Category Archives: Jackson

Uriah Barnes

JACKSON COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@earthlink.net
July 9, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 446-447
Jackson

HON. URIAH BARNES. While he has practiced law suc-
cessfully and has been an influential member of the Leg-
islature, Uriah Barnes is now and will be in the future
known permanently for his remarkable industry and his
mature scholarship as a legal writer and contributor to
the literature of the legal profession.

He was born in Jackson County, West Virginia, in 1883.
His father, Charles W. Barnes, was a native of Ohio,
and the Town of Barnesville, Ohio, was named for the
family. Charles W. Barnes about 1875 settled in Jackson
County, West Virginia, and is still living there. Uriah
Barnes was accustomed to farm labor when a boy, secured
his education in public schools, and also attended West
Virginia University. At the age of sixteen he began
teaching, and taught for two terms.

His home has been at Charleston since 1901. He finished
a business course in Elliott’s Business College, did clerical
work in several offices, and in the meantime was diligently
studying law and qualified for practice in 1908. The next
four years he was at the state capitol with the Supreme
Court of Appeals, briefing cases for the use of the judges
of that court. No law school could offer opportunities
for a more thorough training for a young lawyer, and
it was in this work that Mr. Barnes improved his talent
for a legal analysis and a clear statement that distin-
guished his own publications. For years he has been a
student of the best in standard and general literature as
well as in his own field. For years he was a law instructor
in the University College of Law and for one year was
secretary of the College of Agriculture and the Experiment
Station at Morgantown. His literary work has been done
both as an editor and author, and he has contributed a
number of articles to law encyclopedias. Recently he com-
piled and edited the ordinances of Charleston. His first
important achievement was editing the “West Virginia
Code” of 1916, making a careful and exhaustive study of
all state statutes. This was issued in a handy form, but
has recently been fully revised to include all the laws
down to 1922, with full annotations to the same date, and
has been published as “Barnes’ West Virginia Code of
1922, Annotated.” One or the other of these books is
probably known to every practicing attorney in West
Virginia and in many other states as well.

In 1919 his “Barnes’ Federal Code” appeared. This
book is now the standard and monumental work in its field.
The American Law Review said: “It marks an epoch
in law publishing.” The “Bench and Bar of West Vir-
ginia,” by Judge Atkinson, speaks of this work as fol-
lows: “He brought to bear in this work a comprehensive
knowledge, a sound and discriminating judgment, a genius
for editorial detail that have combined to bring him uni-
versal recognition as a master in his field. The remark
able sale of the Federal Code in every state in the Union
and abroad, and the unsolicited encomiums upon it, coming
from bench and bar and from eminent scholars and edu-
cators throughout the country, attest its rank as a master-
piece of compilation.”

Mr. Barnes was elected to the House of Delegates in
1920 as a member from Kanawha County. He served on
the judiciary committee and the committee on public build-
ings and humane institutions, and was sponsor for a law
creating the State Board of Childrens’ Guardians, and
the State Training School for Mental Defectives. He
introduced a minimum wage bill, which was killed in com-
mittee, and was author of a bill favored by many of the
ablest lawyers and judges of the state for the reform of
the judicial procedure.

Mr. Barnes has participated in a number of republican
campaigns and has attended three national conventions
of the party. He has a mind of remarkable power, and
has carried on his studies and investigations over a large
field involving sociology, economics, political science and
history, as well as the literature of his own profession.
He is a member of the Methodist Church.

Mr. Barnes married Lena Belle Ice, and they have two
children, Hugh and Margaret.

John Britton

JACKSON COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
July 9, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 473-474

JOHN BRITTON, chief of the Charleston Police Depart-
ment, is a marked proof of the value and necessity of
long practical training for the higher officials of the city
government. He has won advancement to the head of his
department because of his courage as an officer and his ex-
ecutive talents, and his courteous and pleasing personality.
Chief Britton was born at Warren, Pennsylvania, in 1883,
and is a son of Alfred and Sarah E. (Freeman) Britton.

Alfred Britton was born in Quebec, Canada, and as a
youth learned the painting trade, which he followed prin-
cipally in furniture factories as foreman of inside paint-
ing. For some years he was employed in furniture fac-
tories at Grand Rapids, Michigan, but in 1895 came to
Charleston to assume the management of the Ohio Valley
Furniture Company’s factory, owned by George Fullerton,
of Gallipolis, Ohio, at that time the leading industry of the
city, with from 300 to 400 employes. After managing this
enterprise for seventeen years Mr. Britton retired and lived
quietly until his death in May, 1918, when he was seventy-
one years of age. His first wife, Sarah Freeman, died when
her son John was but three years of age, and Mr. Britton
later married Mary E. Edwards, of Pennsylvania, who sur-
vives him, as a resident of Charleston.

