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Our work on the history of Greenbrier now comes to an end. 
The present volume is both historical and biographical. The 
original plan comprehended sketches of a general character for 
the first volume, and those of a personal one for the second vol- 
ume, but circumstances somewhat frustrated that plan. Lieut. 
Gaude N. Feamster was to aid in the preparation of the work, 
but circumstances intervened in that case also. Then, by mutual 
agreement, the work on the second volume was left for the lieu- 
tenant to write and publish himself. After digging away in the 
court records to some extent, Mr. Feamster decided to make 
his work consist of the annals of the county wholly. As that con- 
clusion would of necessity exclude the general history of the 
county, it left the more important part of that work to be taken 
care of by us. 

In the meantime, Col. Thomas H. Dennis, editor and pro- 
prietor of the Greenbrier Independent, issued an edition to me- 
morialize its semi-centennial anniversary. A dozen or more of 
our photo-engraving plates accompanied certain articles in that 
edition, which are both authoritative and of considerable value. 
In view of the fact that those articles should be preserved for 
future reference in some more permanent form, some of them 
have been printed in this present volume, but none of the bio- 
graphical sketches have been reproduced. 

It was the intention of the editor of the Independent to con- 
tinue the publication of his paper, to some considerable extent, 
along that line, but there were reasons why the project at that 
time could not be made to succeed. Now things are different. 


The publication of biographies, as originally intended, should be 
continued until all the leading citizens of the county have been 
fully represented and written up in the Independent. Old Green- 
brier can furnish the material and the enterprise should be en- 
couraged. A county having 2,500 homes, with a real estate asset 
of over $10,000,000, can produce a citizenship any people ought 
to be proud of; and every reliable farmer, within its boundaries 
ought to have a sketch of himself and of his family to add to the 
general history, if he is not a Hun. The Author. 




Introductory Remarks. 


The Greenbrier River. 


Greenbrier County. 


Roster of State Officers. 


Roster of County Officers. 








White Sulphur. 


Williamsburg District. 


Early Churches. 



l 3 

Progress of Methodism. 


Educational Progress. 


Bench and Bar. 


A Pioneer Wedding. 



Aldersons 308 

Stuarts 3i 

Mathews 67 

Prices 60 

Millers 98 

Keslers 108 

Feamsters 134 

Arbuckles 220 

Sydenstrickers 240 

Erwins 244 

Wyatts 340 

Bells 343 

Dunbars 269 

Dotsons 343 

Murrills 183 

Currys 230 

McClungs 209 




Arbuckle Family, The 220 

Argabrite, Jacob 286 

Argabrite, James M. 290 

Argabrite, George T. 291 

Alderson, John, Sr. 308 

Alderson, Thomas 3°9 

Alderson, John, Jr. 310 

Alderson, George 3* 2 

Alderson, Joseph 313 

Alderson, Capt. Jack 316 

Alderson, George 3 J 7 

Alderson, J. Marshall 319 

Alderson, John M. 320 

Alderson, Bettie M. 322 

Alderson, Sampson I. 324 

Alderson, Joseph N., Jr. 229 

Bench and Bar 46 

Boone, James H. 79 

Boone, William A. 89 

Boone, William F. 91 

Boone, Robert H. 91 

Burr, Aaron B. no 

Bray. A. B. C. 120 

Buster, Claudius 125 

Buster, George H. 127 

Bell, Henry T. 158 

Bell, Robert M. 160 

Bell, Johnston E. 171 

Bell, Mason 175 

Blake, Wlliam B., Jr. 341 

Beard, Harry Lee. M. D. 182 

Beard, Samuel C, M. D. 196 

Beard, Elisha F. 243 

Clark, George Lynn 96 

Crickenberger, Emmett H. 206 

Curry Family, The 231 

Caldwell, James R. 235 

Coffman, Price 253 

Coffman, O. B. 254 

Cole, George W. 275 

Cole, Joseph R. 296 

Conner, Charles E. 300 

Clay, Thomas G, M. D. 303 

Darnell, William E. 215 

De Laad, Rev. John J. 207 


Dennis, Robert F. 228 

Dennis, Thomas H. 230 

Dice, John C. 223 

Dice, Charles S. 224 

Dotson Family, The 343 

Dunbar Family, The 269 

Dunn, Henry C. 194 

Dwyer, David A. 19S 

Erwin Family, The 244 

Educational Progress 43 

Feamster, Thomas L. 134 

Feamster, Claude N. 144 

Feamster, S. W. N. 155 

Fleshman, David M. 255 

Fleshman, Andrew A. 259 

Ford, Edgar S. 180 

George, Henry H. 161 

George, Thomas L. 162 

George, John 165 

George, Henry 117 

George, Powhatan A. 165 

Gilchrist, George A., M. D. 242 

Humphries, Mathew N. 256 

Hennessy, Michael E. 103 

Hunter, Henry F. 112 

Hunter, John A. 114 

Handley, John O. 123 

Handley, Harvey 124 

Holt, Homer A. 147 

Hinkle, Samuel W. 163 

Hunt, W. R. 178 

Hayes. William B. 216 

Handley, John A. 226 

Hanna, Maynard 239 

Hundley. Bertha A. 334 

Huddleston, Abraham E. 259 

Hill, Edwin F. 325 

Jarrett, Joseph 327 

Jackson, Martha A. 128 

Jasper, Richard 132 

Jarrett, Thomas H. _ 179 

Johnson. Andrew Davis 339 

Johnson, Andrew Emerson 251 


Keyes, Humphrey B. 250 

Kesler Family, History of 108 

Kincaid, Alexander C. 301 

Lewisburg 24 

Level, Robert A. """""™T"!"[" 87 

Lewis, John 100 

Lewis, Charles C. 104 

Lewis, William 115 

Lewis, George 116 

Laing, James 130 

Mathews, J. W. 72 

Mathews, J. Warrick 74 

Mathews Family, The 67 

Mathews, Alex F. 345 

Mays, Jonathan 109 

Methodism, Progress of 42 

Miller, Everette Bell ....Z...Z"-'- 1 18 

Montague, Russell W. 149 

Masters, William 199 

Miller Family, The ' 98 

Miller, William G. 94 

Moore, Houston B. 202 

Moore, David T. 201 

Murrill Family, The ..!."""""" 183 

McWhorter, J. Scott 192 

McWhorter, Joseph M. no 

McDowell, Samuel H. 173 

McClung, Dr. William H.""_""."." 210 
McClung, William E. 214 

McClung, Jacob O. .:.'_""__. 238 

McClung, James F. 246 

McClung, James W. 264 

McGeachy, Rev. Daniel P. 269 

McElhenney, Rev. John, D. D. 293 

Nelson, William E. 80 

O'Connell. Daniel 191 

Osborn, Samuel W. 295 

Price, Samuel 62 

Price Family, The 60 

Price, Oscar A. 62 

Pace, S. Nelson 198 

Peters, John 232 

Pyles, William P. ."........ 248 

Preston, John A. * 272 

Peyton, Gen. Charles S. 284 

Patton, Tristam 329 

Patton, P. B., and Brothers"".".'."."'."." 335 

Railroads 21 

Roster, State and County 14 

Ronceverte, City of 25 

Rainelle, Development of 35 

Rodgers, James M. 92 

Ramsey, Reuben W. 204 

Hucker, , James Thomas 205 

Ratliffe, William G .._.""""".'_'. 227 

Rapp, Burke A. 262 

Rupert, Cyrus A., M. D. 335 

Raymond, Edward F. 338 

Stuart, John 51 

Stuart, Lewis Lacy 60 

Svme, Conrad H. _ 166 

Snyder, Judge A. C. 186 

Skaggs, Howard C. 217 

Skaggs, James M. 222 

Sydenstricker, John M. 241 

Stratton, James H. 285 

Totten, Mrs. M. J. 122 

Tyree, Samuel F. 129 

Thurmond, Joseph S. 150 

Tuckwiller, David 294 

Walkup, James E. 267 

White Sulphur Springs 28 

White Sulphur 33 

Williamsburg District 34 

White, William "~Z'"".'.'"Z 81 

White, Rebecca 83 

White, Nekon„„^™""^™~."_\" 86 

White, Henry Alexander 87 

White, George Edward 107 

White, George Lake 176 

Withrow, James 190 

Williamson, Mrs. A. M. Cole.... 283 

Wyatt Family, The 340 


(By Rev. H. A. Murrill.) 
O, gentle River, thou art here, 

Dark flowing 'neath this ancient bridge, 
And trembling 'gainst its stony wall 
And haunted by that towering ridge. 


To the rusty ring on the maple tree 

My boat chain is securely tied. 
With every wavelet's heave and swell, 

In this light skiff I rock and ride. 


Spring's voices and the flowers fair 

Are stilled and folded for the eve ; 
The softening breeze and twilight hour, 

My phantasy and dreams do weave. 


Thy source, O sparkling River, tell, 

The mystic fount from which thou art sprung ! 
I've traced thee up by islet strand 

Where wildest notes by birds were sung ; 


Where the water birches' ragged limbs 
Were blending with the spicewood sweet ; 

Where winsome children in their play 

Had come to splash with their dancing feet. 


I've traced thee on by mill and town 

To the dell where dawn is ere behind, _ 

Where shades of the rhododendron cling, 
To bind the spell of the mountain wind. 



I've caught in the path of thine infant feet 
The trout flashing gold in thy water fall ; 

I've tracked the deer in the dingle deep 
To the grayest crags of thy cradle wall. 


Thou art not all river, not all form, 
Thou are not all shore and silver stream, 

But half of thy life is law and wave 
And half of thy beauteous life is dream. 


As a joyous dream in the long ago, 
Thou dwellest in the Eternal Mind, 

And slept in His heart since the first stars shone 
As a rare and radiant gem enshrined. 


From starlight down to where fireflies shine, 

Thou comest on, thou beautiful stream, 
With music and sparkling joy for all 
Down the flowery shore and path of thy dream. 
March 8, 1917. 


In an article for the semi-centennial of the Greenbrier Inde- 
pendent, written by William H. Sawyer, of Hinton, in speaking 
of Greenbrier county, the writer says : 

The oldest county in West Virginia is Hampshire, formed in 
1754; the second Berkley, formed in 1772, and the third is Green- 
brier, formed from Montgomery and Botetourt, in 1777, and 
named from its principal river. The Miami Indians called this 
river the "Weotowe," and the Delaware Indians called it the 
"Onepake." The French called it the "Ronceverte," (Ronce, brier 
and Verte, green), hence, the "Greenbrier." It is one of the most 
beautiful mountain rivers in the world, and is larger than the 
Jordan, but by no means so historical. This leads me to remark 
that places and rivers, as well as individuals, in order to be famous, 
must occupy the spot where history is making. The Rhine and 
the Thames, the Tiber and the Jordan could all pour their waters 
into the Amazon without causing a perceptible rise, yet, much of 
what we call human history has been made by men and in places 
no more in real importance to other men and places than the 
Tiber is compared to the Amazon. 

'"Tis distance lends enchantment to the view 
And robes the mountain in her azure hue." 

No place has suffered more from the humbug of distance 
lending enchantment than the State of West Virginia and no 
place in West Virginia more than Greenbrier county. When man 
gets his intellectual psychism changed so he can judge aright and 
think aright he will locate the real Eden in the future and on the 
banks of the Greenbrier. 

Nature blessed Greenbrier with a lavish hand. She gave her 
a large area of the finest coal in the world. She gave her beau- 



tiful and picturesque mountains. She gave her a good climate 
and a copious rainfall. She gave her a soil of most wonderful 
fertility. She clothed her in the most majestic forests and after 
blessing her more than anywhere else, she played the same prank 
on her that Appollo played on Cassandra upon whom he con- 
ferred the gift of prophecy and then fixed her so nobody would 
believe her. And; that is what is the matter with us. We are 
scarcely hatched till we take Texas fever, Kansas fever, Western 
fever, Southern fever, and every other sort of fever except what 
we ought to have, to-wit : "West Virginia fever." 

The most wonderful water-power on earth is in West Vir- 
ginia. Eternal power ! The wonderful deposits of iron ore and 
glass sand ; iron enough to build a railroad to Polaris and glass 
enough to build a palace to the moon. Cement stone, yes, enough 
in Greenbrier county alone to last the world a century. Building 
stone, brown stone ; coal, oil, gas till you can't rest, and some of 
the finest coal in the world right in Greenbrier.+ Timber ! What 
country on earth ever had such a variety? Walnut, poplar, oak, 
ash, birch, pine, spruce, hemlock, every variety on the face of the 
earth except a few tropical or semi-tropical trees. And fruits ! 
For apples, peaches, pears, cherries, plums, etc., we have every 
State in the Union skinned a block. And for cattle raising, stock 
breeding, corn growing, hogs and hominy, the world cannot 
beat us. 

And you may ride from coast to coast and nowhere else are 
the skies so blue or the mountains so green. And for a real 
sublime and beautiful view Elk Knob has Pike's Peak laid in 
the shade. 

From another article in commemorating the fiftieth anniver- 
sary of the Independent we extract the following interesting com- 
ments on "Fifty Years of Greenbrier Valley," by Albert Sidney 
Johnston, editor of Monroe Watchman: 

The half -century indicated in the above caption carries us back 
to the year 1866. It had been one year since the close of the 
great war between the States. In the commonwealths which 
seceded, the end of hostilities was followed by a reconstruction 


regime. The only exception was Tennessee. West Virginia was 
not technically one of the seceded States. And yet the fact that her 
people were much divided in sympathy gave rise to a transition 
period of six years, which, to all intents and purposes, was a re- 
construction era. 

Yet the six years which followed the disbanding of the Con- 
federate armies were a time of great hardship to the people of this 
valley. Generally speaking, they were not in sympathy with the 
political character of the State administration. The latter, intent 
on securing what it had accomplished, was not inclined to be con- 
siderate toward the "rebels" of this part of the State. County 
governments were reorganized by men on sympathetic terms with 
the State and National administrations. Other men lay under 
civil disability. They might not hold local office. Their taxes 
were accepted with great relish, yet they might not practice law, 
teach school (except by a form of proxy), or even vote. 

Under such circumstances it was scarcely possible to organize 
competent county governments. It was not in human nature for a 
large majority of the people, who, it may be safely affirmed, rep- 
resented an even larger share of the intelligence and wealth of 
their communities, to sit calmly by. They were restive, and there 
was ill-feeling. Troops were sometimes on hand to stand guard 
at the elections. But there came the Flick amendment of 187 1 and 
the political revolution of 1872. The destinies of West Virginia 
were now in the hands of her people as a whole. The political 
distinction between Federal and Confederate had been swept aside. 
The old field school, which had supplied the intellectual forage 
of the ante-bellum population, went down in the battle of the 
great war. It was at once supplanted by the free school, which, 
with all its shortcomings in practice, has been a step in the direc- 
tion of progress. It remains to add that the new dispensation has 
not attempted to dethrone Lewisburg as the educational center of 
our valley. 

The half-century has witnessed a very large increase in popula- 
tion. It has dotted the valleys and the lime-stone plateaus with 
very up-to-date farm homes, even if it has not yet entirely rele- 


gated the log house to the status of curiosity. There has been a 
fairly good effort to keep abreast of the times. Shortages will 
here and there suggest themselves to the mind of every progres- 
sive citizen. However, if everything were entirely as we believe 
it ought to be, might we not become altogether too much at ease 
in Zion? 

Roster of State and County Officers 

Governors of West Virginia. 

Arthur I. Boreman, June 20, 1863 — February 26, 1869. 

Daniel D. T. Farnsworth, February 27, 1869 — March 3, 1869. 

(Note: — Mr. Farnsworth, as President of the Senate, filled 
the unexpired term of Governor Boreman, who had been elected 
to the United States Senate.) 

William Erskine Stevenson, March 4, 1869 — March 3, 1877. 

John Jeremiah Jacob, March 4, 1871 — March 3, 1877. 

Henry Mason Matthews, March 4, 1877 — March 3, 188 1. 

Jacob Beeson Jackson, March 4, 1881 — March 3, 1885. 

E. Willis Wilson, March 4, 1885 — February 5, 1890. 

(Note: — Held over pending the Fleming-Goff contest.) 

A. Brooks Fleming, February 5, 1890 — March 3, 1893. 

William Alexander MacCorkle, March 4, 1893— March 3, 


George Wesley Atkinson, March 4, 1897 — March 3, 1901. 
Albert Blakesley White, March 4, 1901 — March 3, 1905. 
William M. O. Dawson, March 4, 1905— March 3, 1909. 
William E. Glasscock, March 4, 1909 — March 3, 1913. 
Henry Drury Hatfield, March 4, 1913 — March 6, 1917. 
John J. Cromwell, March 7, 1917 — 

Judges of the Circuit of Which Greenbrier Has Been a Part. 

Hon. Nathaniel Harrison. 

Hon. Joseph Marcellus McWhorter. 


Hon. Homer A. Holt. 

Hon. Andrew Nelson Campbell. 

Hon. Joseph Marcellus McWhorter. 

Hon. William R. Bennett. 

Hon. Charles S. Dice. 

Hon. Summers Sharp. 

Members of the State Senate from the District of Which Green- 
brier County Has Been a Part. 

!866 — William F. Chambers. 

(Note:— At the beginning of this session, Henry Mason Mat- 
thews, of Greenbrier, appeared as a Senatorial-elect from the 
Ninth Senatorial district, but he refused to take the required oath, 
and, on February 15, his seat was declared vacant.) 

T 867— Charles A. Thatcher and and Samuel Young. 
1868— Samuel Young and Alex. R. Humphreys. 
I 86o__Alex. R. Humphreys and Samuel Young. 
^70— Alex. R. Humphreys and Samuel Young. 
T 87i — Alex. R. Humphreys and James Scott. 
1872— James Scott and C. A. Sperry. 
1873 — Hudson M. Dickinson and Elliot Vawter. 
1875— Robert F. Dennis and Hudson M. Dickinson. 
1877— W.W. Adams and Robert F. Dennis. 
1879 — W. W. Adams and Robert F. Dennis. 
1881 — Robert F. Dennis and William L. McNeal. 
!883 — William L. McNeal and J. G. Lobban. 

x 885 — J. G. Lobban and Marion Ouinn. 

!887 — Marion Guinn and Mexico Van Pelt. 

! 889— John W. Arbuckle and Mexico Van Pelt. 

I 8 9 i—John W. Arbuckle and J. W. St. Clair. 

1893— William Haynes and J. W. St. Clair. 

1895— Thomas P. Davies and William Haynes. 

1897— Thomas P. Davies and N. C. McNeil. 

1899— N. C. McNeil and Charles W. Osenton. 

1901— Alexander McVeigh Miller and Charles W. Osenton. 

1903— Andrew J. Horan and Alexander McVeigh Miller. 


1905 — William S. Johnson and Alexander McVeigh Miller. 
1907 — William S. Johnson and Alexander McVeigh Miller. 
1909 — William S. Johnson and Alexander McVeigh Miller. 
191 1 — William S. Johnson and John A. Preston. 
19 1 3 — John A. Preston and James McClung. 
191 5 — Gory Hogg and James McClung. 

Members of House of Delegates from Greenbrier County. 

1866 — None. 

1867 — Joseph F. Caldwell and Andrew W. Mann. 
1868 — Andrew W. Mann. 
1869 — Andrew W. Mann. 
1870 — G. W. Carpenter and R. A. Chambers. 
1871 — Hamilton P. Brown and Dr. James L. Nelson. 
1872 — George W. Williams. 

1872 — (New Constitution) — James Withrow. (The session 
of the Legislature re-assembled September 20, 1873.) 
1875 — George W. Williams. 
1877— Kyle Bright. 
1879 — Samuel P. Hawver. 
1881 — John M. Sydenstricker. 
1883 — John F. Garing and William H. McClung. 
1885— Thomas H. Dennis and Dr. William H. McClung. 
(Note: — Mr. Dennis was elected Speaker.) 
1877 — Dr. William H. McClung and John M. Sydenstricker. 
1889 — Dr. William H. McClung and John M. Sydenstricker. 
1891— James F. Clark and R. D. Erwin. 
1893 — James F. Clark and Dr. William H. McClung. 
1895 — R. D. Erwin and T. Hickman Jarrett. 
1897— B. F. Harlow and Dr. William H. McClung. 
1899 — T. Hickman Jarrett and E. F. Raymond. 
1901 — B. F. Harlow and T. Hickman Jarrett. 
1903 — William P. Lowe and Harry L. Van Sickler. 
1905 — Dr. William H. McClung and John A. Preston. 
1907 — William P. Lowe and John A. Preston. 


1909— Thomas H. Dennis and Edward D. Smoot. 
I g II — John C. Dice and Edward D. Smoot. 
I9 T3_T hn C. Dice and A. E. Huddlestun. 
1915 — A. E. Huddlestun and Joseph S. Thurmond. 

Sheriffs of Greenbrier County. 

Wallace Robinson, first sheriff elected at close of Civil war, 
served until 1870. 

Alexander Knight — 1870-1872. 
James Knight — 1872-1876. 
James W. Johnston— 1884-1888. 
James Knight — 1880- 1884. 
James W. Johnston — 1888-1892. 
James Knight— 1888-1892. 
David A. Dwyer — 1892- 1896. 
S. Hill Nickell— 1896-1900. 
David A. Dwyer — 1900-1904. 
A. P. McClung — 1904-1908. 
T. Hickman Jarrett— 1908-1912. 
William A. Boone — 1912-1916. 
James M. Miller — 1916— 

Clerks of Greenbrier County Court. 

Joel McPherson, appointed recorder, July 19, 1865. 

George H. Lewis. 

Zachariah Trueblood. 

Mark L. Spotts. 

Charles B. Buster. 

John S. Crawford. 

Clerks of Circuit Court. 

Joel McPherson. 
Jonathan Mays. 
James K. Scott. 
Howard C. Skaggs. 


Prosecuting Attorneys of Greenbrier. 

Dr. William P. Rucker — 1870-1872. 
John W. Harris — 1872-1876. 

John A. Preston — 1876-1880. 

John A. Preston— 1 880- 1 884. 

John A. Preston— 1 884- 1 888. 

John A. Preston— 1888-1892. 

Henry Gilmer — 1892-1896. 

John A. Preston — 1896-1900. 

Henry Gilmer — 1900- 1904. 

J. Scott McWhorter — 1904-1908. 

J. Scott McWhorter — 1908-1912. 

Mark L. Jarrett — 1912- (Resigned in July, 1914.) 

J. Scott McWhorter (appointed in July, 1914, to fill out the 
above vacancy until the general election of 1914.) 

John A. Preston (elected at the 1914 general election to fill 
out Jarrett's unexpired term.) 

J. Scott McWhorter, elected in 1916. 

County Superintendents. 

Zachariah Trueblood — two years. 

Walter C. Preston — (appointed to fill out Mr. Trueblood's 

Joseph Marcellus McWhorter — two years. 

William H. Lewis — two years. 

Thomas H. Dennis — six years. 

J. W. Hinkle — eight years. 

Edward D. Smoot — two years. 

W. F. Lowrance — four years. 

Alex. R. Thompson — four years (beginning of four-year 

L. W. Burns — seven years. 

Charles L. Tabscott — one year. 

W. Frank Richardson — four years. 

Charles L. Tabscott — four years. 

W. F. Richardson — (now in office.) 


United States Senators from West Virginia. 

Peter G. Van Winkle, of Parkersburg — 1863-1869. 
Waitman T. Willey, Morgantown — 1863-1871. 
Arthur I. Boreman, Parkersburg — 1869-1875. 
Henry Gassaway Davis, Piedmont — 1871-1883. 
Allen T. Caperton, Union — 1875-1876. 
Samuel Price, Lewisburg — 1876-1877. 
Frank Hereford, Union — 1877-1881. 
Johnson N. Camden, Parkersburg — 1881-1887. 
John E. Kenna, Charleston — 1883-1893. 
Charles J. Faulkner, Martinsburg — 1887-1899. 
Johnson N. Camden, Parkersburg — 1893-1895. 
Stephen B. Elkins, Elkins — 1895-1911. 
Nathan Bay Scott, Wheeling — 1899-1911. 
Davis Elkins, Elkins — 1911-1911. 
Clarence W. Watson, Fairmont — 1911-1913. 
William E. Chilton, Charleston — 1911 — 
Nathan Goff, Parkersburg — 1913 — 


Judge Joseph Marcellus McWhorter, of Greenbrier, was Au- 
ditor of State from March 4, 1865, to March 3, 1869. 

John M. Rowan, of Monroe, was treasurer of the State from 
March 4, 1893, to March 3, 1897. 

Henry Mason Mathews, of Greenbrier, was attorney general 
of the State from January 1, 1873, to March 3, 1877. 

Edgar P. Rucker, of Greenbrier, later of McDowell, was at- 
torney general of the State from March 4, 1897, to March 3, 1901. 

Randolph Stalnaker, of Greenbrier, later of McDowell, was at- 
torney general of the State from March 4, 1881, to March 3, 1885. 

Howard E. Williams, of Greenbrier, is the present commis- 
sioner of agriculture, having taken office March 4, 1913, for a 
term of four years. 


Greenbrier county, in fifty years, has furnished the following 
members of the Supreme Court of Appeals of the State : 
Hon. Adam Clarke Snyder. 
Hon. Homer A. Holt. 
Hon. Luther Judson Williams. 

Members of Congress from the West Virginia District of Which 
Greenbrier Was a Part. 

Thirty-ninth Congress— Killian V. Whaley, Mason county, 

Fortieth Congress — Daniel Polsley, of Mason county, 1867- 

Forty-first Congress — John S. Witcher, Cabell county, 1869- 

Forty-second Congress — Frank Hereford, of Monroe county, 

(Note: — Mr. Hereford also served in the Forty-third and 
Forty- fourth Congresses, to January 31, 1877, when he resigned, 
having been elected United States Senator. No one filled the 
vacancy from January 31 to March 3, 1877.) 

Forty- fifth Congress — John E. Kenna, of Kanawha. (Note: 
— Mr. Kenna was re-elected to the Forty-sixth and Forty-seventh 
Congresses, serving until March 3, 1883.) 

Forty-eighth Congress — Charles P. Snyder, of Kanawha. 
(Note: — Mr. Snyder was re-elected to the Forty-ninth and Fif- 
tieth Congresses, serving until March 3, 1889.) 

Fifty- first Congress — John D. Alderson, of Nicholas. (Note: 
— Mr. Alderson was re-elected to the Fifty-second and Fifty- 
third Congresses, serving until 1895.) 

Fifty-fourth Congress — James H. Huling, of Kanawha, 
March 4, 1895, to March 3, 1897. 

Fifty-fifth Congress — Charles P. Dorr, of Webster, March 4, 
1897, to March 3, 1899. 

Fifty-sixth Congress — David E. Johnson, of Mercer, March 4, 
1899, to March 3, 1901. 


Fifty-seventh Congress — Joseph Holt Gaines, of Kanawha. 
(Note: — Mr. Gaines was re-elected to the Fifty-eighth, Fifty- 
ninth, Sixtieth and Sixty-first Congresses, serving until March 3, 

Sixty-second Congress — Adam B. Littlepage, of Kanawha, 
March 4, 191 1, to March 3, 1913. 

Sixty-third Congress — Samuel B. Avis, of Kanawha, March 
4, 1913, to March 3, 1915. 

Sixty-fourth Congress — Adam B. Littlepage, March 4, 191 5 — 
present incumbent. 

Note: — Greenbrier county was in the Third Congressional 
district from 1865 until the Legislature of 1915 re-districted the 
State. It is now in the Sixth. 


The beginning of the year 1872 found the Greenbrier valley 
without a mile of railway. What the valley had been in 1800, it 
still was in 1872. The mineral deposits were untouched. The 
rapid streams turned only the wheels of the old-fashioned saw 
and grist mills, the first of which was built on the Old Calison 
Place by the Hern family. But in 1872, the Virginia Central, 
which had been installed on the bank of the Jackson river, was 
renamed the Chesapeake & Ohio, and from that time that great 
road (see history which follows), in pushing across West Vir- 
ginia to the Ohio river, reanimated the lower section of the Green- 
brier valley, giving it a new life. By the subsequent building of 
the Greenbrier Division, almost a hundred miles of railway has 
aided in building up the towns of Ronceverte, Alderson and 
Hinton, and opened the way for White Sulphur Springs to be- 
come a palatial resort. 

The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway 

A Trunk Line Traversing the Most Beautiful Scenic 
Country in the East. 

(From The Hand Book of West Virginia.) 

Of the country's great trunk line railroads the Chesapeake & 
Ohio easily occupies first place in the matter of the natural and 
historic attractions of the country through which it passes. From 
the broad reaches of the coastal plain the road in its western flight 
passes into the Piedmont Valley, crosses the Blue Ridge, and then 
descends into the Garden of the Shenandoah. Then comes a 200- 
mile stretch of the boldest mountain scenery between East and 
West. Up and up the route lies, until it reaches the crest of the 
Alleghenies, and begins the descent that carries along the valley of 
the beautiful Greenbrier and into the canons and gorges of the 
New river, than which there is no other spot east of the Rocky 
Mountains that furnishes scenes of such rugged grandeur. Here 
is no mere flashing by of scenic wonders, but a run of hours' du- 
ration through scenes of lofty mountains, towering cliffs and 
beautiful waterfalls that call forth continual exclamations of de- 
light from those who view them for the first time. 

From the rough and precipitous New river the road suddenly 
makes its way to the quietly flowing Kanawha, and thence for miles 
through broad bottom lands bordered by low hills and dotted here 
and there with cities, towns and villages. Then over a low di- 
vide, once the bed of the Great Kanawha, to the beautiful Ohio, 
at the mouth of the romantic Guyandotte. Thence for almost 200 
miles the road follows the course of the Ohio to Cincinnati, or, 
leaving the river to the west, traverses the famous Blue Grass 
region of Kentucky to find itself again on the Ohio at Louisville. 

From Chesapeake bay to the Ohio river, and thence to either 
Cincinnati or Louisville, the route is one of entrancing beauty, 



unrivalled by that of any other road east of the Mississippi, and 
surpassed by none west. 

In the mountain regions the road passes through a thermal 
belt which nature has lavishly blessed with mineral springs that 
give forth waters of marvelous curative powers. The sulphur, 
lithia, alum and healing springs of this wonderful region have 
been tried by ailing people all over the world, and their virtues, 
tested by time and certified by the medical profession generally, 
are now established beyond all dispute. 

Along the line of the Chesapeake & Ohio are many attractive 
summer resorts, among them being Warm, Healing and Sweet 
Chalybeate Springs in Virginia and the Old Sweet and Red Sul- 
phur in West Virginia. In addition to these, are three of the most 
noted all-year resorts in the country, without mention of which no 
story of the Chesapeake & Ohio would be complete. These are 
Old Point Comfort, at the eastern terminus of the road on Hamp- 
ton Roads, the Virginia Hot Springs, near the top of the Alleghe- 
nies on the eastern slope, and the White Sulphur Springs, in West 
Virginia, near the top of the mountains on the western side. 

At Old Point Comfort is the well known Chamberlin Hotel, 
noted for years as one of the best resort hotels in the country. 
Situated right on the water, its broad piazzas parallelling the shore 
not ten yards away, the view is of the open water, in which ships 
from all nations are to be seen now and again riding at anchor, 
while at frequent intervals a large portion of the United States 
navy is stationed there, the officers from the vessels mingling 
in the gaities of the hotel life. Fort Monroe, with her rampart 
walls and girdling moat, but a short distance away, gives a touch 
of mediaeval picturesqueness to the scene. 

The Chamberlin is fitted up with all proper equipment for the 
accommodation of many guests, and in point of pleasantness of 
rooms, excellence of cuisine and general service has no superior in 
the country. Situated on waters famous for fish and shell-fish of 
all kinds, the Chamberlin makes a specialty of sea food, and has 
achieved nation-wide popularity in that respect. It is equipped 


with excellent bathing facilities, its electro-hydro-therapeutic de- 
partment being, beyond dispute, the best in the country. 

The Virginia Hot Springs, with the magnificent Homestead 
Hotel, is situated in the great Hot Springs Valley, at an elevation 
of 2,500 feet above sea level. This is one of the most beautiful 
spots in the Allegheny .Mountains, and the hotel itself is noted 
among the best of resorts. 


The town of Lewisburg is the oldest town in West Virginia 
with the exception of Clarksburg and Wheeling. It has been the 
county seat of Greenbrier county since 1778. Its beginning was 
the erection of old Fort Union, in 1774, which continued to stand 
until the storm of Indian warfare had spent its force and died 

Lewisburg was made a town by legislative enactment in 1782. 
An extract from the bill reads : "Be it enacted, that forty acres 
of land whereon the court house of the county of Greenbrier now 
stands, be and the same is hereby vested in Samuel Lewis, James 
Reid, Samuel Brown, Andrew Sonnally, John Stewart, Archer 
Mathew, William Ward, and Thomas Edgar, gentlemen, trustees, 
to be by them or any five of them laid out into lots of half an acre 
each with convenient streets which shall be and the same is hereby 
established a town by the name of Lewisburg." (See Henning's 
Virginia Statutes, Vol. XI, p. 139.) 

C. T. Volney, the celebrated French traveler and historian, 
visited the place in 1795, and at that time it was a village of con- 
siderable pretentions. One of those buildings still standing is 
pointed out to the traveler as the one in which was once heard the 
matchless eloquence of Patrick Henry. 

In this town was organized the first Presbyterian church of 
the Virginias. It was formed in 1783 by the Rev. John McCue. 


After a few years he was succeeded in the pastorate by the Rev. 
Benjamin Griggsby, who remained until the coming of Rev. John 
McElheny in 1808, who served the congregation until the day of 
his death in 1871, a period of sixty-three years. 

Soon after the organization of the church a log building was 
erected and in this it continued to worship until 1796, when the 
present old stone church was completed. 


(By W. B. Blake, Sr.) 

The city of Ronceverte is a development from a farm which 
began by the completion of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad 
through this section in 1872. At that time one or two farm houses 
and a grist mill composed the visible improvements. Then came 
Col. C. C. Clay and the beginning of the lumber industry. Of 
the lumber industry a long article might be written, but it is suf- 
ficient to say that earlier efforts finally culminated in the forma- 
tion of the St. Lawrence Boom & Manufacturing Co., mostly of 
Pennsylvania and Maryland capitalists, which built here the 
largest mill in the State, put in the dam, cribs and booms and 
floated in the white pine timber from their big holdings in Poca- 
hontas county. This company, with large capital and practical 
experience, put the business on a firm basis, and continued for 
years to be the largest producers of white pine lumber in West 
Virginia. Other lumber companies, such as the Cumberland Lum- 
ber Company and the Beaver Lick Lumber Company, operated 
here until their holdings were finally cut out. But in September, 
1908, the last log in the pond was cut, the mill shut down and the 
lumber business became a memory. Today the booms are gone, 
the cribs are mere heaps of rock, the mill has been pulled down 
and carted away, the dam has been torn out, and the Greenbrier 


passes untroubled on its way to the sea. The great yards which 
once held 20,000,000 feet of lumber and millions upon millions of 
shingles, lath and pickets have reverted to their former state — a 
corn field. 

Outside of the lumber companies our citizenship was uniformly 
poor. That is to say, our capital was mostly pluck and persever- 
ance. If any of us had a couple of hundred in the bank over and 
above actual expenses, we squared our shoulders and talked like 
Tom Johnson, who, under like circumstances, said he was not 
afraid to look the whole world in the face and tell it to go to blazes ! 

Yes, we were poor and unsophisticated. And yet it was our 
salvation. Of course there were hard-headed citizens who would 
back off if you offered them a five-dollar gold piece for $4.50, 
but in a general way we were a trustful lot and accepted most 
propositions at their face value. I remember that along in the 
nineties Ronceverte was headquarters for most of the slick men 
of the country. If a promoter had lots to sell in an Arkansaw 
swamp he headed straight into Ronceverte. If a Florida land 
company found its sales slackening up it sent its agents to Ron- 
ceverte. All the patent rights men with improved gates, pumps, 
windmills, fly-traps, grain cleaners, etc., had Ronceverte marked 
with a big red X on their routes. Every schemer with a plan to 
elevate man and separate him from his money came to Ronce- 
verte. I have known as many as a half-dozen high-class pro- 
moters to be in Ronceverte in a single week, dangling the most 
gorgeous opportunities of wealth before our ravished eyes, all for 
a pitiful few dollars cash in hand. We all invested on the first 
few illusions, and then settled down. Cleaned out on the prelim- 
inary onslaughts, we received the main body in a spirit of des- 
peration. We met them, listened to their arguments, fell for 
them as usual, and then grinned when we told them that we 
couldn't put up the dough. Looking back from this distance I can 
see how the same kind Providence that protects children and 
drunken men saved us from those sharks by the mantle of poverty. 

We grew out of this sophistication and now are from Mis- 
souri — if you want our money you have got to show us. 


The following are some of the steps in Ronceverte's ladder in 
climbing from a village to present position : 

In 1882 the circuit court— Judge Homer A. Holt, presiding— 
granted us a charter as an incorporated town. 

In 1888 the Bank of Ronceverte (now the First National 
Bank) began business. 

In 1889 the town purchased a steam fire engine, the only steam 
fire engine in any town in the State. 

In 1889 a volunteer fire department was organized, which is 
still in existence and the pride of the city. 

In 1892 the electric light plant was installed, at least ten years 
in advance of any other town in the State. 

In 1893 the Mutual Improvement Club was organized, the 
first in the State. It is still running and in full vigor. 

In 1894 the large brick graded school building was completed 
and occupied. 

In 1896 the voters created the first high school in Greenbrier 

In 1900 the Citizens Bank (now the Ronceverte National 
Bank) began business. 

In 1900 the Greenbrier Division of the Chesapeake & Ohio 
Railway was built, opening up a valuable territory. 

In 1903 the city reservoir and water system was installed. 
In 1907 the Lewisburg & Ronceverte Electric Railway was 

In 1907 a motion picture theater was established, the first in 
this section of the State. 

In 1909 a charter was granted by the Legislature making Ron- 
ceverte a city of the third class. 

In 191 1 the city streets were partially paved and a year later 
the work was completed. 

In 19 14 the Citizens Band of Ronceverte was organized. 
In 1915 the magnificent Chesapeake & Ohio passenger depot 
was built. 


In 1916 a new $35,000 high school building for Fort Spring 
district was ordered built. 


By Lois Willoughby. 

Nestling in a valley sheltered by the highest peaks of the Al- 
leghanies is White Sulphur Springs — the American Carlsbad. 
Here, on the border of the two Virginias, is a "European cure," 
with the most modern equipment of any cure in the world, where 
the special treatments of Nauheim, Aix les Bains, Vichy, Carls- 
bad and Baden-Baden are given by experts trained in those far- 
famed institutions. And here one may come for health and 
strength and be "at home" at "The Greenbrier" — the most liv- 
able and lovable hotel in the universe — or go to the "Old White," 
memoried in history and romance. 

White Sulphur Springs is a true cure. It is a place to come 
to preserve health and to restore health ; to enjoy to the utmost 
the best outdoor sports, and to mingle with delightful people in 
the charming atmosphere of Southern hospitality. 

This famous West Virginia resort is on the main line of the 
Chesapeake & Ohio Railway. As the visitor alights from the 
train, he finds himself encircled by towering peaks of the south- 
ern range. In every direction he sees the rich green of the mag- 
nificent pine forests vividly massed against the reddish brown 
clay of the mountain sides. Over it all is the wonderful haze — 
on some days as delicate as the blue-gray smoke that curls from 
the old Indian's pipe — on others tinged with the soft, deepened 
shades of the autumn. And as he looks, he breathes deep of the 
invigorating, health-laden breezes that sweep down the moun- 
tain tops. 



» h 







i — i 


He passes through the stately gateway and enters White Sul- 
phur Springs, the beautiful 7,000-acre estate, 2,000 feet above the 
sea. The climate is ideal— modified both by the altitude and the 
latitude, it always is bracing and uplifting, and, were the visitor 
to stay the year around, there would be few days in which he 
could not enjoy life in the open. 

Exploring the grounds is like wandering through a beautiful 
English park— shaded lanes, trimly clipped hedges, arbors of 
roses, and long rolling stretches of velvety grass. 

Rows of quaint white cottages, with stately white pillars and 
green stained roofs, greet the eye. The Georgia Row, the Balti- 
more Row, Tansus, the first and the second Virginia, Carolina, 
Paradise Row, where bachelors reign supreme; the President's 
cottage, which Franklin Pierce occupied in 1854, and the Colon- 
nade, another imposing, high-pillared structure of two stories, 
in which the Governor of South Carolina made his immortal re- 
mark to the Governor of North Carolina. 

The old families of the South still pass their summers at 
White Sulphur Springs, and the society favorites of today are 
the great-great-grandchildren of the beaux and belles who reigned 
here a century ago. 

The cottages form a fitting enclosure for the "Old White," 
which, through the vicissitudes of more than a hundred years, 
has retained its dignity and charm. Since 1808 it never has re- 
linquished the scepter of social superiority. Twice the rambling 
Colonial structure has served as a hospital, but as soon as the war 
was over, society again claimed the place as its own. 

Many famous names are written on the registers of the "Old 
White." Commodore Stephen Decatur affixed his signature in 
1816. Henry Clay, Rufus Choate and Millard Fillmore met there 
in conference in 1817. And on "The Greenbrier" registers of 
1915 and 1916 is written the name of Woodrow Wilson. 

Visitors at White Sulphur Springs invariably ask to see two 
rooms in the old hotel — the dining room, which seats more than 
1,000 persons, and which for years held the world's record for 
vastness ; and the immense ballroom, which countless times has 


been thronged with the beauty, brilliancy and greatness of the age. 
A few years ago "The Greenbrier,'' a stately rival, rose beside 
the "Old White." Connected with it by sunny loggias, the new 
hotel shares with the old hostelry the honor of being the resort of 
the exclusive society folk of the North and of the South. 

"The Greenbrier" is the last word in resort hotels. In accom- 
modation and in service it leaves nothing to be desired — and more 
than that, it is a hotel with a wonderful atmosphere. To recall 
"The Greenbrier" is to recall a succession of spacious, sunny 
rooms ; of green palms and ferns and bay trees ; of wistaria-hung 
retreats and fountains that softly play — and a wonderful sense 
of freedom that one seldom finds outside his own home. 

Fred Sterry, manager of "The Plaza," New York city, per- 
sonally directs "The Greenbrier" and the "White." J. Howard 
Slocum is the manager. 

The medical department of the White Sulphur baths is in 
charge of Dr. G. B. Capita, whose connection dates from the 
opening of the new baths, and Dr. Oscar Kniffler, recently con- 
nected with the baths at Weisbaden, Germany. 

The bathbuilding is a three-story fireproof structure of mod- 
ified Georgian architecture. It is connected with "The Green- 
brier and the "White" by enclosed loggias. The two upper floors 
are devoted to the bath. The second floor is the men's depart- 
ment, which has a large reception room, a delightful lounging 
room, and the various treatment rooms with individual resting 
rooms adjoining. On this floor are also the physcians' offices 
and laboratories, together with the Zander room, inhalation room, 
and radium room. 

The third floor is the women's department, with the same gen- 
eral arrangement of the baths, the remaining space being devoted 
to sleeping rooms for patients requiring special medical attention. 

There are different baths for all the ills that man is heir to. 
Diet is, also, one of the important features of the cure. In some 
cases, no restriction is necessary. In others, it is vitally important. 
Proper dietetic regulation is almost impossible in an American 


plan hotel, but it is a simple matter with an a la carte service, as 
provided at "The Greenbrier," from a special diet kitchen. 

No visit to White Sulphur is complete until one has ridden 
the Zander horse or the Zander camel. These permanent mounts 
are in the Zander room, which, with its twenty-eight types of the 
well-known Zander apparatus, is a complete mechanico-thera- 
peutic institute. These appliances, properly used, not only make 
up for a lack of inclination to exercise in ordinary ways, but are 
of particular value in gauging accurately the amount of muscular 
work that a person can safely do. 

On the first floor of the bath house is the swimming pool — 
one of the delights of "The Greenbrier." The noon hour is the 
favorite for water sports, and great sport there is in the pool ioo 
feet long, ranging in depth from three feet, where beginners 
learn their strokes, to nine feet, where the experts leap from the 
springboard, drop from the high diving stand, or compete in ex- 
citing games of water polo. 

For the onlookers, there are chairs by the edge of the pool, 
small tables to group around, and a background of palms and 
ferns and blooming hyachinths massed close to the long glass 
doors that form the outer side of the first floor. 

But the grounds are only half explored — and whether the 
guest now wanders over Prospect Hill and around Lover's Lane, 
or over Copeland Hill, he at last finds himself at the White Sul- 
phur spring. Above it is a handsome dome, supported by twelve 
pillars, which is surmounted by a statue representing Hygeia. 
Around the spring are circular seats, which form a pleasant rest- 
ing place for the strollers. 

Authentic history records the first White Sulphur cure at 
this spring in 1778. But long before that, the Powhattan Indians, 
driven by the advancing colonies farther and farther up the pic- 
turesque James river and back into the wilderness, pitched their 
tents and built their wigwams where the "Old White" and "The 
Greenbrier" now stand. The Indians were tired and footsore. 
Rheumatism afflicted them. But the cure was at hand. They 


heated stones and bathed in the stream of sulphur water and 
drank from the healing spring. 

Of course, there is a legend about this spring. One day, so 
the story goes, an old chieftain climbed to the top of the highest 
peak to keep the watch. He scanned the far distant horizon with 
searching eyes— then his glance shifted to the green. An Indian 
youth and maiden — merrymaking, lovemaking, had forgotten the 
stern outlook. Two arrows sped toward them. One stilled the 
heart of the Indian lad. The other missed the little brown-faced 
maiden and pierced the earth. 

At midnight, brokenhearted, she crept back to the scene of the 
tragedy to complete it with the aid of the earthbound weapon. 
With cold, trembling hands, she pulled out the arrow — and White 
Sulphur Spring bubbled forth ! 

This legendary spring, one of the most valuable waters of its 
kind, is the one that established White Sulphur as a mineral re- 
sort. The water of this spring is classed scientifically as sulpho- 
alkaline. It is piped to every corridor in "The Greenbrier," and 
can be drawn at natural temperature, or heated in such a man- 
ner as to retain its natural properties. 

There are other springs — perhaps there were other lovers! 
Near the famous spring is another sulphur spring of similar con- 
stitution, although not quite so strong, the Radio-chalbyeate 
spring, quite strongly radio-active, beside containing iron in a 
readily assimilable form ; and the Alum spring, whose waters dif- 
fer considerably from those of the other springs. Each spring 
has a medicinal field of usefulness all its own. 

Just a little way beyond White Sulphur spring are the un- 
rivalled Greenbrier links, modeled after the finest golf courses 
in Europe. The new eighteen-hole course, 6,205 yards long, has 
a fascinating mountain setting. It has been fittingly termed a 
"Golfer's Paradise." 

A new Casino, luxurious in its appointments, has just been 
erected near the first tee. Its broad verandas form an excellent 
gallery for those who wish to watch the tennis players and the 


And in every direction are the everlasting mountains, with their 
countless trails to climb and peaks to scale — afoot, in the saddle, 
or behind the famous Greenbrier horses. The new Catamount 
trail is one of the favorites, and the new trail over Greenbrier, 
with its four-mile straightaway, is the joy of riders. Large sums 
of money have just been authorized for the improvement of the 
highways in Greenbrier county, which will add greatly to the 
comfort and pleasure of traveling by automobile. 

Fox hunting is perhaps the greatest sport of West Virginia — 
and who does not know the Greenbrier pack ! 

When the daylight fades at White Sulphur Springs, the out- 
door enthusiasts turn their footsteps homeward. If it is winter 
time — huge logs will be blazing in the immense fireplaces of "The 
Greenbrier" and inviting couches will be drawn near to welcome 
the wanderers. 

If it is summer time — the cottages will all be thrown open, the 
green vines climbing the lattice work and encircling the pillars, 
and the red geraniums blooming in riotous abundance in the boxes 
that edge the balustrades. Gaily-colored lights will be twinkling 
on the verandas and the tinkling of mandolins and guitars will be 
echoing melodies old and new. 

The hardest part of the cure is when it is ended and the time 
comes to go. But "he who's cured and goes away, may live to 
come another day !" 

And seldom a guest departs that within the year he does not 
wander back to "The Greenbrier" to enjoy the beautiful surround- 
ings, the health and strength that White Sulphur Springs has 
brought to him. 


Speaking of the "Progress and Improvement of White Sul- 
phur," Howard Templeton says : 

Though the Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs has been 
"'known of all men," especially in the Southland, for many years 


when her guests journeyed here by private conveyance, arriving 
in time to see the first June roses burst their petals and remaining 
until the katydids had warned them of the early coming of Jack 
Frost, the town of White Sulphur Springs, of .which we write, 
was not discovered until the 16th day of November, 1909, when a 
certificate of incorporation was granted by the circuit court of 
Greenbrier county. 

The main business part of the town is located directly on the 
Old James River and Kanawha Turnpike — soon to be known as 
part of the National Highway from East to West, and on this 
street are located the principal business houses of the place, either 
of which would do credit to more pretentious cities. 

The White Sulphur Sentinel, founded in 1910 by Howard 
Templeton, has outlived the "doubting Thomas" by five years and 
may now be considered one of the permanent fixtures or assets of 
the town. 

In the year 19 12 a modern, up-to-date $20,000 high school 
building was erected. There are now six teachers besides the 
superintendent employed in this school — the enrollment of pupils 
at the last session being 327. 

We have four churches — M. E. church, South, Presbyterian, 
Episcopalian and Roman Catholic — all having modern buildings, 
good congregations and Sunday schools. 


The first settlement was made in the Williamsburg district 
by Thomas Williams in 1769, two miles south of Williamsburg. 
The same year William McCoy built his cabin near where Wil- 
liamsburg now stands and William Hughart reared his, three 
miles southwest of the present town. John and William Blake 
both came in 177 1. In 1774 Andrew Donnally settled on land ten 
miles northwest of Lewisburg. Here remains the ruins of old Fort 
Donnally. In 1775 Uriah Jenkins, Frank Ford, and John Mc- 


Ferrin all settled here. In i 77 6 William Cavendish built his cabin 
one mile north of Fort Donnally; he afterwards became the first 
clerk of Kanawha county. 

The first grist mill ever erected within these hmits was built 
by John Wooden in 1800. It was a water mill with tub wheel and 
one run of stones. It was located on Sinking creek, about five 
miles below Williamsburg. 

The pioneer school teachers were William Cavendish, An- 
drew Rodes, and James Kyle, the latter of whom was teaching in 

1116 ThVSst and saw mill was built by Cornelius Vanansdol 
prior to the year 1800 ; John Burr rebuilt it in 1830. 
P The first sermon was preached by either John ^Pennell a 
Methodist minister, or Joshua Osborn, of the Baptist church. They 
were the first ministers here, and were both preaching as early as 
1796. About the year 1800 the Methodists built a house of wor- 
shio but it was abandoned in 1830. 

The reader will find in pioneer families of the county the his- 
tory of first churches, and that of original enterprises also. The 
Gre'enbrier Baptist church in Alderson for example forme Un 
1871 was three years before the Presbyterian church in Lewis 
ourg. It is given in full with Charter Members, in the history of 
the Alderson family. 

Development In Sewell Valley-Rainelle 
And Its Great Mill 

(By John Raine.) 

The hardy pioneer who first ventured into West Virginia's 
"forest primeval" to carve for himself a home made use of the 
Pit saw and later the water-driven "muley" to furnish lumber for 
his own and his neighbors' buildings. And even way back he 
portable circular saw mill crept into the fastness of West Virginia s 


hills and sawed out the choicest black walnut and cherry for 
milady's piano and sewing machine. Later still, when the Stand- 
ard Oil Company needed the choicest quartered white oak for its 
oil containers, its agents demanded that the stave mills go after 
this grand wood wherever found at all accessible to rail or water 
transportation. So these portable outfits reached to almost every 
part of our vast timbered areas, and where the mill could not go 
every stream that could bear a poplar log on its bosom was used 
to float these noble trees to market. 

There were, however, some stands of timber either too far 
from market for profitable wagoning of their product, or on 
streams too rocky for safe and sure tide flotation to market, and 
these escaped the woodman's axe until pioneering days were past. 

One such tract is the Meadow River Basin in Greenbrier 
Fayette and Nicholas counties. It is a typical West Virginia stand 
of hardwoods and hemlock — principally oak, yellow poplar and 
chestnut — in the production of which woods West Virginia excels 
all other States of the Union. At least one white oak tree in this 
section must have marked time for nearly 1,000 years as it stands 
today, showing a diameter of seven feet. There are also samples 
of magnificent yellow poplar and chestnut. This basin contains 
about 1-3000 part of the Government estimated timber stand of 
the United States. The old stage road — the James River and 
Kanawha Turnpike — leads through it. The lower reaches of the 
Meadow river were too rocky to drive out the timber and the 
nearest railroad was twenty miles or more away, and beyond this 
high mountain ranges. 

For at least a half century there had been expectation that a 
railroad would be built up the Meadow river to give this field 
an outlet. This situation still existed ten years ago and instead 
of the whistle of the locomotive there was only the song of a 
"muley" and a few portable mills to break the forest stillness. 
There was a railroad building from Charleston, whose objective 
was the Meadow river basin and an outlet beyond, via either Ron- 
ceverte or Alderson, to the seaboard. This prospect brought the 
timber and coal holdings of the section actively into the market. 


i — i 









It was then that the Raine and Andrews interests, which had for 
years operated in timber in Pennsylvania and in Randolph county, 
this State, investigated this property, and in January, 19&, bought 
the "Beury," "Spies" and "Glencoe" tracts. These have been 
added to till they have consolidated about 50,000 acres in this 

After waiting for two years for an outlet, the above interests 
decided to develop the property themselves along the line of least 
resistance for their purposes. Associating other successful busi- 
ness men with them, they organized the Sewell Valley Railroad 
for the purpose of transporting the natural resources of the field 
to the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, The Meadow River Lumber 
Company, to manufacture the lumber, and The Meadow 
River Coal and Land Company to hold and operate the coal lands. 
In the spring of 1908, the construction of the Sewell Valley Rail- 
road, running from Meadow creek on the Chesapeake & Ohio 
over the Wallow Hole mountain divide at Springdale and down 
the valley of Sewell creek to the Meadow river, was begun. 
Within the next year the foundation of the big mill was laid and 
in September, 1910, the first board was sawed. 

The mouth of Sewell creek is near the center of these lands, 
and the nearest spot to this point adapted to the erection of an up- 
to-date saw mill plant and town was chosen for the location of 
the new town. The board of directors of the constituent com- 
panies named the town Rainelle in honor of Mr. T. W. Raine, 
who had located and constructed the Sewell Valley Railroad, one 
of the engineering feats of the Mountain State, and who had 
erected the big mill and built the town. 

The town of Rainelle was incorporated April 25, 1913. Mr. 
J. W. Gray, Who from the first had been in full charge of the 
saws, was the first mayor. He was succeeded by Mr. A. D. Pick- 
ering, the alert and aggressive general superintendent of the 
company. Mr. Thomas Lefler, who handles the throttle of the 
big Corliss engine and sees that the heart of the big plant is al- 
ways beating, is the present mayor. The council is composed of 
E. C. Shaffer, W. H. Kline, W. G. Arbogast, W. M. Mytinger, 


G. B. Whitlock and John Weber. Together with East Rainelle, 
the town has a population of about 1,100 people. 

Rainelle is pleasantly situated. Just within the western 
boundary line of Greenbrier county, on the old turnpike, it nestles 
in a peaceful valley set about with forest crowned mountains, 
which in summer gleam emerald and blue ; in fall glorious in a 
riot of color and in the winter majestic in white and gray. 

The town itself has the reputation of being the best hardwood 
saw mill town in the country. Workmen's houses are built with a 
view to comfort and sanitation. All are well constructed frame 
houses, plastered, papered, and painted white. All are supplied 
with the purest running water and most of them with modern 
bath rooms. Each house has its own lawn and garden patch. 
Some houses are furnished in native hardwoods, are steam heated, 
electric lighted and electric cleaned, and so compare favorably 
with the best type of city cottages. 

The company has built a modern school house of ample pro- 
portions for all children of school age. All rooms are large, airy 
and full lighted with glass on one side. There is a complete base- 
ment with ample closets, lavatories, furnace room, play rooms 
and recitation rooms. The building is furnished in hardwood 
throughout. It is steam heated, electric lighted and furnished 
with bubbling fountains for drinking water. The school term is 
full nine months. The community also maintains a high school, 
as the district does not provide one. 

The Methodist Episcopal church, under the pastorate of Rev. 
William Coleman, who is serving his fourth year, is the only 
church in the town. It is, however, patronized and supported by 
members of all denominations in the community. Rev. Coleman is 
active in every good work in the church and Sunday school and 
besides is active in the affairs of the Knights of Pythias and is 
superintending the erection of their new castle. He is also the 
expert gardener of the town. The church building has a com- 
plete basement, with Sunday school and lecture room, ladies' 
kitchen, lavatory and furnace rooms, library room and a moving 
picture machine, where the Men's Baraca class offers for the en- 




tertainment of the community the best class of the "movies." The 
main auditorium of the church is finished with native chestnut 
and is one of the most artistic as well as one of the most, com- 
fortable churches in all this region. 

A home talent band, under the skillful leadership of Mr. E. D. 
Hedburg, weekly discourses sweet music for the delectation of 
the community. 

The Rainelle Bank— a State institution— with $25,000 capital, 
does a flourishing business. Its destinies are guided by Mr. T. M. 
Arnold, secretary of the company, who is also chief optimist and 
joy dispenser of the community. 

The town is electric lighted. The water supply is ample and 
pure, being obtained from mountain springs and deep wells. The 
pure mountain air and water make the place a real health resort, 
and the community health is very high. 

The saw mill is the reason for the community. It is one of the 
largest strictly hardwood plants in the country. A triple band 
mill turns out a constant stream of lumber averaging about 1 10,000 
feet per day of ten hours. The maximum cut for such period was 
205,666 feet. Every power driven and steam operated device is 
used to lighten labor and make possible a high efficiency in the 
operation of the plant. Mr. H. L. Gray, the mill superintendent, 
is responsible for the well manufactured and large output of the 
plant. About ninety different thicknesses, kinds and grades of 
lumber pass over the sorting chains daily. 

Mr. John Weber is in charge of the yard and shipping depart- 
ment. Tracks so radiate through the yard that a car can be placed 
at each separate stack of lumber for loading. Each piece of lum- 
ber is reinspected before loading to insure absolutely uniform 

The planing mill has a capacity of over a million a month of 
finished lumber. This consists of flooring, ceiling, siding, car 
door boards, hardwood trim and Linderman built table tops and 
chestnut cores for veneers. The building is steam heated in the 
winter. Mr. E. D. Hedburg is in charge of this important de- 


Besides the planing mill, the company has six large dry kilns 
for supplying the planer and a large domestic trade besides. These 
kilns are carefully watched by Mr. Cleve Martin, as the proper 
drying of the hardwood is a very vital matter. 

The company has a large shop for car building and repair and 
this is under the care of Superintendent W. R. Johnson. 

Mr. E. C. Shaffer, a man of many talents, has charge of the 
large department store, is Sunday school superintendent, and has 
charge of the Boy Scouts. 

Mr. W. H. Baker, Jr., a man of natural railroad bent, has 
charge of the increasing traffic of the Sewell Valley and has re- 
cently added to his care ten additional miles of trackage, that 
carries the line to Wilderness, the site of the New Wildnerness 
Lumber Company plant. 

The efficient office force is composed of Messrs. Frank 
Eutsler, A. K. Fourney and Albert Rohrer. Mr. L. Gr Swing is 
in charge of the company's land surveying. 

Mr. John Raine is the general manager, and Mr. L. C. Dyer 
as president of the constituent companies, keeps close tab on 
all of the varied operations of the concern. 

Mr. Clinton Decker is woods superintendent and logging rail- 
road engineer — keeping the huge mill supplied with logs. Mr. 
Burr Neel is in charge of the cableway skidding operations of 
the company. 

Mr. Fred H. Mahey has been the original, the only and con- 
tinuous postmaster. His faithfulness and courtsey would seem 
to guarantee his continuance in this position. 

The varied product of this plant finds a wide and extended 
market. These wide red oak and chestnut oak "coffin boards" 
are bound; for an English coffin shop, as that trade calls for a 
natural wood case. That load of sound wormy chestnut is for a 
Brooklyn casket firm, as the American call is for a cloth-covered 
casket and the chestnut forms the box. The other load of chestnut 
is for a New England piano maker and will carry the finest quar- 
tered oak and mahogany veneers. Here is some chestnut clear of 


worm holes — and this class constitutes about ten per cent, of the 
chestnut product — that is bound for a Connecticut trim mill and 
will satisfy some home builder with its beautiful grain. Over here 
is a load of thicker chestnut bound for -the resaw and will be 
shipped to a Pittsburgh glass plant for crating export shipments. 
The heart stock will go into Ohio and Western fields for sheeting 
and boxing purposes. This lot of thick white ash will land in a 
Packard frame and this maple bound for the dry kilns will when 
kiln dried go direct to a Ford body maker. This car of surfaced 
oak will box Timken axles for your auto maker. These long 
special oak timbers are for keels for English submarine chasers. 
These eighty-foot boats carrying a five-pound gun and with a 
speed of twenty-five miles an hour are more fatal to a sub. than 
a dreadnaught. This company has furnished the oak for hun- 
dreds of these crafts the past year. This 9x4 maple is for a Lynn 
shoe heel firm. This four-inch maple is for an Ohio engine 
builder. The maple boards now going on the kiln trucks will 
come out through the planing mill as clear maple flooring for the 
Eastern market. The heavy quartered poplar is for the big New 
York organ firm building pipe organs' for Andrew Carnegie and 
others. This pile of butternut will go to a Jamestown firm and 
with its soft brown tones will give an unsurpassed beauty to the 
interior finish of some fine home. These are only suggestions of 
the many uses to which the fine hardwoods of this region are put. 
The demand for them is constant and the day will never come 
when they will not be in demand for both utility and beauty. The 
Meadow River Lumber Company expects to be in the game of 
supplying this demand for the next fifteen or twenty years. 

John Raine, the founder of Rainelle, was born at Ironton, 
Ohio, April 5, 1863. He entered the lumber business as a member 
of the firm of Raine & Raine at Empire, Pa., in 1893. Is president 
of John Raine & Co., vice-president of Raine-Andrews Lumber 
Company, of Everwood, W. Va. ; is president and general man- 
ager of The Mteadow River Lumber Company. 



(By Rev. John A. Anderson, Presiding Elder, Winchester (Va.) 


In my more youthful days our church had five pastoral 
charges situated in the Greenbrier valley, viz. : Lewisburg and 
White Sulphur stations and Alvon, Frankford and Blue Sulphur 
circuits. These charges, at the time referred to, had a member- 
ship of 1,189, with church property valued at $21,350, and con- 
tributed for ministerial support 2,789, and for benevolences $529. 
At the recent session of the Baltimore conference, held in Alex- 
andria, Va., the charges situated in the same territory reported a 
membership of 2,865, with church property valued at $73,500, 
and contributed for ministerial support last year $6,869, an d f° r 
benevolences $3,660, an increase of over $3,000 for benevolences. 
At the time referred to, our church had twenty-one Sunday schools 
in the Greenbrier valley, with a membership of 913. Today in 
the same territory we have twenty-six Sunday schools with a total 
enrollment in all departments of 2,544. These figures indicate 
something of how graciously the Lord has led and strengthened 
one branch of His church in this fair valley. Verily our fathers 
and mothers, in the years following upon the Civil war, wrought 
heroically in the face of great difficulties ; but they evidently 
wrought successfully, and left us a rich Christian legacy. 

The Greenbrier Baptist church, organized November 24, 1781, 
is the oldest church in the county (see sketch of Rev. John 
Alderson). Two years later (1783) the Presbyterians organized 
their church, erected the "Old Stone Church" at Lewis- 
burg. It is known far and wide as the "Old Stone Church." It 
was built in 1796 — 120 years ago. Many distinguished men have 
preached the Gospel from its pulpit. The arrangement of pews, 
pulpit, etc., has been changed a number of times in the past, but 
its walls have never been disturbed except that, many years ago, 


a very considerable addition for vestibule and stairways was made 
to what is now the front end. The walls stand today as firm and 
secure as when first built. In a stone over the front door the 
builders carved these words : "This building was erected in 1796 
at the expense of a few of the first inhabitants of this land to com- 
memorate their affection & esteem for the Holy Gospel of Jesus 
Christ. Reader if you are inclined to applaud their virtues give 
God the Glory." 

Educational Progress in Greenbrier County 

During the Life of the Greenbrier 


(By A. C. Harford.) 

Educational progress in Greenbrier county, like the educational 
system of West Virginia, has been and is of gradual growth. 

Our State Constitution says : "The Legislature shall provide 
by general law for a thorough and efficient system of free 
schools." The provision left the organizing and development 
of such a system to public sentiment, which is often very slow in 
introducing and carrying out progressive measures and reforms. 
At first in some places in the county there was a good deal of 
prejudice against the so-called mixed schools, and some parents 
whose daughters afterwards became public school teachers ab- 
solutely refused to send them to the free schools when they were 

Though the records show that Greenbrier county had a rep- 
resentative in the person of Thomas K. McCann on the Senate 
committee appointed by John M. Phelps, president of the Senate, 
June 24, 1863, no attempt was made to establish free schools until 
after the Civil war. Then Zachariah Trueblood, who was the 
first county superintendent, came to the rescue and did much for 


the public school system. In fact, there was but little system 
connected with the schools in some townships and in some school 
districts of the same townships. Owing to opposition to the local 
levy they didn't carry on the schools for more than three months, 
while in others the term would be four, five and even six months. 
Again the teacher's salary was not based on grade of certificate, 
but was left entirely to agreement between teacher and trustees. 
Some teachers taught for $i per day, or from $20 to $25 per 
month, while others received as much as a No. 1 certificate re- 
ceives at present. 

There was no time set for teachers' examinations. When a 
man — for there were no women teachers in those early days of 
our public schools — wished to be examined for license to teach he 
visited the superintendent, who lived at Frankford. They would 
talk the matter over. Mr. Trueblood would ask a few plain, 
practical questions on the "Three R's," size up the applicant, write 
out his certificate — no printed forms — grading from 1 very good, 
2 good, 3 medium, 4 below medium, and 5 indifferent. 

I remember a teacher telling me that he had gotten a four and 
believed that if he had not misspelled so many words he would 
have gotten a five. 

There were not more than forty teachers in the county, most 
of them elderly men — no boys and, of course, no girls. Wishing 
to make this article as short and interesting as possible I shall 
name but few of these old-time teachers, viz. : Brooken M. Oliver, 
who insisted on discipline and an understanding of the "Three 
R's," and whose favorite expression, when boys became too 
boisterous, was "none of your captifristical joke cutting, young 
man ; I will take down my regulator and make you dance Fisher's 
horn pipe." B. C. Rapp, John Wade, Mathew McMillion and 
Samuel B. Hanna, whose qualifications and success as a teacher 
compare favorably with that of the best teachers of today. 

The schools were taught in churches, in the old field school 
houses, one of which, and which was far above the average, both 
in construction and furniture, still stands near Maxwelton — the 
old Arbuckle school house — to remind us of "Ye olden times." 


A few of the rude log houses built in the sixties may still be seen 
standing, but none are in use. 

Through the several years following the idea of public educa- 
tion steadily became popular. 

Walter C. Preston was appointed to fill out the unexpired term 
of Mr. Trueblood. After him came Hon. J. M. McWhorter, then 
William H. Lewis. After him came Hon. Thomas H. Dennis, 
whose untiring energy and work left an impress for good on 
our schools and it is felt today. He was the first to arouse the 
people and boom the association work. Prior to this when the 
teachers attended the association they took their lunch with them 
or did without. But now whenever we want to hold an associa- 
tion the people come out in mass with well-filled baskets to wel- 
come us. Some of these meetings were continued throughout the 
week and teachers not only from the various parts of the county, 
but from other counties attended them, and I honestly believe 
that the teachers were more benefited by attending them than 
teachers are benefited now by attending the county institute. In 
this connection I will say that the first county or State institute, 
as it was then called, was held in Lewisburg in 1874. The in- 
structors wore Profs. Kenna, of Point Pleasant, and Patrick, of 
Charleston. This institute continued in session two weeks — no 
pay for attendance — not more than eight or ten lady teachers en- 

In 1881, J. W. Hinkle, a young man of exceptional ability, was 
chosen county superintendent. He gathered about him many 
good teachers and all were assisted in their earnest efforts to make 
the schools better by the hearty co-operation of loyal patrons. 
During this period the schools were very prosperous. During his 
eight years of service he carried on the association work. In com- 
pany with him I visited every district of the county, and wherever 
we went we were enthusiastically received. "Peace to his ashes." 
He was a noble man. 

From 1889 to 1903, the following men were elected to the 
office of county superintendent: E. D. Smoot, 1889-1891 ; W. F. 
Lowrance, 1891-1895 ; Alex. Thompson, 1895-1899; L. W. Burns, 


1899-1903. The last named resigned about ten months before the 
expiration of his last term, and Charles L. Tabscott was appointed 
to fill the vacancy. After him we had W. F. Richardson one 
term ; then Charles L. Tabscott, followed again by the present in- 
cumbent, W. F. Richardson. Long may he continue at the head 
of our public school system ! 

From our small beginnings of not more than forty short-term 
schools we have grown to over 200 — 190 school houses owned by 
the various boards of education were used this year, and fourteen 
rooms were rented or their use donated. There are also owned 
and used by the boards of education, twenty-four buildings, each 
having two teachers. One had three teachers, two each had four 
teachers, one had six, one had seven, one had ten, and one 

There are thirty-one-graded schools of two rooms or more. 

I know of but one teacher in the county who holds a life 
certificate. Nine hold professional certificates, and one hundred 
and twenty-five hold first grade certificates. 

There are three recognized high schools in Greenbrier county. 
One first-class high school is located at Ronceverte, one second- 
class high school at Alderson, one second-class high school at 
White Sulphur. There will be one other next year at Lewisburg 
and likely one at Renick. 


(By Hon. John W. Arbuckle.) 

"O, for one hour of youthful joy, 
Give back my twentieth spring, 
I'd rather laugh a bright faced boy, 
Than reign a gray-beard king." 

The memory of reading the first issue of The Greenbrier In- 
dependent, a half century ago, and to recall the bar at that time, 


places the writer, a farmer's boy, in the "Old Homestead," yet 
the happenings of fifty years ago are but yesterday. Although 
the Southland was coming out of the great civil strife, and her 
sons returning from prison walls, happy were the scenes of child- 
hood. Looking to those days, we sing with the bard : 

"Backward, turn backward, O, time, in your flight, 
And make me a child again, just for tonight." 

In speaking of the bar during this period we will speak more 
of the judicial circuit of which Greenbrier county formed a part, 
and try to remember all. At that date our local bar was noted 
for men of ability. Hon. Ballard Smith, ex-Representative in 
Congress of the United States ; Hon. Samuel Price, ex-Lieutenant 
Governor of Virginia, and later United States Senator from West 
Virginia ; Col. James W. Davis, Capt. Robert F. Dennis, Robert 
Alexander, Major Henry Mason Mathews, afterwards Attorney 
General and Governor of West Virginia; Adam Snyder, after- 
wards an able member of our Supreme Court of Appeals; Col. 
Beuhring H. Jones, Benjamin F. Harlow, Col. William W. Gor- 
don, Alexander F. Mathews, John W. Harris, Henry Fry, Carlos 
A. Sperry, William P. Rucker and Alex. Walker. Of these 
Messrs. Smith, Price, Alexander, Dennis, Jones, Harlow, 
Mathews, Gordon and Frye, on account of their allegiance to the 
South, were prohibited from appearing as advocates in open court 
proceedings by the "Attorney's Test Oath." 

About 1868 Edward Sehon, of Point Pleasant, located here 
and was made prosecuting attorney. Nathaniel Harrison, of Mon- 
roe county, was judge of the circuit court until 1870, when Joseph 
M. McWhorter was appointed judge on the resignation of Judge 
Harrison, and was judge of the circuit court until December 31, 
1872. January 1, 1873, Homer A. Holt, of Braxton county, be- 
came judge of the circuit court, and shortly afterward moved to 
Lewisburg and made his home there. Major John W. Harris was 
prosecuting attorney from January 1, 1873, for four years. Then 
came to the bar, F. I. Snyder, John A. Preston, Thomas H. Den- 


nis, now editor of The Independent, and John W. Arbuckle. Mr. 
Preston was elected prosecuting attorney in 1876 and served for 
twenty years. Later Henry Gilmer, James C. McPherson, Samuel 
Gilmer, Luther Judson Williams, now member and president of 
the Supreme Court of Appeals ; Mark Jarrett and Joel M. Harris 
were admitted to the bar. Then came Charles S. Dice, at present 
judge of the circuit court ; William L. Kershner, Samuel M. 
Austin, Samuel P. Preston, Samuel Price, James M. Mason, 
George J. Thompson, Elmer Nowlan, J. Scott McWhorter, Harry 
L. Van Sickler, James E. Arbuckle, J. H. Marshall, J. C. Can- 
field, J. H. Crosier, S. M. Wood, R. L. Keadle, Mark L. Jarrett, 
Claude N. Feamster, A. H. Butts, A. C. Hill and S. N. Pace. 
The majority of these men have answered death's summons, and 
some have moved away. 

The bar of Greenbrier at this time is John A. Preston, Thomas 
H. Dennis, Henry Gilmer, John W. Arbuckle, J. Scott McWhor- 
ter, H. L. Van Sickler, Samuel P. Preston, Samuel Price, S. M. 
Austin, James E. Arbuckle, S. N. Pace and Claude N. Feamster, 
of Lewisburg; John H. Crosier, A. C. Hill and R. L. Keadle, of 
Ronceverte ; W. L. Kershner, of Frankford, and George J. 
Thompson and E. W. Nowlan, of Alderson. 

We note that Greenbrier boys rank high in the honored pro- 
fession at other bars — John Homer Holt and Mark L. Jarrett, at 
Huntington ; Louis E. McWhorter, Charles N. McWhorter, 
Charles M. Alderson and William Gordon Mathews, at Charles- 
ton ; John M. McGrath, at Princeton ; George W. Warren, Mason 
C. Brackman, A. D. Preston, at Beckley ; Robert A. Kincaid and 
Thomas W. Ayres, at Summersville ; T. G. Mann, at Hinton ; Ross 
A. Watts, at Fairmount ; William Fountain Butcher, at Oregon ; 
Conrad H. Syme, at Washington, D. C. ; Frank C. Dunbar, at 
Columbus, Ohio. 



A glance at a pioneer wedding of a hundred years ago, marks 
the manners of our forefathers and gives some idea of their 
rude social condition. 

In gathering data for this history, I came across an incident 
of this character written by one of the Aldersons that shows what 
a sensation a wedding created in those days. 

When an occasion of this kind was announced, the inhabitants 
of a dozen miles around generally attended. It was a time when 
gentlemen wore moccasins, leather breeches, leggins, linsey hunt- 
ing shirts, and all home made. The ladies wore linsey skirts, 
coarse shoes, coarse linen sun bonnets and buckskin gloves, if 
any. The horses were caparisoned with old bridles or halters and 
pack saddles, with a bear skin or a piece of cloth thrown over 
them, and that was the appearance which must have presented 
itself on the occasion of the wedding company spoken of by this 
writer. He says : 

Of course there were no such things as store clothes then, 
everyone was dressed in home-spun and the man who could don 
a store shirt or the woman a calico dress, was looked upon as quite 
fortunate. The feast consisted of a plentiful supply of meat (often 
bear meat) and vegetables. Coffee and sugar, except maple 
sugar, were almost unknown, but one thing was never lacking, 
a plentiful supply of apple brandy, of which all partook in moder- 
ation, a drunkard being rarely met with. After the ceremony was 
performed, and the feasting over, which lasted until dark, every- 
thing was removed from the room, and the dancing began, and 
was kept up until daylight. The dancing consisted of the old 
Virginia reel, and if there happened to be any one of the dancers 
who considered himself, or herself, a little more proficient than 
the others, the custom then prevalent was resorted to, which was 
termed "cutting out ;" when the partners would get out on the 
floor to dance and after he or she had been dancing a while, some 
one would take his partner's place and dance until tired, and then 


some one else would quietly take his place, and so on, often keep- 
ing the one who considered himself expert on the floor until he 
was entirely exhausted. Another curious custom : about 12 o'clock 
at night, a young married lady was selected to take a lunch to the 
bride and groom, providing herself with a dish of meat and vege- 
tables, never omitting the bottle, she repaired to the apartments 
of the newly married pair, who sat up in bed and partook of the 
viands furnished them. After another repast in the morning, the 
crowd began making preparations for their departure to the home 
of the groom. Horses are to be caught and saddled, but some 
neighbor has taken umbrage at not having been invited to the 
wedding, and lo and behold ! each horse's mane and tail are shaved 



David Stuart (the father of Col. John Stuart, of Greenbrier 
county) was born in Scotland in 17 — . He came of a family con- 
nected with the House of Stuart, whose members were strong 
partisans of that house. 

The failure of the supporters of Charles Edward Stuart to 
place him on the English throne in 1745 and 1746 placed them 
in such standing with the House of Hanover, then reigning, and 
those in authority in the British Isles as to render their condition 
in their native land very unpleasant and their existence hazardous 
for some time after the battle of Culloden. For this reason 
numbers of them came to America, where opportunities were 
brighter and where they were less liable to imprisonment for 
their zeal on behalf of the Stuarts. David Stuart was one of their 
number. He came to America soon after this battle, which took 
place in 1746. Soon after his arrival in America he settled in 
Augusta county, on the Shenandoah river, some distance from 
the town of Staunton. 

He had been a close personal friend of Gov. Robert Din- 
widdie, who was sent to Virginia as its governor by the British 
Government in the year 1752. In 1755 Governor Dinwiddie ap- 
pointed David Stuart county lieutenant of Augusta county with 
the rank of colonel. At the time of his appointment Augusta 
county extended as far west as the Mississippi river and as far 
north as Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh). The office of county 
lieutenant was in those days one of the most important held in the 
State. Especially was this true of that office in Augusta county, ow- 
ing to its vast area and the rapid advance of civilization throughout 
its borders towards the West. It was a position requiring a man 
of ability, force and energy. David Stuart, on account of his 
high ability, experience and peculiar efficiency as an officer was 
a man well qualified to fill this important office. He discharged 
its duties with marked success and skill, to which the records of 
that day give full testimony. 

David Stuart died in the year 1767. He met his death by 
drowning while attempting to ford Middle river, a branch of 
the Shenandoah, just after its waters were swollen by a recent 



David Stuart married Margaret Lynn Paul, the widow of 
John Paul, who was a son of Hugh Paul, Bishop of Nottingham. 
John Paul was also a partisan of the House of Stuart. He was 
killed in the siege of Dalrymple Castle in the year 1745. He 
left five children. The eldest of these children became a Catholic 
priest who moved to America and died on the eastern shore of 

Audley Paul, another son, was an officer in the British col- 
onial forces in Virginia. 

Pollie Paul, who moved to America with her stepfather, David 
Stuart, married Governor Mathews, of Georgia. 

Mrs. Margaret Lynn Paul, afterward Mrs. David Stuart, was 
a granddaughter of the Laird of Loch Lynn, Scotland. She was 
also a niece of Margaret Lynn, who married Col. John Lewis, 
one of the first settlers of Augusta county, the father of Gen. 
Andrew and Col. Charles Lewis (heroes of the battle of Point 
Pleasant). She was named for her aunt, Margaret Lynn (Mrs. 
John Lewis). David Stuart left three children: 

Sabina, who married Captain Williams, of Augusta county. 

