Category Archives: Grant

Harry H. Mcnemar

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. 215-216

Harry H. McNemar. In naming the representative business citizens of
Grant County more than passing mention is due the career and
accomplishments of Harry H. McNemar of Petersburg who although still a
young man has developed one of the leading industries of his community,
a produce business, the trade of which approximates a fifth of a million
dollars annually. This enterprise has been built up within a few years,
during which time Mr. McNemar has also found the opportunity in interest
himself in other business affairs, as well as in matters affecting the
public welfare of his community.

Mr. McNemar was born July 26, 1884 in Grant District, Grant County and
is a son of Samuel B. and Elizabeth (Harris) McNemar. He belongs to one
of the most ancient of the early settled families of West Virginia,
which was introduced into old Hardy County four generations back of
Harry H. McNemar, by his great-grandfather Martin McNemar. Martin
McNemar settled in Grant District, Grant County, as it is now
constituted, ten miles from the present town of Petersburg, and there
continued to be engaged in agricultural pursuits throughout a long,
active and useful life, being buried on his farm. Among his children
were Joseph McNemar, the grandfather of Harry H., of Petersburg. He
spent his life on the estate of his father, agriculture being his chief
vocation. He was one of the prominent and influential men of his day
and for forty years served in the office of sheriff of Hardy County, as
it was then. His official record was an excellent one, as was that also
of his business and private life, and he was held in high esteem by his
fellow-citizens. Mr. McNemar was buried at Lahmansville Cemetery, about
one mile below Petersburg. In the family of Joseph McNemar there were
two sets of children, he having been twice married and Samuel B.
McNemar, the father of Harry H. belonged to the second wife’s family.

Samuel B. McNemar was born in 1842, at the old family home in Grant
District, Grant County and was liberally educated. He early
demonstrated intellectual attainments that directed his career along the
line of the educator’s profession and throughout his life he was a
teacher in various parts of the state and never ceased to be a student.
He was one of the best-known educators in his part of West Virginia and
was popular as well as efficient, having the happy faculty of being able
to impart his own knowledge to others. At the outbreak of the war
between the states, while a strong supporter of and sympathizer with the
Confederacy, Mr. McNemar was found physically unfit to withstand the
rigors of participation in the hard and strenuous life of the soldier,
and his connection with the war activities therefore was limited to his
moral and financial support of the Southern cause. He was a well-known
democrat of Grant County and was frequently seated in conventions of his
party. Mr. McNemar was a devout member of the Southern Methodist
Episcopal Church and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the church
of that denomination at Williamsport.

Samuel B. McNemar married Miss Elizabeth Harris of Goodhope, Illinois,
where she was born although her parents were formerly West Virginia
people and agriculturists here. She is now a resident of Petersburg,
aged seventy-seven years and highly esteemed. Mr. McNemar after one
year of retirement from the schoolroom, died in September 1912 and his
community lost a reliable and worthy citizen. He and his wife were the
parents of the following children: Miss Daisy D., who holds a life
certificate to teach and was engaged in school work for some years, but
who for the past four years has occupied the position of postmistress of
Petersburg; Edward S., who is engaged in agricultural pursuits near
Williamsfield, Illinois; Harry Hennen of this review; W.V. and J.V.
twins, the former an attorney at law of Logan West Virginia and the
latter a resident of Akron Ohio.

Harry Hennan McNemar received his early education under the tuition of
his father, and later completed his training in the public schools. In
his young manhood he adopted his father’s vocation of teaching, being a
country school teacher when only sixteen years of age, and continued his
school work for eight years, terminating it as principal of the
Petersburg schools. When he left the schoolroom he was appointed the
first railway agent of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Petersburg,
and served in that capacity for eleven years. When he resigned he did
so to embark in the produce business, establishing the first exclusive
business of that kind at Petersburg. This he has developed to
considerable proportions for the year 1921, an average one, showed a
business of $200,000 passing through the McNemar house alone.
Naturally, a man with the ability to build up an enterprise of this kind
is in demand by other enterprises and Mr. McNemar is a director of the
Central Tie and Lumber Company, a stockholder in the Grant County Bank
and a director in the Community Power Company, a hydro-electrical
company, organized to furnish electric power for Petersburg and
Moorefield. The organization of this project was effected in 1921, the
plant site being at the twenty-foot dam across the south branch of the
Potomac River above Petersburg.

Mr. McNemar’s politics is democratic and his first presidential ballot
was cast in favor of the candidacy of William Jennings Bryan in 1908.
He has been on his party’s ticket for the office of county
superintendent of schools, also later for that of sheriff, in which
latter campaign he reduced the republican majority of his opponent from
1500 to less than 500 votes. As a fraternalist he is a Master Mason and
a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen
of America and is popular in all three lodges.

On June 30, 1909 at Petersburg Mr. McNemar was united in marriage with
Miss Mary B. Clark, a daughter of William and Carrie (Baker) Clark, the
latter being a sister of Bernard J. Baker, the well known banker of
Petersburg. Mrs. McNemar is the youngest of three children, the others
being Mrs. D.G. Marshall and Mrs. Frances Stump both of Romney West

Obed Babb

Submitted by
Valerie Crook
September 16, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 241-242
Grant County

OBED BABB. It was perhaps the grandfather of Obed
Babb who came from Germany and established this well
known family in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Some of
the land owned by him there had been traded for land in
what was then Virginia, now Grant County, West Virginia.
Peter Babb, the father of Obed, was the founder of the
family in this section, coming from Pennsylvania in 1818.

The old homestead, known far and wide as Cherry Lane
Stock Farm, thus acquired and developed during succeeding
years, was maintained by the Babbs until 1919, when Obed
Babb, the owner since his fathers death in 1870, sold it and
moved to Keyser, Mineral County, where he now resides,
retired, at the age of eighty-eight years. He was born at
what is now Martin, Grant County, December 21, 1833. His
mother was Phoebe Scott, a native of that section.

