The Eight Districts of Barbour County

source: Civil Divisions and Pioneer Recollections From Hardesty's West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia compiled around 1900

One of the first acts of the legislature of the new State of West Virginia, was to pass (July 31, 1863) a bill providing for the division into townships of the various counties composing the State. This bill provided for the apppointment of several competent persons in each county who should perform the work in their respective counties. In an appended schedule they were named, those for Barbour being David Zinn, Henry Martin, Johnson Ward, Jesse Teter and Enoch Sears.

These gentlemen soon after convened at Philippi, and with the aid of the surveyor of lands performed the work assigned to them. Eight sub-divisions were made, now known as Cove, Pleasant, Elk, Philippi, Glade, Union, Valley and Barker districts. They were originally called townships but under the constitution of 1872 the word district was substituted instead.


Lies in the extreme northeastern portion of the county, and is bounded north by Taylor county, northeast by Preston; east by Tucker; south by Glade district, and west by Glade and Pleasant.


The surface is broken and hilly, and in the east mountainous, the elevations being western sections of the Laurel mountain range. In the west are several transverse valleys in which lie considerable areas of level land; both hills and valleys are fertile and adapted to either tillage or grazing. Several small streams arise in the central part and flow west into the Valley river, the principal being Swamp run, Big Cove and Stove creek. The southern portion is drained by Brushy fork, a tributary of Teters creek. It has its source at the base of the Laurel mountains, from which it has a nearly due west course. In the north are two small streams left hand tributaries of Big Sandy creek. Raccoon creek rises near the center, flows west and falls into Teters creek.


The first cabin in the district was erected in 1787, by Jacob Nester, a Frenchman, who was the first settler. It stood about two miles from the mouth of Pigeon run, a tributary of Raccoon creek. Mr. Nester was not long permitted to enjoy the solitude of his isolated home, for the Martins, Millers, Walters, Coffmans, and others came and settled around him. All were actual settlers and all improved farms.

The first grist-mill was built by Daniel Nester, in the year 1820. It was a small log structure with two run of stone, one for wheat and the other for corn. Water was the propelling power. In connection with this mill Mr. Nester the same year erected a saw-mill, the first ever built in the district. Both stood on the waters of Raccoon creek about one mile from its junction with the Valley river.

The first postoffice was that of Nesterville, which at the time of its location was on what is known as the G. G. Campbell farm. Three others have since been added, viz: Kasson, Valley Furnace, and Moatsville.


Pleasant district lies in the northern part of the county and is bounded north by Taylor county; east by Cove and Philippi districts, and west by Elk district and Harrison county. The surface is diversified; the soil is fertile and much of it is under a high state of cultivation. But it is not in arable lands or grazing farms that the chief source of wealth is found, but rather in the immense deposits of iron and coal which abound in every portion of the district, and which ages of the most active industry cannot exhaust. Much of this vast source of wealth still lies in an undeveloped state, but the day is not far distant when this must become a great mining center. The high percentage of its ores and the especial adaptability of its coals to smelting purposes, and its communication with the outside world by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, must render it a region which ere long will attract the attention of capitalists, when its development will be but a question of time.


There are several small streams; Pleasant creek rises on the farm of Hamilton G. Bartlett, flows in an easterly direction and empties into the Valley river; its length is seven miles, the entire course being through cultivated farms. Bartletts run has its source on the farm of J. Peppers; it has an easterly course and falls into Simpsons creek at Fairview; length one and one-half miles. Bakers run also flows into Simpsons creek at Point Pleasant church. Hackers run rises on the farm of J. Corders near King Knob, flows east and discharges its waters into the Valley river. Its length is four and one-half miles. Mitchells run, three and one-half miles in length, empties into the Valley river five miles below Philippi. It derives its name from the earliest settlers upon its banks.


