BIOGRAPHIES, Greenbrier County, WV - "B"

HENRY W. BAKER - son of Jacob BAKER, who lived in what is now Monroe County, West Virginia, was born in that county, and settled as a farmer in Blue Sulphur district, Greenbrier County, many years ago. In this district he wedded Frances, daughter of Abraham and Elizabeth (HOCKMAN) ARGABRITE, and their children were ten: Mary E., born January 11, 1852, died September 24, 1859; Randolph S., March 8, 1854; Stuart A., August 3, 1856, died October 16, 1862; Leonora S., July 2, 1858, died October 22, 1862; Effie E., November 6, 1860; Abram O., March 4. 1863; Laura L., November 17, 1865; Blanche, September 23, 1868; Frank, February 24, 1871; Drurie, March 23, 1873; The younger children are with their parents. Effie E., married George HUFFMAN, September 12, 1877, and they live in this district; Randolph S. married Emma WILLIAMS, June 12, 1883. She is a daughter of James and Augusta (KNOX) WILLIAMS, residents of Williamsburg district, this county. Randolph S. BAKER has been for six years living in this district on the Abraham ARGABRITE farm of 173 acres, grazing cattle on part of the land and tilling the remainder. He is great-grandson of Jacob ARGABRITE and of Jacob HOCKMAN. two of the pioneers of this district. Abraham ARGABRITE was born in the district. where he now resider; with his grandson Randolph S., the date of his birth November 23, 1804. Elizabeth HOCKMAN, whom he married, was born in this district, and died December 11, 1860. In addition to his farming labors Randolph S. BAKER is postmaster at Palestine, Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

SAMUEL CHRISTOPHER BEARD, M. D. - born near Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, October 3, 1831, at Blue Sulphur Spring, this county, December 12, 1855, was united in marriage with Martha Estaline HAMILTON, and the children born to them were seven: Walter C., May 27, 1859; Lillian H., June 11, 1861; Delia Miriam, January 11, 1864; Margaret E., November 25, 1866; Phil J. A., April28, 1869; Samuel C., April 6, 1872; Emma W. C., December 23, 1876; Delia M., died October 1875; Margaret E., died September 20, 1878; Walter C. is a practicing physician and makes his home in Alderson, this county, and the others are with their parents. Christopher BEARD, born near Lewisburg, April 1, 1798, died August 2, 1840, was the father of Dr. BEARD. His mother, whose maiden name was Miriam McNEAL, was born in Pocahontas County, December 7, 1834. [This could be a typo.] Her mother was born at that place, in 1810, and is now deceased, and her father, now deceased, was born on Muddy Creek, this county, in 1795. The BEARDS were among the pioneers of this county, noted for their industry, integrity, and interest in public advancement. They were bone and sinew of Presbyterianism in this community, and are recorded among the first elders of the faith in this county. Dr. BEARD lives on the old homestead, three miles northeast of Lewisburg, the farm containing 1,200 acres of valuable land. He receives his mail at Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

GEORGE NICHOLAS BIGGS - is a native of Kentucky, born in Greenup County, that State, February 11, 1846. He is a son of William BIGGS, Sr., born at Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky, October 19, 1800, and Lucy Blackemore (DAVIS) BIGGS, born in Lewis County, Kentucky, May 11, 1812. William BIGGS and Lucy B. DAVIS were united in marriage in Carter County, Kentucky, October 11, 1827. In Greenup County, December 5, 1871, George N. BIGGS wedded Elizabeth Jane BRYSON, born in Greenup County, March 22, 1850. Her father was William BRYSON, born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, December 17, 1803, who married, September 22, 1833, Elizabeth F. LAWSON, born in Hampshire County, Virginia, July 20, 1809. William BRYSON died in Greenup County, May 13, 1869, and his widow came to Greenbrier County in November, 1882. The parents of Mr. BIGGS still reside in Greenup County, Kentucky. The children of Mr. And Mrs. George N. BIGGS are three: Samuel Green, J., born January 22, 1874; Elizabeth L., November 21, 1875; William Davis, May 28, 1880. In his native county George N. BIGGS served as sheriff and deputy from 1871 to 1875, and held several offices of minor importance. He came to Greenbrier County, December 9, 1881, and he owns 771 acres of valuable land near Frankford, in Falling Spring District. His is the land entered by Esau LUDINGTON, or a portion of it, and on it are twelve living springs of limestone water. For cattle grazing, it is not excelled in the county. He receives his mail at Frankford, Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume II pg. 143

WILLIAM P. BLACK, M. D. A physician and surgeon whose home and practice have been in Charleston for half a dozen years, Doctor BLACK is filling the office of county coroner of Kanawha County.

A native of West Virginia, he was born in Meadow Bluff District, Greenbrier County, in 1883, son of S. T. and Laura (BIVENS) BLACK, natives of the state and members of old families in Greenbrier County. Doctor BLACK's uncle, Rev. Sam BLACK, was one of the prominent men in his section of the state, a Methodist minister, known and revered in many localities.

Doctor BLACK spent his early life on the farm. He had indifferent school advantages while there, and after leaving home at the age of eighteen he earned the money for his better education. He attended the Smoot Normal School and graduated from the Dunsmore Business College 1906, at Staunton, Virginia. He studied medicine in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, now the medical department of the University of Maryland, where he graduated in 1914. For the first two years he practiced at Blakely, and in 1916 removed to Charleston. Doctor BLACK is skillful and noted for the thoroughness of his work and consequently has a high standing in the medical profession.

Particularly he has won general approval by the judgment and consideration with which he has discharged his duties as coroner, an office to which he was qualified in January, 1920. He is a member of the County, State and American Medical Associations, is a York and Scottish Rite Mason and Shriner, and a member of the Methodist Episcipal Church.

Doctor BLACK married Miss Grace ROYSTON, of Baltimore. their two children are Iva D. and William P., Jr.

OREGON BOBBITT - born near Amherst C. H., Amherst County, Virginia, October 5, 1817, was a son of John BOBBITT, born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and Emelia (HILL) BOBBITT, born in Amherst County. His mother died in 1861, and his father in 1856, both in this county. Oregon BOBBITT make his home in Greenbrier County first in 1845, then lived for a time in Nicholas County, returning here and then moving to Monroe County, where he lived two years. He then made his permanent home in Greenbrier County. He was eighteen years superintendent of the county infirmary, from 1859 until his resignation in 1878, when he moved to the farm where he now resides, in Williamsburg District. He held the office of postmaster two years, and then resigned it to give attention to personal business. His first wife was Lucy Ann, daughter of Francis and Emeline HILL, of Amherst County, Virginia. She was born in that county, September 23, 1818, and became his wife in Monroe County, December 22, 1842. Their children were five: James H., born October 8, 1843, lives at North Platte, Nebraska; George W., September 9, 1845, lives in Iowa; F. Napoleon, May 21, 1848, lives in Monroe County, this State, Emily Jane, February 21, 1851, and Lewis Samuel Miller, July 22, 1853, are deceased. James and George were soldiers of the Confederacy in the war between the States. The second wife of Mr. BOBBITT was Malinda J., daughter of Asheen and Nancy BURDITT, on Monroe County, and she was born in Monroe County and there became the wife of Oregon BOBBITT. Their children were born: Eliza C., July 1, 1855; Thomas C., September 21, 1856; John I., November 5, 1857; Charles Spurgeon, May 19, 1859; Nanny J., October 2, 1863, and two deceased: Lewis Powell, born June 12, 1861, died same year; Martha Malinda Alice, born March 28, 1865, died in 1866. In Greenbrier County, in 1865, Oregon BOBBITT married Margaret BROWN, who was born in this county, Falling Spring District. She is a daughter of Thomas and Sarah (CAVENDISH) BROWN, of Virginia by birth, but settlers in Greenbrier County, where both died about twenty-three years ago. Mr. BOBBITT's post office address is Williamsburg, Greenbrier County, West Virginia. [Oregon BOBBITT's death is recorded three times in Greenbrier County records. Once in Vol. 1A, death date on Feb. 18, 1893, age 77 yr, no parents listed, death reported by F. G. McFERRIN, son-in-law; of comsuption. In Vol. 1, Oregon BOBBITT is listed twice: first, death date on Feb. 19, 1893, age 77 yr, no parents listed, of consumption; second, death date on Feb. 25, 1893, age 78 yrs, no parents listed, cause - pulmonary phthisis. vfc] [Malinda J. BURDITT BOBBITT died Apr. 3, 1865, age 37, of childbed fever. Greenbrier County Death Records, Vol. 1A. vfc]

