Category Archives: Upshur

William B. Cutright

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 17, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 502

WILLIAM B. CUTRIGHT is not only one of the able and
representative members of the bar of Upshur County, where
he is established in the practice of his profession at Buck-
hannon, the judicial center of the county, but he is also
a scion of one of the old, honored and influential families
of this section of the state. Mr. Cutright was born on
his father’s farm in this county. May 3, 1869, and is a son
of Granville S. and Elizabeth H. (Hinkle) Cutright; a
grandson of Elmore and Sarah (Wolfe) Cutright; a great-
grandson of Jacob and Elizabeth (Westfall) Cutright, the
former of whom was a son of John and Rebecca (Truby)
Cutright. John Cutright came to what is now Upshur
County, West Virginia, in 1769, and the family name has
been prominently and worthily identified with civic and
material development and progress in this county during
the long intervening period. Mrs. Elizabeth H. Cutright,
mother of him whose name introduces this review, was a
daughter of Abraham and Mary Ann (Anderson) Hinkle,
the former a son of Jonas and Mary (Cooper) Hinkle and
a grandson of Leonard Hinkle, who came from Germantown,
Pennsylvania, to what is now West Virginia and lived in
turn in Hardy and Pendleton counties.

William B. Cutright so thoroughly utilized the advantages
of the public schools of his native county that as a youth
he proved himself eligible for pedagogic honors and became
a successful and popular teacher in the public schools, his
service in which thus continued from 1884 to 1889, in which
latter year he was elected county superintendent of schools
of his native county. After giving an effective administra-
tion for the term of his election he attended the normal and
classical-preparatory school at Buckhannon, in which he
completed both a commercial and a normal course, and in
1891 he received from the West Virginia Conference Semi-
nary, now the West Virginia Wesleyan College, the degree
of Bachelor of Pedagogy. He thereafter did post-graduate
work in this institution through the remainder of the year
1891, and then entered the University of West Virginia,
from which he received in 1895 the degree of Bachelor of
Arts. For two years thereafter he was a member of the
faculty of the preparatory department of the university, and
he then entered Columbia University, New York City, in
which institution he had received a Fellowship in eco-
nomics and history. He pursued his studies along these
lines for one year and then entered the law school of
Columbian University of Washington, D. C., in which he
completed his course and received his degree of Bachelor
of Laws. He was soon afterward admitted to the West
Virginia bar, but prior to this he was elected representative
of Upshur County in the Lower House of the West Virginia
Legislature, in which he served two years, with character-
istic loyalty and efficiency. Thereafter he served one year
as president of the State Normal School at West Liberty.
He resigned this position in June, 1899, and then engaged
in the practice of law at Buckhannon, where he also became
editor of the Buckhannon Delta, with which he thus con-
tinued his connection five years. He has been continuously
identified with stock-farming enterprise in his native county,
and is one of the vitally loyal citizens who are doing all in
their power to further the civic and material prosperity and
advancement of Upshur County. Mr. Cutright has had the
consideration to give from the exactions of his representa-
tive law business and his other interests the time to pre-
pare the history of Upshur County that appears in this pub-
lication, and to no other person in the county could this
assignment have been more consistently made. He is a
stalwart in the ranks of the republican party, and he and
his wife are zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal
Church in their home city.

On December 25, 1888, in Washington, D. C., Mr. Cut-
right wedded Miss Carrie C. Carper, no children being born
of this union. On the 27th of July, 1919, was solemnized
his marriage with Miss Mary L. Wilson, daughter of Gideon
H. and Lydia (Curry) Wilson. Mrs. Cutright was a suc-
cessful and popular teacher in the public schools for twenty-
three years prior to her marriage, and was graduated in
what is now the West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Robert A. Darnall

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 4, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 412-413

ROBERT A. DARNALL is one of the prosperous citizens of
Upshur County. He is a farmer and farm owner near
French Creek, but his career has been one of varied service
and activity, and he is one of the best known men of the
entire county.

He was born in Upshur County June 20, 1850, son of
Morgan A. and Jane (McDowell) Darnall. His father was
a native of Greenbrier County and his mother of Monroe
County, and they grew up in the same vicinity. Both were
well educated, though they had only the subscription schools
during their youth. After their marriage they settled on
a farm in Upshur County, living near French Creek, and
in 1859 moved to the farm now owned by Robert A. Dar-
nall. Here the father died in 1883 and the mother in 1911.
They were active members of the Baptist Church, of which
Morgan Darnall was a deacon. He was affiliated with the
Masonic Order and was a republican. During the Civil
war he became captain and later was colonel of the Tenth
West Virginia Infantry, Union Army. For a number of
years he held the office of justice of the peace. Of his
sixteen children, nine are still living.

Robert A. Darnall grew up on a farm in Upshur County
and his advantages in the common schools were supple-
mented by two terms in the French Creek Academy. As a
young man he taught school eight years. He was in the
lumber business fourteen years, and since then has been
quite steadily identified with the management of his farm
of 325 acres in the French Creek neighborhood.

Mr. Darnall was for six years a member of the County
Court of Upshur County, is now one of the overseers of
the poor, and is a fire insurance agent for the Grange
Mutual Insurance Company. He is a republican, a mem-
ber of the County Grange, and is a Baptist.

June 20, 1880, he married Malinda C. Rexroad, who was
born in the south end of Upshur County. They have five
children: Thomas A., a mechanic at Buckhannon; Roscoe
A., a merchant of Gilmer County; Porter A. who is in
the wholesale and retail feed business with his brother,
Roscoe A.; Nellie, wife of Fay Hammer, of Upshur County;
and Nora E., wife of Philip Phillips, of Upshur County.

James J. Deck

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 17, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 512

JAMES J. DECK, PH. D., who holds the chair of modern
languages in the West Virginia Wesleyan College, con-
ducted under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal
Church at Buckhannon, Upshur County, is a man of spe-
cially high intellectual attainments and has achieved marked
success in connection with education work in the land
of his adoption.

Doctor Deck was born in the canton of Zurich, Switz-
erland, on the 6th of January, 1861, and is a son of
John J. and Anne (Heidegger) Deck, both of whom
passed their entire lives in Switzerland. The father grad-
uated from the great University of Halle, Germany, and was
ordained a clergyman of the Evangelical Reformed Church,
to the service of which he gave his active life, with
utmost consecration and zeal.

Doctor Deck was reared in the City of Zurich, Switz-
erland, and in the local schools his discipline included the
gymnasium, corresponding to college in the United States.
His higher academic education was obtained in the Uni-
versity of Zurich, from which he received the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy, and in the College of St. Francis
Xavier in New York City, in which he completed the
regular course and was graduated, his intention at the
time having been to enter the priesthood. The Doctor
was twenty years of age when he came to the United
States and entered the college in the national metropolis,
in 1881.

From 1883 to 1896 Doctor Deck was at the head of the
department of chemistry in Georgetown University, District
of Columbia, and from 1898 to 1900 he was a private
tutor in higher branches of study at Washington, D. C.
In the latter year he accepted the position of instructor
in Greek at Taylor University, Upland, Indiana, but in
the following year was called to the chair of languages in
West Virginia Wesleyan College at Buckhannon, with which
institution he has since continued his effective service and
as a member of the faculty of which he now holds the
chair of modern languages. The Doctor is an honored
member of the West Virginia Annual Conference of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, and both he and his wife
are active and influential in various departments of church
work. He is past master of Franklin Lodge No. 7, Ancient
Free and Accepted Masons, at Buckhannon, past high
priest of Upshur Chapter No. 34, Royal Arch Masons, in
which he is again serving in this office in 1922, is the present
commander of Buckhannon Commandery of Knights
Templar, and is affiliated also with the Scottish Rite of
the time-honored Masonic fraternity, besides which he is
a charter member of Buckhannon Chapter No. 18, Order
of the Eastern Star, of which he is a past patron and
of which his wife likewise is an active member. In polities
Doctor Deck gives his allegiance to the republican party.

In July, 1898, was solemnized the marriage of Doctor
Deck and Miss Catherine F. Fitzgerald, who graduated from
the high school in the City of Washington, D. C. They
have three children: Ida M., who was born August 14,
1899, is a graduate of Miss Ellet’s private school for girls
at Washington, D. C., and of the Damrosch Institute of
Musical Art, New York City, as a member of the class
of 1921, where she is continuing her musical studies under
the direction of Doctor Goetschius at the time of this
writing, in 1922. Raymond S., who was born December
26, 1900, graduated from the college with which his father
is connected at the present time, and later received from
the West Virginia Wesleyan College the degree of Bachelor
of Arts, he being now principal of the high school at
Williamsburg, Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Stanley
W., who was born June 16, 1902, graduated from the
Buckhannon High School and is a member of the class of
1924 in Columbia University, New York City.

French M. Farnsworth

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 16, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 511-512

FRENCH M. FARNSWORTH is a doctor of dental surgery,
carrying on a successful practice at Buckhannon. He is a
son of Dr. F. F. Farnsworth, one of the officials of the
State Health Department at Charleston.

French Farnsworth was born at Holly Grove in Upshur
County, August 11, 1891, son of F. F. and Lasora (Martin)
Farnsworth. His father was born at Buckhannon, April 2,
1869, and his mother, at Holly Grove, November 25, 1868.
Dr. F. F. Farnsworth was reared at Buckhannon, is a gradu-
ate of Union College and the Maryland Medical College,
and has had a highly successful career both in his profession
and in educational and public affairs. He practiced nine
years at French Creek in Upshur County, West Virginia.
Altogether he devoted seventeen years to teaching and
school administration, being superintendent of the Buck-
hannon schools from 1900 to 1903. For several years he has
been director of the Bureau of Venereal Diseases under the
State Health Department at Charleston. Doctor Farns-
worth is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church; is a
master Mason and a prominent republican. He was a mem-
ber of the Legislature in the session of 1913, and for three
years was president of the State Board of Health, being
appointed by Governor Hatfield. Dr. F. F. Farnsworth has
four children: Dr. French M.; L. E., station agent at
Clay Court House, West Virginia; Ora, a graduate of the
Charleston High School and now employed in the Public
Health Department at Charleston; and Dorsy A., who is a
graduate of the Charleston High School and a student in
the Indiana Dental College.

French M. Farnsworth was reared at French Creek,
finished his literary education in the Glenville Normal
School, and in 1912 graduated from the Baltimore College
of Dental Surgery. For the past ten years he has enjoyed
a large practice as a dentist at Buckhannon, and is a mem-
ber in good standing of the Monongahela Valley State and
National Dental societies. He is a stockholder in several
business enterprises in Buckhannon.

On August 4, 1913, Doctor Farnsworth married Edna
Bunten, a graduate of Shepherd College. They have one
son, Neil B., born June 18, 1918. Doctor and Mrs. Farns-
worth are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and
he has served on the official board. In Masonry he is
affiliated with Franklin Lodge No. 7, A. F. and A. M.,
Upshur Chapter No. 34, R. A. M., Buckhannon Commandery
No. 25, K. T., and in the Scottish Rite is affiliated with
Mizpah Lodge of Perfection No. 5 and the Knights of the
Rose Croix No. 5 at Clarksburg. Both he and Mrs. Farns-
worth are members of the Eastern Star.

Fred W. Vance

Submitted by
Valerie Crook
September 12, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 229
Upshur County

FRED W. VANCE, M. D., has been a physician and sur-
geon at Mannington for the past seventeen years. He has
high standing in his profession, and his good citizenship
is on a par with his professional character.

Doctor Vance was born at the Village of French Creek
in Upshur County, West Virginia, February 23, 1874, son
of John E. and Anna M. (Darnall) Vance, the former a
native of Highland County and the latter of McDowell
County, Virginia. The grandfather, Col. Morgan A. Dar-
nall, served as colonel of his regiment in the Union Army.
John E. Vance and his wife were married October 24, 1871,
and are still living at the old home place at French Creek,
where on October 24, 1921, they celebrated their golden
wedding anniversary.

Fred W. Vance, at the age of eight years, began help-
ing his father in a systematic way, in proportion to his
strength, in the latter’s blacksmith shop. He attended
common schools regularly, and also attended the French
Creek Summer Normal School. In 1892 he began teach-
ing with a No. 2 certificate, and the following year he
taught on a No. 1 certificate. Doctor Vance taught alto-
gether five winter and two summer terms.

In the meantime he had continued to exercise his
strength and manual skill in his father’s shop, thus master-
ing the blacksmith’s trade, and when he left teaching he
opened a shop of his own at French Creek. He remained
there two years, and for three years conducted a black-
smithing business at Crawford in Lewis County. While
a blacksmith Doctor Vance was diligently studying medi-
cine. and finally he entered the Eclectic Medical College
of Cincinnati, where he was graduated M. D. with the
class of 1905. During his senior year he was interne at
Seaton Hospital in Cincinnati. In 1904 he passed the
West Virginia Medical Examining Board, and for several
months practiced at Gains in Upshur County, but in 1905
returned to Cincinnati to receive his medical degree, and
in May of that year established his home and office at

Mannington. Almost from the beginning he has had an
extensive private practice, and has done much professional
work besides. Since 1912 he has been a member of the
United States Board of Pension Examining Surgeons. He
took post graduate work in the New York Post Graduate
College in 1910. He is a member of the Marion County,
West Virginia State and American Medical associations.

In 1912 Doctor Vance was elected mayor of Mannington
and in 1920 was chosen a member of the Board of Educa-
tion for the Mannington District. He is a Knight Templar
and Scottish Rite Mason and Shriner, is affiliated with the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias,
and is a charter member of the Mannington Kiwanis Club.
In 1921 he was appointed a member of the Board of Trus-
tees of Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia.

Doctor Vance, in 1897, married Mabel Florence Brooks,
also a native of French Creek in Upshur County and daugh-
ter of Adolphus and Josephine (Phillips) Brooks. Doctor
and Mrs. Vance are members of the Presbyterian Church,
of which he is an elder. He is a republican in politics.
His two children are: Mary Eugenia, born August 24,
1905; and John Brooks, born January 12, 1915.