Porter's Falls, WV


Source: History of Wetzel County, West Virginia 1983

When Porter's Falls was settled in the early 1800's, it was known as 'Little Morgantown' as most of its residents were Morgans. It later was named Porters Falls, taking that name from a surveyor who came to the area to survey much of the land. There was a falls in the creek about 1 miles northwest of the village. Ergo, Porters Falls.

The first school was located atop the hill directly above the town. Two of the first teachers were, Leonard and William (Bill)

Morgan, sons of Honorable Aaron Morgan who was a West Virginia State Legislator for two terms.

Morgan Morgan was a blacksmith and a miller and also ran the first post office. At first, mail was carried by horseback until the railroad station was built and the train brought it.

Morgan's Grist MillEvan Morgan was a cabinet maker and carpenter. He made coffins for those who brought measurements. He, Evan, built the three story lumber and grist mill which stood beside the creek. His wife Annie (nee, Edgel) bore him no children but they raised many orphans. She owned and operated a hat shoppe.

Elisha Morgan was a driller and merchant, who operated the country store. His wife Ida (nee, Steele) operated a boarding house to accommodate drillers in the area. Elisha obtained goods for his store by driving a team of horses to New Martinsville to the wharf where Greer and Lang from Wheeling would sell him groceries and dry goods. This trip took about twelve to fourteen hours, round trip. His daughter Ethel, still lives in Porters Falls.

Some of the other Morgans living in Porters Falls in the early years not aforementioned were: Zadoc, "Chuff", Stephen, and Charles.

A church was also established in this village by the settlers. In 1908 the original structure, made of wood was erected approximately two miles west of Porters Falls, WV. It was known as Morgan Chapel. Reverend William Craig served as pastor. The congregation was comprised of people from both Minnie and Porters Falls. It was used until 1919 when it was razed. Services then were held in the schoolhouse.

The present concrete block building in Porters Falls proper was started in 1923. The ground and much of the furnishings were donated. It was dedicated as Morgan Memorial Methodist Church in August of 1924. There was an all day dedication service with dinner served in the basement. The presiding elder was Reverend C.C. Perkins and the minister was Reverend C.D. Wilhelm. The first trustees were: J.E. Snider, E.F. Morgan, Charles Morgan, Christopher Snodgrass and Charles M. Scamp.

Over the years there were service stations and grocery stores operated by: Ben Pipes, Vernon Carr, Marshall Snider, J. E. Snider, Charles Carroll, Ernest Snodgrass, Walter Schamp, Clyde Snider, Leslie Yost, and Roy Bowen.

The Manufacturers Light and Heat Company now known as The Columbia Gas System has been in Porters Falls since the 1930's. It employed many of the residents.

A three-room school with grades one thru eight was built and in session for many years with higher education continuing at Reader High School. Now students graduate from Valley High School in Pine Grove.

by Faye Etta Elson Weekly

Pictures of Porters Falls, WV

return to the Communities of Wetzel County Index