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Wayne County News
January 28, 1926



That Wayne county is over 21 years older than the state of West Virginia?

That the first deed ever recorded in Wayne County was entered of record of record over 84 years ago?

That 2,100 deeds and 1,050 trust deeds were recorded in this county within the past year?

That you'll never find the answers to these questions unless you read the article below?

The first deed ever entered of record in Wayne county was filed at the local clerk's office on the 12th day of April, 1842, nearly 84 years ago and nearly twenty years before the Civil War was declared.

How County Was Formed

It might be of some interest to many of our readers to note here that Wayne County's eighty- fourth birthday was last week--Monday, January 18th. It was on the 18th of January , 1842, that a bill passed the general assembly at Richmond, Virginia, by which a part of the county of Cabell was cut off and designated as Wayne County.

The counties of Wayne, Cabell and Lincoln were at first all a part of Kanawha County, then in the State of Virginia, for that was before the State of West Virginia had been formed, which was June 20, 1863.

In fact Wayne County is over 21 years older than the State of West Virginia itself, since the county was formed before the two Virginias were divided. It was a long way for people from Wayne, Cabell and Lincoln to travel to Charleston, their county seat, to attend court. So the General Assembly was petitioned to divide Kanawha County, and this petition wasgranted, and it was thus that the county of Cabell was created on the second day of January, 1809. What is now Wayne County was still in Cabell until the assembly voted another change January 18, 1842, and created Wayne County by cutting off this section from Cabell. The county was named in honor of General Anthony Wayne.

The First Deed

The first deed ever recorded in the county is still preserved as a matter of record in the offices of the present County Clerk, Hezekiah Adkins. It was made by Zattu Cushing, Edward Tupper and Rachel, his wife, to William Ratcliff . For the sum of $1,500 the following described tract of land on Tug River in this county was sold, the following being the description given in the first deed in the county:

"Beginning at a large rock at the upper end of the narrows above the fall bottom near the lower end of a new field made by the said William Ratcliff, and from thence running a straight line to the summit of the low gap where the road crosses leading up Tug River to two beech trees where it intersects the back line of the original survey which runs up the river; thence with the said back lines until it strikes the said Tug river, thence down the same with its meanderings to the place of beginning, the quantity of land being unknown."

From the above description we are not able to decide just exactly where this land was located on Tug River but probably some of our readers will be able to identify the tract from the foregoing description.

This deed was written and acknowledged May 30, 1840, while Wayne county was still a part of Cabell county, but it was not put to record until nearly two years later, April 12, 1842.

The deed was acknowledged before Samuel Webb and Frederick Moore, who were justices of the peace. The first county clerk in Wayne county was Hugha Bowen, with whom this deed was filed for record. In the 84 years which have elapsed since that time, the ink has become dim and the paper in the deed book yellowed, necessitating that the book be recopied, which was done; however, the original deed book is also preserved.

Record Work Has Grown

In the 84 years that Wayne County has been in existence a total of 144 deed books have been used up. These books average over 500 pages each, making a total of over 72,000 pages in deeds that are preserved in the office of the county clerk. This number does not include trust deeds.

The work of recording deeds is increasing by leaps and bounds in Wayne County every year. Last year seven large books were used up in recording deeds, which was three more books than were ever required in any previous year.

County Clerk Adkins reports that in the year 1925 that his office recorded a total of 2,100 deeds and 1,050 trust deeds. In addition to these the clerk recorded 1,000 reservations of title in 1925.

The amount of work required in handling the 2,100 deeds and 1,050 trust deeds recorded last year is indicated by the fact that each deed and trust deed must be handled eleven times and in eleven separate operations in the office of the clerk. This means that in 1925 deeds were handled 23,100 times and trust deeds 11,500 times. These eleven operations necessary for each deed and each trust deed are as follows: Deed is received; charged; recorded; compared; mailed out; slips made out for each deed for purpose of indexing; these slips compared; deeds then indexed direct; deeds then indexed reverse; direct index compared and checked; reverse index compared and checked.

The mounting of record work in this county is due to numerous causes. First, the population of the county is growing. People trade in real estate more than formerly. Many large tracts have been cut up into lots, making separate deed for each lot necessary. The lively activity in the sale of lots in the Kenova and Westmoreland sections have been a big factor in the increase of property records each year.


Following is a list of the grand and petit jurors drawn to serve at the regular term of circuit court at Wayne, which begins on the second Monday in March, the 8th:


Ceredo District: G. L. Freeman, Howard Wilson, W. J. Drown; Union District: W. L. Banfield, A. G. Smith, Theron Drown. Butler District: Henry Rayburn, Thornton Crabtree, Ralph Plymale. Lincoln District: Stanley M. Copley, G. H. Marcum, L. B. Crum. Grant District: Jarvy Fry. Stonewall District: Thomas Griffin, Henry Justice. Westmoreland District: E. J. Hunt.