There are conflicting statements as to who the first actual settler was, but from what the writer has been able to learn respecting the early settlements in this part of the county, he is led to believe it to have been Henry Thompson, in the year 1780, but if Jesse Terrell was not contemporary with him, he could not have ben more than a year or two later. The first improvement appears to have been made on the farm now owned by M. M. Cleavenger, five miles north by west of Philippi. Here, as elsewhere, when once an opening was made in the wilderness, emigration poured in and soon the vicinity contained several families To such a locality the term neighborhood was applied in pioneer days. Soon after the coming of Thompson and Terrell James Ried and Josiah Davidson settled on Pleasant creek, not far from Fairview, Solomon and John Mitchell came from New Jersey and settled on the farm now owned by John Keller, and here they both lived and died.

Other early pioneer settlers were Thomas Bartlett, Eppa Bartlett, Joshua Cole, Christopher Nutter, John Webb, James Webb, William Thompson, William Cole, Joseph Corder, John Woodford, Michael Neal, Judediah Sayre, Francis Bartlett, John Stackhouse, Samuel Cleavenger, Edward Cleavenger, Miner Cleavenger, David Cleavenger, John Peppers, Humphrey Mount, Isaac Newman (free colored), Joshua Sayre, and James Robinson. These are the men that leveled the forest and laid the foundation of the many happy homes now within Pleasant district.

Soon after the first settlements were made here five men started up the Valley river on a hunting expedition and when near the mouth of Hackers run, not in this district, they discovered a leathern shot pouch hanging on a tree near the path upon which they were traveling. It had been placed there by a band of Indians, and the object was but too well accomplished. The hunters halted to examine it. The report of a dozen rifles rang out upon the air and three of the number, Robinson, Proudfoot and Taylor, lay still in death. This was about the year 1793, and was among the last atrocities committed by the savages on the soil of Virginia.


The first grist-mill was erected by Ezekiel Mount, about 1816. It was situated about one half mile above where W. Corder now resides. It as a water mill, and ground both wheat and corn. Our information says, "it was a good mill for that day, and everybody far and near had their grinding done a the then celebrated Valley River mills." The first saw-mill was built by Miner M. Cleavenger, on the headwaters of Simpson creek, but the writer has been unable to learn the date of its erection.


The first school appears to have been taught about the year 1810, in a log cabin which stood near the site of the Fallen Wood school house. It was a rude building no longer tenable as a residence; the roof was made of clapboards held in place by weight poles, and the floor was mother earth; from the side was chopped a log and over the aperture was pasted greased paper as a substitute for glass. Amid these academic schools were educated some of the men afterward prominent in the early history of Barbour and Taylor counties.

There are at present eleven school houses in the district, as follows: Laugh school house, a frame building, 18X30, built in 1866 by S. Scott, cost $750; Cleavenger school house situated on a fork of Simpsons creek one-half mile from Fairview, built in 1866 by William George at a cost of $750; Corder school house, on Simpsons creek, built in 1867, cost $750; Proudfoot school house on the farm of J. H. Proudfoot, is a frame building 18X30, built in 1865 by Abraham Talbott; cost $750; Corlin school house, situated on Mitchells run, three-fourths of a miles from its mouth, a frame building 24X30 built in 1868 by Newton Dodespin, at a cost of $800. McVicker school house, built in 1868 by T. A. Huffman, at a cost of $800.00. Bartley school house, a frame, size 24X32, built in 1868 by Dadesman, cost $750. Taylor Drain school house, built in 1868 at a cost of $750.


The first postoffice -- Pleasant Creek -- was established in 1840, at Harvey Woodford's store, on the pike leading from Philippi to Pruntytown in Taylor county. Josiah M. Davidson was the first postmaster. It remained here until 1864, when it was removed to the residence of Abraham McDaniel, who is the present postmaster. Hackersville postoffice situated on the Farimont and Beverly turnpike, nine miles south of Webster station, on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, and three miles west of Philippi, was established on the 5th day of May, 1853. John W. Corder was the first and is the present postmaster.


Who preached the first sermon cannot now be known, for there is no record and no one living can remember. Tradition says that in the early days of the settlement that the Primitive Baptists had an organization here, but if so it long since ceased to exist and the record is lost in the flight of years.

