Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Information via USPS.Gov:

Zip: 25987, Streeter, P.O. Est date: 1900, Ended: 1988
Zip: 25988, Vandalia, P.O. Est date: 9/3/1885; Ended: 10/02/1888

Postmasters for Vandalia (Streeter):

Vandalia B. Harvey, 9/3/1885
John Wills, 3/11/1887

Postmasters for Streeter:

John Wills, 10/01/1900
Lucy A. Wills (changed name later to Lucy Basham by marriage), 06/11/1902
John W. Basham, 12/24/1925
Alfred B. Pack, acting postmaster, 9/28/1934
Alfred B. Pack, post master, 11/15/1934
Mary M. Pack 9/30/1949

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bluestone Cemetery Relocations

Sorry for my long absence. I've been busy taking some courses and haven't had much free time.
I have neglected to post the Bluestone Cemetery Relocation list which lists the graves relocated for the construction of the Bluestone Dam in Summers County. As noted on the sheets, this encompasses the "Lilly Cemetery" in the village of Lilly. Which, by the way, does still exist (the village). Some have suggested that the village is under water. This is not really true. Some of the area was inundated, but most of the land was purchased by the Corps of Engineers. So, you can still go today to find the village; albeit, it is off the beaten path for anyone not familiar with the area (and there is not much to see). But, locals can point you in the right direction.

Hope you find this helpful. Remember to use the list of sources I have included (to the right on the page) for other information.

Also, keep in mind that when you go to the Lilly/Crews Cemetery to find the relocated graves many of the tombs are illegible. Yes, this is frustrating. According to random sources, the Corp could not identify many of the tombs. This is not unusual. Unfortunately, many of our ancestors made crude tombstones that could not withstand time.

Be sure and follow the "Reinterment Site list" on the right of the lists to determine which cemetery. Not all ended up at the Lilly/Crews Cemetery.

Click on the images and they should enlarge

Monday, August 16, 2010

Samuel Pack, Francis Farley, James Ellison Sr. Battle of Point Pleasant

The following is taken from "Annals of Southern West Virginia 1769-1800", Wikipedia, Ancestry.com sources:

The Battle of Point Pleasant was the only significant battle of Dunmore's War of 1774.

For years, Shawnee, Mingo and Cherokee laid claim to the land south of the Ohio for hunting purposes. In an attempt to make peace with the British and deflect hostility away from their own tribes the Iroquois Indians signed the Treaty of Fort Stanwix. However, some Indian tribes were present and refused to sign (including the Shawnee). Those tribes that did sign were paid by the British crown.

Due to increased pressure from land speculators and settlers, the British government signed the Treaty of Lochaber, 1770. The Cherokee relinquished their rights to land in parts of North Carolina, Virginia, and present day southern West Virginia; however the Shawnee and other tribes did not.

The Shawnee (led by Chief Cornstalk) refused to give up hunting grounds south of the Ohio (Shawnee built villages along the eastern coast, two of which were at present day Moorefield, WV and near Winchester Va).

As settlers began pouring into the Ohio River Valley the stage was set for Native-Anglo conflict.
In 1774, Lord Dunmore asked the Virginia House of Burgess to declare war on the Shawnee and their Mingo tribe allies. Subsequently, British diplomats managed to keep the Iroquois and Delaware tribes neutral during the conflict.

Lord Dunmore split his forces into two armies: commanded by himself and Col. Andrew Lewis (whom the city of Lewisburg is named).

Over 1100 able bodied men were assembled by Lewis at Camp Union. Lewis's army marched up the New and Kanawha Rivers with instructions to meet Dunmore's forces at the mouth of the Kanawha. However, once there, he received instructions to cross the Ohio and engage the Shawnee. On Oct. 10 Chief Cornstalk surprised Lewis's army. The Battle of Point Pleasant lasted for a day. Although Lewis and his forces "won" the battle and drove the Indians back, the ratio of Virginians killed to Shawnee was 5 to 1 in favor of the Shawnee.

As a footnote: some historians consider Dunmore's War the first war of the Revolution. Some accounts (and those of Lewis's ancestors) claim that Dunmore was two-faced. The governor was suspicious of colonist animosity with the British. In lieu of this, he may have tried building a coalition with Cornstalk in talks before Lewis reached his own forces. Lewis's presumed defeat would then squash the forces of the recalcitrant western Virginians.

--for a more detailed reading, check out "Wikipedia's Dunmore's War". There are also a number of books written on the subject.

Our ancestors who fought in this battle:

Francis, Thomas and and John Farley:

The Farley brothers spent several weeks constructing Fort Randolph (Point Pleasant) and assisted in getting the sick and wounded back to their homes on the Greenbrier and New Rivers. Thomas is buried near Sugar Run at Walker Creek in Giles Co., VA. Francis died at Shawnee Town, Illinois in 1829 at the age of 103.
Francis was in Michael Woods' Company during the Battle of Point Pleasant. He was also in Henderson's Company in 1782, and was one of Caperton's Rangers on the Greenbrier and Kanawha rivers.

Samuel and George Pack: See my Blog update posted 10/1/2011 for documentation!

Note: From a letter written by Michael Woods to Col. William Preston, dated May 29, 1774. He writes: "there are a few men who live in a string [stream] on the other side of the river that will be forever unconvenient to any other place to muster at, for they would not have above seven or eight miles to a muster here; and if they must go elsewhere they most of them must go 15 or 20 miles to muster (this list includes Samuel Pack and his brother George)"

James Ellison, Sr.:
1775 Compensation List for Dunmore's War...See my Blog update 10/1/2011

John Swope (possibly an ancestor/distant relation to Michael Swope) also served.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Great Resources for Research

The following are excellent resources for anyone interested in Summers County history and/or conducting research on their family from the general area:

-Summers County History, 1984 by the Summers County Genealogical Society.
(a copy is on file with Concord University. There may also be a copy at the Summers
County Library).

This book is very informative and includes compiled information and photos from a number of other sources.

-Historical Genealogy of the Basham, Ellison, Hatcher, Lilly, Meadow, Pack, Walker and Other Families, by Charles Silas Hatcher, 1908, unpublished.
(a copy is on file at both Summers Co. and Raleigh Co. libraries).

Hatcher's book is probably the most unbiased written account of the history of these families.
It is not error free. For instance: Hatcher claims that First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes was related to the Packs and other families. I traced her genealogy and did not come up with that conclusion. She was a Cook on her mother's side and her family originated out of Kentucky. She was a very popular first lady which might account for all the fuss.

-History of Summers County, James H. Miller, 1908.
For all its inaccuracies, hyperbole, and political gamesmanship, the book is an interesting read. If you find information about your own family here, double check the information!

-Lilly Family History 1566-1997.
(most are in private ownership- check with a member of the current Lilly Reunion Board)

The Lilly family did a first class job researching their family and descendants. It is an intelligent and carefully researched book. It includes information on cemeteries and anecdotes about various Lillys throughout history. It also contains excerpts from Hatcher's book, maps of the village of Lilly, and lots of photos.

-Cemetery Records of Summers County/Cemetery Records of Monroe
(Monroe County cemetery record can be found at the Raleigh County and Monroe
County Libraries)

Of course, I only researched specific people from my own tree and where they are buried.
Be very patient if you go in search of a cemetery/tomb. Roads change over time, and cemeteries can fall into disrepair. I discovered a few cemeteries of my ancestors had been plowed over by private owners. Do not get frustrated: people just assume that if a cemetery hasn't been visited in decades that no one then cares. Many cemeteries were (and continue to be) on private farms throughout Summers (and what was once Mercer/Monroe).

I should add that the books sometimes assume someone is buried in a specific location. They also recorded burial plots via word of mouth. You will then go to the cemetery and discover tombs that are unmarked or don't exist.

WV Archive Online

This is a great resource for marriage/birth/death records.


Ancestry is a fee based site. It contains U.S. Federal Censuses, family trees, newspaper articles, etc. It is a great source.

As always, with any kind of research, keep an OPEN MIND. Just because someone in your family tells you a story/juicy tale, does not mean that it is a fact.

My family has insisted for years that because one of our ancestors was a Bouvier that we are related to Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onasis. I did the research and found that we are not directly related to her. Also, my grandmother insisted that our Lilly ancestors were French and, therefore, separate from the other Lillys of Summers County- which proved to be false. Just
because your grandmother said so, doesn't mean it is so!

On the other hand, don't be afraid to ask elders in your family. Hopefully they will be helpful.
Some people in my family were unwilling to view or make copies of photos. I even offered to pay for copies or to make scans. Some people are just plain quirky and selfish. If your family is strange like this, search out other avenues to find photos. Check newspaper articles, contact genealogy societies and local historians- they can sometimes be very helpful.

Local historians can be very helpful but keep in mind that a true, professional historian will share sources- you might have something he/she can use and vice versa. I spoke with a local "historian" via phone once. He was reticent about sharing information. It was pretty clear this guy was selfish and untrained. My advice to you when you run up against these people: thank them for their time and move along.

Lastly, do not get frustrated about this or that sordid tale about your family. My own family has a few. It's called human nature: people make mistakes, sometimes sleep around, get embroiled in lawsuits, and tell tall tales. They were human. And, as the poet Alexander Pope said: "To ere is human".

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Homecoming Is Held at New Streeter Church"

The following is taken from Beckley Post Herald (Greenbrier Valley News Section), 1950
By Teva Meadows:

"Following Sunday school and church services conducted by the pastor, Rev.
W. E. Harvey, of Maxwell Hill, an all-day service during which a basket lunch
was enjoyed, was held at the newly constructed church at Streeter last Sunday.
The Church has been named the Rhoda Ann Memorial Missionary Baptist church,
and the all day meeting was the first homecoming to be held there.

The Rev. Mr. Harvey related that he first came to Streeter to hold services on
July 4, 1949 and when he arrived there only one man was waiting to hear him.
Within the next thirty minutes a crowd of about 50 persons had gathered.
It was then that he first felt the need of a church in that vicinity. For many years
previous the people in the neighborhood had been having services in a one room

Following the services, during which Rev. Harvey felt the need for a church,
the patrons of the community set about planning the church.

The new church is located on a lot where the old grist or water mill stood and which
was owned by the late Samuel Pack. Mr. Pack died in 1893 and for the next
47 years his widow, Rhoda Ann, lived on the property and was a faithful member
where services were held in the schoolhouse. The new church was named
for her.

During the past half century when the little school also served as a church, there
have been several pastors. The first was Jerry L. Meador, who served for a number
of years. The first clerk of the church was Micheal Adkins, an 84-year-old member
who is living still. Bum Pack, a retired school teacher, who taught in the little
school for several years, recalled vividly the baptismal service in 1906 when he himself
was baptized.

The Rev. Christopher Pack, now of Rainelle, and who is now 84-years old, was
the next pastor of the church. He was born and reared close to the location
of the church and served in the capacity of pastor several years.

The Rev. Richard Lilly, of Sand Knob, was the next pastor, he was replaced by
the present pastor, Rev. Harvey. The superintendent of the Sunday School is
Mason Lilly, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Jackson Lilly, lifelong residents of community.

The Sunday school was organized in January of this year.

During the Sunday afternoon service special music was furnished by different
church groups and guest speakers were also present. Those who spoke
or sang during the afternoon included: Rev. Homer Lilly, of Rock Castle
association; Rev. Malcolm Lilly, of Dunne and the Dunne Choir; Rev. Christopher
Pack of Rainelle: music by the White Twins, Orville and Norville of Nimitz."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sarah Swope 1787-1862

I would like to thank Howard Vest for all his help the other day!

To my family: Sarah "Sally" Swope married Joshua Harvey. She is mother to Elizabeth Bell Harvey who married John Pack, grandmother to Mary Jane Pack who married Alexander Basham, and great grandmother to John Wesley Basham.

Cemetery is located off Rte. 19 beyond Ghent. Once the road becomes parallel with I77 you will see an unmarked, steep dirt road to your right.

"In Memory of Sally Harvey who died Feb. 21, 1862 and was born 1787"

Cemeteries, Part Three (Ellison Ridge Continued)

Cemeteries on Hatcher's Bench Rd. (16/2), Wallis Property sites
The following information may be helpful to anyone researching their family genealogy from Summers Co. I did not notate all the tombs. I may do that later.

Hatcher's Bench Road (located on hill above white building):
Toye Richmond 1916-1993
Zella Houchins 1896
J. Willis Lilly
Randy Yancey 1960-93
Samuel Bragg 1890-80
Carlos Ray Basham
Albert Preston Basham (son of Aiden Basham)
Cora Cook Basham
Carl Dean Basham
Boyd Cook 1924-1973
Joe Cook
Floyd Cook
Dot and Don Frye
Meadows 1876-1987
Children of John A. Lilly (James Lilly)

Wallis Property (1): Go about a mile up the mountain on Hatchers Bench, pass the Wallis home. Once you pass the grain silo, you will see a gentle hill to your left. There is an untended cemetery about 500 ft from the road:

Joseph Lilly 1888-1951
John F Lilly 1849-1935
Virginia Lilly 1850-1919
George Johnston 1874-1905
Jeanette and James Johnston

Wallis Property (2): Continue out the dirt road, passing through several gates. You come to an open field. To the right you will see a small cluster of trees in the middle of the hay field under an old locus and wild cherry:

Virginia Harvey (wife of D.H. Harvey) 1889-1904
Jonathan Harvey 1841-1914 (a grandson of Joshua Harvey)
J. Calvin Harvey 1818-1914 (a brother to Elizabeth Bell Harvey)
Nannie Ann Lilly 1876-1953
Mildred Lilly
William Stonewall Jackson Lilly
Mason Lilly is probably buried here however at the time the weeds made it difficult to identify all.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Indian Trails

The following is taken from Charles Silas Hatcher's "Historic Genealogy...":

The Bluestone and Paint Creek Indian Trail

The Indian trail crossed Ellison Ridge (just south of Streeter) through the farms later owned by J.J. Bragg, Lacey Wills, John E.C.L. Hatcher, Reverend Allen McKinney, Posey Wood, Dr. Ballard C. Mann, and Luther W. Okes. This trail is mentioned in some of the early deeds of Ellison Ridge recorded in Giles County, Virginia (Summers Co. was once a part of Giles County VA).

This trail passed down the New River via the mouth of Indian Creek and then along the west side of New River to the mouth of Big Bluestone River. Here the trail left New River, going up Big Bluestone to the mouth of Little Bluestone River, up little Bluestone to the mouth of Suck Creek, up Suck Creek and thence across Ellison Ridge and the Flat Top Mountains. It went on through the site of present city of Beckley on to the head of Paint Creek and down the Paint to the Kanawha River.

Two other trails came into the main route on top of Ellison Ridge. One came from New River over the Tallery Mountain, crossing Big Bluestone River and going up Ellison Ridge to the main trail. The other trail crossed Little Bluestone River near the Fall Rock and went up the ridge by way of Panther Knob to join the main trail.

Friday, June 25, 2010

John "Snakebite" Lilly's Home

John "Snakebite" Lilly's home, built about 1835, is being restored. John Lilly, along with his family, owned thousands of acres in and around the Ellison Ridge area. His home was, many years later, converted into a barn.

Today I met the new owners: Tinker Kales and his wife Carol. They are painstakingly restoring the home to its original condition. It is amazing what they are doing- without any help!

Carol (pictured with me), the wife, I am distantly related to. She is also a Great Great Great Grandchild to John.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ellison Ridge and James Ellison (also see my later posts)

The following is taken from notes by Charles Hatcher (Ellison Ridge borders Streeter area to the south):

"James Ellison and Matthew Farley were cribbing corn on Crump's Bottom, October 19, 1780, when they were attacked by seven Shawnee Indians. Farley swam across New River and escaped, but Ellison was wounded so badly in the shoulder that he was unable to swim. He did, however, run up the stream, but was captured later within a mile of Fort Field. His captors carried him about 15 miles up the Bluestone and Paint Creek Indian Trail which ran along a spur of Flat Top Mountains. It was this spur that was afterwards known as Ellison Ridge. The Indians arrived on the ridge with their prisoner just after dark. They camped on the east sid e of the ridge, across from the present forks where one road leads to Streeter and the other to Flat Top, both in West Virginia. The site of the camp is on the land formerly owned by John E.C.L. Hatcher, the father of this compiler. The Indians bound Ellison's hands and feet, then removed his moccasins for purposes of torture. He finally worked the thong loose from around his ankles and escaped later in the night with his hands still bound behind him. He hid among some cliffs about 500 feet away.

The Indians searched the cliffs and surroundings, but over looked one small space, where Ellison was hiding under the side of a cliff. They passed on, still continuing their search. On a sharp stone Ellison sawed the thong loose from around his hands and returned to Farley's Fort on Crump's Bottom.

[He] revisited the place where he escaped from the Indians several times during the lifetime of William (Dr. Bill) and Frances Lilly, the grandparents of this compiler. The place where Ellison escaped from the Indians in 1780 was on the land later owned by Dr. Bill Lilly and John E.C.L. Hatcher."

Ellison Ridge was used by many Indian tribes for hunting purposes. The ridge was named in honor of James. It remained untamed until 1833 when Robert Lilly, John Lilly (a direct ancestor to my family via Lillie Basham's mother Ida Jane Lilly. He is a great grandfather to Lillie) , Josiah Lilly, and Jonathan Lilly purchased from Alfred Beckley 3000 acres of land, known as Lilly's Panther Knob Survey.

Note: James Ellison's descendant Mary Eleanor Ellison is an ancestor to my family (Basham side). Also, Nancy, a descendant, married a Halstead. Genealogists are not able to verify due to lack of sources, but they believe that Nancy probably married a grandson of James Halstead (forefather to my cousins who descend from Ed Halstead)

Sources: Dee Wheaton, "James Halstead: Pioneer of Indian Creek";
Charles Hatcher, "Historical Genealogy of the Basham, Ellison, Hatcher, Lilly, Meadows, Pack, Walker, and other Families"

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cemeteries, Part Two (John R. Pack/ William Vest)

The John R. Pack/ William Vest Cemetery is located on Melvin Underwood Rd. Off Streeter Road. It is easily accessible.

There are a number of Bashams, Harveys, Vests, Wills, Packs, and Pettrys buried there. John R. Pack, forefather to many Packs living in Summers Co. is interred beside both his wives- Elizabeth Dell Harvey and Elizabeth Rollyson.

Lucy Pack Wills Basham is buried here along with Children from both her marriages. She was interred along side her first husband.

Supposedly Mary Jane Pack (wife to Alexander Basham and Wilson Harvey) is buried there, but I could not identify her tombstone. There are a few illegible ones.

It is a very peaceful cemetery with a bench or two to sit down on.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cemeteries, Part One

Cemeteries. There are many in the Jumping Branch/Streeter/Nimitz area. Basically, where there was ever a farm there was a cemetery. For instance, there are roughly 10+ cemeteries along Ellison Ridge Road... and counting!

In the ensuing posts I am going to feature info I have gathered regarding cemeteries. There are some points to consider. First, some burial plots were moved by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers during the construction of Blue Stone Dam in the 1940's. The USACOE was meticulous; however, they could not read some tombstones. When visiting the major cemeteries I came across many of their little green markers with no names. Where people speculate that our ancestors are interred I will make an indication.

As a starting point, I'll address the cemeteries on Panther Knob (near Streeter). There are two (that I know of). One contains the remains of Pearl and Ruby Pack (it's often referred to as the Pack cemetery on Panther's knob). Pearl and Ruby were parents of Jack and Jim Pack (cousins to my family through Mary Jane Pack, mother to John Wesley Basham). It is located roughly 4-5 miles along Streeter Road on Panther Knob in a field south of the road.

The other site (tombs pictured) is the Basham plot. This contains the remains of William Blane Basham (note to my family: William Blane was a cousin to John Wesley Basham- John's father Alexander and William's mother Rhoda were brother and sister). Some of the headstones are not legible, or barely legible.

The following are buried there (according to online sources):

William Blane Basham (1828-1914)
his son, Isaac Edmond Basham (1869-1912)
sister: Malinda Pack, who married Vandalia Harvey (b: 1836)
Annie Belle Basham, I believe a child of Malinda's (1894-1915)
Ada Pearl Hylton, a grand daughter of William Blane (b: 1902)
sister: Rebecca Ferguson (born 1844)

Some graves are legible at this point, and some remain unknown for now.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

White Oak School Is Where?!

I had a very interesting conversation with my uncle Jimmy Halstead this week.
He told me that the White Oak School (pictured a few posts below) was indeed the school John Wesley Basham taught in. Many years later Finley Basham (John Wesley Basham's son by 2nd wife Lucy Pack) told his wife he was taught in the school house and had a sentimental attachment to it.

According to Jim, Finley's wife had the school removed and transported to behind their home!

More Clues About Origin of Streeter Name

I have been out of commission due to computer problems. All is well now and I have lots more to share...

I spoke with Jack Pack a few weeks ago and I asked him how Streeter was named. According to Jack, Streeter was originally named after Vandalia Harvey (as I reported in an earlier post). Later the village was named after a man with the last name Streeter from New York someone knew. He said he did not know who this man was.

This certainly helps me out and when I uncover more information I will pass it along.

As soon as I get my scanner properly installed on my new computer I will upload some more photos.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Streeter Sold for One Dollar

Alfred Beckley, the founder of the city of Beckley, sold many acres of his 170,000 acres in the 1830's and 40's. Samuel Pack was one of many buyers.

Samuel Pack, "living under the White Oak Mountain" as Beckley describes in his notes, caused a stir among members of Beckley's family. In 1833, William and Samuel Pack bought a total of 1,800 acres from Beckley. But this wasn't the end of the story. In 1840 there was a compromise in a District Court lawsuit (Beckley vs. Pack) in which Beckley sold to Samuel 185 acres including Pack's Mill for $1.00.

I am curious about this because local historians have written that Pack's Mill was built in 1845.
If the details of this suit are correct, then there must have been a mill in existence before the Pack acquisition.

Either way, it is an interesting piece of history that the area of Streeter was bought for a buck.

Source: History of Raleigh County, by Jim Wood, 1994.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

John Lilly, Important Ancestor To Many

" I took possession of a double log cabin built for me in the fall of 1835, by Mr. John Lilly, Sr., of Blue Stone, and I changed the name of my residence from 'Park Place,' a name given it by my kinsman, Clarkson Prince -- to that of 'Wildwood."-- Gen. Alfred Beckley (father of Beckley WV).

John Lilly (1794-abt 1860) lived near the Jumping Branch/Streeter area. At the time Lilly built the house for Alfred Beckley there were only 4-5 families between the Bluestone and the Beckley area. In fact, Beckley notes this in his own writings.

My own relatives should note that John Lilly was one of our ancestors. He was the grandfather to Ida Jane Lilly (first wife of John Wesley Basham).

As for Beckley, he owned roughly 170,000 acres in Southern WV- what is called the Moore-Beckley patent. Many of our ancestors bought property from him, including Samuel Pack who bought the Streeter area (more details pertaining to this later).

Source: History of Raleigh County, Jim Wood, 1994.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

John Basham: Postmaster, Shop Owner, and Teacher

John Basham (pictured on the right) was born in Summers County. I was told he attended Concord College (I am still trying to authenticate this). He was a teacher as well as a farmer. His first marriage was to Ida Jane Lilly (or 'Violet'). They were distantly related (both shared Robert Lilly and Mary Francis Moody as Great Great Grandparents). His second marriage was to Lucy Pack Wills (they were both widowers). Lucy and John were first cousins (John Pack who built Pack's Mill was a grandfather to both). As a brief anecdote, I spoke with Macy (Pack) Basham "Aunt Macy" (married to John's son Guy) in 2010 (she is now 98 years old). According to her, John "Grandpaw Basham" was a "good man...he loved to read and farm. If there wasn't sweet milk or cream to use for his meal he would use buttermilk- he never complained or asked specifically what he wanted to eat". He taught school in a one room school house on White Oak Mountain. He was also a farmer and a postmaster of Streeter, WV. When he was a baby(according to Macy) his mother would take him with her to the spring (creek) to fetch water. On one trip they were chased by a panther. His father, Alexander, died in the Civil War in Richmond when John was a baby. Years later, he and his son Ray traveled to Richmond but they could not find the tomb. John inherited the land on White Oak Mountain from his father Alexander Basham who acquired much of the land from his father-in-law John Pack.

The general store and post office were originally owned and operated by Lucy. After her marriage to John they shared the responsibility. Then about 1923 he inherited these businesses after her death (most of his income came from this). John died in 1941 and was buried at the Basham Cemetery (along with his 1st wife). Lucy is buried with her first husband (along with several children from both marriages) at the Pack/Harvey cemetery on Streeter Road.
*Right click on photo for better view.
Sources: Macy Basham, Wayne Harvey of Hinton, and Jack Pack of Streeter.

Monday, May 10, 2010

John Pack, Wealthy Land Owner

John Pack was born around 1809 and died in 1890. He is responsible for building "Pack's Mill" which served Streeter and the area for nearly a hundred years.

John Pack, along with Michael Harvey, owned much of the land in and around Streeter and White Oak Mountain in the mid 1800s. Many Bashams, Estridges, Harveys, Lillys, Halsteads (descendants of Ed Halstead) and Packs of Summers County can trace their roots to one of these two men or their brothers/sisters.

John married Elizabeth Dell Harvey and settled in Streeter. He had five sons and three daughters: Preston, John Jr., James, William, Samuel, Nancy, Rachel and Jane*.

Later they moved to Raleigh County where he was a successful farmer and cattleman. After Elizabeth died he married Betsy Rollyson. They were the parents of two sons and 1 daughter: Albert, Tom and Haley.--(History of Summers County, 1984 by the Summers County Historical Society, Concord University Historical Archives).

He is buried at the Pack Cemetery on Streeter Road. Descendants of John Wesley Basham should note that his second wife Lucy Pack Wills along with many of their children are buried here as well.

* Online sources show John Pack descended from Matthew Pack (son of Samuel Pack). I am unsure if a generation was omitted accidentally by Summers County history writers or if John descended directly from Samuel). Also, I am pretty sure his daughter 'Jane' was 'Mary Jane Pack' who married Alexander Basham (parents of John Wesley Basham).

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jack Pack

The other day I was driving down Streeter Road and saw an older fella sitting alone on his porch. I was out doing some research- looking for our ancestor's grave sites, etc.- so I decided to stop my car and ask him some questions.

Turns out his name is Jack Pack and he is a descendant of John Pack (the man who built "Pack's Mill" in 1845). Jack is a little hard of hearing; nonetheless, he is a nice man and is a wealth of information about Streeter and the genealogies of the Pack, Basham, and Halstead families.

He knew Ed and Lilly (Basham) Halstead*. Ed and Lilly owned a small piece of land at Streeter and were well known in this part of the county.

Jack served in WWII in Japan under General Douglas MacArthur. He is 84 years old.

*Lilly Basham Halstead was the daughter of John Wesley Basham who operated the general store at Streeter.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Little Blue Stone River

The Little Blue Stone (variant spelling: Bluestone) River (which runs through Streeter) is one of two tributaries of the Blue Stone River (the other is Blacklick Creek). It is one of many creeks and rivers that make up the watershed of the Mississippi River.

