Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Duncan McRa

(1863-    )
West Virginia

Duncan McRa was a lawyer, poet, and essayist. Mary Meek Atkeson in her survey of West Virginia writer's provides the following biographical sketch:

Duncan McRa was born in Halleck, Monongalia County, July 14, 1863, and was reared on a farm near that place. He received his education in country schools, the State Normal Schools, and in West Virginia University. After leaving school he taught for seven years, devoting his leisure time to the study of literature and to writing for the newspapers. Later he studied law and was admitted to practice in 1891. He served in the committee rooms of the Republican State Committee, in the campaigns of 1899 and 1900, was Clerk of the State Senate, 1897 and 1901, and Chief Clerk to the Secretary of State, 1901-5. At present [1913] he is engaged in writing for the press.

Besides the books . . . Mr. McRa has written much verse and prose for the magazines and newspapers. He has now in preparation a volume of poems, and a volume of sketches, "Early Recollections; or the Old and The New." Mr. McRa's address is Charleston, W.Va.

[Mary Meek Atkeson, West Virginia Writers 1669-1913, at 245 (Master's Thesis, West Virginia University, 1913)]

In James Morton Callahan, The History of West Virginia, Old and New 237 (Chicago: American Historical Society, 1923)(Vol. 3) we find the following brief biographical sketch of McRa:

Duncan McRa, born July 14, 1863, is now a resident of Charleston, and has devoted most of his life to journalism. He was educated for the law, practiced for some years in Preston County, and is the acknowledged historian of that county. He is a graduate of the State University, was a teacher, is the author of several books, is former secretary of the State Republican Committee and for four years was chief clerk in the secretary of state's office during the administration of Governor Dawson.

Duncan McRa's published collection of poetry, Twiggs (Charleston, West Virginia, 1899) is something of a rarity. The OCLC database for library holdings does not list a single library in the United States as holding a copy of McRa's Twiggs.


Duncan McRa, Twiggs (Charleston, West Virginia, 1899)


___________, Prospectus of Preston County, West Virginia: A Hand Book of Information on the County for the Home and Health Seeker and the Capitalist (Kingwood, West Virginia: Journal Printing House, 1891)

___________, The Quaint Family of Three (Charleston, West Virginia: Tribune Company Print, 1902)