Document Repository

29 West Main Street
Buckhannon, WV 26201

(across from the courthouse)

Open to the general public, year round, by appointment only at this time.

Upshur County Historical Society
P.O. Box 2082
Buckhannon, WV 26201
Document Repository
History Center


The Upshur County Historical Society’s Document
Repository is open to the general public, year round, only
by appointment while the pandemic is still raging. Over
time we have welcomed many individuals who are working
on family research, have a local history question, need to
purchase our various publications, or just stop in to donate
some important historic document or artifact for the ever
growing collection that we house there. If you want to
do research at the Repository, we will set an afternoon
appointment time for you. This past year we have had a
great many visitors both from the local area and some from
other states. We try to meet the needs of all who have
Upshur County related family or historical questions. If
you have specific questions (as many of you have presented
to us) and want us to assist, please be as specific as you can
and let us know what you have already looked at. More
and more local materials have been added to the WV
State Archives website and you may want to begin your
research there if looking for vital statistics, census records,
etc. Upshur County courthouse records are beginning to
appear online and that is an excellent research tool. Of
course, our book list still has many research tools and it
may be to be found in the center of this Journal.
The Repository continues to acquire significant
historic resources. We have had several new collections
over the past few months and many previously established
collections were added to. Some of the interesting
documents and artifacts have included a small collection
of aerial photographs of Upshur County and other
materials placed with us by Dustin Zickefoose from the
Assessor’s office. We also received additional materials
from Lemoyne Wentz, Virginia Jones, and Lorene Kerans
Bailey and the Virginia Bly Hoover estate to add to their
collections. One of the most touching and relevant pieces
received this past year was a letter written in 1918 from a
US soldier in Georgia to his mother in Hemlock, Upshur
County who was dying from the Influenza Epidemic of
that time. All told, we have catalogued nearly 25,000
individual artifacts or groups of such. We are still working
hard to catalogue all incoming collections so that they will
be available for use by our visiting public.
We are continuing to add items to our Upshur County
History Digital Encyclopedia [A major project that
will be ongoing for quite some time] where we will be
digitally copying a vast range of research materials that
we have put together at the Repository. This format will
allow various types of materials to be combined in such
a way that will be much more user friendly. It will also
connect to our digital collections cataloguing and storage
system known as PastPerfect, and make working on future
journals, upcoming summer exhibits, and many other
research projects much easier. We are also converting our
“Bibliography” content to digital format and have added
a great deal to each category including: books, periodicals,
newspaper references and clippings, and other materials.
We have large amounts of uncatalogued original
materials [called primary resources] in our holdings
waiting to be entered into the system and we look forward
to the time when our entire collection has been catalogued
electronically. We’re not sure just when this will happen
as the collection keeps growing. You will see in this
Journal, published examples of many photographs, historic
documents, newspaper scans, and content gleaned from
these vast collections. We are very appreciative of all the
donors that have shared their treasures with us over the
years. We are now managing well over 500 individual
collections, some small but some very large. We are also
very appreciative of Daniel Green for generously sharing
from the Howard Hiner photo collection.
There is always a great need at the Repository. Of
course volunteer assistance is certainly at the top of the list.
It is also very expensive to maintain the collection with
correct archival processing and storage. Archival supplies
are very costly since they must have the special qualities
that protect the artifact and, at the same time, remain
stable for many years. Acid free, ultraviolet protecting,
materials are quite expensive and if you would like to
make a donation, perhaps choosing one of the previously
listed special gift items to allow us to maintain a constant
stock of these supplies, please contact us. We are also very
happy to assist the public with any needs in their personal
family archival storage and preservation.
It does take an enormous amount of work to make
the Repository a professionally operated research center,
artifact and document collection, and center of the
Society’s office operations. A small, but very dedicated,
core of workers including Veneda Mills Gower [who
records all memberships, sales, prepares membership
correspondence, and much more], Amy W. Tenney [she
is involved in every aspect of the UCHS and specifically is
in charge with all operations of the French Creek building
project], Linda Wygal [she researches and writes for
the Journal], Michael Phillips [he is our resident Civil
War expert and always willing to assist], Diane Orsburn
Hanline [she has worked for months cataloguing and
arranging our vast research book collection], Blaine Jack
[he is a very efficient researcher and writes for the Journal],
Jennifer Stout [Jennifer has been working hard to update
the indexes to the Rare Books Collection, newspaper story
index, and much more], Phil Ward (who contributes
photos and research materials almost weekly to our
collection ), Bo Wadell [he writes for the Journal], Don
Henderson, Jr. [he advises on many occasions and assists
with some of our retail sales. He also contributed to the
“Frenchton” story in this issue], Noel W. Tenney [serves
as Director of Special Projects and secretary/treasurer,
he usually attends to the day to day operations, answers emails, supervises volunteers and the AmeriCorps
member, edits the Journal, and develops and curates
the Summer Exhibit], and others as dedicated
volunteers this year, all make up that team. We
are also extremely pleased to have the continuing
assistance of Karon King and Lemoyne Wentz
[who has returned to live in Buckhannon], who add
their contributions to our publication and research
efforts. Their results are evident with ongoing
additions to our publications list each year. The
pandemic has curbed some volunteer work but we
do appreciate everyone’s contributions.
We would welcome your volunteer contribution
to help with the many tasks of collection processing,
research, and general repository duties. When you
visit the Repository now, we want you to notice that
the entire place has a much more “spic and span”
look to it thanks to the weekly volunteer time of
Karon King. Thanks Karon, and we appreciate her
efforts on researching genealogical info for inquiries as
well as providing the family information piece for this
We are always happy that those of you who use our resources see the fruit of your efforts. Many individuals have
shared a copy of their publication with the Repository and we always love being remembered in that way. Some of these
works are also featured on our publication sales list.
We are in a position at the Repository to receive a wide variety of materials that relate to the rich history of Upshur


