The following is taken from the book "History of Ritchie County" written by
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As before stated, Preston Zinn, and Thomas Pritchard were the first settlers at Berea in 1848; and Mr. Pritchard and J.C. Lowther built the first mill here the same year. Mr. Lowther is still a citizen of this community.
But the history of the village properly begins with the year 1867, when the post-office was established and the name changed, from Seven-Day-Mill, to Berea. During this winter, P.F. Randolph, now of Salem, a graduate of Alfred University, New York, had been employed to teach the school here; and while thus engaged, William Pritchard, an old-time teacher, requested him to formulate a petition for a mail-route, from Pennsboro, via Lynn Camp, Slab creek, and Seven-Day-Mill to Bone creek. This he agreed to do, provided another name should be substituted for "Seven-Day-Mill." A Bible school had been reopened, and a revival having been in progress throughout the winter, the Bible name "Berea" was suggested, and under this name the office was established with Henry Goodwin as postmaster. This is the only office on this route, with the exception of Pennsboro, that retains its original name.
P.F. Randolph's educational services to this community were of a high order, and his career merits more than a passing notice in this connection. A score of many young people attended this school, who afterwards became prominently identified with the educational work of the county. This was the second school taught at this place under the Free School system. Miss Elizabeth Zinn, now Mrs. Koohn, of Farina, Illinois, having taught the first, the preceding winter.
Teachers were scarce, and Mr. Randolph frequently taught thirteen months, of twenty days each, in a year. He continued in this profession for twenty years teaching in Ritchie, Doddridge, and Harrison counties, and then turned his attention to the mercantile business, until 1902, when he became the principal of the "Rural Home Voice School," at Salem a school for the correction of stammering; he having been able to overcome an impediment in his own speech, is now trying to help others to overcome this difficulty. He married Miss Hattie Meredith, daugher of the late Job Meredith, who perhaps taught the first free school in Union district at the old Pleasant Hill church, during the summer of 1865. They were the parents of three children: the late Roy, Prof. Clyde, of the Morgantown University, and Mrs. Iva Rosier, wife of Prof. Rosier, City Superintendent of the Fairmont schools. Mrs. Randolph passed away in 1909, but he still survives.
The first school-house was constructed in 1868, the old Pine Grove church having served this purpose before this time.
W.H. Batson erected the first dwelling near the bridge, in 1869. Henry Goodwin and James Davis, now of Beeson, were the first merchants in 1876; and Dr. L.H. Jones was the first resident physician.
The village church was built by the Seventh Day Adventists in 1884, Charles Bee being the donor of the grounds. Two other churches stand withoutone, in sight, and the other, a mile distant.
The Berea of to-day is a village of fifty-six inhabitants: It contains near twenty dwellings, a post-office, mill, blacksmith-shop, three stores two dry goods and one hardware two telephone exchange offices, a two-roomed school-house, a church and one lodge, Maccabees.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE FIGURED IN THE HISTORY OF THE TOWN
The Bees. The name of "Bee" refuses to be divorced from the history of this town, as few other names have had a longer or more prominent connection with its affairs.
This family were originally of Jewish extraction of the tribe of Ephraim, but their ancestors came from England to America in Colonial times and settled in New Jersey. In accord with the ancient custom of their race, they kept a record and were able to trace their lineage back to Father Abraham, but this well-preserved record was burned in New Jersey near a century ago, and thus this interesting history was wiped out of existence. However, they accepted Christianity several generations ago, but have always observed the Jewish Sabbath.
Four brothers, Ephraim, Asa, George and Thomas Bee crossed to New Jersey with a company of English emigrants some time before the Revolution, and, doubtless, some of them were actively engaged in this struggle for liberty, as a tradition has been handled down concerning their flight, at different times, when pursued by the "British Red Coats." And from George the West Virginia Bees trace their ancestry; his son, Asa, having come to what is now Taylor county, late in the eighteenth century. He (Asa, senior) was the father of Jonathon, Asam Ezekiel, Ephraim, Josiah, Amaziah, Samuel, John, Hannah, Sophia, Mary, Keziah, and Abigail Bee.
