MIDDLE SANDY VALLEY

Cherry Camp is a small stream emptying into Sandy, from the right, about a mile above Crooked Fork. Elijah Pickens lived near its mouth, and some of this descendants own land in that vicinity. There is a large area of flat, or slightly rolling, land, extending from below the mouth of Cherry Camp to the mouth of Mud Run, know as the Mud Run Flats. It is a lovely plateau with its system of water courses, little brooks, some rising in the hills and some wholly within the boundaries of the flat, which may be three quarters of a mile in length, and perhaps a half a mile wide, in the widest place.

There are some bottoms along the creek, which are probably of good quality, and each little stream had its miniature bottom, a few rods wide and sloping back to the tops of the “hills” so gently it can scarce be told where bottom ends and hill commences. A remarkably pretty country, to look at, but with a white clay soil of little use for agricultural purposes.

Mud Run is about a half mile above Cherry Camp, and also heads against the Left Fork of Sycamore.

The first settlers at the mouth of Mud Run was a man named Stump. The name is all I have. As to whence he came, or where he went, none appear to know. The “Sandy Fever” plague may be the solution.

The date probably was about 1830.

The next stream entering the creek some hundred rods higher up is Trace Fork, so named from an old Indian trail leading from the settlements in Harrison and Lewis Counties, by way of Shade River, to the Indian towns on the Scioto. A short distance above the mouth, on a kind of plateau, is the house of Peter Bontempt, built four or five years ago. Near it is a row of four very large apple trees, which may be the remnant of a “pioneer” orchard. Just above, on the left, in the mouth of a small run, is the old Bonto house, built of heavy hewn logs, with cut stone cellar, but the old folks passed to the Great Beyond, and the old buildings are falling before the ravages of time.

Bonto (Bontempt is the original spelling), like Raynaud (Rayno), who lived below, was of French descent.

The first settler on the Bonto farm was Robert Little, who died of “Sandy Fever”, in 1858. He was (said Mrs. Rhodes) there in 1836.

George Parsons settled the next place above Little’s, about 1830.

The site of his cabin I have not been able to make out. There are two old orchards on the place now, one on a point across the road from the house, and a little below, the other about two hundred yards lower down the creek, and on the opposite side, in a bottom cut off by a bend in the stream. There is no sign of a house there now, but at the upper site, there is an old house on the bank above the road, among some trees. If either orchard dates back to the first settlement, it is probably the lower one.

George Parsons died about 1838. His wife was Sarah Lyons (See Mill Creek History).

His son, George Parsons, died on lower Trace Fork a few years ago. Another son, Charles Parsons, was the father of J. W. Parsons, some time assessor of the first District, and Isaiah Parsons a former County Superintendent. Charles Parsons lived on the home place, some say. His sister, Mrs. Rhodes said he moved to Charleston. Another son, Fielding Parsons, was a Union soldier, and died at Ravenswood three or four years ago. A Flinn lived on the Parsons place afterwards.

The next improvement was made, as nearly as can be ascertained, by a man named Edwards, who took a lease and built a cabin across the road, next the creek, from where Mack Shepherd now lives. There was a Lewis Edwards, a skillful carpenter, who lived at different places along Sandy before the war, who was probably the same man. He was not a land owner, but rented and worked at his trade. It is not mentioned who owned the land at that time, but it was a part of the same farm now owned by Frank Hawk.

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ADAMS FAMILY

The most prominent of the pioneers of Trace Fork was Dr. Spencer Adams, who appears to have first come to this neighborhood in 1840, or a little earlier.

He came, some say, from Ripley to Trace Fork, and it is related that he married on of four sisters, the father being dead, and the mother the owner of a five hundred acre tract of land, where he afterward lived.

Sometime in the thirties, (probably), Dr. Adams was a candidate for the House of Delegates, but it was discovered after his election that he was ineligible, not being a freeholder, and his mother-in-law deeded him a portion of the Trace Fork land so he could take his seat in the Legislature.

Later, he moved on to his land, where it appears he continued to reside until 1855.

He had (someone told me) a son, Philip, who went to Racine, Ohio.

There are two Adams children buried in the Howes plot in the old Sandyville graveyard, one in 1857, the other ten years later. The first, Amelia Adams, was born in 1830.

The Adams and Howes families were connected, Howes having married an Adams as his second wife.

Adams wife was, I believe, a Tolley, and Andy Adams, the Spencer merchant, and the wife of John A. Macintosh were his children.

Dr. Adams was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, and enjoyed an extensive practice on Sandy and Mill Creek waters.

