Category Archives: Jefferson

Perry C. Dunaway

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
April 13, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 407-408

PERRY C. DUNAWAY, who is successfully engaged in the
furniture and undertaking business at Charles Town, Jef-
ferson County, was born at Stewardsville, Greene County,
Virginia, and he is a scion of a family that was founded
in the historic Old Dominion State in the early Colonial
days, when John and James Dunaway, brothers, came from
England and settled in Virginia. Raleigh Dunaway, Sr.,
grandfather of him whose name introduces this paragraph,
was born and reared in Rappahannock County, Virginia,
and there became the owner of an extensive landed estate,
besides which he inherited a number of slaves, he having
never bought or sold slaves, however. In connection with
the Civil war he met with heavy financial reverses, in which
he lost the most of his real estate and other property, and
he removed with his family to Rockingham County, Vir-
ginia, where he passed the remainder of his life.

Raleigh Dunaway, Jr., father of the subject of this sketch,
was reared on the home farm, or plantation, and as a youth
he found employment in a general store at Elkton. At the
age of twenty-one years he settled on a farm near Stanards-
ville, Greene County, Virginia, and there he continued his
activities as an agriculturist until 1892, when he engaged
in the general merchandise business at Leetown, Jefferson
County, West Virginia. In 1917 he sold his stock and busi-
ness, and he has since lived retired. His wife, whose maiden
name was Fannie Lou Kennedy, was born and reared in
Greene County, Virginia, as was also her father, Chester
Kennedy, who entered the Confederate Army at the incep-
tion of the Civil war and who died while in service, at the
age of thirty-five years, his widow, whose family name was
Mayors, having survived him by many years. Raleigh and
Fannie Lou (Kennedy) Dunaway became the parents of
the following children: Daisy Fritts; Lulu Pearl, who be-
came the wife of Robert W. Clendening and who died in
April, 1918; Raleigh W., who is engaged in the grocery
business at Charles Town; Virginia, who is the wife of
W. R. Licklider; Jessie; Perry C., who is the immediate
subject of this review; and Jndson and Homer.

Perry C. Dunaway gained his early education in the pub-
lic schools, and was a lad of fourteen years when he began
to assist in his father’s store. In 1906 he entered the serv-
ice of Moulton Brothers, engaged in the wholesale drygoods
and notions business in the City of Baltimore, Maryland,
and for ten years he was a successful traveling salesman
for this representative concern. For two years thereafter
he was employed in the Westinghouse undertaking estab-
lishment in the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and in the
meanwhile he attended the J. Henry Zong School of Em-
balming, in which he was graduated in 1911. In 1912 he
went to Mercer, Pennsylvania, where he was employed in an
undertaking establishment for a time, and he then passed
two years in business at Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
He then, in 1915, established his present furniture and un-
dertaking business at Charles Town, where his success has
been the direct result of effective service and fair and hon-
orable dealings. In the Masonic fraternity Mr. Dunaway
is affiliated with Malta Lodge No. 80, A. F. and A. M., and
Jefferson Chapter, R. A. M., besides which he holds mem-
bership in Blue Ridge Lodge of the Knights of Pythias.
He and his wife hold membership in the Presbyterian
Church in their home city.

The year 1915 recorded the marriage of Mr. Dunaway
and Miss Emma Louise Price, who was born at Pomeroy;
Ohio, a daughter of David and Elizabeth (Eppel) Price.
Mr. and Mrs. Dnnaway have one daughter, Emma Louise.

