Prepared by George Cottle, Sr.
Forest Hill Community is situated on the waters of Bradshaw and Spruce Run. Starting at A. L. Campbell's, on Greenbrier River, three miles from Forest Hill and running to J. T. Campbell's, on a line from there including P. M. Garrison's; thence South West to and including W. L. Redmond's; thence North to and including C. G. Ramsey's; and thence Northeast by J. S. Canterberry's and including him to the starting point; it includes twenty-five square miles. It is inhabited by sixty-six families with a population of four hundred.
One of the natural wonders of this community is situated on the farm of P. M. Foster, and is known as the "Seven Wonders". This is an immense rock in the shape of an inverted pyramid. It is about thirty feet tall, four by six feet at the base, and about twenty by thirty feet at the top. Tradition tells how it received its name. It is said that a man upon viewing this Wonder, wondered six times how it stood up and one time if it was supported by an oak which grew by the side of the rock. He said, "You are surely a "Seven Wonders".
This rock is covered with names and dates. Some of them are more than a hundred years old.
Another natural wonder of Forest Hill Community, is known as the "Devil's Den". This is situated on the line between J. H. Rogers and J. T. Canterberry's, and consists of a huge wash basin, writing desk, and a seat. This wonder is of sand stone formation.
We are led to believe by the evidence before us in the form of mounds, that the Mound Builders were the first inhabitants of this community.
There is a well preserved mound on the farm of A. M. Hutchinson, about one and a half miles north of the post office. It is twenty to thirty feet higher than the surrounding bottom. This mound, I believe, is a burial mound. When a few years ago the writer in company with the later Dr. F. Kyle Vass opened a similar mound situated on the farm of E. D. Ferrell, one miles southeast of the post office of Forest Hill, we found a few stone implements of warfare, such as spear points, arrow heads, a stone hatchet, a pistol. And a number of bones which were so much decayed that we were unable to tell whether they were human bones or bones of animals.
We don't believe that these mounds are the work of the Indians, as they are very much larger than any Indian graves we ever had the privilege of examining.
On the bank of the Greenbrier River within the bounds of this community stands what appears to have been a Sacrifice Altar of some prehistoric race of man. This altar was built of stone and was about eight feet high and about fifteen feet in diameter, circular in form. This was partly pulled down by Calvin and Omer Harvey in the year 1900, but the dimensions can plainly be seen today.
This altar is located about two hundred yards from the bank of the river and undoubtedly the stones were carried from the river, as it is situated on a bench by the mountain, on J. E. Milburn's farm just above the mouth of Little Wolf Creek. There are no rocks on this bench. This is just opposite the Ferrell farm on the Greenbrier River.
The young men in pulling down this Sacrifice Altar, which is on their father's farm, though they would find a buried treasure as they told the author, whom they took to view their work, but their treasure consisted of charred wood and bones. As to the antiquity or the origin of the mound builds we leave that to the Archaeologist. We know from the evidence that they have left, that they were once inhabitants of our Community.
That the noble Red man once made his home in this community will not be denied by any one who has tilled the field and has seen the evidence in the arrow heads, spear points and tomahawks that strew our valleys and hills.
On the banks of New River just above the mouth of Indian Creek there is a large rock standing alone and not connected with the cliffs, known as Indian Rock. On this rock are marked characters supposed to have been made by aboriginal inhabitants. No one knows the meaning of the characters. Near the end of this rock there is cut some kind of hieroglyphics in the shape and form of a turkey's foot. It is tradition in that region that the Indians had buried something of value there, and explorations have been made with a view to discovery; but nothing has ever been found to indicate what, if anything, was hidden at or near this ancient natural curiosity.
The Indians are a remarkable race of people. Their contrasts of character and the make up of their mental characteristics are unfathomable, and sometimes very rare indeed. You can sometimes read of one of these savage people with human sympathy and instincts, but in the great number of cases, they are cruel and heartless. Their cruelty seems to have been greatly intensified by coming in contact with the white people from Europe.
The Indian knew no mercy or pity. They were unknown words to him. He wished to see how much pain his captive would bear before he would cry for mercy. The cries of the captive at the stake was the sweetest music to him. We believe this was intensified by the treatment of whites to Indians, by such men as Jim Wiley, who cut a razor strop from the back of an Indian chief with as little qualm as out of the hide of an ox.
Courtships, like marriages were short. If the squaw accepted the presents of the man, it was understood she agreed, and without further ceremony she went and joined him in his hut, not even notifying her people. The principals which were to govern their future conduct were well understood. He was to do the fighting and hunting while she did all the work.
This community was a howling wilderness inhabited by the Indians before the coming of the whites. Our community was owned or controlled by the Six Nations, and as we cultivate the soil. We find evidence of their former sojourn here. We have no authentic history of their existence, but do have of their raids.
The Indian's religion was one of his peculiar characteristics. He worshipped the evil spirit to appease his wrath. He believed in a hereafter or a "happy hunting ground" where the brave warrior with many scalps of his enemies would forever be happy and contented. When he died they buried all his possessions with him. If he owned a gun, dog, pipe, bow, and arrow, they were buried with him. He was placed with his head to the East, instead of the West as the whites bury their dead. The Indian thinks that the sun at setting possesses the night in the happy hunting ground of the departed brave. Just on the edge of this community is an Indian burial ground, it is among cliffs and rocks, but you can go under the cliffs on D. C. Vass's place near Marie, W. Va., and can find all kinds of broken pottery, which proves that Indian women have been buried there in large numbers, showing that there has been a large Indian settlement near.
Near this Indian burial ground was a marked oak tree, having a picture of a turtle cut and burnt in it. The tree is gone now but the mark could plainly be seen just a few years ago. Three Shawnee Indians and two white men came here from Ohio in the year 1834 and dug an immense trench between this tree and another for a distance of about thirty feet and about eight or ten feet deep. This trench can be plainly seen today. These facts were told the author by his grandmother, who was raised near there and had the story from her parents who were witnesses of the event.
Up on Greenbrier River, on J. W. Ferrell's land is the remains of a frontier fort on the bottom between the J. W. Ferrell place and the river. In 1913 J. W. Ferrell took the author and showed him the outlines of the fort, and in proof that it was built by the whites, he told me that his grandfather settled that place and cleared the land told him that the outlines of the fort were plainly marked out and from the pieces of dishes it looked to him as if it had been burned. He said you could find buttons and dishes there to this day. He said there were a number of graves up on the hill when his grandfather came there, but the graves are marked with rough stones and they are laid with the head to the West, and marked thus, so I am led to believe that we have a fort in our midst whose history is lost. I have searched all the historical works available and am not able to get any other evidence. I am planning to make some further examination of this old fort site.
On October 19, 1763, we see a band of thirty Shawnee braves crossing New River at the Mouth of Indian Creek. They have discovered the foot-prints of a white man, who has been on the river hunting, they take the trail and ascend Indian Creek to the mouth of Bradshaw Run. They have on their "war paint" and are armed with bows and arrows with the exception of two who carry rifles. One we notice is too light in color for an Indian and we decide that he is a Frenchman, and he is one of the two who are carrying rifles, the other is the famous Cornstalk. After travelling up the Creek for about a mile they come to a small clearing, with a log cabin in the center. They hide in the thick woods until they see their victim coming to the spring, which is situated at the foot of the hill near where they are hidden, when the Frenchman recognizes the man as one of his old pals, whom he is very anxious to see. The man is warned by a noise, so the Indian shoots him to keep him from getting away, but the wound is not serious, though painful. The wounded man started to run toward the cabin, and the Indians after him, but instead of entering the cabin, he dashes by with the Indian after him. He was soon overtaken and knocked down and bound with withes. They traveled on up the little run for about two miles where they stopped to camp. Here they held a council and condemned their captive to death by burning at the stake, which sentence they executed the next morning. The man that they burned at the stake was Bradshaw, and the place of execution was on W. N. Allen's place near Glendale school house, where he was buried by scouts from Fort Young which was located within the present town of Covington, Va.
