Category Archives: Berkeley

Samuel Showalter Felker

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. 330

SAMUEL SHOWALTER FELKER is a citizen of varied and
important interests in Berkeley County, a successful business
man, a democratic leader, and at all times cultivating the
best interests of the community.

Mr. Felker was born on a farm two and a half miles
west of Greencastle, Pennsylvania. His father, Jacob
Felker, was born on a farm near the line of Franklin
County, Pennsylvania, and Washington County, Maryland,
and at an early age was left an orphan. He then lived, until
he was grown, with his uncle, Abraham Felker, in Franklin
County. At the beginning of the Civil war he enlisted as a
Union soldier and served in a Pennsylvania regiment. In
1869 he moved to Berkeley County, West Virginia, buying a
farm in the Hedgesville District. He remained there work-
ing and prospering until his death at the age of seventy-
two. He married Mary Showalter, a native of Washington
County, Maryland, who died at the age of eighty-two. They
reared a family of nine children: Kate, who married James
Robinson; Annie, who married Moses Kilmer; Louise, who
became the wife of Calvin Zentmeyer; Charles H.; David,
who died at the age of thirty-three; John D.; Calvin G.;
Rebecca, who married George A. Mason; and Samuel S.

Samuel S. Felker attended school in the Hedgesville Dis-
trict, and at the age of seventeen began learning the trade
of miller in Brown’s Mill in Pennsylvania. After three
years there he returned to Berkeley County, and for two
years operated Kilmers Mill, for one year the Back Valley
Mill and for two years the Darkesville Mill. Ill health
compelling him to make a change of vocation, he then
became agent for the Cumberland Valley Railroad Com-
pany at Darkesville, and at the same time conducted a
general mercantile business there for three and a half years.
On leaving the railroad service Mr. Felker moved to Martins-
burg, and since then has been one of the progressive business
men of this city. For three and a half years he was in
business on West King Street, near the Square, following
which he bought property on West King, near the postoffice,
and continued his store in that location about three years.
Selling out, he entered the real estate business, and in
1904 was elected a justice of the peace, an office he filled
eight years. For three years Mr. Felker had a rather widely
extended business in the sale of coal rights and coal lands.
He and D. W. Shaffer were then partners in the real estate
business for two years, and since then Mr. Felker has con-
tinued alone, dealing in city and farm lands, and he makes
sales over the three states of West Virginia, Maryland and

At the age of twenty-two Mr. Felker married Alice
Virginia Shipper, a native of Berkeley County and daughter
of James B. and Hester (Stuckey) Shipper. Mr. and Mrs.
Felker had one son. Guy G., who was educated in the city
schools, prepared for college in Washington and Lee Uni-
versity and subsequently entered the University of West
Virginia. He graduated in the law department and had
already achieved a substantial place in his profession when
his early death occurred at the age of twenty-nine. For
some time prior to his death he had been in the service of
the income tax department of the Federal Government.
Guy G. Felker married Gertrude Manown. He is survived
by a son, Samuel Showalter Felker, who lives with his
paternal grandparents.

Mr. and Mrs. Felker are active members of the Presby-
terian Church, and he is president of the board of deacons.
Mr. Felker is prominent in the Masonic Order, being a past
master of Equality Lodge No. 44, A. F. and A. M., past
high priest of Lebanon Chapter No. 2, R. A. M., past
eminent commander of Palestine Commandery No. 2, K. T.,
was president of the class that took the Scottish Rite degrees
at Wheeling in 1920, and is a member of the Martinsburg
Masonic Club. He is also affiliated with Washington Lodge
No. 1, Knights of Pythias, and for six years was repre-
sentative to the State Lodge and is a past grand master of
the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is also a mem-
ber of the Loyal Order of Moose.

Mr. Felker has had a deep interest in public affairs
throughout his active career, and has served as delegate
to numerous county, district and state conventions of the
democratic party and for ten years was chairman of the
county committee.

