Who Is Buried Beneath This Grand Old Tree ??
The Wayne County Genealogical and Historical Society called a special meeting Wednesday, September 15, 2010. The meeting was held at the fort gay school athletic field next to the Norfork Southern Railroad and Sunnyside road.
The Wayne County Board of Education is preparing to build a new school, kindergarten through eighth grade on this 8.5 acre tract of land.
The concerns of the W.C.G.H.S. is to identify, preserve, honor and protect the cemetery that is located on the north end of the football field, under a large hackberry tree. Years ago vandals removed the headstones and there is no visible evidence of a cemetery. C. Michael Anslinger, cultural resource analyst has verified, through testing, that there are at least two graves present. Mrs. Pauline Donnally Adkins, 86 years old, born 5-20-1924, graciously attended our meeting. She is a life long resident of the Fort Gay area. She remembers, and pointed out with her cane, five graves facing east under the hackberry tree. She related many conversations and events in which she was engaged over the years. We believe the following people are buried here:
I. Stephen (Stevie) Bartram, who died before 28 May 1821. He is reportedly a revolutionary war soldier and progenitor of the Bartram family.
2. John William Wellman, born 8-2-1779 and died 12-26-1865, who could be considered the father of Wayne County.
3. Nancy Webb Wellman, wife of John Wellman, born 8-22-1782 and died 4-7-1822.
4. Mary Mulligan Wellman, born 2-13-1755 and died 8-??-1847, mother of John Wellman and widow of Bennett Wellman, a revolutionary war soldier.
Some other evidence used to help us to identify the above information was the book "Bartram Branches", by Violet W. Bartram and Kent Bartram, Jr., pages 337, 338 and 347.
The three volume set of books, "Descendants of Bennett Wellman", pages 20, 245, 312.
It has been rumored that the railroad moved these graves from their right-of-way sometime in the past. Roger Kelly has been in touch with Mr. Roger Powers in the railway real estate office and he is investigating the railroad archives for the validity of this rumor.
The deed for this property, dated 7-31-1947 in deed book 238 at page 478, is from W.C. Lovely to the Board of Education. This deed is for 8.5 acres, and reserves one-eighth acre as a cemetery.
The position of the Board of Education is to enclose the reserved area with a fence, and any other course of action will be left to the families and the public.
The W.C.G.H.S appreciates the help and cooperation that is being shown. In the future, we may be accepting donations to erect a marker, once we are reasonably sure of who has been laid to rest in this cemetery. We ask family and friends to look in old bibles, journals, etc. for corroborating evidence. We welcome any information anyone may have. Contact us at our web site, WCGHS.COM or email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to thank the following people who attended our meeting:
Herbert Dawson, President of WCGHS.
Howard Osburn, Treasurer of WCGHS and also web master.
John Jarrett Peters, member of WCGHS.
Jerry Workman, Assistant Superintendent of W.C. Schools.
Donald Davis, Director of Maintenance of W.C. Schools.
C. Michael Anslinger, R.P.A.
David Ferguson, Z.M.M. Architects.
Bryan Estep, Z.M.M. Architects.
Roger Kelly, Member of the Wayne County Commission.
Kamala Wellman Stuart, Secretary of Fort Gay Elementary School.
Herbert (Buddy) Wellman, Jr.
Diane Pottorff, Staff Writer, Wayne County News.
Mark M. Grayson, owner of the Levisa Lazer.
Pauline Donnally Adkins.
Naomi Bartram Napier.
Patricia Frasher Wallace.
Margaret Ann Wellman Michael.
John Jarrett Peters
We are providing updated information concerning this cemetery. This file is in PDF format and requires a PDF Reader be installed on your computer. To view this update, click here.
The Wayne County Genealogical & Historical Society has petitioned the Mayor and City Council of Fort Gay, The County Commission of Wayne County and the State Legislature to declare Saturday, September 1, 2012, as John Wellman Day, in honor of his accomplishments in early Wayne County History. Each have proclaimed John Wellman as "The Father Of Wayne County." Is there any better reason than this to have the cemetery, located under the large tree pictured above, preserved and those buried there honored?
Below are the three Proclamations:
Since the Bartram-Fort Gay Cemetery has so many descendants of John Wellman buried there, we felt it was appropriate to include on this page some history of John Wellman. Below is an article written by John Jarrett Peters, and included in a booklet published on the Bartram-Fort Gay Cemetery. If you have an interest in purchasing this booklet, contact Jarrett Peters at 304-429-2033.
HISTORY OF JOHN WELLMAN
Some history regarding the 1/8th acre cemetery (Graveyard) approximately 100 yards from the Bartram/Fort Gay Cemetery. This is near the center of the property owned by the Wayne Co. Board Of Education since July 1947. This property was originally owned by the Wellman family. John and his wife Nancy Webb Wellman are buried with others unknown in this cemetery. It is strongly suggested that John’s mother Mary Mulligan and Steven Bartram may also be buried there. The fence and headstones and any trace of a cemetery have been destroyed. Since a new school K-8 is now under construction surrounding the cemetery, the Genealogical Society and the Cemetery Board of Trustees proposed to the Board of Education that the graves be moved to the Bartram/Fort Gay Cemetery and the board rejected our proposal. There are 65 direct decedents of John & Nancy buried in the Bartram/Fort Gay Cemetery. John was born 8/2/1779 to Bennett & Mary Mulligan Wellman in the state of Maryland during the Revolutionary War. His father Bennett was in the Revolutionary War at the time of his birth. Bennett is buried back of Louisa off of Cranberry St. in the Eloise section. The Wellman Family was among the first settlers who came to and settled at what was then called the Forks of the Big Sandy in Kanawha Co. VA. (later Cassville) (now Fort Gay) in 1802. John & Nancy were a young married couple with one child. John & Nancy raised 9 children. Cabell VA was formed from Kanawha Co. VA. In 1809. John Wellman became very prominent. He was a Gentlemen Justice in the county for 30 years. I have read numerous Legal Documents signed by him. Nancy was the daughter of Robert & ???? (Breeden) Webb. She was born 8/22/1782 and died 4/7/1822. In 1823-25 Governor James Pleasants Jr. of Richmond VA. appointed John sheriff of Cabell Co. VA, for two one year terms. In 1841 John led a movement to partition Cabell County and set up a new county. He headed a delegation to Richmond (on horseback) in December, 1841, and worked for the creation of the proposed new County. The bill was passed to become effective January 1842. John Wellman, Joseph Naglee and Burwell Spurlock were the first County Commissioners and John was given the responsibly of establishing the boundary lines for the new Wayne County VA. John Wellman was born during the Revolutionary War and lived up to and through the Civil War. He died December 26, 1865 in Wayne Co. West Virginia. He was 86 years old.
By John Jarrett Peters 3rd Great-Grandson of John Wellman
Below is an article on the Wellman family which appeared in the Wayne News. This article was written by William H. Mansfield, Historian and Editor of The Wayne News in the late 1880's. Many of his articles were not published until after his death.
(WCN - 10/3/1947) WELLMANS PROMINENT IN EARLY HISTORY OF COUNTY
The Wellmans settled at the forks of Big Sandy river, which later came to be known as Cassville and finally Fort Gay, in October, 1802, migrating there from the Clinch valley section of Virginia in what was then known as Washington county, but finally partitioned into what is now Russell county. At the time the family located in the Big Sandy valley, that region was a part of Kanawha county, which had been formed from parts of Greenbrier and Montgomery counties in 1788. It continued a part of Kanawha until 1909, when Cabell was formed out of the former.
