David Wolfe is the son of Americus and Dorothy Wolfe, the largest donors to the Barbour County Community Foundation (BCCF) in Barbour County, West Virginia. His father was born in Philippi, and his grandfather owned the grocery store there. Wolfe’s mother was a teacher at schools ranging from a one-room school north of Belington to WVU, ultimately settling at Philip Barbour High School.
Wolfe’s father dabbled in many jobs. He worked in coal mines, as a logger, as a carpenter on the Grafton Dam, as a long haul truck driver, and as a sawmill worker. He also owned Wolfe Coal Company in Berryburg, WV. David remembers the mines as a young child, “While he carried big boxes of dynamite, I carried little boxes of blasting caps.”
In the 1950s, they decided to get out of coal and into buying and selling grown up farms for the timber. Americus, along with a dozen friends, organized BC bank.
His father was always involved in business, but so were the women in Wolfe’s family. “I come from a lineage of strong businesswomen.” In addition to teaching, Dorothy Wolfe was sharp at sales and logistics. “My mother played domestic housewife until we moved to the farm in St. George. One year, my father grew 10,000 bushels of corn. My mother was able to move all of the corn in one day on harvest day. It never saw the silo.”
The Wolfe’s passed along their community mindedness to David. “I was one of the organizers of the Barbour County Community Foundation,” explains Wolfe. “First year, I was Vice President. Second year, I was President”. Wolfe accompanied his parents when they rewrote their wills. They were interested in leaving endowments for cemeteries, churches, and scholarships.
“The attorney who drew up their wills was very knowledgeable about endowments and encouraged them. Each had a list of 15 endowments. They donated a percentage of their estate to BCCF, and each has a scholarship.”
The Americus J. Wolfe Scholarship Fund supports Barbour County residents wishing to further his or her education at a post secondary school, college, or university. The Dorothy H. Wolfe Scholarship Fund supports any current Barbour County teacher wishing to continue his or her education.