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Wayne County News
March 17, 1927


Citizens of the community of Ceredo are arranging for an Industrial Survey of the Community, to be held next Monday and Tuesday, March 21st and 22nd. This is he first Industrial Survey that has been conducted by any community in the county. County Agent W. D. Click, H. J. Stark, Dr. W. F. Bruns, Eustace Adkins, and Rev. E. T. Stump compose an executive committee that will have the program in charge.

The survey that is being planned for Ceredo makes this an opportune time to recall certain interesting events concerned with the early history of the town.

The town of Ceredo was founded in 1857 by Eli Thayer, a member of Congress from Massachusetts. While in Washington in 1856, he became acquainted with Albert G. Jenkins, then representing this district in the national Congress. In 1857 Thayer visited his friend on the banks of the Ohio, and at the time met Thomas L. Jordan, who then owned the land upon which the town now stands. Thayer purchased the land for a site for his new town, and upon visiting the locality and seeing the beautiful crops with which Ceres (goddess of vegetation) had laden the land, thought it a becoming tribute to the fabled goddess to name the town in her honor, and, accordingly, it became Ceredo.

Thayer then returned to the East and sent Sabine P. Pond to cooperate with Mr. Jordan in laying out the town, grading streets, etc., while he himself visited several of the eastern cities for the purpose of inducing manufacturers to establish their business in his embryo city. He was, at least, successful in obtaining promises --one from the proprietors of the Agricultural Implement Works of Worcester, Massachusetts, at that time one of the most extensive of its kind in the world. Another that promised a branch establishment was the Boston Furniture Company, then the most extensive in New England.

Some time prior to 1857, a town plan had been laid out on the Morgan farm on Virginia Point, but on account of poor management, or rather no management at all, the project had failed. Several houses had, however, been erected, and among the number who established themselves at that place was James Poteet. He was pleased with Thayer's city, and in July 1857, removed to Ceredo, where he became the first merchant. The first house was erected by H. W. Stewart for John Roberts and George McCormack. The year 1857 witnessed the erection of a number of temporary tenements by prospective residents, and at the same time the Ceredo Company erected what was known as the Crescent Building, designed for both school and church purposes.

The dream of Thayer, the founder, had been to build an immense manufacturing city on the banks of the Ohio, but he was doomed to disappointment. He had expended a vast sum of money in paying for land, grading streets, erecting buildings, and buying machinery, and now the promised manufacturing enterprises failed to come, and in order to meet his financial engagements, he was compelled to mortgage his property to the Hon. C. B. Hoard, than a member of Congress from Waterton, New York. Lots failed to find purchasers; the financial crash of 1858, which came on just at this time, added to the embarrassment of the proprietor.

Notwithstanding, the town continued to improve. Early in 1858, Elijah Griswold came from New York and engaged in mercantile business; later, in the same year, A. F. Morse came from Rhode Island and engaged in the same business. W. H. Wilson opened a drug store. In September of the same year, Z. D. Ramsdell and Ira Floyd, the former from Maine and the latter from New Hampshire, arrived and began the manufacture of boots and shoes. Mr. Ramsdell took an important part in the formation of the new State of West Virginia and was the author of the first free school law of the State.

The Civil War came on, and instead of the realization of the dream of its founder, it was in 1861 a town of 440 inhabitants, five grocery establishments, two hotels, one boot and shoe shop, one barber shop, two blacksmith shops, two churches, one school building, one printing office (Ceredo Enterprise), one railroad depot (Chesapeake and Ohio), one livery stable, one post office, one Masonic hall, one saw mill, one stave and heading mill, one resident physician, one resident minister, one surveyor, and one architect.

The town was incorporated by an act of the Legislature passed February 22, 1866; by it the corporate boundaries were defined to be as follows:

"Beginning at the mouth of Twelve Pole River, thence up said river forty rods to the old military line, thence due west three hundred rods, thence north to the Ohio River at the old Morgan Mill, thence up the Ohio River to the place of beginning."

The first officers were Mayor, Richard Brown; recorder, W. H. Stewart; councilmen, Charles A. Brown, Lafayette Brown, John Kelly, Patrick McLeese and Robert Wright; town sergeant, A. W. Brown.


Eastern standard time (commonly referred to as Fast Time) was adopted for Louisa, Ky., Tuesday evening by the city council in an ordinance effective April 3, when this standard goes into effect on railroads throughout this section by order of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

The change from Central to Eastern time causes time to be set forward one hour at Louisa. Similar ordinances have been adopted by a number of cities and towns served by railroads adopting Eastern time after April 3, since it is held that uniformity should be maintained with railroad time for the convenience of the public. Ironton, Ohio, is the only exception thus far, its city council having refused to approve the change.


Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Keyes were Ft. Gay visitors last Sunday. ***B. H. Cooksey, Mrs. John Heaberlin and Miss Quinn Cooksey attended the funeral of their brother, Will Cooksey, at Huntington March 11 ***Mrs. Worth Hatten was called to the bedside of her grandson, Elba Drown, at Kenova this week. ***Blanche Frazier spent last week end with relatives in Fort Gay.***Panther Shannon is visiting friends in Portsmouth. ***Mayme Boyd, who has been visiting relatives in Logan, has returned home. ***Mr. and Mrs. Chris Meredith of Kenova spent Sunday with Mrs. Meredith's mother.***Eli Perry has moved to the Hut Shannon Hollow from Big Hurricane. ***Jack Bryant and Wm. Cole of Zelda, Ky., were business visitors here last Saturday. ***George Shannon of Guyandotte spent Sunday with his mother here.


Ora I. Clay, son of Millard Clay of Hubbal, and Maypel M. McComas, daughter of Elba McComas of Wolf Pen, were married at the home of the bride, March 12. The following were present: Mrs. Dicie Adkins; Mrs. Mary Anne Gilkerson; Mr. and Mrs. Earl Adkins; Mr. and Mrs. Spencer McComas; Mrs. Susie McComas; Eldred and Susie Adkins; Woodrow McComas; Cassie, Iva and Alma Simpkins; Tennessee Johnson; Paris B. Adkins; Ruby and Yonnie Gilkerson. ***Elizabeth Dickerson and Eugenia Wagenlender, who have been teaching here, have returned to their home in Huntington. ***Mrs. Dicie Adkins recently visited her daughter, Mrs. Lola Sansom of Huntington. ***Ora I. Clay and Earl Adkins were recent Wayne visitors. ***Mrs. George Adkins is ill. ***Thelma Lockhart and Mrs. Fannie Adkins of Huntington recently visited friends here. ***Mrs. Henry Simpkins recently visited friends in Huntington. ***H. J. and T. O. Simpkins were business visitors in Huntington Monday.***Mrs. Hulda Finley of Nestlow recently visited her daughter, Mrs. Callie Simpkins.

Transcription by June White

Wayne County News