Compiled by a Committee of Interested Citizens of the Community
The practice of writing community histories has become quite popular during recent years. The State Department of Education, and our State University have given encouragement to this movement. Enterprising citizens interested in perpetuating local traditions have been inspired to hunting out old records and conferring with old settlers in their efforts to write histories of their particular areas.
Whether or not she was actuated by the general movement or whether it was a personal inspiration, Miss Pearl Dorsey of Moundsville, a speaker at one of the early Country Life Conferences, started a movement among the residents of Mineral Wells Community to write a history of the locality. No better situation could have been found. The section is rich in tradition. Much of the early history of the entire section of the state began in this vicinity.
Miss Dorsey attempted at first to gather material and write the history herself and did produce a very creditable lot of information, but finding the task too large for one who was a stranger she had a committee appointed by the Country Life Conference to carry on the work. The work of gathering materials and assembling materials was carried on intermittently by Mrs. J. H. Bargeloh, Mrs. O. W. Barnett, Mrs. E. F. Schneider, Mrs. Cecil Morrison, and Mrs. J. E. Roberts. Much credit goes to these conscientious workers for their efforts. Their service covered a period of six or seven years.
A committee was finally appointed by the Country Life Conference to assemble all materials and produce a final work. This committee was composed of Mrs. Schneider, Mrs. Barnett, and Mrs. Bargeloh. At one of the conferences the work of compiling all collected data was turned over to Miss Laura Rector for the production of the present compilation.
No claim is made that the work is complete and there may be some errors, but it represented a conscientious effort and it is hoped it will be received with the understanding that where errors or omissions exist, they can be included in later revisions. If any reader has any correction to make or any additional information to contribute toward a more perfect copy, he is urged to send the information to Mrs. Schneider, Mrs. Barnett, or Mrs. Bargeloh at once.
Minerals Community embraces an area formed from a part of Tygart and Slate Districts north and south from the Elizabeth Pike from Pettyville to the top of Butcher's Hill, a distance of approximately five miles. It embraces all the section from the Pike to the Little Kanawha River on the north from a point across from Nicollette to and including the A. D. Hopkin's Experiment Farm. On the south side of the Pike it includes an area encircled by the Pettyville Road past the Pete Deem's farm to the point where it joins the Tygart Road and extends south on that road to and including the J. D. Leach place; thence straight east across Route 21 to and including Chesterville and north again to the Elizabeth Pike.
Included in this area are the settlements of Mineral Wells proper, Chesterville, and Butcher Hunt Club, and the former settlements: Scarecefat, Leafy Glenn, Mt/ Zion; the estates of many residents of long standing including those of Robert Page, Billy Deem, John Barnett, E. S. Butcher; and the following institutions and landmarks: A. D. Hopkin's farm; Fairview, Tygart, and Chesterville Schools; Butcher Hunt Club; Mt. Zion, Chesterville, and Mt. Pleasant Churches.
This territory was once a part of a 28,000-acre survey that George Washington expected to get. His survey was to have extended from the mouth of the Little Kanawha River, up the bed of the river fourteen miles or beyond Butcher's Hill. Mr. C. R. Rector has in his possession a copy of the "large survey," which for some unknown reason George Washington never bought.
The earliest known families came into this vicinity during the year of 1790.Settlers came from Virginia and settled on the Little Kanawha River at what was then called Claysville, now known as Davisville. At this early date they built five log cabins, one of which is yet standing on the South Side at Davisville and one on the right of the Creel farm. The latter is still insplendid condition. The antique doors are put together with forged nails made probably in a blacksmith shop. According to Mr. Creel's statement, the lumber was cut with a whip saw at that early date. The place is said to be older than Parkersburg. The ruins of the flour mill, the woolen mills, and the oil refinery (which is probably the oldest in the state) can yet be seen at this place. The Creel farm was a slave plantation during the days of slavery and many slaves are buried on the north side of the place, long forgotten and only occasionally mentioned.
Mr. James Gillespie was one of the first settlers west of the Kanawha River. He lived in a log cabin about one-fourth of a miles south of the present Dr. A. D. Hopkin's home. One day Mr. Gillespie was hunting on the east side of the Kanawha River and was chased by the Indians. He escaped capture by hiding in the River under driftwood. When the Indians could not find him they went to his cabin where Mrs. Gillespie and the children were alone. She saw the Indians approaching and took the children out the back door and hid in a hollow sycamore tree along a little stream just below the house. After the Indians had left, she took the children, one of whom was too young to walk, and proceeded to Fort Neal for protection.
Mr. Gillespie returned to his home that evening and after viewing the scene decided the Indians had captured his family. He immediately set out for Fort Neal to try to get assistance. Mrs. Gillespie reported that she feared her husband had been killed by the Indians, but Mr. Gillespie reached the Fort and they were happily reunited. The logs of Gillespie's cabin have been utilized in the construction of three cabins, the last one of which is now standing within a few hundred yards of the original site and for several years was used for the annual 4-H camp of Wood County.
Robert Page settled on Tygart, on a ridge of Harry McPeek's farm.
Henry Cooper came from Virginia.
Other old families are:
Jacob Deems and Mr. Ruble lived about a mile apart. They worked together and shared each others' implements. They had but one gun and quite often the other man needed the gun but must go the miles distance for it. This happened one night to Mr. Ruble. When he was awakened out of a deep sleep by a noise in the hog lot he dressed hurriedly and discovered the roof had been torn from the big log pen. To lose a hog at that time meant quite a loss. A big black bear was dragging out the mother hog who had made a terrific fight to save her little ones. Mr. Ruble could only go for the partnership gun, which necessitated a mile journey through a dense wood and over the snow covered ground. He had no light save the flare of a pine torch. Mr. Deem returned with him and after tracking the bear some distance found him eating the hog. The bear was killed and the hide tanned and used for a trunk covering.
Samuel Butcher located on the large tract of land in the bend of the Kanawha River. He built his first log cabin on the exact spot where Dr. A. D. Hopkins now has his office. Later he built a frame house which is said to be the first frame house in Wood County. This land has been owned by the Butcher family for more than a hundred years.
One John Cooper owned the land now known as Mineral Wells. Red Selectman bought this farm about 1850 and dug a well, the water of which seemed to have a curable effect for dropsy and other troubles. One man who had not seen his feet for twelve or fifteen years, after drinking this water a few weeks, lost thirteen inches in waist measurement, and continued drinking the water until he became normal size.
The news of this cure spread until Mineral Wells became a great summer resort by the early sixties. Many people came from Parkersburg and other places to stay all summer or just a day. Sweet corn was consumed at the rate of one ox wagon load a day. When the mineral water was low the proprietor, a good business man, hired water hauled from the creek and wells of the neighborhood and poured into his wells at night in order to keep up the supply. Old irons and salt were put in for the mineral effects. The business flourished for many years. A large hotel was built to accommodate the visitors.
A large dining room containing ten twelve foot tables extended the length of the front of the building. A smaller dining room had four tables in it. An outside stairs led to the upstairs porch which extended the full length of the hotel. Rooms opened onto the porch. Dancing and bowling were main diversions and there were many grapevine swings in the grove to offer amusement. The building burned in 1900. The ruins of the foundation and the two wells are still to be located.
The first election for Mineral Wells Community was held at the Edwin Butcher place at the foot of the Butcher Hill on May 3, 1863.
Corn and wheat were ground by a water mill at Chestersville as early as 1820 by a family, Jake Deems. Later this mill was operated by Henry Page. In the 1870's a steam mill was built a little farther down the creek. It was owned by John Badger and later by a family of Lesters, and then by George Rector. Mr. Rector put rolls in the mill and did extensive business for several years. Chestersville was quite a village about the year 1890. It had this flourishing mill, three stores, (one a company store) and the others owned by Mr. H. S. Dye and Joe Heatherly, and a blacksmith shop owned by John Smith, Dr. A. K. Rose practiced here. The flood of 1889 destroyed some of the property and the business life of the community gradually declined.
"Scarecefat" or Creel Station was a flourishing little settlement during the latter 1890's. There were a few homes and a store located there. An interesting story connected with the place is its getting the name of "Scarecefat." One story is told that a night prowler stole all the hogs from the residents. Someone later put a notice on one of the empty pig pens "Scarce of fat." It has been called that since then.
The pioneer settlers were of necessity very industrious. They raised their own food and made their own clothing. The food was cooked in iron ovens among the coals of the big fire places which usually occupied one end of each cabin. The kettles and pots were hung from cranes over the fire. Some of the bread was baked on boards slanted before the fire. The fiber for clothing was raised and later manufactured at home. Many happy hours were spent in the picking, combing, and carding of wool and flax later used in weaving into material for all of the garments the family needed.
Some of the women were excellent weavers and set a good example for the younger women. The hose for the entire family were knit from the wool that was raised, sheared, and carded at home. Often the socks men wore were in natural color of wool.
The shoemaker made his rounds, staying in each home until the supply of boots and shoes was made for each member of the family. This often required quite a length of time. The boots and shoes were always made from home tanned leather. Two of the early shoemakers were Henry Bailey and Pete McCardle. They were good cobblers and always busy.
The corn and wheat were ground on water mills; one at Chestersville, one at Davisville, and one on Big Tygart. The mill on Big Tygart was destroyed by the flood of 1884.
After the crops were gathered, many times farmers having gathered what grain they could spare, staves which had been cut, and bark that they had gathered the previous season, would haul them to the Little Kanawha River near the Creel Farm. There they would load the products into barges and float down the Kanawha River to the Ohio River and on to some trading center. Several trips were made in this way to New Orleans. Enoch Rector, John Page, Tom Stephens, and John Barnett were among some of the first to make this trip. In exchange for their produce the farmers would bring back sugar and molasses, and sometimes other dainties for their families.
The first transportation was carried on by ox-carts. Horses and wagons came later, and for those who could afford it, buggies became the general means of travel. ln.the early part of the present century came the marvelous Model 'T' Ford.
The desires of these early people for social life is much the same as that of ours today; but instead of leaving their homes and journeying for many miles to find enjoyment, they visited with their neighbors and helped with the raising of a new house or new barn, husking corn, quilting, peeling apples, always spending the day at something useful. At evening time came play time--and what evenings they spent: These people worked and played together and their amusement was clean and satisfying. At corn-husking the finder of the red ear always felt it his privilege to kiss the fairest girl. They danced to violins at apple peelings and quiltings. At log rollings, five and six acres were rolled in a day.
On the A. D. Hopkins farm is a grave which is about one hundred eighteen years old. When Mr. Hopkins came into possession of the farm fifty-four years ago, he found a rose bush growing on the grave, and the bush has never failed to bloom each year. There is also on the farm two very old log cabins; one where Blennerhassett and his wife were entertained on their way from Virginia to his home on the Island; another in which can be seen the port holes that were used to shoot through by the settlers to defend themselves from the Indians.
James Cooper saw a bear shot out of a tree where Oscar Barnet's house now stands. A darkie feeding the pigs saw the bear in the tree, returned to the house and reported his findings. Billy Poole went out and shot the bear.
In 1798 the stock was penned at night to protect it from wolves, according to a record found by Mr. Charles Rector. Deer were also quite numerous in this locality.
At the time of the Civil War West Virginia was so near the division line that our community was pretty much divided. On the Confederate side we have William Bissitt and John Cooper; and on the Union side we have Elim Heatherly, Poake Tucker, Marion Page, James Graham, Michael and Washington Deem, Hannibal McClain, J. F. McKusick, and Jack Cale. A part of Morgan's Raid passed through this section, but the farmers drove their horses and other stock back into the hills to prevent their being stolen. A few detachments of soldiers passed through and sometimes asked the women to cook them a warm meal and they were usually accommodated. The Berry brothers, Madison and Sill, were killed in the Civil War and are buried in the cemetery on Slate.
When the World War came the community gave her quota, some of whom never returned. Some of the first calls from Wood County were taken from this community. Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters who were left at home did their share of the work. Carl Neal gave his life in the war. His body was brought to Mt. Zion cemetery for interment. Others who served in the World War are: Delbert Hickman, deceased, George Jones, Harold Dye, Harry McPeek; Pearl, Walter, and Jesse Province; Carl Dawkins, Joe Morehead; Tom Dye; Presley Hill; and Harvey Dye.
When the settlers came they did not forget to bring their religion. The Mission Board of Virginia sent to them one John Drake, who came carrying his gun and his Bible. The services were conducted in the homes and much good was accomplished in this way. After John Drake came the Reverend James McAbbey who organized the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in the year 1815, at the home of Elizabeth Kittle. The first building was of logs and on the farm of A. J. Price, in 1819. This same farm is now owned by A. L. Dawkins. This building was erected in 1819 and heated by an old iron salt kettle which was brought from Charleston by Amos Barnett and is now in the possession of the D. A. R., as a valued relic. The church in 1833 was moved to a more commodious building on the farm of O. Hutchinson. Here it remained until 1855 when it was moved to the pike near Lockhart Run where the present building now stands. This building was erected in 1883.
Some facts of interest to us are taken from the "First Hundred Years History of the Mt. Zion Church" by Rev. H. Cofer. In September 1817, eleven members, three of whom were colored, took their letters from the Mt. Zion Church and organized the First Baptist Church of Parkersburg. The church has been a member of the Parkersburg Association of Baptist churches since October 10, 1818, when that body was organized. Rev. Enoch Rector was pastor of the church for twenty-nine years, throughout the period of the "bloody sixties." The second longest pastorate was that of Rev. M. F. Kiger, who served for fifteen years.
In 1895 the first B. Y. P. U., was organized in the church with G. D. Rector as president. The Women's Mission Circle was organized the same year.
The Methodists, too, got an early start, for Stephens, a prominent historian, recrods the fact that in 1790 the Little Kanawha Circuit was formed with Jacob Lurtin as preacher. In 1806 Peter Cartwright was appointed to this position. He left a record of the extent of the circuit, but no names of the appointments. The Circuit extended one hundred and fifty miles up and down the Ohio River and up the Little Kanawha River to the mouth of the Hughes River. He has traveled more than 300 miles to reach all of the appointments.
The first Methodist church we can find anything about, was located about one and a quarter miles west of Pettyville. The next was a log building on Little Tygart on the Page farm. When war was declared the church was divided. The members of the northern division built at Chesterville in 1873 and named the church "Valley Chapel." Those of the south erected a building where Mt. Pleasant now stands.
At one time every farm had its own burying lot, but now the principal ones are those located at each of the churches, Mt. Pleasant, Mt. Zion, and Chesterville, The Cooper and Barnett cemeteries are used sometimes.
Mr. Cyrus Deem says that the first church was built in Chesterville in 1825. Also he says that the churches divided in 1843.
