Biography of Joseph A. Waddell
Prominent Persons in Virginia, Biographies





Waddell, Joseph Addison, was born at Staunton, Virginia, March 19, 1823, son of Dr. Addison Waddell and Catherine Ann Boys, his wife, grandson of Rev. James Waddell, D. D., known as the "Blind Preacher," and great grandson of Thomas and Janet Waddell, who in 1739 emigrated to Pennsylvania from county Down, Ireland. His father, Dr. Addison Waddell, was born at "Hopewell," April 19, 1785, graduated in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, located in Staunton in 1809, and died there in His mother, Catherine Ann (Boys) Waddell, was a descendant of Capt. Nathan Boys, of the Pennsylvania navy in 1775, city commissioner of Philadeiphia from 1793 to 1797, also represented Philadelphia in the Pennsylvania legislature. His only son, John Boys, a native of Chester, Pennsylvania, came to Staunton, Virginia, in 1789, died in Philadelphia, November 20, 1798. He married Anna St. Clair, and their daughter, Catherine Ann, married Dr. Waddell. Joseph A. Waddlell obtained his preliminary education at the Staunton Academy, then entered Washington College, now Washington and Lee University, and afterwards was a student in the University of Virginia, and subsequently pursued a course of study in law in the law school of Judge Lucas P. Thompson, in Staunton, and was admitted to the bar. He engaged in a general practice of his profession in his native city, but this not being entirely to his liking, he turned his attention to journalistic work and became interested in "The Staunton Spectator," of which he was the coeditor and co-proprietor for almost twelve years, up to 1860, when he was appointed to the office of commissioner in chancery of the circuit court presided over by Judge Thompson, and he has also served for many years as the commissioner of accounts of Augusta county, and clerk of the supreme court of appeals of Virginia, at Staunton. In 1865 he was elected a member of the Virginia house of delegates; represented Augusta county in the constitutional convention of 1867 which framed the constitution of Virginia, known in Virginia history as "the Black and Tan convention;" represented Augusta county in the state senate in 1869, serving as president pro tem, of that body. He also served as president of the board of visitors of the Institution for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind, at Staunton, now known as the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, and as president of the board of the Western Lunatic Asylum at Staunton, now known as the Western State Hospital. He was the author of the "Annals of Augusta County," and of several historical addresses, the most notable being that read before the seventh annual congress of the Scotch Irish in America at Lexington, in June, 1895, on the "Scotch Irish of the Valley of Virginia." In recognition of his historical work, Washington and Lee University conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws. Mr. Waddell is a member and elder of the Presbyterian church, and in politics was a Whig before 1861 and a Democrat after 1865. He married (first) Virginia McClung; (second) Laleah Dunwody.


FROM:
Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography
Volume III
By: Lyon Gardiner Tyler, LL. D.
Lewis Historical Publishing Company
New York 1915



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