Margaret, who married Col. Richard Woods, of Albemarle 

John Stuart, afterwards Col. John Stuart, of Greenbrier 

John Stuart, the son of David and Margaret Lynn Stuart and 
the most famous pioneer of Greenbrier, was born in Augusta county 
on the seventeenth day of March, 1749. He exhibited at an early 
age extraordinary vigor both of body and mind. By the time he was 
seventeen years of age he was said to have acquired an excellent 
education, both from books and the affairs of life. While very 
young he participated in a number of surveying and prospecting 
expeditions to the west and north of the then permanent settle- 
ments in Augusta county, which brought him into contact with 
men of various classes and character. On these expeditions he 
also saw something of Indian life. In this way he gained valuable 
knowledge, which no doubt added greatly to his success in the 
discharge of the important duties he was afterwards called upon 
to perform as the moving spirit of the first permanent settlement 
in Greenbrier. 

All of the attempted settlements in Greenbrier having failed 
prior to that time, in the year 1769 an expedition was organized 
by a number of citizens, most of whom were from Augusta 
county, having for its purpose a permanent settlement in that 
beautiful and inviting country afterwards called Greenbrier county. 

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Of this company John Stuart, then only twenty years of age, 
was a member. These pioneers came to Greenbrier in the spring 
of 1769. After arriving in this wild country the settlers found 
it necessary to organize for some definite course of action, both 
on account of developments to be made in their new home and for 
protection against the Indians and the many dangers by which 
they were beset. John Stuart was chosen as their chief adviser 
and first officer. 

He first located near where the town of Frankford now 
stands, where he built his first home overlooking a beautiful 
view towards the east. This place he called "Grumble Thorp." 
Here he erected the first mill built in Greenbrier, which was 
propelled by a subterranean stream of considerable volume, flow- 
ing through a channel cut out by the Indians to which they had 
access through the mouth of a large cave. The dam, a large part 
of which is still standing, was built of stone and located about 
200 feet from the entrance to the cave. The mill itself stood just 
outside of the mouth of the cave. 

He did not live long at his first residence, but soon moved to 
what is now known as the "Old Stuart Place," about four miles 
below Lewisburg on the Fort Spring road. Here he first erected 
a log house in which he lived until the year 1789, when he built 
a large stone house on the old English style, which is now the 
oldest house in the county. This building is still in a state of 
good preservation and is at this time the residence of his great- 
grandson, Samuel Lewis Price. Here John Stuart lived for many 
years, leading an active, busy life, engaged in various occupations 
and acting for the settlers as chief defender against the Indians. 

Within a quarter of a mile from the place where the stone 
house was afterwards built there was erected what was known as 
"Fort Spring", at the spot where the old Fort Spring Church now 
stands, which was placed under the command and supervision of 
Colonel Stuart. At the time this fort was built a large number of 
the settlers of Greenbrier county lived near and it was used as a 
refuge during several Indian attacks of which no mention is 
made in history. There are buried in the ground around the spot 
where this fort stood arrow heads and Indian relics which are 
frequently turned up by plowmen in the cultivation of the fields. 

When Gen. Andrew Lewis marched to Point Pleasant in the 
year 1774 two companies went with him from what afterwards be- 
came Greenbrier county. One of these was commanded by Capt. 
Robert McClanahan and the other by John Stuart. At the famous 
battle of Point Pleasant John Stuart's company was one of the 


three sent by General Lewis up Crooked Creek to flank Corn- 
stalk's movement. This is said to have been the movement by 
which the tide of battle was turned and the Indians routed. It 
was so dexterously executed that the enemy was taken by sur- 

After this famous battle so large a proportion of the officers 
had been killed that John Stuart was placed in command of a 
large portion of Lewis's army, which was then marched by Gen. 
Andrew Lewis north of the Ohio to Pickaway Plains, where 
they met the southern division of the army commanded by Lord 
Dunsmore in person. 

John Stuart was at Point Pleasant in 1777, where he wit- 
nessed the atrocious murder of the Shawnee chieftain, Cornstalk. 
Colonel Stuart risked his life to save this noble old warrior and 
barely escaped death, but he encountered such tremendous odds 
that his efforts were unavailing. 

The last of the desperate attacks made by the Indians upon 
the settlers of Greenbrier occurred in 1778, when a band of 
Indians from beyond the Ohio river surprised and surrounded 
the settlers at Fort Donally, in what is now known as "Rader's 
Valley." This fort was located about eight miles northwest of 
Fort Union, where Lewisburg now stands. Colonel Stuart led 
the re-inforcement from Fort Union, raised the siege and drove 
the Indians off. Within a few days after this attack he was able 
to raise a sufficient force to drive and frighten the Indians out of 
the country. There are so many accounts already in existence: 
of this fierce encounter that it will be unnecessary to enter into 
its description here. 

"Greenbrier county was organized in 1776. At the request of 
the county court on the twenty-fifth day of November, 1780, John 
Stuart was appointed clerk of the county. He was indeed a model 
clerk. He wrote a most excellent hand, plain, clear, distinct, and 
after a century it is as legible as if written but a dozen years ago.' 

At the close of the first deed book of the county he wrote a 
brief history of the early settlement of Greenbrier, which shows 
good literary style and taste. "In this account of the early set- 
tlement of Greenbrier Colonel Stuart, in speaking of the first 
wagon road from Lewisburg to the Kanawha in 1786, says : And 
thus was a communication by wagon to the navigable waters of 
the Kanawha first effected and it will possibly be found the 
r.ighest and best conveyance from the eastern to the western 
country.' When one contemplates the distance and grades over 
the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway the foresight and judgment of 
Colonel Stuart stand boldly out." 


Colonel Stuart was a member of the Virginia Constitutional 
Convention of 1788, which was called to consider and pass 
upon the Constitution of the United States. It assembled in 
Richmond on June 2. Here he was associated with such promi- 
nent men as Patrick Henry, George Mason, John Marshall (after- 
wards chief justice of the United States), James Madison, Benja- 
min Harrison and many others of like fame and undying devotion 
to American independence. John Stuart's descendants still have 
letters to him from Chief Justice Marshall written as late as 
1800, which reveal the confidence Marshall had in his ability and 
good judgment. Colonel Stuart was a strong advocate for the 
ratification of the Constitution, and was prominent in the fight 
waged against it by Patrick Henry and his strong following. 

He was appointed colonel of the Seventy-ninth Regiment of 
Militia in 1793. His commission, signed by Col. Henry Lee, of 
Virginia, is now in the possession of his great-granddaughter, 
Margaret Lynn Price, of Lewisburg. 

In 1796 the old stone church at Lewisburg was built. For 
the building of this church Agatha Stuart, wife of Colonel Stuart, 
contributed 500 pounds, which John Stuart supplemented with 150 
pounds. On the front of the church he placed the following in- 
scription : 

"This building 

was erected in the year 1796 at the expense of a few 

of the first inhabitants of the land, 

to commemorate their affection and esteem 

for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 


if you are inclined to applaud their virtues, 

give God the glory." 

John Stuart possessed a large and valuable library. He carried 
with him through life the habit of diligent study which he had 
acquired in his early youth. He was a man of splendid literary 
attainments and a finished scholar. He belonged to several 
literary societies. In the year 1797 he was elected a member 
of the American Philosophical Society, held in Philadelphia. His 
certificate of membership, signed by Thomas Jefferson, President, 
is also now in the possession of his great-granddaughter, Jennie 
Stuart Price, of Lewisburg. 

In 1797 he wrote "Memoirs of Indian Wars and Other Oc- 
currences," a manuscript of which he left at the time of his death. 
In 1831 his son, Charles A. Stuart, then representing Augusta 


county in the Virginia senate, presented this manuscript to the 
Virginia Historical Society, which had it published in 1833 as 
one of its first publications. Unfortunately few copies were made 
of this interesting historical narrative and for years the work 
has been out of print. Hon. Virgil A. Lewis, for many years 
historian and archivatft for West Virginia, endeavored to secure 
a copy of this work for his historical department. He at last 
contracted with a stenographer to make a complete copy of the 
volume in the Library of Congress. This was accordingly done 
and the work is now in the Department of Archives and History 
for West Virginia. 

This work treats of the early settlement and history of Green- 
brier valley and its pioneers and is probably the only account of 
the time and its people in existence. 

Another valuable historical work of Colonel Stuart, entitled 
"A Narrative," is also out of print, a cOpy of which, together 
with a number of letters written by Colonel Stuart to the Vir- 
ginia War Department relative to conditions in Greenbrier and 
the great Kanawha valley in the later years of the Indian wars 
is also in the Department of Archives and History. 

Besides his other literary works Colonel Stuart left several 
poems of high excellence which have never been printed. These 
are now in the possession of his descendants in Greenbrier. 

For the time in which he lived and the circumstances by which 
he was surrounded Colonel Stuart was a great traveler. He 
visited many parts of this country, meeting with some of its 
most distinguished citizens and famous travelers from Europe, a 
number of whom visited him at his Fort Spring home in Green- 
brier. Among these was the famous French philosopher and 
traveler, Volney, who, being deeply impressed by the beauty of 
the surrounding country, gave to Colonel Stuart's place its name. 
Besides Colonel Stuart's other attainments he was a man of 
extraordinary executive and financial ability, and for his time 
amassed a large fortune, both real and personal. He seems to 
have had the keenest insight into the value of land, even though 
at the time of his settlement in Greenbrier the whole country 
was virgin forest. He acquired large tracts of the most valuable 
land in the county, large portions of which are still owned by 
his descendants. 

On the eighteenth day of November, 1776, he married Mrs. 
Agatha Frogg (widow of Col. William Frogg, who was killed at 
the battle of Point Pleasant). She was a granddaughter of Col. 
John Lewis and daughter of Thomas Lewis, who served for 


years in the Virginia House of Burgesses. He was a brother of 
Gen. Andrew and Col. Charles Lewis. John Stuart left four 
children : 

Margaret Lynn Stuart, born December 31, 1777, married 
Andrew Lewis. 

Jane Lewis Stuart, born February 16, 1780, married Robert 

Charles Augustus Stuart, born April 23, 1782, married Eliza- 
beth Robinson. 

Lewis Stuart, born May 14, 1784, married Sarah Lewis. 

John Stuart showed throughout the whole of his long and 
useful career a strength and alertness of mind of the highest 
order. Not only was he a leader of men and a real builder in 
the formation of Greenbrier county and of its character and 
class of people, but he was eminently successful in many and 
varied fields of endeavor. Those who succeed well in a single 
undertaking are often highly applauded and they deserve credit 
and aopreciation, but those rare men whose fearlessness, energy 
and trlents enable them to become masters in every field when 
occasion and circumstances require their services or where they 
find it necessary to act show a superior greatness and bigness of 
mind beyond the common allotment of providence to man. Such 
a man was Col. John Stuart, of Greenbrier. There have been a 
number of short sketches of his life written, which appear in 
histories and magazines, but there is no full account of his in- 
teresting life. This is to be regretted, for not only was he a 
remarkable man with a most interesting career, but because he 
was the chief instrument in building up and giving to Greenbrier 
its distinctive character. 

On the twenty-second day of December, 1807, he tendered to 
the county court his resignation as clerk and his son, Lewis, was 
appointed to this office in his place. 

The first clerk's office of Greenbrier county was built by 
Col. John Stuart in his own yard at the old Stuart place. This 
building is still standing and is in an excellent state of preserva- 
tion. He also granted to the county the site upon which the 
first court house of Greenbrier was built. This building was 
erected of stone in the town of Lewisburg in the year 1800. 

He died on the eighteenth day of August, 1823, in the seventy- 
fifth year of his age, and was laid to rest in the Stuart family 
burying ground, where around him four generations of his family 
now sleep. 

Colonel Stuart, from the time he first settled in Greenbrier, 


made special effort to induce settlers of a high class to settle 
in this new land. In this undertaking he was eminently success- 
ful, for the history of Greenbrier county shows that it was settled 
by a class of citizens remarkable for their sterling worth and 
superior character. Most of these settlers came from eastern 
Virginia and what are now Augusta, Botetourt and Montgomery 
counties. These citizens gave to the people of Greenbrier a dis- 
tinctive character, which has marked it through years. 

Lewis Stuart, the second son of John and Agatha Stuart, was 
born in Greenbrier county on the eleventh day of May, 1784. He 
succeeded Col. John Stuart in the possession of Beau Desert, 
where he lived the whole of his life. 

On the fifteenth day of October, 1807, he married Sarah 
Lewis, daughter of Col. John Lewis, of Bath county, Virginia, 
and granddaughter of Col. Charles Lewis, known as "Brave 
Charlie," who was killed at the battle of Point Pleasant. 

On the twenty-second day of September, 1807, upon the resig- 
nation of his father, he was appointed clerk of the county court 
of Greenbrier county. He held this office until the first day of 
June, 1830, when the Constitution of 1830 took effect and changed 
the arrangements of the courts. On the seventeenth day of 
April, 1809, he was commissioned by Judge Coulter as the first 
clerk of the Superior Court of Law and Chancery of Greenbrier 
county, which position he held until 1831. 

During the last years of his clerkship he was too much engaged 
in other affairs to be able to give personal attention to his duties, 
but he always provided a competent and trustworthy deputy 
clerk to wait upon the public. He was a splendid writer and a 
very competent clerk, having been well trained in the duties of 
clerkship by his father. 

Lewis Stuart was very fond of the social side of life, was 
a splendid conversationalist and noted for his hospitality. He 
kept his home filled with relations and friends and his barn full 
of horses. He was fond of riding and was noted for his superior 
horsemanship. He was a most indulgent and kind master to his 
slaves and employes. He granted to his slaves an opportunity to 
cultivate crops of their own and to receive the proceeds therefrom. 
On account of his kindness and the charm of his personality 
Lewis Stuart is said to have been one of the best loved men in 
the whole country, numbering friends from far and near. 

Lewis Stuart died on the twenty-seventh day of January, 1837, 
in the prime of his life. He was buried in the old Stuart family 
burying ground close by his father. He left his entire estate, per- 


sonal, mixed and real, to his wife, Sarah Lewis Stuart, who, being 
a woman of strong mind and great energy, managed it with 
wisdom and splendid results. 

Lewis and Sarah Stuart left five sons and five daughters : 

John Stuart, born July 26, 1814. 
Charles A. Stuart, born June 5, 1818. 
Lewis Stuart, born September 7, 1820. 
Henry Stuart, born Ocetober 31, 1824. 
Andrew Stuart, born March 12, 1827. 
Elizabeth Stuart, born January 13, 1809. 
Rachel Stuart, born May 30, 1816. 
Jane Stuart, born November 17, 1810. 
Agnes Stuart, born September 2, 1812. 
Margaret Stuart, born September 15, 1822. 

John, Charles and Lewis moved to the West, where they died. 
John died February 19, 1835. Charles died July 4, 1888, Lewis 
died December 19, 1850. 

Henry Stuart, born October 31, 1824, married Nannie Wat- 
kins, July 12, 1871. He resided on a farm in Richlands, Green- 
brier county. He died September 5, 1902. 

Andrew Stuart married Sallie Cabell. He resided at the old 
Stuart place, near Fort Spring Church, where he died. 

Elizabeth Stuart died August 9, 1819. 

Rachel Stuart married Gen. A. W. G. Davis. This couple re- 
sided near what is known as Fort Spring Station on the Chesa- 
peake & Ohio railroad in Greenbrier county. Rachel Stuart Dav$s 
died . 

Henry Stuart, born October 31, 1824, married Nannie E. Wat- 
kins, daughter of Dr. Joel Watkins, Charlotte county, Virginia, 
July 12, 1871. Of this union two children were born: J. Wat- 
kins, of Sinks Grove, Monroe county, West Virginia, and Lewis 
L., of Richland, Greenbrier county. Henry Stuart died September 
5, 1902. He was for fifty-four years a member of the Greenbrier 
Masonic lodge, and was appointed by Gov. William Smith, of 
Richmond, Va., on the seventh day of November, 1864, as captain 
in the Fifth regiment of cavalry in the Thirteenth brigade and 
Fifth division of Virginia Militia. He served throughout the Civil 
war in the Fourteenth Virginia cavalry. 

Agnes Stuart married Charles S. Peyton on the 

^y f This couple resided 

in the Richlands on what is known as the Biggs place. 


Margaret Stuart married Col. James W. Davis on the 

day of This couple resided on 

a farm on the Fort Spring road half a mile below the old Stuart 

Jane Stuart married Gov. Samuel Price, of Lewisburg, on 
the fourteenth day of November, 1837. Jane Stuart was a woman 
of remarkable intellect and great personal charm and was much 

beloved by all her friends and family. She died on the 

day of 


Among the well known brokers in this part of the State and 
large farmers of Greenbrier comes the name of Lewis Lacy 
Stuart, one of the members of the Stuart family above mentioned. 

Mr. Stuart is a native of Lewisburg, W. Va., and was reared 
a farmer. He is the son of Henry Stuart, born in Greenbrier 
county October 31, 1824, and Nannie Edmunds Watkins Stuart, 
born in Charlotte county, Virginia, August 24, 1842. They were 
married July 12, 1871, and were the parents of Joel Watkins 
Stuart, born June 15, 1872, and Lewis Lacy Stuart, born Decem- 
ber 3, 1875. 

Lewis Lacy Stuart has followed farming on an extensive scale 
all his life. He came to Lewisburg in 1903, since which time 
his agencies of real estate property have also been on an extensive 

On October 14, 1903, he was married to Margaret Lamb 
McClung, and from this union came one child, Lewis Lacy Stuart, 
Jr., born October 13, 1913. 


The numerous Price relationships in Greenbrier and Pocahontas 
counties, West Virginia, Giles and Botetourt counties, Virginia, 
claim descent from one Samuel Price, who emigrated from near 
Cardiff, Wales, about 1735 and landed in South Carolina, where 
some of the name had previously settled, and their descendants 
are numerous in the Carolinas and in southern Virginia. His 
wife was Margaret Calvert. They may have had more than 
three children ; there is authentic record of but three boys, Samuel, 
Jacob and Thomas. About 1748 he moved to Virginia and set- 
tled in that portion of Botetourt that was afterwards called Green- 



brier, near what is now known as Savannah, where Washington 
Price, a direct descendant of Samuel, now resides. 

Jacob Price, Sr., son of Samuel, Sr., was born in 1750 and 
married Wineford Tillery. They had nine children : James, John, 
Samuel, William, Jacob, Abraham, George, Isaac, Austin, Mar- 
garet Calvert. He was a soldier in the War of the Revolution, 
enlisting at Fincastle, Va., in 1776 and belonging to Capt. Thomas 
Posey's company and Col. Daniel Morgan's famous Seventh Vir- 
ginia regiment, known as Morgan's Rifles. He was wounded 
in a skirmish with the British and was not able for active service 
thereafter. He was pensioned February 23, 1796, on account of 
his wounds. He resided in Greenbrier county, Virginia, until 
1836, when he went to Piketon, Pike county, Ohio, to live with 
his son, Isaac Austin, where he died January 28, 1841. 

Jacob Price, Jr., was born November 1, 1790, on the old 
Price place near Savannah, and married Mary B. Cox, of Pendle- 
ton county, October 22, 1816. They had eight children : Charles, 
Abraham. Addison, John Mason, Sarah, Margaret, Mary and 
Rebecca. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, enlisting in 
Capt. James Robinson's Greenbrier company, in Col. Dudley 
Evan's Second regiment, First brigade, Virginia militia, and was 
wounded at Fort Meigs. He was granted a pension by the United 
States Government, which he drew until the day of his death, 
in 1877. 

John Mason Price was born near Frankford, October 7, 1834 ; 
married Elizabeth Mary Erwin, who died in 1881. By this union 
seven children were born : 'Mary B., married R. S. Lovelace ; Hen- 
rietta M., married K. M. McVey ; Jane Erwin ; Porteaux Anson, 
Poplar Bluff, Mo. ; Mathew Nolting, New Cumberland, W. Va. ; 
Oscar A., Washington, D. C, and Charles A., East Liverpool, 
Ohio. In 1882 he married his second wife, Isabella (Campbell) 
Williams, who had one child, Vera Lee. At the outbreak of the 
Civil war he enlisted and was made orderly sergeant of Company 
D, Twenty-sixth Virginia, Edgar's battalion, Confederate States 
Army, and was promoted to sergeant major in 1862. He partici- 
pated in all the battles his battalion was engaged in ; was captured 
at the battle of Cold Harbor in May, 1864; taken as prisoner of 
war to Elmira, N. Y. ; was released in February, 1865, and reached 
Richmond just before its evacuation by General Lee. After the 
war he engaged in the mencantile business at Price's shop, Irish 
Corner district, afterward called Organ Cave, and moved to 
Ronceverte in 1885, where he was in the agricultural implement 
business for years with A. E. White and the Ronceverte Foundry 


and Machine Shop Company. In civil life he served as justice of 
the peace, member of the Greenbrier county court, deputy sheriff 
two terms, 1884-88, 1888-92, and was elected mayor of Ronceverte 
eight terms of two years each. He died August 17, 1912. 

Oscar A. Price, son of John Mason Price, was born at Organ 
Cave, W. Va., November 9, 1873 ; married Gertrude Fulton, of 
Augusta county Virginia, February 17, 1898; has three children: 
Elizabeth Mary, Gertrude Fulton and Alice de Barre. He attended 
the public and high schools of Ronceverte and the Greenbrier 
Military Academy, Lewisburg, W. Va., and engaged in the mer- 
cantile business at Ronceverte, W. Va., until the outbreak of the 
Spanish war, April 26, 1898. At that time, having served through 
all grades to first lieutenant in the West Virginia National Guard, 
he volunteered and was made second lieutenant of the First West 
Virginia volunteer infantry in the United States service, and was 
promoted to first lieutenant June 21, 1898; served as quarter- 
master, Second division, First corps, on the staff of Brigadier 
General Arnold at Chickamauga, Ga. ; also aid on the staff of 
Brigadier General Poland ; was transferred to office as aide on 
the staff of Brigadier General Randall, Knoxville, Tenn., August, 
1898, and was ordered by the secretary of war to report to 
Brigadier General McKee, Macon, Ga., on whose staff he served 
from October, 1898, to February, 1899. He was mustered out of 
the service with his regiment at Columbus, Ga., February 4, 
1899; engaged in the milling business at Port Republic, 1899- 
1903 ; bought the old Edgar mill site, Ronceverte, and built the 
large milling plant now on that site in 1904 and managed the 
same from that date until March, 1915; served as president of 
the board of education, Fort Spring district, 1906-1910. Was 
chairman of Greenbrier county Democratic executive committee, 
1910-1915, and was appointed auditor for the interior department, 
Washington, D. C, by President Wilson on March 3, 191 5, and 
is now occupying that position. 


Every public life has contributed its share to the age in which 
it existed. It had its class to which it belonged, the blend in 
character which it formed, the environment in the affairs of state 
which it helped to create, all of which make for the up-building 
of its own community and that of the general commonwealth at 


The State of West Virginia had its builders the same as Rome 
had. Out of the wilderness a production of wealth had to be 
created for an enterprising and intelligent race of people to make 
the State what it is. Of those whose life's work largely con- 
tributed towards the education and evolution of the present age 
of progress and enlightenment looms up the towering figure of 
Governor Price, a man now revered and loved by every citizen of 
Greenbrier county. 

The history of the Hon. Samuel Price as a lawyer, as a judge, 
as a statesman, will be written for this work by a man who was 
prosecuting attorney of Greenbrier county for twenty-two years, 
and for a number of years a partner with the Governor in 
the practice of law. His sketch will be found under the head 
of Bench and Bar. Our attempt will be a narrative of that life 
in its simpler form. 

Samuel Price, the son of Samuel and Mary Price, was born 
in Fauquier county, State of Virginia, on the twenty-eighth day 
of July, 1805. His mother, Mary Clymon, whom he resembled,, 
was born of German parents. Her father lived to the age of 104 
years. On the paternal side the descent of the Price family was 
from Major Morris, of Washington fame. 

Samuel Price, the father of the subject of this sketch, moved 
to 'Monongalia county, now Preston county, West Virginia. That 
was in November, 181 5. In 1827, when at the age of twenty- 
three years, the son left the parental roof for Kentucky to study 
law, but after having gained his purpose returned to Virginia, 
where as a lawyer he continued the practice of his profession 
through life. He located first in Nicholas county, becoming a 
citizen there on November 10, 1828. At the June court of that 
year he was appointed prosecuting attorney. In the same year 
also he was appointed deputy marshal to take the census of the 
county. The pay was very meager but it gave him a large ex- 
perience by bringing him in contact with the people. In 1831 he 
was made clerk, but after three years of that kind of monotonous 
work he resigned. In 1834 he was elected to the legislature from 
Nicholas and Fayette counties. This opened a new field for ob- 
servation and enabled him to form many new acquaintances, but 
in that same year he settled in Wheeling to practice law. 

In December he was appointed by the city council delegate 
to the legislature to procure an increase of banking capital and 
some loan in reference to the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. As- 
sociated with him for two months on that work at Richmond, Va., 
were Dr. Clemens and a Mr. Jacob. 


In 1848 Mr. Price was elected to the legislature again, but 
declined a re-election in 1850. In October, 1850, however, he 
was elected to represent his district in the Constitutional Conven- 
tion, he representing the counties of Greenbrier, Pocahontas, 
Nicholas, Kanawha, Fayette and Raleigh, after which he was 
returned to the legislature, but resigned again. In 1866 C. R. 
Mason resigned and Mr. Price was appointed one of the directors 
of the Chesapeake & Ohio railroad, and this position was held 
until all the old directors were superseded by new ones appointed 
by the Republican party when they got control. In 1850 he be- 
came a member of a called convention by the legislature to de- 
cide whether a member had a right to represent his slaves, giving 
him more authority to cast so many votes. It was called "the 
white basis convention," and the people were wrought up over 
the subject. This question was submitted to a committee to 
which Mr. Price was appointed because of his sound judgment. 

In 1837 Mr. Price moved to Lewisburg and on the fourth of 
February, 1861, the assembly passed an act calling a convention. 
To this convention Mr. Price was elected to represent Greenbrier 
county as a Union man, and was one of twenty-one appointed on 
a committee of Federal relations, of which he was made president. 
This convention advised against secession but the ordinance of 
secession was passed by the convention. With reference to this 
ordinance Mr. Price returned home to consult with his constitu- 
ents. The question was submitted to a vote of the people and 
the county voted almost solid for ratification of the secession 
ordinance, after which Mr. Price signed the ordinance in ac- 
cordance with the instructions of those whom he had been sent 
to Richmond to represent. 

This was the beginning of those troubles that followed and 
a time which tried men's souls. In 1862, on the twenty-third 
day of May, General Crook defeated General Heath in the battle 
at Lewisburg. A few days afterwards General Crook ordered 
Mr. Price to go to headquarters, and when there ordered him to 
take the oath of allegiance. This Mr. Price refused to do. al- 
though under threat of being sent to Camp Chase, Ohio. Mr. 
Price said: "I acknowledge myself to be in your power, but 
you and your whole army cannot compel me to take that oath." 
General Crook then said : "I will send you to the guard house to 
be kept there until I am ready to send you off." Mr. Price re- 
plied, "I do not want to go to the guard house, if I can help it. 
I live in town and you can easily get me." The general then said, 
"Give me your parole that you will not leave town without my 


permission and report to me daily at 10 o'clock and you can re- 
main at home until I send you off." 

General Crook sent for Mr. Price to go with the prisoners just 
as they were leaving for Meadow Bluff, and when Mr. Price found 
he was going to compel him to walk he signed a parole that he 
would follow next day and ride his own horse. That night Cap- 
tain Read came with a half-dozen soldiers to take Mr. Price to 
Monroe by order of General Loring, but Mr. Price, claiming the 
privileges of his parole, succeeded in maintaining his rights. Nev- 
ertheless, from the time he left home until he reached Charleston, 
it was one continued series of insults all the way. 

When Mr. Price arrived in Charleston he was put in jail 
with the other prisoners for Camp Chase, but Dr. Patrick, Sr., 
having heard he was there had him released on parole to stay 
at the hotel and report every morning. Things continued thus 
for three months and a half, when General Loring drove the 
Federals out and released the prisoners, and the kindness of Dr. 
Patrick was never forgotten by Mr. Price. 

In 1863 Dr. Price was elected lieutenant governor of Virginia, 
with Gen. William Smith as governor, and served two sessions 
as president of the senate, until the close of the war. During 
the last session he received General Lee and General Morgan. 
After the surrender of General Lee Mr. Price was sent for to 
convene the legislature so that action might be taken on the new 
phase of things. President Lincoln had advised such a meeting 
with assurances that the members of the legislature should not 
be molested. There was a request for Mr. Price to come to 
Richmond with a pass from General Wetzel. Mr. Price and the 
carrier started immediately from Lewisburg, and traveled all night 
on horseback. They reached Covington at daylight and met the 
car at Jacksons river depot in time to reach Staunton that eve- 
ning. Here he and a number of the members of the legislature 
were in consultation when they received the news of the assassi- 
nation of Mr. Lincoln. There was no need of Mr. Price going 
further and he returned home. He was not permitted to rest, 
however. Soon after this a squadron of about thirty cavalrymen 
arrested him and Mr. Caperton and took them as prisoners to 
Charleston. That was on June n, 1865, after the war was over. 

In December, 1869, Mr. Price was elected circuit judge, but 
Governor Boreman said in a letter to him that he could not take 
the test oath and he would not commission him. His connection 
with the Confederacy prevented that. 


When a convention to amend the constitution of West Vir- 
ginia was called in 1871, Mr. Price was elected as one of the dele- 
gates of the senatorial district, and by that body he was elected 
its president. 

In 1877 Mr. Caperton died and Governor Jacob appointed Mr. 
Price to the United States Senate, in which capacity he served 
until his successor was elected. These appointments to offices of 
honor and trust afforded him much pleasure after being perse- 
cuted so long because of his refusal to take the test oath. 

In 1837 Mr. Price was married to Miss Jane Stuart, a grand- 
daughter of Col. John Stuart, the first county clerk of Green- 
brier county. In 1838 he moved to Lewisburg, and in 1854 both 
of them joined the Presbyterian church, and soon after this Mr. 
Price was made an elder. On the twenty-fifth day of February. 
1884, he died, leaving a name enviable for integrity, purity and 
truth. Mrs. Price died in 1875. One who knew her well, said: 
"She was the best educated woman I have ever known." Dr. 
Thomas Knight said in writing of her, after her death, "Blessed 
with all the comforts of life, she was rich in a noble sense of the 
word ; rich in respect and esteem of the community ; rich in the 
consciousness of a life devoted to pure and gentle pursuits ; rich 
in the gratitude of the distressed and needy; rich in all lovely 
traits of a pure Christian character, and richer still in the hope and 
faith of blissful immortality." 

Mr. Price was a splendid specimen of physical manhood, 
standing six feet two inches in height and having a fine head and 
a good face. "Prominent Men of West Virginia" gives us an es- 
timate of the Hon. Samuel Price worthy of notice here. In that 
work it is stated : "He was one of the able men of Virginia when 
both Virginias were one. Not particularly aggressive in spirit or 
ambitious for distinction he nevertheless by the natural simplicity 
of his tastes, his habits of life and education, and better still by 
his enlightened sense of justice and hatred of wrong, was the 
jealous advocate of truth, morality and right. There was abso- 
lutely nothing in his public or private life fictitious or artificial. 
His success in private, as well as in his professional undertakings 
and his influence in public positions did not come to him by acci- 
dent, but by the inherited energy and force of his mental constitu- 
tion. He was eminent in his profession as a lawyer, as a states- 
man, and as a public administrative. He did nothing from im- 
pulse ; cool, deliberate, self-poised, no possible excitement could 
unnerve him or throw him off his balance. He was a born jurist. 
Theories and abstractions were foreign to his nature." 



The name of Mathews, in any of its Anglo-Saxon variants, 
was adopted by the sons of Sir Mathew ap Ievan ap Gnffyth 
Gethyn, tenth in lineal descent from Gwaettfoed, Prince of Car- 
digan, Wales, whose descendants were long deemed feudal 
barons of Llandaff, County Glamorgan, Wales. Sir Mathew 
was knighted in 1386 by Richard II, and his descendants took 
the name of Mathew or Mathews instead of the Welsh "ap" or 
"son of," the addition of the "s" signifying to the English the 
same thing as the Welsh "ap," the Irish "O" and the Scotch 

The armorial bearings of the Mathews are numerous, Burke, 
in his General Armoury, devoting over two and one-half pages 
to the arms, crests and mottoes. In nearly all the lion is an im- 
portant figure, and it is said the lion was used as a distinctive 
device by the descendants of Gwaettfoed, Prince of Cardigan, 
long before the dawn of heraldry. The bearings used by the 
Mathews of Virginia and West Virginia are described as follows : 

Arms : Gyronny of eight, sable and gules, a lion rampant, or. 

Crest : A demi lion rampant, or. 

Motto : Heb-d-Dhuw Heb-d-dim a-d-Dhuw a-digon. 
(Without God nothing, with God enough.) 

Sir Mathew ap Ievan married Jenet, daughter of Richard 
Fleming, and had three sons: David, Robert and Lewis. The 
rldest, Sir David, was one of the most distinguished men of his 
time, having been made grand standard bearer of England by 
Edward IV, as a reward for saving his life at the battle of 
Towton, Palm Sunday 1461. Sir Davis died about 1480 and his 
tomb, ornamented with his full length figure in full armor, is 
still in existence in the cathedral in Llandaff, Wales. 

The second son, Robert, of Castell-y-Mynach, Wales, was the 
progenitor of the Mathews family in Virginia. His great-great- 
grandson was Tobias Mathew, archbishop of York, who married 
Frances Barlow, and whose son, Samuel Mathews, was born in 
1592 and was sent to Virginia by James I in 1622 as one of five 
commissioners "to make particular and diligent inquiry concern- 
ing the present state of the colony." In 1623 he was commissioned 
captain of a company to go against the Tanx Powhatan Indians. 
In 1625 he was appointed one of the kings council in Virginia, 
Sir Francis Wyatt being governor. He remained a member of 
that body until 1644. In December, 1656, he was elected to the 


council again, this time to that place nearest the governor, and 
on March 13, 1657, was elected governor of the colony by the 
House of Burgesses, and remained in office till his death in 1660. 
He owned several plantations, one of which was first called 
"Mathews Manour," but afterwards known as "Denbeigh," and 
it is from the latter that the county seat of Warwick county takes 
its name, it being located upon that plantation. He also owned 
"Fleur de Hundred," near Point Comfort. He married the 
daughter of Sir Thomas Hinton and had by her two sons, Samuel 
and Francis. 

Samuel, the eldest son of the foregoing, was a member of 
the House of Burgesses in 1652 and lieutenant colonel and mem- 
ber of the council in 1655. His great-grandson, John 'Mathews, 
moved between 1730 and 1734 to the "district of West Augusta," 
afterwards Augusta county, Virginia, and settled near the Natural 
Bridge, in the forks of the James river. There is in existence 
a grant of 1,600 acres of land from George II to "John Mathews, 
Gent., on Mill creek in the forks of James river." In 1742 John 
Mathews was a member of the Augusta county militia in Capt. 
John Buchanan's company. In 1756 occurred the first election 
ever held in Augusta, being the election of the vestry for Augusta 
parish, and it resulted in the choice of, among others. John 
Mathews and his brother-in-law, John Archer. It was a sign of 
prominence in those days to be a member of the vestry, as only 
the most eminent and representative men were chosen. Vestry- 
men were not only ecclesiastical officers but they had the care of 
the poor and attended to the important duty of "processioning" 
lands. All vestrymen were required by law to take the various 
oaths imposed upon public officers. In 1756 John Mathews was 
a captain of a company of infantry in the Augusta militia and 
was an ensign in the French and Indian war. He married Anne 
Archer, daughter of Sampson Archer. Her sister, Betsey, mar- 
ried Robert Renix (now Renick), hence the relation between the 
Mathews and Renicks. In 1758 Sampson Archer was a church- 
warden of Augusta parish, and he also served as lieutenant in 
the French and Indian war. John Mathews and Anne Archer 
had seven sons : John, Joshua, Richard, George, Sampson, William 
and Archer, and four daughters, Jane, Anne, Rachael and 

Sampson Mathews, fourth son of John and Anne Archer 
Mathews, was deputy sheriff of Augusta county in 1756, and 
in 1758 a vestryman of Augusta parish. In 1764 he was appointed 
justice of the peace. He was also commissary of Col. Charles 



Lewis's regiment at the battle of Point Pleasant. In 1775 he was 
one of the delegates to the colony convention, which met in Rich- 
mond. He was a member of the first court held under the 
authority of the Commonwealth of Virginia, July 16, 1776. In 
1 781 he was colonel of an Augusta county regiment sent to lower 
Virginia to resist the invasion of Benedict Arnold. He married 
in September, 1759, Mary Lockheart, and died in Staunton, Va., 
in 1807. His descendants are many in Greenbrier and Poca- 
hontas counties, West Virginia, among whom are the McClungs, 
Sees, Heveners, Renicks, McClintics, Montgomerys and 

George Mathews, the fifth son of John Mathews, of Augusta 
county, was the most prominent of the family, but as he has very 
few, if any, descendants in Greenbrier, a detailed account of his 
life 'would be out of place in this history. It is sufficient to say 
that he was in command of a company at the battle of Point 
Pleasant in 1775, colonel of the Ninth Virginia regiment in 1776 
and 1777, and in 1781 brigadier general under General Green, 
governor of Georgia, in 1786 and 1793, and member of the Con- 
tinental Congress in 1790 and 1792. 

Archer Mathews, the seventh and youngest son of John and 
Anne Archer Mathews, moved to Greenbrier county, where he 
owned a large body of land, and married Letitia McLanahan. He 
was one of the trustees who formed the town of Lewisburg in 
1782. He had seven children and numerous descendants, among 
whom are some of the Edgars, Nelsons, Withrows and Feamsters. 
William Mathews, the sixth son of John and Anne Archer 
Mathews, is the progenitor of the Mathews of Greenbrier county. 
He was born on the old home place in Augusta county in 174 1-2. 
In his father's will the home place was left to him and his brother. 
Archer, and he purchased his brother's interest in the estate and 
lived and died there, a farmer, not entering into public life. He 
was, however, made a justice of the peace on February 18, 1770. 
While still very young he served as a private in the French and 
Indian war. He married about 1763-4 Frances Crowe, daughter 
of James and Eleanor Crowe, of Donaghmore, Ireland, they hav- 
ing come to Virginia about 1762. There is extant an old church 
certificate reading as follows : 

"James Crowe, Ellinor, his Wife, with their Two Daughters-, 
Eliz. and Frances, has Lived in this Congregation since their 
Infancy— are descended of an Antient Reputable Protestant 
Family. Their Examplary Conduct has always Justly Merited the 
unfeigned Esteem of their Christian Neighbours and are recom- 


mended as worthy the Regard and Notice of Any Society where 
Divine Providence may appoint. Is Certifyed at Donaghmore this 
20th Day of June 1762 by 

"Benj. Holmes." 

William Mathews died in 1772 and his wife in 1796, having 
had five children, viz. : Anne, Elizabeth, John, Joseph and James 

Anne Mathews married Audley Maxwell, of Tazewell county, 
Virginia, and had a large family. 

Elizabeth married Maj. Isaac Otey, and had numerous de- 

James William Mathews died unmarried. 

John Mathews, eldest son of William and Frances Crowe 
Mathews, was born in Rockbridge county, Virginia, October 30, 
1768, and while still a young man moved to Greenbrier county 
as a surveyor for Col. John Stuart. He then studied law and 
from 1798 to 1802 was a member of the Virginia general as- 
sembly. In 183 1 he was elected clerk of the county court and 
remained in that capacity till he died in November, 1849. He was 
twice married, first to Catherine Cary and second to Mrs. Sarah 
Hamilton Hunter. He had five daughters and numerous de- 
scendants, among whom are the Snyders, Feamsters, Kinsolvings 
and Browns. 

Joseph Mathews, the second son of William and Frances 
Crowe Mathews, was born in that part of Rockbridge county 
now known as Botetourt county, Virginia, October 10, 1770. He 
purchased land in Lewisburg in 1783 and moved there in the early 
nineties. He married April 17, 1794, Mary Edgar, born January 
JS, 1773, died January 7, 1847, daughter of James Edgar and 
Mary Mason. He died February 22, 1834, having had six chil- 
dren, viz. : Anne, Elizabeth, Mary, Mason and Thomas and James 

James William died unmarried. Ann married John Robert 
Weir and had two children, Mary Sydnor and John Robert, both 
of whom died unmarried. Elizabeth and Mary both died unmar- 
ried. Thomas Mathews, the youngest son, died without issue. 

Mason Mathews, second son of Joseph and Mary Edgar 
Mathews, was born in Greenbrier county December 15, 1803. 
About 1825 he was appointed deputy sheriff of the county. In 
1828 he was appointed commissioner of the revenue by the 
county court and held that office till he declined re-appointment. 
He also was a justice of the peace for many years and was a 


member of the Virginia general assembly from 1859 to 1865. He 
married September 27, 1827, Eliza Shore Reynolds, daughter of 
Thomas Bird Reynolds and Sally Ann McDowell. She was a 
sister of Alexander W. Reynolds, who served in the Civil war as 
a brigadier general. Confederate States Army, and who upon the 
close of the war went to Egypt and served as adjutant general 
of the khedive's army until his death in 1876. Mason Mathews 
died in Lewisburg, September 16, 1878, having had eight children, 
viz. : Mary Edgar, Sally Ann, Henry Mason, Virginia Amanda, 
Alexander Ferdinand, Joseph William, Eliza Thomas and Salhe 

Mary Edgar Mathews married Richard Mauzy, of Staunton, 
and had two children, Eliza Mathews and Mary Christina Mauzy. 
Sally Ann Mathews died unmarried. 

Henry Mason Mathews, eldest son of Mason and Eliza Shore 
Mathews, was born March 29, 1834, died at Lewisburg April 28, 
1864. On May 1, 1861, he was appointed second lieutenant of 
the Provisional Army of Virginia by Governor Letcher, and was 
soon promoted to captain of engineers. He was commissioned 
major of artillery and chief of staff of Maj. Gen. Carter L. Steven- 
son, to rank from May 2, 1863, which rank he held till the close 
of the war. Upon the close of the war he returned to Lewisburg, 
where he practiced law. In 1865 he was elected to the West Vir- 
ginia state senate and in 1872 attorney general of the State. In 
1876 he was elected Governor and held office from 1877 to 1881. 
He married November 24, 1857, Lucy Clayton Fry, and had five 
children, viz.: Lucile Josephine, Mason, Henry Edgar, William 
Gordon and Laura Hearne, of whom only two survive, William 
Gordon and Lucile Josephine, both of Charleston, W. Va. 

Virginia Amanda Mathews married Dr. Alfred Spicer Patrick, 
and had four children, Mason Mathews, Mary Maud, Virginia 
Spicer and Alfred Bream. 

Alexander Ferdinand Mathews, second son of Mason and 
Eliza Shore Mathews, was born November 13, 1838. He became 
a lawyer but upon the outbreak of the Civil war he was commis- 
sioned captain August 11, 1861, and served during the entire war. 
After the war he returned to Lewisburg, where he practiced his 
profession in partnership with his brother, Henry. He married 
December 28, 1865, Laura M. Gardner, and died December 17, 
1906. He had eight children, Mason, Charles Gardner, Mary 
Miller, Ann Weir, Eliza Patton, Maude Montague, Florence Vane 
and Henry Alexander, of whom only four survive, Mason, Charles 
Gardner, Eliza Patton and Henry Alexander, all of Lewisburg. 


Joseph William Mathews, youngest son of Mason and Eliza 
Shore Mathews, was born September 18, 1841, and died Septem- 
ber 27, 1897. Upon the outbreak of the Civil war he entered the 
Confederate army, with the rank of captain, and served in that 
capacity during the four years of war. After the war was over 
he was in Baltimore until the organization of the Bank of Lewis- 
burg, when he was appointed cashier of that organization, which 
position he held until his death. He married October 8, 1872, 
Rosannah Cecelia MacVeigh, of Loudoun county, Virginia. In 
addition to a child that died in infancy he had six children, Mary 
Eliza, John White, Henry Mason, William Alexander Patton, 
Hugh MacVeigh and Alfred Virginius, of whom four survive, 
John White, of Wilmington, Del. ; Mary Eliza, of Philadelphia ; 
Hugh MacVeigh, of City Point, Virginia, and Alfred Virginius, 
of Chicago. 

Eliza Thomas Mathews married February 27, 1873, Andrew 
Warwick Mathews, and had issue: Mary Mason, Eliza Shore 
and Andrea Warwick Mathews. 

Sallie Patton Mathews married July 15, 1874, Henry Clay 
Dunn, and had issue: John, Mary Virginia and Marie Lewis 

(By Mary E. Mathews.) 

The subject of this sketch, Joseph William Mathews, son of 
the late Mason Mathews and Eliza Reynolds, was born in Lewis- 
burg, Va., September 18, 1841. 

He was educated at the old Lewisburg Academy and had 
matriculated at the University of Virginia when the Civil war 
broke out. He at once entered the Confederate army, and served 
through the entire war. He was appointed captain and assistant 
quartermaster, July 3, 1862 ; he was with the army of General 
Pemberton at Vicksburg, and was surrendered with that army 
when Vicksburg fell. He was exchanged and was made captain 
and assistant adjutant-general upon the staff of Maj.-Gen. Carter 
L. Stevenson, ranking from September 1, 1863. He was captured 
at Athens, Ga., May 8, 1865. He was twice mentioned in Gen- 
eral Stevenson's reports to the war department for conspicuous 
bravery, once at Demopolis, Ala., and once at the battle of Baker's 
Creek, Mississippi. After the war he engaged in the mercantile 


business in Lewisburg, and later in Baltimore, Md. Upon the 
organization of the Bank of Lewisburg, he was appointed cashier, 
which office he held until his death in 1897. He married on Oc- 
tober 8, 1872, Miss Rosannah MacVeigh, of Baltimore, Md. Of 
this union there were seven children, four of whom, with their 
mother, are living. 

Such is the tale of any man's life : his birth, his education, his 
work in the world, his marriage, his family and his death. But 
what a small part of a man's life it really is after all. How he has 
played his part, what have been his relations to his family, his 
friends, his work, these are what make a life worth while or not. 
It is these deeper things that make Captain M at hews' life re- 
membered, not what he did, but what he was. 

Born into a family of four sisters and two brothers, through- 
out his life he was a loyal, affectionate, devoted son and brother. 
It is over twenty years now since he passed to the other side, 
and more of his family are there than here, but those remaining 
cherish his memory with an affection as fresh and abiding as if 
he were still here. 

During the war he served faithfully and unflinchingly through 
those dark years, earning not only mention of his bravery, but 
what is far better, the unswerving respect, admiration and friend- 
ship of all with whom he was connected, feelings that have sur- 
vived in all the hearts which have outlived his. In business his 
sound judgment, practical good sense and unswerving honor made 
him a man of influence, respected and admired by all who knew 

What can be said of his family life? To do him justice in the 
family relation is beyond my pen, nor perhaps is it seemly that I 
should try. Almost twenty years ago, a devoted husband, a lov- 
ing and beloved father, "went away," leaving a family to mourn 
and miss him, to long for him, and to hope unceasingly for re- 
union with him. 

But he left much more than sorrow and loneliness. He left 
precious memories of his selfless devoted life; of his loyalty and 
kindness to friends ; of his devotion to children ; of his love for 
his own family, and his joy in their love ; of his many kindly deeds 
and noble thoughts. All these he left as a heritage to his wife, 
his children and his friends. It is a rich heritage and one that 
seems without limit, for it is the pride of his children, scattered 
now and far from his beloved home, that they never return to 
that home, but some one has a new and pleasant memory to give 
them of some old, unforgotten kindness of their father. It is 


difficult to analyze such a character, to say in what its charm con- 
sists, to explain why he should be remembered when men who 
made far more stir in the world are forgotten. 

He had an unfailing courtesy ; he was often called a gentleman 
of the old school, rather he was a gentleman of the heart, which 
is, of course, a gentleman of every school and every time. He 
had the courage to face life cheerfully ; at the close of the war, 
penniless himself he came home not only to take up his duties 
bravely and herocially, as every man did in that dreadful time, 
but to do it courageously without bitterness or repining. He had 
sympathy and understanding for all with whom he came in con- 
tact, wise advice for those that asked it, tolerance for those who 
differed with him, charity for those he did not understand. With 
all these noble and ennobling qualities, he was so quiet, so modest, 
so reserved and so self-effacing that few realized until he was 
gone, the breadth, the power, the influence that as brother, hus- 
band, father, friend, he had possessed ; the realization of this is 
the birthright of his children ; it has been an inspiration to them 
and perhaps to others. Many of his friends may say with them : 

Yet after he was dead and gone 
Earth seemed more sweet to live upon, 
More full of love because of him. 


Capt. J. W. Mathews in some respects is a very remarkable 
man. As a soldier in the late war, and as a farmer and merchant, 
his career in life has been somewhat ' beyond the ordinary one. 
It has been made unique by his successful efforts, aided by an un- 
conquerable will power, backed by an earnest, strenuous purpose 
that knew no defeat as long as he knew he was in the right. At 
the age of seventy-six years, he still goes his way, never having 
been in bed sick a day in his life and doing the work of a strong 
man not more than half his age. His prison life was sufficient 
of itself to undermine the constitution of any man, and detri- 
mental enough to poison and destroy any mentality, but, in this 
case, the healthy body and the strong, pure mind obtained. 

Captain Mathews, son of Samuel G. and Naomi (Hudson) 
Mathews, was born in Pocahontas county, November 9, 1839. His 
mother was a descendant of Richard and Elizabeth Hudson, who 



came from Augusta county early in the century and settled in the 
woods on the headwaters of Sitlington's creek, on lands now held 
by their great-grandsons, Warwick B. and John L. Hudson. 

Seven daughters and three sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Hudson. Of these Sallie and Polly went to Ohio, married and 
settled in that State. (3) Keziah went west and his location is 
unknown to the writer. (4) Rachel married A. Dysard and lived 
in Barbours county. (5) Matilda married Thomas Humphreys 

(6) Naomi married Samuel G. Mathews and lived in Randolph 
county. Her children were M. G. Mathews, deceased, a teacher 
and superintendent of schools ; Charles and Capt. J. W. Mathews. 

(7) Nancy Hudson first married John Seybert, of Highland 
county. Her second marriage was to Andrew Lockridge, of Bath 
county. (8) Thomas Hudson went to Missouri, married and set- 
tled there. (9) Madison Hudson went to Maryland and reared 
a large family. He was a merchant and a citizen of prominence. 
(10) Eliza married Margaret Deaver, daughter of James and 
Sally Deaver, who is believed to have been the first settlers of 
Back Alleghany county, Virginia. They went to housekeeping 
on the home place and were the parents of five daughters and 
eight sons. (11) Elijah Hudson was a man of prominence in 
Pocahontas county. He was a very intelligent man, was a fine 
speaker, and served his county very faithfully and efficiently as 
a member of the State legislature. He was also a very prominent 
member of the county court and transacted considerable business 
for his neighbors, writing wills, deeds of conveyance and articles 
of agreement. He was endowed with natural abilities of a high 
order and he persistently made the most of his opportunities for 
intellectual improvement. During his life he taught many terms 
of schools in the old field school house for the benefit of his 
neighbors and for his own family. 

Capt. J. W. Mathews was born in Pocahontas county, West 
Virginia, November 9, 1839. At the age of seventeen he was 
elected second lieutenant of the Randolph militia and on May 18, 
1861, he enlisted in Company I, Twenty-fifth Virginia infantry, as 
a private in the Confederate army. For meritorious service in the 
early part of 1862 he received commission of second lieutenant in 
the same company. During the war he participated in the battles 
of Philippi, June 3, 1866, McDowell, Front Royal, Middletown, 
Winchester, Cross Keys, Port Republic, in all the skirmishes in 
and around Winchester in the Shenandoah valley, and for gal- 
lantry on the field of Gettyburg, July, 1863, he received a cap- 
tain's commission. He was also in the seven days fight around 


Richmond, Va., in 1862, in all the battles of The Wilderness, Vir- 
ginia, Cedar Mountain, second battle of Manassas, Shantelly, Har- 
per's Ferry, Sharpsburg, Maryland, Mine Run, Fredericksburg, 
Beverly, Buckhannon and Bristo Station. In all of those conflicts 
he was never sick nor wounded. At the battle of the Wilderness 
he was captured, and his whole regiment, at which time he was 
acting as lieutenant-colonel. That was on May 5, 1864. The 
prisoners were taken to Fort Delaware, and kept there until Au- 
gust 20, and then sent South as a retaliatory measure, but as the 
captain puts it : "For torture." The first eighteen days were a 
ride on the steamer, "Crescent," when they were packed around 
the boiler, in a heated room, with water from the condenser al- 
most boiling hot to drink, and in this way they were taken to 
Morris Island, South Carolina. The Immortal Six Hundred was 
the title justly accorded the number who now was placed in a 
stockade between Battery Wagner and Battery Gregg and kept 
there forty-two days. These were two of the largest batteries of 
the Federal army at Moris Island, South Carolina. Here they 
were guarded by the Fifty-fourth (colored troops) regiment from 
Massachusetts, commanded by Colonel Hallowell, from Philadel- 
phia, Pa., and "He was the meanest man" says Captain Mathews, 
"to whom God ever gave a soul." The rations per day allowed 
the prisoners consisted of four little crackers, condemned by the 
Government, and half eaten up by bugs and worms. For dinner 
they had bean soup to the amount of half a pint, consisting of 
water principally, with now and then a stray bean or two in the 
cup. For supper they had all the wind they could inhale. Under 
this kind of prison fare Captain Mathews lost during his im- 
prisonment of seven months, sixty-five pounds, having been re- 
duced from a normal weight of one hundred and sixty-five pounds 
to that of one hundred pounds. Out of the six hundred prisoners 
only three hundred survived, and they were only walking skele- 
tons, sixty-five of them being so afflicted with the scurvy they 
could not walk. 

From Morris Island the prisoners were next taken to Fort 
Pulaski and kept there on a cold brick floor in a damp room, with- 
out fire or blanket, and for sixty-five days their rations were ten 
ounces of the rottenest corn meal in existence. The captain avers 
that out of the "10 oz. meal" in one case more than one hundred 
and twenty-two worms and bugs were found by actual count. 
While the rotten corn meal apportioned out to them had been 
shipped south in 1861 and issued to Confederate prisoners of war 
in 1865, it had been condemned by Federal officers as not fit to 
isue to the Federal army. 



Captain Mathews says every one of those prisoners could have 
been released from that torture by taking the oath of allegiance 
to the Government, but only eighteen of them succumbed to the 
pressure. The captain further says that this bad fare was by 
order from Secretary Stanton, endorsed by Abraham Lincoln. 
The treatment was so bad that Colonel Brown, who was in com- 
mand of the One Hundred and Fifty-seventh New York regiment 
as a guard over the prisoners at Fort Pulaski, Georgia, took them 
out when he received this inhuman order and in a speech said he 
would not longer remain in command of the post, and have men 
under him suffering as he knew we would suffer, and as suffer- 
ing could not be prevented by him, he could not longer witness 
such distress among the men and would resign. In a land where 
there was plenty for all, the prisoners were entitled to the rights 
of humanity, but under the orders from headquarters he could 
not prevent the conditions of their sad lot and would resign his 

Following Colonel Brown came little General Mullino (some 
spell it Mullnix), whose treatment of the prisoners was very bad. 
Matters continued thus until the close of the war, when all the 
prisoners were paroled and sent home. 

After the war, Captain Mathews, without a dime in his pocket, 
began a business in life which has been very successful. He 
started out as a photographer, taking the whole of West Virginia 
for his field, and followed this until 1868, when he married and 
went to farming. On May 7, 1868, he was united in wedlock with 
Mary Elizabeth Hoylman, they taking up their residence in Green- 
brier county. She was a daughter of George W. and Nancy A. 
(Fleshman) Hoylman. Their son, Charles Forest, was born in 
this district, September 27, 1873, an< i i s their only child. 

Captain Mathews made his money principally buying and sell- 
ing timber lands and dealing in cattle, horses and sheep. He owns 
a farm of two thousand acres of land and it is among the best in 
Greenbrier county. The house was erected by Col. Andrew Hum- 
phreys, father of Milton W. Humphreys, the mathematician, and 
in 1906 the captain enlarged the building to its present commo- 
dious size. In 1873 he started his store, and in addition to farming, 
has been engaged also along commercial lines. 

During his whole life, Captain Mathews has been a very busy 
man. His career has been a strenuous one and to the highest de- 
gree, not only as a farmer and a merchant, but he filled the 
office of postmaster ten or twelve years ; was road commissioner 
for about twenty years, and was one of the best in Greenbrier 


county. In military matters he and Mrs. Mathews have ever been 
before the public. For the past four years the captain has filled 
the office of adjutant-general of the First West Virginia Brigade, 
while he has been a delegate to all the Confederate reunions, not 
only in the State of West Virginia, but in all the other states ; 
and ever since the beginning, Mrs. Mathews has always stood 
nobly by her husband, attending with him the meetings, no matter 
in what place or State they were held. She is very favorably and 
quite extensively known all through the South as a very great 
friend to all the old Confederate soldiers. She is now and has 
been matron of the Immortal Six Hundred since its organization, 
and is toasted and banqueted by the grand old heroes at all their 
National reunions. 

Note. A letter from Maj. J. F. Harding, who was a member 
of Stonewall Jackson's army of Northern Virginia, is published in 
part because of the compliment paid to Capt. J. W. Mathews. The 
'.etter speaks for itself. It says : 

"My recollection of yourself both as a private Confederate 
soldier, an officer in our army, a picture taker and as a comrade 
attending our re-union here is not only very distinct but very 
pleasant, as indeed it is of all the old Confederates with whom 
1 ever associated in the times that 'tried men's souls and friend- 
ships,' and I don't suppose any one living has a more vivid recol- 
lection of war incidents than I. Some of said incidents were 
fraught with all the horrors of internecine warfare, carrying with 
them life and death: — Some were of less import — even humorous. 

"It was upon the patriotism and gallantry of just such soldiers 
that the immortal fame of our peerless Lee and our fearless 
Jackson rested, and still rests upon — whose bravery, constancy 
and suffering excited the admiration and wonder of the world, 
and was, and is, the pride of the South ; whose greatest heritage 
it is. 

"These were the men of whom Stonewall Jackson said when 
General Lee asked him if they could stand the heavy firing at 
Gaine's Mill, 'Yes, general, they can stand anything: — they can 
stand that' ; and of whom General Lee himself, hter, said to 
General Hood that 'There never were such men in an army be- 
fore : — They will go anywhere and do anything, if properly led.' 
It was enough of glory to be a high private in the rear ranks of 
such an army — -possibly more than vou or I will attain to here- 



Some four miles from Ronceverte and eleven from White 
Sulphur is to be found one of the wonders of the Virginias. As 
a surprise it is greater than the Natural Bridge in Virginia, and 
as a cave it is equal in some respects to the Mammoth Cave in 
Kentucky. Organ Cave is the wonder of Greenbrier county and 
as one of the great natural freaks of nature it has been celebrated 
as such by the thousands of visitors to that place from all parts 
of the world. 

Organ Cave was so named by James H. Boone, its owner, 
whose farm lies just above it. As to its area, its extent is more 
in length than breadth, although the huge cavern in places oc- 
cupies enormous spaces, being something over a mile in length. 
When taking into account its more enormous passageways, it 
would, if spread over land, make considerable of a plain. 

The cave gets its name "Organ"' from a natural one formed 
by white stalactites that is formed in a large auditorium about 
one-half mile from the entrance. Very much like a large temple, 
circular as to form and dome-like as to shape, is the auditorium, 
large enough to seat a vast congregation, if it indeed was ever 
used as such aeons of ages ago before some terrific convulsion 
buried it as a place of worship and adoration. If it was not 
an artificial temple in prehistoric times, the petrifications have 
made it look like one. The white stalagmites gives an exact 
reproduction of a large pipe organ — at least by striking on the 
different pipes notes of remarkable purity and strength are re- 
produced. Stalactites and stalagmites add grace and beauty, not 
only here but in other parts of the cave, and excite wonder when- 
ever noticed. 

In another part of the cave the saltpeter works of the Southern 
Confederacy were located. Fifty or more of those large hoppers 
for making powder are reminders of the work done there for 
the Confederate soldiers of the Civil war. 

Organ Cave has been made an object of interest to the tourist 
at considerable cost and labor by its owner, J. H. Boone. A per- 
fect electric system for lighting the cave has enhanced the scenes 
of the underground auditorium, some of which are extensive. 
Good walks lead to any and all points of interest along shore 
lines' of miniature lakes, and through many long subterranean 
avenues and vast underground caverns. Hundreds of electric 
lights illuminate the darkened passageways and some thousands 
of dollars have been expended to make visits here of worth and 


long to be remembered. As a natural wonder it has to be seen 
to be appreciated. 

James H. Boone, owner of Organ Cave, son of George W. 
Boone, was born in October, 1850. He was reared on a farm 
and received his education in the country school. He married 
Miss Amanda C. Miller December 20, 1876. A permanent resi- 
dence was afterwards made on the farm now known as "Organ 
Cave," and they have since resided at that place. To that union 
have been born a large family of eleven children, namely : Mary 
A. R., October 19, 1877; Margaret P., February 14, 1880; Clar- 
ence A., April 18, 1882; Cecil M., July 10, 1884; Cenia M., Jan- 
uary 18, 1886; Henry R., April 13, 1888; Hunter Miller, Septem- 
ber 20, 1890 ; Lelia M., December 23, 1892 ; Isabel J., February 20, 
1895; Raymond W., March 20, 1897; Anne E., July 20, 1899; 
Reva V., March 6, 1902. 

Besides farming, Mr. Boone gives much time to directing 
tourists through the cave and to make it as interesting as possible 
to persons who visit the place. 


Lewisburg has two banks and each does a thriving business. 
The Bank of Lewisburg and its cashier, William E. Nelson, have 
been inseparably connected for almost thirty years. 

After his school course in the old Lewisburg Academy, in 
1881, Mr. Nelson has been behind the counter practically ever 
since. His business acquaintance first began as a clerk in the 
store. In 1889 he was made teller in the Bank of Ronceverte. 
In 1891 he became bookkeeper in the Bank of Lewisburg, a po- 
sition he held six years. He was then elected to his present 
position of cashier and vice-president of the bank in 1897. 

Mr. Nelson was born on January 19, 1865, and was the 
son of Elizabeth Edgar and G. K. Nelson. His mother was born 
June 25, 1833, near Liberty, Va. She was married to Mr. 
Nelson, who was born on February 15, 1828, near Union, W. Va., 
on September 1, 1859. William E. Nelson was their only child. 

Mr. Nelson, our subject, was married on January 29, 1890, to 
Susie J. Lipps, a daughter of John and Mary Lipps. They have 
four children : Mary Elizabeth, Susie Lynn, Margaret Edgar 
and Dorothy Ogan. 

Mr. Nelson is actively engaged in church and civic life. He 


takes an interest in all things that go toward the betterment of 
his community and fellowmen. He is connected with the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church, South, of Lewisburg, and is the superin- 
tendent of its Sunday school, having filled that position seven 
years. Under his administration the school has become one of 
the most prosperous of its kind in the State. In the social walks 
of life Mr. Nelson is identified with a number of organizations, 
being a member of the Masonic fraternity of the thirty-second 
degree. He is also a past master of Greenbrier Lodge No. 42, 
A. F. & A. M. ; a past high priest of Ronceverte Chapter No. 21, 
R. A. M ; a past commander of Greenbrier Commandery No. 15. 
K. T. ; a member of West Virginia Consistory No. 1, Wheeling, 
W. Va., and Beni Kedem Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Charles- 
ton, W. Va. 


The emigrant who established in Greenbrier county the family 
bearing the name White was William White ( 1 ) , who came from 
Omagh, in the Province of Ulster, North Ireland, in the summer of 
1817 and built a home in the Tuckahoe Draft, near the White 
Sulphur Springs. 

William White (I.) was born about 1780, the only child of 
George White and his wife, Sarah Calwell, who lived in a com- 
fortable stone house near the town of Omagh, in Tyrone county, 
North Ireland. The house, and the land upon which it was located, 
were owned by George White and his wife and they gave to their 
home the name "Fourth Hill". Whether George White was of 
English or of Scottish descent is not certainly known. Most 
probably, however, he was a Scot, for he held title to a tract of land 
of considerable size in that part of the Province of Ulster which 
was settled during the reign of the Stuart sovereigns almost en- 
tirely by emigrants from the Lowlands of Scotland. Moreover, 
he was bound by the ties of blood and marriage in close relation- 
ship to the Scottish families of Calwell. Gibson, Hunter and Orr, 
who lived near him in Ulster. 

George White died when his son, William, was yet in early 
childhood. A year or two later, Sarah Calwell White became the 


wife of a landholder named Booth, and the child, William White, 
was received by adoption into the home of his uncle, Robert White. 
In that home he received an education that was somewhat exten- 
sive in the line of mathematical studies. Consequently, during a 
part of that period of his life which he spent in Ireland William 
White was engaged in the work of teaching, thus aiding his friends 
and relatives in Tyrone to maintain the intellectual and moral 
standards which they had brought with them from Scotland. 

With reference to the little town of Omagh, county-seat of 
Tyrone, Macaulay tells us in his History of England (III., 160), 
that in 1689, when the Roman Catholic army of King James II. 
was advancing northward to subjugate the people of Ulster, the 
citizens of Omagh "destroyed their own dwellings so utterly that 
no roof was left to shelter the enemy from the rain and wind." 
They then withdrew, in company with the other Scotch-Irish inhab- 
itants of Ulster, behind the walls of the city of Londonderry, and 
there, as Macaulay declares, this "imperial race turned desperately 
to bay," and by courage and strenuous fighting, held the place 
against every assault made by the forces of James II., and thus 
saved Ireland for the Protestant cause. The leader of the Protest- 
ants at that time was the Prince of Orange, who, in consequence 
of the final overthrow of James II. in the battle of the Boyne River, 
was firmly established as the Presbyterian king of England, Scot- 
land and Ireland. A century later, the men of Ulster, young and 
old alike, enrolled themselves in companies as Orangemen, so 
named in honor of their Protestant hero. In 1798, therefore, 
when William White was about eighteen years of age, he enlisted 
in a company of Orangemen at Omagh. In that same year the 
British government organized the Orangemen as an armed force 
and used them in suppressing the insurrection which broke out 
among the Roman Catholic inhabitants of southern Ireland. In 
1804, when Napoleon was making preparations to cross the Eng- 
lish Channel and invade the British Isles, the government organ- 
ized some of the Orangemen who had seen active service in 1798 
as regiments in the regular army. Consequently, when William 
White was about twenty-four years old he received a commission as 



captain in the Omagh Infantry, a regiment forming a part of that 
British arm)' which took position behind its heavy guns along the 
various coasts to await the coming of the invading forces. One of 
the descendants of William White has now in possession the bronze 
buckle worn on his sword-belt and also the piece of bronze that 
formed the end of the sword-scabbard. The buckle bears the 
arms of Great Britain, with the inscription, "Omagh Infantry." 
William White remained some years as an officer in the British 
army, and in that capacity, among other attainments, acquired 
great skill in the use of the short sword as a weapon of offense 
and defense. 

About 1807 William White married Rebekah Orr, whose 
mother's maiden name was Ritchie. From this union were born, 
in Ireland, two daughters, Anne and Elizabeth, and one son, Rob- 
ert, named after his father's uncle. In 1817 William White sold 
his land and his house near Omagh to a relative named Robert 
Rowe Ryland White, and sailed from Belfast, with his family, 
on board the ship "Lord Nelson". He had sold also his commis- 
sion as captain in the British army, in accordance with the cus- 
tom of that day, and with the funds obtained from the disposal of 
land, house, and military commission, he expected to establish a 
comfortable home upon land which he had already obtained in 

In 1790, Beverley Randolph, Governor of Virginia, issued an 
executive warrant, conveying to William White, as assignee of 
John Dickison Littlepage, 427 acres of land in Tuckahoe Draft, 
on a branch of Howard's creek, in Greenbrier county. At the 
time when this tract of land was thus deeded to him, William 
White was only ten years of age. Some relative, most probably 
his uncle, Robert White, purchased for him this land, which 
seemed to people dwelling in Ireland to be an extensive estate. 
After holding it twenty-seven years, he decided to transfer his 
family to Virginia. In company with him, on board the ship, a 
number of his relatives and friends also sailed for the United 
States. Among these were his brothers-in-law, James Orr and 
William Orr ; his half-brother. Tames Booth, with the latter's wife, 


Rebekah Ager (Adger) Booth, and a number of members of the 
related families of Ager and Forbes. During the long voyage, 
another son, William White (II.), was born. Eleven weeks were 
spent in making the journey across the Atlantic, and then the good 
ship, "Lord Nelson", ran upon the rocks near Halifax, Nova 
Scotia. The passengers were all saved from the broken vessel and 
placed on board another ship, which brought them to the port of 

When William White and his family at length arrived in 
Greenbrier county their disappointment was very great. The large 
landed estate was there, but it was covered with a dense forest, 
and a part of it lay upon the steep mountain slopes. Fortunately, 
however, their financial resources enabled them to clear the land 
near the mountain stream, a branch of Howard's creek, and to 
build first a log house and afterwards a more comfortable dwell- 
ing, about two miles from the White Sulphur Springs. William 
White had brought with him his sword and his skill as a swords- 
man ; he had also his books, a number of them dealing with sub- 
jects in the higher mathematics, and some were books of history. 
Moreover, his memory was stored with the poems of Burns and of 
Scott. But he did not acquire much skill in that art which is of the 
highest value to a home builder in the heart of a forest — the art of 
wielding the ax. Three more sons were born in the home — James 
White, George White, and Richard White — and these, with their 
older brothers, Robert and William (II.), were constrained to 
spend their early years in planting and in harvesting crops for the 
maintenance of the entire family. Consequently, their education 
was limited almost entirely to the instruction which they received 
from the father and the mother at home. This training included, 
however, the reading of the volumes brought from Ireland, and the 
love for books thus implanted, remained as a permanent posses- 
sion through life. James Orr, the brother-in-law, lived in the 
Tuckahoe Draft with his family for about twenty years. He then 
removed to Indiana, where his sons attained to large influence in 
both public and private life. The half-brother, James Booth, also 
made his home near William White until 1839, when he trans- 


ferred his family to Illinois. There they have become prosperous. 
William White (I.) remained upon the estate near White Sulphur 
until his death in 1849. His last will reveals the fact that in ac- 
cordance with the custom that then prevailed, he was a slaveholder. 
His wife outlived him many years and at length entered into rest 
in 1874, in the eighty-eighth year of her age. 

William White (II.), in 1842, married Margaret Dickson, 
daughter of Richard Dickson, then the most extensive planter on 
Second creek in Monroe county. The maiden name of Margaret 
Dickson's mother was Hamilton. In the home which William 
White (II.) established in the Irish Corner District in Greenbrier 
county three children were born by his first wife, William Hamil- 
ton, James Dickson and Margaret Dickson. William Hamilton 
White, born February 5, 1844, in Monroe county, was a Confed- 
erate soldier and served in the Twenty-sixth Virginia Regiment 
from the fall of 1861 until discharged at the close of the war, in 
1866. He married Sarah Y. Gibson on March 2, 1870. She was 
a daughter of Thomas Gibson, who was a Confederate soldier, 
also. To this union were born (1) Lillian (Mrs. Oliver Hum- 
phries), (2) Rebecca (/Mrs. James Vahn), (3) Nanny 
Bell (Mrs. Samuel R. Jackson), (4) Blanche, (Mrs. S. L. Wal- 
lace), (5) Samuel, who married Miss Myrtle Boone, (6) Thomas, 
who married Miss Bessie Lowance, (7) Alice (Mrs. Ira Eakle), 
(8) James Orr, who married Miss Jane Boone. James Dickson 
White married Elizabeth Sydenstricker and left three children: 
(1) Lula N. White, (2) William White, and (3) Catharine White 
(M. McDowell). Margaret Dickson White married James R. 
Crawford and left children in Missouri. 

William White married, as his second wife, Mary Gibson- 
Irwin, daughter of John Irwin, whose father, John Irwin, came 
from Augusta county to Greenbrier soon after the American Rev- 
olution. John Irwin, born in Greenbrier, rendered many public 
services in behalf of the people of his native county. For several 
years he served as one of the county supervisors. His wife was 
Jane McClure, daughter of John McClure, who came to Greenbrier 
from County Down, North Ireland. 


Mary Gibson Irwin, daughter of John Irwin and Jane 
McClure, was a woman of great intelligence, of gracious tactful- 
ness, and marked by strong religious faith. She was a devout 
member of the Scotch Covenanter Church, Lebanon, in Monroe 
county. She was the mother of two sons, Nelson White, so named 
in honor of the ship upon which his father was born, and Henry 
Alexander White. 

William White (II.) was six feet in height, robust in frame, 
and was possessed of strong mental powers. He inherited from 
his father a decided talent for mathematics and a taste for reading 
books of history. His memory was well stored with the poems of 
Burns and Scott. He fitted himself to become a land surveyor, 
and for many years held the official position of surveyor of Green- 
brier county. His skill in the use of the surveyor's compass and 
his retentive memory concerning old lines of division between 
landed estates enabled him to render a most efficient public service. 

The Irish Corner, which should properly be called the Scotch- 
Irish Corner, is that part of Greenbrier county lying for the most 
part between the Greenbrier river and Second creek. It was set- 
tled almost entirely by Scottish people who had dwelt for a time 
in North Ireland. The life of the people who lived in this corner 
between the river and the creek was almost an exact copy of the 
mode of living that prevails in a village of old Scotland. The 
center of life in the Scotch-Irish Corner was Salem, the Presby- 
terian church. Good public schools were always maintained, and a 
high standard of intelligence prevailed among the people. An 
academy under the Presbyterian pastor, Rev. George Tate Lyle, a 
Scotch-Irishman from Augusta county, made complete the local 
system of education. Prof. Edgar H. Marquess was Mr. Lyle's 
successor in this worthy and beneficent labor. The inhabitants of 
this agricultural community were energetic Scots and landholders 
and all toiled with their own hands to win a living from the soil. 
William White and Mary Irwin White continued to dwell in this 
quiet country community until death called them hence. The hus- 
band died in 1898 and the wife in 1906. Their son, Nelson, was 
educated in the public schools of the community, and by his energy 



and enterprise has attained good success as a planter and stock- 
raiser. He married Susan Rodgers, daughter of Daniel Rodgers, 
of Greenbrier county. The son, Henry, attended the public schools 
and the local academy, where he was fitted for entrance into the 
regular classes in the Washington and Lee University. 

Henry Alexander White was graduated from the Washington 
and Lee University with the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor 
of Philosophy. Afterwards, he was graduated from Princeton 
Theological Seminary, and was ordained as a Presbyterian min- 
ister by the Lexington Presbytery. From 1889 until 1902 he was 
professor of history in the Washington and Lee University. Since 
1902 he has been professor of New Testament Greek in the Co- 
lumbia Theological Seminary, in South Carolina. His principal 
writings are the following : "Life of Robert E. Lee," published in 
New York and London ; "Life of Stonewall Jackson," published in 
Philadelphia; "History of the United States for High Schools," 
published in Boston; "Beginner's History of the United States," 
published in New York ; "The Making of South Carolina," pub- 
lished' in Boston ; "The Pentateuch in the Light of the Ancient 
Monuments" (Richmond) ; "Southern Presbyterian Leaders,," 
published in New York ; address at the semi-centennial of the 
founding of the Southern Presbyterian Church (delivered at Lou- 
isville, Ky.). In addition, a number of other addresses have been 
printed. He has received the honorary degrees of Doctor of Di- 
vinity and Doctor of Laws ; honorary member of the Phi Beta 
Kappa of William and Mary College, Virginia ; member of the 
Victoria Institute, London ; member of the Executive Committee 
of the Scotch-Irish Society of America. He married Frances B. 


The Level family are one of Irish descent. The first one of 
that name to settle in Greenbrier county was James Level, but 
just when he emigrated to America is not definitely known. It 
was after the War of 181 2. A residence was taken up by him 


where Charles Beckner now lives, two miles west of Ronceverte. 
His first wife was Miss Mary McClure. Children born to this 
union were: Margaret, born in 1822; David M., January 1, 
1824; George, November g % 1825; Elizabeth N., 1828; and Wil- 
liam F., a half brother, whose mother was Miss Mary Adair, 
who was his second wife. William Level, the youngest son, was 
born October 29, 1832. George Level is the only member of the 
family now living. He was a Mexican soldier, and, nothwith- 
standing he was shot through the head, is still living at the ad- 
vanced age of ninety-two years. The ball entered the eye, and 
passing through the head, came out at the back of his neck. He 
is a resident of Mookane, Mo. William Level entered the Con- 
federate service early in the strife and was killed in 1862 at the 
battle of Fayetteville, W. Va. His wife was a Miss Sarah Gib- 
son, daughter of Robert H. Gibson and Mary Spotts. They 
were married February 7, 1856, and to this union were born two 
children : Robert A. Level and his sister, Mary J. The mother, 
now in her eighty-second year, still survives. 

Robert A. Level, like his father and grandfather before him, 
is a farmer and stock raiser. He lives on the old Level home- 
stead in the Irish Corner district, near Organ Cave. The old 
house, erected over seventy-five years ago. was a veritable man- 
sion in its day, and as to things substantial and comfortable is 
not second to some others more palatial of these later times. 
The farm consists of 300 acres of choice lands, purchased by 
James Level in 1840. It originally belonged to the Dr. Creigh 
estate and was bought for $1,400. 

On May 23, 1878, Robert A. Level married Johanna Hog- 
sett, daughter of Hugh and Nancy J. (Robinson) Hogsett, of 
Monroe county, and the children born to this union were: 
(1) William H., born February 18, 1870; his wife was Miss 
Mayme Boone, daughter of William A. Boone. No children. He 
lives at Oak Hill, Fayette county, West Virginia, and is a traveling 
salesman for a commercial house. (2) Mary Delia, born Sep- 
tember 14, 1880, died March 4, 1893. (3) George Wallace, born 
March 7, 1882, married Margaret Pinkney Boone, daughter of 


J. H. Boone, and to this union were born five children living and 
one dead : Madge, James Robert, Kathleen, Wallace and William. 
(4) Florence Ufa, born January 27, 1884; married Charles Ad- 
dison Van Stavern and lives in Sinks Grove, Monroe county. 
They have two children, Elizabeth and Polly. (5) Lora Adair, 
born April 27, 1887, died December 16, 1899. (6) Margaret 
Ruth, born September 16, 1890. (7) Clara Jane, born July 8, 

As one of the successful farmers of the county, Robert A. 
Level has been frequently selected as one of its representative 
citizens, and his name at this time appears on the Democratic 
ticket as a candidate for deputy sheriff. 


William A. Boone, sheriff of Greenbrier county, is a descend- 
ant of John Boone, of whom Daniel Boone, of international 
fame, was a half-uncle. Originally the Boones, or de Boones, as 
the name was then spelled, were French Huguenots. When 
driven out of France, some of them went to Scotland, some 
settled in Wales and England, and some went to Ireland. Daniel 
Boone was of English descent, John Boone, before mentioned, 
went to Kentucky with Daniel, but, not liking the country, re- 
turned to Virginia, finally locating in Irish Corner, of this county. 

