I have never been farther down Reedy that the old Baker homestead, which is several miles from the mouth, except that I went down Sheppard's Fork and to Palestine in 1883.
My recollection is that the steam is some sixty pole wide at the mouth and perhaps five poles wide at the mouth of the right branch. I have not been able to learn much of the country below what is known as Fought's Hill, which is where the creek makes a bend, and the road, instead of following around the creek takes a short cut across the hill, cutting off the point, and striking the creek again, and thus shortening the distance.
Above this is Turtle Run, which comes in on the left above Fought's Hill. It is said there used to be an open lead mine in this vicinity where the Indians and early settlers used to obtain that necessary article.
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Early Settlers on Lower Reedy
It is probable that the first settlers on Reedy were at the mouth, now the site of the Village of Palestine, but who was the first to build his cabin there or from whence he came, I have been unable to ascertain.
The name of Samuel Coe is identified with the early history of Reedy mouth, and it is quite likely he lived there at one time. He built a mill at the mouth of Reedy about 1816 or 1817. In 1830 he opened a hotel at Elizabeth. This man Coe appears to have been wealthy for the times.
There Walter Coe, who married Barzillia Jett, lived also. His daughter, Susan Coe, married Caleb Wiseman, Jr. Ed and Brian Coe married sisters of Caleb Wiseman, Jr.
Some say that George Owens built the mill and others that Owens was agent or manager for Coe; whether this Owens lived there or what kin he may have been to George Owens, who settled at Burning Springs, does not appear.
Charles Stewart, who afterward moved to the Three Forks of Reedy in 1822, lived across the Little Kanawha River from the mouth of Reedy a few years before coming to Reedy.
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John Baker owned a large tract of land on Reedy below the mouth of Conrad's Run. The date of his immigration is lost, but it must have been as early as the second decade of the 19th Century, possibly about 1816.
John Baker lived at the Horse Shoe Bend of the Cheat River in 1815. He was born in 1764, in Germany, says the family tradition, and crossed the ocean when a child, being six months in the passage in the slow sailing vessels of that day. His father was a Captain in the American Army.
John Baker settled on Reedy about four miles below the Three Forks and a half mile or more below the mouth of Conrad's Run.
The house where he died in 1834 stood up on a little flat, across a wide bottom from the creek and half way up the low hill; there is an old well there yet, tho' there was probably a spring close at hand when the house was first built.
This well was still in use when I visited the place in 1904. This spot is by the side of a little drain in the Widow Parks' orchard up the hill from and a little down stream from the house.
(I see nothing to show that the Baker farm was ever a part of the Henderson survey, though it may have been.)
The creek bottoms were wide and very fertile, and heavily timbered with beech, sugar poplar, oak, walnut, lynn, and sycamore.
At the time of his death in 1834, Baker owned several hundred acres of these land, besides a tract of five hundred acres farther down the creek. He had bought it of a M. Price.
The old Baker graveyard is on top of a little point near the head of a rivulet mentioned, and about eight miles northwest of where the house stood. Here is he sleeping in this neglected spot, careless of the wonderful changes which have taken place in the country he knew as a hunting ground, and which he left to lie down on this low little hilltop, while it was yet the haunt of bear, deer and wolf.
Baker reared a large family, and left them well provided for.
James Baker was the oldest child, and in 1834 lived on a farm given him by his father, the first place below where Zadoc Thorne formerly resided on the left side of Reedy. Later he went West. His wife was Sally Bonnet, daughter of William and Barbara Harpold Bonnet, who lived above Ripley on Mill Creek.
Wesley Baker was an "old field" schoolmaster and a practicing physician. He lived a while on the home farm, and then moved to Kentucky.
Catharine Baker married Thomas Lee. She was willed the first farm below the home farm on the same side of the creek.
Lee built (says C.M. Boggs) the mill known as Lee's or Baker's Mill on this place about 1845.
Lee was born in 1799, and died in 1864, six years after the death of his wife. Both Thomas and Catharine Lee and several of their of their children are buried in the Baker graveyard.
Joshua Lee on Spring Creek, who was the father of Jesse Lee and Nancy, wife of Kingsley Dulin, was a brother of Thomas Lee. He also had a son, Stephen S. Lee, whose daughter married a Depue.
Joshua Lee came from Westmoreland County to Elizabeth, where he practiced law until his death. (A period of over fifty years.) He was ninety eight years old when he died.
Stephen S. married Virginia Quick.
Mary Baker married Fin Thornton. She got the farm next below James on the left hand side of the creek. They emigrated to Missouri.
Thornton Baker was willed the next farm below Lee's on the right side of the creek, it laid at the mouth of Round Bottom Run, so named from a wide bottom of a rudely circular shape. The farm was known as the "Round Bottom" farm. His wife was Lucinda Foster. He was born about 1807 and died in 1880. She was born 1819, died 1890.
Betsy Baker married Thomas Bord, a son of Joseph Bord. She got the "balance of the farm from Fall Run down." Bord was called "North Carolina Tom" to distinguish him from his uncle, "Fact" Tom, who lived on Mill Creek above Chase's Mill.
Elisha Baker was willed the farm known as the "Rich Bottom" making the remainder of the land contained in the upper or home tract. It laid on the right side of the creek below the Round Bottom farm.
Elisha Baker married a Trickett.'
To Benjamin and Elijah Baker was willed the five hundred acres bought of Price at the bend of the creek above the mouth of Sheppard's Fork. Benjamin chose that part of the tract lying above Reedy, and Elijah that on the lower side.
Benjamin Baker married Nancy, daughter of Peter Cleek, from near Ripley.
Elijah's wife was Nancy Wolfe, a daughter of James Wolfe, who lived just below the mouth of Elk Fork on Mill Creek.
Ben Baker sold his farm to Hayes Paxton, who moved there about 1840 or 1842.
Paxton was a river man. He married a McDonald. Both were from Rockbridge County, Virginia.
His father was Thomas Paxton, and his mother Dicena Cartwright Paxton.
Hayes Paxton came to Reedy from Kanawha County. His brother, Lyle Paxton, born 1822, married Barbara Hammack. He was a Captain ni the West Virginia State Troops, and saw much service in Roane and adjoining Counties.
Another brother was John Paxton, who married Mary Vineyard. He was born in 1817, she in 1820. A daugher, Messelvy, married Nathaniel P. Lewis.
Both Lyle and John Paxton lived on Poca in Roane County.
Caroline, wife of Dickson Burdett, who lived on Wagon Run of Spring Creek, was a sister; and James Paxton of near Reedyville and William, General, and "Wash" Paxton were brothers.
Elijah Baker sold his farm to Hiram Fought, whose wife was Catharine Foster. (It will be remembered that Thornton Baker married a Foster.)
Fought was born in 1803 and died 1850. He was a son of Alfred Fought, who came to the Newark Flats on January 15, 1809. His mother was Hannah Steed Fought.
The farm passed into the hands of two of his sons, Adam P. and Alfred. Other sons were: James W., who was taken to Camp Chase and kept until the close of the war; Andrew, Jr., who, like Adam, was in the Southern Army - was twice taken prisoner; and John W., who appears to have been of guerilla proclivities. He was arrested and taken to Elizabeth, where he was held as prisoner for a time. Afterward he either escaped or was released, but was shot and killed before he got home.
Elijah Baker lived some time before the war, until his death at Leroy, on the head of the Right Fork of Sandy.
He was born Oct. 4, 1815, at Horseshoe Bend of Cheat River, died Feb. 12, 1896.
Nancy Baker was born May 30, 1815; died June 30, 1902.
They were buried in the old graveyard at Leroy, where rest the pioneers of the Upper Sandy Valley - the Carders, Roys, Hartleys, etc.
James Fought came, it is said, in 1792, from Pennsylvania. He married Elizabeth, a daughter of Thomas Pribble. They had the following children:
Abram married Louisa Rockhold.
Alfred married Hannah Steed, 1858.
Mary married William Buffington.
Kitty married Jacob Deem.
Lovey married William Hickman, 1832.
Patty married a Bayless.
Hannah married a Melrose.
Candaza married D. Daus. (One account says a Crawford, and another a Hickman.)
This must have been a different family from the Hiram Foughts, to whom Elijah Baker sold.
On December 28, 1810, John G. Henderson of Wood County came into possession of 2500 acres of the Graham Survey (patented in 1786 and 1793 to Graham.)
These lands were in five 500 acre tracts lying on both sides of Reedy, about ten miles from its mouth.
Land titles on Reedy were very insecure and unsatisfactory. Many times there were two or more patents issued by the Crown, or, after the close of the Revolutionary War, by the State of Virginia; or at times the lines of different surveys crossed each other, and the different tracts lapped. In such cases each party interested would try to hold to the outside limits of the patent under which they held.
There were so many conflicting claims that no one was sure of a peaceful possession of his farm, no matter how the title was derived.
Many patents and titles all through West Virginia were, for one cause or another, forfeited to the State, and new titles issued to other parties for the same land.
Companies of speculators were formed for the purpose of buying up old claims and titles, for a trifle; and then either to establish a right to the land through a long process of litigation that would generally wear the small holders out, or otherwise frighten or force the possessor into a compromise by which the Company received several times the small amount per acre which their claims cost them. The North American Land Company alone held claims on many millions of acres in the bounds of the State of West Virginia.
The hills and valleys of the Reedy country were a network of old marked lines, stretching sometimes for miles through the forests in all directions. Often no one, not even the oldest inhabitant, knew why they had been made or what survey they were intended to mark.
One of the early patents that had been issued for the Reedy lands was known as the Clayborne and Morlan survey.
When or by whom first granted, no one whom I have met could tell, though I presume it would be little trouble to ascertain the facts by application to Court Records at Richmond, Parkersburg, Elizabeth, or perhaps even Spencer. One man said he thought the patent had been granted by the English Crown in 1772, and a new survey made and patent issued to one Richard Graham for land lying partly within the same boundaries, in 1774, two years later; but this is, I think, the wildest of guesswork.
Anyway, there are titles now held under the Graham patent, lying side by side with others held under the Clayborne-Morlan patent, and each covered by the latter survey or probably by both.
