Category Archives: Pleasants

Jesse Earle Riley

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg. 76

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

JESSE EARLE RILEY, superintendent of city schools of St. Marys, was at one
time probably the youngest teacher in West Virginia, qualifying for his first
school when he was only fifteen. He has been alternately a student and teacher
ever since, is a Master of Arts from Bucknell University, and has an enviable
record as a teacher and school administrator.

Mr. Riley was born in Taylor County, West Virginia, near Bridgeport, March 27,
1888. In the same vicinity was born his father, James Riley, in October, 1848,
and the grandfather also bore the name James and was born in old Virginia in
1828. The Rileys came from Ireland and were Colonial settlers in Virginia.

James Riley, Sr., as a young man moved to the vicinity of Bridgeport, was
married there, and lived his life as a successful farmer. He died in 1913.

James Riley, Jr., learned a mechanical trade, but for the greater part of his
active life owned and managed an extensive farm near Bridgeport and since 1921
has lived retired at Shinnston in Harrison County. He is a democrat, and a
very active member of the Baptist Church. He married Louisa Withers, who was
born in old Virginia in November, 1850. Their family consisted of eight
children: Effie, wife of Jonah Currey, a flour miller at Bridgeport; Leola,
who died at Enterprise, West Virginia, in 1909, aged thirty-five, wife of
Jesse Anderson, a farmer near Boothsville, West Virginia; Charles, a farmer
who died near Bridgeport in 1908, at the age of thirty-three; Leonard, a
mechanic and contractor at Shinnston; Marion, a general contractor at
Shinnston; Ora, wife of Minor Currey, who is in the lumber business at
Shinnston; Jesse Earle; and Truman, a general contractor at Bridgeport.

Jesse Earle Riley attended the rural schools of Taylor County, graduated from
Broaddus Institute, then located at Clarksburg, with the class of 1909, and
received his A. B. degree from Bucknell University at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania,
in 1914, and won his Master of Arts degree from the same institution in 1916.

He was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity at Bucknell. During 1915
Mr. Riley also took special work in history and economics in West Virginia
University at Morgantown. As a youth of fifteen he was appointed to preside
over a rural school in Taylor County, and taught in rural districts four
years. In 1914 he became an instructor in Latin and registrar of Broaddus
Institute, remaining there a year. For two years he was teacher of science in
the high school of Portsmouth, Ohio, then superintendent of schools at
Harrisville, West Virginia, two years, principal of the high school of New
Martinsville two years, and in June, 1921, came to his present duties as
superintendent of city schools of St. Marys. St. Marys has a well organized
school system, there being six schools, a staff of twenty-five teachers, and a
scholarship enrollment of seven hundred.

Mr. Riley is a member of the West Virginia State Educational Association, and
during the war had an effective part in stimulating patriotism and teaching
Americanism in the schools and was also a worker in the various war drives at
Harrisville. He is a democrat in politics, a member of the Baptish Church, and
is affiliated with Shinnston Lodge No. 24, F. and A. M. Mr. Riley is a
stockholder in the Riley & Riley Company, general building contractors at
Shinnston, an organization in which the active members are his brothers,
previously mentioned.

At Washington, D. C., in 1917 Mr. Riley married Miss Ethel Heiter, daughter of
James 0. and Daisy (Kleckner) Heiter, residents of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
Mrs. Riley is a graduate of the Domestic Science Department of Bucknell
University, and for one year before her marriage was dietitian in the
university. The three eons of Mr. and Mrs. Riley are William born July 27,
1918, John Warren, born February 3, 1920, and Ellwood Withers, born November
20, 1921.

Joseph Frank Smith

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg. 26

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

JOSEPH FRANK SMITH, who is more familiarly known by his second personal name,
is successfully conducting a hotel in the Village of Cower, Webster County,
and is also the owner and operator of a well improved farm in this locality.
He was born in Pleasants County, West Virginia, August 4, 1866, and is a son
of George L. and Margaret E. (Frink) Smith, both natives of what is now
Preston County, this state, where the former was born in 1842 and the latter
in 1841, each having been reared on a pioneer farm in that county. After their
marriage the parents remained on a farm in Preston County until their removal
to Pleasants County, where George L. Smith purchased a farm, and he and his
wife passed the remainder of their lives on this homestead, he having
accumulated and developed a valuable farm estate of 285 acres and his
prosperity having represented the results of his own energetic and well
ordered activities, He and his wife were zealous members of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, and he was specially active in the work of its Sunday
school, Mr. Smith was a stalwart republican in politics, and was
loyal and public-spirited as a citizen, he having served as a member of the
school board of his district. He survived his wife by many years and was about
fifty-six years of age at the time of his death. Of their seven children there
are living at the time of this writing, in the spring of 1922: Joseph F., of
this sketch, the youngest of the number; William H., a prosperous farmer near
Cleveland, Ohio; and Mary, who is the widow of James Riggs and resides at St.
Marys, Pleasants County, West Virginia. All of the other children attained to