John Boone had a son, Henry, who was born in 1800. Henry 
was the father of George Washington Boone, who was the father 
of the present sheriff of Greenbrier county. 

The children of Henry, named in order, were: George W., 
Alexander, William H., Catherine, Delia, Sallie A., Martha, Hen- 
derson and Lewis A., a soldier in the Confederate army, who 
was shot through the neck. Madison served for a short time on 
the Federal side. George, the father of William A., died in 1889, 
over sixty years of age. He was a successful farmer, as his 
father was before him. 

George Boone married Elizabeth Robinson, and from this 


union came Ruth ]., ]. H., Sarah A., William A., R. L., Nannie 
S., Margaret A., Verna and Delia. Ruth married R. A. Price, 
Margaret married J. C. Watkins, Delia married J. L. Watkins, 
Verna married J. W. McDowell, now of Monoe county. 

William A. Boone was born August 28, 1855. He married 
Ida Carruth, a most estimable lady, born in Kansas. She was 
the daughter of Edwin H. Carruth, an Indian agent in the em- 
ploy of the Government in Indian Territory, and Mary Price, a 
missionary in charge of the Creek and Cherokee tribes. E. H. 
Carruth received his commission from Abraham Lincoln. The 
daughter was born in Oklahoma in 1861. 

The children born of this union were Mayme C, wife of W. H. 
Level, now of Fayette county ; Fred, who died at the age of 
seventeen years ; a daughter who died in infancy ; Grace, the wife 
of E. S. Lauhonn, now of Catlettsburg, Ky. ; Charles Edwin ; 
Kate E., wife of Dr. E. S. Hamilton, now of Fayette county ; 
Gratton, who died at the age of two years, and Vivian, now in 

Charles Edwin Boone was born October 7, 1888. He com- 
pleted his work in school by one term in the normal college at 
Huntington, after which he took a business course in Richmond, 
leaving that institution in 1907. After this he remained two years 
in the postoffice at White Sulphur Springs, then for four years 
he was bookkeeper and teller in the First National Bank at Ron- 
ceverte. On January 1, 1913, he came to Lewisburg as deputy 
sheriff, which position he now holds. 

On August 26, 1914, Mr. Boone was married to Miss Lucy 
Withrow McClung. She is the daughter of Thomas W. and 
Elizabeth Estill McClung, of Lewisburg. 

Mr. Boone is fraternally connected with several lodges. As 
a Mason, he is a member of Shryock Lodge, No. 47 ; Odel Squier 
Long Lodge of Perfection, No. 3 ; Scottish Rite and Ronceverte 
Royal Arch Chapter, No. 21; Greenbrier Commandery, No. 15; 
Beni Kedem Temple, Charleston, W. Va. 

Mr. and Mrs. Boone worship with the Presbyterians in the 
Old Stone Church. 


The Boones have been farmers from the time of their first 
settlement in the county. With but one or two exceptions, they 
have affiliated with the Republican party, and the election of Wil- 
liam A. Boone, in 1912, to the office of sheriff bespeaks the high 
standing of this staunch Republican in a county overwhelmingly 


Among the large farmers of this county and extensive coal 
operators of West Virginia, is W. F. Boone, who lives on a 600- 
acre tract of land near Ronceverte. He was the son of William 
H. Boone, of Fayette county, and was born and reared on a farm 
there on June 7, 1856. His education was completed at Mar- 
shall College, where he took the degree of A. B. in 1890. For 
thirty-two years after leaving college, he became actively engaged 
with his brothers as a coal operator, and besides their agricultural 
pursuit, the Boone brothers still own and control large interests 
in the mining fields of Fayette county and elsewhere. In 1878, 
W. F. Boone was elected sheriff of Fayette county, and held that 
office four years. In 1907. he moved to his present residence in 
Greenbrier county, where, besides following his agricultural pur- 
suits, he deals extensively as a broker and in live stock. He is 
director in two banks and owns much bank stock also. 

On June 21, 1894, Mr. Boone married Miss Hortense Collown, 
daughter of W. W. Collown, of Virginia, and took up his resi- 
dence on New Creek, Fayette county. From this union were 
born five children, namely: W. Harrison, Io, Lois, Neva, and 
Charlotte, all living and none married. 


Robert H. Boone was born in Fayette county January 15, 
1853, the eldest son of the late William H. and Sarah (Mc- 
Dowell) Boone, who moved from Greenbrier to Fayette in De- 


cember, 1852. Robert H. Boone was educated in the district 
schools and went one term to Lewisburg High School in 1877. 
He taught school three consecutive winters in Irish Corner dis- 
trict ; graduated from Eastman National Business College at 
Poughkeepsie, N. Y. November 10, 1880, he entered the employ 
of Beury, Cooper & Co. as bookkeeper and store manager at 
Caperton, W. Va., and served nearly eight years. He married 
Sallie R. Patton, youngest daughter of the late R. M. and Mar- 
garet (Level) Patton; elected sheriff of Fayette county in No- 
vember, 1888, and served the term of four years to the entire 
satisfaction of all. His administration is pointed to yet with 
pride by the pople of Fayette. He moved into Irish Corner dis- 
trict in 1893, and has since given his energy and effort to the care 
of his farm and family ; has four sons — Walter H., Thomas, 
Wheeler, and Frank — all successful business men, and one daugh- 
ter, Miss Myrtle, at home. 

Mr. Boone is now the nominee of the Republican party for 
State Senator from this district, and it remains to be seen whether 
the Democratic party can defeat a man who has succeeded so 
well in whatever he has undertaken. 


The Rodgers family in Greenbrier county is a very old one. 
Michael Rodgers and his wife, Catherine, emigrated from Ire- 
land and settled in Irish Corner on about 1,000 acres of wood-land 
before the Revolution. It is almost certain that Michael Rodgers 
was a soldier in that war. The family located where J. Harrison 
Burdette now lives and the old house stood until just a few 
years ago. The orchard served the family well and faithfully ; 
some of the trees, true to life, are still bearing fruit. A record 
of this entry can probably be found in Richmond, Va. In the 
general index of deeds, in the Greenbrier records, is found a 
grant of land by Samuel Carrell to Michael Rodgers of 123 
acres on Second Creek. Deed made in the year 1797. 



Children born to Mr. and Mrs. Michael Rodgers were : Sally, 
Michael, James, John. Ibbie, Ida, Eli, Daniel, most of whom set- 
tled in the West and all now dead. 

Daniel Rodgers married Elizabeth Coffman. Children born to 
this union were: (i) Sarah Ann, now Mrs. Robert McDowell; 
(2) Christopher M., deceased; (3) Catherine, Mrs.. J. Harrison 
Burdette, residents of the old home place; (4) James Madison; 
(5) Mrs. Mary Humphries; (6) Samuel Eli, his wife was Emma 
Williams, now dead; (7) Mrs. Susan J., wife of Nelson White. 

Daniel Rodgers, son of Michael, was born August 16, 
1813, and died May 7. 1882. He was a farmer and stock raiser, 
and lived where Samuel Rodgers lives now. Farming and stock 
raising has been, and is yet, the business of all of the Rodgers 


Eli Rodgers married Charlotte Hoke, and to this union were 
born six children: Nathan, now in Missouri; Nannie, married 
John Crawford and is dead ; Michael, of Covington, Va., married 
twice, Miss Nickell and Mrs. McCormic ; Sarah C, married twice, 
first to Samuel Coffman, second to John McCoy, now living in 


James Madison Rodgers is known as one of Greenbrier's 
substantial farmers and stock raisers. His farm, consisting of 
800 acres of land, is well adapted for agricultural purposes and 
fruit culture, and with its annual income proportionate to its 
area, is valuable property. The place was bought of Eli Rodgers 
in April, 1883. October 24, 1902, a destructive fire burned three 
barns, two granaries and other outbuildings, making a loss of 
about $7,000, but during the year following they were all rebuilt. 

James Madison Rodgers was born January 15, 1850. On 
November 29, 1877, he married Miss Emma Dunsmore, born 
January 2, 1858, and for six years following a residence was 
maintained in the Ft. Spring vicinity before moving to their pres- 
ent one. Mrs. Rodgers was a native of Monroe county. Her 
grandfather, James Dunsmore, died there about fifty years ago. 
His son, Andrew Lewis Dunsmore, born in 1826, married Miss 
Martha Evens. He died Novmeber 22, 1896. She died Decern- 


ber 16, 1907. While a young man he spent some years in the 
West, but at the request of his parents returned finally to the old 

Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. James Madison 
Rodgers: Emory Earl, August 1, 1879; Sidney Burton, May 21, 
1881; Ethel Gray, November 28, 1882, died October 28, 1886; 
Homer Dale, October 31, 1884; Cecil Carl, August 25, 1886; 
Martha Estelle, December 5, 1889; Dessie Alma, November 3, 
1891 ; James Lester, January 14, 1894; Mary Leon, December 
13. 1898. 

Emory Earl Rodgers was married to Miss Lelia Ethel Bowles, 
September 24, 1904. They have three children, two now living : 
Lillian Ethel and Jessie Leona. 

Sidney Burton Rodgers was married to Miss Lelia Christie 
June 2, 1908, and they are the parents of three children : Lucile. 
Edith and Frank. 

Homer D. Rodgers married Miss Bertha Byrd December 22, 
1908, and they have two children : Fred and Ethel. 

Martha Estelle Rodgers married Rev. R. M. Millard, of Chat 
tanooga. They are now living at Athens, Tenn. No children. 
Rev. Mr. Millard is dean of the college at Athens. 


The first of the name of Miller, so far as the records go, was 
Daniel Miller. He was a native of Lancaster, Pa., and moved to 
the Mossy creek section of Augusta county about 1730. He built 
the first iron foundry in the Valley of Virginia, and died in 1796, 
one of the wealthiest men in the county. He was an uncle of Daniel 
Boone, and Boone was named for him and apprenticed to him to 
learn the trade of iron founder. He was of German descent and 
an elder of Augusta county in 1790. 

His wife was originally Mary Craig, and was married three 
times. Her first husband was John Groves, by whom she had three 
children : John, Martha and Elizabeth. Her second husband was 
Daniel Miller, by whom she also had three children: William. 



James and Margaret. Her third husband was Robert Martin, by 
whom she had four children : Robert, Samuel, Polly and Susan. 
Robert Martin, who came with his family from Augusta county, 
Virginia, settled on Camp creek, Nicholas county (?) near T. 
Bails'. Hei cleaned off a piece of land and built a mill, about the 
year 1805. He remained here for some years, then went away and 
was never heard from again. His wife was an industrious woman 
and a good manager and successfully reared her family and accu- 
mulated some means, eventually buying a farm. After her children 
all married and left home she kept a boarding house, where the 
circuit judge and lawyers all stopped during court times until ac- 
commodations were prepared at Summersville. 

The will of Daniel Miller is given in full in Chockley's Annals 
of Augusta, also a complete list of his children. After bequeathing 
practically all of his estate to his wife, who was Mary Craig, and 
their three children, William, James and Margaret, he later in the 
will leaves five shillings each to "My sons, Michael, Jacob, Daniel, 
and Samuel Miller," and "To my daughter, Catherine Miller," all 
"in lieu of" birthright. These five children were probably by a 
former wife. 

William Miller, son of Daniel Miller, died in 1877, aged 86 
years. His wife, Susan, died in 1871. He had one brother, James, 
in Augusta, and one sister, Margaret Foster, in Nicholas. He 
bought land from Joseph McNutt and in all owned over 300 acres. 

He married Susanna Fitzwater, and three sons were born of 
their union : Isaac, William G. and James, and three daughters, 
Elizabeth, Judah and Susan. 

In 1807, Thomas Fitzwater, who was reared in Buckingham 
county, Virginia, came to Nicholas county from Greenbrier county 
with his family of nine children. He bought land of Captain 
George Fitzwater, cleared out a large farm and made a comfortable 
living. His wife was Mary Cuhan, of Irish descent, her mother 
being of English descent. 

Thomas and Mary Fitzwater were the grandparents of William 
G. Miller on his mother's side, and Daniel and Mary Miller on his 
father's side. He was born April 20, 1827, and was married twice, 
his first wife being Isabel McVeigh (1831-1866). Four children 


were born to this union : Alex. McVeigh, who married Mrs. Mittie 
(Point) Davis, who developed a decided literary talent and has 
written seventy-five novels. She lives in Alderson, but spends 
most of her winters in Washington, D. C. ; Dr. Charles W. ; Mollie, 
who married George T. Argabrite, and Nancy. He moved to 
Greenbrier in 1870, after his marriage to Mrs. Malinda (Patton) 
Alderson, and remained there until his death, October 10, 1908. 
One child, Nora (widow of Rev. C. H. Peck), was given them. 
He lived a quiet, contented, unostentatious life on the farm, where 
the latch-string always hung on the outside, where the stranger 
was always welcomed to share the generous and unstinted hos- 
pitality of a well ordered, happy home. 

Greenbrier had no better citizen than William G. Miller. In- 
dependent, pronounced in his views, with well formed opinions on 
all questions touching the welfare of State, county, community, 
he was at the same time modest, unassuming, was respected and 
honored by all as a man of high character and sterling integrity 
in all his dealings. He had a kind heart, a willing hand ; the poor 
of his community know his goodness and charity were sure and 
unfailing. His wife, Mrs. Malinda Miller, died November 14, 
191 1, at the old home where she had lived for nearly fifty-five 
years. She united with the Sinks Grove Baptist church when she 
was seventeen years old. She transferred her membership to the 
Greenbrier Baptist church when she was first married and came 
to Alderson to live. For sixty years she walked with the Lord 
with unswerving fidelity. She was a woman of the clearest con- 
victions, of strongest faith, and of great firmness of character. 
Her devotion to the church of Christ was most marked, and the 
old records of Greenbrier Baptist church, in which she spent more 
than half a century of service, bear their testimony to her great 


Neola is one of the active centers of Greenbrier county. It took 
its start after the Civil war and became a place of consequence in 
the time of Jacob Dysard and James Clark, both of this place, and 


men of character. Mr. Dysard owned some five or six hundred 
acres of land in this vicinity, with dwelling house on the other side 
of Anthony's creek, about opposite the place where George Lynn 
Clark now lives. His daughter, Mary, was married to James 
Clark. Her father was a native of Pocahontas county. 

George Lynn Clark, son of James Clark and grandson of Jacob 
Dysard, added several improvements to the old homestead. He 
owns and operates a general store and a saw mill, and besides 
cultivating a large farm, manufactures six or seven hundred thou- 
sand feet of lumber every year for the general market. He is a 
woodsman of experience, having rafted logs on the Greenbrier 
for nearly a score of years. As a merchant of fifteen years' ex- 
perience, he has been successful in building up an extensive trade 
for the people of that part of the county, and as a genial man and 
good citizen, he has many warm friends. He built his house in 
1908. On April 18, 1900, Mr. Clark married Miss Bertie Mc- 
Henry Beard, daughter of J. O. Beard. They are the parents of 
one daughter, Marie Clark. Mr. Clark has long been identified 
as a member of the Board of Education. 

Joseph B. Clark, grandfather of George Lynn Clark, was a 
native of Virginia. He was born May 1, 1800, and died July 18, 
1856. He married Christena Dressier, December 27, 1827. She 
was born January 14, 1808, and died January 31, 1869. To that 
union was born James F. Clark, May 15, 1843, one °f tne heroes 
of the Civil war. 

James F. Clark, father of George L., became a distinguished 
soldier in the Confederate army, and subsequently a member of 
the State Legislature, where he served his country and his con- 
stituency faithfully. By many he was regarded as the ablest and 
best representative the county ever had and was talked of as a 
suitable representative in Congress for the Third district. He 
was a representative of Greenbrier county in 1889 and again in 
1891, serving two terms with sufficient ability to cope with the 
best legal talent in committee rooms or on the floors of the house, 
He was a man of great courage and of marked convictions, and 
had a reputation of never having swerved from a strict sense of 


James F. Clark was born in Covington, Va., and was one of 
the few men who passed through the war without having a stain 
left on his character. His father having died when he was in his 
teens, a responsibility rested upon him while in youth which did 
much to mould his life in the right way afterward. On May 1, 
1862, he joined Bryan's Battery and stood at his post a brave sol- 
dier in twenty-one engagements, never shirking duty in camp or 
on the battle-field. Three days after the surrender of Lee's army 
his company was disbanded and he returned to Covington. Dur- 
ing that same spring he was offered a collegiate course with all 
expenses paid if he would take the iron-clad oath, but he preferred 
a clear conscience, and worked his way to an education by his 
own efforts. Five years of his life were spent in the Methodist 
Episcopal church as a minister of the Gospel, and a number of 
years in teaching in private and public schools, and he never failed 
to give perfect satisfaction. As a preacher and teacher his ser- 
vices were of a great value, as they were also when serving his 
country as a lawmaker. 

Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. James F. Clark : 
George Lynn, before mentioned ; Emma Grace Clark, and Ida Sue 
Clark, the wife of Lawrence Perry Wolfe. They were married 
August 21, 1907. 


The Miller family is of Scotch-Irish descent and is one of the 
most numerous and important in the State of West Virginia. 

Patrick Miller, the ancestor of the Millers of Greenbrier 
county, was born on the Atlantic ocean while his parents were 
emigrating to America. They settled where the city of Staunton, 
Augusta county, Virginia, was built afterwards. John Miller, 
the eldest son of Patrick, came to Lick creek, Greenbrier county, 
bringing three slaves with him, more than a hundred year ago. 
He married a Miss Jane Hodges, and they two, with the three 
slaves, Abe, Sarah and Minta, given by his father, set out over 
the Patterson mountain, finally reaching the forks of Slater 


creek, Flag Fork and Lick creek, and there he built the house 
afterwards owned by William Shumate, who purchased it from 
J. W. Alderson. 

John Miller was a carpenter by trade and built what was known 
in those days as a fine house, double story hewed logs, with a 
dressed stone chimney. 

John Ff. Miller, born September 3, 1804, and his wife, Nancy 
(Crist) Miller, born March 11, 1809, were the parents of the 
Irish Corner district Millers. Their children were: William 
Henry, born January I, 1828, died March 29, 1899; Michael Crist, 
born May 3, 1831, killed by an explosion of a boiler on the steamer 
"Eclipse" at Johnsonville, Tenn. He was drafted in the army on 
November 26, 1864, and died January 27, 1865 ; David Harvey 
Miller, born May 12, 1834, and died July 19, 1834. 

William Henry Miller, father of the present sheriff of Green- 
brier county, was a successful farmer, a staunch Republican, and 
at one time deputy sheriff of Greenbrier county. He married 
Sarah A. Hall March 1, 1855. She was born January 9, 1837, 
and died November 5, 1859. He then married Miss Elizabeth 
Margaret Erwin January 1, 1866; born August 5, 1840. She 
died November 17, 1908. His children were: John Alexander, 
born April 22, 1855, and died August 24, 1885, in Laclede county, 
Missouri; James Michael, December 19, 1856; Nancy Susan, De- 
cember 13, 1858; died November 5, 1859; Amanda Caroline, July 
29, 1869; Robert Allen (now living at St. Joseph, Mo.), October 
2, 1862; David Hunter (owner and occupant of the homestead), 
March 18, 1868; Amy Gertrude, July 27, 1875. 

James Michael Miller, sheriff of Greenbrier county, and di- 
rector in the First National Bank at Ronceverte, remained on the 
farm until twenty-two years old and then after a retail 
merchandise business in Organ Cave for nine years, came to Ron- 
ceverte and went into business for himself. That was in 1892, since 
which time he has made a large number of very influential ac- 
quaintances throughout Greenbrier county, in the merchandise 
business, selling agricultural implements, flour and feed. His 
popularity won him, in the last election for sheriff, a Republican 


majority of 299 over a vote of 482 belonging to the Republican 
ticket, and his opponent was one of the most highly esteemed cit- 
izens of the county. He served six years on the city council of 
Ronceverte and two years as recorder, and then as mayor two 

James Michael Miller married Miss Delia Ann, daughter of 
Hugh Hogsett, in October, 1893. To this union were born four 
sons and one daughter, namely: John William, Nannie Viola, 
Joseph Franklin, James Robert and Jasper Olen Miller, who died 
at the age of five years, August 13, 1908. 

David Hunter Miller, the well known farmer and stock raiser 
in Irish district, married Miss Eliza Jane McDowell January 3, 
1894. To this union were born Mary Christine, January 2.J, 1896; 
Julian Hunter, January 8, 1898 ; Henry Alexander, October 16, 
1899; Edward Lee, June 29, 1902. 

Mrs. Eliza J. Miller died February 13, 1909. D. H. Miller 
married his second wife, Miss Mary Susan Carlisle, October 12, 
191 1, and to this union was born Margaret Ruth, January 2, 
1914. Margaret Ruth died January 3, 1914; Mary S. January 

9, I9H- 

The Miller homestead is delightfully situated and is in a beau- 
tiful part of Irish Corner. The land here was once of the huckle- 
berry class, but by fertilization and cultivation in the proper way, 
it has attained a richness in soil equal to any in the county. 


After the settlement at Jamestown, in 1607, it was over one 
hundred years before the white people got as far west as the east- 
ern slope of the Blue Ridge, and it was still later that a settlement 
was made in the Valley of Virginia. The Blue Ridge, near the 
Potomac, offered less of a barrier than the mountain farther south, 
and the oldest town in the valley, Winchester, was founded in the 
first part of the eighteenth century. The country was soon settled 
by the Pennsylvania Germans, who retained their native language 


and customs. The lands of the Shenandoah Valley attracted the 
Germans in great quantities and the settlements moved south, but 
through the instrumentality of John Lewis, who had settled near 
what is now Staunton, this steady immigration was met by the 
Scotch-Irish from the northern part of Ireland, who came to this 
part of Virginia in great numbers in the thirties and forties of that 
century. John Lewis landed in Portugal about the year 1728, and 
thence to America, and he was the pioneer of the settlers of Au- 
gusta county, which county was formed in 1745. John Lewis 
probably established himself in the valley in 1732, and it is certain 
that his ability to colonize was so great that in 1738 there was 
enough living people in the vicinity of Staunton to require churches 
and schools. He was a man of education, force and power, and 
he transferred the people who were fleeing from the north of Ire- 
land by the shipload to Augusta county. It is to this highly ef- 
fective man that the people of Augusta, Rockbridge, Highland, 
Bath, Alleghany and the Greenbrier valley owe their distinctive 
citizenship, and full credit ought to be given him for his enter- 
prise by our people. If there is anything in monuments he 
ought to have one as enduring as the pyramids of Egypt. Some 
histories have it that John Lewis came to the valley by the way of 
Pennsylvania, but this is probably a mistake. John Lewis came by 
way of Jamestown, to Williamburg, the capital of the colony. 

At this place he got his first information of the southern part 
of the valley from a man by the name of John Sailing. John Mar- 
lin and John Sailing had some years before gone from Winchester 
as far south as the Roanoke river, where Sailing was captured by 
the Cherokee Indians, and remained in captivity for several years. 
With Lewis, at that time, was a man by the name of McKey. The 
three men — John Lewis, John McKey and John Sailing — came to 
the valley. Lewis settled at Staunton, McKey at Buffalo Gap, and 
Sailing at the forks of the James river, near Clifton Forge. Lewis 
set to work to bring his friends to the new country. McKey and 
Sailing lived and died without taking any part in the colonization 
of the valley. 

Benjamin Burden was agent for Lord Fairfax. Lewis met him 


in Williamsburg, in 1736. Burden went back with him to the val- 
ley. They hunted together, with Sampel and Andrew Lewis, sons 
of John Lewis. 

They captured a buffalo calf and took it as a present to Governor 
Gooch. Gooch entered an order allowing Burden to locate 500,- 
000 acres on the waters of the James and the Shenandoah, on the 
condition that 100 families be settled on the located lands within 
ten years. 

It must be presumed that Lewis kept in touch with his home 
people in Ireland during these years. Any way, 100 families, all 
from the north of Ireland, were settled within one year, and this is 
the reason that by 1738 churches and schools were needed in the 
vicinity of what is now Staunton. In 1745 enough people had set- 
tled to form the county of Augusta, and the town of Staunton was 
founded the same year. Frederick county was formed in 1738, 
and the town of Winchester something earlier. As late as 1852 
Winchester was the largest town west of the Blue Ridge, in Vir- 
ginia, with the exception of Wheeling. The Lewis settlement of 
Scotch-Irish had cut across the path of the German settlers from 
Pennsylvania. Rockingham was the farthest south of the German 
counties. Washington in his desperation turned to the fighting 
Scotch-Irish of Augusta, and not to the peaceful, Quaker-like 

John Lewis included in his plans the occupation of the Green- 
brier valley, which, with its rich limestone lands, was like the coun- 
try around Staunton. His Scotch-Irish settlements expanded to 
the south and west for various reasons. 

A great deal of his 100,000-acre grant taken in the name of the 
Greenbrier colony, was located in the Big Levels around Lewis- 
burg. This was a treeless plateau country. It had all the appear- 
ance of a prairie. The land was rich, and by 1763 the country was 
pretty well settled. Dates are hard to get, but we mark this date 
well because this was the year that the Indians put them all out of 
their summer hunting grounds, killing a number and raiding as 
far east as Staunton. About 1765 the settlers commenced to come 



Lewisburg was probably named from Gen. Andrew Lewis, who 
assembled his forces there, which he took to Point Pleasant and 
fought the battle at that place. It was first called the Savannah, 
because of its being a prairie, and later Camp Union. 

In 1751, John Lewis was, with his son, Andrew Lewis, survey- 
ing the 470 acres at Marlinton. Andrew Lewis was thirty-one 
years of age. John Lewis was seventy-three years old. They 
found a trapper here by the name of Jacob Marlin, from whom 
this town takes its name, it being first called Marlin's Bottom. 
Jacob [Marlin trapped out of Winchester, as did John Marlin, and 
we have often wondered if they were not really the same man. 

John Lewis was born in Donegal, the extreme northwestern 
county of Ireland, in the Province of Ulster, in the year 1678. In 
1729 he killed a man and fled the country. He went to Portugal, 
and thence to Williamsburg, in the Virginia colony. He made it 
possible for the Scotch-Irish to settle in Virginia, and he is the 
forerunner of the Scotch-Irishmen of this part of the county. He 
filled the country with Macs. He died in Staunton, February 1, 
1762. We, the people of these Scotch-Irish counties, owe more 
to him than to any other man connected with the early history of 
America. — Pocahontas Times. 


The Hennessys are of Irish descent. Those of that family liv- 
ing in Greenbrier county are descendants of Patrick and Mary 
(Costello) Hennessy, whose son, Edward, was born in Ireland, in 
1833, and came to America when fourteen years of age. After 
bringing his father and mother to this country, he settled in 

Edward Hennessy, on May 17, 1865, married Miss Margaret 
Steers. She was born in Pennsylvania, June 11, 1844. Their chil- 
dren were : Mary Elizabeth, born June 6, 1866 ; Alice, August 21, 
1867, died March 22, 1872 ; Margaret Ellen, April 23, 1868; Mi- 
chael Evans, September 9, 1870; Joseph Edward, September 23. 


1873 ; Johanna, July 2, 1875 ; John Isaac, December 7, 1877 ; Ju- 
liette, July 2, 1879. Mr. Hennessy, procuring a position with the 
Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company, moved, with his family, to 
White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. 

Michael Evans Hennessy, the subject of this sketch, was reared 
on a farm, and with the other children of the family, was schooled 
in the White Sulphur district. When twenty years of age he went 
West, and was for some time connected with the Western Dredge 
and Improvement Company in the construction of the Lake Michi- 
gan and Mississippi Canal, between Chicago and Joliet Later, he 
returned to West Virginia and accepted a position with the trans- 
portation department of the Cheasapeake & Ohio Railroad Com- 
pany, in which department he served for a number of years. Re- 
signing, he accepted a position with the White Sulphur & Hun- 
tersville Railroad Company, which company he now serves as su- 
perintendent. Mr. Hennessy is also interested in the drug business 
in White Sulphur Springs. He is a member of the Benevolent and 
Protective Order of Elks and the Brotherhood of Railway Train- 
men, and is known as a genial companion and worthy citizen of his 

On May 5, 1915, Mr. Hennessy married Margaret, a daughter 
of William Henry and Mary Greene. Her grandparents, on both 
sides, came from Ireland. Mr. Greene was a teacher in West Vir- 
ginia for a great many years. He reared a family of nine children, 
seven of whom, Mrs. Hennessy included, were teachers. 

In 1912 Mr. Hennessy erected a commodious home one-half 
mile north of White Sulphur Springs, in which he and his wife re- 
side. They are members of the Catholic church. 


Writing of his father, John Dickinson Lewis, who was born in 
Bath county, Virginia, June 6, 1800, Charles C. Lewis mentions 
him as the grandson of Col. Charles Lewis, who was killed at the 
battle of Point Pleasant, October 10, 1774 (see former sketch). 


This Col. Charles Lewis was born in Augusta county, Virginia, 
in 1736. He was the youngest son of John Lewis, the pioneer, and 
brother of Gen. Andrew Lewis, great-greatgrandfather of Mrs. 
C. V. Stacy, and was also of the number who fell at Point Pleas- 
ant. In 1760, Col. Charles Lewis married Sarah Murry, and left 
seven children, viz., Elizabeth, Margaret, John, Mary, Thomas, 
Andrew, and Charles (the father of Charles C. Lewis), who was 
born in Augusta county, Virginia, in 1774, probably on September 
nth, as in the will of Col. Charles Lewis, dated August 10, 1774, 
just before starting on his march to Point Pleasant, he provides 
for the unborn child of his wife, Mary. 

This unborn child was Charles Lewis, who served with dis- 
tinction under Gen. Anthony Wayne, in 1795, in his Indian cam- 
paign in the West, as a lieutenant, as is attested to by his commis- 
sion, dated August 7, 1795, and signed by General Washington, 
and now in possession of his descendant, P. S. Lewis, of Mason 
county, West Virginia. 

After Wayne's campaign he resigned from the army and re- 
turned to Bath county, where, in 1799, he married Jane Dickin- 
son, a daughter of Col. John Dickinson, who commanded a com- 
pany in Col. Charles Lewis' regiment and was wounded in the bat- 
tle of Point Pleasant. Lieut. Charles Lewis died in September, 
1803, aged twenty-nine years, leaving two children, John D. Lewis, 
born June 6, 1800, and Charles Cameron Lewis, born April 27, 

John D. Lewis was brought, an infant in his mother's arms, to 
Mason county, now in West Virginia, where he remained until 
his mother's second marriage, with Capt. James Wilson, in 1809, 
when he was brought to Charleston. At the proper age he was 
placed in school with Mr. Crutchfield, where he received his early 
education, afterwards taking a course in Latin and the higher 
branches of mathematics under Gen. Lewis Ru finer. After leav- 
ing school he returned to Mason county, to the farm owned by his 
brother, Charles, and himself. At about the age of twenty-two he 
sold his half-interest in the farm to his brother and returned to 
Kanawha county, and for a short time was employed by Dickin- 


son & Shrewsbury as salt maker. He then engaged in the manu- 
facture of salt himself and remained in the business until 1856. 

When the Civil war broke out, and the price of salt advanced, 
he again engaged in the manufacture of salt until 1866, when he 
returned to his farm in Kanawha and Nicholas counties. 

John D. Lewis was married four times. First to Sally, a daugh- 
ter of Joel Shrewsbury, who died a year or two after her mar- 
riage, leaving one son, Joel S. Lewis. His second wife was Ann, a 
daughter of Col. William Dickinson, who left three children, Sally, 
Charles, Sarah, who died when quite young, and Mary. His third 
wife was Betty, a daughter of Jacob Darneal, who left two chil- 
dren, Julia and William. His fourth wife was Mrs. Sally Spears. 
He died December 26, 1882, aged eighty-two years and six months, 
generally lamented, especially by the poor, to whom he was always 
a warm friend and helper. 

Charles Cameron Lewis, now one of the leading business men 
in Charleston, W. Va., was a native of Kanawha county, born 
April 15, 1839. He was reared there and educated in the private 
schools and Mercer Academy. He was the son of John D. Lewis, 
owner of large tracts of coal and salt lands, and pioneer in salt 
manufacture, the manufacture of which was continued by the son, 
engaged with the father, until 1869. In 1870 he became president 
of the Kanawha Valley Bank, of Charleston, W. Va., a position he 
filled for fifteen years. In 1885 he, with P. H. Noye, organized 
the wholesale grocery house of P. H. Noye & Company, one of the 
largest of the kind in the State, of which he is still president. 

Charles C. Lewis became a member of the Kanawha Riflemen, 
a well known organization of spirited young Virginians of the Old 
Dominion, upon first call to arms in 1861. He became a member 
of this company in 1859 and took part in the engagement at Scary 
Creek, July 7, 1861, and in a skirmish at Ripley. After the Con- 
federate troops had been withdrawn by General Wise to Kanawha 
Falls, Mr. Lewis was granted an honorable discharge upon the re- 
quest of his father, whose elder son, Joel S. Lewis, was also a 
member of the Riflemen. The latter continued in the service with 
the Twenty-second regiment during the war, with the exception of 


a period of cavalry service, at which time he was held as a pris- 
oner of war at Camp Chase, Ohio. 

October 19, 1864, Charles C. Lewis was married to Miss Eliz- 
abeth Wilson, and to this union were born six children, viz., 
Charles Cameron Lewis, Jr., John Dickerson, Virginia Wilson, 
Elizabeth Josephine, Anne Dickinson, Goodrich Wilson. 

Miss Virginia Wilson Lewis married Charles Stacy, of Rich- 
mond, Va., March 25, 1891. He was a son of Thomas Stacy, a 
manufacturer of furniture, who came from England and settled in 
Richmond in 1901. Charles Stacy came to Greenbrier county and 
in 1902 they built Lynnhurst, their beautiful residence. Four chil- 
dren were born of this union, namely, George Palmer Stacy, 
Charles Lewis, Elizabeth Josephine and Virginia Lewis. 


The White family, though not so numerous as some other fam- 
ilies in the county, have all been efficient as good citizens of the 
commonwealth. The ancestor of this line was George White, 
who lived and died in the vicinity of Alvon, having been identified 
with that community nearly a hundred years ago. He was born 
July 4, 1816, and his wife, who was Miss Anne Wilson, was born 
January 27, 181 5. They always lived near Alvon. Their chil- 
dren were Julie C. White, born June 22, 1846; H. M., August 
13, 1848 ; Margaret J., May 13, 1850 ; William H., August 1, 1852 ; 
Joseph H., December 11, 1854. 

Harvey M- White was the father of the subject of this sketch. 
He was a member of Company G, Twenty-sixth Virginia Infantry, 
and served the last two years as a Confederate soldier in the Civil 
war. He married Elizabeth M. Lynch, born December 13, 1852. 
The nuptial feast took place in 1869. She was a native of Mon- 
roe county, West Virginia. Their children were: Joseph H. 
White, born November 12, 1870; James L., July 20, 1873 ; George 
E., September 11, 1879; John P., August 24, 1882; Laura Belle, 
January 2, 1884, all of whom are married and living near Alvon. 


The Lynch family are in descent from Andrew Lynch, who in 
his day was a well known farmer in Monroe county. He was born 
December 17, 1826, and his wife, Anne Jane Wylie, was born 
February 22, 1829. Their children were : Mary L. Lynch, born 
November 26, 1849 5 Elizabeth M., wife of Harvey M. White, born 
December 13, 1852, and James W., who was born July 2, 1858, 
all of whom were identified in agricultural pursuits with the coun- 
ty interests of the Monroe people. 

On April 22, 1902, George Edward White married Mary Viola 
Whitman, daughter of Robert Jackson and Emma Iowa (Fisher) 
Whitman. The father was born June 29, 1854, and the mother, 
June 21, i860. They were married January 15, 1880. Their chil- 
dren were : Mary Viola and Maggie, twins, born October 10, 
1883 ; Dora D., December 8, 1885 ; George W., July 31, 1889 ; Rob- 
ert Gordon, April 7, 1895 ; Audry Gertrude, August 6, 1898; Er- 
man W., June 3, 1906. 

Children born to Mr. and Mrs. George Edward White are: 
William Houston, January 2, 1903 ; Mae Elizabeth, May 9, 1912 ; 
Robert Paul, March 5, 1914; Emma Fae, September 5, 1916. 

G. E. White lives near Alvon, and like his immediate ances- 
tors, is a farmer, also. In common with all the Whites of Green- 
brier county, he is not an office seeker, makes no great pretentions, 
and quietly pursues the even tenor of his way through life. 


Peter Kesler came from Germany about the year 1750 and 
settled in the Shenandoah valley, in Virginia, and reared a large 
family, all girls but two, Jacob and Frederick. Jacob married 
Betsy Funk, a sister of Joseph Funk, who was a music publisher 
of Rockingham county, Virginia. Jacob settled in the Richlands, 
in Greenbrier county, West Virginia, near where Tobe Stuart 
now resides. Frederick settled in Nicholas county and owned a 
large farm where Keslers Crosslanes now are. He reared two 
boys, Andrew and Alex, who moved to Arkansas in 1850. 


Jacob Kesler reared a family of eight girls and five boys, and 
after they were partly grown, moved to Fayette county and bought 
a farm of 640 acres. He was a successful farmer and cattle 
dealer. His family all lived and died in Fayette county except 
Frederick, who married Mary Groves, daughter of Col. John 
Groves, and settled in Nicholas county and reared a family of 
nine children, four girls and five boys. John G., of Williams- 
burg, Greenbrier county, West Virginia; Austin, a prosperous 
farmer and stock raiser of Webster City, Iowa ; William, of Stan- 
hope, Iowa ; A. D. Kesler, or Nicholas county, West Virginia ; 
John G. Kesler, married Elizabeth Hughart, of Williamsburg, 
W. Va., where he reared six children, three girls and three boys ; 
Ida Whitman, of Richwood, W. Va. ; Ada L. Harrah, of Ft. 
Maginnis, Mont. ; Etta M. Judy, of Williamsburg, W. Va. ; Wal- 
ter S. Kesler, of Lawton, Okla. ; Elmer G. Kesler, of Williams- 
burg, W. Va. ; Ray Kesler, who is now a student in the Mountain 
State Business College. Dr. Elmer G. Kesler was born at Wil- 
liamsburg, W. Va., December 8, 1885. He attended school at 
Williamsburg till 1902, when he attended school at Cincinnati, 
Ohio, graduated from high school in 1906, and entered the Eclec- 
tic Medical College, from which he graduated in 1910. He passed 
the West Virginia State board in 1910 and located at Williams- 
burg, where he has had a very large and successful practice. On 
April 25, 1906, he was united in marriage to Miss Nadie J. Black, 
of Van Wert, Ohio. To this union, on October 12, 191 1, was born 
one daughter, Alice Mary Kesler. 


One of our oldest county officials was Jonathan Mays. He 
was clerk of the Circuit Court of Greenbrier county for thirty- 
five years. He was the son of Jesse and Jane Reed Mays, and 
was born May 4, 1828. His father-in-law, James Reed, was most 
prominent among the early settlers of Greenbrier county. He 
was a lawyer and entered a great tract of land in this county, but 


sold out and moved to Missouri. His daughter, Jane, mother of 
Jonathan, was born in Greenbrier county and died here. Jesse 
Mays was born in Bedford county, Virginia, and died in Green- 
brier county. His widow, Susan L. Bell, is still living. He died 
January 26, 1908. Their children were Charles S., born October, 
1861 ; Mary D., born April, 1863 ; J. B., born November 13, 1865 ; 
Guy Bell, born April 25, 1871. 

Thomas A. and Mary B. (Dickerson) Bell were the parents 
of Mrs. Mays. She was born in Barth county, Virginia, April 
23, 1839. Her father was born in Rockbridge county in 1807. 

Jonathan Mays was first lieutenant in Company I, Sixtieth 
Virginia Infantry, about two months. His two brothers were 
also in the war; William Henry served throughout the war. He 
was taken prisoner at the battle of Cloyd Farm, sent to Ft. Morton, 
Indiana, and there was seized with illness from which he died, but 
after his release from imprisonment. Marshall, the eldest brother, 
also served throughout the war. 

Jonathan Mays was elected clerk of the Circuit Court of 
Greenbrier county in 1872, and from that time he was re-elected 
to the office until his death in 1908. He served the county with 
great satisfaction to all the people. He was a noble man. 


Joseph Marcellus McWhorter was born April 30, 1828, at 
what was then known as McWhorter 's Mills (Virginia), near 
what is now Janelew, Lewis county, West Virginia. He was the 
eldest son of Fields and Margaret Kester McWhorter, and 
brother of Henry C. McWhorter, late judge of the Supreme Court 
of Appeals of West Virginia. His father was a man of very 
moderate means, and, being the eldest son, a great deal of the 
care and responsibility of the large family rested on him. He 
was energetic and ambitious and received such training as was 
then offered in the public schools and added to it by untiring and 
persistent reading and studying until he acquired a good educa- 



tion in the English branches of learning. He also taught school 
a number of terms during the winter months, when his services 
could be spared from the farm. 

Judge McWhorter was always greatly interested in public 
affairs. In politics he was, before the Civil War, a Whig, and 
later a staunch Republican. In 1856, when Roane county was 
organized, he was appointed county clerk of that county, also act- 
ing as circuit clerk, and was later twice elected to the same office. 
On the formation of West Virginia, he was elected a member of 
the first legislature from Roane county. After the adjournment 
of the legislature, the Governor appointed him superintendent of 
the penitentiary. In 1864 he was nominated by the Republican 
party and elected State auditor, and was again elected to the same 
office in 1866. He was elected secretary of the West Virginia 
Insurance Company in 1869 and served unil 1870, when Governor 
Stevenson appointed him judge of the Seventh judicial circuit, 
to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Judge Nathaniel 
Harrison. The circuit was composed of Greenbrier, Monroe, 
Pocahontas and Nicholas counties, and Judge McWhorter moved 
from Wheeling to Lewisburg, where he resided until his death. 
His term as judge expired December 31, 1872, and the following 
summer he was appointed superintendent of public schools for 
Greenbrier county, and did much to elevate the standard of edu- 
cation in the county. After his retirement from the bench he 
practiced his profession in Greenbrier and adjoining counties, 
meriting the respect and admiration of all. He was elected mayor 
of Lewisburg in 1887, and also served four years as postmaster 
at Lewisburg. In 1892 he was nominated by his party for judge 
of the Supreme Court of Appeals, but, with the rest of the ticket, 
went down to defeat. He was elected, in 1896, as judge of the 
judicial circuit of which Greenbrier was part, and filled out the 
full term of eight years, his decisions being marked by equity, 
justice and impartiality. From 1905 until the day of his death 
he was actively engaged in the practice of law. 

He was twice married. His first wife was Julia A. Stalnaker, 
of Harrison county, who died August 26, 1869. To them were 


bom ten children : Allessandro G., of Charleston ; Artemas W., of 
Norfolk, Va. ; Louis E., practicing law at Charleston ; Virgil S., 
died in infancy ; William B. of Hinton ; Buell M., died in infancy ; 
Mrs. Margaret E. Lewis, of Charleston ; Joseph C, of St. Louis, 
Mo. ; Walter W., died in infancy ; and Deccie J., wife of C. L. 
Carr, of Lewisburg. On October 26, 1870, he married Julia A. 
Kinsley, daughter of Rev. Hiram and Elsie L. Kinsley, of Ge- 
neva, Ohio, and to them four children were born : Emma L., wife 
of R. B. Holt, of Lewisburg; Jennie P., deceased, married J. 
Scott McWhorter, of Lewisburg ; Kinsley F., died in infancy, and 
Charles N., of Charleston. 

Judge McWhorter died on August 18, 1913, at the ripe age of 
eighty-five, beloved by all who knew him. His reputation as a 
Christian gentleman was enviable. He was a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, South, and had religious convic- 
tions deep and abiding. As an honest, consistent Christian, he 
walked uprightly, lived at peace with all men, and died at peace 
with God. His wife, a most estimable and lovable woman, pre- 
ceded him to the grave by less than two months, she having died 
June 24, 1913. 


Henry F. Hunter, vice-president of the Bank of Greenbrier, is 
one of the self-made men of the county. He received his edu- 
cation in the common schools, completing his course of studies 
by graduating from the Greenbrier Military Institute of Lewis- 
burg in 1892, the same year his wife graduated from the Lewis- 
burg Seminary. After leaving the military institute, he accepted 
a minor position in the Bank of Greenbrier and from that time 
rose gradually to the prominent position he now holds. He was 
made cashier in 1907, and vice-president January 3, 1916, hold- 
ing both of these positions at the present time. 

The following is a meager record of the Hunter family of 
Greenbrier. John Anderson and wife, who was Elizabeth Tinpin 
Davis, were married on January 7, 1761, in St. Maryland. They 


first took up their residence in a place called the Narrows, on 
Anthony's creek, where they remained only a short time. Moving 
to a place on Greenbrier river, near the junction of Howard's 
creek, which land was granted to said Anderson for services 
rendered in the Revolutionary army, in which war he bore the 
title of captain, 

He built at this place a stone house, with walls of sufficient 
strength and thickness to withstand an assault of the Indians, 
who were still a foe to guard against. In the yard in front of 
this place is an Indian mound, which had never been opened, un- 
less it has been done since the place was sold to C. F. Moore, 
trustee, March i, 1899, by Carter B. Hunter, great grandson of 
John Anderson. Here he spent the remaining years of his life, 
dying in 181 7, his wife preceding him in 181 1. 

On March 17, 1813, he married Elizabeth Walkup, the sister 
of Mrs. John McElhenney, he having met her in the Manse at 
Lewisburg, being a frequent and honored guest in that home. 
(See Miss Rose Fry's Book on Dr. McElhenney). There were 
no children to this marriage. He served as sheriff of Greenbrier 
county in the year 1789, having his appointment from the Gov- 

By his first marriage there were born the following, namely : 
Rebecca, Sarah, Margaret Brown, and Elizabeth Gratton (born 
September 11, 1778), Rebecca died in infancy; Sarah married 
Colonel Ward and moved to Ohio ; Margaret married James Ried, 
December 25, 1790. These are the grandmother and grandfather 
of Jonathan Mays. 

John Anderson deeded him lands, part of which is the John Da- 
vis Arbuckle place, where they made their home. 

Elizabeth Gratton Anderson married Henry B. Hunter on Jan- 
uary 31, 1810. He was a native of Augusta county and in direct 
line of Surgeon John Hunter. (See book, Biographical Diction- 
ary, by Rev. J. L. Blake, D. D., as to his record.) John Anderson 
gave them as their portion the land on Greenbrier river, where 
they lived and reared their family. This land, at the death of 
Mrs. Hunter, went to John A. and Henry Fielding Hunter. The 


children were, namely : Rebecca Dent, who died in her thirteenth 
year ; Eliza S. Turpin, who married Alexander W. Davis on April 
25, 1833 ; John Anderson, first, who died in infancy ; John Ander- 
son, second, and Henry Fielding Hunter, born February 19, 1821. 

John Anderson Hunter was born April 15, 1818. He received 
his elementary education under Dr. |McElhenney in the academy at 
Lewisburg, took his degree at Washington College (now Wash- 
ington and Lee University). He returned home and read medi- 
cine with Dr. Moorman for three years. He then entered the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania, graduating with high distinction. Re- 
turning from college, he took up the practice of medicine at Blue 
Sulphur Springs, the then famous summer resort. After several 
years' practice he came to Lewisburg, where he lived and reared 
his family. 

When his native State called her sons to sustain her rights and 
to rally to the defense of the great principles of true constitutional 
liberty, he at once offered his services, going out with Capt. Robert 
F. Dennis, in the twenty-seventh Virginia regiment, as surgeon, 
and so distinguished were his services in the regiment that he was 
made medical director of the army. 

In the long list of distinguished surgeons in the Confederate 
army none contributed more unweariedly to improve and complete 
the system of medical and hospital discipline inaugurated by the 
surgeon-general, a system which for order and symmetry and ju- 
dicious arrangement has no parallel in the annals of war. 

John A. Hunter married Rebecca Agnes Dickson, January 3, 
1859, the daughter of Robert and Sarah Renick Dickson, and was 
born and reared at Locust Hill, near White Sulphur Springs, which 
is now owned by the children of her deceased brother, Henry Fra- 
zier Dickson. Mrs. Hunter died April 24, 1917, at Lewisburg, 
John A. Hunter having died on April 17, 1873. To this 
union were born Sarah Renick, wife of Henderson Bell, Jr., and 
died March, 1897 ; Copeland Hunter ; Elizabeth Gratton, married 
R. W. Cabell, who died in November, 1913, and married to A. D. 
Guthrie, December 23, 1915; lives in Kanawha county; Henry 
F. Hunter married Mary Thressa Stratton (daughter of James 


H. Stratton and Anna Nelson Handley— see Book of Strattons, 
Vols. I and 2, Hattie G. Stratton, Tennessee) on November 19, 
1896. To this union w'ere born Rebekah Nelson Hunter, James 
Stratton Hunter, and Marion Gratton Hunter, who died in 


John Lewis was 'a descendant of an Augusta county family 
and a captain at Point Pleasant, and an officer in the Rev- 
olution ; he commanded a company at the battle of Manmoth, 
June 28, 1778. After the war he received from the commissioners 
of the district of Augusta county a warrant for 700 acres of land, 
and in 1783 or 1784 went with a party of emigrants to Kentucky 
to locate his land. See the following acount given by a historian. 
"As stated on page 207 — 

He located on the land on which Frankfort, Ky., now stands. 
It was flat, wet land, not a healthy location when in forest. He 
commenced to improve the land, but soon took fever and ague, and 
abandoned the land. Soon after, he came to Greenbrier county 
and located the warrant for the 700 acres of land, on the east side 
of Muddy Creek mountain, including the level, fertile bench of 
land lying between the mountain and Rich Hollow, joining the 
Clendennen settlement and Rodgers. Survey recorded Book No. 
1, page 359, dated September 25, 1786, made by John Archer, dep- 
uty for Alen Welch, granted, dated 1787. This was a healthy lo- 
cation. The improvements he put on the 700 acres of land were 
more substantial and permanent than those put up by most early 
settlers. He built a large two-story house of hewn logs, with a 
good stone chimney, a smoke or meat-house in the yard, a large 
double barn, and these buildings are yet standing and in use. 

He, with the help of his neighbors, built what was called the 
Buckeye meeting house. This house was built of round buckeye 
logs, with a small window on each side, and over where the pul- 
pit had been, all up high from the ground, and with an earthen 


He was a successful farmer and stock raiser, was a justice of 
the peace, and as such a member of the county court. His chil- 
dren were John, William, Andrew, Erasmus, George, Benjamin, 
Matilda, Terza, Sallie, Bettie and Polly. 

George Lewis was born in 1790, married Mary Ann Argabrite 
in 1814. He acquired title of the greater part of the 700-acre sur- 
vey, and in 1838 built a large brick house on the land, and after 
some years obtained a grant for 1,009 acres joining the 700-acre 
tract. He was a successful farmer and stock raiser, was very fond 
of a good horse, and raised many of that kind. He was a member 
of the Greenbrier Agricultural Society. He was a soldier in the 
War of 1812. He studied medicine, and in the later years of his 
life practiced the profession. Died 1855. 

His children were: George Samuel, born in 1815, married 
Nancy Knight in 1839; Archabald, born 1816, married Matilda 
Bunger in 1839 ; William, born 1821 ; Rachel, born 1823, married 
John Vincy in 1847 > John, born 1825 ; Mary Ann, born 1827, mar- 
ried Uriah N. Warran, 1846; Ruth, born 1831, married David 
Hutsonpiller, 185 1 ; Sarah Jane, born 1834, married Alfred W. 
Tapper, 1856, and is living (1899) near Philadelphia. 

Archabald Lewis, after his marriage in 1839, lived for six 
years at Bunger's Mill, and was the miller during that time. He 
then moved into a house on his father's farm and was partner in 
farming and stock raising for six years. In 185 1 he obtained a 
title for 400 acres of the William Monow land, lying on the east 
side of Muddy Creek mountain and on Milligan's creek built a 
comfortable log house and outbuildings. He later made additions 
to the house until he had a good-sized, comfortable house. Along 
with other stock, he, like his father and grandfather, kept a flock 
of sheep, and raised flax, and most of the clothing for the family 
was manufactured at home. He was a member of the Greenbrier 
County Agricultural Society. He died in 1888. 

His children were : Rachel Bunger, born 1840, married George 
John Welch, 1859; Mary Elizabeth, born 1842, married Thomas 
Charles Dotson, 1864; George Henry, born 1844, married Cornelia 
Agnes Johnson, 1870; Amanda Jane, born 1845, married John 



Fredrick Coffman, 1867 ; Nancy Vernia, born 1847, married James 
Madison Coffman, 1867; Sarah Frances, born 1849, married 
George W. Jeffries, 1874; Matilda Catharine, born 1851, married 
Calvin H. Burdette, 1872; Eliza Bell Westwood, born 1858, died 
1861 ; Archy Penyman, born 1861, married Lillie Richie, 1884. 

George Henry Lewis, born February 27, 1844, in a small log 
cabin about fifty yards from a noted well dug by Anthony Hutson- 
piller, about the year 1790. The first school he attended was in a 
small school house, built by co-operative neighbors, on the east 
side of the Rich hollow, on the edge of the Clendennen settlement 
— built of round logs, daubed with clay, a wooden chimney, a 
puncheon floor and puncheon benches, and two very small win- 
dows. Henry McNeel was the teacher. William R. Johnston and 
John Holly are the only persons now living who attended that 
school with him. He attended other subscription schools in the 
county. He attended the Indiana University, and graduated at 
Iron City College, Pittsburgh, Pa. He was not ambitious to have 
or hold office. 

In 1866 he did not go to the polls to vote, neither did he know 
that he was being voted for, but was elected assessor of the Upper 
district of Greenbrier county, in 1866. He declined the office. In 
1868 he consented for his name to be put on the ticket for recorder 
of Greenbrier county. He served two years and was re-elected in 
1870. As early as old enough he joined the Sons of Temperance, 
and has always encouraged temperance and prohibition. He has 
been an active member of the Grange and other farm organiza- 
tions. He is now the oldest representative of the Lewis family 
now living in Greenbrier. 

Children of George Henry Lewis were : Thomas Archabald. 
born 1872, married Jessie Mabel Hetherby, at Bakersfield, Cal., in 
1902, second marriage to Alice Humphrey, at Oakland, Cal., 1906 ; 
George Spotts, born 1875, married Sara Campaigane, at Hamilton, 
Canada, 1906, second, Janie Arbuckle Bell, 1913 ; Clarence Ed- 
ward, born 1878, married Rachel Allie Bell, 1904. 

Thomas Archabald Lewis attended public schools, then two 
years at Clifton Academy, three years at Hampden Sidney College, 


graduating in 1893 ; was sub-professor at Hampden Sidney one 
year; professor at the Davis Military Academy one year. 
In 1896 he went to California and taught in various institu- 
tions for ten years, and is now living on a small but very fertile 
farm in California. 

Clarence Edward Lewis was born in 1878, attended the public 
schools, and when fourteen years of age entered Hampden Sidney 
College, graduating with the class of 1897. Since then he has been 
farming in Greenbrier county. He is identified with the Patrons 
of Husbandry and has filled the office of assistant steward, lec- 
turer and overseer of the Grange. He has done some work as 
lecturer in the farmers' institutes of the State. 

In 1904 Mr. Lewis married Rachel Bell, of Richlands, W. Va., 
and is the father of one daughter, Minerva Helen, and two sons, 
Charles Irving and Frank Bell Lewis. 


The Millers of Monroe county were early settlers of West 
Virginia. George W. Miller, father of the subject of this sketch, 
and his father, Thomas Miller, were members of that distin- 
guished family and old-time honored citizens of Monroe county, 
both of them blacksmiths. George W. Miller served at his trade 
in the Confederate army during the war between the States. His 
father-in-law, Samuel McCorkle, a resident of Virginia before the 
war, also served in the Confederate service through the war. 

Everette Bell Miller, county assessor, son of George W. and 
Elizabeth (McCorkle) Miller, was born in Greenbrier county, 
May 8, 1864. His father moved to Greenbrier, in Blue Sulphur 
district, in 1861, and here young Everette was reared on a farm 
and attended school during the winter months, applying himself 
in an agricultural way in the meantime. In 1885 he married Miss 
Sabina Taylor, and to this union were born seven children, as 
follow : Helena Bell, James Guy, Samuel Roy, Besssie May, 
Nina Lewis, Robert and George. 


Mr. Miller has been connected as an official of the county 
many years and his record needs no comment. In 1896 he was 
elected assessor of Greenbrier and served twelve years. Then he 
was elected deputy assessor under W. A. Mastin, and again as 
deputy under James McClung, serving four years under each, or 
for twenty years in that office. In 191 6 he was elected assessor 
again, time running to 1920. 

Mr. Miller owns and operates a farm near Alderson and with 
his family worships with the Baptists, as a member of that church. 
His farm was purchased in 1907. 


The Burr family has always borne a distinguished name. In 
descent it reaches back to Dr. Aaron Burr, D. D., pastor of the 
Presbyterian church, Newark, N. J., who was one of the ablest 
ministers of that congregation in colonial times. His son, Aaron 
Burr, Vice-President of the United States and son-in-law of Dr. 
Jonathan Edwards, is known to fame both because of his distin- 
guished father-in-law and his own political and military history. 
That the Burrs of Greenbrier county are in descent from Dr. Burr 
and that family is based largely on the name Aaron. That name 
has been in the family from time immemorial. Aaron Burr, the 
grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was an early resident of 
Greenbrier county. He cultivated a large tract of land of about 
1,000 acres on Spring creek near Williamsburg, where Peter, his 
son, lived all his life. His children were : Peter, John, and Aaron, 
all men of probity and general worth. John, the father of the sub- 
ject of this sketch, was born in 1801 and died in 1871. His wife 
was a Miss Nancy McClung, a daughter of William McClung. 
Her mother was a Bollar. John Burr bought a farm on Sinking 
creek and moved there soon after his marriage. 

Children born to John and Nancy (McClung) Burr were: 
(1) Margaret R., married Boliver Williams, of this county; (2) 
Sarah J., who died a short time ago. She married a Mr. Pennell, 


a farmer near Williamsburg; (3) William J., suffered during the 
last years of his life a stroke of paralysis. William F. Burr is 
eighty-three old and still living. 

Aaron Bollar Burr, hale and hardy at four score years, still 
preserves the buoyancy of life at eighty years of age that some 
other people do not at half that age. He was born February 23, 
1836, on the old Burr homestead, and was reared a farmer, an oc- 
cupation which he pursued through life. Of a retiring disposition, 
somewhat, he covets notoriety but little, but a religious sense of 
duty led him first into a membership with the people of the 
Methodist church, and then finally into an official relationship 
with that organization, to which he and his family still belong. 

February 7, 1866, Aaron Bollar Burr married Joanna Luding- 
ton, daughter of Francis H. and Rebecca (Knight) Ludington, of 
Greenbrier county, and to this union were born twelve children: 
Edmonia S. ; Alice V. ; John F. ; Charles W. ; Presley S. ; Bessie 
E. ; Rebecca L., deceased; Bernard C. and Neola D., twins ; How- 
ard W. ; Mac L. ; Ernest W. ; Ela Anna. It has been a remarkable 
family and a delightful home, children all doing well. Charles has 
been a successful teacher during the past dozen years and is a jus-, 
tice of the peace in the Williamsburg district. 

Twenty-three years ago Mr. Burr moved to his present home 
near Richland, on land bought of Alexander Johnson. Sixteen 
years ago the home was bereft of the wife and the mother, a beau- 
tiful Christian character who had brought a solace and comfort 
to the family before going hence. She was born April 27, 1848, 
and died October 18, 1900. 

A. B. C. BRAY. 

A connection with the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company of 
twenty-four years, and one of eleven years since that time as cash- 
ier of the First National Bank of Ronceverte, is an introduction we 
make of A. B. C. Bray to the readers of this work. 

Thomas Bray, son of Jacob Peele Bray, a native of Suffolk 



county, England, and the father of the subject of this sketch, was 
born in that county in the year 1826. Having English parents of 
wealth, ease and refinement, more than an ordinary equipment for 
life's work was bestowed upon their son, who, at the age of twenty- 
two, graduated from Oxford College, in 1848. He then came to 
America and located at Princeton, Mercer county, West Virginia. 
His name will be found in Judge Miller's history of Summers 
county as one of the more distinguished surveyors of large estates, 
and as an engineer of large corporate interests. There is on record 
a survey he made of an enormous acreage of coal lands, one of the 
greatest, probably, in the State of West Virginia. 

Thomas Bray married Martha L. Brown, of Mercer county. 
She was a daughter of George Paris Brown, and bore her husband 
nine children, only two of whom are now living — Mrs. Frank Cox, 
of Hinton, W. Va., whose husband is a train dispatcher for the 
Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company. 

Thomas Bray was a Confederate soldier and a member of Com- 
pany C, Second Virginia Infantry. He was in active service over 
two years, then assigned to hospital duties, where he remained 
until the close of the war. After the war he practiced medicine in 
Mercer and Monroe counties until his death, in 1875. 

A. B. C. Bray was born in Mercer county on April 2, 1865. His 
early life was spent in pursuit of an education in the public schools, 
after which he went to work as a telegraph operator for the Chesa- 
peake & Ohio Railroad Company at Big Bend Tunnel, W. Va., in 
1881. He worked for the company in various capacities, finally 
becoming depot agent at Ronceverte, where he remained fourteen 
years as one of their most trusted officials. In 1905 he was offered 
the position he now holds as cashier of the First National Bank 
of Ronceverte, and where he has remained ever since. 

On May 15, 1889, Mr. Bray was married to Miss Emma M. 
Huddleston, of Fort Spring, this county. Her parents are both 
dead. To this union were born seven children, namely, Grace, 
Alice, Eleanor, Edward, Albert, Peyton ; and one son, Burton, who 
died in 191 1, at the age of twenty years. 

Mr. Bray is a member of the Masonic fraternity, being a Knight 


Templar in the York rite and of the eighteenth degree in the Scot- 
tish rite. He is High Priest of the grand Royal Arch chapter of 
the State, elected to that office in November, 191 5. He is a mem- 
ber of the Episcopal church and is a vestryman in that organiza- 
tion ; is president of the Bankers' Association of West Virginia. 
Besides numerous other positions he has filled in political life Mr. 
Bray is delegate to the lower house of the State legislature. 

Now the Residence of Mrs. T. K. Totten. 

Among places of historical interest in Greenbrier county is 
the first parsonage of the pastor of the Presbyterian congrega- 
tion of Lewisburg. It is a substantial stone house standing on 
the beautiful bluffs overlooking the Greenbrier river at the cross- 
ing of the James river and the Kanawha turnpike, about one and 
one-half miles above the bridge. It was built by the Rev. Benja- 
min Griggsby sometime between 1794 and 1803, for he was pas- 
tor of the congregation between those years. He was called to 
the church before the construction of the Manse, when they 
worshipped in the first log building on the land of Joe Fermster 
(so says James Withrow, who supplied the data for this sketch), 
"which was about one mile north of Lewisburg. I think he had 
another house," the writer says, "on the other tract of land on 
the east side of the river, but the present residence has always 
gone by the name of the 'stone house.' It stands on land obtained 
from Abraham Hoptonstall and adjoins lands of John Anderson, 
(the Hunter land now.)" 

The Rev. Griggsby's tract consisted of 1,050 acres, patented 
from the State of Virginia, and the Hoptonstall land purchased by 
deed in 1794. (See Deed Book I, page 408.) 

Different transfers of the property were made from that time, 
as found by the very full and carefully made up abstract by Mr. 
Withrow, and until the large estate on both sides of the river 

The Old Alanse — Residence of Mrs. M. T. Totten. 


were deeded to T. K. Totten, who purchased it of Alex Atkin- 
son September 26, 1902. 

Thomas K. Totten, the purchaser of the "Manse," was a prom- 
inent citizen of McDowell county, where he was born June 8, 
1 85 1. For a long time he was resident judge of the County 
Court and filled other positions of honor and trust conferred 
upon him by the commonwealth. He was a big merchant and 
farmer, with the lumber and mercantile interests carried on to a 
very large extent. 

T. K. Totten first married a Miss Patsey Newsqme and to 
this union were: William L., born January 1, 1878; Major H., 
September 5, 1880, both married; Boyd M., November 3, 1882; 
Walter M., October 8, 1888. 

Mr. Totten's second marriage was to Miss Matilda Jane Lam- 
bert, daughter of Hiram and Eliza (Collins) Lambert. She was 
born February 22, 1870, and her marriage took place on June 30, 
1888. In 1 89 1 they moved to Greenbrier county and on January 
5, 1907, Mr. Totten died, since which time Mrs. Totten has suc- 
cessfully managed the large interests of the old plantation. 

To Mr. and Mrs. T. K. Totten were born the following chil- 
dren: (1) Helen V., born April 20, 1889; (2) Edith Maude, 
January 26, 1891, married C. A. Wright, of Roanoke, Va., De- 
cember 24, 1913; they have one daughter, Mildred Jane. (3) 
Amanda Pearle, January 31, 1892; married H. B. Austin, of 
Natural Bridge, Va., May 28, 1913 ; (4) Harry Burks, Jr.; (5) 
Elizabeth Jane; (6) Burbridge Payne, May 17, 1895; (7) Edgar 
K., February 5, 1897; (8) Virginia M., December 28, 1899; (9) 
Gladys, February 1, 1900; (10) Thomas, Jr., February 3, 1903; 
(11) Evelyn Mildred, February 19, 1907. 


The ancestors of this branch of the Handley family came from 
old Virginia stock and they were among the earliest and most 
prominent of the settlers of the county of Greenbrier. John and 


Elizabeth (Shanklin) Handley were the grandparents of the sub- 
ject of this sketch. His great maternal grandfather emigrated 
from Ireland in 1769 and settled three miles west of Lewisburg 
in 1784 and there passed the remainder of his days. William 
Hundley came from Augusta county, Virginia, about 1790, and 
settled about one and one-half miles west of Lewisburg. 

The Hadley-Shanklin families were prominent in the county 
also. John Handley died September 21, 1875, and his wife died 
February 22, 1854. 

Harvey Handley, the father of John O., was born in Green- 
brier county October 28, 1817. He was the owner of one of the 
best cultivated farms in Greenbrier county, lying in Lewisburg 
district — now owned by Howard C. Skaggs. He took special 
pride in raising blooded horses, having the best strain west of the 
Blue Ridge in the Virginias. He served his county as surveyor 
from 1840 to 1858. He was for many years an elder of the Pres- 
byterian church. 

On June 14, 1842, Harvey Handley married Mary C. L. Bell, 
who was born in Goshen September 13, 1822. She was a daugh- 
ter of Joseph and Mary Ann (Nelson) Bell. 

To this union were born ten children: (1) William M., April 
8, 1843; died in June, 1845; ( 2 ) Joseph B., January 4, 1846; 
(3) Mary A., October 28, 1847; (4) John O., May 25, 1849; 
(5) Bettie P., May 12, 1851 ; died in October, 1861 ; (6) Thomas 
A., June 9, 1853; (7) Robert D., November 9, 1885; died in 
September, 1865; (8) Harvey J., January 31, 1859; (9) Charles 
W., March 5, 1861 ; (10) Mary B., October 12, 1863. 

Joseph B. Handley was a Confederate soldier. He enlisted 
at Richmond in the Fourteenth Virginia cavalry in the fall of 
1862 and served until the surrender of Lee in 1865. 

John O. Handley, a well known farmer and dairyman, owns 
and cultivates one of the smaller farms in the county. For six 
years he was in the hotel and livery business with James H. 
Stratton. In 1887 he moved to Pasco county, Florida, and was 
with the South Florida Railroad Company until August, 1895. 
He moved to his present residence in 1900. 



On September 14, 1882, he married Mattie, daughter of 
Johnston E. and Sarah A. (Wayt) Bell. She was born in Lewis- 
burg, January 7, 1856. Her father was born in Rockbridge 
county, Virginia, December 16, 1816, and in 1845 came to Green- 
brier county. Her mother was born in Augusta county, Vir- 
ginia, October 9, 1822, and died in Greenbrier county January 4, 

Children born to this union were : ( 1 ) Johnston Bell, August 
7, 1883 ; (2) Harvey Lockheart, August 5, 1885 ; (3) William 
Overton, October 10, 1887; died March 26, 1892. 


Maj. Claudius Buster, born 1764, descended from one of the 
earliest Scotch and Irish families of Virginia, according to the 
Government reports of Revolutionary War pensions, issued in 
1841, drew a pension for service with the Colonies. He was one 
of the most prosperous and most prominent men of his county, 
and died in 184 — . 

His son, George W. Buster, born 1803, was sheriff of Kana- 
wha county and afterwards became the owner of the once famous 
resort, the Blue Sulphur Springs, where he died in 1868. These 
springs are yet in the possession of his descendents. 

His son, Charles Blackwell Buster, born October 22, 1838, in 
Charleston, W. Va., moved with his parents to the Blue Sulphur 
when a child. The Blue Sulphur was his home, although many 
times, for short periods, in business elsewhere, until elected county 
clerk of Greenbrier in 1884 necessitated his moving to Lewis- 
burg. He had this office for twenty-four years, having continu- 
ously been elected to it until he retired from business in 1909, 
and has lived a quiet retired life in Lewisburg ever since. Dur- 
ing the Civil War he served as a second lieutenant, Company B, 
Wise Legion ; was in service six months and was then retired on 
account of ill health. 


Mr. Buster's mother was Ann Chilton, born 1809, married in 
1833, died in 1884, the daughter of Dr. Samuel and Lucinda 
Blackwell Chilton. Lucinda Blackwell was the daughter of Capt. 
Samuel Blackwell of the Revolution. The Chilton and Blackwell 
families repeatedly intermarried until they virtually became the 
same family. Dr. Samuel Chilton was the son of Col. Charles 
Chilton, of Hereford, born 1741, and his mother was Elizabeth 
Blackwell. Col. Charles Chilton is likewise the ancestor of the 
famous Charleston Chilton family, to which belongs the present 
United States Senator, William E. Chilton. 

The Chilton family, back to the first settler from England, is 
given in full detail in McKenzies Colonial families of the United 
States, in which is also a cut and description of the Chilton coat 
of arms. The Blackwell family has been written up in the Times 
Despatch, October 1, 1910, and it gives a long line of ancestors. 

Mr. Buster married Virginia W. Hamilton, daughter of Jacob 
and Delilah (Jarrett) Hamilton and the granddaughter of Maj. 
William Hamilton (his wife was a Miss Clemmons), who was 
one of the first settlers of Greenbrier, having been a soldier in the 
Revolution and having come from Augusta and settling near the 
Blue Sulphur Springs when there were no white men west of that 

Five children were born of this marriage, two of whom are 
now living, viz: Annie Hamilton Buster, who was married in 

1890 to Louis Pitzer Housman, the son of Housman and 

Fannie Pitzer Housman ; they now live in Pueblo, Col., and their 
children are Virginia Chilton, Robert Louis and Charles Mc- 

Emma Bernard Buster, who was married in 1895 to Henry 
Arthur Henderson, a civil engineer, of England, the son of Gen. 
John Henderson, of the English army, and Ellen Lushington 
Harris (see Burke's Peerage). Of this marriage three children 
were born ; the eldest died in infancy. The two living are Colin 
David Henderson and Eleanor Virginia Hamilton Henderson. 

Mr. Buster married a second time to Mattie W. Cooper, the 
daughter of the Rev. A. W. Cooper, of the Methodist church, 


and Martha Gabbert, and from this marriage his children were 
Blackwell Chilton, born October 28, 1890, married August 27, 
1910, to Mary Lillian Livesay ; and Mary Evelyn Buster, born 
January 19, 1898. 

Charles Blackwell Buster has brothers and sisters as follows : 
Samuel, died young; Alexis Martin, born July 12, 1836, married 
Sarah Emma Hamilton, daughter of Maj. William Hamilton; 
Lucy Ann, born in 1840; Thomas Bernard, born 1845, and died 
in the service of the Confederacy as a member of Company B, 
Sixtieth Virginia Infantry, C. S. A. 

Mr. Buster has always been an enthusiastic citizen of the best 
type, with a broad horizon of friends and acquaintances. At 
present he lives quietly, enjoying the remembrance of a long life 
of local prominence and prestige. The two-volume work, Men 
of West Virginia, published in 1903, gives a great deal of space 
and detail of the life and family of Mr. Buster, with an excellent 
portrait of him. 


George H. Buster, son of Alexis Martin, and in descent from 
Maj. Claudius Buster, of Scotch-Irish parentage, before men- 
tioned, has very well represented the prestige and interest of the 
Buster family at Blue Sulphur during the past eighteen years as 
owner and proprietor of the general store at that place. He is 
the eldest child of Alexis Martin and Sarah Emma Hamilton 
Buster, and has been very successful as a merchant. His father 
organized the company above mentioned and served in the army 
during the war, but in various capacities. He was at one time 
in the quartermaster's department. 

George H. married Miss Sallie Littlepage, daughter of L. B. 
Littlepage. The family worship with the Presbyterians, of which 
church Alex Martin is an elder and George H. is a deacon. 



In the year 1820, Alexander Jackson and five brothers set 
sail from the shores of Ireland for America. The grandfather 
of the subject of this sketch was the only one of them who located 
finally in Greenbrier county. After a few years he moved to 
Monroe county. His wife was a Miss Robinson. She died 
during the Civil war. He died in 1867. Three sons were born 
to this union, of which James W. was the oldest. He was born 
February n, 1829 and died four or five years ago in a hospital. 
He married Margaret M. Hogshead, a daughter of John and 
Mary Hogshead, both of Monroe county, Virginia. John Hogs- 
head was born in Augusta county, Virginia, July 20, 1806. His 
wife was born there also, December 7, 1807. They came to Mon- 
roe county in 1822 and 1829, respectively. He died July 7, 1857. 
His wife died somewhere in the eighties. 

Robert L. and William were the two grandsons of Alexander 
Jackson. William married and died the same day. 

Six children were born to James W. and Margaret M (Hogs- 
head) Jackson: Mathew A., April 29, 1853; Mary Jane, March 
16, 1856; Joanna M., May 30, 1859; Robert L., June 25, 1863; 
Anna W., May 10, 1871. Joanna became one of the successful 
teachers of Greenbrier county. 

James W. Jackson owned a farm adjoining the one now owned 
by his son, Mathew A. He was one of those thoroughgoing busi- 
ness farmers and was deputy sheriff of Greenbrier county at one 
time. The farm was covered with plenty of timber during the 
earlier years of his married life, giving plenty of hard work for 
the whole family all their lives, and they all had to work very 
hard until the wilderness was subdued and a homestead was 

On January 25, 1882, M. A. Jackson married Anna M. At- 
keson, daughter of Thomas Atkeson, second cousin to Governor 
Atkinson, of West Virginia. She was born May 8, 1858, and 
died October 5, 191 1. Mrs. Jackson was a most estimable, Chris- 
tian lady, well known as a very active as well as a most worthy 
member of the Methodist church. 



Six children, four girls and two boys, were born to this union : 
Nettie A., Margaret J., Joanna V., Mary W., Clarence A., Wil- 
liam A., and Nina D., who died March 29, 191 5, at the age of 
twenty-three. She was in attendance at the time of her death 
in the training school at Richmond. Va., and about ready to 
graduate from that institution. The daughters are all graduates 
of the Lewisburg Seminary. Clarence A. attended the state uni- 
versity at Morgantown four years. William A., the youngest, is 
seventeen years old. 

Mathew Jackson has a beautiful farm. It is fine grazing land, 
consisting of some 800 acres. He thoroughly mastered the busi- 
ness part of a framer's life when a young man. His farm is well 
situated and all its natural advantages have been utilized under 
an intelligent supervision. 

Mr. Jackson was at one time postmaster of Lewisburg. He 
was appointed by Roosevelt to that position and held the office 
eight years. He has been a very active man in his day and has 
raised a very intelligent family of children. 


Frank Tyree, of Mountain Cove, Fayette county, West Vir- 
ginia, and a brother of William M. Tyree, well known there, was 
the father of the subject of this sketch. Capt. Samuel Tyree was 
born in Fayette county in 1840, and died January 14, 1912. A 
good portion of his early life was spent in Fayette county, where 
he was reared on a farm and obtained his education. He then 
came to Greenbrier county. Upon the breaking out of the war 
between the States in 1861, he volunteered as a soldier in Com- 
pany E. commanded by his uncle, William Tyree, and was at- 
tached to the Twenty-second regiment. Later he organized a 
company of independent rangers to take part in that great strug- 
gle, and of which he was chosen captain, and with this company 
he did some very effective service for the Confederacy. 


On September 12, 1865, Captain Tyree married Miss Sabina 
Feamster. She was born March 27, 1844, and died April 26, 
191 2. She was a sister of Joseph and Col. S. W. N. Feamster, 
of this county (see sketch of the Feamster family), and to this 
union were born seven children. Edward, married Mary Lewis 
Handley, daughter of Austin Handley ; Frank, not married. Wil- 
liam, married Susie C. Renick, daughter of James H. Renick; 
Emmette, married Millie L. Cogbill, daughter of D. J. Cogbill: 
Harry, married Miss Brocions, of Dallas, Texas ; John, married 
Mary Bell Gillian, daughter of C. W. Gillian ; Mattie R., at home. 

Captain Tyree bore an excellent reputation. He was a com- 
panionable, whole-souled, generous man, ever ready to do a favor 
or to help the needy. His acts of kindness are still spoken of 
and were very many. He had the happy faculty of accommodat- 
ing himself to surrounding circumstances, which made of him a 
man among men, and, as it was said, also a "child among chil- 
dren." His death was felt as a personal loss by the community 
in general. 

1 846- 1 907. 

James Laing, son of John and Margaret Bowie Laing, was 
born at Slamanan, near the city of Glasgow, Scotland, January 
2, 1846. 

Mr. Laing's parents, realizing the larger possibilities that the 
United States offered, emigrated with their family to America 
in 1866, settling in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, where they en- 
gaged in farming and mining. 

On December 31, 1872, Mr. Laing was married to Susanna 
Kay, second daughter of Thomas and Janet Kerr Kay. Miss Kay 
was a Scotch lady, born at Lanark, Scotland, April 29, 185 1, and 
came to America with her parents in 1870. The Kay family set- 
tled first in Sharon, Pa., and later in West Virginia. 

Mr. Laing bought a large tract of coal land in West Virginia 




and moved with his family of two children to Quinnimont, Fay- 
ette county, in 1878. At this time the New River coal fields were 
just beginning to be developed. Mr. Laing organized the Royal 
Coal and Coke Company in 1891 and opened up the Royal mine, 
which was the first mine to be operated in Raleigh county, and 
was managed by Mr. Laing until 1896, when he organized the Sun 
Coal and Coke Company and sank the first shaft ever used in the 
New River coal field, at Sun, which he managed with remarkable 
effectiveness and success. Mr. Laing continued the management 
of these mines until 1904, when he retired from active service in 
mining operations, though he continued his interest in other activ- 
ities, and until the time of his death was president of the Laing 
Mining Company, the McKinley Land Company, the Craig-Giles 
Iron Company and the Mountain Lake Land Company. 

Mr. Laing had long dreamed of spending his declining years 
in a quiet country community, and selecting the small but well- 
known town of Lewisburg, purchased property and built a large 
and handsome stone house, "Campsie Glen," into which he moved 
his family from Fayette county, in 1904. 

Mr. Laing was a trustee of the Lewisburg Seminary, from 
which institution his daughters received their education. This 
school was dear to his heart and he labored zealously for its 
development and power. His interest in Christian education was 
felt over the entire church, and in 1907, shortly before his death, 
he was appointed a trustee of Hampden-Sidney College, where 
two of his sons had been educated. 

