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First West Virginia Legislature

Biographical Sketches: Lewis Bumgarner

Wheeling Intelligencer
July 20, 1863


Sketches Personal, Political and Biographical.


Lewis Bumgarner, the member from Mason, is a native of that county and has never made his home outside of its limits. He was born in 1816 and is forty-seven years of age. His father was a farmer and he was reared to the same honorable pursuit, and was married at the age of twenty-four. His life has been a quiet, and so far as the public are concerned, somewhat uneventful one, and has been spent in the pursuits and retirement of home.

"Along the cool sequestered vale of life
He has kept the noiseless tenor of his way."

He has at present, in connection with his farm, a saw mill, and does a considerable business as dealer in lumber. Has been a magistrate since the new Constitution of Virginia went into operation in '52.

After the sad affair in which the lamented Lewis Wetzel lost his life, Mr. Bungarner was chosen to fill the vacancy in the House of Delegates of Virginia, of which Mr. Wetzel had been a member, occasioned by his death. In this capacity he served until the old State government here was exchanged for the new. Since the breaking out of the rebellion, Mr. Bumgarner has been an active and ardent supporter of the Federal Government and through it of the Union, and a zealous friend and advocate of the new State. Has always been moderate and rather liberal in his views respecting slavery. Has always opposed the extension of it over new territory, but has equally opposed the interference with it where it existed by anybody but the people directly interested. He was ardently in favor of making West Virginia a free State and voted and advocated every measure looking to that end.

He has always been a Whig, having inherited Whig principles from his father, but never took any active part in political or public matters until the breaking out of the rebellion. He is in religion, a member of the United Brethren.

In person, Mr. Bumgarner is of medium stature, being about five feet eight, and spare in flesh. Hair light colored and fine, slightly gray about the temples, and entirely non est on top of the head, displaying a well shaped head; eyes dark blue, approaching grayish, face closely shaven and slightly square in contour, and in general expression pleasing and betokening intelligence features too small to be considered handsome. Dresses plain but neatly, is quiet and unobrtusive [sic]; talks well either in conversation or on the floor, though he has made no speeches of any length yet, and seldom troubles the House.

Biographies of the First West Virginia Legislature

West Virginia Archives and History