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Marshall Walker Vicars

MARSHALL WALKER VICARS, attorney-at-law at Wise, Virginia, traces his ancestry back to good old Revolutionary stock, and much of the push, energy and determination that distinguishes him in all his activities might be accredited to that source. He was born in Coeburn, Wise County, Virginia, February 14, 1897, son of Augustus McFarland Vicars, grandson of Joel Vicars, great-grandson of Paul Vicars and great-great-grandson of Robin Vicars. The last named was a native of England but left that country in 1754 to brave the terrors and privations of pioneer life in America. He settled at Norfolk, Virginia, there married, but one year later took up his residence in Scott County, that state, where be actively engaged in farming, hunting and fighting Indians. He served faithfully in the Revolutionary war. His son, Paul Vicars, was born in Scott County, Virginia, and there passed his entire life, actively and extensively engaged in agricultural pursuits. His son, Joel Vicars, was also a native of Scott County, and died in Coeburn, Virginia. Most of his life was spent in Scott County, where he was not only known as one of the most successful and progressive tillers of his section, but was noted as one of the best educated men of his day in Southwest Virginia. His son, Augustus McFarland Vicars, father of our subject, was also a product of Virginia, born at Cowans Creek, Scott County, December 26, 1852, and now resides at Wise, Wise County, Virginia. He was reared at Cowans Creek, but when a young man located in Coeburn, same state, where for a time be was interested in merchandising. Later he was admitted to the bar and practiced there until 1900, when he settled in Wise, Virginia, where he is one of its most distinguished civil attorneys. For the past twenty-three years he has been United States commissioner of the Western District of Virginia, is a member of the American Bar Association, the Virginia State Bar Association, and a director in the Citizens Bank of Wise. In politics he is a supporter of republican principles and in religion is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, being a trustee of the church property.

He married Miss Amy J. Fuller, born February 7, 1861, at Coeburn, Virginia, the daughter of Noah A. Fuller, who was a prominent merchant of Coeburn. To them were born these children: Leila, who married Rush M. Deskins, a clergyman of the Christian Church at Kankakee, Illinois, where they now reside; Ethel C., who married William Otho Bentley son of the late Jefferson Bentley, distinguished lawyer of Kentucky, and they now reside at Whitesburg, Kentucky, where he is a civil engineer; Hattie Mae, who died when nineteen years of age; Ernest R., whose sketch is given elsewhere in the book; Sallie Elizabeth, who resides with her parents; Marshall Walker, subject of sketch; Lacy Miles, student in the Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia; Robert Clyde, attending the Wise High School.

Marshall Walker Vicars received his early educational training in the public schools of Wise and then attended the University of Chattanooga, class of 1916. When the mobilization on the Mexican border was ordered in 1916 he was a member of Company H, Second Virginia Infantry, and went with this outfit to Brownsville, on the Mexican border, where he was stationed ten months, being discharged February 28, 1917. On the 24th of March of the same year he was again called into service in the World war and sent to Camp McClellan in the 116th Infantry, where he remained for seven months. He was first made corporal, then sergeant and then sergeant major. From there he went to Camp Gordon, Atlanta, was commissioned second lieutenant August 19, 1918, and assigned to Camp Greene, North Carolina. After this for a time was with the 810th Pioneer Infantry and was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant October 10, 1918. On the 22d of December, 1918, he was honorably discharged at Camp Greene. Upon his release from military duties Lieutenant Vicars entered Washington and Lee University and was in the law department of the same for one year. Then for one year following this he attended the law department of the University of Richmond. In the month of March, 1921, he was admitted to the bar, began practicing at Wise, and has had a general civil and criminal practice since. His offices are situated in the Citizens Bank Building and he owns a nice, comfortable residence on Main Street in Wise. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Sigma, and of the Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity. In politics he is a stanch republican. He is also a member of the Wise County Bar Association, vice president of the Wise County Fair Association and a director in the Citizens Bank of Wise. He was recently elected mayor of Wise, assuming office September 1, 1923.

Aside from his possessions in Wise Mr. Vicars is the owner of 400 acres of timber land in Wise and Dickenson counties, and is cutting 3,000,000 feet of lumber from this land. He is president of the Honey Branch Lumber Corporation and is one of the county’s most alert, wide-awake business men. He married, August 25, 1919, at Bluntville, Tennessee, Miss Thelma Jane Dotson, daughter of Joseph D. and Sallie Dotson. Mr. and Mrs. Dotson now reside in Los Angeles, California. The father is an oil producer and capitalist. Mrs. Vicars attended Mary Baldwin Seminary at Staunton, Virginia. To Mr. and Mrs. Vicars have been born two children, Shirley Ann, whose birth Occurred September 19, 1920, and Joseph McFarland, born April 13, 1922.

Source: Virginia and Virginians, Vol, VI. Pp. 287-288.