Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram
Sunday March 11, 1934
Transcribed and submitted by:  Dave Fowler
 
 

Ashcraft Family Represents Forbears of Various Lines
Now Residents of Harrison, Wetzel, Taylor and Other Counties

Records of Family Date to Year 1781
Revolutionary Soldiers and Sons of North and South in Family Tree

Pioneer Ashcraft families, a descendant of whom is William Ashcraft, 82,  of West Enterprise, a well known retired farmer, were the forbears of numerous lines of the name now residing in Harrison, Wetzel, Marion, Taylor and Doddridge counties, this state, and elsewhere, not all of whom can be mentioned in this family sketch with the Enterprise man the immediate subject.

As early as 1781, the Ashcrafts became identified with the history of West Virginia, then a part of Virginia, when at least four brothers, Amos, Uriah, John and Ezekiel came from West Virginia to the Harrison  county section of Monongalia county from Fayette county Pennsylvania, and settled in what is now Marion county.  Official Pennsylvania archives of the Revolutionary war show that Edward, John, Uriah, Levi, Amos, and James Ashcraft did military service in that war.
 
 

Received War Pay

Edward Ashcraft was a private in the Second company of the Sixth Battalion of Pennsylvania troops served in 1778 and 1779.

John Ashcraft as shown in the archives acknowledges receipt of five pounds and twelve shillings in state certificates for services rendered in 1782 and before in Westmoreland county.  Uriah Ashcraft signed a similar receipt for like services in the same county, and especially in defense of frontiers.

Levi Ashcraft was in service as a class one private in Capt. Basil Bowell’s  company on the frontiers and is reported in the archives as “out of a tower on duty”. He also signed the Army payroll as a member of the same company for services on the frontier in Fayette county.

These archives list Ashcrafts as Revolutionary solders in the continental line as follows:  Ichabald and James, captains; and John, Amos and Uriah, privates.  Ezekiel appears to have been to young for enlistment.  John appears to have been a captain in later service.

Amos Ashcraft also served in Maj. William Haymond’s Monongalia county militia in the war in 1781, then being a resident of what later became Harrison county. He had a son, John, who married Rebecca Hess, and these were the ancestors of Marshall E. Ashcraft, now residing in Fairmont.
 
 

Born in Lancaster

Uriah Ashcraft, born April 6, 1762, in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, as shown by pension records on file in Washington, D.C., enlisted in August, 1778, in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, in the Revolutionary war and served at various times until the latter part of 1780, as a private and Indian spy, protecting forts and frontiers, under Capt. Moses Sutton, John Hayden, Robert Ritchee, Col. John McClelland and others. According to his application for a pension, made in 1832 when he was 67 years old, he also served from 1781 to 1783 in Harrison county under Capt. Manuel Brown, George Jackson, Col. William Lowther and others.

Despite the fact that Pennsylvania archives recorded Uriah Ashcraft as serving in the Continental line, W.G. Singleton, pension examiner sent out from Washington in 1834, made an adverse report on the application of Uriah Ashcraft and he did not receive a pension.

Singleton appears to have been actuated by a desire to conserve government funds at the expense of Revolutionary veterans and made numerous adverse reports, frequently based on the mere fact that veterans witnessed execution of one another’s application, from which he concluded fraud had been attempted. Many deserving pensioners were thus deprived of rights through Singleton’s zeal to hold pension outlay to a minimum.
 
 

Joined General Clark

John Ashcraft, father of Uriah, in the spring of 1781 enlisted in the Fayette county, Pennsylvania company, marched to Fort Pitt, now Pittsburgh, joined Gen. George Rogers Clark’s expedition to Wheeling and was under Cpt. Jacob Cline, serving six months in the regular army during the Revolutionary war. Soon afterwards he served a year in Capt. Moses Sutton’s company under Sgt. Manual Brown and later out on frequent alarms against Indian, covering a period of four months. He was granted a pension on his application, executed July 28, 1832, in his home county of Harrison, when he was 95 years old.

Uriah first settled on Bingamon creek but later acquired land in the Boothsville section where he moved, lived and died. He married Sarah E. McIntire, a daughter of Charles and Elender McIntire, of the Bingamon section, Oct. 7, 1788, and they resided for several  years on top of the ridge between Enterprise and Bingamon creek, later known as the Sellie Haflin place and near the residence of the late W.M. Matheny.

An interesting legend is told about the miraculous escape from massacre of the children of John McIntire, a brother of Mrs. Uriah Ashcraft, in May 1891 when both McIntire and his wife were slain by Indians. As the latter were coming down Nutter run to the Bingamon creek valley, they passed the McIntire house and heard such a racket inside that they thought it full of people and passed on without making an attack. The parents were away from home and the children had taken a pet bear into the house and were romping with it, thus creating the noise which misled the savages. The bear doubtless saved their lives.
 
 

Prowling Indian

On their way home that day Mr. and Mrs. McIntire crossed the Ashcraft yard and a short time thereafter Uriah Ashcraft was startled by the sudden growling and warning attitude of his dogs.  Stepping quickly to his door, he saw an Indian on the outside with a gun drawn. Ashcraft hastily closed and fastened the door and ran up stairs the better to fire at the intruder.  Snapping his gun several time and discovering other Indians in the yard, he loudly shouted to apprise his neighbors he was in danger.

Frightened the Indians retreated. Three brothers of John McIntire came to Ashcraft’s relief and he joined them in an attempt to trail the Indians. A mile away they discovered the body of John McIntire tomahawked, stripped and scalped. Concluding Mrs. McIntire had been taken prisoner, the hurriedly sent an alarm to Clarksburg, and a company of men lead by John Haymond and George Jackson hastened to the scene and started to pursue the Indians.

