Scanned By Howard Osburn

Presented by The Wayne County Genealogical & Historical Society


MORGAN GARRETT- In Memoriam: Born September 14, 1830, died January the 22nd, 1882, aged 51 years 4 months and 8 days. Morgan Garrett was the oldest son of Benjamin and Sarah (Bloss) Garrett. Benjamin Garrett was one of the earliest settlers in Wayne County. The old family homestead at the mouth of Garrett’s Creek, is about three miles below Wayne C.H. Here the elder Garrett reared a large family of children, all of whom have been, and these who are living are respected members of society. At the old family site that Morgan was born and reared. He assisted in cultivating and improving his father’s farm, the larger part of which in latter years came into his possession. He received only such advantages in education as the limited schools afforded, but was sufficiently instructed to transact the varied business affairs in which in later life he was engaged. His home training was good, and early in life was developed these qualities of mind and heart which made him a useful and honored citizen. His early years were characterized by morality, soberness, and industry traits of character which distinguished him all through life. At the early age of 18 he united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and ever after was a consistent member, a true Christian. February the 28th, 1854 he married Alazannah, daughter of William and Lucretia (Chapman) McClure, a most estimable lady, who survives him. Four children were born to them, three of which are still living. Shortly after the beginning of the late Civil War, Morgan was imprisoned in Richmond on account of being in sympathy with the Union cause. After being released he volunteered in the Federal Army and served his country with distinction until the war closed. Upon returning home he set about improving his farm, which had been neglected. Soon afterward he became a member of the Ancient and Honorable Order of F. & A. Masons, attaching himself to the Wayne Lodge. Afterward and in consideration of his fidelity and proficiency he was exalted to the degree of Royal Arch Mason. Shortly after the war he was elected Sheriff of Wayne County, served four years. He has since held several county offices of trust and honor. He was one of the most successful practical timber men in the locality where he resided. By industry and good management he had accumulated, until, at the time of his death he was not only in comfortable circumstance but in possession of considerable wealth, owning about 2000 acres of land, and a large personal estate. He had taken the precautions to procure, and maintain membership in the Maysville and Ashland M.B. Associations. From these two sources his family will receive about $3,300 for a number of years. Mr. Garrett had been troubled with a disease of the heart, which continued to come more aggravating and finally resulted in death. His death, though sudden, was not unlooked for. He died instantly and without pain, January 22nd as has been stated. His funeral was preached by Rev. B. Darlington, assisted by Rev. G.H. Williams and Dr. J. W. Webb. He was buried in Mt. Vernon Cemetery with Masonic Honors. The Wayne Lodge and a number of other lodges taking part in the impressive ceremonies. A large concourse of friends and relatives were in attendance. The deceased as stated at the onset, was a worthy member of the Methodist Church, had been District Steward for a number of years prior to this death, and held that office when the summons of death came. His walks were always consistent with his profession, and only a few days before his death he gave evidence of being prepared for the change which so soon visited him. Of his means he gave liberally toward the support for the benevolent institutions. He was always active in his effort to advance education, morality, and Christianity in every direction. As a citizen, no more valuable lived in the county. He was a kind and affectionate husband and father, a most estimable neighbor, and a Christian in every sense of the word. Wherever he was known he was respected for his honesty and integrity, but nowhere was he more respected and loved than by his neighbors who knew him best. He is at rest. Peace be to his ashes. (Morgan Garrett’s wife, Hannah Alazanah McClure, born 5 October, 1828, died 15 January, 1911. Their children were Rebecca, William B. married Mary Eutoka Smith, and Era married John B. Burgess.)

ALFRED THARP of Shoals was an honored solider in the Union Army. While serving in the Army he was shot in the mouth and most of his teeth knocked out, the ball coming out the back of his head. In spite of this serious wound, which occurred during the Civil War, Tharp lived another 30 years or more. As a matter of fact, he died December 19, 1895, with pneumonia after a short illness. He was born in Perry County, Ohio, and was 60 years old at the time of his death. Tharp answered the first call for soldiers issued by President Lincoln and enlisted for 3 months. He then re-enlisted and served until the end of the War. He was with General Sherman in his march through Georgia and took part in all the battles from Chickamauga to Atlanta. It was at this latter place that Tharp received the wound described above. At the end of the War, he took up residence at Buffalo Shoals in Wayne County and engaged in the milling business until his death. He had a Masonic funeral.

