Tag Archives: 30

Earl Mcconnaughy

MINGO COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA – BIOS: McCONNAUGHY, Earl
******************************************************************
Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
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. 264-265
Mingo County

EARL MCCONNAUGHY has effectively upheld the prestige
of the family name in connection with the coal-mining
industry, and is one of its vital and progressive exponents
in the Kentucky and West Virginia fields. He was the
organizer and is secretary, treasurer and general manager
of the P. M. C. Coal Company, which derives its title from
the surname initials of its three promoters, Messrs. Palmer,
McConnaughy and Countremen. The coal lands of the
company comprise 600 acres on Hatfield Bend of the Tug
River in Pike County, with a steel bridge across the river to
afford connection with the company’s tipple in West Vir-
ginia. The residence and executive headquarters of Mr. Mc-
Connaughy are maintained at Sprigg, Mingo County, West
Virginia. He had the supervision of the opening of the
mine of this company and the erection and equipping of the
producing plant, operations at the mine having been
initiated in August, 1918, and the company having de-
veloped a large export trade.

Mr. McConnaughy was born at Bridgeport, Ohio, June
19, 1877, a son of Howell and Sophia (Heneke) McCon-
naughy, both likewise natives of that place, where the
mother died in February, 1911, aged fifty-nine years, and
where the death of the father occurred in the following
October, when he was sixty-two years of age. Howell Mc-
Connaughy was actively concerned with coal mining during
his entire business career, and operated mines in the Eastern
Ohio District. Of the family of three sons and one daugh-
ter the eldest son, Albert C., was president of the Buffalo
Eagle Coal Company, operating in the Logan field of West
Virginia, and also secretary and treasurer of the Guyan
Coal Company, his death having occurred in 1920. Fred is
district agent of the New York Life Insurance Company,
with headquarters at Lead, South Dakota. The only daugh-
ter is Mrs. Charles Adams, of Dayton, Ohio.

The early education of Earl McConnaughy was acquired
in the schools of his native place. He was eighteen years
old when he left the Bridgeport High School and initiated
his association with the practical affairs of business. He
became night superintendent of the Aetna Standard Mill,
and four years later, at the age of twenty-two years, he
became assistant superintendent for the Republic Iron &
Steel Company at Toledo, Ohio. A year later he accepted
the position of superintendent for the Henderson Coal Com-
pany, operating in Ohio, and in this connection he main-
tained his headquarters in his native city of Bridgeport for
ten years. He tlien came to the Logan coal fields in West
Virginia, and for two years was engaged in the buying of
coal lands. He then became manager of the Alma Thacker
Fuel Company in Kentucky, not far distant from Matewan,,
West Virginia, and his next decisive movement was the
organizing of the P. M. C. Coal Company, of which he has
since continued secretary, treasurer and general manager.
He was in the last draft, at the time of the World war,
but received from Government authorities instruction to
bend his energies to the production of coal, an economic
service of as much value as could be that which he might
render in the army or navy. He spurred his energies to the
maximum production of fuel, and thus effectively followed
the instructions which had been given. Mr. McConnaughy’s
basic Masonic affiliation is with the Blue Lodge at William-
son, and in the Scottish Rite he has received the thirty-
second degree, besides which he is a member of the Lodge
of Elks at Martins Ferry, Ohio. He was reared in the faith
of the Methodist Church, and his wife holds membership in
the Presbyterian Church.

On April 5, 1900, Mr. McConnaughy married Miss Lucy
Hill, daughter of Thomas Hill, of Bridgeport, Ohio. They
have no children.

James R. Brockus

MINGO COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
******************************************************************
Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Joan Wyatt
mewyatt@uakron.edu
January 18, 2000
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923,The American Historical Society Inc.
Chicago and New York Volume 11
Page 243
Bio- James R. Brockus, Williamson, Mingo Co.

