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 211th installment of the Centennial History.


Submitted by Kathryn Coyner

Henri Sovine migrated to America from France and married a Miss Holpayne of Virginia. A son, Henry Sovine II, was born in 1802, one year before Thomas Jefferson was elected President of the United States.

When Henry II was a young man, he married Catherine Courtney Thomas. Nine children were born to this couple, one being Joseph Thomas in 1827.

The Sovine family moved westward, settling in Teays Valley in 1838. They made their home northward of Hurricane Bridge on Sleepy Creek, where Joseph grew to manhood.

At the age of 24, in 1851, Joseph married Amanda Young. They made their home near Joseph’s parents. The home where he reared his family is still standing (1987) and occupied by a descendant of Joseph.

Joseph T. Sovine served three terms as justice of the peace.

He was a founder and charter member of the First Baptist Church in Hurricane.

Joseph’s vocation throughout his lifetime was farming. Joseph and Amanda had ten children, the oldest being Francis Marion, who was born March 20, 1852.

In 1865 as the boys in Blue and Grey came trudging home after four years of fighting in the Civil War, Ida Mae Thacker was born in Ohio to a minister and his wife. When Ida was a young girl of 20, she traveled to Hurricane with her father who was having a revival. There she met Francis Marion, known as “Frank,” and in 1886 they were married. For a short time they lived in what is now the Allen Funeral Home, before moving to a farm on Sovine Road. This farm remained in the family for ninety-nine years.

“Frank” became known for his fruit farming, developing an apple called the “Hurricane Apple.” To help support his growing family “Frank” taught school for many years.

“Frank” and Ida had five children, Randolph, who became a farmer and lived on the farm for 96 years. Monica who taught school in Putnam County and lived to be 97. Iva also became a teacher in Putnam and Kanawha counties and later moving to Florida for health reasons. Iva lived to be ninety-five. Ralph also became a farmer and inherited his father’s horticultural mind. Ralph was continually grafting and developing new and different plants and fruits. The youngest was Florence, who was a member of the first graduating class of Hurricane High School in 1923.

Only two of “Frank” and Ida’s children married. Florence married Clay Fleshman Carpenter, son of Dr. James Henry Carpenter and Zelinda Estelle Leonard Carpenter and Iva, who married Lloyd Harrison.

Florence and Clay gave “Frank” and Ida Mae two grandchildren, Kathryn June and James Marion. There are two great grandchildren, Laura Ann Coyner, daughter of Kathryn and Ronald L. Coyner, and Lisa Ann Carpenter, daughter of James and Jeannette Pickens Carpenter.


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.

Ida Mae Sovine
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