Biographical Sketches (A-K)
[NOTE: Names with a bar indicate that the person was deceased at the time this was published in 1955.]
Adrian Otis Arvin
We have no information as to Arvin’s background prior to his entering V.P.I. in September, 1898, registering from Drakes Branch, Charlotte County, Virginia and enrolling in the freshman class in the special studies course, He acquired no nickname and was usually addressed by his surname.
He later took the mechanical engineering course. The record indicates that he did not attend the 99-00 session but reentered in September, 1900 as a junior and graduated in June, 1902 with the degree of B.S. in M.E. He returned the next session for a post graduate course and in June, 1903 received the degree of M.E.
In his senior year he was a second lieutenant, special duty, on the battalion staff.
Arvin is best remembered for his likable personality and his close attention to his studies. The 1902 Bugle has this to say of him: “No man has a right to be idle if he can find work to do”.
There is little information on his career and none about his family after leaving V.P.I. All we know is that his last position was with the Glenn L. Martin Co., Baltimore, Md. from which he retired in 1938. He resided at Parkville, Md. and died February 27, 1939.
Homer Christian Atkinson
We have no record whatsoever about this classmate prior to his entering and after his leaving V.P.I. He registered in September, 1898 from Petersburg, Virginia, enrolling in the freshman class. He returned in 1899 for his sophomore year but did not return as a junior.
Homer was somewhat the artistic type and had quite a talent for illustrating. He is remembered for his contributions to the 1902 Bugle—an illustration of the Gibson Girl type entitled “The Senior Girl”, and several others not titled.
Clayton Emmett (Windy) Ayre
Born in Loudon County, Virginia, August 5, 1880, the son of Henry D. and Julia Peck Ayre, he had three brothers and four sisters. Clayton gives us the interesting information that his father, Henry D. Ayre, graduated August 7, 1876 from Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (VAMC), the former name for V.P.I.
He attended primary schools at Woolf’s Mill, Kerfoot and Upperville in Fauquier County from 1886 to 1894, and high school at Upperville from September, 1894 to May 1898. He then helped on his father’s farm for a few months.
Clayton entered V.P.I in September, 1898 in the freshman class and enrolled in special studies course. He either brought with him or soon acquired the nickname “Windy”, probably because of his proficiency in telling tall stories ad infinitum without the flicker of an eyelash. He completed his freshman and sophomore years, leaving V.P.I. in June 1900 and not returning for his junior year.
His business career began in 1901. Evidently, by this time, his family had moved to Tennessee as Clayton was employed by his father in operating a saw mill in Bradley County from January 1901 to 1909. From then on he held down various jobs in several different locations, and was somewhat like the rolling stone that gathers no moss though acquiring quite a bit of polish. But let him tell the story in his own words that he used in quoting his record to the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) prior to his employment in 1939 by that organization:
“From June, 1909 to December, 1910 I worked for the Cleveland (Tenn.) Lumber Co., Mr. B. M. Webb, General Manager.
“January, 1911 I went to work for the J. G. White Engineering Construction Co., Parksville, Tenn. Was repair man at 25c per hour. I was transferred to transmission line construction as team foreman at $110 per month, Mr. John Munson, Gen. Superintendent. Transmission line was completed in April, 1912 and I was laid off.
“July, 1912 I went to work for the J. G. White Co. at Ocoee (dam or plant) No.2 as team foreman at $3 per day. September, 1912 I was transferred to grade work on flumes as labor foreman at 40c per hour. This job was completed in December, 1913.
“January, 1914 I went to work for Hardaway Construction Co., Baden, N. C. as carpenter at 30c per hour and quit in the following month to work for the J. G. White Co. at Augusta, Ga. as team foreman, transmission line, at $110 per month. This job was completed in May following and I went to work in June for the Tennessee Power Co. as labor foreman at 30 per hour, transmission line crossing over the Tennessee river. Work completed in September, 1914.
“November, 1914 I went to work for the J. G. White Engr. Corp. as team foreman in Orange County, New York, at $4.50 per day. After completion of a short transmission line job, I continued with the same company to repair Poughkeepsie power house and install some new equipment. This job was completed in October, 1915 and I went with the same company to Pottsville, Pa. as helper in rigging crew at 35c per hour. In January 1916 I was promoted to rigger foreman at 60 per hour. This work was on transmission lines, substation and also increasing capacity of power house of the Eastern Pennsylvania Railway and Light Co.
“Following completion of the above job in December, 1917 I then went to Arcadia, Florida for work with the same company on construction of Carlton Aviation Field as team foreman and rigger foreman at $50 per week. And still with the J. G. White Engr. Corp. I worked as labor foreman at 80c per hour at the Sheffield Nitrate Plant No. 1 from February 1918 to May 1919.
“In July, 1919 I went to work for the Tennessee Power Co. as construction foreman at $150 per month rebuilding the switch room and office at Ocoee No.1 power house. Then was transferred in September, 1919 to Hales Bar as construction foreman at $200 per month rebuilding sluice gate at Hales Bar Hydro Station completed in 1920.
“After the above job was finished I was out of power construction work for some time, and during 1921 served as carpenter foreman in building a house for John McKamy in Crandall, Georgia.
“In 1922 went to work for the Tennessee Power Company at $150 per month rebuilding flume at Ocoee No. 2 plant. Then in April 1923 was transferred to Rock Island, Tenn. as Superintendent of Construction at $250 per month in raising the dam and increasing size of power house and installing second unit. Salary increased to $350 per month in 1924. After that, in April, 1925 I went to Hales Bar Steam Station as superintendent of building south boiler and fan room and south stack and installing No. 4 boiler. In November, 1925 I started construction of camp for Blue Ridge preparatory to building dam and power house on the Tocoa river, which job was shut down in 1926. From August to November I went to Scott County to assist in surveying for proposed dam site on the Big South Fork river.
“I did not work for the Tennessee Power Co. any more until July, 1927 when I started to work on cooling water intakes at the First Ave. steam station at Nashville, Tenn. From January to November, 1928 worked in the electrical department moving transformers and other miscellaneous jobs.
“In November, 1928 went to work in Nashville for Stevens & Wood Construction Co. on transmission river crossing tower foundations. In March, 1929 was transferred to Rock Island, Tenn. to repair flood damage to plant and yard, which job was completed September 7, 1929.
“On September 10, 1929 started to work at Blue Ridge, Ga. as Assistant Superintendent with Allied Engineers, Inc. We cleared the reservoir and built the power house and intake.
“In January, 1931 I rejoined the Tennessee Electric Power Co. as superintendent of Hales Bar Stations. When this company’s properties were acquired by the TVA I continued as superintendent of the Hales Bar Hydro and Steam plants under the TVA from August, 1939 until December 15, 1943, at which time I was “fired”. (Ed. note: Clayton tells us that he was fired because he was alleged to have knocked hell out of a prize (presume he means “pet”) TVA employee while on duty on TVA property, to which charge he plead nolo contendere).
After this, he took up farming on January 1, 1944. He now resides on his farm two miles east of Cleveland, Tenn., along U.S. Highway 64. His address is R. 5, Cleveland, Tenn. Thus, brought up as a boy on the soil he returns to it, apparently very happy.
Clayton was married October 7, 1907 to Mattie E. Chappelear (his roommate at V.P.I. was his wife’s brother, L. L. Chappelear, who died in September, 1927). They have a daughter, Josephine, born December 2, 1910, who was employed by the U.S. Government in Japan, until her return recently to the United States.
Clayton was among those who came to our fiftieth anniversary reunion at V.P.I. in October, 1952. It was indeed a pleasure to see him and renew former pleasant associations.
Randal McGavock Barton
Born at Dublin, Virginia, January 28, 1881, son of Robert and Lucy T. Barton. He had four brothers and one sister.
His primary education was by private tutor at his home. He attended high school at Ingles Ferry, Virginia.
Randal entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898 and enrolled in civil engineering course. He was assigned to Company A of the battalion and remained with that company thru his senior year. He was progressively promoted from private in his freshman year to corporal as a sophomore, first sergeant as a junior, and ranking captain as a senior. He did not graduate at the end of his senior year because of illness during that year, though he passed all studies with high grades except two language studies which he purposely omitted.
Randal decided not to return to V.P.I. for the 02-03 session but to obtain employment at once in his profession as an engineer. Therefore, in the latter part of June, 1902 he went to work for the Norfolk and Western Railway as a draftsman in the office at Radford, Virginia, and was assigned to the project involving the Big Sandy cut-off or short line between Kenova and Naugatuck, West Virginia. Later on his office was moved to Kenova; In January 1903 he gave up work for the Norfolk and Western Railway at Kenova on account of a serious attack of pleurisy.
From then on to the middle of 1906 Randal had several jobs of short duration. He worked as a draftsman for about six months in 1904 in the office of the Division Engineer of Chesapeake and Ohio Railway at Raleigh P.O. near Beckley, West Virginia on a project involving an extension of a branch railway line. Then for three months in the same year he worked for the Meadow River Railway as a topographer and camp draftsman on survey of a proposed line from Ronceverte, West Virginia in to the coal fields; this line was never constructed. He was employed for a month in 1904 as a guard on the police force at the St. Louis Worlds Fair grounds. From then on for about two years he was employed by the Virginian Railway as camp draftsman at various points along the west end of the line, and as instrument man for bridge site surveys, topographer, and draftsman in the general offices at Roanoke and Norfolk, Virginia.
From July 5, 1906 to January 31, 1951 Randal was employed by the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern and the New York Central Railways as draftsman, engineer-draftsman, and designer at Cleveland, Ohio. During that period he was obliged because of illness to spend periods at three different sanitariums on sick leave. He retired on January 31, 1951, at the age of 70, from employment with these companies.
After his retirement from railway work Randal obtained a position with the engineering department of East Cleveland, Ohio, as an inspector on paving and sewer and gas lines, etc., which position he still holds as this is written. He resides at 1877 Grasmere Street, East Cleveland. In 1910 he joined the East End Baptist Church at Euclid Ave. and E. 97 Street, Cleveland; and was active for two years at the City Mission. He joined the First Assembly of God Church (Pentecostal), E. 55 St. and Lexington Ave., Cleveland; was S.S. Secretary from 1918 to 1948.
On September B, 1936 Randal was married to Mildred Emily Schaefer; they have no children.
Probably Randal is best remembered at V.P.I. for his dignified manner and his excellent standing in his classes and as an officer in the Cadet Battalion. In the Bugle election of 1902 he was voted the “best officer”. Also, the Bugle paid him this tribute: “He is a soldier fit to stand by Caesar and give direction.”
Note: As the history goes to press, we are informed by Randal that he is in process of moving to California, where his address will be—1100 Linda Vista Drive, Banning, California.
Theron Cecil Baum
We have very little record of this classmate. He entered the freshman class in September, 1898, registering from Norfolk. He completed his freshman year and returned in September, 1899 for his sophomore year. At some time in his career after leaving V.P.I. he was associated with the O.D.S.S. Company, New York City. He died in 1948. His last known address was — 69 Midland Avenue, Arlington, New Jersey.
Wyndham Randolph Bean
Born November 7, 1878 at Daggers White Sulphur Springs, Botetourt County, Virginia, the son of William Bennett Bean and Willie Ariana Carper Bean. He had four brothers and three sisters. His primary education was received in the schools at Gala, Botetourt County from 1886 to 1898. Before entering V.P.I. he worked on the family farm, water-power grist mill, saw mill and country store; also he was employed at an ore mine at Glen Wilton, Virginia, at the fabulous wages of 3 cents an hour---$1.80 per week.
He entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898, registering from Gala, and remained for only one session. He was a special apprentice with Atlantic Coast Line Railway, Locomotive Repair Shop and Engineering Department, from October, 1899 to May, 1901.
His professional career began in May, 1901 when he was employed by the T. H. Symington Company, Baltimore, Md., manufacturers of railway equipment. He remained with this company until November, 1912, being progressively draftsman, inspector, engineer, superintendent and plant manager, and serving at Corning and Rochester, N. Y., as well as Baltimore. This company was later under the name Symington-Gould Company of Depew, New York, with offices throughout the United States.
From January to November, 1913 he was engaged in studies for several bankers of Philadelphia who, with a vice-president of Otis Elevator Company, were serving as managing directors of a large foundry company for which financing had been arranged. This assignment included studies relating to mechanization of foundry practices.
From January to September, 1914 he worked with the Quigley Furnace & Foundry Company, New York City, as special engineer on the application of pulverized coal firing to rolling mill melting and heating furnaces, and the application of pulverized coal to the melting of malleable iron at the Deering Works of International Harvester Company of Chicago.
From October, 1914 to August, 1916 he was with Locomotive Pulverized Fuel Equipment Company, New York City, which company, at the outbreak of World War I was experimenting with the application of pulverized coal firing to the conventional type of steam locomotives used in freight service in this country. He relates that this work was of exceptional interest but after two years of persistent effort it was determined that there was insufficient space in our type of locomotive boiler for combustion of sufficient coal to produce the steam required.
From August, 1916 to August 1927 he was associated with Eastern Malleable Iron Company of Naugatuck, Conn., having foundry plants in Connecticut, New York and Delaware. His work with this company included metallurgical research and development with responsibilities for improvement in processes and products. While with this company he served as president of American Foundrymens Association of which he is now an honorary life member. He wrote a very interesting and informative paper, while with this company, entitled “Deterioration of Malleable Iron in the Hot-Dip Galvanizing Process”, for which he has been given much credit by members of the industry.
From August, 1927 to April, 1949 he was associated with the Whiting Corporation, Harvey, Illinois, in executive positions with an opportunity to continue the application of pulverized coal firing of the high temperature melting furnaces then used in the manufacture of malleable castings. He was, first, vice-president of a subsidiary, Grindle Fuel Equipment Company, and later vice-president in charge of the Foundry Equipment Division of the parent company. In January, 1946, during this period, he went as consultant to McKay Massie Harris Pty: Ltd., Melbourne, Australia, in preparation of plans for mechanization of their foundries in production of grey iron, malleable iron and steel castings.
He served one year in the 5th Regiment, Maryland National Guard. During World War II, he served as a dollar-a-year employee of the War Production Board—Tools Division—Foundry Equipment Section.
He has been a member of: American Chemical Society; The American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers; The United States Bureau of Standards; and American Society for Testing Materials.
He is now retired from his professional work though he retains a position as consultant to the Whiting Corporation. His address is: Elwyn Farm, Staunton, Virginia, where he resides with Mrs. Bean and farms their 700 acres. He is a member of Hebron Presbyterian Church and Men’s Fellowship, and was active in the building of the Church’s Educational Building. His other local activities include—member of Building Committee and Board of Trustees of the new King’s Daughters’ Hospital; membership in the Ruritans, Farm Bureau Federation, Farmers Cooperative, Shen Valley Meat Packers Cooperative, and Virginia Beef Cattle Association. He has participated in procuring, as a gift, the Cyrus Hall McCormick Farm for V.P.I.
Wyndham was married — first, November 14, 1905 to Helen Hutton (deceased). Of this union there were four children: Virginia Carper, 1906 (deceased); Harriet Hyatt, 1908 (deceased); Eleanor Randolph, 1911 (Mrs. Lewis Dennett); and Wyndham Randolph Bean, Jr., 1915. His second marriage, in 1922, was to Eleanor Louise Spencer who resides with him at Elwyn Farm.
He and Mrs. Bean attended our fiftieth anniversary reunion at V.P.I. in October, 1952 and contributed much to the success of that memorable occasion.
Peter Berkeley Belches
We have had no response from this classmate to our requests for information for the history.
According to college and alumni records, he entered the freshman class for the session of 1898-99, but did not return for subsequent sessions. He registered from Haymarket, Prince William County, Virginia.
At some time in his career he was an Industrial Engineering Consultant at St. Louis, Mo., from which activity it is believed he has retired. His last known address was — 3660 Connecticut Street, St. Louis 16, Mo.
Robert Bland (Little Bones) Beverley
Born September 13, 1882 in Fauquier County, Virginia, the son of Robert and Richard Detta Earl Beverley. He had three brothers and one sister. An older brother, R. Carter Beverley, attended V.P.I. and graduated with the class of 1900. It seems that both Carter and Bland were a bit on the slender side while at V.P.I. Carter acquired the nickname, “Big Bones”, and Bland was “Little Bones”. So far as we know the nickname passed into disuse after he left V.P.I.; probably it was no longer significant as he returned to his home farm and no doubt had more appetizing victuals to fatten up on than growley. He is now addressed as Bland by his many friends.
His primary and high school education was acquired in his home community. He entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898, enrolled in the General Science Course and was assigned to Company A of the battalion. He completed the four year course and graduated in June 1902 with the degree of B.S.
After graduation, Bland returned to his home at Caret, Virginia and was employed by his father, Robert Beverley, till 1912 in operating his farm.
Then, from 1912 to 1928 he operated a farm at The Plains, Virginia, for himself.
From 1928 to January, 1951 he managed the ancestral Beverley home, Blandfield Farm, for R. Carter and W. W. Beverley. From then on to the present he has been manager of the same farm for W. N. Beverley who bought out W. W. Beverley’s half interest in the equipment. Also, he rents W. W. Beverley’s half of the farm.
Bland has been active in many civic affairs. He was chairman of the Extension Department for 15 years. In 1936 he organized the local Ruritan Club, and was its first chairman; it now has a membership of eighty. For five years he was chairman of the Soil District Association. During World War II he was chairman of the War Agricultural Board, and for five years was chairman of the Production Marketing Association (P.M.A.). Since 1936 he has been chairman of the local Welfare Department.
For his church activities, he was a member of the Vestry of Whittle Parish up to 1929; a member of the Vestry and treasurer of St. Ann Parish, and Senior and Junior Warden of both parishes.
In September, 1913 he was married to Mary Welby Carter; they had two children, Alexander Carter, born November 30, 1914, and Mary Welby, born January 12, 1922 (she died in infancy). His present address is: Blandfield Farm, Caret, Virginia.
Bland ended the questionnaire with the following: “I was interested in a few other civic affairs but this is enough. I have retired from all but one or two as in any community a willing horse soon gets tired”.
Edward Chiles Blackmore
He entered V.P.I. in the freshman class September, 1898, registering from Hampton, Virginia. He attended three sessions, taking special studies and agricultural courses. We have no record of his activities after leaving V.P.I. in 1901. His last known address was 45 South King Street, Hampton, Virginia. He died in September, 1953.
James Moncure Bland
“J. M.”, as he was familiarly known at V.P.I. has not replied to the questionnaire-request for information sent him; we trust that illness has not been the cause of his failure to reply. There is given below the little information we have about him as obtained from available college and alumni records.
He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Bland. He entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898, registering from Shacklefords, King and Queen County, Virginia, and enrolled in the general science course. He completed the four year course and graduated with the class in June, 1902 with the degree of B.S.
In his senior year he was captain of Company D. He was local editor of the Gray Jacket, 01-02; and president and treasurer of the Lee Literary Society in 01-02.
After leaving V.P.I. he evidently studied medicine somewhere as he is now a practicing physician at Boykins, Virginia.
He was married November 27, 1927 to Rosa Pearle Wilroy of Grannon, Virginia.
He and Mrs. Bland were among those attending our fiftieth anniversary reunion at V.P.I. in October, 1952. If the plan to publish this history had been adopted at that time, no doubt we would have obtained from him complete information for this sketch.
Born June 27, 1880 at Richmond, Virginia. The son of Jackson and Susan Taliaferro Bolton. He had three sisters.
He attended private schools in Richmond from 1887 to June, 1898. During that period he worked as an engineering aid on railroad location and construction.
He entered the sophomore class at V.P.I. in September, 1899, registering from Richmond, and enrolled in the civil engineering course. He was assigned to Company D during his sophomore year; in his junior year he was assigned to the Battery E, and was second lieutenant in that military unit in his senior year. Among his other activities at V.P.I. were: secretary and treasurer, Maury Literary Society, 01; member of Executive Committee Athletic Association, 00-01; and manager of the football team, 01.
After the close of his senior year, he entered the employ of the Norfolk and Western Railway as a civil engineer on railroad construction. He then returned to V.P.I. and in June, 1905 obtained his degree, B.S. in C.E.
From 1905 to 1909 he was assistant chief engineer on construction of railway passenger terminals at Birmingham, Alabama.
From 1909 he was engaged in various engineering activities and undertakings in Atlanta, Georgia and in Richmond, Virginia.
During part of 1918 he was with the DuPont Engineering Company engaged in munitions plant construction, first at Nashville, Tennessee, then at Racine, Wisconsin.
During 1919 and 1920 he was engaged in various engineering activities in and near Richmond.
In the fall of 1921 he joined the staff of the Director of Public Works of the city of Richmond, Virginia. He was associated with the Department of Public Works for nearly twenty-nine years, and was assistant director for fifteen years. While with the department he had allied duties as secretary of the Richmond City Planning Commission and as secretary of the Richmond Port Commission.
He retired June 27, 1950, from active service with the Richmond Department of Public Works, and has continued to reside in Richmond. His home address is 2411 Stuart Avenue, Richmond 20, Virginia. He is affiliated with St. Paul’s Protestant Episcopal Church in that city.
Jim was married August 16, 1924 to Sadie Winter Payne of Harrisonburg, Virginia. They have two children—James Bolton, Jr., born August 30, 1925; and William Payne Bolton, born January 20, 1927. Also one granddaughter, Dorothy Anne Bolton, born November 6, 1952.
