West Virginia State Site


Brooke County West Virginia

Biographies



John Brothers,
Son of John, deceased, and Ruth (Sprague) Brothers, was born in Brook county, West Virginia, October 11, 1822. He is a cooper and farmer, and settled in Gallipolis (OH) in 1847. June 11, 1844, he was united in marriage with Susan, daughter of Jacob and Nancy (Wastel) Groves, both deceased. She was born in Ohio county, West Virginia, June 9, 1827. They were parents of seven children: Wheeler, born July 23, 1845, lives in Gallia county; Martina, September 15, 1847, resides in Gallia county; Roman and Claudius (twins), December 17, 1849 - Roman died January 24, 1859, Claudius died September 12, 1878; Isabelle, November 28, 1857, at home; Edward, August 3, 1859, resides in Gallia county. He served three years in the 7th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and fought in many hard battles and met with many narrow escapes. He had his clothes riddles with bullets and one ball passed through his hair, carrying the most of it away. He was with Sherman's raid and returned home with his health impaired. He now suffers with rheumatism contracted in the service. When he came to this place he bought forty acres of land and by hard labor, economy and good management soon reached two hundred acres. He had no team to help him and had to carry his rails and do his milling on his back. He would chop and grub while his good wife would gather up the brush and burn it, and at night his wife would lay a quilt on the ground to rest, and often they had to do without bread rather than go in debt for corn. They lived on potatoes; and now they have plenty of this word's goods to live comfortably the rest of their days. He spent twenty-three days as nurse amid the yellow fever in 1878. He lost his son, and wife and son-in-law. Postoffice address, Gallipolis, Gallia county, Ohio. [SOURCE: History of Gallia County: Containing A Condensed History of the County; Biographical Sketches; General Statistics, Miscellaneous Matters, &c; James P. Averill; Hardesty & CO., Publishers, Chicago and Toledo. 1882.]


Captain Oliver Brown,
who resided many years in this county, was a native of Lexington, Massachusetts. His ancestors were among the first settlers of that State. He was an eye witness of the "Boston Tea Party," and a participant in the battle of Lexington. He commanded the party of volunteers who converted the leaden statue of King George into bullets for the American army. He served throughout the war, and in 1790, moved west and settled in Wellsburg, then Charlestown, where he died in 1846, aged ninety-three years. Source: History of West Virginia by Virgil A. Lewis 1889, Page 582  Transcribed by: Debbie Oberst

Captain Van Buskirk,
Killed in the summer of 1792, the last contest between the Indians on the upper Ohio and a party of Virginians organized for that purpose took place. The settlements in that part of the Panhandle now comprised in the counties of Brooke and Hancock had suffered greatly from savage marauders. A party of men organized under the leadership of Captain Lawson Van Buskirk—a man well adapted to lead such an expedition. He was able and courageous, and more than any other in the company had reason to desire revenge—his wife having been murdered by the savages less than a year before. A band of savages, about thirty in number, on no mission of mercy, were on the Virginia shore, and it was quite certain that, retreating, they would attempt to cross the Ohio at a point not far below the present site of Steubenville. Captain Van Buskirk with his forty brave frontiersmen crossed the river and marched cautiously in search of the Indian trail. After following it some distance it was lost, but as the party neared the river again near the site of an old Mingo town, near where they had crossed the stream, they discovered the Indians concealed in a dense thicket of pawpaw bushes. Captain Van Buskirk fell pierced by thirteen bullets. The contest lasted more than an hour, but the Indians were defeated. Several of their number were killed. The Virginians lost only their brave captain. Source: History of West Virginia by Virgil A. Lewis 1889, Page 580  Transcribed by: Debbie Oberst

