General Thomas Bartlett (1878-1948)


History of West Virginia, Old and New and West Virginia Biography
The American Historical Society, Inc., Chicago and New York; 1923
Volume III Biographical, page 31

GENERAL THOMAS BARTLETT, funeral director, head of the Bartlett and Bolin Company of Grafton, has spent the greater part of his active life in commercial lines, and has been a resident of Grafton over a dozen years.

He was born in Pleasant Creek District, Barbour County, October 9, 1878. His grandfather, Thomas Bartlett, was a native of Taylor County, and spent his last years on Pleasant Creek in Barbour County. His wife was Jemimah Bartlett, and their children were: Erne G.; David; Benjamin; Matilda Chenowith; Mrs. Elizabeth Cole; Sarah, who married C. M. Davis; Virginia, who married Greenberry Carter; Mary, who married William Lake; Mrs. Josephine Davis and Joseph, twins.

Joseph Bartlett, father of the Grafton business man, and now a retired farmer at Bridgeport, was born near Webster, West Virginia, February 10, 1857. He married Laura J. Smith, daughter of Jehu Smith. Their children are: General Thomas; Ithamer J., of Fairmont; W. Howard, of Bridgeport; Ethel, wife of Herman Shutts, principal of the high school at Masontown; Mrs. Eva Stewart, of Bridgeport; Zada, at Bridgeport; Bruce E. and Orbit J. of St. Albans.

G. T. Bartlett spent the first fourteen years of his life on his father's farm in Pleasant Creek District, after which the family lived a few years near Simpson in the Court House District and then near Webster in the same district. His increasing strength was utilized on the farm while getting an education in the local schools, and he also attended the Fairmont State Normal two years and did one year of preparatory work for the law in West Virginia University. For three years he was one of the well qualified teachers in the Knottsville and Flemington districts, and abandoned school work to become an employe of the Fairmont Coal Company, beginning at the bottom and performing such duties as mule-driving, car-greasing and coal-dumping. He barely escaped with his life in a mine accident, and abruptly left the work to seek a position in the New England Store at Watson. The following year he learned many of the fundamentals of merchandising. About that time the Fairmont Coal Company absorbed the John A. dark Coal Company, and Mr. Bartlett was transferred to manager of the company store at Chiefton. Altogether he gave his service to the company for seven years, and left to engage in the furniture and undertaking business at Bridgeport. He was there a year, and then established himself in a similar line at Grafton. About twelve years later the furniture department was discontinued, and the Bartlett & Bolin Company now employs all its resources for undertaking.

Mr. Bartlett is a graduate of the Eckels Embalming School of Philadelphia. In the thirteen years since he entered the profession many changes have been introduced in the technic and facilities, ranging from horse-drawn hearses to a complete automobile equipment. In 1914, at 314 Walnut Street, Mr. Bartlett erected a modern business house, 24 by 80 feet, a three-story brick building, including chapel and other facilities for expert service in this-line. Mr. Bartlett is a past president of the Funeral Directors Association of West Virginia, and has appeared on the program at a number of its sessions.

He has likewise been a factor in the business organizations of Grafton, beginning with the old Board of Trade, and is a director and vice president of the Chamber of Commerce. Fraternally he is a past chancellor of Friendship Lodge, Knights of Pythias, past noble grand of Grafton Lodge No. 31, I. 0. 0. F., and in Masonry is affiliated with St. John Lodge No. 24, F. & A. M., at Shinnston, Grafton Royal Arch Chapter, is present eminent commander of DeMolay Commandery, K. T., a member of Osiris Temple of the Mystic Shrine, and is also taking the Scottish Rite work at Wheeling. He is a member of the Moose and Red Men, is a director of the Rotary Club, and was reared a Baptist.

While living at Chiefton he married, on January 12, 1902, Miss Maud B. Saurborne, who was born at Camden on Gauley, West Virginia, February 21, 1885, and is a graduate of the Weston High School. Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett have two children, Mildred, born October 15, 1904, and G. Thomas, Jr., born October 6, 1913.

Death Certificate - General Thomas Bartlett, Sr.


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