West Virginia State Site


Marion County, West Virginia
Biographies


Hon. U. N. Arnett
This gentleman is well known throughout the State of We4st Virginia as a politician, having for some years taken an active part in the politics of his county and State.  He was born March 7, 1820, and is, therefore, now sixty years of age.  He is a son of Jonathan and Elizabeth Arnett, who lived near Rivesville, this county, where Mr. Arnett now resides, his calling being that of a farmer and grazier.  His boyhood was passed upon the farm, working at that calling in the summer, and in the winter attending the common schools of the day.  He entered public life in 1851, as a representative of Marion county in the Virginia Legislature, serving in that capacity for a period of six years.  From that time up to 1870, he served at various times as a justice of the peace and as foreman of the grand jury, which latter position he held for over twenty years.  In 1872, Mr. Arnett was a member of the constitutional convention of West Virginia, and was soon afterwards elected State Senator from his district, which office he held for four years, two years of the time serving as President of the Senate.  Mr. Arnett is a Democrat, and is one of the most popular men of his party in the county.  He also possesses many friends belonging to other parties, they recognizing in him an honest opponent, and a faithful and distinguished legislator during the time he served in the Senate.  He is one of our most wealthy citizens, and is the proprietor of a beautiful home, upon his estate on the Monongahela river, near the town of Rivesville. [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub by: Nancy Overlander

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]

James S. Barns
James S. Barns, retired minister, Rising Sun, was born in Marion County, W. Va.. May 6, 1812. His parents were William and Jane (Graham) Barns, natives of Maryland and West Virginia, respectively, and of English. Welsh and Irish extraction. They were married in Marion County, W. Va., where they remained until about 1817, at which time they moved to Madison County, Ohio, and from thence, in the following year, to Wayne County, Ohio, and in 1830 to Brown County, Ohio, where he died in 1833, at the age of fifty-five years. His wife moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1840, and there died in 1843, at the age of fifty-five years. He was a physician by profession, and a local minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Their family consisted of Thomas F., John W., Rebecca A., Phoebe S., Frances S., William A., Rachel S., Thornton S., Reason ML, and James S., our subject, the third member of the family. He was educated in the district schools of the vicinity where he was raised, and in them acquired quite a thorough education. But after reaching the years of maturity, he turned his attention to milling, farming and trading. He was united in marriage, in Clermont County, Ohio, September 11, 1838, to Miss Lydia A., daughter of Elijah, and Nancy (Champion) Applegate. She was born in Clermont County, Ohio, August 3, 1819. After Mr. Barns' marriage, he settled in Brown County, Ohio, where he engaged in milling, and in 1841 moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and engaged in the grocery trade. In 1845 he removed to Switzerland County, Ind., and purchased a farm and engaged in farming, and shortly afterward was licensed to preach, as a local minister, in that county, and in 1849 was admitted in the Indiana Conference as a traveling minister, a calling pursued till 1862, in this State, and was then sent to southern Illinois, and in 1875 was transferred back to the Southeastern Indiana Conference, and then settled at Moore's Hill Ind., where he resided until the spring of 1885, at which time he removed to Rising Sun, where he at present resides. Mr. and Mrs. Barns have had born to them five children, viz.: Carroll O, Maria B., Olive E., Florence A., and Emma M.; of whom the latter two only are living.
Source: History of Dearborn and Ohio Counties, Indiana : Chicago: F.E. Weakley & Co., 1885.

Hon. J. C. Beeson
Jacob Clark Beeson, son of Jesse and Anna Beeson, was born in Martinsburg, Berkeley county, this State on the 29th day of January, 1814, where he passed his life until March, 1857, when he came to Fairmont and engaged in the hardware business.  He has since resided in that place, filling many important places of public trust.  He was mayor of Fairmont, and member of the council at various times from 1862 to 1878, and in 1853, was elected Treasurer of Marion county.  In 1866-7, Mr. Beeson represented this county in the West Virginia Legislature, being elected on the Republican ticket.  Among other positions which he has held are those of President of the board of supervisors of the county, and President of the First National Bank of Fairmont, which position he now holds and has held for some years.  Mr. Beeson, having accumulated a competency, some years ago retired from the mercantile business, and has since lived a comparatively inactive life at his beautiful home in Fairmont.  He is a popular and influential citizen of the town and county.  [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub. by: Nancy Overlander

Jacob E. Boreman
Boreman, Jacob E., journalist, lawyer, jurist, was born Aug. 4, 1831, in Middletown, W.Va. In 1861 he was elected city attorney of Kansas City, Mo.; he assisted in raising troops for the civil war; and in 1862 became a judge of common pleas. He was elected a member of the Kansas state legislature in 1869. He subsequently purchased an interest in the Kansas City Bulletin; and became its editor. In 1873 he was appointed an associate justice of the United States court for the territory of Utah.
[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]

Charles M. Davidson, Esq.
Mr. Charles M. Davison, Superintendent of the West Fairmont Mines, is a prominent business man of the county, to whom is due, in a great measure, the success of these mines, and the fact that they are now in operation, employing a large number of hands.  He was born on the 23d of February, 1840, in the city of Bogota, United State of Colombia, South America; his parents, who were citizens of this country, resided there at that time.  His father and mother returning to the United States of America, when he was between three and four years of age, he accompanied them, and was raised in the city of New York.  Mr. Davison is a gentleman of culture, having received in his youth a good education at the public schools of New York, and at the Irving Institute, at Tarrytown on the Hudson, close to Washington Irving's residence.  At the age of twenty-one he was married to a Brooklyn lady, and after spending some years in traveling, during which time he made several trips to different portions of the Globe in search of fortune, he finally came to Fairmont, in 1870, to take the business management of the West Fairmont gas coal and coke mines, which position he has since held.  During his residence in Marion county, he has gained a reputation as a man who is foremost in the advocacy of any business enterprise which tends to the development of the resources of the county, and is very popular as a citizen.  Socially, he is one of the most popular men of the county.  He is a member of very high standing in the Masonic fraternity, and one of the few men in the state who have attained to the thirty-second degree.  He is also a member of high standing the I.O.O.F. lodges of Fairmont, the Patrons of Husbandry of the county, and Knights of Honor of Fairmont.  [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880  Sub. by: Nancy Overlander

