Category Archives: Mcdowell

Samuel W. Patterson

McDOWELL COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
cmac4330@chesapeake.net
December 1, 1999
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II
pg.62

SAMUEL W. PATTERSON was one of the first officials on the ground in the
development of the coal property of the Bottom Creek Coal & Coke Company at
Vivian in McDowell County. He has lived there since December, 1891, and has
become a successful and widely known coal operator in that section of the state.

Mr. Patterson was born in Elk County, Pennsylvania, September 24, 1863, son of
Thomas N. and Rachel (Spencer) Patterson. The Pattersons were a family of Irish,
Scotch and English origin, while the Spencers were English. Mr. Patterson comes
of several branches of substantial New England stock, including the Howland and
Denison families. He is a member of the John Howland Society. His parents were
both born in Pennsylvania, his father at Mauch-Chunk. Thomas N. Patterson took
up the profession of medicine, but soon abandoned it to engage in coal mining,
and later became manager for J. C. Haydon at Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County,
Pennsylvania, then one of the largest operators in Carbon County, Pennsylvania.

Samuel W. Patterson graduated from high school in Schuylkill County,
Pennsylvania, and at the age of sixteen entered his father’s office. There he
acquired a thorough knowledge of the coal industry, being afforded every
opportunity to familiarize himself with the business and technical branches of
the business. His uncle, William Spencer, had acquired an interest in coal
lands in West Virginia. With this interest as the basis there was organized in
1891 at Pottsville Pennsylvania, the Bottom Creek Coal & Coke Company. The
company selected and sent as its practical representatives to the field William
Spencer and Samuel W. Patterson, the latter as secretary and treasurer of the
company. Later he became president and general manager. The Norfolk & Western
Railroad was then constructing its main line west into this section, but at the
time Mr. Patterson had to walk from what is now Kyle to Vivian, the location of
the Bottom Creek Company’s property. He has been here ever since and has had
active supervision of all phases of the development of the property. He is
still at his post of duty as mine manager. With his brother, George S., he
organized the Sycamore Coal Company of Cinderella, Mingo County, West Virginia,
and is president of that company, and is also vice president of the Majestic
Collieries Company, Majestic, Kentucky.

In 1903 at Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Patterson married Miss Mary Cleveland,
daughter of Charles W. and M. Isabel (Torrey) Cleveland, both representing old
families of Pennsylvania and New York State. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson have one
son, Thomas Cleveland.

William Leckie

McDOWELL COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
cmac4330@chesapeake.net
December 4, 1999
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II
pg.62 & 63

COL. WILLIAM LECKIE was one of the big, strong, kindly and generous men of the
West Virginia coal fields. A native of Scotland, son of a Scotch miner, he came
to the United States when a young man, finished his education in American
schools and by private study, worked in and around mines for a number of years,
and rose from various positions of responsibility to be a leading mine operator.
He developed some of the best coal openings in Southern West Virginia.

William Leckie was born in Ayreshire, Scotland, on October 4, 1857, a son of
Samuel and Katherine McClellan Leckie. He was the oldest of fourteen children.
As a boy he worked on a farm and in the coal mines of Scotland. At the age of
twenty-one he came to America and located in Shenandoah, Schuylkill County,
Pennsylvania. His father and mother brothers and sisters followed about six
months later. William Leckie entered the mines as repairman, and by industry
and economy he earned the money to enter Dickenson Seminary at Williamsport,
Pennsylvania, where he was a student for two and a half years. In 1882 he was
appointed fire-boss for the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron company; a year
later he was with the Buck Mountain Coal Company as inside foreman; and as
ambition and faithfulness won for him recognition and rapid advancement he
became, successively, district superintendent for the Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre
Coal Company; general superintendent of the Lehigh Valley Coal, York Farm &
Blackwood Collieries; general superintendent of the Webster Coal & Coke Company;
and, finally, general manager of the Loyal Hanna Coal & Coke Company.

On November 26, 1881, William Leckie married Annie M. Kolb, daughter of the Rev.
F. H. Kolb, a Presbyterian minister, of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. An interested
sharer in his work and witness of his experiences was Mrs. Leckie, and the
inspiration of his ambitions and best endeavors. She made it a rule always to
be present at each opening, when the first car of coal was taken out.