Asa Bee, junior, the second son, was the first one of the name to come to Ritchie county. He was born near what is now the town of Fetterman, in Taylor county, in 1798, and there he was married to Miss Hannah, daughter of Zebulon Maxin, in his early manhood; and after residing at New Milton, in Doddridge county, for some length of time, he removed to the Berea vicinity in 1836. He was the first minister of the Seventh Day Baptist church, on Hughes' river, and his ministry had a telling effect on the early history of this branch of the church, which was organized not long after his arrival. He was a strong advocate of co-education, having no sympathy, whatever, with the idea that was so prevalent at that period "that woman was amply equipped for the battle of life if only she could spell and read." He taught that woman's influence was the potent factor in shaping the mind of the child, and that, thus she was in need of the better education; and this teaching had an important bearing on his own family, as three of his daughters were among the early teachers of this vicinity; his daughter Abigail having taught the first school here in an old dwelling near the year 1852, and a second term in Preston Zinn's new barn. She also taught a term in her father's hay-house, which was later enlarged and fitted up for a church and school-house. Few women were more beloved than Abigail Bee, who afterwards became the wife of Daniel Nay, of Pullman. Mr. And Mrs. Bee both remained here until they were laid in the Pine Grove cemetery.
Their other children, besides Mrs. Nay, were Zabulon, Asa, Laomi, Mrs. Priscilla, late wife of E.C. Goff, of Goff's; and Mrs. Rhoda (Lemuel) Davis, who have all passed on; Mrs. Ingaby Doak, wife of Robert Doak, of Tyler county; and Mrs. Almira (Wm.) Dougherty, of Mississippi. Mrs. Dougherty and Mrs. Goff were both teachers.
Ezekiel Bee (another brother of Asa, junior) was born at Fetterman, in 1800, and came from Doddridge county to Berea, in 1857, and remained until he,too, was borne to the Pine Grove cemetery, in 1893. He was first married to Miss Elizabeth Rogers; and Benjamin Wilson Bee, of Salem; and Nelson, of Cowan, were the fruits of this union.
His second wife was Miss Mariah Johnson, daughter of Michael Johnson, an early settler of the Ellenboro vicinity, and they were the parents of eight children; viz., Angelina, who is now the wife of the Rev. M.E. Martin, of Cincinnati, was an early pedagogue of this vicinity. Elizabeth, who died in 1910, was the late Mrs. J. M. Meredith, of Berea; Sedilla, Alzetta, and Emmaretta rest in the Pine Grove cemetery , Arthur is of Berea; Josiah, of Doddrdge county; and Eudolphus, of Kanawha Station. The town stands on the land formally owned by Ezekiel Bee.
Josiah Bee, senior, brother of Asa and Ezekiel, was married to Priscilla, daughter of George Davis, and came to this county from Doddridge, in 1859, and remained here until he found a final resting-place in the Pine Grove cemetery. His family are as follows: Dr. Isaiah Bee, of Mercer county, who was an early teacher and physician of this county; the late Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Obadiah, Azariah, Cathrine, who died in youth; Mrs. Joanna (George) McMullen, of Lewis county; and Mrs. Mary Meredith Gardner, of Parkersburg.
Ephraim Bee, senior, another brother, was married to Miss Kathrine Davis and lived and died in Doddridge county, and from him the Pennsboro, Cairo, and Elizabeth Bees are descended.
John Bee, still another brother, with his wife, Mrs. Ingaby Davis Bee, came here from Doddridge county, near thirty-five years ago, and spent the remnant of his days where his widow and daughter, Lovera, still reside. His other children are: Dr. Estee Bee, Mrs. Cordelia (Henry) Goff, and Albert Bee, Berea; Ira and Mrs. Ruhama Davis Walker, Roane county; and Joel Bee, Walker Station.
Henry Goodwin and his wife, Casandra Leggett Goodwin, came from Marion county, perhaps early in the fifties, and resided in the Harrisville vicinity before coming to Berea, where they spent the remnant of their days, and where they sleep.
They were the parents of several children: Mary became Mrs. Hyson Davis, and Martha married Joel Bee, Enoch and Lethean died in their youth, and the rest in childhood.
Dr. L.H. Jones, the first resident physician here, is now a prominent practitioner of Ellenboro. He married Miss Cordelia Reitz, daughter of L.G. Reitz, and is the father of five daughters: the late Mrs. Attie Ralston, Mrs. Beatrice Mallory, the late Bernice Jones, and Annie and Marie.
James Davis, who was one of the merchants here, married Miss Nancy Leggett, daughter of Enoch Leggett, and was the father of Mrs. Hattie Manear, Mrs. Jennie Garrett, Mrs. Lizzie , William, Walter, and Ivan Davis.
