James H. "Buck" Harless portrait

2001 Inductees

James H. "Buck" Harless

Having built the Gilbert Lumber Company from humble beginnings into the multi-million-dollar International Industries Inc., Buck Harless has used his resources and influence to make the state, particularly his hometown of Gilbert, a better place to live.

His contributions to the coal mining industry were acknowledged in 1998 when he was inducted into the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame. The West Virginia Mining and Reclamation Association named him Coal Man of the Year - 1976, and The Charleston Gazette recognized him as West Virginian of the Year in 1983.

A supporter of education in West Virginia, Harless has been actively involved in educational organizations and governance in the state. A member and past chairman of the WVU Foundation, he also served on the University System of West Virginia Board of Trustees, among others.