This Week in W.Va. History: June 25-July 1

Don Chafin
Don Chafin

Charleston WV (June 2015) – 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.

June 25, 1811: Bridge builder Lemuel Chenoweth was born near Beverly, Randolph County. His many bridges also included the earliest covered bridge at Beverly and the famous Philippi covered bridge.

June 26, 1887: Sheriff Don Chafin was born in Logan County. Chafin was a bitter foe of union organizers and, with financial support from coal companies, used his many deputies to keep labor organizers out of Logan County.

Pearl Buck
Pearl Buck

June 26, 1892: Pearl Buck was born in Hillsboro in the home of her maternal grandparents. She received the Nobel Prize for Literature for The Good Earth.

June 26, 1936: Athlete Harold Everett ‘‘Hal’’ Greer was born in Huntington. Greer was the first African-American athlete to play at Marshall College (now University). During his three-year college career, Greer scored 1,377 points and averaged 19.4 points per game.

June 27, 1897: Musician Maceo Pinkard was born in Bluefield. Pinkard became one of the most successful songwriters of the 1920s Jazz Era.

June 27, 1961: “Honey in the Rock” was first performed at Grandview State Park near Beckley. The play by Kermit Hunter depicts the founding of the Mountain State in 1863.

June 28, 1936: Athlete Charles Louis ‘‘Chuck’’ Howley was born in Wheeling, Howley played linebacker for 12 seasons for the Dallas Cowboys. He was named All-Pro six times and named to six Pro Bowls.

June 28, 2010: Robert C. Byrd died at the age of 92. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1958, and he served until his death.

George W. Atkinson
George W. Atkinson

June 29, 1845: George Wesley Atkinson was born in Charleston. In 1896, Atkinson was elected governor in an upset victory over Cornelius C. Watts of Charleston which ended 26 years of Democratic rule.

June 29, 1952: Writer Breece D’J Pancake was born in South Charleston and grew up in Milton, Cabell County. Many of Pancake’s stories are set in Milton, fictionalized as ‘‘Rock Camp.’’

June 30, 1914: Statewide prohibition became law years before it became law for the whole nation.

June 30, 1929: The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra gave its first concert at Oglebay Park.

July 1, 1861: Francis Pierpont, governor of the Reorganized Government of Virginia, called the legislature into session. The general assembly re-established governmental functions, provided for the raising of military units, and elected new U.S. senators and representatives.

July 1, 1937: Watoga State Park was opened to the public on July 1, 1937. The park in Pocahontas County is the largest of the state parks and among the oldest.

July 1, 1971: Southern West Virginia Community College was formed by joining the Marshall University branch campuses at Logan and Williamson. In 1995, the name changed to Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.

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.

 

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