This man Bradshaw was supposed to have been a pirate and to have buried an immense sum of gold at or near C. L. Lowe's place where he then lived. Bradshaw was an Englishman and settled on C. L. Lowe's place about the year 1758. He took up the first land title in this community. He was a free booter, is the report of tradition, and that he buried an immense amount of gold, but if he had gold buried it has never been found to the best of our knowledge. Bradshaw's title was a tomahawk right, or corn right. We have failed to find any record of a title from The British Crown.
We had another Indian raid through this community in the autumn of 1767. This raid was against Cook Fort which was outside of this community, but was the only refuge for the few settlers in this and adjoining communities. The following is a story of Indian cunning and strategy that took place within Forest Hill Community. The settlers had been warned of the approach of the Indians by the scout or hunter Pitman. They had been housed up in the fort for several days without seeing or hearing anything of the savages, so one morning John Cook, a young man, wanted to go out to kill a wild turkey, as he said that he had heard gobbling for three or four days. He was warned again by the scout, that it wasn't safe to leave the fort for fear that the Indians were only waiting for just such a chance to take scalps. He said, "Who's afraid of Indians", and prepared to leave the fort before day break the next morning. He went but never returned. Still the turkey kept calling and the scout decided to find, if he could, what had become of John Cook, so instead of waiting to leave the fort in the morning as cook had done he left the fort just after dark, and crossing the creek he made a detour around the place where the turkey made a habit of calling, the place where Cook had gone to kill the turkey. Just at daylight the next morning he heard a noise as he cautiously raised his head from under the log where he had spent the night, to see an Indian making his way to a log just a little below him on the side of the hill. As it wasn't light enough for accurate shooting, the scout decided to watch and see what the cunning savage was up to. The savage crawled into a patch of thick weeds by the side of a log, put his rifle over the log, and began to call like a turkey. The scout was able to solve the mystery as to the fate of John Cook. Deciding the time for him to act was at hand, he cautiously raised to his knees and took quick aim and shot the savage in the back of the head killing him instantly, he then proceeded to look for the body of Cook, whose scalp he saw hanging to the belt the Indian wore. He soon found the body hidden in some leaves, and then returned very cautiously to fort, as he did not know how many savages were near him in the woods. It was later learned that the Indian killed by Pitman was a noted war chief. The savages retired from the fort discouraged by the loss of their leader and the men from the fort brought in the body of Cook and buried it near the fort. This fort was on the farm of Squire James Keatley near the post office of Indian Mills, or just above the Squire's on the Creek.
The last Indian raid in this community was in 1783, this time the Indians came as usual up New River, Indian Creek, and Bradshaw Run to the farm now owned by C. D. Bolton, then the home of William Brown, who lived just across the road from the present site of O. D. Bolton's cattle scales, where you can still see the mound of earth where the cabin stood. This cabin was burned by Indians who came to the house in the absence of the men folks and set fire to the flax in the roof and burned the house. The old lady Brown was a very fleshy woman and when the Indians came to the house and found her alone and the men gone then set fire to the house and carried her away. The men came home and found the house burning and followed the Indians to Paint Creek at an old Indian Camp. They were preparing to burn Mrs. Brown at the stake, as she was so fleshy they decided not to be bothered with her any longer. The Indians had everything ready for the bonfire. When the men fired on the Indians they rescued her. These men were the Farley scouts from Fort Culbertson. Mrs. Brown was the grandmother of Allen F. Brown of Marie, W. Va.
There was one Indian battle on the edge of this community which I think should be given here in connection with Indian raids. Captain Paul immediately following the last raid mentioned began a pursuit of the Indians with twenty men from Fort Young, passing out at the head of Dunlap's Creek, descending Indian Creek and New River to Piney River, without making any discovery of the enemy. On Indian Creek they met Pitman who had been running all the day and the night before to warn the garrison at Fort Young, Covington, Va., of the approach of the Indians. Pitman joined in the pursuit of the party which had killed Carpenter; but the Indians apprehending that they would be followed had escaped to Ohio by the way of Greenbrier and Kanawha Rivers. As Captain Paul and his men were returning they accidently met with the other party of Indians, which had been to Catawba and committed some depredations and murders there. They were discovered about midnight, encamped on the north bank of New River at the Mouth of Indian Creek opposite the Island. Excepting some few who were watching three prisoners, whom they had taken at Catawba, and who were sitting in the midst of them, they were lying around a small fire wrapped in skins and blankets. Paul not knowing that there were captives among them fired into their midst, killing three Indians and wounding several others, one of whom drowned himself to preserve his scalp. The rest of the party fled hastily down the river and escaped. In an instant after the firing, Paul and his men rushed forward to secure the wounded and prevent further escapes. One of the foremost of his party seeing, as he supposed, a squaw sitting composedly awaiting the results; raised his tomahawk and just as it was descending Captain Paul three himself between the assailant and his victim receiving the blow on his arm, exclaimed "It is a shame to hurt a woman, even a squaw".Recognizing the voice of Captain Paul, the woman named him. She was a Mrs. Katherine Gumm, an English woman who had come to the country some years before; and who previous to marriage, had lived in the family of Captain Paul's father-in-law, where she had become acquainted with him. She had been taken captive by the Indians on the Catawba a few days before, when her husband and two only children were killed by them. When questioned why she had not cried out or otherwise made known that she was a white prisoner, she replied, "I had as soon been killed as not, My husband is murdered, my children are slain, my parents are dead and I have not a relative in America. Everything dear to me here is gone, I have no wishes, no hopes, no fears, I would not have risen to my feet to save my life".
When Captain Paul came on the enemy's camp he silently posted his men in an advantageous situation for doing execution and made arrangements for a simultaneous fire. To render this the more deadly and efficient, they dropped on one knee and were preparing to take deliberate aim when one of them (John McCollan) called to his comrades, "Pull steady and send them all to hell". This ill timed expression of anxious caution, gave the enemy a moments warning of their danger and is the reason why greater execution was not done.
The Indians had left all their guns, blankets and plunder; these together with the three white captives were taken by Captain Paul to Fort Dinwiddie, (Staunton, Va.). This raid and battle took place in the fall of 1764 according to Captain Paul's letters and was the same party discovered by Swope, Pack, and Pitman. This seemed to be a favorite camping place for Indians according to a letter written by Captain William Christian at Roanoke, Va., October 19, I763 as follows: "Being joined by Captain Hickenbotham with twenty-five of the Amherst militia we marched on Tuesday last, to Vinston's Meadows where our scouts informed us that they had discovered a party of Indiana about three miles off. Night coming on prevented our meeting them, and next day, being rainy made it difficult to follow their tracks. As they were on their return, Captain Hickenbotham marched to join Captain Ingles down New River, I with 19 men and my ensigns took a different route in quest of them. We marched next day on their tracks until two hours before sunset when we heard some guns and soon afterwards discovered three large fires, which appeared to be on the bank of Turkey Creek where it empties into New River. Upon this we immediately advanced and found they were on an island. Being within gun shot we fired on them and loading again we forded the Creek. The Indians after killing Joseph Kimberlain, a prisoner they had with them made but a slight resistance and ran off. We found one Indian killed on the spot, and at a little distance, four blankets shot through and very bloody. We took all their bundles, four guns, eight tomahawks and two mares. They had several other horses, which being frightened by the firing ran off and were lost. The party consisted of upwards of twenty Indians. By the tracks of blood, we imagined several of them were wounded." This affair occured October 12, 1763.