The home farm on which lie was born was the stage of the youthful activities
of Joseph Frank Smith, and his early educational discipline included that of
the high school at St. Marys. He initiated his independent career when he was
but sixteen years of age. He was employed in connection with the construction
of the railroad line from Parkersburg to Kenova, where he served as
superintendent of the work, and he continued his association with this line of
railroad development abort eight years. He purchased a lot in Buckhannon,
erected a house on the same and finally soul the property at a distinct
profit. After severing his connection with railroad construction he purchased
the Summit Hotel at Cowen, and later he purchased a tract of timber land. He
cut and manufactured the timber on this land, made development on the tract
and eventually sold the same for farm usages his financial returns from the
various activities aril the c sale having been very appreciable. He is now the
owner of the oldest farm in this section of the county, and has made, the same
one of the model places of this part of the state, the while lie has here
become a leader in the breeding and raising of Hereford cattle, improved
Duroc-Jersey hogs Shropshire sheep and White Leghorn poultry. His landed
estate in Webster County comprises 300 acres. His original hotel at Cowen was
destroyed by fire, and he then purchased the Central Hotel, which he has
since successfully conducted. To connection with farm industry and business
activities Mr. Smith has stood exponent of progressiveness, and the same may
be said of his attitude as a citizen, for he is always ready to lend
cooperation in the furtherance of measures and enterprises projected for the
general good of the community.

Mr. Smith has had much of leadership in connection with the councils and
campaign activities of the republican party in Webster County, and has served
as chairman of its executive committee for this county. When he was made the
party nominee for county sheriff he was defeated by only thirty-two votes,
in a county that at that time gave a normal democratic majority of 400 votes.
In the Masonic fraternity Mr. Smith is affiliated with Camden Lodge No. 107,
A. F. and A. AM; Sutton Chapter No. 29, R. A. M.; Sutton Commandery No. 16,
Knights Templar; and Osiris Temple of the Mystic Shrine in the City of

In 1894 Mr., Smith wedded Miss Dora E. Vance, who was reared and educated in
Webster County. They have three children: Hosea A. is a graduate of the
University of West Virginia: Ruth K. graduated from the State Normal School qt
Fairmont, and is, in 1922, in the extension department of agriculture in
connection with the University of West Virginia at Morgantown; and Joseph F.,
Jr., is a student in Augusta Military Academy at Fort Defiance, Virginia. Mr.
and Mrs. Smith are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which
he is serving as a member of the official board.

John B. Watson

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg 39

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

JOHN B. WATSON, M. D. For over thirty years Dr. Watson was performing his
duties as a physician and surgeon, and most of that time has been a resident
of St. Marys, his native town, in which he grew up and in which he has won the
recognition of old time friends and associates, both in a professional
capacity and as a high minded citizen.

Dr. Watson was born at St. Marys May 5, 1862. His grandfather, John Watson,
was born in England in 1807 and as a young man came to America and settled on
a farm near St. Marys, where he married Rosanna Barker, a native of Pleasants
County. John Watson was a millwright, and he and his wife spent the rest of
their years in and around St. Marys, where he died in 1894. The son, Andrew J.
Watson, was born in Pleasants County in 1840 and was for a number of years
identified with merchandising at St. Marys. In 1881 he removed to East
Liverpool, Ohio, where he lived practically retired until his death in 1917.

He was a democrat, and a member of the Methodist Protestant Church. His
wife was Miss Charlotte Core, who was born in Harrison County, West Virginia,
in 1838, and died at East Liverpool, Ohio, in October, 1920. Dr. Watson
is the oldest of their large family of children; Mamie, who lives at East
Liverpool, is the widow of William Good; Joseph C. was an oil well driller and
died at East Liverpool in 1920; Mrs. Flora F. Griffin lives at Toronto, Ohio,
where her husband is foreman in a pottery plant; William A. is foreman for the
Newell Street Railway Company at East Liverpool; Iva is the wife of William
Lawson a farmer, at East Liverpool; Charles is a motorman with the Newel
Traction Company at East Liverpool; Virdie lives at East Liverpool, where her
husband is employed in one of the pottery plants; and Andrew J. is a motorman
for the Newell Traction Company.

John B. Watson spent his early life in Pleasants County and attended rural
schools up to the age of thirteen and at that time began earning his own way.
He was employed by his father in shaving staves and also worked in the timber
until he was twenty-one. He came to manhood with a vigorous constitution
but only a common school education. He began the study of medicine under his
uncle, Dr. Joseph B. Watson, at St. Marys, and subsequently entered the
College of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, where he graduated in 1887.

After graduating for nine and a half years Dr. Watson practiced at Lawrence in
Upshur County, and since then has performed his professional work at St.
Marys. His offices are on Second Street. Since 1920 he has been county health
officer and is a member in good standing of the State and American Medical
Associations. Dr. Watson is a democrat, has filled all the lay offices in
the Methodist Protestant Church, and is affiliated with St. Marys Lodge No.
41, A. F. and A. M., St. Marys Camp No. 20 Knights of the Maccabees, St. Marys
Lodge No. 22, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and also belongs to the
Knights of Pythias and the Tribe of Ben Hur.

In 1889, at Friendly, West Virginia, Dr. Watson married Miss Linnie F.
Williamson. Two children were born to their marriage Sue Mary, who died at St.
Marys at the age of twenty-seven was the wife of Dr. Jed C. Wilcoxen, a St.
Marys dentist. The only son, Dr. J. Loomis Watson, graduated Doctor of Dental
Surgery from the University of Pittsburgh and was in the Student Army
Training Camp at Pittsburgh during the war. He is now practicing his
profession at Pittsburgh. Mrs. Watson is a daughter of Friend C. Williamson,
who was born in Tyler County, West Virginia, in 1842, and lived there all his
life. He had various business interests, and was an extensive dealer in fruit.

The town of Friendly in Tyler County was named for him, and he was living in
that community when he died in 1911. He was a democrat and was one of the
leading members of the Methodist Protestant Church in his vicinity. He was
also a Mason. Friend C. Williamson married Adelia Thorne, who was born in
Jackson County, West Virginia, in 1844, and is now living in Friendly. Mrs
Watson was educated in the public schools of Friendly, and before her marriage
was a milliner and dressmaker.

William Edward Clovis

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg. 38

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

WILLIAM EDWARD CLOVIS. During the past seven years Mr. Clovis has devoted his
entire time and energies to a very successful and prosperous automobile
business as an authorized agent for the Ford car in Pleasants County. His
career altogether has been one of well directed effort in different lines. He
has been a teacher, is former sheriff of Pleasants County, and probably is as
well known over the county as any other citizen.

His family has been in West Virginia for several generations. The name Clovis
was transplanted to Pennsylvania in Colonial times from Southwestern Virginia.
His great-grandfather, Conrad Clovis, was born in Pennsylvania, and from that
state moved his family to Hebron, West Virginia, where he lived out his life
as a farmer. The grandfather of William E. Clovis was Solomon Clovis, who was
born in Monongalia County, West Virginia, in 1818, but spent nearly all his
life in Pleasants County and was a cabinet maker by trade. He died in 1876
and is buried at Hebron. His wife was a Miss Wrick, a native and life long
resident of Pleasants County. Amos Clovis, their son, was born near Hebron
August 13, 1854, and since 1885 has been a resident of Maxwell in Pleasants
County. He was a merchant in early life, and since then has been a leading
farmer and still owns two farms at Maxwell. He is a republican and an
active member of the Church of Christ. Amos Clovis married Martha Jane
Fleming, who was born near Fairmont, West Virginia, July 15, 1856.

William E. is the oldest of their children. Dr. Elijah Ellsworth is
one of the state’s prominent physicians and is now superintendent of the State
Tuberculosis Sanitarium at Terra Alta. Cora Elizabeth is the wife of Homer F.
Simonton, Circuit Court clerk of Pleasants County. Harry T. is an oil refiner
at St. Marys, and the youngest, Maurice Lawrence, is in the drug business at

William Edward Clovis was born at Hebron, Pleasants County, November 7, 1876,
and acquired a rural school education there. He finished his education in the
Fairmont State Normal, which he attended altogether for five terms. He was
granted an opportunity to teach school at the age of eighteen, and the first
year he taught in the Jonestown School of his native county. Then for two
years he had charge of the French Creek School, one year in the Ruckman School
on Cow Creek, and his last year was spent in his home school at Nine Mile.
After leaving the schoolroom Mr. Clovis was deputy county assessor one year.
For some time he cherished an ambition to become a physician, and with that in
view he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, but on
account of ill health had to give up those plans after the first year. From
1901 to 1908 Mr. Clovis conducted a mercantile business at Adlai in Pleasants
County. In the fall of 1908 he was elected sheriff, and on January 7,
1909, removed to St. Marys and was the chief law officer of the local courts
through the four year term ending in 1914. During 1913-14 Mr. Clovis was a
member of St. Marys Hardware Company, but in the meantime he had taken the
agency for the Ford cars, and since 1914 has made this his primary business.

He is the authorized agent in Pleasants County for the Ford automobile,
trucks and tractors, and has done the biggest business in that line of any
automobile agency in this section of the state. It is estimated that he has
sold at least ninety per cent of all automobiles bought in the county. During
1920-21 he erected a handsome public garage at the corner of Washington and
Third streets. The garage in 80×80 feet, two stories, and built of brick and
concrete. Mr. Clovis is also a director of the First National Bank of St.
Marys. He still retains a deep interest in educational progress and since July
1, 1919, has been president of the Board of Education in St. Marys. He is
an elder in the Church of Christ, is a republican, and during the war was a
“fourminute” speaker and a worker in behalf of all local patriotic causes.
April 16, 1899, at Gibson in Pleasants County, Mr. Clovis married Miss Mary
Varner, daughter of George W. and Angelia V. (Daniel) Varner, now deceased.
Her father was a minister of the Church of Christ. Mrs. Clovis received a
normal School education and prior to her marriage was a teacher in Pleasants
County for four years. Mr. and Mrs. Clovis have five children, and have given
all of them liberal educational advantages. Eunice Madge, the oldest, born
March 4, 1900, is a graduate of the St. Marys High School and the Fairmont
State Normal, and is now teacher of the fifth grade in the local
public schools. Cora Edith, born October 23, 1901, graduated from the same
schools as her sister and now has charge of the first grade in the St. Marys
public school. The only son, George A., was born October 25, 1903, and is
now a student in Marietta College in Ohio. The two younger children are
Martha Virginia, born November 15, 1906, a student in high school, and Mary
Edna, born November 21, 1910.

Joe Williams

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg. 36

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

JOE WILLIAMS is founder and publisher of the Pleasants County Leader, the
second oldest but the largest newspaper in point of circulation and influence
in Pleasants County and in fact one of the best edited journals in that
section of the state. Mr. Williams has been a citizen of invaluable influence
in St. Marys, is a former representative of Pleasants County, and was also
postmaster of St. Marys for a number of years.

His family were pioneers in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, going into that
mountainous section from old Virginia. His grandfather, Joseph Williams, was
born in 1800, owned a farm, but spent a large part of his time hunting. He
died in Greenbrier County in 1884. His wife was a Miss Brown a native of
the same county, who died in Kansas. James M. Williams, father of the St.
Marys editor, lived all his life on one farm in Greenbrier County, where
he was born in 1837 and died in 1909. He was a soldier in the Union Army.

At first he was a scout attached to the forces of General George Crook. Later
he joined Captain Andrew W. Mann’s Company of State Guards from Greenbrier
County, being enrolled in the Company December 1, 1864, and discharged July
1, 1865. This service was a particularly hazardous one in the No Man’s Land
between the Union and Confederate lines, and he had a full share in that
strenuous campaigning. He was a republican in politics and a member of the
Baptist Church. James M. Williams married Lavina McMillan, who was born in
1838 and died in 1905, spending all her life in Greenbrier County. They
became the parents of seven children: John R., who died on the Williams
homestead at the age of thirty, having taught school for a number of years;
Nellie Frances, wife of Moffat May, a farmer, stock raiser and lumber dealer
living near White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia; Luelle, wife of Rev. S. A.
Moody, a clergyman of the Adventist Church near Macon, Georgia; Joe; Mrs.
Maggie Burns, who died on the old home farm; Emra, a farmer at Myrtle Creek,
Oregon; Mrs. Cassie Christian, whose husband operates a part of the Williams

Joe Williams, who was born January 20, 1573, lived on the farm to the age of
eighteen and acquired his early education in the rural schools of Greenbrier
County. For two years he worked for N. S. Bruffey in a store at Falling Spring
in Greenbrier County, and then as clerk for W. H.. Overholt at the same place
about two years. During 1894-95 he attended Michaels University at Logansport,
Indiana, taking a business course, and in the fall of 1895 began in connection
with journalism at Sistersville as an employee of J. H. McCoy on the Daily Oil

On September 12, 1898, Mr. Williams moved to St. Marys and established the
Pleasants County Leader, of which he has since been proprietor and editor. He
owns the Leader Building and the entire plant, and has one of the best
equipped newspaper offices in this section of the state, including linotype
machines, cylinder press, etc. It is a republican paper, circulating
throughout Pleasants and surrounding counties, and has an extensive mailing
list to all the oil sections of the country.

Mr. Williams was postmaster of St. Marys from 1905 to 1913. He was reappointed
by President Taft, but the democratic Senate refused to confirm him for a
third term. He was city treasurer in 1914-15, and in November, 1918, was
elected on the republican ticket to represent Pleasants County in the State
Legislature. He was one of the very useful members in
the sessions of 1919-20. As a member of the educational committee he
helped frame the present school code. He was chairman of the committee on
executive offices and libraries, and a member of the committees on election
and privileges, insurance and Virginia debt.

