The Village Of Meighen

Submitted by Jane Kaschak.

This is an excerpt from the book "The Meighen Sept in Ireland and America. It is a history of the Village of Meighen, West Virginia.

There is a town called Meighen in Marshall County, West Virginia. To get there, take a paved road out of Cameron which largely follows ridges into Moundsville. Take a left turn from this road onto another paved road leading downhill to Lynn Camp and Fish Creek, turn right onto a road which was gravel in 1966. Follow this road along the edge of Fish Creek. About one quarter of a mile beyond a large steel bridge over the creek is Meighen. It is alongside a brook which empties into Fish Creek.

In 1966, the town was marked by a hand painted sign of Irish green on white. It read "Meighen City Limits, Unc.". A citizen explained that "Unc" meant "Uncorporated". On state signs for other small towns, the reading is, of course, unincorporated.

The town in 1966 had a population of perhaps five. An elderly man who had lived there since the 1930's said the town once had two stores, a one room school and a post office. All these are now closed. One store had been operated by William Richmond and the other by George W. Kelley. In 1966, the village had an old log cabin, the two stores and three or four other buildings, including the one room school. The area had a rising popularity for recreation. Nearby were several small summer homes and there appeared to be one in Meighen itself.

In 1967, Ora Richmond (Mrs. John E.) Conner of Moundsville reported she had been born and reared at Meighen and had gone to school there. She said that Meighen in its heyday boasted at most four to five families.

With Mrs. Conner was her cousin, Rachael, who was also from Meighen. Together they provided the information that the town got its name from an early (perhaps the first) teacher at the school, a teacher named Ben Meighen. The school became known, as it still is, though closed, as the Meighen school. When a post office was authorized for the town and a town name was needed, naturally Meighen was it.

Mrs. Conner stressed that Meighen was not a town without its excitement. A family named Kelly lived nearby and employed a brother and sister who were ex-slaves. The sister finally killed the brother with arsenic. As was customary at the time, six of the area's leading citizens attended the brother's wake. Finally they ate of the bread of which "Old Minerva" served them for refreshment. All six became very ill but luckily none died. She was placed in the custody of another brother who lived not too far away. With him, she finally died.

In 1967, the following history of Meighen as a post office was obtained. It was first established on Nov. 11, 1881 and was first discontinued on Feb. 26, 1886. It was re-established on June 11, 1886 and then permanently closed on Oct. 30, 1909. The postmasters and their dates of appointment were: William P. Richmond on Nov.11 1881; John J. Richmond on May 4, 1885; William P. Richmond on Nov. 12, 1885; Jonathan Richmond on June 11, 1886; Vincent S. Kelley on Jan.4, 1887; and William P. Richmond on Oct. 19, 1888.

Source: Meighen, Bernard Patrick. "The Meighen Sept in America and Ireland", Pg.29-30.

This house in Meighen was owned by Elmer Crow in the 1940's.
(Linda Fluharty)