Shenandoah County

A Community History


Shenandoah County was formed from Frederick in 1772 and named Dunmore in honor of the last Colonial Governor of Virginia. In October, 1777, after Lord Dunmore had taken a decided stand against the colonists, Virginians were no longer willing that the county should hear his name, and the name was changed to Shenandoah, after the river which flows through it. The river had been called Shenandoah, "Daughter of the Stars," by the Indians. The county lies in northern Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley group. separated from West Virginia by the Shenandoah mountains, with the Massanutten mountains on the eastern border. The area is 486 square miles and the population 20,808.

The surface is rolling and mountainous. About two-thirds of the area is cleared and cultivated. The soil is mostly disintegrated limestone, very strong and durable. The Valley lands are of great beauty and fertility. The county ranks among the best grain counties of the State, especially wheat, which is sold principally in the state of flour and has a high reputation. Corn, oats, rye, barley and hay in large quantities are produced. The maximum yield in production of wheat for the State was attained in this county-sixty-three bushels per acre on a field of nine acres. There are magnificent grazing facilities in the uplands, and stock raising is the next and probably equally important industry. Improved grades of cattle, sheep, horses a hogs are found. This is the third county in production of poultry products.

Fruit growing is an important industry, and many sections are becoming vast orchards of apples of the best quality, commanding the highest prices.

Branches of the Southern Railway and Baltimore and Ohio railroads connect all sections, and together with excellent hard surface highways, furnish ample transportation. The North Fork of the Shenandoah traverses the county its entire length, supplying good water power for manufacturing.

Woodstock, the county seat, near the center of the county on the Southern Railway Manassas Branch, is an attractive town in the midst of a fine farming and fruit section, two banks serving the business interests of a prosperous community. Banks are also located at New Market, Strasburg, Mount Jackson and Edinburg. Orkney Springs is a place of much resort for health and pleasure seekers.

An annual fair is held at Woodstock. Thrifty, intelligent people have made the county and entire section one of national fame.


The churches in Shenandoah County were loyal to all patriotic duties during the World War. The Church of the Brethren, which has a comparatively large membership in this county, was opposed to war and sent no men into active service. It aided, however, in all sorts of relief work. The churches displayed service flags and national colors; sponsored food and fuel conservation; encouraged the purchase of Liberty Bonds and War Savings Stamps; preached patriotism and subscription to the Belgian, Armenian and Jewish Relief, and entertained soldiers extensively.

The three Churches of the Brethren reporting generally patriotic activities were the Church of the Brethren of Maurertown, pastor, Rev. E. B. Shaver; Round Hill Church, pastor, Rev. George A. Copp; Flat Rock Church, pastor, Rev. D. P. Wise.[1]

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Edinburg, Rev. J. A. Hopkins, pastor, had five members of the congregation and two members of the Sunday school in service: R. Burton Mitchell, Joseph Russel Sibert, Floyd Spencer Sweeney, Arthur B. Christian, Harry M. Jennings, John A. Jennings, John A. Saum.[2]

Mt. Calvary Church of the Mount Jackson Lutheran pastorate, Rev. Paul L. Roper, pastor, reported three of its members in service: William C. Lonas, Alfred H. Lonas and Robert Bird.[3]

The Patmos and Mt. Zion congregations at Woodstock had six men in the army: Charles E. Heiohman, Robert L. Clem, Howard F. Clem, Eugene G. Clem, Charles W. Kibler and Earl W. Jackson.[4]

The Mill Creek charge (Reformed Church in United States) included Grace Reformed Church at Rinkerton, St. John's Reformed Church at Hudson's Cross Roads, Christ Reformed Church at Conicville and Emanuel Reformed Church at Mt. Jackson. The minister, Rev. Benjamin K. Hay, entered Y.M.C.A. work and went overseas. The following members of the several congregations were in service: Taylor S. Funkhouser, Harry Rinker, Mark Dellinger, Earl Sager, Gryan H. Sager, Signor H. Dellinger, J. Monroe Wolfe and Ralph E. Wolfe.[5]


