Category Archives: Taylor

Leonidas W. Bartlett

TAYLOR COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
April 13, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 405-406

LEONIDAS W. BARTLETT became widely known for his
business and commercial interests at Buckhannon before
he was appointed postmaster of that city. He is now in
his second term, a very capable and efficient administrator
of the office, and a popular citizen as well.

Mr. Bartlett was born at Webster in Taylor County,
West Virginia, June 21, 1859, son of Dr. T. Bailey and
Rhoda A. (Hudkins) Bartlett. His parents were also
born, reared and educated in Taylor County. Doctor Bart-
lett served four years in the Confederate Army. After
the war he returned to his family, completed his course
in medicine, and then located in Harrison County, where
he practiced for some years. Later he bought a farm in
Lewis County. He was a member of the Baptist Church,
and was affiliated with the Masonic Lodge at Lynchburg,
Virginia. Of his five children four are living: Dora D.,
wife of John W. Linger, of Lewis County; Hannah E.,
widow of L. A. Linger; Camdena, wife of Leonidas A. Wet-
sel, of Clarksburg; Florence, deceased; and Leonidas W.

Leonidas W. Bartlett was reared in Harrison County,
attended the common schools, and for a time was in the
mercantile business at Buckhannon. From 1886 for a
period of nineteen years he was a traveling salesman, and
during that time he built up a large acquaintance all over
the state. Mr. Bartlett has been a prominent leader in
the democratic party, and has been a member of both
the county and state committees. On July 1, 1914, Presi-
dent Wilson appointed him postmaster of Buckhannon, and
he was reappointed November 21, 1918.

In April, 1888, Mr. Bartlett married Miss Anna Vir-
ginia Latham. Mrs. Bartlett is a daughter of the distin-
guished Col. George R. Latham, member of an old Vir-
ginia family. Colonel Latham was born on the Bull Run
battlefield in Virginia, March 9, 1832, and at the age of
seventeen accompanied his parents to Taylor County, West
Virginia. Largely by his own efforts he acquired a liberal
education, and taught school for a number of years before
the war. In 1859 he was admitted to the bar, and opened
the first law office at Grafton. He published a paper
there during the campaign of 1860 in behalf of the Bell
Everett ticket. At the beginning of the Civil war he
immediately announced his Unionism, recruited a company,
and took it to Wheeling, where it was mustered in as Com-
pany B of the Second Virginia Infantry. With this com-
pany he participated in the early campaigns in West
Virginia. In the fall of 1864 he was elected a member
of the Thirty-ninth Congress, serving from March 4, 1865,
to March 4, 1867. On account of ill health he refused a
renomination. From 1867 to 1870 he was at Melbourne,
Australia, as United States consul, and in 1875 was elected
superintendent of public schools of Upshur County.

Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett’s only living child, Edna L., is
a graduate of Wesleyan College of Buckhannon. Their
son Frank attended a military academy and at the age of
eighteen volunteered for service in the infantry, and while
a sergeant was killed in the battle of Belleau Wood in
France.

Mr. Bartlett is affiliated with Franklin Lodge No. 7,
F. and A. M., Upshur Chapter No. 34, R. A. M., of which
he is a past high priest, and is treasurer of the Knight
Templar Commandery. He is one of the directors of the
Peoples Bank of Buckhannon, and has some valuable real
estate holdings both in Buckhannon and in Maryland. He
and his family are members of the Baptist Church.

Charles Arthur Sinsel

Biographical Sketches of Members of Congress, Members of the Legislature,
Officers of the State Governement and judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals,
West Virigina, 1917

Source:
West Virginia Legislative Hand Book and Manual and Official Register, 1917,
Compiled and Edited by John T. Harris, Clerk of the Senate,
The Tribune Printing Co., Charleston, West Va.
pgs. 719 – 770

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

pg. 728

SINSEL, DR. CHARLES ARTHUR. (Republican.)
Address: Grafton, West Va. Born in Pruntytown, June 5,
1864; primary education received in public schools; subse-
quently attended West Virginia University and Dennison
University, Granville, Ohio; a physician and surgeon; profes-
sional education received at University of Maryland, Balti-
more; served asPresidentofBoardof Education and Commis-
sioner of Public Schools, Graf ton; member Houseof Delegates
1915; elected to Senate, 1916from Eleventh District; isahold-
over Senator; committee assignments 1917: Medicine and
Sanitation (Chairman); Railroads, Prohibition and Temper-
ance, Education, Public Buildings and Humane Institu-
tions, Penitentiary, To Examine the Clerk’s Office.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Dudley L. Shields

