Look Back: Logan was Parkersburg’s first noted philanthropist

The Henry Logan Children’s Home was situated at the corner of 24th Street and Murdoch Avenue. After buying the property, setting up an operational fund and appointing seven trustees, the children’s home opened in 1884 as a home, “at and in which destitute or friendless children under 21 years of age may be taken in and received, and be kept, supported, taught the elementary branches of an English education, and be trained and instructed in religion and good morals, and in some domestic, mechanical or other industrial pursuits or business, so as to make them as far as practicable, useful and respected member of society,” (taken from Compassion by Dr. Bernard L. Allen,1993). Henry Logan, born in 1812, died in Parkersburg March 28, 1890. He and Lavinia, his wife, are buried in the Riverview Cemetery. (Photo Provided)

Editor’s note: As a reproduction of historical newspaper items, this column contains language that, while considered appropriate at the time, would not be used in print today.


Parkersburg Can Boast of ‘Uncle Boss’ Logan as Its Earliest Philanthropist

In the life of Henry “Uncle Boss” Logan, there was something of a beautiful simplicity which Parkersburg, after all these years since he was one of us, still remembers.

Perhaps it can best be expressed by the experience of a young man who was working under him in the old Parkersburg National Bank, who went to “Uncle Boss” during the last days of his life, on matters of necessary business in regard to the bank.

It was the expectation of this young man that he would be given a serious charge concerning the rather large responsibilities he was about to assume at the bank. “Uncle Boss” sensed the situation which was that it was probably the last time he would be giving orders to a subordinate, and this is what he said:

“You’ll be able to handle the job, if you keep this in mind: ‘Deal justly, love righteousness, walk humbly before God.'”

This was Henry Logan’s personal attitude toward life. In an effort to gather together facts concerning this much loved man of Parkersburg’s earlier days, numerous residents who knew him have been asked just what they remember most about him.

Invariably it is the same answer. His simplicity, unpretentiousness, charity and serene disposition.

Of all the Parkersburgers, those who cherish the memory of “Uncle Boss” the most, are the colored people. For it was for them that Mr. Logan gave his wealth, thought and careful consideration. Several families were supported by him, and members of the younger generation were sent to colored schools for the most adequate education available for them in that day. It was the colored people who first called him “Uncle Boss.”

As the donor of the Henry Logan Memorial Children’s Home, one of Parkersburg finest institutions, “Uncle Boss” was one of the few philanthropists of which the city can boast. He purchased the property and residence from the late Josiah Gould, and it has been able to function through the years, as successfully as it is today, being one of the most stabilizing and constructive institutions in this community.

Sweet natured, slow moving, the kind of a man who tackles a task and sees it to its completion, makes decisions carefully and follows that decision, deeply religious and fond of family life, a true citizen was “Uncle Boss” Logan.

The Parkersburg News

July 10, 1932


Bob Enoch is president of the Wood County Historical Society. Would you like to help preserve our past for future generations? The society offers informative monthly meetings and an interesting, 20-page quarterly newsletter. Dues are just $20/year. Send to: WCHPS, P.O. Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102.