Francis Marion Durbin (1837-1894)


Source: Genealogical and Personal History of the Upper Monongahela Valley West Virginia
By James Morton Callahan, Professor of History, West Virginia University
New York, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1912
Volume III, Pages 1006-1008

Francis Marion Durbin (1837-1894)

This is an old English family, who were early in Pennsylvania and Virginia. It was William Durbin for whom that part of Morgantown, West Virginia, formerly known as Durbannah borough, was named. He was born in 1800, died 1865. He was the founder of the suburban village just referred to. He was of English descent. He married Mary Williams, of Greene county, Pennsylvania. She died at Morgantown, February 5, 1861, aged fifty-nine years. Among their children was a son named Francis Marion, of whom further.

(II) Francis Marion, son of William and Mary (Williams) Durbin, was born at Morgantown, Virginia, November 9, 1837. He was educated in the old Monongahela Academy when under charge of Rev. James Robertson Moore, who won for it such educational prestige that its final course admitted one to Washington and Jefferson College without examination. Leaving the academy at an early age, he served as a clerk in the store of Thomas Hughes, of Wheeling, and held a minor position in the office of the circuit clerk at Morgantown until he was made teller of the old Merchants Bank at Morgantown, a position, of much importance, and although but seventeen years of age at the time, he was chosen to fill the position vacated by John Wagner, resigned. He served from 1854 to 1873, and then went to Taylor county, West Virginia, where he organized the First National Bank of Grafton, the first banking house in Taylor county, and Mr. Durbin became its cashier and placed it on a solid financial footing. In April, 1891, he resigned and went to Parkersburg, West Virginia, where with Hon. T. E. Davis, Captain G. M. Whitescaever and Hon. John T. McGraw, he raised the capital of one hundred thousand dollars and secured the charter for a state bank. But before its organization was perfected R. J. McCandlish, cashier of the old First National Bank of that city, died, and the new bank men were made an offer to consolidate with the old First National Bank, which consolidation was effected. The capital stock was a quarter of a million dollars, the largest but one in the entire state. The new bank was named the First National Bank of Parkersburg, and Mr. Durbin became its cashier, continuing until December, 1892, when, on account of ill health, he resigned. About that date the affairs of the Weston National Bank were in a confused condition, and Mr. Durbin was induced to become its cashier for a few months and put the bank in good condition again. After a few months there he resigned and turned his attention to personal affairs and the interests of some of his friends in the center of the state. By being in the open air for a time his health was regained and he was appointed by Judge John J. Jackson, of the United States Court, as receiver of the Buckhannon River Lumber Company, and served from the fall of 1893 to the summer of 1894, when the property was sold. In May of that year he returned to Parkersburg, and organized the Wood County Bank, of which he was made cashier. He served there until his death, November 4, 1894, he being stricken with apoplexy three days previous to his death. He was buried at Oak Grove cemetery, Morgantown.

His was indeed an exceptional mind—one that could lay aside lesser and take up greater problems in life and life's activities. He had a ripe, rich experience as a banker and was looked upon as one of the foremost in the state of West Virginia. Politically he was a Democrat; he would not hold office, but preferred private business. He was a bright and ever active Free Mason, being recognized as an authority on the workings of that order, and served as master of his lodge and as deputy grand master for West Virginia. In boyhood he united with the Methodist Protestant Church, and throughout life, in sunshine and storm, he remained steadfast to its teachings. He, with Senator Charles A. Newlon, of Grafton, organized a church of this denomination at that city, and aided largely in the erection of the church building.

He married, February 5, 1861, Abigail Charlotte, daughter of Nicholas Pickenpaugh, of Morgantown. Children: William, died in infancy; Charles Ray, of whom further.

Register of Deaths, Wood County WV, Page 140, Line 183
NAME: Francis M. Durbin
DATE-OF-DEATH: Nov. 4, 1894
AGE-AT-DEATH: 57 years
WHERE-BORN: Morgantown, WV
PLACE-OF_DEATH: Parkersburg, WV

Find A Grave Memorial - F. M. Durbin


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