In 1901 William Leckie came to the Pocahontas Coal Fields as superintendent of
the Pocahontas Collieries Company, the pioneer mines of this famous field. He
developed and built up these mines, which were later bought by the Pocahontas
Consolidated Collieries Company. He remained in this position until 1907, when
he went into business for himself and established the following operating
companies, of which he was president and general manager: The West Virginia
Pocahontas Coal Company, with mines at Leckie, West Virginia and general
offices in New York, the Lathrop Coal Company and Panther Coal Company, mines
at Panther, West Virginia, the Leckie Collieries Company, mines at Aflex,
Kentucky, and Leckie Fire Creek Coal Company and Douglas Coal Company, with,
mines at Fireco, West Virginia, the general office of the last four being at
Welch, West Virginia, where Mr. Leckie lived for many years. He was also the
chief incorporator and president of several land-holding companies, the Pond
Creek Coal & Land Company, the Leckie-Ramsay Coal Company, the Cub Creek Coal
Company, and the Leckie Smokeless Coal Company, the latter company owning a
large acreage of undeveloped coal lands in Greenbrier County, West Virginia.
The Leckie Coal Company, a selling agency, with offices at Norfolk, Virginia,
and Columbus, Ohio, handles the output of the operating companies. Mr. Leckie
was president of the First National Bank of Anawalt, West Virginia, of the
Bluefield National Bank at Bluefield, and a director in the First National Bank
of Welch.

Colonel Leckie was a life-long Presbyterian, and was an elder in the church at
Welch. He was a member of all the Masonic orders, of the Bluefield Lodge of
Elks, also of the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce and the Country Club of
Bluefield. Only a few short weeks before his death Colonel and Mrs. Leckie
moved to their new home on Oakhurst Avenue in Bluefield, and it was there that
he died on November 16, 1920. Five of a family of six children survive him:
Nellie, wife of Dr. S. J. Kell, of Bluefield; Andrew F., of Welch; and William
S., of Williamson, who now have the management, of the coal properties; Douglas
E., who is in the real estate business in Bluefield; and Miriam, who is the wife
of Dr. M. B. Moore, of Huntington.

Colonel Leckie never forgot his own early struggles as a miner. He understood
the miner’s viewpoint, and he made the living and social conditions of his
camps one of his first considerations in building up an operation. Much of his
success is attributed to his capacity for leadership of the men in his employ.
He was a disciplinarian, but not a whip-cracking task-master; he was easy to
approach and his sense of justice and generosity won the loyal friendship of
his employes and kept his operations free from labor troubles.

He was a broad-gauged, whole-souled man and a good citizen, thoroughly imbued
with the highest spirit of Americanism.

Walter Lee Taylor

McDOWELL COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
November 8, 1999
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 292-293
McDowell

WALTER LEE TAYLOR, one of the West Virginia leaders
in the promulgation and development of corporation law, is
one of the members of the profession who has always been
identified with large affairs. His connection as counsel and
official with a number of the largest companies of the state
has brought to the realization of the public his masterly
knowledge of the law, his deep penetration into its founda-
tion principles, the broad and high qualities of his mind,
and his ability to apply his knowledge to circumstances and
affairs. A large part of Mr. Taylor’s legal career of thirty-
two years has been passed in McDowell County, but at
present his offices are maintained at Huntington.

Mr. Taylor was born in Giles County, Virginia, November
15, 1866, a son of Thomas Samuel and Nichatie Cherokee
Tennessee Floyd (French) Taylor. The Taylor family was
founded in America during Colonial days, when the first
Taylor, emigrating from Scotland, located in Virginia.
In Henry County of that state was born the grandfather
of Walter Lee Taylor, Robert Taylor, who was a planter
in Henry, Pulaski and Giles counties, Virginia, and died
in the latter county prior to the birth of his grandson. He
married Martha Minter, who was also born in Henry County,
and died in Giles County. The French family originated in
England, whence the first American ancestor immigrated to
Virginia prior to the Revolutionary war, in which struggle
the great-great-grandfather of Mr. Taylor, John Clay
French, held the rank of colonel in the forces of General
Greene.

