Sophia <I>Gravely</I> McGinnis

Sophia Gravely McGinnis

Virginia, USA
Death Mar 1916 (aged 103)
Flat Top, Mercer County, West Virginia, USA
Burial Odd, Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 66590497 · View Source
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"Sophia McGinnis Found"
(This article appeared in the Raleigh County Gulf Times, Volume 7, No. 50. by PAULINE HAGA)

The mystery has been solved for the town of Sophia. The lady from whom the name of the town is derived has been missing for some time. She has been the subject of search for several years by historians.

In fact, she became of special interest during the nations bicentennial year in 1976 when Sophia wanted to pay special tribute by marking her grave.

Many oldtimers for years declared she was at rest in an unmarked grave in a cemetery between the two tunnels in Sophia. Others say she may be buried in an old cemetery above the old Stewart Brown property near Soak Creek.

Sophia Mayor Mary Martin said, "I was told years ago that she is buried somewhere out near Flat Top."

A search of some cemeteries did not turn up anything for historians. Then The Gulf Times "reopened the case" and great-granddaughter Mrs. Ina Meadows of Egeria learned of the search.
She informed the Gulf Times that Sophia Gravley McGinnis was her great-grandmother, and that Sophia took sick and died while visiting her daughter, Betty, at Flat Top.

She was born in 1812 and lived to be 104 years old. She died in March of 1916. Mrs. McGinnis was a native of Virginia and was a widow in 1866 when she married for the second time, a well known Raleigh Countian, Pyrrhus McGinnis. He owned 2,000 acres of land at one time along Soak Creek, according to family records.

The late Stewart Brown, who lived well into his 90s, always laid claim to having the town named after the widow Sophia McGinnis. She supposedly lived in a log cabin between the two tunnels on McAlpin Mountain.

Brown always said "when the town wanted to be incorporated, they wanted a name." Thus the town was incorporated in 1912 and became Sophia.
And its pioneer citizen, Sophia Gravley McGinnis, who must have felt proud that a town was named in her honor, is at rest in a beautiful, neat and tranquil cemetery called the Brammer Cemetery on the Egeria Road near Flat Top.

To "our mother," Sophia Gravely, August 15, 1812, to March 1916, it says "death is eternal, why should we weep."

(Posted by permission of the author given on 17 October 2009)

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To Our Mother, Sophia Gravely
August 15, 1812, to March 1916,
"Death is eternal, why should we weep."

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  • Created by: Patty Greene
  • Added: 7 Mar 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 66590497
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sophia Gravely McGinnis (15 Aug 1812–Mar 1916), Find a Grave Memorial no. 66590497, citing Brammer Cemetery, Odd, Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Patty Greene (contributor 46798365) .