Thomas Edward Hodges
Birth: 13 Dec 1858, French Creek, Upshur Co., West Virginia, USA
Death: 13 Jul 1919, Monongalia Co., West Virginia, USA
Father: John Henry Hodges
Mother: Margaret Melissa Humphreys
Child 1: Charles Edward Hodges -
Notes: BIOGRAPHY: http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/wv/wvfiles.htm
BIOGRAPHY: The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume II,
BIOGRAPHY: THOMAS EDWARD HODGES was one of those rare men who seem able to translate broad an d generous ideals into deeds of practical and useful service. It was not any one achievemen t that distinguished him, but rather a lifetime of consecutive work and performance of duty . He was a popular figure in the sense that he lived with and worked among the people and exe rted a constant influence and helpfulness in whatever relationship he was placed. This qualit y of his character should be emphasized even beyond the fact that he gained some of the highe st offices in his native state.
BIOGRAPHY: In his case the facts that constitute the formal material of biography are as foll ows: He was born on his father's farm near Buckhannon in Upshur County, December 13, 1858 on e of the three children of John Henry and Melissa Margaret (Humphreys) Hodges. The environmen t in which he lived during his boyhood was not one from which he could have derived any of th e talented and permanent influences that moulded his career. It was rather the aspirations an d energy within him that reached out and procured peculiar values from normal advantages. H e attended district schools,
then entered the old French Creek Academy, where he was graduated in 1877, and in the same ye ar entered the West Virginia University where he was graduated A. B. in 1881. In 1884 he rec eived the Master of Arts degree from the University. In the meantime, beginning in 1881 an d continuing until 1886, he was principal of the Morgantown public schools. Many years later , in recognition of his high scholarship and attainments, Waynesburg College bestowed upon hi m the degree Doctor of Science in 1909, and Washington and Jefferson College constituted hi m a LL. D. in 1919. From the public schools of Morgantown lie became principal of Marshall Co llege, the State Normal School at Huntington, in 1886, and that institution thrived under hi s management for ten years. In 1896 he was recalled to West Virginia University as Professo r of Physics, a chair he held until 1909. In that year Governor William E. Glasscock appointe d him a member of the State
Board of Control, a new organiza-tion to which was assigned the duties of administering stat e institutions. A year later he resigned to accept the presidency of West Virginia University , though by law he could not enter upon the duties of that office for one year, a time he uti lized partly in travel abroad. July 1, 1911, he began his duties as University
head and was formally inaugurated November 3d of that year: Some of the reasons that made hi s choice a very popular one are suggested in the following quotations from the Charleston Gaz ette of that time: "The action of the State Board of Regents in selecting Thomas E. Hodges t o take the place at the head of the State University to be made vacant
by the resignation of President D. P. Purinton was the most definite piece of wisdom that ha s taken place in the history of the state's educational system. There is no higher man in th e state than Tommy Hodges, and there is no man who is so definitely identified with all tha t is good in the State University. There is not a single student past or present of the
university who has ever known Tommy Hodges who is not rejoicing at the choice of the regents . Tommy Hodges is the student's friend. He has the interests of the students at heart." Whil e the West Virginia educator commented on his selection in these words:
BIOGRAPHY: "He is regarded as one of the few men possessed of all the qualities necessary t o make a good university president. He is, moreover, particularly well fitted for the preside ncy of the head school of West Virginia. Born and bred within her borders, he has imbibed th e spirit of growth which has become characteristic of the state in every phase of life and h e truly appreciates the magnitude of her possibilities. A man among men, a scholar among scho lars, suiting his action to his word, he will be able to meet every demand made upon him occa sioned by the new career upon which the university has entered. He is wisely progressive an d possessed of strong convictions, but he will never bring a revolution of destruction leavin g waste and failure in his wake. He will conserve and organize all the resources of the unive rsity and direct its energies
toward doing the greatest possible service to the state."
BIOGRAPHY: All this promise was abundantly fulfilled during the three years he was universit y head. Then, in 1914, he yielded reluctantly to the persistent demand of his party and resig ned to become democratic nominee for Congressman at Large. He made a splendid campaign but wa s defeated by Howard Sutherland. In July, 1915, Mr. Hodges accepted the unsought appointmen t as postmaster of Morgantown, and to the duties of that office be devoted the last years o f his life.
BIOGRAPHY: Dr. Hodges was chairman of the Democratic State Committee in 1908, and in that yea r was a candidate for the gubernatorial nomination, and in 1912 was again urged to accept th e nomination for governor, but declined.
Aside from his prominence in educational and political circles Doctor Hodges was a very abl e banker and financier. In 1896 he assisted in organizing the Morgantown Savings & Loan Socie ty, and was its secretary until 1909. This corporation became the largest of its kind in th e Upper Monongahela Valley, and its success meant the more to Mr. Hodges because through it h e was able to aid many Morgantown people in building their homes. He was one of the organizer s in 1906, and from that year president of the Bank of Morgantown. He was a director of the F armers' and Merchants' Bank, and treasurer of the Chaplin Collieries Company.