Alexander Campbell,
This noted man was born in Ireland, September 12, 1786. His maternal ancestors were French Huguenots, and fled from their native country upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV. in 1685. He completed his studies at Glasgow University, and in 1808, came to America and joined his father, who was laboring as a Minister of the Gospel in Washington county, Pennsylvania. In 1811, he married Margaret Brown. Shortly after his marriage he removed to what is now Bethany, Brooke county. Here in his own house he opened a school which was designed to prepare young men for the ministry. It was called Buffalo Academy, and resulted in the founding of Bethany College. He died in 1866. Samuel M. Schmucker says of him : "Alexander Campbell, the chief founder of this denomination—the Disciples of Christ—was, without question, one of the ablest polemics and theologians in this country. He spent a long and active life in preaching the doctrines he believed and establishing churches and institutions which are intended to diffuse education and theological knowledge." Two thousand churches, with one hundred thousand members in our own country and many followers in other lands, attest his success. Source: History of West Virginia by Virgil A. Lewis 1889, Page 582 + 583  Transcribed by: Debbie Oberst

Alexander Campbell, theologian, author, was born Sept. 12, 1788, in Ireland. He was a baptist clergyman of West Virginia; and founder of the sect of Campbellites, or Disciples of Christ. He established Bethany college of Virginia in 1841; and was its first president. His writings, mainly controversial, are nearly sixty in number, among them being Christian Baptism; Infidelity Refuted by Infidels; Essay on Life and Death; Popular Lectures and Addresses; Christianity as it Was; Familiar Lectures on the Pentateuch; and Six Letters to a Sceptic. He died March 4, 1866, in Bethany, W.Va. [Herringshaws National Library of American Biography: Contains Thirty-five Thousand Biographies of the Acknowledged Leaders of Life and Thought of the United States, by William Herringshaw, 1909 Transcribed by AFOFG]

John Decker,
was the last white man killed by an Indian in Brooke county. He lived in this county, but only a short distance from West Liberty. As he was riding to Holliday's Cove along the ridge on the east side of Scott's run he discovered Indians in pursuit. They fired and a ball broke his horse's leg. He then attempted to escape on foot, but was overtaken and killed. Thomas Wiggins, who lived near, alarmed by the firing, seized his rifle and hastened to the spot whence the sound proceeded. He found only the lifeless body of Decker. Source: History of West Virginia by Virgil A. Lewis 1889, Page 581  Transcribed by: Debbie Oberst

Joseph Delille,
A resident of Springfield township, was a soldier in the late civil conflict he enlisted in 1862 in the 7th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and serving till the close of the war, received an honorable discharge.  His brother John enlisted in the 4th Virginia Volunteer Infantry, in 1861.  He was given the office of second lieutenant, and in 1863 was promoted to captain and transferred and put in command of a battery of artillery.  Mr. Delille is a son of Antwine and Sarah (Snyder) Delille, and was borne in Brooke county, West Virginia, February 20, 1827, settling in this county in 1838.  His wife, Isabella, daughter of George and Helen (Johnston) Martin, was born in Gallia county, Ohio, May 28, 1823.  They were married in this county, March 5, 1845, and have had nine children:  Andrew, born May 17, 1846, resides in this county; Sarah L., February 10, 1848, resides at home; James L., January 31, 1850, died February 8, 1850; Helen (Phillips), February 3, 1851, lives in Vinton county, Ohio; George W., June 19, 1853, died October 27, 1854; George W., October 17, 1855, died October 24, 1873; Margaret E., October 31, 1857, resides at home; James J., October 2, 1860, died May 7, 1872; Mary B., September 24, 1863, resides at home.  Business of Mr. Delille is farming.  Address, Evergreen post office, Gallia county, Ohio.
[SOURCE: History of Gallia County: Containing A Condensed History of the County; Biographical Sketches; General Statistics, Miscellaneous Matters, &c; James P. Averill; Hardesty & CO., Publishers, Chicago and Toledo. 1882.]

