Category Archives: Cabell

William Winfred Smith

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. 321

WILLIAM WINFRED SMITH. To those who are interested
in the facts concerning the development of their community
there is something attractive in the lives of those who have
been connected with the law. The jurist and legist occupy
a place which can be filled by no others in our country and
under our form of government. While all may aspire to
and attain positions of high distinction in public life, the
man versed in the laws of the country must be depended
upon to conserve human rights and to see that each class
of our citizenship may have its representation in a legal
way. Of the lawyers of Cabell County who have attained
distinction in their profession during recent years, one whose
career has been more than ordinarily successful and who
has been the recipient of numerous honors is William Win-
fred Smith, of Huntington.

Mr. Smith was born in York County, Pennsylvania, Febru-
ary 24, 1877, a son of Henry N. and Mary A. (Hildebrand)
Smith, and received his early education in the public schools
of his native county and of Ceredo, Wayne County, West
Virginia, where he was a member of the first graduating
class, of 1894, graduated from the Ceredo High School. He
then entered Marshall College, Huntington, graduating in
1896, following which, in 1897 and 1898, he was principal
of the public schools of Kenova, West Virginia. In 1898 he
entered West Virginia University, from which he was
graduated with the class of 1902, receiving the degree of
Bachelor of Arts, and in the year 1904 was given his
Master of Arts degree from the same institution. He com-
pleted the law course 1905 and received the degree of
Bachelor of Laws and was admitted to the West Virginia
bar in the same year at Morgantown. Mr. Smith had a
somewhat remarkable college career. He was admitted to
membership in the Phi Sigma Kappa Greek letter fraternity,
was president of the college Young Men’s Christian Asso-
ciation in 1901, was president of the Parthenon Literary
Society during 1901, was editor-in-chief of the College
weekly, The Atheneum, in 1902, and during his senior year
of the academic course took the Wiles prize in oratory,
$100 in gold; the W. C. T. U. prize for an essay, and the
State Tax Commission prize for an essay, the subject of the
last named being “Taxation in West Virginia.”

On leaving college Mr. Smith practiced law at Morgan-
town from 1905 until 1910 and then came to Huntington,
where he has since carried on a general civil and criminal
practice, his offices being located at 300 and 301 First
National Bank Building. During his residence at Morgan-
town Mr. Smith was elected a member of the city council,
and rendered the service of compiling the ordinances of that
city. At present he is attorney for the town of Ceredo.
He holds membership in the Cabell County Bar Association,
the West Virginia Bar Association and the American Bar
Association. He took an active part in all local war move-
ments, helping in all the drives, serving on the Legal
Advisory Board of Cabell County and speaking throughout
the county as a “Four-Minute Man” in behalf of the
Liberty Loan campaigns, Red Cross and other patriotic
organizations, which he also assisted liberally with his
means. He is the editor and compiler of “The Honor
Roll of Cabell County, West Virginia,” an illustrated his-
torical and biographical record of Cabell County’s part in
the World war, perhaps the most elaborate work of its kind
of any county in the United States. In January, 1922, Mr.
Smith was appointed by Governor E. F. Morgan as a West
Virginia representative to the Illiteracy Commission of the
National Educational Association, and attended the first
conference, held at Chicago, February 24 and 25, 1922, at
which conference the slogan coined by Mr. Smith, “No
Illiteracy by 1930,” was adopted. He is also a member of
the Advisory Board of the Prisoners’ Belief Society of
Washington, D. C., and served as its managing director for
a time, and his interest in this direction is also indicated
by his membership in the American Sociological Congress.

Mr. Smith has a number of important business connec-
tions, being secretary of the Bungalow Land Company,
president of the Park City Oil & Gas Company, secretary
and treasurer of the Huntington Cannel Coal Company, and
secretary of the Cabell Oil and Gas Company, all of Hunt-
ington, and secretary of the Williams Sanitarium Company
of Kenova. He owns a modern residence at 232 Sixth
Avenue, a comfortable home in an attractive and exclusive
residential section of the city, and also holds some suburban
property. In polities he is a republican, and during 1904
and 1905 was a member of the city council of Morgantown.
His religious connection is with the Congregational Church,
of the movements of which he has been an active and gener-
ous supporter, and formerly served as state president of the
West Virginia Christian Endeavor Union.

Mr. Smith has been very prominent in fraternal affairs.
He is a member of Reese Camp No. 66, W. O. W., and is
past head consul of the jurisdiction of West Virginia of
the Woodmen of the World, this jurisdiction including West
Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia.
He was twice sovereign delegate to the national conventions
and is a member of the sovereign law committee of the
Woodmen of the World. He is also a member of Hunting-
ton Lodge No. 33, Knights of Pythias, of which he is past
chancellor, and was for four years chairman of the judiciary
committee of the Grand Lodge of West Virginia of the
Knights of Pythias, now being grand inner guard of the
Grand Lodge of West Virginia of this order. He belongs
also to Huntington Council No. 191, Junior Order United
American Mechanics, and Huntington Lodge No. 347, Loyal
Order of Moose, and is treasurer of the Fraternal Society
Law Association of Chicago, Illinois, a national fraternal
legal association. Mr. Smith likewise holds membership in
the Huntington Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis
Club of Huntington.

On March 7, 1907, at Morgantown, Mr. Smith was united
in marriage with Miss Lide Allen Evans, a daughter of
Thomas R. and Delia (Allen) Evans, the latter of whom re-
sides with Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Mr. Evans, who died at
Morgantown in December, 1920, was a business man of that
city. The Evanses were pioneers into that part of Virginia
now included in West Virginia. Mrs. Smith is a member
of the Daughters of the American Revolution and of the
Mayflower Society of Connecticut, and is a direct descend-
ant of Elder William Brewster.

Ohio Valley Electric

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. 346

the city street car lines in Huntington and interurban con-
nections with the surrounding territory. The total mileage
operated by the company is forty-six miles.

Very excellent street car service is provided on the lines,
which extend from the heart of the city over the principal
thoroughfares to all out-lying points, and the cars operated
are of a commodious, modern type, being all steel in con-
struction. Much of the system is double tracked. A
schedule of frequent headway of ears is maintained so as to
convenience the needs of the traveling public on the various

This company also operates an interurban system which
extends west along the Ohio River through the cities of
Ceredo and Kenova, West Virginia, and Catlettsburg and
Ashland, Kentucky, a distance of sixteen miles. Through
this populous territory is maintained a service which has a
headway of fifteen minutes between cars.

The Ohio Valley Electric Railway Company operates also
an electric line from Coal Grove, Ohio, through Ironton to
Hanging Rock, Ohio, and connection is made with this Ohio
line by ferry at Ashland, Kentucky.

Electric current is purchased by the Ohio Valley Electric
Railway Company from the Consolidated Light, Heat and
Power Company, which furnishes electric light and power
in Cabell and Wayne counties in West Virginia. The Con-
solidated Light, Heat and Power Company also sells at
wholesale electric current to the Boyd County Electric Com-
pany, which serves Catlettsburg and Ashland, Kentucky,
and the Ironton Electric Company, which serves Ironton,
Ohio. The central power station of the Consolidated Light,
Heat and Power Company is in Kenova, West Virginia.

In the very rapid industrial growth in all of this terri-
tory these lighting companies have been a most potent fac-
tor, as the rates for current are very equitable to every class
of service. Practically all industrial plants in this terri-
tory use electric current for power, and the availability of
ample electric current at reasonable rates has been instru-
mental in the low cost production of manufacturing plants
in this territory as compared with other sections.

Paul A. Boothe

Submitted by
Valerie Crook
September 12, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 223
Cabell County

PAUL A. BOOTHE. His professional work as a mining
and consulting engineer has brought Mr. Boothe an exten-
sive experience in a number of states, both East and West.
He recently established at Huntington the Paul A. Boothe
& Company, consulting engineers and architects, and the
firm serves a large and important clientele in the industrial
regions of this state.

Mr. Boothe was born at Fort Scott, Kansas, March 11,
1888. He is a descendant from the old English family of
Boothes. His ancestor, William De Boothe, obtained spe-
cial recognition from the Crown, and one of his sons, George
Boothe, was knighted, William De Boothe was a landed
proprietor in Lancashire, England. The grandfather of
Paul A. Boothe was William K. Boothe, who was born in
1840, and spent most of his life in the vicinity of Terre
Haute and Staunton, Indiana, where he was a farmer and
merchant. He finally disappeared, being last heard from at
Staunton in 1904.

Charles P. Boothe, father of Paul A., was born at Des
Moines, Iowa, in 1866, but grew up near Terre Haute, In-
diana, was a merchant at Rich Hill, Missouri, where he mar-
ried, lived for a very brief time in Fort Scott, Kansas, and
since 1895 his home has been at Kansas City, Missouri,
where he is in the lumber and coal business. He is inde-
pendent in polities, is a lay minister of the Methodist Epis-
copal Church, and is one of the highest Odd Fellows in
Missouri, being a past grand of the Grand Lodge of the
state. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of
America. Charles P. Boothe married Harriet Barber, who
was born at Streator, Illinois, in 1867. Paul A. is the old-
est of their children. Martha Charline is the wife of W.
Benjamin Wilson, their home being at Kansas City, while
his duties are with the Standard Oil Company’s plant at
Sugar Creek, Missouri. Robert, the third child, died in
infancy, and Gordon K., the youngest, is a heating engi-
neer in Kansas City, Missouri.