It is formed by the confluence of the White Oak Branch and Jumping Branch.
Facts from the U.S. Geological Survey:
Classed: Stream
Elevation: 1,447 ft

(note: Streeter's elevation is 1,982 ft)

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey online, and Wikipedia

The Bluestone has been compromised by PCB contamination left over from former coal mining (Virginia does not recommend eating carp from Bluefield, Va). Also, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality does not recommend any contact recreation in the Bluestone due to high levels of fecal coliform bacteria (WVa. Dept. of Health and Human Services has also issued recent 2010 health advisories related to fishing the Bluestone):

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rhoda Anne Pack and the Rhoda Anne Memorial Church

Rhoda Anne Cooper, born 1851, was the daughter of Alexander and Mary Anne Farmer Cooper. She married Samuel Pack (owner of Pack's Mill at Streeter) and they lived in the Streeter area. The following is taken from History of Summers County (published by the Summers County Historical Society): "Samuel and Rhoda Anne Pack were known by word and deed as true and loyal Christians. The church at Streeter was named in honor of Rhoda Anne Pack. Samuel Pack was a loyal and patriotic citizen and a member of the Primitive Baptist Church. His death on July 12, 1895 was considered a great loss to the community. Rhoda Anne died April 11, 1937 at the age of 86. They were the parents of 11 children: Lucy married John L. Wills and J. Wesley Basham*, George W. Married Louie Vest, Andrew married Cleopatra Harvey, William married Lucinda Johnson, Alfred Married Virginia West and Mary Cooper, Laura married John Lilly, Amanda married Grover Adkins, Jebediah Preston never married, Samuel married Elizabeth Dunbar, Cecil married Willie Harvey, and Effie Fay never married."
*Samuel Pack was father to Lucy and uncle to her second husband J. Wesley Basham (both were grandchildren of John Pack).
--(note: although the photo is titled 'Samuel and Rhoda Ann' in the book, I am pretty sure this was not her husband Samuel. He died around the age of 50 and the fashions they are wearing are not 1890's fashion- the era he died).

Dates for the founding of Streeter

Streeter was established originally as "Vandalia", Sept. 3, 1885. The name was changed to Streeter Oct. 2, 1888. I am not sure of the significance of either name yet. Vandalia after Vandalia Harvey (one of the postmasters in the village)? Streeter???... to be continued.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Old Water Mill at Streeter

The Mill was built by John Pack around 1845. After his death in 1890, it passed down to his son Samuel, then to his grandson William Alexander Pack. The mill ceased operation in 1935.

Born in 1809, John R. Pack owned approximately 40,000 acres of land in Summers County. Many of his descendants inherited his land in and around Streeter (John Wesley Basham, his grandson, inherited property on White Oak Mountain from him).

--Sources: photo via "Summers County In Vintage Postcards", copyright 2005; Interiew with Jack Pack, May 2010.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mary Draper Ingles and Indian abductors cross area

The Streeter/Ellison Ridge area was crossed by Mary Draper Ingles and her Shawnee Indian abductors on their way to an Ohio Indian camp from the Draper Meadows Settlement in Va. 1755. They followed an old Indian trail that came up the Bluestone River to where the Suck Creek empties into it, then they followed Suck Creek to Paint Creek: "From the mouth of Indian creek the Draper's Meadows party came down the river, on the west side, to the mouth of Bluestone river, when they left New river, going up Bluestone a short distance, thence crossing over Flat Top Mountain, and probably following very much the route of the present Giles, Raleigh and Fayette turnpike, to about the head of Paint creek, thence down it to the Kanawha river"---Sources:WV Archive Online (Charleston Daily Mail 1937); Douglas Wayne Harvey of Hinton (descendant of Stella Wills)

Streeter circa 1900

Streeter in the early 1900's was very different from what it looks like today. There was a saw mill*, and general store/ post office (operated by John Wesley Basham and wife Lucy). The Rhoda Ann Memorial Missionary Baptist Church was built in the mid 1900's in honor of Rhoda Ann Elizabeth Cooper Pack (an aunt to John Basham). The deed to the church was owned by many Packs and Harveys.

A narrow grade train track once reached into Streeter for hauling timber. The track was financed by Princeton Bank & Trust. The track was later washed out by a flood.

Guy Basham worked in the mill (bloggers great uncle). According to Macy Pack Basham (his wife), Guy would make a gong of sorts out of a saw blade and bang it during wedding processions.

A school house (pictured above) once rested near the land now occupied by the church (via WV archives online).

*Some sources say it was a flour mill.