Walter J. Lambert

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III, pg. 112-113

WALTER J. LAMBERT, first vice president of the Citizens
Bank of Martinsburg, Berkeley County, was born at Fred-
erick City, Maryland, on the 15th of July, 1850. He is a
son of Frederick Lambert, presumably a native of Vir-
ginia. The original American progenitors came from Eng-
land in an early day and settled in the historic Old
Dominion State. Frederick Lambert became a representa-
tive merchant at Frederick City, Maryland, his store and
residence having been at the west end of Patrick Street.
The maiden name of his wife was Catherine Lambright, she
having been born and reared in Frederick City, where she
and her husband continued to reside until their deaths.
They became the parents of the following sons and daugh-
ters: David, Michael, William H., Charles O. (served three
terms as mayor of Martinsburg, West Virginia), John C.,
Harriet A., George Dallas (served as a member of the city
council at Martinsburg, West Virginia, and was a soldier
in the Civil war three years), Thomas F., Lewis E., Walter
J., Franklin P. (died at the age of four years), and Emma
J. The daughter Harriet became the wife of Walter H.
Keedy, who served as a soldier of the Union in the Civil
war. Mr. and Mrs. Keedy became the parents of six chil-
dren, namely: Eugene, Mary, Laura, Naomi, Mabel and
Emma, the latter of whom died in infancy. Emma J.
Lambert became the wife of Charles E. Zieler, now deceased,
and she now presides over the domestic economies and social
regime of the home of her brother, Walter J., subject of
this review.

In his youth Walter J. Lambert attended the excellent
schools conducted by Professor James English at Frederick
City, Maryland, and he early manifested distinct native
talent as a trader, he having been a lad of twelve years
old when he entered the employ of Augustus Fraley, a
dealer in horses and other live stock, for whom he bought
and sold with remarkable judgment for a youth of that
immature age. Mr. Lambert was fourteen years old when
he came to Martinsburg, West Virginia, to enter the employ
of his brothers, George D. and Charles O., who had here
established themselves in the provision business. He con-
tinued to be thus associated with his brothers until they
dissolved their partnership. Thereafter he was for three
years in the employ of his brother George D., who then
consolidated his business with that of his father-in-law,
Andrew Grazier. After remaining for a time with this new
firm Walter J. Lambert engaged in the provision business in
an independent way. Three years later he turned his atten-
tion to the restaurant business, with which he continued to
be successfully identified a few years, in the meanwhile
having been successful also as a local buyer and shipper of
live stock. Mr. Lambert was one of the organizers of the
Citizens Bank of Martinsburg, and has been a member of
its directorate from the time of its incorporation, besides
which he has given effective executive service as its first
vice president, an office of which he is the incumbent at the
present time, his mature business judgment and effective
counsel having been a potent influence in connection with
the development of this substantial financial institution.
Mr. Lambert has made judicious investments in Martins-
burg real estate, and was the owner of the local operahouse,
which was destroyed by fire in 1920. He is a member of
Robert White Lodge No. 67, Ancient Free and Accepted
Masons, Martinsburg Lodge No. 778, Benevolent and Pro-
tective Order of Elks, and of Washington Lodge No. 1,
Knights of Pythias.

Mr. Lambert has taken deep and helpful interest in the
welfare of the fine little city that has long represented his
home, and while he has had no desire for public office he
has been at all times a liberal and progressive citizen-one
who has inviolable place in the esteem and good will of the
community. Mr. Lambert is a bachelor.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

William Smith Snyder

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III, pg. 114-115

WILLIAM SMITH SNYDER is a native of Martinsburg, and
was an active business man of the city for twenty years or
more, but now gives his time chiefly to the management of
his private property interests. He is member of one of the
substantial old families of the Eastern Panhandle.

Mr. Snyder was born at Martinsburg, January 28, 1858.
His grandfather, John Snyder, at one time was a resident of
Chillicothe, Ohio, and from there came to Virginia, lived for
a time in Jefferson County, and then established his perma-
nent home at Martinsburg. He was a hatter by trade, and
he served as a constable in Martinsburg. He had three
sons. Two of them, John and Daniel, were shoemakers at
a time when shoe making was a manual trade and all boots
and shoes were made to order. John Snyder continued the
business of custom shoemaker in Martinsburg for many
years, and was also a member of the official board of the
Methodist Church. All business houses of the city were
closed during his funeral. Daniel Snyder specialized in the
making of women’s shoes. His son removed to Baltimore
and for many years was in business in that city.

Samuel Snyder, father of William Smith Snyder, learned
the trade of carpenter and followed that occupation. He
was a Union sympathizer when the war broke out between
the states, removed to Pennsylvania and was soon stricken
with diphtheria, and died in May, 1861, soon after return-
ing home. He married Mary A. P. Legg, who was born at
Annapolis, Maryland. Her father was a farmer in Mary-
land, and on leaving the farm lived with her at Annapolis.
Mrs. Mary Snyder was left a widow with three small
children, named Clara W., who subsequently married Wil-
liam Rouark, Maggie O. and William Smith. William
Smith was only three years old when his father died. The
mother kept her children together and carefully reared and
educated them, and she died at the age of sixty-two. She
and her husband were active members of the First Methodist
Episcopal Church.

