The History of West Virginia, Old and New

Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,

Chicago and New York, Volume III,

pg. 549


WILLIAM H. RUBY, vice president and general manager of the Trace Fork
Coal Company, on the Virginian Railroad, one mile west of Mullens, general
manager of the Wilton Smokeless Coal Company, and president of the Spencer
Fork Coal Company on Piney branch of the same road, is one of the well
known figures in coal mining circles of Wyoming County. He has been identified
with one branch or another of this industry since boyhood, and his advancement
therein has been gained through sheer merit and not because of any fortuitous
chance or lucky circumstance.

Mr. Ruby was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, July 19, 1887, and is a son of
William Frederick and Minnie (Gilcher)

Ruby, natives of Germany. William Frederick Ruby was only twelve years
of age when he made the journey to

America alone to join four brothers and a sister, who had preceded
him to Cincinnati. For a period of thirty-six years he was identified with
the Fleischman Yeast Company, and during a large part of this time was
a foreman and one of the company’s most trusted employes. He retired two
years prior to his death, which occurred in 1921, at Cincinnati, when he
was sixty-three years of age. He was a faithful member of the Lutheran
Church, to which also belongs his wife, who was three years of age when
brought by her parents to the United States, and who is now a resident
of Cincinnati, aged sixty years. Mr. and Mrs. Ruby were the parents of
two sons: Walter W., sales manager for the Chesapeake & Virginian Coal
Company, at Lynchburg, Virginia; and William H.

William H. Ruby went to the public schools of Cincinnati and as a boy
displayed unusual industry and ambition. As soon as allowed he secured
employment, but after working at unskilled labor for several years came
to the conclusion that he should be better prepared for his struggle with
competition in the business world, and accordingly pursued a course in
general mechanics at the Ohio Mechanical Institute, which he finished at
the age of eighteen years. In 1907 he came to Prince, West Virginia, in
the capacity of rodman for the New River Collieries Company, and at the
end of two years had advanced to assistant in the engineering department.
He then became assistant engineer of the Gulf Smokeless Coal Company at
Tams, Raleigh County, a concern with which he remained for seven years,
at the end of which time he was superintendent of the Hotcoal Mine,

a Gulf Smokeless property. Subsequently for one and one-half years
Mr. Ruby was general superintendent of the Iroquois Coal Mining Company,
and in 1917, with others, purchased the Trace Fork Mine, of which he has
since been vice president and general manager.  During the five years
that he has been in charge there have been made numerous improvements,
including a new tipple, new houses, a new water system and steel mine cars.
Mr. Ruby’s official associates in this company are H. E. Tribou, president
of Tams; and R. F. Wildey, secretary- treasurer, of Tracoal. In April,
1920, Mr. Ruby became one of the organizers of the Wilton Smokeless Coal
Company, of which he is general manager, his associates being: J. B. Clifton,
of Beckley, president; C. H. Meador, Beckley, vice president; and H. R.
Tribou, Tams, secretary and treasurer. Mr. Ruby is a thoroughly

informed coal man, having worked his way up through the various branches
and learning the details of all during his upward climb. He has the full
confidence of his associates and the friendship and loyalty of his men.
He is a republican in his political affiliation, and his religious connection
is with the Lutheran Church, and as a fraternalist he belongs to the Blue
Lodge of Masonry at Tams, of which he is a past master, and the Mystic
Shrine at Charleston.

In June, 1913, Mr. Ruby married Miss Anna Mae Woldey, of Cincinnati,
Ohio, and to this union there have been born two children: William H.,
Jr., and Jack W.


Submitted by Valerie Crook


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