The first settlement of which I have been able to find any account was that of Jonathan Sheppard on Sheppard's Fork, some miles above where it joins the main creek. It is probable there were one or more cabins built at or near the mouth of Reedy before the date of Sheppard's coming, but if that were so, no record of it has been preserved. At a very early period, probably in the last decade of the 18th Century, some hunters had built a rude half-face camp of some lynn poles on the stream known to the early settlers as Lynn Camp.
William Beauchamp, his son David Beauchamp, Charles Rockhold and Ezekiel McFarland, settled on the present site of Elizabeth in 1803. The Beauchamps built a little water mill, and the village sprang up around it. It was known as Beauchamp's Mills until 1817, when the name was changed to Elizabeth, in honor of David Beauchamp's wife, Elizabeth Woodyard. At that time there were six cabins in the place.
Thomas Prebble, Isaac Enoch, Jacob Deem, Richard Lee and William Dent located on the Newark flats in 1803, and Hyatt Lazure, the Newark pioneer, who settled a little below the village, came earlier that year.
At the site of Burning Springs town Jockey Henderson and a little later Sandy Henderson and Reuben Dye settled, also George Owens, Willis Owens and William Prigmore located in that vicinity, prior to 1810.
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Jonathan Sheppard, originally from the South Branch of the Potomac, came to Reedy from Hacker's Creek in Harrison County, in 1806. He had been a soldier in the War of Independence, and his wife was Martha Wilson, reared in Massachusetts, and possibly of the same stock as Henry Wilson, Vice President of the United States in 1872. They had a family of seven children, the youngest but three years old at the time of removal. He was packed on one side of a pack saddle and balanced by some of the few household goods and chattels which were carried on the long tedious journey through the unbroken trackless wilderness. This was the Rev. Samuel Sheppard, founder of one of the best known and most honored families of the Reedy Valley. A younger child, which only lived a few hours, was the first white child born on Reedy.
Sheppard built his humble cabin near the middle of his grant, and, as was the universally observed custom of the pioneer, near a clear, cool spring of living water. The cabin has long since disappeared, although its site is still shown on a little elevation just back of the present residence of Mr. Lewis Sheppard on the left side of the creek about a half mile below the mouth of Thorne's Run, in the pioneer days called Smith's Run.
On a gentle slope a short distance down the creek from the cabin home is a low mound, for over eighty years the flowers have blossomed and faded over the dust of the pioneer. All of his sons and daughters have grown up and passed away, and his grandchildren are grey haired men and women, but the spring still flows on and the flocks and herds of the fields slake their thirst where all the wild animals common to the section came for water when the little cabin was built beside the forest fountain a hundred years ago.
In March, 1808, Martha Sheppard was called away from the little cabin in the woods at the early age of forty- one years, and the father found himself with seven children, the youngest just five years old and the oldest scarce grown, to fight the stern battle of life without the assistance of his beloved wife.
Of the children, James, said to be the oldest, married Margaret Lockhart, a daughter of William Lockhart.
This was the first wedding on the creek, and occurred before 1818. (Date of License - December 24, 1807). He is said to have first settled near the mouth of Big Run; later he lived at Sheppard's Ford on Sandy just below the mouth of Trace Fork.
William Sheppard, the second son, married first Letitia Black. He owned the upper part of his father's farm and settled across the creek from the mouth of Crane Nest Run. He was a man of prominence in the community, and was for several years a Justice of the Peace, being a member of the County Court of Jackson County. He was born in January, 1785, and died March 27, 1874, aged 79 years, 3 months, 7 days. Many of his children and grandchildren still live in that vicinity.
His death caused some stir at the time. One night he was missing, and the next morning the body was found in the well - just how it came there was never known.
Letty, wife of William Sheppard, died August 25, 1823, when only twenty-nine years old. She and husband were members of the first Methodist class on Reedy, which was organized in 1818.
William Sheppard was at one time Colonel of the Virginia Militia.
About 1829 he was again united in wedlock to Jane Steele, whose parents were among the pioneers of Tucker's Creek.
The two oldest of his children were by his first wife, the others, the second wife's, who died in 1889, at the advanced age of 83 years.
Steele lived on Tucker's Creek. Of his children:
John was a preacher.
Jane married Sheppard. Her oldest child married John Anderson, a brother of Joesy.
(Some reports say Jane married Henry Sargent.)
Susan Sheppard married Samuel Somerville, about 1815.
Somerville came from Ireland accompanied by his nephew, Andrew Somerville, who afterward married his wife's sister, thus becoming his brother-in-law. He later married Susan Sheppard, and settled at the mouth of the large run known as Somerville's Fork, about 1815. They reared a family of seven children, and the name was long conspicuous in the history of the upper end of Jackson County.
John Somerville, their youngest son, died within the past year at his home on the head of Left Sandy (July 21, 1906). Born October 23, 1820. Age 75 years, 8 months, 27 days. He married Eliza J. Howard in 1853, and had seven sons and one daughter.
Sarah Sheppard married Isaac Lockhart, a son of William Lockhart who lived at the mouth of Lynn Camp at an early date. They first settled at the mouth of Two Lick Run, and later moved to the Lockhart Fork of Left Sandy above Buttermilk Station. (Some records say that Isaac Lockhart was the son of John Lockhart.)
Henry Sheppard married Diana Smith, a daugher of John Smith, the pioneer of Smith's Run. He lived a while at the mouth of Two Lick Run, and again at the farm at Sheppard's Ford on Sandy.
