Left Fork of Reedy - Its Early Settlers and Their Families

The Left Fork of Reedy is sixteen and one half miles from its source to its union with the Middle Fork above the village of Reedy.

The Ravenswood, Spencer and Glenville Railroad, which comes down the Ravenswood pike from the summit out at the head of Sandy, past Seamantown and Duke's Station to Reedy, runs up the Left Fork four and one fifth miles to Hardman's Station, and about one half mile above this, where Rush and Bear Tree runs come in and the creek makes a sharp bend to the right, the road proceeds in nearly a straight line up to the head of Bear Tree run at the Barr cut, turns to the left and runs down Nancy's Run, striking Spring Creek a mile below Spencer.

The railroad was surveyed and built as far as Liverpool in 1890, and completed to Spencer the next summer.

The Ravenswood and Spencer turnpike was first built in 1851 or 1852, and put under toll in 1853. I suppose the toll gates were maintained until the commencement of the war. After the close of the war, it was worked by hands as a county road until the summer of 1883, when it was sold under contract to C.C. Smith, relocated, graded and again put under toll for a few years.

There were two toll gates on Reedy, one at Mr. W.P. Stewart's in the village, and the other at John Cleavenger's (put up in the spring of 1884) on the head of Bear Tree Run, which was about midway between Reedy and Spencer.

In the summer of 1881, a route for a railroad from Parkersburg to Charleston was surveyed. It came up the Left Fork to the mouth of Rush Run, and up Rush run some distance above the forks, where a tunnel was cut through the hill to Nancy's, sometimes called Poverty Run. This road was surveyed up the Little Kanawha to Palestine, and up Reedy. Another route was surveyed through by Ripley at the same time, and the road down the Ohio River was built in 1884. It seems quite likely the two country routes were surveyed without any intention of building.

The first run on the Left Fork has, so far as I know, never had any name but Malcolm Run, from Mr. Samuel Malcolm, who was living near its head in 1872. It comes in from the left about three quarters of a mile up the pike from the Reedy bridge, and shortly less than a mile above this Crane Next empties on the left. Crane Nest is about two miles long and has several large branches.

Slate Run, also on the left, less than a mile farther up the creek, comes in. The names of these streams were given for reasons very obvious.

There is a shallow vein of coal at the mouth of Slate Run, first uncovered by the uprooting of a tree, from which hundred of bushels of coal have been taken. Coal was also uncovered by the cutting of the bank by a swirl at the deep ford, after a rise had caused a deep cut. A good quantity of blacksmith coal was taken from the bed of the creek.

On the right of Reedy's left fork the hill is very high, steep and narrow, as the left and middle forks run close together up as far as the old Flesher home.

The George Callow run is a short distance above and is longer, but the first large run on the right is two miles above Reedy, at the old Callow place. Miller's Run, at the George Kyger place, was named for Joseph Miller, who first lived at its mouth. Wright's Run, one third of a mile about on the right, was named for John Wright, who settled there in the woods in 1837 or 1838. Ben Wright had built a cabin here about 1837 or 1838.

A large run which joined Wright's Run a short distance from its mouth, was Burnt House Run from the old Boggs' cabin, which was destroyed by a woods fire. This was also called Tanner's Run, and Wright called it Roach's Run.

Rush and Bear Tree Runs are next on the left, with a ridge so high and narrow between Bear Tree and the creek that there are no more streams of any size on that side before Colt Run, two miles above, and Tucker's Run, about a mile farther. On the right is a large run near Mr. Riddle's residence and a short distance above is another, neither having any name so far as I know.

The Riddle Run, as I always called it, headed against Wright's Run and Leary Run, which empties into the Middle Fork about a mile about Reedy. This run was all in woods in 1872, except a little field at its mouth. Up this stream about a half mile from the road, under a ledge of rocks, the "bushwhackers" had a camp or rendezvous during the war. A little father up is a fissure in the rocks and earth, into which a man may go perhaps forty feet or more. Wild cats used to den here.

Above the Ben Riddle homestead, a large run emptying from the right, is now called Cox Run from a man who lived on it from the Seventies or Eighties.

The McCauley Run, some half mile above, is quite a large branch, and a nameless run at Reedyville, and Gandee's Run, above are, I believe, the only considerable streams below the mouth of Miller's Fork, which is now called Stover, and is eight miles from Reedy.

Gandee's Run was named for a man by the name of Gandee, of Gandeeville, who owned a large tract of land here, and had a large nursery in the bottom at the mouth of the stream.

Above this, the streams are small and take their names from those who reside upon them.

When I first knew Reedy in 1872, the residents were: Col. Roberts, at the old homestead about a half mile above the bridge, Samuel Malcolm, near the head of Malcolm's Run, and Jim Smith, on the point between two little hollows right at the bend of the creek.

Smith's wife was a Knight from Seaman Fork, and when he disappeared some time in the spring of 1873, it raised quite an excitement, people thinking he might be drowned.

Just across the creek on a high point was an old house built by Kelley Flesher, who had gone west some years before. Peter Murphy, whose wife was a Rollins from Mill Creek, had lived here about 1877. The spring of 1878, both he and his wife died with pneumonia, leaving seven or eight children.

On Crane Nest lived four families, Albert Gough, about a quarter mile up; Jeff Bord, on the Lee farm a half mile from the creek; on the Bates Run, a short distance from the pike, lived John Stutler, whose wife had died not long before; and Henry Bates, on the left of the stream, up towards its head. L.H. Bord lived here, after Bates left, about 1877, and Ezekiel Vernon, a few years later.

There is a high hill between the waters of this stream and Malcolm Run, known locally as Malcolm Knob. There is a grove on top of it, in which a large rock, a remnant of the strata of Marietta Sandstone, looks through the telescope from ‘Lige Smith's, a mile and a quarter away, like a lion lying in the jungle.

Malcolm Knob is about 1080 feet above the level of the sea, and across on the ridge back of the Robert's place a twin peak 1060 feet high. On top of this hill, which is now all cleared, stands a pine tree, a landmark for miles in every direction.

Mr. Malcolm once told me of plowing corn in a cove field joining Malcolm Knob, when there came up a shower, whose limits were so clean cut that while on one side of the field the ground was washed and gullied and made too wet to plow, at the other end of the rows a newspaper would not have been more than just dampened.

Mr. Bates was a member of the Grange, organized at Chestnut Grove, December, 1875, and was elected Chaplain though not even a church member. His daughter, Mahala Frances was a school teacher about 1875.

In 1875, Frank Bishop, a famous singing teacher, took a lease of old Tommy Gough, built a cabin, and cleared a field on the flat at the head of Bates' Run.

All the region at the head of Crane Nest above a couple of fields at the forks where Jeff Bord lived, was in heavy timber in 1872 and all except a strip along the run above the Al. Gough house was cleared after the war.

The first settlement here was made by John Wine, about 1826. He located across the creek from where George Flesher lived later.
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Flesher Family

The Flesher family was one of the largest, most important and most widely distributed of central West Virginia.

The first mention I find of the name is when the Indians, in 1874, [this date cannot be correct, it must be a typo, and should be 1774?. . . bb] attacked the house of Henry Flesher, who lived on the West Fork of the Valley River, where the town of Weston now stands. He is reported to have come from England when a boy, and settled at Weston.

The Indians shot Flesher, wounding him, but the family escaped to the woods, where they hid all night. The next day one of the girls made her way through to the settlement on Hacker's Creek, and Thomas Hughes led a party to their relief, bringing the family in to the fort. Family tradition says that, although Henry Flesher was wounded, he recovered, and was in the Revolutionary War.

The widow of Henry Flesher, said Benjamin Hickle in October, 1904, lived across the river from Weston, about 1834. She was an old woman. Whether these two Henry Fleshers were the same, does not appear. Hickle thought the latter was a brother of Adam. Henry Flesher, Jr., lived there in 1817, and sold the town site to speculators. That the first was a kinsman of Adam, there can be no doubt whether father, uncle or brother, can only be a matter of conjecture.

Adam Flesher lived on the river two miles below Weston. He married Betsy Staats, a sister of Abraham Staats of Mill Creek. Another sister (or cousin, some say) married a Sleethe, and after his death became the second wife of Charles Parsons, Sr.

Adam and Betsy Staats Flesher had a large family. Their children's names were:

Dempsey married Elizabeth Jones.

Elijah married Nancy Lewis. He was a blacksmith and lived in Weston.

George married Sally Connoly.

John.

Adam married when old, and move "away off".

Noah lived on the old home place.

Elizabeth never married. Went west.

Margaret married Salathiel Goff.

Ruanna, "kept the old folks".

Mahala married Jesse Allen, and lived on Mill Creek. She was born in 19806 and died in 1861.

Another record adds a son, Isaac, born in 1810. His son, Crayton, was in the Union Army.

Dempsey and Elizabeth Jones Flesher's children were:

Robert Flesher married Ellen Farmer.

Matilda Flesher married Thomas Seaman.

Nancy Flesher married W.K. Bord, as his second wife.

George Flesher first came to Reedy in 1840. He was a son of Adam Flesher of Weston, and was born near that place, March 10, 1793, and died August 9, 1878. He married Sally Connoly (usually called Conley) whose parents, George and Sally Connoly, lived on the West Fork River above Arnoldsburg.

He lived first (said his daughter, Sarah Callow in October, 1905) two miles below Weston, where his father, Adam Flesher lived; then moved to Barnes Run about three miles away from there to near Glenville, and then to Reedy in 1840.

