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Mini Bios of People of Scots Descent
Biography of Herbert E. HANNIS

Submitted by Valerie Crook, <>

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc., 
Chicago and New York, Volume III, pg. 19

HERBERT E. HANNIS, who was a lieutenant of field artillery during the great war, was born and reared in Martinsburg, and completed a liberal education in the law before the war, and when he left the service he returned home to practice and shortly afterward was elected prosecuting attorney of Berkeley County.

The Hannis family is descended from Andrew Hannis, a native of Scotland, who came to America in Colonial times and established his home in Philadelphia. He was buried in Christ Churchyard in that city. The name Hannis has been a prominent one in Philadelphia in all subsequent generations. The grandfather of the Martinsburg lawyer was Henry Stites Hannis, a. native of Philadelphia. He owned and operated the Hannis Distillery in Philadelphia. He married a Miss Poole, of English descent.

Herbert E. Hannis, Sr., a native of Philadelphia, where he was reared and educated, at the age of eighteen moved to Martinsburg, where his father had acquired the Nadenbousch Distillery, and he took an active part in its management until his death in 1906. Herbert E. Hannis, Sr., married Susan Gardner, a native of Berkeley County and resident of Martinsburg. She represents the old Gardner and Showers families of Berkeley County, her father having been John Gardner.

Lieutenant Hannis was one of eight children, was educated under private tutors, and took both literary and law courses in Washington and Lee University. He received his degrees A. B. and LL. B. from that university, and supplemented his law course in Columbia University at New York.

Mr. Hannis in August, 1917, entered the United States service, was trained at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, was commissioned first lieutenant of field artillery, and was on duty for a time at Camp Funston in Kansas, at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, and from Camp Dix, New Jersey, went overseas and was with his command in all its activities in France until March, 1919. He then returned to the United States, was at Camp Upton on Long Island for a brief time, and was then assigned special work at Washington, D. C. In July, 1920, he resigned and received his honorable discharge, and returned home to find that his friends had nominated him as republican candidate for prosecuting attorney of Berkeley County. In November of that year he was elected to office, and now devotes all his time to its duties.

Mr. Hannis is one of the very popular public officials of Berkeley County. He is a member of several bar associations, the American Legion Post, and is affiliated with Martinsburg Lodge No. 778, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and Washington Lodge No. 1, Knights of Pythias.

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