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“William Worsham was born at Salt Sulphur Springs, Monroe county on June 14, 1832 and for many years was a driver on the stage line between Staunton and Lewisburg. When the stage coach went out of business after the construction of the railway, he settled in Lewisburg and was employed to run a line of hacks between Lewisburg and Ronceverte”(1). According to the 1880 census, he was living there with his wife Phoebe and their seven children.

 

Phoebe and her children purchased (Deed 32-16) lot 12 on the corner of Lafayette and Randolph Streets in 1880 for $600 (about $18,000 today). There was a building on the lot, perhaps the house shown in the above photograph. Five years later (1885), they purchased (Deed 37-105) the two lots down the hill at the end of Lafayette St., lots 13 and 14 on an alley leading up to Lee St., and probably built stables there for the horses of the hack line. A number of deeds for adjacent properties from that period refer to that property as the “Worsham Stable Lot”.

 

Wm. Worsham died on December 19, 1898. “Though engaged in this unpretentious calling, Mr. Worsham was in character and conduct a gentleman, holding an enviable place in the respect and confidence of all who knew him.” (1)

 

It is interesting to note that the business that employed him would face competition from another company located at Montwell Commons. Lewisburg Milling provided the first electricity to Lewisburg, and the electric plant and equipment was sold to the Consolidated Light and Power Co in 1907. It bought property on Monroe Ave. in Ronceverte and built a power station there to supply electricity to the Lewisburg and Ronceverte Railway. Poles were erected along the right of way to power the railway engines and supply electricity to Lewisburg. With a modern electric railway, horse-drawn hacks were no longer needed.  Excerpts of the consolidated Light & Power deeds can be read here.

 

Six years later April 14, 1904, Phoebe Worsham and her children sold (Deed 64-621) the “Worsham Stable Lot” for $350 (about $11,000 today). There must have been a market for salvaged building materials because in the deed, they “hereby reserve and retain and do not convey the stable and sheds and to have said lots clean and clear thereof and ready for cultivation by the first day of May 1904.”

Phoebe Worsham died on April 29, 1907 and in 1920, her children and heirs sold (Deed 97-254) Lot 12 with the old William Worsham residence along with the Cannery Lot for $1700 (about $25,000 today) which Wm. Worsham purchased (Deed 51-466) in early 1898.

 

(1) His full obituary may be read here along with excerpts of the Worsham deeds.

Deeds are identified by (book no. – page no.) and are on file in the County Clerk's office at the Greenbrier County Courthouse.

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