January 2016

Spiker/Zinn Farm History - Union District, Ritchie County, West Virginia

Michael Spiker

A history of the Spiker/Zinn family farm from 1768 to present.

This is a brief history of what is called the Spiker Farm. A PDF version of the history can be found here.

“SPIKER FARM” means the various tracts of land located in Union District acquired by Bradford Zinn and Alice Williams Spiker. The existing “SPIKER WHITE FARM HOUSE” is located on the 55± acre tract.

SPIKER HOUSE” is located on the tract of land acquired by Brad and Alice Spiker in 1947 from the

Sophia Zinn heirs. This House is where they raided 4 children. The land on the north side of Middle Fork

Road where the house is located was sold to Earl Flesher. The meadow land on south side of road is still owned by the Spiker family.


  1. GEORGE ZINN, SR. was born in Darmstadt, Germany around 1749. He married Mary Ann Saylor in 1771.

    1. It is not positively known where they first established their home, but it is believed to be Hagerstown, MD.

    2. They had 11 children. Their third son was JOHN ZINN, SR.


    1. John W. Zinn Sr. was born July 24, 1778 in Hagerstown, MD. He died in 1848 in what is now Doddridge County, WV. He was the third son and fourth child of George Sr. and Mary Saylor Zinn.

    2. He married Ruth Gandy January 21, 1804 in Monongalia County, VA. She was born August 10, 1785.

    3. John and Ruth moved from Preston County to Lewis County, Virginia (now Doddridge County) just across the present day Doddridge County line. He was a tanner and opened the first tannery in that part of the state/country. It was located in a valley between Sunny Point School (located in curve right before Spiker White Farm House) and the Spiker House (a/k/a Sophia Zinn home).

    4. They had 13 children. JOHN WESLEY ZINN, JR. and QUILLY MANLEY ZINN were their twin boys.

    5. They are both buried in Oxford, W.Va. Baptist Cemetery located outside of Oxford. Their tombstone is unique because it has a tree engraved on it. On one side of the treeare 6 limbs for the 7 boys including a limb with 2 branches for the twin boys. The other side of tree has 6 limbs for the 6 girls.


    1. John W. Zinn, Jr. was born August 14, 1814 and died March 10, 1851. He married Eliza (Elizabeth) Hoskins. According to census records, she was born around 1820.

    2. They had 6 children.

      1. William Buckner & Anna (Ward) Zinn

      2. Edward D. Zinn (m. Sarah Elizabeth Randall)

      3. Henry Clay Zinn (m. Julia Ann Bee)

      4. Mary Ellen Zinn (m. Winfield Taylor Cox)

      5. Elizabeth Sebra Zinn (m. Thomas W. Law)

      6. Christopher Columbus Zinn (m. Alvaretta McCarty & m. Martha J. Rymer)

    3. William Buckner Zinn eventually owned what was called “Buckner Farm”. It is part of the Spiker Farm.


  1. PRE W.VA. In 1768 the Iroquois Indian tribe signed a treaty with British governors giving the ”white man” all land east of the Ohio River as far south as the Kanawha River (This would have included what is now Ritchie County, W.Va.); however, the land wasn’t occupied by the Iroquois. Rather, it was occupied by the Shawnee, Miami and Delaware tribes who did not want to surrender their home land. They used it mostly as hunting land.

  2. After the Revolutionary War and U.S. independence the Spiker Farm became part of Virginia.

  3. VIRGINIA PATENT TO MIDDLETON TITLE. The Spiker Farm including land where the Spiker White Farm house is located was included in a 10,000+ acre patent granted by the State of Virginia to Richard Clayburn on January 6, 1786. This and the other land transfers listed below occurred before W.Va. became a State:

