October 21, 1940: Gov. William Conley Dies at 74

11 hours ago
William Conley, Preston Co., Kingwood, Tucker County, WV Attorney General, Republican, Arch Moore, Cecil Underwood
e-wv / The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On October 21, 1940, former West Virginia Governor William G. Conley died at the age of 74. The Republican started his career as a schoolteacher and became superintendent of Preston County schools at age 25. After earning his law degree, he opened a legal practice in Tucker County and founded the Parsons Advocate newspaper. He also served as mayor of Parsons and Kingwood before being appointed West Virginia attorney general in 1908.

Senator Harry F. Byrd Died: October 20, 1966

Oct 20, 2016
Harry Byrd, in 1907, he established the Martinsburg Evening Journal newspaper.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Harry F. Byrd, Martinsburg Evening Journal, Richard Byrd, 1966, 1887

U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd died on October 20, 1966. The Democrat was a pivotal political figure for much of the 20th century.

Born in Martinsburg in 1887, Byrd was descended from the city’s leading families. His great-great-grandfather had built the historic Martinsburg mansion known as Boydville. His great-uncle was Charles James Faulkner, who had served as U.S. ambassador to France and as an aide to “Stonewall” Jackson during the Civil War. And his brother was polar explorer Richard E. Byrd.

Brian Blauser

Wynonna Judd makes her Mountain Stage debut during this week's episode, where she wins a new audience over in a matter of seconds with her powerful voice and magnetic stage presence. She closes her set with the song "Things That I Lean On," in a show that also features sets by the Indigo Girls, Lydia Loveless and Patty Larkin.

Martinsburg Incorporated: October 18, 1778

Oct 18, 2016
Martinsburg took off with the arrival of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad IN 1842.
e-WV / WV Humanities Council

The town of Martinsburg in Berkeley County was incorporated on October 18, 1778. The place had been settled originally by Joseph and John Morgan in the 1740s. But it was Scotland native Adam Stephen who put Martinsburg on the map. Stephen established mills along the banks of Tuscarora Creek, built himself a limestone house, and, in 1773, laid out the town. He named it for Colonel Thomas Bryan Martin, a nephew of Lord Thomas Fairfax, who owned much of the present Eastern Panhandle.

In 1886, the arrival of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad sparked a regional boom in coal, oil, and gas.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online; Library of Congress. / Morgantown, Morgan's Town, 1785, 1886, West Virginia University, Zackquill Morgan

On October 17, 1785, the Virginia General Assembly established Morgan’s Town. It was named for Zackquill Morgan, the son of pioneer Morgan Morgan. Zackquill had settled in the area in 1771 and laid out the town in 1783.

Yeager beside the Bell X-1 rocket plane Glamous Glennis.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Chuck Yeager, Lockheed P-80, Charleston, Lincoln County, World War II

On October 14, 1947, Chuck Yeager’s Bell X-1 rocket airplane dropped from the belly of a B-29 bomber. Seconds later, Yeager entered the history books as the first pilot to break the sound barrier.

By this time, the 24-year-old Lincoln County native was already an aviation legend. During World War II, he had flown 64 combat missions over Europe and, in a single dogfight, had killed 13 Germans. In his eighth mission, he had been shot down over German-occupied France.

Bishop John Joseph Kain served as bishop of the Wheeling Diocese, and Archbishop of St. Louis.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / John Joseph Kain, Martinsburg, Wheeling, Diocese of Wheeling, St. Louis, Civil War, Harpers Ferry

Roman Catholic Bishop John Joseph Kain died on October 13, 1903, at the age of 62. In the late 1800s, he was the driving force behind the growth of the Catholic church in West Virginia.

Kain was ordained as a priest in 1866. His first pastoral assignment was in his native town of Martinsburg. His missions ranged from nearby Harpers Ferry to Leesburg, Virginia. During his seven years in this position, he helped rebuild communities that had been ravaged by the Civil War.

Josh Saul

This week's Mountain Stage Song of the week features our own Bob Thompson, with his take on the classic American folk tune "Shenandoah," which was recorded live on the campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. During the episode you'll also hear performances by The Steel Wheels, The Seldom Scene, The Honeycutters, and Jonatha Brooke.

Caviar, Vodka, and a World Premiere for the Montclaire String Quartet

Oct 12, 2016

The upcoming week of recitals for the Montclaire String Quartet seeks to offer a variety of musical flavors. A taste of Caviar -- with Mozart's Quartet No. 15 in D minor K421, a splash of vodka -- with Tchaikovsky's Quartet No. 1 in D major op. 11, and a world premiere -- with Matt Jackfert's new piece POLLY HOLLOW for String Quartet.

Waitman Willey was Born: October 11, 1811

Oct 11, 2016
State founder Waitman Willey served as one of West Virginia’s first two U.S. senators from 1863 to 1871.
e-WV / WV Humanities Council

State founder Waitman Willey was born near Farmington in Marion County on October 11, 1811. He opened his first law practice in Morgantown in 1833 and served as Monongalia County Court clerk for more than a decade.

Willey gained statewide attention for his “Liberty and Union” speech at the 1850-51 Virginia Constitutional Convention. At the start of the Civil War, he spoke passionately against secession and war. After Virginia seceded from the Union, Willey was elected to represent the loyal citizens of Virginia in the U.S. Senate.

Ebenezer Zane's homestead.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Zane, Wheeling, homstead

Pioneer Ebenezer Zane, born on October 7, 1747, near present-day Moorefield settled at the confluence of Wheeling Creek and the Ohio River with his brothers Jonathan and Silas, Zane settled in 1770, and later laid out the town of Wheeling. An advocate for education in western Virginia In 1787, he helped establish Clarksburg’s Randolph Academy, supposedly the oldest school of its kind west of the Alleghenies.

J.R. Clifford used the Pioneer Press to fight for better economic and social conditions for African Americans.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / J.R.Clifford, Pioneer Press, Martinsburg, Harpers Ferry, NAACP, Civil War, Taylor County, Grant County

Civil rights trailblazer J. R. Clifford died on October 6, 1933, at age 85. A native of present-day Grant County, he served in an African American unit during the Civil War. Afterward, he taught at a black school and founded Martinsburg’s Pioneer Press, the first black-owned newspaper in West Virginia. He used its editorial pages to fight for better economic and social conditions for African Americans.

Lions Born in Alderson: October 4, 1890

Oct 4, 2016
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / WV Humanitites Council

On October 4, 1890, a traveling circus called French & Company’s Great Railroad Show arrived in the town of Alderson on the Greenbrier-Monroe county line. What started as a circus show would lead to one of the more bizarre incidents in West Virginia.

McNeill’s Rangers destroyed property belonging to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

In the predawn hours of October 3, 1864, Confederate guerilla John “Hanse” McNeill led a raid near Mount Jackson, Virginia. After a quick exchange of fire with Union cavalry, McNeill collapsed from a gunshot wound. He would die five weeks later.

Fellow Public Radio Lovers,

First of all, thanks for reading this. Starting a conversation with you is one of the most exciting parts of what I’m finding to be a roundly exciting endeavor.

America's Test Kitchen has shared a couple of additional recipes with all of us. We can hardly wait to try them ourselves!

Taste the goodness on the radio every Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock on West Virginia Public Broadcasting. 

See you at the grocery store....

Brian Blauser

Jam grass heroes Leftover Salmon return to Mountain Stage this week, with a song that contemplates West Virginia History: "Blair Mountain." You'll also hear sets from The Royal Southern Brotherhood, Elizabeth Cook, Cris Jacobs, and Charleston favorites Qiet.

Brian Blauser

Under the direction of dobro master Jerry Douglas, The Earls of Leicester perfectly conjure the sounds of bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs — and in the process, have created one of music's great band-name puns. Recreating the spirit of bluegrass giants is serious business though, and it paid off when the group took home a 2015 Grammy for its efforts. The appear on this week's all new broadcast of Mountain Stage with Larry Groce, alongside Lera Lynn, Cheryl Wheeler, Rob Ikes & Trey Hensley, and Nora Jane Struthers.

Josh Saul

This week's all-new broadcast of Mountain Stage with Larry Groce proudly introduces two very deserving West Virginia voices: the first in special guest host Joni Deutsch, and the second in Mannington native William Matheny, in his solo debut. Here he performs "Living Half to Death," from his upcoming album Strange Constellations, on a show that also features sets by Lucius, Rachel Yamagata, Adia Victoria, and Margaret Glaspy.

Josh Saul

Beloved dynamic pop band Lake Street Dive return to this week's premiere broadcast of Mountain Stage, with songs from their acclaimed album Side Pony. Here they perform "Call Off Your Dogs," on a show that also features performances by Seratones, My Bubba, Royal Wood, and Suzzy Roche & Lucy Wainwright Roche.