Berkeley County, West Virginia

Obituaries and Death Records



Sam Boyd

A negro man, Sam, belonging to Mr. John E. Boyd, of Berkeley County, VA. died on the 8th inst. He was 21 years old at the time of Braddock's defeat, making him 115 years old at his death. He was the first colored man owned by Gen. Boyd, of Berkeley County.
[The Pittsfield Sun. 1849-07-26 - Transcribed by Pam Rathbone]
Mrs. Katherine Catrow
Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun
Martinsburg, W. Va, Feb. 22,--Mrs. Katherine Catrow, widow of Mr. Samuel Catrow, a well-known Berkeley county family, died at the home of her son, Mr. J. R. Catrow, last night of heart trouble at the age of 87. She was a Miss McGraw, of Frederick county, Maryland, and leaves four sone and one daughter. Source: Sun (Baltimore, MD) Sunday, February 23, 1908 Transcribed by: Debbie Oberst

Jane Cunningham
Miss Jane Cunningham, who died at Hedgesville, W. Va., December 23d, 1896, in the ninety-third year of her age, had been for over seventy years a member of the Falling Water Presbyterian church. [[Spirit of Jefferson., January 19, 1897,  (Charles Town, (W)Va.]

William W. Dugan
William W. Dugan, died March 22, age 57 years 11 months. He was born at Martinsburg, Va., in 1824 and moved to St. Charles Co., in 1838. He leaves a wife and five children. Services were at St. Charles Borromeo Church.
[Source: St. Charles Journal, Jan. 1882. Submitted by Joanne Scobee Morgan]

Charles James Faulkner
Men die daily. But few days are made sacred by the death of such a man as Charles James Faulkner, who died at his home in Martinsburg yesterday morning. His demise concerns not alone his own immediate family, his home friends, but the State and the nation with whose interests and destiny he has been so closely and so successfully associated. A man of boundless energy, of keen insight, a wonderful power of valuing men and methods by their true unit of measure, affable, polished, a scholar and a statesman, his death removes a landmark from among men. At the Court of St. James he won a national reputation as a diplomat. At home he was admired for his culture, honored for his merits, respected for his good deeds. Dead, but his deed's live after him. West Virginia mourns the death of the honored citizen.  
[Wheeling Register (Wheeling, WV) November 2, 1884; transcribed by FoFG mz]

James W. Harris
Glasgow, Mo. Oct. 23, 1851
DIED---In this city on Sunday afternoon last, of Cholera Morbus, Mr. James W. Harris, Merchant of this place, in the 36th year of his age. Mr. Harris was born in Burkley county, Va., in 1816, and emigrated to Missouri in 1834.  He settled in this place about four years ago, and became extensively known as an enterprising Commision Merchant.  On the morning of his death, he arrived at home, in company with part of his family, from a visit to St. Louis, and though complaining, walked up to his house;  but soon after became violently ill; and such was the rapid progress and power of the disease, he expired about 3 o'clock.  "In the midst of life we are in death." Mr. Harris was in the prime of life, full of energy, and possessing many excellent qualities, had obtained the friendship of a large portion of the community.  He leaves behind him a deeply afflicted wife and several children to mourn an irreparable loss.  Winchester and Charleston (Va.) papers please copy.  
[Glasgow Weekly Times (Glasgow, Mo.) Thursday, October 23, 1851 - Transcribed by Kathy McDaniel]

Josiah Hedges
Hedges, Josiah, Tiffin, O., July 15, ae. 80. He was born in Berkeley Co., Va., April 9, 1778. He left his father's home at an early age, with the determination to carve out his own fortune. His first enterprise on his own account was a trading excursion to New Orleans, with fruit, which he flat-boated from Wheeling, Va., to that point, when the time occupied in making the voyage was six weeks, and when but few adventurous spirits would make the experiment, which was then hazardous and dangerous. He finally, in 1801, one year before Ohio was admitted as a state of this Union, settled in Belmont Co., where he for a number of years was one of its most active and prominent citizens. He was the first sheriff of Belmont Co., and also for a term of years the clerk of the court. Being then of a speculative mind, and being convinced that Northwestern Ohio was one of the garden spots of the world, and that it would settle up with remarkable rapidity, Mr. H. made a journey to this region. He immediately determined upon entering the land upon which Tiffin is mostly built. At that time foot paths were worn around it, by persons who had looked at the land. Mr. H. then proceeded to the land office, and in 1820, at the land sales at Delaware, Ohio, he bought the land which was an unbroken forest. By a prudent and systematic course in disposing of his town lots, Mr. H. had the pleasure of seeing his town increase in population. For a number of years there was much rivalry between Fort Ball (now the second ward) as to which should be the county seat . By the persevering efforts of Mr. H., and by purchasing much of the property on the Fort Ball side, he succeeded in securing the location on the east side. This was in 1828. He then went to work, determined to effect the removal of the United States land office, then located at Delaware, to Tiffin. In this he was successful, and from that time onward Tiffin has progressed rapidly in wealth and population. In 1831 Mr. H. was chosen to represent the county, or the district of which the county was a portion, in the Ohio legislature. He served one session, but preferred paying more attention to his own private affairs, and declined any further political preferment. He was generous and just in his dealings with his fellowmen, and scrupulously honest, benevolent to all Christian denominations, having, with one or two exceptions, donated the lots upon which their churches are erected; and he was liberal towards all public improvements. In all the relations of life, public or private, he was a just and sincere man. He was a good citizen, and a true and steadfast friend. As a husband he was kind and obliging; as a father, affectionate, generous, and indulgent .
[Source: "Annual Obituary Notices of Eminent Persons who have died in the United States for 1858" by Hon. Nathan Crosby; John P. Jewett and Co., pub. 1859.]

Rozel McKendree Hirst
In Berkeley county, on the 10th inst. Rozel McKendree Hirst, aged 2 years, 2 months and 18 days, son of James S. and Elizabeth Pitzer.  
[Virginia Free Press, (Charlestown, WV) Thursday, September 24, 1857]

Margaret Virginia Hooper
Died in Martinsburg, on Tuesday morning 22 inst. in the 17th year of her age, Miss Margaret Virginia Hooper, eldest daughter of ?. W. Hooper, after an illness of about ___ days.  The suddeness of her death has elicited the deepest expression of sympathy and condolence for her bereaved parents whilst it has left a solemn impression upon the surviving ?.  Endowed as she was with a sweet and gentle disposition winning graces ___tues, commendable deportment, she was beloved by all who knew her.  She was an affectionate daguther, ___ it is a solace to her ___ parents to be assured that one so pure, so amiable has found an abiding place in Heaven.  The king of terror has laid his hands upon her, and 'blasted her beauties with his icy hand.' Her remains were conveyed to Green Hill Cemetery accompanied by the largest concourse of sympathi__ friends, ever assembled in the town on any sim__ occasion. The funeral sermon by the Rev. Lewis F. Was deeply impressive; and has warning to the associates of the deceased full of friendly admon__
 [Virginia Free Press, (Charlestown, WV) Thursday, March 31, 1859]

John Lehan
Martinsburg, W. Va., June 25 -- John Lehan died here to-day at the age of 98 years. He was one of the best known characters about the town and has voted for every Democratic Presidential candidate since Andrew Jackson. He was an ex-Confederate soldier, having served with distinction in the Stonewall Brigade. He came from Ireland to America in 1819.  
[Wheeling Register (Wheeling, WV) Wednesday, June 26, 1895; transcribed by FoFG mz]

Maj. James Miller
Died. --On Saturday the 12th of February, at his residence in Wellsburg, Va., Maj. James Miller, of dropsy of the chest, aged nearly 69 years.
Mr. Miller was born in Berkely county, Va., on the 3d of April 1781; moved to Jefferson co., Ohio in 1817, and finally in the Fall of 1844 changed his residence to Wellsburg, where he closed up the scenes of his earthly life. He was brother of the late Governor John Miller of this State, and father of Mr. John Miller of this vicinity. The Wellsburg Herald says: The closing scences of his earthly career were such as the evenly and gentle course of his life would have indicated. He was free from gloomy forebodings; and his mind was filled with heavenly hopes. --Fears of death found no harbor in the soul, which grace had occupied for years; but blissful prospects spread out along the great future --and when the hour of his departure came he sank gently, and with scarcely a pang, into the unbroken slumbers of the grave.
[The Glasgow Weekly Times, Thursday, March 17, 1853 - Submitted by Kathy McDaniel]

