March 1997

The Good-Will Community, A History of Holbrook, W.Va., 1814-1945

Bradford Spiker

A local history as told by Bradford Spiker.

Copied and reprinted at the Spiker Family Gathering Place with permission from John M. DeBrular.  The transcription may be viewed here.

THE GOOD-WILL COMMUNITY A HISTORY OF HOLBROOK, W.Va. 1814-1945 Written by Bradford Spiker Compiled by Barr Wilson Printed by: John M. DeBrular March 21,1997

The following local history was found by the late Charles Porter DeBrular and his son Robert, in a old abandoned house near Holbrook. It was written by Bradford Spiker, when he taught the local school and resided in this house. As far as is known he never made copies of this history. When he left this area he left the History behind.


Good-Will Community is located  within 81.1 east latitude  and 39.2 north longitude, and is parts of South West District, Doddridge County; and Union District, Ritchie County. 

Union District was named in honor of the “Union Cause”, which at the time so dear to many hearts. The name was suggested by Q. Manley Zinn. 

South West District was so named because of its geographical position in the County. 

It is drained by the South Fork of Hughes river and its tributary, Sugar Run, and Middle Fork of Hughes river and its tributaries, Straight Fork, Camp Run, Big Run, Lower Run, and Bear Run. The Middle Fork river rises in the southwestern portion of Doddridge County near the Head of South Fork river. The Middle Fork of Hughes river flows in a southwesterly direction where it becomes a tributary of the South Fork of Hughes river. 

The valley walls of the community are generally steep and rugged, with small areas of bottom land and here and there. The meanders of the Middle Fork are sharp and some of them reach a half mile in length from the course of the river. The elevation varies from 770 feet to 1200 feet. The soil in the valley is very fertile, and where now the homes of many prosperous farmers stand, once stood the virgin forest. 

It was here in the valley of the Middle and South Fork of Hughes river, upon the hills amid the forest and cleared fields that the event that go to make the history of Good-Will Community, have taken place. It will be a task as well a study of interest to everyone to know how this community has changed from a howling wilderness inhabited by wild beasts and savage men to a community of churches, schools, and homes of hundreds of brave and intelligent people who dare to make it a part of a great state. 

In 1814, by an act of Congress known as the Smith-Lever Act, the Cooperative extension work begun in West Virginia. In 1917, the various specialists in the cooperative extension service prepared the first community containing the idea of mapping the communities and carrying on regular programs of community development. 

In 1926, an idea entered the minds of Jim Jones and Mrs. C.C. Dillie, that their community should be mapped out and carry on regular meetings of community development. They secured the help of the county agent, D.C. Curry, home demonstration agent, Adell Bigelow, and Rev. A.H. Raping. The meeting was announced, and on that date a large crowd met in the Harmony church, and readily approved the idea. 

The following officers were elected: Dave Gaston, President; John Hart, Treasurer; And Velma Gaston secretary. The name was suggested by Hallie Pierce, “Good-Will Community”, meaning: “A desire for prosperity and well-being of others”. Marion Gaston, C.C. Dillie and Mead Squires responded to the idea and surveyed and mapped out a tract approximately six miles long and three miles wide. In 1931, an addition was added to the former mapped out community. This tract included the old school communities of the upper Bear Run and Sunny Point schools. 


THE SOUTH FORK BAPTIST CHURCH, is said to have been organized in 1841, but the first authentic record we have of its organization is on February 27,1844. 

The charter members of the church are: George Zinn, Godfrey Carol, Thomas L. Gray, Samuel G. Rogers, William Gray, Jonothan Miney, Bartlett Waldo, Sarah Zinn, Rachel Zinn, Nancy Gray, Jane Waldo, Elizabeth Waldo, Rachel Miney, Rebecky Miney and Sophia Amelia Zinn. 

The Rev. James S. Griffen was the first minister. He married Miss Martha Harbert, and settled at Lumberport. To this union nine children were born, two of their sons served in the Civil War. He was one of the pioneer ministers of the Baptist Church in what is now West Virginia. His fields of labor being in Harrison, Doddridge, Ritchie and adjoining counties reaching as far as the Kanawha Valley. He rests in Harrison County. He served the church off and on from its beginning until August 20,1853. 

The first sermon we have any record of was preached by Aaron Barnett. The second sermon preached by A.C. Holden, who preached four sermons before he began his ministry of the church on January 1850, continuing until January 1852. Both of these men were pioneer ministers in Ritchie and Doddridge, and adjoining counties. They were pioneer ministers of the Harrisville Church. James F. Griffin preached the third sermon in the new church. 

The first church clerk was Samuel G. Rogers. He married Narcissus Zinn, a daughter of Ruth Gandy and John Zinn. The family resided near Oxford for a short time until her death. He then remarried and moved to Preston County. 

The first church stood near the present location of the Oxford Baptist church. The building was a cabin type log building which was not finished until 1851, although they held meetings in it all these years. Its seats consisted of split rails with pegs driven in them for legs, these were later changed for plank seats. The room was heated by one iron stove. 

The members of the church failed to meet for over three years. The doors of the church being closed from October 6,1861 until September 24, 1854. A committee consisting of George A. Woofter, James Martin, G.M. Zinn, S.V. Zinn and Joshua Wilson, were selected to find out the cause of the church doors being closed for so long a time. They handed in the following report: “Dear Brethren, being called upon to make a statement of the reason why the church has not met for so long a time, I will proceed in a brief a manner as possible. On account of the civil war, which was raging, the church failed to meet for a considerable length of time. After some time there was a portion of the church met  at the Ridge School House and pledged one another to meet —–.” Signed Committee.  

For a period of over four years we find the church meeting in the Ridge School House during the winter months and the original church building during the summer months. During the winter of 1869 and 1870, the original church building was abandoned and the church held their meetings in the Ridge School House, until December 7,1872, when the church moved to the school on Lower Run. Worship was held here until the first meeting was held September 28,1873, in the church building that stood on the present location of the South Fork Cemetery. 

The new building was a large frame construction, thirty by forty feet. Considerable trouble was had in finding a suitable location for the building as the location they had wished could not be secured. The building committee consisted of G.C. Griffin, G.M. Zinn, S.V. Brown, M.B. Zinn and Joshua Wilson. The committee made arrangements to have lumber sawed at the old mill at Holbrook, and secured Andrew Yaler and the Yaler Brothers to build it with the help of the church members and friends of the church. 

The present church was built in 1909. The building committee consisted of L.K. Wilson, J.M. Osborne, Lee Campbell, Ezra Bell and William Campbell. The Church was dedicated on the fourth Sunday in June, 1910. Rev. M.A. Summers preached the dedicatory sermon. He was a member of the church at that time. 