Mr. Williams affiliates with the Presbyterian Church, is a past master of St.
Marys Lodge No. 41, F. and A. M., a member of Sistersville Chapter No. 27, R.
A. M., Mountain State Commandery No. 14, K. T., Nemesis Temple of the Mystic
Shrine at Parkersburg, and St. Mary’s Chapter No. 31 of the Eastern Star.
During the war he made the Pleasants County Leader an effective source of
influence and publicity for the Government and every patriotic cause
associated with the winning of the war, and was personally active in the
various drives in his locality. Mr. Williams owns a modern home at 501 First
Street and is also owner of a baseball park at St. Mary.

In 1899 he married Miss Eloise Bachman, daughter of Captain Martin and Margie
E. (Miller) Bachman, now deceased. Her father, who was a lumber manufacturer
at St. Mary, served as a captain in the Union Army during the Civil war. Mr.
and Mrs. Williams have four children: Nellie, born August 19, 1902, is in the
junior class at West Virginia University; and the three younger children, all
attending high school, are Doris, born in June, 1905; Joe, born in August,
1906, and Mazie, born in May, 1908.

James M. Snively

Pleasants County, West Virginia – Biography of James M. Snively.


James M. Snively

Born Sept. 3, 1841, in Monroe County, O., where he was living when he
enlisted, at Clarington, Sept. 15, 1862, as a private in Co. A, 77th. O.V.I.
(16 A.C.); he had previously been engaged for the Government in the Carrying
Trade on the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers, and was at the Pittsburg Landing
with the steamer Liberty at the time of the battle at that place. At Alton,
Ill., February, 1863, he was sick in hospital with typhoid fever and mumps;
he took part in the fifteen days fighting in and around Little Rock, Ark.,
and from there to Camden, in that State; also in the battle of Mark’s Mills,
the siege of Mobile — including the attacks on Spanish Fort and Fort
Blakely — and in many skirmished and minor engagements. At Mark’s Mills,
April 15, 1864, his haversack and canteen were shot away, and he was
captured by Kirby Smith’s Command. For ten months following, he was a
prisoner at Camp Ford, Texas,, subjected to all the hardships and privations
which the inhuman Commander of that prison-pen could inflict. On being
released from prison he received a parole furlough for thirty days, and on
expiration of same rejoined he command at Mobile, Ala.; he was discharged,
July 19, 1865, at Clarksville, Texas, and Jan. 31, 1867, married in Monroe
county, Mary E. Terry, who was born in the county, Sept. 9, 1846, and died
Feb. 12, 1892, daughter of George and Eliza (Williams) Terry, both now
deceased. They had five children; Ida B. (now Mrs. Steel), b. Dec. 1867,
Clara J., b. Dec. 29, 1870, Cora A., b. March 1, 1872, Emma E., b. Dec. 10,
1874, and Sylvia M., b. June 10, 1883. Mr. Snively’s parents were Benj.
Snively, who served in the 36th. O.V.I. , and was discharged for disability,
died 1867, and Mary A. (Parskale) Snively, born 1869, yet living. Mr.
Snively’s brother John L., served for three years in Co. E, 116th. O.V.I.,
died 1876, and two of Mrs. Snively’s brothers, Franklin and Charles Terry,
were also in the Union Service, the former in an Illinois regiment, and the
latter in the 25th. Ohio, and subsequently, for five years in the Regular
Army. Comrade Snively has served his township as supervisor and school
trustee, and is a class leader in the M. E. Church; he is a member of Hazen
Post, No 66, G.A.R., Dept. of W. Va., and receives a pension; he is a
prosperous farmer, owning 102 acres of good land near Raven Rock, Pleasants
county, W. Va., which is his post office address.

Submitted by Mary Louise Rea Lamp (James’ Great Granddaughter).

Guy Carleton Mactaggart

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg. 506

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

GUY CARLETON MACTAGGART is now in his third term as county superintendent of
schools of Pleasants County. He began his career as a teacher at the age of
eighteen, has had a successive and successful experience as a teacher in a
number of districts in the county, and he brought to his office as county
superintendent not only the qualifications of an able educator but a thorough
knowledge of school conditions of this section.

Mr. MacTaggart was born in Grant District of Pleasants County, January 23,
1885. He is of Scotch ancestry. His grandfather, Hugh MacTaggart, was born in
Scotland in 1819, son of William and Jennie MacTaggart, who three years later,
in 1822, came to America and settled on Short Creek near Wheeling, but after a
few years moved to Willow Island in Pleasants County, where William
MacTaggert acquired a large amount of land and engaged in the sheep industry
on an extensive scale. He and his wife died at Willow Island. Hugh MacTaggart
grew up there, married and then removed to the vicinity of Eureka in Pleasants
County, where lie carried on his operations as a farmer. He died at his
home near Eureka in 1909, at the age of ninety. His wife was Dicinda Phillips,
a native of Ohio. William P. MacTaggart, father of Superintendent MacTaggart,
was born May 21, 1,854, near the farm where he now resides, located a mile
and a half west of Eureka.

