Category Archives: Barbour

Winfield Scott Simon

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. 340

WINFIELD SCOTT SIMON is serving his second term as
county assessor of Barbour County. He is one of the
leaders in county republican politics, and his earnest, hard-
working citizenship has won him a strong and loyal follow-
ing of friends who repose implicit confidence both in his
words and his actions.

His grandfather was Anthony Simon, a native of old
Virginia, who for many years conducted a farm on the
waters of Stewart’s Run in Barbour County. He married
Minerva Corder. They had three sons and one daughter:
Joseph B. A., Stephen, John and Helen, the latter of whom
married J. B. Dickenson. Joseph B. A. Simon, father of
the county assessor, was commissioned an officer in the
Union Army, but was never called to active duty. He has
been a farmer, is a member of the Baptist Church and is
affiliated with the Junior Order United American Mechanics.
Joseph B. A. Simon married Mildred McCoy, daughter of
Benjamin and Mathilda Johnson McCoy. Of their ten chil-
dren seven reached matured years: Winfield Scott; Tella,
wife of O. J. Paugh; Addie, wife of Clark Wood; Icie,
who is Mrs. Elbert McWhorter; John, of Junior, West Vir-
ginia, and there were also triplets in the family, named,
Dora, Cora and Ora, the two survivors being Dora, wife
of Albert McWhorter, and Cora, wife of James White.
J. B. A. Simon is now seventy-six years of age, and lives
with his son Scott. By a second marriage, to Miss Nettie
Russell, he has a daughter, Frasie, wife of John Woodford,
of Pittsburgh.

Winfleld Scott Simon was born in Elk District of Bar-
bour County June 4, 1867. His parents were poor. He was
fourteen years of age when his mother died, and he and
the other children were scattered and grew up chiefly
among strangers. Scott Simon had only the advantage of
the free schools in his neighborhool, and his environment
was the farming district. He had no capital by inheritance,
and his first means were supplied from farm labor and work
at the carpenter’s trade, which he learned and followed for
a number of years. During dull seasons at the trade he
worked at farming, and he continued in this way until he
was chosen superintendent of the county farm. His admin-
istration of the county farm for seven years was a very
efficient one, and during that time the farm became self
supporting. When he turned it over to his successor the
cash balance was greater than it had ever been at any
previous transfer of administration.

Mr. Simon left the superintendency of the county farm to
become candidate for county assessor. In the republican
primaries of 1916 there were five candidates, and he de-
feated his nearest opponent by 137 votes. In the election
he defeated Shaffer, the democrat, by 117 votes. He en-
tered the office as successor of C. E. Corder. In the primaries
of 1920 he was nominated over two competitors, and he
defeated his democratic opponent, Lloyd England, by a
majority of 1,756. This was a larger vote by 700 than was
given to President Harding in 1920 in Barbour County. His
reelection is a high testimony to the judgment and fair-
ness with which he has administered his office. Incidentally
it should be noted that the total assessed valuation of prop-
erty in Barbour County in 1916 was $13,000,000, while five
years later the valuation rose to $22,000,000.

So far as his financial means permitted Mr. Simon has
contributed generously to matters affecting the general wel-
fare of Philippi and Barbour County. He was one of the
contributing stockholders of the old woolen mill, which failed
under the first management, but is now one of the live
industries of the county. Mr. Simon has never voted any
other ticket than republican, and is one of the able and in-
fluential workers of the party in the county. He was a
delegate to the state convention at Huntington for the
naming of supreme judges. Fraternally he has served the
chairs in the Knights of Pythias Lodge, is a member of
the social branch of the order D. O. K. K., is a member
of both branches of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows
and the Junior Order United American Mechanics.

