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General John Hunt Oley (September 24, 1830-March 11, 1888) was one of Huntington’s first prominent citizens. He was born in Utica, New York. At the outset of the Civil War, Oley served with the 7th Regiment of the New York National Guard. He was one of six New Yorkers sent to Western Virginia to drill troops following a request by Francis Pierpont, governor of Reorganized or Unionist Virginia. In the fall of 1861, Oley organized the 8th (West) Virginia Infantry, which would later become the 7th West Virginia Cavalry. He was promoted to colonel in 1863, and was made a brevet brigadier general in 1865.

After the war, Oley lived in Charleston and was appointed internal revenue collector for West Virginia. In 1871, he moved to the fledgling community of Huntington, where he was employed by railroad baron Collis P. Huntington as an agent for the Central Land Company. Oley also was elected recorder and treasurer of Huntington and was instrumental in the formation of Trinity Episcopal Church. Oley was buried in Spring Hill Cemetery in Huntington. A monument marking his grave was paid for through contributions by the citizens of Huntington.

This Article was written by Joe Geiger

Last Revised on December 08, 2015


Wallace, George Selden. Cabell County Annals and Families. Richmond: Garrett & Massie, 1935.

Geiger, Joe Jr. Civil War in Cabell County. Charleston: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1991.

Wheeling Intelligencer, 3/1888.

Cite This Article

Geiger, Joe "John Hunt Oley." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 08 December 2015. Web. 14 April 2024.


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