The valley was explored and its resources made known in the East, but no settlements were made for a quarter of a century after. The clouds of war now darkened the American horizon, the armed oppressor was already upon our shores, the war of the Revolution, which through the aid of France was to give the American continent to civil liberty as the home of the oppressed of all lands. was now at hand. Patrick Henry was voiceing that struggle with his matchless eloquence, and Jefferson was penning the declaration. Virginia called loudly to her sons to defend her soil against the invader, and from her plains and mountains that call met with a hearty response, and for eight long years western settlement was abandoned. In 1783 Britain acknowledged the independence of the colonies and called her soldiers home, but behind she left her savage allies, who, for twenty long years con- tinued to wage a relentless warfare against the frontier, and it was not until Wayne's treaty with the Indians in 1795, that emi- gration to the western part of Virginia again began. But the savage was now forever, his frightful warwhoop was never to be heard again south of the Ohio, and hundreds of the old soldiers now sought homes in the wide domain of western Virginia. The first one to find a home within the present limits of Wirt county was William Beauchamp, who settled where the town of Elizabeth now stands, in the year 1796, where he made the first permanent improvement within the Little Kanawha. If the traveler who visits the town of Elizabeth will take a stroll into the village cemetery, not far from the center he will discover a rude brown sandstone slab, now, like the body of him whose resting place it marks, is rapidly crumbling to dust, and from it he will learn that William Beauchamp was born in 1743 and died in the year 1808, aged sixty-five years. Here now reposes all that was mortal of the first pioneer of Wirt county. He was the father of David and grandfather of Alfred, both of whom were identified with the business interests of the valley for many years. But he was not to remain long alone amid the solitudes of his chosen home; the closing years of the last century and opening ones of the present witnessed many cabin homes on the banks of the little river. Then came Benjamin Roberts, Thomas Prebble and Jona- than Shepherd from the south branch of the Potomac, the latter bringing with him his three sons, William, Samuel and Henry. Then Samuel Coe, William Wells, who settled upon Reedy creek, William Petty, John Petty and John Willson, all of whom removed here from Harrison county, Virginia; John Bennett, who settled upon Tuckerís creek, Jacob Bumgarner, Frederick Bumgarner, Andrew Bumgarner, Richard Reeder, Charles Rock- hold, Elijah Rockhold and Jepheniah Wiseman. These were the men who laid the foundation for the settlement of the territory now embraced within the limits of Wirt county.