"History of First Settlers of Cow Run" by W.M. King

Written January 30, 1953 by William M. King

This is a history of the first settlers of Cow Run as I remember them.

I was born on Cow Run in 1865 so I may not think of all I should write. Cow Run got its name by a buffalo cow being killed near the mouth of the Run in early days. I will begin at the mouth of Cow Run and give the names and short history of the families that lived there in my young school days. If I should make mistakes there is no one to correct me. Cow Run is a branch of Mill Creek, flows into Mill Creek between Angerona and Cottageville. This is a beautiful valley.

I am giving a short history of seventeen families that I knew in my childhood days. I am also giving a history of the old log schoolhouse where a lot of young people went to school. It was abandoned in 1882, moved the school to a new house in the valley. I am giving some history of Cherry Grove Church when I was a child. I find some sadness in studying the ones of these families. I am doing this to have something to do in my old and lonesome days.

Uncle John King

The first family I will mention is Uncle John King and Aunt Julia Carter King, his wife. They had two children, Susan and Charles. In the late 1898's Susan A. King learned The Photography Profession. For a short time she had a room fixed up in her Father's home. Then later had a studio in Ripley. She was the only Photographer in Ripley. Later she went to her Father's home to take care of her Father and Mother. After the death of her parents, sometimes she would spend a winter with some of her relatives. She spent one winter with my wife and I. But later she stayed with her nephew and family on the home farm until she died, January 7, 1936, seventy-two years and eleven months, ten days old. She was buried on the farm by the side of her parents. Funeral service conducted by her cousin, Ben King. A wonderful daughter and friend has gone home.

Charles married Emandy Zirkle. They had three boys; Wade, Cecil, and Howard. The wife died in after years. Charley married Emma Doubty and left Cow Run. I can't mention all the places he lived but later he settled in Cheshire, Ohio. His and Emma's family was one boy and three girls. Later his wife was struck by a truck and killed instantly in Cheshire, Ohio. Charles died April, 1952, age eighty-six years. His children all living.

Joshua Wright

Joshua Wright and Isabel Wright, his wife. Their children: Lillie, Marget, Annie, Emma, Lizie, Thad, Charles and John. Lillie married Tod Pretty, they had one girl. Marget married Rev. Norman. Annie married Finley Sayre, they had six boys and one girl. Emma married Ruben Smith, they had one girl. After this child was born, they separated and Emma married a Mr. Palsey and went to Pittsburgh to live. Charles married Cary Palsey and lived on the Wright farm for some time.

The farm was sold and all the family left Cow Run and I have no history of them after they were gone. I want to say the Wright family were a good Christian family. Mr. Wright had a new top buggy -- they first one I ever saw.

Carter Family

The Carter Family -- I cannot tell anything about the old people, I never knew them. The children: John, James, Charles, George, William, Julia, Susan and Tom. John married Elizabeth Douglass, they had five boys and one girls. James married Annie Mariah Flowers, they had five boys and four girls. Tom married Florence Evans, they had five boys and one girl. Charles died young. George located at Reedy, West Virginia, and spent his life there, a good doctor. Susan married Charles Kay, they had one son. Parents and son all died young. William married Marget Greer, they had one girl. William died. Some time after he died his widow married Charles McCown.

James Blackburn

James Blackburn and wife. Their children: Angley, John and one daughter.

Angley married, lived in Mason County. John died young. The daughter, so I am told, married a man by the name of Thornton. She died, left a small child. The grandparents took the child and kept her until she was a young woman and married a man, John Furgate. The girls name was Rosa Thornton Furgate. They had two boys and five girls. Their boys were both killed. One was leading a cow with a rope. He tied the rope around his body and the cow ran with him down a rough hill, dragging him. When someone saw him and went to him he was dead. The other boy went after their cows one evening and was killed by lightning.

After Mr Blackburn died his wife went to live with the granddaughter, Mrs Frugate. After the old lady, Mrs. Blackburn got old and feeble they took her to her son Angley's in Mason County. His wife didn't want her in their home. Her husband put his hand on her shoulder and said "She is my mother and she is going in our home. " He took her in and took care of her until she died, like any good son would.

Jason Mullinnex

Jason Mullinnex and wife. Their children: Lesta, Cary, Julia, Lillie, Mary, Allie, Charles, Benjamin, Martha, Flora, James, John and William.

Lesta married Jacob Rhodes, they had one boy and four girls. Cary married Will Hyatt, they had two boys and five girls. Julia married Sam Sayre, they had one boy and one girl. Lillie married Alanzo Gilpen, they had four boys and two girls. Mary married Philip Yaugar. Martha married Cisiro Wheeler, they had one girl. Allie married John Anderson, they had two boys and three girls. Charles married Martha Wheeler. Benjamin married Grace Hamilton, they had three boys. Flora, James, John, and William never married.

The parents and some of the children have passed on.

George Sayre

George Sayre and Mary Jane Lewis, his wife. Their children: Ella, Tom, William, Myrtle, Harvey, E. Douglass, John, Mamie and Anna.

Tom and William was drowned in Cow Run May 6, 1882, was buried at Otterbein the 7th of May -- both in one coffin. The first grave in the grave yard across the road opposite the Church. Ella married William Beckwith, they had two boys and two girls. Harvey married Arkey Dulin, they had one boy and two girls. E. Douglass married Minerva Barr, they had three boys and three girls. John married Emma Barr, they had one boy. Annie married Oak Crum, they had thirteen boys and one girl. Mamie married Thornt Lloyd, they had six boys and five girls. Myrtle married William Henry Sayre, they had two boys and one girl. In my young days this was a happy family of young people.

After Harvey and Arkey was married they lived one year at Angerona, then moved to a new home near Hard Scrapple Church on the left fork of Cow Run. They lived there thirteen years then built a home on his Father's farm near the old Bennett home, lived there until the wife died. After some time Harvey married Fannie Paugh and lived at the old home some time and then moved to Ripley.

E. Douglass and wife lived in Indiana, raised their family and he died there.

After John's wife, Emma, died in a few years, he married Ella Cosarnt of Charleston and went to his home on his Father's farm. They had one girl and one boy. John died several years ago.

After Mr. George Sayre got old, he gave the farm to his boys and he and Francis Minton, his second wife since his first wife had died, moved to Cottageville and lived there until he died at the ripe old age of ninety-nine years and ten days old.

After Myrtle's husband died, she sold the farm she and her husband lived on and bought the Blackburn farm joining her Father's farm and lived there until she died. Her son, Thomas, still owns the farm.

Bennett Family

The Bennett family. I can't remember Mr. Bennett but I have been told he was a good man. A good neighbor. He never was too busy with his team but he would let a neighbor have a horse to go to mill and was known to not charge anyone for the use of a horse. At this time there was a North American Land Company that claimed a large track of land in this country. They went to Mr. Bennett, offered him some money to tell them where the corner of this land was. He was plowing with a yoke of oxen. He turned his whip on them and told them what he would do if they didn't leave him. So they left. That night he got help and destroyed the corner.

Their children: Ervin, Jacob, Harper, Ben, Charley, William, Emrietta, and Elizabeth.

The most of this family married and moved to other parts of the country. So I will give some of these that lived near. Ervin (Dock) married Marget Dunlap, they had two girls and three boys. William married Becca Sands, no family. Emrietta married Mason Casto, they had four boys and five girls. Elizabeth married James Parsons, they had four boys and five girls.

Dock Brown and Martin Crum

Dock Brown and Carie Lasher, his wife. Mr. Brown and his wife lived there until they had three small boys. Then sold his farm to Martin Crum.

Martin Crum moved there in 1880 with his wife and family of two boys and two girls. Emma, the oldest girl, never married. She lived with her parents until her Father died. Then she lived with her Mother until she died. Then she lived with her brother until she died. I have no dates. Oak Crum married Anna Sayre (history with the Sayre family.) The other boy died young. Sallie Crum married W.M. King (history with the Kings.)

The families on these pages their children went to school at Brown Schoolhouse. The road that went through these farms and crossed Mill Creek at the old Carter ford. That was used by many people when they used horses and buggies, is now not used any. The people now have cars and go to the bridges to cross Mill Creek.


George Shinn

This is the first family that patronized the Old Log Schoolhouse, Antioch. George Shinn and Nancy Smith, his wife. Their children: Tom, Charles, Hode, Jettie, Dan, Emma, Flora, and Mamie.

Tom never married. Charles married Berta Park, they had two boys. Hode married Nancy Sayre, they had six boys and five girls. Jettie married a man at Ravenswood, no history. Dan married Joseph Hall, they had one boy and one girl. Emma married Sam Womar, they had two girls. Flora never married. Mamie married Ervin Dust, they had two girls.

Dan and Joseph Hall, her husband, died very young leaving two small children. Mrs. Shinn, their Grandmother, took the little ones and cared for them until they were grown. Mrs. Shinn was a grand old lady.

Thomas Hartley

Mr. Thomas Hartley and Lydda Emery, his wife. Their children: Christopher, Willie, Stephen, Henry, Thomas, Ellen and Nancy Jane.

Christopher marred Suda Howl, they had three boys and two girls. William married Kathrine Emery, they had one boy. Stephen married Victoria King, they had six boys and two girls. Henry married Laura Finamore, they had one boy and five girls. Tom married Victoria Holbert, they had four boys and three girls. Ellen married Abijah Sayre (history with Sayre). Nancy Jane married Sanfort Cooper, they had two boys.

Christopher Hartley and wife took their family to Missouri when their children were small.

Willie and his wife located in Missouri and lived there until they died.

Henry, his only son John, and Josephine Sayre his wife lived in the old home until the lightning burned it. He then built a smaller house. After he and his wife lived there they sold that part of the farm and bought the farm Stephen Hartley bought of his Father when he was married. John is the only one now living on Cow Run of Mr. Thomas Hartley's descendents.

I always thought Mr. Tom Hartley was a good man. He bought the first mowing machine I ever saw. he bought it of High Douglass in 1873. It mowed a swath three feet wide.

