Skip Navigation

First West Virginia Legislature

Biographical Sketches: Edward Bunker


Wheeling Intelligencer
July 25, 1863

The First West Va. Legislature.

SENATE

Sketches Personal, Political and Biographical

BY AN OBSERVER

EDWARD C. BUNKER

Mr. BUNKER was born in the city of New York in 1828, and is now, of course, about 35 years of age. His parents died with cholera during the fearful ravages of that disease in New York, in 1832. At the age of six years he was brought to Preston county, Virginia, by his uncle, Col. Baldwin, of Kingwood, who, having no children of his own, adopted, educated and cared for Edward with all a father’s affection.

After the usual common school training, Mr. Bunker was placed in Washington College, Pa., where he completed his education. He studied law with the late Guy R. C. Allen at Morgantown, Virginia, and in 1850 commenced the practice in Kingwood, where he continued until the spring of 1857, when he removed to Morgantown and entered into a copartnership with Hon. Waitman T. Willey. In 1861, Lowrey Wilson, son of the late E. C. Wilson, formed a copartnership with Mr. Bunker, which continued only for a few months, when Wilson received a commission from Richmond and entered the rebel service. Mr. Bunker was opposed to the demon of secession, and took his stand with the people of Western Virginia.

Personally he is a very social and intelligent companion, loves his friends, forgives his enemies; attends to his own business and the business of those he represents. – He is about five feet ten inches in height, robust in health, heavily and squarely built, and looks like he never had been and never would be sick. His forehead is high, extending pretty well up to the top of his head, giving him a reverential appearance; his hair is black and pretty thick; his whiskers extend all around the lower part of his face, and add to his good appearance; his nose is long, as are all his features; eyes dark, and piercing; eye brows heavy and black; eye lashes long and full; mouth large and capacious, and looks like it was fond of a good dinner. He is considered a very good looking man.

In 1858, Mr. Bunker was appointed by the Governor of Virginia a Visitor to the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington, which position he held for two years. – Stonewall Jackson was at that time the instructor or Artillery tactics at this Institution, with the rank of a Militia Major.

Politically Mr. Bunker has been a democrat, but is now with the Union party regardless of name, and deprecates the formation of parties or the promulgation of party of party issues until the Union is saved. He prefres [sic] to save the country and then settle political questions, which is the true, and the only true ground.

Mr. Bunker is an industrious, temperate man, and is a member of the M. E. Church.

Though he is somewhat reserved as a Senator and speaks at no great length, yet he is laborious and watches the progress of business with a devotedness and earnestness second to none. He is a very clear and earnest speaker, expressing himself with force and precision, and takes, I am glad to say, a sensible view of every measure that is brought forward, and does not hesitate to make known his objections to anything he don’t like, in a way that is not to be misunderstood.

Mr. Bunker is chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs; and if he succeeds in making soldiers out of the West Virginia Militia, I shall use my influence to get the President to appoint him a Brigadier General, if not a Major or Lt. General. He is also a member of the Committee on Townships, &c.


Biographies of the First West Virginia Legislature

West Virginia Archives and History