History of Virginia - Charles R. Adair

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Charles R. Adair

CHARLES R. ADAIR, who in the past several years has built up a large and successful general insurance business at Narrows in Giles County, is still a comparatively young man, and yet has had a range of experience such as few men achieve.

His grandfather, James Adair, was born June 4, 1807, in County Down, Ireland. He came to the United States with his father's family, William, Jane, .Mary and Robert Adair, arriving at Norfolk after being on shipboard fifty-one days. James Adair married Jane Swart, daughter of William R. Swart. The wife of William R. Swart was Elizabeth Rogers, who was a daughter of Hugh and Mary (Combs) Rogers. The father of Hugh Rogers was Arthur Rogers, who spent his early years in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and afterward moved to Loudoun County, Virginia. Arthur Rogers was a son of William Rogers, who came to the United States about 1720. William Rogers represented :in old Presbyterian Scotch-Irish family of County Antrim, Ireland, and one that was established in Ireland by migration from Scotland about the middle of the sixteenth century.

James Adair was an early settler in Giles County, Virginia, conducting a large farm with the aid of slaves. He (lied at Bell Point, Giles County, August 20, 1868. His wife, Jane A. Swart, was born in Fauquier County, September 30, 1813, and died at Bell Point, March 10, 7865. They had a large family of seven sons and two daughters: William, born March 24, 1844; Ellen Adair, born March 30, 1845; Asa Rogers, born March 20, 1846, died January 24, 1923; Robert Wallace, born April 3, 1848; Hugh T., October 7, 1849; John A., mentioned below; Mary Jane, born March 10, 1854; James Arthur, born April 9, 1857; and Menelius Chapman, who was born June 30, 1862, and was drowned at the mouth of the Yukon River in Alaska, June 10, 1900.

John A. Adair, father of Charles R., was born at Bell Point, now called Lurich, in Giles County, June 20, 1851, and is now practically a retired resident of Narrows. He was reared in Giles County, completing his education under Professor Humphrey at White Gate Academy, and his active years have been devoted to farming. Ile still owns considerable property at Narrows. His home has been in Southwestern Virginia, except for three years when he tried pioneering in what was then the frontier country of Kansas, Sumner County, where lie and his family lived for three years, 1878-80. He is a democrat; and served as deputy sheriff of Giles County under Sheriff John D. Snidow four years. Ile is an active member of the Missionary Baptist Church. His first wife, Virginia McClaugherty, was born near Pearisburg in 1852 and died in 1890. She was the mother of four children: James, an employe of the Narrows Extract Works; Charles R., Janie, wife of Percy O. Ivery, an accountant living at Langeloth, Pennsylvania; and Miss Ellen Kyle, living with her father. John A. Adair married for his second wife, Fannie W. Peck. There are three children of this union. Arthur C., a civil and mining engineer with the United States Steel Corporation at Gary, West Virginia., was in the World war for one year, being stationed at Camp Meade, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Quartermaster's Department. Bennett F., the second son, is postmaster, merchant and automobile dealer at Rich Creek in Giles County, and is also a World war veteran. He was a first class fireman on the U. S. S. Nopatin, and throughout the period of the war was engaged in transporting English and American troops across the English Channel. The third son, John Alexander, Jr., has a position in the engineering department of the Steel Corporation at Gary, West Virginia.

Charles R. Adair was born February 3, 1880, while his parents were living near Wichita in Sumner County, Kansas. He was an infant when they returned to Virginia, and was reared in Giles County, attending the country schools and the graded schools of Pearisburg, and completing his high school course there at the age of eighteen. Born in the Southwestern country, he may have inherited a taste of frontier existence, since on leaving school he went to Western Texas, became a cowboy, remaining on the ranch near Barstow four months, and went on to Deming, New Mexico, in the Trasermanus Mountains, where he was employed in the silver mines four months. Leaving there, he made an extended tour of the Western States, working in mines, getting out timber, also helping in the wheat harvest, and as the culmination of his western experience he made a run for a homestead in Oklahoma, at the land opening there in 1901, but did not succeed in getting a location. Having had three years of rough and tumble existence, he returned in the fall of 1901 to Giles County. For a few months he was timekeeper and right of way man for the Bell Telephone Company, then became buyer for a large coal corporation at Flat Top Coal Fields, following which he learned and followed the baker's trade at Cincinnati and in the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway coal fields. In 1906 he went on the road as salesman for the Brown Manufacturing Company of Greenville, covering southern territory until 1908. The following year he was chief inspector for the Motive Power Department of the Norfolk & Western Railway, with headquarters in Roanoke, and for one year traveled for a wholesale grocery house in Virginia and West Virginia.

Since leaving the road Mr. Adair's interests have been concentrated at Narrows, where lie was a merchant until April, 1916. He then engaged in the general insurance business, and handles the insurance for a large community around Narrows. Mr. Adair owns a modern home in that town, also a store building, and since September 1, 1922, has been police justice of the town. lie takes :in active part in social and civic affairs, and is himself a very popular and congenial man. He is a democrat, a deacon of the Presbyterian Church and superintendent of the Sunday school, and is affiliated with Giles Lodge No. 106, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Pearisburg Chapter No. 29, Royal Arch Masons; Graham Commandery No. 22, Knights Templar, Kazim Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Roanoke, and is also a member of the United Commercial Travelers. His influence and church -were at the disposal of the Government during the World war, and he actively assisted in all Liberty Loans and other drives.

On October 30, 1907, at Fork Union, Fluvanna County, Mr. Adair married Miss Margaret M. Davis, daughter of Henry and Nettie (Thomas) Davis, her mother now deceased. Her father is a farmer in Fluvanna County. Mrs. Adair is a graduate of the Hill Grove High School at Fork Union. They have two children, Mary Davis, born May 26, 1909, and Charles Robert, born September 29, 1914.