Biography of W. E. Cunning
Columbiana County, OH Biographies

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
Topeka-Indianapolis 1926

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