Baldwin obituaries & news: Kanawha Co., WV (Part 1)

Obituaries and news items for the family of Sarah Thaxton (daughter of David Franklin Thaxton and Martha Hurt, granddaughter of David Thaxton and Sarah Shepard, great-granddaughter of James Thaxton of Prince Edward Co., Va.), who married (1) Samuel Baldwin and (2) R. W. Johnson:

Charleston Daily Mail, 18 May 1927:


Guard A. J. Williams, of the state penitentiary, left Charleston yesterday with fourteen prisoner—en route to Moundsville. In his party were George Baldwin, who escaped from the prison; E. H. Shannon and Nandis Baldwin, of Boone county, and Fred Yost, Bessie Green, Horace Stoney, Orson Myers, Sherman Campbell, John Griffin, Walter Howard, Elmo Jones, George McNeel, Holly Jeffrey and Roy Baldwin, all of Kanawha.

Charleston Daily Mail, 17 Feb 1935:

Irvin Miller, 79, died Friday night at his home at Legg, on Tuppers creek, after a long illness. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Martha Miller; four daughters, Mrs. Mamie Lanham, Mrs. Almlra Rhodes, Mrs. Josie Jarrett, all of Charleston and Mrs. Eunice Young of Pocataligo: one brother, Joseph Miller of Charleston and four grandchildren.

Services are to be held at three o’clock this afternoon at the residence and burial is to be in the Legg cemetery.

Charleston Gazette, 18 Jan 1937:
John William Baldwin, 69, of Guthrie died at home yesterday morning. His body was taken to the Johnson and Cunningham funeral home.

Surviving are his widow, Mrs Winnie Florence Baldwin; eight sons, John, James, Harold, Elmer and William Baldwin of Guthrie and Shirley and Emery Baldwin of Charleston and Luther Baldwin of Huntington; four daughters, Miss Marie Baldwin and Miss Martha Baldwin of Guthrie and Miss Dorothy Baldwin and Miss Dora Baldwin of Charleston; three brothers, Samuel Baldwin of Meadow’s Bridge, Phillip Baldwin of Tupper’s creek and Benjamin Baldwin of Grapevine, and a sister, Mrs. Martha Miller of Tupper’s creek.

Charleston Daily Mail, 02 Jan 1939:

Shirley M. Baldwin, 27, died of pneumonia in a local hospital yesterday. Six brothers, Emory, Earl, Luther, Elmer, John and James; and five sisters, Mrs. Dora Conn, Mrs. Dicie Burdette, and Misses Dorothy, Martha and Marie Baldwin survive. The body was removed to the Cunningham mortuary from which it will be removed to his brother Emory’s residence, 1624 Clay avenue, until funeral time, 10 a. m. tomorrow. Services are to be held at the Mountain Mission, Rev. Hobson D. Fisher officiating. Interment will be in Bowyer cemetery on Tupper’s creek.

Charleston Gazette-Mail, 06 Apr 1958:

Sissonville Couple to Mark Anniversary

An open house will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Benjamin Baldwin at Sissonville, in celebration of their 66th wedding anniversary. Mrs. Baldwin, the former Sallie Ann Sigmond, was born March 5, 1874, and her husband was born April 27, 1872. They are lifelong residents of Sissonville and members of the Grapevine Church.

Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin are the parents of eight children, Mrs. Hester Newhouse, Mrs. Lizzie Smith, Fred Baldwin, Virgil Baldwin and Hart Baldwin, all of Sissonville, Clark Baldwin of Lexington, Ky., Ronnie Baldwin and Estel Baldwin of Rt. 5.

Charleston Daily Mail, 20 Mar 1959:


Waffles for a late breakfast, no school for the children and no work for dad. A completely unorthodox
way for the John Henry Baldwin family to start a Friday morning, but one of the happiest days of their lives.

Today, Elma Baldwin and her three children, tired and still nervous from a terrifying 20-hours as hostages of an ex-convict bent on murder, didn’t mind breaking the routine of their home.

And, for the first time in over 13 years, John Baldwin missed his second day of work as an operator and maintenance man at the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. plant. Before yesterday morning and the kidnaping of his family by Richard Arlen Payne he had never missed one day of work.