Rebecca Sheppard married Andrew Somerville, and lived at the mouth of the first right hand branch of the Somerville Ford. She was born in 1798, and was 8 years old when her father came to Reedy. Her mother died when she was between nine and ten years of age, and as her older sistrs married and left home,more and more of the household cares devolved upon her and she was for several years housekeeper for her father. Afterward she married Somerville, who was eleven years her senior, having been born in Ireland in 1787. He died in 1855. Years afterward the widow was again married to Henry Harris, an old man living near Wiseburg. He died in 1881, and she died seventeen years later, on February 26, 1895, at the very advanced age of ninety-six years.
Samuel Sheppard, the baby of the family, was born March 27, 1805, and died March 16, 1872, full of years and honors. He was long a local preacher in the Southern Methodist Church, and was universally respected. His body rests on the site of the first Pisgah Church, which was perhaps the first house of worship in this section.
His wife was Amelia Full. Her father, Reuben Full, was of Pennsylvania Dutch stock and came from near Shepherdstown to Reedy not later than the early 20's.
Two of Samuel Sheppard's sons represented Wirt County in the Legislature, and another was his party's candidate for Sheriff.
Jonathan Sheppard in his laer years is said to have married a second time, the bride being the widow of his neighbor, John Smith.
He died on April 16, 1825, aged 65, and was buried in the first graveyard on Reedy. The earliest date of this cemetery is 1808 and the latest, 1889.
When I visited the spot in the lae fall of 1904, I found the cemetery in a sadly neglected condition. Only two by three rods, it has been fence with plank - but that was many, many years ago, and the fence is falling down and the whole place is overgrown with weeds. Outside the fence, two white oak trees which some vandal had deadened, gaunt, grim and white limbed, stand sentinel over the dead.
Jonathan Sheppard bought his first tract of land from Isaac Enoch. He entered a large tract of land extending from the Lockahrt Ford over six miles to the forks of the creek at Pewee. From the records at Parkersburg, on April 3, 1809, Jonathan Sheppard of Wood County bought 600 acres of land for $1,000.00. The land was patented to Isaac Enoch the February before. Sheppard may have been there on the land three years before the title was made, or his first land may have been a different place.
In 1810 I find in the records Enoch sold William Sheppard 100 acres above Jonathan's 500 acres, and March 9, 1821, Jonathan Sheppard sold William 150 acres on "the wright fork of Reedy Creek."
When Sheppard first came, Reedy and Sandy were as yet untouched by the settler's axe. Parsons had been two years at the mouth of Sycamore, and a few families lived on lower Mill Creek and along the Ohio River bottoms, otherwise there was not a white man living in the present bounds of Jackson or Roane Counties.
Neal's Station, now Parkersburg, was the trading point, and the nearest mill was the hand mill and hominy block each family provided itself with.
Sheppard Family – in detail.
Following is a more detailed account of the Sheppard family of Right Reedy and other localities, compiled from more recent information, principally from family records and traditions, from Hite Sheppard of Middle Reedy and from Mrs. Magee.
Jonathan Sheppard married Martha Wilson. Their children were:
James Sheppard, married Margaret, daughter of William Lockhart. Their children were :
Isaac married Margaret Morehead.
William, married Liza Howes.
Liza, married first James Hartley, and later, Isaac Enoch.
Martha, married Lewis Edwards.
William Sheppard, son of Jonathan, married Letitia Black. Their children were:
Isabel, married Charles Ingram.
Henry, married Frankie Ingram. Later he married Jane Steele.
Elizabeth, married first, Alf Stewart, and later, John Anderson.
Jonathan, married Nicey Cain.
Letty, married Daniel Cain.
Samuel, married Lucinda Enoch.
Wilson, married Margaret Cain.
Martha, married John S. Thorne.
Catherine, never married.
Mary Jane, married Jeff Ayres.
Susan Sheppard, daughter of Jonathan, was born January 5, 1789. She married Samuel Somerville. Their children were:
James Somerville married Catherine Van Lear.
Nancy Somerville married Jacob Bumgardner.
Jonathan Somerville married Margaret Ott.
Samuel Somerville married Mary Ott.
Andrew Somerville married Mary Slaven.
David Somerville married Juliana Howard.
John Somerville married Elizabeth Howard. They were sisters of Baxter Howard.
Sarah Sheppard, daughter of Jonathan, born November 28, 1791, married Isaac Lockhart. Their children were:
John Lockhart married Mary Jane Cheuvront.
Juliann Lockhart married Joe Full.
Henry Lockhart married Betty Trickett.
Sally Lockhart married Dillas Woodyard.
Amy Lockhart married George Steele.
Henry Sheppard, son of Jonathan, born Sept. 21, 1796, married Diana Smith, daughter of John Smith and sister of James V. Smith. He first lived at the mouth of Deer Lick Run on Right Reedy, and afterwards, at Beatty's Run on Sandy. Their children were:
Elizabeth, married George Winkler, a school teacher, and lived on Service Fork.
Letty, married Charles, a son of Jacob Ingram. After his death, she married Joe Howes. C.B. Howes is their son.
Susannah, married Henry Varnor. Their children were Henry and Nick.
Rebecca Sheppard, daughter of Jonathan, born Oct. 7, 1798, married Andrew Somerville. Their children were:
Elizabeth Somerville married Reuben Full.
Margaret Somerville married William McFee.
Letty Somerville married George Winkler, as his second wife. They went to Idaho.
David Somerville married Martha Enoch. Jet Somerville was their son.
Alfred Somerville married Mary Ann Howard, a sister of Baxter.
Mary Jane Somerville married Alec Kessler.
Samuel Sheppard, son of Jonathan, born March 27, 1804 married Amelia Full. Their children were:
Nancy married Eugenius Thorne.
Jonathan married Lucinda Morehead.
Martha married Sam Davis.
Clarissa, born Feb. 11, 1631, married Albert Riddle.
Becky married Andy Vandale.
Lewis married an Enoch.
