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Wayne County News
September 16, 1920


[From] amongthe hundreds of. . .[records] preserved in the office of the county clerk of Wayne county is the first will that was ever put on record in that office. The will of James Loar was written and recorded in 1846--move than seventy-four years ago. Some of the particularly interesting features of the first will ever recorded in Wayne county [include]:

It was recorded four years after the county of Wayne was established by. . . dividing [from] Cabell county. . .at that time a county in the state of Virginia.

The negro slaves were willed to the heirs of James Loar in the same way that horses and cattle are left in a will nowadays.

The maker of this will bequeathed his soul to God as well as his worldly goods to relatives. This is a form seldom found in present-day wills. Not a single punctuation mark of any kind is found in this will.

June 1846

By the Grace of God Amen I James Loar of the county of Wayne and the state ofVirginia being in feeble health but of sound mind and disposition do publish this last will and testament after giving and bequeathing my soul to Him that gave it and my body to its mother earth to dispose of my worldly goods and property My plows I give and bequeath unto my brother Peter Loar of Mepauni in that he owes me for a black [man] and child and for both in money. . .and to A. J. Loar and Harmon of Wayne Virginia my brothers my undivided. . .farm in Wayne Virginia consisting of one hundred and thirty three acres more or less being the farm where my widow lives and the same farm where lived my father Also two hundred acres adjoining said farm belonging to me known as the back land also 70 acres joining said two hundred acre patented to be by the State of Virginia and all the interest I may have to any lands in the county of Wayne and State of Virginia I also give unto my brothers A. J. Loar and Herman Loar all my interest in the negroes and their increases that was left to us by my father name to wit Betsey Sanford William George Meriah Barbara Isaac Rhoda Eli Fannie Melinda and Jeremiah said negroes being with us at this time I also give and bequeath my undivided interest in all the hogs sheep cattle horses corn oats hay wheat farming utentials wagons carts gears and all other things on the farm we claim in common to A. J. Loar and Harmon Loar I also give to them James H. Burke son of Ben Burke and Elizabeth Burke a negro girl named Jenny about four years old and I also give to the said Andrew J. Loar and Harmon Loar all my notes and accounts and money I have they paying all my just debts I also give and bequeath Harmon and A. J. Loar to give unto James Anderson out of the property I have given to them the sum of two hundred dollars when they arrive at the age of twenty one to pay the interest of said sum toward his schooling until they finish his education or stop going to school and it is to be kept for him until he arrives at the age of twenty one but if the said James Anderson should die before he arrives at the age of twenty one the said sum of two hundred dollars and its interest to go back to A. J. Loar and Harmon Loar I don't wish any administrator in my estate I request of Harmon and A. J. to pay all my just debts and authorize them to collect all debts due to me but if it should be necessary to appoint I appoint Harmon and A. J. Loar my executors as witness my hand and seal this 16th day of July 1848

James Loar

Daniel D. Jones
W. T. Nichols
Ben Burke

NOTE: Because the left column of the copied article unavoidably darkened, it was difficult to read, and so it was necessary to surmise some words in the article and in the first seven lines of the will.


As Wayne County News goes to press this week the State Legislature again is convening in extra session at Charleston for the purpose of making provision for the registration of West Virginia women, thus making it possible for them to participate in the November election.

At this time it is not known what will be the action of the legislature; however, it is conceded that a fight will be waged between the suffragist and anti forces. Delegate A. F. Wysong, of Mercer county, who led the anti-suffrage forces in the last extra session of the legislature and is again on the job in Charleston and declares that he is heading a movement for the purpose of thwarting the enfranchisement of women this fall. Wysong is a Republican member of the legislature


Three prisoners confined to the Wayne County jail dug through the brick wall on the north side of the building at dusk Saturday night and made good their getaway.

An opening was made just below one of the windows. The work moving the brick from the wall was done just before dark Saturday and was kept concealed by hanging an overall coat over the hole. The prisoners were in the habit of hanging their clothing from the window to dry after washing and for that reason the jailor Adkins never suspected the hole behind the coat until after the three had escaped. [One of] those who gained their freedom [was jailed for] grand larcency, and [two] were serving misdemeanor sentences for trespassing.

Jailor Lee Adkins entered the hall just as the third man went through the hole in the wall. By arriving at this time he prevented wholesale delivery of the prisoners. The [three] prisoners escaped just before the electrical storm Saturday night and are still at large.

Transcription by June White

Wayne County News