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The Centennial History of Hurricane: Meet Some of Hurricane’s Oldest Families

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. Since the Centennial History is now out of print, the Breeze is reprinting articles from the book as space allows. This week’s selection will be the 182nd installment of the Centennial History.


Submitted by Garnett McCann and Betty Handley

LeRoy McCann was born November 5, 1856. He moved, with his parents, to Tyler County, W. Va., the area of Sistersville and Middlebourne. His parents were James McCann and Michel Davis McCann. The family consisted of four brothers and one sister: Floyd, Randolph, Charles, Lawrence and Cora.

LeRoy married Nancy (Nannie) Corbly on October 9, 1891. They lived, for a few years, in Tyler County, and then moved to the C.H. Chapman place in Hurricane in 1899. LeRoy was a farmer and moved with his family to Milton, WV and then back to Hurricane and purchased the Tothe farm on December 5, 1909. The farm home of LeRoy and Nancy McCann is still in Teays Valley where Mrs. Daisy Baker now lives. (The two story white house just north of Carters Market.)

After Mr. McCann’s death in 1928, Mrs. McCann lived at the farm for several years then moved into the Town of Hurricane. She lived at 2641 Virginia Avenue until her death in 1953. The farm, many years before, was divided into a subdivision known as the “McCann Addition.” The farm place still brings back many wonderful memories.

Mr. and Mrs. McCann had four children. Erma T. McCann (1893-1972), husband, Dr. Wade F. Hill (1886-1947). One child, Wade F. Hill, Jr. (1923-1975). His wife, Mariam Finch (divorced) two children: Michel Lou Hill Rinard (adopted name) Jordan, her husband, Jack Jordan, lives in Lancaster, S.C., one child, Billy Jack Jordan. Jessie Jo Hill Rinard (adopted name) West Jones, husband Jones, one child; Thomas West, Jr.

Worley J. McCann (1897- 1952), wife – Helen White (1905-1985); children; Betty June McCann; husband, Harold Handley. Two children; June Lee, husband – Benjamin Lowe, Lexington, Kentucky. Three children: Erich, Kelly and Adam Lowe. Susan Ann; husband, Jerry Bennett, Hurricane, W. Va. Three children; Todd, Elizabeth, and Brooke.

Waldo C. McCann (1900-1975) wife, Virginia Wells (1904- 1969); one child, Cecil L. McCann – wife, Ruth McClure Garten. No children.

Lynn Corbly McCann (1910-1975) wife, Garnett McCallister (1912-). No children.

Nancy Corbly McCann’s father, Andrew Lynn Corbly (1824-1907) and mother, America (1827-1895) were born near Morgantown. They were the parents of five sons and four daughters: S.M., Clyde, H.S., Lawrence, B.L., Cecilia, Helen, Nancy, and Samantha. All of the children settled in different parts of the country except Nancy (Nannie) and Lawrence. Andrew Corbly was one of the Board of Directors who helped start the Putnam County Bank. They received the Certificate of Incorporation on October 11, 1901. Their homestead was 56 acres north of the Valley Road, being bought from W.D. Kerr. In his will, Andrew left his wife, America, the farm, stock in the bank, horse and buggy, feed and provisions.

Nancy (Corbly) McCann was a charter member of the Order of the Eastern Star and a member of the Methodist Church. She loved to go to church each week to quilt with her friends, Mrs. Woodworth, Mrs. Roberman, Mrs. Wilkerson, Mrs. Ford and many others.

Lawrence Corbly was an educator and was Principal or President of Marshall College, now known as Marshall University for nineteen years (1896-1915). He traveled and studied abroad and then came back to Marshall and taught German. The new “School of Business” is named in honor of Professor Corbly.

Erma McCann Hill was a member of the D.A.R. and traced the history of the McCanns and Corblys, and this helped to make strong roots in these two families. It has been very rewarding to all of us.


Much hard work and effort by many people went into the compilation of The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV. Published in 1988, the history incorporated family and business histories and local history. All this information was enclosed in a beautiful red and gold hardback volume, the pride of anyone wise enough to have purchased it. Unfortunately, the book is now out of print, so finding a copy will be difficult, if not impossible. It is a great shame that many do not know the existence of this fine book, so the Breeze is reprinting the articles in serialized form as space allows.

A digital copy of the Centennial History can be obtained from the Hurricane City Hall for a small donation. For more information, call the City of Hurricane at (304) 562-5896.

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