Category Archives: Wayne

Lorenzo Dow Hobbs

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
January 27, 2000

West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia, Supplement Vol. 7, Hardesty’s,
Wayne County, published by Jim Comstock, Richwood, WV 1974

Lorenzo Dow Hobbs-is a son of Arthur and Mary A. (Fraley) Hobbs, whose
record is in the sketch preceding this one, as is his brother’s war record.
He was born in Wayne County, on Camp Creek of Twelve Pole, May 1, 1849, and
was married at Beech Fork, Wayne County, (now) West Virginia, July 29, 1875.
His wife was born on Guyandotte River, in Lincoln County, (now) West
Virginia, Maria Ann, daughter of William Preble Blankinship and Mary Jane
(Adkins) Blankinship. Her father was born in August 1828; her mother was born
in that part of Cabell County now Lincoln, June 18, 1829, and they made their
home in Wayne County on the 22nd. day of March 1861. Lorenzo D. Hobbs owns
over 300 acres of good land beautifully situated on Beech Fork, at the mouth
of Turkey Camp Branch. The land is very productive, so far as put in
cultivation, and the uncleared land is finely timbered. There are some
springs of superior quality on the land, and it is altogether one of the most
pleasant homesteads of the many pleasant farms of the county. Tooley, Wayne
County, West Virginia, is the post office address of Lorenzo D. Hobbs

Elisha K. Hobbs

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
January 27, 2000

West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia, Supplement Vol. 7, Hardesty’s,
Wayne County, published by Jim Comstock, Richwood, WV 1974

Elisha K. Hobbs-born in Wayne County, December 8,1856, and Nancy Ann
Watts, born in this county, October 16, 1859, were in this county, on Brush
Creek, united in marriage on the 30th day of August 1875. Their children were
born: Arthur H., August 3, 1876; Vicy B., November 25, 1878; Maggie May,
August 25,1880. The last named died September 28, 1881. Arthur and Mary A.
(Fraley) Hobbs, were the parents of Elisha K., and his wife was a daughter of
Russell and Vicy (Adkins) Watts. Arthur Hobbs was born in Russell County,
Virginia, September 10, 1818, and was among the first to settle in what is
now Stonewall District. He was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal
Church (South), and took part in the organization of the first Sabbath school
of the district. He was a man of talent , which he devoted to the cause of
Christ, and he died in the triumphs of faith, November 29, 1878, mourned by
the church and community. Two brothers of Elsiha K. were in the 16th Virginia
Calvary, Confederate Army. Henry, a young man of twenty-three years, a
devoted Christian, died in the hospital at Mobile, Alabama, while in the
service. Elisha K. Hobbs is an energetic worker in the building up of the
county in the way of railroads, free schools, and all advancements. He is a
believer in prohibition and worked for that ticket in 1881. He is farming in
Stonewall District, with post office address at Tooley, Wayne County, West

Joseph Walter Thornbury

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
December 13, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II
pg. 154 & 155

JOSEPH WALTER THORNBURY, M. D., is a pioneer in the profession of medicine and
surgery in the Triadelphia District of Logan County, though he still commands
all the vigor of the years of comparative youth. His home is at Man, where he
located in 1909. The dozen years since have sufficed to cover practically the
entire period of development in this region. He was here before the Chesapeake
& Ohio built its railroad line into this section and, naturally, the development
of the coal deposits following the coming of the railroad.

Doctor Thornbury was born at Glen Hays on Tug River in Wayne County, West
Virginia, August 9, 1881, son of Dr. James Harvey and Nancy Isabel (York)
Thornbury. Several of his family were physicians before he entered that
profession. His mother is a sister of Dr. L. H. York, of Louisa, Kentucky. She
died in 1895, and was a daughter of James D. York. Dr. James Harvey Thornbury
was born on Marrowbone Creek in Pike County, Kentucky, and is now in active
practice of his profession at Stowe, Logan County, West Virginia. As a young man
he taught school, and in 1885 began attending medical lectures in the Cincinnati
Eclectic College, and graduated there in 1889. In 1890 he located at Dunslow in
Wayne County, and remained there twenty years in the performance of his
professional duties, since which time he has looked after his mining practice at
Stowe. He did much organization work for the republican party in Wayne County,
and is a member of Vinson Lodge of Masons at Fort Gay. Of the five children born
to his marriage four are living: Florence, wife of Dr. Everett Walker, of Wayne;
Jane, wife of Dr. B. D. Garrett, of Kenova, Wayne County; Joseph Walter; and
Sadie, wife of Samuel Peters, of Kenova.