Anna Pitney
Junction City Pioneer, ANNA PITNEY Dead at 97.
The town's oldest resident Mrs. Anna Magdalene Pitney, 97, who had lived in Junction City (Oregon) for 74 years, died Tuesday afternoon.  Funeral Services will be Friday at 2 p.m. in Junction City Methodist Church with the Rev Joyce S. Kendall officiating. Interment will be in Odd Fellows Cemetery at Junction City. Murphy Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Mrs. Pitney was born in Martinsburg, W. VA., Jan. 31, 1859, and came to Oregon with her parents in 1872. Here she married Marcellus B. Pitney, the son of Oregon pioneers and the young couple went to Junction City to make their home.  Since her husband's death in 1895, Mrs. Pitney kept roomers and boarders. She took an active part in civic affairs and traveled extensively. She was a life-long member of the Methodist Church.  Mrs. Pitney led an active life until a fall about a month ago. Since then she has been in the hospital and Sunset Lutheran Home. Survivors include three daughters, Misses Modena and Mary, both of Junction City, and Mrs. BEULAH B. FRY of Vancouver, Wash.; a granddaughter, ANNA JANE PITNEY of Whittier, Calif.; and two brothers, M. M. HOLLIS of Eugene and J.T. HOLLIS of Vancouver, Wash., a son Hollis, preceded his mother in death.
[Eugene Register Guard, clipping not dated but probably 1958 - submitted by Darlene Griffith]

Richard Ranson
CHARLES-TOWN, July 5. --  Died, on Wednesday the 3d inst. after a short illness, at his residence in Berkeley County, Capt. Richard Ranson.
[Farmer's Repository (Charlestown, WV) Friday, July 5, 1811; transcribed by FoFG mz]

Mrs. Susan E. Selbert
Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun
Martinsburg, W. Va., Feb, 7-- Mrs. Susan E. Seibert, 83 years old, widow of Harrison E. Selbert, died at her home, on West John Street, Thursday night of grip, after an illiness of several weeks. Mrs. Selbert was a daughter of the late Frederick Nadenbousch, of Frederick county, Virginia and moved to Berkeley county in her early youth. She was also a sister of the late Col. J. Q. A. Nadenbousch,  and the late Moses C. Nadenbousch, who were both prominent citizens of this county. One son, Mr. Frederick N. Selbert, survives.
Source: Sun (Baltimore, MD) Saturday, February 8, 1908 Transcribed by: Debbie Oberst

Mrs. Elizabeth Slagle
Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun
Martinsburg, W. VA., Feb, 17, -- Mrs. Elizabeth Slagle, widow of David Slagle, of this city, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Conrad C. Cline, on West Burke Street, of rheumatism, at the age of 79 years. Mrs. Slagle leaves the following children: Mrs. George L. Hensel, and Mrs. Conrad Cline, of this city, and Mr. Joseph Slagle, of Altoons, Pa. She was a native of Middleway, Jefferson county, and was a daughter of Mr. Joseph Harley, of that place. Source: Sun (Baltimore, MD) Monday, February 18, 1907 Transcribed by: Debbie Oberst

Charles Strider
Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun
Martinsburg, W. Va., Feb, 17,-- Charles Strider, one of the most prominent farmers of Opequon district, Berkeley county, and a member of a well-known Berkeley county family, died at his home last evening after an illiness of several months at the age of 50 years. Mr. Strider was formerly in business in this city, but later moved to the county and engaged in farming. He is survived by one sister, Mrs. R. F. Harrison, of Shepherdstown, who is the sole survivor of thew family
Source: Sun (Baltimore, MD) Monday, February 18, 1907 Transcribed by: Debbie Oberst

