Copen, Clarence E.
C. E. Copen, son of William A. and Alice Copen, was born in Wirt County, West Virginia, December 8, 1877, and was educated in the public schools and at the West Virginia University at Morgantown. After leaving the University he became a public school teacher for a few years, in which profession he was a pronounced success. During this period he decided to become a lawyer, and began the systematic reading of legal textbooks, which he kept up until 1904, when he was equipped to pass the rigid examination required by the West Virginia statute, and was, in that year, admitted to practice as a member of the Wirt County Bar, where he carried on a lucrative business in his native and adjoining counties. Being desirous to widen his field of labor, he moved to Huntington in Cabell County, where he became a member of the firm of Doolittle, Copen & Davis, which firm was dissolved by the death of Judge Doolittle. At this time, and for a few years past, he maintains an office at Winfield, Putnam County, where he spends a limited portion of his time each month. His present firm at Huntington is Copen & Darnell.
For the first few years his practice was mainly on the criminal side of the courts, because he was gifted as a public speaker, and, therefore, was a strong and successful advocate, especially before juries; but in later years he has given the most of his time and energies to civil practice, which he finds much more profitable and far more satisfactory. As a side issue he was connected with the publication of a weekly newspaper, which gave him an experience and knowledge that was very helpful to him as a trial lawyer, and added to his influence both as a lawyer and a citizen. He, however, did not allow this, in any way, to interfere with his business as a lawyer, as his practice steadily grew larger as the years passed by.
He was two years (1905 and 1906) Prosecuting Attorney of his native county, and, having had an extensive experience in criminal practice, he made an enviable record as a prosecutor of violators of the penal statutes of the State. This experience proved to be bf large value to him in broadening his grasp of the fundamental principles of the law, thus fitting him for a wider field of usefulness in his chosen profession.
Mr. Copen is a Republican in his political convictions, but he has never been an extremist, nor has he ever allowed politics to interfere with his professional business. His one set purpose has been to make good as a lawyer, which he has succeeded in doing.
He is a member of the Baptist Church, and always takes the moral side of all questions that come before the people. He is also an active member of the Knights of Pythias, an institution which stands for good morals and good citizenship. September 24, 1898, he was united in marriage with Miss Rosa M. Mason. As a result of this union they have four children, all boys. Their home is at Huntington, the seat of justice of Cabell County, where they have many friends.
Mr. Copen's practice is of a general character, and extends into all the courts of West Virginia, both State and Federal. He handles his cases well, and is measurably successful. He is agreeable and courteous, and has a large following of friends both in and outside of his profession. ["Bench and bar of West Virginia" edited by George Wesley Atkinson, 1919 Transcribed by AFOFG]
One of the younger men of Parkersburg, who has become prominent professionally and politically in the state of West Virginia, is Alfred Edwin Kenney.
(I) Martin Kenney, the father of Alfred Edwin Kenney, was born in Ohio, May 9, 1841. Having lived for some time in different parts of that state, he came into West Virginia, and here he was a merchant in Wirt county. He is now retired, and lives a short distance from Parkersburg. Mr. Kenney is of Irish ancestry, a Democrat, and a devout Catholic; a good citizen, a good man, and a good Christian. He married Mary E., daughter of Patrick Hosey. She also is of Irish descent. Mrs. Kenney is related to the Carrolls of Maryland and New York, that Irish family so illustrious in the early history of this nation, both civil and religious. Among their children is Alfred Edwin, of whom further.
(II) Alfred Edwin, son of Martin and Mary E. (Hosey) Kenney, was born at McConnelsville, Morgan county, Ohio, October 5, 1867. Early in life he came with his parents to Burning Springs, Wirt county, West Virginia, where he received a public school education, through the high school grades. After this he attended Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia, and in the excellent law department of this well-known Jesuit university he took his professional studies, from 1893 to 1895; at his graduation he received the degree of Master of Laws. Mr. Kenney settled first at Grantsville, the county seat of Calhoun county, West Virginia, and here he was most active, not only in professional life, but also in politics. Several times he was chairman of the Calhoun county Democratic committee; through five sessions he represented this county in the state legislature; in 1897 he was a member of the constitutional commission; several times he has been assistant clerk of the West Virginia house of delegates; from 1908 to 1912 he was secretary of the Democratic state executive committee; from 1910 to 1912 he was a member and active at the headquarters of the Democratic congressional committee of the fourth district, and treasurer of the committee; in the same year he was chairman of the state convention of his party, held at Huntington, and one of the presidential electors who cast the vote of this state for Wilson and Marshall as president and vice-president of the United States. He is the author of Kenney's "Geography of West Virginia." Mr. Kenney is interested in oil, is a director in the Parkersburg Banking & Trust Company, and a stockholder in several other banks. He 1s a member of the Knights of Columbus and of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. In religion he is a Catholic, being a member of St. Xavier's Church of this city. ["West Virginia and its people", Volume 3 By Thomas Condit Miller and Hu Maxwell - Transcribed by Therman Kellar]
LESTER, Kenna. (Democrat.) Address: Pink, West Va. Born in Wirt county, West Virginia, March 24, 1889; educated in the district and select schools; is now engaged in farming, in which business he is regarded as authority insofar as scientific and advanced methods are concerned. Mr. Lester was elected to the legislature from Calhoun county in 1916, and in the sessions of 1917 was assigned to and served on the following standing committees of the House: Education, Counties, Districts and Municipal Corporations, Game and Fish, Insurance, Roads and Internal Navigation.
["West Virginia Blue Book", 1917 - Transcribed by Therman Kellar]
SMITH, Charles Brooks (1844-1899)
Smith, Charles Brooks, a Representative from West Virginia; born in Elizabeth, Wirt County, Va. (now West Virginia), February 24, 1844; attended a private school at Parkersburg; enlisted on March 1, 1864, in Company I of the First West Virginia Cavalry of the Union Army; promoted to second lieutenant of the company March 5, 1864, and was honorably discharged on July 8, 1865; engaged in the mercantile business; recorder of Wood County in 1875; member of the city council of Parkersburg, W.Va., in 1876; mayor of Parkersburg 1878-1880; sheriff and treasurer of Wood County 1880-1884; delegate at large to the Republican National Convention in 1888; successfully contested as a Republican the election of James Monroe Jackson to the Fifty-first Congress and served from February 3, 1890, to March 3, 1891; unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the Fifty-second Congress in 1890; became engaged in the fire insurance business; died in Parkersburg, Wood County, W.Va., December 7, 1899; interment in Mount Olivet Cemetery.
[Source: "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present" - Donated by Anna Newell]