The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

February 6, 2013

This week in West Virginia history

— The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history.

Jan. 30, 1818: Nicholas County was created by the Virginia legislature from parts of Greenbrier, Kanawha, and Randolph counties. The county was named for Wilson Cary Nicholas, a Virginia governor and U.S. senator.

Jan. 30, 1895: Mingo County was created from the southern part of Logan County. Mingo is the youngest county in West Virginia.

Jan. 31, 1878: Educator William Woodson Trent was born in rural Nicholas County. He served as state superintendent of schools from 1933 until 1957.

Jan. 31, 1922: Movie and television actress Joanne Dru was born Joan Letitia Lacock in Logan. Her movie career included more than 40 films.

Feb. 1, 1901: Frank Buckles, the last known American veteran of World War I, was born in Missouri. Buckles purchased a farm in Charles Town in 1954 and continued to live there until his death in 2011.

Feb. 2, 1908: Justice Marion Chambers was born in Huntington. Chambers was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Iwo Jima campaign in February 1945.

Feb. 3, 1825: Confederate General William Lowther Jackson was born in Clarksburg. He was one of at least three Southern officers to bear the nickname, “Mudwall.”

Feb. 3, 1845: Gilmer County, located in the heart of West Virginia, was established from parts of Kanawha and Lewis counties. It was named for Thomas W. Gilmer, a governor of Virginia.

Feb. 3, 1923: Broadcast announcer Jack Fleming was born in Morgantown. He was the long-time ‘‘Voice of the Mountaineers.’’

Feb. 3, 1961: The West Virginia legislature passed a resolution to officially adopt the “The West Virginia Hills” as an official state song.

Feb. 4, 1845: Doddridge County was formed from parts of Harrison, Lewis, Ritchie, and Tyler counties. It was named for Philip Doddridge, a Western Virginia congressman and state legislator.

Feb. 5, 1890: Coach Cam Henderson was born in Joetown, Marion County. He is a revered figure in Marshall University sports history.

Feb. 6, 1882: Poet Anne Spencer was born Annie Bethel Bannister in Henry County, Va. In 1886, she and her mother moved to Bramwell, where she spent most of her childhood and adolescent years.

Feb. 6, 2007: Selva Lewis “Lew” Burdette, a native of Nitro, died in Florida. Burdette was an outstanding major league baseball player who spent most of his career with the Milwaukee Braves. In 18 major league seasons, he won 203 games and lost 144.

Feb. 7, 1867: West Virginia University was established by an act of the West Virginia Legislature. The college, originally called the Agricultural College of West Virginia, opened its doors in September 1867.

Feb. 8, 1915: Photographer Volkmar Kurt Wentzel was born in Dresden, Germany. He emigrated with his family to the United States at age 11. As a teenager in West Virginia, Wentzel took up with an eclectic group of people who had retreated to Youghiogheny Forest, a Preston County artists colony.

Feb. 9, 1843: Republican Party leader Nathan Goff Jr. was born in Clarksburg. In 1888, Goff lost West Virginia’s most controversial gubernatorial election to Aretas Brooks Fleming. Goff’s initial 106-vote majority was challenged by Fleming, and both men were sworn in on inauguration day.

Feb. 9, 1900: ‘‘Aunt Jennie’’ Wilson was born near Henlawson. Wilson was a Logan County traditional musician, considered a master of clawhammer-style banjo playing.

Feb. 9, 1950: U.S. Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy’s speech to a group of Wheeling Republicans launched the 1950s red scare. McCarthy, a Wisconsin Republican, claimed in his speech to have a list of 205 communists who worked in the U.S. State Department.

Feb. 10, 2010: Frederick Appleton ‘‘Fred’’ Schaus, West Virginia University basketball All-American, coach, and athletic director, died at the age of 84 in Morgantown. Schaus coached at WVU from 1954 to 1960, with a 146-37 record.

Feb. 11, 1903: Artist Grace Martin Taylor was born in Morgantown. In addition to producing an immense body of work in a variety of styles, Taylor enjoyed a lengthy career at the Mason College of Fine Arts and Music in Charleston.

Feb. 11, 1904: Clarence Watson Meadows was born in Beckley. His mother hoped he would become a Baptist minister, but he ultimately entered politics, becoming the 22nd governor of West Virginia.

Feb. 11, 1923: Eight members of the Black Hand were arrested in Harrison County. The Black Hand was the name and symbol of an underworld society of Italian immigrants that sought to extort money from other Italian immigrants.

Feb. 12, 1899: Karl Dewey Myers was born in Tucker County with severe birth defects. He never attended school, but he educated himself through persistent self-study. He was named the state’s first poet laureate in 1927. See a related story in the Feb. 11 edition of The Fayette Tribune.

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 information contact the West Virginia Humanities Council, 1310 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston, WV 25301, or at 304-346-8500.

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