William Smith Snyder attended the city schools, and
early sought a useful occupation that would provide his self-
support. He learned the tinner’s trade at the age of
twenty, established himself in business as a tinsmith, and
that was the active business line he followed. Mr. Snyder
has made numerous investments in local real estate, and
his accumulating interests in this field give him property
that requires much of his time.

At the age of twenty-five he married Emma Susan
Shaffer, who was born at Martinsburg, daughter of Jacob
and Isabelle (Burnett) Shaffer. Her grandfather, John
Shaffer, was born in 1795 and was a son of Peter Shaffer,
a Pennsylvania soldier in the American Revolution. John
Shaffer was an early settler of Martinsburg, and a wagon
manufacturer whose place of business was at the corner of
West King and South Raleigh streets. He married Sally
Curtis. The father of Mrs. Snyder was the first superin-
tendent of the Martinsburg Water Works, and continued in
that official capacity for forty years. The maternal grand-
parents of Mrs. Snyder were Archibald and Eve Burnett.

Mr. and Mrs. Snyder, who are members of the First Meth-
odist Episcopal Church, reared five children. Edith May,
the oldest, is the wife of A. D. Darby and has two children,
named Ruth May and Albert D., Jr. Roland Shaffer, the
oldest son, entered the United States service in the World
war, was first stationed at Kelly Field, near San Antonio,
Texas, and was at Chanute Field, near Champaign, Illinois,
until the close of the war. The third child is Hattie Webb.
The fourth, Mary Isabella, is the wife of Roy Harrison and
has two children, Isabella and Margaret. William Stanley,
the younger son, also is an ex-service man, and was stationed
at Camp Lee until the close of the war. He attended
Washington and Lee University and West Virginia Uni-
versity, and is now a clerk in the office of the Baltimore &
Ohio Railroad at Cumberland, Maryland.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Wilson Porterfield Sperow

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III, pg. 115-116

WILSON PORTERFIELD SPEROW. The Sperows were one of
the many families that moved down from Pennsylvania and
joined in the very early settlement of the Shenandoah
Valley in what is now Berkeley County. They were here
before the Indians had departed, and shared in the struggles
and vicissitudes of making the country habitable. Some five
or six generations of the family have lived here, and one of
the youngest is represented by Wilson Porterfield Sperow, a
prominent school man living in Martinsburg.

He was born at Bedington in Berkeley County, son of
John Wilson Sperow, grandson of George O. Sperow and
great-grandson of George Sperow, who died on the farm
which he owned and occupied in Hedgesville District. He
had a family of six sons and two daughters: Brown,
George O., Henry V., Cromwell S., James, Peter S., Kate
and Sallie. George O. Sperow was born in Hedgesville
District, acquired a farm in Falling Water District, and
when he finally left the farm he moved to Martinsburg,
where he died at the age of seventy-eight. His wife was
Mary S. Riner, who was born in Falling Waters District, a
daughter of Henry and Polly (Couchman) Riner. She died
at the age of sixty-nine, mother of four children: Henry
Riner, John Wilson, Anna May and Hester.

John Wilson Sperow is now a resident of Martinsburg.
He was born on a farm in Falling Waters District, grew up
there and received a rural school education, and at the age
of twenty-two bought the home farm and gave his time to
its management and cultivation until 1911, when he moved
to Martinsburg. Since then he has been a traveling sales-
man, though he still owns and manages the farm. He was
elected a member of the State Legislature in 1911, and was
a member of some of the important committees during his
term. He and his wife are members of Trinity Methodist
Episcopal Church, South, at Martinsburg. John Wilson
Sperow married Sallie A. Porterfield, who was born on a
farm in Falling Water District. Her father, Alexander
Robinson Porterfield, is now eighty-eight years of age,
sturdy and useful in spite of his long life, and is still
living on the farm where he was born December 24, 1833.
He was a son of William and Polly (Rush) Porterfield, and
both the Porterfield and Rush families were early settlers of
Berkeley County. Alexander R. Porterfield was an active
farmer before the Civil war, and had slaves to operate his
plantation. He married Susan B. Small, who was born In
Opequan District of Berkeley County, daughter of John and
Sallie Small. John Wilson Sperow and wife reared two
children, Wilson Porterfield and Dora Vivian. The latter
is the wife of Daniel Franklin Dennis and has a daughter,
named Margaret Katherine.

