While doing research on my family history on Ancestry.com, I was surprised to learn the town of Seth, W.Va., 11 miles east-northwest of Madison, W.Va., in Boone County, was first known as Coon Mills, W.Va.
The town was named for its oldest settler and a relative of mine, Adam Coon, who owned three mills on Big Coal River, and was one of the first justices of the peace at the first meeting of the Boone County Court, and was instrumental in helping form Boone County, W.Va., named for Daniel Boone, a noted hunter and explorer who made his home in the great Kanawha Valley from 1788 to 1795.
Searching Ancestry.com, I also found that Adam Coon was also sheriff of Boone County, W.Va., from 1871 to 1872, and was a slave owner, who still had a former slave in his household long after the Civil War.
Adam Coon was the son of Jacob and Elizabeth Ashe Coon, and was born in Coon's Fort in Harrison County.W.Va., in 1798, a fort named after Joseph and Phillip Coon, other relatives of mine who built the fort on land they owned in Harrison County, under the direction of Captain James Booth.
The Coon's fort historical marker on Route 19 today in Harrison County, W.Va., states the fort built in 1777 was dismantled in 1789, and was an important place of refuge from Indians for many early settlers in the Kanawha Valley.
Researching marriage license, I found that Adam Coon married Hannah Meadows in Kanawha County, W.Va., on July 28, 1836, and after her death, he married Nancy Ferrell From Monroe County,W.Va. Between both marriages, Adam Coon was father to 15 children, whom he named all his sons after famous people such as Andrew Jackson, George Washington, Christopher Columbus and other famous people of that era.
Looking back on these famous political blood relatives I didn't know I had, you suppose that might have been the reason I filed a petition to run as mayor of Marietta in 1987, and lost by only 46 votes to an opponent that moved to Columbus and didn't want the job.
In next week's column, tell you about the first record that was ever played on Dick Clark's American Bandstand out of Philadelphia, and what the record is worth today in good condition. Also tell you what some of those regular dancers on the show are into today, Pat and Carmen, Joyce and Norman and other '50s regulars. See you back here next week, you hear?
Larry Koon is the author of several price guide books on antiques and collectibles. His column appears every Monday on Life. Send letters to Treasure in the Attic, c/o The Marietta Times, 700 Channel Lane, Marietta 45750; or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. When writing, send a complete description of the item, along with size, color, any markings on the item along with condition the item is in, and how the item was obtained, and any other information. If possible, send a photograph. Letters will be answered through this column.