This Week in West Virginia History


The Frederick Hotel in downtown Huntington.

The Frederick Hotel in downtown Huntington.


West Virginia Humanities Council | Courtesy

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.

July 28, 1915: Frankie Yankovic was born in Davis, Tucker County. Yankovic did more to popularize polka music than any other performer.

July 29, 1873: Malcolm Malachi “Mack” Day was born. As sheriff of McDowell County, he claimed that God had called him to enforce Prohibition, even arresting an uncle and his own son.

July 29-31, 1915: Camp Good Luck, believed to be the world’s first 4-H club encampment, was held at Elkwater in southern Randolph County.

July 29, 1918: Novelist Mary Lee Settle was born in Charleston. Her literary reputation rests on the “Beulah Quintet,” a sequence of five historical novels spanning four centuries.

July 30, 1973: The Frederick Hotel in downtown Huntington closed to transient trade. After it was built in 1905, it was touted as the most elegant hotel between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

July 31, 1932: Actor Theodore Crawford ‘‘Ted’’ Cassidy was born in Pittsburgh but was raised in Philippi. He was best known for his role as Lurch on “The Addams Family.”

Aug. 1, 1921: Baldwin-Felts detectives shot and killed Sid Hatfield and Ed Chambers as they approached the McDowell County Courthouse in Welch. As Matewan’s police chief, Hatfield had assisted the United Mine Workers campaign to organize Tug Fork miners.

Aug. 1, 1940: Justice Franklin Cleckley was born in Huntington. He was the first African-American to serve on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. In 2001, the Supreme Court referred to Cleckley’s handbooks on evidence and criminal procedure as ‘‘the bible for West Virginia’s judges and attorneys.’’

Aug. 2, 2009: Golfers Sam Snead and Bill Campbell became the first two inductees into the West Virginia Golf Hall of Fame.

Aug. 3, 1897: Fire destroyed much of downtown Lewisburg. The town rebuilt and evolved in the next century into the hub of one of the state’s major farming areas and a center for education and the arts.

Aug. 3, 1907: Harley Orrin Staggers Sr. was born in Keyser. Staggers served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 32 years.

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.

The Frederick Hotel in downtown Huntington.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2019/07/web1_Fred.jpgThe Frederick Hotel in downtown Huntington. West Virginia Humanities Council | Courtesy