state an empire 
of material wealth within itself. The hour has arrived when we are to decide 
whether we will remand the state back to a condition of retrogression and ex- 
tinction of industrial life, or whether we will advance in the spirit of progress 
and liberality to the high destiny which awaits us, if wisdom should control our 
counsels. ' ' 

I think it was in July, 1881, said Colonel Moffett, that I piloted a notable 
party over this projected line, and it was a trip that had some historical in- 
terest attached to it. You will remember that when Senator Davis and Mr. 
Elkins organized the West Virginia Central company, it was known as the 
"Senatorial Syndicate" on account of the number of United States Senators 
and other distinguished persons included in the directory of the company. The 
list included James G. Blaine, William Windom, Henry G. Davis. Johnson N. 
Camden, Arthur P. Gorman, Stephen B. Elkins, Pinkney Whyte, W. H. Bar- 
num, Senator Chaffee of Colorado, U. S. Grant, Jr., and the late Major Alexan- 
der Shaw of Baltimore. At the time I speak of, Mr. Davis had arranged to 
take the directors over the projected line, and the trip was made on horseback. 
Unfortunately, Mr. Blaine was prevented from accompanying the party on ac- 
count of the assassination of President Garfield which occurred a week or two 
previously, and Mr. Blaine being Secretary of State, was compelled to remain 
in Washington. In speaking of it afterwards, he said it was one of the great 
disappointments of his life as he had looked forward to this trip with univer- 
sal interest because of his great faith in the futiire of West Virginia. 

"Colonel Tom Davis furnished the mount for the party from his fine 
stables. The start was made from Oakland on the B. & 0., and it took ten 
days to make the trip through to the Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs on the 
C. & 0. road, a distance of over two hundred miles, and a great 'part of it 
through the virgin forests. Two horses laden with commissary stores were 
taken along, which made it convenient for camping out when a settlement could 
not be reached. The trip was interspersed with many pleasant incidents, and 
all enjoyed it. Occasional stops were made for trout fishing in the clear moun- 
tain streams. The big trout catch at Cosner's in the upper "Cancan Valley" 
is one of the incidents of which I have a vivid recollection. Then there were 
some amusing things by the way, and one of the really funny spectacles was 
the sight of old Secretary of the Treasury Windom, a corpulent man of Fal- 
staffian build, in his shirt sleeves chopping down pine trees to make a bed from 
the boughs, the night the party slept out at the McDonald camp on the Black- 
water fork of Cheat. 

"The event of greatest historical interest occurred the sixth day out, at 
the point known as the ' ' Sinks, ' ' which is the divide between the waters of the 
Cheat and Greenbrier rivers, and the highest elevation in the state. Although 
there was not a wagon road within twenty-five miles of this place, about three 
thousand acres of land had been cleared out long before the war by the Van 


Meters of the South Branch Valley, and at the time of which I speak it was 
covered with the finest blue grass sod that I ever saw. There is nothing in 
Kentucky to equal it. Here is a rich limestone region that gets its name of 
"The Sinks" from the frequent caves and depressions in the ground, a feature 
peculiar to limestone countries. The owners of this territory who lived on the 
South Branch of the Potomac, near Moorfield, drove their young cattle through 
the mountains to this rich pasturage land every spring, and then drove them 
back in the fall season. They kept a tenant here, and old man named Kyle 
who looked after the cattle on the big ranch, and although he had no neighbors 
within many miles of him, lived here with his family all the year through. 
Kyle's cabin stood at the foot of the highest peak of the transverse range 
which made the divide between the Cheat and Grenbrier waters, and it was at 
this hospitable cabin the party camped the fifth night out. I recall the bounti- 
ful supper Mrs. Kyle spread for us on that occasion. As I passed down by 
there the week before, I gave them notice that the exploring party would be 
along, and that we would make it a point to stay over night at their place. And 
they were ready for us with a feast that would make a fit banquet for royalty. 
Two large wild turkeys had been lulled and roasted to the queen's taste; we had 
fresh venison, trout piled up on large dishes, and milk and butter as sweet as 
the clover blossoms. And then the cooking and seasoning could not have been 
surpassed by a skilled chef. Senator Bayard, who was considered a coinnois- 
seur in epicurean matters, unqualifiedly honored it the best meal he ever ate. 
But, I have wandered from my story. 

"The tall peak that sat up from the Kyle cabin, and towered above its 
majestic fellows, had been cleared to the top and was clothed with a matted 
covering of blue grass. When we asked the name of this towering peak, we 
were told that it was known as "Snake Knob," not because it was inhabited 
by snakes, but on the contrary, old man Kyle had once killed a rattler there, 
the only one of the specie ever seen in that locality. All agreed that this ma- 
jestic mountain deserved a more euphonious name. Hence, it was pre-arranged 
between Senators Davis, Camden and myself, without communicating our secret 
to the others of the party, that on the morrow we should ascend to the summit 
of the mountains and with proper ceremony give it a name to be known in his- 
tory. The next day was one of those rare summer days peculiar to these high 
elevations of rarified atmosphere. There was a cloudless sky, and as we as- 
cended the mountain in the early morning the sunlight lay in golden bands 
across the greensward. "When the summit had been reached, the party dis- 
mounted and for an hour partook of the glories of the prospect spread out be- 
fore them. There was nothing to obscure the view except the limit of vision. 
Looking northward, we could see away into the state of Maryland. Looking 
southward, we could see in dim and distant outline the Peaks of Otler towering 
above and beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains. To the West and East, lay a 
vast amphitheatre of mountains, outlines of their summits gradually receding 
like the waves of the ocean. Since then ,1 have stood on Pike's Peak and other 


high points of the Rockies, T have climbed over the Cascade ranges and the 
Sierras, yet I have never had a view that impressed me as this one. Right at 
the crest of the summit springs of water were gushing forth, and dancing down 
the sides of the mountain in a succession of cascades rolled on to mingle with 
other limped streams which make the fountain source of West A^irginia's great 
rivers. Here on the northern crest was a spring that flows into the Laurel 
Fork of the Cheat river. Just over there on the southward crest, scarcely a 
stone's throw distant, another spring gushes out to make the fountain source 
of the east prong of the Greenbrier, one spring emptying into th Ohio at 
Pittsburg, the other into the Ohio at Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the Ka- 

"At length Senator Davis mounted the dead trunk of a fallen cherry tree 
and called the assemblage to order. He announced that he had been commis- 
sioned to perform a pleasant duty, and in a few appropriate remarks explained 
that it had been decided to name the mountain in honor of the distinguished 
Senator from Delaware, and would proceed with the christening ceremony. He 
took from my hand a cup of water I had lifted from the spring near by, and 
sprinkling the sparkling fluid over the ground said, 'Majestic Child of Nature, 
I christen thee, Mount Bayard ' When the Delaware Senator and future am- 
bassador to England mounted the log to make response, it was apparent that he 
was struggling with deep emotion. He was overwhelmed by the suddenness 
as well as the impressiveness of the occasion. In faltering voice, he thanked the 
party for the honor that had been conferred upon him. He said he would 
treasure it as the proudest distinction of his life, for when he had gone hence 
and his public acts had been forgotten, his name would still be perpetuated in 
this god-erected monument. Here his voice failed, and the tears coursed down 
his cheek. In deference to the great statesman's emotion, we silently remounted, 
and as we rode down the southern slope of the mountain, each one experienced 
the feeling akin to that of the old apostle of the Mount of Transfiguration, that 
it was good for us to have been here. ' ' 

Mount Bayard is the greatest elevation on the Bison Range. — The Au- 
thor. ) 

(By Rev. A. B. Riker.) 

I was requested by Rev. J. M. Grose, one of the trustees of the West Vir- 
ginia Conference Campmeeting Association, to accompany him on a tour of in- 
spection to the top of Pisgah mountain, the prospective location of the Meth- 
odist Campmeeting and Chatauqua. 

The Elk river was swollen, and being unable to ford with our horses, we 
crossed in a boat at the little village of Henry, the county seat of Clay county, 
and ascended the mountain on foot, pulling ourselves up by shrubs and vines 
when they were in reach, and catching our fingers in crevices among the rocks 


when they were not. Indeed, we literally went upon hands and feet. At the 
base of this towering, almost precipice, winding its way in graceful curves, is 
the beautiful elk — its waters clear as the crystal dew drop, now rushing with 
deafening roar over the rocky shoals, now sinking into peaceful repose and si- 
lence, in the broad expanse of a crystal lake that lay at our feet like a mighty 
mirror reflecting the crags and cliffs and lofty peaks against a background of 
fleecy clouds. What a picture to turn one's back upon! When informed that 
it was a plan of the association to construct a railroad up the mountain side, I 
mentally resolved that 1 would always ride up backwards. 

Slowly and laboriously, we thus ascended six hundred feet, and we could 
roll a pebble into the river below. Here we reached a kind of plateau sloping 
back to the hills. This was covered with ferns and evergreens and dotted all 
over with massive oaks on which hung the moss of centuries, fitting emblem of 
their age and dignity. At our back, upon our right, and also at our left, was 
the beautiful river whose roar made a melancholy music in harmony with the 
eloquent silence that surrounds us, but in front of us rose up in majestic gran- 
deur the grand, shapely, tapering cone that has associated with its name such 
beautiful scriptural sentiment. Upon one side, the ascent is not difficult, but 
it is on the side opposite to our view. In fact, from the plateau, a buggy can 
be driven easily to the very summit. 

After we had recovered our breath, all but the preacher lit a cigar, and 
we walked rapidly on. Did you ever stand by and watch the outlines of a pic- 
ture appear under a master's hand*? Up, up. higher, higher, and each step 
seemed to add another touch to the beautiful picture, until we stood upon the 
very top, and the scene was complete. A picture of all that is beautiful, grand 
and sublime — a mingling of the celestial and terrestial — a picture of earth on 
the background of heaven. To the north, the south, the east and the west, noth- 
ing obstructed our vision but the limit of our eye sight. Range upon range, 
peak towering above peak, until the blue lines of earth melted into the blue 
canopy of heaven. 

Away yonder to our right, hanging over the hills of Greenbrier was an 
angry cloud and the rain was pouring down, while the lofty peaks of Nicholas 
basked in the beautiful sunlight. Through a break in a bank of clouds that 
hung over Braxton county, we could see a stream of sunlight like a great shin- 
ing road, a bright paved thoroughfare from earth to heaven. Here was sun- 
shine and shadow; here was the crystal dew-drop, glittering in the morning 
sun; here was the valley below; here was the towering peak; here was nature 
and here was nature's God. I lay it down as one of the impossibilities for any- 
one to stand a half hour on Pisga's top and not go away better than he came — - 
go away with a bigger heart, a grander soul, a broadened intellect and a greater 
love for the sublimity of God. Fartherest away from all that is bad — nearest 
to God and all that is good. I felt like saying to the committee who has the 
matter in charge, "Brethren, here let us build a tabernacle, a splendid and 
capacious edifice, and let us entice the men and women from the valleys below, 


whose hearts have become cold and callous, and whose noble impulses have been 
smothered and cramped, and every one that comes will be a better man or a bet- 
ter woman, for it is good to be here. " 

This peak rises seventeen hundred feet above the sea level, and is the high- 
est point in all the surrounding country. Its top comprises a smooth rolling 
surface, covering something over one acre of ground. Imagine yourself stand- 
ing upon an elevated pinnacle, looking over five thousand square miles of the 
most picturesque scenery in the world, and you have a faint conception of what 
your sensation will be on Pisga's summit. 


