William O. Hundley

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
September 26, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 275-276
Fayette County

WILLIAM O. HUNDLEY. In the person of William O.
Hundley the oil and gas interests of Cabell County have a
capable and energetic representative of the younger genera-
tion at Huntington. While he is a recent acquisition of
these linea of business, he has already indicated that his
career therein will be an unqualified success, and as secre-
tary and treasurer of the Big Ben Petroleum Company he
occupies a recognized position among the active men in these
branches of industry.

Mr. Hundley was born February 12, 1890, in Fayette
County, West Virginia, and is a son of Henry T. and Jane
L. (Honaker) Hundley. His grandfather, Lieu Hundley,
was born in 1834, at Salem, Virginia, and as a young man
became a pioneer of Fayette County, where he spent the
remainder of his active career as a successful agriculturist.
He died at Scarboro, West Virginia, in 1892. Henry T.
Hundley was born in 1858, in Fayette County, Virginia
(now West Virginia), and was educated in the rural schools
and brought up to the vocation of farming, which he has
followed throughout his life. He has always lived in
Fayette County, where he is the owner of one of the best
kept farms in that section of the state, and now makes
his home at Fayetteville, where he is respected and esteemed
as a substantial and successful man and public-spirited
citizen. He is a democrat in politics, and his religious
faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, of
which he is a very active supporter. Mr. Hundley married
Miss Jane L. Honaker, who was born in 1860, near Charles-
ton, Kanawha County, West Virginia (then Virginia), and
to this union there were born children as follows: Dosha,
who is unmarried and makes her home with her parents;
Lieu Zingle, a general merchant of Fayetteville; Henry C.,
also a merchant of Fayetteville and a veteran of the World
war, in which for ten months he served as a sergeant in the
engineering corps and was stationed at Camp Humphreys,
near Washington, D. C.; William O., of this review; Lillie
D., the wife of Lemon A. Skaggs, of Huntington, who for
the past seven years has been a clerk in the shops of the
Chesapeake & Ohio Railway; Minnie May, of Huntington, a
teacher in the public schools; Rosa, a student in the high
school at Huntington; Ada and Anna, who are attending
the graded school at Fayetteville; and French, employed
by the Bachman Coal Company at Bachman, Fayette

William O. Hundley was educated in the rural schools
of Fayette County and reared on his father’s farm, where
he remained until twenty years of age. At that time he left
agricultural pursuits to embark in the automobile business
at Fayetteville. During the next ten years he continued in
the same line, and despite his youth and his limited capital
at the outset of his career he achieved a remarkable success.
In the meantime, in 1916, during the border trouble with
Mexico, Mr. Hundley served for a year in the United States
Army as chief mechanic, first under General Polk and later
under General Pershing, having charge of a motor train of
thirty-three trucks. In 1921 he disposed of his automobile
business at Fayetteville, although he still retains the owner-
ship of a public garage building at that place, and came to
Huntington, where he turned his attention to the oil pro-
ducing industry. He assisted in organizing the Big Ben
Petroleum Company, an oil producing company which has
proven a very successful venture. The property now being
operated, consisting of 372 acres, is located in Warren
County, Kentucky, and has fifteen producing wells. The
concern is incorporated under the laws of the State of
West Virginia, and the officers are: S. H. Honaker, Hunt-
ington. president; T. H. Laing, Huntington, vice president,
and William O. Hundley, secretary and treasurer. The
offices are situated at Rooms 203 and 204 Lewis-Samson

Mr. Hundley has always been a stanch democrat, and
while a resident of Fayetteville served as a member of the
city council for two years. He is a member of Lafayette
Lodge No. 57, Fayetteville, in which he has numerous
friends and also has several civic and social connections.
Mr. Hundley is the owner of a modern residence at
825 Twenty-fifth Street, Huntington, a comfortable and
attractive home located in one of the preferred residential
districts of the city, in addition to which he owns other real
estate at Huntington.

On April 1, 1917, Mr. Hundley was united in marriage at
Charleston, West Virginia, with Miss Elsie Bias, daughter
of Mr. and Mrs. James B. Bias, of 1615 Tenth Avenue,
Huntington, Mr. Bias being an employe of the Chesapeake
& Ohio Railway Company. Mrs. Hundley is a graduate of
the Huntington High School and a woman of many graces
and accomplishments. To Mr. and Mrs. Hundley there have
been born two children: William O., Jr., born February
25, 1918; and Leonard Bay, born May 8, 1920.