Prepared by Harriet Thrash
Located in the most beautiful part of Harrison County along the West Fork River and tributaries about half way between Clarksburg and Weston is the county community known as Good Hope. The state road from Pittsburgh to Charleston now under construction, passes directly through this community, and other roads leading into this, viz: Twolick and Isaacs Creek, are to be hard surfaced in the near future.
Sixty-four families comprise the community of Good Hope with a population of 270, all American born, no foreign blood of any kind. Most of the families are descendants of the pioneers who settled in this community from 125 to 150 years ago. The most prominent of these families who were among the first settlers are the Washburns, Posts, Laws, McConkeys, Cheuvronts, Burnsides, Carders, Hinkles, Somervilles, Ramages, Tinglers, Yerkeys and Browns.
The land in this community lays well and is highly cultivated. Some of the best farming land in Harrison County is in this vicinity and the farmers take great pride not only in cultivating their farms but in raising the best cattle, hogs, chickens, etc., some of which have carried off premiums at the county fairs. The upland is fine for grazing and there is no unsightly filth decorating the hills as can be seen in some localities. The community is blessed with natural resources; gas on every farm, oil, coal, timber, sand, clay and building stone.
The present church as it now stands was erected in 1904. At the time there was a corner-stone laying and many valuable and interesting things were placed in this stone. The church that was torn down at the time this one was erected, was built in 1848 or 1849. The committee to have charge of the building was appointed December 27, 1847; C. Cheuvront, A. L. Patton, R. Burnside, James Somerville and William Law. The preachers in charge were, A. A. Reger and G. W. Nixon, S. G. Worthington, P. E. and J. W. Miller were exhorters. R. Jackson and H. Lynch were the stewards, and J. Pritchard, H. J. Lynch, William Law, William Scott, A. Cowen, J. Morrison, E. Pritchard, and T. Thornhill were the leaders,at this same Quarterly Meeting. Mr. John A. Williams was granted license to preach. Some of his descendants at this time are active workers in this community; his grand-daughter, Miss Icie Williams, being a teacher in the West Milford school and also Worthy Matron in the Eastern Star at Good Hope.
The present church here is the third Bethel. The first one was known as "Old Bethel" but at this time the date of its foundation is not definitely known. It was located on the Somerville farm about one mile below Good Hope. There is a large grave yard there with tombstones marking many a grave. Bethel M. E. Church has more than one hundred members.
The first school house was located on what was then the Post farm, but is known now as the Corbin farm. It has been gone for years and the present school house is the second one on the ground now occupied. There are three elementary schools with a total number of about one hundred pupils. Jackson Lodge No. 35 A. F. & A. M. has 125 members. Good Hope Lodge No. 331 I. O. O. F. has 28 members. Eastern Star has about 40 members. Call Tent No. 1240 K. O. T. M. has 20 members.
Several pioneer residents were soldiers of the Revolution. A few served in the war of 1812 and the Mexican war. About twenty boys from this community responded to Lincoln's call for volunteers in 1861, and twenty-three answered the call for the World War. The community has furnished three legislators, one county clerk, one prosecuting attorney, one county superintendent of schools, one county commissioner, three lawyers, four doctors, five preachers, about sixty school teachers, many county and district officers, and many prominent business men and women. The community has one Farm Women's Club, one Community Club, and one Four-H Club.
The little town of Good Hope is located on beautiful rolling land in the West Fork River Valley between the waters of Isaacs Creek and Raccoon, the State road going directly through it. It has a population of 145, thirty dwelling houses, two stores, tvwo community halls, two lodge rooms, two garages, one community play ground, one church, and one two-roomed school house. The Masonic Cemetery in beauty is surpassed by none in the State as a country grave yard.
On February 25, 1875, a little band of citizens applied for a charter for the organization of the Grange Lodge. The charter being granted, the organization was formed with a membership of twenty-three as follows:
W. B. Brown
Mary A. Cheuvront
Mary E. Brown
J. W. Somerville
Jacob P. Post
Ezra A. Washburn
George P. McConkey
J. P. Cheuvront
John L. Chrislip
William B. Post
J. D. McMillan
George W. Washburn
The meetings at that time were held in the Isaacs Creek school house. On September 4, 1875 J. P. Cheuvront, Lloyd Washburn, J. N. Burnside, and J. R. Lynch were appointed to purchase a lot for a building. January 15, 1876 J. R. Lynch, J. P. Post, and J. P. Cheuvront were appointed as building committee. The committee bought the lot, the building was erected, and it is the property now owned by A. W. Thrash. At the suggestion of the Worthy Master, W. B. Brown, it was given the name of "Good Hope Grange", hence the name of our little town. At that tine there were only three dwelling houses, two families of Washburns and one Post family. On May 25, 1877 J. D. McMillan, George W. Washburn, L. Washburn, and J. P. Cheuvront were appointed to solicit joint stock for a company store, shares to be $5.00 each, no one allowed more than twenty shares with a profit not to exceed 10%. February 16, 1887 they bought another lot and put up a blacksmith shop. July 1885 the Grange sold this store to another company known as the Good Hope Merchandise Company, for the sum of $454.85. This charter was for twenty years. There were six different clerks while the store was in operation, viz: D. L. Perine, G. Lawson, Cal Burnside, Dallas McMillan, Harvey Stonestreet, and A. M. Westfall.
In the early settlement of this community most of the land was owned by Isaac Washburn. What is now known as Isaacs Creek was then called Washburn Creek. About the time the first settlers came here the Indians were numerous. Some of the early settlers were killed by them. This was supposed to be the camping ground of the Indians. There has been a lot of relics picked up around here and on the McDonald farm on Twolick is some beautiful sculpture work which was done by the Indians. All the farms with few exceptions, are still owned by descendants of the early settlers, Washburns, Burnsides, Posts, McMillans, Cheuvronts, McConkeys, Laws, Somervilles, and Browns. Most of the families in Good Hope have moved in from other communities. The William Burnside farm and part of the old Post farm is owned by James Findley. A. R. Wolf owns part of the Post farm. Also Thad Curry owns some of the post land, and Fred Smith owns part of the Burnside farm. All the balance of the land in the community is owned by some of the descendants of the early settlers.
In this little history the writer at this time is not prepared to give correct dates of the first settlements and land transactions, but as we are expecting to get a more extensive history in the near future, we will just say in conclusion that Good Hope community is hard to beat and we expect to make still greater improvements in the years to come.
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