George Flesher lived in an old hewed log house just above a small run on the west side of the creek. He was an old man, tottering and feeble, when I knew him, nearly eighty years of age. He was quite ill during the summer of 1872, and it was thought he would die, but he recovered, and lived for five years more; and his wife, Sally Flesher, who was some years younger, did not die until about 1886. They had a girl whom they raised from a child, living with them in 1872. Her name was Martha Susan Boyers. She was a sister of Andrew Boyers, who was Deputy Sheriff of Roane County in 1902. Susan Boyers married William Stutler in October, 1877.

George and Sally Connoly Flesher's children were:

Sarah Flesher married George Callow.

Alitha Flesher married Thomas Gough.

Kelley Flesher married Savilla Knopp.

Dempsey Flesher married a Murray.

John Flesher married Margaret Butcher.

Matilda Flesher married Henry Bush, and went to Texas.

Mary Flesher married Robert Lee.

In 1872, John Flesher owned the farm at the mouth of Crane Nest Run. About a quarter of a mile below, the hills came so close together that the bottoms are not more than fourteen poles wide, and just above, they again approach even closer. In this pocket there is a magnificent sweep of fertile bottom land a full forty rods in width and unbroken by the creek, which keeps close to the base of the western hill.

In one place a rocky rill comes tumbling down the steep hillside, and at its mouth a narrow strip of bottom with rich black loam which thirty five years ago was a wild thicket. Now the hillside is all cleared, and sowed in blue grass. Here John Flesher was living in a fine two story residence on a point above the road, not far below George Flesher's house. The house had not been built many years before that date, being comparatively new when I saw it.

The first improvement on this farm was made by John Wine, who built a cabin at the road by the stream that comes down by the Flesher house. The date of the erection of this cabin I do not know, but it was probably not far from 1826.

September 28, 1825, Isaac Enoch to "John Windes" 150 A, granted Enoch "by letters patent" bearing date the 2nd of July 1821. Other dates are given in records also.

Title was defended against all claims made through Enoch "and from no others." Wine built a cabin, but was never taxed with the land. The consideration was five dollars, and doubtless services in surveying. Perhaps Wine bought a half interest in the surveyor's claim of his brother-in-law, Robert Stewart.

Elijah Flesher married Nancy Lewis, and their children were:

Louisa Flesher married Dr. F.A. Holt, who died in 1865; after his death she married M.B. Armstrong, as his second wife.

Nancy Flesher married James O'Hara. She died in 1907, at the age of ninety.

Margaret Flesher married Salathiel Goff, who came to Reedy and later went to Texas. Their children were:

John G. Goff married a Stewart.

Mary Goff married C.C. Stutler.

Elizabeth Goff married Joseph Stewart.

Peyton Goff was in the Southern Army.

Alonzo Goff was in the Union Army.

Adam Fesher was a comrade and companion of Jesse Hughes.

There was an Andrew Flesher married Elizabeth Bibby, February 21, 1783.

A Peter Flesher married Mary Bennett, January 18, 1793.

Elizabeth Flesher married Francis Legate, September 4, 1788.

Mary Flesher married William Hanaman, October, 1788.

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Callow Family

There is commonly on Left Reedy, a strip of bottom land along the creek. This is usually rolling enough for self drainage, and of fair width. Then there is a bank of bluff, where the lower layer of base rock on which the hills are built, comes near the surface. Sometimes the rocks appear in places along these banks but frequently the ascent is so gradual that a road of fairly good grade can be made to the tops of the ridges.

On top of the first bank is a flat, as it is called, although there is generally a fall of a few feet to the rod. On this strip of comparatively level ground, which is often several rods in width is a favorite site for residence and farm buildings.

It was on such an elevation below the mouth of what should have been called Callow's Run that John R. Callow erected his lowly log cabin, when he moved to the neighborhood in 1833.

Callow had bought two hundred acres of land "sight unseen" of a man named McGuire. He came from Fauquier County, Virginia, early in the spring of 1833, having started the fall before.

There were two families in the party, John Callow, who had a two horse wagon, and Stephen Pickerell, with a one horse cart. These men were brother-in-laws, having married twin sisters, and there were the women and several children in the party.

They spent the winter on the trip, getting to their new home in time to prepare for a crop. They had guns and axes, bedding and cooking utensils, and camped along the road. They bought meal for bread and feed for their horses when they could, depending on their rifles for a supply of meat. Sometimes they fared sumptuously, sometimes scantily. In inclement weather they would stay in the wagons sometimes for days at a time, or in improvised camps in the woods. Sometimes they could get into a vacant cabin for a night or for a few days. Now and then they stopped with a hospitable settler along the way. Much of the time they were for days alone in the untrodden wilderness, where they had to cut their way through logs and brush, and pick their route over hills and across streams.

Their progress was slow, but they kept up their spirits, and struggles on, for they were bound for a new country, where they hoped to find a home and create a fortune.

The Callow family stopped for two weeks in an empty house on the farm now owned by "Doc" Bord, while he built a cabin on his own land, three miles away.

John R. Callow was born on the Isle of Man, off the coast of Ireland, on the 18th of April, 1774, and was a son of Robert Callow.

They probably came to America when John R. was small. Robert Callow is reported by one historian to have served in the American army in the War of 1812, but it seems more probable that it was John R. Callow instead of his father, who was then an old man.

John R. Callow married Elizabeth Hitt, a girl of Pennsylvania Dutch descent who as born in Fauquier County, Virginia, April 2, 1790. Her twin sister married Stephen Pickerell, who came with the Callows to Reedy.

Callow was a house carpenter by trade, and knew little about farming. He worked at his trade in the nearby villages of Parkersburg, Elizabeth and Ripley, much of the time, leaving his wife and boys to manage the farm.

He had opened up a fine farm, and was living in an easy and comfortable manner at the time of his death in July 1858, at the age of eighty years. His wife died eleven years earlier, when only fifty seven. Their children were:

George Callow married Sally Flesher.

Elijah Callow married Mary Catherine Smith.

John Callow married Catherine Williams.

Mary Callow married "Joesy" Maze.

Elizabeth Callow married W.A. Rader.

Sarah and Jane died while young, and were buried in the Callow graveyard.

George W. Callow was born October 26, 1822, and was eleven years old when they came to Reedy. He was married on April 2, 1846, to Sally Flesher, a daughter of George and Sally Connoly Flesher, who lived just below. She was born in a house on the Adam Flesher farm, two miles below Weston, on July 5, 1826.

George Callow served one year and sisteen days in Company F, 36th Battalion, Virginia Troops in the Confederate Army. Farming was his occupation through life, and he never sought now held any public office higher than school trustee or road overseer. It is said that the was a friend of the movement for a new state west of the mountains, and he was one of he few whose word was as good as his bond. He died loved and honored by all who knew him, on September 19, 1904, and was buried at the Beech Grove burying ground.

In 1872, "Uncle" George Callow lived at the present residence of his son, Elijah, in the old frame house already weather stained and grey. His farm was, I believe, a part of the original Callow tract, which with the Flesher farm below, made up a Clayborne block of a thousand acres in the Clayborne Morlan survey, This land was bought of McGuire, and there had been, years later, a long tedious lawsuit with Hugh Kyger, who represented some conflicting claim, but who was beaten in the end.

George and Sally Callow had ten children, the oldest born in 1847, the youngest, twins, were born in 1866. Some of these children were:

Charley Callow who was born in 1852.

Mahala Callow, born in 1854, who married Taylor Hoadam, and moved to Texas.

Emma Susan Callow married a Law.

Henry Callow.

Albert Callow married Minnie Moss, and lived a short time on the Corder farm, He died in 1882 or 1883.

Rouanna Callow married Lee Sheppard.

Elijah Callow was nearly three years younger than his brother, having been born July 9, 1825. He came with his parents to Reedy, then in Jackson County, in 1833. In July 1852, he married Mary C. Smith, the daughter of a near neighbor. She was born in Kanawha County, July 25, 1833.

Elijah Callow served from October 1862 until the fall of 1864, in the Southern Army. He died December 18, 1908. His wife died December 18, 1891.

Elijah Calow, known as "Lige" Callow, lived in 1872 on the old home place in the cabin first built by h is father. It stood a few feet in front of the present house, and was torn away in 1876. He owned about three hundred acres of land, including nearly all of the Slate Run country and running well over the top of the ridge on to Middle Fork. The bottom and field around the house had been cleared for years.

On top of a bluff just below the school house, which is now the residence of Andy C. Callow, was a little weather boarded one story house occupied a part of the time as a residence and cabinet shop by John Maze, a cousin of Mr. Callow, and a grass widower.

Lige Callow was a sturdy, hard working pioneer, who raised large crops and kept several head of horses and cows. He usually thrashed from 150 to 200 bushels of wheat every harvest.

Mrs. Callow was for a long time an invalid.

Elijah and Catherine Smith Callow's children were:

George Anderson born November 20, 1854, married Nancy Stutler, a daughter of John Stutler, November 15, 1877. He first built and settled on Slate Run.

Elizabeth Alice born in 1853, died in 1890. She married Alf Berry.

William Vincent born in 1857, married Cora Murphy.

Mary Louisa Teresa born in 1860, married Henry Walters.

Jacob Clingman born in 1862, died in 1912. Married Ora Berry.

Charity Ann born in 1868m, married George Summerfield.

Magnolia born in 1870, married Alf Snyder.