He and Mrs. Bolton were among those attending our fiftieth anniversary reunion at V.P.I. in October, 1952.
Samford Burnell Bragg
In answer to the questionnaire sent out to all members in April, 1953, Burnell sent in such a complete biographical sketch of his career, including several interesting high lights, that it is being included just as he wrote it. However, credit is given him at this point for being an active supporter of this class history project; he was an early, and may have been the original promoter of it. From here on to the end of this sketch just imagine you are listening to Burnell Bragg.
My home is “Shorehaven” on Lynnhaven Bay, P.O. Box 36, Route 1, London Bridge, Virginia.
I was born February 23, 1879, on a plantation owned by my father, known as “Woodstock”, about three miles south of Lunenburg Circuit Court House, Lunenburg County, Virginia.
My parents were Robert Waller and Martha (Patty) Elizabeth Bagley Bragg. I was one of nine children—six boys and three girls.
When I was about three or four years old, my parents moved to Farmville, Virginia, where we lived about five years, and then we moved to my mother’s plantation in Brunswick County, Virginia, one mile north of Alberta, Virginia.
I attended primary schools both in Farmville and Brunswick County, and business college at Richmond, Virginia.
I left the plantation when I was about fifteen years old, and worked as a clerk for nearly three years in a commissary owned by Major Ginter, “The Cigarette King”, in his development of Ginter Park, which is now part of Richmond, Virginia, and took my business course at Richmond during my stay with Major Ginter.
I entered V.P.I. in September, 1899 as a sophomore and enrolled in the course of electrical engineering, and was assigned to the band. I finished my sophomore and junior years at V.P.I. and then decided that I did not want to complete my course in electrical engineering, so did not return for my senior year.
While attending V.P.I. I was a member of the track team and also played on the scrub football teams.
Among the many incidents which occurred while I was at V.P.I. was the placing of the 02 flag on top of the smoke stack of the new heating plant, which was then located in the rear of the barracks. This was the first, and I think the only, class flag that was ever placed on that smokestack. I was one of the boys who participated in that occurrence. The flag was made out of a sheet in my room. Frank Key was one of the boys that climbed the smokestack to put the flag on top. The flag remained on the stack for some time.
Another incident which stands out in my memory was the New Year’s Eve celebration at Blacksburg in 1899—my first year at V.P.I. Having entered the sophomore class I got behind in one of my subjects and decided to spend my Christmas vacation there to catch up on this work. There were twenty or thirty other boys who spent Christmas there also. Dr. McBryde, the President, and his wife entertained us on several occasions during the holidays and we had a very pleasant Christmas, but decided that we would have a big celebration on New Year’s Eve. A few days before we investigated and found a way to get in all of the churches in Blacksburg which had a church for nearly every denomination—being about ten or twelve in number, each having a large bell. We also found a way to get on top of the power plant of the flour mills, and the college power plant. We had one boy in each church, one or two on the outside, and one boy each on top of the flour mill power house and the shop power house. When the hour of twelve arrived, we lowered a heavy weight on the steam whistles of the two shops so that the whistles would blow at full blast. Upon this signal each boy in the churches began to ring the bells. At this time there were very few lights in Blacksburg; but after this bedlam was turned loose nearly every house in town was lighted up. The boys in the churches had to leave on account of people coming to investigate, but there was no way to stop the blowing of the whistles until the fire man arrived and cut off the steam.
In September, 1901 I went to Richmond College and studied law. I was sick for the greater part of my first year there. In my second year I was elected vice-president of the law class, and president of the graduating class in 1905. I was also manager of the ’04 baseball team and took an active part in athletics including track, football and baseball. I was one of the boys that organized THE COLLEGIAN, a college weekly paper, and was business manager of that paper, and was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.
The first position that I held after graduating in law was with the Equitable Life Assurance Society at Richmond. This company sent me into the cotton-mill district of western North Carolina, where I spent two months interviewing large policy-holders of that company in an effort to persuade them not to lapse their policies on account of the investigation of this company then going on in New York under supervision of Charles E. Hughes, who afterwards became Governor of New York and later on Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. I succeeded in this effort and when I returned to Richmond I was offered a permanent position with the Equitable but decided that I would take my chance with law, and went through the southwestern part of Virginia and West Virginia looking for a place that I could locate. Not being able to find a place that suited me I decided to go to Norfolk where I secured a position with the law firm of Jeffries, Wolcott and Wolcott, with whom I practiced as associate counsel from May 23, 1906 until September 30, 1908, at which time I entered the general practice of law in Norfolk, individually. I continued in this practice until September 15, 1937 when I accepted a position of assistant general counsel to the receivers of the Norfolk-Southern Railroad Company. I held that position until January 21, 1942 when the new company (Norfolk-Southern Railway Company) took over the properties of the Norfolk-Southern Railroad Company, then in receivership. The general counsel having retired on that date, I was made general solicitor of the new company and all of its subsidiaries, and held that position until my health broke in 1951, retiring as of December 31, that year.
In 1914 my residence was in Norfolk County, about seven miles out of Norfolk City and I took a very active part in politics in that county as a member of what was known as the “Straight-Out Party”. This party ousted the party then in office and put new men in all the county offices, including a circuit judge, but I never ran for a public office. At that time horse racing was being carried on in Norfolk County twice a year—Spring and Fall—in violation of the law of Virginia. Mr. John Garland Pollard, then attorney general of the state, made several attempts to enforce the law and break up racing in Norfolk County, but was unable to do so on account of the fact that the tribunals in the county, before whom these proceedings were instituted, would always dismiss the defendants. Mr. Pollard recommended to Henry Stuart, who was then governor of Virginia, that he request the new judge of the circuit court of Norfolk County to appoint me as a special justice of the peace for the county which the judge promptly did, and very shortly thereafter these race track operators were brought before me for trial, which resulted in conviction of all the parties and the discontinuance of racing in Virginia. I remained a justice of the peace for several months and succeeded in breaking up many of the notorious dives that had been operating in that county.
At the beginning of World War I, I was made food administrator for Norfolk County and served during the war.
In 1926 I was appointed examiner of records for Norfolk County and served for about four years.
In 1934 I was elected vice-president of the Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association and was elected president of that association in 1935. The same year I was appointed by the council of the city of Norfolk as chairman of the police and firemen trial board of the city and served until January, 1942 (seven years).
In 1943, upon resignation of the special master of the Norfolk-Southern Railroad receivership, the Judge of the United States District Court at Norfolk appointed me as his successor, and I served as substitute special master and prepared and filed reports and distribution decrees distributing the funds from all the railroad properties sold under the decrees of the receivership court.
I am a member of the Virginia State Bar Association, the Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association, and was a member of the American Bar Association. I am a member of the Virginia Club of Norfolk, and I am an Episcopalian, having served the Church of the Advent as treasurer and vestryman for more than ten years. I joined the Masons in January, 1909 and became a Shriner in October of the same year. I was a charter member of the Khedive Temple which was established in Norfolk in May 1910, and I am still a Mason and a Shriner.
On June 28, 1910 I married Virginia Page Lane and as a result of this wedlock we had four children—two boys and two girls. My oldest, Burnell, Jr., age 41, is engaged in the transportation business. My next, a girl, Virginia Page, age 39, married J. M. Roehm and resides at Niles, Michigan. My next child, a boy, Frank Bagley age 35, entered United States Service as a Naval pilot in 1940 and now holds the rank of commander; he married Ann Miller of St. Louis, Missouri. My youngest child, Alice Dugger age 33, married Wilson P. Bishop who was a naval pilot and now resides at Falls Church, Virginia. Each of my two daughters has two children.
Benjamin Riddick Britt
He entered the sophomore class at V.P.I. in September, 1899, registering from Suffolk, Virginia, and enrolled in an engineering course. He came back the following session as a junior but did not return for his senior year.
At some time after leaving V.P.I. his address was: 310 Buckhannon Avenue, Clarksburg, West Virginia. He died March 2, 1947.
Robert Thomas Brooke
Born December 12, 1880 at Sutherlin, Virginia, one of six children, three boys and three girls, of Dr. Thomas Vaden Brooke. He attended primary school at Sutherlin, Virginia, from 1889 to 1895, and high school at Woodville, Virginia, from 1895 to 1898.
He entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898, registering from Sutherlin, and enrolled in the electrical engineering course. He was assigned to Company A and remained with that company, progressing from private to corporal to sergeant, and to first lieutenant in his senior year. He graduated in June, 1903 and received the degree of B.S. in E.E. His activities at V.P.I. included—Pittsylvania Club, treasurer, 98-99, vice-president 00-01, president, 01-02; Lee Literary Society, treasurer, 00-01, vice-president, 01-02; exchange editor Gray Jacket, 01-02.
After leaving V.P.I. he was employed by the General Electric Company and remained with that company throughout his business and professional career. His first assignment was in the student training course at Lynn, Mass., from 1902 to 1905. In 1906 he was assigned to construction and service work, and in 1907 he was given a commercial training course. In 1908 he was sent to Birmingham, Ala., and until 1911 was assigned to commercial sales work. In 1912 he was promoted to manager of the Birmingham office of the General Electric Company, which position he occupied until his retirement, January 1, 1947.
During his stay in Birmingham he was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and associated with the following business concerns: president and director, The Security Savings and Loan Company; director, The American Traders National Bank; director, The First National Bank of Birmingham; director, The Continental Gin Company; and director, The Protective Life Insurance Company. While in Birmingham he was also a member of the Birmingham Country Club, the Rotary Club, and the Engineers Club. Also while in Birmingham he was a vestryman of the Church of the Advent.
His professional associations include membership in American Institute of Electrical Engineers, American Institute of Iron and Steel Electrical Engineers, and American Society of Naval Architects.
After his retirement he moved to Panama City, Florida, his present address there being 455 Bunkers Cove Road. He is a member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church in that city. His hobbies are traveling, gardening, hunting and fishing, and he is a member of the Panama Country Club and St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club, both of Panama City. Also he is a Mason, a Knights Templar and a Shriner.
Robert was married October 29, 1913 to Gamaliel Homes Dixon. They had two children—Robert Thomas Brooke, III (died at age 13), and Frederick Dixon Brooke, born 1919.
David Tucker (Towhead) Brown
Born September 30, 1884 at Ivy Cliff, his family home, at Brierfield, Bedford County, Virginia. He was one of six children, four sons and two daughters, of John Thompson and Cassie Tucker Brown. His brother, Peronneau, and his cousins, Donaldson and Thompson, were also in 02 class and their biographical sketches follow. His pre-college education was received at his home.
He entered V.P.I. in September, 1899, in the sophomore class and enrolled in the electrical engineering course. He, like a few of us others, did not graduate with his class but returned to get his degree of B.S. in E.E. in June 1905. In his military career, and again like some of us, he remained a distinguished buck private to the end. He acquired the nickname “Towhead” by which he was familiarly best known at V.P.I.
