HISTORIC BRAMWELL'S OAK HILL CEMETERY

BRAMWELL PIONEER CAPTAIN ISAIAH A. WELCH

Captain I. A. Welch

Captain Isaiah A. Welch was a surveyor for Pocohantas Mines. Captain Welch was born in Charleston, WV on March 3, 1823. I. A. Welch served as a captain in the Confederate Army. According to text on his tombstone Captain Welch died in 1897. However, Captain Welch most likely died on Feb. 15, 1902 at the age of 73. This date is confirmed by the obituary listed below from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph dated February 16, 1902. That would have meant that he was born in 1829 and not the tombstone date of 1823. Captain Welch is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery near Historic Bramwell, WV in the community of Freeman,WV. He was the brother of Ms. Jemima Welch.

The town of Welch in McDowell County, WV was named after Captain Welch in 1894. Captain Welch is reported to have purchased the strategic site at the confluence of Elkhorn Creek and Tug Fork for $100 and his sorrel mare. He died February 15, 1902, in St. Albans, Kanawha County, and his body was returned to Bramwell, WV for burial in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Bramwell's namesake, Joseph H. Bramwell accompanied Captain I. A. Welch on his 1873 survey of the Pocahontas Coalfields.

The Bramwell Public Grade School was established in 1894 with Professor E.S. Baker becoming the first principal ( 1895 - 1900 ) of the school. With private donations from several local coal barons like John D. Hewitt, Jenkin Jones, Harry Bowen and CAPTAIN I. A. WELCH the school term was extended from five to twelve months a year for the 200 students and five teachers.

1866 LETTER - I. A. WELCH , WV COAL MAGNATE TO THE FORMER CSA CAPTAIN OF THE RINGGOLD ARTILLERY - This is interesting reading on Captain Isaiah A. Welch. He was captain in the Confederate Army. Captain Welch died in February 1902 at St. Albans, WV.

The Oak Hill Cemetery cemetery is presently grownup and and in need of extensive restoration. However, there is a project underway to restore the cemetery and is being spearheaded by Sharon Scott Workman and several of Bramwell's residents. Sharon and her coworkers need as much help and funding as they can get to insure success of this project. Sharon can be contacted Sharon Scott Workman if you care to your support this initiative.

Efforts are underway to document the cemetery history which is believed to have been started in about 1885. Many of Bramwell's pioneers are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery. The cemetery and along with the Baptist Church is physically located just West of the community of Freeman on River Road.

Material furnished by: Sharon Scott Workman.

Captain Isaiah A. Welch Obiturary
( Bluefield Daily Telegraph, 16 February 1902 )

Captain I. A. Welch

Pioneer Passes to Eternal Rest
Capt. I.A. Welch Died at St. Albans Yesterday.
Ripe in Years and Honors
Highly Esteemed Citizen, Identified with Coal Field's Development and Growth.
Funeral Will be Tomorrow.

Capt. I.A. Welch, one of the pioneers of the Pocahontas Flat Top Coal Field, died at his residence in St. Albans, W.Va., yesterday morning, aged about 73 years.

Capt. Welch came to this section in 1873 to examine and report on the coal deposits. He became identified with the development of the section, and was probably the most widely known man in the field. The town of Welch was named in his honor.

Several years ago Capt. Welch was married to Miss Thrasher of Giles county, Va. and moved from Bramwell to St. Albans, WV.

Four sons and three daughters, children of his first marriage, are all dead before him.

He was a man universally esteemed, and his death casts a gloom over the community.

His remains will be brought to Bramwell, where the last sad rites will be observed tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock.

OAK HILL CEMETERY INDEX

DR. H. V. McNEER GRAVE SITE

COL. JOHN HEWITT GRAVE SITE

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