Earliest Settlers of Montgomery County

Asa Hall came from New York to the Roanoke Valley about 1790. He and his brother acquired land on the North Fork of the Roanoke River. The 1831 declaration he made applying for a pension for services in the Revolutionary War illustrates the hard life he facing after moving to Montgomery County. Though his company participated in taking Burgoyne during the war, he had received nothing from the government and had no income except what he derived from his own labor on a poor bit of land amid the steep mountains. The schedule of his meager personal estate was one mare and colt, three cows and two calves, seven head of sheep, and seven head of hogs. (Kegley’s Virginia Frontier: The Beginning of the Southwest, The Roanoke of Colonial Days, by F.B. Kegley)

The Montgomery Museum and Lewis Miller Regional Art Center sponsors a local certificate program that identifies and celebrates the names and stories of Montgomery County, Virginia’s earliest settlers like Asa Hall. These ancestors played a part in the history, culture and growth of our county and thus deserve to be recognized with their names and deeds preserved for the knowledge and understanding of their future descendants.

The program has two levels. Anyone who is a direct descendant of an individual who settled in the area now encompassed by Montgomery County before 1811 is eligible to become a member at the “Intrepid Pioneer” level. Anyone who is a direct descendant of an individual who settled in the area now encompassed by Montgomery County between 1811 and January 1, 1850 is eligible to become a member at the “Settler & Community Builder” level. Application packets are available at the Montgomery Museum and online.
This fall, the museum will be holding a ceremony to award certificates to all of those who have submitted successful applications. The applicant’s name and the name of their ancestor will also be mounted on a plaque that will be hung in the research library of the museum.

A copy of each application and the documentation produced to verify the line of descent will be kept at the museum. If an ancestor has already been accepted into the Earliest Settler program, future applicants will only have to prove descent up to the verified information.

Some of the Earliest Settlers approved to date include: Heinrich Rupe, Peter Clines, Emerich Altizer, Henry Linkous, Jacob Shell, David Wade, William Wade, John Phillip Harless II, Henry D. Price, Abraham Honaker and Asa Hall.