JOHN HILL GRAVEYARD
How they toiled and how they wrought
How life's daily battles fought
Struggling for a mere subsistence
Eking out their scant existence
Pressing back the dim frontier
Those streams of hardy pioneer.
(J. A. H.)
On the 29th day of June, 1930, I "discovered" in a jungle
of pine brush lying west of the Elizabeth Pike and just
beyond Pettyville, and old graveyard, probably near the
site of what is referred to in old deeds as "the old Hill
It lies on a little ridge, a fork's point between two miniature
runs, and as now fenced is perhaps 100 by 150 feet in
The ground is closely overgrown with pine bushes, thick
as a chairpost or smaller, three to eight feet in height, and
woven together with catbrier in patches, and spots and much
of the surface is carpeted with a thick coating of graveyard
myrtle, too much shaded to thrive yet too tenacious of life
to give up the annual recurring struggle for existence. There
is some sassafras, and occasionally dogwood or other bushes.
There is one cedar tree rising tall and straight to a height of
sixty feet or more, and ten or twelve inches in diameter, while
its utmost spread of limbs is perhaps eight feet.
At its base, grown over with the interminable pine thicket,
are barely recognizable graves, unmarked, unknown, over which
it has kept vigil well along maybe into its second century. Who,
with sad hearts, planted this tree at the grave of loved ones will
never be known. The tree still lives and will continue to live for
many years to come, unless destroyed by vandal hands or
Inside the enclosure are several other trees, pines of considerable
size, probably a remnant of the first respreading of the old fields
by the forest. Some ten years ago, less or more, the spot has
been reclaimed, the brush cut away, the grounds enclosed by a
substantial fence of barbed wire with locust posts, and two
soldier's markers set. Headstones furnished by the United States
There are many old unmarked graves that may yet be traced among
the thick growth of pine brush, and doubtless very many more
now entirely hidden. I only found four graves with headstones, all
marble slabs, and three of the original in good state of preservation.
There is a grave off by itself in the brush with a headstone, a wide
thin marble slab, with lettering out into the rock and very difficult
to read. There is a verse inscribed below the legend. It read:
"Sacred to the memory of Littleton Hall, died July 12, 1872, aged
60 years, 8 months."
This burial plat may be on the old Harden patent. It lies back of the
middle street of the Pine View Addition on top of the second rise
north of the pike and about two-thirds of the way up toward third
street. Visited again, May, 1935. It is still in a dense thicket, but
someone has sawed the big cedar tree off at the height of about
four feet. The trunk still lies there.
There is a grave in which sleeps the ashes of a Revolutionary
patriot. The only marker is the Government stone, inscribed,
"John Hill, Leigh's Company, Pennsylvania Mil. Rev. War."
(Leach's Company). Presumably until some of his descendants
secured and placed this stone, the grave has been unmarked.
It shows that John Hill, who has evidently been from Pennsyl-
vania, served in the American Army as a member of Captain Leigh's
Company, Pennsylvania State troops. He came to Wood County,
Virginia, before the fall of 1805, at which time he bought 230 acres
of Hugh Phelps, Mark Harden Survey.
For this he received on September 2nd two deeds from Phelps.
The calls are practically the same: one deed has payment of
350 pounds in Pennsylvania money; the other, $933.34 - "lawful
money of Virginia." The first reads, "late of resident of Fayette
County, Pennsylvania; the other makes him a resident of Wood.
There was 105 poles river frontage, and it extended back for more
than a mile.
The same day he appears to have sold to his son William 130
acres of the front, and on July 3, 1809, 32 1/2 acres more, and the
same day to Adam Ruble, 7 1/2 acres - an eleven pole strip at back.
Then on July 31st he bought 30 acres of William, which would make
his holding 90 acres. This was back lands of the lower tract, Harden
On the 18th of August, 1820, he completed the deed (for 92 acres)
to Jacob Deem, husband of his daughter, Margaret Hill; doubtless
the Deems were in possession of the home before, as Hill had no
lands mentioned in his will, made in November, 1819. He willed all
his personal property to his wife, Agnes Hill (neither he nor his wife
could write their name) - except $1.00 each to William Hill, Sarah
Johnson, Agnes (commonly called "Nancy") Phelps, and Margaret
Deem. The will was probated at the May term of Court, 1823. The
neighbors who witnessed the document: John T. Langfitt, James
- X - McMaster, and John F. Palmer (called Parmer).
