Headstone and half sunk footstone
And soft gray lichens plate o'er plate
Have softened down the deep cut name
The first man to settle on Reedy, other than at Palestine was a middle aged frontiersman who came to the valley of the Right Fork of Reedy when it was an unbroken wilderness and wolves and panthers were abundant in the forests.
This hardy pioneer was Jonathan Sheppard, and although originally from the South Branch of the Potamac, it is said he came from Hacker's Creek to Reedy in 1806 moving his family and goods on pack horses.
He entered a large body of fine land extending along the creek from what is known as Lockhart Ford, a distance of more than six miles to the forks of the creek, now Pewee.
Sheppard, who had been a soldier in the Revolution, built his humble cabin on a little raise on the left hand side of the Creek about half a mile below the mouth of Smith's (now Thorn's Run) being careful, as was the custom of our forefathers, to locate conveniently to a spring.
The cabin has long since disappeared. For eighty years, the wild flowers have blossomed and faded over the grave of the pioneer. All of his sons and daughters have grown up and passed away and his grand children are gray haired men and women, but the spring still flows on, and the flocks and herds of the fields, slake now their thirst where all the wild animals, common to this section, came for water when that little cabin was built by the forest spring a hundred years ago.
When Jonathan Sheppard settled by this spring, his neighbors were a thin fringe of backwoodsmen scattered along the Little Kanawha River.
Beauchamp, Rockhold, Lazure, Booher, Wells and Enoch being among the names of the settlers. Reedy and Sandy were, as yet, untouched by the settlers axe and the Ohio River Valley was an unbroken forest from the Belleville Settlement to Warth's Bottom. Parsons had been two years at the mouth of Sycamore, twenty five years later to become the town of Ripley and Wrights Mills were already established where Cottageville now is. But, there was not a person living in the bounds of what is now Roane County.
Sheppards wife was a Yankee girl, born in Massachusetts, but alas! She only lived two years in the new home in the woods until she was called into the Beyond, and left him with a family of seven children. The youngest barely five years old and the oldest scarcely grown. A child, which only lived a few hours, was the first white child born on Reedy.
Martha Wilson Sheppard died March 1808, aged forty one. That is all the stone reveals, but she was born in 1767.
The same year, Parsons, at mouth of Sycamore, lost his companion and the Ripley cemetery received its first grave.
Meantime, John Conrad and his son Jacob had moved to Reedy in 1807, settling there, and John Hartley, who is supposed to have lived about Peewee. The next year, John Smith settled at the first fork of Thorn's Run, about a half mile up from the Creek.
Probably it was soon after that, the Roys came (from about Malden, says on informant) and later the Somervilles, Lockharts, Enochses, Otts, etc.
The first graveyard on Reedy was on a gentle slope on a short distance down the creek from the site of the cabin. It is two by three rods and all but two or three of the graves have head stones.
The lot has been fenced with plank many years ago, but the fence is falling down and weeds have overgrown the place.
Outside the fence, two white oak trees, which some vandal has deadened, gaunt, grim and white limbed, are standing Sentinel over the dead. The graves are:
Jonathan Sheppard, died April 16, 1825, aged sixty five years. His birthday was in 1760. Martha, wife of Jonathan Sheppard, died March 1808, aged forty one. William Sheppard, died March 27, 1874, aged seventy nine years, three months. His birthday being January 2, 1795. He was the son of Jonathan Sheppard and lived in the bottom opposite the mouth of Crane Nest Run. He was a Justice of the Peace and a Colonel of the Virginia Militia. He was found dead in the well at his house. Beside him lie his two wives. Letitia, wife of William Sheppard, died August 23, 1823, aged twenty nine. Her maiden name was Black. Jane, wife of Col. W.M. Sheppard, born June 26, 1805 died January 18, 1889. She was a Steele from Tucker's Creek and was eighty three years six months. James, son of Wm. and Jane Sheppard died July 23, 1830, aged one year one month. Catharine, daughter of Wm. and Jane Sheppard, died July 3, 1868, aged twenty one years four months. These are all marble slabs, except William and Jane, who have monuments.
At the lower side are two graves with flagstone markers engraved R.S. September 15, 1827 aged sixty five. R.S 1848.
One of these, probably the first, is the grave of Robert Sheppard, a brother of Jonathan Sheppard. He came out at some time. He had at least two children, William and Mahala. There are two or three unmarked graves and perhaps some not now traceable.
John Smith lived on Thorne's Run. He was partly raised by the Indians and had the peculiar stealthy tread and wary vigilance of the red man. Some, I believe, called him part Indian, but this, his descendants deny, claiming that he was taken captive when a little child and returned, probably at Boquets Treaty. One account says he died at about eighty. A mistake if, as another report has it, Jonathan Sheppard married his widow, as Sheppard died in 1825.
Smith may be buried at the Sheppard graveyard or perhaps his own farm.
Thomas Thorne bought the Smith farm about 1838.
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The Ott Graveyard
The Ott Graveyard
There's the sound of the bell from the
And the shade of the beech lies cool
On the rock.
And fresh from the west is the free wind's
Where the heart of the sleeper lies still in
One half mile below the Sheppard graveyard, the creek makes a sharp bend to the right around a point which runs out from the southern hills, like a head land in the ocean. The northern hill follows something of the same lines in a less pronounced form, which leaves the bottom lands which are wide and rather low and wet above, narrow here, but as if to make amends on top of this point which is, perhaps forty or fifty feet high and quite steep. The land lies nearly level or sloping back gently to the base of the hills.
