Roland A. Bias
This sterling old West Virginia family traces its ancestry to staunch Scotch-Irish origin. Roland Armstrong Bias was born and reared in this state and for many years was a resident of Lincoln county, where he was successfully engaged in mercantile and mining operations until 1892, when he met with reverses and lost practically everything he had. He then turned his attention to railroad contracting and was identified with that line of enterprise until death called him from the scene of his mortal endeavors, at Huntington, West Virginia, in 1912. His wife was Lucy Byus in her girlhood days, and she was a descendant of a collateral branch of her husband's family.
Bennett R. Bias
(II) Bennett Randolph, son of Roland Armstrong and Lucy (Byus) Bias, was born in Lincoln county, West Virginia, December 20, 1875. He attended the district schools of his native place until he reached his tenth year, and in 1888 was graduated in the Guyandotte high school. He then entered Marshall College, at Huntington, West Virginia, and attended that excellent institution for a period of three years. His father's business reverses forced him to leave school when in his sixteenth year and since that time he has been dependent on his own resources for his livelihood. His first work was that of teaching school and subsequently he became interested in the newspaper business and founded the Mingo Circulator, the first Republican paper in Mingo county. In 1897 he was appointed postmaster at Williamson, by President McKinley, and he served in that capacity until 1909, when he resigned in order to complete his legal education. He was graduated in the law department of the University of West Virginia as a member of the class of 1910, duly receiving his degree of Bachelor of Laws. Immediately after graduation he entered upon the active practice of his profession at Williamson, where he was engaged in an independent practice until 1912. In that year he entered into a partnership alliance with George R. C. Wiles. The firm of Wiles & Bias conduct a general practice of law and they are local attorneys for numerous important business concerns. Their accuracy and familiarity with the law is well known and their library consists of the highest legal authorities. They stand high in the estimation of their fellowmen as citizens, while in the profession they have the admiration of the bar and the judiciary. and their cases are prosecuted with persistency and tenacity of purpose which defies all just cause for defeat.
For many years Mr. Bias was a stalwart supporter of the Republican party, and he served as chairman of the Republican county committee for four years. In 1912, however, he became a supporter of the Roosevelt ideas and he is very enthusiastic over the promotion of the Progressive party, being one of its most active members in West Virginia. He was one of the assembly that met at Parkersburg to further Colonel Roosevelt's interests and after the National Republican Convention at Chicago, in June, 1912, he met, with other admirers of the ex-president, at Charleston, and assisted in the organization of the Progressive party in West Virginia. In connection with his legal work he is a member of the State Bar Association and he is likewise affiliated with the Phi Kappa Sigma, a college fraternity. He is a devout communicant of the Protestant Episcopal Church at Williamson, of which he is treasurer. He is a man of unusual intelligence and splendid initiative, carrying to success every important issue in which he manifests interest.
Mr. Bias married, June 19, 1901, Clothilde Gaujot, whose birth occurred in the province of Ontario, Canada, June 28, 1883. Three children were born to this union, as follows: Bennett Randolph (2d), born January 6, 1904; Marie Marguerite, born in August, 1906; Ernest Gaujot, born in November, 1909. Mrs. Bias is a daughter of General Ernest Gaujot, a native of France, where he spent his boyhood and youth and whence he immigrated to America in 1861. He was a mining engineer and being an expert in his profession was employed, in 1878, to go to Japan and there to exploit and open up the mining industry of that country. So highly satisfactory were his services in that connection that the Mikado, in order to show his appreciation and in the absence of any other title to confer upon him, gave him the honorary title of General. He was a resident of Japan for a period of three years, but as his health began to fail he returned to America in 1881. He then became interested in the development of the widely renowned Calumet & Hecla copper mines of Michigan, as a stockholder and general manager. A few years later he emigrated to Belleville, Ontario, Canada, and there became connected with other famous mines. In 1890 he came to West Virginia, and with the Koontz Brothers, of New York City, became one of the most extensive coal-land owners in this state. His long and useful career ended with his death in 1909. He was descended from a line of militant ancestors, his father having been a captain in the French army and his grandfather a soldier in the command of General Lafayette in the American expedition. His brother, Antoine Leon Gaujot, was secretary of state in France. ["West Virginia and its people", Volume 3 By Thomas Condit Miller, Hu Maxwell - Sub. by K. Torp]
