William H. Powell


Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
December 28, 1904

General Powell Old Wheelingite

Man Who Died Yesterday Married Wheeling Woman - Active in Local Industries

Gen. W. H. Powell, whose death occurred at Belleville, Ill., on Monday morning, the 26th instant, came to Wheeling with his parents when he was quite young. In his early life he was actively identified and interested in the iron and nail industries of Wheeling and vicinity. He assisted in building a nail mill known as the Point Mill, situated just where the B. & O. passenger station now stands. The mill was later rebuilt at Benwood. He built and managed nail mills at Clifton, W. Va., at Ironton, Ohio, and Belleville, Ill.

When the war broke out in 1861 Gen. Powell was commissioned captain and assigned to a company in the Second regiment of West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry. Promotions for bravery followed rapidly until at the close of the war he held his commission as brevet Major General of United States Volunteers.

In a skirmish at Wytheville, Va., he was badly wounded, shot through the body, from which he never fully recovered. He was taken prisoner and carried to Libby prison, in Richmond, and after six months in prison he was passed through the lines in exchange for a son of Gen. Lee.

Gen. Powell was married in Wheeling, his wife being Sarah Gilchrist, daughter of John and Sarah Gilchrist. He is survived by three children, Mrs. Charles L. Allen and Miss M. Alice Powell, of Chicago, and Tarry L. Powell, of Belleville, Ill.

Wheeling Register
December 27, 1904


Veteran Commander of the Society of Army of West Virginia Pas[s]es Away at His Home in Illinois on Christmas Day.


ST. LOUIS, Mo., Dec. 26. - Gen. William Powell, seventy-nine years old, former West Virginian, civil war veter[a]n, school boy friend of the late President McKinley, and one of the most respected citizens of Belleville, Ills., died at his home in Belleville, Ills., at four o'clock this morning after a lingering illness.

General Powel[l] was internal revenue collector for the district in which he lived, a position to which he had been appointed by McKinley.

General Powell's funeral will be held at his home to-morrow afternoon at 1 o'clock. After the services the body will be shipped to Chicago for interment. The deceased leaves a widow, his second wife, and three children. He entertained General Blackmar, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, less than a week ago with reminiscences of the civil war. He was several terms elected commander of the Society of the Army of West Virginia.

Civil War

West Virginia Archives and History