Category Archives: Mercer

A. F. Wysong

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

752

WYSONG, A. F. (Republican.) Address: Princeton,
West Va. One of the members of the Legislature from
Mercer county. Born January 13, 1881, at Newport,
Virginia; educated in the public schools of Giles county,
Virginia, and in the schools of Dayton, Ohio; received his
professional education-that of an architect-at Dayton;
is engaged in general architectural work at Princeton;
elected as a member of the House of Delegates in 1916;
he received the following committee assignments during
the sessions of 1917: Taxation and Finance, Medicine and
Sanitation, Game and Fish.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Charles M. Scott

MERCER COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
cmac4330@chesapeake.net
December 14, 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. 155

CHARLES M. SCOTT, M. D., began practice at Bluefield twenty years ago. During
the last ten years his time and skill have been predominently devoted to
surgery. His rank as a surgeon is among the best in the entire state.

Doctor Scott was born at Graham, Tazewell County, Virginia, October 3, 1878,
son of James and Nannie (Hale) Scott, being their only child. His parents were
natives of .Virginia and his father was a farmer. The grandfather, Matthew Scott,
was a jeweler and gunsmith, and repaired guns for the Confederate army during
the Civil war.

Charles M. Scott acquired a common school education, attended Princeton Academy,
the University of West Virginia at Morgantown and Richmond College at Richmond,
Virginia. In 1897 he entered the University College of Medicine at Richmond,
from which he graduated M. D. in 1901. The following year he began practice at
Bluefield, where he is handling a general practice, but every year he did
special work in surgery and other post graduate courses in the New York
Polyclinic, and in 1910 began specializing in surgery, which now comprises
eighty per cent of his professional work. In the line of his profession Doctor
Scott gave Bluefield a modern institution in St. Luke’s Hospital, which he built
and established in 1905, with accommodations for fifty patients and with every
type of modern hospital equipment. Doctor Scott is a busy professional man, has
reached a position of ripe achievement, is kindly and generous and one of
Bluefield’s most useful citizens. He is a member of the County, State and
American Medical associations and is a Fellow of the American College of
Surgeons. Doctor Scott is a Baptist, a member of the Chamber of Commerce,
Rotary Club and Blueficld Country Club, and is an Elk.

November 10, 1912, at Catlettsburg, Kentucky, he married Miss Hazel Morton,
daughter of Dr. W. W. and Edith (Hill) Morton. They have two children, Helen and
Charles Scott.

David H. Thornton

MERCER COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
cmac4330@chesapeake.net
December 18, 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. 158

DAVID H. THORNTON, M. D. Engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in
Mercer County for nearly thirty years, and for twenty years of that time a
specialist in eye, ear, nose and throat diseases, Doctor Thornton has in
addition to his character as a high minded and proficient doctor exerted a
helpful influence in community affairs and particularly in behalf of the
simplicity of original Christianity and the application of the Bible to the
common life and affairs of mankind.

Doctor Thornton was born in Mercer County, June 30, 1865, is of English and
Irish descent and of Virginia stock, both his parents, William M. and Eliza J.
(Hatcher) Thornton, being natives of Virginia. His father was a farmer, served
as a soldier in the Civil war with a Virginia regiment under Colonel French, and
was all through the fighting to the end. In the battle of Clark, near Princeton,
he was wounded in the arm, but recovered and rejoined his command. After the war
he returned to his farm, and lived there, manifesting a commendable interest in
public affairs, and was a member of the Primitive Baptist Church, but before his
death became attracted to the study of the Bible with his son, Doctor Thornton.

David H. Thornton acquired a common school education, attended the State Normal
at Athens, and, leaving there, went to Janesville, Wisconsin, to the Valentine
School of Telegraphy. After mastering the technique of the telegraph key he
entered the service of the Norfolk & Western Railway as clerk of the Clinch
Valley Division while it was under construction. Doctor Thornton was a railroad
man for three years, and following that bought a store from his brother at
Elgood and was in the general mercantile business two years. He sold out and
used his capital to prepare himself for the profession of medicine. In 1893 he
graduated M. D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, and
began practice at Athens where he remained twenty years, and since then has had
his home and professional headquarters at Princeton. Doctor Thornton began
specializing in 1902 in the eye, ear, nose and throat, taking in that year a
post-graduate course at the Chicago Post-Graduate School and also a private
course on the ear under Albert Andrews and on the eye under R S. Pattillo. In
1912 he did other work along his special lines in the New York Post Graduate
School and Hospital; and for a number of years his practice has been limited to
his specialties.

