George Harry Gordon

Biography of George Harry GORDON

Harrison County, West Virginia

The History of West Virginia, Old and New

Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II, Pg. 402-403

Headstone of George Harry Gordon

GEORGE HARRY GORDON, was a three term mayor of Clarksburg. And formerly United States commissioner in his district. As a forty year resident of Clarksburg, he was very active in business and public affairs of that city.

Mr. Gordon was born at Barnesville, Ohio, March 21, 1870, but represents an old Virginia family.  He is a son of Samuel W. and Ursulla (Waters) Gordon, natives of Virginia, his father of Frederick County and his mother of Loudoun County.  The Gordons were of Scotch ancestry.

When the Gordons came to West Virginia they settled in Preston County, while the Waters family established a home in Harrison County.  The paternal grandparents of George H. Gordon were John and Susan (Cooley) Gordon.  They were pronounced and ardent Unionists at the time of the Civil war.  Their five sons, because of their political convictions, left Virginia and removed to Ohio.  While there Samuel W. Gordon enlisted in the Union Army and served throughout the war in the Sixtieth Ohio Infantry.

Tristate area Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania
Leaving Virginia

In the absence of his sons John Gordon, then an old man, while defending a small remaining store of corn, his only source of provisions, struck and killed a Confederate soldier who was making the raid.  The Confederate officers declined to punish the old man for his breach of military law, and it was then ordered that neither he nor his supplies should be molested. However, the civil authorities served notice upon him to leave Virginia, and he did so, making the trip in a wagon with his wife to the vicinity of Newburg in Preston County, West Virginia, where they settled.

Subsequently they moved to Granville, Ohio, where they spent the rest of their years. Samuel W. Gordon and Ursula Waters were married in Harrison County soon after the close of the Civil war.  For several years they lived at Barnesville, Ohio, and in 1873 moved to Winchester, Virginia, and from there came to Clarksburg in 1882.

The wife of Samuel W. Gordon died at the age of forty-seven.  She was the mother of two children, John William and George Harry Gordon.  Samuel W. Gordon, who lived to the age of sixty-nine, married for his second wife Mary Hoff, and to this union was born a daughter, Helen.  Samuel W. Gordon was a farmer in early life, later a traveling salesman for a Boston shoe house, and about 1889 was elected a justice of the peace, an office he held for sixteen years, until he resigned to retire permanently.  He was a republican and a member of the Methodist Church.

Early Life To Mayor
Map of Virginia and West Virginia

George Harry Gordon was three years of age when his parents moved to Winchester and was about twelve when they came to Clarksburg, which has been his home since the spring of 1882.  He finished his common school education here, and soon after his marriage, at the age of twenty-one, became engaged in mercantile pursuits at Salem, West Virginia.  

After two years he went into the South Pennsylvania oil fields, and for ten years was in the employ of the South Bend Oil Company and for a few years thereafter with other drillers of oil wells.  Mr. Gordon in the fall of 1905 was appointed justice of the peace to fill the unexpired term of his father.  This office he held ten years, and left it to become mayor of Clarksburg, an office to which he was first elected in April, 1915.  He was re-elected in 1916 and again in 1917, and these three terms marked a period of high efficiency in the conduct of municipal affairs.

Life After Mayor

Mr. Gordon when he left the mayor’s office in 1918 became an oil and gas well contractor, a business which he still continues. He also handles real estate and insurance, and since May, 1921, has performed the duties of United States commissioner at Clarksburg.

Logo for the Knights of Pythias

Mr. Gordon is a republican, a Methodist, and has long been active in the Masonic fraternity, being a Knight Templar and thirty-second degree Scottish Rite and a Shriner.  He is also affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and the Elks.

September 29, 1891, he married Miss Mary Pollard.  She was born at Plymouth, Vermont, and was brought by her parents to Clarksburg when five years of age. Four children were born to their marriage, the son Joseph dying at the age of four years.  The three living are Susan, Ruth and George Samuel Gordon.

Material may be freely used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material, AND permission is obtained from the contributor of the file.

These pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by other organizations.  Persons or organizations desiring to use this material for non-commercial purposes, MUST obtain the written consent of the contributor.

Contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by Linda Katalenich, <> March 2000

Leave a Reply