The Clayborne and Morlan Survey consisted of five strips running South from the vicinity of the Little Kanawha river. The lines, on deeds for land resurveyed and plotted in the Fifties, were marked three degrees off of due North, probably owing to the variation of the compass since they were run.
These strips were each 370 poles wide, and divided into blocks - each 435 poles square - and containing 1000 acres. These lots were numbered, and divided by number, one man taking the odd number lots and the other the even. In the next strip, the alternate sections came so that each man's lots cornered together like the black and white squares on a checkerboard.
One informant said this Survey extended from Standing Stone. I think it terminated with the Wright Block at Beech Grove.
Where other surveys which had been made along the creeks by other parties - and it was the custom to enter land in strips of bottom for farming purposes, leaving the hills, which were considered unfit for tillage, as hunting grounds - cutting out a part of a lot held, the remnant was counted as a lot and the next block or part of one went to the other man.
I do not know how many acres there were in the Graham Patent nor what were its boundaries. However that may have been, it embraced a large scope of territory around the Three Forks of Reedy.
Who Graham was, the extent or date of his patents or by whom granted, I am unable to say, but it was covered by the Clayborne and Morlan patent.
Albert Gallatin of Pennsylvania, Secretary of State under President Jefferson, surveyed and patented several large tracts in Roane and adjoining counties, one of the lots including the land around Spencer, and another series of lots on the head of Mill Creek.
The date of these patents is said to have been 1787. John Alleson had a large boundary on Mill Creek patented Nov 27, 1787.
In 1784 Tierson Brothers, and in 1795, Samuel M. Hopkins, a son of Stephen Hopkins, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, patented surveys embrace the greater part of which is now Roane County.
A man by the name of R.H. Henderson said, I know not how correctly, to have been a resident of Richmond, Virginia, owned an extensive tract of land below Reedy, in the early part of the century.
This land was a part of the Richard Graham Survey. Part must have been covered by the Clayborne and Morlan Survey.
All or a part of this tract was sold to John Boggs of Greenbrier County, who moved on it in 1824. I think he bought of Henderson, though the purchase may have been from some other party. Anyway, his title was defective, and after two years he gave the land up and left it.
Boggs brought on a large force of hands, including several negro slaves, and cleared out quite a farm. His land extended from the Baker Survey to Stewart's line near the Three Forks.
Henderson afterward put on a colony of his own, mostly slaves, and tried to oen up a regular Old Dominion plantation, in the quaint phrase of one of my informants he "tried to tear the bone out, but couldn't stand this country." So the scheme failed of success.
The place was long known as "The Headquarters" or "Henderson's Headquarters". John Lott and a man named Petty were Henderson's overseers, and James Henderson, a brother, who lived on the river above Parkersburg, was his agent.
Later the land was sold out in smaller farms to actual settlers. "The Headquarters", including the buildings and "nigger quarters", was sold to William Robinson; then sold by Robinson to John Lott; by Lott to Salathiel Goff; and by Goff, in 1852, to Zadoc Thorne, who has lived on it ever since. This farm lies on the left side of Reedy, opposite the mouth of Conrad's Run. The building site is on a knoll or natural elevation overlooking the wide Valley of Reedy, and is one of the most beautiful in all the country, an ideal spot for the manor house of an old time plantation.
Another tract on the right side of the stream and above, cornering with the Thorne farm, was owned in 1837 by Elijah Petty, perhaps a brother of John and William Petty who settled about the same time near Burning Springs.
Petty sold to William Mollahan, a son-in-law of Charles Boggs, Sr.
Mollahan sold to Salathiel Goff, 1840 or 1845, and Goff to William Callison before 1856; Callison to Dusossaway Dye, about 1865 or 1866, and the farm has remained in the hands of that family since.
Goff came to Reedy in 1842, and owned the Dye land before he bought of Lott. A small portion of the Lott farm, lying on the right bank of the Creek, was sold to Thomas H. Lee, and is now owned by the Rev. George Burdett.
In 1837, Charles Boggs (a son of John Boggs' brother Charles) who had come to Spring Creek, where the latter was living, and leased a piece of land at the mouth of Little Spring Creek, bought 146 acres of the Henderson land, paying $2.00 and acre, or $292.00.
The deed is signed by James Henderson, Attorney-in-fact for R.H. Henerson, and is dated September 6, 1837.
He came to Reedy and rented the land, living on it a year before buying.
Afterward he bought other land adjoining until he owned up to or above the mouth of Stutler's (then Wolf Pen) Run.
The original 146 acres was at the mouth of McKutcheons' Run, where John L. Boggs lived and died. Charles W. Boggs tells me that the first house was built near the site of his present residence. Others say it was across the creek above the mouth of McKutcheon's Run.
Boggs was of Irish stock, and came from the Blue Sulphur Springs in Greenbrier County.
I will append a brief sketch of the parties named in the foregoing pages before giving a history of the Boggs family.
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William Robinson is not mentioned in the traditions of the Valley, and may have been a non-resident holder.
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John Lott lived on the Thorne farm perhaps early in the Thirties. He is said to have been overseer in Henderson's fiasco of about 1827-30.
Some of the "early settlers" spoke of having heard of a "Wise Lott" who lived "down the creek somewhere" when he was a boy.
There was an Anthony Lott, who lived at different places around Reedy about the same time. He was a connection of the Cains and Bords, and may have been a relative of John.
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Elijah Petty is named as another Henderson manager. Perhaps he received his land for services rendered his employer.
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William Callison was one of three brothers who lived in the community. Where they came from, I did not learn. I do not think the father lived on Reedy. They were a people of good standing and repute among their neighbors.
William Callison was a Justice of the Peace in Wirt County. He married a daughter of William Mollahan.
Andrew Callison kept store and hotel at the Three Forks of Reedy after the war. He sold out to James Trim in 1874, and moved to Ravenswood, where he engaged in business.
He died about 1875 or 1876, respected by all who knew him. Andrew Callison's wife was "Sally" McKutcheon, a sister of Elisha and James McKutcheon.
Callison's daughter Nan married W.T. Cox, Dec. 13, 1877. She died at Cox's Landing (near Huntington) in 1907.
Bob Callison married a daughter of John B. Smith.
(A.B. Chancey said the Callisons came from the Elk River.)
The Callison who married Caroline Paxton was very distant if any kin.
A sister of Andrew Callison married Benjamin Hall, who lived on the old Dempsey Flesher place.
John Bonnet made the first improvement on McKutcheon's Run, at the "Lish" McKutcheon's place. He had sons, John and Jim Bonnet. He came from Sam's Creek, near Mineral Wells.
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George Mollahan settled on Elk River, below Frametown. His son, Nathan, married a daughter of "Elk River" John Boggs.
William or "Bill' Mollahan, another son, married Elizabeth, a sister of John L. Boggs. After his death in 1852 she married Charley Frame.
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John Goff was one of the colony that settled at Horseshoe Bend of Cheat River in Tucker County, in 1772. Captain James Parsons and Robert Cunningham were in the party.
John Goff married Elizabeth Welch, a sister of James Riddle's wife, who was of Scotch descent. (They were supposed to have married before coming to America.) John Goff died March 9, 1803.
The children of John and Elizabeth Welch Goff were:
Luda Goff (Ludy) married Jacob Springston in Randolph county. Their children were:
Abraham married Effie Goff, daughter of Hiram and her cousin.
James Cassico. He was in the War of 1812, and was an old field school teacher.
Joanna married George Bush. Ira Bush, a teacher at Parkersburg, was her grandson.
Wlliam married Mary Jane Riddle, widow of Chatham Riddle, whose maiden name was Maiger.
There were other children, but of them, Mrs. Adkins, my informant and a granddaughter of Ludy Goff Springston, could tell me nothing.
Salathiel Goff, a brother of John, was living in Randolph County in the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, and was quite wealthy. He married Elizabeth Gray. He is said to have been a descendant of the regicide, Goffe, but this may be but a fanciful tradition.
Salathiel and Elizabeth Goff's children were:
Hiram Goff married Margaret Rush. He was a Major, and on the staff of Gen. Booth in the War of 1812.
Elizabeth Goff married Major William Stalnaker of Dekalb.
Tamar Goff married John Riddle.
Nancy Goff married Ben Riddle.
Alexander (Sonny) Goff married a Riddle.
Hiram Goff's wife, Margaret Rush, is said to be a direct descendant of Benjamin Rush of Revolutionary days. Their children were:
William R. Goff, born in Randolph County, January 1, 1813. He moved to the home opposite Spencer in 1837. He was a Captain of Militia, and Justice of the Peace for five years in Jackson County and three years in Wirt County, also five years in Roane County, without changing his residence. He died in 1895. His wife was Sarah Bush, born near Weston, in 1817. Her father was George Bush. Her mother, Mary Wolfe Bush, and her grandfather, Michael Bush. Michael Bush was killed at Point Pleasant in 1774.
George Goff married Jane Long, and lived on Middle Fork of Reedy.
Elizabeth Goff married Hiram Riddle, son of Ben Riddle, Sr., and her cousin.
Rachel Goff married George W. Hardman in Ritchie County.
Hiram Dawson Goff married Rachel, daughter of Sam Brannon.
John R. Goff.
Effie Goff married Jacob Springston.
George Goff married Joanna, daughter of John Goff. Their daughter, Nancy Goff, married John Riddle, son of Ben Riddle, Sr.
John B. Goff, son of Salathiel Goff. Names of children:
Salathiel Goff married Margaret Flesher.
Rebecca Goff married Old Tommy Hardman.
Drusilla Goff married Billy Parsons, and lived on the head of Stover.
Alexander, (Sonny) son of John Goff of Cheat River, married Elizabeth Riddle, a sister of John Riddle. He was born in 1799. They came to Leading Creek after the War of 1812.
He was born in England in 1783, and died in the early Fifties. Their children were:
John A. Goff, born in 1800. He was a Methodist preacher and married Julia House. He lived on Long Run, near Goff Post Office.
Dorcas Goff married Samuel Fleming, and lived on Dry Run of Spruce Creek.
