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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume II,
GUSTAVUS HITE WILSON bas played an active role in the affairs of Preston
County as a teacher, a banker, a progressive leader in all civic movements,
and was a former captain of the National Guard.
This branch of the Wilson family has been in Preston County for more than a
century. His great-grandfather came from Scotland and settled in Taylor County, West Virginia, more than 100 years ago. His sons were Jacob, Thomas,
Edgar, Ham and Coleman, and his only daughter, Harriet, became the wife of
Luke Lewellen. Of these sons, Jacob Wilson, grandfather of the Kingwood banker,
was born in Taylor County and married Nancy Meanes. Their children were:
Nathan A.; Alonzo; Rebecca, wife of Dr. S. H. Harter; Isaac; William E.;
and Belle, who became the wife of Harter Stout, of Bridgeport, West Virginia.
Nathan A. Wilson, father of Captain Wilson, was born near Grafton in Taylor
County, was reared and educated in the country and though a boy at the time
of the Civil war he was employed as a Government teamster at the close of
hostilities, though not enlisted in the army. He spent his active career
in business and as an interested participant in public affairs, and was a
democrat in politics. He married Sarah Schaeffer, daughter of Israel Schaeffer
and a sister of William M. Schaeffer, former sheriff of Preston County. She
died in Preston County in May, 1900, at the age of fifty. Her children were:
Israel S., a farmer of the Whetsell community of Preston County; Gustavus Hite;
John E., a farmer in Preston County; Scott H., a druggist at Kingwood; Gay E.,
in the hardware business at Kingwood; Troy A., a farmer and railroad man; and
Lawrence S., in the hardware business at Kingwood.
Gustavus Hite Wilson was born near Grafton, April 5, 1873, but grew up on the
home farm five miles east of Kingwood. He acquired a country school education
there, and when he left home he began teaching. He was active in that profession
nineteen years, though during an interval of several years he was connected with
banking. For six years be was principal of the Kingwood graded school, and at the
same time did duty on the County Examining Board. His last work as a teacher was
done in the Grafton schools.
For three years be was connected with the Kingwood National Bank, and then
resumed teaching. Later he entered the Farmers and Merchants Bank at Reedsville
in Preston County, and for a brief time was assistant bank commissioner of the
state. Since then he has been in the service of the First National Bank of
Albright, of which he is cashier. The Albright Bank was organized in 1914 by
local interests and has a capital of $25,000. E. E. Watson, of Albright, is
president; the vice presidents are M. F. Walls and S. D. Albrigbt, and the
cashier is Mr. Wilson. This bank has resources of $200,000, with undivided
profits and surplus of $6,000. Its directors are S. A. Gustafson, Marshall
Morgan, Mr. Watson, Mr. Walls, S. D. Albright and Mr. Wilson.
In February, 1896, in Preston County, Mr. Wilson married Miss Maggie L. Calvert,
who was born in that county and represents an old family of this section. Her
father, Enoch Calvert, was born in Preston County, on the Jesse Childs farm,
was a soldier in the Civil war, but otherwise lived as a private citizen and
was a substantial farmer. He died in 1901, at the age of sixty-five. His wife
was Mary E. Sypolt, of Irish ancestry, who was born in Preston County and died
in 1913. Her father was William H. Sypolt. Enoch Calvert and wife had the following
children: William Jasper, of Chicago; Louisa Virginia, wife of I. J.
Whetsell, of Preston County; Minnie A., wife of J. D. Wright, of Preston County; Horace S.,
of Howesviile, West Virginia; M. John, of Kingwood; Cecil M., a farmer in the
Whetsell community; Nora E., wife of Edgar Jeffreys, of Kingwood; Mrs. Wilson;
and Chester A., a farmer in the home community. Mrs. Wilson was horn October 13,
1880, and was reared on her father's farm and acquired a public school education.
Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have a son and a daughter. The son, Raymond, is a student of
engineering in West Virginia University and during the World war was a member of
the Student Army Training Corps. The daughter, Beatrice, is the wife of John C.
Varner, of Kingwood, and they have a son, John Clair Varner, born April 23, 1921.
Mr. Wilson cast his first presidential vote for William J. Byan, and has been
secretary of the County Democratic Executive Committee and has frequently
attended district and state conventions. During the World war he was a member
of all the Liberty Loan committees and assistant to the county chairman in the
Victory Loan drive. He was tics president and secretary of a Red Cross organization, and Mrs. Wilson labored faithfully as a private in Red Cross work.
Mr. Wilson was for fourteen years active in the National Guard in Company G of
the First Infantry. He entered as a private and at the end was captain of the
company. He was still in the service when America entered the war with Germany,
and after a Federal examination he was commissioned major in the Quartermaster's
Department, but was not called to active duty though, as noted, he was one of the
leaders in home war work.