Featured, Local History, The Centennial History of Hurricane

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 204th installment of the Centennial History.


Submitted by Phyllis Canterbury

Mack Carlysle Searls was born in Hurricane on Turkey Creek, August 1900, and died in August 1975. Annie Bell Bird was born in Hurricane on Clymer Creek in May of 1909. Mack and Annie were united in marriage in March of 1927, and from this union ten children were born; six sons and four daughters: Mack Carlysle, Jr., Ada Kachelene, Leslie Eugene, Melvin Leon, Merdith Adline, Phyllis Jean, Robert Lee, Linda Faye, Danny Curtis and Randy Loyd.

Mack Carlysle Searls, Jr. was born in 1930. He married the former Imogene Belcher of St. Albans. They are parents of Stephen Carlysle and Jeffery Lynn. Stephen married the former Debbi Caldwell of Hurricane. They have two children, Becky and Stephen.

Ada Kathelene, born in 1932, married Denver Sisson of Sissonville. They have two children, Denver Alan and Anna Louise. Anna married Rowdy Despasqualo of Martinsburg. They have a daughter, Ana’ Maria.
Leslie Eugene was born in 1934. He married the former Mitzi Bird of St. Albans. They have two children, Darlene and Gary. Darlene married Roger Wheeler of St. Albans, they have one daughter, Lesley Ann.
Melvin Leon was born in 1937. He married the former Phyllis Hodges of Hurricane.

Merdith Adline was born in 1940. She married Charles Marker of Hurricane. They are parents of four children, Charles Larry, 11, John William, Stephanie Ann and Vanessa Elaine. John married the former Renee Keenan of Moundsville. Stephanie married Michael Johnson and they reside in Lakeland, Florida. Stephanie and Michael have one daughter, Deanna Lynn.

Phyllis Jean was born in 1943. She married Larry Gene Canterbury of Hurricane. They have two sons, Richard Gene and Russell Alan.

Robert Lee was born in 1946. He has two sons, Travis Lee and Erich Todd.

Linda Faye was born in 1947. She married Rodney Adkins of Hurricane. They have two daughters, Lisa Dawn and Amy Beth. Lisa married Richard Carnes of Charleston.

Danny Curtis was born in 1950. He married the former Paula Jordan of Milton. They have two children, Michael Ryan and Amber Dawn.

Randy Loyd was born in 1951. He married the former Doris Quentrill of Hurricane. They have two children, Melissa Erin and Justin Randy.

Besides working full time for Union Carbide of South Charleston as a painter, Mack owned a 77 acre farm just outside Hurricane on Route 34. Of course having six sons helped in the operation of his farm. Besides raising a huge garden of vegetables, there were crops of field corn, strawberries and tobacco. Mack’s pride and joy on the farm came from raising purebred Hereford cattle, and he always maintained a fine team of work horses.

Annie’s pride and joy came in being a homemaker. She was and still is the best cook on earth; half the community could vouch for that. She was a fine seamstress; making clothes for her family and prize-winning quilts. And of course with ten children she was always a peacemaker.

Mack and Annie left their ten children a heritage unmatched by any other. They always put their family first and themselves last. They lived what they taught us by the fine example they always set for us.

All ten children graduated from the old Hurricane High School that has since been torn down. Of the ten children, we have two electricians, a salesperson, a millwright, an ironworker, a pastor’s wife, a bank teller, a plant operator, a service personnel for our school system, and an operator at a local water plant.

Mack and Annie’s children would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for all the wonderful childhood memories you have given us. But much more than that, we want to thank you for each other.


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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