While preparing for the June 25-26 open house at the Kump Center, my sister Scottie Wiest and I went up to her attic and found Kump family albums and a 1992 Weekender Hampshire County edition. On the front page is an 8 X 10 photo of Governor HG Kump next to his brother Kerr taken in c. 1931, when they were judges in contiguous circuit court districts before Guy announced his candidacy for governor.
The large caption for the photo reads: “As early as the 1800s, some residents of Hampshire County pursued their dream of obtaining a university degree. Read on page two how two Yellow Spring brothers became the 19th governor of West Virginia and a circuit court judge after graduating.
Inside the Weekender Shirley O’Dell published her enthusiastic account of “Benjamin Kump Family History Relived.” The Kump brothers became teachers after graduating from Shenandoah Normal School, and both went on to law school before beginning political careers. O’Dell’s article reflects their belief in the importance of an education. and their common ambition to become political leaders.
O’Dell begins with Ben and Fanny Kump’s wedding on June 15, 1874, and she invites readers to peer into her imaginative crystal ball to learn more about the fates of the four Kump children. Kerr was born in 1875, Guy in 1877, Volunta in 1879 and Otelia in 1881. The family lived on a 400-500 acre farm where they raised cattle and Ben served as road supervisor, and Fanny helped run the household in Week. and sang in local churches on a Sunday.
As the sons grew up, they became expert riders and competed in tournaments at the Capon Springs Hotel in Yellow Springs. They saved up the money they earned from these events, and they worked as teachers and office clerks in Romney, WV. The plan was that they should help each other pay for law school.
Guy first graduated from the University of Virginia and came to Elkins in 1905 to work at the Daily law firm in the service of Senator Davis, and Guy married Edna Scott in 1907. The brothers saved from money to help pay Kerr to go to West Virginia. College of Law and Kerr, he helped educate several other family members before marrying Mary Elizabeth Zimmerman in 1940.
Kump’s two daughters were also trained and served as teachers before getting married. Volunta was a teacher from 1902 to 1920. In 1919 she married Edwin Millar and they had three daughters. After her husband’s death, Volunta worked for the Department of Public Assistance from 1938 to 1948,
According to O’Dell’s article, Otelia married Phillip Harness and gave birth to eight children before dying in childbirth c. 1920. Six of his children survived him, and his brothers and sister took them in and helped raise them and send them to college.
Page 2 of the old Weekender includes photos of the dilapidated wooden building where the Kumps went to a one-room schoolhouse near Yellow Springs. There is also a photo of the Kump family home in 1992 when it was for sale. The house was built in 1866 by Henry Brill in the county of Hampshire.