Hiram Lewis


Hiram Carson Lewis, IV who submitted this Hiram Lewis story is originally from Welch in McDowell County, West Virginia, but his heart is in Clay County. He writes that "My grandfather maintains a cabin on the original Hiram Lewis property beside the Elkhurst Bridge. I spent almost every summer weekend of my life bathing in the beautiful waters of the Elk River. I am currently an Airborne/Ranger assigned to A Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment stationed at Fort Benning, GA. Every time that I get a chance, I head for the Elk River and Elkhurst. I consider Clay County my home. Someday, I am going to settle somewhere near Clay where I can spend every moment inhaling the fresh air, sipping the morning dew, and listening to the shoals whisper the Elk River Lulaby in my ear".

The following narrative was written by the original Hiram Lewis around the turn of the 20th century. While it is a brief autobiography about himself it does provide some interesting information on the history of Clay County as well. The author is the great, great, great grandfather of Hiram Carson Lewis, IV who submitted this story so that it might be placed on the Clay County pages.

Charles Lewis, son of Rev. William Lewis of Surry County, North Carolina, and father of Hiram Lewis, was born in Grayson County, Virginia, about the year 1803, and was united in marriage, in Surry County, North Carolina, about the year 1824 with Edith Batton late Stone, who was born in North Carolina July 26, 1800. Both were destitute of a common education, and therefore kept no correct of their births or marriage.

There were born to them five children, two sons and three daughters. Benjamin the eldest was born August 1831, and died of typhoid fever at his home in Clay County, West Virginia, October 1864, never having married. Cloey Cook late Lewis was born December 13, 1832, and was united in marriage with Timothy Cook July 25, 1854. Nancy was born November 6, 1834, and died March 3, 1853 of fever at mouth of Bluestone River, Mercer County, West Virginia. Ann was born July 15, 1840, and died of typhoid fever May 5, 1866, in Clay County, West Virginia, her husband, Andrew Vaughan, having died in the U.S. hospital at Buffalo, West Virginia, in the winter of 1862. Hiram, the subject of this narrative, was born September 24, 1836 in Monroe County, West Virginia, and was united in matrimony with Rebecca A. Shannon, daughter of Norval W. and Susanna Shannon by Reverend S.B. Grose at the bride's father's in Clay County February 7, 1867.

(At the time of the following story, it is believed that Charles Lewis lived on a farm near the forks of Blue Knob Creek). Charles Lewis was an outspoken Union man and was free to speak his sentiments, in consequence of which on the 26th day of August 1861, he was brutally mangled by a murderous mob.

Andrew J. Boggs who was as vigorous on the side of succession, gathered up a band of twelve men and proceeded to the house of Mr. Lewis, and as he attempted to escape through a corn field, they fired upon and wounded him. Two balls taking effect, one in the left side, and the other in the right shoulder. He, however, succeeded in making his escape as he was armed with a squirrel rifle and they were afraid to rush on him to finish their fiendish work.

Bleeding profusely, he reached S.B. Grose's where his wounds were dressed and he was taken by Paul D. Summers to Uriah King's , a distance of three miles, where he received temporary treatment, until he could be taken to Charleston, where he would have the benefit of medical aid.

His attempted murderers immediately absconded to the land of Dixie, where the leader died a raving maniac. Most of the others returned at the close of the war.

Edith Lewis died suddenly at her home in Clay County, May 13, 1873.

Hiram Lewis, at the time of the shooting of his father was a drummer in Volunteer Company A, attached to the 126th Regiment , Virginia Militia, in which he was soon after elected as Orderly Sergeant. He served as a faithful State soldier until November 5, 1862, at which time, he volunteered as a Private in Company K, 8th Regiment, West Virginia Infantry, U.S. Army. He was then immediately made 3rd Sergeant of the Company, and in 1864 was promoted to Quartermaster Sergeant, his Regiment having been mounted at Bridgeport, WV. June 13, 1863, as the 8th WV Mounted Infantry.

