Tag Archives: 45

A. A. Riddleberger

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



RIDDLEBERGER, A. A. (Democrat.) Address:
Hinton, West Va. Member of the House of Delegates
from Summers county. Born at Patterson’s Creek, Bote-
tourt county, Virginia, April 19, 1865; educated in the
common schools and the Alleghany County (Virginia)
high school; occupation, railway conductor; served three
terms as councilman in the city of Hinton; elected to the
Legislature in 1916 and during the 1917 sessions received
and filled the following committee assignments: State
Boundaries (Chairman); Railroads, Medicine and Sani-
tation, Forestry and Conservation, Counties, Districts
and Municipal Corporations and the Virginia Debt.

Submitted by: Valerie Crook

Simon Prince Richmond

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 6, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 454-455

SIMON PRINCE RICHMOND has followed the profession
of shorthand reporter for over twenty years. In that field
he has received real distinction by the skill, thoroughness
and reliability of his work. His service has been by no
means local. He has reported conventions and court pro-
ceedings in many of the sections of his home state and in
assemblies throughout the country.

Mr. Richmond was born on a farm in Summers County,
West Virginia, January 20, 1870, son of Enos R. and
Catharine (Walker) Richmond. His father is still living,
and they descended from William Richmond, who came
from England and settled in Norfolk, Virginia, but soon
after the Revolutionary war, removed to New River Falls,
in what is now Raleigh County, West Virginia.

Simon Prince Richmond had to work on his father’s
farm a few years before and even while he was in his first
year in the common schools. He is one of the men who has
gone beyond his early environment, has overcome adversity
and difficulties in his path of achievement, and has made all
his opportunities. He completed his early education by at-
tending the Concord Normal School at Athens during 1889,
and at the age of sixteen taught his first term of school
in his native county. He continued teaching for fifteen
years, and after a term of from three to five months each
winter spent the rest of the year on the farm.

Mr. Richmond moved to Charleston in 1901, in which
years he graduated in shorthand and typewriting at the
Capital City Commercial College. He also studied law,
beginning in 1907, was admitted to the bar in 1910, and
for several years did office practice in the offices of Brown,
Jackson & Knight at Charleston, one of the most prominent
law firms of West Virginia, and the firm with which he
began his career of stenographer soon after graduating from
commercial school. In 1921 he withdrew from this firm and
became associated with Charles V. Price and Ben D. Keller,
a shorthand firm with offices in the Boyce Building. These
three men are official reporters for the Circuit Court of
Fayette and Nicholas counties, and also for the Circuit
Court of Webster, Braxton and Gilmer counties, and they
do the reporting for the Criminal Court of Raleigh County.
The firm conducts a general shorthand reporting business,
and handle a large volume of special work for conventions
and associations.

This has been the particular field of Mr. Richmond for
many years, and he is the official reporter for the State
Pharmaceutical Association of West Virginia, for the State
Bar Association and for a number of years has been the
assistant secretary and official stenographer for the Farm-
ers’ National Congress. He reports all the annual proceed-
ings of this congress and prepares the reports for publica-
tion. Mr. Richmond is a Knights Templar and Scottish
Rite Mason and a Shriner.

He married Miss Sarah Pink. They have four children:
Justus O., T. Carter, Percy P. and Gladys.

William H. Sawyers

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. 602-603

WILLIAM H. SAWYERS. In the thirtieth consecutive year
of his law practice at Hinton William H. Sawyers has
accumulated achievements not only in his profession but
in business affairs and politics, and is easily one of the
most influential men in his section of the state. He
was admitted to the bar at Hinton May 6, 1893, by Judges
A. N. Campbell and Homer G. Holt of the Supreme Court
of Appeals and Judge Frank A. Guthrie of the Kanawha

The old Norman French way of spelling the name was
Sawtiers. In France they were Catholics, but became con-
verted to the protestant faith through the reading of
protestant literature, and they suffered exile to England.
There is record of John Hacker, age seventeen, William
Sawyers, age eighteen, and Robert Sheppeard, age twenty,
who ran away from England and came to America in 1608
in Ye Hopewell, T. Babb was Master. These useful
immigrants settled at “James Citty” in the Virginia
colony, and it is from William Sawyers that the present
branch of the family is descended.

Sampson M. Sawyers, great-grandfather of the Hinton
lawyer, served seven years in the American Army during
the war for independence. He was under General Wash-
ington. His half brother, William Sawyers, was a participant
in the battle of Point Pleasant on the western side of the
Alleghany Mountains in October, 1774. The grandfather of
William H. Sawyers was Alexander Sawyers, who was a
soldier in the battle of New Orleans under Jackson at the
close of the War of 1812.

Joseph A. Sawyers, father of the lawyer, was born in
Alleghany County, Virginia, in 1840, and was a soldier in
the Confederate Army in the artillery branch under Gen.
George Carter. For a time he was under the command of
Stonewall Jackson, and was in General Lee’s army at
Appomattox. He went through thirty-six major engage-
ments and was once slightly wounded. He was a non-com-
missioned officer. After the war and for many years he was
a prosperous farmer in Greenbrier County, West Virginia,
always voted for and supported the democratic ticket, and
was a member of the Methodist Church. He died December
11, 1916. Joseph A. Sawyers married Cornelia V. Doss,
a native of Franklin County, Virginia, and now living at
the old Sawyers homestead in Greenbrier County. She
was born in 1846, and all her married life has been spent
in Greenbrier County. Her three sons are: William H.;
Augustus, a farmer at the old homestead in Greenbrier
County; and James L., a traveling salesman for Lewis
Hubbard & Company of Charleston, living at Alderson.

These sons finished their education in the home schools
and in the Concord Normal School at Athens. William H.
Sawyers graduated from the Concord Normal on July
2, 1891. Before he became a lawyer he taught seven
terms of school, and at one time was principal of the
Hinton High School. He completed his law course in West
Virginia University at Morgantown in 1894, and he also
attended the Columbian University at Washington during
1899-1900, while employed in the Department of the In-
terior. He also was a student a portion of two years in
the International School of Law and Diplomacy, whose
Dean was Oliver W. Needham and whose staff of instructors
and lecturers included Associate Justices Harlan, Brewer,
Gray and John W. Poster.

After his admission to the bar Mr. Sawyers began
practice at Hinton, and his law business has brought him
before all the courts, including the Local and Circuit
Courts of his home state, and the Federal Courts of Rich-
mond and Charleston. He has served a number of business
interests and corporations as attorney and in other
capacities, and has helped organize several banks. He has
been secretary and attorney of record for three coal corpora-
tions, the Piney Coal & Coke Land Company, the McCreery
Central Pocahontas Coal Land Company, and the James
T. McCreery Company.

While a successful attorney without any financial interests
in politics, Mr. Sawyers has given much of his time to
public duty. He has served as mayor of Hinton, was police
judge nine years, president of the Board of Education
eight years, and as democratic nominee for the office of
attorney general of the state in 1916 he came nearer to
being elected than any democratic nominee for a number
of years. He has been a delegate to every state conven-
tion of his party since 1892, and was a member of the
Democratic State Executive Committee for twenty-six years.
Mr. Sawyers was editor of the Independent Herald of
Hinton from 1895 to 1911, and individually owned the
newspaper and plant from 1901 to 1911. His editorials,
which were widely copies, were models of a fine literary
style, and were equally accepted whether in the field of
political argument or in humorous comment on affairs.

