Pocahontas County Bicentennial ~ 1821-2021

Q. Pocahontas County lies entirely in what national forest?

A. Monongahela National Forest

Q. In what region of the county is found a misplaced tract of arctic tundra?

A. Cranberry Glades
Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County ~ 1901
By William T. Price

Distinctive National Features continued

Concerning Knapps Creek, there is an interesting tradition to the effect that it derives its name from Knapp Gregory, believed to be the person of solitary, eccentric habits, who reported to parties in the lower Valley of Virginia that he had seen water flowing towards the west, which report led to Marlin and Sewell’s exploration of this region and their locating at Marlin’s Bottom, 1749.

The site of Knapp Gregory’s cabin is near the public road about opposite Mr. Peter L. Cleek’s residence, two miles from Driscol. Traces of the fireplace and the dimensions of the cabin are yet visible. Early in spring, the grass appears here more luxuriantly than elsewhere and earlier, for the spot seems to be especially fertile, an often observed characteristic of places where buildings have disappeared by gradual decay.

Knapp Gregory is reported to have disappeared from the Creek suddenly and mysteriously. When seen last he was in pursuit of a deer near the Lockridge forking. It was supposed by some that he might have been drowned, while others suspect that he may have been killed and robbed by some suspicious looking characters that had been seen about the same time by scouts from Augusta County.

East Pocahontas is mountainous and in former years heavily timbered with white pine and much other valuable timber, and abounds in iron ores. Central Pocahontas consists largely of limestone lands, much of it is nicely cleared, and cultivated in grains and grasses. West Pocahontas has more mountains, vast forests of timber of varied valuable kinds, and the indications are to the effect that much coal of great commercial value is ready for development. Heretofore this region was called the Wilderness, or Wilds of Pocahontas, having been, comparatively speaking, an unbroken and well-nigh an impenetrable region.
Benjamin Arbogast

This paper is composed of fragmentary notices of one of the early settlers of the Glade Hill neighborhood. Benjamin Arbogast, Senior, the progenitor of a well-known branch of the Arbogast relationship, settled early in the century near Glade Hill, on the lands now in possession of Cornelius Bussard, Clark Dilley and others. In his home were five sons and three daughters: Henry, Solomon, John, Adam, Benjamin, Carlotta, Sally and Delilah…

Benjamin’s son, Henry, was a person of high natural endowments; was widely known in our county; and was greatly respected for many good qualities.  He was a local preacher in the pale of the Methodist Episcopal church, and “cried aloud and spared not” when denouncing the fashionable foibles of his times. The writer once heard him preach a sermon from the text: “Pray without ceasing.” The sermon was largely taken up in a description of the Magic Carpet we read about in the Arabian Nights, and then used it as an illustration, showing that the prayerful soul has in prayer something far more to the purpose than the magic carpet ever was or could be…

During the War Between the States he was a sincere, decided, but harmless sympathizer with the Union cause. When last seen alive he and his neighbor, Eli Buzzard, were in charge of a squad of persons claiming to be Confederate Scouts. A few days afterwards these two civilians were found dead near the roadside, about halfway from their homes towards Frost. From the attitude in which his body was found, it is inferred that Henry died in the act of prayer, heeding the test referred to above…

Benjamin’s son, Benjamin, Junior, was one of the most remarkable persons that ever lived in our county. Upon attaining his majority, he was appointed constable, and he magnified his office and worked it for all it was worth. He frequented the courts, and seemed to have been infatuated with the lawyers of loose habits and alcoholic propensities, and proficient in the history of the four kings. He aspired to the distinction of beating them at their own game, for they seemed to be what a gentleman should be. He soon acquired his coveted distinction of being the fastest young man in the county.

When about twenty-five years of age, he came under the influence of Charles See, who taught in the family of Colonel Paul McNeel, and there was kindled in our young friend’s mind an irresistible desire for a college education. He learned the rudiments of Latin and algebra from Mr. See, went a session or two at Academy and then away to Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, and was graduated among the best in his class…

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