Category Archives: Cabell

Chilton Kenna Oxley

CABELL COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA – BIOS: OXLEY, Chilton Kenna (published 1923)
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. 234
Cabell County

CHILTON KENNA OXLEY is vice president and general
manager of the corporation of Oxley, Troeger & Oxley,
which conducts one of the leading clothing establishments
in the City of Huntington, the modern and finely equipped
store being at 917 Fourth Avenue, and the interested prin-
cipals in the company being likewise identified with the
Oxley-Boone Company, which conducts a clothing store at
420 Ninth Street in this city.

Mr. Oxley was born on a farm near Griffithsville, Lin-
coln County, West Virginia, on the 10th of July, 1878, and
his personal names were given in honor of Hon. William E.
Chilton, former United States senator from this state and
now a resident of Charleston, and the late Hon. John E.
Kenna, of Charleston, who was one of the distinguished
men of the state and who represented West Virginia in
the Senate of the United States.

Thomas L. Oxley, father of the subject of this review,
was born at Rocky Mount, Virginia, in 1826, and died at
Scott Depot, Putnam County, West Virginia, in 1909. He
came to what is now West Virginia within a short time
after his marriage and settled on Horse Creek, near Grif-
fithsville, Lincoln County, where he acquired a large tract
of land and developed a productive farm, this land having
later become very valuable on account of its coal deposits.
In 1896 he left his old homestead and removed to Scott
Depot, where he passed the remainder of his long, useful
and honorable life. He was a democrat, served two terms
as sheriff of Lincoln County, and was influential in com-
munity affairs. Both he and his wife were zealous mem-
bers of the Baptist Church, and his was the distinction of
having been a loyal soldier of the Confederacy in the Civil
war. His wife died on the old homestead in Lincoln County
in 1880. Matilda, eldest of the children, now resides at
Huntington, she being the widow of James C. Reynolds,
who was a successful merchant at Milton, this state; Dr.
Silas W., an able physician and surgeon, died at Hamlin,
Lincoln County, in 1887; Marinda died in childhood; Watt
S. is the senior member of the clothing concern of Oxley,
Troeger & Oxley of Huntington; Archibald L. was a teacher
in the public schools at the time of his death, in 1897;
Demetrius C., a telegraph operator by vocation, died at
Maiden, West Virginia, in 1907; and Chilton K., of this
sketch, is the youngest of the number.

Chilton K. Oxley is indebted to the schools of Lincoln
and Putnam counties tor his youthful education, and he
continued his association with the activities of his father’s
farm until he was eighteen years of age. When but nine
years of age Mr. Oxley determined to become a merchant,
and even thus early was shown his predilection for this line
of business, besides which he showed his self-reliant initi-
ative ability. He went up into the hills of Lincoln County,
there cut down small poplar trees, and with this material
constructed a little building which he equipped as a store
and which received the “patronage” of other youngsters of
the community.

At the age of eighteen years Mr. Oxley found employ-
ment in the general store conducted by E. L. Hollinsworth
at Milton, Cabell County, his wages at the start being $10
a month. He continued this connection two years and then,
in 1899, obtained a position in the clothing establishment
of G. A. Northcott & Company of Huntington, with which
concern he remained thirteen years and gained a thorough
knowledge of all details of the business. In 1912 he be-
came the organizer of the present corporation of Oxley,
Troeger & Oxley, which is incorporated under the laws of
the state and which now conducts one of the leading cloth-
ing and men’s furnish-goods establishments in the City of
Huntington. His brother Watt S. is president of the com-
pany, he himself is vice president and general manager, and
John T. Troeger is secretary and treasurer.

Mr. Oxley is a progressive and public-spirited citizen;
is a democrat in politics; is an active member of the Hunt-
ington Business Men’s Association, of which he was presi-
dent in 1916; is a member of the Huntington Chamber of
Commerce; and is a director of the West Virginia Retail
Clothiers Association. He and his wife are members of
the First Methodist Episcopal Church, North, at Hunting-
ton, and he is serving as a member of its board of trus-
tees. He holds membership in the Guyan Country Club.
Mr. Oxley is the owner of valuable real estate in Hunting-
ton, including his attractive home property at 622 Trenton
Place. In the World war period his patriotic spirit and
loyal liberality were distinctly in evidence. He was a
member of the executive committee of the Cabell County
Chapter of the Red Cross, aided actively in the local cam-
paigns in support of the Government bond issues, etc., and
made his individual contributions most liberal.

September 17, 1902, recorded the marriage of Mr. Ox-
ley and Miss Frances Eskey, daughter of John N. and
Jennie Eskey, who now reside at Hampton, Virginia, Mr.
Eskey being a retired mechanic and having been formerly
employed in the United States shipyards. Mr. and Mrs
Oxley have no children.