Engineers was formed in 1902, when Carl L. Hornor and his
brother, Paul S. Hornor, purchased the Davis Engineering Company
from J. Hornor Davis. They incorporated the firm under their
family name. Offices were established on the second and third
floors of the Hornor Building on Main Street, above where the G.
C. Murphy Store would later locate.
In the years that
followed, Hornor Brothers Engineers became instrumental in the
development of Clarksburg and Harrison County. During the early
1900's the firm provided the engineering services necessary for
the building of numerous railroad sidings and coal tipples, the
opening of coal mines, and the appraisal of coal properties in
Harrison, Wetzel, Doddridge and Preston Counties.
In addition, the
company surveyed thousands of industrial and residential lots
and staked out much of the area which comprised Clarksburg at
that time. Included were the communities of North View,
Industrial, Grasselli, Nutter Fort, The Fairgrounds Addition,
Norwood, White Addition, Arbutus Park, Alta Vista, Goff Plaza,
Stealey, Adamston and Anmoore. Hornor Brothers Engineers also
surveyed and mapped the Towns of Lumberport, Shinnston, Monongah,
parts of Fairmont and others, all prior to 1920. Many of these
old maps and plats are still on file in the offices and used as
references to this day.
Following his father's
retirement from the engineering business and the death of his
Uncle Carl, Paul Allen Hornor assumed the firms leadership
in 1938. It was at this time that Hornor Brothers Engineers began
its long-running association with Benedum Airport in Harrison
County, an association which continued for over sixty years.
During the 1930's and
1940's, the firm's primary business interest was in the coal
mining industry. The demand for underground surveys and deep mine
design was particularly great during and shortly after World War
II, when everyone with a parcel of coal was developing it to the
fullest. Hornor Brothers Engineers served scores, if not
hundreds, of coal companies in this capacity. One notable client
was the Pardee-Curtin Lumber Company, in Webster County, for
whom the firm worked more than 30 years.
It was in 1936 that the
company moved from the old Hornor Building to its present
location on the corner of Main and Third Streets. Hornor Brothers
Engineers bought the second and third floors of that building in
1962 and the rest of the building from CB&T Bank in 1991.
Business offices are maintained on the second floor.
The firm became
involved in water system development in the late 1940's by
handling the project management responsibilities for the
construction of water treatment plants and storage reservoirs in
the towns of Bridgeport and West Union. The design and stakeout
of resi- dential subdivisions, along with general property
surveying, continued to demand much of the company's attention,
as it does today.
By the 1950's the coal
survey work for Hornor Brothers Engineers began to steadily
decline as more and more of the larger coal companies began
managing their own engineering needs. However, the company was
doing more municipal work in the form of streets, sidewalks and
in particular, Benedum Airport development. Aside from the
terminal building itself, Hornor Brothers Engineers has designed
and/or managed the construction of the entire airport facility
which today has a value in excess of l00 million dollars.
In the early 1960's the
firm did a considerable amount of work for the City of
Clarksburg, including the design of approximately 10 miles of
city streets. Later in the decade and in the early 1970's the
demand for accurate coal property appraisals attracted the
company's expertise. Notable clients included AT&T, whose
transcontinental cable right-of-way from Fairmont to Mt. Storm in
Grant County was appraised for its coal value, as was Interstate
68 from Morgantown east to Hazelton, and Interstate 79 from
Morgantown south to Sutton for the West Virginia Department of
From the 1960's to the
present, Hornor Brothers Engineers' main business interest has
increasingly dealt with the development of environmental
projects, particularly water and sewer works. Today, the firm
continues to consult regularly with public service districts,
water associations, municipalities, industry and individuals in
Harrison and surrounding counties on these matters. A more
detailed account of the company's experience with these projects
is addressed later.
Throughout the years, Hornor Brothers Engineers has had the privilege of association with many valuable and longtime employees and stockholders. Notable among them were Henry W. Thrasher and his son, Henry A. Thrasher, who served as Chief Engineers from 1914-1937 and 1951-1983 respectively; Lynn Allen, Field Supervisor and Mine Survey Party Chief from 1918-1937; Louise Dennison, Secretary-Bookkeeper from 1927-1978; Allie Means Billingslea, Reproduction Supervisor from 1929-1979; Ralph Wolfe, Survey Party Chief from 1946-1982; Nila May, Secretary-Bookkeeper from 1969-2013; and Richard Taylor, Engineering Technician from 1969-2012. There are, of course, many others both past and present too numerous to mention who have played important roles in the firm's long history.
Today, Hornor Brothers Engineers still includes family ownership and operation. The principals are Paul Allen (Trey) Hornor III, and John W. Hornor, great-grandsons of founder, Paul S. Hornor; as well as Marshall W. Robinson, P.S., who became a part owner of the firm in 2012.