Category Archives: Barbour

Edgar H. Watson

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
March 18, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 354

EDGAR H. WATSON. In a busy and purposeful life of
more than threescore and ten, Edgar H. Watson has meas-
ured up to the responsibilities of manhood whether as a
home maker, citizen or in his private industry and busi-
ness. He retired from his farm several years ago and has
since resided in Philippi, where he is well and popularly

This branch of the Watson family has been in West Vir-
ginia for at least 125 years. Several generations of them
lived in Preston County, and Edgar H. Watson is a native
of that county, as was also his father, Rawley Watson, who
grew up in Valley District. Rawley Watson devoted all
his best years to his farm between Masontown and Reeds-
ville, and was never attracted into any form of public
service. He was a Methodist and a republican. Rawley
Watson, who died in 1890, survived by several years his
wife, whose maiden name was Sarah Ann Whipp. Her
father, Hezekiah Whipp, moved out of Frederick County,
Virginia, to Ohio just before the Civil war, and spent his
active life four miles from Middletown, Butler County,
Ohio. Rawley Watson and wife reared the following chil-
dren: Julia R., who married William F. Menear and died
at Kingwood; Sanford, who was a Union soldier and later
a farmer near Masontown; George, also a Union soldier,
who spent his civil life in Preston County and is buried
at Masontown; Daniel, who followed the trade of painter
and paper hanger, was a farmer, and is now president of
the Reedsville Bank at Reedsville, where he resides; Edgar
H.; Maxwell, a farmer at Masontown; Orville, a farmer
at Reedsville; and Mason, who was a merchant and post-
master of Reedsville when he died.

Edgar H. Watson was born November 30, 1849. He
was about twelve years of age when the Civil war broke
out, and consequently his education terminated about that
time. He learned the trade of blacksmith under E. J.
Miller at Terra Alta, and for fifteen years followed the
trade at Flemington. When he abandoned his shop he
bought a farm in Barbour County, on Stewarts Run, and
to this place he devoted his best energies from 1888 to
1917. In the latter year he moved to his town home at
Philippi, but he still oversees his farm and looks after
some other business interests.

Mr. Watson is a republican, and in 1872 cast his first
vote for General Grant, voted for Rutherford B. Hayes
in 1876 and for Gen. James A. Garfield in 1880, and has
voted for every republican presidential nominee since then.
While living on his farm he was president one term of
the Board of Education of Elk District.

In Taylor County, April 26, 1884, Mr. Watson married
Mrs. Julia E. Fleming, widow of Goff J. Fleming and
daughter of H. W. LaFollette, who came to Taylor County
from Eastern Virginia a few months after the outbreak
of the Civil war. He died at the home of Mrs. Watson
in Barbour County. His wife was Amy McKee. Mrs.
Watson was the oldest of four children, the others being
Felicia A., who died at Philippi, wife of James Wood-
ford; L. M. LaFollette, former state auditor of West
Virginia and a resident of Charleston; and Elery B., who
died in Lewis County, West Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Wat-
son have four children. Hazel B. is the wife of Arch Mc-
Coy, of Belington; Nellie B. lives at Philippi; Herman B.
is assistant cashier of the Citizens National Bank of Phil-
ippi; and the youngest child is Miss Mattie B.

W. Bruce Talbott

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. 337-338

W. BRUCE TALBOTT had to pay his way while preparing
himself for the bar, and that experience brought him to
the practice with considerable more than the qualifications
of the young law graduate, so that his subsequent advance-
ment was rapid. Most of the time since his admission to
the bar has been devoted to his duties as prosecuting at-
torney of Barbour County.

Mr. Talbott was born in Pleasant District, Barbour
County June 7, 1888. His people have lived in that sec-
tion of the county for several generations, and farming has
been their chief vocation. His grandparents were Silas and
Sarah (McKinney) Talbott. The father of the prosecuting
attorney was the youngest of the twelve children of his
parents and was born on a farm in Pleasant District in
1853. Farming has been the work of his life. He was
educated in the country schools, and his success on the
farm and elsewhere has shown him to be a man of good
business judgment. He helped organize the Citizens
National Bank of Philippi, and is a director of the People’s
Bank of that city. In politics he has been satisfied to
cast his vote as a democrat, and is a member of the Mis-
sionary Baptist Church, though his parents were old-school
Baptists. Mr. Talbott married Edith Bartlett, daughter of
Judson Bartlett. Their children are: Iva, wife of W. D.
Corder, of Philippi; W. Bruce; Hazel, who died in infancy;
Ruby, a teacher in Barbour County; E. Wayne, who grad-
uated A. B. from the University of West Virginia and is
now taking his law course there; and Ralph, a student
in the Philippi High School.

