Friday, July 22, 2011

Alstorphius Werninger (1805-1893)

   An obscure state senator from West Virginia, Alstorphius Werninger was born on June 30, 1805, in Morgantown, Virginia, a son of Augustus and Matilda Werninger. His early life consisted of working in his father's business, as well as farming, and in 1827 he removed to the city of Clarksburg. Alstorphius married Ms. Martha Elizabeth Martin in May of that same year and eventually had a family that consisted of eleven children! 
   Werninger did his patriotic duty during the Civil War, and although he was beyond the age to serve as a soldier, he found other ways to be of use to his state. Described as an "active Union man", Werninger served as a Provost Marshal and Assistant Collector of Revenue and assisted "zealously in the restoration of Virginia on a loyal basis". 
  Following the war's conclusion, Werninger was elected to the West Virginia State Senate in 1866 and was subsequently re-elected to that body in 1868. After the expiration of his term in 1870, he returned to farming and during his later years continued to be active in public affairs, serving as a Commissioner of Accounts and Justice of the Peace for Harrison County, West Virginia. Little could be found on his later years, with the exception of his death, which occurred sometime in 1893. 
   In a small addendum to this already short article, Werninger's name is recorded as being spelled in a number of different ways, including "Alstorpheus" and "Alsorphius". His last name also has a variation in spelling, being listed as "Weinenger" in a few pieces of period literature.

You Can Help!
  Time for one of my famous "You Can Help" segments! Mr. Werninger has proven to be one of the more difficult politicians to research, and very little information could be found on his life and political career. I am currently seeking more information (as well as a photograph) of Alstorphius Werninger, so if any readers/amateur historians want an interesting project to fill their time with, see what you can dig up on this uniquely named West Virginia politician! 

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