The ministers of the church have been: J.S. Griffin, A.C. Holden, O. Wilford Drummons (M. Nancy Tharp), John Woofter, the grandfather of Emory Woofter for so long pastor of the Salem Baptist church. He was often assisted in his revival meetings by the Rev. James Woods, (grandfather of Judge Homer B. Woods), the first County Superintendant of free schools in Ritchie County and the first Minister of the Clarksburg Baptist Church, B. Allison Barnett.  He and his wife were pioneer members of the church; Joseph Smith, J. Bennette, George A. Woofter was the pastor of the church during the erection of the building in 1872, a nephew of the former minister, G.H. Gainer, John Stump, A.J. Robinson, W.S. Monroe, B.F. Holden, was minister of the church during the erection of the present building in 1909, O.A. Bennett, Edwin Waggoner, Nelson Hobart Bartlett, a veteran of the world war and J.A. Young. 

The church clerks have been: S.G. Rogers, Godfrey Caroll, George C. Griffin, son of the pioneer minister, Richard Hickman, Samuel V. Brown, served the church from January 20,1866 to December 6,1902, 36 years. N.H. Wilson served the church for over nineteen years, W. Frank Osborne, Earl Zinn, and Eva Griffin, also Carson Gaston. 

THE WALNUT GROVE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, the first M.E. Church class was organized as early as 1858, at the home of T.E. Nutter. The home of T.E. Nutter was a log cabin that stood about a mile above the mouth of Bear Run at the present home of A.K. Cox. Class meetings were here and at the residence of Christopher N. Nutter, for a number of years. The church was then known as the Middle Fork Class Society. 

Ira S. Steel was the first minister. He was born and reared in Ireland. He studied for a Catholic Priest in one of the schools in Ireland, however, upon his arrival in America he became a minister of the M.E. faith. His home during his pastorate was at Harrisville. He rode horseback from here to visit about fifteen churches, which were located throughout central West Virginia. 

The first authentic record we have of the class organization is 1868, when the church was moved to a log school house at Holbrook. The church was then called the Holbrook Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. J.M. Brown was the class leader. Other charter members of the church are: Eliza Collins Brown, Christopher E. Nutter, S.A. Nutter, Thomas E. Nutter, J.F. Ireland, Thomas Ireland. (made first permanent settlement on Middle Fork in the year 1820, near the mouth of the river), Katherine Ireland, Elizabeth Ireland, Susan Ireland, A.S. Lowther, M.A. Lowther, Eliza Zinn, Elizabeth Tharp, H.B. Tharp, F.E. Nutter, M.C. Nutter, Carlotte Lowther, Rebecca Lowther, F. Williams, E.M. Brown, Elanor Thomas, Probatoner, and A. Watson, Probatoner. 

A few of the ministers who preached in the school house were, T.B. Hughes, V. Sanford, Rev. Tasker, Rev. Pinchen and M. McNeill. 

The Rev. McNeill was in charge of this circuit in 1872. He was born in Pocahontas County in 1830, and there grew to manhood and engaged in teaching until his entry into the ministry. 

In 1874, during the pastorate of William E. Lovett, Archibald Lowther gave the grounds for the present church. The name of the church was then changed to Walnut Grove. The names Lowthers, Nutters and Tharps were among those of the chief donators to the erection of the church building, which is still remaining. 

The class leaders of the church from 1868 have been; J.M. Brown, Archibald Lowther, Thomas E. Nutter (was class leader during the erection of the building in 1874), J.F. Ireland, L.F. Law, Eliza G. Squires, G.M. Britton, Elizabeth C. Britton, B.M. Pierce and A.K. Cox. 

To give the names of all ministers would be quite a task, however the names of a few of them are: J.E. Wasen, C.W. Upton, C.W. Poling, J.A. Matheny, W.G. Loyd, Silas McGreager and F.H. Hughes. 

THE HARMONY METHODIST PROTESTANT CHURCH, is said to have been organized in 1847. The church records were burned many years ago, when the home of class leader, J.S. Britton, was destroyed by fire. However, I have made considerable search and have come to the conclusion that it must have been organized sometime during the latter part of 1847. 

The charter members of the church are: Eli M. Gaston, Rulina Gaston, Marsh Gaston, Elizabeth Gaston, and Ann Gaston, Jess L. and Hannah Lowther, are also said to have been charter members, we are not sure they were, yet if they were not they became members shortly after its organization. 

The first two log buildings to be used for church purposes were destroyed by fire. The first is described under the chapter schools, the second was somewhat modified. 

John Clark, Rev. Mathers and Rev. Steward were a few of the ministers of these pioneer buildings. These men traveled far to carry their message to their congregations. 

In 1866, the third log building was built and dedicated to be used for church services. This building was approximately twenty by twenty eight by ten feet in dimension. The logs in this building were hewed, many of which were two feet in diameter. The walls were sealed on the inside. 

The church lot was sold to Daniel Gaston, John Hart, George W. Britton and Samuel M. Gaston, trustees of the church and their successors, by John H. Gaston and Jane, his wife, for the sum of sixteen dollars. The deed was written and dated December 30,1865. 

A few of the ministers of this church were: M. Ireland (1869), Perry Lowther (1882), J.L. Simms (1883), W.L. Warren (1886), J.F. Arnold (1888), J.H. Nester. 

The present church was dedicated in 1901, under the pastorate of M. Ireland. The building committee consisting of M.S. Gaston, S.E. Gaston, D.E. Pierce, Alexander Adams and J.S. Britton. 


The first Sunday schools in our community were very crude affairs. We have no authentic record of their beginning, but they have followed very closely with the church. Their meetings were held in private homes usually in one home and then another. The literature consisted of a spelling book and a bible. It was thought, in order to be able to read one must know his A,B,C’s. If any one came to Sunday School who did not know his letters he was placed under a separate teacher who taught him his letters. Later the Sunday School Readers came into service and from these our Sunday Schools of today have grown. 

The first authentic record of the Sunday School at Holbrook dates back to the erection of the church in 1874. However, as we have stated before Sunday School was organized a number of years before. They met for the first time at the home of Christopher N. Nutter. The Sunday school in 1874, contained fifty members and was divided into five classes. 

Sunday May 7,1871, is the first record we have of the organization in the South Fork Baptist Church. There on a cool and clear morning, twenty three persons gathered to study history of the ages. S.V. Brown, G.W. Griffin, G.M. Zinn, and L.H. Zinn were the first officers. The lesson was the third chapter of Acts. The following remarks were made, “Remember the Christ died for all who would believe in him”. “Let each one of us live so that he may have a home in Heaven”. For a number of years Sunday School was held for eight or nine months. Then six months, and finally in 1927 an ever-green school was established. 

The Straight Fork Sunday School was organized in the school house on Straight Fork in 1893. 

