Saturday, January 30, 2010

Conrad Cemetery

by Barbara Hamilton

I am in Benjamin Conrad's line. Benjamin Conrad, his wife Barbara (Hedrick), sons Jockey and Peter just disappeared after they died. There is no information about where they are buried. There is no information about where Daniel, Benjamin's brother, is buried, either. Since the census shows Daniel living with Benjamin when Benjamin died I feel he is probably buried in the same place. I spent years trying to find where this family is buried. Now I have three stories and with them I'm satisified that I know. I would like to share this information.

Left: "One of the Conrad brothers" sketched by Joseph diss Debarr from the WV. archives and History in Charleston, WV. This would be Benjamin, Daniel or John Conrad, who were among the very first pioneers in this area.

Right: A current map of the Lake Burnsville Recreation Area which was created in the 1970s by damming the the Little Kanawha headwaters. The flooding created the meandering lake out of the system of creeks that had draind this fertile and picturesque area and it changed the landscape beyond casual recognition. Click on this image to enlarge it. Look for the area near the center of the map which is colored a brighter green. If you look closely, and search for the first left prong of water past Tripletts Run, that is the location of where the iron bridge over the Little Kanawha River was located. There was a side road to the left which went toward Fleshers Run and Kanwls Creek which was but a short distance after turning left off the Napier-Burnsville Road.

First, my husband and I went to Bulltown to camp for several years. A historian worked in the museum at the campground and asked older folks questions regarding where Benjamin might have been buried. He finally ask one elderly man who made him promise not to tell me. The old man said Benjamin was buried on goverment property and if they knew it they would move him, but he was out of the water and they didn't need to know where he was. The day he was buried they carried him across the Iron Bridge on the Napier-Burnsville Road and up the side of that hill, having quite a time to get him up there. Since today I would need a boat to get across the water I never suceeded in getting there.

Left: Sons and daughters of Amanda (Riffle) Sands-Grove-Foster. They were 2-great grandchildren of Benjamin Conrad.

Then this story. A man by the name of Hubert Riffle [now-deceased son of Hayward and Addie (Conrad) Riffle, and 4-great grandson of Daniel Conrad. -ed] lived close the Iron Bridge and when he was a young man he was asked to go to top of the hill and cut filth. He returned home telling his mother he found an old cemetery. She replied thats the "Ole Ben Conrad Cem."

A few of the untold number of Conrad descendents in the Oil Creek area: Fibi (Conrad) Skinner (Daniel Conrad's daughter), Robert Lee Mitchell (Benjamin Conrad's 2-great grandson), Juanita (Stutler) Burgett (Daniel Conrad's 4-great granddaughter), Ord Conrad (great-grandson of both Daniel and Benjamin Conrad)Bold, Genevieve (Skinner) Heater, (2-great granddaughter of Daniel Conrad), Earse Posey (2-greatgrandson of Daniel Conrad).

Finally, an older man has come to light who worked for the Army Corp of Engineers at Bulltown. He said at one time he knew where "the Benjamins cemetery" was. Go down Long Run and turn right. walk 3-5 miles. He isn't able now and said it was probably so grown up he couldn't find it now. I wonder if one could go down Long Run and find this cem. I wonder if the headstones were marked and if they can be found.

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