He later went to Harrisville, where he lost his second wife, and where he still resides with his second wife.
W.H.Batson came from Marion county, and remained here until his death in November 1910. He was the father of Mrs. M.M. Powell, of Harrisville; Mrs. Jennie Maxin, Charles and Lee Batson, of Berea. He belongs to the descendents of the Leggett family of Slab creek.
James R. Brake was long a conspicuous figure in the business circles of this community. He, with his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Bush Brake, came from Lewis county to Bone creek, where they resided for a number of years before the Civil war, in which he served as a soldier. Shortly after the close of this struggle, he came to the old homestead here and formed a partnership with Thomas Baker in the mercantile business. They later changed their place of business to Pennsboro, where they dissolved partnership; and Mr. Brake returned here and continued in this business until his death, when his sons took charge. The store has been closed now for several years now, and the old homestead is owned by John M. Summers, though occupied by Town Brake, who married Miss Vira, daughter of Mr. Summers.
Mr. Brake was at one time a member of the County court and was widely known in business circles, as are his sons. Several of his children died in childhood, but the surviving ones are as follows: A. Steele, and H.W., reside in the far West; Wirt, at Buckhannon; Pitt G., at Parkersburg; and Town, at the old home.
The present business men of the town are Thomas Jackson, and (Elisworth) Douglass & (Nathan) Mason, merchants, F.P. Bee, physician, E.J. Bee, blacksmith, F.H. Bee, miller, and Fred Meredith, post-master. John Meredith is also a leading citizen of the town.
This town was laid out in 1883 by A. Hunter Hall, who is still one of its prominent citizens. In March, 1882, Miss Carrie V. Zumbro, sister of Mrs. Hall, purchased a farm of W.B. Loudin, and from this farm lots were sold for the town. John Parker purchased the first one, and erected a dwelling where the Howard residence and the post-office now stand, in 1883. The post-office was established the same year with A.B. Sommerville as post-master. The name "Pullman" being selected by the Post- office department.
A. J. Cross, son of John Cross, purchased the second lot and launched the blacksmith and hardware business in 1883. He, later , built the A.J. Riddel residence, one of the prettiest in town, and from here he went to Pennsboro, in 1904, where he still lives.
The site of the pioneer blacksmith shop of the place is now marked by the residence of A. Hunter Hall.
The first dwelling on the site of the town, after the original Cain cabin, was erected on the lot that is now marked by the late Wm. I. Lowther residence; and the second, was the Parker home, where Syelus Hall now lives. These were all old time "mansions."
The first hotel stood where the "Pullman hotel" now stands, and was owned By John Parker. There are now three hotels there, the "Loudin," with E.J. Loudin Proprietor, and the "Wilson," owned and managed by Mrs. Anna Wilson.
The erection of the first church in what is now Pullman antedates the history of the town by many years. It was built in 1850, and was long designated as "Old Slab."
Enoch B. Leggett was the donor of the original grounds, which were added to later by William I. Lowther. The first church was destroyed by the hand of an incendiary during the Civil war, but was rebuilt in 1868; and in 1899, this old time structure gave place to the present one, which was chiefly the work of William I. Lowther.
The school-house and mill, also, came many years before the town. Perhaps, as early as 1860, John Parker built a dwelling where Syelus Hall now lives, and, a mill on the site of the garden of the Pullman hotel, near a lasting spring. He continued to run this mill during the war, and operated a carding-machine in connection. And during those dark days, the women were his patrons, it being no uncommon sight to see them coming to mill laden with their grain and wool. The one mill here now is a roller process owned by the Pullman State Bank.
Shortly after the coming of the mill, the first post-office was established under the name of "Parker's mill;" but it went out of existence during the war.
Hunter Hall was the first merchant of the town. His store having stood on the corner of the lot that is now owned by his brother, Syelus Hall.
A. B. Sommerville was the second merchant, and the first postmaster, as before stated. He came from the little sister County of Doddridge, and married Miss Sarah Lowther, daughter of Wm. I. Lowther, and remained here until he was laid in the Pullman churchyard. He was the grandson of the distinguished pioneer, George Husher. He left no heirs, and after his death his widow became Mrs. Winfield Chapman, but she, too, has long since joined the throng on the other side.