This plateau, which contains several acres, is drained by several little streams, mere depressons in the flats, until near the edge of the plateau, where they deepen into gullies, cutting their way to the lower level of the creek below. On a little point that extends between two of these hollows to the bluff is an old time burial ground commonly known as the Ott graveyard. Either because of the number of that name who rest there or perhaps from John Ott, who once owned the farm on which it is situated.
This John Ott lived in a house that stood on the flat back of the graveyard, there being still visible, the stones where the chimney stood and perhaps some of the foundation stone lying around. There are yet, a few scrubby apple trees standing.At the foot of the hill, by the side of a little rivulet and close to a little depression, said to have been the site of a spring in the early days, stands a sycamore tree with a spreading top and huge trunk being about seventy five feet in height and eleven and one half feet in circumference.
The story goes that when the men finished rolling this field, clearing it of logs by rollling them off to be burned, they went to the spring for water. One man stuck his handspike in the ground by the spring, where it still sticks the sycamore tree. A root where it crosses the hollow fifty feet from the tree is eight inches in diameter.
Probably this tree long antedates the Ott house, unless indeed that were first built by some earlier settler than Ott.
John Conrad was born and raised, grew up and married in Germany, says his grand daughter, Sudner Smith. His wife's name was Catharine Wendle. Coming to the United states, he lived first at Hagerstown, Maryland, whence he moved to the South branch and from there to Reedy.
Another grandchild, Jacob Conrad, says he came from Cheat River to Reedy.
He came to Right Reedy in 1808 and bought - it is supposed - of Jonathan Sheppard, building his cabin near the bend in the creek before mentioned. One account says on the hill on the left side, another, and I think more probable one, says on the plateau on the south side of the creek, no one appears to know now just where. Possibly it was where John Ott's house afterward stood, more likely however, it has been nearer the creek.
In 1810 he is said to have built the first grist mill on Reedy. It stood by the creek nearly opposite the mouth of the Thomas Run, a small hollow coming down from the hills on the right.
When the land passed into the hands of his son-in-law, Fidillas Ott, the mill was still continued as Ott's Mill and later it fell to Anthony Thomas, who rebuilt it, and if I mistake not, the building is yet standing. It was in use twenty two years ago when I first passed that way. Sudner Smith told me that John and Catharine Conrad were both buried at the Ott graveyard, which is doubtlessly correct, but she was mistaken when she said they had tombstones or inscriptions.
Jacob Conrad was probably his oldest child and was about twenty one when he came to Reedy. Jacob married Sally Leachman and had a tannery at Elizabeth.
The Ott graveyard is on a little point between the steep hollows. It is three by six rods in extent, is fenced with plank and nearly filled with the lowly mounds. On the south side, is a magnificent beech tree which casts its shade all over the burial ground. The stem is carved all around with names and dates, many of them grown off with the lapse of years, but I did not have time to examine them.
The foot of each grave is very slightly the highest.
On the upper side of the cemetery are the graves of:
Smith Parsons, died December 12, 1879, aged sixty four years. Elizabeth, wife of Smith Parsons, died January 28, 1876 aged sixty four years ten months. They came from Ohio and lived on Sargents Run, which empties into the creek about a mile and a half below.
Sarah Ott, born January 27, 1820 died August 12, 1873, aged fifty three years seven months. She was a daughter of James Vandal and sister of Andy Vandal, and Harriett Boggs. By her side lies John P. Ott, died 1879 aged twenty one years. He is a son of John and Sarah Ott , as also was Nimrod Ott, who was born in 1844.
In the lower side of the graveyard are three children of Andy Ott, who is a son of John P. and Sarah Vandal Ott. In another row are graves of : Fidillas Ott, born July 29, 1791, died November 25, 1872, aged eighty one years three months. Mary Ott, born February 28, 1796 died May 11, 1893, aged ninety seven years two months.
I do not know where this Fidillas Ott came from. He was a German and married Polly Conrad, a daughter of John Conrad (not a sister as some have said).
John Ott, born March 4, 1790 died August 26, 1865 aged seventy three years five months, was an older brother of Fidillas, he died unmarried.
Fidillas Ott died October 22, 1860 aged twenty four years six months. He was a son of Fidillas and Mary Ott.
Charles Ott died 1860, a child. His parents were Lewis and S. Ott. Lewis Ott was probably a brother of Fidillas, Sr., as was Joseph Ott, who lived on the Creek below him. Joseph's daughter Margaret, married Rev. M.B. Edmondson in 1872 as his third wife.
Jacob Conrad was born September 23, 1787 died July 23, 1850, aged sixty two years ten months.
Daniel Conrad was born July 12, 1802 and died in 1827, aged twenty five years. He lived on Reedy and died from overheating himself in the harvest field. He left a wife and one child.
There is a row of old graves with flagstones at head, only one of which is marked. It bears the letters of C.W.
There were Wisemans in the neighborhood and this may have been one of that family.
It may be that John Smith is buried here, but the oldest date I have is 1827.
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The Pisgah Graveyard
The Pisgah Graveyard
Thus resigned and quiet creep
To the bed of lasting sleep;
Sleep whence thou shalt never wake,
Night, where dawn shall never break,
Till future life, future no ore,
To light and joy the good restore,
To light and joy unknown before.
One mile below the mouth of Crane Nest is Sommerville Fork and it is called one mile from there down to Pisgah Church and graveyard, but I don't think it is hardly so far and the next mile to the mouth of Thorne's Run is not more than three quarters.
The mouth of Big Run which empties on the left side of Reedy is diagonally opposite the church. That is to say, the church is on the opposite side of the Creek from the mouth of Big Run and a little below, nearly in a line with the course of the run.
