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Hardy County, West Virginia
Genealogy and History

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Biographies

Charles Mortimer Bishop
In the prime of manhood and usefulness still is Charles M. Bishop, of Kingwood, Preston county. He was born at Moorefield, in the county of Hardy, Virginia, January 4, 1827, and attended school there and in Charlestown, Jefferson county In 1843 his father moved to Kingwood, and he learned the trade of saddler, working under his father's instruction and command, early and late. July 16, 1851, he wedded Margaret E., daughter of Reuben Morris. From that time till August, 1872. he was in mercantile business at Rowlesburg, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, when he returned to Kingwood. He was elected as a Republican to the House of Delegates in 1870, serving till 1872, when he was chosen State Senator for the District composed of Preston and Monongalia counties. In both branches of legislation he was an important member of the Finance Committee, also of the Senate Committees on Education and Humane Institutions. In religious faith he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He devotes his time between his store at the county seat, his several stock farms, the National Bank of which he is a director, and the affairs of the county as Commissioner. He neglects none, and is earnest, sincere and esteemed in all.
[Prominent Men of West Virginia: Biographical Sketches, the Growth and Advancement of the State, a Compendium of Returns of Every State Officer by George Wesley Atkinson and Alvaro Franklin Gibbens, 1890 - Transcribed by AFOFG]


William Fisher
William Fisher, represented the district of Hardy and Grant counties in the West Virginia Legislature in 1872, and Hardy county in the sessions of 1872-3, and 1881-2. He was born in Hardy county, Virginia, February 24, 1823, and raised on a farm near Moorefield, his father being a farmer. The boy attended school during the winter sessions only, working on the farm during summer, until the age ot twenty-one. In 1858 he was appointed Deputy Sheriff of Hardy, served until January, 1861, and was then elected to the same office, but the war operations in the county allowed but little business, only, as he says, to get into trouble. In 1866 he was again appointed Sheriff of Hardy county, served two years and resigned. He then settled himself on a farm near Moorefield and has since followed the various pursuits of agriculture.
[Prominent Men of West Virginia: Biographical Sketches, the Growth and Advancement of the State, a Compendium of Returns of Every State Officer by George Wesley Atkinson and Alvaro Franklin Gibbens, 1890 - Transcribed by AFOFG]


Hon. William H. H. Flick
Mr. Flick is a native of the Western Reserve of Ohio, where he was born in 1841. He was educated in the public schools and at Hiram College, near Cleveland. In July, 1861, he volunteered as a private soldier in the Federal Army and was dangerously wounded in the left shoulder at the battle of Shiloh, Mississippi, but continued in the service until the fall of 1862, when he was honorably discharged on account of said wound. He returned to his home and taught school for three years. Having read law in the meantime, he was licensed to practice in September, 1865. In March, 1866, he moved to West Virginia, and began to practice law at Moorefield, the seat of justice of Hardy County, and in March, 1867, he changed his residence to Franklin, Pendleton County. He had a strong legal mind, was an able public speaker, and soon became recognized as a forceful and successful lawyer. He was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Pendleton County in 1867, also of the adjoining county of Grant in 1872, and he was re-elected to the same office in Pendleton County in 1873-4. In 1874 he resigned the office of Prosecuting Attorney and located at Martinsburg, Berkeley County, where he spent the remainder of his life.
In the fall of 1868 he entered the State Legislature from Pendleton and Grant Counties, and was re-elected in 1869. He took an active part in legislation. He was the author of what was known as "The Flick Amendment" to the State Constitution, which removed all restrictions from all persons who had engaged in the Rebellion of 1861-5, which gave him a statewide reputation. In 1881 he was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Berkeley County, which he resigned in 1882 to accept the higher position of United States District Attorney for West Virginia. By this time he had become an unusually able lawyer, and one of the strongest and most successful prosecutors in the Commonwealth. We put it mildly when we state that he had but few equals, anywhere, as a trial lawyer. He was a very large man, and when he became aroused his reserve force was practically irresistible, because he apparently would break down all opposition and often sweeps things before him.
In 1876 he was the Republican candidate for a seat on the Supreme Court of Appeals of the State, but was defeated along with his entire party ticket.
[Bench and Bar of West Virginia edited by George Wesley Atkinson, 1919 Transcribed by AFOFG]