Below the three forks of Middle Island creek, now in Doddridge county, before they were aware of proximity to the savages, they were fired upon by the latter, and two of the party narrowly escaped injury or death. A ball passed through a handkerchief on Haymond’s head, and another through one of Jackson’s shirt sleeves. Promptly returning the fire, the white men rushed forward, but the Indians had retreated abandoning some of their plunder, among which was the scalp of Mrs. McIntire. Her body was later found a short distance from the spot where her husband had been slain.
 
 

Weds Samuel Tucker

Uriah Ashcraft, January 26, 1795 purchased 220 acres of land on Otter creek and Lost run in the Boothsville section from Richard Merrifield and on January 13, 1800, 127 acres on Booth’s creek from John Tucker. He also acquired other lands in that section.  John Ashcraft, father of Uriah, bought eighty acres on the West Fork River January 14, 1797, and other lands later.

Aseneth, a daughter of Uriah Ashcraft, was married October 12, 1815, to Samuel Tucker; and another daughter Sarah, April 15, 1819 to Booth Tucker.

Aaron Ashcraft, born in 1806, a son of Uriah and Sarah McIntire Ashcraft married Jane Ashcraft, a daughter of Ezekiel and Hester Oatley Ashcraft, and lived in Boothsville in what is now Taylor county, where he died August 5, 1889, aged 83 years. Their sons and daughters were born as follows:  Petima, in 1834; and was married to Benjamin Nuzum;  Mary Jane, in 1835, and died in infancy; Nancy, in 1837; Nathan W., in 1839; Barthena, in 1842, and died October 1, 1922, aged 76 years, unmarried; and Albert in 1844. These birth dates are taken from the United States census for 1850. If the age of Barthena was given correctly at the time of her death, she was born in 1846 instead of 1842, and a family record says that Nathan W. was born March 22, 1844 at Boothsville.

Nathan W. Ashcraft, married Sarah Baker daughter of Jackson and Eva Polen Baker February 2, 1872, at Middlebourne, where he died March 24 1923. His wife was born November 7 1851, at Woodsfield, OH.  Sons and daughters of Nathan W. and Sarah Baker Ashcraft were born and married as follows:  Ella, August 3, 1873 and married August 6, 1897, to James M. Smith, son of Henry and Hester Harris Smith; Jennie, August 3, 1875, and married November 23, 1914 to Charles C. Smith, son of Harvey and Ella Yoho Smith; Innis C., October 26, 1878, and died October 26, 1884; and Charles, August 11, 1881, and married Mayme Fitzgerald, a daughter of Leroy and Lucetta Thornton Fitzgerald, September 3, 1902. She was born September 26, 1884, in Noble county, Ohio. The Fitzgeralds were childless.
 
 

Later Ashcrafts

John Ashcraft, son of Amos, was born in 1778, in Pennsylvania, and his wife Elizabeth, in 1785, in the same state. Their son, John, was born in 1805  in what is now Marion county, this state. He married Rebecca Hess, and they became the parents of nine children of whom eight are listed with ages  in the 1850 census as follows:  Martha J., 19; Ephraim, 17; Abraham, 15; Jeremiah, 14; Nathan, 12; Frances M., 10; Isaac, 8; and Sarah, 9. Elizabeth, the first born died young. Ephraim, born in 1833, was the father of Marshall E. Ashcraft of Fairmont; Frank M. of Littleton; Mrs. Henry Morgan of Farmington and Thomas J. Ashcraft of Fairmont. He married Malissa Parrish, who died in 1880, and was buried near Farmington, where her husband was a farmer. Martha J. became the wife of Wilson Parks, of Strring Town, Marion county.

Abraham married Elizabeth Glover and resided at Oakdale. They were the parents of Lyda E. Ashcraft, of Mannington, Route 1, born May 8, 1875, and first married Ernie Snodgrass, son of Minor and Mary Sullivan Snodgrass, and next Ella Straight Humphrey, Paul and Rexie were the names of the children, both sons by the first wife. Dallas D. Ashcraft, of Oakdale, born February 2, 1872, and who married Nora Wadsworth, is listed as another son of Abraham and Elizabeth Glover Ashcraft. Their children include Audrey, Gay, Roy, Ray, Okey, Russell, Lester and Gladys Elizabeth.

Sarah, daughter of John and Rebecca Hess Ashcraft, married Albert Baker and resided at String Town.
 
 

Confederate Veteran

Jeremiah married Clara Brown and resides at Hundred.

Francis Marion, who died February 10, 1930, at his home at Reynoldsville, aged 89 years.

Nathan married Tabitha Heflin and moved to Ohio.

Maj. Francis Marion Ashcraft was a cavalryman in the Confederate troops of Gen. “Stonewall”  Jackson in the Civil war, and was taken prisoner at the battle of Chancellorsville, in which Jackson suffered fatal wounds. Ashcraft remained a prisoner for eighteen months but was among the Confederates who surrendered at Appomattox.

Having married Laura A. Armstead at Monterey, Va., just before his enlistment, he returned there and lived at Monterey until 1876, when he removed to Harrison county and lived at Lost Creek and Wilsonburg a number of years before locating at Reynoldsville. He had two sons, Delbert F. and William H., both born in Highland county, Virginia.

Delbert F. Ashcraft married Katie L. Ritter, a native of Kanawha county and daughter of Andrew and Barbara Ritter, August 14, 1883. She died October 1, 1886, aged 19 years. He married Melvina Smallwood, a daughter of the late Ellisha and Martha Ann Heaton Smallwood, at Wilsonburg, April 3, 1888, and died December 1, 1923, aged 62 years.

William H. Ashcraft married Nancy J. Johnson, a daughter of the late Sydney and Amy Johnson, December 19, 1886, at Adamston, and lived just west of that section of Clarksburg.

Ezekiel Ashcraft, born in 1799, a son of John Ashcraft, brother of Uriah and others, married Mary Jane Nay, a daughter of William Nay, May 1, 1823. He died June 15, 1880, in Eagle district, aged 81 years. She died March 18, 1895, aged 98 years, having been born in 1797.
 
 

Married at 17

Their son, Ezekiel, at the age  of 17 married Eleanor Drain, a daughter of Azariah and Rosanna “Polly” Drain, February 17, 1853. He died in May 1863, at Winchester, Va., where he was taken ill while serving as a private in Company G, Twelfth infantry regiment of Union soldiers, and was buried there. He was known as “Little” Ezekiel. His wife was born in 1838 and died May 21, 1916, on Cunningham’s run in Harrison county. Their children were: 

Mary Jane, born in 1853, married to Richard O. Martin, son of John and Elizabeth Martin, February 9, 1871, and died November 9, 1919.

John C., who married Mary, a daughter of Azariah and Susanna Drain, March 18, 1870. She died November 12, 1927. 

Louisa V., who married Arthur A. Haggerty, son of William and Sarah E. Haggerty, July 1, 1875, and died December 12, 1929. 

George W., who married Alice A. Harvey, a daughter of Pruitt and Mary Harvey, June 4, 1880, and died August 14, 1899. 

Francis M., born February 23, 1862

The widow of the Union soldier and mother of the list just given was married Febuary 2, 1869, to Albert Crim, a son of Charles and Catherine Crim. He died July 27, 1946.

Francis M., son of Ezekiel and Eleanor Drain Ashcraft, a Prospect Valley farmer, married Melvina Miller, a daughter of James and Martha Slaughter Miller, July 4, 1884. She was born September 14, 1865. Their children were all born in Harrison County as follows:

Alice Rozella, December 12, 1885; and was married December 4, 1904, to Allison Sprout, who died October 11, 1919.

Cora M., May 12, 1887; and was married July 4, 1904, to Newton Fluharty.

Bessie, October 5, 1889; and was married October 23, 1915, to Arthur Martin.

Dessie, October 5, 1889; and became the wife of Joseph Fluharty, March 26, 1913.

Carrie J., May 18, 1891; and was married June 6, 1910, to Sanford C. Wagoner, who died May 4, 1920.

Howard, August 39, 1894; and married Edna French, November 14, 1920.

Emmaretta, September 2, 1897; and was married April 6, 1920, to John King.

Estie Delaine, June 25, 1905; and became the wife of Robert Tichenal, November 23, 1922. He died January 27, 1927.

Named as above born in 1827, a daughter of Ezekiel and Sarah, Jane Nay Ashcraft , was married to James Burns, who was born in 1820. Their children were:

Frederick, born in 1841; John, 1845; Sarah, 1846; Judith, and Louisa, twins, 1848; and Mary in January 1850.
 
 

The Union Army

Armstead, son of Ezekiel and Mary Jane Ashcraft, served as a private in the Union army in the Civil war. He was a member of Company G., Twelfth West Virginia infantry regiment. He resided near Wyatt, where he died and was buried in the Odd Fellows cemetery. In 1860, he married Eliza Drain, and after her death he married Louisa Brooks, a daughter of Allen and Betty Brooks, April 4, 1867. She died in 1884, aged 41 years, and was buried in the Cunningham graveyard in Eagle district. His third wife, the former Jane Sharp, was buried in the Hardesty cemetery at Wyatt.

Minerva Jane Ashcraft, a daughter of Armstead and Louisa, became the wife of John Granville Drain, a son of John and Malinda Drain, February 5, 1884.

Birdie Ashcraft, daughter of Armstead and Jane Sharp Ashcraft, was married July 18, 1908, to Francis Jerome Ashcraft, a son of George W. and Harvey Alice Ashcraft. Their children were born in Harrison county as follows:

James Roy, July 1, 1909; Ruby Velora, June 8, 1911, and died September 7, 1911; Nellie Marie, September 11, 1912, and died June 4, 1913; Susan Virginia, February 18, 1916, and died March 30, 1917; George Washington, July 21, 1918; Rosie Zetta Marie, November 29, 1922; and Mayme Leora May 15, 1920.

Zachariah’s Family

Zachariah Ashcraft, son of Ezekiel and Jane Nay Ashcraft, October 15, 1868, married Barbara Carroll, a daughter of Samuel and Barbara Carroll, as his second wife. She died March 16, 1870, on Bingamon creek in Harrison county, aged 42 years.

William F. Ashcraft, a member of Zachariah’s first set of children, August 24, 1878, married Mahala Winemiller, a daughter of Adam and Susannah Winemiller, of Lewis county, but then residing in Harrison county.

The children of Nathan and Ruth Drain Ashcraft, all born in Harrison county, were Fletcher,  Mandora, and Emmaretta, who all died young; and Frederick M. Ashcraft, born July 1, 1846 and married Rebecca M. Cunningham, a daughter of Christopher and Sarah Cunningham, September 29, 1889. She was born December 5, 1856, and died November 27, 1931, near Wyatt.

Mr. and Mrs. Frederick M.  Ashcraft were the parents of three daughters, Effie L., born November 19, 1891, and was married to Benjamin F. Odell, widower and son of John D. and Helen M. Odell, November 21, 1912, of Wyatt; Rosa L., born February 20, 1893, and was married October 14, 1913, to Winfield Burge, of Clarksburg, a son of Henry and Nancy Burge; and Clara E., born October 14, 1894, was married May 6, 1909 to Argyl W. Stout, a son of Collin B. and Victoria Alice Stout, and died March 7, 1919.
 
 

Family of Thirteen

The thirteen sons and daughters of Mary Elizabeth Drain Ashcraft and Nathan Harrison Ashcraft and were born as follows:

Mandora Mary, wife of James M. Amos, October 2, 1872; Alfred Clarence, June 6, 1875, first married Lucy Amos and after her death Priscilla Jackson, and died August 8, 1932, near Wyatt; Ida Leora, November 25, 1877, married to Arthur D. Hess, son of A.T. and M.S. Hess and died September 2. 1928. Her husband dying January 8, 1931.

Ruth Florence, born May 30, 1879, married Neri Davis and died November 11, 1929; Margaret Melvina, April 16, 1880, and died December 25 1896; Alonzo Wilson, July 16,1882, and married Ora Buncan, of Peora; William Edward, March 26, 1884; Sarah, April 9, 1885, and died two days later; James Newton, March 11, 1888’ married Effie Amos, and died May 1, 1932 at Wyatt, where he was a mechanic and paper hanger.

Pearly Maude, April 2, 1880, and died February 23, 1890; Daisy D., December 25, 1891, and married to Jasper R. Heldreth, a son of Elias and Martha E. Heldreth, August 4, 1912; Elizabeth Blanch, a twin of Daisy D., and died January  7, 1897; and Harlen Glen, August  11, 1893, and died September 26, 1893.
 


Resides at Wyatt

William Edward Ashcraft, son of Nathan Harrison Ashcraft and Mary Elizabeth Drain Ashcraft, resides at Wyatt. He married Zettie, a daughter of John Harris Martin and Savilla Brown Martin, December 13, 1913. Their children include Beulah Dean, born January 27, 1915; and Mamie Leora, May 15, 1920.

John Ashcraft, another son of Ezekiel and Jane Nay Ashcraft, married Charlotte Chamberlain. A Robinson Run farmer, he died September 15, 1860, aged 29 years.

Caleb Jahu Ashcraft, a son of Ezekiel and Jane Nay Ashcraft, married Mary Ann Drain, a daughter of Azariah and Rosanna Drain, March 18, 1880 and moved to Ohio. She died July 5, 1913, and he November 5, 1920, at Sebring, Ohio. At the time of their marriage he was 22 years old and she was 30. Their children are Caroline Belle and Savilla. Caroline was married October 24, 1905 to Samuel Cunningham, a son of Benjamin and Sarah Cunningham. Savilla is the wife of Allville Lindsay, of Shinnston, to whom she was married September 27, 1903. He is a son of James and Alcinda Lindsay.

Ezekiel Ashcraft, a son of John, the Revolutionary soldier, was the paternal grandfather of William Ashcraft, the Enterprise man. He married Harriet Oatley, who was born in 1780. He died after March 15, 1830, when he made his will a few weeks before his death, leaving his estate to his widow as long as she remains such, and after that or at her death to his children, the latter not being mentioned by name in the will.

The family of this couple consisted of ten sons and daughters, Sarah, born in 1800; Aaron, Mary or “Polly”, who remained single; Anna, born August 26, 1806; Uriah William, born December 5, 1809; and who was the father of the Enterprise William; Uriah, born in 1812; and who died June 28, 1897, on Sycamore creek, in Doddridge county, aged 85 years; Rebecca, who was married December 15, 1819, to Uriah Thompson; Barbara, born in 1820, and was married to Matthew Welch, and Ruth, born in 1824, and never married.

Sarah Ashcraft, of Ezekiel and Hester’s family, became the wife of Uriah Sharp March 21, 1817. Their children were born as follows:
 
 

Buried in Doddridge

Esther Sharp in 1820; Thomas, in 1830; Monroe in 1838; Charles, in 1842; Charlotte, in 1843; and James L., in 1848.

Uriah Ashcraft, a son of Ezekiel and Hester Oatley Ashcraft, married Fannie Marie Dye, December 15, 1836. She was a daughter of Walter and Agnes Ford Dye, and was born February 2, 1817, in Doddridge county. A son of Uriah named William, born in 1840, married Martha Ann Garrett, a daughter of Richard and Content Garrett, January 19, 1865. She died July 19, 1896, in Doddridge county, aged 53 years, and was buried in the Garrett cemetery. George William Ashcraft, a son of William and Martha, born in Doddridge county, married Alwidda Orr, a daughter of J.M. Orr, December 31, 1902.

Among Uriah’s other children were Walter, born in 1842; Martha, born in 1843; and George, in 1845.

Anna Ashcraft, a daughter of Ezekiel and Hester, was married November 8, 1827 to Isaac Ashcraft, a son of John, who died February 26, 1830, in Marion county. He appears to have been a son of John, brother of Anna’s father, Ezekiel. Isaac Ashcraft, Anna’s husband, was born January 31, 1803, on Long Run, noe in Taylor county. Their children were: Nancy, born August 12, 1828, and married to Eli Sharp; Mary, born February 7, 1831, and married to David Matheny; Hanna, who was married to Thomas Wright; and Isaac M., who died April 22, 1915, at his home in Shinnston.

Isaac M. Ashcraft was born July 22, 1846 in Marion county, and married Julia A. Matheny, a daughter of Nathan R. and Elizabeth Straight Matheny, September 1, 1867, at Blacksville, Pa. She was born March 20, 1850. The seven sons and daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac M. Ashcraft were born in Marion county except the sixth and seventh who were born in Harrison county. Their names and birth dates are:

James V., August 28, 1868, and married Martha Bell; Cora Alice, May 9, 1871, and married to C. Ellis Shreve, a son of F.M. and Mary Shreve, February 3, 1895; Eliza A., July 19, 1874, and married Lavada Osborn; Lula Gay, April 9, 1878, and became the wife of David Varner,  of Greenup, Ky., a son of F.M. and Melissa Varner, January 14, 1902; Simon Henry, April 12, 1881, and married Virginia Ida Ruth, a daughter of S.M. Fowler, January  10, 1904; Joseph Lane, July 14, 1889, and married Virginia Isabelle, also a daughter of S.M. Fowler, September 20, 1911; and Harry Ellis, June 4, 1892, who married Emma J. Gamble. Lula Gay’s second husband is Oscar Johnson.

Henry Ellis Ashcraft, of the family of Isaac M. and Julia A. Ashcraft, is a Shinnston carpenter. His wife Emma J., whom he married March 28, 1915, is a daughter of Robert and Margaret Wallis Gamble, and was born September  8, 1894, in Monongalia county. They have a son, Marion Ellis Ashcraft, born November 18, 1925, at Shinnston.

