December 2007

History of the Spiker Family Farm from 1768 to Present

Mike Spiker submits an excerpt from his publication "Spiker / Zinn Farm History."

History of the Spiker Family Farm from 1768 to Present

Excerpted from "Spiker/Zinn Farm History" written by Mike Spiker

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. However, the land wasn’t occupied by the Iroquois but by the Shawnee, Miami and Delaware who did not want to surrender their homeland (actually used mostly as hunting land). The Revolutionary War and U.S. independence resulted in ownership of land by Virginia, one of 13 original colonies.

The farm land was included in a 10,000+ acre patent granted by the State of Virginia to Richard Clayburn on January 6, 1786. Mr. Clayburn deeded the land to Henry Banks. Mr. Banks deeded the property to James Denny. Mr. Denny deeded the property to James Hechter. Mr. Hechter deeded it to William Chapman. Mr. Chapman deeded the property to Gary French, and Mr. French deeded the property to Henry Middleton.

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 land at the mouth of Bear Run.

This is the first deed to the Zinn family.

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 B. Zinn, Edward D. Zinn, Henry Clay Zinn, Mary E. Zinn, Sebia Zinn and Columbia Zinn, heirs of John Wesley Zinn, conveyed to Q. M. (Quilly Manley) Zinn, a tract of land including the land where the house is located. (These individuals were the children of John Wesley Zinn, the twin brother of Quilly Manley Zinn.)

By deed dated June 20, 1854 recorded in Ritchie County Deed Book 4, Page 169, J. B. Blair, Commissioner, also conveyed to Quilly M. Zinn interests in the house tract for and on behalf of others that had ownership in the property.

The above two deeds were styled as a result of a lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of Ritchie County, involving Quilly M. Zinn, John Wesley Zinn and Otho Zinn. They had a business venture which included the right of Q. M. Zinn to acquire the tract of land at the mouth of Bear Run.

On the death of John W. Zinn, Q. M. filed suit to settle the title and obtain a clear title from all the children of John W. Zinn, Otho Zinn and the other Zinns.

By deed dated July 12, 1859 recorded September 30, 1859 in Ritchie County Deed Book 6, Page 121, Robert Johnson and Sarah E, his wife, conveyed to Quilly M. Zinn 66 1/2 acres.

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 the Hughes River above the mouth of Bear Run for the sum of $65.

The first log cabin was built on the farm at the mouth of Bear Run approximately 1840-1841 (Per an interview with Bradford Zinn Spiker and old history.) Another home was built around 1870’s. This home burned in 1917.

Q. M. was a farmer and operated the Zinn Horse Mill located across the river from the house. It was washed out in the 1950 flood. The foundation is still there. Q. M. and Lucy had 11 children born at the farm house.

His twin brother, John Wesley, Jr. had six children. These included a son named William “Buckner” who owned the “Buckner Place” and a son, Henry Clay. Clay owned the other farm house called “Sophie House”. Bradford and Alice Spiker purchased the “Sophie House” in 1947 where they raised their four children.

Quilly Manley Zinn died in 1868 at age of 54 at his home on Bear Run. By his Will dated March 20, 1868, he devised all of his real and personal property to his wife, Lucy W. Zinn and son, Marion B. Zinn which consisted of his farm and personal estate.

Marion Bukey Zinn was a stonemason, farmer and mill operator. He was on the first building committee for the South Fork Baptist Chuch which was built in 1909. He helped organize Sunny Point School in 1885 and it was built on his land. All of Jacob Spiker’s children were schooled there.

Marion and his wife, Alice Bush, divided the family farm among their seven children, one of which was Missouri Gay Zinn Spiker. Her portion included the section where the farmhouse was located. The tract adjacent to the farmhouse was given to son Manley Bush Zinn and later deeded to Jacob Spiker. (Through the years, property was eventually conveyed to Jacob Spiker and later to his son, Bradford Spiker.)

Missouri Gay Zinn Spiker was born in the family farm house in 1884. She married Jacob Spiker on April 14, 1907 at the Zinn Farm house located at the mouth of Bear Run. They had seven children and two foster children.

Jacob and Gay lived in the farm house until it burned in 1917. The existing house was built from 1917 to 1918. Robert and Kitty were born in this “second” home. During construction of the new home, the family lived in the “Smoke House” located above the cellar house. The old wood stove is still in that house.

The existing house flooded in the “1950 Flood”. The water level came to the top of the front door. Jacob, Gay and Marjorie had to escape by climbing out of the bathroom window located on the second floor.

By Will, the land was devised to Gay Z. Spiker and later to Bradford Spiker. The property is currently owned by the children of Bradford and Alice Spiker.

The farmhouse was flooded again by flash flood in July 10, 2003. The water was over four feet deep on the first floor. The house was then remodeled on the lower floor (new windows, vinyl siding, floors stripped, new paneling, lights, back porch completely redone, new painting, front door, etc.).