West Virginia State Site

Webster County, West Virginia

Biographies




Lynch Family
This well-known name is borne by the descendants of many immigrants who came at various times to various parts of the present United States. The family now under consideration has been settled in America from colonial days.
(I) John Lynch, the founder of this family, was born in Ireland; about 1742, and came from Ireland to this country near 1763 and settled in what is now Pbcahontas county. West Virginia. At one time he was the owner of five hundred acres of land opposite the present city of Cincinnati. Ohio. He married Mary Moore, of Irish descent but American birth, of Pocahontas county, now West Virginia. Children: John, of whom further: Levi and George.
(II) John Lynch(2), son of John (1) and Mary (Moore) Lynch, married Isabella, daughter of Colonel Isaac Gregory. Children: Sarah, Polly, Isaac. George. John, Isabella, Adam, of whom further; Susann, Betsy, Nancy and James.
(III) Adam Lynch, son of John (2) and Isabella (Gregory) Lynch, was born near Webster Springs, Webster county, Virginia, and died in Grassy Creek, Webster county, Virginia. There also he was buried. He married Sarah, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Friend) Arthur. William Arthur was one of the first settlers at Webster Springs; his wife was a daughter of Colonel Joseph Friend, a well-known pioneer and army officer, who was the builder of Friend's fort, in Randolph county, Virginia, now West Virginia. Children: Margaret, Mary, Jane, Columbia, Francena, George A., Lee, Vanlinden S., of whom further.
(IV) Vanlinden S Lynch, son of Adam and Sarah (Arthur) Lynch, was born at Webster Springs, October 25, 1855. In his earlier life he was a farmer, but he has now for many years been interested in oil and gas. His residence is at Buckhannon, West Virginia. He married (first) Parmelia, daughter of Jacob P. and Elizabeth (Alkire) Conrad, who died December, 1885; (second) Thursey, daughter of Colonel Currence B. and Ann (Haymond) Conrad, of Glenville, Gilmer county, West Virginia. The Conrad family is well-known in the history of what is now West Virginia. Jacob P. Conrad was son of John Conrad, born July 15, 1784, died September 8, 1854. and Elizabeth Currence, born April 16, 1788, died September 3, 1846. They married in 1807, and had nine children. This John Conrad was born in Pendleton county, Virginia, and his father, also named John Conrad, was for twenty years a member of the Virginia legislature. John Conrad Sr., is said to have built the first stone house in what is now West Virginia, west of the mountains, and is believed to have married a daughter of Colonel Rutherford, of Jefferson county, Virginia. Elizabeth (Alkire) Conrad was niece of Jonathan Bennett, of Weston, Virginia, one of the most prominent of Virginians living west of the Alleghanies; Louis Bennett and George Bennett, of Weston, West Virginia, are his sons Children of Vanlinden S. and Parmelia (Conrad) Lynch: Frederick Lee, of whom further; Orin Benedum, of whom further; Charles Patrick, of whom further; Tamblyn, died at the age of four.
(V) Frederick Lee Lynch, son of Vanlinden S. and Parmelia (Conrad) Lynch, was born at Webster Springs, October 29, 1878. His education included the course at the West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, from which he graduated in 1904. After finishing his college work he made a study of civil engineering. In this capacity he has been in the service of the Republic of Bolivia, in South America, and has since leaving that country visited Mexico also, in the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. While he was in Mexico, Mr. Lynch became interested in oil and gas; he now has large mining interests in that country, and real estate holdings in Texas and Oklahoma. He is general manager of the San Lorenzo Mining Company, of Parkersburg, West Virginia, and of the Parkersburg-Buckhannon Oil and Gas Company. Further, he is largely interested in the Alkire Oil and Gas Company and in other oil and gas properties. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In 1909 Mr. Lynch was appointed assistant clerk in the house of delegates of West Virginia. He has not married. He has traveled in England, France, the Canary Islands, and all o-ver South America, Mexico and Canada.
(V) Orin Benedum Lynch, son of Vanlinden S. and Parmelia (Conrad) Lynch, was born November 21, 1879. He is a graduate of the academic department of the West Virginia Wesleyan College and the medical department of the University of Louisville. Louisville. Kentucky. In June, 1913, he was united in marriage to Olive Dunn, of Mobscot, Raleigh county, West Virginia.
(V) Charles Patrick Lynch, son of Vanlinden S. and Parmelia (Conrad) Lynch, was born at Hacker's Valley, Webster county. West Virginia, October 15, 1881. He has studied at several institutions of advanced grade, the West Virginia Wesleyan College, Weaverville College at Weaverville, North Carolina, and the medical department of the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, but is not a graduate. During the years since 1905 Mr. Lynch has spent a large part of his time on the west coast of Mexico, in the states of Sonora and Sinaloa, and he has gained a wide acquaintance with the people of that region and with business conditions there. He is interested in Mexican mining properties; seven years ago, in 1906, he was one of four to denounce the now wellknown San Lorenzo mine, in Arizpe district, state of Sonora, Mexico. Mr. Lynch's home is at Buckhannon, West Virginia. He married, at Paul's Valley, Indian Territory, May 27, 1903, Willie, daughter of Rev. William and Martha (Henry) Boyd, of Dexter, Texas. Children: Wilma, born October 18, 1904; Boyd Conrad, born January 10, 1911.[Source: "West Virginia and Its People", Volume 3 By Thomas Condit Miller and Hu Maxwell - Transcribed by AFOFG]

Lewis McElwain
Confederate Partisan Guerilla and Private, 19th Virginia Cavalry. Andrew Alexander McElwain was born about 1630 in Ayrshire, Scotland and died about 1690 in Aughnocloy, Throne, North Ireland. He married ---- McAdam about 1665 in Scotland. She was born about 1653 in Ayrshire,Scotland.One of the most outstanding families of the Elk River (Webster County, West Virginia) and its tributaries was the McElwain family.
Tunis McElwain, (my great, great, great grandfather) was born February 10, 1773 and came to the Elk Valley (south central WV) about 1810 and patented land near Sutton, WV. He was married to Catherine Propst and was the father of ten children. One of those children, George McElwain (my great, great grandfather), was born February 10, 1793.
George McElwain married Elizabeth Perrine in 1813 and settled where the village of Wainville, WV is now located. They remained there until George McElwain's death in 1854. He was a successful farmer and stockman and left to each of his three sons, Andrew, Lewis (my great grandfather), and George, a fine farm adjoining each other. He was a noted hunter, but did not let the diversion interfere with his farm work. He belonged to that class of pioneers that subdued the wilderness, fought the Indians and harassed the British. They did their work well in laying the foundations of the sovereign states that were to arise out of the aftermath of the American Revolution.
In the war of 1812, George McElwain enlisted in Captain John Harmon's Company of the Fifth Regiment of the Virginia Militia, commanded by Colonel Isaac Booth. He enlisted on August 2, 1814 and was mustered into service at Norfolk, VA, having enlisted for a period of six months. The muster roll for December 30, 1814, shows that he had been transferred to the company of Captain Jonathan Wamsley. He was discharged February 2, 1815, in Norfolk, VA and was allowed 460 miles travel pay from his place of discharge to his home.
Lewis McElwain (my great grandfather), the second son of George McElwain and Elizabeth Perrine, was born in 1832. He married Mary Matilda Hickman in 1854. Their children were Tunis (my grandfather), Rhoda, Catherine, Mary, Jerusa and Ida. He was one of the outstanding and most noted citizens of Webster County. He was known to everyone throughout the county as "Uncle Lewis" and was considered one of the best farmers and stock raisers in the county. You could always obtain the best pedigreed stock from his farm. The Lewis McElwain homestead at Wainville consisted of 160 acres of improved land, and was a model of neatness and intense cultivation. With all his improved farming methods, he still clung to a yoke of oxen for the transportation needs of the farm. He always had a span of two mules but did not care much for horses. "Uncle Lewis" was an early pioneer of the Elk Valley and was the last to cling to his red "wamus" with fringes at the seams, around the bottom, and on the sleeves.
Most of the inhabitants of the southern part of Webster County, WV remained loyal to the mother state of Virginia and carried on guerrilla warfare throughout the Elk Valley during the Civil War. Lewis McElwain was one of the leaders of these partisans. Many other leading citizens of Webster County were also ardent supporters of the Southern cause.
In January 1862 Colonel Annas Ansal brought a company of Union soldiers to Sutton, WV (my birthplace). He dispatched part of his troops up the Elk Valley toward Wainville. It is said that Benoni Griffin, who headed a contingent of the Union Home Guard, directed these scouting parties in their mission of destruction. They killed George Cutlip and a Mr. Chapman on Laurel Creek, wounded Sam Carpenter, killed John Given, burned the homes of Lewis McElwain, Arthur Hickman, and Caleb Gardner, and killed Perry Conley in the Glades. The local citizens of lower Webster County never forgave Griffin and his fellow guardsmen for the perpetration of these acts. The resentment was so great that, after the end of the war, the guardsmen left the county to escape the odium of their deeds.
Through their underground movement, the local Confederate sympathizers learned of the approach of another scouting party sent up Laurel Creek, and lay in ambush for it. Word of the scouting party's approach had aroused the whole county. The party was skirting the hills on the west side of Laurel Creek, a short distance below the village of Wainville, at a point near the line between Frank Dodrill's farm and the old Addison Weese place. When the Union scouts approached the place where the local guerrillas were lying in wait, shots were exchanged and two members of the Union party fell, one killed and the other one wounded. The remainder of the party turned on their heels and escaped. The wounded soldier was taken by Lewis McElwain to the home of one of the Carpenters, who was sort of a liaison between the Union forces and the local inhabitants. The story goes that Carpenter was rewarded for this act of mercy with two pounds of green coffee. He gave "Uncle Lewis" a pound of the coffee, and told him when he ran out, "to bring him another Yankee soldier and he would replenish his supply."
On March 7, 1863, Lewis McElwain joined the regular Confederate Army. He enlisted in the company of Captain John S. Sprigg, of the 19th Virginia Cavalry, at Frankford, Virginia. Lewis was captured by Captain Darnell, Union Army, in Webster County, February 10, 1864 and sent to the prisoner of war Camp Chase, in Columbus, Ohio. He was released and allowed to return home at the end of the war.
In 1906, Lewis McElwain was stricken with partial paralysis, and thus ended the active career of one of Webster County's most aggressive and noted characters. A few years hence, we will be wondering as to the kind of men who cleared the forests and built the villages and towns in Webster County. Men, who like "Uncle Lewis" McElwain, wore the red, black, or brown "wamus" with the fringe around the sleeves and at the bottom, will not be around. At some point in time, their descendents will erect tablets and monuments to the memory of our first settlers, like Lewis and Mary Matilda Hickman McElwain.