Patrick M.Gass -- Journal writer of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Patrick Gass,
author of Gass' Journal of the Lewis and Clarke Expedition to the Pacific, was long a resident of this county. He was born near the present site of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, June 12, 1771. Soon after the family removed to Maryland, but soon returned to Pennsylvania, and settled near where Washington, in that State, now stands. In 1792, Patrick served as a soldier on the frontier, and after the close of the hostilities on the upper Ohio, accompanied the command of General Wilkinson in the descent of that river. In 1802, he was with the detachment of Captain Bissell on the Tennessee river, and the next year went with the same to Kaskaskia, Illinois. Here he enlisted as a member of the Lewis and Clarke Expedition, then fitting out at St. Louis for the exploration of the Pacific Coast. The story of his adventures, together with that of his companions, is told in his "Journal" printed at Philadelphia in 1812. After the return of the expedition, he lingered for a few months at Wellsburg, then again went west. When the War of 1812 came on, he was at Nashville, Tennessee, and enlisting in the command of General Gaines, served throughout the struggle, participating in the battles of Chippewa, Lundy's Lane and Fort Erie. In 1831, he wedded a daughter of John Hamilton, of Brooke county, and reared a family of seven children. He died April 2, 1870, at the advanced age of nearly ninety-nine years. He was the last survivor of the Lewis and Clarke Expedition. Source: History of West Virginia by Virgil A. Lewis 1889, Page 583 + 584 Transcribed by: Debbie Oberst

Hon. James, Morrow Jr.
Few citizens of the State have made greater impress upon the community in which Providence placed them than the subject of this brief sketch. He was born in Brooke County, Virginia, May 26, 1837. His boyhood was passed upon his father's farm, and in the neighborhood schools. Ohio and Pennsylvania both contributed to a classic education of later years; he studied law as opportunity occurred for several years, and in 1862 was admitted to the Bar of Illinois. In 1865 he began practice in Fairmount, West Virginia. Marion county electors chose him to represent their interests in the Legislature in 1871, and again in 1881. In the House he was popular and influential in shaping the legislation of those years, serving on the important Committee of the Judiciary. He was one of the Special Court in the contest case of Harrison against Lewis for Judge of the Second Circuit, and voiced the opinion of the majority of the Court; and was counsel for Auditor Bennett and Treasurer Burdett in their attempted impeachment before the West Virginia Senate in 1875-6. Urbane in manners, strict in integrity, Democratic, but conservative, in politics, and properly ambitious for exalted responsibilities, however difficult or laborious, yet modest in urging his own preferment, he was peculiarly sensitive of unfair criticism and neglect. At the State Convention of his party at Huntington, in 1888, he was a formidable candidate for the gubernatorial nomination. He held many appointments from the Governor upon State Boards and was elected to numerous county positions of trust. After severe mental afflictions, November 19, 1888, he passed into the Great Beyond. He was one of the most erudite lawyers the State of West Virginia has produced. [Bench and Bar of West Virginia by George Wesley Atkinson, 1919 - Transcribed by AFOFG]

Judge Thayer Melvin,
There have been, and are yet, natural lawyers and jurists as there are natural musicians and natural artists. Judge Melvin was a natural born jurist. He was born at Fairview, Hancock County, Virginia, in 1837, and received a fair English education in the common and high schools of his native and adjoining counties to begin with, and later by study and careful reading of good books he became a really accomplished scholar and litterateur, and a man of broad and general knowledge.
At the age of seventeen years he began the systematic study of the law in his home town, which was the seat of justice of the county at that time, and was furnished books and was counseled by the lawyers of the town. He had a strong, clear mind, and was remarkably industrious. Later he went to New Lisbon, Ohio, where he remained for something like a year, and was tutored by a friend who took a special interest in his advancement, so that in 1853, at the age of eighteen, he passed the required examination, and was admitted to the Bar of Hancock County. During his minority, in 1855, he was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Hancock County. Our present statute prohibits one from receiving license as an attorney at law until he is twenty-one years of age, and it is also mandatory that no man is eligible to hold an office of any kind until he is full twenty-one. We believe these prohibitions existed at that time. If they did it is apparent that no one paid any attention to them, and consequently Judge Melvin was allowed to begin, what turned out to be, a distinguished professional career at least three years ahead of time. Any way "he made good," but it could not be "put over" in these times. In 1856 and in 1860 he was elected and re-elected to the same office, notwithstanding the fact that in 1857 he had moved his residence to Wheeling, Ohio County, where he had associated himself in the practice of the law with Joseph H. Pendleton, a prominent lawyer of that period.
The Civil War came on about this time and young Melvin promptly volunteered to defend the flag as a private soldier in Company F, 1st Regiment, West Virginia Volunteer Infantry. In a very short time he was commissioned an Assistant Adjutant-General of Volunteers, and served in that capacity until the close of the war, when he was honorably discharged. He located in Wellsburg, Brooke County, and resumed the practice of his profession. In 1866 he was again elected Prosecuting Attorney of Hancock County. He was Attorney-General of West Virginia from January 1, 1867, to July 1, 1869, when he resigned to accept the office of Circuit Judge of the First Judicial District of the State, to which he had been appointed by the Governor to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Judge E. H. Caldwell. This was the beginning of the career of one of the ablest and most upright Judges the State of West Virginia has ever produced. Tiring of the "wool sack," however, he resigned from the Bench after serving ably for years, in November, 1881, and returned to the practice in the City of Wheeling until the death of Judge Joseph R. Paull, when he was appointed by Governor Atkinson to fill the unexpired term of the deceased Judge. When his term expired he was elected for another term of eight years without opposition, and died from apoplexy before the term expired. He was a Whig prior to the Civil War, but after the "cruel war was over " he became a Republican, and remained such until his death, but was never a strenuous partisan. In the discharge of his judicial duties he knew no party or creed. He sought only to be just and fair, and rarely, if ever, failed in deciding right. It was a rare occurrence for one of his decisions to be reversed by the Appellate Court. Furthermore he was one of the most courteous, urbane of men, and was at all times absolutely honest and sincere. He died in the City of Wheeling where he had spent the greater part of a long and useful life, mourned by all the people who admired his manly and noble character. He never married. ["Bench and bar of West Virginia" edited by George Wesley Atkinson, 1919 Transcribed by AFOFG]

