|Background: RJF's great-grandfather was Anthony Funkhouser, who came from Switzerland early in the 19th century, settling with two brothers in the Shenandoah Valley, VA. His son, Joseph E. Funkhouser, was born in Frederick County, VA. around 1826. A farmer who lived near Winchester for fifty years, Joseph Funkhouser belonged to the United Brethren Church.|
RJF's father, Newton Edda, was born near Winchester September 14, 1862.Newton Edda's mother was Elizabeth Beeler Funkhouser of Hagerstown, MD, the daughter of David and Sophia Stonebraker Beeler. Newton Elmer's sister, Carrie E., married Alexander Wetzel of Wadesville, VA.; his second sister, Sophia L. S., married Joseph Frye of Martinsburg, WV; his brother W. Scott died young.
Newton E. Funkhouser was educated in the public schools and at the Shenandoah Collegiate Institute in Dayton, VA. graduating when he was nineteen. He taught two years in South Central, GA, moving in 1882 to this area. He began that year a business partnership in Sleepy Creek, WV with Mr. J. H. Wetzel.