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Frank C. Kirkpatrick

Involved in oil development

-- from History of West Virginia. Chicago: American Historical Society, 1923 (v.2, p. 23)

FRANK C. KIRKPATRICK, of Wheeling, is one of the vigorous and successful exponents of the oil-producing industry in the state. He was born at Parkersburg, West Virginia, August 14, 1873, and is a son of Columbus B. and Lucy B. (Oakes) Kirkpatrick, both natives of Belpre Township, Washington County, Ohio, where the former was born in 1838 and the latter in 1839. The father of Columbus B. Kirkpatrick was born in one of the New England states, in 1805, became a cabinetmaker by trade and was one of the pioneer settlers of Belpre Township, Washington County, Ohio, where he remained until his death in 1885. His wife, whose family name was Cole, was born and reared in that township, and there she died at a venerable age. She was the author of a very popular book of poems pertaining to the Civil war, in which struggle she lost three of her sons, including Mortimer and Henry. The original American progenitors of the Kirkpatrick family came from the north of Ireland and settled in New England in the Colonial period of our national history.

Columbus B. Kirkpatrick was reared and educated in his native township, where his marriage was solemnized, and shortly after the close of the Civil war he established his home at Parkersburg, West Virginia, where for several years he gave his attention to contracting and building. His ambition led him to devote much of his leisure hours to the study of architecture, and he became a successful architect at Parkersburg. In the '70s he drew plans for an addition to the first West Virginia State Hospital for the Insane at Weston, these plans being accepted. In 1879, while supervising construction on this addition to the hospital, he fell from one of the higher points of the building, and so injured his spine and brain that he was confined from that year until 1881 in a private institution at Dixmont, Pennsylvania. He was then returned to the institution he had designed, and there he remained until his death, at the Weston Hospital for the Insane, February 27, 1917. Mr. Kirkpatrick was a man of fine mind and moral fiber, and gained high place in the confidence and esteem of his fellow men, so that the tragedy of his life brought sorrow to a host of loyal friends as well as to his immediate family. He was a democrat, served many consecutive terms as a member of the city council of Parkersburg, was a Knight Templar Mason and was an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Mr. Kirkpatrick was a gallant young soldier of the Union in the Civil war as a member of an Ohio regiment of volunteer infantry. His wife continued to reside at Parkersburg until her death, February 18, 1916. Charles R., eldest of their children, became a skilled machinist and molder, and died at Parkersburg in 1912; Estella is wife of Dennis Flint, a business man at Parkersburg; George has active charge of the Baptist Banner, a newspaper published at Parkersburg; Frank C., of this review, was the next in order of birth; Belle is the wife of Bernard Cannon, foreman in extensive glass works in the City of Cleveland, Ohio; and Josephine is wife of James Whittaker, superintendent of a foundry at Orville, that state.

Frank C. Kirkpatrick attended the public schools of Parkersburg until he was fifteen years old, when he entered the employ of a merchant tailor in that city. Three years later he entered the Mountain State Business College at Parkersburg, where he completed a thorough course of study. In 1892 he took a position in the office of the Adams Express Company at Parkersburg, and in October of the year 1894 he entered the employ of the Ohio River Railroad Company, the line of which is now a part of the Baltimore & Ohio system. He continued in the train service of the railroad until 1916, with headquarters at Pakersburg, and then was granted a furlough of indefinite length owing to his seriously impaired health. In the same year he became an oil producer in Pleasants County, this state, where he still retains his interests in this line. Mr. Kirkpatrick has visited virtually all important oil fields in the United States, and he is now vice president and general manager of the Southland Oil Company of West Virginia. He also holds under lease 1,000 acres of very valuable oil land in Simpson County, Kentucky. He maintains his office headquarters in the Wheeling Bank & Trust Company Building.

Mr. Kirkpatrick is independent in politics, he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and in the Masonic fraternity his basic affiliation is with Kenova Lodge No. 110, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Kenova, this state. At Wheeling he is a member of Osiris Temple of the Mystic Shrine, and has received the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite of Masonry in West Virginia Sovereign Consistory No. 1. He is affiliated also with the Lodge of Elks in the City of Huntington and with the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Brotherhood Railroad Trainmen.

June 12, 1912, at Wheeling, recorded the marriage of Mr. Kirkpatrick and Miss Ione M. Cassidy, daughter of Isaac and Clara (Lawrence) Cassidy, the former of whom died at Wheeling in 1913, and the latter now resides in Washington, District of Columbia. Mr. and Mrs. Kirkpatrick have no children of their own, but in their home have reared from the age of six years Grace, a sister of Mrs. Kirkpatrick, she being now a member of the class of 1923 in the Wheeling High School.

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