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Wetzel County West Virginia


Caldwell Family Biography

Aaron E. Cochran

Aaron E. Cochran, a native of Wetzel County, West Virginia, was born on the 7th of October, 1811. His boyhood days were spent in Morrison County, Virginia, and on the 3d of July, 1856, he came to Minnesota, and located at Howard Lake. During the Indian outbreak of 1862, he was with a party under Captain Sturges, guarding the frontier. It was Mr. Cochran who found the Dustin family after their massacre. He came to the Village of Smith Lake in 1876, in which he owns twenty-seven lots. Was married in 1831, to Miss Lavinia Lurtel, a native of Virginia. Of nine children, the result of this union, six are living, two boys and four girls.
James Z. Cochran is a native of Davis County, Ohio, but when quite young, his parents removed to Wetzel County, West Virginia. In 1857, they came to Minnesota and located in the town of Victor, Wright County, where our subject remained till enlisting in the First Minnesota Mounted Rangers, Company C, under Captain Henderson. Was with several scouting parties after the Indians, and mustered out, at Fort Snelling, on the 21st of October, 1863. He then came to Howard Lake and was engaged by the Government in carrying the mail, having five or six routes. After an engagement of about seven years in the latter business, he was dealing in real estate in St. Cloud, for a time. Came to his present home in the Village of Smith Lake, in 1879, and has since been engaged in the real estate business. Miss Allie Denny, a native of Indiana, became his wife in 1875. They have three children.  [Source; History of the upper Mississippi Valley; By Newton Horace Winchell, Edward Duffield Neill, John Fletcher Williams; Pg. 552; Publ. 1881; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack.]

Newton E. Ice

     Combining farming with veterinary practice, Newton E. Ice, of Liberty Township, is one of the busy men of Ross County . He has 200 acres of land under his care and no part of this large farm shows any evidence of neglect.     Doctor Ice was born in Wetzel County, West Virginia , February 20, 1885, and is a son of D. B. and Phoebe (Wyatt) Ice. Both parents were born and reared in what is now West Virginia, and are retired residents of Smithfield, Wetzel County . They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Of their family of three children, one died in infancy and both of the survivors live in Ohio, Newton E. in Ross County and Lee in Washington County , and both are interested in agricultural pursuits. The one daughter bore the name of Jennie.
     On his father's farm Newton E. Ice grew to manhood and learned not only the practical business of operating a farm, but also the care and medical treatment of stock. He became greatly interested along this line and studied veterinary science and has adopted its practice as a profession. After attending the common schools, he entered the high school at Buchanan and was graduated there from in 1905. Mr. Ice found remunerative employment in the oil fields in his native state and continued there until 1909, when he came to Ross County, Ohio, and took a correspondence school course in veterinary medicine and surgery, graduating with an average of 96 per cent. His knowledge of veterinary science serves him well on his large estate, giving him the knowledge and skill to keep his own stock in condition while gradually building up a wider extended practice. He makes a specialty of fine horses.
     Doctor Ice was married July 8, 1906, to Miss Bessie Fry, who was born and reared in Virginia. They have four children: Beryl, Hortense, Drexel and Lorie. Doctor Ice was reared in the Democratic Party, as was his father. His 200-acre estate is situated one mile southwest of Londonderry, Ohio.  [Source: A standard history of Ross County, Ohio: Volume 2; By Lyle S. Evans; Publ. 1916; Pg. 672-673; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack.]

