Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

January 2, 2014

W.Va. industrialist Buck Harless dies at 94

GILBERT —  Mingo County industrialist and philanthropist James “Buck” Harless has died. He was 94.

His executive assistant, Sharon Murphy, said Harless died at home in Gilbert on Wednesday night after a brief illness.

Harless began his career as a coal miner and worked his way up, eventually owning coal and timber operations. He built the Gilbert Lumber Co. into a multi-million-dollar conglomerate, International Industries, with holdings in timber, coal, hotels, real estate and manufacturing.

He was a prominent donor to many organizations, including West Virginia University and Marshall University.

Harless was elected to the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame and the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame.


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