William E. Eubank

Welch Daily News
October 23, 1950

Colonel Eubank Dies Last Night

Veteran Army Man Lived Here For Years

Colonel William E. Eubank, 70, recognized as McDowell county's "first soldier," died at 7:30 o'clock Sunday night in the veterans' hospital at Huntington.

Col. Eubank had been a patient in the hospital for several weeks and suffered a stroke a week ago. He had been in declining health since his retirement from active military duty in 1942. He was staying at the Hotel Carter, here, when he went to Huntington to enter the veterans' hospital.

Led Troops Off

Three times, Col. Eubank led West Virginia troops away for active duty with the United States Army, the first time in 1916 for the Mexican border incident, then in World War I and again in World War II.

While known principally for his military life, Col. Eubank was a successful traveling man. He was sales representative for the Superior-Sterling Hardware company for nearly 30 years, traveling in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia.

Col. Eubank was retired from army service in 1942, about a year after he led members of the 150th Infantry Regiment, West Virginia National Guard, to Camp Shelby, Miss., for active duty with the regular army. This was in January 1941. After Pearl Harbor, most of the 150th was sent to the Panama Canal Zone.

Born In Virginia

Col. Eubank was a native of Charlottesville, Va.

His military career started shortly after the Spanish-American War, when at the age of 18 he enlisted as a private in the 3rd Virginia Regiment. He served three years as a member of Company D in the Monticello Guards at Charlottesville. Those three years were the only ones that he served as an enlisted man.

In 1914, while employed as a hardware salesman, the young man organized a company of militia in Welch and was placed in command of a unit designated as Company K of the 2nd West Virginia Regiment.

On July 2, 1916, his company was ordered to active duty on the Mexican border at a time when Pancho Villa and his Mexican outlaws were running rampant.

Return To Welch

Nine months later, Capt. Eubank brought his company back to Welch, to stay only a few weeks before being recalled to active service. The unit did guard duty at Charleston railroad yards and along rivers, leaving in September for Camp Shelby, Miss., where it was designated as the 150th Infantry and made a part of the 39th Division.

Within a year, Captain Eubank was promoted to a major and shortly thereafter, in September, 1918, he was detached from the West Virginia troops he commanded and assigned to special duty with the 115th Infantry. Later, he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion Headquarters of the 114th Infantry with which he served in France from October 1918 to May 1919.

Reorganizes Guard

Following his return from overseas, Major Eubank became a member of the Organized Reserves, and in 1921 at the request of Governor E. F. Morgan of West Virginia, he reorganized the 150th Infantry, and was placed in command. His regiment was federally recognized on March 1, 1923, and he was promoted to colonel on the same date.

Regimental headquarters was established in Welch.

So great was his attachment to the 150th Infantry that Col. Eubank once declined promotion to brigadier general and command of the 75th Brigade.

Col. Eubank as commander of McDowell County Post No. 8, American Legion, in 1920 and 21, took a leading part in the erection of the Memorial building here, first such structure in the United States to the memory of those who died in the first World War.

He was also a member of Painter-Porroni Post No. 1021, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and commanded Voiture 1171, Society of the American Legion.

A Republican, he once ran for his party's nomination for sheriff of McDowell county.

Col. Eubank was a member of McDowell Lodge No. 112, A. F. and A. M. Wyndham Chapter No. 45, Royal Arch Masons, Welch Commandery No. 27, Knights Templar, and Beni-Kedem Temple, Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Charleston. He was a past master and trustee of McDowell Lodge No. 112, A. F. and A. M.

Surviving are his wife, the former Daisy Annaheim of Pocahontas, Va.; two sons, Col. William E. Eubank, Jr., of the Army Air Force, Omaha, Neb.; James A. Eubank of Bluefield, and two daughters.

The body is being returned to Bluefield.

Burial will take place Wednesday in Monte Vista Park cemetery with a Masonic service. Funeral arrangements had not been completed.

Military and Wartime