History of Ritchie County

The following is taken from the book "History of Ritchie County" written by Minnie Kendall Lowther, and published in 1910. 
Transcribed by Janet Waite.

Chapter XXII
Chevauxdefrise Settled

Two traditions are in existence as to the origin of the name to this stream. The first is that a piece of wood filled with iron spikes called chevauxdefrise - having once belonged to the Indians, was found upon its banks - giving rise to the name; and the other is, that two hunters, being compelled to lie out in the cold throughout the night, shivered and froze, and ever after in referring to the stream they called it "shiverdy", hence the name.

Harmon Sinnett was the first settler. He was a native of Pendleton county, being a son of John Sinnett, and a grandson of Patrick. In 1835, he was married to Miss Frances Moats, daughter of George Moats, and during the following autumn, took up his residence at the mouth of the creek, on the land now owned by the heirs of his late son, John P. Sinnett, and the Hall Brothers - the latter being in possession of the old home, which is still standing, though unoccupied.

His services to this community were of a high order. He erected the first grist-mill in this section, near 1850 - the well-known Sinnett's mill, which stood a little above the mouth of Chevauxdefrise, on Indian creek; and which was twice washed away by a flood, and was not rebuilt the last time.

Mr. Sinnett was truly the corner-stone of the Indian creek Baptist church; he having given the grounds and played an important part in the erection of the old log church, in 1855, which was replaced by the present frame structure in 1890. Until the close of his life, which came on March 9, 1904, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Alfred Simmons, on Gillispie's run, he was a familiar figure in this communtiy. His beloved companion had fallen asleep just twenty-seven hours before (on the evening of March 8, 1904). When he was told that "she was no more", he expressed a hope that he might be permitted to go with her; and on the following morning, though he seemed in his usual health, he remarked that he might "yet be ready to be buried with her&qout;, and that night he closed his eyes, and quietly joined her on the other shore. The family, hearing him making a slight noise, went to his bedside just in time to see him breathe his last. Both were ninety-one years of age, and both were laid in one grave, in the Heck Cemetery, on Gillispie's run. Thus this venerable couple, who had traveled hand in hand so far down "the declivity of time", were re-united after but a few hours of separation.

They were the parents of the Rev. James T. Sinnett; the late Mrs. Susan (Wm.) Heck, Mrs. Mary (Alfred) Simmons, Rutherford; Mrs. Martha (Cyrus) Washburn, the late Mrs. Florinda (Harmon) Nottingham, and the late John P. Sinnett, Washburn; Mrs. Harriet (George) Washburn, Harrison county; the late Mrs. Frances (B.F.) Cunningham, Cantwell; the late Mrs. Serepta (A.O.) Wilson, Harrisville; and the late Elizabeth Sinnett, Cairo.

The Rev. James T. Sinnett was the first merchant in this section. He built the store that is now owned by the Hall Brothers, in 1870: and was engaged in the mercantile business here until 1887, when he removed to Smithville, where he still claims his residence.
On May 12, 1864, he was married to Miss Nancy Jane, daughter of Samuel Clevenger, and in 1893, she passed from sight; and, on April 28, 1904, their only son, Dr. J. H. M. Sinnett, of Smithville, followed her to the grave. Mrs. Addie B. (John) Stanley, of Slab creek; and Mrs. Grace Suttle, wife of Dr. Bruce Suttle, of Tennessee, are their two daughters.

The Sinnett's Mill post-office, with Harmon Sinnett postmaster, came into existence in 1860, and went out in 1890.

Owing to a change in the administration, and an effort to carry into effect the Andrew Jackson doctrine, "To the victor belongs the spoils", this office was moved to what was considered an inconvenient point; and this change brought about a fight, which terminated in the establishment of a new office under the name of "Washburn", in 1889, and in the dis-continuance of Sinnett's Mill, the following year.

Joseph Weaver was the second settler on Chevauxdefrise. He built his cabin on the farm that is now the home of Isaac Riggs - formerly the "White homestead". He was of German descent, and he married Miss Martha Read, who was born on the sea, while her parents were bound for America, and seven children were the result of this union. After her death, Mr. Weaver married Miss Malinda Tucker, and was the father of seven more children. He met a tragic death at the hands of one Nelson Koone during the Civil war (1861), while residing on the West Fork river, in Calhoun county - the tragedy occurring at Annamoriah flats, near three miles from his home - and was due, doubtless, to their difference of opinion in regard to the struggle that was then engaging the attention of the North and the South.

