Levi Nutter (1796-1851), a son of Matthew Nutter and Elizabeth Goodwin Nutter of Harrison County, W.Va., married Magdalene Webb (1794-1873), a daughter of John and Elizabeth Harris Webb. The couple first settled on Addis Run in Ritchie County but were dispossessed when their land claim proved invalid. They moved to Nutter Farm in Ritchie County where Levi and his family prospered. His farm home was described by county historian Minnie Kendall Lowther as a "mansion." Levi and Magdalene had a large family: 1) Elizabeth Ann (Mrs. Sylvester D. Webb); 2) Julia (Mrs. Boles Rogers); 3) John Nutter (1818-1865); 4) Thomas (1822-1852); 5) Matthew (1824-ca. 1862); 6) William (1826-1855); 7) Jonas (1828-living in 1854); 8) Levi Jr. (1830-?); 9) Affa J. (1832-?); 10) Magdalene (1835-?); 11) Benjamin 1837-?). Four of the sons of Levi and Magdalene Nutter were apparently murdered one-by-one. Thomas Nutter was shot and killed by a deputy sheriff named Lowther. Nutter descendant and family historian the late Marion Stewart apparently spoke to several descendants of the Nutter family to collect information about the murders. "They all agree to the fact he was shot and killed by the deputy. It is said he was shot in the back after he had been bound or handcuffed." The approximate date for the killing was December 1852. At first glance it may seem the Nutters were doing something we as their descendants would be ashamed of if the deputy sheriff participated in one of the murders, but keep reading. Stewart wrote, "Matthew Nutter was murdered. Matthew's death remains a mystery, but he too died a violent death." Court record in Ritchie County show administration of the estate of Matthew Nutter was underway by May 31, 1862, so he was killed before that date. Stewart wrote of the murder of William Nutter: "Wiliam Nutter, another brother, met with tragic death by being struck upon the head with a stone thrown by Lew Reese while he (William) was riding a horse on Myers Fork. He lay beside the road until he was able to remount, and then he rode over the hill to the home of his widowed sister-in-law, Deborah Ellen Nutter, the widow of Thomas. She nursed William until his death." The estate of William Nutter was under administration in 1855 in Ritchie County. In an unpublished manuscript in the Ritchie County Public Library, page 59 of the Nutter family genealogy, under the entry for Jonas Nutter, says: "Tone Nutter was slain by being hit on the head with a sled standard in the darkness of night, a blow meant for old Tom Hobbs." No information is given on who Tom Hobbs was or why it was OK to kill Hobbs! (I didn't find an estate administration for Jonas Nutter. The last deed signed by him seems to have been in 1854. Levi Nutter made his will in 1850 and Jonas was living then.) In 1850 the census showed William and Jonas still lived at home. Thomas and Matthew were already married with families of their own. In 1860 the census found Matthew still living. Thomas, Jonas and William are missing in the 1860 census -- apparently murdered by that date. John Nutter, who was not among the murder victims, apparently lost his life as a soldier in the Civil War. His gravestone in the Nutter cemetery is now only partially legible, but it once read: "John Nutter, died Feb. 14, 1865, aged 46 years, 4 months, 1 day" Part of the verse inscribed is gone, but still visible is "True to God and Country." County historian Minnie Kendall Lowther apparently visited the grave and recorded the rest of the verse, now missing, "Go home, dear friends, dry up your tears. I must lie here till Christ appears." She noted that John Nutter lost his life while serving in the Union Army in the Civil War. During the F.D.R. presidential adminstration WPA workers traveled the countryside recording information about cemeteries and people, especially soldiers, buried there. For this cemetery, notations were made that Thomas Nutter and Matthew Nutter were "G.A.R." That ususally means they were Union Army veterans of the Civil War. But since they didn't survive the war, the notation G.A.R. in connection with their names means they were due all the respect of someone who had fought for the North in the Civil War. I am a news reporter for The Pennsboro News as well as a direct descendant of Levi Nutter through Elizabeth (Mrs. Sylvester D. Webb). Three years ago I wrote a story about Nutter Farm and the murders of the Nutter family. I asked if any other relatives had any information on the murders and why they took place. Several of the killings were before the Civil War so it wasn't OK to kill your neighbor as a general rule. But if anyone was brought to justice for their deaths, no mention was made of it in county or family histories. No one ever contacted me with an explanation for the murders. Until last week. I have been in touch with a black historian in Washington County, Ohio, who specializes in documenting the Underground Railroad. He tells me that on the Ohio side of the river it was remembered and handed down in oral history that Nutter Farm in Ritchie county was a station of the Underground Railroad. Just last week I wrote a (true) story for our newspaper about another station of the Underground Railroad in Ritchie County. John Wass, the man who operated that station, was murdered by a neighbor July 12, 1863. It was very, very dangerous to help slaves escape to freedom. West Virginia hadn't been created yet. Although there were relatively few slaves in western Virginia, this was a slave state until our separate statehood June 20, 1863. Anyone who operated a station on the U.R.R. was breaking U.S. law of the day and at the very least risked imprisonment. It seems death was a likely consequence of their actions at the time. I don't know how other descendants of the Nutter family will feel, but I'm proud they were so brave. They had to know the risk to themselves. Ever since I posted my previous messages, I've been getting e-mails, so I wanted to post it here for all to read and comment on.