Farming has been his life occupation and from it be has provided amply for
himself and family. He owns both a hill farm and river farm. He is a
republican, and a leader in the Baptist Church of his home community.

William P. MacTaggart married Ida Virginia Rhymer, who was bore at St.
Marys, October 20, 1855. Of their children Guy Carleton is the oldest. The
second, William Carey, died at the age of nine years. Grace is the wife
of Winton E. White, a farmer at Point Pleasants in Mason County. Miss
Maude is at home. Laura, a former teacher, is now attending the Mountain
State Business College at Parkersburg.

Miss Mary teaches the Wolf Run School in Pleasants County. Miss Dicie is at
home. Georgia is the wife of Ralph A. Smith, an employe of the Octo Gas
Company at hushing, Ohio.

Guy Carleton MacTaggart was educated in the rural schools of Pleasants County
and the public school at St. Marys. He left school at the age of eighteen, and
his first work as a teacher was done in the Spice Run School. Then followed a
tern in the Raven Rock School two terms at Mount Olive, his home school,
three terms at Eureka and one term at Belmont, all in Pleasants County.
Air. MacTaggart in November, 1912, was elected county superintendent of
schools to fill a vacancy caused by the death of his predecessor. For that
reason he began his duties immediately, and in 1914 was elected for the full
four year term and in 1’918 for a second full term, running from 1919 to 1923.
His offices are in the Graded School Building on Washington Street in St.
Marys. He has under his supervision seventy-six schools, seventy-six teachers,
with a scholarship enrollment of 2,500.

He is a member of the State Educational Association and Ohio Valley Round
Table, and keeps in touch with all the progressive movements in educational
affairs. lie was a member of the County Council of Defense at the time of the
war, a Four-Minute Speaker, and did all the work lie could for the successful
prosecution of the war. He is a republican, a member of the Baptist Church, is
affiliated with St., Marys Lodge No. 41, F. and A. M., Sistersville Chapter
No. 27, R. A. At, Mountain State Commander, No. 14, K. T., and Nemesis Temple
of the Mystic Shrine at Parkersburg.

Mr. MacTaggart’s home is at Eureka where lm owns a modern residence lie
married at Eureka, November 29, 1917, Miss Judith A. Ruckman, daughter of
Aaron and Rhoda (Outward) Ruckman. Her mother died in 1916 and her father is a
farmer at Eureka.

John L. Hissom

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg. 37

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

JOHN L. HISSOM. Many residents of Tyler and Pleasants counties recall when
John L. Hissom was one of the most popular school men in these sections, and
his last school work was done at St. Marys. When he left the school room he
took up the lumber business and now has the only business of the kind in
Pleasants County, and has an extensive trade both retail and wholesale. In
other ways Mr. Hissom has been a man of leadership and influence in this
section of the state. His ancestry is English, but members of the family have
been in this country since Colonial times. They first settled in old Virginia,
where Mr. Hissom’s grandfather, David, was born. As a young man he went to the
Ohio Valley and for many years lived on a farm in Monroe County, Ohio, but
spent his last days in Tyler County, West Virginia. He was a veteran of the
War of 1812. His wife was a Miss Bowen, a native of Ohio. Their son, William
S. Hissom, was born in Monroe County in 1828 and for many years conducted his
farm in that county, but in 1888 moved to Tyler County, West Virginia, and
continued farming there until his death in 1900. He was active in the
Methodist Episcopal Church and a democrat in politics. He married in Monroe
County, Sarah A. Hubbard, who was born at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 1832 and
died in Tyler County in 1890. Their children were six in number: Manford C., a
farmer in Clarington, Ohio; Oscar E., a steamboat mate who died at East
Liverpool, Ohio, in 1916; John L; Alvin D., a farmer in Tyler County; Hattie
Elizabeth, who died in Tyler County, wife of Robert 0. Cathers, a farmer; and
Ephraim T., a farmer who died in Tyler County in 1900.

John L. Hissom was born in Monroe County June 28, 1362, and was reared and
educated there. He attended rural schools, a normal school at Woodsfield, and
in the winter of 1884 taught his first winter term in Mount Zion School in his
native county. The following four years he was in the Mount Aetna School in
the same county, after which he came to West Virginia, and during 18S9-90
presided over the Star School in Tyler County, for one term was principal of
the school at Friendly, and for six terms was teacher of Oak Grove. His first
teaching in Pleasants County was one term at Pleasants Ridge, and then for
three years he was principal of the graded schools at St. Marys. For a year
after he retired from educational work Mr. Hissom was editor of St. Marys
Oracle, the oldest paper in Pleasants County.

