Mineral County, West Virginia


James Inskeep Barrick
The Clerk of the Mineral Circuit Court, and Recorder and Clerk of its County Court from 1806 to 1880, was the subject of this sketch, a native of that part of Hampshire which is now Mineral County, was born February 1, 1834. He received only the education of the common schools of that day, worked on the farm and in the shop, until 1850, then in a store until, in 1801, he was elected to the Wheeling Convention, which reorganized Virginia as a loyal State. In 1803 he was elected First Lieutenant in a Union company, but was shortly after elected to the West Virginia Legislature and served in 1803-04. He had a store at New Creek, which in 1804 was looted and burned by Gen. Rosser's Confederates, because of Mr. Barrick's Union sentiments and services. He was appointed a clerk in the Pension Bureau at Washington, D. C, in 1881, but was subsequently transferred to a clerkship in the War Department, which he still held at the beginning of President Harrison's administration, serving as faithfully there as he did his State in council, or his people in his commercial relationship. [Source: Prominent men of West Virginia: By George Wesley Atkinson, Alvaro Franklin Gibbens; Pg. 959; publ.1890; Transcribed and submitted to Genealogy Trails by Andrea Stawski Pack]

James Franklin Dixon
Sheriff of Mineral County, West Virginia, and one of the leading citizens of Keyser, was born in 1848 in Mineral County, and is a son of James and Eliza (Thayer) Dixon. James Dixon was born in Hampshire County, Virginia, now West Virginia. He followed farming through life, and died in 1878. In politics he belonged to the Whig party and the formation of the Republican Party, later becoming notified with that. His mother was born in Agany County, Maryland, and still survives, at the age of 84 years. She is a worthy member of the Methodist Church, with which her husband was also connected. They reared a family of 10 children. Sheriff Dixon was educated in the common schools and Fairmont Normal School, graduating from this institution in 1877. The following six years were spent in teaching school. Mr. Dixon then retired to a farm and engaged in farming and stock raising until 1892, when he was called upon by his party to accept the office of sheriff of Mineral County. After four years of faithful and efficient service, he went back to the farm, but was recalled to public life in 1900, by a re-election to the office of sheriff. His career has always been marked with activity, and characterized by fairness toward all, and although firm in the discharge of his duties, it can be truthfully said that he has never mistreated a prisoner nor caused unnecessary suffering. From a humanitarian standpoint, this is a very commendable trait of character. Mr. Dixon is a stockholder and director of the People's Bank at Keyser. He is an ardent Republican and for years served on the Republican County Executive Committee. He is also prominent in the Masonic fraternity, being a 32nd degree Mason. Plain and unassuming, of a retiring nature, generous to a fault and faithful to his friends and pledges, is it small wonder that he has so many friends and that he is one of the most popular officers Mineral County has ever known. [Source: Men of WV Biographical publishing company, Publ. 1903; Pgs. 67-68; Transcribed and submitted to Genealogy Trails by Andrea Stawski Pack]

Nancy Hanks' Cabin Site
The site of the cabin where Nancy Hanks, Abraham Lincoln's mother, was born, at Boll's Gap, on Mike's Run, in Mineral County, near Keyser, West Virginia, was dedicated on Sept. 22, as the culmination of the work of a legislative commission which has established the fact that Nancy Hanks was a native of the western portion of the old state of Virginia, now West Virginia. The commission will urge that the state buy the Boll tract of 800 acres as a State Park, and construct thereon a duplicate of the cabin in which Lincoln's mother was born. [Source: Scenic and historic America, Volumes 1-2; By American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society; Publ.1917; Pgs. 39-40; Transcribed and submitted to Genealogy Trails by Andrea Stawski Pack]

Aaron Kelley Family
Aaron Kelley was born about 1780 in Butler County, near the town of Harmony, Pennsylvania. He was a farmer at Kannakanise, Butler County; in religion he was a Presbyterian and in politics a Whig. He married Sarah (according to the genealogy), or Mary, Newcomb, daughter of Ethan Newcomb (see Newcomb). He died after 1860. Children: Isaac, Joseph, John, Ethan, Aaron, Pierce, mentioned below; Mary, Vashti, Elizabeth.

(II) Pierce, son of Aaron Kelley, was born in 1818 in Butler County, Pennsylvania. He was educated in the public schools, and learned the trade of carpenter. He was a builder and contractor of Fairmont, where he located in 1857, and died in 1894. In religion he was a Presbyterian, in politics a Republican. He married, August 26, 1847, Ann Kelley, born at Fairmont, West Virginia, July 1, 1823, died January 15, 1899, daughter of John Kelley, of Delaware, and Rhoda (Fleming) Kelley, daughter of Benoni Fleming, who was born at Fairmont, West Virginia. Children: Loyal Woodland, born June 26, 1848; William Howard, December 5, 1849; Henrietta, February 26, 1852; James Albert, September 26, 1854; Harriet Virginia, January 11, 1857; Franklin Pierce, mentioned below; Annie Eliza, February 6, 1861; Carrie Belle, November 29, 1863; John Fielding, February 27, 1866; Rhoda May, August 3, 1868.

