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Wayne County. WV Biographies

Of Wayne County, West Virginia, was an early inhabitant of the section where he lived so long and so honorably, and where his long and useful life ended but a few years ago. For nearly fifty years he was an able preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church, much of the time in the itinerant ranks. He left many descendants to imitate his holy life and pure example, living in Wayne County, West Va., and Martin County, Ky. Allen Copley, a bright lawyer at Eden, is third in descent from this good and noted man of God. Many of the Copleys have come to the front in political and public life. In the great Civil War all of them were intensely loyal to the Government, and a number carried swords or muskets to defend its flag.

[Source: "The Big Sandy Valley: A history of the people and country from the earliest settlement to the present time" By William Ely, Published by Central Methodist, 1887
Transcribed by K. Torp]

     This family is of Scotch-Irish descent. John S. Damron, who was born in Wayne county, West Virginia, has been a lifelong resident of that section of the state. His occupation is that of agriculturist and stock raiser, and for eight years he was justice of the peace of Wayne county. He married Martylee Shannon, who died in 1902. Children: 1. Florence, wife of J. M. Brown, who conducts a hotel at Williamson, West Virginia. 2. Anthony Wayne, mentioned below. 3. Maggie, wife of Joseph Narcum, a resident of Dunlow, West Virginia, where he is engaged in business as a merchant. 4. Mary, wife of I. C. Brown, a railroad engineer whose headquarters are at Portsmouth, Ohio. 5. Richard, single, resides at the parental home. 6. George H., resides at the parental home. 7. Audra, resides at the parental home.
     (II) Anthony Wayne, son of John S. and Martylee (Shannon) Damron, was born in Wayne county, West Virginia, July 8, 1882. He received his rudimentary educational training in the common schools of Wayne county, and as a boy helped his father in the work and management of the home farm. His first money was earned in the woods and this he invested in a higher education which was obtained in Marshall College, at Huntingdon, West Virginia, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1902. During the winters of 1901 and 1902 he was engaged in teaching school, and in the latter year he entered the employ of Congressman Hughes, of Huntington, as manager of his commercial affairs in that city. In the latter part of 1904 he. came to Williamson, West Virginia, and here was appointed deputy sheriff, under E. E. Musick, sheriff of Mingo county, and he served in that capacity until 1907, when he was appointed jailor, which post he held until 1908. He was then appointed deputy clerk of the circuit court and he is still incumbent of this office. He is gaining much valuable experience in public affairs and is gradually fitting himself for higher positions.
     In community affairs Mr. Damron is active and influential and his support is readily and generously given to many measures for the general progress and improvement. His life history is certainly worthy of commendation and of emulation, for along honorable and straightforward lines he has won the success which crowns his efforts and which makes him one of the substantial residents of Williamson. In politics he is aligned as a stalwart in the ranks of the Republican party, and in a fraternal way he is affiliated with Blue Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Fraternal Order of Eagles; and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
     July 26, 1907, he married Sally Chafin, a native of Logan county, West Virginia, where her birth occurred March 14, 1890, daughter of John and Martha Chafin, the former of whom died in 1892, and the latter of whom maintains her home on the old farm in the vicinity of Bias, West Virginia; she is fifty-six years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Damron have two children: Claire Alleyne, born at Williamson, December 13, 1909; Anna Eloise. born December 24, 1911. Mr. and Mrs. Damron are devout members of the Baptist church, to whose charities and benevolences they are most liberal contributors.
[Source: West Virginia and Its People, Volume 3 By Thomas Condit Miller and Hu Maxwell - Transcribed by AFOFG]

Of the Lower Tug Valley are quite an old family. Samuel, the father of the large family of Endicotts now living in Wayne County, West Virginia, and in Martin County, Kentucky, came from Southwestern Virginia in an early day, being attracted to the country by the great number of bear and deer found on the Tug. He was a great hunter in his day. He succeeded in procuring a title to considerable land, which his children inherited.

