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West Virginia Archives & History

History Of Buffalo Creek Community

Prepared in 1925

Early Life in the Community

Long before white men came to West Virginia Buffalo Creek was a favorite hunting ground of the Indians. Deer, bear, raccoon, turkey, and small game was plentiful and flint arrow heads may still be found among the hills and valleys around here. Due to the fact that a number of Indian mounds or graves are found near here it is generally supposed that a large village was located near by.

Pioneer Settlers

The fertility of the soil and abundance of game soon attracted the attention of settlers. So far as is known the first settler was James McKeand. Then came the Dukes, the Isaacs, the Haneys, the Plymales, the Maloneys, the Brumfields, and Staleys. They built their houses of logs, covered them with boards split from the trunks of trees. A short chimney built of sticks and clay took up the greater portion of one end of the one room. The bare ground in some cases formed the floor. The furniture was crude and rough. Here the pioneer feasted on venison and Johnny cake and lit his fire with flint and steel. After the country became more thickly settled it was no unusual thing to borrow fire. Some of the names of these pioneers are still kept alive in the geography of the community as in Duke's Knob, Plymale's Branch, V/alker's branch, Plymale's Rocks, and Haney's Branch.

The First Industries

The first mill in the county for grinding corn and wheat was located at the mouth of Buffalo Creek. It was owned and operated by Bill Turner.

Buffalo Creek was at one time the largest town in the Tri- State section, due to a large iron forge being operated within three hundred yards of Buffalo Creek station. The ring of the eighteen-hundred-pound hammer could be heard for miles on a still morning.

A brick plant and lime kiln was also in operation at a very early time.

Schools and Churches

The people took interest very early in churches and schools. The first schools were private and only the more wealthy class could afford to give their children an education. The first churches were built of logs. Some of them are still standing.

From this community have gone forth, ministers of the gospel, lawyers, civil engineers, legislators, professors, merchants, county officials, and teachers.

John Plymale represented this section of the state, in the state legislature while Richmond was the Capitol. W. W. Brumfield and Kellian V. Whaley were members of the convention which separated West Virginia from Virginia.

Joseph Plymale was for years county surveyor. W. W. Brumfield was a member of the county court and district judge, Marion Plymale was county assessor. Chas. Hayard was county superintendent of schools. Nearly a hundred teachers have been produced from the immediate neighborhood.

In 1908 a four-room graded school was erected which in 1915 was changed into a high school, of which the people are justly proud.

We are proud of the past, thankful for the present, and as we consider our present opportunities we are made to believe that the future holds still greater things in store for us.

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