The following is taken from the book "History of Ritchie
County" written by
Bone Creek Settled
Robert Somerville was the first pioneer to break the forest on Bone creek. He came from Harrison county in 1834, and settled a short distance below Auburn, on the farm that is now the estate of his late son, William. Here he continued to reside until he was laid in the Auburn cemetery.
Mr. Sommerville was born near Cumberland, Maryland, on May 1, 1800. He was the son of James Simmeral, * who, with his wife, and two children, came from Cork, Ireland, near 1788, and settled on the coast of Delaware, for a time, before removing to Maryland. When the family came to America, two sons, John and Andrew, remained in Ireland, but Andrew afterwards came to the United States. The other members of the family were: James, Mrs. Nancy Lynch, Mrs. Wm. (Peggy) Burnside, all of Harrison county; and Robert, above mentioned.
In 1825, Robert married Miss Mary Ward, daughter of William Ward, of Harrison county, a soldier of the war of 1812; and for long years after his death, "Aunt Polly", as she was familiarly known, continued to reside at the old home below Auburn, where she fell asleep in 1894, at the great age of ninety-one or two years.
Their children are: the late William, Martin, George, Franklin, John, Hiram, Mrs. Sarah (Charles) Brown, Mrs.
* The name was originally Simmeral, but through some error of pronunciation it finally became Sommerville.
Drusilla Fisher, Mrs. Margaret (A. N.) Watson, Mrs. Ruhama (Wilson) Watson.
All the sons have passed away, except John. Franklin met a tragic death by falling from a building, and Hiram died in childhood, and his remains filled the first grave that "was hollowed out" in the Auburn cemetery. The others all left families; a noteworthy feature is that the dead of this family all rest a Auburn, and here the living all reside.
Timothy Tharpe. - The settlement of Mr. Sommerville was closely followed by that of Timothy Tharpe, who came from his native county - Harrison, and took up his residence on the late A. P. Knisely homestead, above Auburn. He later moved to the Israel Cookman farm, and finally, to the Earnest Frymire property, where he died, in 1881.
Mr. Tharpe was of Irish lineage. He was born on July 25, 1802; was the son of H. Benjamin Tharpe, a ship- builder and carpenter. When he was but a small boy his parents died, and he was bound out to strangers, and thus the days of his childhood and youth were sadly spent. He was a brother of the late H. B. Tharpe, of Iowa; of Mrs. Susan Hall - mother of the late Lemuel Hall - of Auburn; the late Mrs. Hannah Davis, of Parkersburg; and the late Mrs. Wm. Davis, of West Union. He was a man of very strict religious principles, and was one of the corner-stones of the Auburn M. E. church, as was Mr. Sommerville.
On Christmas day, 1823, he was married to Miss Sarah Cox, sister of Col. Daniel V. Cox, of Slab creek, who was born on December 18, 1805; and thirteen children were the fruits of this union. Mrs. Tharpe followed him to the grave in 1884, and both rest at Auburn.
Their children: Matilda (Mrs. Henry Hayden), Mrs. Christiana Wagner, W. D., and Mrs. Mahala Mitchell, sleep in Iowa; Mrs. Luvina Collins, on Spruce creek; Mrs. Caroline Brown and E. H. Tharpe, at Auburn; two daughters died in childhood, and one son, Sedwick S., in the Andersonville prison during the Civil war. The surviving ones are H. B. Tharpe, of Holbrook; P. R., of Harrisville; and Mrs. Elizabeth (Isaac) Hayden, Auburn.
Andrew Law was the third settler on Bone creek. He came from Lewis county, in 1834, and made his improvement on the farm that is best known as the "Thomas Kniseley homestead" - now the home of W. H. Hall.
He was quite a young man at this time, not having yet deserted single life; but two years later, he was married to Miss Margaret Waldeck, daughter of Henry Waldeck, a German, who came to America in 1776, as a Hessian soldier in the Revolution; and who, refusing to return to his native land at the close of the war, though a fortune awaited him, entered land on the river below Weston, where he and his wife, Mrs. Mary Sleeth Waldeck - sister of David Sleeth, of Smithville - established their home.
A few years after Mr. Law's marriage, on the occasion of a husking bee, while his "good wife" was preparing the pot for dinner, her attention was attracted by an unusual disturbance among the hogs; and, stepping to the door, she discovered an old bear and two cubs making an attack on them. Calling the family dog to her assistance, she managed to tree the mother, and one of the cubs, and to hold them at bay until the "tooting" of the horn brought the men from the field. Mr. Law, seizing his gun as he passed the house, soon brought both offenders to the ground. The other cub, returning in quest of its mother, shared a like fate.
Mr. and Mrs. Law went to Colorado in the early seventies, and there, fell asleep.
They were the parents of nine children: Dr. Galenlma Law, Mrs. Jeniza (J. F.) Ireland, John E., and Lorenzo D. Law, all of Colorado; the Rev. H. M, of the West Virginia M. E. Conference; Leondias F., of Spencer; Mrs. (W. M.) Agnes Rymer, Harrisville; Mrs. Mary E. (G. M.) Ireland, White Oak; and Henry T., who died in the Andersonville prison during the Civil war. Leonidas and Galelma were also Union soldiers; and Mrs. Ireland, and Dr. Law were once identified among the teachers of the county.
The Laws have an interesting ancestral history. They, being in sympathy with the Wesleyans, were driven from Belfast, Ireland, the place of their nativity, by religious persecution. So bitter were their persecutors - the Catholics -
that they were obliged to leave by stealth, a friendly Catholic girl, having warned them of their peril. And in the wilds of America, "They sought a faith's pure shrine" - "Freedom to worship God." And though many generations have come and gone since that time, the different families of this name still adhere to the religious faith (Methodist Episcopal) that brought their fore-fathers to this land.
In 1794, four brothers, Thomas, William, Frank, and John Law, with their parents, set sail for America. The mother died on board the ship, while crossing, and was buried beneath the briny waves, and the rest landed in Philadelphia.
Frank died leaving no issue. John, who was an Irish peddler, went West an married and his descendants are scattered over Ohio and Indiana.
Thomas and William remained in Philadelphia for a time, but finally emigrated to West Virginia. William settled at the Gooseman's mill, in Harrison county, and was the ancestor of the Lawford branch of the family; and Thomas, near Jane Lew, in Lewis county.
Thomas Law married Miss Martha Fisher in "Old Erin", and four months after their arrival in the "City of Brotherly Love," twins were born to them (on April 4, 1795) - the first of the name to be born in America. Shortly after their birth, the mother and the infant daughter passed on, and the son, who was known as Billy F. Law, grew to manhood and married Miss Thornhill, and from him the Otterslide branch of the family are descended, he being the father of the late Thomas T. Law, of Otterslide, and the grandfather of the late Mrs. John Ehret, Mrs. Azariah Bee, and Mrs. Elisha Maxin. When Billy F. Law was a lad of fourteen years, he made a pair of red cedar gate posts, and placed them on his fathers farm, near Jane Lew, and though a century has past, one of these posts, still stands, as a "lone sentinel," keeping its silent vigil.
Some years after the death of his first wife (Mrs. Marhta Fisher Law), Thomas Law, senior, married Miss Nancy Dixon, who came from Ireland at the same time that he did; and three sons and three daughters were the fruits of this
union: Andrew, the Bone creek pioneer; the late James, of Cove creek; and the late Asa, of Jane Lew; Mrs. Eliza Collins, Mrs. Margaret Armstrong, and Eleanor, who married a Mr. Jackson of Jane Lew.
Asa Law married Miss Mary Fell, of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, and lived and died near Jane Lew - on October 29, 1908, at the age of ninety-six years. He was the father of ten children, and at the time of his death, his posterity numbered forty-five grandchildren, fifty-four great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren, some of whom have passed on. His progeny are said to be scattered from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and one granddaughter is a missionary in China.
James D. Law was born in Lewis county, in September, 1817, and was married to Miss Mary E. Bowen, in 1852, and resided in his native county until 1876, when he removed to Gilmer county, where he died three years later. He was the father of A. F. Law, C. F., Nancy, Josephine, W. S., W. J., Ida V., Missouri K., and Cree I. Law.
The Rev. George Collins - a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, also found a home on the Thomas Kniseley (not the Hall) farm, at an early day.
He was the first minister in this section, and was a man of no mean ability. He first married Miss Mary Ann Law, of Gooseman's mill, Harrison county - half-sister of the late Asby Law, of Lawford, and when she was about to leave this world, she requested him to marry her cousin, Miss Eliza Law, sister of Andrew Law - a request which was complied with some time later.
Sylvester, Edwin, Albert, and Mary B. were the fruits of the first union; and Eliza Catherine, and another child that died in infancy, of the last. The family went to Illinois; and when Miss Eliza C. grew to womanhood, she returned to this county on a visit, and while here, listened to the wooing voice of John M. Brown, of Hannahdale, and became his bride; and at Riddel's chapel, she sleeps. She was the mother of Deputy Sheriff C. Floyd Brown, of Mrs. Iona Wagner, of Hannahdale; and of Mrs. Mae (John) Harris, Weston.