Mr. Bruce Talbott had the old home farm as his environ-
ment until he was about twenty years of age. He knows
more about the practical side of farming than perhaps
many other lawyers. The public schools near the old home
gave him the foundation of his education, and subsequently
he attended West Virginia Wesleyan College at Buckhan-
non, where he graduated in 1908. He taught two terms of
school before graduating and another term afterward, and
then for three years worked as office man for the Con-
solidation Coal Company. Through this employment he
earned the money to complete his law course. Mr. Talbott
graduated LL. B. from West Virginia University in 1915,
was admitted to the bar at Philippi the same year, and
began practice alone. He won his first case, though an
unimportant one, in the Circuit Court, and he was soon
in possession of a growing law practice. He had practiced
about a year before he was elected to the important duties
of prosecuting attorney.

His election to this office occurred in 1916. He had
to contest his nomination in the primaries, but in 1920 he
had no competition in the primaries. A distinction that
is something out of the ordinary is the fact that Mr. Talbott
is the first prosecuting attorney of Barbour County to be
elected for two consecutive terms during the past thirty
years. The basis of his hold upon the people at the time
of his second candidacy was his strong enforcement of the
law during his first term.

Mr. Talbott cast his first vote for president in 1912 for
Mr. Taft, and was a delegate from Barbour County to
the Judicial Convention at Huntington in 1916. He is a
member of the College Fraternity Beta Theta Pi and in
Masonry has taken both the York and Scottish Rite degrees
and is a member of Osiris Temple of the Mystic Shrine
at Wheeling. He is a member of the Baptist Church.

In Barbour County July 9, 1909, he married Miss Mabel
Right, who was born at Belington, March 13, 1893, daugh-
ter of James and Martha (Bennett) Right. She was one
of ten children. Mr. and Mrs. Talbott have a family of
four children, named Lucille, Rex, Robert and William.

John B. Payne

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
March 19, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 362

JOHN B. PAYNE, M. D. It is reported that the great
Galen once boasted: “I have done as much for medicine
as Trojan did for the Roman Empire in building bridges
and roads throughout Italy,” thus emphasizing with the
greatest then-known marvels of accomplishment his own
benefactions to humanity. Yet, in the light of modern
medical science, how little Galen really did and how radi-
cally incorrect, remarkable as they were proved many of
his theories and conclusions. To the members of the medi-
cal profession the early teachers will ever continue great,
but a physician or surgeon of the present day whose pro-
fessional knowledge is not vastly broader, higher and
deeper, could not lay much stress upon his equipment for
his calling. Dr. John B. Payne kept fully abreast of the
marvelous developments in the profession, his training was
long and thorough and he was engaged in practice for
twenty-six years.

Doctor Payne was born at Philippi, Barbour County,
West Virginia. December 31, 1871, a son of Frank E. and
Virginia (Simon) Payne, the former a native of Loudoun
County, Virginia, and the latter of Barbour County, West
Virginia. Frank E. Payne was an agriculturist by occupa-
tion and a man of some prominence in his community,
where he was held in the highest esteem. He and his
worthy wife were the parents of eight children, six sons
and two daughters, whom they reared on the farm and
brought up to lives of industry and integrity.

John B. Payne obtained a good common school educa-
tion, and taught in the rural schools two years. As a stu-
dent, first in the Fairmont State Normal School and later
in the West Virginia University, his literary education,
preparatory to that of medicine, was completed. He
finished the prescribed course in medicine at the College
of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, Maryland, and
received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1896. For the
following six and one-half years he was successfully en-
gaged in the practice of medicine and surgery at Lumber-
port, Harrison County, whence he removed to Clarksburg
in the fall of 1902. While engaged in practice there he
occupied well-appointed offices in the Union Bank Build-
ing. In 1906 Doctor Payne took a postgraduate course in
the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore. Soon
after locating at Clarksburg, where his reputation had
preceded him, he secured a desirable practice, and long
held rank among the leading physicians and surgeons of
the city. He became an active and valued member of the
Harrison County Medical Society, the West Virginia State
Medical Society and the American Medical Association.
He belonged to the staff of St. Mary’s Hospital, Clarks-
burg. In the fall of 1922 Doctor Payne retired and
moved to Washington, D. C., to his thirty-six-acre “city
farm,” which will be his future home.

