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. Our hope is to include much of this information on this website. Please check the menu and sub menus at the left to browse all the many topics available.
WWII Soldier Returns Home After 72 Years
Clarence Dragoo, a 1941 Gilmore High School graduate, joined the US Air Force in January 1943. He was reported missing after a combat mission in February 1945. Dragoo was a navigator aboard a B-24 Liberator which sustained serious damage from enemy anti-aircraft fire and disappeared over the Adriatic Sea. His parents, James and Stella Dragoo received a telegram on March 16 notifying them he was officially missing in action. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Air Medal, WWII Victory Medal.
In 2013 an Italian citizen discovered aircraft wreckage off the coast of Grado, Italy. In 2015 a team of divers recovered human remains and the wreckage of the aircraft. Through DNA of family members the remains of 2nd Lt. Dragoo were positivly identified and have returned home to Jackson County.
A military service for Lt. Dragoo was held Saturday, October 14th, at the Waybright Funeral Home in Ripley. Lt. Dragoo was laid to rest in the Independence Cemetery, Sandyville with full military honors. He is survived by one sister.
On October 3, 2017, members of the Jackson County Genealogy Group and the Historical Society hosted a meeting of individuals who have and are contributing to a vast internet of information concerning Jackson County genealogy and history. Among the honored guest were Betty Briggs (3rd from right front row) of wvpioneers.com, Danita Smith (4th from right, front row) of castoconnections.com, Les Shockey (2nd from right front row) of WVGenWeb and JCGenWeb and author Roy Casto (fifth from left,back row) author of the latest Casto Family Book. Although these honored guests had known one another via email, etc. for years, this was their first meeting in person. Participants came from CA, NC, OH, VA for the event. What a great day for genealogy! Plans are to have a similar event next year.
Are You A CASTO?
Roy Casto of Monroe, Virginia has recently published a book, “The Casto Story, An American Journey.” The book explores the origins of the Castos in America, discusses the first Castos found living in New Jersey in the early 1700’s, and also tracks the William (1717) and David (1721) sides of the family from the early 1700’s until the mid-1800’s.
The book publishes in one place, the current status of Casto genealogical research… including DNA. It contains extensive Family Tree information on the Casto Family and also families closely associated with our Castos.
The author’s grandparents were Roy and Lydia Sayre Casto who lived in the Parchment area of Jackson County. If you are interested in the history of the Casto Family, you are going to want this book.
The book is 293 pages, indexed and referenced.
Jackson County librarian John Faria receives a copy of Casto's book for the library.
NEW! Jackson County Post Offices
We are pleased to add in depth information regarding the history of the post offices in the county. We get many requests about the long forgotten names of villages in our county. The article on county post offices gives info about their origin and many of the early postmasters. The map shows the location of these offices. The post office chart shows the dates the offices were established and/or discontinued.
Old Sherman Post Office-Located in the Washington's Western Lands Museum at Ravenswood.
2017 Jackson County History Hero
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) 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.
To view the Jackson County articles click here or Civil War articles click here
8,700 Obituaries and Counting
"It is as natural to die as to be born."-----Francis Bacon, 1597
Our Obituaries section now contains over 8,700 obituaries. These 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 an obituary from the 1800’s is 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 and the volunteers who type them for this website.
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 a few earlier years available.
At present there are no plans to put current obits on the site as they are available elsewhere.