Category Archives: Preston

Ivan Davis

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
February 13, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume II, pg. 129-130

Ivan Davis is a banker at Kingwood, being cashier of the Kingwood
National Bank. He acquired his early business training at Morgantown, where
he was connected with the glass industry for many years.
Mr. Davis succeeded W. A. Schaeffer as cashier of the Kingwood National
Bank and is also one of its directors. This bank was organized in 1902 by
local capitalists, the moving spirit being James W. Flynn. Other associates
were Ira Robinson, of Grafton, Senator Stephen B. Elkins and S. H. White. The
capital has always been maintained at $25,000 and the surplus and undivided
profits now stand at a similar figure. The officers are: Mr. Flynn,
president; C. A. Craig and George A. Herring, vice presidents; Mr. Davis,
cashier; and Charles Manown, bookkeeper.
Mr. Davis represents one of the older families of West Virginia, both his
father and grandfather having been born in the state. His great-grandfather
more than 100 years ago came from New Jersey and established his home in
Doddridge County, where he lived out his life as a farmer. His son William
was a Doddridge County farmer all his life, and the third generation of the
family here was represented by William G. Davis, father of the Kingwood
William G. Davis was born in 1834, and has now reached venerable years,
his active life having been devoted to farming. He was a Confederate soldier
and was in the army until the close of the war. He was a private, and though
in many battles he escaped wounds or capture. That has been practically his
only service outside of his farm and home community. Like most of his
ancestors he has been satisfied to vote as a democrat, and he is a member of
the Baptist Church. William G. Davis married Miss Martha Hall, who died in
June, 1921, at the age of sixty-eight. Her father was Lemuel Hall, of Auburn,
in Ritchie County. William G. Davis and wife had seven sons and one daughter:
Newton F., Lewis T., William L., Cyrus A., Marshall, Fred, Ivan, and Lydia,
the latter the wife of W. Lewis of Doddridge County. All the sons are farmers
but William L., who is a Baptist minister, and Ivan.
Ivan Davis was born near Salem, Doddridge County, November 7, 1882, and
he grew up near the county seat and was a factor on the farm until about
eighteen. He then supplemented his common school education by attending Salem
College three years, and at the age of twenty-one completed the course of the
Mountain State Business College at Parkersburg. With this education and
training Mr. Davis became an office man for the Mississippi Glass Company at
Morgantown, and was continuously with that corporation for fifteen years,
seeing it grow from a plant employing about seventy-five men to and industry
with a pay roll of about 300. he was assistant manager of the company when he
resigned in July, 1917, to remove to Kingwood and enter upon his duties as
cashier of the Kingwood National Bank.
Mr. Davis is a member of the minority party in Kingwood, a democrat, and
only once has been a candidate for office. He was on the ticket in 1920 for
county clerk of Preston County, and made a splendid showing in spite of the
inevitable defeat of that year. He is a Methodist, and a member of the
Masonic Lodge. Mr. Davis and his wife planned their very attractive home at
Kingwood, which is of English style of architecture and was completed in 1921.
Mrs. Davis before her marriage was Miss Isa Lynne Bucklew. She was born
in Preston County in 1892 and was married at Kingwood, December 25, 1912. Her
father, George W. Bucklew, represents one of the pioneer families of West
Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Davis have two sons: George William and Delroy Richard.

John Byrne

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
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. 285
Braxton County

JOHN BYRNE. The most prominent, successful and ca-
pable men are not always those who started out in life
with the ambition to achieve something especially great or
famous, but almost invariably are found to be individuals
who at the outset placed a proper valuation upon indus-
try, integrity and determination. Possessing these quali-
ties as a capital, John Byrne, of Sutton, entered upon his
business career, and during the course of many years rose
to a position of independence and prominence in his local-
ity, where he is now living retired. For him the path to
success was not an easy one, for his youthful advantages
were limited and his earlier years were ones crowded with
labor, but these facts made his success all the more wel-
come and gratifying when it had been achieved.

Mr. Byrne was born at Sutton, February 9, 1848, a son
of John P. and Sabina C. (Sterrett) Byrne. He traces
his ancestry back to George Byrne, a native of Wicklow,
Ireland, who immigrated to America in the year 1720 and
settled near what is now the City of Washington, D. C.
He was the father of Samuel B. Byrne, whose son, Peyton
Byrne, was the first of the family to migrate westward, lo-
cating in what is now Preston County, West Virginia, in
1794. He was the father of John B. Byrne, whose son,
John P. Byrne, was the father of John Byrne. John P.
Byrne was born in Lewis County, West Virginia, July 6,
1817, and acquired his education in a private school. Dur-
ing the greater part of his life he applied himself to agri-
cultural pursuits, but was also prominent in public and
political affairs and was a leader of the whig party. When
Braxton County was organized, in 1836, he was made a
deputy sheriff under the first sheriff of the newly-organized
county, and later in life became county clerk, a position
which he held for eighteen years and which he was occu-
pying at the time of his death, February 2, 1860, when
he was but forty-three years of age. He first married
Sabina C. Sterrett, who was born in Missouri, in 1830, and
died August 29, 1853, in the faith of the Presbyterian
Church. They became the parents of three children, of
whom John Bryne is the only survivor. In 1854 John P.
Byrne took as his second wife Jane Hamilton.

John Byrne was but five years of age when his mother
died, and his youthful education was somewhat neglected,
although in later years he gained much practical knowl-
edge through reading, experience and observation, and
became a man of good education. When he was twelve
years of age his father died, and he went to live at the
home of his grandmother, Mrs. Sterrett, with whom he
remained until reaching the age of seventeen years, when
he began to be self-supporting. For some years he worked
as clerk in a store and saved his money carefully, so that
in 1871 he became a proprietor on his own account through
the purchase of a modest stock of goods. This business
he gradually built up from small proportions to become a
nourishing and successful enterprise, and continued as its
head until his retirement in 1916. Mr. Byrne gained suc-
cess solely through his own efforts, aided by a reputation
for fair and honorable dealing that has always been well-
merited. During his career he has also interested himself
to some extent in farming, and in this field, as in the other,
hard work and intelligent management served as the me-
dia through which prosperity was gained. Like his father,
Mr. Byrne has been active and influential in public and
political life. For several years he was one of the leaders
of the democratic party, and served as chairman of the
Braxton County Democratic Committee. In 1876 he was
elected sheriff of Braxton County, and acted in that capacity
for a period of four years, giving the people an excellent

Mr. Byrne was united in marriage with Miss Frances C.
Squires, who was born near Sutton, October 17, 1858, a
daughter of Norman B. Squires, a native of Braxton
County, who died of wounds received during the Civil war
while serving in the Federal Army. Mrs. Byrne is a faith-
ful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Sutton.
She is the owner of farming land in Braxton County. To
Mr. and Mrs. Byrne there have been born fourteen chil-
dren, of whom ten are living: Sabina C., the widow of
Joel S. Berry; Norman, of Nicholas County, this state;
Ella, the wife of Dr. M. T. Morrison; John P., a farmer
near Sutton; Charles M., printer of the Braxton Central
newspaper; Robert E. and Ethel, at home; George C., a
traveling salesman; Mary A., the wife of John Newlon, of
Sutton; and Clarence, a resident of Sebring, Ohio.

Sanford Lee Cobun

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. 723

COBUN, SANFORD LEE. (Republican.) Address:
Masontown, West Va. Born September 11, 1860, in
Masontown, Preston county; educated in the free and
county select schools; occupation, merchant; President of
the Bank of Masontown; has served as Councilman and
Mayor of his native town; elected to the House of Dele-
gates in 1910; re-elected in 1912; elected to the Senate
from the Fourteenth District in 1916; is a hold-over Sena-
tor; in 1917 served on standing committees as follows:
Banks and Corporations (Chairman); Finance, Public
Buildings and Humane Institutions, Federal Relations, Im-
migration and Agriculture, Mines and Mining, Prohibition
and Temperance, Forestry and Conservation.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Thomas D. Craig

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
February 13, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume II, pg. 129

Thomas D. Craig. Craig is one of the prominent family names of Preston
County, and some space is given on other pages to a formal record of the
family, while here particular attention is devoted to one of the individual
members, Thomas D. Craig, a native of Preston County, and for many years
expressing his service as a teacher, farmer, and merchant.
He was born on Morgan’s Run, two miles south of Kingwood, March 1, 1870,
son of Charles C. Craig, who is one of the surviving members of the Civil war
still living in this community. Thomas D. Craig was reared on his father’s
farm and alternated between its duties and the work of nearby coal mines. He
did his first work in coal mines as early as ten years of age. Subsequently
he was a mine operator. He acquired the advantages of the country schools,
attended the old Normal School at Kingwood, and at the age of twenty-two
began teaching in rural districts. Altogether he taught for sixteen years,
his last school being Snyder’s School in the Kingwood district. While
teaching he also operated a coal mine and a farm. About the time the World
war began Mr. Craig had to give up business because of a physical breakdown,
and, selling his property, he sought renewed health in Florida and Alabama.
After a period he was thoroughly recuperated, and then returned and resumed
farming, and since December 1, 1921, has conducted a store at Snyder’s
Mr. Craig has done his duty as a citizen as a republican voter, and in
1900 and again in 1910 was one of the census enumerators in Preston County.
He was a delegate to the Berkeley Springs Convention when George W. Bowers
was nominated for Congress by the Second Congressional District. Mr. Craig
has filled various chairs in the Knights of Pythias Lodge and represented the
Kingwood Lodge in the Grand Lodge for two years. He and Mrs. Craig are almost
life-long members of the Methodist Church, and he has been superintendent of
the Sunday school.
In Preston County, February 12,1896, he married Miss Cora Savage,
daughter of David Harrison Savage. Some account of the Savage family should
appropriately be given at this point.
They represent an original line of people who established their homes in
the United States in Colonial times, and the family was represented in the
Revolutionary war. Farming has been with few exceptions the regular vocation
of the different generations. More than a hundred years ago the grandfather
of David H. Savage, John R. Savage, settled in Garrett County, Maryland,
seventeen miles northeast of Oakland, near Friendsville. The Savages and the
Friends were among the first settlers in that section of Maryland. John R.
Savage was a man of intelligence, capable in business and farming, and spent
his life in Garrett County in the development and improvement of his estate.
He married into the Friend family, his wife being Miss Caren, as they called
her. They had five daughters and one son: Mrs. Lavina Winger, Mrs. Lydia
Savage, Mrs. Savilla Friend, Mrs. Elizabeth Friend, while Mary died
unmarried. The only son, Thomas Savage, was born in February, 1823, and grew
up near Friendsville. He acquired a good common school education and was a
prosperous farmer in that community. In 1863 he enlisted in the Third
Maryland Infantry, under Captain Ambrose, and was a soldier until the end of
the war. He was in the Army of the Potomac, and among other engagements was
at the battle of Monocacy. He received his discharge at Baltimore in the
spring of 1865, and then resumed the work of the farm where he had left off.
He was never in official life, voted as a republican and was a Methodist.
Thomas Savage married Elizabeth Evans, a native of Wales, coming to the
United States at the age of fourteen with her parents, who first located at
Mount Savage, Maryland, and later in the Friend settlement in Garrett County.
Mrs. Thomas Savage died on the home farm where she had spent her married
life. She was the mother of thirteen children, and those who survived infancy
were: David Harrison, of Kingwood, West Virginia; Martha, who married Alfred
Jenkins, of Friendsville; George, of Somerfield, Pennsylvania; William and
Benton, who died unmarried; Arthur, who became a commercial traveler and died
at Pittsburgh; Emily, who died young; Freeman, who owned the old Garrett
County homestead, where he reared his family; and Effie, wife of Frank
Thomas, of Markersburg, Pennsylvania.
David Harrison Savage, whose home for over forty years has been in
Preston County, was born in Garrett County, Maryland, October 17,1848, and
finished his education in West Virginia University at Morgantown, but left
before graduating. For ten years he was a teacher in the public schools of
Preston County. He established his home two miles west of Kingwood, and his
last teaching was done in the home district there. While still teaching he
began cultivating and improving his farm, and was one of the very progressive
exponents of agricultural endeavor in this section. he did diversified
farming, growing the various cereals, raising livestock, making butter at
home, marketing poultry, fat hogs and cattle. His present home is almost
against the townsite of Kingwood, where he has lived since November, 1917,
and where he still cultivates half of the eighty acres he owns.
David H. Savage served as deputy assessor under Assessor Summers. He cast
his first presidential vote for General Grant in 1868, and since early
manhood has been an active member of the Methodist Church, and has been on
the official board.
In Preston County in June, 1872, Mr. Savage married Miss Jerusha Cale, a
native of the county, and daughter of Amos and Mary (Wishell) Cale. She was
one of a family of one son and four daughters, and the others still living
are Emory Cale and Mrs. Lucy Burk. Mr. and Mrs. Savage have one son and four
daughters: Cora M., wife of Thomas D. Craig; Gertrude, Mrs. William Morris,
of Tunnelton; Grace, who died as the wife of Walter Wilson; John M., who is
unmarried and a framer near Kingwood; and Lucy, wife of Charles Evick, of
Kingwood. The only two grandchildren of Mr. Savage were born to his daughter,
Mrs. Gertrude Morris.

Thomas J. Shaw

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 10, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 311-312

THOMAS J. SHAW. This is probably the last history of
the State of West Virginia which will include representa-
tion of surviving members of the Civil war. All these sur-
vivors of the great conflict have passed the age of three
score and ten. One of them, a highly honored citizen of
Preston County, a retired farmer living in the Village of
Denver, is Thomas J. Shaw, whose life as a civilian has
been thoroughly worthy of his record as a soldier.

He was born in Preston County, Reno District, February
24, 1842. His grandfather, Thomas Shaw, was a native
of England, spent many years as a sailor on the high seas,
and after leaving the sea he lived near Philadelphia for
a time and then came to West Virginia. He died in 1866
and is buried in the Israel Cemetery in Reno District of
Preston County. His children were Thomas A., Nicholas C.,
and Mary, who became the wife of Henson Pointer.

