Category Archives: Mercer

William B. Honaker

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

739

HONAKER WILLIAM B. (Republican.) One of
the delegates from the county of Mercer; lives at Matoaka.
Born February 11 1870; educated in common, private and
summer normal schools; engaged in teaching in Raleigh
and Mercer counties from 1888 to 1899; was County Super-
intendent of Schools of Mercer county from 1895 to 1899;
moved to McDowell county in 1902 and engaged in the
coal business there until 1908 when he returned to Mercer;

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

William Putnam Hawley

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. 725

HAWLEY, WILLIAM PUTNAM. (Republican.) Ad-
dress: Bluefield, West Va. Born July 22, 1868, in Raleigh
county; educated in the common schools and at the State
Normal School at Athens; occupation, merchant, banker,
manager of a telephone company, and farmer; served as
Superintendent of Schools and Sheriff of Mercer county;
also, as Chief of Police of Bluefield, and member of City
Council for ten years; member of House of Delegates in
1909-11-13; elected to the Senate from the Seventh Dis-
trict in 1914; assigned to committees as follows in 1917:
Finance (Chairman); Banks and Corporations, Penitentiary,
Medicine and Sanitation, Claims and Grievances, Public
Printing, Public Library, Virginia Debt.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

William J. Cole

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. 156

WILLIAM J. COLE has standardized, systematized and put on a commercial basis one
of the oldest arts known to mankind, that of baking bread, and in the Bluefield
Bakery, of which he is proprietor, has one of the largest plants of its kind in
West Virginia, capable of producing the staff of life for many thousands of
people every day.

Mr. Cole was born at Marion in Smith County, Virginia, November 12, 1883, son of
L. C. and Elizabeth (Wolf) Cole. The Coles have been in Virginia for a number of
generations. His grandfather, William Cole, was a Confederate soldier in the
Civil war.

William J. Cole acquired a common school education at Marion and Graham in his
native state, and at the age of seventeen began learning the baker’s trade with
the Virginia Confectionery Company at Graham. He remained there two years, and
then entered the mercantile business for himself. He conducted this business
successfully for about nine years, finally selling out in 1911.

In Was in 1912 that Mr. Cole bought the Bluefield Bakery, and since then has
given his entire time and attention to developing the plant and business. He
has installed automatic machinery throughout, and the plant now has a capacity
of producing 3,000 loaves of bread per hour or 48,000 in a full day’s run. The
Bluefield Bakery was originally started in 1900 by M. Stean, who was succeeded
by Captain Barger and from him Mr. Cole bought the business.

Mr. Cole married in 1905, at Graham, Virginia, Miss Mary Holbrook, daughter of
John and Marie Holbrook natives of Virginia. Her father was one of the leading
merchants and citizens of Graham. Mr. and Mrs. Cole had six children, William
Paul, Elizabeth, Holbrook, Carlyle, Kenneth and William J., Jr. William J., Jr.,
died in 1920. Mr. Cole and family are members of the Lutheran Church. He is a
Knight Templar and Royal Arch Mason Shriner, a member of the United Commercial
Travelers the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club and the Bluefield Country Club.
He has been in business and earning his own way since he was seventeen, and all
his prosperity has been gained by hard work and close adherence to the
fundamental principles of sound business.

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
******************************************************************

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.