Mrs. Baldwin who usually gets her husband off ,to work early and her two sons, Kenneth, 10 and Danny, 7, off to school, slept until 8:30 a.m.—late for her. Rising when she did was Mrs. Baldwin’s daughter, five-year-old Susan, who a few minutes later, hugging a large brown teddy bear, was engrossed in television cartoons.

Kenneth and Danny slept for another hour, “although earlier this morning (about 1 a. m.) Danny had wanted to be awakened so he could go to school today,” Baldwin said.

A petite woman, who admittedly looks like she wouldn’t scare anyone, Mrs. Baldwin told of the long night and the, biggest part of a day, with Payne.


“I always took my part,” she said. “I didn’t talk smart with him but I stood up to him and tried to reason with him. He told me then,” she said, “he didn’t blame me for it. That if he had children he would do anything to protect them too.”

However, she said, “I gave him trouble all the time. I got after him for messing up the house at first, and I kept after him all the way. When he was hitting those holes in the road so hard he was dragging the bottom of the car I told him he didn’t need to tear up the car either. “Before we were stopped by the police “he had told me if he had it to do over, he would never have picked my family as hostages.”

Gradually, the Baldwin family household is returning to normal. Baldwin this morning was making
arrangements to have his car repaired so the family can take a planned trip out of state during :he Easter weekend to visit relatives.

His car, taken by Payne for the escape, had the rear window shot out, and Payne’s driving over back roads tore off the tailpipe, in addition to burning out the clutch.

Even after the horrible experience yesterday, Mrs. Baldwin says she’s still planning to take the family on that trip, planned several weeks ago. “I had remarked at the time,” she said, “that something would come up and we wouldn’t get to take it. Then three nights before this happened I had the most vivid dream. I dreamed the car was stolen, but I never dreamed it would include me and the children.”


Foremost in Mrs. Baldwin’s mind this morning was fixing breakfast for her family, and she obligingly filled the order for waffles. Next on her agenda was to be “straightening up the house.”

Not embittered by her ordeal, Mrs. Baldwin this morning said Payne was “very mannerly” all the time and even stopped once to let the boys get out and play for a half hour. Thankful that she and her children were safe and the ordeal over, she said of Payne, “I felt sorry for him.”

The children’s grandmother, Mrs. Winnie Baldwin of Sissonville, arrived at their home yesterday
afternoon and was there to greet them late last night when they returned from Logan. She’ll stay a. few more days to be with them. “Susan won’t, sleep with anybody but me when I visit,” she said, “because she likes to talk, in a whisper so no one will know she hasn’t gone to sleep yet.” Last night, however, the tired youngster didn’t do much talking.

Baldwin, tired and still nervous from the ordeal of waiting 20 hours to hear of his wife and children, said he “still didn’t sleep much last night.”

“I’m only thankful,” he said, “for the people who helped, especially the police who did such a
wonderful job. I’m really thankful to them.” [Photo of Elma and children.] [Note: there are several extensive articles on the kidnaping in the previous and subsequent day’s issues and in the Charleston Gazette that are quite interesting, but do not contain additional genealogical information about the Baldwins.]

Charleston Gazette-Mail, 17 Sep 1961:

Hard Work Considered Factor in ‘Long Life’ of Grapevine Couple

“Three score and ten” years is considered a good long life span, and many don’t get that far. Come next April 12, a couple on Grapevine Creek near Sissonville not only will have lived that long—they will have been
married for 70 years. By the time their anniversary rolls around, Ben Baldwin will be 90 years old and his wife, Sally, will be 89.

However, they are the younger members of the household. His widowed sister, Mrs. Martha Miller, who has made her home with them for the past 22 years, will be 91 in February.

To what do they attribute their long life? If any particular thing, it might be hard work. Their modest home, immaculately clean, could put many younger women to shame. And their cellar is well stocked with fruits and vegetables grown on their 300-acre farm and canned for winter use.

Ben doesn’t raise the crops any more. “My legs have about given out on me,” he said, noting that his sons and sons-in-law now take care of the gardening. And Sally has turned over the washing and ironing to a daughter who fives nearby. Otherwise they do all their own work.

Although she is the oldest of the trio, Mrs. Miller is quite active, doing much of the cooking and cleaning, plants flowers and cares for the yard.

While Ben and Sally Baldwin don’t claim to be in excellent health any more, they’re far above average for their age. Neither has been in a hospital and he beamed proudly as he stated ‘I’ve never had a shot
in my life”.

These three senior citizens have things pretty easy in their declining years. But it was not always so. For more than half of the 64 years since they built their present home, they depended on wood and coal for
heating and kerosene lamps for light.

About 27 years ago gas was discovered on their land and since that time it has served to heat the home. Some time later electricity became available and now it runs the radio and television, also a pump which supplies water for the bathroom, which was added, and the kitchen.

Radio and TV are their chief news sources, since Ben and Sally can’t read or write. He went to school briefly, but only long enough “to learn to handle money.” Her mother died when she was six, and being the only girl in the family, she was kept at home to do the housework, so she had no schooling at all. Mrs.
Miller did have a little education and can read and write.

Sally’s father watched over her so closely that she never had been in a church until after Ben started his courtship, and they walked a mile and a half together to attend the service.

“Courting wasn’t done in those days like it is now,” he reminisced. “I wore overalls that were patched from below the knee up nearly to my waist, and I walked more than a mile to see her. But it wasn’t every day like it is now—not even every week — just once every two weeks.”

Noting that he always had been a hearty eater, he said, “I wanted to be sure that she could cook, so one day I went in time for dinner.” She prepared the meal in an open fireplace, and the heat was so great that it
melted the buttons on her dress.

Evidently her cooking satisfield him, for shortly thereafter, he purchased the marriage license.

“That was the day I first kissed her — on the right jaw — and I don’t think she washed it off for three weeks.” However, he added that she never kissed him until they had been married more than 66 years, and the occasion then was his birthday.

Sally has smoked a pipe since her youth, so she stuck it in her pocket on her wedding day, stating “You’ll have to marry my pipe, too.” Ben and his sister neither use tobacco in any form.

Through the years their family grew until they had eight children. The two daughters, Mrs. Hester Newhouse and Mrs. Lizzie Smith, and two of the sons, Fred and Virgil live at Sissonville, Estil and Romie at
Charleston, Hart at Sandyville, and Clark at Lexington, Ky. They also have 23 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. [Photo of Ben, Sallie, and Martha]

Charleston Daily Mail, 14 May 1962:

A lifelong resident of Legg Star Route, Sissonville, Mrs. Nancy P. Baldwin, 78, died Saturday at her home following a long illness. She was a member of New Prospect Baptist Church on Tuppers Creek.

Surviving are two sons, Herman of Charleston Rt. 5 and Haskel of Sissonville; two daughters, Mrs. Janie Shaffer and Mrs. Julia Thomas of Sissonville; two brothers, Luther Baldwin of Huntington and Emery Baldwin of Charleston; 20 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

Services will be held tomorrow at 11 a.m. in New Prospect Baptist Church by the Rev. Delbert Moore. Burial will be in John Beane Cemetery in Sissonville.

The body is at Cunningham Funeral Home.

Charleston Daily Mail, 29 Nov 1962:

Emory V. Baldwin Sr. 61, of 2304 Fifth Ave., died late yesterday in a Charleston hospital after a short illness.

He was employed by the Charleston street department.

Surviving are his wife, Minnie; four sons, Russell, Emory V. Jr., Amos and Charles, all of Charleston; his mother, Mrs. Winnie Baldwin of Charleston; a brother Luther, of Huntington; three half brothers, Elmer of Sissonville Road and John and James of South Charleston.

The body is at Cunningham Funeral Home.

Charleston Gazette-Mail, 13 Dec 1964:

BALDWIN, R. B. (Ben) — 92, of Sissonville, died Saturday at his home following a long illness. A lifelong resident of Sissonville, he was a retired farmer and a member of the Grapevine Chapel. Surviving are six
sons, Fred, Virgil and Hart, all of Sissonville, Romie of Rt. 5, Charleston, Estill of Charleston, and Clark, of Lexington, Ky.; two daughters, Mrs. Lizzie Smith and Mrs. Hester Newhouse, both of Sissonville; a sister, Mrs. Martha Miller of Sissonville; two brothers, Sam of Rainelle and Philip of Charleston; 23 grandchildren,
32 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Service will be conducted at 1 p.m. today in the Grapevine Chapel by the Rev. Herbie Henderson and the Rev. Bertram Young. Burial will be in Baldwin Cemetery. The body is at the Long and Fisher Funeral Home.

Charleston Daily Mail, 09 Jun 1966:

Phillip Baldwin, 82, of 713 Cairns Court, died today en route to Charleston General Hospital.

A lifelong resident of Kanawha County, Mr. Baldwin was a retired farmer. Formerly of Tuppers Creek.

Surviving: wife, Mary Alice; sons James of Sissonville; Clyde of Youngsville, Pa.; daughters, Mrs. Donnie Ranson, Mrs. Ida Shaffer and Mrs. Minnie Young of Charleston, Mrs. Nina Flowers and Mrs. Doris Atkins of Sissonville. Mrs. Hallie Newhouse of Loudendale; brother Sam of Rainelle; sister, Mrs. Martha Miller of Sissonville; 30 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

Friends may call at Cunningham Funeral Home after 5 p.m. today.

Charleston Gazette, 10 Jun 1966:
BALDWIN. Doctor Phillip – 82, of 713 Carnes Ct, Thursday at home. Surviving: widow, Alice; sons, James of Sissonville and Clyde of Youngsville, Pa.; daughters, Mrs. Donnie Ranson, Mrs. Ida Shaffer and Mrs. Minnie
Young, all of Charleston, Mrs. Nina Flowers and Mrs. Doris Adkins, both of Sissonville, Mrs. Hallie Newhouse of Loudondale; brother, Sam of Rainelle; sister. Mrs. Martha Miller of Sissonville. Cunningham Funeral Home.

Charleston Daily Mail, 11 Jun 1966:

BALDWIN. Phillip – Funeral Sunday at 1 p. m. at Cunningham Funeral Home chapel with the Rev. Paul Fowler officiating. Burial in Baldwin Cemetery on Tuppers Creek. Mr. Baldwin, 82, of 713 Cairns Court died Thursday. He was a retired farmer.

Charleston Daily Mail, 01 May 1967:
RANSON, Mrs. Donnie Marie— Service Tuesday at 1 p. m. by the Rev. Hobart Harper and the Rev. William Stewart in Cunningham Funeral Home. Burial in John Beano Cemetery, Sissonville. Mrs. Ranson, 52, of 1611 Fourth Ave., died Saturday.

Charleston Daily Mail, 22 Jan 1969:
EAST RAINELLE-The funeral for Samuel Leonard Baldwin, 93, of Danese, Fayette County, will be Thursday at 2 p.m. at Don Smathers Funeral Home here.

The Rev. William Queen and the Rev. Thomas N. Shaver will officiate and burial will be in Patton Cemetery, Meadow Bridge.

Mr. Baldwin, a retired miner, died Sunday at Appalachian Regional Hospital, Beckley.

Survivors: wife, Reedy; daughters, Mrs. Hazel Tincher of Oak Hill, Miss Elsie Baldwin of Beckley; stepdaughters, Mrs. Virgie O’Conner of Meadow Bridge, Mrs. Betty Haley of Maryland, Mrs. Dollie Harra of Newport News, Va.; stepsons Robert Hatfield of Danese, Patrick Hatfield of Beckley; sister, Mrs. Martha Miller, Legg.

Friends may call at the funeral home.

Charleston Daily Mail, 13 Sep 1969:
Mrs. Mary Alice Baldwin, 74, 713 Cairns Court, Charleston, died early today in McMillion Hospital.

Mrs. Baldwin is survived by sons; James of Sissonville and Claude of Garland, Pa.; five daughters, Mrs. Nina Lee Flowers and Mrs. Doris Atkins of Sissonville, Mrs. Ida Shaffer, Mrs. Minnie Young and Mrs. Hallie Newhouse, all of Charleston.

Friends may call at Cunningham Funeral Home after 6 p.m. today.



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2 responses to “Baldwin obituaries & news: Kanawha Co., WV (Part 1)

  1. Linda Baldwin

    I was delighted to find this wonderful website. My husband is the grandson of Ben Baldwin. Do you have additional information on Sarah Thaxton who married Samuel Baldwin.
    Thanks so much,


  2. Mark Baldwin

    Hello, i am one of the great grandchildren of Ben Baldwin. Fred Baldwin was my grandfater. I don’t have any info at this time but my brother has done some research and i am starting some so if I get info i will let you know.

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