John Hill

b. unknown, d. unknown

Death*John Hill died unknown. 
Birth*He was born unknown. 
Note*He Some Pioneer Cemeteries of Parkersburg and Wood CountyBy John A. House

JOHN HILL GRAVEYARD How they toiled and how they wrought
How life's daily battles fought
Struggling for a mere subsistence
Eking out their scant existence
Pressing back the dim frontier
Those streams of hardy pioneer. (J. A. H.)

On the 29th day of June, 1930, I "discovered" in a jungle of pine brush lying west of the Elizabeth Pike and just beyond Pettyville, and old graveyard, probably near the site of what is referred to in old deeds as "the old Hill Meetin' House." It lies on a little ridge, a fork's point between two miniature runs, and as now fenced is perhaps 100 by 150 feet in dimension. The ground is closely overgrown with pine bushes, thick as a chairpost or smaller, three to eight feet in height, and woven together with catbrier in patches, and spots and much of the surface is carpeted with a thick coating of graveyard myrtle, too much shaded to thrive yet too tenacious of life to give up the annual recurring struggle for existence. There is some sassafras, and occasionally dogwood or other bushes. There is one cedar tree rising tall and straight to a height of sixty feet or more, and ten or twelve inches in diameter, while its utmost spread of limbs is perhaps eight feet. At its base, grown over with the interminable pine thicket, are barely recognizable graves, unmarked, unknown, over which it has kept vigil well along maybe into its second century. Who, with sad hearts, planted this tree at the grave of loved ones will never be known. The tree still lives and will continue to live for many years to come, unless destroyed by vandal hands or ruthless fires.

Inside the enclosure are several other trees, pines of considerable size, probably a remnant of the first respreading of the old fields by the forest. Some ten years ago, less or more, the spot has been reclaimed, the brush cut away, the grounds enclosed by a substantial fence of barbed wire with locust posts, and two soldier's markers set. Headstones furnished by the United States Government. There are many old unmarked graves that may yet be traced among the thick growth of pine brush, and doubtless very many more now entirely hidden.

I only found four graves with headstones, all marble slabs, and three of the original in good state of preservation. There is a grave off by itself in the brush with a headstone, a wide thin marble slab, with lettering out into the rock and very difficult to read. There is a verse inscribed below the legend. It read: "Sacred to the memory of Littleton Hall, died July 12, 1872, aged 60 years, 8 months." This burial plat may be on the old Harden patent. It lies back of the middle street of the Pine View Addition on top of the second rise north of the pike and about two-thirds of the way up toward third street.
Visited again, May, 1935. It is still in a dense thicket, but someone has sawed the big cedar tree off at the height of about four feet. The trunk still lies there. There is a grave in which sleeps the ashes of a Revolutionary patriot. The only marker is the Government stone, inscribed, "John Hill, Leigh's Company, Pennsylvania Mil. Rev. War." (Leach's Company). Presumably until some of his descendants secured and placed this stone, the grave has been unmarked. It shows that John Hill, who has evidently been from Pennsylvania, served in the American Army as a member of Captain Leigh's Company, Pennsylvania State troops. He came to Wood County, Virginia, before the fall of 1805, at which time he bought 230 acres of Hugh Phelps, Mark Harden Survey. For this he received on September 2nd two deeds from Phelps. The calls are practically the same: one deed has payment of 350 pounds in Pennsylvania money; the other, $933.34 - "lawful money of Virginia." The first reads, "late of resident of Fayette County, Pennsylvania; the other makes him a resident of Wood.

There was 105 poles river frontage, and it extended back for more than a mile. The same day he appears to have sold to his son William 130 acres of the front, and on July 3, 1809, 32 1/2 acres more, and the same day to Adam Ruble, 7 1/2 acres - an eleven pole strip at back. Then on July 31st he bought 30 acres of William, which would make his holding 90 acres. This was back lands of the lower tract, Harden land.

On the 18th of August, 1820, he completed the deed (for 92 acres) to Jacob Deem, husband of his daughter, Margaret Hill; doubtless the Deems were in possession of the home before, as Hill had no lands mentioned in his will, made in November, 1819. He willed all his personal property to his wife, Agnes Hill (neither he nor his wife could write their name) - except $1.00 each to William Hill, Sarah Johnson, Agnes (commonly called "Nancy") Phelps, and Margaret Deem. The will was probated at the May term of Court, 1823. The neighbors who witnessed the document: John T. Langfitt, James - X - McMaster, and John F. Palmer (called Parmer).

By Hill's side sleeps a daughter, Margaret, wife of Jacob Deem, she was born 1793, died April 6, 1858, aged 65. (Jacob Deem, Jr. married Margaret Hill, July 20, 1815.) By her side lies: Jacob Deem, born August 10, 1790, died January 12, 1884. He would thus be 93 years, 5 months and 2 days old. A stone in front, furnished by the United States, reads: "Jacob Deem, Ensign, 1 Virginia Mil. War 1812." Of the Deem family I have little. He was a son of Jacob, Sr. William and Derastus were his sons; Louisa, wife of Littleton Hall, was his daughter. William marked out and Elliott penciled in.

John Hill's headstone has been moved and is now located in the Mt. Zion Cemetery at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church located in Mineral Wells, Wood Co., WV. 
Burial*He was buried at Deem Cemetery near Pettyville, Wood Co., W. Va. 
Marriage*He married Agnus Stuart


Agnus Stuart

Last Edited30 Aug 2007