On the 5th day of February, 1865, he was promoted to 2nd LT of Company L, 7th Regiment, West Virginia Vet. Cav. Volunteers, being the same Regiment re-enlisted, and number changed. In this capacity he served until the close of the war, receiving his third discharge at Charleston, WV, August 1, 1865, and was mustered out at Wheeling, WV, August 11th, 1865.

Hiram was on the famous Lynchburg Raid under General Hunter in May and June, 1864, and, during the war participated in eight battles and six skirmishes.

Soon after his return home from the Army, he was appointed by Governor A. Boreman as a member of the Board of Registration for Clay County. At the first meeting of said board he was elected President thereof and served in that capacity until the adoption of the Flick amendment repeal in the Registration Law. On January 13, 1875, he was appointed by Gov. John J. Jacobs as Notary Public. On January 13, 1876, Hiram was appointed Post Master at Elk River, WV. He also served one term as school master, and seventeen years as Recording Steward in the M.E. Church.

In 1870 Hiram received an appointment as Deputy U.S. Marshall to take the census of two districts of Clay County, and in 1875 was appointed as land assessor to re-assess the lands of that county.

Hiram was twice elected by the charge in which he lived as a Lay Delegate to the Lay Electoral Conference of the M.E. Church. The first held at Morgantown, October, 1879, and the second at Wheeling, October, 1883.

On the 11th day of October, 1879, Hiram received an appointment as Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue under General J.H. Duval, Collector, 1st District of WV and was again reappointed in July, 1883, after the consolidation of the two districts, and was twice reappointed to same office afterwards under S.P. McCormick and J.L. McGraws, Collectors, District of WV and served until July 11, 1885.

Mrs. Hiram Lewis was born in Nicholas County, Virginia (now W.Va.) September 1, 1846, and united with the M.E. Church at Sycamore Chapel under the ministerial services of Rev. B. Darlington December 18, 1864. Norval Shannon, her father is of Irish descent and has served the greater part of his life in Public position, many years as Justice of the Peace. He is the eldest son of Benjamin P. and Rebecca Shannon, and was born at Morgantown, Monongalia County, Virginia, September 4, 1817, and was united in marriage at the bride's father's in Nicholas County, Virginia by Rev. Thomas Reynolds with Susanna Summers daughter of Jehu and Joanna Summers born on Twenty Mile Creek in Nicholas County, Virginia, December 17, 1824.

Mr. and Mrs. Shannon are the worthy parents of fifteen children. Seven boys and eight girls. Eleven of whom are now numbered with the honored dead; whose bodies are confined to the narrow limits of the tomb, while their spirits range the wide fields of the Glory world. Seven were victims of the dread disease Diptheria. Three were corpses at the same time, and two were entered in the same grave. Mary, a daughter of 22 years, died at home of typhoid fever, October 11, 1865. Benjamin F., the eldest died of diabetes in Allen County, Indiana, in November 1878, leaving a wife and two boys, Emmitt and David.

Mr. and Mrs. Shannon have lived for many years devoted members of the M. E. Church, he being a local preacher and giving much of his valuable time to the interests of his church.

Hiram and Rebecca A. Lewis have been blessed with two children, Benjamin Darlington and Clement Elisha. Benjamin D. was born October 26, 1867, was appointed as Assistant Post Master at Yankee Dam, WV. He entered the Clay County Star office as an apprentice typesetter February 12, 1884, and migrated to Ness County, Kansas, September, 1885, and accepted a position as typesetter in a printing office in that city September 8th, 1885. Clement E. was born July 15, 1869, and entered upon his first public business as U.S. mail carrier from Yankee Dam to Osborn's Mills in the winter of 1885.

This ends the narrative of Hiram Lewis, great, great, great grandfather of Hiram Carson Lewis the IV. Hiram C. Lewis, IV