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Earnshaw

 

Communities of Wetzel County

 

Earnshaw is a small community nestled among the hills on Long Drain. Like most little villages, it was at one time much more populated than now. Today there are few young people and children, as many families have had to leave to get jobs; but to the people who live there and to those who come back home, it will always be "the land of milk and honey."

At one time Earnshaw had two General stores operated by Frank Hughes and Mart Teagarden. There were also a post office in the Hughes' store, a hat shop, and a blacksmith shop. Jasper Flanagan and Ed Willison were blacksmiths. Harry Rush operated a barber shop, and there were two boardinghouses owned by Kate Teagarden and Rosetta Earnshaw. O. A. Starkey bought the Hughes' store and maintained it for over 50 years until his death in December 1981. Starkey's store remained the typical general country store. Above Starkey's store there is a cemetery so old that 75 years ago no one knew anyone buried there, and the markers are unreadable.

The earliest school anyone remembered was a log schoolhouse, the foundation of which the Methodist Church was built upon. Later a two-story school was built between the two churches, the Methodist and the Church of Christ. After that, a 2-room school was erected up the road a hundred yards and is still standing. Some of the schoolteachers in Earnshaw were the following: Frank Fiess, Earl Anderson, Grace Mathews, Lillian Smith, Elizabeth Rex, Lucille Stutler, Edgar Earnshaw, Everett Rush, Harry Rush, Eva Moran, Maude Himelrich, Fonda Cole, Thelma Henderson, Vivian Snider, Orley Haines, Bus Schultz, Paul Teagarden, Freda Hamilton Hunt, Bertha Milliken, Ada Simms, Eunice Roberts, Mary Argabrite Teagarden, Mildred Haines, and Archie Church.

According to the deed of the Methodist Church made in 1886 by Lamech and Eliza Glover to Enoch Higginbotham and U. R. Homer, trustees, Earnshaw was then called Lewistown. The Glovers deeded the land for the church to the Baptists and Methodists together, and the church was named Union Chapel when it opened in 1888. Margaret Rush Higginbotham, mother of Everett, Roy, and Harry Rush, organized the first Sunday School in the early 1890's, and it has been going steady ever since. In 1974 some remodeling was done to the interior of the church and a Sunday School classroom added.

The Methodist Church has been served by the following ministers: Charles Pugh, Rev. Keenan, Glenn Watts, Bob McLain, U.S.G. Allen, Rev. Knicely, L. L. Casto, W. W. Beckley, V. W. Powell, Charles Kupfer, Roy Messenger, Durward Fox, David Anderson, Bruce Kaufman, Howard Backus, Sherman Davidson, and James E. Shepherd, II.

The Church of Christ burned in September 1895 and was rebuilt in 1898. Elders at the time were Thomas Carpenter and Dennis Glover. Deacons were William Smith and Jacob Garner. The Church of Christ has been served by the following preachers: C. D. Plum, Horace Taylor, Brother Bankus, Garold Crihfield, Bernard Mason, Fred Dennis, Roy Pratt, and Steve Stevens. It has not had a regularly appointed preacher for years.

In the early 1900's there was a boardwalk going through Earnshaw. The road was a dirt one until 1930 when it was stone-based. It we' not blacktopped until the mid-1940's.

Some prominent families who lived it Earnshaw all their lives were Ben Earnshaw, father of Bill; Ulrich Homer, grandfather of Freda Hunt; Will Teagarden, father of Mart Lark, Linze, Milo, Ann Garner, and Tille Homer, Enoch and Elsworth Higginbotham, Will Stoneking; Sanford Stoneking; Frank Hughes, Will Garner, Jasper Flanagan ; Thomas Cathers; C. C. Rush, father of Erma Rush Tustin; Isaac Rush, great-grandfather of Julia Rush, Joan Boord, and Carol Rush Hassig, George Byard, Lee Yost; the Carpenters; and the Glovers.

In 1957 the school was closed when thirteen pupils were in attendance. At one time as many as 70 attended the school. The Homemaker Club organized soon after the school closing and they maintain the building as a community center and voting precinct.

Submitted by: Julia Rush

Source: History of Wetzel County, West Virginia 1983