In 1907 Mr. Sawyers married Josephine McCreery,
daughter of J. T. McCreery. They have two children,
Frederick W. and Thomas M. Mr. Sawyers is a Presbyterian,
is a Lodge, Chapter and Knight Templar Mason, a member
of Wheeling Consistory of the Scottish Rite, Beni-Kedem
Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Charleston and is also
affiliated with the Elks and Independent Order of Odd

Thurman Elroy Vass

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
December 14, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II
pg. 156

THURMAN ELROY VASS, M. D. A highly accomplished physician and surgeon at
Bluefield, Doctor Vass enjoys a secure prestige in his profession. He possesses
the personality and the ability that inspire confidence, and in addition to the
good work he has done at Bluefield he has a record as a medical officer with the
army, having served in home camps and abroad nearly two years.

Doctor Vass was born in Summers County, West Virginia, January 27, 1889, son of
Phillip Edward and Eliza (Green) Vass. His parents were born in Monroe County,
West Virginia, and his father was a contractor and builder who did a great deal
of construction work in McDowell and Mercer counties and, in fact, all through
the southern part of the state.

Doctor Vass attended the graded schools of McDowell County, graduated in the
academic course from the Concord Normal School in January, 1909, and for three
years was in West Virginia University, the first year in the preparatory medical
course and two years in the regular course. From there he entered the College of
Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, where he graduated M. D. in 1914. Doctor
Vass practiced the first year at Princeton and then moved to Bluefield, where
he was well established before the war came on. He is now a member of the staff
and assistant surgeon of St. Luke’s Hospital.

Almost as soon as America declared war against Germany he enlisted and was
commissioned a first lieutenant in the Medical Reserve Corps. He spent five
weeks in the Medical Officers’ Training School at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, was
then assigned to duty at General Hospital No. 14 at Fort Oglethorpe, a month
later was sent to the Base Hospital at Camp Travis, Texas, remaining there three
weeks, then one month at General Hospital No. 1 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and
for three weeks was at Base Hospital at Camp McClellan, Anniston, Alabama.
Ordered for duty overseas, he spent six days at Camp Mills, New York, and
October 7, 1918, sailed from Hoboken, landing at Liverpool, October 19th,
crossed England and the Channel to La Havre, and was assigned to Rimaucourt Base
Hospital Center, where he remained until January 5, 1919. From that date until
January 25, 1919, he was at Base Hospital No. 13 at Limoges, and was then sent
to Mehun to join the Third Ordnance Battalion as medical officer. February 8th
this detachment moved up to San Loubes and thence to Geni Court, and from there
to Bassen docks where the command sailed for home, reaching port March 5, 1919,
and proceeding to Camp Merritt. From there Captain Vass went to Camp Dix, where
he received his honorable discharge May 9, 1919, and then returned to Bluefield
and resumed his private practice after an absence of practically two years.

While still doing duty in France Doctor Vass was apprised of the death of his
wife. He had married Miss Nena Beatrice Sell, of Charleston, West Virginia, in
February, 1918, and she died a little more than a year later, on March 9, 1919.
She was a daughter of L. A. Sell. Doctor Vass is a member of the Episcopal
Church, a Royal Arch and Scottish Rite Mason and Shriner at Alzafar of San
Antonio, Texas, a member of the County, State and American Medical associations,
and belongs to the American Legion and Kiwanis Club. While in college he was
pitcher in the baseball team, and retains an active interest in all outdoor

W. Shad Peck

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. 597

W. SHAD PECK, has been for the past ten years the
progressive and successful local agent for the Ford auto-
mobiles at Hinton, the judicial center of Summers County,
and here, in 1918, he erected his modern garage, with an
attractive sales and display room and well equipped repair
department, this building occupying the site of the home
in which Mr. Peck was born, the date of his nativity having
been June 1, 1892. He is a son of Dewitt Harry and
Emma (Morefield) Peck, who still maintain their residence
in this place, the father being sixty-two and the mother
fifty-eight years of age at the time of this writing, in
the spring of 1922. The Peek family name has been long
and worthily identified with the history of this part of
West Virginia, and the late Dr. Shannon Peck, brother
of Dewitt H., built the first water and electric-light plants
at Hinton. Dewitt H. Peck was formerly, and for a long
period of years, in service as an engineer on the Chesapeake
& Ohio Railroad, and he is now living virtually retired.