The Endicotts have always been noted as a mild-mannered people, governed by the precepts of right and justice, although one of the Endicotts (not, however, of the Samuel Endicott branch), killed a man in the Rock Castle country in 1860, which caused an intense excitement at that time. Samuel Endicott's descendants are generally moral and trustworthy, and good citizens.
[Source: "The Big Sandy Valley: A history of the people and country from the earliest settlement to the present time" By William Ely, Published by Central Methodist, 1887
Transcribed by K. Torp]

Allen Robert Ferguson is a splendid example of the men of courage and enterprising spirit. In 1907 the present site of Seeley was not even under cultivation, and in 1912 it had risen to the rank of a third-class postoffice. This remarkable growth was largely due to the foresight of Mr. Ferguson, who saw the necessity of a town somewhere near the present site of Seeley. He divided his holdings into town lots and laid off streets and sold most of the lots in the townsite. Mr. Ferguson's birth occurred in Wayne County, West Virginia, December 14, 1867, a son of Jefferson and Cornelia (Smith) Ferguson. His father was a native of West Virginia, and his mother was born in Virginia. In the parents' family were ten children. He was reared and acquired his education in his native state. At the age of twenty-two he came to California and engaged in the horticultural business in San Diego, where he remained for a period of fifteen years. In 1907 Mr. Ferguson came to Imperial County and took up one hundred and sixty acres of land and put on the townsite of Seeley. In 1911 the Seeley postoffice was established, through Mr. Ferguson's efforts, and in one year it was rated as a third-class office. Mr. Ferguson served as the first postmaster. The town was laid out on a generous plan, all streets being eighty feet wide. Mr. Ferguson was united in marriage to Miss Olive Peters, daughter of John N. and Nancy R. (Harris) Peters, her father being a native of Kentucky, and the mother of Virginia. Mrs. Ferguson was born in Wayne County, West Virginia, and was a teacher in the public schools previous to her marriage. To Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson have been born five children, four of whom are deceased. Their daughter, Olivia Roberta, was born July 21, 1913. Fraternally Mr. Ferguson is identified with the Masonic Lodge of El Centre, and is a Knight Templar. He is also a member of the Shrine of San Diego. Mr. Ferguson has attained success, and through his efforts and by the co-operation of his wife he has attained a place among the representative men of Imperial County. He stands today an excellent example of what may be termed a self-made man. Mr. Ferguson has financial interests and maintains a fine summer home in Burbank, California.

[Source: "The history of Imperial County, California" By Finis C. Farr; Published by Elms and Frank, 1918; Transcribed by K. Torp]

A Preacher in the regular Baptist Church, while not so early in Wayne as Mr. Copley, was equally zealous in his labors in winning souls to Christ. This good man, for more than thirty years was a shining light to all around, as he labored, in season and out of season, to reconcile to God the people with whom he came in contact. His mother was of the house of Damron, and he married a Miss Bromley, which connected him with the Damron, Bromley, and Short familiesthree very prominent houses in pioneer history.
[Source: "The Big Sandy Valley: A history of the people and country from the earliest settlement to the present time" By William Ely, Published by Central Methodist, 1887
Transcribed by K. Torp]

There are some men for whom the encroaching years have no terrors. To them there is no such words as "age'' or "infirmity." They look upon the total of their years as but a warning that they must crowd into a day what formerly they could take a year to perform, and recognize the fact that only when the brain loses interest in current events is one really old. There are not many men of this caliber, but occasionally one is produced who, by reason of a sturdy frame and alert mentality, is permitted to journey way beyond the milestone placed at three score years and ten and still retain the vigor and interest of earlier years. Boyd County was the proud possessor of just such a man, Capt. Thomas Damron Marcum, of Catlettsburg, who, when past eighty years of age held his well-built six-foot frame with erectness, shaming his juniors by many years, and because of a well-spent life was in the enjoyment of excellent health almost to the close of his life. His death occurred on the 23d of November, 1921, after an illness of only one week.

Captain Marcum was born December 17, 1840, at the mouth of Vinson's Branch, on the Tug Fork of Sandy River, six miles above Louisa. He is a son of Stephen M. and Jane (Damron) Marcum. Stephen M. Marcum was born in Wayne County, West Virginia, then Virginia, August 8, 1818, and died July 25, 1893. His wife was born at the mouth of Shelby Creek, on Sandy River, in Pike County, Kentucky, January 27, 1822, and she died December 31, 1906. They were married at Louisa. Stephen M. Marcum was a blacksmith and gunsmith, noted for his great skill, and he made the famous Kentucky rifle. A man of great courage and good judgment, he served as deputy sheriff and as a justice of the peace in Wayne County. His work as a smith was remarkable, and articles made by him are still in existence and are for various uses, for he could make practically anything in iron or steel.

Following his marriage he moved from Lawrence County, Kentucky, to Wayne County, West Virginia, and from there to Catlettsburg, Boyd County, Kentucky, in 1885, and there he rounded out his useful life. Both he and his wife were devout members of the Missionary Baptist Church. Stephen M. Marcum was a son of Stephen Marcum, a native of Virginia and a soldier of the War of 1812, and his father, Joseph Marcum, was a soldier in the American Revolution, and among other engagements was in the historic one at Yorktown. Stephen M. Marcum volunteered for service during the Mexican war, and belonged to a company, commanded by Capt. Green Goble, that was organized in Lawrence County. This unit was on its way to the front when peace was declared, and he was honorably discharged with the rank of first lieutenant. During the war between the states one of the sons of Stephen M. Marcum, Judge W. W. Marcum, served with the Confederate Army, and was at Appomattox with General Lee, and two others, Captain Marcum and James H. Marcum, were in the Union Army. Members of the Marcum family served in the World war, so that this family has a most remarkable military history.

Stephen M. Marcum and his wife had twelve children, two of whom died in infancy. The others are: James H., who is a retired business man of Hunting- ton, West Virginia; Pembroke S., who is active in politics and business, lives at Catlettsburg; John S., who is a noted criminal lawyer; Lazarus, who is an attorney of Huntington, West Virginia; Judge W. W., who was circuit judge, died January 15, 1912, in Ceredo, West Virginia; Anna, who is the widow of Dr. J. M. Baker, resides at Huntington, West Virginia; Nancy, who is the wife of J. B. Dodson, of Fort Gay. West Virginia; Eunice, who is the wife of Robert L. Simpkins, of War, West Virginia; Elizabeth, widow of P. H. Cahill and she resides in New York City; and Captain Marcum, who was the eldest of the family. The youngest living member of the family is now fifty-five years old.

Captain Marcum was a self-educated man, for his schooling covered in all only a year, and ended when he was sixteen years of age. He never spent over two weeks in any one year in school, and yet so educated himself that at the age of eighteen years he was given the appointment as a school-teacher at Tug Falls, West Virginia, and held it for a year. This closed his experience in the schoolroom, for he preferred a more active career. In the meanwhile, however, when only sixteen years old, he drove an ox-team hauling logs to Tug River, and was also engaged in piloting fleets of logs down the Tug, Sandy and Ohio rivers to markets at Cincinnati, Ohio, and Louisville, Kentucky.

The active and useful life of this energetic young man was broken in upon by the declaration of war between the two sections of the country, and he enlisted, August 10, 1861, as a Union soldier, and served until he was honorably discharged in September, 1865. His service was with the Fourteenth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, and he was an officer from March, 1862, and was a junior captain before the close of his service. Captain Marcum was on General Garfield's staff, and was present when that commander took the oath of office at Pikeville as brigadier-general. In addition to a number of smaller engagements Captain Marcum participated in the battles of Middle Creek, Cumberland Gap, Tazewell, and those of General Sherman's command in the Georgia campaign, and the one at Franklin, Tennessee. He had his horse shot from under him at Middle Creek and his uniform riddled with shots in other engagements, but in spite of his having been in the midst of very heavy fighting he was not wounded. From the time he entered the service he was determined not to be taken prisoner, and, although he had many very narrow escapes, he was able to avoid capture.

Returning to private life after his discharge, Captain Marcum opened a store at Fort Gay, West Virginia, but soon thereafter moved to Louisa, where he lived from 1865 to 1874, being engaged in buying and selling timber. During this time he read law, was admitted to the bar, and entered upon the practice of his profession. In 1875 he was elected registrar of the land office, and lived at Frankfort until 1879, when he resigned from office and established the Kentucky Democrat at Catlettsburg, which had a circulation second only to the Courier-Journal in Kentucky. During the fifteen years he conducted this paper Captain Marcum was recognized as an able and fearless editor, and when he sold the business in 1894, universal regret was expressed not only by his readers, but his competitors. Captain Marcum then began handling real estate and writing insurance, and continued in these lines of business until his death. Under President Cleveland's first administration he served as Indian inspector, and his duties took him to all of the Indian reservations for three years. He was the last survivor of the powerful coterie who made up the state ticket in 1875 for the democratic party.