Nathan Ashcraft, a brother of John Ashcraft, who married Ann Ashcraft, married Emily Jane Tucker, May 22, 1841, and among their children were Preston, born March 22, 1841, died july 17, 1929, at Clarksburg, and was buried in the Odd Fellows cemetery at Wallace. He married Christine Boone, a daughter of Jesse and Sarah Tucker Boone, April 1, 1869. She was born March 2, 1847, in Marion county, died July 29, 1916, in Doddridge county and was buried at the Wallace Odd Fellows cemetery.

Sons and daughters of Preston and Christina Ashcraft were born as follows:

Luther Calvin, June 6, 1879, in Doddridge county, and married Ella O. Dye, a daughter of Uriah and Mary S. Dye, March 16, 1904; Josephine, February 3, 1872, in Marion county, and married to Emory O. Boyce; Sarah E., January 26, 1870, in Doddridge county, and married to Benton Roberts; William J., born August 26, 1882, in Doddridge county, and married Edna Boolinger; Minnie L., born July 2, 1874, in Harrison county, and married Elmore Ashcraft.

Other children of Nathan and Jane Tucker Ashcraft were: Anderson, unmarried; Rebecca, who was married to Daniel Lowe; John, who married Jennie Davis; Luther, unmarried; and Sarah, also unmarried.

Catherine Ashcraft, a sister of Nathan, became the wife of Booth Tucker. Charity, another sister, wife of a man named Wilkie, and Rachel, born in 1810, was married to Benjamin Matthis.

John Ashcraft, born in 1810, son of Ezekiel and Heater Oatley Ashcraft, married Dicey Thompson, born in 1816, and resided as a farmer in Doddridge county. Their sons and daughters were: Stephen, born in 1836; Phoebe, born in1838; Evaline, in 1840; Albert, in 1842; Melissa, in 1843; and became the wife of Aaron Ashcraft, son of William and Catherine Bailey Ashcraft and brother of the Enterprise man; Mary, born in 1844; John, in 1846; Nancy, in 1849; Calvin; Aaron J. and Barbara. Nancy married Belch Springer.
 
 

Weds Miss Dye

Albert married Elizabeth E. Dye, a daughter of Water J. and Catherine Dye, September 18, 1873. Aaron, at the age of 17 years married Fannie M. Carson 21, daughter of William G.  and Mary Carson, November 3, 1875, in Harrison county. Barbara was married November 30, 1876, to Ella L. Sullivan, of Doddridge county, a son of Wilson D. and Sarah Sullivan.

Aaron J. Ashcraft, of the list just mentioned was born March 3, 1858 in Doddridge county, and his wife May 2, 1876, in Harrison county. They were the parents of William E., born August 28, 1876, and Judson, among others.

William Ashcraft, son of Ezekiel and Hester Oatley Ashcraft, married Catherine Bailey, a daughter of Joseph and Letitia Bailey, November 18, 1834, in Harrison county. She was born June 26, 1814. They were the parents of William Ashcraft, of Enterprise, subject of this sketch. Their eleven sons and daughters were born as follows:

Ezekiel, February 2, 1837; Joseph, February 20, 1841; Aaron, February 19, 1844; Alfred, December 14, 1846; Uriah, October 26, 1850; William and Catherine, twins, February 22, 1852; Charles, October 6, 1854; Jesse, October 9, 1857; and Leonard, November 6, 1861. All were born near Sturm’s Mills on Bingamon creek in what is now Marion county.

The only members of this family now living are William, Catherine, Charles and Jesse.

The father of these sons and daughters was born December  5, 1809; and the mother June 26, 1814. The Rev. William Lucus was the preacher who united them in marriage. They both died in Wetzel county and were buried in the old Fairview Baptist church cemetery near the Harrison-Doddridge county line. His death occurred April 6, 1897. She died January 12, 1893.

Ezekiel Ashcraft, eldest of the Enterprise man’s brothers and sisters, married Ruth Evans, a daughter of Stephen Evans, and died August 6, 1883, in Eagle district near Wyatt. Their children were John V., Jeremiah, Virginia, Alice, Benjamin C., Nelson and Sarah.
John V., married Erminie Watson, a daughter of John D. and Phoebe J. Watson, December 20, 1888 and engaged in farming at Wyatt.

Jeremiah, born in 1866, married Fronia Schrader, both are living at Worthington, Route 1.

Virginia Alice, born October 15, 1868, and died October 9, 1928, was the wife of the late Alva D. Odell, farmer, who lived on Odell Knob near Wyatt.

Benjamin C., first married Rilla Martin and after her death Effie Ashcraft.

Nelson, born in 1872, married Delia Kellar. He was killed a number of years ago in a belt accident at an oil well at the mouth of Bingamon creek. His widow is living.

Sarah, youngest of the family of Ezekiel and Ruth Evans Ashcraft, was born December 19, 1874, and married to Alburn Stiles. They reside on Long run in Taylor county.

Joseph Ashcraft, second member of the family of William and Catherine Bailey Ashcraft lived and died in Boothsville, where he reared a family. His death occurred September 4, 1924, when he was 83 years old. He was buried in the Poling cemetery at Boothsville. His first wife was Mary Ann, a daughter of John Heldreth; his second, Rebecca, who died in 1884, a daughter of J. Riffle, of Boothsville, born February 10, 1853, and died September 11, 1901, aged 49 years; and his third, Mrs. Alice Nay Cunningham,  widow of Walter Cunningham, and daughter of Alpheus and Mary Nay, whom he married July 14, 1904, at Peora. The third wife lives at Boothsville. Joseph’s children are:

Casper Ashcraft, a Wyatt farmer, who married Mollie Hess, a daughter of Peter Hess, and both living.

Wilmer, a natural gas employee, who married Nancy, a daughter of Joseph Hess.

Emma, wife of Estie Core, a Booths creek farmer.