He was just realizing the ambition of his boyhood — comfort 
and quietness for himself and his loyal and saintly wife and having 
a constructive part in the education of the youth of his beloved 
State and church — when his death occurred, after a brief illness, 
at his home in Lewisburg, October 31, 1907. Surviving him are 
his widow and seven children : Janet Kerr, John Bowie, Thomas 
Kay, Annie Jean, James Kay, Susanna Kay (Mrs. R. L. Speas), 
and Bessie Belle. 

Like most of his Scotch countrymen, Mr. Laing was an ardent 
Presbyterian, devoted to his church and liberal in its support. 


While at Quinnimont, in 1882, he was ordained a ruling elder in 
the church, and with a fidelity and fitness realized by few, he 
served in that sacred capacity wherever he lived. 

Mr. Laing lived in Lewisburg only three short years, but it 
was long enough to win an enviable place in the esteem and friend- 
ship of the people of the town and community. In politics, he was 
a Republican, believing firmly in the McKinley principles of pro- 
tection. As a man and citizen his life and conduct were ever above 
reproach, modest and unassuming, true to his convictions and firm 
in his stand for right as he saw it ; he held the respect and con- 
fidence of those who knew him best and was admired and hon- 
ored by his many business associates and employes. In his death 
his family lost one of the truest and best husbands and fathers, 
the schools of which he was a trustee a wise and trusted counsellor, 
his town and State a constructive and loyal citizen, and the church, 
his choicest pride, a most faithful member and officer. 


Mining operations have engaged the attention of the Jasper 
family for generations. John Jasper, of Cornwall Parish, mined 
copper and tin ore most of his lifetime. He died at the age of 
sixty years, having established a business that has been followed 
by his son, Richard Jasper, ever since. 

About the year 1823 John Jasper married Jane Vine, and from 
that union were born Mary Jane, now deceased ; Richard, who 
was born in Cornwall Parish in 1846 ; Sophia, who went to Aus- 
tralia and has never since been heard from ; Margaret, who mar- 
ried and had two children. She lived and died in Cardiff, Wales. 
Carrie, the fifth child, who is now the wife of Thomas Appleby, 
of Wales, a soldier now for his country in the war of the allies 
against the Turks at Constantinople. 

In 1867, Richard Jasper came to this country, locating first 
at Clearfield, Pa., then at a mining point in Mercer county, com- 
ing to Fayette county, West Virginia, in 1881, at which time and 


subsequently he carried on an extensive business with James 
Laing and others for many years. During all that time his specu- 
lations and profits in mining lands, coal fields and timber tracts 
have netted him a comfortable living. His son, William Jasper, 
prominent in large coal interests belonging to a company in 
Charleston, of which he is a member, has also been very successful 
in mining activities, and in coal and timber lands as well. 

He began clerking in the company store, then took charge of 
commercial interests, as manager, and having worked his way 
to the top, is now among the foremost in the business. 

He was born August 10, 1867, and in 1890 he married Miss 
Ida Johnson, and has eight children : Nell, who married Dr. Lee 
Wray and lives in Charleston ; Bess ; Grace ; Florence ; Caroline ; 
Ruth ; William, and Thomas. 

Jennie Jasper, second child, was born in May, 1869, and has 
nine children. Her first husband was William Averill, and by 
him had one daughter, Annie, and five sons, Eben, Thomas, Ray, 
Frank and William. Her second husband is Thomas Dixon, of 
Willock, Pa. To this union were born two children, Joe and Eliz- 

Mary, the third child, was born November 13, 1872. She mar- 
ried John Burns, who, also, is interested in mining, in Raleigh 
county, West Virginia. Their children are: Caroline, Elizabeth, 
Helen, Agnes, Richard, Samuel, William, Fred and James. 

Samuel, the fourth child, was born July 4, 1875. He married 
Barbara Wright and lives at Glen Jean, Fayette county, West Vir- 
ginia, where he is justice of the peace. They have one child, 

Fred Jasper, fifth child, was born in June, 1877. He was 
married in 1904 to Caroline Calloway and has two children, Ma- 
rian and Margaret, twins. He is a railroad operator and lives at 
Glen Jean. 

Helen, the sixth child, was born November 13, 1879. On July 
4, 1900, she was married to Frank Wissenger, a hardware mer- 
chant of Lewisburg. Their children are Margaret, Richard, Min- 
nie and Frances. 


Ida, the seventh child, was born August i, 1886. She married 
Houston Moore, August 1, 1912. Two children, Caroline and 
John, were born to this union. 

Richard Jasper, when about twenty years of age, married Caro- 
line Nichols. She was the daughter of William Nichols, who was 
killed in a mine in 1858. Mr. Jasper bought his present residence 
in 1912. He owns considerable bank stock as well as other inter- 
ests. He is the grandfather of thirty-eight children and has three 
great-grandchildren. His wife died August 23, 191 1. The family 
worship with the Methodists. 

By Lieut. C. N. Feamster. 

The name Feamster seems to have originated in Scotland only, 
but is of Norwegian, Danish, or Norman origin. These three 
nations having an origin in common, it depends merely upon the 
date of the origin of the name Feamster as to which nation from 
which it came. Feam, or as it was first written in America Feem, 
should possibly be Faem, meaning foam, and the Ster being not an 
Anglo-Saxon occupation as Webster, Brewster, etc., but is Stadr, 
meaning the same as the English Ton or Town, used on so many 
English names as a suffix. The Stadr is yet used in the names of 
quite a few places in Caithness as Lybster, etc. 

In addition to the Virginia family of Feamsters, which are 
fully set forth in this article, there were in the Federal Cencus or 
Heads of Families of 1790, John Femister, in Fairfax county, 
Virginia ; Samuel Feemster, in Chester county, South Carolina ; 
John and Joseph Feemster, in York county, South Carolina, and 
John Femmester, in Philadelphia ; and there are now Feemsters 
in Cincinnati, Kansas City, Seattle, Indiana and North Carolina. 
However, there is no traceable relationship between any of these 
and the family about which we are writing. 

According to the family history of the Greenbrier Feamsters, 
as has been handed clown from generation to generation, the first 

3ft £ 

£i*-Ju^ 4/tlo<( 



of the family in America came from Scotland to Augusta county, 
Virginia, previous to 1750 and settled on Cow Pasture river, and 
there built what was known as Feamster's Mills. He lived and 
died there, having made a will, and, according to Scotch custom, 
left all his land to his two sons, William and John. The daughters, 
not liking to thus be cut out. burnt the will, and then, according to 
Virginia law, all children inherited equally. William came to 
Greenbrier and John went South and died without issue. The 
family history of the Feamsters was written up in a four-column 
article in the Greenbrier Independent of March 5, 1885, by M. W. 
Zimmerman. He there also states the above and obtained his data 
from William Feamster, the grandson of the first settler in Amer- 
ica, Thomas Feaster, who settled in Augusta about 1745. 

First Generation. — In looking up the records of Augusta 
county, using Chalkley's Abstracts as an index, the earliest date of 
the name is that of Thomas Feemster (born about 1715, married 
about 1740, died 1797) as an appraiser of an estate, February 5, 
1748. His name occurs many times from this date up until after 
his death. He bought 390 acres of land on Cow Pasture river, 
August 19, 1752. This was at what is now Williamsville, Bath 
county, and George W. Wallace, a lineal descendant, has a very 
large and valuable farm there now, comprising in part this same 
tract. April 22, 1763, Thomas Feemster was appointed surveyor 
of a road from Walker's to Charles Lewis'. In 1764 he was ap- 
pointed a processioner from the head to the mouth of Cow Pasture. 
April 15, 1765, he submitted a claim for provisions furnished the 
militia. He witnessed quite a few deeds and was a frequent ap- 
praiser of estates, one in 1778 has entitled descendants to join the 
Daughters of the American Revolution. His wife was Elizabeth. 
She was yet living in 1808. The date of his death, full list of his 
children, etc., has been obtained from data given in a suit entered 
in Bath county and transferred to Augusta, wherein his sons, Wil- 
liam and John, in 1798, sued for possession of his lands on account 
of an alleged will made by him leaving it to them. In this suit 
it is shown that a will was made leaving all his land to his two 
sons, William and John, and that it was read after the funeral, but 


could never be found again, and hence was never recorded. The 
heirs finally settled the suit by agreement, in 1812. In this suit 
it is set forth that Thomas Feemster died in 1797 at a very ad- 
vanced age, that he was from seventy to eighty years old when he 
made his will, which was quite a few years before he died, 
that even at this advanced age he could see to read and write, that 
Elizabeth was his wife and that she was the mother of his son, 
William, and that the children were : 

(1) William, born about 1740, who lived in Greenbrier and was 
dead before 181 2, leaving his widow, Mary, and son, Thomas, as 
administrators. (See Second Generation.) 

(2) John, who went to Kentucky, and September 24, 1802, he 
and his wife, Polly, deeded his interest in his father's estate to 
three of the other heirs. (Deed of record in Bath.) 

(3) Martha, married John McCreery and went to Kentucky. 

(4) Mary, married Robert Sitlington. 

(5) Rachel, married a Mr. Carlisle, widow in Henrico county 
in 1 810. 

(6) Elizabeth, married Adam Bratton, July 9, 1788, remained 
in Augusta. 

(7) Susanna, married James Wallace, after 1802, and she was 
dead in 1808. 

(8) Sarah, married Hugh Brown and both were dead before 
1798, and left one daughter, Sarah, who was married to Mathew 
Wallace, before 1808. 

The above, Mary, Elizabeth, Susanna and Sarah, remained in 
Augusta and Bath. Thomas left a very large estate for that pe- 
riod. There were five slaves and three or four hundred pounds in 
notes, besides his lands and other personal property. 

Second Generation. — His son, William Feemster (born about 
1740, married, first, June 21, 1763, died November, 1801) was 
married the first time in Augusta before he came to Greenbrier, 
and his wife is said to have been a Miss Black. He went down the 
Kanawha in 1773, and his name does not occur again in the Au- 
gusta records until he is appointed his father's administrator. He 
appears first in the Greenbrier records in 1782, the date of his 


first deed for land. From this time until 1799 he entered twenty- 
nine separate tracts of land in Greenbrier, comprising in all 11,730 
acres. Three or four of these tracts were in partnership. In 1784 
he was appointed to view the way for a wagon road from Keeny's 
(Mill to John Stuart's. September 9, 1786, he obtained a deed to 
1,000 acres of land, "including the improvements, where he now 
lives." For this tract he had obtained a deed from the Greenbrier 
Company in 1775. At a court held in Greenbrier January 29, 
1800, there is this order: "Win. Feemster Gent, was duly quali- 
fied to his office of a magistrate and took the usual oath according 
to law. Present Wm. Feemster, Gent." This was the county or 
magistrate's court and was the highest court sitting in Greenbrier 
of which the county has records. It was a court of general juris- 
diction, having both civil and criminal cases before it. He last 
sat upon this court July, 1801, and then, on November 25, 1801, 
this same court appointed as his adminstrators his widow, Mary, 
and his son, Thomas, requiring a bond for 8,000 pounds, a very 
large bond for this time, and required on account of the especial 
value of his estate. There were born to William Feamster six 
children before his last marriage, that to Mary Fulton, as follow : 

(1) Jane, married Thomas Bradshaw and moved to Bath 
county, Kentucky. 

(2) Rachel, married William Morgan and moved to Henry 
county, Kentucky. 

(3) Rebecca, died early, unmarried. 

(4) Margaret, married in 1786 to John Chambers, moved to 
Kentucky, and descendants now live at Harrodsburg, Ind. 

(5) Martha, married Kenneth A. Newton on September 6, 
1 79 1, and moved to Montgomery county, Kentucky. 

(6) Thomas, born 1770, remained on his father's plantation 
in Greenbrier. (See Third Generation.) 

Then, on March 1, 1787, William Feemster married again, this 
time to Mary Fulton, and there were born to this marriage six 
children, all of whom remained in or near Greenbrier, as follow : 

(7) John, married Mary Johnson on January 27, 1825, and 
left no issue. 


(8) George Washington, married Nancy Bratton, no issue. 
She died and he then married Mary Cary, the widow of Cyrus 
Cary and daughter of Capt. Charles Arbuckle, and by this mar- 
riage there was one son, Lieut. John A. Feamster, Confederate 
States of America. He was educated at the University of Vir- 
ginia, and there are four sons and one daughter, Mrs. Warrick, 
of his now living at Frankfort, Ky. 

(9) Elizabeth, married December 31, 1819, to Capt. Samuel 
Kincaid. He died January 28, 1828, aged forty-eight years (from 
tombstone in Lewisburg cemetery). 

(10) Sarah, married April 30, 1818, to Samuel Dickson, 
(n) Susanna, married May 13, 1823, to Robert Bratton, of 

Augusta county. 

(12) William, married Mary Tyree and left four sons and 
daughters, and there are many of his descendants in Greenbrier. 

The estate of Wiliam Feemster, Sr., who died, as heretofore 
stated, in 1801, was appraised on December 7, 1801 (see Will 
Book No. 1, pp. 166-171), and was the largest in value up to that 
time, and even larger than any on beyond 1820. There were six 
slaves, twelve horses, forty-two cattle, a yoke of oxen, twenty-two 
sheep, thirty-one hogs, forty geese, a still and thirty gallons of 
brandy, fourteen books, clock, watch, five guns, a pistol, conch- 
shell, spectacles, large poster beds, etc., etc., a long list of farming 
and household articles, more than twenty-eight pounds of silver, 
and "gold not weighed but estimated to be 29 pounds and 14 shill- 
ings," and notes to the amount of 1,289 pounds, in all the sum 
being more than 2,171 pounds of personality only, not counting 
realty. Both its size and style of articles were very exceptionable 
for that time. 

Third Generation. — His son, Thomas Feamster (born 1770, 
married June 7, 1796, died 1830), was his father's administrator. 
He married, June 7, 1796, Mary McClung, the daughter of Joseph 
McClung, Sr., of Sinking Creek. (See McClung Genealogy, 
which has been published.) He remained on the Feamster plan- 
tation on Muddy creek and bought out the most of the other heirs 
of his father, and it is from these deeds that the full list of chil- 


dren and their places of residence has been obtained. A final di- 
vision, however, with the children of his father's last mariage was 
not completed until after 1830, after the death of the said Thomas. 
His children were: 

(1) William, born October, 1797. (See Fourth Genera- 

(2) Joseph, born 1800, married, February 3, 1858, to Sarah 
Craig, died September 10, 1877, and left descent through one child 
only, Laura, now Mrs. Frank W. Taylor, of Morristown, Tenn. 

(3) Dr. Samuel T., born 1804, married Ann Eliza Walkup, of 
Rockbridge county, Virginia. He practiced medicine in Canton, 
Miss. Later went to Kentucky, and to Brazil for his health. Re- 
turned to Canton, where he died, March 27, 1845. Left no de- 

(4) Adelia, married, October 2, 1817, Robert Nickell, of Mon- 
roe county. 

(5) Margaret, married, February 5, 1824, to Charles Rodg- 
ers. Mother of the late John Joe Rogers, of Abingdon, 111. 

(6) Susan Bratton, died in 1837, unmarried. 

(7) Mary Martha, married, January 7, 1833, Sheriff Samuel 
McClung, who "died Oct. 24, 1845, a £ ed 35 )' rs 5 mos 2 5 days." 
She "died Feb. 5, 1843, a S e d 3 2 vrs IO mos 2 4 days." (Both 
quotations from tombstones in Feamster family cemetery on Mud- 
dy creek.) She has descent only through her granddaughter, Mrs. 
George A. Van Lear, of Roanoke, Va. 

(8) Elizabeth Bratton, youngest child, born 181 1, married, 
January 16, 1837, to Alexander Kearns, and "died April 20, 1840, 
in her 29th year." (From tombstone in Feamster cemetery on 
Muddy creek.) She has descent only through Mrs. James M. Ra- 
der and Mrs. Wilber D. Slaven, both of Lewisburg. 

Thomas Feamster was married, second, between 18 13 and 
1820, to Margaret Ann Bratton. No issue by this marriage. She 
survived him. He is buried in the old Feamster family burying 
ground on the original Feamster plantation on Muddy creek. The 
inscription on his tomb is : "Thomas Feamster, died June 6, 1830, 
aged 60 years." He left a yet larger estate than his father, as is 


shown by the appraisement list (Will Book No. i, pp. 824 to 831, 
inclusive). There were twenty slaves, nineteen horses, 112 cat- 
tle, ninety-two hogs, 152 sheep, thirty- four geese, a still and sixty 
gallons of brandy, a lot of books, long list of farming and house- 
hold articles, and notes to the amount of $1,312.60, total value, of 
personality only, $7,698.43, which does not include his realty. 

Fourth Generation. — His son, William (born October, 
1797, married March 17, 1825, died February 27, 1854), married 
Martha (she was called Patsey) Alderson (born February 19, 
1797, and died September 2, 1885), the daughter of Joseph Aider- 
son, legislator, sheriff, etc., who was the son of the Rev. John 
Alderson. William Feamster was administrator for his father 
and executor for his father-in-law. In 1820, his father and step- 
mother deeded him 490 acres of land in the Meadows, in Green- 
brier, as his portion of his father's estate. He lived on this until 
his father's death, when there was a settlement of the estate (his 
grandfather's estate) among all the heirs ; then he moved back to 
the old Feamster place on Muddy creek. Later he bought the Ar- 
buckle place, just west of Lewisburg, removed to it, and lived 
there until his death. His children were as follow : 

(1 and 2) Twins, born September 18, 1826, died October 2 
and 12. 

(3) Mary Martha, born September 19, 1827, and died as a 

(4) Thomas Lewis, born November 12, 1829 (see Fifth Gen- 

(5) Sarah Elizabeth, born 1832, married Capt. Moorman B. 
White, Confederate States of America, and died November 15, 

(6) Joseph Alderson, born 1833, married Mary Huffnagle, 
December 13, 1865, descent through daughters only survive. Mar- 
ried again, to Mary Stone, one daughter and one son, Thomas L. 
Feamster, and died July 7, 191 7. 

(7) Lieut. Samuel William Newman, Confederate States 
of America, born February 21, 1836. 

(See following article) 


(8) Martha Jane, born October 3, 1840, married May 30, 
1865, to C. S. Anderson, of Salem, Va., a Confederate soldier, and 
she died February 2, 1909. The family now live near Morris- 
town, Tenn. 

(9) Sabina Creigh, born March 27, 1844, married September 
12, 1865, to Capt. Samuel F. Tyree, Confederate States of Amer- 
ica, and died April 26, 191 2. 

Both William and Patsy Feamster, his wife, are buried in the 
Lewisburg cemetery. He left a very large estate, as is shown by 
his will and appraisement. There were sixteen slaves, twelve 
horses, 135 cattle, three yoke of oxen, 112 sheep, fifty hogs, etc., 
etc., and land of 1,000 acres on Muddy creek, and also the farm 
just west of Lewisburg, which now comprises five or six good- 
sized farms. 

Fifth Generation. — His son, Lieut. Thomas Lewis Feam- 
ster (born November 12, 1829, married October 14, 1868, died 
December 31, 1906), was his father's executor. He married Lou- 
isa Madden Cary, born April 8, 1844, yet living. For her ances- 
try through William Cary, her father, see the published works, 
Beatty-Asfordby, published by Frank Allaben, New York, 1909, 
and Americans of Royal Descent, by Charles H. Browning, 
wherein, on pages 511 and 512, she and all her children, unsolic- 
ited and unbeknown to any of them, were registered. This was 
published in Philadelphia in 191 1. She is the daughter of Wil- 
liam Cary and Ophelia Mathews, who was the daughter of John 
Mathews, attorney at law and county clerk of Greenbrier, the son 
of William Mathews, the son of Capt. Jack Mathews, of Augusta. 

Lieut. Thomas Lewis Feamster died in Lewisburg and is bur- 
ied in the Lewisburg cemetery. The following is quoted from the 
Greenbrier Independent of January 3, 1907, being a part of the 
article publishing the notice of his death, the information being 
then given and vouched for by comrades of his then living : 

"Lieutenant Feamster was born in the Meadows, Greenbrier 
county, November 12, 1829. He was a son of William and Patsy 
(Alderson) Feamster and spent his entire life, save when in the 
army, here in his native county. 


"When the great war between the States broke out, in 1861, 
he was among the first to volunteer in defense of his native State, 
joining Company A, afterwards the Fourteenth Virginia Cav- 
alry, of which his brother-in-law, Moorman White, was captain, 
himself first lieutenant and his brother, S. W. N. Feamster, second 
lieutenant. As such officer, and for much of the time the com- 
pany's commander, Lieutenant Feamster served through the four 
years of that great struggle and made for himself a record of 
which he was always justly proud. The Fourteenth regiment be- 
longed to McCausland's brigade and was a part of Gen. J. E. B. 
Stuart's famous cavalry, which won immortal fame on many a 
hard-fought field. 

"A few incidents in the military service of the old veteran 
whose death we mourn today are noteworthy and may be recalled 
here with interest, particularly to his surviving comrades. Just 
after the battle of Gettysburg, at Big Stone Church, Md., Lieuten- 
ant Feamster alone captured an officer and three men, taking the 
officer's sabre and a pair of pistols from each of the men, while 
his own pistol was out of commission and useless. The sabre and 
one pistol are yet in the possesssion of his family. 

"When scouting alone near Lewisburg, this county, within 
the enemy's lines, he, all at once, saw ahead of him, on either side 
of the road, a company or two of Federal soldiers. Drawing his 
coat tightly around him and spurring his horse into a fast run, he 
shouted at the top of his voice — 'the Rebels are coming !' and so 
passed through the camp, causing consternation among the Yan- 
kees, until he was beyond the danger of capture. 

"In Maryland, Lieutenant Feamster was one day riding in ad- 
vance of his detachment chasing a squad of the enemy when he 
passed through a cut in the top of a hill and was at once in close 
quarters with the foe, who rose from both sides of the road and 
fired upon him. One ball passed through his hat, one through his 
necktie, one struck the pommel of his saddle and another cut the 
skin of his horse's knee ; but the rider was untouched. 

"When General Early made his advance on Washington, in 
the summer of 1864, and had gotten within the District of Colum- 


bia, Lieutenant Feamster and his company, on duty on Rock creek, 
were nearly surrounded by the enemy. Here he was badly wound- 
ed, July 13, 1864., being shot through the neck and lower jaw, the 
ball cutting the muscles of his tongue so badly that thereafter his 
speech was much impaired. In his command were six physicians, 
including Dr. Roe, the regimental surgeon. These ordered that he 
be left on the field since there was no hope of his recovery. Be- 
ing unable to talk he motioned for paper and pencil, and thus 
wrote for his brother, Lieut. S. W. N. Feamster, who directed that 
he be carried back. He was taken from the field on a blanket by 
his brother and Dr. Bee, now of Mercer county, after which Capt. 
John Hawver, of the Fourteenth, brought him off before him on 
his horse. From the wound Lieutenant Feamster suffered more 
or less until 1876. For some time after it was received he was 
unable to eat, and drank only by putting his entire head in a bucket 
and thus forcing the fluid into his throat. 

"Thus it appears that Lieutenant Feamster bore a conspicu- 
ous and honorable part among the brave men who went out from 
Greenbrier to fight for a cause they all held dear and believed to 
be just. 

"As a citizen Mr. Feamster took an active interest in public af- 
fairs. He read much and was fond of discussing public questions. 
As a neighbor he was kind and obliging and as a husband and 
father tender and affectionate. 

"On Sunday, December 16th, he suffered a stroke of paralysis 
just as he was starting for church. From this he never recovered, 
but continually grew weaker until the end came. With him, from 
Tuesday after he was stricken, were his sons, William Cary and 
Roy K., and his daughter, Miss Daisy, from Salisbury, N. C, his 
sons, Lieut. Claude Newman, of the United States Army, O. Turk, 
of St. Louis, and his daughters, Miss Ophelia, from Richmond, 
Va., and Miss Zoe L., who has been at home with her parents. 

"The funeral service was held at the Presbyterian church on 
Tuesday afternoon, the 1st inst., after which all that was mortal 
of the old veteran was tenderly consigned to earth in the town 


cemetery. Acting as honorary pallbearers were a number of his 
old Confederate comrades." 

During Cleveland's second administration he was postmaster 
at Lewisburg. His children are : 

(i) Daisy Patton, born July 4, 1869, educated at the Lewis- 
burg Seminary and the Conservatory of Music, in Cincinnati ; 
married June 29, 1910, to James D. Hassen, and they live at Mor- 
ristown, Tenn. 

(2) William Cary, born November 26, 1871, educated at the 
Greenbrier Military Academy, married May 3, 1898, to Maude 
Burns Beard, born December 14, 1874, the daughter of Capt. 
John Beard, Confederate States of America, of Salisbury, N. C, 
where they now live and have children (a) Louise Cary, born 
June 29, 1900; (b) Helen Bryce, born January 14, 1904; (c) 
Thomas Otey, born March 25, 1905 ; (d) William Cary, Jr., born 
October 26, 1907; (e) Charles jMarquedant, born January 26, 
191 1 ; (f) Robinett Burns, born February 23, 1913. 

(3) Royden Keith, born July 29, 1873, educated at the West 
Virginia University and was married, November 19, 1907, to 
Daisy V. Peebles, born June 16, 1884, the daughter of Lucius A. 
Peebles, of Salisbury, N. C. They now live at Salisbury, N. C, 
and have three children (a) Frances Keith, born September 7, 
1908; (b) Royden Thomas, born November 8, 19 10; (c) Eliz- 
abeth Cary, born September 21, 1912. 

(4) Lieut. Claude Newman, United States Army, born April 
25, 1876 (see Sixth Generation). 

(5) Otey Turk, born April 7, 1880, educated at Washington 
and Lee University and the University College of Medicine, Rich- 
mond, Va. Single, living in Washington, D. C. 

(6) Thomas Paul, born October 14, 1878, died June 2, 1880. 

(7) Ophelia Mathews, born July 23, 1882, educated at the 
Lewisburg Seminary and training at the Virginia Hospital, Rich- 
mond. Now registered nurse in Red Cross instruction work in 

(8) Zoe Louise, born December 26, 1884, educated at Lewis-' 


burg Seminary, married. June 19, 19M, to Richard Breson Wood 
and lives at Lewisburg. 

(9) Lewis Alderson, born May 1, 1887, died April 14, 1900. 
A few characteristics are sufficiently general with the Feam- 
sters as to be considered real family traits, for example, tall, more 
than six feet, slender, straight, straight features, Particularly 
straight noses, unassuming, thrifty, reserved, very healthy and 
long lived. 

Sixth Generation.-HIs son, Lieut Claude Newman Feam- 
ster, was born at Lewisburg, W. Va., April 25, 1876; graduated 
with degree of Bachelor of Arts from Washington and Lee Uni- 
versity in 1896; graduate student of the University of Virginia, 
1896-1897 ; taught school for short periods in Seven Islands Acad- 
emy, Buckingham county, Virginia; Summersville Normal School 
as principal. Summersville, W. Va. ; Church High School for 
Boys as head master, Salisbury, N. C. ; Gordonsville Female Col- 
lege Gordonsville, Va. ; Greenbrier Military Academy Lewis- 
bur- W Va.; traveled over Georgia as representative Alkahest 
Lyceum Bureau; took the summer law course at the University 
of Virginia in 1901, and in the session of 190! and 1902 taught m 
the West Texas Military Acadmey, San Antonio, Tex. He be- 
? an the practice of law in June, ! 9 02. in San Antonio, Tex. but 
was -iven by President Roosevelt the commission of second lieu- 
tenant Fourth Infantry. United States army, in February, 1903, 
passed the examination and was sent at once to join his command 
at Brownsville, Tex. He made this trip, as was necessary at this 
time from Alice, 165 miles, by stage, going day and night tor 
fifty-two hours. The regiment was under orders for the Philip- 
pines when he joined it, so went on from Brownsville in May 
afoot 180 miles to Hebronville. and then to San Francisco and to 
the Philippine Islands, where he saw service stationed at Bacon, 
Billete and Boulan, Sorsogon Province. Having taken a very- 
serious case of amoebae while in camp in Billette during the en- 
tire rainy season, he was finally ordered to San Francisco for re- 
cuperation. After spending a few months in the hospital, he ob- 
tained sick leave and came back to Lewisburg in 1904. However, 


when he reported back to the general hospital in San Francisco, 
he was at once ordered back to the Philippine Islands and put in 
command of delivering 240 men to different stations in the south- 
ern Philippine Islands, on down as far as Jolo, or, as it is gen- 
erally called here, Sulu. This duty completed, he reported to his 
station, which was now Los Banos, he having been en route there 
from Lewisburg, going as speedily as possible, two months and 
thirteen days. While in Manila, he obtained a furlough and visited 
China and Japan. His regiment was ordered home in 1905, and 
he was stationed in Ft. Thomas, Ky., and Ft. Wayne, Detroit. 
He was appointed battalion quartermaster and rode horseback 
from Columbus,. O., to Indianapolis, in the summer of 1906, rid- 
ing one day ahead of the battalion and picking camps, making 
arrangements, etc. However, the amoebae, from which he had 
never recovered, got the better of him in this camp, and he was 
ordered back to Detroit to the hospital, then to Chicago, and 
placed on the retired list November, -1906. 

In January, 1907, he went back to San Antonio, Tex., and was 
made a partner with R. W. Stayton and W. C. Berry, practicing 
law, the firm now being Stayton, Berry & Feamster, offices at 
San Antonio and Corpus Christi. Lieutenant Feamster here was 
principally occupied in handling the local suits for the San An- 
tonio and Aransas Pass Railroad in the lower counties. 

On January 10, 1908, he married Maude Inez Simmons, the 
daughter of C. F. Simmons (for her ancestry see Cantrill-Cant- 
rell Genealogy, published New York, 1908). In 191 1, they moved 
to Washington, D. C, where, as an employe of the Library of 
Congress, Lieutenant Feamster was the author of the J. J. Crit- 
tenden Calendar, published in 1913. And in 1913, seeking health, 
they came back to Lewisburg, where they built a home and now 
live. Their children are: (1) Francis Lewis Winn, born Febru- 
ary 11, 1912, died April 9, 1913, and after cremation ashes buried 
at Arlington; (2) Felix Claudius, born April 15, 1914; (3) Rob- 
ert Cantrell, born November 5, 1916. 

The records of Bath and Botetourt counties have never been 
examined, however, and there must be quite a bit of record in each 

■ rim 

■ ■■ : ';■'■:■ 



relative to the Feamsters during the eighteenth century, and par 
ticularly during the Revolution, as Botetourt was cut from Au- 
gusta in 1769 and Greenbrier from Botetourt, its records not be- 
ginning till 1780 to 1782. It was Lieut. C. N. Feamster who 
searched the records of Augusta and Greenbrier, vouching for the 
correctness of this article, as he compiled the same in March, 
1917, and then, on April 14, on account of the war with Germany, 
received orders placing him again on duty with the active army, 
he having offered his services some time before to the secretary of 
war, who was a college mate of his. Thus he left Lewisburg on 
April 16, reporting for duty. 


Homer A., son of Jonathan and Eliza (Wilson) Holt, was 
born on April 27, 1831, at Parkersburg, then Virginia. His 
father, one of the pioneer ministers of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, located his home at Weston, Lewis county, in 1831, and 
resided there for a number of years. The Holt family, coming 
from England in early colonial days, had settled near Norfolk, and 
there was born Mr. Holt's grandfather, John Holt, who, in 1794, 
moved to and settled in the valley of the Monongahela river. Mr. 
Holt's maternal ancestors came from the northern part of Ireland 
and from New England and settled at Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh) 
and, immediately after the Revolutionary war, also below that 
point on the Ohio river. 

In his youth, Mr. Holt was privileged to attend the best 
schools that existed at the time. For three years, under the tutel- 
age of Dr. Charles Wheeler, a distant kinsman of his mother, he 
attended Rector College; then he completed his academic work 
at the University of Virginia during the sessions of i849-'50 and 
of 1850-51. During the years of 1851 and 1852 he taught school 
at Weston and studied law with Col. B. W. Byrne, his brother-in- 
law. Having completed his study of law, he was, in the fall of 


1853, examined by Judges Summers, Edminston and Camden and 
granted license to practice his profession. He located his office 
at Braxton Court House and was taken into partnership by Colonel 
Byrne. From 1854 to 1856 he was deputy surveyor of the coun- 
ties of Braxton and Nicholas, and thus became thoroughly familiar 
with that region of the country lying between the Great and Little 
Kanawha rivers. 

Arrested in 1862 as a Confederate sympathizer, Mr. Holt was 
sent to Camp Chase. In January, 1863, he was sent down the 
Ohio and Mississippi rivers to be exchanged at Vicksburg, but 
before that point was reached the exchange of prisoners was 
stopped, the steamboats were turned back up the river to St. 
Louis and the prisoners sent to Camp Douglas at Chicago. In 
April of the same year Mr. Holt, with many others, was taken east 
to Baltimore, down Chesapeake Bay and up James river to City 
Point, at which place he was exchanged. He immediately joined 
Jenkins' Brigade, then at Salem, Va., and remained with his com- 
mand until the surrender at Appomattox, when he returned to his 
home at Braxton Court House. 

As the Braxton county delegate to the West Virginia Consti- 
tutional Convention of 1872, Mr. Holt served on the Judiciary 
Committee and on the Committee on Land Titles, and represented 
the chairman of the Committee on General Revision. In 1872 he 
was elected, for a term of eight years, beginning January 1, 1873. 
judge of the Eighth Judicial circuit, which was comprised of the 
counties of Greenbrier, Pocohontas, Monroe, Summers, Fayette, 
Nicholas, Braxton and Clay, — in all, a territory of more than 5,000 
square miles, having two terms of court a year in each county. A 
new circuit having been formed by taking off the counties of 
Braxton, Nicholas and Clay, Judge Holt was again elected for 
a term of eight years, in the circuit composed of the remaining 
five counties. In 1890, to fill a vacancy, he was appointed to the 
Supreme Court by Governor Fleming, and in 1892 he was elected 
to the same office. 

On January 27, 1857, Judge Holt married Mary Ann, daugh- 
ter of John Byrne, Esquire, by whom he had four children : John 


H. Holt, a lawyer, residing in Huntington, W. Va.. ; Fannie D., 
wife of W. O. Wiatt, also of Huntington ; Robert Byrne, of Lew- 
isburg, W. Va. ; and Nina, wife of Judge Charles S. Dice, who lives 
in Lewisburg. Judge Holt retained his position on the Supreme 
Court bench of West Virginia until within a year of his death, 
which occurred in January, 1898. He is buried in Lewisburg, 
Greenbrier county, his home during the latter part of his life. 


Russell W. Montague was born in Dedham, Mass., a suburb 
of Boston, and was graduated from Harvard in the class of 1872. 
His father was a merchant and manufacturer in Boston, and his 
grandfather, the Rev. William Montague, was the first clergyman 
of the Episcopal church to preach in England after the Revolu- 
tion, preaching in St. Paul, London, and Westminster Abbey. 
After the Revolution he became rector of the Old North Church in 
Boston, from the steeple of this church had hung the lights as a 
signal to Paul Revere. Before entering the ministry he had been 
a soldier in the Revolution. A tablet erected to his memory in 
the Old North Church bears, in part, the words : "Juvenis pro 
patria Senex pro Ecclesia viriliter Militavit" (i. e. As a young 
man for his Country as an old man for his Church he fought 

After graduating from Harvard, Russell W. Montague stud- 
ied law and was admitted to the bar of Massachusetts in 1874 and 
afterwards read law for a time in the Inner Temple in London. 
In 1876 he moved to Greenbrier, where he has since resided. He 
married Harriet A. Cary, daughter of Dr. Robert H. Cary. The 
Carys are a well known family in Boston and the immediate an- 
cestors of Mrs. Montague lived for nearly 150 years in the Cary 
house in Chelsea, Mass., built in 1635 and now owned by the 
Society for the Preservation of Colonial Homes. 

One of Mrs. Montague's cousins married Louis Agassiz, the 
naturalist, and was herself dean of Radcliffe for a number of 


years. Another cousin married Cornelius C. Felton, the president 
of Harvard College. Of the two children born to Mr. and Mrs. 
R. W. Montague, the Rev. R. Cary Montague is rector of Grace 
Church, Elkins, W. Va. He married IMargretta McGuire, daugh- 
ter of the distinguished surgeon, Hunter McGuire, of Richmond, 
Va. The daughter, Margaret Prescott Montague, has devoted 
herself to literature and has published the following books : The 
Poet, Miss Kate and I; The Solving of Alderson Cree; In Cal- 
vert's Valley; Linda; Closed Doors, and numerous short stories 
and a few poems, principally published in the Atlantic Monthly. 
Her last story, up to this time, "By Waters and the 
Spirit," appeared in the Atlantic Monthly for May, 1916. She 
comes rightly by her literary gift. Her father is a first cousin of 
Harriet Prescott Spofford and her grandmother was a cousin of 
William Prescott, the historian. 


Joseph Samuel Thurmond was born May 9, 1855, in Fayette 
county, Virginia (now West Virginia). His father, W. D. Thur- 
mond, was a native of Amherst county, Virginia, as was also his 
mother, both of whom were of English descent. His mother, 
who was the daughter of Charles Bibb, moved with her father to 
Fayette county, in 1834, settling at Bowyer's Ferry (now Sewell), 
where for several years he kept the ferry. He later bought a tract 
of land in what is known now as the Gatewood neighborhood, and 
having built a house and cleared out a farm, resided there the 
greater part of his life. 

In the year 1845 Philip Thurmond, the father of W. D. Thur- 
mond, moved from Amherst county and settled in Fayette county, 
where he spent the remainder of his life. A few years later W. D. 
Thurmond also came across the Alleghanies and made his resi- 
dence with his father. He engaged in farming, and while plow- 
ing corn accidentally discovered the famous New River coal, and 


digging some of it, he took it to a blacksmith, who used it for fuel 
in his shop. This, it is said, was the first discovery of the now 
world-famed coal and the first purpose for which it was used. 
Today the largest coal operation in the New River field is located 
on the same property upon which it was first discovered. 

In February, 1852, W. D. Thurmond married Miss Sarah J., 
daughter of Charles Bibb, above mentioned, and having already 
purchased a farm at 50 cents per acre, and paid for it by laboring 
in the salt works on the Great Kanawha river at 50 cents per day, 
he settled down to farming and at odd times surveying. To this 
union six children were born, viz. : James W., Mary E., Joseph S., 
Charles T., Lucy A. and Sarah F., the last named dying at two 
years of age. At that time educational facilities were poor and 
the Civil war coming on about the time the older children were of 
school age, they were deprived of several years which should have 
been spent in school. 

Soon after the outbreak of the Civil war, Mr. Thurmond or- 
ganized a company of soldiers and became its captain. This com- 
pany was composed, principally, of men from Monroe, Fayette, 
Raleigh and Greenbrier counties, Summers county not having been 
organized at that time. Acting as an independent company, but 
subject to orders from Gen. John F. Echols, its operations were 
confined mainly along the border between the two contending 
armies and might be termed a border patrol. 

Early in the war, for some unknown reason, the commander 
of the Union army stationed at Fayetteville sent a squad of sol- 
diers to Captain Thurmond's house, and forcibly ejecting Mrs. 
Thurmond and her six small children from the building, and 
throwing a few articles of furniture out, applied the torch, and in 
a few minutes the house was reduced to ashes. The family was 
removed temporarily to the home of Mrs. Thurmond's father and 
later to Monroe county, where they remained throughout the war 
and until the fall of 1870, when they returned to their old home in 
Fayette county. 

At the close of the war Captain Thurmond was homeless and 
penniless, but not friendless, and he often said that had it not been 


for his friends his family would have suffered for the necessaries 
of life; but with credit extended to him and a determination to 
succeed, he managed to take care of his family and in his latter 
days to earn a competency. He died at Minden, Fayette county, 
jMay 14, 1910, in his ninetieth year. 

At the age of eleven the subject of this sketch entered the pub- 
lic schools, which consisted of four months a year, and in which 
nothing but the elementary branches of study were taught. Dur- 
ing the summer he wore homespun linen clothes, made by his 
mother's own hands, went barefoot and hoed corn. At the age of 
twenty-one he entered Shelton College, at St. Albans, and had for 
his instructor the late Dr. P. B. Reynolds (let it be said right here 
that this State has never had a more profound thinker nor a better 
instructor than he), and for fellow students Dr. George B. Foster, 
of the Chicago University ; Rev. John R. McCutcheon ; Senator 
W. E. Chilton ; Prof. E. C. Haworth, now of Marshall College, 
and Hon. James H. Stewart, now commissioner of agriculture of 
this State, and many others, some of whom have crossed the 
"Great Divide", and others who have been swallowed up in this 
big business world and lost from his sight ; but upon the whole, a 
majority of them have made good. Mr. Thurmond, having very 
limited means, spent but two years at Shelton, after which he re- 
turned home and engaged in farming during the summer and 
teaching school in the winter. Still, the school term was but four 
months a year and the salary of a grade one teacher but $25 per 
month. He followed teaching for three years, one of which he 
served as a member of the board of examiners. He then began 
the study of surveying and engineering and for several years spent 
all his time surveying. About this time the development of the 
Fayete county coal lands began to attract attention and a scram- 
ble for wild lands, which, hitherto, had been considered worthless, 
began. The docket of the court was crowded with suits to deter- 
mine the title of lands and a great demand for surveyors followed. 
Mr. Thurmond had, perhaps, as much to do in establishing the 
lines and corners of the old surveys as any other man in the 
county, and often served as a witness in court in land litigation. 



It was while engaged in surveying the lands of the late Governor 
Samuel Price that he first met his much esteemed and honored 
friend, the late John Preston. Spending two weeks together in the 
rough mountains of Fayette and Raleigh counties, often thirsty 
and sometimes hungry, resulted in a friendship which lasted thir- 
ty-three years, the time of Mr. Preston's demise. 

When the building of the railroad bridge at Thurmond opened 
for development the vast coal fields of Loop creek, he acquired 
some stock in the Star Coal Co. and took the position of mine fore- 
man and engineer at the mines, holding this position for three 
years, when he sold his stock, resigned his position, and accepted 
the position of general manager with the late William P. Rend, of 
Chicago, in the development of his mines at Minden, in Fayette 
county. These mines are located on the W. D. Thurmond farm, 
the land upon which the New River coal was first discovered, and 
are the largest producers in the New River field, having a capac- 
ity of 4,000 tons per day. 

After three years of arduous and strenuous labor here, and get- 
ting the mines in a good state of development, Mr. Thurmond re- 
signed his position and entered upon the unenviable task of cater- 
ing to the wants of an unthankful public as proprietor of a hotel. 
It required but a few years to convince him that he was not fitted 
for hotel work, and, leasing the property, he moved to Green- 
brier county, and located in the town of Alderson. He purchased 
of Mrs. Fannie Lipps a farm lying in the suburbs of the town, 
known as the "Old John Alderson Place", upon which stood a 
stone house, one of the oldest in the county, built in the year 1788. 
Last year this old landmark was torn down and in its stead a 
modern brick residence was erected. 

In the year 1880 he married Miss Elizabeth J., the daughter of 
Rev. A. N. Rippetoe, of Kessler's Cross Lanes, Nicholas county, 
West Virginia, and by this union ten children were born, six of 
whom are now living. On October 19, 1900, Mrs. Thurmond 
died at Minden, and on March 26, 1902, he was united in marriage 
to Miss Letha Lee, daughter of J. B. Huddleston, of Fayette 
county. By this union there are no children. 


In his religious belief he has always held to the Baptist faith, 
and at the age of sixteen united with the Bethel Baptist Church, 
afterward being a charter member of the Oak Hill church, from 
which he was dismissed by letter to join the Greenbrier church, of 
which he is now a member. At the meeting of the Greenbrier 
Association, in the fall of 1914, he was elected moderator of that 
body, which position he held two years. Politically, he is an un- 
compromising Democrat and has since his maturity been an active 
participant in all campaigns. 

In the election of 1914 he was nominated and elected to the 
House of Delegates, with A. E. Huddleston, of White Sulphur, as 
his colleague, and at the following election, in 1916, was re-elected 
to the same position, with A. B. C. Bray, of Ronceverte, as his col- 
league. The Democrats at this election succeeded in electing a 
majority in the House of Delegates, and in the following January, 
when that body convened, Mr. Thurmond was elected speaker. 

Mr. Thurmond relates the following reminiscences: Just be- 
fore the Civil war the newspapers were full of news about the 
Yankees, and his mother read to him about them so much that he 
formed the opinion that they were not men, but some kind of ani- 
mal. Imagine his surprise to find upon seeing them that they 
were but common human beings. Their first appearance at his 
father's house was one morning when his father and several of his 
friends were expecting and watching for them. Great consterna- 
tion was caused when the advance guard appeared in sight and 
every man took to his heels as fast as he could run, and the Yan- 
kees opened fire on them. To young Thurmond to shoot was to 
kill, and it was some time after the firing had ceased, and his 
father and friends were, perhaps, half a mile away and safely hid- 
den in the woods, before he could be convinced that they were not 
all killed. 

At one time the Thurmond family lived one mile west of Al- 
derson, on the land of Thomas Johnson, known then as the "Lane 
Place". Joe and his brother, Jim, had alwa_ys been anxious to see 
a battle, and one day, when the sound of musketry suddenly burst 
upon their ears, they soon realized that a fight was on down at 


the river where the town of denary now stands, so they imme- 
diately made a dash for the battle-field. They ran down the slope 
through a woodland as fast as they could go, and as they emerged 
from the woods into the open field a minnie ball struck the root 
of a large oak tree within a few feet of them, and others were 
tearing up the ground all around. Undaunted, they pressed for- 
ward, but a moment later they saw John T. Myles, now a citizen of 
Alderson, but then a soldier in Captain Thurmond's company, 
coming hurriedly towards them. In a loud and angry tone he or- 
dered them to turn and run for their lives, which they did without 
any argument. It developed that a detachment from Captain 
Thurmond's company, led by Lieutenant Bibb, had attacked a 
company of Yankees across the river and were having a hot skir- 
mish with them. Mr. Myles had received a severe wound in the 
shoulder and was retiring from the field, traveling in a direct line 
between them and the Yankees, and the balls which fell so close 
to them had been fired at him. This was near as they came to a 
battle, but on several occasions were close enough to hear the roar 
of artillery. 


The third and youngest son of William Feamster (see previ- 
ous article) was Samuel William Newman Feamster, who was 
born at the old home place on Muddy creek on February 21, 1836. 
He was willed by his father about 700 acres of the old original 
Feamster plantation, which has been in the family since 1775, 
and except for service away from home during the Civil War, 
he has spent his entire life on his home place and at his town house 
in Alderson. In June, 1877, he married Ann Elizabeth McClung, 
the daughter of Joseph McClung, Jr., and his wife, Mary Jane 
Mathews (see the printed work McClung Genealogy for her an- 
cestry). There were born to Lieutenant and Mrs. Feamster 
eleven children. 

Lieutenant Feamster died at his town home in Alderson on 


April 18, 1915, and is buried in the old Baptist cemetery in Al- 
derson. At the time of his death, there was published quite a 
lengthy article in the Greenbrier Independent, from which the 
following quotations are excerpts : 

"Greenbrier sent no soldier into the great war between the 
States braver or more efficient htan Colonel Feamster. He left 
the county as a lieutenant in the Greenbrier cavalry, the first 
cavalry company to leave the county. His first service of im- 
portance was about Philippi and in Randolph county, where he 
was particularly active and alert in locating the enemy and keep- 
ing our general informed. Capt. Moorman being in bad health, 
Lieutenant Feamster was generally in command of the company. 
It was in this campaign that General McClelland is credited with 
saying of him : 'Newman Feamster can fight like the devil and 
run like the wind.' 

"During Early's campaign in the valley in 1864, Lieutenant 
Feamster was shot through the body and badly wounded, but, 
supported by one or two of his men, he stuck to his horse, riding 
about ten miles before he could receive attention. From this 
wound we believe he fully recovered and was soon at his post. 
His regiment (the Fourteenth cavalry) having, in March, 1865, 
been transferred to Beagle's brigade at Petersburg, he was on the 
retreat from Richmond and at Appomattox April 9, 1865, laid 
down his sword, and came back to Greenbrier with the proud 
consciousness of having faithfully done his duty as a soldier of 
the South, to which he was ever true and loyal. 

"As a citizen he was exemplary, as a neighbor he followed the 
example of the Good Samaritan, being ever ready to assist all in 
need out of recipients of his honesty. In all his dealings he was 
honest with his fellow man. As a friend he was almost without a 
peer; loyalty to his friends and helpfulness in bearing their bur- 
dens being one of his most prominent characteristics. 

"As a father, he was fond and indulgent and generous almost 
to a fault. As a husband he manifested the greatest love, respect 
and admiration. 

As a Confederate veteran, Camp Creigh had no more ardent 



or enthusiastic member, and its depleted ranks can ill afford to 
lose such a comrade. 

"Eight years ago, when attending that grandest of all Con- 
federate reunions at Richmond, he was a prominent member of 
General White's staff, and in the general's stead had command 
of the West Virginia division. 

"Lieutenant Feamster was born February 21, 1836, and died 
April 18, 1915, and was therefore in the eightieth year of his life. 
He was a son of William and Patsey Alderson Feamster, and was 
born in the house in which he spent his married life, on his farm 
on Muddy creek, five miles from Alderson. He died at his town 
home in Alderson, on Sunday afternoon, April 18, 191 5, at 1 130 

"After the surrender at Appomattox, in April, 1865, where he 
was conspicuous to the last, Colonel Feamster returned to his 
home and engaged in farming and stock raising, and also dealt 
some in real estate in other parts of the state. 

"Colonel Feamster's funeral, perhaps, was the largest ever 
seen in Alderson." 

Lieutenant Feamster never asked for furlough, and one bit 
of his Civil war service which showed his valor and well befits 
him should be told in this article to make the same complete. 
Once, when he and three other Confederate soldiers were all the 
troops in Lewisburg, or in fact near it, a regiment or more of 
Yankee soldiers approached it from the west. Lieutenant Feam- 
ster's sister, Sabina, saw the Yankees coming down the hill and, 
knowing that he was in front of the old hotel, she ran quickly 
down the street, warning him of their approach, that he might 
escape towards the east. However, instead of running towards 
the east, as she and many others present expected, he boldly gal- 
loped towards the entire Yankee forces, yelling as he went, "Come 
on, boys," as though the town was fully garrisoned. The Yankees 
were taken so by surprise that he captured the advance guard 
and all the other troops turned and ran. They supposed they 
were being attacked by a large force, when it was merely one 
man, followed by three others, that being all the Southern soldiers 


in the entire country. This feat was witnessed by many of the 
town people, who have delighted in frequently telling it, and 
there are some yet living who saw it. 


The Bells of Greenbrier are of Scotch descent. Joseph Bell, the 
great-great-grandfather of Henry Thomas Bell, came to America 
about 1735 and settled near where Staunton now stands. He was 
one of several who laid off the town into thirteen and one-half-acre 
lots, each man taking a lot at $16.66 2-3. The Augusta National 
Bank stands on a part of the lot taken by Joseph Bell. 

William H. Bell, the father of Henry Thomas, was born in 
Augusta county, Virginia, October 29, 1810. He moved with his 
father to Goshen in 1820, then called Bells Valley. His wife was 
Martha Alexander Wilson, born July 13, 1818. They were mar- 
ried, February 14, 1839. Their children were : Estaline, born 
July 3, 1840; Susan Poague, April 2, 1843; Frances Ann, March 
3, 1846; William Mason, September 26, 1848; John Robert, April 
8, 1850; Henry Thomas, October 21, 1856; Grace Stuart, Novem- 
ber 21, 1861. 


Henry Thomas Bell was educated by private teachers and at 
the high school in Lexington, Va. In 1876 he came to Lewisburg 
and first clerked for his uncle, Johnston E. Bell. Subsequently, 
he established the Greenbrier Clothing Store, still continued under 
the management of R. P. Bell, making an ownership in the family 
of over thirty years. 

Henry T. Bell was twice married, first to iMiss Louisa Epps 
Walton, daughter of Dr. R. P. Walton and Mary Jemima Wood- 
son, of Cumberland, Va. The children by this marriage were : 
Walton Henry, born April 13, 1889; Richard Peyton, September 


10, 1890 ; Martha Alexander, May 2.7, 1892 ; Mary Linton, Feb- 
ruary 6, 1894. 

Mr. Bell married for his second wife Mrs. Lucy McRae Wal- 
ton, of Vicksburg, by whom there was no issue. Her father's 
name was William Allen McRae and her mother's name, Indiana 
Hawkins Rozell, both of Richmond, Va. 

Henry Walton Bell married, October 18, 191 5, Mary Eliza- 
beth Noel. Her father was John A. Noel and her mother Ohio 
Montgomery Jackson, of Pocahontas county, West Virginia. 

Henry T. Bell was a deacon and treasurer of the Old Stone 
Presbyterian Church for twenty-three years and was a member 
of the Ancient Order of Free and Accepted Masons, Greenbrier 
Lodge, No. 42. He was a man of very fine character. The fol- 
lowing article from the Greenbrier Independent, at the time of his 
death, best describes the character of the man : 

"In touching upon such a life one knows hardly where to be- 
gin. There are those who would think of him first as husband 
and father in the home. There was never nobler or truer. His 
widow, his four children, who survive him, his brother and his 
sisters, know how truly he lived for others and how overflowingly 
kind his heart always was. To him there was no place like home, 
and a happier, more care-free home no man ever made. 

"There are those who would think of him as the man of affairs 
— as leading his community, as attending to business, as entering 
with hearty fellowship into the social groups and gatherings of 
his generation. He inevitably drew men to him. Perhaps he was 
never conscious of it, but men leaned upon him for advice and for 
counsel. He had a gift for conciliation, for initiative, for securing 
results. He loved his fellows as he lived among them, and the wide 
circle of his co-workers is the poorer today that he walks among 
them no more in active participation. 

"And always there are those who would think of him as a 
Christian. To the end he was trusting and unafraid. In the las^ 
hours he bore quiet testimony to the faith that had been his through 
a lifetime of service in his church. As treasurer of his congrega- 
tion for over twenty years he was unexcelled. Accurate, courte- 


ous, prompt — he met each exacting demand with a full measure 
of grace and ability. His associates in official responsibility will 
bear undivided testimony to his worth in every call through years 
of patient continuance in well doing. And those who knew him 
best were not surprised when in the last long struggle with death 
he made a record never surpassed for quiet courage on a battle- 
field. Seventeen times during the waiting months he bore the 
surgeon's knife, until that physician was moved to cry in irrepres- 
sible admiration, 'Here was the supremest type of courage I have 
ever known.' To him life was worth living, and there were hun- 
dreds who prayed that he might live. And yet against God's will 
there was never a moment's rebellion in his heart. He strove for 
life earnestly that by life he might glorify God, but he died una- 
fraid, for in death God would glorify him with that glory which has 
been since before the world was. A great heart — a noble man — a 
faithful servant of his day and generation — an humble follower 
of his King. All these and more he was. Our hearts are sore for 
his going, but our lives are made the better for his memory, 'God's 
noblest gift to men — a man'." 


The people of Greenbrier and Monroe counties, West Virginia, 
and of Pocahontas county, Virginia, are indebted to Robert Ma- 
rion Bell for the organization and successful operation of 1,000 
telephones in the three counties above named, with home offices 
in Lewisburg. 

Mr. Bell, the originator of this splendid telephone system, and 
a son of Robert J. Bell, received his education in the public schools 
and the Military Academy of Lewisburg. After a clerkship of ten 
years in the store of Henry Thomas Bell, he went to work, in 1906, 
for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, obtaining 
right of way for them in West Virginia and in Georgia. A con- 
nection with them of two years' duration led to the formation of 
the present system here. In January, 1907, he got an option and 


in May he organized, with H. L. Van Sicler, president ; John B. 
Laing, vice-president ; Mason Bell, secretary and treasurer ; R. M. 
Bell, manager. The present officers of the company are E. L. 
Bell, president ; R. M. Bell, vice-president and general manager ; 
Mason Bell, secretary and treasurer. 

Mr. Bell was married to Alma Linton Walton, June 21, 191 1. 
She was a granddaughter of Dr. James William Phillips, of Mech- 
lenburg county, Virginia, her paternal grandfather being Dr. Rich- 
ard Peyton, of Cumberland county, Virginia, and a daughter of 
Charles Courtland Walton, of the same county, and Mary Kear- 
ney Phillips, of Dyersburg, Dyer county, Tennessee. 

Mr. Bell was mayor of Lewisburg in 191 1, '12, '13 ; was presi- 
dent of the Chautauqua in 191 5 and elected for 1916. He is a 
member of the Old Stone Presbyterian Church ; of Greenbrier 
Lodge, No. 42, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons ; of Ronceverte 
Chapter Chapter, No. 21, Royal Arch Masons ; of Greenbrier Com- 
mandery, No. 15, Knights Templar; of Beni Keden temple, An- 
cient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Charleston, 
W. Va. 


Thomas George, the ancestor of the George family, was of 
Welch descent. He was born October 24, 1767, in Augusta 
county, Virginia. His father died when he was a small boy. He 
was brought to Greenbrier county by a married sister and grew 
to manhood on the farm afterward known as the Huffman farm, 
on Muddy creek. His wife was Katherine McCoy George, a 
daughter of William McCoy. She was born July 11, 1765, and 
died November 11, 1853. Thomas George, her husband, died 
January 4, 1844. This pioneer couple was among the first set- 
tlers in Greenbrier county. Before they were married, Katherine 
McCoy was with her father's family, William McCoy, in Ft. 
Donnally when besieged by Indians. She moulded bullets all 
day for the men to shoot. Thomas George was one of the men 
that came to the rescue of Ft. Donnally under Col. John Stewart. 


(See Border Warfare). The fort stood where Bub Rader now 
lives in Rader's Valley. The fort was a log structure, where the 
neighbors gathered to fight off the Indians. There were seven- 
teen Indians killed around the fort. 

Subsequently Thomas George and his wife moved to a farm 
in Grassy Meadows, known by that name today, but then it was 
a wilderness. They cleared land and made a home, and had plenty 
of bear and deer meat diet. They also had wild turkey and 
smaller game. Mr. George reared a family of eleven children, 
three sons and eight daughters. All grew to be men and women. 
They all married and reared large families and never had a doctor 
to see or treat any of the family. Doctors were few and far be- 
tween in those times. Castor oil, turpentine and catnip tea filled 
the bill. The names of his three sons are : Col. William, born 
August 18, 1801, died in his seventy-sixth year. His wife was 
Ruth Conner George, daughter of John Conner. She was born 
May 3, 1803, and was of Scotch-Irish descent. She died at the 
age of ninety-two years. She was married October 5, 1831. To 
this union were born five boys and one daughter. 

John George also lived in Grassy Meadows. He was killed 
by a horse at the age of sixty-five years. He died in the sixties. 
His wife was Alargaret Miller, of Summers county. To this 
union three boys and six daughters were born, but only two of 
this family are now living. 

Thorns Lewis George lived his lifetime in Grassy Meadows. 
He died at the age of eighty-five years. His wife was Sarah 
Vincent, also of Greenbrier county. To this union were born 
two boys and three daughters. Two of this family are still liv- 
ing, John F. George, of Huntington, W. Va., and Mrs. James 
Alderson, of near Hinton, Summers county. West Virginia. The 
daughters : Jane, wife of Enos Huffman. They reared a family 
of six boys and three daughters and one of this family only still 
living, Mrs. Fannie Hunt. Sally married John Gwinn. To this 
union were born ten children. They lived in Summers county, 
West Virginia. Malinda, wife of Andrew Boggess, of Fayette 
county, West Virginia, reared a large family. Betsie Frazier, 


wife of Joseph Frazier, lived in Ohio. Polly, wife of Peter 
Shaver, lived in Ohio. Catherine Sumner lived in Calhoun county, 
in the northern part of West Virginia. She reared one daughter. 
She married John Mann and lived in Missouri. There was one 
other daughter also. 

Henry Hunter George, son of Col. William George, born 
March 21, 1848, married Margaret Victoria Jarrett, April 2, 1870. 
She was the daughter of James Jarrett IV. high sheriff for two 
terms of Greenbrier county, of French Hugenot stock. (See 
sketch of the Jarretts) . To this union were born : Elizabeth Ruth 
George, February 9, 1872, and now the wife of Rev. H. A. Mur- 
rill. (See sketch). James Aaron, born October 2, 1873, married 
Lucy A. Handley in 1895 and lives in Raders Valley. They have 
seven children. Henry Ernest George, born March 12, 1880. 
On June 1, 1916, he married Miss June Livesay. Margaret Jar- 
rett George, wife of Jesse Hutchinson, born August 9, 1890, 
married November 28, 191 1, and lives near Lewisburg on a part 
of the old George home. They have two children. 

Henry Hunter George is known as having been a successful 
farmer and stock raiser during all the years of his active life. 
For thirty years he lived on the large farm now operated by Rev. 
H. A. Murrill and others, having moved to his present place in 
1910. This house was built 107 years ago by his grandfather on 
his mother's side. Mr. and Mrs. George still have the bouyancy 
of youth and are highly regarded as very useful citizens of the 
community in which they live. 


The first settlement made in this county by the Hinkles was 
near Frankford. They were from Germany. Samuel Hinkle, the 
grandfather of S. W. Hinkle, president of the county court, was 
first to come. He married Mary M. Knight and by her had three 
children : Andrew A., James K., and (Maggie, who married 
'Squire John C. Patterson, now living near Frankford, at the age 


of eighty-two years. He was a member of the county court for 
eighteen years. They have one child, Mrs. Rose Shirkey. Sam- 
uel Hinkle's son, James Hinkle, born February 3, 1832, near 
Frankford, died at his home at Unus, April 18, 1883, aged fifty- 
one years. He was reared on a farm, was a member of the Meth- 
odist Church South and a citizen of the county of recognized abil- 
ity and worth. He served as a Confederate soldier four years in 
General Lee's army, being a member of Lieut. S. W. N. Feam- 
ster's command. During that time he had several very narrow 
escapes. The exposure of the war caused lung trouble, from 
which he suffered greatly and for several long years before he 

On the thirteenth of October, 1853, James Hinkle married 
Susan M. Anderson, born November 17, 1834, near Lewisburg. 
She died, December 7, 1915, aged eighty-one years, in this county. 
Their children were : Mrs. David Rader, of Kansas City, Mo. ; 
S. W., W. E., H. W., J. C, and R. E., farmers and stock raisers 
of Greenbrier county. Peter C, Andrew A., and Rebecca Greene 
died several years ago. Miss Susan M. Hinkle was a member of 
the M. E. Church South. She was a devout Christian and a very 
useful woman. 

Samuel Windfield was born December 29, 1856. He owns and 
cultivates a large farm near Unus, which, by incessant labor, was 
reclaimed from the wilderness and made a beautiful one years ago. 
He has been a successful agriculturist. He spent four years in 
Missouri and other parts of the West farming and cattle buying, 
and with a common school education to commence with, has be- 
come a prominent and well-to-do citizen of the county. He was 
elected a member of the county court in 191 2 and made presiding 
judge by that elected body in 191 4. 

Mr. Hinkle has been married twice. His first wife was Miss 
Mattie W. Marshall, of Charlottesville, Va. She lived but a short 
while. In 1892 he then married Bertha M. Shirkey, of Botetourt 
county, Virginia. One daughter, Mattie Greene Hinkle, born 
April 16, 1893, was the fruit of this union. 

The Shirkey family are of Irish descent. They were Protest- 


ants, being Presbyterians. Because of persecution, the ancestors 
of the Greenbrier family emigrated to America in early times and 
settled on the Samuel McClung farm near Sunlight, now one of 
the most productive farms in the county. 


Powhatan A. George, the well known druggist of Ronceverte, 
is a son of John A. George and grandson of John George, who 
was born in the Blue Sulphur district April 19, 1803, and died 
May 27, 185—, killed by a vicious horse. His wife was Margaret 
Miller. She was born in Summers county, March 28, 181 1. She 
died May 6, 1862. John A. George was born September 9, 1842, 
and owned a large farm in the Blue Sulphur district. He married 
Elizabeth B. Miller, of Sumners county, May 26, 1868, and to 
them were born eleven children: Norma C., April 4, 1869; 
Maude V., January 10, 1871 ; Powhatan A., December 14, 1872 ; 
Bertha M., December 27, 1874; Clarence T., January 8, 1877; 
Arthur H., December 18, 1878 ; John G., August 31, 1881 ; Homer 
Houston, March 29, 1883; Clarice E., December 31, 1884: 
Dorothy M., February, 1887 ; Helen, July 14, 1889. 

John George served in the war between the States in Com- 
pany B, Twenty-sixth Virginia battalion, Edgar's bridage, Con- 
federate service'. He served from 1862 until the end of the war. 
He was in the battles of Fayetteville, New Market, Cold Harbor, 
Thorofare Gap. Winchester, Cedar Creek, and other minor en- 

The wife of Mr. George was born in Green Sulphur district, 
Summers county, January 2, 1850. She was a daughter of A. 
Alexander and Eliza (Hickman) Miller. Her father was born 
in Summers county, January 7, 1818, and her mother in Monroe 
county, May 18, 1821. She died November 9, 1866. 

Powhatan A. George remained with his parents until twenty- 
one years old, and he then took a course in pharmacy at Ada, 
Ohio, receiving his degree of Ph. G. in 1896. In February of 


the year following he located in Ronceverte and at first clerked 
in the drug store for H. B. Moore. In 1900, he purchased a half 
interest in the store with G. A. Miller. Under his own management 
and chief ownership, he has done an extensive business since that 

Mr. George is also identified with other large interests in 
Ronceverte. He is vice-president of the First National Bank of 
Ronceverte and is also a director in the Ronceverte Lumber Com- 
pany. June 23, 1904, Mr. George married Miss Ethel Nickel, 
daughter of C. C. Nickel and Rose Bud Nickel, Nickells Mill, 
Monroe county. One child is the fruit of this union, Charles 
Alexander George, born February 15, 1911. 


Conrad Hunt Syme, the present corporation counsel for the 
District of Columbia, is a native of Lewisburg, Greenbrier county, 
West Virginia. He is descended from an ancestry whose intellects 
enriched the history and helped to shape and control for long years 
the sentiment and policy of this country. He is a sixth lineal 
descendant of Col. John Syme and Sarah Winston, his wife, who 
lived at Studleigh, Hanover county, Virginia. Col. John Syme, 
of Studleigh, came to Virginia from Scotland. He held a royal 
commission and was a member of the House of Burgesses in 1722. 
He died in 1731, leaving his widow, Sarah Winston Syme, and one 
son, named after his father, and who was afterward known as Col. 
John Syme the II. Sarah Winston was the daughter of Isaac 
Winston, of Yorkshire, England. Her sister, Lucy Winston, mar- 
ried William Cole, and was the grandmother of Dorothy Payne 
Todd, who married President Madison and who is familiarly 
known as Dolly Madison. 

The Winstons, as a family, were noted for their brilliant tal- 
ents. Sarah Winston had the distinction of having two sons in 
the House of Burgesses at the same time — Col. John Syme II., the 
son of her first husband, and Patrick Henry, her son by a later 



marriage with John Henry. Col. John Syme married Mildred 
Meriwether, daughter of Nicholas and Mildred Meriwether, of 
Rocky Mills, Hanover county, Virginia. He was a member of the 
Virginia Assembly from 1752 to 1755, a member of the Privy 
Council in 1759, and a delegate to the First Virginia Convention 
from Hanover county in 1776. He was captured by the British 
General Tarlton, at the house of Dr. Walker. He was so unpre- 
possessing in appearance that Tarlton is said to have exclaimed 
when he saw him, "Angels and ministers of grace, defend us. Be 
thou a spirit of health or goblin damned ?" 

Col. John Syme and Mildred Meriwether had a number of 
children, one of whom, and the only son, was Nicholas Syme, who 
marrried Jane Johnson, daughter of Col. William Johnson. Their 
son, Dr. William Henry Syme, was the first member of the family 
to live in Greenbrier county. Dr. Syme was born in Hanover 
county, Virginia, September 5, 1808. After receiving a thorough 
training in the primary educational branches he matriculated at 
William and Mary College, the oldest, and at the same time, the 
most distinguished school of the State, and graduated with high 
honors. He then took up the study of law, attended the celebrated 
school of Chancellor Tucker, at Winchester, Va., and was admit- 
ted to the bar. He went to Lewisburg, Va. (now West Virginia), 
to enter the practice of his profession. Lewisburg, at that time 
and for many years thereafter, was one of the places at which the 
Court of Appeals of Virginia held its sessions. Before entering 
actively into the practice of law he fell in love at first sight with 
Anne Mays, the beautiful daughter of John Mays, of Greenbrier 
county. It is related that she consented to marry him upon the con- 
dition that he should abandon the practice of law and become a 
physician. To this condition he assented and they were married 
on October 4, 1832, and she accompanied him to Lexington, Ky., 
where he entered the Transylvania University, from which, in due 
course, he graduated, receiving the degree of Doctor of Medicine. 
He returnd to Lewisburg, where he practiced his profession until 
his death, January 15, 1875. Ten children were born to them, and 
all were reared in Lewisburg: Jane Rebecca died in infancy; 


Willianna died in 1850; Richard Johnson, the eldest son, married 
Miss Burgess, of Winchester, Va. ; Samuel Augustus married 
Mary Maxwell, daughter of Conrad Hanse Hunt, of Fredericks- 
burg, Va. ; William Henry died in 1861 ; Chapman Johnson mar- 
ried Miss Julia Russell, of Petersburg; John Nesmith married 
Christian, daughter of Conrad Hanse Hunt, of Fredericksburg, 
Va. ; James Nesmith and Alexander Kossuth Syme never mar- 
ried ; Sue C. Syme, another daughter, married Oliver P. Syden- 
stricker, of Lewisburg. 

Although Dr. Syme devoted himself to the practice of his pro- 
fession with assiduity and great success and became the leading 
physician in that part of the country. Yet his training as a lawyer 
and the bent given to his mind by his academic studies while at 
college broadened him far beyond the line of his chosen profession. 
He was not intellectually content in the practice of medicine. He 
continued his classical studies during the whole of his life. He was 
as familiar with the works of Plato and Aristotle, and Horace and 
Virgil in their native tongues, as he was with Bacon and Shakes- 
peare, Dryden and Goldsmith. He was a profound student of 
history, and Caesar and Tacitus, Hume and Gibbon and Macaulay 
were his constant intellectual companions. For some time he ed- 
ited The Statesman, a weekly newspaper published at Lewisburg, 
whose editorial columns he enriched with classical references and 
analogy. He was a finished orator and a convincing public 
speaker, and took active part in public affairs. At the beginning 
of the Civil war he offered his services to the Governor of Vir- 
ginia, but being at that time crippled with rheumatic gout, which 
afterwards confined him to his bed for fifteen years, he was una- 
ble to actively participate in the conflict. He was appointed pro- 
vost marshal, with the rank of captain, Confederate States of 
America, and performed the duties of this position during the war. 
He was a man loved, respected and admired by all who knew him, 
and when he died the citizens of Greenbrier assembled in public 
meeting at the court house and passed resolutions expressive of 
their appreciation of his character and their regret at his loss. 

Samuel Augustus Maverick Syme, the second son of Dr. Wil- 


Ham Henry Syme, and the father of Conrad Hunt Syme, was born 
in Lewisburg, W. Va., April 8, 1838. He was educated at the 
Lewisburg Academy under Custer and other noted teachers, and 
shortly before the Civil war went to Indiana to attend college. 
Upon the outbreak of the war he went to Richmond, Va., where he 
volunteered in the Richmond Blues, commanded by Capt. Jennings 
Wise, and was with them during the West Virginia campaign in 
the early days of the war. He afterwards served under Generals 
Flovd and Early until the close of the war, when he returned to 
Lewisburg. After serving some time as a civil engineer on the 
Chesapeake & Ohio railroad, he entered the merchandising busi- 
ness in Lewisburg. He was married to Mary Maxwell Hunt on 
December 13, 1866, and five children were born to them : Conrad 
Hunt Syme, Dr. William Henry Syme, Eliza Hunt and Jane Grey, 
all of Washington, D. C, and Mary Maxwell, who married the 
Rev. Henry Waddell Pratt, and who now resides at Abbeville, 
S. C. Samuel A. M. Syme continued in the merchandising busi- 
ness until about 1878, when he went to California and engaged 
with the California Street Railway System, which had just in- 
stalled the first cable line in use in the United States. He returned 
from California in 1880 and accepted a position in the Government 
service in Washington, where he has since resided. 

Mary Maxwell Syme, wife of Samuel A. M. Syme, was one 
of the most respected, admired and beloved women who ever lived 
in Greenbrier county. Her father, who was one of the most promi- 
nent men in Fredericksburg, Va., had given her the advantage of a 
very liberal education. She was bright and witty in conversation, 
gifted in repartee, and of the most charitable and benevolent na- 
ture. The poor and needy and the sick and oppressed found in her 
a constant and devoted friend. During the war her ardent South- 
ern sympathies kept in constant touch with the leaders of the Con- 
federate army in Missouri, where she then resided, and she 
worked for the cause of the South with unceasing devotion, and 
often incurred personal danger. Her whole life was one of un- 
selfish devotion, not only to her own family, but to many others in 
the community in which she lived. She died in Washington, D. C, 


on the fourteenth of March, 1910, where she had made her home 
since 1883. 

Conrad Hunt Syme was born in Lewisburg, W. Va., January 
13, 1868. He attended school at the old Lewisburg Academy and 
at the Lewisburg graded school until the family moved to Wash- 
ington, D. C, in 1883. He graduated from the Washington High 
School in 1887 and immediately entered for the law course at 
Georgetown University. In 1888 he was appointed private sec- 
retary to United States Senator Charles J. Faulkner, occupying 
this position until 1897. He was admitted to the bar in West Vir- 
ginia in 1893 and in the District of Columbia in 1894. During the 
time he was private secretary to Senator Faulkner he took an 
active part in West Virginia politics. He was assistant secretary 
to the State Democratic Committee in 1892, and also to 
the Democratic Congressional Committee in 1896. He spoke fre- 
quently on the stump in West Virginia and elsewhere in political 
campaigns from 1890 to 1896. He was appointed delegate from 
the District of Columbia to the Atlanta Exposition in 1895 and 
was a delegate to the West Virginia State Convention in 1896. 

In the campaign of 1912 he was active in behalf of the candidacy 
of Woodrow Wilson for President, and in 1916 he made a speak- 
ing tour, at the request of the Democratic National Committee, in 
West Virginia, Maryland and Delaware in behalf of his re-election 
to the Presidency. 

In 1897 he entered actively into the practice of law in Washing- 
ton, D. C, and secured a lucrative practice. He has been a mem- 
ber of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States since 
1900. In 1900 he, together with Senator Faulkner, was employed 
in the contest over the will of Baroness Amoss, and in 1901 he 
went to Europe and took testimony in this case at Rome, Luzerne, 
Heidelberg, Hamburg and Berlin, and afterwards visited Paris 
and London. In 1902 he was employed as one of the counsel for 
the defendants in the celebrated postoffice fraud cases. In 1905 
he was employed to defend the will of Ellen M. Colton, widow of 
General Colton, of California, one of the builders of the Union 
Pacific railroad, and this employment carried him to California. 



In 1913, at the solicitation of the Commissioners of the District 
of Columbia, he became Corporation Counsel of the District of 
Columbia and General Counsel of the Public Utilities Commission 
of the District of Columbia, which position he now occupies and 
where he has represented the District of Columbia in the most im- 
portant litigation in all of the courts with much success. This 
position corresponds with that of the attorney general in the States 
and carries with it the responsibility for all legal matters pertain- 
ing to the capital of the Nation. He is a charter member of the 
University Club, of Washington, D. C, and a member of the Na- 
tional Press Club, and of the City Club, of New York. 

In 1896 he was married, at Harrodsburg, Ky., to Lavinia B. 
Forsythe, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. M. L. Forsythe. Miss For- 
sythe, at the time of her marriage, was one of the belles of the 
blue grass region and her family was among the first settlers of 
Kentucky, her ancestors having gone there from Virginia many 
years before the Revolutionary war. Two sons were born to 
them — Leander Dunbar Syme, born on January 8, 1898, and Sam- 
uel Augustus Syme, born on February 5, 1900. The elder son, 
having graduated at the Central High School in Washington, 
D. C, received an appointment to the United States Military 
Academy at West Point, on November 10, 19 16, and entered this 
institution on June 14, 1917, as a cadet. The younger son, having 
attended three years at the Central High School in Washington, 
D. C, entered the Virginia Military Institute, at Lexington, Va., 
as a cadet, on September 5, 191 7, both boys preparing themselves 
as rapidly as possible to take part in the existing war with 


Among those more prominent in commercial life in Lewis- 
burg, mention should be made of J. E. Bell, who did a general 
business here from 1845 to 1898. He was a man of integrity, 
highly regarded for his honesty and greatly beloved because of his 
sterling character. 


J. E. Bell was born in Rockbridge county, Virginia, Decem- 
ber 16, 1816. He was a son of Joseph and Mary Nelson Bell, 
who lived near Goshen. In 1831 he came to Lewisburg in pur- 
suit of an education, attending school in the old academy and 
boarding with his sister, Mrs. Dickinson, who lived about two 
miles north of town. His business career was commenced in 
Millboro, Virginia, where he kept store. In 1845, he came to 
Lewisburg and, in company with William H. Montgomery, opened 
a store where the Lewisburg Drug Store is now, under the name 
of Bell & Montgomery. In 1858, Mr. Bell erected the store 
now owned and occupied by his son, E. L. Bell, and continued 
the business very successfully until death claimed its reward in 

John Withrow and Thomas Sydenstricker were members of 
the firm at one time, and they were succeeded by Bell & Bright. 
Mr. Bell himself carried on the business fifty-three years. 

Mr. Bell's record in church life was also a remarkable one. 
From the time of his marriage in 1844, he was connected with 
the Presbyterian Church of Lewisburg. He was elected deacon 
first and was treasurer for many years. Following came his 
election as elder. It was said that Mr. Bell, who loved his family 
dearly, loved the prosperity of Zion more, if that was possible, 
and that he often paid the pastor money due on his salary when 
the treasury was empty. He was superintendent of the Sab- 
bath school very many years, a position that has now been held 
by E. L. Bell during the past twenty-five years. He was teacher 
of a Bible class at Ft. Spring a long time. E. L. Bell has given 
attention to the needs of missionary work in the county jail with 
marked success during the past three years. 

Attention to strangers, while visiting Lewisburg, by the elder 
Bell during his long life of church work never slackened, and 
that work, too, was attended with some marked results. 

During the Civil war J. E. Bell was agent of Greenbrier 
county for the supply of cotton cloth and salt to the Confederate 
soldiers' families. He long held the title of captain of the Home 


In 1844, J. E. Bell married Miss Frances Arbuckle, from 
which union one son, Frank J. Bell, now living in Richlands, was 
born. He is a prosperous farmer and also a well known church 
official. Mr. Bell's second wife was Miss Sarah A. Wayt, daugh- 
ter of John Wayt, of Augusta county, Virginia. She died in 
1869, when E. L. Bell was only four years old. Their children 
were: (i) Allie, who died in 1884; (2) Janie, who died when 
nine years old; (3) Mattie, now the wife of John O. Ffandley; 
(4) Edwin L., who was born November 30, 1864. His third 
wife was Mrs. Lucy Guy, of Staunton, Va. No issue. She died 
in 1899. 

E. L. Bell has followed mercantile pursuits all his life. He 
took charge of the store after his father's death, since which time 
he has successfully carried on the business, and to the credit of 
the business community. Like it was with his father, so has it 
been in his case also, first the church, then business as its ac- 
cessory, and in both relations the man has been duly honored 
with success in life's work. 