It was on the afternoon of the twenty ninth of November, a dull gloomy day, when I visited this old churchyard. It had been sprinkling rain and was getting late when I rode down the creek. Upon surmounting a raise in the road, I came, unexpectedly on an old church on an elevation to the right. It was in the edge of a fine grove of magnificent beech trees, their trunks scarred with the rude carving of several generations. The building was wide, low and squatty. It's walls weatherstained and storm beaten.
Back of the church, on top of the knoll, the gravestones, clustered thickly row after row.
Hitching my horse, I took my way among the tombs, passing back through the northern or lower side, I had returned perhaps two thirds of the distance through the center before I discovered that it was the Pisgah Graveyard I was in. When I became aware of my error, I felt the same sensation of bewilderment one does upon recovering his bearings after being lost.
I had been at Pisgah once about thirteen years ago and had, perhaps, passed the place once or twice, but had not the slightest conception of what it looked like.
Had I been put on oath, or rather affirmation, for I have never yet taken an oath, I would cheerfully testified, and that without any modifying "to the best of my knowledge", but as an absolute certainty, that the Pisgah Church was across the Creek from the road on a narrow slope behind, which rose a high, wooded hill with the burying ground on the down stream side where the slope (not bottom) was a little wider.
Even yet, I cannot entirely reconcile my mind to the notion that if it is not that way, it at least, ought to be.
Instead of being as I thought. One of the most unsuitable locations I ever saw for a ceemtery it is really one of the very best.
The road crosses through a low gap much as it does at the Harpold graveyard on Mill Creek, only the point it cuts off is not nearly so high, nor so steep. The church stands a little higher than the road on the side of a gentle rise on which grow an even dozen large beech trees, a part of the original forest. One of them standing in front of the building, furnishing a cool and refreshing shade.
The creek comes to the road above and then sweeps around this point which extends out into the valley. On the upper slope of the point, which has never been cleared, I counted twenty five or more sugar trees.
The creek, which clings close to the base of the point on its upper side pushes its course far out into the bottom lands, turning with a wide sweep the streams winds in and out where it find the least resistance to its flow until it comes to the hill again at the narrows, a quarter of a mile below, its banks being lined with white armed sycamores, leaning out over the water or clasping hands across its tide.
The graveyard is about nine by ten rods and is surrounded by and old board fence.
There is a house on the bank above the road and two others down on Two Lick Run, which flows into the creek below the knoll on which stands the church, one on each side of the road.
Beyond the graveyard, the point extends for some distance and there are some old apple trees. But I could not learn if there had ever been a house there.
The Pisgah Chruch was the first built on Reedy.
The first sermon in the neighborhood was preached by a Methodist at the house of John Smith on Thorne's Run in 1813.
Samuel Somerville moved to Brushy Fork (Providence Road in Jackson County in 1843.
Samuel Somerville was born in 1771 and died in 1857.
Susan Somerville was born in 1789 and died in 1864.
They are buried in the Providence Cemetery.
Pauline Somerville Smith
The class was organized in 1818. I failed in getting the date of the building of the first church house but it was at an early date, probably not later than 1835.
The first house was built of logs and had a capacious fire place in one end. It stood on top of the knoll in the graveyard.
As was the custom of that day, it was used for both church and school house, and here, Clarissa Sheppard, who was born in February 1831, first went to school when probably six or seven years old.
Back as far as 1818 the neighbors had cut poles of beech and lynn and built a hut, on the creek just above where the church is built, for use as a school house.
Among those who were members of the class at an early date were: John Smith and wife, Dianna Smith, Elizabeth Smith, Samuel Sheppard, Amalia Sheppard, William Sheppard and wife, Susan Sheppard Sommerville, Rebecca Sheppard Somerville, Sarah Sheppard Lockhart, Isaac Lockhart, Peter Conrad, Phebe Hartley Conrad.
I will begin the record of those buried at Pisgah, with a couple who are not so recorded, but were probably laid here before tombstones became common.
Samuel Sommerville, came from Ireland and settled at mouth of Sommerville Fork about 1810-13 (estimated from age of children).
Susan Sheppard, daughter of Jonathan Sheppard, was wife of Samuel Sommerville.
I can only guess at the dates of birth or death of either of them.
Jacob Bumgardner, born September 15, 1803 died January 20, 1870, aged sixty six years four months. Nancy, wife of Jacob Bumgardner and daughter of Samuel and Susan Sommerville, born June 28, 1816, died October 24, 1871, aged fifty five years three months.
I never heard where the Bumgardners came from. They were German stock. There were Bumgardners, Andrew and Frederick among the pioneers of Tucker's Creek. Jacob got his wife's home place which remained in the hands of his children until recently.
There were other Bumgardners. Probably children or grand children buried in the same row, which is in the south east corner of the cemetery.
Not far from this spot is a flagstone marker with letters D.B.
Virginia, wife of George Knotts and daughter of Jacob and Nancy Bumgardner, died 1879.
Jonathan Sommerville, born August 5, 1817, (date of death missed someway).
Margaret, wife of Jonathan Sommerville, born October 12, 1820 died February 15, 1903, aged eighty two years four months. He was a son of Samuel and Susan Sommerville she a daughter of Fidillas and Polly Conrad Ott.
Alfred, son of Jonathan and Margaret Sommerville is buried in another part of the grounds.
Joseph Bumgardner died August 3, 1865 aged thirty three years six months.
"Go to the grave in all thy glorious poise,
In full activity of great zeal and power
A Christian cannot die before his time
The Lord's appointment is his servants hour."