The earliest Wellman of which this generation has any definite knowledge, was Bennett Wellman. He appears on the records of deeds of Cabell county as Burnet Wellman as grantor and grantee in various real estate transactions consummated in the first third of the last century. But this is no doubt an error in transcribing the records, since John D. Wellman, the oldest living Wellman at the time of his death, which occurred after he was well advanced in the ninties, always said that he could remember the original Wellman from childhood and that his name was Bennett. The latter was the great-grandfather of John D.
Bennett Wellman, a shoemaker by trade, lived in both Philadelphia and Baltimore during the Revolutionary War. The year of his settling in the Clinch valley section has not been handed down to late generations. But it is known that he led his family, which was a large one, into the Big Sandy country in October, 1802, coming by the way of Pound Gap and down Levisa fork, a greatly traveled route for emigrants from the southwestern section of Virginia seeking homes and lands in the west.
Bennett Wellman was of English origin. Furthermore, Wellmans were to be found in several of the colonies for several decades preceding the Revolutionary War, particularly in the New England section.
Among Bennett's numerous children was one John, born in 1779. He was a young man still in his early twenties and only a short time married when the family settled in the Big Sandy country. He had married Nancy Webb, the daughter of Robert Webb, in the Clinch valley country. The Webbs followed their daughter and son-in-law into the new country in 1804.
John probably was the most successful and prosperous of Bennett's children. He began to acquire land shortly after arriving at the Forks of Sandy. He became a large landowner as well as a slaveholder. His land, which he acquired in parcels from time to time, lay principally between Big Sandy river and Mill creek, named for a grist mill, the first to be erected in that section, owned and operated by William Thompson about a half mile from the present town of Fort Gay. This mill was established in 1802. John Wellman was the tenth sheriff of Cabell county, the sheriff at that time serving only one year terms. He served two terms, from July 21, 1823 until December 23, 1825, under appointment from Governor James Pleasants, Jr., of Virginia. Bondsmen for his first term were General Elisha McComas, F. Moore, Henry Phillips, Hugha Bowen, Moses McComas, Samuel Webb, Hezekiah Adkins, Andrew Barrett, Jesse Toney, Joseph M. Fulkerson and William B. Davis. The Samuel Webb referred to here was a brother to Nancy Webb, the wife of John Wellman. Samuel Webb lived to be 105 years old, the oldest man in Wayne county at the time of his death in 1885. Bondsmen for John Wellman during his second term as sheriff were Hugha Bowen, Edmund Morris, General Elisha McComas, Philip Baumgardner, John Laidley and Jesse Toney.
In 1841, John Wellman became the leading spirit in a movement to partition Cabell county and set up a new county, to be known as Wayne, to better suit the convenience of citizens residing in the Twelve Pole and Big Sandy valleys. He headed a delegation to Richmond in December 1841 and worked for the creation of the proposed new county. The bill was passed to become effective in 1842, the act of the legislature designating John Wellman, Joseph Naglee and Burwell Spurlock as commissioners to establish the bounds of the new county.
John Wellman's first wife died about 1820, and he married a second time, one Lydia Marcum. She appears as joining him in land conveyances in Cabell county as late as 1839. All of his children, however, were born of his first union with Nancy Webb. John Wellman died on his farm near Cassville in 1864.
The first child born to John and Nancy Wellman was James, on March 4, 1802, in the Clinch valley country, about seven months before the family migrated to the Big Sandy river. James Wellman married Nancy Wilson on April 27, 1822. His wife was born in Greenbrier county on October 9, 1803, the daughter of James Wilson a Revolutionary soldier who married a Mounts from Tennessee. James Wilson settled in the Big Sandy valley, near Cassville during the first half of the first decade of the last century.
The first child born to John and Nancy Wellman after the young couple established themselves in their new home on Sandy river was David. The date of his birth was April 11, 1804. Consequently, he was the second born of this union and one of the first white children born in the little settlement around what later became Cassville and Fort Gay. He married Rebecca Wilson, who was born on April 8, 1808, after her father, the aforementioned James Wilson, had migrated from Greenbrier county to the Big Sandy river. She was the sister of Nancy, the wife of James, the oldest brother of David Wellman. In other words, John Wellman's two older sons married Wilson sisters. David Wellman died January 25, 1881, on his farm near Cassville.
The third child born to John and Nancy Wellman was Robert. The date of his birth was March 23, 1806. On January 29, 1829, he was married to Mahala Short, the daughter of Samuel Short, who was the first white settler at the Forks of Sandy. He erected his log cabin there in 1796. He was the son of Thomas Short, who also came from the Clinch valley country to the Big Sandy shortly after his son, Samuel, already had settled there. The father was accompanied by another son, Thomas Jr. Samuel Short's son, John, was the first white child born in the settlement. He was born in 1801. He was a brother of the aforementionod Mahala Short, marrying Robert Wellman. Their mother was Elizabeth Breeden, the daughter of John Breeden, who settled in the Big Sandy country in 1804.
Other children of John and Nancy Webb Wellman were Samuel, Jeremiah, Elisha, Laruna, Elizabeth and Mary. Laruna married William Bartram, who was born in Cabell county on November 1, 1816, the son of David Bartram who was a native of Appomattox county, Virginia, who migrated to the Big Sandy in 1802. Laruna was born March 14, 1818. Elizabeth married Nathan Holt and was known to the countryside as "Aunt Betty." Mary married John Frasher, better known as "Honest John." She was always referred to as "Aunt Polly Frasher."
UPDATE - December 8, 2012
In order to have a qualified committee to represent the John Wellman Cemetery in any future proceedings, Jarrett Peters has formed a Board Of Trustees of descendants of those buried in this cemetery, as required by law.
An attorney has filed a Petition with the Wayne County Circuit Court for a hearing to establish said Board Of Trustees. The hearing will take place at the Wayne County Court House on the 18th of December, before Judge Darrell Pratt. Any other parties who have an interest in establishing this Board, should appear at this hearing.
At the conclusion of this hearing, legal papers will be filed with the County Clerks's Office to establish said Board Of Trustrees.
Please try to attend.
On the 18th day of December, 2012, a petition was filed and a hearing held by Circuit Court Judge Darrell Pratt to establish a Board of Trustees for the John Wellman Cemetery. A certified letter has been sent to the School Board for a hearing on this subject.
Below are the documents of the filing.
ON MARCH 28, 2013, THE FOLLOWING LETTER WAS MAILED TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION BY REGISTERED MAIL. TO DATE (JUNE 17, 2013) NO RESPONSE HAS BEEN RECEIVED.
\JOHN WELLMAN CEMETERY
FORT GAY WEST VIRGINIA
Samuel D. Wellman
Nancy Wellman Workman
John Jarrett Peters
Mary Lou Wellman Lakin
March 28, 2013
Dear Ms. Hurt & Elected Members Wayne Co. Board of Education
The newly formed board of trustees of the John Wellman Cemetery and the Wayne Co. Genealogical and Historical Society is very concerned regarding the status of the Historical Cemetery located inside School Board Property in Fort Gay, site of the Pre-K 8 School now under construction.
It has been established that John Wellman and Wife Nancy Webb Wellman and Samuel Short and his Wife Elizabeth Breeden Short are buried here. Samuel Short was the very first pioneer settler arriving here in 1796.
We feel in order to properly establish the perimeter of the cemetery for purposes of building a fence, a ground radar procedure by an independent archaeological survey company, agreed to by all concerned parties, will have to be done covering the whole area to determine where and how many graves exist. Records show the Wayne Co. Board of Education has owned the property (8 ˝ Acres) surrounding the cemetery since July 31, 1947 (65 Yrs). Several people have stated they remember several headstones being on the cemetery grounds. Mrs. Pauline Adkins who attended the special joint meeting (Mr. Don Davis was present) under the tree September 15, 2010 stated she remembered and knew of at least five graves in the cemetery. This would have been subsequent to the board purchasing the property in 1947 from Mr. Wardy Lovely. He was an educator in the Fort Gay School System and a life long resident of Fort Gay and owned the property from Sept. 30, 1938 (74 Yrs. ago). For this reason, we feel it should be the responsibility of the school board to defray the cost of the ground radar procedure in order to properly establish the perimeter.
