The Calhoun Chronicle




By Bill Umstead.


This story was told to me by my late mother.



Submitted by Geri Smith.



In the Calhoun marriages -

W. O. Umstead, 26, Calhoun, s/o J. W. & Mary

India E. Freed, 22, Calhoun, d/o A. J. & Susana

31 Oct 1891.... Parents of Bill Umstead?)





I was born in the year 1868 on Leading Creek in Calhoun county, where the old mill dam was  located.  My father was Abraham Freed and my mother was Susan Turner Freed.  She was born in Monongalia county.  My father had a mill that ground corn and sawed lumber.  My father's twin sister, India Freed, was the first person buried in the Freed cemetery.  Zanie Pride was the second.



Living on Leading Creek when I was a girl were many people, namely Capt. Henry Ferrell, Washy Freed, Valentine, Harm and John Burner (We called them Bonners), Hannah Price, Thornton, Bruce and Harrison Ferrell, Johnie, Kaleb and Will Goodnight, Ferrell Bunner, a family by the name of Tradersand, a Jenkins family, the Collins, Fluharty, McGee and Wilson families.  Joshua Conn lived just across the creek from my old home.  He was killed by the bushwhackers during the Civil War, just below the Pine Grove school house, Mill.  Phillip Trippett lived on the Trippett run, also a family by the name of Ramsey.  There were more families but those named are some I remember.


People made their living mostly from cutting cross ties and staves.  When I was a small girl I remember when people didn't have much to eat.  Many times we never had a bit of bread in the house.  My father worked at Enterprise, down below Burning Springs.  He would walk and carry a sack of flour with other groceries all the way home.  There was no transportation.  I would walk and carry eggs and a chicken to Brooksville where I got six cents a dozen for the eggs and 20 cents for a big hen.  Phillip Knight had a store, also Charley Chevront.


The first school teacher I went to school to was Emily Knight who later married John Heisman.  The school house was an old log building near where Washy Freed lived.  It was also used as a church.


People helped each other in those days.  When we had no food in the house I often walked to some neighbor's home and they would give me corn which we parched.  Oftimes that was the only thing we had to eat for a meal.


The people were good and worked hard.  When the season was good, we raised more and lived better.  If a bad season we lived very poorly.  My father and mother both died when I was a small girl and left eight children living.  I was the oldest girl and I took care of our family of six girls and two boys.  The girls all lived, married, and had good lives despite many hardships we went through in our childhood days.


Note:  Washy and Abraham Freed were brothers, sons of Jacob Sr. and Elizabeth Trover Freed.