Katie Wilson, mother of Eli Wilson 100 

Dolly Hyer, who became a county charge 106 

James M. McCourt, Webster Co. 113 

Mrs. Catharine, McQueen, Nicholas Co 100 

Mary Coger, wife of Peter Coger 104 

Jacob Coger, Webster Co 106 

Eunice Mace, married Jacob Conrad, said to be 118 

William Coger, Webster Co 108 

Benjamin Wine 100 

Lewis Young, colored, Nicholas Co., said to be 135 

James Sutton, Lewisburg, now living 106 

Jack Nappels, colored, Charleston 123 

Wm. M. Craig, Lewis Co 100 

Levi Bond, Lewis Co., now living 102 

Andrew Wilson, said to be 114 

Barbary Sands 104 

Dolly Murphy 110 

Mary Berry Smith, daughter of William Berry and wife of James 

Smith, Smithfield, Ohio 104 

Hugh Gartin, of Lewis Co., (One month and 20 days) 100 

It was said of Jacob Cogar that when he was one hundred and four years 
old he climbed to the top of a tall pine tree and trimmed the limbs off from the 
top down. 


Elizabeth Westfall 99 

Simon Prince 98 

Nellie Rodgers, Roane Co 98 

Mrs. John Eubank 93 

Isaac Riffle , 93 

And his son Absolum 98 


John B. MeCourt, son of James M., (G mo. and a few days) 99 

Marcellus Byrne 92 

Lucinda Singleton 93 

Eviline Berry, now living 93 

Margaret Rodgers, now living 92 

Peter Bosley, now living 93 

Hon. Henry G. Davis 93 

Betsy Squires 93 

Wm. Collison, Clay - 90 

Thomas Dixon, Nicholas Co 90 

Eli Shock, Gilmer Co 91 

Sarah Shields 94 

Enoch Roberts 99 

Jessie F. Coger, Webster Co 94 

Delila Coger, now living 93 

James Carroll 90 

Benjamin Huffman, living 93 

Susan Harper, living 93 

Luther Haymond of Clarksburg 99 




Simon Prince and his wife Margaret (Sisk) Prince 50 

Thomas Skidmore and his wife Catherine (Hamrie) Skidmore 57 

Andrew Skidmore and his wife, Margaret (HosMns) Skidmore 61 

Capt. Henry Bender and his wife, Eliza (Engle) Bender 53 

Rev. George H. Williams and his wife 51 

James W. Morrison and his wife, Nancy (Grims) Morrison 57 

Asa Squires and his wife, Sarah C. (Eastep) Squires 58 

Bailey Stump and his wife, Sally (Sutton) Stump 58 

Levi J. Huffman and Ins wife, (Stump) Huffman 52 

Jessie F. Coger and wife lived together over 74 

S. I. Stalnaker and wife, Drusilla (Frame) Stalnaker 50 

Wm. R. Pierson and wife 57 

W. F. Morrison and wife, Sally (Berry) Morrison ". 51 

E. D. Camden and wife, E. A. (Newby) Camden 53 

J. D. Sprigg and wife, Jennie (McCoy) Sprigg 51 

James Berry and wife, Betty (Squires) Berry 53 

Isaac Loyd and wife, Catherine (McPherson) Loyd 54 

Isaac Rodgers and his wife, Margaret (Lough) Rodgers 66 

Wm. M. Craig and his wife, Lewis Co 63 

J. D. Sutton and wife, M. V. (Morrison) Sutton 53 

Samuel Bennett and wife, Annary (Mayfield) Bennett 51 


Benjamin F. SMdmore, now living in Kentucky, and Rebecca Daily are the 
only children of Benjamin and Mary Gordon Skidmore, now living and the only 
living grand children of Andrew and Margaret Johnson Skidmore. Andrew 
Skidmore was a Revolutionary soldier. 

David Chenoweth of Calhoun county and Delila Skidmore Cogar are the 
only living grand children of Capt. John Skidmore, soldier of the Revolution. 
Mrs. Cogar is in her 93rd year. 

David Chenoweth and Calvin Hart of Randolph county are the only two 
grand children of John Chenoweth, soldier of the Revolution. Mr. Chenoweth 
has the distinction of being the living grand son of two soldiers of the war for 
Independence. He is now in his 86th year. 


Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Bennett of Roane county are the parents of twenty- 
nine children, including seven pairs of twins who died before being named. 
There are thirteen children living at this time. 

Riley Crites by his two wives had 21 children. 

Mrs. Naomi Rodgers had 19 children. 

Jacob Shaver had 16 children that lived to be grown. 

Jennings Skidmore had by his two wives 16. 

James W. Morrison had 14 children. 

Jacob Summers of Clay county had by his two marriages twenty-one chil- 
dren, fourteen by his first wife and seven by his latter marriage. They all 
lived to become heads of families. 

In 1787, Colonel Wilson left Randolph county, and made his home in Har- 
rison county where he entered largely into business. In 1795, he built a mill 
on Simpson creek, and subseqeuntly enlarged it to do spinning, weaving, color- 
ing and cloth-dressing. On June 18, 1795, occurred the death of Mrs. "Wilson 
who had become the mother of twelve children. 

On December 15, 1795, Colonel Wilson married Phoebe Davisson of Harri- 
son county, then in her nineteenth year, and she became the mother of seven- 
teen children. She died June 24, 1849. 

The names of Colonel Wilson's children, with the date of each birth, are 
as follows: Mary B., born July 9, 1771; William B., born January 23, 1773; 
Stephen, born October 21, 1775 ; Benjamin, born January 13, 1778 ; St rah, 
born September 11, 1780; Elizabeth, born August 17, 1782; Ann, born January 
17, 1786; John, born July 5, 1788; Archibald B., born July 25, 1790; Josiah 
D., born October 12, 1796; two children died without names; David, born Feb- 
ruary 18, 1798; Edith, born November 9, 1799; Elizabeth, born October 15, 
1801 ; Thomas W., bom May 12, 1803 ; Margaret, born March 26, 1805 ; Deborah, 


born October 17, 1806 ; James P., bom June 9, 1808 ; Daniel P., born July 30, 
1810; Phoebe D., born August 29, 1811; Martha M., born January 23, 1813; 
Philip D., born June 29, 1814; Noah L., born March 9, 1816; Julia Ann, born 
September 28, 1817; Harriet B., born November 13, 1818; Rachel, born July 
20, 1820. Two infants died without names. 

Twenty-four of these children lived to adult age, and were living at his 

A Mrs. Vanoy of Gilmer county had twenty children. 

James Bdgel of Wetsel county had seventeen children, nine girls and eight 
boys. He lived to see them all married. One son and two daughters are now 
dead. Mr. Edgel was a soldier in the Civil war, and also his son, W. N. Edgel, 
was a Chaplain of the Grand Army of West Virginia for several years, and is 
a highly respected citizen of Clarksburg, West Virginia. 

Samuel Bennett. 

Samuel Bennett and Annary Mayfield were married Dec. 28, 1866, by Rev. 
George Mclntire, M. E. preacher in Tyler county. Their living children are 
John, Permela, Porter, Lymon, Mariah, Charles, Scott, James, Henry and Mar- 
tha, twins, Sarah, Samuel, Jr., and Ollie. There were seven sets of twins who 
died before being named, thus Mrs. Bennett gave birth to twenty-nine children. 

Porter relates that he taught a school in which ten of his brothers and sis- 
ters attended. 

Mr. Bennett was a soldier in the 15th West Virginia Infantry. He and 
his wife are yet living, and still enjoy good health. Their home is near Tan- 
nersville in Gilmer county, this state. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bennett celebrated their golden wedding anniversary Dec. 
28, 1916, and are residents of Roane county. 

Jacob Summers of Clay county had by his two wives twenty-one children, 
fourteen by his first marriage and seven by his latter marriage. They all lived 
to become heads of families. 


Generation Name Born 

First Simon Prince August 21, 1815 

Margaret Sisk 

Second Rachel Jane Princr ... August 13, 1837 

Taylor Sutton 

Third Maggie Sutton February 15, 1867 

James Hoover 

Fourth Mamie Hoover June 27, 1887 

■« J Stfeli A " )ert Hefner 
Fifth Spurgeon Hefner September 5, 1907 

Generation Name Born 

First Lewis Perkins April ..... 1832 

Susan H. Rogers 

Second John R. Perkins December 15, 1851 

Third jHallie Perkins June 18, 1875 

Fourth Guy Perkins May 1, 1895 

Fifth Mildred Perkins February 23, 1917 

Generation Name Born 

First Andrew Skidmore March 20, 1780 

Margaret Hudkins 

Second Naomi Skidmore 

Levi Rodgers 

Third Hannah Rodgers March 30, 1826 

Adam J. Hyer 

Fourth Naomi J. Hyer August 10, 1846 

Jonathan Y. Gillespie 

Fifth Naomi Gillespie , 1869 

Generation Name Born 

First Jas. R. Kennedy 

Rebecca Dennison April 28, 1823 

Second George Pickens 

Rachel Kennedy October 11, 1845 

Third Dory Pickens 

S. Wise Stalnaker February 8, 1867 

Fourth Edna Stalnaker 

Ord. Neely August 9, 1886 

Fifth Neely 

Agnus Nealy August 10, 1908 



Generation Name Born 

First Wm. W. Craig 

Emily Brown 

Second Susan Craig 

Adam Swecker 

Third Mary Swecker 

David Dotson 

Fourth Dora Dotson 

Wm. Hopkins 

Fifth iHope Hopkins 

Roy R. Hopkins 

"Wm. Craig lived with his wife sixty-three years, and the five generations 
lived in one house for a period of two years after Mrs. Craig's death. 

But what would seem remarkable in the Craig family, "Wm. Craig had 
three daughters who lived to see their fifth generation, Virginia who married 
Freeman Sexton, Luey who married John Cunningham and Susan who mar- 
ried Adam Swicker. 

Generation Name Born 

First Capt. John F. Singleton 

Ducinda Byrne 

Second Uriah Singleton 

Elizabeth Heater 

Third ,Sarah Singleton 

Addison Wyatt 

Fourth Ursly Wyatt 

John Fox 

Fifth .Three children of above 

David and Sarah Fox 

Mrs. Lucinda Singleton, widow of John Singleton, lived to see her fifth 
generation at her own table. There were present, her son, Uriah Singleton and 
his daughter, Mrs. Addison "Wyatt; also Mrs. "Wyatt 's daughter and grand 
daughter. Mrs. Singleton was married at the age of thirteen, and as stated 
elsewhere, lived to the good old age of ninety-three or eighty years after her 
marriage. Her husband died many years before. 


Stanley Morrison, aged thirty-seven years, married Georgia Perkins, 
daughter of "Washington Perkins. She was married May 29th in Maryland, 
and attained her twelfth birthday on the 25th of the following September. 

Jessie F. Cowger of "Webster county lived to see the fifth generation of her 



One of the very interesting pictures of our collection is the above where 
the aged great, great grandmother sits in the presence of her descendents, the 
fifth generation leaning against the first, and the second, third and fourth stand- 
ing as a support to youth and old age. The Hope of Youth, the Wisdom of Old 
Age, the Strength and Courage of Middle Life adorn this picture with Meak- 
ness and Adoration. 



On April 4, 1917, the Senate .adopted a joint resolution recognizing a state 
of war between the United States and Germany. At a few minutes past three 
on the morning of April 6 the House of Representatives adopted the resolution 
by a vote of 373 to 50. At a quarter past one that afternoon President Wilson 
affixed his signature. The news was flashed by wire and wireless, by cable and 
signal flag, to every army post and every ship of the navy from Guantanamo 
to the Philippines. The war was on. Immediately the War Department an- 
nounced that it wanted to train more than a million men in twelve months. It 
proposed: To recruit the regular army to a full war strength of 287,846. To 
raise the National Guard to its war strength of 440,000. To choose an addi- 
tional force of 500,000 men by selective draft. But greater drafts have been 
made upon the country, and now, 1918, we have over a million well armed and 
equipped young mien in France, Avith two million and more preparing for the 
great straggle that is to free the world from the iron clutches of autocracy and 
send the nations forth in the new garb of democracy and freedom. A spirit of 
patriotism is sweeping through the land uniting the people as they have never 
been united before. We have been unable to get a full roster of soldiers going 
to the war from Braxton county, nor could it now be completed as additional 
numbers will be called from time to time until the great struggle shall end. 

-'^^ i 


By reason of the Foreign war, and the combination of speculators, prices 
of all commodities are becoming extremely high, especially anything that is 
made of iron or steel. With food products, many articles have gone as high as 
one hundred per cent above normal. Even in the midst of great national pros- 
perity, great numbers in the large cities are in great destitution. One reason 
is given why food cereals have soared so high is. the lack of railroad facilities 
to transport, the western grain to the eastern markets. Another reason given 
is that the western farmers have either sold to parties who have bought for the 
Allies or that many farmers and local shippers are holding for advance prices. 

At this time of writing, March 8, 1917, chop feed cannot be bought either 
at the wholesale at Sutton, Burnsville, Weston or Clarksburg. The lumbermen 
and a few of the farmers depend entirely on western grain. We are informed 
that at this time hundreds of lumber teams operating in the great lumber camps 
of Camden, Richwood, Gauley, and other timber districts, will be destitute un- 
less speedily relieved by the shipment of grain. 

We quote some local prices: Wheat, $1.90 to $2.00 per bushel; corn, $1.25; 

oats, 80 cents; chop, $2.00 per hundred; mill feed $ ; clover seed, $4.00; 

timothy seed, $3.10; orchard grass, $1.75; bluegrass, $1.75; potatoes $2.00 to 
$4.00 per bushel ; onions, $4.00 ; cabbage, 8 cents per pound, retailing as high as 
12 cents ; onion sets, 75 cents per gallon. While the winter has been one of un- 
usual severity, coal is quoted as high as $6.50 per ton. At the mines, the price 


prevailing now is $5.00 and $5.50. Those who had coal mines in operation at 
the beginning of the winter have made quick fortunes, as the weather continues 
with heavy snows and the temperature almost to zero, breaking up with one 
of the greatest floods in twenty years. 

Spring and summer of 1918, we quote prices as follows : Wheat $2.25 per 
"bushel, com $2.75, oats $1.10, chop $4,00 per hundred pounds, mill feed $2.50, 
clover seed $22.00 per bushel, timothy seed $4.70, orchard grass $3.25, blue grass 
$3.25, onions $7 to $8 per bushel ; good shipping cattle are bringing $12 to $14 
per hundred and lambs 16 to $18 per hundred. Bacon is 38 to 40 cents per 
pound ; farmers are paying $2.50 per day for harvest hands, and unskilled 
labor on public works is commanding from $4 to $5 per day. 


In preparing a personal biography of many of the families of Braxton 
county, it is more limited than we had intended, being unable to get the neces- 
sary data and in many cases we had nothing by which we could secure the proper 
names and dates. We trust those whose records have been secured may feel a 
satisfaction in their publication. We regret that there are many others we 
failed to obtain. 

John Adams. 

John Adams, son of Major P. B. Adams, was born in 1859. In 1884 he 
married Nancy, daughter of Tubal and Delila Skidmore Cogar, and to them were 
born nine children, Hannah, Pierson B., Delila, Ellowese, Mary A., Jordye, 
John G., Daniel J., and William M. Mr. Adams was a successful farmer and 
stockman; he owned the valuable and beautiful Boling Green farm. He was 
elected sheriff of Braxton county in 1896 and served a term of four years, and 
was elected sheriff again in 1904 and served the term of four years. Mr. Adams 
was well beloved by his countrymen. Pie died December 17, 1912, and was 
buried in the Duffy cemetery at Sutton. 

Rev. Richard A. Arthur, 

Rev. Richard A. Arthur was born in Randolph county, Va., March 6, 1817. 
He was the son of William and Davison Arthur. His maternal grandfather 
was Joseph Friend, son of Captain Joseph Friend of Revolutionary fame, whose 
wife was a daughter of Joseph Skidmore. and sister to Captain John Skidmore. 
His parents removed from Randolph county to what is now known as the famous 
Salt Sulphur springs in the year 1819. He was the next to youngest of seven 
sons, all of whom were respected citizens. At the age of seventeen years, he left 
his home, crossed the Elk mountain with such school books as he possessed, and 
went to the little village of Summersville where he entered school and applied 
himself diligently until such time as he was enabled to teach. After teaching 


for some time to secure sufficient means to educate himself for the ministry, he 
entered college at Marietta, Ohio. After completing his course and graduating 
with honor, he went to Wheeling, W. Va., where he became principal of one of 
the city schools. In 1851, he was married to Miss Isabella S. Fisher of Wheel- 
ing. He felt the call to the ministry to be his life work,, and after teaching in 
Wheeling and at the Clarksburg Academy, he again entered the work of the 
ministry which was so dear to his heart. He preached the gospel for many 
years, and held a number of prominent, positions both in the ministry and in 
educational work. 

In 1867, he moved his family from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Webster county 
where he went to recuperate his health which was failing from long and active 
service in the itinerancy. He regained his health in a large measure, and often 
preached the gospel with great earnestness and power. He was a member of the 
Cincinnati M. B. Conference at the time of his death, having been transferred 
from the W. Va. Conference in 1869. In his memories of him, Judge Wesley 
Atkinson says that, "As much as any other man of his generation, in the state 
of his birth, he left his impress upon the times in which he lived." Rev. Ar- 
thur died Nov. 11, 1899, at Webster Springs, W. Va. 

He inherited valuable lands in Webster county, and left quite a comfort- 
able estate to his family. The children who succeeded him were William, a 
prominent business man of Webster county, and for several years was County 
Surveyor. William has since died. His daughters now living are Katie who 
was the wife of Captain Hillery (now dead), and Maggie who never married. 
One daughter Belle, died in Cincinnati before the family removed to W. Va. 

The Rev. Arthur was a man of very fine talent. He was at one time Pro- 
fessor of Mathematics in a college in Ohio. As a pulpit orator, he had few 
equals. He grew up in the ministry, and received inspiration from all that 
was grand in Nature. The deep gorges and murmuring waters, the valleys 
and giant mountains with its ever living foliage, the song of every bird of the 
forest, was to him a melody, while the beauty of the flowers which God had 
created to beautify his handiwork was to him an inspiration that throughout 
his ministry never lost its charm. 

Rev. Arthur, his wife and son William are resting in a beautiful plot of 
ground near Webster Springs on the banks of the Elk. 

G. W. Aeboga-ST. 

G. W. Arbogast, son of George and Mary (Reed) Arbogast, was born Jan. 
29, 1849, and has always lived in Clay county. He married Ellen Schoonover, 
and their children are Calvin P., James A., Wm. E., Glenna May, Daniel W.,. 
and George. 

He married for his second wife Mary Riffle, and by this union there 
was born one child, Sarah. Mr. Arbogast has been a farmer, except for a period 
of twenty-eight months, which he served in the State Guard and in the 7th 


West Virginia Cavalry under C4eneral Custer. Mr. Arbogast was Sheriff from 
1884 until 1889. 

Solomon Baker. 

Solomon Baker and Mary, his wife, came from New River about the year 
1812. They had several children, only two of whom became grown. Mr. Baker 
settled near the mouth of a run which empties into the Elk about a mile below 
the site of the old Union mills. It is now known as Bakers run. 

B. "W. Hefner. 

E. W. Hefner began in the merchandise business in 1890. 

1902— Elected Clerk County Court of Braxton county, and in 1908 re- 

1915 — Entered the real estate business, and continued same to present time. 

1897 — Married Mary Sue Hopkins, daughter of Wm. Hopkins, of Pendle- 
ton county. 

Children — Charles Samuel, Ernest Lyle, Virginia Lee, Mary Louise. 

Son of Samuel C. Hefner and Sarah E. Hefner. 

Levi Bond. 

Levi Bond, born in Harrison county, Va., April 3, 1817. He was the son 
of Abel Bond, and grandson of Major Richard Bond. This noted family came 
from Maryland to Virginia, in the seventeenth century, and settled on Lost 
Creek, Harrison county. Levi Bond celebrated his hundredth birthday, April 
3, 1918, at which there was a large gathering of representative citizens present. 
■ For almost 60 years he has been a Deacon in the Seventh Day Baptist Clmrch, 
of Lost Creek, and has been a member of that church for eighty-five years, join- 
ing the church while in his teens. There are but two of his nine children now 
living, Mrs. Mary A. Court-right, of Lost creek, with whom he makes his home, 
and Abel Bond, of Tennessee. He has seven grand children, a number of great 
grand children, and one great-great grand child, Maxine Zollinger, the little 
daughter of Eva Zollinger, of Philippi. Mr. Bond was a boot and shoe maker, 
and worked on the bench for over sixty years. 

Wm. D. Baxter. 

Wm. D. Baxter was bom in Greenbrier county, Virginia, March 25, 1795. 
Ann C. Sutton, daughter of James Sutton, of Alexander, Va., was born October 
17, 1804. They were married October 21, 1828, and the following are their 
children : 

Few men have lived in our community who commanded greater respect 
born July 16, 1834; Susan C, born May 17, 1836; John D. S., born August 21, 


1838; Jemima A., born June 1, 1841, and Joseph A., born one hour later; James 
A., born August 10, ] 846 ; Mary M., born November 28, 1848. 

Rev. W. D. Baxter was a local preacher in the M. E. Church, and was a 
member of that society for about sixty-five years. In an early day, his par- 
ents moved from Greenbrier to Kanawha county where he grew to manhood, 
and learned the cooper's trade. 

After his marriage, he settled in Braxton county on the waters of Granny's 
creek where he continued to reside until his death which occurred April 1, 1881, 
his wife having died June 16, 1874. 