Paul A. Boothe acquired a public school education at
Kansas City, graduating from high school in 1906, and in
the course of his subsequent education attended the Uni-
versity of Missouri at Columbia, the Armour Institute of
Technology in Chicago, and the Montana School of Mines
at Butte. He graduated from the Montana school with
the degree of Metallurgist and Mining Engineer in 1916.
In the meantime he had performed a widely varied service
in engineering and construction work in Missouri, Illinois,
Minnesota and Montana. For two years he was assistant
chief engineer for the Standard Oil Company of Indiana,
and after his graduation from the school of mines he
returned to Chicago, and was in business in that city as a
consulting engineer until May, 1917. He then went to
Butte, Montana, to take charge of the designing of a con-
crete shaft to be placed in Granite Mountain for the North
Butte Mining Company. He remained there until October,
1917, acting as consulting engineer. In October, 1917, he
established himself in practice at Denver, Colorado, and
in the spring of 1919 became associated with the Lloyd-
Thomas Company of Chicago, Illinois, industrial engineers
and appraisers.

Mr. Boothe came to Huntington and on January 1, 1921,
established the Paul A. Boothe Company, consulting engi-
neers and architects. He is president of the company,
whose offices are in the Wilson Building on Tenth Street.

Mr. Boothe’s church preferences are the Episcopal, but
his affiliations are with the Methodist Church. He is a mem-
ber of the West Side Country Club and West Side Com-
mercial Club of Huntington. On April 30, 1914, at St.
Paul, Minnesota, he married Miss Elsa Helen White, daugh-
ter of Benjamin Stuart and Caroline (Beiswenger) White.
Her father, who died at Madisonville, Ohio, was a successful
attorney. Her mother died at Chicago, June 2, 1914. Mrs.
Boothe is a graduate of the Hinshaw Conservatory of Mu-
sic at Chicago, and attended the American Conservatory in
the same city. She is a soprano and has appeared with
success on the concert, lyceum and opera stage. Mr. and
Mrs. Boothe have two children: Helen Adair, born May
24, 1917, and Barbara Ann, born November 16, 1919.


Richard Williams

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. 341

RICHARD WILLIAMS. The coal industry of West Vir-
ginia has furnished an opportunity for the achievement of
success and position by many men of the younger genera-
tion, who have assumed responsibilities formerly assumed
or gained only by men many years their senior. It is
doubtful, however, if there are many who have accomplished
in the same length of time what has been achieved by
Richard Williams, who has already become a well-known
figure in the industry mentioned and who occupies the
position of president of the Glogora Coal Company of Hunt-

Mr. Williams was born at Shamokin, Pennsylvania, Febru-
ary 6, 1891, a son of Morris and Jennie (Stager) Williams.
His father, now a resident of Overbrook, Pennsylvania, was
born in 1855, in Monmouthshire, Wales, and was one year
of age when brought to the United States by his parents,
the family settling near Hazelton, Pennsylvania, where he
was reared. Morris Williams received the equivalent of a
college education, studying under a private tutor, and was
married at Hazelton, following which. event he was the
superintendent of a Wyoming gold mine for a time. Re-
turning to the East, he became president of the Susque-
hanna Coal Company, residing at Overbrook, a suburb of
Philadelphia, whence he directed the policy of this concern
as the head of the Pennsylvania Railroad coal interests. Mr.
Williams retired in 1918. He is a Presbyterian in religion
and for many years has been an elder and member of the
board of trustees in the Philadelphia Presbyterian Church.
In politics he is a republican, and his fraternal affiliation is
with the Masonic order. Mr. Williams married Miss Jennie
Stager, who was born in 1863, at Audenreid, Pennsylvania,
and they became the parents of three children: Margaret
Morris, who is the wife of George B. Garrett, a broker of
Germantown, Pennsylvania; Richard, of this notice; and
Jean Stager, who is unmarried and makes her home with her
parents at Overbrook.

Richard Williams attended a private institution of learn-
ing, the Lawrenceville School, of Lawrenceville, New Jersey,
following which he enrolled as a student at Princeton Uni-
versity and attended that college until through the junior
year. By this time he was anxious to enter upon his busi-
ness career, and accordingly secured employment as a mem-
ber of the engineer corps of the Susquehanna Coal Com-
pany, which position he retained for one year. For the
following six months he was in the mechanical engineering
department and for one year in the electrical engineering
department, and then, formed a new connection, going to the
Southeast Coal Company as mine superintendent at Seco,
Kentucky. He spent one and one-half years with this firm
and then went with a selling company, the Middle-West Coal
Company, of which he became Western sales manager, with
headquarters at Detroit, Michigan. Both of these com-
panies were ones in which Mr. Williams’ father was im-
portantly interested.

On May 18, 1917, Mr. Williams enlisted at Philadelphia
in the United States Navy, and went to Cape May, where he
spent two months, being then transferred to the United
States Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he was com-
missioned an ensign November 17, 1917. He was then
assigned to the cruiser Des Moines, on convoy duty for the
remainder of the war, and received his honorable discharge
in December, 1918. Like others engaged in the same duty,
he had numerous thrilling experiences during his naval
duties, but came through all his adventures safely and with
a creditable record. Upon his return to civilian life he
came to Huntington and established the Glogora Coal Com-
pany, which is incorporated under the state laws of West
Virginia, and which operates a mine on Beaver Creek, Floyd
County, Kentucky, and another on Coal River, Raleigh
County, West Virginia, these mines having an approximate
capacity of 400,000 tons a year. Mr. Williams, who oc-
cupies offices at 704-5-6 First National Bank Building,
Huntington, is president and treasurer of this concern, and
is likewise vice president of the Northeast Coal Company.
He is a young business man of the energetic and result-
attaining type, and has the fullest confidence and regard
of his associates. In polities he is a republican, but political
matters have played only a minor part in his career, and his
religious identification is with the Presbyterian Church.
He holds membership in the Guyan Country Club of Hunt-
ington and the Union League of Philadelphia.

In June, 1919, Mr. Williams was united in marriage at
Philadelphia with Miss Louise Brown, daughter of George
and Lucy (Buckner) Brown, the latter of whom is a resi-
dent of Philadelphia, where Mr. Brown, who was vice presi-
dent of the Philadelphia & Reading Coal and Iron Com-
pany, died. Mrs. Williams is a woman of numerous graces
and accomplishments and a graduate of Dana Hall,
Wellesley. To Mr. and Mrs. Williams there has come one
daughter, Janet, who was born at Philadelphia, July 2,

John Hugh Robinett

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 9, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 467-468

JOHN HUGH ROBINETT, D. O., of Huntington, West
Virginia, is one of the leading practitioners of osteopathy
in the state. He was born at Mechanicsburg, Bland County,
Virginia, August 29, 1886, and is a descendant of one of
the early families of the Old Dominion. His father, James
Ward Robinett, was born at Kimberling, Bland County, in
1861, where he was reared and educated. At Point Pleas-
ant, Virginia, he married Sue Jane Hoge, of Wise County,
and began a prosperous career as a farmer and as proprietor
and owner of a saw and flouring mill at that place. On
September 1, 1904, he moved to Athens, West Virginia,
where his wife died May 18, 1921, on the fifty-eighth
anniversary of her birth. Since establishing his residence at
Athens Mr. Robinett has been engaged in the general con-
tracting business. The children of this union in order of
birth are: Lillie Hoge, John H. (of this sketch), Lakie
Estelle, Annie Jane, Sarah Lee, Hazel Ward and Cleo Idell.

Doctor Robinett acquired his early education in the rural
schools of his native county, and after the removal of the
family to Athens, West Virginia, he graduated from the
Concord State Normal School in both the academic and
normal departments in 1908. After his graduation he was
employed as principal of schools at Chattaroy, Mingo
County, and in the year of 1910 he attended the University
of West Virginia at Morgantown. He then entered the
American School of Osteopathy at Kirksville, Missouri, the
original school of its kind. From this school he graduated
as a member of the class of 1914, with the degree of Doctor
of Osteopathy, under Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, who founded
the science in. 1874. Prior to his graduation Doctor Robi-
nett had been associated in practice with Dr. B. M. Thomas
at Fort Scott, Kansas. In 1914 he came to Huntington,
where he has built up a large and representative practice
and gained high standing in his profession. He has also
extended his professional education with other schools.
Since establishing his office in Huntington he has graduated
from the School of Orificial Surgery, Des Moines, Iowa,
and during the summer of 1922 he attended a special post-
graduate course in the Electronic Reactions of Abrama,
given by Dr. Albert Abrams, A. M., M. D., LL. D., F. R.
M. S., of San Francisco.

At Huntsville, Missouri, on the 2d of August, 1916,
Doctor Robinett married Miss Margaret Mae Thomas, who
had been a successful teacher in the public schools of Mis-
souri. She is a graduate of the Huntsville High School,
and received her professional training in the State Teachers
College at Kirksville. Mrs. Robinett is a daughter of
William and Elizabeth (Jones) Thomas. Her father, who
is now deceased, was a coal operator at Huntsville, Missouri,
where his widow now resides. Doctor and Mrs. Robinett
have two children: Mary Elizabeth, born October 14,
1917; and Paul Ward, born July 30, 1921.

Doctor Robinett is an influential member of the West
Virginia Osteopathic Society, of which he served two years
as president, and as chairman of the legislative committee
of the same society since 1916. He is a member of the
American Osteopathie Association, and has represented his
state society in the House of Delegates of this association
for two years. He is also a member of the American
Osteopathie Society of Ophthalmology and Oto-Laryn-
gology;; the National League for the Prevention of Spinal
Curvature; the International Society for Lymphatic Re-
search, and the American Association of Orificial Surgeons.

The doctor is a liberal and progressive citizen. He is a
member of the local Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary
Club and Business Men’s Association. He and his wife
are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South, where he has served as a member of the board of
stewards, and as president of the Epworth League. In the
Masonic fraternity his affiliations are with Huntington
Lodge No. 53, A. F. and A. M.; Huntington Chapter No. 6,
R. A. M.; Huntington Lodge of Perfection No. 4; Hunting-
ton Chapter, Knights of the Rose Croix No. 4; and West
Virginia Consistory No. 1, A. A. S. R., at Wheeling. He
is also a member of Beni-Kedem Temple of the Mystic
Shrine at Charleston.

J. P. Snyder

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 9, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 464

J. P. SNYDER. Lewis County honors J. P. Snyder for
length of years, industry and faithful performance of duty,
his military record as a soldier of the Confederacy, and
good citizenship at all times.

Mr. Snyder is still living in the house where he was
born, January 7, 1839, son of Peter and May 0. (Stone)
Snyder. His father was a native of Highland County and
his mother of Pendleton County, old Virginia, and after
their marriage they settled in Lewis County, in what is
now West Virginia, in 1837. Peter Snyder acquired 400
acres of land when he came to Lewis County, and out of
the prosperity he gained he subsequently owned 640 acres
and was a man of substance and high standing. He was
a democrat in politics and a member of the Methodist
Church. His first wife died, and he then married a Miss
Flesher, and by that union had one child, Peter Snyder,
Jr. By his first wife, Miss Stone, there were six children:
Saloma, who became the wife of Daniel Hoover; Jeremiah;
Hezekiah and Uriah, both deceased; Josiah P.; and Mary
C., deceased.

Josiah P. Snyder grew up on the home farm, acquired
a good education in the nearby schools, and his duties and
interests were largely centered at the old homestead until
the outbreak of the Civil war. He then joined the Con-
federate Army, was in the commissary department under
General Jackson, and was in the struggle until the close.
He was in several battles, but was never wounded. After
the war he resumed his place on the home farm, and has
steadily carried on his industry as a general farmer and
stockman. He has 600 acres in Lewis County, his home
being two miles from Weston, on the Parkersbnrg and
Weston Pike. Mr. Snyder is a democrat.

Robert R. Steele

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by Maggie Stewart-Zimmerman <> & Submitter
File Contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by
Gina M. Reasoner
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WEST VIRGINIA In History, Life, Literature and Industry
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1928 – Volume 4, page 55-56 with photo

ROBERT R. STEELE, well known West Virginia funeral director, is
proprietor of the Steele Funeral Home, Incorporated, at Huntington, located
at 1126 Third Avenue.
Mr. Steele was born at McArthur, in Vinton County, Ohio, May 6,
1877, son of Jasper N. and Mary (Ervin) Steele. His grandfather, Robert M.
Steele, was a native of Pennsylvania, a cabinetmaker by trade, moved from
his native state to Ohio, and during the Civil war was a soldier in Company
H of the Fifty-third Ohio Infantry. The maternal grandfather, Nelson Ervin,
was born in Ohio and spent his life as a farmer, dying at the age of
forty-nine. Jasper N. Steele was born at Clearfield, Pennsylvania, in 1846,
was reared and educated in Ohio, taught school in early life, and in 1877
was admitted to the bar. Shortly after being admitted he was engaged in
handling a murder case for a college friend, whom he succeeded in clearing.
He became so dissatisfied with the law as a profession that he never took
another case. He removed to Huntington in 1913, and was retired until his
death on November 26, 1922. His wife was born in Jackson County, Ohio,
September 9, 1855, and died in 1925. They were members of the Methodist
Episcopal Church and Republican in politics. In their family were four
children: Mrs. Rhoda Braley, wife of a farmer in Gallia County, Ohio; Ervin
B., who is associated in undertaking business with his brother Robert;
Robert R.; and John D., a farmer at Tonkawa, Oklahoma.
Robert R. Steele grew up on an Ohio farm, attended schools in that
state, and as a youth clerked in a grocery store three months, and for five
years was with a shoe and leather business. He learned undertaking at
Rutland, Ohio, beginning in 1895, and at the end of a year the business was
turned over to his management and he continued it five years longer and was
offered the business if he would remain. Seeking a larger field for his
operations, he removed to Charleston, West Virginia, in 1899, and in 1900
became a member of Simpson & Steele, undertakers. He was with that firm
until 1905. He also was a traveling salesman, covering twenty-two states,
but in 1911 left the road and located at Huntington, where he was connected
with an undertaking firm until May, 1915. On August 13, 1915, he started a
business of his own on Eleventh Street. At that time his total cash capital
amounted to $19.20. He was a man of experience and thorough qualifications
for his work, and his business has grown and prospered. Since 1918 it has
been located at 1128 Third Avenue, and in 1926 he incorporated the Steele
Funeral Home. At that time each of the employes was given a share of stock
apportionate to his years of service with the company. The business has all
the facilities and equipment for expert service, including eleven motor cars.
Mr. Steele married, in 1899, Miss Ethel Hooper, who was born in
Meigs County, Ohio, daughter of Ira W. Hooper, an Ohio farmer. Mr. and Mrs.
Steele have a daughter, Alice Pauline, who is the wife of Rev. L.
Riggleman, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at Milton,
West Virginia. Both Rev. and Mrs. Riggleman are graduates of the Southern
Methodist University of Dallas, Texas. They have a daughter, Alice Roberta
Riggleman. Mr. and Mrs. Steele also have a daughter, Anna Byrne, now twelve
years of age. The family are members of the Johnson Memorial Methodist
Episcopal Church. Mr. Steele is a York and Scottish Rite Mason and Shriner,
member of the Knights of Pythias, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Guyan
and Spring Valley Country Clubs, Guyandotte Club and is former president of
the Kiwanis Club. He is a member of the County Anti-Tuberculosis League,
the State Board of Embalmers, West Virginia Funeral Directors Association,
and is now president of Capitol No. 2 District Funeral Directors
Association and a member of the National Selected Morticians. He is a
Republican. His hobby is golf. Mr Steele is on the Board of Stewards of the
Johnson Memorial Church. He and his family reside in a beautiful home
located a mile from the corporation limits of Huntington.

WEST VIRGINIA In History, Life, Literature and Industry
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1928 – Volume 4, page 62-63

CHARLES W. WATTS, president of the Watts-Ritter Dry Goods Company
of Huntington, is a successful business man who started his career with
neither capital nor influence, merely with such abilities and talents as he
possessed, which of themselves were of no ordinary merit. He has had a
career at Huntington for thirty years, and has risen from bookkeeper to
president of one of the leading wholesale houses of that city.
Mr. Watts was born at Webster, Ohio, in 1867, son of James M. and
Nancy (Collis) Watts, his father a native of Virginia and his mother of
Maryland. His father spent most of his active life in the iron industry at
Jackson, Ohio. He was a Democrat and a member of the Presbyterian Church.
Charles W. Watts was the second in a family of three children. His
schooling was consigned to the advantages of his home locality, and in 1887
he was keeping books for a firm at Point Pleasant, West Virginia. In 1888
he came to Huntington, and was for two years bookkeeper for the
Barlow-Henderson Company was succeeded by Biggs, Watts & Company, and in
1906 it became the Watts-Ritter Company, wholesale dry goods, with Mr.
Watts as president. The company has thirty traveling men covering territory
in Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky, and does an immense volume
of business in dry goods, notions and holiday goods. While this is the
business to which Mr. Watts gives most of his time and energies, he has
become connected with a number of other important business organizations.
He is a director of the First National Bank of Huntington and member of the
executive committee; is president of the Blue Jay Manufacturing Company,
overall manufacturers, selling their goods all over the United States; is
vice president of the Empire Furniture Company and a director of several
other companies in Huntington.
Mr. Watts married, in 1895, Miss Elizabeth Biggs, who was born in
Kentucky and died in 1904. In 1916 he married Ouida Caldwell, daughter of
the prominent Huntington banker and capitalist, the late James L. Caldwell.
Mrs. Watts finished her education in the Mary Baldwin Seminary at Staunton,
Virginia. She is a member of the Episcopal Church, while he is a
Presbyterian. Mr. Watts is a member of the Guyandotte Club and Guyan
Country Club.

