Jacob K. Straight
Jacob K. Straight and the Massacre on Straights Run
(Jacob K. Straight was the father of James A. Straight who moved to Roane County, WV)
Jacob K. Straight was born sometime after the Oct. 6, 1786 massacre on Straights Run in Monongalia County, (W)VA in which Jacob Straight, whom some believe to be Jacob K.ï¿½s father, was killed. To best explain the puzzle of Jacobï¿½s parents, it is best to start with a telling of the massacre.
The following is from Willa Straight Kerns written 30 July 1966 :
“I can give you more in regard to the killing of Jacob Strait by the Indians which has been given to me by my people…..”
As it began to grow dark and Mrs. Dragoo and her son, who were out in the cornfield gathering beans, did not return to the house, they knew they had been captured. Jacob Strait and Nicholas Wood went to see if they could get any clue to their whereabouts, till they could get help from the fort. Strait and Wood had not gone very far until the Indians had shot Wood from ambush. Strait started to run, but the Indians dodged out in front of him stopping his flight. He held out his hands to them, showing them that he was not armed, and said, ï¿½I mean you no harm, donï¿½t kill me and I will go with you.ï¿½ The Indian gave him a grunt ï¿½Go with meï¿½ and raised the tomahawk and struck him. They took three scalps from his head. One from the top and one from each side of the back. He had black curly hair. The Indians were selling the scalps to the British. After the Indians left their victims, Mrs. Strait came out of her place of concealment and waded the river to the fort and gave the alarm…… Mrs. Dragoo and her little son, captured by the Indians were taken to Ohio, but Mrs. Dragoo could not travel as fast as they wanted to go, so one morning the boy was taken on ahead and told that his mother was ill and not able to travel. Later they told him his mother had died.
There are many versions of the massacre, all pretty much in agreement as to the events of the massacre, but not to the identity of Mrs. Straight who hid under the sheltering rocks. Many who believe that she was Jacobï¿½s wife do not believe she was Jacob K.ï¿½s mother. Others believe she was Jacob K.ï¿½s mother but not the wife of the slain Jacob Straight. Still others believe there is no connection between Jacob K.ï¿½s mother and the massacre on Straights run. Due to a fire in the Monongalia County Courthouse which destroyed many valuable records, we may never have a clear picture of her identity.
We do know that Jacob K.ï¿½s mother was named Elizabeth Straight and that she had four children with the surname of Straight before she married about 1788-89 to William Kennedy, an immigrant from County Mayo, Ireland who had served as a private in the Revolution. Elizabeth and her four Straight children moved to the Kennedy farm on McFarlands Run south of Morgantown in Monongalia County. Elizabeth had six more children with William Kennedy.
William Kennedy was a successful businessman and a farmer, skilled as a blacksmith and a weaver. William Kennedy died in 1834 when Elizabeth was about 75 years old and for a while she lived alone, but by the 1840 census she was living with her son James Kennedy. Elizabeth died 6 August 1844 and was buried with her husband in the Kennedy family cemetery.
Children of Elizabeth Straight Kennedy:
1. Rebecca Straight was born 20 May 1777 in Monongalia County. She married 16 Dec 1802 to George P. Wilson, born 9 Jan. 1778 and died 9 Oct 1873, son of Benjamin Wilson and Rebecca Tomlinson. In the marriage record Rebeccaï¿½s name is spelled K-I-N-N-O-T, very likely the phonetic spelling of Kennedy. Rebecca and George P. Wilson lived in the Center-McCurdysville area near Rebeccaï¿½s half sister Margaret Kennedy Walker and her husband John Walker. Rebecca died 16 July 1866 and both she and George were buried in the Brookover Cemetery in McCurdysville.
2. Temperance Straight was born about 1779 in Monongalia County. She married Samuel Eddy from Monroe County, OH about 1842.
3. Ann Straight was born about 1784 in Monongalia County, died 9 August 1834 in Monongalia County. She married James Ballah on 20 April 1812 in Monongalia County, he was the son of Augusta Ballah from Wales whose wife Catherine died on the ship to America. James Ballah died 27 Nov. 1832 in Monongalia County, (W)VA.
4. Jacob K. Straight (The subject of this biography.)
Children of Elizabeth Straight and William Kennedy:
1. Mary Kennedy was born 15 March 1791 on McFarlands Run, Monongalia County, she married her cousin, Jasper Straight, born 03 November 1870 in Monongalia County. They moved to Reader, Wetzel County ca 1820 to follow the timber trade and for a short time they lived with Morgan “Spymod” Morgan, son of Zackquill Morgan. They settled on Crowï¿½s Run. Jasper died 03 August 1845, and Mary died 03 November 1870. They are both buried in the Straight Cemetery, Green District Wetzel County.
2. William Kennedy, Jr. was born 01 January 1793 and died 14 February 1864 in Monongalia County. He married 26 April 1819 to Ellen Shuman, sister to Permelia Shuman who married his half brother Jacob K. Straight. William Jr. built his house on the left side of his father’s home. A prosperous farmer, he also made money in the timber business, and operated an inn and tavern in McCurdysville. He died 15 Feb. 1864; his wife Ellen Shuman died 12 Jan 1873. They are buried in the Kennedy Cemetery on McFarlands Run.