Dr. A. D. Summers was the first resident physician. He married Miss Kathrine McKinley, and went to Roane county, where he died, and where the family still live. Other resident physicians have been Drs. Perry, W. R. Rymer, J. G. Lowther, Leason, Frank Prunty, and N. W. Jones; and Dr. J. O. Eddy, who came here from the Buckeye state a few years since, and Dr. Benjamin Richards, a native of this county, now look after the sick.
Merchants. Among those who have figured in the mercantile business here from time to time, we find the names of the late E. G. Hawkins, Elliott Hall and Son, E. D. Edmonds, W. W. Wells, B. F. Richards, W. E. Cox, J. A. Cox, Curtis Morris, J. A. Veach, A. J. Cross, Frank Pritchard; and the present merchants, J.A. Cox, A. J. Riddel, C. W. Nutter, and the W. S. Scout hardware and general store.
The Bank was instituted in September, 1902, with G. M. Ireland, President, and Okey J. Prunty, cashier. Mr. Ieland is still the president and Fred A. Hall is cashier, with Hayes Elliott, assistant.
The Maccabees Lodge was organized during the Autumn of 1904, with twenty-six charter members. It now has a membership of one hundred seventy-five; and enjoys the distinction of being the largest lodge of this order in the state. It has a neat and comfortable hall, which is valued at two thousand dollars: and a Ladies auxiliary, which was organized in 1908.
This town claimed a population of one hundred fifty-eight in 1906, but it possibly numbers near one hundred seventy-five at the present time (1910); and on May twenty- first of this year, it had a lot sale, which added near forty new lots, and a rapid growth in the near future is the present outlook. The Lorama narrow gauge railroad is making daily trips here now, and, doubtless, this town will soon vie with Auburn for second place, in size, among the towns of Union district.
It was incorporated in 1901 with James R. Lowther as first mayor. In 1906, it numbered thirty-seven buildings, but several have since been added. It has four general stores, and one general and hardware combined, three hotels, a two-roomed school-building, two blacksmith shops, a milliner and dress-maker establishment, one church (M. P.), two parsonages (M. P. and M. E.), a bank, a mill, a telephone exchange, one lodge hall, one veterinarian, and one young peoples society Christian Endeavor.
Asby Hunter Hall, the founder of this enterprising little town, was born in Marion county, on April 24, 1854, and there grew to manhood and began his career as a rural pedagogue. He married Miss Olive Zumbro, of Marion county, on March 25, 1879, and from Harrison county they came to Ritchie, in 1881. He not only founded this town, but has been a prominent factor in its affairs throughout its history. He belongs to the Halls, whose ancestral history appears in the Lynn Camp chapter. He is the father of two children, Glenn and Ruby Hall.
Oxford-This quaint little village, which at the present time contains not more than a half dozen dwellings, a store, a blacksmith-shop, and a few other buildings, is the second oldest in the Union district.
Alexander Lowther, senior, the first settler, in 1822, was its founder. He was born in Harrison county, on January 14, 1791, and was the son of William and Margaret Morrison Lowther, and the grandson of Col. William. He married Miss Sarah Ireland, who first saw the light of day on August 13, 1736; and near the year 1820, he came to this county and settled on the north bank of the Hughes river, just opposite of the Middle fork, on land that now belongs to G. M. Ireland the sight of this old cabin is said to be marked by an oil well and from here he went to Oxford, where he erected the old log residence, which, though in a state of dilapidation, still stands, at the western end of the village. Here, in 1841, a great shadow fell upon the home, when the beloved wife and mother "passed from sight". Some time after this sad event, he married Miss Rachel Stout Neal, mother of M. A. Neal, of Ellenboro, and the one child of this union died in infancy. He was a soldier of the war of 1812, and was one of the earliest justices of the peace of the county. He died at Oxford, on April 20, 1864, and sleeps in the White Oak cemetery. his first wife lies near the M. P. church at this place, and the second, at Pullman.
The children of his first marriage were ten in number: Margaret died in youth and was laid at rest by her mother; Alexander, sleeps at Parkersburg; Wm. I., at Pullman; John A., at Oxford; Robert W., at Cairo; A. Jackson, in Missouri; Archibald, on Goose creek; Jesse, at Chrisman, Illinois; Elizabeth (Mrs. Samuel Prunty), resides at Summer, Missouri; and Mrs. Sarah Stout, at Parkersburg.
P. S. Austin. Mr. Lowther's old residence here consisted of two log houses joined together by an entry; and in this entry, the first store was established by the late P. S. Austin, of Burnt House, near 1848.
Mr. Austin, a little late, erected a store-house near the present site of the Frank Pritchard store; and he gave the town its name.
Through his efforts the post-office was established in 1849, and he was the first post-master. Near the year 1851, leaving Oxford, he went to Smithville, where he engaged in the mercantile business for a time, and where he met and married Miss Anne Sleeth, daughter of David Sleeth; the marriage taking place on February 8, 1853; and soon afterwards, he settled at Burnt House, where his daughter, Mrs. J. F. Hartmann now lives. He was a typical son of the "Old Dominion," being born in Augusta county, on August 29, 1821; and when the Rebellion came on, his sympathies naturally lingered about the Southern cause, and he went South and took up arms in behalf of the Confederacy, and remained until peace had again been restored. He then returned to his home at Burnt House, and six weeks later followed his wife to the grave. Two of his children, Charles N., and Lucian Alexander, had preceded their mother to the other shore, and taking the other three, aged seven, five, and three years, he went to his old home in Virginia, and entrusted them to the care of his sister, Mrs. Saphronia Donahoe, who reared them to man and womanhood.
In October, 1880, the son, Lysander Chapman, returned to the home of his father, and in June following he was laid by his mother in the Smithville cemetery.
In December of the same year (1881) the daughters came, and on January 9, 1883, Florilla Floyd, the eldest, became the bride of Dr. J. F. Hartmann, and she, alone, survives.
On September 15, 1903, Saphronia Letita was married to John V. Warner, of Smithville, and in December, 1905, she, too, was laid in the Smithville cemetery, leaving two little daughters, Mary and Nellie. And with Miss Jessie, Karl and Fleet Hartmann, we number the entire descendents of this pioneer merchant.
On a beautiful day in Autumn October 1, 1886, Philander Spillsbury Austin fell asleep at his home at Burnt House, and was borne to the Smithville cemetery and laid away by the side of his wife and children.
He was of Scotch-Irish descent the son of Alexander and Letita McClannehan Austin, early settlers on the South river, in Augusta county, Virginia. His maternal grandfather, Col. McClannehan, was Colonel of the Seventh Virginia Regiment in the Revolutionary war. He was one of a family of fifteen children, all of whom died under the paternal roof, except the following: Dr. Alexander Austin (late father of Drs. Charles and Samuel Austin, of Lewisburg; and William, a pulpit orator of the Presbyterian church of New York), who lived and died at West Milford; Rice, who went to Tennessee; and Mrs. Donahoe, already mentioned, Mrs.Virginia Black, and Mrs. Cornelia Kinsolvin, all of Virginia.
Holbrook, which has never been but little more than a post-office is at the present time inhabited by two families; and the mention of a store, post-office, church, school-house, and a blacksmith shop will probably give the reader a graphic description of this little hamlet, which came into existence with the establishment of the post-office in 1865; and which was named by William Chevrount, who was the post-master at West Union at that time. The late Christopher N. Nutter was the first post-master, he keeping the office at his residence.
Mr. Nutter built the first mill here in 1857, but this mill being destroyed by the hand of an incendiary in the early days of the Civil war, was rebuilt, in 1866, by J. M. Brown, of Hannahdale, and the late Godfrey Carroll. Among other later owners were Enoch Leggett, J. F. Ireland, E. M. Brown, A. K. Atha, and C. W. Nutter, who was the last owner and operator, its wheels having been silent since 1893.
J. C. Gluck, of Auburn and J. L. Lamb, of Harrisville were the first merchants.
The school-house was erected in 1866, and the church, in '74; the late Archibald Lowther having given the grounds for both, he being one of the chief builders of the church, which is known as "the Walnut Grove church." This was one of the last acts of his life. On October 29, 1874, when the church was nearing completion, he, not having been so very well, walked down to see how the work was progressing, and shortly after his return to the house, suddenly breathed his last.
Petroleum was laid out for a town as early as 1854 in view of having it made a railroad station, and it took its name from the petroleum spring near by.
The land where it stands was originally owned and settled by Richard Parker, who transferred it to Richard Rutherfore, senior, at an early day and went West. Mr. Rutherford later transferred it to his son, George Rutherford, who has long been a leading citizen of this community.
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company erected the first building, in 1856,--the year that is marked by the running of the first train on this road, and this building is still in existence, and is occcupied by Mr. Welling.
James Kelley was the pioneer merchant of the village. He came here from "Old Erin" in his bachelor days and married a widow by the name of McCue, and from here, went to Parkersburg, and finally to the "the Smoky City" where he died.
Andrew Shaw (colored) was the first blacksmith; Dr. Van Slyck, of New York, the first hosteler; Cr. Humphrey, the first physician; and the Rev. D. M. Sleeth, the first minister.
Dr. Humphrey went from here to Cairo, and after some years of service there went to Doddridge county.
The Rev. Mr. Sleeth was a scholarly gentleman of the United Presbyterian church faith. He married Mrs. Mattie Newland, of Belmont county, Ohio, and was the father of two daughters and one son, Libbie, Mabel, and Earle, who were all married and live in the West. The father died in Kansas near a year ago, and the mother lives with her children.
The year 1856 was marked by the coming of the post-office with the late George Rutherford post-master. The present one is George B. Douglass.
The school-house came in 1868, but was transformed into the present two-roomed building in 1880.
The village now claims a population of ninety inhabitants, and its two mercantile houses are owned and managed by Rutherford Brothers and L. P. Reitz.
Jerome A. Vandiver was an early merchant here, and the names of Douglass, Rutherford, Reitz and Sharpnack have been prominent ones almost throughout the history of the village, but as the older families have been given a place in preceding chapters we will only mention the Reitzes, John Cowan and D. M. Sharpnack in this connection.
The Reitzes are of German extraction. Philip Reitz, who was born at Geneva, Pennsylvania, in 1806, and was there married to Miss Rachel Harter, came to this county with his family in 1859, and settled at Ellenboro where he engaged in the mercantile business until 1863, when he removed to Petroleum. He continued to sell goods until 1868, when he was succeeded by his son, L. P., and George B. Douglass.
He died here near the year 1894. He was the father of six children; viz., J. H., and F. W., have passed on; L. P. Reitz, and Ellen M., who is Mrs. D. M. Sharpnack, are of this place; and T. G. Reitz, and Mrs. Elizabeth Williams, of Parkersburg.
L. P. Reitz, who has so long been identified in business here, married Miss Isabelle J. Chrisholm in 1877, and five children are the result of the union. Harry died a few years ago, and the other four, Jessie, Mary, Walter, and L. W. Reitz, survive.
In l871, Mr. Reitz purchased Mr. Douglass' interest in the store, and after managing the business alone for a time, he formed a partner-ship with his brothers, T.G. and F. W. Reitz, but he is now sole-owner and manager at the age of sixty-nine years.
The Reitzes are a worthy family. Philip Reitz was a brother of Thomas, of Harrisville.
Daniel M. Sharpnack, second son of Hiram and Lydia Harris Sharpnack, who was born on July 30, 1845, has been identified with the business interests of the town in various ways since 1869, when he came here from the "California House," where he had been engaged in the mercantile business. He has been post-master, telegraph operator, real estate agent, express agent, etc., and is a mechanic of more than ordinary skill.
On December 5, 1867, he was married to Miss Ellen M. Reitz, daughter of Philip Reitz, and three children were born of this union; viz., Mrs. Rachel (Sidney R.) Curry, Mrs Alice (Harvey) Stutler, St. Mary's; and Thomas, who was graduated from the Buckhannon Seminary, and from the Ohio Wesleyan University, and is now in business at Mansfield, Ohio.
John Cowan was prominent in the affairs of this town and community for a number of years and we here inscribe his name:
He was born in Scotland on October 17, 1832,, and spent his youthful days among his native hills as a shepherd's boy; but in his early manhood he enlisted in the British Army for service in the Crimean war (1854-56) belonging to the Highland troops; and, like the other members of this regiment, received a medal from the hand of Queen Victoria, for bravery, which is inscribed with the names of four decisive battles of this war; viz., Alma, Balaklava, Sebastopol, and Constantinople. He was an eye witness to the "Charge of the Light Brigade" upon which Tennyson has based his famous poem, and his brother, William, was one of the "six hundred" that rode "Into the valley of Death," and one of the very few that escaped that awful fate.
Mr. Cowan lost the use of one of his ears owing to the bursting of an ear-drum during the fierce canonading at Sebastopol. He was distantly connected to Thomas Carlyle, the great English historian and essayist, and remembered his visits to the Carlyle home with his parents in his childhood.
He came to America during the autumn of 1857, and spent the winter in New York, but owing to the severity of the climate, went to New Orleans during the following spring and summer. There he met and married Miss Janett Muir, a Scotch maiden, on January 3, 1862; and together they came to Petroleum in 1872, where he figured as justice of the peace for thirteen years, and as a good citizen for the rest of his days. He had been a communicant of the Free Church of Scotland in his native land, but united with the Presbyterian church after coming to this county. He removed from Petroleum to a farm four miles distant, but owing to a paralytic stroke which disabled him, he returned to the town where Death closed his eyes on May 30, 1908, and in the Egypt cemetery, near Cairo, he lies buried. Mrs. Cowan with their eight children still survives.
The sons and daughters are as follows:
Mrs. Jessie (R. G.) Powell, Miss Agnes Cowan, and John H., are of Petroleum; Mrs. G. W. Foutty, of Freeport; Miss Marian, of Cairo; Robert L., of Wheeling; William N., and James of Sherrard, near Wheeling.
This family of Cowan's do not belong to the same race as the other family of this name that has a place in this work.
Highland.--This town took its name for the Highlands of Scotland, the place of the nativity of the early settlers of this section of Bond's creek. It was born in 1868, when John Helmick erected the first dwelling, and William Smith, the first store. Is is now a village of fifty inhabitants. The school-house was added in 1870, and Dr. Villers was the first resident physician. The first mill in this part was put into operation near the year 1820, and was one of the old-time horse-power mills.
William Douglass came here in 1868 from Cairo and remained an influential citizen of the town until his death a few months since.
The mercantile business at this time is in the hands of Smith and Mays, and W. A. Douglass, who is also the post-master. M. A. McGregor, great-grandson, of John McGregor, one of the earliest blacksmiths of this section, is the "village blacksmith."
Highland is near the center of an extensive oil field, but it is noted for its law-abiding citizens. For near a half-century but one indictment for felony has been recorded in this territory from the St. Mary's pike to the head of Bond's creek, a distance of ten miles.
"Pike" which derived its name from the fact that it is situated at the junction of the St. Mary's and Northwestern turnpikes, is another little Bond's creed hamlet.
Robert Childers of whose history we know nothing, was the first settler here, and the late Levi Hammond operated a blacksmith and gun shop here sixty years ago.
It is now a hamlet of several dwellings, two stores, and a post-office (with C. W. Wilcox Company and W. E. Delany and Brother in charge.) A milliner and dress-making establishment, a blacksmith and barber-shop, an I. O. O. F. and Sisters of Rebecca Lodges a school-house and a church of the Christian faith. And the Eureka Pipeline Pump Station is located here.
Adam Cunningham was the first settler at Finch, and William Cunningham, at League.
Cornwallis is situated at the mouth of Bond's creek, on the North branch of Hughes' river, and like all the other railroad towns, came upon the stage as a station near 1856.
Jesse C. Lowther, William Cunningham, John Skelton and George Wells (whose histories have all appeared in earlier chapters), built the first few residences here.
William Skelton built the first station-house near 1857, and the late General A. S. Core, of Ellenboro opened the first store in this building shortly before the Civil war, and Philip Reitz, his brother-in-law, was his clerk. Both of these gentlemen came from Pennsylvania, and when hostilities opened between the North and the South, Gen. Core took his daughter back to his native state for safety, and went into active service in defense of the Union, and at the close of the conflict found a home at Ellenboro where he spent the remainder of his life.
W. H. Peirpoint was another early merchant here, but his stay was of brief duration. Among others who have been identified in this business here from time to time we find the names of Joseph Robinson, Charles Pendergast (who was the first post-master), James Taylor, William C. Gilbert, H. N. Wilson, the Marsh Brothers (N. D. and Harvey), and the present merchants are C. Brinker, A. C. Rollins, and the Barnett Brother. Lloyd Barnett being the post-master.
The Catholic church was the pioneer church here. It was located on land that was formerly owned by Isaac Cunningham. The Methodist Episcopal denomination, also, has a church building.
The first school-house came soon after the inauguration of the Free School system. This building was replaced by the present two-roomed structure some fifteen years ago.
