Featured, Local History, The Centennial History of Hurricane

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 213th installment of the Centennial History.



The undocumented tradition is that a young adventurer, Henri Sovine, came from Southern France and joined the American Revolutionary forces under Lafayette, married a colonial girl and returned to join in the French Revolution leaving behind a wife and an infant son who became the ancestor of all the American Sovine clan.

Joseph T. Sovine, the great grandson of Henri I and the son of Henry Sovine II, was born in Craig County, Virginia and moved to the Teays Valley area with his parents. They settled in the Hurricane Creek area in 1838. On May 20, 1851, Joseph married Amanda Young, who was born March 4, 1830 in Kanawha County. They were the parents of nine children:

Frances M. (born 1852) married Ida Thacker. They were the parents of five children: Randolph, Monica and Ralph unmarried; Iva married Loyd Harrison and Florence married Clay Carpenter.

Charles M. (born 1853) married Augusta Smith and they reared six children: Alonzo married Rebecca West, Baine married Winnie Willard, Noah married Sarah Atkinson, Tillie married Hobard Corney, Julia married Cam Waugh and Lunia married Chris Lee.

Victoria (born 1855) married Joseph Tanner and they were the parents of two children, George and Victor both unmarried. Victor died in military service as a young man.

Henry M. (born 1857) married Mary Frances Sovine and they were the parents of six children: Emma married Henry Martin, Charles A. married Artie Martin, Clara married Elijah Thacker, Joseph married Norma Fugate, Herman married Jewel Harbour, Bertha married Burke A. Sovine and Amy married Willie W. Wallace.

George Washington (born 1862) remained single. In 1865 twins were born to the Sovine’s, Sarah Katherine (Kate) and James M. (Jim).

Sarah Katherine married William Bryant. Two children were born to them, Blanch who married George DeWitt and Bud unmarried. James M. married Myrtle Bell Miller and they were the parents of nine children: Maude married Walter Holley, Grace married Arnold Baylous, Vivian married Clayton Leadman, Hattie married Henry Smith, Clyde A. married Martha Lake, George C. married Iva Kerns, Clay died in youth, James C. married Elizabeth Moore, Claude W. married Bernice Johnson.

Laura Bell (1868) married James J. Gibson. They were the parents of two daughters: Mary Margaret ho married Homer Moss and Irsel Lorene who married Richard Lewis N. Many of Joseph T. Sovine’s descendants have settled in the Hurricane area where they have engaged in farming, education, industry, and a variety of business enterprises but many have migrated to other areas particularly Kanawha and Cabell Counties but so far as known all American born Sovines are descendants of the original French immigrant, Henri Sovine.

Much of the information and considerable help and encouragement in the preparation of this report was provided by Bertha Sovine, who is at age 91, the oldest living descendant of Joseph T. Sovine and the daughter of the third Henry Sovine in the family history. Henry Sovine, whose picture s featured here, was a successful farmer, teacher and community worker. He died in 1944 at the age of 87.


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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