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West Virginia Archives & History

Frankfort Community

The story of Frankfort Community is one of interest. The actual struggle through which the honest toilers and sturdy home builders of earlier days passed, the descriptions of the obstacles they encountered and overcame successfully, can not be expressed by printers' ink.

It is the same sort of story which almost every West Virginia community could tell, although perhaps more tempered with interest to many who in the following pages will read the history of their own ancestors.

Frankfort Community came into being before the pages of American history were numbered, and lived through perilous periods while they were being rapidly turned.

The Red Man is known to have made many incursions into Patterson's Creek Valley in which nestles the quiet village of Frankfort; the Shawnee warriors claimed sections of the lower valley as choice camping grounds on which they stopped and rested in going to and from the great hunt.

There are at least two distinctly well defined Indian trails leading into the Community. One, from the Potomac Valley, across the mountain into Short Gap, also used later by George Washington when crossing the mountains, and the other coming in from Dan's Run over Valley Ridge.

There are many Indian graves around Frankfort in different places where small skirmishes are supposed to have taken place. Indians first interred in what is now the Community Cemetery, or somewhere near. There is scarcely a spot in the Frankfort Community outside the immediate village where some visible trace of the Red Man has not been found, and in several places within the limits of the Community, Indian darts, arrow heads, etc., can be picked up in small quantities.

Indian activities in Frankfort seem to have been centered against the early white settlers. Tribal differences of various natures seem to have been few and easily settled so that the combined efforts of all was directed toward keeping out the pale face who was ruining the hunting ground.

All during the period of agitation between the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars the families of Frankfort Community seem to have been jeopardized by the French and Indians from the Ohio Valley.

The first fort at the Junction of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers was built by men from Hampshire County, Virginia. Part of these men came from Frankfort District along Patterson's Creek, likely Frankfort, as it was more thickly settled than any other section at that time. Captain William Trent was in command of the company. He did not finish the fort, however, as the French captured it before completion and named it "Fort Duquesne."

Colonel Joshua Frye took command of part of Trent's men and came back with them East of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, where they started to build Fort Necessity. Frye died and George Washington finished the fort.

About the year 1755 or 56 the old Indian Chief Killbuck with his warriors from Muskingum Valley, Ohio, came across the Allegheny Mountains and attacked the settlers in Patterson's Creek Valley. It was on this expedition that Killbuck became prominent by his bloody murder of Mr. Williams and Wendell Miller. The carrying away of John Casey also occurred at the same time.

In 1755 Colonel George Washington gave orders to build a stockade and fort (Ashby's Fort) on the East side of Patterson's Creek. This was built at the present site of Frankfort Village and is still in use as a dwelling, being owned and occupied by Mr. Thomas F. Pyles.

On Christmas Day 1755, Captain Charles Lewis of Fredricksburg took command of the fort and a garrison of twenty- one men. He had orders from Colonel Washington to remain quiet as long as he could and to hold the fort as long as possible, but if necessary rather than surrender it to burn it and try to get to Fort Sellars, located on the east side of the mouth of Patterson's Creek, or to Fort Cumberland.

In 1756 Washington ordered Colonel Adam Stephen at Fort Cumberland to keep forts Ashby and Sellars completely supplied with food and ammunition. The only really important battle at Fort Ashby occurred in 1756 when Lieutenant Robert Rutherford and his company of rangers was defeated there by a band of French and Indians. After the French had gone from the vicinity the Indians remained watching for the inmates of the fort. It was during this siege that Colonel John Ashby while out of the fort on what is now Cemetery Hill was attacked by the Indians and made a most remarkable escape to the fort. It is from this incident that the name of Ashby's Fort was applied.

Colonel Ashby was later put in command of the fort and seems to have remained there until the Revolutionary War or after.

On April 22, 1756, Washington wrote to Ashby that if he was attacked by Indians to wait for the cover of darkness then blow up the fort and retreat to Fort Cumberland, taking what ammunition they could.

In the same year he wrote to Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia as follows: "The people are all leaving the section around Frankfort in fear of the Indians and fear that in a short time it will be as desolate as all Hampshire County." Since there is a lapse of about two years for which no records of any kind have been found it is presumed that practically all settlers were driven out of what is now Mineral County except those who were protected by forts Ashby and Sellars.

In a later letter to Gov. Dinwiddie, Washington said: "The men I hired to bring intelligence from the South Branch returned last night with letters from Captain Ashby and other parties there. The Indians have gone. It is believed their numbers were, about one hundred and fifty, that about seventy men are killed or missing and that several houses and plantations were destroyed. I shall proceed by quick marches to Fort Cumberland to strengthen the garrison there. Besides this I think it is absolutely necessary to have two or three companies of rangers to guard the Potomac waters. Captain Wagner informs me that it was with difficulty that he passed the Blue Ridge as crowds of people were fleeing as if a lost moment would mean death. He endeavored to stop them, but in vain, as they believed that all homes were in flames." Captain Wagner was a citizen of Frankfort.

So it will be seen that Frankfort Community was in the very center of minor Indian activities and that Frankfort people did their part in subduing the spirit of the Red Man and protecting the early settlers of the entire Allegheny section of the East. So far as is known, however, there was no uncalled for heartless and cruel treatment practiced on the Indian. The only trouble he met from the hands of Frankfort citizens was motivated by his own actions and any retaliations which he received were purely for the protection of life and property.

It is really a question as to whether or not the first settlers of Frankfort Community may have laid claim to the land of that immediate vicinity even before the Indians became much interested in it. It is known that white settlers came into the Patterson's Creek Valley around Frankfort between the years 1732 and 1736. The names of Casey, Pancake, Foreman, and Van Meter were familiar before the prominence of George Washington. Following the grant of land, from the British Crown to Lord Thomas Fairfax known as the northern neck of Virginia, some settlers may have come to Frankfort as renters. Before Washington's survey, however, the immediate land around the village had been taken by people on the grounds of the Tomahawk Claim.