Proclamations by Mayor Rose Devaney, Fort Gay and Wayne County Commissioners President Robert E. Pasley, Charles E. Sammons and Kenneth R. Adkins Proclaims: John Wellman as the “Father of Wayne County, W V”. By Legislative Citation, the Speaker of the WV House of Delegates Rick Thompson and Delegate Don Perdue “hereby recognizes that Saturday September 1, 2012 be known as John Wellman Day as proclaimed by the Town of Fort Gay and the Wayne County Commission”.
We plan to erect a monument in honor of John Wellman, Father of Wayne County. Also Samuel Short and others buried in the cemetery that are unknown. We want to Honor, Preserve and Protect this cemetery and take every precaution to prevent the desecration of this sacred area again.
We accept your commitment to erect a fence to properly guard against any vandalism and to maintain the grass cutting in your overall maintenance program. With this Historical Cemetery on our school campus in full view of the school, we feel we can all agree that we do not want this to ever be an unsightly area or diminish the environment. We want to welcome the students in structured tours inside the cemetery for educational purposes. We plan to erect the monument in such a way that the children can read the inscription from outside the fence.
In the absence of a favorable decision to this request, we are requesting a meeting with the elected members of the Wayne Co. Board of Education. We also request we be placed on your agenda for consideration when and if a vote by the elected board is necessary.
John Jarrett Peters,
5766 Hubbards Br. Rd.
Huntington WV, 25704
Ph 304 429 2033
Randy Marcum, President W.C.G.H.S.
We feel in the past, we have tried to work in good faith with the school board on this issue and it’s important to note: that on your web site it states,
“Our future must be built on a partnership of the school family and community. These groups must communicate with each other in an ongoing, honest dialogue. They must build trust which surpasses political or regional issues”.
On August 20, 2013, the Court Appointed Committee to oversee the John Wellman Cemetery met on the grounds at the new Fort Gay K-8 Grade School. Also attending were reporters from the Wayne News and the Charleston Daily Mail. Pictures below.
Article concerning the involvement of John Wellman in the formation of Wayne County
The article below appeared in the April 10, 1969 issue of the Wayne County News. This account of the formation of Wayne County was abstracted from Hardesty's History which was published in 1884.
On 18 January 1842 the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia passed a bill titled "An act establishing the County of Wayne of part of the County of Cabell." The first section of the Act defined boundaries of the new county, and provided that the area enclosed by the boundaries was to "form one distinct and new county, and be called by the name of Wayne County, in memory to and honor of General Anthony Wayne.
A section of the Act fixed the place for holding the courts by declaring that "the permenant place for holding courts in the County of Wayne, now required by law—shall be on the lands of Abraham Trout, Sr. on Twelve Pole River, at or near the present residence now in the County of Cabell, and the county court for the County of Wayne shall provide a lot or lots of land at said place—not exceeding two acres, upon which to erect a court house, and such other necessary public buildings and fixtures as the convenience of the county requires."
Another section, as amended, required the governor to appoint and commission thirteen Justices of the peace in and for the said County of Wayne, who "after having qualified, as the law directs" were to meet at the house of Abraham Trout, Sr. on the second Monday in April next, and a majority of them being present, should proceed to the appointment of a clerk of said court, nominate to the governor suitable persons to be commissioned as sheriff and coroner, and fix upon a place in the County of Wayne for holding the courts thereof until the necessary buildings could be erected. This section also provided that the surveyors of the Counties of Cabell and Wayne, together with Joseph Nigley, John Wellman and Burwell Spurlock, should run and mark the lines between the counties as designated by the Act.
In compliance with the Act, John Rutherford, the acting governor of Virginia, on 24 February 1842, issued commissions to the several justices of the peace for the County of Wayne, namely: John Wellman, Hiram Chadwick, Milton Ferguson, John Plymale, Levi McCormack, William Ratcliffe, Walter Queen, Joseph Newman, Frederick Moore, Thomas Copley, William Morris and Samuel Webb.
On the morning of 11 April 1842, the first court for the County of Wayne convened at the home of Abraham Trout, Sr. which was on the site where the town of wayne now stands. The following justices were present: John Wellman, Levi McCormack, John Plymale, Samuel Webb, William Ratcliffe, Thomas Copley and Walter Queen.
The first action of the justices was the election of a clerk of court. Hugha Bowen and Milton J. Spurlock were nominated. Bowen was elected by a viva voca vote for a term of seven years. He posted bond, took the oaths of office and entered upon his duties.
Then John Laidley, William McComas, Joseph J. Mansfield, James H. Ferguson and Elisha McComas, licensed as attorneys in Virginia, were granted permission to practice in the courts of Wayne County. The court unanimously elected John Laidley as Commonwealth's attorney. He took the oaths of office and entered upon his duties.
Jermiah Wellman and Nathan Holt were nominated by the court as constables for the county, and both were elected without opposition. They posted bond and took the oaths of office.
The first grand jury was empaneled this same day. It was composed of Isaac A. Hanley, William Hutchinson, John B. Bowen, Joel Ferguson, Cassander Spurlock, Allen Brumfield, John S. Hutchinson, John N. Smith, Hiram Bloss, James Wilson, Joseph Workman, Harrison Thackeer, John Smith, Stephen Thompson, Daniel Davis, Jesse Spurlock, William Blankenship, Harry Ferguson, Stephen Workman, George Piles, Hezekiah Adkins and Allan Wilson. The jury reported three indictments; one for misdemeanor and two for assault and battery. It was then dismissed and the court ordered processes be issued against the persons indicted.
Hiram Chadwick was elected commissioner of revenue.
The court then recommended Samuel Wellman to the governor as a suitable person to fill the office of surveyor of lands; and recommended William Morris, Frederick Moore and John Plymale as proper persons for the office of sheriff.
After the appointment of several road surveyors, constables and overseers of the poor, the first county court of the newly formed County of Wayne adjourned.
Abraham Trout, Sr., in whose home the county was organized, was one of the early settlers in the area. He latter moved to Johnson County, Indiana, and died there on 12 December 1863.
Update - November 28, 2013
The following information has been found in the book "Bartram Branches" which was published in 1984 by Violet Bartram and Dr. Kent Bartram, Jr. This book was very well researched. Below is information from an interview with Mrs. Carnas Bartram, whom we believe was a school teacher.
Mrs. Carnas Branham recalled a story about headstones near the Bartram Cemetery on High Street in Fort Gay where Stephen's son David was buried in 1864:
"There is a large tree just outside of the cemetery fence and just inside the Fort Gay High School football field. The graves were under that tree on the (north) side. They were building the High School and some of the teachers (some of whom were also city councilmen) and the boys were excited about a foot ball field and they were working on it. I would stop and watch them for a few minutes on my way home, I saw them tear up the tombstones and throw them over the fence. They had a horse and a scraper and were going to level the knoll and a Mr. Wellman came out there and stopped them. They smoothed out the ground and planted grass, but they didn't put the stones back. I had no idea at the time who was buried there. All I knew was that it was some of the early settler of the area. It wasn't until I decided to go into th D. A. R. that I heard about the tombstones again. My cousin, Pansy (See) Walker told me that her brother had found Stephen's grave in the Bartram cemetery.(We) searched everywhere but could find nothing. We even borrowed a pick and went around the fence probing for buried stones. I called (Pansy) back and she said to call Jarvis Bartram. I did and he told me that the people living near the ball park had carried the tombstones away and made walks out of them. He said he had talked to the people that carried off the stones, but they said they couldn't remember the names on the stones. It had been too long and the stones had been destroyed or covered up with cement."
If Stephen Bartram had been buried with a tombstone in the Fort Gay, West Virginia area it is likely he would ave been under that tree. Family historians may never know for certain.
Update - November 28, 2013
On Tuesday, November 19, some of the members of the Committee appointed by the Circuit Court to oversee the John Wellman Cemetery, and others, made a visit to the cemetery.
The purpose for the visit was to meet the representative from a company which specializes in ground radar search. This method is commonly used to locate things hidden underground, such as gas and water lines. It is also commonly used to located unmarked graves.
This is done by transmitting radar waves into the ground, which are then reflected back to the surface. Basically, the procedure measures the difference in compactness of the earth. Areas where graves have been dug never return to the original compactness of the earth surrounding the grave. This radar unit can mark the exact outline of the grave, no matter how old it is.
The Cemetery Committee had requested the Board of Education to do this procedure before any earth was disturbed at the new school ground. They had retained a company which specialized in this radar procedure, however the procedure was never performed.
The results of the procedure plainly located six graves near the large tree which is shown at the top of this page. It is possible that other graves existed outside of the new fence which has been erected. However, if there were, they have been removed by the deep cut made for the bus loop, and therefore lost to eternity.
Shown in the picture are the following: Sam Wellman, Jim Spears, Nate Keller, the operator of the radar equipment, Herb Dawson and Jarrett Peters.
It is planned to soon locate markers at the head of each grave. At a later date, plans are being formulated to erect markers in the cemetery, identifying the persons buried there.
The committee is requesting donations to cover the cost of this procedure, as well as the markers to be erected. All donations, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated to help preserve this historic cemetery. Donations may be made to Samuel D. Wellman, Treasurer, 1526 Greenbrier Dr., Huntington, WV. For more information you may call Mr. Wellman at 304-429-3433 or Jarrett Peters at 304-429-2033.
After years of discussion, the Wayne county Genealogical
and Historical Society is pleased to announce that the issue with the
Recently the John Wellman Cemetery Committee and the Wayne County Board of Education reached an agreement whereby the Board of Education has erected a fence around the cemetery property, has surveyed and recorded the boundary of the cemetery, and has made a deed for the property unto the said Wellman Cemetery Committee.
The Cemetery Committee wishes to commend the recently elected members of the Wayne County Board of Education. A copy of the survey with a deed to the cemetery trustees has been recorded in the court house. The fence surrounding the cemetery and inside the bus loop has been established as the official boundary line. It has been the goal of the trustees to honor, preserve and protect this cemetery.
Jarrett Peters, Committee Chairman
UPDATE - SEPT., 2016
I am proud to announce, the John Wellman Memorial has been built. I want to thank Kenneth Lund for helping me with the stone work. Here is some history of the material that was used. Wilson Funeral Home did the beautiful markers. I had the stone that came from the Huntington VA Medical Center that had been built in the 1930s. They were stone walls quarried out by the W.P.A. and torn out and given to me, when they built the medical school in 1978. The lime stone seat was a fire place hearth donated to us by Howard Osburn. The lime stone lentils were from a porch banister donated to us by Atomic Distributing Co. The house was located at 409 7th Ave., Huntington and was later torn down. A corner stone (left front) was from the foundation of the old Peters Chapel on Mill Creek that I had kept, when it was torn down to build the new chapel in 1993.
In addition to those above, this memorial was made possible through the efforts of the Wayne County Genealogical and Historical Society, Wayne County Board of Education and donations from descendants and friends. Plus others too numerous to mention.
Samuel Short & wife Elizabeth Breeding, the first pioneer settlers in Fort Gay, in 1796, are also being honored. Their cabin was on the river bank and the location can be found today by the GPS coordinates: 38 07'09.71N 82 36'06.50W
We wanted to have a dedication ceremony to coincide with the Heritage Day Celebration, however things have just not worked out.