Rhodany, wife of Joseph W. Bumgardner, died November 22, 1863 aged twenty nine years ten months.
"Lord, I commend my soul to thee.
Accept the Sacred Trust.
Receive this nobler part of me
And watch my sleeping dust."
Andrew Sommerville was born in Ireland in 1787, died March 21, 1855, aged sixty nine years.
Rebecca, wife of Andrew Sommerville and daughter of Jonathan Sheppard was born October 7, 1798, died February 26, 1895, aged ninety six years four months. He was a brother of Samuel Sommerville and lived at the first farm up Sommerville Fork.
William McFee, born December 23, 1819, died October 8, 1896, aged seventy six years, nine months. Margaret, wife of Wm. McFee born April 16, 1826 and died December 6, 1883, aged fifty seven years seven months. She was a daughter of Andrew and Rebecca Sommerville and they lived in the head of Sommerville Fork.
He had a lot fenced with a very high rail fence in which, when I used to pass there, about 1873-6, he kept several tame deer.
David B. Sommerville, born November 1, 1830 died March 25, 1887, aged fifty six years four months. Martha E., wife of David B. Sommerville, born April 20, 1833, probably not dead yet. Her maiden name was Enochs.
Henry Harris came from about Wiseburg. He was born November 6, 1796 died February 10, 1881, aged eighty six years two months. He married ‘Becca Sommerville.
Rev. Samuel Sheppard, was born March 27, 1803, died March 16, 1872, aged sixty eight years eleven months.
"I rest, weep not for me,
Blessed are they that die in the Lord."
He was the youngest son of Jonathan and Martha Wilson Sheppard, was three years old when he came to Reedy, being carried on a pack horse. He married Amelia Full about 1825 and lived on the north side of the creek, a half mile below Pisgah. He was long a local preacher in the Southern Methodist Church, and was universally respected. His body rests where the old church stood and his wife sleeps by his side. Amelia, wife of Sameul Sheppard, was born March 16, 1803 and died August 27, 1876, aged seventy three years five months. She was the daughter of Reuben Full. (The marriage record Parmelia Full October 29, 1828). They raised a large family.
One son, Jonathan Sheppard, born September 7, 1826 died July 6, 1898, aged seventy one years nine months. His wife was Lucinda, daughter of Armistead Morehead. I think she is buried by his side, but having died recently, has no monument yet. He lived down under the bank from Pisgah Church, on Two Lick Run, where Henry Sheppard first built.
Martha, daughter of William Sheppard and wife of John S. Thorne died January 19, 1870 aged twenty four years six months.
John S. Thorne was born February 27, 1848 and died February 9, 1887.
Arizona Sheppard was born May 13, 1864 died December 26, 1893, aged twenty nine years seven months. She was daughter of J.B. Smith of Reedy and married Jonah, son of Jonathan Sheppard. She lived on the ridge at the head of Lynn Camp Run.
Wilson Sheppard, born 1833 died 1896.
Margaret, wife of Wilson Sheppard, born about 1835 died 1881, aged forty five years seven months. He was a son of William Sheppard.
He made the first improvement at mouth of Big Run.
A.H. Sheppard, Jr., born April 26, 1863 died April 17, 1900.
It is sad to see those who are loved by all who know them, cut off in the beginning of a busy and useful life.
Ad. Sheppard was one of the most intelligent and intellectual young men I ever became acquainted with. He had acquired a good education and taught school several terms. Had studied law and was admitted to the bar about 1897.
A magnificent block of rough granite marks his grave, which is inclosed with an ornamental iron fence.
Mattie Fresher Sheppard, wife of C.H. Sheppard, died at about forty one, born 1869. She has a fine monument of red granite.
Ray Callow, born May 30, 1903 died May 13, 1924, grave marked with a flag.
Daniel Cain, born January 22, 1828, died July 23, 1889, aged sixty one years six months. He was a son of Thomas Cain of Reedy. He married Letty, daughter of Willam Sheppard and lived at the forks of the Creek. He laid out the village of Pewee. Lettitia Cain, died 1883, aged fifty two years. Jemima, daughter of Daniel and Letty Cain, died aged sixteen years.
A daughter of G.W. and E. Bord died 1872.
Daniel Rowland, born December 25, 1813 died April 9, 1901, aged eighty seven years three months.
Nathaniel G. Rowland.
Jonathan Sheppard, Jr., born December 14, 1836 died April 2, 1888.
Eunice Sheppard, wife, born January 15, 1832 died January 2, 1919, and by their side lie:
Dora, wife of M.K. Goff, born July 19, 1886 ages nineteen years six months. By her, but across a space, Amanda E., wife of M.A. McClung, died April 20, 1880, aged twenty nine years nine months.
Samuel Tubach, born October 13, 1825, died January 8, 1890, aged seventy four years two months.
Isabel, wife of S. Tubach, born August 29, 1828, died March 26, 1890, aged seventy one years six months.
Caroline V., wife of George McGee, born November 29, 1852, died October 25, 1884.
Bascom Shepard, died 1885, aged twenty five years.
R.J. Shepard, born September 9, 1840, died April 30, 1864.
Michael Thorne, born February 24, 1814, died October 19, 1865, aged fifty one years seven months. Sarah, wife of Michael Thorne, born January 28, 1813, died May 11, 1881, aged sixty eight years three months.
Michael Thorne Jr. was a son of Thomas Thorne, Sr., who moved to the John Smith farm in 1838. He lived on Thorne's Run. Frank Thorne is his son.
Violet, wife of Thomas Thorne, died in 1875, aged forty seven years and six months.
