Military Wiki
Samuel Lightfoot Flournoy
Member of the West Virginia Senate
from the 12th district

In office
Serving with George Edmund Price
Preceded by Joseph Van Meter
Succeeded by Henry Bell Gilkeson
Personal details
Born (1846-11-25)November 25, 1846
Chesterfield County, Virginia, United States
Died January 28, 1904(1904-01-28) (aged 57)
Charleston, West Virginia, United States
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Frances "Fannie" Ann White
Relations Richard W. Flournoy (father)
Sarah Parke Flournoy (mother)
John Baker White (father-in-law)
Christian Streit White (brother-in-law)
Robert White (brother-in-law)
Children R. Parke Flournoy
Harry L. Flournoy
Frances Z. Flournoy
Samuel L. Flournoy
Alexander White Flournoy
Residence Romney, West Virginia, United States
Charleston, West Virginia, United States
Alma mater Hampden–Sydney College (B.A.)
Profession lawyer, politician
Religion Presbyterian
Military service
Allegiance  Confederate States of America
Service/branch  Confederate States Army
Years of service 1863–1865 (CSA)
Rank private
Unit Company A, Otey Battery
Virginia 13th Battalion Virginia Light Artillery
Battles/wars American Civil War

Samuel Lightfoot Flournoy (November 25, 1846 – January 28, 1904) was an American lawyer and politician in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Flournoy served as a state senator representing the 12th District in the West Virginia Senate (1885–1890) and served three terms as mayor of Romney, West Virginia. Flournoy unsuccessfully ran as a candidate for the Democratic Party's West Virginia gubernatorial nomination in 1900. Prior to his law and political careers, Flournoy served in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War and as Principal of the Potomac Academy in Romney (1870).

Early life

Samuel Lightfoot Flournoy was born on November 25, 1846[1][2] in Chesterfield County, Virginia, 7 miles (11 km) from Richmond, and was the son of Richard W. Flournoy and his wife, Sarah Parke.[1][2][3] Flournoy was of English and French ancestry.[3] He was a relative of Thomas Flournoy, United States Representative from Virginia.[4] The majority of Flournoy's youth and early adulthood were spent in Richmond,[1][2] where he received an education attending the city's public schools.[2]

Military career

During the American Civil War in 1863, Flournoy enlisted as a private in the Confederate States Army at the age of 17.[1][2] He served the entirety of his enlistment in Company A, Otey Battery, 13th Battalion Virginia Light Artillery in Richmond throughout the course of the war until its end in 1865.[1][2][3]

Education and teaching career

Following the war, Flournoy entered Hampden–Sydney College in Hampden Sydney, Virginia to pursue an education in classical studies.[1][2] He graduated with honors and a Bachelor of Arts from Hampden–Sydney College in 1868[1][2][3][5] and received the Speaker's Medal from the institution's Philanthropic Debating Society.[1][3] While attending Hampden–Sydney College, Flournoy was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.[5] Flournoy subsequently taught school for four years[1][2] while concurrently studying law.[1][2] He relocated to Romney, West Virginia around 1870 where he took charge as principal and taught at the Potomac Academy with "considerable success"[6][7][8] and continued his law studies.[9] Flournoy was admitted to the bar in Romney in January 1873.[1][2][10]

Law and political careers

Following his admission to the bar, Flournoy immediately began practicing law in Romney and "won merited distinction" in his field.[2] He became a prominent leader in the community[1][2] and was elected as a member of the Romney Literary Society.[6] Flournoy served on the fourth Board of Regents of the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind from 1876 to 1880.[11] He served three terms as mayor of Romney.[1][2][10]

Flournoy was elected to represent the 12th District, consisting of Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, and Pendleton counties,[12][13] in the West Virginia Senate in 1885 and was re-elected to the seat in 1889.[1][2][5][14][15] In the West Virginia state senatorial election on November 6, 1888, Flournoy defeated his Republican challenger S. G. Pownall with 5,578 votes to 4,028 votes for Pownall.[12] In his first term in the West Virginia Senate, Flournoy served as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and in his second term, Flournoy served as chairman of the Committee on Counties and Municipal Corporations.[1][2] Throughout his two terms, Flournoy served on the committees of Privileges and Elections, Federal Relations, Immigration and Agriculture, and Public Printing.[1][2] He resigned from his senate seat in 1890.[13]

In 1890, during his second term in the West Virginia State Senate, Flournoy relocated from Romney to Charleston and continued practicing law there following his resignation from the senate.[2][10][16] In Charleston, Flournoy founded the law firm Couch, Flournoy and Price with West Virginia state senator, George Edmund Price.[17] The firm would later become Flournoy, Price, and Smith with the addition of Harrison Brooks Smith in 1894.[17] In 1900, Flournoy ran as a candidate for the Democratic Party's West Virginia gubernatorial nomination.[18] At the West Virginia Democratic State Convention held in Parkersburg on June 6, 1900, Flournoy competed for the party's nomination against Lewis N. Tavenner of Wood County, John H. Holt of Cabell County, and Virgil G. Lewis of Jackson County.[18] Holt won the Democratic Party's nomination, but lost in the general election to Republican candidate, Albert B. White.

Flournoy was present at the first meeting of the West Virginia Bar Association held on the date of its organization on July 8, 1886, in Grafton.[19][20] As a member, Flournoy was appointed to draft the association's constitution and by-laws and served on its executive committee.[20][21][22] In addition to serving as a vice president of the association,[23] Flournoy also represented the 12th Judicial Circuit on the association's Committee on Judicial Administration and Legal Reform[24] and later served on the Committee of Admissions.[24]

Business pursuits

On August 4, 1888, Flournoy purchased five shares priced at 100 US$ each in order to invest in and provide capital stock for the incorporation of the Bank of Romney.[16]

Personal life

Religious activities

Flournoy was active in the Presbyterian Church in Hampshire County and served as a trustee for the Presbytery of Winchester, along with Henry Bell Gilkeson.[25] In 1881, Flournoy and his fellow trustees were instrumental in securing from Amos L. and Allie G. Pugh a house and a large partially wooded land lot in Capon Bridge for use by the Presbytery as a centrally located manse in Hampshire County.[25] Flournoy was elected as a deacon in the Presbyterian Church in 1879[26] and remained a trustee of the Presbytery of Winchester until 1891 when he relocated to Charleston.[26]

Marriage and children

On April 10, 1875, in Hampshire County, West Virginia, Flournoy married Frances "Fannie" Ann White (born April 1843), daughter of John Baker White and Frances A. Streit.[3][27][28] Frances White's brother, Robert White, served as West Virginia Attorney General from 1877 to 1881. Flournoy and his wife Frances had five children (four sons and one daughter):[3][27]

  • R. Parke Flournoy (born December 29, 1875)[3][27]
  • Harry L. Flournoy[3][27]
  • Frances Z. Flournoy[3]
  • Samuel L. Flournoy[3][27]
  • Alexander White Flournoy[3][27]

Flounoy died on January 28, 1904, in Charleston.[5][27] He served on the Board of Trustees of Hampden–Sydney College from 1892 until his death.[4]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Atkinson 1890, p. 442.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 Miller & Maxwell 1913, p. 84.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 Maxwell & Swisher 1897, p. 706.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Virginia Historical Society 1899, p. 363.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Brown 1917, p. 312.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Maxwell & Swisher 1897, p. 436.
  7. Maxwell & Swisher 1897, p. 300.
  8. Brown 1947, p. 159.
  9. Maxwell & Swisher 1897, p. 496.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Evans 1899, p. 195.
  11. Maxwell & Swisher 1897, pp. 478–479.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Atkinson 1890, p. 140.
  13. 13.0 13.1 West Virginia Legislature 1922, p. 272.
  14. Atkinson 1890, p. 72.
  15. Munske & Kerns 2004, p. 180.
  16. 16.0 16.1 West Virginia Legislature 1889, pp. 579–581.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Atkinson 1912, p. 357.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Special Dispatch (June 5, 1900). "Clans Assembling: West Virginia Democrats Arriving at Parkersburg. Claims of the Candidates: Do Not Concede Anything to Any of Their Opponents.".,6266491&dq=samuel-flournoy&hl=en. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  19. West Virginia Bar Association 1886, p. 13.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Special Dispatch (July 9, 1886). "State Bar Association, Formed at Grafton Yesterday - The Officers Elected.". Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  21. West Virginia Bar Association 1886, p. 14.
  22. West Virginia Bar Association 1886, p. 18.
  23. West Virginia Bar Association 1886, p. 3.
  24. 24.0 24.1 West Virginia Bar Association 1886, p. 4.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Woodworth 1947, p. 369.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Woodworth 1947, p. 385.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 27.5 27.6 Miller & Maxwell 1913, p. 85.
  28. "Marriage Record Detail: Samuel Lightfoot Flournoy". West Virginia Vital Research Records. West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 


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