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West Virginia;
from its First Settlement
to the Present Time,
with Numerous
Biographical & Family Sketches


Preston Publishing Company
Kingwood, W. Va.




NO TIME has been spared, nor labor or expense avoided, in preparing this History of Monongalia County. Unexpected diffulties in the way of obtaining some information essential to the book, and a spell of sickness, has prevented its completion at the time contemplated by the author.

The Biographical Sketches have been principally written by friends of the subjects of the sketches. The author is indebted to others for the general history of the Mound Builders and the Indians, the latter part of the chapter on Political History, and that section of the Military History entitled "The Civil War."

Thanks are returned to all who have furnished information, but the number is too large to receive individual mention.


Morgantown, December 1, 1883.


TO WRITE the history of Monongalia County from its creation by legislative enactment in 1776, down to the recorded events of the present, and confine the work to the limits of the present territory of the county, to gather a large portion of the events of this history from scant records and imperfect sources, is an undertaking of no small degree. While it unavoidably possesses considerable to make it a wearisome task, it also necessarily contains much to render it a work of pleasure.

In attempting to some extent the investiture of this history with the interest that naturally belongs to it, we shall seek to trace the assembling of its first civil courts for near twenty years beneath the walls of the frontier fort. We shall endeavor to chronicle the existence and mark the course of two great parties on its soil, struggling for civil supremacy over its northern sweep of territory. We shall record the fraternizing of these hostile factions in the common war waged by the colonies against England, and call especial attention to the noble spirit of patriotism aroused by the opening thunders of the Revolutionary struggle. We shall seek to notice briefly the attempted Tory revolt in the Monongahela Valley, that one dark spot upon an otherwise bright Revolutionary page. We shall try to pass carefully over the closing struggles of the White Race and the Red Warriors of the forest, for a land crimsoned with the blood of the slain. We shall examine what little can be found of the Whiskey Insurrection, with a view to divorce it from tradition and preserve it from oblivion. We shall next attempt to trace the progress of the county, noticing its stages of growth and giving attention to its few accessions and many losses of territory, and the influences tending to retard its advance, up to the days of the late Civil War. We shall endeavor to give the position the county occupied and the part it took in that great struggle. We shall attempt to record of its progress since the war, and the efforts made to place Monongalia in the front rank of the counties of West Virginia - a rank the county is justly entitled to by her immense material resources; by her educational advantages, commencing in a county graded school system and culminating in the State University situated upon her territory, with its departments of law and medicine; by her religious standing, sustained by churches in every community, and by an intelligent county press, wielding a potent influence for the public weal and contributing to the high moral character the county has abroad for peace and good order.

To write this history, treating of the living as well as of the dead, is a delicate task. To write this history, making a faithful presentation of the facts, may not render it acceptable to the exteme enthusiastical, too prone to over-exalt; or the over critical, too liable to under-estimate.

To write this history intelligently, it is necessary to trace the territory of Monongalia under the jurisdiction of Orange and Augusta counties; chronicling under Augusta the destruction of its first attempted settlement by the red demons of the forest, the planting of its first permanent settlements, the growth of population till sufficient to warrant the erection of a new county, called Monongalia, with a sweep of territory ample to constitute a State, upon which since have been born and lived men of national fame - Andrew Stewart, John L. Dawson, Philip Doddridge, "Stonewall" Jackson, James G. Blaine, and a host of others, who have won honorable mention in the history of the American Republic. Virginia gave to Pennsylvania the northern portion of the territory of Monongalia, including nearly all of the wonderful Connellsville coking region. After this it must be related that Monongalia yielded portion after portion of her fairest territory, until to-day she retains but a mere fragment of a territory once magnificent in its proportions.

Associated with the history of the present territory of Monongalia under the rule of the White Race, comes up the history of its occupation by the Red Man, and its previous habitation by the Mound Builders, thus making its history divisible into three periods, namely: 1. the Aboriginal or Mound Builders; 2. Savage or Indian; 3. Civilized or White Race.

The pioneer-stock of the Great West, for over eighty years, has drawn largely of its numbers from the green hills of Monongalia.

Monongalia! the age of the Republic numbers the years! Monongalia, mother county of Northern West Virginia! five generations sleep in thy cemetaries, and thousands of loving hearts, the Great Republic over, cherish thee fondly as the land of their birth and the home of their fathers.



Notwithstanding that great care has been taken to avoid mistakes in the preparation and printing of this book, and that it was hoped to avoid this heading entirely (though it is quite seldom that such is done in works of this class), yet the comparatively short time in which the book had to be written, and the immense number of dates and proper names handled, have allowed a few errors to creep in and pass unnoticed till in print. The reader is kindly requested to correct the following before reading:

The errors listed are corrected in the internet edition.

Waitman T. Willey (Steel Plate)
John James Brown (Steel Plate)
John A. Dille (Steel Plate)
Mathew Gay (Steel Plate)
Thomas P. Ray (Steel Plate)
James Evans (Steel Plate)
John Marshall Hagans
William Price
Waitman Willey Houston
Augustus Haymond
William Sanford Cobun
Alexander L. Wade
Peter Thomas Laishley
George Frederick Charles Conn
George W. John
James Vance Boughner
Absalom Morris Jarrett
Marmaduke Dent
Joseph Snider
William Edmund Watson
George Washington McVicker
John H. Bowlby
Shelby Pindall Barker
Samuel Calvin Stewart
Alpha Ralphsnyder
Andrew Brown
Alpheus Garrison
Oliver P. Jolliffe
Public School Building, Morgantown (formerly Monongalia Academy)
West Virginia University


This Appendix contains matter supplemental to that given in the several chapters of this book. The facts herein recorded are such as were obtained after the printing of those portions of the book wherein they would have been inserted, was completed.

This material is inserted in the appropriate chapters in the internet edition.

This page was transcribed and formatted by Alan R. Rockwell, Jr. in October 1999.