Tag Archives: 15

J. Nessly Porter

File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by
Valerie Crook
September 13, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 233
Hancock County

HON. J. NESSLY PORTER. In business and public circles
of Hancock County few names are better or more favor-
ably known than that of J. Nessly Porter, secretary-treas-
urer of the Globe Brick Company and the present state
senator of the First District, comprising Hancock, Brooke
and Ohio counties, West Virginia.

Mr. Porter is a son of the late Capt. John Porter, one
of the best known figures in the paving brick industry in
this country, a sketch of whose career will be found on
another page of this work. Since boyhood he has been
identified with the brick business, and at the same time
has found the opportunity to interest himself in public
affairs, in which he has become prominent. Ever a promi-
nent worker in party conventions, in 1915 he was chosen
as the representative in the Lower House of the West
Virginia Legislature of Hancock County, a post to which
he was re-elected and established a splendid record. He
was then sent to the Upper House, where he is an influential
member of the judiciary committee and chairman of the
insurance committee. He is a prominent Mason and has
numerous business and civic connections. Mr. Porter mar-
ried Miss Margaret Rinehart, of East Liverpool, Ohio, and
they are the parents of two sons: James Nessly and Winston

J. S. D. Mercer

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. 250-251
Hancock County

J. S. D. MERCER, sheriff of Hancock County, occupies his
present position because of his fearlessness as an officer,
his executive talents, and his courteous and pleasing per-
sonality. This is his second occupancy of the office, prior
to becoming the incumbent of which he had filled other
posts, and his entire record from the time that he started
out to make his own way in the world has been one of stead-
fast effort, marked industry and conscientious performance
of the duties of public and private life.

Sheriff Mercer was born in Grant District, in the north
end of Hancock County, on Mercer’s Run, where his great-
great-grandfather, William Mercer, had settled about 1800,
upon his arrival from Washington County, Pennsylvania.
One of his ancestors was General Mercer, a noted officer of
the Revolutionary war. The father of J. S. D. Mercer was
Robert Mercer, a school teacher in Hancock County for
some years, and later engaged in the furniture and under-
taking business at Hookstown, Pennsylvania, where he was
taken sick. Then he removed to Hancock County where he
died at the early age of thirty-five years. Robert Mercer
married Sarah Elizabeth Allison, a daughter of Jonathan
Allison, Jr., a descendant of James Allison, one of the ear-
liest settlers of the north end of Hancock County, the old
home being on a fork of Tomlin’s Run. There were two
children who reached maturity: J. S. D.; and J. W. F.,
a blacksmith of Chester, West Virginia.

J. S. D. Mercer was five years of age when his father
died, and he was taken into the home of his maternal grand-
father, Jonathan Allison, a large land owner. He attended
the public schools and was reared on the original Allison
homestead, where he remained until twenty-one years of
age, then learning the carpenter’s trade, at which .he worked
for about fourteen years, mainly at East Liverpool, Ohio.
His first public office was that of town clerk of Chester, in
which he served for one term, being then elected mayor
of Chester, an office in which he acted with excellent execu-
tive ability for two terms. When he left that office he was
chosen county assessor, and served one term, and in 1912
was first elected sheriff of Hancock County, and was the
incumbent of that office for four years. During the four
years that followed the expiration of his term he was
engaged in business successfully as a building contractor,
but again in 1920 re-entered public life when he was elected
sheriff as the nominee of the republican party. He ran
far ahead of his ticket. Sheriff Mercer devotes his entire
time to the duties of his office, and is one of the best offi-
cials the county has known. He requires only one deputy,
this being his son, M. D. Mercer, and the affairs of the
office are taken care of in an efficient and expeditious man-
ner, much to the satisfaction of the people of the county.
Sheriff Mercer is courageous in action, prompt and ener-
getic, and possesses more than the average detective ability,
which has assisted him in making the county a law-abiding
community. He has the support of all good citizens.

