History of McComas
The original date of this article was
|"This article is based on information which was given to the editor of this paper (The GOB) by Mr. Bill Mabe. Mr Mabe is one of the few people alive who has witnessed the growth of McComas from a tiny settlement of one cabin to a thriving community of people."|
The first person who settled at McComas was Mr. McComas, who settled on what is now the Mabe farm. He lived there before the Civil War and owned slaves. The next person there lived to the right of Windmill Gap. His name was Jim Marshall, he also lived there before the Civil War. The next man there was Mr. Bailey, who lived on the Company farm on the mountain above Mayberry. On what is now the Neal farm at Montcalm, lived a man by the name of Bill Davis. Mr. Davis had the vision to see the need of a mill to serve the people that lived in this vicinity. His idea was to start a mill for the purpose of grinding both corn and wheat. Mr. Davis traveled to Pocanhontas and secured a mill from Judge Nelson. At this particular time this section had no roads. There were only narrow paths and trails which were difficult to travel, so it was quite a problem to Mr. Davis to get the mill to what we today know as Crane Creek. He spent two days getting the mill to McComas. It could only be brought here by bulls. These bulls were driven by a seventeen year old boy who is now eighty-one years old, his name is Bill Mabe. The mill was set up just below where the store at Crane Creek is now located. A great many people soon began coming to the mill. At this particular time there were no buildings in McComas.
The first person to move here was Joaly McComas who constructed a home at the place which is now the Thomas Ball Diamond. The next person to move into this vicinity was Andrew Harmon. He lived near Conner's Store on the road to Matoaka.
The first real store in or near McComas was established by Rubo McComas. His store was a small one, near present Thomas Ball Diamond. A school house was also built at this time. It was very crudely built, of logs, the interior of the school was also crude, with seats made of split logs. Later on another school was built, and it is still seen there today. It is the house just below the McComas High School where Mr. Rupe now lives. The building was made into a house, the first teacher in McComas was Caz Belcher.
Mines had been established and were now in use here. In 1889 a railroad was commenced, Shanties were built along the road, they were built as homes for railroad constructionioners. There is still in McComas one man who helped to build the shanties.
McComas now began to grow and expand, the population increased. The first of the Company Stores was established in 1902. The store was constructed at Crane Creek where Mr. Pinkard now lives. A post office was started in one part of the store later the post office was moved to its present location. The post office was at first given the name of Mannering, and later it was called McComas.
The first church in McComas was the church established at Crane Creek in 1906. A theatre was built in 1910. McComas has gradually been increasing until its present population is almost five thousand people.
This article was provided to Pat Smith the webmaster of http://www.mccomaswv.com by Bob Kingan who lived at Pinnacle and graduated from McComas High School in 1948. This article gives a different aspect to the history than I have read anyplace before.
Bob we thank you for sharing this wonderful piece of McComas history with all of us.
P.S. I think the Store Manager was probably Rufus Allen McComas not Rubo McComas from what research I have gathered. I also question the name Joaly McComas and think it was most likely James McComas who married Rebecca Bailey daughter of John Bailey Sr. and Nancy Davidson. James and Rebecca are buried at McComas near where the old Conner Mountain Schoolhouse once sat. John Bailey Sr was a son of Richard Bailey who was an early settler in the Bluefield area where a Davidson/Bailey Fort was established to protect them from Indian raids. Rebecca Bailey had a brother George who I've discovered owned much of the land from Montcalm up to the McComas area. Also James McComas was the son of Chloe Bailey daughter of Richard Bailey also. James and Rebecca were cousins - which was very comman back in the 1700/1800s.
Andrew Harmon is also a gggrandfather to me. Studying my family tree is what originally sparked my interest in what McComas was like when everyone originally migrated into the area. This article brought a touch of home to me and made it extra special. Near the old Pinnacle School today is a roadsign titled Harmon Cemetery which points out the road going up to the area where Andrew and his wife Lydia "Lettie" Day Reed lived. Andrew and Lydia had a daughter Nancy "Nannie" who married U.S. Uria Spicer who migrated to McComas from Wilkes Co, NC. Nannie and Uria had a son Andrew who married Mary Robinson they produced a son named Willie "Bill" who was my father. Bill married Helen Huffman. Thus begat Patty and Mickey Spicer. Its wonderful learning one's history after previously knowing none of it. I'm a strong convert to genealogy and at times get obsessed studying and looking for new clues.
Please everyone keep the good stories and articles like this coming in. All that we know is building a history that is not very well documented. Lets preserve it and share it those who loved McComas as we all do.
thanks Patty "Spicer" Smith webmaster but 1st and foremost just a girl from McComas at heart.