The WVGenWeb Project

Family of William Fisher


FROM SISSONVILLE A TIME TO REMEMBER pgs 143-144

William Fisher of Germany was born about 1760. He migrated to U.S. about the year 1778, settled in Philadelphia where his oldest son John was born. Moved to Virginia in 1780 to a farm in Augusta County, where he raised a large family among which were six boys: John, Conrad, William, Henry, Leonard, and George. Early in the 1800's the State of Ohio opened up a large tract of land, near Marietta for settlement, or homesteading. These six boys being of venturesome nature and craving a little more elbow room and a level farm, decided to migrate to Ohio and homestead a piece of land on which they hoped to build and make a home. Their best means of transportation at that time was by foot (there were no roads, only trails or paths)so they equipped themselves with a camp outfit consisting of a frying pan, skillet, some fishing hooks and lines, a blanket, and a rifle each. They meant to live off the country as they past through. Leaving their home folks, neighbors and friends. They came over the Blue Ridge Mountains to the head waters of New or Gauley Rivers then following one or the other they came to where the two rivers meet to form the Kanawha River thence down the Kanawha. After days, maybe weeks of trudging, they arrived foot sore and weary at a thriving little town called Malden. Here they made camp, to rest their tired bodies, and to heal their sore feet. At that time Malden was a bustling little town, because of success of the Dickerson Salt Works. At that time no one knew how to make Coke of Coal, so they fired the Salt furnaces with wood. After resting a few days, the boys asked for and got work cutting cord wood with which they fired the Salt Furnace. The boys, being raised on the farm knew how to use an ax. They were paid so much per cord for their labor, probably 23 cents. *My grandmother told me this story, she was George's wife). At one time the offered George an acre of land for each cord of wood that he could put up. He could easily put up two cords per day. Then they offered him a sizable piece of land for his rifle, both offers were refused because George felt sure that he was going to Ohio to homestead a farm on which he hoped to make home. When the time came for them to break camp and move on, Conrad suddenly changed his mind deciding that he would not go to Ohio, but instead he would stay at Malden. Where it is said he married and raised a family. The other boys, somewhat discouraged, trudged on down the Kanawha to the mouth of Elk River, where there was a small settlement called Charleston. Crossing the Elk by john boat or raft they found a trail leading to Marietta, Ohio by way of what is now called Sissonville and Ripley, State rt. 21. Following this trail north from Charleston about 15 miles they made camp on Poca River at the mouth of Tupper's Creek. Here they lingered for several days, exploring the surroundings, hunting and fishing the vast rich bottomlands and rolling hills covered with a forest (so dense) of the finest timber natural to this climate, yellow poplars 3 to 4 feet over and 60 feet from limb. Oaks, hickory, and walnut, in fact about all the trees except two were Eden. Wild game abundance, the creek and river swimming with fish of several varieties. John and George were so deeply impressed by all their surroundings they abandoned the trip to Ohio and decided to make their home near the mouth of Tuppers Creek on Poca River. The other three boys, William, Henry and Leonard now thoroughly discouraged and disheartened that they were sorely tempted to retrace their steps back to Augusta Co. VA. But they braced themselves up, took new courage, and continued their journey on toward Ohio. That night they made camp high upon a vast plateau like place, now known every where as Fishers Ridge on Duddins Fork of Poca River. During the next several days they did some extensive and intensive exploring and like John and George, they were so pleased with their surroundings that they decided to make their homes there. SO they bought land, built themselves one roomed log cabins (as everybody did in those early days), selected themselves a life partner, each got married and raised families. The proof of such facts is their descendants-a good number of which are living there at this present time. John and George obtained 300 acres of land each adjoining each other at and near the mouth of Tuppers Creek, built themselves one roomed cabins about 20 by 16 feet of round logs with bark left on them, roofed with clapboards, and floored with wide boards split from large logs and smoothed with a foot adz (called puncheons). The cracks or spaces between the logs were cinched with blocks of wood and red clay mud. The windows, not more than three, were small, but the fireplace (where they did all their cooking) was exceedingly large. This one room served as parlor, living or sitting room, bedroom, kitchen, and dining room. These first settlers in some respects, were blessed beyond that which we moderners enjoy, because of the natural resources being so close. They had no utility bills to pay or worry about, their fuel (wood) was right outside their doors. For light pine knots were plentiful, and near by water was gushing from their springs or making music in little rivulets flowing only a few steps from their door.


Submitted by Linda Secco (lsecco@bignet.net) on Mon Mar 16 07:06:21 1998
Back to Kanawha County Biographies