Jackson County West Virginia

Biographies



John M. Baker, LL. B.

     Our subject is a son of D. M. and Mary E. (Johnson) Baker, who was born in Jackson County, West Virginia, November 22, 1872, and received his preliminary education in the public schools of his native county. Later, in 1892, he was a student in the State Normal School at Fairmont, West Virginia, and in 1895 and 1896 he took the course in law at the West Virginia University at Morgantown and graduated there from with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. The year of his graduation he was admitted as a practitioner in the Circuit Court of his native county at Ripley, the county seat. Shortly thereafter he was admitted as an attorney in all the State and Federal Courts, his practice in the meanwhile grew rapidly until he has all the business he can attend to. He is an excellent trial lawyer and never fails to acquit himself creditably in the trial of his cases.
     He is a Republican in polities and has been active in promulgating the principles of his party, but not in the sense of an office-seeker. He is public spirited and shows an interest in the growth and development of his section of the State, and has been urged to accept official positions, but he prefers to devote his entire time to the practice of the law. The only office he has thus far held was Prosecuting Attorney of Jackson County, which he filled satisfactorily, industriously and ably for a four years' term, from 1905 to 1908, inclusive. For business reasons he moved his residence from Jackson to Roane County in 1909, where he now resides, and where his practice has materially increased and his field of labor has greatly widened. He has frequently presided as a Special Judge of the Circuit Court, and on one occasion he held the entire term in Calhoun County to the satisfaction of lawyers and suitors. This fact gave rise to general talk to induce him to become a candidate for Circuit Judge, which he has thus far declined to do. He is careful, clear-headed, systematic, vigilant and thorough in his work, and although he has made excellent headway in his profession there is still a broader field of usefulness and success before him.
     Mr. Baker married Miss Jessie N. Riley, of Jackson County, in 1899, and as a result of this union a sonClay Riley and a daughter Mary V. were born to them. He is a member of the Masonic Fraternity and is also a Knight of Pythias. He has devoted much time to the cause of education and has served efficiently on Boards of Education. He also gives a large amount of thought and attention to civic matters generally. In short he is nn enterprising, public-spirited, progressive citizen of the community where he resides.  [Bench and Bar of West Virginia by George Wesley Atkinson, 1919 - Transcribed by Therman Kellar]

Reuben B. Carl-Lee
     Reuben B. Carl-Lee was born December 31, 1841, at Ripley, Va. He went to Arkansas in early life and was a pioneer citizen of this State. He enlisted in the Confederate army May 6, 1861, in Company H, ist Arkansas Volunteer Infantry, and served in the armies of Virginia, Tennessee, and the Trans-Mississippi Department. He was wounded several times at Shiloh and other places ; was captured at Arkansas Post January 11, 1863, and released May 2, 1863. He was promoted and served on the staff of Brig. Gen. A. Nelson until the letter's death and then on the staff of Brigadier General Deshlar until, owing to ill health, he was transferred to the Trans-Mississippi Department, to the command of General Holmes, and was on detached duty until the surrender. He was paroled at Little Rock June 17, 1865, with the rank of lieutenant.
     Comrade Carl-Lee was elected a member of this Camp April 8, 1901. His home for many years was in Prairie County, where he was a prominent citizen and legislator. For several years prior to his death his home was at England, in Lonoke County.
The State never had a more faithful representative than Comrade Carl-Lee during his service in the legislature. By his intelligent investigation of State institutions he was instrumental in causing many reforms to be made, thus saving much to the State.
     A gentle husband, a tender father, a good man, a useful citizen, and a true Confederate crossed over the river to rest under the shade when Reuben Carl-Lee departed this life. ["Confederate Veterans", 1916 - Submitted by Tina Easley]

