Carl L. Hornor Paul S. Hornor

Hornor Brothers 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.

Paul A. Hornor

Following his father's retirement from the engineering business and the death of his Uncle Carl, Paul Allen Hornor assumed the firm’s 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 Highways.

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.

Trey Hornor Marshall W. Robinson John Hornor