W. E. Cunning. Ranking among the representative business men and
prominent citizens of Columbiana County [Ohio] is the name of W. E.
Cunning, deceased. He was born at Mt. Jackson, Lawrence County, Pa., Nov.
24, 1862, the son of Hugh and Mary (Jones) Cunning.
Hugh Cunning was born in Baltimore, Md., and his wife was a native of
Lawrence County, Pa. He, was a carpenter contractor and owned a large
planing mill at Beaver Falls, Pa. He died Feb. 3, 1897, and his wife died
May 15, 1902. To Mr. and Mrs. Cunning were born seven sons and seven
daughters, of whom W. E., the subject of this sketch, was the oldest.
W. E. Cunning spent his boyhood in Lawrence County and received his
education in the district schools. He was about nine years old when his
parents removed to Beaver Falls, Pa., where he completed his schooling.
Later, he settled in East Liverpool, where he became an apprentice in the
pottery business. He was a grocery clerk for Burgess Brothers several
years, and in 1885 with Wm. Burgess, who later became his father-in-law,
formed a partnership in the pottery supply business. They organized under
the name of Burgess Company, at East Liverpool, Ohio, where they
manufactured stilts, pins, spurs and pottery supplies.
Mr. and Mrs. Cunning went abroad to England to get the molds to make
bone china, and the Burgess Company was the first manufacturer to make
bone china in America but later they gave up that business on the account
of the expense of operation. The plant was then incorporated as the West
End Pottery Company, of East Liverpool, Ohio, of which Mr. Cunning was
President until his death.
During the World War Mr. Cunning and C. C. Ashbaugh incorporated the
Liberty China Company, at New Lexington, Ohio, who are manufacturers of
table ware. This company still maintains this business at New Lexington,
On Aug. 24, 1887, Mr. Cunning married Miss Florence Burgess, the
daughter of William and Meline (Pepin) Burgess, a sketch of whom appears
elsewhere in this history. To them one son was born, George Burgess
Cunning, now general manager of the West End Pottery Company. He was
married to Miss Freda Fortner of East Liverpool, and they have two sons,
Willis Burgess and William James Cunning.
Politically, Mr. Cunning was a Republican, and he held membership in the
Elks Lodge and the East Liverpool Country Club. He was a citizen who held
the high regard of the entire community.
History of Columbiana County, Ohio
1926, Topeka: Historical Pub. Co., Barth, Harold B., 1926, pages 616-617.
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