Pocahontas County Bicentennial ~ 1821-2021

By Ella Pritchard
February 3, 1927

Copied from the church records:

“Baxter Presbyterian Church, built during the summer of 1858, dedicated to the service of Almighty God, on the 27th day of August, 1858. Dedication service by Rev. Charles C. M. See…

By order of the Greenbrier Presbytery, this church was organized by John C. Barr, the 21st day of August 1859, with 11 members from Liberty Church: Robert D. McCutchan, Robert Curry, Ruling Elders; Elizabeth Y. McCutchan, Nancy McLaughlin, Samuel McCutchan, Christine Jane McCutchan, Elizabeth S. Curry, Caroline R. Nottingham, Nancy C. McCutchan, Matilda J. Craig, Caroline E. Warwick, John B. McCutchan, Robert L. McCutchan, Wm. A. McCutchan and Elizabeth E. McCutchan.”

…This church has one outpost at McLaughlin school house which has added many members to the church, two deacons, and established many Christian homes.

The soldiers, during the Civil War, camped in this nice new church, which had been so comfortably furnished, and left it a wreck for many years.

New paper, paint, carpet and lamps added very much to restoring it for the fiftieth anniversary…

1890 and 1891, under the leadership of Rev. W. J. Ballengee, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was built. It was dedicated in August 1891 by Dr. J. W. Young. Trustees were William H. Cackley, Jacob Taylor, C. R. Moore and E. N. Moore…

The Methodist congregation at Dunmore has done much to express their loyalty; their church building is in first class condition…

The first school at Dunmore was taught at the Chesley Moore house.

The first school in the McLaughlin neighborhood was taught by Jacob C. McLaughlin near its present location. He was late called to war and was killed at the Battle of Cedar Creek in 1864. The schoolhouse was destroyed, and one term of school was taught in an old house on what is known as the Carr place where Ellett Carpenter now lives.

A school building of rough material was erected on the bank between the homes of Lawrence and Russell McLaughlin and school was in session at this point for about twenty years. Some of the teachers who taught here were John R. Warwick, Uriah Bird, S. L. Brown, Preston Cosby, H. M. Lockridge, Albert Nottingham, Charles Cook, Mr. Bing. The last school that was taught in this building was by our good neighbor, Mrs. Alice Brooks, who also taught the first school in the building that is now in use.

In the Dunmore community, we have the following schools; Hillside, Buzzard, Thorny Creek, McLaughlin, Curry and Dunmore. The Dunmore school was started in a one room building in the year of 1880. Miss Emma Warwick was the first teacher. Our town now has a two room building which is located a short distance from the old building.

The whole community has access to a first class high school at Greenbank which is being well attended.

Dunmore is noted for fine mineral springs. The Lithia spring is gaining favor for its purity and the analysis shows this spring to be very similar to the famous Eureka Springs in Arkansas.

The Blue Sulphur, Magnesia and Chylbeate are yet quietly sliding along to the Greenbrier River, unappreciated.

The farmers were first attracted to this beautiful valley. We wonder if it was not the beautiful scenery which compares with that of Switzerland, so says an artist who has recently toured that wonderful country.

The valuable white pine invited many lumbermen. The first railroad brought to Pocahontas county was located on Thomas Creek. The fat, sleek horses bear the honor of the transportation of this railroad from Staunton, Virginia.

A large portion of the timber was floated out of Sitlington Creek into the Greenbrier River and on to Ronceverte.

Today, the white pine is exhausted, and the hardwood is being manufactured here and shipped in lumber via the Greenbrier Division of the C & O railway.

The narrow pathways are fast being replaced by good roads and state highways.

(In the preparation of this article, the writer is greatly indebted to Dr. Wm. T. Price’s History of Pocahontas County, as well as to friends and neighbors.)

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


Among the early permanent settlers of Knapps Creek, and a person of some prominence in county affairs was Michael Daugherty.

He was a native of Ireland and came from Donegal, and settled here about 1770. The property he owned is now in possession of Peter L. Cleek, William L. Harper and the Ruckman sisters, Margaret and Nancy.

Mrs. Daugherty was Margaret McClintic, whose parents lived near Staunton, Virginia. They were the parents of seven children, four daughters and three sons…

It is believed that Michael Daugherty built the first tub mill, propelled by water power, in this whole region. The site was on Mill Run, near Sunset and some traces of it yet remain. This mill seems to have been patronized by all sections of upper Pocahontas, and had the reputation of being one of the best of its kind.

It may be news to many of our esteemed readers that there was a “real old Irish gentleman” among those who endured the toils, privations and peril that were peculiar to the early occupancy of this region, yet such appears to be the fact, as attested by authentic tradition. He grew to manhood having the privileges and advantages enjoyed by the sons of the Irish landed gentry. As far as possible he wished to have aristocratic usages in his home on the frontier…

In the old times when Michael Daugherty was living, if a person could pay his own way across the ocean, and hire or purchase the services for such as were less fortunate, then he was one of “the quality.” As he was able to do both, so Michael Daugherty was one of the first of the new fledged nobility that occupied the Knapps Creek region.

It is believed by his descendants that his father had designed his son Michael for the Catholic priesthood, and, with a view to this, had given him special educational advantages. Before receiving holy orders, the father died. It appears that in arranging the affairs pertaining to the settlement of the estate, in some way a serious disagreement arose between Michael and his step mother, and he thereupon received a portion of the goods allotted him, and he came to America, and seems to have lost sight of the Donegal Daughertys. It is believed, with good reason, that could Michael Daugherty’s descent have been shown to the satisfaction of the Irish Court of Claims, that his West Virginia heirs would have come in for a handsome share of the ancestral legacies.

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