Braxton County, WV Biographies
From: History of Braxton County and Central West Virginia by John Davison Sutton 1919
Transcribed for Genealogy Trails by Marji Turner
History of Braxton County and Central West Virginia by John Davis Sutton, 1919
Asa Lee Shaver was born in this county, Oct. 16, 1849, a son of Jesse Shaver. He married Amanda Waybright, Feb. 14, 1878. His wife was the daughter of Levi and Mary Jane Waybright of this county, and date of her birth was May 22, 1860., Names of their children are: Burr, who is a mechanic and lives in Sutton, Russell who is Deputy Postmaster at Flatwoods, and Lucy the wife of Charles Orahood the capable agent of the B. & O. railroad at Flatwoods.
Isaac Shaver and Mary (Hyer) Shaver came from Rockbridge county, Va.,, to Braxton county and bought land on the head of Salt Lick near the present town that bears his name. He and his brother-in-law, Christian Hyer, brought all their household effects in one wagon, and settled on adjoining lands. They arrived at their new home in the wilderness country in Sept., 1816. Mr. Shaver's family consisted of Abraham, Paulson, Jacob, Jesse, Sallie and another girl. He died at his home about 18…., and his widow lived for many years afterward with her son Jesse at the old homestead. The Shavers are a hardy, industrious people, and as a rule have large families. They are of German descent.
Isaac Lloyd Shaver, son of Jacob and Eliza H. (Lloyd) Shaver, was born at Flatwoods, June 19, 1836. On Oct. 28, 1859, he married Cynthia Elizabeth, daughter of Adam and Nancy (Morrison) Gillespie. Their children were: Salathiel L., Lemuel H., Belimina Ann, John M., George W., James W., and Jacob A, who died in infancy.
Jacob Shaver, son of Isaac and Mary (Hyer) Shaver, was born in Rockingham county, Va., and came to Braxton county with his parents when a small boy. Born Feb. 28, 1810. He married Julia Loyd, June 1, 1834, and settled on Shavers fork of Cedar creek, where he cleared a farm, and reared a large family, consisting of eleven boys and five girls. They all lived to be grown men and women. The first death that occurred in the family was Minerva who died with diphtheria when she was in her sixteenth year. The others all lived to bring up families. His boys were Isaac, Harvila, Willis, Harvey F., Franklin, Morgan D., Addison, Wesley, Johnson, Allen and Dextrer. The girls were Julia Ann, Gueretia Minerva, Mary, Indiana. In addition to that necessary for the support of his large family, Mr. Shaver always had a surplus from his farm to sell. Mrs. Shaver did her cooking over an open fire as cook stoves in her day were not common. She told Felix Sutton that in the rearing of her family, she had never upset a vessel on the fire, and none of her children were ever burned or scaled.
Three of their sons, Willis P., Harvey F., and Morgan D. served through the war in the Union army.
Jesse Shaver, son of Isaac and Mary (Hyer) Shaver, was born in Rockingham county, VA., ……………. At an early age, he moved with his parents to this county, and settled on the head of Salt Lick where he made his future home. He married Matilda Squires, daughter of Col. Asa Squires. There children were Sarah, Lucy, Mariah C., Stephen, Asa Lee, Isaac Ransom, and Elizabeth S. Mr. Shaver was a prosperous farmer and stock raiser. He was for many years a leading member of great influence in the M. E. church, South. He was a citizen of sterling character. He died at the age of 85 years, and his remains rest beside those of his wife and several children in the Flatwoods cemetery.
Adam Shields, the progenitor of the Shields family of Braxton, came to this country as a British soldier. In time of the Revolutions, he was captured and joined the Continental army. He settled on Kanawha, and later his family located on Salt Lick.
Jacob Shock, son of Henry Shock, was born near White Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier county, September 4, 1789, and about 1807, he with his father came to the place now known as Twistville in Braxton county where his father died soon after.
At the age of fourteen, he joined a hunting and trapping party, and came to the woods at Steer creek where they camped, hunted, and trapped for a considerable length of time. While there, he discovered that the land was very rich and fertile, and always after that he had a strong desire to make a home in the Steer creek valley.
In the year 1810, he married Mary Green, and soon afterwards, he prevailed upon his brother-in-law, John Green, to go with him and make a home there. In the month of September, 1815, they came to the place where Rosedale is now situated at which place they took possession of a boundary of land, and each of them built a house. Green did not stay long. He went back to the Elk valley after selling his improvements to Shock who built a home in the land of wilderness, the land of his adoption.
In speaking of the fertility of the land in after life, Mr. Shock said that he had cultivated the land where Rosedale now stands, and raised forty consecutive crops of corn on the bottom near where the Elk and Little Kanawha depot is now located. The same land has been cultivated many years since the death of Mr. Shock. Here was the average bottom land of the Steer creek valley.
Jacob Shock never became wealthy, but was an independent liver. He had twelve children, and gave them all a comfortable start in life. His wife died on August 4, 1854. He lived twenty-two years a widower, and died at the home of his youngest daughter, Tabitha Bourn, on May 7, 1876, being nearly eighty-seven years of age. He was an honored and respected citizen, and was for many years of his latter life, a member of the M. E. Church.
Shuttleworth. In 1876 Thomas Shuttleworth, an Englishman, came to Sutton and built a foundry, the first to be built in the county. He was a skilled workman and made many articles useful to the farmer and the other industries that used castings. He died in 1883 and the foundry has since been enlarged and carried on by his son, John H. Shuttleworth, who in addition to the foundry runs a machine shop, being a mechanic of superior skill. He married a daughter of the late Benjamin T. Canfield; his home is in Sutton.
Charles E. Singleton, son of John F. and Lucinda (Byrne) Singleton, was born and reared near Salt Lick bridge where he afterward owned valuable land, followed farming and stock raising, and for several years was engaged in the mercantile business. Mr. Singleton married Margaret Gibson, and reared a large family. He was Clerk of the County Court of Braxton county when the Civil war began. Their children were Netwon G., Flora, Mary B., Minta, Charles, Laura M., Anna and George.
John F. Singleton and his wife, Lucinda Byrne, came from Farquar county, Virginia, about the year 1807, and settled on Salt Lick near Salt Lick bridge, where they owned valuable land. Mrs. Singleton was a daughter of Uriah Bryne who was a captain in the Revolutionary army. Mrs. Singleton lived many years after the death of her husband, and died at the advanced age of ninety-eight. She was noted for her congenial nature, and her hospitality, a characteristic that is handed down to her descendants.
The children of John F. Singleton were Samuel , Uriah, Wm. K., Asa B., French F., Charles E., John S., Elizabeth, Mary Jane, Anna, Eliza and Susan.
Mr. Singleton was one of the early school teachers of Braxton. The Singleton family were all farmers and stock raisers, and noted for their industry and enterprise.
The Skidmore Family.
According to Bardley's dictionary of English and Welsh surnames, the Skidmore family is of English origin, but traditional history claims that the Skidmore family is of German descent, possibly coming down through Holland, thence to America. The record of the family dates back to the fourteenth century. The name was originally Scudimore, but was at an early date changed to Skidmore. The family comes from the southwestern part of England. Wilts, a parish record, shows a baptism of Mary, daughter of Thomas Skidmore, in 1657. An old census report from Virginia shows an enumeration having been taken in the years 1782 and 1785. It is entitled, "A census of the heads of families." and the name of Skidmore is found as follows: From Fairfax county, the census for 1782 gives the names of Edward Skidmore, Elizabeth Skidmore, Ann Skidmore and Malinda Skidmore. From Rockingham county, the enumeration which was taken in 1784, contains the names of John Skidmore, Joseph Skidmore and Thomas Skidmore, John and Thomas presumably being the sons of Joseph.
Of the early ancestry of the Skidmores, we have but little knowledge. That five generations of more ago, they took an active part in the Indian wars and the struggle for independence, is well established. As a family, they have become very numerous, spreading over many states of the union, and numbering in their kindred ties many thousands. Some of the characteristics of the Skidmore family have been prominent in every generation. They are domestic in their habits, frugal and industrious, while large families is the rule and not the exception.