Judge John W. English, B.A.
     The Hon. John Warth English, the subject of this brief memoir, was the son of Job English, one of the early salt manufacturers of the Great Kanawha Valley, was born in Jackson County, Virginia, January 31, 1831. When he was four years of age his father moved to Maiden, Kanawha County, where the son attended the common and select schools of that locality until he was sixteen years of age, when he was sent to Illinois College at Jacksonville, Illinois, where he took the complete academic course, graduating with honors when he was twenty years of age with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. When he returned home he assisted his father in his store at the salt furnace for two or three years, while he was reading law under the tutelage of his uncle, John A. Warth, and Judge George W. Summers, of Charleston. After becoming qualified he passed the required examination, and in 1855 he was admitted to the Kanawha County Bar. A short time thereafter he located at Point Pleasant in Mason County, formed a partnership with Henry J. Fisher, the leading lawyer of that locality, and one of the best known attorneys in that section of the State. The firm of Fisher and English carried on a very large legal business not only in Mason County, but in all of the surrounding counties, until the beginning of the Civil War, when Mr. Fisher went South and remained until the close of hostilities. Mr. English, however, remained at home and carried on an extensive practice in Mason and the adjoining counties, in which he established a reputation as one of the leading lawyers of Western Virginia. In his practice he was honest in his convictions, honest with the courts before whom he appeared, and honest with his adversaries. He was an upright man and was four-square in all of his acts and purposes. Such men are always successful in their undertakings. Such was his character and reputation during the many years he was engaged in active practice.
     In 1888 he was nominated by the Democratic party for a seat on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, and was elected by a large majority over the opposing candidate, and served twelve years with great acceptability to both suitors and attorneys. He was a man of quiet and retiring disposition and was exceedingly modest in his demeanor. He engaged but little in the political controversies of the State, preferring to devote his time and energies to the practice of his profession. His literary education and studious habits fitted him especially for the position of a judge. He was honest, industrious and painstaking in all the cases that came before him during the twelve years he served on the Appellate Court. Through his entire life his reputation for integrity was never questioned.
     Judge English was a man of marked personal appearance. He was six feet tall, wore long whiskers, had strong features, a kindly disposition, and would command attention in any audience. His career as a lawyer and judge was a record of manliness, complete in every detail.
     May 6, 1862, he was united in marriage with Miss Fannie Lewis, a descendant of General Andrew and Colonel Charles C. Lewis of the Continental Army, who commanded the American troops in the historic battle of Point Pleasant against the Indians in 1774. At this now prosperous town, at the confluence of the Great Kanawha with the Ohio River, Judge English spent the greater portion of his honorable and distinguished career, and where on the 18th of July, 1916, in the quietude of a delightful home, respected by all the people, he disappeared into the "Great Beyond." No cleaner and purer man ever donned the judicial ermine in this or any other State. He was a faithful member of the Protestant Episcopal Church. [Bench and Bar of West Virginia by George Wesley Atkinson, 1919 - Transcribed by AFOFG]

