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Mini Bios of People of Scots Descent
Biography of Charles Oliver HENRY, M. D.

This file was submitted by CJ Towery, E-mail address: <>

The submitter does not have a connection to the subject of this sketch.

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume II,
pages 228-229

CHARLES OLIVER HENRY, M. D., has been engaged in the successful practice of his profession in Marion County for forty years, and since 1903 has been one of the leading physicians and surgeons in the City of Fairmont. He was born in this city, then a mere village) on the 3d of December, 1856, and is a son of Lawrence and Mary Ann (Holmes) Henry, both natives of Scotland. Lawrence Henry was born July 22, 1810, in Ayrshire, and died at Newburg, West Virginia, March 7, 1887. Upon the death of his father, in 1828, he became virtually the head of the family, he being the eldest of the children, five sons and three daughters. As a young man he was employed in the coal mines of his native country, and by this means he aided in the support of the other members of the family. In 1845 he came to the United States and became identified with coal-mining operations at Mount Savage, Maryland. Later he worked in the old Elkhart coal mines near Cumberland, that state, and in 1851 he entered the employ of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, by which he was assigned to prospect for coal in the Hampshire hills of what is now West Virginia. In that year he opened a vein of coal near Piedmont, and March 18, 1852, he became superintendent of McGuire's Tunnel, in supervising the arching of the same, for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company. In May of the same year he opened a vein of coal over the Kingwood Tunnel, and this supplied the requisite coal in connection with the completion of that railroad tunnel. In August, 1852, Mr. Henry opened the Palatine Mines, and in May of the following year he shipped an eight-ton gondola car of coal to Gen. Columbus O'Donnell, of Baltimore, who was then president of the Baltimore Gas Company. This figures in the history of the coal industry of West Virginia as the first shipment of coal from this state. During the winter of the same year Mr. Henry furnished coal for the third and fourth divisions of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, besides making shipments to Baltimore. In 1854 the railroad company sold the Palatine Mines to General O'Donnell, by whom Mr. Henry was retained as superintendent of the mines. Two years later he took charge of the Newburg coal properties purchased by General O'Donnell, and he continued as super-intendent of these mines about thirty years. On the 16th of March, 1860, he was run over by a 1,250-pound coal car, and though the injury crippled him to a certain degree, he was still able to continue his active executive service. lie was a man of fine character and of marked technical ability in connection with coal mining, and his name is written large in the history of the developing of the great coal industry of West Virginia. He was one of the founders and served as an elder of the Presbyterian Church at Newburg, and in a fraternal way he was affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellow's. His marriage to Mary Ann Holmes was solemnized June 16, 1837, his wife having been born at Irvinn, Scotland, December 16, 1817, ahd her death having occurred October 9, 1899.

Dr. Charles O. Henry gained his early education in the public schools of Fairmont, and thereafter was here a student two years in the State Normal School. He continued his studies three years in the University of West Virginia, and his initial study of medicine was prosecuted under the preceptorship of Drs. Hugh W. and Luther S. Brock, of Morgantown. In 1882 he graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in the City of Baltimore, Maryland, and after receiving his degree of Doctor of Medicine he was for twenty-one years engaged in successful practice at Shinnston, Harrison County. He then, in 1903, established his residence and professional headquarters in his native city of Fairmont, where he controls a substantial and representative general practice. He served six years, 1904-10, as health officer of Marion County, and in his home city he is now a member of the medical staff of Cook Hospital. He is one of the honored members of the Marion County Medical Society, of which he was president in 1919, and of the West Virginia State Medical Society, of which he served as president in 1911. He is an active member also of the American Medical Association. In 1918 Doctor Henry volunteered for service in the Medical Corps of the United States Army in connection with the World war, and his service was accepted by the Government. He was one of the six members of the West Virginia State Committee of Medical Defense, and gave to the work of the same much of his time. In 1921 he was appointed assistant superintendent of State Hospital No. 3 at Fairmont, in which position he is giving characteristically loyal and effective service. The doctor is president of the Lambert Run Coal Company, and in the Masonic fraternity his affiliations are with St. John's Lodge No. 24, A. F. and A. M., at Shinnston, and Orient Chapter No. 9, B. A. M., at Fairmont. He and his wife are active members of the First Baptist Church of Fairmont, in which he is a deacon.

May 6, 1885, recorded the marriage of Doctor Henry and Miss Virginia Lee Hood, who was born in Marion County, August 4, 1862, a daughter of William and Hannah (Coombs) Hood. Mr. Hood was born at Grenada, Pennsylvania, and from West Virginia went forth as a soldier of the Confederacy in the Civil war. He was captured and for a time held as a prisoner of war. In conclusion is given brief record concerning the children of Doctor and Mrs. Henry: Edith Holmes, born July 6, 1886, was afforded the advantages of the State Normal School at Fairmont, and she is now the wife of Milton R. Frantz, of this city, their two children being Miriam Browning and Virginia Lee. Agnes Lee, the second daughter, was born August 28, 1887, and after taking a special course in kindergarten work at Washington, District of Columbia, she became a popular teacher in the public schools of Fairmont. She became the wife of Edwin V. Duffy, of Sydney, Australia, and they now reside at Fairmont, their two children being Bertha Virginia and Edwin V., Jr. Ruth O'Donnell, the third daughter, was born August 16, 1890, graduated from the Fairmont State Normal School and also attended Randolph-Macon Seminary. She is now the wife of William E. Brooks, who completed an engineering course at Cornell University and now reside at Fairmont, West Virginia. Mary Ellen, born January 16, 1894, graduated from the Fairmont Normal School and is now a successful and popular teacher in the public schools of Fairmont. Robert McKenzie Henry was born August 22, 1896, was graduated, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, from the University of West Virginia, class of 1917, and was a student in the law department of the university when he entered the Officers Training Corps at Camp Sherman, Ohio, where he gained commission as first lieutenant. Thereafter he was in service in turn at Camp Lee and Camp Hancock, and though several times selected for overseas service he was retained on duty in the drilling of soldiers at Camp Hancock until the signing of the armistice brought the World war to a close. He received his discharge in December, 1918, and he is now sales agent for the Standard Garage at Fairmont, besides being a stockholder in the Henry Coal Company. Andrew Luke Henry was born August 6, 1899, attended Bucknell College two years and Columbia University one year, and is now a salesman for the Fairmont Wall Plaster Company. His wife, Katherine W., is a daughter of T. W. Arnett, of Fairmont. As all six of his children were graduated from the Fairmont High School Doctor Henry claims an unparalleled record in this respect for his family, no other one family having equaled the record in the local high school.

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