Then, in 1903, he established his present business as a retail and wholesale
dealer in lumber, and carries a complete and well selected stock of lumber and
building materials, owning his offices and yards at Barkwill and Court
streets. Mr. Hissom is also a stockholder in the Pleasants County Bank and is
a stockholder and secretary of the United Telephone Company at St. Marys. He
owns considerable real estate, including his modern home on Court Street and a
farm in Tyler County.

Mr. Hissom acted for two years as a member of the City Council at St. Marys.
He is a democrat, a steward in the Methodist Protestant Church, is a past
grand of St. Marys Lodge No. 22, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and a
member of the Knights of the Maccabees. It should also be said to his credit
that during the war he used his financial means to support the Government and
took part in the various local patriotic drives. Moreover, one of his sons was
fighting the German Kaiser in France.

In 1885, in Monroe County, Mr. Hissom married Miss Eva Wright, daughter of Mr.
and Mrs. William Wright, now deceased. Her father was a farmer. Mrs. Hissom
died in Tyler County in 1889, and was survived by two daughters: Miss Nellie
T., who died at the age of thirty-one, and Nora D., wife of Jack B. Horner, a
mill worker at Washington, Pennsylvania. In 1891, in Tyler County, Mr. Hisson
married Miss Lottie J. Craig, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Craig, now
deceased. By this marriage Mr. Hissom has two sons, William C. and Olin S.
William, who was born June 20, 1892, was educated in the schools at St. Marys
and is associated with his father in business. He married Ethel Adams, a
native of Pleasants County, and their three children are Kathryn, born January
17, 1913; Billie, born September 10, 1915, and Charles, born July 4, 1919. The
second son, Olin, was in France twelve months with the Expeditionary Forces,
participated in the Argonne Drive, and was mustered out with the rank of
sergeant. He now is connected with the lumber business.

Jonathan Corbley Powell

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg 79.

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

JONATHAN CORBLEY POWELL, prosecuting attorney of Pleasants County, is now in
his second term, and his record is a most interesting and unusual one. He was
elected prosecuting attorney before he finished his law course in the State
University, and early in his first term turned over the responsibilities of
the office to his assistant and for practically two years was in the uniform
of an army officer, so that during more than half of his term he was
prosecuting attorney in name only.

Mr. Powell was born in Pleasants County November 9, 1892, and evidently his
range of experience for a man of thirty has been exceptional. His grandfather,
Jonathan Powell, was born in England in 1831, and as a young man came to
American and settled in Monongalia County, West Virginia. He was a farmer,
timberman and steamboatman. In 1867 he bought land in Pleasants County, and
two years later located on that land, near the mouth of Sugar Creek, making
his home on this place until his death, which occurred May 24, 1917. He owned
a large amount of land, carried on extensive operations as a farmer. and also
did a large business as a timberman. He was a democrat and a member of the
Methodist Protestant Church. Jonathan Powell married Minerva Summers at Little
Falls in Mononealia County, where she was born in 1840 and died at the old
homestead in Pleasants County in March, 1916. She was the mother of four
children: Alice, wife of Theodore Birkhimer, a merchant at Cloverdale,
Pleasants County; James B., a merchant at Federal, West Virginia; Thomas B., a
merchant at Parkersburg; and George B., a farmer and merchant at Sugar Valley,
West Virginia.

James B. Powell, father of Attorney Powell of St. Marys, was born in
Monongalia County August 23, 1857, and is still living at Federal, near the
old homestead in Pleasants County. He acquired a common school education in
Monongalia and Pleasants counties, was married in the latter county, and has
followed farming. He owns a farm in Lafayette District, and is also a merchant
there and a stockholder in the Pleasants County Bank of St. Marys. James
B. Powell is a democrat, and is a trustee and active supporter of the
Methodist Protestant Church. He married Miss Alice Jennie Lucas, who was born
in Pleasants County August 24, 1869 Two sons were born to their marriage. The
older, Edmond Perry, died September 14, 1913, at the home farm at the age of

