MINERAL COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
December 5, 1999
The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume II
Hon. Kreider H. Stover. As a young man from college Kreider H. Stover took
up railroading. He left that after a few years and was in the wholesale
lumber business, becoming one of the very influential men in this industry in
West Virginia. But the call of the railroad service was strong and clear,
and for the past twelve years his energies have been definitely committed to
railroad work. He is now Baltimore & Ohio agent at Keyser.
Mr. Stover was born at Coburn, Pennsylvania, July 12, 1873. His people were
an old family of Pennsylvania, and for a number of years lived in Bucks
County. His grandfather, Jacob Stover, was a native of that state, and only
son and was killed in early life in an explosion while on public road
building. George W. Stover, father of Kreider H., spent his life on his farm
at Coburn, where he died in 1887, at the age of sixty-one. His wife was Malin
da A. Kreider, who was born in 1828 and died in 1912. Her father, Philip
Kreider, was a hotel man at Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and died in early life.
The children of George W. Stover and wife were: Perry H., of Elkins, West
Virginia; Elmira, wife of Thomas B. Motz, of Millheim, Pennsylvania; Calvin
J., who died at Coburn, survived by his widow, Olivia J., and two sons,
George S. and Guy Z. Stover, and the daughter, Myra, wife of Robert Breon of
State College, Pennsylvania; Oscar, who died in infancy; and Kreider H.
Kreider H. Stover lived on his father’s farm the first fourteen years of his
life. He then spent two years in Palatinate College, and in 1890, at the age
of seventeen, became an office employe of A. Pardee & Company at Pardee,
Pennsylvania, and in 1893 was promoted to superintendent. Soon afterward he
resigned to complete his education in Franklin-Marshall College at Lancaster,
Pennsylvania, and left that institution in his junior year, in 1896. At that
date he began railroading with the Pennsylvania Railway Company, and served
until 1900, in different capacities.
Mr. Stover came to West Virginia in 1900 and became manager of the Hosterman
Lumber Company at Hosterman in Pocahontas County. He was there until 1904,
when he moved to Elkins and engaged in the wholesale lumber business under
the name Stover Lumber Company. While there he founded and for four years
published the West Virginia Lumberman and National wholesaler. From 1904 to
1908 he was also president of the West Virginia Sawmill association.
Mr. Stover resumed railroading as joint agent at Roaring Creek Junction for
the Western Maryland Railway Company. He was in the service of that railroad
for ten years, performing the duties of operator, agent and yardmaster at
Ridgely, Hendricks, Henry, Elkins and West Virginia Central Junction. He
resigned from the Western Maryland in 1920, and in September of that year
accepted the agency of the Baltimore & Ohio at Keyser, as successor to Agent
Terrell, who is now warden of the West Virginia Penitentiary at Moundsville.
For a number of years Mr. Stover has been one of the moulders of political
thought and legislation in West Virginia. He cast his first vote for Major
McKinley in 1896, and was a delegate to the Republican County Convention in
Pocahontas County in 1902. For a number of years he has been regarded as a
conservative labor man, and for six years he was general chairman of the
Order of Railroad Telegraphers. The public service that particularly
distinguishes him came in the House of delegates, to which he was elected in
1918 as a representative of Mineral County, succeeding Newton Moore. His
service was under Speaker Luther Wolf. In the regular session of 1919 he was
made chairman of the labor committee, and was a member of the railroad,
printing and contingent expenses committee. Some of the important
legislation of that session bears the impress of his work and influence as
chairman of the labor committee. Two bills came out of that committee, both
of which he introduced. One was Bill No. 50, increasing the powers of labor.
Another bill that became a law was the West Virginia Child Labor Law. He
also actively supported the ratification of the eighteenth and nineteenth
amendments, providing for federal prohibition and woman suffrage. He was
opposed to the creation of a state constabulary, his ground of opposition
being that his constituents in Mineral County did not need such a police
force. Mr. Stover made an unusual record of useful service during his one
tern in the Legislature. In 1920 he was candidate for the republican
nomination for congressman of the Second West Virginia District. In 1922 he
is again a candidate for Congress.
In 1898 he joined the lodge of Masons at Center Hall, Pennsylvania, is
affiliated with the Royal Arch Chapter of Ronceverte, the Knights Templar
Commandery of Lewisburg and the Shrine at Charleston. He is affiliated with
Olive Branch Lodge No. 25, Knights of Pythias, at Keyser. He was reared in
the Reformed Church of America.
At Coburn, Pennsylvania, September 28, 1898, Mr. Stover married Bertha J.
Young, daughter of William and Mary (Kurtz) Young. Her oldest sister is Mrs.
T. G. Hosterman, of Akron, Ohio. The mother of Mrs. Stover is now Mrs. Mary
Weiser and lives with her daughter at Keyser. Mr and Mrs. Stover have no
children of their own, but have an adopted son, Allen Graham Stover.