They were both noted for their piety, kindness and benevolence. Mrs. 
Baxter was a woman of splendid intellectual attainments. 

Nathan Baenett. 

Nathan Barnett was son of Isaac Barnett, and came with his father from 
Ohio and settled on Granny's creek some years before the formation of the 
county. Nathan married Elizabeth, daughter of John D. and Sally Sutton. 
Their children were Meletis L., John D., Susan who married Dr. Thomas Duf- 
field, Isaac who died young, Edward D., James K., Wm. M., Poindaxter W., 
and Felix J. For his second wife he married the widow Duffield whose maiden 
name was Lydda Knight. They reared one daughter, Rebecca. Mr. Barnett 
died in 1861. 

Rev. M. L. Baenett. 

Rev. M. L. Barnett, son of Nathan and Elizabeth Sutton Barnett, married 
Liza Hamric. They had one daughter who died early in life. The parents and 
daughter are buried on Hackers creek where the best years of his ministry were 

John D. Baenett. 

John D. Barnett, son of Nathan and Elizabeth Sutton Barnett, married 
Mary Sprigg, daughter of Edward G. and Martha Smith Sprigg. Their chil- 
dren were 

E. D. Barnett. 

E. D. Barnett, son of Nathan and Elizabeth Sutton Barnett, married Anna 
Hinkle. Their children were Miletus. Edna, Becky and Early. For his second 
wife, he married Malinda Sowers, daughter of Henry Sowers. By this union, 
he had one daughter, Esther. Mr. Barnett served through the war of the 60 's 
in the Confederate army. He owns a farm and lives on Wolf creek, and is a 
member of the M. P. church. 

sutton's history. 349 

Felix Joseph us Baxter. 

Felix Josephus Baxter was the eldest child of William D. and Anna C. 
Baxter, and was born in or near Sutton,. Aug. 10, 1830. In 1858, he was ad- 
mitted to the bar and began the practice of law at Clay C. H. In 1861, being 
opposed to slavery, he joined the Union army, again locating at Clay C. H. 
after the termination of that, bloody conflict. In 1869, he married Miss Sarah 
Prudence Duffy of Nicholas county, and moved to Sutton where he resided 

until his death. His wife died . , leaving three children, two 

of whom are still living — Mrs. Mary Augusta Dillon of Sutton, and Mrs. Rose 
T. Cunningham of Fayetteville. In 1894, he married Miss Margaret B. Berry, 
a well-known lady of this county, who survives him. 

The subject of this sketch was surveyor of this county from 1855 to 1858, 
was prosecuting attorney of Clay county and afterwards of Braxton count}', and 
served one term in the state senate, having been elected in 1876. He was the 
first mayor of Sutton after the town was re-incorporated in 1873, and later 
served in that capacity. Until fifteen years before his death, he continued the 
practice of law in Braxton and adjoining counties. The date of his death was 
1909. His remains rest in the Duffy cemetery at Sutton. 

Rev. Henry Alien Baxter. 

Rev. Henry Allen Baxter was born in Braxton county June 15. 1832, and 
died near the place of his birth. April 30, 1915. He was the son of Wm. D. and 
Anna C. Sutton Baxter. He was united in marriage with Caroline Hudkins 
May 25, 1858, who died Sept. 27, 1876, leaving him the care and training of 
their two sons, Wilbur C. and J. Oscar, who survive him, and are honored and 
useful citizens. Early in life he was converted and united with the M. E. 
church, at the age of twelve years, in which he lived to the time of his lamented 
death, having been a member of the same seventy-one years. Soon after he 
united with the church, he was licensed a local preacher, and in that capacity 
continued actively as opportunity afforded and accasion required, to within two 
years of his death, when from excessive labors in conducting a series of meet- 
ings he was compelled to retire permanently. This meeting which resulted in 
over a score of conversions added several members to the church. 

years, member of the board o feducation in 1881, and is still serving. He is a 
than Henry Allen Baxter. In his younger days, he was possessed of a musical 
voice, and often in his public discourses he became eloquent. He was an untir- 
ing worker in the Sabbath schools. 

He was elected to the office of Justice of the Peace in 1862, and was elected 
County Assessor, but the war prevented him from serving in that capacity. 
After the close of the Civil war, he was elected to the office of County Treasurer. 
He died, loved and respected by all. 

350 SUTTON'S HISTORY. Henry Bender. 

Capt. Henry Bender was the first-born of the children of John and Ann C. 
(Dabus) Bender, and his birth occurred Aug. 25, 1840, while his parents were 
living in Baltimore. They came to this county in the following year. 

Henry Bender was united in marriage to Elizabeth Engle, and to this 
union nine children have been born, eight of whom are still living. 

Their names are as follows : Kosa Ann, Leona Hester, Mary Bernice, Lil- 
lian Dale, Lucy Lee, Christena Caroline, Julia Alwilda and Victor Goff. 

Henry Bender enlisted Jan. 7, 1862, in Company F, 10th West Virginia 
Infantry, and on the 3rd of May, 1862, was commissioned second lieutenant. 
He was in the engagement of Wardensville, Beverly, Droop Mountain, Cheat 
river, Leetown, Maryland Heights, Snickers Ferry, Winchester, Berryville, 
Opequon, Fishers Hill, Cedar Creek (two battles) , then transferred to the army 
of the James, and engaged in the fight at Petersburg, and was present at the 
surrender of Lee. He was slightly wounded at Droop Mountain and again at 
Opequon, and received brevet-rank of captain April 20, 1865. In a civil capaci- 
ty he was the first supervisor of Lincoln township, now Otter district, and was 
elected magistrate in 1866, serving one year. He was elected to the State Legis- 
lature in 1868, sheriff of Braxton county in the fall of 1870, and served two 
years, member of the board of education in 1881, and is still serving. He is a 
retired farmer, living on Straight fork of Steer creek, having five hundred 
acres of land. 

William Berry. 

William Berry was the only son of William and Mary (Hagan) Berry — 
English extraction. William Berry was born in Virginia, near tide-water in 
1778. A sister, dyng in chldhood, being the only other child. The children 
were left fatherless early in life. William was educated for a sea captain, but 
did not like it, and on returning from a second voyage across the water, at the 
age of nineteen, deserted the ship on which his mother had placed him. 

Early in life, he married Miss Agnes Kitchen, sweetheart of his boyhood. 
Five sons, William, Fielding, James, Lewis and Benjamin, and two daugh- 
ters, Mary and Emza, were born. All, save the last one named, married and 
reared large families. 

The wife of his youth having died, he married Miss Cynthia Triplett. Four 
sons, Thornton, Joel, Craven, Allen S. and Washington H. and three daugh- 
ters, Agnes, Elizabeth and Lucinda S., were born. All married and had fam- 

In the spring of 1818, William Berry emigrated from Loudon county, Va., 
to what is now Braxton county, and settled on the O'Briens fork of Salt Lick 
creek, a' veritable wilderness. He was the first school "master" in Braxton 
county. Felix Sutton, Mrs. Anna Sutton Baxter, Christian Hyer, William Gib- 
son and William Betts being among his pupils. He died at the age of 69 years, 


and his remains rest on an eminence on the farm of the late Col. Asa Squires, 
overlooking the valley of Salt Lick. 

"We cannot say too much in praise of this old nobleman of the forest and 
the school room. His numerous progeny attest his character and virtues — he 
imparted to his race that energy, frugality and honesty which have marked 
their generations down to the present time. He came to a wilderness country 
where young men and women were growing up without any educational ad- 
vantages, and he gathered many of them around him and gave them the rudi- 
ments of an education which enabled them to transact business, fill important 
stations in life, and become useful as teachers to others. The influence of such 
a life will go on and on until the humble slab at his grave will have moldered 
into dust. 

Joel Berry. 

Joel, second son of William and Synthia Triplet Berry, was born in Louden 
county, Virginia, November 9th, 1812, and married Elizabeth Cummings who 
was born December 18th, 1812. To this union were born Wm. H., Ephriam A., 
Thornton J., Manervia A., James W., Mariah A., Sarah E., Granville M., and 
Joel T. Mr. Berry owned a farm and lived on Obrien's Fork of Salt Lick 
creek where his son Thadeous now lives. Mr. Berry died August 1st, 1896, 
and his wife died December 26th, 1896 ; they were honored and respected citi- 

Allen S. Berry. 

Allen S. Berry, fourth son of William and Synthia Triplet Berry, was born 
in Lewis county, now Braxton county, August 28, 1821. He married Rebecca 
Alkire in 1840 and their children were William, Charles W., Homer, Emery A., 
David A., Joel M., John C, Racheal, Malissa, Synthia and Margaret. Mr. 
Berry was a farmer and owned a good farm on Obrien's Fork of Salt Lick 
creek, where his son John C. now resides. He was for several years a justice 
of the peace, and had other important positions; was a member of the M. E. 
Church, South, and died in the j^ear 1893. 

William Berry. 

William Berry, son of Fielding Berry, married Evelyn Alkire; their chil- 
dren were, Fielding, James, John, Joel, David T., Granvil, Martha, Virginia 
and Mary. Their son John was a physician. Mr. Berry and his son Fielding 
were killed or died in the Confederate army. Mrs. Berry is living in her 94th 
year, and her friends are hopeful that she may reach the century mark. 

James Berry. 

James Berry, son of Joel Berry, was a soldier in the Confederate army. 
He married Betty, daughter of Elijah and Elizabeth Gibson Squires, and set- 


tied on a farm near Stone Run Church, where he raised a large family of chil- 
dren, who grew to be men and women. They are all married and have families. 
Mr. Berry and wife are living, at a good old age, having recently celebrated 
their Golden Wedding. 

Craven Berry. 

Craven Berry, third son of William and Cynthia (Triplett) Berry, was 
born in Louden county, Va., Nov. 3, 1814, and died Dec. 31, 1905, at the ad- 
vanced age of ninety-one years. 

On Feb. 26, 1818, Wm. Berry, his father, migrated to the wilds of what 
was then Lewis county (now Braxton) settling on the waters of Salt Lick, a 
tributary of the Little Kanawha river, arriving there on April 3rd. The means 
of travel was by a four-horse wagon. Many places along the way, roads had 
to be made and -temporary bridges constructed. The travel required more than 
a month. Craven was in his fourth year. The family lodged in a 12x14 
hunter's cabin, shrouded by a dense forest of stately oak, poplar, cherry and 
black walnut. Inured to the hardships of a pioneer life, he grew to manhood 
blessed with a sturdy, physical frame. 

In 1839, he was united in marriage to Miss Susan Cunningham. To this 
union were born eight children; five sons, Wm. C, Jesse, Thornton T., John P. 
and Asa M., and three daughters, Louisa, Vena and Lucy. 

Charles Emery Berry. 

Charles Emery Berry was a son of Emory Allen Berry. His mother was 
Caroline Anderson, daughter of John Anderson. Mr. Berry was born Jan. 6, 
1S63, and died Feb. 20, 1914. His wife was Hermonie Ophelia White, daugh- 
ter of John W. and Charlotte Mitchell White. Their children were Bubal Ben- 
nett, Hallie Mitchell and Newlon White. 

