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. 27, 1925: Bernard L. Coffindaffer was born in Nicholas County. In the 1980s and 1990s, Coffindaffer erected clusters of crosses along the highways of West Virginia and much of the Southeast.
Jan. 27-28, 1998: Flat Top on the Mercer-Raleigh county line received a record snowfall of 35 inches in a 24-hour period.
Jan. 29, 1903: The great rhododendron was designated the official state flower of West Virginia, after being recommended by the governor and voted on by students in the public schools.
Jan. 30, 1818: Nicholas County was created by the Virginia Legislature from parts of Greenbrier, Kanawha, and Randolph counties. The county was named for Wilson Cary Nicholas, a Virginia governor and U.S. senator.
Jan. 30, 1895: Mingo County was created from the southern part of Logan County. Mingo is the youngest county in West Virginia.
Jan. 31, 1878: Educator William Woodson Trent was born in rural Nicholas County. He served as state superintendent of schools from 1933 until 1957.
Jan. 31, 1922: Movie and television actress Joanne Dru was born Joan Letitia Lacock in Logan. Her movie career included more than 40 films.
Feb. 1, 1901: Frank Buckles, the last known American veteran of World War I, was born in Missouri. Buckles purchased a farm in Charles Town in 1954 and continued to live there until his death in 2011.
Feb. 2, 1908: Justice Marion Chambers was born in Huntington. Chambers was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Iwo Jima campaign in February 1945.