Early Settlement of Lowell

Near the same time that Colonel Graham founded his new home, a Mr. Vanbibber located [45] on the oppo­site side of the river on the land now owned by Mr. George Keller. How long Vanbibber remained there is not known, but pre­sum­ably for a short tine, as Conrad Keller, who bought his claim, set­tled there before Indian hos­til­i­ties ceased in this sec­tion, which was about the years 1778 to 1780. The name of Vanbibber is men­tioned as one of the early set­tlers of Kanawha county and is believed to be the same man here referred to.

Also at or about the same time Samuel and James Guinn, two broth­ers, set­tled and made their home near that of Graham. Before the Lowell set­tle­ment the Grahams and Guinns were neigh­bors on the Calf Pasture River and had even both sailed over the blue waters from Ireland. It was, there­fore, but nat­ural that, in seek­ing new homes, they like­wise sought old friends; fur­ther­more, they were related, at least by mar­riage, the wife of Samuel Guinn hav­ing been the widow Elizabeth Graham, nee Lockridge.

The writer was per­son­ally acquainted with Sam– [46] uel Guinn and most of his fam­ily. He had five sons: Moses, Samuel, Andrew, John and Ephriam and two or three daugh­ters, all of whose names can­not now be recalled. one by the name of Ruth mar­ried James Jarrett, Sr., of Muddy Creek, and was the mother of the late James and Joseph Jarrett.

Samuel Guinn, Sr., moved from the Lowell set­tle­ment to Lick Creek about the year 1800 and died there March 25, 1839 In the 94th year of his age. His two grand­sons, Hon. Marion and Sheriff Harrison Guinn now own the farm owned by him. He accu­mu­lated con­sid­er­able prop­erty and it is said that, at one time, he had $12,000 in sil­ver, which he divided among his sons some years before his death. The writer remem­bers to have seen his two sons, Samuel and Andrew, carry their part of the sil­ver by his father’s house in com­mon grain bags and, in bulk, there was about one-half bushel in each. This they car­ried over Keeney’s Knob to their home near Lowell. Considering the fact that it was gen­er­ally known that [47] Guinn had this money laid up in his house and that it was also an open secret that his sons were invited on a cer­tain day to receive each his share, it would seem rather a haz­ardous ven­ture to lay two thou­sand five hun­dred dol­lars on a pack­horse and to travel the pub­lic high­way alone over moun­tains and through a sparsely set­tled com­mu­nity a dis­tance of fif­teen miles, but such was the case.

We can­not but con­clude that the peo­ple of those days were more hon­or­able than now.

An anec­dote is related of Mr. Guinn, which we think wor­thy of place. It is said that, upon a cer­tain occa­sion, while attend­ing to some busi­ness in Lewisburg, he fell in with some gam­blers who induced him to play a game of cards. Knowing that he had plenty of money, they allowed him to win the first few games, then pro­posed to dou­ble the bet, to which he replied that his mother had always told him it was a wise man who knew when to quit. So say­ing, he arose from the table and bade the gam­blers “good day”.

 
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