Alexander Armstrong is said to have preceded Mr. Col-
lins to the Thomas Kniseley farm, he having erected the cabin that Mr. Collins afterwards occupied. He was a brother-in-law of Andrew Law, and Mr. Collins, his wife being Miss Margaret Law. From here he went to near Troy, in Gilmer county; and finally, to Ohio.
Samuel Mann is said to have been another early settler in this section, but of him we know nothing.
Henry Hayden made the first improvement on the farm that is designated at the Frymire homestead. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1819; and form there, came to Harrison county, in 1840, and two years later, to Bone creek; here he married Miss Matilda Tharpe, daughter of Timothy Tharpe; and from here they removed to Davis county, Iowa, in 1859, where they both sleep - she having passed from earth in 1900, and he, in 1906.
Isaac Hayden - brother of Henry, was the first settler on the Hayden farm, in this vicinity. He, too, was a native of the "Keystone state," having been born in Westmoreland county, on August 1, 1821. He came to this county in 1849, and two years later, married Miss Elizabeth Ann Tharpe, who was, also, a daughter of Timothy Tharpe, and took up his residence on the farm that remained his home until his death, on February 6, 1894. He rests in the Auburn cemetery, and his widow lives with her son, at Auburn.
Their children are as follows: Wm. Bennett Hayden, Washinton; the late Mrs. Mary M. (Samuel N.) Haddox, Pleasant Hill; Mrs. Huldah J. (I. N.)Czigan, Doddridge county; Mrs. Amanda C. (John W.) Haddox, Calhoun county; Irvin M. Hayden, and Gilbert, and Mrs. Abby L. (J.P.) Smith, Auburn; Mrs. Sarah E. (Wilson) Rymer, Gilmer county; Nathaniel Hayden, Doddridge county; and Mrs. Ida (John) Wass, Huntingon. The eldest son, W. B., taught school in this county for near a score of years, and served one term as County surveyor before going West. Gilbert also held the office of County surveyor for ten years.
The Haydens are of English descent. They came from "The Motherland," and were among the earliest settlers of the New Jersey colony. They figured in Colonial history both as Revolutionary soldiers, and as Indian fighters.
Nathaniel Hayden - grandfather of Henry and Isaac - was one of the first settlers in the vicinity of Pittsburg, he having gone there from New Jersey, when but a lad. Twice the eimgrant party to which he belonged, was driven back to New Jersey by the hostility of the Indians. On one occasion, he, and a few other men, made an average of seventy-five miles a day on horse-back, when compelled to flee from the dusky foe. Mr. Hayden, at one time, owned four hundred acres of land in what is now the City of Pittsburg. His earthly pilgrimage began on November 28, 1755, and closed, on September 15, 1845. His wife, Abigail, lived from June 17, 1762, to April 20, 1836.
Thomas Hayden, his son, married Miss Mary Hayden, and from him the Ritchie county family are descended. He was born in Pennsylvania - in Westmoreland county - near the year 1788, and his wife was born in 1790; both died there, in 1874.
They were the parents of thirteen children: Henry and Isaac, of Ritchie county; James and Thomas, of McKeesport, Pennsylvania; Nathaniel, who lost his life in the Union cause; Samuel, of Idaho; the late Wm., the late Alexander, and Abijah, all of Pennsylvania; Mrs. Christina Marshall, Mrs. Abigail Fell, and Mary M., and Elsie, who both died unmarried.
Lemuel Hall. - In 1841, Lemuel Hall came to the homestead that remained in his hands until he passed to his reward in 1897. (Mr. Sheets now owns this farm.) He was of English descent, and came upon the stage of action in Lewis county, on August 9, 1920; was the son of Elisha and Mrs. Susan Tharpe Hall. On December 15, 1840, he was married to Miss Susana Woofter, who was born in Lewis county, on January 17, 1823. Mrs. Hall survived him by two years; and both sleep at Auburn. Mr. Hall was a magistrate for several years, and was long a deacon in the Baptist church.
Their children: Mrs. George Brake (Mary Jane), Gilmer coutny; Mrs. Wm. G. Davis (Martha A.), Doddridge county; Cyrus J., Ohio; Marshall D., Francis M., and Mrs. George Emmerson (Louella B.), Kentucky; the late Granville, and George W., Colorado; the late Mrs. L. D. BartlettPage 247
(Matilda), Auburn; Edward M., Calhoun county; Charles, Emory T., Roane county; and Alfred N., who died in childhood.