The schools in Shenandoah County were moderately active during the war. Of the twenty-two reporting,[6] ten either did no war work or kept no records. The other twelve, with the instructors furnishing information, were as follows: Edinburg High, Milton Hollingsworth; Fort Valley Graded and High School, Daniel O'Flaherty; Strasburg High, Arthur G. Ramey; Strasburg Graded School, Lucy F. Ludmire; Hamburg Graded, C. W. Hepuer; Lebanon Church School, Margarette Snarr; Co- lumbia Furnace, John G. Cook; Forestville, D. M. Zirkle, Soliloquy, Benjamin T. Good; State Hill, John H. Andrews; Coal Mine (near Lebanon Church), Mrs. A. B. Home; Little Creek, J. T. Spitler.

Most of the schools slightly modified the teaching of history so as to include current events, instruction in war progress, conduct and aims. The significance of various government activities was explained. An attempt was made to instill patriotism by teaching the lives of great American patriots. Pupils learned to sing national anthems, to take part in flag drills and to salute the flag. In many schools patriotic addresses were delivered. The schools sold approximately $7,000 worth of Thrift Stamps, had something over 400 pupils in the Junior Red Cross, made comfort kits for soldiers, encouraged and aided in food conservation.

Edinburg High School pupils made jellies, raised vegetables and chickens for the school fair, and gave all receipts to the Red Cross. They conserved approximately $350.00 worth of food stuff, used 100 pupils in raising about $800.00 in Liberty Bond subscriptions; gave $100 worth of magazines to soldiers.

Forestville School had ten Victory Boys, eight Victory Girls, twenty-seven members of the Red Cross.

State Hill School raised about $125.00 for the Red Cross, $800.00 for the Y.M.C.A. and about $2,500 for Armenian and Syrian Relief.


Shenandoah County had no National Guard, Virginia Volunteers or Home Guard Units.

Men who registered for the draft numbered 3,939; 421 of whom were called and accepted at camp.[7] All soldiers in the draft from this county were white. The cost of drafting the first 151 of the men was $2.34 each, against $8.67, the average cost per man for the State.[8]

The following men from Shenandoah County are included in Virginia's Distinguished Service list: Rear Admiral DeWitt Coffman, Distinguished Service Cross (Navy); First Lieutenant Carl Burdette Maphis, cited by commander-in-chief; Private Joseph S. Rhodes, cited by commanding officer, U. S. Marine Corps; Major Carl William Shaffer, cited by commander-in-chief, cited by commanding officer, U. S. Marine Corps, cited by division commander, French Croix de Guerre, Belgian Order of Leopold; Lieutenant Frank C. Stoneburner, French Croix de Guerre.[9]


Shenandoah County's subscriptions to the Liberty Loan campaigns were as follows: Second Loan quota, $345,650; amount subscribed, $243,800; number subscribers, 437. Third Loan quota, $189,700; amount subscribed, $232,600; number subscribers, 990. Fourth Loan quota, $440,000; amount subscribed, $323,550; number subscribers, 936. Victory Loan quota, $300,200; amount subscribed, $337,200; number subscribers, 847.


Shenandoah County Chapter of the American Red Cross was originally an auxiliary founded in April, 1917. It became a chapter in July, 1917, with the following officers: Judge E. D. Newman, chairman; Mrs. E. L. Wunder, vice-chairman; Miss Louise Jacobs, secretary; Milton Coffman, treasurer; Rev. J. R. Jacobs, chairman of home service. Officers in 1920 were: M. L. Walton, chairman; Miss Gertrude Pence, secretary; Allen K. Albert, Treasurer; Miss Nan Williams, vice-chairman; Phillip Williams, home service chairman. Mrs. W. H. Wunder was secretary in 1918-1919, and N. H. Corman, chairman of home service in 1918-1919. The following, in addition to the officers above, were members of the executive committee: Rev. J. A. McMurray, Rev. S. K. Cockrell, R. L. Wright, C. M. Shannon.