After graduating at V.P.I. and until 1907 he traveled widely over the United States, including working at his profession in Chicago, San Francisco and New Orleans. In Chicago he was employed for a short time at the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company.
During the period 1907-1914 he was in the service of the Virginia State Highway Department.
In 1914 he joined the North Carolina State Geological and Economic Survey and while there he participated in drafting the first North Carolina highway bill. World War I brought this assignment to an end.
In 1917 he was commissioned, from civilian life, a captain in the U.S. Army, 305th Engineers, and in December, 1917 was among the first group of engineers to go overseas for service, most of which was in France.
He left the army in 1919 and was with the DuPont Company as an engineer until 1920. He was then engaged in private engineering work for about four years.
In 1924 he was appointed a highway engineer in the United States Bureau of Public Roads. Among his other assignments was as location engineer for the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway. As a result of the good record he made on this job he was appointed a senior highway engineer, and in 1930 was commissioned by President Hoover to go to Panama for work on the Inter-American Highway and was subsequently placed in charge of the work in Central America. His most significant accomplishment on this highway was carrying to successful completion the survey of the most practical route from Mexico to Panama City, most of it through jungle and over mountain ranges. That survey necessitated examination of about 190,000 square miles of territory.
Not long after the survey was completed, Tucker died suddenly of a heart ailment on March 10, 1939 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras; while on an inspection trip to view the progress of work on the highway. His death was attributed to the result of heart strain incident to strenuous exertions.
Among the tributes paid Tucker was the following from the Costa Rican engineer in charge of the Costa Rican part of the highway: “His clear engineering mind, his charming personality, his tact and common sense, the knowledge he had of these countries and the knack to deal with them, his integrity as a friend, made him a great engineer, a natural leader of men and a true friend”.
Tucker was married November 22, 1913 to Barbara Colquhoun Trigg of Richmond. They had two sons—David Tucker, Jr., 1916-1945, first lieutenant U.S. Marines in World War II, killed in action while fighting with the First Marine Division May 14, 1945 on Okinawa; and Edward Trigg Brown, 1918, who attended V.P.I. and later was captain U.S. Army World War II, now vice-president of John W. Daniel Construction Co., Danville, Virginia.
He was affiliated with the Protestant Episcopal Church.
Note: The committee is indebted to his widow, Mrs. D. Tucker Brown, who resides at 1505 Rugby Avenue, Charlottesville, Virginia, for most of the information in this sketch.
Born February 1, 1885 at Baltimore, Md., one of several children of John Willcox and Ellen Turner (Macfarland) Brown. Don, as he was informally known to his many friends at V.P.I., is a younger brother of Thompson (also a member of 02 class) whose biographical sketch is given later in this history. For his primary and high school education, he attended the Baltimore public schools.
In September, 1898, he entered the freshman class at V.P.I., registering from Baltimore, and enrolled in the electrical engineering course. He graduated in June, 1902, and received the degree of B.S. in E.E. As far as we know he holds the record of being the youngest graduate of V.P.I. In his senior year he was second lieutenant in Company A of the battalion of cadets. Among his extra-collegiate activities were: president of Maryland Club, 01-02; secretary and treasurer Thespian Club, 00-01; local editor Gray Jacket, 00-01; secretary Maury Literary Society, 00-01; and also sergeant at arms of our class.
After graduating at V.P.I., he took a one year course in electrical engineering at Cornell University.
His business career began in 1903 when he was employed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as a draftsman. Following that job he joined the Sprague Electric Company in 1904 as manager of the Baltimore Sales Office.
In 1909 he entered into employment by E. I. duPont de Nemours Powder Company, since changed to the name E. I. duPont de Nemours and Company. After a period of some months of engagement in chemical laboratory work, he entered the sales department with varying assignments mostly concerned with the sale of explosives to railroad contractors and others on heavy construction contracts, and in 1912, was brought in as an assistant in the office of the general manager of the duPont Company. In 1910, he was transferred to the Treasurers Department as assistant treasurer, and on March 27, 1918 was elected treasurer of the company. In October, 1918, he was elected a member of the Board of Directors and a member of the Executive Committee, and later also a member of the Finance Committee.
At the close of 1920, he resigned from executive positions with the duPont Company, retaining membership of the Finance Committee, to accept the position of vice-president of General Motors Corporation, in charge of finance, and membership on the Board and Finance Committee of that corporation. In May, 1924 he was elected a member of the Executive Committee and remained as such until May, 1937 when the Finance Committee and the Executive Committee were superseded by a top governing committee known as the Policy Committee. At this time he was elected Vice-chairman of the Board, having served as chairman of the Finance Committee up to that time since May 9, 1929.
In June, 1946 Don retired from active duties in executive management. At this time the Policy Committee was superseded by two committees which are still existent, known as the Financial Policy Committee and the Operations Policy Committee, when he was elected a member of the former, which membership he retains. He also retains his membership of the Finance Committee of the duPont Company, and has been a member of its Bonus and Salary Committee since May, 1924.
Since retirement from active service, Don has devoted much time to various civic activities in his home state of Maryland, and is serving as a director of Gulf Oil Corporation, Mercantile Safe Deposit and Trust Company of Baltimore, and as a trustee of Johns Hopkins University. In fact, his wife says, “Since Don retired, the only difference is that he now works seven days a week, whereas previously he frequently took a day or two off for association with his family.”
Don was married June 16, 1916, to Greta duP. Barksdale. They have six children (ages given as of June, 1955)—H. Barksdale Brown, 38; Frank D. Brown, Jr., 36; Bruce Ford Brown, 34; Mrs. Rodney M. Layton, 30; Vaughn W. Brown, 28; and Keene C. Brown, 26. All are married except the last two.
Don is generally known as Donaldson Brown, and the residence is Mt. Ararat, Port Deposit, Md.
Henry Peronneau (Perk) Brown
Born August 24, 1883 at “Ivy Cliff”, Brierfield, Bedford County, Virginia, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Thompson Brown. He had three brothers, one of whom was Tucker, whose biographical sketch precedes, and two sisters. Also, he and his brother, Tucker, were first cousins of Donaldson and Thompson Brown who were members of 02 class. His primary and pre-college education was given by tutors and coaches at his home.
Peronneau entered the sophomore class at V.P.I. in September, 1899, registering from Brierfield, and enrolled in the general science course. He graduated in June, 1902 with the degree of B.S. In his senior year he was second lieutenant in the signal corps. He was president of the Bedford Club, 01-02; and secretary and treasurer of the German Club, 01-02. He acquired the occasionally used nickname, “Perk”.
After graduating from V.P.I. he studied medicine at University of Virginia for four years and received his M.D. degree. He was then employed at the Polyclinic Hospital, Philadelphia, as interne. Following that he substituted for six months at some West Virginia coal mines for another doctor.
In 1908 he started his own practice as physician at Clay, a small village a few miles west of Lynchburg, Virginia. He took over the practice of Dr. Thomas K. Ferrell who gave it up because of illness. He died on January 29, 1942 as the result of a motor car accident that occurred on a wintry night when he was returning home from a visit to one of his patients. Thus, he was faithful to his profession to the end.
Peronneau was greatly beloved and respected in the community where he practiced medicine. As evidence of this, many children, whose births he attended, were named after him.
On January 18, 1916 he was married to Corinne Caroline Hampton of Columbia, S. C. They had three children: Corinne Hampton Brown (Davis); Eloise Urquhart Brown (Betts); and Henry Peronneau Brown, Jr. There are nine grand children, five girls and four boys.
Note: The committee is indebted to his widow, Mrs. H. Peronneau Brown, who resides at 2905 Dellwood Circle, Lynchburg, Virginia, for most of the information in this sketch.
J. Thompson Brown
Born June 8, 1882 at Baltimore, Md., the tenth child of thirteen children of John Willcox and Ellen Turner (Macfarland) Brown. A younger brother, Donaldson, whose biographical sketch is also included in this history, attended V.P.I. at the same time. He received his primary education in the Baltimore public schools.
Thompson (he never acquired a nickname at V.P.I. as many of us did) entered V.P.I. in September, 1898 in the freshman class, registering from Baltimore, and enrolled in the electrical engineering course. He graduated in June, 1902 with the degree of B.S. in E.E. His principal activities at V.P.I. included: First Lieutenant, Signal Corps; Associate Editor of The Bugle 01; and Editor in Chief of The Bugle 02.
On graduating from V.P.I., he took a one-year post-graduate course at Cornell University.
After finishing at Cornell, his active business career for upwards of forty-nine years was as an employee and official of the duPont Company (E. I. duPont de Nemours & Co.). He began with duPont in November, 1903 at Wilmington, Del., as a draftsman in the light, heat and power division and continued on engineering and construction activities for several years. During 1909-1910, he was engaged in special engineering at the Hercules Works in California. Following that assignment he was assistant resident engineer during construction of the Atlas Dynamite Works at Joplin, Mo.
He returned to Wilmington in 1911 to be an assistant in the high explosive department. Then he was successively appointed manager of dynamite plants in 1915, general superintendent of high explosive in 1917, director of the explosives manufacturing department in 1919, assistant general manager of the explosives department in 1921, and general manager the following year.
In 1923 he was elected a director of the company, and in 1929 became a vice-president and member of the executive committee. During World War I he was general superintendent of high explosives in the explosives manufacturing department. During World War II he was a senior member of the company’s executive committee. As a vice-president he was adviser on engineering, legal, advertising, traffic and personnel matters. For a number of years he was a member of the Board of Benefits and Pensions of the company. Also, he was a director of various subsidiaries and affiliated companies, among which were: Remington Arms Company; Canadian Industries, Ltd.; DuPont Nitrate Company; American Glycerin Company; DuPont Rayon Company; DuPont Cellophane Company; and Compania Mexicana de Explosivos.
As of January 1, 1947, he retired from active participation in the various activities of the company, except that he continued as a director and was elected a member of the finance committee.
Thompson was married on April 23, 1914 to Yolande de Vignier. They had six children: J. Willcox Brown; Robert M. Brown; Odile de V. (died aged 5 years); J. Glenn Brown (who attended V.P.I.); Ysabel de V. (Mrs. John Dulken); and Mary Turner Brown (Mrs. William B. Riley). There are thirteen grand children—seven boys and six girls.
He participated in many civic, charitable and philanthropic activities. He was chairman of the State Board of Charities; a vice-president of the Board of Trustees of Delaware Hospital; a director of the Family Society and of the Del-Mar-Va Council, Boy Scouts of America; a trustee of the Episcopal School Foundation (St. Andrew’s School); and formerly a trustee of the Tower Hill School Association. He was Junior Warden of the Vestry of Immanuel Episcopal Church, and a trustee of the Diocese of Delaware. Also, he was active in the United Community Fund of Northern Delaware.
