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West Virginia Archives & History

History Of Cabell Creek Community

Written for Farm Bureau Country Life Conference by Mrs. Walter Mitchell, June 1925.

Physical Features

Cabell Creek Community lies between the waters of Bryant Creek on the north, Lower Creek on the east, Mud River on the south, Little Cabell and Seven Mile on the west. Cabell Creek rises between the waters of Bryant on the north and Lower Creek on the east. It flows in a south westerly direction until it reaches Rush Fork, then south, and empties into Mud River near Howell's Mill.

The principal tributaries of Big Cabell are as follows: Mud Lick, Jard Camp, Beelo Branch, Rush Fork, Cow Hollow, and Dennison Branch.

Mud Lick, which flows through the Chas. Webb, Everett Venoy. Chas. Yoho, Walter Mitchell, and L. T. Arthur farms, was so named for the noted deer lick spring on the Mitchell farm, to which deer came from miles away. This spring has never been known to go dry. It is now piped to the Mitchell residence.

Jard Camp Creek, better known by the younger generation as Gibson Branch, received its name from the fact that an old man by the name of Jard, years ago camped under a large rock along this creek not far from the Grandma Gibson residence.

Beelo Branch, was named for a family who settled here about the year 1868, near where Henry Jordan now lives.

Rush Branch, which flows from t he Jarvis, Petit, Simpson, Jackson and Nowlin Community was named for the large rushes which grew along its banks. These rushes are not as numerous nor so large as in early history due to more extensive cultivation.

Cow Hollow", on the Billy Adams farm, was so named on account of its being noted as a favorite stamping ground for cattle which roamed at large in the early history of this community. Getting in the cows in those days was no little task.

Dennison Branch, which lies between the Thompson and Roberts farm of today, was named for an early settler John Dennison. Along this branch stands the only mountain birch known in this community.

Early Settlers

This community was first settled by white men in the year 1813 by Thomas Arthur, grandfather of Lewis Thompson Arthur one our oldest residents of today, and who is living upon the old homestead. Thomas Arthur moved to McArthur Junction, Ohio, from Greenbrier County, West Virginia, then to Cabell Creek on account of so much sickness in his family due to ague. His wife was Sally Blake of Greenbrier County and to them were born five sons and three daughters: Isaac, John M., James, Wash, Pennal, Betsy, America and Mary.

Descendants of this union still living in the community are: Thompson Arthur, son of James Arthur and grandson of Thomas Arthur; Marie, wife of G. S. Blake and daughter of James Arthur; Margaret, wife of the late John Gibson, and William and John V. Arthur, children of Thomas Arthur our first settler; Joseph (Bud) Davis, son of America Arthur; Fred Davis and Lucy Davis Blake wife of Sam Blake are grand children of America Arthur.

The first patent for land on Cabell was received by Thomas Arthur shortly after coming here then again on May 5, 1838 another patent was issued him for twenty more acres of land by Governor David Campbell of Virginia upon this last patent stands the present residence of L. T. Arthur.

The second settler to come to Big Cabell was Jerry Blake whose wife was a sister to Thomas Arthur's wife. They came about the year 1814 or 1815 and settled on the estate where Sam Blake now lives. The Jerry Blake farm at his death, was given to his sister Jenny Blake, who later inherited the property and is now owned by Samuel son of Valentine,

The old two-story hewed log house, built by Jerry Blake when he came here, still stands in very good condition, and bears evidence of the thrift of these early settlers, for a home of that type in those days was considered almost a mansion.

The house built by Thomas Arthur was torn down several years ago and built into a barn by Walter Mitchell, foster son of James and Elizabeth Arthur, who lives on part of the old homestead.

The third settler on Cabell Creek was Billy Adams. This farm is still held by his descendants, children of Frank Adams. Next came Billy Bowen and David Smith. Smith located on what is now the Henry Jordan farm and Billy Bowen on what is called the John Jordan place.

John M. Arthur, son of Thomas, and father of John V. William, and Margaret Arthur Gibson, entered land on Cabell Creek so that he might have the right to vote. In very early history of this state, a man could vote if he owned a horse, many men, but none of Cabell Creek Community as I have learned, made shaving horses and swore that they owned a horse in order to vote. Later on it became necessary, that one owned land before he would be given the right of franchise. So John M. Arthur a very loyal American, not to be outdone in this right, entered the land upon which his son John V. and Joseph McComas now live.

Wild animals were plentiful in early history. The boys, who had to hunt for the cows which roamed at large through the forests, had to be ever watchful, for wolves and panthers could be heard in any direction. One night Thomas Arthur was awakened by the barking of his watch dog that was guarding the sheep in the sheepfold. By the time he could get to him the wolves had torn the dog to pieces. Not only were wild animals numerous but venomous snakes as well. Doctors were scarce and hard to get so that the settlers had to learn much in the way of doctoring themselves. One day while hunting along Mud Lick near the present Yoho residence, Thomas Arthur and his hunting dog were bitten by a rattle snake. He knew it would be death for him if he took a drink or did not do some thing at once, so he ate all the powder from his hunting horn then lay in the stream. His eyes soon swelled shut and his tongue swelled out of his mouth. Sometime in the night he was found crawling up stream. His dog was found dead where it had gotten a drink from the stream.


The first preaching ever held on Cabell Creek was at the Jerry Blake home, held by a circuit rider, Charles Carrol, who also preached at Henry Marsdin's where Jim Chapman now resides on Barker Ridge, and at Daniel Spurlock's on Spurlock Creek.

Preaching services in those days were held in homes. Later on, vacant dwellings were used for churches, the seats, being made from lynn logs with pegs for legs.

Beulah Ann Missionary Baptist Church, organized fifty-one years ago on Lower Creek, erected the first church building on Cabell about forty-four years ago. Meeting was held in the Lower Cabell school house previous to building, and years before that many attended meeting at Mud River Church. Later moving their membership to their own community.

Three buildings have stood on the foundation where the present church now stands. The first, a Jenny Lynn, was torn down in the summer of 1909 to give place to a better building. This building was numbered among the best of the rural churches of West Virginia, and spoke well for the growth and interest of the community. It was destroyed by flood Sunday morning, June 29, 1924, Through great effort and sacrifice it was replaced that summer by another of almost like appearances,

The second church built on Cabell Creek was the United Brethren named for Zebedee Warner, who was very influential in establishing churches and schools in West Virginia. This building was erected in the year 1891. In 1920 it was reseated and an addition built to it making it a very beautiful place of worship.


The first school taught on Cabell Creek was in 1860 by Sterling Davis, grandfather of John Davis, who is now living on the Catherine Jackson farm. He taught in a log dwelling, which stood where Clyde Martin now resides. This was a subscription school, the parents paying the teachers for their services, as free schools were not begun here until after the close of the Civil War.

The first school building erected on Cabell was on the upper end of the Adams farm sixty years ago on the spot where Frank Walters used to reside; just across the ravine from the present Lower Cabell school. It had a large fire place at one end and peg benches as seats. Today we have CabellCentral, Turner, and Sky High. The last three embracing parts of Cabell Creek Community.

Early Business

Stores were not very numerous, marketing being done at Barboursville, later at Howell's Mill. Then came the first store run by Samuel Wilcox and John Montgomery in Thompson Arthur's smoke house.

A post office, known as the Low Gap office, was conducted for several years by Sam Mossman in a log house near the Henry Jordan residence. From here it was moved to Howell's Mill, where it stayed for a short time and was given the name of Howell Post Office while there. Then it was moved to Tom Jackson's home, on what is now the Bert Poling farm, where it was kept for several years until the Ona rural route took its place in about 1905.

The principal timbered lands lay to the south and north. Forty-three years ago Scheubel Bickel Crandel moved one saw mill and two stave mills on a location between Thompson Arthur's home and the Baptist church. Here he remained for several years doing a rushing business. Plenty of work but low wages.

General Albert Gallatin Jenkins

Confederate General Albert Gallatin Jenkins
In Time of War

During the Civil War, General Jenkins came down Cabell Creek and stopped at James Arthur's home. His daughter Maria was clarifying maple syrup when two of Jenkins men went in and filled their canteens and went off without as much as thanking her. Shortly after two others went in and filled canteens but paid a dollar each of Kentucky and Confederate money. They then went to the smoke house and took three sides of meat but did not touch the hams or shoulders. They also took a barrel of sorghum and a saddle then went on to what is now the James Shaw place and prepared to camp for the night. Six pickets later came back and ordered supper to be prepared for them. That night Colonel Brown and General Jenkin's picket men fired on each other.

Brown lay in his camp until morning until he knew that Jenkins was gone, then he came out to give chase. When he saw they had gone up Fudge Creek he came to Howell's Mill and rolled out a barrel or two of flour and got breakfast. This done he took the spindles out of the mill so the miller could not grind then went back to camp. In the meantime, Jenkins, had, when the pickets began firing, just been getting supper; their bread was lying on rocks and wound around sticks and placed before the fire to bake, when they had to run leaving their food just as it was. They also left one gun, which was found by Watt Angel. Cabell Creek Community has furnished soldiers to at least three of the wars; the Civil, Spanish American, and World's War. All fortunate in being permitted to return safely home.
Noted Sons and Daughters

The community has also turned out teachers, preachers, bankers, a County Superintendent of Schools and others. Of sons and daughters of note we have J. C. Petit a teacher for many years and former county superintendent of schools. Harry E. Jackson, a former teacher and now a banker at Milton, West Virginia. Bertha Jackson (Ball) also a teacher and now with the Milton Bank. Elston Massie with the Huntington First National Bank. C. W. Darst a successful business man of Athens, Ohio. Wm. E. Simpson, a minister in the United Brethren Church at New Haven, West Virginia. Bill promises to be a great success in this great cause, having recently closed a great revival in the church of his boyhood-Z Warner. Many souls were saved at this meeting. Ernest Venoy one of our home boys now preaching the Baptist doctrine in Ohio churches. Wilbert Yoho a successful laundryman of Huntington. Ross Jackson one of Huntington's most successful business men. Walter Daily is in the United State Postal service. Eustace Yoho is with the Swan Printing Company, and Clyde Yoho is connected with a life insurance company in Huntington.

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