Mr. Berry was educated in the public schools of Braxton, his native coun- 
ty, and when a young man, went west and after a few years looking over the 
western country, came back and married, and settled on his father's farm on 
Fall run where he engaged in farming and merchandising for a few years. He 
then moved to Sutton and kept hotel until he was appointed Superintendent of 
the County Infirmary. After two years of service in that Institution, he died 
of cancer of the liver. Mr. Berry was a land and congenial gentleman, he had 
an estimable family and his wife was a lady of culture and nobility of char- 


Wm. Bosley, an Englishman, came to Baltimore and thence to Braxton 
county early in the eighteenth century. Peter, the only one of the family now 
living, was bom on Little Kanawha river nearly ninety-three years ago. He 
has for a great many years lived on his farm on Cedar creek. About a year or 
so ago, he lost the use of his eye sight entirely. He is living with his son Wm., 


who who a Confederate soldier. It is extremely rare at this day to see an old 
man and his soldier boy who participated in the Civil war over fifty years ago. 
(Later)- — Since the above was written. Peter Bosley has passed away. 

Thomas Bland. 

Thomas Bland was born in 1796, in Fairfax county, Va., a descendant of 
Thtodoric and Richard Bland, who were among the pioneer settlers of Fairfax 
county. Thomas Bland served in the 1812 war, and was at the siege of Fort 
Meigs. He married Mary Newlon who was bom in 1796, and they settled i ti 
Lewis county, first at a place called Westfield where the county seat of that 
county was originally designated to be located, and then at Weston where 
Thomas Bland built the first hotel. He represented his district in the State 
Senate a number of terms, and was a member of the Constitutional Convention 
of 1850. was a number of years Deputy Sheriff for Lewis county, and a man of 
note in the county. Mrs. Edmiston, Mrs. Brannon, and Mrs. Jacob Lorentz 
were the three daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bland. Their sons were Dr. 
W. J. who was at one time superintendent of insane asylum at "Weston; Thedric 
(t., (died in 1845), Thomas, (died in 1834), Newton B., (at one time physician 
of Weston), Dr. John T., (murdered on the Mississippi in 1876), and Edwin 
S. Thomas Bland died in 1867, and his widow died in 1882. 

Edwin S. Bland. 

Edwin S. Bland was born at Weston in 1835, son of above mentioned par- 
ents. He married Lavinia E. Evans in 1859 at Morgantown, and their union 
was biassed with nine children: George T., Mary N., Edwin L., Harry E., 
Frank (!., Charles H, Julia, Thomas E. (deceased), and Earl Dorsey. 

Edwin S. Bland began to read law at the age of twenty-one with Judge 
John Brannon, and was admitted to practice in 1859. He continued the prac- 
tice of law, fJso taught in the public schools of Sutton for many years. He 
died Feb. 1. 1903. 


This family in all probability settled in America early in its history, one 
George Byrne being the first to come, he having come from the county of W T ick- 
low, Ireland, E,nd settled in Virginia. The only accurate data we have on this 
pioneer fam:ly is furnished by Prof. S. B. Brown of Morgantown. 

Samuel Byrne married Clary Buckner, and to this union were born seven 
children, as follows: Peyton Byrne married Barbara Linn before 1790 and 
moved from Prince William county, Va., in 1794 to Preston county, and in 
1798 he moved on to a four -hundred acre tract of land at the mouth of Salt 
Lick creek, this county. He was sheriff of Lewis county when he died in 1824. 
His wife Barbara died in 1838. Their age at time of death is not known. To 


continue with names of the children — Sarah married Jacob Zinn, Mary mar- 
ried John Fairfax, Charles married Charlotte Ash, Thomas married Rebecca 
Dorsey, John never married, and Elizabeth married Archibald Anderson. 

Peyton Byrne was born near Dumfries,. Va., his wife undoubtedly being 
from the same place, and they were married there. Their children were eight 
in number, as follows : John B. married Ann Haymond, Samuel married Eliza- 
beth Low, and died on Salt Lick Creek; Thomas and Peyton Buckner went to 
Kentucky where they settled and reared the family of that name in that State ; 
Charles died at home; Nancy married Wilson Haymond; Elizabeth married 
Jesse Arnold of Harrison county; and Mary died unmarried. 

John B. Byrne died July 8, 1846, and his wife, Ann Haymond Byrne, died 
December 25, 1846. The children of this union were William H., quite promi- 
nent in the early history of this country; John P. also was a prominent figure 
in the early organization of the county, he having been one of the first deputy 
sheriffs under John Clifton. He was later County Clerk, and died Feb. 2, 1860. 
He married Sabina C. Sterrett April 3, 1845. To this union were born Mar- 
garet A., wife of J. M. Boggs; John, Andrew, Amelia and Effie. His second 
wife was Jane Hamilton, and to this union were born Rebecca, wife of James 
Taylor Frame, Charles Y., and Peyton. The two surviving children of John 
P. Byrne are John Byrne of Sutton, of the first marriage, and Peyton Byrne 
of Washington, D. C, by the second marriage. 

The children of this family who have been honored by elective offices in 
Braxton were John who was elected Sheriff ; Charles Y. Byrne was elected Cir- 
cuit Clerk of the county for three terms, and at the time of his death was in 
office. We doubt whether any man ever lived in Braxton who had more friends 
than he. Peyton Byrne represented his county in the Legislature for one term. 

The other children of John B. Byrne were Roena H., married Jas. R. 
Dyer; Benjamin W., well known by all throughout the state; Marcellus, Tom 
M., Thaddeus, Miranda, Sarah E. Dunlap, Mafia Darlington, and Mary A., 
who married Judge Homer A. Holt. 

John Byrne married Francis Catherine Squires, daughter of the late Nor- 
man B. and Rheuma Squires, and to this union were born Sabina C, wife of 
the late Joel S. Berry, Norman, Ella, wife of Dr. M. T. Morrison ; John Peyton, 
Guy (deceased), Chas. M., Russel (deceased), Mamie, wife of John Newlon; 
Robert, Hugh, Ethel, George Coble and Clarence. 

Charles Byrne. 

Charles Byrne was an early settler on Salt Lick. He married Temperance 
Gibson, and moved to Illinois many years ago. 

Benjamin Wilson Byrne. 

Benjamin Wilson Byrne was born May 16, 1820, near Burnsville, in Lewis 
(now Braxton county) Virginia. He was the son of John B. Byrne and Ann 


Haymond Byrne. His ancestors settled in Prince William county. Virginia, in 
1720. Early in the last century his father moved to and settled in what was 
then Harrison (now Braxton county). His family connections were numerous, 
and among them were the Raymonds, Wilsons, Camdens, Holts and other dis- 
tinguished families who adorned the history of Virginia and later West Vir- 
ginia. He was well educated and studied law at the famous law school of Judge 
Lucas P. Thompson in Staunton, Va. In 1848, almost as soon as he was licensed 
to practice law, he was elected to the legislature from the district composed of 
Braxton, Lewis and Gilmer, the same territory now covering Calhoun, Upshur, 
half of Clay and half of Webster, and portions of Barbour and Ritchie, a grand 
constituency. He served in the session of 1848-49, and in the extra session of 
1849, called to re-vise the code. 

In 1849, he married Mary Louisa Holt, daughter of Jonathan Holt, and 
sister of the late Hon. Homer A. Holt, of the Supreme bench, and also of Mrs. 
T. B. Camden of Parkersburg. He was again elected to the legislature in 
1857 from the counties of Braxton and Nicholas, and in that year he had the 
new county of Clay carved out of Kanawha, Braxton and Nicholas. He served 
in another session in 1858. 

Colonel Byrne's children surviving him are Mrs. J. C. Given of Canton, 
Ohio ; Mrs. J. M. Boggs of Big Otter, this state ; Mrs. M. W. Venable, Mrs. Olin 
White, George Byrne and W. E. It. Byrne of Charleston. These and their 
children and his devoted widow will mourn him and revere his memory as a 
beloved husband and an unselfish and ever land father, while this city and 
state will always honor the memory of his useful and honorable life. His death 
occurred at Charleston in September, 1903. 

W. E. R. Byrne. 

W. E. R. Byrne was born Oct. 26, 1862, at Ft. Defiance, Va. His father, 
Benjamin W. Byrne, was a native of Braxton county, and his mother, Mary L. 
Holt, was born at Beaver, Pa. His grandparents were John B. Byrne and Anne 

Mr. Byrne was married June 12, 1889, to Amanda Austin, and their chil- 
dren are George A., Marie L., Barbara Linn, Charlotte and Wm. E. R., Jr. 
W. E. R. Byrne served as Prosecuting Attorney from 1893 to 1897, and moved 
to Charleston Jan. 1, 1897, where he now resides. 

Mr. Byrne is a man of sterling character, a safe councilor and a strong ad- 
vocate. He formed a partnership with G. R. Linn, and they have a hicrative 
and extensive practice in Charleston. 

Samuel J. Clawson. 

Any history of the Methodist Protestant church without the name of Sam- 
uel J. Clawson, would be incomplete. He was one of the noted pioneer preach- 
ers in Central West Virginia. He preached the word without fear or favor 


and could meet and put to flight the boldest and most daring skeptic ; he roamed 
the mountains and searched the valleys for sinful men to call them to repent- 
ence. At times in his preaching he would reach such a climax in the denuncia- 
tion of sin that it seemed like a thunderbolt from the sky. Rev. Clawson was 
born in Pennsylvania and was the son of a "Revolutionary soldier. He began 
preaching in 1834 in his native state, but for many years his labors were in 
West Virginia, where he was universally beloved. 

Rush Conrad. 

Rush Conrad, son of A. R. and Lydia E. Conrad, and grandson of John 
and Rachel Conrad, was born March 25, 1820, at Bulltown. He was married 
Nov. 16, 1843, to Lydia E. Singleton. He was a farmer, and a member of the 
Baptist Church. 

John Chenoweth. 

John Chenoweth was a Revolutionary soldier and his record in the war de- 
partment is that he was in the battle of Brandywine. He was bom November 
15th, 1755 ; he lived in Randolph county, where he died and was buried near 
Elkins. His descendants placed a monument at his grave. There his son 
Robert was born July 4th, 1782. He married Edith, daughter of Capt. John 
Skidmore; they moved to the Holly river and settled on the big bottom known 
as the Skidmore farm, and afterward moved to the Elk river, not far from 
Frametown. Mrs. Chenoweth was bom September 15th, 1788 ; they spent the 
last years of their lives on the Westfork in Roane county, where they are 

Their son David W. Chenoweth was born November 22, 1831, in Randolph 
county, Virginia, and came to the Holly river with his parents in his fourth 
year. He x-elates that he rode horse back with his mother and part of the time 
she carried him in her lap. He remembers crossing the Little Kanawha river 
at Bulltown; the river was swollen and one of Mr. Haymond's colored men set 
them over in a canoe. Mr. Chenoweth married a Miss Mollohan and reared a 
large family. He is now, 1918, living at his old home on the "Westfork in his 
87th year. 

The children of Robert and Edith Skidmore Chenoweth were Susana, 
Rachael, Leah, Anna, Emma, Edith, Ira S., Sarah J., Isaac R., James and David 
"W. David, the youngest and only one living, enjoys the distinction of being 
one of two living grand children of John Chenoweth, the Revolutionary soldier, 
the other being Calvin Hart of Randolph county. Also he and Delilah Cogar 
are the only living grand children of Capt. John Skidmore, who was wounded 
at the battle of Point Pleasant. 


Rev. Curtis W. Chenoweth. 

Rev. Curtis W. Chenoweth, son of William North and Ann H. Stump 
Chenoweth, was born in Gilmer county, West Virginia. He attended the public 
schools and began teaching when quite young. So rapid was his progress in 
learning that he determined to acquire an education, but before going away to 
school he married Jessie Rider, daughter of Benjamin and Julia Hyer Rider, 
.and he and his young wife attended school for a few months, then he began 
preaching and was appointed to the Rosedale circuit by the Conference of the 
M. E. Church. After serving that charge for one or two years, he took work 
near Buckhannon, where he and his wife for the next five years attended school 
at the Seminary. Later he graduated with high honors at Harvard University, 
at the same time filling a pastorate in Cambridge, and after his graduation he 
held the chair of oratory in Harvard. Recently he resigned all his work and 
joined the U. S. army and was made Chaplin of the 302nd Mass. Field Artillery 
and ranks as First Lieutenant. 

Lieut. Chenoweth descended from Revolutionary stock; his great, great 
grand father John Chenoweth served in Gen. Washington's army, and on his 
maternal side his great grand mother Edith Chenoweth was a daughter of Capt. 
John Skidmore of the Revolutionary army. His mother descended from Major 
George Stump, also of Revolutionary fame. 


There were three brothers who came over from England, namely: Richard, 
John and Henry. Henry settled in lower Maryland, married and had three 
children, Joseph, Hester and Susan. He married a second time a widow named 
Shrievner, who had a daughter by a former marriage, and she married Joseph 
Camden. Their issue was eight children. 

Rev. Henry B. Camden. 

Rev. Henry B. Camden was born May 4, 1773, and married Jan. 8, 1793, 
to Mary Belt Sprigg, daughter of Major Frederic Sprigg and Deborah Wood- 
ward. Their issue was ten children : Debby, Fredei'ic, John Shrievner, Joseph 
Hill, Lenox Martin, Gideon Draper, Lorenzo Dow, Richard Pindal, Minerva 
Weems, Eliza Pool. Rev. Henry Camden was granted license to celebrate the 
rites of matrimony by the Harrison County Court, June, 1807, and for some 
time was a circuit rider in the M. E. Church. He served the church at Buck- 
hannon, since known as Carper's church. He and his wife were buried at 
Jacksonville, Lewis county. 

John Shrievner Camden. 

John Shrievner Camden was born Sept. 15, 1798, in Montgomery county, 
Md., and married Nancy Newlon, daughter of Wm. and Sarah Furr Newlon, 
Feb. 20, 1825, issue, fourteen children: Wm. H., Johnson Newlon, Thomas 


Bland, Mary B., Sarah E., Harriet, Richard, Ann, Edwin D., Win. D., Lorenzo 
Dow, Amanda E., Mary Matilda, and John Scribner. 

Mr. Camden settled in Sutton in 1837, and was a prominent man in the 
affairs of the county. He represented the county in the Virginia Legislature 
two terms, 1845-1846, for Lewis, Gilmer and Braxton counties, and served in 
various capacities as an official of the county. For many years, kept a public 
tavern on the corner of Main and Bridge streets in Sutton where most of the 
children were born. He died in "Weston, May 25, 1862, and his wife died Feb., 
18th, 1862. They were buried at Weston, Lewis county, this state. 

Johnson N. Camden. 

Hon. Johnson Newlon Camden was born in Collins Settlement, Lewis 
county, W. Va., March 6th, 1828. His parents were John S. and Nancy New- 
lon Camden. Mr. Camden, about the time of the formation of the county of 
Braxton, in 1836, removed to Sutton, where he reared his family and continued 
to reside until the Civil war broke out. Johnson N, the subject of this sketch, 
at the age of 14, went to Weston and entered the service of the County Clerk 
for one year. He then attended the North- Western Academy for three years. 
The following year was spent as Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court of Braxton 
county, with his uncle, Wm. Newlon. He then received an appointment as 
Cadet at West Point Military Academy, but remained only through half the 
course. His mind being directed toward the law, he was in 1851 admitted to 
the Bar, and was soon thereafter made Prosecuting Attorney for Braxton coun- 
ty and subsequently of Nicholas county. In 1853, Mr. Camden settled in Wes- 
ton, and became Assistant Cashier of the Old Exchange Bank of Virginia. In 
1857, he turned his attention to the manufacture of oil from Cannel coal, and 
later to the oil field at Burning Springs, on the Little Kanawha river. It was 
here that Mr. Camden's great financial talent, his close application to business, 
was displayed. It was there that he so wisely laid the foundation for a great 
fortune. Mr. Camden did more than any other man to develop the natural 
resources of the great State of West Virginia. About 1875 he assisted in 
building the narrow guage road from Clarksburg to Weston, thence to Buck- 
hannon, and afterwards he was associated with Henry G. Davis and others in 
building the West Virginia Central. The railroad from Wheeling to Hunting- 
ton was projected and built through Mr. Camden ; s resources and energy. The 
road from Buckhannon to Pickens, and from Clarksburg to Richwood and also 
to Sutton, and other lines aggregating about 500 miles, was projected and built 
by Mr. Camden, and known as the Camden System. In all the large enterprises, 
involving millions of capital. Mr. Camden has either acted as President or as 
one of the directing minds in the direction of the business. Mr. Camden was 
twice elected to the United States Senate, by the Democratic party of West 
Virginia. In statesmanship he displayed that same careful and wise policy 
that characterizes his great business career. In 1858 Senator Camden married 


Anna, the daughter of the late George W. Thompson, of Wheeling, and his two 
surviving children are Johnson N. Camden, late Senator from Kentucky, and 
the wife of General B. 1). Spillman, of Parkersburg. 

Edwin D. Camden. 

Edwin D. Camden was born March 30th, 1840, and married Elizabeth 
married Lee Jack; Anna, died; Kate, married Burk Hall; Minnie, married 
married Lee Jack ; Anna, died ; Kate, married Burk Hall ; Minnie, married 
James Morrison ; Flora, married Bedford Jones ; Bessie, married Kalph Holden. 

E. D. Camden was captain of Company "C," 25th Virginia Infantry Vol- 
unteers. He served the entire period of the Civil war, and saw much hard ser- 
vice under the command of Stonewall Jackson, also in prison where he was 
exposed to the fire of his own men. Captain Camden by occupation is a farmer, 
and is a member of the Baptist church. 

Wilson Cutlip. 

Wilson Cutlip, son of Dr. Samuel Cutlip, married Lucinda Sutton Berry, 
daughter of William Berry. Their children were Newton, Elizabeth, Catherine, 
Jane, Samuel, James E., John, Joel, Abel and Theodosia. Two children died 

in infancy. He owned a fine farm on Cedar Creek. Mr. Cutlip died in , 

and Mrs. Cutlip married Wm. Burk, and after his death she married for her 

third husband Messenger. She survived the death of Mr. Messenger 

an died in her 88th year. She was a woman of sturdy qaulities and exemplary 
in character. 

Dr. Samuel Cutlip with his wife, whose maiden name was Williams, moved 
in an early day from Greenbrier county, Virginia, to Braxton county, then 
Randolph county, and settled on the Little Kanawha river, where he acquired 
valuable lands. He afterward moved to Cedar creek and made his home near 
the three forks of that stream. His possessions there proved to be very valua- 
ble. He farmed and practiced medicine until his death. His children were, 
Addison, Williams and Wilson, which sons all reared large families. 

James E. Cutlip. 

James E., son of Wilson and Lucinda Berry Cutlip, and grandson of Dr. 
Samuel Cutlip, one of the pioneer settlers of Central West Virginia, was born 
at Cutlipville, Braxton county, Nove'mbe'r 23rd, 1864, brought up on a farm, 
he learned those habits of energy and industry so essential to a successful life. 
After attending the public schools, he spent three years in the West Virginia 
University, and for three years he was Principal of the Public Schools of Rip- 
ley, Jackson county, and for one year was Principal of the Public Schools, of Rip- 
of Ravenswood. He studied law in the offices of Warren Miller, Congressman 
from the Fourth District. He was admitted to the Bar, and practiced in Jack- 



son, moving to Braxton county in 1893. He was twice elected Prosecuting At- 
torney of Braxton county, and in 1917, was appointed by Governor Cornwell, 
Pardon Attorney for the State. On March 28, 1898, he was united in marriage 
to Miss Maude Lambert. To this union were born six children, Eldridge, Rich- 
ard, Edwin, Katharine, Jean and Thornton, and by a former marriage he had 
one daughter, Reca. Mr. Cutlip's home is in South Sutton. 

James P. Carr, 


James P. Carr was a native of England and came to America when a young 
man. He was a soldier in the U. S. Army, during the Revolutionary struggle. 
He died in Monroe county, Va. 

His son, James Carr, came to the territory now embraced in Braxton, in 
the early settlement of the county. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. 

He married Rebecca, daughter of James Boggs, and reared a large family 
of children : Andrew., John, Denum, Silas, Prank B., Isaac, Henry, Anderson, 
Mary, Susan, Betty and Agnes. 

Three of Mr. Carr's sons, Silas, F. B. and Isaac, were U. S. soldiers during 
the Civil Avar. Isaac was killed in front of Petersburg. 


Wm. Carpenter, now living at the advanced 
age of 94, son of Solomon, who was the first child 
born in the county. His birth place was under a 
cliff of rocks. Wm. is a grand son of Jeremia, the 
first white settler in the county, and a great 
grand son of Wm. Carpenter, who was killed by 
the Indians on Jaeksons river in 1764. Uncle 
Billy, as he is familiarly called, has spent the 
long years of his life on the Elk river, and has 
doubtless caught more fish and game on this beau- 
tiful stream than any man living, and is still able 
to enjoy his favorite sport. He is a citizen. of 
Sutton and is universally respected. 

The massacre of Benjamin Carpenter and his 
wife occurred in the spring of 1792, though With- 
ers memoirs, record it as late as 1793, and Wil- 
liam Doddrill places the date as early as 1784, 
eight years before its actual occurrence. The 
account which he gives of the pursuit of the Indians after the murder of Benja- 
min Carpenter must have been the account of the time that Hughs and others 
frailcd the Indians and came up with them when one of their number was 
killed on the Hughs river. The two Indians who found Carpenter and killed 

Wm. Carpenter 


Benjamin, made their escape without being pursued. The summer of 1792 was 
the last Indian raid in central West Virginia except a party that made a raid 
in the Tygerts Valley as late perhaps as 1794. 

Of this interesting pioneer family, more than a passing notice should be 
given. As early as 1790 or perhaps a year or two earlier, Jeremiah and Benja- 
min Carpenter settled on the Elk river near the mouth of the Holly. Their 
mother and a brother named Enos lived with them. Jeremiah settled on what 
is known as the Samuel Skidmore bottom, and Benjamin's cabin stood in the 
"bottom just below the mouth of the Holly. Their father's name was "William, 
and was killed at the Big Bend on Jacksons' river by the Indians, and his son 
Jeremiah was taken prisoner and remained with the Indians from his ninth to 
his eighteenth year. He together with three of his brothers, afterward became 
soldiers in the Revolutionary army. 

Their settlement must have been but a few years priod to 1792 as this is 
the date of the Indian raid in which his brother Benjamin and his wife were 
killed; and either at this time or perhaps a raid that was made a few months 
later, he and his family made their escape to a cliff of rocks, and within their 
stay there his son, Solomon was born, being the first white child born in the 
county. « 

Many incidents are related of this pioneer family by their descendants and 
the older people who have heard the. story of their adventures. 

Wm. Carpenter, familiarly known as "Squirrely Bill," who resides at 
Sutton, is in his 90th year, and is a son of Solomon Carpenter. He relates that 
his great uncle, Benjamin Carpenter who, with his wife was killed at the 
mouth of the Holly, was dressing a deer skin on the bank of the river just at 
the mmith of the Holly when he was fired upon. It seems from his story and 
others of the Carpenter family, that there were two Indians, a large and a 
small Indian, and that the large one was unarmed and the smaller Indian fired 
the shot, but missed. At that, Carpenter jumped and ran for his gun, but the 
large Indian reached the house first and secured Carpenter's gun, and was in 
the house when Carpenter entered the door. He fired and Carpenter fell out- 
side, then the Indians tomahawked and scalped Mrs. Carpenter who was deli- 
cate and lying on the bed. They had no children. The Indians set fire to the 
cabin and left. Mrs. Carpenter had sufficient strength to crawl out in the yard. 
Only a few hours after this occurrence, Amos Carpenter came home. It seems 
that he had been either to the West Fork settlements or to Fork Lick on horse- 
hack and was returning with some meat. Mrs. Carpenter said to him, "The 
Indians have killed poor Ben and me," and he put her on the horse before him 
and started to go across the Elk just at the head of the island, and while he was 
crossing the river she died so he laid her body on some logs in a drift heap. He 
then hastened on to his brother Jerry's who lived above on the Skidmore bot- 

Wm. Carpenter also relates that Benjamin Carpenter's mother was at his 
house helping to bum some logs in a clearing, and that she was not discovered 


by the Indians. She saw them however, and also witnessed the shooting of her 
son Benjamin. She had one of her children with her, and she took the child 
and went up the river to give notice of the presence of the 'Indians. They then 
went back to the settlement and Jerry, his younger brother Jesse and a man 
by the name of Schoolcraft, came back and buried Benjamin and his wife. 
Withers fixes this date as being in the early spring, and this is carried out by 
traditional testimony. Benjamin had fallen so near the building that his body 
was nearly consumed by the fire. The Indians carried away his gun, also the 
coat in which he was married. 

Wm. Carpenter says that later another raid was made by the Indians, and 
they are the ones who burned Jerry Carpenter's house and barn, partly de- 
stroyed an apple tree and cut down some green corn; also that this was the 
time his grandfather and uncle Amos went to the cliff where his father was 
born. Withers mentions only one Indian raid. 

Thomas, Jeremiah and Solomon were privates in Capt. John Lewis' Bote- 
tourt county Regiment. Joseph Carpenter was a soldier and drew a pension, 
but it is not stated in what command he served. Thus we see that four broth- 
ers served their country as soldiers in the Eevolution, and were the most daring 
and skillful Indian fighters that ever ventured to the wilds of central West 

Mrs. Carpenter said that first thing which went into Solomon's mouth was 
bear's meat and sweet potatoes. There must have been a second raid as the 
circumstances would seem to bear out, hence it must have been later in the sea- 
son as sweet potatoes do not mature before the latter part of August in that 
section, and the time could not have been much later than July or August as 
Jeremiah Carpenter buried his brother's body and that of his wife in bark 
coffins, and they could hardly obtain bark after the season named. 

The Carpenters must have settled on the Elk a few years before this occur- 
rence as they had some land cleared and some property. "Jerry" had planted 
some apple trees. The Indians cut a limb from one of the trees, but the tree 
lived and bore a red apple. It was called the Indian tree, and was living un- 
til a few years ago. 

"Jerry" Carpenter and his wife are buried at the Skidmore cemetery not 
far from where his cabin used to stand. Mrs. Delila Coger, a granddaughter 
of Capt. John Skidmore, was born and reared on the Elk river where she now 
resides and is at this time over ninety years of age. She says after the massa- 
cre of the Carpenter family that his brother placed their bodies in bark which 
he peeled from the timber, and buried them on the island in the Elk just at 
the mouth of the Holly, and that he placed them at the head of the island 
which has since been washed away. About twenty-one years ago, the Holly 
River Lumber & Coal Company built a large band saw mill not far from where 
.Carpenter's cabin stood. Wm. Gum and others who were putting down the 
foundation for the boilers or engine house, say they removed the head stones 
from two graves, and digging down about two feet into the earth which ap- 


peared to be loose they placed a cement foundation there. In speaking again 
to Mrs. Coger in reference to the matter, she still contended that Benjamin 
Carpenter and his wife were buried on the island, and that the graves discovered 
by the workmen were a part of the John Mollohan cemetery, but this grave- 
yard is a mile or so above the mouth of the Holly. Wm. Carpenter says that 
his great uncle Benjamin and his wife were buried where the Palmer mill now 
stands and that he has often seen their graves, which doubtless is correct. 

It is said that either at the time of the massacre or a later period of that 
season, Jeremiah took his family and went to a cliff of rocks, there watching the 
Indians burn his house and destroy his property. The cliff of rocks as pointed 
out is opposite the mouth of Baker's run on the north side of the Elk, and is 
situated near the top of the mountain overlooking the valley of the Elk for 
some distance. He and his family then made their way to a camp under a 
cliff of rocks near the head of Camp run, a branch of Laurel creek, about four 
miles above his residence at what is now known as the Skidmore bottom. Camp 
run is remarkably rough, and near the head are cliffs that look to be over a 
hundred feet high, with gulches and broken stone below, making the whole 
mass stand above the tallest pines which start, the water's edge. It is on the 
top of this mass of rock, a few yards back from its precipitous edges, where the 
famous Carpenter camp was, there being a large projecting rock which formed 
a room about 25x30 feet and 8 feet high. Between this camp and the edge of 
the cliff is a public road. It is related that Jeremiah Carpenter and his fam- 
ily waded up Laurel creek and Camp run to avoid making any sign by which 
they might be tracked by the Indians. 

Joseph Carpenter, son of Solomon, relates that his great uncle Solomon 
and his wife went to the rocks with his grandfather, and that when his father 
was born he was named for his uncle Solomon. At the time of the Indian raid, 
there was a child in the Carpenter family named Libby, a granddaughter of 
old Mrs. Carpenter, mother of the Carpenter family. Mrs. Carpenter, as stated 
before, was burning some brush on the point between the Elk and the Holly, 
just across the Holly from Benjamin's cabin. She discovered the Indians and 
started up the river to notify the .family. The child Libby being too small to 
make her escape by flight, was placed in a hollow stump and told to be quiet. 
When Jeremiah saw his mother coming, he knew there was trouble. He re- 
turned for the child. She lived to be a woman, and her daughter married a 
man named Andrew Ware. Withers speaks of a Carpenter being killed by 
the Indians on the Little Kanawha river. He may have been a relative of this 
family. There remains a doubt as to the time that Jeremiah Carpenter fled to 
the rock cliffs, but the best impression seems to be when the massacre occurred, 
at which time the others fled to the settlement on the West Pork. 

In April, 1792, William Kipet and a Mr. Neal 's son were killed up the Lit- 
tle Kanawha river by the Indians. As this was on the India ntrail leading to 
the upper settlements, it is probable that this murder was committed by the 
same band that killed Benjamin Carpenter and his family. That was the last 


raid made by the red men in central West Virginia. Both murders occurred 
in the same month and year, unless it be true that a later raid to the Carpenter 
settlement was made in the autumn of that year, which is most probable and is 
borne out by well authenticated traditional history. 

Solomon Carpenter had four brothers. Joseph who was killed while log- 
ging near Addison ; Amos and Jeremiah, both of whom moved to the West Fork 
of the Little Kanawha and died there; and John who died on Camp run near 
the cliff under which his brother Solomon was born. 

Solomon Carpenter was the father of seven sons and three daughters, viz: 
Thomas, John, Jacob, Benjamin, William J., Solomon, Joseph, Caroline, Mary 
and Elizabeth. Of these only three are living — William J., of venerable towns- 
man, who is now past eighty years of age, Joseph who resides on Spring Ridge, 
and Elizabeth. 

There is a daring adventure told of Solomon Carpenter's wife Betsy. She 
tied the children to the bed post, and went for the cows across the Elk river. 
In her absence the river raised, and she was unable to recross. Her husband 
being away, and the house being liable to attack by the Indians, she determined 
to risk her life by swimming across the river. Being unable to swim hei*self, 
she drove the cows in, caught the bull by the tail, wrapped the switch around 
her hands, plunged into the swollen Elk and crossed in safety. One of her 
daughters named Betsy married John P. Hosey. 

The present and future generations that enjoy the blessings of civilization, 
with all of its immunities and advantages, and the security to life and property, 
will never be fully able to appreciate the hardships, the great endurance, the 
personal sacrifice and valient daring of the early pioneers who forged the way 
to civilization through a land of savagery and privation. 

R. M. Cavendish. 

R. M. Cavendish Avas born in Fayette county, May 12, 1863. His parents, 
J. M. Cavendish and R. J. Cavendish (nee Deitz), and grandparents, Andrew 
Cavendish, and Virginia Cavendish (nee McCrung), were natives of Greenbrier 
county. R. M. Cavendish was married August 9, 1888, to Sallie B. Williams. 
They have one daughter, Mary Elizabeth; a son, Willie Byron, having died in 
childhood. Mr. Cavendish taught school for a period of sixteen years, having 
taught in the public schools, Burnsville Academy, and was superintendent of 
Sutton schools. He graduated from Summersville Normal with degree of B. S. 
in 1898. Studied law at the W. Va. University, and was admitted to the bar in 
1908. Prof. Cavendish represented Braxton county in the State Legislature, 
served the people for several years as County Surve3 r or, and as a Civil En- 
gineer he is very efficient, his services being in great demand. Prof. Caven- 
dish descended from an old and honored family of England, the family imi- 
grating to America about the year 17G0. William, the progenitor of the fam- 
ily, settled on the James river, afterward moving to Greenbrier county, and 


was sheriff of that county. When Kanawha county was formed, he was made 
the first clerk. His son Andrew was a soldier in the "War of 1812, and was aid- 
de-camp to the Commanding General at Norfolk, Va. 

Captain Granville C. Carlin. 

Captain Granville C. Carlin, son of John and Sarah Gall Carlin, was born 
in Harrison county, Va., Nov. 4, 1836. He moved to Braxton county in 1880. 
He served as Captain in the Confederate service in Company H, 18th Virginia 
Mounted Rifles. Captain Carlin married Susan, daughter of John W. Rider. 
Their children were , John M., Edward R., Edna L., and Wil- 
liam R. 

Captain Carlin owned two hundred and thirteen acres of land on Fall run 
of Little Kanawha where he resided for thirty-one years, his wife having died 
a few years since. He now lives with his son, Dr. Wm. B. Carlin, near Craw- 
ford, W. Va. 

Rcy Bird Cook. 

Roy Bird Cook was born April 1, 1886, at Roanoke, Lewis county. His 
father, David Bird Cook, was a native of Weston, and his mother, Dora Eliza- 
beth Conrad, was bom at Roanoke. His paternal grandparents, John Cook 
and Margaret A. Bird, were born in Virginia, while the maternal grandparents, 
Isaac N. Conrad, was born at Culpepper, Va„ and Mary Queen, at Johnstown, 
this state. 

Mr. Cook was married August 23, 1907, to Nelle Williams Camden, a 
daughter of John S. Camden of Parkersburg, formerly of Braxton county. The 
names of his children are Nelle Elizabeth, Eleanor Bird and Mary Randolph. 
Mr. Cook is a resident of Huntington, and is a druggist by occupation. 

Samuel E. Duffield. 

Samuel E. Duffield was born August 1, 1846, at Glendon. His father, 
Uriah C. Duffield, and mother, Melvina Given, were born at the Birch River. 
Names of grandparents, Robert V. Duffield and Nancy Goiter. 

Mr. Duffield was married to Mary M. Mollohan Nov. 8, 1877. and names 
of children are Richard E., Rosy B., Lilla M., Clarence S., and Earl C. 


Minoah Corley, with his family and three of his brothers, came from near 
Cork in Ireland about the year 1765, and settled in Farquier county, Va. One 
brother settled near Lexington, S. C, on the James river below Richmond, and 
the other went farther south. 

The children of Mineah Corley and his wife whose maiden name was Fogg, 
were Richard who lived to be one hundred and five years old, John Gabriel, 


Garland, William, Hezekiah and Agnes. The last named marred Jonathan Poe. 

Three of the other daughters married Blagg, Fishback 

and Lewis. Three of these women lived to be over one hundred 

years of age, and one reached the extreme age of one hundred and eight years. 

William married Catharine Whitman, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth 
Whitman. Their children were Noah, Edwin, James, Madison, Henry Whitman, 
John Marshall, William Fogg, Allen Lewis. 

. James Madison Corley. 

James Madison Corley was the son of William Corley of Randolph county. 
He was for many years a citizen of Braxton, and served as Sheriff and Deputy 
Sheriff, also a member of the County Court. He also served one term in the 
State Senate. Mr. Corley married Edith, daughter of James Skidmore. Their 
children were John P., a Federal soldier who was killed in the battle of Kerns- 
town, Va., and Virginia who married James Conrad of Lewis county. Mrs. 
Edith Corley died at their home near Doling Green in the spring of 1851, and 
is buried there by the side of Mr. Corley 's mother, the grave being marked by 
a plain marble slab. Shortly after the death of Mrs. Corley, Mr. Corley mar- 
ried Miss Deborah Camden Sprigg, daughter of John and Elizabeth Sprigg, 
formerly of Maryland. The children of this union were Henry Sprigg, Eliza- 
beth who married Warren Gaudy, Catherine who married George Woodard, and 
James who died in early childhood. Mr. Corley was a soldier in the Union 
army, and served in the same company with his son. He died near Clarksburg, 
W. Va., in 1881. Mr. Corley was a kind and congenial man, hospitable in his 
home, but at times became irritable. He was a Whig of the old Clay and Har- 
rison type. 

Manoah Corley. 

Manoah Corley, whose wife was a Miss Fogg, came from near Cork, Ire- 
land, about 1765, accompanied by three of his brothers, and settled in Farquier 
county, Virginia. 

Their children were Richard who lived to be 105 years of age; four other 
sons, Gabriel, Garland, William and Hezekiah; also four daughters, Agnes who 
married Jonathan Poe, while the given names of the other three daughters are 
not given. One of them married a Blagg, one married Fishback, and one mar- 
ried a Lewis. Three of these women lived to be over one hundred years of age, 
one reaching the extreme age of 108 years. 

fhis is a record of longevity in one family that has never been equaled in 
Virginia; four centenarians in one family. 

Noah Corley. 

Noah Corley, son of William and' Catherine Whitman Corley, was born 
and reared in Randolph county, and was a soldier in the Federal army. He 
was captured at Winchester, Virginia, and died in prison. His son, Jackson 


L. Corley, who was so well known to the citizens of Braxton county, was a 
soldier in the Confederate army. 

Allen Lewis Corley. 

Allen Lewis Corley, son of William and Catharine Whitman Corley, and 
grandson of Manoah Corley (his grandmother being a Miss Fogg). 

Mr. Corley was raised in Randolph county, Virginia. He came to Braxton 
county about the year 1858, and married Rebecca Boggs, daughter of Benjamin 
L. Boggs. 

Mr. Corley 's children were M. F., and Jane C. married C. M. Mollohan. One 
child died young. 

Mr. Corley was a soldier in the Confederate army in Capt. McNeal's Com- 

He was Secretary of the Board of Education of Birch District No. 1 for 
several years, and ballot commissioner for the county. He died August, 1915. 

Wm. Fogg Corley. 

Wm. Fogg Corley, son of Wm. and Catherine Whitman Corley, was raised 
in Randolph county, Virginia. He married Sarah Ann Skidmore, daughter of 
James and Sarah Kittle Skidmore. 

The children of Wm. Corley were Wm. H. H. who was a soldier in the 
Tenth W. Va. Regiment, Archibald W. who was a lawyer, Mary, Addison, 
Rachael, Stephen, Noah E. and Lida. 

W. L. J. Corley. 

W. L. J. Corley was born July 27, 1827, in what is now included in Bar- 
bour county, West Va. He was a son of Noah E. and Louisa (Wilson) Corley, 
and his father died in the army in 1864. Mr. Corley, subject of this sketch, 
enlisted as a private in the Confederate army, and after one year's service was 
commissioned lieutenant of Company C,' 25th Virginia Infantry, and served 
through the entire war. He was captured at Williamport, Maryland, July 14, 
1863, just after the Gettysburg fight, in which he was wounded, and was car- 
ried to Hagerstown, Md. He was held there until the following September, 
then taken to Chester, Pa., thence to Point Lookout, Md., and on Dee. 1st, was 
again moved to Johnsons Island, at mouth of Sandusky river, Ohio. April 17th, 
he was taken back to Pt. Lookout where he remained until August, and was 
then taken to Washington City. He was there confined in the Old Capitol 
Prison one week, then sent to Philadelphia, thence to Ft. Delaware where he 
arrived in Sept., and where he was exchanged Oct. 1st. He was unfit for duty, 
and remained in hospital at Liberty, Va., until the close of the war. After 
returning to Braxton county, he held several county offices. On Sept. 12, 1878, 
he married the widow of Wm. Kelly who before her marriage was Sarah C. 


Newlon, and two daughters were born to them, Louisa and May. Being clerk 
of the County Court at the time of his marriage, Mr. Corley issued his own. 
marriage license, the only incident of the kind recorded in Braxton county. 

A. W. Corley. 

A. "W. Corley, son of William and Sarah (Skidmore) Corley, was born 
June 9, 1851. He married Anne Dow Newlon, daughter of Colonel Wm. and 
Elisa Pool (Camden) Newlon, on Nov. 13, 1877. Their children are: Ann 
Elisa, Rachael Jane, Mary Edith, Nellie Camden, Genevieve, Marguerite and 

Mr. Corley was born and reared in Randolph county. Va., where he at- 
tended the public schools, and later graduated in the Fairmont Normal. He- 
taught several schools in his native county before coming to Braxton county 
where he taught as principal of the Sutton school. Mr. Corley acted as deputy 
clerk of the County Court under his cousin, Wm, L. J. Corley. He studied law 
and commenced the practice of his profession in Sutton. Was elected Prosecut- 
ing Attorney of the county in 1881. Was a prominent, candidate for the nomi- 
nation of Judge on the Republican ticket. He formed a law partnership with 
G. H. Morrison, with whom he was associated for several years. 

Mr. Corley was a man of remarkable memory, and was one of the best in- 
formed historians of the state. He died in Texas where he was visiting his; 
daughter, Mrs. Kunst, on May 4, 1916, and is buried in the cemetery at Sutton. 

John C. Cunningham. 

John C. Cunningham was born Jan. 9, 1814, in Randolph county, (then)' 
Virginia, being a son of Henry and Nancy (Hayes) Cunningham. At an early 
age, he accompanied his parents to this county, and the lives of both were here 
ended. On Jan. 19, 1843, he was united in marriage with Elizabeth Armstrong 
who was born in Pendleton county, Dec. 19, 1836, being the daughter of Thomas 
and Sarah (Pullins) Armstrong. Thirteen children were born, as follows: Han- 
son, H. Thomas, Thad. B., Margaret Ann, Sarah, George L., Nancy, Samuel L., 
Elizabeth, Emily, Amanda, Mary Jane (who died at age of fourteen), and 
Melissa. John C. Cunningham settled on a tract of nine thousand acres, and 
by his own toil felled the forest, made a home, and left his family provided for. 
He died July 15, 1877, and is buried in the family cemetery on the farm. 

T. B. Cunningham. 

T. B. Cunningham was a grandson of Henry Cunningham, one of the pio- 
neers of what is now Braxton county, and a son of J. C. and Elizabeth (Arm- 
strong) Cunningham whose record has just been given. He married Ann Moss, 
Dec. 24, 1882, she being the daughter of Pleasant and Elizabeth (Bragg) Moss 
of Lewis county. 


E. H. Cunningham. 

E. H. Cunningham, son of Moses and Phoebe W. (T-Iaymond) Cunning- 
ham, and a grandson of John Haymond, one of the first and most prominent 
of the settlers of Bulltown. He was born on the Kanawha river, Aug. 3, 1845, 
and this county has always been his home. He has been honored with several 
public offices, all of which he has filled with ability. He was elected Justice 
of the Peace in 1S80, succeeding his father in the office : was appointed Notary 
Public in 1879 by Governor Mathews, and was elected to the County Court in. 
July, 1881, and he is still servng in this capacity. At later dates, he served 
as Overseer of the Poor, president of the County Court, and president of the 
board of education in that district. He still owns the excellent farm where he 
has lived for a great many years. He married Sarah M. Armstrong, May 16, 
1877. She was a daughter of George and Sarah H. (Pullen) Armstrong who 
came from Highland county, Va., to Lewis county many years ago. George 
H., John H. and Floda are the children of Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Cunningham. 
There was also an infant who did not live to bear a name. Mrs. Cunningham 
was appointed postmistress in 1879, which place she filled for a number of years. 

George H. Cunningham. 

George H. Cunningham, son of E. H. Cunningham, married Isa Norman. 
They have one child named Paul W. Mr. Cunningham is by profession a civil 
engineer; he lives in Clarksburg, West Va. 

John H. Cunningham. 

John H. Cunningham, son of E. H. Cunningham, married Mary Singleton. 
They have one child named Beatrice. He lives on the old farm