Jackson County Historical Society


The Jackson County Historical Society wishes you a Happy New Year!
However, our website is dedicated to THE PAST.  We, as a Society, have 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 42-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.  The late Ed Rauh, county librarian, felt that  all publications and info of the Society should be available at the library where more people could have access.  All our publications are available at the local library. 
We average more than 1,000 visitors a month to our site.  The obituary section continues to be one of the most popular.  Anyone having or knowing of a collection of old obituaries (pre 2000) we could borrow to put on the site (we would return the originals), please let us know. Also see below for the Document Donation Day at the Ripley Library on February 25th.  Society members will be on hand to help with this search for old memorabilia.  Who knows what may turn up in someone's attic.  There are always new sources of information about THE PAST.

Document Donation Day-February 25th

The Jackson County Public Library http://jackson.park.lib.wv.us in Ripley will be hosting a Document Donation Day on Saturday, February 25, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Anyone having old yearboks, maps, photographs or documents pertaining to the history of Jackson County are encouraged to bring the items to donate to the library.  If not willing to part with them, the documents can be scanned or copied for safe keeping. 
This is a great way to preserve our county's history.

Jackson County 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 will be adding Mrs. Fisher's Civil War articles soon.  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 History on the menu at left.
2017 We have begun to add Mrs. Fisher's Civil War articles to the website.  Click on Civil War History on the menu at the left to view the first ten articles.

7,500 Obituaries and Counting

"It is as natural to die as to be born."-----Francis Bacon, 1597
Our  Area Deaths section now contains over 7,500 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.