CHARLESTON—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 1, 1861: Francis Pierpont, governor of the Reorganized Government of Virginia, called the legislature into session. The general assembly re-established governmental functions, provided for the raising of military units, and elected new U.S. senators and representatives.
July 1, 1937: Watoga State Park was opened to the public. The park in Pocahontas County is the largest of the state parks and among the oldest.
July 1, 1971: Southern West Virginia Community College was formed by joining the Marshall University branch campuses at Logan and Williamson. In 1995, the name changed to Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.
July 2, 1829: Potter and businessman Alexander Polk Donaghho was born. He began a pottery operation in Parkersburg, creating hand-thrown, salt-glazed crocks, jars and other pottery that are avidly collected today.
July 3, 1863: At Gettysburg, Union troopers in the 1st West Virginia Cavalry took part in a fruitless cavalry charge against Confederate infantrymen during the waning moments of that great battle.
July 4, 1882: The steamboats Scioto and John Lomas collided on the Ohio River as they were returning from holiday excursions. The Scioto sank almost instantly, and 70 people drowned.
July 4, 1918: Poet Muriel Miller Dressler was born in Kanawha County. Her poem ‘‘Appalachia,’’ published in 1970, was her signature piece.
July 4, 1928: West Virginia dedicated Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park. Droop Mountain was the site of one of the most important Civil War battles fought on West Virginia soil.
July 4, 1938: Musician Bill Withers Jr. was born into a miner’s family of 13 children in Slab Fork, Raleigh County. In 1971, Withers released his first album, Just As I Am, including his first Grammy-winning song, “Ain’t No Sunshine.” In 2015 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
July 5, 1896: Cartoonist Kendall Vintroux was born at Fraziers Bottom. He began his career with the Charleston Gazette when he submitted a cartoon about the town of Poca’s first paved road. Many of his drawings are now in the collection of the University of Charleston.
July 5, 1950: Army Private Kenneth Shadrick of Wyoming County was the first U.S. serviceman killed in action in the Korean War.
July 6, 1806: Statesman Charles James Faulkner was born in Martinsburg. Faulkner served in the West Virginia legislature, U.S. Congress (1851–59), and as U.S. minister to France.
July 6, 1848: Historian Virgil A. Lewis was born in Mason County. In 1905, Governor Dawson appointed Lewis as the first director of the Bureau of Archives and History.
July 6, 1883: Judge ‘‘R. D.’’ Bailey was born at Baileysville, Wyoming County. Bailey came into wide prominence as the judge of the Matewan Massacre trial in 1921.
July 7, 1928: The Madonna of the Trail monument was dedicated in Wheeling. It is one of the 12 such statues erected along the National Road to honor America’s pioneering women.
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.