John Park,
Was born in Brook county, West Virginia, September 14, 1830. His parents were William and June (Adams) Park, who came to this county in 1880. His father was born August 16, 1808, and died September 19, 1864; and his mother February 14, 1811, and died July 24, 1882. They were married November 8, 1829, in Brook county, West Virginia, and had the following children: John, the subject of this sketch; Robert A., born September 23, 1832; Nancy M., April 11, 1835, resides in Meigs county, Ohio; William, April 27, 1838, resides in Marshall county, West Virginia; A. J., April 7, 1840, resides in Meigs county; Martin V. B., August 27, 1842, resides at home; T. B., January 1, 1845, resides in Portland, Meigs county; Jane I., May 22, 1848, married to Dr. J. G. Hamilton, and resides in Duvall county, Florida. The paternal grandparents of Mr. John Park were Robert and Margaret (Erwin) Park. Robert was born in Ireland. The maternal grandparents were William and Nancy (Cox) Adams, and they were born in England and Virginia, respectively. John Park's mother moved with four of her children from Virginia to Kentucky in 1873, and from there to Cheshire in 1880. The postoffice address of Mr. Park is Cheshire, Gallia county, Ohio. [SOURCE: History of Gallia County: Containing A Condensed History of the County; Biographical Sketches; General Statistics, Miscellaneous Matters, &c; James P. Averill; Hardesty & CO., Publishers, Chicago and Toledo. 1882.]

Judge Daniel Polsley,
Daniel Polsley, Congressman, Judge, Lieutenant-Governor, was born at Palatine, Marion County, Virginia, November 3, 1803. His father was of German descent, and his mother a sister of the grandfather of Judge Alpheus F. Haymond, formerly a Judge of the Supreme Court of West Virginia. His early education was obtained while assisting in clearing and improving the farm. He studied law, and attended the lectures of Judge Tucker, in Winchester, Virginia. After his father's death, he removed to Wellsburg, in Brooke County, and soon gained an enviable reputation at the Bar. In 1827, he wedded Eliza V. Brown, niece of the celebrated Philip Doddridge, and granddaughter of Captain Oliver Brown, an officer in the Revolutionary War. In connection with his profession, in 1833, he edited and published the "Western Transcript," a Whig paper. This he continued until 1845, when he retired from law practice, sold out his printing office, and moved to a 1,200-acre farm on the Ohio river, opposite Racine, Ohio, engaging in agriculture, as more congenial to his unpretentious nature. In the turbulent days of 1861, he was not allowed to longer remain in quiet life, and was elected a member from Mason County of the Wheeling Convention to Restore the State Government. Upon its restoration, he was made Lieutenant-Governor. In 1862, he was chosen Judge of the Seventh Circuit of Virginia, and over the same counties in West Virginia afterwards, ably presiding until 1866, when he was elected to the Fortieth Congress from the Third District. At the end of his term, he located at Point Pleasant, where he died October 14, 1877. Unostentatious, yet able, honest, and active, he was a force in the early days of our Statehood. ["Bench and Bar of West Virginia" by George Wesley Atkinson, 1919 - Transcribed by AFOFG]

