Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County – 1901
By William T. Price
Natural Features and Social Customs
In reference to the ancestry of our people it may be inferred that our citizenship is of a composite character, German, English, Irish, Scotch and French.
Such names as these, Lightner, Harper, Yeager, Arbogast, Herold, Halterman, Burr, Siple, Sheets, Casebolt, Shrader, Burner, Sydenstricker, Varner, Hevener, Cackley, Gumm and Overholt, indicate German descent.
Moore, Gillispie, McCarty, McLaughlin, Coch-ran, Waugh, Hogsett, Mc- Neel, Kerr, Lockridge, Drennan, Gay, McCollam, Mc-Coy, Beard, Baxter, Slaven Hannah, Hill, Kincaid, Irvine, McElwee, Wallace, Curry, Hamilton, Sharp, Friel and McCutcheon imply Scotch-Irish or English-Irish ancestry.
Warwick, Matthews, Ren-ick, Clark, Gibson, Johnson, Galford, Buckley, Kennison, Adkison, Barlow, Gatewood, Jackson, Brown, Wooddell, Hull, Cooper, Duffield, Auldridge, Duncan, Beale, Sutton and Callison indicate English antecedents.
Maupin, Ligon, Dever, Tacey, Dilley, Bussard and Large are French extraction.
Poage, Pritchard, Price, Ruckman denote Welch extraction.
Kee, Doyle, Kelley, Loury, Cloonan, Scales and Rorke leave us in no doubt that the Emerald Isle is their fatherland.
These representatives of nationalities have blended and affiliated so that the characteristics of each fused, and the outcome is a composite citizenship, versatile in their tastes and aptitudes, fitted for a destiny in harmony with the progressive tendencies of that eventful period, the wonderful 19th century.
JOHN R. FLEMMENS
One of the most unique and picturesque characters that figure in our local history was John R. Flemmens, of Laurel Creek.
Early in the century residents of the head of Stony Creek saw smoke rising from Red Lick Mountain. At first it was thought to be a hunter’s camp. Upon noticing the smoke continuing for some days, curiosity was awakened, and parties went up into the Red Lick wilderness to see what it meant. To their surprise they found a family in camp, arranging for a permanent settlement.
There were five persons, John R. Flemmens and Elizabeth Flemmens, his wife; James and Frederick were the sons, and one daughter, Elizabeth. There were nice horses and several cows ranging about. The family had been there for several weeks, yet no one ever found out when or whence they had come. Had these persons arrived in a balloon from the clouds at midnight, their coming could not have been better concealed than it seemed to have been from the neighbors.
The Flemmens opened what is now the “Rosser Place.” But few persons were ever known to labor more industriously than the mother and her three children. Mr. Flemmens bought lands from Issac Gregory amounting to four thousand acres. It was a part of the William Lewis Lovely survey. The papers, dated 1777, and this region was then in the mets and bounds of Harrison county…
The Flemmens family became noted for sugar making. They would work several hundred trees in the season. On the southern exposures an early camp would be worked, then move to another less exposed, and then into the north and close the season there. The mother and children would carry the sap for miles in pails supported by straps from their shoulders, and much of the sap was carried up hill. In making arrangements for evaporating the sap, an immense tree would be felled and the kettles supported agains it, and then the fires kindled. It was no uncommon thing to see fifteen or twenty large kettles boiling at the same time.
The output would amount to hundreds of pounds. The sugar was generally stirred until it pulverized, and much of it was nearly as fair as brown or coffee sugar.
A good deal of the sugar was taken to Lewisburg and exchanged for more kettles…
While on a visit to Ohio, Mr. Flemmens died there.
Mrs. Flemmens and her daughter, Elizabeth, spent their last years in the vicinity of Buckeye. They spun and wove and industriously earned a living as long as their willing hands could retain their cunning, and had the respectful esteem of all their neighbors.