There had been 7,073 members of the Shenandoah County Chapter from its organization until the date of the report (1920) at which time there were 1,044 members. The chapter had jurisdiction over the entire county.

The work of the chapter is as follows: 1,221 finished garments; 9,742 bandages; 169 pillows; 700 sweaters; 127 pairs of socks; 27 pairs of wristlets; 35 mufflers; 22 helmets, 2 afghans; equipment for Camp Lee hospital consisting of cots, pillows, sheets, blankets, pillow cases, towels, bath towels hot-water bottles bed shirts and pajamas. Over 3,000 pounds of second-hand clothing were sent to Belgium. The chapter sent 130 filled kits to a hospital in France; 60 property bags; 15 barrels of jellies, preserves, and canned fruit; 500 trench candles. During the influenza epidemic in Woodstock, the ladies' branch supplied eighty-three people with eggs, milk and beef broth from one to eight days.

Those workers in Shenandoah Chapter who received special Red Cross badges for eight hundred or more house service are: Miss Frances Wilder, Miss Nan Williams, Miss Mollie Lantz, Miss Emma Lantz, Mrs. Ada Zirkle, Mrs. C. H. Fadeley, Mrs. E. L. Wunder, Mrs. Daniel Lichliter, Mrs. James H. Smoot. Names of active workers other than those given above were: Judge E. D. Newman, Miss Kate Coffman, Rev. J. A. McMurray, Mrs. S. G. Good, Rev. M. S. Taylor, Mrs. C. C. Henkle, Miss Katherine Snyder, Miss Arline Walker, Miss Margaret Davis, Mrs. H. H. Ramey.

Successive chairmen of the home service committee were Rev. J. R. Jacobs, Professor N. H. Connan, Clayton E. Williams, Phillip Williams. Work of the home service department is as follows: Adjustments of allotments and allowances, $315.00; bonus checks applied for and received, $120.00; Liberty Bonds, $100.00; insurance of deceased applied for, $20,000.00; matters other than war risk insurance bureau, $50.00. Total, $20,585.00.

Four permits for training under Federal Board for Vocational Education were applied for and received, two travel pay applications and two applications for clothes and equipment, 117 families or individuals were dealt with, services rendered to 84 and information given to 12.

The Shenandoah Chapter conducted a survey of nursing resources in the whole county with the purpose of listing all trained and practical nurses.

The Second War Fund drive in May, 1918, raised $7,296.03. Membership drives of December, 1917; December, 1918, and November, 1919, raised $3,383, $2,646 and $1,044, respectively. Total amount of cash paid out was $7,794.78, and the balance on hand March 1, 1920, was $485.33.

Red Cross workers of the Shenandoah Chapter who went overseas were: Rev. John Jacobs (Y.M.C.A.), Rev. B. K. Hay (Y.M.C.A.), Rev. Charles Brandt (Army), Rev. Malcom S. Taylor (chaplain), Rev. R. C. Meeks (Y.M.C.A.).

Shenandoah Chapter had nine branches: Woodstock, Strasburg, New Market, Maurertown, Edinburg, Fort Valley, Mt. Jackson, Toms Brook, Forestville.

Miss Charlotte 'McMurray and Miss Nannie Smith were in charge of the Junior Red Cross work rooms. The Juniors raised $242.62.

Officers of the New Market Branch were as follows: on May 12, 1917, the date of organization, Mrs. Katherine Foster, chairman; Mrs. S. G. Good, vice-chairman; Mrs. Abbie Henkle, treasurer; Miss Lizzie Williamson, secretary. Officers at the time the report was made (1920?) were C. N. Hoover, chairman; Miss Pearle Strickley, secretary; Ben White, treasurer; Mrs. C. E. Clinedinst, vice-chairman. On the original excutive committee there were, in addition to those names given above, Mrs. J. M. Grim, and H. M. Kagey. Total membership of the New Market branch was 450. The branch had jurisdiction over the Lee District, eastern part, from the mountain to top of the hill west of Quicksburg.