Elisha M. Hall. - On October 1, 1849, the Rev. Elisha M. Hall - brother of Lemuel - married Miss Tacy Jane, daughter of Joseph Jeffreys, of Doddridge county, and the following year came to Bone creek, where he opened a store, near the year 1857. He made the first settlement on the farm that is now the estate of George Somerville, below Auburn. Mr. Sommerville owned the farm that is now the Town Hall homestead, and he, and Mr. Hall, traded farms. Here Mr. Hall continued to live until he was laid in the Auburn cemtery in 1886. He put two hundred acres of land under cultivation on this creek. He was a prominent minister of the Baptist church; a native of Allen county, Ohio, and his natal day was September 1, 1829.
Mrs. Hall died at Auburn, on May 4, 1908, and sleeps by his side.
They were the parents of twelve children: John T., Auburn; Wm. F., and Joseph S., Colorado; and Mrs. Tacy J. Brake, Gilmer county; all the rest have joined the throng on the other side; viz., Mrs. Rosa K. (Gilbert) Hayden; Dr. J. Monroe, Preston R., Ava A., Iva O., David A., and two died in infancy.
Lawson Hall, brother of Lemuel and Elisha above mentioned, has been a familiar figure in Auburn vicinity, for sixty-seven years, he having come here with his brother, Lemuel, when he was a lad of ten summers. He taught school before the Civil war, as did his brother, and for several years afterwards, and like his brothers, has long been a corner-stone of the Auburn Baptist church. On September 2, 1852, he claimed Miss Sarah J. Sinnett, daughter of Abel and Elizabeth Stuart Sinnett, as his bride, and shortly after his marriage took up his residence where he still lives, and where he has cleared and put under cultivation one hundred fifty acres of land. His wife also survives.
They are the parents of ten children: Mrs. Martin L Cunningam (Euphamy), Abel, John A., Mrs. S. A. Weirs (Sarah E.), Mrs. C. A. Ward (Catharine), Mrs. Van Riddel
(Columbia), all of Auburn; and the other four have passed on; viz., Mrs. C. F. Beall (Sofonia), and William, who were twins; Franlin was a twin of Mrs. Riddel, and George A. in childhood.
Martin Sommerville - son of Robert - and his wife, Mrs. Susan Gaston Sommerville, were the pioneers on the Town Hall homestead. They were succeeded here by his brother, George, and his wife, Mrs. Nancy Thomas Sommerville, who later exchanged farms with the late Rev. Elisha Hall, as above stated. Martin sommerville went from here to Otterslide, and there passed from earth, where his son, Robert O. Sommerville, now lives.
His other children are: Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Nets, and Mrs. Caroline _________, of Ohio; Mrs. Martha Barrackman, of Roane county Mrs. Fillmore Kelly (Olive), of Berea; Floyd, of Holbrook; and the late John A., and Charles E. Sommerville.
The children of George and Nancy Thomas Sommerville are Charles and Henry Sommerville, and Mrs. Louisa Garner, of Auburn; and Madeline and Hattie, who died in youth.
Franklin Sommerville made the first improvement on the Hoff farm, below Auburn, but while erecting a stable here he met his death by a fall, and this improvement passed into the hands of the Rev. John Miller, and afterwards became the property of the late John Hoff.
Mr. Sommerville's widow, Mrs. Caroline Chevront Sommerville, and her only child, Newton, went to Nebraska, where they still survive.
John Miller was a lay minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, and a blacksmith by trade. He had been reared by the late Waitman T. Willey, of Morgantown. He married for his first wife a Miss Robinson, of Monongalia county, and while residing on the Hoff farm, she passed on. Diphtheria invaded the home here, and stilled the voices of all the children, but two sons. Some time after the death of his wife, Mr. Miller married Mrs. Mary Cox Alexander, niece of Philip Cox, and mother of Calvin Alexander, of Auburn, and they finally went West.
Martin Ward was the pioneer of the "Ward homestead,"
which is still in the hands of his heirs - his late son's (Smith Ward's) wife, who is now the Mrs. Laban Bush, being the owner.
Mr. Ward was the son of William Ward, an Englishman, and of Mrs. Sarah Shobe Ward, a Dutch maiden, who crossed the sea, and came to Harrison county, before her marriage. Here she and her husband, who were identified among the early pioneers of the county, lived and died, and here, in the Bethel cemetery, near their old home, they are sleeping, side by side. Five of their ten children sleep in Ritchie county; viz., George W., who settled just across the line in Gilmer county; Mrs. Robert Sommerville, Mrs. Elizabeth Bailey, who died at the home of Martin Ward, with their brother, Martin, all rest at Auburn; and Mrs. Daniel Cox, on Slab creek.
