Tag Archives: 8

Oscar L. Hall

CLAY COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@earthlink.net
July 22, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 516
Clay

OSCAR L. HALL has won for himself secure vantage-place
as one of the representative members of the bar of Clay
County, and is established in the successful practice of
his profesison [sic] at Clay, the county seat. He was born in
Braxton County, this state, April 13, 1883, and is a son of
Henry Y. and Edna (McMorrow) Hall, the former of whom
was born in Clay County, in 1845, and the latter in Braxton
County, in 1849. After their marriage the parents estab-
lished themselves on a farm in Braxton County, and on this
old homestead they still reside, venerable and honored
citizens of the county, both being most zealous members of
the Methodist Episcopal Church, to the clergymen of which
their pleasant home has ever extended cordial welcome and
entertainment. E. B., eldest of the children, is a progres-
sive and successful farmer in Braxton County; Ella is the
wife of J. Lee Fox, a prosperous farmer near Sutton, that
county; O. W. is a substantial agriculturist and cattle
grower in Braxton County; W. C. is a popular teacher in
the city schools of Charleston; Oscar L., of this review, was
the next in order of birth; Percy, a graduate of the law
department of the University of West Virginia, is now
general counsel for the Ohio Fuel Oil Company for the
State of Texas, with residence and headquarters in the City
of Dallas, Texas; and May is the wife of P. M. Bamsey,
a representative farmer in Braxton County.

Reared on the home farm and afforded the advantages
of the public schools of his native county, Oscar L. Hall
thereafter made a record of excellent service as a teacher
in the rural schools, his pedagogic service having continued
three years. He pursued higher academic studies in tile-
University of West Virginia, and in the law department of
this institution he was graduated as a member of the class
of 1907. Thereafter he was established in practice at Sut-
ton, judicial center of his native county, until 1912, when
he went to the City of Charleston and became connected
with the legal department of the Ohio Fuel Oil Company.
In 1914 he engaged in the active general practice of his
profession at Clay, and he has here continued as one of the
leading members of the Clay County bar. In 1916 he was
elected prosecuting attorney of the county, an office of
which he continued the incumbent until January, 1921, and
in which he made a most excellent record, his being specially
high standing as a trial lawyer of versatility and resource-
fulness.

Mr. Hall is a stalwart advocate of the principles of the
republican party, and as owner and publisher of the Clay
Messenger, a weekly paper, he has been able to render
effective service in promotion of the party cause. He is
president of the Elksplint Coal Company and a stockholder
in other industrial and business corporations. In the
Masonic fraternity his affiliations are with Sutton Lodge
No. 21, A. F. and A. M.; Sutton Chapter No. 29, R. A. M.;
Sutton Commandery No. 16, Knights Templars; and Beni-
Kedem Temple of the Mystic Shrine, in the City of Charles-
ton.

In December, 1910, was solemnized the marriage of Mr.
Hall and Miss Fannie E. Lorentz, who had been a popular
teacher in the Sutton High School, she having graduated
in the same, and also in Morris Harvey College, from which
she received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Mr. and Mrs.
Hall have two children: Jean E., born March 1, 1912; and
Ann Lorentz, born May 3, 1917.

Jacob F. Callison

CLAY COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA – BIOS: CALLISON, Jacob F. (published 1923)
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Submitted by
Valerie Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
September 16, 1999
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 237-238
Clay County

JACOB F. CALLISON. Gradually and on the basis of the
soundest commercial principles Jacob F. Callison has de-
veloped one of the most prosperous hardware stores in the
state, at Charleston. It is known as the Farmers Hardware
Company, of which he is president and chief owner. His
success as a merchant is due not only to thorough training
but also to the faculty of hard work and closest application
to all the details.

This company was incorporated in 1913, with a capital
of $25,000. Three years before that, in 1910, Mr. Callison
and S. R. Pierson, both commercial salesmen, combined
their modest capital of $1,000 a piece and established the
firm of Callison & Pierson and made their start in the
hardware trade at Charleston: A year later Mr. Callison
became sole owner, and in 1913 incorporated. The vice
president of the company is C. P. Pickens, though he is not
active in the business. Mr. Callison’s company now operates
on a capital stock of $50,000. Sales for the first year were
only $5,000, and the annual volume of business is now
$150,000. Two assistants were required at the beginning
and there are now nine, and the business also comprises
a jobbing department. The company specializes in the
farming trade. They occupy a double store-room on the
ground floor, with a second floor over one and a large
warehouse on the railroad.

