FIRST WHITE SETTLER AT KEYSER
(This information was taken from "History of Keyser WV" by William W. Wolfe. Mr. Wolfe was a local historian and genealogist. Special thanks to Mr. Robert L. Smith for granting us permission to use this on the Mineral County GenWeb Site.)
After the Mayo Expedition had determined the extent
of Lord Fairfax's domain, he began issuing land grants and lined off
Patterson Creek Manor.
The first land grant at what is now Keyser was issued by, - to give him his full title, "Thomas Lord Fairfax, Baron Cameron, in that part of Great Britain called Scotland." This grant was issued to Christopher BEELER, by full patent bearing the date of March 20th, 1752, and is registered in the Proprietor's Book II, folio 146. This book is now at Richmond, VA.
The grant contained 387 1/2 acres. It's Boundaries were - from the mouth of New Creek to what is now Cross Street, which was the mouth a a small "run" at that time; then west on what is now Lincoln Street, over Fort Hill to E Street run; down the E Street run to the Potomac River, taking in most of Hominy Island (Long Island); thence down the river to the mouth of New Creek.
The land to the south of Lincoln Street, Fairfax had already granted to John LINDSEY and took in the present Potomac Heights and the Airport Addition to Keyser.
Christopher BEELER built a cabin on the river bank at Welch Street, now the site of James Smith's home. He lived there for several years, until marauding bands of Indians from Ohio forced him to flee to Fairfax County, during the French & Indian War. By 1774 he was deceased; his will dated 3-30-1773, is recorded at the Fairfax County Courthouse. In it he devises his estate including his land at New Creek to his wife, Mary BEELOR. Apparently, he had no other heir.
His widow, Mary BEELOR, later married George KYGER. By 1807, her husband, George KYGER was deceased. On 9-12-1807, she and her children sold the farm here to James MOSLEY of Baltimore MD for the sum of 2,000 pounds current VA money. James MOSLEY lived on his farm until his death about 1850. His family and widow occupied it until the Civil War.
James MOSLEY married Mary MCCARTY, a sister of
Patrick MCCARTY for whom Paddytown was named. All of the McCartys and
Moselys here were descended from two men who were captured and killed
on Patterson Creek by Indians.
The McCartys came to what is now Mineral County as early as 1755. Patrick MCCARTY was born in county Tyrone, Ireland about 1730. He, with his wife and one child, came to the Patterson Creek Manor in 1755, with a close friend, Wendell MILLAR, a Scot. McCarty and Millar built a long log cabin divided in the middle for double occupancy on Lot # 8 of the Manor. In one end McCarty and his family lived, in the other end Wendell Millar and his family.
The two men were stacking flax in a field (now a part of the Whipp farm) in the late summer of 1761, when a roving party of Indians under the leadership of "Killbuck" attacked them. Wendell Millar was killed instantly. McCarty tried to escape to a block house called Fort Cocke on the hill across the creek from the farm. While he was climbing a fence, the Indians overtook and captured him. He was taken by them to Ohio where he was later burned at the stake.
Patrick MCCARTY was survived by his wife, one son Edward MCCARTY died 1828), and four daughters. This Edward was the actual founder of Paddytown, which was named for his son Patrick.
Wendell MILLAR was survived by his wife, and several children.
Edward MCCARTY, only son of the martyred Patrick MCCARTY, married Elizabeth MILLAR, daughter of the slain Wendell. They had 14 children andlived at what is now the eastern part of Keyser.
Among their 14 children were: Patrick MCCARTY m. Ruth CRESAP; Isaac MCCARTY at Fairfield Iowa; (first postmaster at Keyser 1811) who married Ann DEVECMON; Edward MCCARTY, Jr. married twice-first to Sarah CRESAP in 1812, secondly to Ruth CRESAP in 1827; Elizabeth MCCARTY who married Col. William ARMSTRONG of Romney and Keyser; Mary MCCARTY, who married James MOSELY, the purchaser of the Beelor-Kyger farm.
This Edward MCCARTY, son of the Indian martyr, owned the land on the eastern bank of New Creek, including what is now Armstrong Street Extended, Keys Street, Millmeadow, Wildcat Hollow, the Keyser Industrial Park the site of Keyser Sanitation Plant, the site of Mineral County Poor Farm, and most of Black Oak Bottom. He and his sons built the large stone house on Armstrong Street Extended @ 1815. Hereafter, in this narrative, this house will be referred to as "the Old Stone House" or the "Stone House".
The McCarty's business enterprise her was diversified. They had a general store where they sold provisions such as salt, corn, wheat, tea and whiskey, etc. They had the Post Office, did threshing of wheat, cut cord wood and put on roofs. They had a forge and iron foundry wher Keyser Sanitation Disp. Plant now is; a salt well where the Industrial Park is, a flour mill in Mill Meadow, a saw mill and a lime kiln.
At their forge, they made "Franklin stoves" horse shoes, hammers, hoes, skillets, ovens, log chains, axes, picks, shovels, etc.
Their largest individual acct. was that of James DAILY, Sr. of Romney which amounted to $7715.48 in 1815. Other customers were Benjamin PENNYBACKER, Hugh PERRILL, John MCCORD, Daniel TAYLOR, William VANDIVER, James LITTLE, William TASKER, Timothy CORN & John MCDOWELL, whose acct. in 1815 was $2002.02.
One year they hired John SHOEMAKER to make shoes for their slaves. One of their customers paid $300 on his bill by giving them a negro woman slave. They paid Timothy CORN $100 for some hay.
They sold an iron skillet for .67, skillet with lid for $1.12 1/2, an axe was $2.25. Beans were $1 bushel, "stone coal" .07 per lb., tea cups $3 doz., a good bay mare for $95.50.
Their iron wares were shipped to Georgetown, DC by flat boat when they river was sufficiently high. There is a rock in the river near the 21st Bridge called "The Boating Rock". When the water in the river covered that rock flat boats could navigate downstream to Georgetown.
The first post office at Keyser was established 10-30-1811, and named Paddytown VA, after Patrick, son of Edward McCarty. The first postmaster was Isaac MCCARTY, also son of Edward. He was 21 when appointed postmaster and served until 10-15-1814, at which time his sister Elizabeth'S husband William ARMSTONG became postmaster. William served until 4-20-1818, when he was succeeded by his brother David ARMSTRONG. David was succeeded on 7-20-1820 by Patrick MCCARTY (for whom Paddytown was named).
Isaac McCarty, after the McCarty business at Paddytown failed, went in 1826/27 to the Youghiogheny Glades and founded what is now the town of Oakland, MD.
During the depression of 1824, the McCartys here went bankrupt, being in debt to the Bank of the US. There was a forced sale. All the McCartys here had left was the "Old Stone House", a few acres of ground including Mill Meadow, and 40 negro slaves. Most McCartys had left the community.
Soon after this, the remaining McCarty farm land, the "Stone House" & much additional farm land was purchased by James SINGLETON, who owned it until his death in 1842 (his name was John).
Due to many causes there was a decline in the economic importance of this little village. The Paddytown Post Office was discontinued 1-6-1844. George Washington MOSELY was its last post master.
After 1845, the village of Paddytown began to decline. The coming of the B& O RR brought new life and growth to the village. Paddytown would become the eastern and smaller part of Keyser east of New Creek.
SINGLETONS AND ANGUS MCDONALDS
The last of the McCarty holdings at Paddytown were
purchased in 1829 by John Magruder SINGLETON He marriedo Mary
THOMPSON. Their children were: Susan SINGLETON m. Joseph MCCARTY;
John T. SINGLETON to Mary CRESAP; Aaron SINGLETON ) to Mary MYERS of
Romney; Mary Ann SINGLETONto Romullus THISTLE; James SINGLETON m.
Harriet HAYWARD(b.6-6-1817); Barbara SINGLETON m. to John G. LYNN of Cumberland.
When Magruder SINGLETON died in 1842 he left a will containing bequests amt. to several thousands of dollars, and appointed Angus MCDONALD, attorney of Romney, his administrator. Col. MCDONALD refused to serve. He evidently had other plans. By this time it was known that the B&O RR would come through this farm inducing his aunt, Mrs. Elizabeth TIDBALL of Winchester, to buy the Singleton farm at public auction; he later bought the farm from her. The Singletons realized very little money from the sale of their farm. The bequests of John Magruder Singleton's will could not be paid for lack of funds. The Singletons moved to Iowa and MO. The B&O RR came through the farm in 1852, increasing its value. Col. McDonald profited much by buying it. Col. McDonald moved to Paddytown, occupying the "Stone House" and farm in 1853. He continued to live there until 1857, when he moved back to Romney.
After the final settlement of James M. SINGLETON estate, all children moved with their mother to Iowa, except one son, Aaron SINGLETON who remained here an was constable of this district. He and his wife helped organize the first church in this village, the First Methodist Church, in 1850. They and the Mosleys helped build the first church building in Keyser, The Methodist Church on Welch Street. This building was burned by soldiers during the Civil War.
Col. McDonald m. Leacy Ann NAYLOR of Romney, they had 8 children.
After her death he went to Hannibal, MO. He there married Cornelia PEAKE. They returned to Romney and later to the "Stone House". He had 9 children by his 2nd wife, who with the 8 by his first wife had a total of 17 children. The Colonel moved to Paddytown in 1853 and lived here until 1857.
With the coming of the railroad, a post office was re-established her on 1-22-1852, named Paddy Town (two words), VA. The postmaster was a son of Col. McDonald by his first wife, Edward Hitchcock MCDONALD. Col. McDonald's wife, Mrs. Cornelia PEAK MCDONALD had been educated in a young ladies seminary in Alexandria VA, and who was proficient in French, well read in English literature, and could paint and sketch, did not like the name Paddy Town. To her it was unaesthetic and wholly unacceptable. She used her husband's influence to have the name of the office changed to "Wind Lea, VA", which the Post Office Department did on 1-22-1855."
Mrs. McDonald had considerable skill as a writer. After the Civil War, in 1875, she published a book, "A Diary, With Reminiscences of the War and Refugee Life in the Shenandoah Valley 1860-1865." One of the illustrations in this book is her sketch of the "Old Stone House" another her sketech of Paddy Town, the only picture this village in pre-Civil War Times. Mrs. McDonald missed the social life of Alexandria. there is no record of her having contact with any of the other residents here. In all her writings, she never mentions the other people here, such as --Col. Edward ARMSTRONG, the MOSLEYS, Mrs. Sarah MCCARTY, Col. James DAYTON, the REITZELS, the GRIMES, James I. BARRICK, Mrs. Cornelius LONG, the SMOOTS, and others who were substantial and prosperous people of the community. Wind Lea was not exactly her "cup of tea" although she had many slaves to wait on her.
The McDonalds moved to Romney then Winchester. Col. McDonald joined the Confederate army in 1861, and for a while commander of the 77th VA Regiment. He was captured by Union Forces and underwent a long imprisonment. He was released iin Autumn 1864 in much debilitated condition. He died 12-1-1864.
Col. McDonald sold the "Stone House" in 1857 to Acquilla Brown MCCARTY.
Early in the Civil War, the Union army confiscated the "Stone House" using it as both hospital and prison. In 1870 Aquilla "Quill" sold it to Amos UMSTOTT.
When Amos UMSTOTT died, the old Stone House was bought by George LEPS. The Leps lived there from @ 1925-30.