Category Archives: WV

Fitzhugh Lee Banks


Fitzhugh Lee Banks

Written by Shirley File Robbins

Dr. Fitzhugh Lee Banks was born September 25, 1885 in Wolftown,
Virginia, the last of five children of James William and Cornelia Burnett
Banks. Educated at Randolph Macon Academy in Bedford, VA, and the Medical
College of Richmond, Class of 1909, he married Mary Boardman Smith, born
in Madison County, Virginia July 19, 1887, on October 19, 1910.  Mrs.
Banks was the daughter of Francis Percival Smith and Matilda Ella Simms.

Dr. Banks opened his first practice of medicine at Gordonsville, Orange

County, Virginia. Fitz and Mary’s three children, William Smith Banks

(1911), Francis McRae Banks (1913 – 1982), and Shirley Hamilton Banks
(1915 – 1990 ) were born there.

In 1922 Dr. Banks moved to West Virginia to become the company doctor
for the Slab Fork Coal Company.  Then, after practicing in Maben,
WV, he settled in Beckley as an Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat specialist. 
He had gone to New York City, living with a medical school classmate, to
be trained in that specialty. He received his 50 year pin from the Medical
College of Virginia in 1959. He had been in practice as a general practitioner
for 20 years, and an Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist for 30 years.

Dr. Banks was a member of the West Virginia Medical Association, the
Black Knight Country Club, The Elks Club, and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. 
He was known for his love of literature and history, particularly the Civil
War period, his passion for pike fishing, and stories of his ancestors. 
He was the great- great- great grandson of Dr. Thomas Walker and Joshua
Fry.  Dr. Walker was a physician, surveyor, explorer and statesman. 
He is known to have traveled the Raleigh County area in about 1750. 
He was also a guardian for Thomas Jefferson. Dr. Banks would tell that
with pride; most who heard the story thought he said “gardener for Thomas
Jefferson”.  Fitz, as he was called by family and friends, always
laughed at that comment.

He died in Richmond, Virginia on February 27, 1966.


John B. Clifton


The History of West Virginia, Old and New

Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,

Chicago and New York, Volume III,

pg. 366


JOHN B. CLIFTON. One of the youngest coal operatorsin Raleigh County,
John B. Clifton as a boy took up railroading, spent several years in growing
responsibilities in the railroad service, and had the expert qualifications
as a traffic man when he turned to the coal industry. It has been his fortune
to associate with prominent men, and

among them he is regarded as one of the coming leaders in the coal
industry of West Virginia.

Mr. Clifton was born at Ridgeway, Montgomery County, Virginia, July
27, 1891, son of James W. and Mary K.

(Kelley) Clifton, both natives of Virginia, and his father a farmer.
He is of English ancestry. John B. Clifton

attended the common schools of Montgomery County until he was sixteen
years of age, then learned telegraphy, and his first assignment of duty
was as an operator on the Norfolk & Western. He served with that road
from 1907 until 1910, and then became general operator for the Virginia
Railway, his duties taking him all over the line.  Beginning in 1912,
he acted as car distributor for the road, but resigned in 1915 to go into
the coal business on the Stone Coal Branch of the Chesapeake & Ohio. 
At that time he became part owner of the Beckley Smokeless Coal Company.
He sold his interest in that organization in 1919, and since then has helped
organize and has been active as a business representative and as a member
of producing and sales companies operating in the Raleigh County field.
These include the Raleigh Smokeless Coal Company, Guyan Collieries Company,
Wilton Smokeless Coal Company, Wood-Peck Fuel Company, Red Ash Coal Company.
Mr. Clifton also has interests in South America, the Raleigh Smokeless
Fuel Company maintaining an office at Rio Janeiro, Brazil.

Submitted by Valerie Crook


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Charles L. Heberlin


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. 738

HEABERLIN, CHARLES L. (Republican.) Address: Beckley,
West Va. Born in Hancock county, Tennessee,February 12,
1883. Shortly afterward his father moved to Wise county,
Virginia. The son was educated there in the free schools and
in the high school at Wise, the county seat; now engaged in
general insurance and is Vice President and General Manager
of the Home Insurance Agency at Beckley; has been a citizen
of West Virginia since 1900; worked several years in coal
mines; was elected as one of the delegates from Raleigh in
1916; committee assignments, 1917: Taxation and Finance,
Insurance, Forestry and Conservation.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook


Victor E. Sullivan


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



SULLIVAN, VICTOR E. (Republican.) Address: Raleigh,

West Va. Born at Powellsville, Scioto county, Ohio,

August 15, 1854; educated in the public schools of

Scioto and Gallia counties; has been a resident of West

Virginia fourteen years, locating first in Fayette county

and later in Raleigh; is a mining superintendent,

receiving his occupational experience in Ohio and West

Virginia; has been Chairman of the Republican Committee of

Raleigh county for five years; elected to the House in

1914; re-elected in 1916; in 1917 had the following
committee assignments: Prohibition and Temperance, Counties,

Districts and Municipal Corporations and Printing and

Contingent Expenses.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook


Arch K. Fleming

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.

FLEMING, ARCH K. (Republican.) Address:
Folsom, West Va. Delegate from Doddridge county.
Born at Center Point, in that county, May 31, 1892;
received his elementary education in the common schools
and afterwards took special courses at the State Normal
School, at Fairmont, and the West Virginia Business
College, at Salem; a teacher by profession; was chosen
to represent Doddridge county in the Legislature at the
November election, 1916, and in the sessions of 1917 served
on House standing committees on Prohibition and Tem-
perance, Education, Virginia Debt, Medicine and Sanita-
tion, Counties. Districts and Municipal Corporations.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Watson Riley Hager

Wyoming Logan and Lincoln Counties West Virginia

Biography of Watson Riley Hager

Watson Riley Hager was born April 12,1897 on Pea Ridge Lincoln
County West Virginia to Claibourne Hager and Arabess Price Hager
he was on of nine children
His siblings are Willard,Allafair,Anthela,Henry,Rebecca,James and
Victoria Geneva.
His maternal grandparents are Andrew Price and Clarinda Cooper.
Paternal Grandparents are Phillip H. Hager and Rebecca Lovejoy
A veteran of World War 1 and World War 11
He was in the Blair Mountain Battle to organize the United Mine
Workers and was a member for 47 years .
He married Sylvia Belle Davidson on August 5,1922 in Lincoln
County West Virginia
To this marriage were born 4 children
Mary (Betty) Hager Baxter, David Watson Hager Myrtle Lilly Hager
Acord and Blevins Hager Sr.
Lived in Logan and Wyoming County West Virginia most of his adult
He was a diabetic and was confined to a wheelchair for years the
doctor would tell us he had outlived his body and he had a strong
Died April 17,1979 in Beckley Raleigh County West Virginia and is
buried Palm Memorial Gardens at Matheny Wyoming County West

Submitted by granddaughter Sylvia Ann Acord Bragg

Myrtle Lilly Hager Accord

Biography of Myrtle Lilly Hager Acord

She was born January 1,1929 at Kistler, Logan County, West Virginia on what my grandmother said was the biggest snow and was the coldest it had been in many years.
She is the daughter of Watson Riley Hager and Sylvia Belle Davidson Hager
Her paternal grandparents are Claibourne G. Hager and Arabess (Arispie) Price
Maternal grandparents are Blevins Davidson and Ellen Romaine Potter Davidson
She grew up in Logan County,West Virginia on Buffalo Creek
She came to live in Oceana,Wyoming County, West Virginia and that is where she met Robert Lee Acord Jr in 1944 in Oceana and the married 3 months later in Oceana on December 21,1944 where they made their home .
To this marriage were born 8 children 7 daughters and 1 son .
The 3 oldest daughters still live in Oceana .
Their children are as follows,
Sylvia Acord Bragg,Betty Acord Goodwin,,Myrna Acord Walker,Nancy Acord Paynter,Virginia Acord Gladden Bradley,Stallie Acord Sheppard Allen,Robert Edward Acord,Mary Acord George Hood Bradley Lundy.
She loved the beach and enjoyed going to Myrtle Beach,South Carolina she always joked about it she said it was named after her.Mom was a very happy person always laughing she had a beautiful smile and her eyes just had a twinkle of mischief to them.when I slip on a long sleeve blouse at times its as if Moms hands are coming through the sleeve . She was very sick the last 7 years of her life as she had diabetes and was insulin dependant for 20 years ,the last seven years she spent in a wheel chair .
Myrtle Lilly Hager Acord lived in Oceana until her death at the age of 65 years. February 21,1994 in Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia as her husband had died 26 years before her she was laid to rest beside him on what would have been his 74th birthday in Palm Memorial Gardens ,Matheny West Virginia

Submitted by her daughter ;
Sylvia Acord Bragg

Buren Harrison Toler

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 567

BUREN HARRISON TOLER. No calling brings into play a
more diversified exhibition of capability than that of teach-
ing. In order to rise to any degree of distinction in that
profession it is necessary first to possess the natural
inclination toward the work, without which it is almost
impossible to render efficient service, and superimposed
upon this must be an extensive training, coupled with varied
and extensive experience. The life of a conscientious
teacher is one of self abnegation and sacrifice that finds its
chief reward in the realization that young minds are de-
veloped properly and characters trained so that in the
future, when the stress of life is brought to bear upon them,
they are able to meet its demands. Wyoming County has
produced some able educators, and prominent among them
is Buren Harrison Toler, supervisor of schools of the Slab
Fork District, who, while still a young man, has already
made rapid strides in his calling.

