New fencing around historic Henry Jackson Cemetery

HALL The Jackson Brigade Corporation is proud to announce the completion of new fencing around the historic Henry Jackson Cemetery. The cemetery is in Hall, WV, about six miles northeast of Buckhannon. Henry settled this land and built a one-room log cabin on the property about 1800. Prior to that he lived on land very close to what is now the center of Buckhannon. According to Lucullus McWhorter’s Border Settlers of Northwestern Virginia, Henry was a noted surveyor at that time in area that became central West Virginia. McWhorter describes Henry completing platting of some of his surveys by memory, retreating from the field with his survey crew to avoid conflict with Indians. It is not surprising some property borders ended up being challenged in court.

Henry was the youngest son of John and Elizabeth (Cummins) Jackson who immigrated to Maryland in 1748 from England, eventually to Virginia. They moved their family across the mountains to the area near current Buckhannon, settling there in 1769. Henry Jackson was born in 1774. Family legend describes Henry being born while the family was sheltering in a blockhouse fort, possibly in the Tygart Valley, due to concerns about Indians in the area. Henry is believed to have lived his entire life in the area of current Upshur County. He was the father of 23 children, and grandfather of 108. He was married to Mary Elizabeth Hyer and to Elizabeth Shreve after the death of Mary in 1835. Some of their children moved west, particularly to Oregon by wagon train in the 1840’s and 50’s, inspired by their cousin Davey Jackson who was a noted fur trader. But other siblings continued to live in the Buckhannon/Weston/Clarksburg area for many years.

Henry Jackson died in 1852 and was buried in a cemetery plot on a hilltop on his own land. The land continued in the Jackson family for many years, but currently belongs to James Tomey, who has graciously allowed Jackson family gatherings to visit and also mowed the grass in the cemetery. In 1935 researchers stated that the cemetery contained nine marked graves and thirteen unmarked graves identified by members of the family and from birth and death records. Other family reports say 35 family members are buried in the cemetery. The most interesting graves are two coffinlike gravestones for Henry Jackson and his second wife Elizabeth Shreves. The coffinlike tombstones were hauled up the hill to the cemetery by a team of oxen. Three of Henry’s sons, who served in West Virginia cavalry units during the American Civil War and have federal markers, are among those buried there. Henry’s first wife Mary Hyer is believed to be buried in the Heavener Cemetery.

Many members of the Jackson Brigade Corporation, a nation-wide genealogical organization (website at ), visited the Henry Jackson Cemetery during the organization’s 2014 Reunion. The old barbed-wire fencing surrounding the cemetery was in poor shape in 2014. One of the resolutions of the 2014 Reunion was to find the funds to replace the rotting posts and broken down barbed wire fencing with a more appropriate fence and one that would better protect the gravestones. Funds were raised through private donations.

Jackson Brigade Board member Ed Clark, of Knoxville, TN, did research on fencing types and costs and solicited bids to make this new fencing happen. He was assisted by Doug Bush, who lives nearby. From the cemetery, one can see Doug and Ann Bush’s current white farmhouse in the valley below. The one-room and chimney of Henry’s cabin are part of Doug and Ann’s house today. Doug acted on behalf of the Jackson Brigade by meeting with fence contractors as they came to evaluate the site. Ed Clark investigated the options and selected the contractor Dan Neel Fence Company of Bridgeport to do the installation, which was completed in November.


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