Got pictures or information? Please e-mail me. Updated Feb. 8, 2024

Churchs and schools, preachers and teachers

There's a little mountain church in my thoughts of yesterday. Little Mountain Church House (You Tube)

  • Crow Christian Church. Dedicated in 1896, the fourth church of that denomination in Raleigh County, W.Va. Big Day In The Life Of Little Crow Church (1946) ""Prior to building the church at the present site the congregations were organized in a log school house. Families often attended church at Table Rock or Grandview. The church members in those communities took the first step to organize the Crow congregation. The deed for land donated by the Beaty Lumber Company was signed on July 15, 1896, by Oliver Scott, S.A. and A.J. Carper, Douglas Scott, and B. B. Riffe, who was then president of the lumber company."   Shady Spring District Woman’s Club, A History of Shady Spring District, Compiled and Published by the Shady Spring District Woman’s Club, 1979, Central Printing Co., Beckley, W.Va. Page 103-104. The local history has a photo of the 1896 congregation.
  • St. Colman Catholic Church Cemetery, Richmond District. "The Little Catholic Church on Irish Mountain." Go to Cemeteries page for directions and information.
  • White Oak Missionary Baptist Church, Raleigh County, W.Va. "It was in the Z.E. Boyd home on March 13, 1964, that a group of thirteen people met for the purpose of organizing a Missionary Baptist Church in White Oak. Rev. J.W. Nunn acted as the moderator for the group and these thirteen people were the charter members of the new church: Mildred Harris, Ed H. and Lina Hunter, Joe and Alma Pilkington, Margaret Ruth Pilkington, Hershel and Donna Rakes, Worthy and Nell Harris, Mrs. Z.E. Boyd, Sandy Clay and Evelyn Graham."   A caption reads: "Prior to the 1800s there was a Dunkard religious group with a small church at the same site as the White Oak Missionary Baptist Church."   Shady Spring District Woman’s Club, A History of Shady Spring District, Page 426-427.

  • Photos of Old West Virginia Schools in Raleigh County -- Mount View, Williams, White Oak Mountain, and (possibly) Panther Knob.
  • Princewick school photos. Group of four Princewick, Raleigh County, W.Va. school pictures purchased from eBay. I searched in NewspaperArchive and learned that around this time the teachers were Earl Halsey, Vertie Mills Halsey and Ruby Jo Farley. I don’t know anyone in the photos. Any information would be appreciated. Photo OneTwoThreeFour.
  • The Shady Panorama, student newspaper of Shady Spring High School, Raleigh County, W.Va., 30 Apr 1931. Panorama staff, Verna Vest, Edith Oakes, Margaret Duncan, Thelma Winegardner and The Girls of the Journalism Class. Also a sympathy note for the parents of Lessie Bibb. (West Virginia, Deaths Index, 1853-1973. Lessie May Bibb, born about 1915, died 07 Apr 1931, Raleigh County, W.Va. Age: 16 years 6 months 21 days. Gender: Female. Father: Millard F. Bibb. Mother: Juda Bryant. FHL Film Number: 1953612.) Juniors Give Annual Banquet To Seniors: Ninety-Five PresentFranklin Lilly, Delores Pendleton, Elizabeth Hedrick, Glendora Redden, Hilda Hedrick and Mr. Peregoy. Memorize Your License Numbers/Pick Your Autos To Ride. Dan Weingardner. (From the collection of Nina Vest Bennett Worley.)
  • Shady Spring High School - Class 27-35 reunion. Post-Herald 08 Aug 1973, Page 5. Photo 1. Photo 2
  • White Oak Mountain school -- The only people who I can identify are Dewey Via and Claude Vest, stepbrothers. Dewey was the son of Emma Stella Gadd and first husband James Elmer Anderson Via. Claude was the son of Leonard Haliburton Vest and first wife Clara Alice Plumley. Stella and Leonard married in 1907 and had six daughters together. More about the Vest family: Vest page 3 - Powell and Emma.

Daniels school
  • Daniels school, Raleigh County, W.Va.

"Mrs. O.B. Harris remembers that the first school in Daniels was a one-room log school building, weatherboarded, which stood near where the Daniels Bible Church now stands, and that she attended it for several years until the second building near the new Daniels Post Office was constructed...The present Daniels Elementary School was built on 17.3 acres of land purchased from Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Hatcher on the lower 4-H Lake Road. The school opened in January, 1972 and cost $430,000." 
From “A History of Shady Spring District,” compiled and published by the Shady Spring District Woman’s Club, 1979, printed by Central Printing Co., Beckley, (Raleigh County) W.Va., Page  122-123.  

  • Daniels School, Grades 5 and 6, 1946-47. The teacher, top row, left, is Bess Kate Snyder. (See Teachers.) Bottom row, left to right, second photo, is Eldon "Pete" Deck. Top row, right corner, is Billy Lee Smith, son of Earl and Golda Smith.

Daniels school photos courtesy of Glen Curtis: 

  • Daniels, Grades 4-6, 1950-51  -- First right after teacher Bess Kate Snyder is Eugene Woods who lived on C&O Dam Road. Fifth right is Glen Curtis. Also in the first row, Sandra Mathis with a scarf around her neck..

Hoye School

More information about Mr. Hoye and his family was shared by a descendant:

C. Hoye is listed as living in Shady Spring Township, Raleigh County, WV in the 1870 census meaning that the family must have moved to WV between 1866 and 1870. The family consisted of: C.C. Hoy 35 M W Farming - $160 born VA; Mary E. 31 F W VA; Nancy 12 F W VA; Rhoda C. 9 F WV; Miles C. 7 M WV; Eliza O. 2 F WV; Samuel J. 4/12 M WV; and Martha 29 F WV

This information leads me to believe that Martha may be Calvin Hoye’s younger sister based on the supposed siblings of Calvin at the top of the page. 

In the 1880 Census he is listed as Calhoun Hoy, Raleigh County, Richmond District, WV: Calhoun Hoy 43 Farming; Mary 44; Miles 14; Octavia 12; Samuel 10; John 7; Joseph 4; and Laura 2.

Calvin died 28 Jul 1893 in Raleigh, West Virginia, and is buried in the Williams Cemetery in White Oak  (Raleigh County) and Mary Elizabeth Wallace Hoye died 20 April 1896 in Raleigh County. Calvin Hoye and wife Mary had eight children. Nancy Jane married John William Smith (my line); Rhoda Hoye married Layfayette Meador; Miles Coleman Hoye married Naomi Bird; Elizabeth Octavia Hoye married William Anderson Dodd; John Neff Hoye married Mary Virginia Watts; and Laura Mary Hoye married Milo Ulysses Grant Phillips. I have no evidence that Joseph and Samuel Hoye married, although one researcher suggests that Joseph married Olive (last name unknown) and lived in the Imperial Valley in California. 

See see Hoye information on the Cemeteries page under Raleigh County/ Williams Cemetery, White Oak. Formerly known as Ewart Cemetery.  

Raleigh County’s School Days of Yesteryear, Vol. 1, by Pauline Haga. Publication includes: cover photo of Anderson Marion Hawley, schoolmaster; several pictures of the Jacob Bennett School, moved from Richmond District to New River Park: Sophia Elementary and the old Fisher StoreProsperity School – 1899, teacher John L. Toney and students; students, Maple Meadow School, near Lester and the Glen Shumate home; Old Mills Branch School, said to be the second school for African American students in Raleigh County, 1893 (the first was a one-room log cabin built in 1873); Jacob Saunders Gives Land For School, land deeded in 1891  by Jacob and Matilda Ann Saunders for Trap Hill District school;  Hawley family album, school children, 1909; Eccles High School, 1882 news article and 1915 student group photo; Mark Twain High School, photos of the seven members of the 1924 graduating class and two group photos – “the whole darn bunch” and the sophomore class; Mark Twain Junior High, group photo; Old Log School at Cook Town, known as Uriah or Ury, land donated by William P. and Martha J. Cook; Cleveland School, located on Cleveland Road, near Crab Orchard, 1912, Rush Hughes and students; Bowyer School, 1910 article listing Grover C. Legg and names of students; Low Gap School on Cyrus Snuffer property, group photo in the spring of 1912, Lee Tabor, teacher; Farley Hill School, located on Winding Gulf, group photo, Norville Cooke, teacher; A Family of School Teachers, photos and biographical information on three teaching Toneys -- John L. Toney, wife Hattie Williams Toney, daughter Elva Toney, all teachers, also listed son Percy Lee and Carl (Carlton) E. Toney; Long Wanted School, located above Tommy Creek Hollow, near Rhodell, 1916; Hot Coal Elementary School, Tams Elementary, East Gulf Elementary, photos of the school building; Old Mabscott Elementary, photo of building, map of land donated by Beaver Coal in 1902, students in 1913-14 (from a distance); Crab Orchard ElementaryOdd Elementary, exterior and interior; Glade Elementary at Dillion, Irish Mountain, 1928, Joseph Hurley Sr., George Gwinn and Frances Gwinn Kincaid (More about Irish Mountain on Cemeteries page); Freezeland Mountain School; Harris School, 1918, and Pluto Elementary, Richmond District; Daniels Elementary, playground photo and class of 1940; 1916 map showing some schools in town and Trap Hill DistrictGrandview Elementary, article and photos; article about teacher Ethel Robertson; Shady Spring High School, 1933, two group photos; Second Shumate Elementary, Stover, photo of Mrs. Lavoy Covey Hedrick in front of building and article; Old Shumate School, Stover, building and photos of teachers, sixth grade class in 1954, and the cook; poems and photos, Cora Deck and granddaughter Norma Jo Ellen Catlett Bragg; list of Stoco High School bus drivers, 1938, photos of the school; old one-room Shumate School, Stover, photos of retired teacher Dorcie Covey at the school and the gravesite of her great grandfather William Henderson Shumate, who donated the land; Sophia Elementary, class of 1955.  