TAYLOR COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Tina Hursh
frog158@juno.com
December 18, 1999
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 73

Dudley L. Shields, eldest of the children of the late Thomas L. Shields, to
whom a memorial tribute is paid in the review immediatley predeeding this
article, was born at Grafton, judicial center of Taylor county, West Virginia,
on the 28th of August, 1886, and he was about five years of age at the time
of the family of the family removal to Parkersburg, in which city he
continued his studies in the public schools until his graduation in the high
school as a member of the class of 1903. For two years therafter he was a
student in the University of West Virginia, and upon the death of his father he
left this institution and assumed active control of the substantial wholesale
produce business which his father had established at Parkersburg. Later he was
employed six years as a teller in the Parkersburg National Bank, and in 1917
he engaged in the automobile business, of which he has become one of the
prominent and successful representatives at Parkersburg, where he operates a
large and well equipped garage and repair shop, in which he handles a full line
of automobile accessories, besides as distributor in this district of the fine
Buick and Cadillac automoviles. His modern garage is located at the corner of
Eight and Avery streets.

Mr. Shields is one of the alert and progressive young business men of
Parkersburg, is a member of the local Board of Commerce and the Kiwanis Club, is
a democrat in politics, and he and his wife hold membership in the First
Baptist Church of their home city. In the Masonic fraternity Mr. Shields has
attained the Scottish Rite degrees and is a thirty-second degree Mason, besides
being affiliated also with Nemesis Temple of the Mystic Shrine and with the
Parkersburg Lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is an
active and appreciative member of the Parkersburg Country Club. The first wife
of Mr. Shields bore the name of Greek Douglas, and she is survived by one son,
Douglas. For his second wife Mr. Shields wedded Miss Lois Partidge, and they
have two children, Dudley L., Jr. and Grace.

James Sidney Burdett

Biographical Sketches of Members of Congress, Members of the Legislature,
Officers of the State Governement and judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals,
West Virigina, 1917

Source:
West Virginia Legislative Hand Book and Manual and Official Register, 1917,
Compiled and Edited by John T. Harris, Clerk of the Senate,
The Tribune Printing Co., Charleston, West Va.
pgs. 719 – 770

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

pg. 731

Members of the House of Delegates.

BURDETT, JAMES SIDNEY. (Republican.) Ad-
dress: Grafton, West Va. Born August 26,1893, in Taylor
county; educated in the public schools of Grafton, subse-
quently attending the West Virginia University; took the
law course at that institution and is now actively engaged
in practicing his profession; was elected to the House of
Delegates from Taylor county in November, 1916; during
the regular and extra sessions of 1917, he was assigned to
and served on the following standing committees of the
House: Elections and Privileges, Judiciary, Corporations
and Joint Stock Companies, Rules, Forfeited and Unap-
propriated Lands.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

John W. Dudley

TAYLOR COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Tina Hursh
frog158@juno.com
December 18, 1999
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 73

John W. Dudley was a citizen who made for himself secure place in the
confidence and high regard of the people of Parkersburg, West Virginia, in which
city he was reared from boyhood and in which he achieved prominence and success
as a business man, the while his sterling character and fine civic loyalty
caused him to wield much influence, though he was signally averse to all that
smacked of ostentation or self-seeking. His life was one of exalted personal
stewardship, and his kindliness and generosity endeared him to all who came
within the compass of his benignant influence. He was one of the well-known
and best-loved citizens of Parkersburg at the time of his death, which occurred
on the 3d of July, 1906.

Mr. Dudley was born in Oswego County, New York, but was a child when his parents
came from the old Empire State and established their home in West Virginia.
He was reared to manhood in Wood County, and such were the exigencies of time
and place that his early educational advantages were very limited, but his
alert and receptive mind enabled him effectually to overcome this handicap, and
he became a man of broad imformation and mature judgement. As a boy he drove
the first milk wagon placed in and finally he established himself in the
wholesale and retail flour business, in which he built up a substantial and
prosperous enterprise. Mr. Dudley was twice elected sheriff of Wood County,
and his able administration in the office thus covered a total period of eight
years. He lived a clean, sincere, upright life, was tolerant in judgment and
was ever ready to aid those in suffering or distress – those “in any ways
affected, in mind, body or estate,” Generous to a fault, he found ample
opportunities for helpfulness, and many there were who were by him aided in
the time of their misfortune, the while he invariable extended such aid with
characterictic modesty, as one who would “do good by stealth and blush to
find it fame.” He was an earnest member of the First Baptist Church of
Parkersburg, and was liberal in the support of the various departments of its
work. His political allegiance was given to the democratic party.