Downs Family

Fisher Family

Hon. A. Brooks Fleming
The subject of this sketch, Judge A.B. Fleming, was born October 13, 1839, upon his father's farm, two miles west of Fairmont.  He is the son of Benjamin F. and Rhoda Fleming, the latter a daughter of Rev. Asa Brooks.  Until he arrived at the age of twenty he worked upon his father's farm about half of each year, attending school the other half. In 1859, he commenced the study of law at the University of Virginia; was admitted to the bar and commenced to practice at Fairmont, in 1862.  In the year following (1863) he was electing Prosecuting Attorney of Marion county, which office he held until 1867.  He was married September 7, 1865 to Carrie M., daughter of James O. Watson.  In 1872, Mr. Fleming was elected on the Democratic ticket a member of the West Virginia Legislature, and was re-elected in 1875.  While in the Legislature he rendered much important service to the State, fulfilled faithfully his duties as a legislator, and worked earnestly for the best interests of Marion county.  In February, 1878, he was, by the Governor, appointed Judge of the Second Judicial Circuit (composed of the counties of Taylor, Harrison, Doddridge, Wetzel, Monongalia and Marion), to fill the unexpired term of Judge Lewis, deceased, until a successor could be elected, and in the October following was elected by the people to fill the vacancy.  His term of office will expire January 1, 1881.
For a number of years past Judge Fleming has been engaged in mining enterprises in connection with his father-in-law, Mr. Watson, and in farming, and has succeeded in accumulating quite a competency.  He is an able jurist, and is a gentleman of fine literary and business attainments, while his entire political and private life have been above reproach, being very popular among his fellow citizens of all parties.  [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub. by: Nancy Overlander
Glascock Family

Albert S. Hayden, Esq.
Albert S. Hayden, Esq., was born in Fayette county, Pa., in the year 1825, and lived there until he arrived at the age of twenty-two years.  He removed to Fairmont in June, 1847, where he has since resided, engaged in the practice of his profession, which is that of a lawyer.  He received an excellent education in the schools of his native county, and studied law in the office of Hon. Robert P. Flenniken, afterwards United States Minister to Denmark, during the administration of President Polk.  Mr. Hayden, being of a very modest disposition, and having no political aspirations or desire for office, has never held any import public offices, except that of district court clerk, which position he held from 1852 until 1861, a period of nine years.  In his political beliefs he is democratic.  He is one of the most popular lawyers at the Marion county bar, and is respected throughout the county as a man and a citizen.  Mr. Hayden's genial disposition has made him many personal friends, and his acknowledged superior legal and literary attainments, have distinguished him among his fellow citizens as one of the most prominent men of the county.  [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub. by: Nancy Overlander

Judge Alpheus F. Haymond
Judge Haymond, son of Col. Thomas S. and Harriet A. Haymond, was born on a farm near Fairmont, Marion County, Virginia, December 15, 1823. His early life was uneventful, but even in his youth he showed the vigor of thought and bold independence characteristic of subsequent years. Until the age of thirteen he attended school near his home, then went to Morgantown, Monongalia County Academy, where he remained two years, then to William and Mary College, Williamstown, Virginia, where he remained for a few terms. He read law with Edgar E. Wilson, of Morgantown, and was admitted to the Bar in 1842 when only nineteen years of age. He soon became recognized as an able lawyer, and had secured a paying practice before the Civil War. In early life he revealed a liking for politics. In 1853, and again in 1857, he was elected a member of the Legislature of Virginia from Marion County, and in 1861 he was a member of the Virginia Convention, and opposed Secession; but after the State seceded he entered the Confederate Army and remained therein until after the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox, when he returned to his home at Fairmont and resumed his law practice, which rapidly grew to large proportions.
Being a strong lawyer he was appropriately chosen a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1872 to frame a new Constitution for the State of West Virginia, in which he figured conspicuously and ably. At the first election under that revised Constitution he was elected a member of the Supreme Court of Appeals of the State; served ably thereon until 1876, when he was re-elected to the same position for the full term of twelve years. He was a just and able judge. He wrote many opinions, all of which reveal honesty of purpose and determination to deal out justice without fear or favor. He was most careful in the preparation of his opinions, because he knew that hasty, ill-considered decisions by Appellate Courts are unprofitable to the public, unreliable as precedents and authority for the legal profession or the citizen, and discreditable to the court that makes them. Consequently he labored zealously to get at the facts, merits and law of every case he passed upon, or was decided by any of his associates on the Appellate Bench during his membership of the Court. He was necessarily an untiring worker, so much so that he found his health giving way under the necessary strain of the daily grind, and he decided to abandon his work upon the bench; consequently he resigned the position January 1, 1883, which he had so ably filled for ten years, and retired to private life.
Judge Haymond was a Democrat, a man of medium height, heavy build, face of a round contour, of agreeable and graceful manners, and of even temper. In his later years his practice was confined exclusively to the Supreme Court. He departed this life December 15, 1893, thus ending a distinguished and useful career.
He was a married man and had an interesting family. One of his sons is now judge of the Circuit Court of Marion County, and is a lawyer of acknowledged ability, and a safe and reliable jurist. [Bench and Bar of West Virginia by George Wesley Atkinson, 1919 - Transcribed by AFOFG]