The Harmony Sunday School is said to have been organized in the Harmony School House several years before it was organized by the Rev. U.W. Morrison, in the year 1855, in the church building. A few members of the church were of the opinion that an individual education in the Bible was wrong, and that it was an organization sponsored by the Devil. M.O. Gaston was elected superintendent, Alice Adams was elected secretary, when the church members finally responded to the  teaching of Rev. Morrison and decided they were in favor of a Sunday School within the walls of their church. 

Missionary work followed the organization of the church. On a fly leaf in the South Fork Church Book we see the records of the money received for missionary purposes for the years 1853 and 1854. The Contributions were $4.60 and $5.00 for the two years. 


In 1809 the government of Virginia provided for a common free school education, and again in 1817 provided another means of free school education but both means were inadequate to carry out the purpose they were intended for. 

The Pioneers of Good-Will Community soon saw the need of educating their children by other means than the old method of home education. They soon began to put their ideas into work and erected the first school building near the mouth of Brush Fork of Middle Fork of Hughes river not far from the Iron Bridge. It has been my fortune to secure a copy of the original contract made in 1845, from Howard Jones, principal of Greenwood Elementary school, Doddridge County. It is as follows: “ARTICLE OF AGREEMENT made between Jonnah Williams, teacher of one part and we the subscribers of the other part and we the witnesseth that the teacher doth agree to teach reading, writing and arithmetic to the best of his skill and judgement for the term of three months or 65 days on the Middle Fork of Hughes river. 

The said teacher “doth bind himself to keep regular hours and show no partiality”. And we the subscribers doth bind ourselves to pay unto the said teacher the sum of one dollar and 75 cents per scholar and boarding amongst the subscribers according to the number that we subscribe. Any kind of trade will be taken, corn at 371/2 cents per bushel, wheat at 75 cents, oats at 161/2 cents, flaxseed and Janes 75 cents per yard, Linsey 371/2 cents and linen according to qualities. The grain is to be delivered to Zinn’s Horse Mill. School is to commence the 1st or tenth of November. 

          Subscribers Names: 

  • Joseph Gray——————–6\ Arcibald Lowther————–2\ Elijah Summers—————-4\ Sudney Willard—————-2

The second school house to be erected in this community was made in 1847, near the present location of Harmony M.P. Church. This school house was made of unhewn logs, covered with clapboards held in place by heavy poles. There were windows along one side only. The floor was made of rough boards. The chimney was constructed of common field rock, piled up to about eight feet and topped out with sticks and mud. The furniture consisted of seats made of rails supported by four legs and without backs. The writing desk consisted of a smooth hewn log along one side of the building. This building was burned a few years after it was constructed. The second building was somewhat modified. The corricul consisted of the 3 R’s. It is not known who was the first teacher, but it is thought to have been one of the early ministers of the church. 

The third schoolhouse was erected in 1866 at Holbrook, to serve the community of the first school building previously mentioned. It was a low building. The first teacher was Margaret Mathers. A few of the others who taught in this building are: Mag McCalvy, George Hayden, Bruce McDonald, Monroe Hall, Isa Martin, Sally Legget and Sally Glover. The first teacher in the present building was Granville Shepler. The building was recently remodeled. 

The fourth building erected was the Ridge School House located near the Old Caroll Cemetery. It is not known when the building was built but it thought to have been erected in the fall of 1869. The first teacher was Granville Divers. This building was constructed of logs. 

The fifth building erected was on Lower Run, in 1870, near the present residence of Mr. Jim Pierce (this old building is still standing). A deed for the land was conveyed to the Board of Education of South West District, consisting of John Wanstreet, President and D.W. Gray and Eliga W. Summers, his wife. It bore the date of February 28,1870, and conveys 27 sq. yds., for  the sum of three dollars. This school was used until 1869(?). A few of the teachers were, George Woofter, R.A. McClain, Marshall Summers, Florent Dotson, Joseph Ramsey and Osborne Britton. 

The Camp Run School was built in 1899, but the deed was not conveyed or signed until February 23,1900. This lot was conveyed to the Board of Education by S.E. and Rebecca Gaston and has an area of 65 sq. yds. The purchase price was $12.50. The first teacher was Miss Cora Cooper of Auburn. It was abandoned recently. 

The Straight Fork School had its origin as a joint school and stood on the line between Doddridge and Gilmer Counties on Bear Fork on the J.I. Spurgeon farm. This deed was made between J.I. Spurgeon and the Board of Education of Southwest District Doddridge County and the Board of Education of Troy District, Gilmer County, bearing the date of October 15,1894 and the land, which consisted of 20 sq. yds., was sold for the sum of $10.00. The present school building was constructed out of the old building and was erected on a lot conveyed to the Board of Education of Southwest District by A.L. Leeson, J.H. Spurgeon and Alta Spurgeon, his wife, September 1,1919. The amount of the land purchased was 2508 sq. ft., and the purchase price was $1.00. However, the grantors gave permission to the children to play in the adjoining meadow until April 1, of each year. The school was abandoned in 1942. 

The Lower Run School was moved from the building standing at Jim Pierces in 1889. The land was deeded by Joshua Adams and Sarah, his wife and deeded to A.J. Nutter, Eli Nutter and John Kleen, 16 sq. rds., for the consideration of $1.00. The deed for the lot was made July 30,1889. 

The second building to be erected at Harmony was in 1868, the present building was erected in 1895. A few of the teachers in this building have been Foster Williams, first teacher in the new building erected in 1868, and Ligh Wade, first teacher in the building erected in 1895. The school was discontinued in 1944. 

The Sunny Point School had its origin in 1885 about a thousand feet above the present mouth of  Bear Run. The first teacher was Alice Neal. A few of the other teachers in this old building were Lora Pritchard, Bird Grimm, Caroline Huff, Lon Ireland, Emery Ireland, D.J. Richards, William McGill and Andy Wade. The original name of the school was the Bear Run School. Later it was changed to Lower Bear Run school. Later the building was moved to its present location, Charlie Batson, the first teacher in the present building, gave it the present name owing to its peculiar location. It was the Banner School in Union District in 1931, winning second place in 1932. This spring, 1945, the school was discontinued and the property sold. 


LOWTHER BURYING GROUND—The old cemetery is located on a rise facing the point where Brush Run enters the Middle Fork river. It contains the graves of many interesting personages; should these person return for even a short time, many of us would their stories interest. 

It contains the grave of Thomas Nutter, who came from England and settled in Harrison County, where he became one of the famous Indian (as well as the best) hunters of his day. Many are the stories told of his narrow escapes with them. The far famed Indian Fort (Nutters Fort) took its name from him and his three brothers. Many of his narrow escapes, and weary marches while trying to free the country of the savage, may be read in “Chronicles of Border Warfare” & “U.S. and W.Va. Histories”. A story is told that he and a Company of men followed the Indians from Harrison County to near Washburn, and killed the leader of the band, who crawled under a cliff of rocks. Here the skeleton was found a number of years later. Near his grave are the graves of many of his descendants. 

The grave of William Lowther must be given a brief mention, in that , he often accompanied his father, Col. William Lowther, on his expeditions against the Indians. Col. William Lowthers interesting life may be written upon the pages of “U.S. and W.Va. Histories & Chronicles of Border Warfare” and many other books. Near his grave are the graves of many of his descendants. 

It contains the graves of many other interesting persons including those of several Civil War Veterans. 

The old cemetery was recently referenced by W.M. DeBrular. 

CARROLL CEMETERY—The old Cemetery contains the graves of several of the pioneer settlers of this section, and the graves of two Civil war veterans. The striking thing about this old cemetery is the pine tree that stands in the lot. It was set out several years ago, as a marker for one of  the graves. There it stands to-day, “The Lonesome Pine”, carefully watching over the silent sleepers. 

WILD CAT CAVE—Is is not known when the cave was first discovered, it is supposed to have been discovered by the pioneer settlers. It derives its name from having been the home of many wild cats. 

Situated about half way upon the side of the hill it gives both man and boy many thrills on entering it. A hole two feet in diameter serves for an entrance, from here the passage drops for thirty five feet. A rope being needed in order to reach the floor. There are two rooms, each of which are about one hundred  and twenty five feet by thirty five feet, the ceiling being about fifteen feet high. The floor is very rough owing to the caving in of the walls and ceiling. 

It is said to have been larger several years ago, containing many more rooms, however, many reliable men have said that it was always about the size that I tried to picture it. The step from exploring with oil to electricity makes a great difference in as dark a den as the Wild Cat Cave is. 

HOLBROOK—The little hamlet has never been more than a post office, a store, a blacksmith shop, a school, a church and the home of three or four families. 

The place came into existence in 1865, with the establishment of a post office there. It was named by William Chevrount, who was acting as post master at West Union at the time. Christopher N. Nutter was the first post master. 

Christopher N. Nutter was one of  the pioneer settlers on Middle Fork, arriving as early as 1849. He was the son of the elder Thomas Nutter. He built the first mill in this section in 1857. Previous to this time the early settlers of this community had to go to hand mills of the Zinn’s at the mouth of Bear Run, and the Bond’s who lived on South Fork. 

J.C. Cluck of Auburn and J.L. Lamb of Harrisville were the first merchants. It may be of interest to the reader to know that while J.C. Cluck was in the Union Army during the Civil war he was captured by the confederates and held in a Southern prison. During this period of his confinement, the home guards of Gilmer County arrested the Rev. John Woofter, (the pioneer minister of South Fork Baptist Church), George F. Bush (my great grandfather), and two other Southern sympathizers and took them to Wheeling during the fall of 1865. There they subsisted on “Bean Soup” and “Hard Tack” until arrangements were made to trade them for Mr. Cluck. Both parties were very glad to be released from their rationed diets, as Mr. Cluck fared a little worse than did the other party. 

THE SUMMERS BURYING GROUND—A very interesting place is situated on a rise at the mouth of Lower Run, and faces the Lower Run school. It contains the graves of many of the pioneer settlers of our community. Bordering it on the lower side are many beautiful shrubs, which spread there from a lone shrub planted on one of the graves. 

HART CEMETERY—Situated on a hill at the head of Lower Run, which was once covered with the beautiful chestnut, which are still standing dead, a prey to the ravages of the blight. When we look at their bare trunks standing like saints watching over the dead, we wonder. 

The grave yard contains the graves of four civil war veterans, many pioneers, and other interesting personages. The most common names found on the monuments are those of the Harts, Scots, Warrens, Reeds, Nutters and Rusks. 


The first mill within the bounds of Good-Will Community was an old hand mill that was brought by the Zinn’s when they settled in this community in ___. The stones of this old mill are in the possession of the author. This mill unlike other hand mills was not kept in motion by the usual hand lever. Instead it had a long pole extending out to one side. Four men were required to operate it. Grasping the pole in their hands they pushed the pole around and around setting the stone burrs in motion thus crushing the grain. Owning to the manpower needed to operate this mill, one day every week or two was set aside as Mill Day. The pioneers all gathering in, have a frolic, get their grain ground and the women often came along to set with mother Zinn in the original log cabin and sew, quilt etc. The children would spend the day fishing, gathering nuts etc. When the grinding was done they would all gather for a good social hour, the fiddler would tune up and away for a good time. Sometimes they would sing the old fashioned tunes so dear to them. Often they would have a short hour of prayer. Then they would gather their sacks of crushed corn and grasp their guns and begin the thrilling trip through the woods home. Often on these trips, an unlucky deer, squirrel, ruffed grouse etc. would fall before the muzzle of their rifle. 

Later, about 1845, the mill was made into a horse mill. Homes were more thicker then, but the mill was still the business center of the community. The people gathering there to settle their business transactions, have their leather tanned, by John Zinn, until his death in 1848, later to have their boots made and brought there. This mill was used until 1857 when Christopher N. Nutter built the first water mill, at the old Nutter farm. which was located one mile below Holbrook. This mill was burned during the civil war and later rebuilt by Godfrey Caroll and J.W. Brown. This mill not only ground grain but had a saw mill, wool carver, etc. in connection with it. In 1893 the mill was discontinued and later the old mill building was removed. However, the old foundation and parts of the old dam still remain, a monument to a period of history that is now gone. 

The first tannery in this community was established by John Zinn shortly after the family moved to this community. This old tannery was located in the valley between the residence of Mrs. Julia A. Zinn and the Sunny Point School. 


JESSA H. PIERCE, was a native of Preston County, the son of George Pierce, married L. Wilson, a native of Lewis County. Shortly after this union settled in 1848, on a ridge one half mile east of the present location of the South Fork Church. The Pierces came from Ireland at the close of the Revolutionary war, after a few short years of life near the coast moved westward, and became pioneer settlers in Lewis County. Jessa H. Pierce was born May 8,1818 and died April 23,1870. He lies at rest in the Carroll burying ground. L. Wilson Pierce, his wife was born November 17,1823 and died in 1893. They were the parents of fourteen children. The childrenare: Mrs. Virginia Louisa (G.S.) Nutter, William Thompson Pierce, Mrs. Margaret Ann (Joseph) Scritchfield, George W. Pierce, Abraham G. Pierce, Mrs. Mary Elizabeth (John) Fox, Sarah Elizabeth Pierce (never married) James Pierce, Samuel Smith Pierce, (died in infancy), Jesse Irvin Pierce, Jacob Iseral Pierce, Benjamin Elsworth Pierce and an infant child who died at the age of eleven years. 

