The History of Taylor County Chapter Two Hundred-Forty-Six


Lewellyns Suffer Loss

The entire community sympathized with Mr. and Mrs. J. Clark Lewellyn in the death of son, Claude A., who died from a malignant attack of typhoid September 23,1900. A young man of most exemplary habits and promise of a rare business ability, socially pleasant, warm hearted and generous and with rare tact in business dealings, he was unusually prosperous and thriving in the operation of the tanning and meat market enterprises at Knottsville and Grafton.
He attended the great Jones family reunion at Knottsville a month before being a direct descendant of that historic and prominent family and seemingly in the best of health mingling and with a smile and pleasant word for his host of relatives and friends from far and near who gathered to pay tribute to those grand old pioneers, Jacob and Dinah Stanton Jones.
To add to the burden of sorrow or Mr. and Mrs. Lewellyn one month later or on October 22,1900, the last surviving child, Willis B, died at his home on Main Street, Grafton’s from the same disease that removed his brother, Claude. In the years previous death had broken the family circle when the daughter, Myrtle, was gathered by the grim reaper and with the passing of Willis, Mr. and Mrs. Lewellyn were left without a single child to comfort their declining years.
Willis Lewellyn was one of four members of the first graduating class of Grafton High School established by Professor U. S. Fleming  in 1886 and after leaving Grafton High School enrolled at West Virginia University, graduating with an A. B. degree in two years instead of four, the usual length of this course. He began his career as a teacher in the rural schools in Knottsville section and was considered one of the best instructors in Taylor county. He married Myrtle, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Guseman of Grafton and accepted a position as head bookkeeper of the wholesale grocery firm of Joseph Spiedel and company then operating at Grafton. His ability was fully recognized by his employers and who held him in the highest esteem for his worth as a man, his culture and his affable manner which endeared him to all those whom he came in contact. Unceasing in his attentions to his elder brother and took no thought for himself in ministering you his sufferings and for this sacrifice it was thought he contracted the disease that proved fatal to him and ended his earthly career a month after the passing of his brother. The ideal romance of a little more the. Three years was rudely shattered and the loving young wife left to weep alone. A member of the order of the Knights of Pythias, his remains carried atop the hill to Bluemont Cemetery and interned with the ritualistic rites by the members of the order.
Word was received of the death of E. W. Lippencott who passed away at Piedmont October 21,1900. His remains were brought to Grafton and interred in Bluemont, beside the body of his wife. Mr. Lippencott came to Grafton in the 60’s as master mechanic of the Baltimore and Ohio in charge of shops at this terminal succeeding Samuel Huston.
The family of sons and daughters came into prominence in the social circles of those early years and many functions were held in their hospitable home during their twenty years residence in Grafton. William Henry, eldest son, still living is the only member of that historic little drum corps that led the march to the United States National Cemetery in 1868 to observe the first Memorial Day exercises to pay loving tribute to the men living and dead who fought to preserve the Union of States. He is a resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Miss Elsie, second daughter had the distinction of being first office manager and chief operator for the Central Printing and Telephone company, a subsidiary of the Bell Telephone company when the above company established an exchange in the old Bradshaw National Bank in the summer of 1890. Miss Elsie at the time of the World’s fair at Chicago resigned her position as manager of the telephone exchange at accept a position offered her by the management of the Columbian Exposition and took up her residence and still lives at Chicago.
Charles A. Lippencott, second son, began his education in the old Central school and after leaving school entered the services of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. Encouraged by the late Dr. James H. Flanagan to enter Washington and Jefferson college and enroll in the divinity school and prepare for the ministry completing the course he entered Princeton and was graduated from the divinity  school of the famous New Jersey institution and entered upon his duties in the middle west. He resigned his pastorate of the First Presbyterian Church at South Bend, Indiana to accept the position of director of welfare of the great Studebaker corporation and for ten years occupied this position and in 1929 his career ended with his demise from a fatal attack of pneumonia. His remains were interred at South Bend where he labored for a decade for the uplift of employees of the great industrial organization.

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