Berkeley County, West Virginia Biography of George W. FEIDT


         George W. FEIDT was a native of Washington County, Maryland, and was descended from Pennsylvania Dutch ancestors. In his youth, he worked on the farm in the summer and attended subscription school in the winter. Maryland had no free schools in those days. He manifested a great interest in the education of African-Americans in the neighborhood and organized and conducted a night school for their instruction. He completed his education at Wittenberg College, Springfield, Ohio, where he graduated in 1862.

         He enlisted as a private soldier that month and year in the Union Army and was offered a commission, which he declined, saying he wanted to “serve in the ranks.” Returning to Maryland in 1864, he continued farming and he taught school until the spring of 1868 when he moved to Missouri and spent two years there and in Illinois, working of farms, teaching school and clerking in a railroad office. In 1870, he returned to Maryland, where he taught school and studied law. He moved to Martinsburg in the spring of 1873, finished the law course with H.H. Blackburn and was admitted to the Bar in 1875.

         George Feidt was appointed Register in Bankruptcy in 1877 for the District of West Virginia on the recommendation of Chief Justice Waite. In 1886 he was elected Prosecuting Attorney for Berkeley County to fill an unexpired term and was reelected in 1888 for a term of four years. He was elected an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention the same year. Although educated from youth in the Democratic school, once he became of age, George Feidt identified himself with the Republican party, casting his first vote in 1864 for Abraham Lincoln for president.


    Submitted by Marilyn Gouge and extracted from West Virginia Prominent Men, 1884, and Biographies of Notable Americans, 1904.

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