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Pocahontas County Bicentennial ~ 1821-2021

Q. Where was the first CCC camp in Pocahontas County?
A. Thornwood, followed shortly by Seneca and Watoga.
Q. What national work program built roads, sidewalks, indexed deeds and other records at the courthouse, and painted the two murals in the Marlinton Post Office?
A. WPA – Works Progress Administration.

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

In the light of the knowledge and wisdom sought to be imparted by these sketches, it is fondly hoped that our readers will be helped in whatever efforts they may be making to live clear of the sordid soulless commercialism or selfishness that threatens to prevail over the earth like waters on the face of the great deep, and which is so rapidly becoming the spirit of the age, and according to inspiration has ever shown itself as the procuring cause of wars and rumors of wars.

And here we would pause and take special notice of the boys of Pocahontas County and present some thoughts to this effect: It is believed that there are a good many who would make fine men, were they to go about it in the proper manner. Most of them have had their muscles well developed by the labors of the farm; many of them have been improved by attending school and pursuing their studies under more than ordinary difficulties, and thus developed practical common sense. May it be hoped, therefore, that all our youths will aim to make the best of their opportunities and become first class in whatever calling they may make their life’s work. Diligence in business, fervency in spirit, serving the Lord, will attain the highest success to be attained in the present state of existence and endeavor.

Due respect for holy things is the beginning of highest wisdom, and good success have all they that carry out the directions given us by the Creator. He knows what is best for us to follow as a rule of conduct, and in the end it will appear that those are best off for the present and future life who do his commandment…

And, moreover, it will be a salutary lesson in morals to be reminded that as we are so dependent upon those gone before, even so those who may succeed us will either be grateful for our having lived, or may have memories bitter as the worm-wood and the gall. None can possibly live unto themselves, and while it may be a solemn thing to remember this and try to live rightly, “Walk humbly, love mercy and act justly,” it is a far more solemn thing not to remember this and thus leave names to be remembered with shame and tears.


It appears from authentic tradition that the pioneer settler of the Buckeye neighborhood, four miles south of Marlinton, was Joshua Buckley, at the junction of Swago Creek with the Greenbrier. It was about the year 1770 or 1775. He came from Winchester, Va., and his wife, Hannah Collins, was a native of Newtown, a few miles south of Winchester. John Buckley, their eldest child, was but two weeks old when his parents set out in the month of March on their pack horses for their new home.

Upon their arrival they occupied a deserted hunter’s camp, and on the same day Mr. Buckley took the suffering, jaded horses to John McNeel’s in the Levels, to procure keeping for them awhile, thus leaving wife and child alone. The wolves howled all night, and she could hear the snapping of their teeth, but she disclaimed all fear. This camp was occupied until a cabin could be built and ground prepared for potatoes and buckwheat.

This family, for the first summer, subsisted on a bushel and a half of meal, brought with them from Winchester, with potatoes and venison. Mr. Buckley could go up Cook’s Run and pick out a deer as conveniently as a mutton may now be had, and even more easily.

One of their daughters, Mrs. Hettie Kee, the ancestress of the Kee family, when a little girl remembered seeing the Indians very often, and frequently heard them on the ridges overlooking Buckeye, whistling on their powder charges, and making other strange noises as if exchanging signals.

There were frequent alarms from Indian incursions. The women and younger children would be sent to the fort at Millpoint. The older boys would stay around home to look after the stock, with instructions to refugee in a certain hollow log if Indians should be seen passing by.

Mr. Buckley raised one crop of buckwheat that he often mentioned to illustrate how it would yield. For fear the corn might not ripen enough for bread, he dropped grains of buckwheat between the rows by hand and covered them with the use of a hoe. He planted a half bushel of seed and threshed out eighty bushels…

About the time Joseph Buckley became a grown man, his father had five hogs fattening at the upper end of the orchard. One night a panther came and carried the whole lot to Cook’s Run, piled them up, and covered them over with leaves and earth. The father and his sons watched for several nights, and finally the old panther came with her cubs. She was shot and the cubs captured and kept for pets. One was given away and the other was kept until almost grown…

To keep it safe at night, young Joe made a place for it near his bed. The beast would sleep by his side, purring like a kitten, though much louder.

One night the young man was awakened by something strange about his throat. When he became conscious, he found his pet was licking at his throat, slightly pinching at times with its teeth, then lick awhile and pinch a little harder. That frightened the young man so thoroughly that he sprang to his feet, dragged it out of doors and dispatched it at once.

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