(III) Franklin Pierce, son of Pierce Kelley, was born January 16, 1859, near Fairmont, Marion County, West Virginia. He attended the Fairmont public schools, the Fairmont high school and the State Normal School at Fairmont. After leaving school he was for three years a teacher in Mineral County. He began his business career in Shelbina, Missouri, as a retail salesman in 1876. After two years he became a traveling salesman for a hat and glove concern of Quincy, remaining for four years. Afterward he traveled for Chicago houses eight years in the same line of merchandise. Since 1891 he has been a lumber merchant at Fairmont, West Virginia. He was in partnership with his brother, W. H. Kelley, sixteen years, afterward with W. A. Finley until January 1, 1911, and since then he has been alone. The present name of the business is the "F. P. Kelley Lumber Company." Mr. Kelley is one of the leading merchants. He is financially interested in the Fairmont Gas & Light Company, the Monongah Glass Company and the Knobley Mountain Orchard Company, of Mineral County. For many years he was a Republican in politics, but his interest in the temperance movement has caused him to support the Prohibition Party for the past twelve years. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and director of the Fairmont Business Men's Association. He has been a member of Mount City Lodge, No. 48, Knights of Pythias, for twenty-five years. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Protestant church (the Methodist Protestant Temple Congregation), and for twenty years Mr. Kelley was treasurer and at the present time he is chairman of the board of stewards. He married, June 7, 1906, at Knobley Farm, near Keyser, West Virginia, Ellen Josephine Rees, born December 23, 1869, at Newcreek, Mineral County, West Virginia, daughter of James Benjamin and Rebecca (Washington) Rees. Her father, born in 1836, died in 1904, was a farmer, tanner and later in life a dealer in coal lands. Her mother was born in 1839, died in 1904. Children of James Benjamin and Rebecca (Washington) Rees: Lucy Maria, Sallie Washington, Ellen Josephine, George Silas and Samuel Strader. James Benjamin Rees was a son of Silas Rees, whose wife was a descendant of the Ball family, which intermarried with the Washington of Virginia, and she was connected with the Browns, Burbidges and Burns. Silas Rees, son of William Rees, was born in Wales and came to this country. The father of William Rees was Thomas Rees, of Wales. Rebecca Washington was a daughter of George W. Washington (see Washington XII). Children of Mr. and Mrs. Kelley: 1. James Franklin, born May 29, 1908; George Rees, born and died April 25, 1910. Mrs. Kelley is a member of the Daughters of the Revolution and of the Daughters of the Confederacy. [Source: Gene a logical and personal history of the upper Monongahela valley, WV; By James Morton Callahan; Pgs. 893-895; Publ.1912; Transcribed and submitted to Genealogy Trails by Andrea Stawski Pack]

Isaac D. Smith LL.B.
Mr. Smith, son of Isaac D. and Mary L. Smith, is a native of Grant County, West Virginia, where he was born January 11, 1890, and was reared on his father's farm near Petersburg, the seat of justice of that county. After securing the best instruction obtainable, at the age of sixteen he secured authority to teach in the public schools of his native county, which occupation he assiduously followed for two years, with the sole purpose in view of procuring enough money to pay his way through college. In the fall of 1909 he became a student at the Preparatory Branch of the West Virginia University at Keyser, Mineral County, where he remained two years. In 1913 he entered the Law Department of Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, and graduated in the class of 1915, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. In the fall of that year he entered Emerson College of Oratory, Boston, Massachusetts, where he took part in the ranks of classes from the Sophomore to the Senior and Post Graduate classes, specializing in all studies that pertained to the art of public speaking, which he has found of great value to him since entering upon the practice of his profession. He returned to his native State and was admitted to the Grant County Bar in January, 1916, at Petersburg, and entered upon a most promising career as an attorney and counselor at-law. He is industrious and honorable and is careful in the preparation or his cases; and being a trained public speaker he was not long in pressing his merits upon the minds of the people to an extent that his income has placed him on "Easy Street," and is still growing most encouragingly. His practice has extended into the adjoining counties of Hardy and Pendleton, which embrace the territory of the Upper South Branch Valley of the historic Potomac River, the really pictorial region of West Virginia.
Mr. Smith from early manhood has been an adherent of the Republican party, and was its nominee for the office of Prosecuting Attorney of Grant County in the campaign of 1916, and was elected for a four years' term, beginning January 1, 1917. In that important office he is even more than making good. Being a moral, Christian man he discharges his official duties conscientiously and " without fear or favor." He is a member of the Presbyterian Church and has always allied himself on the side of the moral element of the people of his county. He educated himself by his own efforts, has lived a clean and upright life, is industrious, is kind, generous and cheerful. He tells us he is still unmarried, but " Her glorious fancies come from far, beneath the silver evening star." Hence we conclude that the serious moment is not far off, and is liable any " old day " to break through the shadowy gloom that now hems him in. Mr. Smith is a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows fraternities, both of which are moral, patriotic, charitable organizations. [Bench And Bar of West Virginia edited by George Wesley Atkinson, 1919 - Transcribed by AFOFG] 


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