A History of Pendleton County, West Virginia

The public records of this region, beginning with the organization of Augusta county in 1745, are almost wholly intact, and the examination of these was of very great service in verifying and filling out the statements given by our older people. But records are perishable, and it needs no argument to show that by the time the present people of middle age have become old, it might then be out of the question to present a satisfactory history of Pendleton.

It is still generally possible for our older people to follow the links which connect them with the pioneer ancestor. However, this can seldom be done in full detail, and sometimes the result is quite imperfect. And as the pioneer ancestor is usually the great-grandparent, it is very evident in the general absence of continuous family records, that the day is near at hand when it will be practically impossible to trace the line of descent.

It is true enough that if the present effort had been undertaken even no more than ten years since, it would have been decidedly easier to link the pioneer days to the present. But on the other hand an increasing sense of the remoteness of those days, and of learning the story they convey to us, has imparted to the people of this county a keener zest to know its history. It is also to be considered that a railroad and a consequent industrial readjustment are scarcely more than a question of time. An economic change is more or less unsettling, and on that account it is better that the history appear now, rather than later.

Pendleton has a good degree of historical perspective. There is an interesting background of legend relating to the days of pioneer privation, of a gradual subduing of the wilderness, and of peril from the Indian. The men and women who were the real pioneers are strangers to the present generation, and their ways of thinking and doing have a fresh- ness and interest to us of this new century. Moreover, the recent days of domestic war with their differing conceptions of duty, and their lessons of sacrificing obedience to these conceptions, will be to the future period what the pioneer period is to the present.

The person who imagines it is not worth while to give a second thought to the people of yesterday has no right to expect that the people of tomorrow will give a second thought to himself. Such a creed is narrow, sordid, and selfish. It begets an indifference to the future as well as the past, and shirks the patriotic duty of helping to make to-morrow better than to-day. It is not wise to live as though one were in the past, yet the individual who neither knows nor cares what others have done before him has never really outgrown his childhood. Very true words are these of Jefferson: "History by apprising us of the past enables us to judge of the future; it avails us of the experiences of other times, and qualifies us to judge of the actions and desires of men." Equally true words are these of John Sharp Williams of Mississippi:

"A country without memories is without history; a country without history is without traditions; a country without traditions is without ideals and aspirations; a country without these is without sentiment, and a country without sentiment is without capacity for achieving noble purposes, developing right manhood, or taking any truly great place in the history of the world."

He could have added that local attachment and a true patriotism cannot exist apart from one another.

It was no small task in itself to examine the numerous pen-written volumes of public records which have accumulated in 165 years. Neither was it a light task to look up the information that could only be had by word of mouth. This led to a tour of the county, covering sixty-eight days and causing 593 miles of travel, nearly all on foot, and was followed by visits to Richmond and to the county seats of Augusta and Rockingham. But the reception of the writer by the people relieved this field work of a sense of drudgery. He was freely and cordially received in their homes, was piloted over footpaths, and farm work was ungrudgingly suspended to give him the information needed.

In a very true sense the gathering of material for a history is never done. A second tour of the county would have turned over no small amount of fresh soil. But the work achieved had to be done within a very limited time, and to a certain degree under much disadvantage. An expensive volume was out of the question.

It will be noticed that this volume touches lightly on the subject of current history, which is history only in the making. A writing up of the present men and present activities of a community is description and not true history, and be- gins to diverge from the actual fact as soon as the ink is dry. Neither is extended biographic mention a feature. This is a great money-making adjunct to the customary local history. But it is often criticized as singling out particular citizens whose biographies are bought and paid for, irrespective of the matter of personal service to the community. It is also criticized as tracing ancestry in a single instead of a collective line, and thus discriminating in favor of particular individuals. In this volume, as a rule and so far as information permits, all the adult posterity of the pioneer ancestor are traced, and there are statements of fact with respect to persons who have rendered their county special service. This method is less showy, but has the merit of an attempt at completeness and impartiality.

In a work of this kind it is quite unavoidable that there shall be some omissions and some error of statement. No writer of history is infallible, and he can only do the best he can with the oftentimes incomplete, ill-arranged, and even contradictory material that comes to his hand. Some of the deficiencies of this book are not properly chargeable to the writer, and are due to an absence of needed information.

