WELCOME TO OUR WEBSITE
The Jackson County Historical Society
Our Society has been collecting information about Jackson County's past since our beginning in 1969. The Society was founded by a group of community minded individuals who saw the need to preserve the heritage of our county. These members made a commitment of their time and talents to promote that goal. Over that 47-year period there have been countless citizens who have devoted their time to work with maintaining the Washington's Western Lands Museum and the Sayre Log House at Ravenswood. Many hours have been devoted to manning the Heritage House at Cedar Lakes. Volunteers have worked with the publication of numerous books. The Society published a newsletter for more than thirty years that was distributed all across the country. Almost all of these wonderful people have passed on without special recognition for their contributions to our county. Thanks to them we have resources to refer to when questions arise. All our publications are available at the local library.
We average more than 1,000 visitors a month to this site. The Area Deaths section with its unbelievable amount of obituaries is one of the most popular sections. All the obituaries were individually typed by a volunteer. We are looking for some young people who would be willing to volunteer with Society projects as our membership shrinks but the need to preserve our county history never ends.
Please check the menu at the left to browse all the topics available on this website.
2017 Jackson County History Hero
Dallas W. Skeen
Dallas W. Skeen, a charter member of the Jackson County Historical Society, was honored as our Jackson County History Hero at a ceremony held in the State Theater at the Culture Center in Charleston on March 9. The History Heroes from across the state were also recognized in the House of Delegates chamber following the ceremony. Mr. Skeen has been an active member since the Society was formed in 1969. He has contributed to the many projects of the Society for over 40 years and gives programs on topics of historic interest to community groups. He has served as president four times and is currently serving as vice president.
Jackson County and Civil War Articles
In the summer of 1976 The Jackson Herald began a series of articles by Corinne Staats Fisher on Jackson
County history. Mrs. Fisher (1911-1998), daughter of Enoch and Allie Carney Staats, had been researching and collecting information on the history of our area for many years. She edited her collection for this series which ran for a two-year period in the newspaper. Mrs. Fisher was a graduate of Ripley High School, received her AB from Marshall University and her Master's degree from West Virginia University. The Jackson Newspapers has graciously given us permission to add this series of articles to our website. We have added her articles on Jackson County and the series on the Civil War to our site. She also wrote a series of articles on the history of Jackson County churches which we hope to add at a later date.
To view these articles click on Jackson County (Fisher) or Civil War (Fisher) on the menu at left.
7,900 Obituaries and Counting
"It is as natural to die as to be born."-----Francis Bacon, 1597
Our Area Deaths section now contains over 7,900 obituaries. The obituaries came from a variety of sources. Thousands had been glued to index cards by volunteers over the years. Some were glued into composition books, others in notebooks, old textbooks or loose in folders and boxes. They span well over one hundred years. While the ones from the 1800’s are rare a few do exist. This massive undertaking would not have been possible without the efforts of those who have passed on and left behind their collection of clippings.
The most requested information of genealogists contacting the local libraries or the Society is for obituaries. The libraries have microfilm of the local newspapers from 1935 to the present with some earlier years available. However, it takes time to search the microfilm especially if you do not have the death month. Many tombstones only have the year of death.
Some of the older obituaries were lenghtly but gave little genealogical information sometimes saying a gentleman was survived by a wife and six children without any names of survivors. Some obituaries for women gave their name as Mrs. John Doe with not even a mention of the first name.
A special thanks to the volunteers who have spent many, many hours typing these obituaries so the public has access to them.
At present there are no plans to put current obits on the site as they are available elsewhere.