Auto Dealer Sunday In
Ben Garrison, 59, who passed away yesterday morning in Fairmont General hospital, was one of the
first airplane builders and one of the first fliers.
He was a member of the "First Fifty Club" which comprised the early fliers of the entire country. At one time Mr. Garrison attended one of the organization's meetings in Cleveland, O.
Mr. Garrison lived at Morgantown when he became interested in airplanes and flying. He obtained a motor and constructed a plane which he got into the air before he attained his majority, at a point between Morgantown and Point Marion. Later he engaged in flying and was one of the pioneers of the air in Northern West Virginia.
Flying was his lifetime desire although his father, M. S. Garrison, a former sheriff of Monongalia county, persuaded him to give up flying and engage in the automobile business. He never was able to get planes out of his mind and in recent years often spoke of it to his associates and regretted that he felt too old to continue his activities in the air.
The father emphasized the danger of flying to the son and persuaded him to give up his ideas and turn to the next nearest thing - the automobile. Thus a leading automobile dealer of Morgantown and Fairmont was developed.
A resident of this city since 1922, he was an outstanding businessman and was prominent in civic and religious spheres.
For about six months he had been in ill health. Condition of the eminent man was reported critical for the last week.
Son of M. S. and Martha Ammons Garrison, both deceased, he was born December 20, 1888 near Core, Monongalia county. It was in 1915 when he married Carrie Hemsley, of Berryville, Va. There were no children.
Educated in Morgantown, he was graduated from West Virginia universiy and did post graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh.
The businessman opened the first Ford agency here in 1913 when he was a resident of Morgantown. Instrumental in the activity of the Marion County Automobile Dealers' association, he was a past president of that body until he retired in 1943.
A member of the Central Christian church, he was past president of the local Kiwanis club and a past president of the Farimont Business Men's association.
Fraternally he was a Mason and an Elk. He held the 32nd degree in Scottish Rite and was a Knight Templar.
For a number of years, Mr. and Mrs. Garrison made their home in Outlook road, but for some time had been making their residence in the Farimont Farms aprartments. When Mr. Garrison's health started to fail some months ago, he was in the process of building a new home atop a lovely knoll just beyond the upper end of Ninth street.
Besides his widow, he is survived by two brothers, Dr. Harry A. Garrison, San Diego, Calif., a retired Rear Admiral in the Navy, and R. C. Garrison, Morgantown; also one sister, Mrs. Olive G. Kendrich, also of Morgantown.
The body will be returned today from the Davidson funeral home, Morgantown. Services will be at 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon in the Central Christian church. Interment will be in East Oak Grove cemetery, Morgantown.
Honarary pallbearers are Arban Tarleton, Dale Huey Paul Pitrola, Charles Henneh, C. C. Cole, J. E. Patterson, R. R. Beebe, R. N. Henry, A. H. Reeves, W. E. Buckey, Joseph K. Buchanan.
Horner Troxell, L. O. Brightbill, Jr., Claude H. Ford, Harry M. Layman, L. A. Rymer, of Mannington; C. W. Wilson, John F. Barr, George L. Davis, B. M. Pawson.
Floyd O. Prunty, Carl Springer, John Turley, Ralph Dollison, Russell D. Meredith, DeLoyd Bell, George Parsons, E. R. Horner, J. R. Spease, L. O. Shingleton, W. E. McComas, J. H. Brown.
C. G. Conaway, E. C. Griswold, C. J. Colgan, G. W. Harr, Harold Moore, of Mannington; Forney Wade, of Morgantown ; W. S. Clark, John Meredith, and K. C. Curry.
Pallbearers are Rex Garrison, Brown Garrison, Lee Blair, Harry Davis, Earl Core and Plumber Stull.
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please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper