Sometime between 1840 and 1850 most of the Ott family moved to
and this move may have been related to the economic depression that existed as
a result of the Panic of 1837. On Cabell County 23 December 1844 Michael
D. Ott obtained an indenture for $84 of some personal property, livestock, and
farm equipment to secure a debt he owed to William Ott. It's probable that William was settling up
any money owed to him before he moved to . Cabell County
The area to which the Otts moved became part of
in 1867. In 1850 the Lincoln County
census lists William Ott as the head of the household. He was 48 years old and had $1100 in real
estate. Michael Ott, age 77, and
Catherine Ott, age 55 (an error because she would have been 72), both born in Cabell County , lived with
William. Also in the household were
Simeon Ott, age 37, a farmer; Julia A. Ott, age 50; and Elizabeth Ott, age
44. All were born in Virginia .
The unmarried children had moved with William and their parents to Virginia . This census was enumerated Cabell County 26 August 1850.
In 1851 Michael Ott still owned his property in
because it is listed in the Greenbrier Land Book. He owned 125 ¾ acres of “river hills” with a
total value of $257.50. He owed 31 cents
in tax. Greenbrier County
Sometime in 1851 Michael Ott, Sr. died. Although many of the death records of
were destroyed by
fire, a power of attorney was recorded in Greenbrier County 15 December 1851 in
which Catherine Ott gave Simeon Ott of Lincoln
all right of dower to any lands held by “late husband, Michael Ott, deceased,
late of Cabell County ”. Greenbrier
After Michael’s death, Catherine gave Simeon the right to dispose of the land Michael had owned. A deed was recorded in Greenbrier County 25 December 1851 from Simeon Ott of Cabell County to John W. Adwell selling 125 ¼ acres lying on both sides of the Greenbrier River and adjoining the lands of Thomas Creigh’s heirs, Thomas Black, Adam Adwell, and others.
Another deed dated 31 December 1851 transferred 185 acres of land from Simon (sic) Ott for Catherine Ott of Cabell County to Lewis Creigh. The land adjoined that of Joseph Anderson, Archie Edgar, John Dumlap, and John W. Adwell.
William Ott received a land grant of 337 acres on the Middle Fork of the
in Mud River on Cabell County 1 July 1856.
A second land grant was given on 1 May 1857 to William Ott in
for 500 acres on the right hand fork of Bear Fork of Porter Fork. These streams are near Duval in present-day Cabell County , about seven miles above Hamlin, the county
seat. The main town in the area is
Griffithsville. Lincoln County, West
On the 1860 Federal Census for
William Ott, age 59, a farmer, was still the head of the household. He had real estate valued at $1800 and
personal property valued at $1500. His
sister, Elizabeth Ott, had died Cabell County 4
October 1853 in of a lung
disease. Simeon Ott was age 45, a
farmer, and he had personal property valued at $200. Catherine Ott was age 82, and the remaining
sister, Julia Ott, was age 60. All were
born in Cabell
County . A girl named Lucinda lived with the Otts, but
the handwriting of her surname is difficult to make out. It appears to be “Nikels”. Virginia
Catherine Ott was not listed on subsequent censuses, so it is assumed that she died between 1860 and 1870. Considering her age, it is possible that she died before 1865. Michael and Catherine Ott are most likely buried in
but the place of the burial has not yet been found. Lincoln County
Family of Lucinda Ott Humphries
In the family Bible of Michael D. and Elizabeth Ott, which is displayed at the
in North House
Museum , Michael David Ott was born Lewisburg, West
Virginia 5 December 1802. In some records his name is spelled “Michel”
which is the German form of his name.
The first occurrence of Michael’s name in
records is found
in a court order on Greenbrier
February 1828 when Michael would have been 26 years old. He, along with his brothers, William and
David, are ordered to work under George Hoover to keep their road repaired. The section of road to which the Ott brothers
(along with Archer Edgar, Thomas Scott, Alexander Scott, Phillip Sydenstricker,
George Comber, James Hoover, Daniel Hoover, William Littlepage, William Adwell,
and John Sydenstricker) are assigned ran from Lewisburg to Lewis Stuart’s home,
known as (later as Stuart Manor). Beau Desert
|Births listed in the family Bible of Michael D. |
and Elizabeth Clingman Ott. The Bible is
housed in the North House Museum in
Michael D. Ott married Elizabeth Clingman in January 1835. The marriage bond was signed by Michael D. Ott and Archibald Handley. Margaret Clingman signed a note dated
5 January 1835 giving permission for her
daughter to marry Michael D. Ott. was the
daughter of Jacob and Margaret Hess Clingman and was born Elizabeth 8 October 1813.
