Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County ~1901
By William T. Price
Among the prosperous citizens of Pocahontas County in its early development, Christopher Herold deserves recognition of a special character. He was of pure German parentage – his immediate ancestry came from the Fatherland, settling in Pennsylvania, thence removing to Virginia. Though he could not read English, no one would have suspected it, so well posted he seemed to be in political matters and current affairs. His powers of memory were surprising, and his business sagacity was equal to any of his contemporaries. He was honest and enterprising. He and his sons accumulated an immense landed estate on Elk, Douthards Creek, and other places, amounting to many thousands of acres.
Christopher Herold married Elizabeth Cook, of Pendleton County, and soon after their marriage located on Back Creek, now known as the Thomas Campbell place. From Back Creek, Highland County, he migrated to Douthards Creek, about seventy-six years ago, and bought of Colonel John Baxter, and settled on lands now held by Henry White and sons and Henry Sharp, on Douthards Creek. On this place, Mr. and Mrs. Herold reared their family and passed the residue of their lives. Their family consisted of seven sons and three daughters, Susan, Jane, Elizabeth Ann, Henry, Peter, Benjamin, Charles, Christopher, Andrew and Josiah…
Henry, the eldest of the pioneer’s sons, married Elizabeth Lockridge and settled at Driscol, and after living there a number of years, moved to Nicholas County. Their sons were Anderson, Washington, William and Benjamin. Wise Herold, now living on Knapps Creek, is a son of Washington…
To illustrate something of the privation endured by this worthy man and family in their efforts to make their way in the world, mention may be made of what occurred in the winter of 1840.
Andrew, then about grown, was sent to Elk to look after some cattle to be wintered there. A snow fell, early in the winter, between four and five feet in depth. The only chance to keep the cattle alive was to fell timber for browse. How to have this done was the problem that confronted the youth. Having procured the services of Joe Courtney, a man of stalwart form and needful pluck, they started for the browsing ground. Courtney went ahead, and the young man followed in his trail, snow up to the arm pits. They managed to cut what carried the cattle through.
In the meanwhile, all communication between neighbors seemed cut off. Andrew’s brother, Peter Herold, had taken sick and died before he could hear of it. James Gibson, Senior, now living on Elk, managed to reach an eminence in hearing of the browsing party, and, by the loudest tones he could command, got Andrew to understand what had taken place. The funeral rites were performed under difficulties indescribable.
The winter finally passed away, and when Andrew returned home in the spring he was emaciated and changed in appearance almost beyond recognition by his neighbors…
When the venerated man – Christopher Herold – died some years ago, he was verging ninety years. He and his faithful wife sleep in the family burial ground near their last home on earth, the scene of their life’s toils and mutual joys and sorrows.