In his journals of "My Journeys Across the Mountain," Washington said that he stayed all night on March 28, 1748, with Abram Johnson on Patterson's Creek, and on the following day, marched fifteen miles to one Solomon Hedges, and when he came to supper, on the table was neither cloth, nor knife,nor fork. Abram Johnson lived a short distance South of Frankfort Village.

Up until the time of the Revolutionary War there does not seem to have been very many new families moving into the lower part of the Valley. The Johnsons and Van Meters seem to have been the leading citizens and largest land owners. Just about the beginning of the War, however, new names became prominent in the community; among them are Tay- lor, Lynn, Williams, and Powell.

We find that history records very little about Frankfort with regard to the Revolutionary War. That entire section of country bordering on the Potomac and Monongahela rivers was known as the back door of the Revolution. Frankfort Community was right in the heart of this section. The reason why we see so little mentioned from this section of Virginia in the story of the Revolution is that the men were kept busy watching the Indians.

In 1777 Captain William Foreman gathered together from Hampshire County a company of men to keep down the Indians who had been agitated by the British. He marched with them to Wheeling and there met the Indians at the McMechen Narrows where he was defeated. A monument now marks the spot where Foreman's defeat occurred. Men from Frankfort who were in Foreman's Company were Samuel Johnson, John Willison, and William Lynn.

Captain Michael Cressap who lived in Old Town, Maryland, came over into Hampshire County during the early part of the Revolution and organized a company of riflemen. They marched to Boston and featured in several small skirmishes there. Cressap returned with them as far as New York where he died and was buried. The men in this company from Prankfort include the names of Johnson, Ashby, Wagoner, Williams, Powell, Pew, Harris, and Miller.

So far as we have been able to learn there was no actual fighting in the vicinity of Frankfort. A few Tory families are known to have lived along the Potomac Valley but there was no trouble except with the Indians who were supplied with guns and ammunition by the British.

Immediately after the close of the war, Frankfort Community seems to have developed rapidly. Many new settlers came, including the names of Keller, Richards, Brockhart, and Daniels. It was about this time that the brick house now occupied by Mrs. Blanche Welker and also the old stone hotel were built. Both buildings were used as hotels, replacing the old roadhouse which was located near where Charles Pyles now lives, and the tavern at Short Gap, to some extent.

The citizens of Frankfort at that time expected great developments. The village was building to some extent and must have shown possibilities of much greater growth.

Through the influence of several men of the village, particularly Dennis Daniels, one hundred and thirty-nine acres of land belonging to John Kellar was surveyed into town lots with streets and alleys running between (See map on pages 16 and 17). A charter was passed through the Legislature of Virginia on December 5, 1787, a copy of which follows:

An Act to Establish a Town in the County of Hampshire (Passed December 5,1787)

1. Be it enacted by the general assembly, that one hundred and thirty-nine acres of land, in the county of Hampshire, the property of John Kellar, and laid off by him into in and out lots, with convenient streets, shall be, and the same is hereby established, a town by the name of Frankfort, and that John Mitchell, Andrew Cooper, Ralph Humphries, John Williams, Sen. James Clark, Richard Stafford, Hezekiah Whiteman, and Jacob Brookhart, gentlemen, be trustees thereof, who, or the major part of them, shall have power, from time to tim,e, to settle and determine all disputes concerning the bounds of said lots, and to establish such rules and regulations for the regular building of houses thereon, as to them shall seem best. In case of the death, resignation, removal out of the county, or other legal disability of one or more of the said trustees, it shall be lawful for the remaining trustees, to supply such vacancy, and the person so chosen shall have the same power as if he had been particularly named in this act.

2. And be it further enacted, that so many of the lots in the said town as are not sold by the said John Kellar are hereby vested in the said trustees, and they, or a majority of them, shall within six months after the passing of this act, sell the lots at public auction, having previously advertised the time and place of such sale at the court house of said county, on three successive court days, and convey the same to the purchaser in fee, subject to the conditions of building a house on each, sixteen feet square, with a brick or stone chimney, to be finished fit for habitation within three years from the date of sale, and pay the money arising from such sale to the said John Kellar, or his legal representatives. So soon as the purchaser of said lots shall have built thereon according to their respective deeds of conveyance, they shall then be entitled to, and have and enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities, which the freeholder and inhabitants of other towns in this state, not incorporated, hold and enjoy. If the purchaser of any lot sold by the said trustees shall fail to build thereon within the time limited, it shall be lawful for the said trustees, or a majority of them, to enter into such lot, sell the same again, and apply the money for the benefit of the inhabitants of the said town.

Some of the lots were sold and built upon according to the provisions of the charter. Many were not sold in the time provided but later were sold at public auction under a deed of trust. They were bought by Joseph Inskeep who still had hopes that the city of Frankfort would mature. Inskeep was so strong in his belief that he donated four lots in the center of the village to be used for the good of the public when the city did develop. This tract is known today, as the Public Square and on it stands the post office, A. R. Ratcliff & Son's mercantile and milling establishment, P. B. Long's store building, Aby's blacksmith shop, Chaney's ice cream parlor and Carl Adam's barber shop.

From the time of the establishment of the town of Frankfort for many years this was the trading center of the entire country side. Before the completion of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Frankfort was on the direct route from Winchester to Wheeling over which hundreds of tons of merchandise passed monthly. It was the long wagon trains passing over this route that furnished business for two hotels in Frankfort. Many times has the Public Square been crowded over night with canvas covered wagons loaded with valuable merchandise.

Samuel Brady was probably the first merchant of any importance in Frankfort. He oioerated a large chain of stores, one of which was located here years before the Civil War. It is said that almost any article asked for could be bought there. People are known to have traded with him regularly from Keyser and above and also from what is now Ridgeley when the Potomac River could not be forded to Cumberland.

The more important tradesmen in the early days of Frankfort were Dennis Daniels, cooper; Isaac Richards, blacksmith; Jacob Stockslater, hatter; Richard Berry, shoemaker; Hezekiah Whiteman, tanner; and Colonel John Johnson, surveyor. Other villagers made their living by farming.

The community did not change a great deal from the time of the Revolutionary to the Civil War. The sun rose on a thriving and industrious village, pave life and light to the business of the day, and finally sunk behind the mountains, leaving a healthy, happy, honest people to enjoy the rest they well had earned.

Let it not be supposed, however, that Frankfort was a dull place. The revels of the night were many and varied. Far into the morning hours has the "Fiddler" used his exquisite art producing "Turkey in the Straw" and "Soldier's Joy," while gleeful couples swung the figures of a square dance. Husking bees, apple cuttings, sleighing parties, etc., all added to the happy life led by these country folk. Joys and sorrows, triumphs and failures, sickness and health came and went as a part of the natural routine of everyday life. When people were comfortable they were happy; when they were in need, kind friends willingly supplied them; sharpest sorrows were dulled by most tender sympathy.

So far as we know there was no officer of the law nearer than Romney and none was needed. Every family was responsible for itself and good order seems to have prevailed throughout the community. The older citizens are still loud in their praise of "The Good Old Days Before The War." The Civil War, however, caused a distinctly visible division in the community. While the majority clung conscientiously with the Confederacy, yet some of the most wealthy and influential families were associated with the Union. On either side which they were found as soldiers, citizens of Frankfort proved brave and willing to make any sacrifice for the promotion of the cause they represented.

There were some small skirmishes of very minor importance near Frankfort but none are remembered reliably enough to relate. The following list includes names of Civil War Veterans on both sides:


Company A, 33rd Virginia Infantry
William Johnson, 3rd Lieutenant
A. A. Young, 2nd Lieutenant
Herman Alien
Edward Alien
Joseph Berry
Joseph Cadwalleder
Amos Hollenback

Patrick Kenney
Polk Marker
Cullen Stocklager
Jacob Adams
James Adams

Company F, 7th Virginia Cavalry
George F. Sheets, Captain
James T. Parker, 1st Lieutenant
John Johnson, 1st Sergeant
James D. Pollack, 3rd Corporal
Hiram Allen 3rd Corporal

Elijah Allen
Samuel Berry
Charles Davis
Lesly Davis
Levi Baker
Jacob A. Baker
E. C. Rinehart
Henry F. Baker
John W. Baker
Thomas A. Hollenback
Isaac H. Johnson
Robert Johnson
James Obrein
Aaron Welton

Company D, 11th Virginia Cavalry
Uriah Reese, 1st Corporal

Philip Abe
John M. Reese
I. V. Inskeep
Frederick Abe
Vause McNary
Thomas White

Company I, 18th Virginia Cavalry
Anthony Reed, private

Company I 13th Virginia Cavalry
Benjamin Haines
Washington Seeders

Company A, 33rd Virginia Infantry
Edward Montgomery
William Reid

Union Soldiers
David Martin
William Kirby
George Martin
Charles Rice
V. B. Kesner
John Sneathon

Let us now turn to the development of community institutions as they were and as they now are.


Immediately at the close of the Civil War, Frankfort citizens sought to take advantage of the Free School Law which had been passed only a short time. As a result a free school was established in the village, taking place of the private school which had been running for some years.

Years before there was any provision for public education the children of Frankfort Community had opportunity to attend school. Although these schools were financed by private subscription it seems that all were privileged to attend. It is known that Lewis T. Dunn went so far as to conduct a school for the negro children before the Civil War.

Among those who were most prominent in maintaining these "Pay Schools", as they were called, were the Hollenbacks, Johnsons, and Van Meters.

There was no public school house and as the church was not always available, because of some denominational contention, private houses were often used as recitation rooms.

A Mrs. Trout had one term of school in a wing of the stone hotel and another term in the building now occupied by Mrs. Athey Marker. John Taylor taught at least one term in the present dwelling of James Alien.

Among other pioneer teachers under the private subscription system were Thomas Powell, Nimrod Furr, George A. Throupe, Zuyler Chadwik, Lewis T. Dunn, Isaac Dunn, Salley Kane, and Lizzie Russel. Most of these taught more than one term and all seem to have been satisfactory teachers.

When Western Virginia made provision for counties to establish schools where the community was willing, Frankfort was one of the first in Mineral County to make use of the new law. So fan as is known there was no public opposition made by citizens of the immediate neighborhood against the erection of school houses and employment of sufficient number of teachers. There were, however, very serious objections from other parts of the county on the grounds that too much money was being spent for "nothing but foolishness."

The village of Frankfort had the first public schoolhouse in what is now Frankfort District. The original building is still standing, having been remodeled into a dwelling and is now occupied by R. M. Johnson. It is thought that Mr. John E. Broome was the first teacher in the building, but not the first free school teacher in Frankfort as several terms of school were held in the old church which stood directly across the road from where the Methodist Church now stands.

Frankfort Community now has the only Junior High School in Mineral County, and we hope to soon have this increased into a Standard High School. Besides the Junior High and Elementary Grades which make ai four-room school, in the village, within the circle of the community we have one two-room school and six additional one-room schools.


Frankfort Community early started religious developments. The Episcopalians, Brethren, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists all seem to have been represented in the community, at some time or other. The Episcopalians had the first church which stood near the present home of W. A. C. Welch. At present the Southern Methodists and Presbyterians are the leading denominations of the immediate community while the Brethren and United Brethren also have services in different school houses at regular periods.

