Locust Grove & Cedar Curve Cemeteries

Compiled by Linda Cunningham Fluharty.

Located on Rt. 2, Franklin District.


Locust Grove Cemetery, following restoration, October 2013

"Before" photos of the cemetery are HERE and HERE.


Benches were added in November 2013.

[Cemetery photos on this page were provided by Christine Mitchell, Dominion Natrium LLC.]

Schools, Churches, & Cemeteries of Marshall County, W. Va. [SEE BOOK], by Dale & Naomi Lowe, lists both Locust Grove Cemetery and Cedar Curve Cemetery on Route 2 in Franklin District, Marshall County. The former is described as "near Natrium," and the latter "south of Kent." Both are located on the vast property first settled by James McMechen in 1773, and later owned by the Wells Family, for whom the community was named.

This map, dated 1871, shows the Wells Bottom (also known as Welcome) property of Charles C. Wells, whose farm was called "Locust Grove." Kent, across the Ohio River from Clarington, Ohio, is not shown on the old map, but it is located just south of the origin of Sim's Run, as shown HERE.

Locust Grove

Dominion Natrium LLC, a natural gas processing and fractionation plant, purchased a section of the former Wells property from PPG Industries in 2011. According to Christine Mitchell, Dominion Natrium LLC Compliance Coordinator, the company has determined that the two cemeteries at the Dominion plant site are Locust Grove and Cedar Curve, named in the book by Dale & Naomi Lowe. The latter cemetery has no legible markers, she said, and is thought to be a potter's field. According to Ms. Mitchell, "They actually looked like rocks, but I've since learned that they at one time appeared to be crude tombstones and were legible." Photos of stones, as they appear today: PHOTO 1 - PHOTO 2 - PHOTO 3 - PHOTO 4.

The Locust Grove site might have been used as a burial ground as far back as 1773 when Revolutionary War veteran, James McMechen, staked a claim and made his settlement on the 400 acre tract of land. In 1785, he received a grant to his land from Virginia Governor, Patrick Henry, at which time his surname was spelled "McMachan" and "McMahan." [SEE LAND GRANTS]. (1)

The Cedar Curve Cemetery is shown HERE.

Cedar Curve

After cleanup, a lamppost and statue were placed at the site.


The two cemeteries were previously identified as PPG2 and PPG3, and are shown HERE. A third cemetery, PPG1, is the BOOTH CEMETERY on the PPG site, adjacent to Dominion.

In the fall of 2013, Dominion worked to restore the two cemeteries by replacing fencing, resetting gravestones, and cutting weeds and grass. Funding for the purchase of the fencing, lampposts, and signs was provided through a grant to the Marshall County Historical Society.

Two Adena Indian Mounds, shown on the old map, were known as the "Welcome Mound" and the "Natrium Mound." Researcher, Joe Ward, has submitted this excellent publication that explains the disposition of the two mounds. The booklet was given to him by Orion Forbes Taylor. - ADENA MOUNDS

A second booklet, this one about the so-called "Natrium Mound," was submitted by Joel Brown. It describes the findings of Ralph Solecki during his excavation in 1948/1949. - NATRIUM MOUND

Extensive information about the Wells Family is found elsewhere on this website: WELLS FAMILY OF MARSHALL COUNTY

Also on this website, is a history of the Welcome/Wells Bottom Community:



Among those buried in the Locust Grove Cemetery are:

JAMES McMAHON, Pvt. 2 BTN Washington Co Mil, Rev War - Died Aug 3, 1824 [TOMBSTONE] - [PHOTO 2].

This is the grave of the aforementioned Revolutionary War veteran, JAMES McMECHEN.

James McMechen's daughter, Rachel, married Charles Prather Wells, and the land was eventually known as Wells Bottom. Their son, Rolla N. Wells, married Drusilla McMahon, a descendant of Revolutionary War soldier, William McMahon, killed by Indians in 1794. - Families of both surnames were in the area.

The McMechen family is well-documented in records and history books. A biography of James' father, William McMechen, found in History of the Pan-Handle, West Virginia, is an excellent account of this prominent family. BIOGRAPHY OF WILLIAM McMECHEN.

James McMechen was born about 1848 to William McMechen and Rachel Rosanna Nivens. The mother, born in Delaware in 1728, died in Maryland in 1751. William had two more wives, as indicated in the biography.

James married Hannah Davidson about 1779 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. She was born July 12, 1757 in Sussex County, Delaware, and was probably the daughter of Lewis Davidson and Elizabeth Claypoole/Claypole. Hannah was probably buried in this cemetery, as well.

The children of James and Hannah were Elizabeth (Burris), Rachel Rosanna Nivens (Wells), Mary (Williamson), Jane, Sarah (Williamson), Ruth (Clark), Orpha (Davidson), and David.

The death of James McMechen occurred in 1824. A will of "James McMahon," dated 26 July 1823, and recorded in the April Term 1824, is found in Ohio County Will Book I, page 24. However, it is clearly the will of James McMechen, as proved by the beneficiaries. The surname "McMechen" is found in old records spelled as McMahon, McMahen, McMaken, McMachan, etc. They were of Irish origin and the Irish brogue probably influenced the way the name was spelled and pronounced.

The will of James McMechen is presented on this site: WILL OF JAMES McMAHON/McMECHEN - TRANSCRIBED WILL

This writer had previously stated, "The stone was not installed at, or near, the time of death. The military service on the stone does not seem to match that of James McMechen, although he did die in 1824. A well-meaning person or group apparently replaced the original stone."

Information about the origin of the "James McMahon" tombstone was located on November 29, 2014 by this writer:

-- Moundsville Echo - October 10, 1939: "GOVERNMENT TO MARK JAMES McMAHON'S GRAVE - James McMahon, soldier-settler, will be honored Sunday afternoon when the Welcome PTA holds exercises at his grave in connection with the unveiling of an official government marker. - McMahon is buried near Kent in the old cemetery on the Riel farm. - Participating in the exxercises wil be the Earl francis Post No. 3, American Legion, the Legion Auxiliary and the Sons the Legion. All three departments will meet at the Legion home at 12:30 o'clock Sunday afternoon and leave in a body at 12:45 for Kent, headed by a full police escort. - Services at the grave of the former Revolutionary War soldier will begin at 1:30 o'clock. - McMahon, sometimes spelled McMechen, was one of the first settlers in the Wheeling district. He was born in Pennsylvania on August 25, 1748. When still a youth he joined the army of General Braddock at Pittsburgh, but escaped the fate that befell Braddock's command when it was ambushed by Indians. At the close of the disastrous campaign he came to Wheeling where he made his home. Later he moved to the Fish Creek vivinity where he died on August 3, 1824. - According to records of the Louis Bonnett paper to Lyman Copeland Draper, now in the possession of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin, and incorporated in the second edition of C. B. Allmans "Life of Lewis Wetzel," McMahon was a member of the Second Battalion, Washington County militia. - The sponsoring body, the Welcome PTA, has extended an invitation to all patriotic societies to join in the dedicatory services. The program will open with the singing of the National Anthem, followed by the invocation. - Mrs. J. D. Hutchinson, of Marietta, Ohio, will give the life history of James McMahon and the D.A.R. will hold ritualistic services. - The principal speaker will be C. E. Carrigan, of Moundsville, a member of the Marshall County Bar association. Mr. Carrigan's address wuill be the highlight of the program. - Earl Francis Post No. 3, American Legion will also hold ritualistic services, followed by the blowing of Taps and the salute by a firing squad. - The riel farm is west of Route 2, the road leading to it turning west from the state route about 200 feet north of the Welcome school."

This writer disagrees with the SERVICE RECORD & DEATH DATE stated on the gravestone. The WILL shows the approximate time of death. --- Here is another article:

-- Moundsville Echo - October 10, 1939: "200 JOIN IN DEDICATION OF MARKER MEMORIALIZING REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIER - More than 200 people, from first grade to those of more than "three score and ten" attended the service of dedicating the marker placed at the grave of JAMES McMECHEN or McMAHON, a Revolutionary soldier, in an old cemetery on the farm now owned by Mr. Riel near Welcome School House below Kent on Route 2. - A. L. Booth, a prominent resident of the community, arranged the event and presided over the service, which opened with singing the "Star-Spangled Banner," led by the pupils of Welcome School and directed by the teacher, Miss Eleanor Cullum. - Miss Jane Hutchinson of Marietta, Ohio, a great-great granddaughter of the honored pioneer, and who is one of the best known historians of the Ohio Valley, gave a history of the McMechen-McMahon family and families from the the time they left the old country until the present. Miss Hutchinson explained the reason for the different names, and stated that six different spellings of the same name had been found in one article. The history and genealogy records will be published later, and will be read and filed away by numerous descendants and friends of the families. - CARRIGAN WAS ORATOR - C. E. Carrigan of Moundsville addressed the gathering, and while his talk was not long many good thoughts were crowded into his speech, and it interested every person from the youngest school pupils to the older people present. Mr. Carrigan said that if our country is to be perpetuated the same fine patriotic spirit that was in the heartthrob of the pioneer must be found in the people of today. - The D.A.R. ritualistic service was conducted by Mrs. Roy W. Joliffe and Mrs. Julia McCracken of Cameron, for Mound Chapter; and the American Legion service was conducted by C. B. Allman and Edgar Roberts of Earl Francis Post #3. In the firing squad were John Young, Charles Thayer, Ben Furbee, John Capper, Encil DeGarmo and Ross Durig. Bill Carson and Bob Arnold of the Sons of the American Legion sounded taps. - Color bearers for the Legion were Clarence R. Young and Clinton Whitlatch. - PICTURESQUE SETTING - The old cemetery lies on a slight elevation not far from the railroad tracks. While quite a number of markers of the type used in early days are still standing, slight ridges and depressions where graves have sunk show that many lie there in unmarked graves. It was not a family burying ground, as many different family names appear on the markers yet standing. Wells Bottom is rich in history and Mr. Booth has done much research work compiling of what has already been secured."

MISS JANE HUTCHINSON, mentioned in the last article, was the daughter of Arthur W. Hutchinson and RACHEL WELLS. Rachel was the daughter of ROLLA N. WELLS (grandson of JAMES McMECHEN/McMAHON) and Drusilla Bukey McMahon. Jane, a school teacher, later a librarian, started to write Rachel's story of her mother, Drusilla. It is found on this site, HERE

If interested parties decide that the service and birthdate on James McMechen's stone is incorrect, a new headstone or bronze marker can be obtained free from the government. They are available at the DEPT. OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. D. A. R. applicants, descendants of his daughters, Rachel (Wells), Mary (Williamson) and Elizabeth (Burris), commonly gave James McMechen's death date as July 8, 1825, but the will was made on July 26, 1823, and was proved in April 1824. One applicant has the death date as "about April 1824," which is more accurate. Their proof of his service is REVOLUTION ON THE UPPER OHIO, by THWAITES & GOLD.

Another daughter of James and Hannah (Davidson) McMechen, was Ruth. In 1818, she married William Clark(e), the son of Henry Clarke, for whom Fort Clark(e), near Sherrard, is named. A very interesting sketch of Henry Clarke's life and family is presented HERE. According to the booklet, which is not entirely accurate, William Clarke died in 1823, and Ruth in 1841 (Her tombstone says 1837.). Their only child, (William) Henry, born in 1823, lived in Ohio with James Williamson, Ruth's brother-in-law. (William) Henry married his first cousin, Susan Sarah Williamson.

ADAM HYDER, 1760-November 22,1844. He was the son of Johann Adam Hyder and Christiana (Unknown). Adam was married to Catherine Price, born 1769-1770 & died in the 1820s. She was the daughter of Arjalon Price, Jr. and Catherine "Caty" Hill. - Catherine (Price) Hider/Hyder is probably buried in this cemetery, as well. Adam and Catherine were the parents of John Preytor Hyder and others. Adam's second wife, born in 1810, was Nancy Lyons, with whom he had more children. [TOMBSTONE] - [PHOTO 2] - [PHOTO 3] - [WILL OF ADAM HIDER - ABSTRACT]

JOHN HYDER, 1790-June 30, 1860. [TOMBSTONE] - This was John Preytor Hyder, son of Adam & Catherine (Price) Hyder. John married Jane Cockayne. A genealogy file, DESCENDANTS OF SAMUEL COCKAYNE, is posted on the COCKAYNE FARMSTEAD WEBSITE.

EMMA JANE CAMPBELLE, d July 9, 1849 in her 12th yr. of her age. Born April 14, 1838, she was the daughter of James Campbell (1790-1864) and Lavinia/Louvina Powell (1802-1881). - [TOMBSTONE] - [PHOTO 2] - [PHOTO 3].

FRANKLIN L. CAMPBELL - b Aug 14, 1828; d Oct 2, 1852 in Santa Clara, California, in his 25th yr. - [TOMBSTONE] - [PHOTO 2]. Franklin Lockwood Campbell was the son of James Campbell (1790-1864) and Lavinia/Louvina Powell (1802-1881).

JAMES M. CAMPBELL, d Sept 14, 1855, in his 22nd yr - On same stone with Franklin. [TOMBSTONE] - [PHOTO 2]. - James Morton Campbell was the son of James Campbell (1790-1864) and Lavinia/Louvina Powell (1802-1881).

CONSORT(?) (Wife) of JOHN MOODY, d Sept 29, 1810. [TOMBSTONE]. The death date indicates that people were buried at this location before 1824.

MOODY - Daughter of John & Emma - Aged 4 years and six months. [TOMBSTONE].

WAYN, Daughter of A. & E.(?) -[TOMBSTONE] - [PHOTO 2]. This child was probably the daughter of Andrew Wayne and his wife, Elizabeth "Betsy" Smith, both born in Pennsylvania, and early residents of Franklin District. Their children named in the 1850 Federal Census of Marshall County are: Andrew, Frederick, Ben, Eliza, Rachel, James, Henry, and married daughter, Mary Trader. The names of daughters, Sarah Ann and Margaret are found in other records. Frederick Wayne, married Elizabeth Yoho (1837-1907), the great-granddaughter of Revolutionary War Patriot, Peter Yoho, and his wife, Margaret Baker.

CHARLOTTE ---, died 1823 - [TOMBSTONE]. The death date indicates that people were buried at this location before 1824.



KERMIT E. GROSE, a member of the Marshall County Historical Society, has created an excellent map of this cemetery.



(1) Early prospective land owners simply staked out areas of land and claimed it for themselves. These were called "tomahawk claims." Later - sometimes much later - the land was surveyed and the claimant received a Land Grant (Patent) from the Virginia State Land Office. But some of the others who claimed large tracts of land, divided and sold the land - often several times - prior to an official survey or the receipt of a Land Grant. Source: Up The Run, A History of Boggs Run, Marshall County, West Virginia, © 2012, Linda Cunningham Fluharty.

Webpage & research by Linda Cunningham Fluharty. - Thanks to Kermit E. Grose and Joe Ward for their important contributions to this project.