Andrew Coleman born in 1873, married Corda Custer.

John born in 1875.

Jefferson Hedrick born in 1866, married Sarah (Sally) Ashley.

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Smith Family

Jacob Clingman Smith was born in Tyler County, Virginia, March 26, 1813, and died October 14, 1870. His father was Ralph Smith, whose parents are said to have come from Germany, and his mother, Katy George Smith of Harrison County.

While he was yet very small, the family moved to Red House Shoals, below Charleston, and about 1827 his father and most of the family went to Greenup County, Kentucky, opposite Portsmouth, Ohio. Jacob C., then fourteen years old, refused to go, and with a brother and sister moved to Virginia.

In 1832 he was married to Sarah Smith, and they lived on Barnes Creek of Elk River, above Clendenin. He came to Reedy about March, 1842, from the Elk River.

Sarah Smith, his wife, was a daughter of Aaron Smith of Harrison County and Hannah Drake Smith, daughter of George and Susannah Drake, who was born on April 17, 1778, and lived in Harrison County at the time of her marriage. She died about the beginning of the war, on Lee Creek, at William Smith's. Sarah was one of twelve children, and was born April 19, 1814, and died April 20, 1891, at the age of seventy seven years.

Jacob Smith and wife were members of the Methodist Church, but went with the Southern branch when it drew off from the parent organization. The following described paper explains itself:

"This is to certify that Jacob C. Smith and Sarah Smith have been acceptable members of the Methodist Episcopal Church on Elk River Circuit. Given under my hand this 20th day of February, 1843." It is signed by Samuel Black.

Being earnest church members, it is not likely that they waited long after moving to have the necessary transfers made, so this is pretty conclusive evidence that they came to Reedy not earlier than the fall of 1842.

The Smith farm consisted of three different tracts, altogether containing 264 acres, and situated on the lower side of one of the Morlan blocks. There were eighty acres bought of Daniel Davis, in 1848. This land was part of one hundred acres said to have been given to Robert Stewart for helping survey the Clayborne Morlan land; and sold by him to John E. Wine, who lived on it for several years.

If Stewart got this land, the deed was made not to him but to Wine. The records show that Isaac Enoch, not Morlan, deeded it to John "Windes".

Davis never got any deed for the land, but sold it in 1848 to Jacob C. Smith, who then lived on the Alf Riddle farm above. He moved to this farm in 1848. It was on September 9, 1851 when this deed and one from John Wright for five acres were recorded by Daniel Wilkinson, then Clerk of the County Court for Wirt County, and the name was entered on the Land Book by the Assessor, A. Enoch. "The September 9, 1851." The first, charging a dollar and twenty five cents, and the latter, seventy five cents for each tract.

The other tract was bought in 1856 of D. Flesher, As to how he acquired it, I have no information. Presumably it lay back next the head of the Callow run and was part of the Morlan tract.

Among Jacob C. Smith's papers on a printed blank, is the following tax ticket:

1857, Mr. Jacob C. Smith to the Sheriff of Roane County, Dr.

To 2 County and Poor Levies . . . . . . . . . . . $7.00

To Tax on Real and Personal Property for County Purposes . . . . . $2.89

To 1 Capitation Tax . . . . . . . .80

To Revenue on Personal Property . . . . . . . $2.26

To Revenue on 179n ½ acres of land . . . . . . $1.43

To Revenue on 80 acres of land . . . . . . $2.00

To Revenue on 5 acres of land . . . . . $.10

$16.48

Received payment. (Signed) Thos. Ferrel, S.R.C.

In some flood the creek made a cutoff and threw about an acre of the Smith bottom land on the other side of the creek. As the creek was named in the deed as the line, Kyger, then owner of the land, claimed this island, which claim was stoutly resisted by Smith, but after a long tedious process of law, Kyger held the land, though Smith was still taxed for it.

At the Smith building site, a little run comes down the face of a high hill to the lower level. On the slope just below the little run and a few rods from the creek, the present dwelling stands. A short distance above the run is an elevation which would make a lovely building site. On the strip of ground between the run and this elevated ground there stood in 1872 a little log cabin, which was then used as a loom house but served John E. Wine as a dwelling, when he first settled on the place.

This house was used as a school house, Lucy Ingraham having taught a term there about 1864. She also taught at a little school house built for that purpose specially, which stood below the mouth of the run just above the Smith line. Mrs. O'Hare taught a term here, and Jacob Clammer taught probably in the same house in 1860 and 1861, to which Jacob C. Smith subscribed scholars to the amount of four dollars.

Jacob C. Smith is described as a tall, broad shouldered muscular man. He had been a local preacher in the Southern Methodist Church, and his house was the "preacher's home." He was a man who was "forehanded and well to do" and had been a great help to the poor people of the country. He always had plenty of corn and wheat to exchange for work on the farm. He had raised or kept for a time different homeless or outcast boys, taking care of and providing for them. Among these was Tom Tanner, a son of Wash and Katy McCune Tanner.

He kept several horses and "wagoned" from the river at Ravenswood, hauling for merchants at Spencer (California, it was then called), Reedyville and the Three Forks. His papers show that he did a large business in hauling, and that as a farmer he was in easy circumstances. He would kill several beeves every fall, and trade out a good part of the meat over the country.

Jacob C. and Sarah Smith's children were:

Mary Catherine born July 25, 1833, married Elijah Callow.

Rebecca R., born September 1, 1835, married Andrew Maze, and lived in Calhoun County.

Jacob Brown born March 6, 1837, married Elizabeth Walker.

Elijah V. born January 8, 1839, married Charity Maze.

John D.L., born December 2, 1840, married Emmadela Ashley.

Orpha Ann, born October 8, 1842, married Clem Tatterson.

William Ralph born December 26, 1844, married Melissa Callow, and lived on Bear Tree Run.

Sarah E. Fisher born February 24, 1847, married Jerome Hickle, and moved to Missouri.

Samuel B., born January 1, 1850, died young.

Martha Alice born January 6, 1852, married Mark Riddle, moved to Missouri.

Hannah A., born April 6, 1854, married George Maze, and lived in Calhoun County.

Roanna born August 2, 1856, married Alec Chancey, and lived in Calhoun County.

Andrew Maze, Charity Maze Smith and George Maze were children of Joseph Maze and Mary Callow Maze, who lived on the Little Kanawha, in the lower end of Calhoun County.

Jacob Brown Smith was married on the last day October, 1856. He lived during the war in the old house on the Al Gough farm on Crane Nest, where he was living in 1862. About 1864, he lived a year on the farm next above Callow Run, and then for two years at the old Johnny Wright farm at the mouth of Wright's Run, from which he moved to the land on Callow's Run, at the site of the present residence of C.L. Smith.

He had a small one story unpainted frame house, built about the spring of 1867. All the bottom lands along the run were cleared out, up to the bluff. On the southern side, the face of the hill was less abrupt, and there was a row of fields of fair width reaching half way to the top of the hill. Above the fence the ground was yet in woods and heavily timbered.

Brown Smith was another hard working man. At that time, though he had a large family of small children, he was making a comfortable living, and gaining a little also. He and his brothers paid the taxes on the Smith farm, and as fast as they accumulated the means, bought out the other heirs to his father's farm.

Every winter they cut a part of the timber, and hauled it to the creek, where it was made into rafts. The logs were fastened together by split timbers securely pinned across the top of the raft. To the ends, one or more sweeps were fastened, to guide the cumbrous craft while men with poles kept it in the current and away from the shores. At night the raft was tied up to a tree, if it was dark or stormy. These rafts would only be taken out o n a high stage of water.

A few years later, after the boom was built at Palestine, the logs were not rafted, but dumped into the creek and floated out, as were also staves, and after about 1875, railroad cross ties.

The poplar and some of the oak was rafted out, much of the best splitting timber was made into staves, and the smaller timber hewn for railroad ties, which sold for eighteen to twenty cents at the creek.

Brown Smith, Lige Callow and George Callow owned the only sorghum mill in the neighborhood. It was rented to the parties who desired it for molasses making purposes. The equipment consisted of an old two roller mill and a pan in which the molasses was boiled over a frame made in the earth. Sometimes iron kettles supplanted the pan in boiling the syrup.

Each man took the mill and rig and made his own molasses. The product was a dark, strong and sticky substance, then the staple "sweetening" of the country. Syrup was not then sold, and there was comparatively little sugar sold. Also, the product of the maple tree, maple syrup, was fast being depleted.

This mill had been owned for several years by Jacob C. Smith, and was bought by the parties named at the administrator's sale after his death.

Before this mill was brought into the country, a wooden roller mill something like the old wooden cider mill was used for grinding sorghum. The cane was sometimes run through the second time, to get all the juice out.

When the cane was first raised, the stalks were cut up, pounded and boiled in an iron kettle. Of course, this made molasses on a very small scale.

Brown Smith lived on Reedy until 1892, when he sold his farm to his brother, W.R. Smith, relocating at the mouth of Poplar Fork of Little Creek, where he died, April 22, 1896. His wife died on the 7th of March of the same year.

Brown and Elizabeth Walker Smith's family, as recorded in the family Bible, were:

Sarah Smith born December 14, 1857.

Emily S. Smith born June 10, 1860.

Mary M. Smith born May 3, 1862.

Arizona B. Smith born May 13, 1864,

Anna C. Smith born November 29, 1866.

W. Park Smith born September 24, 1869.

Ralph Smith born April 24, 1872, died November 21, 1872.

Margaret J. Smith born September 5, 1873.

Addison G. Smith born March 6, 1876.

Jacob K. Smith born October 23, 1878.

Oto B. Smith born October 16, 1881.

Elijah V. Smith moved over from the Little Kanawha in Calhoun County about 1870 and lived on the old home farm.

They had a little girl, Florence Rader, daughter of Allen Rader, whose mother, a cousin of Charity Smith, had died a few years before, living with them. Lige Smith himself did not stay at home much the first year or so, being engaged in timbering on the Little Kanawha with Andy Maze a brother of his wife.

Lige lived in the upper end of the house, which was of logs and two stories high. Probably Jacob Smith had built it after moving to the place in 1848. Lige had built another house, a frame, weather boarded and painted white, with a wide porch on one side, and a portico in front, ceiled and finished upstairs and down.

Grandmother Smith, Jacob C. Smith's widow, lived with three of the girls in the new house until their marriage.

Elijah and Charity Maze Smith's children were:

Mary married Charley Lester.

Robert.

Joe married Ollie Wine.

Sarah married a Grimm.

George married Laura Chichester.

Dounton.

Andy.

Charity married a Tennant.

John D.L. Smith died in the spring of 1871. His widow and family lived up the creek a little way from Brown Smith, in a small log cabin, with the usual log stable, log smoke house, etc., which was common to the country.

The widow, whose maiden name was Emmadela Ashley, was in rather needy circumstances, having five children to support, the eldest being only twelve and not able to help much. The neighbors helped them, especially in getting wood and doing work the family could not well do. I remember several wood chopping bees, corn huskings and other like gatherings, quite distinctly.

Kate Sleethe, a half sister of the widow, stayed there part of the time during the summer of 1872, and Martha Ashley and Mary Sleethe were there at times.

About 1875 she sold her interest to Brown and Lige Smith, and moved down about Conrad's Run.

William R. Smith and Melissa Callow Smith's children were:

George W. married Lou Ward.

Eva D. married James Vinyrad.

Charley married Ollie Jarret.

Roanna Smith was married to Alec Chancey in July 1875. He was then living at Lige Smith's and "cropping" the farm while Lige worked on the Kanawha. Roanna died in 1883.

Orpha Ann Smith continued to live with her mother until 1884, when she married Clem Tatterson, a widower living above the mouth of Buffalo on Mill Creek.

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Kyger Family

In the pioneer days the road kept the right side of the creek from the Three Forks up, usually following closely the bank of the stream. Across the creek from the Smith place laid the old John Stewart farm.

Above, the bottom on this farm are rather narrow: then there is a low, almost perpendicular, bank - on which there is scant soil to cover the rocks, and a wide plateau or second bottom stretches away to the base of a long low hill, which was wooded down to the plain, with jack oak and scrub timber when I first knew the country.

The soil of this flat land was a thin white clay, more productive of running briars and broomsedge tha of cultivated crops.

A considerable stream came down here whose source marked the cleavage of the ridge separating Slate from Miller's Run. The lower ridge was high and rough, extending in a course parallel to the valley to the mouth of Slate Run, while the upper was a long low ridge and ran down to the mouth of Miller's Run, along the father side of the plateau. This stream cut off the lower end of the flat in a long narrow point, and on this was built the farm house. So narrow was the point that when the new house was built the high bank on the lower side made an easy entrance to the celler under the wing of the house.

In front, the ground sloped rather abruptly down to the road, the depression caused by the run having been utilized in bringing the pike on a fairly good grade from the lower level to the top of the bank.

The house was of hewed logs, long and low, with porch in front and a "cat-and-clay" chimney at each end, crooked, warped, leaning and picturesque.

Here, in 1872, lived Raleigh Kyger, and his brother Hugh Kyger, was living alone, "baching" in an old log house on the Gray farm at the bend of the creek a mile above.

What names fuller of the bygone romance of the middle and northern England could be suggested?

Raleigh Kyger's wife was Susan Rector, a daughter of Stephen and a sister of Steptoe and Levin Rector, who lived at the mouth of Little Sandy near Sherman. She had a sister, Martha, who stayed at Kyger's for a time, in the Seventies. She was an "old maid" but later married a Sims, from whom she separated afterward.

The Rectors lived at one time about Burning Springs, and Kyger may have lived there as he is said to have drilled the first oil well at that place.

Elijah Callow said that Raleigh Kyger drilled a well for salt, at Burning Springs, and found oil instead. He was to be married to the Rector girl if the well was successful, otherwise, no salt, no wife.

Raleigh Kyger died in 1885, at the age of seventy seven, having been born in 1808. His wife, Susan Kyger, was born in 1819, and died in 1906. Their children were:

George, who was born about 1842, and married Laura Slaven in 1876, after he had been through the wars in the Confederate Army. His wife was a daughter of William Slaven of Little Sandy. George lived in the little cabin at the mouth of Miller's Run, on a tract of one hundred acres of land, which his father had given him.

Anna Kyger was born 1858, and married John Mitchell.

Charles Morgan Kyger married Agnes Sheppard, and later lived at Boaz.

Dexter Neal (Deck) Kyger went to Arkansas.

Raleigh Kyger had bought three or four hundred acres of land from his brother, Hugh, and was living there before 1848, but did not live on the farm continuously, having moved to Williamstown to school his children, about the year 1852. He owned a very large boundary at one time n that neighborhood.

Hugh Kyger came to Reedy about 1840, and was at one time a constable; and in 1845 or 1846 was Deputy Sheriff in that part of Jackson County, J. Casto being High Sheriff at that time. He was a local surveyor of lands, and was quite wealthy and kept several renters on his farm in different tenant houses. He owned a very large tract of land at one time, lying just outside the Clayborne Morlan survey, and including the Hardman or Arnold farm at the bend of the creek. Marshall Depue's, W.R. Smith's home places and Raleigh and George Kyger's farms were included in this tract, which reached across to Bear Run.

Hugh Kyger was associated with George Smith in land speculation, and bought a great deal of this land at a nominal sum. Some of the back land, it is said, costing him only about 12 ½ cents per acre.

Hugh Kyger had been one of the most strenuous Confederate sympathizers on Reedy during the war. The close of the war marked the beginning of his downfall, as there were many charges brought against him, and much of his land was taken to satisfy the claim against him.

Hugh Kyger remained unmarried throughout his life. He died in March or April, 1891, and his remains lie in an unmarked grave at the old Beech Grove graveyard. After his death, his farm was sold, and the money divided according to his will among his relatives.

Marcellus Hardman was the purchaser, and the farm brought several thousand dollars.

About 1890 the Hardman brothers built a house and store nearly on the site of the old tenant house. There was a post office established there, and a station on the railroad. The post office was named Kyger, and the station known as Billings.

The outside Clayborne Morlan line passed through the Beech Grove burying ground, and not far from the Raleigh Kyger house. The piece of land lying between this line and the creek was the twenty acres sold by John E. Wine to John Stewart, but in some way it also came into Hugh Kyger's lands.

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Rader Family

Joseph Rader was born October 21, 1790, and died in 1880. He was the youngest son of Michael Rader, who was a soldier of the Revolutionary War, and drew a pension therefor.

Joseph Rader was a soldier in the War of 1812. He lived on the Elk Fork Plantation. He was a slave holder in his younger days, and quite wealthy.

He came to Reedy, as near as I can ascertain, about 1846. He treaded his farm on Elk Fork to George Smith, and took the store at Reedy in exchange. His son-in-law, Bens Armstrong, was associated with him in the store. He also had a hotel and owned the Watts farm below Reedy, at one time. He once rented a hotel stand at Ripley, of Ziba Weas, but did not do so well at that.

Adversity had overtaken the old man, and he, having acquired a taste for whiskey, the drink habit had fastened its clutches on him and the remnants of his once magnificent fortune slipped quickly through his fingers. He being at one time compelled to sell his slave, Robin, (probably his last slave) to Ben Wright, Jr., to pay up his rent. Later, abut 1856, he took a lease of Hugh Kyger, building a cabin just above the Beech Grove Church and out on the flat, at the base of Kyger's Mountain. Stones and shrubbery indicate yet the location of the building.

Here he and his son Jack lived for several years and kept a blacksmith shop, where he worked for his living. He got his coal out of the creek bank above the deep ford, at the Wright's Run crossing.

Joseph Rader married Martha Reyburn, whose people lived on the flat of Point Pleasant in Mason County. Joseph Rader was as stated before, a soldier of the War of 1812. He drew a pension for this service for several years.

Joseph and Martha Reyburn Rader's children were:

Bennet Rader who married Ann E. Cobb. Dr. Lewis Rader of Gandeeville was their son.

Maria Rader married first, Macklin Walker; second, Levi Pickerell.

Harriet Rader, married first, Madison Ashley; second, Renfrew Sleethe.

Susan Rader married Mordecai Thomasson.

Catherine (Katy) married Humphrey Mounts.

Nancy Rader married M.B. Armstrong.

James Rader married Catherine Cunningham. Isaac Rader of Flat Fork of Poca was their son.

Philip Rader married Huldah Conrad.

Allen Rader married Betsy Callow, and after her death, he married Elizabeth Conrad.

Jackson Rader married Sophrenia Givens.

Henry Rader.

Besides his own children, Joe Rader raised two of his grandchildren, Rossalyn, the youngest child of Macklin and Maria Walker, and Jennie, a daughter of Catherine. She married Madison Lee, a son of Joshua Lee of Shirtzvillle.

The Allen Rader mentioned above lived at different places over the neighborhood. He was living on George Kyger's place, at the Josh Miller house, when it was burned. In about 1854 he bought a piece of land of John Wright at the forks of Wright's Run, and built a large hewed log house, and cleared some fields. Here his wife died, and he broke up housekeeping, afterward marrying the second time.

Allen Rader, it is said, made the first improvement on Marshall Depue's farm. He built a little cabin, about twelve by sixteen feet, which stood in the orchard just above the present residence. It was still standing in 1872, when I first came to Reedy.

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Miller Family

Another pioneer name in the settlement of Left Fork was Miller. Samuel Miller, the father of Josh Miller, the first settler at the mouth of Lester's Run, was born in Greenbrier County, April 25, 1796, and died January 13, 1874. He married Rebecca Carpenter, who was born in what is now Braxton County, in 1793, and died October 31, 1875. Their children were:

Basil Miller married Liza Tanner, daughter of Bill Tanner, a brother of Sam Tanner. Basil Miller lived on Left Reedy.

Samuel Miller married Mary Ann Roby.

Joshua Miller married Samantha Runyan, a daughter of Henry Runyan.

Thomas Miller married Drusy Kirby, and lived on Stover.

Betsy Miller married Sandy Bord.

Jerry Miller married a Tolley.

Amos Miller was born about 1822, and died July 7, 1904. He married Susy Brannon. They lived with a son in Spencer, near the old mill race when he died. She was a daughter of William Brannon, who came from Cheat River and settled near Arnoldsburg, when there were but few settlers there. She died in the fall or winter of 1907.

Emsy Miller married Charley Wine.

Nancy Miller married Rich Wine and lived in Spencer in 1881.

John Miller.

Anderson Miller was the youngest and was born in 1837. He married Mary McKown, a daughter of Gilbert McKown.

Josh Miller, mentioned as being the first settler, came to the Middle Fork about 1830 and squatted there, building a little cabin, the chimney of which occupied the same position as the "L" kitchen of the old Lester house.

Soon after, he built a house across the creek, on the point just below the mouth of Miller's Run, which took its name from him. Miller lived at this place sometime before August, 1846, when John Wright moved there. How long before, I have not ascertained.

Later, Miller moved to Ohio, and whether he lived elsewhere in the country first, I did not learn. After living in Ohio, he later moved to the West Fork, and his son in law, Carpenter, went with him..

Joshua Miller and Nancy Runyan's children were:

James Miller who went to Lewis County before the war.

Jacob Miller.

Nancy Miller married Alf Carpenter.

Sarah Miller.

Rebecca Miller.

Liza Miller married a Wright in Ohio.

"Teena" Miller married Joe McCune, Peter's son.

As before noted, Allen Rader lived in the Miller house at one time. Harrison Rexroad, a son in law of Mrs. Badgett, and Frank Diddle, a son in law of John Wright, also lived at this place, before I knew the country. In 1873, Frank bishop, a famous singing teacher, lived there before moving to his lease on the Al Gough farm at the head of Bates Run. Hiram Friend lived there in the summer of 1874.

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Lester Family

As before stated, the Lester farm across the creek was first settled by Joshua Miller. On August 14, 1846, his half brother, John Wright, bought the farm, which contained seven hundred and fifty acres, and moved into the Miller cabin, but a few years afterward he sold two hundred acres to "Granny" King, who came from Missouri, bringing her two sons, John and James Lester. It appears as if she and her husband, Billy King, had gone from West Virginia to Missouri. Later they separated, King returning to Elk River.

Of the two Lesters above, Jim lived for a time at Palestine, and later in Jackson County; John Lester had a daughter, married to William Knopp, a son of Gideon, and four or five smaller children, when I first knew them.

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Wright Family

When John Wright left the Lester Run, he went up to what I will call the Bush farm, above the mouth of Wright's Run, and built a house on the point between Wright's and Burnt House Run. This house was at the old well, which used to be at the side of the garden. His son, Basil Wright, had previously built a little cabin down at the end of the point just above the spring. This was the first house on the Bush farm, except the Boggs cabin, which was burned.

John Wright sold his farm to William L. Bush of Lewis County, in 1856, and built a small one story house, where the house built by John Hickman now stands.

"Pete" Bush lived in a house which stood at the left side of the old garden, about halfway up, until about 1870, when he built a neat and comfortable frame house, which with some modifications is still standing.

In November, 1871, my father (John House) bought this farm from Bush, and moved to it on the 8th of February, 1872. He lived there until 1890, when he traded it to Ezra D. Anderson for land on the Middle Fork of Reedy.

About 1850, John Wright sold a part of his land next the southeast corner of the tract, perhaps a hundred acres or more, to Miller, who came from about Weston.

Miller is said to have started to Oregon with a plains wagon, and been killed by the Indians. He was a brother of Joe Miller, who lived at the mouth of Buffalo and is not known to be any relation to Sam and Josh Miller.

John Wright was born in Monroe County, Virginia, in 1803, and died on Reedy in 1863. His wife was Rachel McCune, born on Cedar Creek, Lewis County, in 1798, and died about 1876. She was a sister of Peter McCune, who lived on Big Rowell run on the West Fork. Their children were:

Basil Wright married Phebe Jane, daughter of George Knopp, on Mill Creek.

"Teena" Wright married Joe McCune, Peter McCune's son.

Jim Wright, died about 1850. His was the first grave in the graveyard on the Bush farm.

Sally Wright married Frank Diddle, and lived on George Kyger's place, about 1870.

George Wright married Ibby Carpenter.

Jack Wright married Emmeline Norman, daughter of Felix Norman.

Thomas A. Wright married Nancy Wine.

Nancy Wright married Bill Houchin, a son of Squire John Houchin, of Houchin's Mills. He lived on the river opposite the town of Burning Springs.

Phebe Jane Wright married Abe Hickman, a brother of Martin Hickman. He lived on Spring Creek, near its mouth.

Lucinda Wright married Jim Bradwell. They lived on the run above Al Gough's about 1873. Later they lived at Burning Springs, and still later on Spring Creek.

Huldah Wright married Henderson Petty, a son of Sandy Petty. They lived on Bear Tree Run of Spring Creek for a time, and later moved to Kentucky.

James Wright, a brother of John Wright, who came about 1825 and then or shortly afterward settled at the mouth of Charles' Fork of Spring Creek, where his son Thomas yet lives, had a mill there in 1854.

He married a Mace, a sister of Jerry Mace, who lived on the waters of West Fork, between Spencer and Arnoldsburg. Their children were:

Henry Wright married Lucinda Grady.

Nancy Wright married James Smith, a son of George P. Smith. He was killed in the Union Army.

Basil B. Wright married a daughter of William Reynolds.

Thomas B. Wright married Lucinda Spellman.

Lorenzo D. Wright married a daughter of Thomas Reynolds.

J.M. Wright married Catherine Smith.

Elizabeth Wright married William E. Pursley.

Barbara Ellen Wright married J.M. Reynolds, a son of William Reynolds. Barbara and Elizabeth Wright were twins.

Basil and Lorenzo Wright were both in the 9th W.Va. Infantry.

Another brother, Basil Wright, the youngest of the three, married Polly McCune, and lived on Barnes Run. Their children were:

George Wright married a daughter of Old Sam Greathouse.

Peter died when a young man.

Andrew Wright married and lives near Mt. Zion.

Rollo Wright married a daughter of Jesse Tanner's son, Jesse.

"Teena" Wright married a Callison, who is said to be no relation to the Reedy Callisons.

Basil Wright, the father of John, James, and Basil Wright, came from near Pittsburgh. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and his wife's name was Nancy Jones. I find no mention of daughters in the elder Basil Wright's family, though I am informed that Sarah E. Wright, who married Thomas Carpenter in 1823, was a sister, and, in 1908, Mr. J.W. Wright, informed me that his grandfather had a sister, Phebe.

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Bush Family

Of the Bush family connected with Reedy, I have found the following record: George Bush came from Germany, probably when a child, and lived near Norfolk, later moving to Harrison County. Of his children:

Margaret married Peter McCune, and lived at Big Rowell's Run.

Mary married Philip Starcher.

Paulser married Lizzie Beckard.

Catherine married James Schoolcraft.

Elizabeth married Joseph Parsons.

Paulser Bush, who married Lizzie Beckard, lived on Cedar Creek, in Gilmer County. Their children were:

Peter married Sarah Norman, and lived on the waters of Mill Creek; and later married Mary Brannon.

Sarah married Seymour Norman.

Adam married Matilda Griffin.

Daniel married Nancy Riddle, a sister of Marchant Riddle.

David.

John married a Cox.

Henry married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Shinn.

George.

Nancy married George Brannon.

Margaret married Jake Arnold.

Mary married first a Goff; and second, a Stahlman.

After I knew Reedy, Pete Bush lived one year in the house across the creek on the pike, where the railroad station now is on the Kyger farm.

Michael Bush, who was killed in the battle of Point Pleasant, and whose children were:

George Bush lived on Sinking Creek.

Thomas Bush lived on Sinking Creek.

Sarah Bush married William R. Goff of Spencer.

Katy Bush married Dr. Richard Riddle, a son of Ben Riddle.

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Reynolds Family

Ben Reynolds (Runnells) lived in 1838 in the old house on the Hugh Kyger place, which stood where the dwelling house and post office now stand. He had probably built it.

