Spencer and Vicinity



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Tanner Family

Samuel Tanner was the first settler at Spencer, and the first in Roane County, barring a little cluster of cabins built near Osborne's Mills on Big Sandy, about 1810.

Tanner is usually credited as coming from Randolph County. I think it is a pretty well established fact that he sojourned for a time on Mill Creek or at Warth's Bottom, and if Jesse Carpenter was a brother of his wife, he may have spent from one to several years in Meigs County, Ohio, before coming to try his fortune in the wilderness of what was then Wood County.

Tanner had been living under the "rock" at what is now Spender, over a month before war had been declared against Great Britain, the War of 1812.

On the 14th day of May, 1812, Samuel Tanner, Sudner Carpenter Tanner, his wife, Jonathan Wolfe from Hacker's Creek settlement, and a boy named Tate, came to the site of Spencer and camped under the rocks at the end of the point near the residence of Harry C. Woodyard.

This "cave" - so called - had long been used by both white men and Indians as a camping spot.

Logs were cut and split into puncheons and stood up along the edge of the overhanging rock, for an outside wall. The rock overhead served for a roof and the floor was of stone. A rude fireplace was constructed at one end and the smoke was allowed to go up through a crevice of the rocks or out into the room, as might happen. Another portion was made into a stable. Leaves were piled into the back corners of the living room, a puncheon table and a few stools were added, and they were ready for housekeeping.

They lived under this rock until the next spring. A field was cleared on the table land between the "house" and where the Ravenswood Pike now is. This was planted in late corn, and the little family prospered. Most of their sustenance being provided from the surrounding forests.

It was while living under this rock that their eldest daughter, Elizabeth Tanner, is supposed to have been born, and it is said that she was the first white child born in Roane County.

Jonathan Wolfe later married Bridget Runyan, and lived on Spring Creek. The boy, Tate, is lost sight of altogether.

Next spring the Tanner erected a cabin across Tanner's Run and nearly on the site of what was long known as "the old Fisher house", an old frame building unpainted and weather beaten, which was still standing in 1872. This building was then the first house in town, and was used as a court house when the country was organized in 1856.

The log cabin which was built by Tanner stood until about 1855. In this cabin on May 9, 1813, Tanner's son, Elijah, was born. Some claims are that Elijah was the first white child born in Spencer District.

There was a trail up Spring Creek which led to the Kanawha salt works above Charleston. Another trail, from Weston and Hacker's Creek settlements, passed through Gilmer County to the Ohio River settlements and crossed the Kanawha River trail at what was long known as Bowman's Corner, now occupied by the Traders Trust Company Bank. This point was not far from the Tanner cabin, and from this fact the place was long known as Tanner's Crossroads. Later it became Cassville, and then, perhaps about 1850, Rolla Butcher, having sold his store in Reedyville with the announced purpose of going to the gold fields of California, but instead having gone into business at Cassville, the place was ironically referred to as "Californy" or "New Californy", a name later adopted "officially" and continued as California until the village was made the county seat of the new "County of Roane", when it was named Spencer, this being the first name of Judge Roane, for whom the county was named and who was then in service on the Judicial Circuit.

Samuel Tanner, said Susy Miller, was buried on the hill above town in what is known as the Bartlett Extension, and his bones, she said, were unearthed while grading for a street back of the Clay Smith house. Samuel Tanner married a Carpenter, a sister of the Joe Carpenter and an aunt of Amos Carpenter. Of their children, I have heard names but not much further account of them: Elizabeth, Elijah, William, Jesse and James.

William Tanner was a brother of Samuel. He came to Spring Creek about 1813 or 1814, and settled at the mouth of Mile Tree Run, one mile above town on Tanner's Run, which took its name from him. He was married four times, and doubtless raised a large family.

Jesse Tanner was a half brother of Samuel Tanner. He was born in 1795 and died March 26, 1885. His monument is a granite block of large size and bears the above inscription and also the name of the widow, still living in 1904. She was his third wife.

Jesse Tanner lived four years on the farm just below Spencer. He married a sister to John Carpenter. His second wife was Judy Carpenter, the widow of John Carpenter, and his third wife was a widow, Lucinda Raines.

Mrs. Hovey (a daughter of W.R. Goff) said, "She couldn't tell what kin Jesse was to Sam, but Jesse was a good neighbor and a good man, but superstitious." He had built a two story hewed log house, she could not give the location, but it was somewhere near Spencer. However, his wife died, and he would not live in the house any longer but sold his land (50 acres) to Goff.