Jan. 18, 1896 (Herald Dispatch) - The Oakview Academy at Wayne is flourishing with a nice enrollment of 90 students and several will graduate in June. The academy was first organized by Professor McClure and was called Fairview High School. It was organized and started in 1883. The name was changed in 1889 to Oakview Academy. Professor McClure was a graduate of West Virginia University and later was an instructor at Marshall College in Huntington in 1880. Several well known and successful business men including M. J. Ferguson who later became President of the National Bank in Huntington, was among those that attended the academy. Attending in 1866 were Blanche and Oscelo Burns, daughters of Rev. Burns. Also attending was Pat M. Fry, son of County Clerk Fry. Professor McClure was assisted in the school by Mrs. McClure.


Jan. 31, 1896 (Herald Dispatch) - about four years earlier the Kenova Land Co. had started the construction of a mammoth hotel costing $80,000, to be built with brick and Cleveland stone trimmings, five stories high and cover a good part of a city block. A large number of masons were employed. The hotel was partly finished when the country experienced an economic depression and works was stopped. Eventually the building was completed two stories high and covered most of the city block between Pine and Chestnut and 14th and lath Street. The hotel was operated for several years. Today one half of the building stands and was converted into apartments.


March 6, 1896 (Herald Dispatch) - The Wayne County Court House was partly destroyed by fire about noon. Hard work by the town people saved most of the records. The structure was almost new and had cost about $35,000 to build. J. B. Wyley was the general contractor with J. R. Harper of Huntington doing most of the brick work. No insurance. The fire started in a flue in the County Clerk’s office, about 9:30 am. No fire company in town and very little water available. The County Jail located near the Court House was evacuated and the building saved. All prisoners were removed from the jail but later returned.


April 15, 1896 (Herald Dispatch) - two miles above Dunlow on the N&W R.R. in Wayne County lived Sherridon Moore, a well to do farmer and the father of several children. On Sunday morning, April 12th he left home for a short trip. While he was gone a little 10 year old neighbor girl came to visit the Moore children. Her name was York. Late in the afternoon the York child and Moore’s 6 year old boy and 9 year old girl went to the barn a short distance from the Moore home to play house. They took with them a broken frying pan and some broken pieces of table ware. The children hadn't been gone 20 minutes when Mrs. Moore happened to look out at the barn and was horrified to see it in flames. Flames were shooting out the roof of the barn where the children had gone to play. Mrs. Moore rushed to the barn but her entrance was blocked by the flames. She could hear the children screaming. She grabbed an axe and knocked planks off the barn but this made the flames worse. The children were totally consumed and Mrs. Moore fainted and had to be carried to the house by neighbors. On Monday morning after the fire had burned out the crisp burned bodies of the 3 children were found huddled together in the center of the barn. The report of the accident was made by Filmore Damron.


August, 1906- LEROY NEWMAN, a pioneer has passed away. At a few minutes past ten o’clock, yesterday morning, Leroy Newman, for many years one of the most highly respected and widely known resident of Huntington, died at his home on Eighth Street. The deceased had been gradually failing for several years and for some time it had been apparent that the end was approaching. His death was due largely to the infirmities of old age, and to that fact that for several years he had been afflicted with paralysis. Leroy Newman was born in Wayne County seventy-six years ago and during the younger and more active years of his life was one of the formost men of affairs in that county. At the outset of the Civil War he enlisted in the 13th Virginia Infantry and saw much active service during the progress of the war. He was twice wounded in the fierce conflict at Hurricane Bridge and for some time it was feared that he must succomb to his injuries. At the close of the war he returned to his native county and again engaged in civil pursuits. His family, one of the oldest in the state, were among the first settlers in Wayne County and did much to plant civil institutions in what was at the time of their coming little better than a wilderness. In the work of building churches and founding schools he took prominent part and throughout the course of a long and eventful career he never lost interest in those institutions. For a number of years he was deputy clerk of the Wayne County Court and there are now on file in the vaults of the clerk’s office at Wayne thousands of pages which will long remain a monument to his pioneer industry. After removing to the city he engaged for a time in the grocery business, but during the last two years has been out of business on account of failing health. The funeral will occur from the residence this afternoon. Many of those who knew and loved the departed in earlier days will be present to pay a last tribute of respect to his memory. His excellent family, all of whom live in this city, have the sympathy of a wide circle of friends. Huntington Dispatch, Sep. 2, 1906. (Leroy Newman was the son of Greenville and Louisa (Garrett) Newman. Leroy married Sep. 16, 1858 in Wayne County to America Spurlock (10/18/1835-1/4/1909) a daughter of Cassander and Bertia (Booton) Spurlock. Both are buried in Spring Hill Cemetery. Their children were Isabelle, Burwell S., Mary Ann, Lon Hamilton, Myrtle and Emma.)


KENOVA REPORTER, FRIDAY, Mar. 23, 1917 -- HON. WAYNE P. FERGUSON, one of Kenova’s most prominent citizens, passed away last Saturday. General Wayne P. Ferguson, one of the most prominent citizens of this community, died at his home on Beech Street, last Saturday (March 17, 1917) after an illness lasting several months, age 73. He was born in this county on July 3, 1844, the son of James Ferguson (and Mary “Polly” Bromley) in his day one of the best known men in this county; was educated in the common schools of Wayne County until the outbreak of the war.

He was one of the boy soldiers of the Confederacy, enlisting in Co. “K” 8th Virginia Calvary at the age of 16. At the close of the war he returned to this county and was engaged in the mercantile business at Fort Gay for several years. In 1876 he was elected to the West Virginia Senate, in which he served with distinction for a full term of six years.

It was while a State Senator the he wooed and wed Miss Mary T. Kelley, a beautiful young girl, daughter of Mr. and Mrs John Kelley, of this community. The wedding took place on march 11, 1878.

In 1886 President Cleveland appointed Mr. Ferguson to the position of special agent for the renewal of lands. In this capacity he spent six years in the northwest, being stationed from time to time at Walla Walla, Spokane, Portland, Lewiston, Seattle and other points. He again returned to the government service in 1893, receiving an appointment as special agent in the revenue service under his friend, Col. Joseph H. miller, of Kenova, who was commissioner of Internal Revenue by appointment of President Cleveland. This position set him traveling again and he was stationed at many points, mostly in Virginia and North Carolina. At the time of his death he held positions of deputy collector.

As a national and state leader in United Confederate Veterans circles, General Ferguson was widely known. he held offices with the national and state veteran orders and was a leader in Camp Garnet, Huntington. From this organization Mr. Ferguson received the title of General, his service rank being first Lieutenant. He was also a member of the local Lodge of Knights of Pythias.

Funeral services were held at the home of the late deceased, Tuesday afternoon at 2 o’clock under the joint auspices of Garnet Camp, U. V. C. and the Red Cross Lodge, Knights of Pythias. The services were conducted by the Rev. J. B. Waller, pastor of the Kenova Presbyterian Church, to which General Ferguson belonged. The active pallbearers were brother Knights of Pythias, Confederate Veterans and friends and business associates were honorary pallbearers. The floral offerings, which were numerous and beautiful, attested to the high regard in which the deceased was held. The funeral party before reaching the cemetery was joined by Company I of the Second Regiment, West Virginia national Guard, just returned from duty on the Mexican border, who escorted the body to its last resting place and fired the usual military salute over the grave. We do not remember that ever before has such an honor been accorded a man who died in civil life in this community.




The most completely equipped moonshine liquor still ever known to operate in Wayne county was captured on Rich Creek, Grant District, at one o'clock Wednesday morning by Sheriff H. H. Cyrus and deputy sheriffs Grover C. Hunter, Sam Kinstler and John Sutfin.

The still was found in one of the most desolate sections of the mountains in this county. It was secluded in the mouth of a rock cave and camouflaged by a growth of underbrush and small timber.

The still was in perfect working order when found and from appearances it seemed that everything was in ship shape for a big run of "White Lightning" in a day or so, for there were seven barrels of "mash" in addition to a quantity of sugar, flour and other ingredients. Even lanterns were still hanging.

The still was brought to Wayne Wednesday morning and is now in possession of Sheriff Cyrus at his office. The mash and other supplies were destroyed.

The still is made of zinc tubs.




The latest town enterprise to be established in Wayne is a broom corn factory which is now in operation. W. F. Marshall and J. F. Booth are proprietors.

The possibility of a broom corn factory here was discussed last year by O. J. Rife and others, but the idea was given up by Mr. Rife when he moved to Kenova. Messrs Booth and Marshall then took up the project and carried it through.

A. T. Howell, of the state department of agriculture, came here last week and spent three days with the owners, teaching them the art of good broom making. M. D. Booth will have charge of the work.

Brooms are being turned out daily, all of them being made from Wayne county broom-corn.


(WCN - 10/16/1919) LOCAL HOTEL SOLD

The Osburn House in Wayne, owned and operated by S. J. Bloss for the past several months, was sold this week to E. O. Curnutte, of Radnor. Mr. Curnutte is to take possession next week. (This hotel was located in the building which later became the office of Dr. Porter)


(WCN - 10/23/1919) PAVING BRICK HERE

Six car load of brick arrived in Wayne this week to be used on the first two miles of the hard road which is being built by the Wayne Construction Company. Ten more cars of brick will follow shortly. Paving will begin about the first of November or as soon as the brick and sand have been distributed.

The Wayne Construction Company has sub-let the paving contract to an Italian paving crew from Portsmouth, Ohio.


(WCN - 10/30/1919) ADKINS ON THE JOB

Wayne County News Published By Native Wayne County Men

Elba Adkins, who has been foreman of the mechanical department of the Hinton Daily Independent-Herald for some months, arrived in town this week to join the force of his old home newspaper. With the return of "Cab" Wayne County News will be published entirely by native Wayne County men. "Make the mails Wednesday night or bust" is the motto that "Cab" has hung up in the shop, which is a good guarantee that your home paper will reach you every week on the dot. Jas. A. Richardson, former linotype operator in this office is now with the Huntington Advertiser.




Principal Wayne Junior High School


The Winslow school is progressing nicely with R. M. Hale as chief wielder of the birch. He reports that he has an enrollment of seventy. Last year they had no school at this place. Mx. Hale will have to do two years work in order to balance up the work there. No doubt these patrons thru their Parent-Teachers Association will have a graded school there next year.


Some nice cooperation of teachers, parents and truant officers has been done at Spring Branch this year. Flem Booth is the teacher over there and G. D. Ward is the truant officer. So far they have worked in perfect harmony and getting the very best results.


Mr. J. N. Tabor is getting good results with his school at East Lynn. The people like his work so well that he comes back year after year. This sure is a fine recommendation for his work.


Luther Frazier has answered the call to service in the district of Butler. He has prepared a list of parents in that district and is endeavoring to put across one hundred percent. He can do a lot of good in this way. He feels that the school spirit of the district will be much better after the various organizations are completed. 


The people of Craig school seem very much interested in their school at that place with Opal Ward as teacher and Wm. Marshall as truant officer. The enrollment is small but they seem to have the very best school spirit. The attendance has been around one hundred per cent for the year. This school is cooperating with Mr. Peters in the organization plan. They have had several community meetings already.


The Wayne Junior High school has increased its enrollment nearly one hundred per cent. Everybody seems to be pleased with the Junior High scho ide here. Let us hope that in a few years each graded school will give Junior High work.


Julia Wright at Westmoreland has done some very good school work this year. The sentiment was not good when she went there. Through the work of the district Supervisor O. J. Rife and Miss Wright the district has built itself up into a very good district. However the constant growth of Westmoreland has made conditions hard there.


The Wayne Parent-Teachers Association will organize at the Court House, Friday, November 7th. All the parents are expected. The program is as follows:

Song by the school                                                          2 :30

Object—Supt. W. H. Peters,                                             2:10-2:20

Importance—Chas. E. Walker,                                         2:20-2:30 

My Interest as a Mother—Mrs. Wiles                               2:30-2:40 

Organization—J. F. Harrison,                                          2:50-3:00

Appointing committees, etc                                            3:00-3:15


The teachers all over the county are responding nobly to the call for Organization Week. Wayne County News will furnish cards that will lessen the teachers work if they will write requesting same. We have sent out quite a number for distribution. Remember teachers that the eyes of the state are upon this county of ours and that if you do not respond the county will be blamed. The teachers so well trained in this kind of work through the war activities cannot be slackers now. The hope of this county of ours is in better educational advantages for the boys and girls. This will be the most important week in the history of some of these boys and girls. A one man school is no better than the proverbial "one boss" town. The folks that live in it make the town that way. The folks that live in this county are responsible for the school conditions. Lets put away petty neighborhood small matters and get together next week for the educational love feast.


