Daniel D. Riley

CLAY COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@earthlink.net
August 1, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 640
Clay

DANIEL D. RILEY as superintendent is directing the educa-
tional program of St. Albans, where good schools and high-
minded educators have been the rule for more than half a
century. In a brief sketch it would not be possible to do
justice to the history of the schools and their teachers, but
some of them should be recalled.

Private schools have been maintained at St. Albans from
early in the last century. One of the best remembered was
that conducted by an Episcopal clergyman, whose academy
is still standing on an elevation overlooking the village. As
early as 1832 a school was conducted in what is now called
Fairview. C. V. Hansford was teaching there as early as
1868, and continued at his post until his death.

The first free school was opened in 1868, Arthur Fox
teaching that school. Another early teacher was Dr. George
P. Thompson, and still another was Mrs. M. M. Thompson,
who was killed in an elevator accident in the Capitol Build-
ing at Charleston. Doctor Thompson had taught fourteen
years, beginning in 1877. Miss Sallie Hansford was a
teacher in 1878, while former United States Senator W. E.
Chilton was principal. Mrs. S. L. Cato excelled as a, primary
teacher, and was with the school for thirty years. High
school work was begun under W. W. Trent as principal, he
being followed by L. A. Edwards and the latter by C. P.
Guice. Miss Bashaba White, principal of the Central graded
school has taught in the grades for ten years. Miss Laura
Wood began teaching in 1877, and after a service in the
Kanawha Valley of more than forty years is still active and
has been connected with the schools at St. Albans for a
quarter of a century. Her present pupils comprise sons
whose parents and grandparents received their early in-
structions from her.

Daniel D. Riley has been in school work since early man-
hood. He was born in Jackson County, and several other
members of the family were teachers, including his mother.
His grandfather. Elder Robert Hughes, was at one time
county superintendent of schools, and was widely known as
a Methodist minister. P. M. Riley, father of D. D. Riley,
is now retired and has been a figure in public affairs, serving
as surveyor and justice of the peace. D. D. Riley began
teaching at the age of eighteen. In 1916 he took charge of
the grade work in the St. Albans school, and his connection
with the schools has been continuous except for nearly a
year while he was absent on military duty. In 1921 he be-
came superintendent of the St. Albans schools. The present
enrollment is 810, including forty in the colored school and
130 in high school. There are twenty-seven teachers, six of
them being high school instructors. Athletics has been
much encouraged by Mr. Riley, and the St. Albans High
School foot ball team has won an enviable record, being de-
feated only once, during the season of 1921.

Mr. Riley is a lieutenant in Company B of the One Hun-
dred Fiftieth Infantry, National Guard. During the World
war he was in Coast Artillery and Ammunition Train. He is
affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and Junior Order
United American Mechanics and is a charter member of the
Rotary Club of St. Albans. Mr. Riley married Miss Essie
Hollandsworth, a former music teacher at St. Albans. Their
two children are D. D., Jr., and John Matson.