Taylor Drain Methodist Episcopal Church is situated on the stream from which it takes its name, one-half mile from where it empties into the Valley river. It is a neat frame building, 36X50 feet, and has a seating capacity of 400. It was erected in 1872 by Marion Talbott, at a cost of $1,300. It was erected to take the place of an old frame structure, 34X40, built in 1840, which at that time, replaced the "Old Log Church" built in 1820, and which stood within one hundred feet of the site of the present building.

An organization of the Missionary Baptists was perfected on the Right Hand fork of Simpsons creek on the 10th day of February, 1837. On motion of William Bartlett the church was called Mount Vernon. Among the members at the time of the institution were Samuel Bartlett, William Bartlett Edmund Cleavenger and John H. Bartlett. The first minister was the Rev. J. H. Goss; the second, C. Hoff, and the third J. Gawthorp, all regularly ordained ministers. the organization took place at the residence of Samuel Cleavenger, and worship was continued at private residences until 1840, when a log building was erected on the waters of Simpsons creek, in which they continued to meet until 1850, when a frame structure was erected at a cost of $1,100. The present membership is 109, among which may be counted some of the wealthiest men of the county. The present clerk is Isaac Johnson, and the present minister the Rev. Aaron Barnett. Regular service is held on the second Sabbath and Saturday preceding, of each month.

Point Pleasant Church (Baptist) is a substantial frame building situated on the waters of Simpsons creek, three miles from the turnpike and five from the railroad. It was erected in 1853 by Thomas Bartlett, at a cost of $1,200, but the society had been organized on the 21st day of May, 1853, at the Miner Lake school house, by the Rev. John Davidson, at which time the membership was composed of John G. Bartlett, Nancy Bartlett, Jacob J. Laugh, Caroline M. Laugh, Joseph Talbott, Indiana Talbott, Harriet Bartlett, Mary Cole, Joshua Cole, Thomas Bartlett, Vera Bartlett, Mary Bartlett, Hamilton G. Bartlett, Catharine Bartlett, Sarah Bartlett, Talitha Bartlett. Jacob Laugh was the first clerk, and John G. Bartlett and Thomas Bartlett the first deacons. The present deacons are William Talbott and Joshua Cole.

The Ebenezer Church (Methodist) was one of the oldest church buildings, not only in the district, but in the county. It is an old log building, and was erected in 1850 by William Ried. For many years a flourishing Sabbath school has met within its walls. Rev. A. Mick is the present pastor.

Mona Chapel (United Brethren) is situated on the farm of J. E.Clem and George McVickers. It is a neat frame structure, 38X44 feet, built in 1876. The present membership is 20, the Rev. Pritchard is the pastor, Middleton Mitchell is the class leader and Nathan Williamson stewart.

Pleasant Creek (Methodist) Church is situated on the stream of that name, three-quarters of a mile from the turnpike, on a beautiful site -- an elevation of several feet. The lot was donated and deeded to the society by Jedediah Sayre, and it was formerly part of the farm now owned by Jesse M. Cole. The present building was erected in 1880, and took the place of an old log church which was erected in 1830, soon after the date of organization. In connection with this church is a sabbath school which continues during the summer, but suspends in winter. Benjamin McIntosh is class leader, and the Rev. Asbury Mick is the pastor.

Mary's Chapel (Methodist Episcopal South), situated on the turnpike leading from Webster to Philippi, seven and one-half miles from the former and four and one-half from the latter, was erected in 1872. It is a frame building, 30X40 feet, with a seating capacity of 250. The organization, perfected in 1872, has decreased in numbers until at present there are scarcely a sufficient number to meet the scriptural condition of "where there are two or three," etc.

Ebenezer Sabbath school was organized in 1850, and has been re-organized every year since, the last taking place on the fourth Sunday in April, 1883. John Keller is the present superintendent, and Martha Hathay, Rachael Blake, Isaac Proudfoot and others are teachers.

The Mona Chapel Sabbath school (United Brethren) meets at Mona Chapel; it is continued during the summer, but suspends in winter. George Blake is superintendent, and Sallie Duckworth and others are teachers.