He lived for a short time in the house next the Shepperd place, and then built at the mouth of the run, below where Mr. Hawk now lives.

When Smith Carder was first married, he lived for a year or two on Dr. Adams place. Uncle Eph Carder, who was born in 1837, lived with him, being a little fellow just big enough to run around and pick up walnuts, say four or five years old, which would make the date about 1842. He says he used to see Adams “ ’most every day”, and would judge him to have been somewhere in forty years old.

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HARRIS FAMILY

About 1862, Anthony Harris bought and moved to the Adams farm. Harris was born in Greene County, Pennsylvania, March 25th, 1822. When he was six years old, the family removed to Tyler (or Pleasants) County, Virginia. He died in 1902.

Shortly after moving to Trace Fork, Harris was out hunting. He saw a large buck standing in the edge of a thicket. Taking careful aim, he fired, and the deer fell, on going up to his quarry, he was surprised to find two deer, instead of one, lying dead. The ball had passed through the buck’s heart, and also killed a fine doe that was standing behind him, in such a manner as to be concealed from his view.

This farm was a fine one.

My father looked at the farm in November, 1871, and liked it very well. He would probably have purchased it, had it not been for the reports of its unhealthfulness and “arsenic” springs.

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SHEPPARD FAMILY

The first place about the mouth of Trace is where the man Rowley lived, about 1835.

There are a few old apple trees standing yet, and the house was still there when the bridge was built across Sandy below, the workmen using it to shanty in.

The weight of evidence seems to show that the first settlement on the farm by the bridge was ade (unless the Rowley clearing was on the same farm and earlier) by James Sheppard, and the crossing is still known as the “Old Sheppard Ford.”

He was a son – I think the oldest – of Jonathan Sheppard, and married Margaret Lockhart, a daughter of William Lockhart, and first settled on Right Reedy, across the creek from the Pisgah Church.

He was living on Sandy as early as 1835 or 1836. He died on his farm at the ford, and his widow was still living there in 1850, says Jeff Dawkins.

The names of five children are given:

Martha Sheppard married Lewis Edwards.

Isaac Sheppard married Margaret Morehead.

William Sheppard married Eliza Howes.

Eliza Sheppard married Isaac Enoch.

James Sheppard went away on a produce boat, and never returned.

The site of the Sheppard home is not given. Probably it was a short distance below the mouth of Beattie’s Run. A few old apple trees yet mark the site of each building.

Mrs. Magee said that a man named Sheppard lived in the one on the east side of the creek, and an old man and his wife, a connection of his, on the west, and that the old people and Sheppard’s family fell before the scourge, the “Sandy Fever.” Certain it is that this location is in the very heart of the pestilence stricken section. Henry Sheppard is probably the man referred to, as he is said to have lived here. A detailed history of the Sheppard Family will be found in the History of Reedy Valley.

A man maned Dewitt is said to have lived, and died, in the lower house. Jeff Dawkins said Alex Dewitt, married Miriam Carney, sister to Joe Howe’s wife, lived there in 1850.

A man named Wiblin, if I understood Mr. Anderson right, moved one spring into the West house, saying “Give me plenty of whiskey and bacon and I’m not afraid of Sandy Fever”. Before fall, he was dead.

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HOWES FAMILY

Joe Howes lived at the mouth of Beatty’s Run. I do not know if it was in one of the two “death traps” or not. If so, it was the cabin on the east side of the creek. More likely, it was up near where T. J.Wilcox now lives. He was the son of John B Howes. His mother, Catharine Howes, died in 1856, a the age of eighty two, and is buried at Sandyville. Of his children:

Joseph Howes married first Jemima Carney, and second, Letty Ingram. Jemima was a daughter of Jesse Carney, Letty a daughter of Henry Sheppard, and widow of Charles, son of Jacob Ingram.

Eliza Howes married William Sheppard. He may have been one of the Sheppards mentioned above, as he died with fever.

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BEATTY FAMILY

Beatty's Run receives its name from a family living there, sometime in the forties. Sam Beatty lived where the pike crosses the run, below Sandyville, at what is known as the Crow farm.

Will Beatty, a brother, died in a well near Silverton. They were probably sons of the Ravenswood pioneer.

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MAGEE FAMILY

In the low gap between the waters of Beatty's Run and Copper Fork, up on a slope overlooking the pike, and a deep cut, When I visited the old lady, in September, 1904, and enjoyed a pleasant hour, talking of pioneer days, she expressed herself as greatly attached to the tree, and wished it to stand as long as she might live.