The first child of Michael D. and Elizabeth Ott was James William Ott, born
5 December 1836. Addison Ott was born on 11 September 1840. In the Federal Census of Greenbrier County in
1840, Michael Ott is the head of the household which includes one male under
age 5 (James William), one male age 20-30 (Michael D. Ott) and one female age
20-30 ( ). Elizabeth Addison was
probably born after the census was taken that year. A third son, Lockard Patten Ott, was born 7 August 1844.
On August 14 of 1844, Michael D. Ott filed a deed of indenture for $41.61 against his personal property, livestock, and farm equipment. Edward R. Skaggs secured Michael’s debt to Nesmith & Co. On
23 December 1844 Michael
again filed a deed of indenture with William Cary to secure a debt of $84 that
he owed to William Ott who was perhaps preparing at this time to move to . National economic problems may have accounted
for Michael’s need for cash at this time.
The economy of the country was coming out of a deep depression. The banking policies of Andrew Jackson led to the “Panic of 1837” which occurred only weeks after the new president, Martin Van Buren, was inaugurated. Economist Milton Friedman wrote that the Panic of 1837 led to a depression that was comparable “in severity and scope” to the Great Depression of the 1930s. Because there was no central, national banking system, the panic also led to the failure of local banks, but by 1843 the country was recovering from the economic trouble. It was about this time that Michael Ott, Sr., and his sons moved to
29 April 1847 Michael and Elizabeth’s only
daughter, Lucinda, was born, and a fourth son, Samuel Ott, was born on 26 September 1849.
In the 1850 census the Ott family was listed as follows: Michel D. Ott, age 42, a farmer; Elizabeth Ott, age 31; James W. Ott, age 12; Addison Ott, age 8; Lockert Ott, age 5; Lucinda Ott, age 2; and Samuel Ott, age 8 months. No real estate values were listed for Michael, leading to the conclusion that he did not own the land on which he lived. He is listed between the families of Moses Hendrick and Dana Hendrick. In the two deeds of indenture in 1844, he offered personal property to secure his debt, a further indication that he did not own any real estate at this time. He may have rented farm land from the Hendricks.
Two more sons were born to Michael and Elizabeth: Edwin Ott on
September 1852 and Clowney Ott on 12 December 1855. Michael and ’s family did not appear on the 1860
census, although dozens of residences in the 1860 Greenbrier census were listed
only as “occupied” or “unoccupied”. The
family probably lived in one of these houses.
It is unknown exactly where the family lived at that time; Michael’s
parents and his brothers and sisters (except for David) had moved to Elizabeth . Michael’s sister, Susanna, died in 1845. Michael D. Ott’s oldest son, James Ott, age
23, was living with the Archibald Lewis family as a laborer. This
was the last census before the Civil War. Cabell County
The Otts would soon become part of the national tragedy that tore the
apart in 1861. The Compromise of 1850
signed by Millard Fillmore was thought to address the issues of slavery and
westward expansion, but in reality it only intensified the conflicts between
those who supported an economic system that included slavery and those who
opposed it. United States
became a separate state in 1863 and joined the West Virginia Union,
sentiments were not so clear cut in . The Confederacy experienced great support
from the citizens of the area, and the Ott family threw its support to the
By the end of the Civil War, Michael D. and Elizabeth Ott had lost three of their six sons. Although no documentation has been found that indicates that James, the oldest son, enlisted in either the
Union or Confederate Army, the Ott family Bible lists his
date of death as 13 March
1862. The cause of death is
not known. Confederate military records
indicate that Addison Ott, the second oldest son, enlisted in the 22nd
Virginia Infantry of the Confederate Army, Company A, on 1 May 1862 at White Sulphur
Springs. He enlisted for the duration of
the war. Addison’s
cousin, Jewitt Ott, son of David V. Ott, also enlisted. According to military records, Addison was never paid for his service because he was
killed in the Battle of Lewisburg on 23 May 1862.