Sheriff Mercer married Miss Martha B. Allison, of the
same stock of Allisons from which he descends, her mother
being a Pugh of Pughtown. Five children have been born
to them: James Raymond, D. D. S., who is engaged in the
practice of dentistry at Akron, Ohio; Merwyn D., his
father’s deputy in the sheriff’s office; Thelma Elizabeth, a
teacher in the public schools of New Cumberland; and
Martha E. and Mary L., who graduated from the high school
at New Cumberland as members of the class of 1922. The
family was reared in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, to which Sheriff Mercer belonged until recently,
when he transferred his membership to the Presbyterian
Church at New Cumberland. As a fraternalist he belongs
to the Knights of Pythias; the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows, in which he has passed through the chairs and at
one tune sat in the Grand Lodge; and the Junior Order
United American Mechanics, in which he has also passed
through the chairs.

Lorenzo Franklin Mahan

HANCOCK COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA – BIOS: MAHAN, Lorenzo Franklin (published 1923)
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. 231
Hancock County

LORENZO FRANKLIN MAHAN is one of the venerable native
sons of Hancock County, a representative of a sterling
pioneer family whose name has been one of prominence
in the history of this part of West Virginia, and he has
individually contributed his share to the civic and material
development and progress of the county that has repre-
sented his home from the time of his birth to the present.
This sterling citizen of the Arroyo neighborhood in Han-
cock County was born at Mahan’s Mills, on King’s Creek,
this county, November 17, 1838, and is the only surviving
son of John Mahan, the latter a son of William and Nancy
(Jones) Mahan. William Mahan had operated a line of
stage coaches out from the City of Baltimore, Maryland,
and upon coming to what is now the State of West Vir-
ginia he settled at Follansbee in Brooke County, his sons
John and Thomas later having established a grist mill on
King’s Creek in the present Hancock County. In 1842
John Mahan established his residence on the farm now
owned and occupied by his son Lorenzo P., of this review,
near the Village of Arroyo, and the saw and grist mill
which he here erected and operated was later used as a
vinegar manufactory. His landed estate here comprised
576 acres. He became one of the owners also of a line
of river boats, including barges and the steamboats “Oil
City” and “Iron City,” which were built in Hancock
County. Later he became one of the owners of the navi-
gation business conducted under the title of the Cumber-
land Tow Boat Company. He was one of the vigorous
and resourceful business men of his day and did much to
further the advancement of his home community and county.
He and his sons eventually converted the saw and planing
mill into a vinegar factory, which they operated suc-
cessfully. In 1852 Lorenzo F. Mahan assisted in setting
out the first orchard in a county that has since become
one of the foremost in the apple-growing industry of West
Virginia. Lorenzo F. Mahan married Mary H. Lowry,
whose father was mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, Penn-
sylvania, during the Civil war, and their ideal companion-
ship continued for thirty years, the gracious bonds being
severed by the death of the devoted wife and mother, who
is survived by two children, Grace and Frank Earl, the
latter of whom resides at Chester, this county, and is in
the employ of the Homer Laughlin China Company at
Newell. He is a republican in politics, as is also his ven-
erable father, who has been unfaltering in his allegiance
to the party during virtually the entire period of its exis-
tence. In 1897 was solemnized the marriage of Miss Grace
Mahan to William V. Powell, who is engaged in the gen-
eral insurance business in the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsyl-
vania. Mrs. Powell owns a part of the old homestead
estate, and after remaining eight years in Pittsburgh she
returned home to care for her venerable parents. She is
according to her father the utmost filial love and solicitude,
and resides with him in the fine old home-house which he
erected fully half a century ago and which, situated on a
slight elevation above the Ohio River, commands a fine
view of the valley for a distance of many miles, while
directly opposite, on the Ohio shore, is the beautiful Chil-
dren’s Home in Jefferson County, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs.
Powell became the parents of five children. Franklin,
eldest of the five, is now engaged in the insurance busi-
ness in Pittsburgh, and in connection with the World war
he was in the nation’s military service in France for a
period of eighteen months. The younger children are Ed-
ward Hewitt, Mary Elizabeth, William Thomas and Bar-
bara Brenneman.

Other personal sketches in this publication offer much
additional data concerning the Mahan family, and the
general history of the county likewise makes proper recogni-
tion of the splendid part this family has played in con-
nection with the development and progress of Hancock


Harry L. Brooks

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy 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. 253-254
Hancock County

HARRY L. BROOKS. Under the modern conditions and or-
ganization the police department of a city like Weirton is
one of the most important in the municipal service, and its
management requires rare abilities of an executive nature,
good diplomaic powers in the handling of a force of men
so that the machine may run without retarding friction,
the bravery of a fearless soldier and the broad judgment
of an able general. All of these traits are possessed by
Harry L. Brooks, chief of police of Weirton and president
of the West Virginia Association of Police Chiefs.

Chief Brooks was born at Grafton, West Virginia, a son
of Richard Brooks, for over thirty years a locomotive engi-
neer on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, running out of
Clarksburg, West Virginia. He eventually retired, with a
splendid record, and died in 1921, at the age of seventy-two
years. He was also engaged in police work at Clarksburg,
and continued to give the merchants of that city protection
even after his son had become chief. A man of many ex-
cellent qualities, he had hosts of friends, and his loss was
widely mourned.

Harry L. Brooks was reared at Clarksburg, where he
received his education in the graded and high schools, and
in 1901 joined the police force. His promotion was rapid
and he soon advanced to the position of chief. In 1908, at
the solicitation of John C. Williams, general manager of
the Weirton Steel Corporation’s Plant, the building of
which about that time brought the City of Weirton into
being, Chief Brooks resigned his post at Clarksburg and
came to Weirton to become the first chief of police of this
place, with a force of ten men, this constituting the De-
partment of Public Safety. His initial duties also included
those of welfare worker, he being placed in charge of all
public improvements and the social betterment of the mill
employes. The Weirton Police Department now consists
of fourteen men. Weirton also boasts of one of the most
modern homes for its police department of any town in
the state, a modern structure which cost about $35,000 and
which is excellently equipped with all the latest devices,
and includes private offices, a court room, etc.

Chief Brooks, who was elected nine times by vote of the
people, is known as “the ideal chief.” Of powerful and
well proportioned physique, his mere presence is sufficient
to quell any ordinary disturbance, and he has long been
a terror to law-breakers, although a kind-hearted friend to
the unfortunate and a protector of the innocent. No third-
degree methods are tolerated in the Weirton Police Depart-
ment. cowardice and brutality are reasons for instant dis-
missal from the force, and merit is the basis of advance-
ment. Chief Brooks is at present president of the West
Virginia Association of Police Chiefs and a member of
the International Association of Police Chiefs, connections
which have proved beneficial to him in his quests as detec-
tive and police officer. In 1919. before the International As-
sociation of Police Chiefs, Chief Brooks was called upon for
an address, and his talk was one of the very few considered
worthy of publication, being reproduced in full in the
Washington Herald. Chief Brooks addressed the associa-
tion upon their duty to the Government, as to their share
in the raising of funds for patriotic purposes, and in regard
to the town of Weirton, which he stated had raised two and
one-half times its quota in Liberty Loans, Red Cross work
and the Y. M. C. A. drives.

Chief Brooks married Miss Calla Davis, daughter of
Evander Davia, who was formerly a teacher at Salem, West
Virginia. One son has been born to this union, Richard,
who at present is captain of a gun crew on the U. S. Battle-
ship “Idaho.” U. S. N. Chief Brooks is a member of the
Knights of Pythias.

Walter S. Bambrick

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 23, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 562-563

WALTER S. BAMBRICK, who is United States postmaster
at Weirton, demonstrates in his life the truth of the saying
that real merit receives proper recognition, and the other
saying as well, that nothing succeeds like success. Persist-
ent, conscientious endeavor alone, along legitimate lines,
has resulted in his case in public advancement, and in his
official position he has discharged his duties faithfully and
rendered the people of his community splendid service.

Mr. Bambrick was born at New Cumberland, Hancock
County, West Virginia, September 19, 1888, and is a son of
Lewis S. and Sarah M. (Baxter) Bambrick, natives also of
Hancock County. The grandfather of Walter S. Bambrick,
Thomas Bambrick, was born, reared and educated in Ire-
land, where as a young man he was a teacher. He immi-
grated to the United States about 1820 and settled in West
Virginia, where he first engaged in teaching and later
turned his attention to farming, also carrying on surveying
work all over the state. As he was possessed of a superior
education, he was frequently asked to do work of a semi-
legal character for the pioneers, particularly before the
creation of the County Court. He was the father of the
bill which brought into being Hancock County, which was
cut off from Brooke County, and sat as a delegate in the
House of Representatives at the time the county was cre-
ated, in 1848. He named the county seat Pughtown, and
as such it continued for many years or until being removed
to New Cumberland. He was a stalwart democrat, and in
his death, at the age of eighty-four years, his community
lost a strong leader and a reliable and straightforward

Like his father, Lewis S. Bambrick was a teacher in his
earlier years, but later turned his attention to farming and
continued to be engaged therein in Hancock County all his
active life, with the exception of two years passed in Wayne
County, Iowa. He is now living in retirement, having
reached four-score years, but takes a lively interest in the
affairs of life and is a member of the Board of Equaliza-
tion. In politics he is a democrat. Mr. Bambrick married
Miss Sarah M. Baxter, daughter of Samuel Baxter, who
was born in Brooke County, West Virginia, and at marriage
came to Hancock County, where he spent the rest of his
life in agricultural operations, being a progressive cattle
and sheep breeder. He died when eighty-four years old.
Mrs. Bambrick died at the age of sixty-six years, after a
happy married life of about forty-five years.

Walter S. Bambrick received his education in the graded
and high schools of New Cumberland, and in 1912 came to
Weirton as an employe of the shipping department of the
Weirton Steel Company. He remained with this concern,
until named postmaster, the duties of which office he as-
sumed September 5, 1916. At that time the office boasted
of two employes, occupied a one-room building, 11×36 feet,
and had annual receipts amounting to $9,000. There are
now eight assistants, the post office occupies a rented build-
ing, 33×72 feet, and the receipts amount to $160,000 annu-
ally. Mr. Bambrick gives his entire time and attention to
the work of his position and has improved the service ma-
terially. At the present time there are no deliveries made
and no rural free delivery system, as the work of numbering
the houses on the various streets has not been done in
this fast-growing municipality. As soon as this work is
accomplished deliveries will commence. Mr. Bambrick has
the distinction of having his name on the Honor Roll and
sent to the postmaster general at Washington, D. C., as a
mark of special distinction. When the sale of War Sav-
ings Stamps and Thrift Stamps was discontinued the new
Treasury Savings Certificates were offered the public, and
Postmaster Bambrick was an entrant in the postmaster con-
test which closed December 31, 1921, in competition with
all other postmasters of the same class offices in the Fifth
Federal Reserve District, being one of the winners in this
state. A bronze honor pin of attractive design, bearing
the inscription “Honor Postmaster,” has been conferred
upon Postmaster Bambrick by Howard T. Cree, director of
the Government Savings Organization, Richmond, Virginia,
as a reward for patriotism and faithful service. Mr. Bam-
brick is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and during
his vacations humors his hobby of hunting.

Mr. Bambrick married Miss Myrtle Herron, of New
Cumberland, and they are the parents of two children:
Walter Lewis and William Herron.

Henry O. Miller

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. 220-221
Hancock County

HENRY O. MILLER. Perhaps no one man in the educa-
tional life of the Ohio Valley of West Virginia has exerted
an influence finer in quality and purpose than Henry O.
Miller, superintendent of schools of Hancock County, for
it is one proceeding from a character of quiet strength,
sanity and disinterestedness. Mr. Miller not only is a good
teacher, but a man of specialized training and comprehen-
sive learning, as well as capable and progressive executive.
The representative relation of the teacher to the pupil is
a close and intimate one, and few leave the schoolroom
without carrying with them the impress of the character
of the one under whom they have studied, so that it is very
important that the individual who trains the youthful mind
during the formative period be one whose example is worthy
of emulation, a position for which Mr. Miller’s qualities and
abilities equip him eminently.

Mr. Miller is a native of the Gas Valley, having been born
in Poe District, Hancock County, West Virginia, three miles
east of Pughtown, October 20, 1876, a son of John P. and
Margaret A. (Campbell) Miller, a grandson of Benjamin
Miller, also born in Hancock County, and a great-grandson
of David Miller. David Miller was born in County Tyrone.
Ireland, and as a young man immigrated to America and
settled first at Pittsburgh, where he spent a few years.
Later, about 1780, he came to the Poe District, where he
passed the rest of his life in agricultural pursuits, and his
old farm is still in the family possession. He was one of
the real pioneers of this locality and experienced the hard-
ships of such a life, including the clearing up of a farm
and warfare with the Indians, by whom he was forced to
leave the community on one occasion and seek refuge in
a more settled locality, but was also of the stuff of which
the pioneers were made, and lived to the remarkable age
of ninety-nine years.

Benjamin Miller, the grandfather of Henry O. Miller
was born in 1799 and spent his life on the same farm,
dying in 1876. The family landed possessions were ex-
tended under his management, and at the time of his death
the property was passed on to his two sons, John P. and
Martin Luther, who spent their lives on that property. A
brother, Morgan H. Miller, still resides on an adjoining
farm, at the age of eighty-one years. He is a veteran of
the Civil war, having fought as a private in Company I,
Ninety-second Regiment, West Virginia Volunteer Infan-
try. Another brother, Joseph Harvey Miller, died young.
A half-brother, Dr. L. M. Miller, who practiced at Toronto,
Ohio, died at the age of thirty-three years, and a half-sister,
Margaret, married Lawrence W. Glass and now resides
at East Liverpool, Ohio. John P. Miller married Margaret
A. Campbell, a daughter of Robert and Ellen (Young)
Campbell, who were of the same vicinity. John P. Miller
in addition to being a farmer, was quite a sheep breeder
and grower. He and the other members of the family were
democrats until the split between the states of the North
and South, at which time they joined the ranks of the
republican party. For many years the family has been
identified with the Presbyterian Church. David Miller was
an original member of “The Flats” Presbyterian Church,
about four miles distant, and his son Benjamin was an elder
therein, as was also the latter’s son, Morgan H. That
church was organized about 1800 and was the parent church
of all the Presbyterian churches of the vicinity. Since 1891
it has been known as the Fairview Presbyterian Church,
and is located about one and one-half miles from Pughtown,
on the Flats. David and Benjamin Miller were buried at
the site of this church, but John P. Miller, who died in
1907, at the age of seventy-five years, was laid to rest
at the Mill Creek Hill Cemetery, as was his worthy wife,
who passed away in 1903, at seventy years of age. They
were the parents of the following children: Joseph Harvey,
who died at the age of thirty-four years while an employe
of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company at Pittsburgh;
Elmer A. and B. S., partners on the old farm until it was
sold, and now both residents of Pughtown; William M.,
who is engaged in the practice of medicine at Clinton,
Pennsylvania; Robert Sherman, twin of Benjamin S., men-
tioned before, who left West Virginia as a lad and is now
a retired farmer of Summer, Nebraska; Margaret Ellen,
who died at Chester at the age of forty-five years as the
wife of Lawrence L. Stewart; Mary Jane, the wife of Frank
F. Mayhew, living near Salem, Ohio; and Henry O.

Henry O. Miller acquired his early education in the coun-
try schools, following which he attended the Tri-State
Normal School, then at Pughtown, of which the president
was J. D. Hull. At the age of twenty years he began
teaching, and spent the next eight years in Hancock County,
during four years of which time he was principal of schools
at Pughtown. In 1909 Mr. Miller was elected superin-
tendent of schools of Hancock County, and consecutive re-
electiona have brought him to his fourth term. In 1909,
when he first assumed the duties of this office, there were
fifty-eight schools and fifty-eight teachers, with two high
schools at New Cumberland and one at Chester. There are
now 125 schools, with four first-class high schools. The
enrollment in 1909 was 1,000 pupils, whereas now there
are 4,000 pupils, of whom about 300 are attending the
high schools. Much hard work was necessary to interest
the people in the advantages of high school training, but
a splendid sentiment has arisen in this direction. About
ninety-five per cent of the teachers have had normal school
training. The Tri-State Normal School continued only until
1906, but many of the high school graduates attend normal
schools elsewhere in West Virginia, as well as in Pennsyl-
vania and Ohio, and at the present time preparations are
being made for summer normal terms in Hancock County.
Mr. Miller is devoted to his work and is an earnest striver
after an elevation of standards. His labors have resulted
in arousing public interest and in gaining him the co-opera-
tion of teachers, parents and pupils.

