Biography of

Josiah Jonas Beard

 

Born 23 Dec 1792
Died 04 Jan 1878
Married (1) Sarah Lewis, 09 Oct 1810, b 1785 Greenbrier, WV
Married (2) Rachel Cameron Poage 06 Nov 1806, Pocahontas, WV; b 06 Nov 1806 Marlinton, Pocahontas, WV; d 21 Aug 1873, Beard's Mill, Pocahontas, WV

Josiah Jonas Beard operated the Beard's Mill near the mouth of Locust Creek, Beard WV (formerly 24921, no longer a post office) is named for Josiah Jonas Beard.

This painting unveiled at the courthouse at Marlinton November 14, 1962 by William Warwick Beard (grandson) and Mrs. Don (Wilma Beard) Harper of Elkins.

Children Born
William Thomas Beard 29 Jan 1826
Charles Woods Beard 07 Sep 1827
John George Beard 23 Oct 1829  
Samuel Jesse Beard 19 Dec 1831
Mary Agnes Beard 03 Oct 1834
James Henry Moffett Beard 23 Jan 1837
Wallace Warwick Beard 13 Dec 1838
Joel Early Matthews Beard 14 Dec 1840
Edwin Luther Beard 24 Dec 1842
Sabina Jannett Beard 08 Feb 1844
Mary Elizabeth Beard 15 Apr 1847
Left Beard's Mill and the Locust Creek Plantation to "James Henry Moffet Beard" for when he came of age...

 

LOCUST CREEK COVERED BRIDGE
Built in 1888 by R.N. Bruce this bridge is 113 feet in length and was built in accordance with the double Warren truss system, near the Josiah Beard Mill. Records indicate that a bridge was located on this site as early as 1822, but it is not known if it was covered. Locust Creek Bridge was completely restored in 2002.


To locate this bridge from Hillsboro, WV drive south on US 219 to Locust Creek Road 20. Turn left and drive 3.3 miles to a stop sign, turn right and the bridge is located approximately 150 feet ahead

The Locust Creek bridge is the only covered bridge left in Pocahontas County and has been serving the needs of the people of Pocahontas for over a hundred years.  It spans the Locust Creek and can be reached by turning off the east side of US Rt. 219 two miles south of Hillsboro on Locust Creek Rd. (20) and proceeding three miles to the junction with Rt. 31.  Locust Creek is a continuation of Hills Creek and Bruffeys Creeks which both sink beneath Droop Mountain on the opposite side.  They join underground, then resurge and submerge again before resurging at a spring on the east side of Droop Mountain as Locust Creek, flowing 3 1/2 miles with a fall of 135 ft. to the Greenbrier river.

After viewing the picturesque, well preserved bridge from the outside, in one of nature's most beautiful settings, a peak at the architecture of the interior is still more amazing.  The wooden two span structure is 130 ft. long and constructed of massive oak timbers.  Along each wall are ten double sets of "X" supports of huge timbers, joining joists of four massive side-by-side timers running the entire length on each side.  The roof rests on these. It's call Howe-type construction.

The bridge is a segment of the original road established by pioneers, linking Pocahontas and Greenbrier.  Court records show that on May 16, 1870, petition was made to locate a road at or near Josiah Beard mill on Locust Creek leading to Greenbrier County line at or near Charles Coller (?).  In 1879, George B. Cochran, a carpenter, was paid $20 for the Locust bridge.  in 1904, the bridge cover was in disrepair.  W.M.Irvine rebuilt the interior supports, trusses, sides, and roof of the bridge as it stands today.  He was assisted by his brother, Clem, and they stayed in the home of Mrs. Moffet Beard; W.M. Irvine married her daughter, Grace.

Before the coming of the railroad teamsters hauled their loads from Ronceverte and Lewisburg through Locust Creek bridge and farmers used it getting their milling done at the mill near the bridge on the downstream side.  As mentioned above, in 1870 it was listed as the Josiah Beard Mill.   The Locust Creek Plantation and Mill were given to him in the will of his father, John Beard, 1808.  Josiah Beard was the first clerk of Pocahontas county.  The mill operation passed along to his eldest son, Edwin Beard, later a Hillsboro merchant.  1897 the mill was bought by Patrick Mason Henry, who operated it three years; other operators were Mr. Dunlap, Vol Perkins McClure, Charles Donnelly, Henry Poage, Tate Hiner, Richard Snedgar, and the last operator, Sidney McCoy.  Around 1940 the mill was destroyed by fire.  It is said that during the war Federal soldiers set fire in the basement one night, but some local men hidden nearby extinguished the fire.

