Historical Society meeting held

The Clay County Landmarks Commission and Historical Society met October 3, 2018 in the Clay County Library. Present were Jeanine Samples, Jim Miller, Marlene Potasnik, Betty Robinson, Lenora Pettit, Jerry Stover, Sandra Claybrook, and Eloise Boggs.

President Jerry Stover called the meeting to order. Minutes of the September 2018 meeting were read and approved. Comments on our role at the apple festival followed, with the suggestion that we would get more attention if we were located outside the courthouse. The comment went further to suggest that a better and more interested audience would be found at the CCHS alumni dinner which is held on Saturday evening of the festival and at individual class reunions held during festival days. Jerry also reported that festival committee members had expressed an interest in meeting with the Historical Society when making plans for activities of that week.


  1. The Elkhurst Swinging Bridge, last one of its kind in the state: Hiram Lewis is still working on its preservation. Do Clay County people really want to see it saved? Please send comments to us.
  2. Jerry called our attention to an article in the Life & Style section of the Sunday, September 30, 2018 Gazette-Mail in which master potter Charles C. Scott is featured. Jerry, who was taught this art form by Mr. Scott, showed several photos of Scott’s finished products which are in his personal collection. At Mr. Scott’s request, Jerry will donate a casserole to the state museum.
  3. The librarian at The Bedford (Virginia) Museum and Genealogical Library called to say that they had a collection of old (early 1900s) postcards addressed to Clay, WV with the name Bryant on them. Upon Jerry’s mention of Stanard Bryant, the librarian answered, “They’ve found a home.” The cards have been returned and will by placed into an album, probably with other card collections.
  4. Purchase of a new air conditioner for our office: Karen Burdette found one at Lowe’s which fit our need but with some slight damage that did not affect its functioning. The defect was easily mended and it brought down the price of the air conditioner significantly.


  1. Sandra called attention to a letter from Michael McGiffert, son-in-law of Howard E. White, asking if the Society would like the papers of the late Mr. White. Eloise explained that we had responded and the papers were sent to her and are still in her possession, but with the intention to further organize them before they are placed in our library. Betty, a pupil of H.E. White through several grades, volunteered to organize the collection which will be brought to the November meeting.
  2. Betty mentioned the name of Henry Markle whose home place at Maysel is passed by some of us on the way to Clay. Henry Markle was an engineer who designed several bridges and roadways in West Virginia. A commemorative historical marker is located along Rt. 4 at Maysel. The Historical Society would like more information about this Clay County man, his family and his contributions to our state.
  3. Jerry mentioned that we should express our condolences to the family of Sarah Bragg, who died recently. A tribute is included with the minutes.


The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, at 1 p.m. at the Clay County library.

Remembering Sarah

Sarah Brown Bragg (1958-2018)

The Historical Society has been blest through the years to have had, past and present, workers who were dedicated to our mission, with the desire to preserve our history and to help others who are trying to find the details of their own family histories. Sarah was one of those. As our secretary several years past, she gave her 100% and more to that cause. Every request was honored and answered to the best of her ability. Somehow, between the responsibility of family duties and her work to complete a college degree, she managed to do the research and put together a very valuable document, “Clay County Deaths, 1858-1901,”copies of which are still available.

Sarah ‘s family relocated to Roane County several years ago, thus severing her direct association with the Historical Society. However, she maintained her dedication to Clay County by becoming an English teacher in the Clay County High School. With multiple health problems, she continued to give more than 100% to her teaching and to her students, often spending her own money to buy for needy individuals. Sarah loved, and in turn, was love.

We send our condolences to Sarah’s family, her friends and co-workers and to her students who have lost a dedicated and caring teacher.

(Romans 8::28)

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