Union General John Hunt Oley’s final resting place is at Spring Hill Cemetery in Huntington, WV. He is one of two Civil War generals buried at Spring Hill, along with over 300 other Civil War soldiers. Oley had many ties to the City of Huntington, the most prominent being his involvement with the local school system.
Often referred to as the “father of public education,” Oley
helped establish the school system in Huntington, while working as the city’s
recorder and treasurer. Two schools in the city were named after him and
remained in service until 1977.
Prior to settling in Huntington, Oley first served in the Civil
War as a Private in the 7th New York State Militia. In 1861, Major Oley
organized the 8th Regiment of the Virginia Infantry out of Charleston and led
his Union troops in the Battle of Droop Mountain. In 1865, Oley was appointed
Brevet Brigadier General for his services in West Virginia. Although
originally from New York, Oley remained in West Virginia after the Civil War.
He moved to Huntington in 1871 and was employed as an agent for Collis P.
Huntington's Central Land Company. He also participated in the founding of
Huntington's Trinity Episcopal Church.
After Oley’s death at the Emmons Home in Huntington, he was
buried at the Spring Hill Cemetery in Huntington where he remains today.