David F.Stuart M.D.,
A noble position, a splendid servant of the public to his profession, a capable business man and esteemed wherever known for his professional and private character, David Finney Stuart was for forty years a resident of the city of Houston, with which community the best portion of his life was identified. He died at his home in that city on September 8, 1909, being seventy-six years of age. He had lived in Texas for more than half a century, and during the war was a surgeon in the Confederate army. Houston and Texas had no more loyal citizen than the late Dr. Stuart. He was in the best sense of the word a philanthropist, the everyday work of his life having been of a character which spread its benefits among hundreds of men and women, and like the best of the representatives of his profession, his charity was entirely unostentatious, and was performed as a matter of duty and very often without expectation of any reward.
David Finney Stuart was born in Brook County, West Virginia, in 1833, and was descended from sturdy Scotch ancestors. The founder of the family in Pennsylvania, about 1800, was Galbraith Stuart, who married Miss Mary Cummings, daughter of a prominent Virginian. Dr. Stuart had one brother and four sisters, including Mrs. George C. Red, who founded Stuart Seminary, one of the successful educational institutions of the state.
Dr. Stuart grew up in the Pan Handle of West Virginia, and finished his early education in Bethany College, an institution founded by Alexander Campbell of the Christian church. In 1850, when seventeen years of age he came to Texas, and located at Gay Hill in Washington County, where his brother-in-law, Dr. George C. Red had already settled. He first studied medicine under Dr. Red, and beginning with 1859 attended Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, for two courses, followed by further study in the medical college of Louisiana at New Orleans. Returning to Texas, he soon built up a splendid practice, and his services as a physician and surgeon were widely in demand in his part of the state. He was not permitted to remain long in the quiet rounds of his professional duties. With the outbreak of the war in 1861, he was appointed assistant surgeon in the Tenth Texas Regiment, and from that was promoted to regimental surgeon. His professional skill, executive ability, and valor in the performance of his duties attracted the attention of the officers of the Tennessee army, and he was next made senior surgeon of Granbarry's Texas brigade, with which he served with distinction until the close of the war. During his services Dr. Stuart was several times wounded, and once was captured and kept in prison at Camp Douglas in Chicago for six months. The high esteem in which he was held by the army officers often brought upon him greater responsibilities than his official position called for, but he was always equal to the demand. It is said that among fighting soldiers no more popular officer was to be found in the army than Dr. Stuart.
With the close of the four years' struggle, he returned home to Washington county, and in 1867 located in Houston. He had an excellent practice in a short time, and was the first physician in the city to recognize the needs for a private hospital and act upon his recognition of that requirement. He established a private infirmary, in association with the late Dr. J. Larendon, under the firm name of Stuart & Larendon. The firm subsequently became Stuart, Larendon & Boyles, the third member being the late T. J. Boyles. With the retirement of Dr. Larendon, the firm continued as Stuart & Boyles, until 1901 when Dr. Boyles died, after which the title became Stuart, Red & Stuart, the latter being the son of Dr. Stuart.
However, it was in fields other than as a private practitioner, or in connection with the infirmary that Dr. Stuart made his .most conspicuous mark in the medical history of this state. In 1872 he was appointed chief surgeon of the Houston & Texas Central Railroad, a position which he held until the time of his death. He was also chief surgeon of the Houston, East & West Texas Railway when it was completed to Houston, and when that city became a point on the lines of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway and the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway, he was likewise appointed their local medical representative. In 1871 Dr. Stuart was honored by election to the office of vice president of the State Medical Society, and in 1873 was made president of that body. In 1876 he served as a delegate to the meeting of the International Medical Association, held at Philadelphia, during the Centennial Celebration. From 1878 to 1895 he was president of the old Galveston Medical College, which in the latter year became the medical department of the State University.
In Houston and South Texas, Dr. Stuart's work as a physician is best remembered for the important service he rendered to the cause of public health while chairman of the city board of health in Houston. In 1867, he fell a victim to a scourge of yellow fever, passed through it safely, and his experiences and studies subsequently made him one of the recognized authorities on this disease in all Texas. At every subsequent recurrence of yellow fever in Houston and other Texas communities, he was frequently consulted, and the confidence of the profession and the people in Dr. Stuart often enabled a community to withstand the plague and prevent a complete depopulation of the locality. In 1897 it was reported that a case of yellow fever had developed in Houston. An expert delegated by the United States government visited the city and pronounced the case yellow fever. Railroad towns along all lines entering Houston required a rigid quarantine, and it was enforced with such severity that it meant a terrific loss to the commerce and prestige of the community. Dr. Stuart through his superior skill and ability not only proved the case was not yellow fever, but in less than four days had convinced the health physicians of the surrounding town of the proof of his efficiency, so that all quarantines against Houston were raised. Dr. Stuart was perhaps best known for his accomplishments in the general field of medicine, but he was a rare surgeon and performed many of the most difficult surgical operations. For a number of years in Houston he represented as medical examiner a number of the life insurance companies. It is not usual for a successful professional man to win a reputation in practical business affairs, but Dr. Stuart had a keen business judgment and was often entrusted with the management of large affairs. In 1R86 he was appointed receiver of the Houston Savings Bank, and at the end of a receivership of two years, paid the creditors seventy cents on the dollar. He was for several years a director of the Commercial National Bank of Houston, and interested in various other business undertakings. Dr. Stuart was one of the leading men in the support of the Presbyterian Church of Houston, and was a member of the building committee that erected the magnificent stone church at Main street and McKinney avenue, his individual contributions having been among the largest in the construction of that edifice.
Dr. Stuart was first married September 17, 1867, to Miss Ellen Dart. The children of that union were the late Dr. J. R, Stuart of Houston, and Daisy, wife of Dawes E. Sturgis. The mother of these two died in 1880, and in 1883 Dr. Stuart married Miss Bettie H. Bocock. Mrs. Stuart is still living and resides at the attractive family home, 517 McGowan Avenue. She is the mother of two children: Susan Walker and Mary Cummins, the latter the wife of Dr. F. R. Ross. [A history of Texas and Texans, Volume 4 by Francis White Johnson, 1914, Transcribed by AFOFG]