William H. H. Flick
An Ohioan by birth, a West Virginian by adoption, now in the prime of life, (47 years old), Wm. H. H. Flick, stands out among the really prominent men of the new Commonwealth. He was reared on a farm in northern Ohio, and in July, 1861, although a mere boy in age and size, he enlisted in the 41st regiment of Ohio Volunteers. In the great battle of Shiloh, he was dangerously wounded in the shoulder, his left arm still being disabled therefrom. He continued in the recruiting service of the Government until the fall of 1862, when he was honorably discharged because of disability resulting from the wound in his shoulder.
After returning to his Ohio home, he attended Hiram College, (President Garfield's school), for some time, and then engaged in teaching, which he kept up until the spring of 1865. Having studied law in the meantime, he was regularly licensed to practice, in September, 1865. In March, 1866, he took up his residence in Moorefield, Hardy county, West Virginia; and in March, 1867, he removed to Franklin, in Pendleton county.
In the fall of 1868 he was elected to the House of Delegates of his adopted State, and was re-elected to the same office in 1869. It was during his latter term in the Legislature that he presented an amendment to the State Constitution abolishing "test oaths," which rendered him at one time the best known man in the State. This noted law was known as "The Flick Amendment," and will be found, together with the popular vote thereon, in the Statistical chapters in the front part of this book.
Mr. Flick was elected prosecuting attorney of Pendleton county in 1869, of Grant county in 1872, and again of Pendleton county in 1873-4. During the latter year he resigned the office of Prosecutor, and removed to Martinsburg, Berkeley county, where he now resides. In 1871 he was chosen prosecuting attorney for that county, which office he resigned in August, 1882, to accept the position of United States District Attorney for West Virginia, to which he had been appointed by President Arthur. In 1876 he was the Republican candidate for Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia; and in 1886, and again in 1888, he was his party's candidate for a seat in the Congress of the United States. For all three of these exalted positions he was defeated; but it is a fact of history that he polled the largest vote of any other candidate of his party in all three of these elections.
Mr. Flick is known as a man of unflinching loyalty to truth, principle and right. He is consciencious and generous to a fault. No man in West Virginia possesses greater popularity. As a lawyer, he stands at the top of his profession in the State. In the trial of a cause, he is a dangerous competitor, because he possesses a reserve force that is practicably irresistible. In every official position to which he has been chosen, he has discharged the duties of the same faithfully, honestly, ably.
[Prominent Men of West Virginia: Biographical Sketches, the Growth and Advancement of the State, a Compendium of Returns of Every State Officer by George Wesley Atkinson and Alvaro Franklin Gibbens, 1890 - Transcribed by AFOFG]