In Barbour County November 6, 1889, Mr. Simon mar-
ried Miss Cora Reed, daughter of Nathan and Sallie Reed.
She was born in Barbour County and died June 24, 1902.
Her two children are Otto Simon and Helen, the latter the
wife of Dellett Lanham. At Oakland, Maryland, October
13, 1909, Mr. Simon married Miss Alta West, a native
of Gilmer County, West Virginia, and daughter of S. W.
and Hanna (Wiseman) West, being one of their four sons
and four daughters. Mr. and Mrs. Simon have one child,
Paul, now eleven years of age.

William T. Ice

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. 339

JUDGE WILLIAM T. ICE. In the annals of pioneer settle-
ment in West Virginia one of the first family names to
appear is that of Ice. Many branches of the old family
have been conspicuous in different parts of the state. The
following is a brief sketch of the late Judge William T.
Ice, who conferred additional honors upon the name through
his long and active career as a lawyer and judge in Barbour

He was born in Marion County in March, 1840, one of the
several sons and daughters of Andrew Ice, who lived in
Marion County, where he was a farmer and surveyor. Wil-
liam T. Ice grew up on a farm, attended rural schools and
was mainly self educated. He probably taught in early
life, read law at Fairmont, and was admitted to the bar
at Philippi, where he established his practice and where
except for his official work he was continuously engaged in
his profession until his death.

Judge Ice was elected and served as prosecuting attorney
of Barbour County, was for several years a member of the
House of Delegates, and in 1880 was elected judge of the
Circuit Court, composed of Barbour, Tucker, Randolph,
Preston and Taylor counties. He was a judge with a wide
learning in the law and a sound knowledge of human nature.
He was dignified, impartial, and made a splendid record
on the bench. After retiring he resumed private practice,
and continued it until his death in February, 1908. Judge
Ice was a democrat, was affiliated with the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows and was a member of the Missionary
Baptist Church.

He married Miss Columbia Jarvis. They were the parents
of five daughters, and the only son is William T. Ice, Jr.

Odie C. Williams

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 10, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 303

ODIE C. WILLIAMS has made a good accounting of the
forty years of his life. He began work early, did farm-
ing and public work, but for a number of years his chief
business interest has been a thriving general mercantile
business at Junior in Barbour County, in the same locality
where he grew to manhood.

He was born in Valley District of Barbour County, July
4, 1882. His father, Andrew J. Williams, was born in old
Virginia, but spent his active life on a farm in Barbour
County, where he died in 1901, at the age of seventy. He
married in Barbour County, Miss Julia Row, a native of
West Virginia and daughter of Benjamin Row. She died
before her husband, the mother of ten children: Mollie,
wife of Samuel Elbon, of Junior; Grant, who died in Bar-
bour County, leaving a family; James, who was a farmer
and died near Junior; Miss Laura V., deceased; Bird, who
married Warren Corley and died near Junior; Dow, de-
ceased; Dora, wife of Samuel Ball and living at Kings-
ville, West Virginia; W. J., a farmer above Junior; Hen-
rietta, who died in Barbour County, wife of Peter P. Ware;
and Odie Charles.

Odie Charles Williams grew up on a farm, gained his
education in the country schools, and learned farming as
a practical career while at home. He earned his first dol-
lar following the plow, and after his marriage he estab-
lished himself on a farm and was a grain and stock raiser,
and in the intervals was employed on public works. He
finally exchanged his farm for the mercantile business of
E. E. Swick in Junior, and has since supplied the retail
trade of this community from his stock of general mer-

Mr. Williams is a member of the County Court, elected
in 1918 as the successor of E. A. Wall. He was chairman
of the court in 1920. His associates on the board are Ish-
mael Haddix and Delbert Boyles. Since he became a mem-
ber the court has in addition to its routine business accom-
plished a great deal of permanent road work. It has
handled the construction of about nine miles of class A
road and six miles of class B, and has constructed a num-
ber of concrete bridges in the several districts of the
county. Mr. Williams is a republican, having east his first
vote for Colonel Roosevelt. He is a member of the Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows.

In Barbour County, December 25, 1899, he married Miss
Rosa J. Hymes. They grew up together as children in the
Junior community. Her parents, John C. and Phoebe
(Edmond) Hymes, had the following children: Mayor
Matthew E., of Buckhannon; Mrs. Williams, who was born
February 28, 1880; Monroe, who was accidentally killed
when a young man while cutting timber; Henry C. and
Sherman G., miners at Junior; Lloyd, who died, leaving a
son; and James B., of Junior.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Williams are Hazel, Bus-
sell C., Buna E., Max Odie and Maxine. The daughter
Hazel is the wife of Fred Simmons, of Junior, and they
have three children, Mabel, Arlene and Russell.

Orion H. Gall

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. 324

ORION H. GALL, cashier of the First National Bank of
Belington, has been actively associated as a young man
with the commercial interests of this thriving city, though
nearly two years out of his young manhood were given to
the service of his country at the time of the great war.
Almost immediately on his return from France he took up
the duties of a civilian, and soon afterward came to his
present post with the bank.

The Galls are a prominent old family of Barbour County.
His ancestry runs back some four or five generations to
George Gall, who was a Virginian and a soldier of the
Revolution. A son of this soldier was John J. Gall, the
founder of the family in West Virginia. His early home
was near the Natural Bridge in Virginia, and from there
he moved to West Virginia and established his home in what
is now Barbour County, on Elk River, and from that region
his descendants have scattered over this state and other
states. George W. Gall, grandfather of the Belington
banker, was sixteen years of age when the family moved
to Barbour County. He was a strong Union man, but two
of his brothers were soldiers under Stonewall Jackson.

John Jay Gall, father of Orion H., was born at the
Village of Arden in Barbour County November 15, 1851.
He is now past three score and ten, but is still active in
his work as a general farmer and stock man. He has been
one of the more successful stock raisers in this county
handling a good grade of beef cattle. He has taken an
interest in the affairs of his community, has served as a
member of the School Board, is a democratic voter and a
member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. John
J. Gall married Elizabeth Carpenter in Barbour County,
daughter of Allen and Harriet (Hoffman) Carpenter. Their
children are: Alva D., of Hammondsville, Ohio; W. Brad-
ford, of Belington; Marvin, of Morgantown; Dessie, wife of
Charles S. Row, of Belington; Orion H.; Audra A., a
teacher in the public schools of Barbour County; Dewey
L., a traveling salesman living at Morgantown; and Hugh,
who is still in school and assists his father on the farm.

Orion H. Gall was born near Arden in Philippi District
August 1, 1893, but subsequently his parents moved from
Laurel Creek to Bill’s Creek in Barker District, where
he spent the greater part of his early life. He had the
opportunities of the public schools, but his education and
training have been primarily a matter of practical ex-
perience. At the age of eighteen he began teaching in
the country, and was one of Barbour County’s educators
for four years. He left the schoolroom to go into the
service of the First National Bank of Belington as a
bookkeeper, and kept up this work steadily until he left
after Christmas in 1917 to join the colors.

Mr. Gall enlisted at Pittsburgh, and from there was
sent to Camp Joseph E. Johnston near Jacksonville, Florida,
where he was first assigned to Receiving Company No. 31,
then to Clerical Company No. 2, and in May, 1918, was
assigned to Supply Company No. 314. With this last named
company he sailed from Newport News on the transport
Martha Washington, was landed at Brest June 19, 1918, and
during the remainder of the period of hostilities was at
Gievres in the General Intermediate Supply Depot. The
company remained on duty there until June, 1919, when
Mr. Gall was transferred to the Quartermaster’s Detach-
ment, which put the camp in condition to turn over to the
French Government. This transfer was completed August
21, and then he and his comrades left for Brest and sailed
on transport Aeolus, August 26, reaching Brooklyn on Sep-
tember 5, was in Camp Merritt until September 11, and
then moved to Camp Dix, where he received his honorable
discharge September 13, 1919. On the 19th of the same
month he arrived home, after an absence of nearly two years.
Mr. Gall was a private until June, 1919, when he was made
sergeant and was discharged with that rank.

For a time after returning home he was bookkeeper for
the Kane & Keyser Hardware Company of Belington, but
on April 1, 1920, took up his work as cashier of the First
National Bank. He is also one of the bank’s directors.
The First National Bank of Belington was chartered in
1903, with a capital of $40,000.00. It has capital and
surplus of $50,000.00, deposits of upwards of $300,000.00
and total resources of over $400,000.00. The president
is B. B. Rohrbough, J. E. Keyser is vice president, and the
assistant cashier is W. W. Thomas.

Mr. Gall, is a democrat, casting his first presidential
ballot for Woodrow Wilson. He is secretary of the Busi-
ness Men’s Club of Belington, and is affiliated with the
Masonic Order. He is unmarried.

Salathiel Lee O&Rsquo;Neal

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 16, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 499-501

SALATHIEL LEE O’NEAL. School teacher, farmer and
horticulturist, lumberman, civil and mining engineer, in-
ventor-only the exceptional man deserves recognition for
definite accomplishments in such a broad range of activities.
Nevertheless these occupations, carried on jointly or suc-
cessively, have been the medium through which Mr. O’Neal
of Philippi has expressed his talents in service to himself
and the world.

An English genealogist writes: “The O’Neill family
and name, according to all standard antiquaries, descended
from King Heremon (seventh son of Milessus, the first
of the Milesian race who conquered and settled Ireland).
Niall The Great (his direct lineal descendant), Monarch of
Ireland A. D. 388, subdued the Picts and ancient Kings of
his name (O’Neill).

” ‘The O’Neill’ has always stood for a fighting and
representative titled line, the last of whom, George Owen
O’Neill, ‘The O’Neill’, County of Tyrone, was formerly a
Peer of Portugal and an officer of the Royal household of
the late King of Portugal.”

For the most part the O’Neals have been rural and
agricultural people, and Mr. O’Neal himself has never for
any great length of time been entirely divorced from
agricultural enterprise. The founder of the family in
America was his great-grandfather, a native of Ireland, who
went from that country to England, where he married a
Miss Anglin, and shortly afterward they came to America
and established their home about two miles west of Philippi,
on what is now the Clarksburg Pike. In this country
locality, then little improved above pioneer conditions, they
spent the rest of their days. Among their children were
three sons, John, David and Joseph. John, was the grand-
father, and his career is noted in the following paragraph:
Joseph was a farmer living near his brother John, on part
of his father’s land. He had three children, Daniel, Ellen
and Edith. Edith became the wife of William Shaw, and
their son, David Shaw, became a distinguished educator,
advocating in advance of his prime denominational schools,
and was at the head of the State Reform School and later
president of the Norris-Harvey College at Barboursville.
He served in the Legislature of the state for five terms, was
a democrat and a member of the Southern Methodist Church.
Joseph O’Neal, the youngest of the three brothers men-
tioned, lived about a mile and a half west of Philippi, on
the Clarksburg Pike, where he was a farmer, but is per-
haps best remembered in the locality for his skill with the
violin, and was one of the old-time fiddlers of that section
of the state.

John O’Neal became a farmer on Elk Creek. He was one
of the very successful men of his time, and left a large
amount of real property when he died. He was a demo-
crat, but could not be persuaded to take office, and was a
member of the Methodist Church. Like his father, he mar-
ried a Miss Anglin, and they were the parents of ten
children. The record of the children is as follows: Samuel,
mentioned below;. Thomas, a farmer who before the Civil
war went to Kansas and established himself at old Grass-
hopper Falls near Kansas City, where he lived out his life;
George went to Kansas with his brother Thomas, and was
also a farmer there; Joel, who followed farming in Bar-
bour County; Lemuel, who was a farmer and successful in
accumulating property in Barbour County, where he died;
David, who spent his life in the rural community of his
ancestors; Abigail, who married George Alexander, of
Buckhannon, where she died; Prudence, who married John
Zinn, and they spent their lives just south of Philippi;
Rebecca, who married Absolom Roberts, a. farmer in Bar-
bour and Ritchie counties; Mary, who is now ninety-four
years of age, the wife of Abram Wells and living near
Tannersville, West Virginia. None of the sons entered the
military struggle between the states, though all were op-
posed to slavery. All but one of them were democrats and
all were Methodists.

Samuel O’Neal, representing the third generation of the
family in West Virginia, grew up in a home where school
advantages were primitive. He became good in reading,
writing and arithmetic, had a good voice, and was very
popular in the singing schools of his day. The busi-
ness of his life was farming. He was a very active
member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, serving
as class reader, and was a member of the Patrons of
Husbandry. Samuel O’Neal married Mary Crites. Her
father, it is believed, was killed while away from home for
the purpose of paying for some land that he had pur-
chased. He was robbed of his money and buried not more
than twenty miles from his home without the family being
advised. Samuel O’Neal died January 3, 1899, and his
wife died on the 28th of the same month. Of their nine
children they reared seven: Joab, a farmer and carpenter
contractor at Buckhannon, where he died; John, who was a
farmer, died at Lebanon, Missouri, March 24, 1922;
Rahame, who married Elam Anglin and lives in Barbour
County; Martha, wife of David Hall, a fanner and stock
man in Barbour County; Prudence, who lives in Taylor
County, widow of A. B. Green, who is a farmer of that
county; Ollie, a resident of St. Louis, Missouri, the widow
of Calvin Corder, who represented another pioneer family
of Barbour County, and was a carpenter and contractor
in St. Louis, where he died; and Salathiel Lee.

Salathiel Lee O’Neal was born three miles south of
Philippi, May 24, 1864. He grew up in the place of his
birth, and he had better educational opportunities than
were presented to his father. He attended country schools
school at Philippi, and Hillsdale College in Michigan. For
six years he taught in country districts of Barbour County.
He then began the manufacture and sale of lumber, but con-
tinued farming in connection with the operation of his
mill. While in School Mr. O ‘Neal studied surveying, and
has done a great deal of work in civil engineering. He was
elected county engineer of Barbour County in 1896, and by
rcelection served another term of four years. For twenty
years he has carried on an extensive practice as a consult-
ing and mining engineer, being engaged by various corpo-
rations to make geological sketches and reports on prop-
erties in West Virginia and other states. He was general
superintendent and consulting engineer of several coal com-
panies, and was superintendent of the Berryburg Mine nine
years and receiver for the Philippi Collieries Company.

Probably his reputation would be secure from his work as
an inventor alone. He invented the caterpillar tread, which
he originally called “a ship propeller.” This idea came
to him thirty-eight years ago, and the same idea is that
now exhibited in the caterpillar tread used on all war tanks
and tractors. And a wireless, Electrical Steering device,
by which, torpedoes and ships can be steered or guided
by a person a long distance from the same. Other prod-
ucts of his genius are a telemeter or range finder for
computing distances between objects; a civil engineer’s
transit; and O’Neal’s platting, drafting and self-com-
puting device. This last invention was patented March
6, 1895, and provides a rapid and accurate method of
platting land surveys and drawings of any kind. The
self-computing feature computes the area of a tract of
land at the same time the map or plat is being made,
enabling the user to do his worn quickly and in one-tenth
the time required by the old method. He copyrighted
O’Neal’s Handbook on Surveying and Architecture, De-
cember 4, 1895. Mr. O’Neal invented a rapid-firing gun
just before the World war, and it passed such favorable
inspection as to attract the attention of the English, and
he was offered a large sum of money for the invention, but
declined out of conscientious scruples against being instru-
mental in any improved device that would make the de-
struction of human life more easy.

From the general practice of farming Mr. O’Neal for a
number of years has been putting his thought, energy and
experiment into horticulture. In 1911 he started an orchard,
and now has fifty acres planted. The orchard lies so that
all exposures are found. The business has been profitable,
though up to the present time peaches have constituted his
chief profitable crop, since other fruit is just coming into
bearing. He carries on his experiments constantly, and
the fruit of his experience may possibly be more valuable to
the horticulture of West Virginia than the actual output
of his efforts. On his place is a tree with a remarkable
history. When this tree was 112 years old Mr. O’Neal per-
formed some “tree surgery” by filling a cavity in the
trunk with thirty-two bushels of crushed stone, twenty-two
bushels of sand and eleven bushels of cement. It is be-
lieved this is the largest filling ever given a fruit tree in
the United States or world. The tree has been known to
bear 100 bushels of apples in one season, and the year it was
120 years old it bore eighty-five bushels of measured apples.
Mr. O’Neal named it the “Century Mammoth Sweet.” He
is identified with the state’s effort to improve horticulture
and fruit growing, and for two years was president of the
Farm Bureau of Barbour County.

In Barbour County, July 24, 1901, Mr. O’Neal married
Lucy Knapp, who was born at Philippi, February 5, 1883,
was educated in schools of her native city and for two years
was a teacher in a country district. Her parents were John
B. and Sallie A. (Smith) Knapp. Her father, a native of
Barbour County, spent the greater part of his life as a
farmer. He was a son of Henry Knapp, who came to the
United States from Germany and lived on a farm a few
miles from Philippi, where he carried on his trade as chair-
maker. John B. Knapp died in November, 1920, at the age
of eighty-seven, and is survived by his widow. Of their
ten children seven grew to mature years: Jacob H.; Nancy,
wife of John Weaver; Miss Lettie; John Letcher; Charles
H.; Mrs. O’Neal; and Hugh Smith Knapp.

Mr. O’Neal and wife have some children who have already
shown the quality of their inheritance and training. Their
oldest child is Harry Lee, who spent two years in the
United States Navy, first as a fireman and then as phar-
macist’s mate in the Hospital Corps, was on duty on the
Pacific Coast and received his honorable discharge De-
cember 29, 1921. The second child, Camden Cleon, is a
graduate of the Philippi High School, and attended the
Naval Training School at Hampton Roads, now a student in
Broaddus College. The third child, Frederick Earl, is a
student in Philippi High School. John Samuel, died in
infancy. The two youngest children are Aubrey Wayne and
James Morris.

Mr. O’Neal in politics is a democrat. While he was
county engineer he made a district map of Barbour
County which has been accented as authority. The O’Neals
are church people, Mr. O’Neal was brought up a Meth-
odist, but any of the orthodox churches satisfy him.
He has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows for a third of a century, and his wife’s father was
a member of that order for almost fifty years.

Philip A. Switzer

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. 335-336

PHILIP A. SWITZER. When a boy just in his “teens”
Philip A. Switzer worked in and had the chief responsibili-
ties of mechanical management of a country mill. After
that he was otherwise engaged, picking up a somewhat
varied experience in business, but milling has remained his
chief occupation. He is one of the prominent men of
Philippi in the suburban industrial village of Mansfield,
where he is a member of the firm E. R. Dyer & Company,
millers and lumber dealers.

Mr. Switzer was born in Pendleton County, at Upper
Tract, June 16, 1857. His father, David N. Switzer, was
a native of Hardy County, West Virginia, and was of Swiss
ancestry. He married Frances Wilson, also a native of
Hardy County and of an old family of Western Virginia.
David Switzer was a miller, and lost his life by accident in
1859, when the mill headgate fell upon him. His wife sur-
vived and died at the village of Mansfield in 1900, when
eighty-five years old. Her children were: Miss Mary, de-
ceased; Virginia A., who was the wife of John A. W. Dyer,
of Mulvane, Kansas; Daniel S., who died unmarried at the
age of twenty-five; David P., who became a miller and
died at Spencer, West Virginia; Jesse O., who died in Har-
rison County; Gabriel T., who died in Pomona, California,
leaving a son, Claude; Charles K., of Philippi, who married
Minnie Dyer and has three daughters; and Philip Anderson.

Philip A. Switzer grew up in Pendleton County, attended
the free schools for four months each year, and was
thirteen years old when he took charge of the operation
of an old water mill at Tipper Tract. He remained at that
work about a year, and subsequently was placed in a coun-
try store and had a considerable mercantile experience in
different parts of Pendleton County. His first independent
experience as a merchant was in partnership with Edmond
R. Dyer, his present partner. For about four years they
conducted a business at Ruddle, until Mr. Dyer left the
county. Mr. Switzer was then a member of the firm Snell
and Switzer, wholesale and retail grocery merchants at Har-
risonburg, Virginia, for about two years. Leaving there he
returned to Pendleton County, and in the fall of 1888
engaged in milling, conducting the mill of E. D. Ruddle until
March, 1891.

At the latter date Mr. Switzer again became associated
with Mr. Dyer at Philippi, and for over thirty years has
been a partner in the Dyer Mill at Mansfield. This milling
enterprise is the chief feature in that community and com-
prises a flourmill, with a capacity of fifty barrels
daily, a sawmill and planingmill. The output of these
mills is sold almost entirely in the local market. With a
record of over thirty years operation the plant has never
shut down except for repairs, and has proved itself one
of the large, healthy and growing concerns of Barbour
County. Around the mills and depending upon them as
the chief source of livelihood has sprung up a village com-
munity. Mr. Switzer is a partner with his brother C. K.
Switzer in the Mansfield Mercantile Company, conducting a
mercantile business in the village of Mansfield.

Mr. Switzer is a business man and has never been what
might be called a leader in politics, though he has per-
formed his duty when required. He served as a member
of the County Court of Barbour County from 1910 to 1916,
and during the last year was chairman of the court. During
his term the old bonded debt of the county was liquidated
and the last of the railroad bonds were paid off. Mr.
Switzer was elected as a democrat in a district normally re-
publican by more than 400, and his own majority was 430.
His colleagues on the board were E. A. Waugh, Z. Taylor
Crouso, L. P. Bennett and William Scrimgeour.

July 1, 1887, Mr. Switzer married at Baltimore, Mary-
land, Miss Rachel Virginia McClung, who was born in
Highland County, Virginia, and was reared in Pendleton
County, West Virginia. Her father, Silas B. McClung, has
spent his life as a farmer and is living in Pendleton County
at the age of eighty-eight. He was a Confederate soldier go-
ing into the war at the beginning and doing his duty in the
Army of Northern Virginia until the close of the struggle,
and was never wounded. He married Miss Nannie Lemmon,
of an old family of Botetourt County, Virginia. She died
in 1916. Her children were: Mrs. Switzer, who was born
January 20, 1869; Warren, who died in Pendleton County
in May, 1921; Clarence, a farmer on the old McClung home-
stead in Pendleton County; Josie, who married Rev. William
Compton, of Jarrettsville, Maryland; Henry McClung, of
Los Angeles, California; and Edgar, a traveling salesman
out of Chicago.

Mr. and Mrs. Switzer have reared three children, all of
whom are now established in vocations or homes of their
own. The oldest is Lena Virginia, connected with the
auditing department of the Income Tax Bureau of the U. S,
Treasury Department. The son, Charles McC., graduated
from Washington and Lee University at Lexington, Vir-
ginia, in 1915, and on August 25 of that year became a
chemist in the laboratories of the Dupont Corporation, con-
tinuing with that great industry until 1920 and is now
a manufacturer of cellulose product at Rutherford, New
Jersey. The youngest child, Ethel C., is the wife of Austin
C. Merrill, deputy United States clerk at Philippi.

Mr. and Mrs. Switzer are members of the Crim Memorial
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at Philippi. In
Masonry he is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason
and a member of Osiris Temple of the Mystic Shrine at
Wheeling, is a past noble grand of Philippi Lodge No. 59,
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, is a member of the
Encampment of that order, and is a charter member and
for ten years has been recordkeeper of the Knights of
the Maccabees.

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.