Infant Child Dies

A three year old child of Joseph and Mary Ann Ashcraft, died September 29, 1865; Alva C., a son, 4, August 22, 1869; and Josephine, 5, a daughter, September 7, 1869.

Aaron Ashcraft, third son of William and Catherine Bailey Ashcraft, married Melissa, a daughter of John Ashcraft, moved to Ravenswood, where he was a farmer, and died there. His wife also died at Ravenswood and both were buried there. Their children are:

Caleb, a Doddridge county farmer of near Wallace, who married Ann Baker, a daughter of David Baker, and who is now deceased.

Joshua, of Guysville, O., a farmer, who married Myrtle, a daughter of “Ren” Thompson, of near Wallace.

Catherine, widow of Benjamin Haddox, a former mechanic at Parkersburg, where she now resided.

Joseph, of Guysville, O., who married Ada Barker, a daughter of David.

William, of Washington Bottoms, a farmer, who married Tracy Sook, of Ravenswood, and both of whom are living.

Bessie, wife of Loman Stewart, a Rock Camp creek farmer in Harrison county.

Dicey, who became the wife of William Beatty, of Ravenswood, and is now an Ohio farmer.

Margaret, single, and residing at Ravenswood.

Grace, wife of Robert Beatty, of Pittsburgh, where he is employed by an oil concern.

Russell, whose wife whom he married in Pittsburgh is dead and where he has been a streetcar motorman for many years.

Aaron Livingston Ashcraft, youngest of the family, who married a daughter of Lee Davis at Ravenswood, and is a dairyman at Sandyville.
 
 

Alfred’s Family

Alfred Ashcraft, forth member of the family of William and Catherine Bailey Ashcraft and another brother of the Enterprise man, married Sarah Martin, a daughter of John D. and Druzilla Martin, of near Wyatt, April 17, 1870. He died in November, 1887, and she in March 1888. He was a Bingamon creek farmer in Harrison county. Their sons and daughters are:

Mary L., who was married October 25, 1892, in Harrison county to John T. Martin, widower and son of M.D and Margaret Martin, and living on a farm below Wyatt along with her husband.

Francis Ellery, who married Willa McDaniel, a daughter of Washington and Anna McDaniel, August 15, 1897 in the county road at Peora, the late Rev. D.W. Cunningham performing the ceremony.

Charles T., a Peora farmer, who married Arcinora, a daughter of Washington and Anna McDaniel, of Bingamon creek in Harrison 
county, February 18, 1877, and after her death Mary Martin Carpenter, a daughter of Isaac A. and Margaret E. Carpenter, November 4, 1911.

Ella and Biddie, twins, born November 13, 1881, the former becoming the wife of William Anderson, of Shinnston, son of John Anderson of Shinnston, and the latter the wife of Thomas Lucas, an Odell Knob farmer and son of Frank Lucas, June 24, 1898.

Herschel, a near Wyatt farmer, who married Delia Odell, a daughter of Frederick Odell.

Uriah Ashcraft, fifth member of the family of William and Catherine Bailey Ashcraft located in Illinois when a young man and married Margaret Aleshire there.  He died on his farm in that state thirty years ago. His widow may be living. The Enterprise man knows nothing about Uriah’s sons and daughters, if any there were.

Martha Ashcraft, sixth member and first daughter in the family of William Ashcraft, Sr., December 12, 1874, became the wife of James Ice, a son of Abraham B. and Margaret Ice, and lived and died at Smithfield, Wetzel, her native county. Her husband was born December  30, 1844 and died October 3, 1929. She died September 8, the same year. They were the parents of several children among whom are the following:

Leonard, born December 11, 1875; Omer, August 11, 1878; Lindsey, August 18, 1879; Alfred B., April 6, 1883; and Estin, May 1, 1892.

Leonard Ice married Ida E. Lemasters  March 30, 1902. Their children are: Orval, born February 10, 1903; Armena, August 11, 1905; Arlena, September 19, 1907; Ora, April 13, 1910; Lora, October 12, 1913; Dora, November 7, 1916; Zona, April 1, 1920; and Jakie, September 27, 1924.

Omer Ice, brother of Leonard, married Mary J. Prunty July 4, 1900.  Their children are: Ester, born December 6, 1901; Chester, February 26, 1904; Sylvester,  October 21, 1905; Lester, August 12, 1908; and Leslie, October 21, 1916.
 
 

Lindsey’s Family

Lindsey, another brother, August 9, 1902, married Lena May Phillips. Their children are: Lulu, born August 8, 1903; James Norval, June 20, 1904; Martha Delila, September 26, 1906; Clemmie Alfred, December 24, 1908; Zima Pearl, April 13, 1919; and Helen Virginia, March 11, 1922.

Alfred B. Ice, another son of James and Martha Ashcraft Ice, March 26, 1904, married Ida B. Underwood.

Estin, still another son, married Flossie B. Edwards September 30, 1916. Their children are: Estin, born August 11, 1918; Ray, July 10, 1919; Ralph, March 31, 1921; Lona Bell, June 24, 1922; Wayne, June 20, 1924; Ruby Helen, April 16, 1926; Roy, October 7, 1927; Alma Ruth, October 13, 1929; and Ross Thomas, March 25, 1932.

Catherine Ashcraft, second and youngest daughter of William and Catherine Bailey Ashcraft, became the wife of Uriah Glaspell, a son of Kitson Glaspell on the edge of Doddridge county next to Harrison, where her husband was a farmer. Uriah Glaspell died fifteen years ago. His widow lives in Doddridge county. Mr. and Mrs. Uriah Glaspell were the parents of eight sons and daughters, of whom only two are living, namely, James of Sardis, who married Sarah Carroll and is a farmer; and Louise, wife of Martin Lyons, and lives at the head of Fink’s run in Doddridge county.

The deceased sons and daughters of Mrs. Catherine Glaspell and her late husband were Virgil, whose widow, the former Vena McIntire, a daughter of Jacob McIntire, resides at Akron, O.; and five who died when quite young. Virgil died on Indian creek in Tyler county.

Farmer at Wyatt

Charles Ashcraft, next after the Enterprise man in the family of William and Catherine Bailey Ashcraft, is a farmer at Wyatt. He married Elizabeth Heldreth, a daughter of Uriah and Phebe Ice Heldreth, April 4, 1887. She was born July 27, 1862. Their children are:

Homer, of Pine Bluff, a coal company employee, born July 18, 1879, who married Nettie M. Jett, a daughter of Thomas and Mary 
Ice. Their children include: James Ralph, born February 5, 1905; Edith Earnestine, June 14, 1913; and Marjory May, in 1920.

Charles Guy, born March 1, 1890, and September 7, 1910 married Carrie May Brown, a daughter of Ellsworth and Viola Ashcraft Brown, the latter a daughter of Daniel Ashcraft, a son of Isaac and Anna Ashcraft Ashcraft. Charles Guy is a station man for a natural gas company and lives at Wyatt. The children of this family are: Raymond Earl, born March 17, 1912; Avis Nadine, October 5, 1913; Doris Shirley, August 16, 1915; and Golda Catherine.

Phoebe Ann, a daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Ashcraft became the wife of John Bee Underwood, a son of John Doss and Melvinia Underwood, April 23, 1913, and is located in New Jersey where her husband is engaged in bridge construction. She was born September 18, 1894.

Jesse Ashcraft, next to the youngest of the family of William and Catherine Bailey Ashcraft first married Harriet E. Carson, a daughter of William G. and Mary Carson of Wallace, November 11, 1883. After her death he married Ida Hall, a daughter of Jesse Hall of near Wallace. He and his wife live in Smithfield, O., twenty five miles from Wheeling.  His first set of children include:
Luther of Haywood, a coal miner, who married Dolbie Nay; Irvin who formerly lived at Northview after his marriage to Miss Nay, and now lives in New Jersey; Lloyd Ray, a salesman, who lives in Pittsburgh, where he married Pearl, of Glen Falls, wife of Clyde Griffin, a coal miner; Arnold, who is married and living at Smithfield, O., and Cora, who also lives at the same place. Mary Goldie Ashcraft is the name of the only child of Mr. Jesse and Ida Hall Ashcraft.

William Ashcraft, born in Wetzel county, also a son of Jesse and Harriet E. Wilson, married Mary Martha Golden, a daughter of Anthony J. and Sarah L. Golden, of Harrison county, September 4, 1912. She died  December 18, 1919 at Glen Falls, leaving her husband and two children. Mary Virginia and Howard William Ashcraft.
 
 

Leonard’s Family

Leonard Ashcraft, youngest of the children of William and Catherine Bailey Ashcraft, Married  Jerusha Lyons, a daughter and Jacob and Mary Lemasters Lyons who resides on Indian creek in Tyler county. Leonard died September 11, 1916, on his farm on Manion run in Wetzel county. Their sons and daughters are:

Mary, born April 22, 1818; was married to Bennett Harbert, a son of Frank Harbert and lives along with her husband on a farm near Sedalia.

William, born July 4, 1883; married Harriet Ice, a daughter of William Ice, and was killed July 24, 1915 at Sistersville, while performing duties as a railroad conductor, leaving his widow who now resides in Parkersburg.

Jacob, born February 5, 188?, married Perthena Starkey, a daughter of Sampson Starkey, ?? back of Smithfield, and lives along with his wife in New Martinsville, where he has served as a night foreman for the last twenty-four years.

Catherine, born May 25, 1889, wife of Broze Starkey, a son of John Starkey, and a South Penn Oil Company rig builder, residing at Folsom.

Cora, born February 14, 1891, and died April 23 the same year.

Orval and Orpha, twins, born May 7, 1897. Orval died at the age of twenty one after undergoing three operations for appendicitis. Orpha is also dead.

The Widow of Leonard Ashcraft and mother of this list of children given immediately above, was married September 24, 1914, to William Ashcraft, her first husband’s brother and the subject of this sketch. They had no children. She is living.
 
 

Weds Miss Heldreth

William Ashcraft, the Enterprise man and son of William and Catherine Bailey Ashcraft, first married Phebe Heldreth.  She was a daughter of William and Phebe Glaspell Heldreth. Their marriage took place in 1871 on Teverbaugh  creek, Marion county. She died January 25, 1913 on Bingamon creek and was buried in the Heldreth cemetery.

After his first marriage the Enterprise man lived on his 75 acre farm on Bingamon creek until twelve years ago when he moved to purchased property in West Enterprise where he now resides. A gas well was drilled on his farm. Farming was his life pursuit.

The first child Laura May, was married to Marshall Jett, son of Frederick Jett. They live on the home place on Bingamon creek. They are the parents of Estella Marie, Willa, Laura Phebe, Charles, Lloyd Findley, Pearl and Elizabeth.

Of this family Estella, born September 26, 1898 in Marion county, and was married March 24, 1917, to Archie B. Ashcraft, a son of John and Ermine Watson Ashcraft, at Oakland, Md. Archie B. was born May 6, 1897. Their three children were all born in Harrison county, and are Archie B., born December 20, 1917; John Marshall, born May 2, 1919; and Robert Gail, September 1, 1920. Mr. and Mrs. Archie B. Ashcraft live at Owings, where he is a coal miner.

Willa, the second member of the family of the Enterprise man, is the wife of Rex Henderson, of Fairmont, who is identified with a factory there. They have three small sons , Charles, Richard and a younger one.

Miss Laura Phebe Ashcraft; third member of the parental family, is a resident of Fairmont.
 
 

Fourth and Fifth Members

Charles, the fourth member, is a Bingamon creek farmer. He married Lena Keefer, a daughter of the Rev. John Keefer, a Methodist Protestant. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ashcraft have a son, John Marshall, six months old.

