In the article History of Brushy Ridge - Colored by Frank U.G. Peck, he says "We will first consider the early settlers of Brushy Ridge, who they were and where they came from". In the beginning of the article, Peck mentions a man named Christopher Hoke who "owned a mill & a stillhouse" ... "settled about 1800 in Northwest Brushy Ridge" ... "came from Monroe County' and "owned a colored woman who became the wife of Samuel Willmer". This would have been the first wife of Samuel Wilmer as his second wife was Rachel C Scruggs.
The first three people that Peck mentions are Caucasian: Christopher Hoke, Mrs. Whanger, & Michael Rodger of Ireland. The fourth person that he mentions is a Black man named John More, Sr. (see above). There are plenty of WHANGERS in Greenbrier but most are showing up in Fort Spring or White Sulphur Springs. Without a first name it would be hard to ascertain who is "Mrs. Whanger".
There were two/three men named Christopher Columbus Hoke (Senior & Junior & III). They were Caucasian. I believe that Peck is speaking about the Senior b/c he says he "settled about 1800". . Christopher Columbus Hoke, Senior appears on the 1850 Census in Monroe County (and this is exactly where most of our families came from - especially Second Creek). He was 70 & his wife was 68 (so he would have been about 20 when he moved to Brushy Ridge. He was a Miller - grain/mill products. His kids are farming and milling. I do not have the "Enslaved Schedule for 1850". Christopher Columbus Hoke, JUNIOR who was b. in 1835 and who shows up in the 1860 Census is a 34yo married to Malinda Jane Humphries. They married in 1845.. He is a "Sawyer" (could be misconstrued as Lawyer - & he may well have been). He lived next to a John G. & Emily Hughs. Hughs is a rare name in the area and my great (many times) aunt was Eliza Hughs. My genealogist (now deceased) reported to me many years ago that she had not found any Hughs at all (but I believe she only looked in Greenbrier). At any rate one of the Christophers served in the Civil War in the 108th Militia Infantry on the side of the Confederacy. Junior would have been around 40, whereas his dad would have been around 75-80 (so unlikely to have been a soldier, so I think that it is Junior who was the Civil War Confederate soldier). Later in life, Junior appears to have moved over to Bolling Spring in Allegheney, Virginia.
I have a CCH b. 1857 in GC who died 8/8/1950 in White Sulphur Springs. Maybe he is a CCH III. Husband of Barbara.
I don't wish to spend too much time on these Christophers but I would like to ascertain the identity of the woman that was enslave by the family. I would think the woman would have been enslaved by the Senior. Perhaps there is a WILL at the Greenbrier County courthouse. I gave all of my books to the Greenbrier Historical Society or I would be able to look it up.
Michael Rodger came from Ireland and he was the father of Ely and Daniel. They lived in South Brushy Ridge. The only Michael Rodger that I could find was born in Virginia and he married a Sarah Jane Moorhead in Greenbrier County on 10/6/1849. He is on the 1850 Census in GC at age 26, with Sarah, 19. He is enumerated next to a John & Elizabeth Rodgers who had a child named Sarah (possibly named after the aunt). This Michael seems to have left GC to go to Iowa to work as an agricultural worker around 1860 as he appears in that census. He then goes to Texas where he dies on 2/20/1883 and he is buried in Eastland, Tx. However, the daughter of Michael & Sarah dies in Iowa. #36687. She had broken a leg and then died of pneumonia. This d/n appear to be the family that Mr. Peck is mentioning but it is the only family of this name that I could find.
Finally, the first Black man, John More (sic) settles in Brushy Ridge and I will talk about him in the next entry.