Category Archives: Mercer

Fred V. Cooper

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
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

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
“John “Bill” Wheeler”
December 10, 1999

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

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. 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

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
December 15, 1999

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

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
December 5, 1999

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

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.