George William Taylor
Hark! Gabriel blows his horn and the angel of death swooped down and, without a moment's warning, severed the life line of a noble man last Saturday, February 10. George William Taylor answered the call without a pain or struggle, so far as earthly minds can ascertain. His journey had come to an end. His maker required his assistance in the great beyond. He was ready and the spirit that had lived in the body for almost 50 years departed to the unknown from whence it came. Fifty years on earth without a blemish. Wish to the great ruler that such could be written of most of us. George had not been exactly well but was not complaining. He made daily trips to his home just south of town and on Saturday expressed his intention to the writer of going down immediately after the noon lunch and returning in time for the meeting of the afternoon. At dinner time he had not returned and at the request of his sister, Merrill Weldy went to find the reason. Imagine the astonishment and great shock to the boy when on turning around the south side of the house, he found the prostrate body of his uncle. He telephoned the shocking news to his sister, Marguerite, and immediately the writer and Carl Winters rushed to the scene, followed closely by Dr. Melvin. The body was carried into the house and laid upon a couch, but the doctor soon stated that life had been extinct some time, and George's earthly career had come to a most sudden and unexpected end. He had been in unusually good spirits the day of his death, but the weak heart had clogged and the flow of life blood suddenly ceased. George William Taylor was born at Bedington, West Virginia, of John Wesley and Barbara Taylor during the great struggle between the north and south, it being the 28th day of April 1862. His early childhood was spent at the place of his birth, but a few years later the family moved to southern Pennsylvania where he grew to manhood and learned the profession of a druggist, after which he ran a store of his own for a number of years. Early in the year 1894 he came to Montana and was a resident of Chester ever since. He was a man of exemplarily habits, esteemed by everyone who knew him, and was a great worker in the church, having been an elder in the Presbyterian Church from its organization. He never took any great interest in the struggles of an active business life, preferring to lead one of quietness around home. The remains were extremely lifelike when they were taken to the church Monday afternoon where the Rev. Dr. Holford preached a magnificent sermon with some appropriate music. The body was then removed to the depot and taken to Havre to be prepared for shipment to the east where it will be laid aside his mother and where the sweet blossoms of spring will soon burst into new life, a fitting emblem of the new life just entered by the beloved brother. The body was accompanied on its long journey by Merrill Weldy, the nephew of the deceased and to whom he had been a constant and ever faithful friend from almost the day of his birth. It sometimes becomes the duty of an editor to pen for publication matters that tear at every heartstring, and having known the dead man from childhood and having had him for a quiet, faithful counselor for many years, this becomes one of the hardest tasks it has been our lot to record, and was it not for the great goodness of the man and knowing that it means eternal peace and comfort, we could not do it. The sister of the deceased, Mrs. B. B. Weldy, was so prostrated by the suddenness of the shock that she was forbidden to attend the services; however, with good medical attention and the great kindness of many willing friends, she is recovering her usual health. To this little woman, the blow will fall the hardest because the lost brother had been a constant companion during her years of suffering, but with the knowledge of the good life of her brother, she will be able to bear the burden with less heartache. Besides the sister with whom the deceased had lived so long, he leaves three sisters and a brother at the old home in Pennsylvania, and an unlimited number of friends. The writer, on behalf of himself, wife, children, and relatives, wishes to express sincere thanks to all the many friends who were so ready to render any possible assistance; to Dr. Melvin for the promptness in his calls; to Dr. Holford for the many things he did in arranging the funeral and his comforting words; to the pall bearers for their services in so tenderly conveying the body on its last earthly journey; to the choir for the excellent music; to the undertakers for the most efficient services rendered and great kindness shown; to his friend, Carl Winters, for his faithful services; to the several men who cared for the remains during the two nights; and, in fact, to everyone who in any manner assisted in the last tribute to a good man. May our own ending be as peaceful and as glorious as was Mr. Taylor's.
[Chester Signal (Liberty County, Montana), 2-15-1912 - Sub. by Kathie Marynik]

Dr. George S. West
Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun-- Martinsburg, W. VA, Feb. 22, -- Dr. George S. West, of Gerrardstown, 42 years old, died suddenly of paralysis yesterday at the home of Mr. Robert Royster, where he was attending a patient. Dr. West was a son of Dr. Henry S. West and was born in Turkey, where his father was a medical missionary. He was brought to this county at the age of 9, and  graduated at the University of Pennsylvania. Thress years ago he removed from Parson, W. Va to Gerrardstown. His widow, formerly Miss Mabel carter, of this county, his mother and two sisters survive. Source: Sun (Baltimore, MD) Sunday, February 23, 1908 Transcribed by: Debbie Oberst

Abram Williamson
Martinsburg, W. Va., December 24.- Mr Abram Williamson, aged 96 years, died at his home in this county, near Vanclevesville  to-day. Mr. Williamson was well-known in this vicinity and adjoining counties, and leaves a large number of relatives. Source: Wheeling Register (Wheeling, West Virginia) Thursday, December 25,1890  Transcribed by: Debbie Oberst

Harriet Wilson
Died on the 2nd day of December 1841. at the house of Dr. Hammond, in the county of Berkeley. Mrs HARRIET WILSON, wife of Rev Lewis F. Wilson. Three Sabbaths before her decease, Mr. W. driving his wife and infant child to Falling Waters church where he expected to preach the Gospel, their horse took fright and ran off. The vehicle was upset and the whole party were thrown out. Leaves children of her own and a little step daughter.  [27 January 1842 - "Watchman of the South" - Submitted by B. Ziegenmeyer]






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