Presented by Linda Cunningham Fluharty.



[CDV (backmark Wykes & Brown, Wheeling) & Badge Sold by Linda Fluharty to Mark Owen, 2009.]


     Holdridge Smith Sayre, the son of Hiram T. Sayre and Mary J. Smith, was born 11 Aug 1833 in West Union, Doddridge County, (W.) Va.

     Holdridge was the gr-grandson of Revolutionary Soldier, David Sayre, born 1736 in New Jersey:


David Sayre (b 1736) & Hannah Frazier
Benjamin Sayre (b 21 Apr 1774) & Nancy Ann Tucker
Hiram T. Sayre & Mary Smith
Holdridge Smith Sayre

     Hiram T. Sayre died before the 1850 census [Jan 1846 per Ralph Hall Sayre]. His wife, Mary (Smith) Sayre, born in Pennsylvania in 1807, died in Doddridge County Jul 1859.

1850 Census, Doddridge County, W. Va.
SAYRE, Mary, 43, b Pa.
Nancy M. 18, b Va
Holdridge, 16, Farmer, b Va
Lettuce, 14, b Va
Sarah M., 10, b Va.
WEEKLEY, Solomon, 4, b Va

     The first wife of Holdridge S. Sayre was Clarinda A. Greathouse, whom he married 13 Feb 1855 in Doddridge County. Clarinda, the daughter of James Greathouse and Paulina Van Horn, died 31 Mar 1857 and is buried at Coleman Cemetery, Doddridge County.

1860 Census, Doddridge County, W. Va.
SAYRE, Holdridge, 26, Constable, b Va.
GATRELL, Catherine, 55, b Va
GATRELL, Cassandra, 19, b Va
GATRELL, Duckett, 17, b Va
GATRELL, William, 15, b Va
GATRELL, Ottmar?, 4, b Va

     On 18 Jun 1861 in Ross County, Ohio, Holdridge Sayre married Elizabeth Hannen? Lee, born 22 Feb 1842, the daughter of John and Maria (Lawrey) Lee. Elizabeth died 18 Dec 1867 in Pike County, Ohio.

     The records at the WV State Archives indicate that HOLDRIDGE S. SAYRE was a Captain of the 180th West Virginia Militia during the Civil War. This unit was also called the Doddridge County West Virginia Independent Scouts. He enrolled 25 Oct 1863 at West Union, Doddridge County, to serve one year. - Remarks: Com's'n as Capt. Indpt. Scouts of Doddridge Co. ordered Nov. 4, '63 to rank Oct. 25 -'63. Co. Pd. up to June 30/64 Final Discharge June 20 -'64. By G. O. #11 June 20/64 ordered to be disbanded and mustered out of State Service to date July 1/64.


Holdridge & Mary (Lee) Sayre

[Photo submitted by Judi Sayre Berry; original owned by Ron Toops.]

     The third wife of Holdridge Sayre was Mrs. Mary Elton (Lee) Sayre, born 10 Feb 1846, daughter of John Lee and Maria Lawrey. They were married 2 Jun 1870 in Ross County, Ohio. Mary E., the sister of Holdridge Sayre's second wife, Elizabeth, was the widow of Preston Herbert Sayre who died during the Civil War, 1 Dec 1864 in Salisbury, North Carolina Confederate Prison. He was captured while serving in Company "F" 149th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. At the time of his death, Mary was pregnant with their daughter, Emma, who was born 23 Dec 1864 and died 19 Apr 1890.

     According to the research of Ralph Hall Sayre, Preston H. Sayre was the son of Squire C. Sayre and Lydia Leddie Davis. Squire C. was the son of Benjamin Sayre and Nancy Ann Tucker.

     Squire C. Sayre's daughter, Edith Sayre, married William H. Lee, the son of John and Maria (Lowery) Lee.

     Holdridge Sayre, the son of Hiram T., was the first cousin of Preston and Edith because Hiram T. was the brother of Squire C. Sayre.

     In summary, Holdridge S. Sayre married his second wife's sister, Mary, who was the widow of his first cousin, Preston H. Sayre.

1870 Census, Huntington, Ross County, Ohio
(Living in residence of John & Maria Lee, parents of Mary E. (Lee) Sayre.)
SAYRE, Holridge S., 36, b WV, Trader in Stock, $1000 real estate, $2000 personal, b Va
Mary E., boarding at home, b Va
Urnas? (Wias?), 8, son, b Va [from 1st marriage, per Ralph Hall Sayre]
John H., 7, b Va [from 1st marriage, per Ralph Hall Sayre]
Emma S (or L), 5, b Ohio
William F., 3, b Va [from 2nd marriage, per Ralph Hall Sayre]

Note: Ralph Hall Sayre also gives the name of another child from Holdridge's 1st marriage: Esquire S. Sayre, b 1857; m Virginia Stout 20 Jun 1885; d 28 Nov 1930 in Macon, Illinois.

1880 Census, Pike County, Ohio
SAYRE, H. S., 45, guard in Ohio pen, Va, Va, Va
Mary E., 39, wife, Keeping house, Va, Ohio, Ohio
Emma, 15, dau, at school, Ohio, Va, Va
Elsworth, 5, son, at home, Ohio, Va, Va

     Since Emma Sayre's father, Preston, died during the Civil War, she received a government pension until she was sixteen, in December 1880.

     At the latter part of 1880, Holdridge S. Sayre, applied for a government pension, based on his 8 months of service in the 180th West Virginia Militia, also known as the Doddridge County Independent Scouts.

     Approximately 30,000 militiamen served in West Virginia during the Civil War, usually on a part-time basis. They were assigned to guard railroads and towns, scout for the regulars, or chase the Confederate partisans who were constantly attacking the Northern counties in small bands. Those who served in Militia (Home Guard) units were NOT entitled to Federal Pensions, nor were they awarded the West Virginia Civil War medals. Some of the militiamen were killed and others were captured and died in Confederate prison camps but they were still considered STATE, not FEDERAL soldiers.

     For that reason, it is stunning that Holdridge S. Sayre did, indeed, obtain a pension from the federal government. His application was supported by affidavits from his doctor, men who had served in his milita, and a lengthy letter from Arthur I. Boreman, ex-Governor of West Virginia.

     His supporters also signed a petition and sent it to Hon. H. L. Dickey of the House of Representatives. In the end, it was by a Special Act of Congress that Holdridge S. Sayre received his pension.


     Less than a year after he received this unprecedented award, Holdridge S. Sayre applied for an increase. Again it was granted and at some point, he began receiving $30 per month.

1890 Special Census, Pebble Twp., Pike County, Ohio
Sayre Holdridge S., Capt., Ind; enlisted 23 Oct 1863; discharged 23 Oct 1864 at Buchanan; wound in back.

1900 Census, Pike County, Ohio
SAYRE, Holdridge, 66, b WV
Mary E., b Feb 1846, 54, married 39 years, 10 children/7 living, b Va
David, b Sep 1883, 16, b Ohio

1910 Census, Pike County, Ohio
SAYRE, Holdridge, 76, married (2nd time) 39 years, General Farm, b WV
Mary E., 63, married (2nd time) 39 years, 5 children/1 living, WV WV OH

     In 1915 Mary E. Sayre was appointed Guardian of Holdridge Sayre. He was afflicted with senile dementia and was admitted to the Athens (Ohio) State Hospital 29 Jul 1915. He was transferred to the Columbus State Hospital 22 Aug 1915 and he remained there until his death on 25 Jan 1918 of Organic Heart Disease.

OBITUARY - H. S. SAYERS - Captain H. S. Sayers of Buchanan died last Friday at the Columbus hospital. Interment was made here in Waverly Evergreen Cemetery. The Republican Herald, Waverly, OH - 31 Jan 1918

     Holdridge Sayre had received a government pension since 1888 and then he received at least one increase. Only one document in the pension file suggests that questions should have been asked about his Civil War service. Early in 1915, perhaps when Mary E. was in applying for Guardianship of Holdridge, Examiner, T. D. McDermott, wrote:

     "There is evidence in this claim indicating that the pensioner enlisted in another Co. but was not accepted. There are the names of comrades who served with claimant in the same Independent Company of W. Va. Scouts, who afterward enlisted in other regiments.... Is not the Bureau then entitled to find out the name of the organization in which the pensioner enlisted but was not accepted, in order to finish the records as to number of men and length of service performed during the Civil War. Is there not an ORDER compelling strict compliance with the order? What authority have we to accept without corroboration claimants statements as to his not being accepted in the 2nd service? While it would not now make any difference to the pensioner, it might be a either a help or hindrance to the prosecution of a Widow's claim hereafter. In every claim, the records should be exhausted."

     Following the death of her husband, Mary E. Sayre applied for a widow's pension based on his service. The Commissioner of Pensions stated:

"Your husband never having been mustered into the United States military or naval service, there is no law under which you can be pensioned."

     Mary E. Sayre did, however, receive a pension. She applied for a pension as the widow of Preston H. Sayre. She had earlier received a pension, from the time of Preston's death until her marriage to Holdridge Sayre.

     According to the pension application of Holdridge Sayre, the middle name of his wife, Mary, was ELTON.

     He also gave the name of his second wife as ELIZABETH HANNEN LEE.

     As indicated in the 1900 census, Mary had 5 children, one living. In addition to EMMA, the daughter of Mary E. and her first husband, Preston Sayre, Holdridge and Mary E. had the following children, as listed in the pension application:

ELLSWORTH SAYRE, b 29 Aug 1875
DAVIS SAYRE, b 3 Sep 1883
GEORGE W. SAYRE, b 6 Oct 18--(illegible)

     ELLSWORTH SAYRE survived these siblings. He married Minerva "Minnie" Belle Kritzwiser 7 Mar 1901. Their sons were Harold and Merrill. Ellsworth died in Akron, Ohio 30 Aug 1963 at the age of 88.

     Holdridge Sayre and Preston Sayre were my second cousins, four generations removed.

DAVID SAYRE b. 1736 NJ m. Hannah Frazier
JEDEDIAH SAYRE b. 1772 VA/WV m. Elizabeth Weaver
REBECCA SAYRE b. 1800 VA/WV m. Elijah Benjamin Mackintosh
BENJAMIN S. McINTOSH b. 1834 VA/WV m. Julia Ann Freeman
MATILDA ANN McINTOSH b. 1860 VA/W m. Godfrey McClellen Shaffer
OSSIE MADGE SHAFFER b. 1899 WV m. Orval Allen Smith
RUTH ESSIE SMITH b. 1928 WV m. John W. "Jack" Cunningham
LINDA LEE CUNNINGHAM b WV m. Eugene Richard Fluharty