The Locust Creek Bridge was featured on the Pioneer Days Badge 1979.

The original mill site is located downstream (about 50 yards) from the bridge.

 

Remains of Josiah Jonas Mill, near the covered bridge,

picture taken April 17, 2007

Hillsboro 8 -- June 2006

 

Josiah Jonas Beard Home (circa 1890)

Currently hangs in home of William Sherman Beard who lives south of Hillsboro, WV

References

Josiah Jones Beard son of John Beard and Jennett Wallace, married Rachel Cameron Poage, daughter of Major William T. Poage and Mary Vance Warwick Gatewood.   He was the first clerk of Pocahontas County.
From "White Pole Meeting House, Hillsboro, WV", Property of the Pocahontas County Historical Society, by Frank A Johnson, Franklin WV; 1968

Ruling Elders of the "Brick" Presbyterian Church that gave permission for Methodist Services to be held in their church after the burning of the Mill Run church until the building of Wesley Chapel in 1853 were : George W. Poage, Samuel D. Poage, and Josiah Beard.  Although this brick Church was built in 1828 the Church was without any ruling elders so it had to be reorganized.  On August 28, 18?0 Rev. Samuel Graham re-instituted the Church and work started anew with twelve members as follows : George Poage, Josiah Beard, John Jordan, William Bradshaw, Samuel D. Poage, William E. Hill, Martha Poage, E. Poage, W. Poage, Nancy Cackley, Jane Bradshaw, and Mrs. McDonald.  The following were elected elders : Josiah Beard, John Jordan, George Poage, and Samuel D. Poage.   John Jordan is the man who with his wife gave the land for the Mill Run Church and was buried on the site of that Church.  His wife, the daughter of the pioneer John McNeel is buried by his side.  See photo.

Virginia School Commissioners - 1846

The Virginia School Commissioners were the antebellum equivalent of the modern school boards. This listing was abstracted from Document No. 4 of the Governor's Message and Annual Reports of the Public Officers of the State, and Boards of Directors, Visitors, Superintendents, and other Agents of Public Institutions or Interests of Virginia Printed under resolutions March 18, 1847, Samuel Shepherd, Public Printer, Richmond, 1847.

Pocahontas County:    Patrick Bruffey, Isaac Moore, Henry M. Moffett, Preston Moore, Josiah Beard, Thomas Hill

Newspaper article dated November 1962 from The Pocahontas Times;

Depicts the unveiling of the Josiah Beard painting hanging in the Marlinton, WV courthouse; dedicated by William Warwick Beard (grandson of Josiah Beard) and Mrs. Don (Wilma Beard) Harper of Elkins.

Among the very early pioneers of Greenbrier County was John Beard and his wife, Jennett WallaceJohn was a captain in the Revolutionary War and two of his sons served as officers in the War of 1812.  There were eleven children born to this union.  In John's will dated May 11, 1808 he left to his youngest son Josiah Beard the Locust Creek Plantation and Mills.  Josiah Beard was born in 1792, and when he became of age he located on the land left to him by his father.   He married Rachel Cameron Poage, and they, in turn were the parents of eleven children.  One of these children was Wallace Warwick Beard, the father of William Warwick Beard, who unveiled the portrait of his grandfather in the courthouse at Marlinton on November 14.  In March, 1821, the Virginia legislature passed a resolution to form a new county which was given the name of Pocahontas.  Josiah Beard was appointed as the first county clerk, with Thomas Beard, his brother, as one of the bondsmen.   The first court was held on March 5, 1822, at the residence of John Bradshaw in Huntersville, Virginia, now West Virginia.

