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Doors to the Past

Martha Community

A BRIEF HISTORY OF MARTHA COMMUNITY
                              By Charles Love
                                   1925
 
The writer will endeavor to give just a brief history of this particular 
part of Cabell County, known as McComas District. This district, with four 
other districts was formed some time during the Civil War, about 1862 or 
1863. Prior to this time it was only a portion of Cabell County, Virginia, 
after the war it was Cabell County, West Virginia. This portion of the 
county was owned by just a few men. Sampson Saunders, one of the first 
settlers of the county owned practically all of the land in this so-called 
McComas District, and a large portion of the land in the other four 
districts. He came to this county from eastern Virginia at an early day 
and settled with his mother just west of what is now known as the town of 
Milton on the farm now known as the Jerry Ball farm. And on the hill just 
above the house lies the remains of the mother, daughter, and son Sampson 
Saunders. 
 
Mr. Saunders, in the early forties, built the home now owned by Mr. 
Browning near Elmwood Church, and lived there until his death. A few years 
before his death he freed his negroes about forty in number, and sent them 
to one of the free states, Vermont I believe, by Judge Jeff Samuels and 
George O. Galliher, with sufficient money to buy each family forty acres 
of land and placed them in their new homes, from which none of them ever 
returned. Mr. Saunders willed his vast estate to his relatives and 
friends. Elmwood Church stands on land included in the estate. He willed 
his home to his niece Martha Killgore Morris, wife of C. K. Morris. A 
large portion of this land was sold during Mrs. Morris' life and the 
remaining portion divided among her children. The only portion of the 
Saunder's estate, as far as I can recall that has not paassed out of the 
hands of heirs, is the portion that fell to John Albert Morris from his 
mother. This property is still owned by John A. Morris' widow and 
children. 
 
Martha Killgore Morris was a daughter of Thomas Killgore, senior, and a 
niece of Sampson Saunders. Sampson Saunders married Thomas Killgore's 
sister, which may be the reason why so much of this estate went to the 
Killgore heirs. Mary Killgore, wife of William Simmons, an East Virginian, 
received 1800 acres, from this estate, adjoining the Martha Morris estate. 
This land was divided between the heirs of Mary Killgore Simmons. Colonel 

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