Category Archives: Nicholas

Henry G Vencill

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. 729

VENCILL, HENRY G, (Democrat.) Address: Dixie,
West Va. Born March 12, 1862, in Russell county, Vir-
ginia; was educated in the common schools of Elliott
county, Kentucky; is engaged in farming, stock raising and
the lumber business; was elected to the Senate in Novem-
ber, 1916, from the Ninth Senatorial District; is a hold-over
Senator; during the sessions of 1917 he served on the follow-
ing standing committees of the Senate: Roads and Naviga-
tion, Public Buildings and Humane Institutions, Militia,
Mines and Mining, Immigration and Agriculture, Passed
and Enrolled Bills, Public Library.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Lanty H. Walker

NICHOLAS COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
November 26, 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 III,
pg. 313-314
Nicholas

LANTY H. WALKER. No more genial, better informed or
diplomatic class of men can be found than those identified
with the sales departments of the larger mercantile houses
and department stores, for the nature of their work de-
mands the possession of these attributes in order that they
may succeed. Outside of the big cities the manager of the
department store is supposed to have a wide acquaintance
and to be familiar with the opinions and tastes of his cus-
tomers, likewise a good salesman. Salesmanship is an art,
involving an intimate knowledge of psychology, and a man’s
status as being an expert salesman carries the implication
of a wide-spread popularity, a cleverly trained mind and a
more than adequate equipment in other directions. In none
of these attributes is Lanty H. Walker found lacking, and
it is because of their possession, as much as anything else,
that he is making a creditable success of the enterprise of
which he is manager at Burnsville, the Walker Department
Store.

Mr. Walker was born in Nicholas County, West Virginia,
October 21, 1888, and is a son of L. O. and May L. (Eads)
Walker. L. O. Walker was born at Tipton, Nicholas County,
October 3, 1845, and was reared in his native county on a
farm, securing his educational training in the district
schools of the rural communities. On reaching manhood he
met and married May L. Eads, who was born in Roanoke
County, Virginia, October 4, 1860, and was brought as a
child by her parents to Nicholas County, West Virginia,
where she attended the public schools. Following their mar-
riage Mr. and Mrs. Walker settled on a farm, and for some
time devoted their whole attention thereto. Later they
started a small store, handling only the more common neces-
sities, and this soon grew to be quite an enterprise, neces-
sitating much more attention. In 1900 Mr. Walker decided
upon a more aspiring venture and moved his stock of goods
to Summersville, where he carried on a successful mer-
cantile business until selling out and going to Gad, West
Virginia, where he likewise carried on an enterprise of this
nature. In 1913 he made another change, this time coming
to settle permanently at Burnsville, where he remained in
business until his death in 1919. At the start of his career
Mr. Walker was only a son of the soil, without any spe-
cialized training for business pursuits, but possessing the
inherent ability so necessary to the man who would succeed
in the marts of commerce and trade. He was likewise a
man of the strictest integrity and had the confidence, well-
merited, of those associated with him in any enterprise. He
was a democrat in politics, but did not seek public favor or
preferment as a holder of public office. His religious affilia-
tion was with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, to
which also belongs Mrs. Walker, who survives him as a
resident of Burnsville. They were the parents of nine chil-
dren, of whom seven are living in 1922, as follows: Ora,
the wife of A. E. Legg; Ollie, the wife of C. L. Evans;
Laura, the wife of Dr. E. J. Summers; Bertha, the wife
of E. V. Summers; Lanty H., of this record; Mamie, the
wife of W. Lambert; and Pearl, the wife of Hugh Mearns.

Lanty H. Walker was born on a farm, but much of his
boyhood was passed in the environment of small towns,
where he secured his education in the public schools. From
the start his business training was along commercial and
mercantile lines, for when he was but a youth he entered his
father’s store and learned the business in all its details. At
Burnsville he was associated with his father in the Walker
Department Store until the elder man’s death, since which
time he has been managing the business for his mother. Mr.
Walker is a man of energy and of ideas, and is conducting
the establishment along the same policy of straightforward
dealing and honest representation that gained it a reputa-
tion under his father’s management. He is a democrat in
politics, but has not found time to enter political matters,
although a public-spirited citizen of civic pride who assists
good movements which promise municipal advancement.
Fraternally he is a popular member of Burnsville Lodge No.
87, A. P. and A. M., and his religious connection is with
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

William G Graves

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.

