This Week In W.Va. History

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 22, 1859: Athlete John Wesley “Jack” Glasscock was born in Wheeling. Glasscock, who played bare-handed, became one of baseball’s premier shortstops in the 19th century.

July 22, 1937: Musician Tommy Thompson was born in St. Albans, Kanawha County. Through his group the Red Clay Ramblers and a career that spanned four decades, Thompson played a major role in keeping old-time music alive.

July 23, 1863: Financier and industrialist Isaac Thomas Mann was born in Greenbrier County. As president of the Bank of Bramwell and president of the Pocahontas Fuel Company for three decades, “Ike” Mann held vast holdings in coal, timber, and especially financial institutions.

July 23, 1919: Novelist Davis Grubb was born in Moundsville. His renown came with his first novel, Night of the Hunter (1953), a gripping suspense story adapted to film in 1955 and for television in 1991.

July 24, 1823: Arthur Boreman, West Virginia’s first governor, was born in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. Boreman’s family moved to Middlebourne, Tyler County, while he was still an infant.

July 24, 1919: Sam Taylor of Mercer County took the oath to become a member of the West Virginia State Police, the first person to do so. During his tenure with the State Police, Taylor tracked moonshiners and bootleggers, and helped to set up new state police detachments.

July 24, 1929: Cornelius Charlton was born in East Gulf, Raleigh County. Charlton was killed in battle during the Korean War, and he was honored posthumously with the Medal of Honor.

July 24, 1942: Actor Chris Sarandon was born in Beckley. A film, stage and television performer, some of his credits include The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Princess Bride and an Oscar nomination for Dog Day Afternoon.

July 24, 1983: Kansas City Royals player and Glen Dale native George Brett was involved in the “Pine-Tar Bat Incident.” After hitting a game-winning home run against the New York Yankees, the umpires ruled that there was too much pine tar on Brett’s bat and called him out. The ensuing melee at home plate is classic baseball lore.

July 25, 1864: A colony of eight Catholic nuns set out from Washington, D.C., and Frederick, Maryland, for Parkersburg. The sisters, who created a monastery there and named it DeSales Heights, ran a boarding school for young women for 75 years.

July 26, 1942: Camp Washington-Carver was dedicated and opened to the public. The camp, located at Clifftop, Fayette County, was the first 4-H camp for African-Americans in the country. The camp’s great chestnut lodge is the largest log structure in West Virginia.

July 27, 1896: Clark Kessinger was born near Charleston. He was among the most prolific and influential fiddlers of the 20th century, and one of West Virginia’s most important traditional musicians.

July 27, 1909: Coach Dyke Raese was born in Davis. He directed West Virginia University to its first major sports national championship, winning the 1942 National Invitation Tournament in basketball.

July 28, 1915: Frankie Yankovic was born in Davis, Tucker County. Yankovic did more to popularize polka music than any other performer.

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.

COMMENTS