Joseph Walter Thornbury attended school at Dunslow and was also a student under
Professor McClure at Wayne. He attended the State University in 1898, and for
two years following was assistant postmaster of Dunslow, and for one year was
at Yukon, Oklahoma. Then he spent another year in the postoffice at Dunslow, and
also clerked in a store there. With this varied business training and experience
he entered the Cincinnati Eclectic Medical College in 1903, and graduated in
1907. For one year after graduating he practiced at Kermit in Mingo County, and
one year at Genoa in Wayne County. From there he came to Man and has had
official relations as mine physician to the Man Mining Company, the Eagle Island
Bengal Coal Company at Kesler and a large general practice besides. He was one
of the organizers of the Merchants and Miners Bank at Man.

Doctor Thornhury is a leader in his section in behalf of better educational
facilities. He served six years on the Triadelphia School Board and a large
number of the good modern schools of the district were built during his term,
including the District High School at Man.

On July 3, 1907, Doctor Thornbury married Bertha Hegner, daughter of Philip
Hegner, of Wyoming, Ohio. The five children born to their marriage are James H.,
Jr., Frances Virginia, Lawrence, John and Nancy Isabel. Mrs. Thornhury is a
member of the Baptist Church. Fraternally he is affiliated with Aracoma Lodge
No. 99, F. and A. M., at Logan, Logan Chapter. R. A. M., Dunslow Lodge,
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and in politics he is a republican.

Perry Emerson Burt

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie Crook
September 19, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 243-244
Wayne County

PERRY EMERSON BURT. Integrity of purpose, uprightness
of dealing, soundness of principle and a keen sense of busi-
ness values are qualities which all go towards developing
the substantial men of affairs. No man reaches a pros-
perous material condition without striving towards some
desired end, but he must have something back of the ambi-
tion to succeed in order to attain his object. Natural and
acquired qualities that are rooted in a foundation of deep-
laid principles are absolutely necessary, and it is fortunate
for business conditions that so many men have possessed
these characteristics. Among the men of Wayne County
who through the possession of these qualities have reached
positions of prominence and at the same time have con-
tributed to the stability of business conditions is Perry
Emerson Burt, manager of the Saks Stamping Company of
Westmoreland, West Virginia.

Mr. Burt was born at West Lafayette, Ohio, December
16, 1866, a son of James Bradner and Margaret Jane
(Beall) Burt. His grandfather, Hon. James Madison Burt,
was born in 1810, at Warwick, New York, and became a
pioneer of Coshocton and that vicinity of Ohio, where he
engaged in agricultural operations. He enlisted for service
in the Black Hawk Indian war, and was a prominent demo-
crat of his locality, serving as county judge of Coshocton
County, as state senator and as justice of the peace. He
married Mary Ann Bradner, who was born in Orange
County, New York, and died at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Judge Burt died full of years and honors at Newcomerstown,
Ohio, in 1893.

James Bradner Burt, father of Perry Emerson Burt, was
born April 4, 1837, at Coshocton, Ohio, where he was reared
and married, but later made his home at West Lafayette.
He was an extensive and successful agriculturist, and a man
who was held in high esteem by his fellow-citizens, who
elected him to a number of local offices, in which his record
was a splendid one. In politics he was a democrat, and as a
churchman he was a life-long member of the Baptist faith,
in which he died at West Lafayette in February, 1907. Mr.
Burt married Miss Margaret Jane Beall, who was born
March 16, 1847, near Coshocton, Ohio, and still survives
him as a resident of West Lafayette. They became the
parents of four children: Perry Emerson; Mary, the wife
of Dr. Jesse McClain, a well-known practicing physician
and surgeon of Coshocton; Jennie, who is unmarried and a
teacher in the kindergarten department of the public schools
at Detroit, Michigan; and James Roe, of Westmoreland,
West Virginia, formerly associated with his brother in
business, but now engaged alone in mercantile pursuits.