In 1889, at Graham, Virginia, Doctor Thornton married Mary Jennings, daughter
of William H. and Isabel (Shanklin) Jennings, natives of West Virginia. Doctor
and Mrs. Thornton had six children: Chauncey Bryan, Eunice Janetta, Mabel Clara,
Paul Benson, Joseph Harry and David Jennings. Two of them are now deceased,
Eunice and Joseph H. The daughter Mabel is the wife of C. J. Moore, an employe
in the general office of the Norfolk & West Virginia Railway. The son Chauncey,
who is an electrician with the Appalachian Power Company at Bluefield, married
Hattie Meadow, daughter of Attorney J. H. Meadow. His son David is an
electrician in the navy on the battleship destroyer Davis No. 65.

Doctor Thornton many years ago was attracted to the independent religious
movement of Pastor Russell, and has been an enthusiastic member of the
International Bible Students Association and for several years has conducted a
class for the study of the Bible, which is outside of all denomination and free
from creeds, concentrating upon the essential teachings as presented by Christ
and his followers. Some years ago, before the World war, in prosecution of his
study of the Bible and his interest in Old World affairs, Doctor Thornton and
his brother J. T. of Bluefield made a long and interesting trip abroad through
Asia, Africa, the Holy Land, Germany, Italy and France.

Doctor Thornton is a member of the Business Men’s Club at Princeton, belongs to
the County and State Medical Society, is a Fellow of the American Medical
Association, and was formerly active in Masonry, being a Royal Arch and Knight
Templar Mason and Shriner. He served as master of his Lodge and as high priest
of his Chapter.

Everett A. Jr. Leonard

MERCER COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
“John “Bill” Wheeler”
wheeler@gru.net
December 7, 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 ll.
Pg. 114-115

Everett A Leonard Jr., went into business soon after finishing his education,
was a merchant for several years in old Virginia, and for the past twenty years
he has been a resident of Bluefield and a prominent factor in the growth and
development, keeping apace with the city itself, of the Bluefield Hardware
Company, of which he is president and manager.
Mr. Leonard was born in Russell County, Virginia, August 15, 1876, son of
Edward A. and Eliza (Reynolds) Leonard, both natives of Virginia, his father of
Washington County and his mother of Russell County. Edward A. Leonard was a
Baptist minister and was also a Confederate soldier, all through the war with a
Virginia Regiment. The last year he was captured and was confined in a federal
prison at Rock Island.
Everett A. Leonard Jr., acquired a common school education, finished his
high school course in Russell County in 1893, and about that time his parents
removed to Greene County, Tennessee. While there he attended Mosheim College,
and took a six months commercial course at Lexington, Kentucky. After completing
his education Mr. Leonard determined to seek his opportunities in the far west,
but after about a year as bookkeeper for the Western Mercantile Company at
Weston, Oregon, he changed his mind about the west and returned to Old Virginia,
For three years he was employed in the hardware business at Lebanon by Mr. A.
Hendricks, and then bought this business and conducted it as proprietor until
1900. On selling out his business at Lebanon Mr. Leonard removed to Bluefield,
which was then just coming into prominence as a commercial center of the great
industrial district of Southern West Virginia He connected himself with
Bluefield Hardware Company as one of its traveling salesmen, and for nearly ten
years was on the road. By his personal and faithful efforts he contributed in no
small measure to the great volume of that company’s business, and the confidence
reposed in the corporation by a host of retailers. After about ten years Mr.
Leonard was made vice president of the company, and for the past six years has
been president and general manager. The Bluefield hardware company is one
largest organizations of the kind in the state, has a capital and surplus of
$700,000.00. and does an annual business aggregating $2,000,000.
In 1898 at Castlewood, Russell County, Virginia, Mr. Leonard married Miss
Eleanor Fields, daughter of William and Elizabeth Fields. Her father was a
confederate soldier and at the battle of Petersburg was shot through the thigh,
a severe wound from which he suffered all the rest of his life.
He was by occupation a farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Leonard have one daughter, Lucille
Alton. Mr. Leonard is a Baptist, while Mrs. Leonard and her daughter are
members of the Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Leonard, while he has kept his mind closely on business, is a man of
genial qualities and of wholesome companionship and is identified with several
social organizations. He is a member of the Fallsmills Fishing Club, Chamber of
Commerce, plays golf at the Bluefield Country Club, and is fond of all outdoor
sports. He is a Knight Templar and Royal Arch Mason, a Shriner and a
thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason. In Politics he is a democrat.

