2017-09-20 / Opinions

This Week in West Virginia History

from The West Virginia Encyclopedia

West Virginia Humanities Council 1310 Kanawha Blvd., E. Charleston, WV 25301

September 20, 1914 - Ken Hechler was born in Long Island, New York. Hechler served 18 years in the U.S. Congress and four terms as West Virginia’s secretary of state.

September 21, 1895 - Samuel Ivan Taylor was born in Mercer County. Taylor was the first member of the West Virginia state police. He was part of the force that faced off against union miners during the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain in Logan County.

September 21, 1937 - The West Virginia Conservation Commission acquired 6,705 acres in Kanawha County for the creation of Kanawha State Forest. Redevelopment of the land, which had been heavily mined and timbered, began the next year by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

September 21, 1970 - Filming began in Moundsville on the movie “Fools’ Parade,” based on the novel by Davis Grubb. The filming concluded one month later when Grubb came to Moundsville for a dinner, accompanied by his dog, making the $750 round trip from New York City in a taxi.

September 22, 1856 - Albert Blakeslee ‘‘A. B.’’ White was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He was West Virginia’s 11th governor, serving from 1901–05. He was the fourth person to serve as governor from Wood County, his adopted home.

September 22, 1894 - Louis Bennett, Jr. was born in Weston. Bennett was West Virginia’s only World War I flying ace. With 12 combat kills, including three aircraft and nine balloons, Bennett placed himself ninth on the roster of aces. This record was accomplished in just 10 days after assignment to his combat unit.

September 22, 1970 - The “Brinkley Bridge” in Wayne County collapsed under the weight of an overloaded truck. The bridge was named for newscaster David Brinkley who had filmed a 1960 news report about the poor condition of the span.

September 23, 1922 - Five men were struck and killed at the Glen Rogers mine in Wyoming County when equipment fell during the construction of a deep shaft.

September 23, 1938 - The Mingo Oak was cut down after succumbing to the fumes of a burning coal refuse pile. The Mingo Oak, which stood near the Logan-Mingo county line, was more than 500 years old and may have been the largest white oak in the world.

September 24, 1918 - George Spencer ‘‘Spanky’’ Roberts was born in London, Kanawha County. He entered aviation cadet training with the first class of Tuskegee Airmen and became the first African-American military pilot from West Virginia.

September 25, 1864 - George Smith Patton was killed at the Battle of Winchester. Patton, a Charleston lawyer, had organized the Kanawha Riflemen, a Virginia militia company. He was the grandfather of Gen. George S. Patton of World War II.

September 26, 1816 - David Hunter Strother was born in Martinsburg. He was an artist and an author who used the pen name “Porte Crayon.”

September 26, 1863 - The Great Seal of West Virginia was adopted by the legislature. The seal, which has remained unchanged, was designed by Joseph H. Diss Debar.



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