Rebecca Jane Clay Cantley
This article was reproduced with the punctuation
capitalization used by the original author.
Transcribed by Jo Alice Bradley
Rebecca Jane Clay, daughter
of Charles L. and Awry Clay, was born in Pike county Kentucky June 25, 1828.
When but a baby her parents left their Kentucky home, and came to Wyoming
county, W. Va., to make a new home in the Mountain State, and as this home
was being built, one by one, sisters and brothers were added to the family
until there were four boys and six girls.
During this home life in Wyoming county,
the subject of this sketch, then a little girl of twelve years, at a camp
meeting held in their community, heard and heeded the call of Jesus Christ
to “Follow Me,” and then and there accepted and publicly confessed Him as
her Savior, and united with the Methodist church and began the christian life.
After living in Wyoming county some
eighteen years, her parents sought a new home, coming to Raleigh county and
locating at Brackenridge. While living there another sister and brother came
into the home. Brackenridge was their home but four years when they moved
to Sand Lick where they made their home until death, August 1, 1852.
While living at Brackenridge, the
subject of this sketch, Rebecca, the oldest daughter, was married to James
Cantley, and they spent the first two years of their married life at the
Cottle place, now better known as Saxon. While living here their first child,
Nettie J., was born. They next for a part of one year at what is now known
as the old flats, and during their brief stay there they were blessed with
the second baby Nancy Jane.
From that place they moved to the
present home, where Mrs. Cantley spent the rest of her days. Two other children
came to live in this little family, Ellen and James. Ellen, however, after
four years, went to live with him Him who said, “Suffer the Little Children
to Come Unto Me.”
When Lincoln issued the call
for 75,000 volunteers in 1861, James Cantley responded to that call, left
his faithful wife and beloved little ones to go out never to return for in
the battle of Cross Keys, Sheandoah Valley, Va., he received a wound that
soon proved fatal. He was taken to the Harrisburg hospital, and after ten
days started for home, getting as far as Cumberland, Md., where his strength
failed, and he departed this life and was buried at that place.
Mrs. Cantley, now a widow with the
three little ones, took up the battle of life, with its toils and bravely
met the responsibilities, doing as best she could-trusting always in Him to
whom she had yielded her life as a child. Her friends and neighbors pay her
the splendid tribute of calling her a good, kind christian woman. She departed
this life “looking unto Jesus, the Beginner and Finisher of her faith,” on
May 26, 1910, aged 81 years, 11 months and 1 day, leaving to morn their loss,
two daughters, one son, sisters, brothers, twenty grand-children, thirty-one
great-grand-children, and many other relatives as well as a great host of
G. A. Reaugh