This Week in West Virginia History


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.

Sept. 3, 1890: West Virginia Wesleyan College opened as the West Virginia Conference Seminary. In that first year, 201 men and women undertook a largely preparatory school curriculum. Gradually the school added college-level studies and awarded its first five degrees in 1905.

Sept. 3, 1966: President Lyndon B. Johnson dedicated the Summersville Dam and Lake. Summersville Lake, located on the Gauley River in Nicholas County, is West Virginia’s largest lake, with 2,790 surface acres at summer pool stage and 60 miles of shoreline.

Sept. 4, 1862: General Albert G. Jenkins and his men crossed the Ohio River and became the first to raise the Confederate flag on Ohio soil.

Sept. 5, 1861: Sutton was occupied by 5,000 Union troops. Later in 1861, General Rosecrans bivouacked 10,000 Union troops there, including a future president, William McKinley.

Sept. 6, 1875: Members of the notorious James Gang robbed the Bank of Huntington and got away on horseback. The robbery spawned a host of legends, including stories about outlaw Frank James – brother of Jesse James — hiding out in Wayne County.

Sept. 6, 1980: The new Mountaineer Field opened in Morgantown with a 41-27 win over Cincinnati. It was the first game of new coach Don Nehlen, who would become the most successful coach in West Virginia University history.

Sept. 7, 1808: Peter Godwin Van Winkle was born in New York City. Van Winkle was elected as one of the first two U.S. senators from the new state of West Virginia.

Sept. 7, 1848: Christopher Harrison Payne was born in Monroe County. In 1896, Payne became the state’s first black legislator when he was elected to the House of Delegates from Fayette County.

Sept. 7, 1937: Photographer Arnout ‘‘Sonny’’ Hyde Jr. was born in Bluefield. His images of nature and people have appeared in magazines, books, and calendars throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Sept. 8, 1862: Raiders led by Confederate Gen. Albert G. Jenkins, a Cabell County native, rode into Barboursville. They skirmished with the enemy, then rode into Wayne, Logan, and Raleigh counties.

Sept. 8, 1947: Morris Harvey College (now University of Charleston) moved to its current location on the south side of the Kanawha River.

Sept. 9, 1839: Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield was born in Mingo County. He was the patriarch of the Hatfield family and their leader during the Hatfield-McCoy feud.

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