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April 5, 2023
Charleston WV – 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.
April 12, 1865: The 36th Virginia Infantry, known as the Logan Wildcats, disbanded. The Confederate company was created at Logan Courthouse on June 3, 1861, and consisted of about 85 men. The company saw its first action in the Battle of Scary Creek in Putnam County.
April 12, 1885: Photographer George James Kossuth was born. After he opened his Wheeling studio in 1909, he achieved broad fame for his photos of the city and insightful portraits of world celebrities, including Richard Strauss, Jascha Heifetz, Leopold Stokowski, Clarence Darrow and Richard Nixon.
April 13, 1923: Medal of Honor recipient Jonah Edward Kelley was born at Rada in Mineral County. Sergeant Kelley died while leading his squad in repeated attacks on a German position during World War II.
April 13, 1873: Lawyer, diplomat and 1924 Democratic candidate for president John William Davis was born in Clarksburg. Davis argued 141 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. His last case was one of the most controversial, when he argued in 1952 to continue racial segregation in South Carolina.
April 14, 1774: Surveyors met at the mouth of the Kanawha River to establish military bounty claims in Kentucky. They became involved in several skirmishes with Indians in the region. This was the start of Dunmore’s War, the name given to the conflict in the Ohio Valley in the spring of 1774.
April 15, 1872: Peter Godwin Van Winkle died in Parkersburg. Van Winkle was a member of the Governor’s Council of the Reorganized Government of Virginia, 1861–63, under Gov. Francis Pierpont. On August 4, 1863, Van Winkle was elected as one of the first two U.S. senators from the new state of West Virginia.
April 16, 1829: Jacob Beeson Jackson was born in Parkersburg. In 1881, he became West Virginia’s sixth governor.
April 16, 1894: Leonard Riggleman was born in a Randolph County cabin. As president of Morris Harvey College (now University of Charleston), he moved the school to Charleston in 1935 and led the college to accreditation in 1958.
April 16, 1923: Arch Moore was born at Moundsville. He was the first governor in 100 years to serve a second term, and he returned later for a third.
April 17, 1827: Outdoorsman William “Squirrelly Bill” Carpenter was born on the Elk River near the mouth of Laurel Creek. Carpenter guided prominent West Virginians, including Gov. MacCorkle, through the wonders of the Elk Valley.
April 17, 1871: West Virginians approved the Flick Amendment, which allowed former Confederates to vote. The amendment also applied to former slaves, but they had been enfranchised already by the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
April 18, 1861: At the beginning of the Civil War, retreating U.S. troops set fire to the national armory and arsenal at Harpers Ferry to keep them out of Confederate hands. However, Virginia militia extinguished the flames and sent much of the weapon-making equipment south before destroying the site in June 1861.
April 18, 1912: The Paint Creek-Cabin Creek Strike of 1912–13 began when coal operators rejected the demands of their unionized workers for a wage increase. The strike that followed was one of the most dramatic and bloody conflicts in the early 20th century labor struggles in southern West Virginia known as the Mine Wars.
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