The public schools of Hinton afforded W. Shad Peck
his youthful education, and at the age of eighteen years
he here engaged in business, as a dealer in electrical sup-
plies. He owned the first bicycle in Hinton, later the first-
motorcycle in the town, and finally the second automobile
and the first and only aeroplane. His progressiveness has
been shown not only in this line but also in his business
activities, the scope and importance of which now mark him
as one of the substantial and representative young busi-
ness men of his native city and county. Four of his
brothers were in the nation’s service in connection with
the World war: Dr. Robert S., of Hinton, was a member of
the medical corps of the United States Army; Leo M. was
in the motor-transport service, as a member of Company B,
One Hundred and Sixteenth Supply Train; Dr. Clemmer
M. was in the dental corps; and Oliver L. received his
military training at Morgantown, this state.

Mr. Peck circulated the subscription list through the
medium of which was purchased and paid for the first
fire-department truck at Hinton, and he served as chief of
the fire department for some time. He is affiliated with the
Masonic fraternity, the Knights of Pythias and the Benevo-
lent and Protective Order of Elks, is one of the vital members
of the local Rotary Club and he is a member of the Presby-
terian Church, while his wife belongs to the Baptist

In 1915 Mr. Peck wedded Miss Lucile Settle, whose father
was one of the leading members of the bar of Fayette
County, where he had given service as prosecuting attorney.
Mr. and Mrs. Peck have a fine little son, Billy Shad.

Chester Maston Wikel

SUMMERS COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA – BIOS: WIKEL, Chester Maston (published 1923)
Submitted by
Valerie Crook
September 16, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 236-237
Summers County

CHESTER MASTON WIKEL. The fiancial interests of any
live and growing community are of such importance that
particular attention must be paid to the character and
standing of the men connected with the institutions to whom
these interests are entrusted. Pineville is the home of some
of Wyoming County’s wealthiest men, who expect to have
their banking attended to with dispatch- and safety, and
they are satisfied that all requirements of modern financial
life are fully met by the First National Bank of Pineville,
particularly because of the men who compose its staff. One
of these men, who has won the confidence of the entire com-
munity, is Chester Maston Wikel, cashier.

Mr. Wikel was born on a farm in Summers County,
West Virginia, November 9, 1879, and is a son of John A.
and Rhoda M. (Hutchison) Wikel. John A. Wikel was
born in Monroe County, now West Virginia, a son of
Everett H. Wikel, and was a child when taken by his par-
ents to Summers County. He has been a life-long agricul-
turist, and is still living at the old home place on Little
Wolfe Creek, in Summers County, West Virginia. Although
both he and his father were opposed to secession, John A.
Wikel volunteered for service in the Confederate army
during the war between the states, and his father was
subsequently drafted and served in the same command.
During one of their engagements a cannon-ball, passing
between them, wounded Everett in the leg and carried
away the sole of John’s army boot. At the close of the
war John was a prisoner at Fort Delaware. Mr. Wikel is
a republican in political sentiment. Rhoda M. Hutchison
was a daughter of John M. Hutchison. Three sons and
three daughters were born to Mr. and Mrs. Wikel, all living:
Myrtle and Everett H., who reside at home; Chester
Maston; Amy, the wife of G. C. Saunders, of Summers
County; and John C. and Essie, at home.

Chester M. Wikel attended the public schools of Summers
County, subsequently taking special work at the summer
normal school and then pursuing a commercial course at
Bryant & Stratton’s Commercial College at Louisville. In
the meantime he had taught two terms in a rural school, but
when his commercial- course was completed he gave up
teaching and accepted a position with the Bank of Summers,
now known as the National Bank of Summers, at Hinton,
the county seat, where he spent two years. His next con-
nection was with the Clark James Manufacturing Company
of Hinton, with which concern he remained six months,
then spending a like period in the postoffice at Hinton. In
1908 Mr. Wikel joined the First National Bank of Logan
as bookkeeper and assistant cashier, and remained with
that institution fourteen months, following which he went
to Dorchester, Virginia, and for about five years was chief
clerk for the Kemmerer interests on the Clinch Valley
Railroad. In 1914 he joined the First National Bank of
Pineville, with which he has since been identified in the
capacity of cashier. He has done much to increase its
business and insure its place in public confidence, and has
won a large number of sincere friends both for himself and
for the institution which he represents. Mr. Wikel is a
Master Mason, having joined that order at Norton, Virginia.
In politics he is a republican.

