Featured, Local History, The Centennial History of Hurricane

Centennial History of Hurricane: Louis Locke Wilson

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. Since the Centennial History is now out of print, the Breeze is reprinting articles from the book as space allows. This week’s selection will be the 245th installment of the Centennial History.


Submitted by Mary Catherine DePaulo

Louis, better known as “Shorty,” was from Radford, Virginia, son of John Andrew Wilson and Mary Catherine Locke. He was from a family of 12 children. Mr. William Harrison of Wytheville, Virginia, formerly from Hurricane, sent Louis to Hurricane in 1909 to work at the Putnam County Bank. In 1916 he married Lillian Margaret Dorsey, daughter of R.V. and Victoria Dorsey. They had six children. One daughter, Mary Catherine, was born in Hurricane, the other children were born in Huntington where they moved in 1918. He worked as assistant cashier at the Day and Night Bank and was later a successful underwriter for the Reliance Life Insurance Company there. In 1933, he returned to the Putnam County Bank as cashier, later becoming President and chairman of the board where he was active until his death at the age of 94.

Lillian, his wife was an accomplished musician and taught piano in Hurricane and Huntington to many students who continued their study of music to become professionals. She died at the age of 63 in 1960 in the house where she was born. Their children are Mary Catherine DePaulo of Bethesda, Maryland; General Louis L. Wilson, Jr., U.S. Air Force retired, of Tucson, Arizona; Margaret Ann Durham of Berea, Kentucky; R.V. Dorsey Wilson, deceased; Victoria Elizabeth Davis of San Francisco and Jack Wilson, Chairman of the board and President and Executive officer of the Putnam County Bank.

Louis, Jr. and Jack played football at Hurricane High. Dorsey was drum major there and Elizabeth composed the Alma Mater. Margaret was a cheerleader and later taught English.

There are 17 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, among whom are two environmentalist, two medical doctors, four attorneys, a translator and interpreter of French and German, a diplomat, cinematographer, composer and orchestra director, computer expert, nurse and banker.

Shorty Wilson was proud of his family, his town and his work, never hesitating to join or to lead any undertaking that would reflect honorably on any of the above. The Town of Hurricane honored him in 1983 with a proclamation “in recognition of his outstanding efforts and years of service given to the City.”


A digital copy of the Centennial History can be obtained from the Hurricane City Hall for a small donation. For more information, call the City of Hurricane at (304) 562-5896.

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