Lewis Varney

Generations Past

There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors and no slave who has not had a king among his.
 ----Helen Keller

Lewis Varney and Elizabeth Farley

Click here for a picture of Lewis and Elizabeth and their family.

Lewis Varney

Lewis Varney was born on the 30 of September 1865, the last of the twelve children of Henry Varney and Nancy Yantas McNeely.  He was born on a farm in what is now Ragland, Mingo County, West Virginia.  He was married to  Elizabeth Farley, known as Betty, on 16 February 1883, in Logan County, West Virginia by Comfort Brewster. 

According to a story I received from the Charleston Daily Mail dated 18 Mar 1953, he carried the mail by horseback between Ragland and Logan.  The story says that he liked to recall that he made the 70-mile round trip three times a week and received $1.62 a day.

Family stories say that after the death of their parents, Lorenzo and Lewis inherited the home place.  There was a road that ran through the property and Lorenzo took one side of the road and Lewis the other.  Lewis was born, raised his family, and died there on 17 March 1953, at the age of 87.  He was buried with Betty in the Varney Cemetery in Ragland.

Elizabeth "Betty" Farley

Betty Farley was born on 5 September 1867, in Bias, Mingo County, West Virginia.  Her parents were Thomas Benton Farley and Nancy Jane Pinson.  Thomas Benton Farley was a Confederate veteran of the Civil War.  Betty died on on 18 January 1913, in Ragland.  She is buried with Lewis in the Varney Cemetery in Ragland.

Lewis and Betty had twelve children all born in Ragland, Lee Township, Mingo County, WV:

  1. John B. Varney was born 2 Mar 1884.  Family stories say that he was a physician as were three of his uncles on his mother's side.  He died on 5 Mar 1907, at the age of 23.  He never married.
  2. Sidney Varney was born 6 Oct 1886; died 13 Mar 1959. He married Margaret, last name unknown about 1925.  She died in 1929 and he then married Magdalena WRIGHT before 1935.  She was born 10 Apr 1910; died 22 Nov 1992. She was the daughter of Arthur Wright and Emma BARTON.
  3. Henry C. Varney was born 24 Nov 1887; died 11 Dec 1962, in Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio. He married Magdaline "Maggie" STANTON on 4 Nov 1914.  She was the daughter of a Confederate veteran, Berry Stanton and Mary Frances ELWICK. Maggie was born 22 Mar 1890, and died 21 Mar 1980.
  4. Edna Varney was born 10 Dec 1889; died 24 Apr 1968.  She married Wilburn "Wibb" ESTEP (1868-1949) before 1920. After his death, she married G.W. CISCO.
  5. Ida Varney was born 24 Jan 1892; she died 15 May 1948, in Switzer, WV.  She married William Hugh STEELE (b.1888)  on 9 Jun 1912. 
  6. Jane Varney was born 17 Oct 1894; died 20 May 1970.  She married William Hamilton FILLINGER (1888-1954) about 1913.
  7. Thomas Benton Varney, named for his maternal grandfather, was born on 31 Dec 1896; died on 9 Mar 1980 in Williamson, Mingo County, WV.  He married Verda HATFIELD (1895-1979) on 18 Aug 1916.  She was the daughter of Valentine Hatfield and America Hatfield.
  8. James Varney was born on 18 Apr 1899; died in 1975.  He married Mae DEMPSEY (b 1912).
  9. Lorenzo "Dow" Varney was born 20 Feb1902; died 18 Nov 1960, in Mingo County, WV.  He never married. 
  10. Wallace Varney was born 19 Feb 1905; died 27 Nov 1979.  He was a twin.  He married Goldie Mae SMITH (1907-1989) about 1924.
  11. Wayne B. Varney was born 19 Feb 1905.  He was the twin to Wallace.  He died 1 Dec 1905, at the age of 9 months and 11 days.
  12. Nancy Alice Varney was born 28 Sep 1907; she died 22 Jan 1934, 17 days after the birth of her only son, Carl Ray THOMPSON.  She was 26 years old.  She married Arthur Francis "Frank" Thompson (1897-1971) on 3 Aug 1923 in Birch, Mingo County, WV.  She left 6 small children.

Lewis and/or his family can be found on the following censuses:


For more information on the Varneys  please go to
the Thompson Directory.  You will find more information and many more names.

I am interested in sharing any family history information and in correcting any misinformation. Please send corrections or additions to my email box.