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Walter Louis Ferguson

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie Crook
September 19, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 249-250
Cabell County

WALTER LOUIS FERGUSON has practiced law at Huntington
for ten years, and in that time has widened his reputation
throughout his district, both as an accomplished lawyer
and as an earnest citizen with the abilities that count for
leadership everywhere.

Mr. Ferguson was born at Huntington September 18,
1879. The Ferguson family came out of Scotland and
settled in Virginia in Colonial times. Mr. Ferguson’s great-
great-grandfather, Lewis S. Arthur, was a Revolutionary
soldier. His grandfather, John Ferguson, was an early
settler in West Virginia. He was born in Fluvanna County,
old Virginia, in 1818, was reared in America, and subse-
quently established his home in what is now Putnam County,
on the Kanawha River in West Virginia. His wife, Lucy
Arthur, came to what is now West Virginia in the early
’60s. In addition to operating his farm he owned and con-
ducted a blacksmith, wagon making and repair shop. A
notable incident of his life is that he shoed the horses of
the famous James Brothers just prior to the robbery of the
Huntington Commercial Bank, now known as the Hunting-
ton National Bank. John Ferguson died at Huntington in

His son, John Henry Ferguson, was born at Red House,
Putnam County, in 1850, but since 1862 has lived at Hunt-
ington. For many years he has been a leading general
contractor of that city. He is a stanch republican and a
member of the Masonic fraternity. John Henry Ferguson,
married Lucy Frances Roberts, a daughter of Absalom
Roberts, an early family of Virginia. She was born in
Cabell County in 1850. A brief record of their children is
as follows: John A., a painting contractor at Huntington;
Sallie Belle, wife of Charles W. McClure, Jr., who for the
past thirty years has been a machinist in the Huntington
Shops of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad; Cola, wife of
Charles Neutzling, connected with the Nicholson-Kendle
Furniture Company of Huntington; Charles Henry, a
general contractor of Huntington; Walter Louis; Emmett
Blaine, a furniture dealer at Huntington; and Clarence
McKinley, a general contractor.

Walter Louis Ferguson as a youth attended the grammar
and high schools of Huntington, and for five years he studied
law in the office of Judge Lewis D. Isbell. Mr. Ferguson
was admitted to the bar in 1911, and at once began his
work as a general practitioner. In his practice he has
handled many important cases in the local, state and federal
courts, and has appeared a number of times in what is
known as the Tri-State District. His offices are in the
Prindle Building on Fourth Avenue.

Mr. Ferguson is a republican, holds a commission as a
notary public, is affiliated with the First Methodist Episco-
pal Church, is a member of the Huntington Council, Junior
Order United American Mechanics, and the Cabell County
Bar Association. He was one of the county leaders in the
various organizations and the patriotic program during the
World war, serving as a member of the Legal Advisory
Board of the county, and giving a large amount of his time
to assisting the recruits in filling out their questionnaires.

On January 1, 1914, at Parkersburg, he married Miss
Ethel Josephine Coen, daughter of Henry C. and Margaret
(Barkwill) Coen, residents of St. Marys, Pleasants County,
where her father is a merchant. Mrs. Ferguson was well
educated in music, being a skilled pianist. Mr. and Mrs.
Ferguson have three children: Walter Louis, Jr., born
November 11, 1914; Henry Coen, who died at the age of
nine months; and Margaret Jane, born November 14, 1918.

William A. Lucas

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
December 15, 1999

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

pg 196

William A. Lucas. Among the alert and enterprising men who during the past
several decades have utilized the opportunities offered at Huntington for
business preferment and attained thereby a full measure of success is William
A. Lucas, whose career is typical of modern progress and advancement, and who
as a man of affairs ranks among the contributors to his community’s
betterment. Mr. Lucas, who is engaged in the real estate business, was born
at French Camp, Choctaw County, Mississippi, December 6, 1875, and is a son
of John and Margaret (Carter) Lucas.

John Lucas was born in 1836, at Chester, South Carolina. When the war
between the states came on he enlisted under the colors of the confederacy,
his commanding officer being General Longstreet. Under this leadership he
fought throughout the period of the war, establishing a splendid record for
bravery and faithful performance of duty. At the close of the struggle he
moved to Choctaw County, Mississippi, where he passed the rest of his life in
agricultural operations of some extent, and died at French Camp in 1901, when
sixty-four years of age, respected and esteemed by all who knew him. He was
a stalwart democrat in his political convictions, was fraternally affiliated
with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and belonged to the Baptist
Church. Mr. Lucas married Miss Margaret Carter, who was born in 1850, at
french Camp, where she died in 1895. Six children were born to this union:
Minnie Lee, the wife of Charles A. Torbert, a banker of Ackerman,
Mississippi; James Walter, M. D., a physician and surgeon of Moorehead,
Mississippi; Hattie, who died at French Camp when but three years of age;
William A., of this review; Edna, who died at the age of three years; and
Margaret, the wife of Porter W. Berry, superintendent of the agricultural
school at Senatobia, Mississippi.

The early education of William A. Lucas was acquired in the public school at
French Camp, following which he pursued a course in the academy there, and
then enrolled as a student at the University of Mississippi, from which he
was graduated as a member of the class of 1898, receiving the degree of
Bachelor of Arts. While attending college he was a member of the Phi Delta
Theta Greek letter fraternity. After his graduation Mr. Lucas became an
instructor at Jefferson Military College, Washington, Mississippi, and
remained with that institution for a period of eleven years. In 1909, he
came to Huntington, West Virginia, and embarked in the real estate business,
a field in which he has gained something more than ordinary success. His
offices are situated at Nos. 1204-1205 First National Bank Building, and he
is secretary and treasurer of several land companies and enjoys the full
confidence of his associates in his various ventures. In political matters
Mr. Lucas supports the principles and candidates of the democratic party. He
is a member of the Huntington Chamber of Commerce, and has been a generous
supporter of worthy civic enterprises.

On June 14, 1905, Mr. Lucas married, at Washington, Adams County,
Mississippi, Miss Fannie Belle Raymond, daughter of Dr. Joseph S. and
Margaret Paxton Raymond, of Rockbridge County, Virginia, both now deceased.
Doctor Raymond was for forty years president of Jefferson College. Mrs.
Lucas is a graduate of a young ladies’ seminary. Three children have been
born to Mr. and Mrs. Lucas: William A., Jr., born May 29, 1906; Margaret
Raymond, born August 3, 1908; and Minnie Lee, born May 3, 1913.

Edward B. Jansman

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Elizabeth Burns
January 1, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II,
pg. 210

Edward B. Jansman. A chemist and veterinarian, former consulting
veterinarian under the state commissioner of agriculture, Doctor Jansman
is a well known citizen and business man of Huntington, where he is
secretary and treasurer of the unique establishment known as “Farmers,”
the leading cleaning, pressing and dyeing business in that part of the

He was born at Covington, Kentucky, August 25,1885, only child of
Benjamin and Catherine (Runey) Jansman. His father, who was born at
Covington in 1847 and died in that city in 1890, was for many years a
tobacco dealer. The widowed mother is now living at Ashville, North
Carolina, and was born at Covington in 1863.

Edward B. Jansman received his education in the schools of Cincinnati,
attending high school there, and in 1906 graduated with the degree
D.V.M. from the Cincinnati Veterinary College. In the same year he
entered the service of the United States Government in the Department of
Agriculture and the Bureau of Animal Husbandry as a research worker, and
was in that service for twelve years. The territory in which his duties
lay was chiefly Ohio and West Virginia.

Doctor Jansman in 1916 removed to Huntington and remained two years
longer in the Government service. In 1916 he was appointed consulting
veterinarian under the commissioner of agriculture by Governor H.D.
Hatfield. Dr. Jansman in 1918 bought an interest in the “Farmers” and
became chemist as well as secretary and treasurer of the corporation.
The business is incorporated under the laws of West Virginia, and the
officers are: A.J. Hogan of New York City, president; Frank Enslow, vice
president, and E.B. Jansman, secretary and treasurer. The plant and
offices are at 814 Sixth Avenue and the company employs thirty-five

Doctor Jansman is a member of the Credit Men’s Association, the Business
Men’s Association, and the Chamber of Commerce, also the Rotary Club,
and the Guyandotte Country Club. He as a leader in local war work,
assisting in the drives for funds. Later he devoted much time to
training disabled soldiers in the technical processes involved in dry
cleaning, so that men suffering total disability for other occupations
could earn a living at this work.

In September 1911, at Cincinnati, Doctor Jansman married Miss Annette E.
Phelan, a native of that city. She is a graduate of Notre Dame College
of Cincinnati. The only child of Doctor and Mrs. Jansman is Lois
Kenrick, born in August 1912.