Jonathan Corbley Powell was reared on the farm of his father, attended rural
schools, completed a business course in a business college at Marietta, Ohio,
in 1908, during 1909-10. was a student in the preparatory department of West
Virginia University at Morgantown. and finished his literary education in the
Fairmont State Normal School in 1912. In 1913 he entered West Virginia
University, law department, graduating LL. B. with the class of 1917.
Mr. Powell was first honored with the office of prosecuting attorney of
Pleasants County in November, 1916. He was inaugurated January 1, 1917, and at
once appointed an assistant to conduct the office until June 17, 1917, when.
having graduated. He took personal charge. In the meantime America had entered
the war with Germany, and, his application being accepted, he entered the
Second Officers Training Camp at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, August 24,
1917. He was in training there and was commissioned second lieutenant November
23, 1917, being ordered to report to the Eighty-fourth Division at Camp
Taylor, Kentucky, and was assigned to Headquarters Company of the Three
Hundred and Thirty-sixth Infantry. April 22, 1918, he was transferred to Camp
Gordon at Atlanta, being made an instructor in the Infantry Replacement Troops
in the Manual of Courts Martial in the Smoke, Gas and Flame School, Second
Division. June 17, 1918, Lieutenant Powell was transferred to Camp Hancock,
Augusta, Georgia, school of machine gun fire, and on July 25, 1918, was
promoted to the rank of first lieutenant and assigned as a company commander
and instructor in the Fourth Officers Training School in Machine Gun work at
Camp Hancock. He also instructed in the branches of manual of court martial
and in the machine gun work and in the gas, flame and smoke school and was
instructor in hand grenades. His work at Camp Hancock was of a very arduous
nature, and he was exceptionally gifted for the varied duties to which he was

Lieutenant Powell received his honorable discharge February 6, 1919, and at
once returned to St. Marys and took over the duties of prosecuting attorney in
person. November 3, 1920, he was reelected for another term of four years, his
term running from January 1, 1921, to January 1, 1925. Mr. Powell is a
republican, and a member of the County and State Bar Associations. He is a
stockholder in the Archer Cord Tire & Rubber Company at Minneapolis. Among
other real estate he owns at St. Marys is a handsome stucco residence, which
he completed for his own family, in 1921. Mr. Powell is present noble grand of
St. Marys Lodge No. 22, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

July 20, 1918, at Augusta, Georgia, he married Miss Lillian Grey Hackney,
daughter of James M. and Martha J. (Grey) Hackney, of Morgantown, where her
father is a contracting carpenter. Her father graduated A. B. from West
Virginia University in 1892. Mrs. Powell is a graduate of the Morgantown High
school and was in the junior class of West Virginia University when she was
married. She had also taught three terms in the Morgantown public schools.

Mr. and Mrs. Powell have two daughters, Rosemary, born April 27, 1919,
and Margaret Grey, born October 13, 1921.

Daniel W. Reynolds

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume II pg. 525

Submitted by Gerald Bills.

DANIEL W. REYNOLDS passed his entire life in Pleasants County, West
Virginia, was a representative of an honored pioneer family of that part of
the state, and in his personality and achievement he made for himself a place
of no minor distinction and influence in connection with civic and business
affairs in his native county, especially in connection with the development of
the oil industry. He was born in Pleasants County in the year 1859, and was a
son of Isaac and Cassadora (Bills) Reynolds. His paternal grandfather, Daniel
Reynolds was the pioneer founder of the family in what is now West Virginia.

This sterling pioneer obtained land on an island in the Ohio River, opposite
St. Marys, Pleasants County, and there instituted the reclamation of a farm
from the wilderness. His son Isaac likewise became a farmer in that locality,
and was a comparatively young man at the time of his death, after which, in
order to provide for her family, his widow conducted a hotel at St. Marys at
the time when the railroad was being constructed to that place.

Daniel W. Reynolds was the third in a family of eight children, and
owing to the death of his father his early educational advantages were
somewhat limited. But he had the ambition and determined purpose which brook
no such handicaps, and this is clearly shown in the fact that when he was but
sixteen years of age he had so advanced himself as to become a successful
teacher in the schools of his native county. As a popular representative of
the pedagogic profession he served for a time as principal of the public
schools in St. Marys, the county seat. Thereafter he was for some time engaged
in the marketing of railroad ties, in the period of railway construction in
that section of the state, and when oil was discovered in Pleasants County he
was influential in enlisting outside capital for the development of the
industry in his native county. He also became a successful operator in
connection with oil production, and through his well directed activities he
accumulated a substantial fortune. He was one of the organizers of the
Pleasants County Bank at St. Marys, and became the owner also of a large
amount of valuable real estate in his native county. Mr. Reynolds was a man of
fine intellectual ken and of exceptional civic loyalty. He was a staunch
democrat, and as a candidate of his party was twice elected sheriff of
Pleasants County. He was an earnest member of the Baptist Church, as is also
his widow, was a zealous advocate of the cause of temperance and was
affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He married Miss Addie
Lewis Johnson, a daughter of the late William Johnson, who was long an honored
and influential citizen of Wood County. Mrs. Reynolds now maintains her home
at Boaz, West Virginia. Her husband passed to the life eternal in June 1901,
honored by all who knew him and known as one of the representative citizens of
Pleasants County. Mr. Reynolds is survived also by two sons, Dan Howard and
Arthur Hiett, who are associated in business in the City of Parkersburg and
concerning whom specific mention is made in following paragraphs.