Thomas Samuel Taylor, father of Walter Lee Taylor, was
born in Henry County, Virginia, November 21, 1838, and
was nine years of age when taken by his parents to Pulaski
County, that state, subsequently removing to Giles County,
where he was married. At the outbreak of the war between
the states he gave up his position as a teacher in the rural
schools and enlisted in a Virginia infantry regiment in the
Confederate service, which was attached to Picket’s Divi-
sion, Longstreet’s Corps, with which he was connected
throughout the war. Mr. Taylor participated in the
memorable Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg, through which
he came safely, but three days before the surrender of
General Lee, at Appomattox, he was captured at Sailor’s
Creek, near Petersburg, Virginia, and was a prisoner at
Washington, D. C., on the night President Lincoln was
assassinated. He was then sent to Johnson’s Island and
held there until July, 1865, when he was released. Mr.
Taylor then returned to Giles County, where he resumed his
school teaching and continued as an educator until 1876,
when he became sheriff and deputy treasurer of Giles
County. He served as sheriff for twelve years, during
eight years of which he also acted in the deputy treasurer’s
capacity, and in 1900 was made deputy sheriff, a position
in which he served eight years. He finally retired to his
farm at Thessalia, and his death occurred at Lynchburg,
January 22, 1914. Mr. Taylor was a democrat. He was a
very active supporter of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South, in which he was a Sunday school superintendent for
thirty years. In Masonry he attained the thirty-second
degree, was district deputy lecturer for the State of Vir-
ginia, and was considered one of the brightest and best
informed Masons in the state, being called upon frequently
to deliver the Masonic addresses at the laying of the corner-
stones and other functions. Mr. Taylor married Miss
Nichatie Cherokee Tennessee Floyd French, who was born
April 16, 1845, in Giles County, Virginia, and died in that
county in February, 1901. She was named by Governor
John B. Floyd of Virginia for his sister. Mr. and Mrs.
Taylor became the parents of the following children:
Walter Lee, of this review; Albert Tyler Hicks, local attor-
ney for the Norfolk & Western Railway Company and for
several other large corporations and a well-known attorney
of Giles County, where he died in 1897, at the age of twenty-
eight years; Bertie A., who died at the age of twenty years;
Mary A., the wife of Senator James A. Strother, a prom-
inent attorney of Welch, West Virginia, and present repre-
sentative to the State Legislature from McDowell County,
this state; India P., the wife of Dr. Charles F. Shumate, of
Lynchburg, Virginia, one of the leading osteopathic physi-
cians of Virginia; Mattie N., who died at the age of two
years; Marvin S., an attorney of Welch, West Virginia, and
member of the firm of Taylor & Taylor, his partner being
hia wife, formerly Miss Rosa Quisenberry; Bayard H., en-
gaged in the insurance business at Welch, who during the
World war was sent by the governor of Virginia as the
representative of that state of the Young Men’s Christian
Association to France, where he spent eight months at the
front and was on the firing line when the armistice was
signed; and Vera, who died at Lynchburg, Virginia, in
1918, as the wife of Dr. Charles F. Dickens, a dental prac-
titioner of that city.

In 1905 Mr. Taylor married at Thacker, West Virginia,
Laura J. Stafford, who was a sister of his first wife and
lived happily with her until his death, and his widow
departed this life at Huntington, West Virginia, in 1921.

Walter Lee Taylor attended the rural schools of Giles
County, Virginia, and at the early age of fifteen years be-
gan teaching school. During the following eight years he
continued to work as an educator, having various schools in
Giles, Bland and Tazewell counties, Virginia, and Sullivan
County, Tennessee, and in the meantime applied himself to
the study of law, being finally admitted to the bar in 1890.
He immediately began practice in McDowell County, where
he made rapid advancement in his calling, and where he
still has a large and lucrative clientele. Mr. Taylor has
risen to be known as one of the leading corporation lawyers
of his state. He is attorney for the R. E. Wood Lumber
Company and Montvale Lumber Company, both of Balti-
more, Maryland; the Atlantic Fuel and Steamship Company
of Huntington, and several large coal companies in Mc-
Dowell County. In June, 1921, he established an office at
309 Robson-Pritchard Building, Huntington. He belongs
to the various organizations of his profession and occupies
a place high in the esteem and regard of his fellow
practitioners.

In politics Mr. Taylor is a stanch democrat and was prom-
inent in the ranks of his party during his residence in Mc-
Dowell County, although his only public office was that of
councilman of Welch, in which he served one year. He be-
longs to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and his
fraternal affiliation is with McDowell Lodge No. 112, A. F.
and A. M., of Welch, West Virginia. His business connec-
tions are numerous and important, he being president of
the Torchlight Coal Company of Torchlight, Kentucky;
vice president of the Pan Coal Company of Welch, West
Virginia; president of the Southeastern Grain and Live-
stock Company of Jones County, North Carolina, owners of
an 18,000-acre plantation; secretary of the Marvacar Min-
ing Company, owning mines in Cherokee County, North
Carolina; secretary of the New Garden Coal Land Company
of Lockhaven, Pennsylvania; and a director in the R. E.
Wood Lumber Company and the Montvale Lumber Company,
both of Baltimore, Maryland. He owns the old Knabe
homestead at Catonsville, Maryland, formerly the home of
the well-known piano manufacturer of that name, and is
interested also in farming land in Giles County, Virginia.