During the building of the Big Bend tunnel in 1872 a peddler by the name of Ratliffe disappeared and was never heard of after. He had on his person $375.00 and left the tunnel accompanied by Harry Gill, who lived in the mountains back of Bradshaw's Run in Forest Hill District. Mr. Henry Milburn saw the peddler and Gill cross the Greenbrier River near his place and they went on in the direction of Gill's. That night a Mr. Lowe who lived in the neighborhood heard the cries of distress of some one appealing for help. At first he thought the cries came from his father's, and he ran in that direction on Bradshaw's Run, but discovered that the trouble was in the mountains. The cries ceased and later in the night a great fire, was seen in the direction of Gill's. The next day it was learned that Gill's stable had burned during the night, claimed to be accidental. The peddler was never seen or heard of afterwards, and no evidence could be found of his except a piece of his trousers was found in a hollow hickory tree in the neighborhood of where the stable was burned, with a hole near the waistband, indicating and appearing to have been made by a bullet. No arrests were made, as no evidence could be found for certain that Ratliffe was dead.
A few years ago this same Harry Gill died and during his last illness the neighbors ame in to attend him and administer to his wants, and during this last illness he seemed to be in great despair, although perfectly sane in mind, and he would cry out, "There is Ratliffe! Take him away!" Finally he secured a pair of scissors and demanded to know if Ratliffe was gone. He kept hold of this weapon until his death. People were present at his death who were not in the state at the time of the disappearance of the peddler, and had never heard of him or of the circumstances. Gill lived to be an old man, and was in later years elected constable. Whether Ratliffe was killed was never known. The foregoing is taken from Judge Miller's History of Summers County.
Allen Michael married a Smith and became one of the early settlers of this community settling on the head waters of Spruce Run on the land now owned by S. J. Michael. Allen Michael reared the following children, Mary Anne, Steward, Luncinda, and Elija. Mary Anne is a very estimable maiden lady who is still living on the old home place with her nephew S. J. Michael. Steward Michael married an Allen and reared the following children, John, S. J. Henry, and Rebecca. John, son of Steward, married a Snodgrass and resides in Mercer County. S. J. Michael married Janie Allen and reared the following children, Blasnche who married C. Shumate and lives near Bozoo, W. Va.; Hester who married C. Akers and resides near Mt. Hope, W. Va.; F. M. who married a daughter of D. B. Light and is a member of the mercantile firm of Michael Brothers of Forest Hill; W. E. who married a daughter of J. W. Ferrell and is a member of the firm of Michael Brothers of Forest Hill; Maude who married D. B. Lowe an enterprising farmer of the community; Pansy who married a Harvey of Wykle, W. Va.; and Clarice who married Carl Martin a member of the firm of Martin and Son of red Sulphur Springs, General Merchants. Henry Michael a son of Allen's married a Lilly for his first wife and upon her death married for his second wife a Stiller of Hinton. He is an employee of the C & O R. R. and has been for a number of years.
George Cottle reared the following children by his second wife, Madison, Wash, John, J. S., James, Thomas, Giles, and Martha. Madison Cottle married Bynthia Lewis and lived for several years on the N. M. Lowry farm, just below the old Cottle school house. He moved away from here a number of years ago, to Alderson, W. Va., where he was killed by a C. & O. train. He reared the following children, Lewis, James, William, Becky, Ellen, Martha, and Mary. Lewis Cottle left here when he was first grown and settled in Texas but returned to this county and died about twenty years ago and is buried at the Fairview Baptist Church at this place. James Cottle became a C. & O. conductor and was killed by passenger train No. 4 at Thurmond in 1903. He is also buried at Forest Hill by his mother and brother. He left a widow who was Jennie Hudson before their marriage. William Cottle married a Garten and is an old C. & O. engineer. He resides in Hinton. The family of Madison have all left the community. Wash Cottle son o f George Cottle Sr., married a Lowe and entered the confederate service in Colonel Edgar's Battalion. He was killed at the Dry Creek fight in 1862 and is buried on the battle field. He had no children. His widow is buried in the Shanklin grave yard on the Vina Bolton farm. John J. Cottle married a Wood and reared one child, John J. Jr. He also was a member of Colonel Edgar's Battalion and was in the battle of Dry Creek, but just after the battle he took typhoid and diptheria from the effects of which he died in the fall 1862. His son John J. Jr., was reared by Robert Wood on top of New River mountain overlooking Crump's Bottom and Fort Culbertson, as also was the author born on New River Hills on the Mercer County side on June 24, 1881, but has resided in this community most all of the time since he was four years old and in which community he has taught since the fall of 1901. He served as Justice of Peace for ten years. In 1902 he was united in marriage to Leona L. Lilly who died on October 3, 1917. He was married in the fall of 1921 to Faye Allen. James Cottle, son of Geo. Cottle Jr., left here with his parents and went to Putnam County but later went to Paint Creek in Raleigh County where he married a Stover. He reared a family and lived on Maple Fork, where he died about eight years ago. Giles Cottle son of George Cottle Sr., went to Fayette County where he married and reared a family. He is still living to the best of our knowledge, but we understand he has lost his sight. Martha, daughter of George Cottle Sr., married Mose Taylor and first settled the Lewis Simms place now the Everett Simm's Place.
He was an ardent Methodist and a devoted Christian, one of the founders of Methodism in this community. His home was a stopping place for ministers in that day of the traveling circuit riders. He was a great hunter and trapper in his day. He used to go down in the glade country in Raleigh County to hunt. He would go out and build a blind up, out of reach of the wolves and bait them. He used asafoetida to rub on his shoes, so the wolves would track him to his bait. He spent many a night up in a tree killing wolves.
He reared the following children, Elijah, Griffia, Caleb, Elizabeth M., Mary J. Nancy J., Agnes A., and Lydia D.
Griffith Garten left the community for California in 1848 and was never heard from by his friends from that day to this. They never knew whether he reached his destination or not.
Elijah Garten married Jane Evans and settled in Spice Hollow on part of the old home place where he reared the following children: J. W., Lewis, Elmer, Anne, and Bettie. J. W. and Lewis are enterprising farmers of Marie. Elmer is a C. & O. engineer. Anne married Sam Garrison and resides at Hinton. Bettie married William Cottle of Hinton. Caleb Garten, son of Uriah married a Roloson and reared one son, Uriah of Roles Chapel, who married a Carper and reared the following children: Willie, Walter, Rosa, Johnny, Frank. The three last named died with typhoid fever.
J. W. Garten, son of Caleb married for his last wife E. P. Davidson's widow and resides at the old Uriah Garten homestead. Elijah Garten son of Caleb is a Baptist minister and resides at Tempa, W. Va. The other children of Caleb were Henry, Bud, and one girl.
Elizabeth M. Garten daughter of Uriah was born May 5, 1834 and died November 21, 1901. She married Jackson P. Saunders.
Mary J. Garten daughter of Uriah was married to Stephen Davidson and reared one son, E. P. Davidson, whose history will be found with Davidson family history.
Lydia D. Garten daughter of Uriah married Phillip Vass on September 5, 1855. Her history will be found under the title of Vass.
Agnes Garten, daughter of Uriah was never married and lived at the old home place with her sister until death claimed her.
Nancy J. Garten, daugher of Uriah was never married and passed to the great beyond many years ago.
John R. Garten married Ella Steel and reared the following children: Clyde, Grace, and Nora. Clyde married a Thompson girl of Oak Vale. He now resides at Princeton. Grace married a Clyburn. She resides at Washington, D. C. Nora married Dr. D. M. Ryan, a very prominent doctor who resides in Hinton. John R. Garten is a very prominent farmer and cattle raiser of Forest Hill.
Mr. Garten was a man of sterling character and has been a member of the Missionary Baptist Church and one of its chief supports and officials for many years. He was always a Democrat in political faith and followed the leader of that great party through all of its vicissitudes. By his good business sense and management he has accumulated a comfortable fortune, which at this time he has largely distributed among his children, giving to each a comfortable home. Mrs. Garten resides in the neighborhood of Pollard survey of 2,500 acres, of which he was the owner of a considerable portion. Mr. Garten started a very poor boy, carried oats on his back to Red Sulphur Springs and sold them to get a start and to prevent the constable from levying on his horse, of which he had only one. He worked himself and paid off his early debts and decided not to make any more and lived up to his resolution, having no educational advantages not being able to read or write, although he was a successful business man.
Charles W. Garten emigrated a few years ago to Tennessee, where he now resides.
Phillip Vass died on June 30, 1890 at Hinton where he had moved from this community. He was a carpenter by trade and a fine gentleman.
Cary N. Vass married Mosby Light and reared the following children: F. Kyle, E. J., Lola, Chessie, Vennice, and D. C. Cary N. Vass served a number of years as Justice of Peace and is now a member of the County Court. He is a successful farmer and for a number of years was a member of the firm of W. A. Barger and Company, of Marie, W. Va. Upon the death of his first wife which occurred in March 1905, he married May Belcher and has the following children: Mosby and Martha.
Dr. F. Kyle Vass was born July 5, 1878 and died June 4, 1923. He graduated at The Maryland Medical College at Baltimore Md., and he stood at the head of his class in College, also at the top of his profession in actual service to his country. He offered his service to his country in the World War and was accepted and entered with rank of Lieutenant of the Medical Corps. He served at Camp Humphries, Virginia, and at Camp Ponta Munson Brist, France. He came back to Camp Dix, New York, there he was given an honorable discharge in the fall of 1919. He was a gentleman of the highest type, a true friend, a loving father and husband. He married a daughter, Alline. Dr. Vass was an authority on History of Indians and their relics of which he had a fine collection. He was of an artistic temperament and had his office decorated with birds nests and Indian relics which were tastefully arranged. He brought with him many souvenirs from the battle fields of France. His death was a calamity not only to his friends but to the general public. He was located at Greenville, Monroe County, at his death, but his remains were brought to Forest Hill on June 7, 1923 and laid to rest in the family plot by the Masonic Lodges of Greenville and Talcott, which was witnessed by a large crowd of people. "He is gone but not forgotten."
E. J. Vass, son of C. N. Vass was born June 1880. He married a Maddy and has the following daughters: Opal and Noka. E. J. Vass is the popular and enterprising merchant of Marie, W. Va.
Lola Vass, daughter of C. N. Vass married O. E. Miller and resides in the city of Hinton, and has one daughter, Christine.
Chessie Vass, daughter of C. N. Vass married Carl C. Goode who was killed in a R. R. wreck in December 1910 on the N. & W. R. R. where he had a position as R. R. mail clerk. After his death she married Cardie Ferrel. They have the following children: Maxine, who is dead, Helen, and one daughter, Bernice, by her first husband.
Vennice Vass, daughter of C. N. Vass married S. R. Dunn who died of typhoid fever. They have three sons, Cary Louis, Carryington, and Donald.
Jennie M. daughter of Phillip Vass married I. G. Young and moved to Hinton, where Young died. She then moved to Cincinnati.
Louisa A., daughter of Phillip Vass married Walter A. Barger, son of William Barger, and moved to Hinton, W. Va. They moved to Cincinnati fifteen years ago where Louisa died.
Rosetta E., daughter of Phillip Vass married C. C. Cook and settled in Hinton where both died.
Dosy J., son of Phillip Vass was never married and died in Hinton a number of years ago.
Willie D., daughter of Phillip Vass married a Brandyburg and resides in Cincinnati.
W. L. Redmond, was born in Virginia near where Bedford City now is. He came to West Virginia when he was about twelve years old and has lived here ever since in this community. He married Adaline Keatley in 1871 and bought twenty-two acres in the woods. He claimed a small plot of land and built a log cabin in which he went to house-keeping. This is in a few steps of where he still lives. He reared ten children, five boys and five girls, all of which are still living, the youngest being twenty-eight years old. The children are as follows: W. B., R. W., Chas., John, J. V., Minnie, Della, Etta, Mattie, and Pearl.
W. L. Redmond was a Confederate soldier, serving throughout the war with the 17th Va. Cavalry. He is one of the farmers who bought and paid for their land by the sale of tobacco. He started with twenty-two acres, but now owns about three hundred acres. He is a citizen of sterling character.
W. B., son of W. L. Redmond married J. W. Allen's daughter, and reared the following children: Willie, Katherine, and Allen. He is the popular merchant of Indian Mills. He is also a teacher of fine ability. He has served one term as office clerk for the county assessor of Summers County.
R. W. son of W. L. Redmond married an Allen and resides with his father. He has one child.
J. V., son of W. L. Redmond married a Noble and resides in this community.
Minnie, daughter of W. L. Redmond, who married as her first husband the Rev. J. Walter Crawford who died in 1916. She married W. M. Scott in the summer of 1922. She has been one of our successful teachers of this community.
Della, daughter of W. L. Redmond, married Robert Lowe who was one of the successful merchants of Indian Mills. She lives now in Beckley where her only son holds a position as an electrical engineer.
Etta, daughter of W. L. Redmond, married Press Pauley and now resides at Yeager, W. Va.
Mattie, daughter of W. L. Redmond, is a graduate of the Roanoke Business College. She now holds a position with Wet Virginia Board of Control. She is unmarried.
Pearl, daughter of W. L. Redmond, married a Basham and resides in Huntington. She is a graduate of the Concord Normal School.
W. M. Scott, the third married Lottie Allen in April 1916. To this union was born one son, Mason. Mrs. Scott died in December 1917.
W. M. Scott, the third married for his third wife, Mrs. Minnie Crawford widow of the late J. Walter Crawford, on July 31, 1922.
W. M. Scott moved from Sweet Springs to Forest Hill and purchased the store at that place from Harvey Dransfield, and has been the postmaster at this place and the leading merchant.
Charles, son of W. L. Redmond, is an employee of the C. & O. and resides in Hinton, W. Va.
John, son of W. L. Redmond, is a graduate of Indiana Veterinarian College. He now holds a position with the United States Government and is located at Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Following is a copy of his certificate of ordination: "This is to certify that our brother, Absolem D. Bolton was publicly ordained and set-apart for the full work of the gospel ministery, with prayer and laying on of hands by the under named Presbytery, according to the usages of the Baptist Church on December 16, 1861. He was called to ordination by the Big Stony Creek Church regularly connected with the Valley Baptist Association of which church he is a member, and which after full and sufficient opportunity to judge of his gifts were agreed in their opinion that he was called to the work of the ministry. Our brother was accordingly received with the full and entire approbation of the Presbytery called by the church, and also of the gospel ministery and is hereby authorized to administer all the ordinances of gospel, and to perform all the duties under a minister of Christ, and may the Great Head of the church abundantly bless him in all of his labors and may he walk worthy of the high vocation where to he has been called. Given under our hands December 16, 1861. M. Ellison, John B. Lee, W.R. Gitt".
