Pictured above are (L. to R.) James Wilhoit (circa 1910), James Wilhoit and his first wife, Callie Boldman (circa 1890), and their two sons, James Leroy "Roy" Wilhoit and William "Bill" Wilhoit (circa 1895).
The following biography of James B. Wilhoit appeared in "A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians" by E. Polk Johnson, Volume II, Page 764-765, published 1912 by The Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago--New York.
"James B. Wilhoit,
who is the present able incumbent of the office of commonwealth attorney
for the Twentieth judicial district of Kentucky, is a man of prominence
in legal and political affairs in the Blue Grass state, where he has served
in various public offices of trust, in all of which he has acquitted himself
with honor and distinction. He was born in Carter County, Kentucky,
on the 6th of March, 1857, and is a son of Alfred A. Wilhoit and
Matilda Boggs, the former of whom was born and reared in Bath County
and the latter of whom is a native of Virginia, whence she accompanied
her parents to Carter County, Kentucky, when a mere child. John Wilhoit,
grandfather of him whose name initiates this review, was born in Germany
and was one of four brothers who settled in Virginia in an early day.
He was one of the pioneer settlers in Bath County, this state, and he was
identified with agricultural pursuits during the greater part of his active
business career. Alfred A. Wilhoit, father of James B., of
this review, was a farmer by vocation and after his marriage located on
a farm in Carter County, where he passed the residue of his life, his death
occurring in August 1873, at the age of fifty-six years. His widow
survives him, and now maintains her home in Carter County. As previously
stated, Mrs. Wilhoit was a child at the time of her parents' removal
to Kentucky, this event having occurred in the early '20s. She became
the mother of twelve children, five of whom are living.
James B. Wilhoit was the tenth in order of birth of the twelve children referred to above and he was reared to the sturdy discipline of the home farm in Carter County, to whose common schools he is indebted for his preliminary educational training, later supplementing this by a course of study in the Kentucky Normal College, at Carlisle, and after its completion he taught school in his native and adjoining counties for a period of twelve years. In the meantime he had devoted his spare time to the study of law, being admitted to the bar in Greenup County in 1880. He initiated his legal practice at Willard, this state, and after a three-years' residence there located at Grayson, Carter County, in which latter place he maintained his home for the ensuing fifteen years. In 1898, he was appointed supervisor of forestry by President McKinley and in connection with the duties of this office he passed two years in New Mexico. In January, 1900, he located at Greenup, Kentucky, where he resumed the practice of his profession and where he entered into a partnership alliance with Colonel W. J. Worthington, this firm doing business together until 1902, in October of which year Mr. Wilhoit established his home at Ashland, where he has built up a large and lucrative clientage and where his success has been on a parity with his well directed efforts. He is a versatile and skilled trial lawyer and a well-fortified counselor and has figured prominently in many important cases in both the state and federal courts.
In politics Mr. Wilhoit is aligned as a stalwart supporter of the cause of the Republican Party and for many years he has been active in party affairs. While a resident of Carter County he served nearly five years as county attorney. In 1896 he was Republican elector, voting three times for President McKinley--in the congressional convention, at the election which followed and in the electoral college. In 1903 he was Republican candidate for the office of lieutenant governor of Kentucky but met with defeat in the election, which followed. In 1904 he was candidate for elector at large but failed of election. In 1907 he was chosen commonwealth attorney for the Twentieth judicial district of Kentucky, comprising Boyd, Greenup and Lewis Counties, to fill an unexpired term of two years, due to redistricting by the legislature. In 1909 he was re-elected to this office for a term of six years. He is a man of broad learning and great capacity and in all his dealings he is recognized as a man of fair and honorable methods and as a man of unquestioned integrity. He is affiliated with various professional and fraternal organizations of representative character and both he and his wife are loyal Christian Scientists in their religious faith.
Mr. Wilhoit has been twice married. He first wedded Miss Callie Boldman, the ceremony being performed in 1881. She was a native of Sciota County, Ohio, and was summoned to the life eternal on the 26th of February 1894. She is survived by two sons--James Leroy resides in Frankfort, Kentucky, where he is rate clerk of the railway commission; and William E. is a druggist at Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Wilhoit was united in marriage to Miss Marguerite Osenton, a native of Sciota County, Ohio, whence she came to Carter County when young. No children have been born of this union."
Submitted by Garrett and Sherry Lowe