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SAMUEL J. BAMPFIELD


Dr. Samuel Jones Bampfield, the only colored physician at the prosperous mining town of Omar in Logan County, W. Va., is a native of the historic old city of Charleston, S. C. He was born on April 1, 1876, son of John G. and Margaret (Jackson) Bampfield. The father is a farmer, the son of Joseph Bampfield, Jr., and his wife Judith (Robinson) Bampfield. Joseph Jr., was the son of Joseph Bampfield, Sr., and his wife Judith (Robinson) Bampfield. Joseph Jr., was the son of Joseph Bampfield, Sr., and his wife Annette (Turnbull) Bampfield. The mother of our subject, before her marriage, was Miss Margaret Jackson, daughter of Charles and Agnes Jackson. Her grandparents were Henry and Amelia Jackson Leith. Thus it will be seen that Dr. Bampfield has a clear record of his ancestry for three generations back. His people were free born, and so, even before emancipation, had enjoyed the advantages of citizenship, except the franchise. These advantages included education, the ownership of property and many opportunities of culture not open, of course, to the slave population.

As a boy, young Bampfield attended the Beaufort and Charleston, S. C., public schools. When ready for college he went to Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, graduating with the A. B. degree in 1893. Later the same institution conferred on him the A. M. degree. For his professional course he matriculated at the School of Medicine of Howard University where he won his M. D. degree in 1904. His way in school and college was not easy, but by persistent effort and self denial he forged ahead in the face of his difficulties and equipped himself for the serious work of life. While Dr. Bampfield did not lack sympathy and encouragement at home, yet he is, in the best sense of the word, a self made man.

After completion of his medical course, he began the practice at Beckley, W. Va., in 1905. He remained at Beckley for fourteen months, then went to Bluefield, Mercer County, W. Va., practicing here and at Gaitto and the vicinity around, where he had a most successful practice for ten years.

With the opening up of the Logan County fields, Dr. Bampfield moved to Omar where he has since resided, and where he has been unusually successful. It is interesting to note that his practice extends far into the adjacent mountains and that ninety per cent of his patients are white. He is regarded as the most substantial colored man in that part of the State.

On November 19, 1919, Dr. Bampfield married Miss Ethel Blanche Spriggs, daughter of William A. and Lucy (Davis) Spriggs of Institute, W. Va. Mrs. Bampfield was educated at the West Virginia Collegiate Institute, Institute, W. Va., graduating from the Normal & Commercial departments, after which she entered Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn., graduating from the Department of Music in 1915. She taught in State College, S. C. and in the high school, Huntington, W. Va., and is an accomplished woman. She joins heartily in the work of her husband.

In 1912, in the August Primary he ran for Justice of the Peace in Rock District, Mercer County. Of four candidates, two to be nominated, he outdistanced the nearest competitor by 460 votes, but in the November election, after conceding his election for the first three days, there was nothing more said until the County Court canvassed the votes, he was counted out and a Democrat counted in against him. Since then he has been strictly independent, preferring to vote for men rather than parties.

In religion he is a Presbyterian. He belongs to the State Medical Association and also the Nation Medical Association. Among the secret orders and benevolent societies, he is identified with the Pythians, Odd Fellows, Masons, Red Men and Gold Rule. He is medical examiner for the above local orders, both white and colored.

Dr. Bampfield has been and is an intelligent student of conditions and believes that the best interests of the race are to be promoted by "education, intelligent co-operation and the improved intellectual and moral standards of the ministry." His favorite reading includes the Bible, Life of Booker T. Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Roosevelt and Longfellow. Shakespeare and the best current literature.


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