By Hill's side sleeps a daughter,
Margaret, wife of Jacob Deem; she was born 1793, died April 6,
1858, aged 65. (Jacob Deem, Jr. married Margaret Hill, July 20,
1815.) By her side lies:
Jacob Deem, born August 10, 1790, died January 12, 1884. He
would thus be 93 years, 5 months and 2 days old.
A stone in front, furnished by the United States, reads:
"Jacob Deem, Ensign, 1 Virginia Mil. War 1812."
Of the Deem family I have little. He was a son of Jacob, Sr.
William and Derastus were his sons; Louisa, wife of Littleton
Hall, was his daughter. *William marked out and Elliott penciled in.
JAMES JACKSON GRAVEYARD
There is an old road which has left the pike, on the rise beyond
Pettyville, circled around the cove of a hollow that flows down
from the second growth of timber, toward the pike. It wains the
top of the "divide" about the head of the hollow, south of the
graveyard. This is the old road to Kincheloe Riffle, and is on the
Charles Buffington tract.
In this cemetery, which is badly grown up with brush and briers,
Anna Thelma, daughter of E. K. and Editha Cutlip, 1906 - 1908.
Baranch Stoops, 1851 - 1917. He was a son of William Stoops,
who bought the old John Hill (Lenhart) farm.
James Stafford, Co. A., 15th W. Va. Inf.
Mary E., daughter of James and E. Jackson, died in 1867, aged
James M. Jackson, 1807 - 1890. He was eighty-three years old
when he died. Jackson Run was named for him. He owned the
back lands of the John Caplinger farm.
Elizabeth R. Jackson, 1814 - 1903 (eighty-nine years). James
Jackson married Elizabeth Caplinger, in 1850.
Henrietta Wells, born June 26th, 1845 - died September 29th,
Thomas Wells' grave was there, but the date was blank on the
Harry, son of B. and E. Stoops, 1877 - 1878.
There are other graves, both with and without stones, but I
noted no other old dates.
Probably the above is the Jackson private burying ground, and
on the James Jackson (Caplinger) land.
James Jackson married Elizabeth, daughter of John Caplinger,
and got one share of the estate. Later, he bought adjoining
backlands of the Leonard Caplinger land.
This graveyard was nicely cleaned up when I visited it, in May,
The moss and myrtle gently fold
And clothe the rough and ugly mound
Where lie the loved we could not hold
Who rest and sleep with the ground.
The old William Lewis, or Keene, Graveyard, is about eight rods
square, and lies near the Ohio River, on top of a high bank above
the lower, or first, bottom straight back fro Lock Nineteen.
The grounds are well fenced with a good iron paling fence, but
are uncared for and neglected, and grown up with grass and weeds.
It lies by the side of the garden, but has no shade trees.
I noted the following graves:
Mary F. Lewis, wife of George G. Stout, died July 21st, 1893, aged
twenty-eight years, ten months. *first penciled in before wife.
Coulie Hanson Broughton, born October 1st, 1840 - died October
28th, 1918. *Coulie marked out and Condie penciled in.
Adaline Lewis (his wife) died 1879, when thirty-two years old.
William Lewis, born September 29th, 1777 - died December 30th,
1858. This makes him eighty-one years, three months old. He was
a son of George and Violet Lewis, and came from Loudoun County,
and was about thirty years old at the time he came to Wood County.
Mary Lewis, April 28th, 1785 - July 9th, 1876. She lies by the side
of her husband, and was, at time of her death, ninety-one years and
two months old.
Matilda Ann, daughter of William and Mary Lewis, born December
12th, 1808 - died July 24th, 1836.
Oliver P. Lewis, died January 1st, 1851, aged thirty-one years,
three months. Born October 16th, 1819.
Luisa Jane, daughter of William and Mary Lewis, January 21st,
1818 - June 9th, 1840. *Louisa written in above Luisa.
Sarah, wife of O. L. Bradford (daughter W. and M. Lewis) born
August 5th, 1805 - died March 27th, 1849, aged forty-three years,
Francis K. Lewis, January 3rd, 1807 - May 19th, 1862, age fifty-four
years. He is said to be the first white child born on Washington's
Bottom. His mother was Mary, daughter of Francis Keene.
Marietta Sampson, wife of F. K. Lewis, died August 5th, 1889, aged
seventy-six years. *Sampson marked out and Simpson penciled in.
Martha, wife of S. W. Edelen, died November 10th, 1873, twenty-
five years old. *first written in before wife.
Sophia, a daughter of F. K. and M. Lewis, born August 3rd, 1845 -
died May 5th, 1846.
