Kathleen Husk Riddle has been returned
to the deep woods of the Husk Ridge

By Bob Weaver

There are seven known cemeteries on the Husk Ridge, a place where once had about 50 families on or in nearby hollows, now an unpopulated ridge between the faded villages of Hur and Richardson.

A few folks gathered at one of the Husk cemeteries to return the remains of Kathleen Husk Riddle back to the sod from which she sprung, born in 1933 in a deep hollow not far away.

The same bunch gathered in 2014 to bury her only child, Jackie Lethcoe.

Kathleen walked a long distance to one room schools or to catch Kelsey Dawson's school bus, before boarding in Grantsville to attend Calhoun County High School.


Her parents, Homer and Minnie Husk Husk, built a large, stately two story farm house at the head of Board Fork, before they moved to Cleveland. The ghostly remains of the house and farm buildings still stand.

A small group assembled on the Husk Ridge to return Kathleen to the earth (L to R) Dennis Starcher, Kenneth Starcher, "Tink" Starcher, Greta Sturm Starcher, Helma Starcher, Kevin Carpenter, Jr., Kevin Carpenter, Logan Carpenter and Patrick Carpenter

A few quiet words were spoken as her ashes were returned to the earth.

"Kathleen had roots in the clay, a place where a few of us still hold cautiously, like some clutch to diamonds and pearls.

"Some memories are pleasant and powerful reminders of a kinder and less complicated time, though much more laborious, when some of us we thrust by God between the craggy hollows and narrow ridge rows."

"Most came for cheap land to build a house, birth a family and rise up to a prideful calling - the toil of the soil, breathing into it life and sustenance."

"They were forced to abide with little wealth, but were given the gracious dilemma of having to deal with each other in our tiny communities."

"Some came to avoid persecution, a desire to be left alone in the deep and craggy woods, as opposed to moving westward for flatland."

"Kathleen learned they had to take care of each other through birth, hard winters, sparse crops, sickness and death."

"There was then and is yet today, a spiritual connection with the earth, the sky and all of creation, the animals, growing things, the woods and things of the sod."

"A seldom interrupted peace, safe and free."

"Full of spirit, character and flaw, our families came. Many fell down and failed, but most were to rise up again and again, their memory a gift to us."

"We, like Kathleen, are survivors of this place."


Kathleen Husk Riddle (1933-2017) was the daughter of Homer and Minnie Husk, and had lived in Cleveland to return to Calhoun to live.

Homer (1904-1971) and Minnie Husk
Husk (1912-1996) were married in 1930

John Franklin (1875-1948) and Nancy Jane
Slider Husk (1889-1961) were married in 1897

Samuel (1856-1923) and Susannah Hess Husk (1857-1925) were married in 1874, Samuel born in Wetzel WV and Susannah born in Upshur WV

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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