John Wood taped interview with Gwendolyn Wood, Mingo W.V., 8/6/95

“...Well, the Lemon house was built by Sam Lemon, who married [Elizabeth] Wood. Betsy. But during the Civil War, when the Lemons refugeed, went to Bath County, about 1861, that was the year the war begun, so it was after that, it was right along in ‘61, and they left. But in January they were back home, and Lee’s men were camped around the brow of that hill across the road. And Grandma Lemon was living up there, and she said that they got sick with the measles. It’s in the history books, all about...that Lee lost a lot of men from measles up here on Valley Mountain. And fourteen of the ones that were lying on...they filled up her living room on the floor...somebody’d peck on the door, and they’d say we’re full up, can’t take any more. Fourteen of them died with the measles, and they’re buried...they were buried out on the brow of the hill behind the little house that we call the Castoe [sp?] house. And I don’t know whether they ever took the bodies up. They may have, because down the road here toward Valley Head at what we call the Fountain, where Tolley lived, a man was killed? a Sharp? and buried there, and they took him up and took him when they left back to Marlinton, so they may have removed these fourteen bodies.

“But then Grandma said a sleet came, a bad sleet, while the little camp...like a wigwam or something, a little fire here and there, several little fires up on the brow of the hill, and she said came a sleet, and when the fires were built, it just glistened on that hill?the light would shine on the ice, and she said you could see the negro women going around the little fires, and I said ‘What? The negro women?’ She said yes, each little bunch had a negro woman to wait on them. To cook for them. And I didn’t know that. They had brought them with them. That’s the first I ever heard. But she saw them, so she said there they were.

“And they had gone to Bath, and when they came back, just about this January time, everything...all their livestock had been taken. All they had left was one chicken, and it was on a pole behind the door in the house. That was all that was left.

“When Ida Mace...Ida Lemon, son [daughter] of Sam and Betsy, she wanted to get married and she wanted to marry Wash Mace. And he’d been married: he was a widower with two children. So the family objected, and they said Oh, he just likes to hunt, and all he wants to do is hunt, and so he evidently wasn’t as progressive as they’d like. So they didn’t approve of him, and they wouldn’t let her be married at home. So she said, all right, if she couldn’t be married at home, she’d be married out in the middle of the road. And the neighbors offered [for her] to come and be married at their house, but no sir, so she had the wedding right in the middle of the road. And she married Wash Mace. George Washington Ebenezer Jasper Mace. [Interjection from Archie Wood] Ferdinand Jasper. And went to live up at Mace, up on the mountain. On top of Valley Mountain. Lived there seven years. Now outside of that seven years, she lived in this house that stands up here. And Aunt Betty is 98 years old. She’s living in Elkins; that’s Ida’s daughter.

“Elizabeth [Wood, Gus’s daughter] had married Hall, Bob Hall, R. C. Hall. And it wasn’t a wedding that they approved, so when this child was born, Nora [?] I believe, Elizabeth died. And the child lived two months longer, so that gave the inheritance to Hall?the land that had been divided up. And the Woods didn’t like that, and so they buried this Elizabeth and the little daughter in the Gus Wood cemetery, and Hall said he never wanted to be buried in there with the Woods, and that suited the Woods very well, so he’s buried in the meadow, on below the cemetery, and there’s a marker up there to him. He’s buried there. But that’s why he inherited the Gus Wood land, and that Hall land runs on down the River nearly a mile, I should say, a strip down along the River. And just recently it’s been [in?] heirship from a girl I call Tiny Moore from New York, came down here and took some pictures of it, and she died at a hundred years and left it to another Moore, and so the Moores and the Halls have it now.”

jaw: “Was she related to the Moores here in Mingo?”

“Yes, the Moores lived on top of the hill where the John Carter Wood property was. And one of them’s a school teacher, one of them was the Post Master, here in Mingo...but this Hall, this Bob Hall’s land want down to Iry Hall and Hugh Hall, and Iry Hall’s niece was a Moore, and Iry Hall left his share of the land to Tiny Moore.

“Martha and Ben Kellison and some Rineharts who lived up here in Mingo, and another family or two, got in wagons and went to Kansas, and homesteaded some land. They drove out there and then they stayed a year or two, and one of John Carter Wood’s boys went out there to visit, and married their daughter. The Kellison daughter out there. But at any rate, they went broke. Their crops failed, and it was dry, and they came back. And Harriet, Gus Wood’s daughter Harriet who’d married Cary, he lived here beside of the Mingo store and Post Office, and when Kellison came back and Cary, and they were all in the store every night to talk, they’d loaf in there till nine o’clock at night or more, and Kellison just kept telling tales about Kansas: Oh-h-h, it was just such a fine place to live. Just black, rich soil, deep, and you could just do most anything. Just be a perfect place, if they just had water. And of course Cary had furnished the money, had bought him a horse or some horses maybe he come back with, and he got sick of that, he said, ‘Well, so would hell!’...He wasn’t very proud of Kansas.”