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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 218th installment of the Centennial History.


Submitted by Franklin Spurlock

Andrew Van Spurlock was born July 12, 1849, at Griffithsville, West Virginia. He enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1862 at the age of 13, along with two of his brothers, John Henry (age 15) and Thomas (age 14). When the quartermaster was about to shorten their uniforms with scissors, young Thomas was said to have interrupted, saying, “Never mind the alterations. I plan to stay in the Army till this trouble ends, so I’ll just grow into the uniform.” Andrew was captured in 1864 near Lexington, Virginia, and later released.

When the Civil War ended, Andrew returned to Griffithsville where he married Minerva Hager. To this union were born four sons and five daughters: Belva Dora (1869-1871), Leora (1871-1954), Rachel (1874-1890), William Leander (1878- 1966), Victor (1881- 1943), Emma Jane (1885- 1952), Benjamin Franklin (1886-1970), Froude Homer (1889-1964), and Margie (1894-1960).

About 1900, Andrew moved from the Trace Fork area to Putnam to Hurricane, where he practiced his trade as a black smith. Sometime prior to World War I, he purchased and moved to a large farm about two miles east of Hurricane which surrounded the intersection of what are now U.S Route 60 and WV Route 34. He continued to blacksmith till he was past 80 years old and died in 1939. His son, Frank operated the farm.

Frank Spurlock married Tressa Holcomb in 1915. They were blessed with two sons and two daughters, all of whom are now living: Inez Victoria (1916), Wendell Esmond (1918), Wanda Adele (1923), and Eldon Franklin (1926). Frank operated the farm, a trucking business, and later a general store and service station. He died in 1970 at the age of 84. Tressa Spurlock died in 1981 at the age of 90.

Inez Spurlock married Harold Willis and they were the parents of one daughter, Joyce Ann. They operated a construction equipment and supply business in Tucson, Arizona, where Inez, now a widow, resides.

Esmond (Bud) Spurlock married Delores Westfall and to them were born three sons and four daughters: Robert, Joseph, David, Mary, Deborah, Susan, and Jeannie. Bud served in the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II and was critically injured in a plane crash. He worked in various industrial plants and later operated furniture stores in several locations in the western states. He now resides in Clearlake Oaks, California, with his wife the former Donna Musselman, who is retired from the Bell Telephone System. Wanda Spurlock married Harry Suttle and to them were born one son, James Harry, and two daughters, Marilyn Jan and Teresa Jill. Wanda is an accountant and has been office manager for Landers Chevrolet in Hurricane for over 25 years. Harry was a barber and operated shops in St. Albans for over 35 years. He is retired and they reside in St. Albans.

Franklin Spurlock married Elene Gothard and to them were born one son, Samuel Stephan, and one daughter, Margaret Elene. Franklin served in the U.S. Navy in World War II at three Naval Air Stations and aboard the light cruiser USS Oklahoma City. He retired in 1986 as Area Director for the U.S. Department of Labor, where he had jurisdiction over West Virginia and part of Virginia. Elene was employed by the WV Department of Natural Resources. They now reside in Huntington.


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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