Perry Emerson Burt attended the public schools of West
Lafayette, following which he pursued a course at Gran-
ville (Ohio) Academy. He then entered Denison University,
Granville, Ohio, from which he was graduated in 1895, with
the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and during his college career
was admitted to membership in the Phi Gamma Delta
Greek letter fraternity. For two years thereafter Mr.
Burt taught in the Burlington Institute College, Burlington,
Iowa, and then took a course at the University of Chicago
Post-Graduate School, specializing in English history for one
year. He was then retained as principal of the high school
at Cambridge, Ohio, for five years, but school work affected
his health and he was advised by his physician to seek some
other vocation. Accordingly, after a year’s rest he bought
an interest in the enameling works at West Lafayette, and
was manager of this plant until 1916. In the meanwhile
he had founded the Ohio Valley Enameling Company at
Westmoreland, West Virginia, in 1914, and in 1916 came
to this plant and acted as its sole owner and operator until
1920, when he sold out to the American Druggists Syndicate,
although retaining the position of manager. At the time of
the sale the name was changed to the Saks Stamping Com-
pany. In the large brick plant situated on Vernon Street,
Westmoreland, along the right-of-way of the Chesapeake &
Ohio Railway, the company manufactures enameled sheet
steel hospital goods, which are shipped all over the United
States and into Cuba, Europe and South America. Mr.
Burt’s business success has been marked, and that he has
gained position and prosperity is all the more creditable in
that his earlier inclinations and training had all been along
professional lines. His standing as a man of sound integrity
and probity has never been questioned, and among his
associates he is held in the utmost confidence. Politically
Mr. Burt has never sought honors at the hands of any party
or his fellow-citizens, and is inclined to be independent in
view and action, although where all other considerations
are equal he supports the candidates and principles of the
democratic party. He is a consistent member of the
Baptist Church, in which he serves as deacon. His pleasant
modern residence is situated at 2850 Piedmont Court, in a
desirable residence section of Westmoreland.

In June, 1895, at Zanesville, Ohio, Mr. Burt was united
in marriage with Miss Anna Linnard McCann, a daughter
of John and Mary (Miles) McCann, both of whom are now
deceased. Mr. McCann was a retail dealer in hats at
Zanesville and a man of substance and worth. Mrs. Burt
is a woman of numerous graces and accomplishments and a
graduate of Denison University, class of 1895. She and her
liusband are the parents of four children: Frederick
McCann, born July 25, 1896, now a merchant of Hunting-
ton, who during the recent war was identified with the avia-
tion branch of the United States service, stationed at
Boston, Massachusetts, and at the time of the signing of
the armistice was all ready to go overseas for bombing
service. He married in September, 1917, Eleanor McGugin,
of Ravenswood, West Virginia, and they have one daughter,
Carolyn Ann. Margaret Miles is a senior at Denison Uni-
versity. Marian Bradner is a student in the same institu-
tion, in the sophomore class. Edward Emerson was born
September 23, 1913.

Homer Thomas Lambert

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. 268
Wayne County

HOMER THOMAS LAMBERT. Success in life along any
path of endeavor demands energy, aggressiveness, proper
preparation and self-reliance. Genius and talent may also
be present, but for permanency, practicality and the homely
virtues are necessary. To the undoubted possession of these
may be attributed in part at least the success that has
crowned the efforts of Homer Thomas Lambert, of Hunting-
ton, a jobber for mine, mill and general contractors’ equip-
ments, a manufacturer and a man variously connected with
leading business enterprises.

Mr. Lambert was born at Kilgore, Boyd County, Ken-
tucky, September 12, 1884, a son of Samuel T. and Maggie
(Simpson) Lambert, and belongs to a family which orig-
inated in France and was founded in Virginia during
Colonial times. His grandfather, William Lambert, was
born in 1824, in Wayne County, Virginia (now West Vir-
ginia), where he was reared and educated, and as a young
man removed to Boyd County, Kentucky, where he was
married. He was a carpenter by trade, and followed that
vocation until enlisting in the Union army for service dur-
ing the war between the states, in which he saw much
active service. At the close of the struggle he returned
to his trade, and lived in Boyd and Greenup counties, Ken-
tucky, but finally went to Blue Springs, Gage County,
Nebraska, where he died in 1906. He was a republican in
politics. Mr. Lambert married Elizabeth Ferguson, who was
born in Wayne County, and died in Greenup County, Ken-
tucky, in 1864.