    1. Mr. Clayborn deeded this land to Henry Banks.

    2. Mr. Banks deeded it to James Denny.

    3. Mr. Denny deeded it to James Hechter.

    4. Mr. Hechter deeded it to William Chapman.

    5. Mr. Chapman deeded it to Gary French.

    6. Mr. French deeded it to Henry Middleton.


    1. Henry O. Middleton by deed dated May 31, 1840, recorded in Ritchie County Deed Book 1, Page 223, deeded to JOHN W. ZINN of Lewis County, Virginia 200 acres on Middle Fork of Hughes River including the 55 acres of land located at the mouth of Bear Run where it enters Middle Fork (i.e. where Spiker White Farm House is now located). The description of this property was: BEGINNING, at a stone and pointer on the South Branch of said run a line of land claimed by Christopher Nutter and running South 70o 200 poles crossing said run in a drain to a white oak hickory; Thence, South 172 poles crossing Middle Fork to a sugar and a white oak; Thence, North 70o East 200 poles crossing a run to a sugar tree and a chestnut tree in said Nutter line; Thence, along said line North 172 poles crossing said fork to the beginning.

    2. NOTE: The “run” is Bear Run and “Middle Fork” is Middle Fork of Hughes River. Middle Fork flows into the South Fork of Hughes. Geographically Middle Fork is actually South Fork; however, old history indicates it was discovered after the South Fork. Thus, it was given the name Middle Fork.


    1. Ritchie County, VA was formed in 1843 from portions of Harrison, Lewis and Wood County, Virginia. The SPIKER FARM was originally in Lewis County, Virginia.

    2. Harrisville as the county seat of Lewis County, VA. was created in 1822 from wilderness land owned by Thomas Harris. The first census following the creation of Ritchie County showed a population of 3,856. In 1910 the population had grown to 20,000, which is greater than 2015 population.

    3. B & O Railroad (now used as Rails to Trails hiking, biking and horse riding) was built in late 1800’s.


  1. Q. M. Zinn was born August 14, 1814 and married Lucy Ann Wilson on December 23, 1841. She was the daughter of Thomas Smallwood Wilson [Scotch-Irish; his father Thomas, Sr. was native of Scotland] and Hannah Van Camp (daughter of Isaac Van Camp).

  2. They settled on 55± acres at the mouth of Bear Run where it enters Middle Fork Hughes River and constructed a log cabin.



      1. Various other claims to 55 acre of the Spiker Farm located at the mouth of Bear Run were resolved by various deeds to (Q. M. Zinn) Q. M. was a partner/brother of John W. Zinn Jr. when John acquired the first deed to Spiker Farm. Even though the first deed named only John, Q. M. claimed part ownership.

      2. Deeds to clear up the title issues were signed as a result of a law suit filed in the Circuit Court of Ritchie County, involving Quilly M. Zinn, John Wesley Zinn, Jr. and (brother) Otho Zinn. They had a business venture which allegedly included the right

      of Q. M. Zinn to the tract of land at mouth of Bear Run. On the death of John W. Zinn, Jr., Q. M. filed a suit to settle the claims and obtain clear title from all the children of John W. Zinn, Otho Zinn and any other Zinn’s claimants.

      c. By deed dated June 20, 1854 recorded in Ritchie County, Deed Book 4, Page 187 J. B. Blair, Commissioner for and on behalf of William Buckner Zinn, Edward D. Zinn, Henry ‘Clay’ Zinn, Mary E. Zinn, Sebia (Sebra) Zinn and Columbia (Columbus) Zinn,heirs of John Wesley Zinn Jr., conveyed to Q. M. Zinn a tract of land including the land where the farm house is now located. These individuals were the children of John Wesley Zinn Jr., the twin brother of Q. M. As noted above Q. M. claimed an interest; however, the deed was made only in John’s name. This deed resolved the dispute with John’s heirs.

      d. By deed dated June 20, 1854 recorded in Ritchie County Deed Book 4, Page 169, J. B. Blair, Commissioner conveyed to Q. M. Zinn all interest in the 55± acres for and on behalf of any others that had or may have claimed ownership in the 55 acres of the Spiker Farm.


      1. A survey of a 2,685-acre tract for Robert Johnson dated January 29, 1858 was recorded in Ritchie County Caveat Record Book 1, Page 29 (also Survey Book 2, Page 47). This2,685-acresurveyshowedthatitincludedalloftheSpikerFarmproperty including the 200 acres conveyed to John Zinn where Bear Run flows into Middle Fork of Hughes River. Robert Johnson claimed this land by virtue of his land acquisition from the same Henry Middleton that sold it to John Zinn; however, nodeed for Johnson’s transaction was recorded. He claimed the Middleton Deed to John W. Zinn, Jr. discussed above was not valid.

