Thursday, February 20, 2014

ALEXANDER APPLEBAY RIVERBOAT GUNSMITH



                                                                                    Poster Advertisement - 1870's



ALEXANDER APPLEBAY WEST VIRGINIA GUNSMITH


WEST VIRGINIA HAS HAD SOME WONDERFUL CHARACTERS WHO PRACTICED THE ART OF GUNSMITHING. I WOULD THINK WE CAN ADD ALEXANDER APPLEBAY TO THE LIST. OF COURSE WE WEST VIRGINIANS, MUST SHARE THE APPLEBAY GUNMAKERS WITH THE GREAT STATE OF OHIO.
                                                                       
ALEXANDER STANDING, HIS SON HARDIN SITTING, THE LADY IN THE MIDDLE MISS JESSE DEVOL,  HARDIN'S FIRST WIFE.  THE BOY IS GEORGE, SON OF HARDIN AND JESSE. THE LADY TO THE FAR RIGHT IS  MARGARET RUMMER, ALEXANDERS THIRD WIFE.



ALEXANDER APPLEBAY CAME INTO THIS WORLD  IN HARRISON COUNTY, CLARKSBURG, VIRGINIA, NOW WEST VIRGINIA IN ABOUT 1832.
CLICK PICTURE FOR LARGE VIEW

WHILE SOME RESEARCHERS SAY HE WAS BORN IN PENNSYLVANIA, THAT IS NOT WHAT ALEXANDER SAYS. IN THE 1850, 1860, 1870, & 1880 CENSUS HE GIVES HIS BIRTH PLACE AS VIRGINIA OR WEST VIRGINIA. IN HIS DRAFT REGISTRATION  DURING THE CIVIL WAR, HE GIVES VIRGINIA AS HIS STATE OF BIRTH.

1860 CENSUS
WELLSBURG, BROOKE COUNTY 
VIRGINIA

ATTRACTIVE RIFLE SIGNED A. APPLEBAY



IN ELIZABETH STIER'S OBITUARY IN THE AUGUST 22 1879 STEUBENVILLE GAZETTE.  IT READS THAT MRS STIER WAS MARRIED TO JOHN APPLEBEY IN HARRISON COUNTY WV. IT SAYS SHE HAD TWO CHILDREN BY HIM , ALEXANDER & A GIRL.  JOHN MUST HAVE DIED BEFORE 1840 BECAUSE ELIZABETH MARRIED MR STIER IN 1840.

JOHN W. (D.?)  APPLEBAY MARRIED ELIZABETH ROGERS  IN JUNE 12 1831 IN HARRISON COUNTY.


CLICK PICTURE FOR LARGER VIEW

ALEXANDER SIGNED HIS RIFLES IN THE ABOVE MANNER. SOME SAY THAT WHEN HIS SON WYLIE STARTED MAKING GUNS HE USED HIS FATHERS STAMP, REMOVING THE A.


VERY PLEASING  A. APPLEBAY RIFLE





PAGE 114
WEST VIRGINIA GUNSMITHS

ALEXANDER MARRIED SUSAN MILLER IN STEUBENVILLE OHIO IN 1854. HE MARRIED HIS SECOND WIFE MARY JANE WINTERS IN 1869 AND HIS THRID WIFE MARGARET RUMMER IN 1886.  HE IS LISTED AS A GUNSMITH IN BROOKE COUNTY ,THE TOWN OF WELLSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA IN 1860. THEN IN 1870 WE FIND HIM IN JEFFERSON COUNTY OHIO. ALEXANDER PLIED HIS TRADE ON A RIVER BOAT NAMED CREEDMOR. STORY HAS IT THAT APPLEBAY WOULD MOVE HIS BOAT UP & DOWN THE OHIO & MUSKINGUM RIVER. HE WOULD DOCK THE CREEDMOOR AND NOTIFY THE TOWNS PEOPLE OF HIS GUNSMITHING SERVICES,  WITH THE ABOVE FLYERS AND WORD OF MOUTH. WHEN WORK WOULD SLOW IN THAT AREA, HE WOULD MOVE TO ANOTHER LOCATION. HE PROBABLY HAD HIS  BOAT MOVED BY A STEAMBOAT.  THIS BOAT WAS DESTROYED IN THE FLOOD OF 1884. 

ALEXANDER HAD TWO SONS. BOTH PRACTICED THE GUNSMITH TRADE. HIS SON WYLIE WORKED IN SISTERSVILLE WEST VIRGINIA AND HARDIN WORKED A SALOON IN THE SAME TOWN FOR AWHILE.

FROM FAMILY HISTORY WE HAVE LEARNED, THAT WYLIE WAS VERY MECHANICAL LIKE HIS FATHER, WHILE HARDIN WAS VERY GOOD WITH WOOD, MAKING SOME OF THE GUNS STOCKS FOR WYLIE.  






SMALL CANNON MADE BY WYLIE  APPLEBAY
IT WAS A TRADITION FOR THE APPLEBAY FAMILY TO FIRE 
THIS CANNON ON HOLIDAYS 


CANNON SIGNED APPLEBYAY. WYLIE REMOVED THE A. FROM HIS 
FATHERS STAMP


A TOKEN COIN GOOD FOR A 5 CENT CIGAR AT HARDIN'S ESTABLISHMENT

WE ARE NOT SURE WHERE ALEXANDER LEARNED THE TRADE, BUT MANY COLLECTORS THINK HE MAY HAVE APPRENTICED UNDER THE TEAFF BROTHERS AT STEUBENVILLE OHIO. 




ALEXANDER DIED IN LOWELL OHIO IN 1906

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE OWNER OF THIS RIFLE WHO SHARED THESE PICTURES AND MUCH OF  THE ABOVE INFORMATION ON ALEXANDER APPLEBAY.
THE TWO FAMILY PHOTOS COURTESY OF MRS. MARY DORSEY
THANKS TO THE APPLEBAY FAMILY MEMBER WHO SHARED THE FAMILY HISTORY AND PICTURES OF THEIR RIFLE & WONDERFUL LITTLE CANNON.
THANKS TO CURTIS L. JOHNSON FOR THE USE OF HIS ADVERTISING POSTER.
THANKS TO ANNA FOR PICTURES OF ALEXANDER APPLEBAY'S HEADSTONE
PHOTO FROM PAGE 114 OF WEST VIRGINIA GUNSMITHS COURTESY OF JAMES B. WHISKER.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE APPLEBAYS SEE "GUNSMITH OF WEST VIRGINIA"  BY LAMBERT & WHISKER.
ALSO SEE THE FIVE BOOK SET " OHIO GUNSMITHS & ALLIED TRADESMEN" BY DONALD A. HUTSLAR

THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS, IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER FACTUAL INFORMATION ON THE APPLEBAYS OR PICTURES OF THEIR RIFLES, PLEASE USE THE CONTACT AT THE TOP OF PAGE TO SHARE WITH US.