The children of Peter and Phoebe Babb were: James,
who during the Civil war, while attempting to recover
some sheep stolen from him, was shot and killed by the
thief; Milton, who spent his early life in West Virginia,
migrated to Illinois and acquired a large farm in Cham-
paign County, is survived by three sons, one a prominent
lawyer in Idaho, one a retired farmer of Champaign and
the other a banker of Homer, Illinois; Catherine, who
married Okey Johnson, a farmer and stockman of Mineral
County, where they spent their lives; Jane, the widow of
Henry Suit, a Grant County cattleman, died at Keyser
when past ninety years of age; Daniel William, who for
many years was associated with his brother Obed in farm-
ing and stock raising and who died in Grant County, where
his widow still resides; Obed; and Sallie B., who married
Thomas B. Karskadon, of Mineral County, a great prohi-
bition leader and once candidate for vice president on the
prohibition ticket. Both he and his wife are now deceased.

Obed Babb spent eighty-five years of his life on the
farm where he was born. He was a youth when subscrip-
tion schools were the only provision made for the educa-
tion of children, and he attended a private school near
Moorefleld. He and his brother Daniel were stock drovers
to the Baltimore market in the old days. They handled
live stock on a large scale, cattle, horses and mules. Obed
Babb continued to keep in close touch with this business
during all of his active career, and is today perhaps one
of the best judges of live stock in this section of the state.
He proved his title to a leading citizen of his locality,
where he was active in community affairs. He was promi-
nent in the Methodist Episcopal Church, was an original
republican, and voted for John C. Fremont in 1856, but
has never responded to any of the invitations to become
a candidate for office. In 1869 he married Mary Louise
Hennen, daughter of George Washington and Justina
(Shay) Hennen, of Morgantown. She was born in Monon-
galia County in 1847. All her life has been devoted to her
home and children and the moral and the church inter-
ests of her community.

Their children are: Dr. Walter Milton; Ernest Peter
and Frank Hennen, all of Keyser, and two daughters:
Justina, who married J. Walter Scherr, president of the
Inter-Ocean Casualty Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, they hav-
ing one son, Joseph Walter, Jr., a student in the Cincin-
nati schools. The youngest of the family, Mabel, married
Clarence E. Vossler, a prominent merchant and stock raiser
of Grant County. She died in October, 1918, leaving one
son, Charles Henry Vossler.

Dr. Walter Milton Babb was born August 2, 1870. He
received his education in the public schools and at Ohio
Wesleyan University at Delaware, Ohio, and graduated in
medicine at the University of Pennsylvania with the class
of 1893. After practicing in Mineral County for about
one year he entered the Allegheny General Hospital at
Pittsburgh as resident physician, and at the expiration of
his service there located in Pittsburgh, where he practiced
his profession until 1908, when he moved to Keyser, where
he has since resided.

Doctor Babb is a member of the State Health Council,
was medical examiner of the Draft Board during the war
and especially active in all war work. In 1901 he married
Marguerite Mignot, of Alderney, Channel Islands, Eng-
land. They have one son, Walter Milton, Jr.

Ernest Peter Babb was born February 18, 1874. He at-
tended the public schools, also Shepherd College at Shep-
herdstown, and graduated from Eastman College at Pough-
keepsie, New York. After some time spent in the old Key-
ser Bank, now the First National Bank of Keyser, he was
assistant clerk of the West Virginia Senate during the ses-
sion of 1897. From there he went to Washington, where
he held a position in the War Department during the
Spanish-American war, serving under Secretary Alger and
Secretary Root. Resigning that position in 1903, he re-
turned to Grant County and was until 1919 associated with
his father in farming and in the live stock business. When
the farm was sold he moved to Keyser and is now a special
agent of the State Department of Agriculture, engaged in
the administration of the live stock sanitation, commercial
feed and fertilizer laws.

In 1899 Mr. Babb married Katherine Bell, daughter of
Joseph V. Bell, of Keyser, whose interesting career is the
subject of another sketch. They have one son, Joseph
Vanee, born in 1903, who graduated from the preparatory
department of the Potomac State School at Keyser, and is
now in his second collegiate year at that institution.

Frank Hennen Babb was born June 24, 1875, and after
finishing the course provided in the public schools spent
two years at the State University at Morgantown. He re-
turned to Cherry Lane Stock Farm, where he was engaged
in business with his father until he was twenty-six years
of age, when he moved to Keyser to engage in the real es-
tate and insurance business. He has one of the standard
insurance agencies of the state, and conducts a general
bonding and surety business. He promoted Liller’s Addi-
tion to Keyser, laid off and sold the Reynolds Addition and
also the F. H. Babb Fort Hill Addition. He served two
terms as mayor of Keyser. He took the lead in getting the
Legislature to give Keyser a new charter providing for a
commission form of government and as mayor of the old
regime he installed this new government and was re-elected
as the first commission mayor.

Mr. Babb married Gertrude Scherr in Charleston in 1902.
Mrs. Babb is the daughter of Arnold C. Scherr, who at the
time of her marriage was serving his first term as auditor
of West Virginia. They have two children, Mary Cather-
ine, a student of Potomac State School, and Arnold, at-
tending the Keyser High School.

Payton Albert Dixon

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. 734

Members of the House of Delegates.

DIXON,PAYTON ALBERT. (Republican.) Address:
Bayard, West Va. Born in Elk Garden, Mineral county,
West Virginia, June 25, 1869; educated in public schools;
occupation, farmer, breeder of fine Aberdeen cattle, stock
dealer and interested in the mercantile business; served as
Justice of the Peace in Mineral county, was twice elected
and served as President of the Board of Education of Union
District, Grant county; in 1916, was chosen as representa-
tive from Grant county in the Legislature, and in the
sessions of 1917 was assigned to and served on the House
standing committees on Prohibition and Temperance,
and Federal Relations..