The Class Record books that Mr. Cyrus Deem had in his possession have a record of Class Meetings, as they were then called. We would refer to them as Church Meetings, now. According to the records, which are incomplete, we find the following pastors with these years of service: Francis Guthrie, 1848; Addison Achols, 1850; Foun M. Dudley, Circuit Preacher 1851; Abjgal Wedg, Circuit Preacher, 1851; Cyrus Morey, 1852-54; C. Conner, 1855-56; S. E. Steel, 1859-61; Francis Guthrie, 1861-63; Daniel S. Benedum, 1864-65; Wm. D. Meriman, 1866; I. A. Williams, 1867-68; A. Malone, 1869-70; R. L. Woodyard, 1871-72; C. L. Nicholson, 1873-74; W. N. Shaw, 1875-76; J. F. Chenoweth, 1877; J. W. Lambert, 1882; J. F. Chenoweth, 1883-85; W. W. Kelley, 1886; S. J. Colton, 1889; U. Pribble, 1892.
No records can be located that would complete this list. Other pastors who have served the church that residents remember are: C. R. Shackleford, A. D. Garret, Rev. Bramlett, A. C. Riffle who served two years then after a few years returned for one additional year; Rev. McKain, J. S. Pullen, Theopalis McKoy, J. J. Kelly, I. N. Smith, Sidenstricker, Ball, Riddle, Anderson, Sperlock, and Bracken.
In the Class Record books the secretary quite often made notations that are interesting to us. Just preceding the Fast Day this item is noted: "Remember your yearly quarterly fast day, the Friday preceding each quarterly meeting should be kept as a day of fasting and prayer for the peace and prosperity of Zion."
A roll of the Class or Church membership was kept and a very rigid marking of attendance. The letter 'D' following a name meant the person was "Distant" or away that day. "S" meant sick; "H" meant hinderance; "P" for present, and "A" for wilful absence. After a person was wilfully absent for three times, it seems that a committee called upon him. The attendance was not marked during Protracted meetings and for Quarterly meetings. Following each recorded meeting the admonition "Love one another" was written.
The first Sunday School was organized in 1840 by Thomas Dawkins under the auspices of the M. E. Church.
Mt. Pleasant Church is not an old organization. When the Civil War was in progress the congregation at the Chesterville Methodist Church divided and those in sympathy with the southern cause organized their own place of worship and founded the present Mt. Pleasant Church. For a number of years the church was called "Turkeyfoot" because of the intersection of roads that resembled a turkey's foot. Some of the older residents still refer to it as the "Turkey Foot Church." The building now standing, built in 1901, was the second one erected at this location. A complete record of the pastors of the church is as follows:
James H. Deem, 1882-84; C. N. Shearer, 1884-88; Davidson, 1888-89; H. M. Smith, 1889-91; D. L. Bush, 1891-95; M. V. Bowles, 1895-96; W. M. Tyree, 1896-99; W. H. Surgeon, 1899-1901; R. H. Moss, 1901-04; Thomas Highland, 1904-05; W. D. Burns, 1905-06; C. D. Johnson, 1907-; F. E. Lambert, 1907-09; H. K. Clark, 1909-10; C. S. Coberly, 1910-12; B. F. King, 1912-14; L. C. Talbott, 1914-16; J. F. Atkinson, 1916-18; H. T. Watts, 1918-19; Harry Rush, 1919-20; J. P. Slaughter, 1920-22; L. S. Auvil, 1922 and 1/3 of 1923; J. R. Withrow, « of 1923; L. E. Harrison, 1923-24; Rosseau McClung, 1924-28; J. D. Franklin, 1928-33; H. A. Murrill, 1933-37.
The church has a membership of one hundred thirty-five members. For a number of years the West Virginia Conference has recognized this church as one of the outstanding rural churches in the entire state because of the effective organization of the Sunday School and church departments and the efficient working of each department and its members. For several years a number of members have attended the training classes held for Sunday School and church workers of Parkersburg District. A silver loving cup offered by the Neal Jewelry Store was won for three successive years by the local church and became the permanent property of Mt. Pleasant.
Two especially well-organized and for many years quite active classes are the Wesley Wade or adult group and the Wesley Banner Class of young people. For a number of years Mr. Burley Daugherty has given his time and efforts toward keeping the young people's class one of the most active assemblies where young people may develop socially, spiritually, and morally.
The first school of which we have any record was a select school taught by David Harris in 1815 and located in the bend of the Little Kanawha River. The building was a log cabin built in 1805. The desks were made by driving pegs in the wall and placing boards across them. The seats were split logs with pegs for legs. When pupils were writing, they were obliged to stand in order to reach their crude desks. Their pens were made of quills. The building had no floor, save the earth and was heated by a huge open fire place.
Mr. Wolf taught writing and arithmetic by making letters and numbers on a wooden paddle with charcoal. He named the bend of the River "Hell's Bend" because the older boys teased and tormented him so much.
Other early teachers during the 50's and later were: Mary Leary Sebastian Chevoront, Miss Wilcox, Mr. Starcher, Maria Hitchcock, Mr. McGee, Miss Lacy, Joe Buckner, Amanda and Andrew Price, and Texanna McKusick. These early teachers boarded from home to home.
A school was later formed at Clay Lick. This building was only a log cabin, but was later moved into a frame building located on the Pike and called Cooper's School, later Society Hill. The free school system was started about 1860. Since then the school systems have grown gradually. As the community developed the need arose for more school buildings. They were placed at Chesterville, Fairview, Leafy Glen, and Shady Hill.
With the adoption of the County Unit System in 1933 Leafy Glen and Society Hill, because the enrollments were so small, were transferred by bus to Shady Hill where a modern two-room structure had been built. At present an additional room is supplied by a portable building beside the regular one. Many community activities are held in the combined basement and auditorium of the Shady Hill building.
The pupils of the community now, if they don't attend Fairview or Chesterville Schools, are transported by bus to Shady Hill for elementary work, to Washington Junior High, or to Central High School. The rural children are given practically the same opportunities as the city children. Books are furnished the schools by the Wood County Carnegie Library. Music, Art, Penmanship, and Physical Educational supervisors visit the schools regularly.
(C) Post Office:
To provide connection with the outside world an early post-office was located at Fountain Springs in Tygart District. This office was later moved to Leach's home. In 1860 Bill Fetzer, an old bachelor, was hired to tend the mail. He was followed first by William Taylor and later by John Leach.
The first postoffice in Slate District was at Lockhart's Run and had as its postmaster Mr. E. S. Butcher. Mr. Henry Dye was afterwards postmaster at this place for almost forty years. Later the name Roosevelt was adopted for this post office. The post office was finally transferred to Mineral Wells where it is now. Some of the early postmasters of Mineral Wells were: William Taylor, John Leach, and Mr. Prickett.
When the office was first established mail was delivered to the office once a week from the Parkersburg Office. Later a twice-a-week delivery was established and finally every day service was granted. Mr. Sutton and Mr. Nicely were two of the early carriers from Parkersburg to Elizabeth. There is now a free delivery to practically every door in the community. Three routes run out from the Mineral Wells office. Mr. W. L. Deem has served the greater part of the Community every since rural free delivery was established.
The first post office was at Lockhart Run in the house that is at the present George Jones' home. The post office was named Roosevelt on November 1, 1905. Rural route was established November 1. H. E. Dye became too old to take care of the mail, so the office was moved to Mineral Wells. Mineral Wells was a centralization of Chesterville, Roosevelt, Lucky, Fountain Springs, Salisburg, and McKinley.
Postmasters after the office was moved to Mineral Wells were A. T. Morrison, C. E. Ruble, who died in service, Bertha Ruble, his widow, who resigned. Tip Stephens, who was acting postmaster for about six months, and R. D. Lemon who holds the office at the present time.
