This Week in West Virginia History
The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more, go to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at www.wvencyclopedia.org.
Jan. 29, 1903: The great rhododendron was designated the official state flower of West Virginia, after being recommended by the governor and voted on by students in the public schools.
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 who lived from 1761 to 1820.
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.
February 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 West Virginia Hills” as an official state song. It is the best-known of three official state songs.
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, state legislator, and member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829–30.
e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia is a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council. For more information, contact the West Virginia Humanities Council, 1310 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston, WV 25301; (304) 346-8500; or visit e-WV at www.wvencyclopedia.org.