Harrison County, WVGenWeb
Hardesty's 1882 Biographical Atlas 
of 
Harrison County
Grant District:

   The principal streams in this District are as follows:  Lost Creek arises in the south- western corner, runs
northwesternly and empties into the West Fork, which forms the western boundary line of the district.  Duck Creek and Browns Creek take their rise in the same direction, run the same course, and also empty into the West Fork.  Hackers Creek rises in Upshur County, runs northwesternly through a corner of Lewis County, and the southwest corner of this district, and empties in the West Fork. These are all historical little streams, and intimately connected with the pioneer recollections of the early settlement of this fine section of country.  
   The first permanent settlement in the district was made at Lost Creek, in 1790. Among these early pioneers are the well remembered names of Walter Smith (who settled on Duck creek, in 1796), William Van Horn, John Reed, Richard Bond, Conrad Richard, William B. Cain, John Hagel, Stephen Jackson, Hezekiah Stout, and Col. William Lowther. A detailed history of the hardships endured and fierce encounters with the savages in the early settlement of this section, would include many a thrilling and interesting story, in which these men would be honorably mentioned, some of them in the role of genuine heroes. 
     Many  of the pleasant and  
prosperous homes in Grant district were founded by these men, whose descendants still occupy them. 
   The first grist mill established in the district was erected by John Clemon in 1815. It was a hewed log building, and was supplied with very crude and imperfect machinery, but the flour it produced (although in this age of improved mill machinery might be denounced as unfit for the modern housewife to use), was at that time considered an excellent quality, and fully appreciated by those who eagerly patronized the mill for a circuit of thirty miles. For many years it was the only one in operation in that section; it is still in existance and used for grinding corn. Long may its old wheels continue to revolve, and its machinery clatter, as in the days of yore, for there are many pleasant associations connected with this noisy relic of the past.  In 1820 George Kniesley put up a saw mill which was run by the same power that operated Mr. Clemon's grist mill. 
    In the matter of education, Grant District stands fully to any in the county. There is a constantly growing interest manifested in the importance of encouraging and perfecting the free school system and great care is taken in the selection of teachers.  There are ten neat frame school buildings, comfortably furnished, and the scholars attendance at these free schools number 468. There is also one independent school which is well attended. 
 

         Elk District:

  The first settler in this district was Thomas Cottrail,
 

 

who built a cabin in 1778, and whose name is identified with many thrilling events which occurred during the war with the Indians along the West Fork river.  
    The first permanent settlement is said to have been made at Quiet Dell in 1800. Among other noted early settlers of this district was Sotha Hickman, Abel and Richard Bond, Stephen Dicks, Major Haymond, Joseph Bell, John McCullough, Samuel Davis, Joseph Jenkins, James McPherson, John Radcliff, Thomas Nutter and John Greathouse.  
   The principal streams in the district on which permanent settlement were first made, are: Elk Creek, a branch of the West Fork; Gnatty Creek,  a branch of the Elk; and Rooting Creek, a branch of the Gnatty. These small streams are prominently mentioned in the early history of the country as being the scene of fierce encounters with the Indians. 
     The first saw mill in that part of the county was built by Thomas Cottrail, the pioneer settler, two years after he became located here, 1780. The first grist mill was of hewn logs, and could grind corn and wheat also, and received the patronage of the country for a radius of fifty miles. The title has remained in the same family for eighty-six years, and part of the old structure and machinery are still in use at the present time. 
   The pioneer school teacher was Joseph Skelton, who taught the young ideas how to shoot upon Fall Run, three miles above Quiet Dell, in 1807. His school was held in one of the rude log structures in common use in this new country at that time, and was attended by twenty-two scholars, only nine of whom were males. The date of the opening of his school was May 27, 1807. The first school board, under the present free school system, was elected in 1864, and since that time ten neat frame school buildings have been erected, all well furnished, and the schools are attended by 466 pupils, eleven of whom are colored. 
     There are three post offices in the district, the first was established at Quiet Dell, the others are Romines Mills and Johnstown. 
     Religious services were held in this district as early as 1783, but no society was regularly organized until twenty-eight years aferward, when Horeb (Methodist Episcopal) Church was established in 1811, of which John Bear was the minister in charge. James Sansome was one of the pioneer ministers of this church, and became the presiding elder of the Clarksburg District in 1836. Among the orginal members of this society were Joseph Bell, John Greathouse, Mrs. Arnold and Mrs. Haymond and their families. A Methodist Episcopal society erected a house of worship known as the John Davis Church, upon Rooting Creek, in 1828; another at Green Hill, in 1845. There are now five churches in the district, as follows: one Presbyterian, two Methodist Episcopal, two Protestant Methodist, and one Baptist.
 

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