Hackers Creek Pioneer Descendants

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February 8, 2018 By: Patty Lesondak
Buckhannon Opera House
The Buckhannon Opera House was located on North Kanawha Street having been designed by Draper C. Hughes and built in 1903 at a cost of $16,000.  It could seat up to 800 people and had a stage of 52X36 feet being illuminated with 150 incandescent lights.  Through the years it served as a meeting place and later having live shows and moving pictures.  In 1950 the last film was shown, and the building was destroyed by fire on Sept. 14, 1960.  Strangely when first built it was noted, bulding of brick, fire proof, and handsomely furnished.
February 1, 2018 By: Patty Lesondak
Weston Woolen Mill
Taken from A History of Lewis County
The superior grade of wool grown in Lewis County led to the establisment in Weston of a woolen mill in 1871 by the Cliftons. They had formerly been in business at Beaver Falls, Pa., but had determined to seek a better location near a good source of raw wool.  The exceptionally long staple produced in Lewis County was decided to be exactly the kind of raw material they desired and they moved thier woolen mill to WV.  For the next 14 years it was the most important manufacturing industry in the town.  The factory was located in a building 32 X 80 feet and 2 1/2 stories high.  The most modern machinery was installed, consisting of 240 spindles, one picker, one steam dresser, several power looms, etc.  The management advertised their ability to manufacture all kinds of fabrics, but stated that special attention was given to custom work.  Goods were also exchanged for wool.  The principal items made were yarn, blankets and jeans cloth used by the farmers.
January 23, 2018 By: Patty Lesondak
Romance of Fans
Fans speak the language of love.  Women of the Elizabethan and Victorian eras learned to manipulate their pretty fans for a type of communication.   A fluttering fan under smiling eyes was clearly an invitation “I’m interested.”  If the lady snapped her fan shut, it usually meant “Really, don’t bother me!”  In a strict formal society the fan was a way of communication between couples.  One of the most romantic, flirtatious and creative tools used for silent wooing was the folding fan.  Can you believe during the 18th century fan language emerged? Books were published that taught women how to use fan language.  Phrases could be expressed by a single movement. For example, a lady seen twirling the fan in the left hand was really telling her admirer “We are being watched.”   
Fans represent a bygone era of romance and intrigue.  Maybe it is an art we should bring back.

December 27, 2017 By: Patty Lesondak
Answers to Moon puzzle from newsletter
Box of Matches
No oxygen on the moon: worthless
Food Concentrate
Efficient means of energy
50ft Nylon rope
Useful in scaling cliffs, tying injured together, etc.
Parachute silk
Sun protection
Solar Powered heating unit
Not needed unless on dark side of the moon
2 45Cal Pistols
Possible means of propulsion
One case of dehydrated milk
Bulkier duplication of food concentrate
Two 100lb oxygen tanks
Most pressing survival need
Stellar Map
Primary means of navigation
Self-inflating life raft
Co2 bottle in raft may be used for propulsion
Magnetic Compass
Magnetic field on moon not polarized: useless
5 gals. Water
Replacement for tremendous liquid loss on light side of moon
Signal Flares
Distress signal when mother ship is located
First-aid kit with injection needles
Needles fit special aperture in space suits
Solar-powered FM 2-way radio
For communication with mother ship, but FM requires line-of-sight transmission, short range
November 8, 2017 By: Patty Lesondak
Short Story of First Settler of Lewis Co
This was the article printed in the Weston Democrat the week of  11/08/2017
It all started with the Pringle brothers, John and Samuel.  They deserted Fort Pitt and upon their wandering came upon a huge hollow sycamore tree at the mouth of Turkey Run on the Buckhannon River.  It is now Upshur County.   After finding out they were no longer wanted for desertion, they told others about the beautiful land they had camped at.  In 1768 they led a group of people composed of John Hacker, John Jackson, John Hughes and Alexander Sleeth to the area.  They all fell in love with the land and decided to settle in the area.   John Hacker cleared off a patch of land, only to find out it was claimed by Samuel Pringle.  The men came to an agreement that Samuel would clear off the same amount of land for Hacker, when Hacker found the area he wanted to settle.  John Hacker came upon a beautiful fertile valley west of where Pringle claimed.  This area became known as Hacker’s Creek, just a mile from today’s Berlin. John most likely erected some kind of shelter and planted his crops, then returned to bring his family to the area, becoming the first settler of Lewis County.  He built his cabin in 1770.
Later other known settlers settled in or near Hacker’s Creek. They were John Sleeth, Samuel Bonnett, Jesse Hughes and William Lowther.  Weston was not laid out in town lots for several years, but was a village in 1789.  Weston began in 1818.
This is just a short story and it leaves out a lot of historical information.  If you are interested in the history and the families who settled in Lewis and surrounding counties, then I suggest visiting the HCPD Library located in Horner, WV.  Consider also the purchase of the following books in the library:  Chronicles of Border Warfare by Alexander Scott Withers, Border Settlers, Northwestern Virginia by Lucullus Virgil McWhorter and A Pictorial History of Old Lewis County by Joy Gregoire Gilchrist and Charles H. Gilchrist.  Make great Christmas gifts!
October 17, 2017 By: Patty Lesondak
Building St. Paul's
Actual construction of the present church building was begun and completed during the rectorate of the Rev. William Hullihen Burhardt (1894-1900) The lot was acquired by exchanging the old church lot for the Baptist's lot.  The vestry also procured the ground upon which the "old Rink" was located for $1,050.  The present location of West Hall.  The photo was probably taken in early 1897, and shows the masonry about eighty percent completed.  According to the Diocesan map of 1900, Lewis County shows a population of 16,980, and one Episcopal church with 86 communicants. 
