In Memory of William Sharp, Sr.
Submitted by the family on the occasion of the 2019 Charles J. and Ora Belle Sharp Family Reunion
The footprints of the name Sharp have been indelibly imprinted on this land before the Revolution and most certainly before there was a Pocahontas County.
This is a small attempt to trace some of these footprints that have traversed these lands for a period of more than two hundred years.
They have their beginnings in one pioneer by the name of William Sharp, Sr.
William Sharp, Sr. was the pioneer settler of the Huntersville vicinity and was the first to open up a permanent residence. It was located a few rods from the forks of the Dunmore and Huntersville road. Mr. Sharp located here about 1773. He saw service as a scout, spy and soldier against the Indians and the British. His affidavit made in 1832 indicates four short tours of service totaling more than two years and six months. These include an expedition against the Indians on the Muskingham River in the fall of 1764 to March 1765; service as an Indian spy during the summer of 1773 and summer of 1774; served as a scout and messenger from the summer of 1774 to December 1774; drafted early January 1781 and was in a skirmish against the British at Portsmouth, Virginia, where he was discharged in April 1781.
The nature of his services as an Indian spy was to guard Warwick’s Fort situated on the headwaters of the Greenbrier River, to traverse the surrounding mountain and to watch the gaps and passes for Indians coming toward the settlements. Later, he continued to guard the settlement forming on the Greenbrier River, reconnoitering the country between the headwaters of the Greenbrier, Tygarts Valley and Elk rivers.
He came from Augusta County where he lived at a place then called Beverley Manor near Staunton. He was one of three children of John and Margery Sharp who were orphaned in 1750. The land records have several transactions relating to his holdings…
His wife was Mary Meek(s), daughter of John Meek. Their children were: Nancy, Margaret, John, William, Rachel, Mary, James, Andrew, Rebecca and Jane.
John Sharp married Sarah McCollam… They had four daughters: Ellen, Mary, Rebecca and Nancy. This line of Sharps ends here in the county.
James Sharp was a member of the court under the old arrangement, was high sheriff and was held in high esteem for his patriotism and strict scrupulous integrity. One story about him needs to be kept alive. He was an avid hunter, not only for sport but as a matter of business. While living at his first home on Cummings Creek, he had a very sensational adventure on Buckley Mountain. One evening while returning home, he was passing along when a panther suddenly mounted a log a few yards in front of him. He shot the animal, but when the smoke cleared away, another stood in the same place on the log. This performance was repeated nine times, then he panicked and ran home. During the night the remainder of the pack followed his trail home and killed a yearling calf. Properly reinforced, he went back to the spot where he had fired nine times and there he found nine dead panthers.
There is a romantic tradition that William Sharp, Jr. met Elizabeth Waddell at the home of Thomas Drinnen at Edray. Thomas had organized a congregation and one of the worshippers was William, Jr. who came dressed in a coonskin cap. When the young lady returned home, she made some funny remarks about the homely young man she had seen at the meeting and his furry cap. Her mother said the young chap would probably be calling around the first thing she knew. Sure enough, he did come and on a busy wash day. He found the young lady resting up, performing on the spinning wheel in short petticoat, chemise and barefooted. It was love at first sight and they became engaged that very day.
This couple at once settled in the woods near Verdant Valley and opened up a fine estate out of a forest noted for the tremendous size of its walnut, red oak and sugar maple trees. They reared a worthy family there. William Jr. is listed as one of the most substantial and prosperous citizens of the county in its formative period. This Verdant Valley, which few people know of today, was located in the area of the Fairview church and schoolhouse. The homestead of William Jr. was very visible during the mid-1900s as the farm of Jacob Sharp…
William, Jr. and his wife, Elizabeth, had the following family: James, Elizabeth, Jane, William, Mary, Rebecca, Anna, Ellen, Martha, Alexander, Jacob Warwick and John.
John Sharp married Sarah Johnson and lived at Fairview first, then bought land on Jerico Road near Marlinton. They had the following family: Henry, Hugh, William Ewing, Mary, Martha Jane, Nancy Ann, James Alexander, David Warwick and Susan.
William Ewing Sharp married Laury Ann Malcomb and lived at Fairview. Their family consisted of: Margaret Matilda, Paul Warwick, Luther, Rosa Arizona, Marion McCoy and Dency Edward.
Paul Warwick Sharp married his first cousin, Mary Catherine Sharp. To them were born eleven children, including a set of twins: Charles Jack, Lanty James, Marlie Matilda, Nellie Ann, Hazel Elizabeth, Layton Ewing, Pauline Catherine, Oscar Warwick, Austin McCoy, Sylvia Bell, Robert Schultz, and Nina June.
He made his living as a carpenter and as a teamster with lumber companies in the surrounding areas. In later years, he settled down to a life of farming on the Jerico Road. As a pastime, he played the fiddle…
His apple orchards were some of the best. Sunday at his house would find many relatives and friends for dinner, which was usually followed with horseshoe pitching, games, etc.
In his later years, he used to sit by the hour with friends spinning yarns of bygone years of hunting, fishing and working in the woods.
Charles Jack Sharp married Ora Belle Thompson, and they became the parents of fourteen children: Jack Arnold, Earl Milburn, Lew Warwick, Dempsey Thomason, Charles Herbert, Catherine Elizabeth, Craig Arthur, Donald James, Tommy David, Patricia Wenona, Brenda Carol, Louise Kay, Leslie Douglas and Glenda Charlotte.
Charles Jack Sharp spent a considerable amount of time during his younger years around logging and lumber operations. While attending high school, he worked as a teamster in the summer and attended school in the winter. School at that time was held six months out of the year. He attended West Virginia State Teachers College at Parkersburg, then taught for 19 years in the rural schools of Pocahontas County. He was held in high esteem as one who could control students as well as parents in rather rough communities. Places of residence include the old Jackson place on Jerico Road, Woodrow, Fairview and the present home at Brownsburg.
He accepted a position with the Farm Bureau during the depression of the 1930s. In 1943, he accepted the position of manager of the Southern States Cooperative Store. After 20 years, he took an early retirement due to ill health.
He was a lover of the outdoors and of his fellow man. There are few people who ever knew him that have been on unfriendly terms. He was an ardent hunter and fisherman. He was a crack shot, winning many prizes in shooting matches. He was one of the best wild turkey and deer hunters that ever walked into the woods. His love for trout fishing will still go on, if there is such a thing in the hereafter.
This information was compiled by Charles Herbert Sharp, with assistance of Dr. Ward Sharp, Dave Sharp and Ann Dillon.