The Haught family name is intertwined with Ritchie County. Ritchie County was properly founded in 1843. A mere 59 years later, in 1902, Ira M. Haught, moved to Ritchie County from Tyler County. Ira was born in 1879 in Middlebourne, WV and moved to Ritchie County with his brother, Harvey, to work in the oil and gas industry. Ira soon married Henrietta "Bertha" Tingler, a Ritchie County native.
Ira eventually purchased his own steam powered drilling rig engine and drilled throughout Ritchie County. As soon as his son, Glenn L. Haught, was old enough to help, he was cutting wood to fire the steam boiler. Glenn, with his expertise in the oil and gas industry, continued and grew the family business following his father's death in 1935. He married Bernice M. Robison. Bernice did much of the secretarially work for Glenn's business. Together, Glenn and Bernice, had seven children: Oma Jean, Ida Mae, Warren, Eldon, Karen, Alan, and Pam.
After graduation from Harrisville High School, Warren and Eldon, found interest in the oil and gas industry and joined their father in the business and formally established Glenn L. Haught & Sons in the early 1950s. They upgraded their equipment to a Bucyrus-Erie spudder and fracked the first well east of the Mississippi River in the mid-1950s. A third brother, Alan, joined the family business in 1963, following his high school graduation.
In 1973, Glenn passed away, and the three sons continued and grew the family business to what it is today. Throughout the years, most of the Haught family, including in-laws, have worked in some capacity for Glenn L. Haught & Sons. Today the company is in the capable hands of Warren's grandsons.
The Haught Scholarship Fund was established by Alan and Warren Haught to give back to the County that has given them and their family so much and to support area youth who also want to pursue a career in the oil and gas industry. Awards from this fund are made in memory of Eldon J. "Wimp" Haught who passed away in 2018 after a three-and-a-half-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
Eldon J. "Wimp" Haught
Eldon was born in Beatrice, WV on August 24, 1936, the son of the late Glenn L. and Bernice Robison Haught. He was a 1954 graduate of Harrisville High School and received an honorary degree from Alderson Broadus University. He was a charter member of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Dept. since joining in 1964. In 1969, Eldon helped form ALFAB Inc., a truck body company in Smithville that still thrives today. He, his brothers and others, were in the oil and gas drilling business until he left the company in 1977. He was a member of The Harrisville Baptist Church.
Eldon was inducted into the WV Aviation Hall of Fame for his 35 years of service in the WV Aeronautics Commission where he was instrumental in securing funding for many of the State's airports. His proudest accomplishment was the purchase of a fire fighting simulator which is used by fire departments throughout the State to train firemen and airport firemen in procedures and fire safety of a burning aircraft. Eldon was also a licensed pilot. He was recently awarded the North Star Award from the National Boy Scouts of America for his dedication to scouting and his community service throughout WV.
He was instrumental in securing funding through his good friend Senator Robert C. Byrd for the North Fork Lake and Dam project and later the Recreational Area which has been named the Eldon J. Haught Lakeside Recreation Area in Harrisville. Other awards and accomplishments include receiving the 2003 Jefferson Award, which was created by Jacqueline Kennedy and honors those for outstanding community service, 1999 Ritchie County Citizen of the Year, Community Service Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution for voluntary service. He served on the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council for many years, was a past board member of The Union Bank of Harrisville, worked on helping to build and secure funding for the North Bend Rail Trail, Ritchie County High School weight room and access road and Ritchie Regional Health Center. He saved many jobs by funding a suitable office space in Harrisville for the DHHR with little hope of getting reimbursed for purchasing the building. He volunteered his time and equipment to remodel the home of Jessica Lynch to accommodate her rehabilitation from injuries she received in Iraq. There have been many more contributions, both large and small, that Wimp Haught has made to improve the lives of his fellow West Virginians.