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.
Aug. 4, 1824: John Jay Jackson Jr. was born near Parkersburg. Jackson was a prominent judge who became notorious among those trying to organize labor unions in West Virginia. He blocked an effort by Mother Jones and United Mine Workers leaders to organize the miners of northern West Virginia.
Aug. 4, 1897: Musician William Jennings ‘‘Billy’’ Cox was born near Charleston. Cox, known as the ‘‘Dixie Songbird,’’ ranked as one of West Virginia’s premier country music vocalists and songwriters during the 1930s.
Aug. 5, 1958: Jennings Randolph defeated former governor William Marland in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Randolph went on to become the senior senator from West Virginia.
Aug. 6, 1864: Delayed three times by the Civil War, Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary finally arrived in Parkersburg, where they later founded DeSales Heights boarding school for young women.
Aug. 7, 1864: In what became known as the Battle of Moorefield, Union troops under Gen. William W. Averell attacked the headquarters of Gen. Bradley Johnson. The Confederates were routed and fled south into the town; the Union captured 500 men and 400 horses.
Aug. 7, 1877: West Virginia voters chose Charleston as the state capital over Clarksburg and Martinsburg.
Aug. 7, 1893: Parsons became the county seat of Tucker County. Parsons was named for Ward Parsons, a prominent resident and the largest landholder.
Aug. 8, 1915: Businessman Alex Schoenbaum was born in Richmond, Va. After settling in Charleston in 1943, he went into the restaurant business. His restaurants were named Shoney’s when Schoenbaum’s nickname was selected in an employee contest.
Aug. 9, 1916: A storm front from the northwest dumped nearly six inches of rain in less than five hours on the headwaters of Cabin Creek in eastern Kanawha County. 71 people died and 900 homes were destroyed in the flood.
Aug. 9, 1954: Don Chafin died in Huntington. As sheriff of 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 the county.
Aug. 10, 1920: General Frank Kendall ‘‘Pete’’ Everest Jr. was born in Fairmont. Everest was a military aviator and a pioneer in U.S. rocket plane flying. In 1956, he flew the X-2 at Mach 3, exceeding 1,900 miles per hour and breaking the record of Chuck Yeager, his rival and close contemporary.
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.