Presbyterian History

The Presbyterians were among the first denominations to become established in Frankfort Community. The first settled preacher was the Rev. John Lyle, of Rockbridge County, Virginia, who began his pastorate in 1793. The first building for worship was a large log structure. During Mr. Lyle's pastorate the congregation was almost broken up by removals to other states, so the log building was sold and the proceeds used for the Eusebia Church, which is five miles South of Frankfort. Rev. Lyle later moved to Springfield and from this place served his large field of labor faithfully and well until 1812, when he was called to the Great Beyond and was buried in the rear of the pulpit in Springfield.

After Mr. Lyle's death Rev. John Boggs supplied the field for a while and was succeeded by Rev. James Black, who removed from the field in 1824. In the fall of that same year Rev.. William Foote came to the county. It was during the years of his service here that Frankfort was again made an appointment, services being held in a church erected by the Episcopalians. In the years of 1832 and 1833 there was a great revival of religion, and the membership of the Presbyterian Church was greatly increased.

Mr. Hugh McCormick and Mr. Joseph W. Inskeep were ordained as Elders of the Congregation in March, 1834, and Elijah Rinehart in 1835.

Some of the families early in the organization of the church were the McCormicks, Kings, Inskeeps, Rineharts, and others. Later there were the Van Meters, Bradys, Allens, Neffs, Youngs and Johnsons.

Rev. M. W. Woodworth became pastor in 1866 and for twenty years served the church faithfully. In 1882, during his ministry the present brick church was built. The ministers that have filled the pulpit since Mr. Woodworth are as follows: Reverends A. G. Link, J. McCarty Duckwall, D. J. Woods, C. W. Hollis, 1. N. Campbell, G. A. Grillbortzer, E. A. Snook, E. B. Druen, A. M. Earle, B. H. Franklin, and G. T. Chandler, who is the present pastor.

The resident Elder of the Alaska Presbyterian Church now is James E. Alien. The Deacon is R. R. Allen, and the Clerk of the Session is J. W. Rinehart.

Sulphur Springs Bible Society

One of the most interesting of the earlier religious organizations was probably the Sulphur Springs Bible Society, as is shown by a copy of its records which follow.

"Minutes of the Sulphur Springs Bible Society Organization Sabbath Evening, February 3, 1861. Pursuant to notice all persons in the vicinity of Sulphur Springs School House favorable to the formation of a Bible Society, met at that school house when upon the motion J. B. Young was appointed chairman protem and Doctor A. J. Haines was chosen secretary protem. After singing and prayer the chairman announced the object of the meeting. On motion the election of permanent officers for the ensuing year was proceeded with and resulted in the choice of the following: George Smith, Jr., President; Samantha E. Baker, Vice President; Jacob J. Wagoner, Secretary; James Malone, Treasurer, and Jesse Rice, Chaplain. On motion J. B. Young was desired to procure the question books and a book in which to record the by-laws; and rules of order and minutes of the society. On motion adjourned to first stated meeting."

The by-laws of the society were in part as follows: "This association shall be called the Sulphur Springs Bible Society and have for its object the study and mutual instructions of the Holy Scriptures. Subscribing to these rules of order and bylaws and paying quarterly, in advance, five cents, will constitute the terms of membership. The meetings of this society shall be held every Sabbath Evening at three o'clock unless otherwise ordered by a majority of the members."

The rules of order were in part as follows: '"The rules of order commonly used in deliberative meetings shall be observed. A few are particularized. Any member wishing to express an opinion must address the chair. No motion shall be debated or opened for discussion until the same has been seconded. Any member may call for the discussion of a question when the sense will admit of it. All questions shall be decided by a majority of the votes present except in case otherwise provided. No standing rule or order of this society shall be rescinded or changed without the consent of three-fourths of the members present."

The orders of proceedings were as follows: "Society called to order by the president or vice president. Society opened by the chaplain with singing and prayer. Roll call and absentees noted. Excuses of members for non-attendance heard by the presiding officer. The lesson in the Bible read by all members present. The questions from the question book now asked. When no member shall be able to give the answer to any question proposed it shall devolve upon the presiding officer to give the explanation. Any member having anything for the good of the society to offer shall now be in order in so doing. The chaplain shall proceed to close with singing."

The Roll of Members were:

Samantha E. Baker
Martha A. Wagoner
John A. Jeffreys
George Smith
James Malone
J. J. Wagoner
Mary E. Smith
Tolbert H. Wagoner
Francis A. Wagoner
Harriet F Rice
Hannah E. Wagoner
Elijah Hartley
Robert Dauthitt
Levi Baker
Marcellia C. Baker
Jesse Rice

Methodist History

The earliest account we have of the history of the Methodist denomination in this community as ai regular appointment on the Springfield circuit, then embracing parts of three counties: Hampshire, Hardy, and what is now Mineral, was in 1851. Although, for at least a quarter of a century prior to this date, work had been done at irregular intervals. Rev. Jesse K. Powers was the first regular pastor of the Frankfort M. E. Church, South, Moorefield District, Baltimore Conference. Rev. Charles Torrison was pastor during the Civil War.

The place of worship was a log building located opposite the present Methodist Church and on the corner opposite the school building. It was formerly owned by the Episcopalians.

This building was used many years as a union church, by Methodist and Presbyterians.

Methodist pastors, who served this church since the Conference held in Alexandria, Va„ March, 1866, until 1880, were as follows: John W. Tongue, M. G. Balthis, J. B. Fitzpatrick, Wm. Hedges, Leonidas Butt, Jas. Beatty, L. H. Davis, Jas. H. Wolfe, T. G. Nevitt, John D. C. Hanna, Henry P. Hamill, Sylvanus Townsen, W m. Henry Wolfe, John W. Wolfe, Wm. R. Marshall, and E. G. Van Diver.

Class leaders and Sunday School Superintendents in the old church were as follows: Dr. Haines, Jacob Marker. Solomon Alkire, Jas. H. Dowden, and Dr. Hodgson.

During the pastorate of Rev. E. G. Van Diver the present Methodist Church was built and dedicated. In an old record is found the following: "Trinity Church, Frankfort, dedicated November 21, 1880. Trustees:

1. Hiram Alkire, Pres. (elected to fill the place of J. A. Marker, deceased.)
2. Jas. Dowden
3. Benjamin Haines, Sec.
4. M. T. Davis
5. D. D. Davis
6. John A. Robinson, Treas.
7. Dr. H. W. Hodgson.

The property was deeded by Hiram Alkire to the Board, all duly recorded in Deed Book No. 8, County Records.

The earliest record we have of Knobley appointment is also in the year 1880. On September 17, 1897, a committee, appointed by the Quarterly Conference held at Centenary Church, composed of Geo. H. Zimmerman, P. E. and J. A. Robinson, and E. S. Parker, met at Knobley for the purpose of selecting a site for a church to be erected by the congregation at Knobley. The place selected by the committee was a plot of ground belonging to Mr. B. H. Ward, donated for that purpose, and lying on the main road passing in front of the Public School House. Preferably, the part of said lot lying towards the school house and terminating at the gate leading to the G. H. Baker farm, now owned by Oliver J. Dayton. It was further recommended by the committee that sufficient land be secured for a cemetery. Due to local conditions these plans never materialized.

Some of the leaders in the work of the church at this appointment have been John Culp, P. M. Dayton, B. H. Ward, and Robert Dayton.

Pastors since 1880 are registered as follows: S. V. Hildebrand, L. Butt, J. J. Garden, F. T. Griffith, W. F. Locke, L. M. Lyle, and S. D. Bennington, C. W. Stump, J. J. Ringer, H. T. Heironimus, S. A. Parker, O. W. Lusby, G. D. Kidner, J. W. Mitchell, H. M. Strickler, C. E. Simmons, G. H. Echols, Thos. Morgan, H. L. Myerly, Geo. W. Yost, G. G. Oliver, H. A. Wilson, Wilfred Lawson, John Edwards, M. S. Hildebrand, C. O. Calvert, G. W. Yost, and A. A. P. Neel.

In 1890 during the pastorate of L. M. Lyle and W. F. Locke the church at Short Gap was built. The site was given by Jacob Daniels, and the ground broken by Jas. H. Long and Sons, who did much toward its erection. J. Hunter Robinson was the contractor and builder, and made a liberal contribution to the work. Some of the leaders in the work of this church have been B. H. Ward, Allen Everstine, J. H. Long, C. H. Long, John Sneathen, D. P. Day, F. P. Grace, and E. K. Blauch.

During the pastorate of H. M. Strickler, in 1903, the church was erected at Dans Run; although, it had been a part of the work of Springfield charge, for at least twenty years previous, known as Sulphur Springs appointment. An Epworth League was organized in 1900 with Mr. Edward Ward as president. Rev. C. E. Simmons re-organized the Epworth League in 1905 with Miss Stella Wagoner as president. Other leaders in this church have been J. U. Wagoner, J. E. Keller, Wm. Mc. Wagoner, Jas. M. Wagoner, Mrs. Clarke Wetzel, Lucius Hinkle, J. W. Smith, Edgar L. Wagoner, and Herman Dorman.

Sunday School Superintendents and other leaders in the Frankfort Church are as follows: John Blair, Wm. Reese, John Cheshire, Geo. Fisher, M. H. Hawkins, Benj. Haines, M. T. Davis, Floyd Dowden, Samuel Sneathen, Mora Wagoner, Geo. Deremer, Chas. Deremer, and C. C. Wetzel.

While Rev. S. A. Parker was pastor in 1896 the first Epworth League in this community was organized at Frankfort, with J. E. Broome as president and Dr. Percival Lantz as secretary. After about five years of faithful work, local conditions brought about a cessation of the organization. In 1912 Rev. Geo. G. Oliver effected an organization, with M. H. Hawkins as president and Mrs. Hazel Adams Armstrong as secretary.

Since that time the work has been carried forward so that now we have a strong and efficient League with Mrs. D. H. Weakland, as president, and Mrs. Blanch Welker, secretary. Rev. H. L. Myerly manifested great interest in the children. During his two years' pastorate, 1910-1912, he baptized more than one hundred children in this community.

In 1916, upon the recommendation of Rev. Wilfred Lawson, Springfield charge was again divided; the first division having been made in 1890, when the southern part took the name of Slanesville charge. Upon this second division the Methodist churches in this community became a part of what is known as Frankfort charge.

Of the pastors who have served since that time, Rev. Geo. W. Yost deserves special mention for his four years faithful service, the value of which can never be measured until the final consummation of all things.

The entire community mourns the sudden death of the Presiding Elder, Dr. J. H. Light, December 29, 1924, whose fourth year of faithful and efficient work in the Moorefield District was almost completed.

Waters Campaign

One of the most important events of religious history in the community since the village camp meeting in 1904, was the Waters Evangelistic campaign held in the Methodist Church in the fall of 1923, during which there were more, than one hundred conversions and reconsecrations into the church.


"Strong Oaks from Tiny Acorns Grow."
Such is the history of the Four-H Clubs, in Frankfort Community, which had their beginning in the first Corn and Potato clubs in 1912.

The seeds for the various clubs were sent out from the University Extension Division to the county superintendents of schools who were responsible for distribution to individual members.

The first club exhibit in Mineral County was held in Keyser in the fall of 1912. At that time citizens of Frankfort Community seem to have realized the value of this sort of project work to the community.

The first two prizes for the best ten ears and for the best single ear of corn on exhibit were won by Homer Wagoner. The second prize was won by Ellis Sneathen, both of this immediate community. Also Mabel Long won first prizes on the white corn exhibit.

This work, with just the corn and potato projects, was carried on until the spring of 1918 when Raymond Kiser, who was then club agent, organized what is now the Four-H Clubs. Three clubs were organized at this time. They were "Washington Bottom Club," "Davis Club," and "Frankfort Club," each in their respective schools. In the early summer, Mr. Kiser resigned to enter military service, and Chester Helmick became club agent. During the summer and early fall, plans were formed which resulted in a "Club Fair" in Frankfort. This was the beginning of the "Community Fair." The "Washington Bottom Club" won the prize as the best club. In the fall of 1919 the "Davis Club" won the prize as the best club in the County.

As a result of the 1918-1919 Fairs, five out of eight prize winners went to Morgantown to attend the Prize Winner's Course.

For three years, beginning in 1919, the boys and girls exhibited with the "Upper Potomac Fair" at Keyser. During this time there were twelve who attended the "Prize Winners' Course" and six members from these clubs went to the first Four-H Camp at Jackson's Mill.

In the spring of 1921, Jesse H. Simmons became the county agent and he served in this capacity until 1921. He was followed by Earl Rannels who served several months. In 1921 there were offered county prizes for the clubs putting on the best exhibit. The "Frankfort Club" won first prize and the "Davis Club" won second prize. About this time these clubs re-named their organizations as the "Alaska Willing Workers" and the "Davis Rising Club."

In 1922 the County Fair was held at Frankfort. The Four-H Clubs again made a good showing, there being six prize winners. All of Mineral County's Judging Team to Charleston in 1922 were from. these two clubs. In the same year Homer Weese won the State Championship in the Angus calf project. Howard Weese also scored high. They exhibited and drew prizes in 1923 and 1924.

The first Four-H Camp held in Mineral County was at Van Myra Camp Grounds in the fall of 1919. The success of the camp was due in part to the hard work, spirit, and pep of the Four-H Clubs of Frankfort Community. Each year since, there has been a County Camp and each year they have gone back to get their share of fun and profit from camp life. In the fall of 1922 the camp was moved to the Community Building at Headsville. During this camp the "Alaska Willing Workers" and "Davis Rising Club" put on an evening's program, consisting of a pageant entitled "The Spirit of Home," and a play, "How the Grange Came to Hard Scrabble Hollow."

Quite a number of the members who attended camp have been charted. Those having the Four-H's are Herman Bowers, Helen Lee Long, Eugene Kuykendall, and Ruth Deremer. Several others have three H's.

From these clubs have come some outstanding club members in the state. Herman Bowers and Helen Lee Long were both volunteer instructors in 1923 and the same year Herman became an "All Star." In 1924 Helen became an "All Star" and Herman was a regular Four-H Camp Instructor.

A great deal of the success of the clubs in Frankfort Community is due to the spirit and ability of the local leader, Miss Beulah Liken. She has been a real Four-fold leader in club work; always willing to sink herself in service for the benefit of others. It was through her spirit of co-operation, and ability to lead, that the "Davis Rising Club" rose to its height of fame and swept away the honors of 1919. The records of the club show the results of her efforts and work.

Again, we would not forget to speak a word for our club agents and county agents, who so ably filled their positions while working in Frankfort Community. By the use of their skill and ideas the foundation of Four-H Club work was established in Frankfort Community, and we are now receiving some of the benefits, yet as time moves on, we hope greater results will be obtained from the efforts that have been put forth.


Lying in a sort of corner to itself, divided from the balance of the community is the Washington Bottom neighborhood. Here we find the largest farm in Mineral County, from which the neighborhood takes its name, known as the Washington Bottom Farm. The tract of land comprises approximately two thousand acres including three hundred and sixty-two acres of level bottom land. An oak tree stands on the farm bearing the mark of George Washington which he made when surveying (see page 7). Washington was one of early owners of this entire tract of land.

In 1882 a wrought iron bridge was built across the north branch of the Potomac River at this point. This bridge has aided wonderfully in the development of Frankfort Community and is still giving excellent service, having withstood the floods of 1889 and 1924.

Several orchard companies are operating in the neighborhood having cleaned large tracts of land amounting to at least five thousand acres. These orchards and their equipment, including a modern storage plant located just across the river, are valued at several millions of dollars.

The Western Maryland and Baltimore and Ohio railroads pass through the neighborhood, the latter having tunnelled through Knobley Mountain at this point through which heavy freight is run saving a hauling of approximately seven miles.


The call has come, the fight is on
The battle hell is raging;
A prayer, a breath, a thought of death:
God's own in war engaging.

It was real men who answered when
To battle they were ordered
To give up all, to freely fall;
Such sacrifice they offered

It is for right and not for might,
It is of God's own calling
To Join the strife, to vanquish life
When freedom's star is falling.

We honor those who faced the foes,
We welcome home with joy
Each hero brave who fought to save,
And tyranny destroy.

No star of gold the sad news told,
No pang of death expressing,
Each Frankfort Son his battle won,
This was God's richest blessing! M. H. B.

Spanish American War Veterans
Herbert N. Bosely
John Siple
World War Veterans

Edward Coffman
William Hollenback
Golden B. Troutman
Frank Dennison
Jesse C. Abe
Vernon B. Beam
Homer C. Wagoner
Frank Wagoner
Harry Troutman
Dewey Troutman
Clark Wetzel
Ralph Wetzel
Paul Wagoner Dayton
George C. Chaney
James P. Hawkins
Oscar Bennett
William E. Lease
Clarence E. Kesner
Charles E. Twigg
Wm. Raymond Kiser
Wilbur Wagoner
Roy Troutman
James B. Pyles
Humbird Wagoner
Lue T. Lease
John F. W. Malone
John F. Seeders
Henry A. Marker
Ira Lee Abe
Bruce F. Blauch
William Paul Adams
Walter Jackson Umstot
John Albert Lease
Raleigh Lee Willison
James Robert Anderson
Robert H. Armstrong
Geo. R. Duckworth
Hunter Beam
Byron Mongold
Richard Welker
Jasper Weese
S. L. Pyles.


Harry and Alta Anderson
J. A. Anderson
Goldie and Ony Bosley
Cornelia Britt
E. R. and Jennie Baker
J. E. and Mayme Baker
N. C. and Rachel Beam
Luray Beam
Lucy Beam
Ira Beam
William Beam
Edward and Rebecca Bennett
O. L. and Sarah Bennett
E. K. and Saville Blauch
E. R. and Nellie Blauch
Norman and Lucy Abe
Jesse and Otho Abe
Ira and Annie Abe
Clarence and Lucy Abe
Mrs. Margaret Adams
Carl and Julia Adams
Paul W. and Mary Adams
R. C. Adams
J. E. and Vergie Allen
R. R. and Lillie Allen
Alice V. Allen
D. T. Allen
E. J. Allen
S. E. and Alice Alkire
James Alkire
Chas. H. and Rebecca Alt
Mayme Alt
J. W. D. and May Anderson
Bertha Deremer
Chas. and Myra Deremer
Geo. and Elizabeth Deremer
J. H. and Rebecca Dennison
Geo. F. and Jennie Dennison
G. D. Dennison
Frank Dennison
Grayson Dennison
Earl Dennison
Kathleen Dennison
Jessee Dennison
J. H. and Grace Duckworth
Etta Dunn
Daily and Nora Davis
D. P. and Stella Emmart
W. P. and Louise Emmart
Luther Emmart
Allen and Fannie Everstine
Ruth Everstine
Alex and Mary Eversole
Dayton Eversole
William and Myrtle Eye
E. A. and Willie Firley
W. R. and Blanch Flanagan
Sarah Flanagan
B. F. and Ethel Blauch
Fred and Mary Borrer
H. N. and Irine Bosley
J. F. and Carrie Bowers
J. L. Bradford
L. J. and Nannie Broom
I. L. and Lucy J. Brown
Mrs. Hannah Brown
Willie and Zula Bennett
Henry T. and Lillie Ball
John Crist
Harry Cheshire
Mrs. Maria Chaney
C. G. Chaney
M. P. and Delphia Camp
C. C. Camp
William Camp
Florrie Camp
Geo. S. and Louise Carvey
Geo. Wm. and Elizabeth Carvey
John H. Collins
J. S. Crawford
Nellit Crawford
J. B. and Mollie Dowden
C. W. and Hannah Dowden
Edgar and Lola Dowden
C. L. Dowden
H. F. Daniels
W. J. Daniels
Z. V. and Hattie Daniels
O. J. and Lulu Dayton
R. P. and Rhoda Dayton
P. W. Dayton
James Flanagan
Damie Flanagan
J. H. and Nettie Frase
Edward Galloway
Calvin and Amelia Garland
Wilbur and Pearl Garland
Nettie Garland
J. O. and Sarah Glaze
I. B. and Lillian Glaze
Albert Helmick
Carlton Helmick
Geo. and Clara Hinkle
C. F. and Clyde Haupt
Mrs. Ella Hawkins
J. P. Hawkins
J. T. and Luella Hammer
R. M. and Clara Johnson
Samuel and Mary A. Judy
Ivon Judy
Glen Judy
M. W. and Martha Kesner
Clarence Kesner
Sam Kesner
Helen Kesner
Hoy and Zernie Kisamore
Byron and Bird Kiser
J. R. and Elizabeth Kuykendall
J. D. and Samantha Kimble
Henry and Olice Marker
Ralph Marker
Mrs. Atha Marker
Jasper and Mollie Morral
D. D. and Mary Myers
Edward Oats
Chas. D. and Mayme Pyles
D. G. and Martha Pyles
T. F. and Alice Pyles
Leslie and Daisy Pyles
C. T. and Ethel Pyles
W. E. and Ica Pyles
S. L. and Wilda Pyles
Alice J. Pyles
S. J. and Mary Pyles
C. W. and Rosie Pyles
Mrs. H. A. Pyles
J. B. Pyles
Hilda Pyles
A. D. Rees
Virginia Rees
J.W. Rinehart
Minnie Rinehart
Mrs. Samuel Riley
Lavina Riley
Chas. P. and Jessie Rollins
Lucy Rosenbaum
Sarah Ratcliff
Abel Ratcliff
Kenny Ratcliff
Mrs. Elizabeth Kaylor
Alice Kaylor
Lillie Kaylor
Elmo and Alice Kauffman
R. T. Kauffman
Charles and Rosa Lease
Adam and Gertrude Lease
Gibson and Edna Lease
Wade Lease
Johnson Lease
Marcellus Lease
John and Nellie Lease
Will Lease
John W. and Mary Lease
H. G. and Ollie Lewis
H. Lee and Ruth Lewis
Arthur and Mildred Light
A. W. and Ida Likin
Beulah Likin
Welby Likin
C. R. and Ada Long
P. B. Long
M. M. Malone
Helen and Sallie Malone
Clarence Malone
Chas. F. and Belle Malone
E. C. and Lena Marker
Oscar Marker
John and Charlotte Siple
Cos and Carrie Siple
R. C. and Ella Simpson
John and Vergie Simpson
Geo. T. Simpson, Jr.
Geo. T. Simpson, Sr.
John Sneathen
John T. Sneathen
John A. Sneathen
Ellis Sneathen
Samuel and Salla Sneathen
J. O. and Estelle Spencer
Adam and Pearl Spencer
Mrs. Blanche Welker
A. T. and Irine Staggs
W. T. and Hannah Sigler
Shannon and Mary Troutman
Roy Troutman
Dewey Troutman
Chas. and Laura Troutman
G. B. Troutman
Frank and Jennie Twigg
Charles Twigg
Earl Twigg
Bessie Twigg
E. H. and Mary Truman
A. E. and Ella Tucker
Virgil Tucker
Mabel Tucker
U. G. and Delara Umstot
L. B. and Alice Umstot
Chas. J. Urnstot
Walter Umstot
Howard Umstot
Samuel Umstot
Thomas Van Meter
Davis Van Meter
Isaac Van Meter
Susie Van Meter
Lillie Van Meter
Ida Van Meter
C. E. and Ruby Veach
Mrs. Nina Ward
Humbird and Alice Wagoner
Nimrod and Sallie Wagoner
Harry and Ella Wagoner
Frank and Delphia Wagoner
Will and Ethel Wagoner
E. B. and Elizabeth Wagoner
Clarence and Minta Wagoner
Mrs. Mollie Wagoner
Stella Wagoner
Edward and Susie Ward
Henry and Nora Ward
D. H. and Elizabeth Weakland
C. C. Wetzel
Ralph Wetzel
H. L. and Lenore Weese
Chas. E. Wagoner
C. A. Wagoner
Paul Wagoner
Clark and Sallie Wetzel
Homer and Delphia Wagoner
Harvey and Susie Willison
Wm. Willison
Raleigh Willison
Delia Willison
C. L. and Bertie Wolford
C. W. and Ethel Wolford
E. B. Wolford
J. C. Welton
Ervin and Nelle Welton
W. A. C. and Augusta Welch
Claude and Edna Welch
Ralph Welch
Richard Welker
William Welker
O. G. and Maud Walker
John and Josephine Whitacre

Dan's Run Neighborhood
Frank and Loretta Baldwin
Howard and Margaret Baker
E. W. and Annie Chaney
Charles Chaney
Frank Edenhart
Bess Hinkle
J. F. and Alice Kellar
J. F. and Nina Malone
G. W. and Etta Malone
T. L. and Lena Malone
Mrs. Sophia Malone
G. E. Malone
Geo. and Susie Seeders
Pearl Seeders
Mamie Seeders
B. H. Seeders
Elizabeth Seeders
R. W. and Ella Seeders
Dudley Seeders
Edward Seeders
L. A. and Nannie Seeders
J. F. and Delcie Seeders
S. S. and Bertha Sunderlin
N. V. and Lizzie Wagoner
L. W. and Elsie Wagoner
William and May Ward
E. R. and Emma Ward
J. W. and Mayme Ward


Years ago the dreamer saw vaguely through the mists of time, a city to be known as "Frankford." Later, because of Ashby's Fort, Frankford became, "Frankfort." Still later because of postal difficulties the name "Alaska," was given to the old Frankfort Post Office. And so today instead of the throbbing busy city of Frankford, we find nestling quietly between the surrounding hills and mountains, the beautiful, yet rather antiquated little village of Alaska, the center of Frankfort Community.

We have endeavored through the pages of this book to freshen the pleasant memories of the past to those who hold home dear and to represent the past of Frankfort Community as we believe it to have been.

If the history of your community is not what you wanted it to be remember that you are not entirely responsible as it has been a long time in the making. Let the unpleasant facts of the past be quietly forgotten and let us look forward to the possibilities of the future.

No rural community in West Virginia has a better location than Frankfort. Eighteen miles east of Keyer, West Virginia, and twelve miles south of Cumberland, Maryland, by county and state routes, in the very heart of the Appalachian fruit growing section, with the Georges Creek and Allegheny Coal Fields to the northwest, the world famous South Branch Cattle Farms to the south and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad on the east, Frankfort has excellent opportunity for development.

In no community could be found a higher type of industrious, liberty loving citizens than are to be found right here and in no place do we find more interest taken in all regular community activities than in Frankfort.

During the past year two pianos have been bought and paid for by the community, one placed in the Methodist church and one in the school. Two churches in the community have installed individual electric lighting plants besides various other improvements of the same nature. Throughout the entire community school improvements are noticeable in the way of additional equipment and improved buildings.

Frankfort hospitality is always glad to receive outsiders at any time. Even now plans are being formed for a conference of Moorefield District, M. E. Church, South; others having been held here previously. District meetings of various kinds are often held in the community, the most regular, perhaps, being the annual Frankfort District Teacher's Institute.

Frankfort Community can safely boast of many entertainments, etc., entirely out of the ordinary class of rural performances, especially featuring in music directed by Mrs. Louise Carvey whose influence can easily be found in the exceptional musical talent of the younger folks of the community. Appropriate exercises for all special occasions and holidays constitute the greater part of community activities. To the foreign reader these things may sound exaggerated. However, we make the above statements with no apology. When we find a constant knocker we like to compare him to a kicking jackass. He cannot pull and kick at the same time and neither can a "knocker" knock and build at the same time. If you come to Frankfort we will assure you a courteous and cordial reception, seasoned with that sort of generous hospitality which only "Honest to Goodness" folks can offer.

As citizens of Frankfort Community let us highly resolve that the struggles of the past shall not be in vain. Let us get a new vision of community life and thus make the future of Frankfort Community so that in time to come a better historian may be able to compile a more complete and authentic history which will include higher and more noble achievements than those herein recorded.

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West Virginia Archives and History