Thompson continued his active interest in V.P.I., particularly in alumni matters. He was president of the Alumni Association in 1930-1931 and had served as member of the Board of Directors and Fund Council. He was a member of the Educational Foundation, Inc. of V.P.I. He usually was in attendance on home-coming days and at class reunions. His last appearance at V.P.I. was in October, 1952 at the fiftieth anniversary reunion of our class which he and Mrs. Brown attended. It was only a short time after that happy occasion when the sad news reached us that he had passed away at his home, White Oaks, Montchanin, Delaware, on January 31, 1953.
We include here excerpts from an editorial that appeared in a Wilmington newspaper, a wonderful tribute from his home town neighbors: “Few men have brought more zest to living and few have contributed more generously to the welfare of the community and to the company he worked for during his long career. Tom Brown’s work for the du Pont Co. would have been enough, by itself, to have occupied the full energies of a lifetime … But he also found time and energy, somehow, to lend his keen, questing mind and his broad human sympathies to the boards of such organizations as (those named above) … These gifts of mind and spirit and the genial warmth that he brought to all his friendships will be long remembered.”
Note: The history committee is indebted to Mrs. Brown, who resides at her home, White Oaks, Montchanin, Delaware, for much of the information contained in this sketch.
Joseph Mortimer Bryant
He entered V.P.I. in the sophomore class in September, 1899, registering from Martinsville, Virginia, and enrolled in the civil engineering course. He graduated with the class in June, 1902 with the degree of B.S. in C.E., and then took post-graduate work in the 04-05 session and obtained his C.E. degree. He was assistant manager of the football team in 1901.
Sometime after leaving V.P.I. he evidently studied law as he settled in Jacksonville, Fla., and was associated with a law firm there. He was back at V.P.I. for our class reunion in 1930, and he was back once again at some reunion or homecoming day.
He was married January 10, 1911 to Edna Mann of Big Stone Gap, Virginia. He died in Jacksonville January 29, 1943.
Robert Hutcheson Buchanan, Jr.
Born May 24, 1880, at Brownsburg, Rockbridge County, Virginia. He entered the sophomore class at V.P.I. in September, 1899, registering from Brownsburg, and enrolled in the mechanical engineering course. In his senior year he was second lieutenant, hospital steward, on the Battalion Staff. In 00-01, he was historian, Rockbridge and Augusta Club. In 01-02, he was president and secretary of Lee Literary Society. He graduated in June, 1902 with the class.
We have no record of his business or professional activities until 1916. In that year he joined the Hudson Coal Company, at Scranton, Pa., and was successively chief engineer, general superintendent and general manager, until 1925.
From 1925 to 1930, he was president of the Northumberland Mining Company at Scranton, Pa. The following year he was with the Penn Anthracite Company at Scranton as president. From 1932 to 1941, he was in business for himself in connection with coal and coal mining.
He was employed by Remington Arms Company, Bridgeport, Conn., on February 12, 1941, in the capacity of accountant. He lived only a short time thereafter and died December 1, 1941.
Note: We have no information about his family. We are indebted for the foregoing information regarding his business career, to Mr. H. K. Faulkner, a V.P.I. alumnus, who is a vice-president of the Remington Arms Company, Bridgeport, Conn.
John Dickenson (Hockey) Burrall
He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. M. D. Burrall of Richmond, Virginia, and he entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898, enrolling in a chemistry course. He graduated with the class in June, 1902 with the degree of B.S. in Applied Chemistry. He was president of our class, 99-00; vice-president of the Athletic Association, 00-01; president Richmond Club, 00-01; member of the baseball team four years, and captain of the 01 team.
We have no record of his career after leaving V.P.I. and do not know if he is living.
Caius Hunter Carpenter
Born June 23, 1883, in Louisa County, Virginia, the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Carpenter. He had three brothers and four sisters. His pre-college education was received in a private school at his home.
He entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898, registering from Clifton Forge, Virginia, and enrolled in the civil engineering course. He obtained his degree, B.S. in C.E., in June, 1903, and returned the following session for post-graduate study. He went to the University of North Carolina for the session, 1904-05 for a one year’s course in law. He returned to V.P.I. in the fall of 1905 for further study.
His non-collegiate activities at V.P.I. included: member of the football teams of 1899, 00, 01, 02, 03 and 05; captain of the team of 1902; substitute on All-Southern team of 1900; and All-Southern fullback in 1901. Member of the baseball teams of 1900, 01 and captain in 1902. Best Athlete, 00-01. President, Alleghany Club, 00-01, and vice-president, 01-02.
After leaving V.P.I., Hunter went into the contracting business with his father who then had a contract for double tracking the C. & O. Railway between Charleston and Huntington, West Virginia. Following that assignment, he went to Tennessee to do some work for the C. C. & O. Railway.
He then moved to New York State continuing his contracting business, and one of his first jobs was in helping to build the aqueduct for supplying water to New York City. Just before World War I, he contracted to build a section of the New York City subway in Brooklyn. Then came the war and the consequent high prices and the contract was not profitable. After the war he engaged in other business but the stock market crash of 1929 and the subsequent depression lasting for several years, again had an adverse effect on his business activities.
About 1933, he moved to Gardiner, N. Y., where he acquired and began operating a fruit farm. While there he came down to West Point to see the V.P.I. football team challenge the Army, in the fall of 1939. V.P.I. lost the game but no doubt Hunter had the satisfaction of recalling that about thirty-five years previous, he was instrumental in leading the V.P.I. team, probably on the same field, to a 16-6 victory over Army. Hunter’s health was failing at the time of our fiftieth anniversary reunion at V.P.I. in October, 1952, which he was unable to attend because of illness. He died, from a cerebral thrombosis, at his home, Gardiner, N. Y., on February 24, 1953, at the age of sixty-nine.
He was married, first, on June 5, 1907, to Kathryn Anne Reilly of Huntington, W. Va.; and, second, on April 11, 1933, to Beatrice Moore Tiffany of Hempstead, L. I. He was survived by his widow, Beatrice, who continues to live at Gardiner, N. Y., and three sons, John Albert and James Hunter Carpenter; and stepson Edward F. Tiffany, Jr.; also, by a brother, J. C. Carpenter, Jr., who attended V.P.I. for two years when Hunter was there, and who now is a prominent business man in Clifton Forge, Virginia, and Virginia State Senator for his district.
Hunter was an all-around athlete, not only because of his excellent physique but because he enjoyed the spirited contests and always gave his best. He is most well remembered for his outstanding achievements on the gridiron, but he was also good on the track, and on the diamond as a shortstop with a batting average around .400 at V.P.I. He was offered a try-out for the Chicago White Sox but on the advice of his father, declined and went into business.
It was on the football field that he achieved his greatest fame. To record his most spectacular achievements would take more space than may be alloted here. In 1938, his nephew, Deverton Carpenter (son of J. C., Jr.), then a staff writer on the Richmond, Va. News Leader, and later killed in action in Germany in World War II, interviewed Hunter at his home in Gardiner, N. Y., and then wrote for his paper a series of articles about him. After Hunter’s death, the Roanoke, Va. World News published in its issues of March 4, 5, and 6 of 1953, a condensation of Deverton’s story. Also, the Roanoke Times, in its issue of February 25, 1953, and the Norfolk-Virginian Pilot, in its issue of February 27, 1953, had interesting articles about his career. Anyone interested may wish to look up those accounts. It may well be, however, that this modest little volume will be handy some day when the conversation turns on the “greats” of football, so we give here a few interesting high lights of his football career.
When he entered V.P.I. in 1898 he wanted to play football so when candidates for the team were called for, he reported but the coach would not let him play, even on the scrubs, saying he was too young—only fifteen—and too light—only 128 pounds. When he came back in the fall of 1899, they issued him a uniform this time and let him scrimmage, and he made the squad. He was put at fullback.
In 1900, he was shifted to right halfback, the position at which he later became “the great Carpenter”. His father did not want him to play, thinking it would interfere with his studies, so part of that season he played under an assumed name. After the closing game of the season at Norfolk, Va., in the hotel lobby he bumped into his father who had been persuaded by a friend to go to the game. His father, proudly surprised to see his son the star of the, game, forgave the deception and bestowed his fatherly blessing on his future playing.
In the session of 1901, Hunter weighed 197 pounds and he became the fastest man on the team, having been clocked at 10.2 for the 100 yards, in his football uniform. In addition he had the benefit of coaching by A. B. Morrison, from Cornell, who at that time was considered the best coach V.P.I. ever had. The team played Georgetown University team in Washington, D. C., for what was expected to be a close game, but it turned out to be a walkover for V.P.I. Hunter scored three touchdowns, adding five extra points. The final score was. V.P.I. 32, Georgetown 6.
Hunter was elected captain of the 1902 V.P.I. team and led it through a winning season except for the game lost to University of Virginia. He was disbarred from this game on a technicality, and so was Virginia’s Branch Johnson. V.P.I. lost, 0-20. Then followed soon the game with the Navy, one of the roughest in which Hunter ever played. Soon after V.P.I. received the ball he ran around right end 50 yards for a touchdown and kicked the extra point. In the second half he kicked the longest field goal ever seen up to that time on Navy’s field, from the 46 yard line. V.P.I. won, 11-0, however Hunter paid for his success; his uniform was almost entirely ripped from his back, and at the end of the game he was a mass of bruises. At Norfolk that year, V.P.I. defeated V.M.I., 50-5; Hunter scored 30 of the 50 points, including a field goal.
In 1903, Hunter was again at his best. In the V.P.I.-North Carolina game, the first time he carried the ball from scrimmage, he ran 85 yards for a touchdown. He did not attempt to dodge the safety man, just dived over him, landing on the back of his shoulder, jumped up and ran on.
In 1904, Hunter went to the University of North Carolina for a year’s study of law, and he played on the Carolina football team. In the Carolina-Virginia game, he scored his team’s second touchdown, putting Carolina ahead, 11-6. Virginia came right back and scored the tying touchdown. In Virginia’s try for the extra point, a Carolina player, attempting to block the kick, deflected the ball up and through the posts, which might otherwise have missed, giving Virginia the game, 12-11.
In the fall of 1905, Hunter came back to V.P.I. for post-graduate study and again played on the team. Sally Miles was coach but not playing, and he and Hunter trained the team. In the game with Army at West Point, Hunter returned Army’s first punt 35 yards to Army’s 20 yard line, and from there he kicked a field goal for the 5 points. A few minutes later, he ran around left end from mid-field to Army’s one yard line; in the next play his team-mate, Treadwell, carried the ball over for the touchdown. V.P.I. won, 16-6. The following Saturday, V.P.I. met the Virginia team at Charlottesville, Va., in Hunter’s final opportunity to win over the University, something he had not previously accomplished. V.P.I. made two touchdowns and an extra point, winning, 11-0. Thus was his cherished ambition to beat Virginia, achieved.