Judge A. F. Haymond
The subject of this sketch was born on the 15th day of December, 1823, upon his father's farm, about three miles from Fairmont.  He is a son of Colonel Thomas S. and Harriet A. Haymond.  He attended the country schools in the neighborhood of his home until he arrived at the age of thirteen, when his father sent him to school at the Morgantown Academy, which institution he attended for about two years, and was then sent to the William and Mary College, at Williamsburg, Virginia, for a term of nine months.  He did not return to the college after this session, on account of ill health, but began the study of law at home, and in the office of Edgar E. Wilson, at Morgantown.  In 1842, when he was but nineteen years of age, he was admitted to the bar, and immediately commenced the practice of law in Fairmont, which profession he continued to follow here until the breaking out of the Rebellion, serving in the meantime for several years as Prosecuting Attorney of Marion county.  In the spring of 1853, he was elected a member of the Virginia Legislature from this county, and again in 1857.  He was a delegate from Marion to the Virginia Convention of 1861, and strongly opposed all movements towards Secession.  He continued to oppose Secession until after that ordinance was passed and the war had fairly commenced, when he felt in his conscience that it was his duty to acquiesce, and go with his native State.  He accordingly acted upon the promptings of his conscience and entered the field against the Union early in January, 1862.  He remained in the military service of the south until the surrender of General Lee at Appomatox Court House, in April, 1865, when he surrendered and paroled with Lee's army.  He returned to Fairmont in June, 1865, and shortly afterwards resumed the practice of law.  Mr. Haymond, however, was soon prohibited from the practice of his profession in the State courts by the "lawyer's test oath."  Sometime afterwards, on a petition of Union citizens of Marion and Monongalia counties, the Legislature of West Virginia passed a special act permitting him to practice in the State courts without taking the test oath, this being the first act of the kind passed by the Legislature.  By an act of Congress he was afterwards relieved of his political disabilities, incurred by reason of his participation in the Rebellion.  In 1872, Mr. Haymond was a member of the constitutional convention at Charleston, West Virginia, and on the 22d of August, of the same year, was elected a Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals of the State. In October, 1876, he was re-elected to this high office for a term of twelve years, commencing January 1, 1877.  He is one of the most popular men in the State, and at the late election received a very large majority over his opponents, running considerably "ahead of his ticket."  He was ever popular as a lawyer and as a citizen, and in the position which he now holds, he gives universal satisfaction, being one of the ablest jurists in the State, and one of the most dignified and learned Judges upon the bench.  He is a man of whom his fellow citizens in Marion county are proud, because of his many intellectual and social qualities, as well as of his great popularity throughout the State.  [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub. by: Nancy Overlander

Col. Thomas S. Haymond
Thomas S. Haymond was one of the most prominent characters of his day in the county.  He was a son of William Haymond, jr., whose father was one of the earliest settlers of this region of the country - and a man who was celebrated for his intelligence and benevolence.  Colonel Haymond was born upon his father's estate, in this county, January 15, 1794, and died in Richmond, Virginia, in the spring of 1869.  He received a fair education, and his studious habits, coupled with his rare natural endowments, soon won for him a great and good reputation, which clung to him through life.  When quite a young man, scarcely thirty years of age, he represented his native county in the Virginia Legislature, and while there held the respect and gained the admiration of his constituency for the admirable manner in which he discharged the duties of his office.  In the fall of 1840, Mr. Haymond was sent to the United State House of Representatives by the people of his district, and while there he proved himself an able legislator and an efficient worker for the best interests of his State.  At the breaking out of the War of the Rebellion, he removed south, and was in Richmond at the time of his death.  For sometime previous to the war, Mr. Haymond held the office of colonel of a regiment of militia; hence the title which is generally prefixed to his name.  [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub. by: Nancy Overlander

Balsar Hess Family

Huey Family

James Kincaid
IN WEST VIRGINIA HILLS.
James Kincaid can sing of His Old Home.
James Kincaid recently returned from a visit to his old home at Fairmount, West Va., and reports having a very pleasant time at the place of his birth and childhood days, roaming over the grand old majestic hills that thrilled his heart with rapture in those by gone days. Many changes have wrought since then and the town of Fairmount which was a mere hamlet has grown to a city of large proportions that has within its borders mining interests alone that aggregate millions of dollars. Following is a song by an unknown author that certainly could be sung by Mr. Kincaid with great pleasure: Song is large not re-typed. [Friday, October 18, 1901 - Newman Weekly Independent, Douglas County, IL]

James A. Kincaid
James A. Kincaid has through is own individual effort and unaided by friends become one of the most successful farmers and stock raisers in Newman township (Douglas County, IL). He was born of humble but honorable parentage in Marion County, West Virginia, August 22, 1853 and is a son of Alpheus M. and Sarah (Johnson) Kincaid, who in about 1865 emigrated from their West Virginia home and settled on a farm near the village of Chrisman, where they resided on a rented farm for three years, when they removed to Newman township. Alpheus M. Kincaid has been dead for over thirty years, and his wife died March 9, 1900. John Kincaid (grandfather) was born in Rolan county, Ireland, and entered land in West Virginia. Barnett Johnson was born in New England, and also entered land in West Virginia.
James A. Kincaid, by hard work and good management, has achieved a success far above the average farmer. He owns eighty acres of valuable and well improved land and has only recently erected a fine residence at a cost of over three thousand dollars. In 1874 he was united in marriage to Miss Caroline F. Anderson, a daughter of Elijah Anderson, who was one of the pioneers of the Brushy Fork neighborhood, having migrated from Indiana. He was born in Posey county, Indiana, and married in Vermilion county, that state, to Sarah S. James. His death occurred some eight years ago, and he and his wife are buried at Albin cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. Kincaid have four children living; Sarah, Nora V., Rosa Lee, Caroline Elizabeth, and James A. A son, Moses Ewen, died September 12, 1876. Mr. Kincaid is a member of the Modern Woodmen, and is well and favorably known as an intelligent and up-to-date farmer.[Source: "Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois" By John M. Gresham, Published by Press of Wilson, Humphreys & Co., 1900 - Submitted by dmw7632]