Martin Carr Ward's nativity was Harrison county, on August 1, 1821. There on December 17, 1840, he was married to Miss Mary Jane Gaston, daughter of John Gaston, who was born in the same county, on June 22, 1823; and two years afterward (1842), they came to Bone creek, and settled at the "Ward homestead," where he passed from earth, on March 8, 1897, and she, on December 18, 1908.
When they came to this county, Mrs. Ward made the trip on horse-back, through the wilderness, carrying her babe in her arms, and her sister - a girl of ten years, behind her. Marvelous were the changes, they lived to see. None of the other pioneers were longer identified with the interests of the community than they, and none were held in higher esteem.
They were the parents of twelve children: Sarah Elizabeth died in childhood; John J., who was a Union soldier, resides in Colorado; Mrs. W. B. Zinn (Anna), at Holbrook; Thomas F., and Albert M., Berea; Mrs. J. T. Hall (Amanda), and C. A. Ward, Auburn; Calvin B., North Dakota; Mrs. J. E. Amos (Eliza J.), near Harrisville; Lewis M., died in childhood; Wm. W., in his youth; and Smith, a few years since, leaving a family.
John Hoff was another early settler on this creek, just below the "Ward homestead." He was, also, a Harrison county product, being born on October 9, 1825; and near the year 1846, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Ann Gaston,
Daughter of James and Charlotte Swisher Gaston. The Gastons being of Irish descent, and the Swishers (or Sweitzers as the name was originally spelled in the native land), og German. Mrs. Gaston was able to speak both German and English, Fluently.
Mr. Hoff came to Bone creek near the year 1850, and remained until his death, on August 3, 1903. He was an honest, industrious citizen, and became a large land-owner. Mrs. Hoff, who was a most estimable woman, survived him but a short time, and both lie at rest in Auburn cemetery. The simplicity of the inscription upon the marble shaft that marks the resting place of Mr. Hoff - "Honesty is the best policy" - leaves its impress upon the visitor to this cemetery.
Mr. and Mrs. Hoff were the parents of eleven children that reached the years of maturity - seven sons and four daughters. These sons are nearly all prominently known in the various walks of life: Eri B. is a minister of the West Virginia Methodist Episcopal conference; Weldon A. L. Hoff was graduated from the Commercial college at Delaware, Ohio, after spending some time in teaching in his native county, and is now a professor in a commercial college in Oklahoma.
I. Samuel (unmarried), and Lloyd, who was also a teacher, are prosperous farmers, of near Cairo.
Lewis Ross, who began his career as a rural pedagogue in his native state, was graduated from a college at Winfield, Kansas, in the Bachelor of Science degree, and later took a theological course at Drew seminary, and is now a distinguished pulpit orator of the Methodist Episcopal church , of Liberal Kansas.
Silas Marion is at this time one of the prominent official figures of his native county. (See Younger Men's Calendar.)
George S. and Miss Rosa Byrd, who were both known among the teachers of this county, are lying in their narrow beds in the Auburn cemetery.
Rebecca J., is Mrs. E. L. Bee, of Berea; Charlotte C., is Mrs. W. J. Butcher, of Hacker's Valley; and Caroline is the wife of Alva Fitz Randolph, of Alfred, New York. She was, also, a teacher.
The Hoff family is said to have originated in Germany near the fourteenth century. John Hoff was called from his native land to a professor's chair in the Oxford University, in England; and members of this family migrated to America in Colonial days, and settled at York, Pennsylvania, and in Meigs county, Ohio. But shortly before the American Revolution, one John Hoff came across to visit his kinsmen in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and he settled in Virginia, where he took up arms in behalf of his adopted country in her struggle for liberty; and from him the Ritchie county family come. He was a slave-holder and a large land-owner, and one of his slaves died at West Milford, in Harrison county, only a few years since, in a little home that he had thoughtfully provided for her by his last will and testament.
Samuel Hoff, his son, was born at the old homestead, in Harrison county, in 1802, and there spent his entire life, dying on January 8, 1887. Samuel Hoff was married to Miss Catharine Faris, who was born of Scotch parentage, and they had eight children: John Hoff, of this county, being the eldest son. The other children were: Silas, Lewis, Rose, Humphrey, James, Melissa, Rebecca, Amy, and Margaret.
Daniel Luzader, though not so early as the others, was the first settler on his old homestead on this creek.
He was born near Grafton, in Taylor county, on July 5, 1823, and his wife, Martha A. Newlon, was born near Pruntytown, in the same county, on December 17, 1828. They were married in 1850, and at the close of the Civil war, came to this county, and settled on spruce creek before coming to Bone creek, where they reared their family, and where Mr. Luzadore passed away, on July 20, 1902. His wife followed him to the grave, on July 6, 1906, she having spent her las hours with her son at Pennsboro. Both rest in the Spruce creek Baptist churchyard.
Their children were nine in number, and some of them are quite prominently known.
Winfield Scott, the eldest son, who was long identified in the teaching profession, is the father of Everett, Mae and Mrs. Flossie Brown, who are among the present teachers.
Grant, who was, also, a teacher of former years, was
Graduated from the Parsons Horological Institute, at Laporte, Indiana, and is now meeting with success in his trade at Pennsboro.
Sherman, who was likewise a teacher of Ritchie and Gilmer counties, is a well-to-do farmer of Wayne town, Indiana, where he found his life companion.
M. M. is of Harrisville. Mollie B. is Mrs. Randolph Weaver, and Harriett is Mrs. George Weaver, both of Lawford; Martha C. married Alva V. Oldaker and went to Indiana, but they now reside on a fine old plantation in Virginia.
Malcolm M. Luzador is the one Ritchian whose reputation as a vocalist is more than "state wide."
He first opened his eyes on this mundane sphere in Taylor county, on November 27, 1858, but came to this county with his parents when but a lad of eleven summers. A natural born student, he early entered the profession of teaching and was for a number of years known among the pedagogues of Ritchie, Gilmer, Lewis, and Preston counties, he having at one time held a position in the Academy of Kingwood.
His love for music developed at an early age, and he improved his talent about the fireside, as circumstances would permit, attended a few local singing schools, and then took a course of five terms in the West Virginia Normal Music school; and in 1883, he was made the secretary of the West Virginia Music Teachers' Association. He later attended the Indiana State Normal School, where he studied thorough base, harmony, coposition, form and voice under the instructors of national reputation. For more than thirty years he has been a successful teacher of the vocal music, having in that time instructed more than twenty thousand pupils of all ages. Perhaps no other teacher in the State has insructed a greater number or covered a wider range of territory, he having taught in West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Missouri.
He has taken an active interest in politics ever since he reached his majority, and was one of the representatives from this county in the State Legislature in 1901; and having led to a "decisive victory for righteousness' in the defeat of the Salem (Harrison county) charter bill, he became the recog-
nized leader or the Temperance forces of the House. He is a Baptist in religion and has twice served as Moderator of the Harrisville Baptist church.
On August 16, 1892, he was married to Miss Sarah E. Truax, of Alamo, Indiana, and after a five years' residence there, with his wife, he returned to this county and established his home at Harrisville, where he still lives. The one child born of this union died in infancy. (Since this was written, Mr. Luzador has sold his Harrisville home, and has gone to the "Old Dominion" to live.)
David E. Brown made his settlement on the "Hardesty" * - now the Thomas Mason farm. He was of Dutch descent. His ancestors came to America as British soldiers during the Revolution; and being so delighted with the county, they took up their residence on the South branch of the Potomac when the conflict was ended; and from there John Brown emigrated to Lewis county, near the close of the eighteenth century, and settled on the waters of the West fork of the Monongahela river, near the Broad run Baptist church. There David E. Brown, the head of the Ritchie county family, was born, on September 9, 1801; there he grew to manhood; there he was married to Miss Deborah Stalnaker, on February 15, 1827; and from there came to Bone creek in 1853.
In 1861, Mrs. Brown passed from sight, and at Auburn, she rests. Mr. Brown, who surveved her by a number of years, died at the home of his son, John, at Hannahdale.
They were the parents of nine children. Five of their seven sons served as Union soldiers, and all returned home in safety.
The eldest son, Joseph C., went to California, during the gold excitement, in 1849. There he married and had a family, and there he sleeps. W. R. (the late father of W. R. Brown, of West Union, and T. A., of Elizabeth), has been sleeping in the Auburn cemetery, for many years; George W. married Miss Frances Nutter, sister of C. W. Nutter, and after her early death, he went West, and near Buffalo, Wyoming, in 1902, he fell asleep; Andrew S. never married. He went to
* The Hardesty farm, which was owned by Asa Law, of Jane Lew, was tenanted by Otho Law, before the coming of Mr. Brown, who purchased it.
Wyoming near 1875, and there he was murdered, in 1901. He lived alone in a secluded spot, and being known to have considerable means, robbery is supposed to have been the motive. Some of his property in the hands of suspicious looking individuals, led to an investigation, which brought to light the heinous crime, and the attempt to conceal it by the cremation of the body. Samuel V. resides at Morgantown; E. M., at Auburn; John M., at Hannahdale; Mrs. P. P. Brown (Mary Jane), at Jane Lew; and Mrs. Elijah W. Summers (Caroline V.), at Summers.
George G. Brown - the well known timberman - formerly of Smithville, but now of Huntingon, belongs to this family. He is the son of the late Lemuel Brown, of Doddridge county; and grandson of Thomas and Mary Stalnaker Brown - brother of David - of Lewis county.
The Woofters. - Andrew Woofter, in 1851, made the first improvement, on the farm that is now owned by Albert Smith, and he continued to reside here until he was borne to the tomb. He was of German lineage. His ancestors came to America near 1665, and settled in the New Jersey colony. John Woofter married a Scotch maiden by the name of Petit, and emigrated from New Jersey to Loudin county, Virginia; and from thence to Lewis county, (W.) Virginia, where he rests in the old churchyard at Broad run. His son, Jonathan Woofter, married Miss Jeannette Winans, and they were the parents of - the Rev. John Woofter, of the Baptist church. Andrew, William, Perry, Enos, and Jonathan, who resides at Washington, in Wood county, and who is the only survivor of the family; the daughters were: Mrs. Lydia Simmmons, Mrs. Sarah Ferrell, Mrs. Mary Bailey, Mrs. Alcinda Crowcer, and Jane.
Andrew Woofter was born in Lewis county, on September 17, 1823; and on May 29, 1845, he was married to Miss Jane Simpson, who was born in Ohio, but was reared in Lewis county. Her father, John Simpson, having removed from that county to the "Buckeye state," where he was killed by lightning; and after his death the family returned to their former home.
Mr. Woofter was one of the early pedagogues of this
Vicinity, and several members of his family were identified in this profession in after years. He died in February, 1902, and his wife followed him to the grave four months later. Both rest in the Auburn cemetery.
Their children are as follows: Thomas J., Wood county; the Rev. George A., of the Baptist church, Shinnston; Francis A. Woofter, DeKalb; John S., Houston, Texas; Clarke, Auburn; Ellet, Charleston; Mrs. Sarah E. Adams, Oxford; and Mrs. Columbia J. Bush (M. F.), Burnt House. Homer Adams, the well known Harrisville lawyer, is a grandson of this pioneer; and the Rev. Emery Woofter, of the Baptist church, is a grandson of the late Rev. John Woofter, of the Baptist church - brother of Andrew.
Ebenezer Tharpe - son of Timothy - was the first to find a home on the farm that is still in the hands of his widow, Mrs. Amanda Wass Tharpe. Here he died, and at Auburn, he sleeps. They were the parents of eleven children: Alvin and John have passed on; S. S., Milton, Mrs. Rosa B. Wright, Mrs. Lillie Nestor, Mrs. Laura Woofter, and Mrs. Ida Robey, are all of Auburn; Mrs. Grace Brake, of Weston; Mrs. Barbara Aiken, of Greenwood, and E. T. Tharpe, of Burnt House.
This stream derived its name from the numerous slides made by otters along its banks.
William Gribble was the first settler. His ancestors came from Holland in colonial times and settled in Pennsylvania, where he was born, but his family later removed to Preston county, (West) Virginia; and there he (William) was married to Miss Lydia Rogers, who was of Scotch-Irish and Welsh lineage, and was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Wilson Rogers, of Preston county. Her mother belonged to one of the pioneer families of Monongalia county, who forted on the present site of Morgantown in Indian times.
The first years of their married life were spent in Preston county, but they came to Otterslide in 1846, and reared their humble cabin on the farm that is now owned by Jason Hudkins, and here they remained until claimed them.
They were the parents of the following named children, some of whom have been prominently known: William A. Gribble (lost his life in the Union army), the late Ezekiel, J. B., and Thomas N., Berea; Cornelius A., Harrison county; and John M. Gribble, of West Union, all of whom served as Union soldiers, are the sons. John M. has been a leading figure in public affairs in Doddridge county for a number of years, he having served as assessor, sheriff, and has been the president of the West Union bank throughout its history.
The daughters of this family are: Sarah J., wife of the late R. H. Wilson, who died in the Andersonville prison during the Civil war; Perces, the late Mrs. A. J. Nutter, of Ox-
ford; Mrs. Hattie Skank, who resides in the East; and the late Mrs. Annie (Alex) Stout, of West Union.
William Wall was the next settler. He married Miss Fluharty, a sister of the late Adam Fluharty, of Leatherbarke, and came here from Marion county and erected his cabin on the head of the stream, on what is now the Campbell farm. But he was only a squatter, and was supplanted by John Jett, in 1849.
John Jett and his wife, Mrs. Mary Watson Jett, came from their native county - Barbour- and remained until 1875, when they removed to Roane county, where they found a final resting place in the Spring Creek cemetery.
They were the parents of the following named children:
William Jett and his wife, Mrs. Safronia Lowther Jett, have had a longer connection with this creek than any other citizens in its history. He having been here since 1849, when he came with his parents, and she, since the day of her birth in 1845.
Wesley Jett, brother of John, senior, married Miss Nancy Lipscomb, and came to this county in 1845, and settled on Brush fork of Bone creek, where they both died, and at Auburn they sleep.
Their only son, Wesley, junior, died as a prisoner of war, at Camp Chase, the Union prison at Columbus, Ohio, during the sixties.
The Jetts are of Welsh ancestry. William Jett, senior, came from Wales with his wife, shortly before the American Revolution, and settled on the Potomac river below Washington city. He served his adopted country as a solldier in the Continental army, being under the direct command of General Washington. His son, John Jett, senior, was born and reared in Franklin county, Virginia, and there he was married to Miss Sarah Smith; and from there they removed to Barbour county, near the year 1820, where Mr. Jett died in 1863, and
where his son, John Jett, junior, the Otterslide pioneer, was born.
Johathan C. Lowther was another pioneer on this stream. And though he is now a nonegenarian, he is still a familiar figure here. He is the son of Elias Lowther and the only surviving grandson of Col. William Lowther. He married Miss Emza Neal, sister of M. A. Neal, of Pullman, and since her death in 1906, he has made his home with his daughter, Mrs. William Jett. He is the father of one other daughter, Mrs. Rebecca Bee, of Rutherford; and William Lowther, of California, is an adopted son.
Ezekiel Kelley was another early settler on this stream. He was the son of John Kelley, and in Doddridge county he was born and reared. Near the year 1849, he was married to Miss Estella Davis, and came to this county and established his home on what is now known as the L. M. Jett farm. Mrs. Kelley died in 1875, and his second wife was Miss Mary Sinespring, who survived him. He died in 1891.
He and his first wife were the parents of nine children: Ali, Fillmore, and Festus Kelley, Mrs. Verna Ehret, and Mrs. Lulu Zinn, all of this county; Mrs. Darlie Bond, Roanoke; Horace Kelley, Webster county; and two who are numbered with the dead.
Lemuel Davis was another arrival of the year 1849. He, too, was a Doddridge county product. He married Miss Rhoda Bee, daughter of Asa Bee, and they spent the remainder of their lives here.
They were the parents of six children: viz., the late Phineas, of Alice, Gilmer county; Ephraim, Alonzo, Gideon, and Daniel, and one daughter, Virginia.
Stephen Davis and his wife, Jemima Kelley Davis (sister of Ezekiel Kelley) came from their native county - Doddridge - in 1858, and from here they went to Clay county, where they rest. Their children: Arzander and Leander (twins), Isaiah, Grant and Gordon, and the daughter, Emza, are all living in Roane county; and Elizabeth is dead.
Zibbie Davis, a native of Greenbrier county, married Miss Dorinda Lowther, sister of Jonathan, and came here from Doddridge county in 1850, where they remained until
death; he was laid in the Pine Grove cemetery, in 1898. His only child, Talitha, married Thomas Gribble, and she was laid in the Pine Grove cemetery, on the same day that her father was laid away. Mrs. Davis had passed on two years before.
Jacob Fonseman married Katharine Kelley, sister of Ezekiel, and came here from Doddridge county, but did not remain until death, so but little of this history is available. But he had one son, Nelson, who died in Wood county, near Parkersburg.
David Randolph, son of Jonathan Randolph, and his wife, Caroline Cornell, both natives of Harrison county, were known among the early people here, but their stay was brief; and they returned to their native county, where they died. She, in 1904, and he, in 1908.
FitzRandolph has been one of the prominent names in this part of the county for almost sixty years.
This family are of English origin and of Revolutionary stock. Their ancestor, Edward FitzRandolph, came from Nottinghamshire, England, in 1630, and settled in the Massachusetts colony; and form there the family emigrated to New Jersey, and thence to West Virginia. The Randolphs, also, trace their ancestry to Thomas Blossom, a prominent deacon in