ARCHIBALD HESS, was a native of Marion County, he came to this community in the late forties and settled on Zinn’s Run, below the present location of the South Fork Church. He married three times, his third wife being Nancy Wilson. To this union the following children were born: Mrs. W.E. Watson, Henry Hess, and George Hess. Here his third wife died and he spent the last days of his life at the home of his daughter. He died in 1883, and is buried in the Auburn Cemetery. It may be of interest to know that he first settled on Dutchman near McFarland, but stayed there for only a short time. 

WILLIAM ADAMS was a native of Harrison County, the son of Jonathan Adams, a Revolutionary war soldier who served under the direct command of General Washington. He married Lucinda Wright, of Harrison County, and in 1840, took up his residence in the forest on Straight Fork. Here he died, in 1889, and in the Auburn Cemetery beside his wife he sleeps. After the death of the wife of his youth he married Lousia Summers, and they were the parents of five children: Alexander and Eligah Adams; Mrs. Susana Pierce; Mrs. Margaret Husk and Flora Edgell. The children of the first union were: William, Jackson, and Joshua Adams, Mrs. Mary (Thomas)Hickman, Mrs. Sarah Gray, Mrs. Elizabeth Lipscomb, Mrs. Mary Ann Leeson, and Mrs. Harriet (Elias) Summers. 

BENJAMIN L. WILSON, was a native of Pennsylvania, the son of William and Rachel Lynch Wilson, during the year of 1828 the family moved to Marion County. In 1830 he married Martha Kelly, daughter of Joshua and Martha Brand Kelley, and to this union were born ten children, namely: Jane (Jacob) Mason (Jane Wilson Mason is buried at Toll Gate- Jacob Mason is buried at Greenwood) Rachel (Vanboran) Vanhorn, Margaret (Alhanen) Vanhorn, Nancy (Joseph) Summers, Joshua married Mary Conway, Lousa (Albert) Vanhorn, Martha Bess Watson (she married twice), Lida (Jacob)Watson, James K. Wilson married Virginia Griffin, and Charity, who died at the age of three months. He was born in 1808 and moved to this community in the later fourties and settled near the present residence of Jake Osborne. He remained here until the fall of 1880 when went to Roane County to visit his daughter. While visiting there he fell ill and died there in April 1880. His wife was born February 6,1810 and died on December 18,1878 and lies at rest in the South Fork Cemetry. 

ARCHIBALD LOWTHER moved to this community and settled near the present residence of C.B. Townsen in 1836. He was born in 1811, and died in 1876. His wife Charlotte, died in 1895 and they lie at rest in the Lowther burying ground. They were the parents of seven children: Elizabeth, Robert, William, George Alexander and John Marshall Lowther; Sarah Ann  Leggett and Margaret Nutter. 

GODFREY CAROLL, the son of Willaim Caroll, was a native of Preston County. He moved to this community in the early fourties, and settled in the valley below the home of Homer Wilson. He was probably one of the most prosperous men of his time. In the latter part of his life he built one of the finest homes in Doddridge County. This house was probably the first home in Doddridge County to have a basement in it. He and his wife, Mary Ann Gray Carroll, were the parents of two children, namely, Sarah E. (Samuel V.) Brown and Nancy who died in youth. They reared one boy, George West. He was a carpenter, millright and blacksmith. He died September 20,1866 aged fifty one years, one month and five days. His wife died June 11,1908. They lie at rest in the Carroll Cemetery. 

JOHN BEE was the son of Asa Bee (whose father migrated from England with three of his brothers and settled in New Jersey, Later Asa moved to Preston County and became the ancestor of the Bees in this section), migrated to this community in the latter forties. He married Ingaby Davis and to this union were born six children, namely, Dr. Estie Bee, Mrs. Cordelia (Henry) Goff, Albert Bee, Mrs. Ruhama Davis Walker, Ira Bee and Joel Bee. 

OTHO, GEORGE AND JOHN WATSON settled on Brush Fork Run in 1845. Otho later moved to Roane County. George and John remained here until their death. John, a Union veteran, lies at rest beside his wife in the Lowther Cemetery. George lies at rest beside his wife  in the Auburn Cemetery. Their residence were near the present home of Lincoln Pierce, whose residence is located at the foot of Auburn Hill. 

JOSEPH GRAY SENIOR moved from Monogahela County in the year 1841 and settled on Straight Fork, when Joseph Gray 2nd was fourteen years old. Joseph Gray senior, lived to be one hundred and five years old. Joseph Gray 2nd was born March 5,1827 and at the age of twenty five years married Sarah Adams. Mrs Gray was the daughter of William Adams, and was born October 2,1831, to this union ten children were born. The children were: Jane, Rebecka, Ermany, Allice, Thomas, George, Charles, Joseph 3rd, Ben, and Leonard. Joseph Gray 2nd remained on the old homestead until death called him away on February 3,1901. Shortly after his death his wife also was called away on December 22,1901. They lie at rest in the Mount Union Cemetery at the head of Straight Fork. 

FOSTER WILLIAMS was born in Harrison County in 1801. He married Eleanor Pritchard, who was born in 1802. They moved from Harrison County and settled on Long Run, Doddridge County, in the year 1841. They remained here until the late fourties or early fifties, then they moved to Straight Fork. To this union seven children were born, they are: Nancy (Henry) Elefritz, Mary (Hickman) Waldo, Sarah (George) Thomas died in Wisconsin, and one son and three daughters who died in infancy. Mr. Williams was of Scotch decent. Mrs. Williams was of English decent. Mr. Williams died May 28,1874, aged seventy three years, five months and fourteen days. Mrs. Williams died August 21,1877, aged seventy five years, seven months and twenty seven days. They lie at rest in the Lowther burying ground. 

ELIGAH SUMMERS was a native of Monongahela County, the son of Alexander Summers, settled at the mouth of Lower Run in 1843. He married Miss Susan Barnett and to this union five children were born: Joseph Summers, Eligah W. Summers, Mrs. Louisa Adams, Mrs. Sarah McClain and Frances Summers. He died on May 22,1877, aged seventy two years, eleven months and six days. His wife died on December 8,1875, aged sixty six years, eleven months and twenty three days. They are laid at rest in the Summers burying ground. 

SI REED, a native of Barbour County, first settled in Harmony District, after he remained there two years he moved and settled at the head of Straight Fork. He married Miss Mary Nutter and to this union the following children were born: Andrew, Galila, Malvin, Feeby, Josiah, Mary, Kemper Charley, James and Minor. He was born in 1831 and died in 1876. His wife was born in 1834 and died in 1913. They lie at rest in the Cemetery on the Reed farm. 

