Hugh Ike Shott
1866 – 1953
Editor's Note: Mr. Shott was related to several current members of Bluefield Rotary: He was grandfather of Scott Shott, and the great-grandfather of James H. Shott and John H. Shott.
Issac Shott, Sr., (who was known as Hugh Ike Shott) was born in Staunton,
Va. on September 3, 1866. He began his working life by apprenticing as a
printer, but later worked a mail service job with the Norfolk & Western
railway. That job was such that he traveled on trains from Norfolk, Va. to
Bluefield, which at that time was the “Western” part of Norfolk & Western.
Mr. Shott saw promise in Bluefield, which at the time was somewhat of a frontier town, and decided to relocate here, and in late 1895 he invested $800 to purchase an irregularly published newspaper called the Bluefield Telegraph, along with its commercial printing operation.
Not long thereafter, on January 16, 1896, Mr. Shott re-launched the newspaper as a daily publication, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.
Mr. Shott and his wife, Mary Katherine Chisholm Shott, who was born in Nova Scotia in 1870, had three children, James H. Shott, Lillian Shott and Hugh I. Shott, Jr.
His sons, Jim and Hugh, Jr. became interested in the new medium, radio, and started radio station WHIS-AM in 1928. The boys started an FM station several years later.
Mr. Shott served as Postmaster of Bluefield, West Virginia from 1903 to 1912, a position which at the time required an appointment from the President of the United States, and was active in Republican politics. He served as a U.S. Representative from West Virginia from 1929 to 1933, and was a candidate for U.S. Senate from West Virginia in 1936. He served a “short term” as U.S. Senator from West Virginia from 1942 to 1943, following the resignation of the incumbent, Matthew M. Neely, which earned Mr. Shott the title of “Senator,” by which he was known thereafter.
As editor and publisher of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Mr. Shott wrote editorials, and was known to hand-set his own type when preparing the paper to be printed. A book with many of his popular “Good Morning” articles from the newspaper was published after his death on October 12, 1953.
The communications interests started by Mr. Shott and expanded by his sons to include a daily newspaper, an AM and an FM radio station, and a television station, were a significant influence on the region during Mr. Shott’s life, and continue to influence the region, even though they have different owners today.
The parent company of those communications interests, the Daily Telegraph Printing Company, was sold by the Shott family in 1985, along with Commercial Printing Company, and the company’s other components.
Biography by James H. Shott