The old records show that the early or first generations of the Skidmores owned a great deal of valuable lands. As a rule, they were farmers and sought the best farming lands. In an early day, those coming to the Tygarts Valley river, the Elk and Holly, sought out the finest bottom lands, and for a hundred years or more much of this land remained in the possession of their descendants. They are tenacious and unyielding in what they conceive to be right. Their florid expression and auburn hair characterizes every generation, and is an inheritance that has never faded away. It is most probable that the Skidmores were originally of Scotch origin and emigrated from that country, settling in Holland before coming to the states. Whether Joseph Skidmore was born in this country or across the water, we know not, or whether he came alone to America, we are not informed.
Mr. Delia Coger says her great-grandfather, Joseph Skidmore, lived in Pendleton county on a small run, and that the Indians came to his house and took a hog that was dressed and hanging up in the house, taking it on the run. Her great-grandmother was the only person at home, and the Indians ran around the house and looked in through the cracks of the wall and laughed at her while she sat in the middle of the floor and cried. She described her as a large spare built woman. On what a slender thread hung the destiny of a great family. She said that Captain John Skidmore's wife's name was Betsy; that she outlived her husband several years, and was blind for a few years before her death. She lived with her son John, and requested to be buried under an apple tree.
Joseph Skidmore and his wife, Rachael, moved from near Norfolk, Va., before the Revolution, and settled either in Bath or Pendleton counties. Their son John, it was said, was the eldest of the seventeen children, and his brother Andrew was the youngest. John was married and had children older than his brother Andrew. Of the other members of this numerous family, we have been able to secure only a part of the names. In addition to John and Andrew, we have the names of Thomas, Benjamin, Samuel, Joseph, James; one of the daughters married a man named Taylor, one married Jos. Friend, one married Lawrence, one, a Coger, one, Jesse Cunningham, one, a Stonestreet, and one married Robinson. It is of John and Andrew, his brother, that we wish more particularly to speak. John was born in 1725, and Andrew in November, 1750. John was a captain, and commanded the Greenbrier militia at the memorable battle at Point Pleasant, being badly wounded in the hip. Andrew belonged to the same company, and lost a finger in the same battle.
Captain Skidmore married Polly Hinkle and reared a large family. Many of the descendants of the Skidmore family settled in Pendleton, Randolph, Barbour, Braxton and what is now Webster county. Captain Skidmore was said to be a man of deep piety. He was buried near Franklin, Pendleton county. Thomas Skidmore, a great-grandson, told us a short time before his death, when he was in his 88th year, that he remembered seeing Capt. Skidmore's widow in Pendleton county when he was a boy, and he gave from memory the names of the children of his great-grandfather, John Skidmore.
They were John who died on the Holly river, Braxton county. He was a Baptist preacher, and was granted license by the Nicholas County Court to celebrate marriages. His wife was Nancy Tingler. (Their daughter Sallie married Dr. Cozad, Edie married a Canfield, Polly married George Bickle, Mahala married Edward Robinson and one son died. Prof R. A. Arthur was related to the Skidmore family through Joseph Friend whose wife was Jos. Skidmore's daughter. James died in Pendleton county, Eliza of whom he gave no further account.) Another son's name was Andrew who lived in Pendleton, two of the sons were slave owners. Polly married Adam Lough. Phebe a Harper, Mary married a Rodgers, Rachel never married, Levi lived near Union Mills on the Elk and many of his descendants are living in Braxton and Webster. Isaac was drowned in Pendleton county, and one daughter's name was not remembered.
Samuel Skidmore's wife was named Betsy Parson. He was a son of James, son of Captain John. He settled on the Elk river, and owned the Union Mills. He was the father of Thomas, John, James, Isaac, Jesse, Rachael and Mary, splendid upright citizens, and all reared large families. Jas. Skidmore was a commissioned officer in the Virginia militia; he was one of nature's nobleman. The author was shown a copy of his father's will, James Skidmore, dated, Pendleton, Va., August, 1827, in which he willed quite an amount of property to his children. He had three sons and three daughters, Samuel, John, Jesse, Mary, Belle, Phebe and Sarah. Samuel and John were soldiers in the war of 1812. John died while in the service at Norfolk; Samuel said that he was on picket duty the night his brother lay a corpse, and that the night was to him the most distressed and horrible that he ever experienced. He died in Pendleton county. "Kiser" Sam was a son of Andrew and grandson of Captain John, and owned the large and valuable bottoms on the Holly. He sold his land and moved West; his wife's name was Kiser, hence his nickname. There were two Joseph Skidmores, one being a son of Andrew, and one a captain in the militia service, but whether he was a son of Joseph, founder of the family or grandson, we have no definite knowledge. Henry Robinson who lived near the forks of the Holly, married a daughter of John Skidmore.
Of Andrew Skidmore, youngest son of Joseph, and his descendants, we have a more general knowledge. He was twenty-four years old at the time of the battle of Point Pleasant, and was a private in his brother's company. That he was a daring reckless soldier and Indian fighter, is an unquestioned fact. His hostility to the Indians did not cease after peace had been declared. It is related that he and two others named Judy and Cowen were imprisoned in Pendleton county for killing Indians, but the sympathy of the citizens caused their release without the form of law. After a man named Stroud had been killed in what is known as Strouds Glade by the Indians in 1792, Wm. Hacker, a Mr. Kettle, Wm. White and others murdered Captain Bull and his little tribe said to be composed of five families, a remnant of friendly Indians who had sought shelter from their northern enemies, and built a fort on the banks of the Little Kanawha river. Andrew Skidmore said that after they had killed the Indians they stepped in a trough of bear's oil to grease their moccasins, and went on. Whether he had participated in that unjustifiable slaughter or had the account given him by the lips of others parties, we know not, but the inference is that he was along. His grand daughter, Aunt Nellie Rodgers, who lived in Roane county, W. Va., told the writer when she was ninety-eight that "Grandaddy," as she expressed it, had done several bad things after peace was made. It is the history of all nations that when civilization is at war with barbarous or uncivilized people, that they become barbarous through retaliation or demoralization, and often become more cruel than the savage himself. It was true in our Indian wars; it was true in our subjugation of the helpless Filipino; and it will always be true.
But this study old soldier and pioneer, after the struggles for independence and a long and hazardous warfare with the Indians, blazing the way for civilization in the western world married Margaret Johnson of Randolph county, and settled on Tygarts Valley river, near where the town of Elkins now stands, where he owned four hundred acres of valuable land entered on the 24th d ay of November, 1777. Joseph, his brother, entered on the same date, three hundred and fifty acres adjoining. Andrew undertook to dig a ditch to carry the water across a bottom at a long horseshoe bend to secure water power for a grist mill. This enterprise was never completed, but the ditch can yet be seen. The old soldier showed a spirit of enterprise in trying to harness the waters of the Valley river and make it useful to man.
Margaret Johnson was a daughter of Andrew Johnson. She had six brothers - John, Charles, Robert, Oliver, Jacob and Levi. Jacob went to Raleigh, N. C., and married a Miss McDonald where he died in 1812, leaving one child about four years old, named Andrew who afterward became President of the United States. Margaret Johnson Skidmore is buried near Elkins in what is now the Odd Fellows' cemetery. Her grave is marked by a stone cut by her son Andrew. Her husband died in Braxton county and is buried in the Skidmore cemetery at Sutton. Their children were James, born August, 1784. (He married Sarah Kettle, daughter of Jacob Kettle. Their children were William, Hickman, Edwin, Edith who married James Madison Corley and is buried at the Corley place in Flatwoods, Mary who married John Daly, Elizabeth who married Isaac Harris, Margaret who died in infancy, Rachael who married John K. Scott and was the mother of the celebrated large Scott family, Sarah who married Wm. F. Corley, father of Attorney A. W. Corley of Sutton.) Andrew, born March 20, 1780; Nancy, born December 25, 1787. (she married Thomas Scott); Mary, born February 14, 1789 married Chenoweth; Sarah born April 6, 1796; Eleanor, born March 15, 1798; John, born August 1 5, 1800; Benjamin, born October 20, 1802; Margaret, born February 10, 1804, married Crites; Rebecca, born May 7, 1806, married Jesse Jackson.
Some of the descendants of Captain John Skidmore settled on the Elk and Holly rivers, and many of their kindred are in that vicinity yet, while some of the descendants of Andrew Skidmore settled on the Elk at or below Sutton. Benjamin Skidmore, a most exemplary citizen, owned what is known as the Skidmore bottom which is now a part of the town of Sutton. Benjamin Skidmore's wife was Mary Gordon, and their children were Hilliard, Washington, John Newhouse, Franklin, Jennings, Salina who married J. A. Baughman, Sabina who married B. T. Canfield, Caroline who married J. M. Mace, Mary Ann who married William S. Gillespie and Rebecca who married Thomas Daley. Two sons Andrew, an older brother of Benjamin, settled three miles below Sutton on a tract of one hundred and forty acres of splendid land bought of John D. Sutton, paid for principally by labor in building a post and rail fence on the bottom where the town of Sutton stands. He was a man of remarkable strength and endurance. My father related to me that he killed a yearling bear on Wolf creek and carried it home, together with his gun, shot pouch and knapsack, laying this bulky and excessive load down but twice to rest though the distance was seven miles to his home. Andrew Skidmore married Margaret Hudkins. Their children were Felix, Allen, James, Naomi who married Levi Rodgers, Polly who married James Sutton, Sally who married Levi Prince, David and Eliza who died in infancy, Susan who married Felix Sutton and Nellie who married Elija Rodgers. He and his wife and several of their children are buried at Bealls Mill. The old hewn log house that Andrew Skidmore build a century ago is still standing and is occupied by the family of his son James, a home in which he reared his children, and from the shelter of which they married and went out into the world. How sacred the relic and spot where father and mother were united in marriage. In tracing the genealogy of the family we find a similarity of names running through every family, namely: Polly, Rachael, Edith, Betsy, Phebe, Andrew, James, Thomas. The name Oliver appears in the Scott family, taken from the Johnsons, as well as the name of Jacob, Andrew, Robert and Levi. Two sons and two daughters are all of this family who are living. He and his wife, and several of his children, are buried at Sutton in the Skidmore cemetery.
The Skidmores in an early day intermarried with the Chenoweths, the Johnsons, the Coberlys, Kettles, Corleys, Scotts, Hinkles and numerous other families. As a rule, they are exemplary citizens, and have been loyal to the government, having been represented in every war from that of 1774 to the present. Their course has been westward from the day of their ascent of the James river to the wilds of the western world. They have never aspired to office or eminent positions. Few of them have chosen the legal or professional life, but they have penetrated the forests and assisted in driving back the savage and exterminating the panther and the bear. They have felled the forests and builded churches and schools, and transformed the wilderness into a land desirable for human habitation. The daring revolutionary soldiers and adventurous citizens, like swampers in the forest, blazed the footpaths, and opened the way for the generations that were to follow. They followed in the very presence of the Indian tomahawk and scalping knife that lurked in every ravine, that crouched behind every bush and boulder. When we think of it, it is simply marvelous - their endurance in penetrating an unbroken wilderness, in facing the storms that have no limit to their fantasies while sweeping the peaks of the Alleghenies. Who pauses to think while passing the mounds that contain the sacred dust of their fathers, who it was that drove the savage from ocean to ocean and conquered a mighty empire. Not the citizen of wealth, not the men in authority, not the gentlemen of leisure, not society cultured and sparkling in gems, all beneficiaries of a generation unsurpassed and immortal. Every grave should have a monument; every county should have little historical society and map out and make note of the name and place of every silent and long-neglected grave; the state of West Virginia, with her limitless treasure, might in justice make provision to seek out and memorialize her worthy pioneer dead
Recently, we had the pleasure of seeing Mrs. Delila Coger who with David Chenoweth, aged eighty-eight, are the only living grandchildren of Captain John Skidmore. Mrs. Coger was next to the youngest of Levi Skidmore's family, and is one of twelve children. Levi was the youngest child of Captain John Skidmore's family and is one of twelve children. Mrs. Coger is in her 92nd year, and is keeping house with part of her children. Ordinarily she does her own housework, and is remarkably well preserved for one of her years. She is a woman of striking intelligence and force of character. She related many incidents of pioneer life, and spoke of many topics of importance related to the present. She emphasized the fact that there ought to be more stringent laws in reference to marriage. She advocates that there should be property qualifications; that a man entering a matrimonial state should have at least something to begin life with, and that he should be sufficiently intelligent to manage his property; that he should be free from deformity or hereditary disease. This, she said, would lessen divorce and insure a stronger and more energetic race.
If the descendants of Joseph and Rachael Skidmore could be numbered down through all the five or six generations to the present, with all the kindred blood, the number would be as great as the army that followed Grant through the wilderness. If anyone doubts this, and he be a statistician, let him exercise his powers of enumeration, and he will begin to see great armies rising up before him.
We said in the beginning that large families was the rule and not the exception. We had seventeen to begin with in the year 1745 or 1750. Captain John had twelve children, Andrew had twelve, Levi had twelve, and of the grandchildren, Andrew had ten, and lived to see his fifth generation, Mary, daughter of Rev. J. Y. Gillespie; Benjamin had twelve, James had twelve, John had twelve, Allen had fifteen, Jennings Skidmore was the father of seventeen, the same number as Joseph, his great-grandfather, Mrs. Naomi Skidmore Rodgers had nineteen, Mrs. Nellie Rodgers had thirteen, Mrs. Canfield had thirteen, and we visited the home of one of the fourth generation who had twenty children, and the father yet living; David Skidmore Jackson was father of sixteen children, including one set of triplets. Politically, the early Skidmores with few exceptions were Democrats, and if the old part of Jefferson shall ever be wanting in numerical strength, it will be because the Skidmore family has disobeyed the scriptural injunction. We know of three children who are of the eighth generation from Joseph Skidmore, and of the fifth generation from their great-grandfather, Simon Prince who died in his 98th year. At one time, we saw one of these children, Spurgeon Hefner, sitting in his lap, a sight rarely witnessed in this life. The above list contains only a few of the hundreds that might be named measuring up to the patriarchal number.
We are indebted to the late Attorney A. W. Corley of Sutton for quite a number of names and dates of this article. We have made no attempt at bringing out the various branches of the Skidmore family or of placing them in their genealogical order. Such an effort would be very laborious and would fill a volume, for we believe the Skidmore family to be the largest in the United States, taking the first six generations. We have only attempted to gather a few facts in order that any of the kindred wishing to trace up their family connection might take the information which we have tried to impart as a guide, and if any should be benefited by the same, we will have been amply paid. That this great family is one of honor, Christian virtue and integrity none can deny, and since Andrew, the old Indian fighter, who helped to drive the redskins from the Alleghenies across the Ohio river and was put in prison for killing Indians after peace had been declared, no one of the name in six generations has ever been tried for crime nor looked through a prison bar.
We cannot close this imperfect sketch without adding a line to the memory of Allen Skidmore. He was a son of Andrew Skidmore, and was a man of exemplary Christian character, touched with the divine spirit of grace. We vividly recall many pleasant evenings spent with him and his faithful and devoted wife. He exemplified in his moral life more of the characteristics of a frontiersman than is usually found in a well settled country. His aspirations were only to do good, and he seemed best contented in a humble cabin home where he spent the greater part of his life; a home stronger and more impregnable than the fortress or palace of a king. It was here that he established his altar, for God was with him.