Isaac Worthington Johnston

Isaac Worthington Johnston was one of the few living Union Veterans in 1936. He was of large physique, with flowing white beard and hair.
"Isaac Koon was the last of our Company to die," he said. "We used to talk of the old times and of our comrades in Co. B. There is one veteran living who belonged to Co. A., James McAllister, who belonged to 6th WVa. Regiment. There were 1600 of us discharged at Wheeling, June 10, 1865."
April 19, 1936, Mr. Johnston observed his 87th birthday on his 57 acre farm at Mobley, several miles from Smithfield.
He was born in 1849, 3 miles above Mannington, on Pyles Fork. His father, Jacob Johnston and his mother, Harriet (Smith) Johnston. The family consisted of five boys and four girls, among them, Felix S., who died at Martins Ferry, Ohio, 1936; Martha Va Hill, b. Sept 3, 1854, lived Moundsville and Harriet E. Chamberlain, b. Dec. 15, 1861, and lived in Rayland,Ohio.  Recalling his childhood he said Mannington was first called Man Town, because of three or four bachelors who lived there.
"The first circular saw mill was located at the first railroad bridge above Mannington on the Pritchard farm. Hose Hawkenberry was their first driver. John Robinson 'Lumber King' came to Mannington representing Ins Co. at the time of the first oil boom. He went into partnership with Mr. Marr buying and selling oil barrel staves. My father, grandfather and three of my uncles on my mother's side were in the War."
He married Nancy, the daughter of Ezekiel and Polly Gray, on March 1, 1868, on Teavenbaugh Run, Marion County, by Rev. Mr. Fortney. She died May 17, 1914.
Five generations living in 1936 were: Mr. Johnston, his daughter Mrs. Ella Johnston Hill-Brandt of big Elk, near Wallace, Harrison County; her daughter Mrs. Lossie Hill Hayes, of Smithfield; Mrs. Hayes' daughter, Mrs. Lillian Gilbert and son of Paden City.  [Source: "Wheeling Intelligencer", republished in "The Echoer", transcribed by K. Torp]

Micah A. Morris Family

This name has been borne by a number of persons of distinction in various walks of life in the United States; for examples: By an Episcopalian bishop of Oregon; a United States senator from Ohio; and a governor of Connecticut.
(I) Micah A. Morris, the first member of this family about whom we have definite information, made his home in Wetzel county, Virginia, in 1842. He married Elizabeth Smith. Child, Anthony T., of whom further.

(II) Anthony T., son of Micah A. and Elizabeth (Smith) Morris, was born in Wetzel County, Virginia, December 11, 1846, died August 26, 1906. In the civil war he served his country from August 11, 1864, to June 10, 1865, as a private in Company P, Sixth Regiment West Virginia Volunteer Infantry. In 1876 he was elected justice of the peace of Center district, Wetzel County, and he served for four years, being president of the court. He was re-elected in 1880, and served two years, but resigned in 1882 to take up the practice of law, which he followed through the remainder of his life, in Wetzel and adjoining counties. He was admitted to the bar in 1882. Beside his legal practice, Mr. Morris was a farmer and stock raiser on a large scale. He was a member of Philip G. Bier Post, Grand Army of the Republic. He married, March 22, 1865, Tabitha E. Delancey. Children: Franklin M., born January 4, 1866, died May 4, 1876; Sylvania, May 9, 1868, died July 23, 1873; Amanda A., July 22, 1870; Flora E., January 20, 1873, died March 2, 1873; Pressley D., of whom further; Mary E., October 7, 1876, died December 8, 1904; Clark J., January 21, 1879: Eliza J., September 22, 1881; Riley J., April 3, 1884; Matilda M., July 4, 1886; Cynthia, October 10, 1888; Newman A. F., December 11, 1891; Romeo, November 6, 1895.

(III) Pressley D., son of Anthony T. and Tabitha E. (Delancey) Morris, was born in Wetzel County, West Virginia, February 16, 1874. His education was received in the public schools and in the University of West Virginia. In 1898 he was admitted to the bar, and in the spring of the following year he moved to New Martinsville, Wetzel County, West Virginia, where he was engaged with his father in the practice of law, continuing until his father's death. He then formed a partnership with Moses R. Morris, a veteran of the civil war. and at one time prosecuting attorney of Wetzel county. This partnership was dissolved January 1. 1913, by reason of the election, in the fall of 1912, of Pressley D. Morris to be judge of the second judicial circuit of West Virginia. From 1906 to the time of his assuming the office of judge he was commissioner of chancery. Judge Morris is a director of the Wetzel County Bank. He is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. In politics he is a Republican, and he is a member of the Christian church, and of the official board of the congregation at New Martinsville, where he still has his home.  He married, in 1895, Nancy Virginia, born June 24. 1873, daughter of Michael and Nancy (Morgan) Barr. Michael Barr is a native of Marion county, (West) Virginia, son of Nicholas and Sarah (Jones) Barr. born November 15, 1836. At the age of fifteen he was brought by his parents into Wetzel county, where he has since that time lived. His marriage occurred March 13, 1860. Children of Michael and Nancy (Morgan) Barr: Nicholas, born March 8. 1861; Achilles, June 7, 1862; Roland, September 30, 1863: Eliza, July 30. 1865; Sarah M., June 19, 1867; Samuel, July 4, 1869; Mary B., April 20, 1871: Nancy Virginia, married Pressley D. Morris; Delia E., May 5. 1875; Maria, May 1, 1878; John. September 19, 1880; Samantha, born May 24, 1883, died May 31, 1883. Children of Pressley D. and Nancy Virginia (Barr) Morris: Ida T., Russell A., Warren F., Thomas W., Michael D., Eugene, Chester Moses Tavennor.  [Source: WV and its people; Volume 2; By Thomas Condit Miller and Hu Maxwell; Publ. 1913; Pg. 384; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack.]

J. Truman Nixon

J. Truman Nixon spent part of his early youth in the State ofOhio, where he attended country schools and May 23, 1887, graduated from the St. Paris High School, the following year was spent at Dennison University at Granville, Ohio. His practical preparation for life consisted in discipline in farm work and as clerk in his father's store and others at St. Paris, Ohio. In July 1887 he returned to the old homestead in Taylor County, West Virginia, where he built his career to prosperity operating a large stock farm, making a specialty of raising registered Shorthorn cattle and Berkshire hogs, continuing that business until April 15, 1905. He still owns his farm and coal lands in that state and others in Oklahoma.  In the meantime he had become actively associated with the coal, oil and gas business. In 1891 and 1892 he was connected with the Camden coal interests at Monongah, West Virginia. In 1899 he was employed with the South Penn Oil Company's land department in West Virginia and continued with that firm and other affiliated Standard interests until 1906. From March, 1903, until the beginning of 1905 he had charge of the land department in Indian Territory for Prairie Oil & Gas Company.
During 1905 he was employed by the Virginias Railway Company (Standard Interest) in West Virginia and Virginia in buying lands for that corporation, and bought what is known as "Oney Gap" (Tunnel) for this company. In November, 1905, he and associates sold a large coal area in Barbour County, West Virginia, after which he has confined his efforts to Illinois and Oklahoma oil and gas fields, spending the entire year of 1906 in the Illinois field. He became manager of the land department for the Oklahoma Natural Gas Company at Tulsa, in January, 1907, and now has several prominent associations with local industrial and financial corporations.  Mr. Nixon organized the Tulsa Engineering and Supply Company. He is one of the vice presidents of the Merchants and Planters Bank of Tulsa, a stockholder in the National Bank of Commerce, a stockholder in the Guarantee Abstract & Title Company, sole owner of the Indian records, an abstract business dealing exclusively with work and records of the Department of the Interior which is the only successful office of the kind conducted within the range of our knowledge, furnishing abstracts of all departmental leases and enrollment and allotment records, his business dealing particularly with oil and gas.
Mr. Nixon has studied and has a comprehensive knowledge of the law but never cared for practice before the bar, choosing to act in the capacity of councilor, which coupled with his experience and knowledge of men and affairs, makes him a very strong man.
Mr. Nixon is affiliated with the Tulsa Lodge No. 71, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; with Tulsa Chapter No. 52, Royal Arch Masons; with Tulsa Commandery No. 22, Knights Templars; with Trinity Council No. 20, Royal and Select Masters; Akdar Temple of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; and Tulsa Chapter No. 133 Eastern Star. He is also a Knight of Pythias and became a charter member of Black Diamond Lodge No. 72 at Monongah, West Virginia, when it was organized in 1892.
Politically his party affiliations are republican but independent of the party whip and he is a man who has many staunch friends in every walk of life.
Mr. Nixon was married August 18, 1892, to Florence B. Jolliffe. Mrs. Nixon was born near Uniontown, Wetzel County, West Virginia. A daughter of Amos and Mary Jolliffe, another very old English family that can boast of an unbroken line for nearly 500 years. Her forefathers coming to America about 1645. Later we find the male descendants serving in General Washington's army where they acquitted themselves with credit and distinction. In old England they served their kings well and were remembered by their rulers with favor. Some evidence is Jolliffe Coat of Arms, Argent on a pile Azure, three Dexter Gauntlets of the field; Jolliffe Crest, a cubit arm erect vested and cuffed, the sleeve charged with a pile Argent, the hand grasping a sword (P. P. D.) Motto: Tout que je puis.  [Source: A standard history of Oklahoma: Volume 4; By Joseph Bradfield Thoburn; Pg. 1597; Publ. 1916; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack.]

Isaac Smith
One of the most remarkable men in the history of West Virginiais Isaac Smith. At his death he was the oldest man in West Virginia, and probably the Southern States. He was born at Williamsport, Washington county,Pennsylvania, in the year of 1789, and lived to be 109 years old, which was but a few years back. He was a man of simple nature, kind, strong and always industrious. He lived until his death in Proctor Hollow, a ravine of five miles in length, running east and west through Wetzel county, in a small log cabin, about two miles from Proctor Station, on the Ohio River R. R. He erected the building with his own hands when he came to West Virginia with his family, sixty-nine years before his death. Then the country was a wide forest, with only a few families scattered here and there over the country. His nearest neighbor was a man by the name of Hogan, who resided with his family five miles further up the run.
Some of the older residents who remember him when he was forty to fifty years of age, say he could lift a barrel of whisky and drink out of the bunghole, and that he has often picked up two barrels of salt set one upon the other at a single lift. But of these things Mr. Smith never boasted. He had a smile for everyone and enjoyed a good joke as well as any person. He followed the occupation of keel boating on the- Monongahela river until he was forty years of age, when he sold out his property and moved to West Virginia. When he settled at Proctor there were few if any Indians remaining, and the only thing to be feared was from wild animals, catamounts, wild cats and a few wolves. There was also plenty of wild game. Mr. Smith's father settled at Elizabeth, Pa., in the latter part of the last century. His name was Samuel Smith, and he married Sallie Watt, the result of which union was several sons, among them being the subject of this sketch. Isaac Smith received very little education, but learned the trade of keel boating at an early age, which he followed many years. He mar ried Sarah Hutson, and to them were born five sons, Robert, Charles, Thomas, Samuel and John. Mr. Smith made his home with his grandson, Albert Anderson, who lives on the old homestead, where his mother was born and raised.  [Original Source: History of Wetzel County, West Virginia By John C. McEldowney, 1901 - Transcribed by Therman Kellar]

Yeater Family Biography

A family formerly settled in Pennsylvania, but for about a century in what is now West Virginia, is that of Dr. J. W. Yeater, a well equipped but retired physician, now residing at New Martinsville, Wetzel county, West Virginia.

(I) David Yeater. the first member of this family about whom we have definite information, came from Pennsylvania into Marshall county, Virginia, where he was engaged in farming. He married Peggy , and among his children was Rezin, of whom further.

(II) Rezin, son of David and Peggy Yeater, was born in Marshall county, Virginia. October 8, 1825, died June 30, 1905. His life was passed in Marshall county, where he wasa successful farmer and stock raiser. He married Mary, daughter of Nathaniel and Adaline Sheppard who was born in Brooke county, Virginia, November 12, 1826, died November 9, 1902. Children: John W., of whom further; N. W.; Rebecca A., married William Kelley; Lewis, Christopher E., Oscar D., Clarence, Willard Lee.

(III) Dr. John W. Yeater, son of Rezin and Mary (Sheppard) Yeater, was born in Marshall county, Virginia, December 28, 1850. His education was begun in the public schools of his native county, and he afterward attended Waynesburg College, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, and the University of Louisville, Medical College, 1876. He then practiced in Marshall and Wetzel counties until 1879, attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore, Maryland, 1887-88, from which his degree of Doctor of Medicine was received, he being a graduate in the class of 1888. For about twenty years Dr. Yeater practiced at Newdale, Wetzel county, West Virginia. Desiring, however, to make a more advanced special course, he studied at the Polyclinic Medical College in New York City. He returned to Newdale, Wetzel county, West Virginia, where he was engaged for twenty years in the practice of medicine and surgery, with success professionally and materially. In 1898 Dr. Yeater retired from general practice, and since that time he has had no special business interests except as a director in two banks, the First National Bank at New Martinsville, and the Bank of Littleton, at Littleton, Wetzel county, West Virginia. He has also been somewhat active in politics, being a Democrat, and in 1888 he represented the second district of West Virginia in the state senate. Dr. Yeater is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.  He married, December 29, 1879, Rachel M. Yoho, daughter of Henry B. and Katherine Yoho. Children: Edna Beatrice, born October 6, 1882; Lewis R., May 25, 1887, died August 11, 1907. [Source: A standard history of Ross County, Ohio: Volume 2; By Lyle S. Evans; Publ. 1916; Pg. 1022-1023; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack.]



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