Hugh Warder

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 8, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 294-295

HUGH WARDER. A number of sound achievements stand
to the credit of Hugh Warder, primarily in the law, to
the practice of which he was admitted more than a score
of years ago, and also in the polities and public affairs
of his home city and state.

Mr. Warder, who is senior member of the well known
Grafton law firm of Warder & Robinson, was born at
Webster, Taylor County, West Virginia, January 30, 1879.
His father Francis S. Warder was born on a farm near
Pruntytown, served as a government teamster during the
Civil war, was a stone-mason by trade, and spent nearly
all his life at Webster, where he died in 1892 at the age
of fifty-one. He was a republican in politics, and for a
time served as a school trustee. He married Lucinda
Keller, daughter of Isaac and Nancy (Moore) Keller. She
was born in Barbour County, but was reared at Gilmer,
and she died in 1892 the same year as did her husband.
Of their seven children, five survive: Miss Clara B., at
the old home in Webster; Charles H., a dairyman at Graf-
ton; Hugh, the lawyer; Miss Ina M., a teacher in the
Grafton public schools; and Mrs. J. F. Fordyce, whose
husband is a train dispatcher of the Baltimore & Ohio
at Grafton.

To a large degree Hugh Warder was left to discover his
own resources and make his own opportunities. He was
thirteen when his parents died, and he had the direction
of his career from that time. After a country school edu-
cation at Webster, he graduated from the Grafton High
School in 1896, and while a clerk in the office of the circuit
clerk of Taylor County, under Frederick J. Burdett and
J. B. St. Clair, he read his first lesson in law. Mr. Warder
finished his law course in West Virginia University and
wag admitted to the bar in 1900.

Instead of beginning practice at once, Mr. Warder deemed
it more to his advantage to continue his duties as book-
keeper for the Speidel Grocery Company, a wholesale house
at Grafton. Then in 1904 he became associated with Judge
Ira E. Robinson and was his partner until the latter went
on the bench of the State Supreme Court. At that time
a new firm was formed by Mr. Warder and Jed W. Robin-
son, a nephew of Judge Robinson, and they have a splendid
business and a widening reputation over the state.

Mr. Warder’s first case in court was a justice trial in-
volving the recovery of a watch. He was successful in
regaining the timepiece for his client, but never got a
fee for his service. He has since participated in much
litigation of a general nature, and of late years an im-
portant share of cornoration practice. The firm have been
attorneys for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

In 1908 Mr. Warder was elected to the House of Dele-
gates, and was in the session of 1909 under Speaker James
H. Strickling. He was a member of a special committee
to investigate the affairs of the penitentiary, served on
the committee of cities, towns and villages, and devoted
himself to the promotion of a number of worthy bills,
without having any pet measure of his own. Once he suc-
ceeded in getting the consideration of a bill that had been
adversely reported in committee, and it passed the House.

Mr. Warder went to the Legislature as a republican, and
he has acknowledged that political faith since boyhood.
He cast his first presidential vote for Major McKinley in
1900, and has attended a number of state conventions and
was an alternate to the national convention in Chicago in
1916. Mr. Warder managed Judge Robinson’s primary
campaign when the latter ran tor governor, and had charge
of the Robinson headquarters at Grafton.

In Taylor County, June 10, 1903. Mr. Warder married
Miss Anna M. Moran, a native of Grafton and daughter
of Patrick and Anne (Grayston) Moran. Mrs Warrior
was well educated, and left a position as stenographer in
the Merchants & Mechanics Bank of Grafton to become
the bride of Mr. Warder. They are the proud parents
of seven children. Frederick B., Robert, Francis P., Thomas
G., Anna M., Charles E. and John B. Frederick, the oldest
son, is already on his way to distinction. He is a graduate
of the Grafton High School, and is a cadet in the class
of 1925 in the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis.