Newspaper Archive of
The Preston County Journal
Kingwood, West Virginia
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May 21, 2003     The Preston County Journal
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8-PRESTON COUNTY JOURNAL-Wednesday May 21 2003--Kingwood WV Copyright: Dorothy B. Snyder 9 Douglas Court, Dover, DE 19901 A GLIMPSE INTO PRESTON COUNTY DURING THE SPRING OF 1861 Seizure of Arms (Continued from last week) As an aside to George Row's narration I want to point out some additional details about the men he mentioned. Row was boarding with Burgess Parks at the time of the incident. At the time of the 1850 census of Preston County, Virginia the Parks family was counted in dwelling number 31, whereas the McGrew house was number 1. Therefore, the two homes were fairly close. As head of household, Henry Lone Parks was age 39 as was his wife Elisabeth. They had five children with James, 16, Julia B. 14, Phoebe E. 12, Burgess, 10 and Caroline A. 3. At the time of the 186D census James was actually living with Charles M. Brown and by 1861 Burgess Parks was head of house- hold and rented a room to boarders, one of whom was George Row. Burgess would have been 21 and probably married, or soon to be married to Martha Isabel Trow- bridge. Living nearby in 1850 in dwell- ing number 47 was John Hooten, age 52, Mariah 36, James E. 18, Mary E, 16 and Eleanor 40. On the 1860 census, James E. Hooten was a deputy clerk, living in the home of County Clerk, Smith Crane. Living in the home also was William T. Brown, age 25 and a house carpenter. Living on the Reedsville side of Kingwood I 1860 was Dr. J. H. Manown. He was age 36 and a physician; he owned $4337 of real estate and claimed personal wealth of $1700. His wife May was 23, Mamha L. 3, James F, 1. This is the first time that it has occurred to me that the small community of Manown on Route 7 between Kingwood and Reedsville may have gotten its name from Dr. Ma- nown. In 1860 Charles M. Brown was an attorney, age 23 living with John J. Brown age 35 and an at- torney. Also living there was James M. Park 26, a brother to Burgess, but not mentioned by Row as a conspirator. John J. Brown was a strong Unionist who had been admitted to the bar in 1849. He was a delegate to the Constitu- tional Convention in 1861, as was James C. McGrew. Brown moved to Morgantown in 1864 In writing about the incident in Kingwood, George Row continued with: Improvement of time was deemed important and Charles A. Brown, Local Manufacturing Dealer looking for set-up personnel. Construction exp. a plus. Must have valid driver's license. Call J&J Homes Sale. a6 5o 5 I I who was about the size of Dr. Ma- nown, with the doctor's overcoat on his back mounted on the doctors riding horse and was immediately dispatched to Reedsville, some six or eight miles northwestward otn the road to Morgantown, to call up Capt. Isaiah Kirk and post him on the situation and ask his coopera- tion by bringing 25 or so men to Kingwood on Sunday night to carry away the war equipment. Capt. Kirk entered heartily into the mat- ter. and went to work on Saturday gathering in reliable men. William T. Royce, from east of town, also promised to find some men. Captain Isaiah Kirk was the cap- tain of the militia. He was 40 years old and a farmer. He was married to Edith age 37, and their children were Martha,17, Samuel,15, Eliza- beth, 15, William E.,14, James M., 10, James F., 12, and Sarah E.,7 as listed in the 1860 census. William T. Royse, whose wife Mollie was expecting a child in July 1861, was my great- grandmother's brother. They lived east of Kingwood on what was then known as the Royse Farm but in later years was referred to as the Copeman Farm. It was located between Kingwood and Albright. I lived in that same house between 1947 and 1949. It is the home where my grandfather, John F. Copeman, was born and lived and where my mother and her siblings were raised. The 1860 census of Preston County, Virginia reveals that those living in the house were Mother, Rebecca Royse age 93, her daugh- ters, Hannah, 54, Rachel C. 50, and Rebecca's son William Royse, 60. Another family, but in the same house were William T. Royse, age 30, a farmer with a personal estate of $6000, and his wife Mollie, 18. Also counted were Louisa Conner, 14 and John Borgman, 24, who worked for the family. William T. Royse was Rebecca's grandson. His father, John Royse, had moved to Ohio after the death of William's mother, but William stayed on his grandmother's farm. William T. Royse eventually moved to Indi- alia. William T. Royse promised to bring a number of men to the "gathering." I wonder if the group included my great-grandfather, Henry Copeman. Henry had ar- rived in the United States in 1852 from Germany and married Wil- liam's sister, Rachel Royse in 1860. At the time of the census they were enumerated in Albright ....., LPN For re_ident ity. Part-time and PRN positions Competitive salary. Submit rCsum6 to: Otympic Center Preston, Inc. EO. Box 158, Kingwood, WV 26537. Fax 304-329-2405EOE I lllll I Ill where Rachel had been postmaster at the post office for several years according to S. T. Wiiley's History of Preston County. However, I re- viewed the archives of the Federal Post Office appointments and that appointment was in the name of her husband, Henry Copeman who had arrived in this country from Ger- many less than ten years earlier un- der the name of Heinrich Koop- man. I have always suspected she did the work, but the appointment was in his name because he was a man! Henry Copeman eventually bought the farm from his wife's uncle. Back to George Row who con- tinues his narration with: Sunday was another bright and quiet day about Kingwood although in the country up the Monongahela valley it had rained some on Friday and Saturday, making the roads heavy. That Sunday night Wm. C. McGrew, James E. Hooten, Amos Row, George H. McGrew and George Row held possession of the court house and the sheriffs office. "Waiting for something to turn up." The McGrew House is currently being restored and is a point of in- terest in Kingwood and with the exception of Kirk, Royse and Ma- nown, nearly all of the other con- spirators lived within a few blocks of the McGrew House. In the 1860 census James C. McGrew was age 46, a merchant, and lived there with his wife, Persis M. age 39. They had three children living with them, William C, store clerk 18, Sarah M, 16, and George H. age 14. James C. McGrew was wealthy by most measures and at the time of the 1860 census owned $17,000 worth of real estate and his per- sonal wealth was $22,000. It was noticed as the hours mov- ed-slowly-on, that there was a stir on the street in front of The Brain don House with a few persons coming and going about midnight. Wm. C. McGrew and Jas. E. Hoo- ten started out on a lookout for the expected coming of Capt. Kirk and his men and Amos Row and George H. McGrew went to look for Royse and his party. George Row re- mained alone on guard in the sher- iffs office. In about twenty minutes the boys returned, bringing with them all told, about 130 men, some armed with rifles. A guard was set around the courthouse grounds. The gun boxes were quickly pushed out a window of the sheriffs office Now Open! HIll Cherry Grove Road, 1 mile from Big Bear, Follow Signs Great Selection Flowers & Garden Vegetable Plants Large Variety 10" Hanging Baskets Pick up Ace Royal Touch Eggshell finish, available in a vadety of custom co ors, and apply a high quality paint that really lasts! Royal Touch Eggshell Wall & Trim * One coat coverage , 25 year warranty 1969146 The he peui pt=ce. 113 WEST MAIN STREET, [tNGWO0]I) (304) 329-1555 l Ill Ill l l NET - III and broken open, and the ammuni- tion was brought .fiom the eourt house belfry and distribution was made, and the men hastened homeward having ~i,rought a good work. There was little, noise and no confusion. Intense a/though subdued ex- citement prevailed among all classes of citizens during the day. No one seemed to be wise beyond the flwt that the guns and ammuni- tion were gone--but where? The few who knew simply acted in a feigned harmony with the rest in wonder and apparent anxious con- cern. About 3 pm. intelligence was received that a good Unionist---Mr. Asa Stone--had been seen that morning crossing a field near his home having in his possession two guns and equipment which he was taking to some neighbors who were prevented going with the others to King wood. This infi~rmation gave the clue to the preceding night's program and thereupon Mr. C. J. P. Cresap . hastily started on an errand to the southward-----and it was reported that he intercepted Col. Porter- field's detail a little way south of Tunnelton and notified them of the above stated occurrence. It also became known that the detail was expected to reach Kingwood at midnight on Sunday, but owing to the rain and the bad roads they were unable to make the drive in the time allotted to them. Charles J. P. Cresap was an at- torney who had been admitted to the bar in 1857. He was later ap- pointed to a staff position in the Confederate Army. His parents were Gus and Rhuhama Cresap who continued living in Kingwood throughout and after the war. His brother, Robert, was also a Confed- erate soldier and died at Moore- field. His sister, Mariah, was the third wife of my great-great grand- father, Israel Schaeffer. Charles' Civil War sword was passed down through the Schaeffer family. As you will note when I write about the Memorial Day Celebration in 1893 in the near future, members of the Kelly Post Grand Army of the Republic placed flowers at the grave of Charles Cresap, a Confed- erate officer as they honored the deceased veterans. I do not find this surprising as many of the members of the GAR had grown up with the Cresap family. The Cresaps simply kept their loyalty to the state of Virginia and not to the Union. (To Be Continued) 66 99 '02 GMC Envoy SLT 4010/1 Dodge Grand Caravan AWl) PO03 '96 Dodge Grand Caravan 7523A '00 Dodge Caravan 7432A `91 Dodge Caravan 7745A '96 l lge Grand Caravan P015 +97 Olds S houette 3088A Chevy Vent.r+ 7736,4 '96 Plymonth 7799 +02 Grand Cherokee Limited 4011A Illll O A revolutionary, risk-free way to get your Phone Services, Internet Access and Calling Features for one Low price. Introducing the New Frontier Choices You said you wanted simplicity, affordability and flexibility. We heard you - and created the new Frontier Choices. 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