Daniel C. Feather

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
September 26, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 285-286
Preston County

DANIEL C. FEATHER, whose death occurred January 13,
1922, was a retired farmer at Terra Alta, lived fourscore
years, was an honored veteran of the Civil war, and for
flirty years or more after coming out of the army his time
and energies were devoted to the labors of his farm.

His ancestors came to Preston County when it was almost
an unbroken part of the great trans-Alleghany wilderness.
The family originated in Germany. The grandfather, Jacob
Feather, was the original settler in the Lenox locality of
Preston County, where he spent the rest of his years clear-
ing away the timber and making a farm. Zaccheus Feather,
father of Daniel Feather, was born at Lenox, July 14, 1805,
and died March 1, 1891. He married Elizabeth Ervin,
daughter of Isaac Ervin, and she was born August 6, 1814,
and died January 26, 1898. They lived out their lives on
the spot where their son Daniel was born, and were modest
and unpretentious farmers. Zaccheus Feather voted as a
democrat until the issues of the Civil war made him a
republican. Two of his sons were soldiers, Daniel and
Isaac, the latter in the Seventh West Virginia Infantry.
A brief record of all their children is as follows: Clara
Jane, who married Thomas J. Welch, reared a large family
and died in Preston County; Isaac B., who was a farmer
and is buried at the Crab Orchard Cemetery; Jacob, who
also lived at Crab Orchard and is buried there: Mary Ann,
who married B. A. Conner and died at Kingwood; Daniel
C.; Nancy M., who was the wife of J. C. Stokes and died
at Parsons, West Virginia; John S., a resident of Logan,
Ohio; Miss Eva Catherine, of Lenox; Amanda Ellen, Mrs.
John K. Peaslee, or Lenox; Martin Luther, who died in
Preston County; Sarah E., who married Scott Kelley, of
Terra Alta; and Minerva Belle, wife of Elmer B. Feather,
a farmer near Lenox.

Daniel C. Feather was born at Lenox, Preston County,
February 12, 1842, and he always observed his birthday in
conjunction with Lincoln’s anniversary, but his great ad-
miration for the martyred president had other substantial
grounds. Mr. Feather was reared on the home farm and
lived there until past twenty years of age. He then joined
Company B of the Fourteenth West Virginia Infantry,
under Captain Clinton Jeffreys and Colonel Daniel Johnson.
He first trained at Terra Alta, then spent three months
drilling on Wheeling Island, mobilized at Clarksburg and
soon went to the front and remained during the winter on
scouting duty at Keyser. His command was then returned
west to Parkersburg, thence to Charleston, and then crossed
the mountains into Old Virginia, along the Virginia and
Tennessee Railway. At Cloyd Mountain Mr. Feather was
struck in the right hip by a musket ball, fracturing the
thigh bone, and but for the help of comrades said he would
have been “down to stay.” While the Confederates were
beaten off, two days later General Morgan came in and took
the Federal wounded as prisoners, including Mr. Feather.
These prisoners were put in the Emory and Henry College
Hospital, where Mr. Feather remained five months. He
was then sent to Richmond and a week later was exchanged
and put in a parole camp at Annapolis, Maryland, and sub-
sequently sent to Baltimore for hospital treatment. While
there his discharge, previously applied, for, arrived at An-
napolis, to which, point he returned and was there the
night President Lincoln was assassinated. Mr. Feather
retained a vivid recollection of all the excitement attending
that tragedy. He left Annapolis for home in April, and
his discharge separated him from the army without a final
muster out. The bullet that wounded him was never found
and is believed to have remained somewhere in his body.
The wound it made frequently broke out afresh, and
caused him distress and misery until 1920, when it seemed
to have permanently healed and his troubles ended.

For some time after the war he was unable to resume
work, but when sufficiently recovered returned to the farm-
ing operations of his youth and established himself in his
home community. He lived there until his removal to Terra
Alta in 1894, except for a year and a halt spent in Hock-
ing County, Ohio, where he married. As a farmer Mr.
Feather was a grain and stock raiser, and these depart-
ments, together with the improvements of his farm and
the maintenance of its soil, constituted the daily and yearly
routine of his life until he gained a competence through
years of drudgery and retired to Terra Alta to spend his
declining years in comfort. He established his home at
the high point of the Alleghanies and lived there for more
than a quarter of a century. He was a stockholder and
one of the directors of the Terra Alta Bank. While in the
army he cast his first vote for Mr. Lincoln for President,
and every national election has called him out to vote the
same party ticket. He filled the chairs in the Knights of
Pythias Lodge of Terra Alta twice, was a representative to
the Grand Lodge, and some thirty years ago was made an
Odd Fellow at Bruceton Mills.

Deborah Ann Chidester was born in Preston County May
13, 1848, and as a young girl she entertained a high ad-
miration of the youthful soldier, Daniel Feather. When
she was nineteen years of age her parents moved to Hock-
ing County, Ohio, and Daniel Feather followed her there,
and on April 25, 1869, they were married. She was a
daughter of Harrison and Sabina (Falkenstine) Chidester,
her mother being a daughter of Samuel and Annie (Stuck)
Palkenstine. Harrison Chidester was born near Bruceton
Mills, in Preston County, May 6, 1826, spent all his career
as a farmer, served with the West Virginia Militia during
the Civil war, and in 1867 moved to Ohio and spent the
rest of his days near Logan, where he died February 5,
1897. His wife was born March 23, 1828, and died May
15, 1906. Mrs. Deborah Feather was the oldest of their
children, and the others were: Nancy, who married John
Feather and died in Hocking County; James, a resident
of Wichita, Kansas; Elma, widow of Alfred Nimon, of
Delaware, Ohio; Cyrus W., of Delaware; Isabel, wife of
Jeremiah Einger, of Terra Alta; and Emma, wife of Wither
Coy, of Payne, Ohio. The only child born to Mr. and Mrs.
Feather was Amy Louella, who died when almost eleven
years of age.