Marion County, WVGenWeb

Winfield District, Marion County, West Virginia

The eastern part of this district is very rough and rather unproductive; and the western portion, although quite broken, has quite a fertile soil. The native timber is principally white and chestnut oak, poplar, walnut, hickory and chestnut. Pricketts creek forms a part of the southwest boundary, and running west of north, empties into the Monongahela river. Reubens run a small stream rising near the center of the district, empties into Pricketts creek at the village of Winfield. Little creek also finds its source near the center of the district, at Forksburg, and, flowing northwesterly, empties into the Monongahela at Newport. Piney run is a small tributary of Pricketts creek. White Day creek takes its source in the eastern part of the district, of which it forms a portion of the northeastern boundary to the vicinity of Smithtown, in Monongalia county.

Among the first settlers of the district were Jacob Prickett, Capt. James Morgan, Jacob M. Swisher, and Joseph Bunner, and the first settlement was made near Pricketts Fort, in the western part of the district, by Jacob Prickett, sr., over one hundred years ago. One of the first settlements was made by Jacob Swisher, near what is now the Mt. Zion Church. The names of Peter Moran, Richard Leason, John and William Kincaid and Josiah Prickett are also mentioned as early settlers.

About the year 1800, Levi Morgan built a small frame grist mill (of the style known as a “tub mill") on Little creek, on the site of the present village of Newport. This is generally considered as the first grist mill in the district, but at about the same date Nathan Springer also erected one on Pricketts creek. The first saw mill was built upon the latter stream by Jacob Prickett, which was run by water, and has several times been rebuilt upon the original site.

The first school in the district was taught in a log cabin located on Pricketts creek about one mile from its mouth. The building was about fourteen feet square, with puncheon floor and a large chimney, furnished in the rude manner which was generally adopted in those early days. There now eleven neat frame school houses in the district and also one which stands upon the line, one-half lying in Union district; all furnished in a comfortable manner. The district is divided into eleven sub-districts, and the enrollment of scholars in each as follows: No. one, 43; No. two, 69; No. three, 52; No. four, 57: No. five, 71; No. six, 55; No. Seven, 48; No. eight, 30; No. nine, 29 No. ten, 50; No. eleven, 55; total 559.

At "Merediths Tavern," near the center of the district, on Pricketts creek, was located the first postoffice. There are now four within the district, viz.: Mount Harmony, Canton, Forksburg and Bunners Ridge.

The Methodist Episcopals formed an organization many years ago, at what is now known as “the old burnt school-house," which was located near the present Mount Zion Church. Among the first members were Isaiah Hawkins, Sarah Reed, Jacob Swisher, jr., Frederick Vangilder and Susan Vangilder; Benjamin Brain, classleader. A religious society supposed to be older than the above was called “Salem Church,” located in the western part of the district, upon the farm now owned by Owen Prickett. There are now ten churches in the district, viz: Mt. Pleasant and Mt. Nebo (both log buildings), Hills School House, Fairview, Mt. Zion, Harmony Grove, Newport, Salem, Hoult Town (all frame), and Winfield (brick). Of these the Methodist Episcopal society owns four; the Protestant Methodist, four; Christian, one; Union, one. The Winfield Church (Protestant Methodist) society has 32 members; Rev. E. O. Ewing, pastor. Newport (Protestant Episcopal,) 60 members; Rev. E. O. Ewing. Mt. Pleasant (Union) 35 members; Revs. E. O. Ewing and John Conwall, pastors. Mt. Zion (Methodist Episcopal), 142 members; Rev. John Conwall, pastor. Fairview, (Methodist Episcopal), 30 members, Rev. John Conwall. Harmony Grove, (Methodist Episcopal), 20 members; Rev. John Conwall. Hoult Town (Methodist Episcopal), 30 members; Rev. John Conwall. Hills School House, (Methodist Episcopal,) 25 members; Rev. John Conwall, pastor. Salem (Protestant Episcopal), 20 members; Rev. E. 0. Ewing, pastor. The first Sabbath, school in the district was organized about the year 1845, by William Vangilder and Selby Moran.

Winfield, Newport and Hoult Town are small villages within the district.

Source: Hardesty’s West Virginia Counties; Volume 2; Pages 75-76
             Jim Comstock – Richwood, WV