JOHN NUTTER, son of Andrew Nutter (cousin of Thomas Nutter, veteran of the war of 1812, and one of the pioneer settlers of the Oxford community), settled on Jim Run in the fifties. He married Mary Hart and to this union six children were born: Josiah Nutter, Wilson Nutter, Sally Nutter, Hester Ann Nutter, John W. Nutter and Sylvannus Nutter. He was born on March 6,1817 and died November 26,1892. His wife was born November 16,1821 and died April 24,1893. They lie at rest in the Hart Cemetery. 

THOMAS NUTTER, Indian scout, builder of Nutter’s Fort, came to this community about 1850 and settled on the farm (that now belongs to Daisy Zinn Cox). On June 30, 1808 he married Louis Parks. To this union the following children were born: Christopher N., Mary (Wm) Douglas, born August 4,1810; Melinda (Levi) Douglass, born November 15,1811; Harrison Nutter, born April 26,1813 and died five years later on September 25,1818; Wm. H.H. Nutter, born July 26,1814; Barbara Nutter, born March 25,1817, died in youth; Jesse Hamilton Nutter, born December 1,1818; Daniel K. Nutter born October 7,1820; Sarah (Rev. Thomas) Hatfield, born December 26,1822; Louis Nutter, never married, born March 13,1825. Thomas Nutter was born in England on August 22,1778 and died December 8,1870, and lies at rest in the Lowther burying ground. Louis Parks Nutter was born August 3,1785 and died (before Thomas moved to this community from Clarksburg) on September 3,1849, and lies at rest in Harrison County. 

CHRISTOPHER N. NUTTER, son of Thomas Nutter, came to this community in 1849, and settled at the old Nutter Homestead. He was born April 23,1809. He married Sarah Swisher on February 22,1838. To this union the following children were born; John A. Nutter, Mrs. Frances (G.W.) Brown, Mrs. Mary A. (A.S.) Lowther, Thomas E. Nutter and Charles W. Nutter. He died in 1883 and was followed to the grave by his wife in 1894. They lie at rest in the Lowther burying ground. He was on of the first three County commissioners (then called board of supervisors) in Ritchie County. He was one of the first Justice of Peace in this community, operated the first post office and store and later built Athey’s Mill. 

H.B. THARP, shortly after his marriage to Elizabeth Wass in 1847, settled at the mouth of Straight Fork and built his home on the present location of the home of Ira D. Cox. They were the parents of five children all of whom preceded the to the grave. The Children were: Irwin and George both of whom died in early manhood. John died in childhood, Mrs. Andrew Tharp and one child died in infancy. He was the son of Timothy Tharp, an early settler in Harrison County. Timothy Tharp settled near Auburn in pioneer times. The Tharps are of Irish ancestry. The grandfather of H.B. Tharp was a ship builder, he died in early manhood and left the father of H.B. Tharp to be bound out to strangers. Mr. Tharp had one brother who died in the Andersonville prison during the civil war. Mrs. Tharp was the daughter of John Wass, a pioneer settler of Ritchie County. The Wass’s are of English and German ancestry. Mrs. Tharp’s father died by the hand of an assassin in July, 1863. They lie at rest in the South Fork Cemetery. 

JOHN G. HART, an ancestor was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, settled at the head of Lower Run, near where John Hileman now lives, in 1849. He migrated here from Harrison County. He married Malinda Nutter on September 22,1844, and to this union nine children were born, namely; A.N. Hart, Cassy Ann, Elizabeth, Mary, J.E. Hart, Judie, Sarah E. and Hann Bell. John G. Hart was the son of Josiar Hart (who died on May 17,1852 and lies at rest in the Hart Cemetery). Melinda Ann Nutter Hart was born on April 9,1828, and died on March 24,1899. She lies at rest in the Hart Cemetery. 

JACKSON AND JAKE LEESON with their mother moved to this community in the later fourties, and settled on Middle Fork River near the present residence of Hershel Spurgeon. They never married. (These old bachelors, including an old man by the name of Sandy who settled near the present residence of the Parks, were the only pioneer settlers who had no families). An interesting story is told as to how Mr. Summers Sr. offered old man Sandy one and one half cents a pound for his hogs, a few years previous to the Civil war. Sandy replied “I’ll eat them raw and fried before I’ll take that for them”. As a result his hogs increased until be owned half the hogs in the community. 

GEORGE ZINN was a native of Preston County, a descendant of George Zinn Sr., who with his wife migrated from Germany in the year of 1776. He married Sarah Gray and came to this community in the early fourties and settled on Zinn’s Run near the present residence of Early Zinn. He stayed here for only a short time when they moved to the present farm of E.A. Leggitt on South Fork. Their children were: Thomas, Granvill and James all of whom served in Company “E” Sixth Regiment West Virginia Infantry Volunteers, when muster out in 1865 during the civil war; Milroy and Q.M. Zinn, Mrs. E.A. Leggitt, Mrs. Elizabeth Douglass, Mrs. Mary J. Marsh, Mrs. James Carter, and Delia who died during her youth. He was born in Preston County on January 17,1814 and died November 16,1877. Sarah Gray Zinn was born July 12,1816 and died December 24,1884. They lie at rest in the Oxford Cemetery. 

GEORGE GRIFFIN, son of Jame Griffin, was born on February 16,1828 and migrated to this community and settled at the head of Bear Run in 1852. He married Miss Jean Fernandey Zinn on February 22, 1849 and to this union ten children were born: A. Virginia (James K.) Wilson; M. Caroline (W.B.) Hayden Jr.; Franklin; Thomas J.; John Woofter; Charles G.; Mrs. Laura Grofton; Mrs. Lucetta (S.L.) McClain; Ella (Gilbert) Hayden; and Homer. Mrs. Griffin was born November 30,1828 and died January 4,1909. Mr. Griffin died April 11,1909. They lie at rest in the South Fork Cemetery. 

DANIEL GASTON, a native of Harrison County, was born June 27,1816 and died April 14,1906. He married Nancy Davison and shortly after this union they moved to the head of Upper Run and settled near the present residence of John Hart. It is not known whether he owned land at that time or not, yet, there is on record in the County Clerk’s office a deed for two thousand acres of land on the head of Upper Run, dated December 24,1846. 

GRANVILLE ZINN, son of John Zinn and Ruth Gandy Zinn, settled near the head of Bear Run in 1843. He married Rosetta Lowther and to this union the following children were born: Samuel, William, Rev. Lemuel, George and Albert Zinn, Mrs. Margaret Harbert, and Ella and Sophia, who died in childhood. Rosetta Lowther was the daughter of William B. Lowther and Margaret Coburn Lowther. Mr. Lowther was a grandson of Col. Lowther. 

