Wayne K. Pritt

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 23, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 527-528

WAYNE K. PRITT has been a resident of Tucker County
since he was a child of two years, and is now a representa-
tive member of its bar, he having been established in the
successful practice of law at Parsons, the county seat,
since 1911.

Mr. Pritt was born in Randolph County, this state, Janu-
ary 23, 1872, and is a son of George W. and Lucinda
(Ingram) Pritt, the former of whom was born in what is
now Randolph County, West Virginia, and the latter in
Washington County, Pennsylvania. George W. Pritt, whose
death occurred at Hambleton, Tucker County, in 1892, at
the age of forty-seven, was the only child of Edmund and
Susan (Ryan) Pritt, the parents of the former having been
pioneer settlers in what is now Randolph County, West Vir-
ginia, and the lineage of the family supposedly tracing back
to Irish origin. Representatives of this branch of the Pritt
family were stanch supporters of the Union in the period of
the Civil war. Edmund Pritt survived his only son and was
a resident of Hambleton, Tucker County, at the time of
his death, in 1894, when about seventy-six years of age.
The widow of George W. Pritt survived him by ten years
and died at Parsons in 1902, when past fifty-four years of
age. Of their children the subject of this review is the
eldest; Harriet is the wife of Walter Bagshaw, of Parsons;
Charles E. resides at Columbus, Ohio; Frank W. resides at
Charleston, West Virginia; and Bess is the wife of Robert
W. Swink, of Parsons.

Wayne Kennedy Pritt was two years old when the family
home was established on a farm near Parsons, and he con-
tinued his association with the work of the home farm until
he was twenty years of age. That he profited fully
by the advantages of the public schools was demonstrated in
the success which attended his efforts during four terms of
service as a teacher in the rural schools of his home county.
In the meanwhile he attended the summer normal school
at Philippi, and after leaving the pedagogic profession he
was for four years in charge of the office of the Hendricks
Company at Hendricks. In 1896 he was elected clerk of the
Circuit Court of Tucker County, and of this office he con-
tinued the incumbent twelve years. In the meanwhile he
found his duties and environment a spur to his ambition to
enter the legal profession, and with characteristic determina-
tion and receptiveness he devoted himself closely to the
study of law in a private way, this having continued during
the two years which he passed as a student in the Univer-
sity of West Virginia, where he specialized in elocution
and other branches of value in connection with his chosen
profession. He was admitted to the bar in 1911, and has
since been engaged in successful practice at Parsons. In
1912, on the republican ticket, he was elected prosecuting
attorney of Tucker County, in which office he served four
years and added materially to his professional equipment
and prestige. Mr. Pritt served several years as chairman
of the Republican County Committee of Tucker County, has
been an effective campaign speaker and a delegate to state,
congressional and judicial conventions of his party, as well
as to the republican national convention of 1904 which
nominated Roosevelt for the presidency, he having been
sergeant at arms of the West Virginia delegation at this
convention. In the World war period Mr. Pritt was one of
the active workers in the local patriotic ranks, was a member
of the Legal Advisory Board of his county, was a Four-
Minute speaker in behalf of the Government loans and
other war measures, and was chairman of the local com-
mittee in one of the drives of the Salvation Army. He is
affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Elks,
Knights of Pythias, and the Beta Theta Pi college fratern-
ity, and is a member of the Methodist Protestant Church,
in which he has served as a trustee and as a conference
delegate. He is still a bachelor.