Jim Tanner lived in Spencer in 1835. Of his children:

Wash Tanner married Katy McCune, a daughter of Peter McCune. Tom and Bas were their children.

Noah Tanner married a relative of the Davises of Harrison County. He moved from about Spencer to Wright's Run, and was killed on Tucker's Creek. He was brought home and was buried at Beech Grove. He was killed during a raid to secure supplies for the Confederate army.

Jeff Tanner lived on the waters of West Fork.

Josh Tanner never married.

A.L. Vandale once told me Old Jim Tanner (named above) lived in the end of Spencer toward Reedy, when he came in 1832, Tanner was from Lewis County.

John Wright, son of Bas. Wright, told me Noah Tanner bought the Dix farm of Squire Bord, and that Bord bought it from Basil Wright.

Poach Hoff says Sam Tanner was an uncle of Tom Carpenter, who was a son of Jesse Carpenter, who went to Parchment.

On December 14, 1850, Samuel and Sudner Tanner deeded one half of their land to Alexander West and the other half to Elizabeth Tanner, their daughter. The deeds are signed by Samuel and Sudner Tanner, both making the X mark.

Though Spring Creek to Spencer or above and Reedy to Beech Grove or farther must surely have been a part of Wood County until the organization of Jackson in 1831, a pretty thorough search of Deed Books and tax books at the Office of the County Clerk of Wood County failed to reveal the names of Samuel, William or Jesse Tanner, Thomas or Jesse Carpenter, Henry Runyan, Blosser, Greathouse, Willis Burdett, William Walker, George Parsons, John P. Thomasson or Reuben Douglas, before 1813. However, I did not examine closely the old Deed Books but looked only at the General Index.

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Carpenter Family

The Carpenters were among the earliest settlers of Roane County. There are different branches of the family, probably intimately connected, but just what the relationship is would be very difficult to find out now. The accounts given by different persons among the oldest citizens of the community in which they lived are very conflicting, owing largely no doubt to the defective memory of the aged. Many with whom I talked two or three years ago have since passed away, and most of the younger generation have little thought of such matters. There can be little doubt however that the Carpenters, Tanners and Millers among the pioneers were very closely related.

On page 235 of the old book, "BORDER WARFARE", is mentioned an attack by Indians in 1793 on the houses of Jeremiah Carpenter, Benjamin Carpenter and Adam O'Brien, (A man named Adam O'Brien was the first settler on O'Brien's Fork of Steer Creek.) During this attack, Benjamin Carpenter was killed.

On page 72, it speaks of an attack on Carpenter's Fort on Jackson's River, when William Carpenter was killed, and his son (since Dr. Carpenter of Nicholas County) was taken prisoner.

In 1790, Nicholas Carpenter was killed in an attack made on a party who were driving cattle from Harrison County to Marietta.

Jesse Carpenter was an Indian scout and hunter contemporaneous with Jesse Hughes and William Lowther. After the close of hostilities he migrated to Big Raccoon Creek in Meigs County, Ohio, where his son Thomas was born in 1796.

He moved to Parchment Creek in Jackson County. (One account says, in 1801, but that is obviously a mistake, as there were no settlements recorded in Jackson County so far from the river at that early date.) He may have squatted there a while, and engaged in hunting and trapping. There is mention among the old people of Mill Creek Valley of a Jesse McDade who lived on Parchment at a very early date. He was an old Indian fighter and hunter.

Thomas Carpenter was born in 1796 on Big Raccoon Creek in Meigs County, Ohio, and died on the 5th of October, 1882, on Charles Fork of Spring Creek, aged eighty six years.

He is said to have lived with Sam Tanner, who was probably his uncle, about 1813 or 1814, when he grubbed a field extending from "where Squire Huddleston now lives, east to the creek and down the creek to where Simmons now lives below the bridge." This is given as the first field at Spencer, but was, perhaps, the third patch cleared, as Tanner and Wolfe had cleared one on the uplands above the Woodyard place. In this cleaning the saplings and smaller trees were cut down, the brush burned with the underbrush previously grubbed, and the logs, which were hard to burn, piled around the outside to protect the crop from the cattle, which were turned loose in the woods.

The next spring Tanner had built a log cabin across Tanner's Run on the elevated ground, and of course another patch was cleared around it, taking in that part of the plateau west of Carpenter's clearing.

The bottoms were not cleared at first, being low and subject to overflow. Besides, they were covered with large sugar trees, from which syrup and sugar were manufactured for several years before the trees were destroyed.

Jesse Carpenter was a volunteer in the War of 1812. His son, however, is not so recorded, he being yet young at the close of the conflict.

In 1823 Thomas Carpenter married Sarah Wright, a sister of John Wright, who then lived on the Jordan McMillan farm on Henry's Fork, and with whom young Carpenter had been sojourning while he hunted or dug "seng". He walked through to Upshur County with a load of dried ginseng, and brought back dishes, which he carried inside his "wamus" - having tied the tails in front of him.

Sarah E. Wright Carpenter was born at Addison in Webster County, in 1812, and died in July, 1872.

Carpenter first built a cabin nearly on the spot now occupied by the Insane Asylum. This was in 1823, and afterward the cabin, with all his household chattels, was burned. He then lived awhile on the S.B. Seaman farm on Reedy, and later on the Sharpe farm on Left Reedy, and still later (probably near 1830) he bought land on Charles Fork where James Carpenter yet lives. There was a cabin, and about five acres cleared on the land. This improvement had been made by Stewart Donahue, and was the only one on Charles Fork at that time. His neighbors were James Wright, his wife's brother, at the mouth of the cree, Presley Vineyard and Uriah Gandee.

Salt was carried from Malden (the Kanawha salines). They would kill game on the long ridge and on Sandy and exchange the venison for salt, which was carried home on pack horses.

Just here it might be well to say that along with the lead mines mentioned in various places, there was near Gandeeville and close the home of James Carpenter a saltpeter cave, from which the pioneers gathered saltpeter, which was indispensable in their manufacture of gunpowder for firing their bullets.

Thomas Carpenter bought in all, 999 acres of land of Hiram Chapman, Nathan Smith and Thomas Meyers. Thomas and Sarah Carpenter's children were:

James Carpenter, who was born on Stover in 1838, and died on Charles Fork in 1908. He married Rachel Raines, daughter of Robert R. and Elizabeth Hyman Raines, who came from Pendleton County and settled in what is now Roane County. Rachel Raines was born April 10, 1839. James Carpenter served in the Union Army under Capt. Donaldson, and was a Methodist Protestant.

John Carpenter married Bridget Reynolds, and removed to New Brighton, Pennsylvania, where he died.

Eliza Carpenter married Hiram Chapman.

Walter Carpenter, born in 1884, and Clerk of the County Court of Roane County in 1908, was a son of James and Rachel Carpenter.

Amos Carpenter was an old man living on the Left Fork of Reedy as a renter in different locations from 1872 until after 1880. His father was an old Indian fighter, and a companion of Jesse Hughes. Amos was the youngest child, having been born (says Susy Miller) after his father's death. For this reason, she believed him endowed with the power to "perform wonderful tricks and make great cures."

The time or place of his birth is not preserved. His granddaughter thinks he died about 1885, but as he passed through the Middle Fork country, trimming apple trees, in the spring of 1887 or 1888, this must be a mistaken guess. I think it was the spring of 1888 that I last saw him He was then at N.F. Butcher's, trimming his orchard. He died at the County Infirmary about 1889, probably. His grand daughter, before mentioned, Mrs. Channel, a daughter of Hezekiah Carpenter, thought him about seventy two years old when he died, but I judge him to have been somewhere between seventy five and eighty, or born about 1810 or 1812.

About his parentage, there are different opinions, but he may likely have been a brother of Jesse Carpenter and of Sudner Carpenter Tanner. Farther than this, I will not hazard a guess.

Amos Carpenter was probably born in Braxton County about 1810. He married Edie sands, also of the upper Elk valley. She was some years his junior. Of their children, so far as I know of them:

The oldest daughter (name not known) was born perhaps about 1842, and married Hiram Friend.

Hez Carpenter was in the home guards or "State Troops of West Virginia." He enlisted when only sixteen. He died about the spring of 1906, on Middle Fork of Reedy.

John Carpenter, a brother of Amos, lived on Reedy and was at a log rolling at the Gibbs place below Reedyville when he got caught under the chin with a hand spike and was killed, his neck being dislocated. The date of this incident must have been not far from 1835. His wife later married Jesse Tanner, as his second wife.

Rebecca Carpenter, a sister of Amos Carpenter, was born in Braxton County, in 1793, and married Samuel Miller, a pioneer of Reedy. She died October 31, 1875.

Joseph Carpenter, born in Jackson County, married Sarah E. Runyan. Joseph Carpenter and Sarah Carpenter, who married Albines Wilson, were their children.

Mrs. Hez Carpenter told me that she was "pretty sure" Amos Carpenter had an uncle, Jerry. She thinks him a relative of Old Tommy, but not close.