For eighteen years Doctor Payne has been a member
of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and for
three years of the Independent Order of Foresters. He
is a state officer in the latter fraternity, being a High
Court Physician and has also represented his state in the
Supreme Court of Foresters at Toronto, Canada. In his
political allegiance he supports stanchly the candidates
and ideals of the democratic organization. His religious
faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

Doctor Payne has been twice married. In 1896 Miss
Sallie Corpening became his wife. She died in 1911, leav-
ing a son and a daughter: John Edward, a graduate of
medicine from the University of Maryland in June, 1922;
and Virginia, who graduated in the same month from
Millersburg (Kentucky) Female College. In 1912 Doctor
Payne was united in marriage with Miss Eulainne Strove,
and to this union there have come four children: Dorothy
Jean, born in 1914; Kirby B., born in 1917; Billie F.,
horn in 1919; and Benjamin B., born in 1922. All the
children were born in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Aldine S. Poling

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 23, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 580-581

ALDINE S. POLING is a veteran editor and newspaper man
of West Virginia, being founder and proprietor of the
Barbour Democrat at Philippi. He was a successful teacher,
later studied and qualified for the bar, but instead found
his vocation and life-work in “the fourth estate.”

Mr. Poling was born in Glade District, Barbour County,
January 14, 1867. His grandfather, James Poling, came to
this section of West Virginia in pioneer times from old
Virginia and spent his life as a farmer in Glade District
He had a large family, his sons being Elam, Nathaniel,
Perry, Brown, Isaac, Salathiel, Emery and Tazewell, while
his daughters were Annie, who married Marshall Stal-
maker; Rebecca, whose first husband was Mortimer Johnson
and the second, C. K. Rymer; Luverna, who was the only
one of the family who remained unmarried; and Virginia,
who became the wife of Wesley Bean. These children not
only married, but most of them had many descendants, and
as many of these remained in Barbour County Aldine S.
Poling probably has more relatives in the region than any
other man.

The father of Aldine S. Poling was Isaac Poling, who
was born in Barbour County and who married Elfanzine
Corder, a native of Warren County, Virginia. Her only
child was Aldine S., but the latter has a half brother, Wade
Poling, of Glade District, and half sister named Mrs. Etta
Hudkins, Mrs. Matrona Wilmoth, Mrs. Bertie Wilson and
Mrs. Rebeeca Elliott.

Aldine S. Poling was reared in the home of an aunt in
Pleasant District of Barbour County, and lived with her
until he began his university career. He attended the rural
schools, summer normals, began teaching at the age of
sixteen, and for ten years his program was teaching a term
or two and then attending school himself. In this way he
secured the money to complete his legal education and was
graduated LL. B. from West Virginia University in 1892.

Before he could secure a clientele as a lawyer his old
friend with whom he had first studied law induced him to
start a democratic paper at Philippi. Thus he became the
founder of the Barbour Democrat in 1893, the first issue of
which appeared July 6, 1893. It has probably never missed
an issue in nearly thirty years, and there have hardly been
more than a half dozen issues of the paper run off the press
without the editor’s presence in the office. Mr. Poling is a
man of ideals in the newspaper business. With the usual
enthusiasm of youth he thought it necessary in early years
to be strongly partisan, and he attacked his political op-
ponents as vigorously as he boosted the interests of his own
party in political or civic matters. Gradually experience
and increasing years softened this part of his character, so
that generosity and liberality have characterized his treat-
ment of men and measures through his paper. He made the
Barbour Democrat one of the first papers in the state ac-
tively to advocate and fight the battle of temperance and
prohibition. From the first he has believed that he had a
duty to perform in editing and conducting a home news-
paper, one free from sensation and the lurid presentation of
crimes and scandals.