About the same time, William Reynolds (Bill Runnells) lived in the John Casto house, which stood out in the bottom a little way on the right hand side of the mouth of Bear Tree Run.

William Reynolds married Mary Wolfe, who was a daughter of Jonathan Wolfe. J.M. Reynolds, who lived on Grass Lick, was their son. **

A sister of William and Ben married John Casto, who was killed at a log rolling below Reedyville.

Thomas Reynolds married Lucinda Tolley.

All four of these were children of Reuben Reylolds, who came from Bottetourt County, Virginia, though he may have lived at other places also. Ben was the eldest son. (Someone else said that Casto's wife was a Rollins.) [** JM (James M) was William's brother. . .bb]

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Ingram Family

Another family that lived on the Kyger place for several years were the Ingrams, or more correctly, Ingrahams. They lived here about the Fifties.

Abraham Ingraham (Abram Ingram for short) lived in Harrison County, moving thence to Big Bend on the Little Kanawha River. He lived in different places after that, at one time living on the Gorrell farm just above Sandyville. This was about 1840.

He is buried at the Thomasson graveyard, if I am not misinformed. His wife was Elizabeth (last name not learned). She is buried at the Beatty graveyard at Burning Springs.

Jacob Ingram, a brother of Abraham (some say cousin) lived on the Middle Fork at the Deem farm, and had lived there for about eight years, when, about 1850, he sold out and went to Jacobsport, Coshocton County, Ohio.

He lived on the Kenna Hutchinson, at Meadowdale and sold it to Hutchinson about 1840. He lived on the Dal Baker farm above Sandyville, at the same time that Abraham lived on the Gorrell place.

His children were:

Charles married first, Isabel Sheppard, daughter of old Billy Sheppard; and second, Letty Sheppard, daughter of Henry Sheppard, Sr.

Jane married Sam Sheppard, Henry's son. (Big Headed Sam.)

Eadie married a man named Keist, and lived in Ohio.

Alcinda married a Keist, also.

Jacob.

James.

Benjamin.

Albert.

Albert G. Ingram made the first permanent settlement at the Deem farm, on the Middle Fork, where Jacob lived. This was perhaps in the early Forties. He lived there for awhile, before moving to Spencer.

He moved to Spencer before the war, and engaged in a mercantile partnership with Squire John W. Cain.

He was also proprietor of the Spencer Hotel. During the war, he was Captain of Company "G" - 60th Virginia Troops.

Isaac Ingram was living on Kyger's place about 1849 or 1850.

John S. Ingram married Emily Hardman. Their son, Lycurgus Ingram, was born the day after Christmas, in 1853. He was killed in the boiler explosion on the head of Middle Fork, on October 22, 1896. His wife was Cynthia Harless.

Jess Ingram ran away from home at the age of fourteen, and was, so his niece, Mrs. Burdett, informed me, at sea fourteen years. After his return, he married a girl who taught school in the neighborhood, before the free school system was inaugurated.

Jemima Ingram married Old Benny Riddle, and lived where S.B. Ball now does.

Stewart Ingram lived on Cox's Run. Jacob C. Smith had among his papers an account with "Sturd Ingram" on August 10, 1848, and in April, 1847, he sold merchandise to John Ingram. Smith then lived on the Riddle place, nearly opposite Columbus Hardman's residence, so the two Ingrams, mentioned separately, must have lived near.

Rua Ingram married John Vandale, uncle of the late A.L. Vandale. They lived on Spring Creek at one time.

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Sergeant Family

In 1874, J.M. (Mat) Sargeant, who had sold his farm of three hundred acres at the head of Bear Tree Run to R.L. Barr of Monongalia County, lived one season on the Kyger farm. The Barr house stands out in the low gap between the head of Bear Tree Run and one branch of Poverty Run of Spring Creek. The railroad track here makes a deep cut in crossing the divide to the waters of Spring Creek.

J.M. Sargeant was an honest, upright man, and a good citizen. He was Justice of the Peace in Spencer District. His wife's name was Ellen Depue. Of his children:

A daughter, Melissa, married Perry Stone of Spencer, in 1873.

Mary married Ben Rader, a son of Hart Rader, of Elk Fork.

Albert, the oldest son, now lives on Island Run on the same farm Squire Sargeant bought the year he lived at Kyger.

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Cleavenger Family

Bailey Cleavenger was born November, 1821. He married Lydia McDonald. She was born about August 21, 1822. He had been killed as a result of a local fracas in the war. Both were from Barbour County.

The widow Cleavenger was living with her children when I knew her, and had been for several years. Of her children:

Jim, who had been in the Union army, and not at home much.

Sarah Ellen married Isaac Glaze, and lived up the hollow to the right.

Mose married Eliza McKinley on Bear Tree Run, and moved to a house he built on the upper part of the farm in 1875.

Tabitha married Nick Simmons, about 1873, and lived on Spring Creek below Spencer.

Charles C. taught school a few terms, about 1875. He was clerk in Woodyard's store at Spencer, and married Nannie Mitchell of that place in November, 1876.

He was elected Clerk of the County Court in 1878, but was later defeated for Sheriff in 1888. He was in the clothing trade at Spencer, and was a heavy loser by the fire of 1877.

He exercised a powerful influence in favor of building the railroad to Spencer and for the location of the Hospital for the Insane at Spencer. Next to William Woodyard, he probably did more for Spencer than any other man who to this time has lived there. He died on September 29, 1890. Few men would have been missed as was Charley Cleavenger.

Mrs. Cleavenger, Bailey Cleavenger's widow, died on February 21, 1907, at the old home where she had been living with her daughter in law, Flora McKinley Cleavenger, since her son John's death in 1900.

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Skidmore Family

Elijah Skidmore married Margaret Cunningham. She had a sister, Phebe Cunningham, who married Ben Rollins. Their mother was Keziah Barnett. (A Bond, Mrs. Douglas said.)

Elijah Skidmore lived at the eastern base of Laurel Hill on Leading Creek, seven miles above Beverly.

His father is thought to have been John Skidmore, and he had brothers, Jerry, Tom, Abraham, Esau and John. He also had a sister who married a Conrad, mother of Peter Conrad; and another sister, who married Abe Ingram. (It would seem that Abe Ingram should be of a younger generation.)

Elijah and Jerry Skidmore were in the War of 1812. Jerry, who is supposed to have gotten a land grant there for service, moved to northern Ohio.

Elijah Skidmore's children were:

Noah.

Lige.

John.

David married Esther Skidmore.

Mary married a Channels.

Rebecca.

Nima married Jack Schoonover.

Alfred.

Margaret married a Gilmore.

David Skidmore married Esther Skidmore in Randolph County. They came to Roane County before the war, living a while on Tanner's Run.

A daughter, Martha, married James Callahill Douglas, and lived on the head of Island Run, just above Jeff Simmons place, when I first knew him.

John Skidmore, brother of Elijah, married Judith Pitman. His children were:

Daniel was a Methodist preacher.

Elihu.

Nelson.

Jane married Abram Harris.

Rachel married a Champ.

Esther married David Skidmore.

Milly married Jim Hayes.

The Tug Fork Skidmores and the Ellen Skidmore who married Charles Roach were relatives, but I did not learn just how connected.

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Riddle Family

Just above the mouth of Riddle Run was the farm which Rezin Cain had gotten as his part of the four cornered deal mentioned formerly.

It is said that Old Johnny Riddle lived here. It may have been this farm or another farther up the creek. My informant said Old Jimmy Riddle lived back on the Rezin Cain farm, in the Cain house, and his father, Old John, in a house closer to the creek.

My impression has always been that the upper place is meant, and that this one is comparatively new and formerly a part of the Ben Riddle farm. Cain only lived here a few years, perhaps from 1882 to about 1886.

James Riddle was a Justice of the Peace in Ritchie County in 1845. John Riddle was here in 1837. From the settlement of his accounts, among the Smith papers he appears to have died before 1858. Jacob C. Smith was Administrator of his estate. His sale was May 1, 1858.

John Riddle was born in 1778. He came from Virginia and first married Tamar Goff, who was born in 1772, and was a sister of Alex Goff. He next married Elizabeth Holbert, and moved later to Ritchie County, where he married for the third time, Hannah Drake, widow of Aaron Smith. He died on Reddy in 1843. (This was the old Johnny of foregoing mention.) One report says his father was James, and that he was of German descent, and that he married a Welch. John Riddle's children were:

James.

Hannah married Benjamin Cunningham.

Nancy married Strother Goff.

Eli was a preacher.

Tamar married Emmett Norman.

Elizabeth.

George.

Darius.

William.

Harrison. Harrison and William were twins.

James Riddle came from somewhere in Virginia. He settled first in Randolph County, where he married Ann Woods. Later came to Leading Creek in Gilmer County, about 1812. He was a brother of John. His children were:

Benjamin married Nancy Ann, daughter of Salathiel Goff, and settled on Cheat River.

John.

Jeremiah. (Jerry)

Benjamin and Nancy Goff Riddle's children were:

Salathial married Nancy Betts. He was born in Gilmer County in 1817.

Silas T., married a Pickens in Ritchie County.

Hiram married Elizabeth, daughter of Hiram Goff, and his cousin.

Richard married Katy Bush, and went to Texas.

John married Nancy, daughter of George Goff, and his cousin.

Benjamin married Jennie Ingram.

George married Becca Keith.

William (Billy) married an Ingram, daughter of Isaac Ingram.

Dorcas died when about sixteen years old.

James.

Sheridan went to Texas.

Ben Riddle (Benjamin, son of Benjamin) came to the farm on which Johnny Riddle lived, in 1836, from the settlement on the Little Kanawha River in what is now Calhoun County. He was a nephew of the John Riddle previously mentioned. He lived on this farm until after the war, when he sold it to Major Ball, and went to Missouri, he took no active part in the war, but was reputed to be in sympathy with the Confederacy.

Benjamin Riddle was born about 1812, and died in Missouri. He married Nancy Ingram, a sister of Capt. A.G. Ingram. Their children were:

Albert married Clarissa Sheppard.

Jasper married a daughter of William Davis.

Dorcas married Franklin M. Rader.

Betty married David Dilworth of Harrison County.

John married Belle Collins, at Long Bottom, Ohio.

Tom married Virginia Collins, at Long Bottom, Ohio.

Ben and Eph were small when they went west.

Jeremiah married Margaret, sister of Joseph Hardman. Their children were:

George married Mary Norman, lived in Gilmer County. Jerry and Merchant were their sons.

James married Agnes Smith, a daughter of Aaron Smith, and lived at DeKalb.

John.

Levi lived in Ritchie County.

James Riddle (Old Jimmy, of Reedy) son of John and Tamar Riddle, was one time Justice of the Peace. By a first wife, he had two sons: Elijah, a prominent politician of Roane County, and Eli.

By a later marriage with the Widow Curtis of Middle Fork of Reedy he had three children: Sheridan; Noah; Elizabeth.

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Goff Family

John Goff was one of the colony that settled at Horseshoe Bend of Cheat River in Tucker County, in 1772. Captain James Parsons and Robert Cunningham were in the party.

John Goff married Elizabeth Welch, a sister of James Riddle's wife, who was of Scotch descent. (They were supposed to have married before coming to America.) John Goff died March 9, 1803.

The children of John and Elizabeth Welch Goff were:

James.

Hannah.

William.

John.

Joanna.

Luda.

Luda Goff (Ludy) married Jacob Springston in Randolph county. Their children were:

Abraham married Effie Goff, daughter of Hiram and her cousin.

James Cassico. He was in the War of 1812, and was an old field school teacher.

Joanna married George Bush. Ira Bush, a teacher at Parkersburg, was her grandson.

Wlliam married Mary Jane Riddle, widow of Chatham Riddle, whose maiden name was Maiger.

There were other children, but of them, Mrs. Adkins, my informant and a granddaughter of Ludy Goff Springston, could tell me nothing.

Salathiel Goff, a brother of John, was living in Randolph County in the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, and was quite wealthy. He married Elizabeth Gray. He is said to have been a descendant of the regicide, Goffe, but this may be but a fanciful tradition.

Salathiel and Elizabeth Goff's children were:

Hiram Goff married Margaret Rush. He was a Major, and on the staff of Gen. Booth in the War of 1812.

Elizabeth Goff married Major William Stalnaker of Dekalb.

Tamar Goff married John Riddle.

Nancy Goff married Ben Riddle.

George Goff.

John Goff.

Alexander (Sonny) Goff married a Riddle.

Hiram Goff's wife, Margaret Rush, is said to be a direct descendant of Benjamin Rush of Revolutionary days. Their children were:

William R. Goff, born in Randolph County, January 1, 1813. He moved to the home opposite Spencer in 1837. He was a Captain of Militia, and Justice of the Peace for five years in Jackson County and three years in Wirt County, also five years in Roane County, without changing his residence. He died in 1895. His wife was Sarah Bush, born near Weston, in 1817. Her father was George Bush. Her mother, Mary Wolfe Bush, and her grandfather, Michael Bush. Michael Bush was killed at Point Pleasant in 1774.

George Goff married Jane Long, and lived on Middle Fork of Reedy.

Elizabeth Goff married Hiram Riddle, son of Ben Riddle, Sr., and her cousin.

Rachel Goff married George W. Hardman in Ritchie County.

Hiram Dawson Goff married Rachel, daughter of Sam Brannon.

John R. Goff.

Effie Goff married Jacob Springston.

George Goff married Joanna, daughter of John Goff. Their daughter, Nancy Goff, married John Riddle, son of Ben Riddle, Sr.

John B. Goff, son of Salathiel Goff. Names of children:

Salathiel Goff married Margaret Flesher.

Rebecca Goff married Old Tommy Hardman.

Drusilla Goff married Billy Parsons, and lived on the head of Stover.

Alexander, (Sonny) son of John Goff of Cheat River, married Elizabeth Riddle, a sister of John Riddle. He was born in 1799. They came to Leading Creek after the War of 1812.

He was born in England in 1783, and died in the early Fifties. Their children were:

John A. Goff, born in 1800. He was a Methodist preacher and married Julia House. He lived on Long Run, near Goff Post Office.

Dorcas Goff married Samuel Fleming, and lived on Dry Run of Spruce Creek.

George Goff married Mary Smith, daughter of Barnes Smith, Sr. Settled in Wood County, then went to Missouri. His son, John, was killed by the Indians. His daughter, Hila Ann, married James S. Hardman. (He was the George Goff of Middle Fork.)

Joseph H. Goff was a preacher, M.E.S. He married Angeline Davis, first, and later Virginia Blizzard.

Thomas Goff married Elizabeth Smith, daughter of Barnes Smith, Sr.

Benjamin Goff married Edna Smith, daughter of Aaron. His son, E.C. Goff, was in the Union army and was a Delegate in the Legislature.

Alexander Goff married Mary Bush, daughter of George, who was a son of Jacob and Margaret Flesher Bush.

Strother Goff married Nancy Riddle, daughter of John and Tamar Riddle.

Monica E. Goff married Richard McCan in Lewis County. Dr. Patrick McCan, their son, married Isabel Geary in 1851.

Gen. Nathan Goff was a son of Waldo P. Goff of Harrison County. He was elected Governor of West Virginia in 1888. He had an uncle, Nathan Goff, who was very wealthy, who, when he died, left his fortune to his nephew.

Mrs. Hovey, a daughter of William R. Goff, related during a visit on May 1, 1902, that William R. Goff once (no date given, but it was in the early days) traded a sheepskin for fifty acres of land.

The land laid on the head of Ben's Run, (Who was Ben?) which enters Spring Creek from the right, near the old mill site at the upper end of town.

A man named Bureau, a grandson of the former owner of the land where Spencer stands, was surveying in the vicinity, and was taken sick, so that he had to quit work and return home. There being no other means of travel, he had to ride horseback, and offered Goff a deed for fifty acres of land if he would make his saddle soft. This offer Goff accepted, and the result was obtained by cutting places for the stirrups and horn of the saddle in a large sheepskin, home tanned, with long wool, so that it fitted over the saddle - making it comparatively comfortable for the invalid's journey to the river. However, Bureau did not live two weeks after he got back to his home at Gallipolis, Ohio.

Hiram Dawson Goff married Rachel Brannon of Gilmer County. He was the first settler on the farm where Mr. Frank Riddle now lives on Middle Reedy. He died on Spring Creek near Spencer. Frank Goff, Sheriff of Roane County, and Charley Goff, now Cashier at the Reedy Bank, are his sons.

George Goff moved to the farm at the mouth of Long's Run, about 1840. He lived there several years. While living there his house was burned, and it is said that four children who were alone in the house were burned to death. The charred bodies being found in the corner where a bed had stood. (W. Goff said this Charles was no connection of his people.)

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Hardman Family

The Hardman family came from Calhoun County, and bought up an extensive boundary of land after the war, lying on Colt Run and on the creek above the mouth of Cox Run.

They were sons of "Wash" (Geo. W.) Hardman. He lived in Ritchie County, and was a brother of Old Tommy, who lived at Reedyville, Old Ben who lived on the head of Middle Fork, and of Old Jim Hardman. Wash Hardman lived in Gilmer County in 1836.

On the high ground across the creek from Reedyville lived Thomas Hardman, familiarly known to all as "Old Tommy". He came about 1832 or 1833 from Harrison County. His wife was Rebecca Goff (a sister of Old Billy Goff). Their children were:

John Hardman married Sarah Romine, a sister of John Romine. She died in 1915, aged seventy eight. Marshall Bord's wife was his daughter.

William Hardman married Diana Argabrite. He lived on the Middle Fork, just above Peniel.

Thomas Hardman.

George Hardman.

Sace Hardman.

Christina Hardman married Kellis Argabrite.

Nancy Hardman married Sandy Bord as his second wife.

Ben Hardman was a brother of Old Tommy. He married Leah Cunningham, a daughter of Thomas and Phebe Cunningham. Pheve was captured by the Indians. Ben Hardman was a local Methodist preacher, he was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He came from near Smithville, Ritchie County, to the head of Middle Fork, living in a house on the Sleethe farm, but lower down the creek from where Sleethe lives. He went to Indiana.

Ben and Leah Cunningham Hardman's children were:

William.

Joe married Matilda Argabrite.

Ben married Isabel Argabrite.

Rebecca married Henry Elliot.

Phebe married Philip Frederick.

Emily married Stewart Ingram, and later, George Argabrite.

Sarah married Alec, son of John Burdett.

Mary married Capt. Henry C. McWhorter.

Wash Hardman (Geo. W.) lived in Ritchie County. He married Rachel Goff, a sister of William Goff of Spencer. He was also in the War of 1812, and was a brother of Old Tommy. Wash and Rachel Goff Hardman's children were:

Sylvester married Martha Crow.

Dorcas married Levi Ball.

Columbus lived on Reedy.

George Washington, lived in Calhoun County, and was Democratic candidate for Congress in 1906.

Orlando married Jennie Thorn.

Verna married Albert Pearcy.

James Hardman was another brother of Old Tommy, who was the oldest of the four.

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Argabrite Family

Isaac Argabrite bought the Sleethe farm on which Ben Hardman had lived, or a part of it.

I will give here the genealogy of the Argabrite family, as they are so intimately connected with the Hardmans.

Jacob Argabrite, a Pennsylvania Dutchman, is said to have come to America as a stowaway, in 1775, when fifteen years old, and to have enlisted in the American Army. He married Elizabeth Black, and died in 1820. (Some say her name was Mary.)

Jacob Argabrite's children were: Isaac, Martin and Sam.

Isaac Argabrite married Elizabeth Swope, daughter of Jonathan and Fanny Swope. Their children were:

George born on Wolf Creek, Monroe County, in 1831, married Emily Hardman Ingram.

Matilda married Joe, son of Ben Hardman.

Isabel married Ben Hardman, Jr.

Rebecca married John Greathouse.

Elvira married Henry Greathouse.

Virginia married Jim Greathouse.

Mandy married Tom Summers.

Jacob married Alice, daughter of Stewart Ingram.

Floyd married Elizabeth, daughter of Rich Wine.

Martin Argabrite married Catherine Burdett, a daughter of John Burdett. From the tombstone, Martin Argabrite was born Sept. 6, 1792, and died May 6, 1873, ages eighty years. He was a soldier of the War of 1812. Their children were:

Kellis married Christina Hardman. He died April 2, 1902, having been born in 1825.

Diana married William Hardman. She was born in 1830.

Wiley W. married first Becca Parsons, and second, Mary Parsons, daughter of John.

Mary Ann married Huder Parsons, son of Billy Parsons,

Sam Argabrite married Elizabeth Miller in Greenbrier County. Their children were:

Jacob, killed at Meadow Bluffs.

Mary Frances married Ephraim Staats, son of Jacob Staats of near Ripley.

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Petty Family

The Petty family came from about Burning Springs after the war. William and John Petty built the first grist mill at Burning Springs in 1833. These are probably descendants of one of them.

Their father, Rowland, was born in Wood County, May 23, 1810, and died in 1860. Their mother was Catherine, daughter of Fidillas Ott. She was born in 1816, and died in 1899, She is buried at Mt. Olive.

Rowland Petty lived at the lower farm at Reedyville. The end of the point here I s rocky, but at the hill the rocks disappear and there is a roadway through the bottom.

William Petty lived at the upper end of the farm. Rowland Petty married Ellen, daughter of Wiley Argabrite.

At one time "Roll" Petty captured ten rats in a nest under his corn crib, whose tails had somehow become so tangled together that they could not get away. Eight of them remained so inextricably knitted that after the rats were killed he placed the tails on exhibition at Spencer, as a curiosity.

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Crislip Family

Above Reedyville was Crislip country and Stover Fork. There were four Crislip brothers, and they came from Barbour County.

Lemuel Crislip was born in Harrison county in 1825. He married Selma Peck of Peck's Run. She died in 1879. Asbury and Allen Crislip also married Peck girls.

C.A. Crislip is Lemuel's son. There was also a sister, who married a McCoy, Lewis McCoy's father.

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Harris Family

Abraham and Barton Harris lived at the head of the first run on the right above Reedyville. It is called Gandee's Run, after Uriah Gandee, who, as before stated, had an extensive orchard at its mouth. Abraham and Barton's father was George Harris.

George Harris was born in Barbour County. He was a farmer and was a son of Simon Harris, who was a Baptist preacher. His wife was Christina Cross. Their children were:

William who died in Roane County, leaving a large family.

Henry.

Barton.

Abraham.

John.

Draper.

Ingaby married Solomon Smith.

Minerva married Frank Gainer.

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Douglas Family

Across the creek from Reedyville a large run comes into Reedy from the left. This run is known as Tucker's run, from a family that lived on it in the early days.

Whether Tucker was the first settler I am unable to say, but from the beautiful situtation, it was probably occupied before that time. Tucker lived there in 1832, and either the father or one of the sons was named William.

The first settlement made from here to the head of Reedy and probably the first in Curtis District was that of Reuben Douglas, who probably was only a squatter, as his name disappears out of the history of the neighborhood.

Reuben Douglas was a hunter, and his father's name was John Douglas.

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Thomasson Family

John P. Thomasson was on Reedy before 1836, at which time he sold to John Wright 700 acres of land he had bought from John H. Morlan.

Thomasson was a wealthy man, and owned large boundaries of land on Tucker's Creek and in other parts of Curtis District and in Kentucky. He is reported to have owned as much as 300,000 acres of land at one time. This land was mostly bought for speculative purposes, and bought at forced sale. Because of this, he was often at law about claims and land titles.

John P. Thomasson was living in Greenbrier County in 1831, when Fayette County was organized. He must have lived on the Middle Fork of Reedy before coming to the Reedyville section. He was the first settler on the hill at Peniel, but it seems hardly probable that he first settled back from the creek.

Thomasson was one of the most influential men of the Reedy Valley. He was a Justice of the Peace, and a member of the House of Delegates at Richmond in 1855, and it was through his efforts principally that the County of Roane was organized.

John Poindexter Thomasson was born in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, in 1784, and died at the home of his son, Mordecai Thomasson, in 1867. His father, it is claimed, was G.W. Thomasson, who came from Scotland to Boston, Massachusetts.

John P. Thomasson married Nancy Hancock. She was blind in her later years, I was told by Mrs. Burdett.

John and Nancy Thomasson's children were: Mordecai, Pleasant, Austin and Ann H.

Mordecai Thomasson married Susan Rader, a daughter of Joseph Rader, Thomasson was born in 1817, and died in 1867. He lived on the Bord farm below his father's place, about the time of the organization of Roane County and during the war. His widow lived there with the family in 1872. His children were:

Nancy Ann married Wash Huddleston, and died July 29, 1884, aged forty two.

Mazilla married John Showen.

Eliza married first, Nat Patmon; and second, Capt. Ephraim Hess.

Elizabeth married a Petty.

Lewis L., married Emaline Parsons of Roane County. He was born in 1850 and died in 1919. Hoyt and Reuben Thomasson are their sons.

Pleasant Thomasson married Emily Rader, who was a daughter of James Rader, and a cousin of Mordecai's wife.

Ann H. Thomasson married James Ellison Burdett. She was born November 19, 1812, and died June 2, 1890. He was born November 16, 1816, and died December 31, 1891. Both are buried at the Thomasson graveyard, about a mile below the mouth of Tucker's Run. A short distance below the graveyard, the Mount Olive Baptist Church was built twelve or fifteen years ago.

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McCauley Family

On the next large run above Cox's Run lived the McCauley family. They came here about 1840, and lived there when I first knew the place in 1872. There were Old Johnny Mccauley and his son, Sol, Joe and perhaps others, many of whom lived in the same vicinity for a good many years afterward.

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Boone Family

Joseph Boone lived near the mouth of Riddle run in the year 1856. This statement is based on two facts: first, that he had lived in this house, and second, that his name appears in the accounts of J.C. Smith for that year. He was an elderly man, who came into that country from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

He had a son who was in the Union army, and studied medicine after he returned home. "Doc" boone married Melissa Parsons, stepdaughter of Dr. Nelson's wife, Katy Ingram Parsons Nelson.

James Vance, one of the Union soldiers in the seven day siege at Spencer during the Civil War, married a Boone

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Badgett-Butcher Families

In 1859 or 1860 a family by the name of Badgett bought a farm near the mouth of Miller's Run. Badgett was addicted to drinking, and was injured by a runaway team, from which injury he died. His wife's maiden name was Alkire.

His wife sold the farm to Joseph A. Butcher, a son by a former marriage with John Butcher.

Joseph Butcher's children were:

Lucinda married Pete Bush.

Margaret married John Flesher, and moved to Missouri.

Wilson died about 1869.

John, the oldest son, was born in 1828, and married Margaret Glaze.

Joseph Anderson married Phebe Neff. He owned the old Hiram Chancey homestead on Middle Reedy.

Of the Badgett children, there were:

George Boland Badgett married Maggie Wilson. He later went to Missouri.

Betty Badgett married Dave Bord. She died June 3, 1873, and was buried at Beech Grove. She and her twin babies were buried in the same grave.

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Drake Family

In trying to trace the Drake family, who were connected with some of the other families of Reedy, I find the following names, but have not been able to connect them with each other:

Mary Drake died in 1859. Married Seth Rogers. He and sons, Robert and James, were in the Confederate army.

Nancy Drake born in Pike County, Kentucky, in 1833, a daughter of Isaac and Margaret Bishop Drake, married Davidson Ross in 1850.

Priscilla Drake married George W. King. Her son, William R. King, was born in 1853.

Charles Drake was born in Giles County, Virginia, in 1780. He married Clarissa Jeams of North Carolina, who was born in 1788. He died and 1842, and she in 1860. A son, Charles, was born in Pike County, Kentucky, in 1826, and married Sarah A. Bishop, who was born in Pike County, Kentucky, in 1828 and was a daughter of Margaret Bishop of Russell County, Virginia. Charles Drake, Jr., was in the 9th West Virginia Inf.

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