William Dossey Pruden, a native of Harrellsville, Hertford County, attended Trinity College (now Duke University) in 1863. He entered Confederate service as a Second Lieutenant. He participated in the Battle of Kinston and was wounded in the Battle of Bentonville. After the War, Pruden studied law at the University of Virginia and at the school of Judge Richmond Pearson. Pruden was admitted to the Bar in 1868, moved to Edenton, NC and formed a co-partnership with Major H. A. Gilliam. After the Major moved to Raleigh, Pruden formed a co-partnership with his son, J. Norfleet Pruden. William Dossey Pruden became the leading lawyer in the Albemarle region and later served as Mayor of Edenton, a director of the Bank of Edenton and as legal advisor for Chowan County Board of Commissioners. In 1886, Pruden was on the Commission to rerun the State line with Virginia and the upper counties of NC. In 1891, Wake Forest College awarded Pruden with an honorary doctor of laws degree. Pruden was active in the Episcopal Church and served on the chancellorship of the Diocese of East Carolina. In 1894, Pruden helped found and was an active charter member of the Roanoke Colony Memorial Association.