Friday November the 7th has been designated as Good English day. The Huntington schools are putting into effect the idea of calling down every one making an error in the English from janitor to superintendent. Let's try it here.


Butler District Schools

By L. L. Frazier

The schools of Butler district are moving along full-tilt with an enrollment of 1362 pupils. The attendance is much better than it has been in previous years. The forty-four teachers, under whose care these children have been placed, are as capable as the same number of rural teachers to be found in any district of the state. While this is true there is a great deal more that could be done to improve the schools, things that are within the reach of any teacher.

Teachers under estimate their work because other persons have the habit of so doing. It has been said that the children of today are the hope of tomorrow. What they do in the history of tomorrow depends, in a large measure, upon the early training they receive in school. Look at W. Va. School journal of twelve or fifteen years ago and see the progressive measures initiated and upheld by teachers. Then think how many of these are now realties. Who put these measures through? The teachers by educating the pupils and patrons to see things with a broader vision. Are other improvements possible through the same medium?

We hear a lot about Parent-Teacher- Organization, community meetings, etc. Every educational journal that we pick up has good suggestions, the Department of Schools has sent out helpful literature, the stage is set and ready for action. All we need to do now is to set the date and get ready to entertain the crowd.

Don't think that our work lies entirely with your pupils but attempt to know every patron in your district. Find out the things that they are interested in, select some of the good ones and use them as stepping-stones to other good community movements. Don't be satisfied with the fact that a patrons name is Jones or Smith but make a careful study of his personality, find out his likes and dislikes.

Don't be afraid to 'start something' in the community. If you are cautious and use good judgment, a majority of the better citizens will cooperate with you.


School Notes From Ceredo District

Three months have been taught by the Ceredo teachers. A teachers meeting has been held on the last Friday of each month, after the fourth month is taught these meetings will be held on Saturday.

At the meeting held October 31st the following were present:

Board of Education, E. R. Malcolm, Pres., Passie Smith and Perry Staley, Supervisor O. J. Rife, and teachers: Bobs Branch, Elva Moran; Buffalo, G. W. Hypes, J. F. Hussell, Pansy Staley, Rosa Harmon, Fred Carey and Myrtle Neff; Cedar Run, Pearl Plymale; Centerville, Boyd Adkins and Blanch Rader; Docks Creek, Ruth Plymale and Florence Plymale; Haynies Branch, Mrs. G. W. Hypes,(supply) Neal, Blanch Fischbach; Ratcliff, Viola Burcham; Stewart, Chloe Burcham; Staley, Ethel Staley; Segar Hill, Lona Perdue; Stony Point,Clyde R. Frazier; Taylor Knob, Mabel Plymale; Walkers Branch, Cassa Staley; Westmoreland, Julia Wright, Roy Fuller, Garnett Miller, Effa Perdue, Rachel Wilson. Mrs. Somerville was the only absentee and she was reported on the sick list.

All but two schools have organized Thrift Clubs and have sold more than $150.00 worth of Thrift Stamps. Each school has raised sums of money for school improvement, ranging in amounts from $20.00 to $90.00. The schools have raised a total of $571 for school use.

Westmoreland has the largest enrollment of any school in the district, having 215 on the roster. Stony Point is the largest one room school, enrolled 53. Walkers Branch is the smallest, having just 14. The total enrollment for the district is 738. The enumeration is about 875.

Centerville school leads with the greatest number of pupils making a perfect attendance. They report 45 out of an enrollment of 73. Only one school has fallen below an average of 95 per cent of attendance for the three months.

Agricultural clubs have been organized in five of the schools and all except four schools will have clubs organized within the near future.

Each teacher will enroll for the State Educational Association, which meets at Fairmont the 27-28-29th of the month and several will attend.

The Parent-Teacher campaign was discussed and an effort will be made by each to organize, during the week of the 17-21 of this month as suggested by Supt. Peters.



Stonewall district, which lies in the eastern portion of this county, was named in the memory of Stonewall Jackson. It is believed that John Bias was the first settler within the limits of Stonewall. He built his cabin at the mouth of Lick Creek in 1802. His first neighbor was David Bartram who came a year later. And by the year 1807 several pioneer cabins were built. Among the earliest comers were Berry Adkins, Thomas Napier, William Lambert, Jesse Adkins, John Ferguson, Thomas Moore, Eldridge Smith, Wm. Thompson, Wm. Ferguson, Absalom Queen, Walter Queen, John Withrow, John Osburn, Sr., Ambrose and Wm. Watts. Many of the descendants of these pioneers still live in Stonewall district.

