Historic Bramwell - Pioneer
Samuel A. Toy
The photo was taken in 1937. Bramwell High School Class '51 Alumni Ward Cole was four years old. To Ward this photograph brings back some wonderful memories. No doubt many others can relate to a similiar photograph in their past. Ward's grandfather, S.A. Toy was book keeper for the historic Booth-Bowen Coal Company.
Mr. Toy was married to Caroline Bilbie. Caroline was related to John Freeman for which the community of Freeman was named. John Freeman married Isabella "Belle" Bilbie of Treverton, Pennsylvania in 1863. She was the widow of John Bilbie. "Belle" was born in 1830 at Gateshead, England. She had three husbands and outlived them all. She was the mother of at least ten children. One husband, one son-in-law and two sons were millionaires; John Freeman, Jenkin Jones, George and Wesley Freeman.
All these individuals are well known as Bramwell pioneers; of course with the exception of Ward Cole, Jr. Samuel A. Toy died at his home on Bluestone Avenue in Bramwell, WV in 1942. ( History material from Martha Jane Becker's book on Bramwell history. Information on Caroline Bilbie name from Rowellyn (Cole) Clark. Photograph furnished by Ward Cole)
Material Update - Nov. 2009: Samuel A. Toy was born to Samuel and May Toy on Feb 17, 1861. He was one of ten children. In 1891 he married Caroline Bilbie, the daughter of Mrs. Isabel Freeman, widow of John Freeman, who was a pioneer coal operator in the Flat Top coal field.