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Raleigh County W VA Biographies

SMITH, Joseph Luther(1880—1962)
SMITH, Joseph Luther, a Representative from West Virginia; born in Marshes (now Glen Daniel), Raleigh County, W.Va., May 22, 1880; attended public and private schools; editor and owner of the Raleigh Register, Beckley, W.Va., until 1911; also engaged in the real estate and banking business; mayor of Beckley 1904-1929; member of the State senate 1909-1913; elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-first and to the seven succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1929-January 3, 1945); chairman, Committee on Mines and Mining (Seventy-second through Seventy-eighth Congresses); was not a candidate for renomination in 1944; engaged in banking administrative business, and was a resident of Beckley, W.Va., until his death on August 23, 1962; interment in Sunset Memorial Park.
[Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present - Transcribed by Anna Newell]


 Ward Family
     This family is of English origin. The name is said to have stood in the roll of Battle Abbey. Yet Ward is probably an Anglo-Saxon word, and as a name, one of that class which were taken from occupations. It is doubtful at least, whether all the Wards form one family. A frequent spelling of this name is Warde. Both in England and in Ireland the Ward, or Warde name is found. In America a large family is descended from Andrew Warde, who was made a freeman of Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1634. His descendants are in all parts of the country and most of them omit the final "e." They have long been strongly represented in the neighborhood of New York City and in Westchester county. New York. Another Ward family, smaller, but distinguished, is of somewhat later American origin and Rhode Island is its center. There is a Virginian Ward family, settled by 1634, and connected with Henrico county; its ancestor, Seth Ward, was probably a relative of Bishop Seth Ward, of the Church of England. They have been notably fond of the Christian name Seth, nearly, if not quite to the present time, giving it in various instances to oldest sons.
     (I) Thomas Ward, the first member of this family about whom we have definite information, came to Raleigh county. Virginia, about 1855, and engaged in farming. He married Harriet Morgan. Child, Gilbert, of whom further.
     (II) Gilbert, son of Thomas and Harriet (Morgan) Ward, was a farmer in Raleigh county. He married Mary, daughter of Timothy and Nellie (O'Neil) Fitzpatrick, her parents being immigrants from Ireland, who had settled in Raleigh county. Child, C. M., of whom further.
     (III) C. M., son of Gilbert and Mary (Fitzpatrick) Ward, was born in Raleigh county. West Virginia. February 3, 1879. He attended both private and free schools, and prepared himself for school teaching, which he followed in Raleigh county for six years. In 1904, he entered the law department of Grant University and graduated therefrom in 1906, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Laws. Thereupon, he took a graduate course of one year in the law department of the University of West Virginia. In 1907 he was admitted to the bar, and he entered in that year the law firm of Farley, Sutphen & Ward, at Beckley, Raleigh county. West Virginia, the firm is now Farley & Ward. He is a member of the West Virginia State Bar Association. From 1903 to 1905, he was a member of the examining board for teachers in his county. He is a Democrat and at this writing (1912), is Democratic candidate for prosecuting attorney of the county. He married, September 16. 1908, Nellie, daughter of John and Catharine (Kennedy) Collins, who died March 13, 1910. Her parents lived in Ohio county. West Virginia, and she was a graduate of the high school at Hinton, Summers county. West Virginia, and of the Concord Normal School. Athens, West Virginia. Child, John Collins.
[Source: West Virginia and Its People, Volume 3 By Thomas Condit Miller and Hu Maxwell - Transcribed by Therman Kellar]


Witten, Thomas Adams, lawyer was born July 4, 1858, in Beckley, Raleigh County, Virginia. His parents were Dr. Robert W. and Sarah F. (Riggs) Witten. The members of the Witten family are of Scotch-Irish descent, and came to America some time prior to the War of the Revolution, locating in Tazewell County, Virginia. There they built Witten Fort, a stronghold of historic note. There the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch was born. Dr. R. W. Witten, heretofore mentioned, served throughout the Civil War as a surgeon in the Confederate Army. In 1866 he removed to Missouri, locating in Grundy County. A few years ago he retired from practice and now makes his home at Oklahoma City with his son, Dr. E. W. Witten. Thomas A. Witten received his education at Grand River College, Edinburg, Missouri, and graduated in June, 1879, receiving the degree of Master of Arts after completing with marked success the scientific, literary and classical courses. The year of his graduation he went to Huntington, West Virginia, where he was elected first assistant in Marshall College. He filled that position from September, 1879, until June, 1880. He read law in the office of his uncle, Judge E. Ward, then of the Ninth Judicial Circuit of West Virginia, and was admitted to the bar of West Virginia in 1881. Mr. Witten removed to Trenton, Missouri, shortly after his admission to the bar and became a resident of that city in the fall of 1881. He was appointed city attorney of Trenton in the spring of 1882. From that year until 1886 he took a very active part in politics, stumping the State in every campaign and serving as delegate in all of the Democratic State conventions and the congressional conventions of the Eleventh District.  Mr. Whitten removed to Kansas City, Missouri, in the fall of 1887 and soon afterward formed a partnership with Judge I. H. Kinley and Samuel Foster, the firm being Kinley, Whitten & Foster.  This firm was later dissolved, and Mr. Witten formed a partnership with Roland Hughes under the firm name of Witten & Hughes, which is still in existence.  In 1896 Mr. Witten refused to accept the platform of the Democratic Party, with which he had always been identified up to that time, and he therefore advocated the election of Palmer and Buckner.  In behalf of that ticket he made speeches in every portion of Missouri, talking most effectively in support of his views, and probably making more speeches than any other man in the campaign, about 125.  Although not now actively engaged in political work, Mr. Witten is a strong advocate of principles which he believes right, and upholds the gold standard, safe government, expansion and free trade with all the strength of argument and logic that he can command.  He is not connected with a church denomination, but is in sympathy with good works and gives liberally to the support of all public and private charities.  Mr. Witten was married November 24, 1889, to Miss Carrie Louise Bailey, daughter of D. g. and Fannie E. Bailey, prominent residents of Delavan, Illinois.  She died June 12, 1895, leaving two children, F. Donald and Hazel C. B. Witten.  Mr. Witten, both as a lawyer and literary man, enjoys a wide acquaintance among professional men and scholars.  He has been engaged in many cases decisive of questions of public interest, and his practice has always been of a clean and dignified class.  As a worker in the field of literature he has been a close reader and indefatigable student, having published economic, literary and legal writings anonymously for fifteen years, in addition to expounding his views from the public platform as a finished and cultured orator.

[Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri: Edited by Howard Louis Conard; Publ. 1901;  Pg. 496; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack.]

 

 

 

 

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