Robert Franklin Kidd 1853-1930

Principal of the Glenville Branch of the West Virginia State Normal School

Robert F. Kidd

Robert F. Kidd, teacher, editor, lawyer, legislator, orator, and humorist, was born February 11, 1853, in Upshur County, (West) Virginia. He was one of 13 children of Thomas and Margaret (Johnson) Kidd. He was educated in public and private schools of Upshur County, and for a time was editor of the Buckhannon Banner while reading law with C.C. Higginbotham of Buckhannon and John Bassel, of Clarksburg.

Kidd was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1882, the same year he accepted the principalship of Glenville Normal School. Two years later, in 1884, he resigned to pursue his law practice in Glenville.

Kidd was elected a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1887, and served one term. In 1898, he was elected to the West Virginia State Senate, where he served until 1915. He was again elected to the State Senate in 1922, and served through 1927. He returned to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1929, and served until his sudden death on June 8, 1930. During his political career Kidd was very supportive of Glenville Normal School and helped pass legislation that provided funding for the school. He was also instrumental in keeping the college in Glenville.

Prior to Kidd’s death, he was instrumental in obtaining funds through the Legislature to have a library building built at the college. Although he died before completion of the new library, it bears his name as a testimony of his support of the college.

Kidd was married to Lelia R. Johnson on November 12, 1884. They had six children.