Wilson Porterfield Sperow received his first educational
advantages in Bedington. He pursued a four-year course
in the Shepherd College State Normal, graduating in 1914
with the A. B. degree and in 1916 received the Master of
Arts degree. His career as a teacher has been in connection
with some of the larger schools of this section. He taught
in the Martinsburg High School until he answered the call
to the colors in 1918. He was a sergeant and remained at
Camp Meade until honorably discharged in December, 1918.
On returning home he was an employe of the old National
Bank at Martinsburg until the fall of 1919, when he began
his duties as principal of the Bunker Hill High School.

On March 20 1920, Mr. Sperow married Lillian Henrietta
Sites, who was born in Pendleton County, West Virginia,
daughter of Dr. Johnson McKee and Isabella (Kile) Sites.
Her father was a practicing physician in Martinsburg for
many years, and is now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Sperow are
members of the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
He is affiliated with Equality Lodge No. 44, A. F. and A.
M., Lebanon Chapter, R. A. M., Palestine Commandery No.
2, K. T., Washington Lodge No. 1, Knights of Pythias,
Azhar Temple No. 226, D. O. K. K. He is past moderator
of the Potomac Valley Bound Table, a teachers organiza-
tion, and is a member of the Rotary Club at Martinsburg.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Ezekiel Dean Gardner

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III, pg. 104-110

EZEKIEL DEAN GARDNER, who is established in the plumb-
ing and tinning business in his native city of Martinsburg,
Berkeley County, was here born on the 9th of August, 1867,
and he is a son of John F. and Emma (Showers) Gardner.
John F. Gardner was born at Smithsburg, Washington
County, Maryland, a son of George Gardner, who is sup-
posed to have been born at Reading, Pennsylvania, the latter
having been a son of one of two or three brothers who came
from Holland to America in the Colonial period of our
national history and established residence in Pennsylvania.
George Gardner learned the weaver’s trade, at the time
when weaving was done by hand. He lived for a number
of years at Smithsburg, Maryland, and then came to Mar-
tinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia), where he died at
the age of eighty-four years. The maiden name of his
wife was Getzendanner, and she was reared at Frederick,
Maryland. She preceded him to the life eternal.

John F. Gardner received good educational advantages,
and as a young man he taught school on Stephen Street at
Martinsburg until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he
engaged in the provision business, to which he here gave his
attention until his death, at the age of fifty-two years. His
wife was a daughter of Ezekiel Showers, who was an early
settler in Berkeley County, where he purchased a large tract
of land, including that now comprising Green Hill Cemetery,
an appreciable portion of his landed estate being now
within the city limits of Martinsburg. Mr. Showers erected
and equipped a woolen mill on Tuscarawas Street, and this
he operated successfully in addition to his farming enter-
prise. His wife, whose maiden name was Susan Sibert, was
a member of the well known family of that name in this
section of West Virginia. Mrs. Emma (Showers) Gardner
died at the age of sixty-seven years. Her children were
six in number: Susan, Hannis, Kate (who died young),
John Franklin (deceased), Ezekiel Dean, and Roberta Lee
(died at the age of twenty-five years).

Ezekiel D. Gardner gained his early education in the
public schools of Martinsburg, and as a youth he served
an apprenticeship to the carpenter’s trade. After follow-
ing this trade for a time he established himself in the
plumbing and tinning business, in which he here continued
until 1904, when he was elected sheriff of the county. Upon
the completion of his term of four years he was renamed
for a similar period as a clerical assistant in the office of
the sheriff, and next served four years as deputy sheriff.
At the expiration of this last period he resumed business
in the plumbing and tinning line, in which he has continued
with excellent success. Mr. Gardner is affiliated with
Equality Lodge No. 44, A. P. and A. M.; Lebanon Chapter
No. 1, R. A. M.; Palestine Commandery No. 2, Knights
Templars; the Lodge of Perfection; Osiris Temple, Mystic
Shrine, at Wheeling; and also with the Fraternal Order of

At the age of thirty years Mr. Gardner married Miss
Mary Cecelia Sullivan, who was born and reared at Martins-
burg and who is a daughter of Michael and Elizabeth Sulli-
van. Mr. and Mrs. Gardner have two children: Louise
Marie and John Frederick.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Philip Pendleton Cooke

Source: The South in the Building of the Nation.
Richmond, Va.: The Southern Historical Publication Society, 1909.
Volume XI, page 228

COOKE, Philip Pendleton, poet, son of John Rogers Cooke: b. Martinsburg, Va.
(now W. Va.), Oct. 26, 1816; d. Clarke county, Va., Jan. 20, 1850. He
at Princeton in 1834, studied law, began practice, and married before he was
twenty-one. He had no great love for his profession, and, removing to a fine
estate in Clarke county, he devoted himself to literature and field sports,
becoming known as the greatest huntsman in the Shenadoah Valley. He is best
known for short lyrics, the most popular of which is Floence Vane, praised by
Lowell, translated into many languages, and set to music by celebrated
His genius was much admired by Poe, who recognized in his poetry the genuine
sense for beauty and the charming freshness and sincerity of poetic
Even his popular novels are characterized by vivid picturesqueness and
No doubt his devotion to out-door life accounts in part for the freshness
of his
style. His early death was caused by pnemonia contracted through exposure
in the
chase. His works embrace: Froissart Ballads, and Other Poems (1847); John
The Crime of Andrew Blair; The Gregories of Hackwood; and Chevalier Merlin

Submitted by: Valerie

Frank H. Kneisly

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. 329-330

FRANK H. KNEISLY. Early in life Frank H. Kneisly
learned to depend upon himself and his exertions, and his
industry and good character have brought him both pros-
perity and the general esteem of the people of Berkeley
County, among whom he has lived the greater part of his

Mr. Kneisly was born in Washington County, Maryland.
His father, Joseph H. Kneisly, was bom on a farm a mile
from Columbia in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and as
a youth learned the trade of shoemaker. This was then a
good business for which to qualify, since there were few
factories for the manufacture of shoes by machinery, and a
shoemaker was in realty the proprietor of an important
local business. However, he did not follow his trade long,
but, moving to Washington County, Maryland, bought land
on the road leading from Hagerstown to Half Way and in
connection with farming he engaged in the transport of
produce and merchandise between Hagerstown and Wil-
liamsport. He lived there until his death at the age of
seventy-three. He married Leah Huber, a native of Lan-
caster County, Pennsylvania, who died in early life, her only
child being Frank H. Kneisly.

Frank H. Kneisly attended public schools, acquired a good
business education, and at the age of nineteen left home and
since then has been self-supporting. He was employed as a
farm hand until 1890, when he moved to Berkeley County
and at Martinsburg established a transfer line, fully
equipped for all the demands put upon it. About that time
he also bought the farm he now occupies on the Martinsburg
and Williamsport Pike, two miles from the courthouse.
This farm has few superiors in that section of the country
in the way of equipment of buildings and other improve-

On August 28, 1890, Mr. Kneisly married Lucy Helena
Kensel, who was born on a farm in Falling Waters District
of Berkeley County. Her father, John J. Kensel, a native
of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, was left an orphan at an
early age, was reared by an uncle in Berkeley County and
as a youth returned to Franklin County to learn the trade of
tailor. Eventually he returned to Berkeley County and
located in Falling Waters District and engaged in farming.
Subsequently he lived in Arden District eight years, eleven
years in Dry Run District, and then moved to the Williams-
port Pike, where he spent his last days and died at the age
of eighty-two. He married Elizabeth Turner, who was born
in Falling Waters District, daughter of James and Sophia
Turner. Elizabeth Kensel died at the age of eighty-five.
Mr. and Mrs. Kneisly have five children, James Franklin,
Hamilton Bernard, John Joseph Arlington, William Adrian
and Lncy Helen, and they lost a daughter, Berkeley Vir-
ginia, at the age of five and a half years. The son James
married Lucy Shriver, and they have three children: Paul
Preston, James Kenneth and Paulina. The family are all
members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Roger Earl Watson

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III, pg. 110

ROGER EARL WATSON, who is engaged in the successful
practice of law at Martinsburg as one of the able and repre-
sentative members of the bar of Berkeley County, has the
distinction of being the only person born in the old home-
stead of Gen. Charles Lee, a Revolutionary officer, at Lee-
town, Jefferson County, West Virginia, the date of his
nativity having been February 10, 1886.

