Kanawha County, WV
James A. McCown Diary

Tyler Mountain Journal
1858 - 1884
Edited by William D. Wintz
Originally published in the KVGS Journal in Spring and Fall of 1998

It was transcribed for Genealogy Trails by Marla Zwakman


This small leather-bound, pocket-size notebook was found and preserved by Wilford Cavender of Hizer Creek in Putnam County. He discovered it in an old trunk left in a house he bought in Nitro. It contained 107 pages of random-dated notes pertaining to routine farm records and references to happenings of note in the local neighborhood. It appeared to have been kept by James A. McCown who was living in the Cross Lanes area between 1858 and 1884.

James A. McCown was the son of James and Elizabeth (Dudding) McCown and was born in 1836. He appeared in the Census of 1850 and 1860 but was not listed in 1870. He is not shown as having been married in Kanawha County nor can he be found in the county death records or cemetery records. It could generally be assumed that he moved from the area sometime prior to 1884. Possibly someone who has researched the genealogy of the McCown family would be able to supply us with more information on James A. McCown and help us find more about him.

1561-1-22 Lord Francis Bacon born - died 1626
1784-12-25 The Methodist Church was organized in Baltimore, Md.
1830-5-19 Aletha had head hurt
1840-5-15 First association meeting at Flat Woods
1842-8-12 James Roberts died
1845-10-21 Mathew McCown died
1846-9-15 W. D. McCown at Cincinnati
1850-5-1 Norris Lanham moved to Indiana
1851-8-3 Charlotte Miliam died
1851-9-23 George McCown died
1854-5-20 Second association meeting at Flat Woods
1854-8-15 Shingled our roof
1854-12-15 John W. Franklin married
1855-8-15 Last locust year was 1855
1856-1-15 Benjamin Dudding was married
1856-2-17 Be it remembered the winter of '56
1856-4-10 Cyrus Cary married
1856-5-15 Was coldest winter for 60 years
1857-5-15 Third association meeting at Flat Woods
1867-6-7 Elzira Josephine born
1857-`0-26 Bought cook stove
1857-12-3 Robert Franklin married
1857-12-23 Alfred Lovejoy was married
1857-12-24 Granville Gillespie was married
1858-2-10 Alfred and Granville Gillespie moved
1858-2-15 George Wilson died
1858-3-1 Nancy Melton died
1858-3-15 John Roberts left
1858-3-26 Manda Jane Packlet was born
1858-5-30 James R. Pring was married
1858-6-29 Finished cutting wheat
1858-7-7 John Thomas was married
1858-7-18 Margaret Milam's child died
1858-7-28 William C. Melton married
1858-8-25 The circus show was in Charleston
1858-9-17 Preston S. Turley was hanged
1858-9-26 Silas G. Wood died
1858-10-29 Dennis Gaylor credit 4 days work
1859-12-17 Bought set of dishes
1859-12-17 W. W. Wood at Charleston 1st time
1859-12-19 Adam Littlepage died
1859-12-22 Sold $28.05 worth apples
1859-12-23 Sylvester and Monroe McCown left here
1860-1-5 Made two silver rings
1860-1-5 Sold 10 cents worth apples
1860-1-6 Joe Medley married
1860-1-7 Made a wagon for Charley
1860-1-8 Benjamin Franklin died
1860-1-21 Made Alvin a coat
1860-1-23 John Thomas moved
1860-1-24 James Harris at Charleston 1st time
1860-1-25 Bought 50 cents worth screws for repairing fiddles
1860-1-28 Swapt wagon
1860-2-1 Hester Ann Burgess married
1860-2-4 Bought 1 bushell clover seed
1860-2-8 Sold 3.10 worth apples
1860-2-10 Made coat for Jane
1860-2-10 Sold 4.00 worth apples - bought a hat 2.50, a Barlow knife 15 cents
1860-2-14 Tom Harrison was married
1860-2-15 Camphor an antidote for strychnine
1860-2-21 George Coney and Elizabeth Dudding married
1860-2-23 Bought pair shoes - 1.75, Barlow knife 10 cents, tobacco 1.00, cigars 10 cents, candy 10 cents
1860-2-23 Sold 2 bushels apples for 2.20
1860-2-25 Sold 8.60 worth of oats
1860-2-27 Tobias Marianna married to Virginia McCown
1860-2-28 Sold $27.80 worth bacon
1860-2-29 Hut Melton and Ann Dudding married
1860-3-6 Pleasant Lanham taken depositions
1860-3-15 John M. Thomas and Rebecca Milam married
1860-3-20 William Dudding died
1860-4-11 Sold $1.60 worth butter
1860-4-17 Deposited money in bank
1860-4-23 Ann Melton died
1860-4-27 Bought sugar $1.00
1860-4-27 Two shovels
1860-5-3 Commenced planting corn
1860-5-9 Finished planting corn
1860-5-13 A frightful storm
1860-5-15 Bought coffee $1.00, dress $1.00, bucket 25 cents, spoons 45 cents, pan 35 cents
1860-5-16 Sold nine bushels of oats - hard load for Jack
1860-5-19 Jack and Letha here
1860-6-4 Bought gun $6.00, coffee $3.25, spikes $3.05, gimlet $1.75
1860-6-5 Bought a buggy
1860-6-5 Haired fiddle bow for Jack
1860-6-18 Henry Harmon here
1860-6-29 Portrait taken
1860-7-12 Frank Castor died
1860-7-25 Margaret, Letha, and Martha here
1860-7-26 Camp meeting commenced at Charleston
1860-7-28 Had Thornton Lovejoy house raising
1860-8-7 Sold $36.95 worth bacon
1860-8-11 Matt Harris house raising
1860-8-26 Preaching at Tyler
1860-8-29 Thrashed wheat
1860-8-31 Charles Franklin at Charleston 1st time
1860-9-2 John Wallace died
1860-9-6 Columbus Lanham married
1860-9-10 Had my picture taken - James A. McCown
1860-9-13 At Jack Woods
1860-9-15 James Lanham married
1860-9-17 Wesley Franklin owes $1.60 for oats
1860-9-27 John Dudding married
1860-9-28 Bought a suit of clothes of May and Weil
1860-9-30 Woodal is teaching school
1860-10-6 Bought a lantern
1860-10-19 Bought a knife
1860-10-20 Killed 1199 lbs of pork
1860-10-27 Death of Old Joe Sweeny
1860-10-31 Louisa Best left
1860-11-2 James A. Lewis died
1860-11-6 Abraham Lincoln elected to Presidency
1860-11-15 Fanny Lawhorn married
1860-12-26 Thornton Lovejoy's child died
1861-1-5 A remarkable wind
1861-1-24 Made a box
1861-1-28 Sold a cow
1861-1-31 Bought coffee 1.50, two fiddle strings (sic)
1861-1-31 Sold $22.30 apples, $2.05 butter, $1.50 onions
1861-2-7 Reroofed smoke house
1861-2-15 John Whittington killed
1861-2-19 Made a bridle
1861-2-20 Bought pr. of scissors and a pitchfork
1861-3-4 Madison Harrison moved
1861-3-12 Sylvester McCown died
1861-3-30 Planted a cedar tree
1861-4-3 Mrs. Sims died
1861-4-16 A remarkable spell of rain and snow
1861-4-22 Robert Franklin died
1861-5-4 Sold $2.5- worth bacon
1861-5-17 Fishing at Coalsmouth
1861-5-25 Fishing at Poca
1861-5-29 At Charleston mill
1861-6-25 Charley Franklin throwed off a horse
1861-7-17 Battle of Scary Creek
1861-7-24 Wise retreated
1861-8-9 Mrs. Franklin died
1861-8-23 John Mack here today
1861-9-6 Sold an allotment of pipes
1861-9-8 McFarland McLaughlin married
1861-9-12 Old Mrs. Wallace died
1861-9-21 Elizabeth Milam and Samuel Sanders married
1861-9-29 Highest water ever known on Kanawha was from hill to hill
1861-9-30 Elizabeth Milam married
1861-10-13 Mary Jane Hogue and widow here
1861-10-17 Emaliane McLaughlin married
1861-10-18 Bought a knife off Caldwell
1861-10-18 Bought pair of boots and pocket book
1861-10-19 Killed 1365 lbs of pork
1861-10-29 Sold an allotment of pipes to May and Weil
1861-10-31 Bought a pair of boots
1861-11-4 Louisa Johnson died
1861-11-23 Sold a banjo
1861-11-25 Sold an allotment of pipes to James H. Rogers
1861-11-26 Reuben Burford and Louisa Carrack married
1861-11-30 Rupture
1861-11 Sold 2 bushels of dried apples
1861-12-6 Sold fiddle for $2.95
1861-12-10 Bought knife off Caldwell
1861-12-10 Bought one red lead pencil
1861-12-20 Sold an allotment of rings
1861-12-28 Sold some rings and pipes to May & Weil
1862-1-29 Rocky Fork Creek higher than ever known
1862-1-31 Sold $5.00 worth of rings at Charleston
1862-3-16 E. T. Thomas married
1862-3-20 Alexander Gillapie, Senator, died
1862-4-11 Bought a pearl handle knife off May and Weil
1862-5-13 Elizabeth Sanders died
1862-5-17 Bought a locket
1862-5-18 Throwed off a horse
1862-6-3 Benjamin Dudding died
1862-8-19 Swapped horses with Ceris Dudding
1862-9-8 Mrs. Roberts died
1862-9-13 Battle at Charleston
1862-9-21 Sold a fiddle
1862-10-19 Horses stole (probably by soldiers)
1862-10-23 Horses returned
1862-10-29 Soldiers camped here
1862-11-10 Sold a yoke of cattle
1862-11-20 Corn roast
1862-12-1 Soldiers here today
1862-12-30 Bought 2 knives of May and Weil
1862-12-31 At a ball
1862-1-11 Enoch Burford died
1863-1-23 James Lanham credited 1 day's work
1863-1-23 Nailed on 3 horse shoes
1863-1-25 Made 2 ox bows
1863-2-11 Bought a pipe at Charleston
1863-3-19 Thomas Lanham married
1863-4-2 Jane Lanham married
1863-4-7 Made a hoe
1863-5-1 Mary Elizabeth Whittington died
1863-6-15 A very dry spell of weather
1863-6-26 Set out tobacco
1863-7-3 Ma's foot was sprained - very bad
1863-7-4 Gen. U. S. Grant taken Vicksburg
1863-7-7 Joe Dudding was here
1863-7-8 Sold four lbs sugar to lark 25 cents lb
1863-7-26 Alexander Quarrier died
1863-8-26 A tolerable tome eating melons
1863-9-1 Bill Wood and family here
1862-9-10 Bought a washboard.
1863-9-20 Frost fell
1863-9-26 Cut tobacco
1863-9-27 Had a mess of corn
1863-9-30 Shot an owl
1863-10-22 Mat Harris at mill in Charleston
1863-10-31 Bought a set of plates
1863-11-17 Joseph Dudding struck with a paraletic stroke
1863-12-2 Made a grindstone bench
1863-12-3 Killed 1279 lbs of pork
1863-12-4 Ground sausage
1863-12-9 Sawed 34 blocks for sugar trees
1863-12-12 Sold doz. Rings to May and Weil
1863-12-13 Jack Wood was here
1863-12-14 James McLane died
1863-12-15 Made 67 sugar troughs
1863-12-27 Drank some apple brandy
1863-12-28 Sold accordion
1863-12-31 Raised $59.50 worth oats and $7.00 worth potatoes
1864-1-9 Sold an allotment of pipes to R. V. Lilly
1864-1-15 Bought a shovel - $1.75
1864-1-24 Farewell to every fond hope which once lit my path gone, gone, forever gone (must have lost a girl friend)
1864-1-25 Eliza Franklin died
1864-1-26 Bought a saw
1864-1-26 Old Mrs. Bowling died
1864-1-31 A remarkable spell of fine weather in January
1864-1-31 A very cold spell of winter
1864-2-4 Bought an axe at $2.00
1864-2-4 Sold 16 bushels of apples at Mouth of Poca - bought tin pan
1864-2-5 Tapped sugar trees
1864-2-6 Alfred left out of here
1864-2-7 Sampson Dudding kicked by horse
1864-2-14 Tended sugar camp
1864-2-17 Sold bee hive to Jerry Balanger at Mouth of Poca
1864-2-19 Bought tin pan 40 cents
1864-2-23 Made 25 lbs sugar
1864-2-27 Sold 15 lbs sugar this spring
1864-2-28 Made 150 lbs sugar at 20 cents/lb
1864-3-1 Alvin and Bird at Jack Woods
1864-3-1 Bought 1 bottle spts. Of turpentine
1864-3-4 Big time tending sugar camp
1864-3-11 Alvin in Cinn.
1864-3-16 Shot a crow
1864-3-22 A very cold spell of weather
1864-3-25 Sold 4 bush. of apples at Mouth of Poca at 75 cents ea
1864-3-27 Easter Sunday fair and clear
1864-4-3 Richmond taken
1864-4-4 Louisa Roberts died
1864-4-14 Nat Lovejoy got back from Army
1864-4-17 Snowed very pretty
1864-4-27 Bought half gal. of oil
1864-5-9 James Hogue died
1864-5-11 Bought hat at Mouth of Poca $1.50
1864-5-13 Bought shoes $3.00, Bridle $3.50
1864-5-20 Found 5 cent piece
1864-5-21 Finished planting corn
1864-5-25 Raised a quantity of flax
1864-5-25 Sold 5 bushels of oats for $5.50
1864-5-27 Got a wash tub
1864-6-9 Set out tobacco
1864-6-13 Lenora at Cinn. first time
1864-6-15 Bought a coat of May and Weil $9.00
1864-6-15 Bought one blue lead pencil
1864-6-15 Sold 5 bushels of oats at 75 cent ea.
1864-6-18 Bought mowing scythe
1864-6-21 Repaired a fiddle for Fry Melton
1864-6-24 Worked on road June 24 and 25
1864-6-27 Betty at Cinn.
1864-7-2 Bought waist coat at Mouth of Poca store
1864-7-3 Milton Lovejoy got back from the Army
1864-7-11 Commenced cutting hay
1864-7-15 Commenced cutting oats
1864-7-16 Sold 2 bush. corn at $1.00 ea
1864-7-23 Lost knife
1864-7-25 One bottle of bitters
1864-7-26 Finished cutting hay
1864-7-28 Samuel Lovejoy died
1864-8-3 Lark left
1864-8-4 Nip White married
1864-8-6 Sold 2 bush. corn at $1.00 ea
1864-8-15 Miss Gardner taught school summer of 1864
1864-8-21 A very heavy rain fell
1864-8-27 Fall weather commenced
1864-8-30 Raised the old house
1864-9-4 Jack Wood here
1864-9-8 Thrashed oat
1864-9-15 Sold 16 bushels of apples
1864-9-16 Roofed old house
1864-9-17 Sold $5.00 worth bacon
1864-9-20 Sold $4.60 worth bacon
1864-9-22 Bought apple peeler
1864-9-26 Joseph M. Lanham here
1864-10-4 Granville Gillespie Dr. - $5.00
1864-10-8 Sold 25 Bushels of apples
1864-10-8 Very cold
1864-10-10 Frost
1864-10-15 Sold $4.00 worth pipes
1864-10-17 Cerls Dudding got back from the Army
1864-10-22 Jimmy Franklin at Charleston - 1st time
1864-10-24 Gathered apples
1864-10-31 Took 10 ½ bushels of corn to mill
1864-11-1 Covered the back room
1864-11-3 Sold Bill Lanham a fiddle and bow
1864-11-8 Abraham Lincoln reelected
1864-11-9 Made a log sled
1864-11-14 Hiram Easator died
1864-11-14 Sold John I. Thomas $4.00 worth apples
1864-11-17 Made a fiddle bow
1864-11-19 Bought a set of plates, bowl, cream pitcher, augers, plow lines
1864-12-2 Bought dish, bowl, set cups & saucers, set knives, table spoon, tea spoon, file, pins, comb - $8.45
1864-12-3 Sold W. Surbaugh eleven bushels of apples
1864-12-5 Killed 1541 pounds of pork
1864-12-6 Ground sausage
1864-12-9 Sold $4.00 worth pork
1864-12-14 Had tweed pantaloons made
1864-12-16 Bought pad lock $1.25 and a pump
1864-12-25 Bill Wood on the hill
1864-12-26 Bought a chamber $1.00
1864-12-26 Bought set of tumblers $1.00
1865-1-6 Bought a set of cups and saucers and a sugar bowl
1865-1-3 Bought pair of needles
1865-1-3 Sold $26.40 worth apples
1865-1-5 Swapt horses with John M. Thomas
1865-1-10 Ben Milam married
1865-1-12 Clock repaired
1865-1-13 Sold $15.50 worth pork
1865-1-16 Bought 6 augers and a jews harp
1865-1-21 Repaired Alvin's fiddle bow
1865-1-22 Alvin and Bird at Coal
1865-1-24 Swapt horses with William Martin
1865-1-25 Aunt Betsy Wood died
1865-1-27 Sold $6.00 worth dried apples
1865-1-28 Bought a basket - $1.00
1865-2-2 Old Mrs. Thomas died
1865-2-13 Bought wash bucket 50 cents, pair gloves 75 cents, candle molds, 40 cents, day book 15 cents, slate 30 cents
1865-2-17 Lewis Shawver married
1865-2-25 Set out apple trees
1865-2-26 Nancy Hogue died
1865-3-1 Drafting took place in Kanawha and Putnam Counties
1865-3-10 Sold John Milam hay stack $10
1865-3-17 Barn reroofed
1865-3-17 The Rebellion put down
1865-3-18 Kanawha River very high
1865-3-22 Sold $2.00 worth of rings
1854-3-23 Sold 19 bushels of apples to Chappell
1865-3-24 Hester Ann Henley died
1865-3-28 Bought was[h] tub
1865-4-3 Bought square 1.25, trace chains 1.25
1865-4-3 Summons to court
1865-4-4 Moses Milam died
1865-4-10 Adela Burgess died
1865-4-13 Bought a candlestick 35 cents and set of marbles 20 cents
1865-4-15 Abraham Lincoln died
1865-4-20 Charles Melton got back from Army
1865-4-26 George Gibson got back from Army
1865-4-28 Tom Haring got back from Army
1865-5-20 Jerry Gaylor got back from Army
1865-6-1 Grant Shawver married
1865-7-20 Samuel Cabell killed
1865-7-30 Bill Wood and family here
1865-7-30 He that would be happy must take account of his time
1865-8-1 Miss Simms kept school summer of 65
1865-8-3 Joseph Skidmore died
1865-8-13 Jessa Thomas died
1865-8-20 Nat Lovejoy married
1865-8-23 House white washed
1865-8-24 Bought a blank book
1865-8-26 Leish Melton died
1865-9-9 Raymond City founded
1865-9-14 West Franklin married 2nd time
1865-9-28 E. W. Newton died
1865-9-29 Made Alvins shoes
1865-9-29 Norris Lanham here
1865-10-1 Francis B. McCown on the hill first time
1865-10-1 Symantha Lovejoy here
1865-10-8 Francis B. McCown at Rubins - first time
1865-10-14 Bought cross-cut saw $8.00
1865-10-14 Ida Lee Franklin died
1865-10-15 Elk Two-Mile bridge rebuilt
1865-10-16 Bought a glass jar 50 cents
1865-10-16 Shot a dog
1865-10-26 Stable built
1865-12-1 Rebecca Thomas died
1865-12-4 Steamboat Cottage blew up in Johnson Shoals
1865-12-5 Jack Wood here
1865-12-10 Killed 1928 lbs of pork
1865-12-18 Bought a compass 50 cents
1865-12-18 Samuel Thomas died
1865-12-20 Charles Melton and Betty Wright married
1865-12-25 Very warm and clear
1866-1-4 At ball at Shewsbury's
1866-1-4 Leander Dudding married
1866-1-14 Peggy Castor died
1866-9-4 James Harrison - Dr. $13.65 - Cr $5.75
1866-11-23 James Dudding died
1867-2-4 Eliza Martin died
1867-6-14 Old Ann Martin washed bed clothes
1867-8-22 Andy Anderson died
1867-8-22 Dave Wallace died
1869-5-28 Mary and John Simms here
1883-5-11 Mary came
1884-3-6 Bill Duell run off



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