THE STEMPLES COME TO CALHOUN
by Bob Weaver, Editor, The Hur Herald
THE STEMPLES COMETH
The life and times of the Stemple family will more likely be remembered since their ancestral log cabin now rests at the county park in the Heritage Village.
While the cabin was likely built by the Riggs family, Ahab Stemple (1848-1931)and his family are connected to the structure which has been on Rowels Run these last 127 years.
Calhoun resident Marvin Stemple has researched the movement of the Stemple clan, including their arrival to Calhoun County:
EARLY STEMPLE HISTORY:
The progenitors of the STEMPLE family have been identified as Bendickt STEMPFLI (STEMPLE) born about 1610 in Seedorf, Canton of Bern, Switzerland.
The wife of Bendickt was Maria LOFFEL. They resided in Switzerland from 1631 through 1643. Historical notations show that this family moved to the Palatinate in 1644. Historians have surmised that many families moved several times because of the Thirty Years War. The STEMPFLI (STEMPLE) family is thought to have been a resident of the Palatinate and moved to Switzerland to avoid persecution.
Four generations of this family would reside at Wachenheim, Palatinate, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. In 1737 on the “Ship Samuel” Johann Peter STEMPEL (STEMPLE) along with his wife and three children landed in Philadelphia.
One of these children was a son, Johann Gottfried STEMPLE, born January 20, 1727 in the Palatinate, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. Gottfried (Godfrey) STEMPLE died 1796 in Salem/Aurora, Monongalia/Preston County, Virginia/West Virginia.
STEMPLE ANCESTRY: PART I
Godfrey Stemple married Mary Margaret Speck in 1754 in Swatara, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. At the present time Swatara is a fort located in a state park near Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
To this union a total of ten children would be born; Christina, Barbara, Rosina, Susanna, David, Eva, Eva Maria, Martin, Anna Maria, and John. During this period of history, the French and Indian Wars were being fought.
The Stemple family did not escape the wrath of this war. During an Indian raid two of the Stemple daughters, Christina and Barbara, were captured. Christina was taken and held for a time and Barbara was partially scalped. Both girls would survive.
About 1770 Godfrey and his family moved from the wilderness of Pennsylvania to the safe confines of Hagerstown, Washington County, Maryland.
For the next twenty years he would be involved in the Revolutionary War, farming, and promoting the German Reform Church in this part of Maryland.
About 1789 Godfrey Stemple came to Salem/Aurora, (present day Preston County) West Virginia. Here he purchased 1000 acres of land. At the present time, 2007, many of these same acres are still occupied and farmed by descendants of Godfrey.
MORE ABOUT GODFREY STEMPLE
Baptism: January 26, 1727, Reform Church in Pfeddersheim, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany.
Burial: Pioneer Cemetery, Aurora, Preston County, West Virginia
Emigration: August 30, 1737, from Rotterdam, arrived in Philadelphia.
Military service: Between 1776-1783, served on Committee of Observation.
Oath: Took Patriot’s Oath of Fidelity and Support on November 22, 1778.
MORE ABOUT MARY MARGARET SPECK STEMPLE
Burial: Pioneer Cemetery, Aurora, Preston County, West Virginia.
STEMPLE ANCESTRY: Part II
John Stemple was born November 07, 1776, near Hagerstown, Washington County, Maryland, and died 1832 in Aurora, Preston County, Virginia.
He married Sarah Boyles about 1802 in Aurora, Monongalia County, Virginia. Both are buried in Pioneer Cemetery, Aurora, Preston County, West Virginia.
To this union was born eight children, six girls and two boys: Maria, Susanna, Anna, Isaac, David, Sarah, Christina, and Elizabeth.
STEMPLE ANCESTRY: PART III
Isaac Stemple was born September 02, 1806 in “German Settlement”, Aurora, Preston County , Virginia, and died March 27, 1879 in Calhoun County, West Virginia.
He married Catherine Wilt 1828 in Preston County, Virginia. Catherine died in 1882. Both are buried in Stemple Cemetery, Calhoun County West Virginia.
From all accounts, Isaac was the only child of John and Sarah to migrate from Aurora. His trek would take him the length of Stemple Ridge, down the mountain to St. George, and on to Sugar Creek in Barbour County.
In the land records of Barbour County, Isaac owns 50 acres of land (1849) on Sugar Creek; and in 1854 he owns an additional 38 acres in the same area. During the decades surrounding the Civil War, Isaac and Catherine along with five of their children migrated to Calhoun County, located in the west-central area of the state.
