West Virginia

March 9, 1832: Politician George Latham Born in Prince William County

Mar 9, 2016
e-WV Encyclopedia / Library of Congress

George Latham was born on March 9, 1832, in Prince William County, Virginia, on what would later become the Bull Run Battlefield. He moved to Taylor County in 1849 and taught in local schools while studying to become a lawyer. He opened his legal practice in Grafton in 1860.

March 4, 1924: Blues Musician Nat Reese Born in Virginia

Mar 4, 2016
Bluesman Nat Reese (1924-2012)
e-WV Encyclopedia / Michael Keller

Blues musician Nat Reese was born in Salem, Virginia, on March 4, 1924. When he was young, his family moved to Wyoming County and then to Princeton in Mercer County. He grew up listening to a variety of music, including jazz, blues, and country. And he learned to play the guitar, piano, organ, bass, and string harp.

March 3, 1866: Greenwood Cemetery Incorporated in Wheeling

Mar 3, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Wheeling’s Greenwood Cemetery was incorporated on March 3, 1866, by a group of prominent citizens. The first burial occurred the following July, though prior to that, several bodies had been relocated to Greenwood from other cemeteries. Civil engineer James Gilchrist laid out Greenwood as a park-like setting—a common cemetery design in the mid-1800s. It’s adorned with shrubbery, flowers, trees, and picket fences.

March 2, 1927: West Virginia’s Pasteboard Capitol Burns to the Ground

Mar 2, 2016
West Virginia's Victorian-era capitol
e-WV Encyclopedia / WV State Archives (WVSA)

On March 2, 1927, West Virginia’s so-called pasteboard capitol burned to the ground. It was the second time in six years that a West Virginia capitol had been destroyed by fire.

Stephen B. Elkins
e-WV Encyclopedia / Library of Congress

On February 29, 1888, Stephen B. Elkins gave his first political speech in West Virginia—at a rally in Wheeling. He soon bought into the state’s leading Republican newspaper and built a summer mansion in the Randolph County town that would bear his name.

401(K) 2012 / www.401kcalculator.org

Seven southern and Appalachian states, including West Virginia, received Health Impact Project grants yesterday from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts to promote health in southern and Appalachian states.

The goal is to fund projects aimed at addressing health inequities in southern and Appalachian states.

February 24, 1918: Judge K. K. Hall Born in Boone County

Feb 24, 2016
Scale of Justice
Wikimedia Commons

Judge Kenneth Keller “K. K.” Hall was born in Boone County on February 24, 1918. During World War II, he served on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific, earning 11 battle stars.

February 22, 1963: Athlete Ira "Rat" Rodgers Dies at 67

Feb 22, 2016
Athlete Ira Rodgers
e-WV Encyclopedia

Ira Rodgers died on February 22, 1963, at age 67. "Rat," a nickname adapted from his middle name of Erret, was one of West Virginia University's greatest football players. The Bethany native was named to Walter Camp’s All-American team three times: in 1916, ‘17, and ‘19—the first of WVU's All-Americans. In 1919, Rodgers led the nation in scoring with 147 points—49 of them coming in one game. Sportswriter Grantland Rice wrote that “there was no greater all-around football player in the land.”

e-WV Encyclopedia / WV State Archives (WVSA)

On February 17, 1863, the West Virginia Constitutional Convention adopted the Willey Amendment, which settled the issue of slavery and paved the way for West Virginia to become the 35th state.

February 16, 1821: Financier Morris Harvey Born in Raleigh County

Feb 16, 2016
Stan Cohen Via e-WV Encyclopedia / The S. Spencer Moore Co.

Civic leader and financier Morris Harvey was born in Raleigh County on February 16, 1821. He worked at his uncle's store in Fayetteville, where he learned the ins and outs of politics and business. When the Civil War began, he enlisted in Thurmond's Rangers, a local Confederate unit. 

February 15, 1902: Confederate Veteran Isaiah Welch Dies at 76

Feb 15, 2016
A 1946 Saturday afternoon, Main Street, Welch.
Russell Lee via e-WV Encyclopedia

Industrial promoter, land speculator, and railroad developer Isaiah Welch died at St. Albans in Kanawha County on February 15, 1902. He was about 76.

February 12, 1901: Congressman Jacob Blair Dies at 79

Feb 12, 2016
Jacob Beeson Blair
e-WV Encyclopedia

Congressman Jacob Blair died in Utah, on February 12, 1901, at age 79. He was born in Parkersburg in 1821 and orphaned at a young age. He studied law under his uncle John Jay Jackson Sr., was admitted to the bar, and then elected prosecuting attorney of Ritchie County.

Wikimedia Commons

On February 11, 1923, eight gangsters were arrested in Harrison County for their involvement in Black Hand activities. Black Hand was a name given to underworld extortion techniques, such as threatening lives in exchange for money. During the early 20th century, it was most commonly associated with Italian and Sicilian mobsters who extorted money from their fellow countrymen who had emigrated to the United States.

February 10, 1904: The Murder of Jay Legg

Feb 10, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

On February 10, 1904, Sarah Ann Legg shot and killed her husband, Jay, in their home at Harden’s lumber camp in Clay County. Jay floated logs downstream on the Elk River to Charleston. On the day of the shooting, he returned home early and was fatally shot with his own rifle.

February 9, 1843: Politician Nathan Goff Jr. Born in Clarksburg

Feb 9, 2016
Nathan Goff Jr.
e-West Virginia Encyclopedia

Politician Nathan Goff Jr. was born in Clarksburg on February 9, 1843. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War, rising from a private to brevet brigadier general. In 1864, he was captured at Moorefield and sent to Richmond’s notorious Libby Prison. He was released in a prisoner exchange personally authorized by President Lincoln.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, We hear from Ron Pennington about being a trailblazer for African Americans in professional football.

February 8, 1915: Photographer Volkmar Wentzel Born in Germany

Feb 8, 2016
Volkmar Kurt Wentzel
e-West Virginia Encyclopedia / Peter Wentzel & Viola Wentzel

Photographer Volkmar Wentzel was born in Germany on February 8, 1915. He and his family immigrated to New York State when he was 11. He eventually ended up in Preston County, West Virginia, where he attended high school. As a teenager, he joined up with some Washingtonians who’d formed an artists’ colony in the forests of Preston County. While working at the artists’ colony, Wentzel built a darkroom in a pump house and began shooting local scenery for postcards. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt acquired some of his postcards when she traveled through the area to Arthurdale—the nation’s first resettlement community during the New Deal.

Dollar Photo Club

West Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina have issued advisories for the Zika virus, urging caution, particularly for pregnant women traveling to areas where the disease is circulating.

Courtesy of Dale Payne

Not many Americans know the story of the Mine Wars that were fought between workers, labor unions and mine company guards during the early 1900s. In this show, Jessica Lilly talks with filmmaker Randy MacLowry, whose new PBS documentary The Mine Wars focuses on these armed uprisings by labor organizers in the coalfields of southern West Virginia. 

February 5, 1942: Lawman Dan Cunningham Dies at 92

Feb 5, 2016
Dan Cunningham
e-West Virginia Encyclopedia / WV State Archives

Dan Cunningham died on February 5, 1942, at age 92. The legendary lawman was involved in some of the most violent and eventful moments in West Virginia history—sometimes finding himself on both sides of the legal system.

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