Edward Cooper

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. 721

Representatives

FIFTH DISTRICT.-COUNTIES: Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Summers,
Wayne, and Wyoming (9 counties). Population (1910), 206,573.

EDWARD COOPER (Republican), of Bramwell, W. Vs., was bom at Trever-
ton, Pa., February 26, 1873, and moved to West Virginia in 1875, in which State
he has since lived; was educated at Washington and Lee University, Lexington,
Va., taking the degree of B. L. in 1894; engaged in the practice of law for three
years, and at the death of his father abandoned the law and engaged actively in
the development of coal property in the State of West Virginia; has occupied
every position in coal mine; was married in 1895 to Miss Frances Douglass
Smith, of Lexington, Va., and has one son, Edward, Jr., and daughter, Frances
Douglass; was elected to the Sixty-fourth Congress, and re-elected to the Sixty-
fifth Congress, receiving 25,627 votes, to 23,857 cast for his opponent on the
Democratic ticket, G. R. C. Wiles, of WiUiamson, W. Va. The State of West
Virginia was redistricted by the legislature of 1915, the new fifth district having
now 9 counties, as against 12 in the old fifth district.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Fred V. Cooper

MERCER COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
cmac4330@chesapeake.net
December 13, 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. 155

FRED V. COOPER has proved his business progressiveness and efficiency in his
effective service as cashier of the Bank of Athens at Athens, Mercer County,
and is one of the popular and representative young business men of his native
County. He was born at Bluefield, Mercer County, on the 17th of July, 1895, and
is a son of Elijah F. and Irene E. (Vermillion) Cooper, the former a native of
Virginia and the latter of West Virginia. The father was long a successful
Contractor and builder and is now a resident of Beckley, Raleigh County. The
Vermillion family was founded in Virginia in the Colonial period of our national
history and numerous representatives of the same have been successful physicians
and surgeons.

Mr. Cooper gained his early education in the public schools at Athens, where he
thereafter continued his studies in the Concord State Normal School, in which he
was graduated as a member of the class of 1915. He then entered the University
of West Virginia, but after pursuing a course in electrical engineering for one
year impaired health compelled him to leave the university. Upon recovering his
physical health he became, in 1917, assistant cashier of the Bank of Athens, and
in 1919 he was advanced to his present executive office, that of cashier of
this substantial and well ordered institution. He is affiliated with the Masonic
fraternity, is a member of the Mercer County Country Club, through the medium
of which he finds opportunity for indulgence in his favorite recreation, that
of lawn tennis, and he and his wife are active members of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, South.

In 1917, at Athens, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Cooper and Miss Pearl
Preston, whose father, S. V. Preston, is now a successful coal operator at
Harland, Kentucky. The attractive home of Mr. and Mrs. Cooper is brightened by
the presence of their two children, Irene E. and Harry Fred.

Gordon S. Seal

MERCER COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
“John “Bill” Wheeler”
wheeler@gru.net
December 10, 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 ll.
pg. 115

GORDON S. SEAL, of Bluefield has had an extensive experience as a coal
operator, banker and in other lines. This is one of the prominent names in West
Virginia business circles, his father, Capt. John R. Seal, having long been
prominent as a banker and coal man in Charleston.
While Gordon S. Seal is a native of New York City where he was born June 23,
1880, his parents were born in Virginia and he represents an old family of
Virginia ancestry. He is a son of Capt. John R. and Nannie (Wood) Seal. Hid
father was vice president of the Charleston National Bank, and for many years
had extensive holdings and management of coal and railroad properties.
Gordon S. Seal acquired a common and high school education at Charleston,
and from there entered Johns Hopkins University at Baltimore, where he graduated
A.B. in 1902. Since his university career he has given undivided attention to
his business affairs, first entering the coal business with his father. In 1913
they sold their interests, and Gordon Seal was then for the following two years
associated with the John T. Hesser Coal Company. He removed to Bluefield in
1915, and from 1916 to 1918 was in the real estate and banking business with
the Virginia Realty & Loan Company. In August. 1919, he assisted in organizing
and incorporating the Curtis-Seal Company, a firm handling general office
supplies over an extensive territory in which the important pints are
Williamson, Bluefield, Welch, Bramwell, and Tazewell, but he sold out of this
business in November, 1921.
Mr. Seal in 1907, at Montgomery, West Virginia, married Miss Inez Austin,
daughter of George C. and Jennie Austin. Four children were born to their
marriage, and the three living are Lyall Austin, John Ridley and Jane Ann. Mr.
Seal and family are members of the Episcopal Church, and he is a Royal Arch,
Knight Templar and Scottish Rite Mason and Shriner, a member of the Elks, the
Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce and Bluefield Country Club. He is an outdoor
man, fond of strenuous exercise, plays golf and tennis, and his hobby is motor
trips to distant points.

R. B. Fergus0N

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. 735

Members of the House of Delegates.

FERGUS0N, R. B. (Republican) Address: Blue-
field, West Va. Born in Carter county, Tennessee,
August 6, 1872; educated in the public schools; occupation,
locomotive engineer on the Norfolk & Western Rail-
way; has served eight years in the Bluefield city council
and is still a member of that body; has been a member
of the Board of Education of Beaver Pond District four
years and still serving in that connection; elected to
the Legislature in 1916 as one of the delegates from
Mercer county; committee assignments in 1917: Edu-
cation, Counties, Districts and Municipal Corporations,
Claims and Grievances, Labor.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Thomas S. Hamilton

MERCER COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
PJSTON@aol.com
December 15, 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 196

Rev. Thomas S. Hamilton, the able and honored pastor of the Bland Street
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in the City of Bluefield, Mercer County,
was born at Abingdon, Washington county, Virginia, October 17, 1867, and is a
scion of one of the old and influential families of that section of the Old
Dominion state. He is a son of John B. and Anna (Bradley) Hamilton, his
father having been born and reared in Washington County and having there been
engaged in mercantile business at Abingdon for many years. As a lad of
fifteen years, John B. Hamilton ran away from home and followed an infantry
that went forth in defense of the Confederate cause in the Civil war. The
youthful soldier lived up to the full tension of the great conflict,
participated in many engagements, including a number of important battles,
and the bullet which wounded him in one of his hands remained imbedded in the
flesh of the hand until his death in 1905, at the age of fifty-nine years.
His widow attained to the age of seventy-three years and passed to the life
eternal in 1919, both having been devout members of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, South, in which Mr. Hamilton served many years as a steward. John B.
Hamilton was a man of fine mentality and sterling character, was a stalwart
supporter of the principles of the democratic party and was affiliated with
the United Confederate Veterans.