Margaret married first, Dick Graham, and later, Charles Daniels.
Addison Hite married Margaret Walker.
A Jonathan Sheppard, born September 28, 1808, married Diana McVeil. Jonathan Sheppard, Senior's wife died in March that year.
Of the children of Jonathan Sheppard, James and Henry settled in the Sandy Valley near the mouth of Trace Fork, about 1835. Further account of them may be found in the history of Sandy Valley.
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The year following Sheppard's arrival on the creek witnessed the advent of John Conrad and family, who came from the Cheat River in 1807 and settled on the creek about one and a half miles below Sheppard; and John Hartley, an Englishman, came the same year, and it is supposed located on the upper waters of the creek, though no one appears to know much about him or where he lived.
His wife was Mollie Roy, also of English stock, and William Roy, said to be her brother, probably came about the same time, as he lived in the vicinity of Pewee at an early date.
Hartley and Roy are believed to have come from Harrison County and later moved to the head of the right hand fork of Sandy near Liverpool.
In 1808 John Smith came from what is vaguely known as "up the river" and "about Pittsburgh" and settled on Thomas' Run at the mouth of the first right hand branch, and about a half mile or a little less from the creek. He sold his farm to Thomas Thorne about 1833.
Samuel Coe, George (it is said) Owens, the father of George, Harry and Willis Owens, and William Wells, located at Palestine or on Lower Reedy at a very early dat, say before 1813.
Later came Lewis Ott, who built the first cabin in Tucker District, Wirt County, in 1818, on the right fork of Lynn Camp. James Woodyard, at some date not learned, also came to Lynn Camp. Caleb Wiseman settled on the Creek at the Nim Wiseman place.
Reuben Full came to Full's Fork; Rev. H.B. Edmondson said, Thomas Thorne came to the Smith farm in 1838.
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The Conrad Family
John Conrad came from the Cheat River, probably from Randolph County as the name occurs there, in 1830. Conrad was a German. He lived on the hill near the site of the Thomas Mill, about one and a half miles below the mouth of Thorne's Run. He built the first mill on Sheppard's Fork, a little corn cracker, at the bend of the Creek neat the Ott graveyard, in 1810, and there has been a mill near the site until a few years ago, or the advent of roller machinery.
The maiden name of Conrad's wife was Catherine Wendle. They were from Germany, perhaps married there, came to the United States, first settled at Hagerstown, Maryland; and later removed to the South Branch of the Potomac.
They had several children. It is not known if all of them accompanied their parents to Reedy, nor are the names given in order of birth.
John Conrad, Jr., lived in Zanesville, Ohio.
Christopher Conrad and wife, Barbara, also lived somewhere in Ohio.
Daniel Conrad lived on Reedy. He died from overheat in the harvest field. He left one child. He was born in 1802 and died in 1827. He is buried in the Ott graveyard.
Elizabeth Conrad married Elijah Rockhold and lived on Standing Stone. (Oct. 4, 1809)
Polly Conrad married Dillas Ott and lived on the home farm most of her life. She was born February 26, 1796, and died May 11, 1893, being but two years, seven months and ten days less than one hundred years old.
Jacob Conrad was probably the oldest child. He was born September 23, 1787, and died July 23, 1850. He was brought to the home graveyard for burial. On April 14, 1814, Jacob Conrad married Peggy Wiseman. (He married Sarah Thurman, January 22, 1818 says the record. This being a double wedding with Margaret Conrad marrying Thomas NcNeal. The ceremony was performed by Reece Woolf.)
Jacob Conrad was about twenty when the family moved to Reedy. He married Sally Leachman and lived in Elizabeth, where he operated a tannery. (Probably there were two older Conrad families. Or these were different marriages of Jacob Conrad.)
Peter Conrad was born in 1793, being about thirteen years old at the time of the removal. He was married to Phebe Hartley, April 9, 1818, at which time he and his wife were members of the first church organized on Sheppard's Fork. This was the Pisgah M.E. Church, organized about this date, preaching having been maintained for some five years at the home of John Smith. After Phebe's death he married Jane Blosser, Charles Stewart's grand daughter.
Peter Conrad's wife was Phebe Hartley, by most accounts a daughter of John Hartley, who lived near Pewee and later at Liverpool. Mrs. Sudner Smith, a daughter of Phebe Conrad, says Phebe Hartley's parents name are unknown. She was raised by a merchant on Cheat River whose name was Hartley and she always went by that name. He was little, if any, kin to John Hartley.
A Cassandra Conrad married Joshua Wright in May 1830, as shown by records. (Wood County Court House.)
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John Hartley is said by some to have lived on Crooked Run, a stream coming into Reedy from the right a short distance below the forks of Pewee. Others think he may have lived at the mouth of Hartley's Run on the right, or Enoch's Fork, a half mile above Pewee. If the name was not derived in that way, some of his descendants may have lived there. Hartley moved to the head of Sandy, and lived at the mouth of Rush Run, and later in a little cabin near A.L. Carmichael's residence, from which Cabin Run took its name.
John Hartley was living in 1839, and is supposed to be buried at the Baker Graveyard at Leroy.
Among his children were Thomas, who married a Karr, lived near Liverpool for a time and went to Syracuse, Ohio, where he died. Had a son, Peter, who lived at head of Sandy.
Abbey, who married Levi Snyder, was the mother of Thomas Hartley of Liverpool, who lived with John Carder at the Hartley Farm at Liverpool. Levi Snyder came from Preston County in 1854, and lived on Mill Creek near the Allen, or Hamp Parish farm. About the same time, Ben Snyder, his brother, built on the high point across the run below Logan's on the head of Little Creek.
Another brother, Henry Snyder, was the father of Nim Snyder of Left Reedy.