Note 1: Excerpts taken from the book Heritage of a Pioneer, by Charles Tunis Dodrill.
Note 2: Both Lewis McElwain and James A. Johnson (my great grandfathers on my mother's side of the family) are buried in the family cemetery, near the site of the old McElwain homestead in Wainville, WV.
Note 3: Battles, Skirmishes, and Engagements of the 19th Virginia Cavalry.
- Jones' and Imboden's West Virginia Raid (April 20-May 21, 1863)
- Expedition to Beverly, West Virginia (June 29-July 4, 1863)
- Droop Mountain (November 6, 1863)
- Marling's Bottom, West Virginia (April 19, 1864)
- Lynchburg Campaign (June 1864)
- Monocacy (July 9, 1864)
- 3rd Winchester (September 19, 1864)
- Fisher's Hill (September 22, 1864)
- Cedar Creek (October 19, 1864)
[Written and Submitted by Great-Grandson, Stephen G. Morris, Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret), A descendent of a long line of distinguished enlisted men.]

Hon. William Sidney Wysong, LL.B
Among the strong and successful attorneys of the central counties of West Virginia, the subject of this sketch must be recorded. He is a native of Hamlin, Lincoln County, West Virginia; is the son of William M. and Bettie Mayo Wysong; was born February 13, 1876; was educated at Hillboro Male and Female Academy, where he won the debater's medal for oratory and scholarship; at Hampden-Sidney College, Virginia, where he carried off medals for distinguished scholarship, public speaking, etc.; graduated in law from the West Virginia University in the class of 1896, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. He was admitted to the Bar of Webster County in August, 1897, and later was received as a practitioner in the Circuit Courts of the adjoining counties of Nicholas, Braxton, Upshur, Harrison and Randolph, where he was employed in important controverted cases. He is a public speaker of prominence and an advocate and trial lawyer of unusual power and ability. He very soon took high rank, especially on the criminal side of the courts. He has a large and profitable clientage in the State and Federal Courts in civil as well as criminal cases, especially in the Supreme Court of the State. He is tender in his sympathies, warm in his attachments, and is a man of refined social qualities. He is a lawyer of excellent attainments, and is thoroughly acquainted with the history and character of West Virginia jurisprudence. Whilst he is a man of earnest and intense convictions, his actions and expressions are always tempered with mildness and discretion. Hence he is respected and esteemed by men of all classes and politics.
Mr. Wysong is an adherent of the Democratic Party, and is one of its most popular stump speakers. He enjoys mixing with the people as a sort of side issue, more for recreation than for political preferment. He filled the office of Mayor of the town of Webster Springs during 1907 and 1908, and was twice elected, in 1911 and 1913, by the people of Webster County to the Legislature of the State. Being a ready debater he took an active part in the legislation of those two sessions. He is a member of the Southern Methodist Church, is a Freemason and a member of the Greek Letter College Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta.
He was married April 18, 1900, to Miss Mattie L. Wooddell, of Webster Springs, and has one son William Prentiss Wysong, aged fifteen. Their home is at the famous summer resort of Webster Springs, which the citizens of that section claim is the Eldorado of the universe, and they are not far wrong in the arguments they set up for its medicinal properties. It is great medicinal water. ["Bench and bar of West Virginia" edited by George Wesley Atkinson, 1919 Transcribed by AFOFG]







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