Rev. Thomas S. Hamilton, eldest in a family of five children, received his
preliminary education in the public schools of his native place, thereafter
continued his studies in Emory and Henry College, Virginia, and later took a
law course in historic old University of Virginia. He was admitted to the
bar at Abingdon, judicial center of his native county, and there he continued
in the successful practice of his profession for a period of twelve years.
Mr. Hamilton likewise studied medicine, and thus further broadened his
intellectual ken and practical knowledge-a fortification that has been of
much value to him in the high calling in which he is now serving. Moved by a
fine spirit of Christian stewardship, he finally decided to consecrate his
life to the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, of which he
had become an earnest member in his youth. He was ordained a clergyman of
the church in 1902, as a member of the Holston Conference in Virginia, and
his first pastoral service was on the Oldtown Circuit of that conference. He
was thus engaged one year, and during the ensuing three years was in similar
service on the Cedar Spring Circuit. He then became pastor of the church at
Wise, Virginia, where he continued his labors two years. For the ensuing
four years he was pastor of Grace Church at Bluefield, West Virginia, and the
next four years found him pastor of Trinity Church in the City of
Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 1916 he came again to Bluefield, where he has
since served continuously as pastor of the Bland Street Methodist Church. In
evidence of the high esteem in which he is held in the community and also of
the estimate placed upon him as a citizen and a clergyman, it is interesting
to record that the Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, every leading civic
organization in the city and all of the other churches of Bluefield recently
sent representatives to the annual conference of the Methodist Church with
insistent requests that Mr. Hamilton be returned to his present pastorate, to
which he was duly reassigned. He is a forceful and eloquent pulpit orator
and an able church executive, so that unequivocal success has attended his
work in his various pastoral charges. His fine intellectual and professional
attainments have heightened his influence in connection with civic affairs.
He was one of the leaders in the movement which caused Mercer County to “go
over the top” in the various lines of patriotic contribution during the
nation’s participation in the World war, he having been one of the most zealou
s of the four-minute speakers engaged in furthering such war service in the
county and having served on many committees in charge of local campaigns in
support of the Government loan, Red Cross work, etc. Mr. Hamilton was
chairman of the local committee which perfected arrangements for the
evangelistic campaign of Rev. “Billy” Sunday in Bluefield. He is a leader in
community sentiment and action , is a valued member of the Chamber of
Commerce, and of the Rotary Club, in which he holds the office of president
of the local club.

On the 26th of February, 1895, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Hamilton
and Miss Aldens Clark, daughter of Isaac Lewis Clark, a representative
citizen of Abingdon, Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton have three sons and six
daughters. One of the sons, Stokes Hamilton, served with loyalty and
efficiency as a soldier in the United States army at the time of the World
war, and received commission as first lieutenant.

Roy T. Wright

MERCER COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
PJSTON@aol.com
December 5, 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 94 +95

Roy T. Wright, general manager of the Pawama and Algonquin mines, vice
president of the Bank of Matoaka and president of the Wright Drug Company,
came into this district in 1902 as a member of the First Engineering Corps
for the Pocahontas Coal & Coke Company, and his initiative and ability have
since advanced him to a leading place in the affairs of this part of Mercer
County.

He was born near Princeton, that county, July 24, 1882, son of E. C. and Mary
S. (Ellis) Wright, the former a native of Wythe County, Virginia, and the
latter of Monroe County, West Virginia. E. C. Wright came to Mercer County
in 1866 with his father, Thomas Wright, who settled on a farm near Princeton
and spent the rest of his life as a farmer and cattle raiser. Thomas Wright
was a veteran of the Confederate army. He was killed by accident while
working in the timber at the age of eighty-four. E. C. Wright followed
farming for many years, but since 1907 has been a resident of Matoaka and is
in business as a funeral director. He is a Methodist, much interested in
Sunday School work, is affiliated with the Masons, Knights of Pythias,
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Moose and other societies and is a
democrat. His family consists of two sons and three daughters, the other son
L. A. Wright being in charge of the Wright Drug Company.

Roy T. Wright acquired his early education at Princeton, finishing school at
the age of eighteen, after which he spent a year on the farm. His first
connection with the coal industry was in the service of the Sagamore Coal
Company on Crane Creek, following which he went with the Pocahontas Coal and
Coke Company, and since his first work at Matoaka he has enjoyed increasing
responsibilities, serving as superintendent, manager and engineer, and has
been connected with the Winonah, Hiawatha, and Smokeless companies the
Springton Colliery Company, and since 1918 has been in active charge of the
coal properties above mentioned and has other interests in the coal industry
as well. Besides the Bank of Matoaka and the Wright Drug Company he is
manager of the Matoaka Electric & Power Company, is president of the Mercer
Hardware & Furniture Company, president of the Matoaka Insurance Agency.

Mr. Wright in 1900 married Miss Mary Harriet McClaugherty, who was born at
Princeton, daughter of James McClaugherty. They have three children:
Bernice, a student in the Martha Washington College at Abingdon; Harry and
Agnes, both in high school. The family are Methodists, and Mr. Wright is
affiliated with the Elks and Knights of Pythias, is a Scottish Rite Mason and
a member of the Mercer County Country Club.