Rader Cemetery

Transcription from "Some Early City, Village and Country Burying Grounds" by John A. House

The Rader Graveyard

The trees are white with dust, that o'er their sleep
Wave their broad curtains in the south winds breath, (Longfellow)

On the sixteenth of September 1904, I made an excursion down Mill Creek and across Salt Hill, for the purpose of collecting material for a projected history of the early days of Jackson County, below the mouth of Joe's Run (which, by the way, was named after one Joe Parsons, a squatter, and father of William Parsons, an eccentric individual who, for obvious reasons bore the some what inelegant name of "Devil Bill".) I met with Mr. Parish, who took a great pleasure in giving me what he had heard of the old history and traditions, mostly the latter, of that neighborhood. Among other things, he told of a pair of old hand mill buhrs to be seen at Tom Raders, and I rode nearly a half mile out of my way to see these. The one I saw was twenty-two inches in diameter and four inches thick and while not a part of a hand mill, nor yet the price of a farm, as the pleasant fiction ran in the tradition, it was a relic of interest having belonged to a horse mill, the first in this section and with it, corn meal had been manufactured, which entered into the composition of Johnny cake and corn dodgers, that were eaten with bear meat and venison, eighty-five or ninety years ago. Now it was reduced to the base use of a door step.

Mrs. Tom Rader was quite a pleasant woman and told me all she knew of the days gone by, and when she found I was aiming for the Rader graveyard at Elk Fork, told of a route across the hill, which not only saved me some two miles travel, but was interesting to trace through the woods and pasture fields, it having been the thoroughfare from one neighborhood to the other in the old pack saddle days, upwards of eighty-file years ago. It led to the top of the hill out the divide a short distance and down a long point down the hillside into a small run and thence to the Creek.

The graveyard was on a little point between two small hollows and sloped sharply to the south. The older graves were at the lower side, the cemetery, which was a private one, having been extended up the hill. It was four by nine rods, fenced with sawed locust posts, three barbed wires and plank at top. It stood out in a field of fifty or one hundred acres which was well sodded with blue grass.

There were many noble trees dotting the hillside around the graveyard, which was small enough to be well shaded by the trees on the outside. At the lower side, the myrtle carpets the ground a foot thick, and in places, thick patches of blood drops have taken complete possession of the ground.

These were the growth of sixty or seventy-five years and had first been planted by loving hands on the grave of some dear one. Now, they still flourish though the graves are, mayhap, no longer traceable; and the mourners and their lost ones are, let us hope, long since reunited, never to be parted again.

Hidden under the blood-drops, which, I must say are a nuisance wherever they are found, save only for the interest which attaches to it as one of the rude flowers with which our grandmothers sought to adorn the yards around thir lowly cabin homes. I found, hiding, a timid little land tortoise or turtle, which has, perhaps made its home here among the graves for several years.

Although the ground is pretty steep for a graveyard, the graves are straight with the hill, and each one in the row is a little higher than its neighbor, as you climb the slope.

The place is probably nearly all occupied, though many of the graves have no markers and probably many are not discernable.

Here are the graves of the Rader family, the original proprietors of vast tracts of land in this vicinity, of their connection and bond-servants, for the Rader family were slave owners in the "good old days"; and of the Smith family, who succeeded to the farm.

There are several imposing monuments, many old fashioned marble headstones, many headstones of flagstone, marked with names and initials, and perhaps as many more without name or date.

Following, I give the names of all whose names are preserved. Among the unknown graves is that of Michael Rader, a Pennsylvania German, who was born in the Shenandoah Valley, March 8, 1751, married to Catherine Long, December 25, 1769. Moved from Greenbrier to Mason County, and to Elk Fork about 1808 or 1809. Catherine Long Rader, date of birth and death unknown.

Macklin Walker was a native of Kanawha County, date of birth unknown. He married Maria, daughter of Joseph Rader, about 1832. He died, where Luke Parsons now lives, in 1844. The house stood nearly where Parsons' barn now stands.

The northeast corner contains the newer graves.

Of the Smith family, there are George W. Smith, who was born August 14, 1814, and died February 19, 1860, at the age of forty-five years and six months. Ann Smith, who was born Ocotber 6, 1810, and died October 20, 1883, being sixty-seven years of age. One of their children, George H. Smith, died the fall of 1860 at the age if fourteen. Nancy Smith, born October 4, 1793, died March 1, 1852. The legend on another monument (this Nancy Smith may have been George W. Smith's mother.) George Smith was born in New York, his father Jonas Smith, born on Long Island, 1787, died in Illinois in 1843. Moved to Point Pleasant in 1820. Nehemiah Smith, once Sheriff of Jackson County and James Smith and one other were his brothers and he had three sisters. He married Anna Staats, a daughter of Jacob Staats in 1839. Her mother was an Evans and her grandfather was Abraham Staats.

