The John Dakan Family

Submitted by Dorothy Dakan Sedosky.


John & Eliza (Terrell) Dakan

     Though the account of the time of my great-grandparents, John and Eliza Dakan, spent in Lewis County is sketchy, I believe it is important to offer what I have for the historic preservation of this important section of our state.

     John Martin Dakan, son of Simon (Joshua) and Elizabeth Martin Dakan, was born in December 1826 in Marshall County, Virginia. His siblings were: Rebecca, born 26 December 1821, married Martin Clegg and lived at Wolf Run, Marshall County; twins, Joshua and Esther (Hettie), born 21 March 1824. [Joshua married Mary Hewes of Clarksburg and lived there (daughter Ocie later came to Moundsville, West Virginia, and was a successful musician) and Hettie married John Hood, lived at Rosby's Rock and Tiffin, Ohio]; and John married Eliza Terrell 3 March 1850, lived at Rosby's Rock, Fairmont and Weston, West Virginia.

     John and Eliza were the parents of five sons and five daughters, all born in Glen Easton and Rosby's Rock, Marshall County, but eventually located in other parts of the United States; Jasper born 12 March 1851 (died in youth); Amos Preston born 15 March 1853; Elizabeth, born 18 September 1854; Joshua born 25 November 1856; Ella, born 1 August 1859; Robert G. (R. G.), born 3 November 1861 (my grandfather), Jennie born 6 January 1864; Rebecca born 5 May 1866; Manford born 9 November 1871 (died at birth); and Launa born 18 November 1873.

     John, Eliza, and family moved to Fairmont, Marion County, about 1879 and operated the Continental Hotel before moving to Weston. Included in memorabilia of Lewis County is a primary history book from Weston Elementary School used by Launa.

     In Yesteryears Volume III/84, which is an account of historical events of Lewis County, it states, "J. M. Dakan was granted a hotel license" (page 38). Another account on page 55 is not legible.

     Volume II, Yesteryears reads, "The Hayden House - In April last, J. M. Dakin & Son took charge of the Hayden and have since been catering to the wants of a large custom. They set a first-class table, and they constantly have about all they can accomodate easily, and often many more. The gentlemanly colored porter, Colonel Scott Jones, is the genius of the place, and if he fails to make his guests comfortable, it would be useless to hunt another house. This firm labors under the disadvantage of having a house too small for their trade, but there is talk of adding another to the house in the spring."

     With such a glowing account of the Dakan's "Hayden House," I wonder why they left Weston. possibly the following outline gives some clues.

     As John and Eliza were adventurous, so were their children. Ella and William McGary went back to Marshall County. Elizabeth and D. Grandon lived for a short time in Rosby's Rock before moving to Greene County, Pennsylvania, where he went into the newspaper business before going to Sterling, Illinois. There they successfully had three newspapers called the Grandon Group. They were the Sterling Daily Gazette, the LaSalle Post Tribune, and the Middlehedgeville Free Press.

     Prior to the move to Lewis County, son A. B. died in 1877 (while living and teaching across the river from Moundsville in Ohio) leaving a young wife and two small sons. John and Eliza helped the young widow and two small sons join her family (Richmonds) who had moved to Parsons, Kansas. The picture of John and Eliza was taken while in Parsons, Kansas.

     Jennie went to Wood County where she married John Dowd of Parkersburg. Rebecca followed and married James Harbison.

     John and Eliza returned to Rosby's Rock as well as R. G., who married Jane Lutes. R. G., as well as my father, was in merchandising, dealing in wool shipping as well as shipping of mine props, cattle, and other livestock.

     It should be noted that Rosby's Rock is where the B & O Railroad was completed Christmas Eve 1852. For many years, business was brisk in these little communities. Now there is no rail service and the rails have been removed as well as most of our landmarks.

     I live in Moundsville, West Virginia, but maintain my over one-hundred-year-old home place at Rosby's Rock. Being interested (and active) in our history, genealogy, preservation and restoration, I find it of great interest to me to visit Weston, especially when at Jackson's Mill.

Dorothy Dakan Sedosky
240 Curtis Avenue
Moundsville, West Virginia, 26041

(Also published in Lewis County West Virginia Her People and Places, edited by Joy Gilchrist-Stalnaker.)