His grandson, Edgar Riffle, remembers the horse and wagon slowly ascending the steep hill to the Posey Cemetery. Despite the frozen and uneven terrain, the casket of Charles Riffle bounced but little on the way to his final resting space. The funeral service at the Orlando U. B. Church had been solemn and respectful and the small church was full of family and friends. On a cold day in February, 1949, Charles Riffle was laid to rest and joined his late wife, Donie Zeler (Blake) Riffle, who had died twelve years before.
Left: Donie Zella (Blake) Riffle and Charles Lee Riffle
Right: Young Eddy Riffle, about the time his grandfather died.
A Wedding on Clover Fork
Right: Charles and Donie's wedding certificate. Note that Doni is incorrectly named "Dianah" The facts about their wedding were taken from this form. Click on the certificate to enlarge it. .
~~Doni's mother's family, the Ocheltrees, Williams and McCoys, were part of a Scots-Irish settlement in Greenbrier County.
~~Charles' father's family, the Riffles, were German immigrants. According to genealogist Don Norman, "Jacob Riffle was born in Germany about 1725 and died in Lewis County VA in 1816. He arrived at the port of Philadelphia, PA aboard the ship "Phoenix", John Mason commanding, August 28, 1750. Settlement of Jacob 's estate was recorded November 2, 1816 in Lewis County VA Will Book #1, p ages 2-4. He married Dorothy ------ in Harrison County VA about 1768. Dorothy was born about 1745 and died in Braxton County in 1817.
The History of Randolph County by Hu Maxwell written in 1898 says "Jacob Riffle was one of the first settlers in Randolph County. There is evidence that he was in the [Tygart] valley in 1772, and that he subsequently owned or had claim upon 300 acres of land on the creek named from him. . . The tradition is that he deserted from the Virginia Army during the French and Indian War and in his efforts to hide, he found his way into Tygart's Valley soon after the Pringles, also deserters, had made their camp in a hollow sycamore on the Buckhannon. He is said to have owned two slaves. His son's name was Jacob and he, probably accompanied by his father, moved to Braxton County at an early date." They settled in the Oil Creek/Salt Lick area of the LIttle Kanawha River.
~~ In addition to these two lines, Doni and Charles both descended also from an English mariner, Jasper Blake, through his great grandson Theophilus Blake, who set to pioneer farming with the Scots-Irish in Greenbrier County.
Charles's parents were Stewart/Steward Lewis Riffle and Abigail (Blake) Riffle, Charles’ father was known throughout Orlando as “Stewart L” and his mother was called "Abby."
Their Grandfathers & Great-Grandfathers
Charles' grandfather, that is, Abby's father John William Blake, died in the Civil War, in service to the Confederate States of America, according to Lee W Blake's monograph, "The Riffles and Blakes Back 7 Generations.
Charles' other grandfather, Stewart L.'s father, Jacob Isaac Riffle, left a very different legacy. Jacob had many children (perhaps as many as twenty) by two wives, Francena Blake and Matilda Riffle and allegedly many more “woods colts.” The descendants of Jacob are omnipresent throughout central West Virginia and all are, no doubt, keenly aware of the many stories about the “sire of the shire.Above right: Stewart L. Riffle on the right with John Fountain Posey.
Left: John Jackson and Eliza (Ocheltree) Blake.
Doni's parents were John Jackson and Eliza (Ocheltree) Blake. Doni's great-great grandfather Alexander Ocheltree was was among the Protestant Scotsmen who were moved from Scotland to Northern Ireland because of their religious beliefs, and then came to America. Andrew settled in the Greenbrier area and married Elizabeth McCoy, another Scots-Irish immigrant. In 1778 Alexander was killed in the Indian battle at Donnely's Fort.
Their ChildrenCharles and Donie Zeler Riffle were the parents of seven children:
.. . Josie married Bill Beckner. Bill worked the tracks between Orlando and Burnsville, with Josie's cousin Patrick Newton "Newt" Blake (aka: Uncle Zeke).
. .. Della married Marion Wymer and they farmed on Three Lick.
. .. Vay Rene never married.
. . Homer Ellis married an Orlando girl, Pearl Barb.
. .. Dana Herbert married Wade Mick's daughter Nellie.
. .. Clarence “Brownie,” worked for the rail road and married Treecy Riffle from Boone County.
.. . Jackson Gilbert "Jack" worked at the Hazel-Atlas glass factory in Clarksburg. there he met his bride, Bernice Knapp from Doddridge County. The materials and photos in this entry belong to their son Ed.
Left: Doni with sons Brownie, Jack and Dana.
Above, right: Charles with Josie, Brownie, Dana, Ellis, Della, Jackson and Vay. Roy Brown has said this photo was taken at the mouth of grass run, facing up the holler. They are in side yard behind the log house that is now torn down. It was his 75 th.birthday, Nov. 1, 1948. He died Feb 5, 1949, 3 mo. later.
Note 1: Donie Blake: What’s in a Name?