Samuel Showalter Felker

BERKELEY COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
November 26, 1999
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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. 330
Berkeley

SAMUEL SHOWALTER FELKER is a citizen of varied and
important interests in Berkeley County, a successful business
man, a democratic leader, and at all times cultivating the
best interests of the community.

Mr. Felker was born on a farm two and a half miles
west of Greencastle, Pennsylvania. His father, Jacob
Felker, was born on a farm near the line of Franklin
County, Pennsylvania, and Washington County, Maryland,
and at an early age was left an orphan. He then lived, until
he was grown, with his uncle, Abraham Felker, in Franklin
County. At the beginning of the Civil war he enlisted as a
Union soldier and served in a Pennsylvania regiment. In
1869 he moved to Berkeley County, West Virginia, buying a
farm in the Hedgesville District. He remained there work-
ing and prospering until his death at the age of seventy-
two. He married Mary Showalter, a native of Washington
County, Maryland, who died at the age of eighty-two. They
reared a family of nine children: Kate, who married James
Robinson; Annie, who married Moses Kilmer; Louise, who
became the wife of Calvin Zentmeyer; Charles H.; David,
who died at the age of thirty-three; John D.; Calvin G.;
Rebecca, who married George A. Mason; and Samuel S.

Samuel S. Felker attended school in the Hedgesville Dis-
trict, and at the age of seventeen began learning the trade
of miller in Brown’s Mill in Pennsylvania. After three
years there he returned to Berkeley County, and for two
years operated Kilmers Mill, for one year the Back Valley
Mill and for two years the Darkesville Mill. Ill health
compelling him to make a change of vocation, he then
became agent for the Cumberland Valley Railroad Com-
pany at Darkesville, and at the same time conducted a
general mercantile business there for three and a half years.
On leaving the railroad service Mr. Felker moved to Martins-
burg, and since then has been one of the progressive business
men of this city. For three and a half years he was in
business on West King Street, near the Square, following
which he bought property on West King, near the postoffice,
and continued his store in that location about three years.
Selling out, he entered the real estate business, and in
1904 was elected a justice of the peace, an office he filled
eight years. For three years Mr. Felker had a rather widely
extended business in the sale of coal rights and coal lands.
He and D. W. Shaffer were then partners in the real estate
business for two years, and since then Mr. Felker has con-
tinued alone, dealing in city and farm lands, and he makes
sales over the three states of West Virginia, Maryland and
Virginia.

At the age of twenty-two Mr. Felker married Alice
Virginia Shipper, a native of Berkeley County and daughter
of James B. and Hester (Stuckey) Shipper. Mr. and Mrs.
Felker had one son. Guy G., who was educated in the city
schools, prepared for college in Washington and Lee Uni-
versity and subsequently entered the University of West
Virginia. He graduated in the law department and had
already achieved a substantial place in his profession when
his early death occurred at the age of twenty-nine. For
some time prior to his death he had been in the service of
the income tax department of the Federal Government.
Guy G. Felker married Gertrude Manown. He is survived
by a son, Samuel Showalter Felker, who lives with his
paternal grandparents.

Mr. and Mrs. Felker are active members of the Presby-
terian Church, and he is president of the board of deacons.
Mr. Felker is prominent in the Masonic Order, being a past
master of Equality Lodge No. 44, A. F. and A. M., past
high priest of Lebanon Chapter No. 2, R. A. M., past
eminent commander of Palestine Commandery No. 2, K. T.,
was president of the class that took the Scottish Rite degrees
at Wheeling in 1920, and is a member of the Martinsburg
Masonic Club. He is also affiliated with Washington Lodge
No. 1, Knights of Pythias, and for six years was repre-
sentative to the State Lodge and is a past grand master of
the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is also a mem-
ber of the Loyal Order of Moose.

Mr. Felker has had a deep interest in public affairs
throughout his active career, and has served as delegate
to numerous county, district and state conventions of the
democratic party and for ten years was chairman of the
county committee.