Many years ago Mrs. Don (Wilma Beard) Harper, of Elkins, was asked if she had, or could locate, a picture of Josiah Beard to be used for the purpose it is being used.  About a year ago she obtained a daguerreotype of Josiah Beard from his grandson from which she had it copied and painted in oil by her husbands niece, Arlene Bailey Davis.  As her father, Josiah Osborne Beard, was a grand-nephew of Josiah Beard, the Clerk, and he was named for him, it was with pride and pleasure that she shred the honor seeing Josiah Beard's grandson, William Warwick Beard, unveil the painting, commemorating for Pocahontas County one of the historical events associated with the formation of the county.  Brown B. Beard, serving for a number of years as a member of this court, is also the son of Josiah Osborne Beard.  Both are direct descendents of Major Samuel Beard of Greenbrier County, mentioned above.

Locust Creek Covered Bridge

Early settlers traveling on the original road linking Pocahontas and Greenbrier counties faced streams that were difficult, if not impossible, to ford safely. Locust Creek was one of these streams. Compounding the deep water problem was the stream use as a mill pond for Josiah Beard’s grist mill.

The Pocahontas County Court contracted with R.N. Bruce in 1870 to build a covered bridge for $1,250. He was paid an additional $75 to build the abutments.

The most remote of all the state’s covered bridges, the 13.5-foot-wide, 113.75-foot-long Locust Creek Covered Bridge near Hillsboro was built using the Warren double-intersection truss.

The bridge was replaced around 1888. In disrepair, the bridge was rebuilt in 1904 by W.M. Irvine, who replaced the interior supports, trusses, sides and roof. In 1968, a new oak floor was installed and the bridge was repainted. In 1990, a bridge to carry traffic on County 31 was built adjacent to the covered bridge.

In 2002, a $406,936 contract for renovation of the Locust Creek Covered Bridge was awarded to Orders Construction Company, Inc. of St. Albans. The contract called for removing previously installed temporary supports and replacing any other materials necessary to restore it to a single-lane pedestrian structure.

In announcing the award, Governor Wise stated that, “This project, which uses special covered bridge funding provided in the TEA-21 federal highway program, is the thirteenth of 17 to preserve part of our historic heritage for future generations of West Virginians.”

If you’d like to see this beautiful covered bridge, here are the directions. From Interstate 64, take the Lewisburg Exit 169, then head north on US Rt. 219. Take County Route 31, 6.3 miles south of Hillsboro, near the entrance to Calvin Price State Forest. This road crosses Locust Creek.

Locust Creek Covered Bridge [1] [2] by Katherine M. Beard (ed. note.. wife of Kyle Nickell Beard)- (1979) Our 1979 Pioneer Days souvenir badge commemorates Locust Creek covered bridge, a a part of our Pocahontas County heritage which has been serving the needs of the people for over one hundred years.  Many times the question arises, "Why a covered bridge?" The first bridges in America were simply round logs fastened together.  There were no side rails or walls.  The top of the boxing was covered with flat boards laid on the slant.  The direct of  the slant could be either toward the floor of the bridge or outward to shed water away from the bridge's floor.  After a time the bridges were partially covered particularly the portion that housed the toll house keeper's station.  Finally the entire structure was covered to protect the timbers from the weather.  This last statement is the answer to the question.  Flooring could be replaced more easily but protection of the supports and  trusses added many years to the life of the bridges.

Many other reasons from building bridges with covers have been given; to provide shelter in the time of rain storms, to give a young swain a quiet place to steal a kiss from his best girl, to keep horses from shying at the water through the flooring, to keep snow off the floor, etc.

Covered bridges found other uses than carrying traffic across the stream.  Circus posters could be nailed on the sides of  the bridge and in election years candidates for the various offices found their pictures glaring at them as the traveled through the countryside electioneering.

Locust Creek bridge spans Locust Creek in a nature setting.  It can be reached by turning off the east side of U. S. Route 219 two miles south of Hillsboro on Locust Creek Rd. [20] and proceeding three miles to its junction with Rt. 31. 

Locust Creek is a continuation of Hills Creek and Bruffey's Creek which both sink beneath Droop Mountain on the opposite side.  They join underground then resurge and submerge again before resurging at a spring on the east side of Droop Mountain as Locust Creek.  It flows 3 1/2 miles with a fall of 135 ft. to the Greenbrier River.

A springtime visitor might see blossoming service tress along with the chartreuse of other vegetation and possibly thrill to the high notes of a Louisiana water thrush as Locust Creek flows swiftly toward its rendezvous with the Greenbrier River.  Giant sycamores have been dominating the scene for many years.  Indigo Buntings, Vireos and Wood Pewees find the woods' edge to their liking.

After viewing the picturesque, well preserved bridge from the outside a peek at the architecture of the interior is still more amazing.  The wooden two span structure is one hundred thirty feet long and constructed of massive oak timbers.  Along each wall are ten double sets of "X" supports of huge timbers, joining joists of four massive side-by-side timbers running the entire length of the bridge on each side.  The roof rests on these.  A covered bridge buff might put it all together and call it Howe-type construction.

The bridge is a segment of the original road established by the pioneers linking Pocahontas and Greenbrier Counties.  Court Records [Book 7, page 200] show that on the 16th of May, 1870, petition was made to locate a road at or near Josiah Beard mill on Locust Creek leading to the Greenbrier County line at or near Charles Coller[?].

The first name we have record of in connection with the bridge is George B. Cochran.  In 1879 [Court Record] he was paid $20.00 for the Locust Creek Bridge.  Mr. Cochran is remembered to have been a carpenter.  He lived near the Greenbrier County line with property in both counties.  A grandson, Mr. J. K. Rock of Hillsboro has a square which was his grandfather's.

[2] In 1904, the bridge cover was in disrepair because of a decaying roof.  Mr.. W. M. Irvine who had come to Pocahontas County from Staunton, Virginia, rebuilt the interior supports, trusses, sides and roof of the bridge as it stands today.  he was assisted by his brother Clem.  The Irvines stayed in the home of Mrs. Moffet Beard [now the home of Mr. and Mrs. K. N. Beard] while working on the bridge.  In 1907 Mr. W. M. Irvine married a daughter of the home, Miss Grace Beard.  He operated a builder's supply warehouse at Seebert [later moved to Huntington] and was a maker of fine furniture.  They had two daughters, Mrs. Floyd [Rachel] Taylor of Huntington and Mrs. Bernie [Virginia "Jack"] Dunkle, deceased.

For many years before the coming of the railroad to Pocahontas County teamsters hauled their loads from Ronceverte and Lewisburg through Locust creek bridge.  It was very essential for farmers getting their milling done as the mill which was in a stone's throw of the bridge was on the down stream side.

As the mill and the bridge were so closely linked, it might be well to give some history of the mill.  As mentioned previously it was listed in 1870 as the Josiah Beard Mill. Mr. Beard, the youngest son of John Beard, the pioneer, had come from Renick's Valley in Greenbrier County and settled on lands  at Locust Creek.  The Locust Creek Plantation and Mills were given to him in his father's will of 1808.  At age 18 he was a ruling elder in the Falling Spring Presbyterian Church and was the first clerk of Pocahontas County.  He served in that capacity during the formative period in the County's history.  Mr. Beard was an expert hunter.

He seemed to have his own ideas on how to promote the best interests of the county and would sometimes carry them out.  While residing at Locust Creek he set out one morning to attend court.  on the way near his home he discovered fresh wolf signs.  He hastened back, got his gun, and called up the dogs and sent Aaron, a  colored servant, who was also a skilled hunter and a dead shot, to beat the laurel brake and drive out the solves.  Quite a number were killed and the pack retreated from the neighborhood so far back into the mountains as to give no further trouble.

In the meantime court met and adjourned owning to the absence of the clerk.  That official however was present next morning and explained the reasons of his absence, believing it would do the people more good to have the wolves killed and scattered than to hold court that day.  Court could meet most any time, but it was not every day that such a good chance to kill wolves could be had.

Apparently the mill operation was passed along to the youngest son, Mr. Edwin Beard, later a Hillsboro merchant.

Around 1897, the mill property was bought by Mr. Patrick Mason Henry who operated the mill about three years.  Mr. Henry was hurt in a log jam on a sluice on a Williams River log job in the fall of 1901 and subsequently died in Johns Hopkins Hospital in the spring of 1902.

The next mill operator was a Mr. Dunlap and later operators listed here may not be listed in proper sequence : Mr. Val Perkins, Mr. McClure, Mr. Charles Donnelly, Mr. Henry Poague, Mr. Tate Hiner, Mr. Richard Snedegar  and the last operator, Mr. Sidney McCoy.  When Mr. Snedegar operated the mill he walked across Droop Mountain from his home at Jacox to attend mill operations.

Mr. McCoy installed a gasoline motor which he used in times the water was too low to turn the Mill wheel.  Around the 1940's the mill was destroyed by a fire of unknown origin.

The mill was used for many years as a polling place for Beard precinct which extended from the Jordan place [at Mill Run] to the Greenbrier County line, and took in the east side of Droop Mountain and across the Greenbrier River to Laurel Run.

Mrs. Sidney McCoy remembers having been told that during the war some Federal soldiers set fire in the basement of the mill one night, but some of the local men who were fearful this would happen were hidden nearby and were successful in extinguishing the fire.

Our Pocahontas County Department of Highways has been very instrumental in keeping proper maintenance of the Locust Creek bridge, reinforcing the footers with concrete, etc. as daily traffic and heavier vehicles take their toll. This relic of the past is in good condition in 1979.

Wills book 4, p137, Will of Beard, Josiah, 3 Jan 1878

(sons) William T., Charles W, John G. James, HM, Wallace W.,Edwin L (land already deeded to them)
(sons) Samuel L. $500
(daughter) Mary A. Clark, Sabina J. McNeel (bed + bedding), Margret E. Linesy, Jack Early * Died in Confederate Service. Books divides among all children. Probated 19 Feb 1878

WV Historical Encyclopedia

Beard 24921 Pocahontas County , named for Josiah Beard, who operated Beard's Mill near the mouth of Locust Creek.

http://members.aol.com/jeff560/places.html

(the town of Beard, WV, so named) for Josiah Beard, who immigrated from Scotland through Ireland to West Virginia, according to his great great granddaughter Alice Beard

From Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County, West Virginia, by William T. Price, Marlinton, WV.  Price Brothers Publishers, 1901.  Reprinted 1963 by McClain Printing Company, Parsons, W.Va.

In their pioneer home in Renick's Valley they reared a numerous family of sons and daughters, one of the sons being Josiah Beard, lately of Locust Creek.  This paper will be mainly for the illustration of his personnel and family history, as his name appears so prominently in our county history.  Mr. Beard was the first Clerk of the County after its organization and served in that capacity during the formative period of the county’s history.

His wife, Rachel Cameron Poage, was the eldest daughter of Major William Poage, of Marlins Bottom.  The names of their children are given in the paper relating to Jacob Warwick and his descendents.

He was an expert hunter, and found recreation hunting deer upon the hills and ridges that make up Huntersville scenery so picturesque.  He killed scores of fine deer during his residence at the court house, and rarely went beyond the immediate vicinity in quest of game, unless it would be occasional visits to Marlins Bottom for a chase.  It proved however that there were attractions to draw him there of a more pleasant and romantic nature.

He seemed to have his own ideas on how he could best promote the interests of the county and would sometimes carry them out.  When residing in Locust Creek he set out one morning to attend court.  On the way near his home he discovered fresh wolf signs.  He hastened back, got his gun and called up the dogs, and sent Aaron, a colored servant, who was also a skillful hunter and a dead shot, to beat the laurel break and drive out the wolves.  Quite a number were killed and the pack retreated from the neighborhood so far back into the mountains as to give no further trouble.

In the meantime, court met and adjourned owing to the absence of the clerk.  That official however was present the next morning and explained the reasons for his absence, believing it would do the people more good to have the wolves killed and scattered than to hold court that day.  Court could meet almost any time, but it was not every day that such a good chance to kill wolves could be had.

He was a stanch friend of education, and was one of the first trustees of the Pocahontas Academy at Hillsboro, and one of its most faithful patrons and wise counselors.  In business affairs he was successful, and in a quiet, judicious, industrious, manner acquired a very extensive landed estate; the larger proportion of which is yet to be the possession of his descendents.

His passion for hunting was strong to the last.  Every fall he would get restless, and nothing but a hunt would quiet him.  One of the last excursions to the mountains, though far advanced in age, he was the only one that killed a deer.  On his return he would chaff his younger associates by telling all he met on the way that the young men had taken him along to kill their meat for them.

He retained remarkable bodily vigor to the age of four score and over; mental faculties were unimpaired to the last.   Not many days before his final illness that closed his life, he felt it his duty to see the county surveyor on important business – as he believe it to be – and should be attended to without delay.   He went from his home on Locust Creek to Mr. Baxtor’s need Edray, about twenty miles distant, and returned – a cold, raw day it was too.  He overtaxed his endurance by the ride.  He soon became sick and peacefully passed from his long and useful life.

In his life was exemplified the highest type of citizen – a pious, intelligent cultivator of the soil – the occupation for which the Creator saw fit in his wisdom to create the first man.   It is the occupation now that feeds the world, and whatever hinders, depresses, or retards the farmer’s prosperity, threatens the worst evils that can befall our humanity.

From Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County, West Virginia, by William T. Price, Marlinton, WV Price Brothers Publishers, 1991.

Mrs. Poage's eldest daughter, Rachel Cameron, was married to Josiah Beard, of Locust.  At 18 years of age, Mr. Beard was a ruling elder in the Falling Spring Church of Greenbrier County, and was the first clerk of Pocahontas County.  During the Civil War when he was of 70 years of age, he was taken prisoner by Federal troops.  Something was said to rouse his ire, and he challenged the whole squad to single combat.

From Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County, West Virginia, by William T. Price, Marlinton, WV Price Brothers Publishers, 1991.

Josiah Beard was a person of fine mind, had a good education which he improved upon by reading and reflection.  Though gentle in his manners, he had a pronounced will of his own, being endowed with physical and moral courage to a large degree, a rare combination.  His practical wisdom and spotless integrity gave weight to his opinions.   The tenor of his life was peaceful, and his influence was for good morals and intelligent piety, and there is but one instance where his temper seems to have gotten the better of his discretion.   This was while a prisoner in the hands of federal soldiers towards the close of the war.  At time time referred to he was past seventy years of age.  The aged prisoner flared up, reminding his captors he was old and unarmed, but if they would put down their guns, ''pick out a dozen men, and come at him one at a time he would show them a thing or two".

From Pocahontas County History  http://www.polsci.wvu.edu/wv/Pocahontas/pochistory.html

The first meeting of the Pocahontas County court was held on March 5, 1822. at John Bradshaw's home near Huntersville. Mr. Bradshaw named the town in honor of the large number of hunters who came there during the trading season. John Jordan, William Poage, James Tallman, Robert Gay, John Baxter, George Burner, and Benjamin Tallman served as the county's first Justices of the Peace. John Jordan was named county sheriff, Josiah Beard was appointed county clerk, and Sampson L. Mathews was appointed county surveyor.

http://www.twrps.com/ancestry/augusta.htm

Robert Rhea:[William] Born in 1759 in north central Rockbridge Co, VA. At about age eight moved with family to now eastern Bath Co along Mill Creek (near Millboro). About 1781 married Martha Meek. His brother, James, married Martha's sister, Elizabeth. Both families located in then Greenbrier County. He got 102 acres by patent in 1781. Was taxed in 1782. Sold 102 acres to William Ewing on 3 Apr 1802, a witness being son, Robert Rhea, Jr. In 1791 purchased 193 acres at Little Levels, Greenbrier Valley, near the south border of now Pocahontas County. On 20 Apr 1798 he got 378 acres from David Boiler, father of his second wife, then sold to Morrison 25 Dec 1833. His home farm of 47 acres, surveyed in 1798, was close to the Greenbrier River just north of the Pocahontas County line. There are numerous other transactions, a record of which was supplied by Don Strong of Preston, ID. By 1834 the inventory of property at Robert's death included 575 acres of land, some perhaps being in Greenbrier County.

The land was left equally to sons, James, David and Alexander, subject to Catharine's life estate. In 1838 Catharine conveyed her life estate "in so much of the real estate as lies in Pocahontas County" to James and David, who in turn sold it for $2,000 to Josiah Beard. Other land was likely retained by Archibald, who continued to share a household with Catharine until between 1840 and 1850, as indicated by the censuses of Pocahontas Co.

About 1790 Martha Meek "went away" with John Ewing, according to a petition of 10 Sep 1793 by Robert to the General Assembly of Virginia for a divorce on grounds of desertion and adultery. A divorce was granted on 22 Nov 1796. In 1798 Robert married Catharine Boiler, a sister of Elizabeth who married Robert's son, William.

In his will dated 15 Oct 1834 Robert left Catharine a life estate in the land in addition to household property, some livestock and some farming equipment. She also got negros Lewis, Ben, Esther and George for her lifetime. At the sale of the land or the death or remarriage of Catharine the following bequeaths were to be made: William - $20; ch of Thomas - $100; Robert - $100; Martha - $150; ch of Samuel - $100; Hannah Callison - $150; Ann Hill -$150. James received some coopering tools; Archibald got a colt and a rifle; David was to get the surplus from livestock sold, net of debts. The land, when sold, was to be divided equally among James, David and Archibald. Catharine's will left each of her sons $1.00 with the rest going to the children of Hannah Callison and to Ann Hill, daughters.

The Pocahontas Times - Nov 1962

Among the very early pioneers of Greenbrier County was John Beard and his wife, Jennett Wallace.  John was a captain in the Revolutionary War and two of his sons served as officers in the War of 1812.  There were eleven children born to this union.  In John's will dated May 11, 1808 he left to his youngest son Josiah Beard the Locust Creek Plantation and Mills.  Josiah Beard was born in 1792, and when he became of age he located on the land left to him by his father.   He married Rachel Cameron Poage, and they, in turn were the parents of eleven children.  One of these children was Wallace Warwick Beard, the father of William Warwick Beard, who unveiled the portrait of his grandfather in the courthouse at Marlinton on November 14.  In March, 1821, the Virginia legislature passed a resolution to form a new county which was given the name of Pocahontas.  Josiah Beard was appointed as the first county clerk, with Thomas Beard, his brother, as one of the bondsmen.   The first court was held on March 5, 1822, at the residence of John Bradshaw in Huntersville, Virginia, now West Virginia.

Many years ago Mrs. Don (Wilma Beard) Harper, of Elkins, was asked if she had, or could locate, a picture of Josiah Beard to be used for the purpose it is being used.  About a year ago she obtained a daguerreotype of Josiah Beard from his grandson from which she had it copied and painted in oil by her husbands niece, Arlene Bailey Davis.  As her father, Josiah Osborne Beard, was a grand-nephew of Josiah Beard, the Clerk, and he was named for him, it was with pride and pleasure that she shred the honor seeing Josiah Beard's grandson, William Warwick Beard, unveil the painting, commemorating for Pocahontas County one of the historical events associated with the formation of the county.  Brown B. Beard, serving for a number of years as a member of this court, is also the son of Josiah Osborne Beard.  Both are direct descendents of Major Samuel Beard of Greenbrier County, mentioned above.

Chap 6 - Sec. 1 -1-

Minutes from the session of the Oak Grove Church.

June 23, 1836

Session of the Oak Grove Church met at the home of S.D. Poage, members present: George Poage, Josiah Beard, S.D. Poage. The case of Sampson L. Mathews was considered of an affray with John Graham of Huntersville, whereupon said Sampson L. Mathews was notified to appear before the Session of Oak Grove Church, at said church on July 5, at 11 o'clock and citation of the following witnesses were also issued via: Doct. McClellan, William Duncan, and Moses H. Poage to prove the charge which occurred on the last Monday of April, last.  George Poage was elected moderator of above session which adjourned to meet accordingly.

 

1836, July 5th.

Session met prior to adjournment, constituted with prayer.   Members present, George Poage, Josiah Beard, Sam'l D. Poage.  George Poage was chosen moderator.  Mr. Sampson Mathews being duly cited in the case of an affray with John Graham of Huntersville, on the last Monday of April, again failed to appear and the Session being fully satisfied that he did not intend to obey the citation are unanimously of the opinion that he is guilty of contempt of the lawful authority of the Church of Christ, and ought to be dealt with as one refusing to hear the church.  Whereupon, resolved that he be and he is hereby excluded from the communion of the church until he repent.

