William F. Harless

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III, pg. 126-127

WILLIAM F. HARLESS, M. D. Skilled physician, efficient
business man and good citizen. Dr. William F. Harless, of
Clothier, is one of the representative men of Boone County,
and no one stands any higher in public opinion than he.
He was born near Spencer, Roane County, West Virginia,
October 4, 1881, a son of William H. and Frances (Keifer)
Harless. The Harless family was established in this coun-
try by Doctor Harless’ great-grandfather, a native of Ger-
many, who settled in Virginia, and it was in that state that
the grandfather was born. The Keifers were also of Ger-
man extraction. Both William H. Harless and his wife were
born in West Virginia, and he is a farmer of Roane County,
and a man of some importance in his home community, hav-
ing served on the school board, as a county commissioner,
as a deacon of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in
other capacities, and he is a prominent member of the In-
dependent Order of Odd Fellows.

After completing his studies in the common schools of his
native county Doctor Harless went through the Spencer
High School. His professional training was taken at the
University of Louisville, Kentucky, and he was gradu-
ated therefrom in 1908, with the degree of Doctor of Medi-
cine. Immediately thereafter he established himself in a
general practice at Clothier, where he still remains. Doctor
Harless established the drug store at Clothier and one at
Madison, both of which he still owns and keeps under his
personal supervision, although he has a registered pharma-
cist at each one. He took up post-graduate work in 1913
at the Post-Graduate School of New York City, and keeps
abreast of the progress made in his profession by reading
and study. For some time he has served as physician and
surgeon of the Buffalo-Thacker Coal Company at Ottawa,
West Virginia, and is also a C. & O. Railway surgeon.

In 1914 Doctor Harless married in Mason County Miss
Lucetta Kay, a daughter of John and Elsie Kay. Mr. Kay
is a native of Scotland, and his wife was born in Pennsyl-
vania. In early life he was engaged in the coal business,
but is now a farmer. Doctor and Mrs. Harless have one
daughter, Eleanor. They belong to the Methodist Episco-
pal Church, South, and take an active part in the work
of the various church organizations. Fraternally Doctor
Harless maintains membership with the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks. He is a strong republican, but
has not cared to come before the people as an office seeker.

Ever since he located at Clothier Doctor Harless has
played an important part in its life. His drug store is one
of the best-conducted in this part of the county, and he
takes pride in it and the one at Madison. As a physician
and surgeon he has won the approval of his professional
associates as well as the affection and gratitude of his pa-
tients, and his practice shows a large increase annually.
While he has not been an official, he has not spared himself
in working for the good of the city, but cheerfully ren-
dered a valuable service whenever it was needed, and is
especially zealous in forwarding those measures designed
to improve the sanitation of the city and county. Person-
ally he is very popular, and has friends all over this part
of the state.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook