BIOGRAPHIES, Greenbrier County, WV - "T"

JOHN POINDEXTER THOMASSON - was born November 5, 1842, on Elk fork, in Jackson County, Virginia. His father was Pleasant Hiter THOMASSON, who was born in Pendleton County, (then) Virginia, in 1818, a son of John P. and Nancy (HANCOCK) THOMASSON, who lived and died in what is now Roane County, West Virginia. The Thomassons were of English descent. P. H. THOMASSON married Emma Jane RADER, who was born in Jackson County in 1820, but living in Greenbrier County. In 1865, the subject of this sketch came from Roane County to Greenbrier County, and here his wedded life began, Margaret Ann KNAPP becoming his wife at her father's residence near Lewisburg, on the 5th of May, 1875. Her parents are still living here, George Lewis KNAPP, born near Lewisburg, and Amanda (WESTFALL) KNAPP, born in Nicholas County and coming to this county when a child. Mr. and Mrs. John P. THOMASSON have three children: Rosa Emma, May 19, 1876; George Everette, November, 1877; Lulu Josephine, January, 1880. John P. THOMASSON entered the Confederate service July 4, 1861, serving first as a private of Company G, 60th Virginia Infantry under "Stonewall" Jackson, in the battles of Cedar Creek, Winchester and the Seven Days Fight at Richmond. At the last-named conflict he was obliged to fight with his bayonet, hand to hand with the enemy, and was made lieutenant on the field for personal bravery. A company of sharpshooters chose him for their captain and with that rank he served through the remainder of the war. Twice his personal bravery and decision saved his company from destruction, although they acted, under his command, contrary to the orders of the battalion commander. He was wounded October 19, 1862, at the battle of Cedar Creek, in the ankle, and being unable to move fast was captured. His captor ordered him to move faster, and on his refusal, shot him, and the ball just grazed his temple. He fell, and was ordered to get up, which he did but would not move faster, so his captor left him. He was again made captive, at a later date, and made his escape. James Monroe THOMASSON, brother of John P., served in the Confederate army from 1863 to the close of the war. After the war John P. THOMASSON settled in Greenbrier County and is farming and milling, a good farmer and a thorough miller. Williamsburg, Greenbrier County, West Virginia, is his post office address.

THURMOND, JOSEPH SAMUEL (Democrat). Speaker of the House of Delegates. Address: Alderson, West Va. Was born May 9, 1855, and reared on a farm in Fayette county, West Virginia. He received his early education in the common schools of that county, and later at Shelton College, Saint Albans, under the tutorage of Dr. P. B. Reynolds. Numbered among his schoolmates are Dr. George B. Foster, of the University of Chicago; Hon. James H. Stewart, present Commissioner of Agriculture of this State; Senator William E. and Hon. Joseph Chilton, and Rev. John McCutcheon, former Baptist pastor of Morgantown, West Virginia. Leaving school he taught in the public schools of Fayette county for several years. He was a member of the Board of Examiners. Afterwards he engaged in the practice of civil engineering and farming, and still later in coal mining and banking. Mr. Thurmond was the first Mayor of Thurmond and was continued in that office for seven years, or until he moved to Greenbrier county in 1910. He was elected to the West Virginia Legislature as a delegate from Greenbrier county in 1914; re-elected in 1916 and in 1917 was made Speaker of the House of Delegates. His home is at Alderson, Greenbrier county, where he owns and successfully manages a farm. Mr. Thurmond has always been an uncompromising Democrat.

Source: West Virginia Legislative Hand Book and Manual and Official Register, 1917, Compiled and Edited by John T. Harris, Clerk of the Senate, The Tribune Printing Co., Charleston, West Va. pg. 729

JOHN TOBIN - mayor of Ronceverte, was born in Waterford, Ireland, in 1826. John and Mary (GIBSON) TOBIN, his parents, were natives of Ireland, and died in that country. In Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1853, the wedded life of the subject of this sketch began, Ellen COFFEY becoming his wife. She was born in Waterford, Ireland, in 1830, a daughter of Thomas and Mary (SULLIVAN) COFFEY. Her father died in Lockport, New York, and her mother is supposed to be living yet in the West. The children of Mr. and Mrs. TOBIN were six, of whom only three are living: Mary Ellen, born in November, 1855, died in 1856; John E., February 22, 1857; Thomas E., March 14, 1864, lived about four months; Robert Emmet, January 5, 1866; Mary Ellen, March 15, 1869; Alice, died at the age of two years. The living children are all at home. Mr. TOBIN has three sisters living, viz.: Bridget (SULLIVAN), resides in Atchison County, Kansas, as does Alice (KELLY): another sister, Ellen, is unmarried, and lives at New Dungarvan, Waterford County, Ireland, has married and raised a family. The brothers and sisters of Mrs. TOBIN are: Margaret, John and Thomas - children by first wife, and are living in New York; Catharine, Joanna, Mary, Robert, Phillip, Winnie, Mike, and Sarah Jane, are in the West. John TOBIN is an experienced railroad man, having spent most of his life in that business, but is now retired from active pursuits, and living in comfort at his beautiful residence in Ronceverte. He is regarded by his fellow-townsmen as one of the best officials the town has ever had. He was member of the council and of the school board from the incorporation of the town until he assumed the duties of his present office of mayor.

WILLIAM AMI TRAINER - born in Highland County, Virginia, March 22, 1837, in that State and county, December 16, 1860, was united in marriage with Elizabeth Emily BIRD, who was born in Bath County, Virginia, March 26, 1838. He was a son of Michael and Rachel (GUM) TRAINER, and his wife is a daughter of William C. and Sarah Ann (CURRY) BIRD. Mr. and Mrs. William A. TRAINER are the parents of: Ada Ann, born November 3, 1860; Marietta, January 1, 1862; Morgan Brown, April 17, 1864; Michael Lee, August 29, 1866; Rachel Sarah Minnie, August 10, 1868; William Ami, September 12, 1870; Stonewall Jackson, April 22, 1872; Hattie Myrtle, November 25, 1874; John Hedges, April 21, 1876; Lillie Virginia, May 5, 1880. William A. died September 16, 1873, Ada A. lives in Highland County, Virginia, Marietta lives in Bath County, Virginia, and the others are at home. At the outbreak of the civil war, Mr. TRAINER held a lieutenant's commission in the Virginia militia and he entered the Confederate service in 1862, and served until the close of the war. He was in the battles of Cedar Mountain and Manassas, and in the latter battle was shot through both arms. He was made prisoner in April, 1864, and sent to Camp Chase, Ohio, where he remained about one year, returning to his home in Highland County in April, 1865. He took up his residence in Greenbrier County in October, 1882, and is farming in Anthonys Creek district, with post office address at Alvon, Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

Transcribed and submitted by Valerie Crook,, Darla Ruebush, and Ed Johnson, , 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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