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Moses Tamburini

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. 441-442

MOSES TAMBURINI. This is the name of the veteran
merchant of Bayard, Grant County, where he has been
selling goods and building up a fine mercantile service in
that mining community for nearly thirty years. His career
is an interesting example of an American of foreign birth
who came to this country with neither capital nor influen-
tial friends and has made good both in business and good

He was born at Trentino in Tyrol of Austria, April 23,
1859. His father, John Tamburini, was born in the same
locality and his ancestors had lived there for generations.
John Tamburini married Margaret Bertini, and both died
and were buried near their old home. The father was a
farmer and millwright. Of their four children three grew
to mature years: Mary, who married Bartholomew Girar-
dini and lives in Tyrol; Moses; and Henry, who after
spending some years in the United States and West Vir-
ginia returned and is now living in his native country.

Moses Tamburini as a boy learned farming as practiced
in the mountain country of Austria, also the trade of mill-
wright, and had a limited education in the common schools.
On leaving home he spent a year or so in France, chiefly
employed in and near the City of Paris. His last work in
that country was quarrying stone for the building of high
fences to enclose the vast estate of the wealthy Rothschilds
near Paris.

Leaving Prance, he started for New York, and passed
through old Castle Garden with his wardrobe as his chief
capital. He arrived in this country March 23, 1883. He
and a shipmate who had traveled with him went to Phila-
delphia, and there through an employment office they were
directed to a farmer who wanted help. Eleven dollars a
month and board was the highest wage offered, less money
than they were making in France, and they finally decided
to look elsewhere. They took the pike leading to Cincinnati,
and followed it until their money was exhausted. This
brought them within about a mile of Bayard and to a point
where the old West Virginia Central Railroad was then in
progress of construction. They secured their first employ-
ment in America with the construction company, and did
common labor until the road reached the top of the moun-
tain. Remaining with the same company, the two young
foreigners labored in the stone quarry and also in the
mines of the company until January, 1885.

At that date Mr. Tamburini started off to see more of
America, and going by way of Chicago and Minneapolis
and over the Great Northern reached Portland, Oregon.
Business was dull there, and further travel and investigation
offered no special opportunities in California. He spent a
couple of days at Seattle, Washington, and while there vis-
ited the Yakima tunnel, then in process of construction,
saw Tacoma, and after several months of very intermittent
employment and little beyond the pleasure of travel to re-
ward him he returned to West Virginia in April, 1885.

Then for a few months he again did railroad work, and
was in the mines digging coal until February, 1893. At
that date he went back to his old home in Tyrol, but in
April again came to America, and resumed work in the
mines for the West Virginia Central. In 1894 occurred the
great industrial strike, and he then gave up mining for
good. About that time he decided to marry the young
woman of his choice and who had consented to travel life’s
highway with him. They were married at her old home at
Keyser, and set up housekeeping in Bayard.

In 1894 Mr. Tamburini opened his first stock of mer-
chandise, a stock of groceries in Bayard, and his splendid
mercantile enterprise today is located on the very spot
where lie started in that year. From groceries his trade
gradually expanded to general merchandising, including
departments of millinery, furniture and building material,
and his is the most popular place to supply the needs of
merchandise in the little mining town.

Besides his work as a merchant Mr. Tamburini helped
organize the First Bayard National Bank, and has served
as president of that prosperous institution from the be-
ginning. He has declined public office, having no inclina-
tion for politics beyond voting as a good citizen. He took
out his first papers as a citizen at Keyser in 1887, and two
years later received his final papers in the same court. He
has been a democrat throughout his voting career. He was
reared a Catholic, and is still in the same faith.

The date of his marriage was August 9, 1894. The name
of his bride was Margaret Hughes. She was born in Min-
eral County, West Virginia, about a year younger than
her husband. Her father, Terence Hughes, was born in
the town and county of Longford, Ireland, where he mar-
ried Mary Kenny. They came to the United States during
the administration of President Andrew Jackson, and after
moving about the country several years settled at old Hamp-
shire, West Virginia, where Mrs. Tamburini was born.
Terence Hughes helped build the tunnels in the construc-
tion of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, and in later life was
a coal miner. He died about the close of the Civil war
and was buried in the cemetery at Frostburg, Maryland.
His widow survived him until 1899, being about ninety-
five years of age when she died. There were ten children
in the Hughes family, the four survivors being: Mrs.
Elizabeth Moore, of Washington, D. C.; James, of Western
Port, Maryland; Francis Hughes, of Mount Savage, Mary-
land; and Mrs. Tamburini. Of the deceased children Peter,
the oldest, left two sons; Mary, who married Michael Mur-
phy, was survived by ten children; Mrs. Bridget Halpin
was survived by five children.

Mrs. Tamburini was educated in the public schools of
West Virginia, attended the Shenandoah Normal School,
and was a very popular and successful teacher for eleven
years. She was teaching when she met her husband at Elk
Garden, Mineral County. Of the four children born to Mr.
and Mrs. Tamburini three survived. Mary Josephine, a
graduate of DeSalles Heights Academy at Parkersburg,
and who finished a normal course in the preparatory school
at Keyser, is a teacher in the Bayard schools. The son
John is a graduate of DuQuesne University of Pittsburgh,
and his brother Terence graduated from the same school.
The sons are actively associated with their father’s business
at Bayard.

Harman Frank Groves

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. 346-347

HARMAN FRANK GROVES. The superintendent of schools
of Grant County, Harman Frank Groves, represents one of
the old and honored families of this region of West Vir-
ginia, his remote ancestor and the family founder here
being his great-grandfather, Noah Groves. Noah Groves
traced his genealogy back to the Saxons, where the name
seems to have started with the Groffs, then was corrupted or
changed to Graves, again changed to Grove, and finally to
its present spelling, Groves. They have been strictly farm-
ers and rural people through the generations to the present,
and have invariably followed rural pursuits until the present
generation of John Groves, some of whose children have
departed from family traditions and customs and allied
themselves with professional vocations.

Harman Frank Groves of this review was born in the
“Ridge country,” six miles northwest of Petersburg, Grant
County, and there resided until nearly reaching his major-
ity. His grandfather, Alex Groves, was born in 1814, in
Grant County, West Virginia, and followed farming
throughout his career in Grant County, where he was a
pioneer. His industry gained him independent means, and
in his daily life he so comported himself as to gain the
confidence and esteem of his associates. He died suddenly
when sixty-five years of age. Politically he was a repub-
lican. He and his worthy wife were the parents of the
following children: Ellen, who died of diphtheria when six
years of age; Ashford, a farmer in the “Ridge” section
of Grant County; George, who spent his life in the locality
of his birth and died there; Joseph, who spent his life as
a stockman and shipper, and died from an injury received
while following his daily occupations; Abel, who was a
farmer in the “Ridge” locality and there died; John, the
father of Harman F. Groves, and Annie, who married C. H.
Feaster and died in Grant County.

John Groves was born near the foothills of the Alle-
ghany Mountains in Grant County, March 4, 1865, and
has spent his entire life within a few miles of his birth-
place. He is a product of the country school, and during
his active years he applied himself industriously to the
cultivation of his acres, but is now in retirement and a
resident of Petersburg. He has demonstrated his good
citizenship in a number of ways and has acquired local
influence which he exerts in behalf of those he deems
worthy of support, and in politics is a stanch republican.
He has made no public avowal of membership in any re-
ligious body and has no fraternal affiliations. Mr. Groves
married Miss Mahala Jane Phares, who was born near
Spruce Mountain in Pendleton County, West Virginia, a
daughter of William Phares and his wife, who had been
a Miss Mallow. The Mallows were an old-time pioneer
family of Pendleton County, where members of the family
had resided since the days of Indian warfare. To Mr. and
Mrs. Groves there were born the following children: Myrtle
Alice, who is the wife of C. O. Turner, of Forman, Grant
County; Harman Prank, of this review; Bertha Susan, the
wife of Earl Trenton, of Keyser, West Virginia; Nellie,
who married H. C. Trenton, of Cumberland, Maryland;
Clarence B., who is identified with the “Ridge” community
as a farmer; Gracie, who was the wife of Jesse Idleman,
of Scherr, West Virginia; Thomas, who is engaged in agri-
cultural operations on the old home place; Edith, wife of
Olin Weese, now a resident farmer of Monticello, Indiana,
and Johnnie, who died in infancy.

Harman Frank Groves was born August 4, 1888, and
secured his education in the country schools and a normal
school in Grant County. He was only seventeen years of age
when he was given his first charge as a teacher, the Burgess
School, and for five years thereafter he continued in rural
school work. He then entered the Shepherdstown State
Normal School, where he took one year’s work, but the
constant confinement and too close application to his studies
caused his health to fail, and he was forced to spend two
years in recuperating his strength. At this time Mr.
Groves was elected county superintendent of schools, and
while engaged in the duties of the office, traveling about
the county and being in the open air, where he encountered
new scenes and had new experiences, he recovered normal
health, and still continues his supervision work over Grant
County. He has not given up the idea of the completion of
a college course for himself, as he is carrying on a corre-
spondence course, is a student at St. John’s Academy, and
is a teacher in its normal training course. He will have
attained his ambition and hold a diploma of the Shep-
herdstown Normal School by 1924.

Mr. Groves was elected county superintendent to com-
plete the unexpired term of Superintendent Slusher in 1912.
He was elected to the office in 1914, and again in 1918, his
present term expiring in July, 1923. His administration
has been characterized by an intense interest in the prog-
ress and effectiveness of the public schools, in the training
of teachers for better service and creating a higher spirit
of citizenship for the county than it has shown heretofore.
While he was filling the unexpired term of his predecessor
he carried through the latter’s plans and policies, which
included the building of country school libraries and the
improvement of teachers’ institutes. His own plans include
increasing the efficiency of the teaching force through such
means of professional growth as organized reading circle
work, and the reading of professional magazines and books
and papers on educational subjects. Also to change the
character of the local teachers’ institute work in order to
provide for the presentation of some of the most vital
local phases of the educational question, such as improving
school property with regard to the character and type of
buildings, better school attendance, increased efficiency on
the part of teachers and a closer intimacy and more vital
relationship between the public school and the home.

As proof of the practicability of his plans the results
worked out show the organizations are formed and doing
systematic reading circle work; that a large number of up-
to-date and approved school buildings have been erected;
that the character of institute work is attracting a wide
interest among the teachers; that educational meetings,
with special speakers, are arranged and carried out from
year to year; that unified action on the part of the school
boards has been brought about through county board con-
ferences, and that many teachers have been encouraged to
enroll in accredited schools and colleges.

At this time the main objective of Mr. Groves as county
superintendent of schools is the establishment of a perma-
nent teachers’ training school at the county seat, one within
easy reach of the teachers of Grant, Pendleton, Hardy and
Hampshire counties. A temporary school of this nature is
already in operation and is accomplishing gratifying re-
sults. Also, it is his ambition to equip teachers, first, pro-
fessionally for their work as such; second, to enable them
to meet the legal requirements of school legislation; and,
last but not least, to increase the efficiency of citizenship
as a means of the solution of the problems of our complex
rural social life. All of this tends to prepare the county for
rural school consolidation, the realization of which is in the
not far distant future.

In the matter of interesting pupils of the county in farm
club work Mr. Groves has not failed to give encouragement
and support to the establishment of many girls’ and boys’
clubs, and, likewise, community clubs for parents. While
this work is directed by the county agricultural agent, it
could not have accomplished the results shown to date
without the cooperation of the school superintendent. Grant
County has already sent prize-winning pupils to the prize-
winners’ course at West Virginia University, Morgantown,
and the interest in scientific farming and in the raising of
blooded live stock has been wonderfully stimulated thereby.
Mr. Groves was the prime mover in the establishment of
the farm bureau in Grant County. In company with the
state organizer of this movement he drove all over the
county, encouraging the farmers everywhere to subscribe
to the movement.

Mr. Groves’ active work as a citizen and community man
has not stopped with his labors in behalf of the schools.
He is identified with church and Sabbath school work, for
five years has been president of the Grant County Sunday
School Association, and has assisted actively in building
up the work of the Sunday school here to the point where
it is about to be a “front line” county, lacking only, at
this time, eight organized classes in as many additional
schools. In politics Mr. Groves is a republican by birth,
training and conviction, but has not engaged in professional
polities. He has been elected superintendent of schools
three times on his personal merits, and supports every good
measure and movement for the upbuilding of civic, moral
and educational life.

On December 25, 1916, Mr. Groves married at Riverton,
West Virginia, Miss Catherine Harman, who was born
February 21, 1891, a daughter of John A. and Izurna
(Dove) Harman, natives of Pendleton County. Mr. Harman
is a merchant and farmer of Riverton, and represents a
pioneer family of Pendleton County. His children are:
Bessie, the wife of Curtis Hammer, of Cumberland, Mary-
land; Fred D., of Elkins, West Virginia; Catherine, who
is now Mrs. Groves; Dr. Robert, who graduated from Mary-
land University in 1922 and is now engaged in the prac-
tice of medicine, and Curtis, who is interested in the mer-
cantile business with his father. Mr. and Mrs. Groves are
the parents of one son, John Harman, born April 13, 1918.

Manassah S. Judy

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. 216

Manassah S. Judy

When the citizens of Grant County elected Manassah S. Judy to the dual
office of circuit and county clerk in 1920 they placed in this
responsible position a representative of one of the oldest families
native to this region of West Virginia. He descends on both sides from
native parents of Grant County, and their fathers were likewise born in
Grant County, so that he can justly lay claim to being a genuine West
Virginian. In the discharge of his official duties he has displayed the
possession of marked efficiency and a conscientious desire to improve
the public service and give a good account of his stewardship.

Mr. Judy was born on a farm in Grant County, adjoining the town site of
Petersburg, September 23, 1891 and is a son of George F. and Mattie E.V.
(Sites) Judy. Manassah Judy, the grandfather of Manassah S. Judy was
born in Grant County where he passed his life as an agriculturist and
was greatly esteemed and respected. He married Sarah Dyer and they
became the parents of the following children: Jennie, who married
Andrew Trumbo and resides in Bedford County, Virginia; William A., a
resident of Petersburg; Fena who died as Mrs. W.H. Cola at Monterey,
Virginia; H. Seymour of Petersburg, a retired farmer; George Franklin,
the father of Manassah S; Edward D., a retired farmer of Petersburg;
Rebecca who is the wife of Jared A. Hiner of Doe Hill Virginia; and
Manassah Parren who is a farmer at North Manchester Indiana.

The maternal grandfather of Clerk Judy was Rev. Sampson G. Sites, a
Dunkard preacher who gave his life after middle age to active church
work and the farm. Reverend Sites was born and passed his life in Grant
County where he was widely known and universally esteemed for his
sterling excellencies of mind and heart. He was the father of thirteen
children, of whom eleven grew to maturity: Mattie E.V. who became the
wife of George F. Judy and died Decmeber7, 1907; James, who died at
Idaville Indiana; B. Harvey, one of the prosperous and extensive farmers
and stockmen of the vicinity of Hoopeston Illinois; George E., a well
known citizen and prosperous agriculturist of Monticello Indiana;
Charles, a railroad man of Salem Illinois; Mrs. M.P. Judy of North
Manchester, Indiana; Mrs. M.A. Judy also of that city; Sampson G. Jr. of
Monticello Indiana; I. William, a farmer operating the old Sites
homestead near Petersburg; D. Eston, a traveling salesman of Kansas City
Missouri; and Edgar C., a student of medicine at the University of

George Franklin Judy was reared on his father’s farm in Grant County and
received the usual country school education of his day. When he
attained years of maturity he chose farming for his life work, and for
some years carried on agricultural operations near Petersburg, a
community in which he had an excellent reputation for integrity in
business affairs and as a public spirited citizen. He died in 1896 at
Petersburg West Virginia. He and Mrs. Judy were the parents of the
following children: Edna R., who married W.H. Judy of Peru, West
Virginia; Manassah Sampson, of this review, named for both of his
grandfathers; and Sarah Elizabeth who married Clyde Ours and resides at
Fisher, Hardy County, West Virginia.

The first fifteen years of the life of Manassah Sampson Judy were passed
in his home neighborhood near Petersburg, where he attended the public
school, following which he entered Bridgewater College, at Bridgewater,
Virginia. After spending one year at that institution in the fall of
1908 he went to Indiana and attended North Manchester College until
1912, where for three terms he taught penmanship and assisted in the
commercial department. He also supervised penmanship in the public
schools during these years. During the summers of 1910, 1911 and 1912
he was a student at the Zanerian Art College, Columbus, Ohio. In the
fall of 1912 he became principal of the commercial department of the
high school at Cambridge, Ohio and in the spring of 1913 returned to
West Virginia, locating at Petersburg, where he was engaged in the stock
business on the old home farm. While thus engaged Mr. Judy became
interested in politics, and eventually was persuaded by his friends to
make the race for the office of county and circuit clerk of Grant
County. In the primaries of 1920 he became a candidate for this office
against one of the ablest clerks of West Virginia and one of the
ancients among the state officials, and won the nomination as a
republican. He defeated his opponent in the primary election by 355
votes and in the general election defeated his opponent by 2,200 or 200
votes ahead of the ticket. When he took office, succeeding the veteran
D.P. Hendrickson, whom everybody delights to honor, he became the third
clerk Grant County has ever had. In his official position Mr. Judy has
“made good” and has lived up to his pre-election promises. He has
entrenched himself firmly in the confidence of the people of the
community who have recognized and appreciated his efforts in their
behalf. Mr. Judy was one of the organizers of the Potomac Valley Bank
of Petersburg, in which he is a member of the Board of Directors and its
secretary. He belongs to the Blue Lodge and Chapter of Masonry, and is
a past master of Petersburg Lodge No. 145 in addition to which he holds
membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His religious
affiliation is with the Presbyterian Church in the work of which he is
active, being a teacher in the Sunday School.

On June 9, 1912 at Bowers, Montgomery County Indiana, Mr. Judy was
united in marriage with Miss Lillian E. Dunbar, who was born in
Montgomery County Indiana, as were her father and paternal grandfather
both of whom were agriculturists. She is a daughter of E.P. and Emma
(Parker) Dunbar, the latter being a native of the State of Delaware. To
Mr. and Mrs. Dunbar there were born eight children: May, who is the wife
of L.V. Halliday of Bellfontaine Ohio; Lillian E., now Mrs. Judy who was
born February 23, 1891; Joseph E. of Colfax Indiana; Austin, a farmer
near that place; Harvey M. of Bowers Indiana; Willard P., who is
attending high school at Kokomo Indiana and Roscoe and Theodore who are
students at Blue Ridge College, New Windsor Maryland. Mr. and Mrs. Judy
have no children.

John A. Kimble

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 4, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 415-416

JOHN A. KIMBLE. The chief officer of the courts and
law enforcer of Grant County is Sheriff John A. Kimble, a
fearless and alert official whose work in office has justified
fully the confidence of the citizens who put him there with
their votes. For many years he was associated in the tim-
ber and lumber industry, and was in that business during
the early years of his residence at Bayard.

Mr. Kimble was born in Pendleton County, April 4, 1863.
His father, also named John A. Kimble, was born in Ger-
many and as a young man came to the United States. In
Pendleton County he married Miss Sarah Shirk, who was
of Scotch ancestry. His father devoted his active years to
farming, and at the time of the Civil war he enlisted as a
Union soldier and died just about the close of the struggle.
His widow was left the task of rearing her young children,
and she did her part by them nobly. She finally married
Isaac Harman, and by that union had one child, Rosa, wife
of John Judy, of Maysville, West Virginia. The children
by her first marriage were: William R., of Pendleton
County; Wellington F., a fanner in the same county;
Phoebe J., who married Jacob Harman and died in Pendle-
ton County; Rebecca, wife of David Harman and a resi-
dent of Denver, Colorado; and John A.

Sheriff John A. Kimble spent the first thirteen years of
his life in Pendleton County. He then left the home of his
mother, and at that early age began making his own way
in the world. His first employment was at Flinstone, Mary-
land, where he was waterboy for a tanbark crew, gathering
tanbark for the market. He continued his work until the
close of the fall season for gathering bark, and then came
up the Potomac Valley to the vicinity of Luke, Maryland,
where there was in operation a saw mill of the Davis Coal
and Coke Company. For two years he operated the gang-
saw of this mill. His next removal took him to Mount
Pleasant, Ohio, where he worked as a farm hand and utilized
some of the experience gained as a boy on the farm. For
this work he was paid wages of $25 a month and board.
After a year he continued his western experiences, and for
about a year worked on a farm at Spring Hill, Johnson
County, Kansas. From there he went on to Texas, joining
a brother at Austin, and was in that state some seven or
eight months. For a time he rode a cow pony for his
brother, and he knows something of the life of the cow-
boy. Having in the meantime seen a great deal of the
West and the Southwest, he returned to Maryland, and
again resumed work with the Davis Coal and Coke Company
in their saw milling plant at Deer Park, and later at Chafee
on the Western Maryland Railway. From there he came
to Grant County, West Virginia, and had charge of the
timber property for the Wilson-Colston Company, and then
removed to Henry, called Hamilton, and had charge of the
timber and mill of the firm of Miller and Levering for eight
years. While there he married, and when he left the service
of the lumber company he located at Bayard, and has ever
since been an influential factor in that community.

At Bayard he entered business, conducting a livery and
a retail lumber yard. He followed this enterprise for
about six years. Since then his time has been almost fully
taken up with public office. For a dozen years he was
postmaster of Bayard and deputy sheriff of the county, be-
ing appointed postmaster under the Roosevelt administra-
tion. He was deputy sheriff until his elevation to the posi-
tion of high sheriff. He won the republican nomination
for sheriff against three competitors in 1920, and was
elected over his democratic opponent by more than 1,200
votes. He succeeded Sheriff W. H. Munsing in office in
January, 1921. Sheriff Kimble has discharged his respon-
sibilities as sheriff in a way to merit the esteem of all good
people and to entitle him to the respect and awe of law
breakers. He was personally instrumental in bringing to
light the details of the Harman Bell murder and getting
the guilty parties brought to justice. The manufacture of
illicit liquor in Grant County is rapidly disappearing, since
the law violators understand that the sheriff means to en-
force the law impartially and firmly.

Mr. Kimble is a republican, cast his first presidential
vote for James G. Blaine at Bayard, and for years was a
consistent admirer Of Colonel Roosevelt and supported him
as a progressive candidate in 1912.

He still retains some important business interests at
Bayard, having some holdings in the lumber business there,
is a partner in the Barrett Hardware and Furniture Com-
pany and one of the first stockholders of the Bayard Na-
tional Bank and one of its directors. He is a past noble
grand of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, past master
of Bayard Lodge. Knights of Pythias, and a member of
the D. O. K. K. The family are Presbyterians.

On February 14, 1892, Sheriff Kimble married Miss
Sarah E. Bartley, who was born in Deer Park, Maryland, in
1868, daughter of John F. and Sadie E. (Thrasher) Bart-
ley. Her father was born in Virginia, served as a Confed-
erate soldier in the war, and was a farmer. The children of
Sheriff and Mrs. Kimble are: Beulah, who married J. B.
Blocher, of Pierce, West Virginia, and has one child, Billie
Blocher; Twila, a graduate of the Keyser High School and
now connected with the Bayard Hardware and Furniture
Company; and Juanita, a student at Dayton, Virginia.

Robert W. Baker

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. 210-211

Hon. Robert W. Baker. There are certain individuals who seem always to
have time to carry on progressive enterprises and movements, whether of
a private or public nature. Hon. Robert W. Baker is pre-eminently one
of this class, and fortunately for the advancement of his community’s
best interests does not stand alone. He belongs to the group of able
citizens whose civic interest is equal to their business and
professional enterprise and who are devoting every energy possible to
the improvement of the public service. A man of broad education and
fine, sympathetic nature, as well as of strength and capability, Mayor
Baker is admirably fitted to be identified with the progressive guard of
such a city as Petersburg.

Mayor Baker was born September 8, 1880, in the house at Petersburg which
he now occupies as his home, and is a son of Bernard J. and Mary C.
(Welton) Baker. His grandfather, Eli W. Baker, was born in Pendleton
County, Virginia (now West Virginia), in 1809, and came to what is now
Grant County as a young man. Near Petersburg he was united in marriage
with Miss Frances Shobe, a daughter of Jacob Shobe, one of the early
farmers of this region and subsequently established a hat shop at
Petersburg, having learned the hatter’s trade at Franklin. In politics
he was first a whig. When the issue of the War Between the States came
up for discussion, he sympathized with the South, but refused to follow
to the extent of the secession, although his son James W. went into the
Confederate Army and served throughout the struggle in the uniform of
the “grey.” Eli W. Baker died in 1881, at the ripe age of seventy-two
years, the same age as that at which his wife died, although she lived
five years longer. They were the parents of the following children:
James W., the Southern soldier, who spent his private life as an
agriculturist; Catherine, who married George W. Moomau and spent her
life at Petersburg; Carrie, who became the wife of William Clark and
died at Petersburg; Bernard Jacob, the father of Robert W. Baker; Edward
C., a resident of Petersburg; Margaret, who died at Petersburg,
unmarried; Henry F., also of this place, a notary public and court
commissioner; and Virginia, the wife of Hon. Lewis J. Forman of

Bernard J. Baker, cashier of the Grant County Bank was born at
Petersburg, March 9, 1849 and spent his more than seventy years of life
within the limits of this community. He grew up in the home of a
hatter, but his father abandoned that trade after the close of the war
between the North and South and turned his attention to merchandising,
being at the time of his death a member of the firm of Baker and
Company, in which his son was associated with him. Bernard J. Baker was
educated in the school common to the community of Petersburg, this being
supplemented by a commercial course in Eastman’s Business College at
Poughkeepsie, New York. When he went into business it was as a merchant
in association with his father, and after the elder man’s death he
continued the business under the firm style of Baker and Company. This
enterprise is still in existence and Mr. Baker has been engaged as a
businessman in that and other fields for more than fifty years, within
100 feet of the bank where he is now on duty as cashier.

Mr. Baker became actively identified with banking affairs when he
organized the Grant County Bank, the first banking house in Grant
County, this being opened in 1902. Prior to this time the banking of
this region had been done at Moorefield and Keyser, but the organization
of the Petersburg institution, concentrated banking largely at this
point from far and wide. The bank was originally capitalized at $25,000
and was increased to double that capital in 1908. The first president
was Lewis J. Forman, the first vice president, J.W. Day and the first
and only cashier, Mr. Baker. The presidency, likewise, has never
changed, but there have been several vice presidents, A.A. Parks, W.A.
Ervin and the present incumbent D.P. Hendrickson.

In his politics Mr. Baker voted first for president in 1872, when he
cast his ballot in favor of Horace Greeley. In 1876 he voted for Samuel
J. Tilden and four years later for Gen. W.S. Hancock, and in 1884 helped
to elect the first democratic president after the Civil war. He has
continued to support the same ticket without interruption every since.
Mr. Baker was prone to political activity as a young man and in 1876 was
elected to the State Senate, where he spent four active and useful
years, being present at the two sessions of the body and a member, among
others, of the judiciary and educational committees. In the matter of
electing a United States senator he supported the candidacy of Hon. John
McGraw of Taylor County. Mr. Baker has kept aloof from secret orders.
He is a member of the Presbyterian Church and one of its elders, a
capacity in which he has served for many years, and is the oldest member
of the congregation as well as the oldest member of the Official Board
in point of service.

On November 25, 1875, at Petersburg, Mr. Baker was united in marriage
with Miss Mary C. Welton, a daughter of Solomon and Sarah (Clark)
Welton, Mr. Welton having been an early merchant of Petersburg. Mrs.
Baker was born in what was then Hardy County, but is now Grant County,
as was her father. She and her husband are the parents of two sons:
Bernard, a merchant and farmer at Petersburg and Robert W.

After completing the public school course at Petersburg, Robert W. Baker
enrolled as a student at Potomac Academy, Romney and graduated from that
preparatory institution at the age of nineteen years. At that time he
entered upon the study of law at Washington and Lee University,
Lexington, Virginia and in 1904, satisfactorily passed the bar
examination at Morgantown, given by the law faculty of West Virginia
University, and his license to practice law was issued by the Supreme
Court of the state. He began his professional career at Petersburg,
among the neighbors and acquaintances of his boyhood and later life, and
tried his first case in the Circuit Court. His practice has been
largely of a general character, although the defense of those charged
with crimes has constituted a considerable proportion of his work, and
through his able qualities as a lawyer and his stable, popular traits as
a man he has continued his progress both in the development of a
professional reputation and a profitable legal business.

Ever since the attainment of his majority, Mr. Baker has been a factor
in local politics. As a leading democrat he has been party chairman of
Grant County, has been the county’s representative on the senatorial and
congressional committees and attended all the conventions of his party
while the convention system was in vogue. He was a spectator at the
Baltimore convention that nominated Woodrow Wilson for the presidency,
as well as the convention at St. Louis that gave the nomination to Judge
Alton B. Parker in 1904. Mr. Baker was first elected mayor of
Petersburg in 1909, and served for five consecutive terms, during which
almost all of the public improvement done in the city was accomplished,
including the installing of water and sewer systems and an electric
light plant, the building of sidewalks, etc. and all of this at an
expense that was worthy of much credit for the administration’s
economizing power. He left the mayor’s office in 1914 and was absent
until January 1, 1922, when he was the unanimous choice of the city for
the mayoralty. The preceding city administration had voted a bond issue
of $12,000 for improvements in the sewers, water and walks, and this
money is being expended by the administration in the construction of
these various improvements. Mayor Baker is attorney for the Baltimore
and Ohio Railway Company at Petersburg and has numerous other important

On February 29, 1908, Mr. Baker was united in marriage at Petersburg
with Miss Cornelia S. Taylor, a daughter of John E. and Annie (Wilson)
Taylor, of Hampshire County, West Virginia and North Carolina
respectively. Mr. Taylor was a tanner by trade and conducted and for a
time operated the Petersburg tannery. Mrs. Baker is one of nine
daughters in the Taylor family and was educated in the public schools.
To Mr. and Mrs. Baker there have been born the following children: John
Bernard; Robert W. Jr.; Wilson, who died at the age of five years;
Bettie; Edward; William, who died at the age of one year; McDonald;
Paul; and Cornelia.

Daniel Pierce Hendrickson

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III, pg. 73

DANIEL PIERCE HENDRICKSON, a native of Grant County, West Virginia, when
young became Clerk of the Courts of Grant County, in the year 1880, and
served continuously as Clerk of the Circuit Courts of the County until
January 1st, 19212.

He has held several other public offices, and has been connected with many
of the business interests of the county.

Submitted by Valerie F. Crook,
Email: vfcrook 1999

Vernon Lough Dyer

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. 214-215

Vernon Lough Dyer, M.D. Included among the younger members of the
medical profession who are making rapid strides in their chosen calling
in Grant County is Dr. Vernon Lough Dyer of Petersburg. To a natural
equipment for his calling, which includes inherent ability, a genuine
love of his profession and a sympathetic nature, Doctor Dyer has
superimposed a long and careful training and as a close observer and
keen student of his profession is still further improving himself for
the work to which he has dedicated his life and talents.

Doctor Dyer comes of an old and honored family of West Virginia was born
April 17, 1892, at Fort Seybert, Pendleton County, this state, a son of
William M. Dyer. His grandfather, Allen Dyer, was born in Pendleton
County, where he followed the pursuits of farming and raising stock and
was one of the well-to-do and highly esteemed citizens of his
community. He passed his entire life within the borders of Pendleton
County and attained the ripe old age of ninety-one years, passing away
in the year 1910. He married Miss Martha Miller and they became the
parents of eight children who grew to maturity, as follows: Pendleton;
Minnie, who married Charles Switzer of Philippi, West Virginia; Annie,
who married William Judy; Sue who became the wife of Elias McWhorter of
Jane Lew, West Virginia; Edward, who resides near Philippi and is
engaged in agricultural operations; William M, the father of Doctor
Dyer; Charles, who died in Pendleton County and Florence, the wife of
I.E. Bolton of Morgantown, West Virginia.

William M. Dyer was born in Pendleton County where he received ordinary
educational advantages in the public schools and as a young man adopted
the vocation of farming. This he has followed with success in the same
county ever since and is now the owner of a good property with all
modern improvements. He is a modern agriculturist, owns a large herd of
livestock, and keeps abreast of the advancements being constantly made
in the business of agriculture. He has always demonstrated his
public-spirited citizenship in his support of worthy civic movements and
educational and religious enterprises, as well as those of a charitable
nature, have found him a friend. Politically he is a republican and his
religious connection is with the Methodist Church. Dr. Dyer was united
in marriage with Miss Susan Lough and they became the parents of eleven
children, of whom ten survive: Nora, who is the wife of J.P. Cowher of
Fort Seybert West Virginia; Fred, a resident of Eckman, this state; Dr.
Vernon Lough of this review and Mary and Willie, twins, Fannie, George,
Jasper, James and Anna who reside at the home of their parents. During
the World war Fred and Willie Dyer enlisted in the United States Army
and the latter saw overseas service, while the former was a member of
the Officers Training Camp at Camp Lee, Petersburg Virginia. All of the
members of his family have been given the advantage of good education

The childhood, youth and early years of his manhood were passed by
Vernon Lough Dyer at Fort Seybert in which community he attended the
public school. As a youth he spent his time much after the fashion of
other farmers; sons, working on the home place during the summer
months. In the winters he taught in the county schools of Bethel
District, and this continued to occupy his time until he reached his
majority at which time he enrolled as a student at the State Normal
School at Shepherdstown West Virginia. He was graduated from that
institution as a member of the class of 1914 and having thus equipped
himself from a literary viewpoint he began the study of medicine. The
first two years of his medical course were prosecuted at Valparaiso
University, Valparaiso, Indiana after which he entered the medical
department of Loyola University, Chicago Illinois. He was graduated
June 1, 1918 and after receiving his degree of Doctor of Medicine went
to Welch Hospital, Welch, West Virginia, where he spent a year in
hospital work, being for a time intern of the institution. With this
work finished, he took up the practice of his profession at Petersburg,
where he has since demonstrated his skill and thorough learning in a
manner that has attracted to him a large practice of the most desirable
kind that can fall to the lot of a young physician. During the period
of the World war Doctor Dyer was a student at Loyola University, and his
name was placed in the enlisted Medical Reserve Corps, but was not
called for active duty and his medical studies were uninterrupted.

Doctor Dyer is a close and careful student of his calling, and holds
membership in several medical organizations, including the Grant County
Medical Society and the West Virginia State Medical Society. He is at
present serving in the capacity of health officer of Petersburg, an
office in which he is rendering capable service. Fraternally he is
affiliated with Petersburg Lodge of the Masonic Order. In political
matters he is a republican, although he has not been active in political
affairs, his entire attention being devoted to his profession. However,
as a citizen he has given his support to worthy movements and has
expressed his approval of advanced educational standards and worthy
charitable and religious enterprises. With Mrs. Dyer he holds
membership in the Presbyterian Church.

On June 18, 1919 at Jane Lew, Lewis County West Virginia, Doctor Dyer
was united in marriage with Miss Ruth Hickel, who was born in Wirt
County West Virginia, one of the four children of Rev. Thomas J. and
Arnette (Bee) Hickel, Rev. T.J. Hickel being a well-known divine of the
Methodist Protestant Church who has held numerous pulpits in West
Virginia. Mrs. Dyer who is the second of her parents’ children was born
March 18, 1895. Her sister is Mrs. Catherine Peterson, who lives at
Weston West Virginia and her brothers are Fred, of Grantsville, this
state and John. Doctor and Mrs. Dyer have one daughter, Susan Arnette,
born October 10, 1921.