Addison and Jewitt most likely participated in an attack by the 22nd Virginia Infantry against Giles Court House on
10 May 1862.
suffered light casualties and then marched toward Lewisburg. Virginia
The Battle of Lewisburg began at on May 23. In reference to the war, this battle was of little significance, one of those skirmishes that is life and death to those involved, but little noticed by others. Colonel George Crook commanded the Union forces which were camped on the western side of Lewisburg in the area where the
is now located. The federal troops had about 1400 soldiers
and two mountain howitzers. Guards were
posted on the bridge at the Confederate Cemetery at Greenbrier
River . Caldwell
The Confederates were commanded by Brigadier General Henry Heth and were composed of about 2300 soldiers and six artillery pieces. The 22nd Virginia Infantry was commanded by Colonel George S. Patton, the grandfather of the famous General Patton of World War II.
The southern forces had marched from
, through Pearisburg,
Virginia . They captured the Federal pickets at the Monroe County in the early morning of May
23. The 22nd Infantry had not
yet been defeated in any battle, and the Confederate Army thought it had the
“element of surprise.” A Union scouting party returned to General Crook
to inform him of the southern forces advancing on Lewisburg. There was a short encounter between the
forces during which Dr. Andrew Barbee of the 22nd Virginia Infantry
urged his men on, yelling, “Come on boys, we’ve got them by the umbilicus, come
on!” Greenbrier River
General Heth formed his line on the eastern hill opposite the Federal army. The 22nd Infantry was in a field in the area where the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine is now located.
While the Union soldiers were eating breakfast, General Heth began his bombardment at Some artillery fell short killing 19-year-old Private Charles Chewning in the 22nd Infantry and hitting the
. The John Wesley
Methodist Church Union
soldiers returned fire and the 36th advanced “uphill against a superior
position, delivering heavy and effective fire on the 22nd Ohio . Captain Bahlman of the 22nd
described his men as ‘falling like ten pins in a bowling alley.’” Virginia
The Union forces overran the Confederate artillery, although the Southern artillerymen refused to abandon their guns. The Confederate militia on the left collapsed, exposing the 45th and 22nd
forces. Private George Caldwell said,
“The balls flew like hail. . .you ought to have heard the balls whiz past us.” Virginia
In Recollections of the Rev. John McElhenney, D.D. the granddaughter of Rev. McElhenney gave details about the fate of the 22nd Virginia Infantry:
"On the opposite side of the town Col. Patton's regiment met with equal ill luck. The 22nd attacked the enemy's left flank, and a sharp fight went on in the fairgrounds (now the campus of
). For an hour or so a brisk firing was kept up, then it slackened and died away. Something told us the day had been lost. About a cloud of smoke appeared on the horizon; it was from the bridge over the river, recklessly destroyed by Gen. Heth in his retreat.” Greenbrier Military School
The Confederate forces retreated to
the bridge after they crossed the . In a little over an hour, 80 Confederate
soldiers were killed, 100 wounded, and 157 taken prisoner. As the Union soldiers were returning to their
camp, a sniper in a house shot and killed one of them. General Crook threatened to burn the houses
and hang any snipers that he found. The
house was located from where the shot was fired, and the house was burned, but
the sniper had escaped. Greenbrier
Rev. McElhenney’s granddaughter described the aftermath of the battle:
"The town was filled to overflowing with sick and dying men. Every public building in the place was converted to their service. The pews were taken up in the lecture room of the (Old Stone) church, and its aisles filled with double rows of cots. The Academy, the Masonic Hall, the hotels, offices, and private dwellings were filled to overflowing."
|The Confederate Cemetery in Lewisburg, WV.|
General Crook refused to let the Lewisburg citizens bury the Confederate dead, one of whom was Addison Ott. The dead soldiers were laid out in the
In the fall of 1862, Michael and Elizabeth lost their third son, Lockard Patton Ott. He died
13 October 1862 of fever. He was 18 years old, but there is no
indication that he had joined the army.
Listed on the line below Lockard in the county death records is Jewitt
Ott, his cousin, who died 20
August 1862 of a wound received in the Battle of Lewisburg. Of the 48 names listed on the same page of
the death records as Lockard Ott, 24 died of either diphtheria or fever,
indicating that disease raged through the communities of
that year. Greenbrier County
Food was scarce because armies on the march, whether Federal or Confederate, fed from the supplies of the local families. Military horses grazed local pastures until nothing was left for the livestock of local farmers; there was no hay, and whatever meager crops were available were soon consumed by the troops of both sides. In 1864 the situation became so severe that soldiers ate bark from small birch tree branches to survive.
