Hon. William H. Tarr


HON. WILLIAM H. TARR, of Wellsburg, one of the prominent landowners and leading farmers of the upper Ohio valley, was born in Brooke county, February 22, 1833. His father was Campbell Tarr, also a native of that county, who was a notable land owner and produce speculator in the early days, and was extensively engaged in boating the produce of the calley to New Orleans, and to Cuba and other Spanish possessions. He was a man of much influence, and in 1840 represented Brooke and Hancock counties at the state capital. On February 22, 1828, he was married to Frances Hunter, of the distinguished Hunter family of Virginia and a most estimable lady. She was a consistent member of the Presbyterian church. By this union were born nine children: John C., now a prominent attorney of Leavenworth, Kan.; William H., the subject of this mention; Washington, deceased; Mrs. Virginia Langfitt, deceased; Mrs. Mary Garrett, deceased; Eugene, Ella, Lucy and Clarence. Campbell Tarr died November 1888, aged eighty. William H. Tarr, after being educated at Bethany college, engaged in mercantile pursuits in the firm of Campbell Tarr, Jr. & Co. After four years of business he went west in 1856, and located at Leavenworth, Kan. In that year, when the first sale of government lands was made for the benefit of the Delaware Indians, he purchased extensively at five different land sales, and at one time was one of the large land-owners of the territory. Subsequently he made a six-months' expedition to the Pike's Peak region, and there acted as agent for the exchange of coin for gold dust, for certain banks of Leavenworth. In 1861 Mr. Tarr returned eatward and farmed a large tract of his land in Ohio until 1869, when he removed to Wellsburg, since then his home. Here he has been mainly engaged in managing his farm interests in Ohio, in addition to his property in this county. In business affairs he is regarded as one of the enterprising men of the valley. It is notably to his credit that he and four others, Issac H. Duval, W. C. Barclay, Elisha Paxton, and Benjamin Hervey, with the co-operation of CHarles Brady, president of the Riverside Glass works, were the first to utilize natural gas in the manufacture of glass table ware, since which time millons of dollars have been invested in such plants in various parts of America. A man of liberal culture, also, and brillant parts, he is well qualified for service to the community and the state. This was recognized in 1876 by his election to the West Virginia state senate, where he served four years with distinction. There he held the chairmanship of the joint committee of the senate and house which he re-organized the entire judicial system of the state on its present basis, and was also chairman of the committee on the penitentiary, which was for the first time put upon a paying basis. He also served on the finance committee, part of the time as chairman. Politically Mr. Tarr is a democrat. He was married in May, 1860, to Laura J. Johnson, daughter of Smiley Johnson, and they have three children, daughters, who have been reared to accomplished and refined womanhood, with the advantages of fine educations. Both parents and daughters are member of the Presbyterian church. The children are: Anna L., wife of Rev. R. G. Noland, of Springfield, Mo.; Fanny L., wife of Campbell Tarr, a merchant of Leavenworth, Kan., by whom she has one child, Lorence J.; and Bessie A., who graduated in 1889, at St. Auburn college, Cincinnati. The elder sisters were graduated at Beatty's seminary, Steubenville, in 1889.

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