George Goff married Mary Smith, daughter of Barnes Smith, Sr. Settled in Wood County, then went to Missouri. His son, John, was killed by the Indians. His daughter, Hila Ann, married James S. Hardman. (He was the George Goff of Middle Fork.)
Joseph H. Goff was a preacher, M.E.S. He married Angeline Davis, first, and later Virginia Blizzard.
Thomas Goff married Elizabeth Smith, daughter of Barnes Smith, Sr.
Benjamin Goff married Edna Smith, daughter of Aaron. His son, E.C. Goff, was in the Union army and was a Delegate in the Legislature.
Alexander Goff married Mary Bush, daughter of George, who was a son of Jacob and Margaret Flesher Bush.
Strother Goff married Nancy Riddle, daughter of John and Tamar Riddle.
Monica E. Goff married Richard McCan in Lewis County. Dr. Patrick McCan, their son, married Isabel Geary in 1851.
Gen. Nathan Goff was a son of Waldo P. Goff of Harrison County. He was elected Governor of West Virginia in 1888. He had an uncle, Nathan Goff, who was very wealthy, who, when he died, left his fortune to his nephew.
Mrs. Hovey, a daughter of William R. Goff, related during a visit on May 1, 1902, that William R. Goff once (no date given, but it was in the early days) traded a sheepskin for fifty acres of land.
The land laid on the head of Ben's Run, (Who was Ben?) which enters Spring Creek from the right, near the old mill site at the upper end of town.
A man named Bureau, a grandson of the former owner of the land where Spencer stands, was surveying in the vicinity, and was taken sick, so that he had to quit work and return home. There being no other means of travel, he had to ride horseback, and offered Goff a deed for fifty acres of land if he would make his saddle soft. This offer Goff accepted, and the result was obtained by cutting places for the stirrups and horn of the saddle in a large sheepskin, home tanned, with long wool, so that it fitted over the saddle - making it comparatively comfortable for the invalid's journey to the river. However, Bureau did not live two weeks after he got back to his home at Gallipolis, Ohio.
Hiram Dawson Goff married Rachel Brannon of Gilmer County. He was the first settler on the farm where Mr. Frank Riddle now lives on Middle Reedy. He died on Spring Creek near Spencer. Frank Goff, Sheriff of Roane County, and Charley Goff, now Cashier at the Reedy Bank, are his sons.
George Goff moved to the farm at the mouth of Long's Run, about 1840. He lived there several years. While living there his house was burned, and it is said that four children who were alone in the house were burned to death. The charred bodies being found in the corner where a bed had stood. (W. Goff said this Charles was no connection of his people.)
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The Boggs Family
I will endeavor to give as correct an account of the Boggs family as can be compiled from the many conflicting and widely variant accounts I have received.
Charles Boggs came from Ireland to the United States, at what time he came or if while young, or after he was married and his family were grown, there is no certain evidence, He appears to have been in the Revolutionary War, and an immigrant to the South Branch of the Potomac, and later a resident of Bath County, Virginia.
There is no record of the wife's name nor where she was from.
They raised eight sons (One records says thirteen) six of whom were in the American Army during the War for Independence. Five of them are said to have been in the Battle of Point Pleasant.
One of his sons was Lilburn W. Boggs, who was governor of Missouri from 1836 to 1840.
Another son, (said to be seventh in age) was John Boggs, who lived on Spring Creek.
Another was Charles or Charley, who lived in Nicholas County.
His family (as given in Col. Dewees' book) was James, who had sons: Alexander, William Anderson, Benjamin, Silas and Frank. Dewees also mentions that Sarah Schoolcraft married Archie, son of James Boggs of Braxton County.
William Boggs married Sarah Stump, a daughter of Michael Stump, Sr. He owned 500 acres of the Swan Survey at the mouth of Steer Run on the Left Fork of Steer Creek.
Elizabeth Boggs, his daughter, married Daniel Dewees, the historian.
Jane Boggs married Lewellen, son of Andrew b. Frame.
Jemima Boggs married Jacob Shock, Jr.
John Boggs lived at the site of Survey P.O. on Duck Creek, which empties into the Elk River at the Braxton-Clay county line.
He had sons: Lemaster and Norman Boggs.
A daughter, who married Jacob Stump, Sr., probably in his old age.
Another daughter, who married Nathan Mollahan, a brother of Bill Mollahan, who lived on Reedy.
The Swan Survey mentioned in Deweese's account of William Boggs, was a large boundary of land around the Forks of Steer Creek, patented by John Swan of Morgantown. William Boggs bought five hundred acres at the mouth of Steer Run, where Isaac Deweese lived in 1821 when "Col." Daniel Deweese was born, on March 11, 1821.
James Arnold, while surveying this tract, shot a "buffalo" at a lick on Lick Fork of Left Steer Creek, which proved to be a steer with marks in his ears, and supposed to have wandered from the settlements of the South Branch.
From this circumstance the stream took the name of "Steer Creek."
The date of John Boggs' birth cannot even be approximated, there are so many conflicting accounts of his age at the time of his death, which occurred, says Marshall Depue, his grandson, with whom he was living, on April 2nd, 1862. However, his sister, Mrs. Malinda Parsons of Jackson County, thinks it was in January.
He was variously reported to have been from 104 to 114 at the time of his death. (Earl Vandale says the family tradition is that he was 108 years old at the time of his death.)
John Boggs' wife was Susan Drennan. Her father was a son of Andrew Drennan and had a brother Charles and sisters Sally and Ellen who were killed in an Indian raid on the settlements about Muddy Creek and the "Levels." Her father was scalped but recovered, and her mother and a small child were carried away as prisoners. The child cried so on the journey that the Indians, supposing they were pursued and fearing the noise would lead to discovery, took it from the distracted mother's arms, cut it in two and hung the pieces up in a tree.
The history of the Indian Wars in the Kanawha Valley says that in the raid on the Little Levels in the spring of 1780 a party of twenty-two warriors made an attack on the house of Lawrence Drennan (from him comes the name of "Larry" in the Boggs family) a few miles above the Little Levels, where Henry Baker was killed. Drennan dispatched a servant to warn the neighbors. Twenty men were collected, and started in pursuit of the Indians, but were ambushed and one man killed. A man named Monday was also killed, and a Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Thomas Drennan and her child carried away with them.
Susan Drennan was raised by Major Renick.
Boggs lived on Muddy Creek in Greenbrier County before coming to Reedy. The date of his immigration is in dispute. The late A.L. Vandale, a grandson, told me it was in 1824.
Mr. Charles M. Boggs, who now lives on the Henderson land, corroborates this date. Others fix the date at 1820 or 1821.
The reports are also at variance as to the amount of land he bought and the price paid, but it is very likely he lost a considerable amount of money as well as labor in this venture.
As before stated, he bought a large boundary of land of Henderson above Baker's on Main Reedy, and moving out with hands and slaves, opened up in the next two years quite a lot of land. Losing this through a defective title, he then bought a tract of land on Left Reedy, said to comprise the whole Valley from Stewart's at the Three Fork to the Ben Riddle farm where S.B. Ball now resides.
This was bought of a man named Enochs, who lived "out about Hugheses River." Whether Enochs claimed the land in his own right or was acting as agent for the North American or some other land company, does not appear.
"Old Tommy Boggs" as he was familiarly known through all the country, built a cabin near the mouth of what is known as Burnt House Run, opposite Beech Grove Church. One day after the "raising" he started out to select a good splitting tree to make puncheons with which to floor his cabin, and in the search ran across an old line, the corner tree standing on the side of the point a little south of where Mr. W.L. Bush lived in 1870.
Being, like all men of the period, who possessed a high degree of intelligence - an expert woodsman, Boggs traced the line from this corner both ways, for a long distance.
Careful inquiry could elicit no information as to the history of the line, nor was it even known why or by whom it was made, probably it marked the bounds of some prospective survey, for which no patent was secured.
Fearing further loss through litigation, the Boggses abandoned their claim, again losing the money they had invested. Years later the old cabin was destroyed in a woods fire, and from this the run took its name.
The same land was later sold by Enochs to the Stewarts who paid One Thousand dollars in gold for it, and afterward lost the greater part, if not all, of the land.
After the second failure to secure a home, Boggs next invested in a large body of land on Spring Creek below Spencer.
Mat Boggs says there were 3000 acres, for which Three Thousand Dollars was paid. Elijah Callow places the figure at 17,000 acres. The records at Point Pleasant, if still in existence, would show what it was.
This Survey I think included all the Spring Creek Valley from about the mouth of Beaver Dam to within a mile or so of Spencer. To this land he moved in 1831.
While on the Reedy plantation he had cleared on both sides of the Creek, and kept a huge dugout canoe for ferrying purposes.
The family consisted of fifty-two in all - men, women, children, "work hands", and "niggers." All lived together in huge cabins, and all fared alike as to provisions. Cornpone, bear meat, venison, pork, potatoes, beans, pumpkins, etc., were plentiful at times, and all fared sumptuously; again, "lean seasons" came around, and all "worked hard and lived hard" alike.
When moving day came, they started out in a procession over the mountain, a bunch of negroes before, cutting out logs and underbrush, clearing the way, then children and household goods on pack horses, men and women walking, and in the rear two yokes of oxen driven by "nggers" dragging the canoe, which was to be launched on the waters of Spring Creek.
It was not long after his arrival before Boggs, who was an enterprising, progressive citizen, built a school house, not one of the costly white frame structures no built, comfortably furnished inside, but a pole cabin of the then customary type, rib roof held down with weight poles, puncheon floors, split log seat, huge fireplace and other like comforts and necessities. For a teacher, he provided an Irishman named Mitchell, a "schoolmaster" versed in the three Rs - "Readin', ‘Ritin', and ‘Rithmetic" and skilled in the use of hickory and birch, and whose salary was a piece of land where Bill Vandale afterward lived, and the educational advantages of the Colony were complete.
The Manor house cabin was located at the mouth of Island Run, four miles below Spencer.
In 1831 Boggs built a sawmill, the first in Spencer District.
