2018-01-10 / Opinions

This Week in West Virginia History

from The West Virginia Encyclopedia

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

January 10, 1846 - Wetzel County was created from a part of Tyler County. It was named for Indian fighter Lewis Wetzel.

January 10, 1860 - Webster County was created from parts of Braxton, Nicholas, and Randolph counties. The county was named for Daniel Webster.

January 10, 1923 - Musician ‘‘Curly’’ Ray Cline was born in Baisden, Logan County. He was one of the most significant bluegrass fiddlers from West Virginia from 1938 until his retirement in 1993.

January10, 1925 - Judge Elizabeth Virginia Hallanan was born in Charleston. She was West Virginia’s first female federal court judge.

January 10, 1928 - Gov. Howard Gore appointed Minnie Buckingham Harper to fill the unexpired term of her husband, E. Howard Harper. She was the first African- American woman to serve as a member of a state legislative body in the United States.

January 10, 1940 - The Pond Creek No. 1 mine at Bartley in McDowell County exploded. The blast killed 91 miners, with another

47 escaping. Rescue teams worked five days to retrieve the bodies, but found no additional miners alive.

January 11, 1865 - Confederate forces under General Rosser burned the covered bridge at Beverly. Bridge builder Lemuel Chenoweth rebuilt the damaged span in 1872-73.

January 11, 1873 - Dwight W. Morrow was born in Huntington. Morrow was a financier, diplomat and a U.S. senator, representing New Jersey.

January 11, 1893 - U.S. Senator Harley Martin Kilgore was born in rural Harrison County. Kilgore served as a senator from West Virginia from 1940 until his death in 1952.

January 12, 1869 - Newspaperman Herschel Coombs Ogden was born near Fairmont. In 1888, he relocated to Wheeling and entered the newspaper business.

January 13, 1905 - Joseph H. Diss Debar died in Philadelphia. A supporter of the movement to create West Virginia, Diss Debar was commissioned in 1863 to design the Great Seal of West Virginia.

January 14, 1842 - Marion County was established and named after Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion. Middletown was chosen as the county seat, but the name was changed to Fairmont the following year.

January 14, 1873 - The first session of the Glenville Branch of the State Normal School began in the old Gilmer County courthouse. In 1943, the legislature changed the name to Glenville State College.

January 15, 1799 - Monroe County was established. It was named for James Monroe, the newly inaugurated governor of Virginia and later president of the United States.

January 15, 1836 - Braxton County was created from Kanawha, Lewis, and Nicholas counties. It is named for Carter Braxton, a Virginia statesman and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

January 15, 1864 - Frances Benjamin Johnston was born in Grafton. Johnston gained national renown as the first female press photographer, and enjoyed a long and remarkable career as one of the nation’s leading documentary, portrait, and artistic photographers.

January 16, 1790 - Henry Ruffner was born in Luray, Virginia. In 1819, he organized two Presbyterian congregations in the Kanawha Valley. He is best known for his controversial 1847 antislavery treatise, Address to the People of West Virginia.

January 16, 1850 - Lawman Dan Cunningham was born in Jackson County. His remarkable career involved him in the Hatfield-McCoy Feud, the West Virginia Mine Wars, and the destruction of moonshine stills.

January 16, 1869 - Ephraim Franklin Morgan was born in Marion County. Morgan, a Republican, was governor during the tumultuous West Virginia Mine Wars.

Return to top