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West Virginia Archives & History

A Brief History Of Davis Creek Community

By James T. Blankenship
Dictated by James T. Blankenship and written by Fern Dillon

The settlement of Davis Creek dates back to about 1832. First settler was Paul H. Davis, who came from Virginia and located on Black Fork then Wayne County, but was later divided and the place of his location is now Caboll. Mr. Davis laid a land warrant for 622 acres of land and built a house near the sight where T. J. Bolin's house now stands, which has been a land mark for many years.

Mr. Davis reared a large family of children; four boys, Paul H. Jr., James, and Moses, and one girl, Louisa, who married John Coborn. The older families of the Davis' have all passed away, but a large number of grandchildren are yet living, of whom some are now teachers in the public schools. Davis Creek took its name from the first settlers.

The next to settle on Davis Creek was Samuel Blankenship who emigrated here from Franklin County, Virginia in 1833. From that time he lived in Cabell County until his death in 1890.

Mr. Blankenship had a family of ten children. Those still living are the only girl, Fanny, who lives in Florida, and four boys, J. T. of Davis Creek, Jeff and E. G. of Huntington, and Reece of Four Pole. The oldest boy of the family, M. T. (now deceased) was a local pastor in the M. E. Church, South.

In the following year after Mr. Blankenship came here, (in 1843) John Ward located and built his home where R. W. Hensley now lives. Mr. Ward reared four boys, Thomas, William, G. W., and David.

Spottswood Hughes came here from Virginia in 1836 and settled on Davis Creek where he reared his family, two boys, L. D. and Ralph and four girls, Virginia, Bettie, Anna, and Fannie.

When the Mexican War began in 1846 Spottswood Hughes enlisted under Captain Elisha McCommas and in the beginning of 1847 he went to Mexico, but he never returned and it was supposed he was killed in a battle.

L. D. Hughes the son of Spottswood Hughes reared a large family of girls and boys. The girls were: Mary (who taught in the public schools), Alma, and Addie. The boys now living are: William, Arnold, and Gallie, who live at the old home place.

The next settlement made on Davis Creek was by Edward Eden who came from Virginia in 1848. He located at the place where Henry Harless now lives. Mr. Eden had a large family of whom two boys fought and lost their lives in the Federal Army. Mr. Eden died in 1875. But one girl, Mrs. Martha McCarty of Huntington, and two boys, Henry and Edward Jr. of Davis Creek are still living. The Eden family were all good law abiding citizens.

Harvey Walker came to Davis Creek in 1857. He was also a Virginian by birth. He reared a large family of good respectable children. Dolphus, the oldest now living on Health Creek was a volunteer in the 13th Virginia Regiment of the Civil War. R. W. Walker is still living in Cabell County, Richard (deceased), Sidney (whereabouts unknown), and Elisha and Elijah, the twins are living in Covington, Kentucky. Mrs. Jane Melrose of the Sixteenth Street Road, Mrs. Mary Swann of Huntington, and Mrs. Adelia Keeser (deceased) were the other members of the family. Harvey Walker has been dead about twelve years.

In 1858, L. J. Hoback and. R. R. Dillon came into possession of the Paul H. Davis farm where they lived and worked as partners in the timbering and farming business until Mr. Hoback moved to Milton in 1873. Mr. Dillon died in 1887 leaving a wife who died about eight years ago and thirteen children. The five boys are: T. J. of Healths Creek, J. M. of Huntington, C. A., J. R., and A. A. of Davis Creek. The girls are: Mrs. Sarah Poteet of Guyandotte, Mrs. Susie Paugh of the Sixteenth Street Road, Mrs. Willie Wright of Russell Creek, Mrs. Maggie Blankenship, Mrs. Julia Blankenship, and Mrs. Nora Ullom of Davis Creek, Mrs. Lizzie Bradberry of Logan and Mrs. Christina Dillon of Wenatchee, Washington.

L. J. Hoback had a family of seven children, all of whom are dead but Mrs. Susie Jackson of Huntington, and Mrs. Ida Rice of Russel, Kentucky. Mr. Hoback died in Kentucky about twenty-one years ago.

In the spring of 1865 B. F. Dillon (known as Uncle Bob) settled on Davis Creek. He reared a large family of children and all are Iiving but two, Thomas and Douglas. W. J. Dillon is living in Wenatchee, Washington, C. G. at the old homestead, J. T. of Davis Creek, B. F. Jr,, and C. A. of Huntington, Mrs. Nannie Paugh of the Sixteenth Street Road, Mrs. Sallie Dodson, of Prices Creek, Mrs. Orinda Davis of Beech Fork, Wayne County, and Mrs. Nannie Dodson of Huntington.

Uncle Bob was one of Cabell County's oldest tobacco growers at the time of his death which occurred September 21, 1924. He had been a lifelong resident of Cabell County, serving as constable for thirty-two years.

C. C. Aills moved to Davis Creek from Ohio in the fall of 1872. He had a family of seven children. There were two girls, Miss S. F., a teacher for forty years in the public schools and Miss Addie of Four Pole. The five boys, Carson, also a teacher, (deceased) Frank, Addison, Crittendon, and William are all living on Four Pole.

They are all loyal citizens.

In 1873, Archabald Paugh moved to Davis Creek on what is now known as the Reece Earls farm. He was a former resident of Wetzel County. He had a family of eight children. There were four boys, Josephus (the oldest child has been dead about forty years) Reverend J. C. and Reverend Manford of the Sixteenth Street Road and Oscar of Huntington. The four girls, Mrs. Adeline Leaps, Mrs. Melissa Bolin, Mrs. Rachel Cauliflour, and Mrs. Ella Kirkland all of Huntington are still living. They are all good citizens.

R. P. Hensley settled on Davis Creek in 1872. He reared a family of fifteen children, all good respectable people. The five boys are: R. W. and T. J. of Davis Creek, Henry (of Huntington until his death) Emry of Huntington, and Hale of Dayton, Ohio. The ten girls include Mrs. Orinda Melrose (dead), Mrs. Lillie Dillon, Mrs. Beulah Paugh of Davis Creek, Mrs. Vida Melrose, Mrs. Anna Dillon, Mrs. Stella Blankenship, Mrs. Eddie Smith, Mrs. Ella Bennett, Mrs. Mary Hodge, and Mrs. Eugene Nunnally all of Huntington,

Another old settler was Thomas Nash, who moved to Davis Creek from Ohio in 1878. There were eight children in his family. Two were boys, T. H. Nash of Barboursville, who is president of the present county court of Huntington and G. A. Nash of Davis Creek, The six girls were Mrs. Emerine Blankenship, Mrs. Ellen Keller, Mrs. Mary Guthrie and Mrs. Mahalia Ullom (all dead), Mrs. Clara France of Long Branch and Mrs. Georgie Dunfee of Huntington.

We have have now come to the older Pastors and Doctors of Davis Creek.

John T. Johnson came to the Wayne Circuit in 1859 and was there until the Civil War began in 1860. In 1861 he was chosen "Chaplain" of the Eighth Virginia Regiment of the Confederates and served as Chaplain all through the war. In 1865 Brother Johnson came to Davis Creek as Circuit Rider. He was a wonderful man for God. Brother Johnson was born in Erie County, Pennsylvania in 1823.

After Brother Johnson, Brother Hiram Moore came on this circuit in 1867. He was a Kentuckian by birth and also a great preacher of the gospel. While on this circuit he made a host of friends.

In 1869, Charles Crook came to this work and served as pastor until 1872 and then his brother John Crook took the work. They were both good preachers.

Adam Given was at this circuit three different times. He was beyond doubt the most intellectual of all the others. He was never late at his appointments scattered over Wayne and Cabell Counties. He was the main promoter and builder of Dillon Chapel by the assistance of M. T. Blankenship a local preacher at that time. Brother Blankenship was not a college graduate but he was endowed with such intellectual powers to enable him to preach the Bible from a true gospel standpoint.

The early doctors who practiced on Davis Creek were Dr. A. B. McGinnis of Guyandotte and Dr. Randolph Moss of Barboursville.

Dr. McGinnis rode the country night and day whenever he was called. He made a host of friends wherever he went.

Dr. Moss was always ready to go when called and by doing so he gained a large practice from Barboursville to Wayne Court House and from Barboursville to Logan Court House, as well as a host of friends. He died several years ago but his widow is still living in Barboursville.

The first free school that was taught in Barboursville district was in 1867, by Henry Dunkle, in a little school house. In the following year 1868 John Thornburg taught. After Mr. Thornburg, Reverend Calvin Reece, Fletcher Stewart, Lee Buehring, Miss Emma McCommas, Frank Brammer, A. H. Melrose, Miss S. F. Aills, and Dr. Unseld who was counted one of the most industrious teachers of his time. When in the school room (which was from sun-up until sun- down with only an hour for playtime and that was at noon) he was never idle a moment. He always built his own fires before daylight and he also kept his "Elm Rod of Correction", in the top of his boot and woe to the pupil whom he caught idling his time away. After Dr. Unseld were Miss Lizzie and Maggie Irvin, James Wilson, Mollie Morris and Ona Doss.

From the time of the first settlement up until this present time, there have been many improvements to help build up the community, here at Davis Creek.

The Dillon Chapel Church was built in 1889 under the supervision of Adam Given the first Pastor.

In 1913 a graded school was built and now a paved road is being built through from Huntington, to Bluefield, Mercer County.

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