"How many 92-year-old men don their coveralls and gum boots and work every day from daylight to dark? Paul McCutchan does. How many 92-year-old men square baled, handled, and marketed 4,594 bales of hay for $10,396.25 in the past year? Paul McCutchan did. How many 92-year-old men climbed around in the woods with their Stihl chainsaw with a 29 inch bar, single handedly sawed down, dragged out, loaded, and hauled to market $12,320.70 worth of top quality logs in the past year? Paul McCutchan did."
With these remarkable words, Ed Cumpston of New Milton, WV, began his story of brother Paul McCutchan in his newspaper column, "Featuring Doddridge Countians," in the January 23, 2007, issue of the Herald Record, our weekly newspaper, published and edited by Virginia Nicholson at West Union, WV. After having read this story, I wanted to share it with all of our readers. We are happy to devote this page to some quotes from the article, with some accompanying pictures and comments.
Paul McCutchan is a faithful member of the West Union Church of Christ. He would be the first to tell you that it is in God that we all live, move, and have our being and that every good and perfect gift is from above, from the Father of lights. Acts 17:28; James 1:17.
"Born 92 years ago on Straight Run and raised in the hollow between Walnut Fork and Fink Creek, in Lewis County, Paul attended a two-room school (Conroy) and later graduated from Weston High School ... During his high school years, Paul began setting money aside, often earning over $300 a month in the fur business. While at Weston High School, Paul began a lifetime pursuit stimulated by a new national organization, the Future Farmers of America, which first started in 1928. As far as we know, Paul is the oldest living member of the national FFA organization." He was the state FFA treasurer in 1932-33 and was the first West Virginian selected as Vice-President of the national FFA.
"Paul is living proof that hard work never hurt anybody." He would often come home at 2:00 AM and be back to work before 6:00 AM. After leaving the family farm, he often worked on several different jobs at once as a contractor in the oil fields and in construction.
Paul and his wife, Virginia, were married in 1932. They had three children: Ralph Paul, William George, and Phyllis Marie. They had ten grandchildren (one is deceased), 22 great-grandchildren (one is deceased), and nine great-great grandchildren. His beloved wife, Virginia, passed away in 1998.
Paul began pumping wells for South Penn in 1937 and worked for them until 1947. He bought several different farms through the years and went into the timbering business. "Not owning his big Stihl chainsaw back then, he cut his timber by hand with a crosscut saw and pulled the logs out with some big ton workhorses." He bought and operated three sawmills and added a stave mill that supplied mine timbers and railroad crossties.
"In 1957 and 1958, he drilled his first two wells. During the 1960's, he drilled 14 wells in Doddridge County. During his lifetime, he has purchased as much oil and gas royalty as he could, always keeping royalty on property he sold and getting royalty as part of his contract work in the oil fields. Among the many jobs Paul kept going, one of his favorites was the 17 years he contracted for Consolidated Gas and built many ponds and did other projects for them."
"Paul still owns and is in full control of the management of three very nice farms." He offers the following financial advice to the younger generation: "When you're young, you'd better save and put it away, rather than trying to live it up." "If you do good, honest work for a man, you'll never lack for a job." "An honest reputation is the most important thing a man can acquire."
I asked Brooks LeMasters, one of the elders of the West Union congregation, to contribute to this article. He said, "Brother Paul McCutchan is one of the most resourceful people that I have had the privilege of knowing. Paul has a deep love for the church and what it stands for. This is evidenced by his ongoing work in mission fields and in the area of benevolence. It is not unusual to hear people refer to his honesty in dealing with others. Brother Paul has been with us for several years and we feel very blessed to have him in our number. May God continue to bless Paul and his family."
(Born May 11, 1914, brother McCutchan is now 93 years old. On the evening we spoke with his daughter, Phyllis, he was getting ready to work in the hayfield the following day! -Editor.)
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