He left two sons, Henry Albert and James D. both residents of Forest Hill and one daughter, Ettie W. H.A. Bolton is a prosperous farmer and a very intelligent and honorable gentleman respected by his neighbors and the community. He married Miss Mattie Garten and reared the following children: Fannie, who married N.M. Lowry, Bessie, and C.D., who is the Cashier of the Nation Bank of Summers.
J.D. Bolton has been deputy sheriff of this county during two terms of four years each. First as deputy for James H. George and the second time under Harvey Ewart, filling that position to the eminent satisfaction of his principals and to the people. He was elected Sheriff of Summers County in 1916 and served four years. He married Mrs. Leedy and after her death he married Miss Warren.
The Bolton family is of English descent, immigrating to this country from Bolton City, England, J.D. is the youngest son of Rev. A.D., and was born on November 21, 1855 at Parisburg, VA. J.D. Bolton has one daughter, Blanch.
Miss Etta Bolton, the only daughter, married Charles Garten and now resides with her aged mother on the old home place. The widow of the Rev. A.D. Bolton is still living at this writing, her age being 91 or 92 years.
The death of Rev. A.D. Bolton occurred at this home near Forest Hill on January 27, 1900, and he was laid to rest in the Fairview cemetery.
Walter H. Boude's son Clinton Ford Boude is the only descendent of the name in the country now living.
Samulel K. Boude was a brave soldier in the Confederate Army, being a volunteer in Loury's Battery of King's Battalion along with A.A. Carden, J.M. Carden, and others. He was the first justice of Forest Hill district after the formation of the country, and was also appointed constable in the construction of the country. He held this office four years, and was one of the commissioners appointed by the circuit court to adjust the county line dispute between Monroe, Summers, and Greenbrier in that noted controversy. He died before the hearing of the case, and another commissioner had to be appointed in his place. He died on February 15, 1896 at the age of sixty-five years, leaving one son Walter H. Boude and seven daughters. After the death of his first wife, he married the widow of James Scott, a daughter of the late James Boyde of near the Big Bend Tunnel and a sister of Ben R. Boyd. Her first husband being a sone of the late James K. Scott of Hungart's Creek. She still survives with one daughter Reta, by her last husband and Mona deceased.
Walter H. Boude, sone of Samuel K. Boude was born on September 23, 1860, and was reared at Forest Hill on his father's farm and followed in his footsteps, was an active Democrat and believed in the religious doctrines of John Wesley. On October 25, 1894 he was united in marriage with Miss Alice Ford. They reared the following children: Daisy, Mary, and Clinton.
The daughters of Samuel K. Boude are as follows: Laura, who married A.T. Crawford, and died in December 1923; Etta, who married J.W. Ferrel, and now resides on the Greenbrier River; Jennie who married Green Meadows, and is now living at Norfold, Virginia; Pearl married and now lives in Alabama; Clea married a man named Hare. She is dead now.
James Ferrell was the father of two sons, the oldest dying in infancy and the second D.K. Ferrell lived to the age of twenty-seven. He married Celia A. Meadow, daughter of Hon. William Meador of Bluestone, and to them were born three sons , the first being born dead and the other two J.W. and E.D. Ferrell are the representatives of the Ferrelll family. J.W. lived at the old ancestral home until his death which occurred in 1922. He married a daughter of S.K. Boude and reared the following children: Kenna, Eda, Ora, Celia, Ruby, Roy, Wessie, Paul, John, and Boude. All are living except Eda and Ora.
James and Elizabeth Ferrell lived to a very old age, the latter lived to the age of eighty-five and the former to the age of seventy-six. After the death of D.K. Ferrell, his widow married R.H. Shumate, a son of Anderson Shumate of Giles County, Virginia and to their union were born six children, none of them reside in this community. Mrs. Celia A. Shumate, the widow of D.K. Ferrell died in February 1888 and her second husband, R.H. Shumate in 1890.
This family of Allens is of English descent and there are a number of the youngter generation scattered thoughout this section, all of whom are good law-abiding citizens.
O.C. Fleshman married Miss Eliza Broyles, a sister of W.N. Allen's wife who settled with the Reverend Lucas who was a Baptist Minister and lived where O.C. Fleshman now lives. O.C. Fleshman reared the following children: Eliza, Samuel, Andrew, Mason, and Veron. All are now living except Andrew.
J.A. McDaniel who married a Broyles, reared the following children: Causie who is with his parents, and Cleo who married May Crawford, a daughter of H.L. Crawford. They have one son, James Lewis, and reside with H.L. Crawford. Also Isletta , who married a Broyles, reared the following children: Causie who is with his parents, and Cleo who married May Lewis, and reside with H. L. Crawford. Also Isletta, who married Luther Shoemate. J.A. McDaniel is one of our enterprising and successful farmers of Forest Hill community.
J.T. Campbell purchased the Joe Ellis place O.S. Webb and settled here about eight or ten years ago. He is one of the enterprising and successful farmers of the community.
P.L. Minner is a descendant of the first settler in the Marie neighborhood. He married a Miss Brown of Orchard, W.Va. He resides on the old home place. He is a successful business man and an enterprising farmer.
Isaac Roach married a Michael and resides on a part of the old Minner tract.
Almy Willy married a Huffman and settled on the Richard McNeer farm. He died in the summer of 1923. He was a veteran of the Civil War. He has only one daughter and one son in this community, Gussie who married a Mowery, and resides at the old home place, and W.W. Willy who married a Harvey and reared the following children: Glendon, Gladys, Garnet, Genesee, Madeline, Howard, and Bernard. W.W. Willy is Justice of the Peace of his district.
J.L. Canterberry, son of Granvell Canterberry, married a Miss Lowe and reared the following children: Kate, Wilbur, Fred, Roy, Pat, Charles, and Faye. J.T. resides on and owns the Charles Garten farm. He is one of the enterprising farmers of this community.
E.E. Rogers married a Foster and reared the following sons: Guy and John. E.E. Rogers resides and owns a portion of the Charles garten land. He is a substantial farmer.
James W. Lilly son of Tollison Lilly married a Persinger and reared the following children: Lizzie, Albert, C.M., Ellen, L.L., J.W., H. R., L.D., E.E., and Rose. L.L. married G.E. Cottle and died on October 3, 1917. H.R. Lilly married a Dillon Cottle and resides at the Cottle Home place.
James W. Lilly died October 1922. His widow is still living. The rest of the children are living outside of the community.
P.M. Foster married a Townsley. He resides on the old John Barger place. He is one of the successful farmers of this community. He served for a number of years as a member of the board of Education of Forest Hill district.
