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Hundred

 

Communities of Wetzel County

 

The people of this little town in Wetzel County located on U.S. 250 in the West Virginia hills have the deepest respect for longevity. Our town was named after a couple of pioneer centenarians who settled here before 1800. Henry Church (known as "Old Hundred") was born in Suffolk England on November 30, 1750 and died September 14, 1860, being 109 Years 9 months and 14 days old at the time of his death. His wife, Hannah Keine, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1755 and died July 27, 1860 at the age of 106 years. They lived in blissful wedlock for 82 years.

Henry Church came to America as a soldier. After the Revolutionary War, he married a Quaker lady, Hannah Keine of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To this union were born eight children. The family cleared the land and built a log cabin where the Bank of Hundred was built in 1906. This was the most prominent corner then and still is today.

Henry and his wife gave the plot of ground known as the Hundred Cemetery to the community as a gift so they would be buried there. It is located behind the Hundred United Methodist Church. A new marker for their graves was purchased by Norval Throckmorton and Dr. J. S. Church in 1972 to be a lasting tribute to Henry Church and his wife, Hannah.

Henry Church came into the spotlight when the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was completedin 1852. The railway station that at one time was a busy place, no longer stands. In 1858 the company officials sent an observation train over the railroad to Wheeling. They wanted to take Henry Church and his wife to Wheeling but he said "No, I never did make a show of myself and I never will". From then on, the train conductors would point out the couple sometimes sitting on their porch and other times working in the fields, calling attention to their being the oldest couple in the State. Cassie Church Hixenbaugh tells when her great grandfather, Henry Church, was 100 years old, he jumped over a rail fence four feel high.

The Hundred Post Office was established in 1886 in the Keller and Hamilton Store. At that time the word "Old" was dropped and the town was called Hundred. W. E. Hamilton was the first postmaster. We now have a new Post Office.

The first store was built in 1886 and owner by D. Franklin and Sons. T. Benson Hamilton built the first house about this time. The first gas well was drilled in 1886 and is still producing. Hundred has always been an oil and gas field. It was once the home of the Pittsburgh & West Virginia Gas Station, Manufacturer's Light & Heat Company, Null & Morehead Gas Station, Round Botton Gasoline Plant and Carnegie Gas Station. We now have Columbia Gas of WV and Carnegie Gas Station.

Hundred has a population of about 475. The town was incorporated in 1894. The first Mayor was A. F. Gilmore. The first Recorder was F. M. Keller. 1983 town officials are: Mayor, Francis Saterfield; Recorder; Judy McNeely; First Councilwoman, Ruth Hixen- baugh Jones; Doris Hostutler, Charles Phillips; James McGlumphy; and Sam Stewart; Chief of Police; Ralph Berry, Policeman, Richard Himelrick; and Water Supervisor Richard Snider.

The Bank of Hundred was established in 1903 in a rented room belonging to J. B. White. We now have a new bank on Wetzel Street. Hundred has a nice Community Park. We have an all day celebration every July 4th. We have one of the few covered bridges. It is 101 years old. Hundred has two churches, the Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church. We also have a new grade school, called Long Drain.

Also in Hundred are: Hunt Funeral Home, American Legion Earl Kiger Post No. 120, V.K. Market, Bell's Market, Home Hardware, B& B Hardware & Gun Shop, Hundred Insurance Office, Miss Blue Restaurant & Motel, Hundred Drug Store, John's Western Auto Store, S & S Coffee Shop, Handy Farm Supply, Hundred Laundry, Dairy Dream, Sue's Craft Shop, Old Commercial Hotel (the oldest one in town), Mountain State Telephone Company, City Hall, an Emergency Unit, a Volunteer Fire Department and McNeely's Machine Shop, plus four beauty shops, two barber shops and two service stations.

At this time the oldest living descendant of Henry Church is Lee Church, who is the great-great grandson of Henry Church. The farm he now lives on is part of the original Henry Church farm. Lee will be 95 years old on July 23, 1993.

Submitted by Ruth Hixenbaugh Jones, Great-great-great grandaughter of Henry and Hannah Church.

Source: History of Wetzel County, West Virginia 1983