John Britton secured a public school education and as a
young man learned the trade of inside painting with his
father, under whom he worked in various factories. Event-
ually he purchased the Great Southern Hotel, on Kanawha
Street, in 1912, and conducted it for two years, when he be-
came president of the Kanawha Taxicab Company, operating
a line of ten taxis. He remained in this capacity, and
then, under Mayor Breece, because assistant street commis-
sioner. Later he was a plain clothes man on the police force,
subsequently became a patrolman under Chief A. I. Mc-
Cown, and was later promoted captain of police, a capa-
city in which he served during the remainder of the ad-
ministration. When he left the force temporarily he be-
came chief for the Rollins Chemical Company of South
Charleston, with twenty-four men under his supervision, dur-
ing the war period. Leaving this concern, he went to Nitro,
about ten miles from Charleston, on the Kanawha River,
where the United States Government was operating an am-
munition plant, and under Major Baer, in charge of the
organization of the police department at that place, was
made a lieutenant on the force, which consisted of about
400 men. He was later transferred to Cabin Creek, where
he acted as captain until the signing of the armistice, and
then went back to the Rollins Chemical Company as chief.
In May, 1919, when Grant P. Hall became mayor of Charles-
ton, he was called back to this city as captain of police, and
continued in that capacity until February, 1920, when he
became chief of the Nitro Police Department, with a force
of eighty-men. On August 27, 1921, he was recalled to
Charleston to become chief of the police department, which
has sixty officers and thirty patrolmen. Chief Britton has
placed the department on a well-trained, efficient basis, and
has been tireless in his efforts to preserve law and order.
He has continually strengthened his reputation as a fine
disciplinarian, and upon the occasion of unusual disturbance
of the public peace and in the unraveling of several noto-
rious crime problems his coolness and bravery and his skill
as a detective have stood him in good stead. A man of
splendid physique, he possesses also a pleasing personality
that commands respect and holds warm friendships.

Chief Britton married Lillie B. Canterbury, and they have
two sons: Basil and Giles Polly.

Everett Hughes

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

Source:
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

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

740 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

HUGHES, EVERETT. (Republican.) Address:
Sandyville, West Va. Born in Mason county, May 1,
1895; was educated in the public schools; is a teacher by
profession; was appointed principal of the Sandyville
school when but nineteen years of age; has always taken a
great interest in educational work and the development of
the free school system of the State; was elected in 1916 as
one of the delegates from Jackson county, and in the ses-
sions of 1917 served on standing committees as follows:
Private Corporations and Joint Stock Companies, Claims
and Grievances, Humane Institutions and Public Build-
ings.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Kenna Casto

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

Source:
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

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

pg. 733

Members of the House of Delegates.

CASTO, KENNA. (Republican.) Address: Staats
Mills, West Va. Born January 9, 1891, at Belgrove, Jack-
son county; received his education in the rural schools;
is a teacher by profession; a farmer by occupation; has
taught in the public schools for ten years; was first prin-
cipal of the Beech Grove Public School, of Belgrove; in
November, 1916, was elected as one of the representatives
from Jackson county to the lower House, and in the regular
and special sessions of the Legislature following, served
as a member of the committee on Executive Offices,
the committee on Library and the committee on the
Penitentiary.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

O. J. Morrison

JACKSON COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
July 9, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 473

O. J. MORRISON. The individual who founds and develops
an immense business enterprise must of necessity possess
qualities and characteristics of an unusual nature. Com-
bined with the mind to plan must be the ability to execute
and the foresight to grasp opportunities conditions produce.
Contemporary history gives the names and records of a num-
ber of men who have worked out worth while successes
through the possession of just such an equipment, but
perhaps there is no more striking case of what a man may
accomplish than the career of O. J. Morrison, proprietor
of the O. J. Morrison Department Store Company of Charles-
ton, with branch houses in various other communities of
West Virginia. .