In addition to his service as an editor Mr. Poling has
been a notary public for a number of years, largely a
gratuitous service, has been secretary and a member of the
board of Education of the Philippi Independent District,
and has been a trustee of Broaddus College since it was
established here. He was one of the active leaders in se-
curing this educational institution for Philippi, and he has
seen it grow to be a larger institution than the State Uni-
versity was when he was a student there. In polities Mr.
Poling inherits democratic sentiments from both sides of
the family. Fraternally he has been a Mason and Odd Fel-
low since reaching his majority, and is also a member of the
Knights of the Maccabees and the Junior Order United
American Mechanics. He has sat in the Masonic Grand
Lodge. For thirty-five years he has been a member of the
Missionary Baptist Church, was superintendent of the Sun-
day school ten years and represented the church in the
Northern Baptist Convention at Boston, and has attended
many of the general associations in the state.

At Philippi in December, 1893, Mr. Poling married Miss
Lizzie W. Grant, daughter of Edward F. and Lydia (Skid-
more) Grant, an old time family of Barbour County. Her
father was a cabinet maker and undertaker, and for many
years served as postmaster at Philippi. He was a repub-
lican, and he died during the childhood of Mrs. Poling.
Mrs. Poling has a half brother, Charles Grant. Mrs. Poling
went to work in one of the local banks at Philippi at the
age of seventeen, is still an employe of the Citizens National
Bank, and is credited with more banking experience than
any of the bankers in the city. Mr. and Mrs. Poling have
two sons, Forrest Blanchard and Lawrence Edward. Forrest
Blanchard, who graduated A. B. from West Virginia Uni-
versity and is now in the University Law School, is an ex-
service man, and spent twenty-two months at Camp Shelby,
reaching the rank of top sergeant. The second son is a
graduate of Broaddus College of Philippi, and is now con-
tinuing his studies in the Ohio State University. He
volunteered as a member of the Students’ Army Training
Corps in the naval contingent, and was at Morgantown dar-
ing a portion of the war.

Herman J. Poling

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
March 18, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 350

HERMAN J. POLING. While he has carried more or less
active business responsibilities, Herman J. Poling is a
lawyer, and his hard-working abilities have won him a
deservedly high place in that exacting profession in his home
county of Barbour. He is a member of the Poling family
that has been identified with the farming and civic interests
of the county for a number of generations.

He was born in Glade District, Barbour County, April
26, 1885. His grandfather was Jonas Poling, a farmer
in that locality, and his father, William J. Poling, was
born on the same homestead in Glade District. As his
boyhood coincided with the period of the Civil war he was
denied any liberal educational advantages. His life has
been spent in farming, and for the most part he has de-
rived his living from live stock. He has served as trus-
tee of the White Oak School District. William J. Poling
married Amanda Jane Shaffer, who was born in Cove
District of Barbour County, one of the three sons and
five daughters of John C. Shaffer, a native of the same
locality and a farmer there. The children of William J.
Poling and wife are: Herman J.; Lora and Nora, twin
sisters, the former deceased; Nettie; and Dottie, wife of
Camden Mouser, of Philippi district.

Herman J. Poling acquired a country school education,
and subsequently attended the Wesleyan College at Buck-
hannon and the Fairmont Normal School, where he gradu-
ated in 1909. He taught his first term of school when
seventeen years of age, resumed that work after graduat-
ing from the Normal School, and was principal of the
Academy High School. In the spring of 1910 he entered
the law department of the University of West Virginia,
finishing his law course in 1912. After graduating and
being admitted to the bar he located at Durbin, where
he taught his last term of school in the country and also
did some law practice. He then removed his offices to
Philippi, and has been engaged in a growing general prac-
tice. Among his interests outside the fixture lines of his
profession he is a partner with H. S. Haller in the Boulder
Coal Company, and they bought the property and developed
the mine, equipped it with electrical machinery. This
mine was opened in February, 1917, and was a constant
tribute through the period of the World war. Mr. Poling
is director and attorney for the Peoples Bank of Philippi,
is director, secretary, treasurer and attorney for the Ty-
gart Valley Water Company, is a stockholder in the Fed-
eral Carbonic Gas Company of Fairmont, and is owner
of considerable real estate in Philippi and some farm
land devoted to the grazing industry along the Belington-
Philippi Road in Barker District.