A little over a year later, she was in her grave, but the tree is (August, 1907) still hale and vigorous. Shame to the hand that is ever raised against it.

Elizabeth Magee did not come to Sandy when her father, Edward Knotts, came, in 1833, but remained with relatives in Preston County. The following year, she was married to Jephtha Magee, and in 1835, captivated by reports of the new Eldorado, the young couple came to Sandy, locating on Daniel Sayre's farm, where they remained two years, and then moved to the cabin vacated by her father when he moved to Palestine. In 1847, Magee made the first improvement at the homestead on the hill.

Elizabeth Magee was a daughter of Edward and Mary Bryan Knotts. She was born in Preston County, Virginia, July 2nd, 1816, and died December 14th, 1905, aged eighty nine years, five months and twelve days.

Jephtha Magee was born July 2nd, 1815, and was, to day, one year older than his wife. He died January 12th, 1859.

He was buried at the old Sandyville cemetery, for his death occurred ten years before the establishing of a grave yard a little way out the road from his house.

Here is located the Magee Chapel, a Southern Methodist Church, built in 1876. The cemetery is of too recent date to be the last resting place of many of the old pioneers, though Squire Sayre died in 1900, aged seventy seven. James Blake, Henry and Irma Bonto, Armistead Morehead, died in 1878, aged eighty five, and his wife, who died six years earlier, at the age of seventy three, are buried here. Also James T. Crum, who came from Ohio several years ago, and lived on the little run which heads at the Magee house, near its entrance into Copper Fork.

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REED FAMILY

On Copper Fork, about a quarter of a mile from its entrance into the Right Fork of Sandy, and a half mile from where the two branches of Sandy unite, was the site of the home of Warren Reed, for many years one of the most intelligent, progressive, and respected citizens that ever lived in the Sandy valley.

Warren Reed came to this place not long after the coming of Daniel Sayre, in 1820, and was before 1833 (perhaps some years) appointed the first post master north of the Mill Creek divide, and at that time one of the three post offices in the present bounds of the county, the others being Cedar Grove, at Wright's Mill, and Jackson Court House, at Ripley. Three forks of Reedy post office, then in Jackson County, was not established until later, and Muse's Bottom was created in 1836, Ravenswood ten years later.

Mr. Reed was a Justice of the Peace and a Surveyor. His house stood up on the second bottom, not far from the store building at New Era, to the right of Copper Fork.

Near here, and a little above the crossing of the creek, is a wild and picturesque spot, a high bank of rocks, fringed with spruce pines and stunted bushes, while in one place, a huge rock roof is projected entirely across the stream, for a distance of thirty or forty rods. I have ridden under it when the stream was low.

Elihu and Warren Reed were sons of Warren Reed.

A daughter married David O. Hutchinson, who lived on the place in 1854.

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GALLATIN FAMILY

Another prominent citizen of former days was Squire Gallatin, a successful politician, who is said to have represented his county in the General Assembly.

A brother, Jerry Gallatin, lived at Sandyville, in 1854.

Jesse Morgan lived a little further out the Ravenswood pike, on what was probably at one time a part of the Reed farm.

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WEAS FAMILY

Ziba Weas, father of James Weas and Mrs. D.W. Chapman, spent the greater part of the last half of his life at Sandyville. He is buried in a cut stone vault in an annex at the east end of the old Sandyville graveyard. Ziba Weas was of German origin, was a son of George Weas, and a grandson of Jacob Weas, who was born in 1733, and died in 1826. He married Ruth Morgan, of the old Morgan ap Morgan stock. Of their children:

Zirus, born in Randolph County, in 1805.

Ziba, born in 1807.

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VANNOY FAMILY

The Left Fork of Sandy, on which Sandyville is situated, has several large tributaries, among which are Copper Fork, which enters at Sandyville, and Service Fork, a stream about three and a half miles long, which comes in from the right, about one and a half miles above Sandyville, Turkey Fork on the same side and a mile further up, which heads about six miles away, in the low gap at Garfield.

Cornelius Vannoy lived on Service Fork. He had sons Ben, Anthony, Alexander and John. The latter married Susanna Sheppard, a daughter of Henry and Diana Sheppard. He lived on Rush Run, at the George Knotts place, about 1857, lost a leg in the Confederate Army, and was a familiar figure about Sandyville for several years before his death.

Hester Vannoy married George Anderson.

George Winkler, a German, was a school teacher who married a sister of Vannoy’s wife, and lived on Service Fork, in 1841 or 1842.

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MAIRS FAMILY

Dr. Joseph Mairs, said to be the first resident physician at Ripley, came to Sandy about 1840 or 1845, and built a large brick house above the road, about a mile up the Left Fork. I passed there three years ago. Most of the walls had fallen down, a part of the angle of one corner of the wall six or eight feet high was standing, with other foundation walls and scraps and remnants, while piles of bricks and rubbish were strewed all around, and the whole grown up in a dense thicket of saplings, brush and weeds. An English sumach tree, planted in the yard as an ornament for the lawn, had taken complete possession of that quarter of the grounds, large trees standing thick inside the old walls and out. The place was abandoned nearly forty years ago, and has borne the name of being haunted ever since.

Dr. Mairs died in 1841.

A brother, Thomas Mairs, lived at the mouth of Service Fork. His wife, Louisa, died in 1862, and is buried at Sandyville.

Susan, wife of Benjamin Arnold, a prominent citizen of the Sandyville vicinity for several years before the war, was a sister of the Mairs.

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DILWORTH FAMILY

Nelson Dilworth, said to have lived just above the old graveyard. Near where he lived in 1876, was the cabin of the renowned Jesse Hughes, the first settler on the place. Dilworth lived near the Mairs home for a time, during the Civil War, and was one of several brothers who were raised in Barbour County.

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DEPUE FAMILY

David DePue was a son of Henry, and brother of Beniah DePue. He married Margaret Arnold. Jonathan DePue, who one represented Wirt County in the Legislature, was their son.

David DePue died in April, 1885, Margaret four months later.

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CHEUVRONT FAMILY

Another pioneer on Left Fork of Sandy was Isaac Cheuvront, who came to Jackson County in 1831. He lived at a little village long known as Buttermilk Station, a name bestowed on it when it was a logging camp and sawmill site, about 1870. When the timber had "fled the country", and an oak or poplar tree had become a curiosity, the name remained , and the name of "Buttermilk" is even now far better known than the more dignified one of Lockhart.

Isaac Cheuvront was born August 24th, 1802, and died March 22nd, 1896, aged ninety three years.

John Somerville, James Somerville, Andrew Somerville, Isaac Lockhart, A.J. Somerville were all prominent citizens on the head of the creek.

Turkey Fork is a small stream not so large as the Right Fork of Reedy, but there are bottoms thirty to fifty rods in width, and the hills appear to lie well.

The quality of the soil is probably not the best, on the main stream. At the head of the creek, and where its branches reach up among the spurs of Limestone ridge, the hills are high and steep, and the soil is very fertile.

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HAWK FAMILY

On the creek, at the mouth of Turkey Fork, lies the village of Odaville. Just above is the new Campbellite Church, and a graveyard, the oldest date noted being on the monument of William A. Smith, who died in 1886.

One fourth of a mile from Odaville (1904) is an old hewed log house, partly weatherboarded, with a wide ten foot, two story porch, with massive posts and railing.

It is said to be known as the "Old Owens place", and a man of that name lived there when I passed the place in November, 1904. One mile from the mouth is a little forked run on the left, and the lower Turkey Fork schoolhouse, and a quarter mile further up lives John Roliff, on the same side of the road, and above lies one of the prettiest farms on Sandy. It is the old Hawk farm, now the residence of Robert Roliff.

It was here that George W. Hawk, and a young man named Woods, were killed by the "Moccasin Rangers", in 1861. About forty rods below the house, on the right of the road, and standing so close that one side is barked and scarred by the hubs of passing wagon wheels, stands a white oak tree, some five feet in diameter, known as the "Hawk Oak", which marks the scene of the tragedy. Hawk was born in Randolph County, in 1817, married Mary E. Shell, came to Jackson County in January, 1857. He lived first at the present site of Odaville, then rented and moved to the farm where he was killed, which he had later bought. He was thrifty and prospered, but was an outspoken Union man, which drew upon him the censor of the southern sympathizers, and cost him his life.

The Roliff house is at the mouth of Peter's Run, which heads at the Wilkeson farm, beyond Garfield.

A short distance below, Thorne's run, so called from Henry, son of Eugenias Thorn, who lived on it, enters from the right.

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FULL FAMILY

A short distance above the Hawk house, Horner’s Run comes in, at the upper schoolhouse, further up is the mouth of Five Mile, which heads at the Ed Nuzum farm, on Limestone Ridge.

David Full lived at the mouth of Five Mile, his father, Joseph Full, having been the first settler.

Joseph Full was born in 1791, and died in 1865, aged seventy three. His wife was Mary Lockhart. She was born on New Year’s Day, 1804.