On September 9, 1891, Mr. Taylor was united in marriage
in Giles County, Virginia, with Miss Ada Cecil, daughter
of Daniel R. and Sophia (Anderson) Cecil, both of whom
are deceased. Mr. Cecil was a substantial agriculturist of
Giles County, and Mrs. Taylor is a graduate of the Wesleyan
Female Institute of Staunton, Virginia. Two children have
been born to Mr. and Mrs. Taylor. Nichatie Cecil, the
elder, married Hon. Ryland G. Craft, of Gates City., Vir-
ginia, one of the five republican members of the Virginia
Legislature of the session of 1922. He is a well-known at-
torney and agent for the Ford automobile in Scott county,
Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Craft have one daughter, Ann Tay-
lor, born November 24, 1921. Walter Lee Taylor, Jr., son
of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, is a graduate of the Baltimore City
College of Johns Hopkins University, degree of Bachelor
of Arts, and was honor man in his senior class year. Dur-
ing the recent war, at the age of nineteen years, he volun-
teered for service, was accepted in the United States Navy,
and attained the rank of ensign. During a part of his
two years of service he was on the U. S. S. Saranac. He
is now a student in the law department of the University of
Baltimore, Maryland, but resides at Catonsville, Maryland,
and is acting as private secretary to B. E. Wood, president
of the R. E. Wood Lumber Company.

Charles W. Atkinson

McDOWELL COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA – BIOS: ATKINSON, Charles W.
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
September 24, 1999
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 264
McDowell County

CHARLES W. ATKINSON is the efficient general superin-
tendent of the Jenkinjones group of mines (Nos. 5, 6, 7 and
8) operated by the Pocahontas Fuel Company, in the vicin-
ity of the Village of Jenkinjones, McDowell County.

Mr. Atkinson was born in Montgomery County, Virginia,
March 3, 1870, and is a son of James G. and Mary Eliza-
beth (Cunningham) Atkinson, both natives of Bedford
County, Virginia, where the former was born April 12,
1842, and the latter, September 7, 1844. The parents now
reside at Alleghany Springs, Montgomery County, Virginia,
and all of their five children are living. James G. Atkinson
was a valiant soldier of the Confederacy in the Civil war,
took part in many battles, including those of Chattanooga,
Lockout Mountain and Princeton, and his command was
with the forces of General Johnston on the retreat to the
seaboard and at the final surrender in North Carolina.
Mr. Atkinson has been a successful farmer, and has been
engaged also in work as a carpenter and builder. He was
for twelve years a resident of McDowell County, West
Virginia, where he built houses at various mines and also
did other construction work. At Northfork, this county,
he served as justice of the peace. He now owns and resides
upon his well improved farm in Montgomery County, Vir-
ginia, and both he and his wife are in the best of health.
They are active members of the Missionary Baptist Church,
and he is a republican and a member of the United Con-
federate Veterans. Edwin Thomas, eldest of the children,
is a farmer near the home of his parents; Charles W., of
this review, was next in order of birth; Lillie is the wife
of B. F. Barnes, of Floyd County, Virginia; Lulu Maude
is the widow of John W. Doss, who, as a contractor, built
hundreds of mine houses, and she resides at Alta Vista,
Virginia; Frank M. resides at Graham, that state.

Charles W. Atkinson gained his youthful education in the
schools of his native county, and he was twenty-one years
of age when he came to McDowell County, West Virginia,
and initiated his association with coal mining. He worked
with pick and shovel in the loading of coal at Simmons
Creek, and four months later went to the Upland Mine of
the Crozier Coal Company, where he won promotion to the
position of head trackman. After four years he became the
company’s slate foreman at Northfolk, and his effective serv-
ice led to consecutive advancement, both at Northfolk and
Arlington. He was assistant mine foreman three years,
then became mine foreman at Greenbrier, and finally was
made general foreman in charge of the Cherokee Mine. At
Switchback, as general foreman, he had charge of five mines,
and thereafter he was in service one year at Northfolk and
later at Shamokin and Lick Branch. For two years he was
general superintendent of the Rolfe collieries of the Poca-
hontas Fuel Company, and in 1912 he assumed his present
responsible position as general superintendent at Jenkin-
jones. The railroad extension to this point had not been
made at that time and the opening of the mines, including
the general construction work, were effected under his super-
vision, so that he is consistently to be termed a pioneer in
this now important coal field. He has been closely identified
with general development and progress in the community,
and has served as a member of the school board of Adkins
District. He is a republican, is affiliated with the Masonic
fraternity and the Knights of Pythias, and he and his wife
are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Mr.
Atkinson is more than six feet in height, strong in mind and
body, and a fine representative of the productive workers
of the world.

