Category Archives: Wood

Walter L. Danks

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
December 4, 1999

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

WALTER L. DANKS, whose technical and executive ability need no further voucher
than the statement that he is the efficient superintendent of the Parkersburg
Iron & Steel Company, at the metropolis and judicial center of Wood County, West
Virginia, claims the State of Nebraska as the place of his nativity and is a
representative of one of its sterling pioneer families, though it is to be
recorded that is father, a man of independent means and marked resourcefulness,
did not consent long to endure the ravages wrought by grasshoppers and drought
in the pioneer period of Nebraska history, but soon left that state in whieh
many other pioneers were compelled to remain, as they had no financinl resources
that permitted them to flee from the dcsolation wrought by the pioneer scourges.

Walter L. Danks was born at Cozad, Dawson County, Nebraska, on the 11th of
November, 1875, and is a son of John G. and Elizabeth (Vance) Danks, the former
of whom was born at Mount Savage, Maryland, and the latter at Muncie, Indiana.
Samuel T. Danks, grandfather of him whose name initiates this review, was a
native of England, where the family has been one of not minor prominence, among
its representatives in the past having been one or more distinguished musicians
and composers, one of whom composed music for many of the beautiful chants of
the Church of England. Samuel T. Danks was reared and educated in his native
land and there acquired his fundamental knowledge of the iron industry, of which
he became a prominent and influential pioneer exponent after coming to the
United States. He came to this country about the year 1847, and in 1849 he
became one of the argonauts of California, where the historic discovery of gold
had just been made. He made the long and perilous overland trip to California
and became one of the first to utilize hydraulic power in connection with gold
mining in that state. He did not long remain on the Pacific Coast, however, but
established his home at Mount Savage, Maryland, where he became prominently
identified with the iron industry, as a pioneer in its development in this
country. He was the inventor of the rotary puddling furnace that bore his name
and that did much to advance iron production industry in the United States.
Both he and his wife continued to reside in Maryland for number of years, and
thereafter he became superintendent an extensive iron manufacturing plant in
Cincinnati, Ohio, in which state he and his wife passed the closing years of
their lives.

John G. Danks seems to have inherited a predilection for iron industry, with
which the family name had been prominently identified in England for many
generations. He was reared and educated in Maryland, where he early gained
practical experience in connection with iron industry under the effective
direction of his father. As a young man he became mechanical engineer for one of
the large iron corpoations at Cincinnati, Ohio, where his father was
simultaneously serving as an executive in connection with the same line of
enterprise. After the father invented the Danks Puddling furnace John G., the
son, went to England to superintend the installation of these improved devices
in that country, and after his return to the United States he continued such
installation service, in which he met with much opposition and had many
remarkable experiences on account of the opposition of the historic organization
in Pennsylvania known as the “Molly Maguires.” In the early ’70s he made his
venture in connection with pioneer ranching enterprise in Dawson County,
Nebraska, but the adverse conditions previously mentioned in this sketch led him
to abandon his activities there and to return to Cincinnati. After his retirement
from active business affairs he removed to Los Angeles, California, and there his
death occurred in 1914, his wife having preceded him to eternal rest, and two
children survive them.

Walter L. Danks, the immediate subject of this sketch, passed his boyhood days
principally on a farm owned by his paternal grandfather near College Hill, a
suburb of the City of Cincinnati, and his early educational discipline included
that of the high school and also of a business college, which later he attended
at night. He gained under the direction of his father and grandfather his early
experience in connection with the iron and steel industry, and in this
connection he has well upheld the prestige of the family name, as his entire
active career has been one of close and effective association with this
important branch of industrial enterprise. He was for five years in the employ
of the Inland Steel Company at Indiana Harbor, Indiana, and with the same won
promotion to the position of assistant master mechanic. In 1906 he came to
Parkersburg, West Virginia, to take the position of master mechanic with the
Parkersburg Iron & Steel Company, and this alliance has since continued, while
he has served as superintendent of the company’s extensive plant since 1913.

Mr. Danks is found aligned loyally in the ranks of the republican party, and is
vital and progressive in his civic attitude. He takes deep interest in all that
touches the welfare and advancement, of his home city, and during the nation’s
participation in the World war he was able to give valuable patriotic service
both through the medium of his industrial association and through his personal
efforts in support of the various local war activities. He and his wife hold
membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in the Masonic fraternity he
has completed the circle of the York Rite, in which his maximum affiliation is
with the Parkersburg Commandery of Knights Templars, besides having received the
thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite and being also a member of the Mystic

The year 1902 recorded the marriage of Mr. Danks to Miss Hannah Stephens, of
Indiana Harbor, Indiana

Edwin W. Crooks

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Pam Honaker
May 21, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume II,
page 463


Edwin W. Crooks, M.D., has been established in the successful general
practice of his profession in the City of Parkersburg since the year 1908,
and his character and ability mark him as one the the representative
physicians and surgeons of Wood County. The doctor is an exemplar of the
benignant school of Homeopathy, and has become one of its specially
successful represtatives in his native state.

Doctor Crooks was born at Belleville, West Virginia, on the 15th of
September, 1874, and is a son of Horatio N. and Marian (Muir) Crooks.
Horatio N. Crooks was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, ans was a
child of about one year at the time of the family removal to West Virginia,
his father, Capt. Horatio N. Crooks, having been for may years a skilled and
popular captain of steamboats plying the Ohio River between the cities of
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Memphis, Tennessee. Captain Crooks purchased
farm land in the the vicinity of Belleville, West Virgina, and improved the
property into a productive farm, he and his wife having there maintained
their home until the time fo their deaths. On this old homestead their son
Horation N. continiued to reside until the close of his life, and he held
prestige as one of the the substanial farmers and influential citizens of
the community.

Dr. Edwin W. Crooks acquired his preliminary education in the public
schools, and in his youth he began reading medicine by utilizing the medical
library of his uncle, Dr. Edwin W. Crooks, who had removed to California.
Finally he entered Pulte Medical College in the City of Cincinnati, Ohio,
this institution, one of the oldest and best Homeopathic schools in the
West, having been founded by another uncle of the doctor. He was graduated
as a member of the class of 1906, and since thus receiving his degree he has
continued a close student of the best standard and periodical literature of
his profession and thus kept in touch with the advances made in medical
surgical science. As previously stated, Doctor Crooks has been engaged in
practice at Parkersburg since 1908, and this city has been the stage of his
earnest and able representative practice which gives him precedence as one
of the leading physicians of the metropolis of his native county. He is a
member of the Little Kanawha and Ohio Valley Medical Society and the
American Institue of Homeopathy. He gave nine years of effective service as
president of the Board of Health of Wood County, is a republican in
political allegiance, and the the time-honored Masonic fraternity he has
completed the circle of each the York and the Scottish Rites, in the latter
of which he has received the thirty-second degree. His maximum York Rite
affiliationis with the Commandery of Knights Templars in his home city, he
is identified also with Nemesis Temple of the Mystic Shrine, and is an
appreciative and popular member of the Parkersburg Lodge of the Benevolent
and Protective Order of Elks.

The year 1917 recorded the marriage of Doctor Crooks and Miss Rebecca Dils,
and they have two sons, Edwin W., Jr,. and Horation N. (III). Doctor and
Mrs. Crooks are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Pam Honaker
October 28, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II
Pg. 465


JACKSON FAMILY. John Jackson was born near Londonderry, Ireland, in
1719, was reared in the City of London, where he learned the builder’s
trade, and in 1848 crossed the ocean to Calvert County, Maryland. About
1769 he and his family crossed the mountain into Northwestern Virginia, and
made permanent settlement on the Buckhannon River, just below Jackson’s
Fort. Both he and his wife had experiences during the period of Indian
warfare, and in mental, moral and physical strength they were fitted to
become the forebears of an illustrious race of descendants. John Jackson
died at Clarksburg September 25, 1801. His wife, whose maiden name was
Elizabeth Cummins, died in 1825. Of their eight children the second son,
Edward, was the grandfather of Thomas Jonathan Jackson, know to immortal
fame as Gen. Stonewall Jackson.

Their first born son was known as Col. George Jackson. He was born
aabout 1750 and in 1773 entered 400 acres of land in the vicinity of
Clarksburg. He had a sound mental and physcial inheritance, and was a
natural leader, though without the oppurtunities to secure a literary
education. He was with the frontier militia in the Indian wars, was
commissioned colonel of a Virginia regiment by General Washington in the
Revolution, and 1781 joined General Clark’s expedition against the British
at Detroit. The first County Court of Harrison County was held at his home
in 1784. He was elected a member of the House of Burgesses, was a member of
the State Convention that ratified the Federal Constitution, and three times
was chosen a member of Congress. It is said that a speech he made in
Congress caused so much amusement among the members that he announced he
would go home and send his son to Congress, and he would not be laughed at.
His son John, in fact immediately succeeded him, entering the Eighth

This son, John George Jackson, was born near Buckhannon, Virginia, and
died at Clarksburg in 1825. He was liberally educated by his father, was
elected a member of the Legislature in 1797, was appointed surveyor of
Goverment lands west of the Ohio in 1793, and as noted was elected to
Congress as successor of his father, serving from the Eighth to the
Fourteenth congressess inclusive, except the Twelfth. He was a brigadier
general of militia and in 1819 appointed United States judge for the Western
District of Virginia, and was on the bench when he died . The first wife of
John George Jackson was Mary Payne, who was born about 1781 and died
February 13, 1808. She was a daughter of John and Mary (Coles) Payne. She
and Mr. Jackson were married in the executive mansion in the White House.
That honor was granted the bride by virtue of her being a sister of the wife
of the President of the United States, the famous Dolly Madison. The second
wife of John George Jackson, by whom is descended another line of the
Jackson family in West virginia, was a daughter of Return Jonathan Meigs, of
the distinguished Meigs family of Ohio.

The only son of the first marriage of John George Jackson was Gen. John
Jay Jackson, who was born in Wood county, Virginia, February 13, 1800. Much
of his early life was spent in Parkersburg. He was educated privately and
in Washington College in Pennsylvania, and by appointment from President
Monroe entered West Point Military Academy in 1815, graduating in his
nineteenth year. As an officer of the Regular army he performed service in
the Seminole war in Florida, and at one time was a member of Gen. Andrew
Jackson’s staff. About January 1, 1823 he resigned his commission and
turned his attention to the law. He soon reached the front ranks of his
profession and was many times elected to public office. From 1830 to 1852
he was prosecuting attorney in the Circuit Superior Court. He was a
brigadier general of Militiia from 1842 until the beginning of the Civil
war. His last public service was as a member of the Convention at Richmnd
in 1861, wher he eloquently upheld the Union. He organized and was
president of the Second National Bank of Parkersburg. He died January 1,

Gen. John Jay Jackson married in 1823 Emma G. Beeson, who died in 1842.
In 1843 he married Jane. E. B. Gardner.

While without doubt one of the ablest and most useful men in his
generation in Parkersburg and his section of Virginia, Gen. John Jay Jackson
had perhaps an even greater distiction in being the father of five eminent
sons, all of whow became conspicious in the history of West Virginia. These
sons were Judge John Jay Jackson, United States District Judge James Monroe
Jackson, Governor Jacob Beeson Jackson, Henry Clay Jackson and Andre Gardner