The Deed Books call for a sale by Hugh Kyger to Jeremiah Carpenter of a tract of land lying on the ridge between the Burdett Fork and Left Fork of Reedy, and "adjoining lands of Amos Carpenter." No dates copied.

There was an old Jerry Carpenter lived under a rock in Randolph County, years ago.

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Runyan Family

Among the first settlers of Roane County was the Runyan family, who lived on Spring Creek near Spencer, and scattered over Roane and Jackson Counties.

Henry Runyan came from Randolph County, Virginia, and settled at Spencer in 1813. He and his brother, Lige, built the mill at the bend now in the upper end of Spencer, in 1818. It is said that Henry, Jr., his son, cut the mill race through a solid rock from the upper to the lower level. Hickle, Tolley, McKown and Sam Miller owned the property at different times.

Accounts are very conflicting as to the relationship of the different members of the family. Old Granny Runyan, who was living at Mr. Skidmore's the winter of 1883, was the widow of Jim Runyan, a brother of Isaac. She was a Bibbee, and the mother of Isaac Runyan.

Elijah Callow said that Henry Runyan's wife was a Carpenter. My record of the family says she was Sarah Staats, a daughter of Abraham Staats.

Henry Runyan came to Spencer about 1813. He married Sarah Staats, daughter of Abraham Staats, Their children were:

Henry Runyan, married a daughter of Uriah Gandee. He is the one who is supposed to have cut the mill race. He went west but later came back, and died in Roane County. They had a son, Elihu, and a daughter, who married Rev. Dan Warren.

Miles Runyan married Delila Flesher in Jackson County. He was born in 1818, and she in 1820. Alf Runyan, born in 1842, Andrew Runyan and Wils Runyan were their children.

Samantha Runyan married Josh Miller, son of Sam Miller.

Sarah Runyan married Joe Carpenter. Their daughter, Sarah, married Albines Wilson. Joe Carpenter on Middle Fork is their son.

Sam Runyan.

Isaac Runyan was born in Spencer in 1816, and died 1905. He is said to be the fourth child born in Roane County.

Elijah Runyan came to Spencer about the same time that his brother Henry did. He and John Runyan (perhaps his son) built the first mill at the mouth of Charles Fork, above Spencer. James Wright bought the property of them when he moved to Charles Fork about 1830, or a little earlier. Bridget Runyan married Jonathan Wolfe, who lived under the rock with Sam Tanner in 1812. She is said to be a sister of Henry. Their daughter, Mary Wolfe, married Bill Reynolds (Runnells) of the Kyger farm.

Nancy Runyan, a sister , married Josh Miller, Sr. They moved from Greenbrier or Monroe County, probably. They may likely have come with the others of the Miller and Wright families, about 1825. They first lived on a farm which belonged to C.S. Vandale in 1904. This farm was about a mile above Spencer.

Like the sycamore on Sheppard's Fork, there is an elm tree standing by the spring, which was a hand spike struck in the ground on the occasion of a log rolling.

A Runyan, probably a brother of Henry, lived on the road between Ripley and Ravenswood, perhaps on Sycamore, about 1850 or earlier. His son, Lige Runyan, married Harriet, daughter of John D. Smith, who lived on Joe's Run of Mill Creek. He was a Methodist exhorter, and his son Sam was a preacher.

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Greathouse Family

John Greathouse came from Harrison County when Sam Tanner was the only resident at Spencer. He was of German descent, and moved to Spring Creek perhaps about 1815. He built his cabin on the elevated ground east (says George W. Callow) of Spring Creek and just avobe the mouth of Nancy's Run. He owned a large tract of land below Spencer, on Spring Creek. He and Tanner were cousins. His chilidren were:

Jim Greathouse married Nancy Hicks.

John Greathouse married Phebe Casto.

Nettie Greathouse, who was born in 1807, married Matilda Blosser, daughter of Henry Blosser, at Reedy.

Sam Greathouse lived on Poca.

Bill Greathouse.

A daughter, married a McMullen, an Irishman. Their oldest son, John McMillan, was killed on Henry's Fork, in September, 1863, in a Civil War fracas.

One of Prophet John Greathouse's son was Edward M. He married Samantha Pickens, who was born in Meigs County, Ohio, January 13, 1844, and died near Spencer, November 27, 1912. Her father, John Pickens, was born in Mason County in 1806, and married Mary Lawrence. His father, James Pickens, was a soldier in the War of 1812.