Stephen Hartley bought the farm of his Father, known as the Harpole farm. He married Victoria King and lived on this farm and raised a family of children. All lived to be grown but one small boy who died when he was four years old. All married but one son. Stephen's wife died. His wife's sister, a widow, stayed with him and son for some time. Until she had a stroke and never was able to keep house for them after that. His wife and wife's sister Lillie was my sisters. When the family quit keeping house Lillie and the son Ted went to make their home with Charles Hartley, Stephen's oldest son. Stephen went to live with his son Hoyt.

While they lived on their farm, they built a fine new house. My sister Lillie lived severn years with Charles. She spent five sumers with me and my wife. While at my home, she fell and broke her hip, 1947. She got so she could walk with the help of a walker. She died in 1951.

Jobe Lewellyn Hunt

Jobe Lewellyn hunt (Nick) and Sallie Barnett, his wife. Their children: John, Fisher, William, Benjamin, Frank, Mary, Lyda, and Nancy Bell.

John married Ida Slack, they had three girls and one boy. Fisher married Verna Hunt, they had two girls and three boys. W.R. (called "Short") married Roda Moore, they had two girls and six boys. Ben married Hannah Flowers, they had two girls and ten boys. Frank married Bertha Newel, they had four girls and four boys. Mary married William Shephard, they had four girls and four boys, Lyda married Robert Barnett, they had three girls and two boys. Nancy Bell married Adam Starcher, they had three girls and three boys.

In my childhood days there was a bunch of young people at this home. The old home is not usable. The family is all gone. The farm is now owned by two grandsons. Either and wife live onm the part Fisher bought of his Father, they had two girls and three boys. Lawrece and his wife own the old home. They live in Cottageville, have two boys and one girl.

William Harpole

William Harpole and wife. Their children: Malinda, Mary, James, Martha, John, Minerva, Sarah, Wallie, Sollie, Rosa, Charles and Rena.

Malinda married John Stern, they had three boys and seven girls. Mary married Michael Glaspie, they had two boys and one girl. James married Laura Park, they had one boy and five girls. Martha married Jasper Greer, they had four boys and five girls. John married Mary Landfried, they had five boys and two girls. Minerva married Relius Pinnell, they had one girl. Sarah died when an infant. Wallie married Flora Miller, they had one boy and three girls. Sollie died when an infant. Rosa married Daniel Park, they had one boy and four girls. Charles married Elina Willcoxin, they had three boys. Rena married Elmer Hughs, they had one boy. After Mr. Hughs died, Rena married Richard Eaton.

In the late 1870's, William Harpold sold their farm to Mr. Hartley and left Cow Run.

Frances King

Frances King and Ruth Baremore, his wife. Their children: Elizabeth, Samuel, Miller, Eliza Jane, Victoria, William, George, Lillie, and Jonathen Floyd.

Frances King and Ruth Baremore was married August 12, 1852. Frances King died in 1918. In his ninetieth year his wife died.

Elizabeth never married. Samuel married Hannah Finamore, they had three boys and six girls. Miller married Lillie Vancycle, they had three boys and five girls. Eliza Jane married Oscar Sayre, they had three boys and five girls. Victoria married Stephen Hartley, they had six boys and two girls. William married Sallie Crum, they had one boy and one girl. Lillie married Alonso Stewart, no children. George never married, died young. Jonathen F, died at seven months. After Samuel W.'s wife Hannah died he married Dianna Smith Fanimore, no family.

William M. (that is my name) and Sallie Crum was married August 22, 1886. In 1911 she died. Me and my two children moved to Cottageville, I leased a store for two years. When the two years was up, we moved to our home in 1913. January 4, 1914, I married Nellie Sayre. On March 25, 1916, our only child was born, a son. He lived and grew to be a nice large boy. In June, 1927, he developed a case of Polio and only lived a few days. Nellie lived until June 21, 1951. I found her on the floor upstairs where she was doing some work, she was dead. After Nellie died I sold the farm to Russell Sayre Nellie's brother.

My daughter, Nell, never married. She is a graduate nurse. She stayed with me on the farm a while after Nellie died, but the work was too hard for her and I was not able to do any work. Nell has worked and lived in the city since 1914. She has always been good about coming home when any was sick. She came to me two different times when I was in the hospital in critical condition. Stayed with me until I was able to come home. Harry, my only son living, is a minister now. He has Wheeling District of the Methodist Church -- doing fine. I am very proud of my children!

Ephraim Sayre

Mr. Ephraim Sayre and Masilla Hunt, his wife. Their children: Abijah, Peter, Ben, Mary, Kajiah [should be Keziah] and Nancy Bell.

Abijah married Ellen Hartley, they had three boys and four girls. Peter married Sallie Furgate, they had four boys and three girls. Ben married Florence Roseberry, they had three boys and one girl. Kajiah married Elonoza Stewart, they had five boys and two girls. Nancy Bell married B. Raridon, they had one boy and five girls. Mary married B.F. Sayre, they had four boys and three girls.