Joseph Sprigg
Hon. Joseph Sprigg is a native of Hampshire county, Virginia, born in October, 1835. His father, Joseph Sprigg, was of an old Maryland family; his mother's maiden name was Jane McMahon, daughter of Wm. McMahon, one of the early prominent citizens of Cumberland, Md., and sister of Hon. John V. L. McMahon, the distinguished lawyer of Baltimore, Md., and also a sister of Mrs. C. L. Vallandigham, of Ohio. The maternal grand-mother was a Van Lear, of Maryland; the paternal grand-mother, a Creasap. His father moved to Cumberland, Md., in 1852, and died there in 1864. Before their removal from the farm, the father provided a private tutor for his son. In Cumberland he enjoyed academic advantages several years. Before completing his studies he was sent to Baltimore to read for his uncle McMahon, a practicing lawyer in that city, who had lost his eyesight. He studied law under his uncle until 1860, when he was admitted to the Bar. The next year the war broke out, and somewhat retarded his practice. In April, 1866, he formed a law partnership with Judge J. W. F. Allen, of Moorefield, Hardy county, West Virginia, and moved there. The firm at once commanded a large practice. And for the past twenty-three years Mr. Sprigg has been on one or the other side of every important civil or criminal case of that county.
Mr. Sprigg assisted in the organization of the Democratic party of West Virginia in 1866, since which time he has been a leader in its conventions. In 1870, without his knowledge or consent, the Democratic convention nominated him for Attorney General, and he was elected. During his term it was submitted for his legal opinion whether the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Company was subject to taxation in this State. After consideration, he decided affirmatively. The case was carried to the Supreme Court of the United States which sustained his decision. In 1872, in the bitter contest between Camden and Jacob, he sided with the former. He has never been an officeseeker, although frequently called upon to serve the people. He has been Mayor of Moorefield several times. In 1888, sorely against his inclination, and protest before the convention, he was compelled by his party's emergency to accept the nomination for the House of Delegates, and was elected in a hotly contested campaign. He served in the session of '89 as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
In February, 1877, he was married to Mary Ellen, daughter of Dr. George Stuhblefield, of Cumberland, Md. They have four daughters.
General Sprigg's people are representative men: An uncle presided over the Baltimore Convention that nominated Harrison; a Kentucky uncle and two Ohio uncles represented their districts several terms in Congress; his brother has been Prosecuting Attorney in Ohio for many successive years, and is said to be one of the best Prosecutors in the West. General Sprigg is one of the House members of the Legislative Court to try the Gubernatorial contest still pending.
[Prominent Men of West Virginia: Biographical Sketches, the Growth and Advancement of the State, a Compendium of Returns of Every State Officer by George Wesley Atkinson and Alvaro Franklin Gibbens, 1890 - Transcribed by AFOFG]


