CHARLES J. RAWLING.
Company "I", Three Years' Service
Author, History of the First Regiment Virginia Infantry.
History of the Upper Ohio Valley,
Charles J. Rawling, a prominent citizen of Wheeling, is a son of John S. Rawling, well-remembered as a business man of that city for many years subsequent to 1835. John S. Rawling was born in the village of Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, England, in 1798, the son of John Rawling and his wife, Mary James, of Norman lineage, the latter of whom was
very prominent in the societies of England. John S. received his business training in the Friend house of Guerney, linen man, in London, as a clerk, and in 1826 he came to America, settling first at Washington City. He then embarked in business at Georgetown, D. C.,
conducting the leading store of that place for about six years, after the expiration of which period he removed to Orange county Va., about 1833, and engaged in gold mining on Mine Run, not far from Orange Court House, where Lee fortified in the winter of 1863-4. In 1834, Mr. Rawling removed to Pittsburgh, and in the following year came to Wheeling. He was married to Margaret, daughter of George and Margaret (James) Godfrey, of Saxon descent. Her father, George Godfrey, came to Wheeling in 1826, walking from Philadelphia, when seventy years of age. He purchased a farm at Scotch Ridge, Belmont county, where he lived until his death in 1845. James and Joseph
Godfrey, brothers of Mrs. Rawling, were engaged in business at Wheeling, when Mr. Rawling arrived, and he was connected with the establishment subsequently for forty years, succeeding to the proprietorship in 1875. In 1876 he removed to Moundsville, Va., where he died August 18, 1877. His widow passed away in December, 1885, at the age of eighty-seven years. The elder of their two children, Georgia Anna, was born in 1829, at Washington City, and died in December, 1887. Charles J. Rawling, the subject of this mention, was born at Washington, in 1830. Coming to Wheeling in childhood he was educated at the Linsly institute, and first had his experience in business with Sweeney & Bell, glassware manufacturers and queensware importers. Afterward he spent one year in the west, and on returning learned the drug business with Dr. F. A. Breitlinger, and afterward clerked for various druggists until 1861. At the outbreak of the war he enlisted in the famous First Virginia regiment of infantry, organized at Wheeling in May 1861. He entered the service as a private. He served at the front until wounded in the Virginia valley, when he entered the quartermaster's department, and at the latter period of the war he represented that department at Martinsburg, supplying Sheridan's army with supplies. The heroic deeds of his regiment have been preserved for posterity by Mr.
Rawling in his volume entitled the "History of the First Virginia Regiment Infantry, 1861 to 1865." The war ending, Mr. Rawling returned to Wheeling and in the fall of 1865 became a partner with Dr. Logan, under the firm name of C. J. Rawling & Co., in the drug business on Twelfth street. In the following year he purchased Dr. Logan's interest and opened a store on the corner Sixteenth and Market streets. In the fall of 1867 Mr. Rawling began a long and
honorable service as postmaster of Wheeling. He was appointed by President Johnson, and served through the administration of Grant, and part of that of Hayes, in all twelve years. Mr. Rawling is prominently connected with manufacturing and financial interests, being president of the Wheeling Hinge company, with which he first became associated in 1868, and he is president of the Fire and Marine Insurance company. He was married in 1866, at Ellicott Mills, Md.,
to Maria A. Donnelly, and they have one son, C. Q., teacher of chemistry at the Linsly institute of Wheeling.
Vol. I, pages 580-581.
Brant & Fuller, 1890.
History of the Pan-Handle, West Virginia.
J. H. Newton, G. G. Nichols, & A. G. Sprankle, 1879; page 266.
Charles J. Rawling - Is a native of Washington, D. C., and was born November 26th, 1831. He is the only son of the late John S. Rawling, of Cambridge, England, born the 5th December 1797, and who came to this country in 1826. The old gentleman was a linen broker in England, but on arriving in America sojourned several years at Georgetown, D. C., coming to Wheeling with his family in 1835. He subsequently died at Moundsville, on the 22nd of August, 1877, aged 80 years. Charles J., the subject of our sketch, in 1848 first went with Sweeney, Bell & Co., on Twelfth street, remaining two years, when he engaged with the late F. A. Bentlinger, druggist, also on Twelfth street, subsequently serving other drug houses, down to 1865, when he went into business for himself, in partnership with Dr. Logan. Subsequently he bought out the doctor's interest, but in 1867, being appointed post master, Mr. Rawling sold out the business to Messrs. Silvey & List, assuming his government office April 16th of that year. He received his appointment under Andrew Johnson's administration, and ably performed the duties down to February 1879, when he was succeeded by Mr. Sterling. During his conduct of the office, to wit, in August, 1874, the letter carrier system was adopted, and the following year, to facilitate the increasing business, which was more than doubled during his incumbancy, Mr. Rawling had every department under his control remodeled. Nor should we fail to state, during the late war, he was a volunteer in 1861, and served in the First Virginia Light Infantry under Captain Trimble two years. He was wounded at the battle of Winchester, and afterwards transferred to the chief clerkship in the quarter master's department for West Virginia. He was married in 1866 to Maria, eldest daughter of a Mr. Donnelly, of Maryland, and has one son.