Hunter was always ready to give full credit to his team-mates; he realized that team work was essential for a winning team. Asked which of his teammates he thought were outstanding, he said all were good. He selected John Counselman, Treadwell, and little “Cub” Bear, of Roanoke, as the best of the backs, saying that Bear was the best blocker he had ever played with. Of the linemen, he selected Pete Wilson and Sally Miles, tackles, Lewis at end, Rube Stiles, center; also named Stewart of North Carolina at center. For opponents, he thought Hammond Johnson, V.M.I., and his brother Branch. V.M.I. and Virginia, were outstanding. He also named Council of Virginia.
He never made the All-America team. Walter Camp, who did the picking in those days, said one year that undoubtedly Hunter was the greatest back in the United States, but he could not place a man on All-America he had not seen play. Hunter was All-Southern repeatedly.
The writer of this sketch, when living in Chicago just after the turn of the century, saw several of the “Big Ten” mid-western universities’ teams play on the Chicago University field at the time when Alonzo Stagg was coach there. Also, he saw the Carlisle Indians play there once or twice. Then during the period, 1919 to the late 1930’s, he saw some of the outstanding teams of Army, Navy and Notre Dame, play at the Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium, New York City. In his opinion, Hunter Carpenter was the outstanding individual player of all those he has seen in action.
Note: The history committee is indebted to Mrs. Hunter Carpenter, and to Hunter’s brother, J. C. Carpenter, Jr., for much of the information contained in this sketch.
Walter Lewis Chewning
Born November 2, 1881, at Richmond, Virginia, the son of Alpheus James and Kate Carpenter Chewning. He had three brothers and three sisters.
At Richmond, he attended primary school from 1888 to 1894, and high school and the Mechanics Institute from 1894 to 1898. While he was studying at Mechanics Institute in the evenings he was employed during the day by the Richmond Locomotive Works.
He entered the junior class at V.P.I. in September, 1900, registering from Richmond, and enrolled in the mechanical engineering course. He graduated in June, 1902 with the degree of B.S. in M.E. In his senior year he was second lieutenant in the Signal Corps. He was associate editor of the 1902 Bugle and vice-president of the Richmond Club in 01-02. He is well remembered for his excellent academic standing while at V.P.I.
Following his graduation from V.P.I. he took a post-graduate course at Stevens Institute and obtained his M.E. degree in 1903. He completed the normal two-year course in one year, a record equaled by only one other student in the history of Stevens Institute.
After graduating at Stevens Institute he was employed by the Public Service Company of New Jersey as gas engineer.
In 1910 he became associated with the Reading Gas Company at Reading, Penn. and remained there until 1911 when he was transferred to the United Gas Improvement Company at Philadelphia, Penn., and was assigned to their contracting division, the U. G. I. Contracting Company. During his career with this company he was successively, engineer, general superintendent, manager and vice-president. He supervised construction of the following important projects while serving as general superintendent and vice-president:
Bridge over the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, Miss.;
Gas plants at Tampa, Fla., Chester, Penn., Bridgeport, Conn., and Conshohocken, Penn. At this latter plant a ten million capacity gas holder was erected, the largest in the United States at that time;
Various steel transmission line towers for the Connecticut Light and Power Company throughout the state;
Designed for the United Gas Improvement Company the tar separator that enabled U.G.I. to place on the market one of their most profitable by-products, viz., “Ugite” for road construction;
Supervised the change over from coal to sump oil fuel in gas generating.
He remained with U.G.I. until 1936 and then became associated with Day and Zimmerman, Inc., Engineers, Philadelphia, Penn. He remained with the latter company until 1946 at which time he retired. Five years later he died on November 11, 1951.
He was affiliated with the Protestant Episcopal Church. During his lifetime his hobbies were: raising wild flowers and extensive traveling in this country, including Alaska, and in Mexico.
Walter was married February 21, 1910 to Alene L. Lockwood; they had two children—Virginia L. Chewning (Mrs. S. H. Brown), and Walter L. Chewning, Jr.
Note: For the information on his career, we are indebted to his widow, Mrs. Walter L, Chewning, who resides at Pembroke & Bala Avenue, Cynywd, Penn.
Charles Lochier Collier
He was a freshman at V.P.I. during the session of 1898-99, having registered from Hampton, Virginia. He did not return for any other session.
We have no record of his career after leaving V.P.I. other than at some time he was an attorney and counselor at law, practicing in Hampton, Virginia.
Clarence LaFar Cook
Born September 7, 1882 at Charleston, S. C., the son of Mr. and Mrs. George L. Cook. He had two brothers and one sister.
He attended primary schools at Summerville, S. C., and Bon Air, Chesterfield County, Virginia, from 1888 to 1895, and high school at Bon Air from 1895 to 1898.
In September, 1898, he entered the freshman class at V.P.I., registering from Bon Air, Virginia, and enrolled in the mechanical engineering course. He graduated in June, 1902 with the degree of B.S. in M.E. In his military career he was successively promoted from private, to corporal, to first sergeant, and in his senior year to captain of Company C of the battalion. His extra-collegiate activities included: treasurer Y.M.C.A., 00; vice-president Maury Literary Society, 02; and editor Gray Jacket, 02.
Immediately after graduating at V.P.I. he was employed by the Consolidation Coal Company at Frostburg, Md., in mining engineering work, particularly mine surveys, map drafting and construction work. He remained at Frostburg until 1907 and then went with the Consolidation Coal Company at Fairmont, W. Va., which job on drafting, mine equipment and field work he held until 1909.
From 1909 to 1913 he was with the Fairmont Machinery Company, also at Fairmont, as chief draftsman on mining equipment and structures.
In 1913 he went with Heyl and Patterson at Pittsburgh, Pa., working on estimates and design of coal and material handling equipment. Then in 1915 he went with the Pittsburgh Coal Washer Company, in Pittsburgh, and remained there until 1921 working on estimates and design of coal preparation plants.
In 1921 the Pittsburgh Coal Washer Company sent him to Huntington, W. Va., as sales engineer, where he remained until 1925.
In 1925 he went back to Fairmont with the Fairmont Machinery Company, as sales engineer until 1928.
From 1928 to 1936 he was chief engineer with the American Coal Cleaning Corporation at Welch, W. Va., working on the design and development of pneumatic coal cleaning plants.
Then in 1936 he went with the Koppers Company in Pittsburgh, and remained until 1938, doing experimental work and design, in field and office, on pneumatic coal cleaning equipment.
He returned to Fairmont, W. Va., in 1938 and rejoined the Consolidation Coal Company in the construction department, where he remained until 1948 doing drafting and field work on mine equipment and structures.
He remained in Fairmont until 1950 but rejoined the Fairmont Machinery Company to work on design of equipment and structures for coal preparation plants, including pneumatic and wet washing processes.
After this active business career in various locations but all in connection with coal mining operations and operating methods, Clarence retired in 1950, and in the same year moved to Florida and now resides at 3120 West Washington Street, Orlando. He sent us a snap shot taken a few years back from which it appears that he has retained his youthful figure and the same military bearing he had when captain of Company C in 1902. His principal hobby is gardening, and he is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.
Clarence married, first, in September, 1903, Ethel Muse Opie; and, second, in September 1918, Helen A. Opie. He has two children—Lilian Opie (Mrs. J. L. McFarland) born in 1908; and Helen France (Mrs. L. V. McQuillen) born in 1923.
Charles Henry (Curly) Cuthbert, Jr.
Born August 23, 1882 at Petersburg, Virginia, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Cuthbert. He had one brother and two sisters. He attended primary schools at Petersburg.
He entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898 and registered from Petersburg. We do not know what course he enrolled in.
He returned in September, 1899 for his sophomore year. We do not know if he completed that year but he did not return for his junior year.
He either brought with him or acquired at V.P.I. the nickname “Curly” by which he was familiarly known to his friends. He is remembered as being very popular. Our recollection is that he roomed with Homer Atkinson, also from Petersburg.
We have little record of Curly after he left V.P.I. According to alumni records, his last known address was 4520 Devonshire Road, Richmond, Virginia, and he may have been living at that address when he died November 17, 1947. An unknown person furnished us the foregoing family information and what follows.
He was in the insurance business, probably in Richmond, and was affiliated with the Protestant Episcopal Church.
He was married April 10, 1926 to Margaret Van Patten. They had no children.
Julius Clarence Dantzler
Born April 12, 1882, at Greenville, S. C., the son of George L. and Elizabeth M. (Smith) Dantzler. He had one sister.
He attended primary and high schools at Greenville, S. C.
Julius entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898, registering from Greenville, and enrolled in the electrical engineering course. In the military organization he was assigned to the band and in his senior year he was captain of that unit. His favorite instrument was the trombone. His other activities included: president of the South Carolina Club and vice-president Camera Club, in 01-02. He graduated in June, 1902 with the degree of B.S. in E.E.
His professional career began immediately after graduation when, in June, 1902, he was employed by the General Electric Company at Lynn, Mass., and assigned to the students training course. After two years he was transferred to the engineering department where he specialized on transformers and motors.
In 1909 he entered the commercial department of the General Electric Company at Boston, Mass., specializing on individual electric motor drives in textile mills.
In 1917, he joined the Crompton & Knowles Loom Works at Worcester, Mass., in the sales department, and specializing on individual electric motor drive for looms. He was also engaged in the selling of cotton duck and special looms. He served as textile machinery consultant in the modification and development of the various types of looms built by the company. He retired from active business in June 1952. During the period of his business career in Worcester, he made his home six miles distant in the town of Leicester.
During World War I, he was a member of the Home Guard. In World War II, he was a member of the Ground Observers Corps of the U.S. Air Force.
His civic activities included:
Trustee and auditor of Leicester Savings Bank, Leicester, Mass, for several years;
Trustee and treasurer of Leicester Public Library for two years;
Member of Leicester Congregational Church until 1952, and serving as chairman of Committee on Invested Funds, and chairman of the Prudential Committee for several years; also moderator of the Church Committee from 1950 to 1952.
After his retirement in 1952, he moved to Henniker, New Hampshire, where he now resides. He joined the Congregational Church there.
His principal hobby has been home and color photography which he no doubt continues to pursue in his new home.
On September 15, 1909 Julius was married to Marion Wardwell of Swampscott, Mass.; they have three daughters: Barbara Dantzler; Eleanor Dantzler Chase; and Elizabeth Dantzler Burton.
Archer (Military) Davidson
Born February 18, 1881 at Farmville, Virginia, son of William and Julia Wiltse Davidson. He had three brothers and four sisters. He attended primary and high schools at Farmville.
He entered the sophomore class at V.P.I. in September, 1899, registering from Farmville, and enrolled in the mechanical engineering course, and was assigned to the cadet band. He graduated with the class in June, 1902 with the degree of B.S. in M.E.
