History of the Early Settlers
Of Dry Fork, Rich Mountain and Shavers Mountain By E.C. Wyatt, Randolph Enterprise, Elkins, WV, 1922-1923
22 Sep 1922 – Randolph Enterprise [Elza]
Thompson Elza loved to go to log rollings and other gatherings that the pioneers had in those days.
Then when all the work was finished the music and the dancing began and they had as much fun and dancing as the French and Indians were having when General George Rogers Clark came in on them out in the far west and captured them all.
We often heard of him and his sons coming from his home on Gandy Creek over to a log rolling or some other gathering on Shavers Mountain at Ellis Wyatts, Bill Whites or Jordan Weese’. He and his sons were very strong men and good workers and folks thought they could not get along well without them.
Mr. Elza was helping saw a tree down at his home when he was about 89 years old and the tree split before it fell and he could not run and get out of the way and the tree fell on him and hurt him so badly that he was never able to walk without crutches anymore. He lived to be 91 years old when he died.
His sons were Solomon, Sampson, Alfred, William, Taylor, Lafayette, Adam and Joseph.
Thompson Elza was Captain of the Militia and also Justice of the Peace, but none of his sons ever held any political office and only one was a military officer. They never seemed to seek after an office of any kind.
Of his sons some of them I am well acquainted with and some I never knew much about them.
Solomon Elza was the eldest son and lived on the old home place and practiced farming and loved hunting, was a very strong man up to about ten years before his death he didn’t enjoy very good health he died at the age of 82 years.
His sons are James, Alfred, Joseph and Salem. Joseph got killed while working on the Horton log train as these boys all worked in the lumber woods and almost gave up farming for awhile, the other sons live close the home place and one lives on the old home place now.
Sampson Elza was a soldier in the Confederate Army and was promoted to the rank of Captain. But later resigned and took the oath of neutrality and was later shot through a mistake by some Union Soldiers and when they saw their mistake they did everything within their power to save him as he lived several days afterwards and then a squad of them came to give him a military burial, but the family objected as they all held to the Confederate side.
This story was related to me by his daughter. She is the widow of the late Jesse Pennington.
Alfred Elza was killed down in Canaan Valley by some Union men and is buried somewhere down there.
William Elza was nicknamed “Tip”. He got killed by a team running away with a wagon and he was horribly mangled, one of his ears was torn off. He was a farmer and enjoyed hunting wild game.
Taylor Elza lives on Middle Mountain and I will write about him when I write the Middle Mountain History.
(To be continued) [End of article]
Transcribed by Cathy Thompson