Samuel T. Lambert, who is now a resident of Matewan,
Mingo County, West Virginia, was born March 7, 1861,
in Greenup County, Kentucky, where he was reared and
educated, and as a young man became identified with coal
operations, in which he has been interested throughout his
career. In 1893 he removed to Thacker, Mingo County, this
state, and five years later to Matewan, where he has been
superintendent and general manager of the Red Jacket
Consolidated Coal and Coke Company and of several other
companies. In 1912 he engaged in mine operations on his
own account, and in 1916 embarked in the general mer-
cantile business, in which he is still interested, having the
leading general store at Matewan. One of his community’s
most prominent and influential citizens, he is serving in the
capacity of mayor, and for the past sixteen years has been
president of the Board of Education. He is a stanch repub-
lican in his political sympathies, belongs to the Masonic
fraternity, and holds membership in Bluefield Lodge No.
269, B. P. O. E.; Thacker Lodge, I. O. O. F., of Thacker;
and Red Jacket Lodge, K. of P., of Matewan. In 1882
Mr. Lambert married at Geigerville, Boyd County, Ken-
tucky, Miss Maggie Simpson, of Kilgore, Kentucky, who
died at Thacker, West Virginia, in 1895. They were the
parents of five children, as follows: Marvin, a bookkeeper
for the Borderland Coal Company at Borderland, West Vir-
ginia; Homer Thomas, of this review; Maggie, who died
unmarried in 1916, aged twenty-four years; Ethel, the wife
of Luther Hill, train dispatcher for the Norfolk & Western
Railroad at Williamson, West Virginia; and Haven, an
employe of a United States Government stamping mill at
Thane, Alaska, who met his death in a fall from a building
in 1915, when twenty-two years of age. In 1897, at
Thacker, West Virginia, Samuel T. Lambert married Miss
Dora Christian, who was born at Matewan, West Virginia,
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Christian, the latter de-
ceased and the former an agriculturist of Okeeffe, West
Virginia. To this union there have been born two children:
Willie, who left home and has not been heard from; and
Frank, who resides with his parents.

The public schools of Red Jacket, West Virginia, fur-
nished Homer Thomas Lambert with his primary educational
training, following which he pursued a course at the Na-
tional Business College of Roanoke, Virginia, from which
institution he was graduated as a member of the class of
1904. His first employment was as chief electrician of the
Eed Jacket mines of Mingo, where he remained two years,
and was next with the Jeffrey Manufacturing Company of
Columbus, Ohio, for one year. He left this position to be-
come master mechanic and electrician with the Pike Col-
lieries at Matewan, but after six months joined the Glen
Allum Coal Company, Glen Allum, West Virginia, as elec-
trician, remaining six months. Mr. Lambert erected the
plant of the McDowell Coal and Coke Company at Mc-
Dowell, West Virginia, in 1907, and was then with the
Goodwill Coal and Coke Company of Goodwill, this state,
as chief electrician, for ten months. His next experience
was as a traveling salesman for the Emmons-Hawkins
Hardware Company of Huntington, for three months, fol-
lowing which he joined the Superior Supply Company of
Bluefield, West Virginia, as a traveling salesman, with head
quarters at Graham, Virginia. In 1911 he left this coin
pany and accepted a position with the Queen City Supply
Company of Cincinnati, handling mining, mill and con-
tractors’ supplies, and while engaged with this concern
came to Huntington in 1913. In January, 1915, he resigned
his position and embarked in business on his own account
as a jobber for mine, mill and general contractors’ supplies
and equipment, and is so engaged at the present time, hav-
ing built up the leading business at Huntington. He is
likewise engaged in the manufacture of frogs, switches and
light track material for the mines, of which there are 2,200
coal mines within a radius of 150 miles of Huntington. His
offices are situated at No. 1017-18 First National Bank
Building, and the plant is at Fifteenth Street and Jackson
Avenue, West Huntington, on the B. & O. and C. & O.
railroads. Mr. Lambert is president and general manager
of the H. T. Lambert Company, and president of the
Linville Oil and Gas Company. He is a democrat in his
political allegiance, and his religious connection is with the
Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Fraternally he belongs
to Huntington Lodge No. 53, A. F. and A. M.; Huntington
Chapter No. 6, R. A. M.; Huntington Commandery No. 9,
K. T.; Lodge of Perfection No. 4, and Knights of the
Rose Croix No. 4, Huntington, West Virginia; West Vir-
ginia Consistory No. 1, Wheeling, thirty-second degree;
Beni-Kedem Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Charleston; and
Huntington Lodge No. 313, B. P. O. E. He holds member-
ship also in the Huntington Chamber of Commerce and the
Jobbers and Manufacturers Bureau of Huntington, and
is a member and director of the Lions Club. Mr. Lambert
owns a modern residence at 614 First Street, one of the
attractive homes of Huntington.