In politics Mr. Poling is a democrat, casting his first
vote for Mr. Wilson in 1912. He has interested himself
in several campaigns, is congressional committeeman for
the Second Congressional District, and has represented bis
party in conferences and conventions. He is a member
of the Kiwanis Club at Philippi, is a past noble grand
of the Lodge of Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and
a member of the Encampment, is affiliated with the Mac-
cabees, the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of
America and the Junior Order United American Me-
chanics. He was reared in the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South. In May, 1919, Mr. Poling married Miss Mary A.
Poling, a native of the Valley District of Barbour County
and daughter of Remus Poling. Her father, who married
a Miss Ware, is a farmer at Boulder. Mrs. Poling is one
of a large family of three sons and eight daughters. Mr.
and Mrs. Poling have a son, Herman J., Jr., born May
19, 1921.

Frank P. Rease

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 22, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 530-531

FRANK P. REASE, who is familiarly known by his title of
captain, which he gained in his youth as a captain of a river
boat, has been a prominent figure in connection with civic
and industrial development and progress in West Virginia,
where he is one of the representative and influential citizens
of Belington, Barbour County.

Captain Rease was born near Corning, Steuben County,
New York, October 6, 1862, and is a son of Peter and Lucy
N. (Watrous) Rease, the former of whom was born in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the latter in Susquehanna
County, that state. Peter Rease was born in the year 1808,
and he became a successful merchant at Corning, New York,
where also he conducted a hotel and was engaged in the
manufacturing of lime, his death having there occurred in
June, 1873, and his widow, who was born February 12, 1814,
having died in 1888. Both were earnest communicants of
the Protestant Episcopal Church and he was a democrat in
politics. Of their children the eldest, Morris, who served as
captain of engineers in the Union army in the Civil war,
eventually became chief engineer of the Union Pacific Rail-
road, and he retained this position until his death at St.
Louis, Missouri. Louise married B. N. Wentz, and after his
death became the wife of A. J. Owen, her death having oc-
curred at Wyalusing, Pennsylvania. Henry, a Union soldier
in the Civil war, took part in the historic Red River cam-
paign under General Banks, and died while in service and
is buried at New Orleans. Helen is the wife of William H.
Herrick, of Hollywood, California. Frank P., of this review,
is the youngest of the number.

Capt. Frank Pierce Rease gained his early education in
the public schools of Corning, New York, where he com-
pleted the curriculum of the high school. In connection
with his father’s business activities he early became iden-
tified with the operation of canal boats, and he served as
captain of boats plying between Corning, New York, and
Newark, New Jersey, in the transportation of lumber, steel
rails and limestone. He was captain of a boat when but
sixteen years of age, and continued his service until he
was nineteen, when he was made superintendent of the
Corning quarry which supplied stone for the building of
the State Reformatory at Elmyra and for the Beecher
Church in that city. Leaving this position, he became
outside superintendent of mines for the Fallbrook Coal &
Railroad Company at Fallbrook, Pennsylvania, where he re-
mained two years. This was during the reign of the
“Molly Maguires,” an unlawful organization which at-
tempted to dictate policies in operating mines and the
members of which became outlaws by the thousands, the
while they terrorized mining communities and shed much
innocent blood. Captain Rease gained the enmity of
this organization and caricature of skull and cross-
bones was placed on the door of his home as a warning.
After leaving Fallbrook he was transferred to Corning
as baggage master and freight agent on the railroad oper-
ated by the same company, and finally became a train
conductor. January 1, 1880, he became general super-
intendent of the Butler Colliery Company at Pittston, Penn-
sylvania, in the service .of which corporation he continued
twelve years. He then, in 1892, came to West Virginia to
assume charge of development work for the United States
Coal & Iron Company in Randolph County, where he opened
the company’s first mine and erected its first tipple, at
Harding. He became concerned also in the construction of
the company’s service railroad, and soon after the com-
pletion of the Roaring Creek & Charleston Railroad, the
Roaring Creek & Belington line also was constructed, this
work having been done under the auspices of the Berwind,
White Coal Mining Company, which bought out the other
concern. The Belington & Beaver Creek Railroad was next
built, between Belington and Weaver, to open up the coal
owned by Captain Rease himself, the road having been built
by Rease and Weaver. Captain Rease managed the mines
and several railroads until 1901, when the properties were
sold, the railroad lines being absorbed by other railroad

Captain Rease then turned his attention to other devel-
opment work, including the construction of the Consumers
Heat, Light, Water & Power Company’s plant at Beling-
ton. He was the originator of the enterprise for utilizing
the power of the Middle Fork of the Tygart River in the
developing of a system for the supplying of water and elec-
tricity for adjoining cities and towns of this section of the
state. In this connection the Highland Water and Power
Company was organized. They made surveys through Fair-
mont, Grafton and other places, and then sold the con-
trolling interest to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company,
which has failed thus far to institute further development
work. Captain Rease is still interested in mining properties
that are producing coal successfully, and is still Southern
representative of the Berwind, White Coal Mining Company.
He was associated in the establishment of the first banking
institution at Belington, and was president of the Beling-
ton National Bank until its consolidation with the First
National Bank, of which he continues a director. He has
lived at Belington since it was a village of less than 100
population, and has been an Influential force in the devel-
opment and upbuilding of the now thriving little city, of
which he has served several terms as mayor, besides having
been president of the Board of Education. He cast his
first presidential vote for Samuel J. Tilden, and has since
continued unfaltering allegiance to the democratic party.
He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity.

On the 7th of January, 1873, at Corbettsville, New York,
Captain Rease wedded Miss Anna C. Corbett, who was born
at Corbettsville, that state, April 10, 1852, a daughter of
Ira and Juliette (Bowes) Corbett. Mr. Corbett was born
in Broome County, New York, and was there a successful
farmer and extensive lumber manufacturer. Mrs. Rease
was the sixth in a family of five sons and five daughters,
of whom two sons and four daughters are living at the
time of this writing, in 1922. Captain and Mrs. Rease be-
came the parents of three children: Lena is the wife of
A. H. Woodford, of Belington, and they have three chil-
dren; Adelaide died in young womanhood; and Louanna
is the wife of Rev. A. C. Carty, chaplain at the United
States Navy Yard at Philadelphia, they having one child.

Richard Edward Talbott

Biographical Sketches of Members of Congress, Members of the Legislature,
Officers of the State Governement and judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals,
West Virigina, 1917

West Virginia Legislative Hand Book and Manual and Official Register, 1917,
Compiled and Edited by John T. Harris, Clerk of the Senate,
The Tribune Printing Co., Charleston, West Va.
pgs. 719 – 770


pg. 728

dress: Philippi, West Va. Born on a farm near Philippi,
Barbour county, Feb. 21, 1869; received his earlier educa-
tion in public schools and the University; graduated from
the law department of that institution, receiving degree of
L. L. B.; Clerk of the Circuit Court Barbour county 1897-
1903; served as member of the town council, Philippi, Mayor,
and President of the Board of Education; now engaged in
the banking business; elected to Senate, 1914 from Thir-
teenth District; committee assignments 1917: Privileges
and Elections, Finance, Education, Banks and Corpora-
tions, Labor, Public Library, Prohibition and Temperance.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Samuel V. Woods

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. 317-318

SAMUEL V. WOODS. In the forty-one years since his ad-
mission to the bar Samuel V. Woods has proved himself the
possessor of many of the distinctive abilities of his honored
father, the late Judge Samuel Woods, whose career is briefly
given in sketch following.

In the broad field of general practice, particularly in
chancery, and as a trial lawyer Samuel V. Woods has few

He possesses a generous and abundant equipment and
knowledge of the law, and his personal character, which
is of the highest order, has combined to make his career a
source of genuine public service, though comparatively little
of his time has been spent in public office.

He was born in Barbour County on the 31st of Angust,
1856, and was educated by private tutors, in the public
schools, and at the West Virginia University.
He studied law under his distinguished father, Judge
Samuel Woods, and was examined before and admitted to
practice by the Supreme Court of Appeals in 1881, upon
the motion of William L. Wilson. Since that time he has
been a steady practitioner in the County of Barbour, where
he has resided, and in other counties in that section of
the state, and before the Supreme Court of Appeals.