Mr. Dudley married Miss Emma Leonard, a daughter of Deacon Albert Leonard, who
was the organizer of the first Presbyterian Sunday School at Parkersburg, and
their ideal companionship was severed when the devoted wife and mother was
summonded to eternal rest in the year 1902. To Mr. and Mrs. Dudley were born
thirteen children, two of whom died in infancy and the others of whom still
survive the honored parents, namely: William, Grace M. (widow of Thomas L.
Shields, to whom a memoir is dedicated on other pages of this work), Charles P.,
Louise, Helen (Mrs. lawrence O’Neal), Hattie (Mrs. Frank Coffman), Albert, Emma
Gertrude (Mrs. George D. Heaton), Brainard J., Elizabeth (Mrs. Dorsey Evans),
and Clara (Mrs. Frederick Wood).

Norman Festus Kendall

TAYLOR COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
March 19, 2000
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 385
Taylor

NORMAN FESTUS KENDALL, one of the organizers and
cashier of the Taylor County Bank of Grafton, has been
a resident of Taylor County since 1891, and had put some
distinctive work to his credit as an educator before he
became a banker.

Mr. Kendall was born on a farm near Mannington in
Marion County, January 27, 1870. The family has been
in Marion County since pioneer times. His grandfather,
Elias Kendall, lived on a farm there to the venerable age
of ninety-eight. His vigor remained with him to the end,
and to the last day of his life he assisted in stacking hay.
He acquired a large body of land in the county, and was
a man of peace and industry and of considerable influence,
though never active in politics beyond voting as a demo-
crat. He married Isabelle Snodgrass, and their children
were Alva, John, Earner, William B. C., Vine and Mrs.
D. H. Davis, wife of Rev. D. H. Davis of Pullman, West
Virginia.

William B. C. Kendall, father of the Grafton banker,
is still living on his farm at Mannington, though he has
reached that age where he is practically retired from its
responsibilities. He was born near his present home, and,
his services being needed by his parents, he employed two
substitutes during the Civil war. He graduated from
Duff’s Business College at Pittsburg, and since then his
time and energies have been devoted to the farm. He has
served as a justice of the peace. In Marion County he
married Miss Rachel Cunningham, who was born there
seventy years ago, daughter of Nimrod Cunningham, a
farmer in that section. The children of this union were
eight in number, six sons and two daughters, Norman F.;
Porter, a schoolman, who died in 1888; Ross, Mrs. Fannie
Murray, Ward, Howard and Miss Bertha, all of Marion
County, and Everett, of Robinson, Illinois.

Norman P. Kendall spent the first eighteen years of his
life at the home farm, and in the meantime was educated
in the common schools and the Fairmont State Normal.
He did his first work as a teacher in the country schools
of Wetzel and Marion counties, later was assistant super-
intendent and principal of the State Reform School for
Boys at Pruntytown, near Grafton, over six years, and
then became principal of the Fetterman School in Taylor
County. He served as mayor of Fetterman two years.
Following that he was chosen and selected as editor and
manager of the Harrison County Herald and the Salem
Express, and did newspaper work on them for three years.
It was a period of some strenuous political battles in the
county, involving some of the leading old-guard politicians
in the republican party. The struggle to dislodge these
from control almost resulted in the county changing its
political complexion. Mr. Kendall in purchasing the Salem
Express turned all its power toward cleaning up the town,
and in that he had to combat all the active liquor inter-
ests, and the Express office was fired by its enemies, who
almost destroyed the town, and the owner of the office
narrowly escaped physical catastrophe at the hands of the
liquor men. Nevertheless the Express went on with its
publication and helped rout the “speakeasies” and made
the town the cleanest in the state. When these
issues were settled Mr. Kendall resigned from the papers
and resumed his educational work as principal of the West
Grafton schools. Later he was selected as a member of
the Grafton School Board. He was on this board six
years, and during that time the high school and the South
Side ward schools were erected and the West Side school
completed. During the same period the Grafton High
School was given rank among the first grade high schools
of the state.

In June, 1905, Mr. Kendall and associates completed
the organization of the Taylor County Bank, his chief as-
sociates being J. C. Lewellen, Martin L. Shields, John L.
Magill, V. T. Hanley, W. W. Tapp and George W. Low-
ther. The bank opened for business the 5th of June
with a capital stock of $50,000. The officers are J. C.
Lewellen of Grafton, Martin L. Shields of Rosemont, and
Hiram Linn, vice presidents, and Mr. Kendall, cashier.
The present board of directors are, F. M. Poe, W. S.
Phillips, George Neel, W. C. Frum and Dr. F. S. Suddarth.
This bank now has total resources of $700,000. In the
meantime Mr. Kendall has also assisted in the organiza-
tion and is a director of the Bank of Flemington, and has
some other interests in the coal mining industry at Astor.

Mr. Kendall was reared a democrat, but has not been a
strict partisan. His first presidential vote went to Mr.
Cleveland. He voted for Major McKinley in both cam-
paigns, having a personal acquaintance and a high admira-
tion for the Ohio republican. He also supported Colonel
Roosevelt in all his aspirations for office. He helped elect
Mr. Wilson both times. Mr. Kendall is a Mason and Odd
Fellow, is a past noble grand of the latter order and has
sat in the Grand Lodge. His father was a Baptist and his
mother a Southern Methodist, and he has long been identi-
fied with the Methodist Episcopal Church, serving on the
official board and in 1904 was a lay delegate from West
Virginia to the General Conference at Los Angeles. At
the age of seventeen he began active work in Sunday
school, and has been a Sunday school superintendent
thirty-two years. For eleven years he had charge of the
state work of the Epworth League, and during that time
the largest Young People’s State conventions were held.

In Taylor County, June 17, 1896, Mr. Kendall married
Miss Vesta B. Jones, daughter of Nathan H. Jones, a son
of the famous pioneer “Jones Family” of Taylor County,
and Jemimah R. (Robinson) Jones. She was the third
among their four daughters, the others being Mrs. Mary
Kelley, of Grafton, Mrs. A. J. Reynolds, of Fairmont, and
Mrs. Claud E. Vincent, of Fairmont.

W. J. Mays

TAYLOR COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
April 13, 2000
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 409

W. J. MAYS is the present efficient sheriff of Taylor
County, was for a number of years in the police and me-
chanical service of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and
baa been a resident of Taylor County since he was two
years old. He represents one of the pioneer families of
West Virginia.

Hia pioneer ancestor was William Mays, who served with
Virginia troops in the Mexican war, and spent his last
years in Monongalia County, being buried in the family
graveyard near Fannie Furnace in that county. His son,
Frederick Mays, was born in Monongalia County, and
married Eleanor Snider, a native of Preston County and
daughter of John Snider. They had a large family of
children, including three sets of twins: Jacob, Lewis S.,
James M., Mary E., who married George Boylan; Sarah
E., who married William LaRue; John N.; Margaret A.,
who married Jake Ecoff; Sophia D., who married Wesley
Hartman; Kate, who married John Smith; Richard C.;
and Martha A., who became the wife of William Grimes.

