Compiled by Tom Dameron

Alderson, W Va. , August 17, 1937

Alleghany College

Miss Emma Alderson wrote the following article for the Alderson Advertiser.  Alderson ties are evident throughout the article, not only in that Miss Emma wrote the article, but reference to George and J. M. Alderson and Enos Flint who played a very interesting role in this institution.  Additionally, note the portion of this article devoted to S. W. N. Feamster from another well known and respected family of Alderson. - Tom Dameron

Alleghany College was located at Blue Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier County.  It was then a beautiful site and a popular resort.  The buildings erected for pleasure and health seekers, were well adapted to school purposes and accommodated about 250, with lecture rooms and a good chapel it was burned by the Union army in 1864.  A number of years ago, Hon. George Alderson, the last surviving Trustee of the College, had the late J. M. Alderson and Enos Flint created Trustees by the Greenbrier County Court.  They then brought suit against the U. S. Government for the burning of the property.  The court of Claims allowed $16,000.00 for destruction of the property, less than half asked for.  This was the first year of the World War, but the claim has not yet been paid.
The College was presented by the Baptists of Eastern Virginia to the Baptists of Western Virginia, some years before the War Between the States, probably '58 or '59 and chartered by the Legislature of Virginia.  The service it gave this part of the State of Virginia was remarkable.  Dr. Wm E. Duncan of Branford, Virginia, was its most acceptable President and must have been a wonderful leader and educator to have inspired the young men under him to accomplish the worth while things they did.


Students of Alleghany College
(continued from previous column)

Men I have known who received a part or all of their education at Alleghany College are:  Rev. Wm Parkenson Walker, D.D., of Nicholas County. Received all his schooling here; Missionary,  founder and pastor of Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, Huntington, West Virginia for twenty-nine years, which stands today a monument to his noble life and work.  President West Virginia General Association 1876-78; President West Virginia Baptist Educational Society three years.
Rev. John. W. Carter, D. D., founder and first pastor of the First Baptist Church, Parkersburg.  After the War Between the States, raised it to an influential position among the Churches of West Virginia.  He was one of the most eloquent orators the state has produced.  During the years he was pastor of the First Baptist Church, Raleigh, N. C., he was known as the 'Silver-tongued orator of the South.'

Judge C. J. Faulkner, Berkley County, reached a high position in law and was minister to France.  He left one of the handsomest homes in the State with its painting. works of art, and furnishing.

Mr. John Tabor, son of a minister, business man, was well known on the New York Stock Exchange.  As he stood in his office on Wall Street, holding a long piece of ticker tape in his hand, he said to me with pleasant smile: "My school days at old Alleghany College were the happiest of my life" and looking down at the tape in his hand said: "If I make a killing with this I will endow the successor to it,' but death claimed him a few months later.
Maj. J. Coleman Alderson, member of Greenbrier Cavalry in the War of the sixties in April '61, was promoted to 2nd Lieut., April '62 to First Lieut., Dec. '62 in Company A, 36th Bat. Va., Cavalry, Wounded and captured in '64, imprisoned in Camp Chase, O.  Exchanged just before Lee's surrender.  He honored his Chief among all men.  Walking under the beautiful trees with him in the Campus at West Point, coming to one more stately than the rest, he raised and stood at attention, saying: "General Lee planted this tree when a Cadet here".


Continued from previous column

Lieut. S. W. N. Feamster, of our community, was also a member of the Greenbrier Cavalry, the first company to leave the county and which later became General Lee's body-guard. It was said of Lieut. Feamster that  "He was one of the most honored and prominent citizens of his county, held in high esteem by rich and poor, as a citizen, exemplary; as neighbor he followed the Good Samaritan, ever ready to assist those in need". To him went the credit of saving Lewisburg, Va., now West Virginia. Visiting his mother and sisters in Lewisburg while standing with the bridle reins of his horse over his arm, his sister Sybina Creigh, later wife of Capt. Sam Tyree, came running to tell here brother the 'Yankees are coming." Instead of fleeing, the brave soldier, spurring his horse ran noisily to meet the Federal Army, calling wildly for his regiment, the 25th that he knew to be miles away. The Federals fled in wild disorder. Lieut. Feamster was twice made Lieut., was virtually commander of his company in all active work because of continued ill health of his captain. Gen. McClellan said of him, "Newman Feamster fights like the devil, runs like the wind, but I have seen tears course down his cheeks when he had to mildly correct one of his children so tender hearted he was".
Judge A. Nelson Campbell served throughout the war of '61 and later graduated from the law school of Washington & Lee, during the presidency of General R. E. Lee, whom he knew personally. By reason of the test oath restriction he was not admitted to the bar until 1870. In 1888-1896 he was judge of the Tenth Judicial Circuit. Judge Campbell was a kindly, big-hearted man greatly loved by everyone who knew him, by reason of his social qualities and his store of anecdotes and reminiscence. He loved to tell of his school days at Alleghany College. -
Miss Emma Alderson