Showing posts with label Family Parmer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family Parmer. Show all posts

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Indian Grandmas

by Donna Gloff
Native American Heritage?
At least two Orlando grandmothers in the Oil Creek area steadfastly claimed Native American heritage to their grandchildren: Francis Willa (Jackson) Sands Krevitch, b.1889. and Ingabo (Church) Parmer, 1842-1935.
There is also evidence of Native Americans south of the Oil Creek watershed. As mentioned in an earlier entry, Nettie Gregory recalled a church on Curry Ridge near Falls Mill and nearby, she was told, were a cemetery for blacks and a cemetery for Indians. Another piece of evidence is a photo of Elzara (Conrad) Wine 1843- 1903, who lived a little south of the Oil Creek watershed. It shows facial features that seem strikingly Native American. (She was the niece of David Smith Wine.)

Left: Francis Willa (Jackson) Sands, Ingabo (Church) Parmer, Elzara (Conrad) Wine

On the other hand, this author has found no indication of Native American heritage in any Orlando-related family trees, censuses or birth, marriage and death records. Nor has anyone mentioned Native Americans in the Oil Creek area.

Pioneers and Indians
It is easy to imagine why there is no word today about Native American heritage. Especially in the early years, a large and abiding segment of the population saw Indians as enemies, threatening and uncivilized. Most of the older pioneers in this area had lived through vicious Indian Wars in the 1770s and ‘80s. The Europeans and Native Americans gave to each other as good as they got. Both the Indians and the Europeans had ambushed and massacred each other with a white-hot hatred. Many pioneers had lost family and neighbors.

The Riffle families, for example, lost one of their patriarchs, Frank Riffle, in 1781. From an 1857 interview with old David Crouch who was a boy present at the time, "Frank Riffle and William Currans were killed next. They were living in George Westfall's fort...They were out at their farms, expect they were planting. Late, at near dusk, they started for the settlement. The men were before, walking, and were shot. Susan Shaver, a married daughter of Riffle's and some other woman, I expect one of her sisters, were behind and were to ride. They heard the guns and just mounted the horses and rode to the fort. The horses galloped and Susan Shaver's horse, as he came galloping along, just jumped over her father. It was so dark she never saw him. Only saw a bulk or something, didn't know what it was. The Indians had stripped the clothes, every bit off of him and stretched him right across the road…" Frank was the brother of Willa Jackson’s 2-great grandfather Jacob Riffle.

Francis Willa (Jackson) Sands’
first husband James “Jim” Sands’ great grandmother Levisa "Levicy" Fields also knew the fear and violence of the Indian Wars. "When Levisa was about five years old, her family lived in a log cabin about three miles from a fort, established at or near the present site of Charleston, West Virginia. Mr. Fields and his wife had seven children, including Levisa. One day some little distance from the cabin, Levisa was up in an apple tree breaking apple blossoms. The family dog saw Indians approaching the cabin and barked, thus attracting the attention of both Levisa and her father to the Indians. Levisa sat still up in the tree and her father hid under a log. The Indians ran into the cabin, killed and scalped Mrs. Fields and six of the children, and then went to the clearing and killed and scalped Mr. Fields. They set fire to the cabin, and ran away. They did not discover Levisa, and when she saw them leave, she climbed down from the tree and went to the fort."-- Chapman, Berlin B., Chapman Family: A Study in the Social Development of Central West Virginia, [The] (Tulsa, OK: Mid-West Printing Co., 1942), p.8. [Located at University of Nebraska Library, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-4100.]

Left: A Cherokee woman and child from an unknown source, found on the internet
.Right: Green is the boundaries of the Cherokee nation in the 1700s. Orlando is in red north and east of the Cherkee area.

We have no word about the nature of Ingabo (Church) Parmer’s or Elzara (Conrad) Wine’s Indian heritages, or the Indians who are buried on Curry Ridge to the south of us. However, Francis Willa (Jackson) Sands told her grandsons they were Cherokee.

We don’t think Francis knew how her people came to be in the area. Looking for clues leads to the infamous Trail of Tears in 1832 which began the removal of the Cherokee from their land. Some Cherokee disappeared into the hills rather than move west. The Cherokee Nation extended, at its greatest reach, to the Kanawha River, where Charleston is located today. Charleston is about 85 miles south of Orlando.

Systematic oppression of Native Americans continued into at least the second half of the 1900s. An entry at the West Virginia Cultural Archives states that “According to newspaper reports, individuals were being shipped away to Oklahoma reservations as late as the 1950's. Until 1965, it was considered technically illegal for a Native American to own property in West Virginia, though this law was seldom enforced.”

It is no wonder there is no public knowledge of Native American lines in the Orlando area.

A Grandmother’s Gift
Pauline Bennett remembers her grandmother Ingabo Parmer told her they were part Indian. Francis Sands was specific. She was Cherokee. Her grandson Noel remembers, “My Grandmother was very proud of her Cherokee blood and she was quite a character. Granny used to keep me and my cousins spellbound with tales of Jackson Mill. If I listened to Granny long I'd soon picture Cherokee's dancing around their fire getting ready for the warpath. I'd be willing to bet what's left of my life on Granny's many stories being truthful. I've never known or found out Granny said anything that was a lie or intentionally deceitful.”

Left: Noel, Doug Foster, Pauline Bennett

[1] Draper Collection of Kentucky Papers, David Crouch Interview, (Draper Mss #12CC225 on microfilm at WV University Library at Morgantown):

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Soul in Humble Subjugation

by David Parmer

Elizabeth (Johns) Church, mother of Orlando's Ingabo (Church) Parmer, wrote the lines to the right in 1852, when she lived near Staunton in Pendleton County, Virginia. Elizabeth was 46 years old at the time and the mother of eight children. Her husband was 80(!) and our Ingabo, one of eight children, was eight years old.

Right: photostat of the Elizabeth's poem. Click on it to enlarge. A transcription is below.

Left: Map of the state Eliabeth lived in in 1852, showing (light green) Pendleton County where Elizabeth was raised and (pink) Wetzel County where her husband, William Church, was raised. Some time after the Civil War they moved to Lewis County (orange) The (yellow) heart is located over the Oil Creek watershed where their daughter Ingabo (Church) and David Parmer settled. Click on the map to enlarge it.

Elizabeth (Johns) Church lived her early life in the valleys of Pendleton and Highland Counties where many ancestors of Orlando folks lived before they moved westward to the Oil Creek Valley. She knew the simple life of agrarian pursuits and the strength and majesty of her God. Many years after her death, found among her papers, was a poem she had written, a testament to her faith and her love of the land of her birth. Elizabeth Johns was born about 1806. Her father William Johns died around the time she was born. He was a veteran of the Revolutionary War, having been drafted to serve, and was present at the siege of Yorktown. We don't know much about Elizabeth's mother, Sarah (Wood) Johns.

In 1828, at the age of 22, Elizabeth married William Clark Church who was 56 years of age. Elizabeth and her husband William lived on the Staunton Trail and during the Civil War there was "much shooting and fighting going on all around them", according to Elizabeth's 2great grandson Ed Wilson, who had heard the stories from his great-grandmother Ingabo (Church) Parmer.

Left: Elizabeth's daughter who settled in Confluence/Orlando, Ingabo (Church) Parmer
The poem reveals a woman who finds reflection and fulfillment of her faith in in God in the hills and valleys of her Appalachian home.

Transcription of
Poem by Elizabeth Johns Church **
October 9, 1852

. . . . . The Soul in Humble Subjugation
‘Tis low down in that beautiful valley
Where love crowns the meek and the lonely
Where no storms of envy or folly
Can ‘ere roll their billows again.

The meek come in humble subjection
Can there find unshaken protection
The soft gales of cheering reflection
The mind soothed from sorrow and pain

This low vale is free from contention
no soul can dream of decension
Where no wild or eveal intention
Can find out this region of pease

‘Tis there there the Lord will deliver
And souls drink of that beautiful river
Where pease flows for ever and ever
And love and joy for ever increase
There there where stormes have been driven
Shall move there bark in that beautiful haven
And there bask in the sun shine of heaven
And triumph in immanuels name
Tis their their yonders bright glory
We’ll shout and sing and tell the glad story
And when we’v passed cold Jordan over quite
We’ll sing hallelujah to God and the Lamb
** This poem is tendered as it was written, without correction. -D. Parmer
. . . . .

NOTE 1 by Donna Gloff:
Elizabeth (Johns) Church and her husband William Church lived in Lewis County in their later years. Through daughter Ingabo they were grandparents to six (at that time) Confluence children: George, David, Nathan, Dora, Rosa and Susie Parmer, and through them, great grandparents of many, many Orlando children.
The children of Ingabo Jamima (Church) Parmer 1842-1935 + David Parmer Abt 1812-?
1 George W. Parmer 1861-?
2 David William Parmer 1864-1936
. . . m. Barbara Zickefoose
3 Nathan Parmer 1871-1964
. . . m. Olive T. Skinner 1873-1941
4. Dora Jane Parmer 1883-?
. . . m. Matthias Veston Skinner 1875-1946
. . . m. James Skinner 1876-?
5. Rosa Parmer
. . . m. Mr. Church
6. Susie Parmer
. . . m. Mr. Lang

Left: Three of Elizabeth's granddaughters (Ingabo's daughters) who were raised on OIl Creek: Dora (Parmer) Skinner, Rosa (Parmer) Church, Susie (Parmer) Lang.
Right: Elizabeth's grandson (Ingabo's son) Nathan Parmer

NOTE 2 by Donna Gloff:
William Clark Church, Elizabeth's husband and our Ingabo's father, had an interesting heritage. He was the son of an English Soldier and a Quaker girl. Following are two tellings of their story.
1. A transcription done in 1974 at the Fort Wayne, IN Library, transcriber unknown.
from the book History of Wetzel County West Virginia by J.C. McEldowney Jr.

Henry Church, better known as "Old Hundred" was born in Suffolk County, England in 1750. He came to this country a British soldier of the 63rd Light Infantry and served under Lord Cornwallis in the memorable campaign of 1791. He was captured by the troops under Lafayette and sent a prisoner to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He remained there until peace was declared in that place. He fell in love with a Quaker maiden, Miss Hannah Keine. She was born in the year of 1755. Henry Church lived to be 109 and h is wife 107. When the first excursion train ran over the B&O Railroad in 1852, it made a stop at the home of "Old Hundred" and among its passengers was an attache to the British Legation at Washington City, who was introduced to the old man as one of his countrymen, who sounded one of the martial airs of England. "Old Hundred" stood up as though his blood had been warmed with wine, and said, "I know it, I know it." He was loyal to his King for more than 100 years, about which time he took allegiance to the United States. The home of "Old Hundred" stood near Main Street at Hundred, and was constructed from logs. They had eight children, the youngest dying at 68, on which "Old Hundred" made the remark that they never did expect to raise her; that she had never been a healthy child.

2. by Ruth Hixenbaugh Jones, Great-great-great grandaughter of Henry and Hannah Church.
History of Wetzel County, West Virginia 1983:
The people of this little town in Wetzel County located on U.S. 250 in t he West Virginia hills have the deepest respect for longevity. Our town w as named after a couple of pioneer centenarians who settled here before 1800. Henry Church (known as "Old Hundred") was born in Suffolk England on November 30, 1750 and died September 14, 1860, being 109 Years 9 months and 14 days old at the time of his death. His wife, Hannah Keine, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1755 and died July 27, 1860 at the age of 106 years. They lived in blissful wedlock for 82 years.

Henry Church came to America as a soldier. After the Revolutionary War, he married a Quaker lady, Hannah Keine of Philadelphia, Pennsylvani a. To this union were born eight children. The family cleared the land and built a log cabin where the Bank of Hundred was built in 1906. This was the most prominent corner then and still is today. Henry and his wife gave the plot of ground known as the Hundred Cemetery to the community as a gift so they would be buried there. It is located behind the Hundred United Methodist Church. A new marker for their graves was purchased by Norval Throckmorton and Dr. J. S. Church in 1972 to be a lasting tribute to Henry Church and his wife, Hannah.

Henry Church came into the spotlight when the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was completedin 1852. The railway station that at one time was a busy place, no longer stands. In 1858 the company officials sent an observation tra in over the railroad to Wheeling. They wanted to take Henry Church and his wife to Wheeling but he said "No, I never did make a show of myself a nd I never will". From then on, the train conductors would point out the couple sometimes sitting on their porch and other times working in the fields, calling attention to their being the oldest couple in the State. Cassie (Church) Hixenbaugh tells when her great grandfather, Henry Church, was 100 years old, he jumped over a rail fence four feel high.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Cobbler's Wife

Thanks to David Parmer who provided much of the following information and text and the photo.

Ingebo Church was 18 in 1861 when she married 49 year old widower David Parmer in eastern Virginia. She was the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Johns) Church. Family tradition tells us that Ingabo was part Cherokee2. So far, we have been unable to confirm this, but we'll keep looking, and keep our fingers crossed!

Ingebo's husband David, originally from eastern Virginia, had a lot of life behind him when they married. He and his first wife had several children and they had migrated to Kansas in the late 1850s. After that wife died he returned to eastern Virginia. David was a cobbler, making saddles, boots and shoes. Ingebo also did leather work. David and Ingebo Parmer were in Orlando for the 1870 census with three children, David, 6 years, George 3 years and and Mary E., 1 year old. Also living with them was Eliza Moss, who was age 50, black and listed as a servant, the only person of color in the area.

In the late 1870s David had a debilitating stroke leaving him permanently disabled. He spent his last years in a poor house.

The 1880 census lists Ingabo Parmer in Orlando as head of household with five children3. Ingebo continued to do leatherwork. In the photo of Ingebo (to the right) she appears to have very large hands, perhaps the result of leatherworking with her hands as well as the hard work both men and women did to survive in those days.

1. Per her greatgrandson David Parmer, "There seems to be some confusion in census records about David's age but I believe he was born in 1812. Ingebo was born in 1843."

2. Per her great grandson David Parmer, "My aunt, Ruth Bodkin, told me many years ago that Ingebo was part Indian. Although I have never been able to substantiate it, my aunt Ruth knew Ingebo so I presume that she may have been informed by Ingebo that she was part Indian."

3. Comparing the 1870 and 1880 censuses demonstrates the mysteries of working with census data. In the 1880 census the first challenge is to find David Parmer. His greatgrandson David Parmer found him listed as David Parmor, in the household of Daniel Beachler. Then the 1880 census shows Ingebo with the following 5 children Joseph, 13 years, Elizabeth, 11 years, Nathan, 9 years and Matilda E., 21 years old with an unnamed infant of her own.
We can guess that "George" in the 1770 census is "Joseph" in the 1880 and that "Mary E." was called "Elizabeth" by 1880. Matilda, at 21 in 1880, would have been born about 1859. Perhaps her natural mother was David Parmer's first wife.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Building Bridges

Nathan Parmer (b. 1871 in what would become Orlando) had been trained as a blacksmith, but it seems that as times changed his skills working with iron served him in new ways. He was a steel worker for the Cole & Coke railroad.

David Parmer shares this photo and tells us that
"The railroad photo was taken at Burnsville around 1905 and shows the crew building the Coal and Coke railroad trestle across the the Little Kanawha River.

"The closeup (left) of this same photo shows four of the workmen who are standing on top of the trestle. The man second from the left with hat and mustache is my great grandfather Nathan Parmer."

See also
Wed, July 12, '06 Ollie & Nathan Parmer

A Buggy Ride to Burnsville

David Parmer shares yet another wonderful old photo of Orlando Folks

"The photo was taken in Burnsville in front of the Burnsville Exchange Bank around 1915 by Cecil Thompson, a local photographer, and shows Dave Bennett of Orlando, husband of Maysel (Parmer) Bennett, and his young sister-in-law Marie Parmer who was around 12 or 13 at the time."

