Bernard E. Wilmoth

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 26, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 329

BERNARD E. WILMOTH. A distinction significant of serv-
ice rendered, duty, loyalty and efficiency, belongs to Bernard
E. Wilmoth, in that he is the oldest locomotive engineer
on active duty on the Monongah Division of the Baltimore
& Ohio Railroad. He has worked forty years as a railroad
man, and for a quarter of a century has been a resident
of Belington in Barbour County.

Mr. Wilmoth was born in the old town of New Interest,
Randolph County, West Virginia, May 24, 1864. His father
is Isburn Wilmoth, the venerable and aged citizen of Graf-
ton, whose life has been spent chiefly as a brick mason.
He early took up contracting, and much of his work in
building at Elkins and also at Grafton is still in evidence.
He has been a good business man, faithful to his obliga-
tions, but has sought no honors of politics or public life.
He is a democrat and a Methodist. Isburn Wilmoth mar-
ried Rebecca Stalnaker, who was reared in Randolph County,
and was a distant cousin of Garrison J. Stalnaker, men-
tioned elsewhere. She died at the age of fifty-two. Her
children were: Perry L., who lost his life by accident
in Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota, and was unmarried; Charles
E., who died in 1919, a locomotive engineer on the Cum-
berland Division of the Baltimore and Ohio; Lucy, who
died unmarried in a hospital at Clarksburg; Bernard E.;
French, a locomotive engineer living at Grafton, with a
run on the Buckhannon branch of the Baltimore and
Ohio; Dollie, unmarried and is the companion of her
aged father; Walter, who is unmarried and is a house
painter at Grafton.

Bernard E. Wilmoth lived in Randolph County until
he was ten years of age, when his parents established
their home at Grafton in Taylor County. He grew up
there, acquired a common school education, and at the
age of sixteen started out to earn his living by practical
work. For a time he was employed in a livery stable.
worked twelve months with an engineer corps in the
preliminary survey and finally with the locating survey
at Grafton for the Greenbrier Railway. He was then
made tie inspector for the railroad, and two months later
was given the congenial task of firing the first locomo-
tive to run over the new road. After eighteen months
he was promoted to engineer, and now for forty years
he has been in charge of the throttle of an engine until
he has become the oldest in the service on the Monongah
Division of the Baltimore and Ohio. Most of his service
has been between Grafton and Belington, and for a time
he had the run between Belington and Morgantown and
from Belington to Fairmont. His work is now with the
Berryburg branch.

Mr. Wilmoth in 1913 finished one of the fine and sub-
stantial homes of Belington. It is an eight room brick
veneer building, comfortable, attractive and a perfectly
appointed home. Mr. Wilmoth is a charter member of the
Citizens National Bank of Belington, is one of its di-
rectors, is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
and fraternally is a Lodge and Chapter Mason, an Odd
Fellow, and since reaching his majority has been affiliated
with the Knights of Pythias, of which he is a past chan-
cellor. As a young man he also received his card in the
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and is one of the
older men in that organization.

In September, 1889, at Grafton, Mr. Wilmoth married
Mary Williams, who was born at Buckhannon, West Vir-
ginia, July 13, 1869, daughter of Jerome B. Williams.
Her mother was a Miss Hyer. Mrs. Wilmoth was the
youngest of four daughters, and her two surviving sisters
Mrs. Dora Butcher, of Weston, and Mrs. Rose Lilly, of
Grafton. The only child of Mr. and Mrs. Wilmoth is a
daughter, Sevva R., who graduated from the Belington
High School, later from Westminster College in Mary-
land, where she rounded out her education in vocal music,
and she is now one of the High School teachers at