Alexander Renick.
A wide awake, brainy man, possessing a natural aptitude for dealing with matters of finance, Alexander Renick, a prominent businessman of Chillicothe, holds a conspicuous position among the leading financiers of Ross county, his official connection with numerous moneyed institutions bearing testimony not only to his ability in sound judgment, but to his integrity and honesty of purpose. He was born in Chillicothe, a son of the late Alexander Renick, Sr., and grandson of George Renick, a pioneer settler of this section of Ohio. There is a well established tradition in the family that their early ancestors of the Renicks lived in Scotland, where the name was spelled "Renwick." Moving to Holland and finally settling in Ireland, the family name assumed its present spelling. The emigrant ancestor of Mr. Renick was George Renick, who came to America in about 1720, Enniskillen, County of Fermanagh, Ireland. In 1738, he located in Dauphin Cou nty, Pennsylvania. From there a part of his family went to Augusta County, Virginia, and a part to Hardy County, Virginia, on the south branch of the Potomac. George Renick, the grandfather of the subject of the sketch, was born and Hardy County, Virginia, July 7, 1776. Attracted by the glowing descriptions of his brother, Felix Renick, who had made several visits to the western country, he came in early manhood to the Northwest Territory, on a prospecting tour, and after spending some time seeking a suitable location he returned to Virginia. He was married in 1802 Dorothy Harness, and came with his bride to Ohio, journeying on horseback to Chillicothe, where he started in business as a merchant. He bought a tract of land west of this city, and having erected a stone house thereon, assumed its occupancy in 1807. He subsequently devoted his energies entirely to the improvement of his property, and in addition to carrying on a general farming business, he made a specialt y of raising blooded stock, being among the first to introduce Short horned cattle into this part of the state. He was the owner of the noted shorthorned cow, Rose of Sharon, which, with her calf, he sold to Abraham Renick, of Kentucky, who thus started his famous heard of short horns. George Renick, with the exception of two years spent in Kentucky, remained on his home farm until his death, which occurred in September, 1863. His wife, Dorothy Harness, also in native of Hardy County, Virginia, died in September, 1820, leaving nine children, namely: William, Josiah, Harness, Mortimer, Elizabeth Ann, Alexander, Lavina, George and Dorothy. Subsequently, Mr. Renick married Mrs. Sarah Boggs, who survived him. Alexander Renick, Sr., was born at the homestead, 1 mile west of Chillicothe, February 11, 1815, and was reared to agricultural pursuits. Being presented, soon after attaining his majority, by his father, with a tract of land lying two miles southeast of Chillicothe, he was there successfully engaged in farming and stock raising until 1864, when he removed to Chillicothe. Previous to that time, in November, 1863, the First National Bank was organized, and he was made a director. After taking up his residence in Chillicothe, he devoted his entire life to the bank and his own private affairs, remaining here until his death, in September, 1875. That maiden name of the wife of Alexander Renick, Sr., was Jane Osborn. She was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1817. Her father of Ralph Osborn, whose emigrant ancestor came to New England in the good ship Speedwell, which followed the Mayflower, was a pioneer settler of Chillicothe, and when the state of Ohio was organized, if he was elected state auditor, and held the position for many years, spending his last days in Columbus. Mr. Osborn married Catherine Renick, a daughter of John Renick, who was a brother of William Renick, of Hardy County, Virginia. Mrs. Jane (Osborn) Renick died in Octob er, 1886, leaving for children, namely: Ralph Osborn, Dorothy Harness, Henry Turner, and Alexander, one son George, having died a few years previous. Having acquired his rudimentary education in the Chillicothe schools, Alexander Renick attended the military school at West Chester, Pennsylvania, and in 1865 entered the scientific Dept of Yale University, from which he was graduated in 1868. Returning home, Mr. Renick operated the home farm until the death of his father, in 1875, when he succeeded to his father's position as a director of the First National Bank. In 1887 Mr. Renick was made vice president of the institution, and since 1892 has served ably and faithfully as its president. In 1888, Mr. Renick assisted in organizing the Mutual Loan and Savings Association, of which he has ever since been one of the directors, and the president. In 1907, with George Hunter Smith and John H. Blacker, he organized the Valley Savings Bank and Trust Company, which he has si nce served as a director and vice president. Mr. Renick still owns and operates the old farm, which was improved by his father, and takes an active and intelligent interest in agriculture and stock raising. Mr. Renick has always been a republican and takes an active part in politics, but has never sought or held any political office, except that of trustee for the Ohio Hospital for a Epileptics, located in Gallipolis, Ohio, having been appointed to this position by Governor Herrick in 1904, and holding it until 1911, when the board of trustees of all benevolent institutions of the state were legislated out of office. Mr. Renick married, December 29, 1874 Elizabeth Waddle, a daughter of Dr. William and Jane S. Waddle, of whom further account may be found on another page of this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Renick have one son, Alexander Mortimer Renick, who married Edith Henrietta, daughter of Charles A. Smith, and has two sons, Charles Alexander and Ralph Osborn. Mr. and Mrs. Renick are true to the religious faith in which they were reared, their parents having been consistent members of the Presbyterian Church.
[Source: "A Standard History of Ross County, Ohio..."; Lyle S. Evans - 1917; CM - Sub. by FoFG]


