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Hunter Armentrout, Collector, Gilmer County Historical Records

Collection Number: A&M 3659

Scope and Contents

Papers of historian and collector Hunter F. Armentrout of Gilmer County, West Virginia, primarily documenting the history of the Gilmer County region in the 19th century. Collection chiefly contains correspondence, writings, financial papers, and photographs, One major component of the collection includes the letters of Amie Evaline Sexton Silcott (1836-1865), a member of the Sexton family from New England who settled in western Virginia. Her letters contain much information regarding life in Upshur, Gilmer, and Calhoun Counties before and during the Civil War (transcriptions are available). There are also letters of her immediate family as well as other members of the Hays, Young, and Sexton families (circa 1840-1890). Other materials include Armentrout's research notes, land speculation papers of Minter Jackson (ca. 1840-1860), a local World War II era newsletter (1942-1945), court documents regarding distribution of abolitionist literature (1857), and photographs regarding Glenville Normal School (ca. 1880-1920).


  • Creation: 1813-2008, undated
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1840-1890, undated


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

No special access restriction applies.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please see the Permissions and Copyright page on the West Virginia and Regional History Center website.

Biographical / Historical

Amie Evaline Sexton-Silcott:

Amie Evaline Sexton was born on Sunday, May 29, 1836, at French Creek, Lewis County, Virginia, now Upshur County, West Virginia. She was the daughter of Augustus W. Sexton (1792-1870) and Anna Young Sexton (1796-1880), both of whom were born in Massachusetts and were part of the significant migration of settlers from New England to western Virginia after 1800. Amie Sexton Silcott was the youngest of five children. Her siblings included: Louisa Anna Sexton Hays (1822-1899); Freeman Sexton (1827-1911); Worthington Sexton (b. 1829); and Almira Emmaline Sexton Farmington (1834-1900).

Anna Young Sexton was the first school teacher in French Creek, and Augustus Sexton taught in schools for more than forty years. Amie's oldest sister, Louisa, was a teacher before her marriage, as was her brother. Born into a family that valued education, it's likely that Amie began her education at an early age. When school wasn't in session she studied various subjects on her own.

Since Amie's father was away during the winter months teaching, and her mother was busy managing a farm, it seems probable that Louisa, who was fourteen years older than Amie, looked after her. In May 1849 Louisa married Peregrine "Perry" Hays of Gilmer County and moved to Glenville. In June, Amie joined her on a visit. Thereafter she spent most of her remaining life with or near Louisa.

From an early age Amie liked to write letters and poetry, which was sometimes published in local newspapers. Amie first taught in Glenville at age sixteen. She later taught at schools in Harrison and Calhoun counties.

In 1859 Amie married George W. Silcott (1830-1903), the county clerk of Calhoun County. They built a home at Arnoldsburg, then the county seat. Their daughter, Ella Louise "Nellie" Silcott was born in 1860. When the Civil War broke out George Silcott supported the Confederate cause. Captured and later exchanged at Vicksburg in 1863, he returned to the Confederate army under General W. L. Jackson. In December 1864 Amie traveled to Monroe County to see her husband. She returned to Arnoldsburg in April 1865.

Amie Sexton Silcott fell ill after her return and in July 1865 she was too sick to get out of bed. Her health continued to decline and on November 30, 1865, she died of "Lung fever". She was buried at Arnoldsburg.

(Based on article authored by Hunter Armentrout that appeared in the Calhoun Chronicle in 2007.)

Minter Jackson:

Minter Jackson speculated on land in central western Virginia (West Virginia). Milton Norris conducted surveys of and drew plats for some of these lands, and in some cases, Jackson sold lands to Norris a year after he had surveyed them. Just before the Civil War Jackson moved to Marion, Virginia, in southwestern Virginia, where he was involved in banking.

(Information from Hunter Armentrout.)


2.1 Linear Feet (Summary: 2 ft. 1 in. (5 document cases, 5 in. each))

Physical Location

West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL:

Separated Materials

Two Accessions to Map Collection: 1) Farm Line Maps of North-Central West Virginia (16 maps and 1 index map); 1958-1961 (The maps show boundaries of properties and names of owners, and location of oil and gas wells, for Gilmer County and surrounding areas in the counties of Calhoun, Ritchie, Doddridge, Lewis, and Braxton. The legend on the index map includes a key for symbols that identify the following on the maps: gas wells, oil wells, gas and oil wells, gas wells with a "show of oil", and locations of abandoned gas or oil wells.) 2) Map of Roane and Calhoun Counties with Grantsville and Spencer, West Virginia; 2006 (Includes roads and cities.)

Hunter Armentrout, Collector, Gilmer County Historical Records, 1813-2000 and undated
Staff of the West Virginia & Regional History Center
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US