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.
Sept. 22, 1856: Albert Blakeslee ‘‘A. B.’’ White was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He was West Virginia’s 11th governor, serving from 1901–05. He was the fourth person to serve as governor from Wood County, his adopted home.
Sept. 22, 1894: Louis Bennett Jr. was born in Weston. Bennett was West Virginia’s only World War I flying ace. With 12 combat kills, including three aircraft and nine balloons, Bennett placed himself ninth on the roster of aces. This record was accomplished in just 10 days after assignment to his combat unit.
Sept. 22, 1970: The “Brinkley Bridge” in Wayne County collapsed under the weight of an overloaded truck. The bridge was named for newscaster David Brinkley who had filmed a 1960 news report about the poor condition of the span.
Sept. 23, 1922: Five men were struck and killed at the Glen Rogers mine in Wyoming County when equipment fell during the construction of a deep shaft.
Sept. 23, 1938: The Mingo Oak was cut down after succumbing to the fumes of a burning coal refuse pile. The Mingo Oak, which stood near the Logan-Mingo county line, was more than 500 years old and may have been the largest white oak in the world.
Sept. 24, 1918: George Spencer ‘‘Spanky’’ Roberts was born in London, Kanawha County. He entered aviation cadet training with the first class of Tuskegee Airmen and became the first African-American military pilot from West Virginia.
Sept. 25, 1864: George Smith Patton was killed at the Battle of Winchester. Patton, a Charleston lawyer, had organized the Kanawha Riflemen, a Virginia militia company. He was the grandfather of Gen. George S. Patton of World War II.
Sept. 26, 1816: David Hunter Strother was born in Martinsburg. He was an artist and an author who used the pen name “Porte Crayon.”
Sept. 26, 1863: The Great Seal of West Virginia was adopted by the legislature. The seal, which has remained unchanged, was designed by Joseph H. Diss Debar.
Sept. 27, 1914: Author Catherine Marshall was born in Johnson City, Tennessee. Her family moved to West Virginia and lived in Keyser during the late 1920s and the 1930s. Her best-loved novel, Christy (1967), was based on her mother’s girlhood in the southern mountains.
Sept. 28, 1955: Labor activist Sarah ‘‘Mother’’ Blizzard died at the age of 90. Blizzard was deeply involved in the United Mine Workers of America, from the organization’s early beginnings in the late 19th century.
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.