The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history.
Jan. 2, 1804: Mason County was formed from part of Kanawha County and named for the statesman George Mason.
Jan. 2, 1809: Cabell County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly from part of Kanawha County. The county is named for William H. Cabell, governor of Virginia from 1805 to 1808.
Jan. 2, 2006: An explosion at the Sago Mine in Upshur County killed 12 men. Federal investigators pointed to a lightning strike as the most likely ignition source for the blast.
Jan. 3, 1856: Musician Lewis Johnson ‘‘Uncle Jack’’ McElwain was born. He was the most respected fiddler in central West Virginia during his lifetime.
Jan. 3, 1921: The state capitol building in Charleston was destroyed by fire. A temporary wood-frame building was erected in just 42 days and became known as the ‘‘pasteboard capitol.’’
Jan. 4, 1897: Classes began at Montgomery Preparatory School, a state institution that was established to prepare students for West Virginia University. The school evolved into what is now West Virginia University Institute for Technology.
Jan. 5, 1810: The Virginia General Assembly recognized 20 acres of land owned by farmer and trader Thomas Buffington at the confluence of the Guyandotte and Ohio rivers as the new village of Guyandotte.
Jan. 5, 1887: Governor Emanuel W. Wilson hosted a ball and banquet to formally open the new capitol in Charleston. The so-called Victorian capitol was the second one in Charleston.
Jan. 6, 1921: Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield died. He was the patriarch of the Hatfield family and their leader during the Hatfield-McCoy feud.
Jan. 6, 1931: An underground gas explosion killed eight men at the Glen Rogers coal mine in Wyoming County.
Jan. 6, 1948: Bob Wise was born in Washington, D.C. He served in Congress and was the state’s 33rd governor.
Jan. 7, 1955: The Cedar Lakes Conference Center officially opened, though it was not named until 1957. The name was chosen for its two lakes and an abundance of native cedar trees.
Jan. 8, 1866: William Gustavus Conley was born near Kingwood in Preston County. Conley was the 18th governor of West Virginia, serving from 1929 to 1933.
Jan. 8, 1919: The West Virginia legislature ratified the 18th Amendment by a Senate vote of 26-0 and a House vote of 81-3. West Virginia became the 21st state to ratify the prohibition amendment.
Jan. 8, 1958: Passenger service on the Greenbrier Division ended. The Greenbrier Division, a branch line of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, served the Greenbrier Valley in Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties in West Virginia.
To read more about West Virginia’s people, places, history, arts, science and culture, go to “e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia” at www.wvencyclopedia.org. Developed by the West Virginia Humanities Council, it is an interactive reference site showcasing West Virginia’s history, culture, and people. e-WV is free of charge and available to anyone with access to a computer and Internet connection.
For more, contact the West Virginia Humanities Council, 1310 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston, WV 25301, or at 304-346-8500.