This Week In West Virginia History. February 4th.
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.
Feb. 5, 1890: Coach Eli Camden ‘‘Cam’’ Henderson was born in Joetown, Marion County. He is a revered figure in Marshall University sports history.
Feb. 6, 1882: Poet Anne Spencer was born Annie Bethel Bannister in Henry County, Virginia. In 1886, she and her mother moved to Bramwell, where she spent most of her childhood and adolescent years.
Feb. 6, 2007: Selva Lewis “Lew” Burdette, a native of Nitro, died in Florida. Burdette was an outstanding major league baseball player who spent most of his career with the Milwaukee Braves. In 18 major league seasons, he won 203 games and lost 144.
Feb. 7, 1867: West Virginia University was established by an act of the West Virginia Legislature. The college, originally called the Agricultural College of West Virginia, opened its doors in September 1867.
Feb. 8, 1915: Photographer Volkmar Kurt Wentzel was born in Dresden, Germany. He emigrated with his family to the United States at age 11. As a teenager in West Virginia, Wentzel took up with an eclectic group of people who had retreated to Youghiogheny Forest, a Preston County artists’ colony.
Feb. 9, 1843: Republican Party leader Nathan Goff Jr. was born in Clarksburg. In 1888, Goff lost West Virginia’s most controversial gubernatorial election to Aretas Brooks Fleming. Goff’s initial 106-vote majority was challenged by Fleming, and both men were sworn in on inauguration day.
Feb. 9, 1900: ‘‘Aunt Jennie’’ Wilson was born near Henlawson. Wilson was a Logan County traditional musician, considered a master of clawhammer-style banjo playing.
Feb. 9, 1950: U.S. Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy’s speech to a group of Wheeling Republicans launched the 1950s red scare. McCarthy, a Wisconsin Republican, claimed in his speech to have a list of 205 communists who worked in the U.S. State Department.
Feb. 10, 2010: Frederick Appleton ‘‘Fred’’ Schaus, a West Virginia University basketball All-American, coach and athletic director, died at the age of 84 in Morgantown. Schaus coached at WVU from 1954 to 1960, with a 146-37 record.
Feb. 11, 1903: Artist Grace Martin Taylor was born in Morgantown. In addition to producing an immense body of work in a variety of styles, Taylor enjoyed a lengthy career at the Mason College of Fine Arts and Music in Charleston.
Feb. 11, 1904: Clarence Watson Meadows was born in Beckley. His mother hoped he would become a Baptist minister, but he ultimately entered politics becoming the 22nd governor of West Virginia.
Feb. 11, 1923: Eight members of the Black Hand were arrested in Harrison County. The Black Hand was the name and symbol of an underworld society of Italian immigrants that sought to extort money from other Italian immigrants.
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.