2017-10-18 / Opinions

This Week in West Virginia History

from The West Virginia Encyclopedia

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

October 18, 1941 - William “Billy” Cox was born in Wheeling. He is one of two bassists to have played regularly with legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix.

October 19, 1894 - Historian and illustrator Julius Allan DeGruyter was born in Charleston. A self-taught painter and illustrator, De- Gruyter’s art appeared in numerous exhibits and is represented in the collections of the State Museum. The artwork includes scenes of early Charleston.

October 20, 1990 - The current USS West Virginia was commissioned. The USS West Virginia is an Ohio Class Trident ballistic missile submarine that is 560 feet long, 42 feet wide, and displaces 18,750 tons when submerged.

October 21, 1865 - Bishop Matthew Wesley Clair, Sr. was born in Union. He was one of the first African-Americans elected as a bishop in the predominantly white Methodist Episcopal Church.

October 21, 1918 - Hulett Smith was born in Beckley. In the 1964 gubernatorial primary Smith carried 53 of the state’s 55 counties, receiving more votes than his three opponents combined.

October 22, 1693 - Lord Thomas Fairfax was born in Kent, England. He inherited five million acres in Virginia, land that included much of the present Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

October 22, 1734 - Frontiersman Daniel Boone was born in Pennsylvania. In 1788, Boone and his family settled near the mouth of the Kanawha River. He represented Kanawha County in the Virginia General Assembly in 1791.

October 22, 1821 - Collis P. Huntington was born in Harwinton, Connecticut. In 1869, Huntington purchased the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway and set about extending its tracks from Richmond across southern West Virginia to the Ohio River. There, in 1871, he established a new city bearing his name.

October 22, 1977 - Construction of the New River Gorge Bridge was completed after three years of work. The New River Gorge Bridge in Fayette County is one of West Virginia’s best-known landmarks. It is the third highest bridge in the United States.

October 23, 1943 - German prisoners arrived at Camp Ashford in White Sulphur Springs. Built by the U.S. War Department, Camp Ashford was one of two camps in West Virginia that housed prisoners of war during World War II.

October 24, 1929 - Composer George Crumb was born in Charleston. In 1968, Crumb was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for “Echoes of Time and the River: Four Processionals for Orchestra.”




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