Lucinda married Lige Redmon. (Records at Parkersburg Court House say Elijah Redmond married Sarah Roy, June 27, 1818.)
(Marriage Records at Parkersburg say a John C. Hartley married Louisa Sheppard, 1830. Probably this is a son of the John Hartley previously mentioned.)
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The Smith Family
The history of the Smith Family is one of the most picturesque of the early settlers of the Reedy Valley. The family tradition has it that at some time during the numerous Indian incursions among the settlements, a certain child was so beautiful and attractive that the captors spared his life and he was adopted by one of the braves, and brought up as an Indian, becoming inured to all the hardships and privations of savage life and warfare.
After remaining several years with the Indians, the lad was brought back to the settlements to be delivered up to his friends, according to the provisions of a treaty which had been made with the tribe with which he was living, whether after Bouquet's Expedition, the Treaty of Greenville, or at the close of some other campaign, is not known. While many were restored to their homes and loved ones, no one appeared to claim the boy. He was adopted by a man named Smith, and given the quite common name of John Smith, which he carried with him down ot an unmarked grave on the banks of Right Reedy. To a great extent the habits and bearing of the Indian clung to him to the end, as evidenced by his keen vision, agile movements and stealthy catlike tread.
Who his parents were or where they lived will never be known.
The name of John Smith's wife is not preserved, so far as my inquiries have gone.
The date of Smith's death is not given, but it was probably before 1838, when his fam passed into the hands of Thorne.
He raised several children, of whom John V. Smith may have been the oldest.
He was married three times, his first wife being a Hardman.
They only had one child, son, William L., who married Eliza Carder. Went to Illinois, enlisted in the Union Army, and died at Lexington, Kentucky, during the war.
John A. Smith made the first improvement at the old Hartley homestead, having built a little cabin just back of where the present residence of Mr. T.I. Hartley, near the well, and had about two acres cleared when John Carder came in 1838. He married, for his second wife, Anna Hartley, a daughter of John and Mollie (Roy) Hartley, or of Thomas Hartley, their son, whose wife was a Carr.
They had nine children, she dying when Henry, the youngest, was an infant.
Smith was then living at what was known as the old Corbett house, where E.L. Waybright now resides on Big Run, about 1845.
A third time he married, this time the bride was Betsy Carder, and they raised one son and four daughters. He died in 1862 or 1863 and is buried at the Baker Graveyard at Leroy.
James Smith, another son of John Smith, was the most noted guerilla in all these parts, Dan Duskey alone excepted.
He was a member of the Southern Methodist Church, and an exhorter or local preacher, at one time was a fine singer, and sometimes taught singing schools or classes in vocal music. He lived at several different places on Reedy and Sandy. His family was living on Rush Run near Leroy, in the early years of the Civil War. He took a prominent part in the siege of Spencer and all the raids and forays in this section, and is said to have been a Captain of the guerilla soldiers. He is credited with the shooting of Boone in the Court House at Spencer, and with having been in the parties which killed Cleavenger above Beech Grove, and Hawk on Turkey Fork.
He was finally cornered by a detachment of Homeguards at Israel Nesselrode's on Little Sandy, and killed while attempting to escape.
His death occurred in June 1868.
Jim Smith, as he was commonly called, was twice married. The first time, to Sudner Roy, a daughter of Billy Roy.
They had three children: one son and two daughters.
The son, Jonathan (Jont), married a daughter of Philip Rohr, and made the improvements where Mr. Hornbeck lives at the mouth of Gardner Run on Little Creek. He and one of the Rohr boys had a little water corn mill at the ripple just above.
"Becky" Smith, one of the girls, died at Reedy when about twenty-one years old.
After the death of his first wife, Jim Smith married Sudner Conrad, a daughter of Peter Conrad and his wife, Phebe Hartley Conrad, who was living at Reedy when I visited her in the Fall of 1904.
They had several children, one of whom married a "Col." Kessler, who was with the guerillas in their operations in Jackson County. He came from the south, and claimed to be regularly enlisted in the Confederate Army.
The Roys came from about Malden. There were John, William and Betsey (married an Eastwood.) So said Sudner Smith.
John Roy lived across Reedy from the mouth of Buffalo. Looked enough like Reuben Full to be a brother. "I think Full's mother was a Roy" (M.B. Edmondson says) Roy went to Leatherwood, on Kanawha.
William lived at the mouth of Cabin Run, 1840. His son, William, Jr., married while living on Somerville Fork.
Larkin Roy was another son.
Mollie Roy, sister of William, (says C. Stutler) married John Hartley.
There was another son, who must have been much younger, who was named for Jonathan Sheppard, and went by the name of Shep Smith. He married a Sellers on Left Sandy.
Diana Smith married Henry Sheppard, youngest son of Jonathan Sheppard.
Harriet Smith married Lige Runyan, and lived on Joe's Run of Mill Creek.
Betsy Smith, like her brother Jim, was noted as a fine singer. She never married, dying while yet young.
As an illustration of the conflicting statements encountered:
Jim Smith was killed at Henry Slaven's on Nesselrode. (J. Hartley)
Jim Smith was killed:
Not far from Bakers (Leroy) - (George Callow)
At Nesselrode's on Nesselrode Fork. "He ran there." (Eph Carder)
At Israel Nesselrode's on Meat House Run (Ambrose Atkins)
At Harper's (Sam Harper, near Duncan) (D. Lattimer)
At Nesselrode's on Little Sandy (Probably correct) (Mrs. Jim Smith)
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The Ott Family
Another family prominent in the history of the Valley was "The Otts".
The Founder of the family on Reedy was Lewis Ott, who settled on the Right Branch of Lynn Camp in 1818. It is known that he was a German, but I have no account of where he was born or from whence he immigrated to Reedy, nor whom he married.
Joseph Ott, one of his sons, lived on the creek below Thomas' Mill.
John Ott, another son, was born March 4, 1790. Died August 20, 1868, and was buried in the Ott graveyard. He died unmarried (over 75 years old).
Margaret Ott, a daughter, was born in 1801, and married Andy Bord, who is said to have made the first improvement at the S.B. Seaman homestead at Duke's Station. She died in 1845 in the little cabin which stood nearly on the site of the Reedy Mill.
(Al Ott said June 29, 1926, that his grandfather, Phidillus, and brother, Joseph Ott, were in the War of 1812, "Dillus" as a substitute for Caleb Wiseman, who had been drafted.
Fidillas Ott was born July 29, 1791, and died November 25, 1872, aged eighty one years.
His wife, "Polly" Ott, (he married Mary Conrad, October 18, 1815) daughter of John and Catherine Wendle Conrad, was born February 25, 1796, and died May 11, 1893, aged eighty seven years.
From these dates, he was twenty seven years old when he came to Reedy. He was married soon after coming out, (possibly before, but I think such hardly the case). A daughter, Sarah, who is buried in the Ott graveyard, was born on January 27, 1820.
Dillas Ott, as he was commonly known, was a soldier in the War of 1812. The children of Dillas and Mary Conrad Ott were:
Catherine married Rowland Petty.
John married Sally Vandale, daughter of James Vandale.
Margaret married Jonathan Somerville.
Mary married Sam Somerville. (Jonathan and Sam Somerville were sons of Samuel and Susan Sheppard Somerville.)
Elizabeth married Hiram Buell.
Sally married Jack Somerville. (He was a nephew of Jonathan and Susan, and lived on the head of Right Sandy.)
Rowena married Joe Bungardner.
Dallas, died unmarried, in 1860, of fever. Age twenty four years.
These names may not be in exact order.
Dallas Ott located below the mill. A man named Wires lived at the mill. Anthony Thomas, who married Lucinda Conrad, had the mill at one time.
The Ott graveyard: About a mile and a half below the mouth of the Smith Run, if one follows the road, which winds around the base of the hill on the north side of the Valley, but little more than a mile by the path along the foot of the hill on the southern side; the Creek makes a sharp bend to the right, around a point which runs out from the southern ridge like a headland in the ocean.
The range of hills to the north conforms to the contour of those across the Valley, although the lines are less pronounced, leaving the bottom lands, which are wide, and rather low and wet above, narrow here. And the Creek, as it breaks around the point, has more fall than higher up the stream, while the face of the northern hills is rocky and steep.
As if to make amends, however, on top of the point, which may be forty or fifty feet above the level of the bottoms and terminated by a steep bluff, the surface is nearly level, sloping back very gently to the base of the hills.
The plateau, which contains several acres, is drained by several little streams, mere depressions in the flats, until near the edge of the plateau, where they deepen into gullies, cutting their way to the level of the creek below.
On a little point that extends between two of these hollows nearly to the edge of the bluff is an old time country burial ground.
It is only about three by six rods in extent, and is fenced in with weather stained boards. On the south side stands a magnificent beech tree which shades the whole plot. It is a relic of the original forest which once covered all these hills and valleys and has witnessed the wonderful changes one hundred years of civilization have made in the features of the landscape.
The stem of this tree is carved all around with names and dates, many of them grown into mere scars on the bark.
A little burial ground is thickly set with humble mounds covering the ashes of many of the pioneers of the Valley and their families, some of whom have been sleeping here for more than three quarters of a century, and many without board or stone to show who sleeps below.
There's the sound of the bell from the scattered flocks,
And the shade of the beech lies cool on the rocks,
And fresh from the West is the free wind's breath,
Where the heart of the sleeper lies still in death.
Back on the flat from the graveyard is still visible some of the stones of the chimney where stood the house built by John Ott when he first built here, and some of the huge boulders used as foundation rocks are lying around.
At the foot of the hill, several rods back on the tableland, there stands by the side of a little rivulet coming down the hillside a beautiful sycamore tree with magnificent spreading branches, nearby is a little depression in the ground, where, in the early days, welled a crystal spring.
It is related that when this ground was cleared in the log ago pioneer times, the owner asked in all his neighbors to help roll the logs into heaps ready for burning, as was the custom of the country. After finishing the rolling, being thirsty and warm they repaired to this spring for water. While sitting around resting and chatting, one of the number planted his handspike deep in the soft earth by the spring, where it was left standing till it put forth leave and branches, and grew into this tree.
John Jacobs planted this spike, according to the stories related. When I visited the spot late in November, 1904, I found this tree fully seventy five feet high, and eleven feet, three inches, in circumference two feet from the ground. I think it fully five feet in diameter at the surface level. A root where it crossed the hollow fifty feet from the tree was eight inches in diameter.
The Mill built by Conrad in 1810 stood at the end of the "Pont" nearly opposite the Thomas Run.
No one appears to know just where Conrad built his house when he settled here in 1808. Some say across the Creek, at the mouth of Thomas Run. Others, and it would seem probable, more correctly maintain that it was up somewhere on the tableland back of the Mill site, possibly it may have been where the old chimney stones lie bedded in the turf.
Fidillas Ott lived in a spot a little farther down the Creek, where he had a distillery at the mouth of a small branch known yet as Stillhouse Run. His dwelling was across the Creek from the Stillhouse. When the Mill passed into his hands he moved up tho the mouth of the Thomas Run, where a man named Wires is said to have built before him. Afterward the Mill was enlarged and improved, and rebuilt on the north side of the Creek, Once it was burned by a man named Howell, who lived at the mouth of the first run above, This was about 185-. The man and his wife were both sent to the penitentiary and never returned. The run where they lived is still known as Howell's Run, and the steep incline in the road as Howell's Hill.
The plateau is now a part of Wirt Sheppard's farm. The land opposite belonged, till his death in 1901, to Anthony Thomas, whose wife was a daughter of Peter Conrad.
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Isaac Enoch settled at Newark in the year 1803, and the following year built a log mill, the first in that part of the country. Several years later he added a sawmill for the manufacture of plank, one of the old fashioned upright saws propelled by water power.
Abraham Enoch, born in 1804, married Nancy Gibbons. Enoch, who lived at Newark, was probably son of Isaac Enoch.
Abraham Enoch had a brother named Presley Enoch, who lived where Hite Sheppard now lives, across the Creek just below the mouth of Smith's Run. Billy Wells is said to have been the first to build at that place. Later Enoch moved farther up the Creek.
A daughter of his was the wife of William Sheppard, the son of Robert Sheppard, who was a brother of Jonathan Sheppard. (Locally known as "Bill Bob" to distinguish him from Jonathan's William.)
David Enoch, who first built at the mouth of Carne Nest, was a half brother of Abraham.
Isaac Enoch, who lived at the site of the residence of Henry Enoch just above the mouth of the Right Fork, which was called Enoch's Fork, married Bethene Lee, February 4, 1810.
Lavina Enoch, a daughter of Abraham, married Elisha Hickman.
(A man named Enoch, living near Hughes River, sold the land in Reedy Valley to Boggs and Stewart. This was Isaac Enoch, Sr., who was a land dealer. He was in Wood County when it was organized, 1800.)
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Reuben Full was the founder of the family on Sheppard's For - came from Shepherdstown, Virginia.
He lived, says the Rev. M.B. Edmondson, at one time at the mouth of Reedy, and again on the lower waters of Sheppard's Fork.
His family lived at the mouth of the Left Fork of the Creek, which received the name of Full's Fork. Whether the father lived there, my informant, A.H. Sheppard, his grandson, could not say.
The children were:
Joseph Full, born 1791, died 1865. Married Mary Sheppard. (One account says, Juliana Somerville.) They lived just below the mouth of Five Mile Run on Turkey Fork of Sandy. (He is also said to have married Julianna Lockhart.)
Absalom Full lived on the head of the Right Fork of Sandy.
Amelia Full, born 1803, married Samuel Sheppard. (The records at Parkersburg give the name "Parmelia".
Andrew Full lived on Upper Sandy.
Susan Full married Francis Magraw, a son of Barney Magraw, who settled at the mouth of the West Fork in 1800. He lived at the mouth of Crane Nest at one time and on Full's Fork about 1855.
Reuben Full was born in 1806; died 1866. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew and "Becky" Sheppard Somerville, born 1824; died 1877. He lived in a hewed log house just across the creek from the Center Valley Church.
He was an "old field" school teacher and taught the first school Clarissa Riddle, born 182-, ever attended.
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Andrew and Frederick Bumgardner and a relative named John Bennet were among the earliest settlers of Tucker District.
Jacob Bumgardner was born Sept. 15, 1803, and died Jan. 20, 1870. He is buried in the old Pisgah graveyard.
His wife was Nancy Somerville, daughter of Samuel and Susan Sheppard Somerville.
He came into possession of his father-in-law's farmstead at the mouth of Somerville Fork.
He had a sister, "Liddy" Bumgardner, who married John Petty.
There were also brothers and sisters: Jesse, Alfred, John and Kate.
Bumgardner's children were:
Jacob married a M. Thorne.
David married Sally Graham, daughter of "Dick".
Sam married a Miss Saunders. Built first house across the road from Pisgah, in 1860.
John married Margaret Sheppard.
Joe married Rowena Ott (Dillas Ott's daughter.)
Susan married Kingsbury Morehead (Nephew of Armistead).
Elizabeth married Harrison Morehead (Armistead's son).
Martha married (1st) John Collins; (2nd) Aaron Ruble.
Ellen married B.F. Thorne.
Caroline marred Geo. Knotts.
(These possibly were children of Jacob Bumgardner, Sr. According to the record in Parkersburg, Jacob Bumgardner, Sr. Bought land on the Kanawha River of George and Catherine Click in August, 1815. In January, 1825, George and Jesse sold their share of the estate to Jacob, Jr.)
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John Lockhart settled at the mouth of Lynn Camp, where he built a mill.
One of his sons, Isaac Lockhart, married Sarah Sheppard, and built at the mouth of Two Lick Run. They afterward moved to Right Sandy at Lockhart's Fork. Their children were:
John married Mary Jane Cheuvront. They lived at one time where Hite Sheppard now lives.
Juliann married Joe Full.
Henry married Betty Trickett.
Sally married Dallas Woodyard.
Amy married George Steele.
Margaret Lockhart, a daughter of John, married James Sheppard, and lived on Sandy below the mouth of Trace Fork.
Another daughter married George Owens.
Bill Lockhart, a son of John, lived at Elizabeth.
The Roys, early pioneers of the valley, said by an informant to have come from Harrison County, lived on the head of lynn Camp. However, I do not know whether or not this statement is very reliable.
Ezekiel McFarland was a pioneer of what is now Wirt County, a surveyor, and an extensive dealer in lands. Later he went to Ripley, where he kept a hotel for a time; thence to Turkey Fork on Sandy, where he died about 1849, says one account.
(Ezekiel's brother, John McFarland, had a hotel in Ravenswood about 1852. He may be the father of W.D. McFarland and brothers.)
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Caleb Wiseman came to Sheppard's Fork in 1813, and settled at the Wiseman farm about the mouth of Lynn Camp.
His wife was a Rockhold - widow Rockhold, I think. She had a daugher, Matilda, who Wiseman raised and who became the wife of Thomas Boggs. She was the mother of Rollo Butcher, who married Eleanor, daughter of Peter McCune.
The Wiseman children were:
Jeptha married Susan Vandale.
Betsy married McDermott.
Caleb married Susan Coe, daughter of Walter and Barsillia Jett Coe. They were married in 1845. (Caleb Wiseman was born on the home farm, March 10, 1817.) (Susan Coe Wiseman was born March 10, 1824.)
Sally married Ed Coe.
Margaret married Brainard Coe.
Nimrod lived to be an old man, never married.
Joanna married James Woodyard.
Kate married Louis Woodyard. Their son, William Woodyard, was the leading citizen of Roane County in his time. Was State Senator for eight years, and secured the building of the second Hospital for the Insane at Spencer; was also instrumental in securing the R.S. & G. Railroad. He married a Miss Chapman. Died in 18- -.
Harry C. Woodyard, three times elected to Congress, is his son, His other son, Ralph, died in Cuba.
Lewis Woodyard, who married Caroline Seaman, was a cousin of "Billy" Woodyard, (Son of George or William.
George Woodyard, a brother of James and Lewis, married Elizabeth Ott.
Elizabeth J. Woodyard married Rev. W. B. Edmondson in 1860.
(Rev. Charles H. and Cornelius N. Woodyard were sons of James and Joanna Woodyard.)
The Rev. M.B. Edmondson was born in Washington County, Virginia, November 26, 1821, of Scottish descent, he was a son of James and Jane Buchanan Edmondson, He married Amelia Parsons, a daughter of John Parsons of Sissonsville, in Kanawha County, in 1847.
He taught school on Poca in 1852, and in Wirt County, after the war. He was long County Superintendent of Schools in Wirt County. Edmondson was converted and joined the Baptist Church at Cooper's Creek, Kanawha County, in 1848. He was made a preadher in 1850, and went with Rev. John Hoff to Elizabeth in 1859.
In 1860 he married Elizabeth Josephine Woodyard and was in a store a while but lost out.
Edmondson was famous as a "rough and ready" preacher, and was a picturesque feature of the middle history of Lower Reedy.
He later married for his third wife, Margaret, daughter of Joseph Ott. He lived on upper Laurel Run in 1903, and was spending his old age as "Uncle Buck", he wrote me. He died in October, 1907.
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Other Settlers on Sheppard's Fork
Among the first settlers on Tucker's Creek, who came perhaps in the Twenties, were Thompson Gates and Jonathan Steele. Probably among the latter's children were:
John Steele, a preacher.
Jane Steele married "Col." William Sheppard.
_____ Steele married Henry Sergeant, who lived on a large run which heads up against the left fork of Thorne's Run, and which is known by the name of Sergeant's Run.
The first large run that comes into Enoch Fork at the residence of Chris. Benson is known as Hartley's Run. Perhaps John Hartley lived there in the olden days, at least a man of that name lived there.
At the mouth of this run lived about thirty years ago an old man and woman, both blind. He was one of the old time school teachers, by name David Harris. His wife was a Rockhold. Harris taught in the Fifties in an old log house, which was still standing thirty years ago, about forty rods up Somerville Fork and half way between the creek where the road was and the present site of the same. Harris came from Ireland.
The next large run above Hartley's is called Scarberry's Run.
Smith's Run, as before noted, was the large run which flows into Reedy a few miles below the Forks, and is latterly called Thorne's Run from Thomas Thorne, who purchased the Smith farm and settled there in 1838, the farm since having remained in the family.
As heretofore mentioned, the first settler on the run was John Smith, who came in 1808.
Old "Billy" Wells (W.R.) perhaps made the first improvement across the creek from the mouth of the run, and Levi Wells, his brother, lived near, maybe in a house on the south side of the creek just below the mouth of the run, where at an early date lived a man named John Carr. Little is known or preserved of him, save that some of the oldest residents remember there was such a man.
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Thomas Thorne was born in England and came to the United States, where he married Mary Jones, who was born in New Jersey, thirty three miles from Philadelphia. Her father, John Jones, was an Indian scout and spy, and had been held seven years a captive by the Indians.
Thomas Thorne lived in Monongalia County, and his grandson, Zadoc Thorne, informed me he had seen his grandfather shoot woodpeckers with a bow and arrow when he was 65 or 70 years old. So skillful was he in the use of that primitive weapon that he could hit a 6 1/4 cent silver piece at three rods distance.
Thomas Thorne moved to Jackson County, one mile from Ravenswood, in 1836, and two years later, to Smith's Run.
Michael Thorne, his brother, was with Jackson at New Orleans in 1815.
He lived a while at the mouth of Lynn Camp, and later went to Arkansas.
Frank Thorne was a son of Michael.
Zadoc Thorne married Mary Woody.
Eugenius Thorne, who married Nancy Sheppard, lived in 1904 at Palestine.
Zadoc Thorne died on Reedy the night of February 4, 1907.
(John W. Thorne, a son of Zadoc, married Russa M. Bord, daughter of William Bord, in Jackson County.)
(Irvin Park Thorne, the biographer, was born in Wirt County, 1858.)
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Some later notes taken from Deed Books show the following:
Jacob Conrad bought of John Lockhart, April 5, 1813, all that tract of land joining that of Ezekiel McFarland on Right Reedy, 61 acres for $129.00.
On March 6, 1818, he sold the same - described as joining Nathaniel Morehead and John Lockhart - to Sampson King for $200.00. He signed the deed "Jacob Conrad."
In 1809 John Conrad paid no land tax. In 1810 he paid on 100 acres, and in 1811 he and Christopher, his son, on 50 acres each.
April 1, 1811, John Conrad (no wife) sold Christopher 50 acres lying on both sides of the creek.
March 16, 1818, John Conrad to Jacob, 50 acres on Right Reedy joining "Christopher Conrad."
March 20, 1825, John Conrad and wife, Catharine, to John Conrad, Jr., 25 acres, a part of land formerly occupied by said John Conrad, Sr. It lay on th east side of the creek, and joined Caleb Wiseman, cornering with him "on three beaches at the mouth of Sergeant's Run" and signed by John (x) "Coonrod" of "Hawking Co., Ohio."
John, Jr., sold same to John Ott in 1841.
In 1825 Chris Conrad sold to Thomas McNeal (married Peggy Conrad in 1818.) 40 acres at the mouth of Thomas Run and "above Wier's Mill." The mill was first on south side but rebuilt on the north side of the creek.
March 31, 1815, Phidillas Ott bought 80 acres for $100.00, a part of a tract patented to I. Enochs, and joining Barnes and Chapman. (I did not get the name of seller, Enoch perhaps, but the land "cornered on a Cow Cumber tree."
Lewis Ott, August 17, 1816, bought of John Barnes 50 acres on the Right Fork of Lynn Camp Run. He built the first cabin in Tucker District.
"Dillis Ought" or Thomas Carney, 1830, 73 acres. Of Elijah Petty, 1834, 27 acres. And of Michael Thorne, 1840, 100 acres.
The first Wiseman records I traced are:
March 31, 1815, of Enoch, 70 acres; August 1815, of McFarland, 108; sold same to Daniel Lott - perhaps Deed of Trust. He bought it back in 1830.
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The names of "earliest" preacher recorded are:
1796 - William Beauchanp, settled at Elizabeth.
Reece Woolf, local preacher (as was Beauchamp) date may not apply to Woolf literally.
1799 Spring, Robert Manly was "regular" (at Elizabeth).
Bishop Asbury visited this section in 1810.
1809 Hughes' River Mission of the Baltimore Conference was established at Elizabeth.
(William Beauchamp, Jr. became a prominent preacher in the Methodist Church of the then western wilderness and an author of religious books.)
1818 A Methodist Society was formed at Pisgah.
1820 Lorenzo Dow preached on the West Fork. He may have preached at Parkersburg, Elizabeth, and Hughes River or many have come West from Weston and Glenville.
1835 The First Baptist Church was organized at Spencer by Robert Tinsdale.
(John Drake is credited by someone with "preaching at Burning Springs in 1813" and John Keeney in Curtis District in 1821.)
A Methodist preacher by the name of Stroud also a preacher named Douty used to preach at Sam Sheppard's.
John Steele was an early preacher.
Enoch Rector was a Baptist preacher of the early days in that section.
A pioneer of that section tells me also that Reuben Full taught school at one time in the log church.
The Pisgah Church
Big Run is several miles long, and empties into Sheppard's Fork one mile above the mouth of Smith's Run. It heads against Cain's Run of Main Reedy, and flows in a generally northwest direction.
Diagonally across the Valley and nearly in a line with Big Run's course is the site of the oldest church on Sheppard's Fork.
In 1813 the pioneer Methodist preachers began holding services at John Smith's dwelling. Five years later a class was organized. The names of the members were:
John Smith and wife.
William Sheppard and wife.
Samuel Sheppard and wife.
Peter Conrad and wife.
Isaac Lockhart and wife.
These persons were not, as the inferences would naturally be, members of the class at the time of the first organization but were probably among the earliest members.
The date of the first building of the Pisgah Church is not given; probably services were held for a time in a little log school house, built of beech and lynn poles, such as a few men could carry, which stood on the bank of the creek a short distance above Pisgah. It is said that the first school on Sheppard's Fork was taught here about 1818 by William Ray a relative of the author of Ray's Arithmetic.
The first Pisgah Church was of logs and had a capacious fireplace in oe end; it stood on the top of a knoll, where the road crosses through a low gap, cutting off a point in the bend of the creek. Here was for many years the central gathering point for the early church of all the regions round about.
When that building had to be replaced, the present house was built on the slope down nearer to the road. It stands in the edge of a fine grove of magnificent beech trees, whose trunks are scarred with the carvings of several generations.
The building is wide, low, and squatty, nestling in the shade of the leafy trees, its walls weatherstained and storm beaten.
Back to the church on top of the knoll the grave stones cluster thickly, row after row. And in this quiet spot sleep many sturdy pioneers of the valley.
The house stands a little higher than the road on a gentle rise, on which grow an even dozen large beech trees, a part of the original forest. One of them stands in front of the church, casting a cool and refreshing shade all around.
The creek comes to the road at the base of the northern hill, and then sweeps around this point, which extends far out into the valley. On the upper slope of the point, which has never been cleared, I counted twenty five sugar trees.
The creek, which clings close to the base of the promontory on its upper side then pushes far across the valley, and turns with a wide sweep - winding in and out - changing its course as it meets with resistance to its flow, until it comes to the hill again at the narrow, a quarter of a mile below.
The banks of the stream are lined with white armed sycamores leaning out over the water and mingling branches over the tide.
As was the custom of the times, the old meeting house served for both church and school purposes.
Here Clarissa Riddle, a daughter of Samuel Sheppard, who lived about a half mile below and who was born in 1831, attended her first school in the old church, Reuben Full being the teacher. This was perhaps about 1838 or 1839.
The first post office on Sheppard's Fork was at Zackville, kept at Hite Sheppard's house.
The village of Pewee was laid out by Daniel Cain on his property at the forks of the creek in 1879.
Daniel Cain was a son of Thomas Cain of Reedy, and married Letty Sheppard, a daughter of "Col." William Sheppard.
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