Enjoyed the Game but Would Rather Shoot Squirrels
Voted for "Old Abe" for President When Fourteen Years of Age
To have the honor of being one of the youngest enlisted men in the Union Army, and to have served three years in one of the greatest wars the world has ever known before he had reached the fifteenth anniversary of his birth is truly a great distinction, and it is our belief that in Julius W. Pell Grantsville can successfully claim to number among its residents the youngest enlisted man in the great War of the Rebellion.
Mr. Pell enlisted as a drummer boy in Company B, Eleventh West Virginia Volunteer Infantry at Burning Springs, Wirt County, on December 24, 1861, at the age of a little over eleven years - or, to be exact, eleven years, three months and twenty-six days - and served his country and the Old Flag faithfully in that capacity for a fraction over three years. He was mustered out - honorably discharged - at Camp Deep Bottom, Virginia, on January 4, 1865. His true age, however, at the time of his enlistment was not given, but from undisputable records of his age, date of enlistment and term of service can be proven beyond the possibility of successful contradiction. He was noted as the most dimunitive drummer boy in the service, weighing, at the time of his enlistment, only fifty-two pounds. His service for the most part was in the armies of the Shenandoah and Potomac.
J. W. Pell Discharge Paper
Another distinction is claimed by Mr. Pell. While in the service of the federal government the right of suffrage was accorded him, and in the election in the fall of 1864, while a fraction over fourteen years of age, he cast a ballot for Abraham Lincoln for President of the United States. After his discharge from the army, however, he was not permitted to vote until he had attained his majority.
Mr. Pell's training in things military began long before the outbreak of the Civil War. He and his brother, John R. Pell, now of Parkersburg, who is two years his senior, were commissioned by the Governor of Virginia as drum and fife majors of the 119th Virginia Militia, at the ages of eight and ten years, respectively. Their father, W. F. Pell, held the rank of Colonel in this regiment. John R. Pell, the elder brother, enlisted as a fifer at the same time and in the same company with Mr. Julius Pell and their terms of service were exactly the same, Mr. John Pell being thirteen years of age at the time of his enlistment.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, W. F. Pell, the father, was a resident of Roane County, near Reedy, and was Colonel of the militia, or home guards. The community was composed mainly of men who sympathized with the South, and Mr. Pell was asked to lead a company in the field to fight for the Southern Cause. This he refused to do, and being a man of strong Northern sympathies, and believing in the preservation of the Union, immediately enlisted as a private in Company A, 11th W. Va. Volunteer Infantry, but owing to his former military training, he was immediately promoted to the captaincy of Company B, of the same regiment, in which his two young sons enlisted and served until the company was mustered out of service at the close of the war. Several men who were members of Mr. Pell's company are residents of this county, among them is John R. Cornell, who resides at this place.
The honor of being the youngest enlisted man, by both active soldiers and non-combatants, has been claimed by many in the past few years. One gentleman, now a resident of South Carolina, who has long been looked upon as the youngest, is fifteen days younger than Mr. Pell, but did not enlist until after Mr. Pell had seen one year of service.
Julius Worth Pell was born at Kingwood, Preston County, on August 29, 1850. His father removed to Roane County in 1852 where the family remained until the outbreak of the civil war.
After the war Mr. Pell lived with his parents at Elizabeth and Burning Springs, coming to Grantsville on June 1, 1875, nearly thirty-five years ago. After his removal to his place he taught several terms of school _____ merchatile business, which he successfully conducted for twenty-eight consecutive years under the same roof. He retired from the mercantile business in 1907, his store building was removed and the handsome brick building was erected by the Bank of Grantsville on the same spot.
About fifteen years ago Mr. Pell completed one of the finest dwelling houses in the town, built wholly from a fund that had accumulated in ten years from the discounts on bills _______.
J. W. Pell Home
Although he _____ active business Mr. Pell is keenly interested in the oil business and occasionally dabbles in real estate for a diversion. With a keen business foresight, Mr. Pell some years ago began buying up farms and royalties in the most desirable parts of the county, and today has several hundred acres of very desirable land, all of which is under lease for oil and gas. Is Vice President of the Calhoun County Bank and is heavily interested in other business enterprises.
In politics Mr. Pell is a straight forward Republican, has never aspired to political honors, but has been elected and filled the honorary offices of member of the Town Council and member of the Board of Education. He is a member of the Bethlehem Baptist Church at this place, and has for years served as clerk of the church.
Mr. Pell is a sportsman and no day can be spent more enjoyable by him than to shoulder his trusty shotgun and hie himself to the woods in search of game, preferably squirrels, but when the furry denizen of the forest are most conspicuous by their absence he contents himself by bowling over a few of the more plebian "Molly Cottontails." He is a leading spirit in the Bear Fork Hunting Club, an aggregation of local sportsmen, and when the club is encamped for their annual hunt Mr. Pell's game bag is not by any means at all times the lightest.
Mr. Pell was united in marriage to Miss Florence Stump, a daughter of Major Stump, and a member of one of the oldest families of the county, on January 18, 1880. Their two children, Fred E. Pell and Mrs. Arthur G. Miller, are both residents of this place.
Grantsville News, March 18, 1910
Congressman Hamilton has had it recorded in the Congressional Record that Julius W. Pell of Grantsville, West Virginia, was the youngest soldier in the Civil War. He added that Mr. Pell resides in his home town and is one of its best citizens. The statement showed that Mr. Pell enlisted as a drummer boy in the Union army at the age of a little less than 11 years. Under the provisions of the new age and service pension law Mr. Pell is not yet entitled to a pension not having reached the age of 62 years.
The Calhoun Chronicle, June 4, 1912
Julius Worth Pell was the son of William Fairfax Pell and Anne Evelyn Ravenscroft. The wife of Julius Pell was Florence Stump, a daughter of Major Lemuel Stump and Malinda Huffman Stump. Julius and Florence were parents of four children, I. Fred E. Pell who married (1) Nellie Hathaway, the daughter of David and Massalona Barr Hathaway and (2) Minnie M. Elliott, the daughter of Henry and Rebecca Hardman Elliott, and II. Ruth who married (1) Arthur G. Miller and (2) John Mackay, III & IV. Twin daughters, Louise and Edith who died in infancy.
From notes of Mae Stump Elliott and Edith Pell McAlister
The Pell home spoken of in the newspaper article is still standing and is the present site of the Stump Funeral Home. Originally, the house was a splendid example of Victorian Architecture, but has undergone extensive remodeling and now presents a modern appearance. The site of the Mr. Pell's store, also spoken of in the article, was removed to permit construction of the Bank of Grantsville on the corner of Main and Market Streets, and presently houses the offices of Calhoun Realty, Inc. and The Calhoun Chronicle owned by Carl R. Morris. The brick structure still has the "BANK" sign on the top front of the building.