Proctor, WV


Log Cabin built in 1814The village of Proctor extends south of the Mason-Dixon Line to Haines Run which was named after an early settler, Abraham Haines, whose log cabin still stands and is now owned by Carl Palmer, a New Martinsville pharmacist. The cabin was built in 1814 and is located between State Route 2 and the railroad track which was completed in 1884 by the Ohio River Railroad Company.

Proctor got its name from a fur trapper who lived in a cave up Proctor Creek. He was killed by Indians sometime between 1750 and 1775. The village is in the middle of a farm now owned by the Mason heirs. Original owners were the Cresap brothers. The town is about six miles north of New Martinsville and thirty-two miles south of Wheeling. Proctor is conveniently located along State Route 2 which was paved in 1932. The railroad runs through the middle of the village, which lies on the east bank of the Ohio River. These three modes of transportation were very beneficial to the many small businesses that flourished from the early 1880's through the 1930's.

In 1920 when Everett L. Mason bought the furniture and undertaking business from Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Palmer, there were still signs of the busy times brought on by the wildcatters, Michael Benedum and Joseph Trees. They opened up the Garner oil field up Proctor Creek. At this time, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad had two tracks going north and south to Pittsburgh and Kenova. River traffic was busy and there were two boat landings handling produce, cattle and hogs. At that time the roads were hardly passable but the trains and boats sufficed with mostly wagons traveling the roads.

The railroad station was busy with five daily trains stopping to deliver and pick up mail and passengers. A busy livery stable owned by Samuel Conley was located near the station. Later Frank Ritz came from Proctor Creek and operated a blacksmith shop on this spot for many years. Curtis Oblinger also had a blacksmith shop in Proctor.

Going south from the railroad station, there was a flour mill owned by the Yoho brothers, Albert and Christopher. Mack Goudy was the original owner of the mill. The Arman brothers, Francis, Charlie and August, and nephew, Reuben, were known as the best carpenters around.

Across the track was the Methodist Church built in 1902.  John Dopier started the church by holding Sunday School in the top floor of Herrick Brothers store. Across the road from the church was Proctor Merchandise Store, operated by George Daugherty. Jacob Moore, who had a land grant, was credited with building the Christian Church in the 1890's. His land extended from Proctor Creek south to the Haines Run property. He had a merchandise store at the end of Proctor Creek Bridge. In 1957 Mobay Chemical Company built a recreational center on the original Jacob Moore property. In 1961 PPG Industries built the McKenna shelter for their employees. They are on adjoining property.

The town had a Doctor Yeater, later a Doctor Haught and last, Doctor C. E. Smith. Just south of this residence was a row of houses known as the Fitzsimmons row, named after James Fitzsimmons who had a livery barn near Proctor Creek Bridge. Bruce Fitzsimmons was the town barber. Nearby was the Monroe & Son General Store and Post Office. South and across the railroad track was another store known as the "Point House", and was owned and operated by Charlie Stackhouse. The "Point House" stood at the entrance of Route 89 and Proctor Creek. Proctor also had six saloons during the 1890's early 1900's.

The Friend Parson farm ran parallel with Route 89. Mr. Parson was County Surveyor and former County Superintendent of Schools. The Proctor grade school, known as Riverview School, was built in the early 1880's.

Now in 1983, the Railroad station, the flour mill, the funeral home, the school and the four stores are all gone. Only two churches remain, the Proctor Christian Church and the Church of Christ, which bought the old Methodist Church. The Methodists merged with the Steelton United Methodist Church in 1962.

Submitted by Virginia R. Bobrer

Pictures of Proctor, WV

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