Jane Lewis (wife of a McDougle), 1841 - 1870. *first written in
before (wife and A. A. written above McDougle.
Samuel I. McDougle, 1866.
Henry T. Coffer, June 28th, 1863.
William Simpson died January 1st, 1815. The monument was
erected by his daughter, Marietta Lewis, wife of Francis K. Lewis.
(Simpson's wife was "Carom", daughter of Francis Keene.) *Karen
written in above "Carom".
Francis Keene, August 20th, 1824, aged sixty-three years.
Elizabeth Keene, died June 20th, 1825, aged twenty-two. (Born
1803, so a daughter of Francis Keene, Sr.)
Atkisson, William Francis, 1820 - 1906.
Atkisson, Sarah Matilda, 1848 - 1889.
Atkisson, Lelia, married 1869 - died 1870. (Probably wife of
Another inscription looks like -
Mary Vine, wife of James, (born or died) 1831.
Were man but dust, well might we weep
If what's immortal, the grave could keep.
Only the tenantless form is earth's share
That in his image built is not there.
The old Kincheloe graveyard lies on the hill, on the old Daniel
Kincheloe farm. It is on a gentle slope, facing westward, some
distance south of the Staunton Pike, and across the road nearly
opposite the old Kincheloe house (now the County Infirmary).
The road leads from the river, at Nicollette, to the Staunton Pike.
The posts were standing in 1918 where a fence had once been,
but the wires were gone. The graveyard was about five rods
square, and seems to have been a private burying ground. The
marble or sandstone headstones were standing or lying around,
among the trees of a pine grove, the trees growing thick over the
One day it was a grown up jungle, but the trees have been cut
for poles and thinned out, until it is now a fine grove of vigorous
pine saplings, the wind whispering through their branches in the
white autumn sunshine.
On one stump, I counted twelve large rings, with seventeen more
of finer growth, making it about thirty years old. Another registered
sixteen large and twenty-two small, or thirty-eight years in all.
Most of the slabs are lying on the ground, or, if still standing,
leaning at all kinds of angles, and the graves are overgrown with
grasses, weeds and burrs.
An old worm fence crossed near, and at the east side of the plot
was a wild cherry tree that would measure nine feet in girth. It
stood in the old fence row.
One of the largest pines stood on the foot of a grave, the head-
stone of which was gone, but the footstone bore the letters J. W. K.
Nearby, is another crumbled footstone with letters A. E. K.
In a plot enclosed with iron railing are three graves -
Samuel Butcher, died May 3rd, 1847, in the ninety-second year of
his age. (born about 1756)
By his grave, on the right, lies Hannah Butcher, died in 1844, in
her eighty-third year. She was a daughter of Thomas Drake.
On his left the headstone reads Deborah, wife of Hiram Pribble,
died April 20th, 1853, aged forty-nine years, two months. She was
a daughter of Samuel Butcher, and married Pribble in 1828.
Butcher was a soldier in the Revolution.
Another grave in the lot is Elizabeth, wife of P. Butcher, May 4th,
1850, aged sixty years.
On a broken slab is the inscription, Payton Butcher, died January
25th, 1853, aged sixty-six years, six months.
In the lower row of graves, next the western fence, is a wide tall
marble headstone, leaning at an angle of fifty degrees, and
bearing the inscription -
"In Memory of Daniel Kincheloe, who departed this life August
4th, 1834, aged eighty-four years". So he was born in 1750.
There are three other graves in this row, their broken slabs
leaning against a pine tree. On one, probably that of Daniel
Kincheloe's wife, the inscription is crumbled and gone.
Another is Elizabeth, the wife of Thomas Vandiver, died March
30th, 1824, aged thirty years. (Born 1794)
The third, J. W., the son of Daniel Kincheloe, died May 11th,
1822. (I fail to find such name in the family record.)
Other graves in the same row are those of -
Hannah M., daughter of Daniel Kincheloe, Jr., and
Virginia M., died May 24th, 1845, at age of six years.
Nearby, a slab marked W. W. K. is leaning against a pine tree,
and a grave is marked William, the son of Daniel and Harriet
Kincheloe, March, 1837.
Another grave is that of Susan Leonard, daughter of David
Vandiver, died June 19th, 18-8, aged twenty-five, and
Archibald Vandiver, died 1827, a child.
JESSE KINCHELOE CEMETERY
The Old Jesse Kincheloe cemetery is on an "Island" of bottom
land, which is surrounded on one side by the creek, and on the
other three by a low swale, apparently once the channel of the
It is about half way between the creek and road, at foot of hill,
near the lower line of the old Kincheloe farm.