Lies in the western part of the county, and is bounded north by Pleasant District, east by Pleasant, south by Union, and west by Harrison County. Over the entire area the surface is broken and undulating, but the soil-- a mixture of the various clays -- is fertil and much of it under cultivation. Limestone is found in several localities, and good building stone abounds throughout the district. Three veins of bituminous coal is known to exist -- the first eighteen inches in thickness, the second four and one-half feet, and the third nine feet. There is yet a considerable supply of timber, principally the hard woods such as the various oaks, hickory, sugar, walnut, chestnut, maple, etc.

There are several small streams, the principal being Elk creek; it rises near the eastern boundary, and after flowing in a westerly direction through the district, it passes into Harrison county and empties into the West Fork river at Clarksburg, twelve miles below the county line; it is thirty-five miles in length. Stewarts and Spa Lick both flow southwest and empty into Elk. Brushy Fork drains the northern part, flows west, passes into Harrison county, and discharges its waters into Elk creek, seven miles below the county line.


The writer is unable to say at what point in the district the first settlement was made for the reason that it is a matter of dispute. Some claim that it was made by Christopher Nutter, where the Hall Church now stands; while others say that the first cabin was erected at the mouth of Isaacs creek on Elk creek. All are, however, agreed in one thing, viz.: that it was made by Christopher Nutter about the first year of the present century. His first neighbors -- those who soon after reared their cabins near his -- were Adam Anglin, James Radcliffe, William Douglass, John Nutter, Peter Overfield, John C. Holden, William Dilworth, James Wamsley, Isaac Nutter and Jacob Crislip.

Another very early settler was Jonathan Adams. He was a soldier during the Revolution, and was a member of General Francis Marion's "Ragged Regiment," and served with that famous command through all its furious campaigns in the south. Soon after the close of that glorious struggle he emigrated to Northwestern Virginia, and in the early years of the present century found a home within the present limits of Elk district, where he burned a kiln of brick and erected the first brick house ever built in Harrison county, this section being a part of that county at the time.

The first white children born within the limits of the district were Christopher and Thomas, sons of Christopher and Rebecca Nutter.


It appears that the first grist mills, two in number, were both erected about the same time (1820), one by Peter Overfield and the other by Aaron Anglin, jr. Both were watermills, that of Anglin being a tub wheel, while that of Overfield was an undershot wheel. The latter was situated on Elk creek, near where the village of Overfield has since been located. Overfield built the first sawmill combining it with his grist mill, about the year 1828.


The first school is said to have been taught on Stewarts creek, about the year 1814, by a man whose name cannot now be remembered. The house was an old log cabin, abandoned because no longer fitted the abode of the pioneer. It had a puncheon floor, a huge fireplace and a clapboard roof but no windows. The seats were made by splitting small logs in halves, and inserting pins for legs in the oval sides. The first building erected for school purposes was in the year 1825. It was a rough log structure, built after the style of all frontier "Temples of learning." There are at present seven good school buildings in the district, viz.: Stewarts Run school house, situated on the stream of the same name, was built in 1867, at a cost of $700. Spa Lick school house, one mile east of Elk City, was erected in 1867 and cost $700. Stewarts school house was built in 1867 and cost $700. Fair school house, Brushy Fork school and Pickens school house.


There are at present four postoffices in the district, namely: Overfield, Elk City, Nero and Pepper. The first was established in 1820, under the name of Fairfield, and as such it was known until 1862, when it was removed one-half mile further up the creek to the village of Overfield, and the name changed so as to correspond with that of the village. John C. Radcliffe was the first postmaster and E. M. Kayser is the present one. Elk City was established in place of the old Meller office, which was discontinued in 1861. The first postmaster was S. C. Douglass, and the present one is J. N. B. Crim.


The first church society formed was that of the Missionary Baptist, near the Harrison county line, about the year 1817, by the Rev. Joseph Morris. Among the first members were Christopher Nutter and wife, Jerry Davis and wife, Z. Hickman and wife, Stephen Ried, William Norman and Joseph Peck

There are at present four flourishing organizations in the district, each of which has a good church building, as follows: Mount Tabor (United Brethren), located on Brushy Fork turnpike, 15-1/2 miles east of Clarksburg, is a substantial frame building, 24X40 feet, with a seating capacity of 200. It was built in 1872 at a cost of $1000.

