This Week in W.Va. History

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Catfish Gray
Dennis Harrah
Eccles Mine Disaster
George R. Latham
W.Va. Suffragists

CHARLESTON – The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more, go to e-WV: www.wvencyclopedia.org.

March 7, 1856: Tucker County was formed from Randolph County and named for Henry St. George Tucker Sr., a Virginia soldier, statesman, and jurist.

March 7, 1929: The Legislature adopted the official state flag. The state’s coat of arms is emblazoned in color in the center of the flag. Above the seal is a red ribbon lettered ‘‘State of West Virginia,’’ and a wreath of rhododendron surrounds the lower part of the seal. The white field of the flag is bordered on four sides by a strip of blue.

March 7, 1990: West Virginia teachers went on strike after negotiations with the governor’s office and legislature failed to produce agreement on a pay package. Teachers in 47 of the 55 counties were involved in the 11-day strike.

March 8, 1926: An explosion killed 19 miners at Eccles in Raleigh County. Ten men were saved by barricading themselves in the mine.

March 8, 1963: The state colors of blue and ‘‘old gold’’ were adopted by the Legislature.

March 9, 1832: George Robert Latham was born. At the onset of the Civil War, Latham turned his Grafton law office into a recruiting station, and he led the first Union troops in north-central West Virginia.

March 9, 1953: Football player Dennis Harrah was born in South Charleston. Harrah played in 168 games and one Super Bowl before retiring from the NFL.

March 9, 1965: President Lyndon Johnson signed the act establishing the Appalachian Regional Commission.

March 10, 1920: West Virginia became the 34th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed the right of women to vote.

March 11, 1847: Boone County was formed from parts of Logan, Kanawha, and Cabell counties and named for Daniel Boone.

March 11, 1848: Putnam County was formed from portions of Kanawha, Mason, and Cabell. The new county was named in honor of Gen. Israel Putnam, who commanded the Continental Army at Bunker Hill.

March 11, 1856: Roane County was created from parts of Kanawha, Jackson, and Gilmer counties. The new county was named for Judge Spencer Roane, a son-in-law of Patrick Henry.

March 12, 1835: Marshall County was created from part of Ohio County. The county was named for John Marshall, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

March 12, 1850: Wheeling Hospital was chartered. During the Civil War, the institution was used as a general military hospital. The Sisters of Saint Joseph were hired as army nurses, treating wounded Union and Confederate soldiers side by side.

March 13, 2002: Herbalist and folk doctor Catfish Gray died in Huntington. Gray was known for his vast knowledge of traditional plant lore and for his quaint and engaging personality. At the height of the folklore revival of the 1970s, Gray was a frequent newspaper and television interview subject.

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.