Owing to the need of sending the earlier pages of the manuscript to the printer before the latter pages were written, it has not been possible to insure a complete harmony of the dates occurring in more than one place. But such discrepancies as had to remain are of no great importance.

If in the following pages is now and then a remark which some reader may think conveys a criticism, the remark is given with an entirely friendly spirit and purpose.

During the progress of the work it has been a pleasure and a great encouragement to note the constant expressions of kindly and substantial interest in the undertaking. Several citizens have in special ways rendered invaluable assistance, and without this aid the work could scarcely have succeeded.

While the greater part of the material for this work has been derived from original investigation, acknowledgement is made to the published histories and historical collections of Augusta, Rockingham, Hampshire, Tucker, and Randolph counties, and to various publications of broader scope, particularly with reference to the Shenandoah Valley.


Table of Contents

Physical Geography of Pendleton... 1

Before the White Man Came... 15

America and Virginia in 1748... 23

Period of Discovery and Exploration... 28

The Beginning of Settlement... 33

Period of Indian War... 39

A Time of Peace... 52

Pendleton Under Rockingham... 60

Early Laws, Customs, and Usages... 66

Formation of Pendleton... 85

Early Middle Period — 1788-1818... 92

Later Middle Period — 1818-1861... 96

Slavery in Pendleton... 103

Period of Interstate War... 107

Recent Period... 117

Church, School, and Professional History... 122

The Town of Franklin... 129

The Pendleton of To-Day... 133

A Forward Look... 138


The Nature of Family-Group Histories... 143

Illustrative Family-Group Sketch... 150

Given Names and Surnames... 155

Index to Names of Pioneers and Sub-Pioneers... 163

Origin, Arrival, and Location of the Pioneers... 165

Sketch-Histories of Existing Families... 173

Certain Extinct Families... 318

Other Extinct Families... 326

Recent Families... 328

Highland Families... 332


Section I — Historical

Edmund Pendleton... 338
List of Pioneers of the Indian Period... 338
Naturalizations of Pioneers... 339
Form of Colonial Land Patent... 340
An Apprenticeship Indenture... 341
An Emancipation Paper and Other Forms... 342
Washington's Visit to Pendleton... 343
The Lincolns of Rockingham... 343
Pendleton Journalism... 344
The Masonic Order in Franklin... 344
Law, Order, and Charities... 345
Franklin in 1844... 345
The County Buildings... 347
A School of 1830... 349
The Bennetts of Other West Virginia Counties... 350

Section II— Statistical

Population of Pendleton in Each Census Year... 352
Postoffices 352
Slaveholders in 1860... 353
Prices for Entertainment at Ordinaries... 353
Levies, Taxes, Salaries, and Fines... 355
Bounties on Predatory Animals... 357
Prices of Store Goods in 1820... 358
Church Buildings and Ministers... 359
County Officials before 1865... 362
County Officials Under West Virginia... 364
The School Districts of 1846... 366
Educational Statistics... 367
Abstracts from Census Reports... 369
Pendleton Legislators... 372
Pendleton Men in the Professions... 374
County Finances... 375
Surveys and Patents Prior to 1788... 375
Some Conveyances of Land Prior to 1788... 386
List of the Tithables in 1790... 387

Section III — Military

Supplies for Military Use, 1775... 393
Supplies for Military Use, 1782... 393
A Pension Declaration of 1820... 394
Citizens Exempt From Military Service in 1794... 395
Militia Districts, Companies, and Officers... 395
Muster Roll of Pendleton Militia in 1794... 396
Pendleton Soldiers of the French and Indian War — 1754-60
Pendletonians in Military Service between 1775 and 1861... 401
Pendletonians in the War of 1861 — Federal and State Service... 402
Some Accounts of the Regiments of the Confederate Service Containing Pendleton Men... 406
The Battle of New Market... 410
Roster of Pendleton Men in the Confederate Service... 411

Brief Sketch of the Author of the Book... 430


Read the Book - Free

Download the Book - Free ( 26.1 MB PDF )

Pendleton is endowed with a happy combination of farming, grazing, and forestral resources; with a healthful climate and an abundant supply of clear, wholesome water; with mineral deposits of much consequence, and mineral springs of hygienic value; and finally with features of scenic interest that in time will develop financial importance.