3. Joseph Kennedy was born 1794 in Monongalia County, died as a small child.
4. James Madison Kennedy was born 5 June 1799 McFarlands Run, Monongalia County, died 16 March 1881, McFarlands Run, Monongalia County. He married Sarah Elizabeth Bucklew. He lived his life on the family farm, building his home near his parents. He cared for his elderly mother Elizabeth until she died in 1874. James bought 100 acres of the original farm and lived there but worked in Morgantown as a skilled laborer in the area of masonry stone house construction, chimney and fireplace construction, cabinet and furniture making. He and Sarah are buried in the family cemetery on McFarlands Run.
5. Margaret Kennedy was born 1 September 1801, died 9 November 1884. They resided in the MCurdysville/Hagans area on the Walker family land, just northwest of the original Kennedy land. Both are buried in the Walker family cemetery in McCurdysville.
6. Peter Kennedy was born about 1802, married 28 March 1829 to Mary Dunlap, daughter of William Dunlap. After the death of his father, they moved to Wetzel County, settling near family members already there.
7. Jacob K. Straight – Jacob K. Straight’s exact birth date is unknown. Some researchers suggest he was born as early as 1763. On his death certificate, his mother is listed as Elizabeth Straight, and no father is given. The puzzle of whether or not there is a connection between Jacob K. Straight and Jacob Straight may never be solved.
Jacob K. married Permelia Shuman, daughter of Sarah Temple Kendall Shuman and stepdaughter of Henry Shuman. Jacob K. and Permelia settled on Big Indian Creek near the head of Chunks Run were both the Shuman and Kennedy families lived. The present day county line between Marion and Monongalia Counties divided Jacob K.’s farm on the Monongalia side from the Kennedys.
Jacob K. supplemented his farm income as a cobbler and boot maker. The story is told that two of his sons, Levi J. and William Milton, walked from Marion County, WV to Chillicothe, OH, worked for two years in timber along the Ohio River, and walked back home in the same boots that they had started out in.
Jacob K. died of a stroke at his home on 20 July 1853 and was buried with a fieldstone marker on a ridge near his home. His son, Henry, then age 20, stayed on the farm to care for his mother. Another son, William Milton, was named guardian of the only minor child, Mary Ellen, age 15. There was no will, and another son, Levi J. Straight, was appointed administrator of his father’s estate.
Permelia lived with her son Henry until her death, 17 March 1874, and was buried beside her husband in the Straight/Floyd Cemetery on Chunks Run in Monongalia County. Her parents are buried there also.
Sale bill of the personal effects of Jacob K. Straight, dec. sold on the 1st day of September 1853.
widow — 2 head of sheep — 3.00
James Arnett — axe — .88
Permelia Straight (widow) — Cupboard and ware — 7.50
John Riggs — Kettle — 1.82
….. same Pot 2 skillets Tea-Kettle & copper teakettle — 2.25
John Neptune — ditto — 1.50
….. same Old table — .50
….. widow Set gears Breech bands collar — 3.50
….. same Small stand — 1.00
….. ditto — 2.50
….. same Smoothing iron & ditto 30 1/2 lbs Rolls —-8.00
….. fire shovel — 1.00
….. same Old clock and glass — 1.50
….. ditto — Old table — .25
….. same Tinbucket pan & cu — .75
….. ditto — one hog —4.00
….. same Old Side Saddle — 2.00
….. ditto — one shoat — 1.25
….. same 9 chains (chairs?) — 2.25
….. ditto 1.12
….. 1/2 same Small chest — 1.12
….. 1/2 William M. Straight Corn Harrow — 1.18
….. same Bedstead & Bedding — 8.00
Robert Shuman — Scythe & Sheath —.25
….. same ditto— do — 5.00
Widow — 1/2 of Hay Stack — .81 1/4
….. same — Trundle Bedstead & — 1.62 1/2
….. ditto — 1/2 of ditto — .75 ….. same — Wheel and Reel — 1.75
….. ditto — Lot of corn in the field — 10.00
….. same — Lot of Bed Clothing — 8.00
Henry Straight — Windmill — 2.00
….. same — 2 blankets 2 Quilts & Coverlet — 4.00
widow — 2 Stacks of Oats — 12.00
Gabriel Straight — Old Saddle — 1.75
….. ditto — Young cow and calf — 11.00
Widow — Loom & Quill Wheel — 2.50
Edmund Bell — 4 yr old cow — 22.00
James A. Straight — Hogshead & Old Bedstead — .44
Widow — Old cow & calf — 13.00
William M. Straight — 3/4 Auger — .21
Elisha M. Snider — One gray horse — 24.50
Henry Straight — Grass Scythe — .25
widow — 4 yr. old gray horse — 60.00
William M. Straight — Mattic — .75
….. ditto — 2 Stacks of wheat — 20.00
Edmund Bales — 2 Weeding hoes — .25
Henry Arnett — True American Plough — 2.53
Widow — Breast & tongue chains — 1.00
Widow — one stack of Hay — 2.50
….. same — 2 Chains & Riding singletrees — .62 1/2
….. ditto — 3 old mare — 50.00
….. same — Log chains — 1.01
Edmund Bales — 6 head of Sheep — 15.72
I do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true copy of the sale bill of the personal estate of
Jacob K. Straight, dec’d, as kept by me on the 1st day of September 1853.
Levi. J. Straight Administrator
examined by Gideon Bank.
Children of Jacob K. and Permelia Shuman Straight
1. Gabriel Straight was born 24 April 1812 in Monongalia County, he married 29 Oct. 1831 to Rachel Matheny, sister of Nathan Riley Matheny who married Gabrielï¿½s sister Elizabeth. Rachel was the daughter of Noah Matheny and Elizabeth Hill. Gabriel first settled near what is now Pleasant Valley School, then known as Peterï¿½s Temple, on Indian Creek in Monongalia County. He lived in Marion County in 1858 when he sold his share of his fatherï¿½s land. In 1860 Gabriel lived in Wetzel County, Pine Grove Dist. After Francis H. Pierpont was elected Governor of the Restored Government of Virginia (West Virginia) Gabriel and his son Jacob M. were the personal body guards of Gov. Pierpont both in Wheeling and in Richmond. Gabriel died 20 June 1887 in Ritchie. Rachel lived with her son Jacob M. until her death in 1902.
2. Urias E. Straight was born 22 Oct 1814, he left Monongalia County early and married Diane Hayes, born 1817, in Brown County, OH, 3 August 1836. He moved his family about, living in Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and died 15 Feb. 1900 in Page, Iowa.
3. Levi J. Straight was born 22 April 1816, he married 30 July 1841 to Malinda Ann Smith, born ca. 1824, daughter of John Smith. He settled near his brother William Milton, on an adjoining farm on Indian Creek, Monongalia County near Tom Arnettï¿½s mill. Levi died about 1888; Malinda in 1870. They are buried near their home in Paw Paw District.
4. Cyrena Straight was born 23 Oct. 1818, she married 14 Sept. 1840 to John Neptune, born 1811, a carpenter who built their home near her parents. Sometime after 3 Oct 1850 when the census was taken, Cyrena died, and was buried in the Neptune family cemetery. Her children went to live with her parents and then stayed and lived with her brother Henry after her father died in 1853. John married again to Lydia Eddy, and later to Sarah Ann Pritchett Straight, widow of Riley Straight, son of Benjamin Straight and Eleanor Rice. John died 25 April 1869.
5. William Milton Straight was born 10 June 1821, he married 8 Sept. 1846 in Monongalia County, to Julia Arnett, born 11 April 1826, daughter of Andrew and Rachel Toothman Arnett. She was the sister of Elizabeth Arnett who married Williamï¿½s brother Henry. They lived on adjoining farms with Williamï¿½s brother Levi. Later they moved to Paw Paw District, Marion County, on Panther Lick Run. William died 20 July 1893, Julia died 17 Sept 1907.
6. Elizabeth Ann Straight as born 22 September 1823, she married 11 Dec. 1844 to Nathan Riley Matheny, brother of Gabrielï¿½s wife Rachel. They resided on Campbellï¿½s Run, near Mannington, and later located near Enterprise. Elizabeth died in 1908, and is buried in the Fortuey Cemetery on Nutter Run in Harrison County.
7. Alpheus Riley Straight was born 19 March 1826, he married 18 March 1849 in Monongalia Co., to Anne Margaret Riggs, born 8 Nov. 1829, daughter of Levi Riggs and Anne Walker. They raised their family on the now Nowell farm later settling on Dents Run near Mannington. In the 1900 census Alpheus lived in Mannington Dist., Marion County. He died 28 Sept. 1818 and is buried in Jones Cemetery on Dents Run along with Anne who died earlier, 6 Dec. 1913.
8. James Acie Straight was born 5 Feb 1829 in Monongalia County., he married 20 Oct. 1851 in Monongalia County to Sarah Jane Neely, born Feb. 1833, daughter of James Neeley and Phebe Scott. They moved to Wetzel County, and then later to Roane County. See Biography of James Acie Straight.
9. Henry Newton Straight was born 5 April 1833 in Grant Dist., Monongalia County. He married 19 Feb. 1857 to Elizabeth Arnett, born 10 Feb. 1838, sister of Julia Arnett who married William Milton Straight, brother of Henry. Henry purchased the family farm, and also cared for his elderly mother and the children of his sister Cyrena Straight Neptune after her death. Henry died 8 Aug. 1925, Elizabeth died 28 Oct. 1926.
10. Mary Ellen Straight, the youngest child of Jacob K. Straight, was born 4 Feb. 1838 in Grant District, Monongalia County. She was a minor, age 15 years old when her father died. Mary Ellen married 18 Oct. 1859 to Franklin B Michael, born about 1831, son of Daniel Michael. Mary Ellen died 14 March 1906 and is buried in the Morris Cemetery in Hoodsville.
Submitted by Delores Straight …. Str8cousin@aol.com