The Rev. Til D. Cochran. He was a son of Addie and Andrew Jackson Cochran. (See Vest Page 4.) Information about Rev. Cochran's service and a list of preachers who served at Beaver First Baptist, Raleigh County, are included in a 1971 article Three Church Charter Members To Attend 55th Annual Meeting. Preachers listed start with the Rev J.W. Legg (1916-20, 1929-32). The charter members, including Rev. Cochran, were Mabel Dobbins Meador and Texas Dobbins Brammer. Rev. Cochran's obituary.

Verna Veatrice Vest  (July 6, 1908/Jan. 27, 1980) was a daughter of Leonard Haliburton Vest and his second wife Emma Stella Gadd.  (More about Mrs. Bennett's family on Vest Page 3 (Columbus and Malinda). Mrs. Bennett was a graduate of Concord College in Athens, W.Va., (now Concord University) and was a school teacher for many years. She spent most of her career teaching in Richmond District, Raleigh County. According to “A History of Shady Spring District,” Mrs. Bennett “started teaching school at 18 in 1927 at Panther Knob one room school. The following year she taught at the Hoye School.” She was the principal/teacher at Smith School and taught at Richmond School, both in Richmond District. At Richmond School she taught with her sister Golda Vest Smith. Nina Vest Bennett, their sister, was school secretary.

Golda Vest Smith. (My mother. During a break in her teaching career, she stayed home and I was her only pupil. She taught me how to read at a very early age. Thanks, Mom.) She was a daughter of Leonard and Stella Gadd and wife of Earl George Smith. She lived most of her life on White Oak Mountain, W.Va. Mrs. Smith, a graduate of Concord College, began her career teaching in a one-room schoolhouse. Douglas Wayne Harvey, a family historian, said Mrs. Smith taught at the Union School between Mount View and her White Oak Mountain home. It was called "Union" because students were from both Raleigh and Summers counties. He told about a trick played on her. She was sitting at a table collecting money -- probably for a pie supper or other event. She stood up and someone moved the chair. She landed in the floor. Apparently this prank didn't deter her from a teaching career. She taught for many years. Her last school was Richmond School in Raleigh County. Mrs. Smith's Class Takes a Plane Ride

More about the genealogy of sisters Verna and Golda on Vest page 3 and Gadd page 2

Bess Kate Snyder. A short biography of Mrs. Snyder on Page 356 of A History of Shady Spring District: 

"Bess Kate Snyder, retired teacher from Shady Spring Elementary School, is the daughter of Jessie (Jackson) and J.D. Swim. Bess married Russell Snyder and they were the parents of John and Sam. Sam is an attorney for Union 76 Oil Co. in California and John is in Clearwater, Florida. Bess taught 30 years in Raleigh County at Crow, Daniels and Shady Spring Elementary schools. Bess resides in Clearwater, Florida." 

Mrs. Snyder died in California in 1988. She was my teacher for one year. To my young eyes, she appeared to be more sophisticated than the other teachers. Mrs. Snyder had been places and seen things. She brought a bit of the wide world to the classroom. She assigned each of us a stock and we watched its progress on the stock market for a year.