Summers Family


Jehu Jacob SUMMERS History

JEHU SUMMERS, KNOWN AS THE 'BEARHUNTER' MOVED TO TRIPLETS CK., KY c1808 AND LIVED THERE A FEW YEARS. HE THEN MOVED TO PENDELTON CO, VA. IN THE WINTER OF 1814, HE MOVED TO NICHOLAS CO, VA AND SPENT THE WINTER IN A HOUSE WHERE HOMER SUMMERS LATER LIVED ON LOWER PETERS CK. IN THE SPRING OF 1815 HE BOUGHT LAND AT THE MOUTH OF SUGAR CAMP BRANCH ON TWENTY MILE CK, HIS CLOSEST NEIGHBOR, A SHIRKY FAMILY, 20 MILES AWAY. HE CLEARED ALL THE LAND IN THAT VICINITY. AT THE AGE OF 38, HE VOLUNTEERED, FOUGHT AND WAS A VETERAN OF THE WAR OF 1812, HE FOUGHT AT NEW ORLEANS IN 1814, UNDER GEN. ANDREW JACKSON. HE NEXT MOVED TO CLAY CO, WV, A SHORT DISTANCE BELOW THE CLAY CO COURT HOUSE ABOUT 1836. HIS FIRST WIFE, JOANNA DAVIS, DIED OF THE FEVER WHILE LIVING THERE. THEY HAD 14 CHILDREN. AFTER MARRYING THE SECOND WIFE, MIRIAM CAZAULD, THEY HAD 7 CHILDREN. THEY MOVED TO BIG LAUREL, IN CLAY CO, WHERE HE DIED. JEHU'S SON, DAVID CROCKETT SUMMERS AT AGE 90 IN CLAY CO TOLD OF HIS FATHER'S BEAR TALES. DAVID SAYS JEHU OFTEN WENT OUT INTO THE MOUNTAINOUS COUNTRY NEAR THE PRESENT CLAY COURT HOUSE, AND BETWEEN THERE AND NICHOLAS COURT HOUSE WOULD SHOOT AS MANY AS A DOZEN BEARS IN ONE AFTERNOON, WITHOUT BEING AWAY FROM HOME FOR A SINGLE MEAL. HE HAD A BEAR GUN MADE AT HUGESTON, WV IN 1814. IN THE CHARLESTON, WV AREA, ISAAC NOYES, NOTED FUR TRADER OF A 125 YEARS AGO, BUILT UP SO LARGE A BUSINESS THAT IN 1806 AS THE RESULT OF A SINGLE TRIP, HE SOLD TO JOHN JACOB ASTER IN NY $10,000 WORTH OF FURS. NOYES WAS THE HEAD OF A FAMILY WHICH HAS BRANCHED OUT, THROUGH MARRIAGE, PROMINANT THROUGH THE FUR BUSINESS. JEHU WAS A THRIFTY FARMER BUT UNFORTUNATELY MADE A GRAVE MISTAKE. WHEN NICHOLAS CO WAS ORGANIZED IN 1818, HE WAS ON THE BOND OF THE SHERIFF, ONE OF THE McLURES. THIS SHERIFF DEFAULTED AND ABSCONDED, LEAVING THE SECURITIES LIABLE FOR ABOUT $30,000. THIS BROKE JEHU, AND HIS FARM AND STOCK WENT TO PAY THIS ENORMOUS DEBT. HE MOVED TO THE WILDERNESS AND SETTLED AT THE MOUTH OF CAMP CREEK (THE SUMMERS PLACE) ABOUT ONE AND A HALF MILES BELOW CLAY CH WHERE HE LIVED UNTIL 1857. THEN HE SOLD OUT TO COL B W BYRNE AND MOVED TO THE HEAD OF THE SUMMERS FORK OF LAUREL. JEHU WAS ANNOYED BY THE SECURITY DEBT BEFORE MENTIONED FOR MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS WHEN HE PAID THE LAST OF IT. HE WAS A MAN STRICTLY HONEST IN ALL HIS TRANSACTIONS AND ONE WHO DESPISED A DISHONORABLE ACT, NO DIFFERENCE BY WHOM COMMITTED. HE DIED AT A GOOD OLD AGE, HONORED AND RESPECTED, LEAVING A NUMEROUS PROGENY OF HONORABLE AND RESPECTED DESCENDANTS. HE WAS A GREAT HUNTER IN HIS DAY. HE HUNTED IN CLAY BEFORE HE MOVED TO ELK RIVER. HE BUILT PENS OUT OF SPLIT LOGS AT HIS HUNTING CAMP IN WHICH HE PACKED AND SALTED HIS BEAR MEAT. AFTER THE SEASON FOR HUNTING BEAR WAS PAST, HE WOULD CARRY THE MEAT TO HIS HOME ON PACK HORSES. JEHU WAS IMPORTANT IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE TIMBER BUSINESS AND HELPED WITH THE SURVEYING AND BUILDING OF EARLY ROADS IN CLAY CO. JEHU RECORDED ONE OF THE FIRST WILLS IN CLAY CO WRITTEN IN 1859. HIS BODY WAS TRANSPORTED IN A SLED TO HIS OLD HOME WHERE HE WAS LAID TO REST. HE DIED AT AGE EIGHTY EIGHT.

SOURCES 1. INFO FROM WV ARCHIVES. 2. HISTORY OF ROANE CO, PG 9, AND 324, JACKSON CO LIBRARY, RIPLEY, WV. Prepared by: Juliet Summers Daniel JSDaniel@aol.com


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