Lloyd Findley Ashcraft, of Peora, is the fifth member of their family. His first wife, the former Pearl Martin, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Martin, died fourteen years ago. They were the parents of two children, Virgil, who died at the age of 12 years; and Nellie, wife of Harvey Wright, of Peora, son of Nathan and a gas company employee.  Mr. and Mrs. Wright have two children, Junior and Victor. Lloyd Findley Ashcraft’s second wife is the former Freda Harbert, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bennett Harbert. He is a farmer and carpenter.

Pearl Ashcraft, sixth member of the family of William Ashcraft, became the wife of John Vincent, a son of Stephen Vincent. He is deceased. He was identified with the mining industry a number of years. His widow lives on Little Bingamon creek. Mr. and Mrs. Vincent became the parents of six sons and daughters, Ensel, Garrett, Carl, Ruth, Alma and Iva.

Ensel Vincent, Little Bingamon creek farmer and miner, married Thelma Miller, a daughter of Joseph Miller. Their children are; Richard 3, and Nettie June 2.

Iva Vincent became the wife of Carl Carpenter who is a gas station supervisor at Peora. They have two children.
Garrett, Carl, Ruth and Alma are all single and live at home.

Elizabeth Ashcraft, the youngest member of William Ashcraft’s family is the wife of Charles Strum, of Little Bingamon creek, son of  Harry Strum, and is a farmer and oil and gas well driller. They have two children, Forrest, 18; and Genevieve, 16.
 
 

Moves to Wetzel

When William Ashcraft, of Enterprise, was a mere baby his father sold his farm on Bingamon creek and moved to one he had purchased in Wetzel county near the Harrison county boundary line, and lived there until he died.
 
 

Cleared Large Tract

The Enterprise man says he has cleared at least 200 acres on the Wetzel county farms of his father and others, often working out for hire, making the woodland ready for log rolling and burning. It was not uncommon for him, he says, to cut down virgin trees and split 200 rails a day. He was a good cradler, none better he explains, and cited one day’s work, when he not only cut bur also gripped seventy-five dozens of wheat sheaves, explaining that thin wheat fields do not permit swathing and it was therefore, necessary to take the cut wheat off the cradle by hand. This occurred on a hillside, where it was difficult to cradle.

“Not many men in Wetzel, Doddridge or Harrison county could outstrip me in the wheat fields in those days.” He added
A lot of clearing was done by him in the summer time, he declares, and the work took on the nature of an inferno but never fazed him. It mattered not to him whether the weather was frigid or hot as he felled trees, felled and made ready for rolling and burning the giant logs which dominated the forests of that period in his life.

Ashcraft recalls that when the family moved to Wetzel county, it first occupied a small log hut of only one room, eighteen by twenty feet, in the 250 acre wilderness his father had acquired, although there were six or eight in the family. There were three large beds for the older members of the family and trundle beds for the younger.
 
 

Pioneer Cabin

The pioneer cabin is a part of the present two-story house, which his father erected later and which is now occupied by Broze Starkey. There was an old fashioned forked fire place, and cooking utensils were still primitive. Wood was used for fuel. The old cabin was built of fine yellow poplar logs hewed and so placed as to give a facing of from fifteen to eighteen inches.

Although wild game was plentiful and the country abounded in deer, other than shoot squirrels, Mr. Ashcraft did little hunting, not being so inclined, he says, and never killed a deer, although lots of them were slain in Wetzel county. There were numerous wildcats.

“The country was so wild that the inhabitants kept no curb on the hogs,” he recalls, ‘and whenever we needed pork we simply went to the woods and slew the first hog we came to, if it seemed fat enough, and most of them were in fine condition in the late fall, as mast was plentiful, many of them grew wild, and we had to use due caution against vicious attacks. The woods were full of hogs and there was enough for all.

Many an hour the aged man spent at the old “Billy” Shaver gristmill near Wallace, five miles from the Ashcraft home. The grist was usually packed on a horse, and as it took two hours to grind a bushel of corn at the old horsepower mill there was ample time for rest and sport. It took longer to grind wheat as it had to be bolted after it had gone through the corn mill. The bolting was done in a mill turned by hand.
 
 

Recalls Using Oxen

“The timber we destroyed so as to have ground to grow grain grass and the like that we might live was the finest on earth,” the venerable man asserts. “ We had no market for it and what we were able to use went up in flames. The timber destroyed then, if now available, would be worth more than the entire assessed valuation of Wetzel county. It consisted mainly of giant poplar, oak and walnut.”

Ashcraft recalls that oxen were used in snaking logs on the clearing so that they could be rolled and burned.

In winter, when snow covered the ground most of the time, sleds with boxes built on for seating were used for travel, and the old Yankee jumper with the rider astride was a real treat. The roads were little more than bridle paths for a long time after the family went to Wetzel county, he remembers, and it took a long time to get anywhere-even an entire day to mill and back.
The Enterprise resident remembers when Wesley Robinson’s was the only store in Wallace. The family did it’s trading there, exchanging produce and grain for merchandise. The Methodist Episcopal church there served the spiritual needs of the whole country for miles around, as well as the old Smith Baptist church below Wallace, to which he still belongs. He joined the church when he was 17 years old under the pastorate of the late Rev. Tilghman Kemper.

Unswerving in political belief, Ashcraft never fails to vote the Republican ticket, although many members of the other branches of the family are Democrats.
 
 

Eyesight Good

User of tobacco since 20 years old, he says he feel no perceptible injurious effects arising from the habit and finds the weed a great comfort in old age.

Using glasses the last ten years only when reading, he has no complaint to make about his eyesight, and if he did not have rheumatism he would be in fine physical shape for one of his advanced age. He still has a fine appetite. He looks after his garden.
In reminiscent mood, he is an easy talker, as youthful members of the family learned when they fathered ar his home to celebrate his last birthday anniversary and were entertained with some “tall stories”, they thought as they seemed so incredible in these modern times.

 

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