William Jackson Flesher
     A member of the Canyon City bar since 1909, Mr. Flesher has been successful in practice, has been honored with official promotion, and is one of the enterprising and public spirited men of Randall County.
     William Jackson Flesher was born at Reedy, Roane county, West Virginia, September 14, 1882. On his father's side his ancestors came from Germany, and his mother's ancestry was Irish. The father, Andrew L. Flesher, was a native of West Virginia, and his grandfather John Flesher was an old West Virginia farmer, and when the Civil war came on, enlisted with Breckenridge's mounted troopers, and served from the West Virginia campaign, early in the war, until the surrender of Lee at Appomattox. His death occurred soon after the war, partly a result of the wounds and hardships which he had undergone as a soldier. Andrew L. Flesher, the father, who now resides at Rock Island, Texas, brought his family from West Virginia to Missouri in 1888, and in 1900 came to Texas. He is a contractor and builder, and in politics is a Democrat. The family are Methodists in religion. The maiden name of the mother is Henrietta Summerville, who was born in Jackson County, West Virginia, and has been the mother of seven children, three deceased, and the four now living being residents of Texas.
     William Jackson Flesher had his early schooling in Sullivan County, Missouri, and spent one year in the Kirksville Normal in that state. When eighteen years old the family came to Texas, and from 1902 to 1904 he was a student in the Texas State Normal School at Denton. His early career was spent on a farm and in the fall of 1900 he filled his first regular position as a teacher. He taught a country school in Colorado County for three years, resigning to enter the State Normal at Denton and from there moved out to Mason County, Texas, where he was elected superintendent of schools. He filled that important office for three years. He had depended upon his own exertions to advance his education, and early in his career it was his ambition to become a lawyer. With the means acquired as a teacher he finally entered the law department of the University of Texas, and after studying two years was admitted to the bar in the fall of 1908. In June, 1909, he opened his office in Canyon City, and was soon recognized as one of the rising young attorneys of the Randall County bar. In November, 1910, he was elected to the office of county attorney, and by reelection in 1912, still holds that office. Mr. Flesher is also a stock holder and director of the First State Bank of Canyon.
     In politics he is one of the workers for Democratic support. During the recent campaign, he was one of the active advocates of the amendment to the state constitution, providing for state-wide prohibition, and while the campaign was unsuccessful great headway has been made, and with a view to securing the final elimination of the liquor traffic from Texas Mr. Flesher determined to devote much time and labor to extending the work which was so well begun previous to the last election on that question. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Masonic order, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World, also belonging to the Eastern Star. He is a trustee and steward in the Methodist church and one of the teachers of the Sunday school.
     On December 25, 1910, he married Miss May Ballard, who was born in Texas, a daughter of J. W. Ballard. Her father was one of the old settlers of Wise County, having come across the country with an ox team to that region. For the past twenty-two years he and his family have resided in Swisher County, Texas. To Mr. and Mrs. Flesher have been born one son and one daughter: William James, Jr., born September 21, 1911, and Henrietta May, born June 6, 1913. [A History of Texas and Texans, Volume 4 by Francis White Johnson, 1914- Transcribed by AFOFG]

Henry Calvin Lockney
Henry C. Lockney is a Virginian by birth, a Republican in politics, and a Fusionist (of all parties opposed to Democracy) by systematic practice. He was born in Burnersville, Barbour County, Va., April 26, 1855. He worked on his father's farm during boyhood until fifteen years of age, at which time he began to drive a team of horses, and followed that occupation five years, two years in Barbour county and then three years in Jackson county; but attended public school every winter from the organization of the free-school system until twenty years of age. In 1875 he began teaching school, and taught, in all, up to March, 1888, twenty-six terms, twenty-two of which were taught in Calhoun county, and the others in Gilmer and Jackson counties, West Virginia. He was also a surveyor of lands for several years, and in 1882 surveyed the line between Calhoun and Gilmer counties.
Mr. Lockney read law for three years, while teaching school, and, in 1880, passed a successful examination, was admitted to the bar and has since practiced in Calhoun and Clay counties. In 1885 he embarked in the mercantile business and sold goods at Arnoldsburg, West Virginia, for the short period of six months, having branch stores at two other points.
For about three years he has devoted considerable time to the study of medicine, in all its branches; but has never pursued the practice of the medical profession.
In 1880 he was appointed Notary Public of Calhoun county, and was appointed a member of the Teachers' Examining Board in the same county in 1882, and was re-appointed to the same office in 1883. In January, 1887, he was appointed Prosecuting Attorney of Clay county, by Judge Robert F. Fleming, and soon afterward moved to Clay C. H., when he was appointed Commissioner of Accounts, Notary Public and Commissioner in Chancery for said county. At the general election held in 1888, he was elected to the office of Prosecuting Attorney of Clay county for a term of four years, commencing on the 1st day of January, 1889, to which office the Republicans nominated him by acclamation. Twice he has been appointed a delegate to the Republican State Convention.
In addition to his other avocations, Mr. Lockney owns and manages a fine farm at Bruin, Barbour county, where he enjoys a delightful home; also, handles live stock, and does occasional dealing in lumber, etc. His first vote was cast in 1876 for Gen. Nathan Goff for Governor of West Virginia, and he has since taken active interest in every election, co-operating especially with the Greenback element, but always a Republican, looking to any honorable fusion to defeat the Democratic party. He was appointed Postmaster at Bruin, October 11, 1883, and resigned April 1, 1888, under Cleveland's administration. His post office address is Arnoldsburg, Calhoun county, W. Va.
A marked characteristic of Mr. Lockney all his life is, that whatever he does, he does with all his might. "Keep on the go" has been his motto. Having the courage of his convictions, he has been always one of the most active, zealous opponents the Democratic party of his section and State has had, but always honorable in his opposing efforts. His official record gives the same evidence of zeal. His fine farm is the picture of systematic industry. [Prominent Men of West Virginia: Biographical Sketches, The Growth And Advancement of The State, A Compendium of Returns of Every Election, A Record of Every State Officer by George Wesley Atkinson, 1890 - Transcribed by Therman Kellar]

Hon. John Harper Riley
     The subject of this sketch, son of Robert and Elizabeth (Cleek) Riley, was born and reared on a farm in Jackson County, Virginia; as to the date, he informed the writer, that "He is advised he should not think himself old, nor tell his age, but just to keep on keepin' on," and this he is doing splendidly, because although he is past seventy he could readily pass for fifty-five or sixty. His father was a Whig, but at the demise of that party he became a Republican, and our subject followed in his footsteps, and has always been a Republican, but has never been an office seeker. The father was a prominent man in his community: was County Assessor for a number of years and held other county offices of trust. John's elder brother was Clerk of the Circuit Court of Jackson County for a term of years, and our subject was a Deputy for him and also for his father. His education was limited to county and subscription schools, but he was ambitious and aspiring and consequently kept on reading and studying, thus storing his mind with the kind of knowledge that would be useful in after years. While employed in the Clerk's office he was advised by the Circuit Court Judge R. S. Brown to take up the study of law, which he did with earnestness and vigor, and while thus engaged he filled the offices of County Treasurer, and Justice of the Peace, the latter being in the direct line of his contemplated profession. In about two years he was able to stand an examination for admission to the Bar. After receiving his license as an attorney, which was signed by Judges Brown, Loomis and Hoge, he was admitted as a member of the Jackson County Bar in 1869. He formed a partnership with U. S. Flesher, who was at that time Prosecuting Attorney of the county, and thus became his Assistant. Mr. Flesher died the following August and Mr. Riley was appointed to fill the unexpired term. He was then elected Prosecuting Attorney for a full term and served with great acceptability and success. While discharging the functions of this office he became generally known in Jackson and adjoining counties as one of the best known attorneys in that section of the State, and his reputation was therefore fixed for the future.
     Mr. Riley was elected to the West Virginia Legislature in 1876 and again in 1880, and served with distinction and efficiency. During the latter year he was chosen one of the two delegates at large from West Virginia to the National Republican Convention, which nominated James A. Garfield for President of the United States. He married Miss Melissa J. Harpold, of Jackson County, and they had four children two sons and two daughters three of whom are living and one son is deceased. In October, 1882, he removed his residence to Marietta, Ohio, mainly for the purpose of educating his children at Marietta College. In 1892 he was sent as a delegate to the Republican National Convention that renominated Benjamin Harrison for the Presidency. In 1896 he was elected a member of the State Senate of Ohio, and in 1911 he was elected a member of the Fourth Constitutional Convention of the State of Ohio. In these positions he served ably and honorably and to the entire satisfaction of his constituents.
     For many years Mr. Riley has been an active and progressive member of the Masonic Fraternity, and before he moved to Marietta he received the highest honor the craft could confer upon him that of Grand Master and he never fails to attend its annual communications and actively participate in its deliberations. Since locating in Ohio he has engaged in agriculture, grazing and fruit raising, and has made quite a reputation as a real "granger " as well as a lawyer. He possesses large property holdings and through a long and useful life not a stain of dishonor has ever soiled his spotless character. [Bench and Bar of West Virginia by George Wesley Atkinson, 1919 - Transcribed by AFOFG]

William Symmes
Is a son of Edward and Mary A. (Bush) Symmes. He was born in Jackson county, West Virginia, April 14, 1817. In Addison, Gallia county, Ohio, November 2, 1838, William Symmes was married to Eliza Matthews, who was born in Cheshire, Gallia county, Ohio, April 18, 1820. She is a daughter of Phineas and Abigail (Nobles) Matthews, who came to this county in 1798. Mr. Symmes has held the office of township clerk and chattel assessor for several years, from 1846 to 1852; real estate appraiser in 1853, in Huntington township; justice of the peace in Cheshire township from 1873 to 1879; member of the decennial State Board of Equalization of Ohio, 1880-0881, at Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Symmes, who resides in Cheshire township, settled in this county in 1828. He is now a farmer, having been engaged in merchandising from 1854 to 1875. Postoffice address, Cheshire, 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.]

