Daily the tides of life go ebbing and flowing beside them,
Many the throbbing hearts, theirs are at rest forever,
Many the aching brains, theirs are no longer busy,labors,
Many the weary feet, theirs have completed their journey.
In the year 1808, the first grave was made in the beautiful Ripley Burying-ground, under the shade of the spreading beeches.
Four years earlier, William Parsons, one of the very earliest pioneers of Jackson County, dissatisfied with the rapidly increasing population of the settlements along the Ohio River, and the growing scarcity of game, abandoned his primitive residence at the mouth of Mill Creek, a residence partly pole cabin, partly sycamore tree, and pushed back into the tangled wilderness, locating at the junction of Mill Creek and Sycamore, some twelve miles from the river.
He reared his humble home on the rich, alluvial bottom on the bank of the main creek, just above the mouth of Sycamore, cleared a small tract sufficient to raise corn for his bread and flax for his clothing.
He kept several dogs and the chase furnished meat for his table and skins for bedding and clothing as well as occupation and recreation.
Chasing the bear and stalking the deer filled in the measure left vacant by the treaty of Greenville, for Parsons had been one of the Scouts enlisted by the Virginian Government, during the troublesome days of the border wars. "Spies" was the name given them and their business was to watch the movements of marauding bands or Indians and defend the settlements from their attacks.
His wife was a Fink, from Fink's Run on the Buckhannon River, probably both were from Horse Shoe Bend of Cheat River originally.
In 1808, his wife died and was buried on a little flat in a grove of thrifty young beech trees, beyond the wide plateau and up a little among the foothills. There is no monument and probably the site of the grave is unknown, but it served to consecrate the spot as a burial ground and as the swift years rolled away, another and yet another grave was added with increasing frequency as the colony became more populous.
The site of the cemetery is about one fourth of a mile up Sycamore on the right hand side and a little back from the creek.
A brook comes down by it, from the hills, crossing the Ravenswood and Ripley Pike, under an ancient bridge, and this brook is known as Greens Run, from the execution of a man named Green.
The Ripley Graveyard lies on the lower slope of the hill and comprises a little flat extending across the point, a gentle slope below, reaching down to the brow of a smart declivity and a steeper hillside above, which borders on the highway. The northern side of the flat and lower slope constitute the old graveyard to which was added later, a half acre or more on the southern and eastern sides; and yet, more recently, a strip three rods wide on the south. In this last addition was buried George J. Walker, in eighteen and other graves and been made there since that date, but this annex is too steep to be suitable for burying purposes and to make matters worse, slopes to the west so the foot of the grave is higher than the head. This same objection applies to the eastern side of the graveyard proper, except a part of the northeast corner, where the flat runs around nearer level.
It is fenced around partly with plank and partly with iron palings and the Walker Annex is separated by a board fence.
The northern side is shaded by magnificent spreading beeches, a part of the forest primeval, whose trunks are scarred with rudely carved names and dates, probably reaching back seventy-five, eighty and ninety years, but all the older ones and "grown off" and become illegible.
I know of no prettier buiral place in the county, or indeed anywhere, although there are many having a finer location, but lack alas, the trees and shade.
On nearly an acre and a quarter of land, I counted more than forty-five large trees. There were beech, elm, ash, sycamore, oaks and one pine.
The sycamores and ashes are eight to twelve inches in diameter and grow mostly in the southern or new part of the cemetery.
I have frequently visited this hallowed spot and delight to ramble among its shady solitudes.
One evening in November, 1894, Mr Peden of Beatty's Run, and myself, spent an hour in wandering through its silent walks.
In August, 1904, I visited it again, finding the Sexton, an old Frenchman named Fleau (Fla-o) at work, putting a new base rock to a small headstone.
He was very communicative, but talked with such a burr, I found it difficult to understand him. His speech was quite broken, but had no suggestion of the nasal twang, supposed to belong to the French people.
He said he was born in France, came to New York in 1852, stayed there one year and then came to Jackson County.
I came again on the seventeenth of September and spent some time among the graves copying many of the inscriptions and making note of the tombstones and monuments.
I tried to get the dates of all the older graves as well as those of the pioneers and old people who had been buried in more recent years.
Most of the earlier graves are marked with simple flagstones, sometimes with letters and dates rudely chiseled on them or with elaborately carved headstones of dressed sandstone, many of which looked quite well and, to my mind, more becoming than costly marble and granite monuments. Some have no mark whatever and the eye can scarcely trace their shadowy outlines under the trees.
Again, there is another class of simple marble slabs, weather stained and grey, which have lost the cold, glaring whiteness of new marble, and lastly, the more imposing monuments, which have become fashionable since the opening of the railroad to Ripley in 1891.
As before stated, the first grave was that of Mrs. William Parsons.
The second is marked by a low flagstone marked "P.S. 1821". Near it, a similar stone isrked "M.S. 1822" and yet another "C.S. March 12, 1829".
These are all short graves and are occupied by children or possibly grand children of Jacob Starcher.
The next settler in this silent sleeping place, was a young Methodist Preacher, who was drowned in 1830 in trying to ford the creek, where the Harpold Bridge now stands, two miles above town. His body was found, caught in some drift lower down the creek and his faithful horse, standing by the ford, waiting for his master's return.
The unfortunate young man's name was Harry Ripley and he had his marriage license in his pocket at the time of his death. The neighborhood was so impressed with this sad occurrence that when next year, the county seat was laid out, it was given the name of Ripley in honor of the young minister.
Jacob Starcher, who bought the Parsons' farm about 1812, may justly be called the "father of Ripley". He was long, one of the leading citizens of the vicinity, but he has been slumbering under the leafy beech trees almost as many years as his age when laid by loving hands in their shadows.
Here, he plowed and he sowed, he reaped and he mowed and he hunted the deer, bear and other wild game, when those who are hoary with the frosts of many winters were yet unborn. I sat in the pleasant shade on the porch of the Hotel Hassler, facing the Court House and tried to call up the picture of the old man, following his wooden turnplow or old shovel, back and forth across the public square, the thronging streets and the busy blocks beyond; clad in homespun flax or buckshin, hunting shirt, breeches and moccasins, while his horses harness was made of cornshucks, rawhide and bark.
He died on the seventh of January 1838 at the age of seventy years, his wife Annie Starcher, nine years his junior, lived to the same age, dying nine years later and was laid by his side.
Annie Starcher, born January 3, 1777, died July 8, 1847, aged seventy years and six months.
Of their children, who are buried here, Abraham Starcher was born May 21, 1800 and died October 15, 1871, aged seventy-one years and four months.
His wife, Margaret Evans Starcher, born March 27, 1798 and died August 20, 1852, aged fifty-four years and four months.
Abraham Starcher's wife was Margaret Evans, a daughter of Squire Evans, who lived on Mill Creek below Ripley, where town of Evans is now located.
Mark Starcher, who was a soldier in the Union Army, and over whose grave waves a bleached and faded Union flag planted there on Decoration day, was born in 1822 and died March 27, 1867.
His wife, Mary (Williamson) Starcher, who is buried at his side, died in November 1890, aged 70 years and five months. He was Abraham's son.
Daniel Starcher, son of Abraham, died July 27, 1846, aged twenty one years five months. He was never married.
William Starcher was a son of Jacob and brother of Abraham. He died January 19, 1872, aged sixty-two years seven months. He married an Evans. His son, Robert Startcher, was the father of the Starcher Brothers who were in the store on the corner, in Ripley.
There is a James Starcher, who died March 1862, aged thirty-eight years ten months. His wife, Mary, died in 1870, aged seventy, if I made no mistake in copying the inscriptions.
Jacob Starcher, Jr, died July 27, 1857, aged sixty-two years two months. The tall marble slab belonging to this grave was down and broken in twain. He was brobably a brother of Abraham.
John C. Starcher, born October 9, 1796, died Sept. 8, 1851.
R.E. Starcher, born September 2, 1827.
Fanny Starcher, born January 3, 1777, died July 8, 1847.
Jacob Starcher Sr's wife was a half sister to Hannah (Staats) Ables and a daughter of Abraham Staats. Her mother is said, by some, to have been a Flesher.
There is, in the Starcher row in the northwest corner of the graveyard, two graves of sons of J.A. and J.E. Maginty. William, who died at nineteen and B.R., who died at twenty-three. One or both died in 1852 and they may have been relatives of the Starchers.
Sarah, wife of William Starcher, died January 6, 1883, aged eighty years ten months.
Ann, daughter of William and Sarah Starcher, died in 1856, aged sixteen years.
Priscilla, daughter of William and Sarah Starcher, died in 1857, aged twenty-eight years, eleven months.
Another pioneer, who lies resting beneath one of the beech trees of the Ripley graveyard, is William Bonnet, who settled on Mill Creek, one and a half miles above town before 1816. How long before, I have not been able to ascertain. He came from Hacker's Creek. William Bonnet was born September 14, 1774 and died July 10, 1858 aged eighty-three years seven months. He was famous for his physical strenght. He married a sister of John Harpold, who settled by him on Mill Creek several years later. His wife, Barbara (Harpold) Bonnet was born February 3, 1784, and died August 20, 1867, aged eighty-three years and six months. Like Jacob Starcher's wife, she lived to nearly the same age of her husband, when he died.
Barbara Bonnet was a very tall woman. They had several children, one of whom was named Matilda and she married a Craig. She did not live long, dying in 1859, in her twenty-third year. Matilda, her father and mother, lie side by side on the left of the path in the central part of the graveyard.
Martha Turner, widow of Thomas Turner, died March 22, 1886, in her ninetieth year.
Benjamin Wright, son of Benjamin Wright, Sr. the pioneer miller of Jackson County, the first clerk of the County Court of Jackson County, died October 1875 at the age of seventy-two years eight months, and was buried in the central part of the graveyard.
His son, E.B.Wright, commonly known as "Bib" Wright and Elizabeth A. Wright, who died May 21, 1871, aged thirty-two years four months. E.B died at the age of eixty-eight years, about 1899.
Upon the death of Jacob Starcher in 1838, that part of the Parsons farm, which he still possessed, including the house and orchard at the mouth of Scyamore, was sold to Thomas Graham of Mineral Wells, Wood County. Graham was an Irishman by birth and a soldier of the War of 1812. He returned, I think, to Wood County and died at the advanced age of ninety-six years and six months.
Some of his children are buried at Ripley. Elen E. Graham, died February 5, 1849, aged seventeen years. Clermont Graham, and infant son, died July 12, 1846 at one year and one month of age.
Viola Vail, daughter of Isaiah and Louisa (Graham) Vail, his grand child, died in 1850 when a year old, and Sarah Vail, her sister died in 1875, at the age of twenty years. These also rest in the central part of the burying ground.
Stephen Straley, who moved on to the Ables Farm on Sycamore, from Hacker's creek, was born February 4, 1806 and died July 8, 1885, aged seventy-nine years five months. Mary Straley, his "gude wife" who sleeps by his side, was born May 22, 1815, and died March 2, 1879. Their sons, William, deceased July 30, 1865 at twenty-five years of age and George L. Straley, died April 1866 at the age of twenty years are also buried with them. These are in the nothern quarter.
Moses Doolittle was born in Morgantown in May, 1802 and died at Ripley, July 2, 1877, aged seventy-five years one month.
Susan Seaman Doolittle, his wife was born May 3, 1801, in Monongalia County. She was the daughter of David and Elizabeth (Bord) Seaman and they lived a while on Reedy and at a later date on Mill Creek, at what is known as the old Wiblin Place. The family record says she was born May 3, 1799 and died January 12, 1878.
Keziah Cunningham is another old pioneer, whose ashes rest peacefully under the beech shade of the Ripley burying ground. She was the mother of Joel and James Cunningham, and departed this life February 26, 1853 at the age of eighty-six years.
At the grave is a sandstone slab with flower design carved on it. Her maden name was Keziah Barnet. There is, by the side of Grandmother Cunningham, a nameless grave. I do not know whether it be one of her family or not. Possibly it is her husband, James Cunningham, who lived and raised his family in Pendleton County.
Leola Bell, daughter of B.R. (Roth) and M.J. Cunningham, died in 1869.
John D. Keeney, a Methodist Preacher and one of the first settlers of the middle fork of Reedy, where he made the first improvement on the Deems place, and his wife, Rachel, daughter of William Burdett are buried here. John D. Keeney, died June 10, 1855 in his sixty-sixth year and Rachel Keeney died September 11, 1861 in her sixty eighth year.
Another monument informs the reader that Charlotte, wife of M. D. Armstrong, died May 10, 1879 at the age of fifty-six years and six months.
William L. Bird, Attorney At Law, died on May 19, 1850 at the age of twenty-five. The above inscription looks rather odd, somewhat like a business card or advertisement.
Another curious inscription is that on the headstone of another lawyer, Lys Flesher, a son of Andrew Flesher, which inform the world that Ulysses W. Flesher was born January 28, 1831. Graduated at the Ohio University in 1851. Admitted to the bar in 1853. Died August 4, 1869.
John B. Moyle was born August 2, 1806 and died April 6, 1896 aged eighty-nine years eight months. "He was a pioneer and died at Anderson's Hotel. He was a 'Squire Murrill' and was connected with land matters in Jackson County".
An old gray weatherbeaten headstone bears the inscription: "Here lies the body of Harriet Wetzel, wife of John Wetzel, born December 12, 1817 and died the seventh of March 1845".
This woman was one of the Lowther family of Harrison County. Col. Robert Lowther came from Harrison County to Ripley. He was the father of Harriet Wetzell and Minerva Smith. Robert Lowther died April 22, 1856, aged sixty years ten months. Born March 24, 1795, his wife Mary Lowther died in July 1851 at the age of fifty-nine years seven months. By them rests E.D. Lowther, born 1830 and died 1897 and on his grave was the flag of the Union. Harriet Lowther Wetzell, was the first wife of John H. Wetzell, who, it is claimed, was a grandson of one of Lewis Wetzell's brothers. Hon. Robert Wetzell of Ravenswood is their son. Robert Lowther was Postmaster at Ripley for several years. Major Henry Harpold's wife, Judge Joseph Smith's wife, Mrs. Wetzell, Andrew and "Dunk" (E.D.) Lowther were his children. He was a member of the Ripley bar in 1831 and helped in laying off the town.
Toward the northeastern corner of the graveyard, some of the Ables family are buried, but I do not have any of the dates.
Martin Ables was the first settler at the Straley Farm on Sycamore. His sons, Jacob and Martin, came with him when he moved from Greene County, Pennsylvania. His son, Alec Ables married Hannah, daughter of Abram and Sarah (Tilghman) Staats and lived a while at the mouth of Sycamore and afterwards at the Greer farm on Sycamore where William Carney now resides, and his daughter, Margaret married William Staats and lived on Sycamore.
William G. Ayers came from Pocahontas County to Ripley. He died March 23, 1848, aged forty-seven years nine months. Phebe J. Ayers, his wife, died January 18, 1850 aged twenty-five years eleven months. (This was probably his second wife.) John Ayres, son of W.G. died in 1857, aged twenty-four. Twin daughters of W.G. and J. Ayers died 1848, infants. "Grig" Ayers, father of Will was probably son of W.G. Ayers. J.L. Armstrong, who was born in Lewis county in 1829 and married an Ayers. He came to Ripley in 1849. James Armstrong, died November 28, 1879 in his seventy-sixth year.
John Harper came with the Ayers family and is said to be related in some way. He is said to have been an old bachelor and rich. "Bill" and "Jim" Harper were his brothers. The Harpers are said to have owned the White Sulpher Springs at one time. John Harper died September 30, 1852 aged fifty years. James P. Harper died January 15, 1865 aged sixty-one years.
Another informant, Mary Rader, said that old John Harper made the first improvement on the Abe Rader farm, near Centennial. That Abe Rader went with his father to Harpers for a yoke of cattle about 1825. The bottoms were then all in heavy timber. Rader bought the farm of Bill Harper, who got it from John, his father.
John C. Richardson was a Baptist Preacher and built up the Baptist Church in Ripley. He lived in Spottsylvania County during the war, came to Ripley about 1873 and lived most of the time in town. Before his death he moved into a house in the cove, near where Isaac Spears lives. He died March 1889, at the age of sixty-two and is buried at Ripley. By him, lie his sons, James Richardson, who died in 1875 at the age of twenty-one and William Richardson who died in 1877 at the age of twenty-six.
Minerva J. wife of J.C. Wolfe, born May 15, 1823, died June 12, 1852. John M. son of J.C. and M.J. Wofe died 1861. Martha J. daughter of J.C. and M.J. Wolfe, died in 1847, an infant.
Eliza, wife of J.G. Kapp was born in 1842 and died 1877. She was a daughter of Geo. Landfried.
John Rice died September 19, 1852, aged twenty-one.
Philip Landfried died in 1904 and was buried in the old graveyard, He was born in Germany seventy-five years ago and came to this section within his nineteenth year. H was born August 9, 1829.
Robert R. Riley, a son of Matson Riley, was born in Wood County, Virginia, March 21, 1812 and came to Jackson County in 1832. He engaged in teaching school. His brothers John and Amos were also teachers. Later, he married Elizabeth, daugher of Peter Cleek, who lived on Mill Creek, just above Ripley. They are buried in the Ripley Graveyard. Rebecca, daugher of R.R. and E. Riley, died November 14, 1839 at the age of eight months. Nancy A. daughter of R.R. and E. Riley, died August 15, 1852, age nine months. Caroline J. daughter of R.R. and E. Riley died September 29, 1849, aged one year and ten months. Also, an infant son died June 30, 1852 at fifteen days old. The Rileys are buried on the flat under the beech tree in the center of the graveyard.
Tabitha, daughter of Jacob Staats, and wife of Joseph H. Bowland, died September 12, 1845 at the age of twenty-one years, eleven months. Had she lived until the seventeenth, five days longer, she would have been twenty-two years old. Her birthday was September 17, 1823. The tombstone is a sandstone rock and is badly split and shelled off.
In the northwest corner, under some beech trees are two moss-grown, weather beatern marble slabs, about three and a half feet high, eighteen inches wide and two and a half inches thick. One of which is removed from the grave and leaning against a tree, it bears the figure of a weeping willow and below it the inscription "John G. Starcher, born October 9, 1796 died Sept. 8, 1851." The other is at the head of a grave, the top of it is a sunken space on which, in relief is the figure of a rose. The inscription is "Mary Ann, daughter of J. And G. Starcher, born May 22, 1820, died August 22, 1837. Her age was seventeen years and three months." Taken away in the bloom of youth, there are passing few of her playmates living, and a child born when she was laid to rest under the old beech tree would now be old. In the same row are the graves of the Starcher children, P.S. Starcher 1821 and M.S. Starcher, 1822. Squire Robert E. Starcher, died March 11, 1904 aged seventy-four years. He was a son of William Starcher and grandson of Jacob.
F. Leon Clerc was born at Motiers, Switzerland, October 26, 1845 and died February 6, 1886. He married Mary, daughter of George Smith. Nehemiah Smith, December 14, 1805 and died April 28, 1859. Rachel, wife of N. Smith, December 21, 1805 and died February 15, 1865.
On a sandstone slab, four feet high, sixteen inches wife and three inches thick, which is in a perfect state of preservation, is this legend, nicely carved: "Catharine, wife of John D. Riley, died April 1832 aged twenty years."
Another slab of sandstone, somewhat smaller is inscribed "On Memory of Elizabeth R. King, Was born December the 6th, 1823 and died November the 30, 1835. Query, who was she"?
There are many costly and showy monuments in the graveyard. Among the finest, is the Armstrong monument in the upper central part of the rounds and that of F. Leon Clerc, who was born in Switzerland, in the southeast quarter.
There were several flags planted on graves in different parts of the graveyard, showing the loyalty of those who sleep beneath.
There are two Armstrong families represented in the cemetery. The rounder of the one was James Armstrong, born in 1804, died Novembert 28, 1879, in his seventy-sixth year. His wife was Catharine Weas Armstrong, born 1812 and died 1900. Judge V.S. Armstrong is their son.
Jacob L. Armstrong was a son of John J.P. Armstrong, a prominent business man of Jackson County. He was born in Lewis County, July 24, 1827, came to Jackson County with his parents in 1841 and died a this home in Ravenswood, November 6, 1901. His wife, Eliza J. Ayres Armstrong was born January 29, 1834 and died September 13, 1880. William H. Armstrong died June 29, 1846 in his twenty-fifth year. (Presumably a son of John J.P. Armstrong) Calvin Armstrong died December 21, 1872 in his seventy-second year.
Col. F.R. Hassier of the Thirteenth New York Artillery, died December 9, 1892, aged fifty-one.
George J. Walker died September 1, 1899, aged sixty-nine.
Joseph Smith was born October 2, 1816, died Nov. 24, 1888. Minerva Smith, was born September 26, 1823 and died August 11, 1901.
James Greer died March 15, 1877, aged sixty years.
Robert McGuire was a native of Ireland, so his tombstone proclaims and died December 16, 1878 aged forty-nine years.
Benjamin Rollins died September 2, 1893 in his eighty-sixth year. Phebe Cunningham Rollins, his wife, was a sister of Joel and James Cunningham. She was born October 16, 1810 and died August 23, 1882. Rollins kept hotel many years at the Anderson stand.
Adam Landfried, born December 15, 1785 died December 10, 1871. Charlotte, wife of Adam Landfried, born January 18, 1791 and died February 6, 1867. They were probably parents of Philip.
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The Harpold Graveyard
Above thy grave the robin sings.
And swarms of bright happy things
Flit all about on happy wings>br> The violets on the hillside toss
The Gravestone is overgrown with moss.
The heart of Jackson County lies in the Mill Creek Valley, extending for a space of four milies along the creek, beginning at the mouth of Sycamore and reaching to the forks of the Creek.
There are wide and fertile bottoms in which could be laid off a fair sized farm and scarcely trench upon the slopes of the hillsides.
The creek enlarged in volume by the union of Trace and Tug Forks, sweeps grandly on in a series of bends and turns, hugging first the foot of one hill, and again, the other, crossing the valley almost at right angles and leaving great bodies of bottom lands first on one hand and then on the other.
How fine it has looked when still standing thick with an unbroken forest. The majestic oaks and poplars rearing their stately columns skyward and mingling their boughs in thick canopy a hundred feet above the leaf strewn ground. While beech and rock maple, elm, and shellbarks with trunks scarcely less imposing, grow thick everywhere and sycamores of every dimension from the symmetrical sapling, no more than a few spans in girth to the immense giants in whose hollow base, men may find shelter, spread their gnarled white arms and toss their myriad balls by the water side.
Deer, bears, buffaloes, wolves, panther and all the smaller animals of the forest were once here in abundance, and wild fruits and nuts to be had for the gathering.
Into this sylvan paradise came the hardy pioneer, and fast on his trail followed that grim enemy of all life, the pale horse and his rider. Making it necessary to set apart a spot as the last resting place of those who wee stricken down.
Perhaps a fourth of a mile forr the first ford above Ripley, the long southern ridge, as if weary of the perpetual swirl and rush of the water swerves, sharply to the left and throws an arm of cliff and rock and woods, halfway across the valley in a seeming attempt to close the outlet and dam back the flowing waters, were such the case, however, it proved a monumental failure, as the valley itself curved into the opposite hill and the stream ran frothing, fretting and gnawing along the base of the cliff at the upper side of this point, crossing to the far side of the valley, only to return from its grand sweep by the ford, now spanned by a neat bridge.
The arm thus thrust into the valley, is longest up and down the creek and is connected with the hills by a narrow neck of land, which sinks into a gap of perhaps one-half the altitude of the end of the point and through this low gap, crosses the public road on an easy grade.
A wild and picturesque spot is the eastern and nothern sides of this little hill as I saw it through the mellow haze of the September sunlight. In places, the face of the hill is a sheer cliff, fringed with bushes and trailing with vines and again, a steep, shelving, rocky slope planted thickly by the generous hand of nature with forest trees, it copses festooned with grapevines, wild woodbine and ivy.
The western end of the elevation is fairly level on top and is a beautiful grove that slopes down towards the road on the southwest stands the Mount Calvary, M.P. Church, which, had it a new coat of paint, would be a beautiful and appropriate sanctuary.
The eastern end of the little plateau has been consecrated as a resting place for the departed and beneath its turf, sleeping the last sleep, that knows no waking, repose the remains of some of the earliest pioneers of Mill Creek Valley.
The surface of the ground rolls very slightly every way from the center and, if it had the shade and attention of the Ripley burying ground, would be an ideal cemetery.
The trees have been cut away and the lot has been grown over in places with weeds and briars, through which the headstones appear to be struggling to assert themselves and carry their mesage of remembrance to the passing visitor, when visiting this place in September, I found it enclosed with a neat iron fence.
John Harpold died March 28, 1871, aged eighty-two years six months. So reads the inscription on one of the tombstones, a stone volume giving the bare outlines of the life of one of Mill Creeks first pioneers. This much will be remembered while the stone last. "John Harpold was, and again, he was not, and the time of the beginning and the duration of this days." This much and no more, the headstone tells us, unless there be some verse of eulogy which I did not copy. Then, we know from the presence of the stone that here is the spot where his bdy was laid away when life had fled. Another stone standing at the head of another mound and bearing the legend: "Rachel, wife of John Harpold, died January 18, 1868 aged seventy-seven years one month," tells us that he was a married man and that he walked three years alone and then lay down by the side of his companion in sight of the spot, where together, they fought the battle of life.
A simple calculation and we may know that John Harpold was born on the first day of September 1788. An obituary notice makes it November 2, 1788. Rachel Harpold was born January 12, 1791. Only this and nothing more.
One might study these marbles for ages and they would not give up any more of the history of these hardy pioneers. Ancestry, place of birth, date of marriage, time of settlement in this beautiful valley in an unbroken wilderness, the joys and hopes and fears,the opening up of the farm, the raising of the family who grew up under the parent roof tree and like full fledged nestlings, scattered to find homes of their own. These and myriad other things, which go to make up that mystery of mysteries, we call life, they offer not the slightest suggestion. The farm, itself, with its wide acres of bottom land and hills and coves wrested from the dominion of the forst and brought into use as pasturage for flock and herd, is a noble and fitting monument of the pioneer days, of the mind that planned and hands that wrought. But this, speaking eloquently, as it does of the how and the why and more faintly of the where, is mute and dumb as regards the who.
Even the family traditions are fast fading and in a few more generations, when the headstones have passed away, the names of John and Rachel Harpold will have passed into oblivion as have those of their ancestors of a few generations back. Such is the mutability of time and the press of the busy life of toda. Few have time or disposition to give more than a passing thought for a by-gone people.
John Harpold, it is said, came to this part of Mason County in 1808 or 1809, when there were but six families on Mill Creek. If this be correct, Benjamin Wright at Cottageville was one, William Parsons at Ripley another and Daniel Sayre on the Flats of Mill Creek, probably a third and Abraham Staats of the same vicinity, a fourth.
The names of John Harpold's parents, where they lived and whether they moved to Mill Creek, I have been unable to ascertain. We know of four of their children, John, who married Rachel Sayre on Mill Creek; Solomon, who married Malinda Shinn, an Aunt of George Shinn; Adam, who lived in Ohio; and Barbara, who married William Bonnet.
When Harpold located at the ford, which is called two miles above Ripley, I can not tell, but it was not later than 1830, probably several year earlier.
He bought his land, or one hundred fifty acres of it, from his brother-in-law, who owned all the valley, from the Parsons Farm to Carney's. Bonnet sold farms to Peter Cleek, Flesher, Acree and Harpold. A part, if not all, of Bonnet farm belonged to the Thomas Adams survey. Rachel Harpold was a daughter of David Sayre, who moved to Warth's Bottom from Greene County, Pennsylvania in 1801. A part of the house still standing, above the bridge at the Harpold Ford was built by John Harpold.
Levi Casto is another resident of this old neglected burying ground. He was a son of Willam Casto. Levi was born on the Buckhannon River, April 2, 1808 and died January 27, 1880 at the age of seventy-one years nine months. He married first, Sarah Wright nee Woodruff, widow of Daniel Wright, second Hannah Carney. He lived in the bend back of the graveyard and owned one of the finest farms in Jackson County. He raised a large family, seven sons and one daughter. If his wives are buried here, which is likely, either their graves are not marked, or I, in some unaccountable way, missed getting the inscriptions. Hannah Casto, his wife, died January 22, 1891, aged seventy-seven years, five months.
Thomas Bord was a son of Patrick Bord and came with them to Reedy in 1815, when he was about four years old. He was born about 1811, and died August 18, 1869, at the age of fifty-seven years, nine months. He married Sarah Harpold, daughter of John and Rachel Sayre Harpold, who was born November 23, 1811, and died March 22, 1883, aged seventy-two years three months. They lived on the Keenan Farm on the Trace Fork of Mill Creek, and had three sons and one daughter. Thomas Bord was something of a genius, a skillful gunsmith, and there is a story extant that he made a flying machine, with which he started from the top of one of the neighboring hill and soared majestically over Ripley, but unfortunately his machine broke. Bord could not speak plain, and from a habit of concluding his remarks with the phrase, "That's a fact." was generally known as "Fact" Tom or "Fact Sure" Tom, which served to distinguish him from his brother Joe Bord's son, Tom.
About 1850 or later, Nancy Vandyne, a widow from Botetourt County, moved to Tug Fork. One of her sons, John Vandyne, was Sheriff of Jackson County in 1861 or during the war. Several of the family sleep in the Harpold graveyard. A badly shelled sandrock with a very neatly engraved eight pointed star bears the inscription: "Sidney C. Vandyne, daughter of John and Jemima Vandyne, born 1840 and died in 1845", a child of course. The dates are given, but I did not copy them. James W., son of J.S. and J. Vandyne, died 1856. Jemima Vandyne, born 18__, died July 9, 1850. She was the wife of John Vandyne, date of birth probably unknown, J.S. Vandyne, died December 28, 1855, in his fortieth year. Nancy A,. daughter of J.S. and E. Vandyne, died in 1872, aged nineteen years, nine months. This E. Vandyne was presumably a second wife of J.S. Vandyne. C. and S. Vandyne's children, Martha, died in 1864; George W.S. died 1866. There were Vandynes in Jackson County in 1840.
There is a George Evans, died 1878, at the age of fourteen and Florence Evans died 1878 aged fourteen.
A nicely ornamented sandstone slab in a good state of preservation, informs the visitors that David Wright was born October 11, 1826 and died December 1849 aged twenty-three years and two months.
Jacob Hyre, died August 6, 1854 aged theiry-five years seven months. Erilla D., wife of Jacob Hyre died May 10, 1853 age nineteen years three months. She was born about 1833 or 1834. He was born January 3, 1818.
"In memory of Thomas Carney, Born October 15, 1768 and Departed this Life October 19, 1846, aged seventy-eight years and four days."
A humble flagstone, lost in weeds and briers and leaning forward at an angle, whose degree I will not venture to guess, bears the inscription of which the above is a facsimile. And here, in this little neglected country graveyard, overlooking the picturesque cliff and swift rolling swirl of the rushing waters in easy view of the wide sweep of bottom lands, once his own, the last lines of one of the most eventful lives with which the history of Jackson County ever had to do, were written in by the pen of time and the volume closed. A poor lad walking to the first old field school recorded on the Buckhannon River. Once a scout in company with Jesse Hughes and other hardy frontiersmen, standing as a solid bulwark, a mighty dike of flesh and blood of determination and purpose of indomitable courage and inflexible patriotism, holding back the floods of savage barbarism from the infant settlements west of the mountains. Then, a hardy pioneer, trying to make a living for his young wife and babes, by farming and hunting, yet compelled ever and anon to abandon his cabin and clearing and seek in the nearest block house, shelter from the midnight assault of the wily, prowling foe. An immigrant to the new regions of the west and one of the earliest settlers of the Mill Creek Valley, he participated in all the hardships and vicissitudes, the struggles and triumphs that belong with the log cabin of the pioneer. He then became owner of broad acres, of the best lands in Jackson County, wealthy for the day and time and filling public positions of trust and honor. Pushing again into the back woods where deer, bears and wolves are plentifully common, and anon a pensioner on the bounty of his children on who he had bestowed his lands and means. An old man, the erect form bowed, the eagle eye dimmed and locks frosted with the snows of many more than the three score and ten winters, tottering down to a low mound on this hill top. In all, and every one of these roles, he has fulfilled his mission. In each of these chapters he has accomplished his part. Long and weary roads were threaded, step by step, unto the end.
By the side of Thomas Carney's grave is another mound, equally lowly and equally weed grown and neglected and at its head another flagstone marker equally humble and just as quaintly marked and leaning at such an angle I had to get down on the ground to see its face and read the inscription, which told me that was the resting place of M. Carney, who died December 4, 1863, aged ninety years eleven months and four days. Truly, a ripe old age. Her birth date would be the first day of the year 1773.
Thomas Carney was of Irish Stock and was probably born on the South Branch or at the Horse Shoe Bend of Cheat River. Polly Parsons, his bride, was a daughter of Charles Parsons and a sister of Captain Billy, who first settled Ripley. Tradition says she was married while yet very young.
Near the same spot is the grave of Enoch Carney, born February 16, 1811, died August 10, 1883, aged seventy-two years five months and beside him, his wife, Martha J. Carney, died April 3, 1900 aged seventy-six years.
Other graves are those of Benjamin Rhodes, died January 11, 1900 aged seventy-four and his wife Hannah died September 20, 1895 aged seventy years two months, being born July 4, 1825. By them lies a daughter, Mazilla, born 1853 died 1864.
A marker in the form of a monument, marks the grave of Amanda B. McCoy born 1820 and died 1892, on the reverse side is Joseph B. McCoy, born 1815.
Joseph B. McCoy lives on the Adam Parsons farm at the foot of Salt Lick Hill.
Joseph Seyler, born October 22, 1822 died February 9, 1893, aged seventy years three months and Daniel Seyler, born November 16, 1816 died July 20, 1896 aged seventy-nine years eight months. Joseph and Daniel Seyler lie together, obviously brothers.
Alexander Dewitt died June 1874 aged forty-six years eight months.
In the northeast corner, under the shadow of a large oak tree growing just outside are the graves of Jesse Carney, died July 31, 1879 aged eighty-two years five months. Sarah, wife of Jesse Carney died September 16, 1869, aged seventy-two. Betsey, wife of C. Carney, died November 28, 1867, aged sixty-one years ten months.
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The Mount Olive Graveyard
All was ended now, the hope and the fear and the sorrow,
All the aching of heart, the restless unsatisfied longing,
All the dull, deep pain and the constant anguish of patience.
It was the sixteenth of September 1904, the mellow sunlight lay tenderly and caressingly on the grassy mounds of the Mount Olive burial ground where sleeps the dust of many of the patriarchs of Mill Creek's Pioneer days. The laced filagree of shine and shade, where it fall through the tops of the massive oak trees which grow thickly along the outer boundary shimmered and glanced as the massive boughs swayed in the wind. Giants, they were indeed, in girth, but not in stature, having, like black and red oaks will when growing in the penetrating sunshine in the open, limbed well to the ground and throw their gnarled and many forked branches out laterally to a great distance. I stopped here and fed my horse and rambled for a half hour anyway among the graves.
Some workmen were building a school house just across the road and it was near the noon hour and the men had stopped to prepare their mid-day meal on a stove they had set up under a rude shed under some oak trees. One of them left this important occupation to wander with me through the graveyard, pointing out the different headstones and monuments and the detailing scraps of history from the lives of those who were buried by them. He also showed me bullet holes through the walls of the old grey church, which stood on one corner of the lot, made forty years ago during the War of the Rebellion.
Mount Olive graveyard is twenty-five by thirty-five fence panels and is on a flat on top of a low ridge, sloping very slightly to the east. It lies on the eastern side of the Ripley and Spencer Pike, five miles out from Ripley at the intersection of the Elk Fork Road. It has a board fence on two or three sides at least and there is a fine grove along the roadside and on the school lot opposite. At the junction of the two roads, stands the Mount Olive Southern Methodist Church, built in 1858. A German, named George Wolhaver was one of the builders. Over the door are four holes made by the musket balls of passing soldiers during the war and the building is grey and weather stained. Near it stands a white oak tree, a part of the forest primeval, which was smitten and shattered by lightning a few summers since. There are some costly monuments in the cemetery and a few old fashioned marble or sandstone slabs which, to my mind, are the most appropriate. Many of the graves have no names only a simple flagstone standing the head and foot or perchance not even that. The grounds are well kept for a country burial place, and though all the noise of passing traffic and the shouts of gleeful children turned out of school pass over it, it disturbs not the slumbers of those resting so peacefully here.
In one corner, so near the outer boundaries, as to be in the shade of the oak trees, lying in nameless graves, is a whole family sleeping side by side. "In death, they were not divided."
Leonard King settled on the old King farm, lying on the ridge between Station Camp and Sycamore. A pretty place, indeed flat, glat, but Oh! so poor and all grown up with sassafras and persimmon bushes and over run with dewberry and white briars and all gone to rack and ruin.
Leonard King may have been related to the Wolfes, as his father came with them from Hacker's Creek to Mill Creek in August 1821. He was the son of Francis King, who settled at the mouth of Cow Run. Leonard married Elizabeth Hughes. Her father's name was said to be Bill Hughes and he was probably kin to Jesse.
One headstone near the church reads: "James G. Wolfe, died December 26, 1889 aged sixty-three years ten months and sixteen days and was born February 10, 1826 on Mill Creek, near where his body moulders into dust. He married Lizzie Straley and settled on Station Camp where he lived and died. His widow still lives at the same place with one of her children. She was a daughter of George Straley and born on Hacker's Creek in Lewis County, on the same farm the Fort was on, in December 1825. She said that the ruins of the fort were still to be seen when her father moved away.
James Wolfe, Sr., the father, came to Mill Creek in August 1821 from Hacker's Creek and first settled at the Rader place, below the mouth of Joe's Run, according to one account. Another says at the Charley Shinn place on Station Camp. He soon removed to the first farm below the mouth of Elk, now occupied by Mr. Thomas. There is an old graveyard up on the point of this farm where he and a few others are buried. I am told that there are no tombstones and a part of the graves were plowed over some years ago by the occupant of the farm, but upon consideration he was overcome by a superstitious fear of ghosts and desisted. This James Wolfe was a brother of Jonathan Wolfe, who lived under the rock at Spencer in 1812. His wife was Frances Beath.
Among the other graves at Mount Olive are two children of Jacob and Louise May.
John H. Young, born Sept. 20, 1808 died Sept. 16, 1879, aged seventy years eleven months. Catharine, wife of John H. Young died February 8, 1874, aged sixty-one years. They came to the Koontz farm at the mouth of Elk long enough ago to be old citizens if not pioneers. Monument bears the inscription: William Young, born June 2, 1834, died February 16, 1908. Elizabeth Young, born December 11, 1836.
Sarah Belle, daughter of John and Sarah Matson, died May 19, 1875, aged thirty-one years three months. Mary, wife of N.O. Matson, died June 24, 1895 aged sixty-six years five months. The wife, son and daughter of William Matson.
Rachel Matson Hargrave, wife of John Hargrave, born on Short Creek, Harrison County, July 12, 1842 died near Ripley August 7, 1898 aged fifty-six years and twenty six days. There are the representatives of the Matson family buried here. They lived on the hill east of Ripley.
Ashbel Sheppard, born 1804 died 1885, had two faded Union Flags on his grave, September 1904. His wife, Margaret Sheppard was born at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1811, died 1883. He was born in Orange County, Virginia (or Vermont).
There is one government headstone, inscribed, "John Wimer, Co. I, 15th Pa. Can." Mr. Wymer lived on the Ripley Ridge, perhaps a mile and a half from Mt. Olive and died later.
Cynthia, daughter of W.S. & N. Carpenter, died 1877.
Mary E. wife of M.S. Waybright, born 1842, died 1896.
A daugther of Osborn Rowley, born February 14, 1834.
George W. Rader, his wife and daughter are enclosed in a wall of masonry, near the church. He was a son of Michael Rader, No. 2. Lived on the Charley Shinn Farm and was the first person to sell goods at the Reedy, being Clerk for N. Smith at that place. He was born July 9, 1814 and died September 18, 1868, aged fifty-four years two months. His wife was Nancy Miller, a daughter of Kitts Miller and an Aunt of Judge Warren Miller. The inscriptions are on marble tablets set in the wall at the heads of the graves. The daughter was Mary Sarah A. C. Rader, died October 7, 1859, aged three years six months. Samuel B. Rader, born about 1849 or 50 died 1888 aged thirty eight years seven months. Sarah A., wife of S.B. Rader, died in 1879, aged twenty foru years two months.
Amanda Staats, daughter of Jonathan Hyre, was born 1839 and died 1872. Augustus Hyre was born 1841 died 1861. Elizabeth Hyre born March 31, 1822 died February 1901 nearly seventy nine years old. The latter was wife of Jonathan Hyre. Inscriptions are on the monument of Jonathan Hyre. It is by the side of a long grave and perhaps at end of two small ones, dates not cut on monument.
Jonathan Hyre was a son of Jacob Hyre, who came to Mill Creek in 1815, settling first on the Keenan place, but in two or three years moved farther up the creek. Jonathan Hyre was born March 17, 1812 and died July 10, 1860. Jacob Hyre, Jonathan's father, was born in January 1784. His parents came from Germany. He lived on Hacker's Creek and married a Beath. John A. Hyre, who married Miriam, daughter of James Rader, was a first cousin of Jacob Hyre.
There is a short grave, the head and footstones not more than four and a half feet apart, with inscriptions: Catharine, daughter of L.R. King, died June 15, 1871, aged thirty five years five months.
Michael Rader, II, was the second son of Michael Rader, who settled on Elk Fork about 1816. He located on the Rader farm in the bend of the creek below Joe's Run. He married Catharine Roush of Mason County. He was born February 12, 1788, died March 18, 1867 aged seventy nine years one month. Catharine, wife of Michael Rader was born June 27, 1792 and died July 6, 1886, aged ninety four years. William Rader, born January 27, 1827 and died April 14, 1891, aged sixy four years two months. Mary S. wife of William Rader, born May 11, 1828.
Asher E. Hogsett died April 17, 1891 aged sixty nine years one month. Ellinor, wife of A.E. Hogsett, born September 24, 1818 died May 18, 1880, aged sixty one seven months.
Charles M. Connoway, born January 27, 1819, died February 26, 1895, aged seventy six years, one month. Sarah H. Connoway born October 12, 1834 - no date of death.
In the north east corner, under two spreading black oak trees growing outside the fence, are two humble mounds with rough flag markers on which are rudely carved the letters W.S. and C.P.
O. Rowley was born February 14, 1834. Mary E., wife of O. Rowley was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 30, 1836, died September 9, 1882.
Rachel Matson, wife of John Hargrove born 1848 died 1898.
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The Rader Graveyard
The trees are white with dust, that o'er their sleep
Wave their broad curtains in the south winds breath,
On the sixteenth of September 1904, I made an excursion down Mill Creek and across Salt Hill, for the purpose of collecting material for a projected history of the early days of Jackson County, below the mouth of Joe's Run (which, by the way, was named after one Joe Parsons, a squatter, and father of William Parsons, an eccentric individual who, for obvious reasons bore the some what inelegant name of "Devil Bill".) I met with Mr. Parish, who took a great pleasure in giving me what he had heard of the old history and traditions, mostly the latter, of that neighborhood. Among other things, he told of a pair of old hand mill buhrs to be seen at Tom Raders, and I rode nearly a half mile out of my way to see these. The one I saw was twenty-two inches in diameter and four inches thick and while not a part of a hand mill, nor yet the price of a farm, as the pleasant fiction ran in the tradition, it was a relic of interest having belonged to a horse mill, the first in this section and with it, corn meal had been manufactured, which entered into the composition of Johnny cake and corn dodgers, that were eaten with bear meat and venison, eighty-five or ninety years ago. Now it was reduced to the base use of a door step.
Mrs. Tom Rader was quite a pleasant woman and told me all she knew of the days gone by, and when she found I was aiming for the Rader graveyard at Elk Fork, told of a route across the hill, which not only saved me some two miles travel, but was interesting to trace through the woods and pasture fields, it having been the thoroughfare from one neighborhood to the other in the old pack saddle days, upwards of eighty-file years ago. It led to the top of the hill out the divide a short distance and down a long point down the hillside into a small run and thence to the Creek.
The graveyard was on a little point between two small hollows and sloped sharply to the south. The older graves were at the lower side, the cemetery, which was a private one, having been extended up the hill. It was four by nine rods, fenced with sawed locust posts, three barbed wires and plank at top. It stood out in a field of fifty or one hundred acres which was well sodded with blue grass.
There were many noble trees dotting the hillside around the graveyard, which was small enough to be well shaded by the trees on the outside. At the lower side, the myrtle carpets the ground a foot thick, and in places, thick patches of blood drops have taken complete possession of the ground.
These were the growth of sixty or seventy-five years and had first been planted by loving hands on the grave of some dear one. Now, they still flourish though the graves are, mayhap, no longer traceable; and the mourners and their lost ones are, let us hope, long since reunited, never to be parted again.
Hidden under the blood-drops, which, I must say are a nuisance wherever they are found, save only for the interest which attaches to it as one of the rude flowers with which our grandmothers sought to adorn the yards around thir lowly cabin homes. I found, hiding, a timid little land tortoise or turtle, which has, perhaps made its home here among the graves for several years.
Although the ground is pretty steep for a graveyard, the graves are straight with the hill, and each one in the row is a little higher than its neighbor, as you climb the slope.
The place is probably nearly all occupied, though many of the graves have no markers and probably many are not discernable.
Here are the graves of the Rader family, the original proprietors of vast tracts of land in this vicinity, of their connection and bond-servants, for the Rader family were slave owners in the "good old days"; and of the Smith family, who succeeded to the farm.
There are several imposing monuments, many old fashioned marble headstones, many headstones of flagstone, marked with names and initials, and perhaps as many more without name or date.
Following, I give the names of all whose names are preserved. Among the unknown graves is that of Michael Rader, a Pennsylvania German, who was born in the Shenandoah Valley, March 8, 1751, married to Catherine Long, December 25, 1769. Moved from Greenbrier to Mason County, and to Elk Fork about 1808 or 1809. Catherine Long Rader, date of birth and death unknown.
Macklin Walker was a native of Kanawha County, date of birth unknown. He married Maria, daughter of Joseph Rader, about 1832. He died, where Luke Parsons now lives, in 1844. The house stood nearly where Parsons' barn now stands.
The northeast corner contains the newer graves.
Of the Smith family, there are George W. Smith, who was born August 14, 1814, and died February 19, 1860, at the age of forty-five years and six months. Ann Smith, who was born Ocotber 6, 1810, and died October 20, 1883, being sixty-seven years of age. One of their children, George H. Smith, died the fall of 1860 at the age if fourteen. Nancy Smith, born October 4, 1793, died March 1, 1852. The legend on another monument (this Nancy Smith may have been George W. Smith's mother.) George Smith was born in New York, his father Jonas Smith, born on Long Island, 1787, died in Illinois in 1843. Moved to Point Pleasant in 1820. Nehemiah Smith, once Sheriff of Jackson County and James Smith and one other were his brothers and he had three sisters. He married Anna Staats, a daughter of Jacob Staats in 1839. Her mother was an Evans and her grandfather was Abraham Staats.
Another expensive and showy monument is that at William Clifford, born in 1842 and died in 1879. He was son-in-law of Hart Rader,
Another "outsider" is Sarah, daughter of H.B. and S.E. Bord. Dates not copied. However, she was really a Rader, her mother being Sally (Sarah Elizabeth) daughter of Hart Rader, who was born in 1842 and died in 1875. She married Henry B. Bord, a son of Thomas Bord, called "North Carolina Tom" and brother of Ben Bord. Sally Bord is buried here also. Her name inscribed on the other side of his monument. Then, there is a row of graves inscribed:
Lida F., died October 21, 1876, aged fifteen.
Dora Dove, died 1870, aged twelve.
Ferdinand F., died 1876, aged twelve.
Lena A. died 1861, aged one.
Edmund G. died 1860 aged six.
Mary I. died 1855, aged four.
William C. died 1876, aged nine.
These are the children of Hart Rader and Ruann Wright Rader, his wife. There had been small marble headstones to each grave, but they have, since the building of the railroad, been replaced by one large monument.
John A. Hyre was born December 20, 1812 and died on the 29th of January 1852, aged thirty-nine years one month. His wife, Miriam, daughter of James and Hannah Allen Rader was born August 1, 1816 and died June 4, 1850, aged thirty-three years ten months. Johnny Hyre of Frozen Camp is their son. John A. Hyre was a first cousin of Jacob Hyre.
Doctor John Rader was born November 26, 1810 and died April 15, 1887 aged seventy-six years four months. He married Polly Ruddle and lived o Frozen Camp. Julia D. Rader, daughter of J. and M. Rader died July 12, 1853 aged one year.
William Allen Rader was the oldest child of James Rader, son of Michael. He wa born April 8, 1806 died Junee 23, 1860 aged fifty-four years two months. Everett Rader, a child of W.A. and L.M. Rader died in 1860.
James Rader was a son of Michael Rader. He was born January 28, 1782 and died June 12, 1839 aged fifty-seven years four months. Hannah Allen Rader (Hannah G, on tombstone) wife of James Rader was born January 19, 1781 and died April 27, 1861, eighty years and three months.
There is a William Allen (supposed age sixty years) buried here, but date of death not given. The headstone is of sandstone. He was the father of James Rader's wife.
Infant of M.C. and R. Rader, 1833.
Sandusky V. son of M.C. and R. Rader died September 28, 1838. These are the children of Michael Campbell Rader, second son of James Rader,
Robert Rader, born November 18, 1812 died February 14, 1842. James M. Rader born December 3, 1824, departed this life, April 28, 1842 aged seventeen years four months. These are sons of James and Hannah Rader and died unmarried.
There is a grave near the lower side of the cemetery, overgrown with myrtle and the headstone, which is roughly hewn our of sandstone and rudely carved April 29, 1838 L.R.
The headstone is at the foot of the grave and on the footstone which is square and at the west end of the grave are hung two old. worn and rusty horse shoes. Is it for a charm?
On a visit to this cemetery, November 9, 1911, I found the thick carpet of myrtle had disappeared and the jungle of "blood drops" extended. Most of the graveyard was overgrown with weeds and bushes, but the environment was not altogether unfitting, and really looked more appropriate tan too much neatness and care.
In the southwest corner, under the shade of the stately trees growing just across the fence, I discovered a flagstone marker at the head of a just traceable grave on which was rudely engraved the name Adam. Here, canopied by the newly fallen oak leaves, reposed the ashes of the negro, who chased the elk from which the creek took its name. Next in the row was a fallen stone when cleaned of earth and lichens seemd to read L.B. (perhaps) J. 1848, died October 30, 1848. But it was hard to distinguish the carving of man from those of nature on the rock. There were many other graves with only flagstone markers and doubtless, many more without. Even these, probably most of these lowly mounds, were the negroes last home. One, at the upper side of this section was marked with the single letter H.
In the north east corner of the cemetery, at the upper end of the Rader row were two new graves, piled high with fresh dirt, as yet unmarked, ungrassed. These were Edward Hart Rader, born April 14, 1819 died October 31, 1909, aged ninety years six months, and Ruanna Wright Rader, born April 10, 1827 died July 3, 1911, eighty-four years two months.
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The Baptist Grove Graveyard
Oh! Mother Earth, upon thy breast
Thy weary ones enfolding.
And through their long, unbroken rest
Their peaceful ashes holding.
Strew gentle flowers and golden grain
And hang the mounful willow.
Another old and densely populated burying ground is that at Frozen Camp, at the Baptist Grove Church. It is a short distance above the mouth of Big Run and about nine miles out from Ripley, on the Ripley and Spencer Pike.
It lies on a little point and a part of the surface is pretty steep. It overlooks Gravel Run on the East and the village of Frozen Camp on the South. On the west is a steep hollow and north, a neat Church, surrounded by a fine grove.
The graveyard itself, has no shade, but a few scrubby bushes, scattered here and there. It is fenced with wire on locust posts and has a pretty and ornamental iron gate and is mowed off once a year.
It was formerly known as the Parsons Graveyard, having been opened on the lands of Elias Parsons, Sr.. away back in the pioneer days.
Down below, on a sort of second bottom and near Gravel Run, Charles Parsons I, first broke the wilderness of upper Mill Creek and planted his cabin home. He was then an old man and soon after divided his land betwen his sons, Elias and Charles II.
Elias owned the home place and dug the well near where John Duke's barn now stands. Charles II built on Big Run, a little beyond where McVey now lives. some of the old apple trees are still standing.
Charles Parsons I came here about 1817. He probably died before 1830. He is buried in the cemetery. By his side lies his son, Captain Billy Parsons, one of the first settlers of Jackson County, and the first to locate at the mouth of Sycamore. He died about 1824 or 1825. He was a Captain in the War of 1812. His company rendezvoused at Point Pleasant and marched through to Norfolk. It is said that the Historian Lewis has the roster of this company. His first wife was a Fink. Two of her brothers were killed by his side in a fight with the Indians, at Buckhannon, so runs the account. His last wife was Nancy Walker of Harrison County.
Elias Parsons is buried by his father. He died in his fifty second year. He was born about 1798 and died December 29, 1949. His wife, Dolla Mayhew Parsons died June 1, 1846, aged forty five years.
Charles Parsons II was born June 25, 1804 and died December 7, 1875, aged seventy years five months. Rebecca Parsons was his wife and I have no dates on her.
George W. Parsons, son of Captain Billy Parsons is buried here.
The oldest inscription I found was S.A.P. 183_ (balance illegible). Probably a Parsons, then there were several childrens graves with initials and dates cut on flagstone.
B.P. March 8, 1841.
B.P. June 1844
E.P. January 29, 1849, and B.L. January 22, 1858, which might stand for either Latimer or Logan, as both names occur in the graveyard. B.P. is probably Binny (Belinda) and E.P., Elizabeth, daughters of Elias and Dolla Parsons. They also had a daughter, Sarah, who might be "S.A.P."
Elias Parsons, born April 15, 1829.
Martha, his wife, died Septermber 21, 1892, aged sixty two years.
Wilson W. Parsons, August 2, 1879, aged fifty one years eight months.
Mary E., wife of G.W. Parsons, September 14, 1864, aged thirty eighty years three months. Robert B. Parsons, died 1886.
Other inscriptions are:
James Latimer, Octover 7, 1854, aged thirty three.
Jane Logan, wife of John Logan, May 1853. She was a Latimer before marriage. John Logan, died October 9, 1848. Jane Logan's father George Lattimer, came from Washington County, Pennsylvania to Left Sandy in 1838, to Sycamore in 1840 and afterward to Buffalo Fork of Mill Creek. This was about the middle of April, 1844. While living on Buffalo. they pounded corn in a mortar and baked the meal into Johnny cakes, which "eaten with milk for supper" were "better than any pie". While living on Sycamore, Latimer hauled wagon loads of dried pumpkins, green apples and other "fruit" to Charleston, trading it for salt and other supplies. Salt cost then, about fifteen cents a bushel at the works.
Williamson W. Wiblin, died August 5, 1858, aged sixty-nine years five months. He lived at the toll gate, above Walnut Grove. There is a pine tree eighteen inches over by his grave.
James Wiblin, born 1831, died 1903.
Virginia S., wife of James Wiblin, died February 14, 1870, aged thirty one years. She was a Stalnaker, a sister of Marshal Stalnaker.
Mahala, wife of J. Allen, died October 1861, fifty-five years of age. She was a sister of George and Dempsey Flesher and lived where Hamp Parish now does.
George Knopp died February 18, 1855, at the age of sixty years five months and eight days, having been born July 23, 1794. He was a native of the valley of Virginia, of German descent. Married Catharine Richwine, lived a while in Meigs County, Ohio, moved thence to Mason County and to Mill Creek, according to what appears to be the most authentic report about 1826 or 1827. He raised a large family. (His son, Henry, thinks he was several years older.)
Knopp's wife is buried in Indiana. A flagstone is marked G.K. the dates are not distinct, but I make them out to be 1817 or 1855.
Malissa J. Knopp, died in 1847. She was a child of W. and C. Knopp.
James Brown, born 1801, died 1878, aged seventy-seven years. He married Dorcas Carney, daughter of Thomas Carney, died June 12, 1897 aged eighty years and nine months. Lived at various places on Middle Fork of Reedy and finally settled down on Mill Creek, about a mile below the mouth of Buffalo.
Henry Brown, a son of James and Dorcas Brown was alleged to have been shot and killed by John Cain on the Ripley Hill, between Keenan Farm and Short Bend School House, about 1/4 mile E.of Short Bend, died October 28, 1881, aged forty years, two months. Cain was tried at Ripley and sentenced to penitentiary, but on retrial, acquitted.
There are many other graves which are unmarked and nearly all of the suitable ground is occupied.
There are two sandstone monuments, one of the nicest of all in the graveyard bears the inscription, John B. Payne, born December 16, 1837 died November 22, 1899. The other represents the stub of a tree, some 3 1/2 feet high and about fifteen inches over at the top with rough bark and numerous knots. It stands officially over the grave of David L. Warner, born April 4, 1874 died June 22, 1903. He was a son-in-law of Payne and another son-in-law made the monument.
There is by the grave of G. W. Knopp, son of George Knopp, who was buried in 1874, a pine tree, eighteen inches over at the ground, said to have grown since his burial, one apple tree and several cedars also shade the grounds.
Marshall Mitchell, born 1822 died 1878.
Cordelia Duckworth Mitchell, born March 1833.
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Ben Bord Graveyard
The Ben Bord, or more correctly, M. Rader Graveyard, lies on a gentle slope on the point above Joe's Run, and up a steep bank from the Ripley and Spencer Pike. It is four rods square and inclosed by a tumble down old board fence. The ground is sodded with blue myrtle and there is a double beech tree near the middle and a spruce pine in the south west corner.
Three sides of the inclosure are lined with brush and on the west is an old grown up pasture field. A dead beech stub stands on the south side next to the road and a dry mulberry lifts its naked branches from the thickets on the east.
A few cedar bushes, stunted and scraggly stand among the mounds.
The inscriptions on the grave markers are:
M.C. Rader, born November 29, 1807, died April 14, 1880. Aged seventy-two years four months.
Rebecca, wife of M.C. Rader, born August 26, 1813, died May 11, 1882, aged sixty-eight years eight months.
Michael Campbell Rader was the second son of James Rader and was born NOvember 29, 1807, somewhere in Mason County. The Raders moved to Elk Fork when he was a year or two old.
In 1832, he married Rebecca Hyre, daughter of Jacob Hyre, Sr., and in 1833 or 4 moved over the hill onto Mill Creek, where he owned 1000 acres of land, including the Bord and Hamp Parish Farms.
He built a little cabin at the turn of the road where the sand lies so thick. He put up a water mill by the steep rocky hillside opposite. The mill was washed out and rebuilt several times.
There are tow of M.C. Rader's children buried in the Rader Graveyard.
Nancy Ann, daughter of M.C. and R. Rader, was born March 21, 1841 and died January 9, 1848, aged seven years two months old.
Mary M. Hinzman died in 1875, aged fourteen years.
A large marble slab, about four feet high, twenty-two inches wide and two inches thick on which is engraved a spread eagle with sweeping wings bears this legend:
"Jacob Hyre, born January 1, 1784, died December 18, 1858, aged seventy four years, eleven months."
Another similar headstone, only more appropriately marked with a weeping willow tree reads:
"Mary, wife of Jacob Hyre, died April 11, 1859, aged eighty years and five months."
Jacob Hyre came from Hacker's Creek, Lewis County, to Mill Creek in 1815, settling in a little cabin on the Keenan Farm. After two or three years, he built farther up on yon side of mill Creek from the Jonathan Hyre house. His wife was a Beath before marriage.
A long row of small uniform marble markers with shaped tops and sat in stone bases tell of :
Jefferson Carder, died 1851.
Minerva Carder, died 1852.
Elvira Carder, died 1858.
Joseph Carder, died 1858.
Daniel D. Carder, died 1862.
William Carder, died 1863.
Infant Carder, died 1866.
William B. Carder, died 1846.
Infant Daughter Carder, died 1871.
These children were all of the family of J.S. and H. Carder and under two years old.
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And the sunshine and the shadow
Fell in flecks and gleams upon it;
Fell in little shining patches,
Through the waving rustling branches.
On a widish point that runs out from a narrow backbone, departing the left branch of Joe's Run from Mill Creek, a little above the residence of Cal. Parish, there lies Hereford or Parish Graveyard.
It was a warm bright afternoon in the fall when I visited the spot. The valley and hillside lay bathed in the white glow of the evening sunlight. The air was clear and pure with just a suggestion of coming frosts. Some leaves on the tress were already brown and enough had fallen to rustle under my feet as I climbed the steep point from the roadside, chambering among rocks and roots through the scrub woods.
The cemetery is about four by ten and a half rods, being a littel the widest at the eastern end. It is fenced with six strands barbed wire and is in bad repair for the most part, showing neglect and decay.
The western end, or old part of the graveyard is carved in a beech and oak wood.
On the south and west sides and for three or four rods up the north side are pretty beech which shade the graves the greater part of the day.
The surface of the ground is nearly level and in the western part is a fine spreading beech with many graves under its branches.
The western end is nearly full and is over grown with ivy and myrtle. The eastern or new part is taken from a neighboring field and is more sparsely "populated."
Much of it is grown up in "blue devil" just showing a white blossom here and there, interspersed with clumps of the waving plumes of golden rod and a belated iron weed shows purple by the southern fence.
Most of the graves are those of the Parish family, who came to the valley about 1866.
Among the inscriptions are:
Salley, wife of M.L. Smith, died August 8, 1889, aged twenty-four years five months.
Viola, wife of H.S. Merril, died July 1885, aged forty-six years.
Mary, wife of J.M. Reynolds, born August 5, 1819, died February 14, 1905. She was a sister of Clark Aultz.
There are several Hinzman Children buried here. The oldest date I gleaned was:
David B. son of A. and M. Rader, died January 12, 1855, in fourth year.
A. Rader was born April 14, 1816 and died July 18, 1897. He is buried in the west end.
J.F. Parish was born in 1819 and died in 1895.
Laura J. Golden, his daughter, was born in 1850, died 1902.
Minerva Parish, wife of Jonathan, was born in 1833.
William R. Parish died February 18, 1885, aged eighty-one years ten months. Elizabeth, his wife, is probably dead, but, althought the name is engraved on the monument, the dates have never been filled in.
Joanna Hawkins, was born December 18, 1870 and died May 1, 1905.
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On the top of one of the loftiest summits of the high ridge, separating the waters of Elk Fork from Frozen Camp, stands a church house which shows dazzlingly white from the hill tops for miles and miles in every direction.
This building, which is apparently not more than three or four years in existence, may have supplanted an humbler, old fashioned log house, the broken up walls of which are aligned in the grove to serve as seats for outdoor preachings.
There is a magnificent view in all directions from this spot. Blue hills peering over low gaps of successive ranges of ridges until sight fails in the smoky haze of distance.
The building has a square tower with tapering spire, surmounted by an arrow, and faces to the east where a road suns smoothly down a long slope on an easy grade to the public highway.
On the north side is a strip of lawn, some forty feet wide, a part of the graveyard which surrounds the church on two sides, which is cleaned up nicely with a few small saplings left for shade.
In this space there is a grave with a blue marble monument, marked M.V.B. Monroe, born February 2, 1836, died April 20, 1904.
West of the building on a westen slope is nearly a half acre more of the cemetery which has been hacked off a few years ago and is now all grown over with bushes and weeds.
When I visited the spot early in October, 1910, the leaves were beginning to take on the reddish and russety yellow hues of an autumn drought, while, often spots in the brush were waving with the ghosts of yellow golden rod, dotted here and there with the pale blue of the wild aster.
Hidden away, among the riot of nature, I found four or five lowly graves, two of which had unpretentious tombstones. The others being marked only with pieces of flagrock at head and foot.
One of the monuments bore the inscription:
Martha A., daugther of W.A. and N.E. Seaman, died February 17, 1896, aged nine years.
The other was inscribed:
Minnie F., daughter of J.C. and C.A. Medis, born July 27, 1878, died April 14, 1903, aged twenty-four years, eight months. "She faltered by the wayside, and the angels took her home."
Beyond the graveyard, quite a steep path leads down a long point to the road below, which, after winding around the southern base of the knob on which the church stands, is intersected by the road leading down a steep hill to Frozen Camp Creek a half mile below.
The southern slope of the hill is a thick grove of white oak, jack oak, and hickory, next to the church house, trailing away into the straggling scrub wood with which the south and west sides of the hill are clothed.
The congregation worshipping here is of the Christian, or "Campbellite" denomination, and the building is, or was, formerly known as the Lindamood Church, from one of the nearby farmers.
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Pleasant Hill Graveyard
It was my good fortune to visit a cemetery near the Pleasant Hill Church on the Ravenswood and Ripley Pike about the month of October 1810.
This burying ground, which is comparitively new, crowns the summit of one of the loftiest peaks of the divinding ridge which separates Mill Creek and Sandy Waters.
There is an area of about one fourth of an acre which is nearly level and lies much higher than the road which runs along the ridge top. This flat is fenced in with a shackling fence of three planks and a barbed wire.
A part of the area is occupied by a grove of whispering pines, through which the slightest stir of the air sighs in mournful cadence while the winter's winds, which sweep the spot so fairly, must rage and toss.
There are thirty-six of the pine trees running from the size of a large rafter to that of a small backlog, or say, from six to fifteen inches in diameter and some twenty-five or thirty feet high. Most of them are tall and straight and grow so closely together as to be limbless except in the tops which are locked and interlaced.
There are several graves among these trees, which occupy the middle of the lot.
The western side of the lot, (there is about half an acre fenced in) is quite steep for burial purposes.
The inscriptions noted are:
Verlia, daughter of J.W. and M.E. Morgan, born May 11, 1886 and died July 28, 1898.
There was a small granite monument marked "Puckett" with an inscription "Cecile, daughter of J.L. and E. Puckett, died April 25, 1907, aged eleven months."
Another grave was marked: "Mary S. Lytton, died April 1, 1901 aged thirty-two years two months."
Another inscription was:
Bailey A. Yost, born November 5, 1877 died August 26, 1908
L.I. Tribbet, born January 22, 1850, died July 27, 1904, aged fifty four years six months.
Most of the humble mounds had no tombstones, being only marked with board or flagstone and the greater number were children's graves, many of which were strewn with toys and playthings, pieces of colored glass or china or mussel shells.
One nameless grave told its story of patriotism in the tattered American flag which waved over it. Whoever slept beneath had served that flag and his country in their days of peril. Honor to the Union Soldier.
Though none of the graves could have been more than twelve or fifteen years old, there have already come many to lie them down among the whispering pine trees, which can be seen for miles and miles in all directions.
The graveyard as is common in the country, was in a neglected condition, much of its surface being overgrown with weeds and brush, pale flaunting ghosts of golden rod or flaming sumach.
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The Street Graveyard
The dead cannot grieve
Not a sob, not a sigh, greets mine ear,
Which compassion, its self could relieve
Ah! sweetly, they slumber, not love, hope nor fear,
Peace, Peace, is the watch word,
he only one here.
The Streets Graveyard, as it is usually called, is beautifully located on the top of a knoll, which rises from one of the wide flats. So common to the ridge dividing the waters of Little Creek and Buffalo, two of the tributaries of Upper Mill Creek.
The farm on which it is situated was first opened by a man of the name of John Rader, who came there in 1852. He bought a tract of fifteen hundred acres and lived there several years. He divided the most of his land among his boys. Later, he sold the residue to George Street. Since Street's death, the farm has passed into the hands of strangers.
John Rader's Father was a first cousin of Michael Rader Sr.
Old Billy Rader and Adam were brothers of John.
George Rader of the Shenandoah Valley, married Sarah Craig, of the same place and moved to Greenbrier County and later to the mouth of Stroud's Creek.
Their children were, Robert, who lived in Braxton county; George, went to Missouri; William, who was killed on the Big Kanawha. He married the Widow Huddleston, Wash Huddleston's mother.
Adam Rader lived with John H. at Camden on Gauley.
John H. Rader married a McClung. His son, Joe Rader, was the first grave in the graveyard, though there had been three of the Rader grand children buried under a hickory tree which stands in the field, prior to that.
The killing of Joe Rader was a cowardly affair and scarcely justifiable by the utmost stretching of the rules of war.
Like all similar circumstances, there are several different account of the way it was done. The Confederate sympathizers say Rader was a model of innocence. The other side say he was connected with a gang of guerrillas and took care of the horses they confiscated, until they had gathered as many as they wanted to take south, and that he harbored and fed the guerrillas and Confederate soldiers.
There is no doubt, the last count of the indictment is correct.
It was on these charges that he was killed, but one cannot help thinking it would have been more honorable and just as well for the Union cause and withal far less cowardly had he been arrested and sent to Camp Chase.
Joe Rader, at the forks of Buffalo had gone some time in 1863, October or November, to his father's to get a wagon, when some men dressed in Confederate uniforms and calling themselves Jenkinses soldiers, came to the house and called for something to eat. Rader told them where to hide to be safe and had the girls fix up a basket full of "grub" which he took down to the spring over the bank from the house. Meanwhile, the soldiers had posted a part of their number behind an old fence in a thicket on the opposite bank. When Rader put down his basket and turned to climb the bank, just as he was alongside a large rock, still to be seen, the hidden Yankees fired and he fell. The neighbors got him to the house and he died in a day or two.
Harvey Rader says one of his sisters talked "sassy" to the soldiers and defied them to shoot her.
Two of the graves under the tree are Joe Rader's children, and the other, his brother's child.
Before Rader came to this farm, there was a squatter, an eccentric individual by the name of Bill Davis, lived in a shanty near the spring where Joe Rader was killed. The mound where the chimney of his hut stood being still visible. He afterward moved down the creek in a shanty at the lower end of the Morrison farm.
He had a daughter, who died and was buried somewhere in the vicinity. Her name was Sidner Davis, and she had two children. The Davises are said to be part Indian.
Sidner died suddenly, falling off her chair dead, without previous sickness or warning. The story is told that she took to coming back. Her father is said to have seen her several times. She was dressed the same as when she died. One day, while passing through a wheat field along a narrow path, he met her again; she stepped to one side for him to pass, but, determined to know the cause of her returning to earth, he mustered courage enough to ask her what she wanted. She told him she was not able to raise her children, and she wanted them put out in good places. He promised it would be done, whereupon she held out her hand to him and he attempted to shake hands, but two of her fingers striking his wrist left yellow marks on it. The girl then vanished and was never seen again. Next day the children were put out. A man named Waybright raising one of them.
A sister of Joe Rader was the next to be buried in the new graveyard. Others buried here are:
Philip Rohr, who came from Barbour County, settling at the mouth of Poplar Fork of Little Creek in 1860. One of his daughters is buried here.
Isaac Hornbeck, a Union soldier from Wood County, born July 5, 1815, died January 28, 1894, aged seventy nine year six months. He lived in Wood County before the war. His daugthers, Isabel and Virginia died in 1875 and 1882 respectively, aged twenty four years and twenty years.
Israel Davis was the only survivor of a set of triplets. He was born on Rooting Creek in 1800. He had a brother by the name of John Davis, who died in his ninety ninth year. Another brother, William, lived to be ninety and could do a good days work at eighty years.
Israel Davis died in 1877, his wife was Edie Bise, his first cousin. One account says they are Welsh, the other calls them of Scotch origin.
Silas T. Davis was the son of Clement and Betsy Michaels Davis, natives of Delaware. Silas married Ellinor, daughter of Isaac and Rosa Miller Broomedge of Monongalia. He was born in 1816 and died in 1884, living on the extreme head of Buffalo at the time of his death.
George Latimer was the son of George and Jane Nivens Latimer, who was born in Green County, Pennsylvania. He came with his parents to Jackson County in 1838 and to Buffalo in 1844. He married Margaret Seaman and lived on Right Reedy at the Travis Parsons place, afterward moving to Buffalo, he died in 1904. Margaret Latimer died January 10, 1871, aged thirty four years.
Joseph Dunn was a minister in the M.P. Church.
George Street was born January 2, 1816, died January 18, 1875. Catharine Street, his wife, was born July 23, 1817 and died February 23, 1897, aged seventy nine years eight months, (age taken from the headstone). There are several of the Street Family buried here. Among these, John Street, died September 18, 1885, aged forty two years.
James Street, born January 13, 1854, died April 30, 1878.
Mrs. Ollie Street Eagle.
J.B. Smith lived on the Rohr place at the mouth of Poplar Fork at the time of his death, which occurred on the 22nd of April, 1896. He was born March 6, 1837, being fifty-nine years one month of age.
His father was Jacob C. Smith, born in Tyler County, March 26, 1813, and died October 14, 1870.
His mother, Sarah, daughter of Aaron and Susannah Drake Smith of Ritchie County. Jacob Brown Smith's grandparents on the side of his father, J.C.Smith, were Ralph Smith and Catharine George. J.B.Smith married October 31, 1856, Elizabeth Walker, daughter of Macklin and Maria Rader Walker. She was born, probably on Mill Creek, August 3, 1838, and died March 7, 1896. They sleep side by side in the second row on the western side of the graveyard. Maggie Shreve, their youngest daughter born 1873 and died in 1903 is buried near them.
Samuel Hall, born December 7, 1811, died June 18, 1886, aged seventy-four years and six months. His wife, R.S. Hall, born March 3, 1810 and died August 27, 1887, is buried by him. Several of their children and grand children are also buried here.
William Syoc, who died March 9, 1904 aged fifty-nine years eleven months and his wife, Dorcas Hall Syoc, born October 18, 1840 died October 8, 1890.
Margaret Shoemaker Ludwick died January 9, 1877 aged fifty-seven.
William Bise, died May 25, 1875 aged sixy-four years.
Philip Rohr was born March 16, 1808 died May 11, 1874.
Hester A.E. Rohr, born September 28, 1854, died December 13, 1873.
Elizabeth, wife of A.H.Rader, died in 1876, aged thirty-nine.
There are many marble headstones and monuments in the graveyard, whose array of white ranks can be seen from the hill tops for miles around.
Save that it is in the fields quite a distance from the public road and without shade, this burial ground would be one of the best in the country.
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Other Mill Creek Graveyards
I mention here, a few graveyards on the waters of Mill Creek which I have not, as yet, explored. Possibly I may some day be able to examine them more closely than merely riding past.
A burial ground I would like to have visisted is perched on a high point overlooking the Sycamore Valley, just above the mouth of the run where John F. Parsons lived in Pioneer days.
This John Parsons was a son of Captain Billy Parsons and was born in 1797 in a sycamore tree, near the site of the Douglass house, at the mouth of Mill Creek. He is claimed by some, to be the first white child born in Jackson County. He may be buried on this hill. Perhaps his half brother, Travis Parsons, is also buried here. Travis Parsons was a man of some local prominence, two decades before the Civil War.
The graveyard appears to be a small one and doubtless it is but a family burying place.
In the old days, the custom of burying the dead on the home farm was more common than it is now. It would be beautiful and desirable to have our dead close to the every day walks of our lives and only if the farms did not change hands so often, and the graves become neglected and sometimes abused when they pass into the hands of strangers.
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The Keenan Graveyard
This graveyard is situated on the farm of that name about a mile above Chase's Mill. It is a private institution, used by that family, who settled there after the Rebellion.
My informant, Mr. Keenan, said there were some negroes buried there also, but did not say, perhaps did not know, who they were.
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The Shinn Graveyard
When I visited Grass Lick, I passed at Fairplains, the burial place of George Shinn, with its costly monument resplendent in glitter of polished marble.
I have but little concerning the histroy of the Shinns, but think they were from Harrison County. George Shinn was prominent in local politics.
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The Evans Graveyard
I must not omit the mention of this spot, which is prettily nestled by the side of the road, a half mile below that valley.
The church building stands on one corner of the plot, but in my opinion, in offence to good taste, the church yard and cemetery are surrounded on two sides by high board walls of a fairgound and race track, with the track buildings looming over the graves.
Being, myself, no believer in this carnival and horse racing, I shudder to think of the noise and carousal, I believe common to many such places, being placed so as to desecrate the graves of the pioneers and those laid to rest here.
Here moulder into dust the remains of the pioneer families, Staats and Evans and their descendants, who were the first settlers of the flats of Mill Creek.
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Tom Carney Burying Ground
There is an old graveyard on the hill north of the Windon House known as the Young Tom Carney burying ground. In this humble spot, said to have been long since plowed up, and now a part of a pasture field, lost unfortunately, to the knowledge of man, lies peacefully sleeping, the dust of Elijah Rollins and his faithful companion.
Probably all the earlier of the pioneers of the Mill Creek and Tug Fork Valleys, which it overlooked, are also buried here.
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Graveyards Visited on Big Sand Creek and its Waters
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The Independence Graveyard
The town is crowded and hard and rough,
But the little Churchyard is quiet enough,
And there's room in the Churchyard, still.
The Magee Chapel, M.E.S. stands on a point above the railroad and is about a mile below Sandyville Bridge. It was built in the Centenniel year and is a neat and commodious building and pleasantly located. The graveyard lies above it. It is irregular in shape and contains about an acre.
It is well fenced with barbed wire and the boundaries were considerably extended when the new fence was put up.
There is a nice shade on the north side of White Oak, Black Oak and hickory trees. Second growth, I would think, but of good size.
The top of the point is nearly level, sloping gently to the east, in the northeast corner, a steep bank has been included within the bounds of the fence and there is fresh dirt on it, caused I think, by the dumping of dirt from the graves.
After visiting the churchyard, I returned a short distance to where lives an old lady, Mrs. Elizabeth Custer, and spent a pleasant hour in conversation with her. Mrs. Custer was born Knotts, on the second day of July 1816, and was well started in her eighty-ninth year. She was raised in Preston County, where in 1834, she married Jeptha Magee and moved to Sandy Valley. They lived a while on Daniel Sears' place at Sandyville and seven years on the Joe Leap Farm. In 1847, Magee bought land where she now lives and put up the house she yet lives in. It has been weather boarded and has a wide old fashioned porch in front, cool and shady on which the old lady was seated.
She was very communicative and seemed glad to have some one to talk to, someone who had come ten miles just to talk with her. She said it seemed like people didn't pay much attention to her, that she had outlived her time. What the present generation talked about did not interest her and the young people did not like to talk about old times.
She was well preserved, intelligent and quite spry for her age. She is living with some of her grand children, perhaps. The house is at the head of two little runs, in a low gap, one of them is a tributary of Copper Fork, the other of Beatties Run.
In the yard is a magnificent beech tree, three feet in diameter with wide spreading top. The old lady is quite attached to this tree which was about as thick as a stove pipe when they moved there in the woods, fifty-seven years ago.
She told me much of the first settlers, of their customs and hardships and victories.
She said the graveyard was opened some years before the church was built, but it is of comparatively recent date, yet there are many old people buried there, some of them pioneers.
The first grave was that of a daughter of William Ables, and the next, of a man named Baker, who was killed by lightning in a barn at Joe Leap's. He was no kin to the Leroy Bakers.
The oldest dates are in the side of the cemetery next to the church. One stone reads:
William David Crum, died 1877, aged thirteen.
Then, there are two daughters of Squire Sayre, S. and E.D. 1880 and 1881.
Squire Sayre died June 18, 1900 aged seventy-seven years nine months. On the other side of the monument is: Eliza J. wife of Squire Sayre, born October 21, 1831.
As there is no date of death, she may be living yet. If so, I wonder if she ever wonders what date will be carved there.
One tombstone reads: Isaac Thompson, died April 14, 1892, aged seventy seven years nine months.
Another inscription is: Adaline, wife of Isaac Thompson, died June 1895 aged sixty seven years. I do not know who these people were.
Other inscriptions tell of:
Oliver Atkins, died February 4, 1888, aged thirty one years four months.
Frances P. wife of A.H. Casto, born February 28, 1851, died August 4, 1891.
Clarence, son of A.H. and F.P. Casto, died 1874 at seven months.
J.A. McGlothlin's wife, Letta, aged forty nine, died November 11, 1876.
Mary E. wife of James Blake and Reuben Douglas, died May 20, 1898 aged seventy nine years.
James Blake died March 18, 1872, aged fifty-nine years.
Evidently, Douglass survives or perhaps, the Blake children put up the monument.
Another odd appearing inscription, if I have made no mistake in copying is:
Eleanor M. Waskey, wife of Arthur Regnand, died January 23, 1877, aged thirty six years nine months.
The Crum plat was edged with cut stone and contained two graves, J.T. Crum had a fine and costly marble monument and was sixty eight at the time of his death, March 25, 1898. Florence Crum, wife of M. Cole, 1863 - 1896 had, also a very fine monument.
The Haynes family also had a plot marked off with cut stone, three graves and room for three more,
John Haynes died July 13, 1895, seventy five years of age. He lived on the farm just below Crow Summit. His place was a favorite stopping point for teams in the old mud road days when all goods for Reedy, Spencer, and the wide beyond were transported on wagons. Nancy J. Haynes, wife of John I. died July 5, 1875 aged forty six years seven months. James C. Haynes, a son, died 1875. aged twenty one years.
In what was the back part of the old graveyard, under some trees, a white oak at the head and a hickory at the foot was a row of humble graves with four square, tapering blocks of sandstone, marked as below:
J.D. Sarah V.
Son Dau. of
of I.W. J.H. &
Powers Nov. 22, 1893
Died Age 11 Mo.
Dec. 21, 1881
1 yr. 2 mo.
There were four other of these peaked sandstone markers for:
B.C. son of J.H. and M.F. Power, died July 14, 1880, aged eight months four days. Another, E.W. died June 16, 1880, one year. Around the side, on the left, was inscribed "Powers".
The other told that Margaret Hartshorn died December 27, 1875, aged sixty one years seven months.
Jane Powers died March 11, 1875 aged sixty years eight months. These graves were together as if of relatives.
Near these is a little decorated wooden cross stuck by a grave with no name.
Mary Duer and Virginia Morgan, both died in 1874.
M.J. wife of J.J. Higgins in 1872, May 31, aged thirty seven.
Three Benson children in 1875 and 1880.
Two Ableses in 1871 and 1872, James J, son of W.G. and M. Ables, aged twenty years. Julia E. daughter of W.G. and M/ Ables and is aged twenty years. Probably one of these was the first grave.
Francis, son of H.D. and M.B. King, died February 27, 1871.
Irma Bonto, born March 10, 1824 and died October 10, 1897, aged seventy three years seven months.
Henry Bonto, (Bontempt is correct) was buried by same monument, but date of death had not yet been cut.
Some of Solomon Powell's family buried in 1873 and 1877. John A, son of Solomon and Elizabeth Powell, August 11, 1877, aged twenty-three years four months. Francis M, son of Solomon and Elizabeth Powell, 1873, aged twenty four years.
Tacy, wife of Armistead Morehead died March 24, 1872 aged seventy three years nine months. Armistead Morehead, October 17, 1878, aged eighty five. Tacy, his wife died March 24, 1872, aged seventy-three years nine months. A.H. Morehead, born 1830 died in 1890.
Ezra Johnson, August 3, 1889 aged eighty three years ten months. Born July 17, 1805. Catharine, wife of Ezra Johnson, died May 25, 1879, aged sixty-eight years nine months.
Nathan Archer "Co C. 186 O.V.I."
W.L. Rogers, Co. I. 77 O.V.I.
Lydia F. wife of A.J. Bord, September 11, 1879, aged twenty nine years.
Rene Bontempt born January 6, 1826 date of death not yet engraved.
Adelia, wife of Rene Bontempt died October 24, 1890 in her sixty-first year.
Michael Dolan, native of County Larin, Ireland, died March 9, 1875, aged sixty five years.
Michael Crow, died November 19, 1884 aged fifty-five years one month.
Emily G., wife of Michael Crow, died in 1884, aged fifty-two years, seven months.
Other inscriptions copied on a second visit in 1907 are:
Lydia, wife of A.J. Bord, died 1879, aged twenty-nine years.
James K. Simpson, died 1882, aged sixty-six years.
Sarah A. Ables, who was born in 1808 and died in 1873, had a catalogue house monument. It was about fourteen inches wide, five inches thick, and twenty-four to twenty-eight inches high with its single base rock. It was well engraved, with name and dates, and was a good marble - nice design, neat and modest.
L.B. Vannoy, wife of J.W. Waggoner, died September 28, 1871, aged twenty years.
Michael Crow, died November 19, 1884, fifty-five years, one month of age.
Emily C., wife of M. Crow, December 15, 1884, fifty-two years, nine months.
In the back part of the graveyard is the grave of Ella Sams (wife of W.A. Sams) 1875 - 1903.
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The Sandyville Graveyard
Still as the forest pools at night,
Still as the outmost planet bright,
As wreck storm swept, upon the shore,
As saints newborn, that kneel before
God's throne, amazed and blest.
The old cemetery at Sandyville is one of the best locations for a graveyard I have met in my rambles.
It lies on a little point, something after the style of the Harpold Graveyard, only neither so high nor so steep. Copper Fork comes into Left Sandy nearly at right angels and this point is thrust out into the valley, leaving level bottoms on three sides of it. The graveyard lies on the end of the point at a considerable distance from the road leading up Sandy, then crossing at the foot of the hill.
The graveyard is about sixteen by ten rods and is fenced with boards and wire. The surface is mostly level or very nearly so. The soil is a red clay. Both the graveyard and the sides of the point on which it lies, are covered with a blue grass sod of many years standing and there are numerous shade trees scattered here and there in the enclosure. One apple tree inside and others on the hill slope next Copper Fork may be a part of an old apple orchard.
East of the graveyard proper, fenced in with a cut stone wall two and a half or three feet high, is a space which would hold six or eight graves and inside are two sarcophagi or boxes of hewed stone covered with immence stone slabs. perhaps seven by four feet and some six inches thick. In these are deposited the bodies of:
Ziba Weas, born November 21, 1807, died December 19, 1885, aged seventy-eight years, and Phebe O. wife of Z. Weas, died January 4, 1865 aged forty-two years. There is one other grave in the inclosure also.
This graveyard was first used, away back in the first days of the settlement which was begun in 1820.
The first death was that of Sammy Sayre, Dan'l's boy, which occurred before the graveyard was opened. He was buried in a plum thicket.
One of the first settlers was Warren Reed, who lived at the farm where the roads of the two branches of Sandy unite, near the place now called New Era. He was the first Postmaster at what is now called Sandyville. He moved to Racine about fifty years ago. Of his childrn:
Charles Reed is buried here, also, Dorothy Reed, died May 19, 1863, aged thirty three years eight months and a child Cincinnatus, five years old died in 1837.
Mary Richard, daughter of D. and S. Richard, died in 1851, a child is also buried here named Lydia Richard who died in 1850. Parents not given.
Louisa Mairs, wife of Thomas Mairs, was born in 1822 died 1862. January 2, 1822 to July 12, 1862, aged forty years six months. By her side was Ruth Arnold, perhaps they were kin.
Ruth W. Arnold, daughter of Benjamin and Susannah Arnold died August 1856 aged twenty one. A maiden cut off in her youth, had she lived, she would now be an old woman.
David DePue, died April 11, 1885 aged sixty nine years three months. He was a son of Henry DePue. Henry DePue was in the Revolutionary War and was a native of New Jersey. Margaret DePue, wife of David, died August 12, 1885, aged sixty two years two months. If she was his first wife, her maiden name was Arnold. Thomas DePue their son, died in 1868 at three years of age.
Diana, wife of Henry Shepherd, died December 19, 1868 aged sixty four years one month. By the side of this grave was an old flag rock headstone with letters H.S. This was Henry Shepherd, (most of the family spell the name Sheppard) a son Jonathan Sheppard, the first settler on Right Reedy, he married Diana, daughter of John Smith, another of the Reedy Pioneers.
This John Smith was captured by the Indians in one of their raids, all the rest of the family being killed. He was adopted into an Indian family, being returned to the white settlements after some treaty with the tribe that he lived with, probably Boquets Treaty. Having no relations that could be found, the boy was taken by a man named Smith and given the name of John, and John Smith was all the name he ever knew, being but an infant when the Indians made him a captive. He married and moved to Reedy in 1808. He died on Thorne's Run and is probably buried at the Ott Graveyard. Jonathan Sheppard afterward married his widow.
Diana had two brothers, one being Jim Smith, who was killed in June 1863 on Little Sandy.
Joseph Howes was born December 1811 and died March 1864, aged fifty two years four months. Thought comparatively young, he was twice married, first to Jemima, daughter of Jesse Carney, and second to Letty Shepherd, daugther of Henry and Diana Shephard and widow of Charles Ingram. By him slumbers Jemima, wife of Joseph Howes, died October 4, 1851 aged twenty seven years eight months.
Another grave is that of Catharine, wife of John B. Howes, who was born on the 10th of May 1774 and died June 28, 1856, aged eighty two years one month. Truly a pioneer of somewhere (mother of Joseph Howes). Joseph Howes lived, at one time, near the mouth of Beatties Run. Catharine was probably his mother.
Amelia Adams, died August 11, 1847 aged sixteen years eleven months. Francis M. Adams died 1857. They were children of S. and M.A. Adams and probably died with that dread malaria, the Sandy Fever, which sometimes wiped out whole families. The Howes and Adams graves are all in a lot together.
Elizabeth Bower, born February 26, 1785 and died March 26, 1849 aged sixty four years one month.
Malinda, a child of T.N. and M. McFarland died 1852. Thomas McFarland was a son of Robert McFarland who came from Ireland. His wife was a daugther of Mark Custer, and they lived on Trace Fork in 1852.
Elijah Pickens born January 15, 1805 died November 12, 1865, aged sixty years nine months. He was a pioneer and father of Dave and Joe. Known not if he was related to Bart.
John L. son of James H. and Rebecca Atkins died 1856.
Jeptha Magee born July 2, 1815, died January 12, 1859 aged forty four years six months.
Hiram A. Hopkins, August 28, 1857, aged twenty seven years.
Joseph Nicholas Regnand died July 20, 1854 aged fifty four years.
Emma Louisa, daughter of L. Mercerat, died October 20, 1854 aged twelve years. These graves are side by side.
(Regnand, Bontempt, Merceret, Carez, Lisez, Fleau, Boso. Truly, Jackson Coutny has a fair sprinkling of French names.)
William H. a child of J. and L.V. Ruble died 1856.
Hepzibah, wife of Daniel Sayre, died June 21, 1861 aged sixty-six years one month. The grave is covered with a huge stone slab, bearing the inscription and ornamented with a large star carved at the head with four smaller stars above. I do not know whether they are merely for ornament or intended to be emblematic.
She was a Chapman and I think I have heard, was from Letart, Ohio.
Daniel Sayre, is buried by her side, but has no tombstone and I am unable to give his age. He was, however, one of the landmarks of Jackson County history. He, with his two brothers, Ben and Jake, were the first settlers at Sandyville, to these add Warren Reed, Lige Runner and perhaps Jesse Mrogan and you have the colony.
(I have it that Alfred Sayre died in 1868, aged eighty one years. Dan'l Sayre had a son of that name married a Seckman, but he would not have been much more than the half of eighty one years in 1868.)
Hannah, wife of Alfred Sayre, died in 1852, aged twenty-four years and four months. Their son, Ezra F. died in 1850. Ann Elizabeth, wife of Alfred Sayre, died May 28, 1875, aged thirty-five years and one month.
Stephen, son of D.W. and H. Sayre, died June 12, 1852, aged nineteen years and six months. I fancy, the older man has put the "W" to his own name later on, for he was at least twenty five or thirty years old before Daniel Webster gained much celebrity.
Virginia, daughter of Frank and Lucy Ann Fabry died in 1851, a child. Her mother was daughter of Dan'l and Hepzibah Sayre.
In the west end of the graveyard is a large black oak, three feet in diameter and with spreading top: under it lies:
Jane, wife of R. Moran, born in 1841, died 1900.
J.W. Moran and two children of G.B. and E. Sanders.
Nancy V. Morehead died April 19, 1863, at two years. She was a child of A.E. and S.E. Morehead, as also may have been Lucy F. Morehead who died in 1865, aged three years five months.
Thomas Gorrel, Co. H. 3rd West Virginia Cavalry, is the inscription on a government stone at the foot of a grave, the head stone of which records that Thomas Gorrell died August 6, 1893, aged fifty eight years two months.
Under a mound near the gate and alone, lies Lydia, wife of M. Price, died July 15, 1873, aged sixty year seven months.
There are many graves without names and room for many more to come and lie down and be at rest. The graveyard is not much used now.
When I visited the graveyard sometime in the fall of 1907, the graves were in a neglected condition. The fence was out of repair and sheep were coming and going at will.
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The Morgan Graveyard
Mrs. Custer said there is a graveyard of an acre on the Morgan place. She showed me where it was on a hill, but said it would not pay me to visit it.
Old Jess Morgan is buried there, a Mr. Parks, Magee's children and Charlie Howes' Father, but in this latter she was mistaken, as he is buried at the old Sandyville Graveyard.
I think the graveyard is in a neglected condition. She said there was a storm a few years ago that blew down all the tombstones.
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The Leroy Graveyard
The oldest graveyard on the head of the right fork of Sandy is, I am told, at Leroy. There it was that the pioneers of this vicinity laid to rest the forms of their loved ones. I was told there were headstones with dates at some of the early graves, but upon visiting the cemetery I failed to discover any inscriptions except at comparatively recent graves.
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The Liverpool Graveyard
There is a cemetery at Liverpool on the Ravenswood and Spencer Pike, seventeen miles out from the river and about one and a half from the head of the creek.
The graveyard is on the upper side of the road where it makes a sharp turn just below the village and lies directly between the P.E. Church and the road.
There is about three fourths of an acre included in the grounds enclosed by a barb wire fence and sloping, in places, rather smartly toward the south, but the graves, straight with the hill level and each row a little higher than the one below. There are two shallow "swales" in the graveyard and while there is no shade inside the grounds, there is a fringe of nice oak trees along the orad and a grove on the north side and east end.
There is a small burying ground by the side of the church, where the wife and some of the family of Irvin McPherson are sleeping the sleep that knows no waking. I have never visited it, but think it must be an ideal situation, a graveyard around a church and in the midst of a grove is as it should be.
I do not think the graveyard dates back very far. The oldest date I noticed was December, 1863 (Appalouise, a small child of Jefferson and Julia Carder) though among the many unmarked graves there may well be some earlier.
The first graves were on a little point between the road and one of the "draws" which trisect the cemetery. Most of these are the graves of the second and third generation of the Carders and Hartleys. The pioneers are said to rest in the obscure little grave plot, between the mouth of Fallen Timber and Rush Runs. The Carders came to this place in 1838 or 1839.
A curious monument is a tall carved sandstone shaft, which stands on the grave of Anderson Carder, who died about 1855, iron chains from the top of this shaft are fastened to four stone posts which mark the corners of a rectangle, several feet square. A queer conception, certainly. Though the monument is carved in a way intended to be ornamental, there is neither name nor date.
The same is true of a row of five graves with low sandstone blocks at their heads.
The Jefferson Carder, before mentioned was a son of John W., and married Julia Welch. The name is sometimes given as Geoffrey and sometimes Jeffrey, but commonly called "Jeff".
Other of the older graves are those of:
Susan, wife of T.B. Hartley, died January 3, 1880, aged fifty-six years eight months. By her side lies her husband, Thomas B. Hartley, who was born about 1824 or 1825 and died in the early ë90's. No stone marks his resting place, but both graves are carpeted with myrtle and were, when I visited them, strewn with oak leaves, which rustled in the keen winter breeze, while the green of the patches of vines showing through in spots glistened in the bright sunshine.
What recks the sleepers if remembered or not?
Then, there were, Gary McPherson, died February 27, 1880, aged seventy-two years and some months.
Levi Coe died February 21, 1879, in his fifty-sixth year.
Elizabeth Coe, died February 11, 1876, aged forty seven years ten months.
Bertha, a daughter of J.W. and M. Hartley, died in 1874.
Lizzie Kent, died in 1870. William A. Kent, in 1878 and the mother, (presumably) Martha A. Kent in March 1901, at the age of seventy seven.
John R. Roach was born in 1837 and died in 1905. His wife Minerva Roach born 1836, are the names marking an imposing granite monument.
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The Fairview Graveyard(Sandy
ëTis a bleak wild hill, but green and bright
In summer's warmth, and mid-day light,
There's a hum of the bee, and a chirp of the wren
And the dash of the brook from the
On a high windy point, which is well sprinkled with limestone rocks and which rises where the ridge next below Falling Timber Run unites with the longer ridge dividing Turkey Fork from Main Sandy and overlooking the valleys of Falling Timber and Five Mile Run and another branch of Turkey Fork, is a cemetery, which, while of recent date, contains the graves of many old citizens, mayhap some of them pioneers of Jackson County.
The soil is clay and rolling on top of the point, to the east and west, while there is a steep bank on the eastern side within the bounds of the fence.
To say fence, is not exactly correct, at the time I visited the spot because though there were posts set, there was at that time, no fencing up. Probably, the intention was to fence with wire.
Down at the foot of the slope a little north of east and at the forks of the county road, where the road out the Turkey Fork Ridge leaves the Leroy and Garfield road, stands the Fairview Schoolhouse, and hear. On the opposite side of the road is the Fairview M.P. Church, and Fairview is surely an appropriate name as the church, schoolhouse and a few of the neighboring farm houses can be seen shining white and glistening for miles to the south and southwest, being visible half way to Ripley.
The graveyard is about six by twelve rods and although probably not year twenty five years since the soil was first broken for burial purposes (the oldest dates I saw were in the eighties) it is already filled with the turf heaped tenements, many of which have markers of white limestone.
There is an imposing granite monument inscribed to:
George W. Smith, born 1823 died 1902.
There is one of the numerous Smith Family (probably they are represented in every cemetery, in all the county) lived near the Red Rose Schoolhouse and was, I think , from Noble County, Ohio.
There were other graves of Smiths and several of the Nuzum family, who came from Marion County, about thirty years ago.
Sophronia Nuzum, born April 6, 1827, died September 1, 1892, aged sixty five years four months.
Sarah Jane Nuzum, born December 11, 1837, died May 19, 1894, aged fifty seven years five months.
John J. Anderson, born May 15, 1825, died January 17, 1787 (sic), aged sixty one years eight months. Elizabeth, wife of John J. Anderson, died January 17, 1787(sic) aged sixty two years three months.
There was an odd conceit of a headstone in fashion of a double portal at the graves of A.J. and A.J., twin children of A.J. and M.A. Bord. They were son of daughter of Jack Bord who was a son of Andy and grandson of Patrick Bord.
Then, there was another old man, Jonathan Balderson, born May 6, 1823 died June 14, 1886 aged sixty three years one month.
The grave of a child was marked Ralph Smith. This may have been the child of Jasper Smith, said to be a kin of the Smiths on Reedy, but I think probably he was a son of G.W. Smith and the name a coincidence.
There was no shade trees in the cemetery, but some locust trees and several cedars have been planted for ornament.
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The Garfield Graveyard
Spread the green turf above their heads,
And fold thy mantle o'er them
Roll Leths o'er their lowly beds
And shroud the doom before them.
There stands on a high knob, just this side of Garfield. An old weather beaten church house, which has been built fifteen years or more and looks as if it had never been repainted.
Still, like the proverbial city, set in a similar position, it is visible at a great distance.
It is a "Campbellite" churck. That denomination being particularity strong in the Turkey Fork Country.
Back of the Church on the side is a graveyard, about seven by fourteen rods in its dimensions, but there are as yet few graves. I only noted two inscriptions, and they are probably "foreigners" as there are few of the pioneers or their descendants in this section, most of the inhabitants being from Ohio. They were:
Jeremiah Watkins, born July 20, 1825 died April 24, 1897. Rosanna, wife of Jeremiah Watkins, born October 24, 1829 died June 30, 1903.
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The Odaville Graveyard
The Sleep is on him,
His toils are passed,
The valley lies on his breast at last,
Then, let him slumber.
Odaville is strung out along the Left Fork of Sandy, for something less than a quarter of a mile.
About a quarter of a mile above Odaville, at the point of a sharp elbow in the Creek, Turkey Fork enters from the right and a quarter of a mile further, on the bank of Turkey Fork, which is a small stream with bottoms as wide as those on Sycamore, is a new looking church house and behind it a new graveyard four by five rods, carved out of the corner of a field and nicely fenced with posts and planks.
There are no old graves, nor any graves of very old people. The oldest dates I noticed was 1886. There was a Wm. A. Smith died in 1886 at thirty two years of age.
Susanna, wife of A.J. Adkins, born 1829 died 1902.
James Balis died 1901 aged sixty six years four days.
The names Kittle and Johnson occurred.
The grounds around the church were sodded with bluegrass and everything had a fresh clean appearance. The building was marked: "Christian House of Worship 1885".
On the run bank, above the church and near the graveyard was a picturesque bank.
About a quarter of a mile above the church is an old hewed log house, weather boarded all around except the upper side on which is a wide, old fashioned porch with massive posts and railing. A man named Owens lived here before the war.
About two miles from Odaville, standing so close to the lower side of the road that it is scarred by passing wagon hubs, is a giant white oak tree known as the Hawk Oak.
This tree having stood so long in the open ground is limbed down the trunk, which is five feet in diameter and the top is dead.
Here was perpetrated one of he outrages of the war of the rebellion, in the county of Jackson, the killing of George Hawk, George Woods, a young man of eighteen was killed between this place and the house which was at the mouth of Peter's Run where Roliff now lives.
George Hawk was born in Randolph County in 1817, moved to "Sarvis" Fork in January 1857 and to Turkey Fork some time later. He was killed by the Moccasin Rangers in September 1861.
This band described as "a rugged vicious looking set" wearing moccasins, coonskin caps and shot pouches, armed with old rifles and having long beards, hair that looked like it had never been extracted from their heads and clothes to compete with it.
Another man named Hartley assisted the family in the burial and then left the country.
Hawk was probably buried on the farm.
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Right Reedy (Otherwise known as Sheppards Fork)
And Other cemeteries Visited In Wirt County
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The Sheppard Graveyard
Headstone and half sunk footstone
And soft gray lichens plate o'er plate
Have softened down the deep cut name
The first man to settle on Reedy, other than at Palestine was a middle aged frontiersman who came to the valley of the Right Fork of Reedy when it was an unbroken wilderness and wolves and panthers were abundant in the forests.
This hardy pioneer was Jonathan Sheppard, and although originally from the South Branch of the Potamac, it is said he came from Hacker's Creek to Reedy in 1806 moving his family and goods on pack horses.
He entered a large body of fine land extending along the creek from what is known as Lockhart Ford, a distance of more than six miles to the forks of the creek, now Pewee.
Sheppard, who had been a soldier in the Revolution, built his humble cabin on a little raise on the left hand side of the Creek about half a mile below the mouth of Smith's (now Thorn's Run) being careful, as was the custom of our forefathers, to locate conveniently to a spring.
The cabin has long since disappeared. For eighty years, the wild flowers have blossomed and faded over the grave of the pioneer. All of his sons and daughters have grown up and passed away and his grand children are gray haired men and women, but the spring still flows on, and the flocks and herds of the fields, slake now their thirst where all the wild animals, common to this section, came for water when that little cabin was built by the forest spring a hundred years ago.
When Jonathan Sheppard settled by this spring, his neighbors were a thin fringe of backwoodsmen scattered along the Little Kanawha River.
Beauchamp, Rockhold, Lazure, Booher, Wells and Enoch being among the names of the settlers. Reedy and Sandy were, as yet, untouched by the settlers axe and the Ohio River Valley was an unbroken forest from the Belleville Settlement to Warth's Bottom. Parsons had been two years at the mouth of Sycamore, twenty five years later to become the town of Ripley and Wrights Mills were already established where Cottageville now is. But, there was not a person living in the bounds of what is now Roane County.
Sheppards wife was a Yankee girl, born in Massachusetts, but alas! She only lived two years in the new home in the woods until she was called into the Beyond, and left him with a family of seven children. The youngest barely five years old and the oldest scarcely grown. A child, which only lived a few hours, was the first white child born on Reedy.
Martha Wilson Sheppard died March 1808, aged forty one. That is all the stone reveals, but she was born in 1767.
The same year, Parsons, at mouth of Sycamore, lost his companion and the Ripley cemetery received its first grave.
Meantime, John Conrad and his son Jacob had moved to Reedy in 1807, settling there, and John Hartley, who is supposed to have lived about Peewee. The next year, John Smith settled at the first fork of Thorn's Run, about a half mile up from the Creek.
Probably it was soon after that, the Roys came (from about Malden, says on informant) and later the Somervilles, Lockharts, Enochses, Otts, etc.
The first graveyard on Reedy was on a gentle slope on a short distance down the creek from the site of the cabin. It is two by three rods and all but two or three of the graves have head stones.
The lot has been fenced with plank many years ago, but the fence is falling down and weeds have overgrown the place.
Outside the fence, two white oak trees, which some vandal has deadened, gaunt, grim and white limbed, are standing Sentinel over the dead. The graves are:
Jonathan Sheppard, died April 16, 1825, aged sixty five years. His birthday was in 1760. Martha, wife of Jonathan Sheppard, died March 1808, aged forty one. William Sheppard, died March 27, 1874, aged seventy nine years, three months. His birthday being January 2, 1795. He was the son of Jonathan Sheppard and lived in the bottom opposite the mouth of Crane Nest Run. He was a Justice of the Peace and a Colonel of the Virginia Militia. He was found dead in the well at his house. Beside him lie his two wives. Letitia, wife of William Sheppard, died August 23, 1823, aged twenty nine. Her maiden name was Black. Jane, wife of Col. W.M. Sheppard, born June 26, 1805 died January 18, 1889. She was a Steele from Tucker's Creek and was eighty three years six months. James, son of Wm. and Jane Sheppard died July 23, 1830, aged one year one month. Catharine, daughter of Wm. and Jane Sheppard, died July 3, 1868, aged twenty one years four months. These are all marble slabs, except William and Jane, who have monuments.
At the lower side are two graves with flagstone markers engraved R.S. September 15, 1827 aged sixty five. R.S 1848.
One of these, probably the first, is the grave of Robert Sheppard, a brother of Jonathan Sheppard. He came out at some time. He had at least two children, William and Mahala. There are two or three unmarked graves and perhaps some not now traceable.
John Smith lived on Thorne's Run. He was partly raised by the Indians and had the peculiar stealthy tread and wary vigilance of the red man. Some, I believe, called him part Indian, but this, his descendants deny, claiming that he was taken captive when a little child and returned, probably at Boquets Treaty. One account says he died at about eighty. A mistake if, as another report has it, Jonathan Sheppard married his widow, as Sheppard died in 1825.
Smith may be buried at the Sheppard graveyard or perhaps his own farm.
Thomas Thorne bought the Smith farm about 1838.
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The Ott Graveyard
The Ott Graveyard
There's the sound of the bell from the
And the shade of the beech lies cool
On the rock.
And fresh from the west is the free wind's
Where the heart of the sleeper lies still in
One half mile below the Sheppard graveyard, the creek makes a sharp bend to the right around a point which runs out from the southern hills, like a head land in the ocean. The northern hill follows something of the same lines in a less pronounced form, which leaves the bottom lands which are wide and rather low and wet above, narrow here, but as if to make amends on top of this point which is, perhaps forty or fifty feet high and quite steep. The land lies nearly level or sloping back gently to the base of the hills.
This plateau, which contains several acres, is drained by several little streams, mere depressons in the flats, until near the edge of the plateau, where they deepen into gullies, cutting their way to the lower level of the creek below. On a little point that extends between two of these hollows to the bluff is an old time burial ground commonly known as the Ott graveyard. Either because of the number of that name who rest there or perhaps from John Ott, who once owned the farm on which it is situated.
This John Ott lived in a house that stood on the flat back of the graveyard, there being still visible, the stones where the chimney stood and perhaps some of the foundation stone lying around. There are yet, a few scrubby apple trees standing.At the foot of the hill, by the side of a little rivulet and close to a little depression, said to have been the site of a spring in the early days, stands a sycamore tree with a spreading top and huge trunk being about seventy five feet in height and eleven and one half feet in circumference.
The story goes that when the men finished rolling this field, clearing it of logs by rollling them off to be burned, they went to the spring for water. One man stuck his handspike in the ground by the spring, where it still sticks the sycamore tree. A root where it crosses the hollow fifty feet from the tree is eight inches in diameter.
Probably this tree long antedates the Ott house, unless indeed that were first built by some earlier settler than Ott.
John Conrad was born and raised, grew up and married in Germany, says his grand daughter, Sudner Smith. His wife's name was Catharine Wendle. Coming to the United states, he lived first at Hagerstown, Maryland, whence he moved to the South branch and from there to Reedy.
Another grandchild, Jacob Conrad, says he came from Cheat River to Reedy.
He came to Right Reedy in 1808 and bought - it is supposed - of Jonathan Sheppard, building his cabin near the bend in the creek before mentioned. One account says on the hill on the left side, another, and I think more probable one, says on the plateau on the south side of the creek, no one appears to know now just where. Possibly it was where John Ott's house afterward stood, more likely however, it has been nearer the creek.
In 1810 he is said to have built the first grist mill on Reedy. It stood by the creek nearly opposite the mouth of the Thomas Run, a small hollow coming down from the hills on the right.
When the land passed into the hands of his son-in-law, Fidillas Ott, the mill was still continued as Ott's Mill and later it fell to Anthony Thomas, who rebuilt it, and if I mistake not, the building is yet standing. It was in use twenty two years ago when I first passed that way. Sudner Smith told me that John and Catharine Conrad were both buried at the Ott graveyard, which is doubtlessly correct, but she was mistaken when she said they had tombstones or inscriptions.
Jacob Conrad was probably his oldest child and was about twenty one when he came to Reedy. Jacob married Sally Leachman and had a tannery at Elizabeth.
The Ott graveyard is on a little point between the steep hollows. It is three by six rods in extent, is fenced with plank and nearly filled with the lowly mounds. On the south side, is a magnificent beech tree which casts its shade all over the burial ground. The stem is carved all around with names and dates, many of them grown off with the lapse of years, but I did not have time to examine them.
The foot of each grave is very slightly the highest.
On the upper side of the cemetery are the graves of:
Smith Parsons, died December 12, 1879, aged sixty four years. Elizabeth, wife of Smith Parsons, died January 28, 1876 aged sixty four years ten months. They came from Ohio and lived on Sargents Run, which empties into the creek about a mile and a half below.
Sarah Ott, born January 27, 1820 died August 12, 1873, aged fifty three years seven months. She was a daughter of James Vandal and sister of Andy Vandal, and Harriett Boggs. By her side lies John P. Ott, died 1879 aged twenty one years. He is a son of John and Sarah Ott , as also was Nimrod Ott, who was born in 1844.
In the lower side of the graveyard are three children of Andy Ott, who is a son of John P. and Sarah Vandal Ott. In another row are graves of : Fidillas Ott, born July 29, 1791, died November 25, 1872, aged eighty one years three months. Mary Ott, born February 28, 1796 died May 11, 1893, aged ninety seven years two months.
I do not know where this Fidillas Ott came from. He was a German and married Polly Conrad, a daughter of John Conrad (not a sister as some have said).
John Ott, born March 4, 1790 died August 26, 1865 aged seventy three years five months, was an older brother of Fidillas, he died unmarried.
Fidillas Ott died October 22, 1860 aged twenty four years six months. He was a son of Fidillas and Mary Ott.
Charles Ott died 1860, a child. His parents were Lewis and S. Ott. Lewis Ott was probably a brother of Fidillas, Sr., as was Joseph Ott, who lived on the Creek below him. Joseph's daughter Margaret, married Rev. M.B. Edmondson in 1872 as his third wife.
Jacob Conrad was born September 23, 1787 died July 23, 1850, aged sixty two years ten months.
Daniel Conrad was born July 12, 1802 and died in 1827, aged twenty five years. He lived on Reedy and died from overheating himself in the harvest field. He left a wife and one child.
There is a row of old graves with flagstones at head, only one of which is marked. It bears the letters of C.W.
There were Wisemans in the neighborhood and this may have been one of that family.
It may be that John Smith is buried here, but the oldest date I have is 1827.
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The Pisgah Graveyard
The Pisgah Graveyard
Thus resigned and quiet creep
To the bed of lasting sleep;
Sleep whence thou shalt never wake,
Night, where dawn shall never break,
Till future life, future no ore,
To light and joy the good restore,
To light and joy unknown before.
One mile below the mouth of Crane Nest is Sommerville Fork and it is called one mile from there down to Pisgah Church and graveyard, but I don't think it is hardly so far and the next mile to the mouth of Thorne's Run is not more than three quarters.
The mouth of Big Run which empties on the left side of Reedy is diagonally opposite the church. That is to say, the church is on the opposite side of the Creek from the mouth of Big Run and a little below, nearly in a line with the course of the run.
It was on the afternoon of the twenty ninth of November, a dull gloomy day, when I visited this old churchyard. It had been sprinkling rain and was getting late when I rode down the creek. Upon surmounting a raise in the road, I came, unexpectedly on an old church on an elevation to the right. It was in the edge of a fine grove of magnificent beech trees, their trunks scarred with the rude carving of several generations. The building was wide, low and squatty. It's walls weatherstained and storm beaten.
Back of the church, on top of the knoll, the gravestones, clustered thickly row after row.
Hitching my horse, I took my way among the tombs, passing back through the northern or lower side, I had returned perhaps two thirds of the distance through the center before I discovered that it was the Pisgah Graveyard I was in. When I became aware of my error, I felt the same sensation of bewilderment one does upon recovering his bearings after being lost.
I had been at Pisgah once about thirteen years ago and had, perhaps, passed the place once or twice, but had not the slightest conception of what it looked like.
Had I been put on oath, or rather affirmation, for I have never yet taken an oath, I would cheerfully testified, and that without any modifying "to the best of my knowledge", but as an absolute certainty, that the Pisgah Church was across the Creek from the road on a narrow slope behind, which rose a high, wooded hill with the burying ground on the down stream side where the slope (not bottom) was a little wider.
Even yet, I cannot entirely reconcile my mind to the notion that if it is not that way, it at least, ought to be.
Instead of being as I thought. One of the most unsuitable locations I ever saw for a ceemtery it is really one of the very best.
The road crosses through a low gap much as it does at the Harpold graveyard on Mill Creek, only the point it cuts off is not nearly so high, nor so steep. The church stands a little higher than the road on the side of a gentle rise on which grow an even dozen large beech trees, a part of the original forest. One of them standing in front of the building, furnishing a cool and refreshing shade.
The creek comes to the road above and then sweeps around this point which extends out into the valley. On the upper slope of the point, which has never been cleared, I counted twenty five or more sugar trees.
The creek, which clings close to the base of the point on its upper side pushes its course far out into the bottom lands, turning with a wide sweep the streams winds in and out where it find the least resistance to its flow until it comes to the hill again at the narrows, a quarter of a mile below, its banks being lined with white armed sycamores, leaning out over the water or clasping hands across its tide.
The graveyard is about nine by ten rods and is surrounded by and old board fence.
There is a house on the bank above the road and two others down on Two Lick Run, which flows into the creek below the knoll on which stands the church, one on each side of the road.
Beyond the graveyard, the point extends for some distance and there are some old apple trees. But I could not learn if there had ever been a house there.
The Pisgah Chruch was the first built on Reedy.
The first sermon in the neighborhood was preached by a Methodist at the house of John Smith on Thorne's Run in 1813.
Samuel Somerville moved to Brushy Fork (Providence Road in Jackson County in 1843.
Samuel Somerville was born in 1771 and died in 1857.
Susan Somerville was born in 1789 and died in 1864.
They are buried in the Providence Cemetery.
Pauline Somerville Smith
The class was organized in 1818. I failed in getting the date of the building of the first church house but it was at an early date, probably not later than 1835.
The first house was built of logs and had a capacious fire place in one end. It stood on top of the knoll in the graveyard.
As was the custom of that day, it was used for both church and school house, and here, Clarissa Sheppard, who was born in February 1831, first went to school when probably six or seven years old.
Back as far as 1818 the neighbors had cut poles of beech and lynn and built a hut, on the creek just above where the church is built, for use as a school house.
Among those who were members of the class at an early date were: John Smith and wife, Dianna Smith, Elizabeth Smith, Samuel Sheppard, Amalia Sheppard, William Sheppard and wife, Susan Sheppard Sommerville, Rebecca Sheppard Somerville, Sarah Sheppard Lockhart, Isaac Lockhart, Peter Conrad, Phebe Hartley Conrad.
I will begin the record of those buried at Pisgah, with a couple who are not so recorded, but were probably laid here before tombstones became common.
Samuel Sommerville, came from Ireland and settled at mouth of Sommerville Fork about 1810-13 (estimated from age of children).
Susan Sheppard, daughter of Jonathan Sheppard, was wife of Samuel Sommerville.
I can only guess at the dates of birth or death of either of them.
Jacob Bumgardner, born September 15, 1803 died January 20, 1870, aged sixty six years four months. Nancy, wife of Jacob Bumgardner and daughter of Samuel and Susan Sommerville, born June 28, 1816, died October 24, 1871, aged fifty five years three months.
I never heard where the Bumgardners came from. They were German stock. There were Bumgardners, Andrew and Frederick among the pioneers of Tucker's Creek. Jacob got his wife's home place which remained in the hands of his children until recently.
There were other Bumgardners. Probably children or grand children buried in the same row, which is in the south east corner of the cemetery.
Not far from this spot is a flagstone marker with letters D.B.
Virginia, wife of George Knotts and daughter of Jacob and Nancy Bumgardner, died 1879.
Jonathan Sommerville, born August 5, 1817, (date of death missed someway).
Margaret, wife of Jonathan Sommerville, born October 12, 1820 died February 15, 1903, aged eighty two years four months. He was a son of Samuel and Susan Sommerville she a daughter of Fidillas and Polly Conrad Ott.
Alfred, son of Jonathan and Margaret Sommerville is buried in another part of the grounds.
Joseph Bumgardner died August 3, 1865 aged thirty three years six months.
"Go to the grave in all thy glorious poise,
In full activity of great zeal and power
A Christian cannot die before his time
The Lord's appointment is his servants hour."
Rhodany, wife of Joseph W. Bumgardner, died November 22, 1863 aged twenty nine years ten months.
"Lord, I commend my soul to thee.
Accept the Sacred Trust.
Receive this nobler part of me
And watch my sleeping dust."
Andrew Sommerville was born in Ireland in 1787, died March 21, 1855, aged sixty nine years.
Rebecca, wife of Andrew Sommerville and daughter of Jonathan Sheppard was born October 7, 1798, died February 26, 1895, aged ninety six years four months. He was a brother of Samuel Sommerville and lived at the first farm up Sommerville Fork.
William McFee, born December 23, 1819, died October 8, 1896, aged seventy six years, nine months. Margaret, wife of Wm. McFee born April 16, 1826 and died December 6, 1883, aged fifty seven years seven months. She was a daughter of Andrew and Rebecca Sommerville and they lived in the head of Sommerville Fork.
He had a lot fenced with a very high rail fence in which, when I used to pass there, about 1873-6, he kept several tame deer.
David B. Sommerville, born November 1, 1830 died March 25, 1887, aged fifty six years four months. Martha E., wife of David B. Sommerville, born April 20, 1833, probably not dead yet. Her maiden name was Enochs.
Henry Harris came from about Wiseburg. He was born November 6, 1796 died February 10, 1881, aged eighty six years two months. He married ëBecca Sommerville.
Rev. Samuel Sheppard, was born March 27, 1803, died March 16, 1872, aged sixty eight years eleven months.
"I rest, weep not for me,
Blessed are they that die in the Lord."
He was the youngest son of Jonathan and Martha Wilson Sheppard, was three years old when he came to Reedy, being carried on a pack horse. He married Amelia Full about 1825 and lived on the north side of the creek, a half mile below Pisgah. He was long a local preacher in the Southern Methodist Church, and was universally respected. His body rests where the old church stood and his wife sleeps by his side. Amelia, wife of Sameul Sheppard, was born March 16, 1803 and died August 27, 1876, aged seventy three years five months. She was the daughter of Reuben Full. (The marriage record Parmelia Full October 29, 1828). They raised a large family.
One son, Jonathan Sheppard, born September 7, 1826 died July 6, 1898, aged seventy one years nine months. His wife was Lucinda, daughter of Armistead Morehead. I think she is buried by his side, but having died recently, has no monument yet. He lived down under the bank from Pisgah Church, on Two Lick Run, where Henry Sheppard first built.
Martha, daughter of William Sheppard and wife of John S. Thorne died January 19, 1870 aged twenty four years six months.
John S. Thorne was born February 27, 1848 and died February 9, 1887.
Arizona Sheppard was born May 13, 1864 died December 26, 1893, aged twenty nine years seven months. She was daughter of J.B. Smith of Reedy and married Jonah, son of Jonathan Sheppard. She lived on the ridge at the head of Lynn Camp Run.
Wilson Sheppard, born 1833 died 1896.
Margaret, wife of Wilson Sheppard, born about 1835 died 1881, aged forty five years seven months. He was a son of William Sheppard.
He made the first improvement at mouth of Big Run.
A.H. Sheppard, Jr., born April 26, 1863 died April 17, 1900.
It is sad to see those who are loved by all who know them, cut off in the beginning of a busy and useful life.
Ad. Sheppard was one of the most intelligent and intellectual young men I ever became acquainted with. He had acquired a good education and taught school several terms. Had studied law and was admitted to the bar about 1897.
A magnificent block of rough granite marks his grave, which is inclosed with an ornamental iron fence.
Mattie Fresher Sheppard, wife of C.H. Sheppard, died at about forty one, born 1869. She has a fine monument of red granite.
Ray Callow, born May 30, 1903 died May 13, 1924, grave marked with a flag.
Daniel Cain, born January 22, 1828, died July 23, 1889, aged sixty one years six months. He was a son of Thomas Cain of Reedy. He married Letty, daughter of Willam Sheppard and lived at the forks of the Creek. He laid out the village of Pewee. Lettitia Cain, died 1883, aged fifty two years. Jemima, daughter of Daniel and Letty Cain, died aged sixteen years.
A daughter of G.W. and E. Bord died 1872.
Daniel Rowland, born December 25, 1813 died April 9, 1901, aged eighty seven years three months.
Nathaniel G. Rowland.
Jonathan Sheppard, Jr., born December 14, 1836 died April 2, 1888.
Eunice Sheppard, wife, born January 15, 1832 died January 2, 1919, and by their side lie:
Dora, wife of M.K. Goff, born July 19, 1886 ages nineteen years six months. By her, but across a space, Amanda E., wife of M.A. McClung, died April 20, 1880, aged twenty nine years nine months.
Samuel Tubach, born October 13, 1825, died January 8, 1890, aged seventy four years two months.
Isabel, wife of S. Tubach, born August 29, 1828, died March 26, 1890, aged seventy one years six months.
Caroline V., wife of George McGee, born November 29, 1852, died October 25, 1884.
Bascom Shepard, died 1885, aged twenty five years.
R.J. Shepard, born September 9, 1840, died April 30, 1864.
Michael Thorne, born February 24, 1814, died October 19, 1865, aged fifty one years seven months. Sarah, wife of Michael Thorne, born January 28, 1813, died May 11, 1881, aged sixty eight years three months.
Michael Thorne Jr. was a son of Thomas Thorne, Sr., who moved to the John Smith farm in 1838. He lived on Thorne's Run. Frank Thorne is his son.
Violet, wife of Thomas Thorne, died in 1875, aged forty seven years and six months.
Madoc S. Thorne, son of William and J. Thorne.
Amanda E., wife of M.A. McClung, died in 1880, aged twenty nine years.
Joseph Pickersgill, born in Yorkshire, England, August 22, 1793, died May 20, 1865, aged seventy two years eight months.
Basil Young came from Brixton County, married Pickersgill's widow and lived on Thorne's Run. He was born July 27, 1797, and died February 9, 1884, aged eighty six years six months.
Jefferson Ayres died July 1887 aged fifty one years eleven months. Mary J., wife of J.L. Ayres, died in 1884, aged nineteen years.
Martha A., wife of W.R. Enoch, died March 28, 1869, aged sixty four years.
E.M. Roberts, born November 2, 1827, died January 4, 1898, aged seventy years two months.
Martha, wife of Frank Gough, born August 6, 1842, died March 18, 1898.
Martha, wife of E.J. Cheuvront, born May 1, 1836, died July 19, 1890. Ed Cheuvront had a store at Pewee.
Out to one side of the graveyard is a lowly mound, weeds grew thickly around and the grass was untrimmed, ëtill the surroundings had a neglected uncared-for appearance, as if the memory of the hero heart, that mouldered below had passed from the minds of the living. I say hero because at the head of the humble mound rose the regulation United States stone bearing the inscription:
"O.B. Grier, Co. A 97th O.V.I."
It may be forgotten who the man was, his life and his antecedents, but while this marble slab endures, it will be known that he was a Union Soldier, the form sleeping so peacefully in this quiet corner among the West Virginia Hills, once followed the flag and kept step to the drum beat of the legions of Grant or Sherman.
That a young life was freely risked that the Union might endure, might live on, free in fact as well as name.
Let us reverently bow the head and heart wherever one of these humble stones lifts its form, for every one of them is a shrine in the temple of Liberty.
On this soldier grave, years ago, some loving hand had planted a flowering shrub, now neglected and straggling in a thick cluster. In this clump of bushes, a little bird has built her nest, and tended her fledgling brood over the heart that once beat high and warm, But now, the chill of winter is in the air, dry leaves only nestle in the deserted bird home. The life and love which once filled its grass woven walls, like the spirit that dwelt in the form slumbering below it, has flown, leaving the now useless domicile, bleak and desolate.
An old weatherbeaten marble slab, five and a half feet high and twenty or more inches across, bears the quaint figure of a woman, with her hair parted in the middle and combed down flat behind her ears, sitting on a grassy bank with a book lying in her lap. The inscription is:
Mary M., wife of A.C. Justice, died April 9, 1873, in her nineteenth year.
I think she was said to be a daughter of Anthony Thomas.
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The Full's Fork Graveyard
A dark, gloomy day in late autumn, clouds hung like a gray and somber pall over the hills, moisture descended or beat in the faces of those who happened to be out of doors. Were it a little heavier, it would have been rain, a little lighter and it would have been a mist. Partaking of the nature of both, it is likely it was a part of the time one and a part of the other.
After a long and unsuccessful search for Jap Smith, a man I have often heard of, yet never seen, and with whom I wanted to talk, I had made my way at last, down the Enochs Fork of Right Reedy to Pewee and crossing the Creek, traveled up Fulls Fork about a mile, when the time-stained walls of the Center Valley Church gleamed a dull gray through the drizzle, like the shine of wet stones in the night time. As it was alternately hidden and revealed by the fringe of trees surrounding it, their brown leaves partly scattered over the ground and partly hanging limp and dripping from the half bare branches.
Crossing the creek below, I followed the foot path across a cornfield and led my horse up a narrow hogback point, through brushwood and over some ugly rocks, coming out in the rear of the building, to find had I gone up the Creek to the next house I would have come to a wagon road, which crosses to the church and winding up past the graveyard, ascends the hill, leading finally to - I know not where.
The building which is large and commodious bears on its front the legend here presented:
"Fulls Fork, Center Valley M.E. Church"
The cemetery lies on a slope above the church. It is large and irregular in shape and contains many of the low indulations which hide the old and the young, the rich and the poor, "the good, the brave, the beautiful", in their long dreamless sleep. Who can say what hopes, what ambitions, what capabilities, what of the past, what of the fore-shortened future is hidden by the turf of this bare, dreary hillside.
There is shade enough around the church, which stands on a little level where the hogback widens into the hill slope and down by the road side, is the redeeming feature of the situation, a superb spreading chestnut tree, some four feet over, with low symmetrical crown, its wide arms reaching far on every side, a counterpart of the Village Smithy's shade.
The family with the largest representation in this burial place is probably that of the Fulls.
The Full family, said A.H. Shepard, a grandson of the founder of the family on Reedy, came from Sheppherdstown on the Potomac. He thinks they settled on the farm below the church.
Rev. M.B. Edmond son says: "Reuben Full Sr. lived below Sheppards on the Creek, a short time and afterward on the Little Kanawha, near the mouth of Reedy." The accounts may have both been correct. I append a brief summary of the family history.
Reuben Full was of German descent. He settled on Right Reedy at an early date, not later than the early twenties. The name of his wife is not known. The children were:
Absalom Full, lived on the head of the Left Fork of Sandy, above John Somerville. His last wife was Mahala Shepard, daughter of Robert Shepard.
Andrew Full, lived on Upper Sandy.
Susan Full married Francis Magraw and lived first at mouth of Crane Nest and later on Full's Fork.
Joseph Full lived just below Five Mile Run on Turkey Fork.
Amelia Full married Samuel Shepard.
Reuben Full Jr. lived at the log house at forks of road across from the Church.
Joseph Full was born September 25, 1791 and died January 22, 1865, aged seventy three years nine months. Mary, wife of Joseph Full, was born New Year's Day, 1804, died July 25, 1873 aged sixty nine years seven months.
In the same row were three graves with flagstones at the head, one marked Lewis Full. David Full was Joseph's son.
Reuben Full was born September 8, 1806 died November 21, 1866, aged sixty years three months. Elizabeth, wife of Reuben Full was born August 9, 1824, died September 3, 1877 aged fifty two years eleven months.
Olive, wife of Lewis Full, died September 25, 1890, aged forty three years seven months. She was the daughter of Martin Sims.
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The French Colony
A Frenchman named Lavasse served in the Revolution and entered for a part of his pay, a large tract of land, including the head of Turkey Fork. On this, he settled of his own nationality.
Charles M. Lisez, whose age when he died in May 1904, is variously given as ninety five, ninety seven and "about a hundred". On the assessor's books of Jackson County, he was listed in 1900 as ninety. He married a sister of Joseph Carez. Charles E. Lisez is buried at the Full's Fork Cemetery but has no monument.
Joseph Carez was born in France in 1782 and died March 11, 1872, aged ninety years.
Mariah, wife of Joseph Carez, died April 7, 1888, aged sixty three years.
I was told Carez married a Full.
A nearby inscription reads, as copied: "Hannah, wife died April 1889, aged forty one years eleven months."
I am unable to unravel the tandle, if tangle there be, whether there is some name left out, or if the dates are copied wrong. I know not now, perhaps one should be 1838 or 9.
James Brown, born March 1833 died March 1897.
Annie Mooney, born September 12, 1845, died October 21, 1898.
Joseph W. Moncrief, born March 31, 1842, died March 11, 1897, aged fifty five years eleven months.
Sarah, wife of Joseph W. Moncrief, aged fifty three years eight months.
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The Buffalo Graveyard
In early days, there was a Methodist Church at Buffalo, on Reedy, above Palestine. Some years ago, owing to a division of the circuit or change in the classes, a new church was built out on the ridge at the head of the Left Branch of Thorne's Run, and though several miles from the first Church, retained the name of Buffalo.
It is built of logs up on the point from the low gap at head of Thorne's and Round Bottom Runs, is at the forks of a road in the woods and belongs to the Southern Methodists.
The graveyard, which has only been opened a few years, lies behind the church and is four by seven and five by seven rods. There are about twenty graves, among which I noted D.A.E. Thomas, born May 19, 1817, died July 23, 1901, aged eighty four years two months.
Lucinda, wife of D.A.E. Thomas, born July 24, 1821, died September 20, 1902, aged eighty one years one month. She was a daughter of Peter and Phebe Conrad.
There was also a government headstone for:
Levi Channels, Co. K. 6th W.Va. Inf.
Another of the boys in Blue.
Another stone is marked: "J.M. Lott".
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It was my good fortune to visit the old cemetery at Palestine, Wirt County, twice during the fall of 1926. It is commodious as to space, but mostly occupied, though it has been enlarged as to boundaries once or more. However, there is abundant room and good ground for indefinite extension. It lies on a low hill just back of the village and is overlooked by the present day church, which stands across a lane, the old site of the Spencer-Elizabeth Turnpike, from the graveyard. Though, this is by no means a new building, it is far from being the pioneer church, which was doubtless a hewed log structure, stood across the Reedy road in which is now an integral part of the cemetery. Not unlikely, another building has been between the two as to time. Hardesty's History makes no mention of the Palestine Church, but it is doubtless of a hundred years ago or more. The oldest date I noted in the graveyard is, so far as I traced, 1816. Though there are no doubt, unmarked graves much older. One of the most interesting, certainly the most historical of all the monuments is a large marble slab, which informs us:
Susannah, daughter of Thomas and Uri Drake was born in Chester County, Pa. October 5, 1769. She was married in London County, Virginia, Christmas day, 1786, to David Hopkins, who died in 1800, leaving six children, Thomas, Levi, Jonathan, David, Uri. Again on Christmas day, 1803, she was married to George Leonard, who died in Parkersburg, Virginia, on March 3, 1803. He left five children, Humphrey, Albert, William, Jacob and George.
In 1837, she married the third time to William Fisher, (last of all, the woman died also.) She died in June 1851, aged eighty one years eight months. (This is not the recording of the tombstone, but is the message it holds aloft to the public.
William C. Wells died in 1862, aged sixty one years.
Levi Wells, born about 1762, died September 12, 1844 in his eighty third year.
Hannah Wells, his wife, born about 1760, died November 1832, aged seventy two years.
Elizabeth Wells, died March 26, 1865, aged seventy one years.
Uri, wife of William Wells, died August 2, 1816 aged forty seven years. Hannah Wells, 1893, sixty nine years old.
Another name, common in this vicinity, is that of Coe, a family who settled at the mouth of Reedy in pioneer days, I am told that there is a private burying ground between the mouth of Reedy and Palestine, which is a half mile below. My informant, Mr. Justice, named three men, Old Johnny, Philip and Jack.
Walter Coe died in 1857 aged sixty seven years.
Barsheba, wife of Walter Coe, is buried in a different spot. She died in 1868. Balance of this inscription is hidden in the ground.
Emerson Coe died in 1878, aged sixty three years.
Elizabeth, wife of Charles W. Fisher, died in 1859 aged forty one years nine months, lives by the side of Emerson Coe.
Another old time name is that of Lockhart. Perhaps the earliest member was John Lockhart, who served in the American Army in the Revolution and later became a pioneer of Wood County, settling first on Lockhart's Run, and later on at Reedy.
Salmon W. Lockhart, 1848 - 1905.
Mary E, his wife, 1848 - 1921.
Enoch 1824 - 1905
Martha, wife of John L. Lockhart, January 22, 1875, aged forty six years.
John Lockhart was born in Northampton County, Virginia, August 6, 1766, died in 1832 at sixty eight years of age. A pioneer and Revolutionary soldier.
Christeny Lockhart, April 27, 1836, aged sixty eight years. Born in 1768.
Another pioneer name, Rockhold, is represented by Mary V. Rockhold, formerly Austin, born 1820. She married Thompson Pomeroy in 1837. He was born in 1807 and died in 1882 aged sixty three years. In 1874, she married Maynard Rockhold and died in 1906.
Francis D. Pomeroy born in 1842 died in 1907.
Sarah, consort of Thomas Leach man, died February 16, 1842 in her sixty ninth year.
James D. Leach man, 1846 (child) same row.
Mary E., wife of David N ñ (Newton perhaps) 1862 aged twenty five years.
Elijah Moss, born in 1774, died May 3, 1846, in his seventy second year.
Susan, consort of E. Moss in 1877 died in 1851, aged seventy four years.
J.J. Edmond son died in 1876, aged twenty five years.
In Memory of
Head senior who
Departed this life
August 20th 1832
Aged 67 years 5 months
A well preserved sandstone slab at both head and foot of the grave.
There had been two big cedar trees cut down for fencing posts a few years ago. I only counted sixty one rings on a stump which would indicate the tree was planted about 1860 or a little later.
Then I found:
Nathaniel Morehead 1811 - 1895 (August 18, 1801 - January 1, 1895 - correct dates another note says.)
Mary, wife of Nathaniel 1803-1870 (1804-1871 correct dates another note says.)
Harriet E., wife of J.W. Morehead died 1865 aged thirty two.
Gilbert Meed 1820 - 1895
Virginia F., his wife, 1832 - 1888
Sam L. Patterson Co. F. 85th Pa.
Galeb Bixler, Co. H. 10th W.Va.
Another pioneer family of the vicinity of Palestine is that of Trickett.
Allen C. Trickett, 1871 in his sixty ninth year.
Allen G. Trickett, 1871, in his thirty ninth year (these may be the same and miscopied.)
Mary E. 1872, wife of Allen G. Died in her thirty fourth year.
William W., their son, 1865 - 1885.
These are all at the south end of Fought Row.
William S. Trickett died 1844 aged thirty five.
Sarah Baker, daughter of William and Mary Knotts, was born in Preston County in 1812, married William S. Trickett in 1831.
Elisha Baker, born January 1850, died at St. Marys in 1883, of the third generation of Reedy Bakers.
Elijah Wees 1881 aged seventy years twenty days. He was living near Sandyville when I knew him, if indeed, this is the same man.
Of the Foughts who lived on Left Reedy below Lucille, I found:
James W. Fought, died 1867 aged thirty two.
Andrew J. Fought died 1866 aged twenty five.
John Fought died 1865 aged thirty four.
Catharine, wife of Hiram, 1858 aged fifty nine, obviously of an older generation.
Wisemans were among the first in the section. Wiseman, the founder of the family was in the American Army.
Caleb Wiseman Jr., born 1850 died 19093
Bertha, his wife, born 1849, still living.
Clara Mabel was a child buried by them.
Zephaniah Wiseman 1877 - twenty six years old.
Susan Wiseman 1811 - 1884 born in Greenbrier County.
Caleb Woodward died in 1861 aged twenty seven.
Rev. G.R. Woodward July 1874 aged thirty years, he was a Union Soldier. Susan Elizabeth was his wife.
Jesse Woodward, May 7, 1846 aged seventy years.
Sylvanus P. Barnes, 1887 aged sixty seven years, age twenty was Esther Barnes 1876-1896. S.P. Barnes, 1873 aged forty six. In row with Welles.
Lizzie, wife of I.P. Thorn, 1826 - 1875. By her side is an unmarked grave with flag.
James R. Mays 1819 -1871. Fannie Mays (wife) 1827 - 1878, probably Joe Maze's brother James, of whom I have only the name.
David Hopkins 1815-1887.
Mary, daughter of William and Susan Foster, and wife of David Hopkins, born in Greenbrier County 1815 died 1857.
He was a son of Levi Hopkins and a nephew of David Hopkins of the Worthington Farm. His mother was Priscilla, daughter of Walter Coe.
Levi Hopkins died 1878 aged thirty eight. He has been of a younger generation.
Priscilla, wife of Levi Hopkins, 1865 aged seventy five years.
Levi Hopkins, Nov 1878 aged eighty seven years six months.
Thomas Hopkins, 1876 aged thirty nine.
Brainerd S. Hopkins, born 1821 died 1851 aged thirty. (Named for Brainerd Spencer).
John McFarlane (probably a son of Ezekiel) his daughter married B.S. Hopkins above. He died August 5, 1846, aged forty five years nine months.
Elizabeth F. Dyer, died 1846 aged twenty eight years.
Rowena L. Dyer, born 1819 died 1849 aged thirty years.
The Dyers appear in the same row as Conrads.
Sarah, wife of Jacob Conrad 1783 -1858.
Virginia, daughter, died 1846 aged nineteen.
Eliza - wife of Eli Robinson 1863 ages eighteen.
Eli Robinson, born 1829 died 1865.
Charles A. Long, 1865 - 1895.
Elias Loather, November 13, 1801 - February 1887.
Sarah, his wife, October 22, 1811 ñ September 1882.
T.M. Loather, 1841 - 1904.
Salina Loather, 1801 - 1862.
Edward T. Lee 1849 - 1919.
Hunter F. Pell 1855 - 1925.
James Stephens 1825 - 1881.
Samuel Edwards 1816 - 1889.
George R. Avery died 1878 aged thirty seven years four months.
Leah, wife of J.B. Henderson, 1862.
William Ott, 1827 - 1912.
Sarah A. Ott 1848 yet living.
Caspar Ott 1842 (son of William) yet living.
Catharine Ott 1845 - 1919.
Alfred Ott 1827 - 1905.
Margaret, his wife, 1839 - 1907.
The graveyard is about twenty by thirty rods but is not rectangular in form.
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About the last of August, 1926, I visited what is usually spoken of as the "Old Cemetery", at Elizabeth, to distinguish it from the present day burying ground, which is of more recent date.
Never having been inside the latter, I cannot say how far back its dates run. There is, I am told, a primitive graveyard across the Little Kanawha River where the old M.E. Church stood, that is still older than the one I visited. The oldest date of which I noted was 1808.
Among the inscriptions are:
William Beauchamp, October 11, 1808 in his sixty fifth year. He might have been a revolutionary soldier, but I have never heard it so claimed. By him rest:
Ellen, daughter of Isaac Tavenner, whose mother was his daughter. She was born 1843 and died 1848. There is in the row. A slab lying down, but the name and date are illegible.
In another part of the cemetery, I trace:
In memory of Elizabeth, wife of David Beauchamp, October 4, 1838, aged fifty two. (For her the town was given its name) She was the daughter of a Woodyard.
David, son of D. and E. Beauchamp, died in 1837 aged twenty three years three months.
Another account (probably correct) has it that Beauchamp's Mills was called Elizabeth after David's sister who married Col. Thomas Tavenner.
Alfred Beauchamp died March 29, 1870 aged sixty two years ten months.
Elizabeth, his wife, September 22, 29+9 aged fifty seven years six months.
David P., son of A. and E. Beauchamp died January 11, 1835.
Mary E., their daughter born 1832 died 1869.
Thomas Tavenner, a son, died 1836, a child.
Catharine, daughter of A. and E.H. Beauchamp and wife of John Cook, born April 5, 1830 died May 22, 1891.
Levi Wells died August 29, 1858 aged fifty six years seven months.
Mary, wife, died March 12, 1861 aged fifty years four months.
Isaiah Wells died January 28, 1859 aged thirty seven years six months.
Sarah, daughter of L. and M. Wells, died April 10, 1853 aged eighteen years.
David H. Wells born 1839 died in 1900.
Also, sevearl children of D.H. and R M Wells, but not the mother that I noted.
Anna E., wife of H.H. Hopkins, died Mary 23, 1883 aged twenty four years two months.
Emma, wife of M.L. Lockhart, died April 21, 1866 aged twenty four years.
William Lockhart died June 18, 1851 and he was born May 19, 1810.
Mary, wife of J. Weaver, born 1836 died 1873, same row.
Charles B. Rockhold born 1852 died 1890. Lora, his wife, born 1873 died 1801.
The most striking epitaph is on a monument on the bank over looking the Elizabeth Pike, it reads:
"Captain Henry Newman served in the 15th W.Va. Infantry from 1861 to 1865. He was an unconditional Union man. He served in the Wheeling Convention that restored the state government of Virginia to its proper relation to the general government. Born 1824 died 1912."
Henry B. Stevens died December 16, 1846 aged thirty five years one month. Susannah, wife of Henry Stevens, died March 1, 1872 aged fifty five years.
William H. Stevens died April 30, 1865 aged nineteen years.
J.W. Lowther was a soldier in the 6th W.Va. (no dates copied)
There were of Woodyards:
Charles, died in 1852 aged twenty two.
Elizabeth, wife of M.B. Edmondson, died April 15, 1871, aged eighty six years (or is it thirty six?)
John S., son of M.F. and F.A. Logan died 1849, a child.
A real pioneer, an old sandstone slab, Reuben Dye, died May 1828 aged sixty years. (Born 1768).
Theodosia, daughter of G.W. and M.D. Dye, died in 1876, a child of three years.
James Fisher, born 1797 died in 1870 aged seventy two years two months.
Elizabeth Fisher, wife, born in 1799 died 1862 aged sixty three years.
Mary Woodyard (Fisher) their daughter died in 1849 aged twenty five years.
Charles Fisher died in 1852 aged twenty two years.
John Downs born in 1808 died 1887.
Charles, son of Joel Woolverton, died in 1818 aged twenty two years.
John H. Easterday born October 17, 1846 died March 24, 1885.
Abraham B. Pribble, June 21, 1832 (must mean born 1832) died when twenty two years old. He was a son of Henry Pribble and Cassandra Mount and a grandson of Thomas and Hannah Butcher Pribble.
Elizabeth Bartlett, born May 29, 1831 died May 22, 1890.
Hannah Rockenbaugh died December 23, 1883 aged eighty.
B.H. Hall, soldier monument and flag, no dates.
Nancy, wife, died in 1875 aged fifty five years.
Isaac Hoffman died in 1874 aged eighty years nine months. Mary, his wife, lies next.
The graveyard is on a narrow point by the side of the pike as one comes into town from the north. It is five or six rods wide and probably four to six times as long as the width, is unkept and grown over with golden rod and blackberry briers.
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Some Graveyards of Main Reedy Creek and its Tributaries Including
The "Three Forks"
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The Conrad Graveyard
Yet still the wilding flower would blow.
The golden leaves would fill
The seasons come, the seasons go
And God be good to all.
With flowers or snowflakes for its sod.
Around, the seasons run
And ever more, the love of God,
Rebuked the fears of man.
The Conrad graveyard is on the old home place of Peter Conrad, who was the first settler on the stream which still bears his name. A run emptying into the Main Reedy about three and one half miles below the Three Forks.
The burying ground is not far from where the old pack horse trail crossed from the Sheppard Settlement.
It is three and a half by four and a half rods square, and lies on a point above the mouth of a hollow and in an old worn out, washed field. There are some second growth hickory trees standing around it.
The graves, which occupy most of the enclosure are largely those of the Conrad family.
Peter Conrad was born July 30, 1793 and died December 10, 1868 aged seventy five years four months.
He built his house about one fourth mile up Conrad's Run and then having his cage, captured his bird, a Miss Phebe Hartley and moved into the new home about 1818.
His wife is said to be a sister of Thomas Hartley's mother. A daughter of John Hartley who is supposed to have lived on Crooked Run at Pewee, which looks very probable, although Sudner Smith, a daughter, says that her mother was raised by a man named Hartley, a merchant on Cheat River. Little, of at all related to the Hartleys on Reedy, and that her real name is not known, but she always went by the name of her foster father.
Phebe Conrad was born on October 20, 1799, and died September 10, 1841, aged forty one years then months. Conrad afterward married Jane Blosser, who lies near.
She was a daughter of Henry Blosser. Jane, wife of Peter Conrad, died July 19, 1888, aged sixty eight years five months.
Peter Conrad's oldest child, David Conrad, born about 1820, was living in 1904. He married Evaline, daughter of Joe Bord and lived in Ohio.
Abigail McKutcheon Conrad, wife of Jacob Conrad, born September, 1828, died December, 1899.
On the same monument is carved: Jacob Conrad, born September 23, 1831, if I made no mistake in copying. He told me, just an hour or two before I visited the graveyard, that he was born in 1830. Abigail was a sister of Ligh and Jim McKutcheon.
Two of the Conrad children died, one was Henrietta, daughter of P. and P. Conrad, died 1853. The age, which is scarcely decipherable in my notes, may be twenty eight.
There were the graves of two of Peter and Clemmie (Rice) Conrad's children and many without names, including two in the northwest corner which had old fashioned sandstone slabs.
Of the Conrad family buried at other places, Lucinda Thomas was born July 4, 1821 and died September 20, 1902.
Louisa A., wife of John Cain, was born November 16, 1824.
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The Baker Graveyard
"All about the thorn-trees blow
In tufts of rosy tinted snow."
John Baker came from the Horse Shoe Bend, in Randolph County, where he lived in 1815. Settling on Reedy, four miles below the three forks, on what is now known as the Widow Parks Farm.
He built on the flat by the side of a little riverlet up from the creek in the Parks Orchard. The well is still there and was "on duty" when I visited the spot in 1904. I do not know whether that is the site of his first cabin. Probably there was a spring handy, for the pioneers always located their cabins with a view to that necessity. The bottoms were wide and fertile and heavily timbered with poplar, oak, ash, sugartree and beech.
Baker owned, at his death, several hundred acres, which he divided among his children by will. He probably got this land for services in the Revolutionary war for he was a captain in the American Army.
Dal Baker, says he was from Germany, but I don't think this was the case, the name is English and I take him to be English.
John Baker was born in 1764 and died February 19, 1834 aged seventy years. He is sleeping in a little weed grown cemetery on the point above his wilderness home. Careless alike of the neglect of his kinsmen and the wonderful changes in the country he knew as a hunting ground and which, when he left it to lie down on this low little hill top, was yet the haunt of bears, wolves and herds of deer.
When John Baker died, the land was thinly settled.
James Baker married Sally Bonnett on Mill Creek and in 1834 he lived the first place below the Thorne farm on the East Side of Reedy, on land given him by his father.
Wesley Baker was a school master and doctor. Married Nancy Bibbee, lived at the home place and afterwards, moved to Kentucky.
Catharine Baker got the first place below the home place where the mill was. She married Thomas Lee, Sr. He was the father of Thos. Lee Jr, who lived near the mouth of McKutcheon's Run on the Burdett Farm.
Mary Baker got the first place below James, on opposite side of the Creek. She married Fin Thornton. They moved to Missouri.
Thornton Baker got the "round bottom" farm at the mouth of Round Bottom Run. The first place below Lee's, across from Mary's place.
Cindy Foster was his wife, born in 1819 died December 31, 1890, age seventy one years. He died in 1880 aged seventy three years five months. Nancy, their daughter, died in 1845, another one in 1855 and still another in 1855.
Betsy Baker was willed "all the balance of the farm from Fall Run down". She married Thomas Bord, son of Joe Bord.
Elisha got the land below Thornton Baker, known as the "rich bottom". He married a Trickett.
To Benjamin and Elijah were willed the five hundred acres farther down the creek "bought of Price". Benjamin taking the upper side of the creek, which he sold to Hayes Paxton. He married Nancy Cleek, of near Ripley. Elijah got the land on the lower side of the Creek and sold it to Hiram Fout. He married Nancy Wolf on Mill Creek and afterwards moved to Sandy.
Doubtless, Baker's wife rests by his side in the little graveyard.
In a row sleep Artimacy, Lucinda and Wesley, children of Thomas and Catharine Lee.
Thomas Lee was born March 5, 1799 died May 22, 1864, aged sixty five years two months. The grave is marked with a five foot marble shaft twined around with creeping vines. Catharine Lee, his wife, died December 16, 1858, age not given, unless it be fifty seven years nine months.
In the north east corner is the grave of Mary (somebody) a child.
Other names are:
Edward T., son of E. and S. Baker and James M. Lee, died in 1843.
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The Boggs Graveyard
Round them blow, self pleached deep
Bramble roses faint and pale
And long purples of the dale.
These, in every shower creep
Through the green that folds the grave.
A little farther up and opposite McKutcheon's Run and not more than a mile from the Baker graveyard, on the old Boggs farm, is another old time burial place, which is still in use. It is large and contains many graves. It is fenced out with smooth wire. There is one large persimmon tree in the upper side of the lot. At the northern end is a strip which has been added to the cemetery, a few years ago. It is badly grown up with weeds.
The graveyard lies on a point above the road and is approached by a wagon road from both sides. I noted the following names:
John L. Boggs, born July 4, 1818 died April 21, 1894 aged seventy five years nine months.
Harriet Boggs, wife of John L., born November 1, 1817, died February 20, 1887 aged sixty eight years nine months. She was a daughter of James and Sally Boggs Vandale.
John L. Boggs died in 1866 aged twenty two years, parentage not given.
John W.M. Died 1864. Iraneus died 1862, Charity M. died 1854, all children of Charles M and Jane Stewart Boggs.
Charles C. Boggs, born May 29, 1787 died September 27, 1873, aged eighty six years three months.
Jane F., wife of C.C. Boggs, born in 1788 died July 26, 1868 in her eightieth year. She was a Lemaster of Nicholas County.
Charles C. Boggs was a cousin of old John Boggs. He came from Greenbrier to Reedy in 1836.
John B. Smith was drowned in the flood in Reedy, the night of July 26, 1874, aged sixty four years eleven months.
Margaret Smith, his wife, died March 1, 1882 aged sixty five years four months. Her father was a Bush, relative of Pete Bush and the Badgetts. Her mother, Elizabeth Bush was born May 18, 1806 and died December 19, 1887 aged eighty one years seven months.
William Smith, born February 5, 1834 died October 11, 1878 aged forty four years eight months.
Delilah A., his wife, was born February 28, 1835, died January 9, 1883, aged forty seven years ten months.
Granville D. Smith died October 17, 1886 aged twenty nine years three months.
Margaret, wife of E.E. Dalrymple born 1870 died 1901.Who were they?
Off in the "blue-devil" extension was Wm. A. McCoy, born August 21, 1839 died December 29, 1902
Samuel Smith born November 1841 died January 11, 1902.
In the lower side were the McCutcheons, including:
William McCutcheon, born in 1801 died September 23, 1865.
Nancy, wife of Wm. McCutcheon, born April 10, 1802 died June 29, 1880 aged seventy eight years two months.
W.H. McCuthceon died Mary 24, 1884 aged fifty eight years one month.
Eddie Flesher McCutcheon is also buried here. Born August 27, 1865 died November 2, 1902.
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The Good Hope Graveyard
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew trees shade.
Where heaves the turf in many a mounldering heap
Each in his narrow cell, forever laid,
The rude forefather's of the hamlet sleep.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke,
How jocund did they drive their team afield,
How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke.
One mile below the three forks of Reedy, a large run comes in from the Northwest. When Reedy was first settled, Patrick Bord came in 1815, and built his pole camp cabin on the tanyard fork at the upper end of the little cluster of houses known as Dukes Station. A year later William Stewart followed his "lay-dye love" and took up land at the forks of the creek. A large body of land along Reedy had been patented by one Richard Graham and Graham and Henderson of Loudoun County, Virginia, who had the land surveyed in strips along the stream, taking the bottom and leaving the back lands.
One account says that Graham was an Englishman, who in 1774 resurveyed lands patented to Clayborne and Morlan two years earlier, cutting out for himself the choice parts. If such be the case, I think the dates are too early, by far.
Be that as it may, there were conflicting claims and much litigation and loss on account of defective titles.
Before 1822, another family, that of Thomas Cain, came from the same county as the Bords and Stewarts, which appears to have been Dunkard's Creek or its vicinity as some of the immigrants are credited to Greene County, Pa, and others to Monongalia, Va.
Quite possibly Cain came because Joe Bord, who married his wife's sister, had preceded him to the new Eldorado of the west.
The creek lands being all taken up, Cain had to content himself with a slice of the back land and so took a large tract extending up the run before mentioned for nearly a mile from him, the run took its name of Cain's Run.
He built his cabin on a raise below the mouth of a steep hollow, to the right of the run and some maybe two or three hundred yards from the creek trail. on June 22, 1822, a Baptist Church was organized (probably at Cain's House) for we must suppose him the leader in the movement, and later a log church was built at the mouth of the steep hollow. When some of the little community were taken by the cold hand of death, their bodies were laid under the ground on the point across this hollow from Cain's house.
The church was organized with six members, Patrick Bord and his wife, Mary Kiser Bord, Thomas Cain and his wife, Mary Horner Cain, Margaret Horner Bord, wife of Joe Bord and Susan Wine. To these were added Anthony Lott, Ruth Lott, Lawrence King, the preacher who had now located with his flock. Thomas B. King, probably a relative of the preacher, Eunice Lott, she was the mother of Mrs. Cain and Mrs. Joe Bord, who married Anthony Lott after the death of Horner. Isabel Blosser, Sandy Bord, Thomas Cain, Margaret Hickman, Jonathan Petty, Louisa Hartley, Sarah Vandale, Harriet Boggs. Valentine Cain, Elizabeth McFee Cain, Hance (Hensley) Stewart, the new preacher located with is charge, date not known, probably about 1830.
In the course of time, the new church was named Good Hope, which name was also applied to the cemetery. At first called the Cain Graveyard.
It lies on top of a high point and is difficult of access, but a very pretty place, once one gets to it.
The lot contains about a half acre and is twice as long as its width, is fenced with woven wire and has a row of oak and hickory trees at the south end. A large oak stands at the Cain Row and there are some other trees standing outside the fence.
Among the graves, I noted:
Thomas Cain, died July 26, 1841, aged sixty years.
Mary Cain, died September 11, 1879, aged eighty eight years. He was born in 1781 and she in 1791. Their graves are in the south east corner of the lot.
Under the oak tree are the graves of Albert and Wesley B. Lee, year old children of T. and M. Lee. The child that was shot during the war is said to lie there also.
There are twelve nameless graves between the tree and the gate. a daughter of Eph Doolittle is said to be buried under the tree.
The first grave was that of one of Thomas Cain's girls who died a great many years ago.
John Wesley Cain was born December 15, 1820, died March 15, 1901, aged eighty years three months. he was a justice of the peace and was known as Squire Cain.
His wife, Louisa A. Conrad Cain (usually erroneously called Liza) lived in 1904 with her daughter, Mrs. Sam Rader on Round Bottom Run.
William Cain died February 9, 1866, aged twnety five years two months. Killed in the sawmill explosion at Reedy. He was a son of Gamaliel Cain.
Belle Burdett, wife of George Burdett and daughter of Thomas and M. Lee was born in 1857 and died in 1878.
Thomas A. Cain was born about 1816 and was buried Thanksgiving Day 1900.
Samuel Wyatt was born May 1, 1815 and was killed by the explosion of the Cain-Boggs sawmill, February 8, 1866. His age was fifty years, nine months.
Louisa, wife of Samuel Wyatt, was born March 4, 1820, and died February 7, 1893. She is said to be a sister of Bascom Butcher, who lived on Folly Run.
William Cain, son of Alfred Cain, and Hawk Boggs, brought a portable sawmill in to Reedy - the first in that section - and set it up in the upper end of the bottom, just below the village of Reedy. They had set up a grist mill, and were grinding on the 8th day of February, 1866, when the boiler blew up, killing William Hardway, who was cut in two; Hawk Boggs, who had an arm torn off; Samuel Wyatt, Robert Blosser, and William Cain; and injured Charles Boggs. Dempsey Flesher's horse and grist were blown over the creek bank.
William P. Dye, born May 8, 1809, died February 24, 1879, aged sixty nine years nine months. He was a half brother of Dissoway Dye. Dusossaway Dye (erroneously called Dissoway) was born June 25, 1821, and died February 27, 1887, aged sixty five years eight months.
Mary A., wife of Dusossaway Dye, was born September 11, 1819, and died September 16, 1896, aged seventy seven years.
Silas Doolittle, son of Ephraim and grandson of Moses and Susannah Seaman Doolittle, died June 1883, aged thirty nine years. He was in Co. 7, 11th W.Va.
Thomas B. Walters.
Levi Pickerell, whose mother was a sister of John Callow's wife, and who came to this section when a boy in 1833. His father moved in a one horse cart, with all his belongings; and his wife, Maria Pickerell, widow of Maclin Walker and daughter of Joseph Rader, are buried here, but their graves are unmarked.
Harriet Sleethe, widow of Madison Ashley and Renfrew Sleethe, and a daughter of Joseph Rader, is buried at this place.
Maria - Rader - Walker - Pickerell was born October 13, 1815, and died October 3, 1875, aged almost sixty years.
Joseph Rader, born October 21, 1790, died in 1880. He is buried here but has no grave stone.
Martha - Reyburn - Rader, wife of Joseph Rader, is buried here also.
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The Sims Graveyard
Nature, rebuking the neglect of man,
Plants often by the ancient mossy stone
The brier rose, and on the broken turf
That clothes the fresher grave, low creeping
Vines, sprinkles its swell with blossoms.
The Sims graveyard lies up on a point below where Martin Sims settled about 1845. The lot is about eight by ten rods and in bad repair. There is no shade but the field in which it is situated is grown up with bushes. The burial ground is enclosed with an old plank fence and a half acre more has been purchased but it not yet fenced.
There are many graves without names among those of pioneers and others, whose inscriptions I copied were:
Martin Sims. born October 12, 1815, and died February 15, 1882, aged sixty six years eight months.
Henry George, born November 25, 1790 and died July 19, 1882, aged ninety one years seven months. Probably an error in copying, as the family record says ninety one years eight months, or born November 14, 1790.
Henry George came from Barbour County to Henry's Fork in Roane County and to Cain's Run in 1854.
He lived in Pendleton before moving to Barbour. His father's name was Reuben George, and he married Mary Murphy who came from "The Salt Sea" in Old Virginia.
Mary Murphy George was born November 20, 1784 and died December 26, 1857, aged seventy three years one month.
Wiliam George born July 24, 1815 died October 7, 1885, aged seventy years two months.
His first wife was a Lance. He married in Barbour before coming to Roane.
Hezekiah Mitchell born August 10, 1809 died May 15, 1886, aged seventy six years nine months.
Margaret Mitchell, born March 27, 1813 died February 19, 1885, aged seventy one years ten months.
They were brought from near Liverpool to this cemetery.
Benson Ashley, born April 5, 1844 died November 12, 1866.
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The Fairview Graveyard (Reedy)
On top of a high hill at the head of the left hand branch of Stutler's Run, to the left side of the road, which comes up out of the run, stands the Fairview Southern Methodist Church and about two hundred yards out the ridge to the right, lies a new graveyard in the woods. There is plenty of shade left. In places it is grown up with bushes. It is uncared for and without a fence.
There are two graves enclosed with coffin shaped black wooden boxes, which give them a gloomy disagreeable appearance. One is inscribed:
Isaac Cheuvront, born August 24, 1802 died March 22, 1896, aged ninety three years six months.
Maggie Stutler, born July 15, 1853, died May 10, 1898, aged forty four years nine months. She married Aaron Cheuvront.
There are several Fox Children buried there and several unmarked graves.
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The Goff Graveyard
Low moans the brook within its bed
The foot-hill pines reply
Like mourners, sprinkling from the dead
They stand apart and sigh.
About 1816 or 1817, William and Polly Stewart built their cabin and commenced together, the battle of life at the Three Forks of Reedy, the first settlers at that place.
He is said to have bought his land of a man named Enochs, who lived about Hughes River or the Little Kanawha, and his rude cabin, a one storied log hut with wide fireplace and little provision for light, was erected on an elevation where Doctor Carter now lives, overlooking the brook, gliding and purling under the somber shade of the lofty beeches and on the opposite side, a small riverlet came down from the hill.
The road, a mere pack horse trail, came down Left Reedy from the Spencer and Upper Reedy Settlements, crossed the Main Creek at a bad ford ten or fifteen rods below, where the bridge was afterwards built, then crossed over to the foot of the hill, circled around the swamps and continued past Patrick Bords and over to the settlements on Sandy.
On a high point west of the trail, or more correctly speaking, of the road, was laid out the burial place known as the Stewart graveyard, later changed to Goff graveyard, from John G. Goff, who owned the farm on which it was located.
The first grave was made, probably between 1830 and 1840, though the oldest date I found was 1847.
By that time, the country was more thickly settled and the road had been opened from Reedyville to the head of Sandy and down the Creek to Palestine, being passable for wagons.
The graveyard is now in the outskirts of the village of Reedy. Most of the surface is too rolling to be suitable for the purpose and quite a little hollow puts down, through the northern end. The steepest ground however, has not as yet been used for burying purposes.
The founders left quite a number of fine beech trees standing but they have, unfortunately, all been cut down.
It was the custom of the forefathers to bury in a grove, but the prevailing fashion of today is to cut away all the shade and let the sun pour down its rays unbroken, while the weeds, which would not have grown among the trees, are allowed to run riot, or perhaps mowed off, once a year. Together, with such flowers and shrubbery, as friends may have planted around the last resting places of the dead. However, in this, as well as several of the other older graveyards, the blue myrtle, that dear old fashioned favorite of our grandmothers, planted years ago, has got beyond the control and literally, carpets the ground in the older quarter.
A few of the graves are well kept and neatly dressed, but the general aspect of the newer parts, is weeds, briers and neglect.
There are a few old marble or flagrock headstones and many monuments.
There are many graves without headstones and some without any marking whatever.
Among the inscriptions are:
Mary Stewart, died December 24, 1866, aged seventy four years. She was born October 20, 1792 and was the daughter of Patrick and Polly Bord (a Kiser).
Old Billy Stewart, himself, has only a flagstone marker with letters W.S.
William Stewart was born in Greene County, Pennsylvania, June 23, 1790 and died in Reedy, October 4, 1877 aged eighty seven years three months.
Several of their children are buried by their side.
Andrew Stewart and Alfred Stewart.
Mary Stewart Chancey, born September 7, 1828 died April 17, 1884 aged fifty five years seven months. She married A.B. Chancey.
Susan Stewart Roberts.
Bet Stewart Goff, died March 13, 1886.
Nancy Stewart Cain.
L.C. Stewart, died July 1880 aged thirty one years two months.
Joseph Stewart, born June 21, 1827, died November 15, 1877, aged fifty years five months.
Thomas A. Roberts, born March 23, 1808 and died April 24, 1893, which would make his age eighty five years one month. He was born in Baltimore, lived after his first marriage, in Belmont County, Ohio, and moved to Reedy in 1844, where he taught school several terms. His first wife being dead, he married Susan Stewart in 1852.
He was active in the formation of the new State, and one of the most prominent Union men of his county. Though known as "Colonel" he was, so far as I can learn, only Adjutant in the 11th Virginia from November 1861 to October 1862.
On June 29, 1861, while returning from the Wheeling Convention, which reorganized the Virginian Government he was captured by a squad of about twenty Confederates under Al Ingram and taken to Richmond, where he was confined for a time in Libby Prison.
After the war, he lived on Left Reedy, just above the village.
Samuel Wesley Roberts, son of Col. Roberts, by the first marriage, is buried here. He was born about 1850 and died April 11, 1904.
When I lived near Reedy, Sam was one of my nearest friends and though he had never been stout, his death was quite unexpected, and to me, quite a shock. He was Postmaster under President Harrison and for several years, freight agent at the R.S. & G. Depot.
Charles W. Cottle is another inmate of the cemetery lot. His wife, who was one of the Stewart girls, is still living.
The Cottles came in the fifties. Charles W. served a term as Assessor.
The oldest inscription I saw was Eliza, daughter of W.K. and S. Flesher, 1847.
Kelley Flesher was a son of George Flesher, one of the pioneers of Left Reedy. He married Savilla Knopp. He made the first improvement on the Samuel Hall farm. He lived awhile, in a hewed log house which stood on a point in the elbow bend of Left Reedy, three quarters of a mile from its mouth, and then moved to Indiana. He died in 1903.
Thomas W., son of J.W. and A. Stewart, 1848. Died at the age of two years.
Josephine Rader, daughter of W.A. and E. Rader, 1852, died when a child.
Allen Rader, son of Joseph Rader, married Elizabeth, daughter of John Callow of Left Reedy.
W.B., son of C.W. and Minerva Cottle, died August 18, 1859.
Wm. D. son of A.B. and Mary Chancy, 1853 died a child.
Adam A. son of C. and M. Stutler, November 6, 1857. A one year old child of Chris and Mary Goff Stutler of Wolf Pen Run.
Samuel Stutler, son of Josiah Stutler, 1864.
Alexander B. Stewart, 1866. Son of Joseph and Elizabeth Goff Stewart.
Elizabeth Goff Stewart was born in Lewis County in 1827. Her father, Salathiel Goff, came to Reedy in 1842.
Dempsey Flesher, born January 25, 1828, died October 30, 1903,
Eleanor C. Murry Flesher, born July 30, 1829, died October 28, 1882.
Robert Flesher, born August 21, 1834, died September 4, 1896.
Samuel Malcolm born December 29, 1832, died February 16, 1897.
Mahala Malcolm born March 5, 1831, died December 5, 1900.
Margaret McKnight, born October 27, 1807 died March 26, 1896, aged eighty eight years four months.
The oldest inscription is: Eliza J., daughter of William K. and S. Flesher, died January 15, 1847 in her second year.
The second date is: Thomas W. Stewart, April 5, 1848, a two year old child.
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The Roach Graveyard
The leaves of the Oak and the
Willow shall fade,
Be scattered aground, and together
And the young and the old. and
The low and the high
Shall moulder to dust, and
Together shall lie.
In a sort of low gap or saddleback in the Ridge between the Chacey (George Fore) Run and the Briar Fork, on the right side of the Middle Fork of Reedy, about two miles from the town, on the old Roach Farm, adjoining the Chancy line was commenced seventy years ago the Roach graveyard.
On the northeast, the ground falls away abruptly, to a steep hollow wooded with beech and walnut trees.
On the north is a hillside thickly set with broom sedge, on the west and south an old pasture field, it's hillsides washed and gutted.
On the east, the hill rises gradually to a considerable eminence overlooking the Creek.
The graveyard is seven by eight rods in extent and the grounds slope very gently from each end to the center. It is neatly fenced with plank and has a wide gate about the middle of the west end.
When I visited the graveyard in October, 1903, all the surrounding hills were gorgeous with the rich colorings of red, yellow and russet brought out by the heavy frosts of a few nights previous.
Cattle and sheep were grazing contentedly on the succulent blue grass of the opposite hill slopes, and all nature wore an aspect of peaceful repose.
A fine shellbark hickory tree stood guard at the gate, and two magnificent white oak trees, just outside the fence at the opposite end dropped their leaves and acorns over the graves.
Inside it was grown up with weeds and briers and wore that air of neglect, so common in country graveyards.
The unmarked grave of a little child was immediately under one of the oak trees.
One old grave, overgrown with grass and set with pinks lay under the hickory tree at the gate.
There were many old graves without names or dates, most of them indicated by a flagstone stuck in the ground at the head and perhaps another at the foot.
Some new graves are unmarked, save by boards thrust into the ground.
A magnificent monument of nearly black marble, intended to be a marker for the last resting place of father and mother Rhodes was lying, yet uncrated, outside the gate when I was there.
John W. Rhodes was born February 2, 1831 and died June 5, 1902 (or June 25, 1902) aged seventy one years four months.