Hon. Zedekiah Kidwell
Dr. Zedekiah Kidwell, was one of the prominent characters whose life was closely identified with the political history of Marion county, and the entire Congressional district which he represented in Congress twice in succession.  He was born in Fairfax county, Virginia, January 4, 1814, and died in Fairmont, West Virginia, April 26, 1872.  He belonged to one of those old Virginia families whose ancestry were English emigrants of noble blood.  The Doctor was a son of Captain Kidwell, who figured in the war of 1812, and contributed no little in various ways to the opening up and improvement of West Virginia, his business being that of a contractor and bridge-builder.
When a youth, Zedekiah received nothing more than a practical English education in the schools of his native county, but he was a good scholar, acquiring knowledge with ease, and was proficient in his studies.  In after years he read and wrote a great deal, proving himself a rapid thinker and writer.  At the age of nineteen he entered upon the study of medicine with Dr. Grinnell, of Fairfax Court House.  In the fall of 1834 his father removed to Clarksburg, and here the student was interrupted in his professional studies, two or three years being spent in teaching, clerking in a store and assisting his father in his business.  In 1837, he resumed the study of medicine with Drs. Wilson and Carr, of Fairmont (then Middletown), and upon the death of Dr. Carr he entered upon the practice of his profession in partnership with Dr. Wilson.
In 1841 and 1842, Dr. Kidwell took a very active part in procuring the formation of Marion county, and entered political life as a delegate to the Virginia Legislature in 1844 - being re-elected several times.  He now became an active and influential politician in the Democratic party, and in the Presidential campaign of 1848, was elector for his district, upon that ticket.  His labors, about this time, were enormous for one man, and he brought on hemorrhage of the lungs from speaking in the open air while hoarse, which came near terminating his life.  After a long illness, he rallied, and entered again upon the active duties of life, being obliged, however, to give up the practice of medicine.  He entered upon the study of law, and it was not long until he was admitted to the bar.  In 1852, he was again drawn into politics and was elected to represent his district in Congress.  He served two terms - from 1853 to 1859.  At the close of the second term he was elected a member of the Board of Public Works of Virginia, which office he filled until the breaking out of the War of the Rebellion.  He was never a defeated candidate and was the most popular man in his district.   President Buchanan tendered him the office of sixth auditor of the Treasury, but he declined to accept it.
Dr. Kidwell stood high in Congress, and was a faithful legislator.  His report in opposition to the construction of the Pacific Railroad, on the route and under the circumstances then proposed, was considered an able document, and elicited high praise from many of the leading papers of the country.  He also made an able speech in Congress upon what was known as the "Louisiana question."  It was through his agency that Wheeling was made a port of entry in 1854.  He was one of the "immortal seventy" who held out so long pending the fierce struggle which resulted in the election of Banks as Speaker of the House.  He was an able stump speaker, and the late Governor Wise, of Virginia, pronounced him the ablest campaign manager in the State.  His public life terminated with the commencement of the War.  He was a hearty sympathizer with the South and Southern principles in the great struggle, and the course he took was a pure matter of conscience with him.
Of his private character, much that is good can be said.  He was an earnest Christian, and a member of the M.P. Church, Fairmont.  He gave liberally of his means to the support of various charitable institutions, and was widely celebrated for his kindness and benevolence to the poor.  [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub. by: Nancy Overlander
Linn Family

Richard B. Lott
a brother of Robert B. Lott, was born in the town of Washington, Pennsylvania, March 16, 1833; he died in Fairmont, West Virginia, September 7, 1879, in the forty-seventh year of his age.  This brief statement compasses the life history of a remarkable man, yet the task of appropriately elaborating that statement is by no means an easy one.  He who occupies a position in his community so prominent as that occupied by Richard P. Lott, cannot have his connection with that community severed, whether by death or other cause, and pass away beyond the portals unregretted, his deeds forgotten.  As viewed from the active field to which our common humanity is summoned, his was largely an isolated existence.  From his early youth through a life full of work and a career of much usefulness, he was the weary bearer of the burden of deformity, and, to a great degree, of physical helplessness.
At the early age of three years he fell a victim to an uncontrollable disease, the effects of which proved to him a grievous misfortune, since thenceforward he was a hopeless cripple, utterly unable to walk.  The despair he felt when his terrible affliction became fully confirmed, and as even in his youthful fancy he confronted himself with a future barren of those pleasures found only in equal participation with his fellows in life's pursuits, can be imagined, but not fully realized by one not similarly situated; and none but those who held his most intimate confidence in his manhood can estimate the intensity of the dark shadow that seemed to cloud his life when he allowed himself to contemplate his limited sphere.  Yet possessed of a rare faculty of suppressing his emotions he seldom betrayed the thought. For reasons obvious he was never able to attend school, excepting occasionally during one term in his early youth, when he was conveyed to and from the school house by others; he was, therefore, a self-educated man.  Without other occupation he early turned his attention to books; and as he progressed in his studies, a strong desire for knowledge was engendered. He soon became master of the elementary, then of the more advanced branches; and not content with these he took up the more difficult studies, including the languages, and his zeal and ambition found reward in success.  As he grew older he became a close observer of public affairs, and entered intelligently and with force into discussions of all topics demanding public attention, none enjoying an "intellectual battle" more than he.  Having a taste for newspaper writing, he used the press as the channel through which to present his views upon questions of public import, and was ever welcomed as a contributor by all the journals in whose columns he sought space.  He was a logical reasoner in debate, wielding a vigorous pen, yet writing with a graceful freedom that won respectful attention from friend and opponent.  Since he so closely identified himself with politics of the day, he may be regarded as having been a "public man" in this respect, and in that field evidenced ability that, had he been favorably situated, would have won him distinction, and honors at the hands of the people.  Originally he was of the Democratic school and an ardent admirer of Stephen A. Douglas - entering upon political thought and action at the most brilliant period of that eminent gentleman's career, Mr. Lott took an active interest in his fortunes up to the assembling of the Charleston Convention of historic fame.  With a clear perception, he foresaw the disasters awaiting the "Little Giant," and, in common with thousands of others, he recognized in the proceedings of that convention the gathering of the clouds portending the storm of civil war, and with an earnest desire for peace, he regretfully transferred his allegiance elsewhere.  Espousing the cause of the Union, he addressed himself to the task of assisting in the perpetuation of the Federal Government.  He was not prepared to endorse Mr. Lincoln, however, and cast his ballot for Bell and Everett.  He afterwards became a warm supporter of the Lincoln administration.  During the campaign of 1860, and the years of turmoil that followed, Mr. Lott was a constant contributor to the political literature of the day.  He vigorously opposed the ordinance of secession, and to him, probably, as much as to many others more pretentious, is due the large vote cast in opposition to that measure in the western part of the Old Dominion.  When Virginia seceded, and was inevitable, he was among the foremost advocates of the proposition for a new state.
Though a constant writer for the press, Mr. Lott's name rarely appeared in print, he preferring to employ a nom de plume for all his productions.  He was, however, at one time the recognized local editor of the Fairmont National.  Early in the year 1861, he was placed in charge of the Fairmont Postoffice [sic], and throughout the war, and for a period of eight years thereafter, as deputy and as chief, he discharged the duties of the position with signal ability, and to the satisfaction of the public.  This was the only office he ever held.
For several years preceding his death, Mr. Lott was the subject of a disease emanating principally from his previous affliction, and he was finally compelled to abandon all occupation, which he did with great reluctance.  At last, yielding to the summons, he passed away, closing an honorable life with the same practical stoicism that had characterized him 'midst his long years of suffering.  A firm, true hearted friend, an intelligent, high-minded man and patriotic citizen, he passed into the unknown realms, leaving impressed upon the hearts of a whole community, endearing remembrances of "Dick Lott."  [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub. by: Nancy Overlander

Robert B. Lott, Esq.
In these days of political trickery and thirst for office, it is a rare thing to see a man who, for almost a score of years, has held one office and proved satisfactory to his fellow citizens of all parties, and against whom there was never a word uttered, but whose praise is sounded by all men, be they friends or foes.  The subject of this sketch was such a man.  Robert B. Lott was born June 19, 1835, at Washington, Pennsylvania, and when he was about three years of age his parents removed to Fairmont (then Middletown) where he passed nearly all the remainder of his life.  Here he received a common school education and always bore a reputation for studious, sober and industrious habits.  This reputation, formed in his youth, clung to him through life.  When a young man he worked some as a tanner, but finally gave that business up, and became engaged as a grocer, which calling he followed until elected clerk of the Circuit Court of Marion county in 1861, which office continued to fill for several terms in succession, and until a few months previous to his death in 1879.  During the latter part of the War of the Rebellion he served in the Union army, leaving the office in charge of a deputy, but after his discharge in 1865, he again assumed control.  Although of Republican principles in his politics, he was very popular throughout the county among citizens of all parties, because of the excellence and faithfulness with which he discharged the duties of his office.  During the last few years of his life he was afflicted with hemorrhage of the lungs, and in summer of 1878, in the hopes that it would benefit him, he visited Colorado, the fame of whose health-giving climate had reached him.  This being the year for the election of clerks, he was pressed to become a candidate for re-election.  He refused, however, giving for his reasons, the poor state of his health.  So earnest was the request of his Republican friends, (in which they were joined by many Democrats) that he finally, but reluctantly, consented to become a candidate.  He was in Colorado during the entire campaign, and the fact of his absence and non-participation in the canvass, together with the bad state of his health (many feeling sure that he would not live to fill the office should he be elected) contributed largely towards his defeat, by the Democratic nominee, Mr. Clarence L. Smith, who defeated him by twenty-six votes.  After the election, Mr. Lott's health being somewhat improved by the western climate, he deemed it prudent to take up his residence there with his family until he should recover sufficiently to again make Fairmont his home.  He accordingly returned for his family, and bidding his many friends in the county adieu, he departed for Greeley, Colorado, where on the fifth of March, 1879, following, he died, his disease having made too much headway for the climate to prove permanently beneficial.  His remains were brought to Fairmont, where they were followed to the grave by an immense concourse of friends, besides the masonic and military organizations of the town.  In speaking of his death, the Fairmont West Virginian said among other things: "Having few faults and many virtues; possessing a character above reproach, and a name blemished by no unworthy act, 'Bob' Lott goes down to the grave in honor, his memory cherished by warm personal friends in every quarter of Marion county, and throughout the State."  [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub. by: Nancy Overlander

Hon. Benjamin F. Martin
Though at present not residing in Marion, Mr. Martin is a native of the county and spent a great portion of his life here.  He was born near Farmington, October 2, 1828.  He is a son of Jesse Martin, of that place, upon whose farm he lived and worked until he was twenty-one years of age.  He was chiefly educated at Allegheny College, at Meadville, Pa., where he graduated with college honors in June, 1854.  After returning from college he taught school in Fairmont for eighteen months, during which time he studied law.  He was admitted to the bar and commenced to practice in March, 1856, removing in the following November to Pruntytown, where he has since resided.  In 1872, Mr. Martin was a member of the Constitutional Convention of West Virginia, and was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention at Baltimore the same year, voting against the nomination of Horace Greeley.
In the campaign which followed, however, he yielded him active and earnest support.  In 1872, he was a candidate for Congress from this district, on the Democratic ticket against Hon. J. M. Hagans.  Both candidates claimed the election and the seat was contested - resulting in the declaration of the election of Hagans.  In 1876, Mr. Martin was elected to the Forty-sixth Congress, and in 1878 he was re-elected.  His term of office expires January 1, 1881.  Mr. Martin is an efficient and faithful Representative and is very popular among the people of his district.  [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub. by: Nancy Overlander

John W. McCoy, Esq.
The above named gentleman is a member of the Marion county bar, and is a lawyer of considerable reputation throughout the State.  He was born near Middlebourne, Tyler county, Virginia (now West Virginia), on the 14th of September, 1826; worked on his father's farm until he arrived at the age of twenty-one, going to school in the winters; was principally educated at the Clarksburg Academy; was admitted to the bar in 1854, and commenced the practice of law at Middlebourne.  He lived there until the spring of 1868, when he removed to Fairmont, Marion county, and has since resided there.  In 1858, Mr. McCoy was elected prosecuting attorney of Tyler county, and was re-elected in 1860.  In 1870, he was elected to the office of prosecuting attorney of Marion county, and at the expiration of his term was re-elected.  In 1879, a bill organizing the county courts of Marshall, Wetzel and Marion into a circuit with a judge, was brought before the Legislature, and by that body put to the vote of the people of the three counties.  Mr. McCoy was almost unanimously nominated for the judgeship of the new court.  At the polls he received an overwhelming vote for the office, but the bill - known as the "County Court Bill" - was defeated thus leaving Mr. McCoy a judge without a circuit.  The large vote he received upon this occasion served to show his exceeding popularity among the people.  Mr. McCoy is considered one of the best read lawyers in the State, and, as a counsel, has but few equals.  [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub. by: Nancy Overlander

Morgan Family

Stephen Morgan Family

Hon. William S. Morgan
The subject of this sketch was born near the present site of Rivesville, this county, (then Monongalia) September 7, 1801.  He was a son of Stephen Morgan, whose father, David Morgan, figured prominently in the early history of the county.  He passed most of his life upon his father's estate, until he arrived at the age of twenty-one, when he entered the ministry of the Methodist Church, and was a circuit rider from 1822 to 1827.  Mr. Morgan was a self-made man in the strict sense of the term, being self-educated, with the exception of the little learning he received at the old time country schools.
In 1835, he was chosen to represent his district in Congress and was re-elected in 1837. While a Representative he was chairman of the Committee on Revolutionary Pensions.  He did not seek for office and declined the nomination for a third term, after which he was appointed a clerk in the House of Representatives.  In 1841, he was sent to the Virginia Legislature, and secured the passage of the bill forming Marion county in 1842, and was elected a member of the Legislature from the new county, the same year.  In 1844, Mr. Morgan was Presidential Elector for this district upon the Democratic ticket, and in the year following received an appointment to a clerkship in the United States Treasury Department, which position he held until 1861.  During the two years following (1861-3) he was engaged in painting in water colors for the Smithsonian Institute, at Washington, and produced numerous illustrations for the works on Oology, by Prof. S. F. Baird and Mr. Elliott.  These illustrations were pronounced by critics to be the most accurate that could be procured.  He invented and presented to the Institute a machine used in drawing the outlines of eggs, which is still in use there.
He was a man of extraordinary endowments, and his knowledge of the sciences was very accurate.  American natural history and botany were his favorite studies, and he was one of the best botanists in the country.  Mr. Morgan numbered among his personal friends some of the most distinguished of American scientist.
After leaving Washington, he lived with his brother-in-law, Colonel Austin Merrill, at Rivesville, until his death.  While on a visit to his son, in Washington, on the 3d of September, 1878, he died of malarial fever, and was buried in the Congressional Cemetery, of that city.
Marion county has produced few such men as William S. Morgan, for he was, indeed, and extraordinary character, as his career shows.  Possessed of noble impulses, a great intellect, and many Christian virtues, he was universally beloved, and died mourned by all who knew him.   [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub. by: Nancy Overlander

James Morrow, Jr., Esq.
The position which the above named gentleman occupies among the legal fraternity of West Virginia is second to none. He is one of the brightest and best known lawyers in the State, and is a distinguished citizen of Marion county.  Mr. Morrow was born in that portion of Brooke county, Va., which now comprises Hancock county, West Virginia, in the year 1837, and passed his boyhood days upon his father's farm, attending school in the neighborhood, and laying the foundation of his after life of usefulness.  He received a classical education in the neighboring States of Pennsylvania and Ohio - "the people of the Northern Pan-Handle being that day," as Mr. Morrow himself humorously express it, "obliged to resort to their more highly cultured neighbors for the humanizing agencies of higher education and harvest whisky."  At the age of twenty years he commenced the study of law and continued to prosecute his legal studies until the year 1862, when he was admitted to the bar Illinois.  Three years afterwards, in 1865, he located in Fairmont and has since engaged constantly in the practice of his profession in Marion and adjoining counties.  In 1871, he represented Marion county in the West Virginia Legislature - the first session of that body after the removal of the Capital to Charleston - and was a member of the Committee on the Judiciary.  He was a member of the Special Court in the contested election case of Harrison against Lewis for the office of Judge of this circuit, and wrote the opinion of the majority of the Court; he was also counsel for Auditor Bennett and Treasurer Burdette in their impeachment trials before the West Virginia Senate.  In 1870-71, he occupied the editorial chair of the Fairmont Liberalist for some months.

There are few such men as James Morrow in the State.  He possesses rare legal abilities, and as an orator has few superiors.  By his quiet humor, sparkling wit, cutting sarcasm, eloquent and dignified language and manners, as well as by his great knowledge of the law, he has attained an enviable reputation as a pleader in court, while as a public speaker he is exceedingly popular.  Aside from his abilities as a lawyer, Mr. Morrow is a gentleman of culture and refinement from a literary and social standpoint.  [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub. by: Nancy Overlander

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]

J. Truman Nixon
spent part of his early youth in the State ofOhio, where he attended country schools and May 23, 1887, graduated from the St. Paris High School, the following year was spent at Dennison University at Granville, Ohio. His practical preparation for life consisted in discipline in farm work and as clerk in his father's store and others at St. Paris, Ohio. In July 1887 he returned to the old homestead in Taylor County, West Virginia, where he built his career to prosperity operating a large stock farm, making a specialty of raising registered Shorthorn cattle and Berkshire hogs, continuing that business until April 15, 1905. He still owns his farm and coal lands in that state and others in Oklahoma,
In the meantime he had become actively associated with the coal, oil and gas business. In 1891 and 1892 he was connected with the Camden coal interests at Monongah, West Virginia. In 1899 he was employed with the South Penn Oil Company's land department in West Virginia and continued with that firm and other affiliated Standard interests until 1906. From March, 1903, until the beginning of 1905 he had charge of the land department in Indian Territory for Prairie Oil & Gas Company.
During 1905 he was employed by the Virginias Railway Company (Standard Interest) in West Virginia and Virginia in buying lands for that corporation, and bought what is known as "Oney Gap" (Tunnel) for this company. In November, 1905, he and associates sold a large coal area in Barbour County, West Virginia, after which he has confined his efforts to Illinois and Oklahoma oil and gas fields, spending the entire year of 1906 in the Illinois field. He became manager of the land department for the Oklahoma Natural Gas Company at Tulsa, in January, 1907, and now has several prominent associations with local industrial and financial corporations.
Mr. Nixon organized the Tulsa Engineering and Supply Company. He is one of the vice presidents of the Merchants and Planters Bank of Tulsa, a stockholder in the National Bank of Commerce, a stockholder in the Guarantee Abstract & Title Company, sole owner of the Indian records, an abstract business dealing exclusively with work and records of the Department of the Interior which is the only successful office of the kind conducted within the range of our knowledge, furnishing abstracts of all departmental leases and enrollment and allotment records, his business dealing particularly with oil and gas.
Mr. Nixon has studied and has a comprehensive knowledge of the law but never cared for practice before the bar, choosing to act in the capacity of councilor, which coupled with his experience and knowledge of men and affairs, makes him a very strong man.
Mr. Nixon is affiliated with the Tulsa Lodge No. 71, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; with Tulsa Chapter No. 52, Royal Arch Masons; with Tulsa Commandery No. 22, Knights Templars; with Trinity Council No. 20, Royal and Select Masters; Akdar Temple of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; and Tulsa Chapter No. 133 Eastern Star. He is also a Knight of Pythias and became a charter member of Black Diamond Lodge No. 72 at Monongah, West Virginia, when it was organized in 1892.
Politically his party affiliations are republican but independent of the party whip and he is a man who has many staunch friends in every walk of life.
Mr. Nixon was married August 18, 1892, to Florence B. Jolliffe. Mrs. Nixon was born near Uniontown, Wetzel County, West Virginia. A daughter of Amos and Mary Jolliffe, another very old English family that can boast of an unbroken line for nearly 500 years. Her forefathers coming to America about 1645. Later we find the male descendants serving in General Washington's army where they acquitted themselves with credit and distinction. In old England they served their kings well and were remembered by their rulers with favor. Some evidence is Jolliffe Coat of Arms, Argent on a pile Azure, three Dexter Gauntlets of the field; Jolliffe Crest, a cubit arm erect vested and cuffed, the sleeve charged with a pile Argent, the hand grasping a sword (P. P. D.) Motto: Tout que je puis. [Source: A standard history of Oklahoma: Volume 4; By Joseph Bradfield Thoburn; Pg. 1597; Publ. 1916; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack.]

Hon. Francis H. Pierpont
The subject of this sketch is a man whose history is inseperably [sic]connected with that of Virginia during a period when the eyes of the whole world were directed upon her. Ex-Governor Francis H. Pierpont was born on the 25th of June, 1814, and is the son of Francis and Catharine Pierpont, [PIERPONT is the correct name, though it is often spelled PIERPOINT.  In giving John Pierpont a title, a careless clerk thus misspelled the name, and the infant heirs were afterwards obliged to assume the superfluous "i" in consequence.] the former a son of John Pierpont, who settled near Morgantown about the close of the Revolutionary War.  His parents removed to a plantation on West Fork while he was quite a child, where they lived some twelve years, at the end of which time they moved to Fairmont. Here he worked upon his father's farm and in his tan-yard until he arrived at the age of twenty-one years, when he determined to acquire a collegiate education, and selected Allegheny College, at Meadville, Pa., distant 180 miles from his home as the place where he would prosecute his studies.  No railroads, and scarce a stage coach then connected the little village of Fairmont with the outside world; hence this journey was undertaken and accomplished on foot.  Up to this time he had had but the advantages of a common school education, pursuing his studies under many adverse circumstances, and he entered the preparatory department of the college - graduating in four years and a half.  Gordon Battell, Bishop Simpson, Bishop Kingslea and Homer Clarke were connected with the college at that time, and between them and Mr. Pierpont a strong and lasting friendship was formed.
After graduating he taught school in West Virginia for eight months, and for a year in Mississippi, during which time he studied law.  The failing health of his father brought him home from Mississippi, and he entered upon the practice of law in Fairmont, in which he was engaged until the breaking out of the Rebellion.  He was during this time actively engaged in politics, though never a candidate, nor held any office, except that of Presidential Elector, until he was made Governor.  He was a thorough Abolitionist, and did more than any other man in West Virginia to cultivate anti-slavery sentiment.  By public speeches and through the press, Mr. Pierpont denounced the oppressive clause in the new constitution, regarding the taxation of the slaves of the east, and the unjust taxation of the free labor of the west, [See Chapter xviii.] and attached to it all the odium possible.  After the passage of the Ordinance of Secession in 1861, he addressed the people at all places he could reach in the western part of the State, urging them to resistance, and was threatened with arrest for resisting the civil authorities of the State; but with extraordinary pluck he defied all threats in the very face of the military organizations.
Mr. Pierpont was strongly in favor of a division of the State, but at the convention of May 12, 1861, he opposed a movement to organize Western Virginia into a new State, giving for his reasons that it was premature.  He then induced the convention to appoint a Committee of Vigilance to determine "what was best to be done for Virginia."  He laid his plans before this committee - which were to ask the General Government to organize the State Government by declaring vacant the offices of all Secessionists holding office in the State, call a convention at Wheeling, June 18th, to elect a new Governor and State officers, and call it the "Restored Government of Virginia."  The matter was decided feasible and the programme [sic] was carried out.  Mr. Pierpont was unanimously made Provisional Governor by the convention, and at the end of the year he was regularly elected Governor by the people.  At the expiration of two years he was re-elected for four years more.  After the division of the State, in 1863, Governor Pierpont removed the seat of government from Wheeling to Alexandria, where he had a small Legislature.  After the surrender of General Lee he removed the seat of government to Richmond, arriving there in the spring of 1865.  Here his old neighbors and fellow citizens who had joined the Confederacy, greeted him cordially. The long and cruel war that lay between them and him was forgotten, and they greeted each other with almost dramatic feeling.
In a few months after his arrival, Pierpont had completely restored the State Government. Nearly the whole Judiciary was changed, and it has been said by the leading journals and statesmen of the south that he gave Virginia the best Judiciary it every had.  It is worthy of note that there never was a word of suspicion, or any dishonest transaction about any officers connected with the State Government during his administration.  He was the first Governor of Virginia who ever proclaimed a Thanksgiving.
At the expiration of his term of office, Governor Pierpont returned to his boyhood's home in Fairmont, where he has since resided.  During these years he has served one term in the Legislature, and was a Judge in the shoe and leather department of the Centennial Exposition, at Philadelphia, in 1876.  In 1871, he was elected President of the General Conference of the M. P. Church, held at Pittsburgh, being the only layman that has ever held that positon, and for which he received many congratulations from the press and clergy throughout England and America.  The position is equivalent to that of a bishop in the Episcopal Church.  [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub. by: Nancy Overlander

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]