Allen Skidmore, son of Andrew and Margaret Skidmore, was born Jan. 27, 1821, and died Nov. 5, 1883. He married Sarah Shaver, daughter of Isaac and Mary Shaver, March 4, 1841. She was born Jan. 7, 1824, and died May 29, 1851. Their children were Salathial, Anna, Mary, Eleanor and Margaret.
He married for his second wife, Malinda Lyons, granddaughter of John O'Bryan, one of the first pioneers of central West Virginia. They were married Nov. 27, 1851. Their children were Lavina, Alfred, Sarah, Andrew, Samuel, Archibald T., Eliza E., Susan and Wilbert.
Felix Skidmore, son of Andrew and Margaret (Hudkins) Sidmore, was born April 18, 1823, in Braxton county. He married on Sept. 28, 1843, Cynthia Frame, daughter of David and Sarah (Harris) Frame. Their children were eight in number: Sarah, Margaret (deceased), David, Andrew (died at age of five), Homer, Franklin, Harriet and Henry F.
Felix Skidmore lived with his father until he was seventeen years old when he began to ride as Deputy Sheriff which he followed for over two years. The other county offices which he followed for over two years. The other county offices which he filled were Commissioner in Chancery, Justice of the Peace, and a second term of Deputy Sheriff. He was also Captain in the State militia from 1845 to 1850. In 1859, he entered into a mercantile business at Sutton, and was prospering when the war came, and his business was ruined. In 1863, he again started a store in Harrison county, and later returned to the same business in Sutton. In 1872, he built a saw and grist mill in Birch district, which he followed for a great many years.
George W. Skidmore was born Sept. 28, 1868, in this county. His father, Benjamin F. Skidmore, was also a native of this county, while the mother, Tamar K. Johnson, was born in Upshur county. His paternal grandparents were Benjamin F. Skidmore and Mary Gordon, and the maternal grandparents, John Johnston and Margaret Miller. He was married Sept. 21, 1904, to M. Elizabeth Fisch, and names of their children are Holly, Franklin and Henry Cecil. Mr. Skidmore is a traveling salesman, and now resides at Lexington, Ky. His grandfather, John Johnston, died in prison in the late Civil war.
Isaac Skidmore, son of Levi Skidmore, was born near Union Mills, Sept. 18, 1811, and married Lucinda Coger Sept. 25, 1846. Their children were Francena, Samuel K., Mary, Margaret, Jonathan, Theodore, Felix B., Phebe J., Luther C., and Pierson B. Mr. Skidmore owned valuable land and property on the Elk river, and was a prosperous farmer.
James Skidmore, son of Andrew and Margaret Hoskins Skidmore, was born and reared on the old Skidmore farm, three miles below Sutton on the Elk river. He married Caroline, daughter of George Duffield. They raised a family of twelve children. Mr. Skidmore owned the old farm where he was born. It is now owned by his son Henderson. Mr. Skidmore and his wife have been dead several years. They were buried at the Bell cemetery, two miles above Gassaway on the Elk river.
Jennings Skidmore was a son of Benjamin and Mary Skidmore, and was born in March, 1848. He was formerly one of Sutton's most prosperous citizens, but met with financial reverses in the 90's and left Sutton twelve years ago, moving first to Centralia and then to Clarksburg, at both of which places he conducted a boarding house. He was honest, industrious and well-liked citizen, and his friends here were shocked and grieved when they learned of his sudden death.
He was married first in 1870, to Margaret Skidmore and the following named children of this union survive: Johnson, of Huntington; Edward, Charles and Jack, of Beaumont, Texas; Jennings, of Weston; Amos and Harry, of Clarksburg; Mrs. Rena Davis, of Harrison county, and Mrs. Sallie Rogers, of near Buckhannon. His latter wife was Miss Kate Davis of West Milford, Harrison county, and four children by this marriage - Esther, Anna Lee, Nadine and Gordon - are living. He was a brother of Franklin Skidmore of Menlo, Ga., and Mrs. T. M. Daly of Webster Springs, the only members of his immediate family now living. He was one among the last survivors of the grandchildren of Andrew Skidmore who was a soldier in the Revolution. His widow now has the old Skidmore Bible.
Malinda Skidmore, wife of the late Allen Skidmore, recently died in her eighty-fourth year. She was the daughter of Samuel Lyons, and her mother was Margaret O'Brien, daughter of Adam O'Brien, the great woodsman. "Aunt Linda," as she was familiarly known, was a woman of noble Christian character; her acts of kindness covering a period of so many years, has endeared her in the hearts of the people.
Edward D. Sprigg was born early in the 19th century in Maryland, and in 1831 married Martha J. Smith of Lewis county, who was a native of Maryland. Their children were, John S., Sarah Ann, Amanda E., James D., Mary E., William, Deborah J., Morgan D., Frederick P., Anna and Martha J. and one child not named. Not long after the formation of Braxton county, Mr. Sprigg came to the county and settled on the Elk river near Sutton, and for many years there he owned and operated the Dyer mill, afterward called the Sprigg mill. The mill was washed away in the flood of 1861. The latter years of his life he spent on his farm near Bolling Green, where his son, Morgan D. Sprigg, now lives. Mr. Sprigg and his wife lived to a good old age, and were buried in the Skidmore cemetery, where rest several of their descendants.
The Squires Family
Elizabeth was born March 30, 1746. Asa Squires, son of Elizabeth Squires, was born May 12, 1785. Sarah Cartright Eastip was born Oct. 6, 1785. Asa Squires and Sarah C. Eastip were married in Frederictown, Md., June 27, 1803. They were natives of Farquar county, Va. They came to what is now Braxton county, and settled on Salt Lick, Mary 20, 1807. Their children were Eliza Eastip, Mary Taylor, Elvira Shophia, Mariah Biggs, Lucinda Ann, Catherine Letchworth, Matilda Cartright, Thomas Hanson, Sarah Jane, Wm. Cranville, Daniel Stephen.
Elizabeth Squires, the mother of Asa and Eliza Squires, rode horseback from Farquar county, Va., to Salt Lick, arriving at Asa Squires' on Dec. 14, 1822. She was nineteen days on the road, being in her seventy-seventh year. She died March 8, 1840, and was buried in the old Squires cemetery on Salt Lick.
Asa Squires was born in Farquar county, Va., April 22, 1812, and with his father, Elijah Squires, came to what is now Braxton county, then Lewis, in 1824 or 5. He was a member of the Methodist Church for many years. He died of organic heart disease. His wife was Catherine Gibson, born in Braxton county, May 12, 1815. Their children were Clarisa, Norman B., Johnson, Elizabeth, Newlon, Ellis W. Permelia and Calvin.
Mr. Squires was a farmer and teacher. He filled several offices of trust in the county.
Calvin G Squires, son of Asa and Catharin Gibson Squires, was the youngest of the family. He married Susan, daughter of David and …… Harper Bright. They reared a family of four boys and one girl -- Albert, Scott, William and Asa, and Rosa. Mr. Squires owned and lived on his father's old farm, on Salt Lick. He was early in life killed by lightning, while he was going from his home on Salt Lick to Flatwoods. He and his wife are buried at the Squires cemetery on Salt Lick
Daniel S. Squires, son of Colonel Asa Squires, was born June 15, 1827. His former wife was Amelia Burr of Upshur county; she died leaving one son, Olin B. Squires. He married for his latter wife, Elizabeth McLaughlin, daughter of Col. Addison McLaughlin. He had by this marriage six children, Otis, Addison, Asa, Sarah, Byrd and Minnie.
Mr. Squires owned a large and valuable plantation on Salt Lick creek. He represented his county in the legislature in 1875; he was Braxton county's first superintendent of free schools, after the organization of West Virginia, and was also a member and president of the county court. He died in 1905.