The children of the first union were: the late Mrs. Silas Pettit, Big Bend; Mrs. Katharing Stuart, Mrs. Eugene Weaver, both of Elizabeth; Mrs. Mark Sears, John Weaver, Burning Springs; Joseph, of Ohio; and Clarinda, who died in childhood. All have joined the throng on the other side.

The children of the second union: Cora died in childhood, Charley was murdered at Elizabeth; Rufus died at Burning Springs; and George, at Standing Stone; Floyd is a traveling salesman, and resides in Ohio; Mrs. Joseph L. Pettit resides at Parkersburg, and Mrs. Mary Morgan, at Ravenswood.

Isaac Clarke followed Mr. Weaver on the Riggs farm. He came from Pennsylvania with his family, and returned there after selling his farm to the late distinguished "Mudwall" Jackson, who, shortly after the Civil war, sold it to Benjamin Starkey, whose family are still idnetified with the community.

Adam Harris (son of Thomas, after who Harrisville was named) was the pioneer on the Amos farm. He married Miss Margaret Webb, sister of Benjamin, and from Chevauxdefrise, they went to Kennedy farm, at the mouth of Lamb's run, where they remined for a number of years, before going to the Lemuel Wilson farm, above Smithville, where they passed from earth; and in the Smithville burying-ground they lie at rest.

Their children were six in number; viz., Thomas lost his life in te Civil war; Benjamin, Robert, Mrs. Jane (Robert) Lucas, Mrs. Martha (Thomas) Martin, Smithville; and Mrs. Rebecca (Joe) Silman, Gilmer county.

John Harris, brother of Adam, familiarly known as "Summer John", was another early settler on this creek. He first built a cabin in the vicinity of Mt. Zion, and later removed to the Amos farm, and afterwards resided at different places in the Washburn vicinity, and on Husher's run, before going to Illinois, where he passed to the "confines of the tomb". His wife was Miss Margaret Calhoun, niece of Samuel Calhoun, and his chief occupation was hunting.

Ephraim Culp and his wife, Mrs. Julia Moats Culp, were the first to establish a home on the J. O. Kelley - now the N. E. Conaway - farm. They came here some time during the forties, and remained in the immediate vicinity for several years, before removing to the North fork of Hughes' river - on the Cornwallis road - to the farm that was long designated as the "Culp homestead" - later the Horner. Mr. Culp disappeared while on a business trip down the river, and his fate was never known, as nothing was ever heard of him again.

Mrs. Culp and her sons, Henry and James, rest at Harrisville; John died while serving as a soldier in the Union army. The other two above mentioned were also soldiers; and the daughter, Martha, became Mrs. Husher.

Owen Watson and his wife, Mrs. Martha Clarke Watson, were the second settlers on the Kelley farm, but they went to Illinois, where they founded a permanent home near Cherry Point. He was an uncle of Dr. J. W. Watson, and a farther account of the family will be found in the Harrisville chapter.

Noah Boston was the first citizen of the George Nangle farm. He came from Rockbridge county, Virginia, and finally went West. His wife was Miss Kathrine Webb, daughter of John Webb, senior, of Washburn.

James Braden, of Pennsylvania, and Charles Ayres, son of Jeremiah Ayres, were other early settlers on this creek. Mr. Braden was the father of Thomas and James Braden, and other children, and he died on the Anthony Wagner farm, and sleeps in the Indian creek Baptist churchyard. Mr. Ayres settled the Thomas Hardbarger farm and finally went West.

Henry H. Amos. - The year 1849 was marked by the coming of Henry H. Amos and his family, from Marion county to the farm now owned by his son, J. E. Amos. Mr. Amos was born on July 31, 1817; and on April 4, 18141, he was married to Miss Malinda Rex, the marriage taking place at her home near Fairmont; and in 1848, they came to this county and resided on the Nay farm, for a brief time, before coming to Chevauxdefrise, where they both fell asleep - he, in 1889, after a long invalidism, and she, in 1891. Both rest in the graveyard at the Chevauxdefrise church. Both having long been faithful members of that church. Their children were as follows:

John W. Amos, who now resides at Vandalia, Missouri, was a soldier in the Civil war, serving under General Sheridan in the Valley of Virginia, in Co. K, of the Tenth West Virginia Infantry Volunteers; the late George W. Amos, of Harrisville, who seved as County clerk for twenty-six years in succession. (He married Miss Laura Hall, and died on December 5, 1898, without issue); Eli R. Amos, fell asleep two weeks later at his home in Southern Missouri; Mrs. Jacob Hardbarger, of Washburn; and Mrs. Lydia K. (J. M.) Lowther, of Auburn, have also, passed on. Mrs. Margaret (E.E.) Cokely, and Mrs. Eliza (P.M.) Jones, reside near Harrisville, J. E. and Miss Lizzie, at the old homestead; Mrs. Hattie (S. C.) Foster, at Vandalia, Missouri; and W. H. has a funiture and undertaking establishment at Auburn.

The Amoses are of German origin. Their ancestors came from the Fatherland, near the middle of the seventeenth century; but the authentic and connected history of this family begins prior to the Revolutionary war, when Henry Amos, senior - grandfather of Henry, of Ritchie county, came to Monongalia county, where, in 1790, he was married to Miss Dorcas Hall, of Pennsylvania, whose parents came from Delaware.

In 1816, thier second son, George, married Miss Idna Hawkins, a descendant of an old English family; her grandfather having come from England to the Virginia colony as early as 1750; and from him the Ritchie county families are descended. He was a soldier of the war of 1812, and was the father of thirteen children; viz., Henry, of Ritchie county, was the eldest son; the late Asel, of Pennsboro; George, of White Oak; Bennett, Tracy, Edgar, Stephen, and Jehu, who died in early manhood, were the other sons; Mrs. George Smith of Weston - mother of the Rev. G. D. Smith, of the West Virginia M. E. conference; Mrs. Zana Saterfield, of Bellaire, Ohio; Mrs. M. Shumley, of Marion county; Mrs. Rhoda Snodgrass, Illinois; and the late Mrs. Elizabeth (Wm.) Bell, of Marion county, were the daughters.

Thomas Smallwood Wilson was ther first denizen of the Iames farm. He was born in Monongalia county, in 1784, and there he was married to Miss Hannah Camp, daughter of Adam Camp, and in 1843, he came to this county, and settled on the Michaels' farm, near Oxford, for a brief time, before coming to the Iames homestead. He was of Scotch-Irish descent, his father, Thomas, senior, being a native of Scotland (he having crossed the ocean after his eldest son, Joseph, was born.)

This pioneer was a lumber merchant, and while on a trip to Cincinnati, in 1848, he contracted cholera, and by the time he had reached Parkersburg, on his return, he was stricken with the fatal malady, and died there; and was laid at rest near the present site of the B. & O. depot,at that place. Mrs. Wilson died at the P.R. Tharp homestead, on Indian run, in 1856, and in the Drake burying-ground, on the county farm, she sleeps.

Their children were ten in number; the late John M., Freeport, Wirt county; Mrs. Miranda (Elias) Summers, Slab creek; Wm. L. Wilson, Monongalia county, who died at the home of his daughter, near Grantsville; Mrs. Mary Ann (John) Lough, Illinois; Joseph, of Doddridge county; Mrs. Lucy Ann (Manly) Zinn, Holbrook; Mrs. Melissa Simmons, Auburn; Isaac Van Buren, Indian creek - the only survivor of the family; Thomas Peter, also of Indian creek, and Israel, who died in youth.

All of the family were born in Monongalia county.

John M. Wilson, son of Thomas M., above mentioned, was the first to make an improvement on the farm that passed into the hands of Ransom Kendall, in 1849. He married Miss Sarah Reed, of Monongalia county, and from here they went to Marion county, and finally to Freeport, Wirt county, where he rests. He was a minister of the M. P. church, having served various charges in West Virginia and Ohio; was pastor of the Freeport circuit at the time of his death.

He had seven children: Thomas, Mary, Melissa, Caroline, and Jackson have all joined the hosts on the other side; Nathaniel and Mrs. Ellen Barker, live in Ohio; and Mrs. Leone Hammond, in Wirt county.

Ransom Kendall. - In 1849, Ransom Kendall purchased the improvement that had been made by J. M. Wilson, and took up his residence here, where he remained until he "passed through the Gates", on October 12, 1887. And near two years later this old homestead became the property of J. M. Leggett, who sold it to Mr. Davisson, the present owner.

