Henry M. Priest


HENRY M. PRIEST, a prominent and highly esteemed citizen of Steubenville, Ohio, was born in the village of Wintersville, Jefferson county, Ohio, June 9, 1847. He is the son of Valentine and Elizabeth (Loyd) Priest, the former of whom was born in Wellsburg, Va., in the year 1809 and the latter was born in Cross Creek township, Jefferson county, Ohio in the year 1810. His father was the son of Stephen and Mary Priest, and his mother was the daughter of John and Mary Loyd. His mother died in 1882 and her husband, who, throughout his life gave his attention to the blacksmith's trade, and later to the grocery business, survived her until 1888. He was a life-long democrat, and when he died he was serving as postmaster of the village of Wintersville, having been appointed during the administration of Grover Cleveland. The subject of this sketch was reared to the age of sixteen in his native village, in the schools of which he received his early education. Between the ages of sixteen and eighteen he attended school in winter, and was employed in different ways in summer. At eighteen years of age he took up the vocation of a teacher, and this pursuit received the greater part of his attention for four years. He also, during that time, attended the Hopedale normal college two terms. On the 5th day of June, 1871, he entered the employ of the Jefferson Iron Works of Steubenville, which was then operated by the firm of Spaulding, Woodward & Co., his first position being that of memorandum clerk. In 1874 he was promoted to the position of superintendent of labor in the furnace department of the establishment, and he continued in that capacity until 1875, when he was promoted to the position of assistance book-keeper in the city office. He held that position until November, 1881, when he was elected secretary of that company, and he continued in that capacity until March 12, 1883. On that date he was elected president of the La Belle Iron Works, of Wheeling, W. Va., which property was largely owned by the stockholders of the Jefferson Iron Works, of Steubenville. He resigned that position February 5, 1887, to accept the presidency of the Junction Iron company, of Wheeling, also the associate general management of the Laughlin and Junction Steel company, of Wheeling, the plants of both of which corporations are located at Mingo Junction, Jefferson county, Ohio, which two positions he still holds. Mr. Priest also possesses a knowledge of law, having studied it at odd moments during his clerical career, and having studied it at odd moments during his clerical career, and having been admitted to the bar in April, 1876. He was married April 30, 1873, to Ida J. Gracy, daughter of Joseph and Catherine Gracy, the former of whom used to be a resident of Cross creek township, Jefferson county. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Priest has resulted in the birth of six children as follows: Laura E., Annie E., Bertha J., Harry H., Bessie M. and Mamie, all of whom are living. Mr. Priest is an Odd Fellow, a Mason and a Knight Templar. He is a past grand officer in Odd Fellowship, and he is at present eminent commander of the Steubenville Commandery, No. 11, Knights Templar. In politics he is a republican. He is a man of easy manner and calm demeanor, and one whose business qualifications are of a very high order. In every circle of life, wether of a social, or business character, he stands very high.

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