It has been a private burying ground, and seems to be filled,
though many graves have no markers. The lot is about four
rods square, and is fenced with plank, and grown up with trees,
brush and weeds, which were cut off about 1923, and when I
visited the premises, October, 1924, the graveyard was a tangle
of weeks, burrs and brush four or five feet high, and sassafras
and wild cherry trees five to fifteen feet high.
There were five headstones with inscriptions. Some graves had
plain flagstone markers, others nothing.
Jesse Kincheloe, died July 3rd, 1856, aged fifty-four years,
three months. (March 22nd, 1772)
Elizabeth, wife of H. M. Prince, died March 29th, 1874, aged
sixty years, eight months.
Albert H. Johnson, June 18th, 1870, aged twenty-nine years,
Martha Virginia (wife) date not copied, aged twenty-six years,
A son of L. B. and G. V. Prince, August 3rd, 1870, aged one
years, six months.
These were all the headstones, excepting several old flagstone
markers without names or dates.
The burying ground was on the Jesse Kincheloe farm,
contigious to the lower line. Apparently no church house close
the spot. The graveyard was superceded by the Mount Moriah
The place has since (1935) lost its old plank fence, and all, or
most, of markers and been cleaned up as a part of the field.
In 1926 I made a pilgrimage up the Ohio River above Williams-
town, in quest of such information as to pioneer families of that
section as I could gather. Knowing that there is no better place
than the local burying ground to begin, these were the first
object of my quest.
The first one visited seems for the most part a private lot. It is
situated on the old Kinnaird farm, and is about twenty by
seventy-two feet in area.
Though neglected and is bad repair, being all overgrown with
clumps of yucca and weeds, it has at one time been cleaned up
and enclosed with a substantial fence. Concrete posts carrying
gas pipe railing. There is a cedar tree in the northwest corner
and the plat appears to be full of graves.
Rev. Rufus Kinnaird, March 24th, 1871 - age 57 years.
Sophia, his wife, August 22, 1891 - age 74 years. She was a
daughter of Tillinghast A. Cook.
Catherine Ann (Kinnaird), wife of Jacob Gates, July 10, 1837 -
aged 25 years. She was married in 1836.
Drusilla, daughter of John A. and Mary Kinnaird. Died in
1871 - aged 25 years. She was a sister of Rufus.
Three children of Rufus: Bettie, Cook and an infant are
buried by their parents.
The name, Mildred, wife of Isaac Dunham, on a crumbling
stone - but the dates are gone.
The Leach graveyard, when I visited it the fall of 1923, had, that
I noted, no dates older than 1847, though the section was settled
twenty-five or thirty years earlier.
Abraham Hickman, 1848-1889.
Nancy Hickman, 1850 - 1903.
Elizabeth, wife of John Leach, died 1849.
James, son of John and Elizabeth Leach.
Drusilla, wife of Thomas B. Leach, May 27th, 1824, March 4th,
1847. He was the son of Willis and Mary Margaret Leach, she a
Lucy J., daughter of William and Mary Leach.
Judah, wife of James Leach, died 1860.
Lewis Leach, died 1872, aged forty-six years, five months.
Catherine A., 1828 - 1914.
Benjamin Brooker, October, 1875, aged thirty-four.
Christa A. Brooker, September, 1918, aged sixty-nine.
Jacob Cornell, June 11th, 1816 - January 9th, 1871.
Susan Nicholas, August 3rd, 1846 - May 26th, 1868.
J. B. Mullen, 1821 - 1888.
Rhoda Mullen, April 22nd, 1828 - March 23rd, 1809.
Waterman P., child Thomas and Mary, was drowned April 6th,
C. W. Lemon, 1843 - 1886.
John Baker, 1858.
Sarah Baker, 1858 - 1907.
Jonathan Deem, November 1st, 1825 - December 28th, 1903,
Jemima, his wife, October 19th, 1890, aged fifty-eight.
The only Buckner tombstone is a child of R. C. and Dora
Buckner, April 30th, 1878.
The graveyard is on a "hogback", back from the river, about
one hundred yards from, and a little below, the Leachtown Lock.
The oldest graves are in the eastern and where some trees
were left growing, more land had been added to the graveyard
(originally only about forty feet wide) farther up the point in the
A Jonathan Dee lived at the old Willis Leach place. Leach sold
his farm and removed to Ohio, where he died.
The house had on the west side a big cedar tree, on the east an