Photo by Charley Elder, 2009.
Photos by Gerald Bills, 2000.
DIRECTIONS: From the traffic light on State Route 2 at the end of the bridge in St. Marys, go south 9.2 miles. Turn left onto County Road 4 (Oak Grove Road), go east on County Road 4 1.3 miles through intersection with County Road 6 (holding right) for 1.2 miles to Cluster. Continue on County Road 4 (holding left at Cluster) for 1.7 miles. Turn right on County Road 4/3 for approximately 0.7 mile to the foot of the hill. The cemetery is on a flat approximately 100 yards up the steep hill ("Maiden Hill") just to the left of the road.- GPS: N39° 18.867' W81° 17.341'
St. Marys Oracle - June 10, 1998
FAMILY FROM TEXAS VISITS RESTORED HORSENECK CEMETERY
By Robert W. Campbell
Memorial Day 1998 was a special day for Robert W. Campbell and his family. With his wife Judy; his oldest son Robert Carlton and wife Nancy and children Robert John and Taylor; his son Kevin William; daughter Heather and husband Clay Riggs and son Chase, these "Ten from Texas" traveled to Horseneck, WV to visit the homeplace of their ancestors and the recently restored gravesite of one of Pleasants County's earliest settlers.
Robert R. Campbell was buried on a knoll behind his house on the Campbell homeplace at the foot of Maiden Hill in Horseneck. His widow, Massa had returned his body to Horseneck following the death during the Civil War. He died August 27, 1864.
Robert R's father, Robert Jr. and his grandfather, Robert Sr., had emigrated from Scotland in 1795-98. They initially settled in southwestern Pennsylvania. Robert Sr. obtained a land grant from Virginia for the land on Bull Creek, and in 1820 they settled their and built their first log house. They were farmers and stone masons.
Like his forefathers, Robert was also a stone mason. Before the Civil War, a local land owner and slave owner contracted with Robert for his skills as a Stone mason. Daniel Willard wanted a crypt cut from a rock outcrop on his property for his final resting place. Robert agreed to the task and with the help of one of Willard's slaves, the crypt was cut from the rock. Mr. Willard's family did not use the crypt for his final resting-place. The site remains today and located about 1 mile up Cow Creek along the road from Route #2 at Willow Island. Following the Civil War and the emancipation of the slaves, Robert's son gave land to Willard's slave, and he built a house for his family.
Robert R. started building the second log house on the land grant for his family. When the house was about two-thirds erected, the Civil War was moving into northern Virginia and he enlisted with the West Virginia Volunteers in Wheeling. The war took his life and his family finished the house after the war ended. The distinguishing feature of the log house was the unfinished cut stone fireplace and chimney that rose to a height of 8 feet. The large fitted stones marked the site of the homeplace for 125 years. However, after 1982 the chimney stones were taken from the land and the only traces of the log timbers remained at the site of the homeplace.
The late Robert G. Campbell had the vision to maintain and preserve the grave of his great-grandfather. When he was 3 years and 6 months old, his mother, Bessie (Malone) Campbell, was fatally burned when her clothing ignited from an open flame. Robert G. and his young sister, the late Massie (Campbell) Riggs of St. Marys, lived their childhood with their grand-father in the Robert R. Campbell homeplace. As a child and youth, Robert G. knew of his grandfather's grave "on the hill". Through his adult life he remembered the grave and passed the vision to his children. With time, the headstone would be leaned against the tree next to the grave to keep it free of the leaves and brush. There was concern that stripminers might dig through the site or bikers might vandalize the markers and destroy the site. Robert G. always returned to the place until the climb to the top of the hill was more than his age and health would permit.
His son, Robert W. kept the vision and in 1997 he contracted with Monuments Restoration of Parkersburg to restore the gravesite. It was Memorial Day 1998 when the restored site was first visited by the descendants of Robert R. and the family of Robert G. It was truly a memorable Memorial Day event.
There are three markers at the site:
1. Headstone placed by Robert R.'s widow Massa (Welling) Campbell - inscribed as follows:
Robert R. Campbell
of C. H. 11 W. Va. Vol. I.
Aug 27 1864
45 yrs. 6 m's. 21d's.
Husband of Mass Campbell
2. Footstone furnished by the U. S. Government inscribed with the initials "R. R. C."
3. Headstone for infant of family friend - inscribed as follows:
Wm. & E. Higgins
Oct 1 1861
2 yrs 10 m's. 13 d's.
Direct descendants of Robert R. Campbell are:
Robert George Washington Campbell b. Nov. 11, 1853; d. Dec. 3, 1928.
Farmed and lived at Horseneck. Buried in Malone Cemetery at Horseneck.
Robert Harrison Campbell b. June 10, 1890; d. July 11, 1979.
Built "Bob's Place" at corner of Route 2 and Lafayette Street in St. Marys. Buried in the Oddfellows Cemetery in St. Marys.
Robert George Campbell b. July 17, 1912; d. June 15, 1976.
Land developer and homebuilders in Parkersburg. Buried in the Oddfellows Cemetery St. Marys.
Robert William Campbell b. April 26, 1936.
Engineer, Nassau Bay, Texas.
Robert Carlton Campbell.
Engineer, Missouri City, Texas.
Robert John Campbell.
Elementary school, Missouri City, Texas.
Submitted by Gerald Bills.
Wood County, West Virginia Marriage records:
Hughes, G. C. 30 (s)
Date: June 8, 1865
Place of Birth: Nicholas County
Parents: Thomas & Nancy Hughes
and Massa Campbell 32 (w)
Place of Birth:--------
Parents: Edward Welling
By T. H. Monroe
Pleasants County, West Virginia Death register:
Hughes, Massie DOD: Sept. 6, 1923 Parents: Edward & Sarah Welling, POB Penna,
Reported by R. G. W. Campbell page 118A
Hughes, Grandison C. DOD: Dec. 21, 1911 page 87/88.
Cemetery records show G. C. Hughes buried in Malone Cemetery.
Pleasants County Leader - September 25, 1923
"MRS. MASSIE HUGHS"
On Sept. 13 the icy hand of death touched the Willow community and claimed for its victim one of our best and most respected aged ladies, Massie Hughs.
She was born March 13, 1830, aged 93 years and 7 months.
She leaves a son and two daughters besides a host of relatives and friends to mourn their loss. Her husband preceded her some years ago.
She joined the Christian Church when quite young and lived a good Christian and did not fear death. She had often said when it is God's will to take me, I am ready to go. She will be missed in the community as well as in the home. She was a kind and loving lady and a true friend.
Funeral services were held at the Christian Church at Willow conducted by Rev. C. E. Fogle of St. Marys. Interment was made in the home cemetery [Note: Buried Malone Cemetery, per death record. Birth and death dates on death record: 03/13/1832 - 09/06/1923.]
1860 Census, Pleasants County, (West) Virginia
The Family of Robert H. "Bob" Campbell, Owner of "Bob's Place"