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Miles Cary Selden

MILES CARY SELDEN, general superintendent of terminals at Newport News for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, is one of the most experienced railroad men of this great corporation, and one who has risen to his present important position from a subordinate one, through his own initiative and faithfulness. He has the distinction of belonging to one of the very first families of Virginia, and one that has been illustrious in the history of this great commonwealth. One of his ancestors in the direct line was Rev. Miles Selden, rector of Saint John’s Episcopal Church of Richmond during the American Revolution. A great uncle, John Selden, owned the historic Westover during the War of the ’60s. Mr. Selden’s grandmother, Mrs. Harriet (Heath) Selden, was a first cousin of General Heath, and numerous other connections could be mentioned whose names appear on the pages of history, and are all of them associated with deeds of valor or acts of good citizenship.

The birth of Miles Cary Selden occurred on the Snowden plantation, the ancestral home of the Selden family, in Goochland County, Virginia, September 15, 1874. His father, Richard Cunningham Selden, was also born on the Snowden plantation, and at the age of eighteen years enlisted in the Fourth Virginia Cavalry, known as the Powhatan Regiment, and served in the Confederate army until the close of the war. He was a country gentleman, a fine sportsman, and a lover of horses and fine stock of all kinds. His death occurred when he was fifty-four. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Hobson, died at the age of sixty-six. She was a daughter of Maj. Mahlon Hobson, owner of the Hobson ancestral plantation, known. as Clover Forest, where Mrs. Selden was born. During the war he commanded a company of cavalry from Gooeliland County, and rose to be major of his regiment during the progress of the war.

Growing up amid healthful rural surroundings, Miles Cary Selden attended McGuire’s School of Richmond, and the Virginia Military Institute, from which he was graduated is 1895. He made Kappa Alpha, was a lieutenant in the cadet brigade, and served on the baseball and football teams. Following his graduation he returned to the homestead, where he remained until April, 1902, when he entered the employ of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad as an assistant foreman in the maintenance of way department, from which position he has gradually risen to his present one. After a year in his original position he was made an assistant engineer in the division engineer’s office; later was transferred to the construction department as an assistant engineer, and still later was resident engineer at Richmond and Newport News. In 7910 he was made division engineer, with headquarters at Richmond, which position he held until 1911, when he became trainmaster at Richmond. On November 15, 1917, he was promoted to be assistant superintendent at Newport News terminals, and October 15, 1919, was made general superintendent of the Newport News terminals.

Mr. Selden is a man of many interests. He is a director of the Schmelz National Bank, a member of the Rotary Club, the Tidewater Club, the Hampton Roads Golf and Country Club, the American Association of Railway Superintendents, and of the Chamber of Commerce, which latter he is serving as a director. The Episcopal Church has in him ;an earnest member and supporter.

On November 29, 1970, Mr. Selden married at Richmond Miss Judith Kemp, of Henrico County, Virginia, a daughter of L. H. Kemp, who for thirty-four years was a public official of Henrico County, holding the offices of commissioner of revenue, sheriff and treasurer, and maintaining his residence at Richmond. Mrs. Selden was graduated from local schools. One daughter has been born to Mr. ,and Mrs. Selden, Elizabeth Kemp Selden, who was graduated from Miss Talbert’s School for Girls at Richmond. Mr. Selden has never cared to unite with any fraternity, but finds his enjoyment in his home circle, and in hunting, of which recreation he is very fond. Ever since coming to Newport News he has taken an effective part in different civic matters, but he is no politician, nor could he be induced to come before the public for office.