James R. Brockus, who is now captain of Company B of the West
Virginia State Police, with headquarters in the court house at
Williamson, Mingo Co., has the rank of lieutenant colonel in the United
States Army Reserves. His service in the United States Army covered a
period of twenty-three years and ten months, and within this long period
he was in forty-one different states of the Union and also in seven
foreign countries. He passed fourteen months in Alaska, four years on
the Mexican border, seven years in the Philippine Islands, besides which
he was with the American troops in China at the time of the Boxer
uprising, and was in France in the period of the World war. In nearly a
quarter of a century of active and efficient service in the United
States army Colonel Buckus was in the best physical health, and his
entire interval of confinement in hospital did not exceed ten days. He
made an admirable record, as shown in the text of his various discharges
from the army, in which he promptly enlisted at the expiration of his
various terms until his final retirement. He rose in turn through the
grades of corporal (second enlistment), sergeant and battalion sergeant
major (Boxer rebellion in China). West Virginia is fortunate in having
gained this seasoned soldier and sterling citizen as a member and
officer of its state police.
Colonel Brockus was born at Erwin, Unicoi County, Tennessee, on the
8th of August, 1875, and is the son of William K. and Sarah (Parks)
Brockus, the father having been a skilled mechanic and having conducted
a shop at Erwin. In the public schools of his native town Colonel
Brockus gained his early education, which was supplemented by a course
in a business college at Nashville, Tennessee.
In 1893 Colonel Brockus enlisted in Company F, Twenty-second United
States Infantry, and after spending three years at ForkKeough,Montana,
he received an honorable discharge. AtNashville, Tennessee, he soon
afterwards re-enlisted, at this time as a member of the Fourteenth
United States Infantry. It was within this period of enlistment that he
was with his command in Alaska for fourteen months. Later he was in
service in the Philippine Islands, whence he went with his command to
China at the time of the Boxer rebellion, his second discharge having
been received while he was atPekin, China. He then returned to the
United States and engaged in the hardware business in his native town.
There he lost all of his investments as the result of a fire, and he
then enlisted in Company D, Eighteenth United States Infantry, with
which he was in service at Fort Bliss, Texas. Later he was in Fort
Logan, and next he was assigned with his command to service in the
Philippines, his second trip to those islands having been made in 1903.
In the Philippines he served with Company D, Fifteenth Infantry, in
Mindinao, but he purchased his discharge and rejoined his old command as
a member of Company D, Eighteenth Infantry. He returned to the United
States on the 15th of November, 1909, and from Camp Whipple Barracks,
Arizona, was sent to service on the Mexican border. In connection with
the nation’s participation in the World war Colonel Brockus was
commissioned second lieutenant at Nogales, Arizona, on July 9, 1917, and
sent to the Officer’s Training School at Fort Benjamin Harrison,
Indiana, where on August 15th he was commissioned captain and assigned
to the Three Hundred and Thirty-first Infantry at Camp Sherman, Ohio. On
December 31, 1917, he was advanced to the rank of major and went with
the Eighty-third division to France, where the division received final
training and equipment for front-line service. After signing of the
armistice Major Brockus was transferred to the One Hundred and
Twenty-eighth Battalion of the Military Police Corps at Laval. He sailed
for home June21,1919, and landed at Newport News, Virginia, on the 3rd
of the following month. His command was mustered out at Camp Taylor,
Kentucky, where he received his final discharge July 24, 1919. He
enlisted again, as a first sergeant, and was sent to Fort George Wright,
where he remained until May 13, 1920, when he was retired with credit
and with the pay of a warrant officer for thirty year’s service. After a
brief visit to his old home in Tennessee Colonel Brockus joined the West
Virginia State Police, August 29, 1920, and was sent to Mingo coal
fields, where he has continued in active service except during the
recent interval when Federal troops were here in connection with mine
troubles. He is now Captain of Company B of the State Police, and during
the recent miners invasion he had command of seventy-two state police,
including two officers and also eighteen volunteers. He was under fire
many times in the Philippines and in the Boxer uprising, but has stated
that he heard more hostile bullets during the mine troubles in West
Virginia that at any other period of his long military experience. A man
and a soldier of fine personality, Colonel Brockus has made many friends
within the period of his residence and official service inWest Virginia.
Colonel Brockus is a member of the American Legion, a thirty-second
degree Mason and a Shrine.

Carl Brooks Early

MINGO COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
******************************************************************
Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Elizabeth Burns
burns@asu.edu
January 1, 2000
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II,
pg. 211-212

Carl Brooks Early. While age and ripened experience are usually assumed
in relation to exceptional business responsibilities, it has been proved
that they are not absolutely essential in all cases. An example may be
cited in Carl Brooks Early, cashier of the National Bank of Commerce at
Williamson, West Virginia. Mr. Early in addition to this responsible
position occupies numerous others, which identify him officially with
industries and undertakings of great magnitude in West Virginia.

Carl Brooks Early was born in Giles County, Virginia, August 27, 1890,
and is a son of David A. and Sarah (Brooks) Early, one of their family
of three sons and two daughters. His father was born in Pulaski County,
Virginia, December 20, 1854, a member of an early settled family there
of Scotch-Irish extraction. The mother of Mr. Early was born in Giles
County, Virginia, June 13, 1859 and now resides at Bluefield, West
Virginia.

Carl B. Early had excellent school privileges. His preference was for a
business rather than professional life and his capacity was first tested
as a clerk in the employ of the Pulasky Mining Company at Pulaski,
Virginia, where he remained until 1909, when he went to Bluefield, West
Virginia, as bookkeeper in the First National Bank, which position he
resigned in September 1910, in order to accept that of assistant cashier
in the First National Bank at Welch, West Virginia, where he continued
until July 1916, at which time he came to Williamson and entered upon
his duties as cashier of the National Bank of Commerce.

By the summer of 1918, Mr. Early had become well and favorably known in
banking circles throughout the state, but on August 3 of that year he
enlisted for service in the World war, like many other patriotic young
men unselfishly setting aside all matters of personal importance in the
face of the great calamity that had fallen upon his country. He was
given rank as first lieutenant and ordered to Washington, D.C. where he
remained until February 1, 1919 and until his honorable discharge
performed the duties of disbursing officer at Saltville, Virginia. He
returned then to Williamson and resumed his duties as cashier and
director of the National Bank of Commerce. Other official positions
which claim his time and attention include: Treasurer of the
Indian-Pocahontas Coal Company; treasurer of the Indian Fuel Company;
treasurer of the Valley Investment Company; vice president and treasurer
of Harkins and Company and treasurer of the Pigeon Creek Realty
Company. In the management of the business pertaining to these various
important concerns, Mr. Early has displayed acumen and foresight that
would be creditable to a veteran captain of industry.

In political life Mr. Early is a republican. For several years he has
been a member of the Board of Review and Equalization of Mingo County.
He is a member of McDowell Lodge, No. 112, F. and A.M. Howard Chapter,
No 28, R.A.M; Bluefield Commandery and the Mystic Shrine at Charleston.
He belongs to Post Ephraim Boggs No. 49, American Legion and to the
Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis Club.

Everett Mcdowell Harman

MINGO COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
******************************************************************
Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@earthlink.net
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. 505
Mingo

EVERETT MCDOWELL HARMAN was born September 22,
1880, at Ennis, West Virginia, and is a son of Frank P.
and Eugenia A. (Edwards) Harman, natives of Floyd
County, Virginia, and a member of an old and honored
family of the Old Dominion. His father, one of the pioneer
West Virginia coal operators, still possesses large and
valuable coal interests, and among other interests is presi-
dent of the Lynn Coal and Coke Company of Matewan, West
Virginia, the Turkey Gap Coal Company of Dott, this state,
and the Premier Pocahontas Colliery Company. During the
greater part of the time he makes his home at Washington,
D. C., and was at one time president of the Commercial
National Bank of the national capital, but resigned several
years ago. He came into the Pocahontas District at the
time of its discovery, in 1886, and, in fact with Bowen and
Cooper shares the credit for having discovered this field.
He himself opened up all the properties of which he is presi-
dent, and turned over to his son for opening the holdings
in the Pigeon Creek District.