Thomas A. Shaw was born in Monongalia County, West
Virginia, about 1820, moved from there to Preston County,
where he married Rebecca Stillwell, whose father had come
from the vicinity of Philadelphia to Morgantown and later
settled in Preston County. Thomas A. Shaw for more
than half a century was a farmer in the Reno District.
He was one of the pioneers there, purchasing land covered
with heavy timber, and every acre put in cultivation was
the result of arduous work with the axe and other imple-
ments required for clearing. He lived there until his death
in 1897. He was a republican after that party came into
existence, and was a member of the Methodist Church. His
wife died several years before him. Their children were:
Eliza A., who married Christian Nine and is now living
at Terra Alta; Thomas Jackson, Lemuel Clark, whose home
is in Colorado; Mary Elizabeth and Rebecca Jane, twins,
the former of whom died as the wife of Jacob Miller, while
the latter is living in Reno District, the wife of James
Braham; Mrs. Virginia Ford, of Reno District; Columbia,
who first married Aaron Hardesty, then Mr. Bucklew, and
finally Lloyd Bolyard, and is now living as a widow near
Fellowsville in Preston County; Melissa, Mrs. Alexander
Shahan, living not far from Fellowsville.

Thomas J. Shaw spent his youth in what might be
termed a backwoods district. As soon as he was old enough
he handled the axe and other tools, assisting his father to
clear away the timber and brush from their acreage on
the headwaters of the Sandy. He is a product, so far as
his education is concerned, of one of the typical schools
of that generation. The community provided only an old
log shack as a schoolhouse, its furnishings being split logs
for benches, greased paper windows, a fireplace, the fuel
for which had to be chopped by the older boys. In this
rude temple of learning he studied a spelling book, learned
a little writing and figuring, and he considered it a good
record if he was permitted to attend school four days out
of the week.

He had barely completed his experience in this school-
house when the cloud of Civil war arose, and in 1863, when
he was twenty-one, he volunteered for the defense of the
flag in Company E of the Fifteenth West Virginia Infantry,
under Captain Paul and Colonel Morris. He drilled with
this company on Wheeling Island, went to Sir John’s Run
in Morgan County, then to the Big Kanawha, and from
there the command was ordered to Lynchburg. He caught
his first view of Confederate forces and engaged in his
first battle at Cloyd Mountain. He also fought at Lynch-
burg, Cedar Creek, Winchester, Hatchers Run, and in front
of Richmond his division took the three Confederate forts
of Harris, Gregg and Hill. Later his regiment was on
a forced march to Appomattox, and his command came in
contact with the enemy and had a skirmish before the
final surrender. Thomas Shaw was in sight of the place
where the negotiations for the surrender of Lee’s army
took place, and for a long time he owned a portion of a
tree from McClain’s orchard, the tree under which the
terms of capitulation were written. After the surrender
his regiment was sent to Wheeling, mustered out in June,
1865, and Mr. Shaw came out of the army with a record
of active participation in thirteen different battles. His
company went into service with 117 men, only 33 were
mustered out, and he was one of the three who escaped

As soon as his discharge was in his hand Mr. Shaw hur-
ried home to help on the farm, finding the harvest ready,
and he aided in putting it away. For a time he worked
at the sawmill of Martin L. Shaffer, later cut timber,
worked as a carpenter on several houses, and for some
twenty years he put up a strenuous fight to win existence
from an old farm on Brushy Ridge, where all the land
had to be cleared before any crops could be raised. This
was the strenuous period of his existence, as he recalls it,
since he worked from 4 in the morning until 8 at night,
regardless of weather conditions. His grit and persistence
while there laid the foundation of something like pros-
perity, and after he sold the coal under his land he estab-
lished himself at Denver on a little farm; and here, too,
the exertion of clearing had to be put forth before culti-
vation could be practiced. Then for some years followed
a successive program of crops, grain and stock, with sub-
sequent purchases of more land from time to time, until
the evening of life found him prepared with an ample
competence and now, with the companionship of the wife
of his youth, he is enjoying the comforts of a good resi-
dence at Denver, and they look back over the past without
regret and to the future without concern.

Thomas J. Shaw voted for Abraham Lincoln in 1864,
while he was in the army. He has cast a vote at every suc-
cessive national election, always in the same party faith.
He has served as a. trustee of the Methodist congregations
at Denver and at Nazareth.

In Taylor County, near Grafton, Mr. Shaw married, on
December 7, 1865, Miss Rosanna Rosier. She was born in
Taylor County, daughter of John and Narcissus (Hull)
Rosier. Her father was a native of Germany, was brought
to the United States at the age of ten years, spent his
active career as a farmer, and he and his wife are buried
in the Knottsville graveyard. Their children were: Edgar
Rosier, who served as a Union soldier and is living at
Grafton; Sarah Ann, who died at Webster, West Virginia,
wife of Balden Funk; Lemuel, also a Union soldier, who
died in Taylor County; Mrs. Shaw, whose birth occurred
April 10, 1844; Caroline, wife of Reuben Dillon, living
near Knottsville; Sanford, of Grafton; Miss Hattie, liv-
ing near Grafton; Amanda, who died unmarried; Jacob, a
farmer at the old homestead in Grafton; and Belle, Mrs.
Mart Thomas, of Fairmont.

