Marion County, WVGenWeb

Grant District, Marion County, West Virginia

This district is located between the West Fork, which forms its northwest boundary, and the Tygart Valley, which forms its eastern boundary, the two uniting and forming the Monongahela, at the junction of Grant, Union and Fairmont districts. Booths creek rises in Harrison county, at the south, and running north through the district, empties into West Fork. The surface, like the balance of the county, is rolling and hilly. The soil varies from medium to good. Principal timbers, oak, poplar, hickory, walnut and ash. Limestone and sandstone of an excellent quality abound, and valuable coal beds and iron ore are found in parts of the district.

Among the first settlers were Captain James Booth, whose tragic death is recorded in another chapter of this work. With Captain Booth came John Thomas, about 1770, the former building a cabin upon Booths creek, occupying the farm now owned by Benjamin K. Martin; the latter located on what was afterward known as “the old William Martin place.” Among others of the early settlers were Josiah Davidson, Henry Booher, Conrad Coon, Samuel George, Jesse and Johnson Nixon, Jesse Martin, Isaac Morris, Robert Lowe, David Evans, Henry Leaper, Thomas and William Halbert, William Shaver, Thomas Little, Michael Smell, Thomas Knotts, Joshua Martin, John Sapp and Boaz Fleming.

The first mill in the district was erected by Benjamin J. Brice. It was a frame mill, run by water power, and located on the West Fork river, at the mouth of Coons run. Mr. Brice also erected the first furnace. Elisha Brumage built the first saw mill; it was a frame mill run by water power, with a carding mill attached, situated on the West Fork river, one mile above Booths creek.

The first school was taught in a small log building, located near Boothsville. J. D. Myers taught the first free school, in a building located near the house of Robert Lowe. The district is now divided into ten school districts, each of which contains a comfortable school building — nine of them frame and one brick. The enrollment of scholars is as follows: District No. 1, 59; No. 2, 38; No. 3, 76; No. 4, 48; No. 5, 26; No. 6, 40; No. 7, 57; No. 8, 44; No. 9, 24; No. 10, 42; total 454.

In 1833, the first postoffice was established, at Reeds hotel, in Boothville; Robert Reed, postmaster. There are now two in the district — Boothville, R. L. Reed, postmaster; Bobtown, James Morris, postmaster.

The first church in the district was built by the Baptist society, in 1804. It was a hewed log building, located near the “Yellow Rock.” The first pastor was Joshua Hickman, and among the original members were Nathaniel Cochran, sr., Henry Leaper, Benjamin Veach, Benjamin S. Hill, Arthur Mallet, Jesse Mallet, Jesse Nixon and their respective wives. There are now five frame church buildings in the district, all belonging to the Baptist and Methodist Protestant denominations; Elder Murray is pastor of the former society, and Rev. D. C. Wees of the latter.

Source: Hardesty’s West Virginia Counties; Volume 2; Page 72
             Jim Comstock – Richwood, WV