Sunday, July 25, 2010

Adventures At The Hatfield Cemetery Logan County West VA

A few years ago, I made a trip to West Virginia to visit some of the cemeteries where my family are buried. With death certificates in hand, and a map to show me the way, I took two of my boys along for the adventure.
It was 4th of July weekend and the weather was warm and sticky. We wound our way down highway 44 south of Logan, past Omar and Stirrat, to Sarah Ann, where we found a little sign by the road that said "Hatfield Museum" if memory serves me. A few tombstones were in the yard by a trailer and old car. We pulled over, and a man and woman came out and asked if they could help us. Turns out, the man was the caretaker for the Hatfield Cemetery, which was just a short piece on down the road beyond us. He started up his car and we followed him to the turnout for the cemetery, which rose up the ridge on our right. I gave him the name we were looking for, Henry Simpson (my grandfather), and he said he had never seen a grave for anyone of that name but to go ahead and take a look, and to take a stick with us in case we ran across any snakes!
The boys and I picked our way up the hill and looked at as many headstones as we could, but to our disappointment, nothing could be found for Henry. My Dad always told me that Henry was buried very near to Devil Anse Hatfield, whose grave is marked with a tall statue memorial. We were sad not to find any sign of my grandfather.
After coming home I asked my Mom if she had any idea why there wouldn't be a grave marker, and she said her father had died while visiting her and her husband there, and there was no money to buy a grave marker. The Hatfield Cemetery was the closest place to lay him to rest.
In recounting the story to her brother, my Uncle Don Simpson offered to pay for a headstone for Henry, which was cut and prepared for installation. However, the caretakers couldn't find any place in the cemetery that might be Henry's final resting place. No foot marker or other indication seems to exist anymore. I'm not sure where in the cemetery they installed the headstone as I haven't made a trip back there yet. But that is for a future cemetery tale.

Here is another visitor's memory of their experience at the Hatfield Cemetery:
/Roadside America - Sarah Ann WV

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hibbert Hobbs - Joining Up For World War II

From my history of my Dad's life:
"World War II was on its way, and West Virginia sent its share of young men to Europe to fight against Hitler. Hibbert, Herbert, and Herman became eligible for the draft. When they drew their numbers, Herbert's was #32 and Hibbert's was over #800. Neither one of the twins wanted to be separated from the other, so they volunteered rather than have Herbert go in alone. They were inducted on May 10, 1941.