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Lipps, J. E.


Biographical Note

Jonathan Elbert Lipps, son of Morgan T. and Elizabeth Davenport Lipps, was born in what is now Wise County, Virginia, on October 25, 1851. While still a child, the younger Lipps moved with his family to the Gladeville area. Jonathan taught school on Little Toms Creek in 1871, then at Bull Run in 1872, and at Buffalo Gap in 1873. That same year, he married Sarah Cephina Gilley (1851-1935) and also became the county's assistant assessor. In 1877, Lipps began teaching at Pinnacle Gap and was appointed the county's first notary public. Lipps purchased a farm in Powells Valley in 1879 and was appointed postmaster of the new Butcher's Fork post office. In 1881, Sarah Gilley Lipps assumed the office of Butcher's Fork and remained in that position until 1887.

In 1885, Jonathan Lipps was appointed to the Wise County board of supervisors, to serve out the unexpired term of a deceased member. Lipps lost a close campaign for county clerk in 1885. He ran again in 1887; winning by three votes, he served in the office until 1893. In 1890, Lipps and others formed the Gladeville Improvment Company, later the Clear Creek Improvement Company, instrumental in the development of the northern section of the town of Wise. Following his service as county clerk, Lipps, with his son-in-law C. P. Addington and son Wade H. Lipps, established a department store under the name J. E. Lipps & Co. in Wise. After 11 years in business, Lipps sold his interest in the store to Addington, who later sold it to C. W. Renfro.

In 1908, Lipps was appointed commissioner of the revenue for the county's eastern district but served only half of the four-year term. He was elected to the town council of Wise for three terms.

J. E. Lipps died January 31, 1943, and is buried with his wife in Wise Cemetery.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Jonathan E. Lipps Account Books

Identifier: Ms-1940-016

This collection contains the court clerk and general store account ledgers of Jonathan E. Lipps of Wise County, Virginia.

Dates: 1892 - 1924