SAMUEL MORRIS GASTON, son of John Gaston, born Harrison County, February 18,1825, died, Doddridge County April 26,1911. Settled on Camp Run, Christmas night 1846. He married Elizabeth Law who was born in Harrison County April 17,1825. She died Doddridge County Feb. 27,1882. They were married September 3,1846. Their children: Rebecca, died April 28,1849; Mary A., died at 8 years of age, March 22,1855; Elizabeth Lucinda married Josiah Nutter; Sarah Jane married Allen Reed; Susan married David H. Jones; Hannah Eliza married A.S. Britton; Columbia married F.W. Chapman; Martha Emma, died at 6 years, February 6,1871; and Morris Samuel married Hattie I. Adams. Second wife, Rebecca J. Turner, born Harrison County January 22,1840, died November 21, 1922. They were marred November 6,1883. M.S. Gaston owns most of the old farm including the old homestead where C.A. Barnes now lives, but lives on the lower end of farm. 

MANLEY ZINN married Lucy Ann Wilson, the daughter of Thomas Smallwood Wilson (Scotch-Irish, his father, Thomas Sr., a native of Scotland) and Miss Hannah Camp (daughter of Adam Camp). Q. Manley Zinn settled at the mouth of Bear Run in ___. He was the of John Zinn Sr. John Zinn Sr. was the third child of George Zinn Sr., (who migrated from Germany to America in the year 1776). They were the parents of; Marion B.; C.L.; Newton Worthington; Noah and Grant Zinn; Victoria Hall; Palestine Wilson; Alice Childers; Madeline Nutter and Martha, who died when she was a young women. 

JOHN ZINN SENIOR was born in 1778 and died in 1848. His wife, Ruth Gandy Zinn was born August 10, 1785 and died June 16,1865. They lie at rest in the Oxford Cemetery. On each of their tombstones is engraved a tree; On one side is six limbs representing the six girls in the family; On the other side of the trunk is eight limbs representing the eight boys in the family. Two limbs on one side come from the same point on the tree denoting the twin boys. Q.Manley Zinn was one of these twins. 


The design of the following chapter is to group the characters who have worn the uniform of Uncle Sam during periods of conflict. Yet as much as I would like to I can not give every minute detail of their lives, because the pages of this manuscript could not be made to hold them. But the interesting thing concerning their life is that they were brave, chivalrous and of profound forethought, that they did for the daring and resolute youth of these men are among the firmist props of the United States Republic. 

In making out the list of those whom I should introduce, I was forced to not only name those who left this community to join the army, but also those who have chosen their remains laid to rest within the Cemeteries of this Community. 

In 1861, when President Lincoln sent out a call for volunteers, the young men of this community readily responded to the call and joined the men of other communities in singing, 

      “We are coming father Abraham,\         Five hundred thousand strong.”

In the four following years many others joined the ranks of the Blue. These men who volunteered to stand the flag during this period of National strife are listed here. 

W.G. LOWTHER, 1st Lieutenant of Company “D” Fourteenth West Virginia Infantry Volunteers. He was a son of Archibald Lowther of Holbrook. 

ALEXANDER LOWTHER, Company “M” Sixth Regiment, West Virginia Infantry Volunteers. He was the son of Archibald Lowther. He enlisted as a private at the age of nineteen, he was transferred to Company “F” 1st West Virginia Art., July 10,1862. Transferred to Battery “A” by consolidation. Mustered out January 19,1865. Shortly after his return from the army he moved to Peabody, Kansas. 

H.C. ZINN, enlisted as a private in Company “E” 6th West Virginia Infantry in September 1864. He was mustered out of the same Company in June 1865. He was the son of J. Wesley Zinn. He married Julia A. Bee and to this union eight children were born. He was born in 1844 and died in 1918. He lies at rest in the South Fork Cemetery. 

W.B. ZINN, enlisted as a private in Company “E” 6th West Virginia Infantry on August 5,1861. He was mustered out of the same Company on September 16,1864. He was the son of J. Wesley Zinn. He married Anna Ward and to this union six children were born. He was born in 1841 and died in 1924. He lies at rest in the South Fork Cemetery. 

GEORGE W. HESS enlisted as a private in Company “E” 6th Regiment, West Virginia Infantry. He was mustered out in 1864. He was the son of Archibald Hess. Shortly after his return from the army, he fell ill with the fever and died May 6,1869, at the age of twenty six years. He lies at rest in the Caroll Cemetery. 

THOMAS E. NUTTER, enlisted as a private in Company “F” 1st West Virginia Artillery in September 1661. He served for a time in Maulby’s Battery. He was mustered out of service in 1864. He was the son of Christopher N. Nutter. He married Margaret Lowther and to this union six children were born. He was born on March 25,1849 and died in 1906. He lies at rest in the Lowther Cemetery. 

SAMUEL V. BROWN, enlisted as a private in Company “M” 6th West Virginia Infantry, on August 16, 1862. He was mustered out of the service in 1865. He was the son of David Brown, was born at Jackson’s Mills and had the distinction of being a pupil of General Stonewall Jackson. He served as church clerk of the South Fork Baptist Church for thirty seven years, missing only two meetings. He married Sarah V. Caroll and to this union ten children were born. He had four brothers in his Company during the Civil war. He lies at rest in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery as West Union. 

JOSEPH SUMMERS, was a 2nd Lieutenant in Company “E” 6th Regiment, West Virginia Cavalry. He was mustered out in 1862. He was the son of Eligah Summers. He married Nancy Wilson. He was born in 1833 and died in 1879. He lies at rest in the South Fork Cemetery. 

SYLVESTER JETT, enlisted in Company “H” 14th West Virginia Cavalry. He was mustered out at the close of the war. He was the son of John Jett (pioneer settler on Otterslide, whose father migrated from Wales and served in the Revolutionary war under the direct command of George Washington). He was born in 1846 and died in 1923. He lies at rest in the South Fork Cemetery. 

MARVEL L. HAUGHT, Corporal Company “C” 6th West Virginia Infantry. He was mustered into service in July 1864. He mustered out of the service on June 10,1865. He married Mary M. Gaston and to this union ten children were born. He was born in Pennsylvania on May 10,1846 and died December 28,1925. He lies at rest in the Oxford Cemetery. 

JOSHUA WILSON, enlisted as a private in Company “E” 6th West Virginia Infantry. He was mustered out in 1865. He was the son of Benjamin Wilson. He married Mary Conoway. He was born February 6, 1840 and died December 25,1909. He lies at rest in the South Fork Cemetery. 

MARTIN V. OVERFIELD, enlisted on November 16,1861, at the age of twenty one years, in Company “M” 6th West Virginia Infantry. He died of Typhoid fever, August 29,1862 at Regiment Hospital, West Union, W.Va. His remains were brought back and placed in the Hart Cemetery under military form of burial. 

LEWIS M. OVERFIELD, enlisted on November 18,1861 at the age of twenty six, in Company “M” 6th West Virginia Infantry. He gave his home as West Union. He died of Typhoid Fever, February 18, 1863, at his home in Smithburg, W.Va. He lies at rest in the Hart Cemetery. 

WILSON WATSON enlisted at the age of thirty, at Wheeling, W.Va., on September 13,1862, in Company “G” 14th Regiment West Virginia Infantry. He gave his residence as Ellenboro, W.Va. He was mustered out June 27,1865 at Cumberland, Maryland, with the Company. He resided on Otterslide. He lies at rest in the Lowther Cemetery. 

EDMUND G. NICKELSON enlisted on January 10,1863, at the age of eighteen years, in Company “M” 6th Regiment West Virginia Infantry. He was born in Madison County, Virginia. He was transferred to Company “L” of the same Regiment by special order No. 72, Department of West Virginia. He was honorably discharged June 10, 1865 at the muster out of the Company. 

JOEL BEE enlisted on November 16,1861, at the age of eighteen years in Company “C” 6th Regiment West Virginia Infantry. He gave his address as West Union, W.Va. He was transferred to Battery “F” 1st West Virginia Artillery by special order No. 148, War Department, dated March 31,1853. He was mustered out on September 14, 1864, when the Company was mustered out at Wheeling, W.Va. 

WILLIAM THOMPSON PIERCE enlisted as a private in Company “M” 6th West Virginia Infantry. He was mustered out on June 10,1865. He was son of Jessa Pierce. He was born on September 23,1844 and died May 14,1895. He lies at rest in the South Fork Cemetery. 

SAMUEL RICHARDS enlisted in Company “A” 14th Regiment West Virginia Infantry. He was held prisoner in the hands of the Rebels at Libby’s prison. He was the son of James Tolbert Richards. He was born December 26,1837 and died October 22,1909. He lies at rest in the Gaston Cemetery. 

JOHN WATSON enlisted as a private in Company “D” 14th West Virginia Infantry. He was mustered out in 1865. He was one of the pioneer settlers on Brush Run. He lies at rest in the Lowther Cemetery. 

J.M. DEBRULAR enlisted as a private in August 1861 in Company “D” 6th Regiment West Virginia Infantry. He was mustered out of the Company June 10,1865. He enlisted for three years and then re-enlisted for the continuation of the war. He married Susan Waldo and to this union four children were born. He was born on October 1,1843 and died December 27,1924. He lies at rest in the South Fork Cemetery. 

JONOTHAN WHETZELL enlisted on September 11,1861 in Company “G” 6th Regiment West Virginia Infantry and was honorably discharged June 10,1865. He married for his third wife, Sarah Elizabeth Elliott and Angeline Gregg, for his last. He died February 1908. He lies at rest in the South Fork Cemetery. 

GEORGE WADE enlisted in Company “E” 10th Regiment West Virginia Infantry on April 2,1862 and was honorably discharged from service May 2,1865. 

ANDREW N. HART enlisted on September 3,1864 in Company “C” 6th Regiment West Virginia Infantry and was honorably discharged from the service June 10,1865. He was born September 6,1848 and died June 11,1911. 

CHRISTOPHER C. LIPSCOMB enlisted on July 10,1861 in Company “K” 6th Regiment West Virginia  Cavalry (also designated 3rd Va. Infantry). He was held as a prisoner in the hands of the Rebels in Andersonville prison for several months, but was finally reinstated in his old Company. He was honorably discharged from the service May 22, 1866 as a private in Company “A” to which transferred. He died in 1932. He lies at rest in the South Fork Cemetery. 

JOSEPH S. BRITTON enlisted in Company “A” 14th Regiment West Virginia Infantry on August 23,1862 at the age of twenty one. He was promoted Corporal August 25,1864. He was a prisoner in the hand of the Rebels. He was mustered out at Cumberland, Maryland, June 27,1865. He lies at rest in the Gaston Cemetery. 

SILAS B. NICKELSON enlisted in Company “C” 6th Regiment West Virginia Infantry on August 20,1884 and was honorably discharged June 10, 1865 as a 1st Lieutenant. 

JASPER WYATT enlisted in Company “E” 6th Regiment West Virginia Infantry on September 4, 1861 and was honorably discharged June 10, 1865, as a Sergeant. 

JOHN WILLIAMS enlisted in Company “B” 6th Regiment West Virginia Infantry, September 15, 1864 and was honorably discharged from the service June 10, 1865. 

ASA S. FISHER served as a blacksmith during his service in the Company. He was born in Lewis County August 4, 1833 and died August 21,1900. He is buried in the South Fork Cemetery. 

HENRY HESS was born in Marion County of April 23,1842 and died March 19,1927. He was the father of eleven children. He is buried in the South Fork Cemetery. 

J. ELLIS HUSK, Company “H” 4th West Virginia Cavalry (6 months, 1863-4), was mustered into the service August 29,1863, at Parkersburg, W.Va., and died at Grafton, W.Va. on February 27,1864, a private. His remains lie at rest in the National Cemetery at Grafton, West Virginia. 

ELIGAH W. SUMMERS, the son of Eligah Summers Sr. was born on February 5,1839 and died October 30, 1919. He is buried in the West Union Cemetery. He served as a member of Doddridge County Court for six years. 

JOHN N. NUTTER, Company “G” 5th Regiment West Virginia Cavalry, was mustered into service April 4,1864 and was honorably discharged from the service June 8,1865, as a private of Company “G” 6th West Virginia Cavalry to which transferred by consolidation. 

SAMUEL HUSK, Company “M” 6th Regiment West Virginia Infantry was mustered into service April 3, 1862 and was honorably discharged from the service June 3,1865 as a private in Company “O”, to which transferred.


Many of the men of Good-Will who were too old to serve in the conflict, or who were kept home for various reasons, belonged to them. The Home Guards were organized for the special purpose of protecting the loyal citizens of this community. These men were especially adapted to this frontier defense, by their knowledge of the country, and of the habits of the rebel marauders by which it was infested, and stimulated to extraordinary exertions by the wrongs already suffered at home. Christopher N. Nutter was a Captain of the Company. They were stationed at Auburn, W.Va. the men going to drill at least once a week. They captured several Rebels at various times, however, only one Rebel is known to have been shot by them. He was shot at Auburn, when a party of Rebels infested that place. When Rebels were seen approaching, someone had the presence of mind to call out the Home Guards. Mr. Nutter hastened from his home and arrived at Auburn in time to collect his men and present them to the Rebel forces. The Home Guards and one man fell dead, then the Rebels opened fire. Captain Nutter’s men broke ranks as hastily as possible and fled to the nearby hillside. The Rebels gathered their dead comrade up and left in the direction of Troy.