Dragoo Cemetery Marion
County, West Virginia
by Vi Parsons
The Dragoo Cemetery book has been published (ISBN 978-0-9789236-3-1). Copies are available for sale from the author.
I visited the Dragoo Cemetery in July 1996, during the Dragoo Family Association reunion.
Nearly all the burials in the Dragoo Cemetery are related directly or indirectly to my Dragoo, Straight and Ice families. My great great grandmother Rebecca (Matheny) Dragoo Price is buried there. She was first married to the legendary William “Indian Billy” Dragoo. He was about 30 years older than Rebecca. After he died in 1856 in Licking County, Ohio, Rebecca returned to West Virginia where she married Merriman Price.
The Dragoo Cemetery was originally in Katy, Monongalia County, Virginia. The town of Katy no longer exists and land boundaries have changed. The cemetery location is now near the town of Barrackville in Marion County, West Virginia. The cemetery ownership changed along with the sale of the adjoining property. After one change of ownership, the John Dragoo cabin, which was adjacent to the cemetery, was moved to Middlebourne, Tyler County, West Virginia.
For several years, Dragoo descendant William B. McAfee traveled from Michigan to West Virginia to help maintain the cemetery. He cleared fallen trees and underbrush, making it possible for Dragoo descendants to tour the cemetery during the July 1996 Dragoo Family Association reunion.
In the summer of 2005, another Dragoo descendant attempted to enter the cemetery and found that it was overgrown and inaccessible. As a descendant and “cousin” to most of the people buried there, I felt very strongly about recording the Dragoo cemetery history. This book includes some photos of the grave markers and family information of those who have been identified as interred there.
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) recorded information from the graves in 1941. Twenty-four marked graves were located and at least four unmarked graves were noted. The information from the original survey was transcribed and typed on 3” x 5” index cards. The West Virginia Division of Culture and History in Charleston, West Virginia has the cards and microfilm copy. Unfortunately, the original handwritten records submitted by the WPA workers no longer exist.
Dragoo descendants have visited this cemetery randomly over the years. Virginia Jenkins wrote, "In 1968, I visited the Dragoo Cemetery. John, William B. and Alcinda Dragoo had gravestones standing. I was back again in the fall of 1971. Alcinda's stone had disappeared."
Delbert and Peggy Osborn of Newark, Ohio recorded a video during their 1986 trip. Twenty graves were identified by name or from partial information. Some of the dates differed from the WPA transcriptions. When Dragoo descendants toured the cemetery in July 1996, many of the markers were damaged, partially buried or could not be located.
Time and weather have erased many of the markers that our ancestors placed as permanent remembrances. Trees, brush, brambles and thorns cover the once hallowed ground. It is my hope that this book will preserve the Dragoo Cemetery records for all those who will not have the opportunity to walk there.