THIS WEEK IN W.VA. HISTORY
The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more, go to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia, a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council, at www.wvencyclopedia.org.
Jan. 13, 1905: Joseph H. Diss Debar died in Philadelphia. A supporter of the movement to create West Virginia, Diss Debar was commissioned in 1863 to design the Great Seal of West Virginia.
Jan. 14, 1842: Marion County was established and named after Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion. Middletown was chosen as the county seat, but the name was changed to Fairmont the following year.
Jan. 14, 1873: The first session of the Glenville Branch of the State Normal School began in the old Gilmer County courthouse. In 1943, the Legislature changed the name to Glenville State College.
Jan. 15, 1799: Monroe County was established and named for James Monroe, the newly inaugurated governor of Virginia and later president of the United States.
Jan. 15, 1836: Braxton County was created from Kanawha, Lewis, and Nicholas counties. It is named for Carter Braxton, a Virginia statesman and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Jan. 15, 1848: Hancock County was established and named for statesman John Hancock.
Jan. 16, 1850: Lawman Dan Cunningham was born in Jackson County. His remarkable career involved him in the Hatfield-McCoy Feud, the West Virginia mine wars, and the destruction of moonshine stills.
Jan. 16, 1869: Ephraim Franklin Morgan was born in Marion County. Morgan, a Republican, was governor during the tumultuous West Virginia mine wars.
Jan. 17, 1956: Musician Blind Alfred Reed died. He was a street singer and fiddler from Pipestem, Summers County.
Jan. 18, 1842: Wayne County was established from part of Cabell County. It was named for General ''Mad Anthony'' Wayne, a Revolutionary War hero who later defeated Ohio Indian tribes at the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers.
Jan. 19, 1818: The Virginia General Assembly established Preston County from part of Monongalia County. The new county was named for James Patton Preston, then governor of Virginia.
Jan. 19, 1844: The Virginia General Assembly established Taylor County from parts of Barbour, Harrison, and Marion counties. The county was named in honor of U.S. Sen. John Taylor, a soldier-statesman from Caroline County, Virginia.
Jan. 19, 1848: Wirt County was created by the General Assembly of Virginia from portions of Wood and Jackson counties. It was named for William Wirt, Virginia statesman and a presidential candidate in 1832.