WILEY FORD, WEST VIRGINIA
village and post office on the North Branch of the Potomac River,
Frankfort District, Mineral County WV.
In 1913 this land was purchased from James Stickley by the Homestead Development Company and sold off into lots. The Homestead Development Company was connected with the Dixie Realty Co., and it was named "Dixie".
The post office was established in 1923, and then took the name Wiley Ford, because there was another Dixie in the state.
It is believed the river was forded between here and Cumberland, MD until 1909, the ford being known as Wiley Ford. The name Wiley is after a Mr. Wiley who once owned the land.
BY MARSHALL NIELD
Ford was known as Dixie, WV until the early 1900's. The name was
changted to Wiley Ford because a family by the name of Wiley lived
near the ford over the Potomac River, near the general area of
Boonie's Tavern, now known as the Wiley Ford Sportsmen's Club. The
only way to get from Maryland to West Virginia in that area was to
ford the Potomac River. At the time Wiley Ford seemed to be the best
choice of names.
Wiley Ford volunteer Fire Department was started in 1934. Rufus C. Dorsey was a Charter Member. He helped build the first fire truck used in the area. They bought an old truck, late 1920 or early 1930 model and built a fire truck from the frame up. It served the town for several years until money was raised to buy a factory-made one. All this was made possible only by the determination and hard work of the firemen and the support of the citizens of the area.
The airport in Wiley Ford is owned by the City of Cumberland, MD, and is leased to the Nicholson Air Service. This airport was built in the late 1930's. Most of the land was purchased from the Macabee family, who operated a dairy farm and produced bottled and delivered their own raw milk for many years. Additional runways have been added to the airport over the years to provide the service needs of the Tri-State area.
Wiley Ford has two churches. The Church of the Brethren, located near the Firehall, and the Assembly of God Church, located on the old Airport Road just off State Route 28, near the forks of the road.
One elementary school is located in Wiley Ford, near the forks of Rt. 28 and teaches grades from kindergarten through the sixth grade. This school was built in early 1950 when the old school was destroyed by fire. The old school was near the firehall. That old school was where Marshall Nield attended the first through the eighth grades. he began school in 1936 when Mr. Vernon Staggers was the principal and Miss Betty Morgan was his first teacher. Marshall Nield was sheriff of Mineral County.
Wiley Ford has two clubs. The Wiley Ford Sportsmen's Club, known for years as "Boonie's". Arthur and Dorothy Boone started this business in the 1940's and still own and operate it today. The other place, now a club on Alt Rout 28, near the old Ridgeley dump, has been known as "Charlie's Place". "The Perrabee" and "Hare's Hall".
There are two stores in Wiley Ford. The newest, owned and operated by Mr. & Mrs. John (Jack) Miltenberger, Jr. and know as the Hi-Ja Farms Market is near the Potomac River. The other, owned and operated by the Presnell family is beside the only gas station in the town. The only used car lot in the town is also owned and operated by the Presnell family. Their son operated a body repair shop. Auto maintenance is the family business and they have the only auto wrecker service in Frankfort District.
Johnson's Restaurant near the forks of Rte. 28 is the only restaurant in the area and is well known. It started in the early 1950's as an all night diner, but the business grew in status until today it is considered a fine family restaurant. Mr. & Mrs. Albert Johnson started the business and sold it in 1978.
Two hardware stores are located in the Wiley Ford area. Leonard Poland owns and operates a store opposite the Old Airport Road, and Ed Snyder owns the other, which is located on Alternate Route 28.
Two salvage or junk yards are located on Miltenberger Road. Charles Henderson operates one which has an auto repair business connected to it, and the Bunner family runs the other.
The Post Office at Wiley Ford is leased from the Fire Company and is located in a section of the Fire Hall. This is the fourth post office for the community. The first was in the Rinker residence, between the Fire Hall and the Boonie's. The house is now owned by Mr. & Mrs. Howard Henderson. Mrs. Henderson is the only daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Rinker. Mr. Rinker was the Postmaster at one time, and Mrs. Rinker assisted him.
The second Post Office was in the Harry Whitacre residence, between the Fire Hall and the Johnson Planing Mill. Harry Whitacre was the Postmaster and his wife assisted him.
The third was at Wright's Store on Route 28, opposite the entrance to the Kelly hanger at the airport. Mrs. Wright was Postmistress after the death of her husband. Catherine Simpson succeeded Mrs. Wright and later Mrs. Disaway took over the duties. Mrs. Poling is the present Postmistress at Wiley Ford.
Several farms are in the Wiley Ford Community. Murriel Kline owns a large dairy farm behind the airport. It is a family business.
At the south end of Wiley Ford, along Rt. 28, James Miltenberger's widow, Mary, and her son Mike and his family, operate a dairy farm, a green house, and truck garden. This has been a family operation for many years.
John Miltenberger, Sr. and his family have operated a truck garden on Miltenberger Mountain about one mile off Alt. Rt. 28. His son Jack is owner of the Hi-Ja Farm Market at Wiley Ford.
Dr. Miller of Cumberland operates a beef and cattle farm on what is known as Seymore Bottom Farm, another mile or two beyond the Miltenberger farm.
John Miltenberger Jr. has a pig finishing operation in the same area, along with crop land that produces some vegetables for their Hi-Ja Farm Market.
Murriel Kline, Jr. operates a hog farm on the old Airport Road, behind the airport.
Roy Crites also operates a hog and beef farm jointly with Murriel Kline Jr on his wife's family farm, the Tysinger farm.
There are many old homes in Wiley Ford. The one remembered most is the one in which Marshall Nield, was born. It is located just off the east side of Alt Rt. 28, opposite the Miltenberger Road. The house was built in 1928, by a Mr. Brooke and Rugus C. Dorsey, and is a 8 room frame house covered with German siding and red insul-brick. Nield was born there on Feb 20, 1930 and lived there until Aug 1952, when he sold the home to Larry and Isabelle Wiegle.
The people of Wiley Ford are hard to beat when it comes to friendliness and helping hands.
The Scout Troops in Wiley Ford are a Girl Scout Troop and a Brownie Troop. Marshall Nield shared the best times of his life as a Boy Scout and later served as a Scout Master and other positions of leadership with the troops there.
This article was submitted for the publication in Mineral County WV Family Traits Tracks and Trails. Special thanks to Mrs. Doris P. Nield for granting permission to use this on the Mineral County GenWeb Page.