      2. By deed dated July 12, 1859 recorded September 30, 1859 in Ritchie County, Deed Book 6, Page 121 Robert Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson, his wife conveyed to Quilly M. Zinn 55-1/2 acres which was a part of the 2,685 acres surveyed for Robert Johnson. This cleared up Mr. Johnson’s claim to this land.

  4. Christopher and Sarah Nutter by deed dated November 17, 1865 recorded in Ritchie County Deed Book 9, Page 493, deeded to QUILLY M. ZINN 32-1/2 acres on the Middle Fork of Hughes River above the mouth of Bear Run for the sum of $65.00. It is described as: BEGINNING, at a beech on Bear Run and crossing Bear Run so crossing a drain; Thence, South to the river to a gum, crossing the river and down said river to a water beech on the bank; Thence, South East to a hickory on the old line following the same to beginning.

  5. The first dwelling (a log cabin) was built on 55± acres of the Spiker Farm at the confluence of Bear Run and Middle Fork of Hughes River sometime during 1840-1841. (Per interview with Bradford Zinn Spiker and old history books).

  6. A large wooden home was later built at the same location around 1860-70. A photo of this house exists. It shows an “up on” rock in front. (The rock was used to get ladies ‘up on’ a horse). This house burned to the ground in 1917.

  7. Q. M. and Lucy Zinn had 11 children. All were born at the Bear Run house location. They were:

    1. Mary Magdalene (Margaret) Zinn - later resided Buchannan, WV (m. Thomas Sanson Nutter)

    2. MARION BUKEY ZINN - stayed on Spiker Farm (m. Alice Bush)

    3. Cortez LaFayette Zinn - later resided in Auburn, WV (m. Allie Drummond & m. India S. ?)

    4. Tristy Newton Zinn - (m. Mary C. Brannan)

    5. Victoria Zinn - moved to Colorado (m. Granville Z. Hall)

    6. Noah Zinn - moved to Clarksburg, WV (m. Elizabeth Bee)

    7. William Wesley Worthington - moved to Oxford, WV farm (m. Jemima White)

      1. He was born August 24, 1854 and died November 29, 1914. His wife Jemima White was born August 25, 1862 and died March 23, 1943.

      2. They had 10 children including Overy Earl Zinn born April 28, 1896. He married Enid Wilson. They had 5 children: Nelson, Dale and (info of living children removed to protect their privacy.)

      3. (Info of living children removed to protect their privacy) lives on the ‘Earl’ and Enid Ball home place..

    8. Palestine H. Zinn - (m. James Lowther Wilson)

    9. Columbia Alice Zinn - moved to Buchannan, WV (m. Daniel Childers)

    10. Martha B Zinn - died as a young woman

    11. Ulysses S. Grant Zinn - moved to Parkersburg, WV (m. Mary Belle ‘Mollie’ Nutter)

  8. Union District, (Ritchie County), was the name suggested for this area of Ritchie County by Quilly Manley Zinn to honor the “Union Cause” since many in the area served in the Union Army.

  9. Quilly Manley Zinn died March 29, 1867 at his home on Bear Run. He and his wife are buried in Oxford Baptist Cemetery near Oxford, WV.

  10. By Quilly Manley’s Will dated March 20, 1868 recorded August 12, 1868 in Ritchie County Will Book 1, Page 455 he devised all of his real and personal property to his wife Lucy W. Zinn and his son MARION B. ZINN. This included his farm.


  1. M. B. Zinn was born May 24, 1846 and died November 19, 1927. He was a stonemason and farmer.

  2. He married Alice Bush on December 24, 1874. She was born April 19, 1851 and died November 11, 1927. Alice Bush was the daughter of George Farley Bush and Johanna Goff Springston Bush.

  3. M. B. and Alice Zinn had 7 children. All were born in the 1860 styled wooden house where present day Spiker White Farm house is located. The children were:

    1. Tensie “Fay” Zinn, born November 6, 1875, died December 22, 1958. Married Henry Irvin Allman June 21, 1896. Children: James Marion, Joy and Floy.

    2. Martha Della “Dell” Zinn born January 2, 1878, died 1950’s. Married Jasper Sylvester Allman July 21, 1895. Children: lla, Ina, Edna, Marion Bukey and Jasper Sylvester.

    3. Manley Bush Zinn born in October 1879, died February 15, 1923. Married Vada Fisher October 20, 1907. Children: Madison Scott and Mary Alice.

    4. Daisy Rebecca (Daisie Rebeckey) Zinn, born March 30, 1882, died April 23, 1938. Married to Albert Kendall Cox. Children: Manley Zinn and Bertha Rebecca.

    5. (Lillie) MISSOURI GAY ZINN, born June 23, 1884, died May 20, 1967. Married Jacob Spiker April 14, 1907. Children: Bradford, Geneva, Marjory, Verlynne, Dorothy, Catherine and Robert.

    6. Alco “Coe” Blanch Zinn, born January 19,1887, died May 31, 1964. She married Ofa Bennett May 3, 1914. No children.

    7. Lucy Katriah ”Kate” Zinn, born September 11, 1889, died August 15, 1968; She married Dr. Tharos Harlan May 3, 1922. Children: Burns.

  4. Marion Bukey was a veteran of the Union Army, Company E, Sixth Regiment W.Va. Infantry Volunteers. Bradford Zinn Spiker stated M. B. told him he made his decision about which side of the conflict to join at the location near the swinging bridge now located in front of the farm house.

  5. He was on the first building committee for the existing South Fork Baptist Church which was built in 1909. He also helped organize the Sunny Point School in 1885 since it was built on Zinn land. Originally named the Bear Run School then Lower Bear Run School, this school closed in 1945. All of Jacob and Gay Zinn Spiker’s seven children were schooled there. Bradford Zinn Spiker also taught there. Marion Bukey was also a leader in Baptist church work, member of Oxford, South Fork and Horn Creek Baptist Churches, and Harrisville Baptist Association.

  6. M. B. and Alice divided their family farm among their children as follows:

    1. 52A 111 poles deeded to Gay Zinn Spiker by deed dated August 17, 1909 recorded in Ritchie County Deed Book 62, Page 596. This is where the SPIKER White Farm House is now located.

    2. 49A 96 poles tract (adjacent to 52A tract) to Manley Zinn. Manley and Vada Zinn later deeded it to JACOB SPIKER by deed dated March 12, 1912 recorded in Ritchie County Deed Book 66, Page 348.

    3. 150 acres 12 square yards.

      1. P. Nutter went bankrupt on September 19, 1905 and by special commissioner deed in Ritchie County Deed Book 55, Page 436 his interest in 182 acres including this 150 A was conveyed to G. M. Ireland. NOTE: This land was within 2,685-acre tract claimed by Robert Johnson.

      2. G. M. Ireland conveyed 150 A of land to Marion Bukey ZINN by deed dated January 25, 1906 recorded in Ritchie County Deed Book 56, Page 396.

      3. TRACT ONE: 60A 52 Poles (Part of 150 A). M. B. Zinn and wife by deed dated February 28, 1927 recorded Deed Book 92, Page 511 conveyed 1/6 each of this 60 A to:

        1. 1)  GAY ZINN SPIKER

        2. 2)  M. Dell Zinn Allman who conveyed her interest to Jacob Spiker by deed dated May 5, 1928 recorded in Deed Book 94, Page 34.

        3. 3)  Coe Zinn Bennett who conveyed her interest to Jacob Spiker by deed dated May 5, 1931 recorded in Deed Book 98, Page 1.

        4. 4)  Kate Zinn Harlan who conveyed her interest to Jacob Spiker by deed dated May 5, 1931 recorded in Deed Book 94, Page 407.

        5. 5)  Daisy Vada Zinn who conveyed her interest to Bradford Z. Spiker by deed dated October 24, 1972 recorded in Deed Book 171, Page 512.

        6. 6)  Tensie Fay Zinn Allman (1/6). She died December 22, 1958 leaving three children:

          1. (a)  Floy Allman (1/18). She deeded her interest to Bradford Z. and Alice Spiker by deed dated March 5, 1976 recorded in Deed Book 181, Page 360.