On December 26, 1895, Edwin L. Bell married Elizabeth 
Massie, of Albemarle county, Virginia. She was a daughter of 
Prof. Rodes Massie, secretary to General Lee and professor at 
one time in the Washington and Lee University, Virginia. To 
this union were born four children: (1) Edwin Massie, now a 
student at Washington and Lee University, with intentions of en- 
tering missionary work in some foreign field of labor after gradu- 
ation; (2) Margaret Wayt ; (3) Elizabeth Rodes; (4) Johnston 

samuel h. Mcdowell. 

The old McDowell homestead, two miles southeast of Ron- 
ceverte, has been in possession of that family for five genera- 
tions. The first occupant was John McDowell, a Protestant, who 
emigrated from Cork, Ireland, in the latter part of the seventeenth 
century, and reached the land of his choice on the American 


coast in 1784. He was born November 15, 1759, and died after 
a residence in Greenbrier county of fifty-seven years. That was 
December 12, 1841. His wife sailed with him from the Isle of 
the Emerald Green and died here January 13, 1844. Their son, 
Samuel, born January 5, 1785, was the oldest of the children. 
Following came John, born November 1, 1787; Robert, March 
2, 1789; James, April 5, 1791 ; Polly, January 15, 1796; William, 
October 21, 1801 ; Nancy, December 4, 1808. 

Robert McDowell inherited the homestead. He married 
Elizabeth Cornwell and they both lived and died on the old 
farm. He died in 1855 at the age of sixty-seven years. She was 
a native of Monroe county, born on the Lewis farm on March 3, 
1791, died March 7, 1876, aged eighty-five years, three days. 
Their children were : Mary Jane, born November 29, 1823 ; Eliza, 
born April 14, 1825; Frances A., born November 3, 1828; Sus- 
anah, born March 7, 1831 ; Sarah E., born May 8, 1833; Robert 
D., born March 10, 1835, died March 10, 1904, aged sixty-nine 
years, married Sally A. Rodgers, daughter of Daniel Rodgers, 
on September 25, 1867, and to them were born Samuel H. Mc- 
Dowell, June 28, 1867, and William F. McDowell, September 15, 
1870. He died November 22, 1908. He married Mattie McClung, 
June 27, 1900. She died October 4, 1908, leaving one son, Rob- 
ert Stuart, born in 1905, fifth in line from John McDowell, and 
last owner of the farm. Robert D. McDowell was a Confeder- 
ate soldier, serving through the war. He was a member of 
Bryan's battery. Samuel H. McDowell, following the occupa- 
tion of his ancestors, is known as a successful farmer, stock 
raiser and shipper. He lived first near Richland's store, and 
came to the present place on the road from Lewisburg to As- 
bury in 1904 from the David Creigh farm, where he lived until 
twelve years ago. He married Bertie E. Hume, December 21, 
1898, and to this union were born Sallie Gladys, July 17, 1903; 
Pauline H., born October 18, 1908; William Gray, born July 15, 
191 1, died August 25, 191 1. 

Samuel H. McDowell is a member of the Shriners in the Ma- 
sonic Fraternity. The family worship with the Presbyterians. 



Every community is in need of good schools, good newspapers 
and good bookstores. Lewisburg is particularly well favored in 
this respect. The bookstore owned by Mason Bell bespeaks for 
the intelligence of the reading public of Lewisburg and the support 
given them reflects credit on the public-spirited citizenship of the 

Mason Bell is the son of Robert J. and Mollie E. Brown, of 
Roanoke Valley, of Virginia. They were married, September 3, 
1877, and soon after moved to Blacksburg, Va. After the father's 
death, on September 28, 1890, the family moved to Lewisburg, in 
the month of October following. 

Robert J. Bell was educated in the University of Washington 
and Lee, Virginia, and was a merchant all his life. He was a man 
greatly esteemed by those who knew him best. 

The children born to Robert J. Bell and his wife were : Mason, 
August 29, 1878; Robert .Marion, October 16, 1880; Anna Nel- 
son, November 5, 1882 (died April 17, 1880) ; Martha Myrtle, 
January 5, 1885 ; Thomas Rhea, October 4, 1886; Moffat Wilson, 
June 25, 1889 (died December 18, 1892) ; Frances Brown, May 
24 ,1891. 

Mrs. R. J. Bell was born September 24, 1854, and was the 
daughter of James E. Brown, born July 30, 1828, and Anna C, 
his wife, born October 8, 1830. 

Mason Bell was educated in the public schools and at the Mil- 
itary Academy of Lewisburg. He began life as a clerk in thi 
store of his uncle, Henry T. Bell, and at the age of thirteen years 
had visions of his present book trade. He began his business 
venture in one corner of his uncle's store, in a very small way, 
and having been grounded in business principles, he built up a 
trade any bookseller now might be proud of. He erected his pres- 
ent store building in 1910. 

iMr. Bell is treasurer of the Limestone Telephone Company, 
of Lewisburg ; member and deacon in the Presbyterian church ; 
past master of Greenbrier Lodge, No. 42, Ancient Free and Ac- 


cepted Masons; member of Ronceverte Chapter, No. 21, Royal 
Arch Masons; member of Greenbrier Commandery, No. 15, 
Knights Templar, and member of Beni Keden temple. Ancient 
Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Charleston, W. Va. 


r The White family is one of the oldest in the county. On the 
farm now owned by George Lake White, and patented by George 
Roople, November 16, 1796, William White from Tyrone, Ire- 
land, settled here in a very early day. He was born in 1782 and 
died July 29, 1849. By his wife, Rebecca Orr, born May 15, 
1786, died February 10, 1874, he became the father of Bettie, 
born in 1809, died April 30, 1870, (the wife of Charles Sneed) ; 
Robert, born July 6, 1813, died April 7, 1898. These two children 
were born in Ireland. The third child, William, born March 14, 
1 81 7, while his parents were on a passage of six months across 
the water, and with the experience of a shipwreck to add proper 
disagreeableness to the sail ; James, born in 1819, died March 29, 
1894; George, the father of our subject, born December 11, 1821, 
died April 12, 1895, and Richard Dickson, born March 18, 1824, 
died January 6, 1910. He was a soldier in the Confederate army, 
Twenty-sixth battalion Virginia infantry, Edgar's battalion. He 
was seriously wounded at Winchester, September 19, 1864, cap- 
tured and held a prisoner at Point Lookout until March, 1865. 
He was married to Miss Mary Masters, sister of William Mas- 
ters, of Lewisburg. 

George White married Jane Rodgers. June 10, 1856. She 
was a daughter of William Rodgers, who lived on Anthony 
creek, above Alvon. She was born December 30, 1821, died 
January 6, 1897. Two children were born to this union, Mary 

Virginia, born June 5, 1857, and -. Her first husband was 

James M. Darnell, now dead. She then married Henry Nicholas. 
Their residence is at North Jackson, Ohio. 

George Lake White, the subject of this sketch, was born Feb- 


ruary 13, i860. He lives on the farm now in the family pos- 
session for one hundred years. He was one of the charter mem- 
bers of the bank at White Sulphur Sprnigs and was its 
vice-president when organized, and is now its presi- 
dent. As a man whose judgment on matters of moment is fre- 
quently desired, he holds a commanding position in the opinion of 
his neighbors, and consequently his share of the public offices. 
He has been road commissioner and supervisor for twenty years, 
and is also at the present time deputy county supervisor and 
school commissioner. 

Mr. White has been twice married. On May 26, 1886, he 
was united to Elizabeth Washington Wetzel, and the fruit of that 
union was Lena V., born March 24, 1887, and George N., born 
March 25, 1889. The daughter married George L. Kursey, Sep- 
tember 19, 1906. Their children are Lee Forest, William Whet- 
zel, and Eugia Virginia. George Nettleton White is a graduate 
of Dunmore College, Virginia, and is now assistant cashier in 
the White Sulphur Springs Bank. He was married to Eva 
Eakle, October 21, 191 5. 

The second wife of George Lake White was Elvina Keyes, 
which marriage took place on January 13, 1892. Miss Keyes 
was born October 24, 1858, and comes from a stock of patriots, 
as well as old Virginia settlers. The homestead was near her 
present residence and is where her father died, July 4, 1880, and 
her mother died November 15. 1890. Her grandfather, Joseph 
Keyes, was a resident of L T nion, Monroe county. He had four 
sons, Isaac, a soldier in the Confederate army ; John Humphrey, 
born October 28, 1818, in Fincastle, Va. ; Thomas B., and Gas- 
hum. John H, the father of Mrs. George Lake White, married 
twice ; his first wife was Margaret Mahon, and by whom he had 
two children, Isaac and Margaret Ann, both dead. His second 
wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Robert and Nancy Pine. The 
children of this union were. James Allen ( died on his way home 
from prison), Joseph R., Humphrey, Bindever, Gershom, Mary 
Arminta and Elvina. Gershom is dead. 

The children of Mr. White (second marriage) were Ernest 


K., born November 8, 1892; Clarence, born April 12, 1894, now 
employed in the garage at White Sulphur Springs ; Lester, born 
June 28, 1895 ; Guy Rodgers, born Dec. 28, 1896; William Lake, 
born March 20, 1899; Jesse Rufus, born February 6, 1901, and 
who died on July 14, 1901. 


The Hunt family are of Irish descent and of the Protestant 
faith. George Hunt, grandfather of W. R. Hunt, was born i;: 
Conway, Mass., and died at Ansted, Fayette county, West Vir- 
ginia, in 1897. His wife, the mother of J. H. Hunt, was Joanna 
Rice. She died in Massachusetts in 1841. 

Josiah Henry Hunt, the father of William R., came to Ansted, 
W. Va., in 1852. In 1857 he came to Greenbrier county and 
worked for Dr. Martin at Blue Sulphur Springs. In 1859 he mar- 
ried Frances Elizabeth Huffman. She was a daughter of Enos 
and Virginia George Huffman. 

Enos Huffman came to Greenbrier county from Madison coun- 
ty, Pennsylvania. Virginia George Huffman was born in Green- 
brier county, on the homestead now owned by J. E. and T. T. 
Leaf, in Grassy Meadows. She was married to Enos Huffman, in 
1818. Twelve children were born to this union, five girls and 
seven boys, of whom Frances Huffman was one. 

Josiah Henry Hunt served through the Civil war as wagon 
master under General Crook. He then returned to Greenbrier and 
settled on a farm one and one-half miles from what is now Alder- 
son, and where he lived the remainder of his life. He died at the 
home of his daughter, Korah E. McClung, of Ronceverte, where 
he had been taken for medical treatment. His death occurred on 
April 23, 1909. He was a Missionary Baptist. 

To J. H. and Frances E. Hunt were born seven children, four 
boys and three girls, namely : George Enos, born June 5, 1866 ; 
Mary Susan, January 8, 1868; Joseph, June 24, 1869; Sally, July 
15, 1870; Edna Korah, March 15, 1872; Walter, May 14, 1876. 

W. R. HUNT. 



Sallie Hunt married James Hedrick, July 18, 1894; Korah 
married Dr. Clayton McClung, October 3, 1894; Walter married 
Edna Caraway, September 18, 1898. 

William R. Hunt, the subject of this sketch, was born Septem- 
ber 25, 1873. He was reared a farmer and owns and operates a 
valuable one near Crawley, this county. 

On April 10, 1906, Mr. Hunt married Miss Mamie McClung, 
daughter of Jacob O. McClung. Five children were born to this 
union : Marie Catherine, born February 15. 1907 ; Martha Frances 
(named after her two grandmothers), born November 19, 1908; 
William (deceased) ; Henry Hayward and Jacob Harold (twins), 
born June 23, 1911. 

William R. Hunt is a very popular citizen of Greenbrier county. 
He was elected deputy sheriff, first under W. A. Boone in 1912, 
and again, under James Miller, in 1915, carrying his home district 
by a splendid majority. Notwithstanding the county is Demo- 
cratic, giving that party a majority of 482 votes in the last elec- 
tion, the Republican candidates for sheriff carried it by a majority 
of 299 votes. 


'V The Jarrett family were among the pioneer settlers of this 
Greenbrier region. James and Elizabeth (Griffey) Jarrett, hav- 
ing settled on Wolf creek, now in Monroe county, prior to the 
Revolutionary war, where a fort used as a place of refuge for the 
Indians was called the Jarrett fort. This old pioneer was twice 
married. His second wife was Rosanna Vincent, who was born, 
February 1, 1779, and died August 21, 1864. As we understand, 
this old pioneer was the father of twenty-four children, twelve by 
each wife, whose descendants are to be found in nearly every 
State from here to the Pacific coast. Only one of his sons re- 
mained in this county, James, who married Ruth Gwinn, in 1803, 
daughter of Samuel Gwinn, and her brothers were : John, 
Ephim, Andrew and Samuel Gwin. His sons, Samuel, Joseph, 


Ira and James Jarrett, were among the most prominet and influ- 
ential citizens of the county. Sturdy and shrewd business talents 
and methods characterized the lives of these prominent Greenbrier 
men. James Jarrett, Jr., was born April 25, 181 5, married Eliz- 
abeth Hickman, September 14, 1848. Six children were born to 
this union: M. Victory, May 7, 1850; T. Hickman, June 25, 1851 ; 
Floyd, August 6, 1852; James Henry, February 24, 1854; Mark 
April 4, 1855 ; Ira, January 6, 1857. 

Elected to the Legislature from Monroe county, in 1868; 
was deputy sheriff under John E. Lewis, and then served as high 
sheriff for four years in the place of his father, who held the office 
on account of being the oldest magistrate in point of service. He 
always claimed a clay bank was the safest bank. He died Jan- 
uary 4, 1884, leaving his large landed estate to his children for. 
life and the remainder to his grandchildren in fee simple. Thomas 
Hickman Jarrett graduated from Roanoke College in June, 1877 ; 
married Georgia Ann Bustle, October 5, 1877, who was a daugh- 
ter of Jesse and Julean (Kasey) Morgan. Her parents, on both 
sides, were among the prominent people of Bedford county, Vir- 
ginia ; taught school at Henriette, Clay county, Texas, the winter 
of 1878; moved back to Greenbrier county in April, 1878, and lo- 
cated on the old Andrew Hamilton and Andrew Johnson farm, 
where he has since lived and reared his family. He was elected to 
the Legislature in 1894, 1898, 1900 and was elected sheriff in 
1908. He owns 1,600 acres of land near Blue Sulphur Springs. 


A large family of ten children ten miles from Lewisburg, but 
now married and scattered over Greenbrier county, once surround- 
ed the home circle of Frank and Martha (Rapp) Ford, people well 
and favorably known at one time to everybody in this part of the 
State. In 1902, the father died. He had a mechanical turn of 
mind and was a carpenter as well as an agriculturist, a trade that is 
being followed by several of his sons. 

jZ&sM^Pf — 


The names of the children were as follow : Samuel, Creigh, 
Joseph, Benjamin, Augustus, John, Edgar, Fannie, Mary Jane 
and Addie. The mother was born March 17, 1833, at Falling 
Springs, and is now eighty-three years old. The home was a re- 
ligious one. The members of the family were Methodists, the ob- 
ligations and duties of that church having been taught to them 
from the hearthstone of their own home, and from childhood. 

E. S. Ford was born April 27, 1876. He received his early 
education in the common schools and then learned the trade of a 
carpenter. On the seventeenth of May, 1890, he married Miss 
Nannie L., daughter of David Andrew Dwyer (see sketch), who, 
with her husband, went to houskeeping at Beckley. Later they 
moved to jMount Hope, Fayette county, but in 1903 they bought 
their property in Lewisburg, and then took up their permanent 
residence in that place. The original house has been displaced by 
a handsome residence, and erected as it is on a commanding site 
overlooking the little city, makes a beautiful home. In 191 5 a fruit 
farm, consisting of six acres of ground covered with trees, was 
added to the original purchase. 

To this union came two children. Gladys, born May 14, 1901, 
inherits a natural love for music, and is now an accomplished 
violinist, even in her youth. Andrew Marvin, the second child, 
was born August 30, 1912. The family worship in the Lewis- 
burg Methodist Church, South. 


The subject of this sketch is the son of John H. Keyes, a well 
known farmer and blacksmith of Greenbrier county. His mother, 
before marriage, was Elizabeth Pine, a resident of Monroe 

His eldest brother, James, was taken prisoner in the Civil war 
and died on his way home. Joseph R., another brother, also served 
throughout the war, in Edgar's Battalion. Gashum, the young- 
est brother, died in Covington, Va., several years ago. 


Mary A., the eldest sister, married R. D. Rimel and is now liv- 
ing in Pocahontas county. The other sister, Elvina, married G. L. 
White and lives at White Sulphur Springs. 

Humphrey B. Keyes was born January 19, 1852, attended 
schools in Tuckahoe district a few terms and later officiated as 
school trustee. In 1882 he married Susan Gardner, a daughter of 
John Gardner, of Greenbrier county. 

After they were married they bought a farm near Alvon con- 
sisting of 146 acres, where they have since lived. 

There were ten children born to Mr. and Mrs. Keyes as follow : 
Lula, who married Edgar Lynch, and is now living in North Da- 
kota ; Gertrude, who married Henry Lynch, and now lives in Al- 
von ; James, who married Mattie Kershner, and Dora, who mar- 
ried Winters Kershner. Both the last named live near Mountain 
Grove, Va. ; Aimee, who married Harry P. Gunn, July 18, 1917. 
now living at Cass, W. Va. ; Clarence, Cora, Bessie and Lillian are 
living with their parents. Florence died in 1895, at the age of 
six years. 

"r-Mr. Keyes lives a simple life, but is a successful farmer and one 
of Greenbrier's representative citizens. 


Dr. Harry Lee Beard, physician, was born on September 7, 
1869. He is the son of John Jordan Beard, born in Renick Val- 
ley, W. Va., and of Minerva Edmiston Beard, of Hillsboro, W. Va. 
They were married in 1866. 

Dr. Beard's ancestor, John Beard, emigrated to America in 
anti-Revolutionary times, settling first in Pennsylvania, subse- 
quently in Augusta county, Virginia, then coming to Greenbrier 
county, finally. 

To John Jordan Beard and his wife were born three children. 
Besides their son, Henry Lee, one daughter was born, in 1867, 
JMary M. Beard, who died in 1894, and a son, J. Fred Beard, 
born in 1871. John Jordan Beard, like his ancestors before him, 


was a man of some political influence. He was county clerk at 
one time and was also clerk of the circuit court. 

Harry Lee Beard was educated at Hillsboro Academy, Poca- 
hontas county, and at the University of West Virginia, at Mor- 
gantown. He was a student, later, at the University of Virginia, 
in the medical department, and graduated from that institution in 
1893. After leaving school Dr. Beard was stationed at the United 
States Marine Hospital, in New Orleans, where he remained for 
something over a year. He then located in Lewisburg. where he 
is now doing a general practice. 


Rev. H. A. Murrill, for several years in the active ministry 
of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, but at present a farmer, 
is connected with a list of very prominent ancestors, mostly of 
Colonial and Revolutionary stock of old Virginia. Most of these 
came from England to Virginia and took up large grants of land 
in the early days of her history. 

Below are given on the paternal side the Murrills, Whitting- 
tons and Londons and on the maternal side the Woodroofs, Hig- 
ginbothams, Londons, McDaniels and Powells. 


1. Murrill, Goochland county, Virginia; large slave 


2. Cornelius Murrill I, opposed to slavery ; disinherited. 

3. Cornelius Murrill II, moved to Nelson county, 1794; 
thence to Bedford county, 1818. 

4. Charles Murrill, born 1791, died 1836, fought in War of 
1812; was married December 15, 1829, to Eliza Anne Whitting- 
ton, of Bedford. 

5. Samuel Leroy Murrill, born August 5, 1835, Bedford 
county ; attended New London Academy ; fought in war between 


the States in Second Virginia Cavalry ; was married to Virginia 
Daniel Woodroof, of Amherst, 1866. His children are as follows : 

Ashby Murrill, M. E. of the V. P. I., now civil engineer. 

William Alphonso Murrill, M. S. of the V. P. I. ; A. M. of 
Randolph Macon, and Ph. D. of Cornell, and director of New 
York Botanical Garden ; editor of Mycologia; author of North 
American Flora. 

Minnie Douglass Murrill, attended Bowling Green, R. M. 
W. C. and Sage, New York. Librarian, teacher. 

Howard Aggassiz Murrill, attended R. M. Academy and V. 
P. I. Fourteen years' active work in Baltimore Conference M. E. 
Church, South. 

Anna Eliza Murrill, B. S. of W. F. I. and library school of 
Atlanta. Librarian Agricultural Hall, V. P. I. 

Virginia Woodroof Murrill, B. S. of W. F. I. ; married Ar- 
thur Johnson, M. E., of Columbia. 

Samuel Pitt Murill, M. S. of V. P. I., M. A. of Columbia. 
Superintendent of Schools, Bedford, Va. 

Howard Agassiz Murrill, married to Elizabeth Ruth George, 
of Greenbrier, March 14, 1899. His children as follows : Winston 
Woodroof, Edwin London, Victoria Gwynne, William Alfonso, 
Isabel George, Julian Jarrett, Virginia McDaniel and James Hig- 


1. David Woodroof, of England; married Anne ; came 

to Spottsylvania county, Virginia; took up grant of land in St. 
Margaret's Parish, December 3, 1733. 

2. David Woodroof II, captain in Revolutionary war; 
married Clara Powell. 

3. David Woodroof III, married Judith McDaniel, of Am- 
herst county. 

4. Winston Woodroof, married Frances Jane London. 

5. Virginia Daniel Woodroof, born Amherst county, 1837 ; 
educated at Hollins ; married to Samuel Leroy Murrill, of Bed- 

6. Howard A. Murrill. 



i. John Higginbotham, of England; coat of arms dates to 
927 A. D. 

2. James Higginbotham, Amherst; colonel in Revolutionary 

3. Tirzah Anne Higginbotham, married John London of 

4. Frances Jane London, married Winston Woodroof, of 

5. Virginia Daniel Woodroof. 

6. Howard A. Murrill. 


i. Whittington, from England. 

2. Stark Whittington, of Amherst; married Elizabeth Lon- 
don, daughter of John London. 

3. Eliza Anne Whittington, married Charles Murrill, of Bed- 

4. Samuel Leroy Murrill. 

5. Howard A. Murrill. 


1. London, in England; married a Winifree. 

2. James London, from England ; married Turner. 

3. John London, Amherst, Va. ; married Tirza Anne Higgin- 

4. Frances Jane London, married Winston Woodroof. 

5. Virginia Daniel Woodroof. 

6. Howard A. Murrill. 


1. George McDaniel, Scotland, 1600. 

2. John McDaniel, Amherst county, Virginia. 

3. Judith McDaniel, married David Woodroof III, of Am- 


4. Winston Woodroof. 

5. Virginia D. Woodroof. 

6. Howard A. Murrill. 


1. Robert Davis, married Nicotah Huse, niece of John Rolfe 
and Pocahontas. 

2. Abadiah Davis, married William Floyd, first settler of 

3. Sarah Floyd, aunt of Governor John Floyd ; married 
Wyatt Powell. 

4. Clara Powell, married David Woodroof II, and she had a 
brother who acted as Governor of Virginia for thirty days until 
Argall's arrival; massacred by Indians in 1622. 

5. David Woodroof III, married Judith McDaniel. 

6. Winston Woodroof. 

7. Virginia Daniel Woodroof. 

8. Howard A. Murrill. 

Elizabeth Ruth Murrill, wife of Rev. H. A. Murrill, is the 
daughter of H. H. George and Margaret Jarrett George, of 
Greenbrier, whose history on the George and Jarrett side will 
be found in another part of this book. 

(By K. M. Snyder.) 

Adam Clark Snyder, long an honored member of the bar of 
Greenbrier county, was born March 26, 1834, at Crabbottom, 
Highland county, Virginia, and died July 24, 1896, at his home in 
Lewisburg, W. Va. 

His parents, John and Elizabeth (Halderman) Snyder, were 
among the earliest settlers of Highland county, when it was a part 
of Pendleton. His early life was spent at Crabbottom, where his 



education was begun. Later he became a student of Mossy Creek 
Academy, in Augusta county, Virginia, and then, in 1854, he en- 
tered Dickinson College, Pennsylvania. He afterwards attended 
Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), Lex- 
ington, Va., where his academic education was terminated in 1856. 
Shortly thereafter, he began the study of law with that eminent 
jurist and teacher, Hon. J. W. Brokenborough, the judge of the 
United States District Court, and under his instruction laid the 
foundation of the legal education which afterward made him 
famous as advocate, counsellor and judge. 

In 1859 he located in Lewisburg and practiced law there, save 
during the 1861-1865 Civil war, interspersing the early years of his 
lawyer's life with some journalistic work, which had a marked ef- 
fect on his writing in after years, imparting to his diction a round- 
ness, a conciseness and clearness, which are noticeable in every 
paper he prepared. 

When war broke upon the country in 1861 he followed the for- 
tunes of the South, enlisting in Company E of the Twenty-seventh 
Virginia Regiment, afterwards a part of the famous "Stonewall 
Brigade" ; and after several promotions he was made adjutant of 
his regiment with the rank of captain, which position he held till 
his capture and imprisonment by the forces of the North. He was 
actively engaged in the Valley of Virginia campaign under Gen. 
Joseph E. Johnston and with the "Stonewall Brigade" in the first 
battle of Manassas, July 21, 1861, in which battle he received a 
severe wound in the side, which always thereafter gave him trou- 
ble. He was in the Romney expedition, in the battles of Kerns- 
town, Winchester, Cross-Keys, Port Republic, and the seven days' 
fight around Richmond ; and later in the battles of second Manas- 
sas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. 
In 1863 he was captured by the North and imprisoned in the 
Athenaum at Wheeling, where he was held a prisoner of war un- 
til exchanged, in 1864. Broken in health by disease and hard- 
ships of prison life, he was not thereafter in active service. 

Until the end of the war he again took up journalistic work. 
When the war closed, in 1865, and disbarment to practice law was 


removed by a decision of the United States Supreme Court, he re- 
sumed his profession at Lewisburg, and soon entered upon a lucra- 
tive practice and successful career. He rose rapidly in the legal 
profession, not only as a painstaking, careful, energetic lawyer, but 
made himself felt by the soundness of his logic and the breadth 
of his legal knowledge and acumen. 

In 1882, so well had he become known as a profound scholar 
and lawyer, that upon the death of Hon. J. F. Patton, who had 
been appointed to the Supreme Court of West Virginia by Gov- 
ernor Jacob B. Jackson to fill the unexpired term of Judge Charles 
P. T. Moore, resigned, Governor Jackson appointed him in the 
room and stead of Judge Patton. When Judge Snyder was ap- 
pointed nearly three years of Judge Patton's term were unexpired, 
and in the next succeeding election he was nominated by the 
Democratic party to fill that part of the term and elected by a 
large majority. In the fall of 1884 he was renominated and re- 
elected for a full term of twelve years, beginning with January 1, 
1885. He did not serve out his term, but in 1890, in order to at- 
tend to his large private business interests, which required his time 
and attention, resigned his position. During the latter portion 
of his career as judge he was president of the court, and during his 
career upon the bench won the unbounded admiration and respect 
of the bar and of the people of his State. His opinions are regard- 
ed among the ablest, perhaps the very ablest, ever delivered by the 
court. Their clear, forceful language, logical reasoning, breadth 
and accurate grasp of subject, pointed citation of authority and 
precedent, and the application of principles make them an orna- 
ment to the Reports of the State and a lasting monument to their 

He was a laborious worker, and his common sense enabled him 
to meet any question with an intrepid clearness and grasp. His 
mode of dealing with all questions was such as to assure confi- 
dence and inspire respect. He struck straight at the point and 
swept away irrelevant and impertinent matter with a swiftness and 
ease possessed by few jurists ; and when his conclusion had been 
reached and his opinion formed the lucid statement made of the 


result of his investigation, the honesty with which he handled the 
subject, his knowledge displayed in the application of the law, and 
the reasons for his conclusion, were so convincing that they se- 
cured the respectful acquiescence of those even whose interests 
had suffered by the judicial decision. 

He was one of the organizers and a member of the board of 
directors from the date of the organization of The Bank of Lew- 
isburg, on July i, 1871, until his death, and was for twenty years 
its president. As a banker his actions were always characterized 
by firmness, wisdom and discretion ; faithful to duty and watchful 
of the interests of the institution, he was still ever willing to ac- 
commodate the needy and the worthy. 

Judge Snyder was a great student of times and men, a varied 
reader, and a writer upon many subjects ; but as husband and 
father, as friend and neighbor, the beauty of his gentle, unambi- 
tious nature shone with its greatest lustre. His kind heart, his 
charity, his devotion to family and friends, his love of home and 
those who made up his household, were such as give to his inner 
life its chief charm. As proud as his admirers may have been of 
his ability and achievements, those who knew him best loved him 
more because of private virtues than for any achievements in his 
public life. 

In 1869 he married Miss Henryette Harrison Cary, daughter 
of William and Ophelia (Mathews) Cary, of Lewisburg, and to 
this union were born nine children. Three of them died in in- 
fancy, and one son, Dr. H. Harry O. Snyder, died at Jefferson 
Hospital, Philadelphia, on August 21, 1903, in his thirtieth year. 
The widow and three sons, Jules Verne, of Chattanooga, Tenn., 
Kenton Mathews, of Chicago, 111., and Frederick William, of 
Richmond, Va., and one daughter, Zulieme Austin (now Mrs. 
Crockett Bowen Ratliff), of Lewisburg, are still living (1917). 

Judge Snyder possessed a wonderful charm of manner, which 
never failed to convert mere acquaintances into warm friends. In 
disposition he was genial and the most companionable of men. He 
was tall, somewhat stooped, displaying in his appearance the hab- 
its and mien of a student and of simple tastes. 



The subject of this sketch, for nearly half a century one of 
the master commissioners of the circuit court of this county, and 
more than once chosen by the people to represent the county in the 
Legislature, was born at Lewisburg, October 23, 1818, and died 
there, June 26, 1901. 

Mr. Withrow was one of the brave boys of Lewisburg, who 
prepared himself for life's struggle working for his father at the old 
tan yard from early manhood, becoming known for his high sense 
of integrity, his splendid judgment and noble character, and being 
so highly esteemed, was called to identify himself with the public 
interest and affairs of the county during almost the whole of his 
life. As a member of the old county court he had been associated 
with such men as William Cary, William Feamster, Moses Dyer, 
Matthew Arbuckle, David S. Creigh, and was recognized as one 
who never swerved from right and duty. 

Although not a licensed attorney, his reports showed a high 
order of intellect and his judgments, as a rule, were sustained 
and favorably commented upon. His motto was "Justice and 
Equal Rights to all men, and special privilege to none." 

Mr. Withrow was once denied his seat in the State Legislature 
by a Republican majority, but in 1872 he was returned, and then 
his ability and fitness for the work were soon recognized and ac- 
knowledged, by placing him upon the judiciary committee, the 
most important committee of the Legislature. 

Mr. Withrow was kind and courteous to all with whom he 
came in contact. But he knew a higher and a nobler life. When 
a boy in his teens he identified himself with the worshippers of 
his God, at the Old Stone Church, and took part in song and 
praise, and for fifty years was leader of the choir. It was under 
Dr. McElhenney's pastorate that he united with the church, and 
on May 4, 1850, was ordained ruling elder, and from that day to 
his death his opinions and judgments on church matters carried 
great weight. He was chosen commissioner several times to the 
general assembly of the church. In either Presbytery, synod or 



general assembly he was always listened to with great respect for 
his judgment. He was last commissioner to the Synod of Vir- 
ginia, which met in Lewisburg in October, when the centennial of 
the church was held. He was the last officer of the Old Stone 
Church ordained under the pastorate of Dr. McElhenney. 

Mr. Withrow's wife was Miss Mary Jane Kincaid. Two sons 
and four daughters were born to this union: Capt. Edgar D. 
and Heber K. Withrow. The daughters were Mrs. Helen Feam- 
ster, Miss Mary Withrow, Mrs. James F. Montgomery and Miss 
Lucy E. Withrow. 


Daniel O'Connell, farmer and lumberman, was born on Octo- 
ber 19, 1849. He became a public-spirited man, working always 
for the good of his community, and striving not only to make his 
own way in the world, but also to pave the way for others. That 
is the record made by him. 

Living in Pennsylvania until grown to manhood, he finally 
moved, with his family, to White Sulphur Springs. He carried 
on an extensive lumber business, not only in Greenbrier county, 
but also in Pocahontas county, West Virginia. He purchased the 
old Drewy place at White Sulphur Springs, an estate more than 
one hundred years old. 

On this place was an old spring, which Mr. O'Connell consid- 
ered of great value, together with the land around it, and feeling 
that the people at large should have the benefit of the same, he 
used his influence with the United States Government to pur- 
chase the land around the spring for the purpose of a fish hatch- 
ery. His efforts were successful, and today a great hatchery ex- 
ists there, owned by the Government, where fish of many species 
are promulgated. 

Mr. O'Connell was chief promoter of a railroad fifteen miles 
long, from White Sulphur Springs to Shryock, a little village 
named in honor of his old friend, Thomas J. Shryock, of Balti- 


more, Md. The railroad was built and operated to the very great 
convenience of the citizens of both towns, and while Mr. O'Connell 
did not derive great wealth from the project, he was interested in 
its success, as he believed, and knew, of the immense public bene- 
fit such a railroad would prove to be. 

Mr. O'Connell was also engaged in the oil and gas business, 
owning a number of wells in the Blue Creek section, but sold out 
all his interests some months before his death, which occurred on 
October 2, 1913, and at that time was living a comparatively 
retired life. 

Daniel O'Connell was the son of parents born and reared in 
Ireland. One other child was born besides Daniel, being Henry 
O'Connell, who died at the age of twenty-one years. 

Mr. O'Connell married, on September 8, 1883, Miss Sue Keirn, 
and to them were born two children, Daniel Oscar O'Connell, 
born March 8, 1885, and Minnie Belle O'Connell, born October 
25, 1886. 

Mr. O'Connell was active in the work of his church, the Cath- 
olic church, and gave always to charity, and all calls for help were 
not heard by him in vain. 

His life, as a public-spirited man and one that was spent in the 
interests of those about him, has made the land of his home a 
better one. 


Lewisburg has been noted for its legal talent. J. Scott Mc- 
Whorter, one of the leading lawyers at this bar and prosecuting at- 
torney at one time, is of Scotch extraction. 

The McWhorter family was a small clan in Galloway, Scot- 
land, some of whom emigrated to Ireland in a very early day. 
Hugh McWhorter, a prosperous linen merchant of Armagh, emi- 
grated, in 1730, to New Castle, Del., where he became a prominent 
farmer and an elder in the Presbyterian church. His son, Henry, 



born November 13, 1760, in New Jersey, enlisted in the Revolu- 
tionary war, in 1776, and served until the treaty of peace, in 1784. 
He married, in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, and moved from there 
to Hampshire county, Virginia, in 1786, and from thence to Har- 
rison county, now Lewis county, in 1790. His wife was Miss 
Mary Fields. Their house was built in 1793 and is still standing. 
It is the oldest house in the historic Hackers Creek Valley, now 
West Virginia, and here was reared one of the most remarkable 
families of pioneer days. 

For sixty years Henry McWhorter was a member of the Meth- 
odist church and was class leader fifty years. He died February 4, 
1848, and was buried in the McWhorter cemetery, on his farm, by 
the side of his wife, who died in 1834. 

Walter, the third and last son of Henry McWhorter, St., was 
born October 31, 1787. In 1806 he married Margaret Hurst. He 
was a major of militia, a noted athlete and never met his equal in 
wrestling, jumping or foot racing. 

The major's house, like that of his father, was the recognized 
place of public worship. Here were held the winter revivals and 
big meetings. He died August 12, i860. His wife died December 
27, 1853. Seventeen children were born to this union, the Rev. 
John Minion McWhorter, D. D., the tenth child, being in direct 
line with the subject of this sketch. 

Dr. McWhorter married Rosetta Marple. The doctor es- 
poused the Universalist faith, and was the pioneer promulgator 
of that doctrine in his part of the State. His wife was a daughter 
of Ruth Reger, a descendant of Jacob Reger, who came from Ger- 
many and made a settlement on Second Big Run, in 1776. 

F. J. McWhorter, son of Rev. J. M., married Olive Catherine 
Reger. She died when her son, J. S. McWhorter, was but seven 
years old. F. J. McWhorter now resides at Buckhannon, W. Va. 

J. Scott McWhorter's early life was under the tutelage of Dr. 
J. M. McWhorter, on Hacker's creek, Upshur county, West Vir- 
ginia. When fifteen years of age he graduated from the high 
school at Buckhannon. He then went to the West Virginia Uni- 
versity until he completed his sophomore year, afterwards grad- 


uating from the University of Wisconsin, in 1895, with special 

He came to Lewisburg in November, 1896. 

In 1899 Mr. McWhorter married Jennie Pearl McWhorter, 
daughter of Judge J. M. McWhorter. She died in September, 
1908, from the effects of a surgical operation, in Baltimore. Four 
children were the fruit of this marriage. Joe Reger, Julian K., 
John Scott, Jr., and Catherine. 

In i9io)Mr. McWhorter was married to Wapella F. Feamster, 
daughter of William Feamster, of Rupert, Greenbrier county. 

J. S. McWhorter was elected prosecuting attorney in 1904, and 
re-elected in 1908, and is a candidate at the present time for that 
office. In July, 1914, he was appointed by the Hon. Charles S. 
Dice to fill out an unexpired term ending in November, 1914. He 
is a member of the Masonic fraternity. 


The Dunn family lived in Culpeper county, Virginia. John 
Dunn came from there and settled on a farm near Lewisburg, 
where he was known for many years as a highly respected Chris- 
tian gentleman in the Presbyterian church. He married Maria J. 
Taylor and the fruit of this union was Elizabeth, who married 
Robert Remick, now of Remick county, West Virginia ; Henry 
C, the subject of this sketch, Catherine (Mrs. McNeel) and 
John R. 

Henry C. Dunn was born on October 22, 1841, and died July 
2, 1904. He was one of Greenbrier's enterprising farmers, and 
for many years he owned and operated a coal yard at Ronceverte. 
After living in Kanawha county for twenty-five years, he sold the 
homestead farm and moved to Lewisburg, in 1899, where his 
widow now resides. He was a very liberal-hearted man, very gen- 
erous to the poor, his benefactions distinguishing him as a hos- 
pitable gentleman of the community. 

On July 15, 1874, Mr. Dunn was married to Miss Sally Mat- 



thews, and from this union came, John, born May 25, 1875, died 
April 19, 1904. He was a bookkeeper for a coal company for some 
time and was a member of the Masonic fraternity in high standing. 
The second child was \Mary Virginia, born May 31, , and 

died March 11, 191 1 ; Maria L., born October 6, 1880. She mar- 
ried A. M. McCormick on July 12, 1905, and to them were born 
three children, Alice Gray, Alpha M., and Sallie Matthews. Mr. 
McCormick is bookkeeper for the Light and Power Company, of 


David Andrew Dwyer was the son of Moses Dwyer and Nancy 
Tuckwiller Dwyer, both parents being natives of Greenbrier 
county. The father of Moses Dwyer came from Ireland, and their 
home, where Moses was born, was on the J. R. & K. turnpike, an 
old homestead where, many years ago, the ministers of the Meth- 
odist church were wont to tarry on their way about among their 

David was the youngest son of his father's family, the other 
children being Eliza, who married Caleb Dwyer, and is now dead ; 
John, who died in Texas many years ago ; Mary, who became the 
wife of Henry Simms, of Fayette county, and Sarah, who married 
John Beam, of Fayette county, and is now also dead. 

David Andrew Dwyer, a farmer as to occupation, was a widely 
beloved neighbor and citizen. His fellow men elected him a justice 
of the peace for twelve years, and was elected high sheiiff of 
Greenbrier without opposition. Because of his capability div ■/ 
his first term of office as sheriff he was again elected by a large 
majority, receiving some 300 votes from the Republican side. 
During his term of office county paper at once went to par and 
staid there, for he paid drafts when they were presented, irrespect- 
ive of whether he had county funds on hand or not. 

Mr. Dwyer was a public-spirited man in every sense of the 
term. While incumbent of the sheriff's office he organized the 


Bank of Greenbrier, which stands today as an example of what a 
man may do for his community if he possesses really the wish 
to benefit his neighbors and townsmen. He was a man who was 
the same to all men whether high or low, rich or poor, humble or 
famous. He was a Christian in the highest sense of the word ; liv- 
ing a high, strong, clean life, demonstrating his belief in God by 
deeds of charity and kindness. His home was the place of relig- 
ious gatherings, and his Bible was a book well known to him. 

Mr. Dwyer was a sufferer for many months, having sustained 
a paralytic stroke some time before his death, which occurred on 
October 31, 1915, at the age of seventy-four years and ten 

He leaves a widow, who was Miss Rachael '.McFarland, of 
Ohio, and the following children to mourn his death : John G., 
Charles M., now in California, James W., Nannie L., Ford and 
Grover C. Dwyer. 


In these days of automobile progression, physicians easily 
make their rounds, being able to see many patients daily, but in 
pioneer times it was different. It is said that Dr. S. C. Beard 
would sometimes in one day ride sixty miles on horseback in his 
professional work. His sympathies were large and his field of 
labor was, too, and in order to meet the demands of so extensive 
a practice long journeys necessarily at times had to be taken. 
When the war broke out, and whenever possible, his services were 
joyfully given to the needs of the boys in the Confederate camps, 
the doctor being regarded as one of the most valued physicians 
in the army. In the meantime, his private practice kept him busily 
engaged with the sick in his home surroundings, and until his 
death, in 1905, which closed a long and honorable career. 

Dr. Beard was thoroughly educated for his professional work. 
He completed his medical course in 1853, taking his degree, Doc- 
tor of Medicine, from the University of Virginia. A post-grad- 


uate course taken in Jefferson College, Philadelphia, subsequently, 
more fully equipped him for his life's work. 

Dr. S. C. Beard was born October 3, 1831, on a farm near 
Lewisburg, where his early boyhood days were spent. There 
were only two children, Dr. Beard and a brother, John A. Beard, 
who died in service the first year of the Civil war. He was a 
lieutenant in the cavalry and was with the Governor's Guards at 
the time of his death. He was a son of Christopher and Miriam 
(McNeel) Beard, both natives of Virginia, and a grandson of 
Samuel Beard, of Scotch-Irish parentage, whose father, John, 
emigrated to America and settled in Pennsylvania, then later 
moved to Augusta county, Virginia, where he lived with his par- 
ents while a young man. 

John Beard was a bold, venturesome man, and his courage was 
frequently needed in contests with the Indians. He married Janet 
Wallace and became the pioneer of Renick's Valley, Greenbrier 
county. This was about the year 1770. The young couple took 
up their abode in a cabin John had erected before his marriage on 
lands afterwards occupied by Abram Beard, his grandson. Here 
they reared a large family of sons and daughters, Samuel being 
the grandfather of the doctor. Samuel Beard married Margaret 
Walkup, and their children were: Tommie, Jesse, William R.. 
Josiah, Margaret, Jane, Nancy, Siby and Mary. Margaret be- 
came the second wife of Thomas Price. Josiah was the first clerk 
of Greenbrier after its organization. His wife was Rachael Cam- 
eron Poage, daughter of Mayor William Poage, of Marlin's Bot- 
tom. William R. married Margaret McNeel. 

Christopher Beard, the father of Dr. Beard, was born April 
1, 1798, and died August 2, 1840. He was a large farmer, led a 
quiet and unobtrusive life, and became a useful citizen. His widow, 
who survived him until 1888, died at the age of nearly eighty- 
eight years. She was the daughter of Abraham McNeel, of Scotch 
descent. Her grandfather, John McNeel, married Martha Davis„ 
a zealous convert of John Wesley, and through her influence her 
husband erected the first log cabin for religious worship west of 
the Allegheny Mountains. Their home in Pocahontas county was 


near this church, where Bishop Asbury, the noted Methodist di- 
vine, often stopped over night. 

John McNeel appears to have been the first to occupy the Lit- 
tle Levels coming there about the year 1765. On October 10, 
1784, we hear of him in camp at Lewisburg, joining the expedition 
to Point Pleasant. 

Children born to John and Martha (Davis) McNeel were: 
Abraham, whose second wife was Miss Bridger ; Betsy, John, 
Abe, Patsy, and Margaret, who married William Beard ; and 
Miriam, who married Christopher Beard. She was born in 1808, 
on the seventh of December, in Pocahontas county. She was mar- 
ried when sixteen years of age and lived on the farm three miles 
above Lewisburg to the age of eighty-three. 

Jacob and Delilah (Jarrett) Hamilton were the parents of 
Estaline Montgomery, wife of Dr. Beard. Estaline Montgomery 
Hamilton was born at Blue Sulphur Springs, December 7, 1834. 
Her mother was born at that place in 1810. Her father was born 
on Muddy creek in 1795. She was united in marriage to Dr. Beard, 
December 12, 1855, and the children born to this union were Wal- 
ter C, Lillian H., Delia Miriam, Margaret E., Phil J. A., Samuel 
C. and Emma W. Delia M., Margaret E. and Phil J. A. died sev- 
eral years prior to this sketch. 

The homestead, three miles north of Lewisburg, originally con- 
sisted of 1,200 acres of land. 


S. Nelson Pace, lawyer of Lewisburg, is a native of Virginia, 
born at Culpeper, August 21, 1883. The earlier years of his life 
were spent in the city of his birth and at Danville, Va., graduating 
from the Culpeper High School in 1897. His first venture in the 
business world was in the employ of a bank at Richmond, Va., 
then in the same city and elsewhere, including Madison, Wis., New 
York City and Lancaster, Pla., for the American Tobacco Com- 


Following, came a three years' course of study in the Univer- 
sity of Wisconsin in academic and medical work, and also one year 
at the Medical College of Virginia. He later graduated from the 
law school of the University of Virginia, in 1910. 

In July of that year he located in Lewisburg, where he began 
the practice of law, being at present a commissioner in chancery of 
the circuit court of Greenbrier. 

Mr. Pace was married to Miss Hallie E. Moore, daughter of 
Judge Charles Forest Moore, of New York City, and a grand- 
daughter of Mrs. Minerva Beard, of Lewisburg. Two sons were 
born to this union. 

Mr. Pace is a member of the Masonic order, including the 
Knights Templar and the Shrine, and is also a Thirty-Second De- 
gree Mason. He is a member of the Elks, a member of the 
Zeta Psi fraternity, and the Pi Mu medical fraternity. 


William Masters was one of the leading business men of Green- 
brier county, a good Christian and one whom the church has 
greatly missed since he passed to his reward above, on February 
25, 1914, at his winter home near St. Petersburg, Fla. He was 
born in Greenbrier county July 11, 1834, and was reared a farmer, 
and died owning considerable real estate, both in West Virginia 
and in Florida, where he was accustomed to spend his winter 
months for four years. 

He married (Martha J. Piercy, March 1, i860. She was a 
Greenbrier lady, born in this county December 25, 1833. She was 
a loving, faithful wife, mother and neighbor. She died in 1892. 
The fruit of this union was : Augustus C, born December 7, 
i860, a farmer and a coal operator, living at Lewisburg ; Luella, 
who was born May 3, 1862, and died when eleven years old ; Alice, 
born March 15, 1869. She married L. M. Peck, a depot agent in 
Hinton, and now for many years a coal operator ; Samuel J., born 
August 27, 1863, now living in Washington, D. C. ; Mary Cathe- 


rine, born August 31, 1872. She married Capt. J. J. Duffy, now 
mayor of Passa Grille, Fla., of considerable means in Florida and 
West Virginia. 

Mr. Masters married Martha Jane Massie Jones for his second 
wife, at her parents' home in Meadow Fork neighborhood, in Fay- 
ette county, on April 8, 1896. She was a daughter of Llewellyn 
W. Jones (a descendant of Capt. Porter Jones, who fought under 
Washington, and was of Welch descent) and Mrs. Martha Jane 
(Massie) Jones, of Virginia, who were united in marriage in 
1840. Their children were Sarah Frances, Martha Jane Massie, 
Mary Elizabeth, Mildred Ann, Charles Tandy, Joseph Samuel, 
Virginia Lucy, George Washington and Emma Llewellyn. 

In the year 1849 her parents moved to Fayette county, Vir- 
ginia, where her father farmed. While on his way home from 
Texas, where he had gone to buy a farm, he lost his life on the 
Mississippi, when the steamboat, "Emma No. 3" was burned. His 
wife died on March 15, 1900. She was born April 22, 1818. Five 
of their children are still living. Two, J. S. and C. T., died in 
Jacksonville, Fla. 

Mr. Masters moved to Greenbrier county in 1898, where the 
present homestead was purchased at Lewisburg. Mr. Masters 
had stock farms near his home, which he operated successfully un- 
til 1910, when he commenced spending his winters in Florida. 

Mr. Masters was a lovable Christian character, and herein was 
the great legacy he left behind him. He professed religion dur- 
ing a Methodist prayer meeting, in 1854, and in August, 1856, he 
united with the Jennette Baptist Church, composed then of thirteen 
members. He was baptized in Meadow river at Russellville by 
Rev. Allen Wood, together with Miss Mary Rodgers, afterward 
Mrs. Peters. Later, Mr. Masters became very active in church 
work. When the war broke out he served the South as a Con- 
federate soldier. He was always to be found in every church 
movement, and always became identified with the church wherever 
he was. At Ansted he deeded a parsonage to the church and 
gave the land on which the present church building stands, be- 
sides giving much money to church expenses. He was not 


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ashamed of his (Maker nor afraid to pray for the sick, whom he 
visited in time of need and distress. He was a great believer in 
prayer and early in his life erected the family altar, which he 
maintained to the last. 

His father was George Masters, born in Greenbrier county ; 
his mother, Catherine Deitz, born in Augusta county, Virginia, 
died at the age of ninety-two years. Mrs. Master's mother's an- 
cestors are traceable to Charles Massie, a Cromwellite, who, to 
save his head when Charles II. succeeded to the throne of Eng- 
land, fled to America, landing at Portsmouth, Va. Being a ship- 
builder, he went to work at Gasport Navy Yard. He was a wid- 
ower with one child, Tommie. The story goes that Tommie cov- 
eted a beautiful black, among a herd of wild horses, in that section 
of Virginia. He secured it by perching himself upon a low out- 
stretched limb of a large chestnut, with lasso in hand, and dropped 
upon the back of the animal when it passed under the tree. 


Captain David Tay Moore, business manager of the Green- 
brier Military School, was born February 8, 1881. He obtained 
his early education in the public schools of Randolph county, West 
Virginia, later in the public schools in Augusta county, Virginia ; 
also in a private high school at the same place, and then entered 
Washington and Lee University at Lexington, Virginia. 

On leaving the university, Mr. Moore entered the Rocking- 
ham National Bank, Harrisonburg, Va., remaining three years. 
In April, 1906, he accepted a position in the National Exchange 
Bank, Roanoke, Va., becoming auditor of this bank in 1910. In 
July, 1912, he resigned this position to become business manager 
of the Greenbrier Presbyterian Military School, and from that 
time the school has been advancing by leaps and bounds. 

The increased attendance of students, from out of the state in 
particular, of necessity brought about increased improvements, 
with larger equipments. Not only new buildings were added to 


the college campus, but a farm was bought, that the table might 
have the advantage of its own live products. A well equipped 
gymnasium, which, with the addition of a large athletic field, a 
tennis court, ground for track work, and a spring camp, the sur- 
roundings became ideal for successful educational work. The at- 
tendance at the present time is very large and the citizenship of 
Greenbrier county is very proud of their home institution. 

Capt. David T. Moore married Miss Emma Watson Brown, 
of Roanoke, Va., February 23, 1910. One son, William John 
Moore, was born to this union, now deceased. Mrs. Moore is a 
daughter of Frank Watson Brown and Margaret Gibson Brown, 
of Roanoke. Captain Moore has been a member of the Presby- 
terian church from his early boyhood days. 

Rev. Joseph M. Moore, A. B., B. D., is the assistant principal 
of the institue. He was born February 8, 1885, and received his 
early training at the same place and school his brothers did, after 
which he took his degree of A. B. in 1908 from the Washington 
and Lee University, and that of B. D. from the Union Theolog- 
ical Seminary in 1914. He was instructor of ancient and modern 
languages in 1908, 1909 and 191 1, and teacher of Bible and phil- 
osophy at the present time. 


The Greenbrier Military School for Boys has become an in- 
tegral part of the history of Greenbrier county. It has added 
luster to Lewisburg as an educational center, and an honor has 
been bestowed upon the county seat by its location at that place, 
and only as an institution of learning having an interstate repu- 
tation could do. 

It is the only non-coeducational military and physical school 
in West Virginia with cerificates that will admit its graduates 
to our best colleges and universities. These increased advant- 
ages have come through the Moore brothers, whose connection 
with the work has given a magic touch to the institution ever since 



they took hold of it in 1906. A personal sketch of these men 
will more fully explain. 

Houston Burger Moore, principal of the school, was born at 
Mingo, Randolph county, West Virginia, April 30, 1879. He is 
the son of William John Moore, born at Mingo, July 15, 1849, 
and Ida Ella (Burger) Moore, who was born at Sitlington, Bath 
county, Virginia, January 3, 1859. The marriage of this couple 
occurred October 13, 1874, and the children born to them were 
as follows: (1) Minnie, born September 30, 1875, now the wife 
of W. L. Reeves, of Mossey Creek, Va. ; (2) H. B. Moore, of 
whom further; (3) David Tay Moore, of whom further; (4) 
Ethel Kate Moore, born January 14, 1883, teacher in Lewisburg; 
(5) Rev. Joseph M. Moore, of whom further; (6) Priscilla Les- 
lie Moore, born October 15. 1887, the wife of Capt. Clarence M. 
McMurray, an army officer; (7) Emma Eliza Moore, born De- 
cember 11, 1889, Lewisburg; (8) Willie J. Moore, born February 
7, 1892, Lewisburg. 

H. B. Moore attended free schools and had instruction besides 
from private teachers during the earlier years of his life at Mos- 
sey Creek, Va., after which he entered Hampden-Sidney College, 
taking the degree of A. B. from that institution in 1902 and that 
of A. M. in 1903. In 1906, he came to Lewisburg to take charge 
of the Greenbrier Military School, then under the auspices of the 
Greenbrier Presbytery. Since that time it has been under the 
successful management of the Moore brothers. With the prestige 
of the church, their masterful hand has given the institution a 
reputation to be envied, and one that is abiding. From the time 
of their superintendency, the school has been moving gradually 
forward and until now a. large corps of instructors are engaged 
in the work. 

August 1, 1912, Col. H. B. Moore was married to Miss Ida 
Virginia Jasper, and from this union two children were born, 
Caroline Nicholas Moore, June 27, 191 3; and William John 
Moore, February 18, 1915. (See sketch of the Jasper family.) 

Colonel Moore is a member in high standing of the Presby- 
terian church. 



The official career of R. W. Ramsey has been exceptionally 
long and very satisfactory to the citizens of this county. His 
father, W. N. Ramsey, was a native of Spottsylvania county, Vir- 
ginia. He and his wife, formerly a Miss Sarah E. Mead, came 
first to Greenbrier county and settled on the east side of Green- 
brier river, near Ronceverte, and lived in that locality for about 
ten years. A final removal was made three miles north of White 
Sulphur Springs, where he died. He was born in 1818 and de- 
parted this life at the age of thirty-nine years. 

Reuben W. Ramsey was born December 5, 1845, in Pittsyl- 
vania county, Virginia. When about one year old, his parents 
moved to Greenbrier county, near Edgar's Mills, and after liv- 
ing in that locality for about ten years, moved to a farm three 
miles north of White Sulphur Springs. There the son worked 
on a farm and attended a subscription school for a limited time 

In 1863, Mr. Ramsey volunteered for the war. He enlisted 
as a private soldier in Company G, Twenty-sixth Virginia bat- 
talion, and served eight months in the ranks and twelve months 
in prison. He participated in the battles of New Market, Va., 
and Cold Harbor, where he was captured on June 3, 1864, and 
taken to Point Lookout, Md. After having been kept there one 
month, he was taken to Elmira, N. Y., and there kept for eleven 
months more. On May 29, 1865, his release was signed and he 
returned home. 

On January 29, 1863, Mr. Ramsey married Rachel C. Par- 
kins, a daughter of Charles T. Parkins, and to this union were 
born nine childen, six of whom are still living, namely : Sophrona 
A., she married S. J. Boggs ; Charles W., married Gertrude 
Scott; John J., married Florence McComb; Margaret R., married 
G. W. Ryder ; Mary B., married Frank Thompson. Sarah E., 
Floyd and Thomas are dead. 

Mr. Ramsey's second marriage was to Miss Caroline Hull on 
June 15, 1910. No children. She died December 28, 1913. His 


third marriage was to Virginia E. McDermott, on March 17, 
1915. No children. 

Mr. Ramsey has always lived on the farm where he now re- 
sides. It was purchased from Wesley Parkins in the year of 
1863. Mr. Ramsey has held office for many years. He was Jus- 
tice of the Peace for sixteen years, president of the board of ed- 
ucation for twelve years, and notary public for ten years, and has 
been a member of the Methodist church for fifty-three years. 


Among the prominent educators of West Virginia is found 
the name of James Thomas Rucker, of Lewisburg, who was born 
at Island Ford, near Covington, Va., November 22, 1856. 

The late Dr. William P. and Margaret Ann (Scott) Rucker 
had four sons, H. Scott, an attorney at Marlinton, W. Va. ; Wil- 
liam Waller, for the past eighteen years member of Congress 
from the second district of Missouri; Edgar Parks, former at- 
torney general of West Virginia, who died at the age of forty- 
two, and the subject of this sketch, who was the third son. At 
the close of the Civil war, he moved with his parents to Nicholas 
county, West Virginia, where he resided until June, 1870, at 
which time they came to Lewisburg to live, and Mr. Rucker now 
resides on his farm, one mile east of Lewisburg, occupying the 
old Rucker homestead. 

In early manhood he began teaching, and has been prominent 
in educational work ever since. For several years he was prin- 
cipal of the Keytesville High School at Keytesville, Mo., but in 
1890 he returned to West Virginia and was principal of the Lewis- 
burg graded school until 1897, when he was appointed superin- 
tendent of the State School for the Deaf and Dumb at Romnev. 
serving in that capacity until 1910. He was one of the inspectors 
for the state compensation commissioner before his death in 1916. 

On September 26, 1882, Mr. Rucker was married to Ida G. 
Riffe, daughter of David Campbell and Catherine E. (McClin- 


tic) Riffe, who was born at Mazeville, now Sunlight, W. Va. 
Mrs. Rucker is a great granddaughter of Joseph and Nancy 
(Rogers) Maze, and through this branch related to the Clen- 
dennins, prominent in the pioneer history of Greenbrier and Ka- 
nawha counties. On her maternal side she is a descendant of 
Robert and Jane (Mann) McClintic, who were also among the 
early settlers of Greenbrier county. They moved to this county 
from Bath county, Virginia, soon after the Revolutionary war. 

The children of Mr. and Mrs. James T. Rucker are as follows : 
Roy Waller, born May 12, 1884; Fannie Riffe, born November 22, 
1886, died at Sturgeon, Mo., at three years of age ; Anna Parks, 
born April 14, 1893, unmarried, residing with her parents at 

Roy W. Rucker was married to Elizabeth G. Estle, of Car- 
rollton, Mo., October 12, 1909. Their home is at Keytesville, 
Mo., where he is a practicing attorney. 


The Lewisburg Drug Store is a credit to the town. E. H. 
Crickenberger, the owner of the store, was born November 17, 
1884. He has been in control as pharmacist and proprietor of 
the place since October 8, 1908. During these eight years, under 
his management, the business has grown almost to mammoth 
proportions. As to size, it would do credit to a city. As a phar- 
macist, Mr. Crickenberger has the confidence of the physicians 
and of the people of this part of the county, which accounts for 
the great yearly output of drugs from this place of business. 

The Crickenberger family is a very old one in the county. 
The immediate ancestor of the seven children, five boys and two 
girls, in this portion of Greenbrier, was the well known Rev. 
Joseph J. Crickenberger, who for many years rode the circuit as 
a Methodist preacher. He was born in Rockbridge county, Vir- 
ginia, in September, 1831, and was a tailor by trade. In 1864, he 
joined the Baltimore Conference, and, until his superannuation, in 



1898, he spent most of his time in the saddle. It was not un- 
common for him to be gone from home weeks at a time, and his 
labors were so arduous two horses were kept in commission for 
his use. He died December 25, 1910. His wife was Miss Se- 
rena Catherine Wendall, whom he married in 1868. She was 
born in Shenandoah valley, Virginia, seventy-seven years ago, 
and is still living. In 1898, the family moved to Lewisburg, 
where James W., Charles A., and the druggist are all known as 
men of worth and high social standing. 

Miss Minnie L. is the wife of Mr. Dunbar, the miller, and 
Miss Laura is a teacher in the schools of Lewisburg of several 
years standing. Charles L. is a dealer in vehicles, mostly car- 
riages, and Harry E. is a merchant at White Sulphur Springs. 
They are all prominently identified with the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. The subject of this sketch is also a Mason, Knight 
Templar and Shriner. 


The pastor of St. Catherine's Church, Ronceverte, was bom 
in Holland, on a small island called Overvlakkee, on October 28, 
1857. At the age of nine, March, 1867, he took passage with his 
parents and the rest of the family from Antwerp, Belgium, and 
arrived in New York in May, after a voyage of fifty-two days. He 
received a common school education in St. John's Parochial School, 
Paterson, N. J. Though he desired ardently to continue his 
studies and prepare himself for the holy priesthood, he found in 
his way the great obstacle that just then his parents were sorely 
in need of his aid. Consequently he sacrificed and postponed, 
for the time being, the desire of his heart, and consequently 
worked until he was twenty-one years of age to aid his father in 
providing for the family. At last, in September, 1879, when he 
was very near twenty-two years of age, the good Lord had so 
blessed the family that it was possible for him to follow his 
heart's desire. Consequently, on the above date, he entered the 

rr \Ms Section 

levies & *"" _.. &te djon 


preparatory college of the Redemptorist Fathers in Illchester, 
Md. In this college he spent six years perfecting himself in all 
the branches of learning, language and literature. Especially did 
he strive to become proficient in the Latin language — the lan- 
guage of Cicero, the language of the holy church. After six 
years of hard study, he was sent to St. Mary's, Annapolis, Md., 
to familiarize himself with the principles of the spiritual life. 
After this year, we find him returned to Illchester, Md., to com- 
plete his higher studies in the seminary of the same Redemptor- 
ist Fathers. Here he spent six more years — years of hard study 
and untiring application. During these years, and under the 
ablest professors, he completed the courses of the natural sci- 
ences, philosophy, rhetoric, canon law, church history and dog- 
matic and moral theology. One year before the completion of the 
course in moral theology, on April 4, 1891, he was raised to the 
holy priesthood by His Eminence James Cardinal Gibbons in the 
chapel of the Redemptorist Fathers in Illchester, Md., On the 
following day, Sunday, April 5, he said his first holy mass in his 
home parish church, the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Pater- 
son, N. J. 

After returning to the seminary and finnishing his moral 
course, he spent six months at Saratoga Springs preparing him- 
self for the direct work of the ministry. From Saratoga Springs 
he went to Windsor Spring, Mo., where he spent one year as 
professor in the preparatory college. After visiting the great 
fair at Chicago, he returned to the East and continued his pro- 
fessional work for a number of years in the preparatory college 
at North-East, Pa., on the shores of Lake Erie, where he taught 
practically every branch in the curriculum of the college. From 
here he was transferred to St. Mary's Church, Annapolis, Md., 
to enter the active ministry and to labor directly for the salva- 
tion of souls. During the few years that he spent in this work, 
he traveled over a good part of the United States, preaching in 
large cities, as well as in numerous hamlets, wherever there were 
souls to be reclaimed to God. Once more he undertakes his pro- 
fessional work ; this time in the seminary at Illchester, Md. After 


a few years of labor in this seminary, he offered his services to 
the Rt. Rev. P. J. Donahoe, of the diocese of Wheeling, where 
he is still actively laboring in the city of Ronceverte and adjoining 
missions for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. His 
work has been singularly blessed. Last year (1916) he finished 
the basement for a beautiful new church, and this year (1917), 
with God's help, will see its completion. 


From the McClung genealogy, prepared by Rev. William Mc- 
Clung and published by the McClung Printing Company, Pitts- 
burg, Pa., we learn that the McClungs of Greenbrier county are 
descended from John McClung, born probably in Ireland, and 
died in Rockbridge county, Virginia, at an advanced age in 1788. 
His father's name was John McClung also, it was thought, and 
that he was a cousin of James William and Hugh McClung, who 
fled from Scotland and located in Ireland. 

John McClung was a farmer and owned 278 acres of land 
in Rockbridge county in what was known as the "Forks." He 
sold his farm to his son, Edward, on April 23, 1783. He also 
owned a still house valued at £100. He married Rebecca Stuart, 
who was related to Hon. Alexander Hugh Holmes Stuart, 
of Staunton, Va., who was secretary of state, in President Frank- 
lin Pierce's cabinet. 

John McClung survived his wife several years, and resided 
with his daughter, Nancy Moore, during the latter years of his 
life. He was the father of ten children. Seven of his sons set- 
tled in Greenbrier county. It is said that during the Civil war 
two companies — the "Greenbrier Swifts" and the "Nicholas 
Grays," contained thirty-two McClungs. They rode the finest 
horses in General Lee's army. ( 1 ) Thomas McClung, the eldest 
son of John, died probably October 10, 1774. He married Nancy 
Black. (2) John McClung (Curly John) died September 14, 
1800. He married Nancy Groves or Goff. (3) Thomas Mc- 


Clung died unmarried. It was thought his death was caused by 
a negro. (4) Alexander McClung (Curly Alex) born Novem- 
ber 22, 1805, died May 1, 1892; married July 24, 1834, Eleanor 
Thompson. (5) Martha Jane McClung, born June 13, 1835 ; 
married October 22, 1863, Louis P. Burdette. (6) Nancy Ann 
McClung, born April 20, 1837 ! married March 12, 1856, to 
Andrew Hutchinson McClung (Squire Andy). (7) Robert 
Alexander McClung, born April 4, 1839, died November 1, 1864. 
He was wounded at the battle of Cedar Creek and died in the 
hospital. (8) John Thomas McClung, born October 26, 1841 ; 
married January 5, 1865, Cynthia C. Thompson. (9) Pattie Mc- 
Clung married Bollar Blake, of Pickaway, W. Va. (10) Ed- 
ward McClung married Laura Dunbar, to whom three children 
were born, the youngest of whom was Dr. William McClung, 
whose sketch follows. 

Samuel McClung (Devil Sam), born June 6, 1799, died July 
27, 1888, was one of the leading members of the McClung family 
in Greenbrier county. He was a very large man with broad 
shoulders and a massive chest and lungs. He always wore a 
large loose hunting shirt and moccasins. He was undoubtedly the 
greatest joker in Greenbrier county, hence he received the sobri- 
quet "Devil Sam." He married Jane Kincaid, born August, 1798, 
died August 10, 1874, and seven children were born to this union. 
The homestead was at Dawson. James Franklin McClung was a 
descendant of "Devil Sam" of the fourth generation. 


Another Branch of the McClung Brothers Who Emigrated to 


The unwelcome visitor of Death entered the home of Dr. Wil- 
liam Henry McClung, at Meadow Bluff, on May 6, 191 5, and 
took from the county another one of Greenbrier's most prominent 
citizens. He died in his seventy-second year, and was born near 





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Crawley, October 28, 1843. He was the grandson of John Mc- 
Clung, born probably in Ireland, and died in Rockbridge county, 
Virginia, about 1788. 

Seven sons of John McClung settled in Greenbrier county, 
among the descendants of whom, it is said, two companies — the 
"Greenbrier Swifts" and the "Nicholas Greys," enrolled thirty- 
two members of this family in the Confederate service. They 
rode the finest horses to be seen in Gen. Robert E. Lee's army. 
Alpheus Paris McClung was captain of the Greenbrier Swifts. 

In the vicinity of Mt. Lookout, W. Va., the McClungs are very 
numerous, and a worthy gentleman who had lived for eight years 
among the McClungs asserts that he never heard a profane oath 
uttered by one of that name. 

Alexander McClung, the father of William H., was born 
November 22, 1805, and died May 1, 1892. He married on July 
24, 1834, Eleanor Thompson, born July 19, 1816. She died June 
13, 1901. 

W. H. McClung followed the ordinary vocations of life until 
the breaking out of the Civil war, when he left his home with his 
two older brothers to defend his native soil. He first enlisted 
as a substitute in Colonel Henry's regiment, but later joined the 
Greenbrier Cavalry, Company K, Fourteenth Virginia regiment, 
under Captain Burkhart, and took part in the famous battles at 
Forestville Stampede, near Harrisonburg, and in the stirring 
campaign in the valley of Virginia with General Early. He was 
also with him when he made the raid on Washington City, and 
was wounded in front of the Block House while trying; to carrv 
his brother, John T., who had been shot, from the battlefield. In 
October, 1864, he was transferred to Hownshell's battalion as 
drill-master, in which capacity he served until the close of the 
war. He was several times wounded, twice severely. He was 
severely wounded in the left breast at Frederick City, Md., and 
besides being wounded in the right side during an engagement in 
front of the block house at Washington. He was also wounded 
in the face during the battle of Ninevah, where he was captured, 
but escaped by riding through the Federal lines, swimming the 


Shenandoah river three times and taking refuge in the mountains, 
and reaching his command three days later. 

Upon his return home, Dr. McClung was united in marriage 
to Miss Adeline E. Thompson, daughter of Isaac and Jane 
(Burns) Thompson, on November 15, 1866. To this union was 
born two sons and three daughters, four of whom, Mrs. A. N. 
Shawver, Mrs. George Wall, Mrs. John Helper and W. K. Mc- 
Clung, survive him. 

The following sketch is taken from the Methodist Laymen's 
Herald, Sutton, W. Va., published May 20, 1915, and because of 
being so ably written and true to life, is given here : 

"Dr. McCung started life as many of America's most success- 
ful sons — a poor boy. Living in a section not then developed, his 
educational advantages were very limited, but being blessed with 
native ability and with an indomitable will, backed by industry 
and economy, he soon rose to prominence. 

"After his marriage in 1866, he moved to Roane county, this 
State, and began the practice of medicine, but in a few months he 
returned to his native country, without money and without repu- 
tation as a physician, but with more, he had that God-given cour- 
age and will which always finds a way. He located near Crawley 
and undertook the job of clearing six acres of land on the Glen- 
coe farm. He worked in the day time and studied at night and 
when the work was done he received $30, which formed his capi- 
tal stock, and which he said looked like a fortune. Being a 
natural born physician and surgeon, though he never attended 
college, he rose rapidly in his profession, gaining an enviable rep- 
utation. For nearly fifty years he was the leading physician in 
western Greenbrier and perhaps traveled more miles and visited 
more patients than any other doctor who ever lived in the county. 
He was a hard student and always provided himself with the 
latest books and journals on his profession, regardless of the 

"He was a Jeffersonian and Bryan Democrat, a man of pro- 
nounced convictions and a conspicuous figure in every political 
campaign in this county for many years, ever ready to defend 


the principles of true Democracy. He was a successful politician, 
being five times elected to represent Greenbrier in the West Vir- 
ginia Legislature — an honor bestowed on no other man. He was 
a faithful representative and assisted in enacting many of the laws 
now upon our statute books. He was appointed by Governor 
W. A. MacCorkle a member of the Board of Regents for the Deaf 
and Blind School at Romney, and served as president of that 
body for twelve years, and held many other positions of trust in 
the state and county. 

"He was a successful farmer, owning and managing success- 
fully some of the best farms in this end of the county. He had 
a beautiful home, where hospitality was generously bestowed by 
himself and family. He loved his district, was connected with 
many public enterprises for its development, and lived to see 
many changes made for the betterment of its citizens. 

"Dr. McClung had been a member of the M. E. Church, South, 
for forty years, having been converted at Old Amell Church un- 
der the ministry of Rev. R. C. Wiseman in 1872, and was actively 
identified with its interest. He realized that he was nearing the 
end of his earthly pilgrimage and talked with his pastor and fam- 
ily of the life beyond. He said he had no fears of the future — 
that all was well. 

"Funeral services were conducted at his home by his pastor, 
Rev. T. J. Hopson, assisted by Rev. L. J. Barnett, at noon on 
the 8th, after which his body was borne to its last resting place in 
the family cemetery near Rupert, attended by the largest con- 
course of relatives and friends that ever attended a burial in 
western Greenbrier. The pallbearers were Drs. S. H. Austin, 
G. A. Gilchrist, of Lewisburg ; L. H. McClung, of Dawson ; 
E. G. Kesler, of Williamsburg ; D. N. Wall, of Crawley, and C. I. 
Wall, of Rainelle. The services at the grave were conducted by 
Meadow Bluff Lodge, No. 233, I. O. O. F., of which he was a 

"Dr. McClung leaves to mourn his departure, besides his wife 
and children, one brother, John T. McClung, of Fort Spring, and 
four sisters, Mrs. Martha Burdett, of Charleston ; Mrs. D. C. 


Snyder, of Huntington ; Mrs. Harvey Smith, of Meadow Bluff, 
and Mrs. Watson McClung, of Dawson. 

"The writer has been intimately acquainted with the deceased 
for thirty-three years and can truthfully say that his loyalty to 
his friends was unbounded. There never was a night too dark 
and cold, the road too long or the water and mud too deep for him 
to go at the call of a friend who was sick or in distress. 

" 'Valiant soul, farewell. 

And tho' the warrior's sun has set, 
Its light shall linger 'round us yet, 
Bright, radiant, blest.' 

"E. D. SMOOT." 


On a beautiful highly cultivated little farm near Fort Spring, 
in the Irish Corner district, lives W. E. McClung, another repre- 
sentative of the large McClung family in Greenbrier county. 

W. E. McClung, son of J. T. and Cynthia Thompson McClung, 
was born November 29, 1873, at Meadow Bluff, in Meadow Bluff 
district, and he lived there until October 15, 1900, when he moved 
with his parents to Fort Spring, in Irish Corner. On September 
24, 1907, he married Relda Burdette, daughter of J. Harrison 
and Catherine Rodgers Burdette, and to this union three children 
have been born, namely, Thomas Harry, born May 18, 191 1; 
Wanda, December 10, 1912 ; Frank Gasaway, September 28, 1914. 

Mrs. McClung is a great granddaughter of Ishman Burdette, 
the first of that name who settled on Wolf creek, Monroe county, 
one hundred years ago. His son, Jackson, the father of J. Harri- 
son, was born in 1813, and died in 1876. He lived and died in 
Monroe. His wife was Elizabeth Schumake. She was born on 
New river and lived and died there at the age of nearly one hun- 
dred years. They had ten children : J. Harrison Burdette was 
born November 22, 1850. He married, in 1875, Catherine Rodg- 


ers (see sketch of the Rodgers family) and has always lived on 
the old Michael Rodgers homestead. To this union were born 
six children: K. L., who married Mary Bud; Relda, who mar- 
ried W. E. McClung ; Ella, who married Frank Brown : Wilbur, 
who died in 1905 ; Mary and Evrette, who are single. 

On January 1, 1908. Mr. McClung purchased the farm on 
which he now lives of I. T. Mann. It was a part of the old 
Mathew Mann estate, and at the time Mr. McClung bought it 
it was without a fence, except the one on the road, and no build- 
ings at all; but improvements were begun at once. In 191 1 the 
barn was built and in 1912 the house was built, and he moved 
onto the place at that time. Now the farm is well fenced and is in 
a high state of cultivation. 


Marion and Mary Ann (Church) Darnell were residents of 
this county, living near Lewisburg at the time William E. Darnell 
was born, on September 14, 1870. The father was a farmer and 
died at the age of twenty-six years. The mother, now the wife of 
A. C. Bivens, is a woman of remarkable business capacity and 
known for her many kindnesses of heart and good traits of char- 

W. E. Darnell came to Lewisburg when fourteen years of age, 
and after acquiring a comon school education, learned the tinner's 
trade, an ocupation he has succesfully followed since the year 
1886. He probably has tinned more roofs in Lewisburg and vi- 
cinity than any other tinner now living in the county. He built his 
house in 1905 and bought his shop in 1915. 

On Wednesday, December 19, 1894, Mr. Darnell married Miss 
Maggie Hayes, and from this union were born: Mary Edgar, 
now the wife of C. J. Smith ; Grace Olga and Lawrence. His wife 
died February 25, 1903, and he then married Miss Irene Hayes, 
on Thursday, October 6, 1904, and to this union were born two 
children, Marion and Earl. It was from both marriages his inter- 


esting family of children came. All are members of the Old Stone 
Church in Lewisburg, and the father is past master of Greenbrier 
Lodge, No. 42. 


The schools of Greenbrier are somewhat noted for their effi- 
ciency. Among those who have thoroughly prepared themselves 
for work in that profession is W. B. Hayes, who taught his first 
school near Renick almost thirty years ago. He was graduated 
from the State Normal School at Athens, W. Va., two years later 
and has been teaching in the county about ever since. He is spo- 
ken of in the highest terms by the present county superintendent, 
who was his pupil at one time. No less worthy are his children, 
who seem not to have ever known what it was to be absent from 
school or tardy of mornings. Mary, the eldest daughter, now 
pursuing an A. B. course at the West Virginia University, grad- 
uated from the high school at Lewisburg at the age of fourteen 
with a rating of 97 per cent., and at the seminary, in 1915, hav- 
ing a grade of 0.91 per cent, winning the first-honor scholarship 
and being graduated first in her class. 

Miss Myrtle, the second daughter, following in the wake of 
her elder sister as to punctuality, proficiency and worthiness, has 
now had two years in the seminary, leading her classes as usual. 

William S. is now ready, with as good a reputation as the 
others, to enter the high school, while Benjamin R. has never 
been tardy once for six years, and Maggie Ruth never absent or 

William B. Hayes was born near Frankford, November 12, 
1864, and was reared a farmer. He attended school during win- 
ter months, obtaining a good common district school education, 
and a first-grade certificate with which to begin his professional 
career. In 1887 he took his graduation papers from the State 
Normal School, and from that time he has made a good reputa- 
tion as a teacher. On September 18, 1895, he married Miss Re- 


becca Margaret McClung. The children from that parentage are : 
(i) Mary Tirzah, born July 25, 1896; Myrtle V., born January 
22, 1899; William S., born November 6, 1901 ; Benjamin Ray- 
mond, born June 6, 1904 ; (Maggie Ruth, born October 8, 1906. 
Seven years ago Mr. Hayes sold one of his farms and moved to 

Mrs. Rebecca Margaret Hayes, wife of William B. Hayes, was 
born January 7, 1865. She is in direct descent from John Mc- 
Clung, born in Scotland. (See sketch of James F. McClung.) 

Capt. Benjamin Hayes, the father of W. B. Hayes, died in 
1900 at the age of sixty-four years. He was one of the prosperous 
and industrious farmers of Greenbrier county and a soldier in the 
late war. He entered in the Confederate service at the beginning 
of the war and served until the surrender of Lee, in 1865, having 
been in many battles, under trying positions many times, but he 
never received a wound. He was a member of Company B, in 
the Third Regiment of Wise's Legion, or the Sixtieth Virginia 
Infantry. His career, as one of the brave soldiers of the army 
reads like a romance. 

Captain Hayes married Tirzah Correll, of Frankford. She 
was a daughter of Samuel Correll, and bore him twelve children, 
viz. : Samuel, John Price, William B., Mary Frances, Margaret 
Susan, Laura Agnes, Acie Ellen, Hettie Raymond, Ida Vance, 
Frank Watts and one child who died in infancy. 