On December 24, 1919, Mr. Wikel was united in mar-
riage with Miss Dottie Edna Hash, of Wyoming County,
West Virginia, and one daughter, Virginia, and one son,
Bernard Alexander, have been born to this union. Mrs.
Wikel is a member of the Baptist Church.

Harry James Edmonds

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
August 1, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 629-630

HARRY JAMES EDMONDS, is the popular general manager
of the Hinton Fruit & Produce Company, which now controls
a substantial and prosperous business, with headquarters
in a well equipped establishment at Hinton, the county seat
of Summers County. The enterprise was initiated by its
present manager in the year 1908, and in 1910 the business
was incorporated under the present title. All of the
stock in the company is held in the possession of the
Edmonds family, the other interested principals being Ed-
ward T. and George A. B. Edmonds. The Edmonds family
was founded on the east coast of Virginia prior to the war
of the Revolution, and the family name has been one of
prominence in connection with development and progress
in what is now West Virginia. The old home was in
Accomac County, Virginia, and thence came the represen-
tatives in the western part of the Old Dominion, now West
Virginia, members of the family having been active in the
furtherance of coal-mining industry in the New and Kana-
wha River Districts of the latter state.

He whose name initiates this review was born October
12, 1877, in Accomac County, Virginia, and he is a son
of John W. and Nancy (Burton) Edmonds, the former of
whom now resides at Hinton and the latter of whom passed
to the life eternal in the year 1920. Harry J. Edmonds is
indebted to the schools of his native state for his early
education, and in 1900 he took a position in the office of
G. M. Surpell, an executive of the Atlantic Coast Line
Railroad, at Norfolk, Virginia, where he remained until
1908, when he came to Hinton and established, on a modest
scale, the business of which he is now the manager and
which has under his direction expanded to most sub-
stantial proportions. The company has a branch house at
Norfolk, Virginia, and another at Huntington, West Vir-
ginia, where the business is conducted under the title of
the Guyan Fruit & Produce Company, under the manage-
ment of Edward T. Edmonds, the house at Norfolk being
conducted under the management of John B. Edmonds.

Mr. Edmonds is a democrat, but has had no desire for
the activities of practical politics, as he is essentially and
unreservedly a business man. He is liberal and public-
spirited in his civic attitude, is actively identified with the
Rotary Club at Hinton, and he and his wife are zealous
members of the Presbyterian Church in this city, he being
an elder in the same and also the teacher of a large class in
its Sunday School.

In the year 1909 was solemnized the marriage of Mr.
Edmonds and Miss Margaret Savage, daughter of J. A. D.
Savage, of Accomac County, Virginia, and she is a popular
figure in the representative social activities of her home

Elbert F. Peters

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Chris & Kerry
December 18, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II
pg. 157

ELBERT F. PETERS, M. D. Considering the energy and initiative displayed by
Doctor Peters it is probable he would have made a success of any vocation, yet
his gifts led him naturally into medicine and surgery, and in this line his
service has had a growing scope of benefit and usefulness throughout the
southern section of the state.

Doctor Peters, whose home is at Princeton, Mercer County, was born at Dunns Post
Office in Summers County, West Virginia, January 10, 1878, son of Joseph and
Mary Alice (Ellison) Peters. He is of Scotch-Irish ancestry, his father born in
Virginia and his mother in West Virginia. Joseph Peters was a farmer, a teacher
in his early life, and always kept in touch with educational affairs and public
matters in general. He knew Mercer County and the Mercer County people
thoroughly, and when the county was revalued he was made assessor for the
assessment of all property, coal and timber ands in the county.