Steenbergen Family
Peter Steenbergen, founder of the family in this country, came from Holland prior to 1740. He settled first in Culpeper county, Virginia, and later moved to Hardy county, in the same state, where he died. He served in the French and Indian wars, and also in the revolution. He married Ann Gaines, and among his children was William, of whom further.
(II) William, eldest son of Peter and Ann (Gaines) Steenbergen, was born October 11, 1766, in Culpeper county, Virginia, and died in 1839. He lived in Hardy and Shenandoah counties, Virginia. He married (first) Sarah Casey, and (second) Elizabeth Beale; among his children was Peter Higgins, of whom further.
(III) General Peter Higgins Steenbergen, eldest son of William and Sarah (Casey) Steenbergen, was born July 12, 1788, in Moorefield, Hardy county, Virginia, now West Virginia, died July 31, 1863, in Mason county, West Virginia. When five years of age he moved with his parents to Shenandoah county, where he lived until 1810, when he settled in Mason county. He was a farmer, a Whig in politics, was a member of the state legislature of Virginia in 1826, and of the state board of assessors of damages of the James river and Kanawha canal. He was also a member of the board of visitors of the Virginia Military Institute in 1847 and l&4&¢ and was for many years a brigadier-general in the Virginia State militia, whence the name. General Steenbergen, by which he was known. He married, July 31, 1807, Maria B. Jordan, who died April 25, 1841, in Mason county. Virginia, now West Virginia. Children: 1. Eliza, born October 10, 1808, died June 2, 1896; married, March 9, 1826, C. C. Lewis. 2. Mary, born March 9, 1810, died March 31, 1882; married. August 19, 1836, Alexander McCulloch. 3. Caroline, born May 14, 1812, died January 4, 1845; married, April 20, 1837, L. B. Menager. 4. Catharine, born August 1, 1814. died August 9, 18go; married, February 27, 1838, W. P. L. Neale. 5. Sarah Ann, born May 17, 1816, died May 7, 1873; married. May 5, 1840, Samuel Couch. 6. Cornelia, born January 23, 1818, died January 17, 1897; married. July 11, 1847, L. B. Menager. 7. Maria, born October S, 1820, died December 27, 1837. 8. Susan Virginia, born January 1, 1823, died August 30, 1912; married, October 4, 1847, Joseph Spencer. 9. Rhoda, born March 23, 1825, still living. 10. Ellen Douglas, born December 23, 1827, died January 27, 1897; married, May 30, 1872, C. T. Beale. 11. John William, of whom further.
(IV) John William, only son of General Peter Higgins and Maria B. (Jordan) Steenbergen, was born Alay 4, 1831, in Mason county, Virginia, now West Virginia. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute, July 4, 1849, and then took up farming, and is still living in Mason county. He was one of the directors of the Merchant's National Bank in Point Pleasant for many years, and is an elder in the Presbyterian church. He married Sarah Eliza, daughter of Isaac Cunningham and Frances Harness (Hull) Van Meter, born in Fayette county, Kentucky, July 28, 1845, died October 1, 1898. Her father, born October 8, 1820, was a farmer, and died April 14, 1898, in Fayette county, Kentucky, and her mother, a descendant from revolutionary stock, came from Hardy county, Virginia. Their children were: 1. Charles L. 2. Sarah Eliza, of whom above. 3. Edwin H. 4. William Scott. 5. B. W. 6. J. Brown. 7. Ann Rebecca. 8. Lewis M. 9. Jesse. 10. Fannie Moore, married A. H. Savage. Children of John William and Sarah Eliza (Van Meter) Steenbergen: 1. William, married Charlotte B. McCulloch, of Point Pleasant. 2. Peter Higgins, of whom further. 3. Frances, married the Rev. Clyde Johnson, of Senatobia, Mississippi. 4. Isaac Van Meter, married Willie May Denny, of Richmond, Kentucky. 5. Charles Letcher, married Ellen Dennis, of Nelsonville, Ohio. 6. John Harness, married Jessie J. Fitch, of Morgantown, West Virginia.
(V) Prof. Peter Higgins (2) Steenbergen, son of John William and Sarah Eliza (Van Meter) Steenbergen, was born April 11, 1875, near Point Pleasant, West Virginia. He received his early education from private tutors and graduated June 10, 1896, from the Central University of Kentucky. He was principal of the Point Pleasant high school from 1897 to 1901; commandant of cadets in Speers-Langford Military Institute at Searcy, Arkansas, in 1901-02; and superintendent of public schools in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, from 1903 to 1907, since which year he has been engaged in farming and other business at Point Pleasant. He is a deacon in the Presbyterian church, a Democrat in politics, and is also one of the directors of the Point Pleasant Trust Company, of the Point Pleasant Wholesale Grocery Company, and of the Point Pleasant Water and Light Company. He is a past chancellor of the Knights of Pythias.
He married, June 25, 1902, Sallie Lewis, daughter of John Daniel and Sarah Ann (Lewis) McCulloch, born September 25, 1873. Children: John Daniel, born April 5, 1903; Sarah Eliza, born September 29, 1904; Jean, born October 28, 1907; Peter Higgins, Jr., born August 21, 1910; and Robert Lewis, born June 23, 1912.
[West Virginia and its people, Volume 3 By Thomas Condit Miller and Hu Maxwell, 1913 - Transcribed by AFOFG]





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