General Crook kept trying to interrupt Confederate activities in
so he ordered another raid toward Lewisburg in November 1862. Captain G. W. Gilmore in Summersville
captured a wagon train of supplies near Greenbrier County
on November 10. This activity occurred near where David V.
Ott is thought to have lived, and probably also where Michael D. Ott
lived. The Confederate Army had instituted
a draft in the mountains of Williamsburg , and when General Crook heard that the 14th
Virginia Cavalry was recruiting near Sinking Creek in West
he planned to assault the troops there. The Union troops commanded by Major William
Powell marched toward Sinking Creek over Greenbrier County during a howling winter
storm. They were eventually successful
in capturing 112 Southern soldiers surprised by the attack on their camp. The Union Army killed two Confederate
pickets. Cold Knob Mountain
The Battle of Lewisburg and the raid on Sinking Creek were major military events of the Civil War in
. Troops from both sides often moved through
the county as they variously protected and attacked local farmers, crucial
railways, and military vantage points.
Since many Greenbrier citizens supported the Confederacy, times were
difficult for them both during and after the war. Greenbrier
For those who had converted their currency to Confederate dollars, the economic ruin was great. This may have been the situation Michael D. Ott found himself in as his financial difficulty is evidenced by the deed of indenture he filed on
24 August 1866.
He owed money to several people:
Robert Humes, $85; John Hedrick, $80 from 1858-1859 plus the interest;
and John Lipps, two notes totaling $200.
To pay these debts, Michael mortgaged land (which the deed says he had
purchased from Lewis Watts); all of his household and kitchen furniture; one
mare and colt; two cows; two one-year-old heifers; three sheep; 13 hogs and
their future increase; all the crops that were growing and were harvested,
consisting of corn, wheat, oats, and rye; and all farming utensils. The debts were to be paid by 24 August 1869 or the
property would be sold.
This deed of indenture raises the question again of whether Michael D. Ott ever actually owned any real estate in
. Although it lists the land as having been
purchased by Michael Ott from Lewis Watts, no deed of sale for such a purchase
was found during a search at the Greenbrier County Courthouse, but a deed does
exist dated 1858 for David V. Ott’s purchase of land known as the Greenbrier
County Watts Place. It is possible that Michael purchased the
land and was forced to sell it to settle the debts from the deed of indenture
in 1866; perhaps he lived on the same farm as his brother, David Ott, or he
lived near David as a tenant and borrowed against land he didn’t actually
own. Chancery files of
circuit court indicate a lawsuit was filed by Lewis Watts, plaintiff, against
The 1870 Federal Census for Greenbrier County enumerated 6 September 1870 in the
(Lewisburg area) listed Michael Ott, age 67, “works on farm”, with personal
property valued at $300. Michael had no
real estate value listed, indicating that he owned no property at this
time. His wife, Elizabeth, was age
56. The surviving children lived with
them at this time: Lucinda Ott, age 23;
Samuel Ott, age 20 (worked on farm); Edwin Ott, age 16; and Clowney Ott, age
21 November 1870 a deed of indenture was filed
in Greenbrier County Courthouse between Michael Ott and J. D. Blake. In the deed of indenture personal property is
mortgaged for the benefit of Michael’s two children, Samuel Ott and Lucinda
Ott, who bound themselves to pay “certain sums of money”, secured by deed of
trust on the property. L. D. Blake
would, when the money was paid, convey the property to Samuel and Lucinda. The property included one bay mare; one red
cow; six beds and bedding; one sewing machine; two clocks; one bureau; one
large table; one looking glass; 10 chairs; one side saddle; one man’s saddle;
one lot gear; one harrow; one plow; two mattocks; one loom; one big wheel; two
trunks; and all other household and kitchen furniture. In memoirs written by Lucinda’s
granddaughter, Carrie Amick Tuck, Carrie describes a fire that destroyed
Lucinda’s home in the late 1920s. Among
the items that Carrie described as being destroyed in the fire was a “big old
loom”, most likely the same loom that Michael passed on to his children. 