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FRENCH SETTLEMENT

A Frenchman named Lavasse, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, took in part payment for his services, a large tract of land on which he settled some of his countrymen.

Charles M. Lisez (pronounced Lee-say), was one of the first settlers on the head of Turkey Fork. He married a sister of Joseph Carez. Lisez died in 1894, and is buried at Full’s Fork. His age is variously stated at from ninety four to about a hundred.

Joseph Carez (Ca-ray) was born in France, in 1782, and died in 1872. He is said to have married a Full.

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MCFARLAND FAMILY

Ezekiel McFarland lived on Turkey Fork, in 1841. He was one of the first settlers at Elizabeth, coming to Jackson County in 1830. He lived at the Morgan farm at New Era, in 1840, says Mr. T.J. Dawkins. He died in 1849.

A brother, John McFarland, had a hotel in Ripley, in 1852. Later, he moved to Ravenswood, and thence to Sandyville. He had sons John and Tom McFarland.

Thomas McFarland, son of Robert McFarland, married a Miss Custer, and lived on Trace Fork.

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SAYRE FAMILY

From the best information obtainable, the first settlers at Sandyville were two brothers, Daniel and Benjamin Sayre, who came about the year 1820.

Daniel Sayre was once a wealthy man, and owned a large tract of land at Sandyville. He came from the vicinity of Letart’s Falls, and from the Ohio side of the river. He came from the vicinity of Letart’s Falls, and from the Ohio side of the river. He was some degree of cousin to the Mill Creek Sayres. There is an Alfred Sayre buried at Sandyville in 1867, aged eighty one, which would make his birth year 1787. This may have been Daniel Sayre’s father.

The name is sometimes given as Daniel W. Sayre, but if that is correct, he must have added the middle letter himself, for he was born long before Daniel Webster was known to history.

Daniel Sayre married Hepzibah Chapman, daughter of Ezra Chapman (in Ohio, I presume). Their children were:

Squire Sayre married Jane ( E.J.) Seckman. He was born in 1823 and died in 1900.

Alfred Sayre married Hannah Elizabeth Seckman, who died in 1852. They lived, I think, on the Ripley pike, below Sandyville.

Seth Sayre never married.

Ezra Sayre never married.

“Rusha Sayre married David Custer.

Fisher Sayre married a Warren, a sister of Rev. Dan Warren.

Charlie Sayre married a Phelps.

Lucy Ann Sayre married Frank Fabry.

After the death of his wife, which occurred in 1861, Daniel Sayre married the widow Blosser, at Reedy. She died in 1907. He was in the sawmill business with Ezekiel Vernon when I first saw him, in 1872.

The first death at Sandyville, it is said, was Sammy, a son of Daniel Sayre, who was buried in a plum thicket, opposite the old Jim Weas house.

Frank Fabry, the Sandyville blacksmith, lives in the old Sayre house, which was, he says, built in 1841. It is either a frame or a hewed log house weatherboarded, but never painted. It is two stories high. It stands on the east side of the creek, in the bottom, and some distance from the bridge.

Ben Sayre first settled the old Johnson place, above Sandyville. He married Edie Stanley (Mrs. Magee thought it was), and was living there in 1835.

Jacob Sayre, a third brother, lived a while at Sandyville, going from there to Trace Fork. Either his or Ben’s families nearly all died with Sandy Fever, someone told me.

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TRUEMAN FAMILY

Abraham Trueman had a store and mill at Sandyville, during the forties. He lived where C.B. Howes now resides, about 1850. He sold half interest in the mill to John Custer.

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CUSTER FAMILY

John Custer was raised in Hancock County, and came from Sunfish, at the mouth of Middle Island Creek, to Sandyville, about 1850, said C. Stutler. Mrs. Logan said they were from "Old Virginia". Probably he lived with his son, Mark, in 1855, when Mr. Atkins knew him on Island Run.

His children were:

John Custer married first a Seckman, a sister of Squire Sayre's wife. He lived on Sarver farm, on Big Lick, which he sold to "Old Jimmy" Harper. He was living there in 1858. He married next Elizabeth, widow of Jephtha Magee. He lived after his second marriage at the home of his wife, beyond Independence.

David Custer married Jerusha Sayre, daughter of Daniel Sayre. He lived at the mouth of little run which comes in to the Right Fork of Sandy, a little above Murray's, and about two miles above Sandyville.

George Custer.

