The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III, pg. 111
JACOB W. GATRELL is closely associated with some of the
primary business interests of the Eastern Panhandle, par-
ticularly those involved in the handling and storage and
also the production of the most distinctive output of this
region-fruit. He grew up in the cold-storage business, and
the Rothwell-Gatrell Company, of which he is president, is
one of the larger concerns of this kind at Martinsburg.
Mr. Gatrell was born in Martinsburg, a son of Charles
Anthony Oscar Gatrell and grandson of Charles Gatrell.
Charles Gatrell, who was born in 1807, was a native of
either Jefferson or Berkeley County, and his ancestors were
pioneers here. Owing to the early death of his father
Charles Gatrell had to become a wage earner to assist in the
support of an invalid sister and a blind mother. The best
wages he could earn was 6 cents a day. His industry and
long continued application to work brought him a reason-
able degree of prosperity, and after rearing his family he
bought a home in Shepherdstown, where he spent his last
days and died at the advanced age of ninety-four. He
married a Miss Leshorne, whose people were early settlers
of Berkeley County, and she died some years before her
Charles Anthony Oscar Gatrell was born on a farm in
Berkeley County in 1845, and during his youth learned the
trade of miller. He spent practically all his active life as a
miller at Martinsburg, where he died at the age of seventy-
two. He married Emma Eliza Hess, who was born at the
family homestead then located at the corner of Queen and
West Race streets in Martinsburg, daughter of David H.
and Mary (Cline) Hess. The Hess family is represented
elsewhere in this publication. Mr. Jacob Gatrell and his
sister, Maud, are the only living children. His sister and
her mother occupy the old home in Martinsburg.
Jacob W. Gatrell was educated in Martinsburg, and the
industrious habits of his family have earned him a career
of usefulness and success. He worked at different lines as a
boy, and at the age of twenty-three he went with the Roth-
well Cold Storage Plant. He learned that business in every
detail, was advanced to general manager, and eventually
became a large stockholder. In 1921 he reorganized the
business as the Rothwell-Gatrell Company, of which he is
president and general manager. This plant has storage
capacity for 50,000 barrels of apples, manufactures thirty-
five tons of ice daily and supplies ice to the city in addition
to refrigeration for the storage plants.
Mr. Gatrell married Louise I. Hanshew, a native of Mar-
tinsburg and daughter of Allen and Bernice Hanshew. The
four children of Mr. and Mrs. Gatrell are Ann, Jacob W.,
Jr., Louise and David. Mr. Gatrell was reared a Lutheran.
Among other business interests he is vice president and
treasurer of the Rothwell Farm and Orchard Company, is
president and general manager of the Pomona Orchard
Company, and is a stockholder in the Imperial Orchard
Company. He is affiliated with Tuscarora Lodge No. 24,
Modern Woodmen of America.
Submitted by: Valerie Crook