In 1911 Mr. Miller was united in marriage with Miss
Sarah Wells, daughter of William H. Wells, of East Liver-
pool, Ohio, and granddaughter of George Wells, whose old
home stood on the present site of Newell. A blockhouse
once stood on the old Wells farm and Indian relics picked
up there are now in the possession of Mr. Miller. George
Wells was an old steamboat owner and followed the river,
and also followed farming until his farm was all sold to
the townsite company. His son, William H., who was a
carpenter by trade, died in 1920, age seventy-one years.
Mrs. Miller, who was born at East Liverpool, Ohio, is active
in the Ladies’ Aid Society of the Presbyterian Church, of
which she and her husband have long been members. He
belongs to the Blue Lodge of Masonry at New Cumber-
land and has attained to the Scottish Rite degree. Mr.
Miller is well known as a public speaker in the line of
educational work, and his services in this direction are
frequently in demand.


Charles T. Hedges

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. 274-275
Hancock County

CHARLES T. HEDGES is a native of Lumberport, and his
chief business experiences have been acquired in that thriv-
ing little city of Harrison County. He was formerly a
merchant but is now in the real estate and coal business.

He was born at Lumberport. April 6, 1890, son of Henry
Clay and Alice (Robinson) Hedges, the latter now de-
ceased. In the family were six sons and one daughter.
Henry Clay Hedges, son of Charles and Nancy G. Hedges,
was born on a farm at Worthington, West Virginia, July
30, 1844, had a rural training and common school educa-
tion, and on leaving the farm went to work’ as clerk at
Clarksburg and subsequently entered merchandising on his
own account at Lumberport. He was in business there
for a number of years and later engaged in the real estate
business. He still has interests at Lumberport, but spends
only his summers there, his winter home being at Orlando,

Charles T. Hedges was reared at Lumberport, attended
the public schools and completed a business course at
Buckhannon. Some five or six years of his early life were
spent in the West, as far as the Pacific Coast, and he had
a variety of experiences and employment. On returning
to Lumberport in 1911 he engaged in business as a member
of the general mercantile firm of Hedges and Oyster Com-
pany. He sold out to his partner in 1919, and since then
has concentrated his attention on the coal and real estate

Mr. Hedges is a Master Mason, an Elk and an Odd Fel-
low. He married Miss Mary Lamar, of Kingwood. She is
a trained nurse by profession. They have one daughter,
Elizabeth Ann.

Herbert Madden Brenneman

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. 230-231
Hancock County

precedence as one of the most important centers of fruit
culture in the State of West Virginia, and apples here
raised are known far and wide for their superiority, with
the result that they always command the maximum mar-
ket prices. The fine fruit farm owned and occupied by
Mr. Brenneman is here situated two miles distant from
Arroyo, an important shipping point, and is the place on
which his birth occurred, the date of his nativity having
been April 24, 1877. He is a son of Charles Christian
Brenneman, who was born at Kendall, Pennsylvania, in
October, 1836, a son of Jacob Brenneman. Christian Bren-
neman, his great-grandfather, who became a pioneer set-
tler in what is now Hancock County, served as a soldier
in the command of Gen. Andrew Jackson in the War of
1812, and incidentally walked home from New Orleans,
where he had been stationed with his command. He mar-
ried a daughter of Jacob Nessly, who was one of the very
early settlers of the present Hancock County and of whom
mention is made in other reviews in this history. Jacob
Nessly owned a very large tract of land along the Ohio
River, and it was on a portion of this land that Christian
Brenneman settled after his marriage, his old homestead
being the place now owned by George G. Brenneman, who
is individually represented on other pages of this work.
Christian Brenneman finally sold 209 acres of his land, and
his grandson, Charles C., repurchased the property shortly
after the close of the Civil war, the remainder of his life
having been here passed and his death having occurred on
the 1st of June, 1901. He married Mary Frances Brown,
daughter of Charles Brown, who was a son of Sir Richard
Brown, the latter having come from Scotland and settled
in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Charles Brown came to
West Virginia when his daughter, Mary F., was eight years
old, and purchased a part of the Jacob Nessly farm, ad-
joining the home place of Austin H. Brown. There Charles
Brown remained until his death, at the patriarchal age
of ninety-six years. His sons, Robert and William, became
owners of the old farm and at the death of Robert Brown
the property passed into the possession of Charles Brenne-
man, a son of John, another brother of George and Charles
C. The present house on this fine old homestead was
erected in 1823, heavy hewed timbers being utilized in its
construction, and hand work of the old-time enduring order
being in evidence throughout the structure. The house was
remodeled and modernized in 1915 by its present owner,
Herbert M. Brenneman, subject of this sketch. In con-
nection with the raising of cattle and sheep Charles C.
Brenneman here early began the development of an apple
orchard, and in the same there is still remaining one tree
that was planted in 1813 and that is still bearing fruit
of excellent quality. This venerable tree is one of the
original “Willow Twig” apple trees of a section now
renowned for the production of this fine type of apples.
Charles C. Brenneman planted an orchard of 5,000 trees,
and from his orchard he received in 1896 a yield of 6,000
barrels. It was a matter of great pride to him that he
lived to see the development of his orchard into one of
the most productive in this section. The present owner
maintains the integrity of the orchard by a careful system
of resetting or replacement, no vacancy being permitted to
appear in the lines of trees, and he having precedence as
the most extensive commercial fruit grower in his native
state. He has held to the celebrated “Willow Twig”
variety as the best type of apples to be raised under the
excellent conditions here in evidence, and no better or
more enduring type is to be found anywhere in the world.
The Brenneman orchards give an average yield of 2,500
barrels, and the place has storage facilities for the accom-
modation of 6,000 barrels. Mr. Brenneman buys from
other fruit growers of the locality sufficient quantities of
apples to reach the limit of his storage capacity. He for-
merly exported apples to Germany, Scotland and England,
but the product of his orchards is sold throughout the
United States almost exclusively since the close of the
World war. His fine farm comprises 209 acres—the origi-
nal tract owned by his father. The store house on this
model fruit farm is a stone structure, one of the finest
houses for the storing of fruit in the United States, and
preserves an even temperature. Mr. Brenneman has made
other improvements of the best modern order, and has rea-
son for taking pride in his splendid hillside farm, which
produces apples of finer flavor and color than do those
grown in the river bottom lands of this locality.

Mr. Brenneman was formerly retained as buyer for lead-
ing wholesale fruit dealers in Pittsburgh and New York
City, and in this connection he visited the fruit-growing
districts in all sections of the United States, with the re-
sult that he has become a recognized authority in this
field of industrial enterprise. He is a citizen of vital
progressiveness and liberality, has been influential in the
promotion of the good-roads movement, and raised through
private sources funds to improve a road in his native
county and district. He was reared in the faith of the
Methodist Church and his wife is a member of the Presby-
terian Church.

In 1902 Mr. Brenneman married Miss Anna Elizabeth
Unkel, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and her death oc-
curred ten years later, the one child of this union being
Gladys Elizabeth, who is a member of the class of 1923
in the high school at Newell. In June, 1915, was solemnized
the marriage of Mr. Brenneman and Miss Amy Viola
Cope, of Wellsville, Ohio, where she was born and reared
and where her father, the late Samuel S. Cope, was engaged
in the hardware business fully fifty years. Mrs. Celestia
Ann (Snowden) Cope, mother of Mrs. Brenneman, was
born at Hookstown, Pennsylvania, and still resides at Wells-
ville, Ohio. Mrs. Brenneman was for twenty years actively
associated with the business established by her father, and
was secretary and treasurer of the Cope Hardware & Supply
Company, in which connection she developed exceptional
business ability. Her social charm is equally pronounced.
and she is the popular chatelaine of one of the beautiful
and hospitable rural homes of Hancock County.

In conclusion is entered brief record concerning the
brothers and sisters of Herbert M. Brenneman: Alice B.
is the wife of E. W. Hewitt, of Arroyo, Hancock County.
Charles Howard, who died in 1916, at the age of fifty-
three years, was at the time proprietor of the Brenne-
man Baking Company in the City of Columbus, Ohio.
Jacob Edward was but a lad when he went to Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, where he made remarkable advancement and
eventually became the executive head of the Brenneman
Wharf & Bridge Company, which has done a large amount
of important work, including the erection of the wharves
of the navy yards at League Island. He is still presi-
dent of this corporation. Clarence likewise left the parental
home when he was a youth, and he is now secretary of
the Peerless Biscuit Company in the City of Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. Willard was seventeen years of age when
he went to Pittsburgh, and there he is now president and
general manager of the Peerless Baking Company. Rev.
George E. attended Mount Union College at Alliance, Ohio,
and is a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he
being at the time of this writing, in 1922, pastor of the
First Methodist Episcopal Church at New Kensington,
Pennsylvania. Robert Baird, the next younger son, died
in 1918, he having been a principal in and general manager
of the Seaman, Irvin & Brenneman Construction Com-
pany of Homesdale, Pennsylvania, Herbert M., of this
sketch, was the next in order of birth. Frank Lawrence,
a traveling salesman for the Peerless Biscuit Company, of
Pittsburgh, died in December, 1917. He inherited a life
interest in the Robert Brown estate in Hancock County,
West Virginia, and was here maintaining his home at the
time of his death. Mrs. Eva C. Gardner, the youngest of
the children, resides at Columbus, Ohio. Each of the sons
made a record of substantial and worthy achievement, and
all have honored their native county and state.


Charles L. Campbell

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
September 26, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 258
Hancock County

CHARLES L. CAMPBELL. In length of service Charles L.
Campbell is the oldest member of the teaching admin-
istrative staff of the Butler District of Hancock County.
His experience has covered nearly all the improvements in
school facilities from the crude one-room schoolhouse to a
real school system and educational plant. He is principal
of schools in the incorporated village of Holliday’s Cove,
which is included in the Butler school district, embracing
the unincorporated adjoining town of Weirton. Weirton
and adjacent community are the subject of more extended
comment and description on other pages. The postmaster
at Holliday’s Cove is D. M. Shakley, also president of the
Butler District School Board.

Mr. Campbell was born at Holliday’s Cove April 9, 1876,
son of George and Alice (Hammond) Campbell, still liv-
ing at the old homestead. The Campbells are one of the
oldest families in this section of West Virginia. George
Campbell’s father was Robert Campbell, and his grandfather
was Alexander Campbell. The pioneer of the family in this
section of Virginia was James Campbell, who secured a
grant of land from Patrick Henry, then governor of Vir-
ginia. Some of the old estate is still owned by the family.
Robert Campbell died at the age of seventy-eight. George
Campbell is now seventy-one.

Charles L. Campbell attended high school at Steuben-
ville, Ohio, the National Normal University at Lebanon,
Ohio, and also the State University at Morgantown. In
1898, at the age of twenty-two, he began teaching, taking
charge of the school at Holliday’s Cove when he was sole
teacher with about sixty pupils, all in one room. Prior
to that time there had been a school house of two rooms
with an opening making them practically one, and used
both for school and church purposes. This was replaced
by a one-room building on the site of the present eight-
room school house. That in turn was followed by a four-
room frame building erected in 1902. Mr. Campbell after
teaching at Holliday’s Cove taught in other schools of
the district, but in 1907 returned to his home community.
For three years he was a teacher in the Weirton School,
and since then has been in regular service at Holliday’s
Cove. The present eight-room brick building occupies the
site of the old frame school house which was burned. While
the main building contains only eight rooms, the school
population has so increased that fifteen rooms are now re-
quired, necessitating the leasing of temporary quarters.

Mr. Campbell married Ora Shimer, a native of Ohio.
They have six children, Leslie. George, Harold, Ruth, Wayne
and Alice. His family is affiliated with the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows and has held the chairs in the lodge.
For eighteen years he has been an enthusiastic advocate of
wholesome athletics in this community, and in the school
has encouraged a base ball team and otherwise stimulated
athletic competition.

Jacob Nessly Porter

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



PORTER, JACOB NESSLY. (Republican.) Address-
Newell, West Va. Representative from Hancock county.
Born at New Cumberland, August 28, 1885; educated in
the public schools and at Wellsville, Ohio; his ancestors
settled at what is now Arroyo, Hancock county, in 1785,
and they and succeeding generations were intimately
associated with the progress and development of the
county. Mr. Porter is now extensively engaged in the
manufacture of paving and fire brick, and also gives con-
siderable attention to fruit growing and stock raising;
elected to the House of Delegates in 1914, succeeding his
father, re-elected in 1916; committee assignments 1917:
Taxation and Finance, Insurance, Election and Privileges
and Labor..

Submitted by: Valerie Crook