Category Archives: Braxton

W. R. Pierson

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
September 24, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 268-269
Braxton County

HON. W. R. PIERSON, JR. In studying the influences
which have combined for the advancement of our men of
business, professional and public importance, it is in-
variably to be discovered that these individuals have risen
to their present positions largely through the force of their
own industry and ability. The traits of character upon
which we may depend for the greatest rewards are perse-
verance, integrity and self-reliance, and to these may be
attributed the success that has crowned the efforts of
Hon. W. E. Pierson, Jr., a member of the Lower House
of the State Legislature from Braxton County, and a
resident of Sutton. He has been the architect of his own
fortunes and has occupied an honorable place in the con-
fidence of the people because of the straightforward policy
ever governing his actions.

Mr. Pierson was born on a farm in Birch District,
Braxton County, November 17, 1890, a son of H. H. and
Allie (Pierson) Pierson, natives of the same county. His
grandfather, W. R. Pierson, Sr., was born December 2,
1842, and still resides on his Braxton County farm, being
one of the prominent and influential men of his com-
munity. He is a veteran of the war between the states, in
which he served as a soldier of the Confederacy. H. H.
Pierson was born January 5, 1859, and after receiving a
common school education became a school teacher in Brax-
ton County, a vocation which he followed for fifteen years.
After his marriage to Allie Pierson, who was born June
15, 1867, he settled down to farming on a property near
where both had been reared, and is still identified with the
pursuits of the soil. He is a leading republican and presi-
dent of the school board of Birch District, and as a
fraternalist holds membership in the local lodge of the
Knights of Pythias. He and his worthy wife are faithful
church members and the parents of the following children:
H. V., credit man for the Thomas Shoe Company of
Charleston, West Virginia; W. R. Jr., of this review;
Eva, the wife of J. N. Reip; G. H., a bookkeeper for
Hardy, Dana & Company of Charleston; B. H., who holds
a like position with the same concern; Ovy O. Pierson,
who graduated in the spring of 1922 from the Button High
School; and Earl H. and Ruth B., who are attending the
country school in the vicinity of their father’s farm.

The country public and subscription schools furnished
W. R. Pierson, Jr., with his educational training while he
was being reared on the farm, and in 1910 he went to
Charleston, where he became a traveling salesman for the
Thomas Shoe Company. He was thus employed when
America entered the World war, and June 27, 1917, he
enlisted in the American army, with which he served until
the armistice was signed. He then returned to his position
with the Thomas Shoe Company, and continued therewith
until January 1, 1921, when he resigned to give his entire
attention to his duties as a member of the Lower House of
the West Virginia Legislature, to which he had been elected
on the republican ticket. Mr. Pierson has made an excellent
official, working faithfully in behalf of his district, his
constituents and his state. He has studied deeply the im-
portant public questions of the day, and, as a well informed
man, of sound and discriminating judgment, has utilized an
observant eye and has turned to account the knowledge that
he has gained in a somewhat varied career. He has long
been a recognized leader in the ranks of the republican
party in Braxton County. Fraternally he is affiliated with
the Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the
Knights of Pythias, and also belongs to the United Com-
mercial Travelers.

Representative Pierson married Miss Jessie McComb, of
Pocahontas County. They have no children.

Lawrence Arthur Jarrett

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 8, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 289-290

LAWRENCE ARTHUR JARRETT, M. D. The medical frater-
nity of Braxton County contains in its membership men who
by reason of their knowledge and attainments form a repre-
sentative body of careful, learned and skillful physicians
and surgeons, and among them one who has won deserved
standing and patronage is Dr. Lawrence Arthur Jarrett.
Engaged in practice at Gassaway since 1913, he has won
his way into the confidence of a large practice and at the
same time has merited the appreciation of his fellow-

Doctor Jarrett was born at Jarrett’s Ford (now Elk
View), Kanawha County, West Virginia, February 1, 1880,
and is a son of John T. and Cynthia E. (Copenhaver)
Jarrett. His father was born in the same county and state,
October 12, 1848, while Mrs. Jarrett was born in November,
1853, at Copenhaver Mills, Kanawha County, and both are
now residents of Charleston, West Virginia. John T.
Jarrett was educated in the public schools, while his wife
had a similar education, and following their marriage they
settled down to farming in Kanawha County, where they
resided until about 1898. At that time they disposed of
their agricultural holdings and moved to Charleston, where
Mr. Jarrett engaged in the lumber business. In this, as
in his farming ventures he proved successful, and at present
he and his wife are living in comfortable retirement. Mrs.
Jarrett is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in
the work of which she is active. He belongs to the Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows and the Improved Order of
Red Men, and as a democrat wields some influence in his
community, where he formerly served one term in the ca-
pacity of deputy sheriff. He and his worthy wife became
the parents of five children: Elvin L., a graduate of the
Charleston High School, who is now an engineer in the
service of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company; Dr.
Lawrence Arthur, of this review; Erna M., the wife of
John M. Nichols; Forrest L., a graduate of the common
schools, who is a conductor in the service of the Baltimore
& Ohio Railroad Company; and Clara M., the wife of C. O.

Lawrence Arthur Jarrett was reared on his father’s farm
and attended the country schools as well as the Charleston
High School. Later he pursued a course at the Capital
City Commercial College, which prepared him for a business
career, and for three years he was employed as a book-
keeper. From youth, however, he had possessed a predilec-
tion for the medical profession, and finally, finding that a
business life was not congenial, he entered the Kentucky
University at Lexington, subsequently pursuing a course in
the medical department of the University of Louisville.
Thus prepared, he entered upon the practice of his profes-
sion at Swiss, where he remained for three years, and in
1913 came to Gassaway, where he opened an office and where
he has remained ever since, in the enjoyment of a con-
stantly increasing practice. Doctor Jarrett has built up a
reputation as a skilled and sympathetic physician, a close
and careful student and a talented and steady-handed sur-
geon, one who gains and holds the confidence of his patients
and the esteem and respect of his fellow-practitioners. He
is a member of the Kanawha Medical Society, the West
Virginia Medical Society and the American Medical Asso-
ciation. He has been successful in a material way, and is a
director in the Farmers and Mechanics Bank of Gassaway
and a number of other business enterprises. In politics he
votes the democratic ticket. Fraternally he is affiliated with
Clay County Lodge No. 97, A. F. and A. M.; Tyran Chapter
No. 13, R. A. M.; Kanawha Commandery No. 4, K. T.; and
Beni-Kedem Shrine at Charleston.

In 1907 Doctor Jarrett was united in marriage with Miss
Mary Elizabeth Tallman, an active member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church. They are the parents of two children:
John T., born March 13, 1910; and Virginia E., born June
3, 1912.

Wellington F. Morrison

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 8, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 300

WELLINGTON F. MORRISON. A man of large affairs, dis-
playing at all times an aptitude for successful management,
combined with keen sagacity in investment and marked
ability in control of important interests, Wellington F.
Morrison has long been known as one of Braxton County’s
most prominent business men, whose labors have been of
great value in building up the interests of the community
in which his home has been made for so many years.

Mr. Morrison was born in Braxton County, Virginia, June
30, 1845, a son of James W. and Nancy Logan (Grimes)
Morrison. His father was born in Greenbrier County, Vir-
ginia, January 10, 1806, and after receiving a public school
education moved to Pocahontas County, where he met and
married Nancy Logan Grimes, who had been born in the
latter county October 24, 1813. At about the time of their
marriage, in 1830, they came to what is now Braxton
County, West Virginia, and settled on a farm. In addition
to carrying on extensive agricultural operations Mr. Mor-
rison was a justice of the peace, a member of the old
County Court and served as sheriff of the county for four
years, being one of the prominent and influential men or
his community. Likewise he was a pillar of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, which he attended regularly, lived his
faith every day, was a class leader, and made his home the
home of the visiting preachers. First a whig, he later
changed his allegiance to the republican party. Mr. Mor-
risos was the father of fourteen children, of whom twelve
grew to maturity and six are living at this time: Mary H.,
the widow of Franklin Beemer; Maria V., the wife of John
D. Sutton; Leah T., the widow of Mortimer Rose; Nancy
R., the wife of John F. Beemer; John G., of Wichita,
Kansas; and Wellington F., of this record.