Was Michael unable to pay off all his debts by
24 August 1869, losing his farm to his
debtors? It’s impossible to be certain,
but it seems that Michael and Elizabeth were breaking up housekeeping when they
sold the entire contents of their house to Lucinda and Samuel.
It’s unknown how Lucinda Ott met a young man from
although a major road ran from northern Nicholas County
to Greenbrier County .
Obviously Mr. William Humphries had reason to visit the area where he
met Lucinda. They were married Nicholas County 26 September 1872 by Rev.
George P. Wanless. William was age 23, and Lucinda was age
24. They were both single at the time of
the marriage, and William’s occupation was farmer.
William and Lucinda Ott Humphries had the following children: Martin Luther Humphries, born 1874; Liz Ann Humphries, born 1876; Walter Humphries, born 1878; Lilburn Humphries, born 17 August 1880; Ruthie Humphries, born 1883; Sadie Humphries, born
23 August 1885; and Lelia
Clingman Humphries, born 8
January 1888. All of their
children were born in Nicholas County, West Virginia.
|Will and Lucinda Ott Humphries.|
In 1880 and 1900 Will and Lucinda were reported on the
censuses in the Wilderness
District of Nicholas County. In 1910
when Will was 60 years old, all their children were grown, but their daughter,
Lelia, and her husband, Irvin Amick, lived with them. Lelia was then 22 years old and had been
married to Irvin for 4 years. Lelia and
Irvin’s two children, Leathel, age 2, and a son who was not named at the time
(Ted), age 11 months, also lived with the family. Irma Amick Ballengee, daughter of Lelia and
Irvin, told that for some reason Lelia could not decide upon a name for her
son. Although Teddy Roosevelt was
popular at the time, the boy received his name when Grandma Humphries (Lucinda)
saw her grandson sitting in the floor and said he “looked like a teddy
bear.” Nicholas County
In 1920 the Federal Census reported that Will, age 70, and Lucinda, age 72, lived in the home of their son, Walter Humphries, who was age 42 and single. Walter never married. Also in the home were Lucinda and Will’s daughter, Ruthie Arthur (who had married Thomas Arthur), age 37 and widowed; her children Clyde C. Arthur, age 10; Lydia B. Arthur, age 9; and Lettie M. Pennington, age 12, a niece (the daughter of Liz Ann Humphries and Ward Pennington).
When Will Humphries died in 1925, Lelia Humphries Amick and her children again moved in with Lucinda while Lelia’s husband, Irvin, worked in
as a carpenter. Carrie Amick Tuck wrote that Grandma Humphries
(Lucinda) was very strict and wore long, full skirts and two or three
underskirts. According to Carrie, if
she used a powder puff to powder her face, her grandma would “jump up out of
her chair, flip that long skirt about, and snub out of the room, saying that
stuff stinks.” Charleston
Another of Lucinda’s grandchildren, Irma Amick Ballengee, told about Will Humphries’ log shop where he built caskets for the community. Irma wrote,
“Grandma got dinner on the table (lunch) and rang the big dinner bell (she rang for the men to come to the house. . .she used it for emergencies or at meal time) for Granddad to come to dinner and waited for him to come to eat. She kept hearing him sawing and pounding. She thought someone had come for a casket. She waited for a few minutes, and he never came, so she sent one of the children for him, and he wasn’t there, but the making of the casket went on. When he came to dinner, he came from a different direction. He had been to the post office.”
Irma also wrote that her grandmother was “big on apples”. The family had an orchard and Lucinda preserved the apples by drying them. Apparently she used the plentiful apples often in preparing meals.
The home of Lucinda Ott Humphries burned after Lelia and her children moved there. Irma wrote,
“My mom had churned and took the butter to the spring house (it was built on a rock and had a bubbling spring in the center of it; that was our fridge). When she came in, some of us was sitting around the dinner table. She says, ‘If there’s not a fire in the stove, our house is on fire.’ We all ran different directions to see what it was. Sure enough the house was aflame upstairs. We had no fire department, and the spring was a ways off, so the best we could was try to save what we could and watch the rest go up in flames. I can remember my Grandma yelling, ‘Get Walter’s bureau!’ That was where he kept his papers. (Uncle Walter was her youngest son and a bachelor.)
Carrie also wrote of the house fire. She said,
“It was one morning about 9 a.m. Mom had churned her some butter and took it to the cellar a few yards from the house, we called it the spring house. It stayed pretty damp so the milk and butter stayed good for a while. Well, Mom was returning to the house when she happened to look up and saw smoke coming out of the roof. She came running and hollered, ‘If there is no fire in the fireplace, the house is on fire.’ One of my cousins had come to stay with a new baby and a small child. Mom said to get the kids and get out quick. Marylene (Lelia’s youngest child) was small, too, so Grandma and Lettie, that was her name (the cousin) got the kids together and run down away from the house. Mom ran up, ‘Carrie, run and get a bucket of water.’ I ran up to the horses trough at the barn. There was running water in the trough from the spring a few yards away. It was piped in for the cows and horses to drink. Well, I ran with the tub of water in my arms, about 500 ft. away from the house. By the time I got there with the water and dropped it, the fire was coming out in our bedroom which was upstairs. Irma and I shared it, so I ran up the stairs and grabbed all my old dresses; they were precious and hard to come by. I got several out. There was a lot of antiques in the house that got burned up. There was a big old loom upstairs that was lost. Mom and Grandma wove a lot of blankets out of the wool they gathered from the sheep we raised. . .We figured out later that the fire started in the attic where Grandpa always threw his old newspaper and magazines. It had papers in there way back to 1800’s. Grandpa took a lot of farm magazines like Farm Journal, the Grit paper, and others. Anyway, we figured it caught from spontaneous combustion.”
After the fire, Irvin and Lelia and their children moved to
. Neely and Sadie Humphries Dorsey (Lucinda’s
daughter) built another house on the same spot.
They lived with Lucinda to take care of her. Neely Dorsey was killed in a logging accident
in 1928. Sadie stayed on at Lucinda’s
house until her children were raised. In
the 1930 Federal Census of Nicholas County, Lucinda lived with her son, Martin
Luther Humphries, and his wife, Mary, in the Wilderness District of the
county. Lucinda was age 82. Rainelle, West Virginia
|Gravesite of Lucinda Ott Humphries at|
the Mt. Gilead Baptist Church.
Lucinda Ott Humphries died in Pool,
Nicholas County 4 May 1936. Both William and Lucinda are buried in the cemetery of Mt. Gilead
Baptist Church at Pool in .
When Sadie was visiting out of state, the second Humphries home also burned. Sadie’s son built a home out of the granary which was built on solid rock; this home was eventually sold as a summer home.
Lucinda’s parents, Michael and Elizabeth Ott were still living in
in 1880. The Federal Census of
Greenbrier County in 1880 listed them as living with their three youngest
sons. Michael, age 72, was a farmer; his
wife, Elizabeth, was 66 years old and keeping house. The sons living with them were Samuel, age
30, working on farm; Edwin, age 27, working on farm; and Clowney, age 24,
working on farm. The Otts lived in the
Lewisburg District of Greenbrier County.
Tragedy again visited the Otts on
August 1887 when Edwin Ott died.
The cause of death was listed as “unknown” on the county death records. He was age 34 at the time of his death. The last will and testament of Edwin Ott,
dated 19 November 1885
was registered in the Greenbrier County Courthouse on 31 August 1887. He gave all of his property, both real and
personal, to his mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Ott.
After her death, one hundred dollars was to be paid to his brother,
Clowney Ott, and the remainder of the property be divided between his two
brothers, Samuel Ott and Clowney Ott. There was no listing of the individual items
of property, nor was Michael Ott or Lucinda Ott Humphries mentioned. It is probable that Michael died between 1880
(listed on the census) and 1885 (not mentioned in Edwin’s will).
It is certain that sometime after 1880, Michael died. The date of his death is not known at this time. No census records are available for 1890, but in the 1900 Federal Census, Betsie Ott, age 87, lived with L. N. Baker, age 40, and D. R. Baker, age 30, his wife. Betsie was listed as their great-aunt. They lived in the Lewisburg District with their five children. The exact date of
occurring after 2 June 1900 when the census was taken, is not known at this
time. Property she had inherited from
her son, Edwin, was sold by Clowney and Samuel Ott in 1901 to John T. Banton. Edwin had purchased this land in 1880 from Samuel
McClung. The land consisted of 63 acres west of
Lewisburg along the Elizabeth James River and Kanawha
Turnpike. Since the property was to be
divided between Samuel and Clowney at ’s
death, it is assumed that she died between 2 June 1900 and 1901. Her burial place is not known at this
Only three members of this family were living after 1900. Lucinda Ott Humphries lived in the Wilderness District of Nicholas County. Her brothers, Samuel and Clowney, did not marry and lived as bachelors.