Madoc S. Thorne, son of William and J. Thorne.
Amanda E., wife of M.A. McClung, died in 1880, aged twenty nine years.
Joseph Pickersgill, born in Yorkshire, England, August 22, 1793, died May 20, 1865, aged seventy two years eight months.
Basil Young came from Brixton County, married Pickersgill's widow and lived on Thorne's Run. He was born July 27, 1797, and died February 9, 1884, aged eighty six years six months.
Jefferson Ayres died July 1887 aged fifty one years eleven months. Mary J., wife of J.L. Ayres, died in 1884, aged nineteen years.
Martha A., wife of W.R. Enoch, died March 28, 1869, aged sixty four years.
E.M. Roberts, born November 2, 1827, died January 4, 1898, aged seventy years two months.
Martha, wife of Frank Gough, born August 6, 1842, died March 18, 1898.
Martha, wife of E.J. Cheuvront, born May 1, 1836, died July 19, 1890. Ed Cheuvront had a store at Pewee.
Out to one side of the graveyard is a lowly mound, weeds grew thickly around and the grass was untrimmed, ‘till the surroundings had a neglected uncared-for appearance, as if the memory of the hero heart, that mouldered below had passed from the minds of the living. I say hero because at the head of the humble mound rose the regulation United States stone bearing the inscription:
"O.B. Grier, Co. A 97th O.V.I."
It may be forgotten who the man was, his life and his antecedents, but while this marble slab endures, it will be known that he was a Union Soldier, the form sleeping so peacefully in this quiet corner among the West Virginia Hills, once followed the flag and kept step to the drum beat of the legions of Grant or Sherman.
That a young life was freely risked that the Union might endure, might live on, free in fact as well as name.
Let us reverently bow the head and heart wherever one of these humble stones lifts its form, for every one of them is a shrine in the temple of Liberty.
On this soldier grave, years ago, some loving hand had planted a flowering shrub, now neglected and straggling in a thick cluster. In this clump of bushes, a little bird has built her nest, and tended her fledgling brood over the heart that once beat high and warm, But now, the chill of winter is in the air, dry leaves only nestle in the deserted bird home. The life and love which once filled its grass woven walls, like the spirit that dwelt in the form slumbering below it, has flown, leaving the now useless domicile, bleak and desolate.
An old weatherbeaten marble slab, five and a half feet high and twenty or more inches across, bears the quaint figure of a woman, with her hair parted in the middle and combed down flat behind her ears, sitting on a grassy bank with a book lying in her lap. The inscription is:
Mary M., wife of A.C. Justice, died April 9, 1873, in her nineteenth year.
I think she was said to be a daughter of Anthony Thomas.
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The Full's Fork Graveyard
A dark, gloomy day in late autumn, clouds hung like a gray and somber pall over the hills, moisture descended or beat in the faces of those who happened to be out of doors. Were it a little heavier, it would have been rain, a little lighter and it would have been a mist. Partaking of the nature of both, it is likely it was a part of the time one and a part of the other.
After a long and unsuccessful search for Jap Smith, a man I have often heard of, yet never seen, and with whom I wanted to talk, I had made my way at last, down the Enochs Fork of Right Reedy to Pewee and crossing the Creek, traveled up Fulls Fork about a mile, when the time-stained walls of the Center Valley Church gleamed a dull gray through the drizzle, like the shine of wet stones in the night time. As it was alternately hidden and revealed by the fringe of trees surrounding it, their brown leaves partly scattered over the ground and partly hanging limp and dripping from the half bare branches.
Crossing the creek below, I followed the foot path across a cornfield and led my horse up a narrow hogback point, through brushwood and over some ugly rocks, coming out in the rear of the building, to find had I gone up the Creek to the next house I would have come to a wagon road, which crosses to the church and winding up past the graveyard, ascends the hill, leading finally to - I know not where.
The building which is large and commodious bears on its front the legend here presented:
"Fulls Fork, Center Valley M.E. Church"
The cemetery lies on a slope above the church. It is large and irregular in shape and contains many of the low indulations which hide the old and the young, the rich and the poor, "the good, the brave, the beautiful", in their long dreamless sleep. Who can say what hopes, what ambitions, what capabilities, what of the past, what of the fore-shortened future is hidden by the turf of this bare, dreary hillside.
There is shade enough around the church, which stands on a little level where the hogback widens into the hill slope and down by the road side, is the redeeming feature of the situation, a superb spreading chestnut tree, some four feet over, with low symmetrical crown, its wide arms reaching far on every side, a counterpart of the Village Smithy's shade.
The family with the largest representation in this burial place is probably that of the Fulls.
The Full family, said A.H. Shepard, a grandson of the founder of the family on Reedy, came from Sheppherdstown on the Potomac. He thinks they settled on the farm below the church.
Rev. M.B. Edmond son says: "Reuben Full Sr. lived below Sheppards on the Creek, a short time and afterward on the Little Kanawha, near the mouth of Reedy." The accounts may have both been correct. I append a brief summary of the family history.
Reuben Full was of German descent. He settled on Right Reedy at an early date, not later than the early twenties. The name of his wife is not known. The children were:
Absalom Full, lived on the head of the Left Fork of Sandy, above John Somerville. His last wife was Mahala Shepard, daughter of Robert Shepard.
Andrew Full, lived on Upper Sandy.
Susan Full married Francis Magraw and lived first at mouth of Crane Nest and later on Full's Fork.
Joseph Full lived just below Five Mile Run on Turkey Fork.
Amelia Full married Samuel Shepard.
