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This highway historical marker notes the nearby location of Revolutionary War soldier Dr. Cary Henry Hampton's gravesite. Hampton (1754-1840) was a native of Buckland, Virginia and served as an assistant surgeon for the American army during the war. He and his family settled in present-day West Virginia in the early 1800s. Originally they lived at the current day site of Marshall University's campus, before moving to the Docks Creek community. The small stream is named in his honor. Hampton was originally buried on his family farm, but his grave was relocated to Maple Hill Cemetery in 2008 to accommodate a highway construction project. This historical marker was installed near the cemetery in 2021 as part of a years-long effort by the Wayne County Genealogical & Historical Society to place signage for every Revolutionary War veteran in the county.

This highway historical marker stands at the base of the hill where Dr. Hampton's grave is located.

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Dr. Hampton's grave was relocated to Maple Hill Cemetery, an offshoot of Docks Creek Cemetery, in 2008.

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Cary Henry Hampton was born on November 16, 1754, in Buckland, Virginia, the son of Henry and Elizabeth Cary Hampton. He served as a surgeon’s mate with the American forces during the Revolutionary War, but little else is known of his military record. After the war, Hampton practiced medicine in Prince William County, Virginia. Hampton and his family moved to what is now Cabell County, West Virginia in the early 1800s and established a farm at the present-day site of Marshall University in Huntington. This property was part of the Savage Land Grant, a series of land parcels along the Ohio and Big Sandy Rivers that was originally distributed to veterans of the French and Indian War.

According to legend, a dispute arose between Hampton and Col. George Shortridge, the father of his daughter-in-law. Their children, William and Malinda Shortridge Hampton, had separated from each other over unspecified disagreements. False rumors spread that George Shortridge planned to harm Cary Hampton. Shortridge, hoping to convince Hampton otherwise, made a trip to his house. When Hampton saw Shortridge approaching, he feared for his life and shot Shortridge, killing him. Not long afterwards, Hampton sold his land in Cabell County and moved to present-day Wayne County.

Hampton and his family settled on an 800-acre parcel of land inherited from his father at the mouth of a winding creek. This small stream, a tributary of the Big Sandy River, was later named Docks Creek in honor of Hampton and his son, Anthony G. Hampton, both of whom were doctors. Cary Hampton died here on August 7, 1840 and was buried on the property in the Hampton Family Cemetery. In 2008, the West Virginia Department of Highways exhumed all the graves and relocated them to the nearby Maple Hill Cemetery. Descendants of the Hampton family erected a modern tombstone for Cary Hampton’s new gravesite.

On June 12, 2021, the Wayne County Genealogical & Historical Society dedicated a highway historical marker commemorating Hampton and noting the presence of his grave. The marker was installed at the intersection of Docks Creek Road and Docks Creek Cemetery Road, on the base of the hill where the cemetery is located. 

Dedication and Unveiling: Dr. Cary Henry Hampton Revolutionary War Soldier Marker. Wayne County Genealogical & Historical Society. June 12, 2021.

Osburn, Howard, Wylma Skean, and Johnny Smith. “Dr. Cary Henry Hampton, Rev. War Soldier.” Wayne County Genealogical & Historical Society. Accessed June 13, 2021.

“Revolutionary War veteran to be honored.” Wayne County News. June 9, 2021. Accessed June 13, 2021. 

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Steven Cody Straley