This village now claims a population of near two-hundred and it has never had a house of public entertainment or a resident physician. Being so accessible to Cairo and to Harrisville its citizens have ever looked to these towns for medical aid. Christopher Douglass and George Wells, who have both been mentioned in earlier chapters are among the oldest and more prominent citizens of the vicinity. Others whose names have long been associated with the town are the Lavelles, the Griffiths, Michael Naughton, the Rolands, and the McCabes.
Glendale.--The village of Glendale, which now numbers seventy-five inhabitants, and has a post-office, two stores, a hotel, a black-smith shop, school-house, public hall, and an I. O. O. F. organization, was born in 1778 when William Seevers built the first residence on the site.
J. Clint Lacy, the well-known "knight of the grip" of Ellenboro, opened the first store here in 1880, but he was succeeded by W. C. Gilbert, formerly of Cornwallis, but now of Williamstown, a little later. The names of not a few other merchants of the village are wanting, but the late John A. Garrison held this business in-tact longer than any other one individual, he having served his customers for more than a score of years, and established a reputation for integrity which leaves a fitting monument to his memory. His old stand is now in the hands of Harry McKinney who came here from Williamstown in 1906.
Mr. Garrison was born in Tyler county, on August 23, 1863, and began his connection with the history of this town by clerking in the store of W. C. Gilbert, and continued in business here for himself, at the same stand, ;until his death, from tuberculosis, on July 11, 1902. On August 24, 1884, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Angy D. Martin of Ellenboro, and the children of this union were: A. F., J. D., Anna B., Lottie C., Wm.McK., and the late Bertha D. Garrison.
Dr. Asa Coplin was the first phpsician to hang out his shingle, in 1875. He was born on March4, 1839, near West Milford in Harrison county, and with his parents removed to Doddridge county in 1847. Here on May 8, 1862, he was married to Miss Amy M. Maxwell, and immediately after receiving his diploma, in August 1875, he came to Glendale. he was a physician of the "old school" but a very successful one, and he had a large and lucrative practice. Dr. Coplin died on October 24, 1898, at Nevada city, Missouri, where he had gone to take treatment of the renowned Dr. Weltmer. His six children are as follows: A. H., W. F., Charles L., Fannie, Hattie and Maude, all of Goose creek.
Christopher Ambrose and Richard Rinehart were the first to wield the blacksmith's hammer here, and James Spiker and C. Ambrose are the present smiths.
Mole Hill.--This village (if village it can be styled) is located on the original Daniel Haymond farm. As early as 1860,a post-office was established here under the name of "Federal Hill" with Mrs. Daniel Haymond post-mistress, but after a brief history it was discontinued, and "Mole Hill," which was named by John Lantz, came later on.
Smith.--Near the year 1869, Washington Smith, of Tyler county, purchase the Haymond homestead, and erected the second residence, which is now occupied by David Williamson. Mr. Smith being a blacksmith by trade, built the first shop here; and also erected the first store-house, but David Carmichael was the first merchant. Mr. Smith's enterprise did not stop here, and some time later, he erected a flouring
mill with a saw and planing-apparatus in connection. He was a brother of Hon. Anthony Smith, of Harrisville, and his wife was a Miss Ripley, and they now reside in Wood county near Parkersburg. The family consisted of two daughters, Mary, and Elizabeth and one son, Walker Smith.
Dr. Isaac Jones was the first resident physician. He was born at Centreville in Tyler county in 1849, and died at his home here in 1902, and was taken back to the scenes of his childhood for interment. His family still reside here, his wife, Mrs. Ida Taggart Jones, having charge of the only hotel in the place. Three of the children, Charley, Elizabeth, and Lantz died in childhood. Nina is Mrs. John McGinnis, of Goff;s; James R. Jones resides at Mole Hill; and Florence and Reed are still at home.
The village, though scattered, now claims near a dozen families with a population of near seventy persons. It has two stores with Thomas Miller and the firm of Hickman and McCullough in charge, an opera house, a good graded school (two-roomed building), one church, a blacksmith-shop, a medical office, a saw and flouring-mill combined, a hotel, and a post-office with Walter McCullough, post-master.
The Haymond homestead has several times changed hands, but it is now the property of Benton Cunningham. Other prominent farmers of the community are Harvey Kysor, Isaiah Griffin, E.C. Peirpoint, Jacob Lantz, John R. Marsh and N. G. Willis.