John Boggs was an industrious, hard working man, and was at one time one of the wealthiest men in Jackson County. He had a good many negro slaves, who, it is said, were treated as well as his other work hands, and well taken care of. He often said, "No man can crack a whip over my niggers."
He gave to each of his children a farm and two negro slaves, as a start in life.
Here is a copy of a deed which he made while Spring Creek was yet a part of Jackson County, and which is on record in the Clerk's Office at Ripley.
"This indenture, made the 11th day of April , in the year One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty-three; Witnesseth, That for and in consideration of natural love and affection I do hereby convey to Thomas Boggs and John Newson my two female negro slaves, Betsy and Hannah, in trust, for the benefit of my son Lawrence Boggs during his natural life; and after the death of my son Lawrence Boggs, I do give the said slaves, Betsy and Hannah, and their increase, to the children of my son Lawrence lawfully begotten, or to the heirs of such child or children of my son Lawrence, lawfully begottne, such portion as their parents would have inherited. On testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and date above written. (Signed) John Boggs (L.S.)"
When Boggs became too old to maintain himself he made his home with his daughter Belmount, who married Benniah Depue, and to whom he gave the home farm at the mouth of Island Run, except a lot of forty acres he reserved in his own name.
Finally becoming dissatisfied, he bought a tract of two hundred acres on the head of Spring Creek, whic he deeded to his grandson, Marshall Depue, for his maintenance. He continued to resdie with Depue until his death, which is said to have occurred on the 2nd of April, 1862 at the age of 108. John Boggs' children were:
Sarah married James Vandale.
Nancy married John D. Vandale
James R. married Harriet Walkup.
Thomas married Matilda Rockhold.
Evaline B. married Benniah Depue.
Lawrence married, and lived in Ohio.
Malinda married Jonathan Depue.
Peggy married Stephen Hicks, father of Larry.
William married Maria Maze.
The Parkersburg News for October 15, 1859, says: "There is living in Roane County an old man named William Boggs who is one hundred and eight years old. Attended last Court; is active, etc."
Sarah Boggs, daughter of John and Susan Drennan Boggs, was born in Greenbrier County, Virginia in 1792. She married James Vandale and lived in Greenbrier County until 1832, when on the 2nd of December they reached Spring Creek. They moved on a piece of land given her by her father. Their house stood where Anderson Miller lived up on the point above the mouth of Cedar Point Run, a few miles below Spencer. This was in Wood County prior to the formation of Jackson County.
William Boggs married Maria Maze. They lived on the upper end of the Boggs farm, where the late Henry Depue lived.
He had a horsemill in the early days, and afterward built a water mill.
Earl Vandale's notes give William Boggs' family as:
Charity married (1st) a Wilson; had two daughters. Margaret married Boland Badgett.
Susan married Samuel Givens, a son of Henry Givens of Reedy.
Elizabeth married a Diddle.
Caroline married (1st) John R. Smith, then a Cunningham.
Lawrence was never married. He was killed in Tennessee.
Thomas never married.
Zerniah (Rucey) married a Breedlove. After the war she had her father's body moved to Charleston.
James R. Boggs was born in Greenbrier County, May 22, 1800. His first wife was Harried Walkup of Greenbrier County. Their children were:
Susan married David McGlothlin.
John R. married a Parrish. He was in the Union Army.
Nathaniel lives on Beaver Dam.
Mary J. married Willis Walker.
James married a widow by the name of West.
Later, having become separated from his first wife, James R. Boggs married Nancy O'Brien, daughter of John and Mary Mace O'Brien of O'Brien's Fork of Steer Creek. Their children were: Thaddeus (married Susan Webb), Elizabeth, Adam Clark, William and Belmount.
Another informant says in 1845 James R. Boggs was married a third time, to Lucy Ann O'Brien, and their children were: Virginia married a Blosser, Walter D..
Sarah married a Trippett, Melinda, Caroline married Holbert Cottrel, Mary I. married Taylor Blosser.
Nancy Boggs married John D. Vandale, a brother of James and son of Abraham. They lived on Spring Creek, about eight miles below Spencer.
Evaline Belmont V. Boggs married Benniah Depue. They lived at the Boggs homestead at the mouth of Island Run. Their children were:
Marshall born 1833, died 1907, married Elizabeth Jarrett of Kanawha County, Susan married Cyrus Goff; Henry born 1855; twins, Jane and Melinda born Apr 10, 1843; Melinda married Lewis Parsons on Mill Creek; Benniah; Similda married Frank Goff, son of Dawson Goff, Evaline.
Owen Jarrett came from Greenbrier County to Jarrett's Ford on Elk River; died when 53 years. Eli, his son, died 1897; married Nancy Newhouse born 1811, died 1899; they had childre: Squire Bennett, Eli T., Mark S., Mary E. married a Depue, Caroline married Burdett Price, Nancy Catharine married D.S. Jarrett.
Thomas Boggs, familiarly known to all as "Old Tommy Boggs" all over the country, was a very peculiar man and one who made a lasting impression on everyone with whom he came in contact.
Irish like he was, overflowing with humor and had some droll remark ready for any occasion, a man of much more intelligence than the average, of keen perception, a close observer and of tenacious memory, he had an unfathomable fund of information concerning man and nature stored in the recesses of his mind.
A short catchy way of speaking, which cannot be indicated in writing, which had to be heard direct to be fully appreciated and which added a zest to his stories of camp and hunt, and to the illimitable variety of anecdotes always at his command, like aromatic spices in confectionery, while the droll smile which puckered his wrinkled face and the humorous twinkle of his eye were to his conversation as are illustrations to a book.
While there was doubtless an element of exaggeration in many of the old man's marvelous "tales of hairbreadth ‘scapes by flood and field", there is still less doubt that a man of his energy, keen sense of observation, born and reared in the wilderness of the Virginia mountains, accustomed to the use of the old flintlock rifle from the time he could hold one up, whose playthings as a child were trap and knife, whose comrades were his faithful dogs and whose home was the woods, has met with adventures which sound to the ears of the present generation akin to the tales of the celebrated Baron Munchausen.
Old Tommy Boggs had been in his young days like Nimrod "a mighty hunter, and while full of energy and "get up" never took kindly to the prosy monotonous sameness of farm life. After the Bogg Colony came to Reedy, his was the part of provisioner for the camp - for in the first years it was moe camp than home - his the trusty rifle which supplied the venison, wild turkey and bear meat, which furnished at times the greater part of the food. His education was good, but mostly in the Book of Nature, which he had studied closely, in that knowledge imparted by the schoolmaster or from the printed page he was more limited, and yet of this he had enough to answer his ends, having served the people for years as a surveyor of land and Justice of the Peace, which position carried with it that of member of the body - known in Virginia jurisprudence as the County Court - which legislated for his county.
His surveys were perhaps not as accurate as such work should be, but were as nearly correct as were most of those of his day, the measuring being done, as he was wont to express it, "with a fox's hide and the tail throwed in". He who has heard the old man's call of "one-time-out" will never forget it.
As a magistrate, he served his people to the best of his, by no ways mean, abilities and rendered satisfaction, dealing out justice impartially between man and man.
My recollection of Old Tommy, who was an old man when I first saw him, thirty five years ago, is that he had the shrunken form of a once well built muscular man, his height before Time and Rhuematism (that worst for of the backwoodsman, who necessarily was much exposed to the inclemencies of the weather) had drawn him over, had probably been about six feet, and I take him to have been of good proportion and powerful muscle, without any superabundant flesh or fat. When I knew him his muscles were wasted, his limbs shrunken, and his form bowed. His color was pale, with a rather ghastly suggestion of bluish tinge, and his hair about as white as a man's hair gets; his eyes, pale blue, yet with a bright twinkle; his face, which was small for the size of the man, was puckered and seamed and wrinkled like, save in color, some nut or dried up fruit of the woods; with hooked nose and small projecting chin, it would have been anything but an attractive face but for the merry twinkle of the eye and the droll puckering of his good humored smile.
In temperament he was bright and sunny, ever ready with jest and joke, and though living to almost or quite a few three score and ten, never lost his fondness for childish pranks and practical jokes and a love of fun, which time and cares had utterly failed to overcome.
Thomas Boggs was born in Greenbrier County, Virginia. I have been given the date as 1799. I recollect hearing him say some time about the winter of 1875 or 1876 that he was eighty years old, but this was in one of his quaint jocular remarks and may not have been intended as a definite statement of his age. He died March 20, 1880.
The Hon. A.L. Vandale, whose mother was Boggs' sister, places the date of his birth at 1790.
Thomas Boggs came to Reedy and Spring Creek with his father, being then a young man, possibly considerably past his majority, but yet unmarried.
His wife's name, it is said, was Matilda Rockhold. Her mother's maiden name was Rockhold, or she was a widow Rockhold when she married Caleb Wiseman, who raised the girls.
The late A.L. Vandale said that her father was a man named Stewart, a brother of the Rev. Hensley Stewart, a pioneer preacher of the Baptist Church on Reedy, and some say a brother of Virginia Stewart, who was the wife of one of the first settlers of the Three Forks of Reedy.
She had a son Rollo (or Raleigh) Butcher, who lived with Boggs until grown. In 1840 he married Ellinor McCune, a daughter of Peter McCune of the West Fork.
Boggs was at one time wealthy, for the time, the owner of several slaves and a fine farm. He lived at different places on Spring Creek and Reedy; was a man of means and influence; was a member of the first County Court of Wirt County in 1848, which was comprised of the following gentlemen: Henry Steed, Charles Rector, William Sheppard, Thomas Boggs, Wm. R. Goff, Silas B. Seaman, John P. Thomasson, William P. Rathbone, Alfred Beauchamp, Daniel Wilkinson.
The Court convened at Beauchamp's house at Elizabeth, May 23, 1848. The vote for County Clerk of the County Court stood:
For - Daniel Wilkinson: Beauchamp, Rector, Rathbone, Boggs and Steed. (5)
For - Samuel Sheppard: Sheppard, Seaman, Goff and Thomasson. (4)
In 1835, when the first Baptist Church was organized at Spencer by the Rev. Robert Tinsdale, the members were: Mrs. Sam Tanner, Thomas Boggs, Matilda Boggs. James Vandale, Sarah Vandale.