Reuben Full Jr. lived at the log house at forks of road across from the Church.
Joseph Full was born September 25, 1791 and died January 22, 1865, aged seventy three years nine months. Mary, wife of Joseph Full, was born New Year's Day, 1804, died July 25, 1873 aged sixty nine years seven months.
In the same row were three graves with flagstones at the head, one marked Lewis Full. David Full was Joseph's son.
Reuben Full was born September 8, 1806 died November 21, 1866, aged sixty years three months. Elizabeth, wife of Reuben Full was born August 9, 1824, died September 3, 1877 aged fifty two years eleven months.
Olive, wife of Lewis Full, died September 25, 1890, aged forty three years seven months. She was the daughter of Martin Sims.
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The French Colony
A Frenchman named Lavasse served in the Revolution and entered for a part of his pay, a large tract of land, including the head of Turkey Fork. On this, he settled of his own nationality.
Charles M. Lisez, whose age when he died in May 1904, is variously given as ninety five, ninety seven and "about a hundred". On the assessor's books of Jackson County, he was listed in 1900 as ninety. He married a sister of Joseph Carez. Charles E. Lisez is buried at the Full's Fork Cemetery but has no monument.
Joseph Carez was born in France in 1782 and died March 11, 1872, aged ninety years.
Mariah, wife of Joseph Carez, died April 7, 1888, aged sixty three years.
I was told Carez married a Full.
A nearby inscription reads, as copied: "Hannah, wife died April 1889, aged forty one years eleven months."
I am unable to unravel the tandle, if tangle there be, whether there is some name left out, or if the dates are copied wrong. I know not now, perhaps one should be 1838 or 9.
James Brown, born March 1833 died March 1897.
Annie Mooney, born September 12, 1845, died October 21, 1898.
Joseph W. Moncrief, born March 31, 1842, died March 11, 1897, aged fifty five years eleven months.
Sarah, wife of Joseph W. Moncrief, aged fifty three years eight months.
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The Buffalo Graveyard
In early days, there was a Methodist Church at Buffalo, on Reedy, above Palestine. Some years ago, owing to a division of the circuit or change in the classes, a new church was built out on the ridge at the head of the Left Branch of Thorne's Run, and though several miles from the first Church, retained the name of Buffalo.
It is built of logs up on the point from the low gap at head of Thorne's and Round Bottom Runs, is at the forks of a road in the woods and belongs to the Southern Methodists.
The graveyard, which has only been opened a few years, lies behind the church and is four by seven and five by seven rods. There are about twenty graves, among which I noted D.A.E. Thomas, born May 19, 1817, died July 23, 1901, aged eighty four years two months.
Lucinda, wife of D.A.E. Thomas, born July 24, 1821, died September 20, 1902, aged eighty one years one month. She was a daughter of Peter and Phebe Conrad.
There was also a government headstone for:
Levi Channels, Co. K. 6th W.Va. Inf.
Another of the boys in Blue.
Another stone is marked: "J.M. Lott".
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It was my good fortune to visit the old cemetery at Palestine, Wirt County, twice during the fall of 1926. It is commodious as to space, but mostly occupied, though it has been enlarged as to boundaries once or more. However, there is abundant room and good ground for indefinite extension. It lies on a low hill just back of the village and is overlooked by the present day church, which stands across a lane, the old site of the Spencer-Elizabeth Turnpike, from the graveyard. Though, this is by no means a new building, it is far from being the pioneer church, which was doubtless a hewed log structure, stood across the Reedy road in which is now an integral part of the cemetery. Not unlikely, another building has been between the two as to time. Hardesty's History makes no mention of the Palestine Church, but it is doubtless of a hundred years ago or more. The oldest date I noted in the graveyard is, so far as I traced, 1816. Though there are no doubt, unmarked graves much older. One of the most interesting, certainly the most historical of all the monuments is a large marble slab, which informs us:
Susannah, daughter of Thomas and Uri Drake was born in Chester County, Pa. October 5, 1769. She was married in London County, Virginia, Christmas day, 1786, to David Hopkins, who died in 1800, leaving six children, Thomas, Levi, Jonathan, David, Uri. Again on Christmas day, 1803, she was married to George Leonard, who died in Parkersburg, Virginia, on March 3, 1803. He left five children, Humphrey, Albert, William, Jacob and George.
In 1837, she married the third time to William Fisher, (last of all, the woman died also.) She died in June 1851, aged eighty one years eight months. (This is not the recording of the tombstone, but is the message it holds aloft to the public.
William C. Wells died in 1862, aged sixty one years.
Levi Wells, born about 1762, died September 12, 1844 in his eighty third year.
Hannah Wells, his wife, born about 1760, died November 1832, aged seventy two years.
Elizabeth Wells, died March 26, 1865, aged seventy one years.
Uri, wife of William Wells, died August 2, 1816 aged forty seven years. Hannah Wells, 1893, sixty nine years old.
Another name, common in this vicinity, is that of Coe, a family who settled at the mouth of Reedy in pioneer days, I am told that there is a private burying ground between the mouth of Reedy and Palestine, which is a half mile below. My informant, Mr. Justice, named three men, Old Johnny, Philip and Jack.
Walter Coe died in 1857 aged sixty seven years.
Barsheba, wife of Walter Coe, is buried in a different spot. She died in 1868. Balance of this inscription is hidden in the ground.
Emerson Coe died in 1878, aged sixty three years.
Elizabeth, wife of Charles W. Fisher, died in 1859 aged forty one years nine months, lives by the side of Emerson Coe.