The Hall Church (Methodist Episcopal South), situated threequarters of a mile west of Elk City, is a frame building, 28X40 feet, with a seating capacity of 225. It was built in 1872 at a cost of $1,500. The present membership is 100.

Ebenezer Church (Missionary Baptist), situated on Elk creek, eight miles west of Philippi, is a good frame building, size 30X42 feet, with a seating capacity of 300. It was erected in 1874, at a cost of $1,600.

Overfield Church (Methodist Protestant), is situated on Elk creek eleven miles west of Philippi, 26X40, with a seating capacity of 200; erected 1873, and cost $1,400. Present membership is 60.

Philippi District

This is the central district of the county; it is bounded north and northwest by Pleasant district, east by Glade, southeast by Barker, south by Valley, and southwest by Union. The surface is broken, but not rough. The soil is a mixture of the various clays, intermixed with a black loam, and is well adapted for both agricultural and grazing purposes. Numerous veins of bituminous coal are found throughout the district, in some localities attaining a depth of twelve feet. Stone quarries are numerous, and from them are taken some of the finest building stone in the county. The entire area was once covered with a gigantic forest, but it has long since been nearly all removed, and today almost the entire district is under a high state of cultivation.

Several small streams have their source in the eastern and central portions, and having a general western course fall into the Valley river. Among them are Clapboard run, Ford run, Anglins run, and Little and Big Laurel creeks. Sand run rises three miles southeast of Philippi, flows northeast and empties into Laurel creek, which forms the dividing line between this district and Glade.


The first settlement within the limits of the district was made on the present site of the town of Philippi, in the year 1780. In that year William Anglin came and erecgted a cabin upon a tract of 400 acres, which he had previously patented. Some time after his settlement he sold the land to John Wilson, who removed to it in 1798. He inturn sold it to Daniel Booth, upon the death of whom the title became vested in Judge Duncan. From him it passed into the possession of Eli Butcher, who transferred it to Elmore Hart, who sold it to Thomas H. Height, and from him to William Wilson, who in 1843, laid out the town of Philippi. Those who early founded homes by the side of Mr. Anglin were L. D. Morrell, John R. Williams, John Kelly, Peter Zinn, William Shaw, Samuel Sturm, and Nicholas Sturm.

The first election was held in the town of Philippi in the year 1843.


Samuel Anglin built the first grist mill. It was what was known as an "undershot mill," the wheel resembling a "flutter." Motion was transmitted to the buhrs by what was called double gearing. this mill stood just opposite the present water mill at Philippi. The first saw mill was erected by Daniel Booth in the year 1820. It was what was known as the "sash saw," or "upright pattern."


the first postoffice was established in 1843 at the town of Philippi. Isaiah Wilson, now a resident of the county seat, is one of the oldest residents of the district, his father having settled here as early as the year 1798.

Glade District

So called from the glades of the central part, lies in the eastern part of the county, and is bounded on the north by Cove and Pleasant district, east by Tucker county, south by Barker district, and west by Philippi. The surface is hilly, and in the east it is mountainous, the elevations being western spurs, or continuations of the Laurel mountain range. Notwithstanding the rough character of the surface, the soil is for the most part productive, and while agriculture is carried on to a considerable extent, yet the entire section is better adapted to grazing. Several veins of coal are known to exist, some are in partial state of development. They range in thickness from 18 inches to 6 feet. Excellent building stone is found in all parts of the district. The timber, of which there is yet a considerable supply, consists of white oak, black oak, red oak, chestnut, black walnut, white walnut, poplar, ash, hickory, etc.


The first settlement was made on the waters of Glady creek, near the present site of Gladyville, by Peter Echard and Joseph Philips, and the number of inhabitants was soon after increased by the families of Henry Philips, Isaac Philips, Simeon Harris, William Smith, William Gibson, Ebon Kelly and others.

The first township election was held at Glady Creek, now known as Meadowville, in the year 1863, at which time James Bayles was chosen supervisor, and Henry Sturm and Samuel Holtsbury were elected the first justices of the peace.