The education of Everett McDowell Harman was acquired
in the public school at Salem, Virginia, the high school
at Lynchburg, that state, and the Virginia Polytechnic, a
semi-military institution, where he pursued a two-year
course in civil engineering, but did not graduate. On leav-
ing school he went to New Mexico, where he spent about
one year on a ranch owned by his father, and then returned
and went to work for the Freeburn Coal and Coke Company
in Pike County, Kentucky, where he remained about a year.
His father then selling that property, Mr. Harman came
to West Virginia with the Premier Pocahontas Colliery
Company, in the capacity of assistant superintendent, a
position which he retained for two years, his next location
being at Matewan, where he took charge of the Lynn and
Allburn Coal and Coke Company as superintendent. In
May, 1921, Mr. Harman located at Burch Post Office and
opened the Puritan Mine, thus securing the credit for open-
ing the first mine in the Pigeon Creek District.

In opening the Pigeon Creek property Mr. Harman has
what is known as the Thacker seam and the Winifred seam,
both of which will ship from the one tipple. The first ship-
ment from this district was made July 30, 1921. The prod-
uct is a high volatile coal, and the property will produce
3,000 tons daily. In the operation of the Puritan Mine Mr.
Harman is on the ground daily, mingling with his men and
looking after their interests in a way seldom noted among
the proprietors. He is unmarried, belongs to a number of
organizations, and is extremely popular wherever known.

Luther William Helmintoller

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

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 370
Greenbrier/Mingo

LUTHER WILLIAM HELMINTOLLER, superintendent for the
Buffalo Thacker Coal Company at Chattaroy, Mingo County,
has run the full gamut of experience in connection with
the coal-mining industry, his first work having been as a
trapper boy, when he was but ten years of age.

Mr. Helmintoller was born at Ronceverte, Greenbrier
County, West Virginia, on the 17th of August, 1893, and
is a son of William B. and Margaret (Morgan) Helmintol-
ler, the former of whom was born in Alleghany County,
Virginia, and the latter in Greenbrier County, West Vir-
ginia, where their marriage was solemnized. Mrs. Helmin-
toller passed to the life eternal on the 3d of March, 1919,
at the age of fifty-four years. William B. Helmintoller was
engaged in farm enterprise for a number of years, and for
fifteen years thereafter he was identified with public work
in Raleigh County, this state. He is a republican and is a
member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, as was
also his wife. He now, at the age of sixty-eight years
(1922) is living retired in the home of his son Luther W.,
of this review, who was fourth in a family of twelve chil-
dren, of whom eight are living.

Luther W. Helmintoller gained his early education in
the public schools of Greenbrier and Raleigh counties, but
early began to do practical work also in connection with
coal mining, as noted in the preceding paragraph. By his
mine work he earned the money to defray his course in the
Dunsmore Business College, Staunton, Virginia. His first
mine service was in Raleigh County, and he has since held
various progressive positions in different mines, besides
having had charge of general stores conducted by mining
companies. His work has been in Raleigh, Logan, Boone,
Kanawha, McDowell and Mingo counties, and his ambition
and effective service gained to him consecutive advancement,
as is shown by the fact that he became a mine superin-
tendent when he was but twenty-three years of age. He has
been a constant reader and student concerning matters per-
taining to the coal industry, and has well earned the success
which is his. He was with Jack Dalton in the World war
period, and had charge of three mines on Coal River in
Boone County. By thus spurring the production of coal he
made effective contribution to the nation’s war cause, the
fuel production having been one of major importance. He
has been associated with the Buffalo Thacker Coal Company
in the capacity of superintendent at Chattaroy since August,
1920. He is a republican, is affiliated with the Blue Lodge
and Chapter of the Masonic fraternity at Bramwell, and in
the Scottish Rite Consistory at Wheeling he has received
the thirty-second degree, besides which he is a member of
the Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Charleston, the Lodge
of Elks at Huntington, and the Lodge of Knights of
Pythias at Pocahontas, Virginia.

In 1916 Mr. Helmintoller married Miss Lillian White,
daughter of Charles H. White, of Maybeury, McDowell
County, and they have one daughter, Mary.

Harry G. Williams

MINGO COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
******************************************************************
Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
cmac4330@chesapeake.net
December 1, 1999
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II
pg.61

HARRY G. WILLIAMS has been successfully engaged in the real-estate and insurance
business in the City of Williamson, Mingo County, since 1911, and his insurance
agency, of general order, is one of the most substantial in Mingo County.

Of English and Irish Ancestry, Mr. Williams is a scion of families founded in
Virginia many generations ago, his maternal grandfather having been a prominent
civil engineer in that historic old commonwealth. He is a son of Cyrus and
Octava (Davis) Williams and was born at Tazewell, Virginia, August 20, 1880.
His father was long a representative farmer and citizen of Tazewell County, and
served as a member of a Virginia cavalry regiment under Gen. Jubal A. Early,
throughout the Civil war, he having made a splendid record as a gallant young
soldier of the Confederacy and having never been wounded or captured.

In 1899 Harry G. Williams graduated from the high school at. Richland, Tazewell
County, Virginia, and for three years thereafter he was a student in the private
academy conducted by Professor McIlvain at Bowen Cove, Virginia. He then took a
position in the First National Bank of Montgomery Indiana, where he remained
eighteen months. He then came to Williamson, West Virginia, to assume the
position of assistant cashier of the First National Bank, a position which he
retained until December, 1911, when he resigned and forthwith established his
present real estate and insurance business, in which he has achieved unequivocal
success. He has been decisively progressive and public-spirited as a citizen,
and while he has had no desire for public office he gave four years of effective
service as a member of the Board of Education at Williamson. In the World war
period he was chairman of the local Draft Board, was a vigorous worker in the
drives in support of patriotic objects, including the Government war loans, and
was treasurer of the local chapter of the Red Cross, a position which he still
retains. Mr. Williams is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, is a valued
member of the local Kiwanis Club, is an active member of the Williamson Lodge
of Elks, and he and his wife hold membership in the Presbyterian Church in
their home city.

At Montgomery, West Virginia, a town named in honor of the family of which his
wife is a representative in the maternal line, Mr. Williams was united in
marriage, in 1906, with Miss Myrtle Smith, a daughter of Green and Willie
(Montgomery) Smith, Mr. Smith being a leading contractor and builder at
Montgomery. Mr. and Mrs. Williams have a winsome little daughter, Octavia.

Joseph Butcher Straton

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

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

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

747

STRATON, JOSEPH BUTCHER. (Democrat.) Ad-
dress: Williamson, West Va. Member of the House of
Delegates from Mingo county. Born September 10, 1888,
at Myrtle, Logan (now Mingo), county; educated in the
public schools, the Alderson (West Va.) Academy, Ohio
Military Institute, Cincinnati, University of Virginia
and the West Virginia University; is a lawyer by pro-
fession; was elected to the Legislature in 1916 and during
the 1917 sessions served on the following standing com-
mittees: Elections and Privileges (Chairman); Judiciary,
Counties, Districts and Municipal Corporations, Forefeited
and Unappropriated Lands, Mines and Mining, and
Insurance.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Marion Tivis Ball

MINGO COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
******************************************************************
Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
cmac4330@chesapeake.net
December 4, 1999
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II pg.63

Marion Tivis Ball. An exemplification of self-made manhood is found in the
career and person of Marion T. Ball, of Williamson, Mingo County. A man of
prominence and influence in his community, he has risen solely through the
medium of his own efforts and well-applied industry, for he entered upon his
career with nothing but an indifferent education to aid him and was forced to
depend wholly upon his own resources.

Mr. Ball was born February 21, 1861, in Pike County, Kentucky, a son of Jesse
and Jane (Keith). Ball, natives of Virginia. The Ball family is one that dates
its ancestry back to early Colonial days in Virginia, while the Keiths
originated in Ireland. Jesse Ball was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal
faith, which he followed in Virginia. His nine children were reared in Kentucky.

The youngest child in a large family, with the only means of support the meager
and uncertain salary of a country preacher, Marion Tivis Ball had few of the
pleasures and advantages that are considered youth’s inalienable right in these
days. In fact he considered himself lucky to be able to get an education in the
country school, which he finished when he was fourteen years of age, with the
exception of some irregular attendance during the winter months on several
later occasion. When he was fourteen he began to add to the family income by
working in a sawmill, and during the six years that he was thus engaged mastered
the business in numerous of its particulars. He then took up carpentry as a
vocation, and this occupation he followed with success for some twenty years.
Next, he accepted a position with the Hurst Hardware Company of Williamson, and
while associated with Mr. Hurst in the furniture division of the store, became
familiar with the undertaking business. In 1913 Mr. Ball purchased the
undertaking department of Mr. Hurst’s establishment, and since then has devoted
his time to this vocation. Mr. Ball has the tact and diplomacy necessary for his
chosen line of work, into which he brings the latest methods for the reverent
care of the dead.

In 1881, while a resident of Pike County, Kentucky, Mr. Ball was united in
marriage with Dorcas Casebolt, a daughter of William and Lottie Casebolt,
natives of Kentucky, and to this union there have been born five children:
Robert Edgar, associated with his father in the undertaking business at
Williamson, who married Willa Lowther; Virginia Stella, who married Lee Fentor
Morris, of Williamson, and has one child, Nancy Lou, born in 1921; Lewellyn
Ferne, who married Guy Hobson Hughes of Williamson; Goebel Keith and Marion
Tabor. The family belongs to the Presbyterian Church except Mr. Ball, who is an
adherent of the Methodist Episcopal faith. He belongs to the Kiwanis Club, and
as a Mason holds membership in the Blue Lodge and Chapter at Williamson, the
Knights Templar at Huntington, the Scottish Rite at Wheeling and is a member of
Beni-Kedem Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. of Charleston, West Virginia. His support is
always given to worthy civic movements, and he can be counted upon to
contribute to those measures which have for their object the raising of
standards of morality and citizenship.

Wells Goodykoontz

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

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

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

pg. 721

GOODYKOONTZ, WELLS, President of the Senate. (Republican.)
Address: Williamson, West Va. Was born in Pulaski, Virginia,. June 3, 1872;
educated at Oxford Academy, Floyd, Virginia, and at Washington and Lee
University, Lexington, Virginia; is a member of the well known law firm of
Goodykoontz & Scherr; received his professional education at Washington and
Lee; was a member of the House of Delegates of West Virginia in 1911; elected
to the Senate from the Sixth District in 1914; in 1915 was chairman of the com-
mittee on Finance and a member of nearly all the other important committees;
was re-elected to the Senate in 1916, and at the organization in 1917 was chosen
President of that body and filled the position with dignity, fairness and marked
ability. Mr. Goodykoontz is President of the National Bank of Commerce, of
Williamson, is interested in coal production, and has done much to direct the
attention of capitalists to the great natural wealth of the county of Mingo.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Wells Goodykoontz

MINGO COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
******************************************************************
Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
November 26, 1999
******************************************************************

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 317

HON. WELLS GOODYKOONTZ began the practice of law at
Williamson in 1894. The range and importance of his law
practice, his substantial interests in the community, were
the solid foundation for his public and political career, and
for all his varied and active service in the State Legislature
and in the halls of Congress he is still actively connected
with his profession and his business at Williamson.

Mr. Goodykoontz was born near Newbern, Pulaski County,
Virginia, June 3, 1872, son of William M. and Lucinda K.
(Woolwine) Goodykoontz. His paternal ancestor, Hans
Georg Gutekunsh, immigrated to this country in 1750 and
fought through the Revolution. His grandfather on his
mother’s side, Robert McCrum Woolwine, was born near
Beverly in Randolph County. He attended good schools and
had the fortune of coming under the supervision of some
very able educators. At Oxford Academy in Virginia he
was under John K. Harris, a graduate of Williams College
and a Presbyterian minister. At Floyd, Virginia, he read
law under Judge Z. T. Dobyns, and in Washington and Lee
University he came under the instruction of John Randolph
Tucker and Charles A. Graves. Mr. Goodykoontz was licensed
to practice June 9,1893, and established himself at William-
son February 23, 1894. He began his career as a lawyer at
Williamson when the great coal industry of that section
was just being developed. At the present time he is a
senior member of the law firm of Goodykoontz, Scherr &
Slaven. Mr. Goodykoontz became a member of the bar of
the Supreme Court of West Virginia on April 1, 1896, and
was admitted to practice as “an attorney and counsellor”
in the Supreme Court of the United States, December 13,
1909. His standing and popularity with the profession are
indicated by the fact that he was chosen president of the
West Virginia Bar Association in July, 1917.

Since its founding he has been president of the National
Bank of Commerce of Williamson. It was one of the first
banking institutions founded in that region. It was started
as a state bank. Since 1911 the same has operated under
a national charter and under the above name. The pros-
perity of this section is reflected in the comparative bank
deposits. Its deposits aggregated about $450,000 in 1915
and at the beginning of 1921 were over $1,400,000. Mr.
Goodykoontz is the president of the Kimberling Land Com-
pany and the Burning Creek Land Company, and a director
in several other corporations engaged in local enterprises.

Mr. Goodykoontz had been a successful lawyer nearly
twenty years before he became a candidate for public office.
Mingo County sent him to the House of Delegates in the
sessions of 1911-12, and in 1914 he was nominated without
opposition by the republican party for the State Senate.
He was chosen to represent the Sixth Senatorial District,
comprising McDowell, Mingo, Wayne and Wyoming coun-
ties, and led the ticket in each of these counties by a plur-
ality of 3,009. In the session of 1915-16 in the Senate, Mr.
Goodykoontz was majority floor leader, and January 10,
1917, was elected president of the Senate, thus becoming
ex-officio lieutenant governor of the state. He held that
office until December 1, 1918. Harris’ Legislative Hand-
book, 1918, gives him the distinction of being the first presi-
dent of the Senate from whose rulings no appeal was ever
taken.

November 5, 1918, as candidate of the republican party,
he was elected to the Sixty-sixth Congress, over W. M.
McNeal, democrat, by 2,936 majority. November 2, 1920,
he was reelected as a member of the Sixty-seventh Congress
—again over Mr. McNeal—by a majority of 6,799. The
Fifth District, which he represents covers the Pocahontas
coal field and is composed of the nine counties of Lincoln,
Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Summers,
Wayne and Wyoming. Mr. Goodykoontz entered Congress
when the republicans resumed control of the House, and he
has been one of the active members during the protracted
sessions of that body. He is a member of the Judiciary
Committee, the lawyers committee of the House, having been
assigned to this committee upon his entering Congress. It
is seldom that a new member is permitted a membership on
this major committee.

During the World war, Mr. Goodykoontz was chairman of
the Central Committee of Lawyers that headed the West
Virginia bar in assisting registrants and aiding, by advice
and otherwise, soldiers and sailors, their families and de-
pendents. In this connection Mr. Goodykoontz was author
of the “Legal Booklet,” of which 30,000 copies were dis-
tributed, giving information as to the more important laws,
State and Federal, affecting soldiers and sailors.

Mr. Goodykoontz is a past master of the Williamson
Masonic Lodge. On December 22, 1898, he married Miss
Irene Hooper, of New Orleans.