Doddridge County WVGenWeb - who's Who


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Doddridge County WVGenWeb

Doddridge County, West Virginia

County Coordinator is Frances Stewart

Doddridge County, West Virginia

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Doddridge County "QuickFacts" provided by our Census Bureau


Ephraim Bee

*Renee Lee Brown

James Caldwell

*Bantz J. "John" Craddock, BA,

*Rick Cross

Nathan, Joseph and William Davis

Joseph H. Diss DeBar

Philip Doddridge

Pearl Jett

*Mayor Charles Langfitt

Jason Marchand

Lewis Maxwell

*Steve Myers

*Congressman Nick Rahall

*David Bruce Sandridge

Samuel Todd Sherwood

*Gregg Smith

*Clyde Ware

also see:

The Political Graveyard:

*Renee Lee Brown, also known as Rennie Brown, residence Doddridge Co, WV, (formerly in Anne Arundel Co, MD). Attended Youngstown State Univ, 1965-67; Ohio State Univ, 1967-69; and Fayetteville State Univ, 1975-77 (B.A. in English). US Army Military Intelligence Officer, Apr 1970 - Dec 1990, including seven years in Germany and with last seven years as Polygraph Examiner based at Fort Meade, MD. Computer store owner, Crofton, MD, 1988-93. Private Investigator, Baltimore, MD, 1993-94. Baseball concessions supervisor, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, 1995-97. Youth sports photographer, West Virginia Sports Section, 1997-98. Olan Mills portrait sales, 1998-present.   Rennie is an enthusiastic supporter of West Union and was a major contributor to the Guinness Attempt.

James Caldwell,  the first known landowner in what was to become Doddridge County, owned 20,000 acres of land in the county sometime prior to 1787.

*Bantz J. "John" Craddock, BA, is a four-star general. General Craddock served two years under the secretary of defense in Washington, D.C. , and is now commander of U.S. Southern Command, which includes all U.S. military operations in 30 countries in the Caribbean and South America. General John Craddock assumed command of the United States Southern Command on November 9, 2004. A native of the historic Town of West Union, in Doddridge County, West Virginia, General Craddock attended West Virginia University and holds a Masterís degree in Military Arts and Sciences. General Craddock, a West Union native, is the grandson of the late Bantz Craddock, a leading Glenville lawyer and former U. S. Attorney for the north central WV region.  The General's decorations include the Valorous Unit Award, Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal w/ 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Legion of Merit with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Bronze Star. Craddock is currently poised to become the Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization pending confirmation by the U.S. Senate.  This would entail overseeing military support of the 26-nation NATO as well as U.S. European Command, which includes 92 nations, an assignment once held by Army Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.  (see Charleston Daily Mail article)    

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*Rick Cross served 12 years in the United States Air Force, where he was promoted to Staff Sergeant. A member of the American Legion Post 25 and the present Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3408, Rick also has time to volunteer with he Doddridge Fire Department Emergency Squad.  A native of West Union, WV, his parents were the late Norman B. Cross and Wilda C. Cross of West Union. Rick was married and has one daughter, Lisa (maried to Michael) lives, in Middlebourne, WV; his 4 grandsons are Mack, Dylan, Skylar, Riley, and Parker.  He currently works for Pro Careers, Inc. as a nursing assistant, and for ShopnSave Express in West Union.

Nathan, Joseph and William Davis purchased James Caldwell's property and moved to what was to become West Union in 1807. On April 17, 1845, the first meeting of the county court was held at Nathan and Jane Davis' home. Nathan Davis first suggested the name of West Union.  The new town, across Middle Island Creek from Lewisport, merged with Lewisport. West Union was incorporated by the Virginia General Assembly on March 14, 1850 and by the West Virginia legislature in 1881. 

Joseph H. Diss DeBar, designer of the Great Seal and Coat of Arms of West Virginia, was a noted artist and linguist.  He lived in West Union, Doddridge County, WV. 

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Philip Doddridge (1772-1832), for whom Doddridge County was named, was born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania on May 17, 1772, the second son of John and Mary (Willis) Doddridge. He applied himself to the study of law and settled down in Wellsburg, Virginia. Renowned for his debating skills, he quickly established himself as one of the best attorneys in Virginia. He served in the Virginia General Assembly in 1815-1816, 1822-1823, and 1828-1829. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1829 and served there until his death on November 19, 1832.a famous statesman who traveled widely throughout the current site of West Virginia. It is not known if he ever set foot on what is now the county bearing his name.

Pearl Jett Pearl Jett (Apr. 9, 1919 ~ Dec. 19, 2006) Daughter of Joseph Jett and Lucy V. Smith, is buried in the historic Masonic Cemetery in West Union. Pearl served as trustee with the DC Library.  Names Doddridge County Citizen of the Year posthumously in 2007.


*Mayor Charles Langfitt, Mayor of the Town of West Union, is a West Virginia native; born in Charleston, WV to Bruce Benton Langfitt and Helen Bohnard Langfitt, he was raised in Salem, WV; graduated form Salem High School and Salem College.
After 23 years in the Army, Charlie retired with the rank of Captain in 1953. West Union saw him as a store manager for ABC Comm.; he went on to the Department of of Transportation, where he retired after 21 years.  Married December 23, 1955 to Betty Jane Smith, Charlie just recently lost his wife of 51 years.
He belongs to the Doddridge County Lions Club, the Doddridge County Emergency Squad, the West Union Volunteer Fire Department, and the American Legion Post #25 in West Union.
The proud father of Lee Ann Riley has five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.  Charlie has served on the West Union City Council (elected 2000, re-elected 2002) and as Mayor of the Town of West Union (appointed to fill unexpired term 2003, elected 2005) 

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Spc Jason Marchand, a  Doddridge County High School graduate (2000), was the first Doddridge County Private to be killed in Iraq.  (Oct 8, 2007)  Age 26, he left behind a wife, a daughter, a mother, and two brothers.      

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Lewis Maxwell
, a Virginia congressman, bought about 16,000 acres (23 cents per acre) from the Davis' circa 1809. Maxwell's ridge in West Union was named for him. 

*Steve Myers, is the Grand Noble Recorder Yerba Buena Lodge #1 E Clampus Vitus.  E Clampus Vitus was founded by a West Union resident, Ephraim Bee, in 1845. ECV has grown in the West to about 150,000 members.  Myers, has left his beloved California to visit West Union, WV on 4 different occasions since 2001, and has brought other members back on a sort of "pilgrimage" in honor of Ephraim Bee. Steve has been instrumental in having 2 plaques made for Ephraim Bee; they were dedicated in 2003 and 2005. The latter is installed on the Rail Trail as it passes through West Union and rededicated on July 22, 2006 during our celebration for the 125th Anniversary of the Town of West Union. 

*Congressman Nick Rahall, Third Congressional District of West Virginia, is currently serving his 15th term in the United States House of Representatives. Congressman Rahall honored the Town of West Union by presiding over the cutting of the Town's birthday cake during the West Union Fest - 125. 

Samuel Todd Sherwood, central WV gunsmith, was born in PA in 1828.  He, and his wife Drusilla, moved to Doddridge County prior to 1850, residing in New Milton.  Todd Sherwood's guns are fine collectibles due to the variety, precision, and beauty displayed.   A bold dyestamp of "S T S" denotes this gunsmith's work.  One of Sherwood's last apprentices was Benjamin Bee, who later became a jeweler. 

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*Gregg Smith, X-Grand Noble, (but Humble), Humbug of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternal Order of E Clampsus Vitus, is a West Union farmer, and an associate producer/director at KTEH (Channel 54), KSAR (Channel 8), KCAT (Channel 6).  Gregg has worn quite a few hats during his career in the media including some movie & television acting . From helmsman / radio operator & SCUBA diver aboard the Research Ship, Sea Shepherd, to Research and Development of radio electronic engineering.  A Doddridge Countian, Gregg is a member of the Doddridge Research Group, a founding member of DCARS (Doddridge County Amateur Radio Society), and is Founder/President of the Tri-County Beekeeper Association.  Gregg is forming a historical re-enactment group called the Doddridge County Militia. 

*Clyde Ware, author, is a native of West Union, West Virginia, living now in California.   Clyde Ware has been awarded the WV International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award (2002). His distinguished career in motion pictures and television includes direction and production as well as screenwriting.  His work is so synonymous with Americana, many trivia games and crossword puzzles use it as reference. Some of his credits are:
The Innocents; Episodes for Gunsmoke, The Hitchcock Hour, Bonanza
CAST: Jack Palance, Steve Forrest, Richard Hatch, James Keach, Robert Carradine, Joe Estevez
(southern West Virginia)
The writer of countless screenplays and TV scripts since moving to California, Clyde's earlier work included two critically acclaimed novels, The Innocents (1969) and The Eden Tree (1971). He is a script writer for television and movies and the founder of a film production company.  Two of Ware's films were shot on location in north central West Virginia, Doddridge County:

  • 1972: "No Drums, No Bugles" Cinerama Releasing
    DIRECTED BY: Clyde Ware
    CAST: Martin Sheen, Davey Davison, Elaine Giftos
    The film is based on the West Virginia legend of a conscientious objector during the Civil War who spent three years in a cave rather than fight.
  • and, 1973: "Where the Line Goes Through" All Seasons Video
    DIRECTED BY: Clyde Ware
    CAST: Martin Sheen, Tillie Allen, Dick Barton, Vicki Carroll, Davey Davison

Another film on the Coal Mining Industry "Rough Diamonds", is scheduled for production this Fall in West Virginia. A love story with a background of coal mining. that Clyde expects will put his beloved Doddridge County and West Union on the international map.  Mr. Ware was honored at the Festival celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the Town of West Union - his home town.

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*contemporary dates are omitted


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