Mr. Hayes, Sr., was a kind husband, a good father, and pro- 
vided well for his family, especially as to the education of the 


The Skaggs of Greenbrier have been noted for capable business 
qualities, inherited probably from their father, Alexander San- 
ford Skaggs, who was one of the most successful merchants of 
the county. Accuracy, dispatch and neatness characterized A. S. 
Skaggs' business relations with the public for a period of about 


fifty years, during which time he owned and operated a general 
store on the old James River and Kanawha turnpike, about eleven 
miles west of Lewisburg. It was in the days when the four-horse 
stage coach, with its relays of every ten miles, brought passengers 
and the wares for trade every night to Clintonville, then a village 
consisting of one store, a blacksmith shop and a post office. Prac- 
tically this store had all the trade of the western part of the county. 

Alexander Sanford Skaggs, son of Henry Skaggs and Ma- 
tilda Skaggs, was married to 'Mary Catherine, daughter of Joseph 
and Hannah Remiley, February 18, 1836. He was born March 23, 
1812, and died September 15, 1880. His wife was born October 
12, 1820, and died December 9, 1864. The children born to this 
union were as follow : Virginia S., now Mrs. Fell, October 26, 
1837; Matilda J., April 25, 1839; Henry Alexander, November 
24, 1840, died October 1, 1901 ; James Monroe, September 4, 
1842 ; Laura Ann, August 2, 1844, died July 3, 1913 ; Edward 
Clowny, April 18, 1846, died July 24, 191 1; Florence Estaline, 
January 3, 1849; Hannah Mary, now Mrs. Bryan, November 27, 
1851 ; Sanford Remley, May 25, 1853; Howard demons, May 
18, 1855 ; Ethel Adelia, April 10, 1857 ; Richard Rector, March 
18, 1861, died December 27, 1881. 

During the Civil war Henry and James M. Skaggs (Polk) 
fought in the Confederate ranks for four years and E. C. Skaggs 
for two years and experienced some of the horrors of prison life at 
Camp Point Lookout, Maryland. James M. Skaggs, now living at 
Hugart, is one of the leading business men of the county. He has 
just been elected president of the Bank of Greenbrier to succeed 
A. E. Johnson, deceased. 

Howard demons Skaggs was educated in the public schools 
of the county, closing with a three years' course of study in the 
Frankford High School. Following came a three years' clerkship 
in the store of his brother-in-law, J. P. Fell, and then, when just 
past the age of twenty-one, he left home and friends for a fortune 
in prospect in the State of Texas. During the first few years of 
his stay there he labored as a farm hand. By close application to 
business principles he won a reputation for honesty and integrity, 




which obtained afterwards when he needed to borrow a thousand 
dollars or so for his own needs. He stayed twenty-two years in 
Williamson and Burnett counties with his brother, Sanford Rem- 
ley, in the meantime having been very successful raising, buying 
and selling sheep. At one time the brothers owned 3,200 acres of 
land and 3,000 sheep. 

Howard Clemons Skaggs and Mary B. Handley were married, 
October 24, 1888. The young people lived, first, in Texas, staying 
there for seven or eight years, until business relations would ena- 
ble them to take up a permanent residence in their home county. 
In the meantime, Mr. Skaggs bought the old Handley homestead, 
where they have maintained a residence for nearly twenty years. 
The children born to this union consist of one son and four 
daughters, namely: Mary Caroline Skaggs, born December 9, 
1889; Handley Stratton, September 3, 1893; Matilda Howard, 
May 30, 1899 ; Annie Overton, July 20, 1901 ; Florence Alexander, 
March 15, 1904. 

Mary Caroline Skaggs married Uriah Hevener, Jr., June 7, 
191 1, and resides in Pocahontas county. West Virginia. They 
are the parents of one son, William Howard Hevener, born No- 
vember 30, 19 1 3. 

Howard C. Skaggs has filled numerous positions of honor 
and trust since his return to Greenbrier from the State of Texas. 
For seven years he was the secretary and treasurer of the Farm- 
ers' Home and Fire Insurance Company, and in the meantime, for 
a period of six years, officiated as a member of the board of educa- 
tion. For three years prior to Jonathan Mays' death he was dep- 
uty clerk of the circuit court and was then elected to that position, 
on the third of November, 1908, and re-elected on the third day 
of November, 1914, polling a majority vote of 1,058. 

Mr. Skaggs has been an elder in the Old Stone church at Lew- 
isburg for the past fifteen years ; has been a member and trustee 
of the Greenbrier Presbyterian Military School ever since the es- 
tablishment of that institution, and he is also a member in good 
standing of the 'Masonic fraternity, belonging to Greenbrier Lodge, 
No. 42. 



The Arbuckles came from Scotland and first settled in Penn- 
sylvania. One family came from Pennsylvania and settled on the 
James river, near what is now called Balcony Falls, in Rockbridge 
county. Three brothers — Mathew, William and Thomas — start- 
ed from their settlement to the Greenbrier valley. Thomas was 
killed while hunting during the trip and (Mathew and William set- 
tled at Fort Union, now Lewisburg. Mathew was a captain in the 
army and in a march of about nineteen days through the virgin 
forest guided Gen. Andrew Lewis' army from Fort Union to 
Point Pleasant, leaving Fort Union September 19, 1774, and 
fought the battle of Point Pleasant October 10, 1774. 

William Arbuckle, brother of Capt. Mathew Arbuckle, was 
with the army at Point Pleasant and afterward, about 1796 or 
1797, moved, and settled in Putnam county, on the Kanawha river. 
Capt. Mathew Arbuckle remained in comand of the fort at Point 
Pleasant until after 1777. In 1781, as he was returning from Rich- 
mond on a commission for the army, he was killed on Jackson's 
river, in Bath county, June 27, 1787, in a storm, by the falling of 
a tree, under which he was caught. He was the father of a large 
family of sons and daughters, and many of his posterity are now 
valued citizens of the Greenbrier valley. One of his sons, Gen. 
Mathew Arbuckle, was with army in the Arkansas — many years 
and until his death, and was said to have had great influence 
among the Indians in his time. His name is revered in that country 
to this day. His brother, William, who settled in Putnam county, 
reared a large family of daughters, from whom descended many 
of the prominent families of Putnam and Mason counties. The 
only family of the name there now is that of James H. Arbuckle, 
of Putnam county, but he is a great-grandson of Capt. Mathew 

John William Arbuckle, a prominent lawyer of Lewisburg, 
W. Va., for many years mayor of the town, and an able, efficient 
executive officer. As a member of the West Virginia State Sen- 
ate was chairman of the judiciary committee. He has been hon- 


orably and effectively identified with the best interests of State 
and church. Twice married, first to Mary Tate Finley, of Au- 
gusta county, Virginia, in October, 1878, to which union four 
children were born : Finley M. Arbuckle, one of the leading and 
prosperous young business men of the town. Chosen justice of 
the peace at the age of twenty-one, has been successively elected 
to succeed himself. Once mayor of the town and has been for 
years appointed to audit the financial accounts of the county 
and district treasurer. 

James Edward Arbuckle, one of the young members of the 

John Tate Arbuckle, a succesful traveling salesman of Charles- 
ton, W. Va. 

Mary Hale Arbuckle, a most competent and efficient teacher 
in the primary department of the Lewisburg Female Institute. 

His second marriage, in April, 1892, to Mary Withers Young, 
of Staunton, Va. To this union four children came : William 
Withers Arbuckle, a graduate of the Greenbrier Presbyterial 
School and of Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia. Taught one 
year at Porter Military Academy, Charleston, S. C, and two years 
at Cluster Springs Academy, Virginia. For three terms instructor 
at Laurel Park Summer School at Hendersonville, N. C. Re- 
cently, at twenty-three years of age, elected professor of history 
and mathematics in Alexandria High School, Virginia. Three 
daughters are at home with their parents. 

A brother, Andrew Alexander Arbuckle. now of Howard 
county, Missouri, was a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute, 
less than seventeen years of age, in May, 1864, when they were 
called to the Confederate army, and participated in the famous 
charge at the battle of New Market. Junius S. Arbuckle, now a 
prosperous grape grower of California, who had three brothers in 
the Confederate army, now has four sons prepared for the army 
training camp. 

The Arbuckles are of Scotch descent and among them many 
faithful and devoted ruling elders in the Presbyterian church, in 
West Virginia and in California, Kentucky, North Carolina and 


Texas, States to which they have gone. The women, as the men, 
consecrated, faithful and constant in devotion to piety. A clan 
true to God ; true to country ; true to self. 


The fourth child of Alexander Sanford Skaggs is the subject 
of this sketch. He was born at Clintonville, September 4, 1843, 
and was reared a farmer. His education was begun in the coun- 
try schools and completed by a two years' course at Frankford. 
Soon after the breaking out of the war, he enlisted in the Four- 
teenth Virginia Cavalry, connecting his destinies in that terrible 
struggle with Company K, serving in the capacity of a corporal. 
His regiment was a part of the division of General W. H. F. Lee, 
in the cavalry corps of Fitzhugh Lee, and he served four years. 
He saw much service around Winchester, Va., in all having partic- 
ipated in three engagements in the Shenandoah Valley of Vir- 
ginia. He was captured near Winchester, Va., in November. 1864, 
and was a prisoner of war until July 6, 1865. 

Returning home at the close of the war, Mr. Skaggs engaged 
as a merchant, in which business he continued until he retired from 
active pursuits in life, in 1912. He was a member of the firm of 
Fell & Skaggs, in Lewisburg, and since that time, in all twenty- 
eight years, was in charge of a general store of his own at Hug- 
hart. In the meantime he engaged extensively in farming, own- 
ing and managing a large stock farm. On January 1, 1916, he 
was elected president of the Greenbrier Bank, with which he had 
been connected as a director since its formation, in 1897. 

Mr. Skaggs was married to Estelline S. McClintick, daughter 
of Rev. Robert McClintic, of the Methodist Episcopal church, on 
November 24, 1874. She died March 12, 1904. Two children 
were the fruit of this union, one dying in infancy. The second 
child, Alexander Sanford Skaggs, born June 4, 1883, is in charge 
of the home place at Hughart. He received his education at 
Staunton, Va. 



Hon. John Calvert Dice, postmaster of Lewisburg, and Judge 
Charles Samuel Dice, sons of Rev. John Cunningham Dice, at 
one time presiding elder of the Lewisburg (W. Va.) district of 
the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, are descendants of a long line of ministers, with ancestry 
of German origin on the paternal side, the name originally having 
been written Deiss. 

Tradition locates three brothers of this family who came 
from York county, Pennsylvania, to the present Pendleton county, 
West Virginia, but of these nothing is definitely known execpt 
that Mathias Dice served in the French and Indian war, and he, 
at least, arrived in Pendleton county in 1757. 

The present postmaster of Lewisburg, the Hon. John Calvert 
Dice, received a thorough literary preparation for work in after 
life, first under able tutors, then by attending some of our higher 
institutions of learning, and of which many of them are found in 
our land. 

He was born in Hamilton, Loudoun county, Virginia, Septem- 
ber 27, 1872. After graduating from the high school in Staun- 
ton, he attended Randolph-Macon College at Ashland, Va. And 
thus equipped for giving instruction, he taught school for twelve 
years in Virginia and West Virginia, after which he was for two 
years private secretary to Hon. Joseph E. Willard, of Washing- 
ton, D. C, now ambassador to Spain. 

In 1899, Mr. Dice moved to Lewisburg and was principal of 
the high school for three years, and for twelve years succeeding 
became engaged in general insurance business. 

In 1910, Mr. Dice was elected to the West Virginia House 
of Delegates by the Democrats of Greenbrier county, and re- 
elected in 1912. While in the Legislature he was the recognized 
Democratic floor leader of the session, also member of many im- 
portant committees, one of which was that of the chairmanship 
of the fish and game committee. He was appointed by Governer 
Glasscock to help draft the workmen's compensation act, to which 


much travel, time and study was given. From 1907 to 1909, he 
was mayor of Lewisburg. He served for six years as president 
of the board of education of Lewisburg, and for four years as a 
member of the county board of examiners and has for the past 
fifteen years taken an active interest in every movement looking 
toward the welfare of his town, county and State. He was ap- 
pointed postmaster of Lewisburg by President Wilson July 1, 
191 5, which office he now holds. 

On November 28, 1900, Mr. Dice married Jane Stuart Price, 
daughter of John S. and Susan McElhenney Price, and grand- 
daughter of Governor Samuel Price and of Rev. John McEl- 
henney, D. D., who was pastor of the Old Stone Presbyterian 
Church at Lewisburg for fifty years. Mrs. Dice is president of 
the Lewisburg Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, 
and state registrar of the same order. 

Mr. Dice is a director in several corporations and a member 
of the insurance committee of the State Board of Trade. He is 
a Mason, a member of Greenbrier Lodge, No. 42, at Lewisburg ; 
Ronceverte Chapter, No. 21, Royal Arch Masons, at Ronceverte ; 
past eminent commander of Greenbrier Commandery No. 15, 
Knights Templar, Lewisburg, and Beni Keden temple, Ancient 
Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine, Charleston. He is also a 
steward in the Methodist Episcopal Church South. 


Charles S. Dice has been judge of the Twentieth judicial cir- 
cuit since April 1, 191 1. He was elevated to the position first 
by appointment to fill an unexpired term ending January I, 1913, 
and was the youngest man at that time who ever sat upon the 
circuit bench of West Virginia. 

At the general election in November, 1912, he was elected to 
succeed himself for a term of eight years, and thus far his equit- 
able decisions have earned for him the reputation of being "the 


just judge." By temperament, education, experience and ability, 
Judge Dice is well equipped for the work of a jurist, which was 
preceded by a very successful practice as a lawyer at the bar be- 
fore his advancement to a place on the bench. 

Judge Dice, son of Rev. John Cunningham and Sallie A. (Ros- 
zell) Dice, was born at Rockville, Md., May 13, 1876. After 
completing courses of study at the Randolph-Macon academies 
at Bedford City and Front Royal, Va., and Randolph-Macon 
College at Ashland, Va., taking from those institutions of learn- 
ing a high stand in literary attainments, he entered the law de- 
partment of Washington and Lee University, Virginia, graduat- 
ing with a professional degree from that institution in June, 
1896. He then chose Lewisburg for his future abode, and has 
resided here ever since. 

Mr. Dice entered the law office of Judge L. J. Williams, his 
brother-in-law, upon his coming to Lewisburg, and was admitted 
to the bar when twenty-one years of age, when he became a part- 
ner in the law firm of Williams & Dice, and remained until 
Judge Williams's elevation to the bench of the Supreme Court of 
Appeals of West Virginia, January 1, 1909, from which time 
Mr. Dice practiced alone, and with signal success, having a large 
and important clientele. 

Judge Dice is a member of the West Virginia State Bar As- 
sociation, and also of the American Bar Association, having been 
a vice-president of the former body and served on its important 
committees. He takes an active interest in all public affairs and 
was elected first president of the Lewisburg Business Men's As- 
sociation, a body which is actively engaged in promoting the wel- 
fare of Lewisburg and community. 

He is a member of Greenbrier Lodge, No. 42, Ancient Free 
and Accepted Masons., Lewisburg; Ronceverte Chapter, No. 21, 
Royal Arch Masons, Ronceverte ; Greenbrier Commandery, No. 
15, Knights Templar, Lewisburg, and Beni Kedem Temple Mystic 
Shrine, at Charleston, W. Va. 

In politics, Judge Dice is a Republican, and, before his elec- 
tion to the bench, was a very active supporter of that party. For 


several years he was chairman of the Republican executive com- 

Judge Dice married Nina, daughter of Judge Homer A. and 
Mary A. (Byrne) Holt. Mrs. Dice is a member of the United 
Daughters of the Confederacy. The family worships in the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, South, of which Judge Dice is a steward. 


This branch of the Handley family comes from old Virginia 
stock. Alexander Handley, the father of the subject of this sketch, 
was a lieutenant in the War of 1812. He was a slave owner and 
a man of social standing where he lived. He was married twice. 
By his second wife, Henrietta Burke, he had six daughters and 
two sons, John A. being the youngest of the family. His wife 
was a daughter of William and Almira (Campbell) Burke, of Al- 
bemarle county, Virginia. 

Alexander Handley moved first to Missouri and then to Mon- 
roe county, West Virginia, where he died in 1843. The widow 
died in 1865. 

John A. Handley was born January 21, 1841. When two 
years of age, his father died, and after twelve years more, he 
came with his brother-in-law, George Law, to Lewisburg, where 
he has remained since that time. 

Mr. Handley was a soldier in the Confederate army and par- 
ticipated as a member of the Fourteenth Virginia cavalry in all 
the engagements of that regiment from 1862 to the close of the 

John A. Handley married Sarah Jean Beard, daughter of 
William and Peggy (McNeel) Beard, on October 24, 1867. She 
was an invalid all her life, and a devout Christian woman. She 
died March 21, 1910. 

There were four children born to this union, namely : Launa 
Kate, wife of Charles E. Conner. Their daughter, Ruth, is in the 


Lewisburg Seminary. William Law, who died in infancy. Sarah 
McNeel and Lucy Austin, wife of James George, a farmer. 

John A. Handley and George Law built many houses in Lewis- 
burg during their partnership of long standing. As an under- 
taker for thirty-five years, most of those lying at rest in the old 
grave yard of the Stone Church were taken care of by Mr. Hand- 
ley. He was a member of the town council for ten years; has 
been a steward in the Methodist Episcopal church for fifty years 
and a standing member of the conference committee during the 
past ten years. 


Merchandising has characterized the industrial habits of the 
Ratliffe family from the time of their first coming to this part of 
the State. Thomas W. Ratliffe, born January 19, 1854, was a na- 
tive of Buckhannon county, where he was educated in the public 
schools and prepared for the more strenuous duties of life. His 
death occurred July 30, 1897. On March 18, 1877, he was mar- 
ried to Jennie F. Kendrick, daughter of William and Maria 
Gillespie Kendrick, and for twenty-six years afterwards Mr. 
Ratliffe followed the life of a dry goods merchant, twenty- 
five of which were in Buckhannon. The year before his death 
the family moved to Tazewell, Tazewell county. 

Mr. Ratliffe was superintendent of the county schools twelve 
years, and being a popular man, was a candidate at one time for 
the State Legislature. Mrs. Jennie F. Ratliffe was born January 
26, 1857, and is still living. 

Children born to this union were: (1) May, born May 1, 1878, 
died July 4, 1892; (2) William G., August 19, 1880; (3) Alberta 
P., May 26, 1883 ; (4) Joseph H., July 30, 1886, died September 11, 
1896; (5) Crocker Bowen, October 14, 1887; (6) Walter Clay, 
July 1, 1890; (7) Thomas (Marvin, August 29, 1894, and lives in 
Roanoke, Va. 

On April 6, 1898, William G. Ratliffe married Willie Wingo, 


daughter of Lester and Margaret A. Wingo, and are the 
parents of three children — Margaret, Thomas Barnes and Eliz- 
abeth Freeman. 

After marriage, Mr. Ratliff e lived in Virginia four years ; in 
Kentucky seven years, coming here in 1910, having been a mer- 
chant all of that time. In 191 5 he erected his beautiful residence, 
one of the finest in Lewisburg. 

Mr. Ratliffe is prominently identified in the Masonic frater- 
nity and is one of the stewards of the Methodist Episcopal church. 


Robert Flournoy Dennis, eldest son of Col. William H. and 
Ann (Morton) Dennis, Was born in Charlotte county, Virginia, 
September 18, 1823 ; was graduated from Washington College, 
Lexington, Va., in 184 — , and from the Law School of the Univer- 
sity of Virginia a year or two later; located to practice law at 
Rocky Mount, Va., but remained there only a few months, when 
he moved to Greenbrier in 1849. I n tne same y ear he married 
Martha Jane, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John A. North. 
He was a Democrat in politics and a leader of the party in this 
section for many years prior to the war, fighting the battles of the 
party against the Whigs, Greenbrier being among the strong Whig 
counties ; wlas prosecuting attorney for Greenbrier, Pocahontas 
and Fayette counties, holding the office at the same time, we be- 
lieve, in all three counties. When the Civil war came on, in 1861, 
he raised the first company — the Greenbrier Rifles (Infantry) — 
that went into the army of the Confederacy from this county and 
was attached to the Twenty-seventh Virginia, Stonewall Brigade ; 
commanded his company at Kernstown and First Manassas and 
was with Jackson on his terrible march, in winter, from Winches- 
ter to Romney. Upon the reorganization of the army in 1862 or 
1863, he went into another branch of the service, and so continued 
until captured at Crow's Tavern in Alleghany county, and sent to 
Camp Chase, where he was held many months as a prisoner of 



war, until in January, 1864, when he was exchanged, and returned 
to the Confederate service. When the war ended he returned to 
Lewisburg, but because he could not and wpuld not take the test 
oath he was not allowed to appear in court. He formed a partner- 
ship with Alexander Walker, who looked after their cases in 
court. Other lawyers who had taken part with the South were 
forced to take in carpet-bag, Yankee partners. 

In 1873 Captain Dennis was nominated by the Democrats for 
judge of the circuit court but was defeated by H. A. Holt, of 
Braxton, running as an independent candidate. In 1876 Captain 
Dennis w'as elected a member of the State senate and four years 
later re-elected, serving eight years. During his service in the 
senate he was chairman of the judiciary committee and one of a 
commission appointed to revise the code. 

As a lawyer Captain Dennis ranked high, as an advocate be- 
fore court or jury was strong and effective, as a stump speaker he 
held his audience by the force of his argument and the vigor of 
his speech and in his best days was conceded to be one of the best 
campaigners in the State. Having passed his seventy-third mile- 
stone in the journey of life, he passed away from the scenes of the 
world on October 8, 1897, about two years after the death of his 


The subject of this sketch, the present postmaster of Alderson, 
is the seventh in descent from John Alderson, the founder of the 
town of Alderson. Joseph N. Alderson, Sr., a well known mer- 
chant of the place, was the son of John Marshall and Cornelia 
(Coleman) Alderson. He was born February 20, 1848, and died 
August 10, 1901. His wife was Lillie Putney, daughter of Richard 
Putney, of Kanawha county, whom he m&rried October 20, 1875. 
Their children were : James Moseley (deceased) ; Joseph N. Aider- 
son, Jr., Aletha Todd Alderson, and Marshall Putney Alderson 

Joseph N. Alderson, Jr., was born June 8, 1887, and was edu- 


cated and reared in the town of his birth. On February 14, 191 1, 
he married Miss Frances Richardson, daughter of William Rich- 
ardson, of Huntington. To this union were born Frances Aletha 
and Alice Todd Alderson. 

Mr. Alderson has been a successful merchant and business 
man in Alderson and was connected with the First National Bank 
of that place for several years. . He has been postmaster of Aider- 
son since February 19, 1914. 


Thomas H. Dennis, youngest son of Col. William H. and Ann 
(Morton) Dennis, was born February 20, 1846, in Charlotte 
county, Virginia. He was educated in the schools of his com- 
munity ; at the Lewisburg Academy, 1865-66 ; in Washington Col- 
lege, Lexington, Va., 1866-68, and graduated from the Law School 
of the University of Virginia in June, 1873. He joined the Char- 
lotte Troop— Captain Bouldin — Fourteenth Virginia Regiment, in 
February, 1864, serving till the close of the war. He taught in the 
Charleston Male and Female Institute with Rev. Dr. J. C. Barr, 
1868-69, then in Kansas for two and a half years. Returned to 
Lewisburg in 1872, and after reading law with his brother, Capt. 
Robert F. Dennis, matriculated in the University of Virginia, grad- 
uating, as above stated, in 1873. As chairman of the Democratic 
county executive committee, about 1876, he prepared the rules 
and regulations under which the Democratic primaries of the 
county wtere conducted with satisfaction to the people for fully 
twenty-five years. Practiced law at Lewisburg, in partnership 
with his brother, from 1873 until 1887, when he bought a half 
interest in The Independent, and since has not been an active mem- 
ber of the bar. From about 1876 to 1882 he served the people as 
county superintendent of schools ; was elected to the House of 
Delegates in 1884, and when the Legislature assembled at Wheel- 
ing in January, 1885, was chosen speaker of the House. He mar- 
ried Miss Jennie Johnston, daughter of Col. A. H. Johnston, of 
Union, December 23, 1884 ; bought Mr. Argabrite's interest in 



The Independent in October, 1909, and has since been its sole 
owner and editor ; was again elected a member of the House of 
Delegates in 1908, serving at the January session, 1909. 


With other Irish-Scotch Covenanters belonging to the origi- 
nal settlers in the valley of Virginia before the Revolutionary war, 
was the Curry family, some of whom afterwards took up their 
residence in What has since been known as West Virginia. Robert 
Curry, who came from Ireland in 1755, and settled in Augusta 
county, Virginia, was the great-great-grandfather of the present 
generation by that name in Greenbrier county. He reared a fam- 
ily of nine children. He was the father of James Curry, who lived 
near the headwaters of the North river, but in 1812 moved to 
Pendleton county, where he was ordained an elder in the Presbv- 
terian church, and died there in 1832. 'Margaret Frances was the 
wife of James Curry, and her parents were also natives of Ire- 
land. They reared a large family. Their son, James, was mar- 
ried twice. His first wife was Miss Nickell. Their two children 
were Mrs. Elizabeth Mann (now dead) and Isaac Curry, who 
moved west and died in Missouri. By his second wife, Miss Ruth 
Newton, Mr. Curry had eight children, namely : ( 1 ) Newton, 
(2) Preston, (3) Anderson, (4) Alpheus, (5) Harvey, (6) Rob- 
ert, (7) Maggie, (8) Rebecca. Anderson was killed in the Civil 
war. Alpheus and Newton were also in that strife between the 
States. Their father, James Curry, died in 1880. He lived about 
a mile from Fort Spring and died when an old man, a very highly 
respected citizen of the community. He had been an elder of the 
Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church for a long time. His son, Rob- 
ert Curry, was also an official of the church for many ) r ears and 
lived at the old homestead, where J. F. Curry now resides. 

Robert Curry died on the home place, May 15, 1899, about fifty 
years of age. He was a very quiet gentleman, and a deacon 
in the Mount Pleasant church. He married Lula McClung, July 


21, 1886. She was a daughter of W. F. McClung, of Muddy 
Creek, and a granddaughter of Devil Sam. (See history of the 
McClung family.) Mrs. Lula (McClung) Curry is still living. 
Their children were: Mattie R. Curry, born April 24, 1887, mar- 
ried Dr. E. M. Perry, December 27, 191 1 ; J. F. Curry, born March 
30, 1890, lives on the home farm ; Evelyn, born May 15, 1892, mar- 
ried Harry L. Crawford, September 10, 1913. Hfs is a brother of 
John S. Crawford, county clerk. 

Dr. Elmer M. Perry (who married Mattie Curry) was born 
June 25, 1869. He graduated in medicine at the Baltimore Med- 
ical College (which consolidated with the University of Mary- 
land), and College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1895. After 
taking his degree of Doctor of Medicine he was a physician in the 
hospital at Weston, W. Va., for several years. He then came to 
Fort Spring, where he has practiced his profession since that time. 

Two children were born to Dr. and Mrs. Perry : Elizabeth 
Catherine, born November 23, 1912, died November 25, 1913, and 
Elmer Richardson Perry, born November 20, 1913. 


The Peters family is of German origin, with a strand of both 
Jewish and Indian blood in their veins, but little though it is. 
They were early settlers in America, the more noted of the family 
being one Samuel Peters, of Hebron, Conn., who gave to the read- 
ing world that wonderful satire on New England Puritanism un- 
der the name of "Blue Laws of Connecticut." There was an- 
other Samuel Peters of Hebron, also, who reigned over the State 
of Connecticut as its Governor, and this man is still honored in 
that State as one of its wise rulers. The names Samuel, John and 
Henry are common ones in that family. 

Samuel Peters, son of Jacob Peters, born November 27, 1772, 
who married Mary Stevenson, born September 28, 1773, was an 
early settler of Baltimore, Md. Their children were: Hlenry, 
born October 1, 1796; Robinson, December 18, 1797; Nathan, 



June 20, 1799; Wesley, October io, 1801 ; Rachel, May 25, 1803 ; 
Stevenson, June 23, 1805 ; Leah, November 19, 1806; Mary, April 
17, 1808; Andrew, August 15, 1809; Gideon, August 29, 181 1; 
Elizabeth, November 17, 1814; Lewis, March 23, 1816; Ebenezer, 
June 27, 1818. 

This branch of the Peters family settled in Ohio, mostly around 
Royalton in Fairfield county, and here grew up a multitude of 
people of that name. 

John Peters, of Ronceverte, is a great-grandson of John Peters, 
who sailed from Amsterdam, Holland, settling in New Jersey in 
1794. He had three sons, John, Michael and George, the last men- 
tioned of whom settled in western Virginia about the year 1810. 
John, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, married Sarah 
Smith, and by her had three sons, John, William and Henry, and 
six daughters, Sarah, Betsey, Polly, Nancy, Rachael and Louise, 
all of whom lived to be over eighty years of age, except John. He 
was a lawyer in Philadelphia, and died at the age of forty. 

Henry Peters, the father of John, of Ronceverte, settled in 
Deposit, N. Y., in 1801. He married Elmira Hulce, daughter of 
Sylvester and Abigail Hulce of Revolutionary fame. The Hulce 
family were related to General Doolittle, to the Hlerkimers, the 
Hotchkisses and other Revolutionary families of considerable mil- 
itary distinction. It was from the Doolittle ancestors the Indian 
blood came. It originated from a romantic incident connected with 
the colonial history of Rhode Island in the earlier days of Indian 

Alexander, a brother of the Indian chieftain, King Philip, was 
found in a lone wood, wounded by a panther. He was discovered 
by John Doolittle, who, playing the part of the good Samaritan, 
took the wounded man to his own home, and then sent word to 
King Philip of what had happened. The coming to the home of 
John Doolittle, son of Alexander, brought about a marriage of 
that scion of the Indian race with the daughter of Mr. Doolittle ; 
hence the taint of Indian blood now in the Peters family. 

The trace of Jewish blood is somewhat more traditional, but 
based on racial characteristics as well as on the accepted story of 


the marriage of one of this family to a Slav of the Jewish race. 
With hardly an exception, this family, like the Jewish one, have 
been successful in the different walks of life. Honesty and tem- 
perance have characterized them as a people, and thrift, of course, 
followed as a consequence, and generally speaking all of them 
have been identified with the Methodist Episcopal church. 

John Peters, of Ronceverte, largely partakes of all of the char- 
acteristics of the Peters family, and under whatever clime any of 
them may be found. He was born in Deposit, N. Y., on June 15, 
1852. As his father and grandfather were before him, he has 
been a lumberman all of his life. For thirty years he rafted logs 
down the Delaware and the Greenbrier, having made in his career 
twtenty-eight successful trips on the Delaware and one hundred 
and fifty-seven on the Greenbrier, and never met with an accident. 
In June, 1902, he piloted the last raft on the Greenbrier and in 
March, 1880, the last one on the Delaware. Since that time he has 
remained in the lumber business in one way and another, but about 
eight years ago he took an agency for the Standard Oil Company. 

On April 26, 1871, Mr. Peters married Josephine Post, daugh- 
ter of Daniel, son of Stephen, one of the original Quakers who set- 
tled in Orange county, New York. That was in 1745. Her moth- 
er's name was Mary Fortner, whose father became an early set- 
tler at Deposit. They were Presbyterians. 

Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Peters, namely, 
Nellie, John and Charles. Nellie married Bernard Austin and re- 
sides in Washington, D. C. John married Myrtle Achison and 
lives in Ronceverte. Charles is unmarried. He is a graduate of 
Dunsmore Business College, Staunton, Va., and has charge of his 
father's Standard Oil agency. 

Mr. Peters came to West Virginia in 1880 and to Ronceverte 
in 1888. He and his family worship in the Methodist Episcopal 
church, of which he is a devout member. 

In several ways Mr. Peters has become a self-made man. He 
has been a close observer all his life, and upon that basis has be- 
come self-educated. He knows more about the starry heavens 
than most students from our high schools ; he is a better woods- 


craftsman than some botanists, and is often engaged to make im- 
portant estimates of large timbered tracts. He has one of the 
most interesting collections of old stone relics found outside of our 
large museums and he can tell what State produced any arrow- 
head or stone hatchet or other implement in his collection. His 
habit of closely observing things led him into the narrow walks 
of his religious life, also. By noting the habits of the tobacco 
chewer he was led to discard the vile weed from his youth ; like- 
wise the sordid life of the drunkard induced him to keep himself 
free from the flowing bowl ; and thus it comes about that John 
Peters can say that he never took a chew of tobacco nor was 
intoxicated. By close observance he is also enabled to say that 
every man knows just when he is and when is not in the narrow 
way, and thus comes the religious key to his religious walk in life. 


A number of Greenbrier's representative citizens have come 
to this State from Augusta county, Virginia. Among that num- 
ber, and of good Scotch-Irish stock also, were the Caldwells, who 
have not only added material prosperity, but good citizenship 
also. They were not so early on the ground as some others, but 
the general commonwealth has been benefited bv their coming, 

John North Caldwell, a successful farmer, owning and oper- 
ating the old Andrew Beard estate of over 1,000 acres east of 
Lewisburg, is not in lineage with the Virginia ancestry of the 
Caldwells, but allied equally with the Norths and the Blains of 
Colonial times. His wife is a daughter of Withers Waller and 
Anne Eliza Stribbling, who are in descent from the Stribblings 
of Fauquier county, Virginia. Her father owned a large estate, 
consisting of 1,200 acres, on the Potomac river, forty miles be- 
low Washington city, and also the largest fishery in the State. 
Cleveland, Harrison and other presidents often visited them on 
gala occasions. David Caldwell, son of John Caldwell, grand- 


father of the subject of this sketch, was a native of Augusta 
county, Virginia. Arabella (Van Lear) Caldwell, his wife, was 
also a native of that county. Their son, James R., lost his mother 
when he was an infant. He was born in 1820 and his father died 
August 17, 1832, when about eighty-four years old. Thus be- 
reft of both parents, the boy was thrown on his own responsibility 
very early in life. On November 17, 1851, he married Miss Isa- 
bel North, of Lewisburg. She was a daughter of John A. North, 
long and favorably known in this part of West Virginia. After 
his marriage, he continued to abide in Augusta county until about 
1853, when he moved with his family to Greenbrier county and 
made his home at the Bridge, where he continued to reside up 
to the year 1899. He died February 1, 1904, in Lewisburg. His 
wife died in May, 1897. Their children were: John North, Mar- 
garet, Charlotte, Arabella — the last three named died in 1861 of 
diphtheria — Mattie B. and Mary D., who live in Lewisburg. 
They are unmarried. 

James R. Caldwell was an exceptionally good man. Besides 
farming on a somewhat extensive scale, he owned and operated 
a mill on Howard's creek, which for many years was largely 
patronized by the people of the county. During his whole life 
he had the respect and esteem of all who knew him. His judg- 
ment was equal to the confidence reposed in him by the business 
community, and thus he lived above reproach and suspicion. He 
was patient, uncomplaining, unselfish, indulgent to his children, 
and very kind to the poor. When quite young he lost his sense 
of hearing and all through life was deprived of conversational 
enjoyments. Nevertheless, he faithfully attended to his duties as 
a professed Christian. He was a member of the Presbyterian 

John North Caldwell was born July 17, 1858. As an only 
son, duties incident to the farm and the mill largely devolved 
upon him. The mill was started in 1853, burned during the war, 
rebuilt in 1872, and in 1898 sold to Mr. Mason. 

April 27, 1887, John North Caldwell married Caroline Strib- 
bling Waller, daughter of Withers Waller and Anne Eliza Strib- 


bling, of Clifton, Stafford county, Virginia, just beyow Wash- 
ington. She was born August 17, 1867. Children born to this 
union were : Anne Eliza Waller, Isabel, James Robinson, Robert 
Dennis, Caroline Waller, John North, Martha C, Marion and 
Waller, twins ; Alexander Mathews and Mildred Pickett. 

The father spent four years in the military academy at Fred- 
ricksburg, Va., taking his degree from that institution in 1879, 
and which well equipped him for his business career in life and as 
one of the directors of the Lewisburg Bank. 

John A. North, born December 15, 1794, in Staunton, Va., 
came to Greenbrier in 1815 or 1816, and in 1818 was appointed 
clerk of the Greenbrier District Court of Chancery by Chancellor 
Brown, and upon receiving the appointment, he moved to Lewis- 
burg and thereafter made that place his home. On July 15, 1818, 
he was married to Miss Charlotte Blain, eldest daughter of the 
Rev. Daniel Blain, of Lexington, Va. She lived all her married 
life in Lewisburg and died at her daughter's home at the Bridge, 
April 22, 1883. They had four daughters, all of whom lived to 
be grown and married. The third daughter, Isabel, married 
James R. Caldwell, of Augusta county, and the youngest daugh- 
ter, Martha J., married Capt. Robert F. Dennis. 

Mr. North held the appointment of clerk of the District Court 
of Chancery until the Constitution of 1829 and 1830 changed the 
entire judicial system of the State. In the year 1831, when the 
Supreme Court of Appeals of the State was organized in Lewis- 
burg, he was, by that court of five judges, unanimously appointed 
its clerk, which position, by subsequent appointments, he held 
until his death, which occurred in the month of September, 1857. 

Mr. North was no ordinary man, and a very superior clerk and 
draftsman, with a memory equal to any and every emergency. 
He never studied law, but his opinions were sought, and always 
respected, even by the profession. They were those of a safe and 
judicious counsellor, and so regarded. 

Mr. North was a very patient and accommodating gentleman. 
He was kind to the poor, his hand and heart were open to relieve 
their wants. In politics he was a Whig, and all his influence was 


for that party. During the War of 1812, when not of age,' he 
volunteered in the company that went from Staunton and served 
until its close. 


J. O. McClung, member of our county court, comes in line of 
descent from John McClung. Andrew Cavendish McClung (Moc- 
casin Andy) was his grandfather, and was born February 28, 
1819, and died about 1900. He married, first, Catherine Odell. 
She died at Hominy Falls, W. Va. Six children were the fruits 
of this union, viz. : ( 1 ) Thaddeus, who died a prisoner of war. He 
was unmarried; (2) Sophrona, who went West with her uncle, 
Mr. Wiseman ; (3) Rev. Andrew McClung, a Baptist minister who 
married Irene Dorsey, and they lived at Levisay, W. Va. ; (4) 
Rev. Grigsby B. He was a Baptist minister, also, and lived at 
Asbury. He married Fannie McClung, daughter of George Au- 
gustus McClung. Four children were born to this union, viz. : 
Andrew Charlton McClung, the father of Jacob O. He married 
Miss Etta Deitz, and to them were born : Walla, Bessie, a child who 
died in infancy, Mary Belle (who married Frank Parker), Wil- 
liam Geeter, and Jacob Odell, who was born February 16, 185 1. 

J. O. McClung was reared a farmer. Hie has also been a stock 
dealer on a somewhat extensive scale. On December 13, 1869, 
he married Martha Jane Callison, born December 18, 1846, died in 
July, 1904. To this union four children were born, all married 
but one and all bountifully provided for. The homestead remains 
a valuable tract of land. The issue to this union was as follows : 
Dr. Thaddeus Clayton McClung, born September 25, 1870, grad- 
uated, March, 1894, at Louisville (Kentucky) Medical College, 
since which time he has been practicing his profession at Ronce- 
verte. On October 8, 1894, he married Cora Hunt, born March 
15, 1872. They have four children. James Andrew McClung, 
the second son, was a school teacher for several years and is now 
manager of a store in Washington, D. C. Mary Malinda married 



Robert Hunt (see sketch). Rebecca Catherine, born January 6, 
1889, married Dr. David Wall, a practicing physician. He was 
reared on Muddy creek and resides on part of the old McClung 

Besides his agricultural interests, Jacob O. McClung has given 
much of his time to the official needs of the county. He was 
deputy sheriff four years under Henry Harold, has been county 
commissioner six years, and has always been a man of political 
importance to the people of Greenbrier. 


The Hanna family is of Irish descent. Joseph Hanna was the 
pioneer of West Virginia, but Albert J. Hanna, the grandfather 
of the subject of this sketch, lived on the farm now owned and 
occupied by M. W. Walton. He reared a large family, five sons 
and five daughters, all living now but two of the girls. His son, 
J. Harvey Hanna, born March 29, 1847, married Elizabeth Agnes 
Walkup on July 3, 1873. He spent three years fanning in Ne- 
braska and railroading on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, but 
in 1895 he came back to Renick. His wife (see sketch of the 
Walkup family) died March 15, 1916. Five children came of this 
union, all living but one. They are Maynard P., Iron Lipps, wife 
of O. P. Kinsley, Sarah Ann, wife of H. L. McCoy, Joseph, Al- 
bert, and Pinkney M., wife of W. F. Knight, all residents of 

Maynard P. Hanna is a member of the firm of Hanna & 
Kinsley, doing a large mercantile business in Renick (see sketch 
of O. P. Kinsley). He was born April 16, 1874, and spent eight 
years in Ashland, Neb., working on a farm and on the Chicago, 
Burlington & Quincy railroad. In 1894 he came back to Renick, 
and after farming two years, he began clerking in the store and 
continued work in that way until 1908, when he became a partner 
of the firm. The store has a large trade, and in connection with 
the farms an extensive business is done by the company. On 


January 1, 1902, Maynard P. Hanna married Miss Maggie R. 
Mann, daughter of J. P. Mann, and from this union came two 
children, Sydney J. and Gladys. 

(By Rev. C. Sydenstricker.) 

So far as my information goes, the ancestors of our family 
came from Bavaria (Germany) about the middle of the eighteenth 
century. They first settled in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania. It 
was from that State that Philip Sydenstricker, my great-grand- 
father enlisted as a soldier for the cause of independence in the 
American Revolution. He was captured by the British at Fort 
Washington and held many months as a prisoner. I do not know 
howl many members of the family came to America, but one 
brother, Boston Sydenstricker, a cripple, settled in Greenbrier 
county, Virginia. 

After the independence of the United States was secured, Philip 
Sydenstricker emigrated to Virginia and settled in Greenbrier 
county, three miles south of Lewisburg. The old home is now 
the property of George Davis. 

Philip Sydenstricker reared a large family at the old home- 
stead. The five sons were Henry, David, John, Philip and Jacob, 
and there were some daughters. One daughter married Michael 
Fleshman. Hlenry, the eldest son, married a Miss Fleshman and 
settled in the Anthony's Creek section of Greenbrier. His sons 
were Michael, Lewis, Samuel, Henry and James. He had one 
daughter, Katy, who did not marry. He lived to an extreme old 
age and died at his home on Anthony's creek. 

David Sydenstricker, my grandfather, married Elizabeth Ar- 
gabright, the eldest daughter of Jacob and Mary Shatel 
Argabright. Andrew Sydenstricker, my father, was the only 
child from this union. David Sydenstricker was called for ser- 
vice in the War of 1812 but the declaration of peace relieved him. 



Philip Sydenstricker, Jr., founded his home near the road that 
leads from Lewisburg to Ronceverte, but later migrated to Saline 
county, Missouri, when the Western migration spirit seized him. 
In those days that was "The Far West." 

John Sydenstricker, known as Major, was married to Isabella 
Scott. His second wife was Mary Coffman. He was childless. 
He was by far the most versatile of the family. He was well in- 
formed in ancient and modern history and was a close student of 
the problems of his day. He wlas a training master for soldiers of 
the Mexican war. 

Jacob Sydenstricker. known as Squire Sydenstricker, married 
Mary Curry and became proprietor of the home of his parents. He 
was unfortunate in losing six of his ten children. Those who sur- 
vived were: Jehu, late of Memphis, Tenn, ; John ; Oliver P., late 
of Lewisburg ; and Philander, of Ohio. 

iMy father, Andrew Sydenstricker, married Frances Coffman 
in 1834. To this union were born nine children: David S., John 
M., Mary C, Isaac C, Rebecca, Christopher, Hiram M., Absalom 
and F. Pierce. Andrew Sydenstricker was a man of strong con- 
victions and was unusually well informed, but lived a quiet life 
near Ronceverte. He died in 1892 and his wife in 1899. 

David S. Sydenstricker entered the ministry of the Presbyte- 
rian church in his young manhood and spent the whole of his min- 
istry, with the exception of one year in Arkansas, at Hillsboro, 
Pocahontas county, West Virginia. He was a linguist of note. 

John M. Sydenstricker lived in Greenbrier county all of his life 
and engaged in farming. He represented his county several times 
in the Legislature. He was a candidate for the nomination for 
Governor on the Democratic ticket in 1892 but was defeated by 
Hon. A. W. McCorkle. upon whose staff he served. He died in 
1 901. 

Mary C. became the wife of William Brackman and lived her 
entire life in sight of the old homestead. 

Isaac, after courageous service in the Confederate army, set- 
tled in Saline county, Missouri, where he engaged in farming. He 
died in 1909. 


Rebecca became the wife of Gabbard Brackman, whom she 
now survives, living in Osage county, Kansas. 

Christopher is a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
South and has served charges in Virginia and West Virginia. He 
now resides at Stephens City, Va. 

Hiram M. entered the ministry of the Presbyterian church and 
served in Missouri, Texas, Tennessee and Mississippi. He died 
at West Point, Miss., in 1913. 

Absalom has been a missionary to China from the Presbyterian 
church for more than thirty-five years. He has had a faithful min- 
istry and is now translating the Scriptures into the Chinese in a 
form that simplifies the text for them. His home is at Chinkiang, 

F. Pierce is a minister of the Presbyterian church and has spent 
his entire ministry in West Virginia. He resides near Ronceverte, 
W. Va. 

The general tendency of the Sydenstricker family has been to 
industry and frugality. Their religious proclivities have been 
largely toward the Presbyterian faith. 


On the 20th of October, 1917, Lewisburg lost a valuable man 
and a physician of the first rank. 

Dr. Gilchrist was of Scotch descent and a native of Monroe 
county, where he was born in the Gap Mills community on June 
15, 1867. 

His parents both died when he was a mere boy, since which time 
he and his brother, now Dr. T. L. Gilchrist, educated themselves 
for teachers, taught school many years, and then together com- 
pleted a four years' medical course, in three years' time, taking 
the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the medical college at Rich- 
mond, Va., in the spring of 1896. 

George and his wife, Jean McClaggan Gilchrist, the ancestors 
of Dr. Gilchrist, came from Scotland in 1800, and after living ten 


Elisha F. Beard And Family. 


years in Rockingham moved to Gap Mills, in Monroe county. 
Their son, Alexander (1812-1816), married Virginia Powell, and 
the children by this union were George A., Thomas L. and Maud 

Dr. Gilchrist first opened an office for the practice of his pro- 
fession in Asbury, this county, but about six years ago he came to 
Lewisburg, where he had an extensive practice since that time. 
He had a wide circle of devoted friends, ministered tenderly to the 
sick and was greatly admired for his many fine qualities of head 
and heart. His large practice was the best proof of the confidence 
and esteem of these people, and his death was sincerely mourned. 
He was always polite, courteous, kind, and accommodating. 

On October 28, 1897, Dr. Gilchrist married Miss Anne Hed- 
rick, daughter of the late William Hedrick, who survives him, 
with four children : Carl, student at Washington and Lee Univer- 
sity, Willie A., Nellie E., and George A., Jr. 

The doctor was a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, Lewisburg. 


John F. Beard, the ancestor of the Beard family of Greenbrier 
county, was a large land owner, about five miles above Lewis- 
burg, in early times. He was the father of Moses C. Beard, born 
March 8, 1824, who married Sarah S. Walkup, born September 3, 
1827. The other children were : Joseph W., born September 9, 
1847, died September 28, 1893 ; Mary A. H, born June 22, 1849, 
died December 6, 1906; John A., November 16, 1852; Nancy J., 
December 8, 1854; Nadora K., November 14, 1856; Louisa A., 
December 27, 1858; Robert E., February 12, 1861 ; Elisha F., 
April 20, 1863; Numan C., October 15, 1857, died January 15, 

Elisha F. Beard, like his father before him, lives in an unos- 
tentatious sort of a way, but is, nevertheless, a large, successful 
farmer, cattle raiser and stock dealer. His father came here in 


1856. He sold his farm, intending to go West, but located at this 
place finally, and later entered the Confederate service, participat- 
ing in the battles of that conflict until the close of the war. 

The original homestead consisted of 590 acres, some of which 
has been sold off, but other lands have been purchased, making 
the real estate possessions here somewhat extensive, as well as 
quite valuable. 

On October 19, 1887, Elisha F. Beard married Marybee T. 
Harlow, of Rockingham county, Virginia. She was born Novem- 
ber 2, 1865. Their children are: Hubert E., born April 8, 1890; 
Nellie F., August 7, 1892 ; Sarah V., December 5, 1894 ; Vivian 
T., May 1, 1896; M. Chris, August 25, 1898; N. Thelma, March 
31, 1900 ; Lillian H., July 17, 1903 ; Evelyn M., May 23, 1907. 


Samuel N. Erwin, present deputy assessor of Greenbrier coun- 
ty, belongs to one of the oldest families in the State. He is of Irish 
descent and a great-grandson of John Erwin, the first of that name 
in the county. His son, John Erwin, Jr., was born in a cabin still 
standing in Irish Corner and now in the possession of the sixth 
generation, and is now owned by S. N. Erwin. The birth above 
mentioned occurred in 1785. This place is in Irish Corner district, 
four miles east of Ronceverte. John Erwin was reared here, and 
died here after rearing a family of four sons and four daughters. 
His wife was Miss Jane McClure. The children were : (i)David 
M., of whom again; (2) John, Jr., who married a daughter of 
John Robinson, the grandfather of Amos R. Erwin, formerly of 
this county, but now of Loudoun county, Virginia; (3) Robert, 
who died young ; (4) William, who rode to California on horse- 
back, crossing the Mississippi river at St. Louis on the ice, and 
died young; (5) Jane, who married Pleasant Williams, of Giles 
county, Virginia, and died at the age of seventy-four years ; 

(6) Margaret, who married William Black and moved West ; 

(7) Elizabeth H., who married Lewis Sydenstricker in Irish Cor- 


ner and died at the age of sixty-six ; (8) Mary G., who married 
William White, of Organ Cave, and died in 1906 at the age of 
seventy-nine years. 

John Erwin was a noted hunter. He had a rifle having a 
large bore, with which he killed hundreds of deer. It is said he 
bequeathed this gun, named "Kate," to his descendants who were 
named John. It is now in the possession of his great-grandson, 
John A. Erwin, son of Amos R. Erwin, of Loudoun county, Vir- 
ginia. At his death John Erwin had over a thousand acres of 
land that was known as "Little Egypt" on account of so much 
corn being raised on it. He died in 1873 at the age of eighty- 
eight years. 

David M. Erwin was born July 4, 1807. In 1836 he married 
Mary Dickson, daughter of Richard Dickson, of Second Creek, 
West Virginia, and to this union were born: (1) Susanna J., 
in 1838; she married James Honaker and died in 1908; (2) Rich- 
ard D., of whom later; (3) Margaret E., born in 1840 and mar- 
ried William Miller, of Irish Corner. She died in 1908; (4) John 
A., who died in infancy; (5) Mary V., born in 1845 an d died in 
1908. She remained single. He died in 1876 from the effects 
of a stroke of lightning several years before. 

Hon. Richard D. Erwin was born December 27, 1842. In 
1865 he was married to Amanda Fleshman, who at the age of 
seventy-seven years is still enjoying reasonably good health. By 
this union were born nine children — five sons and four daughters : 
(1) Austin B., born November 16, 1866, unmarried. He taught 
school several years, owned a large library, and was a great reader. 
For years he suffered from rheumatism, and died September 1, 
1914; (2) Ida B., born December 16, 1868. She married Frank 
Dever, of Grand Island, Neb. ; (3) Nellie V. and (4) Andrew D., 
died in infancy of diphtheria; (5) William H., born October 27, 
1875, married Estelle Jackson, daughter of A. R. Jackson, of Or- 
gan Cave, and died in 1906, leaving a wife and one child ; (6) Sam- 
uel N., of whom later; (7) Mary E., who was born September 29, 
1880, unmarried ; (8) Annie S., born February 3, 1882. She mar- 
ried Floyd Handley, of Williamsburg; (9) Charles E., born Feb- 


ruary 16, 1889, married Ethel Humphreys, daughter of Hon. H. 
W. Humphreys, member of the County Court. He died January 
1, 1913, leaving a wife and one child, a daughter. 

Richard D. Erwin was considered one of the best farmers in 
Greenbrier county. He was a Confederate soldier and served in 
Company D, Edgar's Battalion. In 1890 he was chosen by the 
Democratic party for the State Legislature and elected to the 
House of Delegates from this county, and re-elected in 1904. He 
was an elder in the Salem Presbyterian Church from 1875 till his 
death in 1898. 

Samuel N. Erwin was born June 27, 1878. In 1900 he was 
married to Lucille Scott, daughter of Joe H. Scott, formerly of 
Anthonys Creek, but now living with his son, Humbert J. Scott, 
near Caldwell. To this union were born seven children — five sons 
and two daughters: Joseph Richard, September 28, 1902; 
Paul Bryan, January 18, 1904; Olan Kyle, November 1, 1905; 
Anna Madge, January 31, 1908; Gerald Clayton, April 18, 1909; 
Bonnie Idelle, June 5, 1912 ; Donald Leith, January 25, 191 5. 

Mr. Erwin was reared a farmer and is still in pursuit of that 
avocation. As one of the representative men of Irish Corner, he 
is an elder in the Presbyterian church at Salem and represents his 
county as assessor. To this latter office he was elected as deputy 
with E. B. Miller as chief on November 7, 1916. 


John McClung, who emigrated from Scotland to Ireland about 
1690, and from there to Virginia, finally, was the ancestor of 
James F. McClung. (See sketch of John McClung and family.) 

Of the seven sons of John, Samuel McClung (Devil Sam) be- 
fore mentioned had a son, Stuart, bora December 24, 1836, died 
September 12, 1901. He was the father of James F. McClung. 
On March 29, i860, Stuart McClung married Mary George, born 
at Dawson (see sketch of George family). Their children were 
Joseph Albert, born March 15, 1861 ; Sarah Elizabeth, December 


4, 1862; Margaret Rebecca, wife of W. B. Hayes (see sketch) ; 
James Franklin, June, 1867; Samuel, October 17, 1869; Callie 
Jane, January 30, 1872, married August 31, 1892, to John Cook; 
Mary M., May 12, 1874, married June 27, 1900, to W. F. Mc- 
Dowell ; Louise Alice, December 22, 1876, married Dexter Spang- 
ler; Spencer Hill, September 22, 1879; Lelia Ruth, February 8. 
1882, married James H. Jarrett. 

James Franklin McClung was reared a farmer. He and his 
brother, Samuel, own and operate a seven-hundred-and-fifty-acre 
tract of land, on one-half of which stands the old house. It is on 
the part belonging to James F. Here is the homestead of the Stu- 
art McClung family and the place where the children roamed at 
will in childhood. 

After the subject of our sketch had received his education, the 
best his district school could give him, he became a traveling 
agent for the next twenty years of his life, first for Abney Barnes 
& Company, dry goods merchants of Charleston, W. Va., and 
finally for Hutcheson-Stephenson Hat Co., of the same city. He 
was with each firm for ten years, and probably no man in the 
State knows more about the people and country of the twenty-five 
counties through which he traveled during that time than does 
James F. McClung. 

Without an accident or a day of sickness he went to and from 
the Jackson river back to Big Sandy, on the Kentucky border, and 
from the Little Kanawha to the Virginia mountains on the north, 
unarmed, but always welcomed, though his route took him every- 
where among the feuds of the McCoys and Hatfields of the State. 

James F. McClung was married to Miss Ella V. Gunter, of 
Charleston, Kanawha county, West Virginia, October 26, 191 1. 
Her father, John Gunter, was born and reared on a farm in Au- 
gusta county, Virginia, near Staunton ; came to Kanawha county- 
after the close of the Civil war and settled on a farm and engaged 
in the coal business at Big Chimney, on the Elk river. At that 
time there was a lock and dam in Elk river and steamboats plied 
the river, by which means Mr. Gunter shipped his coal to Charles- 
ton, where he supplied the leading factories with coal. Miss Ella 


Gunter was born on Elk river, August 27, 1880, and was edu- 
cated in the Charleston schools. John Gunter married Miss Kath- 
erine Seafler, of Beaver county, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. 
Her parents emigrated from Germany about 1834, landing at Bal- 
timore, after which they settled on a farm in Beaver county, Penn- 
sylvania. Three sons and a daughter are living in Pittsburgh. 


William Preston Pyles is a successful business man of Ronce- 
verte. In June, 1917, he was elected a member of the city coun- 
cil. Throughout the Greenbrier valley he is known as "the auto- 
mobile man." This designation is merited, for Mr. Pyles was the 
first man to bring into Greenbrier county an automobile which was 
to stay in the county, and for ten years he has been actively en- 
gaged as a salesman of automobiles. The first car was a Rambler, 
a small, two-passenger, one-cylinder roadster, which Mr. Pyles 
bought for his own use. In comparison with more up-to-date cars, 
it would now be regarded as a curiosity. He became agent for 
the sale of this car, but his success has been in the sales of the Ford 
and the Maxwell. For several years he held the agency for the 
sale of the Ford in both Greenbrier and Monroe counties, and in 
the past three years he has sold and delivered more than four hun- 
dred and fifty automobiles. He is now agent for the Ford, also the 
Maxwell in nine counties of this State. 

On May 30, 1900, Mr. Pyles married Mary Estelle Steuart, 
of Charleston, W. Va., daughter of H. Bryson Steuart, now of 
Montgomery, and Sadie (Steuart) Allen. She has two brothers, 
Ed Steuart, of Glen Jean, and Charley Steuart, of Portsmouth, 
Ohio. After marriage, Mr. Pyles was in the jewelry business at 
Glen Jean until 1906, when they moved to Ronceverte. Their 
children now living are Roy Emerson, Thelma Margaret and 
Elva Virginia. The eldest, Lee Addison, died at Ronceverte when 
seven years old. Other relatives of William Preston Pyles in 
Greenbrier county are Mrs. Maggie Fullen, a sister, wife of Henry 


B. Fullen, and their children — Guy, Harry, Fred, Gladys, Hallie, 
Clyde and Fay ; also O. C. Hutchison, a cousin, of Ronceverte, 
salesman for the International Harvester Company, who married 
Emma Allen, of Forest Hill, and their children — Von, Neel, Rob- 
ert and James Maxwell. Another cousin is M. A. Pyles, princi- 
pal of the Alderson High School. W. O. Pyles, a brother of Wil- 
liam Preston, married Roena Mann, a daughter of Newton Mann, 
of Spring Creek, this county. They live in Logan county ; their 
children are Glenn and Eva. Mr. Pyles's more distant relatives in 
Greenbrier county are too numerous to mention, and in good old 
Monroe, where he was born, November 8, 1876, his relatives are 
counted by the hundreds. 

Near the beginning of the last century, in the Sweet Springs 
valley, Monroe county, lived two brothers, Conrad and Jacob 
Pyles. It is thought their father was a Jacob Pyles and that he 
made settlement there. Conrad died in this valley. Jacob mar- 
ried Sarah Baker, a sister of John, Joseph and Frederick Baker, 
their father being Frederick Baker, of Germany, who was natural- 
ized in Monroe in 181 2. Jacob, Jr., bought a farm on the public 
road between Salt Sulphur Springs and Lilydale, and he and his 
wife lived there the rest of their lives. This farm has been the 
property of some member of the family ever since and for near 
half a century has been the homestead of Henry M. Pyles, their 
grandson and father of the subject of this sketch. Children of 
Jacob, Jr., and Sarah : George I. (Elizabeth Arnott), John, Allen, 
Polly, who married George McCoy and moved to Ohio, Elizabeth 
(Lewis Spangler), Ellen (Henry W. Arnott). John and Allen 
died soon after their return from the army. 

Children of George I. Pyles and Elizabeth Arnott, his wife : 
Henry M., Lilydale ; Sarah, deceased ; Addison A., Morrill, Kan. ; 
John W., Pence Springs ; Mary A., wife of A. M. Hutchison, 
Forest Hill ; Margaret J., wife of Richard McNeer, Marie ; George 
W., Hamlin, Kan. ; Martha E., wife of J. P. Fisher, both deceased ; 
Emma, deceased, who married R. W. Hill, Morrill, Kan. 

George I. Pyles, grandfather of William Preston, served in the 
war between the States. He was captured at Winchester, Sep- 


tember 19, 1864, and died at Point Lookout, January 18, 1865. 
Henry M. and Addison, who were in the army, also, returned to 
the old home, which was a farm on the knobs about three miles 
distant from the farm of Jacob Pyles. This farm is known as "the 
old home." It is owned by William Preston Pyles and is occupied 
by his brother, Grover C, and his wife. 

Henry M. Pyles, father of the subject of this sketch, after his 
return from the war married Margaret Elizabeth Wikle. The 
children born to this union were as follow : Alonzo E. ; Maggie 
E., wife of Henry B. Fullen ; Ada Ellena, wife of James Kessinger ; 
Welmington Other, a farmer now in Logan county ; William Pres- 
ton, Lizzie, single ; George Edgar, who works for the Ford Motor 
Company at Detroit, Mich. ; Minnie, wife of Russell Canterbury ; 
Grover Cleveland, a farmer living on "the old home place." 

Margaret Elizabeth Wikle was a daughter of William Wikle 
and a granddaughter of George Wikle, who was born in Augusta 
about 1776 and came to Monroe about 1797, or perhaps not until 
1803, at which date he purchased two pieces of land. His house 
stood close to the residence of Michael Murphy, a mile west of 
Salt Sulphur. It was also a place of worship, for he was a zealous 
Methodist and esteemed his duty to the church to be of importance. 
His ancestry were of Holland-German. 


John H. Keyes, a well known farmer and blacksmith in Tuck- 
ahoe, Greenbrier county, was the father of Humphrey B. Keyes, the 
subject of this sketch. He married Elizabeth Pine, a resident of 
Monroe county. Their eldest son, James, was taken prisoner in the 
late war between the States and died on his way home. Joseph R. 
another son, served throughout the war in Edgar's Battalion. 
Gashman, the youngest son, died in Covington, Va. 

Humphrey B. Keyes was born in January, 1882, went to school 
in Tuckahoe district a few terms, and in later years officiated as 
school trustee. 


On the date that President Garfield was shot Mr. Keyes mar- 
ried Susan Gardner. She was the daughter of John Gardner, who 
lived at the head of Little creek. After they married, a residence 
was taken up where they now reside, on a farm consisting of one 
hundred and forty-six acres, and where they have since lived. 

Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Keyes, as follow : 
Lula, who married Edgar Lynch and now living in North Dakota ; 
Gertie, who married Henry Lynch, postmaster ; Clarence, James, 
Zora, Bessie, Amy, Lillian and Florence, the last named now dead. 

Mr. Keyes lives a simple life, but is a successful farmer and one 
of Greenbrier's representative citizens. 


Andrew Emerson Johnson was born December n, 1861, the 
sixth child of Thomas John and Minerva (Hinchman) Johnson, 
his wife. Thomas Johnson was of Scotch-Irish descent on his 
father's side, eldest son of Barnabas Johnson and grandson of 
Robert Johnson, who migrated from the north of Ireland into 
the Colony of Virginia in 1767, settling first in Augusta county, 
and later permanently in what is now Monroe county, in the pres- 
ent State of West Virginia. Settling on the headwaters of Wolf 
creek, Robert Johnson possessed himself of a tract of good land, 
built himself a block house as refuge for himself and his neigh- 
bors, became the man of his neighborhood. He and his wife, Kate 
Dome, became the parents of thirteen children, seven sons and six 
daughters. The names of the sons were Jacob, Barnabas, William, 
Samuel, Robert, Caleb and James. Four of these migrated to 
the West. All of these sons became men of substance and char- 
acter, worthy of their sturdy parentage. 

Barnabas, the grandfather of A. E. Johnson, was a man of the 
highest character and of fine business abilities, accumulating un- 
usual wealth, notwithstanding physical maladies which harassed 
him during the whole of a long life. 

Thomas, the eldest son of Barnabas, and the father of A. E. 


Johnson, was also a man of the highest integrity and a successful 
farmer and grazier of large means. 

Minerva Hinchman, mother of A. E. Johnson, was a woman 
of the firmest Christian character and of unusual intelligence. Her 
mother, who has been called the "smartest woman in the Green- 
brier valley," a woman of fine character and great intellect, was 
of Scotch-Irish and Huguenot descent, having been born to her 
parents, William Sims and his wife Margaret (Machet) Sims, but 
two years after their immigration into what is now Monroe county, 
West Virginia, from the county Antrim in Ireland. 

On her father's side, Minerva Hinchman was of English, Hu- 
guenot and Dutch stock, being a lineal descendant of Capt. Billy 
Vincent and Rosa Bumgardner, his wife. 

The Hinchmans, Minerva Hinchman's own generation and the 
preceding ones, were sturdy, resourceful, achieving people. 

Thomas and Minerva Hinchman Johnson became the parents 
of seven children, as follow : Cornelia Agnes, who married 
George H. Lewis; Sarah Amanda, who married Dr. B. F. Irons; 
Wellington Barnabas, John William, Thomas Cary, Andrew 
Emerson and Mary E. 

A. E. Johnson was educated at Hampden-Sidney College, Vir- 
ginia, and spent his early manhood in Monroe county. Later he 
bought the James Mann farm in Greenbrier county, near Fort 
Spring, and there made his home. Endowed with a superior mind, 
discriminating judgment and indomitable energy, he became one of 
the most successful farmers in West Virginia. He was a man of 
progressive ideas as well as large information, and active in every 
organization for the betterment of the agricultural and pastoral 
industries. As a banker Mr. Johnson was prominent, and in other 
business enterprises an organizer and leader. He was a member 
of the Presbyterian church and one of its most liberal supporters 
and faithful workers. At the time of his death he was president 
of the Bank of Greenbrier, at Lewisburg ; president of the Ronce- 
verte Ice and Storage Company ; president of the Farmers' Home 
Insurance Company ; member of the auditing committee of the 
Farmers' Banking Company of Union ; president of the board of di- 



rectors of the Lewisburg Female Institute ; member of the Green- 
brier Presbyterian committee on home missions ; chairman of the 
Laymen's Missionary Movement in Greenbrier Presbytery ; ruling 
elder in Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church and teacher of the 
Young Men's Bible Class (faithful and regular in his attendance 
and a capable teacher). He was a good neighbor and kind friend, 
the head of a Christian home and a devoted husband and father. 
He died at his home near Fort Springs, December i, 191 5. 

On October 20, 1885, Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to 
Miss Cora H. Alexander, of McDowell, Highland county, Vir- 
ginia. She survives him with six children : Robert S., A. Emer- 
son, Jr., Thomas S., Henrietta E., Anna D. and Eva A. Miss Anna 
is preparing herself for a career of trained nurse in Philadelphia. 
One daughter, Edith, preceded him to the grave. He is survived 
also by three brothers : Wellington, of Fort Spring ; John W., of 
Alderson, and Rev. Dr. T. C. Johnson, professor of Theology 
in Union Seminary, Richmond, Va., and two sisters : Mrs. 
Amanda Irons, of Pickaway, Monroe county, and Mrs. Henry 
Lewis, of Greenbrier county. 


The Coffman family have been residents of the Fort Spring 
district very many years. This branch of the family are descend- 
ants of Christian Coffman, born August 2, 1780, and died near 
Lewisburg, July 22, 1852. He married Anna Wenger, born near 
Edom, Va., June 12, 1788. She died November 13, 1861. She was 
a descendant of Christian Wenger, who emigrated from Palatinate, 
a province in the northwest of France, in the ship, "Molly," arriv- 
ing at Philadelphia, September 30, 1727. 

Ten children were born to Christian and Anna (Wenger) 
Coffman, of whom Daniel, the fifth child, born August 23, 1818, 
was the father of Price Coffman, the subject of this sketch. He 
fell from a cherry tree and died June 29, 1871. On May 23, 1841, 
he was married to Catherine Hedrick, born April 18, 1820, died 


April 18, 1907, and their children are: David, born June 27, 1843, 
died September 4, 1847 1 John, born June 8, 1845, Carbondale, 
Osage county, Kansas ; Price, of whom later ; Mary Elizabeth, 
born August 15, 1851, married Mr. Brackman, Carbondale, Kan; 
Jacob Samuel, born May 22, 1854; Clark Phelps, born December 
10, 1855, Carbondale, Kan; Charles Nixon, born December 15, 
1859, Summersville, Nicholas county, West Virginia ; Harvey 
Lewis, born November 24, 1861, Coffman, Greenbrier county; 
Leni Leoti, born April 1, 1866. She married Mr. Hern, of Blakers 
Mills. Eight members of this family are still living, nor has there 
been a death in the family for seventy years. 

Price Coffman, who is living on the old homestead near Fort 
Spring, was reared a farmer and has been a successful one during 
all his life. He was educated for a teacher, but never taught 
school but one term, his attention having been directed to stock 
raising and agricultural pursuits chiefly. He is a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, South, and is an ardent supporter 
of Christian work. He married Miss Mary Van Stavern, daughter 
of Benjamin Stavern, November 22, 1871, and to this union were 
an interesting family of thirteen children brought up around the 
fireside of the present home, built the year following the marriage. 
Four of these children are graduates of Marshall College, and 
are teachers in the public schools of Greenbrier county. Walter 
Coffman is the eldest son and lives at Madison, Kan. His first 
wife was Miss Eva Butterfield. Martin lives in Richmond, Va., 
and married Miss Ida Simpson ; Emma has been housekeeping for 
her father since the death of her mother ; Charles lives at Salmon, 
Idaho ; Elsie married J. H. McVey, now dead. Three children, 
Roger H., Eva Cole and John H. Their son, Roger, finished free 
school at eleven years and is in his junior year in the Ronceverte 
High School ; Lillie is a graduate of Marshall College and has 
been a teacher in the fifth and sixth grades in the Lewisburg 
schools during the past six years. Olen is a lumberman. He is 
an expert on veneer logs and his services in that line are valuable. 
He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a mem- 
ber of the Modern Woodmen, and is also a Mason. He married 



Miss Grace Donivan, and to this union were born three children : 
Olen B., Jr., Cameron and Mary Grace. He lives in Lewisburg, 
is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, and is 
district lay leader of Lewisburg district, Baltimore conference ; 
Howard is single and is a twin brother to Hubert. He married 
Morrus Iowa Ramsey and is a bookkeeper ; Harvey is a ministerial 
student at Randolph Macon College and has a bright future. He 
was a successful teacher and took the orator's medal for the first 
year in college ; Carrie is a teacher of the seventh grade in the Lew- 
isburg public schools, where she has been employed three years ; 
Mabel is also a graduate of Marshall College and teaches in the 
Ronceverte public schools ; Ursula is a student in her senior year 
at Marshall College. 

The Cof fman family have always maintained a high reputation 
for all that distinguishes the Virginian, while the present genera- 
tion is particularly noted for those finer characteristics possessed 
only by the well educated and the highly cultured. 


On the farm near Blue Sulphur where the last Indian raid was 
said to have been made in Greenbrier county lives D. M. Fleshman, 
a large farmer and stock dealer and a descendant of one of the old- 
est families in the county. The parental ancestor of Mr. Fleshman 
made a visit to Greenbrier county in a very early day on a stock 
trading expedition from Pocahontas county and afterwards located 
permanently on the headwaters of Muddy creek. That farm is 
now in possession of J. C. Fleshman. Daniel Fleshman, father of 
David M., died there about thirty-two years ago at the age of 
fifty years. He was the father of three children, the subject of 
this sketch being the eldest. 

David M. Fleshman was born January 9, 1854. He graduated 
from the State Normal College at Concord, W. Va., and taught 
school for ten years. He was reared a farmer, and during those 
years of work in the school room followed agricultural pursuits, 


also becoming interested in raising blooded stock in the meantime. 
He is today one of the large landowners of Greenbrier count)'. 
Under the name of Fleshman & Sons he is extensively engaged in 
buying and selling live stock, Josie J., Charles N. and Kenna W. 
Fleshman, his three sons, being the junior members of the firm. 
On October 20, 1885, D. M. Fleshman married Annie J. Piercy, 
daughter of Joseph and Elvira (Tuckwiller) Piercy, and they took 
up their residence on the old Fleshman homestead. They moved 
to their present place of abode in 1897. It is a large farm of five 
hundred and thirty-five acres, but only one of several tracts owned 
by Mr. Fleshman. The children born to this union not named 
above are two daughters, Mabel V. and Pauline. None of the 
children are married. 


Mathew N. Humphreys' grandparents were John and 
(Robinson) Humphreys, who came from Tyrone county, 

Ireland, in 1790 and located in Monroe county, West Virginia. 
By this union were Alexander, John, Mathew, and Robert. 
Mathew, born April, 181 1, married Louisa Patton, born July 14, 
1818, the daughter of Tristrem and Jane Patton, in the year 1838. 
By this union were seven boys: Alexander R., Mathew N. and 
Robert M., twin brothers, Tristrem P., Oliver B., Henry W., and 
Augustus B. ; two girls, Isabelle J., who married Alexander Rob- 
ert Jackson, and Elizabeth M., who married Moses Coffman. 

Alexander R. Humphreys married Miss Mary Boyd, of Texas, 
April 3, 1875. Mathew N. married Miss Mary C. Rodgers, No- 
vember 7, 1872. Tristrem P. married Miss Rosa Gibson, October 
7, 1875. Oliver B. married Miss Lillian White, September 28, 
1898. Henry W. married Miss Lizzie Burdette, November 25, 
1885. Augustus B. married Miss Delia Hogsette, April 6, 1881. 
He died October 13, 1881. 

The subject of this sketch was born at the mouth of Monroe 
draft on November 14, 1843. His boyhood days were spent on the 


farm, but when only a youth he entered the Confederate army and 
spent three years, participating in a number of battles and spent 
several months in prison. 

Mr. Humphreys entered the army as a volunteer and joined 
Company D, first commanded by his brother, Alexander, and later 
by Capt. Frank Burdette. This company belonged to Edgar's 

In the battle of Lewisburg his twin brother, Robert, fighting 
by his side, was killed. When his company retreated he refused to 
leave the dead brother, whose body he was carrying from the field 
when he was captured by the enemy. He was taken to Camp 
Chase, where He suffered the horrors of prison life for four 
months, after which he- was taken to Vicksburg and exchanged. 

The intention of the Confederate officers around Vicksburg 
was to enlist the exchanged soldiers into service in Louisiana and 
Texas. Mr. Humphreys, not agreeing to this arrangement, 
passed through the lines, being regarded as a mere boy, and wended 
his way back home. He reported intentions of the Confederate 
leaders to the authorities at Richmond, who ordered the return of 
the Virginia soldiers to serve in their own State. 

After the war he taught school several terms, then engaged 
successfully in farming. He married Miss Mary C Rodgers, 
third daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Coffman) Rodgers, on 
November 7, 1872, and located in Greenbrier county, West Vir- 
ginia, near Organ Cave. To these were born Minnie S., D. Clark, 
Frank E., Harry C, Sallie R., Ira D., and Gertrude, all of whom 
are living at this writing. 

D. Clark Humphreys, eldest son of Mathew N. Humphreys, is 
located on a farm near Organ Cave. He married Miss Maggie 
E. Miller, September 4, 1901. Their children are Charles Milton, 
Mary Janice, and Beulah Ellen. 

Minnie S. Humphreys and Ira D. Humphreys are on the farm 
at home. 

Frank E. Humphreys located in New York City in 1904 and 
ever since has held an important position with the elevated railroad 
of that city. 


Harry C. Humphreys graduated from Marshall College State 
Normal in 1904, then entered the University of West Virginia, 
where he graduated, receiving his Bachelor degree. Having 
served as district supervisor of schools for three years, he entered 
the University of Wisconsin, where he received his Master degree. 
He is now at the head of the department of education at Athens 
Normal School. 

Sallie R. Humphreys graduated from Marshall College in 1906 
and has taught successfully in the city schools of Charleston, 
W. Va., and Madison, Wis., where she is now located as teacher. 

Gertrude, the youngest, graduated from Charleston (W. Va.) 
High School in 1914 and is now spending her second year in the 
University of Illinois. 

The death of Mathew Nelson Humphreys occurred at his home 
at 9:30 A. M., Saturday, December 18, 1915. 

He was a kind husband and father, a man of solid, substantial 
qualities, was sincere in his love for his kindred and friends. He 
was public spirited and identified himself with the best interests 
of his county, particularly things pertaining to education. For 
thirty-three years he was secretary of the board of education of 
his district. For thirty-odd years he had been a member of the 
Salem Presbyterian Church and for the last seventeen years a rul- 
ing elder. 


Michael Fleshman came to Greenbrier county in 1798 and set- 
tled on a farm afterwards owned by Benjamin Franklin Fleshman, 
and where he died on March 25, 1883, in his ninety-seventh year. 
The farm consisted mostly of bottom land and lies on Anthony's 
creek, at the mouth of Little creek. It consisted of two hundred 
and fifty acres and on it was the oldest grist and saw mill in Green- 
brier county. 

Mr. Fleshman married Elizabeth Sydenstricker and she died 
on that farm in August, 1839, a S e d about forty- four years. The 



farm was sold, but soon after repurchased by B. Fleshman. From 
that union were born five sons — Andrew, Benjamin Franklin, John 
Lewis and Addison, and two daughters — Nancy and Elizabeth. 

Andrew Fleshman married Miss Elizabeth Lipps and from this 
union were born four sons and five daughters: Alexander A., 
William H., John W., Mary J., Amanda E., Rebecca, Phoebe L., 
and Louisa V. The parties were married on Anthony's creek and 
died in 1862. 

Benjamin Franklin Fleshman was a soldier in the Confederate 
army in the Civil war. He repurchased the old homestead after it 
was sold. 

Andrew A. Fleshman, now living in Monroe county, was born 
and reared in Greenbrier county. In the year 1870 he married 
Marv J. Gibson, of Monroe county, and from this union were born 
three sons and three daughters : James, Ella, Andrew Walter, 
John Thomas, Rosa Adda Mamie, Virginia and Bertie Elizabeth. 

Andrew Walter Fleshman, a well known jeweler of Ronce- 
verte, was formerly a resident of Lewisburg, where he still owns 
a valuable residence, and a garage, which he operated for some 


Abraham E. Huddleston, the subject of this sketch, was born 
in Alleghany county, Virginia, December 16, 1855. Because of 
the Civil war and after-the-war conditions, his education was 
rather limited. His first employment was as timekeeper on a 
brick-yard at the age of fourteen. He then clerked in a store for 
four years, after which he studied telegraphy and was in the em- 
ployment of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company from 
1873 to 1879 as station agent and telegraph operator. In 1876 
he opened a store at Callaghan, Va., and in 1879 ne resigned 
from the railroad to go into the lumber business and has since been 
continuously in the mercantile and lumber business. In 1906 he 
organized the White Sulphur Supply Company, one of the largest 
retail stores in southern West Virginia. In 1908 he organized 


the Mountain Milling Company, and in 1910 the Electric Plant, 
all situated at White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., where he located 
in 1887. 

The Huddleston family date back to the twelfth century and 
were among the English settlers of Virginia in the early part of 
the seventeenth century, one of that name being an aid-de-camp 
to General Washington. 

The grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Abraham J. 
Huddleston, was born in Bedford county, Virginia, in 1800, came 
to Alleghany county, Virginia in 1830, and married Leah Bowyer, 
who died in 1902. He died April 3, 1873. He had seven sons 
and four daughters : David G. the father of the subject of this 
sketch, who died in 1878 ; Daniel Y., who died in 1913 ; John, who 
died in 1862 ; Joseph, who died in 1863 ; George W., who died in 
1915 ; William B., who died in 1905 ; Robert W., who died in 1912 ; 
Sarah (Plymale), now living at Boulder, Colo. ; Elizabeth (Lock- 
hart), now living in Covington, Va. ; Minerva (Bowley), now liv- 
ing in Anselmo, Neb ; Nancy (Smith) , now living in Grand Island, 

David G, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in 
Alleghany county, Virginia, March 2, 1834, and married Agnes 
Hook, of Alleghany county, March 7, 1855. She was the daugh- 
ter of Elias Hook and was born in Alleghany county, Virginia, 
February 4, 1834, and died in Covington, Va., October, 1903. The 
children of David G. Huddleston, besides Abraham E., who was 
the eldest, were the following: Joseph W., born August 22, 1857, 
married Emily Moyers, January 18, 1883, who died in Coving- 
ton, Va., in 1891. He afterwards married Mattie Hippert and 
now resides at White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. ; George W., born 
May 11, 1859, and died at Cedar Grove, Neb., September 9, 1880; 
Rebecca L., born April 6, 1861, and married Samuel B. Johnson, 
March 18, 1884, and now living in Chattanooga, Tenn ; John D., 
born March 21, 1863, married Mollie B. Vaughan, December 22, 
1882, and now resides at Alexandria, La. ; Adelia B., born May 
1, 1865, and married Howard W. Tyree, September, 1887, and 
now resides in Alleghany county, Virginia ; Cora Virginia, born 


February 27, 1867, married Henry Brown, September, 1889, and 
now resides in Chattanooga, Tenn. ; Bettie P., born September 7, 
1869, married Robert W. Butler in 1896 and now resides in Mem- 
phis, Tenn.; Daisy A., born October 21, 1873, married, in 1909, 

Converse and resides in Chattanooga, Tenn. ; David 

G., Jr., born August 15, 1876, and was killed in a railway accident 
in Arkansas, March 4, 1906. 

On September 4, 1877, the subject of this sketch was married to 
Isabella Johnson Richardson, the daughter of John F. and Mar- 
guerite Richardson, of Alleghany county, Virginia, and to whom 
the following children were born: Sarah Blanche, born June 19, 
1878, married to Harry E. Crickenberger, June 18, 1901, and 
lives at White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. ; Bessie Lee, born August 

1, 1879, married to Edward M. Haynes, December 12, 1906, and 
resides at White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. ; Ada Edith, born May 
19, 1881, married to Edward H. Butts on September 15, 1908, 
died at Logan, W. Va., April 6, 191 5 ; George Dice, born Novem- 
ber 12, 1882, died in infancy; David Franklin, born December 12, 
1883, married Mabel Kerr, September 22, 1909, and now resides 
at White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. ; Alfred Elliott, born August 

2, 1885, died in infancy ; John Lester, born February 13, 1887, 
married Maud M. Wineberger, April, 1912, resides at White Sul- 
phur Springs; Mary Isabella, born February 21, 1889, married 
Dr. David H. Hill, June 3, 1915, resides in Charleston, W. Va. ; 
Ruth and Rose, twins, were born January 1, 1892, and died in in- 
fancy; Agnes Jane, born June 13, 1895, and died December 2, 
1914; Beulah, born January 13, 1897, died in infancy; Albert 
Elias, born January 7, 1899, died July 4, 1900. 

Mr. Huddleston and his wife now live in their home (Hill- 
crest) overlooking the town of White Sulphur Springs. He is a 
man of somewhat retiring disposition, but has been kept before 
the public in various capacities. As a member of the Methodist 
Episcopal church, South, he has been Sunday school superintend- 
ent for nearly forty years ; was a delegate to the general confer- 
ence of his church, which met at Dallas, Texas, in 1902, and at 
Birmingham, Ala., in 1906; has been a member of the joint board 


of finance of his conference for the past twenty-five years. He 
is a member of the Masonic order, having taken the Blue Lodge, 
Chapter, Commandery and Scottish Rite degrees, and has been 
master of his lodge for a number of years. He has been a Demo- 
crat all of his life and has consistently voted that ticket except 
that in 1896 he voted for Mr. McKinley ; was a delegate to the 
West Virginia Legislature from Greenbrier county for the ses- 
sions of 1913 and 1915, and was the first mayor elected in the 
town of White Sulphur Springs. 


Benjamin C. Rapp, of Pocahontas county, was the grandfather 
of the subject of this sketch. He distinguished his career in that 
county as a teacher and also as a farmer. Valentine S. Rapp, his 
son, was born in Greenbrier county, October 21, 1830, and died at 
his home near Renick on March 9, 1917. He lived at "Little 
Levels," in Pocahontas county, before the Civil war, but moved 
back to Greenbrier in 1866. He was a soldier in the cavalry com- 
manded by Capt. William L. McNeel and served in the Confeder- 
ate army as a blacksmith, having enlisted in 1861. 

About the year 1854 he married Miss Sarah Hayes White, of 
this county, and from this union came nine children, eight of whom 
are still living in this county. He and his family were members 
of the Presbyterian church. 

Burke Andrew Rapp was born September 7, 1869. As one of 
the influential citizens of the Upper Greenbrier his career as a 
teacher, farmer, merchant and progresssive agriculturist has al- 
ready given him an honorable standing among men of affairs in 
this part of the State. Inured to hardships, he has worked his way 
from a country boy on the farm and from a common school edu- 
cation, supplemented by a term at Lewisburg, under the instruction 
of the Rev. J. M. Sloan and of James Rucker at Williamsburg, 
this county, to a self-made man, in lead of agricultural pursuits 
in particular. From 1888 he taught school in the Falling Spring 



district and in other places until 1913, his success as a teacher 
both in the school room and in institute work having been 
pronounced a success. In the meantime his career as a farmer has 
kept pace with his educational one. 

On November 30, 1893, Mr. Rapp celebrated the day as a 
Thanksgiving one very appropriately by taking unto himself Miss 
Mary J. Jameson for a wife. She was the daughter of David 
Jameson, a Confederate soldier in the late war between the States, 
a farmer and a man of much business ability. Thomas Jameson, 
the grandfather, was a hatter in Frankford. 

Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Rapp, a girl and a 
boy. Vera, the daughter, first saw the light of day October 10, 
1894, and her young life went out while in pursuit of an education 
at the Lewisburg Seminary on March 17, 1910, at the bright young 
age of sixteen. David Stuart, the second child, is at home. The 
mother died June 2, 1896. 

On February 9, 1898, Mr. Rapp was married to Ruth Jameson, 
and life on the old homestead farm was resumed. She was a sis- 
ter of his first wife and is still living. 

On July 1, 1917, Mr. Rapp went into partnership with his 
brother, Doke B. Rapp, in commercial pursuits. A store was es- 
tablished in Renick on borrowed capital, but money was lost in 
order to satisfy creditors and the business, in time, was abandoned. 

In February, 1913, Mr. Rapp took the civil service examina- 
tion and became postmaster of Renick on May 15th, the same year, 
a position which he still holds. On June 28, 1917, when the United 
States was forced into the war with Germany, he bought a Liberty 
bond of $100 to show his patriotism, while his son, David, being 
twenty-one years of age, registered as a soldier. That was on 
June 5th and was his bit in the cause of democracy. 

As an agriculturist Mr. Rapp has been honored with the presi- 
dency of the Greenbrier Farm Bureau, a position well earned by 
his having taken the initiative for the establishment of that bureau. 
He was the first farmer in Upper Greenbrier to build a silo and his 
bureau was the first to employ a county agent. 

Mr. Rapp is a member of the Falling Spring Grange. He is 


also president of the Greenbrier Farm and Loan Association. As 
a breeder of fine stock he confines his attention to Guernsey cattle, 
of which he has a number on his Riverside farm. 

Mr. Rapp belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America. He 
has taken the third degree in the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows lodge, and as a Christian is identified by his eldership in the 
Spring Creek Presbyterian Church. 

(By James W. McClung.) 

The McClung family is of Scotch descent. Its history begins 
in the time of Agricola, the Roman emperor who found in them 
a foe among the Grampian Hills of Scotland, which successfully 
resisted his further progress in that direction. It was a foe who 
had won their spurs in the days of Wallace and Bruce at the time 
they had won their independence from the English crown. In the 
days of John Knox they did defiance to tyrants and vindicated 
their belief that king and queen were amenable to law and could 
not enslave and oppress their subjects with impunity. 

As a clan belonging to the Scotch race, the McClungs were 
of a Romanized Britton stock and from whence its Celtic 
blood. It obtained from occasional intermarriages with other races 
its Saxon and Teutonic blood. These racial characteristics had 
strongly blended into a composite whole before emigrations were 
made by any of them to Ireland, and from that source came the 
Scotch-Irish Americans of the present day. No blending of the 
Scotch-Irish races by intermarriage ever occurred to any great 
extent. The native Irish are zealous Roman Catholics, the Scotch 
are equally Protestant, and on account of religious intolerance 
and persecution, the Scotch left their country for Ireland, when, 
because of unity of faith, they were called Scotch-Irish, there not 
being a drop of Irish blood, however, in their Scotch veins. 

The race from which the McClungs of Greenbrier county 


came left for their descendants an immortal legacy in the memory 
of their heroic faith and deeds. They are pre-eminently a liberty- 
loving race, as has been attested by their blood on many a field of 
battle. The name is found on the muster roll of every war in the 
history of our Nation ; a large list is given in the registry of our 
higher educational institutions and a greater list still on the reg- 
istries of our churches. 

The earliest known record of the McClung family is located 
in Galloway, Scotland. Tradition says that three McClungs, 
James, John and Robert, left Scotland on account of religious 
persecution and settled in Ulster, Ireland. That was in 1690. 
They were Presbyterians of the true blue-blood type. 

The first of the family to come to America, so far as known, 
was Thomas. He settled first in Christiana, Pa., in 1729. About 
the year 1731 John McClung landed in Boston with an aunt and 
settled in Brookfield, Mass. That was in 1734. He moved from 
there to Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, about the year 1740. 
His father, whose name was James, came with his family, the 
mother and eight children. In the year 1742 they moved to Bor- 
der Grant, in Augusta county, now Rockbridge county, Virginia. 

I. John McClung, born in Scotland, emigrated to Ireland in 
1690, but little is known of his history. (See history of Greenbrier 

II. John McClung was born in Ireland, came to America and 
settled in Rockbridge county, Virginia. He married Rebecca Stu- 
art. Died 1788. 

Captain Samuel McClung was born in 1744, died in April, 
1806. He emigrated from Rockbridge county, Virginia, to Green- 
brier county at the beginning of the Revolutionary war and served 
in the quartermaster's department during the war. He lived on 
Muddy creek near the Blue Sulphur Springs. He was the last 
man wounded by the Indians in this section of the State. 

They shot the queue off his wig. One Indian pressed him 
until they came to a creek, and now it was a case of life or death, 
as the creek was wide enough it would seem to prevent his escape ; 
but summoning all his strength, and with a desperate bound, he 


leaped clear over. It was a wonderful leap and it so disheartened 
the Indian that he abandoned the chase. 

Capt. Samuel McClung married in Augusta county, Virginia, 
Rebecca Bourland, born 1749, died October 8, 1825. He and his 
wife are buried near Smoot, this county. 

Joseph McClung, born July 12, 1776, married Elizabeth Ellis, 
October 14, 1800. They lived near Blue Sulphur Springs. He 
died July 7, 1850. She died December 30, 1861. 

Madison McClung, born June 30, 1809, died June 10, 1874. 
He married Margaret Lamb Hanna, February 8, 1838. Mrs. Mc- 
Clung's mother was a McNeel and her grandmother was a Lamb 
of the Maryland family. Mr. McClung was a farmer and a very 
popular man. He served as sheriff of the county from 1844 to 

William Washington McClung was born February 22, 1846. 
He married Mary Genevieve Putney (born January 31, 1850), 
October, 1875. He served in the Confederate army during the 
Civil war, is a farmer and owns a large farm near Hughart, this 

James W. McClung was born near Charleston, W. Va., May 
13, 1880. He was educated in the public schools and at the Lewis- 
burg Academy. In 1904 he was elected assessor of the Upper dis- 
trict and held that position until 1909. He was then in the sher- 
iff's office for four years. In 1912 he was elected assessor of 
Greenbrier county and filled that position until 1917. 

In 191 3 Mr. McClung married Miss Minnie Pugh, of Hyatts- 
ville, Md., and now resides in Lewisburg, W. Va. Two children, 
Virginia and James W., Jr., came of this union. 

The origin of the name McClung is a matter of conjecture. 
Some authorities derive the name from McClau, and if that is 
correct the lineage is traceable to Gilean, or McGilean, who dwelt 
in Lorn and who fought in the battle of Larn, and whose name 
signifies a servant of St. John. Mac, the Celtic prefix meaning 
son of, Gille meaning servant and a contraction of "iahan" mean- 
ing John the Saint. Hence son of the servant of John the Saint 
is the full meaning of the name. 


There is a greater probability, however, that the original name 
was Lung. The Celtic prefix Mac, abbreviated to Mc and a dou- 
bling of the "C", resulted in the present form. 

The name McClung appears in a list of names collected by- 
Lord Stair and published in Patronymic Brittanica under the title 
of seven hundred specimens of Celtic aristocracy. 


The Walkups and Beards were early settlers in Greenbrier 
county. They were Scotch-Irish, and of that sturdy old Cove- 
nanter faith which has always distinguished that race. They immi- 
grated first to Pennsylvania and then went to Virginia and settled 
in Augusta county, and from there they came to this county. 

Christopher Walkup and his brother, Robert, visited Green- 
brier county before the Revolution. In 1778 Christopher came 
again and entered a tract of land consisting of one hundred and 
seventy-five acres, on which the town of Renick now stands. This 
farm was sold to William Renick, who gave the town its name. 
Robert settled in Meadow Bluff. Both brothers married and 
reared families and their descendants to this day are known as 
men of important affairs. 

Christopher Walkup was the great-grandfather of James E. 
Walkup, who is now living on a farm four miles east of Renick 
which was bought by his grandfather of a Mr. Snodgrass. He 
married a Miss Rusk, of Augusta, Va., and from this union were 
born three sons — John, Christopher and Joseph, and three daugh- 
ters. John was drafted in the War of 1812, but the war closed be- 
fore he was called into service. Margaret married Samuel Beard, 
a major in the Continental army. John died about the year 1868, 
eighty-four years of age, and his wife, Miss Nancy Beard before 
marriage, died in 1858 in the seventieth year of her age. Their 
children were : Christopher, a captain of the State militia ; Sam- 
uel W., a farmer; Joseph Josiah, the father of the subject of this 
sketch, and McElhenney Walkup. 


Joseph Josiah Walkup married Ann Eliza Elliott, daughter of 
James Elliott, who was shot and killed in a deer lick by an acci- 
dent. He took up his residence on a farm two and one-half miles 
east of Renick. Their children were : James E. ; Elizabeth, who 
married Harvey J. Hanna, now dead ; Margaret, who married 
C. O. Huff ; Ida, who married William R. Byrd ; Lucy, who mar- 
ried Reuben Miles ; Samuel B., who married Germina Williams, 
and Christopher William, who now resides in California. 

James E. Walkup, a large farmer and stock dealer, owns sev- 
eral farms. He was born October 3, 1844, and was reared on a 
farm. When eighteen years of age he enlisted in Company A, 
Fourteenth West Virginia Cavalry, and entered the service for 
the Confederacy, and served from the time of his enlistment, in 
1862, to the close of the war. He participated in several of the 
battles fought in the Valley of Virginia and around Winchester, 
was at Chambersburg, and afterwards at Gettysburg, when his 
regiment did considerable reconnoitering. His regiment was also 
in that contest which fought General Hunter in a six days' fight 
from Staunton to Lynchburg, and scouted for Gen. Jubal Early 
in the Virginia Valley campaign. 

In 1868 James E. Walkup married Rachel M. Beard, now 
dead. She was the daughter of Robert Beard and bore him two 
sons, Robert and Harry, both of whom are dead. Harry also was 
a soldier, in the war with Spain, and was accidentally killed while 
in the Philippines, after being honorably discharged. Robert went 
West and was killed in a cave-in of a silo. He had three children, 
two girls and a boy. 

Mr. Walkup married for his second wife Miss Ida Jameson, 
in 1877. She was the daughter of David Jameson and Martha 
Walkup Jameson and bore him five children, four daughters and 
one son: Mabel, born February 26, 1880; Martha J., born Octo- 
ber 4, 1881, married Cape Read and lives on the east side of 
Greenbrier river. Their children are James Hunter, Harry Mc- 
Ferrin, Homer Cletis, Leonard Caperton ; Lenna E., unmarried ; 
Lilly Ruth, married Hubert Beard and lives on Anthony's creek. 
They have one son, Dr. Homer A. Walkup, and a granddaughter, 


Anna M. Walkup, adopted. The only son married Lillie B. Har- 
ris, of Morgantown. They have one child, Homer A. Walkup, 
Jr. The father is a physician, practicing his profession in Fay- 
ette county, West Virginia. He graduated from the State Uni- 
versity at Morgantown and subsequently took his degree of Doctor 
of Medicine from the Washington and Lee University at Rich- 
mond, Va. He has been in the pursuit of his chosen profession 
since the year 1913. He is within the draft age and is in for the 
war with Germany in 1917, October 1st. The Walkups were all 
born soldiers and game citizens. Their names are found on the 
Virginia war rolls in all of her struggles in the history of Virginia. 


Daniel Patrick McGeachy was born in Robeson county, North 
Carolina, January 3, 1872. He graduated from Davidson College 
in that State in 1896 and from Union Theological Seminary, Rich- 
mond, Va., in 1899. He married, the same year, Lila Peck Eng- 
lish. His first pastorate was in Pender county, North Carolina, 
where he also served as superintendent of county schools. In 1904 
and 1905 he was field agent in North Carolina for the Twentieth 
Century Educational Fund. From 1905 to 191 1 he was pastor of 
the Presbyterian church in Lenoir, N. C. In February of 191 1 he 
came to Lewisburg and began his pastorate in the Lewisburg (Old 
Stone) Presbyterian Church. His seven years' pastorate here has 
been very satisfactory. 


Mathew Dunbar, the ancestor of the Dunbars in Monroe and 
Greenbrier counties by that name, was a dashing Scotchman, and 
he was born on the Firth of Forth, Scotland, in 1764. With the 
dauntless courage of a pioneer, he left his native country and em- 
barked for America, not yet having attained his age. After 


reaching the American coast, he at once set out for the forests of 
western Virginia, where settlers were scarce but very bold. He 
located in Monroe county, a place he reached without the aid of 
posts or roads and where he built a trading post. 

In due time he became a wooer, finding his maiden the fair 
Mary Ellen Herbert, nestled in a little cottage up in the Allegha- 
nies. She was the daughter of John Herbert, who did not at first 
consent to the marriage project, but true love always finds a way 
whether the parents do or not. 

Mr. Dunbar traded in ginseng and furs, which he hauled to 
Lewisburg, then a thriving little village. On the return from one 
of those trips he and his team of horses were drowned at Ronce- 
verte while trying to ford the swollen stream. His driver, how- 
ever, escaped. Mr. Dunbar left a widow and six children. His 
widow was kicked by a colt and left an invalid for life. 

The children were Mathew, William, John, Margaret, An- 
drew and James. Mathew, the eldest son, was a judge on the cir- 
cuit bench in Monroe county and had the reputation of being an 
upright and learned judge. John, the third son, born in 1794, 
was the immediate ancestor of the Greenbrier Dunbars. John 
Spade, a Hessian, was the great-grandfather of John Dunbar on 
his mother's side. He was a brewer of Hesse. He was drafted 
for the army to aid the English in their war against America, but 
he was not found with the troops when ready to sail for America. 
He was drafted the second time, but again hid ; but when drafted 
the third time he saved his life by coming across, but he deserted 
and fought with the Continentals for American freedom. 

After the war John Spade married Mary Magdalena Shafer, 
a German maid he had met in the Valley of Virginia. John Dun- 
bar married their daughter, Eva. She was born in Monroe county 
in 1800 and died in Summers county, West Virginia, in 1859. 

John Dunbar, who was left an orphan when five years old, 
moved to Summers county, where upon arriving at the age of 
manhood there enriched himself by securing a comfortable home. 
He was a small, sandy-haired, sandy-complexioned man, very in- 
dustrious and very strong. He died in 1866 at the age of seventy- 


two years. He left five sons, George, Mathew, William, Hiram 
and John, and six daughters, Elizabeth, Isabel, Mary, Margaret, 
Catherine and Ellen. 

William H. Dunbar, son of John, was born April 24, 1829, in 
the county of Monroe. Until he was sixteen years of age he re- 
mained on the old Dunbar place and taught school when a very 
young man. In 1857 he married Hannah A. Hedrick, at Asbury, 
W. Va., who was then a very businesslike young girl of eighteen. 
The early death of her father had developed many cares on her 
young shoulders, but she executed them with neatness and 

William H. Dunbar, at the outbreak of the Civil war, was liv- 
ing in Greenbrier county. At that time he was elected captain 
of a company of militia. His battalion was ordered on a forced 
march to Little Sewell Mountain. 

William H. Dunbar and Hannah A. Hedrick were married at 
Asbury, W. Va., in 1857. There were twelve children. The first 
born, James Johnson, died in childhood, and Mary Emma in in- 
fancy ; William Oliver, the eldest living, passed away at sixteen 
years of age ; Henry at nineteen years, one of the victims of the 
boiler explosion in the Livesay woodlands. The year of 1897 will 
always be remembered as the saddest time ever experienced in 
the little town of Frankford, when so many homes were deso- 
lated. David Berkely, the youngest of the family, took sick in 
New Mexico and was brought home by his brothers as far as 
Ronceverte General Hospital, where he died September 14, 191 1. 

Of the remaining children, Sallie married J. F. VanStavern, of 
Monroe county. They are now engaged in the mercantile busi- 
ness at Spring Creek, W. Va. They have one child, Lois, who is 
in Staunton attending school. Jennie S. married W. F. Knapp, 
of Lewisburg. They moved to Morgantown when Mr. Knapp 
died. His widow and three children still reside there. Mary 
Gray married William Reynolds Thatcher and lives in Paxton, 
111. Oliver was graduated from the West Virginia University. 
He engaged in agriculture and was county agent for Doddridge 
county last year. Forrest will graduate this year if his country 


does not take him before the expiration of this school year. Ruth, 
the youngest, is attending school at Morgantown. C. W. Dunbar 
married Miss Dollie Ransbarger and lives on his farm at Caldwell. 
John married Miss Lena Layton, of Virginia. They have seven 
children living. Three have passed away, the eldest as he was en- 
tering young manhood, the other two in infancy. Frank married 
Miss Ella Grose. They have three children. Frank is practicing 
law in Columbus, Ohio, where he has made his home for several 
years. Marion married Miss Minnie Crickenberger. They have 
six living children. They reside in Lewisburg. 

Jesse married Miss Almyra Wheeler, of New York State. 
They have three children and live in Norwalk, Conn. Jesse is a 
lawyer and was appointed prosecuting attorney for his district 
last year, but his country needed him, so he gave up his loved work, 
left his dearly loved home and family to serve his country. He is, 
or was, lieutenant in the Coast Artillery, Fort Terry, N. Y. We 
have reason to believe that he is now on his way to France. 


John A. Preston, son of Rev. David R. and Jeannette Creigh 
Preston, was born at Tuscawilla, about one mile south of Lewis- 
burg, March 14, 1847. His father was a Presbyterian minister, 
who, after serving as pastor in churches in Florida and Virginia, 
was forced by ill health to retire from the ministry. He then 
bought and lived on the farm which still bears the name he gave 
it — "Tuscawilla," the Seminole name for "Two Lakes," and here 
it was John Alfred was born and reared. 

On January 2, 1865, at the age of seventeen, he entered the 
Confederate army as a private in the Fourteenth Virginia Cavalry 
under General McCausland and saw much of the hard fighting and 
service in which that command was engaged. One brother, Wal- 
ter C. Preston, enlisted with the University of Virginia Volun- 
teers and lost an arm in the battle of Spottsylvania Court House 
in 1864. Another brother, Thomas C, was an orderly sergeant 











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1 b >'j3«^ : 

■ Bl ' 



of Company B, in the Third Regiment of Wise's Legion, and was 
killed at Monocacy, July 9, 1864. 

After the war John A. Preston resumed his interrupted studies 
at the Lewisburg Academy under Rev. J. C. Barr, and later at- 
tended Washington College (now Washington and Lee Univer- 
sity) at Lexington, Va., during the years Gen. Robert E. Lee was 
president. In 1898 he was made trustee of this university and 
served as such until his death. He returned to Lewisburg, taking 
up the study of law under the Hon. Samuel Price, and after his 
admittance to the bar, in 1873, he continued as a partner of Gov- 
ernor Price's until the latter's death. 

Mr. Preston was much interested in the history of Virginia 
and West Virginia and was one of the best informed men on the 
political history of southern West Virginia in this part of the State. 

In politics Mr. Preston was a Democrat and his services on the 
stump were called for in each campaign, he being ever ready to 
fill any appointment. As a speaker he was logical, forceful and 
eloquent. He was elected prosecuting attorney of Greenbrier 
county six terms and was sent to the Legislature for two terms 
and elected to the State senate for four years. 

Mr. Preston was a great student of the war between the States, 
nothing giving him so much pleasure as a discussion of the military 
operations of this war. Long an elder in the Presbyterian church, 
in which he was most interested, he also spent much time in the 
building up and continuance of the two Presbyterian schools in 
Lewisburg. As a lawyer, he was clear and earnest ; as an advo- 
cate, forceful and eloquent, and as a man, frank, conscientious 
and sincere, without ostentation, yet with the courage of his con- 
victions, never being swayed where principle was involved. His 
kindness, gentleness and generosity endeared him to all people. 
His high sense of honor and integrity of character gave him a 
reputation seldom attained and his influence for truth and right 
have been and will continue to be felt throughout this section for 
many years. 

Mr. Preston was twice married, first in June, 1877, to Miss 
Sallie Lewis Price, daughter of ex-Governor Samuel Price, who 


died in 1882, leaving him two sons, Samuel Price Preston and 
James Montgomery Preston, both of whom are married and liv- 
ing in Lewisburg. In February, 1892, he married Miss Lillie Da- 
vis, daughter of Hon. John J. Davis, Clarksburg, W. Va. To this 
union two sons were born, John J. Davis Preston and Walter 
Creigh Preston. 

"In speaking of John A. Preston, however, the highest tribute 
that language can express," says Colonel J. H. Crozier, "is merited 
to the last degree." He was a tower of strength to the cause of 
honor, truthfulness, sobriety, morality and genuine Christianity. 

"Just a few hours after the writer of these lines had congratu- 
lated Senator Preston upon his vigorous appearance and every 
evidence of splendid health the summons came, without a moment's 
warning ; quickly, painlessly, without fear, with sublime confidence 
in Him 'who doeth all things well,' an earthly career was ended 
that had made an impress for good in a wide circle of associates 
whom he had honored with his friendship. 

"The writer knew Mr. Preston from his young manhood days. 
For forty years he knew him intimately. From his youth he ex- 
hibited an intellect of exceptional strength, a mind of rare logical 
bent, a devotion to principle, and loyalty to his own convictions 
that marked him, even in early life, as one of adamantine courage. 
Knowing him thoroughly, I feel confident to testify that he was 
always all that he pretended to be, all that his friends and admirers 
thought him to be — a high-born, honest man ; strong, brave, relia- 
ble, learned, conscientious, sincere, friendly, unostentatious, and 
a man whose knee bent to no being except his God. 

"His genial manner and his uniform courtesy, his innumerable 
acts of kindness, his generous consideration of the opinion and 
rights of others, his purity of life, and his unswerving belief in an 
overruling Providence guiding the destiny of men and nations — 
these are the qualities that endeared him to the people and will 
long perpetuate his memory. The writer has often thought that 
much of the beautiful tribute which Senator Ben Hill paid to 
Robert E. Lee might fittingly be applied to the beautiful life of 
John A. Preston. 'He was a foe without hate, a soldier without 




cruelty, a public officer without vices, a private citizen without 
wrong, a neighbor without reproach, a Christian without hypoc- 
risy, and a man without guile. He was as gentle as a woman in 
life and as pure and modest as a virgin in thought." 

Our dear friend has passed behind the veil that shuts the great 
beyond from mortal view. To him the mysteries have been 

(By J. R.Cole.) 

In pursuance of my work, I called at the residence of Mrs. 
A. M. Cole Williamson in Baltimore, Md., on my way to New 
York, but just too late to witness a beautiful pageant of some his- 
torical interest at that home. On that occasion the wealth and 
beauty and oratory of the city and State of Maryland were repre- 
sented. It was a patriotic entertainment given in May, 1917. The 
house and grounds were beautifully decorated with palms and 
ferns and cut flowers, red, white and blue predominating. One 
hundred flags, also, were used as decorations. A large flag 15 x 24 
feet was stretched across the entrance to the grounds and between 
two flags, gracefully draped over the front door, a large eagle was 
perched, guarding the blood red, the pure white and the heavenly 
blue of our National emblem apropos. Dr. William Dame, chap- 
lain for the Fifth Regiment armory, opened the meeting with 
prayer. The first speaker was A. S. Goldsborough, an orator of 
note. He was followed by Lieutenant Wilson, appointed by the 
Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, to represent the United 
States Navy in Maryland, and who spoke briefly and beautifully, 
and encouragingly, to the mothers of this great United States 
training school for boys. 

Mrs. Eward Worthington, chairman for the National Defense 
Society, made a brief address, telling the women present their part 
in the great war's work, and as the orchestra played "Maryland, 
My Maryland," Governor Philips Lee Goldsborough came in 


amidst the glad welcome and hearty cheers and was introduced by 
Capt. C. L. Williams, president of the Fidelity Trust and Banking 
Company. When the Governor finished his address, which was 
received with continued applause, the hostess, Mrs. Williamson, 
asked the people to go out on the lawn, and while the orchestra 
played "My Country Tis of Thee" and the last of the one hundred 
and fifty guests filed out of the house, the Motorcycle Arms De- 
fense Battery of eighty members clashed up the driveway, leaving 
a cloud of dust in their wake, with Robert Garrett, multi-million- 
aire and former minister to Belgium, and Otis Harold Williamson, 
sergeant of the company, leading. It was a thrilling spectacle and 
the applause was deafening. After riding around the circle, they 
dismounted and Mr. Garrett, standing on the top step leading to 
the porch, with a background of flags and palms and the watchful 
eagle, and introduced by A. S. Goldsbbrough, he explained the 
wonderful significance of the Motorcycle Arms Defense Battery in 
times of war. When he finished speaking the orchestra played 
"The Star-Spangled Banner," and the moment it ceased twenty- 
four beautiful young ladies dressed in Red Cross costumes marched 
out amidst applause and served refreshments on the lawn. 

As president of the Junior Society Sons and Daughters of the 
Revolution of Indiana, Mrs. Williamson has entertained contin- 
ually and on a large scale. While a resident of Indianapolis, Ind., 
she was the guest of honor at a magnificent dinner at the home of 
Governor Gray and also many other homes. Before leaving that 
city, in 1900, she gave a reception to four hundred ladies and gen- 
tlemen in afternoon and evening. Her home was gorgeously dec- 
orated and was a bower of loveliness. The stairs were entwined 
with Southern smilax, palms, ferns and vines, all around, in every 
niche ; the cut flowers in the reception room were red and white 
carnations, fifteen dozen ; in the parlor were fifteen dozen red and 
white roses ; in the library the musicians were screened by a bank 
of ferns and palms, and yellow roses and jonquils were seen here 
and in the large living room were twenty dozen Bermuda lillies ; 
on the table in the dining room was a large French basket filled 
with lillies of the valley and other spring flowers. Mrs. William- 


son sent the basket to the Eleanor Hospital for crippled children. 
Mrs. Williamson received her guests alone. She wore a magnifi- 
cent, imported gown of gauze and maize silk over yellow satin, 
made with court train, and handsome lace medallion, and carried a 
bouquet of yellow roses. In keeping with the high positions she 
has held, both in the social and other relations of life, Mrs. Wil- 
liamson has been fitted by extensive travel abroad, as well as in 
America, and well equipped with a good education and a well 
trained mind. 

This social life of which we speak would not be worthy of a place 
in this sketch were it not an evolution from a highly cultured, 
Christian home. The hearthstone that produced this background 
has given color and character to the subject of our sketch, which 
has made her so prominent among men and women of National 
affairs, and of which we now will speak. But first we will say : 
It has been found from an old Bible three hundred years old that 
George Cole, father of Mrs. Williamson, was a descendant of Sir 
William Cole, the king's advisor, and who is buried in Westmins- 
ter Abbey. During the early part of the seventeenth century James 
Cole emigrated to America and located in Virginia. He settled at 
Cole's Point. His son, William Cole, married Miss Rebecca Fox, 
granddaughter of Sir Thomas Fox, and his son, James B. Cole, 
married Miss Catherine Fox, and born of this union were Sarah, 
Virginia, Catherine and Mary. The sons were Charles, William, 
Miles, James B., Allen, and George, whose name stands at the 
head of this article. As a family, they were all remarkably large 
and fine looking, and of sterling worth for their religious zeal and 
Christian character. 

Charles was six feet four inches tall ; George, six feet two 
inches ; James, six feet two inches ; Miles was .a noted humorist and 
wit and died at the early age of twenty-four years. Early in the 
Civil war William, who was a medical student, was shot by a spy, 
and Charles, who was with him at the time, carried him to a cliff 
out of danger, made him a bed of leaves and tenderly nursed and 
cared for him until he died, five days later. Then with his own 
hands he made a coffin from lumber obtained at a farm house nine 


miles distant and carried the coffin on his back down the rocky- 
steep to the grave he had prepared nearly a half-mile away. 

As a pen picture of the Christian home of George Cole the fol- 
lowing description is that given by Mrs. Williamson and in her 
own words, the sacred touch of which may be readily recognized 
as that of a loving child : 

"I have often heard my father give the story of his conversion 
of seventy-five years ago," she said. "He was seventeen years old 
at that time and went to church one night with several other young 
men, all of whom had their pockets filled with acorns and chestnuts 
to throw at the mourners, modern term — 'trail-hitters.' When the 
minister knelt to pray in those days it was thought a most wicked 
thing not to kneel during prayer, and my father, kneeling, hands 
filled with the nuts to flip at the would-be repentent sinners, raised 
his head and eyes to the kneeling forms about him, and heard the 
minister's words, 'O God, have mercy on the young men of this 
congregation.' He always said he never knew when that prayer 
ended, and when he realized what he was doing he was walking 
up and down the aisle shouting and praising his 'blessed Re- 
deemer' ; and for seventy-three years he remained a faithful and 
steadfast Christian, never having the shadow of doubt about his 
conversion, and never lost an opportunity to speak a word for 

"My father much opposed legalized wholesale murder and 
greatly deplored the Civil war, but was drafted and engaged in 
many battles, where the dead and wounded lay all about him. At 
the battle of Gettysburg, where the weeds and grass were mowed 
down by bullets and shells as if by a scythe, and with the dead, 
dying and wounded all around him, he was not troubled, and as 
he stood in the midst of that carnage he repeated these beautiful 
and to him life-giving words from the ninetieth Psalm : 'A thou- 
sand shalt fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand but 
it shall not come nigh thee,' and in the years which followed he 
had constant proofs of the potency of faith-believing prayer. 

"At the age of twenty-three years my father married Miss 
Catherine L. Skaggs, seventeen years of age, the beautiful young 







daughter of 'Squire Thomas L. Skaggs, of Ansted, W. Va., a man 
highly honored and loved by all who knew him. Following this 
marriage were many children. One of the most beautiful and sa- 
cred pictures of memory is that of a large old-fashioned room 
with a huge fireplace filled with glowing coals, a lamp trimmed 
and burning brightly and my father near it reading a chapter from 
the open Bible ; and all about the room are children, most as many 
as it can hold, fair young faces all aglow, with my beautiful mother 
in the midst of them, happy, peaceful, quiet, angels all, for the 
time, waiting for the close of the evening prayer service. It was in 
this sacred room at the close of each busy day that I read my own 
future in the glowing coals, built air castles and dreamed beauti- 
ful dreams. 

"These children, eight boys and four girls, grew to manhood 
and womanhood, and the time came for a separation, and one by 
one they left the old homestead, some of the boys into the far 
West to seek fame and fortune ; others married and settled near 
the old home. One brother, extraordinarily bright and witty, died 
at the home of Uncle James B. Cole, in August, 1880, at the age 
of nineteen years. The girls also married and went away to make 
their own homes. In the meanwhile the old home, accustomed to 
the sounds of girlish laughter and echoing boyish strife, at the close 
of each quiet day, in that hallowed room the lamp was lighted, a 
chapter from the Bible read, followed by fervent prayer for the 
protection, mercy and care of the beloved children gone from the 
family fireside. 

"I often think of my old home among the beautiful hills of 
West Virginia, and with these visions of former days, now past 
and gone, I am somewhat enabled to apprehend the joyous meeting 
yet to come when we shall all meet again never to part 

"In the year 1900 my father suggested a family reunion and 
at the same time celebrate his and mother's forty-sixth wedding 
anniversary ; and when October rolled around the children came 
from the East, some from the West, others from the North and 
the South. And what a glorious meeting that was ! My own 


joy knew no bounds, and as we heaped the presents on father's 
arms he looked up and with a wonderfully sweet smile quoted : 
'All good things come to him who loves the Lord.' Before the 
week ended we called the family together and organized a fam- 
ily reunion to be held each October, with president, first- and 
second-vice-president, general manager, assistant manager, treas- 
urer and secretary. Thus for thirteen years, with unalloyed hap- 
piness, we gathered around the festal board with music and reci- 
tations and in the evenings around the old fireplace — the happiest 
family in all the world. The programs varied with each year, 
but were always interesting and beautiful. Sometimes we had 
moving pictures, and I might add here that I was the first woman 
in America to operate a moving-picture machine ; and the pictures 
were always such a delight to the old folks of the neighborhood, 
who could not go to town to see them. 

"There were games, singing, usually a teacher of singing en- 
gaged for the week, instrumental music, preaching, select read- 
ing, recitations and other interesting features. 

"And when October of 1914 came the children again gathered 
home, but with a sadness indescribable, and on the morning of 
the 16th, just as the sun arose over the mountain top in all its 
glorious splendor, our father in his saintly beauty fell asleep by 
the gates of light, and had my own mind been attuned to hear the 
spiritual messages I believe I would have beard these words : 
'Thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joys of the Lord.' 

"Before father's death he made a special request that we con- 
tinue our reunions until only two remain. Eighteen months 
after father's death my eldest brother, a great joy and comfort 
to us all, joined father on the other shore, and despite the natural 
sadness that we feel and our dear mother's failing health, we 
have just closed one of our most successful reunions, and will 
meet again next year, 191 8. 

George W. Cole was born at the old homestead in 1827. The 
house was built by his father at the time of his marriage and 
stands on a large farm near Gauley Bridge, W. Va., and has re- 
mained in possession of some member of the family since my 


grandfather's death, during the Civil war, and is now occupied 
by the widow of Uncle James B. Cole, who died four months ago 
and who was the last surviving member of my grandfather's 

"George W. Cole was a skilled stonemason and cabinetmaker. 
At the time of his marriage he moved to Kentucky, but in a few 
years returned to the beautiful hills of West Virginia, settled on 
a large farm thirty miles east of Charleston, where he lived until 
his death. He was just past ninety years old, and up to a month 
previous to his death his steps were quick, eyes bright, mind 
active and alert, and with his ready smile and happy disposition 
he was a perfect joy to his beloved family. I think I should add 
here that he never ceased to be the lover of my mother, and during 
his illness she would sit by the bed holding his hands for hours, 
while he looked lovingly at her, stroking her hands. This made 
a beautiful picture and one never to be forgotten. My mother 
was born near Union, Monroe county, in 1832." 

The children born of this marriage were as follow: 
Irvin, born April 18, 1854, married Miss Jeanette Skaggs, De- 
cember 18, 1879, died July 2, 191 5 ; the widow, six daughters and 
one son survive. 

Alice Cole, born December 22, 1855, married Mathias Skaggs 
in 1871 ; was left a widow with three daughters and two sons in 

James W. Cole, born October 16, 1857, married Miss Mae 
Greene, Lexington, Ky. Born to this marriage are two sons and 
three daughters. 

George R, born January 7, 1861, died August, 1880. 

Ada M., born October 15, 1865, married O. E. Williamson, of 
Indianapolis, Ind., in 1888; widowed in 1914 with five sons and 
two daughters. 

Ella, horn May 7, 1867, married Charles Toubert, of Gauley 
Bridge; left a widow in 1905 with four sons and oae daughter; 
was married again in 1910 to Stewart Harrah, of Gauley Bridge, 
and resides there. 


Henry W. Cole, born May 5, 1869, married Miss Sabina 
Skaggs in 1910. Three sons are the result of this marriage and 
they live with my mother at the old home, Marvel, W. Va. 

Eli M. Cole, born May 14, 1871., married Miss Jeanette Hess, 
of Hinton, W. Va. Three sons and three daughters are the re- 
sult of this union. Marvel, W. Va. 

Robert L. Cole, born September 9, 1872, married Miss Sarah' 
Henderson, Crawfordsville, Ind., in 1902. They have one daugh- 
ter and two sons and reside in Indiana. 

Byrd R. Cole, born April 27, 1874, married Miss Mae Smith, 
of St. Albans, W. Va. One daughter and two sons, Paige, W. Va. 

Emily Cole, born February 26, 1876, married George Rip- 
petoe in 1893. They have one daughter and live in Whittaker, 
W. Va. 

Frank Cole, born December 17, 1879, married Miss Otie 
Skaggs in 1904. They have five daughters and one son and live 
at Marvel, W. Va. 

Otis E. Williamson, born in the city of New York in i860, 
a descendant of the Earl of Sheffield and Buckingham. His par- 
ents, Marshall D. and Frances (Williams) Williamson, moved to 
Indiana in 1865. They were people of the best class, highly in- 
telligent, cultured, refined and educated. 

Otis E. Williamson was educated in Indianapolis, Ind., and at 
the age of eighteen years became interested in the lumber and 
veneer business, and soon became an expert in values, soundness, 
color and figure of all kinds of woods. He wrote many articles 
on the wonderful growth and beauty of figured woods. His ad- 
vice was sought throughout the country and he had hundreds of 
loyal friends, as evidenced by the many hundreds of telegrams, 
cablegrams and letters, all expressing deepest sympathy at the 
time of his sudden death. Men loved him for his noble qualities, 
high ideals and the beauty of his character. His motto was, "Do 
right, not for the hope of reward, but for the sake of doing right." 
He died in Chicago, February 18, 1914, and was buried at Crown 
Hill cemetery, Indianapolis. 



On November 27, 1888, Otis E. Williamson married Miss 
Ada Mae Cole, daughter of George W. Cole, of Marvel, W. Va. 
They went to Indianapolis, where they spent several winters, trav- 
eling during the summer months. 

In 1893 a beautiful home was purchased at Roan Mountain, 
Tenn., where many delightful months were spent, but ill health 
necessitated giving up this home, and Mrs. Williamson was taken 
to Blowing Rock, N. C, and later to Cloudland, Tenn. Later 
they returned to Indianapolis, where Mrs. Williamson became 
actively engaged in the social life. She was made president and 
director of the Indiana Junior Society Sons and Daughters of the 
Revolution. Again owing to ill health a change of climate was 
necessary and she spent three summers with her family in Lewis- 
burg, W. Va., and in 1902 took up her residence in Baltimore, Md., 
where she is still living with her two young daughters. In 191 3 
Mrs. Williamson was elected vice-regent of the Maryland society 
Daughters of the Revolution and in 1914 appointed on Historical 
and Hospitality committees during Star Spangled Banner centen- 
nial by Mayor Preston. Mrs. Williamson is a fine reader, having 
studied under the best teachers in the country, and has given many 
interpretations of our best literature. 

Mrs. Williamson has five sons and two daughters : James 
Milton, born at Crandall, Ind., October 20, 1899, educated in pri- 
vate schools and at Randolph Macon College, and like his father 
is an expert judge of figured woods ; is corporal of Battery C, 
One Hundred and Tenth Field Artillery at Anniston, Ala. 

John Sheffield Williamson, born at Roan Mountain, Tenn., 
July 9, 1 891, educated in private schools and Lehigh University; 
is an electrical engineer ; married Miss Maude Baron, December 
23, 1912 ; living in Philadelphia. 

Otis Harold, born in Indianapolis, Ind., September 3, 1893, 
finished his education at Baltimore Business College in 1914; was 
superintendent of Williamson Veneer Works until war was de- 
clared with Germany. He made application to and was sent by 
the Government at Washington to the State University, Colum- 
bus, Ohio, for a three months' course in aviation. He finished the 


work there and received his diploma in six weeks. Two months 
later he received a commission as first lieutenant and is now in 
active flying service in France, near Paris. 

Marion D., born December 26, 1894, was educated in priyate 
schools, Bethlehem Preparatory School, and later at Washington 
and Lee University ; married Miss Virginia Hanna, July 10, 1917, 
and lives in Baltimore. 

Frederick Cole Williamson, born in Indianapolis, Ind., May 
17, 1900, was educated in private schools and was a student at 
Baltimore Business College when war was declared against Ger- 
many and was the first one to enlist, 'though not seventeen years 
old. He is now gun pointer on the Torpedo boat destroyer some- 
where in the Mediterranean Sea. 

Catherine Mae Williamson, born in Baltimore, August 5, 1905, 
and at the age of fourteen years is in her sophomore year at New 
Sullins College, Briston, Tenn. She is very talented in drawing 
and dramatic art. 

Ada Frances Williamson, born in Baltimore, Md., October 9, 
1909, is in the fourth grade at Morven School at the age of eight 


Gen. Charles S. Peyton, commanding First Brigade, West Vir- 
ginia Division, United Confederate Veterans, was born January 
21, 1841, in Albemarle county, Virginia. He entered the Confed- 
erate service as captain of Company E, Nineteenth Regiment, Vir- 
ginia Infantry. He lost an arm, August 30, 1862, in the second 
Manassas battle ; was promoted for gallantry to major of the Nine- 
teenth Regiment, Virginia Infantry; was wounded again while 
leading his regiment with only one arm in Pickett's charge at Get- 
tysburg, July 3, 1863. In this charge every field officer of his 
(Garnett's) brigade except himself was killed or most desperately 
wounded. Though wounded, and the youngest field officer in age 
and rank, he was assigned to the command of his brigade. By order 


of General Pickett he made the only brigade report of that desper- 
ate engagement. It is published in the war history authorized by 
the Government. Promoted again for gallantry to lieutenant- 
colonel, he served until the close of the war. He is a member of 
Mike Foster camp, Union, and of David S. Creigh camp, United 
Confederate Veterans, Lewisburg, W. Va. He resides at Ronce- 
verte, W. Va. 


James Henry Steptoe Stratton, born June 12, 1840, at Kan- 
awha Salines, Kanawha county, West Virginia, entered Company 
H, Twenty-second Infantry, May 8, 1861, and then the cavalry 
service until the end of the war of the States. On December 9, 
1868, he married Mary Anna Nelson Handley (born in Green- 
brier county, West Virginia, October 28, 1846, died June 3, 1906). 
They moved to Lewisburg, October, 1878, taking charge of the 
Lewisburg Hotel, which he conducted until his death, February 
3, i895- 

The children of these parents were : 

Joseph Harvey, born died January 9, 1899, aged 

thirty years. 

Mary Theresa (Polly) married H. F. Hunter, November 19, 
1895 ; living in Lewisburg. 

Carrie Belle, living in Lewisburg. 

John Handley, married Mary Margaret Erwin, May 3, 1917; 
living in Clarence, Mo. 

Willie Thomas married George E. Nettleton, June 16, 1910. 

Henry Nelson died March 4, 1884, aged two years. 

James Marion enlisted in United States naval reserve fleet, 
December 7, 1917; called into service March 26, 1918; stationed 
at United States naval hospital, Hampton Roads, Va., paymaster's 

James Henry S. Stratton, son of Joseph Dickinson Stratton, 
was born in Bedford county, Virginia, July 16, 1794; died July 


6, 1843, m Perryville, Ind., and buried at Perryville, Ind., and 
Mary Ann (Buster) Stratton, born in Kanawha county, April 25, 
1812, died in Covington, Va., July 21, 1890. 

Mary Anna Nelson Stratton, daughter of Harvey Handley 
(see sketch Handley family), and Mary Caroline Lockhart (Bell) 
Handley, born September 13, 1822 ; married June 14, 1842 ; died 
July 10, 1898. 


Jacob Argabrite was born in 1760, in Lancaster county, Penn- 
sylvania, came to Rockingham county, Virginia, in boyhood. Vol- 
unteered, May, 1778, for six months in the militia company of 
Captain Craven and served at the forts in Tyggart's Valley. Re- 
enlisted and served in the same company three months longer. 
Marched to Fort Pitt and Tuscarara river, serving under General 
Mcintosh and helping to build Fort Lawrence in Ohio. Between 
Fort Mcintosh and Fort Lawrence he saw the corpse of Lieu- 
tenant Parks, who had been killed by the Indians. In retaliation, 
Colonel Crawford wished to kill nine or ten Indians who had 
come for a peace parley, but was prevented by other officers. 
About September, 1780, he enlisted for twelve months in the 
cavalry company of Captain Sullivan, of Berkeley- county. Cam- 
paigned in the Carolinas and was in the battle of the Cowpens. 
His term expired at Bowling Green, Va. He then joined a rifle 
company under Captain Coker, and was present at the surrender 
of Cornwallis. He was discharged for illness late in October, 
while conveying the British prisoners from Yorktown. Came to 
Monroe some years after the war. Declaration, 1882. — Proof of 
alleged facts required in Pension Office. 

He subsequently removed to Greenbrier comity, and his will, 
made April 1, 1844, and recorded in the clerk's office of Green- 
brier county, is as follows, which we give because it is the only 
source at our disposal to give the names of his children : 

"In the name of God — Amen. 


I, Jacob Argabrite, of the county of Greenbrier and the State 
of Virginia, being weak in body, but of sound and perfect mind 
and memory, and considering the uncertainty of life, do make and 
establish this my last will and testament (revoking all former wills 
and testaments by me made), in manner and form following, to- 
wit : 

"First, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife so much of my 
household furniture of every description as she choses to keep 
and so much of the proceeds of my estate as will be necessary for 
her comfortable support during her natural life : 

"I give and bequeath to my daughter, Betsy Sydenstricker, 
one hundred and forty dollars. 

''I give and bequeath to my son, Martin, one hundred and 
forty dollars. 

"I give and bequeath to my daughter, Mary Ann Lewis, one 
hundred and forty dollars. 

"I give and bequeath to the heirs of my deceased daughter, 
Catherine Dunbar, one hundred and forty dollars. 

"I give and bequeath to my son, John, one hundred and forty 

"I give and bequeath to the heirs of my deceased son, William. 
one hundred and forty dollars. 

"I give and bequeath to my son, Abram, one hundred and forty 

"I give and bequeath to my daughter, Rebecca Rodgers, one 
hundred and forty dollars. 

"My sons, Isaac and Samuel, have been heretofore provided 
for and received their full share for which I have taken their re- 
ceipts as acquittal. 

"After my decease I wish the several legacies to be paid over 
as soon as collected in the order in which they are named, be- 
ginning with the oldest, except the heirs of the two deceased 
children, which are to be paid last. Whatever remainder there 
may be after the decease of my beloved wife, I wish to be equally 
divided between all my heirs. 


"I appoint my son, John Argabrite, executor of this my last 
will and testament. 

"In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed 
my seal. 

"This first day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand, 
eight hundred and forty-four. 

Jacob Argabrite (Seal). 
"J. W. P. Stevens, 

"Samuel A. McClung, 
"Austin Eads. 

Mr. Argabrite died soon after making the above will, and was 
buried in the Hockman family graveyard just below their old 
home on Muddy creek. 

The old gentleman was an ardent Democrat while Greenbrier 
county was overwhelmingly Whig. In the "Hard Cider" cam- 
aign of "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too," the Whigs came in proces- 
sion from Frankfort to Lewisburg, a distance of about ten miles, 
headed by a wagon drawn by three teams of fine Greenbrier horses. 
On the wagon sat a log cabin, with some coon skins tacked on the 
walls, and a barrel of hard cider just inside the door, which an 
attendant was serving out to the public. Mr. Argabrite was 
standing on the streets of Lewisburg, an indignant spectator. 
Somebody asked him what he thought of it ; he vehemently re- 
plied : "What dam foolishness, what damn foolishness, and so 
agra-provoking !" 

Colonel John Argabrite, a son of Jacob Argabrite, the Revo- 
lutionary soldier mentioned above, was born February 17, I797> 
and died December 10, 1884. He married Mary, daughter of 
Jacob Hockman, who lived in the old stone house that stands on 
Muddy creek, which he had built as a home. It is now owned by 
a descendant, Mrs. Mary Gwinn. 

Colonel Argabrite was not in favor of secession, so he became 
eligible to sit on the Board of Supervisors of Blue Sulphur district. 
A story is told of him about this time. It was true, he said, that 


he was a Union man, opposed to secession, and always had been, 
but was always glad when our boys whipped. 

He was a prominent man in the county, and took part in its 
politics, serving in several positions of public trust, and having the 
name of filling such offices to the perfect satisfaction of the people. 
He was colonel of the Virginia militia. 

The children of John Argabrite were as follows : Jacob Hock- 
man Argabrite, born March 20, 1821, and died November 30, 
1899. He never married and lived with his brother, James M., in 
the old home, of which he was part owner. He was a Confederate 
soldier, serving in the Greenbrier Cavalry, and fought in the battle 
of Droop Mountain. 

Susan Argabrite, born February 8, 1824; died May 21, 
1906. She married James Johnson, and lived at Johnson's Cross 
Roads, Monroe county. Phares G. Argabrite, born April 26, 1826 ; 
died in 1861. He married Rosanah Jarrett, daughter of James 
Jarrett, of Greenbrier county, and lived in his home on Muddy 
creek, Greenbrier county. Mr. Argabrite was a soldier in the 
Confederate army and his command was stationed at Greenbrier 
river bridge. Here he contracted the measles and was compelled 
to return home, only to find his family down with diphtheria. 
This he also contracted, and the combined diseases caused his 
death, in the first year of the Civil war. His wife and three sons 
survived him. Harvey Argabrite, born 1826, and died 1836. 
Abrilla Argabrite, born 1830, lived three months. John F. Arga- 
brite, born March 16, 183 1, lived with his father until he entered 
the medical college at Cincinnati, where he died on December 14, 
1852. George B. Argabrite and Mary M. Argabrite, twins, born 
July 11, 1834. George lived with his father until his death, Jan- 
uary 18, 1854. Mary married Caleb Johnson and lived at John- 
son's Cross Roads, Monroe county. 

James H. Argabrite, born in 1836, died in 1838. 

Julia A. C. Argabrite, born August 31, 1838, married Joseph 
H. Bunger. Five daughters were born to this union. Since her 
husband's death Mrs. Bunger has lived with three of her daughters 
at Bunger's Mills, Greenbrier county. 


James Madison Argabrite, born May 17, 1840. (A sketch of 
whom is given below.) 

Salome B. Argabrite, born January 23, 1842, married Harri- 
son H. Gwinn ; lives on Lick creek, Summers county. 

Fletcher D. Argabrite, born December 21, I844, lived with his 
father until his death, April 23, 1862. 

Alice M. Argabrite, born March 2, 1847, married Andrew 
Jarrett, grandson of James Jarrett, of Greenbrier county, and 
went to reside in Wisconsin, where she died, June 23, 1917. 

Druilla Argabrite lived but a few months. 


James Madison Argabrite, a son of Colonel John Argabrite 
above mentioned, was born May 17, 1840, and lives where he was 
born, in his home on Muddy creek, in Blue Sulphur district, 
formerly a part of the ancestral estate. In his youth (about eight- 
een years ago) he attended the Alleghany College, which stood 
at Blue Sulphur Springs. On February 1, 1864, he joined the 
Confederate army in Company K, Fourteenth Virginia Cavalry. 
He was captured on May 6th at Meadow Bluff by Captain 
Blazer's cavalry and taken prisoner to Charleston, where he was 
kept a month. He was then taken to Camp Chase, Ohio, where 
he remained nine months. After this he was sent on exchange to 
Richmond, where he was given a furlough for thirty days. At the 
expiration of this leave of absence the war was over. 

In November, 1867, he married Annie C. Anderson, daughter 
of Alexander H. Anderson, his neighbor, also a member of one of 
the oldest families in Greenbrier county. To this union were born : 
Io, October 5, 1869; John Alexander, September 13, 1875; he 
died February 12, 1902 ; Mary Catherine, August 23, 1877 ; R. B., 
June 17, 1881 ; he died February 25, 1903; Otho Paul (the well 
known physician at Alderson), May 13, 1884, who married Mary 
Johnson Feamster, October 15, 1907; she died January 4, 1910. 



Two children were born to this union : Mary Catherine, Novem- 
ber 25, 1908, and Lula Virginia, who died in infancy. Dr. Otho 
Argabrite married on November 6, 191 1, Miss Clella Mottesheao, 
of Charleston, W. Va. 

J. M. Argabrite has devoted most of his time on his land to 
grain and stock raising. He was the first to introduce into Green- 
brier county the pure bred Polled Angus cattle. He served six 
years as commissioner of Greenbrier county. 


George Taylor Argabrite, son of Phares G. Argabrite, was 
born in Greenbrier county, February 28, 1850. His youth was 
spent on the ancestral farm, which lies near Cline's Bridge, in Blue 
Sulphur district, where he lived with his widowed mother and his 
brothers, John Riley and Jacob L. 

He came of sturdy, virile and brainy stock. In his veins 
courses the blood of Argabrites, Jarretts, Hockmans and Gwinns. 
In 1869 he went to Missouri and was brought in contact with the 
spirit of the West. When he returned from the West he attended 
Roanoke College and the West Virginia University. In 1871 he 
went into the newspaper business as a partner with B. F. Harlow, 
and they published the Greenbrier Independent for many years 
until in 1880, B. F. Harlow sold his interest to Thomas H. Dennis 
and the newspaper and publishing business was conducted by 
Dennis and Argabrite until 1910, when Mr. Argabrite sold his 
interest to his partner and went to live on his farm, about one 
mile west of the court house. 

During the time Mr. Argabrite was engaged as joint editor 
and publisher of the Independent, his community, together with 
the entire State and country, went through great changes. Rail- 
roads, telephones, phonographs and automobiles, aeroplanes, wire- 
less telegraphy, new methods of reducing metals, the replacing of 
wood by iron and steel and concrete, the introduction of machinery 


on the farm and many other new things came on the stage, and 
into common use. The patriotic situation in his State and the 
country changed and varied. New ideas, new philosophies, new 
legislation came on the scene and were adopted or rejected as 
the growth of the people required. His natural sense and strong 
mentality served to steer him safe through all these trying times. 
He was never carried away with "Issues," yet at the same time 
his mind stayed young and was always open to listen to new ideas 
and he had a fine factulty of distinguishing the truth from error. 

His newspaper established a reputation for sound morality 
and political stability that made it a power for good. He under- 
stood his business thoroughly, could set type, write leaders, man- 
age the financial end and do anything needed to make a good, 
readable sheet, and made the business prosperous. His affiliation 
was with the Democratic party and he was ever staunch in his 
allegiance to the principles of that party as he saw them, but was 
never an unreasoning partisan and often by word and pen pointed 
out rocks ahead. 

In 1880 he married Mollie M. Miller, a daughter of William 
G. Miller. To this union three children were born, William 
Graeme, George Phares and Rose Miller. Since 1910 he has lived 
on his farm, which is of great fertility, near the town of Lewis- 
burg. Wherever a public question arose, he has been heard from, 
and, in my humble opinion, he has seen a light many of his neigh- 
bors did not see. He believes in making this world a better place 
for men and women to live in. He realizes we must live for our 
children and has backed by earnest effort every step to advance 
with the growth of the world. He has a vast fund of useful knowl- 
edge, well digested. 

By Henry Gilmer. 

Jacob Lewis and John Riley Argabrite, brothers of George 
Taylor Argabrite, went to California, where they finally decided 
to make their home. John Riley was made State Warden of 
Game, and died several years ago, leaving a wife and two sons. 
Jacob Lewis was appointed postmaster for Ventura, Cal., by 


President Cleveland. This he held for four years, after which he 
was elected recorder and auditor for Ventura county. This post 
he has filled continuously for the past sixteen years. He married 
Dora Mayo, of Kentucky, and at her death, Clara Cannon, of Ven- 
tura, Cal. There are six sons, three to each marriage : Newton, 
Joseph, Wade, Clarence, Walter and Ernest. Three of them are 
electrical engineers, while the youngest assists his father in the 
office. Joseph is a lawyer and a member of the Legislature for 
California, representing Ventura county. Walter has just re- 
turned from France (1918), where he spent a year in the engineer 
corps. He is now at Camp Humphrey instructing the men for 
the new draft. While Wade, who resided in Greenbrier county 
until he was sixteen years of age, is now assistant superintendent 
of Wells-Fargo Express Company, with offices in Wells-Fargo 
Building, San Francisco, Cal. 


Rev. John McElhenney, D. D., was born in the Waxhaus 
(Waxhia) Lancaster district, South Carolina, March 22, 1781. 
In 1800 he went to Spartansburg district to an academy taught by 
Rev. James Gilleland. In 1802 he entered Washington College, 
Virginia, and graduated in 1804. In 1808 he was licensed to 
preach by Lexington Presbytery and was sent at once to the 
churches at Lewisburg and Union. He was installed as pastor of 
the Old Stone Church in the summer of 1809 and continued his 
relations with it down to his death, January 2, 1871, in his nine- 
tieth year. 

In 1807 Dr. McElhenney married Rebecca Walkup, of Lexing- 
ton, Va. Six children were born to this union. She survived her 
husband five years and died at about the same age. 

The graves of these two remarkable people are seen under the 
shadow of the Old Stone Church, and many have been the pilgrims 
who have journeyed there to stand in reverence and with uncov- 
ered heads. 

Dr. McElhenney preached the Gospel of the Lord Jesus from 


the top of the Alleghanies to the banks of the Ohio and established 
Presbyterianism throughout this trans-Alleghany region. He was 
a great man and a great teacher, and his name is so linked with the 
history of this region it can never be forgotten. 


The late David Tuckwiller departed this life very suddenly on 
May 24, 191 7. He belonged to one of Greenbrier's oldest families, 
was a scientific farmer, and known as an honorable upright 
citizen of the general commonwealth. It was with unfeigned 
sorrow the people generally heard of his death. 

The Tuckwiller family is of Bavarian descent. John Tuck- 
willer, the pioneer, immigrated to America in Colonial times and 
settled upon a large tract of land in Greenbrier county, with the 
homestead in Rich Hollow. He raised a large family. There were 
three sons, David, Daniel and John, and the daughter, who married 
Frederick Hedrick, Joseph Hedrick, Abram Coffman, Moses 
Dwyer, John Fleshman, John Matics, John Wilson and Samuel 

David Tuckwiller, son of John, married Sallie Linson, who 
was born November 21, 1793. Their children were Rebecca, wife 
of Alex. Rader, born March, 1812; Samuel, born June 12, 1815; 
Caroline, wife of John T. Johnson, born May 28, 1817; Evaline, 
wife of J. J. Livesay, born October 28, 1819; Catherine, wife of 
Wallace Rader, born November 26, 1821 ; Nancy, married Mr. 
Hedrick, and Eliza Jane and Martha, who died in girlhood. He 
was able to give each of his daughters a farm. From this source 
can be traced the financial wealth of several old and important 
families in this part of the State. He built the residence now oc- 
cupied by Mrs. A. J. Wilson, in 1828. Not long afterward he 
built the house owned and occupied by her brother David. 

Samuel Tuckwiller, the only son of David, married Elizabeth 
Jane Slater, and from that union were born two children, David, 


the subject of this sketch, born August 15, 1857, and Sarah Bettie, 
born April 10, i860. 

David Tuckwiller was married October 6, 1880. His wife, Lucy 
Rachel, the daughter of James Franklin Watts, was born October 
6, 1 86 1. She is the mother of the present family of nine children. 
Samuel Slater, born September 14, 1881 ; Frank Watts, born 
April 5, 1884; Jesse Ray, December 17, 1886; Edward Hill, Sep- 
tember 16, 1890; Eugene Anthony, December 14, 1891 ; Ross 
Homan, March 6, 1895 ; Rachel, March 30, 1898 ; Elizabeth, Octo- 
ber 24, 1900, died December 12, 1902; Pat Alexander, April 13, 

Of these children, four are married, viz. : Slater married Ada 
Knapp, daughter of Bernard Knapp, of Lewisburg ; Frank mar- 
ried Mary Dotson, daughter of W. R. Dotson, of Lewisburg ; Ray 
married Lucy Boggs, daughter of Rev. Boggs, of New Martins- 
ville, W. Va. ; Eugene married Margaret Phillips, daughter of F. 
W. Phillips, of Des Moines, Iowa. 

The late Mr. Tuckwiller owned an extensive tract of land, 
which he kept intensively cultivated. He was not only a suc- 
cessful farmer, orderly and methodical in all his work, but as a 
Christian gentleman he bore a reputable official relationship with 
the Methodist Episcopal church, South, to which he gave regular 
and liberal support. With that parental care due to the family 
hearthstone, and to influences afterwards eminating from future 
firesides, for which he became responsible, Mr. Tuckwiller gave 
his children a good education, the seven oldest having graduated 
from the State University at Morgantown. 


Samuel W. Osborn, son of James and Susan (Martin) Osborn, 
was born near Rupert, on October 21, 1857. He was reared on 
a farm on Clear Creek lands and spent about one dozen years of 
his life before and after marriage in the school room as a teacher. 

V^st^'—;; , ..... 


His father was a Confederate soldier and died in 1865. His 
mother died in 1895. 

In 1901, Mr. Osborn bought his farm in Sewell Valley of 
Stewart & Palmer, and since that time he has become prominently 
identified as one of the leading citizens of this part of the county. 
After a visit through the West, he settled down here as a farmer, 
operating a store for a time and served the district in various ways. 
He has been notary public ever since he was married. He has 
been president of the school board also for a long time, also post- 
master. Mrs. Osborn has been postmistress during the past eight 

After Mr. Osborn erected his dwelling house, he united in 
marriage with Miss Emma Eda Campbell, on the 20th of May, 
1896. She was a daughter of G. W. and Fannie (Surbaugh) 
Campbell, who lived near Dawson. Mr. Surbaugh owned and 
operated a water mill and farm for many years. 

The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Osborn are Gladys, Icie, 
Gordon, Delbert, Oliver, Samuel, Glenna, Dorothy, Ralph and 

(See Sketch of the Peters Family.) 

J. R. Cole, publisher of the forthcoming History of Greenbrier 
County, West Virginia, a son of Broad and Leah (Peters) Cole, 
was born near Royalton, Fairfield county, Ohio, on January 1, 
18 — . He was educated in the district schools and in the Fairfield 
Union Academy ; and graduated from the Illinois Wesleyan Uni- 
versity in 1869. His collegiate course was supplemented by study 
at the Normal School of Illinois. 

Teaching was Mr. Cole's chosen profession and upon leaving 
school he was elected to the principalship of the schools of Tus- 
cola, 111. In 1878 the principalship of a ward in Cincinnati, Ohio, 
was offered to Mr. Cole, but he took up newspaper work, accept- 

? '^H ■ 



ing a position with a Hebrew publication under the direction of 
Rabbi Wise. 

While in school work Mr. Cole began writing school books, 
the first being Cole's Primary Writing Grammar, published by 
Cushing, Thomas & Company, Chicago. This work met with 
general favor, not only with the teachers of the Western States, 
but was also highly commended by school journals and leading 
dailies of the large cities. Shortly afterwards A. S. Barnes & 
Company, of New York and Chicago, published Cole's Self-Grad- 
ing Register for Public Schools. Next came The Etymological 
Writing Spellers, to accompany a series of readers, by E. A. Shel- 
don, principal of the Oswego Normal School, and published by 
Scribner, Armstrong & Co., of New York. Later, because of dis- 
agreement regarding the royalty to be paid Mr. Cole, the work 
was abandoned. 

During the first year of Mr. Cole's stay in Cincinnati he com- 
piled a work for William Russell on "How to Shoe the Horse's 
Foot." The work was published by Robert Clarke & Co., of Cin- 
cinnati, and has since been printed in several languages. Mr. Cole 
also wrote a book on the same subject, published by Peter G. 
Thompson, of Cincinnati. In addition to these works, "The Lives 
of Hancock and English, printed by the Methodist Book Concern 
for Douglas Brothers, of Philadelphia, was the product of his pen, 
a work which had an extensive sale during that Presidential 

In 1886 Mr. Cole moved to New York City, and becoming ac- 
quainted with Gen. Thomas A. Davies, who had taken upon him- 
self something to do with the revision of the St. James version of 
the Bible, became interested with the general on the subject of the 
creation of the human family and now has manuscript for publi- 
cation in the near future, entitled "Plural Origin of Man." 

During the present European war his attention has been di- 
rected to different streams of prophecy which led to the great 
conflict and has prepared manuscript, advance chapters of which 
have been read by Rev. A. H. Murrill, which he pronounces "won- 
derful and very fascinating reading." This work, entitled "The 


Birth of the Next Nation," will also be published in the very near 

Mr. Cole's work as a historian was begun on The State His- 
tory of Indiana, which was a work of great magnitude. Since 
that time he has written and assisted in the preparation of more 
than a score of State and county histories, including those of New 
York City, Chicago, Cincinnati, Newark, N. J., Providence, R. I., 
and other cities, together with the History of the Red River Val- 
ley, North Dakota. During the past ten years he has published 
his own productions, the last of which was that of Preston county, 
West Virginia, and of which the editor of the West Virginia Argus 
said was the finest history ever gotten out in the State. The Pres- 
ton News, another paper of Preston county, said : "It is the best 
piece of work of the kind we have ever seen." 

On February 2, 1871, Mr. Cole was married to Miss Sara 
Steele Goudy, of Monmouth, 111. She was a daughter of Thomas 
and Nancy (Kirkpatrick) Goudy, Scotch-Irish stock of the Cov- 
enanter faith. Mr. Goudy was a ruling elder in the Presbyterian 
church, which absorbed the old Covenanter church to a very great 
extent, for more than fifty years. Mrs. Cole was born and lived 
with her parents in Ohio until she was fourteen years of age, and 
her father's farm adjoined that of the father of Whitelaw Reid, 
editor of the New York Tribune and ambassador from this coun- 
try to the court of St. James. Mr. Reid's father was a ruling elder 
in the same church with Mr. Goudy. Mrs. Cole was a teacher 
until her marriage, being at the head of one of the wards of Bloom- 
ington, 111. Her eldest brother, John Goudy, afterwards Judge 
Goudy, became a distinguished educator before he went on the 
bench. Alexander Goudy, another brother, was at one time State 
superintendent of schools of Nebraska. 

One child, Grace De Ella, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Cole. 
She was reared in New York City, and here she was educated 
under the tuition and training of her mother, subse- 
quently completing her studies in the Packer Collegiate Insti- 
tute of Brooklyn, N. Y. She also received a training for business 
life and has written and spoken in public to some extent in the 


interest of suffrage. At present she is recording secretary of the 
West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association. She is now employed 
in the Agricultural Department at Washington, D. C. 

Mrs. Cole died on April 29, 1906. 

Thomas Cole, born March 11, 1757, died August 20, 1840, was 
the grandfather of the subject of this sketch. He bought what is 
now known as the Cole farm in Huntington county, Pennsylva- 
nia, in 1789, but in 1801, sold his one hundred and sixty-eight 
acres there and moved to Ohio, where he entered upon a section of 
land near which the village of Royalton now stands. He was paid 
$1,113.33 f° r tne °ld homestead but had to walk back from Ohio 
to get one of the payments. The Ohio farm remained in the hands 
of the Cole family over one hundred years. 

On July 9, 1778, Thomas Cole married Elizabeth Stevens. 
Their children were: Mary, born June 3, 1779; Abram, May 27, 
1781 ; Joshua, November 25, 1783; Sarah, June 19, 1786; Eliz- 
abeth, March 12, 1789; Rachael, October 18, 1791 ; Athalia, Sep- 
tember 20, 1794; Thomas, February 1, 1797; Ann, November 10, 
1799; Broad, September 23, 1802; Rebecca, June 7, 1805. 

The removal to Ohio was made the year before the birth of 
Broad Cole, our father. In the year 1828 Broad Cole married 
Leah Peters (see sketch of the Peters family), and from that 
union came fourteen children, ten of whom lived to man- and 
womanhood. Of them, Thomas was the eldest. He was a farmer 
and an elder in the old Hard Shell Baptist church. His son, Alva, 
eldest of his family, is a Government contractor. Frank Cole, 
the youngest son, was private secretary to Attorney General 
Wickersham of the Taft administration. Mary Cole, the only 
daughter of Broad Cole who grew to womanhood, married 
William West. Their son, Andrew P. West, was president of a 
bank in Los Angeles, Cal. 

David Cole, second son, lived and died in Indiana. His son, 
Enos, is a well known lawyer in Hartford City ; his son, Amos, is 
a very prosperous hardware merchant in Bluffton, that State. 

Nehemias Cole, fourth son, was a physician for many years in 
Bloomington, 111. He was a surgeon in the Civil war. 


Jonathan Cole, the fifth son, has been a teacher in public school 
work all his life. The Lincoln Times, Lincoln, 111., speaking of 
him as a superintendent of schools, said : "As an educator he 
stood in the first rank, and as a man there was none better." His 
two sons, Fred and Ross, are train dispatchers. Ross has just re- 
ceived his commission as a first lieutenant in the Signal Corps. 
Two grandsons are in France ; Harold Bachman, the elder, is 
leader of Headquarters band in the One Hundred and Sixteenth 
Engineers' Department. 

Rufus Cole, at the age of twenty-three years, was the first of 
the ten children to die. He was a brilliant orator and a man among 
men, even at that age. J. R. Cole, see mention above. Benjamin 
Cole was a teacher and farmer. His family are succeeding in the 
affairs of life. Lewis Cole was also a farmer and teacher. His 
eldest son, Earle, is a teller in a bank in Columbus, Ohio. Henry 
Cole, the youngest of the family, reared a large family, all of whom 
are doing well. His eldest son, Milbert Cole, was a boy of all 
work a few years ago in a large plant for the manufacturing of 
tile at Logan, Ohio. He is now superintendent of the works, is 
in charge of one hundred men, more or less, and under his man- 
agement the business has doubled. The company after just paying 
a war tax of $26,000, gave him an extra check of $1,000 in addition 
to his salary. Rufus Cole, his brother, is rate agent for the Big 
Four Railroad Company, with offices in Cleveland, Ohio, and 

Only three of the above children of Broad and Leah Cole are 
now living — Jonathan, Lewis and Joseph. Joseph R. Cole was 
a member of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth Ohio Infantry in 
the late war between the States. He was connected with the 
marshal's office in Old Baltimore. 


The Conner family is an old one in the history of Greenbrier 
county. John Conner, the ancestor of this branch of the family, 
took up his residence on the Lewisburg turnpike, near Blue Sul- 


phur, in an early day, and erected a house which is still standing. 
His son, Thomas, reared a family around that hearthstone and 
his grandson, Charles Conner, the father of the subject of this 
sketch, also lived and died on that place. He married Miss Ruth 
Vandell, who died not long after the birth of Charles E. Conner, 
her only son. After the mother had gone, Charles was taken 
by Mrs. Henry George, and he remained under the guardianship 
of that home until manhood had been reached and an education 

Mr. Conner began his business career as a merchant in a 
hardware store. For the past five years he has been engaged in 
the sale of automobiles. He is now in charge of the Lewisburg 
Garage, and is doing considerable business with the Overland 
car. He is a good business man, and the future looks bright for 
him. He is also proprietor of the Lewisburg Hotel, and under 
the management of Mrs. C. E. Conner, that venture is proving a 
success, also. Mrs. Conner is a daughter of John A. Handler. 
(See sketch of that history in another part of this work.) Mr. 
Conner is a member of several societies. His family worship with 
the Methodists. The daughter, Miss Ruth Conner, is a young 
lady, now taking a literary course in the Lewisburg Seminary. 


Alexander Clarke Kincaid was born on his father's farm on 
Anthony's creek, Greenbrier county, Virginia, February 27, 1818. 
He died at Frankford, W. Va., December 6, 1893. He was a son 
of Colonel James Kincaid, who was born May 15, 1782, and died 
July 9, 1838. Colonel Kincaid represented Greenbrier county in 
the General Assembly in both branches, the State Senate and the 
House of Delegates. He fought in the Mexican war with the rank 
of colonel. 

Phoebe Kincaid, his wife, was born April 15, 1795, and died 


January 16, 1858. She was a daughter of George and Margaret 
Kincaid, the latter being the sister of Major William Renick. 
Colonel James Kincaid was the son of Squire Samuel Kincaid, 
who was grandson of Alexander Kincaid, of Scotland. Squire 
Samuel Kincaid married a Miss Clarke, of eastern Virginia. 

Dr. Clarke Kincaid was educated at the University of Vir- 
ginia and was a practicing physician first in Braxton, then in 
Greenbrier and adjoining counties for more than forty years. He 
was a Blue Lodge Mason, a member of the Presbyterian church, 
and in active service during three years of the Civil war. Soon 
after the outbreak of the war he organized a company of cavalry, 
of which he was captain, who trained and marched from Sum- 
mersville, Nicholas county, Virginia. He resigned this command 
when he was made an officer of ordnance by General Lee to sup- 
ply armies of northwestern Virginia. When this was accomplished 
he joined the Albermarle Rangers, a company formed of young 
men from the University of Virginia. At the end of the third year 
he was honorably discharged and came home to his family. He 
married Maria Louisa Hamilton at Summersville, Va., October 
31, 1847. She was a daughter of Colonel Robert and Fanny 
(Peebles) Hamilton, of Summersville, was born there on February 
5, 1826, and died in Frankford, W. Va., February 17, 1894. Colonel 
Robert Hamilton was sheriff of Nicholas county and clerk of both 
courts until debarred by age from further service, when his son, 
Alexander Hamilton, took this office, which he held until his 
death at the age of 72 years. 

To Dr. and Mrs. Kincaid seven children were born — Robert 
Alexander, James Renick, Fanny Bell, Phoebe Caroline, Laura 
Margaret, Mary Agnes, and Lucy Hamilton. 

Robert Alexander Kincaid, a lawyer by profession living at 
Summersville, W. Va., married Mary Patton, of New Orleans. 
To this union seven children were born — Phola Hamilton, who 
married William Moore, a lawyer, of Lisbon, Ohio; Herbert 
Clarke, at this writing a captain in the medical corps of our army 
in France ; Wallace Patton, a banker at Summersville ; Robert 
Truslow, who died in childhood ; Mary Louise, at home ; James 



Baldwin, first lieutenant in the aviation with our army in France ; 
and Ralph Templeton, at home. 

James Renick Kincaid, M. D., graduate of Medical College 
of Virginia, married Alice White, daughter of Richard Dickson 
White, of near White Sulphur Springs, and practices his profes- 
sion at Frankford, W. Va. Of this union there are four children 
— Mary Hamilton, Edith White, and Byrne Clarke, at home, and 
James Clarence, at Camp Lee in the service of his country. 

