Reuben Perry Shinn

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 9, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 422-423

REUBEN PERRY SHINN for many years has been one of
the most prominent, and influential figures in the agricul-
tural, financial and public affairs of Jackson County. He
is still busy directing his extensive fanning operations, is
president of the First National Bank of Ripley, and in
addition is also a member of the State Senate.

Mr. Shinn was born in Mason County, West Virginia, July
20, 1860. His grandfather, Samuel Shinn, was born in what
is now West Virginia in 1804, spent the greater part of
his life on a farm in Jackson County, and died there in
1884. George W. Shinn, father of the Ripley banker, was
born in Mason County in 1834, grew up and married there,
and about 1863 removed to Jackson County and owned a
fine farm at Grass Lick near Fairplain. His death occurred
in 1897 at Webster Springs in Webster County. George
W. Shinn was also a man of prominence in the public affairs
of his section of the state. He was a pioneer republican,
served eighteen years as a member of the County Court of
Jackson County, and also represented the county in the
House of Delegates when the capital was at Wheeling. He
was a Mason and one of the very liberal and active members
of the United Brethren Church. George W. Shinn married
Elizabeth Stone, who was born in that portion of old Mason
County, now Jackson County, in 1825, and died at her
homestead in Jackson County in 1911. Of her children the
first was Samuel F., who owns and operates a farm of 1,000
acres at Parchment near Eipley; James O. has a farm of
500 acres near Point Pleasants in Mason County; Permelia
is the wife of Archie A. Reynolds, a merchant and farmer
at Evans in Jackson County; Reuben P. is the fourth
among the children. James A. and his younger brother,
Nathan Ulysses Grant Shinn, own jointly a big farm of
1,200 acres in Jackson County, and James also has the
distinction of being a former sheriff of Jackson County for
four years.

Reuben Perry Shinn spent his years to the age of twenty-
one on his father’s farm, and made the best possible use
of his advantages in the rural schools. When he left home
to go to work on his own responsibility he took no capital
and yet, like his brothers, he has achieved remarkable suc-
cess as a farmer as well as in other fields of business.
Senator Shinn has never been completely divorced from the
practical phases of agriculture, and though he has had his
residence in Ripley since November, 1912, he keeps in the
closest touch with his extensive farming operations. In-
dividually he owns 2,300 acres of valuable land on Grass
Lick and in other parts of the county. His farming is a
diversified proposition, and he -usually keeps from 250 to 300
head of cattle on his lands. He is also associated with a
syndicate composed of Stareher Brothers, W. H. O’Brien
T. J. Sayre, W. Walker and himself in the ownership of
2,000 acres of farm land in Jackson County. He owns a
large amount of real estate in Ripley, including one of the
finest homes of the city.

Mr. Shinn has been president of the First National Bank
of Ripley for the past twelve years. This bank was estab-
lished under a state charter June 20, 1893, and was first
called the Valley Bank of Ripley, but has been a national
bank since August 4, 1915. The officers are R. P. Shinn,
president; S. G. Stareher, vice president; and George E.
Straley, cashier. The bank is capitalized at $35,000, has
surplus and profits of $6,500, and deposits of approximately

Mr. Shinn is a stockholder in the O. J. Morrison Store
Company at Charleston and Clarksburg, and is vice presi-
dent of the Jackson County Grocery Company.

For many years he has been a leader in the republican
party in his section of the state. For eight years he was
chairman of the county committee, for two terms was a
member of the Fourth Congressional District Committee,
and he was one of the state electors on the republican
ticket in 1916, voting for Mr. Hughes for President. Mr.
Shinn has twice been sheriff of Jackson County. He was
first elected in November, 1904, serving the constitutional
limit of four years, from 1905 to 1909. After an interval
of four years he was again elected, in November, 1912,
filling the office from 1913 to 1917. In November, 1920,
he was elected a member of the State Senate, representing
the district of Mason, Jackson and Roane counties for a
term of four years. In the session of 1921 he was chairman
of the agricultural committee, and a member of the finance,
educational, fish and game and other committees. To the
full extent of his influence and means Senator Shinn was
a supporter of the Government at the time of the World
war, and took a personal interest in the success of the
various drives in his county. He is a past grand of Ripley
Lodge No. 30, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

At Grass Lick in Jackson County in 1882 he married
Miss Artemisia Shamblin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George
W. Shamblin, now deceased. Her father owned a large
farm at Grass Lick. Mr. and Mrs. Shinn have four chil-
dren: Cora, a teacher in the high school at Ripley, is the
wife of Charles W. Lively. Belle is the wife of David L.
Rogers, who owns a 200-acre farm and also helps operate
the Shinn farms at Grass Lick. James B. is also associated
with his father in his farming operations at Grass Lick.
Walter Warren is a member of the engineering staff of the
State Roads Commission.