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West Virginia Archives & History

History Of Sand Run Community

Written in 1924

Sand Run Community is located on the waters of Big Sand Run about five miles east of Buckhannon. It is naturally divided into four sections, Mt. Zion, United Brethren, Sand Run Baptist, and Nay Chapel, each section representing a church. It is composed of about sixty families.

First Settlers

The fertile hillsides and excellent timber was an inducement for the first settlers to locate in this section. As they naturally looked for a place to raise corn the leading crop of the time; therefore they began to clear the land preparatory to their first crops. The timber was as good as any to be found within the state; therefore it was very natural for the first settlers to bring sawmills into this community.

The first settlers came mostly from parts of West Virginia, Virginia, Ireland, and Pennsylvania. The first settler, who was probably Eli Simmons, was brought here about 1839, by Jacob Heav-ner to work on his farm and help erect an old up and down sawmill where the Staunton and Parksrsburg Pike crosses Big Sand Run. In 1847 Mr. Heavner moved on his farm and continued to live there for ten or eleven years. He returned tc Buckhannon just before the war. He is J. Lee Heavner's grandfather. Other settlers were Greenville Marshal, Linsey Mayo, Miletus Newcome who was the first school teacher, Isaac Martin, Samuel Hiner, Clark Cutright, John Paugh, and others. Each of the early pioneers did his part in clearing the community of its timber.


The first leading industry of this section besides farming was sawmilling. The first sawmill brought to this community was Jacob Heavner's sawmill. John Paugh had another up and down sawmill further up the creek. Several years after this Frank Hollen brought to this community the first steam sawmill and erected it on Joseph Hiner's farm. These and other sawmills made the virgin trees into lumber. Poplar was the leading timber for lumber at that time, and it grew very plentifully in this community. Some of the trees grew to be more than six feet in diameter.

Before some of the logs could be hauled to the mill, they had to be split into quarters. Each quarter required from four to eight head of oxen to haul it.

Hauling lumber to Clarksburg and Buckhannon on wagons was one of the ways in which many of the early settlers found profitable occupation.


The first road through this section was known in early history as the Bunton Mill road, but at present it is known as the ridge road. It also forms the boundary line for about 2 1/2 miles between Washington and Union Districts. The second road constructed through this community was the Staunton and Parkersburg Pike about 1847.


The people coming to this community did not forget to worship God for they held services in their homes at first. Later an old log church was built near where the United Brethren church now stands. Other churches that have been built in this community are as follows, the Mt. Zion, the Sand Run Baptist, the present United Brethren church, and the lay Chapel.


Mr. Gideon Heavner says, the first school to be taught in this community was taught on the farm formerly known as the Hollen farm by Miletus Newcome.

The second school was taught by Ruhame Hiner in an old log building on A.U. Car's farm.

Events of Interest

Early in the nineteenth century Washington Ratcliff shot and wounded a large deer on the land now known as the Nay or Latham farm. After the deer was wounded it made for Mr. Ratcliff, before he could again load his gun the deer was upon him, and in the struggle that ensued Mr, Ratcliff was considerably hurt, which kept him from his work for nearly two years, but he came out victorious.

About 1854 Samuel Shipman, who was in the habit of carrying a gun with him shot and killed a bear late one evening just above Daysville in the laurel thicket, while going home from Jacob Heavner's. This was considered a great feat for a boy only twelve years old.

Mary Bligh, who was out hunting the cows, got lost on the farm now known as the Bligh farm and was found late that night by some of the neighbors who were hunting for her. This occured between 1855 and 1875.

Persons who have made history here and elsewhere. C. E. Hiner the grandson of Sarnuel Hiner was Sheriff of Upshur County for four years. He is at present time one of the State Road Commissioners of West Virginia. His home is in Buckhannon. S. N. Cutright the son of Clark Cutright served Upshur County as assessor for one term and later he was chosen to represent Upshur County as one of the County Court Commissioners.

Other persons who have been successful are Albert Lowe who is a graduate veterinarian; Leslie Norvell, a merchant at White Sulphur; Ray Norvell, a street car conductor in Clarksburg; Miss Dove Norvell, stenographer for the West Virginia Coal Company; Miss Delphia Norvell, telephone operator at the Gore Hotel in Clarksburg; Frank Hiner, merchant at Mannington; William See holds a position in a rubber factory in Akron, Ohio; Troy See is connected with an automobile factory in Detroit; Hurshel Hibbs is in the pottery business in Mannington; Earnest Norvell is with the Clarksburg wholesale company; Vernon Cutright is a Minister; Straud Cutright is also a minister; Darius Cutright and Troy Cutright are working for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company at Weston.

County agent Earl Romine organized the first Farmers' Club in this community. It was again revived by our present county agent, H. G. Sturm.

The first Four-H club was organized in 1922 with about thirty members. The first year of the club there were several prizes won at the Fair.

The first Farm Women's Club was organized in 1922. They made considerable improvement on the Sand Baptist Church grounds.

The community was scored in 1922 with a score of 685 1/2 points, and again 1923 with a score of 702.

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