Industrial Engineer, U. S. Navy Veteran, Home Builder, Humanitarian,
Politician, Historian, Author, Community Activist



     JOSEPH DOWNEY PARRIOTT is highly regarded in Marshall County for his major contributions to the preservation of the county history.

     Thomas O. James, eloquently describes his friend and associate:

     "Joe could sit back and enjoy the leisure of retirement but instead chooses to take on challenging projects that are costly to him in time, energy and treasure. His devotion to recording local history is emblematic of his larger belief that all Americans, particularly students, need to cultivate a thorough understanding of our American history. Joe Parriott's philosophical base is rooted in progressivism in that he believes each generation learns and builds upon the wisdom of preceding generations. In Joe's very pragmatic point of view, the only way this can be done is by studying history. The age-old question of whether history teaches us lessons is left for succeeding generations to ponder and answer."

     Joe was born in Marshall County, West Virginia in 1933 and has lived there his entire life. His parents were Raymond Walton Parriott, a farmer, and Flora Leah Downey, a teacher. Raymond and Flora managed the Marshall County Infirmary, commonly called the "Poor House," from April 1939 until October 1946.

     The Parriott family, one of the oldest in Marshall County, participated in the formation of the county. Joe's great-great-great-grandmother, Martha (Clarke) Parrott, settled in Moundsville with her five children, following the death of her husband, Christopher Parrott, in 1820. He was a Revolutionary War Sergeant and died in Hampshire County (later Mineral County), (West) Virginia.

Genealogy File
Descendants of Christopher Parrott

Christopher Parrott (1755-1820) m. Martha Clarke
Joseph S. Parriott (1790-1887) m. Hannah Vandiver
William E. Parriott (abt 1828-1910) m. Sarah E. Crawford
Joseph Lawrence Parriott (abt 1866-1938) m. Anna Heath
Raymond Walton Parriott (1891-1965) m. Flora Leah Downey
Joseph Downey Parriott


  • Park View & 1st Ward Grade Schools
  • Moundsville High School
  • West Virginia University, B. S. Industrial Engineering, 1956.


  • U. S. Navy - Inducted 6 Mar 1956; served 19 months.


  • Wheeling Steel Corporation, Benwood Works: Employed as an engineer immediately following graduation; resumed position after discharge from U. S. Navy in Oct 1957.
  • Continental Can Company, Glass Factory, Clarksburg, W. Va. - Industrial Engineer, 2 years
  • Ormet Corporation - Industrial Engineer, 19 years


  • 1966 - 1980 Advisory Board - Salvation Army
  • 1989 - 1997 Board of Directors - CHANGE, Inc.
  • 1990 - Elected (R) to West Virginia House of Delegates; one term.

    JOSEPH DOWNEY PARRIOTT married NELLIE BYRD, a Certified Public Accountant.


  • Simpson United Methodist Church, Moundsville
  • National Mechanical Engineering Scholastic Honorary
  • Marshall County Historical Society


  • 2006 W. Va. History Hero - Marshall County Historical Society
  • 2006 W. Va. History Hero - Marshall County Virtual Genealogy Society


  • From the Outhouse to the Poor House to the State House and Marshall County History of the Twentieth Century

         The life and career experiences of Joseph D. Parriott are blended with the history of Marshall County to present the dramatic lifestyle changes in Marshall County, particularly during the 20th century. In addition to Joe's biographical information, topics include: Environment, Working Conditions, Decline in Employment, Veterans, Moundsville 20th Century History, Penitentiary History 1900-1994.

         This soft-bound book, published in 2000, is $25.00, including postage.

  • World War II Veterans of Marshall County

         This important book (2004) details the history of the service of 6,467 Marshall County, West Virginia men and women in World War II. Mr. Parriott honors both residents and former residents by presenting not only the Honor Roll inscribed on the Marshall County Courthouse wall, but approximately 1,500 others whose service in WWII was not recognized by those who originally compiled the Honor Roll.

         This is the only book to present a military history of Marshall County World War II Veterans. It is MUCH more than the names of the veterans; it includes an abundance of information about many of the veterans' service. Mr. Parriott acquired his information from a multitude of sources, including the War Department, the West Virginia Department of Culture & History, the Marshall County Courthouse, interviews with veterans or their families, newspapers, etc.

    Local Author Signs Books

         In stiff, laminated paperback (8.5 x 11), perfect bound, the 430-page main biographical book is $28. The companion 200-page book of Xeroxed newspaper clippings, related to over 500 veterans, is $12. Shipping and handling is $5. -- Total, $45.

         The set will also be available in hardback with black cover and gold lettering for $50 plus $5 shipping & handling. -- Total, $55.

  • Descendants of Christopher Parrott and Martha Clarke Parrott and Their Descendants.

         This book, first published in 1999, is comprehensive history and genealogy of the Parrott/Parriott family, among the earliest settlers in the area that is now Moundsville, Marshall County, West Virginia.

  • Marshall County, WV - History of the Twentieth Century. 2007. Price unknown.

  • Omnibus of Marshall County, WV History. Price unknown.

    Send orders to:
    Joseph Parriott
    P.O. Box 277
    Moundsville, WV 26041

  • Special THANKS to Tom James for his assistance.


    Web Page by Linda Cunningham Fluharty.