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
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.
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.
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.
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.
three post offices in the district, the first was established at Quiet
Dell, the others are Romines Mills and Johnstown.
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.