During the war Old Tommy Boggs was in sympathy with the Confederates, as were most of the people in that community. However, he remained neutral, taking no active part in the struggle.
I do not think his wife died until after the war, but have no reliable information as to the date.
He afterward married a second wife, Betty Showan, with whom he lived when I knew him, and until his death, which occurred on Henry's Fork, about 1880. Thomas Boggs had six children:
Evaline married William Parrill. He died with consumption before the war, leaving a daughter Addie, who lived at her grandfather's awhile after I knew him. She married a Clark about 1874 and died soon after.
Susan married Abe Parrill. He and a son were guerillas in Gilmer and Calhoun Counties during the war and were both killed in a fight with the Union soldiers in Glenville. He and another man were buried in the same grave. Tom Parrill, one of the biggest, roughest hewn, square, kindliest young men I ever knew, was another son. He died in April 1873, at his grandfather's home on the head of Wright's Run, opposite Beech Grove.
Ruth married Dewitt Heaton. Two of their sons were in the newspaper business in Parkersburg.
Elvira married a Valentine. Afterwards married Nathaniel Boggs, son of James R. and grandson of John Boggs.
BetsyAnn married Jim Seaman.
Clay married Eliza Showan, a sister of his father's second wife, Betty Showen. He lived on Henry's Fork of the West Fork.
In 1872 Old Tommy Boggs owned a tract of a little over a hundred acres on the head of Wright's Run. He had, a while before I knew him, traded this to Tom Parrill, but was still living on it. The Spring of ‘72 he moved to another farm which he owned on Spring Creek opposite and a little below the mouht of Nance's Run (Poverty Run) - a mile below Spencer.
Parrill, falling sick that Fall, deeded the land on Wright's Run (the old Allen Rader farm) back to his grandfather, who took care of him until his death. Old Tommy lived a part of the time on this land until the fall of 1875, when he traded it to James H. Butcher for a farm on Rush Run of Henry's Fork, to which he moved with his son Clay, who had been living with him a few months.
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Thomas Boggs' Anecdotes
The old man used to be a familiar sight as he passed up and down the road. His white hair, worn rather long, gave him quite a patriarchal appearance, tho' his bent frame and Irish face was no reminder of the Hebrew elders. His old hat, and I do not remember ever seeing him with a new one, was often worn in his hand, swinging by his side. He was fond of teasing children, claiming to be a bogeyman watching to ‘get' them if they were bad. May youngsters five or six years old were really afraid, and would run like chickens hiding from a hawk when they saw him coming.
Numerous are the stories told around the country firesides of Tommy's dry humor and droll ways, and the many amusing tales he used to tell are yet repeated among the older folk, when they fall into reminiscences of the olden days. The point of the joke usually being in the rich brogue with which he ‘got it off.'
It is related that some time during the war the old man was grubbing near the road when a squad of Union soldiers who were passing that way halted and began to question him as to which side he was with in the "controversy." "What are you," asked the commanding officer. "Me - me - wy - I'm - a - Baptist," said Tommy. "Yes, yes, of course, but are you Union or Reb?" asked the soldier. "Wy Tildy un me's Baptist, I said," the old man again said, "You tell me. Are you for the Government or against it?" asked the soldier sternly. "Hey?" ejaculated the open-mouthed old man. "Are you Secesh or Yank?" "Hey?" again the old man. "What's your politics?" patiently asked the soldier. "Politics, what is that?" Boggs inquired. "Oh, how do you vote?" was the further question, "Vote, why with the majority," Boggs answered. "Boys," said the officer, turning to his grinning soldiers, "that old fellow hasn't got any sense. We'll just put him down with the majority." "Wy," innocently repeated the old man, as the troops started to ride away, "I told you jist as plain as I could that Tildy and me's both Babtists."
Once upon a time, as storied begin, I gave "Old Tommy" some early sweet corn for seed, said Squire Joe Stutler. When I visited him during the fall of 1904. It was an extra early kind, and I told him it would make him some good early roasting ears. One day in the summer I saw him coming down the hill past my place, and thought I would ask him how he liked his corn. So when he came up, I accosted him. "Well, Joe," said he, "I want to tell you. It's the earliest corn I ever seen in my whole life. Tuther day, Tildy and me went in the garden to get some beans for dinner, and I opened a few husks and looked at the corn and I seen it was in good roasin ear a'ready," So I said to Tildy, "I'll get some corn to cook with our beans and Tildy said, "All right, we'll string the beans, and while I'm gettin them on you can get your roasin ears." So we set down on the porch and strung the beans, and then I went back to the garden for my roasin ears, and what do you think, Joe. It was hard enough to grind."
At another time, said Mr. Stutler, the season had been very dry, and the corn, especially on the hills, was of but little account. A couple of friends from Missourt were visiting Old Tommy and took occasion to boast of the corn they had in that land of plenty. "Why," declared one, "we have corn there so tall that I can't reach the silks standing on tiptoe." "Well," said the old man, "that's nuthin on them rich bottoms. I kin show you corn right here in these hills you can't tiptoe and reach the silks."
The Missourian, of course, refused to believe any such statement about the parched crops of West Virginia, until Old Tommy led them out into his cornfield on one of the thin upland flats, where the corn stood from two to three feet high, blue and sickly looking, with an occasional dwarfed silk cropping out. "There," shouted the old man, his puckered face glowing with triumph, "kin you tiptoe and reach them silks?"
Other marvelous yarns he loved to spin were of hogs that could "root pertaters in the ninth row" and "lick molasses from the bottom of a gallon jug".
Another corn story is the "trick" he tried to play on a neighbor when living on the head of Wright's Run. It was customary for the men folk, when there came a day too wet and rainy to work out of doors, to visit the neighbors, where they could sit by the fire and chat, to pass away the tedious hours. One day while Brown Smith was at Old Tommy's, (during the winter of 1871) the conversation turned on the corn crop of the coming season. Old Tommy spoke of "a corn Bill Vandale's got, called the Packberry Corn", and went on to paint in glowing colors the earliness, productiveness, and general desirabilit of this wonderful new variety of corn, until Brown, who was taking it all in good faith, remarked that he thought he would go in the Spring and get some of it for seed. Then the old man's wife interposed with "Tommy, what's the use of tellin that stuff. You know it's all a lie." "Wy, Betty," (his second wife this time) returned the old man, looking up at here, sober as a judge, "Betty, what did you say that for?" "Wy, Brown would a went over there to get some seed."
Old Tommy could swear a little in a mild way, if the occasion seemed to him to demand it, though he was a Baptist. Like old men also sometimes do, he had acquired a habit of talking to himself, and one of the Leary boys used to tell that once, as he was passing through the Jim Butcher place, while Boggs lived there, he came quite close upon the old man as he was chopping a log which lay across one of the steep hollows back of the house, without his presence being known tot he latter. Just as Leary came up behind him, old Tommy straightened up where he stood over the notch in his log which laid about six or eight feet from the ground. He braced one hand on his hip to "take the reefs out of his back" and leaned on his ax handle, and casting his glance on the bank beyond, muttered, "Now, when this log breaks, I'll jump over yander." Presently, he resumed his chopping, and after a few strokes of the axe, chanced to cut too close the lower side and with a sharp crack the log broke and dropped down into the hollow. The old man made a wild lunge for the opposite bank, tumbled, rather than sprang, against the hillside, and rolled to the bottom of the hollow in a confused mixture of man, log and axe. After a few moments waiting to see if he was dead, he began trying to scramble out of the ‘mess', grumbling, "Now, didn't I play ____ jumpin over yander?"
Mr. John Wright told me that Old Tommy once had a horse which his father, Bas Wright, had long wanted to buy, but which the old man persistently refused to sell. One day, while out in his field, over the hill, some distance from the house, Boggs came across his horse, dead. Shortly after he had returned to the house, Wright happened past and Old Tommy called to him and said, "Well, Bas, I have concluded to sell you Old Billy this mornin."
This just suited Wright, and the sale was soon made. Wright was to pay $25.00 for the horse, and have him at once, although he did not have the money to pay in hand for him. Boggs even refused to take his note, for the amount, but loaned him an old halter - which hung on a corner of the old cabin, and sent him over in the "cove" - to get the horse for himself.
Bas had little difficulty in finding the horse. He soon returned to the house in a state of great excitement, and calling the old man out, cried, "Oh! Mr. Boggs, the horse is dead." With a sly twinkle in his eyes. Old Tommy relied dryly, "Well, I recon I knowed that , Bas."
One day in the Spring of 1875, as we were all sitting housed up around the fire at my father's (we then lived on the Bush farm opposite Beech Grove) some one looked out of the window and saw what looked a little like a pack peddler coming up the point toward the house. This "object" developed into Old Tommy Boggs, with a load of apple tree brush, limbs, and sprouts on his back.
He had been over to his farm on Spring Creek and got some scions from some of his favorite apple trees, and roots to graft them on, and brought them over for my father to graft for him "on the shares. Old Tommy helped with the work, as did I, it being the first for either of us.
The next summer a man whose first name was Hiram lived on the old waste farm on Wright's Run and had rented for corn a field of about six acres on Boggs' place.
That year Hiram had four big white hogs, which he kept in a rail pen near the house and "fed out" until they looked like they ought to "clean" two hundred forty or fifty pounds each. I do not now recollect, but suppose Hiram had corn somewhere else beside the Boggs' field, which being new ground and the weather being unfavorable and tillage poor, produced a very light yield, probably ten or twelve bushels per acre.
That fall, Old Tommy said he "only got three salt barrels" of corn to his share, which was one third. When taxed, Hiram admitted feeding his hogs three feeds before the corn was divided. Later, Boggs used to say in his droll way, "A man never gits too old to learn. I'm eighty years old, and I learnt two things this summer. The old man House learnt me how to graft apple trees, and Hiram learnt me how to fatten four hogs on three feeds of undivided corn."
Thomas Boggs was a member of the County Court, and Sheriff of Wirt County.
Charles C. Boggs (son of Charles Boggs) was born in Greenbrier County, May 29, 1787, died Sept 27, 1873, aged eighty six. He married Jane R. Lemaster, born 1788, died 1868. She was from Nicholas County.
