Jeff Harvey

We shift from the Farley family to a representative of a major county family on this week’s column, with information coming from William Sanders II’s book “A New River Heritage, Volume IV” (1994, McClain Publishing).

Sanders wrote that he and J.K. (Kent) Lilly went to visit another of the Lilly family, Jim Bob Lilly, at the latter’s home at the Spanishburg Mill Dam.

Lilly, then 88, was the grandson of “Miller Bob” and Virginia Gore Lilly and the nephew of former West Virginia Attorney General “Cousin Abe” Lilly, the organizer of the annual Lilly Reunion. His father was their son, Zach Lilly.

According to Jim Bob Lilly, his grandfather built mills wherever he lived. The mill at the Lilly Village on Little Bluestone was his and he helped his brother-in-law Levi M. Neely build the mill on Big Bluestone near the old True post office at the mouth of Surveyor Branch.

Returning to the Little Bluestone mill, a previous mill existed there at the home and store of Josiah Meador-Meadows II and his wife Judith Lilly, daughter of pioneers Robert and Mary Frances Moody Lilly. The home also served as a church.

Sanders opined that the Meador-Meadows home existed before the road was built coming up from Big Bluestone and before the Ellison Ridge road was built. By any account, the home existed at the intersection of the two roads.

Josiah Meador-Meadows was a Revolutionary War veteran younger than his father-in-law. The Lillys built their cabin across the mouth of Little Bluestone on the lower side of the Sand Knob Road. Judith was their oldest child.

Josiah saw two sisters also marry Lillys. Rosanna married Thomas Lilly and Edith married Edmond Lilly.

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

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