He is best remembered at V.P.I. for his high academic standing and for his participation in class and other activities. In his senior year he was first lieutenant in the Band, assistant business manager of the 02 Bugle, substitute on the 1901 football team and chairman of the field day exercises in 1902.
After graduation from V.P.I., he went to work with the Westinghouse Machine Company, Pittsburgh, Pa. During one period with this company, he was associated with the installation of some twenty turbine units for plants furnishing power for cotton mills, electric railway and lighting service, and for general industrial purposes. From 1905 to 1915 he was district engineer for the Atlanta District of the company.
In 1915 he was transferred to the Boston office of the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company, as head of the New England steam engineering division.
During his long service with Westinghouse, he took out a number of patents pertaining to turbines. Also, he was highly regarded in engineering circles for the design and operation of steam equipment, and he was responsible for many of the large turbine installations throughout New England.
He was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and of the Brae Burn Country Club, and he was affiliated with the Methodist Church. His principal hobby was golf.
Archer was married September 27, 1922 to Florence Meadows of Newton, Mass. They had no children. He died July 7, 1938, at the age of fifty-seven.
He acquired the nickname “Military” because he was not particularly military in his bearing.
Note: The history committee is indebted to Mrs. Archer Davidson, who resides at Longwood Towers, Brookline 46, Mass., for the information regarding Archer’s family and his career after leaving V.P.I.
Harry Lemuel Davidson
He was the son of Rev. and Mrs. J. H. Davidson of Blacksburg, Virginia, and who later moved to Poolsville, Maryland. He entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898, and enrolled in the general science course. He graduated with the class in June, 1902 with the degree of B.S., and returned for post-graduate study in the 02-03 session, obtaining his M.S. degree in June, 1903.
At some time after leaving V.P.I. he became superintendent and secretary, Virginia Mechanics Institute, Richmond, Virginia. He died in that city, November 28, 1946.
He was married September 5, 1906 to Ellen F. Gilliam of Echo Hall, Virginia.
William Watson (Billy) Davison
We do not know when or where “Billy”, as he was affectionately known at V.P.I., was born. He is the son of Dr. and Mrs. W. M. Davison of Midlothian, Virginia.
He entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September 1898, registering from Middletown, Virginia, and probably enrolled in the general science course as he finished that course.
During his sophomore or junior year he had an unfortunate accident in the wood working shops, resulting in loss of part of his left arm. This caused a set-back in his studies and he did not graduate until 1903, at which time he received the degree of B.S. in General Science.
At some time after leaving V.P.I. he went to Atlanta, Georgia. We have no direct record of his career there but have been informed that he became one of the leading teachers in the public schools, and was highly regarded as outstanding in education and in civic life. Also, we are informed that he had three children—two boys and one girl. His last address known to us was: 1730 North Decatur Road, Atlanta.
Franklin Haylender (Admiral) Dewey, Jr.
We have no information regarding Frank’s family history other than he was the son of Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Dewey, Sr.
He entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898, and registered from Portsmouth, Virginia. He completed his sophomore year and a part or all of his junior year, but did not return for his senior year.
At some time after leaving V.P.I. he went to Detroit, Mich., and was associated there with the Gar Wood Industries. He came to our class reunion in 1940 at V.P.I., and appears in an amateur moving picture with other members taken at the time.
He died September 9, 1943. His last known address was: 16841 Cranford Lane, Detroit 30, Mich.
Carl Marcellus Dunklee
Born April 18, 1881 at Christiansburg, Virginia, the son of William M. and Alice S. Dunklee. He had two brothers. He attended primary and high schools at Christiansburg from 1887 to 1898.
He entered V.P.I. in the freshman class in September, 1898, registering from Christiansburg, and enrolled in the electrical engineering course. In his senior year he was second lieutenant, color officer, on the battalion staff. He remained at V.P.I. during the 02-03 session for further study.
He left V.P.I. to join the Western Electric Company as sales specialist at the main office in Chicago, Ill., in 1903. In 1906 he was transferred to that company’s distributing house at Atlanta, Ga., and later to the distributing house at San Francisco, Cal., and then to the general sales department in New York City. In 1917 he was transferred from New York to the Pittsburgh distributing house, where he remained until 1923 when he resigned from Western Electric Company to enter the laundry business in Winston-Salem, N. C. In 1927 he bought a going laundry and dry cleaning business in Hickory, N. C., which he continued to operate until 1946 when he retired from active business.
He came, with Mrs. Dunklee, to our fiftieth anniversary reunion at V.P.I. in October, 1952, even though his activities were much restricted because of a severe asthmatic condition. However, he was determined to be with us and his brave efforts to join in the programs won the admiration of us all.
He and Mrs. Dunklee returned to their home in Hickory, N. C., and on June 6, 1953 Carl passed away.
He was affiliated with the Evangelical Reformed Church, and was a thirty-second degree Mason and a Shriner. Also, he was a member of the Elks and of the Kiwanis Club. His hobbies were: hunting, fishing, golf and traveling.
Carl was married March 19, 1938 to Madelle Lucille Weatherbee, who survives him and resides at 263 3rd Avenue, N.W., Hickory, North Carolina.
Note: The committee is indebted to Mrs. Dunklee for most of the foregoing information.
Chapman Johnston (Chap.) French
Born August 15, 1880, at “Lone; Branch” Farm, Giles County, Virginia, son of Charles Dingess French and Annie Chapman Johnston French. He has one sister. He is familiarly known as “Chap” to his many friends. From here on his biography is just as he sent it in to the committee.
Education: Attended primary schools of Giles County, Virginia, 1887 to 1894; Pearisburg, Virginia, Academy and High School, 1894 to 1899. Entered V.P.I. September, 1899, in the sophomore class and graduated in June, 1902 with degree of B.S. in C.E. (Editor’s note: He forgot to tell us that he registered from Bluff City, Giles County, enrolled in the civil engineering course, and was assigned to Company B. In his senior year, he was second lieutenant in that company).
Business and Professional Career: Entered service of Norfolk and Western Railway Company at Kenova, W. Va., on June 25, 1902 as chainman; promoted to rodman on July 1, 1902, and went on location of Big Sandy Line, N. & W. Ry. Co., between Naugatuck and Kenova; then on construction work. Promoted to transit man, October 1, 1902, on construction of a twelve mile section just east of Fort Gay, W. Va. Transferred to construction work, first section out of Iaeger, W. Va., on Iaeger & Southern Ry. (N. & W. Ry Co.), January, 1905. Promoted to chief inspector (tunnel lining with concrete) on Big Sandy Line N. & W. Ry., on June 1, 1905. Promoted to assistant engineer on November 10, 1905, in charge of party on location of Guyandot & Tug River Ry. (N. & W. Ry.), on Guyandot River, Gilbert and Ben Creeks in Mingo and Wyoming counties, W. Va., and on preliminary and location of the Clear Fork and Oceana Ry. (N. & W. Ry.), in Wyoming County, W. Va. Transferred to Bedford, Virginia, in charge of party on heavy double track and change of line, Forest to Montvale, Va., May to October, 1901; then sent to Crewe, Va., in charge of party on survey for double track, Burkeville to Nottoway, October 1901 to February, 1908; then went back to Bedford, looking after odd jobs and finishing up lining on certain large arch culverts on the double track work.
April 15, 1908—went on maintenance of way work, N. & W. Ry., Radford, Pocahontas and part of Scioto Divisions, covering territories, Roanoke, Va, to Ohio River at Kenova, Radford to Bristol, Va., and Bluefield, W. Va. to Norton, Va. (Clinch Valley), including all branch lines in the territory.
Transferred to General Office of N. & W. Ry. Co., Roanoke, Va., on February 15, 1923, as office engineer in charge of certain engineering work, with estimates of cost, yard extension and enlargements, grade crossing elimination, double tracking and change of line work, and other innumerable detail jobs.
Went out to Grundy, Va., in May 1934, as resident engineer on construction of the Bull Creek Spur to a large coal operation, and then on construction of the Buchanan Branch Extension into other coal fields.
Transferred back to the chief engineer’s office, Roanoke, handling general engineering problems and working with the general attorney on contracts, agreements, etc., including preparation of plans, etc., to go before the I.C.C. in the N. & W. Ry. Co.’s applications to construct new branch lines and abandon others.
Chap retired from the N. & W. Ry. Co., August 31, 1950. Since then he has continued to pursue his favorite hobbies, hunting and fishing. He was among those attending our fiftieth anniversary reunion at V.P.I. in October, 1952.
His civic and fraternal activities include: life member, American Society of Civil Engineers, of Norfolk and Western Veterans Association, and honorary citizen of Boys Town, Nebraska; member, B.P.O. Elks, Lodge No. 1067, Pulaski, Va., of Knights of Pythias, Osceola Lodge No. 47, Roanoke, Va., of Dramatic Order, Knights of Khorassan, Rajah Temple 195, Roanoke, Va., and of Blue Ridge Game and Fish Association.
He was married, first, on February 27, 1918, in Richmond, Va., to Lela Lee Weatherly, who died Oct. 25, 1952 in Roanoke, Va.; and second, on June 21, 1954, in Bristol, Tenn., to Mildred Lucille Greer, a niece of his first wife. He has had no children.
Kelley Snidow French
He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. A. French, Narrows, Virginia, and he entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898. He left at the end of his sophomore year and returned to his home to engage in farming. He died in 1941.
Arthur Charles Gardner
He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Gardner, Blacksburg, Virginia.
He entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898, and enrolled in the special studies course. He continued through four sessions, ending in June, 1902.
At some time after leaving V.P.I. he was in the employ of Norfolk and Western Railway Company, as shop foreman at Portsmouth, Ohio. He died in November, 1929.
Edward Wood (Ed) Hardaway
He was a freshman and sophomore at V.P.I. during the sessions of 98-99 and 99-00, registering from Lynchburg, Virginia. He is remembered at V.P.I. as an important member of the football team, being a substitute in his first season and a full member for the two succeeding seasons. We have no record of his career after leaving V.P.I. and do not know if he is living.
Channing Williams (Charming) Harrison
Born October 14, 1882, at “Elkora”, Cumberland County, Virginia, the son of Edward C. and Marie L. Harrison. He had three brothers and one sister. He received his primary schooling by tutor at home. For his high school education he attended McCabe’s school in Richmond, Virginia.
He entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898 registering from Cartersville, Virginia, and enrolled in the chemistry course. He completed the four year course and graduated with the class in June, 1902, receiving the degree of B.S. in Applied Chemistry. He returned for the following session for post-graduate study and during that session was an instructor in applied chemistry. In June, 1903 he received his M.S. degree.