LORENZO W. BOWERS - is a native of North Carolina, born June 4, 1843, in Lexington, that State, a son of Samuel L. and Sarah (JONES) BOWERS. His father was born in Salisbury, North Carolina, and was killed at St. Joe, Missouri, in 1849, and his mother was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, and died December 23, 1873. Lorenzo W. BOWERS was a soldier through the war between the States, serving in Company I, 14th North Carolina Infantry, and taking part in all the engagements of his regiment up to Gettysburg, where he was made prisoner, and sent to Fort McHenry, then to Point Lookout, and held until the close of the war. His first wife was Miranda F. SMITH, who died at Malden, West Virginia, November 9. 1875, leaving three children: Rosa, born September 22, 1870; Wilbur F., January 30, 1873; Lorenzo E., May 20, 1875. The two oldest are with their father, the youngest with his mother's parents, who are W. J. and Malinda E. (CUMMINGS) SMITH. They are also the parents of the present wife of Mr. BOWERS, who was Elizabeth H. SMITH, sister of Miranda F., born November 27, 1853. The second marriage of Mr. BOWERS was consummated in Covington, Virginia, March 17, 1877, and the children born of it are three: Clara V., January 14, 1878; Lothian A., April 14, 1879; L. Carl, January 10, 1882. Lorenzo W. BOWERS commenced teaching in October, 1865, and has followed that profession exclusively since that time, having taught with unvarying success in all parts of the county, and in Monroe and Kanawha Counties. He is now teaching what is known as the Salem Normal School, at Grassy Meadows. Salem, Greenbrier County, West Virginia, is his post office address.

[Clara V. BOWERS died Feb. 24, 1878, aged 1 mo 15 da, parents listed as L. W. and Belle BOWERS; cause of death: hives. Greenbrier County Death Records, Vol. 1A. vfc]

BRAY, ALBERT BERTRAM CALFEE. (Democrat.) Address: Ronceverte, West Va. Born in Princeton, Mercer county, West Virginia, April 2, 1865; educated in common schools—subsequent training "in the school of hard knocks and practical experience;" served on the City Council of Ronceverte, and as President of the Board of Education; is Cashier of the First National Bank of Ronce- verte; elected to the House from Greenbrier county in November, 1916; to the standing committees of 1917 was assigned as follows: Taxation and Finance (ranking member); Private Corporations and Joint Stock Companies, Railroads, Forfeited and Unappropriated Lands, Forestry and Conservation.

JESSE BRIGHT - native of Greenbrier County, born November 15, 1818, was a son of Jesse and Margaret (HAPTONSTALL) BRIGHT. His father was born in Pennsylvania, his mother in this county. David BRIGHT, his grandfather, was one of the first permanent settlers in the upper part of Greenbrier County, coming here from Pennsylvania at a very early date in the history of Greenbrier County, and one of its foremost men during the remaining years of his life. He brought the first wagon ever north of Lewisburg, to the place where he settled, which was near the present site of Frankford. In Greenbrier County, March 13, 1847, Jesse BRIGHT and Margaret PINNELL were united in marriage. She was born in this county, January 9, 1829, and died March 5, 1880. Her parents were Joseph and Nancy (WOLFENBARGER) PINNELL, the former born in Virginia and the latter in Greenbrier County. The children of Jesse BRIGHT and wife are recorded: Julia (CURRY), born February 26, 1848, lives in Fairfax, Atchison County, Missouri; Margaret A. (STALNAKER), July 12, 1849, lives at Springville, Alabama; Nancy J., January 1, 1853, lives at Lewisburg; Thomas, April 20, 1856, lives at Fairfax, Missouri; Samuel C., January 29, 1858, lives at Little Rock, Arkansas; Catharine L. (PARE), October 2, 1860, lives at Lewisburg; Helen E., January 25, 1864, lives at Springville, Alabama; John, October 4, 1866, lives at Cincinnati, Ohio; Frank, June 4, 1869; Abram, January 6,1871; Jessie, December 3, 1874 - live in Lewisburg. The subject of this sketch was assessor of the second district of this county, 1865-8, inclusive; clerk of the board of supervisors, 1871-2; and since that time has been, and still is, deputy county surveyor. Address, Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

HAMILTON G. BROWN - is a native of Greenbrier County, born in Falling Spring District, October 4, 1821. At White Sulphur Springs, this county, June 23, 1852, he married Rebecca Ann SNEAD, who was born January 8, 1831, near White Sulphur Springs. Their children are six living and two deceased: Charles Walter, born September 26, 1855, lives at home; George William, March 8, 1857, lives in Missouri; Willard D., December 15, 1858, died in Chicago, June 9, 1883; Elizabeth Jane, November 28, 1860, married F. P. Reid, March 23, 1881, and lives near Frankford, this county; Caroline Adella, July 21 1865, died September 18, 1867; John Edwin, September 16, 1867, and Joseph Clark, November 24, 1871, live at home. John BROWN born in Pennsylvania, November 18, 1774, and Elizabeth (KINCAID) BROWN, born in Greenbrier County in 1787, were the parents of Hamilton G. BROWN. William BROWN, his grandfather, was captain of General Lafayette's body guard in the Revolutionary war, and his wife tended the farm during all the years of that war, while her husband was with the heroes battling [sic] for independence. The subject of this sketch fought for the Lost Cause during the war between the States. Himself and wife are devoted and consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church (South), and he is recording steward of the church. He has been several years overseer of the poor. He owns a farm of 1,000 acres, 125 acres bottom land and fenced. The rest is well timbered with white pine, white oak and sugar. The soil is a sandy clay and loam, and iron ore is indicated. His farm is situated two miles above Alvon, and that is his post office address.

JOSEPH HENRY BUNGER - farmer of Lewisburg District, and owner and miller of BUNGER Mills, was born where he now lives, January 31, 1838 the date of his birth. April 24, 1861, at the bride's residence on Muddy Creek, this county, he married Julia A. C. ARGABRIGHT, who was born on Muddy Creek, August 31,1838. Seven children were born to them: Ella May, October 31, 1862; Mary Alice, October 8, 1865; Ada Pearl, July 1, 1868, died May 31, 1869; Lizzie, March 19, 1870; Mertie, February 14, 1872, died April 1, 1877; Alta Dinsmore, December 3, 1875; Rachel, July 8, 1878 - the living children are all at home. John and Mary (HOCKMAN) ARGABRIGHT, the former born in Rockingham County, Virginia, and the latter on Muddy Creek, Greenbrier County, were the parents of Mrs. BUNGER. Her mother died August, 1862, her father is still living in this county. Henry BUNGER, son of Jacob BUNGER, was born in Rockingham County, Virginia, February 15, 1800, and he came to Greenbrier County when very small. He married Rachel HUTSONPILLER, who was born August 27, 1803, in Greenbrier County, and they were the parents of Joseph Henry, subject of this sketch. Their other children were eight: Matilda, who married Archibald LEWIS, and lives near Lewisburg; Sophia, married Alexander DODSON, both are deceased and buried on the home farm; Sarah Ann, married Wallace ROBINSON, and lives on Spring Creek, fourteen miles north of Lewisburg; Elizabeth, married William HUTSONPILLER, resides in Clarke County, Iowa; Mary Jane, died January 28, 1832; Mehitable, married Dr. B. F. WILLIAMS and resides in Washington County, Arkansas; Eliza, married Dr. E. F. RAYMOND, and lives at Frankford, Virginia; Harvey Lewis, born August 15, 1843, died November 7, 1861. Henry BUNGER died March 30, 1862, and Rachel, his widow, died November 27, 1869. They died on the home farm where their son Joseph H. lives. Joseph H. BUNGER;s post office address is Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

CLAUDIUS F. BUSTER - deceased - was born in Kanawha County, (then) Virginia, a son of Claudius and Ann (MAFFITT) BUSTER, who were born in the "Old Dominion State." In 1840, or about that year, he made his home in Greenbrier County; and here he married, March 28, 1843, Elizabeth C. RADAR. She was born at Donnallys Fort, in this county, September 25, 1820, a daughter of Antony and Jane (HUTCHINSON) RADAR. Her father's birth was in Rockbridge County, Virginia, and her mother was born in Greenbrier County. Claudius F. BUSTER was assistant quartermaster under General FLOYD, of the Confederate army, for the Virginia forces during the 1861 war. The children of Mr. and Mrs. BUSTER were: George W., Jane A., Julia E., Mary E., Thomas A., Henry W., Georgianna. All live in this county, Julia E. near Frankford, and the others in Blue Sulphur Springs, and assistant postmaster at that place. He is dealing in dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, hardware, etc., and the postoffice is located in his store. [This last sentence does not make sense as Claudius BUSTER is deceased at the time; perhaps it is referring to one of the sons. vfc]

[George W. BUSTER, age 11, died of flux on Sep. 21, 1854. His death was reported by Claudius BUSTER and his parents are listed as C. F. and Elizabeth BUSTER. Greenbrier County Death Records, Vol. 1A. vfc]

WILLIAM WALLACE BYRD - farmer and stock-raiser of Falling Spring District, is a native of this district, born January 11, 1822. His first wife was Margaret BRADSHAW, and their children were: Rebecca I., born July 25, 1851; James F., August 28, 1853; Elizabeth J., July 2, 1856; Harvey M., March 23, 1859; Luther R., November 6, 1863; Mary M., December 22, 1865; William E., June 22, 1868. Elizabeth J. married R. C. WRIGHT, and died April 16, 1883, James F. lives in Highland County, Virginia and the others with their father. In Falling Spring District, April 25, 1872, William W. BYRD was united in marriage with Eveline BRADSHAW, who was born in Highland County, Virginia, May 17, 1826. James and Isabella (STEPHENS) BRADSHAW were her parents, and they died in Bath County, Virginia, her father in 1841 and her mother in 1860. Her father was born in Augusta County, Virginia, in 1776, and her mother in Greenbrier County in 1792. The parents of William W. BYRD were born in Bath County, John BYRD, born in 1776, and Rebecca A. H. (WHITE) BYRD, born in 1786. They died in Greenbrier County, the father in 1842, and the mother in 1857. John BYRD, grandfather of William W., was captured in Augusta County by Indians, and taken into captivity, and held eight years. His sister, taken at the same time, remained all her life with the Indians. William W. BYRD's post office address is Falling Springs, Greenbrier County, West Virginia. [Wm. W. BIRD (BYRD) is listed in the Greenbrier County Death Records three times. The death date on all three entries is Aug. 13, 1889. Appparently, Wm. BYRD suffered from liver trouble. vfc] [Eveline BRADSHAW BYRD died of old age on Aug. 27, 1897. Her death was reported by Wm. E. BYRD, son, and recorded in Greenbrier County Death Records, Vol. 1A. vfc]

Transcribed and submitted by Valerie Crook, vfcrook@trellis.net, Darla Ruebush, darbush@wizrealm.com and Ed Johnson, EDEAJ@aol.com , 1998.

Source: Hardesty, Henry H. Hardesty's Historical and Geographical
Encyclopedia. New York: H.H. Hardesty and Company, 1884.
Rpt. in West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia. Ed. Jim Comstock.
Richwood: Comstock, 1974.

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