This week in West Virginia history
by FRED PACE
The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more about West Virginia’s people, places, history, arts, science and culture, go to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at www.wvencyclopedia.org.
June 20, 1861: Francis Pierpont was unanimously elected as governor of the unionist Reorganized State of Virginia, which sat at Wheeling until West Virginia entered the Union two years later.
June 20, 1863: West Virginia became the 35th state. Arthur Boreman was the state’s first governor.
June 20, 1932: The West Virginia capitol was officially dedicated. Construction had begun in 1924.
June 23, 1944: A tornado struck Shinnston and the surrounding area, killing 103 people and injuring hundreds more.
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.
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.
e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia, developed by the West Virginia Humanities Council, is an interactive reference site showcasing West Virginia’s history, culture, and people. e-WV is free of charge and available to anyone with access to a computer and Internet connection. 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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