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Union District

Taken from History of Charleston and Kanawha County West Virginia and Representative Citizens, W.S. Laidley, Richmond Arnold Publishing Co., Chicago, 1911.
Union District lies on the Kanawha river, west of Charleston, and on the north side of the river, adjoining Poca, Elk and Charleston districts, and has therin a part of Poca river, Tyler creek, Two-mile creek and other branches and creeks. It has good farms and farmers, and is a little more democratic than Poca. On the river, it has Lock 6 at the upper end and Lock 7 at the lower end. It has the County Infirmary, and at Sattes, opposite St. Albans, there is almost a town, made up of saw-mills, etc.

Union district lies south of Poca, and may be called the central one of the western tier. Pocatalico river flows through the northwest corner, and forms what is know as the Horse Shoe bend. It is here that the first settlement was made in the district. In 1798 Adam Aults, a German, and Elijah Towler arrived here and erected their cabins. They were actual settlers; both purchased land and lived here until removed by death. The next settlers were James McCown, afterwards a soldier in the War of 1812, and John Casey, and a year later came Moses and Aaron Kelley. Other early settlers were John Young, Andrew Hannis, James Anderson, John Martin, Daniel Hill, John Dawson, James Roberts, Greenbury Samuels, and Alexander Wallace, all of whom were actual settlers.

The first election held in the district was in the year 1863, at which time the commissioners were James High, J.C. Burford and J. Gilispie. The following were among the voters: H. Gilispie, J.O. Shoemaker, W.T. Johnson, W.A. Howell, W.D. McCown, Robert Johnson and James McCown.

John Martin erected the first grist mill about the year 1808. It was a water-mill, and had a capacity of cracking twelve bushels of corn per day. The patience of the pioneer was not thought to have been sufficiently tested unless he had "waited his turn at Martin's mill."

Two-Mile Spring, situated in this district, two miles west of Charleston, is a never-failing spring, whose history may be traced backward through more than a hundred years. During the late Civil war, in the year 1861, General Wise, with a large force of the Confederate army, encamped on the Two-Mile creek upon the lands of Dr. Spicer Patrick and A.B. Littlepage, and during their stay he and his forces relied upon this spring for supplies of fresh water, and when General J.D. Cox, of the Federal army, compelled the Confederates to retreat from the valley, thousands of his dust covered and weary, worn soldiers quenched their thirst from the bubbling waters of this fountain. During the marches and counter-marches, soldiers of both armies gladly welcomed the site of the Two-Mile spring.

In 1817, Benjamin Rust built the first saw-mill, but soon after its completion, a rise in Pocatalico river swept away the dam, and otherwise injured the mill to such an extent that it was never used.

The first school taught in the district was by James Rust, in the year 1817, in a cabin on Pocatalico river, eleven miles from its mouth. There were but five pupils in attendance, and these Mr. Rust taught gratuitously. The district is now well supplied with good schoolhouses.

Among the early church organizations was that of the Hopewell Baptist, formed on the 31st day of March, 1834, in what is known as the flat woods of Pocatalico, by Elders John Ellison and William Martin. Since then the Methodist Episcopal, Baptist and Second Advent or Millerite demoninations have established each one or more churches.


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