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William Workman

William Workman, son of Joseph and Elizabeth Workman, was born in Kanawha county, Virginia, April 12, 1821. Education in those days was rare and limited. In a school near Bald Knob, he was enabled only to receive instruction in the rudiments of the English language and the primary principles of arithmetic. A close student, he read much, and was thrown into the society of intelligent men, he disciplined his mind in serious, useful thought. He made common sense his guide, and became a good logician before he knew what logic meant. He was a successful teacher, and studied only such books as tended to develop the higher faculties of mind. When the war of the rebellion came on, he was determined in his opposition to secession and was warmly attached to the Union.

September 15, 1861, he was taken prisoner by H.C. Pate, and spent eighteen months in Libby and Saulsbury prisons. In 1866 he was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates, in which and in the Senate, he served six terms - House of Delegates, 1866-67; Senate, 1868; and extra sessions, 1868-69; House of Delegates, 1885. He was an indefatigable and intelligent member in each, and his zeal in the performance of his duty won him the unstinted praise of his colleagues. He was president of the Board of Supervisors and of the County Court of Boone county, eight years, during which time he gave the greatest satisfaction. He was appointed Deputy Collector of the United States Internal Revenue, under General I.H. Duval, in 1880, and continued until the change of Administration in 1885.

As Legislator, President of Board of Supervisors and County Court, his conduct was always in strict conformity with his conscience, and never has he allowed passion or prejudice to pervert his judgment. As an officer of the United States Government, while discharging his duty faithfully, he always advised the people to obey the laws and lead quiet, sober and industrious lives.

In the life of this Legislator we can see what industry and integrity can accomplish - an example that our young men may follow with profit to themselves and with honor to their country.


Taken from Prominent Men of West Virginia, Geo. W Atkinson and Alvaro F Gibbens, W.L. Callin Publishing, Wheeling, WV, 1890.

© 1996 Becky Falin
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