History of the Early Settlers
Of Dry Fork, Rich Mountain and Shavers Mountain By E.C. Wyatt, Randolph Enterprise, Elkins, WV, 1922-1923
5 Oct 1922 – Randolph Enterprise [Elza, Harman, Kerns]
Lafayette Elza lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia. We always knew him as “Lafe” Elza. He is a farmer and a violinist, has made a few violins. He loved hunting and fishing and all kinds of sports in his younger days.
He has one son Nicholas that is an expert workman in wood and also a good mechanic and blacksmith and as good a banjo player as I ever heard. He was the first man to learn to play a banjo in Dry Fork District. He lived in Whitmer the last I heard of him. He seems to have a roaming disposition and don’t stay very long at one place. His father is about 72 years old.
Joseph Elza lives on Middle Mountain and I will write about him later on.
Adam Elza lives about a mile or perhaps more above Job. He is a farmer, but never enjoyed hunting like the other boys.
I heard that a merchant at Job at one time offered Adam a barrel of flour as a gift if he would pick it up and carry it home and not rest along the road, and to his surprise Mr. Elza lifted up the flour and started home, so the merchant sent a man along to see that Mr. Elza didn’t stop to rest, so he landed the flour in his door. Another man tells a story about giving him all of the fodder he could carry and behold he looked and thought his fodder stock was walking off and could hardly believe his eyes when he saw it was Mr. Elza going with a load.
Adams sons are Oliver, Dee, Albert and Rockford, they are all lumbermen and farm a little. Dee got killed on a log train between Job and Harman. Mr.
Elza’s sons are musicians.
The Harmans come next in line, most of the history I know about them is in Maxwell and Bosworths History and as these men went to the trouble to get a copyright and have those histories for sale I haven’t much to write about them. I have often heard of Rev. Asa Harman and it is said that he performed more marriage ceremonies than any other minister in Randolph County. The town of Harman was named in honor of him, and his father Solomon Harman settled near the town of Harman about 1846. I also heard of his brother Jesse Harman but I never had the opportunity to meet any of these gentlemen. They are all dead.
We next meet with John Kerns who located on the Allegheny Mountains east of Job about 1842 and married a daughter of Thomas White (not Thomas Soldier White). Mr. Kerens came from Tucker County and was of English descent, and his father was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. His sons were Columbus, John, Jacob, Henry, Job, George and James.
Columbus lives on Middle Mountain and I will write about him later.
John, Jacob, Henry and Job are all dead and I knew but very little about them. One of Job’s sons makes his home with Emil Knutti.
(To be continued) [End of article]
Transcribed by Cathy Thompson