The first child ever born in the district was either Jeremiah Lambert or Thomas Napier, children of Wm. and Nancy Lambert and Thomas and Hanie Napier, respectively. The first marriage seems to have been that of Edmund Napier and Nellie Watts.

The first industry of any kind ever started in Stonewall district was an old-fashioned grist mill which was built by Sherrard Adkins at the mouth of Lick Creek in 1817. The first saw mill was not built until 1843. Thomas Napier built the first school house in Stonewall. It stood near the Mouth of Rich Creek and was of the five cornered type of house described in this paper a few weeks ago (Oct. 23, 1919).

The Bethesda church is believed to be the first religious organization within the district. It was founded in 1835 by Rev. Goodwin Lycan and Thos. Harmon. The Methodist church which was built in 1840 at Queens Ridge was the second attempt at religious organization. The first Sunday school was started in the year 1852.

Stonewall district, in recent years, has developed its mineral resources greater than any other district in the county. Coal and gas are found practically all over this district and there are a few shallow oil pools, but these have never been worked to a paying advantage.

The East Lynn Coal Company has done much to develop the mineral wealth of this territory. Two other boundaries of coal, known as the Butterick and Hoard tracts, hold forth some promise to a coal boom in Stonewall district in the next few years. Better schools and better farming methods are receiving the support of the citizens of this district, and marked improvement in this regard is noticeable in the last few years.



The broom factory which was started in Wayne a few weeks ago has been a pronouncing success. The average daily output is thirty brooms a day and this number is gradually increasing. Broom corn raised in Wayne County is quite as good as that grown in any other section of the state, and its production will be increased next year since the local factory will be a ready market.

Broom factories have sprung up all over the state in the last few months. The last to be put in operation is located at the Capitol building in Charleston. This work is being conducted under the direction of the W. Va. Department of Agriculture.


This is the second of a series of six articles which have been prepared for this paper. The facts have been gathered from various reliable sources. Each one of the articles deals with the early history of the several districts of the county.

Butler district, which lies in the southeastern part of the county, borders on the state of Kentucky with the Big Sandy River as the dividing line. The surface is diversified, bottom land on the east with rolling hills in the western part. It is said good building stone abound in the entire district.

Many years ago coal was mined in the vicinity of Hubbardstown and conveyed to market by barges on the Big Sandy River. It is said that a vein ranging from 2 1/2 to four feet was found there, while below the surface a vein from 8 to 9 feet was found.

Salt was made in this district in the first quarter of the 19th century. Butler district was at one time covered with fine timber, mostly oak, which was used in the building of ships, but at present, timbering is not an industry.

The first settler seems to have been Samuel Short who built his cabin where the town of Fort Gay now stands about the year 1796. Robert Tabor, who followed him patented a tract of land embracing 2,500 acres in 1798. Others who followed as settlers were, Thomas Short, Samuel Hatten, William Adams, Peyton and Joseph Newman, John and Richard Grayson, Thomas Vaughan, Peter Loar, Benjamin Sperry and William Artrip. All these men seem to have found homes in Butler before the year 1800. Others who came later were, Michael Burke, John Smith, Pleasant Workman, Joel Ferguson, James Bartram, William and Solomon Perry, Joseph Fulkerson, John Breeden, Jess Cyrus, John Deering, Jesse Stith, Goodwin Lycan, Samuel Smiley, John Thompson and Abraham Queen.

The first child born in Butler district was John Short, son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Breeden) Short, born 1801, while the first marriage was that of Samuel Hatten and Nancy Campbell, in 1802; Rev. Darby Kelly, a Methodist minister, performed the ceremony. The brides parents lived in Kentucky and it is said that the ceremony was performed on a sand bar in the middle of Big Sandy River. The second marriage was that of John Smith and Elizabeth Vaughn, on Easter Sunday, April 18, 1813. The groom was dressed in a tow-linen cloth suit and a pair of moccasins made by his own hands. He afterward became very wealthy.

The first grist mill was built by William Thompson on the banks of Mill Creek, one-half mile from Fort Gay, and the first saw mill was built by Solomon Perry on Big Hurricane. Perry was a local Methodist preacher, carpenter and millwright.