They moved to John Boggs' farm in 1834, living at the mouth of Little Spring Creek. In 1836 he bought a part of the Henderson land, and moved to where Charles Boggs now lives.
Charles C. Boggs' children were:
John L. Boggs, married Harriet Vandale. They lived on the home place where the old road came to the creek above the mouth of McCutcheon's Run, on the right bank of the creek. He was born 1818, died in 1894. She was born in 1817, died in 1887. Their children were: Betsy, married (1) William Mollahan and (2) Charley Frame. They moved to Braxton County. Eldra married a Frame; Nancy married a Brown; Charity married Henry Givens. They lived on the William Smith farm. He later sold his farm to William Smith of Lewis County, or his father, John B. Smith. Charles W. Givens, his son, married Sarah E,. a daughter of Leonard Simmons, in 1857.
Jane Boggs married George Seaman.
Hawk Boggs, who was killed in the mill explosion at Reedy, Feb 8, 1866, was a son of Charles and a brother of John L. Boggs.
Charles Boggs is a son of John L. Boggs. He was born in Reedy, in 1837. When a boy he went to school at the south of Little Spring Creek, at the Nick Simmons place. His teachers were: Sarah Jane Shreve, Elizabeth Betts, and John Hudson. He remembers his grandfather shooting a bear at McCutcheon's Run. He and Jim Hicks (a son of Steve Hicks, who married Peggy Boggs, and lived at the Cyrus Goff Place) were hunting and found the bear and killed it. This occurred early in the Forties.
Charles Boggs, Col. T.A. Roberts, Frank Gibson, Ben Williams, and Tom Boggess, a Spencer lawyer, were representatives of Roane County in the Wheeling Convention. These may have been elected or appointed as Delegates but Roberts was the only one who served. This was the second Wheeling Convention.
Martin Boggs, a prominent citizen of Clay County, was a son of one of John Boggs' brother. He had a brother, Frank, living at Parkersburg.
James Boggs was a son, said Charles Boggs, of one of Charles C. Boggs' brothers. He married George Riley's sister. Rev. Dexter Boggs is their son.
James A. Boggs married Susan Cutlip, and lived in Braxton County. James M. Boggs and Henry C. Boggs of Geary District, Roane County, were his sons.
Earl Vandale's notes say that Charles Boggs was the father of thirteen sons, and that John Boggs was the seventh son. Mr. Vandale thinks, from what he knows of the family tradition, that John Boggs, his great grandfather, was grown at the time of the migration from Ireland.
John Boggs bought the Fifteen Hundred acres of land of Enoch and Steed, February 19, 1825, for $2,250.00 "in hand paid" the deed says, but Enoch sued him in the Circuit Superior Court of Wood County, and obtained judgment. Presumably this was for payment on the land. Judgment was dated March 13, 1827.
On March 20th, Boggs, having given Enoch bond in the amount of $3,978 to cover this judgment, with William Boggs, Thomas Boggs, James Boggs, Charles Rector, William Fisher, William P. Fisher, Scarlett G. Foley, John Boyle, Travis Wilson, B.H. Foley and George V. Lewis, all of Wood County, as sureties.
Being "willing and desirous to save harmless his said securities" he gave a mortgage or Deed of Trust to James David and James M. Stephenson, on "the following negro slaves: Jeremiah, James, George, Caty, Rachel, Matilda, Sarah, Betsy, Martha, Mary, Polly, Benny, Bob, Henry and Maria, with the future increase of the females."
The slaves to be sold at auction to the highest bidder immediately upon the issuing of an execution against said sureties.
Boggs paid taxes on land, 1826, 1827 and 1828. He probably lived at the house at William Ball place, or in a cabin about the bend of the Creek.
Uncle Tommy Boggs built the "Burnt House." The line tree he found may have been in the line of Enoch's first One Thousand Acre Survey.
The Deed mentioned above was signed by Isaac Enoch and Aaron Steed. However, there is no record of Steed's ever buying or being taxes with any part of it. Thomas, William, or James Boggs never paid land tax in Wood County.
As a matter of fact and record, John Boggs bought 4000 acres on Spring Creek, a part of the Tilton Survey No. 40, Survey 1785. Patent, August 5, 1788. Boggs paid $2000.
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Abraham Vandale was of German descent. He was born in New Jersey. Of his family there were eight brothers, all of whom were in the Revolutionary War.
Abraham was at the battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. He came to Lewisburg, and thence to Fayette County. He donated the land on which the Fayette County Court House was erected. Abraham Vandale died at the age of 102 years.
Abraham Vandale had several sons, one of whom was James.
James Vandale was born in Rockbridge County, Virgnia, within two and one half miles of the Natural Bridge. He was born on January 6, 1781. He married Sally (Sarah) Boggs, who was born on Muddy Creek, Greenbrier County, on July 26, 1792. In 1832, they came to Spring Creek, and lived at the mouth of Cedar Creek, a few miles below Spencer. James Vandale died August 16, 1867; Sally Vandale died July 27, 1857. Their children were:
John Vandale married Rua Ingraham.
William B. Vandale married Rebecca Hodam.
Andew L. Vandale, born July 27, 1827 on Lick Creek, Greenbrier County, married Rebecca Sheppard.
Harriet Vandale, born November 1, 1817, died Feb 20, 1887. She married John L., son of Charles Boggs. He was born July 4, 1818; died April 21, 1894.
Sarah Vandale, born Jan 27, 1820, died Aug 12, 1873. She married John Ott, son of Fidillas Ott, and lived on Sheppard's Fork.
Editha Vandale, born Jan 27, 1820. She married Henry Payne, and lived above Spencer. He was from Massachusetts. Sarah and Editha Vandale were twins.
Susan Vandale married Jephaniah Wiseman. Lived at Elizabeth. June 4, 1811, July 1868.
Charity Vandale married Marmaduke D.W. Boggs. Lived at the mouth of Wagon Run.
Ruth Vandale married Hiram Depue, 1806 - 1881.
Bet Vandale married a Greathouse, and moved to Nebraska.
Jemima and Madison died when children.
(Earl Vandale says his records show that Bet Vandale was a daughter of John Vandale.)
Another of John Vandale's sons, Dillon Vandale, went to Indiana.
Joel Vandale, a son of John Vandale, died.
John D. Vandale married Nancy Boggs. They lived on Spring Creek, about eight miles below Spencer. He later married a second wife, named Blake. John Vandale's children were:
Washington, the oldest son, went to Tennessee.
Edward Dillon went to Ohio.
J. Harvey went to Indiana.
Malvina lives on the Kanawha.
Napoleon Bonaparte died on West Fork.
W. Floyd, the youngest son was a physician.
Report of the Secretary of War, 1853, Volume 2, Page 155, Virginia (Fayette County). "Abram Vandale, Private. Annual allowance, $80.00. Placed on Pension Roll, Dec 1833. Pension commenced March 4, 1831, Age 76 years."
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Leonard Simmons was born in Pendleton County, Virginia, New Year's Day, 1806. He came to Jackson County in 1833, and died April 23, 1881. His children were:
Leonard D. Died in 1909. He married Sarah Artemia Goff.
Jeff born Jan 1, 1941; died Sept 27, 1913.
Sarah E. married C.W. Givens in 1857, and moved to Ohio.
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Henry Mace was a squatter at the mouth of Henry's Fork, in 1814. He was a son of Isaac Mace, and had a sister, Rebecca Mace, who was the second wife of old Philip Starcher. Their children were:
Solomon Mace, the first white child born in Smithfield District.
Jerry Mace married Sarah Wilson, daughter of John and Catherine Brannon Wilson.
Peggy Mace married Levi Nichols.
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The Depues came from New Jersey, thirty three miles from Philadelphia, and claimed connection with United States Senator Chauncey M. Depue. Benjamin and Daniel Depue were Captains, it is said, under General Washington in the American Army. Henry Depue was also a patriot soldier, and fought in the battles of Princeton and Trenton, and was one of the sufferers in the terrible winter at Valley Forge.
Years later he went down the Mississippi River in search of a sister, and seeing a fine opportunity for trade, returned, fitted out a keel boat, loaded it with bear meat and venison, and floated down to New Orleans, sold out with an immense profit, and bought two boatloads of flour and started on the long tedious journey upstream back to the English settlement. At the Falls in the Ohio he had the misfortune to lose both of his boats and cargoes.
From here he drifted around, wandering about among the frontier settlements. Finally he turned up at the Greenbrier settlements, where he settled down, marrying Virginia (or Jane) Maze. He is said to have moved to Calhoun County at a later date.
Benniah Depue was born in Greenbrier County, June 16, 1805. He died January 9, 1883. He moved to Spring Creek in 1836.
Hiram Depue, born about 1814 at Big Bend. He came to Wirt County in 1830. He married Ruth Vandale (born 1829 died 1860) in 1843.
Jonathan Depue was born about 1805. He married Malinda Boggs, and lived in Calhoun County.
David Depue was born about 1819. He married Margaret Arnold. They lived near Oiltown awhile. He died near Sandyville. He was the father of Jonathan W. (Jonathan W. Depue married Clara McKown.)
Archibald Depue was born on Spring Creek; in 1840 he married Julia Moss. He later went to Vinton County, Ohio.
Virginia Depue married William Campbell, and later married N.B. Vandale.
Henry Depue married Benniah Maze's daughter.
Ellen married Gilmer Bailey, and lived at Creston.
It is said Henry Depue had two sisters in New York, Katy and Rachel. One married a Van Rennselaer.
One historian says the Henry Depue listed above was the father of the other children mentioned.
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John Conrad came from Germany. His wife was Catherine Wendle, also German. The date of migration is not given. Probably he married before leaving Germany.
He lived first at Hagerstown, then moved South to the South Branch, from whence he came to Reedy in 1807, having bought, or patented, a tract of land on what is known as Conrad's Run, four miles below Reedy.
Peter Conrad (John Conrad's son) built a cabin, and then, after marrying Phebe Hartley, moved into his new home. He was married April 9, 1818, and continued to reside in the same place until his death in 1868.
Peter Conrad was married by Reece Woolf, the Methodist preacher. Jacob Conrad was also married by Reese Woolf. He married Sarah Thommason, June 22, 1818.
Peter Conrad ultimately owned nearly all the land on the run. Whether it was all contained in the original tract, I cannot say.
The Reedy country was a vast wilderness with occasional openings where some hardy pioneer had built his cabin and cleared a few acres, when Conrad first settled on its waters. There was a little colony on Sheppard's Fork. Patrick Bord had a little improvement out on Right Reedy, just beyond Duke's Station, and probably Baker was already established on the creek below. (Baker died in 1834.)
Bears and wolves were plentiful. For several years sheep were enclosed at night in a pen adjoining the house.
One of the doors (when there were two doors) opened into it. Here the sheep were herded at night, while the lambs were small. Even then the wolves would sometimes venture in and steal a lamb.
The old road leading from the settlement around the Three Forks of Reedy to the Sheppard Fork colony crossed the ridge from Conrad's Run. About a half mile from the south it may yet be seen where it takes to the hill to the right, running up the point above the mouth of a little stream. The ground is scarred and washed in gutters several feet deep. It is said the old road can be clearly traced to where it comes off of the hill on Smith's Run. The old pack road still showing through field and wood.
Along this path trod the moccasin feet of the pioneer men and women as they passed back and forth from one settlement to the other.
It was over this trail that the people of Reedy settlement passed when they attended church at the old Mingo Meeting House (which stood across the river form Elizabeth). Here Mrs. Conrad, Mrs. Chandler and other women of the settlement used to walk to church on the long bright summer Sabbaths. Sometimes carrying a baby in their arms, and their shoes or moccasins tied together with deerhide thongs and hanging from arm or apron, ready to be donned when they came near Elizabeth.
After preaching they would return as they came, having tramped a distance of many miles and back, thinking no more of it than women today of walking a mile or less.
Peter Conrad built his house where an old house yet stands, about one fourth mile up the stream from the creek. He had a mill during the Forties, and probably later. Sam Curfman, when a boy going to mill, ran across a panther somewhere on the stream above Conrad's.
Peter and Phebe Conrad raised twelve children. They were: (supposed to be listed according to birth)
David Conrad, born in 1819, was living in Ohio in 1905. He married Evaline Bord, a daughter of Joe Bord.
Lucinda Conrad, born in July 1821, died in September 1902. She married Anthony Thomas, and lived on Sheppard's Fork. Their daughter married Ted Harris.
Margaret Conrad married Robert Sheppard, a son of Robert Sheppard, and familiarly called "Bill Bob" to distinguish him from Col. William Sheppard, a son of Jonathan, who was his cousin.
Louisa A. Conrad was born Nov 16, 1824. She married John W. Cain.
Cinderella Conrad married Wash Lott, perhaps a son of John Lott. He is thought to be a nephew of Wise Lott, who lived on a part of the Henderson land; Wash and Cinderella Conrad lived at Palestine.
Hulda Conrad married Philip Rader, son of Joseph Rader. They went to Indiana, where he died, leaving a son, Sam Rader, whom Peter Conrad raised.
Sudner Conrad married the guerilla chief, Jim Smith. She was his second wife. After his death she stayed in the South most of the time, until after the war. She lived with her grandson Will Evans, in Reedy in 1905.
Jacob Conrad was born in 1830, lives at the forks of Conrad's Run. His wife was Abigail McKutcheon (a sister of Elisha and James.)
John Conrad married Hannah Parsons, daughter of Charles Parsons, Jr., who lived at Big Run on Mill Creek. He now lives on the Right Fork of Conrad's Run. Theodore Conrad was his son. Hannah died April 17, 1907.
Sarah Conrad married Ben Hickle. They lived on Spring Creek.
Marion Conrad married Elizabeth Bridgett.
Newton Conrad married Rebecca Singmaster.
After the death of his first wife, Peter Conrad was married to Jane Blosser, daughter of Henry. Their children were:
Elizabeth married Allen Rader. Lived on Conrad's Run.
Virginia married Morgan Pomeroy.
Peter married Clementine Rice.
Susan married Will Dalrymple.
Nancy married Enoch Howell.
Louisiana married Nic Sprouse.
Two died while children.
These names I do not believe to be in correct order of age.
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"Wagoner Sam" Hickle
When I last saw old Benny Hickle in October, 1904, he lived on the Daniels farm on Spring Creek, 24 miles above Spencer. He died in February, 1907.
Benjamin Hickle was born in the "Shanando" Valley in 1821. He was a son of Wagoner Sam, "who was a little, white haired, irascible and garrulous old man in 1877, when I knew him. He was at Norfolk as a soldier in 1812, and had been a teamster on the ‘National Road' from Wheeling to Zanesville, where he owned two six horse teams. He said he hauled the heaviest load ever drawn (by two horses, I suppose) on the road - that is "2020 pounds, for John F. Clark showed me the bill."
Sam Hickle was, I think, eighty years old or more in 1877. He died about 1884. His funeral was preached on the fourth Sunday in July, 1884. Hickle moved to Preston County early in the Twenties, and to the present site of Weston a few years later. He owned there Eight Hundred Acres of land. In 1849 he moved to Roane County, where he owned the McKown Mill. His children were:
Ben married Sally Conrad; Augustus, father of Sace and of a son, who had a store in Spencer.
George, father of Unites States Marshall, Bill Hickle
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Smith Farm and Family
Across the creek from the old Dye farm a little stream flows down by the side of the creek, leaving a little point which from the road opposite, looks to be twelve or fifteen rods wide, and some twenty five or thirty rods long, sloping gradually on each side as does the hill beyond, for some distance. Here John B. Smith moved from Lick Creek in Harrison County. His ancestors are not given. A sister was the wife of John W. Carder, who lived at Liverpool.
His wife was Margaret Bush, a relative of "Pete Bush" and the Badgetts. Her mother, Elizabeth Bush, was born in 1806 and died in 1887. I
n 1874, John B. Smith lived in one of the three houses in Lower Reedy, and when the flood came with the terrible storm of the night of July 26th, he was swept away and drowned, while attempting to cross one of the deep gullies near the house, to get to higher ground. The body was found next day, near the mouth of Folly Run.
William Smith, one of James B. Smith's sons, lived on the home farm in a house about one hundred yards below where his father first moved.
John B. Smith bought of Henry Givens, a son-in-law of Charles Boggs. John B. Smith died July 26, 1874, ages sixty four years. His wife, Margaret Smith, died March 1, 1882, aged sixty five years. Their children were:
William born February 6, 1834, died October 11, 1878.
Flora married John Boggs, son of James Boggs.
"Pet" married Ed Woodyard.
Bird married Betsy Boggs, a daughter of John L. Boggs.
The large run which comes in from the left a few miles above McKutcheon's Run was known to the early settlers as Wolfpen Run" and took its name from a wolf trap which was built on the right bank of the stream, about three or four rods from where it debouches from the hills, by the side Mr. C.C. Stutler's garden. This trap was a pen made of split logs, with puncheons pinned on top, and was set with triggers like a deadfall, and was baited with fresh meat, which tempted the wolves inside. When the trap fell, the wolves were held captive until the hunter came and shot them.
It is supposed that old Tommy Boggs built this pen. He is said to have caught nine wolves in pens, pits and deadfalls.
Just above this, in the mouth of the little stream where Mr. Benson Stutler now lives, stood a colossal white oak tree, seven feet in diameter. This tree was hollow at the ground, and someone set a wolf trap in the tree, baited with flesh from one of Henderson's horses which had died.
The first settler I have any account of on Wolfpen Run was Henry Givens, who married a daughter of old Charley Boggs.
He must have been a man of more than ordinary learning for that day. He was one of Reedy's "old field" school masters. He owned the William Smith farm, which he sold to John D. Smith. Givens must have lived at or near the mouth of Wolfpen Run. He had a little mill just above. He taught school in a little cabin, which stood just below the bridge, near the Harvey Rader house on the left hand side of the creek.
In 1852 Thomas Gough lived on the upper side of the run. He was a son of Bryam Gough, who came from Maryland to Monongalia County. He married Lettice Dragoo, and they had eight sons, some of whom came to Harrison County. Thomas Gough, who once owned a large tract of land at the head of the run, was perhaps the most noted guerilla of the Reedy country during the war. He first came to Reedy in 1851, living awhile near Barrel Run on Crane Nest.
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Christopher C. Stutler married a daughter of Salathiel Goff, who lived on the Dye farm on the creek below, sometime in the fall of 1848, and built a cabin at the Wolfpen Spring at the forks of the run the following spring.
In 1831, his brother, Josiah Stutler, moved on the farm next to Christopher, They bought of Joseph Smith, who was afterward a Circuit Judge.
Joe Stutler married another daughter of Goff, and John Sutler, a brother, married a daughter of Isaac Cheuvront, who lived at Buttermilk on Left Sandy.
The Stutler genealogy runs back into the earliest annals of the settlement of Harrison County. The Stutler name first appears in the history of this section when (in about 1838 or 1839) three pioneers whose names were Carder, Washburn and Stutler came across from Hacker's Creek.
Nancy Lowther, probably a daughter of Co. William Lowther, married Charles Washburn, who was shot by the Indians near Clarksburgh in 1782.
Later, the widow married William Carder. In 1794, the Carder's house, "near below" the mouth of Hacker's Creek, was attacked and, says family tradition, the house burned and stock killed, but fortunately the family escaped, this was one of the last depredations committed in that section.
Of Carder's children, our history has to do with John W. Carder, a pioneer of Liverpool on Sandy; Elizabeth Carder, who married Thomas Washburn; and Nancy carder, who married John Stutler.
Stutler and Carder moved to the head of Sandy. According to Carder's descendants, this was in 1838. C. Stutler puts the date a year later, or 1839. Stutler settled a little way up Warfield Run from the pike at the mouth of a small branch. The stream was known as Danger Camp or Defeat Camp because a hunter's camp had been destroyed there. Carder located at the Thomas Hartley building site at Liverpool, Washburn and Stutler settled in the woods, but there had been about two acres previously cleared by John V. Smith at the Hartley place.