The home service committee was as follows: J. E. Biedler, Abbie Henkle, Frank Good, W. M. Arion, Dr. W. C. Shirley, Mrs. C. N. Hoover, Miss Annie McCarthy, Miss Annie Price, Mrs. Elmer Rice. This group assisted three families during the influenza epidemic and spent $32.00

Three Red Cross drives--December 1917; December, 1918, and November 1919, netted $270.00; $211.00 and $34.00 respectively. Total cash paid out: $1,391.23. Balance to date (1920?) $406.99.

The Strasburg branch had the following officers: R. L. Wright, chairman, Miss Mary Fletcher, secretary; Mrs. Samuel L. Burgess, treasurer, Mrs. H. H. Ramey, vice-chairman. The officers in 1920 were: A. C. Machir, treasurer. Mrs. J. A. Williams and Mrs. Walter Stickley were also members of the executive committee. The branch was organized January 26, 1918. Total membership, 1,523. The jurisdiction of the Strasburg branch was over the Davis District of Shenandoah County.

Junior Red Cross work in the Strasburg branch enlisted all the students in the Strasburg school. Officers were Miss Frances Jenkins, chairman; Miss Eleanor Balthis, vice-chairman; Joseph Everely, secretary; Richard L. Wright, Jr., treasurer. Membership dues amounted to $97.00. The children took part in Liberty Loan parades; made thirty comfort kits, scrapbooks and post card books; gathered tinfoil, and knitted wash cloths and wool scarfs.

The workroom of the Strasburg branch was under the direction of Mrs. Beulah Hurn, Mrs. Armentrout, Mrs. J. A. Williams and Mrs. Douglas Spangler. Workers who received special Red Cross badges for eight hundred or more hours work were: Mrs. H. H. Ramey, Miss Mary Fletcher, Mrs. Armentrout, Mrs. S. L. Burgess. The home service committee was as follows: George A. Ebersole, chairman; Mrs. D. F. Spangler, Mrs. H. F. Woolf, S. L. Burgess. This committee assisted six families and spent $193.50. Total contributions to the branch during Red Cross drives were $1,001.52. Four membership drives netted $750, $486, $211 and $76.00 severally. Total receipts were $2,784.87, disbursements, $2,307.47; balance $477.40[10]



Although there was no regular Y.W.C.A. in Shenandoah County, the women undertook two drives for funds for that organization. The personnel of the committee was as follows: Town Chairman--Mt. Jackson, Miss Frances Snyder; Toms Brook, Mrs. Earl Miley; Strasburg, Miss Frances Jenkins; New Market, Mrs., J. E. Biedler; Saumsville, Mrs. Hester Spiker; Maurertown, Mrs. Silas Sager; Powell's Fort, Miss Eunice Boyer; Cedar Creek, Miss Fannie Wilde.

In Woodstock the following were energetic workers: Mesdames J. C. Paxton, W. H. Wunder, F. H. Riddleberger, Misses Margaret Davis, Charlotte McMurray and Mary Wunder. In the first of the two drives $580.00 was raised. The second drive in March, 1919, was similar to the first, except that Mrs. C. M. Shannon took Miss Snyder's place as chairman of Mr. Jackson. Mabel Lee Walton was county chairman and Miss Arline Walker was treasurer.[11]


  1. See Reports of the Churches, V. W. H. C. Files
  2. Report of Edinburg Christian Church, V. W. H.C. Files
  3. Report of Mount Jackson Lutheran Pastorage, V. W.H.C. Files
  4. See Report of Patmos and Mt. Zion Congregations by O. C. Propst, V. W. H. C. Files
  5. See Report of Mill Creek Charge, V. W. H.C. Files
  6. See Schools' questionnaires, Shenandoah County, V. W. H.C. Files
  7. Adjutant General's Report for 1918, Part II, p. 50
  8. Adjutant General's Report for 1917, p. 25
  9. See Source Volume I for texts of citations.
  10. The foregoing account is adapted from material in three reports: Shenandoah County, Strasburg Branch, and New Market Branch, V. W. H.C. files
  11. Report of Y. W. C. A. work, V. W. H. C. files.