Feature Story July 15, 2007

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PETER SHAVER HONORED AT GLADY DEDICATION


Submitted by:
Ethel M. Welch Swiger
4 July 2007
© 2007

      On a quiet plot of ground just off the beaten path near Glady, the grave site of Peter Shaver, one of Randolph County’s pioneers, was surrounded Saturday with those wishing to pay homage to the man whose name has been shared with the wilderness - from Shaver’s Mountain to the Shavers Fork and Shavers Run at Valley Bend.

      Shaver was one of the founding settlers of the Glady area, and although no one is for certain that his body is buried at the site, many still pay their respects at the small grave site, wrapped by wooden rails with a stainless steel marker and accompanying stone marker, shrouded by an American Flag.

      Shaver was the son of Paulus and Elizabeth Shaver who migrated from Germany.After settling in Philadelphia, PA the couple moved to Augusta County, VA, now Pendleton County, to a 200-acre land grant. Paulus Shaver received the land grant for his service in the French and Indian War of 1758. The couple had four sons, George, Peter, John and Paul.

      In 1772, Peter Shaver was married to Sarah Riffle and moved to Monongalia County VA, now Randolph County. It was there that the couple built a homestead on Shaver’s Run in Valley Bend.

      Shaver joined the Revolution in Augusta County in Capt. Simpson’s Company. He was and Indian ranger and a spy.

      He later returned from the war to his family, including his wife, their three sons, John, James and Jacob and his brother Paul who returned from the war with a severe leg wound.

      According to West Virginia author Gary Pase, “ Shaver’s Mountain and Shaver’s Fork are named for Peter Shaver. A botched Indian raid on St. George resulted in the death of the namesake of the mountain and stream we know so well. Peter Shaver was a German immigrant, Revolutionary War soldier and credited with being the first settler in the rich and wide Tygart Valley. He settled there in 1772. He also kept a cabin near Collett Gap, north of the ghost lumber town of Gandy. This cabin was a hunting camp and hideout from the Indians.”

      “Shawnees from Ohio would raid the settlements west of the Alleghenies with regularity,” Pase said. “The fore mentioned raid on St. George resulted in the Tygart Valley massacre of April 10, 1781. Every settlement in the valley between present day Elkins and Huttonsville was destroyed.The settlers were either killed or driven east to safety.”       “Peter Shaver, his pregnant wife and his brother, Paul were not at their cabin on Shaver’s Run, near Valley Bend, at the time of the raid,” Pase said. “They were visiting east. Returning that day Shaver rode ahead, always aware that Indians could be in the area. His wife and brother caught up with him, but not in time to save him. He was found mutilated. His scalped and bloody body was laying across the path leading home.” He is buried at his outpost cabin site near Collett Gap.”

      After Peter Shaver was attacked by the Shawnee, history states that his family fled the area. His wife was pregnant with the fourth son, Francis and he was born in Harrison County, VA/WV.

Inscribed on his marker are these words:

HERE LIES
PETER SHAVER
KILLED BY INDIANS
1781
THIS MOUNTAIN
AND
SHAVERS FORK RIVER
ARE NAMED
IN HIS HONOR

      Shavers Mountain, Shaver’s Falls, Shaver’s Trail and Shaver’s Run are all named in Peter Shaver’s honor.

      The dedication of the Stone Marker was held on Saturday, 23 June 2007 hosted by Peter’s grand daughter, Betty Messinger of Texas and sponsored by Brazos Valley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution of Houston Texas , of which she is a member. The ceremony was attended by the WV State Sons of the American Revolution, WV State Daughters of the American Revolution and represented by local chapters of the DAR and several family members and friends.

      Descendants of Peter Shaver include Betty Messinger, Arden Swiger, Otis Shaver, Faye Lineberry, Patsy Null, Velda Paridon and Samuel Shaffer.

      According to Bemis native Debbie Adams, the stainless steel marker was made by Jeff Darnell of Griffithsville. The marker was placed by Darnell, his wife, Mary, and Joe Horty in 1999.

      The stainless steel marker became the permanent fixture at Shaver’s grave site because of the theft of other markers that were previously placed there.

      The grave site is maintained by Terry Sipe of Belington and Arden and Alan Swiger, Elkins. Arden is Peter Shaver’s ggg grandson and Alan is the gggg grandson.

      The American Flag is often replaced by Arden and Alan Swiger and Deneal Phillips.

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Original Marker
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Present Day Marker

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