Mr. and Mrs. Shaw, who celebrated their golden wed-
ding anniversary half a dozen years since, have one son,
and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The son, Charles Franklin Shaw, was born at Austen, Pres-
ton County, September 19, 1866, and is a successful mer-
chant at Clarksburg. He married Cora Taylor, and their
children are: Lula, Nellie Rose, Charles F., Jr., Carl J.,
and Ruby. The daughter Lula is the wife of Ned Edwards,
and they have five children, named Catherine, Edward,
Thomas, Susan and Lncile. Nellie Shaw married Roy
Repard, and her children are Cloyd, Walter and Luella
Jean. The grandson of Thomas J. Shaw, Carl J. Shaw, is
married and has a daughter, Bettie.

Wade H. Post

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

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume ll.
pg. 116

Wade H. Post, M.D. For sixteen consecutive years Doctor Post has
applied himself to the practice of medicine and the varied service demanded of
a capable and high minded physician in the Masontown community of Preston
County. He came here as successor to the old physician, Doctor Cobun, who had
carried most of the burden of local practice.
Doctor Post was born in Lewis County, West Virginia, April 8, 1877. His
grandfather, John Post, spent his active life in Lewis County, and married a
Miss Cookman. Of their eight children, six are still living. William F. Post,
father of Doctor Post, was a native of Lewis County and married Elizabeth Jane
Young, of Harrison County. Her children were: Scott of Seattle, Washington;
Birdie, wife of W.E. Rhodes, of Lewis County; Wilda, wife of Dr. C.L. Cookman,
of Buckhannon, West Virginia; Wade H.; Ansel B., of Lost Creek, West Virginia;
and Porter W., who was killed in an automobile accident at Morgantown in June
1919, leaving a wife and daughter, Jane Porter Post.
Wade H. Post lived on his father’s farm during his youth and continued to
call that his home until he was about twenty-five years of age and qualified for
professional work. He was educated in the county schools,in Union College at
Buckhannon one term, then in the national Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio,
and prepared for his profession in the Baltimore Medical College, where he
graduated in 1901. Dr. Post first practiced at Jane Lew in Lewis County,
remaining there a year, and then at dellglow in Monongalia County. When he
located at Masontown he moved only a short distance across the county line from
Dellglow. Doctor Post has served a year as president of the County Medical
Society, is a member of the West Virginia State and American Medical
Association, is a local surgeon for the Baltimore & Ohio Railway and a member
of the Railway Surgeons Association of the Baltimore & Ohio system.
Aside from hi busy days as a physican, Doctor Post was one of the organizers
and is first vice president and one of the directors of the Bank of Masontown.
he is also president of the Reed Run Coal Company, and has had other business
interests but has disposed of them. He avoids to many of the honors and
responsibilities of politics, but is a member of the Executive Committee of the
Democratic Party in Preston County. His first national vote went to Mr. Bryan
in 1900. Doctor Post is affiliated with Preston Lodge No. 90, A.F. and A. M.,
Royal Arch Chapter No. 30 at Morgantown; Osiris Temple of the Mystic Shrine in
Wheeling; and he is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd fellows and
Knight of Pythias.
In Harrison County, October 7, 1902, Doctor Post married Miss Mary Eleanor
Eib, a native of that county and sixth and youngest child of James M and
Arminda (Arnold) Eib. Her father was a farmer of the Lost Creek community and
member of an old family of German origin. Doctor Post lost his first wife by
death. She is survived by three children: Mary Christine, James William and
Helena Arminda. At Rockville, Maryland, April 8, 1915, Doctor Post married Miss
Grace Clayton. The only child born to Doctor and Mrs. Post died in infancy.

William Henry Glover

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. 736

Members of the House of Delegates.

GLOVER, WILLIAM HENRY. (Republican.) Ad-
dress: Terra Alta. Born in Preston county, May 17, 1846,
near Cranberry Summit (now Terra Alta). educated in
country and public schools; served in the Union army,
1864-5; located at Cranberry Summit when the war closed
and engaged in mercantile business; member of the House
of Delegates in 1885, 1895, 1897 and 1913; postmaster at
Terra Alta 1899-1904; served several terms as Mayor; is a
banker and officially connected with the Terra Alta and
Englehart Woolen mills; re-elected to the Legislature in
1916; committee assignments, 1917: Judiciary, Pri-
vate Corporations and JointStock Companies, Virginia Debt.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Charles C. Rusmisell

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
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. 284
Braxton County

CHARLES C. RUSMISELL, M. D., one of the physicians and
surgeons of Gassaway, is one of the faithful and skilled
members of the medical profession of Braxton County, and
one who is held in affectionate esteem. He was born near
Frenchton, Upshur County, West Virginia, July 15, 1877,
a son of John D. and Amanda A. (Hull) Rusmisell, both
of whom were born on farms near Frenchton, and both
were reared in the rural districts and attended the local
schools of the country regions. He is now retired, and they
are still living on the homestead where they settled at the
time of their marriage. The paternal grandfather of Doc-
tor Rusmisell was Dr. Adam Rusmisell, one of the early
physicians of Upshur County, to which locality he came
from Virginia, and where he was engaged in practice for
half a century. John D. Rusmisell and his wife had seven
children, namely: Flora, who is the wife of Charles
Marsh, of Buckhannon, West Virginia; Doctor Rusmisell,
whose name heads this review; James A., who is a physi-
cian and surgeon of Buckhannon; Fred H., who is a con-
tractor and builder of Buckhannon; John E., who is a
farmer, is operating the homestead; Gay D., who is an
oil driller; and Mrs. Wilda Duncan, who lives at Gassa-
way. The parents of these children belonged to the Meth-
odist Episcopal Church. In politics the father was a re-

Growing up on the homestead, Doctor Rusmisell at-
tended the district schools, and later took a commercial
course at the Mountain State Business College at Parkers-
burg, West Virginia, and after leaving college was for
two years engaged in business. In 1901 he entered the
American Medical College at Baltimore, Maryland, and
was graduated therefrom in 1905 with the degree of Doc-
tor of Medicine, and in 1906 located permanently at Gas-
saway, where he has built up a large and valuable connec-
tion. He is unmarried. Professionally he maintains mem-
bership with the West Virginia State Medical Society
and the American Medical Association. He is a stockholder
in the Bank of Gassaway and of the Gassaway Development
Company, and is much interested in the advancement of
his home community. During the years he has been at
Gassaway he has witnessed many changes, and is proud
of the fact that he has participated in some of them, and
that while he has advanced in material prosperity he has
at the same time built up a solid reputation for profes-
sional skill and personal integrity.

Charles Spindler

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
September 24, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 265-266
Preston County

CHARLES SPINDLER. Before answering the summons of
death on March 17, 1922, Charles Spindler had accumu-
lated those achievements that mark for lasting honor,
an individual life. He was a former sheriff of Preston
Comity, and had spent thirty years as a contractor both
in general building and in road construction and prob-
ably had as much substantial work to his credit in Preston
County as any other man in his line.

The Spindler family has been in Preston County since
prior to the Civil war. His grandfather, Jonathan Spindler
brought his family to the United States from one of the
German states about 1828, first locating in Somerset County,
Pennsylvania, where Jonathan Spindler died. He and his
wife were buried near Turkeyfoot. He was a farmer,
and all his sons were farmers or mechanics. These sons—
there were no daughters—were three in number, John, Jona-
than and Andrew.

Andrew Spindler was a volunteer soldier at the time
of the Civil war, but hostilities closed before he got out
of training camp. He learned the carpenter’s trade, made
it his life work, though he also owned a farm and reared
his family in the country. On coming to West Virginia
he established his home near Clifton Mills in Grant District
of Preston County. He was a contractor and builder in this
locality. He died in 1908, surviving his wife two years.
They were buried at St. Peter’s in Grant District. Andrew
Spindler was one of the respected men of his locality,
though he never sought public honors, voted as a republican
and worshipped as a Lutheran. He was a hearty and
rugged man, about medium height, and had a fine sense of
duty. His wife was Nancy J. Haines, of a family that
came to Preston County prior to the Spindlers. She was
born in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Her children were:
Elizabeth, widow of Robert Maust, residing near Clifton
Mills; William, a farmer and veterinarian in Grant Dis-
trict, and a member of the County Court; Loretta, who died
at Fairchance, Pennsylvania, wife of Steward Barclay;
Isabel, who became the wife of Edward Smith, of Union-
town, West Virginia; James G., of Fayetteville, Pennsyl-
vania; Samuel of Burkettstown, Pennsylvania; Charles;
and Bruce, an undertaker and furniture dealer in King-

Charles Spindler was born April 29, 1871, at his father’s
home in Grant District. He lived with his parents until
he passed his twenty-first birthday. He attained a com-
mon school education and attended two summer normals in
Grant District. For four years he was an apprentice at
the carpenter’s trade, followed it as a journeyman, and
gradually took on an ever increasing scope of activities
as a contractor. For many years his work was in building
houses and barns in Grant District exclusively. From there
he expanded his business over a larger territory, and to
include all classes of building and construction work, in-
cluding road making.

Mr. Spindler perfected an organization for handling per-
haps the most important class of public improvement to-
day, road building. Of hard surface road in Preston
County he constructed some fifteen miles. In 1921 he
completed three and a half miles of the Corinth and
Albright roads. The building of durable and permanent
roads was a subject to which Mr. Spindler devoted a great
deal of time and study, and he appreciated some of the
limitations imposed upon the contractors. While the type
of hard surface roads recently constructed is a wonderful
improvement over the old dirt road, it will not stand up,
in the opinion of Mr. Spindler, under the heavy traffic
of many years, since the construction work specified is too
light. Ordinarily five and seven inches of thickness has
been the standing for road building over the state, and
while experience shows it to be insufficient, county courts
have been slow in conceding their mistake and have failed
to adopt heavier type, involving greater initial expense,
but undoubtedly the better for permanent wear. Insufficient
drainage is another feature of road building that Mr.
Spindler discovered through experience, but the matter
of drainage has been well taken care of in his territory,
and undoubtedly an ideal system of drainage and con-
struction will in time be the standard.

One good example of Mr. Spindler’s activities in house
building is his Kingwood home, a ten-room brick of two
stories, which with its modern features, stands as one of
the finest residences in the county seat. Earlier in his
career he built his home in Bruceton and another at Terra
Alta. One high class artistic home which he constructed
is the Lincoln home at Kingwood. He erected four of
the Hopemont sanitarium buildings, the Masontown school
building and the bank building at that place, perhaps the
equal or better than any other banking house in the county.
He was also contractor for the Methodist Church and par-
sonage at Terra Alta. The best example of his concrete
construction is the three-story Herring business building
at Kingwood.

Along with contracting Mr. Spindler found other inter-
ests to engage his time and attention. The people of Pres-
ton County nominated him for sheriff in 1908. He was the
successful one among five candidates for the republican
nomination. He was elected, defeating William M.
Schaeffer, and served the four year term allowed by law.
He was a village and peace officer, though he had per-
haps only the normal routine of duties. Three murders
were committed in the county during that time, and he
used his official authority to break up some of the illicit
traffic in liquor. Mr. Spindler was twice elected mayor
of Terra Alta, and served one term in the same office
for Kingwood. At Kingwood his administration was
marked by an era of street improvement. Mr. Spindler
was a member of West Virginia Consistory of Scottish
Rite Masonry at Wheeling, and was also affiliated with
the Knights of Pythias, Independent Order of Odd Fel-
lows, and Woodmen of the World. He was reared a Luth-
eran but for a number of years was a member of the
Methodist Church.

In Preston County April 11, 1899, Mr. Spindler married
Miss Nettie Matheny, daughter of W. J. Matheny and
Fanny (Bush) Matheny. Mrs. Spindler was born in
Lewis County, West Virginia, in 1876, the oldest of eight
children, the others being Effie; Jessie, a trained nurse
who died unmarried; Mrs. Hattie Lyons; Howe; Ray;
Miss Willa and Miss Myrtle. Except Mrs. Spindler all
these children now live in Southern California, around
Los Angeles.

Surviving the honored husband and father are Mrs.
Spindler and two children: Charles Hobart was associated
with his father in the contracting business. He married
Miss Josephine Brown. Gerald Ralph is a student in the
University of Morgantown.

The first wife of Mr. Spindler was Luanna Wirsing.
By this marriage he had a son, William W., who after
reaching manhood became associated with his father in
business, and left civilian life to enlist at the beginning
of the World war. He was in the field artillery and died
at Camp Meade of the influenza and was buried with the
honors of a soldier at Kingwood.

Daniel C. Feather

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
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. 285-286
Preston County

DANIEL C. FEATHER, whose death occurred January 13,
1922, was a retired farmer at Terra Alta, lived fourscore
years, was an honored veteran of the Civil war, and for
flirty years or more after coming out of the army his time
and energies were devoted to the labors of his farm.

His ancestors came to Preston County when it was almost
an unbroken part of the great trans-Alleghany wilderness.
The family originated in Germany. The grandfather, Jacob
Feather, was the original settler in the Lenox locality of
Preston County, where he spent the rest of his years clear-
ing away the timber and making a farm. Zaccheus Feather,
father of Daniel Feather, was born at Lenox, July 14, 1805,
and died March 1, 1891. He married Elizabeth Ervin,
daughter of Isaac Ervin, and she was born August 6, 1814,
and died January 26, 1898. They lived out their lives on
the spot where their son Daniel was born, and were modest
and unpretentious farmers. Zaccheus Feather voted as a
democrat until the issues of the Civil war made him a
republican. Two of his sons were soldiers, Daniel and
Isaac, the latter in the Seventh West Virginia Infantry.
A brief record of all their children is as follows: Clara
Jane, who married Thomas J. Welch, reared a large family
and died in Preston County; Isaac B., who was a farmer
and is buried at the Crab Orchard Cemetery; Jacob, who
also lived at Crab Orchard and is buried there: Mary Ann,
who married B. A. Conner and died at Kingwood; Daniel
C.; Nancy M., who was the wife of J. C. Stokes and died
at Parsons, West Virginia; John S., a resident of Logan,
Ohio; Miss Eva Catherine, of Lenox; Amanda Ellen, Mrs.
John K. Peaslee, or Lenox; Martin Luther, who died in
Preston County; Sarah E., who married Scott Kelley, of
Terra Alta; and Minerva Belle, wife of Elmer B. Feather,
a farmer near Lenox.

Daniel C. Feather was born at Lenox, Preston County,
February 12, 1842, and he always observed his birthday in
conjunction with Lincoln’s anniversary, but his great ad-
miration for the martyred president had other substantial
grounds. Mr. Feather was reared on the home farm and
lived there until past twenty years of age. He then joined
Company B of the Fourteenth West Virginia Infantry,
under Captain Clinton Jeffreys and Colonel Daniel Johnson.
He first trained at Terra Alta, then spent three months
drilling on Wheeling Island, mobilized at Clarksburg and
soon went to the front and remained during the winter on
scouting duty at Keyser. His command was then returned
west to Parkersburg, thence to Charleston, and then crossed
the mountains into Old Virginia, along the Virginia and
Tennessee Railway. At Cloyd Mountain Mr. Feather was
struck in the right hip by a musket ball, fracturing the
thigh bone, and but for the help of comrades said he would
have been “down to stay.” While the Confederates were
beaten off, two days later General Morgan came in and took
the Federal wounded as prisoners, including Mr. Feather.
These prisoners were put in the Emory and Henry College
Hospital, where Mr. Feather remained five months. He
was then sent to Richmond and a week later was exchanged
and put in a parole camp at Annapolis, Maryland, and sub-
sequently sent to Baltimore for hospital treatment. While
there his discharge, previously applied, for, arrived at An-
napolis, to which, point he returned and was there the
night President Lincoln was assassinated. Mr. Feather
retained a vivid recollection of all the excitement attending
that tragedy. He left Annapolis for home in April, and
his discharge separated him from the army without a final
muster out. The bullet that wounded him was never found
and is believed to have remained somewhere in his body.
The wound it made frequently broke out afresh, and
caused him distress and misery until 1920, when it seemed
to have permanently healed and his troubles ended.

For some time after the war he was unable to resume
work, but when sufficiently recovered returned to the farm-
ing operations of his youth and established himself in his
home community. He lived there until his removal to Terra
Alta in 1894, except for a year and a halt spent in Hock-
ing County, Ohio, where he married. As a farmer Mr.
Feather was a grain and stock raiser, and these depart-
ments, together with the improvements of his farm and
the maintenance of its soil, constituted the daily and yearly
routine of his life until he gained a competence through
years of drudgery and retired to Terra Alta to spend his
declining years in comfort. He established his home at
the high point of the Alleghanies and lived there for more
than a quarter of a century. He was a stockholder and
one of the directors of the Terra Alta Bank. While in the
army he cast his first vote for Mr. Lincoln for President,
and every national election has called him out to vote the
same party ticket. He filled the chairs in the Knights of
Pythias Lodge of Terra Alta twice, was a representative to
the Grand Lodge, and some thirty years ago was made an
Odd Fellow at Bruceton Mills.

Deborah Ann Chidester was born in Preston County May
13, 1848, and as a young girl she entertained a high ad-
miration of the youthful soldier, Daniel Feather. When
she was nineteen years of age her parents moved to Hock-
ing County, Ohio, and Daniel Feather followed her there,
and on April 25, 1869, they were married. She was a
daughter of Harrison and Sabina (Falkenstine) Chidester,
her mother being a daughter of Samuel and Annie (Stuck)
Palkenstine. Harrison Chidester was born near Bruceton
Mills, in Preston County, May 6, 1826, spent all his career
as a farmer, served with the West Virginia Militia during
the Civil war, and in 1867 moved to Ohio and spent the
rest of his days near Logan, where he died February 5,
1897. His wife was born March 23, 1828, and died May
15, 1906. Mrs. Deborah Feather was the oldest of their
children, and the others were: Nancy, who married John
Feather and died in Hocking County; James, a resident
of Wichita, Kansas; Elma, widow of Alfred Nimon, of
Delaware, Ohio; Cyrus W., of Delaware; Isabel, wife of
Jeremiah Einger, of Terra Alta; and Emma, wife of Wither
Coy, of Payne, Ohio. The only child born to Mr. and Mrs.
Feather was Amy Louella, who died when almost eleven
years of age.