In 1900 Samuel Ott was 48 years old and lived as a boarder in the home of G. M. Morris. He was single and worked as a farm laborer. In 1910 Samuel was listed as the head of household with no other family members. He lived in the Lewisburg District and gave his age as 60 years old. He worked as a miller at a local mill. No census information is available for Samuel in 1920, but in 1930 he lived in the Williamsburg District with Homan Hartsook and Mary Hartsook, who was the widow of William Hartsook, nephew of Elizabeth Clingman Ott.
William B. Hartsook was Samuel’s first cousin. Elizabeth Clingman Ott had a sister, Mary Clingman, who married Charles Andrew Hartsook. Their son, William Hartsook, married Mary Legg in 1887, and one of their children was Homan H. Hartsook. As Samuel aged and was no longer able to do manual labor, he moved in with his first cousin’s wife, Mary Hartsook, and her son, Homan, who was then 35 years old and single. In 1931 Homan married Nina Gilkeson. Helen Garner of
, is a descendent of Charles Hartsook and Mary Jane Clingman, Elizabeth Ott’s sister. She wrote, Beckley, West Virginia
“When I was a child I remember an old gentlemen with a long white beard that used to visit my grandmother Hartsook and we called him Uncle Sam. I seem to think he was an Ott. All I remember of Uncle Sam was seeing him sitting in Gram's living room and he had snow white hair and beard. If he came very often I was not there to see him.”
At the time of the 1930 Federal Census, Samuel Ott was 81 years old. Mary Hartsook and her son listed him as an uncle, but he was actually a cousin. Customs of the time referred to older people in the community as “uncle” or “aunt”. His marital status was noted as widowed, but there is no evidence that Samuel ever married.
Samuel Ott died on
21 March 1934 at age 85 in
the Williamsburg District of Greenbrier County near Hughart. The cause of death was cardiac dropsy
(congestive heart failure) with the onset of bronchial pneumonia on the 20 March. Samuel is buried in the cemetery at
on US Route 60 about three miles west of Lewisburg. Calvary Methodist Church
The youngest of the children, Clowney, lived in the Lewisburg area until around 1923 when he retired. Clowney lived with his parents at least until 1880. No census information has been found for him in 1900. In 1910 Clowney lived with his cousin, Mike Stuart, age 76, in the Fort Spring District. Also living with Mike and Clowney was Mary Stone, a servant. Michael J. Stuart was the son of John Stuart and Susanna Ott, believed to be the daughter of Michael Ott (who signed her marriage bond). Susanna was the sister of Michael D. Ott, making Mike Stuart Clowney’s first cousin.
John Stuart was the son of George Stuart. In 1817 John married Elizabeth Holesapple. In 1832 he married for the second time to Susanna Ott. Five children have been documented for John and Susanna Stuart: Michael J. Stuart, born September 1833; Elizabeth C. Stuart, born 1835; Margaret Stuart, born 1838; James William Stuart, born 1844; and Mahala Stuart, born 1845. 
Clowney’s age was not given in the 1910 census, but his occupation was listed as machinist. A copied photograph from Bill Ott of Fairlea shows the Eagle and Ott Machine Shop in
. The photograph appears to be from a newspaper
clipping and says in the caption, “This shop was located on the site of the
present Holiday Powell Motor Company.
They could repair anything, were machinists, plumbers, tinsmiths, and
iron founders. Note the galvanized
bathtub and bicycles for repair.” The
photo includes Harry A. Cobb, Clowney Ott, and J. W. P. Eagle. No date is given on the photograph. Ronceverte,
Between 1903 and 1921 Clowney sold five pieces of property in and around Ronceverte. He had purchased three pieces of property between 1890 and 1920: two in 1890 (one from Ronceverte Mining and Manufacturing Company and another the same year from the estate of George Kester) and the last one in 1920 from Mahala Stuart Green, his cousin who inherited land from her brother, Michael Stuart.
No census information was found for Clowney Ott in 1920, but in the 1930 Federal Census Clowney Ott lived in the San Jose Township of Los Angeles County,
. He resided in California . For $5 per month Clowney rented a residence
at the rear of the home of John Burnley on Pomona City East Columbia Avenue. Mr. Burnley owned a radio store. Clowney was 74 years old, could read and
write, and was born in . He was a member of the First Baptist Church of
Pomona. West Virginia
Census information for 1940 will not be available to the public until 2012, but Clowney continued to live in
until his death on 12 July
in the Sunshine Rest Home in . Clowney died of a cerebral hemorrhage due to
arteriosclerosis. The duration of his
illness was two weeks, and he had been treated by Dr. J. F. Adams of San Dimas . San Dimas, California
His usual residence was
220 West Third Street in Pomona,
but he had been at the rest home for the past 12 days and had lived in for 20
years. His usual occupation before
retirement was as a machinist in farm machinery manufacturing. The person who reported information about
Clowney’s death was Charles A. Steadman who lived at California 218 Lincoln Avenue, Pomona,
Ott was buried in the on Pomona
Cemetery 15 July 1943.
The Progress Bulletin of
printed an obituary for Clowney Ott as follows: Pomona
“Clowney Ott, 87, of
220 W. 3rd Street
passed away Monday morning at 1:30 o’clock following a short illness. Mr. Ott was born in Lewisburg, W. Va., on December 12, 1855.
He came to
from the East in 1923 after retiring. He
was a member of the California
of this city. Arrangements will be
announced by Reeves Funeral Service of 575 N. Towne Avenue.” First
Clowney was the last of Michael and Elizabeth’s children. Of seven children, the only one to marry and have children was their daughter, Lucinda. Four sons died at early ages, and the two younger sons never married. It's wonderful when family stories are handed down, but we've not had too many stories from the Ott side of the family. They struggled through war and deprivation, but they did the best they could in difficult times.
Court Orders 1780-1850, transcribed by Helen S. Stinson, 1988, p. 331. Va.
 Ott Family Bible,
House Museum . Lewisburg, WV
the Last Best Hope, William J. Bennett,
 Ott Family Bible,
House Museum . Lewisburg, WV
 Ibid and
Births, 1855, p. 17, line 184. Greenbrier County
 The Civil War in Greenbrier County, Tim Mckinney, 2004, p. xiii.
 The Civil War in
Tim McKinney, p. 242. Greenbrier County
 “Men of Virginia-Men of Kanawha-To Arms!”, Val
History, vol. 35, no. 3, 225. Husley,
 The Battle of Lewisburg, Lewisburg Visitor’s Center.
 The Civil War in
Tim McKinney, 2004, p. 174. Greenbrier County
 The Battle of Lewisburg, Lewisburg Visitor’s Center.
 Recollections of the Rev. John McElhenney, D. D., Rose W. Fry, 1893.
 The Battle of Lewisburg, the Lewisburg Visitor’s Center.
 Recollections of the Rev. John McElhenney, D. D., Rose W. Fry, 1893.
 The Battle of Lewisburg, the Lewisburg Visitor’s Center.
 Greenbrier Death Records, p. 33, line 9, and the Ott Family Bible,
North House Museum, . Lewisburg,
 The Civil War in
County, , p. 291. McKinney
 Ibid, p. 237.
 Ibid., p. 239.
 Ibid., p. 242-243.
 General Index of Chancery Records, Book 1, p. 156.
 Growing Up in
, My Memoirs, Carrie Mae
Amick Tuck, p. 9. West Virginia
 Greenbrier Register of Marriages, 1872, p. 61, line 62.
 Growing Up in
, My Memoirs, Carrie Mae
Amick Tuck, p. 7. West Virginia
 Ibid., p. 8.
 Letter from Irma Amick Ballengee,
21 April 1997.
 Growing Up in
, My Memoirs, Carrie Amick
Tuck, p. 8-9. West Virginia
 Letter from Irma Amick Ballengee,
 Greenbrier Register of Deaths, 1887, p. 83, line 88.
 Greenbrier Book of Wills, p. 520.
Deed Book 56, p. 468. Greenbrier County
Deed Book 32, p. 213. Greenbrier County
 Email from Helen Garner,
death certificate, no. 3236. West Virginia
, Lewisburg District, Greenbrier
Historical Society, p. 6. Greenbrier County
 Federal Census,
, 1860. Greenbrier
 The Progress Bulletin,
Pomona, California 12 July 1943
death certificate, no. 8478. County of Los Angeles