CHILDREN OF ISSAC AND CATHERINE
Anna Maria (1829) Preston County, Virginia-Jesse Rightman
Andrew Jackson “Jack” (1831) Preston County, Virginia-Margaret Marteney/Elizabeth Parsons *
Sarah (1834) Preston County, Virginia-Peter Johnson
Osa (1836) Preston County, Virginia-John Poling
Susanna Christina (1838) Preston County, Virginia-James W. Sturm *
Adonjah Adjudson “Jay” (1840) Preston County, Virginia-Scindarilla Marteney *
Ahab (1848) Barbour County, Virginia-Mary Ardelia Carpenter *
Nancy (1850) Barbour County, Virginia-Elias Little *
*Living in Calhoun County by 1870.
Ahab Stemple was born December 24, 1848 in Barbour County, Virginia and died August 30, 1931 in Harrison County, West Virginia. He married Mary Ardelia Carpenter September 20, 1866 in Barbour County West Virginia, daughter of Conrad Carpenter and Elizabeth Harper.
She was born July 21, 1850 in Barbour County, Virginia and died May 17, 1936 in Harrison County, West Virginia. Both are buried in the Stemple Cemetery, Calhoun County, West Virginia. They were the parents of 11 known children. Only 5 would attain adult status.
By the time Ahab was born, his sister Anna Maria and his brother Andrew Jackson (Jack) were married and starting to have a family.
Growing-up on Sugar Creek was easy for the first ten years of his life due to the fact that he was the seventh child. His father was a farmer that needed every hand possible to do the chores. When he was about ten years of age his responsibilities changed from a water-boy to a tough farm hand.
According to the 1860 census of Barbour County, West Virginia, the children still in the home was Adonjah (Jay), Ahab, and Nancy (the baby).
Less hands to help with the farming would be an incentive for Isaac and Catherine to sell their farm.
In less than three years this entire area would be embroiled in a terrible Civil War.
As a by-product of this war, James W. Sturm, a son-in-law of Isaac, was fighting as a “rebel” in the “War for Southern Independence”.
By 1870, only Anna Marie Stemple Rightman, the oldest child of Isaac and Catherine, was still living in Barbour County, five were living in Calhoun County, one in Randolph County, and one in Noble County, Ohio.
Shortly after their marriage in 1866, Ahab and Mary Ardelia moved to Calhoun County.
They built a small house next to his parents on Barnes’ Run. They would live in this area for the next thirty years of their life.
Farming was very difficult in the hills and hollows of Calhoun County, more demanding than farming in Barbour County.
In addition to his father, brothers Andrew Jackson (Jack) and Adonjay (Jay) had adjacent farms while sisters Christina (James W. Sturm) and Nancy (Elias Little) had farms nearby. At least there were extra hands to help with the demanding jobs on the farms.
Ahab and Mary Ardelia were able to obtain several different tracts of land. This interest in farm acreage was a way of obtaining land for their children. Much of this land was sold for $1.00 to $10.00 to the following children:
George William Stemple-Ida Esther Fowler/Josie Shock
Andrew Judson Stemple-Myrtle Muriel Holbert
Anise Belle Stemple-Salathiel Slider
Isaac Conrad Stemple-Mary Belle Slider
Lloyd Kenton Stemple-Lovie Belle Stout/Hester Sturm
Between 1895 and 1900 Ahab and Mary Ardelia along with grandson Leonard Ray Stemple moved to a log home on Rowels Run.
This would be more close to the children since George William, Andrew Judson, Isaac Conrad, and Lloyd K. owned property in the general area. Anise lived just over the hill on Barnes’ Run.
By 1910 most of the original Stemple farms had been sold to families not associated with the family. The exception was the property of Elias and Nancy Stemple Little. It was not sold until 2006-a time span of nearly 140 years.
Around 1920 Ahab and Mary Ardelia moved to Harrison County, West Virginia to be close to the grandson that they reared-Leonard Ray Stemple.
George William Stemple (oldest son) had relocated to Harrison County with his second family earlier to seek better employment opportunities.
Ahab and Mary would spend their remaining days away from the hills that had been home to them for nearly seventy years. They rest for eternity at the head of Sinking Springs in a cemetery that bears the Stemple name.
Descendants: Grandchildren-31, Great-grandchildren-68 Great-great-grandchildren-84 The amounts shown are only the known descendants of this author.
In 2007 the log cabin in which Ahab Stemple and his family lived has been moved to the Calhoun Park.