Mark Custer married Elizabeth Morehead, daughter of Armistead Morehead. He lived on Island Run and on Copper Fork. He died in 1863. He had a son, Henry Custer. Miss M. Custer, who married Thomas McFarland was his daughter. Thomas W. McFarland was a son of one Robert McFarland. He lived on Trace Fork, in 1852, and for several years after, then moved to Big Lick, where he bought two hundred thirty acres of land. He lived there a year and then went to Mark Custer's, on Island Run, where he died before the war. His widow moved back to the farm, where she lived during the war. Afterward, she married Chapman Grant.

About a quarter of a mile up the pike from the Sandy bridge, a long narrow point of second bottom thrusts far out towards the Right Fork, which unites with the Left Fork about a quarter of a mile below the bridge.

The land on either side of this point is several feet lower, and it looks like the creek may have one day flowed around this tongue of land, possibly the two streams met at its apex years, centuries, cycles, or eons ago. Near the end of this point was the cabin of Elijah Runner.

Runner was one of the earliest settlers, and was reputed to be a witch doctor. He came as early as 1830, perhaps before. He was yet there in 1840, and is mentioned in 1842.

He married a daughter of Jesse Hughes. There were Runners in Frederick County, Maryland, in early days.

The road then was a cow path, which led up the creek past Runner's house. He had a little watermill in the bend of the creek.

A house stood in the low gap beyond Copper Fork, in 1847. Probably it was the same house that Ben Sayre built when he settled the farm in the early twenties.

The other residents of the Johnson farm were Jacob Ingram, who lived here in 1840, Abraham Ingram, his brother or son, living at the same time a short distance above, at what is known as the Gorrell farm, on the south side of the creek.

A half mile farther up, the pike makes a long, sharp bend to the left, crossing a considerable sized run, on a pretty stiff grade. There was until a few years ago a schoolhouse standing in this loop, the road passing on three sides of it, thus giving the children a chance to look at the traveling public most of the time. The stream is called Island Run, and there is a house about one hundred and fifty yards up, where Mark Custer, or his father, is said to have built about 1850.

Across the creek, and a little farther up, are two houses, one at the mouth of a little run, the other up on the bank. It is there that David Custer built some time after 1850.

A quarter of a mile above Murrays, the creek makes a bend to the left, coming in against the hill, and the road is literally cut out of a wooded rocky hillside. (This may have been where there was a little twelve by fourteen foot pole schoolhouse, about seven feet to the eaves, and with ridgepole roof, when first I passed that way, in February, 1872).

Above this, and two miles from Sandyville, at the mouth of the little run, is a large old house with orchard on the slope above. The first resident mentioned at this place is a man named Devol, who came probably after 1850. A man named Boice was living here about 1850, or later.

About a quarter of a mile higher up the creek, a small run known to the pioneers as Bear tree, was the site of the first settlement of James Dawkins, about 1846 or 1847.

John Knotts lives there now.

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DAWKINS FAMILY

Benjamin Harrison, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and three times governor of Virginia, father of W. H. Harrison, ninth president of the United States, patented a large tract of land comprising nearly all the valley of the Right Fork, or “reaching from Sandyville to Liverpool”. The line between the farms of Floyd Carder and John Hartley is called the “Old Harrison Line”, and may have been the outside line of this survey.

The title of much of this land was forfeited to the state, and resold for taxes, one time or another.

Several hundred acres of this land above Sweezy’s had been bought by George McCall, and was sold by him to Thomas Dawkins, who lived on the flats of Tygart’s Creek, near the Mineral Wells, in Wood County, about 1840.

In 1840, the Dawkins boys came out to the place and made an extensive “deadening”, preparatory to clearing the land, but for some reason, the family did not move out. Six or seven years later, Jim Dawkins came out and built a cabin at the mouth of Bear Tree Run, but within two years, he had succumbed to the Sandy fever, and his cabin was vacant.

Thomas Dawkins was from Culpepper County, Virginia, but had been in Wood County since about 1825.

In 1830, Thomas Jefferson Dawkins married and moved on the land. In 1852, he built a house on the lower side of the road, where the creek which came to the hill just above makes a sharp bend back through the fields, leaving room for a house, barn, garden, etc., on the promontory cut off by the pike, then just newly built. Above the barn is a steep bank down to the creek, by the side of which stands, or did stand a few years ago, a pine tree.

It was here the teams were fed, and we had lunch, when moving from Pond Creek to Reedy, in February, 1872.

We had come from Buttermilk, where we stopped the night before, at Isaac Cheuvronts, that morning, and got to the Three Forks of Reedy ten miles farther on our way, just after dark.

At that time, there was no house there, just a barn, and perhaps a corn crib. Jeff Dawkins lived back on the hill, just out of sight from the road. The intervening hillside was cleared, and in bluegress, but thickly studded with beech trees of the primeval forest.