Another expensive and showy monument is that at William Clifford, born in 1842 and died in 1879. He was son-in-law of Hart Rader.

Another "outsider" is Sarah, daughter of H.B. and S.E. Bord. Dates not copied. However, she was really a Rader, her mother being Sally (Sarah Elizabeth) daughter of Hart Rader, who was born in 1842 and died in 1875. She married Henry B. Bord, a son of Thomas Bord, called "North Carolina Tom" and brother of Ben Bord. Sally Bord is buried here also. Her name inscribed on the other side of his monument. Then, there is a row of graves inscribed:

Lida F., died October 21, 1876, aged fifteen.

Dora Dove, died 1870, aged twelve.

Ferdinand F., died 1876, aged twelve.

Lena A. died 1861, aged one.

Edmund G. died 1860 aged six.

Mary I. died 1855, aged four.

William C. died 1876, aged nine.

These are the children of Hart Rader and Ruann Wright Rader, his wife. There had been small marble headstones to each grave, but they have, since the building of the railroad, been replaced by one large monument.

John A. Hyre was born December 20, 1812 and died on the 29th of January 1852, aged thirty-nine years one month. His wife, Miriam, daughter of James and Hannah Allen Rader was born August 1, 1816 and died June 4, 1850, aged thirty-three years ten months. Johnny Hyre of Frozen Camp is their son. John A. Hyre was a first cousin of Jacob Hyre.

Doctor John Rader was born November 26, 1810 and died April 15, 1887 aged seventy-six years four months. He married Polly Ruddle and lived o Frozen Camp. Julia D. Rader, daughter of J. and M. Rader died July 12, 1853 aged one year.

William Allen Rader was the oldest child of James Rader, son of Michael. He wa born April 8, 1806 died Junee 23, 1860 aged fifty-four years two months. Everett Rader, a child of W.A. and L.M. Rader died in 1860.

James Rader was a son of Michael Rader. He was born January 28, 1782 and died June 12, 1839 aged fifty-seven years four months. Hannah Allen Rader (Hannah G, on tombstone) wife of James Rader was born January 19, 1781 and died April 27, 1861, eighty years and three months.

There is a William Allen (supposed age sixty years) buried here, but date of death not given. The headstone is of sandstone. He was the father of James Rader's wife.

Infant of M.C. and R. Rader, 1833.

Sandusky V. son of M.C. and R. Rader died September 28, 1838. These are the children of Michael Campbell Rader, second son of James Rader

Robert Rader, born November 18, 1812 died February 14, 1842. James M. Rader born December 3, 1824, departed this life, April 28, 1842 aged seventeen years four months. These are sons of James and Hannah Rader and died unmarried.

There is a grave near the lower side of the cemetery, overgrown with myrtle and the headstone, which is roughly hewn our of sandstone and rudely carved April 29, 1838 L.R.

The headstone is at the foot of the grave and on the footstone which is square and at the west end of the grave are hung two old. worn and rusty horse shoes. Is it for a charm?

On a visit to this cemetery, November 9, 1911, I found the thick carpet of myrtle had disappeared and the jungle of "blood drops" extended. Most of the graveyard was overgrown with weeds and bushes, but the environment was not altogether unfitting, and really looked more appropriate tan too much neatness and care.

In the southwest corner, under the shade of the stately trees growing just across the fence, I discovered a flagstone marker at the head of a just traceable grave on which was rudely engraved the name Adam. Here, canopied by the newly fallen oak leaves, reposed the ashes of the negro, who chased the elk from which the creek took its name. Next in the row was a fallen stone when cleaned of earth and lichens seemd to read L.B. (perhaps) J. 1848, died October 30, 1848. But it was hard to distinguish the carving of man from those of nature on the rock. There were many other graves with only flagstone markers and doubtless, many more without. Even these, probably most of these lowly mounds, were the negroes last home. One, at the upper side of this section was marked with the single letter H.

In the north east corner of the cemetery, at the upper end of the Rader row were two new graves, piled high with fresh dirt, as yet unmarked, ungrassed. These were Edward Hart Rader, born April 14, 1819 died October 31, 1909, aged ninety years six months, and Ruanna Wright Rader, born April 10, 1827 died July 3, 1911, eighty-four years two months.

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