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West Virginia Archives & History

History of Renick Community

(Greenbrier County, West Virginia)

Renick community in Greenbrier County is located in the uppeer Greenbrier valley between the Greenbrier mountains on the east and Spring Creek mountain on the west. The noted and beautiful Greenbrier river courses through this community with its tributary, Spring Creek, on the western border. It is sixteen miles from Lewisburg, the county seat, north on the Lewisburg Marlin Bottom turnpike. Six roads lead into the center of this community.

The first settlement in the community was made by Major Wm. Renick from Augusta county, Virginia, in 1769, on an entry of 1000 acres, on which is located the stone and brick house now owned by Dr. Nash of Alderson, West Virginia. This farm was handed dojwn from Major Wm. Renick to Wm. Renick, James H. Renick, and Harry Renick after which it finally passed out of the Renick hands.

Christopher Walkup settled on the river bottom now the site of the town of Renick in 1778, this property passing into the hands of Franklin Renick, grandfather of the present owners.

John Beard settled just over the mountain in Renick's Valley in 1770.

Other early settlers were Samuel Myles, John White, the Byrd's, Rapp's, Hanna's, Handley's, Bogges', Correll's, etc. The first settlers were Scotch-Irish.

Agriculture, chiefly the raising of livestock of all kinds is the main occupation. The soil is a rich limestone where the bluegrass has its natural growth, and is therefore naturally adapted to livestock raising though originally covered with heavy forests of hardwood.. Lumbering has been a very important industry for the last twenty-five years. There are in this community the finest stone cliffs to be found any where and a future industry based on this natural resource is assured.

The Lewisburg and Marlin Bottom turnpike, built about 1849, and now designated as an A class state road passes through this community, making it accessable to all out side points.

The Greenbrier Division of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, built about 1900, also gives good railroad facilities. About 1901, Pitts and Colley built a large store near the depot, and the business center was moved to this point.

The first church to be erected was that of the Presbyterians, organized in 1783. The first pastors came from Lewisburg among whom were Rev. John McCue, Benjamin Griggsby, John McElheny, later the Browns, J. H. Lepps, Wm. McMiller, D. M. Laten, and others. The present church building erected in the year 1894 is the third church building.

The Methodist church was founded in 1830 with Rev. John Pinell as the first pastor. The present church building was erected about 1892.

The Baptists built their first church in 1906. Much attention has been given to education, the first school was taught in 1796 by Memmucan Walker. The first school house was built in 1800, and was a log building, as were all other. buildings at that time. There were some inportant old field schools taught here by Brooken M. Oliver, Benjamin C. Rapp, the Lyall's, Hodges, and Huff. Then came the public schools which have grown to the present High School building and efficient teachers. The old school building stood where the Mance now stands.

The Bank of Renick was established in 1909. Rev. J. S. Wickline was the first and only president. F. P. Clark was the first cashier, the present cashier being J. Willis Baxter. Under his wise management the bank has grown to be one of the best banks in the Greenbrier valley.

The postoffice of Falling Spring was established in the early half of 1800 and the name changed to Renick in 1913. It became a third class office January 1, 1920.

On date of February 15, 1924 the first County Life Council meeting was held. The community at present is primarily agricultural, containing about two hundred homes of which about seventy-five percent are farm homes. There are now four churches, a high school, four graded schools, a bank, two mills, a desk factory, a rock crusher, a creamery, and eight stores.

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