The first grist mill was built by Robert Johnson, about the year 1800. It was a small round log building, one story in height, one run of small buhrs, and an undershot wheel. Water was the propelling power.


It appears that the first school was taught about the year 1809 by a man named James Hilliard, but no building was erected for school purposes until the year 1823. In that year the neighbors joined together and erected a small school house on the site upon which the village of Meadowville has since been built. It was a rude log cabin with one end taken up by a huge fireplace, from which ascended a massive rock chimney. Apertures were formed by chopping out portions of logs, over them were pasted greased paper; seats were made by inserting pins or legs in split slabs or puncheons, similar to those used in making the floor. There are now twelve good frame buildings in the district, in which 550 boys and girls are taught the rudiments of an English education.

Post Offices

The Glady Creek postyoffice was the first established with the present limits of the district. It is still continued, but the name has long been changed to Meadowville. In the last few years, Calhoun, Vannoys Mills, Kalamazoo, and Tacy have been added.


The first minister who proclaimed the glad tidings of "peace on earth and good will to men," was the Rev. Bell, a Baptist missionary who came to this section about the year 1800. Soon after his arrival he gathered a little church on the banks of Glady creek, and among its members at the time of organization were: Jesse Bennett, Simeon Harris, Benjamin Vannoy, John Harris and Henry Payne.

The second church instituted was that of the Methodist, now known as the Old White Oak Church. The third in order was that of Bethel (Baptist) Church.

Union District

Lies in the southwestern part of the county, and is bounded on the north and east by Pleasant district, southeast by Valley, south and southwest by Upshur county, and west by Harrison. The land is hilly, and insome localities rough, but the soil is very fertile

The principal stream is the Buckhannon river. It has its sourcce in the northern foothills of the Buffalo maountains, which trend through the eastern part of Webster and western part of Randolph counties. Soon after the union of its fountain streams it passes into the southern part of Upshur county, through which it has a northern course until it reaches the town of Buckhannon, where it is deflected to the east at almost right angle, enters Barbour county at the southwest, flows through this district and dischsarges its water into the Valley river at a point about seven miles above Philippi. The western part is drained by Gnatty creek, one of the upper tributaries of Elk creek, which empties into the West Fork river at Clarksburg; Shoal run, Coterells creek, Coal Lick run and Big Run drain the southern and central part, and flow into the Buckhannon river.


From the best information we can obtain it appears that the first settlement was made on the waters of Big run by Jacob Reger, in the year 1783. The first township election was held in 1863, when Silas Bennett and Arnold Rogers were chosen justices of the peace, and Levi Bennett was elected constable.


The first grist mill was built by John Bozarth in the year 1800. It ground both corn and wheat, but the flour was bolted on a hand machine. In connection with this mill Mr. Bozarth afterward built a saw mill, the first in the district.

Post Offices

Burnersville postoffice, at Burnersville on Big run, was ther fist established in the district, and is therefore the oldest. Peel Tree, on Gnatty creek, and Halls Mills on the Buckhannon river have since been added. Burnersville, near the mouth of Big run, and Peel Tree on Gnatty creek, sixteen miles southwest of Clarksburg, are the only villages in the district.

Valley District

Lies in the extreme southern portion of the county, and is bounded north by Philippi district, east by Barker, south by Randolph county, west by Upshur, and northwest by Union district. The surface is rough but the soil is productive. A good building stone is found in all parts of the district. The coal measures aggregate 18 feet, of which one vein is 18 inches, the second 7 feet, and the third 9 feet. Iron ore of a very high percentage is found in almost inexhaustible quantities.


The first cabin reared in the district was by a man named Barker, in the year 1790. ZIt stood on the farm now owned by Mr. F. Howes. Barker made some little improvement, but two years after his settlement (1792) the Indians made an incursion into the valley, and he, becoming alarmed, left the country and never returned. The first actual settlers were Daniel Booth, George Yeager and Jacob Teter, all of whom came about the beginning of the century. They were soon joined by Levi Carpenter, John Yocum, Alexander Proudfoot and Daniel Zircle.

The first white child born within the present limits of the district was Mary, the daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Holder) Teter.