Mr. Toler was born at Clear Fork (formerly Sun Hill),
Wyoming County, West Virginia, February 1, 1895, and is
a son of Henry P. and Darthula (Brown) Toler. His
grandparents were John and Polly Toler, of old pioneer
stock, who came from Mingo County to the wide bottoms
of Clear Fork of the Guyandotte in about 1857. Numerous
anecdotes have come down regarding this rugged and
stout-hearted couple. It is related of Polly Toler, who was
related to the famous Hatfleld family of feudists, that on
one occasion during young wifehood, when she was doing
the family washing at the riverside, a deer, pursued by
the hunting hounds, managed to find refuge in a narrow
foothold on a ledge of rocks under an overhanging cliff on
the opposite side of the river. It had been some time since
the Toler family had enjoyed venison, and the intrepid
Polly, leaping into the water, swam the stream, dragged
the deer from the ledge into the water, where she held his
head under until he was drowned, and then reswam the
stream, towing with her the means of supplying the family
larder with fresh meat. The next day she gave birth to
a child. She lived to reach the remarkable age of 100
years, passing away in 1918, while her husband, who reached
the age of ninety-five years, died in 1902. They were mem-
bers of the Methodist Church. Of their large family of
children three sons survive: Ellis, a resident of Mingo
County, and W. S. and Peter, who live at Sun Hill.

Henry P. Toler was born in 1856, at Sun Hill, Wyoming
County, and passed his life in agricultural pursuits, in addi-
tion to which he dealt in the timber cut from his land,
which he contracted to deliver at the river bank. He was a
leader in the Baptist Church, and, like the other Tolers,
as well as the Browns, was a stanch republican in politics.
He died November 30, 1915. At Oceana, West Virginia,
Mr. Toler married Darthula Brown, who was born on Big
Huff Creek, Wyoming County, a daughter of Jack Brown,
and was the same age and weight as her husband at the
time of their marriage. She survives him and lives at the
old home on Clear Fork. Of their eleven children seven
are still living. W. R., is justice of the peace at Mullens;
Lilly died in 1915, as the wife of the late Buoy Goodman;
J. Albert, formerly a member of the County Court, later
prosecuting attorney, is now engaged in general practice
at Mullens; Roxie is the wife of Floyd Graham, living on
the old home place at Clear Fork; Cleveland, died as a
boy; John H., who went to the Concord Normal School at
Athens and the State University, is now principal of the
Mullens High School; Eva is the wife of Alfred Moore,
of Clear Fork; Buren Harrison; and Cora is the wife of
B. Aliff, of Clear Fork.

Buren Harrison Toler secured his early education in a
one-room schoolhouse and when he was only thirteen years
of age began teaching school at Mill Creek schoolhouse.
He subsequently taught two other schools, and then went
to Concord Normal School, where his brother John H. was
working his way through school by operating the pumping
system. Buren H. Toler secured the position of caring
for the ladies’ dormitory, and by doing this work paid
his way through the course and was graduated in 1914.
In 1914, 1915 and 1916 he was principal of the Pineville
schools, and then entered the State University, but in
1917 resumed teaching at Pineville. In the fall of 1917
he thought that by going to Washington he could be
assigned to duty in the aviation service of the United
States army, but he was disappointed in this ambition.
Accordingly, he volunteered for duty and was assigned
to the bacteriological department in the Medical Corps, and
after six weeks of training in the Army Medical School
at Washington was sent to duty at Fort Leavenworth,
where he remained three months. His overseas service began
at this time, for he went from Hoboken to St. Nazaire,
France, and was then sent to Tours as accountant in the
chief surgeon’s office. After his return from France he
received his honorable discharge at Mitchell’s Field, Long
Island, May 13, 1919, and his first position after his
discharge was as store manager in a road construction
camp at Bud, Wyoming County. One month later he was
made school supervisor of the Slab Fork school district,
a position which he has since retained. He has had charge
of the erection of seven schools in his district, including
the district high schools at Mullens and Milam Fork, and
in various ways has aided the cause of education in this
locality, where he is held in high esteem as a progressive
and constructive educator and as a citizen who is con-
tributing to the advancement of his native locality.