Shuman Family

Fontain Smith, Esq.
The subject of this sketch is a native Virginian.  He was born and reared in the interior of the state, and is now upwards of fifty years of age.  He commenced the study of law in 1848, and was admitted to the bar in 1850.  He came to Marion county in the Spring of 1857, locating at Mannington, where he engaged for a short time in school teaching, while he practiced in the courts of this and adjoining counties.  The Marion county bar at that time was composed of a number of gentlemen of eminent ability - such men as ex - Gov. F. H. Pierpoint, who has since attained a national reputation, James Neeson, Esq., now one of the most distinguished members of the Richmond bar, Hon. A. F. Haymond, at present a member of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, Hon. E. B. Hall, who afterwards presided over the eleventh Judicial Circuit of West Virginia, (since made the Third,) now a resident of California, Hon. B. F. Martin, present Representative in Congress, Albert S. Hayden, Ellery R. Hall, and others.  In 1860, Mr. Smith, being conservative in his political opinions, espoused the cause of Stephen A. Douglas, for President, and was appointed by the Douglas convention, elector for the Senatorial district, composed of Marion, Wetzel and Tyler counties.  In the following year he was nominated a candidate for a seat in the memorable convention, which convened in Richmond in February, 1861, and passed the Ordinance of Secession.  He was defeated, however, in the contest by Hons. A. F. Haymond and E. B. Hall.  He was pronounced Union man, and ardently opposed to secession.  In the Spring of 1861, he was elected to the Legislature of Virginia, but refused to take his seat in that body, the convention having passed the ordinance of secession.  However, when the State Government was re-organized at Wheeling, he co-operated with the authors of that movement.  In the organization of the Legislature under the restored government, he was made Chairman of the Houses Committee on Courts of Justice.  In the year 1868, Mr. Smith, at the Grafton democratic convention, was tendered the nomination for Congress from his district, but declined it.  He was, in 1872, with Messrs. A. F. Haymond and U. N. Arnott, elected a delegate to the constitutional convention of West Virginia, and for a short time in this year was engaged with his son in the editorial management of the Liberalist.  Since 1872, Mr. Smith has been living a comparatively quiet life in Fairmont, and has taken no very active part in politics.  He is one of the leading members of the Marion county bar, and controls a large practice in this and surrounding counties.  He is a gentleman of considerable literary and legal attainment; is fluent and forcible in an argument, and a popular and eloquent speaker.  He is one of the most prominent men of his county, and is the father of Clarence L. Smith, the present clerk of the circuit court, who is a young lawyer of acknowledged ability.  [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub. by: Nancy Overlander

Swager Family

Other Prominent Men
In addition to the foregoing citizens, there are in Marion county many others who are also deserving of special mention in this connection.  The space at our disposal, however, will not permit us to give even a short life sketch of each one separately.  Those whose biographies appear in the foregoing papers are Marion county men who have been most conspicuous in politics, or whose intellectual attainments and valuable services, rendered from time to time, entitle them to be called the leading men of the county.  There are others whose names are closely identified with the political and business interests of the county, who may be classed among the prominent citizens of Marion.  Among the latter is Mr. James O. Watson, proprietor of the Gaston coal mine. [Mr. James Boyce, of Baltimore, and Judge A.B. Fleming, of Fairmont, are associated with Mr. Watson in the ownership of the Gaston mines.]  Mr. Watson has been engaged in developing the mineral and agricultural resources of the county for a number of years and is one of the leading land holders.  He is a man of great enterprise, and is probably the best known business man in this community.  Shortly after the organization of the county, he was clerk of the circuit court, and took some part in politics, and was, at the same time, engaged in the mercantile trade at the county seat.  For some years, however, he has taken no active interest in political affairs, but has diligently applied himself to his mining and agricultural pursuits, and has contributed largely to the opening up of the county.  His present mines, which are situated on West Fork, are connected with the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, at the forks of the river, by a railroad about one mile in length.  Mr. Watson's handsome residence is near his mines, and situated about a mile from Fairmont.  He communicates with his office in town by means of a Bell telephone, the first and only telephone line used in Marion county.  Mr. A. J. Stone is the superintendent of the Gaston mines, and is one of the leading business men of the community.  Mr. Morgan D. Orr, of the O'Donnell mines, is another prominent man who is very popular for having contributed largely to the business interests of the county.  Mr. Oliver Jackson, proprietor of the Central mines, is and has been for years one of the leading business men of the county. Previous to the opening of his own, he was for some time superintendent of the West Fairmont mines, and was for some time engaged in the dry goods business in Fairmont. Among other prominent business men may be named Mr. Joseph E. Sands, cashier of the First National Bank of Fairmont; Jacob N. Gould, cashier of the Farmer's Bank; Captain N. D. Helmick, superintendent of the Marion Machine Works, Palatine; William Ridgely, president of the Farmer's Bank; Peter Amos, of the firm of Peter Amos & Son; Daniel Tennant, of the firm of Tennant & Co., of Fairview, proprietors of the two largest steam flouring mills in the county; F.H. Burt, of the firm of F.H. Burt & Sons, Mannington, proprietors of the Mannington Tannery; George W. L. Mayers, of the Mountain City Planing Mills; John Wigginton, proprietor of the Iron Foundry, Fairmont; Joseph and Elias Nuzum, of the Fairmont Furniture Company; James Barnes, superintendent of the Barnesville Woolen Factory, and many others.
Among the men who have held office, or figured most prominently in the political affairs of the county in the past, (in addition to those whose biographies are given,) and those who are at present conspicuous in politics, and may consequently be classed among the men of prominence and influence, we may name Messrs. Thomas L. Boggess, Thomas G. Watson, William J. Willey, James Neeson, John S. Barnes, David Cunningham, Richard Thomas, William B. Ice, Benjamin Fleming, Ephraim B. Hall, Ellery R. Hall, John J. Moore, Frank Conaway, William C. Brice, W. M. Dunnington, Jesse Sturm, John C. Clayton, Alfred Prichard, James H. Furbee, Alfred Hood, A. W. Knotts, C. E. Wells, Williams C. Haymond, Amos Prichard, Robert Lowe, S. W. Hall, Elias Blackshere, John B. Crane, Lindsey B. Haymond, C. L. Smith, U. N. Arnott, jr., Thomas H. B. Stagggers, Jacob Hayden, and others. [Source: "History and Progress of the County of Marion, West Virginia..." by Geo. A. Dunnington, 1880] Sub. by: Nancy Overlander

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