The next oldest land grant is that known as the Pollard Land Grant. This was granted to Pollard by Governor Edmund Randolph of Virginia and was dated April 22, 1788. The survey to this the 2500 acres Pollard grant was run or completed the eight day of March 1786 to said Pollard, assignee of Henry Banks and started at an oak by the creek near Mrs. Vina Bolton's home running North by East to a Buckeye, which stands on the Glendale School House lot, thence to E.E. Rogers' and thence West by South to a poplar in the old Barger Meadow, just below Cleveland School House, and thence South to the staring point, and adjoing the Bradshaw tract. This survey contained 2500 acres and was granted by land on Treasury warrants numbers 21563 and 16055. These were dated the eighth day of May 1783. This grant of land was sold from time to time for taxes until to day it is owned by the following farmers: Everet Sims, N.M. Lowry (heirs) J.W. Lowe, H.L. Crawford, H.T. Shields, O.L. Webb, W.N. Allen, John R. Garten, T.M. Hutchison: heirs, G.W. Allen, W.E. Michael, E.E. Lilly, J.L. Canterberry, J.H. Rogers, G.E. Cottle, J.W. Lilly, C.E. Saunders, A.H. Saunders, E.L. Saunders, P.M. Foster, W.G. Taylor, and B.M. Ramsey. There has been litigation over this with the Pollard heirs but the purchasers have won every time.
The next land grant was the 1390 which was covered by land warrent number 16055 as mentioned above. This owned by J.D. Bolton, C.E. Sumner, W.N. Allen, Mrs. Upton, S.J. Michael, W.C. Woodrum, heirs, J.M. Hutchison, A.M. Hutchison and W.L. Hutchison, Almy Willy, heirs, Mrs. D.L. Michael and Mrs. J. W. Crawford.
Over the line between the 2500 acres and 1390 acres land grants came about the Great Ejectment suit of Turner vs. Hutchison. This was tried in the Circuit Court of Summers was compromised and the land was divided. Some of the land in this community belonged to the Boardman grant of 9800 acres, which starts at Wykle's Peach or chard and runs a straight line for four miles to the two poplars in the Barger Meadow with the Pollard surveys.
The H.A. Bolton land was settled first by William Brown. The G.W. Allen place was first settled by Peter Massey and is still known as the Massey place. The J.W. Lowe place was first settled by Alexandra Hutchison, who was one of the oldest settlers in the neighborhood and the founder of the Hutchison family. He is the father of Major James and J. Mastin Hutchison. Alexandra and his wife are buried on the J.W. Lowe place not farm from where his barn stands now. B. Vass first settled the N.M. Lowry place but left here many years ago. The Uriah Garten place was settled about 1795 and is still in the family. The E.D. Ferrel place was first settled by the Rev. Edwin Woodson, who was an eminent Baptist minister and reared the following children: Cary, Ed., John, Jennie, Eliza, and William, Cary Woodson was one of the pioneer merchants of this community. He moved from here to Alderson several years ago. Ed Woodson lived on the old Home place practically all of his life, but he has passed to the great beyond some years ago. William moved over in the Ballard neighborhood and reared a family, some of his sons are noted as hustlers, as farmers and as financiers. Jennie married Stewart Mann. She is dead now. Eliza married I.G. Carden and reared the following children: Will, B.Z., John, M.E., Minta, Nora, and Lottie. Mrs. Carden has been dead for many years, but all of her children are still living. Minta married E.D. Ferrel and is living at the old Woodson homestead in this community. They have reared the following children: Charles, Cardy, Annie, Ashby, Harry, Glyn, James Gussie, Pauline and Sprugeon. All of the children are living.
Harry is a noted Baptist Divine and is a shining light in his profession. All of the children are out of the community and have good positions except James who is in school and Spurgeon and Cardy who are farming at home.
E.D. Ferrel is a grandson of William Ferrel who first settled the farm where W.N. Allen now lives.
This neighborhood was first called the Farms, and got its name from the saying of a man by the name of Anderson who owned some corn rights in and around Forest Hill, and when he would start down here and any one was to ask him where he was going he would say, "Down to my farms". But when the postoffice was established it was called Forest Hill.
The farm which J.T. Campbell now owns was settled by Kearns who owned all the land from there to Forest Hill. He deeded the land for the cemetery and I have been informed that he reserved one quarter out on the North side, just outside the fence for a burying ground for his family, but his wife and child are the only ones of his family to rest at Forest Hill.
One of the first settled places here is the Turner place now owned by Goldia Campbell and was settled in the early part of the nineteenth century, or the latter part of the eighteenth century. It was purchased by Leonard Turner who resided there until his death about fifty years ago, and then by his widow and daughter till the latter part of the nineties. It was then purchased by O.C. Hutchison who sold it to John R. Garten about three or four years ago.
This small band of Yankees captured a man by the name of Meadows and was taking him back with them to Packs Ferry where Major McKinley's command was camped. While passing along the Isaac Milburn place then owned by John Woodrum, they were telling him that they thought they would give him a rope necktie when they got down to Buck. They had his hands tied behind him, but just as they got to the far end of the lane where the road turns at a right angle, he decided it was now or never, so he made a break for liberty. The Yankees fired a number of times at him but failed to stop him, and he got away without a scratch. Then the southern people called for Thurmond's Rangers and after this there was comparative quiet in this neighborhood.
William Woodrum who was a brother of Major Richard Woodrum of Wolf Creek having joined Thurmond's men enroute, got into a melee and in close quarters with Captain Garten, at which time firing commenced, and Mr. Woodrum was killed in his tracks. Garten's men were scattered, but all made their escape. William Woodrum married a sister of Allen Ellison. The killing of Woodrum occurred in the fall of 1864.
W.M. Foster, Co. A., 60th Va. Regiment
F.H. Michael, Co. F., Edgar's Battalion
James M. Allen, Co. F., Edgar's Battalion
T.R. Webb, Co., F., Edgar's Battalion
Thomas G. Lowe, Co. F., Edgar's Battalion
R.S. Rudd, Mosby's Command
W.L. Redmond, 17th Va. Cavalry
Stephen Davidson, Co. F. 22nd Va. Regiment
W.C. Woodrum, Co. F. Edgar's Battalion
Richard McNeer, Lowery's Battery
E.E. Woodson, Lowery's Battery
Harry Smithy, Lowery's Battery
A.M. Hutchison, Lowery's Battery
Wash Cottle, Co., F., Lowery's Battery
Thomas Cottle, Co., F., Lowery's Battery
J.P. Saunders, Co., F., Lowery's Battery
Captain R.W. Saunders, Thermond's Rangers
Mike Foster, Stonewall's Brigade
Allen Woodrum, Co., F., Edgar's Battalion
Alma Willey, Co. F, 91st Ohio Infantry
Dr. W.A. Wykle, Regular
Geo. Wilson, 1st W.Va., Regiment
Boude Wykle, Regulars
Mancer Wykle, Regulars
Captain John Light, 4th Division
Homer Roach died at Camp Meade, Md.
Kelly Foster, 3rd Army Division, A.F.
Roy Saunders, 80th Division
Colonel George M. Edgar, the gallant commander of the famous Edgar's Battalion relates that on the morning of June 2, 1864, at the second battle of Cold Harbor, that part of Lee's line held by his Battalion was desperately charged by the Federal Army. The carnage was dreadful. The Battle of the Wilderness had just begun, and those awful days were telling upon the army of Northern Virginia. The soldiers on both sides were as dauntless and devoted as the armies which followed Napoleon at Austerlitz, Wagram, and Lodi. The Confederate lines had been thinned, and it was not possible for Edgar to concentrate upon the charging Federals a fire sufficiently strong to repulse them before they reached the breast works. The Federals struck the intrenchments and the conflict became a hand to hand affair. The Federals swept over and seemed to engulf the few defenders, and a number of confederates were taken prisoners, among them Colonel Edgar himself who had received a bayonet wound in the shoulder, but before this as related by him, he saw Allen Woodrum fighting desperately with the Federals on the breast-works above him, thrusting at them with the sharp lance point of the staff of his flag. In a few moments just as the Federal line surged over the Confederates defense; Woodrum was pierced by several bullets, having thrust however, as he fell, the point of his flag staff clean through the body of one of his assailants, thus giving him a mortal blow. Woodrum as he fell tore from his staff his battle flat and attempted to thrust it beneath his clothes out of sight, then falling in death he lay upon it, interposing his body between it and his enemies. In a few moments a counter charge of the Confederates repulsed the Federals driving them back with heavy slaughter to their own lines, and recapturing most of the Conferates who had a few moments before being taken prisoners, among those recaptured, being Colonel Edgar himself. Later Allen Woodrum was found lying in the intrenchment dead but even in death still protecting his flag, which was hidden beneath him. Faithful was he un til his death, a modest big hearted country boy, who lived and died a hero. General Gordon was deeply moved by this incident.
The afore mentioned Allen Woodrum was a son of the first settler of the Turner place.
During the summer of 1863, a squad of cavalry from Mosby's Command stopped at Wattic Saunders for dinner. This is the place where J.H. Rogers now lives, placing their pickets about fifty yards from the gate that entered into E.C. Lillys. The pickets were passing their time away playing cards, while engaged in this passtime there cam up a severe thunder storm. The lightning struck close to the pickets and scared the horses upon which they were seated. A man by the name of J. Giles cursed his horse and his Maker and called upon God to try him next time, in about ten minutes there came a streak of lightning which killed Giles and both of the horses. The other man was only stunned. Giles was killed at the cherry tree just around the turn from E.E. Lilly's gate. He was buried behind J.H. Rogers meadow which is behind the barn under two oaks. The ditches have nearly cut the grave out.
The first church built in this community, was built about one mile north-west of Forest hill post office on the Major James Hutchison place, in what is known as Turner's Lane by the road side. It was a log structure erected about 1812 or 1814 by the Methodist people and was used until it was destroyed by fire in the early thirties. Then they erected a log structure just in front of and on the same lot occupied by the present Methodist date of 1835. This log structure was used as a church until June 1860, when a frame church was erected just behind the log church, which was dedicated on June 17, 1860. The dedication sermon was delivered by Rev. Phelps, a famous Methodist presiding elder who lived in Lewisburg. It was then in Peterstown circuit and a part of Baltimore Conference. The church building was one of the very first frame churches ever built in the country and it was part of the property over which there was strenuous litigation after the war, it being claimed by the southern branch of the southern church, but the title was in the mother church. In 1867 the southern church was organized at Forest Hill by Rev. Caddin Wiseman, who was the first preacher. He was on the circuit one year and was succeeded by Rev. Snapp, then by Rev. Troy, Rev. John Canter and Rev. Rufus M. Wheeler, who served five years, in the Peterstown circuit four, the Talcott circuit one, which latter circuit was constructed at the time and Forest Hill included therein. He was succed by ghe Reverends J. Kyle Gilbert, J.L. Henderson, G.R. Mayes, Wilson, LaFew, S.R. Snead, Parrot, Lawson, Tyler, Bitner, Wolf, Fink, Wilcher, Shires, and Morgan, who is the pastor at present. This church was used for many years by justices of the peace to hold their courts and by public speaches for political meetings and other public purposes. Celebrated orators, such as Senator Frank Hereford, Captain R.F. Dennis, henry Mason Matthews and other noted statesmen have addressed and the people therein.
The old church had the honor of housing two ex-presidents of the U.S. major William McKinley and Colonel R.B. Hayes, who camped in the church a few days during 1863.
In the Church lot is located one of the oldest grave yards in the country and many of the pioneer settlers are buried there. This graveyard is about one hundred years old. Rev. Adam P. Boude, the eloquent minister preached his first sermon in this church. As stated above, the church property belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church before the Civil war and before the Methodist Episcopal church before the Civil war and before the split in that church by which the M.L. Church South was created. The old organization after the war took possession, locked the building against ministers and people of the new organization which was formed about 1867, but these radical members moved off to Ohio, and those remaining were of a more liberal tolerant, and conservative disposition. The doors were later thrown open in a true Christian spirit and the church south has for many years had use of the building, controlling same, the legal title remaining in the northern branch of the church, of which members are very few at this time, some twelve in number.
The church south at that place has a member-ship of about one-hundred. The aforementioned building was torn down in the summer of 1915, and a new one erected on the old site by Cottle and Lilly. This building was dedicated in 1916. The dedicational sermon was preached by Rev. Anderson. The M.E. Church for the consideration of a new building deeded one half interest of same to M.E. Church south. The following trustees were appointed for the the M.E. Church, J.W. Allen, J.W. Foster and C.E. Summers, and for the M.E. south, J.P. McNeer, L.A. Colter and S.J. Michael.
There is also in the hands of the M.E. Church trustees at Forest Hill a deed dated October 19, 1835 from John H. Vauter and Clara S. His wife, and Allen F. Capteron and Harrietto, his wife, to George Hutchison, Alexandra Burnside, Peter Minner, Henry Margart, John Thomas, Richard McNeer, William Arnett, David Pancoast, and Jacob Cook, trustees of the M.E. Church south.
The Fairview Baptist Church at Forest Hill, Summers County, West Virginia, was organized under the name of Little Wolf Creek Baptist Church on May 21, 1859. Rev. W.G. Margrave, Rev. M. Ellison, Rev. John Bragg, and Rufus Pack composed the Presbytery, with Rufus Pack Chairman and G.W. Peters Secretary. This church was organized with twenty-five members with John Bragg as pastor and James A. Hutchison Church Clerk, John Woodrum, James Ferrell and James K. Scott deacons. The pastorate of Rev. John Bragg continued from organization to January 1862.
The Civil War being in progress, the church had no pastor from January 1862 until May 1863 when Rev. Rufus Pack was elected pastor, preaching only on Sundays and only occasionally on account of the war. Beginning with August 3, 1866, the church held regular services with Rev. Rufus Pack as pastor, who continued in this capacity till January 1873. At the February meeting in 1873 Rev. James Sweeny was chosen pastor and he served the church faithfully till September 1875.
In December 1875 Rev. A.D. Bolton was elected pastor, serving the church regularly till December 1882. Rev. G.W. Wesley was the pastor from October 1883 till August 1885. Rev. W.F. Hank was called to the pastorate and served in this capacity from August 1885 till July 1893. Rev. J.B. Chambers began his work as pastor June 1894 and was succeeded in 1897 by Rev. J.W. Crawford, who continued as pastor till September 1903. The pastorate of Rev. H. McLaughlin began January 1904, and ended with the year. The church then called Rev. J.B. Chambers for the second time. Rev. J.W. Grimmett was pastor from December 15, 1906 till 1912. Rev. Henry Dillon began his work as pastor December 10, 1912 and was succeeded by Rev. Lake Bailey who served about two years. Rev. L.D. Candler was called to the pastorate and served in this capacity from April 9, 1922 til December 1923. A.M. Hutchisonis the church clerk, to whom I am indebted for this information.
The first school in this community was organized about 1820 and a log building erected to house the same. This was situated near the first church building in Turner's Lane, which was used for a number of years probably till near 1840, when the building was destroyed by fire. This place has been said to have been haunted, as tradition claims there was a man murdered in the old school house. Tradition failed to hand the name of the murdered man down to us.
