Naaman Jackson

Logan Banner

Naaman Jackson's Career Embraces Big Variety of Triumphs and Reverses

(By Kel Holliday)

It is a high honor to represent some 58,000 people as Circuit Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit of West Virginia as Judge Naaman Jackson has done for the past two years. But these people honor themselves when they select for Judicial honors and responsibilities a man of his type. Fearless, honest, courageous and determined, it can truly be said of Judge Naaman Jackson that he has kept the faith and performed his duties as Logan's Circuit Judge efficiently, impartially and in a satisfactory manner.

Judge Jackson was born on a farm at Trace, Boyd county, Kentucky, November 13, 1873. His grandfather, Richard Jackson of English descent, was a native of Russell county, Virginia, and was an early settler in Lawrence county, Kentucky. Richard Clayton Jackson, father of the local judge, was born in Lawrence county, Kentucky, grew up in Boyd county, in 1900 moved to Greenup county, and is now living at Greenup. He is 77 years of age. Judge Jackson's mother was Anne Elizabeth Campbell, before her marriage, a daughter of Nimrod Campbell, of Metz, Marion county, West Virginia. She died in 1915.

Tragedy Is Recalled

Judge Jackson is the oldest in a family of four children. His brother, the late John W., was formerly a teacher and was a resident of Barboursville, West Virginia, until the time of his death two years ago, when he was accidentally killed by a train at that place. The deceased was well known in this county where he possessed a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Lora Deane has devoted most of her active life to teaching, studied in the Universities of Kentucky and West Virginia, and is now a teacher in the _________

Having acquired his early education in Boyd and Lawrence counties, Kentucky, Judge Jackson set the example for the younger children of his family in the teaching profession by teaching his fist school at the youthful age of 17. For teaching his first school for five months he received the sum of $128.00. He walked to and from school each day, a distance of four miles. After teaching five terms of school he entered, in 1896, the National Normal University of Lebanon, Ohio. He again taught after leaving that school, and during 1900-01 completed his legal education at Huntington, Tennessee, attending the Huntington Law School. After coming to West Virginia he taught in different rural districts, and also taught a private normal school of his own at Effie in Wayne county, where he had many pupils as old or older than himself. It was here that such well known West Virginians as Boyd Jarrell, editor Huntington Herald-Dispatch; A. J. Riffe, present member of the House of Delegates and former Wayne County Superintendent of Wayne county; Dr. J. W. Riffe, owner of the Riffe Hospital in Kenova, were students under Judge Jackson. He was later principal of the Oak Hill High School in Fayette county and of the school at Mount Hope. At no time did Judge Jackson ever receive more than $40.00 per month for his services as a teacher.

First Glimpse of Logan

He began the practice of law at Huntington, West Virginia, having been admitted to the bar in Greenup and Carter counties, Kentucky, and in Cabell, Logan, and Fayette counties, West Virginia. His first visit to Logan was in 1903 when he came to Dingess on a train and continued into Logan county by horse and wagon. His mission was to abstract a deed of some property on Huff Creek for a Mr. S. C. Fisher. Fisher later played a prominent part in starting what is now the Gay Coal & Coke Company. Judge Jackson was so impressed with Logan that he never returned to Huntington to resume his practice but opened up law offices in the Guyan Valley Bank building. There he became a law partner of Merrill Atkinson's father, M. R. Atkinson, deceased. He moved his office equipment and small library to Logan from Midkiff on a push boat. He was engaged in the practice of law three years, though after helping to organize the First National Bank of Logan in 1906 he accepted the position of cashier, and has since been actively in the service of that institution. In February, 1921, he became its president.

In the same year he became a banker, he married Julia Yantus Dingess, of Chapmanville, daughter of Allen Dingess.

Judge Jackson's political adventures have been somewhat as rough and stormy as that of Abraham Lincoln, only, of course, on a smaller scale. Numbered among his many defeats are: once for member of Board of Education, once for mayor of Logan by one vote, once for member of County Court, once for sheriff of Logan county, once for State Senator in the primary. However, all his adventures were not defeats. In 1923, Governor E. F. Morgan, recognizing his record as a citizen and official, cognizant of his lofty character, his poise and prudence and marked capabilities, appinted him to the high and honored position of State Banking Commissioner. In November, 1924, he was elected to the State Senate from the eight Senatorial District, resigning as State Banking Commissioner at a salary of $5000.00 per year to accept the State Senatorship at a salary of $500.00 per annum. He was defeated for renomination after serving four years, but two months later in his party's judicial convention, against his own will, was nominated as its choice for Judge of the Circuit Court in the Seventh Judicial Circuit. He was elected in the November election and is now serving a term in this capacity which will expire on January 1st, 1931. He is a Republican in politics.

Fraternally Judge Jackson is affiliated with Aracoma Lodge No. 99, A. F. and A. M., which he served as master two years, is a member of Logan Chapter, R. A. M., Huntington Commandery, K. T., and Beni Kedem Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Charleston.

In conclusion, let it be remembered that the woods from Trace Mountina to the upper reaches of Pocatalico could be searched in vain for a finer citizen than Judge Naaman Jackson, teacher, lawyer, banker, State Banking Commissioner, State Senator and Judge, public-spirited citizen, a safe, clean leader of his party, and a gentleman always.

Government and Politics

West Virginia Archives and History