CHARLESTON – 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. 12, 1867: Barboursville was incorporated by an act of the state legislature. Originally the county seat of Cabell County, it lost that honor after the C&O Railway was completed to Huntington.
Feb. 12, 1899: Karl Dewey Myers was born in Tucker County with severe birth defects. He never attended school, but he educated himself through persistent self-study. He was named the state’s first poet laureate in 1927.
Feb. 13, 1800: General John Jay Jackson was born near Parkersburg. He served in the Seminole War as a member of Gen. Andrew Jackson’s staff.
Feb. 13, 1913: Mother Jones was arrested in Charleston after helping union miners on Paint Creek and Cabin Creek.
Feb. 13, 1923: Chuck Yeager was born at Myra, about seven miles from Hamlin. On Oct. 14, 1947, in a Bell X-1 rocket airplane dropped from a B-29 bomber, Yeager broke the sound barrier by flying 700 miles per hour.
Feb. 14, 1866: Grant County was created and named for Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who later became the nation’s 18th president.
Feb. 15, 1898: Musician John Homer “Uncle Homer” Walker was born in Mercer County. Among the last in a tradition of black Appalachian banjo players, he played the five-string banjo in the clawhammer style.
Feb. 15, 1930: Sara Jane Moore was born in Charleston. On Sept. 22, 1975, Moore attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford in San Francisco.
Feb. 15, 1975: Elizabeth Kee, the state’s first female member of Congress, died in Bluefield. Kee was elected to Congress in 1951 after the death of her husband, John. She retired in 1964 and was replaced by her son, James.
Feb. 16, 1821: Morris Harvey was born near Prosperity in Raleigh County. Harvey’s gifts to the Barboursville Seminary led to its name being changed to Morris Harvey College in 1901. The institution is now known as the University of Charleston.
Feb. 16, 1951: Second Lieutenant Darwin Keith Kyle died during an intense exchange against Chinese forces in Korea. He was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Feb. 17, 1735: Morgan Morgan was commissioned a captain of militia in the 201st Field Artillery, which is considered the oldest military unit in the United States.
Feb. 18, 1843: Ritchie County was created from portions of Wood, Lewis, and Harrison counties. The county was named for Virginia journalist and politician Thomas Ritchie.
Feb. 18, 1890: Ellison Mounts, a cousin to the Hatfield family, was hanged for murder, ending the Hatfield-McCoy Feud.
Feb. 18, 1969: Hundreds of miners in Raleigh County went on strike over the issue of black lung. Within days, the walkout spread throughout southern West Virginia.
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.