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Elk River Settlers

Elk river settlers, in the order in which they settled prior to 1820:

Beginning on the north side, there was Henry Newhouse, on Newhouse Branch, who came about 1801; next above, was Edward Burgess, about the Connor place, William and John Atkinson, about the Jarvis place; James Reveal, a boat builder, came in 1815 and Ephraim Foster.

Then came Leonard and George Cooper, who settled on Cooper's creek: they sold out to Mike Newhouse. Michael Newhouse, John Porter of Porter's island. Nathan Porter, above Cooper's creek. Then cam Jon Slack. Thomas Jopling was located in 1808 where afterwards Friend's salt-furnace was built in 1838. Joplin sold out to henry and moved to the Kanawha river, where the Blaine farm is. Ralph Joplin was a Revolutionary soldier.

Next above came Andrew and Doss Atkinson; Jacob Garrett came next at Little Sandy. Garrets Fort in Greenbrier, was built by Jacob Garrett and he is supposed to have been the same man. Martin Hammock came in 1808, and settled near Little Sandy. James Summers came and settled next above and John, son of Martin Hammock. William Givens came in 1815, he was the father of Adam Givens. Abraham Garrett, came next above and then George Rucker, who resided opposite the mouth of Blue creek; Benjamin Slack. at mouth of Slack's Branch, at foot of Young's shoal. John Young, the old Indian fighter, who helped to save the boy on White Man's Fork, Aaron's Fork, settled at Young's Shoals and afterwards went to the mouth of Coal river.

John D. Young, son of John Young, came nest. Ed Price came next above. Samuel James was at Jordan's creek. Arch Price, above Jordan's creek, and opposite Falling Rock was William Cobb, and then another John Young and William Hays. In 1808 came Do. Cobbs and settled at the mouth of Big Sandy. He was the first doctor in Kanawha and and he had an extensive practice and was prominent and of decided character.

We will come back to the mouth of Elk, above the town and there was Capt. Genat, at the mouth of Two Mile creek and there was a salt furnace on Two Mile creek. Joseph C. Young, a saltmaker came from Kentucky. William Young settled on the hill. Aaron Crank settled in same vicinity. John Buster owned the Barlow farm. Andrew Atkinson had a boat-yard at the mouth of Mill creek. William Griffith lived at the mouth of Mill Creek; an old settler. Then came John Slack, the father of Greenbury, John and Benjamin and Mrs. Chas. Bryant and Mrs. High. William Porter opposite Cooper's creek. John Phillips, the boat builder. Nathan Porter, about the Graham mines. Samuel Henry came next; he purchased Blaine's Island for a bob-tailed mare and a spotted bull; he died on the Blaine farm. Sol Ratcliffe, was at Indian creek, as also was James Sewall, who sold to Wilson. Squire Garrett and Ownen Garrett were at Jarrett's Ford. Then came John Graham, who killed the last buffalo. Arch Price was at Blue Creek. Joseph Newhouse, at Walnut creek.. John Young was at the narrows. F. Rucker was at Falling Rock creek, he first discovered cannel coal and was a black smith. Hiram Samples, Lewis Young, son of John, Wilson Woods, Lewis Young and Edmund Price, all lived where Clendenin now is.

The land books in 1812 first gave any description of the land, and frequently was satisfied with saying "on Elk." These, with the description "on Elk," were Martin Hammock, Ralph Jopling, Ed Price, John Slack and others. Pat Murphy "at mouth of Strange creek." David Heaton, "above Birch." William Cobbs, "at Little Sandy." Geo Hancock, "adjoining Cooper's" etc.

"Strange is my name and I'm on a strange ground

And strange it is that I cannot be found."

This was found cut on a beech tree, on a creek of Elk, and the skeleton of a man and the rusty barrel of his gun near by; evidence he was lost. The tree and the creek are there and the creek is called "Strange Creek".

Adam O'Brian lived on Elk, he built his cabin in a secret-like, out - of- the-way place, to hide from the Indians, then blazed the trees so he could find it. he died in 1836, on Big Sandy,over one hundred years of hage. He said he liked to live on the frontier; that he could kill and Indian but he dared not kill a sheriff, or a justice. He liked it when there were no laws.; he could fight it out with varments and savages but no show with lawyers and sheriffs.

The following are early patents of Elk lands; In 1787, William Arbuckle, John Archer, Cooper and Morris. William Griffith, John Goodman William Royal. William Smuffler, Daniel Shedy. In 1788, John Osborne. In 1793, John McCae, David Robinson, Alex Stuart. In 1795, James Stroud, Jas. Givens. Elk did her duty in furnishing fighting men also.

Garrett Ford is twelve miles up Elk river and for a long while there could be seen around his house the old patriarch, Eli Jarrett, a good old man that everyone knew and all respected.

In 1780 some Indians came from Greenbrier with a lad as prisoner. They went up Elk; then Little Sandy and some men heard of it and the Indians were followed by John Young, Ben Morris, William Arbuckle and Robert Aaron. These men came up to the Indians and fired, and one Indian was killed and the other escaped and the boy was rescued. The dead Indian proved to be a white man, deguised, and the stream was ever afterward known as "White Man's Fork, of Aaron's Fork, of Little Sandy."

The most of the information concerning the Elk river settlers was furnished by John D. White, who knew almost everyone on Elk, in Kanawha County, and he had been learning about people for many years and never forgot anything. it was written down at his dictation and preserved and may be regarded as reliable as one's memory could be.