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Pocahontas County Bicentennial ~ 1821-2021

History of Pocahontas County ~ 1981

Hillsboro, located in a rich and beautiful upland valley, is named for Richard Hill, the pioneer from North Carolina, who built his home on a good farm in the Lobelia neighborhood. His house was an unusually good one for that age. Simon Girty, the renegade, told that the Indians were so impressed that they called him the white man’s king. It was built of hewed logs, daubed with wood and mud, then white washed. It had three porches, two tall chimneys, and eight rooms. Hills Creek “will sing his requiem as long as its waters flow.” The creek plunges over a precipice sixty or more feet high creating the beautiful falls of Hills Creek…

The majority of the people of the Hillsboro Community are Scotch-Irish, their chief pursuits being agriculture and stock raising. As the traveler ascends Droop Mountain, he beholds a panorama of unsurpassed loveliness when the sun pours over mountains, plains, valleys and hills…

Hillsboro from early times has been a religious and educational center. John Jordan of pioneer fame gave a building site to the Methodist church, which building was destroyed by fire and they have since built four other churches in the community…

Oak Grove Presbyterian Church was organized in the year 1793; the early records of the church were lost, and no one knows when the first church was built; a brick church was built later, southeast of Hillsboro where the cemetery now is. A frame building was built in town during the early ministry of Dr. D. S. Sydenstricker, and a new brick building in 1910. It carries the name of the pioneer church although surrounded by a maple grove…

It is thought the first teacher ever in the community was a man by the name of Keenan, who was considered a very learned man from the fact that he could read and write and had figured in the arithmetic as far as the rule of three. The next teacher was Rev. John S. Blain, a Presbyterian preacher, a teacher and physician. He is described as a large, lean, strong man possessed of a kindly face and gentle heart. The description is somewhat contradictory as he is said to have whipped 13 boys the second day of school, 21 the third day, and 5 and 6 each day for about a week. After that no further trouble was experienced. But the school had an unsavory reputation that had to be disciplined, and he used the means within his power…

Many noble and worthy lives were molded in this institution of learning…

Hillsboro is Pocahontas County’s oldest incorporated town, chartered in 1873…

Stories at Evening
By Louise McNeill,
Poet Laureate of West Virginia

“My great-great-grandpa Jethro walked
The wild savannahs deep in grass;
He saw the herds of buffalo
File westward through the mountain pass.
“Great Grandpa William in his time
Remembered pigeons wild and bray
Whose thousand wings beat out the sun
The morning that they flew away.
“My grandpa Frederick could recall
The wild trout flashing in their school;
He set his stick of dynamite
And scooped a hundred from the pool.
“My father, Douglas, saw the trees
Across this bare, eroded land,
He saw the tulip tree and ash,
The spruce and hemlock – virgin stand.
“And I myself at morning saw
The chestnut on the ridge –
Its living green –
The blue-fringed gentian…
“Listen, now, my son –
Stories at evening – wonders I have seen;
And, as we sit, look sharp and well remember –
Your son may hear the strangest tale of all:
How little rabbits hopped across our garden,
How grass grew by the wall,
And there, one night, when you were six or seven,
You heard a Bob White call.”
History of Pocahontas County ~ 1981

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