Mr. Callison was born at Clay Court House, West Vir-
ginia, in 1866, son of a farmer, and he lived in the atmos-
phere of a farm until he was about twenty-seven years of
age. He acquired only a common school education, and
he did a great deal of hard farm work and the labor of
lumber camps as a youth. When he left home he went on
the road as a commercial salesman, selling flour and feed
and later groceries, until he and Mr. Pierson left the road
and put their capital into the business that is now the Farm-
ers Hardware Company. Mr. Callison for years allowed the
profits from his business to be used as investment for
further expansion.

While a leading merchant and absorbed in the manage-
ment of his store, he is thoroughly public spirited and has
performed much public service in Charleston. He served
four years as a member of the council, four years as city
treasurer, and was deputy sheriff for four years in Clay
County. His father and other members of the family were
Confederate soldiers, and his early political training was as
a democrat, and in that party he has been very active as a
private and also as a delegate in conventions. Mr. Callison
is a Knight Templar Mason and Shriner, and is prominent
in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at Charleston,
having been chairman of the official board and a member of
the board of stewards.

He married in Clay County, Miss Dora Stephenson, and
they have a daughter, Mavis Stephenson Callison, who is
now in high school.

George W. Mccune

CLAY COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@earthlink.net
July 22, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 518
Clay

GEORGE W. McCUNE is clerk of the Circuit Court for Clay
County, and in his home village of Clay, the judicial center
of the county, he is secretary of the board of directors of
the Elk Valley Bank, in which he is a stockholder and a
director, and he is also secretary of the Board of Education
of the Henry District, in which Clay is included. He is the
owner of a tract of fourteen acres of land just outside the
corporate village limits, and on this place is his attractive
residence. Mr. McCune is a stanch republican, and has been
active in the local councils of the party. He served as
deputy circuit clerk of Clay County for six years, and was
then elected circuit clerk, of which office he has been the
incumbent since January 1, 1920. He is affiliated with the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Wood-
men of America, and he and his wife are active members
of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

George W. McCune was born in Roane County, West Vir-
ginia, March 9, 1876, and is a son of William H. and Mary
J. (Reed) McCune, both natives of Kanawha County, where
the former was born in 1844 and the latter in 1848. William
H. McCune was a soldier of the Union in the Civil war, held
the office of orderly sergeant, took part in many engage-
ments and was twice wounded. After the war he continued
his activities as a farmer in Roane County until 1877, when
he removed with his family to Clay County, where he and his
wife passed the remainder of their lives, he having been
one of the substantial farmers and highly honored citizens
of this county. He was a republican in politics, and he and
his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Of their nine children eight are mentioned: Harrison is a
prosperous farmer in Clay County; Jane is the wife of
Henry Holcomb; Grant is numbered among the progressive
farmers of Clay County; George W., of this sketch, was next
in order of birth; Nancy is the wife of Henry Keller; Lucy
died at the age of eighteen years; Patrick C. is a merchant
at Clay; and Benjamin, who now holds a clerical position
in the postoffice in the City of Charleston was in service with
the American Expeditionary Forces in Prance in the World
war, and took part in much of the terrific conflict that
finally won victory for the allies .

George W. McCune was reared on the home farm in Clay
County, and that he profited by the advantages afforded in
the public schools is attested by the statement that for
twenty years he was a successful and popular teacher in the
schools of this part of the state, within which period he
served as district superintendent of the schools of the Henry
District.

Mr. McCune wedded Miss Martha E. Dodd, and to this
union have been born nine children: Ada is the wife of
Curtis Davis; Howard is employed in the general store of
the Elk River Lumber Company; Edith is the wife of John
Davis; Alice is the wife of Ervin Moore; and Vernie, Earl
C., William, Kathleen and Blanche are the younger mem-
bers of the parental home circle.

Samuel H. Mclane

CLAY COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@earthlink.net
July 22, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 518-519
Clay

SAMUEL H. McLANE, who is a member of the bar of West
Virginia, has been cashier of the Clay County Bank at
Clay since 1908, and his professional training and knowledge
have materially furthered the success of his administration
of the affairs of the substantial institution with which he is
identified.

Mr. McLane was born in Barbour County, West Virginia,
March 17, 1866, and is a son of Jacob and Mary (Kelley)
McLane, both natives of Randolph County, this state, which
was at that time still an integral part of the old mother
state of Virginia. Jacob McLane’s father was William, and
the latter was a son of Daniel McLane. The family was
founded in Virginia in an early day. The maternal grand-
parents of the subject of this review were Samuel and
Nancy (Cade) Kelley. After his marriage Jacob McLane
established his residence on a farm two miles north of
Belington, Barbour County, and there he continued for
many years as one of the substantial and successful ex-
ponents of agricultural and live-stock industry. Upon his
retirement from his farm he removed to Belington, where
he now maintains his home, as one of the venerable and
honored citizens of Barbour County. He is a democrat in
political allegiance, and is a zealous member of the Meth-
odist Episcopal Church, South, as was also his wife, whose
death occurred in 1910. Of their eight children the follow-
ing still survive the devoted mother, and of the number
Samuel H., of this sketch, is the eldest; Haning F. is a
farmer in the State of Nevada; Charles L. resides at Elkins,
West Virginia, and is a railway clerk on the line between
that point and Grafton; Fleming is a farmer in the State of
Idaho; and Edwin P. is a resident of Nevada, so that only
two of the number remain in the old home state of West
Virginia.

Samuel H. McLane was reared on the old homestead farm
in Barbour County, and after leaving the public schools
he attended and was graduated from the State Normal
School at Fairmont, besides which he attended the Univer-
sity of West Virginia one year. He became a successful
teacher in the public schools, and in the meanwhile applied
himself diligently to the study of law, his admission to the
bar having been recorded in 1904. For the ensuing four
years he was in the employ of the Davis Trust Company at
Elkins, and he then, in 1908, assumed his present executive
office, that of cashier of the Clay County Bank, in which
he is a director. P. M. Summers is president of the bank,
J. G. Bradley is its vice president, and in addition to the
executive officers the directorate of the institution includes
also H. B. Davenport, L. H. Samples, J. F. Wilson, W. S.
Pierson and B. C. Eakle.

Mr. McLane is a democrat in polities, is a director of the
Clay County High School, is the present (1922) master of
Clay County Lodge No. 97, Ancient Free and Accepted
Masons, is affiliated also with the Modern Woodmen of
America, and his wife is an active member of the Baptist
Church at Clay.

In 1906 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. McLane and
Miss Ella Hutton Poe, who was educated in the West Vir-
ginia Wesleyan College, at Buckhannon, and who is a
popular figure in the social and cultural activities of her
home community. Mr. and Mrs. McLane have one son,
Henry N., who was born March 31, 1909, and who is a stu-
dent in the local high school at the time of this writing, in
1922.

E. G. Pierson

CLAY COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@earthlink.net
August 1, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 639-640
Clay

E. G. PIERSON is one of the leading members of the bar
of Clay County, where he is engaged in the practice of his
profession at Clay, the county seat, and aside from his pro-
fessional activities, which have included service in public
office, he has given effective service as a member of the
State Senate.

Mr. Pierson was born on a farm near Elkhurst, Clay
County, and is a son of William D. and Nancy (Hall) Pier-
son, the former of whom was born in Nicholas County and
the latter in Roane County, Virginia, now West Virginia,
both having been children at the time of the removal of
the respective families to Clay County. The venerable
parents still reside in Clay County, they having there estab-
lished themselves shortly after their marriage, and both
being honored citizens who have contributed their part to
civic and industrial prosperity in Clay County. They are
zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and
in politics, with well fortified views, the father is a stal-
wart republican. Of their eight children all except one are
living at the time of this writing, in 1922: D. D. is a
prosperous farmer in Clay County; E. G., of this sketch, was
next in order of birth; Samantha J. is the wife of J. J.
Dangherty; Webster H. is associated with productive activi-
ties in the oil fields of the state; Alice B. is the wife of
P. S. Hart; Anna V. is the wife of John Grass; and Russell
remains in the parental home.

Mr. Pierson passed his childhood and earlier youth on the
home farm, and after profiting by the advantages of the
public schools he pursued higher studies in Marshall Col-
lege and in the West Virginia Wesleyan College. While
successfully engaged in teaching in the schools of his native
state he began the study of law, and in 1896 was admitted
to the bar and established himself in practice at Clay,
judicial center of his native county. In 1896 he was
elected representative of the Ninth District in the State
Senate, where he made an excellent record during his term
of four years. When war was declared against Spain he en-
listed as a private in Company H, Second West Virginia
U. S. Volunteer Infantry, in which he was promoted to
the rank of second lieutenant, the regiment having been held
in reserve and not having been called to the stage of active
conflict. After the close of the war Mr. Pierson engaged
in the practice of law at Fayetteville, Fayette County,
where he remained until 1910 and where he served out an
unexpired term on the bench of the Criminal Court of the
county, besides having been prosecuting attorney of the
county for one term. In 1910 he was appointed state pardon
attorney by Governor William E. Glasscock, was reappointed
by Governor Henry D. Hatfield, and held this position until
the election of Governor Jno. J. Cornwell in 1916. After
retiring from the office of pardon attorney he opened
a law office in the City of Charleston, and maintained the
same until he was elected prosecuting attorney of Clay
County in 1920. He is known as a versatile and resourceful
trial lawyer and well fortified counselor, and his practice
is of broad scope and representative order. He is a stal-
wart republican and is influential in the local councils and
campaign activities of his party.

Mr. Pierson was united in marriage to Miss Nannie P.
Johnson, who graduated from Baldwin University, at Berea,
Ohio, and who is supervisor of music and art in the Clay
County High School, she being an exceptionally talented
musician and being a valued factor in the cultural life
of her home community, as well as in its social affairs. Mr.
and Mrs. Pierson have two daughters: Margaret E. and
Dorothy A.

Oliver E. Reed

CLAY COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@earthlink.net
July 22, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 516-517
Clay

OLIVER E. REED is one of the popular young native sons
of Clay County, and resides at its judicial center, where
he is giving effective service as deputy county clerk. On
his father’s farm in this county Mr. Reed was born April
2, 1897, a son of Levi J. and Martha E. (Walker) Reed,
the former of whom was born in Calhoun County, this state,
February 22, 1863, and the latter of whom was born in
Clay County, in 1868, her death having here occurred in
1903. The father still resides upon the homestead farm
on which he and his wife established themselves within a
short time after their marriage, and he is one of the sub-
stantial and honored citizens of Clay County. Of their five
children three survive the mother, and of the number the
subject of this review is the youngest, he having been but
six years of age at the time of his mother’s death; William
C. is a resident of the State of Iowa, where he is telegraph
operator and train dispatcher in the service of the Illinois
Central Railroad; and Frederick W., who graduated from
Marshall College and also from the University of West Vir-
ginia, is, in 1922, a student in the Western Reserve Medical
College at Cleveland, Ohio. For his second wife the father
married Adora Steorts, and the children of this union are
four in number: Nina, Luther, Earl and Helen.

Reared on the home farm and afforded the advantages of
the public schools, including the high school at Clay, Oliver
E. Reed thereafter completed a commercial course in the
Mountain State Business College at Parkersburg. For two
years thereafter he was identified with the general mer-
chandise business in the Village of Procious, Clay County,
and on the 1st of January, 1921, he assumed his present
official position, that of deputy county clerk. He is a re-
publican, is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of Amer-
ica, he and his wife hold membership in the Methodist
Episcopal Church, and he is a stockholder in the Elk Elec-
tric Light & Power Company at Clay.

In 1917 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Reed and
Miss Ella Strickland, and they have three children: Eu-
gene, Garnett and Warren E., a merry trio of boys who
add vitality and joy to the attractive home circle.

Daniel D. Riley

CLAY COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@earthlink.net
August 1, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 640
Clay

DANIEL D. RILEY as superintendent is directing the educa-
tional program of St. Albans, where good schools and high-
minded educators have been the rule for more than half a
century. In a brief sketch it would not be possible to do
justice to the history of the schools and their teachers, but
some of them should be recalled.

Private schools have been maintained at St. Albans from
early in the last century. One of the best remembered was
that conducted by an Episcopal clergyman, whose academy
is still standing on an elevation overlooking the village. As
early as 1832 a school was conducted in what is now called
Fairview. C. V. Hansford was teaching there as early as
1868, and continued at his post until his death.

The first free school was opened in 1868, Arthur Fox
teaching that school. Another early teacher was Dr. George
P. Thompson, and still another was Mrs. M. M. Thompson,
who was killed in an elevator accident in the Capitol Build-
ing at Charleston. Doctor Thompson had taught fourteen
years, beginning in 1877. Miss Sallie Hansford was a
teacher in 1878, while former United States Senator W. E.
Chilton was principal. Mrs. S. L. Cato excelled as a, primary
teacher, and was with the school for thirty years. High
school work was begun under W. W. Trent as principal, he
being followed by L. A. Edwards and the latter by C. P.
Guice. Miss Bashaba White, principal of the Central graded
school has taught in the grades for ten years. Miss Laura
Wood began teaching in 1877, and after a service in the
Kanawha Valley of more than forty years is still active and
has been connected with the schools at St. Albans for a
quarter of a century. Her present pupils comprise sons
whose parents and grandparents received their early in-
structions from her.

Daniel D. Riley has been in school work since early man-
hood. He was born in Jackson County, and several other
members of the family were teachers, including his mother.
His grandfather. Elder Robert Hughes, was at one time
county superintendent of schools, and was widely known as
a Methodist minister. P. M. Riley, father of D. D. Riley,
is now retired and has been a figure in public affairs, serving
as surveyor and justice of the peace. D. D. Riley began
teaching at the age of eighteen. In 1916 he took charge of
the grade work in the St. Albans school, and his connection
with the schools has been continuous except for nearly a
year while he was absent on military duty. In 1921 he be-
came superintendent of the St. Albans schools. The present
enrollment is 810, including forty in the colored school and
130 in high school. There are twenty-seven teachers, six of
them being high school instructors. Athletics has been
much encouraged by Mr. Riley, and the St. Albans High
School foot ball team has won an enviable record, being de-
feated only once, during the season of 1921.

Mr. Riley is a lieutenant in Company B of the One Hun-
dred Fiftieth Infantry, National Guard. During the World
war he was in Coast Artillery and Ammunition Train. He is
affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and Junior Order
United American Mechanics and is a charter member of the
Rotary Club of St. Albans. Mr. Riley married Miss Essie
Hollandsworth, a former music teacher at St. Albans. Their
two children are D. D., Jr., and John Matson.

Samuel Stephenson

CLAY COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA – BIOS: STEPHENSON, Samuel (published 1923)
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Submitted by
Valerie Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
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
Clay County

SAMUEL STEPHENSON. Owing to his connection with
numerous business enterprises of an important character,
his public spirit and his general activity along various
channels, Samuel Stephenson is acknowledged to be one of
the leading citizens of Charleston. He has been interested
in oil and coal production, was the erector of the Union
office building, now occupied by the Union Trust Company,
of which he was an incorporator and is a director, and is
one of the principal owners of the Coal Fork Lumber Com-
pany, one of the leading lumber manufacturing concerns
in the state.

Mr. Stephenson was born in Nicholas County, West Vir-
ginia, March 10, 1859, a son of Andrew J. Stephenson. His
father was also born in that county, and in 1864 moved
to Clay, Clay County, where he became a prominent figure
in public affairs. While he was a democrat in a republican
community, he was greatly popular with his fellow-citizens,
and for many years served as county and circuit clerk, and
at all times proved an able and accommodating official. His
death was caused by a fall, October 29, 1893, when he had
reached the age of seventy-four years.

Samuel Stephenson grew to manhood at Clay, where he
received a good practical education and as a young man
spent several years in teaching school. He then entered
the field of lumbering, in association with his brother
Forsythe, a manufacturer, who made a specialty of portable
mills and operated in various communities. Later Mr.
Stephenson formed a partnership with Gen.. James Avis
Holley in 1902, in coal and timber lands. Together they
bought land in Boone County, where Mr. Stephenson still
has extensive holdings. They also drilled the first gas wells
in the Putnam and Lincoln fields, and for ten years were
very active in this line of endeavor. During this time Mr.
Stephenson assisted in the organization of the Holley Oil
and Development Company and the Kanawha Valley De-
velopment Company, but later sold out to the Wayland Oil
Company of New York. He has also prospected in various
other fields in West Virginia, and still owns oil lands that
have not been developed. In 1911 Mr. Stephenson erected
what at the time was the leading office building of Charles-
ton, and which is still one of the finest, the Union Trust
Building, a thirteen-story structure, representing an invest-
ment of $385,000. This was sold by Mr. Stephenson to the
Union Trust Company, of which he was one of the original
incorporators. Mr. Stephenson was also a director in the
Charleston National Bank, and has taken stock in other
enterprises. In 1918 he was one of the ineorporators and
is still one of the principal owners of the Coal Fork Lumber
Company, one of the principal lumber manufacturing com-
panies of West Virginia, which owns some 40,000,000 feet
of timber, cuts about 40,000 per day, and gives employ-
ment to approximately 100 men. Mr. Stephenson has taken
an interest in political affairs and once was the democratic
nominee for state senator and once for sheriff, but met with
defeat on both occasions because of his party’s minority in
the county. During the mayoralty administration of
General Holley, Mr. Stephenson was a member of the city
council and assisted in making the city “dry.” While the
mayor was aligned with the “wet” forces, Mr. Stephen-
son’s long experience in handling large bodies of men had
confirmed him in the belief that prohibition was best, and
he was one of the main factors in making Charleston a
temperance city. He also served as deputy United States
revenue collector. He is a member of the Presbyterian
Church and always willing to give his support, moral and
financial, to any worthy movement. He has reached the
thirty-second degree in Masonry and is a member of the
Commandery, Consistory and Shrine, but has not made a
hobby of fraternalism. While essentially an out-of-doors
man, he is not a sportsman in the generally-accepted mean-
ing of the word.

Mr. Stephenson married Mrs. Cynthia Belle (Vickers)
Sayre, of Kanawha County, who had two children, by her
former marriage: Ira G., an oil and gas operator; and
Nona Belle, the wife of Dr. John T. Sharp, of Charleston.
Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson:
Byron Jackson and Ruby Dell.

Seth A. Morton

CLAY COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
November 26, 1999
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 320
Clay

SETH A. MORTON. With the possible exception of honesty
and integrity, there is no other quality so in demand in the
business world of today as practicality. Energy, push, en-
terprise, courage and rapid and sure decision mark the men
who become the compelling forces in the upbuilding of the
trade and commerce of the country. Seth A. Morton, a
well-known lumberman of Sutton, has been so marked.
There has been no element of chance in the success which
he has achieved; on the contrary, it has been the inevitable
result of what he has put of himself into his energies. No
fortunate circumstances gave him any early advantage, for
he began his business career with only the endowments with
which nature had favored him, coupled with the sound
principles instilled in his home during his boyhood.

Mr. Morton was born in Clay County, West Virginia,
April 7, 1868, a son of Daniel and Charlotte (Roger) Mor-
ton. His father was also bora in Clay County, a son of
John T. Morton, the latter being a son of Thomas T. Morton,
who was a soldier during the Revolutionary war and the
War of 1812. After the close of the latter struggle he went
to Clay County, where he and his wife passed the rest of
their lives. His son, John T. Morton, was reared in Clay
County, where he married the widow of Samuel Holcomb and
became the father of six children, among them Daniel Mor-
ton. Daniel Morton was reared in Clay County, where he
was given only limited educational advantages, and as a
young man adopted the vocation of agriculture, which he
followed throughout his life. He was a republican in poli-
tics, although not an office seeker. Of his ten children the
following are living at this time: G. P., of Molino, Florida;
Seth A., of this review; Chloe, the wife of John D. Ramsey;
Moses S., of Harriman, Tennessee; Mary S., the wife of
W. J. Ramsey, and Esther, the wife of H. J. Walker. It
is interesting to note that of this family three of the Morton
daughters married three brothers of the Eamsey family,
while one of the Morton boys married one of the Ramsey
girls.

Seth A. Morton was reared on his father’s farm in Clay
County, where he was given his education in the district
schools, and until he reached the age of twenty-one years
was his father’s associate in the work of the home place.
While thus engaged he became interested in the lumber busi-
ness, which he finally entered on his own account and eventu-
ally established an office and yard at Sutton. Following his
marriage he lived for a time on the old home farm in Clay
County, where he divided his time between farming and
lumbering, subsequently moving to Webster County, where
he owned and operated a sawmill until 1918. He then dis-
posed of his interests in Webster County and moved to
Sutton, and has here built up a splendid business and placed
himself among the leading business men of the place.

In October, 1896, Mr. Morton was united in marriage
with Miss Hattie M. Ramsey, who was reared on a farm in
Clay County and was educated in the public schools, and
to this union there have been born four children: Mabel, the
wife of F. J. Howie; Mamie, the wife of W. A. Robinson;
and Marco O. and Olive, who are attending public school.
Mr. and Mrs. Morton have one grandchild: Elnora Robin-
son, born December 26, 1921. By a previous marriage Mr.
Morton had two children, of whom one is living, Fred &.,
of Webster County, West Virginia, a veteran of the World
war. In his political allegiance Mr. Morton is a democrat,
but has not cared for public office, his business interests
having been of sufficient importance and size to keep his
attention and energies occupied. He has some valuable
realty holdings in this region, which include 300 acres of
coal lands, as well as a modern home at Sutton and a dwel-
ling at Charleston.

Robert E. Slack

CLAY COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
******************************************************************
Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@earthlink.net
July 17, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 518
Clay

ROBERT E. SLACK is bringing to bear the personal char-
acteristics and the executive and scholastic ability which
make for ideal administration of the affairs of the import-
ant office of which he is the incumbent, that of superinten-
dent of the public schools of Clay County, his residence and
official headquarters being at Clay, the county seat.

Mr. Slack was born in Kanawha County, this state, De-
cember 5, 1885, and is a son of William H. and Martha J.
(Huffman) Slack, both likewise natives of Kanawha County,
where they were reared and educated and where their mar-
riage was solemnized. The parents continued their residence
on their farm in Kanawha County until 1898, when they
sold their property there and removed to Clay County,
where they still reside on their well improved farm of 123
acres, not far distant from Servia, which is in the adjoining
County of Braxton. They are active members of the Meth-
odist Episcopal Church, South, and in politics the father is
a loyal supporter of the principles of the republican party.
Of their nine children seven are living: Lillie is the wife of
Mr. Hardway; Robert E., of this sketch, was next in order
of birth; George E. continues as a successful farmer in
Kanawha County, where he is also a popular teacher in the
rural schools; Henry C., who is associated in the work and
management of the parental home farm, was in the nation’s
military service in connection with the World war, his
service having been principally at Camp Lee, Virginia;
James H., a fanner and teacher in Clay County, married
Miss Mary Rollyson; and Charles W. and Lewis C. are the
younger members of the parental home circle.

A vitalizing environment and discipline was that which
the home farm gave to Robert E. Slack in his childhood
and early youth, and after profiting by the instruction of-
fered in the public schools he attended the West Virginia
State Normal School at Glenville. He made a record of nine
years of earnest and effective service as a teacher in the
public schools, and in 1918 he was elected to his present
office, that of superintendent of the public schools of Clay
County, his able and progressive administration having done
much to raise the standard of the schools under his juris-
diction, and his professional enthusiasm gaining to him the
ready co-operation of the teachers and the people of the
county in general. He is aligned stanchly in the ranks of
the republican party, is affiliated with Henry Clay Lodge
No. 233, Knights of Pythias, and is a stockholder in the
Elk Electric Light & Power Company. Mr. Slack’s name
remains inscribed on the roll of eligible bachelors in Clay
County.