John Pickens, father of James, and great grandfather of Mrs. Greathouse, was an American soldier in the War of Independence.

Edward M. (Ed) Greathouse was married September 4, 1862, and had one child.

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McWhorter Family

Another name worthy of mention in Roane County history, while not a pioneer, is that of Henry Clay McWhorter. He was born in Marion County, and received schooling in Ravenswood. He became Captain of Company "G" in the Civil War.

After the war, he practiced law. He was a member of the House of Delegates from Roane County in 1865, and Postmaster at Spencer. He was a member of the State Supreme Court in 1886. He married Mary Hardman of Reedy, in 1857. She died in 1878.

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Holswade Family

Frederick Holswade was born in Rhine Province, Germany, in 1819. His father was of Alsatian ancestry, and a soldier against Napoleon. He died from the effects of wounds received at Austerlitz. Frederick came to America in 1834, and located in Lewis County. He married Martha A. Alkire, and died in 1876. Of his children:

John M. Holswade married Emma Kate Goff.

James F. Holswade married Daisy, a daughter of Coley Staats, and lives at Ravenswood.

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McCune Family

Peter McCune, who came from Ireland, was one of the first settlers on the upper West Fork. He married a daughter of Adam O'Brien, and lived where Arnoldsburg now stands, sometime before 1804.

A man named West had squatted in that vicinity, but did not remain long. Philip Starcher settled at Altizer about 1810, being the first permanent settler there.

Peter McCune had a large family. Of these children there were:

Peter McCune married Margaret Bush.

Timothy McCune.

Daniel McCune.

Rachel married John Wright.

Christina married Barnabas Cook.

Mary married Thomas Barnhouse. Sam Barnhouse was their child.

Margaret married Morris Short.

Catherine married Anthony Parsons.

Peter McCune, Jr., married Margaret Bush, daughter of George Bush. He was born in 1796, and she was born in 1799. They settled on the upper West Fork in 1815, in a cabin built of poles such as he could handle by himself. The child of Peter and Margaret McCune born shortly after their arrival, was the first white child born in Washington District. In 1817, he moved to Henry's Fork, and was one of the first settlers in that section. He settled probably about the mouth of Clover Run. Their children were:

Paulser McCune.

Dan McCune, was wounded at the seige of Spencer.

Joseph McCune married his cousin, Christina, daughter of John Wright.

Timothy McCune.

Eleanor McCune married Rollo Butcher. He was a son of the Butchers in Wood County. They had a store in Reedyville in 1848, and went to California about 1850. He being the Rollo Butcher who bought the lot in Spencer after selling out with the intention of going to California, thus giving the name of California to Spencer, as before related.

Charity Cunningham said she had a brother living on Mill Creek. If so, and it seems probably, it was Paulser Bush, father of George Bush.

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Cook Family

Barnabas Cook married Christina McCune, and settled on the West Fork just south of the Lee District line, soon after 1815. He served one term as Sheriff in Kanawha county, and was also Justice of the Peace in that county. He was for a number of years a preacher in the Campbellite Church.. They had five sons in the Union Army, whose names were: Simon, PeterM., Timothy, Saul and Barnabas S.

Barnabas Cook, Jr., was severely wounded while in the army, and died from the effects of the wound in 1862. He married Sarah Truman in 1851.

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Mace Family

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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Conley Family

George Conley, Anthony Parsons, Thomas Cottril, Thomas P. Brannon, and three families named Truman, were other early settlers of the upper waters of the West Fork.

The first wedding was a double ceremony: Thomas Barnhouse married Mary Bush, and Thomas Cottril marrying Mary Parsons, were the contracting parties. Rev. William Hacker was the officiating clergyman.

The first school was taught by Dr. George Conley, who lived about a mile and a half up the right fork of West Fork. This was about eight miles above Arnoldsburg.

George Conley married a girl whose first name was Sally. By some, the last name is given as Patrick. She died in 1842. Their children were:

Sally Conley married George Flesher.

Mary Conley married Solomon Jarvis.

George Conley, Jr., settled at the mouth of Barnes Run.

Ailsey Conley married Thomas Jarvis, who owned a large tract of land, reaching from Sears' to Walnut Run.

Sabria Conley married Abraham Helmick.

John Conley married a daughter of Anthony Parsons.

Thomas Conley married a daughter of Elijah Flesher.

Another daughter married Elijah Hall, and their daughter, Sarah Hall, married John Schoolcraft.

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Brannon Family

William Brannon settled on the West Fork, in Lee District, some three and one half miles above Arnoldsburg. He came from the Cheat River soon after 1810. It is said that he traded an ax for a piece of land. Of his children:

William Brannon married Catherine King. William L. Brannon was his son.

Susan Brannon married Amos Miller, son of Sam Miller.

Tommy Brannon married Lydia Wilson.

Jacob Brannon married Nancy Moore.

Lorenzo Brannon married Keziah Barnhouse.

John Brannon married a daughter of Abraham Helmick.

Mary Brannon married John Truman.

Elizabeth Brannon married Leonard King.

Thomas P. Brannon, a brother of William, lived on Turkey Pen Run, near Glenville. Of his children: Jesse Brannon, married a Wilson, and lived on Leading Creek.

Judge Lynn Brannon was a grandson of Thomas Brannon.

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Geary Family

Matthew Geary came from Ireland to America in 1820. He was a weaver by trade. He came to the salt licks on the Kanawha River, where he was employed. On a trip hunting staves for his barrels, he met Almira Ashley, whose father had migrated to Amercia in 1810, and settled in the wilderness at what is now Osborne's Mills. Matthew Geary and Almira Ashley were married in 1825, and raised a large family, most of whom lived in Geary District.

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Hickle Family

Benjamin Hickle lived on the "Old Jimmy Daniels" place above Spencer, about two and one half miles up Spring Creek, in 1904. He was born in the "Shenado" Valley.

"Wagoner Sam" Hickle moved to Preston County when he was small. (With his father's family, presumably.) Later he moved to the farm where Weston now stands. "Wagoner Sam" was in the War of 1812. He used to drive wagons on the Old National Road from Wheeling to Zanesville. At one time he had two six horse teams.

The old man used to delight in reminiscing of the old days. If I mistake not, he once told of hauling a load of 2020 pounds for John F. Clark. This was with two horses, presumably.

Sam Hickle came to Roane County in 1849. He owned a mill above Spencer. His children were:

Ben Hickle.

Augustus Hickle, was the father of "Sace" and "Shoestore Sam."

George Hickle, father of Bill Hickle of Mill Creek.

Jerome Hickle married Hannah Smith, who died in July, 1884, and whose funeral was preached at Vandale school house.

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Norman Family

James Norman married Mary Nedley. They came from Barbour County about 1830, and settled where Normantown now is. Their children were:

John Norman married Nancy Montgomery.

Felix Norman married Mary Greenleaf.

Isaac Norman married a Jackson.

James Nedley Norman was first Sheriff of Calhoun County, and noted for his eccentricities and comical ways. Alpheus Norman, their oldest son, was also Sheriff of Calhoun County.

Anna Norman married Benjamin Smart.

Seymour Norman married first, Jemima Stump, daugher of Michael Stump, Jr., and he next married a daughter of Paulser Bush.

Sarah Norman married John Greenleaf, a brother of Sarah Greenleaf, whom Mrs. Ludwick says, married Mary Emmet.

William Norman, married Mary ____. Their children were:

Sally Norman married Peter Bush.

Mary Norman married George Riddle.

Maria Norman married Rev. Theodore Givens.

Lige Norman.

Andy Norman.

Emmet Norman married a Riddle.

Seymour Norman.

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Woodyard Family

A prominent family of Spencer and one which had much to do with shaping the future of Spencer and Roane County was that of Woodyard.

The founder of the family insofar as it is connected with the Woodyards of Roane County was Jesses Woodyard, a man of Scotch descent, and of the Potomac River Settlement. His children were:

James Woodyard married Joanna Wiseman. His children were:

Rev. Charles Woodyard.

Cornelius Woodyard.

George Woodyard married Elizabeth Ott.

Louis Woodyard married Kate Wiseman.

William Woodyard, son of Louis and Kate Woodyard, married a Miss Chapman, and lived at Spencer. It was through his influence that Spencer received its advantages, such as the Second State Hospital for the Insane and the R.S. & G. Rainroad, which was built to Spencer through his diligent effort and insistence. Of his children:

Ralph, who died in Cuba.

Hon. Harry C. Woodyard, who was born November 13, 1867. He married Emma J. Douglas. Hon. Harry Chapman Woodyard was State senator for his District, and was Representative from the Fourth Congressional District to the United States Congress, being elected in 1902 and re-elected many times, thus serving several years. He died June 21, 1929.

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Weas Family

Elijah Weas was a soldier of the Union Army. He married Leah Chenoweth. Their children were:

John, lived in Syracuse.

Edith, lived in Wirt County.

Martha married a son of Jimmy Daniels.

Ellen married Miles Perrine, and lived near Spencer.

Fleet, lived in Kenova.

Someone at the Weas reunion at City Park, Parkersburg, in 1934, spoke to me of a Henry Weas, a brother of Ziba Weas, whose daughter married Miles Perrine.

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An Old Clipping

A clipping from an unknown paper reprinted in Times Record, December 3, 1914, said, "In 1856, Rollo Butcher sold to Henry D. Chapman, Lots 39 and 40, in the town of California. (Formerly Cassville, Virginia) In the same year, Alex West sold the present public square in Spencer to William Gandee, John W.Cain and Aquilla Ward, trustees for Roane County.

On May 25, 1857, John Greathouse conveyed to B.D. Willams, Henry Glaze and J.M. McWhorter, trustees for the town, the cemetery out the pike, with the stipulation that no colored person should be admitted to burial therein.

In 1859, a bill of sale was recorded in which James Vandale conveyed to Leonard Simmons, ‘one mulatto boy named Ben and a female slae about nine months old, named Minerva: consideration, $1,000 cash in hand paid.'

In 1856, Thomas L. Moore, Commissioner of Harrison County, conveyed to John P. Thomasson, 36,000 acres of land lying on both sides of the Little Kanawha River. Part of this land was in Roane County. Consideration not given.

From Spencer "Reporter" - October, 1923, the following notes are gleaned: Albert Gallatin patented 6,000 acres lying on Spring Creek, and including the vicinity of Spencer, in 1788. This land was surveyed in 1785, patent granted in 1788. (Date of entry not given in Reporter article.)

Albert Gallatin later transferred the tract or his patent and claim of title to John DeSavory. DeSavory, dying, made Robert Alexander of Kentucky, his Executor.

Alexander made J.P.R. Bureau his "Attorney-in-fact" for the sale of the land.

Bureau sold 1,500 acres of the tract to Sequino DeKirbbby, in February, 1810, and the remaining 4,500 to the Executor, Robert Alexander.

On August 10, 1835, Robert Alexander conveyed to Samuel Tanner 243 acres on Spring Creek for $243.00. This date is about twenty three years after the settlement of his land. He may have held it under title bond all this time, or there might have been a mistake in printing dates. Deed Books and Tax Books at Ripley or Point Pleasant might show the transaction.

In 1857 Alexander West sold the tavern on the corner opposite Williams & Smiths store to Kellis Chewning, taking part payment for same "a black woman named Susan and her mulatto daughter, aged eleven" at a valuation of $1,000.00.

Kellis Chewning was born in Bedford County, Virginia, July 11, 1825. He was a son of Burnwell Chewning. He married in Bedford in 1847. His wife was a Preston. A son, Mcdonald was born in Roane County in 1857.

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Siege of Spencer

While not directly in the path of the armies of the North and the South, Spencer and vicinity at one time or another saw considerable action and disturbance.

At one time soldiers of the Southern Army, aided by sympathizers, brought siege against some of the independent scouts who were collected in Spencer. This siege extended into quite a battle, in which some persons were killed - and in all, it lasted a week.

Mrs. Hovey, who was describing this siege to me, said that "Poole was commissary of the garrison. He was shot by the Confederates, and laid outside in the sun all day, no one feeling safe to try to bring the body into the fort.

When night came, her father, William R. Goff, who lived across Spring Creek a short distance from town on the Arnoldsburg pike, took the body in and buried it on the flat back of where Dr. Bailey lived in 1872. Later the soldiers re-interred him in the Goff Cemetery."

The "fort" mentioned was a sort of earthworks standing on what was later the site of the village school house.

Mrs. Hovey also relates that when a girl, she and her sister (Mek) - afterward the wife of Jack Simmons, and another girl, had gone over to the Thomasson meeting house to preaching one Sunday morning, and were stopping at Mordecai Thomasson's. While they were there, a party of rebels (bushwhackers, probably) rode in and dismounted.

The night before, a squad of Union soldiers under Lieutenant Lawson, who was scouting the hills and valleys on the hunt of guerillas, had stayed at Mr. Goff's at Spencer. When someone at Thomasson's came in and reported Lawson in sight, the rebels ran, scattering in a field of corn down by the road, where they hid to ambush the Yankees, and commenced firing on them.

They shot a man named Hess through the lungs, and Lawson's party, having fled, leaving him in the enemies hands, he was brought to the Thomasson's house, and she remembers seeing him lying on the floor.

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Notes from J.C. Smith's Papers

From the many papers, accounts, and buisness transactions which have come into my hands from the estate of Jacob C. Smith, I have gleaned a number of items which I think may be of interest in rounding out this history of Reedy Valley.

1860 - D.K. Hood had a carding mill at Ripley. John McGrew, manager.

1848 - H. Steed was Sheriff of Wood County. Ed Traull was Deputy.

1852 - E.C. Hopkins was Constable.

1839 - S.B. Leonard was Clerk of the County Court of Jackson County.

1850 - Jacob C. Smith was Surveyor of Roads.

1857 - William Poole was a Justice of the Peace in Roane County.

1851 - T. Boggs was Sheriff of Wirt County. A. Cain was Deputy.

1854 - J.W. Staats was Sheriff of Jackson County. J.W. Starcher, Deputy.

1857 - Thomas Ferrell, Sheriff of Roane County, L.C. Armstrong, Deputy.

1861 - C. Tyson, Sheriff of Roane County.

1865 - J.W. Spencer, Sheriff of Roane County. Eli Rogers, Deputy.

1869 - A.B. Chancey, Deputy for Sheriff Spencer.

1865 - A.B. Chancey, Township Collector.

1848 - Thomas Boggs, Justice of the Peace for Roane County.

1848 - Samuel Wilkinson, Clerk of the County Court for Wirt County.

1850 - A. Cain, Constable for Wirt County.

1858 - J.M. McWhorter, Clerk of the County Court of Roane County.

1853 - R.H. Deckson, Superintendent of pikes.

1845 - J. Staats, Sheriff of Jackson County, H. Kyger, Deputy.

1857 - R.C. Hammond, Commissioner of Revenue, Wirt County.

1838 - John Harmon, Sheriff of Kanawha County.

1846 - J. Casto, Sheriff of Jackson County, H.Kyger, Deputy.

1848 - Aaron Ruble, Commissioner of Revenue of Wirt County.

1852 - A. Enoch, Commissioner of Revenue of Wirt County.

1861 - T. Parsons, Constable of Jackson County.

1850 - A. Waugh, Clerk of County Court of Jackson County

1852 - Jackson and Bowman had a store in California.

1857 - Smith and Williams had the store.

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The Oil Boom

There has always been a showing of petroleum oil in the Little Kanawha Valley. The Hughes party, which was its first explorers, found it oozing through the sand at a point some six miles above the mouth of Hughes River. It was then known as "Seneca Oil" and was used by both white and red men as a medicinal agent of rare value.

From fifty to one hundred barrels a year were collected from holes scooped in the sand, as early as 1836.

Petroleum also showed on the surface of the water on Oil Spring Run, south of Walker's Creek, and was collected with flannel cloths by people living in the neighborhood.

In 1835, George C. Leman settled near the forks of Hughes River, and engaged in collecting oil. Knowing that there was petroleum mixed with the salt brine on the Great Kanawha, he conceived the idea of drilling for salt water, but at a depth of one hundred feet the oil flowed in and spoiled it for making salt. In 1850, his successor, Bushrod W. Creel sold $230.00 worth of the product to Bosworth, Wells & Company in Marietta.

Near the mouth of Burning Springs Run, below the mouth of Spring Creek, were two sulphur springs from which the natural gas escaped. The place was known from the first advent of white men into the valley.

In 1859, the Rathbone Brothers, who had purchased one thousand acres of land some years earlier, commenced prospecting for salt. The first well was drilled to a depth of some two hundred and fifty feet when petroleum flowed in so freely the pumps had to be put to work. By this means several barrels a day were obtained, and the salt product was at once abandoned, or rather replaced by the first "oil boom." the second well produced a hundred barrels daily, and the third, fifty barrels an hour, it is reported. It is estimated that in August, 1860, there were not twenty people at the place; eight months later, there were fully six thousand.

Hundreds of thousands of barrels of the crude oil were floated down in boats, on rafts or adrift, to Parkersburg.

On the 9th of May, 1863, the Confederate general, Jones, burned the place with all the oil on hand. The burning liquid ran out on the water and timber was killed along the banks for several miles.

After this, rival fields were opened at Sand Hill, Petroleum, White Oak or Volcano, Oil Rock and California House, near the forks of the Hughes River.

Land was sold at fabulous prices all through that vicinity. Farms previously rated at a few dollars sold for twenty, thirty or a hundred thousand dollars. Derricks were set up all over the country, and tests made from Mill Creek to the head of Hughes River. Fortunes were made and lost in the greasy liquid, but in a few years the pool was exhausted. The excitement over, the oil cities were soon practically abandoned.

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