Doctor Hodges graduated at college as a "distinguished cadet" and later for some years was id entified with the West Virginia National Guard, serving successively as major and colonel i n the Second Regiment of Infantry and as brigade instructor of Small Arms Practice with the r ank of major on the staff of the general commanding the West Virginia
Infantry Brigade. He was also at one time commandant of the West Virginia University Cadets . He served on the Board of Eastern Colleges in intercollegiate athletics, was a member of th e College Board of the Presbyterian Church, for six years Was a trustee of Davis and Elkins C ollege, and was a member of the Board of Trustees of West Virginia Odd Fellows Home. He wa s a Mason, a Phi Beta Kappa honor man and a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity and the Morg antown Rotary Club. Doctor Hodges was an impressive speaker and in constant demand as a lectu rer before educational meetings throughout West Virginia and neighboring states. He had becom e a member of the Presbyterian Church at French Creek in 1876, and was one of West Virginia' s most prominent laymen in that denomination. For many years he was an elder in his
church at Morgantown.
BIOGRAPHY: October 5, 1882, Doctor Hodges married Mary Amelia Hayes, daughter of Manliff Haye s, of Morgantown. He is survived by Mrs. Hodges and two children: Grace, wife of Oscar F. Gib bs of Columbus, Ohio; and Charles Edward Hodges.
BIOGRAPHY: Thomas Edward Hodges died at Morgantown July 13, 1919, in his sixty-first year. Fo r all the numerous activities that have been briefly reviewed it was the elements of his char acter that made him one of the great figures in West Virginia life. An editorial tribute in t he New Dominion read as follows:
"It was the grand old man of education in West Virginia that passed on yesterday when Colone l Thomas Edward Hodges died. No man in Morgantown had more friends or more deserved them, fo r Colonel Hodges was first of all a friend of Morgantown and of all the good souls in it.
"He was a tireless worker for the advancement of his fellowmen. To do the kindly, friendly th ing-that seemed to be his first impulse. Whether in the highest chair of the State University , of which he was a prime factor in its development, or as local postmaster, his foremost tho ught was to be of service. A companion of great and renowned men, he was still a friend to th e friendless, and who can doubt that his very thoughts and his heart of love helped to make t he world a happier place to live in. His time, his talents, his dollars were always availabl e and his good cheer was inexhaustible. He was one of the "old timers" of the best sort and l ived his square and honorable life according to the best traditions of
the Mountain Side.
BIOGRAPHY: "As an educational figure he won national fame; as a church worker he was the coad jutor of the leaders of his denomination; as a politician he was the trusted advisor of the d emocratic party of the state. He was the beloved father of a family of whom be was proud an d who live to do honor to his name. It can truly be said of Colonel Hodges what cannot be
so truly said of many men-that his life was a well rounded success. Men may come and men ma y go, but there never will be another just like Colonel Hodges. The whole state will lament h is going and cherish his memory."
BIOGRAPHY: Perhaps a better and closer approximation to the essential elements of his caree r and character is contained in another editorial tribute, published after his death by the M organtown Post:
BIOGRAPHY: "There is not a city, town or village in the state of West Virginia where men an d women, some of them past middle age, others just fairly beginning life's active duties, wil l not pause to recall with kindly affection their associations in one capacity or another wit h Thomas Edward Hodges, whose splendid earthly career ended Sunday morning. In the larger cit ies there
will be hundreds to whom his death will mean a personal loss, while in the small country vill age there may be only one or two who were privileged to know him, but without exception thei r sentiments will be the same. Not many men so live and act that this remarkable tribute ma y be justly paid them, but there is none who will question the propriety of its application h ere.
In the field of scholarship he had earned the title of doctor. In military rank he was a colo nel because of military service faithfully performed. In service to his state he was properl y referred to as honorable. To thousands whom he had instructed he was professor. In busines s associations, in muilitary service, as lecturer, publicist, and political leader he numbere d thousands among his associates, acquaintances and friends, but those to whom his life and c haracter meant most, and to whom his death will bring sincerest sorrow, are the students wh o knew him outside of the class room as 'Tommy' Hodges. And this is because in his big, whole -hearted, sympathetic way, he understood the heart of youth. His faith in young men aud youn g women was boundless, and this they understood and loved him.
BIOGRAPHY: "He achieved in many fields a distinction for which most men strive for but one. H is scholastic, civic and religious attainments were extraordinary. His wholesome optimism, hi s limitless energy, his fondness for clean sport, his sound business judgment and probity, hi s spiritual understanding, his devotion to his church and family, his high patriotism, his fa ith in humanity, his unwillingness to believe evil, his staunch friendship, and his devotio n to right as he saw it, were all attributes worthy of admiration, but in his genuine affecti on for the young men and women who came to him for instruction, and his unfailing sympathy wi th all of their activities and aspirations, his clear understanding of their hearts and his w illingness to serve them, not only as their instructor but as their friend and associate, i s builded his best and most lasting memorial. The state and this community have lost a magnif icent type of citizen in the death of Doctor Hodges; the students of former years mourn the d eath of a friend and comrade."
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