In September, 1903, Channing obtained a job with the U. S. Department of Agriculture, in the Bureau of Chemistry at Washington, D. C. By the end of his first year he had qualified as a scientific aid in a civil service examination. He was one of the pioneers in food and drug enforcement work, and one of his early assignments was as an analyst on Dr. H. W. Wiley’s “Poison Squad” experiments. At the time of his retirement he was one of the few men still in the service who entered before the Food and Drug Act of 1906 became a law. As soon as the enforcement of that act got under way, he was appointed chief of the New Orleans laboratory, reporting there on July 1, 1907.
While at New Orleans an interesting incident occurred that involved his being summoned to Washington to explain to President Theodore Roosevelt an enforcement action that he had taken. It seems that he detained an importation of a misbranded beverage from a friendly nation and ordered it reshipped to its country of origin. It came back to New Orleans with the misbranding only partially corrected, and was again refused entry. Word of this evidently came to the attention of the President through the embassy of the nation involved. Channing was summoned to be at Washington at an appointed hour but his train was quite late and his superior, Dr. Wiley, had to explain the situation to the President without Channing being present. In the end his action in the matter was commended.
He remained as chief of the New Orleans laboratory for four years. He afterwards filled assignments as a chemist for work on both foods and drugs in Washington, New York, and Boston from 1911 to 1919. He was then sent to Baltimore where he served as chief chemist. In 1927 he was named chief of the Minneapolis, Minn., Station, a position he filled with distinction until his voluntary retirement in November, 1944, at the age of 62.
After his retirement, he and Mrs. Harrison returned to Virginia and made their home at Halifax. After failing health, that grew steadily worse after April, 1950, he died October 8 the same year, at Memorial Hospital, Danville, Virginia. He was buried in the Harrison family section in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia.
Channing was married November 17, 1917 to Rebecca Leigh, at Halifax, Virginia. He was a life-long member of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
Note: The information concerning Channing’s career with the Food and Drug Administration was obtained from excerpts taken from that organization’s official paper, “Food and Drug Review”. For this, and other information the committee is indebted to Mrs. Harrison whose address is Box 354, Halifax, Virginia.
Adam (Shorty) Haskell
He was born September 1, 1882, at Columbia, S. C., one of ten children, four boys and six girls, of Alexander Cheves Haskell. He attended primary school at Columbia, S. C., and for his high school education, attended Patrick Military Institute at Anderson, S. C., from 1896 to 1899.
He entered the sophomore class at V.P.I. in September, 1899, registering from Columbia, and enrolled in the mechanical engineering course. He was sergeant in the Battery E in his junior year, and in his senior year was second lieutenant, quartermaster, on the Battalion Staff. He graduated with the class in June, 1902, receiving the degree, B.S. in M.E.
After leaving V.P.I., he took a year’s course at Harvard University, and was awarded the degree of B.S. in 1903.
His professional and business career began in 1904, when he was employed by the General Electric Company at Lynn, Mass., in the student course. Later he was foreman on special tests and steam turbines.
Following his work with G.E. Co., he was with the National Carbon Company, and then with Valentine and Company, manufacturers of paints and varnishes. While with the latter company he was successful in putting “Valspar” varnish on the market. At some time during these assignments he resided and maintained an office in New York City.
He returned to his home state, and, since 1935 has conducted a “Guest House” in Beaufort. S. C. Of his activity during these twenty years, Adam says: “It is the best time we ever had”. His present address is P.O. Box 296, Beaufort, S. C.
He was married in 1912 to Natalie S. Howlett. They have four children, all adopted—William Haskell, born 1917; Natalie Haskell, born 1918; and John and Roger Haskell, twins, born 1921.
Wylie Pope (Grand Pa) Hill
He entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898, registering from Newnan, Coweta County, Georgia. He returned for his sophomore and junior sessions, and before completing the latter he was taken seriously ill in the Spring, and died in the V.P.I. Hospital, April 2, 1901. His remains were taken to his home in Georgia for interment; the Corps of Cadets marched in a body with the funeral cortege to the railway station at Christiansburg. Carroll Proctor accompanied the remains to the home in Newnan, Georgia.
Wylie was one of our most beloved classmates, and his passing was a great loss to the class.
Reginald Earl (Rex) Hollister
Rex, as he was familiarly known to his many friends, entered the freshman class at V.P.I. in September, 1898, registering from Hillburn, Rockland County, New York, and enrolled in the electrical engineering course. He completed the four year course but did not receive his degree, B.S. in E.E., until 1903.
In his senior year he was second lieutenant in the Band. His other activities included: member, Mandolin-Glee Club; in 00-01 was president of our class, vice-president of the Engineering Club and of the Camera Club; in 01-02, literary editor, Gray Jacket and president, Camera Club.
It is believed that he was at his home town, Hillburn, for a while after leaving V.P.I. Beyond that, we have no record of his career, and it is a great source of regret that we have lost contact with him as he was one of the most popular members of the class. It is not known if he is living.
Paul Tudor (Oom Paul) Jones
Born March 22, 1881 at Somerville, Tenn., one of seven children, three sons and four daughters, of Dr. Paul Tudor Jones and Annie M. Smith Jones. He attended primary school at Somerville, Tenn., and high school at Corinth, Miss.
He entered V.P.I. in the sophomore class in September, 1899, registering from Corinth, Miss., enrolled in the mechanical engineering course and was assigned to Company C of the cadet battalion. In his junior year he was a sergeant and in his senior year he was second lieutenant in Company C. His other activities included: secretary and chaplain, Maury Literary Society, 00, and president, 01; president Y.M.C.A., 01-02; exchange editor Gray Jacket, 02; and assistant business manager Bugle, 02. He graduated with the class in June 1902, receiving the degree of B.S. in M.E.
He returned during the session of 02-03 for post-graduate study and in June, 1903 obtained his M.E. degree. During the sessions of 01-02 and 02-03 he was assistant to Prof. Randolph which, in his own words, was the “most valuable part of my training.” Also, he was instructor in mathematics in his post-graduate year. Let him tell us about his subsequent career in his own words:
“After completion of my post-graduate year, I was offered a position with the United Gas and Electric Company of Philadelphia, Pa., but since my family was interested in the Alcorn Woolen Manufacturing Company and the Alcorn Electric Light and Power Company, both of Corinth, Miss., I decided to return there, and took a position as engineer with the woolen manufacturing company and helped in the management of the light and power company.
“In 1905 I went with the Corinth Engine and Boiler Works which had recently been organized by local people. My close friend and classmate, Tom Young, as mechanical engineer was already bringing out the drawing for steam engines to power the Brennan Saw Mills being produced in the new plant. After a few years (1912) this company was reorganized and called the Corinth Machinery Company. I was elected secretary and continued in that capacity until 1919 when my brother, Jameson C. Jones, returned from France and entered the company. He became secretary, and at that time I was elected vice president.
“On March 20, 1920 I was admitted to membership in the Society of Mechanical Engineers with the help of Prof. Randolph who was a member.
“We were manufacturing and shipping our complete saw milling plants throughout the South and Southwest. Just before the depression in 1929, my brother and I acquired most of the outstanding stock of the Corinth Machinery Company. The depression and bank failures dealt some hard blows., However our customers and friends stood by us and we ran our plant continuously through these trying years.
“In January, 1939 I was elected president of the company and held this position until January 1, 1951. My duties with the company have been principally in managing foundry and machine shop, selling and servicing machines of our own manufacture and other machines used in the production and finishing of lumber produced in this area.
“When World War II came along we were successful in securing the contract to supply the Army Engineers with the complete portable mills which they sent all over the world. Our plant had to increase its capacity to care for this government demand. The records show that we produced 65% of all saw mills bought by U.S. Armed Forces, and 85% of all bought by the Army. As recognition of our achievement we were awarded the Army and Navy “E” October 6, 1944.
“After World War II, I began disposing of my interests in the Corinth Machinery Company, also a great many of my duties. My associates continue to employ me in an advisory capacity, since my health continues good and I enjoy having a part in the business which has been my life since 1905.
“In 1949 I was appointed to the Board of Directors of Alcorn County Electric Power Association. Then in the latter part of 1952 was elected president of the Board.
“Since Corinth and Alcorn County have been my home, I have taken an active interest in many civic affairs. Served on the Board of Directors of Chamber of Commerce many years, and was several times elected and served as president. For nine and a half years served as county chairman of the Alcorn County Chapter of American Red Cross, and still serve as a director of the Red Cross. When the Corinth Kiwanis Club was awarded a charter in 1925 I became a charter member and have been in the club continuously, and served as president in 1941.
“I have been fairly active for a long time in Boy Scouts and past president of Yocona Council and received the Beaver Award many years ago. Our city has a very active and useful Y.M.C.A. program for our youth and it is my pleasure to serve on this board.
“We have a local charity organization known as Corinth Welfare Association which is over twenty five years old, and I have been a director since its organization and have served as secretary.
“Many years ago I joined the Masonic Order and am now a Scottish Rite Mason.”
“I am a member of the Presbyterian Church in Corinth, and have been an Elder since 1907, and was superintendent of First Presbyterian Sunday School from 1909, to 1952. In the Presbyterian Church, I have been given several appointments on our Church School Boards. I have served on the Board of Trustees of Chickasaw College, Ponotoc, Miss., and on the Board of Trustees of French Camp Academy, French Camp, Miss.”
“The world has been good to me. I value beyond expression the friendship of my V.P.I. schoolmates, and the splendid men on the campus who formed the faculty, 1899 to 1903.”
“As I turn the pages of our 1902 Bugle my memory clothes each face with character and personality to accompany the love and affection—as in memory, I live over the happy days of a student on the beautiful campus of our Alma Mater—May her service ever increase in effectiveness.”
Paul was married June 10, 1908, to Sara Shelton. There are three children — Paul Tudor Jones, Jr., born September 23, 1909; Thomas Shelton Jones, born May 23, 1913; and Jameson Miller Jones, born January 8, 1916.
James Francis (Scribe) Key
He entered the freshman class in September, 1898, registering from Leonardtown, St., Mary’s County, Maryland, and enrolled in the mechanical engineering course. He completed four sessions through 1902.
He is well remembered for his inventive talent and for his knack of developing gadgets. Neither the college nor the Alumni Association has any direct record of his career after leaving V.P.I. Son George Miller reports that he saw him once or twice; first, in 1905 in or near New York City, when Frank told Son George, that he had taken a laboratory course at Stevens Institute which had been of great benefit to him. After leaving Stevens Institute he went with G. E. Co. or Westinghouse at Quincy, Mass. and worked on installation of switchboards and a large steam turbine. He told Son George of his experience with a motor on a condenser circulation pump, which had developed a hot box and the motor shaft had heated to a cherry red, but Frank kept it going and cooled it down gradually without stopping the pump. At that time he was associated in the development of a hydraulic brake for a turbine that was very successful. Son George had some correspondence with him in 1906. After that Frank worked his way westward across the country and one job he had was in an iron foundry in California.
Son George, in endeavoring to get more information about Frank for this history, was informed by the postmaster at Leonardtown that he had died many years ago.