Three rural routes emanate from the Mineral Wells post office. Route 1 extends to Pettyville, bears left and comes back into Big Tygart Road to Sams Creek and part of Pleasant Hill Ridge, bears left to Sycamore, comes to McDonald Ridge, and retraces to the post office. Route 2 goes up Big tygart, Buck Run, and part of Lee Creek, Stephens Fork, and retraces. Route 3 includes the Elizabeth Pike to Butcher Hill, the road through Chesterville, Sunnyside, and back to the Pike by Grassy; then down the pike to the road that passes E. F. Schneider's and goes on to the bend of the River and back to the post office by Leafy Glen and Mt. Pleasant Church.
Mr. W. L. Deem had the honor of being the oldest carrier in service in Wood County in 1936. On November 1, of that year, he completed thirty-one years of service and retired from active service.
Mr. E. W. Sheets of Harrison organized the Grange here about 1912. The organization flourished for about eight years. It grew out of the suggestion from the Farmers' Institute. Prominent among the leaders were: Albert Deem, E. P. Dye, Grant Bair, E. F. Schneider, W. L. Deem, Oscar Barnett, Harry Hardman, Cyrus Deem, and J. F. Bargeloh.
(B) Farm Bureau:
The Wood County Farm Bureau, which was organized by the first County Agent in Wood County, West Virginia, Mr. H. S. Vandervort, had its purpose of cooperation as the first service to the farmers of the county. For several years the purpose of the organization has been to function as an educational institution for the rural folk. Through its offices any individual may learn more perfect and up-to-date farming, dairying, and poultry management methods. Farmers of the Mineral Wells Community aided very much in the early organization and the development of the educational function.
At present the commercial set-up of the farmers is organized separately as an agent of the Farm Bureau. Through their own plan the farmers purchase cooperatively feed, fertilizer, and supplies, and at the same time find a market for milk, eggs, chickens, and grain. They manufacture their own Farm Bureau rations from home grains.
County Agents who have served this community are Mr. H. S. Vandervort, Mr. R. L. Buchanon, who died in office, Mr. Clyde Smith, who finished Mr. Buchanon's term of office, Mr. Joe Boyd, and Mr. W. H. Sill, who has been with us for the past ten years. Each of these men has contributed a very valuable and appreciated service to the farm life of the community.
Residents of the Community who have, or do belong to the Farm Bureau Organization are: H. F. Herdman, E. P. Dye, E. F. Schneid, O. W. Barnett, Tom Compton, F. C. Forshey, F. L. Lambert, J. W. Miller, Dan Graham, W. H. Smith, T. H. Huffman, W. H. Cooper, C. Grewell, Z. E. Thorn, H. H. Hendricks, Miss Allie Farrell, E. L. Melrose, A. L. Deem, J. F. Bargeloh, T. R. Dye, D. C. Grant, J. E. Leach, A. R. Province, W. L. Deem, John Deem, B. F. Barnett, J. S. Johnson, A. F. Johnson, C. M. Deem, Mason Bargeloh, Sereno Bros., H. T. Butcher, G. E. Rector, W. C. Cooper, James Matheny, Charles Taylor, and Frank Barnard.
(C) 4-H Club:
The 4-H Club for boys and girls between the ages of ten and twenty-one has been an active organization in this community since 1919 when the first club was organized by Miss May Babcock. Since that date 287 boys and girls of the community have participated in the club program and at least started projects. At present we are not able to determine just how many of this number actually completed the projects. Of course, a number dropped by the wayside, but the majority completed at least a year's work and a percentage remained in the work until the age limit was reached. About six years ago the club met the requirements for a Standard Club. The Slate or Mt. Zion Club met the requirements last year, 1936. A number of local boys and girls have at various times attended the State 4-H Camp at Jackson's Mill.
One incentive to the members to do all work completely is the annual award of permitting all those who have finished their projects to attend the County 4-H Camp. A County 4-H Camp has been held each year for sixteen years and each year the camp organization has improved as it should because of previous experience. The first camp was held at the old Shattock Park Fair Grounds. Then for three years a better camp atmosphere was held on the Tallman farm at Washington Bottom. The next three years the assembly met at Mustapha Island, near New England. For nine years Dr. A. D. Hopkins generously granted the use of a section on his farm. Conditions were almost ideal there with the use of a cabin as a kitchen or mess house, a swimming pool, plenty of water, and a beautiful campfire setting. When Dr. Hopkins could no more permit the use of his farm, last year's camp met on Mr. Ott Province's place. The next step is to obtain a permanent camping spot and leaders are considering several proposition.
A full-time 4-H Leader is at present employed in the county. Mr. Arnold Hutson, a graduate of West Virginia University, and one who is well trained and experienced in work with rural boys and girls, is helping to make the most efficient clubs we have ever had. Preceeding Mr. Hutson, Miss Adele Harpold assisted Miss May Prichard, Home Demonstration Agent, and Mr. Sill with the club work. Miss Harpold supervised the individual projects and conducted club meetings. Previous to the time of Miss Harpold's term of office the 4-H Club Work was handled by the Home Demonstration and County Agents and those volunteers who so cheerfully gave their time for the cause. Two young men who are remembered because of their efficiency are Mr. Sterling Evans and William Badger.
Following is a list of 287 4-H members who have composed the complete membership since 1919 when the first club was organized. These persons completed their projects each year they belonged. They are:
1919 Raleigh Deem, William Taylor, Ruie Hicks, Ray Dye, Orpha Hicks, Bessie Hicks, Conrad Province, Orville Hicks, Tom Forshey, Jesse Anderson, Oris Cooper, Walter and Kermit Deem, Willard Herdman, Beulah Coberly, Walter Taylor, Leroy Bargeloh, Teddy Ruble, Thomas Pepper, and Robert Greiner.
1920 Tom Forshey, Raleigh, Walter, and Kermit Deem, Walter and Emily Taylor, Ruie and Orpha Hicks, Jesse Anderson, Leroy Bargeloh, Robert Greiner, Robert Morris, Arthur Morris, Louise, Susie, Clark, Page, and Edith Deem, Helen and Louise herdman, Orville Hicks, Alice Bargeloh, and Roland Deem.
1924 Barnett, Lucy, and Frank Boso; Charles, Addison, and Alice Bargeloh; Naomi Cooper, Clarke Deem, Marie Hicks, Orpha Hicks, Marie, Clara, and Orma Hendricks, Kyle Kesling, Emma Lewis, Baber Morris, William Morris, Opal Province, Irene, Emily, and Grace Taylor.
1925 Addison and Charles Bargeloh, Frank Boso, Marie and Oma Hendricks, Lula Mae Herdman, Mary and Orpha Hicks, Kyle Kesling, Baber E. and William Morris, Opal Province, Emily and Grace Taylor, Margaret and Ryda Graham, Clark Deem.
1926 Marie Hendricks, Thelma Conley, Margaret and Ryda Graham, Lula Mae Herdman, Marie and Mary Hicks, Grace Taylor, Oma Hendricks, Orpha Hicks, Frank Boso, Addison and Charles Bargeloh, William Graham, Kyle Kesling, Baber Morris, Georgia Hendricks, and Katherine Deem.
1927 Addison Bargeloh, Charles Bargeloh, Orpha Hicks, Marie Hendricks, Kyle Kesling, Mary Hicks, Ryda and Margaret Graham, Lula Mae Herdman, Grace Taylor, William Graham, Clara and Georgia Hendricks, Kathryn Deem, Thelma Conley, Ethel Webb, Harold Graham, Carl and Howard Graham, Clifford Kesling, John Franklin Butcher, Oval Richard, Oma Hendricks, and Frank Boso.
1928 Charles Bargeloh, Kyle Kesling, Ryda and Margaret Graham, Marie and Georgina Hendricks, Lula Mae Herdman, Katherine Deem, Thelma Conley, Mary Hicks, William, harold, Carl, and Howard Graham, John Butcher, Grace Taylor, Clara Hendricks, Edith and Gladys Hooner, Helen Conley, Golda Green, Edith McPeek, Eva Brummage, Joanna Hoffman, Beulah Matheny, Selma Dye, Ethel Webb, Carl Stephens, Harry Matheny, Dorothy Cook, Lucy Barnett, Mary Lowther, Marjorie Taylor, Garnet Cooper, Eleanor Butcher, and George Taylor,
1929 Marjorie and George Taylor, Karl Bargeloh, Joanna Hoffman, Eva Brummage, Beulah Matheny, Elenor Butcher, John Butcher, Harry Matheny, Garnet Cooper, Gail Stephens, Lucy Barnett, and Georgina Hendricks.
1930 Harry and Robert Matheny, Eleanor and John Butcher, Norman and Harry Ruble, Garnet Cooper, Marjorie and George Taylor, Bertha Lemon, Ivy and Georgia Hendricks, Karl Bargeloh, Joanna Hoffman, Evelyn Brown, Clara Lemon, Richard Daugherty, Robert Cooper, and Rex Cooper.
1931 Evelyn Brown, Clara and Bertha Lemon, Richard Daugherty, Harry Ruble, Marjorie and George Taylor, Robert, Rex and Garnett Cooper, Joanna Hoffman, Georgia and Ivy Hendricks, Lucy Barnett, Eva Brummage, Grace Taylor, John and Eleanor Butcher, and Karl Bargeloh.
1932 Beulah, Harry, and Robert Matheny, Evelyn Brown, Georgia and Iva Hendricks, Nita and Karl Bargeloh, Seth Crider, Marjorie Taylor, John and Eleanor Butcher, Roger Coltrider, and Joanna Hoffman.
1933 Nita Bargeloh, Eleanor Ruble, Edgar, Harry, and Hattie Newbanks, Francis Taylor, Daniel Robert Jones, John and Eleanor Butcher, Joanna Hoffman, Beulah Matheny, Ivy Hendricks, Harry Matheny, Grace Cooper, Evelyn Brown, Seth Crider.
1935 Archie and Lilly Cook, Eleanor and Ruby Ruble, Beatrice Houck, Wayne Dowler, Raymond L. Daugherty, Delbert Matheny, Mary and Clara Houck, Paul Hendricks, Raymond F. Grandon, Clude tucker, Nina Jackson, Dorothy Graham, Eleanor Sereno, Vera K. Grandon, Sara Lou Butcher, and Ruth Graham.
1936 Annaline, Fay, and Charles Bracken, Sara Lou Butcher, Alice Cline, Benjamin, Lilly, Lilah, and Archie Cook, Dorothy and Mildred Graham, Geraldine Elizabeth Grimm, Delbert Matheny, Paul Hendricks, Eleanor Ruble, Eleanor Sereno, Octava Stephens, Garland, and Gay Toncray, Clyde Tucker, Lucille Winland, Charles, and Earl Dowler, Katheleen, and Pauline Campbell.
(d) Farm Women's Club:
The Mineral Wells organization of the Farm Women's Club was organized September 1, 1921, by Miss Della Thompson, Home Demonstration Agent of Wood County, at the home of Mrs. Rae Butcher who was made president. Mrs. Annie Forshey was vice-president; Miss Gladys Winland, treasurer, and Miss Ethel Lemon, secretary. Charter members included in addition to these officers: Mrs. B. H. Ott, Mrs. J. W. Miller, Mrs. W. S. Winland, Mrs. Grace Ruble; Mesdames, Blanch Schneider, Laura Farrier, W. L. Deem, H. H. Hendricks, J. E. Leach, R. K. Deem, M. A. Boso, A. Z. Boso, Hazel Graham, Zada Barnett, Cyrus Deem, Minnie Barnett, Nellie Province, Virginia Leach, Stella Black, and J. F. Bargeloh, Mrs. James Matheny, Misses Marjorie Deem, Minto Boso, and Lema Ruble.
At the second meeting on September 28, Mrs. Fenton Gall of Berkeley County discussed the plan and purpose of the organization. A chicken supper was planned for the purpose of raising funds. At this affair held later, $42.53 was cleared. The club closed the year with thirty members, paying twenty-three membership dues to the Farm Bureau. Mrs. C. M. Deem was sent as a delegate to Farmers' Week which was held at Morgantown in 1922. She was accompanied by Mrs. Minnie Barnett. Projects of the year included cooperation with the school and Tuberculosis League, fall canning demonstration, pattern cutting, and quilting, dress forms, and poultry raising.
During the years from 1922 to 1937 the Club grew in influence and membership. Many projects were undertaken and completed which were a great benefit to the members and of wide service to the community. Many prominent people served as officers, but lack of space prevents the naming of any except the president who are given here.
1922-24, Mrs. Hazel Graham; 1925-26, Mrs. Blanche Schneider; 1927, Miss Margie Deem; 1928, Mrs. Hazel Graham; 1929-30, Mrs. Elizabeth Bargeloh; 1931, Mrs. Elsie McAfee; 1933, Mrs. Minnie Barnett; 1936-37, Mrs. Susie Deem Huffman.
A glance at the long list of projects undertaken and completed as shown in the following paragraphs indicates the valuable contribution this organization has made to the personal development of the members and the general improvement of the community.
In 1922 there were thirty-eight members. A gift of thirty-six quarts of fruit was presented to Miss Thompson, the Home Demonstration Agent, who left the service in the county in September. Ten dollars for tuition was given to two girls studying at the University to become Home Demonstration Agents.
The oldest member of the club, Mrs. Amanda Barnett, died in April, 1923, at the age of 91.
Mrs. Schneider and Mrs. J. W. Miller were appointed to attend the Farmers' week.
In 1923 four schools were furnished with kettles and oil stoves for hot lunches. A chicken supper netted $67.87. A contribution of $20 was made to the Farm Girls' Loan Fund. A donation was made from each club member for the support of the Wayside Farm. First subscription was made to the magazine "The Farmer's Wife." A county picnic was held at the City Park on July 19. A table of exhibits was displayed at the Annual 4-H Fair. Mrs. Frances Deem was sent as the first delegate to Jackson's Mill to attend the Farm Women's Camp. Mrs. Estella Black and Mrs. Zada Barnett were appointed delegates to Farmers' Week. A movement was put on for a County Health unit among the clubs of the county.
In September 1924 a supper was held at the D. A. R. cabin, netting $114.25. The club worked hard this year for a Community Club House. A chicken supper held at Henry Hendricks in October brought $67. A Home Industry Shop was opened in November. Mrs. Blanch Winland was appointed delegate to the Farm Women's Camp. Each member of the club gave a hen as a contribution to the poultry plant of the Wayside Farm. Miss Mary Moreland came from the University giving poultry talks, lessons in glove making, and basket weaving. She also talked on Home Industries and how to raise money. The first Country Life Conference was held this year.
In 1928 a kitchen improvement contest was conducted throughout the county. Many of the ladies added valuable improvements and labor-saving devices to their kitchens. Mrs. Laura Farrier, age 81, was a delegate to the Farm Women's Camp at Jackson's Mill. In March the rural clubs entertained the Home Department of Women's Club of Parkersburg. The local club assisted with the food. A stunt in the form of a Style Show was given at the County Picnic at the City Park. The club presented dresses of 1850, 1875, 1890, 1910, and 1915. They received the highest award.
In 1929 the members decided that since the building of a club house seemed impossible, it would be well to rent the room over the Mineral Wells Store for use as a regular meeting place. The room was leased for $100 per year until 1935. During this period of time the room was sub-let to the Grange and 4-H Club. It was during this year that a past president and very influential member of the club, Miss Margie Deem, died. Dishes and chairs were purchased for the club. Miss Peterson of the Red Cross instructed a class of ten in home nursing.
In 1930 five dollars was given for a roof on the 4-H cabin. Other financial support was given the 4-H club. A poultry project was carried out.
In 1931 the tenth anniversary was celebrated at the home of Mrs. Rae Butcher. Sewing was done for needy children. One hundred garments, much food, and medical aid was given to those who could be reached. Help was given, also, in children's clinics.
This year we celebrated our tenth anniversary, having most of our charter members present; also, Mrs. Della Thompson Warman, who organized the club.
Home Demonstration Agents who have served the Farm Women's club are: Miss Thelma Robins; Miss Mae Babock, who is now Mrs. Merrill of Parkersburg; Miss Della Thompson, Miss Mary McGuire; and Miss May Prichard who is now rendering an invaluable service to the community.
As a project, inspired by Miss May Prichard, the women of the county have organized a Farm Women's Shop which is located on Seventh Street in Parkersburg and operated by Mrs. Virginia Cook Mitchell. This shop serves the rural folk by offering for sale any farm product that the ladies care to furnish. Ten percent of the sale price is retained for use in meeting the expenses of the shop. The city people are also served in that it offers to them fresh country produce at a reasonable price.
A second active Women's Club which must be mentioned because many of its most active members live in the community is the Slate Club. At present Mrs. Mabel Jones is serving her second year's term as president and has been quite active in club affairs. Mrs. Glancy Morrison, Mrs. Jean Dye, and Mrs. Roxy Dye have taken an active part in the club for some time.
(e)Country Life Conference:
The first Country Life Conference was held in Mineral Wells Community in 1924. The Agricultural Extension Service of West Virginia University sponsored this organization through the County Farm Bureau. The chief moving spirit of this organization was Dr. A. H. Rapking, Rural Organization Specialist for the Extension Service who has attended and directed the yearly meetings in the community. He has been a source of inspiration to the members of the organization. The conference is held in the Mineral Wells Community each year during the early part of November. The membership is composed of enterprising citizens of the community who wish to join. No fee is charged and one need only to indicate a willingness to co-operate in order to become a full fledged member.
Members are usually those active in other organizations of the community, such as the Women's Club, Farm Bureau, Dairying Association, and the three churches. Officers are elected at the yearly conference and committee members named at that time. They arrange for the monthly meetings which are held at Mt. Pleasant Church, in response to a general announcement of the meeting. Committees are named to serve in connection with the history, citizenship, recreation, homes, schools, health, churches, programs, business and farms. A council composed of the officers and committee chairman is the executive body of the organization and meets at the call of the president.
The chief purpose of the organization is the raising of standards of living throughout the rural community, setting as its goal the Model Community. This involves the standardizing of schools, improvements in the homes, raising health standards, adoption of modern farm methods and purchase of better implements, encouraging of religious and social activities, beautification of farm surroundings, improvement of transportation facilities, and the like.
One of the features of the yearly conference is a progress report of the community toward excellence, made by the chairman of the Progress Committee. A record is made of the improvements and additions developed since the previous meeting. A typical progress report is given herewith to illustrate the rapid elevation of the standards in this section.
"Progress Report for 1935 Mineral Wells Community"
"The organization and scoring of the Mineral Wells Community was begun some eleven years ago. We may not have accomplished what we should or what we would have liked; nevertheless, we have made a start, and are still going ahead.
"Early this year the "Community Council" made a list of the homes in the Mineral Wells Community. From this list a mailing list was made and given to our County Agent so each family would receive help from that office.
"During the last year we have held nine Community Meetings, which we all enjoyed, especially the music and speakers. Besides these meetings there have been a number of others; such as, Community School Day, a two-day meeting of the "Baptist Churches" at Mt. Zion; and all-day meetings and sings at two of the churches.
"The real work of the community has not been carried on as a whole but by the various religious, educational, and social groups within it. Our three churches with a membership of more than 225 have each conducted a Sunday school every Sunday of the year with an average attendance of 183. Each church had its regular preaching services. Each church has been or is now having its Young Peoples' meeting each week. Two of the Sunday Schools have organized classes and those in one church are very active, having regular monthly meetings at the various homes. These meetings have meant much to classes in both religious and social life. Each of the churches has held a special series of meetings as well as special programs. Finally we have proved our interest and sincerity in religious affairs by raising and using through and for the church $1,402.13.
"This seems like a very good report for our community but let us not forget that there are so many in our community who should be sharing in the blessings and helping in the work of the churches.
"We feel our schools have made satisfactory progress during this year. Our teachers, Messrs. Brown, Forshey, Miller, and Hendershot, each have Number One certificates. Miss Hicks had a Standard Normal; Mr. Brown completed 18 hours of college work during the year; Mr. Forshey completed 6 hours of college work during the year; Mr. Miller dompleted 3 hours of college work during the year; and Miss Hicks completed 9 hours college work during the year.
"A new well was completed at the Shady Hill School during the year. Much new equipment has been added, such as globes, dictionaries, bulletin boards, cement walk, a piano, a victrola, water tanks, new tables for the primary room, balls for games, and work material for primary work. Shady Hill scored as a Standard School. Attendance prevented it from being scored a Model. Our schools are all furnished library books from the Wood County Library. All our schools are visited by special supervisors, such as art, music, penmanship, and physical education. We feel our schools can be scored much higher this year. We have an active 4-H Club for boys and girls, with Miss Hicks as leader. The club sent several to the County 4-H Camp.
"There are two Farm Women's Clubs in this community. These clubs are a source of profit and enjoyment to those who belong. Each of the clubs holds regular monthly meetings and together sent five members to Jackson's Mill to the Farm Women's Camp where all enjoyed the wonderful vacation. We feel that many more women should be enjoying the social life of these clubs.
"It will be impossible the list all the home improvements that have been made during the year but enough can be given to show that we are doing something to better our homes and community: Ten new homes have been erected during the year. They are: Messrs. Price, Yoho, Deem, Dye, Province, Pfalzgraf, Vaught, Dye, Archer, and Streets. Three homes have been remodeled and painted. Twelve homes have been painted. Forty-five rooms have been papered and painted. Eight wells have been drilled; two water systems have been installed; fourteen sanitary toilets have been built during the year; many improvements have been made to farm buildings; such as chicken houses, barns and milk houses; several new washing machines, radios, and many pieces of furniture have been purchased, showing that our farmers are keeping up-to-date.
"Quite a few of our home owners are taking advantage of the help offered by our County Agent and State Extension Service in landscape work. Several electric refrigerators and ice boxes have been purchased during the year.
"Since this is the report of the progress of the community, we have tried to show some of the things we have done. We should use these as an incentive to push forward to find our mistakes and correct them.
"In making this report we are very glad for the many things that
have been done, but we are sorry that there are so many that do not
enter our work in the community and enjoy the association of all.
Let's all do our part."
Signed: Mrs. Bargeloh, Mrs. Heck, and Mrs. Barnett."
The community is under a five-year contract with Mr. T. D. Gray of the State Extension Service of the University for a beautification program. Already a number of homes show a decided improvement in appearance, since so many are anxious to assist with the beautification project.
We do not have detailed information concerning the organization of the Parent-Teacher Association in the community, but the assistance of the organization has been noted about the school buildings year after year. A report from Mr. O. M. Brown, one of the local teachers, gives us the following information concerning the organization during three years.
In 1934-35 Mr. Burley Daugherty served as president: while Mrs. Marie Cook was vice- president; Miss Joanne Huffman, secretary; and Mrs. James Matheny, treasurer.
Through 1935-36 and 1936-37 Mr. G. E. Brown was president; H. T. Butcher, vice-president; James Matheny, secretary; and A. R. Province, treasurer. The P. T. A. and Farm Women's Club made it possible for the school to purchase a piano, a hectograph, and other necessities, such as a step-ladder, sprinkler, mop bucket, hammer, saw, nails, and lumber for tennis tables. One hundred books were added to the library, a concrete walk was built across the front yard, flowers and shade trees were set out, and thirty-six song books were purchased.
P. T. A. membership embraces a group of citizens who are anxious to assist their school.
There was in the year 1890 a blacksmith shop in operation by John Smith of Chestersville. During the early 60's there was a blacksmith shop at the intersection of the Chestersville Road with the Pike. This shop was in operation for many years, first by the Tuckers, and later by Lloyds.
In the year 1890 there were three stores in Chestersville, one a Company Store, one owned by Mr. H. Dye, and another by Joe Heatherly. During the early 1860's there was a store on the Pike at the intersection of the Chestersville Road owned and operated by Sheldon Page. A little later there was a store located near the Mill on Big Tygart. It was owned by John Lynch. Later Dawkins moved the store to a building near Mt. Zion church, but operated only a few years.
In 1876 another store owned near the present site of the Mineral Wells Postoffice. It was owned and operated by Dr. Sanford Prickett. After Dr. Prickett's death his brother, Isiah, took charge. From that time on there has been a store at this place. Some of the early operators were: Ed. Cheveront, Red Taylor, and Casy Ruble. E. P. Dye has operated a store opposite his residence for years.
Edwin Butcher, a grandson of Samuel Butcher, built a store and hotel at the foot of what is known as Butcher Hill during the oil boom at Burning Springs in Wirt County. The traffic was heavy with the hauling from the fields and the supplies to the fields. The cattle dealers from Wirt, Calhoun, Roane, and Gilmer counties also made this a stopping place. The cattle and sheep were driven on foot to markets. Mr. Butcher would buy and sell anything from ginseng roots to a farm. At present there are two well-equipped stores in the neighborhood, Mr. George Brown's and Mr. H. C. Brown's. These men are interested in furnishing household necessities to all residents in the community.
There were three water mills in early days, one at Chesterville, one at Davisville, and one on Big Tygart. The mill at Chesterville was begun about 1820 and kept in operation until 1924.
About 1850 people began the building of frame houses. Prior to this time homes were chiefly built from logs. Some of the early carpenters were William Fought, Henderson Demm, Joshua Butcher, and Charles and Perry Page. As early as 1844 one man, John Barnett, made bricks on his own farm and built a large brick residence. This was the only brick house in the community for a number of years. A cyclone passed through a part of the community in 1912 and blew the top from this house, but the building was repaired and is still standing and in good condition.
One of the early money-making industries was that of marketing railroad ties. They were hauled mostly to the mouth of the Big Tygart Creek and there sold. They were shoved into the water, boomed together by chains, and floated down the river to markets. Levi Stephens was a prominent trader in these ties. Many of the ties for the Little Kanawha Railroad were supplied from this locality. The cutting and selling "pit" posts or mine props followed in turn. Much of the timber has been sold out of the community in this manner.
An outlet to market was added in the early part of this century for the farmers of the community. About the year 1898 the Little Kanawha Railroad was built from Parkersburg to Palestine. It passed along the Little Kanawha River through the entire Mineral Wells Community. The railroad was very prosperous for fifteen or twenty years, but with the coming of improved roads and the more convenient transportation by truck its business began to dwindle. I ceased operation during 1935. Afterwards the tracks were removed.
During the early days there were three engines: two for heavy freight, and one for passenger service. The passenger engine carried two coaches until bus transportation relieved it of its passenger business. In early days the passenger train made two trips a day; one in the morning, and one in the late afternoon. In later years the number of trips were gradually cut down until finally it was making only one trip each week. It operated for a period of about thirty-five years.
During the period from 1900 to 1920 farmers took their produce to Creel Station from where it was taken by train to market. The passenger coaches were a haven for visiting with one's neighbors and the exchange of news with those whom one scarcely saw except on these visits to the market. The members of the train crew were friends to every passenger and, no doubt, received many gifts of butter, eggs, and other produce.
The early roads were such as could be developed by the local residents, who built roads from their own farms to the main highway, Elizabeth Pike was opened as a thoroughfare about the year 1850. This pike was paved from Parkersburg to Mineral Wells in 1923. Later the pavement was extended on through the county and adjoining counties now known as State Route No. 14. Another form of transportation that served the residents of the community for a number of years was the use of boats and the Little Kanawha River. Before the development of highways and even before the introduction of the Little Kanawha Railroad, this was a much used form of travel from one place to another and about the only means of transporting heavy goods.
The Agricultural Soils Association was organized in Mineral Wells community by about twenty- five members in July, 1937. A Board of Directors was elected and B. L. Daugherty was named secretary in charge of lime sales and deliveries from the Soils Conservation Service. About one- fourth of the farmers in the Mineral Wells community have become members of this association up to and including December, 1938.
The work done has been in the nature of erosion control by diversion ditches and contour furrows for water control. Lime-requirement tests have been made on selected fields of members and lime furnished to cooperating farmers for demonstration fields of soil conserving crops.
Pasture improvement has been carried out by recommended practices in which the use of lime and superphosphate was applied to sods in existing pastures having a sufficient coverage of grass to justify this practice. Complete farm plans have been worked out including forest improvement and maintenance practices for the woodlot.
Dr. A. K. Ross was practicing medicine in Chesterville in 1890.
Teachers who hold a Standard Normal Certificate are: Mary Hicks, Opal Province, Lulu Mae Herdman, Thomas Forshey, O. M. Brown, Carl Miller, and Gertrude Dye.
Mr. W. L. Deem, who completed on November 1, 1936, thirty-one years of active service as a rural mail carrier, had at the time of his retirement the honor of being the oldest carrier in service in Wood County. Mr. Deem was born at Chesterville on the Billy A. Deem place. In return for his years of service Mr. Deem receives an annuity from the government.
Abbie Deem who is living with her daughter in Lubeck is 84 years old.
John Cooper is 88 years of age. He is Israel's father.
Two ladies who lived to a ripe old age were: Mrs. Amanda Barnett, who was 91 years old when she left us, and Mrs. Carolina Barnett who was 85. Mrs. Minnie Barnett was chairman of the Local Board of Shop Directors in connection with Women's Club work for five years. She has also served as vice-president and secretary of the Home Central Committee.
Seven girls of the community prepared themselves for nursing; Nora Deem Robins was County Health nurse for four years, and Kathryn Lockhart for two years. Faye Bair Barnsley of Rockville, Md., Lena Melrose, Margaret Butcher Anderson, Nettie Dawkins Dye, of Akron, and Ethel Lemon-Fuch are all graduate nurses.
Graduates of Mountain State Business College who are active in business are: Delmont Jeffers, Edwin Thorn, and Harold Thorn.
Mr. T. J. Wigal, at present a teacher in the Parkersburg system, left this community and went into the teaching profession.
Everett Deem, a merchant for a number of years, had a dry goods store on Third Street in Parkersburg.
Members of the community having college degrees are: Mabel Dye-Jones and Arthur Dye, who attended West Virginia University; Harry Herdman, Jr., who studied Commerce and Business at Ohio University; and Laura Rector who holds an A. B. Degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College.
High School graduates are: Marian, Edith, Elva, Kathryn, and Stewart Deem; Lule, May, Louise, and Harry Herdman; Gertrude, Dale, Charles, John, Mabel, Georgia, and Arthur Dye; Thelma and Helen Conley; Steela Jackson Bargeloh; Carl Bargeloh; Carl Stephens; John and Eleanor Butcher; Earl Carr; Mary Hicks; Beulah Matheny; Harry Matheny; Eva Brumage; Joanna Hoffman; Thomas, Louise, and Ruth Rector; Marjorie and Grace Taylor; Ivy and Orma Hendricks; Opal Province; two McDaniel boys; Lucille, Ruth, Gladys, and Ross Morrison.
Dr. George Jeffers studied at Louisville, Kentucky. He practiced in Kansas for a time. For a number of years he has been practicing in Parkersburg.
Dr. H. D. Price practiced in Jackson County, and was at the State Hospital at Spencer for two years. He has practiced in Parkersburg most of his lifetime.
Ministers from the community are: Rev. George Dye; Rev. Frank Rector; and Rev. Enoch Rector.
Thomas Rector is studying for the ministry at West Virginia Wesleyan College and will receive his degree in 1938.
Miss Ivy Hendricks is a sophomore at the Fairmont State Teachers College.
Ben Butcher of Parkersburg was born on the old Butcher homestead in Butcher's Bend. He is the son of Edwin S. and Mary J. (Wright) Butcher; grandson of Thomas Butcher and great grandson of Samuel Butcher II, a soldier of the Revolution. He received his formal education in the public schools and at Fairmont State Normal School, Marietta College, and Columbia University (now George Washington), Washington, D. C., from where he received the L.L.B. degree. He was elected as a Democrat from Wood County to the House of Delegates of the 14th Legislature which met in Wheeling, then the capitol of the state. Mr. Butcher was the youngest member of this session.
Afterwards he moved to Colorado where he resided for eleven years, engaging in the practice of law and in silver mining. During his residence in Colorado, he was District Attorney of the 9th Judicial District, and served as a member of both the House and Senate of that State. In 1901 he returned to his native state and county.
In 1912 during the Wilson campaign, he was presidential elector-at-large. He was an active member of the order of Elks. In 1930 he was elected to the House of Delegates and re-elected in 1932 and 1934. Mr. Butcher was active in the passage of the Tax Limitation Amendment and other important legislation. He sponsored two important amendments to the State Constitution which were adopted by the people in 1934.
Mr. Butcher contracted pneumonia while he was serving in the 1937 session of Legislature and passed away within a few days after he became ill. His body was brought from Charleston to the Mt. Zion cemetery for interment in the family lot.
Dr. Andrew Delmar Hopkins of Parkersburg, and owner of Kanawha Farms in the Mineral Wells Community was born on his grandfather Evans' farm at Evans, Jackson County, West Virginia, on August 20, 1857, became manager of the farm in 1874 and later inherited a 1/4 interest; in 1876 served on a commission to collect specimens of natural resources of his county for the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia, Pa., and in September attended the Exposition; in 1874-77 introduced the first pedigree cattle and sheep into the county; 1877 made prime move in the organization of County Fair Association of which he was the first secretary and served as director for seven years, and as president in 1881; in 1879 made the prime move in the organization at Parkersburg, of a State Wool Growers and Sheep Breeders Association and served as its first corresponding secretary and vice-president; in 1880 married Adelia S. Butcher of Lockhart Run, Wood County; in 1884 exchanged his interest in the Evans farm for 137 acres of the present Kanawha Farms; in 1879 he was the prime mover in the organization at Parkersburg of a system of State and County Farmers Institute Societies, with a preliminary meeting at the residence of Omer Page in the Mineral Wells Community.
Beginning in 1874 the manifested ideal and ambition of Dr. Hopkins has been the improvement of soil, livestock, and cultivated plants, a broad knowledge of natural history and scientific subjects, and to contribute a worth-while service to county, state, and national agriculture and to the advancement of science; in all of which he has been eminently successful.
Scientific studies on the Jackson County and Wood County, farms led to an appointment in 1890 to the scientific staff of the West Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station; in September 1892 he was sent on a special mission to Germany, the success of which was rewarded in June, 1893, by the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Philosophy; in 1896 appointed to additional duties as professor of entomology in the University, and in June, 1897, to vice-director, serving as director during the month of August of that year, and continued as vice-director to July 1902; in 1893 became a member, and later a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; in 1896 served as chairman of the section of Entomology of the Association of Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations.
While connected with the experiment station he was sent by the Federal United States Division of Entomology on three missions of Exploration, 1899 to the northwest states, 1900 to the northeast states, and in 1901 to the Black Hills of South Dakota. In July, 1902, resigned from the experiment station to take charge of forest insect investigations, Division of Entomology, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. In 1921 resigned as Forest Entomologist, but continued in the service of the Bureau of Entomology in special research in bioclimatics, with one assistant, has been conducted at Kanawha Farms as the intercontinental base station for this special work, with the result that a new science of bioclimatics has been developed and submitted for publication; this science dealing with basic laws, principles, systems, and methods with special reference to national and international research and practice in agriculture.
Since 1890 the use of Kanawha Farms for scientific and economic investigations by the state and federal government has been entirely without financial or other compensation to the owner, and since retirement in 1931 has received no compensation for continued services as Collaborator in the United State Department of Agriculture. The farm has also been made available for free use by the 4-H Club of Wood County.
During nearly a half century in the state and federal scientific service the success achieved by Dr. Hopkins in his scientific work has been recognized by election to the higher offices in Washington and national associations and societies, and as one of three in this country honorary member of the Society of Economic Biologists of London, England. He has also been recognized as the father of Forest Entomology in America, and as national and world authority on subjects in which he has specialized.
Mineral Wells Community is proud of the honor Dr. Hopkins has earned for himself and appreciates the fact that he has made his home here even though his interests have been national and international. His home might well be called "The Park" for many come each year to view the beautiful flowers which adorn his garden and walks.
The D. A. R. cabin in the City Park at Parkersburg that is now used as a museum was the property of Uncle Henry Cooper. It was located one mile east of Tygart Creek, one mile south of the Little Kanawha River on what is now known as the Fleet Barnett farm. The cabin was within sight of the Mt. Zion church.
The regional cabin which was built in 1809 has a stone chimney while the present one is of brick. The D. A. R. removed the cabin to the Park about twenty years ago.
Mr. Amos Tracewell has for a number of years cultivated one of the largest dahlia beds in this section. Sightseers have made many trips to his home near the Kanawha River to view the blossoms during the flowering season. Mr. Tracewell also has an apple orchard.
Mr. Gant, Principal of the Pettyville School and for many years a resident of Parkersburg, made a real contribution to the scenery of the community when he built his beautiful brick home on the Mineral Wells hill. In a very short time Mr. And Mrs. Gant had grown a flower garden that appeared as if it had been there for years. Their home is an added spot of beauty in the community.
Community Histories Index