( 1 ) Fanny Bell Kincaid died at the age of six years ; 

(2) Phoebe Caroline Kincaid married J. R. Woodward, 
now deceased, and lives at Frankford ; 

(3) Laura Margaret Kincaid married Achilles Livesay, 
who lives one and one-half miles south of Frankford ; 

(4) Mary Agnes Kincaid died at nine years ; 

(5) Lucy Hamilton Kincaid married William Alexander 
Jameson, of Philadelphia, and lives at Bramwell, Mercer county, 
West Virginia, with their three children, William Alexander, 
Margaret Louise, and Edith Kincaid. 


Dr. Thomas Green Clay was born June 19, 1817, on a plan- 
tation twelve miles from Lynchburg, Campbell county, Virginia. 
He received his early education from tutors, later attending col- 
lege in Richmond, Va., taking a medical course, finishing at Jef- 
ferson Medical College, Pennsylvania. He then crossed the Blue 
Ridge and Alleghany Mountains, about 1850, settling near Cross 
Roads, Monroe county, where he taught school a short time. He 
married Nancy Johnson, daughter of Jacob and Jennie (Morris) 
Johnson. His wife lived only about a year. They had one child. 
Virginia, who died in infancy. 

In 1853 he married Margaret Morse Jarrett, daughter of 
James and Ruth (Gwinn) Jarrett. The Jarretts were among the 
early pioneers of Greenbrier county, coming here from Pennsyl- 


vania. They emigrated to America from Marsailles, France, dur- 
ing the Reign of Terror, being Huguenots, were in search of 
peace and liberty. James Jarrett the first built one of the first 
stone house on Muddy Creek, which still stands well preserved, and 
is still occupied. He married Elizabeth Griffy, a devout Presby^ 
terian. Although the Indians were ever lurking among the hills 
and woodland, and neighbors were long distances apart, Mrs. 
Jarrett would arise early on the Sabbath and walk twelve miles 
to Lewisburg to worship, there being no church nearer. She 
would not ride horseback, because the horses worked all week, 
and should rest one day out of seven. 

Mr. and Mrs. Jarrett by economy and good maangement be- 
came quite extensive land owners. 

James and Ruth (Gwinn) Jarrett were even more prosperous ; 
the country was becoming more developed and prosperous, and at 
the beginning of the Civil War they owned over a thousand acres 
of land in Greenbrier and Monroe counties. They also owned 
over forty slaves. Most of them remaining loyal during the Re- 
bellion, they were not cast off, but cared for until they became 
accustomed to the new order of things. Some were deeded fine 
land, and most of them always journeyed back to see "Ole Massey 
and Misses" so long as they both lived. 

Doctor Clay took his bride to visit his father, Marston Clay, 
who was ill at the time, remaining till his father died in 1856. He 
then returned to Monroe county, settling in what is now called 
South Alderson, there being only one other family living there 
at this time. Here he began the practice of his profession, that 
of a physician. He had all he could well attend to, as he covered 
an area of one to fifty miles ; was very humane, treated poor and 
rich alike with the same gentle, courteous consideration, not know- 
ing any creed, sect or color. He owned and operated a ferry 
boat above where the bridge now stands, his colored servant 
named "Bill" running it back and forth, conveying teams, eques- 
trians and pedestrians, collecting toll, etc. When General Crook 
and his army crossed over during the Civil War to attack General 
Heath at Lewisburg, he confiscated the "craft," used it to trans- 


port his men. Doctor Clay was a loyal, true, Southern gentleman, 
yet he regretted secession and more deeply the assassination of 
President Lincoln. Shortly after this cruel war was over, Doctor 
Clay and his brave wife, Margaret, together with their family, 
moved to Muddy crook on a 341 -acre farm given Mrs. Clay by 
her father, James Jarrett. There they lived and brought up their 
children until 1885 or 1886, returning to what is part of North 
Alderson on a sixty-acre tract of land owned by Doctor Clay 
The Alderson Academy was being erected, and to this he was a 
contributor. He wanted to be near the new school that his chil- 
dren then at home might have advantages of which they had been 
heretofore deprived. 

It is with pardonable pride that we refer to the lineage of 
Dr. Thomas G. Clay, which we trace back to — 

"The Muster of Inhabitants of Jordan's Journey, Charles 
Ciltie, taken the 21th of January, 1624." Of these : 

The Muster of John Claye, John Clay arrived on the Treas- 
urer, February, 1613. 

Anne, his wife, in the Ann, August, 1623. 
Servant — 

William Nicholls, aged 26 years, in Dutie, in May, 1619. 

This is the first mention of the Clay name in Colonial records 
— "Hotten's List of Emigrants to America, 1600-1700" — Captain 
John Clay, "the English Grenadier," of whom we have many tra- 
ditions — lived in Charles City, 1624. "Patent (210) grants John 
Clay twelve hundred acres in Charles City county, Virginia." 

Captain Clay had married before leaving England, leaving 
his wife behind. Why he delayed so long in sending for her, 
those familiar with the history of the Jamestown colony best un- 
derstand. Hunger, despair, and death followed the one so fast 
in the wake of the other that twice within a few years that colony 
was reduced from five hundred persons to less than sixty souls. 
The children were Francis, William, Thomas and Charles. 

Charles Clay was a soldier in the "Great Rebellion of 1676," 
"one of those good housekeepers, well armed," that followed the 
gallant Bacon in his effort to free Virginia. He married Hannah 


Wilson, of Henrico county, Virginia. Had issue — Mary Elizabeth, 
John, Thomas, Henry and Charles. Henry Clay was born about 
1672, and died at "The Raells," August 3, 1760, aged eighty-eight 
years. He married Mary Mitchell, had issue, William Mitchell, 
Henry, of Southam Parish, Cumberland (Dest., 1764), Charles 
John, Amey, Mary. 

Henry Clay, of Southam Parish, Cumberland county, son of 
Henry and Mary (Mitchell) Clay, of Chesterfield, signed his will 
March 8, 1764, which was probated October 22, 1764. He mar- 
ried in 1735, Lucy Green, born 1717, daughter of Thomas Gieen 
and Elizabeth Marston (born November 25, 1672 ; died August 
11, 1759), daughter of Thomas Marston, Justice of Henrico in 
1682, and his wife, Elizabeth Murvell. 

Thomas Green was born about 1665, and died in 1730; was 
the son of Thomas Green, "The Sea Gull" (so called from having 
been born upon the sea enroute to America), and his wife, Mar- 
tha Filmer, daughter of Major Henry Filmer, officer of the 
British Army of Occupation. (See General Green Clay's Man 
uscript, written about 1820.) Thomas Green, "the Sea Gull," was 
the son of Thomas and Martha Green, immigrants from Holland, 
who settled near Petersburg, Va. Major Henry Tilmer and his 
wife, Elizabeth, married in England. They settled in James City 
county, which he represented in the House of Burgesses in 1642. 
(Henning's Statutes.) 

Henry Clay mentions as the legatees of his will, his wife, 
Lucy, and their children. 

Henry Clay, born 1736, moved to Kentucky in 1787. Charles 
Clay, an early emigrant to Kentucky. Samuel Clay, member of 
the North Carolina Legislature, 1789-90. 

Thomas Clay, of Cumberland county ; Abia Clay, lieutenant 
in the Revolutionary army ; Marston Clay ( Doctor Thomas Green 
Clay's father, the subject of this sketch) ; Rebecca Clay, John 
Clay, a captain in the Revolutionary army in 1777. Elijah Clay 
is mentioned in deeds, July 13, 1783, and August 2, 1792, when 
he sells lands in Cumberland County. Lucy Clay— Marston Clay 
married Elizabeth Williams, of Halifax county, Virginia, March 


29, 1771, though he signed his name Maston. Issue — Diana 
Coleman. His wife died. He then married Sarah Daren. Issue 
— Sallie E., Susan. Paul, Thomas Green, James, Margaret, Vir- 
ginia. Marston and Sarah (Daren) Clay are the parents of Dr. 
Thomas Green Clay, subject of this sketch. Doctor Clay is second 
cousin of Henry Clay, the "Sage of Ashland." 

Genealogy is now the fashion and the Clay family affords a 
fine theme in this line. The Clays have had an enviable history in 
our country for more than two centuries, and although none other 
bearing the name has risen to the eminence attained by the "Sage 
of Ashland," a goodly number of them have filled positions of 
honor and trust which would shine more brightly but for the 
eclipsing rays of the "Great Commoner." However, all the 
Clays are interesting to us because of the good deeds of some of 
them and the bad deeds of none of them. 

We are indebted to the "Filson Club Publication," of Louis- 
ville, Ky., for the genealogy and history of "The Clay Family," 
compiled by Mrs. Mary Rogers Clay, of Lexington, Ky. 

Issue of Dr. Thomas G. and Margaret Morse (Jarrett) Clay- 

Marston Clay, a dentist, died, aged 26, 1880; James Clay, 
immigrated to California, married Jennie Ayers, of Nordhoff, 
Cal. ; issue, Frank, Nettie, Myrtle and Major; latter died in 

Odin Clay lives in Chicago, 111. He married Minnie Mathis, 
of Pontiac, 111. ; issue, Richard and Edna. 

John H. Clay married Lulu Garst Jarrett, a widow ; have no 

Ruth Clay spent most of her life in Chicago, III, and New 
York City, serving the same corporation (she was associated 
with) in both cities, covering a period of nearly thirty years. 

Thomas G. Clay, Jr., owns and lives on a farm near Alderson, 
W. Va. ; married Alice Gillespie. 

Sally Ann Clay married W. C. Cannon, son of Honorable 
Cannon, of Ventura, Cal., a relative of "Uncle Joe" Cannon, of 
Illinois. Mr. Cannon is an extensive land owner or "ranchman," 


as they term it in the West. Cultivates beans principally. Issue — 
Lenabell Cannon, now attending school at the University of Cali- 

Mary Clay married H. C. Saunders, whose family has a long 
and prominent lineage in Virginia and Alabama. They live in 
Birmingham, Ala. Issue — one son in present war ; is now in 
France serving his country. 

Joseph J. Clay, the last and youngest of Doctor Clay's chil- 
dren, married Mamie Allen ; lives on his mother's old home place 
on Muddy creek. ' 


John Alderson, Sr., was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1699, 
and came to this country when twenty years old. The circum- 
stances under which he left his native land were peculiar. His 
father, a minister of the Established Church, opposed with con- 
siderable violence a matrimonial connection he was about to make. 
To divert his son from this alliance he prevailed upon him to 
travel and furnished him with a horse and requisite funds. In a 
short time these means were exhausted, and he, without the 
knowledge or consent of his father, bound himself on board a 
vessel which brought him to America. On arriving in this country, 
he was hired to a well-to-do farmer of New Jersey (a Mr. Curtis) 
for his "passage money." His conduct was such that he not only 
gained the esteem of Mr. Curtis, but married his daughter, Mary. 
The death of a daughter led to his conversion, and caused him to 
write his first letter to his father in England. He connected him- 
self with the Baptist church, and we are told that "with his char- 
acteristic energy he began at once to preach." He received in 
reply to his letter sent his father, two volumes on theology, and 
a very kind letter. These books are still in the Alderson family. 
He lived near Bethlehem Church, New Jersey, and then moved to 
Germantown, Pennsylvania, where he preached for a number of 
years. In 1755 he was sent by the Philadelphia Association as a 


missionary to Rockingham county, Virginia, and there organized 
one of the first Baptist churches in Virginia, the Smith and Lynn- 
ville's Creek church, August 6, 1756. The members were driven 
by an Indian invasion in 1757 forty or fifty miles beyond the 
Blue Ridge, but rallied after two years and returned to their 
homes and church, which was admitted into the Philadelphia Asso- 
ciation, October 12, 1762. 

For about sixteen years he was pastor of Smith's and Lynn- 
ville's church, when he removed to the county of Botetourt, where 
he labored nine years, when he was called to rest in 1781 at the 
age of 82. He was buried in the graveyard of his neighborhood, 
afterward abandoned and overgrown with tall oaks, with neither 
hillock nor stone to mark his resting place. 

John Alderson, Sr., had seven sons and one daughter. The 
latter married a Mr. Orton and moved to western Pennsylvania. 
Of the sons, Thomas and John only came to Greenbrier, and a 
great granddaughter of his son, Curtis, Hester Ammen, who mar- 
ried 1st Rufus D. Alderson, great grandson of Elder John Aider- 
son, Jr., and after his death married Thomas H. Alderson, grand- 
son of Thomas, who was a son of Elder John A., Sr. After many 
years of active service in the Old Greenbrier church, she still lives 
at an advanced age, with her son, Rufus D. Alderson, in this 
county, retaining in full her vigorous mentality. 

Thomas, who fought with General Green in the South during 
the Revolution, married a daughter of Mr. Davis, a Baptist min- 
ister of Maryland, and to this union were born five children : 
Davis, Abel, Naomi, Jane and Hannah. He married a second wife, 
whose name was Sallie Bond, of Maryland, who had six children: 
John, Curtis, James, Ruth, Frances and Clementine. John, called 
Major Jack, was an officer in the War of 181 2, and is said to 
have "discharged his duty well, and received great credit." Curtis 
was also an officer in the War of 1812, being Colonel Commander 
of the First Regiment in Greenbrier. He was thoroughly versed 
in "Gen'l Scott's discipline" and displayed great science in drilling 
his men. He was at one time magistrate and high sheriff. James 
lived an unassuming and retiring life on his farm. Frances and 


Clementine married Capt. Jack and Levi Alderson (brothers). 
Curtis Alderson was the father of Asa, and grandfather of S. I. 
Alderson, whose sketch will appear later. 

Elder John Alderson, Jr., was born in New Jersey, March 5, 
1738. He was in his seventeenth year when his father settled in 
Rockingham county, Virginia. Shortly after settling there he 
made quite an extensive trip into what is now West Virginia, at 
that time a comparative wilderness, having few inhabitants. At the 
age of twenty he was married to Mary Carroll, of Maryland, in 
1758, who bore him nine children: Alice, George, Mary, John, 
Joseph, Thomas, Margaret, Jane and John. The last three were 
born in Greenbrier. He was licensed to preach, but was not or- 
dained to the full work of the ministry until 1755, when he suc- 
ceeded his father as pastor of the Lynnville church in Virginia. 
The old Greenbrier church was for some time a mission station of 
this church. 

After two years' pastorate he moved permanently to Greenbrier 
(now Monroe). On his previous trips he visited the place where 
the towin of Alderson now stands, and settled here in 1777. He 
claimed to have driven the first wagon across the Alleghanies to 
this point, and built his home where the Hotel Alderson now 
stands. In 1798 he applied to the Legislature of Virginia for the 
establishment of a ferry at this point, which was known from that 
time until 1872 as the "Alderson Ferry." The reason he assigns for 
settling in this county was to extend the Christian religion among 
the few inhabitants of this section. At this time the settlers were 
frequently harrassed by the inroads of the Indians, and Mr. Aider- 
son was the first preacher to come among them. It was his custom 
to go from fort to fort and preach to the occupants. He was gen- 
erally received gladly, but upon one occasion the occupants refused 
him an entrance, leaving him to the ravages of the wild beasts, and 
the untutored savages prowling around. But no harm befell him. 
He labored in this section seven years, meeting but one preacher, 
a Presbyterian licentiate, and it is preserved that Mr. Alderson 
told him he was welcome, since he (the Presbyterian) preached 
a free grace. He organized the first permanent Baptist church 


in what is now West Virginia, on the 24th of November, 1781, 
with twelve members. Wirt in his History of West Virginia says 
it was the first church planted west of the Alleghanies, and has 
always borne the name of "The Old Greenbrier Baptist Church." 

In 1800 he organized the Greenbrier Association. The chair 
in which he sat in organizing this body, and in which he preached 
his last sermon, shortly before his death, is now in the possession 
of the Alderson Academy, as is also one of the books from his 
library. In 1783 he erected the first house of worship upon the 
present site of Old Greenbrier church. It was the only house of 
the kind in all this part of Virginia. He died March 2, 1821, after 
a pastorate of forty years. 

The records of the Old Greenbrier church from its organiza- 
tion are in the possession of the Baptist Historical Society of 
Charleston. From the minutes of the church meeting, held the 
25th day of March, 1807, is taken the following: "A matter of 
difficulty between our elder, Bro. Alderson, and William Johnson, 
respecting the amount of money each member was to pay to Bro. 
Alderson, according to their several abilities, Bro. Johnson being 
behind the matter, Bro. Alderson reminded him of the omission. 
Bro. Johnson, thinking it rather an unwarranted demand, threw 
down nine-pence on the table, saying, 'this is my subscription for 
three years.' Bro. Josiah Osborne, another minister, was called 
on to act as moderator on the settlement of this matter. The 
matter of the nine-pence was adjusted by Bro. Johnson asking for- 
giveness of Bro. Alderson and the church." It was a custom of 
the church to require its members to attend divine worship regu- 
larly, and if a member was absent three times in succession, a com- 
mittee was appointed to see him. Bro. Parker, who lived on Snake 
Run, having been absent from three of the meetings, a committee 
was sent to find out the cause of delinquency. On August 20, 
1802, the brethren made their report respecting Bro. Parker's 
delinquency. The reason was this : he had gotten entangled in 
debt, and the sheriff had a process against his body. He was not 
willing to be taken, and was keeping out of the way until he could 
make out some way to discharge his lawful debts. When this was 


accomplished, he will attend church more regularly. One year 
after Bro. Parker appeared before the church, and reported that 
he had adjusted the matter. Frequent mention is made of fasting 
and prayer. 


In the old marriage book in the clerk's office at Lewisburg 
the first recorded marriage, after Greenbrier was organized as a 
separate county (1777), was that of George Alderson and Sarah 
Osborne, Rev. John A. officiating. She was the daughter of 
Rev. Josiah Osborne, born March 5, 1750, a Baptist minister, who 
lived in the Big Levels of Greenbrier, but who came from Lost 
River, Hardy county, before the close of the Revolution. George 
Alderson was the eldest son of Elder John Alderson, Jr., and was 
born August 30, 1762, in Rockbridge county, and soon after his 
marriage moved to what is now Kanawha county, and settled at 
the mouth of George's Creek, which was named for him. Some 
time after his settlement there the new county of Kanawha was 
formed ( 1789 and he was one of its first justices when Charleston 
was incorporated, December 19, 1794. He had four children, three 
sons and a daughter, who moved back to Greenbrier with their 
mother after his death about 1805. Of the sons, John, Levi and 
James O. (the daughter, Pollie, married a McClung), the first 
lived at Western View (on the outskirts of Alderson) and will be 
mentioned later. James O. was a very devout Baptist preacher, 
but died young. He was the father of James G. Alderson, who is 
now 86 years old. 

Joseph Alderson, the second son of Elder John Alderson, was 
born June 17, 1771. He married when sixteen years of age, Mary 
"Polly" Newman, the daughter of Jonathan Newman, of Botetourt, 
Virginia, who was in the battle of Guilford. Tradition says that 
the first Newman migrated to America with Sir Walter Raleigh 
at the first settlement of Virginia. Joseph Alderson, known as 
"Squire Joe," settled after his marriage on what is known as the 



Perry farm, one mile south of Alderson. After a few years his 
home was burned while the family was absent from home. Mr. 
Alderson then built the house which still stands on this farm, and 
with his own hands cut his initials and "1799" in a rock near the 
top of the chimney, which today can be seen from the roadway. 
After living there several years, during which time he was en- 
gaged with his brother George in the manufacture of salt in Kan- 
awha, he purchased the farm where Hon. J. S. Thurmond now 
resides, which at that time embraced all of the lands from the 
mouth of Muddy Creek, and with the creek to Palestine, and with 
the side of the mountain to Greenbrier River above where P. B. 
Patton now lives. The purchase price on this place was paid in 
salt from the Kanawha Works delivered in Cincinnati. He after- 
wards acquired adjoining lands west of him as far as the top of 
Keeny's Mountain. A short time after removing to his new home 
he was appointed a justice of Greenbrier county. He represented 
Greenbrier county in the Legislature of Virginia for several terms, 
riding horseback from his home to Richmond to attend the ses- 
sions. In the absence of Mr. Alderson upon public duties, his wife, 
who was a capable business woman, superintended the large farm, 
overseeing his many slaves, and dispatched large quantities of home 
spuns and farm products to the Lynchburg market in exchange for 
household commodities. 

Joseph Alderson was a very devout Christian and always at- 
tended the meetings of the General Association of Virginia and his 
church meetings. He and his wife were very charitable and their 
doors were always open to the poor, and when large meetings 
were held at the Greenbrier church they made it their special busi- 
ness to see that the more humble and poor were provided with 
homes during the meeting. He gave the ground upon which the 
Greenbrier church stands, and the cemetery adjoining, and left in 
his will the spring near the church "to the church and the public." 
He also gave the land for the Baptist church at Lewisburg. To 
Joseph Alderson were born eight children, George, Sarah, Mary, 
Martha, Margaret, Newman, Joseph Keyser and Lewis Allen. 
Colonel George Alderson was born November 20, 1789. He 


farmed and merchandised a few years, but was best known as a 
hotel keeper at De Kalb, in Fayette county, and through his con- 
nection with the James River and Kanawha Improvement Co., the 
hundreds of drovers from Kentucky, and the thousands of travelers 
to and fro on the old James River and Kanawha Turnpike knew 
and respected Colonel Alderson as a kind and hospitable man. 
He represented Fayette county in the Legislature several times. 
His first marriage was to Jeannette Creigh McClary, a classmate 
at the Lewisburg Academy (taught by Dr. McElheney). Her 
husband said of her: "None surpassed her in piety, affection, in 
love to her family as a wife and mother." To this union were born 
fourteen children ; of these only one, John Marshall, resided in 
Greenbrier county, a sketch of whose life will be given later. His 
second marriage was to Eliza Ann Davis, daughter of Captain 
Charles Lewis Davis, of Amherst, Va., who was connected with 
the Ellison and Floyd families of Virginia. He died in De Kalb, 
the homestead in which he passed much of his time, on January 2, 
1871, at the ripe old age of 81 years. Sarah, eldest daughter of 
Joseph, married Mr. Smithson and lived and died on the Perry 
farm, near Alderson, leaving no heirs. 

Joseph Keyser Alderson, the second son of Squire Joe, seems 
to have been a talented young man. He took the academy course 
under Dr. McElheney and devoted the few years of his life to the 
study of surveying, but his promising young life was closed by 
death at the age of 21. 

Rev. Lewis A. Alderson was born May 5, 1812, and was the 
youngest of his father's sons. He attended the Lewisburg Acad- 
emy about four years, and then graduated with the highest honors 
of his class at the University of Ohio in 1832. Dr. Hoge, of Rich- 
mond, Va., the late Dr. Thomas Creigh, Charles and John Stuart, 
Charles L. Arbuckle, and others of Greenbrier were his classmates 
at Athens, and were among his warmest friends. While at Athens 
he experienced a change of heart and rode all the way back to the 
Greenbrier church to make a public profession of religion and 
receive baptism in the church of his parents. Mr. Alderson en- 
tered the ministry soon after graduation and preached his first ser- 


mon in the old "Powder Horn Church" at Williamsburg, Virginia, 
in which General Washington stored his powder during the Rev- 
olutionary War. The day after he graduated he married Lucy B. 
Myles, of Athens, Ohio, who lived only a few months. While 
pastor of Grace Street Baptist church in Richmond, Virginia, he 
married Eliza Floyd, daughter of Capt. John Coleman, of Amherst 
county, Virginia, by whom he had eight children, seven sons and 
one daughter : Major Joseph Coleman Alderson being the eldest. 
After the death of his father in 1845, Mr. Alderson moved to this 
county and took charge of the homestead at Alderson. His diary up 
to 1859 shows that he had preached 676 sermons and traveled 13,- 
644 miles. He preached for many years at the Greenbrier Baptist 
church and at Red Sulphur Springs, in Monroe county, besides 
became one of the most successful farmers in the county. In 1853 
he visited most of our leading farmers and stock raisers and suc- 
ceeded in getting them interested in the organization of the Green- 
brier Agricultural Society. He was elected President of the 
society and remained as such until the spring of 1858. when he 
moved with his family to Atchison, Kansas. He was one of the 
most learned and scientific men in the West and was offered time 
and again the presidency of different colleges, which he declined, 
believing that his life would be of more benefit to his fellowmen 
in the sphere he had chosen. He died in Atchison City, May 19, 

Patsy Feamster was born February 19, 1797, at the old stone 
house on the outskirts of Alderson ; she was the second daughter 
of Joseph Alderson and Mary Newman Alderson. On March 17, 
1824, she was married to William Feamster, of Greenbrier, who 
was a direct descendant of Thomas Feamster, one of the pioneers 
of Bath county, Virginia. The children of this union were Mary 
Martha, Thomas Louis, Sarah Elizabeth, Joseph Alderson, New- 
man, Patsy Jane and Sabina Creigh. See sketch of Lieutenant 
Claude N. Feamster. 

John Alderson, the youngest son of Elder John Alderson, was 
born September 4, 1783. In order to distinguish him from the 
other John Aldersons, he was called "River Jack." He was born 


and lived his entire life on the old homestead which stood on the 
site now occupied by the lower cottage of the Alderson hotel. At 
his father's death, he inherited the land on which the town of Al- 
derson now stands and the lands adjacent ; this site of the home- 
stead remaining in the family for 140 years. John Alderson first 
married Miss Walker, by whom he had six children. By his 
second wife, Nancy Mays (nee Robinson), he had six children; 
one son, George, a sketch of whose life will be given later. 

John ("Captain Jack") Alderson (1786-1856), eldest son of 
George and and Sarah (Osborne) Alderson, was born in Kan- 
awha county. The 15th of August, 181 5, he married his cousin, 
Frances Alderson (1783-1856), daughter of Thomas Alderson, 
and granddaughter of Rev. John Alderson, Sr. He was cpatain 
of a militia company. Besides "Captain Jack's" inheritance of 
land in Kanawha county, town property in the present city of 
Charleston and the salt works, he also inherited and accumulated 
large tracts of land in what is now Greenbrier, Monroe and Sum- 
mers counties. He was a man of unbounded energies and unusual 
ability. He had four sons and four daughters. Joseph Granville, 
a lawyer, who established the Greenbrier Independent in 1859. 
His nephew, R. D. Alderson, has a copy of the Greenbrier Inde- 
pendent, dated August 16, 1859, Volume I, Number 27, J. G. Al- 
derson, Editor and Proprietor. Virginia Eliza, who married 
Thomas Patton ; Sarah married Zach Woodson ; Thomas George 
married Margaret, daughter of Rev. James O. Alderson ; Martha ; 
Rufus Davis married Hester Ammen, and John Marcus (1831- 
1863), the youngest son, inherited "Western View," the home of 
his ancestors. He was first taught by the governess, who had 
charge of his sisters' education, then went with his older brother, 
Rufus, to Rev. James Remley's school for boys near Levvisburg, 
and afterwards to Prof. Oscar Stephenson, who later became a 
celebrated judge in Minnesota. He served in the Confederate 
army, first under his cousin, Major J. Coleman Alderson, and 
later in the Valley of Virginia in Edgar's battalion. He was de- 
tailed with a munition party, where he contracted typhoid fever, 
and died at the early age of 23. He married Malinda (Patton) 


(1833-1911), daughter of Elizabeth (Reaburn) and William M. 
Patton. Elizabeth Patton was the daughter of Charles and Mary 
(Hamilton) Reaburn, and granddaughter of William and Patience 
(Craig) Hamilton, who was a daughter of Rev. John Craig, of 
Augusta county, Virginia. To Mr. and Mrs. Alderson were given 
two sons: M. Judson (1858-1885) and Charles Rufus (1860- 
1908), and one daughter, Elizabeth Marcus, "Bettie" (1864-1918). 


Honorable George Alderson, who was born November 13, 
1833, is a grandson of Rev. John Alderson, who settled and built 
his house where the Alderson Hotel now stands in the town of 
Alderson, in 1777. He was the youngest child of John Alderson, 
known as "River Jack," the youngest son of Elder Alderson, 
which explains the remarkable fact that a grandson of the first 
preacher who settled and established a charge west of the Alle- 
ghanies is yet living, while great grandchildren several times re- 
moved have long since passed from this world. George Alderson 
was born in the same house in which his father first saw the light, 
the homestead built by Rev. John Alderson. This house was 
burned with valuable historical documents in 1863. 

While a lad, he attended the country schools and Rev. James 
Remley's school, near Lewisburg, and was later sent to Hollins 
Institute (now Hollins College) at Botetourt Springs ; when this 
school ceased to be co-educational, he attended the Palestine High 
School, just established by Prof. Oscar Stevens, a graduate of 
Richmond College and a noted educator. 

Upon the death of his father in 1853, George Alderson in- 
herited the old farm, a part of which he still owns and resides 
upon, always having devoted his life to agriculture and stock 

In the war between the States, he served in the Confederate 
army, Company A, Thirty-sixth Battalion of Cavalry. He was 


detailed as orderly, first for General Loeing, then General Wil- 
liams, and later for General Echols, serving with these most of 
the war. He was honorably discharged on account of an illness 
from which he has suffered at times all through his life. 

Mr. Alderson has been twice married, his first wife being" 
Mary J., daughter of Maj. C. R. Hines ; his second wife, Virginia, 
daughter of Jeremiah W. P. and Miriam Gwinn Stevens. Three 
children were born to the first union, and six to the second, all of 
whom are dead but three ; two died in childhood, four in youth 
and were laid to sleep in the old churchyard of the Old Green- 
brier Baptist church. 

Of the children, Miss Emma C. is principal of the Alderson 
Baptist Academy ; J. C. is president of the Guyan Valley Bank at 
Logan ; Bernard Carroll was professor of Latin and Greek at the 
West Virginia University and first principal of the A. B. A. ; 
William W. was a physician of much promise practicing in Texas ; 
George Jr., who possessed rare literary talents, represented 
Monroe county in the Legislature two terms ; Virginia married C. 
B. Rowe ; Cabell and Otey died when but a few years of age. 

For twenty-four years Mr. Alderson served as justice of the 
peace and represented Monroe county in the Legislature one 
term ; he has been a director of the First National Bank since its 
organization, and is keenly interested in the affairs of his town 
and county. 

Like his ancestors, he is an intelligent, well-informed Baptist, 
ready to give a reason for his faith. He is senior deacon of the 
Old Greenbrier Baptist church, which office he has held for fifty- 
five years. For sixty-five years he has been a member of this 
church, and for forty years he was superintendent of its Sunday 

On the 13th day of November, 1917 (his eighty-fourth birth- 
day), Mr. and Mrs. Alderson celebrated their golden wedding. 

Mrs. Virginia Stevens Alderson is proverbial for her rare 
virtues of mind and heart ; in her church, her community, her 
home, "Aunt Jennie" is quoted as a model friend, wife, mother, 
Christian. What higher aspiration can fill the heart of woman? 


Both Mr. and Mrs. Alderson, though of advanced age and 
feeble in body, possess great mental activities and retentive mem- 
ories, which render them very interesting. From extensive reading 
they are in close touch with the affairs of the world. She orders 
well her household, while he directs his farm hands, and this year 
had planted large crops of grain, hoping to help feed the Allies and 
thereby do his part in the winning of Humanity's War, and in the 
preservation of the pure principles of Democracy. 


J. Marshall Alderson, eldest son of Colonel George Alderson, 
was born the 16th of April, 1814, and was reared in Fayette 
county, where as a young man he was employed in his father's 

Under the old Virginia law the oldest magistrate became 
sheriff of the county. His father being sheriff, Marshall became 
the acting sheriff and attended to the business of the office for four 
years, after which he and Colonel Launis, of Monroe county, pur- 
chased the privilege of the sheriffalty of Squire Keaton, in which 
capacity he served for four years. 

After the constitution of Virginia was changed to the election 
of the sheriff by the people he was elected by the voters of Green- 
brier county as sheriff and was serving as such when he was 
drowned on the 19th of July, 1862, at Sweet Springs. 

John Marshall Alderson owned and resided on the land com- 
prising what is now a part of North Alderson, extending back to 
Muddy Creek, on which he owned a large merchant's mill, which 
was run successfully for a number of years. (J. M. Alderson, Jr., 
has one pair of the mill stones from this mill laid in the cement 
walk at the entrance of his residence in Alderson.) 

Marshall Alderson married Cornelia P. Coleman, daughter of 
Captain John Coleman, of Amherst county, Virginia, June 6, 1844. 
Their children are: Sallie, who married Captain John G. Lobban, 


an officer in the Confederate army ; James P. ; Joseph N. married 
Lille E. Putney ; Mildred J. married A. L. Riffe ; Mary Eliza died 
in infancy ; John M. married Florence Hodges ; Cornelia M. mar- 
ried T. Mann ; Lucy S. married Eugene R. Lewis. 

Mr. Alderson was a devoted Mason, serving several times as 
Worshipful Master of the lodge at Lewisburg. He was very popu- 
lar as a citizen and especially loved by his neighbors. 


John Marshall Alderson, the subject of this sketch, was born 
at Palestine, Greenbrier county, Virginia, on February n, 1854, 
and his postoffice address is at the same place, but now known as 
Alderson, Monroe county, West Virginia. 

Mr. Alderson's childhood was robbed of many joys by being 
in the midst of the horrors of the Civil war ; also because of these 
conditions the usual opportunities for education in youth were 
denied him. 

His father met a tragic death in the year 1862, and because of 
that and the war the family fortunes were devastated. So, instead 
of having idle, happy play and some leisure for study, he began 
life's work at an early age. First, he assumed duties on the farm. 
It was a routine work here, which continued until he was nineteen 
years old. He then served as clerk in a country store from Jan- 
uary to September of the year 1873, an d handled his own earnings, 
his wages being $8 per month and boarding. 

Giving up this employment, he next worked at the railroad 
depot at Alderson, studying telegraphy at the same time. When 
at the age of twenty, he obtained the position of telegraph oper- 
ator, and two years later was rewarded by promotion to the joint 
offices of station agent and telegraph operator. 

Not until 1884 did he make any change from these duties. In 
that year he resigned from railway employment and established 
himself in the mercantile business at Alderson. In this venture 



his success has merited a continuation of the business until the 
present time. In addition to his original establishment at Alderson, 
he has had branch stores located in various places. 

Mr. Alderson's business abilities have been recognized and 
he has been drawn into different positions of trust apart from his 
mercantile ones. 

In the year 1890, when the Bank of Alderson was organized, 
he was elected a director, and in 1898, when that institution was 
changed into the First National, he was elected vice president, 
while six years later he was made president. This office he filled 
until another change was made in 1910 by consolidating the First 
National Bank with the Greenbrier Valley Bank, when, by mutual 
consent, he became vice president again, which position he still 

In addition to these offices Mr. Alderson is a director in the 
New River Grocery Company, a corporation of Hinton, West 
Virginia, and he is a stockholder in several progressive coal cor- 

In politics Mr. Alderson is a decided Jeffersonian Democrat, 
and takes active interest in public affairs. Apart from serving at 
various times on the town council, he has not been a candidate for 
political offices. He was postmaster, however, for many' years 
while in the railroad service. He was later appointed postmaster 
at Alderson, West Virginia, by President Grover Cleveland during 
his second term, in October, 1893. 

The Masonic lodge claims Mr. Alderson as a devoted and 
valued member. He has held different offices, among them being 
Worshipful Master, Senior Warden and Secretary, and is at the 
present time Treasurer. Following in the footsteps of generations 
of his people, Mr. Alderson holds to the Baptist faith, and is a 
member of the Greenbrier church. And as a dutiful son when a 
very young man, while still near the ground on the rungs of his 
ladder, he built for his mother a home, where she and her single 


daughters were enabled to live in comfort until the mother's death 
in 1880. 

On February 16, 1893, at Mount Sterling, Ohio, Mr. Alderson 
married Ida Florence Hodges, who died October 28, 1912. Six 
children, two sons and four daughters, were born to this union. 
One of the sons, James Powell, died in the year 1909, at the age of 
six years. Of the remainder, Gladys, Cornelia, Florence, John 
Marshall and Julia are at home. 


The following sketch of Miss Bettie M. Alderson was taken 
from the columns of the Alderson Advertiser. She died July 9, 
19 1 8 : The writer says : 

"A Good Woman Gone. 

"The announcement on Tuesday morning of the death of Miss 
Bettie Marcus Alderson came as a shock to the people of Alderson, 
Where she was born and among whom her life was spent. And 
the announcement of her death caused unfeigned sorrow as well 
as surprise. She had not been in good health for the past few 
months, but on Monday night was apparently as well as usual, 
and when the other inmates of the household retired was working 
on an article for a history of Greenbrier county which is being 
prepared by J. R. Cole. This was about 10 o'clock and was the 
last time she was seen alive. She was found lying lifeless on the 
floor of the dining room of her home about 6 o'clock Tuesday 
morning. Dr. Argabrite, who was called, stated that death was 
due to apoplexy and that Miss Alderson had been dead for about 
two hours. When stricken down she was evidently on her way 
to her chamber to retire and never regained consciousness. 

"Miss Bettie was a daughter of John Marcus and Malinda 
Patton Alderson and was born in Alderson in the house in which 
she died, "Western View," and which for several generations ex- 



tending as far back as a century has been the home of her branch 
of the family. She was descended on her grandfather's side from 
Rev. John Alderson, founder of Greenbrier Baptist church in 1781, 
and on her grandmother's side from Thomas, son of Rev. John 
Alderson, Senior, on the maternal side. She was descended from 
"Parson" John Craig, pioneer Presbyterian preacher, of Augusta, 
and from Tristram Patton, a member of Washington's bodyguard, 
who after the Revolutionary war became a large land owner on 
Second creek, owning about 2,000 acres of land, three mills and 
many slaves. He was noted for his broad intelligence and was 
the writer of many legal documents. By reason of her family 
connections, her long residence here, her activity in church work 
and her work as a school teacher in Alderson and in Greenbrier 
county for many years, she had won a large circle of devoted 
friends and also a vast number of acquaintances. From the time 
in early girlhood when she began her education she showed a re- 
markable thirst for knowledge and an ambition to acquire informa- 
tion. History was the study that most attracted her and she was 
thoroughly familiar with the works of the best known ancient as 
well as modern writers. When at Marshall College she took the 
Peabody medal for scholarship and a medal for mathematics. 

"In her conversation Miss Bettie showed the effects of a deep 
and wide mental culture. She also had the faculty of expressing 
her thoughts well on paper and contributed many articles to the 
press on events of joyous or sorrowful import in the Alderson 
family and in the families of friends. These articles, whether 
written in joy or sorrow, showed a calm and even mental state that 
could neither be depressed by misfortune nor unduly elated by good 
fortune. She was especially well informed on local history and 
reminiscences. Amid all the cares of life she pursued the even 
tenor of her way, care free as far as self was concerned and con- 
tributing to the pleasure and welfare of others, the mark of a kind 
heart and generous nature. 

"To Miss Alderson the world was beautiful and its shifts and 
changes constantly brought forth new wonders to the eye and new 


thoughts to the mind. The book of nature thus unfolded to her 
gaze taught her many things of the glory, wisdom and goodness 
of the Divine Creator. 

"Miss Bettie possessed a keen sense of humor and an original 
manner of expression that added to the charm of her conversation. 
She was charitable and to a remarkable degree understood the 
colored people, who in her death have lost a true friend. Nor was 
she less helpful in extending aid to others in trouble or need, 
grasping intuitively the best method of ministering to their wants. 

"Perhaps the secret of Miss Bettie's success in every-day 
affairs of life that confronted her may be found in a contented 
mind that the passing years were unable to warp or rob of its 
natural amiable qualities, but which always maintained the cheer- 
fulness and freshness of youth. 

"She is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Norah Pack, who lived 
with her, and Mrs. George Argabrite, of Lewisburg. She was a 
devoted member of the Greenbrier Baptist church from childhood 
and was a generous contributor to all its activities, being especially 
interested in its Mission Circle and Ladies' Aid Society. She was 
a member of the Woman's Literary Club and was historian of 
Alderson Chapter of the U. D. C. and held that office since the 
organization of the chapter." 


Sampson I. Alderson died at Alderson on May 17, 1916, 
lacking three days of being 75 years of age. He was born near 
Green Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier county, May 20, 1841, and 
was married February 18, 1864, to Martha J. Hedrick, at Asbury, 
this county, where he resided until a few years ago, when he 
moved to Alderson. At the beginning of the Civil War he vol- 
unteered in the Confederate service and served under Captain 
Buster the first year of the war and was then given leave of ab- 
sence on account of ill health. 



Mr. Alderson was an active member of the Baptist church, 
and largely through his aid and efforts the West Point church 
at Asbury was built. He enjoyed the confidence and esteem of 
his neighbors and stood for upright, honest conduct. For many 
years he taught school in this county when Col. Thomas H. Den- 
nis was county superintendent. 

The wife of the deceased died seven years ago. Surviving 
are six children : Misses Belle, Elsie and May Alderson, who re- 
side at Alderson, and three sons, G. S., who lives at Bellepoint ; 
Ed M., who lives at Mansfield, Ohio, and C. M. Alderson, of 


Edwin Franklin Hill, formerly president of the First National 
Bank of Alderson, W. Va., and for many years a prominent busi- 
ness man in Greenbrier and Monroe counties, was born in Monroe 
county, December 19, 1849, an d died at his home in Alderson on 
December 19, 1904. He was reared in his native county and re- 
ceived his education at Roanoke College, Salem, Va., being a 
member of the Phi Delta Theta Secret Fraternity. After his 
school days were over he became identified with the mercantile 
business, which he engaged in until 1872, in which year, in asso- 
ciation with his father-in-law, Joseph Jarrett, he became interested 
in stock and cattle raising. In 1891 he organized one of the first 
financial institutions in Alderson, the Bank of Alderson, which 
later became the First National Bank, of which he was cashier 
and later president until his death. Having constantly made a 
study of law he was considered fine in the drafting of legal docu- 
ments and was the legal adviser of many. 

On October 4, 1871, in Greenbrier county, he was married to- 
Mary Frances Jarrett, who was born in said county and was edu- 
cated at Lewisburg College. She was a daughter of Joseph Jarrett 
and Malinda (McClung) Jarrett. 


Edwin Franklin Hill was the son of Spencer Rutherford Hill 
(1821-1889) and Margaret (Patton) Hill (1828-1906). His 
great great grandfather, on his paternal side, sailed from England 
with eight brothers at the same time of the sailing of the Wash- 
ingtons, settling in Northumberland county, Virginia. Six of 
these brothers were in the old Continental army, one the com- 
mander of a Virginia regiment, was with Washington at Valley 
Forge and at the taking of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. Mary 
(Rutherford) Hill, material grandmother of Edwin Franklin Hill, 
was a scion of Scotch lineage, a name eminent in early and mod- 
ern Scotch history. Both the Hills and Rutherfords, for long 
lines of generations, were noted and prominent in English and 
Scotch history, both as statesmen and warriors, and that proud 
distinction seems not to have failed them in their American home. 
Generals A. P. Hill and D. H. Hill, of Confederate fame, and 
Senator Ben H. Hill, of Georgia, third and fourth cousins, re- 
spectively, of Spencer R. Hill. 

Through his mother Mr. Hill was a direct descendant of 
Tristram Patton (1758-1843), who was married to Jean Nelson 
(1786-1860) in the year 1808. Tristram Patton was a native of 
County Tyrone, Ulster Plantation, Ireland, crossed the Atlantic 
in 1777, and is said to have served on Washington's bodyguard 
in the Revolution. After the war he taught school in Philadelphia, 
Pa., moving to Monroe county, West Virginia, in 1795. 

William, eldest brother of Tristram, inherited the family 
estate in Ireland according to the British rule of primogeniture, 
but in default of heirs of his own the property would have gone 
to those of Tristram. They took no action in the matter and 
the estate reverted to the British Crown. All of the fourteen 
children of Tristram Patton attained their majority and twelve 
passed the age of seventy. 

Columbus M. Patton, the only survivor, bears the remarkable 
distinction of being the son of a Revolutionary veteran. He was 
90 years old, March 9, 1918. 

Both the Hills and Pattons are Democrats in their political 


sentiments and Mr. Hill's parents and their ancestors were Pres- 
byterians in their religious belief. 

Edwin Franklin Hill and Frances (Jarrett) Hill had six 
children, all living. They are, sons : Joseph Spencer Hill, Frank 
Jarrett Hill and Roy Lee Hill ; daughters : Maude Hill Hodges, 
Blanche Hill Lobban and Mabel Hill. 

Mr. Hill had two brothers, Rutherford Hunter Hill, who 
died in 1874, and Robert Lee Hill ; also three sisters, Virginia 
Frances (Mrs. J. Clark Gwinn), Sidney Elizabeth (Mrs. John 
Riley Argabrite), and Zorah Custis (Mrs. George E. Boone). 


Joseph Jarrett (1811-1898) was a native* of Greenbrier 
county, his ancestors being among the pioneer settlers, his grand- 
parents having settled first on Wolf creek, then Greenbrier county, 
prior to the Revolutionary war, where a fort, used as a place of 
refuge from the Indians, was called Jarrett's Fort. This fort was 
built in 1771-1772 and was in command of Daniel Boone during 
an Indian raid in 1774. 

The stone house, which was built soon after by the Jarretts 
on Muddy creek, is still standing near Alderson. 

The Jarretts have always been noted as people of perseverance, 
long life and endurance, and Polly (Griffith) Jarrett, maternal 
grandmother of Joseph Jarrett, is said to have frequently walked 
a distance of sixteen miles to Lewisburg in order to hear a favorite 
minister preach. She died in 1802. 

Joseph Jarrett was a son of James Jarrett and Ruth (Gwinn) 
Jarrett. For many, years he was an extensive stock and cattle 
raiser, the latter part of this time being in partnership with his 
son-in-law, Edwin Franklin Hill. He was a man of fine business 
qualities and managed his financial affairs with wisdom and pru- 


dence. He was a Methodist and his house was the home of min- 
isters of that faith whenever they came to that section. 

He had four brothers, Samuel, Andrew, James, and Ira, and 
seven sisters, Betsy McClung, Deliah Warren, Ruth Leonard, 
Evelyn Conner, Rosanna Argabrite, Margaret Clay and Sidney 
Cook, all of whom lived to a ripe old age. 

Joseph Jarrett and his brother Samuel were taken prisoners 
to Camp Chase, Ohio, in 1862, as Southern sympathizers and for 
rendering aid to the South. Ben Morris, a relative of Kanawha 
county, sent them money with which to procure food during their 

Joseph Jarrett was married on August 20, 1834, to Malinda 
McClung, who was born December 12, 1808, and died at the home 
of her daughter, Mrs. Hill, December 11, 1891, within one day of 
being 83 years of age. Mrs. Jarrett, who belonged to one of Green- 
brier's oldest families, was a granddaughter of John Viney, who 
settled here about 1775, her grandmother being a Claypoole. The 
land which belonged to these two familes was about 1,500 acres, 
and was located between the waters of Muddy creek and Mill 
creek. Many descendants of this old pioneer, John Viney, are 
living in Greenbrier county, and some live on part of the land 
which was secured by him from the Government, but both the 
names of Viney and Claypoole are extinct. 

Mrs. Jarrett was a daughter of Sallie (Viney) McClung and 
Ned McClung. By all who knew her she was considered a woman 
of fine qualities and sterling character. During the terrible epi- 
demic of camp fever among the Southern soldiers, who were in 
camp near her farm, she prepared food for the sick, of whom one 
hundred South Carolina and Georgia volunteers died and were 
buried in a beautiful grove on the farm of Captain Buster, at Blue 
Sulphur Springs. 



Tristram Patton, Senior, was the progenitor of one branch 
of the Monroe family bearing that name. He was called senior 
because of there being another of that name, his cousin, living in 
that district, who was known as Tristram Patton, Jr. Both were 
known by a nickname, Trussy Patton. 

Tristram Patton was born on his father's estate, County 
Tyrone, Ulster Plantation, Ireland, about the year 1758, and 
came to America about 1777 at the age of 19. 

It is said that this estate had come into the possession of the 
Pattons early in the reign of James I, after the conspiracy of some 
of the landed proprietors in Ulster to dethrone the king. One of 
them was Lord Tyrone, for whom Tyrone county was named. 
The plot was discovered, the lords fled from the country and their 
land, one-half million acres, was confiscated and taken into posses- 
sion by the Crown. These lands were surveyed and alloted to 
new proprietors, Scotch and English, who were favorites of the 
king, on account of services already rendered or expected, among 
the latter being to hold the natives in subjection and "to civilize 

The Patton family is supposed to have come from Scotland. 
In a book on Scotch Clans the name Patton is found in the Doug- 
las Clan, but it is not mentioned in any other. Some authorities 
indicate that the name is English-Irish instead of Scotch-Irish. 
From the same name is derived Paton, Peyton, Peytonne, Patten, 
etc. The name is found in the Irish Period as Baron Wilmarliegh, 
extincteth-Ulster. The name Patton is now extinct in Tyrone 
County and probably in all of the Ulster Plantation. 

Tristram Patton taught school several years in Philadelphia, 


and while living there it is said he served in the Continental 
army, and was, at one time, a member of Washington's bodyguard. 
He came to Greenbrier county (now Monroe) some years after 
the Revolutionary war. Hardesty's History says he was born in 
1764, and came direct from Ireland to Greenbrier in 1780, which 
information was incorrectly given. 

Before coming to Greenbrier he persuaded his younger 
brother, Robert, to join him, telling him he could never be success- 
ful in Ireland, while America was rife with promise. Their 
eldest brother, William Patton, had, of course, inherited their 
father's estate. 

In the Old Greenbrier county court records, June 26, 1798, 
Tristram and Robert were granted leave to make an incursive 
survey of the lands whereon they lived. From this it is known 
that they had lived at least three years on their lands on Second 
creek. There is also a record in the court house at Lewisburg of 
Robert Patton's receiving a warrant from Governor Lee, in 1797, 
for land on the Greenbrier river. April 21, 1797, is found the 
record of his marriage to Eleanor Gray, Rev. John Alderson 

Tristram and Robert owned a large tract of land on Second 
creek, whereon was a powder mill. They divided their holdings, 
Tristram taking most of the land, and Robert the remainder and 
the mill. Patton's powder mill was below Hamilton's mill (no 
longer in use) and on the site where Curry's mill (now owned by 
J. ML Rodgers) was later erected — not near Nickell's mill, as has 
been stated. It is said to have been built by Frederick Gromer. 

About 1800, Robert Patton and a negro man, one of their 
slaves, were in the powder mill when an explosion occurred, 
which wrecked the mill and killed both men. 


Tristram Patton owned a large grist mill and a saw mill just 
above Hamilton's mill, about a mile above the powder mill, and 
about a mile below the macadamized road. He spent thousands 
of dollars building races and building and rebuilding dams, be- 
cause of their being washed out by floods. He owned about 2,000 
acres of land on Second creek and near Mt. Pleasant church. 
While he gave his attention to his mills and other matters, his 
farming was carried on by his son and his slaves. "Old Shad- 
erack." He also owned Meshack and Abednigo — known as the 
laziest negro for miles around, superintended the farming in Mr. 
Patton's old age. He taught the boys how to work, while he lay 
in the shade and slept. For some time Mr. Patton held the office 
of high sheriff. 

May 24, 1808, when he was about 50 years of age, he married 
Jane Nelson, who was born April 15, 1786, Rev. William Adair, 
pastor of the old Lebanon Seceder church, officiating. The 
Pattons belonged to his church. 

Tristram Patton, Senior, died July 7, 1843. Jane Nelson 
Patton died March 20, i860, and they are buried near old Lebanon 
church. On his tombstone are a number of passages of Scripture 
and this verse: 

"Look, ye strangers, passing by ; 
As you are so once was I ; 
But as I am, so you must be ; 
Prepare for death and follow me." 

To Tristram and Jane Nelson Patton were born fourteen chil- 
dren, all oi whom lived to manhood and womanhood ; all married 
and reared families except one. List of children : 

William Madison, born March 12, 1809; died January, 1878. 

Mary Brown, born June 10, 1810. 

James Nelson, born November 4, 181 1. 

Elizabeth Simpson, born January 24, 1813. 


Robert Miller, born July 17, 1814. 
John J. P'atton, born October 5, 181 6. 
Louisa Amelia, born July 19, 1818. 
Nancy Nelson, born June 28, 1820. 
Thomas Beirne, born December 1, 1822. 
Washington LaFayette, born May 7, 1824. 
Edwin Franklin, born March 26, 1826. 
Margaret Jane, born March 9, 1828. 
Columbus Marion, born March 9, 1828. 
Sidney Ewing, born September 25, 1830. 

Not long before Tristram Patton's death he was notified to 
return to Ireland and claim his estate, his elder brother, William, 
having died without children. He was then too old to make the 
journey, and at his death the estate descended to his eldest son, 
William M. Patton, who made no effort to claim it. After fifty 
years the property reverted to the Crown. 

After the death of Robert P'atton, his widow, Eleanor Gray 
Patton, who was a sister of John Gray, of near Pickaway, moved 
with her two sons, William and Robert, to Kentucky, where she 
married a man named Dyer. She had one son, Albert Dyer, who 
died in early manhood. Her son, William, returned to Monroe 
county, where he married and lived for many years. Her son, 
Robert, married in Kentucky and lived at Elkton, Todd county. 
He left some children, but the family name has become extinct. 

Edwin Franklin Patton married Rebecca M. Burdette in 
October, 1853. She was born March 24, 1839. To this union 
was born Samuel Rutherford Patton, only son, who was born 
July 3, 1854. 

Mr. Patton was a progressive and successful business man, 
owning large tracts of land on Second creek. In his later life he 
was overtaken by financial reverses and then moved to Ron- 
ceverte. During the Civil war he was a member of Company A, 
Twenty-second Virginia Cavalry, Confederate service. Honor- 
able, upright and obliging at all times, there was no better citizen 
than he. 

Samuel Rutherford Patton when a lad attended the Second 


Creek High School and finishing there he attended a boys' school 
at Lewisburg; then he went to college one session, graduating 
from the Hampden Sydney College in the regular course. He 
next graduated in the law course from the Washington and Lee 
University, taking his degree from that institution in 1878. 

After leaving college he established The Messenger, a weekly 
newspaper, which he owned and published for years. About this 
time he was married to Miss Nannie Warwick, and to this union 
were born three children, Edith, Edwin and Ashton, the latter 
dying in infancy. 

December 4, 1881, he was married to Miss Sophona Figgett, 
who, through the vicissitudes of the succeeding years, has been 
a helpmate indeed — a woman of great worth and strength of char- 
acter — she has helped him faithfully in the discharge of life's 

Mr. Patton was a scholar, a man of poetic temperament, an 
interesting and fluent writer. His knowledge of law, united to 
his great store of information on all subjects of general interest, 
caused his fellow citizens of his town to select him as a leader. In 
fact, he was offered every office of honor and trust in the juris- 
diction of the town, and people sought his opinion and advice 
on all kinds of questions. In dispensing justice, he leaned toward 
mercy — "Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy." 

His loyalty to his friends was conspicuous. He was especially 
kind to the poor, and far beyond his means he ministered to their 
needs, and in a quiet, unassuming way that attracted no notice 
from the public. He was mayor of this town two terms, recorder 
two terms, justice of the peace two terms of four years each, 
president of the board of education four terms. He was one of 
the organizers of the Greenbrier Valley Democrat and its editor 
for five years. His facile pen rendered it a power in his town and 
community, though this section of the State was already over- 
supplied with newspapers. A leader in his party, his judgment 
was always sought in its deliberations. 

Two years ago his health began to decline, and gradually 
from that time he grew worse until nine weeks ago he became so 


ill that he was from that time confined to his room. His suffering 
was intense at times, but the end came peacefully, and he fell 
asleep gently as a little child upon its mother's breast. 

Though fitted by mental endowment and by education for 
public office, Mr. Patton was a modest, unpretentious man who 
loved retirement ; a man whose heart was gentle and tender ; he 
had respect for the feeling and opinions of others, and the mean- 
est and humblest he treated with as much respect and courtesy as 
those of highest station. 


The above engraving is a striking portrait of Miss Bertha 
Ann Hundley, author of "Guilt and Retribution, or A Double 
Tragedy," an article which appeared in the Greenbrier Independ- 
ent, December 11, 191 7. 

Miss Hundley is by profession a school teacher. At the pres- 
ent time she is a stenographer for the prosecuting attorney of 
Greenbrier county. 

IMiss Hundley is by nature a writer. The following com- 
mendation from the State superintendent, Morris P. Shawkey, of 
Charleston, speaks for itself: 

"Your story is striking, and shows that you have a good mind 
for description and action. I would advise you to practice story 
writing, as you have developed strong talent for it." 

The Hundleys belong to old Virginia stock. Her grand- 
father was a soldier in the Confederate service between the States. 
Her father, William L. Hundley, came to West Virginia about 
twenty years ago and settled on a farm near Clintonville. 


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Thomas B. Patton was born December i, 1822; died Decem- 
ber 2i, 1863. He was a son of Tristram and Jane Nelson Patton, 
of Monroe. 

December 30, 1845, ne married Eliza Alderson, born Decem- 
ber 9, 1819; died June 21, 1901, daughter of Captain Jack and 
Frances Alderson, of "Western View," now the suburbs of Aider- 
son. To them were born five sons : John William, born October 
21, 1847; Granville M., born September 5, 1849; Preston B., born 
December 18, 1852 ; Alderson N., born December 29, 1854, and 
Walter W., born August 5, 1897. Alderson died while attending 
a boys' school in Iowa, August 9, 1884. * 

Mr. Patton owned and operated the mill at Palestine until 
his death. 

John William married Elizabeth Huffman, who lived only a 
short time. His second wife was Eliza Wait, daughter of Dr. 
Anderson Wait, of Palestine. To this union were born five chil- 
dren : Grace, Nettie, Sadie, Fred and Cecil. 

Granville married a Caraway and moved to Missouri. 

Preston B. married Alice Alderson, daughter of Franklin 
Bond Alderson, October, 1887. Their children are Powell, Owen, 
Margaret, Thomas (dead) and William. 

Mr. Patton taught school in the county, and for many years 
has been an architect and carpenter. He resides on part of his 
grandfather Alderson's plantation, east of the old fair grounds 
and near the river. 

(By Rev. Sam Black.) 

Dr. Cyrus A. Rupert was born in Point Pleasant, Mason 
county, Virginia (now West Virginia), on October 7, 1812, and 
died December 17, 1891. The family record was burned during 
the war. But he must have been born at an early date of the second 


decade in the present century. The writer saw him for the first 
time in the summer of 1829, clerking in the store of his brother, 
Gideon Rupert. He had every appearance of a good salesman. He 
was a man's height, but slender, a pretty figure, a well-developed 
head, merry countenance, and there was something prepossessing 
in his appearance. A man had to form an acquaintance with him 
barely once. He was hardly ever forgotten, and he hardly ever 
forgot a man's countenance. He was not very apt to recollect 
names and dates. He kept an account with ink and pen of every- 
thing of importance that transpired. He came into our neigh- 
borhood a few years after I first saw him. He seemed for a short 
time to make his home at Uncle Alexander McClung's, who had 
three sons coming into manhood. He now became acquainted 
wiith the people of the neighborhood. It was but a short time until 
he bought one hundred acres of beautiful land, with a cabin and 
other buildings. He certainly fell in love with the country. This 
section of the country was called Walker's Meadows, then Mc- 
Clung's Meadows, now called Meadow Bluff District. He very 
soon had a family on his farm, and of course that was called his 
home. He bought piece after piece of land until he had probably 
owned six hundred acres of land all lying in one body, and well 
shaped. He never moved but once and then probably not more 
than two hundred yards. He selected a beautiful place for his 
house and other buildings. He was not long in becoming ac- 
quainted with the people generally, old and young. He did not 
make any especial effort to become acquainted, but was very 
pleasant in his conversation. He was very kind in his associations 
with old people and children, and I may say everybody. 

It wias the custom of the country at that time when a stranger 
came into this neighborhood to invite him to come and see them. 
And when he called at a house on business or by special invitation, 
he seldom lett without an invitation to call again. To use a com- 
mon phrase, "He was an easy going man," not according to the 
common meaning of this phrase, but he passed along smoothly 
with almost everybody. If he had anything- of importance in his 
mind, he kept it to himself unless it was necessary to tell it. He 


had an ear to hear everything that passed, but made no effort to 
recollect anything, except something of importance. 

He was a good business scholar. He was a reading man. 
His mind was stored with useful knowledge. He could converse 
easily with the most intellectual people with whom he met, and 
the most illiterate. In a word, he learned to listen when he ought 
to listen, and to speak when he ought to speak, and in this way he 
was gaining knowledge at one time, and imparting useful instruc- 
tion and knowledge at other times. There was a law passed, after 
the Revolutionary war closed, to give the disabled soldiers a 
pension, and also for the disabled soldiers of 1812, and those who 
fought the Indians, and then those who fought in the Mexican 
war. The doctor read and studied these laws and made himself 
useful to many soldiers in obtaining war claims, and profitable 
to himself. The doctor went to South Carolina and studied medi- 
cine and became a practical physician, and made himself useful to 
many and advantageous to himself. 

The doctor had a versatility of talent and had he applied him- 
self to any one profession he could have been an expert. He was 
a very successful doctor. His patients seldom, very seldom, if 
ever, forsook him. Had he applied himself entirely to the practice 
of medicine, he would certainly have been "ne plus ultra." He 
was the owner of several servants and assuredly was a good mas- 
ter. He lived to be a bachelor, but not a "gruff" bachelor. He 
carried with him the pleasantry of youth. The longer he lived a 
bachelor the more popular he was with the fair sex, and especially 
with the beautiful young ladies in their 'teens. The writer knows 
exactly what he says and now comes the proof. On February 28, 
1854, he was married by Rev. J. K. Hedges to Miss Rachel Mc- 
Clung, one of the beautiful young ladies of sixteen years of age, 
the youngest daughter of John McClung, who was the father of 
eight sons and seven daughters. Her father was married twice. 
His testimony was that he loved her when a babe in the cradle and 
determined to make her his wife. And he loved her all his life. 
When on his death bed he often said, "Rachel has been a good 


To them were born fifteen children, seven sons and eight 
daughters ; twelve now living and three dead. 

Mrs. J. Scott McWhorter, of Lewisburg, is a granddaughter 
of Dr. Rupert, being a daughter of his oldest child and daughter, 
Mrs. William J. Feamster. For the past three months she has 
been assisting her husband, working early and late, in the matter 
of the Government's war program, absolutely without pay. She 
prepared herself for the position by taking a course in shorthand 
and typewriting and has become an efficient agent herself for the 
Red Cross, War Savings and other war work. 

It is due Mr. McWhorter, also, to say that since necessities 
have so required he has given his undivided attention in further- 
ance of the needs of our boys in the trenches. He answers calls 
for platform work constantly, and has been paying railroad fares 
and hotel bills and sacrificing his own professional interests to 
the needs of his country. He is, in fact, doing more than his 
share of the work, but that is one of the characteristics of the man ; 
it is due to his efforts that Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties 
have a judicial district, while the Democratic party is twice over 
indebted to him for various services rendered. 


■^ One of the leading physicians in Greenbrier county before 
and after the Civil war was Dr. E. F. Raymond, who resided at 
Frankford and practiced for a full half century before his death 
on January 5, 191 1. He was a native of Connecticut, but came to 
this State when a young man. He taught school for a number of 
years and gained a reputation as a teacher as well as a physician. 
By persistent work in the school room he obtained money for 
completing his medical course, finally taking his degree of M. D. 
from a medical college in Philadelphia. On June 6. 1865, he mar- 
ried Miss Eliza L. Bunger, daughter of Joseph Henry and Rachel 
(Hutsonpiller) Bunger, of Bunger Mills. 


Dr. Raymond was born October 16, 1835. He won an envi- 
able reputation as a physician during a period of a full half cen- 
tury, and as a skillful surgeon in the Confederate service during 
the war. He died January 5, 191 1. He is highly spoken of to this 
day, and as a man there was none better. 

Henry Bunger, son of Jacob, was born in Rockingham county, 
Virginia, February 15, 1800. He came to Greenbrier county when 
a boy. He married Rachel Hutsonpiller, who was born August 
27, 1803, after which they began housekeeping at Bunger Mills, 
where they reared a large family and lived long and useful lives 
until their deaths, the father dying March 2, 1862, and the mother 
on November 27, 1869. Their children were as follows : Joseph 
Henry, who married Julia A. C. Argabright ; Matilda married 
Archibald Lewis ; Sophia married Alexander Dotson ; Sarah Ann 
married Wallace Robinson ; Elizabeth married William Hutson- 
piller; Mary Jane died January 28, 1832; Mehitable married Dr. 
F. B. Williams ; Eliza married Dr. E. F. Raymond, and Harvey 
Lewis, who was born August 15, 1843, and died November 27, 


Among the very earliest settlers of Greenbrier county was 
Captain William Johnson, who came from the valley of Virginia 
in 1765 and settled first on Anthony's creek, about 1770, moved to 
a farm one mile north of the present site of Lewisburg. He was 
one of the pioneer settlers who went to the assistance of the set- 
tlers at Fort Donnelly when they were attacked by the Indians. 
He married Jane Davis, and to them were born: Jane, Samuel, 
William, John, George, Andrew and Rebecca ; Polly, who married 
John Feamster; Sally, who married R. F. Tyree. After living 
long and useful lives the parents died and were buried on their old 

Andrew Davis Johnson was born May 23, 1800. On February 
21, 1828, he married Esther (Lyle) Alexander, who was born July 


18, 1803, on the farm adjoining the one where her husband was 
born, and was the daughter of James and Margaret (Lyle) Alex- 
ander. Her mother was born in Rockbridge county and was mar- 
ried at Rockbridge, her father at the time living in Greenbrier 
county. After a time her parents moved to Augusta county, and in 
their old age, about 1840, returned to the county and died here. 

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Davis Johnson are : 
Margaret Jane, born October 13, 1829, who has two sons and three 
daughters and resides at Bristol, Tenn. ; James Williams, born June 
7, 1823, is a farmer in Lewisburg district ; George Edward, born 
February 12, 1836, died August 31, following; Ann Eliza, born 
December 4, 1837, married Nathan A. Hanna, November 28, 1858; 
they have one son and one daughter ; Ann E. died January 3, 1883, 
and her husband died March 8, 1862 ; Mary Rebecca, born June 27, 
1840, married Edward Black, November 15, 1859, and died No- 
vember 27, 1861 ; John Davis, born September 16, 1842, a farmer 
of this county ; and Andrew Alexander, born June 3, 1846, married 
Florence E. Skaggs, November 5, 1874. 

James W., John D. and Andrew A. Johnson were Confederate 
soldiers. All served with honor, James and Andrew throughout 
the entire conflict and John until disabled. James W. Johnson was 
sheriff of Greenbrier county, 1 877-1 881. 


Among some of the early settlers at Williamsburg came the 
Watts and Wyatts. Lacy Watts, maternal grandfather of Charles 
A. Wyatt, who has been for twelve years mail carrier between 
Frankford and Williamsburg, lived on a farm about a mile above 
Williamsburg, where Joel H. Watts now lives. He married 
Rebecca Burr. Their children were: Aaron, Albert, Clark, 
Lizzie, who married a McCoy, went West and died there ; Rebecca, 
who died thirty years ago, married Frank Wyatt, and lived at the 
old homestead. Her husband was a soldier in the Confederate 



service and died during the war. Their children were Mary Ann, 
who died about three years ago ; Clara, who married Matthew 
McMillion, of Williamsburg ; John, Jane and Charles A. 

Charles A. Wyatt married Amanda Lipps on January 8, 1819, 
and lived on the old homestead. It is a piece of land, 
well timbered and well watered, has a large, fine growing orchard, 
and is adapted to grazing purposes as well as for raising farm 

Mrs. Wyatt was a daughter of Charles Lipps, who lived just 
northwest of Williamsburg. Six children were born to this union. 
John F. Wyatt, the oldest son, is mail carrier from Lewisburg to 
Williamsburg, and has been for the past four years. He married 
Ada Robinson, now deceased. They had no children. Mamie and 
Henry, both unmarried ; Grover, who married Rose Crookshanks ; 
they live on part of the home place ; Bertha Alice, deceased ; Nellie, 
who married Ross Dove, a farmer; Charles A., an automobile 
machinist, who has a garage at Clintonville, built in 1913. He 
was born in 1900, married Miss Annie Surbaugh, of Kieffer, W. 
Va., and they have one son, Carl, the joy and life of the whole 
Wyatt family. 


William B. Blake, Jr., was born at Dayton, Rockingham 
county, Virginia, August 14, 1883. He is a grandson of the late 
Burdine Blake, of London, Madison county, Ohio, who was a 
gunsmith by trade and who served in the Civil war in the 154th 
Ohio Infantry on the Federal side. For many years following the 
war he was a resident of London, Ohio, but died about eight years 
ago at Mountain Grove, Mo., at the age of 84 years. His wife 
was Miss Mary Ellen Murray, who bore him three sons : James 
F., William B. and Daniel F. 

William B. Blake, Sr., was born January 21, 1852, in London, 
Ohio ; went to Virginia in the early '70s and became connected 
with the music publishing house of the Ruebush-Kieffer Company, 


and remaining with this firm until 1889, when he moved to Ronce- 
verte. He married Miss Alice Mary Home, of Augusta county, 
Virginia, a daughter of Strother P. and Sarah Home. (Strother 
P. Home was a Confederate soldier throughout the Civil war.) 
To this union were born seven children : Charles Stanley Blake, 
Bessie Mabel, William B,. Jr., Henry St. John, Robert Russell, 
Mary Ellen and Edward Lester. At Ronceverte, Mr. Blake, Sr., 
associated himself in partnership with J. W. Hess in the publica- 
tion of the Ronceverte Neuvs, a newly-established paper in the new 
lumber town, buying out the interest of Richard Burke, who had 
been a prominent figure in West Virginia journalism for a num- 
ber of years. Burke had been the publisher of a vigorous news- 
paper at Union, Monroe county. About the year 1891, Mr. Blake 
bought out the interest of Mr. Hess and became the sole proprietor 
of the enterprise, changing the name of the paper to the Valley 
Messenger and News. This publication continued until April 21, 
1 90 1. Several years prior to this, in December, 1897, The West 
Virginia News had been established with Mr. Blake as publisher, 
and from one newspaper plant two newspapers were issued until 
April 21, 1901, when the latter publication, which covered a more 
extensive field, absorbed the Valley Messenger. This consolidation 
brought to the newer paper the good will of the older and the 
growth of the West Virginia News has been steady and continuous 
to this day. At the present time and for a number of years the 
News has enjoyed a larger circulation than any other weekly news- 
paper published in the State. 

The connection of William B. Blake, Jr., with the publication 
business established by his father began in early youth, he being 
active in its affairs from the age of fourteen. On January 1, 1905, 
the joint partnership of William B. Blake & Son was formed for 
the ownership, editorial and business management of the paper. 
This firm continues. The News has its home in its own building, 
a modern three-story brick and stone structure, virtually fire-proof, 
erected in 1909, and its plant equipment is modern in every way. 

On November 16, 1909, Mr. Blake, Jr., married Miss Lena 
Lee Edwards, then of St. Louis, Mo., but a native of Belton, Tex., 


and a daughter of Joseph F. Edwards, of Texas. To this union 
came three children : William III, Norman Bradbury and Marjorie 


Prominent among the sons and daughters of Greenbrier 
county in both church and State comes the Dotson family. 

Quiet, peaceable and progressive, also prosperous in business 
and active in church work, the coming of this family has added a 
blessing to the county. 

The ancestor of this family who first came to this county 
was Thomas Dotson, a Virginian, from Rockingham county. He 
was a soldier in the War of 1812, and from records given of his 
family we surmise that he and Elizabeth, his wife, took up their 
residence on the farm now owned by Frank Bell. He was an elder 
in the Presbyterian church and probably one of the charter mem- 
bers of that organization at Richland. 

Children born of this union were : Alexander, George, Peter, 
Jacob, Thomas. Susan, Eliza and Catherine. Jacob by appoint- 
ment became Governor of Utah Territory during the gold craze. 
Thomas married Mary E. Lewis and Catherine married George 

Alexander Dotson, the ancestor of the Greenbrier family by 
that name, was born October 16, 1816, and died April 27, 1862. 
He married Sophia Bunger, and afterwards owned and operated 
the Bunger mills for many years. (See sketch of Dr. Raymond.) 
He was also an elder in the Presbyterian church, and like his father 
before him, was very active in Christian work. He married into 
the Bunger family on September 25, 1845. His wife was a sister 
of Joseph Bunger. She was born December 14, 1824, and died 
July 27, 1874. Their children were John M., H. T. and William R. 

William R. Dotson married Miss Sarah E. Coffman, October 
16, 1878. She was a daughter of Joseph Coffman, from the Valley 
of Virginia, where the Coffmans had lived time out of mind. John 


married Mary Hamilton, of Nicholas county, January 4, 1881. 
They lived in Colorado. They had three children. H. T. Dodson 
married May Allen, of Kansas, and lived and died there, leaving 
his wife and three daughters. William R. Dotson was also a noted 
churchman. He was an elder in the Richland church and gave 
active and constant support to the cause of Christianity and was 
superintendent of the Sunday school for many years, never being 
absent from duty. He officiated in that capacity on the Sunday 
before he died. 

Children born to Mr. and Mrs. William R. Dotson were: John 
C, born November 3, 1879; F. T., born February 24, 1881. He 
is a graduate of civil and mining engineering and has had very 
great success in the pursuit of his profession. In June, 1910, he 
married Miss Alma Crabtree, of Norton, Va. To this union were 
born three children : Mary Elizabeth, William Robinson and 
Dorothy Sue. 

Mary Wilson, the only daughter of W. R. Dotson, married 
F. W. Tuckwiller. (See history of David Tuckwiller.) Their 
marriage took place October 16, 1908. They are living in Charles- 
ton, W. Va., where he is connected with the Tri-State Electrical 
Company. They have one child, William Dotson Tuckwiller. 

John C. Dotson is one of the successful merchants of this 
county. He completed his educational career at the G. P. S. In- 
stitute, as it is now called, and then at the University of West 
Virginia. Before graduation, however, he was called home on 
account of the illness of his father to take charge of the farm. This 
was in 1901. With inclinations along agricultural lines, he next 
joined the county grange and that naturally led to his mercantile 
career, a phenomenally successful one from the beginning. It was 
in 1 91 7 that he first began trading in farmers' supplies and all 
kinds of seeds which the International Harvester Company of 
America says now exceeds that of any one man in his block of ten 
counties. As a merchant his success has been phenomenal. In 
order to meet the requirements of a constantly increasing demand 
in his line of goods. Mr. Dotson in 1918 erected a large store, 
30x100 feet, and virtually three stories in height, and he is now 

United States Air Service. Killed in France, August 24, 1918. 


doing a large and prosperous business. In 1908 Mr. Dotson mar- 
ried Miss Laura L. Kester, of Clarksburg. She is a daughter of 
J. B. Kester. He was a gunsmith in the Confederate service 
during the Civil war, and he is still in pursuit of that trade now, 
eighty-seven years of age. His wife, a member of the old line of 
Carders of English descent, is still living, hale and hearty, and is 
now seventy-eight years old. 

Mr. and Mrs. Dotson are the parents of two children : Martha 
Elizabeth, now seven years old, and Mary Wilson, four. 

Mr. Dotson, like his father, grandfather and great grand- 
father, is an elder and active worker of the Presbyterian church. 
He has just returned from the church Presbytery at Hillsborough, 
where he had been sent as a delegate to represent his own church 
at Richland. 


There is a sense in which one might say that it would be 
easy to write a sketch of the life of Alexander Mathews. He was 
born August 23, 1895. He was for several years a student in our 
G. P. S. In 1910 he entered Culver Military Academy and grad- 
uated as first lieutenant in 1914. He spent one year at Purdue 
University and in 191 5 entered Cornell University, from which 
institution he volunteered for the aviation service in March of 
1917. He was trained at Miami, Fla.. and in July, 1917, was or- 
dered to France. He was commissioned first lieutenant of the 
American Air Force on September 29, 1917, and was sent to Eng- 
land from France with the Royal Flying Corps for special training. 
He returned to France, April 1, 1918, and was assigned to 
duty with the 84th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, on active ser- 
vice at the front. On the night of August 24th — he was 23 years 
old the day before — he was killed by a German bomb dropped 
during a raid over the sector on which he was engaged. His 
death was instant, and as his captain writes, "He suffered no 
pain at all." 


As has been said, it is easy to write such a sketch as the 
above, to give the dates and the essential faicts in the short life 
of Alexander Mathews, but to write worthily of the life he really 
lived and the glorious death he died is quite another matter. 
Unless we are dull enough to count time by figures on a dial, 
Alexander Mathews did not live a short life. Measured by any 
worthy standard he has rounded out a career which grips eternity. 
He lived more in these short years than the average man could 
live in a century. He lived in friendship and in activities, in 
sympathies and in noble endeavor. It may be that one would look 
at his years in school — it may be that another would dwell on his 
experiences in this modern crusade against the atheism and 
brutality of Germany. But wherever one placed the emphasis 
Alexander Mathews will be found to have touched the round of 
life at all points. He lived intensely, he lived happily. His range 
of friendship was almost without limit. He had his friends among 
the rich and the cultured, among the laboring men who knew 
nothing of the schools. His interests were as varied as his friend- 
ships. Athletics, the Y. M. C. A., his books, this world war — 
in countless directions Alexander'.s mind and heart were busy. 
His place here in Lewisburg is secure as long as the youngest of 
us keeps memory and his place in the affection of schoolmates 
and fellow soldiers is equally secure. 

That Alexander Mlathews died for the safety of the future 
is no little thing. God does not forget such a life, nor will we. 
He might have sought an easier place, a safer spot for the bodily 
life that throbbed so powerfully within him. But Alexander never 
thought of self. He spent two nights and a day with a group of 
his Culver friends rescuing the endangered citizens of flooded 
Logansport and those who told the story said that Alexander 
forgot to eat so long as there was a single soul yet to rescue. That 
was typical of him. His hand and his brain worked together to 
make him a tried and trustworthy pilot in dozens of air battles 
with the treacherous Hun, but there was also a noble heart that 
went with that hand and brain and that was after all the explana- 
tion of the true and beautiful life he lived. We stand in silent 


salute before such a record. Beyond the stars toward which he 
flew, Alexander Mathews lives with the God who is the God of all 
high souls and of all unending lives of service. 

The letter from his captain is as follows : 


The letter from his captain is as follows : 

"It is my sad duty to write and tell you how your son, Alex., 
was killed last night. 

"Alex, and several other officers from this squadron went last 
night to a concert given by another squadron close by. 

"The night was very fine with a clear moon, and the Hun 
seized the opportunity to carry out a bomb raid. 

"When the first bomb fell Alex, and others left the hangar 
where the concert was being given and took shelter near a hedge — 
the next bomb dropped right among them, and Alex, and another 
officer were killed outright, and suffered no pain at all. 

"I can't tell you how much we miss Alex, and what a shock 
it was to all of us. I have known Alex, ever since he joined the 
squadron and have done a great deal of work with him over the 
lines, and there was nobody I would sooner go into a scrap with. 
He was an excellent pilot and was very keen, and had become 
one of the tried and trustworthy pilots who are the backbone of a 
fighting squadron. 

"A chap like Alex, is awfully hard to replace, for, although 
only with us for five months, he had been in dozens of fights and 
was a very experienced and scientific Hun fighter. 

"Personally I have lost a good friend, and my one consolation 
is that Alex, did not suffer at all. 

"Believe me, sir, you have my deepest sympathy, and the 
sympathy of all the pilots of the squadron who knew him and 
were his friends. I am, Sincerely yours, 

"Carl F. Falkenberg, 

"Captain R. A. F." 


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