This Week in West Virginia History: April 13-19


CHARLESTON, W.Va.—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.

April 13, 1923: Medal of Honor recipient Jonah Edward Kelley was born at Rada in Mineral County. Sergeant Kelley died while leading his squad in repeated attacks on a German position during World War II.

April 13, 1873: Lawyer, diplomat, and presidential candidate John William Davis  was born in Clarksburg. Davis argued 141 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. His last case was one of the most controversial, when he argued in 1952 for the continuation of racial segregation in South Carolina. 

April 14, 1774: Surveyors met at the mouth of the Kanawha River to establish military bounty claims in Kentucky. They became involved in several skirmishes with Indians in the region. This was the start of Dunmore’s War, the name given to the conflict in the Ohio Valley in the spring of 1774. 

April 15, 1872: Peter Godwin Van Winkle died in Parkersburg. Van Winkle was a member of the Governor’s Council of the Reorganized Government of Virginia, 1861–63, under Gov. Francis Pierpont. On August 4, 1863, Van Winkle was elected as one of the first two U.S. senators from the new state of West Virginia.

April 16, 1829: Jacob Beeson Jackson was born in Parkersburg. In 1880, he became West Virginia’s sixth governor.

April 16, 1923: Arch Moore was born at Moundsville. He was the first governor in 100 years to serve a second term, and he returned later for a third.

April 17, 1827: Outdoorsman William ‘‘Squirrelly Bill’’ Carpenter was born on the Elk River near the mouth of Laurel Creek. Carpenter guided prominent West Virginians, including Governor MacCorkle, through the wonders of the Elk Valley.

April 17, 1871: West Virginians approved the Flick Amendment, which allowed former Confederates to vote. The amendment also applied to former slaves, but they had been enfranchised already by the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

April 18, 1912: The Paint Creek-Cabin Creek Strike of 1912–13 began when coal operators rejected the demand of their unionized workers for a wage increase. The strike that followed was one of the most dramatic and bloody conflicts in the early 20th century labor struggles in southern West Virginia known as the Mine Wars.

April 19, 1896: Writer Melville Davisson Post was born in Harrison County. His best-known works are the Randolph Mason series, published in three volumes, and the more successful collection, Uncle Abner: Master of Mysteries.

April 19, 1902: Author Jean Lee Latham was born in Buckhannon. She wrote a number of children’s books, including Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, which won the 1956 Newberry Award.

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. 

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