By Bob Weaver September 2023
The gunfire of muskets from yore were fired along the lower West Fork of the Little Kanawha on September 10, honoring a early Calhoun citizen-soldier.
A memorial service and grave marker dedication for Calhoun Revolutionary War Patriot Dr. George Coleman Connolly (1761-1838)was held at the Wright Cemetery near Cremo.
Generations of the Connolly (Conley) family have graced the river valley since the early 1800s.
The dedication was conducted by the Captain James Neal Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution in Parkersburg, the event organized by Dan Thomas.
The program consisted of prayers, pledge of allegiance, biography of Patriot Connolly, followed by a musket volley of rounds.
The historic Wright Cemetery holds a number of Civil War veterans, and veterans of wars since.
George Coleman Connolly was born in Virginia in 1761. The name Connolly has been spelled Conley and Conoly on various documents. In 1789, in Richmond, Henrico, VA, he married Sarah "Sallie" Morris. They had the following children: William Morris, Mary Ann "Polly", Molly, Sally, Fair Sabra, Patrick, George, Aisley, John, Mary Margaret, Thomas, Nancy and unknown named daugher.
George was a physician and educator by profession. He was among the first settlers in Calhoun, County, West Virginia and in 1835, he began teaching at a newly erected school on West Fork of the Little Kanawaha River.
In 1833, George owned 140 acres of land on the West Fork what would become Calhoun County. In 1834 he applied for a pension as a 3 year veteran of the Revolutionary War and was approved.
While serving, he was captured by the British and spent several months in a hospital due to wounds received to his arm and leg. He also served as Militia Captain for about ten years in Richmond.
A well-known physician Dr. Commodore Connolly, who practiced in the long-gone Village of Richardson after the Civil War, is a descendant, among the many Conleys and Connollys who have graced Calhoun County and gone into the bigger world.