History of the
Elijah High Cemetery, near Rada, WV.

by Charles S. Davy

Brief Summary of
Eligah High Heirs Cemetery

From 1881 to the present time.

During the last years of Eligah High's life my father Silas Davy was very close to him. Mr. High having raised Silas Davy from a small boy of ten years in 1861. At which time he went into the High home to live as a member of the family. Then consisting of Mr. High and two maiden sisters. This good home was shared with my father from 1861 until he became twenty one years of age. And then with the exception of about one year he, Silas Davy, spent the entire time living with Mr. High or in one of his houses. And was living in one of his houses at the time of his Mr. High's death. The above statement is to show how close they were and why my father has taken the interest in the Eligah High heirs cemetery that he has always done during his life time.

And when I was just a small boy I recall the cooperation between Silas Davy and Edward T. Whiteman (who also had spent a great many years in the High home) these two being the only ones that would contribute to the upkeep of the small enclosed grave yard then approximately one fourth of an acre, enclosed by a board fence that had been put around this grave yard during 1882, as directed by Eligah High's will bearing data of 1881 and carried out by his admr as of Oct. 24th 1882 (Admr settlement item no. 9 for lumber purchased from J. Martin). The only graves that were in the cemetery at this time other than Eligah High and his family were that of a small son of Edward T. Whiteman and Silas Davy, a small son of 4 yrs 1881, and a confederate soldier killed near Junction. Named Carroll perhaps a brother of Mrs. Edward T. Whiteman.

Along during the term of sheriff Amos Pugh, the half acre of land that had been willed by Eligah High for a grave yard to be forever on the tax books in name of Eligah High Heirs, was turned delinquent or was bout to be sold by Amos Pugh then sheriff for taxes. Sheriff Pugh told Silas Davy about his condition the sheriff saying he could not locate any of Eligah High's heirs and would have to sell the grave yard for taxes. The taxes then not having been paid for several years. (see tax records for information). Silas Davy paid up all back taxes and continued to pay the taxes each year until his death on Jan. 10th 1915. Silas Davy & son, E. T. Whiteman & sons, James Blackburn & sons all contributed to the erecting of a wire fence around the lot in 1900. J.O. Ludwick contributed by ordering the wire.

During the year 1915 Henry Gilkerson attorney while settling up the estate of Silas Davy, at the request of Charles S. Davy, Admr, taken up with the County Court of Hampshire, of the matter of taxes on the Eligah High Heirs Cemetery. The court acted favorably and under the law made the cemetery exempt from tax. Now from 1903 through several years they was very little done other than the mowing of the cemetery at intervals. It was the custom then and this grave yard had myrtle growing over just about all the graves. There was not much effort made to destroy the myrtle until after 1923. And the mowing was neglected often.

After the death of Silas Davy in 1915 there still not having been any contact made with any of the High heirs by any one interested in the cemetery. In the year 1923 I, Charles S. Davy, taken the responsibility on myself to write a letter to all the heads of families that had relatives buried there. Set a date as of May 12th 1923, retained a survey and called a meeting of all the people that had any one buried there. We proceeded to lay off the ground as best we could by compass and succeeded pretty well in getting the ground layed off into lots. We checked all present that had relatives buried there and organized by electing by majority by the people that had deed buried there seven committee men namely Andrew Ludwick, J. R. Blackburn, Charley Biser, James Hartman, Charles S. Davy, Charles T. Rinker, and Seymour Davy. The duties of the committee is look out for the welfare of the cemetery and try to improve on the general appearance of the grounds. Not for the purpose of confiscating the grounds but to take care of and try to get all future graves located in some kind of order and not just stuck any where as some had already been done.

From 1923 to 1934 there was excellent results in the way of cleaning cemetery by all concerned. In 1924 at a meeting of the committee it was unanimous agreed that we put a new wire fence around the cemetery. But due to lack of funds there was no fence erected. During 1924 I solicited and received donations by checks from the following men May 6th T. R. Whiteman $10.00 – May 5th W. G. Whiteman $10.00 – April 27th W. F. Mulledy $5.00 – April 7th P. E. Demuth $5.00 – These checks was never used because of the delay of erecting fence around cemetery. And was canceled in presence of committee on Marth 9th. 1939 at cemetery.

In 1934 at cemetery I resigned as secretary & treasurer, but continues as a committeemen. There was a vote taken by the ones present there to name a new secretary & treasurer. And I cast the deciding vote that made Mr. Charles T. Rinker secretary & treasurer. Mr. Rinker would only accept on condition that a president be named to cooperate with him. I think this a mistake to of created or elevated any one to the position of president in a committee to look after a cemetery. And believe that it should be correct by abolishing same and creating a treasurer. After all this is only a cemetery and there should not be to much government. (It should be looked upon as a place of reverence).

During the time I was sec. & treas. I used $2.00 that had been donated by Edgar Whiteman to apply on the mowing of cemetery during time Seymour Davy and Preston Connell mowed the cemetery by scythe. All the other costs of moving cemetery (During rim I was sec & tres) I paid for out of my own funds. I have never regretted having cast the vote that made Charles T. Rinker Secretary & Treasurer. His record speaks for itself. There are a lot more details I could refer to but feel it would be lengthy. I hope the same interest will continue throughout the years to come that has been manifested in the past thirty years. And that all will realize that the only fair way to name new members of the committee or Secretary & treasurer is by confining the vote to the lot owners that have dead buried there. And not privilege the ones that do not have dead buried in their lot to cast a vote until such time as they do have dead buried there. (There must be only one vote cast for each lot but any wife, son or daughter of the man that owns the lot be privileged to vote in the absence of the lot owner, but only one). I believe if the matter is handled in this way it will prove more satisfactory to all.

The drive or walk way along the County lane road from gate at highway south must never be closed for the reason the graves already are as close to bank as practical or safe. Each time the fence has been rebuilt there it has been set in. I have seen three different fences there. (There may be a stone fence there sometime). The narrow walk way from the center gate along highway to the grave and monument of Eligah High must never be closed. And if any one obstructs it they will be required to move the obstruction. This must be enforced if for no other reason than to honor the memory of the man that made it possible for us all to have a place to bury our dead. Now in conclusion there must never be any thing added to or taken away from a lot without the consent of the owner or this heirs at law. And then only in writing signed by the owners direct heir. Not just a relative. I hope there will never by any thing done that will cause these young men that have taken such good care of this cemetery for so long to lose interest. Remember boys you will soon be the ones that are old and sentimental. LET YOU CONCIOUS BE YOUR GUIDE.

     Charles S. Davy

Acknowledged before the subscriber by Charles S. Davy, this 29th day of May 1953
     County Court Hampshire County, West Virginia, Clerk

The webmaster has taken the liberty to correct a few spellings. Note we have left the name of the cemetery as "Eligah High." We have also placed the text in paragraphs for easier reading.