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 Henry Bias

Photo added by Carrie Bias Hoffert

Henry Bias

  • Birth 1827
  • Death 1903
  • Burial Cabell County, West Virginia, USA
  • Plot on Kilgore Creek Rd, at top of the Hill above where their cabin sat
  • Memorial ID 54414972

Henry Byas was born in Amherst County Virginia on Christmas day....He had an older brother and sister and maybe they thought this was their Christmas gift that year.....His parents, Joel Byas and Elizabeth (Harrison) Byas, were thrilled to have the baby finally arrive.

Henry was eventually one of 6 children in the family and later when his dad remarried in 1841 to Lavina (Martin) Bias there were 5 more children that joined the family beginning in 1842.

On April the 25th of 1884, Henry married Cassandra (Vest) Byas, she was the daughter of Henry's aunt Mary 'Polly' Byas married to William Vest. Yes, Henry and Cassandra Vest were 1st cousins...but one needs to remember that courtship had to be managed on foot in those days...that restricted the extent of the parties one could know and marry. Besides, Cassandra was an extremely pretty young woman..

Henry and Cassandra had 7 children by the time the Civil War broke out, but nonetheless off he went to serve the confederacy in what he referred to as the "Lost Cause."

For this next part I will let Henry himself tell you part of his he told it to the people from H.H. Hardesty's & Co. Publishers, in order that they could publish his bio. Of course he had to purchase a copy in advance...but thank goodness he was willing and had the means to do so.

H.H. Hardesty's & Co. Publishers:
Hardesty's Historical & Geographical Encyclopedia Illustrated 1884
Special History of the Virginias. Maps
and Histories of Wayne, Lincoln, and Cabell
Page 425

"Grant District
Henry Byas is a native of Amherst county, Virginia, born on Christmas Day, 1827. In Amherst county, April 25, 1846, he was united in marriage with Cassandia Vest, who was born in Amherst county, July 4, 1830.

Eleven children are the fruit of their union: Mary Elizabeth, born June 25, 1847, married William Woodard; James Benjamin, born May 16, 1849, married G. A. Wallace; Henry Clay, born February 14, 1851, married M. A. Shamblin; Linzy Franklin, born August 15, 1853, married Alzadia Peyton; Sarah Catherine, born March 23, 1855, married William Byas; Emeline Frances, born January 25, 1857, married T. W. Fisher; Mazann, born April 2, 1859, married John Woodard; Jiny Jenkins, born April 22, 1861, married Frank Byas; Caroline P., born April 22, 1863; William Ludwell, July 15, 1865; Joel Hardy, April 17, 1873.

Joel and Elizabeth (Harrison) Byas, the parents of Henry Byas, died in Amherst county, Virginia, and his wife's parents died in that county, also. She was a daughter of William and Mary (Byas) Vest.

Henry Byas was conscripted into the Confederate army, and served for three years under "Stonewall" Jackson. He passed through nearly all the battles of that famous general, unharmed, and surrendered at Brandy Station. His brother William, a half-brother Palatine, and two nephews, besides many other more distant relatives, fell fighting for the Lost Cause in that war.

Henry Byas is living in Grant district, his farm consisting of 159 acres, 40 acres in a high state of cultivation, well watered, with good buildings, and good orchard. His uncleared land is excellently timbered, with fine building stone and some iron ore. His post office address is Milton, Cabell county, West Virginia. "

After the Civil war when the family moved to Cabell County, West Virginia, it was decided that from this point forward they would spell their family name as B-I-A-S as was the most common practice of the other branches in the Cabell County area. But there was a hold-out. William L Byas chose to use the B-Y-U-S spelling as he settled in Putnam and Kanawha Counties and that was a common spelling in those counties.

As a young child of 11 or 12 I went to the "Bias Homeplace" as the family called the land owned by Henry Byas, it was fascinating....we met some of the Fisher family members from across Kilgore Creek Rd. They took my father and our other family members up on the property to see the old cabin and the site of Henry and Cassandra's burial...that was about 1957. In 2001, I decided to make the same journey again....this time as well, Fred Fisher (the son of the man that had taken my dad up in 1957 and still lived across the road) graciously agreed to take me and party up onto the small mountain to see the old cabin, the old well and the burial location of Henry and Cassandra Bias. It was an arduous climb and then when he found there were those in our party that wanted to see where Elsby Wood Bias was also buried, off we trekked again to the other side of the mountain.

Henry and Cassandra's graves are on the very top of the mountain, in an area that has been leveled and cleared. At some point in the distant past, someone planted Iris on the grave sites...they have spread to cover the entire area. I recognized the stubby new growth and dug up some to take home. Those that were with me thought I was NUTS...but 15 years later they grow in my yard, my sister's yard as of this year. And last year I gave my nephew, Shannon, some when he came from CA to GA for a visit. I love the fact that each the spring they bloom and I know they are in bloom for Henry and Cassandra also!

I will conclude this with the OBIT for Henry.....I think it is a fine tribute to a loving family man and a man of character.


Henry Bias, a pioneer citizen of Cabell county, and one of the best known residents of the county, died yesterday at his home on Kilgore creek, after a long illness of cancer. He was a very old man, and the father of R. A. Bias. --

The Huntington Advertiser, Friday Evening, Jan 16, 1903

Family Members





  • Created by: Carrie Bias Hoffert
  • Added: 2 Jul 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 54414972
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Henry Bias (1827–1903), Find A Grave Memorial no. 54414972, citing Bias Family Homeplace, Cabell County, West Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Carrie Bias Hoffert (contributor 47049892) .