He was the oldest son of Samuel and Parthenia Vandyne Rhodes. He married Lucinda Parsons, daughter of George Parsons of Trace Fork and grand daughter of Joseph Parsons.
Lucinda Rhodes was born July 11, 1832 died June 1, 1904. She died after I visited the cemetery in the spring of 1904.
Parthenia Rhodes died about 1884 and Samuel Rhodes is buried here.
The first inhabitant came to dwell under the silent shades of the forest over seventy years ago.
It was Anderson Burdett, son of Willis Burdett, one of the pioneers of the Middle Fork. He was a school teacher and a young man of promise.
A malarial fever carried him off and through the same agency, his little sister was laid by his side a month later.
"Esse A. Burditt was born January 16, 1812, deceased October 6, 1834."
"Elizabeth Burditt was born July 21, 1829, deceased November 7, 1834."
The headstones are flag rock, about three feet high. Elizabeth's is standing the wear of time well, but her brother's is crumbling away, one corner was seamy and is shelling off.
There was another Burdett child died with the same fever that fall.
The next date is 1835. Thomas Roach aged five years. He was a son of William and Delilah Roach.
The next oldest date I notes was twenty four years later, though many graves came between them.
Malinda, wife of E.B. Knotts, died January 11, 1859 aged nineteen years. She was a daughter of the Roaches and married a Knotts of Palestine.
John Staats died in 1859, aged forty years. He was a son of Abraham Staats on Mill Creek. His mother was a Tilghman, and he lived on Staats Run.
Margaret Staats died in 1881 aged sixty one years. She was a daughter of Thomas Carney and lived a widow twenty two years.
Calvary Chancey died August 11, 1894, ages seventy three years.
He was born at the mouth of the run below the graveyard, the first day of July, 1821, and lived in sight of the spot where he lies, over seventy years.
His second wife, Becky Halls, lies by his side, unless I am in error, she died on her sixty sixth birthday.
His first wife was Hetty Westfall, doubtless she also is buried here, as is his brother, William Alexander Chancey, who died about 1874 from the effects of a wound received at Cloyd's Mountain, May 1864.
His son, William, who was killed by a log slipping off the skids at a tobacco house raising at H. Rowan's, where Mr. Walter now lives. is also buried, I think, at this graveyard.
Hiram Chancey, a son of Commodore Chancey, married Isabel Meadows of Kanawha County and came to Reedy about 1820. Probably they are both buried here. (In 1905 a monument was erected at their graves in the northeastern corner of this graveyard, no dates given.)
The finest monument in the graveyard in 1903 was a blue mottled granite standing six feet high and fifteen inches square. Over the entire top is carved a delicate tapestry hanging down the sides, it tells of: Silas B. Leary, born June 10, 1828, died November 11, 1888 aged sixty years five months, and : Margaret Leary, born February 1, 1836 died February 21, 1896 aged sixty years. She was a daughter of William and Delilah Roach.
Roswell R. Chancey, born 1824 died 1876.
One of the most interesting spots in the graveyard is the resting place of a Union soldier, who came to the head of Moss Run about 1880. He was my near neighbor for four years, and I found him strictly honest, accommodating and one of natures gentlemen.
The monument is inscribed, William H. Beach, died April 22, 1894, aged fifty five years. "In my Father's House are many mansions." He lived a scoffer, but died triumphantly in the Christian faith.
Hannah Beach, his little cripple girl, died in 1885, on the headstone is the word "Hannah" on the foot "H.A.B."
Another grave is marked "Cinderilla, wife of W.T. Staats". She died January 3, 1876, aged thirty six. She was a Straley by birth.
Next the Leary monument is that of:
Jacob M. Straley, born February 22, 1837 died December 28, 1895. Hannah Straley born August 18, 1842. It is granite, five and a half feet high with oak leaf design. He married Hannah, daughter of John Staats.
The Beach Monument is a plain marble shaft, perhaps a foot square with Crown, surmounting spray of ivy.
William Roach was born in 1800 died February 10, 1861, aged sixty one years. (sixty six is said to be correct.)
He was one of the first pioneers of the Middle Fork Valley, coming in 1824 or 1825. He owned a large tract of land, including the site of the graveyard. He was in the War of 1812 and his old fashioned marble headstone is engraved with a United States flag.\
By him sleeps his wife, Delilah Roach, born April 17, 1800 died May 10, 1884 ages eighty four years. She was a daughter of Thomas Carney, one of the pioneers of Mill Creek and Reedy. Thomas Carney is buried at the Harpold burial place above Ripley.
John Roach, son of W. & D. Roach, died July 17, 1875, aged fifty one years.
Joseph A. Butcher, born January 28, 1845 died June 16, 1887.
Old grave with flagstone marker and letters M.B. 1860 in same row are graves of children of D. and M.W. Bartlett.
L.D. Howell was born December 9, 1834 died May 28, 1891.
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The Bord Graveyard
Naked rows of graves,
And melancholy ranks of monuments,
Are seen instead, where the
Coarse grass between shoots up
Its dull green spies
And in the wind hisses
And the neglected bramble
Offers it's berries to the school boys
Hand in vain
They grow too near the dead.
About the year 1841 or 1842 the Methodist Circuit Rider held a revival meeting at David Seaman's, the regular preaching point and there was a great awakening among the people.
One result of this revival was the erection of a house of worship in which to hold future meetings.
The class and the neighbors all turned out, hewed logs, hauled them together and put up a commodious building on a point opposite Seaman's house. It stood in a commanding position and could be seen for a great distance, both up and down the road. The rafters were put up and the roof completed, lumber whipsawed and hauled to the building sufficient for upper and lower floors, door and the weatherboarding of the gables. Everything was progressing harmoniously and satisfactorily, when, lo! a serpent appeared in Eden.
At that time the Methodist Church took firm grounds against the \\lquote right' of high officials in the church to hold their brothers in bondage, which gave such offence to the larger part of the membership in the southern states, that they preferred withdrawal from the church of the Wesleys, Asbury and Coke, rather than to give up the rights of ownership of slaves.
These malcontents set up a new organization, a name that of the one that had forsaken with a political appendix tacked to it, the Southern Methodist.
The three trustees of the partly finished meeting house, Sandy Bord, George Flesher, and William K. Bord wanted to go with the new body. The most of the membership, led by the Seamans and Dempsey Flesher, utterly refused to desert the old faith.
Thus it happened that, though raised and roofed and lumber on the ground for its completion, the house was never finished, but stood several years, its open gables and gaping sashless windows, mutely pleading against the injection of political dissensions into the worship of God to the division of classes and the rending of the Kingdom in the hearts of brothers and neighbors.
The building had a lower floor loosely laid with the rough plank and rude seats were constructed and it was used several years for preaching and Sunday School purposes during the summer seasons, but was never completely dedicated. Finally, Sandy Bord, on whose land it was situated, tore it down and used the logs in building a hog pen.
Thus ended the happy dreams and bright hopes which prevailed when the work was begun.
The graveyard occupies about half an acre of land, and is nearly square and is enclosed by an old board fence partly fallen down. There was then a considerable space between the cemetery and the road which has since been included and the whole inclosed by a neat fence, barbed wire on the north and east and a woven wire south and west.
Originally, on a very gentle slope above, the graveyard has crept down and overflowed the little flat where the old church stood and spread partially over the slope between that and the road.
Though but a small part of the surface is level, it enjoys the advantage over most graveyards, that, in following the old time custom of burying with the feet to the sunrise, most of the graves being on a southern slope, lie very nearly level.
There are a few trees in the lower side of the lot.
When I visited the graveyard, there were two ladies there, the elder was Mrs. Caroline Woodyard of Wirt County, a daughter of S.B. Seaman, who was renewing old acquaintance with the spot after an absence of many years.
The first grave was that of Elvira Seaman, died January 13, 1855. She was a child, daughter of James Seaman. Another grave was marked David Chenoweth, 1855 (August 7). A son of Ira and Matilda Chenoweth.
At the upper side of the graveyard, there are six rows of graves with about ten graves to the row, lying side by side like sleepers, all marked with flagstones or boards, all without name or letter or date.
Sixty sleepers lying there peacefully awaiting the summons to the new life.
No one probably could tell who a half of them were, "yet they are resting well."
Of the first pioneers, here lie: David Seaman, born June 14, 1768 died June 13, 1859, lacking one day of ninety one years, and Betsy Bord, wife of David Seaman, born March 29, 1774, died June 14, 1864 aged ninety years two months. They were married April 14, 1796 and moved to Reedy in 1824.
Children, John Seaman, born January 20, 1797, married first, Betsy, daughter of Charles Stewart, second, Catharine, daughter of Dillus Ott. Moved to Big Hocking in Ohio.
Susannah Seaman, born May 3, 1799 (correct day 1801) died June 12, 1878, married Moses Doolittle, buried in Ripley.
Thomas Seaman, born May 10, 1802, lived on Mill Creek and moved to Kentucky.
Silas B. Seaman, born April 7, 1805, died November 16, 1891 aged eighty six years seven months. (on his monument a year older is claimed.)
Ann Elizabeth Seaman, born November 17, 1807 died February 7, 1869. Aged sixty one years, married Thomas J. Candler. The two last are buried here.
Willit Allen Seaman born December 14, 1810 married a Dillion. Killed by a falling tree in Mason County.
George Vigo Seaman, born February 28, 1813, married Jane Boggs, died June 1876.
One account says Catharine was first and Betsy second wife of John Seaman. Another conflict is the report that Seamans came in 1822. They came from Monongalia or Greene counties.
The record on the monuments shows:
David Seaman died June 13, 1859 aged ninety years eleven months.
Elizabeth S. Seaman died June 13, 1864 aged ninety years two months.
Annie Candler died February 7, 1869 aged sixty two years eight months.
E.S. Candler born February 25, 1828 died May 14, 1892.
Silas B. Seaman was long a prominent figure in Reedy life, being magistrate, captain of militia and township supervisor.
He lived here sixty seven years, three score and ten, lacking nearly three, the allotted space of a man's life, and was grown when he came, and all this while he lived in sight of the place he first settled.
He lived to see Reedy Valley transformed from a wilderness into a fine grazing country. Its valley pierced by lines of steel and its hills re-echoing to the shriek of the "iron horse".
His wife, buried by him, was Margaret Seaman, born December 19, 1809 died January 25, 1889, age eighty years one month. She was a daughter of Willis and Nancy Burdett.
Dempsey Flesher was born March 2, 1807 died September 27, 1879 aged seventy two years six months.
He was a son of Adam Flesher and came to Roane from Harrison or Lewis County about 1837. His good wife, Elizabeth Jones Flesher, doubtlessly lies by him.
Dempsey Flesher first bought ninety acres of the Cain Farm.
Elizabeth Flesher, wife of J.D. Seaman died August 10, 1870 aged twenty nine years one month.
Marcelia D. daughter of J.D. and Elizabeth Seaman died May 1, 1878 aged eighteen years.
Here too, sleeps Ira Chenoweth, born (from monument) February 29, 1824 died March 10, 1899. He was born in Randolph County, married Matilda McCoy in Braxton in 1853 and came to Roane the next year.
Here, I also noted the name of: James W. Tallman, born December 10, 1825 died June 5, 1898 aged seventy two years.
There are many other graves known and unknown, probably near two hundred in all.
One corner, which would hold, say twenty, Mrs. Woodyard said was full, although a casual observer would scarcely have guessed its turf had ever been broken with the spade. But, its occupants, if occupants it have, sleep none the less soundly for that.
Florence Flesher, wife of Henry Seaman, died October 31, 1881, aged twenty six years.
David Seaman died December 12, 1879 aged forty nine years seven months.
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Private Bord Graveyard
In a private graveyard in the old orchard on the point below the mouth of Mill Run at Doc Bord's, out in the open pasture field and trampled by cattle are the graves of:
A.S. Bord, born December 12, 1817 died March 22, 1880.
Thomas Bord, died April 14, 1870 aged twenty seven years.
Margaret, wife of Joseph Bord, died March 27, 1878 aged eighty two years eleven months. She was a Horner, daughter of Anthony Lot's wife and a sister of Thomas Cain's wife.
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The Seaman Graveyard
"They have heard the boat's keel
Grating on the sand".
At the distance of nearly a mile above the forks of the Seaman Fork of Reedy, up the left hand branch on the left hand side of the road just where it makes a sharp elbow turn, to avoid the steep bluff bank of a picturesque brook which comes babbling and brawling down from the rocky hills; on a gentle southern slope, in the midst of the primeval woods, eighty years ago, the mold was broken for the first grave in the oldest graveyard in the Reedy Settlement and the dirt piled over the remains of husband and father, leaving the wife and children to fight the stern battle of life as best they might.
It was the grave of Charles Stewart, nephew (borther, some say) of Jimmy Stewart and called "Little Charley" to distinguish him from his uncle.
He had moved down settling on the old Mose Seaman farm, building his cabin near where Milt Seaman lives and clearing a small patch in which to plant corn. He sickened and died leaving a wife and three or more small children.
The next year she pulled up the corn stubs and planting her corn in the earth thus loosened, tended the crop with a hoe. Thus she managed to eke out a scanty subsistence for her little family assisted as they could by her neighbors.
The run where she lived was known to the first settlers as "The Widder's Run".
Some years later the widow married a McDade and went to Parchment where grew up her three sons: George, who married a Stout, daughter of Joe and Massy Carney Stout; Elisha Stewart, who married Sally Coon and John Stewart, who married her sister, William married Mary, daughter of Adam Parsons. Charles Stewart and Virginia Stewart, Pioneers of the Three Forks of Reedy were buried here, someone said about 1836, but they have nothing to show where their graves are.
John Seaman's first wife and two of their children, one, two or more of "North Carolina" Tom Bord's slaves taken in the south and brought out here, and some of Josh Parsons' children are buried here.
R. Stewart died Octover 1873 or 1875. I could not fairly make out which, aged eighty two. This is rudely carved on a flagrock headstone, and is the only inscription in the graveyard. There are several graves with flagstone markers and some without headstones of any kind. Careful search only shows trace of ten graves, although there are said to be many more. One authority puts the number at fifty, which is doubtlessly much too high.
It is said the lower side of the graveyard was plowed over years ago. When I knew the place first, there was a grove of oak and chestnut trees standing around, but they have all been cut away.
Robert Stewart was a son of Charles and was associated with him in the mill, which was the first at Reedy. He and a sister kept "bach" and he tended the mill which was on the Roberts place. This was evidently after the death of the old folks.
Charles Stewart died about 1835 or 1836 and Jinny a little later.
There are yet standing near, one chestnut tree on the bank of the neighboring stream and a dead walnut tree.
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The Pleasant Grove Graveyard
Let morning breathe her sweetest breath above their stilly bosoms,
And noonday veil their brows beneath the shadow of her blossoms,
And when the birds at evenings gleam have trilled their evening numbers
Draw kindly as a pleasant dream, the curtain of their slumbers.
Standing on the top of the Stalnaker Hill at the head of the Creek and looking off down the Reedy Valley of an early November Day, the bottoms are short cropped and sere but the high narrow points and undulating ridges lie before the observer in a blaze of color and like waves of a petrified ocean.
Reds and yellows blend and harmonize in every conceivable shade yet nowhere brilliant or gaudy.
There are all the gorgeous tints the eye could ask, but over all a certain dullness, as if nature knew that despite all the rich hues, she was clothed in a robe of mourning.
In oak woods, the different reds prevail, intermingled with yellow, russet and green, among poplars, hickories and chestnuts, the yellows are predominant, while on the crest of the ridges the fresh green of the pines enlivens the landscape and rests and refreshes the eye.
Far down the valley, a church spire, whose bell breaks the stillness of the frosty sabbath morning, rises from among the foliage of the trees.
The church stands on the little plateau where the Middle Fork road crosses the ridge and is well up on the first raise from the creek.
This plateau, which comprises a little more than a half acre, overlooks the valley and is level and dry.
Barring the stiff red clay of the soil. it was an ideal spot for a country church yard.
The flat was once cleared and tilled and a careful eye can still trace the marks of the plowshare among the second growth of oak, hickory and poplar trees. The stumps of some of these which have been cut down show thirty eight rings.
An old road, washed and gullied by the summer storms, climbs the hill to the left and on the right the newer route winds up the bank a trifle better grade.
On account of old associations because it is the old road, I usually travel the old road when visiting the burying ground and I visit it frequently because here, since the third day of April, 1900, my father has been sleeping beneath the lovely myrtle.
I visited the spot about the last of October 1903 when Autumn was at her best. The leaves were almost orange in their rich yellow and lemon tints blended into russets.
It was morning and the woodman's axe awakened the echoes of the distant hills.
A ground squirrel was chirping and clucking fussily as it gathered its winter supplies among the fallen pignut leaves.
On a low limb over the roadway a little bird had built her home and, presumably raised her brood, though it was deserted long ere I saw it.
There were, in the autumn of 1903, twenty five sleepers in this "Court of Peace and Hope". It had been about fifteen years since the first mound was heaped.
Had the grove been spared and the graves made all around the church, as was the custom in England, in the olden days, this would have been by far the prettiest churchyard in all the Reedy countryside.
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The Davis Graveyard
At eve, the beetle boometh,
Athwart, the thicket lone;
At noon, the wild bee hummeth
About the mossed headstone.
There is an old graveyard near the head of the left branch of Seaman Fork, which reaches well back in the old days of that neighborhood, or perhaps, new days would be the better expression for the first grave was the result of a sad tragedy in the family that made the first improvement of the farm, which has for the past thirty five years, been in the possession of William Davis.
Joseph Miller and Lewis were brothers who came from about Weston.
Lewis lived on Reedy near Beech Grove, and Joseph married Caroline Parsons. They lived first at the mouth of Buffalo and then moved to this farm on the head of Reedy, then in the woods. His wife was a daughter of Captain Billy Parsons. He built his cabin near where the Davis well is situated.
One day, a boy (a son of Miller's) was chopping down a dry stub of a tree which grew on top of the little knoll across the road, when it fell on him and he was crushed.
The body was carried up the point and buried on a little flat in the woods. Thus was commenced this graveyard which now contains fourteen graves.
There is a nice shade around it. Probably second growth timber for I think the ground around it, now a thicket of scrub oak trees, has once been cleared and tilled. The stump of a tree cut for ties has forty four rings.
An old flagstone marker bears the inscription: M.M. March 15, 1851. Probably this is the Miller by, but it is not known certainly.
Another similar stone is marked: January 22, 1860, ,M.J. Parsons, aged two years five months.
A child of Travis Parsons, who lived down by where the church is built, I am told, but it would seem more likely a grandchild.
Overbaugh and wife and Mrs. Martha Ellen Stalnaker are also buried here. These three have monuments.
Miller went from here to Ira Chenoweth's and later started to Oregon and, says one account, was killed with all his family, by the Indians on the plains. Another version is that Lewis Miller (and presumably Joseph) started to Oregon and all were lost with the vessel on which they had shipped.
I consider the first way the most probable, as one would be more apt to go overland from here than by water. These Millers are not known to be any kin to Samuel Miller of Reedy.
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The Callow Graveyard
Now is done the long days work;
Fold thy hands across thy breast.
Fold thine arms, turn to thy rest.
Two miles and a half up the left hand fork of Reedy, there is a private burial ground of the Callow and Smith families.
John R. Callow was born on the Isle of Man, April 18, 1774. He was the son of Robert Callow and immigrated to Virginia when young. There is nothing to show whether Robert Callow crossed the ocean or not, but one historian indicates that he was a soldier in the War of 1812, from the age, however, it is probably John R. himself, who is meant.
John R. Callow was married in Farquier County, Virginia, to Elizabeth Hitt who was born in that county, April 2, 1790. They had at least four children. George W. Callow born October 26, 1822, married on April 2, 1846 to Sarah M. Flesher, daughter of George and Sally Conley Flesher.
Elijah Callow, born July 9, 1825. In 1832 he married Mary Catharine, daughter of Jacob C. and Sarah Smith.
John Callow married Catharine Williams.
Mary Callow married Joseph Maze, son of James and Charity Stout Maze.
Elizabeth Callow married William Allen Rader, son of Joseph and Martha Reyburn Rader.
John R. Callow moved to Reedy in 1833, settling on a tract of land bought of one Maguire, two and a half miles above the Three Forks.
He started to move the fall before and was some months on the road. He and Stephen Pickerell, who married his wife's twin sister, coming together in wagons across the mountains. Many places they had to cut out the road before them. Callow moved family and goods in a wagon while Pickerel conveyed all of his belongings in a one horse cart.
If I remember rightly, it was February 1833 when they got through to Reedy. Anyway, they started in 1832 and arrived in 1833. Moving into a cabin on the Bord place, where they lived two weeks while building at their wilderness home.
It is not known who was the first buried at the new graveyard in the woods. Doubtless, it was a child or grandchild of Callow.
John R. Callow was born April 18, 1774 and died July 1858 aged eighty.
Elizabeth Hitt Callow was born April 2, 1790, died in 1847 aged fifty seven years. His people were Scotch-Irish descent and hers, German, as the name indicates.
George Callow was one year and sixteen days in the thirty sixth Battalion Virginia troops in the Confederate Army, Co, F and was a prisoner a while.
Elijah Callow enlisted in the sixtieth infantry in October of 1862. Served about six months and was transferred to Clark's Battalion, thirty sixth infantry and served until September 19, 1864 when he was made prisoner and held five months at Point Lookout when his wife petitioned him out he, presumably, taking the oath of allegiance. He was born October 26, 1822 died September 19, 1904.
Elizabeth Callow Rader died about 1868. Allen Rader had owned land at the head of the Wright Run and at one time had a lease on the land where Marshall Depue now lives. Building a little hut about twelve by sixteen feet across in the orchard, where the railroad crosses in the orchard. I do not know which place he lived when his wife died. He lived a the Josh Miller house on George Kyger's place when it was burned.
Anderson Callow, eldest son of George Callow (William A.) Born December 30, 1849 died August 15, 1865.
Sarah C., daughter of George Callow died in 1861 aged three years.
Jacob Clingman Smith was born in Tyler County Virginia in 1813. His father, Ralph Smith is said to be of German descent. When J.C. was small, the family moved to Red House Shoals. and about 1827 the father and part of the family moved to Kentucky to what is now Greenup County. Jacob, Ralph and one sister stayed in Virginia.\ \
In 1832, Jacob married Sarah Smith (no relation) and lived on Barnes Creek of Elk River about Clendenin.
About 1841 or 1842 he moved to Left Reedy. He lived one year at the Lester place and then on the Alf Riddle place until 1848 when he bought eighty acres of Daniel R. Davis, adjoining the Callow Farm.
Davis had bought the land of John Wine, lived on it about two years and becoming dissatisfied, returned to Harrison County.
The deed was made directly from Wine to Smith. Wine bought the land of Robert Stewart and Stewart got it of Enochs for carrying chain.
There were one hundred acres but he sold twenty acres across the creek to John Stewart who built a the Raleigh Kyger House.
In 1854 Smith bought one hundred seventy nine and a half acres more, making him owner of all the lower portion of the Clayborne Morlan tract.
This land up the Reedy Valley was all in the C.M. Survey as far as the Riddle line, but there appears to have been different and conflicting claims on it. Charles Stewart and John Boggs both bought it earlier but lost the land and what they had paid on it.
Jacob Smith died October 14, 1870 aged fifty six year six months. He was a local preacher in the southern Methodist Church and lived twenty two years on the Reedy farm.
He was buried in the Callow Graveyard.
Sarah, wife of Jacob Smith, was born in what is now Ritchie County April 19, 1814 and died April 20, 1891 at the age of seventy seven years. She was a daughter of Aaron Smith of Harrison County (it was Harrison County then anyway). He was of Irish descent. Her mother was Hannah, daughter of George and Susannah Drake. Hannah Drake was born April 17, 1778 and died in Wood County about1858.
The Callow Graveyard is about one hundred yards from the house above it on the hill slope and across a little depression. My recollection is that it is about three by four roads in extent and when I last saw it, the weeds and briers had grown nearly as high as the tombstones. Jacob C. and Sarah Smith's graves were furnished with marble slabs of three and a half or four feet high. Most of the other graves were marked with unlettered flagstones.
Mary Catharine Smith Callow.
John D.L. Smith.
Samuel, child of J.C. and S. Smith.
And Ralph, an infant of J.B. and E. Smith are also buried here.
At the Smith homestead, one fourth of a mile above, by the side of a little hill, back next the foot of the hill were buried, about 2956, Sally, wife of John E. Wine and one of their little children.
The graves were long since untraceable.
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The Beech Grove Graveyard
I love the grey old Church, the long, low nave,
The weird chancel, and the slender spire;
No less, its shadow on each humble grave
With growing myrtle hid, or living brier,
I love those beech tree trunks. where stand arrayed
So many deep cut names of youth and maid.
Between three and four miles up the Spencer Turnpike, above the village of Reedy, a lofty height, known locally as Kyger's Mountain, rises high above the winding course of the Left Fork of Reedy.
At the foot of this mountain upon a terrace and across the road from the creek, nestles a cozy brown beech wood and in the shadow of this wood is an ancient graveyard. By the side of a shallow dell many, many years ago was heaped the first rude mound of a new grave yard.
Just how long ago, I may not guess, as there are no marks to show who sleeps here, nor where they were laid to rest.
Over all spreads a carpet of blue myrtle and the brown leaves fold the graves softly as did the robins, the babes in the wood.
Toward the upper side are two shallow depressions, grown over with blue grass and myrtle. These were the graves of Bailey Cleavenger and his son Bailey, Jr., a crippled boy, whose remains are removed to the Spencer Cemetery by the Grand Army of the Republic and friends.
Bailey Cleavenger was born in 1821, November 7. He came from Barbour County to Roane several years before the war. In January 1862 he enlisted in Company C, eleventh Virginia Infantry. He was an outspoken Union man and had made himself particularly obnoxious to the Confederates. He had often been threatened and they had come one night and shot around the house and shot at his dog.
The regiment was at Parkersburg in September 1862. There appears to have been lax discipline as Cleavenger had gone to Harrison County on business and returned across the country home. He had some money with him and must have walked, so he could not have been so near dead as some say. He crossed the river at Burning Springs and somewhere on the home side, was seized by the guerillas and his money taken from him. This was the 19th of September. A boy brought him as far as the forks of the road at Kygers on a horse. The boy went on to Reedyville where there was a squad of Confederate soldiers encamped.
That night a party of these soldiers came and called him out and taking him down the road, they shot him to death.
In 1887, the Grand Army organized a post at Spencer and held memorial services at all the graveyards nearby where soldiers, whose friends were members of the post, were buried. Among others. Cleavenger's grave was decorated with flag and flowers.
As many of these Comrades were buried in the different and widely separated graveyards, it was quite and inconvenience to visit all of them in a day, unless by deputation, which destroyed much of the impressiveness of the ceremony.
As Cleavenger's was the only soldier grave at this cemetery, and was five miles from the next nearest. it was thought best to remove his remains to the Spencer Graveyard, which was accordingly done.
Mrs. Cleavenger was a Miss Lydia McDonald of Barbour County. She was living at the old home when I visited her in October 1904.
On a rounded knoll in the adjoining field is the new cemetery commenced about 1871 and now overflowing its bounds. I think the first grave was that of Mary Flesher Lee, died October 21, 1871 in her twenty eighth year. She was a daughter of George and Sarah Conley Flesher and sister of Mrs. George Callow.
The next, perhaps. was that of Betty Badgett Bord, a girl who was raised on the Lewis Miller of Offut place, across the creek from the graveyard. She was buried together with her twin babes on the third day of June 1773 [sic.]. She was, I should say, about twenty two or twenty three years old.
I will make a digression to say that Eunice Fisher was born in Lewis County. She married Joseph Butcher, a son of John and Christena Alkire Butcher, all of Lewis County. Her father was George Fisher.
Butcher died in 1844. A few years later, the widow married a Badgett and moved to Roane County in 1858 and perhaps, a year later bought the Lewis Miller Farm. Badgett died and is probably buried at Old Beech Grove.
Wilson Butcher, one of the first children died and was buried at Old Beech Grove about 1867 perhaps.
Joseph Anderson Butcher, another son was a dwarf and misshapen but intelligent. He taught a few private schools. Married and raised four children. He lived on the Hiram Chancey place on Middle Fork Reedy when he died about 1890 and is buried at the Roach Graveyard.
Mrs. Eunice Badgett herself, is buried on a high knob on the Spencer Carney Farm on the Middle Fork. which she bought after the War. She died May 21, 1890 and was probably about eighty or upwards. Her grave has been fenced in but is all grown up with weeds and briers.