On Sept 23, 1900, five years after the laying of the cornerstone, St. Paul's Church was consecrated by the 2nd Bishop of WVa, the Rt. Rev. W.L. Gravatt, with the Rev. T.H. Lacy, D.D. preaching the sermon.  The last payment of the building was made July 30, 1900.  The total cost of the project was $16,215.46.  In the second finished church photo you can see at the extreme left Matthew Edmiston home, behind the church on the left is the recognizable Jonathan M. Bennett home (now the library)  and on the right is the Fornash home followed by Dr. William J. Bland homeand the Lewis County Courthouse.
October 16, 2017 By: Patty Lesondak
St. Paul's Episcopal Church 1895 Weston
St. Paul's Episcopal Church of Weston, WV (new building 1895)
The ceremonies of the laying of the Cornerstone of the present building took place the afternoon of July 25, 1895.  The Hon. William E. lively delivered the opening remarks in behalf of St. Paul's Congregation after which E. G. Davisson, acting for the Grand Lodge of AF and AM of WVa., conducted the rite in accordance with the ancient customes of the Masonic Order.
James Ralston executed the copper plates listing the officers of Weston lodge No. 10AF and AM, the rector, vestry and trustess of St. Paul's Church along with other items placed in said casket placed within the cornerstone.
September 26, 2017 By: Patty Lesondak
Roane County Artist
Clarence H. Fields is a native of Roane County.  He was born in 1925 and attended a one-room school.  He graduated from Spencer High School in 1940 and enrolled as a student at Mountain State Business College, Parksburg, majoring in office management and equipment.  After graduation he was drafted into the Navy.  Following his Navy career, he enrolled in the College of Agriculture at WVU and a minor in Journalism.  Upon graduation at WVU, he received a graduate scholarship at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he received as Masters Degree in Agricultural Journalism.    He had an offer from WV Farm Bureau to return to Morgantown as Director of Infomation, Editor of the Farm Bureau News, and assistant to the organization's lobbyist at the State Legislature in Charleston.  Later he accepted  position at the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture in Washington, then later accepted an offer by the Kentucky Farm Bureau, Louisville. He then went on to a position as Executive Secretary of the New Jersey Farm Bureau, Trenton.  He retired at the age of 65 and four years later was diagnosed with throat cancer.  After more than 4 years of medical treatment, hospitalization and time in nursing homes he resumed his retirement living in Roane County.  Fields never recieved any training in Art or Painting, but discovered over the years he seemed to have a natural talent to paint.  He celebrated his 8oth birthday in February 2005.   His paintings are done in acrylic paint and instead of canvas, he paints on reverse side of wall paneling.  The surface is sanded and coate with a primer/sealer paint.
July 18, 2017 By: Patty Lesondak
John Hacker & Margaret Sleeth Hacker
John Hacker was born Jan. 2, 1743 by the old style calendar according to records of Over-Wharton Parish, Staffor County, VA.  Margaret Sleeth Hacker was born in Ireland, June 24 1747 and came to America with her parents. John and Margaret were married around 1765, probably near Winchester VA.  John and Margaret had 11 children.
John followed along with another party, Samuel Pringle to the current area of Pringle Tree, Upshur Co.  He and the others were pleasantly pleased at what they seen, and returned the following spring to plant crops.  They selected lands and marked their tomahawk claims.    John soon found out the claim he staked had already been staked by Samuel Pringle.  To avoid trouble, John agreed that if Samuel would clear as much land on a creek that recently had been discovered it would take care of any problems.  Thus, John Hacker settle on what is known as Hacker's Creek and became the first permanent white settler in what is now Lewis County, WV.   After planting crops and probably making some sort of shelter, he returned to South Branch for his wife and child.  They found that buffalo had destroyed their crops, so John left his family to hunt the buffalo.  He found them and destroyed them at what is now Holly River State Park.  John made a tomahawk entry at what was known as Hacker's Lick, but later came to be known Hacker's Valley.  John Hacker's son,  William Hacker was the first white child born within the confines of present Lewis County.
The years became busy with clearing land, greeting new immigrants, Indian troubles and establishing some form of goverment.  The years were not without tragedy.  John's daughter, Mary Ann Hacker, was the bride of Edmund West, and was slain by the Indian renegade Leonard Schoolcraft.  Another daughter was scalped and left for dead.  The Hackers were among those who established the first Methodist Church on Hacker's Creek, called Harmony Church.  
John Hacker died in 1824 in his home and is buried in the Morrison Cemetery, which is located on the original John Hacker homestead.   Margaret died in 1832.
If you want to know more of the story, then give us a call at 304-269-7091 or email hcpd@hackerscreek.com  
July 12, 2017 By: Patty Lesondak
Jackson Family of Jane Lew
Today we had Navy Captain Scott Tetrick visit our library.  Scott just returned from Afghanistan in May, and retired in July.  He and his family live in S.Carolina.  I asked how he learned about us, and he said his father had visited the library about 10 years ago and got info and told him to visit us when he was in the area.  We are so glad he did, we enjoyed helping him relate to his roots.  His ancestors lived in Jane Lew, and he had a wonderful article about the house, which is no longer there.  The house was built in 1840 by John Bailey, who sold it to J. Blackwell Jackson and his bride Bird Lorentz Jackson.  In his framed memorial he also had a picture of Blackwell & wife with their wedding announcement.  We were able to help him connect to his roots.