Subscribe Today

Pocahontas County Bicentennial ~ 1821-2021

Q. What railroad went the length of the county from Durbin to Caldwell in Greenbrier County?
A. Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O)
Q. When did this railroad come into Pocahontas County?
A. 1900

Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County – 1901
By William T. Price
Natural Features and Social Customs

As mountains and grasses are so characteristic of our county, some reflections as to the part they perform in their Creator’s plans may be in place. The hills and mountains, of Pocahontas, when contrasted with people who own them as property and live in homes overshadowed by them, seem as to existence “everlasting hills.”

Yet, the truth is these mountains are just as perishing as we are. Their veins of flowing fountains weary the mountain hearts as the crimson pulses do ours. The natural forms of the iron or stony crags are abated in their appointed time, like the strength of the muscles and sinews and bones in a human old age. It is but the lapse of the longer periods of decay, which in the sight of their Creator distinguishes the duration of the mountain from that of the moth or worm.

By our bountiful Father of Mercies, mountain ranges are appointed to fulfill their offices with a view to preserving health and thus increase the happiness of the human race in general. The first of these uses is to give motion to water. Every fountain and river, from the shallow streamlet that crosses the road in trembling clearness, to the calm and silent movings of the Potomac, the James or the Ohio, all owe their motion, purity and resistless sweeping powers to the elevations of the earth ordained for that purpose. Gentle or steep, extended or abrupt, some determined slope of the surface is essential before the water of any stream could overtake and refresh a single plant or tree after the long pilgrimage by clouds from the Southern Pacific Ocean…

These pathways for the dews and rains and melted snows are so arranged that by some definite rate of movement the waters must evermore descend, sometimes slow, sometimes swift, but never pausing…

It is well to remember, too, that this office of imparting motion to water is not exhausted on the surface, for a no less important office of the hills is to direct the flow of springs and fountains from subterraneous reservoirs. While it may seem marvelous to see the waters coming up out of the ground beneath our feet, yet this is no miraculous happening, for every fountain and well are supplied from a reservoir somewhere in the hidden chambers of the hills, so located as to involve some degree of fall, assuring pressure sufficient to secure the constant outflow- ing of the stream…


During the last century but few names have been more familiarly known in our county, before and since the organization, than the Cackleys.

The ancestors of this relationship were Valentine Cackley, Senior, and Mary Frye, his wife, from the lower Valley not far from Winchester, at Capon Springs.

They located at Millpoint about 1778.

These worthy people were of German descent. The original name was Keckly, and came to be spelled Cackley by the way it was pronounced.

Their sons were Levi, William, Joseph, Valentine and Benjamin, and their daughters were Alice, Mary, Anne and Rebecca.

Alice became the wife of the late Samuel M. Gay, who resided on the farm now held by the heirs of the late George Gibson, on the Greenbrier above Marlinton two miles. Mr. Gibson was her grandson. Mrs. Gay was a very estimable person, and the story of her life would make thrilling reading…

Levi Cackley married Nancy Bradshaw, daughter of John Bradshaw, the founder of Huntersville, and settled on Stamping Creek, where some of his worthy descendants yet reside. Jacob, Levi and William were the names of his sons…

William Cackley, son of Valentine, married Jennie Gay, daughter of Robert Gay, and first settled on the property now owned by Mathews Ruckman, near Millpoint, and also operated a store. Having sold his farm to the late D. L. Ruckman, he moved his family to a farm on Cummings Creek, near Huntersville, where he resided for many years, farming and merchandizing and serving in public office…

Valentine Cackley, the pioneer, accumulated an immense landed estate. His home was about the location occupied by Isaac McNeel’s residence. It seems at one time to have been within the limits of the fort…

He encouraged and promoted useful industries. A first class mill, for the time, was built; a tannery projected, a tilt hammer started, and a store carried on…

The name of such a person is worthy of remembrance, for he left a very important and influential part of our county much better off than it was when he settled therein.

more recommended stories