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Pocahontas County Bicentennial ~ 1821-2021

By Ella Pritchard

Robert Dunlap McCutchan married Elizabeth Youel Lockridge, of Goshen, Virginia, and settled on Thomas Creek in 1825. While they are not pioneers, they came to Pocahontas county soon after the organization of the county, virtually settled in the woods and built their home that was noted far and near for its good cheer and lavish hospitality. Mr. McCutchan purchased twenty-nine hundred acres of land, which was likely a part of the Warwick boundary.

William Nottingham of the Glade Hill neighborhood, married Mary Arbogast, daughter of Adam Arbogast, and settled in the woods. This is now one of our best farms, and it is owned by Dr. Ligon Price, since the death of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Price, who having purchased same from heirs of Adam Nottingham, who was a son of William Nottingham, Jr.

Mr. George Craig, father of the late Rev. Newton Craig, was the earliest settler at Glade Hill. A sad tragedy has impressed this fact. The colored nurse became angry when reproved by Mrs. Craig, and as expression of her wrath, she threw the baby girl in a large kettle of boiling water. This caused the death of the child. That the mother might forget this horrible scene, they sold the nurse to Col. Paul McNeel, son of John McNeel, the first permanent settler of Little Levels.

While Miss Carrie Craig was governess in Col. Paul McNeel’s home, she met and married John W. Warwick, who then owned the Andrew Mathews farm.

She was the second wife.

Isaac Moore bought Glade Hill farm from Col. McNeel.

E. N. Moore inherited this farm from his father, Isaac Moore. This farm has been sold again and divided into three, which are owned by Charles Nottingham, James Wilfong and Charles Wilfong. Benj Arbogast, one of the pioneers of the Buzzard neighborhood, built a brick house where Cornelius Buzzard now lives. It was in this home they held all their preaching services.

The young folks, their shoes in hand, walked to Greenbank to church on the Sabbath. On their return, they attended Sunday School and prayer meeting which was conducted in John Sutton’s barn.

When they did all their shopping at Hot Springs, Virginia, with only a narrow path just wide enough for a horse, we do not wonder that they made no more than four outings each year and treasured their shoes.

Reuben Buzzard, next neighbor, lived on the farm where Emery Shinaberry now lives. Their first church was built of logs after the Civil War. It has since been replaced by a nice frame building. Their one room school building is now being replaced by a nice comfortable two room house…

To be continued…

Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County – 1901
By William T. Price


Among the persons whose industry, economical habits, and wise management of diversified useful industries did much for the development of our county, the name of Henry Harper, Senior, is richly deserving of respectful notice. He was a native of Pendleton County, a son of Nicholas Harper, a native of Germany, who lived on the South Branch.

Henry Harper’s wife was Elizabeth Lightner, daughter of William Lightner, Senior, of Back Creek. For a few years after his marriage he lived on the Branch. About 1812, Nicholas Harper bought two hundred acres from Abram Duffield and Colonel John Baxter on Knapps Creek, and on this purchase Henry settled.

The young settlers from Pendleton County found a few acres of cleared land. The thickets of thorn and crabapple and wild plums were almost impenetrable. The sheep, pigs and calves had to be penned by the house to protect them from wolves and bears. By patient and persistent effort, land was cleared and a home reared.

At his suggestion, William Civey, of Anthonys Creek, sunk a tan yard. Then Mr. Harper established a blacksmith shop and built the first tilt hammer in this region. This shop was carried on under his own personal supervision. Ralph Wanless, George Hevener, of Pendleton county, the late Anthony Lightner, of Swago, and others learned the trade with him, and were all good blacksmiths.

Mr. Harper also reared a flouring mill, which was operated by himself and son, Samuel, chiefly.

Father and son were smiths and millers and alternated in their work.

William Gibson, late of Huntersville, and Henry Harper were the contractors that built the Warm Springs and Huntersville turnpike sixty-fives years ago…

In the meantime, the farm was duly attended to and much land cleared for grain and hay, additional lands bought and a splendid estate became his.

He had a passion for hunting, which he indulged in merely for recreation.

He died in 1859, aged 70 years. Mrs. Harper followed her husband in 1876, aged 86 years.

In personal appearance, Mr. Harper was of medium stature, somewhat stooped in the shoulders. His voice was soft and flute-like in tone, very quiet and retiring in his manners and leisurely in his movements, and yet, his establishment was a busy hive of industry and all moved on like clockwork.

His family consisted of five sons and four daughters: Elizabeth, Sally, Anna and Susan. The sons were Jacob, William, Samuel, Henry and Nicholas, who died at fourteen…

Samuel Harper married Malinda Moore, and lives on the old homestead, where he yet resides in the 87th year of his life…
Samuel Harper’s second wife was Margaret Jane, daughter of John Gum, of Highland County…

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