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McDowell County, West Virginia, USA

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  • William George Washinton Iaeger (1823 - 1903)
    bio at in part: "The headline on the obituary in the Washington Post on July 16, 1903, read, "Friend of Lincoln Dead: Col. William G.W. Iaeger Carried Off After Brief Illness." "He was a warm friend...
  • Dr. William Roderfield Iaeger (1849 - 1926)
    The Iaegers had no children of theri own but they adopted two: Lenora V. GODFREY b 1868 m James Perry SPRATT of Logan Co. He was from Louden Co, VA, he moved to that co. Told that his farm is now pa...
  • Phyllis Pearl Harmon (1929 - 1987)
    Children who died young Beth Ann Harmon James Grant Harmon William David Harmon URL see obit on site for other desc.
  • Maude Lorene Wisler (1909 - d.)
    bio of early llife Bluefield Daily Telegraph Sun, Feb 04, 1934 ·Page 15
  • Francis Lee Parker, Sr. (1887 - 1957)
    Francis was born in Georgia in 1887. His parents were William Harvey Parker and Martha Paralee Parker. His siblings were William Claud, Pearly Jane, and Barney Parker. Francis married Lelia Hagan Parke...

This project is a table of contents for all projects relating to this County of West Virginia. Please feel free to add profiles of anyone who was born, lived or died in this county.
~• McDowell is now pronounced by locals as "MACK -dowel"



Another resource for Deeds of the late 1800s-early 1900s

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Local to McDowell and Wyoming Counties (recent)


Cemeteries of West Virginia


The Tug river at Iaeger is fed by two forks. One, to the East come down fro Welch through Roderfield. The other coming up from the South is known as the "Dry Fork". What follows here is a descriiption of the Dry Fork:

Tributaries of the Dry Fork †† of the Tug River

Tributary streams are listed from source to mouth.
~•The stream runs from South to North
†† take note: Go to the Sims Index project where "Dry Fork" and its feeding tributaries appear frequently. These small streams aid in locating where early families of McDowell lived.

Sandi Blankenship's B&B = 2393 Miracle Mountain Rd, Gary, WV 24836•(681) 434-1121 (Eva's)

Caveat: names of Creeks do change over time

  • Lick Branch (by the Virginia/West Virginia line)
  • Ray Fork
  • Bills Branch
  • Dick Creek
  • Laurel Fork
  • Mile Branch
  • Beech Fork
  • Vall Creek
  • Kewee Creek
  • Big Branch (? aka Big Creek, at English WV)
  • Jacobs Fork
  • Cucumber Creek
  • Johns Branch
  • War Creek (aka "Big War Cr."
  • Barrenshe Creek
  • Pruett Branch
  • Threefork Branch
  • Bartley Creek
  • Buck Fork
  • Johnnycake Hollow
  • Atwell Branch
  • Little Slate Branch
  • Right Fork
  • Dry Branch
  • Bradshaw Creek
  • Oozley Branch
  • Hurricane Branch
  • Fishtrap Branch
  • Beartown Branch ~• on West side at Beartown Branch Rd
  • Little Staunch Branch
  • Staunch Branch
  • Grapevine Branch ~• West side; Grapevine Branch Rd.
  • Betsey Branch ~• (known earlier as Ring's Branch) RIngs branch shows up in the Sims index (see related project)
    • as late as 1930 the local was known as Ring's Branch (see census data)
    • in 2022: a map: Betsey Branch Known as both Garland and Raysal WV
      • Betsey branch goes under the RR tracks at: Betsy Branch Rd Raysal, WV 24879 = 37.400696, -81.785744 (Betsey Branch Road)
  • Crane Creek ~• note: Ritter Hollow Road follows Crane Creek from Avondale to the East
    • McDowell County West Virginia 24879 at Crane Creek = 37.413256, -81.783101
  • Left Fork
  • Laurel Fork
  • Mile Branch
  • Straight Branch
    • Straight Branch West Virginia 24879 at 37.428754, -81.792852
  • Otter Branch (on West bank)
  • Coon Branch, which joins the Dry Fork on its West bank below Iaeger
  • Panther Creek is on upper left edge.



Background about the Tug

Which flows North to other Counties

"Be Safe and Keep Your Powder Dry written by Daryl Skaggs
October 3, 2015 ·
The Tug River - America's Bloodiest River --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Tug Fork is a tributary of the Big Sandy River, 159 miles long, in southwestern West Virginia, southwestern Virginia, and eastern Kentucky.
The Tug Fork rises in the Appalachian Mountains of extreme southwestern West Virginia, in southern McDowell County, near the Virginia state line. It flows in a meandering course through the mountains generally northwest, past Welch. Approximately 20 miles northwest of Welch, it briefly forms approximately 4 miles of the state line between West Virginia (northeast) and Virginia (southwest). For the remainder of its course it forms part of the boundary between West Virginia (east) and Kentucky (west), flowing northwest past Williamson, West Virginia. It joins the Levisa Fork at Louisa, Kentucky to form the Big Sandy.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The river flows through an especially remote mountainous region in its upper course. The river valley between Pike County, Kentucky and Mingo County, West Virginia was the scene of the infamous Hatfield-McCoy feud in the late 19th century.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The river was named during Maj. Andrew Lewis’s disastrous ‘‘Sandy Creek’’ expedition against the Shawnee Indians in southern Ohio. Near the headwaters, the group attempted to descend the Tug River to Ohio by using canoes for the trip, but they encountered tremendous rapids and lost their supplies. The Tug Fork River got its English name when a military expedition in 1756 tried to use the Big Sandy valley as a route to Indian territory. Starving soldiers tried to eat strips of shoe leather, or “tugs.”A small army of Virginians and Cherokees conducted war raids against the Shawnee. At one point they killed and ate two buffaloes and hung their hides on a tree. Later they returned and, being out of provisions, took the hides and cut them into thin strips called "tugs". These they roasted and ate. In the Cherokee language "tugulu" refers to the forks of a stream, as in the Tugaloo River and other streams in former Cherokee lands named "tug". The Tug Valley, one of the most remote areas of West Virginia, was among the last places in the state to be settled. Permanent settlement began about 1800, and the region was sparsely populated until the development of the coal industry nearly a century later. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Hatfields, whose later feud with the McCoys is the most notorious event in Tug Valley history, were among the first settlers. Violent labor warfare rocked the valley during the early 20th century. It was at this time that the area’s rich coalfields were developed, and mining continues to be the major industry. The Tug Fork and for nearly as long as white men have been drinking from its murky waters, the tributary has been stained with the blood of lawmen, feuding neighbors and exploited workers. During the American Civil War, the river served as the national borders between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America – prompting several skirmishes between competing local guerrilla forces; each of which specialized in terrorizing the unguarded farms and towns of Pike County, Kentucky, and what was then Logan County, West Virginia (now Mingo County). -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matewan, West Virginia is a small town nestled in the Tug River Valley, rich in it’s history of coal mining and ties to it’s past through the legacy’s of the infamous Hatfield’s & McCoy’s and the Matewan Massacre. The river’s most notable claim to fame, however, came in the days following the War Between the States. Immediately following the war’s conclusion, crossing the river meant all but certain death for members of the Hatfield and McCoy clans – the Hatfield’s lived along the notorious river’s northern bank, in West Virginia, while the McCoy’s resided just south of the 159-mile long stream, in Kentucky. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Many locals feel that the Hatfield & McCoy Feud was actually a result of the Civil War. Anderson Hatfield, known as “Devil Anse” fought for the Confederacy, and Randall McCoy fought for the Union. The Civil War saw both sides fighting against neighbors and friends, and rumors were rampant about who shot whom during the battles. Feeling ran high after the war, so it is not far fetched to believe that something as simple as a misplaced pig was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The Tug River area along the West Virginia and Kentucky borders saw the beginnings of this deadly feud. Devil Anse Hatfield’s home was located on the West Virginia side of the river near Matewan, and he owned many acres of farmland along the banks of the Tug River, much of which in later years, he sold to the Norfolk and Western Railroad. Randall McCoy’s home was located on the Kentucky side of the Tug River. --------------------------------------------------