By Linda Cunningham Fluharty

Information provided by Marguerite Stewart & Esta Stewart Brower.

Sidney Waitman Merrifield
& wife,
Matilda Jane Campbell

Tintype Photo provided by
Marguerite Stewart, granddaughter.

Sidney Waitman Merrifield, born 25 Jun 1848 in Rivesville, Marion County, W. Va., was the son of Harvey Merrifield and Phoebe J. Heflin. Sidney enlisted in Company "A" of the Sixth West Virginia Volunteer Infantry 16 Feb 1865 and served until the war's end. He was discharged on 10 Jun 1865.

The father of Harvey Merrifield is not known but his mother was Barsheba/Basheba Merrifield, probably the daughter of Samuel Merrifield, son of Richard, a Revolutionary War soldier. Richard's father, Samuel Merrifield, was born about 1720 and came to the America in 1747, originally settling in Winchester, Virginia. - Perhaps Barsheba was unmarried when she had sons, Calvin and Harvey Calvin Merrifield. About 1830, Barsheba married Benjamin Satterfield, a widower. She is found in the 1860 Census of Marion County, (West) Virginia living with Elijah Satterfield, presumably her son. The house listed before Elijah's was that of Barsheba's son, Nimrod Satterfield. The house listed after Elijah's was the home of Harvey Merrifield. In the house after Harvey's was Calvin Merrifield, probably Barsheba's older son.

Civil War Discharge
Click To Enlarge

On 19 Sep 1875, in Marion County, Sidney Merrifield married Matilda Jane Campbell, the daughter of Andrew and Eleanor (Snodgrass) Campbell. Their children were: Clifford Elias Merrifield, born 21 Jul 1876; Clinton Eliza Merrifield, born 21 Dec 1880; Carrie Eleanor Merrifield, born 28 May 1889; Ida Larrie Merrifield, born 10 Aug 1891.

Sidney W. Merrifield
In front of his Log Cabin, Marion County, W. Va.

Commencing on 15 Mar 1924, Mr. Merrifield received a government pension of $72 per month. He died 19 Sep 1933 in Hawkenberry Hollow, Marion County, W. Va. Following his death, his widow applied for a pension and received $40 per month. She died 9 Dec 1948.

Ida L. Merrifield, daughter of the Civil War veteran, attended one of the oldest churches in Marion County, the Pitcher Methodist Church at Dakota. She attended a one-room school which still stands on the hill above Route 19, near Rivesville.

On 28 Sep 1910, in Oakland, Garrett County, Maryland, Ida married Howard Napoleon Stewart, the son of Bushrod N. and Mary Jane (Swartz) Stewart. Howard was a widower and had two children, John and Gladys.

For many years Howard and Ida lived on a small farm in the Hampton Road area of Marion County. Howard worked in a coal mine by day and farmed in the evening. Tragically, on 29 August 1929, he was killed in an accident at the mine. At that time, he had seven children at home, the youngest only four years old.

The 1929 Accident Report from the State of West Virginia, #1507, details the circumstances of Howard Stewart's death:

     "What was the cause of the injury?
     "The injured with two other tipple men was pulling railroad cars back above the cross over switch on #2 track to bring over to #1 track so they could be loaded with run of mine coal and the rope was not long enough to pull the cars back above the switch the first car pull so they had to make the hitch in order to get the cars back far enough to clear the switch. Stewart cut off one car and went over across the tracks and waved to Davis who was running the yard engine, to pull them back and told the two men to let them come on in to the tipple as soon as they were back above the switch. As soon as the cars cleared the switch he waved Davis down and went back over to the car he had cut off and got up to the brake so when the cars bumped he could stop the car under the tipple and as the cars were coming over the cross over they struct the car that he was standing on over far enough to catch him and mashed him between the cars."

Howard N. Stewart did not die at the scene, according to his daughter, Esta. He was taken to Cook Hospital where he died of "traumatic fracture left 4th, 5th, 6th & 7th ribs - left Pneumothorax - Compound fracture of left humorus, radius and ulna."

When Howard Stewart first moved to Fairmont from Jefferson County, West Virginia, he was employed as a veterinarian for the horses that were used in the mines. Esta said she walked past the mine on her way home from school and sometimes the horses were being brought out of the mine. She said she was very afraid because she had been told that they went crazy when they there were first brought out.

The children of Howard and Ida L. Stewart: Wilmer W., Arnold W., Howard N., Jack (WWII veteran, dec.), Dorothea J., Marguerite C. & Esta B.

Esta Stewart, a student in the school of nursing at the Fairmont Emergency Hospital, was named Miss Fairmont, 1936.

Esta B. Stewart
Miss Fairmont, 1936

Newspaper articles


Dorothea Sloan, Esta Brower & Marguerite Stewart

(Photo May 2002 - by Linda Fluharty)

Dorothea J. (Stewart) Sloan, wife of Denzil W., retired from Owens-Illinois. They have one son, Denzil W., Jr. Dorothea is an Animal Rights activist in Fairmont. She is involved in Cat Rescue and is an advocate of the Spay/Neuter & No Kill policies, regarding domestic animals.

Times West Virginian - December 23, 2012 -- Dorothea Jean Sloan, 91, of Fairmont, passed away Friday (Dec. 21, 2012) at her residence. She was born May 11, 1921, in Marion County, a daughter of the late Howard and Ida Merrifield Stewart. She was preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, Denzil H. Sloan. Mrs. Sloan was a graduate of Fairmont Senior High School and retired from Owens Illinois in Fairmont. She was a member of the Local Union No. 109, Glass Bottle Blowers Association, where she held several offices, including recording secretary. She formerly attended Faith Tabernacle Church in Taylor County. She especially loved cats and rescued many cats. Mrs. Sloan is survived by her son, Denzil W. Sloan of Reader; a brother, Howard Stewart and his wife Naomi of Meadville, Pa.; a sister, Esta Brower of Wichita Falls, Texas; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents and husband, she is preceded in death by her brothers and sisters, Buss Stewart, Margaret Stewart, Arnold Stewart and Jack Stewart. She is also preceded in death by an infant sister. Memorial donations may be made in Mrs. Sloan’s memory to PURR West Virginia, 306 Beech St., Grafton, WV 26354. Friends and family may visit the Ford Funeral Home, Ford Chapel, 201 Columbia St., Fairmont on Monday from 1-5 p.m. and on Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. Funeral services will be held in the funeral home on Wednesday at 11 a.m. with Rev. Delbert Lasure officiating. Entombment will follow at the Mt. Zion Cemetery and Mausoleum in Fairmont.

Marguerite Stewart is a retired West Fairmont High School science teacher. In 1959, she became the first person in Marion County to receive the Valley Forge Classroom Teachers medal awarded by the Freedom's Foundation at Valley Forge, Pa. The award was designed to honor classroom teachers who have gone beyond the call of duty in inspiring young people to a better appreciation of freedom fundamentals (Newspaper article). She was also named "Marion County Teacher of the Year" by the Classroom Teachers Association.

Times West Virginian - August 11, 2004 -- Marguerite C. Stewart, 86, of Fairmont died Sunday (Aug. 8, 2004) at Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgantown. She was born Nov. 27, 1917, in Fairmont, a daughter of the late Howard N. and Ida L. Merrifield Stewart. Ms. Stewart was a retired school teacher from the Marion County Board of Education. She was a former volunteer for the American Cancer Society. She was a graduate of Fairmont Senior High School, Fairmont State College and received her master's degree from West Virginia University. She was a volunteer for the Marion County Meals on Wheels. In 1967, Ms. Stewart, a biology teacher at Fairmont Senior High School, was named the Marion County Teacher of the Year. She was selected for her outstanding teaching ability, her extra school activities and the work she had contributed to community projects. She attended Summer Institute in Bridgewater, Mass., for training in biology science and worked in the Amateur Astronomers' Association. She was awarded the Valley Forge classroom teacher's medal and certificate by the Freedom's Foundation at Valley Forge, Pa. The medal honors teachers who, through their lives and works, have made significant contributions to a better understanding of the American way of life, and who gave gone beyond the call of duty in inspiring young people to a better appreciation of freedom fundamentals. Ms. Stewart was active in the work of the Girl Scouts of America. She directed camps over a period of 20 years in many sections of the United States. She also attended Senior Girl Scout Roundups in Michigan, Colorado and Vermont. She was a member of the First Baptist Church and Alpha Delta Kappa (an honorary teachers sorority, and was a life member of West Virginia Classroom Teacher's Association and the National Retired Teacher's Association. Ms. Stewart is survived by one brother and sister-in-law, Howard and Naomi Stewart of Meadville, Pa.; two sisters and a brother-in-law, Esta Brower of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Dorothea and Denzil Sloan of Fairmont; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, Ms. Stewart was preceded in death by three brothers, Wilmer "Bus," Arnold and Jack Stewart; a half brother, John Stewart; an infant sister, Nelle Stewart; and a half sister, Gladys Stanard. Friends may call from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. today and 10-11 a.m. Wednesday at the Ford Funeral Home, Ford Chapel, 201 Columbia St., Fairmont. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home with the Rev. Richard A. Farmer officiating. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery, Fairmont.

Esta (Stewart) Brower, R. N., married Oliver Brower and moved to Pittsburgh, Pa. Following Oliver's death in 1967, Esta resumed her nursing career. She was a private duty nurse for a number of patients from old and distinguished Pittsburgh families. Her only child, Larry, is a retired U.S.A.F. Colonel.

Howard N. Stewart is currently serving as a supervisor for Vernon Township, Crawford County, Pa. During his career, he was a policeman and later served numerous terms as sheriff of Crawford County.

Jack Stewart, a World War II veteran, died in 1996. He was a sergeant and served as an airplane mechanic with the U. S. Marines.

Arnold W. Stewart, a millwright, died in 1999.

Wilmer W. Stewart, a mine worker, died in 1995.