Nancy Bell lived in the old home on the part she received for her share of her Father's home until her family was grown. She sold that and left Cow Run. Tom Sayre, a grandson of Ephraim Sayre, married Florence Sayre and owns the old farm and lives on the farm. Their children, three boys and one girl.

More grandchildren of Ephraim Sayre went to school at Antioch than any other family that lived in Antioch School District. Some of them went to school in the Old Log Schoolhouse.

Jacob Baier

Jacob Baier and wife. Their children: Marget, Mary, Emma, George, John, Lewis, Floyd, Joe, Jacob, Christopher, and Levi.

Christopher married Mary Rhidenhour, they had three boys and three girls. Mary married Dan Howel. Emma married Gus Kencil. Levi, the only one that lived on the home farm, his wife was Lizzie Stewart. Their children: four boys and two girls. Marget never married, lived on the old farm until she died.

I would like to say more about this nice family but most of the family married and lived in other parts of the country. I know nothing about their families.

William Lewis

William Lewis and Dianna Flowers, his wife. Their children: Marget, Mary Jane, Nancy, Virginia, Liza, Tish and Reed the only son I knew.

Marget married Joseph Dunlap, they had three boys and three girls. Mary Jane married George Sayre (history with Sayre). Liza married James Barnett. Nancy married L.F. Sayre, they had six boys and one girl. Tish married Si McKenley, they had one boy and two girls. Virginia married James Wheeler, no family.

This family have all passed on. This happened on the Lewis farm before I was born. My Father was there. He told me. There was a log rolling. The crowd of men divided the men and divided the land where the logs were on. The men were working hard to see who could get done first. One bunch of men took a log from above an old snag. It fell and caught a man, Alph Flowers, and killed him. He was a brother of Mrs. Lewis. This farm joined my Father's farm.

Kier Rider

Kier Rider and his wife. Their children: George, Julius, Della and Carnelius.

Carnelius married Elisha Cossin. George married Anna Kerwood. Della married Tom Stone, they had one girl. George took his wife and family and his brother Julius when his children was small, some children was born after they left here, and they moved to Calhoun County.

Dellie is the only one i knew after they left Cow Run.


These are not of the first settlers but moved into Antioch District later.

William Sommers and family. Their children: Henry, John, Charles, William, Dr Frank, George, Simeon, Tressa, Louise and Mary.

Henry married a Miss Thornton. John married Anna Bell Wheeler, they had four boys and four girls. Tressa Married James Wheeler, they had one girl. Louise married William Crow, they had one girl. Mary married Maxie Brownell, they had one boy and one girl. Frank married Cora Woodall, they had two boys and one girl. Simeon never married. William never married. Charley and George went west when they were young men.

James Kerwood

James Kerwood and Sarah King, his wife. Their children: Elizah, Holly, Early and Myrtle.

Early was the only one that I knew much about. He married Maggie Thomas and stayed on the home farm after his parents died. They had one girl and three boys. After Early died, the family left the farm. Just of late years Raymond, one of Early's sons, and his wife have moved to the farm. His wife was Loraine Baker. They have one son.

Mr. Kerwood had one girl and two boys, his first wife's children, that went to school at old Antioch.

Ishmal Evans

Ishmal Evans and wife. Their children, I will just mention the ones I knew: James, William, Mandy, Rosa, Etta and Allie.

William married Liza LLoyd, they had three boys. Mandy married Henry Hunt, they had one boy and two girls. Rosa married Elias Staats, they had one boy and three girls. Etta married Ben Thomas, they had two girls.

Jasper Sayre

Jasper Sayre and wife. Their children: Samuel, John, Virgil, Hugh, Roy and Marget.

Samuel married Julia Mullinex, they had one boy and one girl. John married May Wilcoxin, they had one girl. Hugh married Lillie Shinn, they had six boys and five girls. Virgil married Maggy Fox. Marget married Wallis Barnett.

Earnest Kemney

Earnest Kemney and wife. Their children: two boys and two girls. Their children attended Antioch old log schoolhouse. The parents died and the young people left Cow Run. I have no history of them.

Michael Glaspie

Michael Glaspie and wife, Mary Harpole. Their family: two boys and one girl.


I want to tell something about cooking stoves. I remember about the first cooking stove my mother had was what was called a stepstove. The front was about six inches lower than the back part. It had a hearth in front. This stove was discontinued in 1872.

When we moved out of the log house into the new frame house that Johnathan King built for us, a new stove was bought for us called Indianola No. 8. That was the best stove sold in those days. It had a level top. The kitchen utensils were an iron pot, iron teakittle (very heavy), skillet griddle and a small baking pan.

In those days there was plenty of wild game, especially squirrels and pheasants. If a corn field was near the woods squirrels would feed on the corn. Father would take his rifle and would go hunting every morning and bring in several squirrels. They would be cleaned nice and put in the iron pot with a piece of pork. We would have a fine supper cooked in the iron pot.

Our lights were all tallow candles. The first lantern my father had used a tallow candle. Mrs. Lydia Hartley had the only candle moulds in our neighborhood. Mother would send me to borrow these moulds to make a supply of candles. It made six at a time. Sometimes we would get out before we made a supply then we would use pine knots in the fireplace for our light. I do not remember just when the oil lights came in.

Many people did not have cellars. So you would see mounds in their gardens where they would bury potatoes, apples, cabbage and turnips. A hole was made into the mound near the top of the ground so one could get any of these vegetables or fruit as needed. Straw was packed into the hole and then covered with boards. Every farmer would put up a barrel of sorghum, one of pickle beans, one of kraut, one of pickle meat, a keg of pickles. These were kept in the Smokehouse. Plenty of hogs were butchered. One sausage mill in the neighborhood at Mr. Tom Hartleys, everyone borrowed it. Plenty of dried apples, peaches, pumpkin, beans, and corn. Very little canning and the little bit was done in stone jars with tin lids and sealing wax. Most of the farmers had sugar maple orchards and made plenty of syrup and sugar. The trees were tapped in the spring by boring a hole into the tree and placing a spile into the hole. A bucket was placed to catch the sap which was boiled in large iron kettles to syrup and more boiling for sugar.

The beds were mostly homemade and very strong, high posts and heavy side with wood pins to lace the cord or small rope across which made the bottom of the bed. These beds were high off the floor so a trundle bed could be used for the children. The trundle bed was pulled out at night and pushed under the big bed during the day. These little beds were nicely made and painted red. On these beds were used straw ticks. A tick was made and filled with straw. Every thrashing time the ticks were washed and refilled with new straw. We also raised duck and geese which furnished feathers for a feather tick which was used on top of the straw tick. This was our feather bed. I well remember sleeping on the old trundle bed. Theses beds were in the big living room by the fire. A big log fireplace was our way of heating -- using back logs.

Now I'll tell you something about the way of making bread. Well do I remember my mother's oven. It was a round iron oven about fifteen inches in diameter, about four inches deep, on legs some three inches high, with an iron lid with a rim. The oven was placed on a bed of live coals in the fireplace or hearth then the bread was put in after the oven got hot, the lid put on and live coals put on top of the lid and around the oven to keep it hot to bake the bread. All kinds of bread, pies, or cake was baked in this oven.

People used a lot of mush which was made of corn meal in a big iron pot on the hearth. Get the water boiling, stir in a small amount of meal at a time, and beat it with a paddle, keep repeating this till it was as thick as one wanted it, then let it cook till it was ready to eat. We ate this mush with milk in a bowl made a good supper.

In these days the farmer lived mostly on what he raised. People made lots of apple butter, peach butter and blackberry jam -- put it in stone jars. These sweets were made with sorghum in large kettles. People bought their coffee green grains in one-hundred-pound bags and roasted it themselves. Then ground it in the old fashioned coffee mill against the wall. A small amount of sugar was bought.

The tin can came in about 1900. Used to can tomatoes and peaches.

The wheat was taken to the mill and flour was ground on the stone burrs. The stores didn't sell flour till about 1910. Mills made and sold all flour.

There was a corn mill located about one-half mile from my father's home on Cow Run. Yes, it was a very industrious mill, as soon as it ground one grain, it jumped on another. It was owned by Elisha King. This was run by water and if he had plenty of water he could grind ten bushels of shelled corn a day. I have taken a sack of corn up (on horseback) and leave it till he could grind it and go back and get my meal. He made good meal, If you took a sack full of shelled corn, he would take his toll and he could not get the rest of the meal in one sack. Sometimes people would say, give me my sack full and you keep the balance. People used lots of corn bread in winter. Also used Buckwheat cakes for breakfast. This old man died and the mill was no more. The dam would wash out every flood and Lash rebuilt it back.

These are some of the farm tools we used: the turn plow, single shovel plow, a harrow with teeth, a mattock, sickle, and grain cradle. Wheat was cut with sickle or cradle. I have sowed wheat on corn ground and shoveled it in with the single shovel plow. When it was sowed on plowed ground, it was harrowed in. The grass was cut with a cythe and raked up into piles by hand. Wheat was taken up by hand rakes and bound in sheaves with the wheat straw.

When I was a small boy, not large enough to work, Daddy would take me to the barn to see the old horse-power thrashing machine thrash the wheat. I well remember seeing Nick Hunt go on the horse-power. He would beging waving his whip saying to the leading team (four teams were used) Kate, Doll, he would repeat to them and when they would start he would begin to use his whip till the other six horses were pulling too. Soon the machine was ready to thrash. Nich Hunt, his brother Ben, and Pete Sayre went with the machine. When the machine was ready to thrash there was always enough men to thrash and they didn't count the hours. I had fun watching this machine.

As I grew up it was not very long till famers began to get some more modern tools. First was a mowing machine which was bought and used by Mr. Thomas Hartley. This was The Buckeye. It cut a swath three feet wide. It was not long till most of the farmers had mowing marchines or horse rakes of different kind. My father had a Champion mowing machine. We used a rake we made. We had to stop at every windrow and pick the rake up and move it over the windrow. Later we got a sulky rake.

Then came the double shovel plow to cultivate the corn and sometimes plowed the wheat in. The first machine to cut wheat was called the dropper. It dropped the sheave of wheat not bound so it took several men to bind them. The old cradle was used on rough ground. Then came the binder which is still in use. The disc harrow was another improvement. The first disc harrows were very hard on a team. I have lived to see wheat cut with sickle to Combine.

The homespun cloth was now moving out. Garments were made of cottonade jeans, calico, and some waterproof material which made good warm garments for winter. However, the wool was taken to the woolen mill and carded in rolls. They would spin these rolls and make yarn to knit the stockings for the boys and girls and socks for the men for winter. My mother knit wool socks for me as long as I stayed at home. Mens pants were made of cottonade and jeans for winter. Girls wore calico in summer and something heavier in winter. Most of the cloth used in winter was called waterproof.

Now for the shoes. The shoes were made by a shoemaker. The parents took the children to the shoe shop in the late summer. The shoemaker, Mr. Dunlap, measured our feet and made the shoes for winter. Very heavy leather was used. (no overshoes). Then I remember at fathers all the children had to clean their shoes on Saturday night. One child greased all the shoes, taking turns as it came their time to grease the shoes, to wear Sunday to Church. The shoe grease was made of tallow, lamb black, and fish oil all melted together in an old black skillet. Now it's ready for use. Father always fixed the grease. The shoe strings were cut from tanned ground hog hides.

I want to say (I might be wrong) that people seemed to live together as neighbors more agreeable than they do now. I feel we have a lot of good folk today. I don't want people who read this to think I would like to see this country as it was in the 1870's when I was a boy -- no! no! no! I've been here a long time, eighty-seven years, have had a lot of business dealing with my fellowmen.

In the early history of this country people had very little money, they didn't need it. No place to spend it. I well remember the first twenty-five-cent piece I ever had. Father sold sheep to Mr. Hugh Hamilton who lived in the Flat Wood neighborhood. Mr. Hamilton asked Father if this boy (meaning me) could help him take the sheep across the Cottageville bridge. Daddy replied yes. I didn't think of getting any money and when Mr. Hamilton gave me twenty-five cents I walked as fast and ran part of the time to get home to show my money. It was five miles to Cottageville. So I walked ten mile. I knew one young man who got married, he said he didn't know how people got so much to keep house with. He had spent $7.00 already and didn't have much.

Very few people had a timepiece. Just had marks that they could tell time by the sun. When the sun didn't shine they didn't know what time it was. My father went to Uncle Jim Kerwoods one evening (no timepiece there)/ At 2:00 A.M. mother waked us older children and said father isn't home yet. This was a very cold, rough night (blizzardy). Lots of snow. So us children got dressed and went to hunt father. We didn't find him till we got to Uncle Jim's home and here was a group of men having a good time, not knowing what time it was. They sure were surprised and started home immediately.

Mr. Thomas Hartley bought the first barbed wire that came to our neighborhood.

Fifty years ago I was keeping store in a small village called Angeronia. I can hardly believe the changes in the store business. We sold a lot of shoes and kept a good stock of shoes and we didn't have any low shoes of any kind in the store. I doubt if we had a shoe that would be called a saleable shoe today. I was in a store not long ago and the clerk told me they didn't have any shoes but low shoes. The dry goods were so different. We sold more piece goods than any other dry goods.

In my childhood days this country was mostly in woods and lots of timber. I can remember when David Sayre owned a large track of timber land. He bought a saw mill and began to saw his timber. He hired men to cut the timber and he had several yoke of cattle and four or five team of horses and mules. He had enough men working for him to do the logging and Mr. Joe Wheeler did the sawing. They cut the pine and poplar timber. The pine was mostly sawed in one and one-fourth inch boards for flooring. The poplar was in weather boarding.

At this time there was not much oak timber used, not worth sawing. Many of the farmers in cleaning their land burned a lot of good oak timber. They needed the land to raise something for them and their families to live on. In later years they began to saw some railroad ties and to use some oak lumber.

The price of pine lumber was $12.00 per thousand feet. The poplar lumber about the same. I have bought oak lumber for $4.00 per thousand feet.

A lot of farmers burned more good lumber than their farms are worth now.

Some oak timber has been used to make rails to build fences. All the fence we had then was rail fence. Everyone's livestalk run out in the woods. We had to make our fence tight enough to keep small pigs our of the fields so we made and used small rails at the bottom so as to make the holes small. This took a lot of hand work but we did it.

About all of the earliest settlers that lived in log houses built good homes while timber was cheap. The work in building these homes was all done by hand. Planing and matching lumber was done by hand planes.


This Schoolhouse was built soon after the Free School System was established. Ephrum Sayre cut and hewed the logs and put the building up in 1861, completed for $100.00. This building was located against the hill to the right of Cow Run on a small branch known as Grass Run, about three mile from the mouth of Cow Run on the farm of Ephrum Sayre in Union District, Jackson County, West Virginia

The upper side was on the ground. The lower side was three and one-half feet off the ground, no underpining. The door was at the upper corner at the end so we children could walk out of the mud and step in the door (no porch). Inside there was a plank around the wall except where the door and a small blackboard were located. There were holes bored in the logs and pins put in long enough to lay the plank on. This was the larger childrens seat. The desk was one row in front of this plank around the room with room to walk between and a seat on the front of the desk for the little people. They had no desk. A large heating stove which burned wood was in the center of the room.

