CHARLESTON, W.Va. – 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.
Oct. 1, 1896: Rural Free Delivery began in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. Before this, there was no rural mail delivery, although more than half the country’s citizens lived in rural areas.
Oct. 2, 1923: Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams was born in Fairmont. On February 23, 1945, during the Battle of Iwo Jima, Williams neutralized seven concrete pillboxes.
Oct. 2, 1949: The first class began training at the State Police Academy in Institute. The 20 cadets graduated on Dec. 20, 1949.
Oct. 3, 1935: A patient at Weston State Hospital started a fire in the main building that destroyed six men’s wards and caused a cupola to fall through the roof. The building was repaired, and the hospital remained in service for nearly 60 more years.
Oct. 4, 1934: Sam Huff was born near Morgantown. Huff was part of a fearsome defense that led West Virginia University to a 38-7 record between 1952 and 1955, including three consecutive wins over rival Penn State.
Oct. 5, 1992: Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church was designated as a National Historic Landmark, one of only 16 in the state. The first Mother’s Day observance took place at the church on May 10, 1908.
Oct. 6, 1864: Labor activist Sarah ‘‘Mother’’ Blizzard was born in Edmond, Fayette County. Blizzard was deeply involved in the United Mine Workers of America from the organization’s early beginnings in the late 19th century.
Oct. 7, 1747: Pioneer Ebenezer Zane, the founder of Wheeling, was born on the South Branch of the Potomac River near present Moorefield in Hardy County.
Oct. 7, 1900: Poet Roy Lee Harmon was born in Boone County. He was the founder of the West Virginia Poetry Society and served as the state’s poet laureate for 38 years.
Oct. 7, 1957: Musician Michael W. Smith was born in Kenova. He has recorded 22 albums and written 10 books.
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.