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West Virginia Archives & History

History Of Cedarville Community

By Mrs. Elsie Beall

The task of writing a history of Cedarville Community is one approached reluctantly because of the impossibility of paying adequate tribute to those early settlers of our community. Words are but barren sounds when compared to their mighty deeds and the self-sacrifice and service they rendered to the people of today.

The history of Cedarville Community dates back to about 1830. Some of the settlers of an early date were the Townsend and Boggs families who came from Virginia. Mr. .and Mrs. J. H. Burke and Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Burke came here from Sand Fork. Francis Vanhorn came from Harrison County and settled on what is now known as the Vanhorn Farm, The Whites came from Virginia and settled on little Bull Run. Evan Marks settled on what is now known as the Marks' Farm and there reared his family. T. J. Brannon was born in DeKalb district, married Elizabeth Marks, and inherited a part of lthe Marks' farm where he lived until the time of his death. Andy Shock came from Staunton, Virginia and settled first on Fall Run, Braxton County and later moved to Cedar Creek on what is now known as the A. L. Jack farm. George Sponaugle came from Virginia and married Sarah Marks. They lived on Lower Level Run where G. A. Sponaugle now lives. Uncle Philip Rutherford came from Virginia and settled on the Rutherford farm now owned by John Burke and A. L. Jack. N. D. Stout came from Harrison County and settled on the land now owned by J. S. Stout. The Gerwigs came from Germany to the United States in 1838, and first located in Baltimore. Two years later they came to Tom's Run where they remained until the time of their death. The Smiths also came from Germany and located on Bull Run and Brush Run. Daniel Townsend, who at an early day ran a mill which stood near the home now owned by N. D. James, owned the greater part of what is now Cedarville, then known as Townsend's Mill.

The land where the Baptist church now stands was given by Mr. Townsend. The church was organized in 1854 with John S. Stump as pastor. Some of the earliest ministers were William Burns, Daniel Huffman, John S. Stump, and M. B. Stump. Early ministers of the Methodist Protestant church were Samuel Clawson, Reverends Board, Blake, and Doil. Those of the United Brethren church were Reverends Chenobarger, Ben Stickley, John Martin, Salaz, Halterman, and Herndon, and Bishop Kephart.

The Southern Methodist church had an organization here at an early date, composed of Uncle Joe Conner and wife, Christian Kuhl, Amande Wilmoth, Uncle Jake Snyder, and others with C. S. Martin as pastor. Their church was built at Fairview on the head of Rock Run, near the home of Christian Kuhl and it is one of the leading landmarks of our Community.

The present school system dates back about seventy five years when school work was done by the "subscription plan". The first school of which we can find any record was taught on the head of Steer Run by Marion Stout. Another of the old landmarks, in an educational sense, stood in the Beech Grove on the Baptist church lot. One of the first teachers of this school was Robert Marshall. Still another school was at the mouth of Big Bull Run in the old log parsonage. Some of our citizens well remember when Mr. Elliot Chenoweth helped them to the path of knowledge. The school best remembered by our younger people stood on Upper Level Run on land owned by A. J. Snyder. Most of our middle aged citizens acquired their early education under the direction of the following teachers: Warren Lewis, H. L. Conner, Ed. Norris, and Mrs. Myrtle Davis who was teaching at the time the new school building was built which was about the year 1900.

One of the first farmers in Cedarville Community to own a purebred bull was J. S. Stout which was about twenty five years ago. Five years later he introduced purebred Shropshire sheep in the community. R. D. Stout brought purebred Herefords to this community about seventeen years ago.

In the Baptist church and church yard are two relics dear to the hearts of the people of Cedarville Community. The four foundation stones of the first log church are all that is left of the first log church which stood here fifty years ago. In the church is a stand which was made by D. S. Rutherford, known here as "Uncle Daniel". This stand brings vividly to our minds this noble character who has long since gone to rest. At all times "Uncle Daniel" could find excuses for our wayward boys, saying, "Not too hasty, my friends, in your criticism; remember that we were all young once. Let's help them rather than try to pull them down." Inspired by the training of religious parents the early pioneers of Cedarville Community brought with them honesty, uprightness, truthfulness, thrift, and learning and we of today enjoy the fruits of their labors. Some of them perhaps may sleep away from the soil where during life they labored, but for a monument to their glory we have but to look around at the shoulders of the hills covered with their velvet of green, our two churches which stand for the best things of this earth, our schools which educate our children, and many other works which are a benefit to mankind.

At birth we came into possession of a land that had been conquered from the Indians, cleared of virgin forests, made safe from wild animals and turned into a rich agricultural region. We will teach our children and they in turn, shall teach their children to reverence those -

"Whose forest life was rought and rude,
And dangers closed them round;
But here amid the green old wood,
Freedom was sought and found."

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