1759 - 1850
||15 May 1759
||Augusta County, Virginia, United States 
||Roane County, West Virginia, United States 
Rev War pension claim # R10389
"Pioneers in Roane County, WV by John A. House
Samuel Tanner was the first settler at Spencer, and the first in Roane County, barring a little cluster of cabins built near Osborne's Mills on Big Sandy, about 1810. Tanner is usually credited as coming from Randolph County. I think it is pretty well established fact that he sojourned for a time on Mill Creek or at Warth's Bottom, and if Jesse Carpenter was a brother to his wife, he may have spent from one to several years in Meigs County, Ohio, before coming to try his fortune in the wilderness of what was then Wood County.
Tanner had been living under the 'rock' at what is now Spencer, over a month before war had been declared against Great Britain, the War of 1812.
On the 14th day of May, 1812, Samuel Tanner, Sudner Carpenter Tanner, his wife, Jonathan Wolfe from Hacker's Creek settlement, and a boy named Tate, came to the site of Spencer and camped under the rocks at the end of the point near the residence of Harry C. Woodyard.
This 'cave' - so called - had long been used by both white men and Indians as a camping spot. Logs were cut and split into puncheons and stood up along the edge of the overhanging rocks, for an outside wall. The rocks overhead served for a roof and the floor was of stone. A rude fireplace was constructed at one end and the smoke was allowed to go up through a crevice of the rocks or out into the room, as might happen. Another portion was into a stable. Leaves were piled into the back corners of the living room, a puncheon table and a few stools were added and they were ready for housekeeping.
They lived under this rock until the next spring. A field was cleared on the table land between the 'house' and where the Ravenswood Pike now is. This was planted in late corn and the little family prospered. Most of their sustenance being provided from the surrounding forests.
It was while living under this rock that their eldest daughter, Elizabeth Tanner, is supposed to have been born, and it is said that she was the first white child born in Roane County.
Jonathan Wolfe later married Bridget Runyan, and lived on Spring Creek. The boy, Tate, is lost sight of altogether. Next spring the Tanners erected a cabin across Tanner's Run and nearly on the site of what was long known as 'the old Fisher House', an old frame building unpainted and weather beaten, which was still standing in 1872. This building was then the first house in town, and was used as a court house when the county was organized in 1856.
The log cabin which was built by Tanner stood until about 1855. In this cabin on May 9, 1813, Tanner's son, Elijah, was born. Some claims are that Elijah was the first white child born in Spencer District.
There was a trail up Spring Creek which led to the Kanawha Salt Works above Charleston. Another trail, from Weston and Hacker's Creek settlements, passed through Gilmer County to the Ohio River settlements and crossed the Kanawha River trail at what was long known as Bowman's Corner, now occupied by the Trader's Trust Company Bank. This point was not far from the Tanner cabin, and from this fact the place was long known as Tanner's Crossroads. Later it became Cassville, and then, perhaps about 1850, Rolls Butcher, having sold his store at Reedyville with the announced purpose of going to the gold fields of California, but instead having gone into business at Cassville, the place was ironically referred to as 'Californy' or 'New Californy', a name later adopted 'officially' and continued as California until the village was made the county seat of the new 'County of Roane', when it was named Spencer, this being the first name of Judge Roane, for whom the county was named and who was then in service on the Judicial Circuit.
Samuel Tanner, said Susy Miller, was buried on the hill above town in what is known as the Bartlett Extension, and his bones, she said, were unearthed while grading for a street back of the Clay Smith house. Samuel Tanner married a Carpenter, a sister of Joe Carpenter, and an aunt (Susan DeHart has crossed out 'an aunt') of Amos Carpenter. Of their children, I have heard names but not much further account of them: Elizabeth; Elijah; William; Jesse; and James.
||31 Dec 2007 |
||Sudna Elizabeth Carpenter, b. Abt 1765, Augusta County, Virginia, United States , d. Yes, date unknown |
||5 Dec 1791
||Harrison County, West Virginia, United States [2, 3, 4]
Harrison Co Marriages:
Samuel Tanner & Sudney Carpenter, 12/5/1791
Harrison Co Tax list
Samuel Tanner 1794, 1796
Mason Co tax list
Samuel Tanner 1805-06-07-09-10-11-12
1810 Census, Mason County, Virginia (West Virginia)
Tanner, Samuel 373 1810
3 males under 10 (Jesse, James, Tate?)
1 male 16-25 (William)
1 male 26-45 (Samuel)
2 females under 10 (Mary, ?)
2 females 10-16 (? ?)
1 female 16-25 (Jean?)
1 female 26-45 (Sidney)
1820 Wood Co index, pg 194, along with James and Jesse. Wm is in Mason Co
1840 Jackson, VA
1850 Jackson, VA # 126-130
Tanner Samuel 96 M Farmer Va
Tanner Sudner 85 F Va
Tanner James 17 M Va
Tanner Semantha 24 F Va
Tanner Saml 18 M Farmer Va
Tanner Nancy 1 F Va
Farr Geo W 21 M Farmer Va
Fore or Farr
#31 Samuel Tanner....Mar. 14, 1825
Kanawha Co. 380 acres On Spring Creek, a branch of Little Kenawha.
Grants 73, pg. 535
"Jackson County in the Wars"
Samuel Tanner. born in Augusta (now Rockingham) county, VA, May 15, 1759. Moved to Greenbrier, then to Monongalia, and spent his last years in Jackson (now Roane) county at present Spencer, then known as Tanner's Crossroads, for Jacob Tanner. Elijah Runnion and Jesse Carpenter testified for him in connection with his pension application, but it was rejected. Enlisted in the Rockbridge County Militia, April 1777. . .
Bishop's 'History of Roane county' - page 318
|>||1. William Tanner, b. 1790, Virginia, United States , Virginia, United States |
|>||2. Jesse "Buffalo" Tanner, b. 1795, Harrison County, West Virginia, United States , d. 26 Mar 1885, Roane County, West Virginia, United States |
|>||3. James Tanner, b. Abt 1802, Virginia, United States , d. Aft 1880, Virginia, United States |
|>||4. John Tanner, b. Abt 1804/5, Kanawha Co, VA or Mason Co, Va , d. Yes, date unknown|
| ||5. Elizabeth Tanner, b. 1812, d. Yes, date unknown|
| ||6. Mary Polly Tanner, b. Abt 1810, Virginia, United States , d. Yes, date unknown|
|>||7. Samuel Tanner, b. Abt 1810, d. Yes, date unknown|
| ||8. Joseph Tanner, d. Yes, date unknown|
|>||9. Elijah Tanner, b. 9 May 1813, Roane County, West Virginia, United States , d. Yes, date unknown|
|>||10. Sidney Grace Tanner, b. Abt 1814, Kanawha County, West Virginia, United States , d. 20 Feb 1892, Roane County, West Virginia, United States |
| ||11. Samantha Tanner, b. Abt 1825, Wood or Kanawha Co WVA , d. Yes, date unknown|
| ||12. Sarah Tanner, b. Aft 1820, Kanawha or Wood Co, VA , d. Yes, date unknown|
- [S385] Don Norman.
- [S521] Census, 1850 JC annotated.
- [S72] Marriage Records, Harrison Co, WV.
- [S56] Beth Campbell Stemple.