Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County ~ 1901
FROM THE COUNTY RECORDS
At April Term, 1826, two gentlemen were indicted for horse racing on the public road.
Against another for retailing spirituous liquors by the small measures without a license therefor.
The crop of old wolf scalps for 1825-6 amounted to twenty-one at $5 each.
James Brindly is allowed $7 for traveling to Lewisburg for stovepipes.
Surveyors of the county roads were allowed 7 ½ cents for each day necessarily employed; William Brock, 62 ½ c for 10 days; James Waugh, 25 c for 4 days, etc.
June 1827 a levy of $49 was laid and John Bradshaw and Samuel Hogsett commissioners were appointed to let out the erection of the public stocks and pillory.
The court seems to have the power to license preachers and gentlemen to celebrate the rites of matrimony by taking a bond of $1,500.
Everyone has heard of Major Jacob Warwick’s famous servant Ben who accompanied him on all his warring, hunting and surveying trips, and to whom his master granted his freedom. At the August court, the following order was entered in reference to his life and character:
“Ben, a man of color, who is entitled to his freedom under the last will and testament of Jacob Warwick, deceased, bearing date on the 7th day of March, 1818, of record in the Clerk’s office of his county, this day motioned the court, (the commonwealth’s attorney being present) for permission to remain in this county: whereupon, it is the opinion of the court, that the said Ben be permitted to remain and reside for his general good conduct and also for acts of extraordinary merit, it appearing to their satisfaction that the said Ben hath given reasonable notice of this motion.
“The acts of extraordinary merit, upon which the order of the court is founded, are the following:
“It appearing from the evidence of Mr. Robert Gay that at an early period when the county of Bath (now Pocahontas) was invaded by the Indians, he protected with fidelity the possessions of his master, and assisted in defending the inhabitants from the tomahawk and scalping knife.
“In addition to this public service it appears from the evidence of Messrs. Waugh and P. Bruffey that he rendered most essential service to his master in saving his life on divers occasions.
“Upon these meritorious acts the court grounded their order.”
David James, Senior, was one of the first settlers of the Droop neighborhood, in Lower Pocahontas. He was from Norfolk, Virginia. It is believed he came here soon after the Revolution, and located for awhile near the head of Trump Run, on property now owned by Richard Callison.
He then lived for some years at the Rocky Turn, now known as the Irvine Place, where he built a mill. One of the stones is yet to be seen just below the road near where the mill stood…
The name and parentage of his wife are not remembered. His family consisted of three daughters and two sons: Nellie, Martha, Sally, David and John.
Nellie James was married to Thomas Cochran, second wife, and lived near Marvin.
Martha was married to John Salisbury and lived on Trump Run, and finally went west…
Sally became Mrs. John Cutlip, who opened up the improvement on Droop Mountain, now in possession of the Renicks. Her children were David, Abram, John, George, Martha and Elizabeth…
With the assistance of the venerable John Cochran, probably the oldest man living on the Pocahontas and Greenbrier border in 1897, and George Cochran, his relative and neighbor, the writer has been able to give something in illustrating the James family history. This paper will be concluded by recalling the fact that David James, Junior, lived to the age of 106 years, about the greatest age attained by any one of our Pocahontas citizens, concerning whom we have any authentic information. The cottage home still stands whence he departed for the unseen world, and his grave will be an object of interest in our local annals and should be carefully marked so as not to be forgotten…