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Biography: Zachariah Sprigg and Samuel Sprigg


- From "History of Wheeling and Ohio County, West Virginia and Representative Citizens," Cranmer, Hon. Gibson Lamb, 1902.


The ancestor of this family, Zachariah Sprigg, was one of the early settlers of West Liberty and Ohio county, and was a man of prominence and influence in the affairs of the county. For several years he kept an inn at West Liberty, but after the removal of the county seat to Wheeling he removed to the same place and conducted a hotel on the site of the Windsor Hotel. The family originally came from Maryland, near the city of Baltimore. Zachariah had two sons, James and Samuel. James died in 1833, leaving no issue, we believe. Samuel Sprigg, the brother of James, was a man of medium height, weighing somewhere between 160 and 180 pounds, and had a sandy complexion, a reddish beard and light hair. He was strong and compactly built and was quite active and energetic, and of a highly nervous temperament. In disposition he was kind hearted and generous, and hence was very popular. He had studied the profession of the law, in the practice of which he was highly successful and occupied a distinguished position as an advocate. His sympathies in behalf of his clients were always fully elicited, and to so great an extent was this the case that his feelings frequently overpowered him during the trial of a case and he would give way to a flood of tears in the midst of his impassioned appeals. He died in 1843 from the result of a mistake in administering to him a wrong dose of medicine. It appears that he was suffering from an attack of influenza, then commonly known as the "Tyler grip," which in itself was then seldom of so serious a nature as to be fatal to those attacked by it. His physician had prescribed for him some ordinary dose, but by some inadvertence his attendants mistook the medicine and unwittingly gave him a dose of morphine, under the effects of which he slept his life away. At the time of his death he was sixty-odd years of age. According to our information, he left three children surviving him, all females, viz.: Amelia, Belle and Elizabeth.

Amelia married a gentleman by the name of Joseph Vance, a lieutenant in the United States army. During the exciting campaign of 1840 he with his father-in-law had gone on an electioneering tour in the eastern part of Ohio, and on their return, while descending a steep hill in the vicinity of Steubenville, he persisted in remaining in the carriage, against the remonstrance of Mr. Sprigg, who had descended from the carriage, when the horses, which were young and spirited, became frightened and unmanageable, and dashed down the declivity at the top of their speed, destroying the carriage and killing the lieutenant. Subsequently his widow married Dr. Campbell, a distinguished physician and beloved citizen, who held many honorable positions in public and private life, and who died a few years ago at a ripe old age, lamented by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Belle, another daughter, married another gentleman bearing the name of Campbell, with whom she removed to the South. Elizabeth married a Dr. Chapline, a former citizen of Wheeling, now deceased.

Mr. Sprigg was an extensive land-owner, and among his other possessions owned a fine farm consisting of some 700 acres situated about four miles from Wheeling, on what is known as the Bethany pike, which was highly cultivated by him. He was a large sheep raiser .

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