Ellis W. Squires was born June 20, 1843 on the Elk river, five miles above Sutton. His father, Asa Squires, was born in Farquar county, Va., and his mother, Catharine Gibson, was born at Salt Lick, this county. His grandparents, Elijah Squires and Elizabeth Ertin, were natives of Louden county., Va. He was married June 20, 1865, to Mariah C. Shaver, and their children are Louvena L., Melvin B., Jesse L., Moody H. Mr. Squires is interested in farming and the mercantile business. He has been a Notary Public forty years; was Clerk of Supervisors Court for eight years, Secretary Board of Education for thirty years, and President of Board of Education for four years. He also served as U. S. Deputy Marshall seven years, and was Postmaster of Flatwoods for five years and is mayor of Flatwoods. He enlisted in the U. S. Army, May 1, 1862, at Sutton, and was honorably discharged May 3, 1865, at Wheeling.
Elijah Squires, son of Sarah Squires of Farquar county, Va., and brother of Col. Asa Squires, was born in Farquar county in 1787, and came to Braxton county, Va., about the year 1870-8. He married a Miss Ertin of Farquar. By this marriage he had three children, Taylor, Asa and William. He settled in Flatwoods on the land now owned by Wm. Hutchison where he remained until his death. He married for his second wife, Elizabeth Gibson, daughter of Nicholas Gibson. She was born in 1803, and died in 1896. To this union were born eleven children, as follows: Eliza, Susan, Mary, James, Edgar, Sarah, Eligah H., Margaret, Lydia, Frank F., and Betty. Eligah Squires was said to be a noble Christian man whose influence still lives. He owned slaves, but set them free. He was a member of the M. P. church, and mainly through his influence and by his means, the Stone run church was erected and a church society built up.
Johnson Squires, son of Asa and Catharine Gibson Squires, was born in Braxton county in 1830. He grew up on his father's farm, and attended such schools as the neighborhood afforded and in 1859, he was joined in marriage with Susan C. Prince, daughter of Levi and Sallie Skidmore Prince. To this union were born Sarah C., Effie J., Charles W., Levi P., and Wilbur N.
A the breaking out of the Civil war, Mr. Squires volunteered in the 11th W. Va., Inft. and participated in many battles. He held the rank of Orderly Sergeant of his company. After the return of peace, he returned to his native county, and followed farming and for many years kept the Squires Hotel, in Sutton. He was a man of energy and industry. His wife died of heart failure, in 1896, and a short time afterward, Mr. Squires became afflicted with cancer of the liver, and died, March, 1896. He, with his wife, and some of their children, are buried at the Squires cemetery, on Salt Lick. They were both members of the M. E. Church, and lived exemplary Christian lives.
Newlon Squires, son of Asa and Catharin Gibson Squires, was born March 2, 1841. He married Catharin J., daughter of Levi and Sally Skidmore Prince, April 7, 1861. To them were born Minter, Ertin, Cary, Warder, Lucy, Nettie and Ida. His wife having died in 1886, he in 1892, married for his second wife Ettie Haymond, daughter of Eugenus Haymond. By this marrige, he had four children, Herbert, Esther, Newlon and Henry. He was a farmer, and owned the farm on Salt Lick where his widow and children now reside. When the war between the States began, he volunteered in Company F, 10th W. Va. Vol, Inft. and served to the close of the war. He was wounded in the shoulder, at the battle of Droop Mountain. He was made a prisoner in a raid made by Capt. Baldwell, of the Confederate Service, sent to Libby Prison, at Richmond, Va., but was afterwards exchanged, and participated in many of the battles in the Valley of Virginia, and in front of Richmond, Petersburg and Appomattox, Va. Mr. Squires was a man well beloved, a noble citizen, a true friend. He died of Cholera Morbus, in 1906, and was buried at the Squires cemetery, by the side of many of his loved ones.
Norman B. Squires, son of Asa and Catharine Gibson Squires, was born in Braxton county, Virginia, March 28, 1835. He acquired the best education that the schools of the county afforded, and at an early age married Ruhama, daughter of Charles Mollohan, widow of Jesse Skidmore.
Mr. Squires followed farming until the breaking out of the Civil war, when he enlisted in Co. F, 10th W. Va. Inft. and after the death of Orderly John D. Baxter, served in that capacity until he was severely wounded at the Sinks, in Pendleton county. He was shot by Lieut. Regar, of the Confedrate army, a wound that caused him great pain, and from which he never recovered, but died from its effects, in April, 1881.
After the war, Mr. Squires kept hotel in Sutton, W. Va., and was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court of Braxton for two or three terms. He studied law, and practiced at the Bar, after his term of office expired, until his health failed him, when he retired to his farm on Salt Lick, where he, after great suffering, passed away. He was a man of splendid attainments, kind and affable. He died loved and respected by all who knew him. His body lies in the family cemetery, near his old home. His children were Mary M., Francis C., Elizabeth M., Effie J. and Henry.
Thomas H. Squires, son of Col. Asa Squires, born Nov. 4, 1820. He married Sarah Bush of Gilmer county, and died Aug. 22, 1890. He left no children. He is buried at the old Squires cemetery.
Wm. G. Squires, son of Asa and Sarah Estep Squires, was born May 25, 1825, at Salt Lick, and was married August 20, 1845, to Marie Jane Morrison. His children are John, Amelia, Susan, Elizabeth, Jane, Asa, Margaret, Lucy, Mary and Amanda. Mr. Squires was a successful farmer, owning one of the best farms near Salt Lick Bridge, where he settled when he was married, and where he lived until his death, which occurred March 24, 1901.
The family are members of the M. E. Church, South.
S. Wise Stalnaker was born Feb. 7, 1860, in Gilmer county. His father, S. G. Stalnaker, was born in what is now Randolph county, and his mother, Elizabeth Wiant, in Gilmer county, this state. His grandparents, Wm. Stalnaker and Elizabeth Goff, were also born in Randolph county. He was married to Miss Dora Pickens on July 9, 1885, and their children are Edna B., Elva R., Bonnie O., Aubrey L., Gaylord W., Elizabeth R., and S. Goffe. Hon. S. Wise Stalnaker has always held a position as a citizen of high attainments, active in all matters pertaining to the betterment of society. He is a Democrat of the old school, and his party elected him as a representative to the W. Va. Legislature from this county, a position which he filled with credit.
Uzziel W. Stalnaker, son of Eli Stalnaker, was born in Randolph county, Virginia, January 31st, 1827; he was married to Martha J. Bush November 1st, 1858. He spent the most of his married life in Gilmer county, but is now a citizen of Sutton, having come to Braxton and settled on Wolf creek some years ago. Mr. Stalnaker and his aged wife are enjoying good health, having lived together for over 61 years. He is a member of the Baptist church. Their children are Mary E., Alfred S., William W., Rue D., French D.
FAMILY HISTORY - James M. Stewart, son of Francis B. and Rhoda J. (Dove) Stewart, was born in Braxton county, July 1, 1843. He was married June 14, 1866, to Eliza J., daughter of William A. and Hannah (Steele) Davis. She was born Aug. 10, 1846. Their children were William Francis, Ulysses Curtiss, Marietta, Lydia Jane and Sarah Edna. James M. Stewart enlisted Sept 1, 1862, at Sutton, in Company F, 10th West Va. Infantry, and served throughout the war until he was honorably discharged May 15, 1865.
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Stout were two of the oldest persons in the neighborhood. They had dwelt together for fifty-nine years, and had spent the greater portion of their days in Flatwoods. The first to be taken was the husband, who, on the 6th day of January, 1911, in his ninety-second year, died at his home in Flatwoods. He was followed by his wife, whose death occurred Dec. 24, 1916, in her eighty-fourth year. They were married Oct. 18, 1852. To them were born ten children, four of whom died in infancy. Six lived to adult age, Mary E., Sarah E., D. Amanda, Fletcher H., Addie L., and R. Lina. No family in this neighborhood ever lived a life of greater tranquility than that of Daniel J. Stout. He and his family had long been members of the Baptist church. Aunt Katy, as she familiarly called, was a faithful nurse and attendant upon the sick. In the death of these two persons, is the passing away of those whose places may not be easily filled.
Bailey Stump, son of Jacob and Jane Boggs Stump, was born in Gilmer county (then Lewis county, Va.), Dec. 22, 1839. He married Sally, daughter of Felix and Susan Skidmore Sutton, Jan. 1, 1861. Their children are John S., Susan, Draper, Laura and Molly. Mr. Stump owns a valuable farm on Steer creek at the mouth of Crooked fork, also other valuable lands, and is one of the successful farmers and business men of his county. He is a grandson of Michael Stump, the old pioneer and Indian fighter, and one of the first settlers of Steer creek.
Michael Stump who introduced the Stump family into the Steer creek valley, was the son of Colonel Michael Stump who served in the Revolutionary army. His wife was Sarah Hughes, sister to the great Indian fighter. Colonel Stump lived on the South branch of the Potomac. Young Michael when he was a boy of eighteen, left home and came to the forts on the West Fork, now Lewis county, and is said to have been with his Uncle Jesse Hughes when they overtook and killed an Indian near Ravenswood, W. Va. He afterwards returned to the south branch and married a Miss Richardson, and came back to the West Fork and bought land and settled on Hacker's creek where Jane Lew now stands on land afterward owned by Isaac Jackson.
He was born on the South Branch, Feb. 4, 1766, and died March 27, 1834, at his home on Steer creek. A few years before his death, he became partially insane, and had to be confined. His sons built a cage or small room of strong pieces of timber in which they kept him. Bailey Stump, his grandson, has in his possession the stool, a wooden seat with four legs, upon which he sat, and Fletcher Stout has the old saw that belonged to Mr. stump which was used in the construction of this primitive asyluym, perhaps the first one built in Virginia.
Mr. Stump came to the Steer creek valley in 1804, and was the first white settler in that region of country. He was an honest, rugged pioneer, fond of hunting and enjoyed the rural life of a woodsman. When he settled in the Steer creek valley, it was a wilderness, the streams abounded in fish, and the forest in game. He was the progenitor of a family that has become very numerous, spreading out over many states.
His immediate family was Michael, Jacob, Absolum, John, George and Jesse, and daughters Sarah, Mary Magdalene, Elizabeth, Temperance and Jemima. These girls all married and reared large families. The descendants of Michael Stump are scattered all over the Steer creek valley and its tributaries.
The selection that the old pioneer made for a home for himself and family was a wise one. His son Michael was a surveyor, and was quite a prominent man, living to be nearly a hundred years old. He was bitten twice by rattlesnakes and nine times by copperheads.
Michael Stump, the progenitor of the family, is buried near his old home on an eminence overlloking the Steer creek valley not far from Stumptown. A few years ago, his descendants placed at the grave a monument made in shape to represent the stump of a tree, with the design of a gun and ax cut in the monument, representing the pioneer and the hunter.
The Stump family are industrious, sober people, frugal in their habits and almost universally adhere to the Baptist faith. Some of them became ministers of the gospel and attained prominence.
Jacob Summers of Clay county had by his two wives twenty-one children, fourteen by his first marriage and seven by his latter marriage. They all lived to become heads of families.
John Sutton Stump was born Dec. 4, 1861, in Gilmer county, this state. His father, Bailey Stump, was born in Lewis county, and his mother Sally (Sutton) Stump, was born at Flatwoods, this county. His grandfather, Jacob Stump was born in Hardy county, and his grandmother, Jane (Boggs) Stump was born in Nicholas county. On March 2, 1892, he married Miss Lily Ragland Budwell, and their children's names are Felix Budwell, Josephine Ragland and John Sutton, Jr.
Rev. Stump graduated from Crozer Theological Seminary in 1890; ordained in May, 1891; missionary in Parkersburg, 1890-91; pastor in Buckhannon, 1891-92; organized the West Virginia Baptist Educational Society 1890-91, and was its corresponding secretary until 1895; superintendent of State Missions, 1896-1901; district secretary American Baptist Home Mission Society, 1901, and joint secretary of the same with the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society from 1908 to the present time. The honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity conferred by Dennison University in 1911. Rev. Stump now resides in Parkersburg.
In addition to the account given of the Sutton family in Baxter's Notes, it is stated that John Sutton was the progenitor of that branch of the family in America, and we presume that his father's name was John, as the name John preceded his in the bible records for two or three generations and as far back as 1717. His mother's name was Ann; she died in England between the years 1778 and 1789.
John Sutton visited America before the Revolutionary war began but returned to England and remained there until peace was made. In 1776 his youngest son was born, and he said he was so impressed with the new world that he named him James America, and at the close of the war, he with his three sons, John D. DanieI and James A., came to American and settled at Alexandria, Virginia, and later John D. and Daniel I. went south, John D. to South Carolina where he married, and Daniel I. To Louisiana and married in that state, where he practiced law for several years. In 1825 he was living in Monroe, La., and died in the year 1832.
In the year 1910 John D Sutton settled where the town of Sutton now stands and where he resided until his death which occurred in 1839. His father came here and lived with his son John D. until his death in the year 1825. They are buried in the Skidmore cemetery. James A. Sutton lived in Alexandria, Virginia; was a banker by occupation, and died about the year 1806.
Felix Sutton of whom mention is made in the sketch of Braxton's Notes, was born in Alexandria, Va., January 25, 1802. He was the son of James and Caroline Steptoe Sutton. He had one sister, Anna C., who married W. D. Baxter.
Felix Sutton married Susan Skidmore, daughter of Andrew and Margaret Skidmore, Jan. 1, 1829. They had five children, four daughters and one son, the author of these sketches. The daughters were Anna who married Wm. Waggy, Margaret who married B. F. Fisher, Sallie who married Bailey Stump, and Naomi who married John G. Young.
Felix Sutton was left a widower in 1846 in which state he remained until his death which occurred in May, 1884. He died full of years, loved and respected by all. Of his noble character and ability, too much cannot be said. If there is a single attribute in our life or character which is worthy of commendation, it is attributable directly to the life, character which is worthy of commendation, it is attributable directly to the life, character and training of this sweet, amiable and noble man. The influence of his life, like the pollen of the flowers, was swept out and impregnated the lives and characters of those with whom it came in contact.
John D Sutton, son of Felix and Susan Skidmore Sutton, was born February 4, 1844; married Mariah Virginia Morrison October 23, 1866, she was born September 4, 1847; occupation, farmer and stockman. Their children were Alexander Clark, born July 12, 1867 married Lucy Squires; occupation, farmer and stockman; Susan Margaret, born December 9, 1868, died January 27, 1877; Bertha Ann, born January 4, 1871, died October 27, 1877; Nancy Gertrude, born September 25, 1872, died October 25, 1877; John Davison, born February 4, 1875, died November 3, 1877; Oley Ord, born December 17, 1879, married India D. Williams, daughter of Rev. G. H. Williams, August 18, 1903, profession, lawyer; Felix Oren, born January 29, 1881, married Bessie C. Sager, Sept. 15th, 1907, who died Oct. 11th, 1915; he married Anna L. Rexroad June 25th, 1917; profession, lawyer; Jessie Leah, born November 9, 1882, died Jun 29, 1909; Mary Elizabeth, born January 31, 1885, married John H. Watkins, June 20, 1904, occupation, farmer; James Wesley and Mariah Virginia, twins, born March 24, 1887; James W. died April 15, 1887, and Mariah V. died April 27, 1893.
James Sutton, son of John D. and Sally (Darley) Sutton, was born about 1810. He lived with his parents and followed farming until his marriage to Polly, daughter of Andrew and Margaret Skidmore Nov. 3rd, 1829. After his marriage, he settled on the upper end of the Buckeye bottom, and continued farming for many years. He was made Constable and Crier of the Court. He subsequently learned the stone cutter's trade, a business that he followed as long as he was able to labor. His children were: Matilda, Taylor, Felix J., Sylvester, Sarah, Adam and Susan. His children are all dead, but there are several grandchildren and great grandchildren living. Mr. Sutton, his wife and several of his children are buried in the cemetery on the Asa Long farm. He was a member of the M. P. Church.
