ALONZO "LONNIE" FINNELL
Alonzo "Lonnie" Finnell, the son of William Finnell (1814-1895) and Adelaide Withers Tapp, was born in Monongalia Coounty (W) Va. in 1844. On 22 June 1866, he married Louisa Hare, born in 1838 in Fayette County, Pa. Their children were Charles Newton Finnell and Belle V. Finnell. Alonzo worked as a butcher and died in 1877 in Morgantown, Monongalia County, W. Va.
A biography of Charles Newton Finnell is found in The History of West Virginia, Old and New, Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc., Chicago and New York, Volume III, pg. 192-193. It was transcribed by Valerie Crook for the WVGenWeb Project.
CHARLES N. FINNELL. Thirty years a member of the West Virginia bar, Charles N. Finnell has done his best work as a lawyer since locating at Keyser. His practice has been satisfying to a degree that he has needed no outside sources of income, though in later years he has acquired some business interests in that section of the state. He has been in politics for the good, of the community and not for office, and his public service has been almost entirely within the line of his profession.
Mr. Finnell was born at Morgantown, West Virginia, July 17, 1867. His grandfather was William Finnell, also a native of Monongalia County, where he was a substantial farmer. His home was near Granville, that county, and he died about 1886, at the age of eighty-four. William Finnell married a Miss Tapp, and their four sons and two daughters were: Robert A., who spent his life near Morgantown; Alonzo, mentioned below; Evander, who died near Morgantown; Webster, who lived in Monongalia County; Theodosia, who died as the wife of A. Wesley Snider; and Miss Fannie.
Alonzo Finnell, father of the Keyser lawyer, was a native of Monongalia County, and had to his credit a service of three years as a Union soldier in a West Virginia regiment. He spent his active life in the butcher business at Morgantown. He died in 1877, at the age of forty-one. He married Louisa Hare, who was born on the farm of her father near Morgantown, March 19, 1838, and is now eighty-four years of age, living at Long Beach, California. father was John Hare. Her brother, Silas W. Hare, was first lieutenant in the Fourteenth West Virginia Infantry during the Civil war, and he was on duty for part of two years around Keyser, then called New Creek. He is now eighty years of age and a resident of Los Angeles, California. Another soldier of the family was Elias C. Finnell an uncle of Alonzo Finnell. He was captain of Company I, of the Fourteenth West Virginia Infantry, and after war moved out to Illinois, where he died. Alonzo Finnell and wife reared only two children, Charles Newton and Miss Belle V., the latter living at Long Beach, California, with her mother.
Charles N. Finnell was reared at Morgantown and had the advantages of the schools of that educational center. He finished high school and took the classical course at the West Virginia University, graduating A. B. in 1889. For three years he taught school, and then he re-entered the university for his law course, graduating in 1893. After being admitted to the bar he sought a location at Parsons in Tucker County, and while there was a member of the firm Finnell & Conley. He tried his first law suit there. Then, in 1895, he moved to Keyser, and since then has been alone in practice. He does a general practice, and his interests as a lawyer has acquired his attendance at the courts of all the adjoining counties, in the State Supreme Court and also the Federal Courts. Early in his career he was admitted to practice in the United States Court.
In the line of his profession he served Mineral County as prosecuting attorney four years, being elected in 1900 as successor to Frank C. Reynolds. He did not seek re-election. He served two terms as city attorney, declining reappointment for the third time. As a leader in the republican party Mr. Finnell was chairman of the Congressional Committee of the Second West Virginia District from 1908 to 1912, and has been a delegate to a number of congressional and state conventions. He is serving his third term as a member of the Board of Education of the Keyser Independent District, and was president of the board when the Col. Tom Davis property was acquired for school purposes, this being the site upon which the new high school has recently been completed. Mr. Finnell east his first presidential vote for Benjamin Harrison in 1888.
In Masonry he is affiliated with the lodge at Keyser, where he was raised, and is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason in the West Virginia Consistory at Wheeling, and a member of Osiris Temple of the Mystic Shrine in the same city.
At Parsons, West Virginia, October 9, 1901, Mr. Finnell married Miss Lena Rees Blackman, a native of Tucker County and educated at Parsons. Her parents were Silas R. and Mary (McGuffin) Blackman. Her mother died in 1899, at the age of forty-eight. Her father, who died at Parsons in 1920, at the age of seventy-one, was a native of Beverly, this state, and spent his life as a farmer. Mrs. Finnell was born November 24, 1874, the oldest of five children, the others being: Philadelphia Blackman, of Washington, D. C.; Miss Harriet, deceased; Mary S., wife of E. A. Hays, of Elkins; and Judson S., of Shinnston. Mr. and Mrs. Finnell have four children. The oldest, Robert Blackman, graduated from the Keyser High School and is now a student in the West Virginia University. John Hare is attending high school at Keyser. The two youngest children are Elizabeth Harriet and Ruth.
Among business interests, now strictly professional, Mr. Finnell has become a stockholder in several orchard companies in the vicinity of Keyser. He is attorney for the Peoples Bank of that city, and one of the counsel of the Western Maryland Railway Company. During the World war he was a member of the Registration Board to register all men subject to the draft, and later served as chairman of the Draft Board of Mineral County and still later was a member of the Legal Advisory Board. He was one of the busy men in this section building up patriotic sentiment and made a number of addresses over the county.