- Remember, what you may consider valueless,
we may consider priceless.-

Progress at the French Creek Project
—Amy Williams Tenney, Project Director
2020, the year we will never forget!
Activities at the former Historic French Creek
Presbyterian Church Building have come to a screeching
halt with the pandemic. We were on the cusp of making
a decision concerning the heating/cooling system
installation when the pandemic began and that has
delayed any further work. Unfortunately, the price of
everything has gone up this past year and so we now
fear the cost of the new system will probably have gone
up as well. The original plan was for three separate,
independent systems and we will proceed with that when
the pandemic is over and install what we can afford and
plan for the rest when we have the money.
The second blow to the year was the cancellation of
the 2020 Descendants of the French Creek Pioneers
meeting in August, for the first time since WWII. The
generous donations of the Pioneers cover our building
expenses from year to year, so with the loss of that
income we have only the dividend from a recent gift
of bank stock. The dividends amount to $816 which
will only cover about one third of our expenses. We do
have our heating/cooling “nest egg” invested and hate
to dip into to it, but as a last resort we can. Our biggest
expense is our insurance, $2,225 annually, but we also
maintain electricity and although it is a small monthly
cost it is a cost. We are asking for your help in keeping
things going at the French Creek by making a donation
to the upkeep of the building. Make checks payable
to Upshur County Historical Society and memo them
“French Creek.”
The bright news this past year was one of our Pioneer
family [and UCHS member] has published an historical
novel based on her ancestors. Becky Foreman published
Cora of French Creek in late summer. This is based on
the life of Cora Perry Cutright, from her beginnings
in Laurel Fork to the end of her life in Londonderry,
OH. Becky has been kind enough to supply the Upshur
county Historical Society with several copies to sell [see
0096 in our publication list pullout].
Even with the unfortunate conditions of the time,
work will eventually continue on this special project.

About Us

Copyright Notice
The Upshur County Historical Society is the county level private, not-for-profit organization that has as its mission the identification, preservation, and perpetuation of all things historical on the county level.