W. P. Samples

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
September 20, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 259

W. P. SAMPLES has been an active member of the Graf-
ton Bar since 1906. and his career both as a lawyer and
citizen has exemplified all the qualities that insure success
and esteem.

Mr. Samples had become a resident of Grafton before
beginning practice there. He was born at Mineral Point
in Harrison County May 7. 1876. son of James W. Samples.
His father was born in Greenbrier County, West Virginia,
April 6. 1844. acquire a liberal education, being one of
the first students in the West Virginia State University,
and later graduated at Marshall College. His career was
one long and steady devotion to educational work, and
he was the oldest member of the teaching profession in
Harrison County when he died in 1918. at the age of
seventy-three. He married Elizabeth Virginia Morris,
daughter of George Morris, a farmer at Grassland in Har-
rison County. Mrs. James W. Samples, who survives her
husband, was born in Harrison County, February 10, 1855.
She became the mother of the following children: Manna-
duke. of Salem, West Virginia; Heman S., of Norman,
Oklahoma; Eve Lee. wife of Truman Coffman, of Salem;
Guy E., at the old homestead in Harrison County: Gertrude
S.. of Seattle, Washington; Mrs. Ocie M. Goodwin, who
died at Dallas. Texas, February 20, 1916; Charles Roy,
of Norman, Oklahoma; and Percey Hale, the youngest,
who met a soldier’s death October 14, 1918, in the Meuse
sector on the Argonne front, and his body since being
returned to this country lies in the Odd Fellows Cemetery
in Salem.

William P. Samples was reared to manhood at Mineral
Point, and the duties that gave him a sound physique were
those provided by the farm. He attended the common
schools, one term in the Fairmont State Normal, and about
that time he became a volunteer in the Spanish-American
war, enlisting at Fairmont in June, 1898, in Company A
of the First West Virginia Infantry, under Captain Sabel
and Colonel Spillman of Parkersburg. The regiment was
in training at Chickamauga Park, Knoxville, Tennessee, and
finally at Camp Conrad, Columbus, Georgia, where the
troops were awaiting orders when the war closed. Mr.
Samples was mustered out at Columbus February 4, 1899.
He is a member of the United Spanish War Veterans-at-
large at Washington.

After leaving the army he continued his education as a
student for two terms at Salem College and two terms in
West Virginia University. He then returned home and
spent some time as a clerk at Grafton. While in the uni-
versity he passed his bar examinations and was admitted
to the bar in September, 1906, and at once established his
office at Grafton. He tried his first law suit here in the
Circuit Court, and his qualifications early brought him a
promising practice. His practice is general in both the
State and Federal Courts, and he has been admitted on
motion to practice at the Federal bar. Among other cases
of importance Mr. Samples was one of the counsel asso-
ciated with E. G. Smith and Stephen G. Jackson, of the
law firm of Smith and Jackson of Clarksburg, for the
Gentry Brothers Show Company, which sued the City of
Grafton for damages resulting when one of the company’s
wagons fell off the bridge over Berkeley Creek. Mr.
Samples and associates won their case and a judgment
for $2460.00 for their clients. Mr. Samples was employed
as general counsel for Isaac C. and William M. Ralph-
snyder. claimants of the estate of Adolphus Armstrong.
This litigation covered a period of ten years, finally settled
by agreement between the heirs. Mr. Samples’ clients ob-
tained as their share fifty-two and two-ninths of the estate.
An important factor contributing to this was the appoint-
ment secured by Mr. Samples of William M. Ralphsnyder
as administrator of the estate of Louisa Ann Armstrong
of Monroe County, Ohio, said to have been the sole heir
of Adolphus Armstrong. All attempts to remove Mr.
Ralphsnyder from his post as administrator failed, and the
larger part of the Adolphus estate finally reached the
Ralphsnyders because of this.

In 1918 Mr. Samples organized the Newlon Coal Com-
pany, a partnership, for the purpose of producing Pitts-
burgh coal at Simpson. West Virginia. In 1921 he organ-
ized the Adelaide Coal Company, a corporation with a
capital of $25.000 00. for the purpose of producing coal
on the Galloway Branch of the Baltimore & Ohio at Astor.
He is secretary and treasurer of both these companies.

Mr. Samples is a member of the Taylor County and
West Virginia Bar Associations. He is a past grand of
Central Lodge No. 98. Independent Order of Odd Fellows,
is a member of the Encampment and Rebekahs. and for
three years was district deputy of the Fifth District. He
is a member of Greenhill Methodist Protestant Church in
Harrison County.

At Grafton July 31, 1902, he married Miss Adelaide
Wyckoff. a native of Rosemont. West Virginia, and daugh-
ter of D. B. and Virginia (Bailey) Wyckoff. Mr. and Mrs.
Samples have two children: William’W. and Virginia.