Marie would marry a Barnett and move into the home in downdown Orlando that Dave and Maysel had owned.

For reminders, below right is the photo of Dave and Maysel about 40 years later and below left is the photo of Marie and Maysel's parents, Nathan and Ollie (Skinner) Parmer.

Note the barber pole in the background of the buggy photo. It's in front of Dave Hyre's grandfather's barbershop. He sends the photo below which shows
"Jake Brousis working in Victor Hyre's barbershop in Burnsville , May 1924. Dating the photo was easy with two calendars on the wall. The calendar hanging over the window shade is from the Burnsville Motor Sales. The calendar to the left is from the Burnsville Exchange Bank and displays a picture of Clara Bow. Just below that calendar is a picture of Charlie Chaplin. There is a spittoon on the floor to the left of Jake's knee. In front of the large calendar and mirror, is a lighted gas lamp fixture. The sign above the smaller mirror left of Jake notifies customers that closing time is 8 P.M. Monday through Friday and 10 P.M. on Saturday. The price for a shave and haircut is rung up on the cash register at $ .40. There are three empty Coca Cola bottles on the window sill and you can even see out the window to make out a Coca Cola sign mounted on a building across the street."

See also
Wed, July 12, '06 Ollie & Nathan Parmer
Sun, Sept. 24, '06 The Last Midwife

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Last Midwife

Adapted from an article by Paul P. Bennett of Jane Lew, published in Lewis County West Virginia, Her People and Places, edited by Joy Gilchrist-Stalnacker, pgs 58-59, available at the HCPD, Horner, WV

"Maysell (Parmer) Bennett (1898-1982) at one time had delivered about every baby in the Orlando area." Paul Bennett goes on to tell us that transportation was mostly by horses and was difficult at times. We know she worked in concert with Dr. Peck, who would come out to the new mother’s home as soon as possible, but from Burnsville to Orlando, and even up Clover Fork could take quite a while, especially in the mud road and paths of winter and the floods of spring.

"Maysell did not charge anything for her services but sometimes some of her patients would give her $5.00. The expecting mothers would contact her before the due date and ask her to come to their home when the mother would go into labor. (This was called engaging.)" Bonnie Brown, on the right in this 1960s photo was one of the babies Maysell delivered. We don't know who delivered her cousin Betty Brown.

Maysell Parmer married David Bennett, also from Orlando. Like many of his generation, David worked for the Hope Gas Company. They had six kids together. To the right is a photo of the two. The house they lived in, white with green trim, still stands on a small hill just past the road that goes up the hill to the Orlando graveyard.

This photo of northern Lewis County midwife Catherine (Queen) White would have been taken roughly about the time young Maysell began assisting with births in the Orlando area. Tis photo was contributed by Christine White to Joy Gilchrist's Lewis County West Virginia on pg 200

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Ollie and Nathan Parmer

David Parmer sends this photo with the following information:

Ollie (Olive) Skinner (b. 1873) was the daughter of Luther (Alexander & Phoebe (Conrad) Skinner's son) and Miriam (Walton) Skinner (Samuel & Nancy (Hannah) Walton's youngest daughter). Both of the parents died when Ollie was quite young, Miriam died, I believe, when Ollie was two years of age. [Miriam died in Feb 1875, age 38-40, Luther died in Oct 1875, age 42.]

"Ollie was raised by her aunt Anne, the spinster daughter of Alexander and Phebe Skinner. Anne also lived with her parents, Alexander and Phebe. Ollie married Nathan Parmer (b. 1871). They had four children, Dee Gilford, Stella, Maysell and Marie.

To left is a photo of Nathan's mother,
Ingabo Janine Parmer

See also
May 20,'06 The Bennetts of Clover Fork
Sept '06 The Last Midwife
Oct 2,'06 A Buggy Ride to Burnsville

Two of Ollie's cousins are featured in other entries. Her mother was Miriam Walton.
1. George Darcy Walton, from the July 30, '06 entry A Grandson of Samuel & Nancy (Hanna) Walton was the son of Miriam's brother James McClung and Evaline (Brown) Walton.
2. William Otto Skinner from the July 11, '06 entry William Otto & Clara Onetta Skinner was the son of Miriam's sister, Martha Walton.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Bennetts of Clover Fork

This is George Washington Bennett who, in his teens in the
1850s, came with his parents Isaac and Polly (Spaunagle) Bennett to settle on Clover Fork. In the 1860 census he was one of five kids were still at home: Adam, 23 years, our George, 18, Margaret, 16, Susan, 13, and David, 10.
Like his neighbors, George served the Confederate cause during the Civil War.
A large Bennett family in central Lewis County seems to be unrelated to our Bennetts. The Bennetts north of Orlando most likely have English origins. It has been suggested that our Bennetts had Germanic roots.
George married Anne Barb (or Barbe). Reports vary on the names and number of children. Two that we are certain of are Sarah and David. Pictured below to the left is George and Anne's oldest child, daughter Sarah, b. 1870, with her husband Gideon Skinner and their five oldest children taken in the very early 1900s. To the right is their son David, b. 1881, with his wife, Maycell Parmer, taken in, maybe, the 1950s.
George Washington Bennet died in 1914 at about the age of 73.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Orlando Businesses Over the Years

The following is an inventory of businesses that have served Orlando. The earliest was established around 1835 (John Riffle’s grist mill) and the last was the general store owned and operated into the 1970s by (my aunt) Juanita (Stutler) Burgett.
It would be great to get more information on Orlando Businesses.

~ John Riffle’s grist mill (built about 1835) 2.
~ Hickory Mill (opened in 1905 by Coal & Coke) 1.
~ Charles and Maggie (Cosner) Skinner's gristmill 2.
~ Wade Mick’s mill and feed store 2.
~ a restaurant owned by the Coal & Coke 1.
~ Dick Skinner’s Wagon Restaurant 1,4.
~ Lee Morrison’s restaurant 1.
~ Glen Skinner’s barber shop 4.
~ Dolan Hotel 1,2,4.
~ Rush Hotel 1.
~ Kelly Hotel 5.
~ general stores owned by
Pete Kennedy,
Mike Moran,
Charles and Maggie (Cosner) Skinner,
Bill Foster then Bill Conrad, then Dexter & Lela Brown, then Juanita (Stutler) Burgett. 1,2,4.
~ Mike Moran’s mortuary 1,4.
~ Cecily Tulley Brice’s millinery shop 1.
~ C.Z. Ruth wholesale house 1.
~ Mike Moran’s skating rink (replaced the wholesale house) 1.
~ Hole in the Hill, a bootleg saloon 1.
~ Mike Moran’s feed store 1.
~ Bill Foster’s feed store 1.
~ Nathan Parmer, Blacksmith 1.
~ Jake Queen, Blacksmith 1.

David Parmer reports the following:
Orlando as reported in the Burnsville Kanawha Banner.
~ In August 1912, O. E. Hollister opened a five lane pin bowling alley.
~ On March 22, 1911 Dr. Stanton Trimble moved into the Sandy Tulley house.
~ In 1913 the Oldaker Mercantile Company was bought out by G. F. Bennett.
~ In 1914, W. B. Foster bought out Bennett.

upper right The Wagon Restaurant
middle right Former Dolan Hotel in the 1970s. It had been a private residence for many years. The landscaping had changed, but there had been no external architectural changes.
lower left Mike Moran, mortician and entrepreneur

1. Orlando:Cinderella City... Weston Democrat Wed, Nov 2, 1977. Cited as sources History of West Virginia by J.M Callihan and Orlando residents Macel Parmer Bennett, Martin Sweeney and Edith Blake.
2. A Pictoral History of Old Lewis County: The Crossroads of Central West Virginia by Joy Gilchrist Stalnacker, published by Walsworth Publishing Company
3. Lewis County, West Virginia: Her People and Places by Joy Gilchrist Stalnacker, published by Walsworth Publishing Companyin 2000.
4. My own experience in Orlando in the 1950s through 1980s

5. Newspaper ad: see Nov 30, '06 entry Hotel Kelly