'Twas not for greed or gold they came.
No search or hope for fame.
They sought a freer way of life,
And goal attained, now rest from strife.
Another of the old time cemeteries in the vicinity of Parkersburg
is what is known as the "Old Tavenner Graveyard", though it was,
when first opened, on the land of Hugh Phelps. It lies on the
second rise, well back from the Kanawha River, and on the south
side of the new Central Avenue, the paved street from Tavennerville
to Lauckport. It is on gently rolling ground, and is south of the
supposed site of Col. Phelps' first house.
There are many old graves without markers, and the burying ground
evidently dates far back, though the oldest date I noted was February
Tradition puts the old Neal's Station burial place on the river, and I
am told the excavations for the upper side of the East Street bridge
exhumed bones and an old cedar post.
The most interesting object in the graveyard, when I first visited it
in 1914, was a huge sandstone slab, lying flat over a grave, the
grave of the earliest pioneer of Wood County. The inscription on
the old crumbling stone is illegible.
On a sandstone headstone, I read -
"To the memory of Captain James Neal, -----er of the Revolution,
who --------" (balance unreadable.) On the slab, the last words look
like "his eighty-fifth year".
On another old headstone near this, the inscription is crumbled and
gone. Probably the grave of his wife.
Captain Neal died in February, 1822. He came from Greene County,
Pennsylvania, to this place in October or November, 1785.
Thomas Tavenner was born in London County, Virginia, April 18th,
1776. When twenty-two years of age, he came to this section, and
located at Neal's Station. He was for many years a prominent leader
in the affairs of this vicinity. Was married in 1806 to Elizabeth,
of William Beauchamp, of Elizabeth, Wirt County. They raised three
sons, Thomas J., Cabell and Isaac, and one daughter, Elizabeth, who
married Rev. Charles Baldwin. Tavenner died May 23rd, 1857, aged
Elizabeth Tavenner, wife of Col. Thomas Tavenner, born March 15th,
1781, died September 30th, 1844.
Alexander Tavenner, born May, 1768, died February 10th, 1816.
(Probably a brother of Thomas. Another note says February 10th, 1848).
Thomas J. Tavenner, born in Wood County, October 17th, 1821, died
January 18th, 1875.
Samuel Jacques (son of T. J. and Ann Tavenner) 1872 - 1899.
Franklin Tavenner, died in 18645, aged fifty-four years.
Eunice, wife of Franklin Tavenner, died August 15th, 1865, aged forty
Also two children of B. F. and E. M. Tavenner.
Franklin Tavenner (B. F.) married Catharine Taylor in 1845, and Mrs.
Eunice Steed in 1852.
R. Wires, wife of Franklin Tavenner, April 16th, 1866, aged forty years.
Two other graves in the Tavenner lot were -
Fannie Elizabeth, 1849 - 1865.
Charles Baldwin, 1860 - 1883.
These were of the third generation.
The Tavenner lot contained two rows of graves, and when I visited the
graveyard in 1914, was enclosed with a dilapidated old fence of plank,
with sawed posts (of oak, probably, perhaps locust). The graveyard lot
is about a half acre. It was in 1914, surrounded by an old "shackling"
barbwire fence, with old plank bars for a gate, and graves and walks all
overgrown with weeds and briars.
There was a fine row of wild cherry trees around the lot, seedling
that had grown in the old fence row years ago.
Other graves I noted were those of -
Jared Fugat (Fugate) July 26th, 1819.
Elizabeth Fugat, 1811 - 1822.
Ann, wife of Jared Fugat, November 5th, 1782 - August 17th, 1856.
Fugat bought sixty-six acres of Elias Barnes, at the present site of
Lauckport, in 1817, and traded it to Reese Woolf on two hundred
acres at the mouth of Rowell's Run, later. He lived on this but the
date of his death as given seems wrong, as the deed to Woolf bears
date (as I have it) of September 5th, 1826.
Horatio N. Phillips, 1819 - 1865, forty-six years.
Julia, his wife, 1814 - 1901, eighty-seven years.
Huldah Phillips, mother of Horatio, died in 1865. Her grave is railed
Hannah, wife of John Nicely, 1792 - 1854.
Mary, daughter of John and Hannah Nicely, born in Greene County,
Matilda, daughter D. and V. Fortner, died 1854.
Benjamin Smith, 1842 - 1905.
Hannah Maxwell, February 17th, 1827 - April 11th, 1873.
Laura, daughter of James and Sarah C. Timms, 1854 - a child.
Monroe Wires, 1852 - 1906.
Samuel McDougle, April 27th, 1853, fifty-one years, ten months.
Margaret, wife of George Armstrong (was she a McDougle?) 1866,
aged seventy-six years.
Benjamin McDougle, August 12th, 1869, aged thirty-two.
Ida L. McDougle, May 8th, 1871, aged twenty.
Mary McDougle, 1873, aged twenty-six.
Martha J., wife of S. S. Stalnaker, January 24th, 1843 - July 15th, 1924.
Then a child's grave, and then three apparently vacant lots.
Like the star
That shines afar,
And without rest,
Let each man kneel with steady sway
Round the task that ruled the day,
And do his best.
There is a graveyard lying on a sort of backbone point above
where the run which heads at Marrtown comes down out of the
hills. There are a few cedars and other trees scattered over the
grounds, and the cemetery is in better repair than some.
The site, with more shade, and a good road up the hill, would
The older part on the southern end is about one hundred by
one hundred fifty feet. The new grounds added make it about
forty feet wider, and perhaps three hundred longer. I only
visited the old part of the cemetery (November, 14th, 1921).
The grounds lie on the point above the Amos Tebay house,
but the Old Tracewell Homestead was farther up the bottom.
I noted the names of -
Dorcas Groves, former wife of Edward Tracewell, died February
9th, 1850, aged seventy-seven.
There is a grave of an old Revolutionary soldier.
Richard Mayhew departed this life August 15th, 1841, in the
sixty-seventh year of his age. (The inscription looks like it had
been corrected by the cutting of a figure nine over the six, which
is nearer correct, as there is evidence that he was in a New Jersey
regiment of Continentals.
Rebecca, consort of Richard Mayhew, died September 29th, 1856,
Richard Mayhugh departed this life February 15th, 1850, in his
seventy-eighth year. (John E. Mayhew says there was another
family who spelled the name Mayhugh, and were no kin. Again,
he said Richard, Sr., had three sons who came to West Virginia,
Walker, Richard and Truman.
Walker Mayhew, October 30th, March 16th, 1904. (Headstone
says "Son of a Revolutionary soldier".)
Alcinda Mayhew, his wife, February 13th, 1804 - February 7th,
1873. She was a daughter of Edward Tracewell.
Edward Tracewell, September 9th, 1799 - March 14th, 1878.
Terese, his wife, June 16th, 1799 - October 12th, 1897. He was
long a member of the Wood County Court.
John K. Tracewell, 1847 - 1882.
Martha C., wife of J. P. Tracewell.
Jefferson Tracewell died July, 1892, aged five years.
Jennie Tracewell, 1868 - 1889.
Elisha Flinn, 1838 - 1902.
Teresa Neal Tracewell, his wife, 1844 - 1917.
Elliot Deem, June 5th, 1816 - 1907.
Parmelia Tracewell, his wife, October 25th, 1824, August 26th,
Mary Louisa Tracewell Woodyard, 1828 - 1906.
B. F. Tracewell, 1831 - 1909.
A. J. Tracewell, 1834 - 1919. (May have been born 1830)
Violetta, wife of George Strong, died in 1859, in twenty-ninth
I noted names of Stoops, Wolf, Dotson and Truman. Also McFee.
A. I. Warne, January 12th, 1878, aged seventy-two years, one month.
Mary, his wife, October 9th, 1809 - December 7th, 1888.
A child. Eliza. died in 1865. aged sixteen.
There is an old graveyard lying by the side of the road somewhere
above the upper end of Muskingum Island, and perhaps one mile
below the Henderson home.
It is securely inclosed with a strong iron paling fence, but the
grounds are neglected and sodded with weeds, yarrow, pigweed,
with sarsaparilla and elder bushes clustering and climbing. The lot
is about 80 by 150 feet but the marked graves occupy, say, 50 by
70 feet in the northwest corner.
This graveyard must be on or near the farms of the pioneers, Uhl,
Casteel, Henrie and Pugh.
I note the names:
Allen, son of Archibald and Susan Casteel, March 17, 1846 - died
March 17, 1872.
By his side lies his mother, Susan, daughter of Samuel, and Mary S.,
wife of Archibald Casteel. Born January 16, 1814 - died December
16, 1880, aged sixty-six.
By her: A. Casteel - 1865 - aged fifty-five.
In a family plot we find:
Charles D. Uhl, 1829-1904 (75).
Margaret (wife), 1831-1895 (64)/
A child of above, died 1856.
Same row: Emma Nora, daughter of John T. Johnson - 1886.
David Uhl, February, 1818. (Balance illegible)
Ursula Uhl. (Old sandstone slab, illegible)
Eleanor, wife of George Uhl, December 6, 1872, 70 years.
George Uhl, born August 8, 1794; died September 28, 1887. Aged
93 years, one month and twenty days.
This David Uhl was George's father. His wife, one Wilhelmina
DeSteger. He came to Wood County from Pennsylvania, when
there were but four or five families here.
He built a cabin on the bank of the Ohio River, which was still
standing in 1882, being then used as a stable by John R. Uhl. The
"portholes" were, it is said, "plainly visible" in 1882.
In this log house was born Charles D. Uhl (see above) in 1829. The
mother was Wilhelmina DeSteger, wife of David Uhl, and likewise
David Uhl used to carry powder and lead across the mountains,
and was a soldier in the War of 1812. Names of children of David
Uhl, as given by my informant, are:
George, married Eleanor Hiett, whose father, James Hiett, came to
Wood County in 1799 (1796, says another account) "when the
county was inhabited by Indians and wild animals." In 1882 he was
noted as "the only survivor of the War of 1812 in Williams District.
He "was with General Harrison in his campaign in the Black Swamp
Charles D., born 1829.
John R., who owned the home farm in 1882. He was born February
Chris D., married Margaret Casteel.
A younger son of David Uhl was for three years in Company "G"
15th W. Va. Infantry.
Other graves are:
Caroline, wife of T. H. Parker, and daughter of George and Eleanor
Uhl - died March 23, 1866; aged thirty-five years.
Enoch Rector, died 1893. Aged thirty-three years.
This is a red granite monument, with letters cut into the stone, and
difficult - almost impossible - to read in the evening sunlight. I doubt
if I got it correctly. If I did, it marks the grave of a son of the
Margaret, wife of Enoch Rector - October 29, 1881. Aged 32.
Mindwell, wife of Elder Enoch Rector, died December 2, 1867, in her
Nancy, wife of James Roy - September 5, 1854. Aged 37.
Elizabeth (perhaps Isabel) (Roy?) - died in 1867. Aged 72.
(The wife of Rev. Enoch Rector, Mindwell Ransom, was of New England
There is an old graveyard (perhaps private) lying on the east line
of the Harrison Woodyard farm, west of Holmes Run and near the
old homestead. Doubtless this is on the old Dils tract.
This is not the old Presley Woodyard burying ground, I am told.
It is on a sort of point reaching down toward Holmes Run.
Of those buried there I noted:
Harrison Woodyard, born Feb. 17, 1804, died Oct. 31, 1872.
Rhoda-Lee-Woodyard, Dec. 28, 1797 - Oct. 11, 1883.
Richard L. Woodyard, Oct. 5, 1827 - Feb. 8, 1905. He was a local
Methodist Episcopal preacher.
Julia A. Lakin, wife of R. L. Woodyard, Sept. 7, 1830 - Feb. 25, 1901.
Wilson Lee Woodyard, son of R. L. and J. A. (Mar. 2, 1875)
Mary, wife of Daniel Gardway. Died Jan. 6, 1856, aged twenty-four
Nancy L., wife of Daniel Gardway. June 13, 1853, aged twenty-one
Gardway, infant child, 1856.
Gordon B. Woodyard, 1861 - 1918.
Grace, daughter of H. and S. Woodyard. Nov. 7, 1889 - Dec. 1889.
Harrison Woodyard, 1856 - 1913.
Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. R. L. and J. A. Woodyard, May 16, 1860.
The Harrison Woodyard graveyard appears to be about twenty rods
back along the Brown line from the St. Marys Pike. A steep hollow
runs down the north side and a large elm tree grows inside the line.
There have been several trees, but they have been cut away. The
grounds are fairly well sodded with grass, and are in good repair.
ZION CEMETERY (Tygart's Creek)
On April 19th, 1925, while returning from a trip to Elizabeth, I
visited the graveyard at the Zion Baptist Church, beyond Tygart's
This church was formerly nearer the river, on Lockhart's Run
perhaps, and as neither building or cemetery are of pioneer days,
it is probable there is an older one farther north. The oldest date I
noted was 1858. The cemetery is on the south side of the Elizabeth
Pike, a half mile or more beyond the Tygart's bridge, and well back
of the church, on an eastern slope. The oldest graves seem to be
on the high ground, in the western end. I noted the names of
Rector, Page, Martin, Price, Harper, Hill, West, Cheuvront, Barnett,
Butcher, Saunders, Ogden, Stoops, Muncey, Weedley, Wigal,
Hickman, Johnson, Leach.
On the west end, on top of the hill, there are three rows of graves
with the name of Page. In this plot, I note:
Lewis Page, died August 11th, 1885, aged seventy-two years, ten
Lucy N., wife of J. A., and daughter of L. and M. C. Page, died in
1882, aged twenty-two.
Thomas Harlan, son of L. and M. Page, 1863.
Robert A., son of L. and M. Page, 1878.
Martha D., wife of R. A. Page, 1878, aged twenty-three.
George Page, November 7th, 1808 - August, 1903.
Omer Page, 1845 - 1910.
John Page died February 7th, 1896, aged ninety-three years, two
In the Page row, I note Mary, wife of Willis Leach, died February
21st, 1878, aged eighty years, nine months, hence born in 1797.
Was she a Page, or was Page's wife a Barnett?
Enoch, son of E. and M. Rector, died 1858, age nine years, seven
Ransom Rector, December 10th, 1837 - July 27th, 1907.
W. F. Martin, 1837 - 1908.
Benjamin Robinson, 1841 - 1892.
Charlotte M. Weekley, wife of I. S. Flesher, 1878 - 1895.
Levi Weekley, Co. D., 3rd W. Va. Cav.
Two children of H. M. Hendricks, who lived nearby, 1925.