The Judiciary then assigned the management of Mr. Mathew's case to Rev. Joseph Brown, and proceeded to take the testimony which is as follows:

DOCTOR McCLELLEN being duly sworn stated: On the last Monday of April last, I was standing at the extreme end of Mr. Graham's porch, at which time I heard a considerable talking which attracted my attention.  I went from where I stood to ascertain the cause, when I found that Mr. Mathew's and Mr. Graham were disputing something about the appointment of the commission of a road leading from Huntersville to some point in Nicholas County.  Very shortly after this, they left the place on which they were standing and approached the corner of Mr. Graham's store house, when I heard Mr. Graham dispute Mr. Mathew's words about something.  Mr. Mathews then turned and told Mr. Graham that he was a liar and shook his fist in Mr. Graham's face.  Mr. Graham then drew a small knife, which Mr. Mathews saw and immediate drew a very large one of his own from his pocket, opened it, and held it firmly in his hand.  Immediately after this, Mr. Graham started from where he stood on the Tavern porch, entered the porch and seated himself.  Mr. Mathews followed immediately after him, the language which passed at that time, I do not recollect.  However, Mr. Mathews turned and left the porch, and Mr. Graham told him if he entered the house again he would kill him.   By. Mr. Brown, Did you interfere when standing at the corner of the store house?   Ans.. I did, and asked them to separate seeing that they both had knives drawn, and they paid no attention to me so I left them to themselves.   By same, Was it immediately after your interference that Mr. Graham walked from the porch?  A. It was, there were probably some words passed between them.  By same, Did Mr. Mathews follow Mr. Graham immediately to the porch, or was he drawn to the porch by some language used by Mr. Graham when there?  A. He followed him immediately and I thought Mr. Graham was probably not aware of his being after him, by his countenance after he entered the porch.  Q. By Mr. Beard Is not Mr. Graham quite a small man?  A. He is in comparison to Mr. Mathews.   Q. By same, Did Mr. Mathews use profane language?  A. I do not recollect that he used profane language.  Q. By same, Did Mr. Mathews draw his knife the second time after entering the porch?  A. I am not certain.  Q. By Mr. Brown, Was not Mr. Graham's language to Mr. Mathews of an abusive character?  A. The first language I heard was, I did not hear the commencement.

Mr. John Hanes did not attend in person, but sent his testimony certified by a magistrate, together with his reasons for not attending by Mr. Brown, which were sustained.

Mr. Hanes stated: When I first observed Mr. Mathews and Mr. Graham they were conversing together near Mr. Graham's lumber house.  Very soon their conversation became quite loud, and I understand that it had reference to the appointment of commissioners to lay out a new road from this place to some point in the County of Nicholas.  Both appeared to have their feelings excited.  Mr. Graham charged Mr. Mathews with acting unfairly in his official capacity as a Justice of the Peace in the appointment of the commissioners of this road.   Mr. Mathews replied to this charge by calling Mr. Graham a liar.  Mr. Graham replied to this by calling Mr. Mathews a liar.  Mr. Mathews then shook his fist in Mr. Graham's face and Mr. Graham then drew his knife, telling Mr. Mathews he should impose upon him.  Mr. Mathews then followed him into the porch and walked up close to him with his knife drawn, repeatedly saying to him in a tone of defiance, "Kill me, now kill me".  Mr. Mathews afterwards came across the street to my shop.  I then urged him to become reconciled to Mr. Graham.  And he replied that if he thought he had done wrong he was willing to make acknowledgements, but he did not think himself in fault.

After duly considering the testimony in the case of Mr. Mathews in an affray with John Graham of Huntersville, on the last Monday of April last, the Session are unanimously of the opinion that he was guilty of unchristian conduct and whereupon that it be resolved that he ought to be and hereby excluded from the communion of the church until he give satisfactory evidence of repentance and amendment of life.

S.D.POAGE  CLK.

GEORGE POAGE, MODERATOR