John Stutler is supposed to have been the grandfather's name. He was German or Pennsylvania Dutch. Four children are mentioned, but there were others.
John Stutler married Nancy Carder.
Peter Stutler married a Richmond. Peter Stutler lived for a time on Sandy above Sandyville.
Nancy Stutler married Elias Hughes.
Leah Stutler married Robert Hughes.
The Hughes were sons of Jonathan Hughes, who was a brother of Jesse Hughes, the celebrated Indian fighter. Elias Hughes was in the War of 1812. John Stutler and two of his brothers enlisted, but the war was over before they were called into service.
John Stutler was born on the South Branch of the Potomac, and is buried at the Baker Graveyard at Leroy. His wife was Nancy Carder. Their children were:
Josiah Stutler, who was born on Kinsler Creek, fourteen or fifteen miles from Clarksburgh. He was born May 16, 1824; died Jan. 3, 1909.
Chris Stutler, who died in December, 1907. His wife died in 1915, after a long illness..
Rebecca Stutler, She was the third wife of Sandy Bord.
Granville and Martin Stutler were sons of Peter Stutler, and lived near Newark.
Chris Stutler was Justice of the Peace about 1859 or 1860, and Joe Stutler was Justice from 1873 to 1877.
John Stutler was in the Union Army.
There is a considerable stream comes into Reedy above the mouth of Stutler's Run, as Wolfpen Run is now called. A half mile further up, Chestnut Run enters from the left.
Chestnut Run is a small stream, hardly a mile long. The hills are low on the left but high and steep above. There is a low bottom on the creek at the mouth, which is flooded when the creek overflows. This land keeps very fertile and is cropped continuously in corn, The Chestnut Run bottom is but ten or twelve rods wide, but is smooth and the soil is good. There is a sugar camp still standing at the mouth of the run. On the point above, in the edge of an old orchard, is the old Watts homestead.
This farm is a part of the old Rader farm and came into possession of Wm. W. Watts about 1848. He came from Greenbrier County, and lived awhile at the Rader house. On the upper end of the place near the Three Forks. Later he built a cabin near the site of the present house, above the mouth of Chestnut Run; and before his death built the old homestead. He died about 1858 or 1859, at the age of about forty. The late W.G. Watts and John Watts, of Ravenswood, were his sons.
On an elevated platform a little more than a mile below Reedy village stands the old home of Dempsey Flesher, Sr. It occupied one of the finest building sites in all the Reedy valley. The top of the knoll is nearly level, and gives ample room for house and grounds, with smoke house, woodhouse, and all necessary buildings, while the yard is wide and roomy. The house stands well back and a little higher than the road. A short distance above, Cain's Run flows across the lands to join the creek.
This is where Dempsey Flesher first built his cabin when he came to Reedy in 1837. An old well still stands to mark the spot and on a point nearby an old orchard was planted by Flesher, seventy five years ago.
Cain's Run enters Reedy one mile below the Three Forks. The hills are low, with bluffing sides, and wide rolling tops. The soil is mostly a white clay and, except for here and there a pocket on north and east hillsides, sterile and unproductive.
Crane Nest Run on the opposite side of the divide is much like it, perhaps a little rougher, with a little better soil. The run is about three miles long and branches one and a half miles from its mouth.
Dry Point Church stands at the head of Cain's Run. It is a Methodist Protestant Church.
About a quarter mile up the run from the creek is the Good Hope Baptist Church. It was the first built over eighty years ago. This is probably the oldest church in Roane County, having been organized in 1822.
The Cain farm extended for a mile up the stream, and they were the pioneers.
The first settler on the headwaters of the stream, so far as I can ascertain, was Martin Sims, who came from Lewis County. He was a farmer and carpenter by occupation, a Protestant Methodist in church relationship, and a Democrat in politics.
He came to Reedy in 1848 and lived one year in the old Frank McGraw house, which stood in the mouth of Catskin Hollow, a little run which enters Crane Nest a short distance above its mouth,
Old Billy Sheppard owned two hundred acres of land above the forks of Cain's Run reaching down to "Mason's and Dixon's line" - as my informant said, perhaps he meant the Clayborne and Morlan line.
The upper one hundred acres of this tract was bought by Sims, who built a cabin on it, and moving on to it in the spring of 1849. He continued to reside there until his death. The lower hundred acres Sheppard gave to Alf Stewart, who married one of his daughters.
A brother-in-law, Sam Waggoner, lived a year or two at the George farm on the head of Crane Nest, and then bought land at the forks of Cain's Run. This land he sold to Sam Wyatt.
Frank Sims, a brother of Martin Sims, bought of old Billy Sheppard, who owned all the Crane Nest bottom, and settled at the Williams place at the head of that run, about 1853 or 1854,
Michael Curfman, another German, moved to Reedy in 1842, locating on the ridge between Cain's Run and Conrad's Run. He had two sons, James and Samuel. Samuel married a daughter of the Rev. Thomas Cain, and settled up on the little stream that came down at the old Washington school hous. Michael Curfman was in the War of 1812.
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The George Family
Henry George bought the upper country of the right fork of Cain's Run and moved on it in 1854.
Deer and wildcats were yet plentiful when George came to Reedy. There were some wild turkeys, but bears and panthers had disappeared.
I stopped at the house of Henry George Jr., while passing one evening late in November 1904. I talked awhile with the old man (Henry Sr.) Who has his father's family record in the old Bible, from which I copied dates of births and deaths.
Henry George, Sr. was a son of Reuben George. His wife was a "Tuckahoe, from the Salt Sea of Old Virginny." He was living in Pendleton County in 1836; he afterward moved to Barbour County, and from there to Linden, on Henry's Fork in Roane County.
Henry George, Jr. Was born November 13, 1790, died July 19, 1892. He married Mary Murphy. Their children were:
William married a Lance and lived in Barbour County.
Solomon married a Lance and lived in Barbour County.
Walter married a Collins and lived on the West Fork.
Amos died on the West Fork. (Henry's Fork, probably.)
Elsie married William Haverty of Beech Fork.
Polly married Peter Parsons, a son of Joe Parsons, who was an old trader, and Indian fighter, and lived on the forks of the West Fork.
Susan married Thomas Goff, a son of John Goff, who was a Methodist preacher.
Henry was born in 1836, married Susan Dobson. She died March 31, 1915.
George Wallace Dobson was born in Culpepper County, Virginia, and married Catherine Waggoner of Lewis County, and came to Wirt county. Susan, who married Henry George, was his daugther. Of Dobson's other children, Wallace, Maria and John are mentioned.
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The Waggoner, or perhaps more correctly Wagner, family were of German descent. George Wagner came to America from Switzerland. His son, John Wagner, married a Wolf (it is thought) and lived in Lewis County. Their children:
Elijah lived in Lewis County.
John lived in Lewis County.
Henry lived in Lewis County.
Samuel married Nancy Garrison.
Maria married Andy Cottril.
George married Malinda Cottril.
Susan married Martin Sims.
Katy married Wallace Dobson.
George Wagner was born in 1812, and married Malvina Cottril, who was born in 1913. Elijah Wagner was born in 1814,
J.W. Sims says that the son listed as "Elijah" was Elias; and the father of the children listed above was William instead of "George".
Sam Wagner lived a year or two at the Pete George farm on the head of Crane's Nest; then moved to Cain's Run to the Woodyard farm, which he sold to Sam Wyatt.
There is a family tradition which says that the Indians during a raid, killed the wife of Catherine Wagner's father, and carried off three children - two girls and a boy. The boy was adopted by an Indian chief, and grew up among them, and married an Indian woman. He afterward returned to visit his people, and they persuaded him to stay which he did, but was never satisfied.
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Martin Sims was born in Harrison County, Oct 12, 1815. He died Feb 15, 1882, aged 66 years. His children were:
Granville married Sarah, daughter of Henry Sheppard.
Henry married Rosalyn Walker.
John W. married a Miss Pickerell.
Martin Luther married Kate Sleethe.
Perry married Miss Full.
Olive married Lewis Full.
Susan married William Price.
The founders of the Dye family below Cain's Run came there from Sam's Creek, Wood County.
One half mile below the Three Forks a run comes in on the right, known since the olden days as Folly Run, form a deep hole of water in the creek in its mouth, which was called the Folly Hole.
Another explanation of the origin of the name of Folly Run is that Anthony Lott went to clear the creek bottom at its mouth and "slashed" a field in the heavy beech and sugar timber, but never cleaned it up. The logs lay there for several years and bushes grew up among them, the place taking on the name of Lott's Folly. Perhaps Folly's Hole was taken from this.
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The principal landholder on Folly Run, though in no sense a pioneer, made his life a part of the Reedy country.
His name was Mortimer A. McClung, and he settled on Folly run in 1853.
His birth occurred in Greenbrier County in 1831; and his parents were Alexander and Jane Withrow McClung. William M. McClung was the grandfather of Mortimer, and was one of the earliest pioneers of Greenbrier County. He owned a survey covering all of Nicholas and part of Fayette Counties.
In Nicholas County, where his parents moved, he, in 1851, married Mary D. O'Dell, a daughter of John and Mary Bailes O'Dell, who was born in 1834.
Two years later they moved to Reedy, where they cleared up a large fam and raised a large family of eleven children. He died June 9, 1898, from paralytic stroke received some days before.
Of Alex McClung's family, Leander was in Company "F" 11th W.Va. Deid at Libby, March, 1864. A.G. was in an independent Co, W.Va Scouts. He died December 31, 1863. A.J., another brother of Mortimer, was in the Confederate Army and at Camp Chase. Mary Jane married the late Dr. W.F. Walker of Huntington. He was the most famous Baptist preacher the state ever produced.
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Stephen Pickerell settled at the mouth of Folly Run in 1833. He came direct overland from Farquier County, Virginia, in a one horse cart. His wife was a Miss Hitt, a sister of John R. Callow's wife.
Levi Pickerell married Maria Walker, widow of Macklin Walker.
Lucy Pickerell married Thomas Maze, son of James Maze.
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