Mrs. Van Horn Celebrates
82nd Birthday With Family

(Clarksburg Exponent Telegram)
January 1, 1939

Recalls Trip in Covered Wagon

     Mrs. Lillian Alice Freeman Van Horn, of 206 Hartland Avenue who observed her 82nd birthday Tuesday, when she paused to recall her first journey, when with her parents she came from Culpepper County Virginia, where she was born, to what is now Freeman’s Creek, Lewis County, West Virginia, by covered wagon.

     Memories extending back to the day, shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War, when as a tiny girl, she began the long trek with her parents in a covered wagon from Culpepper County, Va., to the Freeman’s Creek section of Lewis County are fondly cherished by Mrs. Lillian Alice Freeman Van Horn of 206 Hartland Avenue, who observed her eighty second birth day Dec. 26, 1939 with members of her family.

     Last April, this kindly woman was stricken with a serious heart condition that confined her to her bed until recently when her improvement permitted her to be about the house a few hours each day. She not only assisted with Christmas preparations to her own home but was able to take Christmas dinner with her granddaughter, Mrs. C. C. Hyre, of Park Boulevard.

Came with Slaves

     A daughter of James Henry and Cornelia Ann Green Freeman, Mrs. Van Horn enjoys recalling the journey over the mountains to West Virginia in that covered wagon, accompanied by her Negro mammy whose devotion to “Missy Lill” continued to the end of the colored woman’s life.

     “There were other families coming to West Virginia from our section of Culpepper at the same time”, the little lady recounts as she weaves mental pictures of those Civil War days for two younger generations today.

     “Among the families I recall coming here to build a new life after the devastation wrought by the War in our old homes were the Straley’s, Ramsburg’s, Moffitt’s, Kemper’s, Miner’s, Priest;s, and Hitt’s. Almost any one familiar with Northern West Virginia community life, knows the part these family names play in this life. Mrs. Van Horn commented as she searched her memory for more stories of the historic period in which her childhood was passed.

     Rev Mansfield McWhorter married Lillian Freeman to Moses T. Van Horn, of Lost Creek, November 21, 1880. Their first child died in infancy but she has reared four other children who are; Charles W. Van Horn, of Baltimore, a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad official, Earl Van Horn, yardmaster in the local Baltimore and Ohio yards; Miss Grace Van Horn for 25 years librarian at Victory High School and Bryan Van Horn who lives in the family home at Rockford near Lost Creek.

     Mrs. Van Horn had four step children only a few years her junior. Mrs. Mollie Ladwig of Lost Creek is the only one of them living. The other three were W. O. Van Horn, of Smithburg Doddridge County. Mrs. Alice Hitt of Morgansville, Mrs. Etta Sheets mother of Mrs. C. C Hyre.

     Mrs. Van horn was a member of the Methodist Protestant Church of Rockford until moving to her present home 18 years ago. (1921)

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