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Centennial History of Hurricane (1994 Edition): William Jackson Matthews

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. In 1994, the Centennial Committee published a follow up book which included family histories which were not submitted in time for the 1988 Centennial History. This week’s selection is the 312nd history from The Centennial History of Hurricane WV Continued — 1994.

Parts VIII
The Matthews Children
William Jackson Matthews

William was the first child born to John William and Margaret Paul Matthews. He was April 29, 1881 on the farm on Sycamore Creek. I do not how close the relationship was between Grandpa and his children but I know Grandma was a loving mother. My Daddy once told me that Aunt Viney was the most strict. I have a picture of my father and Aunt Viney in her silk dress. Daddy was about five years old. I also have a picture of him and a Harbour cousin out hunting with their guns. I still have that old muzzle loading, double barrel shotgun. Daddy often told the story about how the gun came into their hands. Grandpa had sold a man a horse but the man didn’t have the money to pay for it. So he gave Grandpa a large wall clock, a bible, and the gun as payment. Someone remarked that that was not very good payment for a horse. Grandpa replied, “It wasn’t a very good horse”.

Daddy attended the local school as far as he could and then went to St. Albans where he finished the ninth grade, which was about all that was available. He was given a teaching certificate, but when his father found out Daddy had lied about his age (he was not quite 16 as the law required, this was 1895-96) Grandpa tore up his teaching certificate. Daddy took it pretty hard and left home for a while, but did not stay away.

Will, as he was known at home, told about he and Clyde Hall hauling wagon loads of tobacco to auction at the tobacco warehouses in Hurricane. He was a charter member of the L.O.O.F. Lodge #295 in Hurricane, and a member of Sycamore Baptist Church. Daddy eventually left the farm and became a butcher, working in the company stores for various coal mining companies. While working for the Collins Mining Co. in Fayette County, WV he met Lillie Brash, b. September 23, 1893, daughter of John and Susan Hepburn Brash of Glen Jean, WV. They were married November 3, 1914, and became the parents of three children: Lillian Margaret, b. April 17, 1916; m. Ira Lee Bostic Nov. 3, 1939; Susan Eloise, b. July 24, 1917, m. H. C. “Pete” Parrish July 12, 1950; John Brash, b. Feb. 17, 1919, m. Susan Chaney Aug. 1944. Daddy went to work for the Carslile Coal Company near Oak Hill, WV and that is where I, Lillian Margaret was born. Later, we moved to Paint Creek where Daddy managed company stores in Honaker and Gallagher, WV. That is where Susan and John were born.

We visited the Matthews farm when we could. In the summer, Mother, Lizzie and sometimes Aunt Effie would go berry picking and then make blackberry jelly and jam. Mother also liked to go there in the fall and make apple butter in the large copper kettle in the backyard. Dad would sing us a little song, part of which went, “Oh the apple butter paddle is all in splinters now, and my Daddy wore it out a paddling me”.

Mother (Lillie) died in 1946 and was buried at Oak Hill with her family. Daddy died February 3, 1947 and was buried at his request, beside of his mother in Sycamore Cemetery. When my brother, John, died in 1956, the Matthews family name died with him, as he had no children and was the only grandson. However, there are numerous descendants in the Hurricane area and elsewhere. Additional information on Matthews descendants is to be found in the 1988 Hurricane Centennial Book.

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