Elbert F. Peters acquired a common school education, attended the Normal
college at Athens, and following that taught school four years. He took up the
study of medicine in the Maryland Medical College of Baltimore, graduating M. D.
in 1902. Doctor Peters throughout his professional career has done a great deal
of industrial practice. His first practice was in McDowell County as physician
and surgeon for the Pocahontas Consolidated Colleries Corporation, now the
Pocahontas Fuel Company. He is still physician and surgeon for this corporation,
and supervises the medical and surgical service for five large coal operations.
He maintains a main office at Maybeury in McDowell County, where he has complete
operating room and four beds for emergency cases. There is a branch office at
Switchback, where he has an assistant.

His natural qualifications and the early success he achieved in his practice did
not tend to quiet Doctor Peters’ aggressive ambitions for the highest possible
attainment in his chosen career. He has associated with many of the greatest
men in surgery, and has kept in touch with the advancement of the science in
various schools. He attended the New York Polyclinic in 1906, in 1908 spent six
months at the University of Maryland at Baltimore, pursuing a general course in
medicine and surgery; spent several weeks in the Northwestern University at
Chicago in 1911, six weeks in 1912 at the New York Post Graduate School and
Hospital, three months in 1916 in the same school, and during the World war he
volunteered for active service, and while not called Out, he has his certificate
as a volunteer.

Doctor Peters was from September, 1918, to December, 1921, a member of the
Memorial Hospital Corporation of Princeton, West Virginia. This is a private
hospital formerly owned by Dr. C. C. Peters, Dr. G. L. Todd and Dr. E. F.
Peters. Doctor Peters was one of the principal figures in the organization of
this hospital and an active member of the hospital staff.

In 1899 Doctor Peters married at Camp Creek, Mercer County, Miss Rose Elizabeth
Shrewsbury, daughter of L. C. and Nancy (Rose) Shrewsbury, the former a native
of West Virginia and the latter of North Carolina. Doctor and Mrs. Peters have
five children, named Bernard Purcell, Nellie French, Gladys Mae, Joseph Ellwood
and Elsie Rowena. Doctor and Mrs. Peters are members of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, South. He is a member of the McDowell County, West Virginia State,
American Medical and Southern Medical Associations, is a Royal Arch and Knight
Templar Mason and Shriner, an Elk and Knight of Pythias, and is a charter member
of the Princeton Country Club. The recreations and interests that refresh and
take his mind from his daily duties are hunting, fishing and motoring.

John L. Ellison

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
August 1, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 629

JOHN L. ELLISON, is one of the progressive and suc-
cessful merchants of Summers County, his well equipped
general store being at Avis, a tributary town to Hinton, the
judicial center of the county.

Mr. Ellison was born at the family home at Ellison Post
Office, in Jumping Branch District, Summers County, and
the date of his nativity was September 23, 1875. He is a
son of Lorenzo D. and Mary Jane (Wills) Ellison, and is
a descendant of Joseph Ellison, who, in company with a
brother, came from England to America about 1780 and
became one of the early settlers in what is now Monroe
County, West Virginia. He was captured by Indians and
taken to Flat Top, but contrived to escape, this capture
having been made in one of the last raids made by the
Indians in this section. The Ellison family has been
actively concerned in social and industrial development and
progress in Monroe, Summers and Randolph counties, and
the family name has been honored in the annals of West
Virginia since the early pioneer period.