Another old time name is that of Lockhart. Perhaps the earliest member was John Lockhart, who served in the American Army in the Revolution and later became a pioneer of Wood County, settling first on Lockhart's Run, and later on at Reedy.
Salmon W. Lockhart, 1848 - 1905.
Mary E, his wife, 1848 - 1921.
Enoch 1824 - 1905
Martha, wife of John L. Lockhart, January 22, 1875, aged forty six years.
John Lockhart was born in Northampton County, Virginia, August 6, 1766, died in 1832 at sixty eight years of age. A pioneer and Revolutionary soldier.
Christeny Lockhart, April 27, 1836, aged sixty eight years. Born in 1768.
Another pioneer name, Rockhold, is represented by Mary V. Rockhold, formerly Austin, born 1820. She married Thompson Pomeroy in 1837. He was born in 1807 and died in 1882 aged sixty three years. In 1874, she married Maynard Rockhold and died in 1906.
Francis D. Pomeroy born in 1842 died in 1907.
Sarah, consort of Thomas Leach man, died February 16, 1842 in her sixty ninth year.
James D. Leach man, 1846 (child) same row.
Mary E., wife of David N – (Newton perhaps) 1862 aged twenty five years.
Elijah Moss, born in 1774, died May 3, 1846, in his seventy second year.
Susan, consort of E. Moss in 1877 died in 1851, aged seventy four years.
J.J. Edmond son died in 1876, aged twenty five years.
In Memory of
Head senior who
Departed this life
August 20th 1832
Aged 67 years 5 months
A well preserved sandstone slab at both head and foot of the grave.
There had been two big cedar trees cut down for fencing posts a few years ago. I only counted sixty one rings on a stump which would indicate the tree was planted about 1860 or a little later.
Then I found:
Nathaniel Morehead 1811 - 1895 (August 18, 1801 - January 1, 1895 - correct dates another note says.)
Mary, wife of Nathaniel 1803-1870 (1804-1871 correct dates another note says.)
Harriet E., wife of J.W. Morehead died 1865 aged thirty two.
Gilbert Meed 1820 - 1895
Virginia F., his wife, 1832 - 1888
Sam L. Patterson Co. F. 85th Pa.
Galeb Bixler, Co. H. 10th W.Va.
Another pioneer family of the vicinity of Palestine is that of Trickett.
Allen C. Trickett, 1871 in his sixty ninth year.
Allen G. Trickett, 1871, in his thirty ninth year (these may be the same and miscopied.)
Mary E. 1872, wife of Allen G. Died in her thirty fourth year.
William W., their son, 1865 - 1885.
These are all at the south end of Fought Row.
William S. Trickett died 1844 aged thirty five.
Sarah Baker, daughter of William and Mary Knotts, was born in Preston County in 1812, married William S. Trickett in 1831.
Elisha Baker, born January 1850, died at St. Marys in 1883, of the third generation of Reedy Bakers.
Elijah Wees 1881 aged seventy years twenty days. He was living near Sandyville when I knew him, if indeed, this is the same man.
Of the Foughts who lived on Left Reedy below Lucille, I found:
James W. Fought, died 1867 aged thirty two.
Andrew J. Fought died 1866 aged twenty five.
John Fought died 1865 aged thirty four.
Catharine, wife of Hiram, 1858 aged fifty nine, obviously of an older generation.
Wisemans were among the first in the section. Wiseman, the founder of the family was in the American Army.
Caleb Wiseman Jr., born 1850 died 19093
Bertha, his wife, born 1849, still living.
Clara Mabel was a child buried by them.
Zephaniah Wiseman 1877 - twenty six years old.
Susan Wiseman 1811 - 1884 born in Greenbrier County.
Caleb Woodward died in 1861 aged twenty seven.
Rev. G.R. Woodward July 1874 aged thirty years, he was a Union Soldier. Susan Elizabeth was his wife.
Jesse Woodward, May 7, 1846 aged seventy years.
Sylvanus P. Barnes, 1887 aged sixty seven years, age twenty was Esther Barnes 1876-1896. S.P. Barnes, 1873 aged forty six. In row with Welles.
Lizzie, wife of I.P. Thorn, 1826 - 1875. By her side is an unmarked grave with flag.
James R. Mays 1819 -1871. Fannie Mays (wife) 1827 - 1878, probably Joe Maze's brother James, of whom I have only the name.
David Hopkins 1815-1887.
Mary, daughter of William and Susan Foster, and wife of David Hopkins, born in Greenbrier County 1815 died 1857.
He was a son of Levi Hopkins and a nephew of David Hopkins of the Worthington Farm. His mother was Priscilla, daughter of Walter Coe.
Levi Hopkins died 1878 aged thirty eight. He has been of a younger generation.
Priscilla, wife of Levi Hopkins, 1865 aged seventy five years.
Levi Hopkins, Nov 1878 aged eighty seven years six months.
Thomas Hopkins, 1876 aged thirty nine.
Brainerd S. Hopkins, born 1821 died 1851 aged thirty. (Named for Brainerd Spencer).
John McFarlane (probably a son of Ezekiel) his daughter married B.S. Hopkins above. He died August 5, 1846, aged forty five years nine months.
Elizabeth F. Dyer, died 1846 aged twenty eight years.
Rowena L. Dyer, born 1819 died 1849 aged thirty years.
The Dyers appear in the same row as Conrads.
Sarah, wife of Jacob Conrad 1783 -1858.
Virginia, daughter, died 1846 aged nineteen.
Eliza - wife of Eli Robinson 1863 ages eighteen.
Eli Robinson, born 1829 died 1865.
