Meadowville Rich in Love of an Earlier Day
By Stuart Levi Johnson
Published under “Bits of Barbour” in the Belington Exponent ca 1933
Submitted by Louise Righman



Part two

Poling Forbear:
      To the East of Meadowville settled Robert Johnson and his family and his brother-in-law Benjamin Vannoy, all of Hopewell NJ. Near them came John Black and John Hoffman who had been added to the immigrants in Maryland. Ebenezer Kelly of Somerset County, NJ, who married a daughter [Rachel] of Robert Johnson, also settled in the vicinity.

Peter Poland [Poling],
      Ancestor of the Polings of Barbour County came from New Jersey and settled in the community. At Meadowvale settled John Harris, also born in New Jersey, and his sons, David and Simeon and his daughter Lydia. Moses Phillips, who probably had been a neighbor of the other settlers before they left their homes settled at Meadowville and built the Indian Fort there. On sugar Creek above the present village settled Phillip Coontz and John Hill both from New Jersey. Near Bethel Chapel settled William Smith whose daughter [Hannah] later married Simeon Harris. On the whole at the beginning of the eighteenth century the section must have been a bit of New Jersey transplanted to Virginia soil.

The Harris Cabin:
      It is safe to presume that Moses Phillips was the first to settle in this section, as it was he who built the fort. The building itself was torn down within the past few years (ca 1930). It was a one room building of sturdy logs with a projecting second story from which settlers could fire down upon the attacking Indians. With Moses Phillips came his sons Isaac, Joseph, John I, Thomas, William, Moses, Henry and one daughter, Susannah. [These could possibly be his siblings and not children]

      The Harris cabin was a mile away and the old story, which has been handed down says that Simeon Harris had a dog that could smell Indians and which howled when they were in the neighborhood. So much did the Harris family trust the remarkable powers of the dog that whenever he howled in a certain manner they dropped everything and fled to the [Phillips] fort. Invariably, the story says, when they returned to their cabin they found tracks in the ashes on the hearth or on the ground near the cabin. One family by the name of Burnside had a child buried in the Elliott Cemetery at Meadowville during the late 1700s and tradition has it that a family [by the name] of Sherman built a house where the Elliotts later built their brick house. [the beautiful old brick home at the cross road of Rt 92 and 4H Camp Road in Meadowville. It is beyond repair at this time, but if I had a million dollars, I would buy and restore it (after getting another loan for about a million).

      In the old section of the Bethel graveyard are more than a hundred graves. Many of whom are buried there must have been Revolutionary soldiers but the weather and time have erased the names carved by hand on the slabs of sandstone. Many stones have sunk until the inscriptions are below ground. What a wonderful project for the church if they could restore the “burying ground” so rich in historical facts. Here is the grave of Semion Harris who served the Virginia Continental troops and who drew a pension from his country for his service. His grave is marked by a large slab bearing only his name. [This stone still stands (2007), rather clean at the grave site, and additional markers have been placed there by the DAR. Both his wives are buried there, one on each side of Simeon, with only their initials carved on field stone


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