Eli Benson Huggins

Submitted by T. Vernon Anderson

Eli Benson Huggins was born 8 OCT 1846 at Sand Hill, Marshall Co, VA. He married Melvina Magers on 20 FEB 1868, Marshall Co, WV, book A1 pg 119, d/o Daniel Magers & Martha Moore. Eli died 20 DEC 1940, Moundsville, WV and is buried at the McCreary Cemetery, Marshall Co, WV.

Civil War Veteran, Pvt Co H 17th Reg of WV Inf, enlisted at Wheeling, WV 16 FEB 1865, paid $33.33 bounty due $66.66. 5' 4 1/2" tall, brown eyes, dark hair, fair complexion. Mustered in 17 FEB 1865 at Wheeling, WV. Mustered out 30 JUN 1865 at Wheeling, WV.

Moundsville Journal, 20 DEC 1940


Last But One of County Survivors of Union Soldiery Is Stricken

Eli Benson Huggins, 94, one of two surviving veterans of the Civil War from this county which sent so many youths into the war on the Union side, died early today.

Death occured at the home of his son, J. K. Huggins, Poplar avenue, at 3:45 a.m.

The death of the late Mr. Huggins, who was a legendary figure in Moundsville, leaves one survivor of the War of the Rebellion in Marshall county. He is Uriah T. "Uncle Duck" Alley of Cameron.

Mr. Huggins had been in failing health as a result of his advanced age for a number of years. He became seriously ill two weeks ago, Pneumonia developing. Complications arose and his case had been hopeless for several days.

Mr. Huggins was a life resident of Marshall county. He was born on Bruce Run, Sand Hill district, October 8, 1846.

He spent his early life on the farm, living with his uncle, the late H. Gosner, until he was 17 years old. His experiences from that time on are typical of many youths, some of them mere boys as he was, who joined the Union army to fight in the Civil War.

Mr. Huggins saw active service with Company H 17th Regiment of West Virginia Infantry, engaging in a number of battles. After the war he returned to Marshall county to take up farming and become one of the sterling, industrious citizens of the community, typical of the type of men who made the reconstruction of the United States possible after the civil conflict.

He was united in marriage to Miss Melvina Magers on February 20, 1868.

Mr. Huggins retired from farming in 1906, coming to Moundsville to live. He had made his home with his son, J. K., for the past 16 years.

He was a member of the Christian church in this city, attending regularly until his recent illness.

Mr. Huggins was a familiar figure at Memorial Day celebrations and patriotic events of a like nature, for many years.

Surviving are his son, J. K., a daughter, Mrs. H. E. Shook, of McCleary's Ridge, 24 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren. Preceding him in death were his wife, and two sons, Harry and Hayes.

The body was removed to the Lutes funeral home. Funeral arrangements are imcomplete.

Submitted by Linda Fluharty

Huggins Families of Western Pa. and Northern West Virginia
By Charles E. Huggins, 1987; pages355-356

(Under "John Huggins, b. Jan. 13, 1795... m. Delilah Gosney")

     An Eli Benson Huggins needs to be listed here although to this date no definite link can be established. Eli was b. Oct. 8, 1846 in Marshall Co., Va. & d. Dec. 20, 1940 at Moundsville, Marshall Co., W.Va. He was buried at the McCreary Cemetery on McCreary Ridge, Webster Dist., Marshall Co., W.Va. On his death record, Eli F. was said to be ELIEK CALDWELL, but on his marriage record, Bk. A-1, p. 119, his parents were listed as Alexander & Margaret Huggins. In the 1850 census there is no record of Eli Huggins, but there is a Benson Caldwell, 1 year old, born in Virginia with Margaret Caldwell, 15 years old, living in the household of Elliott Caldwell, 41, Va. & his wife Ellen Caldwell, 26, Va. There was also an Alexander Caldwell, 48, Va. & wife Richardna, 48, Va. (Ruhama in 1860 census) with their 8 children. Both Alexander & Elliott lived in the 33rd District, Moundsville, Va. Since Margaret was too old to have been Ellen Caldwell's daughter, it is possible that she was actually Alexander's daughter and may have come to live with Elliott & Ellen after her child was born. The puzzle becomes more complicated due to two listings in the 1860 Marshall Co., Va. census where Benson Huggins, 11, Va., is listed with Hamilton & Rhoda Gosney (both 51 & born in Va.), and Benson Caldwell, 11, Va. living with Elbert & Ellen Caldwell (same as Elliott & Ellen of the 1850 census). It seems that these two Bensons are the same person since Caldwell & Huggins were both used as last names of Eli Benson Huggins later. One finds many errors on the census records as one census is compared with another census.
     When John Huggins Jr. died before 1840, Delilah was in a difficult situation financially. She had moved to Wheeling where she was living when the 1850 census was taken. Delilah had 2 unmarried sons in Marshall County, Va. who were working on 2 different farms. William Huggins was living with his sister and her husband Richard & Margaret Allen, while John (III) had been signed on as an apprentice on the farm of John Heitzman & his wife Sarah who lived near to the Caldwells. William was 27 & John (III) was 15 at the time, the same age as Margaret Caldwell.
     Eli Benson Huggins was married Feb 20, 1868 at Moundsville, Marshall Co., W.Va. by Rev. B. F. Ison to Melvina Magors b. Jan 8, 1847 in Marshall Co., Va. and d. Sept 19, 1906 in Marshall Co., W.Va. She was the daughter of Daniel (b. 1813 in Va.) & Martha (b. 1823 in Ohio) Magors. Eli served in the Union Army during the Civil War as a "substitute." I was told that a man could pay $300 to have a substitute go to war in his place. it is not known who Eli may have substituted for but he was a Private in Co H, 17th Regt. WV Vol. Inf. He enlisted Feb 17, 1865 and was discharged on June 30, 1865. His record said he was 5 ft. 7 in. tall with brown hair, brown eyes & dark complexion. During the 1890 special pension records census he was living at Viola, Marshall Co., W.Va. but by 1912 he was living at Elm Grove, Ohio Co., W.Va. His pension record tells that in his later years he stayed with his daughter-in-law, Pearl (Berry) Huggins & in his last days he was at his son's home at 305 Poplar Ave,, Moundsville, W.Va. He was listed as a retired farmer on his death certificate. Five known children of Eli and Martha (Magors) Huggins: John K., b. 1874; Kinzie H. Huggins, b. 1876; Samuel H., b. 1877; Harry W., b. 1879; Martha V. Huggins, b. 1884.