Hon. Waitman T. Willey LL.D.,
Mr. Willey, although for many years an able and successful lawyer, is best known as a public official and a statesman of prominence and worth. He was for many years, prior to his death, regarded by the public generally as one of the really great characters to whom West Virginians, without regard to political affiliations, pointed with pride. He was born on Buffalo Creek, Monongalia County, Virginia, October 18, 1811. He was reared on a farm until he reached the age of seventeen, when he entered Madison College, now Alleghany College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated, cum laude, in June, 1831. At college he was rated as a hard working student, but was noted most for his gifts of oratory. He was recognized not only as the towering orator of his class, but of the entire college as well. All through his long and useful life he ranked as one of the very greatest public speakers of both Virginias. This wonderful gift made him almost invincible as an advocate and court house trial lawyer. He read law for two years in the office of the distinguished Philip Doddridge, at Wellsburg, Brooke County, who was one of the greatest lawyers of his generation, and was admitted to the Bar of Monongalia County in September, 1833; he immediately opened a law office and began to practice. He was not long in getting his share, and more of the law business of the community. He was well known, not only as a well educated and eloquent man, but his standing among the people was that of one who was thoroughly upright, conscientious and reliable. From his boyhood up, there was not a blot upon his moral character, and his veracity was absolutely unimpeachable, and this sort of a reputation and character were continuously and constantly the same until the end of his great career. A lawyer of that sort, will never be required to hunt clients, or drum up supporters or followers among the people. The truth is, Mr. Willey was so often sought after by the people, to fill highly important public positions that he scarcely was allowed the necessary time to attend to his own private affairs.
In 1840, he was an elector on the Harrison and Tyler ticket, and was required to stump the entire Western part of the state for the Whig party. He was the Clerk of both the County and Circuit Courts of Law and Chancery of Monongalia County, from 1841 to 1852; was a member of the State Constitutional Convention in 1850-51; was the Whig candidate for Congress for his District in 1852; was the Whig candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 1859; he was a delegate to the National Convention in 1860 that nominated Bell and Everett for President and Vice-President; was a member of the Virginia Convention of 1861, and voted against the Ordinance of Secession; he ably aided in organizing the Restored Government of Virginia at the City of Wheeling; was elected United States Senator by said Restored Government; was a member of the Convention that framed the first Constitution of West Virginia; was elected one of the two United States Senators, and drew the short term of two years. At the expiration of said term, he was re-elected to the Senate for the full term of six years, which expired March 4. 1871. How could one practice law very extensively with all these public duties loaded upon him? And yet a good part of the time, he maintained a large practice.
In 1834 Senator Willey married Miss Elizabeth Ray, of the City of Wheeling. He was an active and faithtful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church; was always a leader on the moral side of every important question that came before the people during his entire life. Allegheny College and the West Virginia University each conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. After his retirement from the Senate, he was Clerk of the Circuit Court of Monongalia County, which furnished him all the necessary comforts of life. He died at his home in Morgantown when he was nearly ninety years of age, and was mourned by all classes of the citizens of the city. He was six feet three and a-half inches tall, and was one of the most powerful athletes of his generation. ["Bench and bar of West Virginia" edited by George Wesley Atkinson, 1919 Transcribed by AFOFG]