GRAVES, WILLIAM G. .(Democrat.) Address:
Gilboa, West Va. Representative in the House from the
county of Nicholas. Born March 25,1845, in Orange coun-
ty, Virginia; received his education in free schools and the
civil war; a farmer and stock dealer; served as Sheriff
of Nicholas county for a term of six years; elected to the
Legislature in November, 1916, and in the sessions of 1917
served on the following standing committees of the House:
Private Corporations and Joint Stock Companies, Claims
and Grievances, Printing and Contingent Expenses,
Forestry and Conservation, Arts, Science and General
Improvements..

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Augustus Allen Hamilton

NICHOLAS 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. 154

AUGUSTUS ALLEN HAMILTON, JR. While he carries about as heavy a burden of
practical and technical responsibilities as any mining superintendent in Logan
County, Mr. Hamilton is widely known over the southern district of the state
for his effective leadership in civic and business lines.

Mr. Hamilton is general superintendent of the Lyburn and Wilburn mines for the
Richcreek Coal Company in Logan County. He came to the Logan coal fields from
the New River fields on November 1, 1906, and his first active connection here
was with the Yuma mines controlled by the Robertson Interests of Shamokin,
Pennsylvania.

Mr. Hamilton was born on his father’s farm at Keslers Cross Lanes in Nicholas
County, West Virginia, June 1, 1886, son of Augustus Allen and Ada Ann
(Campbell) Hamilton. He was only an infant when his mother died. His father, now
seventy-three and living at the old homestead, is a son of Col. David R.
Hamilton, who was a Confederate veteran in the war between the states and a
member of an old family of Rockbridge County, Virginia. A. A. Hamilton, Sr., has
been a prosperous farmer, has a fine home, and is very much interested in the
democratic politics of his section of the state. A. A. Hamilton, Jr. has a
brother, John David, who remains at the old homestead. Mr. Hamilton acquired a
good general education in the public schools and the normal at Summerville. His
early ambition was to enter the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, and
he prepared for the examination, but at that stage his father objected and in
consequence he prepared for a business career by taking a commercial course at
Charleston in 1904. On leaving college he had a clerical position with the
McKell Coal Company on Loup Creek and then in 1906 came to Logan County for the
Yuma Coal and Coke Company as pay roll clerk. He also was bookkeeper and
assistant superintendent, was promoted to superintendent, and in 1917 became
general superintendent for the Lyburn and Wilburn mines.

On August 14, 1910, Mr. Hamilton married Eunice Brooke McComas, daughter of
Albert McComas, of Logan County. Their two children are Edith Ann and John
Wallace. Mrs. Hamilton is a Methodist. He is a past master of Aracoma Lodge No.
99, A. F. and A.M., is a member of Logan Chapter No. 41, R. A. M., belongs to
Kanawha Commandery, K. T., the West Virginia Consistory of Scottish Rite at
Wheeling, and the Shrine at Charleston. He is associated with Frank Martin and
Naaman Jackson as the other members of the building committee to erect Masonic
Home in Logan. Mr. Hamilton had an active part in the recent troubles in this
coal field due to the invasion of union miners from the North. He is a democrat
in politics. As superintendent his relationship with his employes has always
been cordial, and the men have the confidence and respect for him based upon
the understanding that he recognizes their point of view. Mr. Hamilton is a
director of the Bank of Logan.

Arthur Burke Koontz

NICHOLAS COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
cmac4330@chesapeake.net
December 4, 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.69 & 70

ARTHUR BURKE KOONTZ was born at Kessler’s Cross Lanes, Nicholas County, West
Virginia, January 29, 1885, son of John and Alice Groves Koontz. John Koontz
was of German extraction, having descended from the German settlement in
Pennsylvania. He was born, reared and spent his entire life as a farmer and
stock raiser in Nicholas County, West Virginia. For many years he was one of
the leaders in local democratic politics, and served one term as sheriff of his
county. He died at the age of seventy-six, July 4, 1911. Alice Groves Koontz,
who is seventy-six years old, is living at the old homestead.

Mr. Koontz’s grandfather, James Koontz, married Rebecca Longaneeker. They moved
from the German settlement of Pennsylvania to Virginia, and from there to that
part of Greenbrier County, West Virginia, which afterward was formed into
Nicholas County, West Virginia.

Mr. Koontz’s grandfather on his mother’s side was John Groves, who married
Catharine fluffy. John Groves was of Scotch descent, and Catharine fluffy, of
Irish descent, having been born in Ireland, a daughter of Hugh and Judith
McMahon fluffy, but came to America when she was sixteen years old.

Arthur Burke Koontz has been one of the able members of the Charleston bar for
more than ten years. His reputation as a lawyer has been spread widely over the
state, but he is perhaps best known in popular opinion throughout West Virginia
in general because of his candidacy in 1920 for governor of the state.

In the present generation the name Koontz is widely and favorably known in the
professions, in educational affairs, banking and politics. Arthur Burke Koontz
received his early instruction in the public schools of Nicholas County. He
attended the Summersville School, graduated from Marshall College at Huntington,
and subsequently entered Yale University Law School, where he was graduated with
an LL. B. degree in 1910. Mr. Koontz began to practice law at Charleston in
1911, and has appeared in connection with important litigation in practically
all the state courts. Aside from his law practice he is interested in a number
of business enterprises and is vice president of the Union Trust Company of
Charleston, which he was instrumental in organizing in 1918.

Nominated by the democratic party as candidate for governor in 1920, he made a
most creditable campaign and won a flattering vote in the general republican
landslide of that year. Mr. Koontz is a member of the Phi Alpha Delta law
fraternity, a thirty-second degree Mason and a Shriner. He married Miss Mary
Watson Sipe, of Fairmont. Her father, the late Conrad Albert Sipe, is well
remembered as former president of the Fairmont State Normal School. The two
children of Mr. and Mrs. Koontz are Mary Watson and Arthur Burke, Jr.

Associated with Mr. Koontz in his law practice is his younger brother, Patrick
Duffy Koontz, who was educated in Marshall College, in the University of
Michigan, and in Harvard University Law School. During the World war he saw
service in France, and attained the rank of captain.

Another brother, Luther Vaughan Koontz, lives at Clendenin, where he is
president of the First National Bank and extensively interested in the
enterprises of that town. He brought about the incorporation of Clendenin and
was its first mayor.

Another brother, Louis K. Koontz, lives in Goldfleld, Nevada, where he is
interested in mining, and the two living sisters, Mrs. W. T. Burdette and Mrs.
J. D. Peck, live on farms in Nicholas County.

An older brother, James William Koontz, who died in 1917, was a well known
physician in Western Kentucky, having practiced his profession in Muhlenberg and
surrounding counties for twenty years. Two older sisters, Rouena Catharine, who
married Dr. A. L. Morris, and Lola Gertrude, who married L. S. Tully, are now
deceased. Two other children, Cora Belle and Hubert, died in infancy.

Arthur Burke Koontz is therefore a member of a family of eleven, nine of whom
grew to maturity. He happens to be the only

Alexander Groves

NICHOLAS COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA – BIOS: GROVES, Alexander
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
September 26, 1999
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 286
Nicholas County

ALEXANDER GROVES. Long and varied experience with
the mercantile business has contributed to the equipment
of Alexander Groves and has fitted him particularly for the
position which he holds as manager and part owner of the
Standard & Company store at Gassaway. Like many who
have made a success in business life, he entered upon his
career as a teacher, but the greater part of his life has
been passed behind the counter and in the office, in which
locations the people of Gassaway have seen him for the
past sixteen years.

Mr. Groves is a native of Nicholas County, West Vir-
ginia, and was born July 2, 1873, a son of Harrison and
Sallie (Davis) Groves, the former a native of Nicholas
County, West Virginia, and the latter of Virginia. Harri-
son Groves was reared in the county of his birth and was
a son of John Groves, a pioneer of Nicholas County, who
came to that part of West Virginia at a very early day
and was engaged in farming. Harrison Groves was reared
on a farm and received a country school education, the
same as acquired by his wife, and after their marriage they
started housekeeping on a farm in Nicholas County, which
they cultivated as long as they remained active. In the
evening of life they retired and lived quietly in their com-
fortable home. They were the parents of three children:
Alexander, of this review; Harrison, of Summersville, West
Virginia; and Alfred, also of Summersville, West Virginia.
Mr. and Mrs. Groves were members of the Methodist Epis-
copal Church, and Mr. Groves was a democrat in his po-
litical affiliation. The father of Mrs. Groves, David N.
Davis, was a Confederate soldier in a Virginia infantry
regiment during the war between the states, and was pres-
ent at the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox
Court House.

Alexander Groves, or Alex Groves as he is better known
to his many friends, was given his primary education in
the country schools of Nicholas County, and this was sup-
plemented by a course at the county normal school. When
he left the latter he engaged in teaching, and for eight
years had classes in the country districts, where he gained
a reputation as an efficient and popular educator. His
first experience in the dry goods business was acquired in
Nicholas County, where he was engaged until 1906, in the
latter year coming to Gassaway, where he became identified
with the business of Standard & Company in the capacity
of manager, and since that time has also become part
owner. This business is now incorporated and has the fol-
lowing officials: Oscar I. Standard, president; C. W.
King, vice president; and Alex Groves, secretary-treasurer
and manager. Under his direction this has been built into
a very successful enterprise and does a flourishing business
over a wide expanse of territory. Mr. Groves has other
interests, and is vice president and a director of the Bank
of Gassaway. His reputation is that of a thoroughly ca-
pable and reliable business man.

In 1906 Mr, Groves was united in marriage with Miss
Cora Criss, a native of Braxton County, and to this union
there have been born two children: Forest H., born July
5, 1907, who is attending high school; and Alex, Jr., born
December 23, 1920. Mrs. Groves is a member of the Chris-
tian Church. Mr. Groves is a democrat in his political
affiliation, but has not cared for public office, although
never neglecting the responsibilities of good citizenship.
As a fraternalist he is affiliated with Gassaway Lodge No.
133, A. F. and A. M.; Sutton Chapter, R. A. M.; Sutton
Commandery, K. T.; and Beni-Kedem Temple, A. A. O. N.
M. S., of Charleston.

Clarence L. Perkins

NICHOLAS COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA – BIOS: PERKINS, Clarence L.
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
September 26, 1999
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 276
Nicholas County

CLARENCE L. PERKINS. From the beginning of the
postal service the representative men of each community
have been chosen to fill the important office of postmaster.
As so much responsibility reposes in them it is necessary
for them to be men of strict honesty, reliability and solidity,
as well as to be possessed of a capacity for careful work.
At Gassaway, West Virginia, the post office is in charge
of Clarence L. Perkins, who possesses all the qualifications
noted above, and who is discharging the duties of the office
in a capable and expeditious manner.

Mr. Perkins was born April 9, 1882, in Nicholas County,
West Virginia, a son of H. C. and Mary (Nutter) Perking,
the former a native of Greenbrier County, Virginia, and
the latter of Nicholas County, West Virginia. H. C. Per-
kins received a common school education, and as a youth
located in Nicholas County, where he became a teacher
in the free schools. When the war between the states came
on he enlisted in the Confederate service and established a
brave and honorable record during the course of the
struggle, at the close of which he returned to Nicholas
County, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits. He
became one of the prosperous community farmers and
was highly respected by all with whom he came in con-
tact. A man of high principles, he was a faithful member
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, to which also
belonged his worthy wife. He was a democrat in politics
and on several occasions was called to public office, serving
as county assessor and deputy sheriff of Nicholas County.
By his second wife he became the father of four children:
S. B., who is engaged in farming in Nicholas County; Rev.
C. C., presiding elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South, for the Parkersburg District; C. G., who is en-
gaged in merchandising at Gassaway; and Clarence L.,
of this review.

Clarence L. Perkins was reared on the home farm in
Nicholas County, in which community he received his early
education in the rural schools. Later he enjoyed the ad-
vantages of attendance at the Summersville Normal School,
and after his graduation therefrom became a teacher in
the free schools of his native county, a vocation which he
followed for several years. Not caring for the educator’s
profession, Mr. Perkins then turned his attention to busi-
ness, his experience in this connection being gained as a
clerk in the general store conducted by the Curtin Lumber
Company at Curtin, West Virginia. In 1905 he came to
Gassaway, where he embarked in the general merchandise
business, in which he has continued to the present time,
with constantly increasing success. He is now the head
of a prosperous business, which has been developed along
legitimate lines and which has the confidence of the commu-
nity, being noted for its honest representation and straight-
forward dealing. In 1916 Mr. Perkins was appointed post-
master of Gassaway, a position which he has continued to
fill with capability, courtesy and commendable expediency.
His public record also includes one term as mayor of Gassa-
way and three terms as recorder, in both of which offices
he sustained his record for superior ability and conscien-
tious performance of duty.

On September 12, 1906, Mr. Perkins was united in mar-
riage with Miss Bessie Criss, who was born in Braxton
County, West Virginia, .and received a public school edu-
cation. They have no children. Mrs. Perkins is a member
of the Christian Church, and Mr. Perkins, of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, South. As a fraternalist he is affiliated
with Gassaway Lodge No. 133, A. F. and A. M., Sutton
Chapter, R. A. M.; Sutton Commandery, K. T.; and Beni-
Kedem Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., at Charleston. He like-
wise holds membership in the Independent Order of Odd
Follows, in which he is a past noble grand.