Halls Mills, WV


Source: History of Wetzel County, West Virginia 1983

Hall's Mills, was named for William Hall, who for many years owned and operated a grist mill in the area. This small settlement, population approximately 100, was located along Little Fishing Creek in Proctor District, 15 miles east of New Martinsville and two miles west of Wileyville. Later the road was designated State Route 7. It was a thriving farming community in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Other than the grist mill, which was later owned by Alexander Dulaney, there were two general stores--one owned originally by Benjamin Mason, later by James Carpenter and the other one by Thomas Adams, a blacksmith shop operated by Sanford Guthrie; the Shidler Methodist Church; and a post office.

Hall's Mills Post Office came into being in 1875, with John Obers as the first Postmaster, according to the application dated June 30, 1875, a copy of which follows. In the early 1900's, the post office was located in the home of Postmaster Robert E. L. Guthrie. His farm was located at the mouth of Pine Run and near the foot of Laflen Hill, which got its name from the Laflen family who settled in the area around 1838. Later Ward Parsons owned the property. Joseph Bland bought the farm from Ward Parsons, and in later years it was owned by Clarence Yoho. Mail carriers, riding horseback or using a wagon/buggy, were John and Selby Bland, William Mason, Friend Tracy and Denver Wade.

My father Ellsworth Kirkland and my mother Louella. (Richmond) Kirkland, born near Beebe, came to the Hall's Mills area in 1891 and purchased a 52-acre farm at the entrance of Hog Run. There my three brothers and I were born.

The Hog Run road is a rough, narrow dirt road, leading from Route 7, over Little Fishing Creek, to Allister Ridge, which is not far from Reader. The bridge over the creek was constructed in 1913, and some of the workers came from as far away as Baltimore, Maryland, and they boarded at Selby Bland's.

The one-room school two of my brothers-- Burdell and Henry -- and I attended (1906-1911), along with ten other students-- Verna and Thoburn Kirk, Rhoda Knotts, Okey and Adaline Mason, Dessie, Thomas and John Vandyne, Trixie and Sarah Brock -- was located a mile up Hog Run. Teachers were Frederick Suter, Alma Steel, Ward Newman, and Lester Workman. When that school was closed in 1912, we attended the one on Bland's Run (located one-half mile west of Hog Run). Cromwell Haney was the teacher that first year. Other teachers during those school years were Theodore and Roy Grossenbacher, Bessie Fitzsimmins and Ora Suter. Other children at Hall's Mills attended school at New Line (located just west of Wileyville). When my youngest brother George started to school in 1919, he went to Mountain Tea, which was located on the north hill above Route 7, a short distance from our home.

The church house was situated on Shidler Run, where the baptism took place, and at the edge of land owned originally by my maternal great-grandfather John George Furbee, who secured land grants from the Commonwealth of Virginia for 50 acres in 1832 and 40 acres in 1838. He married Elsie Postlethwait, daughter of Richard Nelson and Lydia (Hollis) Postlethwait. After they died, my paternal grandfather Alexander Kirkland their son-in-law) owned the farm. He married Eliza Jane Furbee, who died in 1932 at age 94. Later the farm was owned by George W. Huff who married my Aunt Elsie Kirkland, daughter of Alexander and Eliza Jane. The farm remained in the family until Mr. and Mrs. Huff passed away. Both my great-grandparents Furbee and my grandparents Kirkland are buried in a small graveyard on the family farm.

Church was always well-attended. For many years Isaac Brock was Superintendent of Sunday School and Jacob Brock led the singing. Preachers were Fox, Johnson, Taylor and White. However, the church house is no longer standing. It was struck by lightning and burned many years ago and the lot was sold for a homesite.

The grist mill and general stores went out of existence about 1916, to be replaced by other mills and stores along Route 7. When the Hall's Mills Post Office closed, effective March 31, 1917, the mail was sent to Maud.

Postmasters were: John Obers,George W. G. Cook, George M. Baker, Joseph Noland,

James Guthrie, Mrs. Sarah Guthrie, Thomas Adams, Robert E. L. Guthrie, Tillie M. Furbee, Samuel F. Dulaney, Andrew J. Montgomery, Alexander Dulaney

This Article Written March 1983

Submitted by Esta Kirkland Huff

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