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Berkeley County, West Virginia THATCHER Biographies

    Biography of Jonathan Newton THATCHER

         Jonathan Newton THATCHER, son of Jonathan W. Thatcher, grandson of Jonathan Thatcher, left the farm in 1876 and moved to Martinsburg, engaging in the farm implement business on West Martin Street at what was later the site of the H.A. Hammann and Son plumbing establishment. Later, he and his brother, James Thatcher, built the Martinsburg Skating Rink on the site of what was the Central Opera House and later occupied by the Shenandoah Hotel. Mr. Thatcher eventually moved to where the late T.P. Licklider and the Berkeley Farmers Exchange was located at the Pennsylvania Depot. He operated the grain elevator at that place.

         When the Cumberland Valley Railroad was built from Martinsburg to Winchester in 1888, Jonathan N. Thatcher, in partnership with John Staub, operated the grain elevator at Inwood. Mr. Thatcher wanted to establish a post office at Inwood, a community which was previously named Gerrard, in compliment to Gerrardstown, 4 miles west, which had an established post office for some time. The post office authorities at Washington, D.C. informed Mr. Thatcher they would establish a post office there if he could find a name different than Gerrard, since that was too conflicting with Gerrardstown. Mr. I.B. Thatcher of Inwood, California, a cousin of Jonathan N. Thatcher’s, on a visit to West Virginia, showed him a letter with his home address, “Inwood, California,” on it. The incident suggested a name for the village to Jonathan Thatcher, who immediately wrote to the post office department. He was the first postmaster for Inwood, West Virginia, after the town was established with the new name.

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    Biography of Samuel THATCHER

         Samuel THATCHER was the ancestor of the Thatcher family in Berkeley County; he came to Tuscarora in 1700 and purchased two tracts of land, one of which was still in the family as of 1928, from Lord Fairfax. The family was of Quaker descent and originated the old Quaker burying ground on the Tuscarora pike near the farm of George B. Walters. On one occasion, the wife of Stephen Thatcher, living at LeMar near the Thatcher homestead, was scalped and left for dead by the Indians. She was compelled to wear a turban to disguise her disfigurement.

         The Thatcher family of Berkeley County were descendants of Rev. Paul Thatcher, a theologian of New England in the early 1600’s. His son was Jonathan Thatcher, whose son was Jonathan W. Thatcher, whose son was Jonathan Newton Thatcher.

    Submitted by Marilyn Gouge and extracted from History of Berkeley County, West Virginia, 1928.

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