R.W. Saunders tells us of passing there one time and seeing, what appeared to be a sheet rise up from the ground in front of him, and ascend over his head and disappear. Caroline Woodrum, who was a sister of the late Allen Ellison saw something that appeared to be a white mule which disappeared when she approached it. But if there were haunts here in the older days, they seem not to be working now, as the writer has passed at all times of night and day without seeing or hearing anything.
We are unable to learn anything of either the teachers or pupils of the old school.
The next school house erected in this community wa sabout 1843, on the site now occupied by W.M. Scott's store and the post office of Forest Hill, W.Va. Many of our oldest inhabitants attended this school and studied their three R's.
The next school house which is still standing is made out of logs and is on the farm now owned by John W. Lowe. This was known as the Cottle school house. The board of education located a frame building near and left the old building standing. The round log building had greased paper to let in the light, while the hewed log building had three windows. The first building had split logs for benches, while the hewed log building had long seats of boards. The frame building had desks for two, but they, too, are out of date and now must give way to the single seat and desk.
The next house located in this community was erected on W.C. Woodrum's farm and went by the name of the Turner school. It claims as its students men who have made their mark in the world in Baptists ministers, J.E. Hutchison and J. Walter Crawford. The old school was honored by those mentioned, and by such men as Walter Boude, Circuit Clerk for a number of years, also by the following: J.P. Mcneer, O.L. Webb, E.L. Webb, T.M. Hutchison, A.M. Hutchison, W.L. Hutchison, Allen Woodrum, hero of the New Market fight and others unknown to the writer.
The Turner school was moved down on Spruce Run and is still disseminating knowledge.
The old school buildings have fulfilled their mission here and they have fallen before the rapid advance of progress. And the old teacher has fulfilled his appointed task and has left his imprint of knowledge to bring forth yea a thousand fold.
The first settlers of this community had to live in the most primitive manner, they had to make their own furniture, and the women folks carded the wool and spun it into cloth for the clothing for their families. They also raised flax, which they broke, skutched, spun, and wove into linen for their table cloths, towels, and socks.
The stove was unknown and all the cooking was done in an old fashioned oven and pots hung inside the wide fire place. The bill-of-fare consisted of bread, meat, butter, and sorghum. For drinks they had milk and sassafras tea. For light they had pine torches, the open fire place, and candles which they manufactured themselves.
Their homes were log cabins covered with clapboards held on with weights. They were lighted by narrow slits between the logs which could be stopped with a block cut to fit to keep Indians from shooting through the windows. The remainder of cracks were chinked with rock and covered with clay mortar. They were without floors or ceiling, or if they had floors they were simply split logs. Instead of chairs they had three legged stools made by splitting a block of wood and boring three large holes with an auger and riving in three round sticks of wood of the proper dimensions. The average home of the community today would look like a mansion if compared with the homes of that day.
The spinning wheel and loom were prominent in the homes of the pioneers.
The father was his own shoemaker, carpenter, and blacksmith. The shoes were usually moccasins or brogans and the clothes of the men were made of deerskins. They wore a kind of hunting shirt with a belt, their pants only came to their knees, and upon their heads they wore caps made of coon skin with the tails hanging down their backs. Armed with a long black barreled rifle and with a tomahawk and a knife in his belt, the pioneer made a formidable antagonist as well as a picturesque figure. The women folks wore linsey dresses and sunbonnets, and moccasins in place of shoes.
There were no automobiles or wagons. The early settlers had sleds and pack saddles, and the usual mode of travel was horse back or on foot, yet with these handicaps they would attend church and Sunday school regularly. They would go from here to Greenville to attend church on Sunday, while now it is a task to get people out to church when we have only a mile or two to go and nearly every family has a car. There are twenty seven car owned in this community.
The first wagon owned in this territory was probably owned by Smith, who lived on the farm now owned by H.L. Crawford.
The farming machinery of that day consisted of the bull tongue plow, wooden tooth harrow, scythe and sickle. Then in a few years they acquired the grain cradle, but still used the scythe until about fifty years ago. Woodson probably purchased the first mower. This was an old rear cut. Then Charles Garten, or his son John R., purchased a mower and about this time Bolton and Webb purchased mowers and rakes. The first reaper in this community was purchased by W. N. Allen and O. C. Fleshman. There are now ten or eleven owned and operated in this community. There are gas tractors and one steam tractor, one threshing machine, two corn harvesters, one gang plow and two gang harrows to operate by tractors owned in the community. The community also has a saw-mill, two grist mills, and two stores.
The former way to thresh the wheat was to beat it out with the flail, later it was trodden out with the horses and cleaned from the chaff by pouring it from some height on a windy day, then came the fanning mill. The next was the old chaff piler. The first one owned in this community was owned by Robert and Zed Canterberry. This was about seventy years ago. Then came the separator driven by horse power. The first one in this community was probably owned by the Smith Brothers. Then came the steam engine, (Portable). This one was introduced by the Ellis brothers, from thirty-five to forty years ago. Then came the steam tractor. The first one in this community was owned by E. E. Lilly and C. E. Saunders. This was about twelve years ago. The first gas rig owned in this community was owned by Cottle, Lilly and Light.
The first saw mill owned in this community was owned by Captain R. W. Saunders. This was purchased about 1890.
There was a tobacco factory established at Forest Hill about seventy years ago. It was established by Hogleman, but the first manufactures were Roberts and Hogleman, who were probably the first firm. They manufactured chewing and smoking tobacco. It was a flourishing business. The latest firm being the late James Mann and J. Cary Woodson. This factory was torn down by C. P. Garten about thirty-five years ago and the machinery junked, this stood on the land now owned by J. R. Garten as a garden spot.
The only distillery ever operated in this community was owned by Zedick Canterberry on the farm now owned by the Wright and J. W. Lilly heirs. This was before the Civil War and its operation broke up its owner. You can see the old furnace to this day. This was the only venture of this kind in this community and was such a poor paying proposition that it ended years ago.
We can't close this account without saying something about our doctors we have had in the past. The first one to locate in this community was Dr. J. D. Thrasher, who was reared near Red Sulphur Springs. He was educated at Richmond, Virginia, and settled on the farm where H. L. Crawford now lives. He was a fine doctor and remained here from about 1884 till about 1900, when he left here and located in Trout Valley in Greenbrier County where he practiced his profession until about 4 years ago when he died.
Then Dr. Nolan who was reared near Pence Springs settled here and practiced till 1904 or 1905 when he died. He was a very successful physician. His widow married Mr. Rodes of Talcott, W. Va.
Next was Dr. S. T. Hartwell who located at Forest Hill and practiced his profession for about a year or two. He then moved to Zion Mt. where he now resides. He is a son-in-law of Eber Willey, the first and a brother-in-law of Alma Willey.
Then Dr. D. M. Ryan practiced in this community, but resided at Indian Mills. He is a fine doctor and is a son-in-law of R. J. Garten, having married Mr. Garten's youngest daughter. Dr. Ryan is a graduate of the Richmond Medical College and is a very successful practioneer.
Dr. F. Kyle Vass practiced in this community next, but resided at Marie. He was a graduate of the Maryland Medical College and a boy who was reared in this community. He was a son of C. N. Vass. He stood at the head of his class, and was one of the shining lights of his chosen profession.
Dr. W. A. Wykle settled at Forest Hill in 1918 and remained for about three years. He practiced dentistry here before he studied medicine. He is a fine surgeon and physician and is very successful in his profession. He came here from Hinton and returned to Hinton in the fall of 1922. He married the only child of Sira W. Willey who was postmaster of Hinton for a number of years and an eminent Republican politician.
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