Charles A. Long, 1865 - 1895.
Elias Loather, November 13, 1801 - February 1887.
Sarah, his wife, October 22, 1811 – September 1882.
T.M. Loather, 1841 - 1904.
Salina Loather, 1801 - 1862.
Edward T. Lee 1849 - 1919.
Hunter F. Pell 1855 - 1925.
James Stephens 1825 - 1881.
Samuel Edwards 1816 - 1889.
George R. Avery died 1878 aged thirty seven years four months.
Leah, wife of J.B. Henderson, 1862.
William Ott, 1827 - 1912.
Sarah A. Ott 1848 yet living.
Caspar Ott 1842 (son of William) yet living.
Catharine Ott 1845 - 1919.
Alfred Ott 1827 - 1905.
Margaret, his wife, 1839 - 1907.
The graveyard is about twenty by thirty rods but is not rectangular in form.
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About the last of August, 1926, I visited what is usually spoken of as the "Old Cemetery", at Elizabeth, to distinguish it from the present day burying ground, which is of more recent date.
Never having been inside the latter, I cannot say how far back its dates run. There is, I am told, a primitive graveyard across the Little Kanawha River where the old M.E. Church stood, that is still older than the one I visited. The oldest date of which I noted was 1808.
Among the inscriptions are:
William Beauchamp, October 11, 1808 in his sixty fifth year. He might have been a revolutionary soldier, but I have never heard it so claimed. By him rest:
Ellen, daughter of Isaac Tavenner, whose mother was his daughter. She was born 1843 and died 1848. There is in the row. A slab lying down, but the name and date are illegible.
In another part of the cemetery, I trace:
In memory of Elizabeth, wife of David Beauchamp, October 4, 1838, aged fifty two. (For her the town was given its name) She was the daughter of a Woodyard.
David, son of D. and E. Beauchamp, died in 1837 aged twenty three years three months.
Another account (probably correct) has it that Beauchamp's Mills was called Elizabeth after David's sister who married Col. Thomas Tavenner.
Alfred Beauchamp died March 29, 1870 aged sixty two years ten months.
Elizabeth, his wife, September 22, 29+9 aged fifty seven years six months.
David P., son of A. and E. Beauchamp died January 11, 1835.
Mary E., their daughter born 1832 died 1869.
Thomas Tavenner, a son, died 1836, a child.
Catharine, daughter of A. and E.H. Beauchamp and wife of John Cook, born April 5, 1830 died May 22, 1891.
Levi Wells died August 29, 1858 aged fifty six years seven months.
Mary, wife, died March 12, 1861 aged fifty years four months.
Isaiah Wells died January 28, 1859 aged thirty seven years six months.
Sarah, daughter of L. and M. Wells, died April 10, 1853 aged eighteen years.
David H. Wells born 1839 died in 1900.
Also, sevearl children of D.H. and R M Wells, but not the mother that I noted.
Anna E., wife of H.H. Hopkins, died Mary 23, 1883 aged twenty four years two months.
Emma, wife of M.L. Lockhart, died April 21, 1866 aged twenty four years.
William Lockhart died June 18, 1851 and he was born May 19, 1810.
Mary, wife of J. Weaver, born 1836 died 1873, same row.
Charles B. Rockhold born 1852 died 1890. Lora, his wife, born 1873 died 1801.
The most striking epitaph is on a monument on the bank over looking the Elizabeth Pike, it reads:
"Captain Henry Newman served in the 15th W.Va. Infantry from 1861 to 1865. He was an unconditional Union man. He served in the Wheeling Convention that restored the state government of Virginia to its proper relation to the general government. Born 1824 died 1912."
Henry B. Stevens died December 16, 1846 aged thirty five years one month. Susannah, wife of Henry Stevens, died March 1, 1872 aged fifty five years.
William H. Stevens died April 30, 1865 aged nineteen years.
J.W. Lowther was a soldier in the 6th W.Va. (no dates copied)
There were of Woodyards:
Charles, died in 1852 aged twenty two.
Elizabeth, wife of M.B. Edmondson, died April 15, 1871, aged eighty six years (or is it thirty six?)
John S., son of M.F. and F.A. Logan died 1849, a child.
A real pioneer, an old sandstone slab, Reuben Dye, died May 1828 aged sixty years. (Born 1768).
Theodosia, daughter of G.W. and M.D. Dye, died in 1876, a child of three years.
James Fisher, born 1797 died in 1870 aged seventy two years two months.
Elizabeth Fisher, wife, born in 1799 died 1862 aged sixty three years.
Mary Woodyard (Fisher) their daughter died in 1849 aged twenty five years.
Charles Fisher died in 1852 aged twenty two years.
John Downs born in 1808 died 1887.
Charles, son of Joel Woolverton, died in 1818 aged twenty two years.
John H. Easterday born October 17, 1846 died March 24, 1885.
Abraham B. Pribble, June 21, 1832 (must mean born 1832) died when twenty two years old. He was a son of Henry Pribble and Cassandra Mount and a grandson of Thomas and Hannah Butcher Pribble.
Elizabeth Bartlett, born May 29, 1831 died May 22, 1890.
Hannah Rockenbaugh died December 23, 1883 aged eighty.
B.H. Hall, soldier monument and flag, no dates.
Nancy, wife, died in 1875 aged fifty five years.
Isaac Hoffman died in 1874 aged eighty years nine months. Mary, his wife, lies next.
The graveyard is on a narrow point by the side of the pike as one comes into town from the north. It is five or six rods wide and probably four to six times as long as the width, is unkept and grown over with golden rod and blackberry briers.
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