Born in Ansted in 1889, Paul Peck grew up to be West Virginia’s first pilot. He learned to fly in seven days and within two weeks captured a world record. He was the 57th person licensed by the International Aeronautics Federation, and he was the first person to fly over the U.S. Capitol. At the nation’s first military aviation school in College Park, he was an instructor. He earned both speed and endurance records as a pilot, but sadly he died young in 1912 when his plane disintegrated in the air. Even after his death, Peck made history. According to Gazette reporter Sandy Wells, his funeral was Washington’s first automobile funeral with a motor hearse and wagon and followed by about 30 automobiles.
Larry Thomas Pridemore
Larry Thomas Pridemore started his successful career in football at Ansted High School. He was part of a record-setting high school team that won 36 straight games on their way to two state championships. He was inducted into the West Virginia University Hall of Fame in 2001 and holds some WVU records that still stand, including “longest interception returned for a touchdown.” He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, and he is still ranked sixth on the Atlanta’s all-time pick list. While a member of the Falcons team, he was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates. He is the only NFL player to hold this legislative office while he was playing professional football.
Charles Calvin Rogers
Charles Calvin Rogers was born in the tiny community of Claremont near Thurmond, but before he retired, he had risen to the rank of Major General and earned a Medal of Honor. He received his Medal of Honor in 1970 for actions he took during the Vietnam War. In the war, his base came under heavy fire, and he was wounded several times. He was even knocked down by fire, but “sprang to his feet,” according to the information that accompanied his medal. Though wounded several times during the assault, he “moved from position to position through heavy enemy fire, giving encouragement and direction to his men,” the medal information continued. After he retired from fighting, Rogers became a Baptist minister.