On July 5, 1908, at Ironton, Ohio, Mr. Lambert was
united in marriage with Miss Vernon Webb, daughter of
James and Elizabeth (Brewster) Webb, the latter of whom
resides with Mr. and Mrs. Lambert, while the former died
at Hanging Rock, Ohio, where he was a cupola tender. Four
children have come to Mr. and Mrs. Lambert: Cecil, born
April 9, 1909; Howard A., born June 25, 1911; Eleanor
Margaret; and Frances Louise.

Alderson Watts JR

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
January 27, 2000

West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia, Supplement Vol. 7, Hardesty’s,
Wayne County, published by Jim Comstock, Richwood, WV 1974

Alderson Watts Jr., is a son of Harrison and Sarah (Maynard) Watts, who
are honored residents of Stonewall District, and he was born in Wayne County,
May 30, 1863. Ambrose Watts, who was one of the first and most enterprising
of the settlers in what is now Stonewall District, was the great grandfather
of Alderson, Jr. In Ironton, Lawrence County, Ohio, March 3, 1881, were
recorded the marriage vows of Alderson Watts, Jr. and Virginia S. Ferguson.
The bride was a daughter of Lewis S. and Margaret (Osburn) Ferguson, of
Stonewall District, and was born in this county, September 11, 1863. Willard
and Willburn, twin sons, were born to Mr. and Mrs. Watts, on the 8th of
October 1881; Willburn died October 29th. following. Harrison Watts, father
of Alderson, Jr., was a soldier of the Confederate Army during the civil war.
Alderson Watts Jr., and his wife are in the membership of the Missionary
Baptist Church in their district. He owns a comfortable residence and the lot
on which it is situated at the mouth of White’s Creek, and has been for some
time filling the appointment of deputy sheriff and is still the incumbent.
His post office address is Adkins Mills, Wayne County, West Virginia.

Oscar Watts

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
January 28, 2000

West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia
Vol. 22, page 4893
Published by Jim Comstock, Richwood, WV 1976

Watts, Oscar (1886, ), Wayne County Member, House of Delegates, was
born at East Lynn, the son of Alderson and Virginia (Ferguson) Watts. He was
educated in the rural schools and was a salesman. In 1920, he was elected
justice of the peace in Wayne County, and in 1925, served as a member of city
council, City of Huntington. He was elected to the House of Delegates from
Wayne County in 1926 and again in 1934. His wife was Lutilla Skanes, and he
wa the father of one daughter.

William Kimball. Ferguson

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

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


pg. 735

Members of the House of Delegates.

Address: Fort Gay, West Va. Was born in Wayne county
West Virginia, May 14, 1874, and educated in the com-
mon and select schools of that county; by profession
a teacher; a fanner by occupation; has held the office of
Justice of the Peace, and was elected to the Legislature
in November, 1916, as one of the delegates from Wayne
county; in the sessions of 1917 served on House stand-
ing committees on Education, Prohibition and Temper-
ance, Counties, Districts and Municipal Corporations
Humane Institutions and Public Buildings, State Boun-

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Belvard J. Prichard

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
September 23, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 260-261
Wayne County

HON. BELVARD J. PRICHARD, president of the Wayne
County Bank and president of the Southern West Virginia
Oil and Gas Corporation, located at Wayne forty years
ago as a young lawyer, and while steadily maintaining a
reputation for skill and efficiency as a civil and commer-
cial lawyer, his interests have become widely extended not
only in the industrial field but as a forceful influence in
all matters of progress in his section of the state.

Mr. Prichard represents a pioneer family of West Vir-
ginia and Eastern Kentucky, and was born June 10, 1856,
near Garner, on Little Sandy, in Boyd County. His first
American ancestor was William Prichard, who left Wales
when a boy of fourteen, accompanied by his brother John,
and, getting on board an Italian vessel, was taken across
the sea and left on the shores of Virginia about 1745.
William Prichard finally went to Russell County, Virginia,
where he was living at the beginning of the nineteenth cen-
tury, and subsequently moved to what is now Boyd County,
Kentucky, where he died in 1819. His children were John,
James, Lewis and Elizabeth. Of these Lewis was the father
of Dr. Lewis Prichard, long prominent as a banker of
Charleston, West Virginia.

James Prichard, son of William, was born in Russell
County, Virginia, in 1796, and as a boy saw service in the
War of 1812 as a coast guard at Norfolk, Virginia.
About 1820 he came down the Big Sandy and settled at
Buchanan in Lawrence County, Kentucky, where he became
a citizen of distinction, planter and slave owner, and it is
said that ho never sold a slave, and negroes were so at-
tached to him and his family that after liberty was given
them they declined to part. James Prichard was a practical
ideal of the peacemaker in his neighborhood, and was well
qualified for the office of justice of the peace, which he
filled. He also served as county assessor. He married Eliz-
abeth Stewart, who was born in Giles County, Virginia, in
1804. They were active Methodists, and their family con-
sisted of eight sons and one daughter.

One of the sons was Dr. William Allen Prichard, who
was born near Buchanan in Lawrence County, Kentucky,
August 4, 1823, and died at Garner February 2, 1900.
He graduated from the Eclectic Medical Institute at Cin-
cinnati in 1854, and for many years practiced his profes-
sion at Garner. He served one term in the Kentucky State
Legislature, was a member of the Royal Arch Chapter of
Masons at Ashland, a stanch democrat and a contributing
member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Doctor
Prichard married Samantha Jones, who was born in Lee
County, Virginia, September 17, 1830, and died September
13, 1916. She was the mother of six children: James M.,
a physician in Lee County, Virginia; Mrs. James W. Mul-
lan, of Catlettsburg, Kentucky; Belvard J.; Mary E., who
died at the age of twelve years; Helen, wife of Samuel D.
Finley, of Bolts Fork, Kentucky, and both now deceased;
Robert A., a resident of Wheaton, Missouri.

Belvard J. Prichard acquired his early education in the
public schools of Eastern Kentucky, attended an academy
at Ashland, the National Normal University at Lebanon,
Ohio, and Center College at Danville, Kentucky. In tlie
course of these educational advantages he taught three ru-
ral schools. He began the study of law in the office of his
uncle. Keener F. Prichard, and Judge John Elliott at Cat-
lettsburg, and in 1879 received his law degree from the
University of Louisville. Mr. Prichard began practice at
Greencastle, Indiana, where he was associated with C. 0.
Matson, afterward an Indiana Congressman and also nom-
inee of his party for governor. Reasons of health caused
Mr. Prichard to give up his promising professional con-
nections in Indiana, and in 1881 he located at Wayne,
Wayne County, West Virginia. His first associate here
was William Merreil in the firm Prichard & Merrell, later
he was a member of Prichard, McAlister & Fry, and sub-
sequently Judge Tiernan became senior member of the firm
Tiernan, Prichard & Fry. As his practice increased Mr.
Prichard confined his efforts more and more to his spe-
cialty as a civil and commercial lawyer.

With his rising professional prominence came honors of
a public nature, and for two terms he was mayor of Wayne,
and in 1888 was elected a member of the State Senate,
serving as chairman of the committee on counties and munic-
ipalities and the finance committee. In 1914 he was again
urgpd to become a candidate for the Legislature, and was
nominated by the democratic party, his nomination being en-
dorsed by the republican and progressive parties. He re-
ceived every vote in the county except 191. He went to
the Legislature primarily to fight the pending bill designed
to cut off a part of Wayne County, and he permanently
blocked that piece of legislation. In 1916 Mr. Prichard
became a member of the County Court, but resigned be-
fore serving his full term.

The Wayne County Bank was organized in 1904, and
Mr. Priehard has been president of this institution ever
since. In 1908 he organized the Belvard Oil & Gas Com-
pany, of which he became president, in 1909 organized the
Central Wayne Oil & Gas Company, and in 1912, the Wayne
Light, Heat & Water Company. These three companies
have since been merged together as the Southern West
Virginia Oil & Gas Corporation, of which Mr. Prichard
is president. He also organized the East Lynn Coal Com-
pany and the Big Sandy, East Lynn and Guyon Railroad
Company, and among other enterprises he has promoted
is the Wayne Brick & Tile Company. He has been an en-
thusiastic advocate of good roads construction for a num-
ber of years. Fraternally he is a Royal Arch Mason, hag
been grand master of the State Lodge of Odd Fellows, and
has filled all the district offices in the Knights of Pythias.

In 1880 Mr. Prichard married Catherine Finley, daugh-
ter of Eb Finley. Mrs. Prichard died in 1901, the mother
of five children. The oldest, E. F., is an accountant at
Macon, Georgia; Dr. Allen C. was in the World war as first
lieutenant, then as captain, and, finally, as major. He was
on the battle front at St. Mihiel and the Argonne, being
dangerously wounded in the latter, action, and is now prac-
ticing medicine at Hot Springs, Arkansas. The third child,
Stella M., is the wife of Gordon Davis, of Huntington,
West Virginia. The son Oscar died at the age of nineteen,
and the youngest, Sallie, is the wife of C. W. Harp, of Lex-
ington. In 1902 Mr. Prichard married Etta R. Rucker,
daughter of John W. and Emma Bell Rucker, of Lawrence
County, Ohio. To this marriage have been born three sons,
Belvard R., Marion J. and Russell G.

Richard C. Ferguson

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
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. 369-370

RICHARD C. FERGUSON. The natural resources of West
Virginia are practically limitless, for new sources of wealth
are being discovered all the time by men of science and
research, thus affording ample scope for the advancement
of capable and energetic persons. One of the industries of
more recent growth is the manufacture of wood alcohol for
development plants, and one of the men who, as operating
manager for the wood alcohol plant of the Huntington Gas
and Development Company, of Huntington, West Virginia,
has made a name for himself, is Richard C. Ferguson, of
Dingess, Wayne County. He was born in Frederick County,
Maryland, February 18, 1873, a son of Samuel T. and Emma
(Cromwell) Ferguson.

Samuel T. Ferguson was born at Washington, D. C., a
son of William P. Ferguson, who served in the Union army
during the entire war between the North and the South.
Emma Cromwell was born in Maryland. Eiehard C. Fergu-
son comes of Maryland and Virginian stock, and on his
grandmother’s side his ancestors settled in Virginia in 1732.
There is Scotch-Irish and French stock in the families, the
last named being of the Huguenot strain, which was estab-
lished in the American Colonies when the religions persecu-
tions drove all Protestants out of France. Samuel T. Fergu-
son was a clergyman of the Methodist Protestant Church,
and held charges at Newmarket, Maryland, Mardella
Springs, Maryland, for four years each in Franklin and
Bedford counties, Pennsylvania, and Finksburg, Maryland,
and for four years at Libertytown, Maryland, where he died
in 1889.

Richard C. Ferguson attended public schools in Pennsyl-
vania and Maryland through the grammar grades, the high
school at Libertytown, Maryland, and West Maryland Col-
lege at Westminster, Maryland. Entering upon a business
career, he was for about ten years an accountant and general
office worker at Baltimore, and then came to West Virginia
as bookkeeper and paymaster for a lumber company at
Camden on Gauley, remaining with this concern until 1909,
when he went with the Cherry River Boom and Lumber
Company at Holcomb, West Virginia, and was in charge of
their lumber operations there for ten years. After leaving
college at Westminster, Mr. Ferguson took a short course
in chemistry at a night school in Baltimore. Leaving the
Cherry River people, he took charge of the construction
and completion of a wood alcohol and sawmill plant, and
put the same into operation at Sutton, West Virginia. Six-
teen months later, having completed his contract, he en-
gaged with his present company to look after the con-
struction of their wood alcohol plant at Dingess, and after
its completion was made operating manager. The plant has
six retorts, each with a capacity of ten cords of wood,
which are charged six times each week, obtaining from ten
to twelve gallons of wood alcohol from each cord of wood,
beside the acetate of lime and charcoal, of which latter
substance there is about fifty bushels from each cord of
wood. The company has a supply of wood for fifty years
to come.

In 1910 Mr. Ferguson married at Fairmont, West Vir-
ginia. Sue Strother, a daughter of Elihu and Letitia (Carr)
Strother, farming people, both natives of West Virginia.
Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson have one daughter, Letitia. They
belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Mr. Fer-
guson is a Chapter Mason, and plans to continue in the work
of his fraternity. He also belongs to the Knights of
Pythias, Junior Order United Mechanics, and is a charter
member of his Council, and one of the few men now living
who entered this order during the first years of its existence.

While Mr. Ferguson is thoroughly grounded in his pro-
fession, he has also a practical experience that is very
valuable to him and that enables him to overcome obstacles
as nothing else could. His duties are heavy, but he does
not neglect his civic responsibilities, and lives up to a high
conception of American citizenship and sets an excellent
example in his business and private life.