He has handled a great volume of business covering an
immense range in the practice of his profession. For many
years in Barbour County nearly every important trial found
him engaged therein on one side or the other, and he always
acquitted himself with great credit and with a high degree
of satisfaction to his clients.
A brief professional opinion of his work is as follows:

“In his court work he has always been distinguished for
the thoroughness of his preparation, the tact of his exam-
ination of witnesses, is accurate knowledge of all the de-
tails of pleading and practice, and coolness and self poise,
which he exhibits under circumstances of the most ad-
verse and trying nature. As an advocate he is gifted with
logical powers and a faculty of expression remarkably
simple and lucid. His diction is clear and correct, his
language forceful and pointed, and on all occasions he
shows the power of an able public speaker and debater,
and is an honorable, upright and reliable attorney.”

Men who have been so fortunate as to come within
the friendship or professional association of Samuel V.
Woods pronounce him as one of the most genial men in all
their acquaintance. He possesses and exhibits the courtesy
of the old school gentleman, and his personal character
and attainments give special force to this disposition.

He has always been interested in the discussion of
political questions, and is an unusually forceful and eloquent
platform speaker in the discussion of political questions
and questions of public policy, and he has always been an
earnest independent democrat. And while he has lived
in a strongly republican county and republican senatorial
and congressional district, he was elected to the State
Senate in 1910, and for four years represented the Thir-
teenth Senatorial District. While a member of the Senate,
which was equally divided politically, he was unanimously
elected president of the Senate, and under the constitution
of this state he thereby became in effect lieutenant gov-
ernor of West Virginia.

He was twice the democratic nominee for Congress in
the Second Congressional District. He was a delegate to
the National Democratic Convention in 1900.

Mr. Woods has been a life long member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, and in 1916 was elected as a delegate
to the General Conference, which is the law making body
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in 1920 he again
served in the General Conference of the church.

Since 1903 Mr. Woods has been a member of the Board
of Trustees of the West Virginia Wesleyan College at Buck-
hannon, and has been consistently one of the most generous
supporters of that institution, of which his distinguished
father, Judge Samuel Woods, was one of the founders and
for many years president of its Board of Trustees. He has
from that College the degree of LL. D.

For the past fourteen years Mr. Woods has been the
president of the Citizens National Bank of Phillppi, the
strongest and one of the oldest banking Institutions in
Barbour County, of which he was one of the founders and

Mr. Woods married on the 9th day of March, 1893, Miss
Mollie Strickler, and they have had one child, Ruth Neeson
Woods, who is now the wife of Arthur S. Dayton, a dis-
tinguished member of the Philippi bar, and the only son of
the late Judge Alston G. Dayton.

Berlin E. Snyder

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
March 19, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 356

BERLIN E. SNYDER. After school days were over, sup-
plemented by one term of teaching, Berlin E. Snyder threw
himself with all his characteristic energy into the tasks
and responsibilities of a commercial career. A steadily
growing capacity derived from experience with a modest
capital, likewise the reward of his own saving and self-
denial, finally put him into the ranks of independent busi-
ness men. He is president, treasurer and general man-
ager of the Philippi Hardware & Furniture Company, and
since 1914 has been one of the active commercial men of
that city.

He was born near the Village of Lahmansville, Grant
County, West Virginia. His grandfather, Noah Snyder,
moved into Grant County from old Virginia, and was one
of the successful farmers and good citizens of that locality,
where he lived until his death at the age of seventy-eight.
Ho married Susan Lahman, and of their eleven children
only one, Seymour A., mentioned in the following paragraph,
is deceased. The complete list of the children is as fol-
lows: Rebecca, wife of Scott Bergdoll and living in Grant
County; John and Jacob, farmers in Mineral County;
Buchanan, of Petersburg, Grant County; Seymour Allen;
Martin B., of Wellsboro, Indiana; Joseph, a farmer in
Grant County; Daniel W., a farmer in the State of Kan-
sas; Elizabeth, wife of Robert Spangler, of Ridgely; Noah
W., a farmer in Grant County; and Laura, wife of Wil-
liam Kesner, of Grant County.

Seymour A. Snyder was born in Grant County in 1860,
followed the vocation to which he had been trained, that
of farming, and died there in December, 1920, at the age
of sixty. He was a member of the United Brethren Church
and a republican. His wife, Mary Alexander Frye, born
in 1860, the same year as her husband, died in 1919. Her
father was William Baker Frye, a successful West Vir-
ginia farmer and a member of the Southern Methodist
Church. The children of Seymour A. Snyder and wife
were: Berlin E.; Beulah, wife of Albert A. Lahman, of
Grant County; Herman, who was in training as a soldier
during the World war and is now operating the old home-
stead; and Milam, of Philippi.

Berlin E. Snyder spent the first seventeen years of his
life on the home farm, gained a country school education
and passed the first teacher’s uniform examination in the
state. His work as a school teacher was done at Gor-
mania, and when he left the school room he went to Keyser
and for two months kept books for a grocery house and
then became clerk in the Siever Hardware Company, whole-
sale and retail. After three years of training this house
sent him on the road to cover the territory comprised in
Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, Pendleton, Tucker, Ran-
dolph and Greenbrier counties. He built up a large busi-
ness for the firm in this territory for five years. For an-
other six years he continued his work in practically the
same territory, but for the wholesale hardware house of
Greer and Laing of Wheeling.

After more than ten years on the road Mr. Snyder put
his experience and capital to use at Philippi, where in
1914 he reorganized the old Philippi Hardware and Fur-
niture Company as a stock company. His first capital was
$5,000, and in 1910-1916 the capital was increased to
$10,000, and in 1921 to $50,000. Mr. Snyder is the presi-
dent, treasurer and general manager; A. F. Martin, of
Elkins, is secretary; and H. B. Martin, of Elkins, vice

Mr. Snyder has accumulated other business interests in
Philippi, including some real estate, and is a director in
the Talbott-Crawford Coal Company and the Peoples Bank
of Philippi.

In Randolph County, July 12, 1910, he married Miss
Pearl Martin, daughter of E. Ross and Martha (Jones)
Martin. Her parents were reared near Mannington, were
farmers there for a number of years, and after retiring
from the farm her father established himself at Elkins,
where he has since been in the building and contracting
business. The Martin children are: Gay, wife of Percey
Paugh and a resident of Brownsville, Pennsylvania; Harry
B., of Elkins; A. F., of Sharpless, West Virginia; Mrs.
Snyder; and Miss Hallie Martin, of Elkins.

Mr. and Mrs. Snyder have one son, Berlin E., Jr., born
July 19, 1915.

Stuart F. Reed

Biographical Sketches of Members of Congress, Members of the Legislature,
Officers of the State Governement and judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals,
West Virigina, 1917

West Virginia Legislative Hand Book and Manual and Official Register, 1917,
Compiled and Edited by John T. Harris, Clerk of the Senate,
The Tribune Printing Co., Charleston, West Va.
pgs. 719 – 770


pg. 720


THIRD DISTRICT.-COUNTIES: Braxton, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis,
Nicholas, Ritchie, Upshur, and Webster (11 counties). Population (1910), 197,110.

STUART F. REED (Republican), of Clarksburg, was born and reared on a
farm in Barbour County, W.Va. He obtained money to attend college by saving
his earnings as a farm hand and country-school teacher. A brief summary of
Mr. Reed’s career appearing in the last edition of “Who’s Who in America”
shows that he was editor Clarksburg Telegram eight years; elected president
West Virginia Editorial Association three terms; elected State senator, serving
four years; was chairman senate committee on education; regent West Virginia
University; originator of School of Commerce and founder of the Athenaeum
(college journal) of the university; member West Virginia Republican State
committee; vice president National League of Republican Clubs; member
national literary bureau of Republican national executive committee; member
World’s Literary Congress (Chicago); vice president National Republican
Editorial Association (Washington, D. C., 1904); declined appointment consul
general, Buenos Aires, 1905; president board trustees Broaddus Classical and
Scientific Institute 1901-1908; eminent commander Knights Templar 1908;
member International Tax Conference, Louisville, Ky., 1909; president State
Y. M. 0. A. convention 1910; elected secretary of state of West Virginia two
consecutive terms, 1909-1917; vice president West Virginia Semi-Centennial
Commission 1913; elected president Association of American Secretaries of
State, Cincinnati, 1915; received diploma (Fairmont State Normal) and degrees
LL. B. (West Virginia University), and Ph. D. (Salem College); married Miss
Bonnie Belle Smith, of Clarksburg; is a Shriner, Elk, and Modern Woodman of
America; Baptist; was elected to the Sixty-fifth Congress by a majority of 680,
receiving 23,442 votes, to 22,762 for F. N. Alderson, Democrat.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook