Signs honor family

Published 9:17 am Monday, January 16, 2012

It was almost a year ago when the signs were posted to designate the streams that flow through Pike County communities with names that define them – Shellhorn, Oak Bowery, Mount Moriah, Briar Hill and Harmony.

But not all were recognized.

“I knew that McQuagge Mill Creek was named in recognition of the Sam McQuagge family that lived in the area and was such a part of the community,” said Pike County Commission Oren Fannin, who helped coordinate the posting of sings.

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Fannin said he wanted to recognize the McQuagge family descendants for the contributions of their ancestors to the community and for the continuing contributions of the family.

“Since the mill creek was named in honor of the McQuagge ancestors, I thought it would be a good idea to present each of Sam McQuagge’s granddaughters a ‘McQuagge Mill Creek’ sign that could be posted on their personal property,” he said.

Mary Mitchell and Myrtle Weldon and their sister-in-law, Barbara McQuagge, received the signs this week. The blue signs cannot be posted on a public roadway but can be placed on private drives or personal property.

Mitchell said the signs mean a lot to her and her family because they recognize the contributions that Sam McQuagge made to his community.

“My granddad died before I was born but I’ve heard many stories about him,” she said. “He was a carpenter and built furniture for his home and for others, too. He was an outstanding craftsman and my dad, Joseph McQuagge, inherited his talent. He made different kinds of things from wood, baskets, ax handles and fish traps from white oak.”

Mitchell said Sam McQuagge also ran a gristmill and ground corn for his family and others in the community.

The man who ran a gristmill was an important person in the community and many people depended on him to keep their families fed.

“We are proud of the role that our granddad played in the community and appreciate this recognition for our family,” Mitchell said. “All the men in our family served in the military and were very patriotic people. They would be very honored to be recognized by the community for their contributions.”