Rusk Cemetery
Indian Run (near Oakdale), Harrison Co, WV
Read and donated by Vanessa Jane Gooden Shaw
November 8, 2009

      This cemetery has been abandoned for many years. It is not on any cemetery list for Harrison County, WV. While researching death certificates for genealogical purposes, Vanessa Gooden Shaw found several documents for burials at the Rusk Cemetery on Indian Run, Harrison County, WV. Having been raised on that small WV hollow, and never knowing of a cemetery of that name being located there, she began the search. With information supplied by other residents in the area and local hunters, a sketchy location on private property was supplied. After gaining permission to search the property, Vanessa and husband, Gary, set out on a sunny, warm November day to locate the lost graveyard. After climbing and walking several old logging and gas well roads, and pushing through dense brush and overgrowth, the search was over; the Rusk Family Cemetery had been located. In the middle of a remote forest was just a glimpse of a couple gravestone bases. Huge trees of 12 to 16 inch width had fallen some time during the last eighty years, crisscrossing the cemetery, and some had fallen on the stones. Layers and layers of forest debris covered the area. Briars and saplings made access to the area difficult, and old pieces of rusted wire fence made it dangerous in places. Two original fence post, now rotted, still stood. Some pieces of fence were still hooked to large trees. By following the rusted fence pieces, a rough outline of the cemetery was determined.  Much of the area inside of what was assumed to be the cemetery, was pockmarked with sunken areas the size of graves.  Large stones, broken from the bases, were laying in such a way that come-a-longs were needed to pull them upright so they could be read. Others were unreadable, and there’s no doubt that all the stones that were there have not yet been found. Since the only tools Vanessa and Gary had with them were come-a-longs and a garden hoe, little was accomplished except the victory of discovering the location, and the information gained from the stones they managed to find and read. Another trip, with chain saws, rakes and new fencing is planned for the spring of 2010. Much work is needed to try to preserve this burial ground. 

      Even though the remote location of this cemetery made access hard and the condition it was found in is deplorable, this is one of the most beautiful places in the area. 

      Located on private property belonging to the James and Fannie Griffin family.   First reading done 
November 08, 2009 by Vanessa and Gary Shaw




                                    NAME           BIRTH        DEATH                  COMMENTS/INSCRIPTION

Luther B. Mason 1862 1928 Large stone, off base and turned face down on ground.
Small stone with "FATHER" inscribed at base of grave.
Mary Ann Mason 1841 1923 Mother of Luther B. Mason.  Stone inscription "Wife of John R. Mason". Stone off base and partially buried in ground.
Paul V. Rusk 6/7/1891 12/18/1901 s/o John H. and Eliza Alice Shaw Rusk.  Inscription at bottom of stone "Twas hard indeed to part with thee- but Christ's strong arm supported me".  Stone is in good shape.
John H. Rusk 10/22/1857 12/10/1900 Large stone off base.
John J. Rusk 9/6/1820 1891 Old large stone off base.
James E. Hawker 6/24/1867 11/17/1918 Inscription "Woodmen of the World" and "Dum Tacet Clamat"; picture of a tree stump.
unmarked - - small, flat stone at end of Mary Ann Mason grave
JHR - - small stone near John J. Rusk grave
M R - - small stone near John J. Rusk grave
JEH - - small stone at base of James E. Hawker grave
MJR - - two small stones very near Paul V. Rusk grave
unmarked - - 2 upright field stones near John J. Rusk grave
unmarked - - 2 upright field stones near James E. Hawker grave
J.R. Mason - - No dates; Co. B, 14 W. VA Inf.




Gay J. Rusk 3/17/1893 4/17/1897 d/o John H. and Eliza Alice Shaw Rusk
Luther Calvin Rusk 2/1854 8/7/1854 s/o John J. and Malvina Crim Rusk
Frederick B. Rusk 1851 8/11/1854 s/o John J. and Malvina Crim Rusk

On a personal note:
I'd like to thank Vanessa & Gary for all their hard work in preserving our Harrison County heritage.  Vanessa ("Janie") Gooden and her siblings were my childhood summer buddies.  My grandparents, and their ancestors, lived their lives in the Eagle District, and I was so privileged to spend my summers exploring hollers, wading in Bingamon 'crick', and developing a fierce love of family history.  Janie has assurred me that she has at least one other "forgotten" cemetery to find, as well as others to research, and I eagerly await her discoveries!  It is their sincerest wish that their readings and research help others in their own quests, and that those who have gone before us are never forgotten- thanks, Janie!


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