Rev Vincent Daily
Was born in the county of Monroe, Ohio, December 11, 1832. He has been acquainted with this neighborhood (Gallia County, OH) since his boyhood, when, with the exception of the farm of John Champan, there were no improved farms in this section. All the farms have been improved since 1849. The parents of Mr. Daily are John H. and Catherine (Sutherland) Daily. His father was born in West Virginia, December 25, 1797; his mother was born November 13, 1797, and died December 11, 1863. His father resides in Lincoln county, West Virginia, but at the time of her death he resided in Lawrence county, Ohio. Mr. Daily was married in Lawrence county, Ohio, April 4, 1852, to Burthana J. Rose, who is a native of this county, born November 28, 1828. She is mother of the following children: John H. W., born August 22, 18 , resides in this county; James L., May 26, 1854, resides in this county; David S., December 31, 1855, resides in this county; Margaret A., December 16, 1857, died April 19, 1876; Vincent F., who resides at home; Windfield C., and Mary L., (who both died in infancy), January 31, 1860; Jasper F., April 22, 1862, resides at home; Sarah J., November 11, 1867, resides at home; Rosen C., March 8, 1869, died June 23, 1871 the parents of Mrs. Daily were William and Mary (Adkins) Rose, settlers of this county in 1813; her father died July 22, 1867, and her mother in 1829. Mr. Daily was a soldier in the late war, serving two years and nine months in the 91st Ohio Volunteer Infantry; was first corporal, enlisting August 6, 1862, discharged April 28, 1865. He participated in several battles and skirmishes. He was prostrated by a sunstroke in Morgan's raid, which caused palpitation of the heart and bronchitis of the throat. Mr. Daily has had relatives in every war of America. Mr. Daily belongs to the Mount Pleasant Association. He is a resident of the township of Guyan, where he is engaged in preaching and farming. He settled in this county in 1875. He has relatives in nearly every State in the Union. His postoffice address is Crown City, 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.]
James A. Holley
Hon. James A. Holley, of Charleston, West Virginia, and one of the leading Democrats of the state, has been more or less identified with public affairs in Kanawha county for many years. He was born November 12, 1855, in Cabell (now Lincoln) county, West Virginia, a member of one of the old settled families of that section.
James A. Holley was educated in the West Virginia University and Duff's Commercial College at Pittsburg. After graduating from the latter institution in 1875 he returned to Lincoln county, where he continued until 1880, engaged in farming and stock raising, after which he embarked in a general mercantile business at Hamlin. West Virginia. In the meanwhile he had become deeply interested in public matters and took a more or less active part in supporting the candidates of the Democratic party. In 1884 he was elected clerk of the circuit court of Lincoln county and served out his term of six years. In 1888 he was elected chairman of the senatorial committee and chairman of the Lincoln County Democratic executive committee and there are many who recall his loyal party work during that time, when many important issues were before the people. In 1890 he was reelected a member of the State Democratic executive committee and in 1893 he was appointed adjutant general of the state by Governor MacCorkle. In 1896 he was elected a member of the State Democratic executive committee and in 1898 was appointed a member of the State Democratic organizing committee. On January 11, he was elected clerk of the highest tribunal in the state and served until November 15, 1902. He came to Kanawha county in 1893 and was first elected mayor of the capital city in March, 1907, and in April, 1909, was elected mayor a second time for a term of four years. In 1908 he was elected chairman of the Kanawha County Democratic executive committee, and in the same year was appointed on the advisory committee of the Democratic State executive committee; each of said positions he now holds. He has efficiently filled other offices and his name is frequently mentioned for still higher honors from his party.
Mr. Holley married Miss Zena Long, a daughter of James H. Long, of Kittanning, Pennsylvania, and they have one son, Homer K.
