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The Glenville Democrat
Glenville, West Virginia
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December 8, 1988     The Glenville Democrat
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December 8, 1988
 

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12 The Glenville Democrat.Pathfinder If there is any question that is predominate in the process of publication of our county history, it is "when is the new cut-off date for family histories? We have answered many phone and letter que- ries concerning this, and have tentatively set the final date for De- cemher 31. The first group of histories has been sent to the printer for type-setting, and we hope that a routine will soon be established to allow us to get started on several simultaneous projects. For example, while we are posting newly received histories, we hope to be editing others, have a group at the printer for type-setting, and have completed ones on hand to begin doing the lay-outs. One very important consideration which has not been discussed to date is the materials to be included in the researched history section. The committee will be hard at work on that aspect shortly, and we will be asking for help from all society members and from anyone who would be willing to help us in that endeavor. Only by balancing the two sections - researched and family histories - can we hope to publish the quality history that has been our goal. In selecting a history for the "Family of the Week" we decided to go into our pioneer section, and have selected one of the histories destined to be included in that portion of our county history. Rev. John Woofter and his family spread their influence throughout Gilmer County, and the list of churches served by Rev. John shows his influence was felt throughout central West Virginia. Many thanks to Susan Woofter Kistler who provided the following his- tory. JOHN AND CALVIN WOOFTER "The Rev. John Woofter apparently not only was the first Baptist minister in Troy District of Gilmer County but the first school teacher as well. In addition, Woofter was the first justice of the peace in Troy District according to Jim Comstock's West Virginia Heritage books." "Woofter preached in the Missionary Baptist Church established where Horn Creek empties into Leading Creek..." "The first church was a log cabin with a roof held in position by weights, a puncheon floor, a huge fireplace in one end while in the other was a chopped log and greased papers posted over the apera- ture, sewing the place as a window. Seats were made by splitting small logs in halves and inserting pins for legs in the oval sides. It was situated at the mouth of Horn Creek in what was known as the Heckert settlement." "Rev. John Woofter was born near Freemansburg in Lewis County, Virginia, January 22, 1816, a son of Jonathan and Jeannette (Winans) Woofter. He was united in marriages with Maria, daughter of Rev. Carr and Sara (Brown) Bailey on July 17, 1836. The Rev. Benjamin Holden joined them in wedlock, and the children of their union are recorded: Florinda (Ward) 1837; Newton J. 1839 lived in Denton County, Texas; Calvin 1840; Sarah Jane (Hughes) 1842; Mary Belinda (Brake) 1845; Francina (Springston) 1847; Elizabeth (West) 1849; Columbus 1851 died young; Adoniram Judson 1854; Homer Paca 1856; Anna Maria (Hudkins) 1859." "Rev. Woofter settled in what is now Gilmer County before it was organized..." "He was converted by Rev. Benjamin Holden and joined the Freemansburg Baptist Church. Soon after he was elected clerk and one year later ordained as deacon. He was licensed to preach in 1842 and ordained in 1843. In 1844 he was called to the pastorate of the Leading Creek Baptist Church in Gilmer County, purchased a farm near the church and moved his family into the neighborhood." [ 1 John Woofter continucd as pastor of this church for forty-six years or until his death in 1890. While serving th "Leading Creek church he was appointed missionary by the North Western Associa- tion of Virginia. He established churches in Braxton, Webster, Nicholas, Wirt, Calhoun, Ritchie and Gilmer Counties. During the forty-six years he also served a circuit (a group of churches served by the same pastor on a fixed schedule each month or every two months) which included at various times Hepzibah, Holly River, Finks Creek, Bone Creek, South Fork, Indian Creed, Harrisville, Smithville, Harmony, Buckharmon, Weston, Tanners Fork, Glen- ville, Burning Springs, Elizabeth, Pine Grove, Union, Elk River and Kanawha churches. The hardships endured by these early missionary ministers can never be told. The roads were only trails through the brush from one settlement to another. The log cabins of the pioneers held few com- forts. Those cabins were the preaching places. Word of the preach- ers coming was sent around and the people of the settlement would come to the place appointed with their families, their guns, and their dogs. Sometimes the meeting would be interrupted by a dog fight, but after quiet had been restored the service would be resumed. Many believed, were baptized, and churches organized that stand today as monuments to the strength of the pioneer preacher and people. The Leading Creek church endured the Civil War and reconstruc- tion. Pastor Woofter had a son (Calvin) and a son-in-law (Dr. Hughes) in the Confederate Army. Many members were Union sol- diers. The land was made a Union state by President Lincoln; how- ever, the church lasted. The reason is not known, but one prefers to believe that Christian faith was the catalyst. On one of his missionary trips to the Holly River settlement, Rev. Woofter became dangerously ill. A friend rode to Leading Creek to tell Mrs. Woofter. She arranged for a neighbor to care for the older children and taking the baby on her lap she rode the sixty miles over poorly marked trails to his bedside. "By careful nursing and the mercy of God he was returned to health." Reverend John kept no records; we do not know how many ser- mons he preached, how many weddings, or how many funerals, but he was an untiring worker. In his later years he was called Father Woofier by all who knew him, both young and old. The Parkersburg News, "Primitive Gilmer County Church Re- called" by Bums Harlan. The Baptist General Association of W. Va. 1865-1915, "Biog- raphy of Rev. John Woofter" by E. J. Woofter, grandson. "Persomil History Department - Gilmer County", Page 396, 397. By Susan Woofter Kistler, great granddaughter CALVIN WOOFTER "Point Lookout, Feb. 12, 1865. "My dear Father and Mother, through the mercy of kind provi- dence I seat myself in response to yours of the 18th inst. which gave me much pleasure and comfort to hear from you all and that you was well you speak of a protracted meeting thus O, Father would to God that I could be with you at that meeting and labor with you in building up God's kingdom but I am deprived of that privilege but rest assured that you have my prayers in behalf of that , but I hasten. I received my clothing today I am proud of them as a mon- key with a new shirt but I think Mother has lost the pattern for pants; there is strong talk of exchange exchanging some now. I must close wright soon I am well. Thursday, "C. Woofter to my dear father give my love to all the friends." Thus wrote a young man from one of the worse Civil eral prisons to his parents Rev. John and Maria (Bailey) He was 1st Orderly Sergeant in Company E, 19th Vir William L. Jackson Brigade, L. L. Lomax Division, Jackson Company Commander. He survived the drive Jubal A. Early from Lynchburg to Washington but was the Battle of Fisher Hill and sent to Point Lookout Prison on Chesapeake Bay. He was exchanged, paroled and returned to his Leading Creek where he lived for the rest of his life. Susan Varmoy. They had three children: Emory Woofter (Harvey) and ReUa Woofter (Southall). Original letter from C. Woofler written 123 ycars ago. By Susan Woofter Kistler, granddau Visiting Irene Brannon and Joe over the Thanksgiving holi- days were her brother, Robert Lynch and wife of Milwaukee, and their daughter and family of Illinois. Also, all of Mrs. Brannon's children joined in the Thanksgiving Feast. They are Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bumgard- net and two boys of Marietta, Ohio, Mr. and Mrs. Larry Greenlief and two boys of Weston, Delores Singer of South Point, Ohio, Mr. and Mrs. John Brannon and two girls of Letter Gap, and Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Brannon and Marsha. June Decker of Ft. Pierce, Florida visited her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Everett Stoneking. Nora Stoneking went to Char- leston to her doctor for a check- up one day last week. Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Crowfoot of Ohio visited her boys Paul, Steven and Charlie Smith and their families Charlie has been in the hospital after he had an accident. Wilma Heam visited her son, James Heam and family, at Ri- pley from Thursday till Friday. Visiting Mr. and Mrs. George Belknap Thanksgiving week were Mrs. Belknap's daughter Alene Johns, Cynthia Johns and baby, Steve and Brenda Shields, Michael and Tracie, Gerald and Blanche Belknap of Young- stown, Ohio, and Campbell and a lady Cutlipville. JoAnn, Wayne, Katrina Wood' Madge Hitt celebrate birthday early with cream. She got nice several cards. She also other birthday cake on day, November 30th. baked her a cake awhile with her, Mr. Paul Jamison of Becky Wilcox of visited her gl Graces Lynch, Gwin Stout and children and gl ited at the Stout farm during the holidays. Visiting Mr. and Mrs Sponaugle for were Mr. and Mrs. naugle and two Beckley, and Mr. and Hanna of Webster Try an old Baked 1 can or 1 pint pound sausage, 1 crumbs, 1 cup cooked diced. Fry sausages until i Drain away fat and gether. Sprinkle part crumbs on top. milk on top and bake utes. ii 206 E. Main Street, Glenville, 462-7309 Or 462-7300 We have the equipment, facilities and personnel to compose and produce your newsletters, brochures, flyers, or term papers. with service, No matter what your needs in typinq, composition, production or printino, see us! Flyers Newsletters Tabloids Brochures Term Papers Broadsheets Booklets Price Lists Annual Reports Resumes Newspaper Production Business Forms "You Name It, We Can Produce It~" | FRESHNESS IS OUR TRADEMARK MONDAY THRU sKrURDAY EAST MAIN STREET 7 Lm. to II p.m. GLENVILLE SUNDAY 10",30 ant. to 7 p.m. CIm'y-Oot Availal United Dairy II 2 liter Quality Poultry Whole Fryers Great for Pizza, Sliced Pepperoni $3.19 lb. 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