Wellington F. Morrison was reared on the home farm six
miles east of Sutton, and acquired his early educational
training in the old-time subscription schools. He was not
yet sixteen years of age when the Civil war broke out, and
when less than seventeen years old enlisted in the Union
army, April 23, 1862. During the first year of his service
lie was engaged in the guarding of army supply wagons
through West Virginia, but in January, 1863, his regiment
went to the Tygart Valley, where he received his baptism
of fire in the engagement at Droop Mountains. In July at
the same year he was again under fire, at Beverly, and in
May, 1864, saw plenty of action, when he entered the Valley
of Virginia, his subsequent engagements including Leetown
and Currance, July, 1864; Harper’s Ferry, Snicker’s Gap
and Winchester, September 19, 1864; Fisher’s Hill, Septem-
ber 22d; Cedar Creek, two engagements, in October and in
December, 1864, on to Richmond. Mr. Morrison was in the
Eighth Army Corps, commanded by General Crooks, and
made up of West Virginians. He remained with his regi-
ment until the close of the war, and was mustered out at
Wheeling, West Virginia, receiving his honorable discharge
May 3, 1865.

At the completion of his military service Mr. Morrison
returned to his father’s farm, and, realizing the need for
further education, attended the common schools for one term
and during one winter. He then taught for one year in the
” country schools, and September 27, 1866, was united in
marriage with Miss Sarah E. Berry. At that time he started
housekeeping on the farm, and remained until September,
1868, in the spring of which year his wife and baby went to
Mrs. Morrison’s father’s home, and Mr. Morrison went to
the private school of Mrs. Berry for one summer. In the
fall he was rejoined by his wife and child at Sutton, where
Mr. Morrison continued his school studies during that
winter. He was next made deputy sheriff under his father,
a position which he held for four years, and was then elected
superintendent of the free schools of Braxton and served
as such for two years. After this he acted as principal
of the Sutton schools, and his next position was in the cir-
cuit clerk’s office, where he remained six years as assistant,
and a like-period as clerk of the Circuit Court. He was a
delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1900,
held at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and in 1904 he was one
of the electors from West Virginia who voted for Roosevelt
and Fairbanks for president and vice president. He served
as mayor of Sutton a number of terms. During his incum-
bency as mayor in 1905 and 1906 he was instrumental in
having the present up-to-date paving, sewage and sidewalks
installed, and also caused the undesirable of many classes
to vacate and leave the city. When he left public office
Mr. Morrison embarked in the general merchandise busi-
ness at Sutton, in which he remained with success for ten
years, and then sold out and embarked in the real estate and
fire insurance business, a field in which he also met with
success. While well advanced in years, he still takes an
active part in business affairs and is president of the Sutton
Wholesale Grocery and Milling Company, and a director
of the Home National Bank, where he is acting as secretary
of the board. Mr. Morrison is a faithful member of the
Methodist Episcopal Church and a member of the official
board. As a fraternalist he belongs to Sutton Lodge No.
21, A. F. and A. M., of which he is a past master; Sutton
Chapter No. 4, R. A. M., and Sutton Commandery, K. T.

Mrs. Morrison died February 18, 1918, mourned by all
who had known her. She had been the mother of nine chil-
dren, of whom five are now living: Laura M., the wife of
E. G. Rider, an attorney at Charleston and a member of
the Public Service Commission of West Virginia; Elizabeth,
the wife of Carey C. Hines, of Sutton; Audrey, the wife of
Carl S. Walker, a pharmacist of Gassaway, this state; James
T. B., identified with the Wholesale Grocery and Milling
Company of Sutton; and Wellington F., Jr., a graduate of
the law department of the State University, and chief of the
land department of the state auditor’s office at Charleston.

J. H. Hutchison

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 8, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 299-300

J. H. HUTCHISON. Prominent among the officials of
Braxton County, one who has won and held the confidence
of the people by reason of long, capable and faithful dis-
charge of public responsibilities is J. H. Hutchison, occupy-
ing the office of sheriff. For a long period of years he was
engaged in educational work, a field in which he became well
acquainted with his fellow-citizens in various parts of the
county, and during his entire career has been known as a
straightforward and courageous executive in each of his
several positions of authority.

Born in Braxton County, February 13, 1884, Mr. Hutchi-
son is a son of William and Esther C. (Jones) Hutchison.
His great-great-grandfather was Jacob Hutchison, who, on
June 27, 1797, married Hannah MacMillan, and they had
four children: John, born May 4, 1798; William, born
May 6, 1800; Jacob, born May 22, 1802; and Joseph, born
July 23, 1804. William Hutchison, of this family, great-
grandfather of Sheriff Hutchison, married Jane MacMillan,
and they had seven children: Nathan, Hannah, Joseph,
Felix, Virginia, Miles M. and Ann. Of these Felix, the
grandfather of Sheriff Hntchison, married Ann E. Kincely,
and they had the following children: William, Henderson
B., John R., Elizabeth J., Ellis Lee, Nancy P., Clark and
Winfield S.

William Hutchison, father of Sheriff Hutchison, was born
in Braxton County, September 12, 1853, and was reared on a
farm, his education being acquired in the country schools.
He married in this county Esther C. Jones, who was born in
Highland County, Virginia, April 15, 1854, and was about
twenty years of age when she came to Braxton County.
Following their marriage they settled on a farm near Flat-
woods, West Virginia, where Mr. Hutchison was engaged
in agricultural operations for twenty-two years. He then
retired from active pursuits and lived quietly until his
death, which occurred March 27, 1920. In polities he was a
republican, and his religious faith was that of the Methodist
Protestant Church. Mrs. Hutchison, who survives her hus-
band and resides on the old home farm with one of her sons,
belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. She and
her husband were the parents of four children: O. C., an
agriculturist carrying on operations in Braxton County;
Willis Lee, who died June 16, 1910; J. H., of this notice;
and W. F., a farmer, who is married and lives on the old
home place, which he operates for his mother.

J. H. Hutchison was reared on the old home farm near
Flatwoods, and received good educational advantages in the
public school and the normal school at Glennville. After
teaching in the public schools for eighteen terms he was
elected and served four years as county superintendent of
the Braxton County free schools, then becoming the repub-
lican candidate for sheriff, an office to which he was elected
by a good majority and in which he is still serving. His
record is a splendid one, and under his administration the
law has been strictly enforced and has been given the re-
spect which is its due. His deputies at this time are G. S.
Hamrick, office deputy; and W. M. Toulim, field deputy.

On December 25, 1906, Mr. Hutchison married Blanche
Mearns, who was born near Rock Cove, Upshur County,
West Virginia, and educated in the common schools. To
this union there have been born four children: Bernard M.,
who is attending high school; and William M., Velena M.
and James Hollis, pupils of the graded school. Mrs.
Hutchison is a member of the Methodist Protestant Church
and her husband of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
Fraternally he is affiliated with Corley Lodge No. 38, K. P.;
and Bulltown Lodge No. 283, I. O. O. F. Mr. Hutchison
is a man of considerable means, being the owner of a farm
of 350 acres and one of the directors in the Bank of Sutton,
West Virginia, in the county seat of Braxton County, where
he resides in a comfortable and attractive home, surrounded
by all conveniences and the center of a group of admiring

William H. Lee

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 8, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 291

WILLIAM H. LEE. All honorable success is based upon a
definite aim in life and persistency of purpose in a given
course. It is the man who does the work nearest at hand
and whose industry leaves him no idle, wasteful moments
who deserves the honor and respect of his fellow men. That
men do not find the niche for which they consider them-
selves fitted is largely due to their inability to fit them-
selves for those places which they could occupy with profit
and honor. Tracing the lives of prominent men in the
business world, it is easy to see that progressive characters
have never lacked opportunities, and that opportunities have
not signified so much as the man. In the case of William
H. Lee, a prominent and prosperous hardware dealer of
Sutton, he has created his own opportunities and has worked
his way along a definite channel to prosperity and position.

Mr. Lee was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania,
October 21, 1860, a son of Hugh and Phoebe G. (Averill)
Lee. His father was born in Washington County, Penn-
sylvania, in 1816, and was reared in his native state, where
he acquired a public school education. When still a youth
he began to clerk in a general store at Cross Creek, Penn-
sylvania, then entering the wool and oil business at Pitts-
burgh, and finally embarking in the coal business, with
which he continued to be identified until his death in 1885.

He was a successful business man of large affairs, and a
man who merited and possessed the full confidence of those
associated with him in any venture or enterprise. He was a
republican in his political sentiment and a man of influence
in his party in Pennsylvania, and during the Civil war
period served with the rank of colonel on the staff of
Governor Curtain. He was a devout member of the Presby-
terian Church, in which he served as an elder, and lived
his faith. At Paris, Pennsylvania, in February, 1840, he
he was united in marriage with Miss Phoebe G. Averill,
who was born in Jefferson County, Ohio; August 22, 1823,
and they were the parents of one son, William H.

William H. Lee was still a child when taken by his
parents to Carnegie, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, where
he received his early education in the graded and high
schools, this being subsequently supplemented by attendance
at the Western University of Pennsylvania. As a young
man he secured employment with the Keystone Coal Com-
pany as the traveling representative in Pennsylvania, with
which he remained until June, 1880. In 1892 he came to
Sutton, West Virginia, and embarked in business on his own
account by purchasing the old Sutton Hardware Company.
With the expansion of business under his capable manage-
ment Mr. Lee realized the need for more extensive quarters
to handle his trade, and he consequently bought a piece of
property and built his present modern and commodious
plant, in which he handles all kinds of hardware, wholesale
and retail. He has made a great success of his venture and
is rightly accounted one of the leading business citizens of
Sutton, where he has built up an excellent reputation for
sound ability and the highest integrity. Mr. Lee is also
a director in the Sutton Electric and Water Works at Sut-
ton, the officers of which are Patrick J. Berry, president and
general manager; and Alf Watker, secretary and treasurer.
This is likewise a going concern and one that has an im-
portant part in the business life of the city.

On January 13, 1887, Mr. Lee was united in marriage
with Miss Martha J. Davis, who was born at Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, and educated in the public schools of that
city. To this union there have been born three daughters:
Genevieve, a graduate of Mary Baldwin Seminary at
Staunton, Virginia, is the wife of A. C. Herold; Florence
M., who attended the Belmont Female School at Nashville,
Tennessee, is now the wife of H. P. Hersperger; and Mar-
garet G., who attended the Mary Baldwin Seminary, is now
the wife of Mayor James A. Gartlin, of Burkesville, Ken-
tucky. The family belongs to the Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Lee is a republican in his political allegiance, and as a
fraternalist is affiliated with Sutton Lodge No. 21, A. F.
and A. M.

John I. Bender

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
September 24, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 267
Braxton County

HON. JOHN I. BENDER. Because of the leading part he
has taken in business, financial and public affairs and the
extent and importance of his connections Hon. John I.
Bender is justly accounted one of the leading citizens of
Braxton County, where he is representative of his district
in the Lower House of the State Legislature and president
of the Burnsville Exchange Bank. He was born at Chapel,
five miles from Gassaway, West Virginia, December 11,
1870, and is a son of Andrew and Eliza E. (Lloyd) Bender.

The paternal grandfather of Mr. Bender, John Bender,
was born in Germany, where he was reared, educated and
learned the trade of tailor. In his native land he married
Mary C. Dabis, and following their union they immigrated
to the United States, first locating for a short time at
Baltimore, Maryland, and then coming to West Virginia
and settling on Steer Creek. Mr. Bender farmed here and
also followed his trade to some extent, but finally went to
the State of Iowa, where his death occurred. He was a man
of religious inclination and was straight-forward and hon-
orable m his dealings. He and his worthy wife were the
parents of the following children: Henry; Mary, who be-
came the wife of N. W. Lloyd; Andrew and John, who
were twins; W. K.; and Christina, who became the wife of
Azariah Bright. All these children are living in 1922 with
the exception of Mary.

Andrew Bender was born in the Chapel community, near
Gassaway, where he was educated in the public schools and
reared to the pursuits of farming, which he adopted on
reaching manhood. Following his marriage he settled on a
farm in his native community, where he has always carried
on his operations, and at the present time is engaged in the
successful cultivation of a valuable and modernly-equipped
tract of 350 acres. He is a republican in politics, and he
and Mrs. Bender are members of the Methodist Episcopal
Church. Of their nine children six are living in 1922:
Tabitha, who is the widow of George C. Gerwig; John I.,
of this notice; Christina, the wife of W. A. Haymond, of
Florida; Iva, the widow of Rev. C. E. Hainrick; L. L., who
is engaged in farming in Braxton County; and Otis A.,
also an agriculturist of Braxton County.

John I. Bender was reared on the home farm in the
Gassaway community, and his early education was acquired
in the rural schools near his father’s farm. Later he
received instruction in private schools, and with this prep-
aration entered upon a career as a teacher, but after two
years decided that the educator’s profession was not his
forte, and accordingly turned his attention to merchandis-
ing. For several years he conducted a store, but in 1905
changed his scene of operations to Burnsville, where he
embarked in the lumber business, an enterprise with which
he continued to be identified and in which he has achieved
a very gratifying success. Mr. Bender was one of the
organizers of the Braxton County Bank, of which he was
president, and when this institution was taken over by the
Burnsville Exchange Bank he became the chief executive
of the combined institution. This position he still holds, his
fellow-officials in the institution being: W. C. Hefner, vice
president; H. B. Marshall, cashier; and Frank Amos,
assistant cashier, while the board of directors consists of
the following: John I. Bender, G. D. Marple, C. A. Wade,
H. B. Marshall, E. A. Stockert, W. C. Hefner, F. G.
Hoover, Prank Amos, John M. Marple, R. D. Dennison and
W. G. Wilson. Mr. Bender is also interested in the oil and
gas business, and is the owner of a handsome modern farm,
on which he maintains a productive orchard. In his various
business connections he has always shown himself thoroughly
capable, reliable and trustworthy, winning and holding the
deserved confidence of his associates, and through his energy
and. progressiveness contributing to the success of the
various enterprises with which he is identified.

Politically a republican, Mr. Bender has long been inter-
ested in public affairs and wields a strong influence in the
ranks of his party. He was the first republican ever
elected a member of the County Court of Braxton County,
serving on that body from 1900 to 1906, and has also been
a member of the Burnsville City Council and of the local
Board of Education, in all of which capacities he advocated
measures that would add to his community’s growth and
elevate its standards of morality, education and good citi-
zenship. In 1914 he was first sent to the State Legislature
of West Virginia, as the representative of his district, and
served capably during the session of 1915 and 1916. Again,
in 1920, he was the successful candidate for the Legislature,
in which he served in the session of 1921 and 1922, to the
great benefit of his constituents. His public career has been
one in which his record is an open book and has been char-
acterized by numerous achievements in behalf of his com-
munity and his state.

On May 1, 1902, Mr. Bender was united in marriage
with Miss Inez Harbert, who was born in Harrison County,
West Virginia, and educated in the public schools and the
State Normal School at Fairmont. Five children have
been born to this union: Edgar A., a graduate of the
Burnsville High School; Earl L., who is attending that
school; and John R., William H. and James C., who are
students in the graded schools. Mr. and Mrs. Bender are
members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and active
in the work thereof. As a fraternalist Mr. Bender is a
past master of Burnsville Lodge No. 87, A. P. and A. M.;
a member of Sutton Commandery No. 16, K. T., and
Sutton Chapter No. 29, R. A. M.; a past noble grand of
the local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows;
and a member of the Modern Woodmen of America.

John Newlon

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

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 287
Braxton County

JOHN NEWLON. It is not given to all individuals to suc-
ceed along more than one line of work. Some achieve suc-
cess in the learned professions, others find their life work
in military or civic affairs, still others find themselves best
suited to the directing of big business enterprises. In
the business field alone there are comparatively few men
who make an equal success out of more than one line of
endeavor, but unusual as it is this has been the experience
of John Newlon, of Sutton, who in addition to being general
manager, secretary and treasurer of the Sutton Grocery
and Milling Company, Incorporated, is an extensive trader
in land in Braxton and Webster counties. His success in
both lines has been all his own, for he has climbed every
step up the ladder of advancement, through hard work and
intelligent application of his business gifts.

Mr. Newlon was born on a farm near Sutton, in Braxton
County, January 13, 1877, and is a son of Camden and Dora
(Sumpter) Newlon. Camden Newlon was born near Sut-
ton, in July, 1850, and after receiving a common school
education became an attendant at the State Hospital at
Weston, West Virginia, where he met, and later married,
another attendant, Dora Sumpter, who was born in July,
1852, in Gilmer County, West Virginia. After their mar-
riage they settled on a farm near Flatwoods, where they
spent the rest of their lives, Mr. Newlon dying in July,
1903, and Mrs. Newlon two years later. He was a democrat
in politics, and she a member of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, South. They were the parents of eleven children:
William, a bridge carpenter employed by the Baltimore &
Ohio Railway; John, of this notice; Lulu, the wife of
John Skidmore; Bertie, the wife of C. B. Eakle; Charles
N. and A. C., residents of Ashtabula, Ohio; Mabel, the
wife of Ward Huffman; Anna, the wife of Fred Lorentz;
and G. R., Draper and Henry, all of Point Pleasant, West

The education of John Newlon was not of an extensive
character, for at the age of thirteen years he left the
country schoolrooms to commence to make his own way in
the world. At that time he went to Weston, where he se-
cured employment in the drug store of which his uncle was
proprietor, and following this was variously employed, ac-
cepting such honorable work as fell to his lot until he was
twenty-one years of age. He was then made deputy county
clerk, a capacity in which he served for four years, then
joining the Sutton Bank as assistant cashier and later be-
ing promoted to cashier. In 1910 he joined the wholesale
grocery and milling concern operating as the Sutton Gro-
cery and Milling Company, of which he is at present gen-
eral manager, secretary and treasurer. His fellow officials
in this enterprise are: W. F. Morrison, president; P. B.
Adams, vice president; and the above gentlemen, with C. C.
Hines, G. P. Gillispie and Will Fisher, directors. This is
a large and successful concern, with a trade extending over
a radius of many miles, and much of its success can be
accredited to the efforts and ability of Mr. Newlon, who
is known as an aggressive business man and who has the
full confidence of his associates. As before noted, in ad-
dition to his connection with this company Mr. Newlon
has been for some years a heavy trader in land, and at
present holds about 1,100 acres in Webster and Braxton
counties. Mr. Newlon is a democrat in his political tend-
encies, but save for a short time in his youth has never
found time to engage actively in political affairs, his busi-
ness interests taking all of his attention. He is at the pres-
ent time a member of the State Committee. He belongs
to Sutton Lodge No. 76, A. F. and A. M.; Sutton Chapter
No. 21, R. A. M.; Sutton Commandery No. 8, K. T., and
to the Mystic Shrine at Wheeling, and is a past master,
a past high priest and a past eminent commander. With
his family he belongs to the Presbyterian Church.

In 1903 Mr. Newlon was united in marriage with Miss
Mamie Bryne, a high school graduate, and they have had
five daughters: Elsie, who is deceased, Frances, a gradu-
ate of the Sutton High School, and Dora, Mary B. and

John L. Rhea

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 8, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 288-289

JOHN L. RHEA, JR. The life of John L. Rhea has been
passed at Flatwoods, where he was born, and for over
twenty-one years he has been one of its most enterprising
and successful merchants. His interests are all centered
here, and he is proud of the place and his connection with
it. His birth occurred January 7, 1875, and he is a son of
Dr. John L. and Sallie B. (McLaughlin) Rhea. The latter
was a daughter of Col. Addison McLaughlin, now deceased,
who represented Braxton and Nicholas counties in the West
Virginia State Assembly when the capital of the Con-
federacy was at Richmond. For many years he was a
prominent attorney. Dr. John L. Rhea was reared at West-
minster, Maryland, was educated in the Baltimore School
of Medicine, and after his graduation he engaged in the
practice of his profession at Flatwoods. He was also a
member and local preacher of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, South. His death occurred in 1883. Two of his
five sons survive, namely: his namesake son and Stephen A.,
John L. Rhea, Jr., attended the common schools of Flat-
woods, and from his youth has been a good business man.
In addition to his large store he owns a farm adjacent to
Flatwoods and a large amount of stock in an oil and gas
well. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Frater-
nally he belongs to Sutton Lodge No. 21, A. F. and A. M.;
Sutton Chapter No. 29, B. A. M.; Sutton Commandery No.
16, K. T., and has been advanced in the Scottish Rite at
Wheeling, West Virginia, and he also belongs to Osiris
Temple, Mystic Shrine, of Wheeling. For a number of
years he has been one of the leaders of the local democratic
party, was elected several times on his party ticket as
mayor of Flatwoods, in 1913 represented Braxton County
in the State Assembly, and while in the Legislature par-
ticipated in the securing of some very constructive legisla-

In 1902 Mr. Rhea married Rebecca E. Floyd, who was
born in Doddridge County, West Virginia, but was brought
to Flatwoods in her girlhood, and here attended the common
schools. Mr. and Mrs. Rhea have three children, namely:
Sallie A., who is the wife of H. C. Hiveley; and Clara E.
and Howard W., both of whom are in school.

John W. Smith

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 8, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 291

JOHN W. SMITH, M. D., is one of the honored and de-
pendable members of the medical fraternity of Braxton
County, and for some years he has been engaged in a gen-
eral practice at Gassaway, although calls are made upon his
skill from a large outside territory. He was born in Roane
County, West Virginia, December 29, 1872, a son of W. R.
T. and Catherine Jarvis Smith, who are now residents
of Spencer, Virginia. And W. R. T. Smith was
born in Barbour County, West Virginia, June 10,
1846, while his wife was born in Calhoun County, West
Virginia, June 14, 1855. He was reared on a farm, and his
educational training was confined to the instruction he
received in the common schools, but for a time he was a
teacher in the country schools. After their marriage he and
his wife settled on a farm in Roane County, and lived on it
until in 1913 they moved to Spencer, their present home.
She is an Adventist. He is a republican. They are the
parents of four children, namely: Doctor Smith, who is
the eldest; Dora, who is the wife of C. C. Fruell; Lisette,
who is the wife of S. E. Steele; and Waitman T., who is a
physician and surgeon of Glenville, West Virginia.

Doctor Smith attended the common schools, the West Vir-
ginia State Normal School at Huntington, and the Barnes
Medical College of St. Louis, Missouri, leaving the latter
after two years and completing his medical studies in the
medical department of the University of the South at Se-
wanee, Tennessee, from which he was graduated with the
degree of Doctor of Medicine. Subsequently he took two
post-graduate courses in New York City. Following his
graduation Doctor Smith located at Rosedale, Braxton
County, and practiced there for seventeen years, leaving it
in 1918 to come to Gassaway. For a number of years he has
maintained membership with the Braxton County Medical
Society. He is a Mason and belongs to Gassaway Lodge No.
133, A. F. and A. M., and he also belongs to the Chapter
and Commandery of his order. In politics he is a repub-
lican. He is president of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank
of Gassaway, and interested in a number of enterprises at
Gassaway and Braxton County, including some very valu-
able farm land. A man of energy and possessing natural
and carefully trained abilities, he is one of the most active
forces for advancement in this part of the county, and
his efforts are always put forth for constructive measures.

In 1900 Doctor Smith married Miss May Trout, of Roane
County, West Virginia. She left him one child, Hallie, at
her death in 1906. In 1909 Doctor Smith married Miss
Gay Stalnaker, of Calhoun County, West Virginia, and to
this union two children have been born, J. Wesley and
Emma Lucile.

Lee Rader

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



RADER, LEE. (Democrat.) Address: Sutton, West
Va. Member of the House from Braxton county. Born
January 7, 1874, near Summersville, Nicholas county;
educated in the public schools and in the Summersville
Normal School; occupation, traveling salesman; is deeply
interested in and has done much to promote the cause of
good roads; also, to enhance the general commercial
interests of the State; elected to the House of Delegates
in 1916; during the 1917 sessions he received and filled
the following committee assignments: Federal Relations,
Military Affairs, State Boundaries, Roads and Internal
Navigation, Executive Offices and Library.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook