Jeff Harvey

Before we continue with our look at the history of the families of the Bluestone River Valley, courtesy of William Sanders II’s book “A New River Heritage, Volume IV (1994, McClain Publishing), I have a favor to ask.

I’m currently working on a house history of a home (109 East Concord Street) in Athens. Does anyone have an idea on how to get the history of the house? The history of Athens in the 1987 volume of the Mercer County Historical Society history of Mercer County only mentions the house in passing. Any help would be appreciated.

The uncle of Drewry Farley, Joel Farley, had a son named Chapman Farley, who is buried in the New River bench cemetery.

Drewry Farley’s eldest son, Gideon, was known for his quick temper, attributed to his Viking heritage and known as a Gid temper. However, he was also known as a good neighbor, a steadfast friend and a good citizen. He is buried in Beech Springs at Shockley Hill, along with his son Nelson, in a cemetery shared by the Thompson family.

Drewry Farley’s will, made October 18, 1851, gave his land to his two youngest sons, Henley and Drewry, Jr., for the rest of their lives, then to their children. His personal property went to Drewry, Jr.’s wife, Sarah Ann.

Moving back to where we started with the Lewis Farley family, he was born on the old Farley family bench on the New River on February 23, 1867 ( died February 8, 1933, age 66), a few miles from Bull Falls and a part of the River Ridge community.

Emma Shumate Farley was the daughter of the Honorable Ballard Preston Shumate and his first wife, Lisa Meadows Shumate. She was born in Pipestem on April 8, 1872 and died the same day her husband did in Princeton. They are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Princeton.

Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter for the Princeton Times. Contact him at

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