Lorenzo D. Ellison was born in Jumping Branch Dis-
trict, Summers County, February 22, 1858, and he is now
engaged in the mercantile business at Avis. His father,
John F. Ellison, likewise was born and reared in Summers
County, where his death occurred July 27, 1899, he having
been a gallant soldier of the Union in the Civil war. His
father, John Franklin Ellison, was born in 1790, and died
in 1877, he having been a son of Joseph, the founder of the
family in the frontier wilds of what is now West Virginia.
The grandfather of the subject of this review had become
a man of substantial wealth prior to the Civil war, but
depredations made by Confederate soldiers, combined with
other war depressions entailed to him large property and
financial losses. Lorenzo D. Ellison conducted for two
years a general store in Jumping Branch District, and
February 5, 1907, he became associated with his son John
L. in the same line of enterprise at Avis, his interest in
the business having been sold to his son John L. in 1911,
and he later having engaged in business at this place, where
he still conducts a general store. He has served as a mem-
ber of the City Council of Avis, and is one of the influential
citizens of this place. The marriage of Lorenzo D. Ellison
and Miss Mary Jane Wills, daughter of Lee Wills, was
solemnized November 4, 1874, and of the eight sons and
two daughters of this union all are living except one son.
John L., the immediate subject of this sketch, is the eldest
of the number; W. L. is chief clerk for the Loup Creek
Coal Company at Page; W. H. is associated with his father
in the mercantile business at Avis; C. E. is a resident of
Avis and is a carpenter by trade and vocation; R. L. and
Edward M. are in the employ of the Chesapeake & Ohio
Railroad Company, as is also Fred, who is a conductor, his
twin brother, Lonnie B., having died at the age of eight
years; Viola is the wife of D. L. Lane, of Avis; and Anna
is the wife of Clay Shipp, who, like Mr. Lane, is in the
service of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad.

John L. Ellison so profited by the advantages of the
public schools of his native county that he made himself
eligible for pedagogic service. For five years he was num-
bered among the successful teachers in the rural schools of
Summers County, at a salary of twenty-five dollars a month,
and in the meanwhile he continued his association with
farm enterprise. He gave five years to successful work as
a traveling portrait salesman, and he then established him-
self in the general merchandise business at Avis, where he
has built up a substantial and prosperous enterprise, based
on fair and honorable dealings and effective service to an
appreciative patronage. He has served as a member of
the Republican County Committee, a member of the City
Council of Avis, and has been influential in the local
councils and work of his party since his early youth. In
1920 he was appointed a member of the Board of Equaliza-
tion for Summers County for a term of six years, and
he is serving also as a notary public. Both he and his wife
hold membership in the Missionary Baptist Church.

May 27, 1894, recorded the marriage of Mr. Ellison and
Miss Rosa E. Lilly, daughter of Samuel and Anna Lilly.
She was born November 20, 1875, and her death occurred
August 16, 1901. Of this union were born four children:
William C., now a conductor on the Chesapeake & Ohio
Railroad, with residence at Avis, was for fifteen months in
active service with the American Expeditionary Forces in
France in the World war, he having been assigned to the
medical department of the Sixth Division; Clara Mabel
died at the age of ten years; Mina Claire is the wife of
Frank A. Spades, a conductor on the Chesapeake & Ohio
Railroad, and they reside in the City of Charleston; and
Ola likewise is a conductor for that railroad, with residence
at Russell, Kentucky.

On the 17th of April, 1912, Mr. Ellison wedded Miss
Stella Barker, who was born in Summers County on the
17th of April, 1882. Mrs. Ellison is a daughter of John
W. and Mary Malissa (Meadows) Barker. His father, who
had been a prosperous farmer and also engaged in the
jewelry business, was a resident of Baltimore, Maryland,
at the time of his death, March 7, 1911, his widow being
now at the old homestead in Summers County. The Barker
family was founded in Virginia in the Colonial period, and
representatives of the same were pioneers in what is now
West Virginia. Prior to her marriage Mrs. Ellison had
been for five years a popular teacher in the schools of
Summers County. Mr. and Mrs. Ellison have two children,
John O. and Mary Pauline, aged respectively eight and six
years, in 1922.