Mr. Kendall was born in Marion county, on March 28, 1816; and there, on August 27, 1838, he was married to Miss Lydia Rex, daughter of Eli and Sarah Hall Rex, who was born in Pennsylvania, on Auguast 25, 1820, but with her parents removed to Marion county, when whe was but a child of two summers. He and his wife were both loyal members of the Methodist Episcopal church for almost a half-century - were pillars in the church at Chevauxdefrise from the time of its institution until the close of their lives. They gave the grounds for the church and cemetery and were important factors in the erection of the first church, near 1867. And their son, John, who died in childhood, filled the first grave that was made in this cemetery, in October 1857.

Mrs. Kendall died on September 25, 1888. Her last moments were full of triumph, her last words were and expression of praise.

Well does the writer remember that impressive hour, as one by one she bade us adieu, and admonished us to meet her beyond the "Gate Beutiful", which she was just then entering.

On the old homestead, beside her husband, she is sleeping.

The children of this household were fourteen in number, seven boys and seven girls:

The late Dr. James Emery Kendall, who was for a number of years a prominent physician of Parkersburg, was the eldest son. He served as assistant surgeon of the Eleventh West Virginia Infantry Volunteers during the Civil war, and at one time, later in life, represented the West Virginia Medical Fraternity at the International Association at London, and while there was presented with a medal by the late Queen Victoria, which is now a valued possession of his family.

The late Amos Kendall, of Tonganoxie, Kansas, was, also, a soldier of the Civil war; and Eli Rex lost his life in defense of the Union, at Beverly, on July 2, 1863, and in the National cemetery at Grafton, he reposes.

Jasper Newton, who was at one time superintendent of the schools of this county, has for a number of years been prominently identified among the Methodist Episcopal Church ministers of the South and West; he having been a member of the Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Idaho conferences. William Alpheus is a physician of Crescent City, Oklahoma. John, as above mentioned, has been sleeping in the churchyard, since his childhood; and Marcellus Allen, the youngest son, who is of Parkersburg, served one term as State Treasurer, and is now doing service as United States Bank Examiner.

The daughters are: Mrs. Anarie (D. S.) Cox, who resides on part of the old homestead on this creek; Mrs. Sarah Kathrine Mitchell mason, Pullman; Mrs. Mary L. Lowther (wife of the late Dr. J. G. Lowther), Parkersburg; Mrs. Martha L. (L. C.) Jones, Clarendon, Texas; Mrs. Bertha Blanche Kelley (wife of Dr. W. C. Kelley), Morgantown; the late Mrs. Maria Louisa Davis (wife of the Rev. D. H. Davis, of the M. P. church); and Jennie, the late wife of W. G. Lowther, Fonsoville.

The Kendalls are of English origin. In Westmoreland county, England, is a river named "Kent", whose valley is known as "Kentdale". Here in the town of Kriby-Kendal, of Kendale, as it was formerly spelled, lived one of the "big families of Westmoreland", who became generally known as the Kendal, Kendall, or Kendale family. "Hence the origin of the name".

In County Cornwall to-day there is a family of the same name who came from Treworgy centuries ago, and while their ancestry is not traceable to Kirby-in-Kendall, it is quite probable that they haled from the same stock.

Eleanor Lexinton, in her "Colonial Families", says:

"The Kendall family bears the proud distinction of having sent more members, perhaps, than any other family to the British parliament. At all events it has sent as many".

The first record we have of the name in America begins with George Kendall, a member of the first Jamestown Council, who crossed the water with this little colony in 1607; but the Ritchie family, and the numerous others scattered throughout the Union to-day, trace their origin to members of the family who crossed a little later.

According to Miss Lexington, two brothers, Francis and Thomas Kendall, who were born in England, came to the Western world before the year 1640, and settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Francis went to Woburn, Massachusetts, then known as Charlestown, where he was married to Mary Tidd, but he later removed to Reading. He had four sons and five daughters, and thus gave the family name quite a start in the New World. By the year 1828, eight of his line had been graduated from Harvard, three from the College of New England, and one brave member had been killed as a witch. Amos Kendall, the statesman, who served as Postmaster-General under President Andrew Jackson's administration, and George Wilkins Kendall, the journalist, who died at Oak Springs, Texas, in 1867, belonged to the family of Francis.

Thomas settled at Lynn, Massachusetts, where he was married to Rebecca ______, and about the year 1653, he also removed to Reading, where he died in 1681, leaving behind him a reputation for maliness, and for a highly religious character.

He had no son that reached the years of maturity, but he left eight daughters, who lamented the fact that "so good a surname as theirs could not be preserved", so they met in council and decided that the first born son of each should bear the name of "Kendall", and as a result there was Kendall Pearson, Kendall Eaton, etc.

One of the biographers of these families says:

"The descendants of these pious Puritans have spread themselves over the length and the breadth of this country as pioneers and settlers - wakening the forests and plains from their long sleep. Some were eminent divines, some were distinguished lawyers and jurists, and others were journalists, statesmen, authors and travelers".

The tradition of our own branch of the family, as well as that of the Ohio branch, says that three brothers crossed at the same time, and that the third one settled in Virginia; and from him the Kendalls of Ohio and both Virginias are descended. But as Virginia has been visited by fires which have swept away some of her records, the given name of the founder of this family is missing. However, our record begins with William Kendall, senior, whos son, William Kendall, junior, was married to Miss Jemima Kirk, on May 10, 1738, in Stafford county, Virginia.

This couple (William and jemima) were the parents of ten children: Jesse, Thomas, George, Anne, John, William, Samuel, Mary Anne, Elizabeth, and Jeremiah. And one of these sons, which one cannot be determined, crossed the mountains from the "Old Dominion" and settled in Marion county, not far from the time of the birth of his youngest son, James Kendall, in 1784. His family consisted of six other sons, besided James, who scattered to Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky (with perhaps an exception or two), but James remained at the old homestead in Marion county, where he died in 1868, and where he lies buried.

James Kendall was married to Miss Kathrine Shuman, who was born in the Fatherland, and with her parents, came to Pennsylvania at the age of twelve years. The family were six months in crossing and several of the children died on board the ship and were buried beneath the waves inorder to avoid the danger from the sharks.

Kathrine died at her home in Marion county, in 1848, and sleeps beside her husband on the old homestead.

This family consisted of two sons and seven daughters; viz., Ransom, the head of the Ritchie county family; Jeremiah, of Tyler county; Rachel, and Orpha, who died in youth; Zi;pah (Mrs. Aaron Kearns), Nancy (Mrs. James Kearns), and Anarie, who married Asel Amos. All left families, except Mrs. Amos.

Jeremiah Kendall, the younger son of William, junior, and Jemima Kirk, served as a member of the Continental forces for five years during the American Revolution, and was with General Anthony Wayne in his campaign against the Indians for two years, being at the battle of Maumee, and at the treaty of Greenville. He carried to his grave nine scars from musket-ball wounds which he sustained in battle. After the Revolution, he sold his interests in Virginia; and with his wife and two children and their sole belongings, emigrated to Pennsylvania on horseback, and settled on the old "National Road" in Fayette county, between Brownsville and Uniontown, where he died in 1843, and where some of his descendants now live.

He was the father of the late General William Kendall of Ohio, who served under General Harrison at Tippecanoe, and was a soldier of the war of 1812; was the grand-uncle of Ransom Kendall; and Ransom's only brother was named for him.

The family are in some way related to General Wayne and Jeremiah Kendall fell heir to the spurs, watch-chain and boot-hooks fo this distinguished warrior, who is better known as "Mad Anthony", and these invaluable relics are still cherished in his family, they having been handed down from father to eldest son for five generations, until they have now reached Kendall Overturf, of Columbus, Ohio.

Thomas Kendall, who came from Settle, Yourkshire, England, in 1700, is said to have been the founder of the Pennsylvania branch of the family.

Old records. - As these old records are rare and of inestimable value, we insert this one:

Marriages of the sons of William Kendall, senior, of Virginia:
1- William Kendall, junior, married Jemima Kird on May 10, 1738
2- James Kendall married Mary Coffey on February 25, 1745
3- George Kendall married Cathrine Kelley, June 6, 1748
4- Joshua Kendall married Cathrine Smith, April 4, 1749
5- John kendall married Margaret Keys, January 9, 1752

Family of William, junior and Jemima Kirk Kendall:
1- Jesse Kendall born Octaber 4, 1740
2- Thomas Kendall born May 27, 1742
3- George Kendall born January 13, 1744
4- Anne Kendall born December 6, 1745
5- John Kendall born March 21, 1748
6 and 7- Wiliam and Samuel (twins), August 30, 1749
8- Mary Anne, April 9, 1752
9- Elizabeth, April 1, 1754
10- Jeremiah (of Penn.), February 6, 1758

(One of these brothers was the grandfather of Ransom Kendall.)

Children of Joshua and Cathrine Smith Kendall: Jesse, born August 21, 1751; Joshua, born May 27, 1753; Nancy, born December 19, 1755; and Betty, born February 22, 1758.

Children of James and Mary Coffey Kendall: John, born February 26, 1749; Jesse, born June 19, 1750; Bailey, born October 8, 1755; Moses and Aaron are also said to have belonged to this family.

Children of John and Cathrine Keys Kendall: Samuel B., January 1, 1753; Charles, born September 17, 1754; and Elizabeth, born February 11, 1758.

We have no record of the children of Joshua and Cathrine Smith Kendall.

Note. - The tradition handed down to us concerning the coming of the Kendalls to America is that three brothers crossed in Colonial times: One settled in the Pine forests of Maine; one in the "City of Brotherly Love", and the other, in Virginia, but as Miss Lexington's information seemed more definite than ours concerning the place of settlement in New England, we have given hers the first place, but we still credit The coming of the third one to the "Old Dominion". We are also indebted to her for the origin of the name.

The information of the Kendalls of Ohio comes to us from the great-granddaughter of Jeremiah Kendall, Mrs. Ella Kendall Overturf, of Columbus, Ohio, she having sent us a copy of an old manuscript written by her grandfather, the late General William Kendall, and to her we owe our thanks for this record.

The Rexes. - As quite a number of the people of this county are descended from the Rex family, a brief mention of their origin in America will perhaps add interest in the connection.

This family are are of Welsh descent; and from Mapleton, Pennsylvania, their original home on this side of the water, they migrated to Marion county. The father lost his life in the struggle for Independence, as he was never heard of after the close of the war, but he left a family of four sons and three daughters: viz., Eli Rex, who married Sarah Hall, and and was the father of Mrs. Kendall and Mrs. Amos; Jonathan, John, and Jesse were the other sons. One of the daughters, Elizabeth became Mrs. Fast, and she was the grandmother of J. E. Ferrell, of Burnt House; Rebecca first married a Price, and was the mother of the late Mrs. John Leggett, of Pullman; the late Mrs. Jeremiah Snodgrass, of Harrisville; and the late Mrs. Rachel Troy, and her second married name was Ice. Mary Rex died in youth.

William Cokeley. - Shortly after the coming of Harmon Sinnet, William Cokeley made the first settlement at Mt. Zion, where his only daughter, Mrs. Salem Duckworth, now lives. He was a native of Hampshire county, and soon after his arrival in this county with his parents, he was married to Miss Hannah Starr, sister of James Starr, and at Mt. Zion they founded their home, and remained until death closed their eyes. He died on February 12, 1888, at the age of seventy-four years, one month, twelve days. His wife was born on Indian creek, on September 5, 1816, and died on May 12, 1895.

They were Christians of the United Brethren church faith, and Mr. Cokeley might be styled the "Father" of the Mr. Zion church" for he gave the grounds and played no small part in the erection of the first church home here in 1859, and beneath the shadow of the present building, which was erected in 1894, he lies in his last sleep beside his companion.

Nimrod Keykendall was the first citizen of the farm formerly owned by J.N. Kendall and C. W. Leggett, but now the property of William Wilson. Mr. Keykendall and his wife, Kathrine Zickafoose, sister of the late Asbury Zickafoose, came from Pocahontas county in the early fifties, and after the Civil war removed to the West. He and his son, Jacob, were soldiers of the Civil war; and Jacob, who was Captain of Company K. of the Tenth West Virginia Infantry, lost his life at the battle of Cedar creek, on October 19, 1864, and his father was commissioned to take his place. His last restin-place is marked by a marble slab in the Mt. Zion churchyard. The other son, Samuel, went West.

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ChapterXXIII
Slab Creek Settled

This creek derived its name from a hunter's camp, which was constructed of slabs, and stood upon its banks. John Cain was the first citizen to penetrate its forest. He came from Harrison county, as early as 1818, and reared his lowly dwelling on the farm that for long years was designated as the "Lewis Maxwell homestead", now the property of W. E. Hall, at Pullman.

We know but little of his early history, except that he was an inmate of the old "Nutter fort" at Clarksburg, during his boyhood days, when the citizens of that vicinity were compelled to take refuge from the savage foe, within it protecting walls.

We have been unable to secure a record of his family, but he was the grand-uncle of J. R. Lowther, of Pullman; and the father of the late Harrison, and Reese, Edith, Nancy, and Dorinda Cain. His descendants in this county are quite numerous, however.

John Shores, whose history will be found in the Spruce creek chapter, was the first settler at the mouth of this creek; but we have no account of any other contemporary settlers with Cain, whose coming antedates that of Shores by a number of years. But not a few, however, whose names belong to this chapter, and whose descendants are still identified and in the forties, and redeemed their homes from their primitive wilderness.

Daniel V. Cox was the first settler at the forks of Slab creek, where his son, Floyd Cox, now lives. He was born in Harrison sounty, on March 10, 1809; and was the son of Phillip and Christiana Stille Cox.

He married Miss Mahala Ward, of Harrison county, sister of the late Martin Ward, who was born in 1812; and in 1835, they came to the mouth of Bone creek, where they remained until 1845, when they removed to Slab creek.

Mr. Cox was the first merchant at the mouth of Bone creek, he and his brother, Phillip, being partners in this business. They also opened a tailor-shop here with John Shores, a Dutchman, who died at the home of Col. Cox in the early sixties, as tailor. This was, doubtless, the first tailor-shop in the county.

Col. Cox, as he was generally known, was colonel of the Militia from the time of the organization of the county, until a short time before his death in the sixties. He recruited a company of volunteers, early in the Civil war, but owing to his failing health did not go into active service. But three of his sons took up arms in defense of the Union: (John, Taylor, and J. E.)

Col. Cox, like many of the other pioneers, was a man of indomitable courage, and of great daring. His daring being scarcely second to that of Israel Putnam, when he descended the wolfe's den and shot the animal by the glaring light of its own eye, as the following incident will illustrate:

When Robert Sommerville reared his cabin on Bone creek, he had to get his help from Harrison and Lewis counties; and during the night, after the cabin had been erected, there fell a tracking snow; and on the following morning, three panthers' tracks in the snow, near a mile beyond the Gilmer county line; and following the tracks they were led to a ledge of rocks where the animals were securely housed. They tried for several hours to smoke them out, but all in vain, and all but Col. Cox decided to give it up and to go on home; but he said, "No, gentlemen, those panthers must come out of there". And despite their remonstrances, with a pine torch in one hand, and a huge knife in the other, he started in after them, telling his companions to be ready with their guns to fire should they come out; but after some delay to their intense relief, they heard him coming, and he soon appeared dragging his prey after him, the animals having perished from the effects of the smoke.

He sleeps on his old homestead on Slab creek, beside his wife, who died in 1899.

He was the father if ten children:

W. Floyd, and Mrs. Louisa (Wm.) Bane, the late H. C. and J. E., all of Slab creek; the late John M., of Burnt House; D. S., Chevauxdefrise; W. Taylor, Calhoun county; W. E., Alvin W., and Phillip, all died in youth.

Phillip Cox, brother of Col. Cox, was also identified with the county's early history, he being a surveyor in this and adjoining counties as early as 1820; and, as already mentioned, he was a partner in the mercantile business with his brother at the mouth of Bone creek, in 1835; though he did not take up his residence here until 1847, when he removed to Harrisville, and took charge of the "Franklin hotel", wherehe remained until 1852. He finally went to Cox's mill, in Gilmer county, where he died on December 19, 1876, at the age of seventy-six years, he having been born, on July 20, 1800. He at one time represented Braxton and Lewis counties in the General Assembly at Richmond.

He married Miss Susan Kniseley, daughter of George, and sister of the late John Kniseley, of Auburn, and in the Auburn cemetery, beside his wife, he sleeps.

He was the father of D. W. Cox, of Washburn, and of the following other sons and daughters: Oliver P. Cox, of Cox's mill; George Kniseley Cos; Isaac, of Clay county; John, of Kansas City; Mrs. Josephine (Hamilton) Norman, Spokane, Washington; Mrs. Elizabeth (Anthony) Wagner, of Washburn - mother of "Al" Wagner, Berea; Mrs. Mary Snodgrass, wife of the late Rev. Elisha L. Snodgrass,of Auburn; Mrs. Rodenia (Thomas) Williams, Kansas City, all of whom have passed on, save D. W., O.P., and Mrs. Norman.

The Coxes have a distinguished ancestral line, which they trace back to Dr. Daniel Cox, of London, who was the Royal fami