William G. Ables, probably a grandson of Martin Ables of Sycamore, had a lease on the Dawkins land before Jeff Dawkins came out. He afterward lived with his son, Jake Ables, on Strait Fork.

Jim Dawkins and John Dawkins, who once lived on the Charley Carney farm on Mill Creek, were cousins to Jeff.

It was about 1850 that John M. Barnett (perhaps a descendant of the John Barnett who lived at the mouth of Lee Creek, in the Flinn blockhouse) came out.

Barnett had married on of the Dawkins girls, and made the first improvement where Perry Boggess now lives, two and a half miles above Sandyville. After his death, his widow married Moses Hoff.

Jeff Dawkiins lives just above the old house site mentioned above , at the mouth of Lunn Camp Run.

The next run on the left is at Meadowdale. Some say the first improvement here was by the negro, Felix Jenkins.

Jacob Ingram was living here about 1845, and Jenkins at the Baker farm next Sandyville. About 1850, Ingraham went to the Middle Fork of Reedy, and later to Ohio.

Jenkins was not a pure negro, but he and his wife were classed as colored people. He had several sons and daughters. They moved from Right Sandy to the head of Straight Fork.

Felix Jenkins at one time owned two hundred acres on Bush Run, comprising the Delaney, McCoy, and a part of the Boggess tracts. He hired John Carder to build him a house, in the bottom, at the forks of the run, which stood several years, but I think he never moved to it.

About a hundred yards up the rim, above Ingram, was the residence of Abel V. Syoc (as the name is written in the deed book at Ripley). He was a soldier in the war of 1812, came from Grave Creek to Crooked Fork, and from there to Meadowdale, about 1850, perhaps.

He was twice married, his last wife being a daughter of David Rardon.

Big Lick Run comes on the right of Sandy, and a short distance above. It has been a wild rough country in the pioneer days. The hills are high, steep and rocky. There are imposing cliffs and walls fo sandstone lining the sides of a gorge, below the Grant farm, with rocks framed in the walls as large as a house. This strata of rocks seems to run solid through the hill, and crops out on the right fork of Coon Run in a solid wall of rock on each side of the stream, twelve to sixteen feet in thickness, through which the valley has been worn in the course of centuries. Near the mouth of Trap Run, the left bank of the stream is a wall of stone.

The run is named from a spring in the bottom, on the right side of, and near the stream a little distance from its mouth. This once famous deer lick is only about a hundred yards below the site of John Custer’s cabin, and near the upper line of K. C. Hutchinson’s land, and the water comes out from under the foot of a towering mountain.

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JOHNSON FAMILY

Squire Ben Johnson, who lived on the Syoc farm for the fourteen years next preceding his death, was born in Belmont County, Ohio, in 1838. He came to Odaville in 1872, and to Meadowdale ten years later, was a Justice of the Peace, and much respected.

Thomas Johnson, a brother, died on Sandy the following September, at the age of eighty. Mrs. William Duncan, nee Johnson, who was born in 1822, and died in 1900, may have been a sister.

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KNOTTS FAMILY

Absalom Knotts lived in Delaware, where Edward Knotts, his son, was born, about 1780, or 1785. While yet a young man, Edward Knotts migrated to Preston County, where he married and settled. The bride was Mary Bryan, a blooming daughter of Maryland.

In 1833, Knotts came to Sandyville, and located on the Harrison land, building a little cabin on the right bank of the creek, just below where Perry Boggess lives, on what is known as the Joe Leap farm. Probably he was only a squatter, at any rate, he had but an insecure title to his possession, and only lived there two years. Then, abandoning his claim, he moved to Palestine, at the mouth of Reedy, where he died at about eighty years of age. When Knotts first came to Sandy, he, his sons John, then a lad of fifteen, and an older brother, came out in the spring, built a cabin, cleared a patch, and planted it in corn. The father then returned to Preston County and brought the family out in the fall, while the boys stayed and tended the crop.

When they came, there were no roads, only trails or tracks cut through the heavy beech woods along the creek, from the "clearing" of one settler to that of the next.

His "moving" brought the first four horse team ever driven on Sandy. At that time, Knotts' "opening" was the picket post of civilization. All the head of the creek above being yet a wilderness, the home of bears, panthers, wolves, and other "wild varmints" too "tedious to mention". There was a little colony at the Three Forks of Reedy, and Mill Creek valley was thinly settled along the creek, as far up as the mouth of Little Creek, but there were no roads, and but little communication between the colonies. Reedy found an outlet by way of Elizabeth, and Spring Creek by the mouth of Mill Creek.

