The Mullens Advocate  February 23, 2006 article submitted by Dewey Houck

Beartown Residents Care for their Treasured Two Room School House

Carmen and Pete Bailey in front of Beartown School Beartown, West Virginia is located on a mountaintop near where Wyoming County meets Mercer and McDowell, has kept its two room schoolhouse and want to assure it is around for generations to come and enjoy.   Although classes haven’t been taught in the schoolhouse for many years the residents of this proud community still use the facility for a gathering place.  On cold winter evenings Pete Bailey goes early to fire up the two Burnside stoves that have provided heat for the old schoolhouse for almost a century.   At one time four such schools served this section of Wyoming County.  Pete attended the upper Pinnacle Creek school that was about five miles down the mountain.  There was still another school further on down Pinnacle Creek and one closer to Herndon.  At one time these schools were placed all over the county so children could walk to school.  The residents hope to paint the school and do repairs in the coming year.  Anyone desiring to contribute toward paint or building materials may call Carmen at 304 294 7168.  They would also like to replace the bell that once alerted families that it was time to start the walk to school.  Anyone that would like to contribute a bell or contribute toward the cost of a bell can call Carmen.


Beartown School 2006

July 27, 2011 Note added by Patricia Smith RAIL webmaster: 

Carmen Earsel Bailey September 29, 1918 - May 8, 2008 

Born and raised at Beartown Carmen attended this 2 room school house and was a founding member of the Beartown Quilting Club (whose mission was to raise money) for the care and maintenance of the building until her death.  Carmen is a descendent of Richard Bailey, who was a founding father of the Bluefield and southern WV area.  She was an integral member of the community and would generously share her vast  knowledge of the history of the area. Pete Bailey lives near the Beartown school house and I'm told was there many times to assist Carmen do to any type of work that needed to be done.

Carmen expressed to many of us during her final days a strong desire for someone to step up and continue her work with the Beartown school house. She wanted to see it's existance preserved for future generations.

Obituary Published in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph from 5/10/2008 - 5/11/2008.
MATOAKA — Carmen E. Bailey, 89, of Route 1, Matoaka, died Thursday, May 8, 2008 at her home. Born September 29, 1918 in Wyoming County, she was the daughter of the late Oscar Bailey and Verlie Milam Bailey Kelly.Mrs. Bailey was a member of Beartown Memorial Church for 74 years. Her love of sewing and quilting led to the formation of the Beartown Quilting Club. She was instrumental in developing the Beartown Community Center and enjoyed spending time with her friends at the community socials. She was an avid gardener in her spare time and was a great source of information about the history of the Beartown area.In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her stepfather, Ivan P. Kelly; her husband, Clayton Bailey in 1990; one daughter, Dixie Lee in 1949; two brothers, Basil Bailey and Jimmy Bailey; and one sister, Mildred Smith.Survivors include one son, Dennis K. Bailey and his wife Sandra of Route 1, Matoaka; two grandsons, Dennis R. Bailey and his wife Carrie of Princeton and Scott D. Bailey and his wife Barbara of Route 1, Matoaka; one great-granddaughter, Rhonda Nicole Bailey; four sisters, Peggy Adams of Route 1, Matoaka, Bonnie McKinney of Route 1, Matoaka, Lilly Cameron and her husband Ron of North Carolina and Genalee Arnold and her husband Bill of Pineville; one brother, Eugene Bailey and his wife Celia of Ocean City, Md.; two sisters-in-law, Christine Bailey of Princeton and Mary Lou Bailey of Glen Burnie, Md.; special caretakers, Peggy Adams, Tracey, Lynn and Cookie; and numerous loving nieces and nephews;Funeral services will be conducted at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, May 11, 2008 at the Beartown Memorial Church with her grandson and pastor, Scott Bailey and the Rev. Darrell Church officiating. Interment will follow at the Bailey Family Cemetery at Beartown. Friends and family will serve as pallbearers.Friends and family are invited to attend a Mother's Day Celebration of her life at the Beartown Community Center following the service.Memorial contributions may be made to the Beartown Community Center, c/o Tina Mitchem or Barbara Bailey, Route 1, Matoaka, WV 24736.Friends may call today from 6-8 p.m. at the Bailey-Kirk Funeral Home in Princeton and one hour prior to service at the church. Online condolences may be sent to the family at   

new contact information:

Beartown Community Association
Rt 1, Box 162, Matoaka, WV 24736

Phone: 304 294-5177 (Ivan Kelly Jr.)

email: (Jim Smith)

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March 18, 2011

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