John R. Steel


Grave marker for John R. Steel

The Sunday Telegram., September 26, 1915

One of Most Widely Known Men in County Passes On at Age of 81.

John R. Steel, one of the most widely known men in Harrison County, died at 6:20 o’clock Saturday evening at his home at 748 Locust Street, this city, of infirmities from which he suffered a year or more.

The funeral will be held at 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon at the home of Mr. Steel with the local Odd Fellows in charge and the Rev. E. B. Turner, pastor of the church, conducting the services. Burial will be in the Odd Fellows’ Cemetery.

Capt. Steel was born near Philadelphia March 27, 1834, and was a son of James and Anna Steel, who came to Clarksburg when John R. Steel was but five years of age.

Civil War commemoration

John R. Steel and Johanna Hite, of Morgantown, were married March 26, 1863. Two children were born to this union, a son and a daughter.

The son, J. Ernest Steel died a few weeks ago in Rochester, Pa. The daughter, Lucy, is the wife of C. Frank Grumbine, of this city. Mrs. Steel died a number of years ago. Mr. Steel was a brother of Samuel Steel, now dead, former Mayor of the city and a well known miller. He was also a brother of Mrs. John Hursey, of this city.


Many years ago Mr. Steel purchased the Old Point Mills from a man named Huffman, where he did an extensive milling business along with a large volume of saw milling. A feature of this business was the floating of great rafts of timber from interior counties down the West Fork river to the mills. At that time he was a man of extraordinary constitution and strength.

Old Mill Dam, Mr. John R. Steel owned a similar Mill

While engaged in milling he became acquainted with almost everyone in Harrison county, as a great majority of the people of the county patronized his mills to a more or less extent. He was recognized as one of the finest millers of his day. Mr. Steel also, along with the operation of his mills bred and raised large numbers of fine hogs, and at times butchered porkers, the greatness of whose weight excelled anything of the kind in that day. He retired from the milling business about twenty years ago. 

While Mr. Steel was never active in politics he served thirteen years as city treasurer and several times was elected to the position without opposition. As such official he was faithful and diligent. He continued to hold the office until his declining years made it necessary for him to retire to the regret of many citizens of Clarksburg.

Image of Quaker Meeting House near Beckley WV

Mr. Steel was a Quaker in religious belief and not affiliated with any local church, although he attended the First Presbyterian Church, of which his daughter is a member. He belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. There was no more honorable citizen than he. His life was long and useful and Clarksburg has lost one of its best and most beloved residents by the death of Mr. Steel.


The Daily Telegram., September 27, 1915

Odd Fellows are requested to meet at the I. O. O. F. hall Tuesday, September 28, at 2:30 p. m. to attend the funeral of Brother John R. Steele.


Odd Fellows' Banner

The West Virginian., September 28, 1915


Mrs. Rose Steele and the Misses Jeanette and Caroline Bright are in Clarksburg, where they were called by the death of John R. Steele. Funeral services were held today from the family residence.

Leave a Reply