George Talbott Buchanan

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III
pg. 28

GEORGE TALBOTT BUCHANAN is postmaster of Wellsburg,
having been assistant postmaster under his father, the late
Talbott H. Buchanan. Four generations of the Buchanan
family have been represented in the Northern Panhandle
of West Virginia.

They are Scotch Highlanders, Robert Buchanan coming
here and locating on a farm in Brooke County when his son
Robert, grandfather of the Wellsburg postmaster, was a lad.
They acquired land in Independence Township, and Robert
lived there until his death at the age of seventy. His son
Thomas lived out his life on the same farm. Talbott H.
Buchanan was born on the old homestead in 1864, and it
was his home until he sold the place in the early ’80s and
moved to Wellsburg. Here he was in the wholesale grocery
business under the firm name of Brown and Buchanan until
the death of Mr. Brown about 1895. Soon afterwards
Talbott H. Buchanan became deputy sheriff. He was
deputy at the time of the noted trial of Van Baker. Baker
was the first man ever sentenced to life imprisonment from
Brooke County. Later Talbott H. Buchanan engaged in
the insurance business, and soon after the election of President
Wilson was appointed postmaster of Wellsburg and filled
that office until his death on Easter Sunday, 1917. The
site of the present Post Office was secured during his admin-
istration. He was a vestryman and warden of Christs
Episcopal Church, and his widow is very active in church
affairs. He married Julia Burley of Moundsville, also of
an old Scotch family prominently connected with other
West Virginia families. She is living in her fiftieth year.

George Talbott Buchanan, only child of his parents, was
born at Wellsburg May 28, 1890. He acquired a public
school education, and was about twenty-three years of age
when he became assistant postmaster under his father. His
father was succeeded by Henry Zilliken, who died on Christ-
mas Day, 1917, and in May, 1918, George T. Buchanan was
appointed his successor, receiving his commission under
Wilson’s second administration. The Wellsburg Post Office
building was completed ready for occupancy in December,
1916, costing about $80,000.00. The appropriation for the
Federal Building at Wellsburg was secured while the late
W. P. Hubbard was in Congress. The Post Office has
fifteen employes, with four rural carriers. Mr. Buchanan
is also official custodian of the building. Soon after his
appointment as postmaster he was called to the colors, on
August 3, 1918, and was in service at Camp Lee and Fort
Moultrie, South Carolina. He had an active part in all the
loan drives, though the Victory Loan was made while he
was in the army. His office well upheld its share of respon-
sibility in the sale of stamps.

July 23, 1919, Mr. Buchanan married Jane Simpson.
She was born at Pittsburgh, but as a child was taken to Ham-
ilton, Canada, where her father, George A. Simpson, for a
number of years has been sales manager for the Canadian
Steel Company. Mrs. Buchanan is an active member of
church and social clubs at Wellsburg. Mr. Buchanan is a
past master of Wellsburg Lodge No. 2, F. and A. M., is
affiliated with West Virginia Consistory No. 1 of the Scottish
Rite, Osiris Temple of the Mystic Shrine and a member of
the local team of nine members doing the work of two of
the degrees of the Scottish Rite. He is a vestryman and
treasurer of Christ Episcopal Church.

Submitted by Valerie Crook