F. J. Sutton, son of James and Polly (Skidmore) Sutton, was born in Braxton county, Oct. 19, 1841. At the age of twenty, he entered the Southern army, enlisting in June, 1861, in Company …., 25th Virginia Regiment. He was in the engagements of Carricks Ford and McDowell, and then a participant in the Shenandoah Valley campaign, at Winchester and Cross Keys. He was in the seven days' flight before Richmond, and in the battles of Gordonsville, Harpers Ferry, Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Antietam, second Bull Run, Cedar Creek, along the Potomac capes in the battle of the Wilderness where he was captured May 5, 1864, and sent to Fort Delaware, remaining a prisoner there until the war closed.
The wife of F. J. Sutton was Mary A., daughter of James and Savina (Pack) McLaughlin, of Greenbrier county. There children are as follows: Okey S., Rush, Susan, Mack, Frank, Mary S., Julia, and unnamed baby in '83. Mr. Sutton later moved to Cowen, and served a term as Justice of the Peace. He died at Cowen in 1914.
The Sutton Family Bible
This old book was brought from England to America by John Sutton probably in 1785. It has been kept in private homes, mansions and cabins, and for several years in a bank vault at Martinsburg and private safe at Clarksburg and bank vault at Sutton until the present. The Bible is now 296 years old and has been in the family for 201 years. It contains a general family tree from Adam to Christ and the songs and prayers of the church that the King forced upon the church of Scotland which led to bloodshed and war.
This old Bible has survived the war of 1812, that of Mexico in 1844 and the Civil War of the 60's. It's probably cost was greater then that of a thousand ordinary family bibles of the present day. It was said that it required the wages of an ordinary laborer for thirteen years to purchase a single volume at the time of its publication.
This book has passed through six generations, and as far as the records show they all bore the name of John except one. The first name recorded was John Sutton, 1717, he kept the book fifteen years. It then went into the possession of another John Sutton, who kept it twenty years. It then descended to another, who kept it fifty-eight years. Later it became the property of my great grandfather, John, and his son, John D. Sutton, for thirty years. It then went to my father, Felix Sutton, who kept it for forty-two years, and about two years before his death in 1884, he gave it to the present owner, and we have kept it thirty-five years. This priceless old Bible has been in the family over two hundred years and was ninety-five years old when the first record was made. How long it had been in the family or how many generations it had passed through before 1717, we have no knowledge, but we presume to think it was bought by the family at the time of its publication, and has been miraculously preserved through fire and flood all these years. In the recent great flood in the Elk river valley, March 13, 1918, we discovered the water running in the lower floor of the bank building and fearing the destruction of the Bible we went in the building through a window and rescued the Bible which would soon have been submerged and destroyed.
Alexander Taylor, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, Jan. 6, 1762, and died at Champaign, Ohio, Sept. 5, 1834. His wife was Phebe Skidmore, daughter of Captain John Skidmore, and she was born in Virginia, Oct. 22, 1765. Her death occurred in Ohio in September, 1824. Their children were Nancy, Margaret, Archibald, Florence, Rachel, Phebe, Susannah and John S.
Archibald Taylor, son of Alexander Taylor, was born in Ohio, Oct. 27, 1795, and died at his home near Sutton, May 4, 1889. He married Elizabeth Friend, daughter of Thomas Friend. She was born in Pendleton county, Va., Nov. 5, 1800, and died in Braxton county, Feb. 9, 1866. They were married Sept. 15, 1824, and their children were: Rachel, Douglas L., Gustavus F., Susannah, John S. and Alexander T.
In 1812, Archibald Taylor belonged to a Rifle Company that assembled at Warm Springs, Va., but peace being shortly declared, the company saw no active service.
After his marriage, he never left the beautiful hills of West Virginia as the streams and mountains seemed to have an enchantment that abided with him to the last. In 1834, he purchased a thousand-acre tract of land, three miles below Sutton on which he made his home. This valuable tract of land now belongs to his descendants. His youngest child, Alexander T. Taylor, is the only one of the family now living.
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, and other members of his family are buried on a beautiful eminence overlooking the Taylor farm and the beautiful valley of the Elk.
Captain Gustavus Friend Taylor was born June 27, 1834, and was the son of Archibald and Elizabeth Friend Taylor. His father was a grandson of Captain John Skidmore, and his mother, a daughter of Thomas who was a son of Jacob Friend. Late in the 60's, he married Nannie Dunn Levy of Wheeling, and to this union were born five children: Elizabeth, Edgar D., Archibald A., Ida and N. Mendal.
Captain Taylor lived amid the storm center of our national history; saw the gathering clouds and heard the mutterings of an angry nation. Descending from a distinguished Revolutionary ancestry, he played a noble part in the country's political convulsions that shook the nation to its center, and its deep trouble gave birth to a new state, and freedom to race. He was educated in the best schools of the county, also went to the Ohio Wesleyan College. At the age of twenty-six, he was elected to the Constitutional Convention which sat in Wheeling in 1861 and 1862, and was recalled in 1863 to perfect the darft of the Constitution before its adoption. He was next to the youngest member of that memorable body, and so far as we know, he was its last survivor. He was also associated in the formation of this Constitution with such men as John J. Brown of Preston, Lewis Ruffner of Kanwha, Peter G. Vanwinkle of Ohio, Waitman T. Wiley of Mononagalia, and many other men of splendid attainments.
After the adoption of the Constitution, he was made Captain of the Braxton company of state troops, and served in this capacity until the close of the Civil war. He was the first Recorder of Braxton county after the Civil war, and in 1870 was elected Prosecuting Attorney of the county. In the 70's, he owned and edited the Mountaineer, Braxton county's first newspaper. He had no fondness for the law, but was a literary man of learning and research, his facile pen having no superior in central West Virginia. It is to be regretted that his history of the Aboriginals of America, a work on which he bestowed much labor and research, was unfinished by reason of age and infirmity.
He died Oct. 5, 1915, and is buried at the Taylor cemetery, three miles below Sutton.
John S. Taylor was the third son of Archibald and Elizabeth Taylor, both deceased. On Dec. 24, 1865, he married Elizabeth C., youngest daughter of the late Thomas and Catharine Lawrence, and to this union were born four children. His widow and all the children survive him. He participated in the Civil war as Adjutant of the Militia.
Joseph H. Taylor, son of Amandrus and Analiza Thomas Taylor, born July 22, 1844, married Cassa Shields. Their children numbered ten. Mr. Taylor volunteered in the U. S. Navy in 1864. The name of his vessel was the Artic. He was in Fort Fisher battle, Cape Fear river battle and helped to take Wilmington, North Carolina.
Wm. Crawford was a sailor on the same vessel. Crawford died in Sutton some years after the war.
These were the only two men who belonged to the Navy from Braxton county.
Jacob C. Tonkins
A remarkable history - from wealth in infancy to extreme poverty in later life - from a devoted life of usefulness to a cruel, tragic death.
Jacob C. Tonkin's father came from England as a soldier in the Revolution. With quite a number of others, he deserted at Redbank and joined the American forces. After the war, he was rewarded by the gift of a tract of land on the Delaware river.
He married and reared a family of sixteen boys, Jacob C. being the youngest. At one time in the history of this family, there were seventy-two boys of the genration and only one girl.
Jacob C. was born and reared at or near Philadelphia, and learned the stone-cutter's trade. He married Ann Guess, a Welch lady of education and refinement. Mr. Tonkins failed in business, and his effects were sold to pay his debts. With what little they could carry, he removed his family in a wheelbarrow. He and his wife, with three sons, Wm., Edward and Ambrose, started on a long march toward the western wilds of West Virginia, and settled at Jane Lew in about 1845. Two years later, he removed to Braxton county, and settled on Salt Lick where he made his future home. Besides the above-named sons, his family consisted of Francis Asbury, John I., and a daughter who was drowned in infancy by falling in a tub of water, thus leaving the generation of seventy-two boys.
Of the family of sixteen boys, have come men of prominence, Congressmen, Judges, Ministers. Jacob C. Tonkins was one of the early ministers of the M. P. Church, and his tragic death is noted on another page.
Marcellus Troxell, son of Philip and Lavina Troxell, died in Denver, Colo., April, 1915. No other boy who ever went out from Braxton county had a greater or more varied experience then Marcellus Troxell. He left his home in Sutton in 1868 when oly seventeen years of age, and wandered through the wilds of the West, and visited many strange lands. He served five years in the U. S. army, and fought Indians on the western frontier. Later he served in the U. S. Navy, made several trips around the world, and was in two or three shipwrecks. After leaving the navy, he worked in the steel mills at Steubenville, Ohio, farmed in Indiana and Illinois, mined and prospected in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Montana, Alaska and Mexico. He was in San Francisco at the time of the big earthquake which occurred in 1906, and later worked on the Panama canal. While employed on the canal, he received injuries that necessitated the amputation of one leg for which the government paid $2500. After recovering from this injury he came home and remained several months, going from here to Nevada and then to Denver, where he resided for several years until his death. He was a man of genial disposition and extraordinary intellect, and but for his too intimate relations with old John Barleycorn would have been a success in any line of endeavor. He was never married. His body was interred in Denver.
Lendrew Morris Wade was born in Monogalia county, Feb. 14, 1854, a son of Josephus and Elizabeth (Morris) Wade. He married Sarah J., daughter of Alpheus D. Hagans, June 23, 1880, at Brandonville, Preston county. Hugh Roscoe, Josephus Harper and Edna Irene are their children.
Mr. Wade is a graduate of Fairmont Normal School, having taught a short time at Brandonville. Soon afterwards, he commenced reading law, and was admitted to the bar in 1880. Mr. Wade still resides in Sutton, having moved here in 1882.
T. S. Wade
One of the old time gospel ministers of West Virginia, a man who labored long and faithfully in Southern Methodism. Rev. Wade was earnest and eloquent in his presentation of the truths of the gospel, and did more than any other minister to build up the interests of his church in West Virginia; a man of spotless character, one whose memories will long abide with the people of his native state.
George B Waggoner, formerly cashier of the First National Bank and the Home National Bank of Suttton, was a resident of Braxton county from 1906 to 1911 inclusive. He is a native of Harrison county, now being cashier of a bank at Jane Lew. He was born November 9, 1881, and in June, 1910, married Vida Goodwin of Harrison county. They have three interesting children.
Anna Sutton, daughter of Felix and Susan Skidmore Sutton, who became the wife of William Waggy, was the eldest of five children and was thirteen years of age when her mother died. She then assumed the management and care of the family, and grew to be a fine house keeper, and as a cook she had no superior in the country. She had two children, Henry and Susan. This noble and indulgent sister who cared for me in my youth and encouraged me in everything that was right, passed to her reward June 17, 1899. She was noted for her kindness to the poor, and on her monument is inscribed: "A mother to the motherless, and a friend to the friendless."
William Waggy, a native of Pendleton county, was born in the year 1820, and died at his home in Flatwoods in 1884………. Mr. Waggy was for several years a citizen of Clay county, this state, where he accumulated considerable wealth in the lumber business, principally building flatboats on the Elk river. He was a man of great energy and industry, and in ability was far above the average. He represented the county of Clay in the West Virginia Legislature, was a magistrate also of that county, and was held in very high esteem by the people who knew him.
He married Anna, the daughter of Felix and Susan Sutton. To them were born two children, Henry and Susan, the latter becoming the wife of B. C. McNutt. Mrs. McNutt died quite early in married life, leaving three children, while her noble and saintly mother lived for several years until death relieved her of the suffering and afflictions which she had patiently borne. They are all buried on the hill overlooking the old home.
F. M. Ware married Mary V. Wesfall, daughter of Wm. Westfall. His mother's name was Elizabeth A. Ware, and lived to be ninety-nine years of age. F. M. Ware is the father of eight children two of whom are blind, Sanford C. and Louisa R. They were educated at Romney, this state. Sanford manufactures brooms, and his blind sister assists her mother in the house. She can sew, and is able to thread her needle. They read the Christian Record, a monthly magazine published at College View, N. Y., using type which the blind can read. They own a small farm on the Little Kanawha river.
Rev. Clemmer Warman was born in Monongalia county, Oct 17, 1844. His parents, James D. Warman and Mary Dunn, and the grandparents, Thomas Warman and Mary Kirkpatrick, were all natives of the same county. The subject of this sketch was married May 7, 1873, to Miss Martha Ellen Wells of Morgantown, and their children are Minnie, Hofman, H., W. Clay, Ernest, Worth and White. Rev. Warman is a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, and for several years served the Sutton charge.
Rev. Warman ranks as one of the strong men of the conference - a worker, a student, a thinker, a safe shepherd, a sweet counselor, a noble pastor, and with a strength and vigor of body that should give him several more years of active work in the ministry. Standing nearly six feet, with broad shoulders and muscular frame, with hair slightly tinged with gray, the picture of health and manhood, backed by the years of experience in sowing the good seed and witnessing under his own ministry the building of many churches and the conversion of scores of men and women, the gathering of the gospel harvest has surely been to him a theme of delight and joyous satisfaction. What greater sacrifice could be given to the church? What firmer monument could stand upon the walls of Zion to proclaim its truths than a personage like Rev. Warman.
Jacob Westfall settled on Cedar creek in 1811. It is said he was the first white man to locate on the head waters of that stream. His house for many years was a regular meeting place for the Methodists. He lived a long and exemplary life, and his descendents were many. His old land and estate is now known as the Campbell farm at the mouth of the Westfall fork of Cedar creek.
Joseph B. Westfall, a son of Jacob W. and Margaret (Brown) Westfall, was born Aug. 2, 1841. He enlisted in Company F, 10th West Va. Infantry, Jan. 15, 1862, and was discharged with rank of first sergeant, May 3, 1865. He married Nancy E., daughter of Leonard W. and Margaret (McPherson) Hyer, Oct. 25, 1865. Their children were Lenora Alice, Emma M. and Columbus Simpson.
Rev. George H. Williams, one of the pioneer ministers of the West Virginia M. E. Conference, was born in Giles county, Virginia, August 19, 1844. He began preaching in the year 1872, and traveled over more rough and rugged territory embraced in the Conference than perhaps any other minister of his day. He has just recently completed the manuscript of an interesting book entitled Building -Sunward, which gives a graphic description of the trials of the ministry and the triumphs of the gospel, covering a period of over forty years throughout southern West Virginia. He was married in 1866 to Mary Elizabeth Scott, and they had six children, Ferdnando D., Sallie B., Charles W., Wilie, who died in infancy, India D., and Ivra E. His wife died July 8, 1918, they having lived together for 52 years. For fifteen years or more they had made their home in Sutton, W. Va.
John Wyatt came from Greenbrier county, W. Va., in an early day. He was commonly called Major Wyatt. His wife was a Miss Ludington of Greenbrier. Their sons were John W., Andrew, Samuel, Joseph, Charles and Balard. The daughters are as follows: Betsy who married Taylor Squires, Nancy and Liza. Several of Mr. Wyatt's children moved to Illinois in the early settlement of that state.
John G. Young, son of James and Becky Stephenson Young was born in Nicholas county, Va., and married Naomi S., daughter of Felix and Susan Skidmore served in the W. Va. State Guards in Captain Stephenson's company as Orderly Sergeant. After the war he moved to Braxton county, and followed farming and teaching until his death which occurred I 1893. Mr. Young was upright in character and just in all his dealings.
Many thanks to Marji Turner for all her hard work in transcribing ALL the biographies in this book. It was a lot of hard work and it is VERY MUCH appreciated!!!
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