Personally, Mayor Holley is a man who finds friends on every side, many of them being not in accord with him politically, but admirers of his qualities as a man. He is a member of the well known business firm of Holley & Stephenson, dealers in coal and timber lands and oil and gas producers. He is a prominent Mason and belongs also to the Elks. ["West Virginia and its people", Volume 3 By Thomas Condit Miller, Hu Maxwell - Sub. by K. Torp]
C. W. May
HON. C. W. MAY, President of the State Senate, and a prominent member of the bar of Hamlin, Lincoln County, West Virginia, was born in Lincoln County, July 14, 1869. He is a son of Jacob and Annie (Huff) May, both of whom are natives of Virginia.
The education of our subject was begun in the common schools of Lincoln County. After completing the course, he taught school for seven years, and then entered the University of West Virginia, from which he was graduated in 1894. In 1895 ne began the practice of law and in the following year was elected prosecuting attorney of Lincoln County, a position which he most efficiently filled for a period of four years. Mr. May has always been an ardent supporter of the principles of the Republican party, and in 1900 that party elected him State Senator and returned him to the Senate in 1902. His executive ability, good judgment and impartial methods made him the successful candidate for President of the Senate in the session of 1903, a position he has filled with the dignity becoming to it. Mr. May is a member of Hamlin Lodge. No. 4, A. F. & A. M.; Hamlin Lodge, I. O. O. F.; and Hamlin Lodge, No. 161, A. O. U. W. ["Men of West Virginia ..." By Biographical Publishing Company, 1903 Submitted by K. Torp]
Benjamin H. Oxley
Benjamin H. Oxley, State Librarian of West Virginia, after receiving the rudiments of an education in the subscription schools of Virginia, came, with hi»parents, to Lincoln county, West Virginia, and engaged in farming and teaching. He afterwards attended summer normal schools in Lincoln county and later while continuing teachingbegan the study of law. In 1881 he obtained a license to practice from the-judges of the supreme court. He practiced his profession for several years in the counties of Lincoln, Boone, Logan and Cabell.
In 1884 Mr. Oxley represented Lincoln county in the House of Delegates, and in 1886 was elected to the State Senate from the old seventh senatorial district, extending from Lincoln to Mercer county.
He was for four years bookkeeper in the State Auditor's office, and was made adjutant general by Governor Fleming, serving through the latter's incumbency in office.
He was for twelve consecutive years secretary of the State Democratic Executive Committee.
In 1913 he was appointed by the late Judge Samuel D. Littlepage as one of the commissioners to adjust and pay off Chesapeake & Ohio Railway coupons, held by numerous citizens of the State.
Mr. Oxley is a law-book author, "Instructions to Juries" having been written by him in 1906.
On March 26, 1917, Governor John J. Cornwell appointed Mr. Oxley to the position of State Librarian. ["West Virginia Blue Book" By West Virginia, 1917 - Sub. by K. Torp]
Hon. Benjamin H. Oxley
Mr. Oxley, youngest of eight children of Jenkins Madison and Elizabeth Miles Oxley, was born in Franklin County, Virginia, June 19, 1853. He and an only sister survive, two brothers having lost their lives in the cause of the South during the Civil War, the others, except one sister, having died young. His ancestors, on his father's side, came from England to Canada, early in the 17th century, afterwards moving to Virginia; his mother's ancestors were, on her father's side, also English, while on her mother's side they were Scotch-Irish, being among the earliest settlers in the Valley of Virginia.
James Hamilton Smallridge
James Hamilton Smallridge, a prominent and influential farmer near Teays, Putnam county, now West Virginia, was born and reared in this state, the year of his nativity being 1842. When the cloud of civil war darkened the national horizon his sympathies were with the Union and he immediately enlisted for service in the Union ranks, serving throughout the entire conflict. He has been a member of the Putnam county court for six years. He married Ellen Harshbarger, who is likewise a native of what is now West Virginia, born in 1848. There were nine children born to Mr. and Mrs. Smallridge, namely : Cecil and Mary, both deceased ; William H., died in 1902, aged twenty-eight years; David Clifton, mentioned below ; Ernest R., a resident of Kentucky ; Sabie, deceased, was the wife of Dr. G. A. Sively, of Milton, West Virginia, at the time of her demise; Lon G., a resident of Tacoma, Washington, married Anna Davin, of Montgomery, West Virginia; Horace H., a dentist at Charleston, West Virginia ; DeWitt Talmage, of Tacoma, Washington.
(II) Dr. David Clifton Smallridge, son of James Hamilton and Ellen (Harshbarger) Smallridge, was born at Hamlin, Lincoln county, West Virginia, May 31, 1876. As a child he accompanied his parents to Putnam county, this state, and there received his preliminary educational training, which was later supplemented with a course of study in the State Normal School, at Huntington, West Virginia. When still a youth he decided upon the dental profession as his life work and with that object in view he attended the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, at Cincinnati, in which institution he was graduated in 1901 with the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery. Immediately after graduation he went to Montgomery, Fayette county, where he has since been engaged in the active practice of his profession, being acknowledged one of the best dentists in that section of the state. He is a stockholder and director in the Montgomery National Bank, is a member of the board of directors in the Montgomery Ice Cream & Bottling Works, also considerably interested in real estate in and about Montgomery. He is a Republican in his political convictions, and fraternally is a Mason, a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Improved Order of Red Men, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Modern Woodmen of America. Religiously he is a Presbyterian.
Dr. Smallridge married, at Montgomery, December 17, 1902, Frances Daniel, born in Montgomery, daughter of James and Nannie S. Daniel, the former of whom is deceased and the latter of whom is living in Charleston. Dr. and Mrs. Smallridge have three children : Gladys Clifton, born October 15, 1903; James Hamilton, July 20, 1905; David Clifton Jr., April 29, 1908.["West Virginia and its people", Volume 3 By Thomas Condit Miller, Hu Maxwell - Sub. by K. Torp]
Hon. William Sidney Wysong, LL.B
Among the strong and successful attorneys of the central counties of West Virginia, the subject of this sketch must be recorded. He is a native of Hamlin, Lincoln County, West Virginia; is the son of William M. and Bettie Mayo Wysong; was born February 13, 1876; was educated at Hillboro Male and Female Academy, where he won the debater's medal for oratory and scholarship; at Hampden-Sidney College, Virginia, where he carried off medals for distinguished scholarship, public speaking, etc.; graduated in law from the West Virginia University in the class of 1896, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. He was admitted to the Bar of Webster County in August, 1897, and later was received as a practitioner in the Circuit Courts of the adjoining counties of Nicholas, Braxton, Upshur, Harrison and Randolph, where he was employed in important controverted cases. He is a public speaker of prominence and an advocate and trial lawyer of unusual power and ability. He very soon took high rank, especially on the criminal side of the courts. He has a large and profitable clientage in the State and Federal Courts in civil as well as criminal cases, especially in the Supreme Court of the State. He is tender in his sympathies, warm in his attachments, and is a man of refined social qualities. He is a lawyer of excellent attainments, and is thoroughly acquainted with the history and character of West Virginia jurisprudence. Whilst he is a man of earnest and intense convictions, his actions and expressions are always tempered with mildness and discretion. Hence he is respected and esteemed by men of all classes and politics.
Mr. Wysong is an adherent of the Democratic Party, and is one of its most popular stump speakers. He enjoys mixing with the people as a sort of side issue, more for recreation than for political preferment. He filled the office of Mayor of the town of Webster Springs during 1907 and 1908, and was twice elected, in 1911 and 1913, by the people of Webster County to the Legislature of the State. Being a ready debater he took an active part in the legislation of those two sessions. He is a member of the Southern Methodist Church, is a Freemason and a member of the Greek Letter College Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta.
He was married April I8, 1900, to Miss Mattie L. Wooddell, of Webster Springs, and has one son William Prentiss Wysong, aged fifteen. Their home is at the famous summer resort of Webster Springs, which the citizens of that section claim is the Eldorado of the universe, and they are not far wrong in the arguments they set up for its medicinal properties. It is great medicinal water. [Bench and bar of West Virginia edited by George Wesley Atkinson, 1919 Transcribed by AFOFG]
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