West Virginia Governor Arthur Boreman was born in Pennsylvania on July 24, 1823. When he was young, his family moved to Tyler County. And then, in 1845, Boreman relocated to Parkersburg, which would be his hometown for the rest of his life.
Boreman was elected to the state General Assembly in 1855 and served until Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861 at the start of the Civil War. In June, he was chosen president of the Second Wheeling Convention. Delegates to the convention established a Virginia state government loyal to the Union. This government would later approve West Virginia’s entrance into the Union.
In 1863, Boreman was elected unopposed to serve as West Virginia’s first governor. During much of his first two years, he was consumed with steering the new state through the Civil War. He also pushed for a public education system that would serve all children regardless of family income.
In 1869, he entered the U.S. Senate, where he fought to ratify the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, giving blacks the right to vote. Arthur Boreman died in Parkersburg in 1896 at age 72.