Hackers Creek Pioneer Descendants

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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.
July 6, 2017 By: Patty Lesondak
Melville Davisson Post
Templemoor was built by Melville Davisson Post's father Ira Carper Post sometime in the 1870's it was Melville family home and farm.
Melville Davisson Post was known as Mel by his friends.  He was born into a weathly family.  His father was Ira Carper Post, who in his day was well educated and amassed his fortune by wisely managing his holdings. His mother was Florence May Davisson Post who came from a pioneer lineage.  Melville was a lad that liked to make up stories and write.  He later attended college and became a lawyer.  While he was a lawyer in Wheeling he wrote a book.  The book became wildly sucessful and thus he transferred from lawyer to well known published author.  On one of his many travels, he met a beautiful lady by the name of Ann Bloomfield Gamble Schoolfield, of Roanoke Va.  They were known as Post and Bloom.  They had one child that died at 18 months.  Melville liked the "Templemoor" farm and later they built in 1914 a beautiful simple style chalet on the property. On this site Indians had ground pigment to make war paint, so he called it " The Hill of the Painted Men."  The chalet burned after Post death. Bloom died in 1919 and Melville in 1930.  They are buried with their son in the Clarksburg Elk Masonic Cemetery.  Some of his books: The Strange Schemes of Randolph Mason, The Man of Last Resort, and Uncle Abner.  
July 6, 2017 By: Patty Lesondak
Templemoor Mansion

"Templemoor", also known as the Post-Crawford House, is a historic home located near Clarksburg approximately halfway between Romines Mills and Peeltree, in Harrison County, West Virginia. It was built in 1874 for Ira Carper Post, and is a 2 1/2 story brick mansion in the Italianate style. It features a combination hip and gable roof covered in polychrome slate shingles. It was the boyhood home of noted West Virginia author Melville Davisson Post (1869-1930) who was famous for mystery and fiction novels. The home includes 13 rooms many featuring top of the line woodwork

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.


June 30, 2017 By: Patty Lesondak
SandFork newsclipping

Sand Fork news Clips from 1887
Weston Democrat


Little Jesse Johnson is trying to secure a class in penmanship at the Hall school house.  Anyone wishing to learn penmanship will apply at once.


Miss Ida Jones, of Austin (Vandalia) is attending the Walkersville School.  She was visiting friends on Sand Fork the latter part of last week.


Mr. Nathan Rexroad, while floating logs Thursday last, lost a very valuable hat.


The “Austin Gorillas’” organized a baseball club Saturday, last, and will meet every two weeks.


Mr. R. F. Hornor purchased a very fine horse last week.


One of West Fork’s most thriving farmers, John Wilson, was united in holy matrimony to the belle of Union Hill, Miss Ollie Smith.  May the honeymoon always remain with them is the wish of Bobtail Bawly.

June 28, 2017 By: Patty Lesondak
Gee Where is Gee Lick?
Gee Lick community is rich in history and tradition of other days.  Many stories have been handed down to the generations about the trials and struggles of the first settlers.  They had to deal with the marauding of Indians and wild animals.  Today you would travel Rt. 33 West out of Weston to arrive at Gee Lick.  Two Indian burying grounds are located in the area.  Many of the present day residents are descendants of the pioneer families that settled the area.  The name “Gee Lick” is said to come from a large “G” that had been carved on a beech tree.  In earlier times the people looked at a meadow and estimated how many stacks of hay it would cut, but today we look at the same field and think how many building lots it will make.    A complete article ran in the  1947 Weston Democrat prepared by the Mrs. Ellen Butcher of the Gee Lick Woman’s Club and read to the Jackson’s Mill Public School Day will be printed in HCPD’s July newsletter.   The current newsletter is available to HCPD members only.