"Uncle John" Knotts, my informant, said they went to mill to a horse mill kept by a man named Ables "away out towards Ripley". This must have been when water was low in the latter part of the summer, as there were mills at an early date at Runner's, at Sheppard's Ford, and near the mouth of Beatty's Run.

When asked what kind of schoolhouses they had, Mr. Knotts reply was "Didn't have none".

It was a rather lonely life in the forests for the boys. Uncle John remembered one night especially, when he had to "bide by himself". His brother had taken the team to the river for some seedwheat, with which to sow the corn patch of a few acres, they had cleared around the house, expecting to be back before nightfall.

The sun, however, sank behind the western hilltops, and the shadows of coming night gathered among the beech and sugar trees, as the boy anxiously watched down creekward, but no welcome sight of horses or man appeared. Slowly the shadows deepened into darkness, and still no brother came. Reluctantly, the lad left his port on the yard fence as night settled down, maintaining, however, his stand in the cabin door, until the wolves gathered in the woods around, making the night hideous with their howls, when he took the dog inside for company, and to keep him safe. He shut and barred the door and sat down by the fire to wait.

The early fall nights were chill and damp, and the boy had built a "rattling big" fire, when, to his dismay, he discovered the flames which were leaping up the backwall and dancing in the throat of the chimney, had set fire to the wooden mantle rock. Here was a new dilemma. Something had to be done, and done at once. Which was better, to face the wolves and be gobbled raw, or stay inside and be roasted before being eaten? It didn't take him long to decide that question. Seizing a pail, he threw the door open and made a dash for the creek, some four or five rods distant. So scared and excited was he that he never knew how he crossed the fence, whether he jumped over or fell over, but he got the water and extinguished the fire all right.

The brother had been delayed until so late an hour that he did not return until the next day. Though the wolves continued their serenade all night, no more untoward happenings came that way.

John Knotts, who, it will be remembered, went to Palestine in 1835, married Mary Jane Coe, on Lower Reedy, and went to Calhoun County, where relatives were living, staying there just fifteen years to a day.

He returned to Palestine, but about the beginning of the Civil war, moved to Limestone hill, near where Sandy Pond Creek and Tucker's Creek have their source, continuing his residence for many years.

He died at the age of about eighty nine.

Joseph Knotts and Mary Knotts, his wife, were members of the first Methodist Church in Washington District, Calhoun County, in 1836.

In 1840, Joseph Knotts united with the first Baptist Church, organized at Arnoldsburg, Calhoun County.

He was probably the half brother of Edward Knotts, who was the father of Absalom Knotts, a distinguished lawyer of Calhoun, who once represented his county in the House of Delegates. His daughter married Pres Short.

Rufus Knotts, a brother of Absalom, lived on Henry's Fork. His first wife was a daughter of Edward Knotts, his second, a sister of "Chat" Riddle.

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A JACKSON COUNTY FLOOD

The night of the eighteenth of July, 1889 will be ever memorable in the history of Wood, Wirt and Jackson Counties. There was a cloud burst, it is claimed, over Limestone hill, which poured the waters down the streams like it was pouring out of some gigantic vessel, but it could not have been the storm was of too long duration. Pond Creek, Left Sandy and Tucker's Creek were many feet higher than ever thought of before. Many houses and buildings were washed away, and probably fifteen or twenty persons drowned.

Houses standing by small streams were carried off, and buildings far from the banks of the creek were swept from their foundations by the fury of the tumultuous torrent.

Some claim a straight raise of twenty five feet on the upper waters of these streams, which is probably far higher than a correct estimate.

In September, 1890, I saw at the mouth of Penike, on Pond Creek, a drift of rails, logs and debris, which had been formed the night of the flood and was still piled up into the tops of the low trees which lined the bank of the creek.

On Reedy, the waters were not so high, the main storm passing to the north.

The weather had been wet for some days, and about six o'clock in the evening, a cloud arose in the west, passing around to the north, and followed by another, and another, and another, moving slowly and majestically, each one closer than the last.

With dark came vivid flashes of red, coppery lighting, and a continuous roll of thunder, and by eight, the storm was on.

For over three hours, the room was never dark, and the sound of the thunder never ceased even for an instant.

By midnight, the worst was over, and at daylight, the waters were run down.

I visited Reedy the next forenoon, and found a scene of mud and litter, side walks were floated off, or edged against the buildings in long sections. The water had been up in the houses, and johnboats were plying in the lowgrounds.

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