A building for school purposes was erected in 1805 on the banks of Mill Creek one-half mile from where Fort Gay now stands.

Who preached the first sermon cannot be learned, but Peyton Newman, John Lee and Marcus Lindsey were among the first ministers. These men, the first two Baptists, and the latter Methodist, were instrumental in organizing the first churches, many of which still survive.

Cassville was the first town incorporated and is now known as Fort Gay. A fire visited it in 1883, and laid almost the entire business section in ashes. Cassville was incorporated the 13th day of November, 1875. Jas. H. Marcum was the first mayor, John C. Romans, recorder, and William H. Frasher, Samuel Short, Calahan Beaire, Stephen M. Marcum and Wayne Ferguson, councilmen.

Butler district's wealth lies in its farms. It has as good farm lands as are found anywhere in the county. Its school buildings compares with any in the county and the district is only waiting the coming of better roads that it might be developed into a first class farming community.



Wayne County has been apportioned $30,080.00 of the $1,469,440.00 state and federal class "A" road fund of West Virginia for the year of 1921, according to a report which has just been issued. This fund is divided at the rate of $320 per mile of road and this county is credited with 94 miles now under construction. There are 4,592 miles of hard road to be built throughout the state.

The apportionment for adjoining counties for next year is as follows: Logan, 83 miles, $26,560; Cabell, 20 miles, $6,400; Lincoln, 104 miles, $33,280; Mingo, 85 miles, $27,200; Boone, same number of miles and same apportionment of money as Wayne. Class "A" roads will be built under the direct supervision of the state road commissioner, thus relieving the county courts of a part of the heavy responsibility which goes with such a large expenditure of funds.

Close to three million dollars will be spent in Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mercer, Mingo, McDowell, Putnam, Wayne and Wyoming counties for road improvement during 1920, according to an estimate prepared by Division Road Engineer H. J. Spelman, made public Friday.

Cabell county has a total of $153,000 available for road improvement, against this sum contracts amounting to $42,000 being outstanding, leaving $111,000 for new work. This county gets $18,000 state and federal aid.

Figures for other counties of this section are:

Lincoln: Federal and State aid $80, 000; total funds available $185,000; outstanding contracts, $185,000.

Logan: Federal and state aid $60,000; total funds available, $115,000 out standing contracts, $25,000; balance $90,000.

Wayne: Federal and state aid, $75, 000; total funds available, $1,075,000 outstanding ontracts, $425,000; balance $650,000.

Wayne county will do approximately five times as much road work in 1920 as any other county with the exception of Mingo, which contemplate extensive extension of the road system.

Urges Winter Contracts

The state road commission is devising a scheme whereby counties will let contracts for spring work during the winter and so that the courts may pay contracts sufficiently to deliver gravel, sand and other road building material in the winter. Thus the material will be on hand for spring work.



Ceredo district was named from the town of Ceredo. The town of Ceredo was so named in honor of the goddess "Ceres" because of it farming possibilities. The name Ceredo is equivalent to "plentiful and beautiful crops".

The first settler in Ceredo district was Stephen Kelly who built his cabin at the mouth of Big Sandy River. Mathew H. Bellomy came a little later and settled on the present site of the town of Kenova. In the next few years other pioneers who joined Kelly and Bellomy were the following: Wm. Hatton, Benjamine Maxey, Levi Stodridge, Thos. Cartmill, John Keyser, Leonard Sharp, Samuel Parsley, John Stewart, Jas. McCormick, Jas. Durney, Stephen Wilson, Jno. Toney, Anthony Plymale, Isaiah Perdue, Wm. Haney and others.

The first iron forge to be built in this part of West Virginia was put up at the Mouth of Buffalo Creek in the year 1828. The forge was built by Geo. and Jacob Coons and Stephen Wilson. The building which housed the "county's first factory" was a 70x40 structure made of slab boards. Two tilt hammers, each weighing 700 pounds, were used for forging the metal.

The first school in Ceredo district was taught on the present site of Kenova in 1813. The second was erected near the town of Ceredo ten years later.

The first church in the district is said to have been organized by Rev. Burwell Spurlock in 1833, a Methodist minister. The Washington Baptist church was the second religious organization, and it was begun by the Rev. Wm. Davison. It is thought that neither of these congregations built houses, but held meetings with the various members.

Ceredo district has some of the best farms to be found in the county. Purebred cattle, farm tractors, and better farming methods in general have been adopted in Ceredo during the past few years. The district also boasts one of the best educational systems to be found in any rural community. Small factories in Kenova, Ceredo, and Westmoreland add to the wealth of this section.


Lincoln district lies in the southern end of the county. The surface of Lincoln is perhaps more broken than that of any of the other five districts.

It is said that the greatest wealth of Lincoln district still lies in its undeveloped coal wealth. This great wealth will probably remain dormant until railroads are built to the coal deposits in Lincoln.

The first cabin in this district was built by a man named Nevins in 1799. Later he was joined by the following pioneers who built homes: John Wilson, Jacob Noe, John Prinston, Richard Wilson, Hezekiah Wiley, Job Spence, Lazarus Damron, Daniel Cox, John Jarrell and Henry Hampton.

Hezekiah Wiley, mentioned in the preceding paragraph, was a son of the celebrated Jenny Wiley, whose captivity by the Cherokee Indians is a story that has been many times told in this section.

William Ratcliff was the first child born in this district. He was born at the Mouth of Lost Creek, May 19, 1802, below the Falls of Tug River.

On a beech tree near the Mouth of Billy's Branch, cut in large rough letters, was cut the name of Daniel Boone, the founder of Kentucky. Whether or not Boone ever visited this part of Wayne county is not proved, but some of the older citizens of Lincoln district recall having read the letters in their boyhood before the beech tree was destroyed.

The first school in Lincoln was taught on Mill Creek by Henry Hampton. Among the pioneer preachers the following names are remembered: Reuben Giddings, Gorwin Lycan, John Jarrell, Stephen and Joseph Workman.

Lincoln, which has one of the largest areas of any district in the county, is peopled by a good class of citizenship. The coming of better schools, progressive farming and hard roads will give Lincoln the opportunity to develop the resources which have been handicapped in past years due to lack of these facilities.



This is the fifth of a series of six articles which have been prepared for this paper dealing with the early history of the several districts in Wayne County. The following articles treats Union district.

Union district while not possessing the coal wealth nor the farming opportunities of some of the other districts of the county, has always been a section of central interest due to the fact that the court house has always been here.

The surface of this district is generally best suited to grazing lands rather than cultivation, notwithstanding several fine all-round farms are found here in the valley of Twelve Pole. In the early years of the county's development, Union marketed great quantities of the best of timber but this industry passed with the olden days.

The names of the first settlers in this district includes the following, who are direct ancestors of many of the present day citizens of this section:

Jesse Spurlock and Samuel Ferguson, both of whom built homes in 1802 where the court house now stands; in 1806 David France, who is credited with planting the first apple tree in Twelve Pole Valley, settled in Union; he was followed by Hezekiah Adkins, John Stephenson, Thos. Chandler, Asher Crockett, Reuben and Wm. Adkins; and about the time of the war of 1812 these men found homes within the present boundaries of Union district. Hugh Bowen, Asa Bowen, Daniel Davis, Reuben Booton, Jesse Blankenship, John Thompson, (who, by the way, is said to have made the first liquor in Wayne county). John Newman, Benjamine Drown, Wm. Morris, Chas. Bother, Benjamine Garrett, Joshua Stephens, Jerry Lambert, Abraham, Stephen and Burwell Spurlock.

The first marriage in this district was between Jerry Lambert and Polly Ferguson, while the first children born were Nancy Bowen (daughter of Hugh Bowen,) and Mary Bloss, (daughter of Valentine Bloss.)

The first sermon was preached by Rev. Burwell Spurlock in 1816, soon followed by Rev. Goodwin Lycan.

Wayne, the county seat, has always been the largest community in Union. Wayne was selected in a town site because of the beautiful location, being situated on a hill 150 feet high in the horse-shoe bend of Twelve Pole. The town is 690 feet above the tide water level.

In the early years of its history Union was a leading factor in developing a school system in the county. And a revival of this old time enthusiasm seems have been awakened in the past few years. Union is now considering the establishment of a senior high school, which, if built, will be the second first class high school in the county.

The future prosperity of Union district probably lies in the educational and farming improvements more than anything else.


The contents of this file are the property of  The Wayne County Genealogical & Historical Society