Robert Summers Neely

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. 574

ROBERT SUMMERS NEELY, D. D. S., is engaged in the
successful practice of his profession at Hinton, judicial
center of Summers County, and he is one of the progressive
and influential young men of his native county, where
the year 1922 finds him in active service as chairman of
the republican county committee.

Doctor Neely was born at Pipestem, this county, May 22,
1890, and is a son of Levi Matteson Neely and Alice
Virginia (Martin) Neely, both likewise natives of Sum-
mers County, where the respective families were founded
many years ago. William R. Neely, paternal grandfather
of the doctor, was born in Indiana and became one of
the successful pioneer farmers of Summers County, West
Virginia. Richard Martin, maternal grandfather of Doctor
Neely, was a loyal soldier of the Union in the Civil war,
and is now one of the venerable and honored citizens of
Hinton. Levi M. Neely was reared and educated in Sum-
mers County, and has long been numbered among the
successful exponents of farm industry in Pipestem Dis-
trict. He is a stalwart republican, and his religious faith
is that of the Baptist Church. His first wife, Alice V.,
died in 1901, at the age of thirty-five years, and later
he was united in marriage with Mrs. Willie Neely, a widow.
Of his eight children six are living: William Clyde and
Richard Claude are twins, and they are associated in the
clothing business at Hinton, individual mention of them
being made on other pages of this volume; Dr. Robert S.,
of this review, was the next in order of birth; Zina Carl
is a business man in Hinton; Mabel is the wife of William
C. Eubanks, of Huntington; Dewey G. is a clerk in the
clothing store of his brothers; Luther F., who died in
1906, at the age of twenty-three years, was at the time
engaged in the contracting business at Kansas City, Mis-
souri; and Herbert L., who died at the age of thirty-five
years, was superintendent for a prominent firm of con-
tractors in the City of Washington, D. C.

After having attended the public schools of Hinton
Dr. Robert S. Neely was for some time a student in the
Concord State Normal School, and in preparation for his
chosen profession he entered the dental department of the
University of Cincinnati, Ohio. He later transferred to
the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, and in this institu-
tion he was graduated as a member of the class of 1914.
Upon thus receiving his degree of Doctor of Dental Sur-
gery he forthwith opened an office at Hinton, where he
has since continued his successful professional work as
one of the representative dentists of his native county.
He has insistently kept in touch with the great advances
made in both operative and laboratory dentistry, and in
this connection it should be noted that he has taken effec-
tive post-graduate courses in leading dental colleges and
clinic in Philadelphia, Chicago, Cincinnati and Boston. In
his large and important practice he has had as his pro-
fessional coadjutor since 1919 Dr. D. B. Keaton, under
the firm name of Neely & Keaton. While still a boy Doctor
Neely became associated with his brothers Claude and
Clyde in the retail grocery business, and when he finally
sold his interest in this business he utilized the money
thus received to defer the expenses of his course in dental
college. He is a member of the Greenbrier Valley Dental
Society, the West Virginia State Dental Society and the
National Dental Society. From his early youth he has
been an ardent worker in the ranks of the republican party,
and after service as a member of the city republican com-
mittee of Hinton he became a member of the county commit-
tee, of which latter he is now chairman, an office in which
he has shown much finesse in maneuvering political forces
at his command. The doctor is one of the vigorous mem-
bers of the Hinton Chamber of Commerce, is a charter
member of the local Rotary Club, is a member of the
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and in the Ma-
sonic fraternity he is affiliated with both York and Scottish
Rite bodies, including the Commandery of Knights Templars
at Hinton, the Consistory, A. A. S. R., at Wheeling, and
also the Temple of the Mystic Shrine in that city. He holds
membership in the Presbyterian Church, and his wife is
a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

The year 1915 recorded the marriage of Doctor Neely and
Miss Nell McDowell, daughter of J. W. McDowell, who
resides in Monroe County and who is serving as deputy
collector of internal revenue. Dr. and Mrs. Neely have
two sons, Robert S., Jr., and William Edward.