Abraham Skidmore erected the first grist mill, in the year 1843. It was a log cabin building, and was located on Zebbs creek, near its confluence with the Valley river. The first saw mill was erected in 1849, by Peyton C. Booth and John Logan, but owned entirely by the latter. It was a large frame building, but it was never completed, the machinery was set up and some sawing done, but the building was never roofed.


The first house devoted for school purposes was erected on the farm of Jacob Teter, in the summer of 1833, and the first school taught within its walls was by a man named Joseph Cubberly. Our informant says that "it was a log hut, 12 X 16 feet, with a clapboard roof and a dirt (earthen) floor." There are at present six public school houses in the district, of which number five are hewed log and one a frame building; all are comfortably furnished, and in them are employed competent teachers for four months in theyear. The sub-districts are numbered from one to seven, and have the following enumberation: No. 1, 55; No. 2, 74; No. 3, 121; No. 4, 60; No. 5, 898; No. 6, 55; total 454.

Post Offices

The first post office (Wilmoth P. O.) was located at the house of A. J. Wilmoth. But one has since been added -- that of Talbotts, in the extreme northern part of the district.


The first church organized was that of the Methodists, at the residence of Joseph Teters, in the year 1828. The members at the time of the organization -- those composing the first class -- were Joseph Teters, Mary Teters, Lawrence Mitchell, Drusilla Mitchell, Nathan Rohrbough and Hannah Mitchell.

The second formed was that of the United Brethren, at Clems mills, near the Middle Fork river, in the year 1855. Isam Yeager, Mary Yeager and Paul Clem were among the first members.

The third was that on the Valley river, near Rows mills, in the year 1870. Elias Anvil was the first minister, and to him the church owed its existence. The membership at the time of organization was composed of John Keiser, Mary Keiser, John Mathew, William B. Wilson, Eliza Wilson and others.

There are at the present time six flourishing congregations in the district --viz: -- three Methodists, one United Brethren, one Baptist, and one Dunkard.

The first Sabbath school was organized by Joseph Teters in the year 1850. There are at present four schools in operation -- namely: Greenbrier, Concord, Zebbs creek and Talbot. Of the latter Jonathan Hathaway is the superintendent, and of the Concord, G. B. Teters is superintendent, and A.D. Bartlett, Ida Teters and J. W. Rinehart are teachers. This is the sam school that was organized in 850 by Joseph Teters.

Barker District

Is the extreme southeastern subdivision of the county. It is bounded on the north by Glade district; east and south by Randloph county; west by Valley district, and northwest by Union. the surface is diversified with hills and valleys; the hills are not steep, and upon their tops are considerable areas of flat or table land. The soil is a mixture of the several clays with a black sand.

The principal stream is the Tygarts Valley river, which rises in the Cheat mountain range, near the boundary line between Randolph and Pocahontas counties, whence it passes through the former, then passes through this county, then Taylor, and passes into Marion, where it unites with the West Fork river, the two forming the Monongahela. Sugar Creek, Big run, Sand run, Laurel run, Toms run, Richland run, Mill run and Beavercreek drain the principal part of the district, and flow into the Valley river. Wolf run and Hunters creek have a northeast course and empty into Sugar creek.


The first settlers were Henry Knapp, William Price, Solomon Bonhouse and Frederick Coontz; the first settlement was made on Sugar creek in the year 1795. Other early settlers were Henry Shoon, S. Low, Isaac Headley, Jonathan Wilmoth and John Sargeant.


The first grist mill was built by Absalom Wilmoth in the year 1830. It was a small water mill located on the Valley river two miles below the present location of Belington post office. The first saw mill was erected and put in operation by Frederick Hill in the year 1834. It was what is known as the upright sash saw pattern, and was located on Sugar creek.

Post Offices

There are but two post offices in the county, Belington (the first established) and Huffmans.


The first church organization was that of the Methodists, at the house of John Sargent, in the year 1839.

Cincinnatus Lodge, No. 39, P. of H.; was organized in 1873. It now has a embership of 40, an is in a flourishing condition.

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©Margaret C. Lew

14 July 2012
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