Yeater Family
A family formerly settled in Pennsylvania, but for about a century in what is now West Virginia, is that of Dr. J. W. Yeater, a well equipped but retired physician, now residing at New Martinsville, Wetzel county, West Virginia.
(I) David Yeater. the first member of this family about whom we have definite information, came from Pennsylvania into Marshall county, Virginia, where he was engaged in farming. He married Peggy , and among his children was Rezin, of whom further.
(II) Rezin, son of David and Peggy Yeater, was born in Marshall county, Virginia. October 8, 1825, died June 30, 1905. His life was passed in Marshall county, where he wasa successful farmer and stock raiser. He married Mary, daughter of Nathaniel and Adaline Sheppard who was born in Brooke county, Virginia, November 12, 1826, died November 9, 1902. Children: John W., of whom further; N. W.; Rebecca A., married William Kelley; Lewis, Christopher E., Oscar D., Clarence, Willard Lee.
(III) Dr. John W. Yeater, son of Rezin and Mary (Sheppard) Yeater, was born in Marshall county, Virginia, December 28, 1850. His education was begun in the public schools of his native county, and he afterward attended Waynesburg College, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, and the University of Louisville, Medical College, 1876. He then practiced in Marshall and Wetzel counties until 1879, attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore, Maryland, 1887-88, from which his degree of Doctor of Medicine was received, he being a graduate in the class of 1888. For about twenty years Dr. Yeater practiced at Newdale, Wetzel county, West Virginia. Desiring, however, to make a more advanced special course, he studied at the Polyclinic Medical College in New York City. He returned to Newdale, Wetzel county, West Virginia, where he was engaged for twenty years in the practice of medicine and surgery, with success professionally and materially. In 1898 Dr. Yeater retired from general practice, and since that time he has had no special business interests except as a director in two banks, the First National Bank at New Martinsville, and the Bank of Littleton, at Littleton, Wetzel county, West Virginia. He has also been somewhat active in politics, being a Democrat, and in 1888 he represented the second district of West Virginia in the state senate. Dr. Yeater is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He married, December 29, 1879, Rachel M. Yoho, daughter of Henry B. and Katherine Yoho. Children: Edna Beatrice, born October 6, 1882; Lewis R., May 25, 1887, died August 11, 1907. [Source: A standard history of Ross County, Ohio: Volume 2; By Lyle S. Evans; Publ. 1916; Pg. 1022-1023; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack.]


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