William Joseph Quinn

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

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 321-322

WILLIAM JOSEPH QUINN, president of the General Coal
Company at Huntington, has secured standing as one of the
progressive and substantial business men of the younger
generation in this city. He was born at Girardville, Penn-
sylvania, April 7, 1894, and is a son of William Joseph
Quinn, Sr., and Lucy (Griffiths) Quinn, both natives of the
old Keystone State, where the former was born in 1863
and the latter, in Schuylkill County, in 1866. The father
became fire boss for coal mines in the district near Girard-
ville, Pennsylvania, and was only thirty-three years of age
when he met his death in a mine explosion at Lost Creek,
Pennsylvania, in 1896, his widow being still a resident of
Girardville. Mr. Quinn was a stanch republican, was affi-
liated with the Knights of Columbus, and was a com-
municant of the Catholic Church, as is also his widow. Of
the children the subject of this review was the fourth in
order of birth, and he was two years of age at the time of
his father’s tragic death; James is a resident of West
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is a railroad employe;
Thomas is superintendent of the A. D. Cronin Coal Com-
pany at Accoville, West Virginia; Anna is the wife of
Arthur Brown, of Girardville, Pennsylvania, Mr. Brown
being an electrician in the service of the Philadelphia &
Reading Railroad Company; Robert S. is superintendent of
the U. S. Block Coal Company, with residence at Woodville,
West Virginia.

William J. Quinn graduated from the high school depart-
ment of Girard College in June, 1910, and thereafter he
worked in various clerical capacities until 1912, at Girard-
ville and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Atlantic City,
New Jersey. In 1912 he became a clerk for the Berwind
Lumber Company at Berwind, West Virginia, and six
months later became shipping clerk for the New River &
Poeahontas Consolidated Coal Company, which one year
later transferred him to similar service in the City of
Charleston. In 1914 he accepted a position as salesman with
the Winifrede Coal Company, the mines of which are in
Kanawha County, this state, and he was a representative
of this corporation at Cincinnati, Ohio, until 1917, when he
organized a company to take over the properties and busi-
ness of the Ruffner Coal Company of Accoville, Logan
County, West Virginia. He was concerned in the operation
of the mine of this company until August, 1920, and was
vice president and general manager of the company. In
1920 the Ruffner Coal Company sold its mine and business
to the A. D. Cronin Coal Company, in which Mr. Quinn
retained an interest and was made general manager, a posi-
tion of which he is still the incumbent. In 1919 the
Ruffner Coal Company acquired the .Franklin Mine in Boone
County, and this mine likewise is now owned by the A. D.
Cronin Coal Company, the aggregate output capacity of
whose mines is 175,000 tons of coal annually.

In 1919 Mr. Quinn purchased the U. S. Block Coal
Company’s mine and business, the mine having a capacity
for the production of 50,000 tons of bituminous coal a year,
and this property he still owns. In 1919 also he effected
the organization of the General Coal Company, for the
handling of the output of the mines with which he is iden-
tified, and of this sales company he has since continued
the president. He is president also of the U. S. Block Coal
Company, and his executive offices are at 918-919 Bobson-
Prichard Building in the City of Huntington. Mr. Quinn
is a stanch supporter of the cause of the republican party,
and is affiliated with Huntington Lodge No. 313, Benevolent
and Protective Order of Elks.

In March, 1920, at Covington, Kentucky, was solemnized
the marriage of Mr. Quinn and Miss Vivian Brown, who
was born at Millersburg, that state, and who is a popular
factor in the social circles of Huntington.