W. E. Cunning. Ranking among the representative business men and prominent citizens of Columbiana County is
the name of W. E. Cunning, deceased. He was born at Mt. Jackson, Lawrence County, Pa., Nov. 24, 1862, the son of
Hugh and Mary (Jones) Cunning.
Hugh Cunning was born in Baltimore, Md., and his wife was a native of Lawrence County, Pa. He, was a carpenter
contractor and owned a large planing mill at Beaver Falls, Pa. He died Feb. 3, 1897, and his wife died May 15,
1902. To Mr. and Mrs. Cunning were born seven sons and seven daughters, of whom W. E., the subject of this sketch,
was the oldest.
W. E. Cunning spent his boyhood in Lawrence County and received his education in the district schools. He was about
nine years old when his parents removed to Beaver Falls, Pa., where he completed his schooling. Later, he settled
in East Liverpool, where he became an apprentice in the pottery business. He was a grocery clerk for Burgess Brothers
several years, and in 1885 with Wm. Burgess, who later became his father-in-law, formed a partnership in the pottery
supply business. They organized under the name of Burgess Company, at East Liverpool, Ohio, where they manufactured
stilts, pins, spurs and pottery supplies.
Mr. and Mrs. Cunning went abroad to England to get the molds to make bone china, and the Burgess Company was the
first manufacturer to make bone china in America but later they gave up that business on the account of the expense
of operation. The plant was then incorporated as the West End Pottery Company, of East Liverpool, Ohio, of which
Mr. Cunning was President until his death.
During the World War Mr. Cunning and C. C. Ashbaugh incorporated the Liberty China Company, at New Lexington, Ohio,
who are manufacturers of table ware. This company still maintains this business at New Lexington, Ohio.
On Aug. 24, 1887, Mr. Cunning married Miss Florence Burgess, the daughter of William and Meline (Pepin) Burgess,
a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this history. To them one son was born, George Burgess Cunning, now general
manager of the West End Pottery Company. He was married to Miss Freda Fortner of East Liverpool, and they have
two sons, Willis Burgess and William James Cunning.
Politically, Mr. Cunning was a Republican, and he held membership in the Elks Lodge and the East Liverpool Country
Club. He was a citizen who held the high regard of the entire community.
History of Columbiana County, Ohio
By: Harold B. Barth
Historical Publishing Company
Columbiana County, Ohio Biographies
Names A to F
Names G to M
Names N to Z
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