Charles Conrad Young
and family

  Page Updated 20 Mar 2013

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Charles Conrad Young

Charles Conrad Young, born the first day of February 1807, died ninety-eight years and eight days later. He is buried just above Hawks Nest, WV.  U. S. Route 60 is visible in the background.  My understanding is that my granduncle George Stanley is buried there also. I do not know the name of this cemetery, but I could find neither grave listed in the Fayette Co., WV, cemetery listings.    --Photo by Adrian Gwin

Biographical sketches of some of his descendants

Aunt Maude

Miss Maude Ella Stanley?  Yes, but we only called her Aunt Maude. (Like my brother Pat always said, say "ant," not "ont.")  I've heard many stories about her.  I can tell a few myself.  I knew her pretty well, I think, though not as well as my mom and her sisters and brothers, of course. She was my grandaunt, the firstborn of George Washington Stanley and Fannie Young Stanley.  The entire time I knew her, it seems, she looked like she did in the picture above, taken with me at the capitol in Charleston on West Virginia day, June 20,1963, where we'd gone to hear President John F. Kennedy deliver the keynote address at our state's centennial celebration.  I guess I thought she always had looked that way and that she'd live forever.

A native West Virginian, she'd lived at the old homeplace at Tad, up Campbells' Creek, all her life.  Her daddy, George Washington Stanley, had married his sweetheart, Fannie Young, and built the place for his bride sometime after the Civil War.  Maude was their first child.  She had grown up to become a school teacher, and many a Campbells' Creeker remembered her lessons. She never married, and I never heard why.

Going to Aunt Maude's was always an adventure for us kids in the 1950's and 60's.  The old wellhouse, the outhouse, the graveyard up on the side of the hill behind her house, the yard, the little creek off to the side--all of it was as exciting to my brother and me as Christmas morning.  Oh, and the house!  It was close to a hundred years old then, and with its tin roof, its weather-faded green siding, and slightly sagging front porch, it looked (and was) even more ancient and age-wrinkled than Aunt Maude herself.

My uncle Buster (Albert McDonald Keeney of Belle, Mamie's and Mack's fifthborn), who's almost as old today as Aunt Maude was then, was talking with me by phone the other day about her and that old house.  He told me the back of the house used to be the front and vice-versa.  Long ago, when they first built it, the homeplace faced the old road up Campbells' Creek which was much closer to the northside of the hollow, right up against the hillside, and the house was built to face it.  In those early days, the road went right through where the back yard was when I knew it, back when we were kids.

There's a story I heard in my youth and read in Dad's column (below) about Aunt Maude and two men on horseback, around the turn of the century, who had met in the road and were exchanging words right in front of the house.  Both had pistols strapped to their waists, and their topcoats were pulled back behind, hands prepared to draw.  With fire in her eyes, a tiny Aunt Maude walked off the porch and across the yard, right up to where they had squared off in their saddles. "Gentlemen," she ordered firmly, "there'll be no fighting here today!"  The two tipped their hats, said, "Yes, ma'am," and rode off in opposite directions!

Uncle Bus told me that after the new road was built BEHIND the house (between the house and Campbells' Creek), they redid the house, removing the porch and adding it onto the old back to make it into the new front.  Several rooms were changed, and a new bedroom was added, I believe he said.  The outhouse was moved to the new back yard and placed right in the middle of where the old road had been! I suppose this change would explain why her bed was in the living room.  When one walked in the front door, that was the first noticeable thing.  A double bed, it was, and there was a rocker--or maybe two--between it and the door.  One had to walk around the bed to get to the door that led into the dining room, through which one walked to get to the kitchen.

Another door to the right and rear of the living room drew one into another bedroom, but no bed was there; instead, an ancient parlor organ stood against the far front wall. Playing that old pumper was always a treat.  My uncle and aunt, (George McClure and Frankie Lucas Keeney of Cow Creek, Putnam Co., WV, Mack's and Mamie's seventhborn and wife) have that organ now, and long may it stand in the home of family.  Also in that room were Easter eggs.  Many of them, kept as souvenirs of long-ago egg hunts, lined a table or dresser top along the wall beside the organ.

There were always several "dippers"--ladles made from dried gourds--lying around in the house, as I recall, and it was more than once that I got to help turn the crank to draw a bucket of drinking water from the old covered well.  I don't remember ever drinking from a gourd dipper, as Aunt Maude always had glasses for us.  I suspect we poured that water into a pitcher to use in the house.  It was quite an exciting day in the late 1950's  when Aunt Maude finally got running water piped into her kitchen!  The well was boarded over and never used again.

For Aunt Maude's 88th birthday, my dad baked eight (or maybe 12--can't recall now which) flat, round cakes, then covered a board with aluminum foil and stacked the cakes on it in four stacks to form a large 88.  Then he iced them, put 22 candles on each stack, and off to Aunt Maude's we went.  I don't recall who planned that particular party or how many of the extended family went, but I remember that cake, and I remember that when the time came for her to "blow" out the candles, instead she clapped her hands briskly over the cake, extinguishing them all!


I remember bits and pieces of the summer Mom and Dad decided we'd all go the beach and take Aunt Maude with us.  We had been up to her house one Sunday afternoon, and during the course of the conversation, Aunt Maude mentioned that she had always wanted to see the ocean.  I can't recall what year or beach it was, but Aunt Maude had never been out of the county, and Dad jumped at the opportunity to make her dream come true.  Plans and motel reservations were made, and when the day arrived, we picked her up at her house and headed east.  She sat in the right front seat the whole way, and Pat and I rode in the back end of the station wagon.

She had cataracts on her eyes and couldn't see much but an out-of-focus blur, reading at home only with a large magnifying glass.  So we would read the menus to her at all the restaurants.  Afterward, she always insisted on paying for her meal, and Mom or Dad would graciously accept the bill or two she would hand them, then later would secretly slip it back into her purse. 

Each evening we'd stop at a motel.  Mom and Dad would sleep in one bed, Aunt Maude in the other, and Pat and I would share a roll-away.  She always wore her hair up in a bun during the day, and I'd never seen it any other way.  But at night in the motel room, wearing her white nightgown, she always sat on the edge of her bed, took her hair down, and brushed it over and over.  It came to about to her waist, and it was simply beautiful.  And I can still hear her praying at night in her bed after the lights were out, a soft and gentle murmuring to her Lord; it went on almost inaudibly for many minutes.

When we arrived at the beach, Pat and I already had our swimsuits on and were eager to hit the water.  Aunt Maude looked over the dashboard at the broad blue expanse where water met sky and asked, "Is that the ocean?"  When Dad replied that indeed it was, she sat back in her seat and said, "Well, I've seen it.  I reckon we can go back home now."

"Oh, no you don't, young lady!"  Dad had chuckled.  Mom helped her out of her shoes and gray stockings, and the five of us headed barefoot across the dune and down the slight slope of the beach as the soft roar of the waves talking to her in the background grew noisier and noisier.  "Oh, this sand is wet," she commented quietly to Mom and Dad, who were guiding her by the arms, and we went farther out.  Then a wave broke and ran up the beach toward us, the cool water suddenly covering both her feet, and she squealed like a schoolgirl!

Pat and I gathered up sand, shells, driftwood, and seawater into a couple of what must have been gallon-size glass pickle jars for her to take back home as souvenirs.  I remember seeing those sitting on her front porch for quite a few years afterward.


Aunt Maude moved in with us at Seven Keiffer Drive when I was in high school and Pat was in elementary or junior high.  She'd sit in her rocker in the living room most of the time and at the table with us for meals.  Since Mom and Dad worked and Pat and I were in school during the days, a lady we hired came in to be her caregiver.  I can't recall now the lady's name, but she lived out Two-and-three-quarter-mile Creek in St. Albans.  At the table, she never used any of the utensils by her plate, using her fingers to carry food from her plate to her mouth.  "Fingers were made before forks," she quipped on more than one occasion.

Passing by her room after she'd retired for the night, I'd often hear that comforting, quiet murmuring of her prayers.  I also might hear the ringing of the little bell she kept by her bed when she needed a drink of water or the answer to a question she'd been thinking about.  One night I was startled awake by a loud boom followed by my dad's screams of, "Oh, no! I've killed her!  I've killed her!"  He had gotten up to help her to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and both of them must have been a little groggy.   But he had left her alone in the upstairs bathroom, and she evidently had forgotten where she was.  During the day, nobody thought anything of leaving her alone in the
downstairs, tiny half-bath, and she had reached out to steady herself on the familiar wall that now wasn't there.  Her head had hit the floor with the resounding thud that had awakened me.  Knocked her out cold.  Dad calmed down when he realized she was still breathing and starting to come around again.  She never blamed Dad at all, shouldering it all herself, and she good naturedly joked for days afterward about the knot the fall had raised on the side of her head. It was actually the size of a golf ball that had been sliced in two! 

Seems like Aunt Maude lived with us a year at least, then she moved in with Hannah and Milly, Mom's sisters, in Witcher.  They had volunteer to host her for the next several months to "spell us off" for awhile.  She hadn't lived there long when the Lord called her home.

I was a freshman at Marshall University in Huntington when Mom called me to say Aunt Maude had died, and I reviewed many memories of her as I drove back home for her funeral.  Five other of her grandnephews and I had been selected to serve as her pallbearers.  Carrying her the 100 yards or so from the hearse up the hill to her grave was less difficult than I had thought it would be, and we made it without incident.   As kids, we'd never used the path before, which followed a longer route to the little cemetery.  Instead, we'd always scrambled up the much shorter and steeper hillside directly from her back yard to visit the old graves.  But that path started several houses away, and the incline wasn't very steep at all.  She'd come back to the place where she'd grown up and lived for over ninety years, her remains now sharing the hillside locale with those of her parents, a brother, and a nephew, perhaps among others.

More to come:

easter egg hunts
sunday afternoons
hand-tatted lace doilies
iron beds
Ms. Ida in a bonnet!
spoons in a glass
the old pie safe
rockers everywhere
old rusted square steel tub in the front yard
many cats
mom's memories in 2002 from her childhood w/Aunt Maude

5A Charleston Daily Mail May 25, 1996

Patient Aunt Maude never went in hospital

By Adrian Gwin
of the Daily Mail Staff

Aunt Maude lived more than 90 years and never spent a minute in a hospital, as a patient.

Poor Aunt Maude.

She never knew what she missed.

I've been in lots of hospitals lots of times and wouldn't take a pretty for any of it.

Oh, she had her fun, and life didn't pass her by just because she never got in a hospital.

I remember the day in 1961, the day after the "big flood" when the creeks rose fast and furious and washed out everything and drowned several people and flooded lots of homes.

I sat with her on the porch of the old Stanley home on Campbells Creek, above the high water, while we watched the roiling flood come rolling down.

Another bunch of crossties and a section of rail went churning by, and Aunt Maude sighed.

"I'm lucky, I guess," she said matter-of-factly, "I saw the railroad go up the creek, and now I've lived to see it come down the creek."

She saw a lot more than that in her placid lifetime, without ever getting into a hospital.

Once in her young adulthood she walked between two strange men with drawn and cocked pistols, in the road before her front gate.  Holding up her hands she cried calmly: "Men, there'll be no shooting here today.  Put the guns away, and go back where you came from."

They put the pistols away, tipped their hats to the young lady, and went about other business. That's the way they did things in the old days, men as well as women.  Today, getting between two men with pistols would be a straight ticket to the hospital.  But Aunt Maude never got in one as a patient.

My first hospital term was before I went to school.  I remember oh, so well, that they took out my tonsils. I remember waking up in my room terribly thirsty and asking the nurse for a drink of water.  My throat was a little sore, but when I swallowed that gulp of water, it cut my throat.

It was the most terrible pain I ever had in my tonsils, and it was in where my tonsils used to be. Lesson for a lifetime: Ask questions before taking action in a hospital.

I was about 8 when I got in the outhouse of a hospital.  Ma had put me, deathly sick, on the train with instructions for the conductor to send me to the hospital in town in a taxi.  He did.  I remember the taxi driver helping me into the waiting room at the hospital, and I remember Dr. DuBose coming in, taking one look, and saying: "Put that boy in the isolation unit in the back yard.  He's got the mumps."

But when I was 12 and got a dire illness of some sort, the hospital stay was pleasant, for the most part. They got me to feeling almost normal, then kept me for two weeks getting me well, and one of the "cures" was injection of a huge amount of mercurochrome into my blood system.

The doctor told me it would turn my urine blood-red--and it did.  I was fascinated with the red color and with watching it fade a little each day until it was back to normal in about a week.

But the best part of that hospital trip was finding the "Jalna," which began: "Wakefield Whiteoak ran on and on."

I went on to read that new 1929 novel twice, and afterward to read, over the years, all the Whiteoak books by Mazo de la Roche as they came out.

Army hospitals in World War II are best forgotten--but I still wouldn't take a pretty for my time in them.  Educational, to say the least.

Once in Thomas Hospital here in South Charleston, I saw a woman being brought in who looked like she was going to have a baby--a baby elephant.

Later I overheard nurses say it was the biggest baby ever born there.  So I wandered down the hall and spent two of my newspaper nickels on a phone call to Chuck McGhee, and he called the hospital and we got a story in the Daily Mail about that biggest baby instead of waiting for a routine news release.

That time I felt like being in the hospital got me a "scoop"--which didn't happen very often.

Rest easy, Aunt Maude; you never needed a hospital in 90-plus years--and that doesn't happen very often, either.

Copyright©2000 Charleston Newspapers Interactive

Aunt Mabel

I'd forgotten when Aunt Mabel was born, but I knew it was somewhere mighty close to 1875.  Can you expect to eat corn on the cob at a family reunion when you're 100?  Mabel Stanley Grafton did!  With daughter Dolly Grafton Corey holding Mabel's plate, she did quite handily and thought nothing of it.  This was the 1975 reunion of the Keeney clan, and Mabel's baby sister Mamie Chloe Stanley had married McDonald Keeney in 1911 to make the link.

Aunt Mabel knew all the verses to "The West Virginia Hills" by heart and would sing them on request at the drop of a hat.  Widow of Tom Grafton, she had five children, I believe, to help her see her way to and beyond the century mark.

My mother, Mabel's niece, often told me the story her cousin Dolly had told her about the day Mabel turned 100.  Mabel had been living with the Coreys for some years, and they evidently had a routine.  Breakfast around the table must've been part of it.  Dolly walked into her mother's room and roused her from sleep with something like, "Time to wake up, Mama!  Breakfast's ready!  Happy 100th birthday!" 

She said Mabel had turned to her and asked in her careful, antique voice, "Dolly?  Am I really 100 years old?"  Dolly had answered that yes, she was.  "Well," she hesitated, then slowly,  "I reckon I don't have to get up, then, if I don't want to, do I?" 

After a good laugh from Dolly, Aunt Mabel got breakfast in bed that day!

Grandson John R. Corey, Dolly's oldest boy, sent me these grave photos to cinch the dates down: Mabel Stanley Grafton, b. 18 Nov 1877; d. 28 Sept 1981; Thomas Grafton; West Virginia, Pvt., Troop C, 8th Regimental Cavalry; b. 8 Mar 1878; d. 24 Nov 1953.

And John Robert, you can correct me on the story if it's not quite right, but that's pretty much the way I heard it from Mom and Dad.

From: metromountainatjunoatcom
Date: Mon May 26, 2003  01:50:28 PM US/Mountain
To: jmcdgwin@zianet.com

Cousin John,

     Bonne Sue and her boyfriend Don Zonstra from Michigan and I put fresh cut flowers from behind the house on Zabel Drive on your grandaunt Mabel's grave and her husband Thomas Grafton's who served in the Spanish-American War in 1898; we also honored our Corey grandparents who are buried beside them in Sunset Memorial in Spring Hill.

     George Stanley says your great-great-great-grandfather Isaac Stanley from George's Creek was married to a Wince; what do you have on the Stanley/Wince lineage?  I'm going to search eventually to see what mom and her sister's Elizabeth and Eugenia used for their DAR membership, unless you already have that information.

    We had a memorial at the Baraca Sunday School Class at Calvary Baptist Church for dad and seven others; the daughters of Price Ballard own Highlawn Funeral Home in Oak Hill and are supposed to help me locate Margaret James (wife of Conrad Young buried next to adopted George Stanley in the Hendrick Cemetery in the curve below Hawk's Nest); she allegedly was buried under a big rock maybe in the IOOF Cemetery in Oak Hill!

Keep in touch! 
John Corey