Yes, there were knot holes in the floor close to the stove where we would poke bones or anything we didn't want to eat from our lunch buckets.

The families that lived here when this schoolhouse was built were: George Shinn, Thomas Hartley, Job Lewellyn Hunt (Nick Hunt), William Harpole, Frances King, Ephrum Sayre, Jacob Baier, William Lewis, Kier Rider. These families moved into the district later: William Sommers, James Kerwood, Jasper Sayre, Ishmal Evans, Earnest Kemeny, Michael Gillaspie. The children of these families went to school when I went. I want to say when I went to school we had forty or more scholars.

We had different games we played according to the weather. When we had snow we played Fox and Geese and would slide down the hill on sleds or plank. I remember we had a long plank and we larger boys would take turns riding in front. We had a track worn slick and a stake at the bottom that the plank would hit and off we went in a pile. Lot of fun and no one was ever hurt. We also played Blackman. Base and Ball when the ground was not too wet. We went to the woods to play when the playground was wet.

There were eight of us large boys almost the same age. Henry Hartley, John Baier, Elic Hall, Will Evans, Ben Sayre, W.R. Hunt, Bill Sommers and myself. (I am the only one living.) We would choose sides and choose the younger boys to play with us.

I want to tell you about one of the boys telling me one day his sweetheart had gone back on him. And said he had spent forty-five cents for a ring and he never would spend that much for another girl.

When we played Base and Blackman the girls played with us and we had wonderful games. I sometimes wonder if the children of today enjoy each other as much as we did in 1870.

The boys had to carry the drinking water from a spring some distance from the schoolhouse. If the water was brought in during school hours the teacher would ask someone to pass the water so all could have a drink. Everyone used the same tin.

I well remember my first teacher was Annie Taylor from Ravenswood, West Virginia. She was a fine teacher. She opened school every day by reading the Bible. She read the first verse then the children read a verse from their Testament. After the Chapter was read we all stood while she prayed. The last day of school she wore her bonnet all day so the children couldn't see her cry. There are not many living who heard her pray. As far as I remember there was not a whip in the schoolhouse that year. The custom those days was to see a hickory withe or two over the blackboard to be used as was needed. This was the only teacher I ever went to that opened school with a prayer every day. I often think if all teachers would have opened school with prayer instead of trying to rule with a hickory withe our country might have been in better shaper today spiritually.

I want to mention the books we used in the old log Antioch Schoolhouse. Spelling, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and Geography; McGuffeys Speller and Reader from first reader on to sixth; Rays Arithmetic; Michels Geography. In our every day school the last classes in the evening was spelling classes. The one that was head of their class in the evening, the teacher would give a headmark. At the end of the school term the teacher would give a prize for the one that had the most headmarks.

Every Friday after recess in the afternoon we chose sides and had a spelling match. Used the old McGuffeys Speller. And occasionally we had a spelling match on Friday night for the whole neighborhood. I remember one very cold day my brother Sam said to Miller the younger brother, we want to take the ox tongue out of the sled and put the horse tongue in to go to Antioch Schoolhouse to the spelling match tonight. Miller said it was too cold, we will just take the oxen Tom and Jerry they will take us doen there alright. It was about one and on-fourth mile. So the oxen were yoked up to the sled and we started taking everyone that was going along the way. By the time we got here we had a sled load of Happy Children singing and rejoicing over such a grand sleigh ride. When we got there the oxen were unhitched from the sled and tied to the fence. At recess nearly all the houseful of people went out to see our oxen and sled.

We had some good Exhibitions which new would be called Entertainments. One time Thomas Hartley dressed as a coloredman gave a colordedman's sermon. I remember a number of selections I used to say at these Exhibitions - particularly "The Backwoodsman."

Then the last day of school all parents were invited to come to spend the day. We had a big picnic dinner, a program put on by the children which most every child had a recitation to recite - a very sociable affair. The Spelling Maatches, Exhibitions, and Last Day of School made up the sociable part of our school year. I just want to say the oldest girl of the family would carry the dinner basket. I sometimes imagine I can see the girls coming with the baskets of dinner. Emma Baier had the largest basket. She was a large German girl and had several brothers going to school. Nancy Belle Sayre had a small basket with only a few to feed. I would like to mention the names of all the girls but these two were the only girls in these family.

No difference how bad the weather we always knew we would have one girl there. That girl was Mary Sommers. She never missed on account of weather. In later years Mary was a schoolteacher. I knew eight pupils who went to school in the old log Schoolhouse who were teachers - Mary Sommers, Vick King, Nancy B. Sayre, George King, Sam King, Will Evans, Amanda Evans, Miller King.