To return to Beech Grove, George Flesher died August 9, 1878 aged eighty five years four months. His birthday being March 10, 1793. His wife, Sally Conley Flesher died about 1886.
Her sister was Polly Jarvis ("Pop Kendall") and was buried here on the last day of 1873.\ \
John Flesher, son of George Flesher, died January 6, 1877, aged forty five years seven months. He died after a lingering illness and the day he was buried, the creek was too high to cross, so those of us who lived on the other side gathered at the creek and remained through the ceremony. There were six or eight of us, I well remember the day. It had rained the night before and the yellow creek was rolling bank full and the ground was soaked with water, but the sun was shining brightly. The sky was a dazzling blue and everything wore the fresh new look nature assumes when the sun comes out bright after a heavy rain in the winter and spring.
It was Sunday or I could not have been there, as I was teaching school about three or four miles from home.
There is an old saying, that if there is a burying on Sunday, you will hear of another before the week is out. I do not know, now, if this probed true in this case or not.
What looked like a bad omen and stirred the dormant superstition which still exists in the recess of most minds, be they ever so cultivated and progressive, was the death on New Years Day 1880 of John C. Lester. He was buried on the following day by the "grange". He was born February 14, 1834.
The prediction freely made that the year would be noted for the numerous burials at this place, was not verified, as this was the only one during the year.
I do not think there used to be so many deaths as during the past fifteen years. What country cemetery is there now in use that has not its three or four or more new graves every year.
A rather remarkable coincidence was the dual burying of Joseph Ball and a child, from a different neighborhood at the same hour, neither knowing of the other when the hour of burial was set.
The date of this occurrence was March 29, 1877. Joe Ball was born in 1822 and was fifty years old. (There is a mistake in either the age or date of birth, the former I should guess.) The child, Dora Vandale, was small. Two of Ball's children are buried by him. They both went to school to me at Mount Pisgah.
Andrew M. Ball was killed by a log rolling over him at a mill set near the forks of Wrights Run about 1886 or 1887.
Another grave is that of Mrs. Maggie Butcher, wife of N. L. Butcher, who died October 27, 1887 aged fifty years.
Forrest-Fox-Gough, the young wife of Perry Gough, was buried here April 10 or 11, 1878. (She died on the ninth.)
About March, 1885, Raleigh Kyger was buried here in the "cow pasture" graveyard. He was an old man when I first knew him and had lived on the farm of which the new Beech Grove Graveyard was a part, since before the war. The line between his land and that of his brother, Hugh Kyger, crossed between the old and new burial grounds and ran up the face of Kygers Mountain.
Raleigh had given his son George, a hundred acres of the upper end of the farm before I knew the country.
The base line of the Clayborne and Morlan Survey crossed about the graveyard, but the Raleigh Kyger farm reached to the Creek at this point.
There is now (1907) a monument at the Kyger Graves on which is engraved R.M. Kyger, 1808 - 1885. Susan E. Kyger, 1819-1906. The graves were overgrown with running briers and cattle ranged at will through the "new" part of the cemetery which was enclosed in the field.
When I visited the graves, there were withered bunches of flowers someone had laid on top of the briers, blue devil, golden rod, wild rye and tame flowers.
Hugh Kyger was also buried here in March 1891.
I visited the graveyard last fall, but could not locate either of the Kyger graves. Once worth many thousands of dollars, they now lie in nameless graves.
There is a lot fenced with plank containing the graves of Downtain Smith and his sister Lula and several children of Charlie and Mary Smith Lester. Children and grand children of Elijah V. and Charity Smith, also of Albert Callow.
George Callow, who was born in Fauquier County Virginia, October 26, 1822 and died September 19, 1904, was buried a few weeks before I was at the graveyard.
In 1858 there was built in the western part of this grove, the Beech Grove Church and school house, of which I wrote in 1872, while it was yet standing.
It stands in a pleasant grove just above the road, a mouldering monument of the past. It crumbles beneath each wave of Time that carries us farther and farther away from the olden days.
Once the busy feet of little children pattered up and down, over its floor or in the grassy yard, but now, how deserted and forsaken it appears. The great wide mouthed fire place into which the master and big boys rolled the huge beechen backlog and piled high the flaming brands and round which the children used to gather in the crisp frosty mornings, has fallen in and where once the cheerful blaze crackled on the hearth of the short, cold days of midwinter, now the white, unbroken snow gathers in drifts. The walls that protected the inmates from the wind and cold are now an empty shell without windows and with wide gaping crevices between the logs. The mossy roof on which the elfin feet of autumn rains danced with measured beat, has fallen full of holes. The benches on which the children clustered, on whose boards the mischievous boys would surreptitiously carve their initials or strange figures, when the Master's back was turned, have wholly disappeared.
And the floor itself has mostly gone to cover the vaults in the neighboring graves.
Some of the children who spent many happy hours at the old schoolhouse have again returned to this peaceful spot and moulder into oblivion and will be forgotten along with the old log school house, their Alma Mater.
At sometime, someone has pencilled on the casing of the door, the names of the girls attending the school; now only six remain. The others have been long since effaced, and indeed these are but indistinctly traced.
I reproduce them as nearly like the original as possible: Martha S. Biegers, Margaret C. Murry, Mag E. Morris, Sarah F. Gough, Barley E. Badgett, Miss Haner Smith. Carved on a beech tree at the foot of the hill above the corner of the house is the date "A.D. 1859". On the wall by the fire place is the date of March the first 1858.
Beech Grove is an emblem of the unpleasant lesson we must all learn: No matter how fondly we cherish a friend or a memory, like this school house, slowly but surely the friend is forgotten, the memory sinks into oblivion. (signed) J.A.H.
When the above was written, I was a boy of eighteen, now I am an old man at fifty.
Then, there was one grave in the new graveyard, Now I can count twenty four of my acquaintances and friends and I do not know how many others in the twenty years I have been away from the neighborhood of whom I have mayhap never even heard the names.
Two of the Bises are buried in the old Beech Grove.
The house was first built by the neighbors for a church and was as was the custom of the old times, and it was old times on this side of the Ohio River until June 20, 1863, used also as a schoolhouse.
After the inauguration of the free school system, there were a few terms taught here, the board of education building first where the necessity was most pressing.
Beech Grove, said "Lige" Smith, was built in 1858 (it must have been a year earlier, George Kyger says it was three years earlier) for a church and used as a school house also, it was commenced by Protestants and United Brethren. The Methodists had commenced one at Chestnut Grove, but gave it up and joined with the others to build at the upper site.\ \ \ \ \ \ \
As nearly as I can recall, the house was about sixteen by twenty or twenty two feet. Not over seven feet from floor to floor and five rounds from sill to ribs.
The logs were mostly poplar, the ribs were round hickorys and the roof of clapboards. The joists were round poles. There was a door of plank. A batten door wit wooden latch and I think, wooden hinges, and there were, perhaps two small windows or half windows. The chimney was cribbed with split timber and with cat and clay stem.
The fireplace was built up with flagrock and would accommodate about a four foot back log and there was a wide undressed stone hearth.
The floors were of plank, but there was but little of it left when I first knew the place. The sleepers and a part of the floor were there and a carpet of brown beech leaves. The seats were of split puncheons and without backs.
Among those who preached within its walls were Sam Black, Joe Jenkins and William Downtian and the local preachers, Adam Hodam, Sam Sheppard and Jacob C. Smith.
Some of the teachers were James O'Hasra and wife, Henry Holbert and John Shed.
There had been a new frame church agitated and under the pushing and pulling or Preacher Downtain, who hewed most of the timbers himself, the material for the frame was gotten on the ground, piled up and, Downtain having been transferred to another circuit, rotted.
Meetings had been transferred to Chestnut Grove when it was built in 1868 and were continued there until the new church was built in 1885.
There was, during the war, a skirmish in the pike by Beech Grove. An oak tree standing below the road is scarred with rifle balls.
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The Wright Graveyard
Aye, tombless - what of it?
Marble is dust.
Cold and repellent,
And iron is rust.
Sceptre and crown
Must tumble down.
And in the dust by equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.
Immediately across the Creek from Beech Grove is a sort of cove put back into the hills, which become much lower and less steep and abrupt than they are below.
The hill comes down to the water above this cove and a large double run comes in at a place where the creek makes a nearly square turn. Between the two runs a long tongue of the point is thrown half across the bottom to the Creek. Near the end of this point, around which flows one of th runs, used to grow an ash tree and coming from under a rock under the tree was a lick spring which was there when white men first visited the country and which no drought appear to affect.
The land on which this spring is situated is the southeastern block of the Clayborne Morlan Survey, which, in a triple row of mile and a quarter square sections reaches from the Kanawha River to here. This land on Reedy, appears to have been in the possession of one Enochs who lived about the Little Kanawha or beyond. He is said to have sold it to John Boggs about 1826 and to Charles Stewart at some time. Both of whom failed to hold it. Boggs built a cabin on this left hand run, but never finished it, abandoning his claim and buying on Spring Creek. This cabin which was burned in a woods fire gave to the stream the name of Burnt House Run.
Later, the land passed into the hand of John P. Thomasson who in 1836 sold seven hundred fifty acres of it giving his name to the lower and larger run.
Whether Thomasson owned any of the balance of the block, I do not know. Two hundred sixty five became the property of J.S. Smith some fifteen years later and twenty acres went to the Kyger Place.
John Wright was a son of Basil Wright. His mother, whose name was Nancy Jones, first married Samuel Miller. After his death, she married Wright. She had two sons by the first husband, Samuel and Joshua Miller. Both of whom came to Reedy. Of Wright's family, there were three sons came to Roane County, John Jim and Basil. There are different accounts of where they came from, some say Pennsylvania, near Pittsburg.
John Wright was born in 1803. In 1823 he married Rachel McCune on the West Fork and lived two years at the Jordan McMillan place on Henry's Fork. In 1825 they moved to Left Reedy near Reedyville, and in 1836 bought the Thomasson land and built his cabin where John Lester's house stood. About two years later, he sold two hundred acres off the lower side of his land to Josh Miller, his half brother. He then built at the upper end of the tongue of land before mentioned.
There is said to have been a cabin built up from the spring on a little flat near the ash tree. Whether built before the house does not fairly appear. Basil Wright, his oldest son, when first married lived in the house by the spring and may have built it.
Rachel McCune, who John Wright married, was born about 1798 and was living on Cedar Creek in Lewis County in 1804, where she may have been born. Her father came from Ireland to the south branch of the Potomac.
Wright gave his boys land and sold off part of the remainder, having at this death only sixty acres left.
Up on the point back of the house in a fine grove of black oak, hickory and other trees including one beech and three pines, was the family cemetery of the Wright family.
The first grave is that of Jim Wright who died in 1850 at the age of nineteen or twenty years.
Two of Basil Wright's daughters are buried there. They died when small.
John Wright was born in 1803 and died in 1963. He was buried under the pines overlooking the farm he had so long lived on.
There were tow or three other graes when we moved there in 1872 and the first spring we thinned out the trees and dressed up the graves, but the gove has been cut away and the markers are gone and there is nothing to show, but shallow depressions. Even they will, in time, be obliterated.
Thus it is apt to be with family graveyards when they pass into the hands of strangers.
The last grave was that of Belle woodruff, a two year old child of William and Eliza Woodruff, who lived on an adjoining farm, that was buried here on March 23, 1878.
Rachel Wright, for whom space was reserved by the side of her husband, died on the West Fork and was buried there.
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An Indian Graveyard
Cover his body with turf or stone,
It matters not - to him, all is one.
A half mile above Beech Grove, the Creek turns sharply to the right. Bear Tree Run comes in early in a line with the course of the Creek and Rush Run enters from the left. The hills between Rush Run and the Creek are high and very steep below Rush and tl the right of Reedy they are lower and go up less abruptly. There are good bottoms along the Creek. A narrow strip of bottom extends along Bear Tree and the bottoms on Rush Run are good width. A short distance up Rush, a little run comes in from the left. A little farther down the Creek, another little brook comes down from among low hills and below the mouth of it is a wide plateau of second bottom on which the village of Hardman's Station now stand.
A low point runs back from this plateau, ascending gradually till it unites with Kygers Mountain, back of Beech Grove. This ridge lies between the waters of Left Reedy and the little run named. Across the creek from the plateau is another short and rather steep hollow, which heads in the point around which the creek bends. This point is low, but pretty steep next to the creek and then nearly level. The creek comes to the hill on the right, opposite the plateau and on the left below the mouth of Rush Run.
The land was all a part of the Hugh Kyger farm. The first house on which was built about 1835 or 1836, on this plateau just below the little run and well back to the hill. The first occupant I have heard of was Ben Reynolds. Later Kyger, who was unmarried, built a hewed log house on the other side of the Creek on another high second bottom. Both these houses were occupied by tenants.
The oldest graveyard on Reedy was located ont eh points surrounding the bottoms below the mouth of Rush Run, which had one day been the site of an extensive Indian Camp.
On the point back of the Kyger house, on the land of Lum Hardman, was a very large stone pile Indian Grave, which had been opened before I was in that country. It is said there were found bones and trinkets of various kinds. This was all the grave I know of on that side of the creek. On the point, which runs back from Hardman's Station, where the Reynolds house was built and on around towards Kyger's Mountains, were several graves (seven, if I remember rightly). I helped to open some of them, the fall of 1872. They were all stone piles sunken nearly to the level of the ground and contained bones, stone arrow and spearheads and the knives and shells and other trinkets.
The bones were mostly mouldered into dust, and those found, crumbled when exposed to the air. The shape of the forms could not be traced. In some of the graves, the inner rocks were burned red and some of the bones were charred. It would seem that the bodies were buried in a sitting posture with the legs stretched out and covered with bark and sticks which was fired and then covered with stones, which had been packed from the hillsides or brooks. The graves were always on the top of the ridge and about a foot above the level of the ground. The bones and trinkets were a foot below the surface, though I have no doubt they were on top when buried.
There were ashes and charcoal under the rocks in some of them. I do not recollect whether all we opened had been burned or not. There were smooth stones from the river bed and a stone hatchet, with shells from the sea.
The graves on this point were probably hundreds of years old, but I think the one on the other side of the creek of much later date.
I do not know whether there were any stone piles on the point which extends down to the mouth of Rush Run or not. The high hill to the right of Bear Tree Run I was never on, nor do I remember being on the point between Bear Tree and Rush. So I can not say whether there are graves on them or not.
I was present at the opening of a stone pile grave in Monroe County, Ohio, which contained, I think, two skeletons, the bones of which were perfect and the forms easily traced. In this grave, the bodies had been laid flat on top of the ground, one arm being stretched out nearly straight, and they were covered with a pile of stone sufficient for three or four wagon loads.
There had been no burning in this case either.
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Old Indian Graveyard (near Reedy)
The most interesting feature of the new cemetery, which lay on the ridge, dividing the waters of Polly Run from the right hand fork of Reedy, was a large rock pile mound in the northeastern corner of the grounds.
This was oblong circular in shape, say thirty five by seventy five feet. The grounds had apparently been once cleared and allowed to grow up later. The mound was more or less sodded with grass and on it were standing some of the second growth of white oak and hickory trees that occupied the old field. The elevation at highest point was perhaps four or five feet. Some of the low trees were onje and a half or two feet in diameter.
To the east, the ground was comparatively level with a shallow "saddle-back" beyond which was another and smaller mound two or three feet high, which had been subjected to cultivation for years.
The indications are that it had been a stone pile mound. I have been told that there were others along the ridge and that the place is supposed to have been a burying ground for a town, settlement or camp of Indians supposed from the arrow heads and implements found by the early settlers to have once occupied the present site of the village of Reedy.
Two other and similar mounds may still (1907) be traced.
From this cemetery, which lies near the top of the hill on the old "Alf Cain Farm" and north of the little run coming down by the "Chimney Rocks" I went out the ridge in a westerly direction around the head of the right hand fork of the run; to my right was the valley of Folly Run with the farms of M.A. McClung and "Old Billy" Bord with John Bates on the ridge beyond.
I came back down the main stream, past the Chimney Rocks, a magnificent display in Marietta sandstone. The higher of these was, I estimated, thirty four feet, richly draped and festooned with our native American woodbine.
One of the columns of this group I said to show the profile of a human face. Dr. G.W. Carter once told me that an Indian, connected with a "show" exhibiting at Reedy, pointed it out to him, saying that the spot was preserved in the legends and traditions of his ancestry and that he had no difficulty in finding it o the occasion of this, his first visit. I never saw the face to recognize it as such.
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Mount Olive Graveyard
Yet, well might hey lay, beneath the soil
Of this lonely spot, that man of toil,
And trench the strong, hard mold with the spade,
Where never before a grave was made,
For he hewed the dark old woods away
And gave the Virgin fields, to the day,
And the gourd and the bean, beside his door
Bloomed where their flowers neer opn'd before
Bent low in the breath of an unknown sky.
To return to modern days.
The Mount Olive or Thomasson graveyard is of irregular shape and contains about three quarters of an acre or more. It lies on a little point, perhaps a mile below the mouth of Tuckers Run. Near the end of the point below it is the Mount Olive Baptist Church which has been built twelve or fifteen years. At the upper side here is nice shade. The upper side is level, then a gentle slope, a part of the eastern side is too steep for burying ground.
There are many fine monuments among the inscriptions I noted:
James E. Burdett, born November 6, 1816, died December 31, 1891 aged seventy five years one month.
Ann H., wife of J.E. Burdett and daughter of J.P. Thomasson, born November 19, 1812, died June 2, 1890, aged seventy seven years six months.
In the Burdett corner ar some short graves marked on flag stones, J.D.B., S.K.B., and M.H.B. (These may have been grown, there were childrens graves close).
An old flagstone headstone, the graves nearly under a thrifty oak tree, are the letters M.E.T. and N.H.T.
W.B. Gibbs born July 4, 1838 died January 12, 1895.
Martha J. Gibbs, born September 1837, she was a sister of John Greer.
Nancy A. Huddleston born June 2, 1843 died July 29, 1884 aged forty one years one month. She was wife of Wash Huddleston and daughter of Mordecai Thomasson, and her mother was Susan, daughter of Joseph Rader.
A fine granite marks the resting place of Granville Mount, died June 1886 aged fifty five years one month. There are two other Mount graves.
It is said that Abram Ingram is buried in this graveyard.
W.M. Patmon died June 8, 1882 aged thirty one years seven months. He married Eliza, daughter of Mordecai Thomasson.
Then there is, Thomas, son of A.G. and D. Ingram, died 1853 aged one year.
Abram McCoy died 1874 aged twenty eight.
Flora, wife of Abram McCoy died 1880 aged thirty two years. I think she was a Burdett.
Mattie Thomasson, died 1894 aged thirty five years and Catharine Petty born August 10, 1816 died December 8, 1899 aged eighty two years three months.
She was a daughter of Fidillas Ott of Right Reedy. Her mother was Mary Conrad Ott. She married Rowland Petty of Wirt County.
William Petty, born 1843, was her son. He married Melissa Goff, daughter of W.R. Goff of Spencer. He also is buried here as is Rowland Petty Jr., wife.
There are other Petty and Thomasson children and many graves without any names. Nor did I copy all the inscriptions. I only tried to secure the oldest. After all, the most interest attaches to some of the nameless graves.
Here repose the remains of the first settler of Reedy District, Patrick Bord was born in 1750 and died in 1839 aged eighty nine years.
Mary Bord was a German, her name before marriage being Kiser. She was born near Little York, Pennsylvania in 1771. She married after the close of the Revolution, while very young.
Patrick Bord and wife first live near York, Pa. (Says T.J. Bord, their grandson.)
They came to Reedy in 1815. Mary Bord born 1770 died 1859 aged nearly eighty nine years old. She died at her son, Thomas Bord's on Mill Creek and her remains were brought to Reedy and laid beside her husband.
In 1832, Patrick Bord sold what was left of his Reedy farm, one hundred acres to S.B. Seaman and then, or at some other time, bought near Reedyville of James Dryling, one hundred twenty acres forty eight poles. On June 27, 1834, he sold this to Joseph Bord. The same day, Joseph Bord, sold to his son, Thomas Bord, one hundred acres of the Patrick Bord farm, the same sold by P.B. to Seaman in 1832.
Partick Bord lived with W.K. Bord when he died in 1839. W.K. having got the home place which was where Mordecai Thomasson lived. Joe Bord bought the Ellison Burdett farm.
Joseph Bord was presumably the oldest child of Patrick Bord. He married Margaret Horner, before or very soon after coming to Reedy. He lived in the John Seaman house across the creek from Candlers at Henry Knopps about 1826, at Sandy Bord place in 1834, at the Ellison Burdett farm after 1834. He went to Ohio and died back of Gallipolis. Peggy Bord, his wife, may be buried there, but I have nothing to show if she is or not. (1907 Margaret (Peggy) Bord was born April 1, 1795 died March 27, 1878 aged eighty two years eleven months.
Oliver B. Hunt, an old soldier, who received a pension of fifty dollars per month, died at his home at Leroy Boggs', whose wife was his daughter, at the O'Hara place on Long's Run, December 1909 and was buried at Mount Olive.
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Another comparatively new cemetery at the Three Forks of Reedy in Roane County is known locally as the McClung graveyard. I visited it twice, prior to my leaving that vicinity.
The occasion of my first visit was on November 11, 1907. At that time there were a very few graves and all of recent date. The most prominent was that of D.J. McClung, on whose farm the new burial ground had been opened. When again visited, about five years later, several more had been added. Among them I think that of William B. Smith, who lived on the Spencer Pike on Bear Tree Run, the most of whose relations in that vicinity were buried at the Beech Grove or Callow graveyard. I did not copy any inscriptions at the time, all being of such recent date.
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The Spencer Graveyard (To C.S.K.)
Then, the soft green moss shall wrap you,
And the world shall all forget you.
Live, and stir, and toil, and tumult,
Unawares, shall pass you by.
Generations come and vanish
But it shall not toil or fret you.
Spencer graveyard has been greatly enlarged since I used to know it twenty years ago. It is situated on a knob by the side of the pike, a little more than a mile from Spencer. Now, there is about two acres enclosed by an ornamental iron picket fence with a driveway all around it and gate at each corner next to the road.
The eastern side grows pretty steep and in the south eastern corner, the graves are turned with the hill, feet nearly to the south.
Among those buried are: Abraham Bowman, was born in the Shenandoah Valley December 24, 1816. He died March 14, 1897, aged eighty years two months. He was of Pennsylvania Dutch stock, his father being George Bowman. Bauman was the correct name originally, and Susan Bouserman Bowman of Shenandoah County, Virginia, his mother, was German born. He could speak German, and was a fine looking old man. The father was born in 1781, died in 1851.
Abraham Bowman married in 1848 in Gilmer County.\ \ \ \
Jane E. Fell Bowman, born January 13, 1838, died July 4, 1890, aged sixty two years five months.
Hiram Chapman died in 1885 aged seventy two years. Eliza, wife of H. Chapman died in 1889 aged fifty eight.
Erlia Goodwin, March 19, 1892, aged sixty six years six months, wife of John A. Goodwin, presumably.
Ellen Sergent, died in 1886 aged fifty years eleven months. Wife of Squire J.M. Sergent on Island Run.
E. Runnion died September 28, 1892 aged fifty one years one month. Eliha Runyan was the son of Henry Runyan, Jr. His mother was a daughter of Uriah Gandee. His father, Henry Runyan, Sr., built the first mill above Spencer.
M.W. Kidd, born October 5, 1819 in Southern Alabama, died December 31, 1898, aged seventy nine years two months. He first married a daughter of Doctor Chapman and his second wife was Rebecca Campbell Cork, daughter of John C. Campbell.
Sally F. Simmons (wife of Jeff Simmons) died in 1900 aged fifty two years. She was a daughter of William Burdett. She came from Kanawha County. Her mother was Elizabeth Doolittle of Jackson County.
Ann B., wife of John C. Campbell and daughter of Benjamin and Patsy Wilson was born in Clarksburg, May 22, 1807, died January 5, 1885, aged seventy seven years seven months.\ \
Marcellus Waldeck died April 28, 1891 aged fifty nine years five months.
John McMullen born 1845 died September 14, 1863. Co. G. Ninth West Virginia Infantry. He and Marshall Glaze were killed during the war at Henry Glaze's home near Walnut Grove. His mother was a daughter of John and Sarah Greathouse.
John Greathouse born March 4, 1898 died July 4, 1886 aged eighty eight years four months.
Sarah, wife of John Greathouse, died June 30, 1863 aged eighty years, and was born in 1873.
He settled on the east side of Spring Creek just above Poverty. He owned all the land from the Boggs farm nearly to Spencer. Was in the war of 1812 and father of Prophet John Greathouse.
Amos Miller died in 1904 aged eighty two years, said his wife. He was a son of Samuel Miller, who in turn was a son of Samuel Miller. Amos Miller lived at various places on Reedy and Spring Creeks. His wife was Susy Brannon, daughter of William Brannon of near Arnoldsburg.
Jesse Tanner died March 26, 1885, aged ninety five years. The monument is a block of granite a foot thick and about three and a half by four feet with one smooth face, the balance being rough. On it is the above inscription, also Lucinda Tanner. She was a Raines, it is said.
Rev. William Downtain, born June 15, 1821, died July 15, 1885, aged sixty four years one month. When he died, his grave was on the extreme southern edge of the lot, now, in 1904, there are fourteen rows of graves beyond his, extending twelve rods southeast.
Elmer E. Cutright died October 9, 1904 aged eighty three years nine months. His birthday if these figures be correct, was January 3, 1821. He had been paralyzed and was (part of him) without feeling. ("Petrified" Mrs Miller called it.)
Bailey Cleavenger (see Beech Grove Graveyard) was moved here as was his boy, Bailey Cleavenger, Jr.
Charles C. Cleavenger born March 29, 1852 died September 29, 1890 aged thirty eight years six months. He served as county clerk from 1879 to 1885.
John Cleavenger born May 24, 1854, died September 4, 1900, aged forty six years three months.
Miles Perrine died November 18, 1885 aged sixty four years. He was a son of a Carpenter woman, who was Jess Tanner's second wife. Perrine's wife was a Short. He was in Co. B. Ninth West Virginia Infantry.
Thomas McKinley born July 18, (1834?), died January 5, 1900.
I was not interested, personally, in a row of three graves, lying by themselves on the flat toward the north east corner of the lot. There were other graves around them but none adjoining.
When I searched for the spot, I had a great deal of difficulty in finding it, owing to the extension of the cemetery and the numerous graves around. I would probably have been unable to locate it at all, but for the assistance of a man who was helping dig a grave for "Doc" Miller's child, which was buried there that afternoon. "Doc" Miller was a son or grandson of Amos Miller.
When I used to be in the graveyard, this spot was a far corner by the fence with no other graves close.
Charles Sidney Kyer born April 20, 1860, died October 8, 1880, buried October 9, 1880, aged twenty years five months.
Another of the three was Sarah Emma Catharine Kyer, who married Rus Fox. She was one year younger than Sidney and died several years after he died.
They were bright and intelligent children and among the best of my favorite scholars.
The other grave was their mother. She was an intelligent woman. Her maiden name was Flaherty and her father had a water mill on Spring Creek near Beaver Dam.
I could not tell for certain, which grave was Sidney's but regardless of the rule of the cemetery, forbidding the pulling of flowers, I plucked a spray of myrtle from the grave I guessed to be his. The graves are low and covered with myrtle and without headstones.
Under these two mounds are buried not only hopes and aspirations, but talents which, if given favorable opportunity, would have made its mark in the world.
I visited this spot again in May, 1910, just before Decoration Day. To the three graves have been added two more, Fitzhugh Kyer and the father, John Kyer. Sidney's grave is at the north end of the row, John's (who died a few years ago) at the opposite end.
I was told by Aunt Susie Miller that when the Bartlett extension, above the first ford of the Creek at Spencer, was laid out, in grading the streets, they cut through some graves of Spencer's pioneer settlers, one of which was Samuel Tanner.
The Bartlett extension was on the hill. The addition mentioned above is known as the Holswade Addition, and the story of the demolition of the old graveyard is correct.
Samuel Tanner was the first settler at Spencer. He came in 1812 and lived under the rock near Woodyards residence. His wife was Sudner Carpenter. I can find nothing reliable concerning their children.
Sometime in the seventies, Spencer decided that the hill graveyard was not sufficient for the use of the town, so a lot was bought about a mile up the creek, laid off and a few graves were made there, but for some reason it never became popular and is now grown up with weeds.
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