On June 30, 1919, Mr. Toler was united in marriage with
Miss Hazel Dunn, daughter of W. W. Dunn, of Peterstown,
West Virginia, and a graduate of Concord Normal School.
Mrs. Toler is an active worker in the Methodist Church,
while her husband is no less helpful in the Baptist Church.
He is a member of Mullens Lodge, A. F. and A. M., and
Princeton Chapter, R. A. M., and has served as commander
of the local post of the American Legion. In politics he
is a republican.

Submitted by:
Valerie Crook
July 23, 2000

Byron W. Steele MD

The History of West Virginia, Old and New Published 1923,
The American Historical Society, Inc., Chicago and New York,
Volume III,
pg. 397-398

BYRON W. STEELE, M. D. For the past several years Dr. Byron W.
Steele has been engaged in the general prac- tice of medicine at
Mullens, and by his devotion to the duties of his profession, his
close study and his pronounced skill has won a liberal and
representative practice. His talents and sympathy have gained him
recognition as a leader, and he has maintained throughout his
career a high standard of professional ethics and honorable

Doctor Steele was born at Moundsville, West Virginia, July 14,
1889, and is a son of Dr. S. M. and Florence N. (Cheadle) Steele.
Dr. S. M. Steele was born September 14, 1860, in Tyler County,
Virginia (now West Virginia), and after completing his normal
school education at West Liberty engaged in school teaching for
two years, in the meantime pursuing his medical studies. He then
entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, from
which institution he was graduated with his degree with the class
of 1886, and commenced practice at Moundsville, West Virginia,
where he remained until becoming superin- tendent of the West
Virginia Hospital for the Insane. He remained in this capacity
from 1906 until 1914, and his tal- ents as an authority on
nervous diseases made his work of particular value. He returned
from the hospital to Mounds- ville, where he now has a large
practice and is numbered among the foremost members of his
profession. He is a republican in politics and an Elk
fraternally, and belongs to the Methodist Church, as does Mrs.
Steele, who is a native of McConnellsvilIe, Ohio. Four sons were
born to them, all of whom served during the World war, three
seeing overseas service. Dr. Byron W. Steele is the eldest of the
sons. Leonard C. Steele was a sergeant in the Medical Corps of
the Eighty-seventh Division and was overseas one year. He is now
associated with the Wyoming Ice and Bot- tling Company at Mullens
as bookkeeper. Rodney D. Steele was on the battle line with the
Seventeenth Ambu- lance Company, Fifth Division, a noted company
with splendid service to its credit. Marion Steele, the youngest
son, was at the Students’ Training Camp at Washington and Lee
University when the armistice was signed.

Byron W. Steele attended the public schools of Mounds- ville,
and was graduated from the high school there, fol- lowing which
he entered Marshall College and was gradu- ated in 1910. He then
enrolled as a student in the College of Physicians and Surgeons
at Baltimore, his father’s alma mater, and was graduated as a
member of the class of 1914, receiving the degree of Doctor of
Medicine, and for one year thereafter served as instructor. For
the following year he served as obstetrician at Mercy Hospital,
Balti- more. and during the next year held the same position at
the Women’s Hospital in that city. In 1916 he came to Mullens to
take charge of Robertson’s General Hospital as surgeon, and
remained in that capacity until March 10, 1918, when he enrolled
as a student in the Army Medical School at Fort Oglethorpe,
Georgia. He received his com- mission as first lieutenant, was
made an instructor, and in June, 1918, went overseas, where he
was promoted cap- tain and made orthopedic surgeon at Base
Hospital No. 63. He remained in that capacity until March 11,
1919, when he was transferred to Base Hospital No. 91 as chief
orthopedie surgeon. He returned to the United States in August,
1919, and again settled at Mullens, where he is in the enjoyment
of a very heavy practice. Doctor Steele’s physique and general
bearing are such as to inspire confi- dence, and his real
courtesy and sympathy likewise gain him the faith of his
patients. Ho holds to the highest ideals in his professional
service, and his work is characterized by a conscientious
devotion to duty and a display of knowl- edge that demonstrates
him a master of his vocation. His work has brought him before the
people of Mullens and the surrounding community in a way that
will not be easily for- gotten, and he has never been found
lacking in any of the essentials that are necessary for the
making of a truly great physician. He keeps fully abreast of the
numerous advance- ments being constantly made in his calling, and
is an ac- tive and interested member of the Mercer County Medical
Society, the West Virginia State Medical Society and the American
Medical Association. He is a member of the Phi Beta Pi medical
fraternity. In politics he adheres to the principles of the
republican party, but his profession has kept him too busily
occupied for him to engage in pub- lic life, although he displays
a good citizen’s interest in civic matters and gives his support
to worthy movements and enterprises. Fraternally he is affiliated
with Mullens Lodge No. 151, A. F. and A. M., and Princeton
Chapter, R. A. M., in both of which he has numerous friends.

On July 14, 1920, at Mullens. Doctor Steele was united in
marriage with Miss Frances P. Ould, daughter of W. T. Ould, of
Glenlyn, Virginia. To this union there has been born one son,
Byron W., Jr. Mrs. Steele, a woman of nu- merous graces and
accomplishments, is a graduate of Con- cord Normal School at
Athens, West Virginia, and also did special work at the
University of Virginia. Prior to her marriage she was a teacher
in the public schools. She and Doctor Steele are members of the
Methodist Church. Doc- tor Steele is a member of the American

Submitted by Valerie

Daniel Roy Moss

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 565

DANIEL ROY MOSS. In 1913 there arrived at Mullens
a freight car, tucked in one end of which was a small
collection of miscellaneous articles destined to form the
nucleus for the stock of the first hardware store of this
city. The owner, Daniel Roy Moss, had his household
goods stored in the other end of the car. Since that time
he has experienced the ups and downs of business life,
but at all times has applied himself energetically and
assiduously to his task, even cheerfully in the face of mis-
fortune, and out of it all has built up a prosperous business,
established himself firmly in his own self-confidence and in
the esteem of others, and has come to the conclusion that
hard work has never injured anyone and that honest methods
eventually bring success when backed by good management
and industry.

Mr. Moss was born at Keyser, Mineral County, West Vir-
ginia, February 10, 1879, and is a son of Herbert and
Sallie (Taylor) Moss, the latter of whom died when her
son was still a boy. Herbert Moss was born in 1842, and
for many years was engaged in the drug business at Front
Royal, Virginia, Keyser, West Virginia, and Charleston,
but eventually disposed of his holdings and became a
“Knight of the grip.” He is now one of the veteran
traveling salesmen for large dry goods houses, and has an
extensive acquaintance and many friendships all over this
part of West Virginia. Despite his advanced years he is
still hale and hearty and active in body and mind. He is
a Union veteran of the war between the states, and in his
political allegiance is a stanch democrat.

Daniel Roy Moss received only a public school education,
attending at Romney and Mechanicsburg, West Virginia,
but made the most of his opportunities, as he always had.
At the age of fifteen years he became a delivery boy for
the local butcher in the town in which he was living at the
time, and when he was only eighteen years old induced
the Charleston Street Railway Company to give him work
as a conductor on their line. His next experience was
with the Payne Shoe Company of Charleston, and when
he left that house he went to Beckley, where, with his
brother, he founded a modest hardware establishment,
known as the Randolph Hardware Company. Later Mr.
Moss decided that Mullens offered a better field for the
display of his business talents, and he accordingly shipped
all of his worldly goods, both mercantile and household,
to this city in a single freight car, in which there was also
a large wagon. Of this wagon, it may be said in passing,
that it was sold on credit shortly after Mr. Moss’ arrival
in the city, and that a good part of its sale price is still
due the hardware merchant. His first sale was an axe,
purchased by “Peacheye” Davis, a local character, and
the dollar thus taken in was the only one that wandered
into the cash drawer all day. He did not allow himself
to become discouraged, however, nor did he when his
place was destroyed by fire in December, 1917, or when
again he was burned out in August, 1918. His faith and
labor have been vindicated and rewarded, and today he
has a fine store, conducted under the style of the Mullens
Hardware and Furniture Company, and a hillside residence
that is one of the best in the place. He carries a com-
plete stock of furniture and hardware and has extended his
patronage all over the surrounding countryside. Mr. Moss
is a democrat in politics, and has taken some active part
in public affairs, having served two years as a member of
the City Council, with an excellent record for able and
conscientious work. As a fraternalist he is a Master Mason
and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

In 1907 Mr. Moss was united in marriage with Miss
Estella Hudnall, daughter of Samuel Hudnall, of Charleston.
She is a member of the Presbyterian Church at Mullens and
has been active in its work.

Submitted by:
Valerie Crook
July 22, 2000