Thursday, December 31, 1897
Oldest Town in the State
Lewisburg is the oldest town in the State, and from its many dark blue limestone buildings, it looks as if it might defy many more centuries of time. It is the same today as it was before the war, and it looks as if it may be the same henceforth and forever. It has the same sleepy atmosphere, the same lack of bustle and animation, the same set of hotel loungers who smoke and recount deeds of former times, the same shambling old negro men with their cabins, cabbage patches, and pig stys, so familiar to the residents farther south. It was founded by William Lewis, one of the famous Lewis family, and the first fort was called Fort Donnelly.
It was from here that General Andrew Lewis, and his brother Colonel Charles Lewis, marched overland to the mouth of the Kanawha River with the army of Virginia, cutting down Chief Cornstalk and scattering his braves. It was only a few miles from here that the famous “Greenbrier Massacre” occurred. It was here that one of the hottest little fights of the war occurred, and not far away the Battle of Droop Mountain took place. It is here that the finest old church in both states stands – the Old Stone church, built one hundred and one years ago by the Presbyterians, of that never to be destroyed material blue limestone, and today it is as good as if a century of time had not whirled off its cycles over its old stone tower.
In God’s half acre which lies back of this grand old kirk, lie buried the remains of many a famous man – men famous in war and famous in peace; famous as soldiers of 1776 and soldiers of the late war; famous as statesmen, preachers and citizens.
THE Odd Fellows gave an oyster supper Wednesday night to the members of the lodge and their wives.
THE parties engaged in the elopement affair a few weeks ago, have all become reconciled and things are in status quo.
XMAS has come and gone; everything has passed off quietly. Very cold and snowy at present.
THERE has been quite a change in the atmosphere in the last few days. Friday morning, the coldest of the season, the mercury registering 4 degrees below zero.
MARRIED: Near Lee Bell, Tuesday, December 21, by Rev. F. J. Brooke, Mr. Napoleon Bonaparte Hutton and Miss May Crouch, daughter of Abraham Crouch, Esq.
THE evidence of a very sad accident was to be noticed in the Greenbrier Bridge last Monday morning. The remains of a broken jug and a strong smell of the “oil of joy” denoted that somebody had let a gallon jug slip and, falling on the side rail of the wagon track, it had burst into a dozen pieces and the liquor had stained the roadbed all around.
The Friel relationship trace their ancestry to one Daniel O’Friel, a native of Ireland, who probably came to Augusta county with the Lewises. He settled on Middle River between Church-ville and Staunton.
His children were James, William, Jeremiah and Anna O’Friel…
Daniel seems to have been a man of considerable means. He sold his property for Continental money, with a view to settling in Kentucky. The money being repudiated, he was unable to carry out his plans.
Upon Jacob Warwick’s invitation, Jeremiah O’Friel came to Clover Lick. Mr. Warwick gave him land on Carrich Ridge, now owned by John R. Poage. This land was exchanged with Sampson Mathews, senior, for lands on Greenbrier now occupied in part by his descendants, near the mouth of Thorny Creek.
Jeremiah Friel’s wife was Anna Brown, daughter of Joseph Brown, who was living at the time of his daughter’s marriage on the Greenbrier, east side, about opposite the mouth of Clover Creek. Their first home was on Carrich Ridge, then afterwards they lived on the river. Their children were Joseph, Daniel, Josiah, John, Catherine, Hannah, Ellen, Mary and Jennie…
It may be interesting to say about Jeremiah Friel that he stands on the old list as the first subscriber to The Pocahontas Times, and he claims to have owned and used the first kerosene lamp in Pocahontas County in 1865…
Several years before his death, Daniel O’Friel was riding through the woods one dark night. The horse passed under a tree with wide-spreading limbs and Mr. O’Friel was so severely injured in his spine that he was virtually helpless the remainder of his life. He died in 1819, sincerely lamented by his relative, neighbors and friends.