Ceredo District: D. G. Thacker, Albert Cole, W. K. Ferguson, Walker H. Bromley, H. S. Simpson

Union District: Albert Peak, Sylvester Pack, Burnie Adkins, J. D. Smith, John H. Beckley, G. T. Farra, William F. Marshall, Allen Smith, J. B. Dean, Theodore A. Ray, Vermont Adkins and William Wilkinson

Butler District: Julius Lambert, Bert Webb, Okey Bartram, P. C. Brumfield, Wayne Dean, B. B. Cyrus, C. C. Hatten, Herbert McComas, Claude Holt, Curtis Ellis and Jesse Frazier

Lincoln District: Elbert Parsley, Jesse Parsley (son of John), G. W. Gillispie, Sol Marcum (son of Jim), P. H. Wilson, E. L. Kidd and Taylor Parsley

Grant District: Noah Queen, Pat Moore, Charley Maynard, Jay Maynard, William Wiley, W. A. Napier, and Oscar Dyer

Stonewall District: F. W. Tabor, John McClelland, Lucian Skeans, E. L. Jarrell, M. J. Stiltner, John B. Beckett, Everett Watts, John W. Crabtree, Charles R. Morrison, W. A. Mills, Edgar Maynard, H. H. Davidson, and James H. Smith

Westmoreland D.: R. R. Rucker, James A. Hughes, L. H. Umphrey, Donald Clark and Lloyd Malcolm



Mr. and Mrs. Clyde S. Scaggs of Wayne, January 24, an 8 pound son.

Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Adkins of Westmoreland, January 18, a daughter.

Mr. and Mrs. Eli Eastham of Kenova, January 18, a daughter.

Mr. and Mrs. Will Crossen of Kenova, January 20, a son.

Mr. and Mrs. F. S. Napier (son of Rev. P. H. Napier) of near Hany, a baby girl on January 10, which has been named Susie.

Mr. and Mrs. Carter Wilson of Wilsondale, a son named Ronald Earl. Mrs. Wilson was before marriage Mrs. Georgia Williamson.

Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Elliott of Russell, Kentucky, January 21, twin girls.

Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Cook of Huntington, January 15, a son. Mrs. Cook was before marriage Miss Thelma Adkins.

Mr. and Mrs. Freelin Robertson of Hurricane Branch, twin girls, named Ida and Imogene. Imogene died. Mrs. Robertson was before marriage Frances Perry.

Mr. and Mrs. Wye Wellman of Fort Gay, January 20, a daughter.

Mr. and Mrs. App Queen of near Stiltner, January 18th, a son.

Mr. and Mrs. Bee Vanhoose of East Lynn Route, January 13, a son.

Mr. and Mrs. Byron Donahoe of East Lynn Route, January 3, a girl, name Reetha.

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Parsons of East Lynn Route, January 25, a son.

Mr. and Mrs. Maxon Jeffers of Huntington, January 14, a son named Claude Maxon.

Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Corns of Crum, January 21, a 10 pound girl, Beulah Fay.


A number of Wayne county men are working on a road contract near Smithville in Ritchie county this winter. The contract is in charge of C. A. Eblin, who has been in road work in Wayne county for several years, his last job here being the contract between East Lynn and Stiltner.

The local boys who are in Ritchie county with Mr. Eblin are Cain Lloyd, Lee Dean, Lisa Marcum, Everett Marcum, Jay Thompson, Emery Thompson, Otis Thompson, John O'Dell and Harry Conners. Mrs. Elizabeth Sparks, also of this county, is house-keeper for the Eblin road camp. W. Frank Harrison of Wayne is also assistant superintendent of the contract there, but is home at the present.


The rains of last week flooded Twelve Pole last Friday to the highest stage that has been seen here since the year 1913 according to opinions expressed by many. There is no record available here of the various high waters since 1913, and some were of the opinion that the river was little if any higher than it was about two years ago.

The stage here last Friday morning was 21 feet, according to the local government river guage. The river was in the road between Wayne and Lavalette in three different places: at the Sanders Spurlock farm, at the mouth of Wilsons Creek and at the mouth of Garretts Creek. Traffic on the road was held up for only one day, however, as the cold weather checked the rising water.


George E. Byer of Lavalette was in town on business Monday. Mr. Byer and family formerly lived in Huntington, but purchased a farm near Lavalette sometime ago. He says that they like Wayne county and have enjoyed better health since they moved to the country.

H. E. Berisford, principal of the high school, has bought the C. H. Saunders property in Wayne and moved into it last week.

Miss Rinda Meade, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. B. F. Meade of Maynard, and Mr. Lark Maynard, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jarrett Maynard of near Kiahsville, were married January 19. He and Mrs. Maynard will make their home at present with the groom's father.

Transcription by June White

Wayne County News