Frank Beckwith

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. 722

BECKWITH, FRANK. (Democrat.) Address:
Charles Town. Born in Middleway, Jefferson county,
July 26, 1848; educated in the country schools and in
New York; a lawyer by profession, receiving his legal
training in Charles Town; member of House of Delegates
in 1881 and 1887; appointed Judge Thirteenth Circuit by
Governor Wilson to fill the unexpired term of Charles
James Faulkner; elected to the State Senate from the Fif-
teenth District in 1914; in 1917 served on the following
Senate standing committees: Judiciary, Education, Banks
and Corporations, Penitentiary, Federal Relations, Insur-
ance, Labor, To Examine the Clerk’s Office, Prohibition
and Temperance.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

John Yates Beall

Source: The South in the Building of the Nation.
Richmond, Va.: The Southern Historical Publication Society, 1909.
Volume XI, pages 61-62

John Yates BEALL

BEALL, John Yates, Confederate guerrilla and sailor: b. Walnut Grove,
Jefferson county, Va., Jan. 1, 1835; hangeded on Governor’s Island, N. Y.,
Dec. 24, 1864. He was descended from an honorable Virginia family and was
educated for the law. The death of his father, however, compelled him to
abandon his profession in 1855. He farmed in Jefferson county until the
outbreak of the war, when he volunteered with his command, the “Botts Grays”
and was mustered into Company G, Second Virginia infantry. After
being incapacitated by a wound, he went West and then moved into Canada.
While in the latter country, he contrived a plan to liberate the Confederate
prisoners at Johnson’s Island. With this plan in mind, he returned South and
solicited the approval of the Confederate authorities. He was commissioned
as acting master in the Confederate navy, but was not assigned to command.
On his own initiative he began a series of exciting privateering enterprises
along the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, but he was captured in November,
1863, and confined in irons at Fort McHenry, Baltimore. This led to reprisals
by the Confederate government and ultimately on May 5, 1864, Beall was exchanged.
Unable to secure the approval of the government, he went to Canada without
orders to carry out his favorite plan of liberating the prisoners on Johnson’s
Island. On Sept. 18, 1864, with a small band of picked men, he captured the
Philo Parsons and the Island Queen and would probably have reached Johnson’s
Island, but for a mutiny in his crew and the miscarriage of other plans.
He was forced to abandon his project and was captured in citizen’s clothing
at Niagra, N. Y., on Dec. 16, 1864. He was hurried to New York, was tried as
a guerrilla and was executed. The Confederacy assumed responsibility for his
actions, but could not prevent the execution of the sentence. His fortitude
and courageous bearing during his trial and death were commended even by his enemies.

Transcribed and submitted by Valerie F. Crook, , 1999.

Milton W. Burr

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. 732

Members of the House of Delegates.

BURR, MILTON W. (Democrat.) Address: Bardane,
West Va. Born near what is now New Bardane, in 1863,
where he is still living; received his education under a pri-
vate teacher; is a farmer and fruit grower by occupation;
was elected to the House of Delegates from Jefferson county
in 1914, and re-elected in November, 1916; during the
regular and extra sessions of 1917 was assigned to and
served on the following standing committees of that body:
Immigration and Agriculture (Chairman); Taxation and
Finance, State Boundaries, Roads and Internal Naviga-
tion, Forestry and Conservation.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

William Opie Norris

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. 424-425

WILLIAM OPIE NORRIS, who for over twenty years has
been interested in a growing real estate business at Charles
Town, is member of a family that has been well known
in Jefferson County for over a century, and included men
of distinctive prominence in the affairs of the state as well
as in the immediate locality.

His grandfather was George Norris, a native of either
Northcumberland or Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. There
is a well established tradition that two brothers named
Norris came from England to the colonies as early as 1750,
one of them settling in Virginia and becoming the ancestor
of the present line. The other brother settled in Camden,
New Jersey, where he established a foundry and machine
shop. In this plant his descendants made the first locomo-
tive engine that ever pulled a railroad train in this country.
Later the establishment was removed to Philadelphia, and
became the foundation of the present Baldwin Locomotive
Works. The name Norris is perpetuated by a street located
near the works.

While a branch of the family is thus permanently related
with big industrial enterprise, the grandfather of William
O. Norris was a planter, and devoted his life to the man-
agement of his large estate and to his responsibilities as a
leader in public affairs in Frederick County, Virginia, a
county that then embraced Clark County. He was a magis-
trate of Frederick County, and upon the organization of
Clark County, being the oldest magistrate, by provision of
the law of Virginia became automatically the first sheriff of
the new county. He married Jane Wormeley, who was
born at Rose Hill, near Urbana, in Middlesex County, Vir-
ginia. Her father, Ralph Wormeley, was secretary of the
Colony at the beginning of the Revolutionary war, and,
remaining loyal to the crown he returned to England, his
estate being confiscated. After the war he returned and
recovered his property and occupied it until his death.
This old Wormeley estate is on the Rappahannock River.

William H. Norris, father of William O. Norris, was
horn on the plantation known as Rosemont, near Berryville
in Clark County, about 1820. He was educated by private
tutors, and inherited a portion of his father’s estate. At
the time of his marriage he settled on a plantation in Kable-
town District of Jefferson County. This property was
his wife’s inheritance. He operated the estate with slave
labor, and continued there until his death in 1857, at the
age of thirty-seven years. He married Mary Opie, who was
born in Jefferson County. Her father, Hierome, owned
several thousand acres of land and hundreds of slaves, and
he represented his district in the Virginia Legislature for
thirty-five consecutive years. The maiden name of his wife
was Margaret Muse, also a life-long resident of Virginia.
Mary Opie Norris died at the age of sixty-four.

Her son, William Opie Norris, was born on a plantation
in the Kabletown District in Jefferson County, and finished
his education in the Virginia Military Institute. After
finishing his course he returned to the plantation, and was
active in its management until 1900. In that year he
removed to Charles Town and became associated with his
brother-in-law, Colonel Chew, in the real estate and loan
business. In 1872 Mr. Norris married Margaret B. Chew, a
sister of Col. R. P. Chew.

Nelson Taylor Snyder

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
April 24, 2000

History of Virginia, Volume IV,
Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago and New York, 1928
pages 186-187

NELSON TAYLOR SNYDER, JUNIOR. Varied interests directed
with dignified capability, coupled with a keen sense of duty in
either war or peace, are characteristics wihch make not only
for good citizenship, but also for successful and progressive
advancement. Alexandria because of its own advantages and
its close proximity to Washington affords any ambitious man an
excellent field for his operations, and in no line are there more
openings than those connected with realty transactions. One of
these typical Virginians of high character and recognized worth
is Nelson T. Snyder, Junior, president of the Snyder-Kane-
Boothe Corporation, realtors and insurers.

Nelson T. Snyder, Junior, was born in Jefferson County,
West Virginia, December 19, 1892, a son of Nelson T. and Emma
(McGary) Snyder, also natives of West Virginia, farmers and
apple growers during the earlier part of their lives, but now
retired and honored residents of Jefferson County, their estate
being near Shepherdstown.

Educated in the public schools of Shepherdstown and its
normal school, Nelson T. Snyder, Junior, taught school for sev-
eral years, but later took a business course, in 1911, at East-
man’s Business College, Poughkeepsie, New York, and a second
course at Strayer’s Business College, Washington. In 1913 he
began to put to practical use the commercial training he had
obtained and entered the employ of the Southern Railroad Com-
pany, with which organization he continued until 1917, when
he went into the army for the World war. Commissioned a
second lieutenant, he was made an instructor at Camp Custer,
and remained there until he was honorably discharged in Decem-
ber, 1918, after which he returned to Washington and spent
one year more with the Southern Railroad as statistician, but
left in 1919 to organize N. T. Snyder & Company, real estate
and insurance, at Alexandria. In 1922 he was joined by Rob-
ert L. Kane, the two operating under the name of Snyder &
Kane, which firm in 1925, with the addition of Gardner L.
Boothe, became Snyder-Kane-Boothe Corporation. At present
this organization is doing some very important building and
development, and sells homes on the installment plan, financing
its projects through its own finance corporation. Perhaps the
most important of the development projects is Belle Haven, the
beautiful residential district in the neighborhood of the Belle
Haven Country Club, although the two Glendale Park develop-
ments and Rosemont Park are worthy of consideration. Mr.
Snyder is president of the Del Ray Bank in the Town of Potomac,
and he was one of the organizers of the Kiwanis Club and dur-
ing 1927 served as its president. He belongs to all of the bodies
in Masonry at Alexandria, including the Shrine, and he also
belongs to the Shriner Club, the Independent Order of Odd Fel-
lows, and the Belle Haven Country Club, of which he is a di-
rector. He is president of the Belle Haven Realty Corporation
and is a director of the Northern Virginia Investment Corpora-
tion. Since its organization the American Legion has in him
a zealous member. He is a Democrat in political faith. The
Presbyterian Church is his religious home.

In July, 1917, Mr. Snyder married Miss Lydia. Hammond, a
daughter of Harry and Etta (Catts) Hammond, natives of
Alexandria, where the father is in business as manager of the
Mutual Ice Company. Mr. and Mrs. Snyder have two children:
Harry Hammond, who was born December 30, 1920; and Nelson
Taylor III, who was born September 17, 1924. The Snyder
residence is in Belle Haven and is a beautiful home. Mr. Sny-
der’s list of acquaintances is necessarily a long one and he comes
into contact with men of note from all over the country, and the
majority of them become his warm personal friends. His spirit
of good fellowship leads him to exert himself to render the lives
of others brighter and easier, and he is always ready to lend
his efficient assistance to those measures which he believes will
work out for the betterment of the majority.

William Fontaine Alexander

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

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 341-342

William Fontaine Alexander found his early practice only a
threshold to a more practical business career, mainly in the
field of insurance and banking. He has for many years been
an influential citizen of Charles Town and represents one
of the historic families in this section of the state.

Mr. Alexander was born at Duffields in Jefferson County,
son of Dr. William F. Alexander, born on a farm in Kable-
town District in the same county, and grandson of William
P. Alexander, a native of Virginia and of Colonial ancestry.
William P. Alexander after his marriage settled on a plan-
tation in Kabletown District, this plantation being his
wife’s inheritance. It was operated with slave labor. The
wife of William P. Alexander was Hannah Lee Washing-
ton, a daughter of Bushrod Washington (Cunningham), and
granddaughter of Corbin and Hannah (Lee) Washington.
Hannah Lee was a daughter of Hon. Richard Henry Lee.
Corbin Washington was a son of John Augustine Washing-
ton, youngest brother of President George Washington.
Dr. William F. Alexander acquired his early education
under private tutors, and early took up the study of
medicine, entering the University of Pennsylvania, where
he graduated after completing his medical course. He then
established his home at Duffields in Jefferson County, and
practiced successfully there until his death. Death came to
him early in his career, at the age of thirty-five. He was
the father of four children: Herbert Lee, of Martinsburg;
Mary Virginia, of Charles Town, widow of Rev. Dallas
Tucker; William Fontaine; and Hannah Washington, wife
of Edward Esten Cooke.

William Fontaine Alexander attended private school until
he was twelve years of age, then entered the Charles Town
Male Academy under Edmund Randolph Tucker, the prin-
cipal, and when he had completed his course of study there
took up the subject of law in the office of Col. Forrest W.
Brown. He was admitted to the bar and practiced two
years. He was then elected county clerk, and by re-election
held that post of duty in the county for twelve consecutive
years. After retiring from office Mr. Alexander became
a member of the firm of Washington, Alexander & Cooke,
proprietors of a general insurance agency. This is one of
the leading firms of the kind in the Eastern Panhandle. The
members of the firm are also interested in the manufacture
and sales distribution of commercial fertilizer. Mr. Alex-
ander besides his active connection with this firm is vice
president of the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Charles

At the age of twenty-seven he married Cecily de Graffen-
ried Woolley. She was born at Lexington, Kentucky, a
daughter of Frank W. and Lucy (McCaw) Woolley. They
have two children, Cecily Fontaine and Ann Catherine. Mr.
Alexander is a vestryman of Zion Episcopal Church and is
affiliated with Malta Lodge, F. and A. M.