John Rinehart Blue

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John Rinehart Blue
Member of the West Virginia House of Delegates
from the Hampshire County district
In office
1953–1959
Preceded by William L. Thompson
Succeeded by William Basil Slonaker
Personal details
Born (1905-10-13)October 13, 1905
Romney, West Virginia, United States
Died May 27, 1965(1965-05-27) (aged 59)
Romney, West Virginia, United States
Resting place Indian Mound Cemetery, Romney, West Virginia, United States
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Madeline McDowell Blue
Relations John David Blue (father)
Mary Buckner Rinehart (mother)
Lt. John Monroe Blue (grandfather)
Children John McDowell Blue
Julia Tait Blue Weir
David Stanford Blue
Residence 261 East Main Street
Romney, West Virginia, United States
Alma mater Presbyterian College (B.S.)
West Virginia University
Profession Schoolteacher and merchant
Religion Presbyterian
Military service
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1942
Rank Private
Battles/wars World War II

John Rinehart Blue (October 13, 1905 – May 27, 1965) was a Democratic member of the West Virginia House of Delegates representing Hampshire County, West Virginia from 1953 through 1959. Blue was also a prominent schoolteacher, variety store owner, and community leader in his hometown of Romney.

Early life and education[edit]

John Rinehart Blue was born on October 13, 1905 in Romney, West Virginia to John David Blue and his wife Mary Buckner Rinehart Blue.[1][2] Blue's father John was a son of Lieutenant John Monroe Blue (March 25, 1834 – June 30, 1903), a prominent member of the 11th Virginia Cavalry of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.

Blue received his primary education in the public schools of Romney and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina and later completed graduate studies at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia.[3]

Marriage and children[edit]

On September 6, 1938, Blue married Madeline McDowell, daughter of Angus and Madeline Stanford McDowell of Camden and Montgomery, Alabama.[3][4][5] Blue and his wife Madeline had three children: John McDowell Blue, Julia Tait Blue Weir and David Stanford Blue.[3][4][5]

Professions[edit]

Military career[edit]

Blue served in the United States Army during World War II.[6] He enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army at the age of 37 on November 20, 1942 in Clarksburg, West Virginia.[7] Following his enlistment, Blue was inducted into the U.S. Army in Columbus, Ohio.[8]

Business career[edit]

The old Romney theatre building (photographed here in March 1938) which later served as the second location for John Rinehart Blue's Ben Franklin store.

In the early 1950s, Blue opened a Ben Franklin five and dime variety store in Romney.[9] Initially the store was located in a building owned by his father, John David Blue, which was later razed for the construction of the Pioneer Restaurant.[9] Blue relocated the store between 1955 and 1956 to a three-story building that had previously housed Romney's theater.[9] Following Blue's death, the Ben Franklin store was owned and operated by his wife, Madeline, until it ceased operation and closed in 1991.[4][5][9]

Political career[edit]

Following the resignation of William L. Thompson from the West Virginia House of Delegates on August 28, 1953, West Virginia Governor William C. Marland appointed Blue to fill Thompson's vacant delegate seat representing Hampshire County on September 23, 1953.[10] Blue was nominated for re-election to his delegate seat by Hampshire County Democratic voters in August 1954, a primary election in which he received 729 votes compared to 536 votes for James W. Short and 517 votes for Harold L. Welker, both Democratic opponents from the Romney area.[11] Blue subsequently ran in the general election on November 2, 1954 for his delegate seat and won, receiving 1859 votes compared to 1355 votes for his opponent, Republican candidate Earl A. Loy of Augusta.[12] Blue filed for inclusion on the ballot in the Democratic Party primary election in 1958, but later lost in the primary to William Basil Slonaker of Dillons Run who went on to win Blue's delegate seat in the 1958 general election.[13] Blue attempted recapturing his delegate seat in 1962, but was defeated in the Democratic Party primary election by incumbent Slonaker, 579 to 1430 votes.[14]

Gravestone at the interment site of John Rinehart Blue and his wife Madeline McDowell Blue at Indian Mound Cemetery in Romney, West Virginia.

Later life and death[edit]

Blue died on May 27, 1965 of coronary thrombosis caused by coronary artery disease at his residence at 261 East Main Street in Romney.[2] He was interred at Indian Mound Cemetery in Romney on May 29, 1965.[2]

Affiliations[edit]

Blue was a member of the Romney Presbyterian Church affiliated with Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).[3] In addition to his church, Blue was a member of the Moose Lodge, Lions Club, and American Legion.[3]

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Birth Record Detail: John Rinehart Blue", West Virginia Vital Research Records (West Virginia Division of Culture and History), retrieved December 25, 2011 
  2. ^ a b c "Death Record Detail: John Rinehart Blue", West Virginia Vital Research Records (West Virginia Division of Culture and History), retrieved December 25, 2011 
  3. ^ a b c d e West Virginia Legislature 1957, p. 188.
  4. ^ a b c Cumberland Times-News (March 13, 2009), "Obituary for Madeline M. Blue", Cumberland Times-News (Cumberland, MD), retrieved December 25, 2011 
  5. ^ a b c The Journal (March 15, 2009), "Obituary for Madeline M. Blue", The Journal (Martinsburg, WV), retrieved December 25, 2011 
  6. ^ Munske & Kerns 2004, p. 179.
  7. ^ "Display Full Records: John R. Blue", Access to Archival Databases (AAD) (National Archives and Records Administration), retrieved December 26, 2011 
  8. ^ Cumberland Evening Times (November 23, 1942), "News From Frostburg And Nearby Tri-State Sections: Romney", Cumberland Evening Times (Cumberland, MD): 10 
  9. ^ a b c d Pisciotta, Marla (March 18, 2009), "Madeline McDowell Blue: 'She was a Grand Dame – the grandest of them all'", Hampshire Review (Romney, WV) 
  10. ^ West Virginia Legislature 1980, p. 345.
  11. ^ Cumberland Evening Times (August 4, 1954), "Martin Loses In Hampshire Demo Voting", Cumberland Evening Times (Cumberland, MD), retrieved December 25, 2011 
  12. ^ Cumberland Evening Times (November 3, 1954), "Demos Score Victory In Hampshire", Cumberland Evening Times (Cumberland, MD), retrieved December 25, 2011 
  13. ^ Cumberland Evening Times (May 2, 1958), "Deadline For Candidates Set Tomorrow", Cumberland Evening Times (Cumberland, MD), retrieved December 26, 2011 
  14. ^ Cumberland Evening Times (May 9, 1962), "Hampshire School Unit Vote Close", Cumberland Evening Times (Cumberland, MD), retrieved December 25, 2011 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to John Rinehart Blue at Wikimedia Commons