On July 3, 1896, Mr. Atkinson married May Flanner,
daughter of J. K. Flanner, of Elkhorn, this state, to which
he came from Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson have
four sons and three daughters.

Ebenezer Howard Harper

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. 737

Members of the House of Delegates.

HARPER, EBENEZER HOWARD. (Republican.) Ad-
dress: Keystone, West Va. One of the delegates from Mc-
Dowell. Bom in Tazewell county, Virginia, August 4,
1864; educated in free schools and V. N. C. I. of Va.: law-
yer and farmer; graduated at Howard University, Washing-
ton, and received the degree of L. L. B.; appointed by Gov-
ernor White in 1904 on the Board of Regents of the West
Virginia Colored Institute; re-appointed by Governor Daw-
son; elected committeeman-at-large by the Republicans in
1912; in the legislative session of 1917 was assigned to
House committees on State Boundaries, Forfeited and Un-
appropriated Lands, Claims and Grievances.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

George Barley

McDOWELL COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
******************************************************************
Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
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. 324

GEORGE BARLEY has been a resident of Welch, McDowell
County, since 1905, and has been an influential force in
the material upbuilding of the city, as well as in its ad-
vancement along civic lines. He here organized the Mc-
Dowell Engineering & Construction Company, and has been
not only a specially successful contractor and builder, but
has also built houses in an individual way, which he rents.

Mr. Barley was born at Introdaoqua, Italy, on the 26th
of June, 1869, a son of Michele Barley, a successful agri-
culturist. Mr. Barley passed his childhood and early youth
on his father’s farm, attended the schools of his native
land, and after leaving the farm he became identified with
railroad construction work, his more advanced education
having been gained by his study at home, in otherwise
leisure hours. He learned to read and write the English
language after coming to the United States in 1899. After
coming to’ this country he was for a time employed as a
stone cutter in quarries at Peekskill, New York. After a
period of four years he returned to his native land, and
five months later he came back to the United States. His
wife and children, who had remained in Italy, came to
America two years after Mr. Barley made his last trip.
Mr. Barley found employment in a coal mine near Elkins,
West Virginia, and later he worked as a miner in the em-
ploy of the Beaver Creek Coal Company at Weaver, and
was a merchant at Tallmansville and Wilsonburg, in which
last mentioned place he for a time had a general store.
Upon coming to Welch he found employment in the mines
of this district, and finally he established a general store
here, which he conducted six years, with marked success.
As a contractor and builder he has achieved substantial
prosperity and an excellent reputation, he being known as
one of the reliable and progressive business men of Mc-
Dowell County and as one who has achieved success through
his own ability and efforts. Mr. Barley is affiliated with
the local Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery of the Ma-
sonic fraternity, is a member also of the Mystic Shrine at
Charleston and the Loyal Order of Moose, his political sup-
port being given to the republican party and he and his
family being members of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South.

In his native land Mr. Barley wedded Miss Mary Direnzo,
and to them have been born eleven children, the seven sons
being known and referred to as the Barley Seven, and all
being notable for industry, business ability and sterling
character The children of George Barley and wife are:
John, Felix, Bena, Madlyn, Lorriane, Albert, Henry, Lina,
Daniel, Charles and George, Jr.. The son John has served
for a number of years as manager of the foreign depart-
ment of the First National Bank of Welch and recently
(in the winter of 1922) was commissioned Italian consular
agent at Northfork, McDowell County, to serve during the
absence of the regular incumbent, another effort being now
in process to cause the transfer of this consular office to
Welch, the county seat. The entire family enjoys unquali-
fied popularity in the community.

Harvey Hagerman

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. 736

Members of the House of Delegates.

HAGERMAN, HARVEY. (Republican.) Address:
Dan, West Va. One of the representatives in the House
of Delegates from McDowell. Born in that county
September 15, 1871; received his education in the public
schools; is a manufacturer of and dealer in lumber; elected
Assessor for the second assessment district of McDowell
county in 1896; in 1903 was chosen as one of the delegates
to the Legislature; re-elected in 1905; was again elected
in 1916, and in the sessions of 1917 served on House stand-
ing committees on Federal Relations, Forfeited, De-
linquent and Unappropriated Lands.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

John Wesley Luther

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. 726

LUTHER, JOHN WESLEY. (Republican.) Address:
Welch, West Va. Born July 26, 1874, at Shoals, Wayne
county; educated in the public schools; occupation, under
taker and embalmer; occupational education received in a
College of Anatomy and Sanitary Science; served several years
as Supervisor of the Spencer Hospital and two terms as
Councilman in the city of Welch; elected to the Senate from
Sixth District in 1916; is a hold-over Senator; served on
standing committees in 1917, as follows: Privileges and Elec-
tions, (Chairman); Federal Relations (Chairman); Finance,
Public Buildings and Humane Institutions, Penitentiary,
Immigration and Agriculture, Mines and Mining, Public
Printing, To Examine the Clerk’s Office.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Joseph Buell Swope

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

748

SWOPE, JOSEPH BUELL. (Republican.) Address:
Welch, West Va. Born on Wolf Creek, Monroe county,
West Virginia, July 1, 1887; educated in the public
schools, the Hinton high school, Capital City Commercial
college, Charleston, and the Valpariaso (Indiana) Uni-
versity; at present is engaged in the newspaper business,
in which work he has had a varied and interesting ex-
perience; elected to the Legislature in 1916 as one of the
representatives from McDowell county; during the ses-
sions of 1917 he received the following committee assign-
ments: Claims and Grievances, Forfeited and Unap-
propriated Lands and State Boundaries.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

John R. Little

McDOWELL COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
******************************************************************
Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
cmac4330@chesapeake.net
December 1, 1999
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II
pg.61

JOHN R. LITTLE, the superintendent of Fall River Mines, Fall River Pocahontas
Collieries Company at Roderfield, McDowell County, is one of the efficient and
popular executives in the coal mining industry in this section of his native
state, his birth having occurred near Wyoming, Mercer County, West Virginia,
September 24, 1880. He is a son of Hiram and Martha Ann (Hearn) Little, the
former of whom was born near Charleston, this state, and the latter near
Oakvale, Mercer County. The father died in 1906, at the age of fifty-two years,
and the mother now resides at Coaldale, Mercer County, she being sixty-seven
years of age at the time of this writing, in the winter of 1921-2. As a young
man Hiram Little was a successful teacher in the schools of Mercer and Wyoming
counties, and thereafter he was a merchant at Basin and Crumple, which latter
place was then known as Burks Garden. In his progressive business career he
became agent for the Flat Top Land Company, in which connection he obtained
options and purchased many tracts of timber and coal land in Wyoming, McDowell
and Raleigh counties, beside doing a large amount of surveying of lands now
owned by representative coal companies. As a boy of twelve years Hiram Little
became a member of the Methodist Church, in which he became a local preacher
and in the work of which he continued active and zealous until the time of his
death, his widow likewise being a devoted member of this church. He was also a
vital and enthusiastic advocate of the principles of the republican party, and
was an effective campaign speaker. Of the seven children of the family two died
in infancy; Thomas Levi is superintendent of a coal company at Herndon, Wyoming
County; John R., of this sketch, was the next in order of birth; Robert S. is a
mine foreman at Coaldale; Edgar B. is a farmer and dairyman at Roanoke, Virginia;
and Margaret is the wife of John Clendennin, of Roanoke, McDowell County, West
Virginia.

John R. Little attended school at Crumpler, McDowell County, and the Billups
School in Tazewell County, Virginia, where the family home was maintained two
years. When still a boy he began working in the Shamokin mines at Maybeury,
where he remained two years. He was next employed in the Elkhorn mine, at the
same place, and later for two years he had charge of a general store at
Maybeury. He then became a foreman at the Elkhorn Mine, of which he was later
made superintendent, and in 1918 he assumed his present executive post, that of
superintendent of the Fall River Mine. Like his father, Mr. Little has taken
deep interest in educational work, and he served as a member of the School
Board of Brown Creek District: He has had no desire for political activity, but
is a loyal supporter of the cause of the republican party.

In March, 1906, Mr. Little wedded Miss Cora Tabor, daughter of A. J. Tabor, of
Coaldale, and the children of this union are five sons and five daughters.