Mr. Morrison was born on a farm near Ripley, Jackson
County, West Virginia, March 10, 1869, and is a son of
Mr. and Mrs. G. P. Morrison, honorable agricultural people
of that community. He received a country school educa-
tion and was reared to farming, but did not take kindly to
the pursuits of the soil and accordingly turned his at-
tention to teaching school. This vocation held him only
two years, for the commercial instinct was strong in him
and he finally bought a small stock of goods and a horse
and wagon and began peddling his wares over the hills of
Jackson County, exchanging groceries and calico with the
farmers for their produce He was honorable in his deal-
ings and honest in his representation, soon gained the im-
plicit confidence of his customers and eventually accum-
ulated sufficient capital with which to establish a modest
store at Kenna, a little village located on the Charleston-
Parkersburg Turnpike. The possession of this store, small
though it was, gave Mr. Morrison added incentive, and he
worked all the more faithfully and industriously, with the
result that soon his business outgrew his establishment, and
he moved to Ripley, the county seat of Jackson County,
where he really began the first of the string of stores that
have made his name a household word in this part of the
state. It was while at Ripley that Mr. Morrison coined the
motto: “Make a dollar worth a dollar,” and this he has
used consistently ever since. The Ripley store now consists
of two stories and a basement, 40 by 125 feet, and is under
the management of J. E. Keenan. Later Mr. Morrison
founded another store, at Spencer, where he now has an
establishment of two stories and a basement, 40 by 150
feet, under the management of W. B. Reed. Later a busi-
ness was also established at Clendenin. In 1910 Mr. Mor-
rison decided to invade Charleston, where the people soon
recognized the fact that he was doing a large business be-
cause of the fairness of his dealing and the quality of his
goods, together with the astonishingly low prices at which
they were offered. In 1914 he established a store at Hunt-
ington, where he now has one of the biggest retail houses
of the city, four stories and basement, 45 by 200 feet,
under the management of I. C. Prickett. In 1919 another
store was taken over, at Clarksburg, where he now has a
structure of two stories and basement, 50 by 190 feet, man-
aged by E. G. Morrison.

Mr. Morrison’s Charleston store was visited by a dis-
astrous fire October 29, 1920, when thousands of dollars
worth of merchandise was destroyed and the building was
wrecked. There were those who predicted that Mr. Mor-
rison’s mercantile career in this city at least was at an
end, but a few days later work was commenced in dis-
mantling the old Burlew Opera House, on Capitol Street,
in the place of which was erected a modern structure five
stories and basement, 65 by 165 feet, this now being under
Mr. Morrison’s personal supervision. In all the stores
there is represented an outlay of $800,000 capital. There
are 300 employes, and the annual gross sales approximate
$2;000,000. Mr. Morrison entered upon his career with little
or nothing save his self-confidence, his ambition and his
willingness to work hard and economize. Nothing was too
difficult for him, no labor too exhausting, and when he
earned a little money he put it back into his business. In
this way he has lived to see that business grow to propor-
tions which utterly exceeded his fondest dreams of earlier
days, and the end is not yet. He has several other busi-
ness connections, and is a director in the Charleston Build-
ing and Loan Association. His religious connection is with
the United Brethren Church, but he is not interested in
fraternal matters.

In 1895 Mr. Morrison was united in marriage with Miss
Cora A. Harpold, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. W. Har-
pold, farming people of Jackson County, West Virginia,
and they have five children: Freda, Pay, Johnson O., Carl
H. and Charles W.

T. J. Sayre

JACKSON COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@earthlink.net
July 16, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 505
Jackson

T. J. SAYRE has been a member of the Jackson County
bar twenty years, practicing at Ripley, and is largely a
business lawyer and business man, though he has given due
share of his attention to public affairs and civic movements
in his community.

Theodore Joseph Sayre was born near Angerona in Jack-
son County, February 14, 1875. Practically all the Sayre
families in the United States are descended from one of four
brothers who came from England in the army commanded
by General Braddock at the beginning of the French and
Indian wars about 1754. The grandfather of the Ripley
lawyer was Elijah Sayre, who was born in that portion of
Mason County that is now Jackson County in 1817, and
spent all his life in that locality, a farmer by occupation.
He died at the advanced age of eighty-two. His wife,
Mary Jane Hunt, was born in what is now Jackson County
in 1824, and is still living at Ripley, well in the shadow of
her hundredth year. Her children were seven in number:
Wesley; Sarah Ann, wife of Allen Shinn, a farmer at
Angerona; John O., a farmer at Evans in Jackson County;
Jasper, a farmer at Cow Run, Jackson County; Daniel, a
farmer at Danstown, Jackson County; Elijah, a farmer at
Evans; and Belle, who died in Jackson County, wife of
James Barnett, a farmer now living in Putnam County.

Wesley Sayre was born at Angerona in 1844, and spent
all his life in that one community, where he died in 1907.
Besides owning and operating a farm he was postmaster of
Angerona during Cleveland’s two terms. Wesley Sayre
married Annie Wink, who was born at Pomeroy, Mason
County, in 1853, and is living at Ripley. The children of
their marriage were: Adam W., a farmer at Angerona;
T. J.; Miss Marie, a teacher in the Ripley High School;
Marguerite, wife of Charles C. Cunningham, a farmer at
Evans in Jackson County; Belle, wife of Raymond Vied-
horfer, agent for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad at Girard,
Ohio; David, a traveling salesman living at Angerona;
Clara, wife of Russell Baker, a farmer at Angerona; Freda,
wife of Gay Casto, a dentist at Beckley in Raleigh County,
West Virginia; and Leo, who died at the age of five years.

T. J. Sayre acquired a public school education in Jackson
County, graduated in 1899 from Marshall College at Hunt-
ington, where he was a member of the Erosophian Literary
Society, and from there entered the Southwestern Baptist
University at Jackson, Tennessee, where he took his law
degree in 1901. Mr. Sayre at once returned to Ripley and
began the practice of law, and has had a generous share of
the wort in both the civil and criminal branches of his pro-
fession. His offices are on Court Street, and he also has his
home on the same street. He is a director of the Citizens
State Bank of Ripley, is a stockholder in the First National
Bank of Ripley, and owns considerable real estate in town
and a large body of farming land in Jackson County.

Mr. Sayre served one term as mayor of Ripley. He is
a democrat and a steward in the Methodist Episcopal
Church, South. During the war he was food administrator
for Jackson County, made speeches in behalf of the various
campaigns, and put the demands of the Government ahead
of all his professional engagements.

In 1904, at Ripley, he married Miss Lida E. Hyre, daugh-
ter of John A. and Dora (Board) Hyre, residents of Ripley,
where her father is a retired farmer. Mr. Sayre lost his
wife by death March 7, 1920.

Reuben Perry Shinn

JACKSON COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@earthlink.net
July 9, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 422-423

REUBEN PERRY SHINN for many years has been one of
the most prominent, and influential figures in the agricul-
tural, financial and public affairs of Jackson County. He
is still busy directing his extensive fanning operations, is
president of the First National Bank of Ripley, and in
addition is also a member of the State Senate.

Mr. Shinn was born in Mason County, West Virginia, July
20, 1860. His grandfather, Samuel Shinn, was born in what
is now West Virginia in 1804, spent the greater part of
his life on a farm in Jackson County, and died there in
1884. George W. Shinn, father of the Ripley banker, was
born in Mason County in 1834, grew up and married there,
and about 1863 removed to Jackson County and owned a
fine farm at Grass Lick near Fairplain. His death occurred
in 1897 at Webster Springs in Webster County. George
W. Shinn was also a man of prominence in the public affairs
of his section of the state. He was a pioneer republican,
served eighteen years as a member of the County Court of
Jackson County, and also represented the county in the
House of Delegates when the capital was at Wheeling. He
was a Mason and one of the very liberal and active members
of the United Brethren Church. George W. Shinn married
Elizabeth Stone, who was born in that portion of old Mason
County, now Jackson County, in 1825, and died at her
homestead in Jackson County in 1911. Of her children the
first was Samuel F., who owns and operates a farm of 1,000
acres at Parchment near Eipley; James O. has a farm of
500 acres near Point Pleasants in Mason County; Permelia
is the wife of Archie A. Reynolds, a merchant and farmer
at Evans in Jackson County; Reuben P. is the fourth
among the children. James A. and his younger brother,
Nathan Ulysses Grant Shinn, own jointly a big farm of
1,200 acres in Jackson County, and James also has the
distinction of being a former sheriff of Jackson County for
four years.

Reuben Perry Shinn spent his years to the age of twenty-
one on his father’s farm, and made the best possible use
of his advantages in the rural schools. When he left home
to go to work on his own responsibility he took no capital
and yet, like his brothers, he has achieved remarkable suc-
cess as a farmer as well as in other fields of business.
Senator Shinn has never been completely divorced from the
practical phases of agriculture, and though he has had his
residence in Ripley since November, 1912, he keeps in the
closest touch with his extensive farming operations. In-
dividually he owns 2,300 acres of valuable land on Grass
Lick and in other parts of the county. His farming is a
diversified proposition, and he -usually keeps from 250 to 300
head of cattle on his lands. He is also associated with a
syndicate composed of Stareher Brothers, W. H. O’Brien
T. J. Sayre, W. Walker and himself in the ownership of
2,000 acres of farm land in Jackson County. He owns a
large amount of real estate in Ripley, including one of the
finest homes of the city.

Mr. Shinn has been president of the First National Bank
of Ripley for the past twelve years. This bank was estab-
lished under a state charter June 20, 1893, and was first
called the Valley Bank of Ripley, but has been a national
bank since August 4, 1915. The officers are R. P. Shinn,
president; S. G. Stareher, vice president; and George E.
Straley, cashier. The bank is capitalized at $35,000, has
surplus and profits of $6,500, and deposits of approximately
$400,000.

Mr. Shinn is a stockholder in the O. J. Morrison Store
Company at Charleston and Clarksburg, and is vice presi-
dent of the Jackson County Grocery Company.

For many years he has been a leader in the republican
party in his section of the state. For eight years he was
chairman of the county committee, for two terms was a
member of the Fourth Congressional District Committee,
and he was one of the state electors on the republican
ticket in 1916, voting for Mr. Hughes for President. Mr.
Shinn has twice been sheriff of Jackson County. He was
first elected in November, 1904, serving the constitutional
limit of four years, from 1905 to 1909. After an interval
of four years he was again elected, in November, 1912,
filling the office from 1913 to 1917. In November, 1920,
he was elected a member of the State Senate, representing
the district of Mason, Jackson and Roane counties for a
term of four years. In the session of 1921 he was chairman
of the agricultural committee, and a member of the finance,
educational, fish and game and other committees. To the
full extent of his influence and means Senator Shinn was
a supporter of the Government at the time of the World
war, and took a personal interest in the success of the
various drives in his county. He is a past grand of Ripley
Lodge No. 30, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

At Grass Lick in Jackson County in 1882 he married
Miss Artemisia Shamblin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George
W. Shamblin, now deceased. Her father owned a large
farm at Grass Lick. Mr. and Mrs. Shinn have four chil-
dren: Cora, a teacher in the high school at Ripley, is the
wife of Charles W. Lively. Belle is the wife of David L.
Rogers, who owns a 200-acre farm and also helps operate
the Shinn farms at Grass Lick. James B. is also associated
with his father in his farming operations at Grass Lick.
Walter Warren is a member of the engineering staff of the
State Roads Commission.

Herbert Skeen

JACKSON COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
July 9, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 468
Jackson

HERBERT SKEEN is in his second term of efficient service
as Circuit Court clerk of Jackson County. He is one of the
younger men of the county, represents an old family of this
section, and his prominence in public affairs is due to his
exceptional qualifications and also to his personal popularity
and character.

Mr. Skeen was born at Kentuck, in Jackson County,
August 3, 1887. His grandfather, Joseph Skeen, was born
in West Virginia and wag an early day hunter and farmer
at Kentuck, where he lived out his life. The grandmother
was his third wife, Matilda Casto, a native and life-long
resident of Jackson County. David L. Skeen, father of the
Circuit Court clerk, was born at Kentuck in 1864, and has
spent all his life there. He owns a large farm, is a cattle
raiser, a timber man, and for two years was road surveyor
of Washington District. His political affiliation is with
the republican party. David L. Skeen married Cordelia
Winter, who was born in Jackson County in 1863. Their
children were Romeo, who was a merchant and died on the
home farm at Kentuck; Clifton, who died when nineteen
years old; Herbert; Georgia Adeline, who died in infancy;
Otho H., a farmer at Kentuck; Minnie A., who died at the
age of twelve years; Elva, at home; Oria, who has passed
away, the wife of Delmar, Good; and Ada, wife of James
Poling, principal of schools at Carpenter in Kanawha
County.

Herbert Skeen spent the first twenty-three years of his
life on the home farm, and partook of its responsibilities
and labors at the same time that he was getting his educa-
tion in the rural schools. He had special inclination for
mathematics, learned the art of surveying, did consider-
able work as a land surveyor, and in 1912 was elected
surveyor of lands for Jackson County. He resigned
from this office in 1914 to make his first race for clerk
of the Circuit Court, being elected in November and
beginning his first term of six years in January, 1915.
He was re-elected in November, 1920, and is now in the
second year of his second official term.

Mr. Skeen is an influential republican. Outside of
his official work he is manager of the Ripley Real Estate
Company, and is an individual property owner, having
a modern home at South Ripley. During the World war
he was active both as an individual and as an official,
serving on the Advisory Board of the county, making
many speeches in behalf of the various war organizations
and spending much time in filing out questionnaires for
recruited men. He is affiliated with Ripley Lodge No. 16,
F. and A. M., the Eastern Star, Ripley Lodge No. 30,
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he is a past
grand; is also district deputy grand master of the Fourth
District of the Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows, and is a
member of the Rebekahs. Other affiliations are with
Walker Wright Lodge No. 198, Knights of Pythias, and
Parkersburg Lodge No. 198, Benevolent and Protective
Order of Elks.

In 1909, at Advent in Jackson County, he married
Miss Lily Hamon, daughter of Joseph P. and Arena
(Siders) Hamon, who still live on their farm at Advent.
Mr. and Mrs. Skeen have three children: Dorothy Faye,
born in 1911; Ralph Leon, born in 1913; and Inez, born
in 1914.

George E. Straley

JACKSON COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@earthlink.net
July 9, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 425

GEORGE E. STRALEY, cashier of the First National Bank
of Ripley, has been actively identified with that institution
for ten years, and is one of the prominent young business
leaders of Jackson County.

He was born on a farm near Ripley, December 2, 1884.
His great-grandfather, Christian Straley, was a native of
Germany and founded the family in West Virginia, in
Lewis County, where he was a farmer and where he lived
out his life. Stephen Straley, his son, was born in Lewis
County in 1801, and as a young man moved to Jackson
County and founded the Straley homestead a mile and a
half north of Ripley, where he continued to live until his
death in 1885. He married Mary Alkire, who was born
in Lewis County in 1813 and died in 1875. Of their family
of three daughters and four sons the only survivor is Charles
P. Straley, who still lives at the old homestead north of
Ripley, where he was born October 9, 1856. He has been
a farmer in that community all his life, and is a democrat
and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He
married Lucy Ramey, who was born in Jackson County in
September, 1856. George E. Straley is the oldest of their
children. Paul is unmarried and helps operate the home
farm. Mary is a teacher in Marion County and has done
advanced work in summer sessions of the State University.
Charles V. is a student in the University of Pennsylvania at
Philadelphia.

George E. Straley was educated in rural schools, in the
West Liberty State Normal School, attended the University
of West Virginia at Morgantown in the summer of 1910,
and at the age of twenty began teaching. For one year he
did work in the rural schools of Jackson County, for two
years was a teacher in the public schools at Ripley, and
another two years in Pocahontas County. Mr. Straley in
1911 entered the Valley Bank of Ripley as assistant cashier,
and has continued with that institution, which since August
4, 1915, has been the First National Bank. He became
cashier in 1916. Mr. Straley is also a stockholder in the
O. J. Morrison Store Company of Charleston, in the People’s
Department Store at Ripley, and takes a public spirited part
in all the general improvement projects in his community.
He is now serving in his fourth year as a member of the
City Council of Ripley, and for the past three years has
been secretary of the Board of Education. He is a demo-
crat, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South,
is affiliated with Ripley Lodge No. 16, A. F. and A. M., and
is a past chancellor of Walker Wright Lodge No. 95,
Knights of Pythias. He did much work of a patriotic
nature during the war, helping fill out questionnaires, and
was also a member of the several committees for the Liberty
Loan drives.

In 1910, at Ripley, Mr. Straley married Miss Madaline
Taylor, daughter of William and Alice (Riley) Taylor, the
latter a resident of Akron, Ohio. Her father died on his
farm near Ripley. Mr. and Mrs. Straley have two children,
Marguerite, born July 1, 1912, and Robert, born September
1, 1916.

Warren Miller

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

Source:
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

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

pg. 727

MILLER, WARREN. (Republican.) Address: Rip-
ley, West Va. Born in Meigs county, Ohio; educated in
public schools and Ohio University; located at Ripley,
Jackson county, studied law; Prosecuting Attorney 1881-9;
Delegate-at-Large Republican National convention 1884;
member House of Delegates 1891; elected to Congress 1894
and 1896; appointed Judge of Circuit Court 1900; elected
in 1902; appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court 1903;
member House of Delegates 1911; elected to Senate 1914;
served on the following committees in 1917: Virginia Debt,
(Chairman); Judiciary, Militia, Federal Relations, Immigra-
tion and Agriculture, Forfeited and Unappropriated Lands,
Public Printing, To Examine the Clerk’s Office.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook