Some Graveyards of Main Reedy Creek and its Tributaries Including
The "Three Forks"
Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home
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.
Top of Page Return to Index Home