Those pupils living today, January 6, 1953, are Stephen Hartley, 96; W.M. King, 87 (myself); George Sommers, 87; Simon Sommers, 79; Frank Sommers, 77; Chris Baier, 84; Joseph Baier, 80; and Della Rider Stone, 85.

The first teacher at this school was Ella Wilton. Later these teachers taught here: Anna Taylor, Josie Taylor, John Swales, Frank Sayre, George Carter, Sam King, Anna Taylor, Tish Lewis, John Davis, Victoria King, 1882.

Here's a funny little incident that happened when my brother Sam was teaching. We had Copy Books in those days. Sam wrote the line in Allie Evans book, "Art is long and time is fleeting." There was a girl in school whose name was Artie. Allie didn't like her and didn't want her name in her book so she changed it and wrote, "Sam is long and time is fleeting." Sam laughed when seeing the change and understood.

My sister, Victoria King, taught the last school in this log school in 1882. I was not going this year but Frank Sommers who was one of the students that year tells me they were not privileged the finish the school year in the old log house but were moved to the new schoolhouse down in the valley. All the students were much impressed by having toilets. At the old log schoolhouse they used the woods and brush for a screen.

Last year, 1952, there was one student in that school district. The Board of Education sold the Antioch Schoolhouse 1852.


This Church was the first building built for a church in this country and the only one built for church and subscription school I ever heard of.

Until this building was built the church before had their services at people's homes as I have been told years ago.

The Cherry Grove Church was built at an early date. From information I can get it was in the 1850ties. The lot was given by Jobe Hughes. The Church was located on Cow Run about four mile from its mouth, in Jackson County, Union District, West Virginia. It was used for Church and Subscription School until the Antioch Schoolhouse was built in 1861. It was built of hewed logs. Two windows on one side and part of a log cut out on the other side and greased paper put over the open place to make more light. The pulpit was a frame made of rough lumber large enough to hold one candle and a Bible. The seats on each side of the pulpit was made lengthwise of the house one length of lumber twelve feet long. These seats were rough plank laid on trussels made of logs split in two, round side down with legs on under side. This was the Amen Corner. I can remember my little body got awful tired as my feet would not touch the floor.

The seats in the back of the building were cross wise made same as the front seats. This lumber was whipped sawed.

There were pins put in the logs to hold a plank for a desk so the children could learn to write on the window side. Candles were used for lighting this Church.

I can remember when this Church belonged to what was called the Mason Mission. The ministers came from near Point Pleasant. The first preacher I remember was Rev. Rue. He always lined the hymns two lines at a time. So well do I remember him, singing the song "Let the Lower Lights be Burning." Then told of the writer and about his hymn. The next minister was Rev. Verdin. Who was a very large man. When father introduced him to Henry Greathouse he said, "Greathouse and he isn't as large as I am." When asked how large he was around the waist he replied, "I am fifty-nine inches around the middle, I have no waist."

When this Church was too old to be used, the people of this neighborhood went to Antioch Schoolhouse and the Brown Schoolshouse to worship. The Antioch Schoolhouse and the Brown Schoolhouse was used for worship till 1883 when the Antioch Church was built between these two schoolhouses which housed both congregations. Father wanted a new church built as Cherry Grove. A committee was appointed and gave Tom Hartley the contract of building the new Church for $400.00. It was completed and dedicated as a M.E. Church South in 1894.

Cherry Grove got its name by built in a wild Cherry Grove. This Church served that neighborhood until the fall of 1913 when one Sunday a trash fire was built in the stove and the shinle roof caught fire and the building burned to the ground. That was the end of the Cherry Gove Church. However, the Cemetery is still being used.


The great spirit of the backwoodsman
Has been felt in our country's history.
I must speak warmly of the backwoodsman
I cannot do otherwise.
Their strong arm has shielded my boyhood
And my mind is full of their border tales.
Yet they are falling like autumn leaves.
The place that now know them
Will shortly know them no more
And that forever.
Already the sound of the settlers ax
And the hunters rifle is growing fainter in the forest.
Gone are the rangers of the wood
With their bright eyes and inexpressible spirits.
Those Indians, those down trodden children of nature
Are pressing with their flying feet
The leaves of a still more distant wilderness.
The railroad track has destroyed the Indian trail
And the iron horse awakens new echoes in the forest.
Ah, little thought Boone and a few straggling hunters
As they passed toward the setting sun
And hid themselves in the reeds fringing the great rivers of the west
That they were the van of a mighty empire.
Little did they dream
That before grass would be green on their graves
That mighty cities would spring up where the wolf howled;
Yet they have seen, we have seen
It is more like magic or the dream of some Fairy Tale
Than like reality.
Yet the mighty stream of emigration pours westward.
This day it pours the wild torrid of living breathing humanity
Upon the far off shore of the peaceful Pacific Ocean
True it is now, as in days of old,
Westward the course of empire takes its way.

USGenWeb logo

Return to Jackson County WVGenWeb homepage

Les Shockey and Betty Briggs, Co-Coordinators of the Jackson County WVGenWeb page.

Contact us

      WVGenWeb logo