The lineage of the Watson family traces back to stanch
English origin, and the name has been one of prominence
in the history of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia,
in connection with both civic and material development and
progress. From Scotland, via England, James Watson with
three brothers came to America prior to 1740, and settled in
St. Mary’s County, Maryland. He married Mary Greene,
who, according to family tradition, was a sister of Gen.
Nathaniel Greene, the distinguished Revolutionary officer.
James Watson bought land near Port Tobacco, Charles
County, Maryland, where he developed the fine estate known
as Chestnut Ridge. By marriage the Watson family became
related to Charles Carroll of Carrollton, another dis-
tinguished figure of the Revolutionary period. Numerous
representatives of the family were identified with early
Indian conflicts, and members of the family also gained
fame as scouts and soldiers of the patriot forces in the war
of the Revolution. Among the numerous children of James
and Mary (Greene) Watson were three sons, Joseph,
Zephaniah and James Greene, and through one of these sons
the subject of this review is a descendant of James Watson,
one of the three original representatives of the family in

John James Watson, father of him whose name initiates
this article, was born in what is now Jefferson County, West
Virginia, August 15, 1836, his father, James Watson, hav-
ing been born in Maryland, and who came thence to Vir-
ginia and developed a large farm estate in the vicinity of
Leetown, Jefferson County, he having been the owner of a
goodly number of slaves. He was somewhat more than
seventy years of age at the time of his death. The maiden
name of his wife was Elizabeth Shaull, and their children
were ten in number, namely: Benjamin, George, John J.,
Ephraim, Charles, Snowden, Joseph, Daniel, Lydia and

John J. Watson was reared on the old homestead, and at
the inception of the Civil war he entered the Confederate
service, in which he participated in the first battle of Bull
Run and many other important engagements, besides which
he served for a time as courier between Generals Lee and
Jackson. He was wounded in the forehead, and bore the
scar until his death. In the last year of the war he was a
member of dark’s Cavalry, and he was its last survivor.
He was present at the surrender of General Lee, his service
having covered the entire period of the war. After the war
he was for twenty-five years engaged in mercantile business
at Charles Town, Jefferson County, and he then removed to
Martinsburg, where he continued a few years in the same
line of enterprise, and then retired from active business,
his death having here occurred November 1, 1921. His
wife survives him, her maiden name having been Ella Vir-
ginia Rogers. Her birth occurred in Jefferson County, she
being a daughter of Isaac and Drusilla (Nicely) Rogers.
The only child is Roger Earl, immediate subject of this

In 1904 Roger E. Watson graduated from the Martins-
burg High School, as president of his class, and in the same
year he entered the University of West Virginia, where he
took a course in the department of chemistry. For two
years, from 1906, he was engaged as a chemist with the
H. C. Frick Coke Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
and he then entered the law department of the University
of West Virginia, in which he was graduated in 1910, he
having been president of his class in the junior year. After
receiving his degree of Bachelor of Laws, with concomitant
admission to the bar of his native state, Mr. Watson opened
an office at Martinsburg, where he has developed a sub-
stantial and representative law practice and gained secure
vantage-ground as a resourceful trial lawyer and conserva-
tive counsellor. He has been active in local campaign
service of the democratic party, and is one of the loyal
and progressive citizens of the fine little city that is the
judicial center of Berkeley County. Mr. Watson is affiliated
with the Pi Kappa Alpha and the Theta Nu Epsilon fra-
ternities of the University of West Virginia, and as an
undergraduate in that institution he was active in athletic
affairs, he having been assistant manager of the baseball
team in 1910 and manager of the second team of that year.

Mr. Watson married, July 4, 1919, Miss Catherine Mc-
Harg, of Boston, Massachusetts, the one child of this union
was Roger Edward.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

George M. Bowers

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


SECOND DISTRICT.-COUNTIES: Barbour, Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson
Mineral, Monongalia, Morgan, Pendleton, Preston, Randolph, and Tucker (13 counties.)
Population (1910), 211,690.

GEORGE M. BOWERS (Republican), of Martinsburg, W. Va., was born
September 13, 1863, at Gerrardstown, W. Va., in the heart of the, Shenandoah
Valley. Was a member of the West Virginia Legislature at the age of 28; a
candidate for auditor of the State in 1888; census superintendent in 1890; treas-
urer World’s Fair managers in ,1893; appointed by President McKinley Com-
missioner of Fisheries in February, 1898, and reappointed by President Roose-
velt and President Taft; resigned April 16, 1913. Elected at a special election
held in the second congressional district of West Virginia on May 9, 1916, to fill
the vacancy caused by the death of Hon. William G. Brown. Was nominated
on June 6, 1916, by a majority of nearly 10,000 votes, and re-elected November, 7
1916, to the Sixty-fifth Congress. Assigned to the Merchant Marine and Fish-
eries Committee in the latter body..

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Samuel Clive Bryarly

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. 342

SAMUEL CLIVE BRYARLY. The Bryarlys have been a fam-
ily of farmers, landowners and of industry in other lines
in Berkeley County for several generations. Samuel C.
Bryarly lives at Martinsburg, where for a number of years
he has been in the service of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad

He was born on a farm located between Darkesville and
Tablers Station, in Berkeley County. His great-grandfather,
Robert Bryarly, was an early settler in Berkeley County,
where he owned a large amount of land, including the
present site of Tablers Station. He married Sally Bust.
Both were of Irish ancestry, but were members of the
English Church.

Thomas Bryarly, grandfather of Samuel C., was born
on the Federal Hill farm near Tablers Station, inherited a
portion of his father’s estate and continued a life-long
resident and farmer there. He married Susan Glass, and
their seven children were Robert Pressly, Elizabeth, Sally,
Thomas, Susan, Annie and Mary Eugenia.

Robert Pressly Bryarly was born in the same locality as
his son Samuel C., grew up on the farm, and at the very
beginning of the Civil war entered the Confederate army as
a member of Company B of the First Virginia Cavalry. He
was in the service until severely wounded in the right arm
at the battle of Towns Brook, and thereafter was incapaci-
tated for further active duty. After the war he bought a
portion of the old homestead, and was busily engaged in its
duties until 1890. He then lived for a time in Winchester
and Martinsburg, and for ten years was station agent at
Inwood. He finally retired on account of ill health and died
February 14, 1919. His wife was Cordelia J. Schendel, who
was born in Washington County, Maryland, in 1842, daugh-
ter of Samuel and Julia Schendel. She died January 17,
1912. The six children of these parents were Thomas Cox,
Robert Pressly, Julia Ann, Elizabeth Miller, Mary Louise
and Samuel C.

Samuel Clive Bryarly acquired his first school advantage
in the Grange Hall School, later attended school at Martins-
burg and Inwood, and as a youth he clerked in a store and
assisted in a grain elevator at Inwood. Leaving these oc-
cupations, he removed to Pittsburgh in 1910, and for three
years was employed in the Pennsylvania Railroad Machine
Shops. Leaving Pittsburgh, he returned to Martinsburg,
and for three years was with the Auburn Wagon Works and
since then has been a machinist with the Baltimore & Ohio

In 1901 Mr. Bryarly married Sabina Lee Graham, who
was born at Gerrardstown, Berkeley County. Her great-
grandfather was a native of England and an early settler in
Franklin County, Pennsylvania, where he followed farming.
Her grandfather, John Graham, was born in Franklin
County, served an apprenticeship at the carpenter’s trade,
became a building contractor, and some barns and other
buildings are still standing in Franklin County that testify
to his workmanship. He died there at the age of seventy-
nine. John Graham married Sabina Lancaster, who was
born in Franklin County, and died there when about eighty
years of age. Andrew Maxwell Graham, father of Mrs.
Bryarly, was born on a farm in Montgomery Township of
Franklin County, March 28, 1828. He was educated in the
rural schools, and the Lancaster Normal School, began
teaching at the age of eighteen, and in 1862 enlisted as a
private in Company F of the Eighth Pennsylvania Infantry.
He was in the Army of the Potomac under General Meade,
and was in nearly all the battles of that army at General
Grant’s command. He remained until the surrender at
Appomattox. For meritorious conduct he was commissioned
first lieutenant, and received his honorable discharge with
that rank. After the war Lieutenant Graham came to
Martinsburg, for several years taught at Gerrardstown and
vicinity, and is now living retired at Martinsburg.

December 24, 1861, he married Isabella Breneizen, daugh-
ter of William S. and Sarah (Wilson) Breneizen. She was
born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. On December 24,
1921, Mr. and Mrs. Graham celebrated the sixtieth anni-
versary of their marriage, and both are still in good health
and have excellent memories. Mr. and Mrs. Bryarly have
three children, named, Robert Pressly, Andrew Clive and
Donald Graham.