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Richard F. Tyree
Biographical notes by Elinor F. Tyree
Our interest follows Richard F. Tyree, who IS SAID TO HAVE first visited the Virginia mountain area (which became West Virginia) as a guest (and maybe part-time employee) at the health spa in Old Sweet Springs. Brother John SEEMS TO HAVE visited with Richard in these early years, but soon returned to New Kent. In 1801 Richard bought 50A in Greenbrier County; in April of 1802 he was appointed Postmaster of Greenbrier (the postoffice didn't take the name of the town of Lewisburg until 1838) for one year. In 1803 Richard bought town lot #57 in Lewisburg where he built (or had already built, some say in 1801) the inn called The Long Ordinary (a two story log structure 30 feet deep by 225 feet long, which served the 3 ordinary meals of the day) in the exact center of town and on the newly opened State Road into the mountains. On 4/3/1804 he married (with minister Josiah Osborne officiating) Sarah Johnston, born 1784, daughter of Capt. William Johnston and Jane Davis at the Johnston's stone house on The Kearnes Farm. Richard and his wife sold lot #57 to Joseph Dixon, Sr. in 1805; but they continued to run The Long Ordinary until 1809 (it served as a hotel until it burned in 1861) when Richard opened a boot business in and moved his family into the abandoned log court house. Richard had begun to buy up land; and in 1814 he bought a farm out the State Road, 5 miles east of the Bowyer's Ferry crossing of New River; he moved his family there the following year and opened another inn for travelers. Before he left Greenbrier the Governor commissioned him a Justice of the Peace (which office he held until his death in 1834); he was also High Sheriff for the years 1829 & 1830. When the old State Road was scheduled for replacement by The James River-Kanawha Turnpike 1824, Richard built a new inn, The Old Stone House, and removed there circa 1827. One of a series of connecting stage stops across the mountains, this inn gained a good reputation and hosted many famous travelers (Matthew Fontain Maury stayed several months while he worked on his renowned book on ocean currents). Richard died 6/17/1834; Sarah died 11/6/1839; they are buried in the family graveyard behind the Old Stone House (a West Virginia historically marked property).
Our large family tree of which Richard F. Tyree is a part.
"Old Lewisburg Academy, " a May 31, 1883 newspaper article written by "M. W. Z." and published in the Greenbrier Independent. Transcribed from a difficult-to-read copy by Elinor Tyree.
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