Mildred McConnell's Scrapbook Articles
The History of Nickelsville
By KEITH NICHOLS
(Editors Note: Keith Nichols, Hiltons, is the son of Mildred (Hickam) Nichols and the late Henry Kaine Nichols. He is the grandson of the late Charles F. and Lula Nickels of. Nickelsville (Long Hollow).
Keith is currently compiling a history of the Nickels family, from which this information was taken.
The early history of Nickelsville dates back to the early 1800's. The town was named for James Nickels, Sr. (1781-1869), and his descendants. Records indicate that James was the son of Matthias Nickel (1752-1838), and Elizabeth Allen (1767-1836).He and his first wife, Jane Matney Nickels, first settled on land that we now call Nickelsville, in 1814.
In 1825, James became a Justice of the Peace, and later Overseer of theRoads. There were nine children born to James and Jane Matney Nickels Sr. The oldest being William (1804-1865),who became a Captain in the Virginia Militia in 1829.
On land located in the present town of Nickelsville, he established a store-house. By 1840a post office was built. Walter Nickels (1810-1866), a brother, became the Postmaster there and later in Osborne's Ford (Dungannon).
In 1866, Walter and his family moved to Bristol, Va., where he purchased a hotel on State Street. Early Bristol newspapers carried advertisements for the Nickels House.
By 1855, William had sold his property in Nickelsville and moved to Duffield. He later built another store-house in Pattonsville, Va.
James Nickels Jr. (1807-1888), spent most of his life farming in the Nickelsville area. He acquired much farmland and livestock.
Brooks Nickels (1818-1872), became an Overseer of the Poor. History books tell us that he was instrumental in the building of the New Hope Baptist Church. He made his home not more than a mile away from where the church would be built.
Mathias Nickels (1820-1904), lived a more reserved life. There isn't much known about his family. Records show that he spent most of his life in the Tazewell County area. He, along with his family, moved to Wise. He had only two children, and they died only a few years after he died.
Elizabeth Nickels (b. 1815), married Sam Courtney, a carpenter by trade. The Courtney's spent most of their lives in the Wise County area.
Loucinda Nickels married James Kilgore, son of Hiram Kilgore. Mary Nickels married Peter Kilgore.
Before the trains came into Scott County, goods and parcels were carried by means of a freight wagon. Allen Nickels (1812-1879), made his living hauling goods and sundries in this manner.
Family tradition states that Allen and his wife, Loucinda Salyers Nickels lived in the center of Nickelsville.
Nickelsville was first incorporated in 1878. Early streets in the town included Park Place and North Avenue and Nickels Street (which still remains on the map today).
There has been much discussion about the spelling of the name Nickels. According the family rumor, (which eventually makes tradition), the Nickels name was spelled according to economic status, with the poorer Nickels
spelling it one way, and the richer spelling it another. Which way it was, we'll leave to your consideration.