On January 19, 1865, Captain Marcum married, while still in the army, his boyhood sweetheart, Mary Bromley, a daughter of John and Rebecca (Plymate) Bromley, and she died November 17, 1910, having borne him three children, namely: J. Fletch, who is a farmer of South Point, Ohio; Blanch, who is the widow of the late Alonzo Mims, wholesale merchant and banker of Catlettsburg; and Maud, who is the wife of E. C. Walton, an editor of Stanford, Kentucky. Captain Marcum was a Mason and belonged to the Blue Lodge of Catlettsburg and was a charter member of Louisa Chapter, he and Colonel Northrup being the last charter members living. He also belonged to Ashland Commandery and Shrine and Covington Consistory, and was a member of the Odd Fellows and Elks. All his life was a democrat, and was a member of the first convention of his party after the close of the war, which convened to re-organize the democratic party in Kentucky in 1866. From 1860 was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, which he joined in that year, and he was very generous in his donations to it.

Captain Marcum had a long and eventful life. After he entered upon his business career he saw changes take place which, if effected in a short period, would have been a miracle. Three great wars were fought and won after he enlisted as a soldier, and as many great conflicts were waged in industry. Marvelous inventions changed the methods of performing every kind of work and revolutionized commercial life. Kentucky yielded up other treasurers from her boundless stores, and made millionaires out of her sons and daughters, and now promises to become one of the most active producers of coal and oil. The little schoolroom in the timber in which Captain Marcum taught his first and only school gave way to modern schoolrooms equipped with every facility for the imparting of knowledge to the young. The old equipment with which for fifteen years he sent out his newspaper to his eager readers no longer would satisfy his sense of the fitness of things, for printing plants, too, have felt the touch of progress. There is one thing, however, that did not change from the days when Stephen M. Marcum and his good wife took their little ones to the Sunday services in the Missionary Baptist Church, and that was the conception gained by Captain Marcum from his parents of a practical Christianity, not a religion for Sunday use only, but something vital and living, to be used each day of the week, in every transaction, with every person. At the close of his life, just as in 1860, when he enlisted under the banner of Christ as a member of the Missionary Baptist Church Thomas Damron Marcum voiced in his every act his belief in an upright, honorable life and Christian virtues, and his example, his life and his accomplishments were an inspiring impulse to better things on the part of those with whom he associated. He is buried at Catlettsburg, Kentucky, and was laid to rest with Masonic honors.

["History of Kentucky", By Charles Kerr, William Elsey Connelley, Ellis Merton Coulter, Published by The American Historical Society, 1922 - Transcribed by K. Torp]


Senator Osenton is a native of Kentucky, and is a son of George N. and Daisy (Lansdowne) Osenton. He was born at Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky, May 9, 1865, received several years instruction in the public schools of Carter County, Kentucky. Shortly after he was born his parents moved to Ceredo, Wayne County, West Virginia, where they resided until he was seven years old; then moved to Grayson, Carter County, Kentucky, to a farm; he lived and worked on a farm and went to the common schools until he was seventeen years old, then went to work on a railroad; followed railroading from the Construction to the Transportation Departments; worked as shipping clerk in a wholesale house in Portsmouth, Ohio, for one year and a half. In the fall of 1886 he came to Montgomery, West Virginia, and clerked in a hotel; studied law until 1893; was appointed Chief of a Division in the Treasury Department; moved to Washington; entered the Georgetown Law School; took a four years' course; graduated LL.B. in the year 1895, and later took a post-graduate course in 1896; and received the Degree of LL.M. from the same law school.

He was admitted to the Bar of Berkeley County, West Virginia, the year of his graduation from college. He, however, did not enter regularly upon active practice until 1897, when he located permanently at Fayetteville, Fayette County, West Virginia, opened a law office and entered upon what very shortly proved to be a remarkably successful career as a practicing attorney. He is gifted in an unusual degree in public speech, and because of that particular gift he, at an early period of his practice, took a leading place at the Fayette County Bar in the criminal side of the court, and in an unusually short time he had all the criminal practice he could attend to and thus assured his success as an attorney. His practice extended into a dozen or more of the neighboring counties. In April, 1907, he formed a partnership with Gen. C. C. Watts, under the firm name of Osenton & Watts, in Fayette County; later General Watts retired from the firm; he then formed a partnership with Vernon C. Champe, now Judge of the Circuit Court of Fayette County, and A. D. Smith, Jr., under the firm name of Osenton, Smith & Champe, Mr. Smith and Mr. Champe retired from the firm in 1902; formed a partnership with the Hon. W. L. Ashby, of Charleston, under the firm name of Osenton & Ashby. In 1905 Mr. Ashby retired from the firm; formed a partnership with the late E. M. McPeak, which was dissolved by the death of Mr. McPeak in 1909; then formed a partnership with A. J. Horan, under the firm name of Oscnton & Horan, which was dissolved, and Mr. Horan retired from the firm March 1, 1918; then formed the present partnership with Hon. W. L. Lee, former Judge of the Circuit Court of Fayette County, for the practice of law under the firm name of Osenton & Lee.

Mr. Osenton has always been an active adherent of the Democratic party, and being a high grade stump speaker his services are in great demand in every State and National campaign. His first public office was Chief of a Division in the Treasury Department at Washington from 1893 to 1897; elected to the State Senate from the Ninth Senatorial District, which was then composed of the counties of Fayette, Summers, Monroe, Greenbrier and Pocahontas. While holding office as State Senator in the year 1900 he was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Fayette County for four years, and served until January, 1905; was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention at St. Louis from the Third Congressional District in 1904, and also a delegate at large to the National Democratic Convention at Denver in 1908. However he never allowed office holding to materially interfere with his law business. In all the public positions he ever held he acquitted himself with honor, credit and ability. His practice for the first few years was mainly confined to the criminal side of the courts, but it has extended to all branches of the law in all the State and Federal Courts, including the United States Appellate Court of the Fourth Judicial Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a thoroughly equipped lawyer, and handles his cases ably and generally successfully. He rarely loses a case that he ought to win.

He is a Presbyterian in his religious faith and is a member of the Masonic Fraternity. He is married and resides at Fayetteville, the seat of justice of Fayette County.

[Source: "Bench and Bar of West Virginia: By George Wesley Atkinson, 1919
Transcribed by K. Torp

Was an early settler on the Sandy, only a little later in coming than the Hagers, Laynes, etc. He married into the prominent family of the Damrons, who are found living in the valley from Pike County, Ky., to Twelve Pole, Wayne County, W. Va. Mr. Porter was a sharp business man, and in his day was one of the largest land-owners in the Sandy Valley. He owned the entire valley of Miller's Creek, now Johnson County, and many broad acres on the waters of Little Paint, in Floyd County, besides a great boundary on the Sandy River, where his daughter, Mrs. Bird Preston, and family reside. Mr. Porter was of a jovial turn of mind, and delighted in fast horses and other sources of amusement. He raised a large family of children, who became and those now living still are, prominent people of the valley.

Walker Porter, a son of Samuel Porter, was, during his life, one of the bright men of Prestonburg. A daughter of Walker's is the wife of Dick Mayo, a bright scion of the old famous house of Mayo.

John Porter was a large farmer on the Sandy River, above the mouth of Miller's Creek, but sold his farm, moved to Catlettsburg, and went into the hotel business. But, owing to the heavy loss sustained by him in the two great floods, and other unforeseen disasters, he has been reduced from affluence, but, with a heroic courage peculiar to the Porters, is battling to gain the summit of the hill of prosperity. He married a daughter of Judge Thomas Brown, of Paintsville, and has a family noted for grace and sprightliness of mind. Henry Porter, the oldest son, a very bright and promising young man, met with a frightful accident in 1885, by the accidental discharge of the pistol of a guest who was passing the weapon to his care while he remained a guest at his father's hotel. This sad affair caused the amputation of one of his lower limbs. But in due time he was restored to strength, and on procuring an artificial limb, obtained a lucrative position suitable to his condition in Cincinnati, where for some time he has been engaged. John Porter's oldest daughter married Glen Ford, an only child, and son of James E. Ford and Sally, his wife. Glen has the largest material expectations of any young man in Catlettsburg.

Hon. James Porter, another son of Samuel Porter, has represented Floyd and Johnson Counties in the Kentucky Legislature. Logan, another son, is a merchant and farmer on John's Creek.

Another daughter of Samuel Porter is the wife of Mr. Burgess, a son of the late Edward Burgess, of Lawrence. He lives on Miller's Creek, being a well-to-do farmer. Samuel Porter and wife have been dead several years, both living to a good old age.

Mr. Porter was able to give all of his children a large, productive farm, and then have plenty left for himself to use as long as he lived.

[Source: "The Big Sandy Valley: A history of the people and country from the earliest settlement to the present time" By William Ely, Published by Central Methodist, 1887
Transcribed by K. Torp]

When entering upon his business career in early manhood Mr. Vinson became associated with the lumber trade, and throughout his entire life has been associated with this industrial line. lthough he has been interested in many other business concerns, still he has always held the lumber trade as first in his estimation and it has been his favorite business.

> Mr. Vinson was born in Wayne county, West Virginia, February 10, 1847, the son of William and Jane (Chambers) Vinson, also natives of Wayne county. The Vinson family is an old one in West Virginia, the original settlement and homestead being in the valley of Big Sandy river, overlooking the banks ot what is now Lawrence county, Kentucky. James Vinson, the grandfather of our subject, was a pioneer, a native of North Carolina, where his father died when he was a boy. When he was twelve years old, in about 1800, he joined a party of Kentuckians who were driving a large number of hogs from Kentucky to North Carolina and on to Jamestown, Virginia, where they were sold. After the sale of the hogs the boy was paid for his services and requested to return home, but his intense interest in traveling and desire to see the world influenced him to follow with the party through Virginia and Pennsylvania to Kentucky. He stopped in the mountains of Big Sandy to hunt and continued so doing for several years and worked at whatever he could find to do, alone among strangers and an orphan. There he remained and grew up in the wilds. After his marriage to Rhoda Sperry, a native of Wayne county, West Virginia, he located on a farm in Big Sandy valley and in that county lived the remainder of his life. One of his sons, Lafayette, owns and resides on the old homestead and is the only one of eight children living. James Vinson was a member of the Virginia regiment and served in the war of 1812.

> William Vinson, the third of the eight children and the father of our subject, was reared at the old homestead. He became a merchant and operated a general merchandise store at Fort Gay with great success for several years and in 1856 he located in Kentucky, at the Forks of Big Sandy, where he bought a large tract of land and engaged in the timber industry successfully, rafting logs down the Big Sandy and Ohio rivers to the Cincinnati and Louisville markets. He became well fixed financially and influential and died on the farm in Lawrence county, Kentucky, in 1881, at the age of sixty-eight years. He was of a military turn of mind and prior to the Civil war served as colonel of a regiment of state militia for several years and in 1861 he was colonel of the Fourteenth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was in active service about two years, taking part in all engagements of the regiment during that time and being recognized as a successful commander. At the end of that time, owing to sickness contracted in service, he was compelled to resign and return home and was an invalid the rest of his life. He had three brothers who served in the Confederate army, Lafayette, Frank and Samuel S. Lafayette and Samuel were captured and made prisoners at Lexington about the close of the war but through the influence of their brother, Colonel Vinson, were soon released and returned home. Samuel was very aggressive in war, being twice wounded and having many narrow escapes, going into places where very few would follow. During his service he rose to the rank of captain of his company, which was not the only recognition of his active usefulness, as he was appointed United States marshal of West Virginia by President Cleveland.

Colonel William Vinson was a staunch Democrat and active in politics during his life, serving one term in the state legislature of West Virginia, and also serving as sheriff in his native county of Wayne. He was a successful farmer, stockman and lumberman in Kentucky, owning a number of slaves before the war, bought and sold large numbers of horses, was an extensive cattle raiser and dealer, and acquired a large estate. His wife, Jane Chambers, survived him for years, dying in 1889, at the age of seventy years. She was the daughter of Richard Chambers, a native of Virginia and from an old family, he being a well known farmer and citizen, serving as county judge. Colonel Vinson and wife were the parents of ten children, of whom four are living, our subject being the fourth in order of birth.

Z. C. Vinson was about nine years old when his parents located in Lawrence county, Kentucky, and owing to the disturbed times which the Civil war occasioned was only able to acquire a limited education. He assisted his father at home until his marriage, during which time he became familiar with the handling of stock, logging, etc. He was a natural river-man and became interested in steam- boating, buying a boat and operating freight and passenger service between Louisa and Catlettsburg on the Big Sandy. During low water on the Ohio he also operated as far as Cincinnati. He built the "Wildboy" in addition to his original "Piketon" and later bought and rebuilt the "Fashion," and continued in this line for a number of years, when he sold out and returned to logging and rafting to the Cincinnati and Louisville markets. He has had a very successful career in this line, in which he is still engaged.

In 1874 Mr. Vinson took up his residence in Catlettsburg, which he made his permanent home and also the base of his operations in business. In politics he is a Democrat and formerly took an active part, having in the fall of 1883 been elected to the lower house in the state legislature from Boyd and Lawrence counties, in which he served one term, which was during the memorable race between Joseph Blackburn and John S. Williams for United States senator.

Mr. Vinson is a member of the Masonic Order at Louisa, Kentucky. He was married to Josephine Bromley, a native of Fort Gay, West Virginia, the daughter of John Bromley, also a native of Virginia, a stockman, merchant and timberman, farming extensively and owning many slaves before the war. Mr. and Mrs. Vinson had two children: John B., an attorney of Catlettsburg, and Jane, the wife of Warren I. Allen, a lawyer and banker of Harrodsburg. Kentucky. The wife and mother died April 5, 1908. She was a member of the Baptist church and had a beautiful Christian character and for many years was very active in the church work, of which church Mr. Vinson was also a member. Their son, John B. Vinson, an attorney of Catlettsburg, was born in Wayne county, West Virginia, June 7, 1866, and was reared in Lawrence and Boyd counties, Kentucky. He was educated in the public schools, also in the Eastern Kentucky Normal and later attended Emory and Henry College in Washington county, Virginia. He then took a course at Central University at Richmond, Kentucky, and then came to Catlettsburg and studied law in Judge Thomas R. Brown's office. He was admitted to practice in June, 1887, on his twenty-first birthday, and began the practice of his profession at once and has continued it ever since. He takes an active interest in politics, is a Democrat and soon after he began to practice was elected county attorney and served four and a half years. Later he served one term of two years as city attorney. He is a bachelor and is a member of the Elks, Catlettsburg Lodge. No. 942.
[Source: "A history of Kentucky and Kentuckians: the leaders and representative men in commerce, industry and modern activities" By E. Polk Johnson, Lewis Publishing Company, 1912 - Transcribed by K. Torp]

Bennett Wellman was the founder of the Wellman family of the Sandy Valley. He settled near Cassville, Va., about 1792. His descendants are now a great host in numbers. He ranked as one of the greatest huntsmen of his day. The Wellmans always liked the woods, and the liking caused them to procure large boundaries of land. Many of the family have risen to note in the business and official world.

Samuel Wellman, of Wayne County, West Virginia, who died in Louisa about 1870, was a man of wealth, and had filled many official positions of trust and honor. He was the father-in-law of Judge M. J. Ferguson.

Jerry Wellman, a brother of Samuel, was for many years one of Wayne County's most honored citizens. He filled the office of sheriff of his county, and was a representative in the House of Delegates, at Richmond. He moved to Catlettsburg in 1857, occupying a high place there as a merchant. He filled several offices in the town and county with great faithfulness. He was noted as a great advocate and friend of common schools and internal improvements, and gave liberally of his means to encourage manufacturing enterprises in town, though ever so humble. He was a great lover of Odd Fellowship, to which order he belonged. He died in about 1872.

Fred. Wellman, son of James Wellman, who is a nephew of Samuel and Jerry Wellman, is the chemist in the drug-house of Patton Bros.
[Source: "The Big Sandy Valley: A history of the people and country from the earliest settlement to the present time" By William Ely, Published by Central Methodist, 1887
Transcribed by K. Torp]

Dr. James Frank York
Dr. James Frank York, son of John Y. and Fannie (Keyser) York, was born September 24, 1866, on his father's farm, in Wayne county, West Virginia. He received his education in the public schools of Credo, in the same county. After leaving school he assisted his father in the mercantile and lumber business at Yorkville, and at the age of twenty-three entered the Eclectic Medical College, Cincinnati, graduating in 1895 with the degree of Doctor of Medicine,. He at once began practice at Dingess, Mingo county, West Virginia, and after a short time moved to Kenova, remaining until 1908, when he came to Huntington, where he has become possessed of a large and lucrative practice.
Dr. York is a stockholder in the American Bank and Trust Company and president of the Venora Oil & Gas Company, the Big Sandy Lumber & Manufacturing Company, of Kenova, and the York Realty Company, of Kenova and Huntington. Politically Dr. York is a Republican, and during his residence at Kenova served ten consecutive years as mayor of that city. He affiliates with the Masonic order up to and including the Knights Templar degrees, also Beni Keden Temple, emigrated from Ireland at an early age and settled in Virginia. He was a farmer. His wife's name is unknown. Among his children is Alexander, referred to below.
[West Virginia and Its People Volume III by Thomas Condit Miller & Hue Maxwell, 1913 - Transcribed by AFOFG]


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