After finding out the house was “the James Trimble House” in the Historic District of Pratt, the first thing I did was to search for more information on about James Trimble. Okay, that’s a lie. The first thing I did was exclaim “Wait! There’s a historic district in Pratt !?!” Then, after I drove by slowly and gawked at all my neighbors’ houses that also live in the historic district, googling could commence. This is what I discovered:
James W. Trimble was born in January 1851 in Fayette County, Virginia. He died at the age of 67 on August 22, 1918 in Pratt, WV. His parents were Osman Trimble (1812 – 1893) and Jeanetta White (1829-1893). He married his first wife, Bettie Luella Huddleston, on July 2, 1873. Now Bettie Lou’s parents were Job Huddleston (1814-1893) and Elizabeth McCoy (1826-after 1911). She was born on July 1, 1856 in Kanawha County, Virginia. Don’t let the Virginia part throw you, as we were still a part of Virginia in 1851, WV became a state in 1863 (and no, I never won the Golden Horseshoe).
James and Bettie had 4 children, Henrietta (?-?), Betty (about 1875 ), Samuel (about 1877), and Mary (about 1879 – ?). Here is where it gets a little murky. Betty, born in 1875, died in infancy. Henrietta, is sometimes referred to as “Etta”. Eventually, Mary is referred to as “Mayme” in the census and marriage records and there is another, younger Mary Trimble. So, I’ll probably refer to her as Mayme from here. Bettie never lived in my house, as she died on April 18, 1881. James remarried, and had more children, but I’ll save that for another day.
James W. Trimble was listed as a mason, and a contractor on his death certificate, as well as on both the 1870 and 1880 census records. So what does all this mean? I’m not really sure. Is it a way to connect? Feel closer to the house and the people who created it…probably. I think it adds more to the mystery, and to the story. The house has a brick foundation and brick fireplace. Did James lay the brick for house? Build the mantle and foundation with his own hands? Did Bettie design the house before passing away? Or was it James, or his second wife that decided where the rooms should be? These things will probably never be known. Yet, it is fun to try. I can imagine James picking out the spot for the house, laying out each brick, to provide a home for his family. Now, it will be my home. Thanks, James.
*Post edited 3/28/2011 to incorporate new information obtained from the town archives