          2. (b)  James Marion Allman (1/18). He died July 6, 1955 in Gilmer County leaving 5 children and wife. They conveyed all their interest to Bradford Z. and Alice Spiker by deed dated December 6, 1976 recorded in Deed Book 183, Page 664.

          3. (c)  Joy Bailey (1/18). She died November 12, 1991. She had deeded her 1/18 to her granddaughter, Celaine Bailey Riddle. Celaine Riddle died in 1999 and her interest went to her husband, Robert D. Riddle. Her interest was deeded by her husband to Mike Spiker et al in 2000.


  1. Gay Zinn was born June 23, 1884 in the family farm house. She died May 20, 1967 and is buried at South Fork Baptist Cemetery. (“South Fork”)

  2. She married Jacob Spiker of Ritchie County on April 14, 1907 at the wooden Spiker Farm House located at the mouth of Bear Run.

  3. They had seven children and two foster children:

    1. Bradford Zinn (teacher) born April 29, 1908 and died January 20, 1996. On November 11, 1942, he married Alice Lucinda Williams (teacher), born October 23, 1916, died May 25, 2011, a resident of Cabin Run, Doddridge County. Both are buried at South Fork. They had 4 children (info of living children removed to protect their privacy).

    2. Geneva Dera “Jean” (teacher) born May 25, 1909 and died November 10, 2006. On June 15, 1945, she married Edward Marshall Haught (gas field worker) born June 1, 1911 and died April 29, 1969. No children. Both buried at South Fork.

    3. Marjory Fay born June 6, 1911 and died November 4, 1963. She never married. No children. Buried at South Fork

    4. Jacob Verlynne “Lynn” (Lewis County Agriculture extension agent) born January 19, 1913, died April 3, 1995, and married May 17, 1946 Adelene Maxson (teacher) born July 15, 1923 and died February 24, 2012. They had 2 children: (info of living children removed to protect their privacy).

    5. Dorothy Alice (teacher) born October 29, 1914, died July 17, 1953. Buried at South Fork. Married to Hayward Summers born June 19, 1909, died March 17, 1988. No children.

    6. Catherine Gay “Kitty (teacher) born December 8, 1919, died December 30, 1964. On December 9, 1939, married Paul Ausbon Miller, born March 22, 1917 and died June 5, 2015. They had 4 children: (info of living children removed to protect their privacy) and Thomas. Twin daughters Kay and Gay died at birth. Kitty, Thomas and the twins are all buried at South Fork.

    7. Robert “Bob” Roe (Superintendent at Equitable Gas) born December 30, 1925, died February 21, 2000. On November 2, 1946, married Willa Dean Bonnell (beautician) born August 5, 1928, died November 11, 2012. Both are buried at South Fork. They had 4 children: (info of living children removed to protect their privacy).

    8. Two Foster children:

      1. Delene “Boots” Wines born February 7, 1933. On October 20, 1951, married Conrad Peter ”Coon” Larew, born September 10, 1924 . They had 4 children: Pete and (info of living children removed to protect their privacy).

      2. Delane “Ann” Wines born February 7, 1933. She had 3 children: (info of living children removed to protect their privacy).

  4. All of Jacob & Gay’s children, except Kitty and Bob, were born in the 1860s type wooden house located on the Spiker Farm. Kitty and Bob were born in the existing Spiker White Farm House. The wooden house burned in 1917 and the existing house was built during years 1917 to 1918. During construction of new house, the Spiker family lived in part in the “Smoke House” located above cellar house. Old wood stove is still in that building.

  5. The existing Spiker White Farm House flooded during the June 25, 1950 flood. Water rose to the top of first floor and front door. Jacob, Gay and Marjorie had to escape by climbing out of bathroom window on 2nd floor. That flood resulted in several deaths and numerous houses being swept away, including several in Berea, which is located downstream from Middle Fork.

  6. WORLD WAR II. All three sons of Gay and Jacob Spiker (Bradford, Lynn and Bob) as well as their three sons-in-law (Paul, Edward and Hayward) served on active duty during WW-II. One can only imagine – in the days before television, cell or any type of telephone service, and with long-delayed mail service – the anxious nature of the entire Spiker family including father, mother, daughters and daughters-in-law.


    1. Born February 8, 1881, died December 24, 1956. By Will recorded in Will Book 7, Page 82 devised his land to Gay Z. Spiker. Buried South Fork. He was a farmer.

    2. Jacob was a son of Isaac Monroe Spiker, born April 8, 1859 and died July 2, 1919, and Catherine Davis Bradford, born December 11, 1858 and died May 21, 1919. IM & Catherine married on June 21, 1884.

    3. Isaac Monroe was a son of David Spiker born March 21, 1823 and died November 24, 1877. He married Catherine Downs, born January 8, 1832 and died June 6, 1912, in Wyandotte County, PA on July 19, 1846. They had 11 children.

    4. Catherine Davis Bradford was the daughter of Jacob Bradford, born in 1834, and who died in May 1864 as a result of injuries suffered in Civil War at Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain in Southwest, Virginia. He was in Co. F, 14th WV Infantry.


  1. CHILDREN - (Info regarding living children has been removed to protect their privacy.)

  2. Spiker White Farm House was flooded again in a flash flood on July 10, 2003. Water was 4± feet in the 1st floor. House was then remodeled on lower floor, (new windows, vinyl siding, floors stripped, new paneling, lights, back porch completely redone, new painting, front door, etc.) Upper floor was remodeled 2 years later.


  1. Franklin and Frances Maxwell, II sold W. B. (William Buckner) Zinn 84A and 23 poles on February 1, 1892 by deed recorded in Deed Book 39, Page 50.

  2. H.C. (Henry Clay) and Julia Alice Zinn sold 56A 121 poles to W. B. (William Buckner) Zinn on June 2, 1903 by deed recorded in Deed Book 52, Page 57.

  3. William Buckner Zinn died intestate August 29, 1924 survived by:
    1. Anna Maria, his wife (died February 27, 1934)\
    2. Eliza Jane Zinn Sheets, daughter (died July 5, 1952)\
    3. Ancil Theodore Zinn, son (died May 4, 1978)
    4. Dennis O., son (died November 20, 1955)
  4. James Z. Sheets and O. A. Sheets deeded to Ancil and Dennis Zinn the 2 tracts by deed dated October 8, 1924 recorded in Ritchie County Deed Book 89, Page 526.

  5. Ancil and Dennis Zinn deeded to Bradford Z. Spiker the 2 tracts by deed dated January 10, 1947 recorded in Ritchie County Deed Book 117, Page 458.


  1. Henry Clay Zinn owned another farm with a house near where the Spiker House was located (aka, ”Sophia” Zinn house) Bradford and Alice Spiker purchased the “Sophie” house in 1947. This is where they raised their 4 children. The Spikers still own the meadow across the road in front of house.

  2. Title as follows:

    1. 7A 28 poles conveyed to Henry C. (Clay) Zinn by deed dated April 25, 1890 recorded in Ritchie County Deed Book 33, Page 297. NOTE: Henry C. (Clay) Zinn was a son of John Wesley Zinn, Jr. and brother of William Buckner Zinn.

    2. 70A 153 poles was conveyed to H. C. Zinn by W. B. (William Buckner) Zinn by deed dated June 2, 1903 recorded in Ritchie County Deed book 51, Page 199. NOTE: Looks like this and 56 A described above were a land swap.

    3. Henry Clay Zinn died intestate 1918. He was survived by his wife Julia Ann Bee, and his children.

    4. These various owners are all described in the deed dated November 19, 1947 from Henry Clay Zinn heirs to Bradford Z. and Jacob Spiker recorded in Ritchie County Deed Book 119, Page 328.

    5. Jacob and Gay Spiker by deed dated November 20, 1947 recorded in Ritchie County Deed Book 124, Page 495 deeded to Bradford Spiker their interest in this land.

    6. A deed from Bradford Z and Alice to Earl E. and Shirley Flesher August 29, 1972 for 44.97A included the Spiker House aka. Sophia Place.

    7. Later deeds from B. Z. and Alice Spiker for this and all of Spiker Farm to Brad and Alice Spiker’s children.