Lincoln County West Virginia Biography of Watt S. OXLEY


            Watt S. Oxley, who is one of the substantial business men of St. Albans, has been a merchant here for fourteen years and owns a well arranged stock and a fine establishment. He was born November 11, 1861, in Lincoln County, W. Va., and is a son of Thomas and Sarah (McGhee) Oxley.

            The parents of Mr. Oxley were natives of Franklin County and the father was a farmer. In 1858 Thomas Oxley moved with his family to what is now Lincoln County but which was then called Boone County, and spend the remainder of his life as an agriculturist, dying at the age of eighty-three years, at Scott, W.Va., having moved to Putnam County about 1896. His father was Archibald L. Oxley and his death occurred about 1875 or '76. Five sons and three daughters were born to Thomas Oxley and his wife, namely: Silas, who died at the age of thirty-three years (was a physician who practiced at Hamlin, Lincoln County, and married Mattie Sweetland, of Hamlin) ; Matilda, who died unmarried, at the age of twenty-one years; Watt S.; Lucy, who is the wife of W. S. Reynolds and lives at Huntington, W. Va.; Archibald, who died when aged twenty-three years; Demetrius, who was a telegraph operator on the C. & O. Railroad, and died at Malden, February 4, 1906, (married Rose Frazier) ; and Chilton K., who resides at Huntington, where, for the past eleven years he has been connected with G. A. Northcut & Co. He married Frances Eskey.

            The sons, like their father, always have given support to the Democratic party but none have been seekers for office. The children are divided in their religious views, but the parents belonged to the old Baptist church. Watt S. Oxley was well educated, attending his last term of school when twenty-two years old, and afterward, for four years, he taught school in Lincoln County. From the schoolroom he became a salesman for a wholesale drug house and traveled for five years, after which he went into the mercantile line, for some two years being established at Huntington, and then came here. On June 1, 1897, he purchased the general store of S. T. Canterbury and has continued in this business ever since, although he has twice suffered loss from fire, first in 1904, and again in 1907. His stock includes groceries, fancy and staple, furniture, carpets and shoes. He erected two large store rooms, one 80 by 25 feet in dimensions, and the other 80 by 16 feet, two stories high, with basement, and occupies all of the floor space thus afforded.

            On June 2, 1891, Mr. Oxley was married to Miss Sallie Sweetland, a daughter of I.V. Sweetland, and they have three children: Virginia, aged ten years; Sweetland, aged eight years, and Florence, aged six years. Mr. and Mrs. Oxley are members of the Presbyterian church and he has been a liberal donator to the erection fund of the new church edifice. He belongs to Elkanah Lodge, No. 63, Knights of Pythias, at Charleston; and to the Modern Woodmen at Huntington. Having devoted himself exclusively to the mercantile business, Mr. Oxley has expert knowledge of it and this he makes use of in providing for the wants of his customers, supplying first class goods at reasonable rates, having long since founded a reputation for strict integrity in business.


      Submitted by Mike and Connie Graley and extracted from History and Biography; History of Charleston and Kanawha County West Virginia and Representative Citizens, by W. S. Laidley, Published by Richmond-Arnold Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois, November, 1911, Page 862-863. This book is located in St. Albans at the St. Albans Historical Society building beside the old train depot (when on 6th Ave. beside Go-Mart & Wendy's, make a left toward the railroad & river & the depot is in front of you with the Historical Society to its' right).


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