Fredrick O. Blue (1872-1945)

Source: Bench and Bar of West Virginia
edited by Geo. W. Atkinson, LL.B., LL.D., of the West Virginia Bar
Virginian Law Book Company, Charleston, W. Va., 1919
Pages 139-140

Hon. Fredrick O. Blue

Our subject, son of George F. and Mary Lee Blue, was born at Grafton, Taylor County, West Virginia, November 25, 1872, and received his early educational training in the public schools of Taylor County and later in the Grafton High School. This, however, was only the merest beginning of the education he afterwards secured by studious habits and persistent application to a systematic course of reading and study under his own direction. He never attended a college, but he acquired a splendid literary style, became a close logical reasoner, a sound thinker, and a superior public speaker. He is a master of a choice style of English, and argues propositions in a forceful, pleasing and fascinating manner. But few men are his equal as a trial lawyer or an all round advocate. He is kind and fair to every one concerned in a court trial, and yet at the same time he is so earnest and zealous in behalf of his own clients he becomes a dangerous competitor in any important court trial in which he is engaged; and yet but few lawyers adhere as strictly as he to all the rules of legal ethics. He is absolutely sincere, upright and trustworthy. He has for many years past been found on the moral side of every important question that has been brought before the people. Indeed this has been true of him from his early manhood. Such men are rare in any profession or calling.

In private life Senator Blue is amiable and refined. Like Lord Chesterfield he considers politeness the lubricator of society and to smooth the pathways of those he recognizes as the prime duty of man. He is a fond husband, a doting father, a devoted friend, and the golden chain is linked with the jewels of domestic felicity. He married Miss Margaret J. Ice, of Barbour County, November 26, 1905. They had two sons, one a prattling little boy who, a year or so ago, on account of a fatal illness, drew his chubby, little hand out of his father's palm and flew away to the summer-land of song — the other, a young man, now completing his college work.

Mr. Blue read law in the office of Judge A. G. Dayton at Philippi in Barbour County, where he was not only an apt, but a diligent student. When twenty-one years of age he passed a satisfactory examination and was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Appeals of the State at Charleston, in December, 1893. Immediately, thereafter, he opened an office at Philippi, the capital of Barbour County, and began an active and successful career as a practicing attorney. He has always been a Republican in his political affiliations, and was elected a member of the West Virginia Senate, serving in that position from 1906 to 1910. In this position he revealed marked usefulness in legislative service. He was Chairman of two committees and was a member of six others. He was very active during sessions of the Legislature as well as very useful.

Senator Blue was appointed State Tax Commissioner by Governor Dawson, March 1, 1911, and held the office for six consecutive years. This is a position requiring a high grade of executive ability, and Mr. Blue filled it with remarkable acceptability. Being a strong lawyer he personally represented the State's interests in hundreds of court trials in almost every portion of the State. When the voters threw West Virginia out of the "wet column" he was designated by the Legislature to enforce the "dry" law, and he devoted his best energies to that important service. But few of our people know how zealously he labored to enforce the Prohibition Law and the amount of energy and toil he put into it. He, however, never faltered, but did his full duty faithfully and heroically. He has written a book entitled, "When a State Goes Dry," which is well worth any one's time to read and ponder over. Since he has retired from public life Senator Blue located at Charleston, has opened a law office in conjunction with Mr. Robert E. McCabe, a thorough-going young lawyer, a sketch of whom will be found on another page of this book, the firm name being Blue and McCabe, a busy and successful combination of enterprising attorneys.

Mr. Blue is a vigilant member of the Baptist Church and is a Free Mason of deserving high rank, and strives to live true to the ideals of that order. He is a forward-thinking man, broad and liberal in his views and thoroughly democratic in spirit. Though of a positive nature he disagrees with his opponents without rancor. He is devoted to his home and loves the evening communion of the family circle. He is an upright citizen, keenly devoted to the social welfare and the betterment of the human mass. It is by no means out of place to class him as an ideal lawyer and a true representative citizen.


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