George M. Winkler
    As the head of one of the most complete and extensive hardware establishments in Adams county, Idaho, George M. Winkler, of Council, is one of the prominent figures in the business world of this section. He began in a modest way, but he had a practical knowledge of just the kind of a stock that would prove most salable, for he had himself been engaged in farming and ranching for many years, and he also had the advantage of a wide acquaintance among the ranchers of Adams county, therefore with the growth of the county came the growth of his own business and it is now one of the leading concerns of its kind in the southern part of Idaho.
     George M. Winkler was born in Jackson county, West Virginia, on the 25th of September, 1856. He is the son of George A. Winkler, who was a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and was one of the earliest pioneers in Idaho, coming into the state in 1878. He made the journey across the plains with his teams and wagon and small stock of household goods, with little idea of what kind of a place he would find at his journey's end. He settled in Adams county, and in that same winter this county was divided and the section in which Mr. Winkler had settled became Washington county. Mr. Winkler and his family were the fourth white family to settle in this valley. He took up land and began its cultivation, eventually developing it into a fine farm, upon which he reared a large family. He died in November, 1902, and is buried in Council. He married Letitia Summerville, who was born in the state of West Virginia, and who died in Council, in 1892, at the age of sixty-five years. Of the five children born to Mr. Winkler and his wife, George M. was the eldest in the family. The others are Mark A.; William, who is the present sheriff of Adams county; Louis and James. George M. Winkler first attended school in West Virginia and then was at school in Arkansas for a time, finally completing his education in Missouri. After finishing his schooling he took up agriculture, working for his father for a time. When his father decided to remove to Idaho, he went also, being at that time twenty-two years old. Upon reaching the western state he followed his
father's example and took up land in the valley near the present site of the town of Council. This land he cultivated and improved until he had the reputation of owning one of the finest pieces of property in the valley and certainly one of the heaviest producers. He continued as an agriculturist, well known and highly respected throughout the county, not only for his success, but also for his character and personality. In 1909 he sold his property and moved into Council, where he established the hardware store now known as G. M. Winkler & Company. In a statement made in the Weiser Semi-Weekly Signal reference is made to the fact that the sales of hardware concerns may be taken as the true barometers of the prosperity of an essentially farming region, and that judging by the business transacted by G. M. Winkler & Company the growth and development of the surrounding country is indeed flourishing. G. M. Winkler and C. T. Doughty are the members of the firm, and they carry an extensive stock, embracing everything in the line of shelf and heavy hardware, building material, paints, oils and glass, agricultural implements, harness and saddles, in fact, everything that the farmer or rancher could desire in this line. They have a trade that is far-reaching and their reputation for honesty and fair dealing is prevalent all over the county.
     Mr. Winkler is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being a charter member of the Council lodge. In politics he is a member of the Democratic party.
On the 18th of April, 1878, Mr. Winkler was married to Miss Elisabeth Harp, at Barry county, Missouri. Eight children have been born of this union. The eldest, Alice, is now the wife of T. L. Hunt, having been born in Council, on September 29, 1879, and now living in San Francisco. She has two children. Agnes is now Mrs. Poynor, and lives in Council, one son, James, having been born to her in 1901. Artie married Mr. Donahue and has two children. Mary is Mrs. Anderson of Council and has one child, George, who was born in 1909. Ernest W. Winkler lives in Council. George A. Winkler, Jr., is attending school in Council, as are the other two sons, Charles and Henry. [History of Idaho: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People And Its Principal Interests, Volume 2, 1914 - Transcribed by Therman Kellar]



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