John Nelson Mays, father of Sheriff Mays, is a retired
farmer at Thornton in Taylor County. He was born
in Marion County, February 4, 1843, but grew up near
Independence, Preston County, where he acquired a sub-
scription school education and a practical knowledge of
farming. He has one of the most notable war records of
the surviving soldiers of the Union. He was eighteen
when in May, 1861, he joined at Morgantown, Company
A of the Third Infantry, under Capt. J. J. Thompson
and Col. David T. Hughes. After a period of training
at Clarksburg the company was assigned to guard duty
on the Parkersbnrg branch of the Baltimore & Ohio. After
six months the regiment was put on scout duty with the
Mountain Department of West Virginia, and after about
two years the regiment was mounted and became the Fifth
Infantry. While in service in the Valley of Virginia it
participated in the battles of McDowell, Cloyd Mountain,
Cross Keys, Port Republic and Culpeper, and fourteen
days of fighting along the Rappahanock River. It was on
patrol duty in Washington when Lincoln was assassinated
and during the closing scenes of the war, including the
Grand Review. In the meantime the regiment had been
organized as the Sixth West Virginia Cavalry. After the
war the Sixth Regiment was ordered to duty on the west-
ern plains, Mr. Mays in the meantime having re-enlisted.
They proceeded by rail to Fort Leavenworth, and thence
across the plains to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to open the
mail route closed by Indian hostilities. A year later Mr.
Mays was returned to Fort Leavenworth, where he was
discharged in June, 1866. In the first years of his army
experience he was twice taken prisoner, first near Morefield
Gap by General Rosser and Green’s Confederate command,
and later by the same forces at New Creek, now Keyser,
West Virginia. Both times he made his escape from his
captors. Later, in Nebraska, he was with a force guard-
ing an ox-train carrying Government supplies. One eve-
ning he and a comrade were about a mile from camp
looking for game. By some strange premonition he sensed
danger, though there were no Indians in sight, and when
his companion refused to leave off hunting he rode to the
corral. He never saw his fellow hunter again, since he
was hardly in camp when a band of 400 warriors came
by, capturing his comrade and stampeding some cattle
in another wagon train camped nearby.

John N. Mays had three brothers in the Union Army,
Jacob, Lewis S. and Frederick G. After his discharge
at Port Leavenworth John N. Mays was returned to
Wheeling, where he was mustered out, and he soon re-
sumed the routine of civil life as a farmer in Preston
County, and later moved to Taylor County. He has always
been a republican, never active in politics, held a commis-
sion for some years as notary public, and is a member
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His first wife was
Miss Phoebe Griffith, a native of Preston County and
daughter of Ebenezer Griffith. She died three years after
their marriage, as the result of an overdose of morphine
administered by a physician. One of her two children
died in infancy and the other is W. J. Mays. On March
10, 1875, John N. Mays married Miss Emma Hardinger
in Taylor County, where she was born, August 10, 1861,
daughter of Moses and Julia N. (Rose) Hardinger, na-
tives of Pennsylvania and farmers in Taylor County.
Emma was one of a family of five sons and four daugh-
ters, and three others are still living. The children of
John N. Mays by his second marriage are: Ola, wife of
Allen DeMoss, of Thornton; Alonzo, of Detroit, Michigan;
Grace, who married Robert Travis, of Thornton; Ira E.,
of Detroit; Chauncey, of Richmond, Virginia; and Pearl,
wife of Edward Haines, of Cumberland, Maryland.

W. J. Mays, son of this old soldier, was born near Evans-
ville, Preston County, February 5, 1869, and was less than
two years old when his father moved to Taylor County.
He acquired a country school education, and at the age
of eighteen became a blacksmith apprentice in the shops
of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. After four years of
apprenticeship he was raised to the regular rank and
pay, and remained in the shops of the company for eleven
years. Leaving that he conducted a dairy at Grafton five
years, and then by appointment from Mayor James Love
served two years as chief of police. The Baltimore &
Ohio invited him to return to its service as a police of-
ficer, and subsequently he was promoted to captain of
police for the Mononga division, a post of duty he held
two and a half years. During the World war period,
when the railroad needed all available mechanical skill,
he resumed his former trade in the railroad shops. While
there he was persuaded by his friends to stand for nomi-
nation for sheriff, received that honor in the primaries
of 1920, and in the fall of that year was elected by a
majority of 2,144, the majority being larger than all the
votes cast in the county for his competitor. He succeeded
Sheriff Melvin Newlon in January, 1921.

Sheriff Mays is an active representative of all progres-
sive movements in his city and county. He is a republican,
a member of the Chamber of Commerce, a Methodist and
is affiliated with the Masons, Modem Woodmen and Red
Men. In Taylor County, November 30, 1891, he married
Miss Margaret A. Knotts, daughter of John K. and Ann
(Linn) Knotts. Her father was a Taylor County farmer,
and represented one of the prominent family names there.
Mrs. Mays, who was born March 23, 1872, was the young-
est of eight children, the others being William L., Emery,
Robert, Isaac A., Zebulon B., Spencer S. and Miss Mary
J. Three of the sons became farmers and two railroad
men.

Mr. and Mrs. Mays have an interesting family of five
sons and five daughters. Clyde N. is chief clerk of the
division of accounts of the Mononga division of the Balti-
more & Ohio. Edna Jean is the wife of Charles Payne,
deputy sheriff of Taylor County. Abe Warder is deputy
sheriff and jailer of Taylor County. Paul Herbert is the
sheriff’s bookkeeper. Verne K. was recently discharged
from the artillery service of the United States Army. Mary
M. is a senior in the Grafton High School, and the younger
children are Samuel Linn, Margaret M., Virginia and
Ruth.

Thomas L. Shields

TAYLOR COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
******************************************************************
Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Tina Hursh
frog158@juno.com
December 18, 1999
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 72-73

Thomas L. Shields was distinctively a man of ability and of those sterling
attributes of character that ever beget popular confidence and esteem. Through
his own efforts he achieved substantial success in connection with the
practical affairs of life and by his character and achievement he honored his
native state. He died at his attractive subruban home at Parmaco, near the
City of Parkersburg, on the 28th of January, 1904, and had been retired from
active business for some time prior to his demise.

Mr. Shields was born in Taylor County, West Virginia on the 18th of December,
1856, and was a son of Zaddock and Penelope (Asbury) Shields, both likewise
natives of Taylor County, where they passed their entire lives and where the
respecitve families settled in the pioneer period of the history of that
section of the state. Zaddock Shields became a merchant at Pruntytown, Taylor
County, and was influential in public afairs in that part of the state, which
he represented in the State Legistlature, besides which he served a sheriff of
his native county, each of these official preferments having come to him after
he had been a gallant soldier of the Confederacy in the Civil war. Both during
and after the close of war his pleasant home was favored stopping place for his
old comrades in arms.

Thomas L. Shields was but thirteen years of age at the time of his father’s death,
and thus he did not attend school with any appreciable degree of regularity after
that time, as he found it incumbent upon him to find employment that should
enable him to aid in the support of his widowed mother and the yonger children,
he having been a member of a large family of children. His broader education was
that gained through self-discipline and through the lessons gained in the school
of practical experience. After the death of his father Mr. Shields found
employment in a machine shop at Grafton, the county seat of his native county and
his receptiveness enabled him to acquire marked skill as a mechanic, the while
his executive ability and his trustworthiness led to his eventual advancement to
the position of superintendent of this establishement. Later he became
district superintendent of a chian of water stations on the line of the
Baltimre & Ohio Railroad, in the service of which he continued some time. About
the year 1891 he removed with his fammily to Parkersburg and became proprietor of
the old Commercial Hotel, which he conducted with marked success as did he later
the Jackson Hotel, which under his management gained high repute and was a
favored stopping place for commerial travelers and others who visited the city.
He finally retired from active business and, as already stated, he passed the
closing period of his life in the suburb of Parmaco, where he had purchased a
tract of ten acres of land and developed one of the most attractive homes of
this beautiful district.

While a resident of Grafton, Taylor County, Mr. Shields became one of the
organizers and charter members of the lodge of free and Accepted Masons at that
place, and he continued in active affiliation with this fraternity until his
death. At Parkersburg he was an appreciative and popular member of the lodge
of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. His political allegiance was
given to the democratic party, and he was a member of the First Baptist Church
of Parkersburg, of which his widow likewise is an earnest member. She remains
in the attractive home at 215 Thirteenth Street, the same being under her care
a center of gracious hospitality.

On the 21st of May, 1885, was solemized the marriage of Mr. Shields with Miss
Grace M. Dudley, daughter of the late John W. Dudley, to whom a memoir is
dedicated on other pages of this publication. Mr. and Mrs. Shields became the
parents of five children: Dudley L. is the subject of individual mention in
the sketch that immediately follows this review; Inez is the wife of Frederick
Hopkins, M.D.; Emma P. is the wife of Lee Powell; Mildred is the wife of
Nowrey Smith; and Thomas L. is the youngest of the number.

W. P. Samples

TAYLOR COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA – BIOS: SAMPLES, W.P.
******************************************************************
Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
September 20, 1999
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 259

W. P. SAMPLES has been an active member of the Graf-
ton Bar since 1906. and his career both as a lawyer and
citizen has exemplified all the qualities that insure success
and esteem.

Mr. Samples had become a resident of Grafton before
beginning practice there. He was born at Mineral Point
in Harrison County May 7. 1876. son of James W. Samples.
His father was born in Greenbrier County, West Virginia,
April 6. 1844. acquire a liberal education, being one of
the first students in the West Virginia State University,
and later graduated at Marshall College. His career was
one long and steady devotion to educational work, and
he was the oldest member of the teaching profession in
Harrison County when he died in 1918. at the age of
seventy-three. He married Elizabeth Virginia Morris,
daughter of George Morris, a farmer at Grassland in Har-
rison County. Mrs. James W. Samples, who survives her
husband, was born in Harrison County, February 10, 1855.
She became the mother of the following children: Manna-
duke. of Salem, West Virginia; Heman S., of Norman,
Oklahoma; Eve Lee. wife of Truman Coffman, of Salem;
Guy E., at the old homestead in Harrison County: Gertrude
S.. of Seattle, Washington; Mrs. Ocie M. Goodwin, who
died at Dallas. Texas, February 20, 1916; Charles Roy,
of Norman, Oklahoma; and Percey Hale, the youngest,
who met a soldier’s death October 14, 1918, in the Meuse
sector on the Argonne front, and his body since being
returned to this country lies in the Odd Fellows Cemetery
in Salem.

William P. Samples was reared to manhood at Mineral
Point, and the duties that gave him a sound physique were
those provided by the farm. He attended the common
schools, one term in the Fairmont State Normal, and about
that time he became a volunteer in the Spanish-American
war, enlisting at Fairmont in June, 1898, in Company A
of the First West Virginia Infantry, under Captain Sabel
and Colonel Spillman of Parkersburg. The regiment was
in training at Chickamauga Park, Knoxville, Tennessee, and
finally at Camp Conrad, Columbus, Georgia, where the
troops were awaiting orders when the war closed. Mr.
Samples was mustered out at Columbus February 4, 1899.
He is a member of the United Spanish War Veterans-at-
large at Washington.

After leaving the army he continued his education as a
student for two terms at Salem College and two terms in
West Virginia University. He then returned home and
spent some time as a clerk at Grafton. While in the uni-
versity he passed his bar examinations and was admitted
to the bar in September, 1906, and at once established his
office at Grafton. He tried his first law suit here in the
Circuit Court, and his qualifications early brought him a
promising practice. His practice is general in both the
State and Federal Courts, and he has been admitted on
motion to practice at the Federal bar. Among other cases
of importance Mr. Samples was one of the counsel asso-
ciated with E. G. Smith and Stephen G. Jackson, of the
law firm of Smith and Jackson of Clarksburg, for the
Gentry Brothers Show Company, which sued the City of
Grafton for damages resulting when one of the company’s
wagons fell off the bridge over Berkeley Creek. Mr.
Samples and associates won their case and a judgment
for $2460.00 for their clients. Mr. Samples was employed
as general counsel for Isaac C. and William M. Ralph-
snyder. claimants of the estate of Adolphus Armstrong.
This litigation covered a period of ten years, finally settled
by agreement between the heirs. Mr. Samples’ clients ob-
tained as their share fifty-two and two-ninths of the estate.
An important factor contributing to this was the appoint-
ment secured by Mr. Samples of William M. Ralphsnyder
as administrator of the estate of Louisa Ann Armstrong
of Monroe County, Ohio, said to have been the sole heir
of Adolphus Armstrong. All attempts to remove Mr.
Ralphsnyder from his post as administrator failed, and the
larger part of the Adolphus estate finally reached the
Ralphsnyders because of this.

In 1918 Mr. Samples organized the Newlon Coal Com-
pany, a partnership, for the purpose of producing Pitts-
burgh coal at Simpson. West Virginia. In 1921 he organ-
ized the Adelaide Coal Company, a corporation with a
capital of $25.000 00. for the purpose of producing coal
on the Galloway Branch of the Baltimore & Ohio at Astor.
He is secretary and treasurer of both these companies.

Mr. Samples is a member of the Taylor County and
West Virginia Bar Associations. He is a past grand of
Central Lodge No. 98. Independent Order of Odd Fellows,
is a member of the Encampment and Rebekahs. and for
three years was district deputy of the Fifth District. He
is a member of Greenhill Methodist Protestant Church in
Harrison County.

At Grafton July 31, 1902, he married Miss Adelaide
Wyckoff. a native of Rosemont. West Virginia, and daugh-
ter of D. B. and Virginia (Bailey) Wyckoff. Mr. and Mrs.
Samples have two children: William’W. and Virginia.