Grand Pockets’s Blog

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The Nichols Family of Marion County WV

The ancestors of this branch of the Nichols family came from England and settled in Pennsylvania many years before the revolutionary war.

(I) Thomas Nichols married Margaret Morgan and they had the following children: William, see forward; Thomas, killed at the battle of Brandywine; James, died at Catfish Falls, Pennsylvania; Isabella, married Michael Beary; Mary, married John Snider; Margaret.

(II) William, son of Thomas and Margaret (Morgan) Nichols, was born in Pennsylvania, and died near Fairmont, Virginia, now West Virginia, November 30, 1843. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Rangers from 1778 to 1783, during the revolutionary war; this organization furnished its own guns and ammunition. He married Jane, daughter of Henry McClelland, who emigrated from Scotland, and she was born on the ocean. She died May 16, 1838. Children: Henry, see forward; Thomas, married and settled in Pittsburgh; Margaret, married James Fitzmorris; Anna, married Reason Fowler; Priscilla, married Patrick Clelland; Mary, married Matthew Gilmore; Isabella, married George McCray.

(III) Henry, son of William and Jane (McClelland) Nichols, was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, October 11, 1791, died January 5, 1873, and is buried in the cemetery near the Baptist church of which he and his wife were very devout members, at Barrackville, about three miles from Fairmont, West Virginia. He moved to a farm on Buffalo Creek, in what was then Monongalia county, Virginia, which is now Marion county, West Virginia, about the year 1826, but continued his occupation as an iron moulder at Oliphant Furnace, leaving there Saturday evening and returning Sunday night, for several years. He married, July 3, 1815, Nancy McClelland, born January 15, 1796, in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, died June 8, 1865, buried in the same cemetery with her husband. She was no relation to the above-named persons of same name. Children: James William, see forward; Jane Isabella, born October 24, 1819, married Felix S. Wilcox; Ann Eliza, born December 20, 1820, married John M. King; Mary Collins, January 14, 1823, married James Shriver; Sarah Ann, April 2, 1825, married John A. Heck; William Alexander, November 23, 1827, married Mary Ann Pindel; Priscilla McClelland, September 23, 1829, married Jesse Sharp; Larken McClelland, May 9, 1831, married Mary Sinclair; Henry McClelland, February 20, 1833, not married, killed in the civil war; John Robinson, May 1, 1835, married Laretta Wilson; Thomas Luther, May 12, 1840, died in infancy; Elsey Steenrod, June 11, 1841, never married.

(IV) James William, son of Henry and Nancy (McClelland) Nichols, was born in Fayette county, near Oliphant Furnace, Pennsylvania, November 24, 1816, died in Fairmont, West Virginia, March17, 1871. He was a miller by trade and followed this all his life in and around Fairmont. He was a member of the Methodist Protestant church, and taught a class in its Sunday school from early manhood until his death. In politics he was a Republican. He married, April 18, 1843, Mary B. Fleming, born July 9, 1825, died August 18, 1906, daughter of William B. and Hannah (Miller) Fleming, and granddaughter of Alexander and Mary (Hays) Fleming, who were married March 27, 1793. Hannah Miller was the daughter of Peter and Mary Miller; they were married February 5, 1785, in Goshen, New York. Peter Miller was born in Woodbury, New Jersey, May 15, 1759, enlisted in the continental army, and participated in the battles of White Plains and Long Island, New York. It is not known when he moved to Virginia, but at the time of his death he owned the land now composing the fifth ward of the city of Fairmont.

Children of James William and Mary B. (Fleming) Nichols: 1. William Henry, died in infancy. 2. Francis Edmond, see forward. 3. Ella P., married John Fenton Clayton; died February 4, 1879, in Greeley, Colorado, buried at Grafton, West Virginia; had two sons: Edward Rowland, now manager of the Maryland Coal Company in Harrison county, West Virginia, and Frank Wilson, died in infancy. 4. Laura Emma, married Charles L. Maulsby, now residing in California; children: Anna Clayton and Thomas Nichols Maulsby. 5. Minnie, married Charles W. Walker; died August 8, 1888; children: Kephart Nichols, and one daughter, died in infancy. 6. Anna Pratt, died May 5, 1898.

Francis Nichols

Francis Nichols

V) Francis Edmond, son of James W. and Mary B. (Fleming) Nichols, was born September 20, 1846, about one mile from the city of Fairmont, West Virginia. He received his education at the only schools in existence in this section at that day, the private subscription schools, one of which was taught by Dr. W. R. White, and it was a most excellent educational institution for those days. Later Dr. White was made state superintendent of public schools in West Virginia. He was also a noted Methodist Episcopal minister. After leaving the school room, Mr. Nichols followed bookkeeping for many years, and was with several well known business houses. His next step in business life was his appointment as mail clerk, on the line of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, his regular run being between Grafton and Chicago. He followed this work for twelve years, until he resigned in 1884 to take up a more independent work, that of insurance. He was in various railroad wrecks during his services as mail clerk, but fortunately was never injured. At times he was surrounded on all sides with wrecked cars, and many of his comrades lost life and limb, but kind Providence seemed to spare him from injury. He is still engaged in the insurance business. At first he handled both fire and life insurance, but at present confines himself to fire exclusively. His spacious, well-fitted offices are in the new Masonic Temple. He has now twenty-six companies for which he is agent, doing both city and farm insurance business. He is director in the Home Savings Bank and the National Bank of Fairmont. Politically he is a Republican, but has never aspired to nor been induced to hold public office, preferring to attend strictly to his private business. He is a far advanced Free Mason, having reached the thirty- second degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. He has held all the chairs in the local lodges, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, chapter and commander and been the secretary of the local bodies at Fairmont for more than thirty years, except the Blue Lodge, of which he has been the secretary since 1904. He belongs to Crusade Commandery No. 6, Knights Templar, and the Scottish Rite bodies at Wheeling. He is now holding the office of grand recorder of the Grand Commandery of West Virginia, having held this important office since 1904. Mr. Nichols is charter member of the newly organized Country Club of Fairmont, and he with his family holds membership in the Methodist Protestant church, of which society he is trustee. He also belongs to the Sons of the Revolution, of which he is the state treasurer.

He married (first) Emma V. Steele, September 25, 1889; she died August 9, 1893, leaving one daughter, Mary Louise, born January 12, 1892, graduated at the high schools of Fairmont, her native city, and later attended Walnut Lane School, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from which she graduated in 1911. He married (second), August 30, 1899, Laura, born September 22, 1860, daughter of R. C. and Mary (Lott) Dunnington, of Fairmont, West Virginia. Mrs. Nichols’ father was in the mercantile business, but during the latter part of his life in the insurance business, died in 1904; his wife died at Fairmont, in the spring of 1911. Mrs. Nichols is one of seven children. Mary Louise, only child of Francis E. Nichols, is now an enthusiastic member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, being eligible by connecting back to men of service in that great struggle, both on her paternal and maternal sides. Her connection with this body is at Fairmont, West Virginia, being a worthy member of William Haymond Chapter. The Fleming genealogy is given elsewhere in this work, and will complete the connection between the Nichols and Fleming lines.

Genealogical and Personal History of the Upper Monongahela Valley West Virginia, Vol 2, Illustrated, Bernard Butcher, ed; Lewis Historical Publ Co, NY 1912 pp 475-478

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