Clarksburg

June 11, 1884: Riverside Iron Works Make Steel Using Bessemer Converter

Jun 11, 2020

On June 11, 1884, the state’s first Bessemer converter went into operation at the Riverside Iron Works in Wheeling. The Bessemer process made steel even stronger by introducing more air and removing more impurities from iron.

The Bessemer process was just one factor in the rise of West Virginia’s steel industry. A tariff enacted by Congress in 1890 made American tin makers more competitive with the British. It occurred just as the demand for canned foods was growing. The cans were made of thin-rolled steel coated with tin.

June 9, 1926: Politician C. Donald Robertson Born

Jun 9, 2020
C. Donald Robertson
e-WV / WV Humanitites Council

Politician C. Donald Robertson was born in Clarksburg on June 9, 1926.

He served Harrison County in the West Virginia House of Delegates for four years beginning in the late 1950s.

He was elected attorney general in 1960 and again in 1964. In 1968, he ran for governor but lost in the Democratic primary to James Sprouse, who would go on to lose to Arch Moore in the general election.

May 25, 1903: Philanthropist Bernard McDonough Jr. Born in Texas

May 25, 2020
Marietta College

Industrialist and philanthropist Bernard McDonough Jr. was born in Texas on May 25, 1903. His Irish immigrant grandfather had previously settled the family in Clarksburg and later in Belpre, Ohio, near Parkersburg. Young Bernard and his sisters returned to their grandmother in Belpre after the death of their mother.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Attorney and presidential candidate John W. Davis was born in Clarksburg on April 13, 1873. The Democrat launched his political career in the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1899, and was elected to Congress in 1911. He resigned shortly into his second term to become U.S. solicitor general and later served as President Woodrow Wilson’s ambassador to England.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the models have shifted to favor West Virginia in its fight against the coronavirus, but experts are urging cautious optimism. We also hear how one VA hospital is preparing for a potential influx of veteran patients with coronavirus.

March 24, 1890: Confederate General William Lowther Jackson Dies at 65

Mar 24, 2020
Mudwall Jackson
e-WV Encyclopedia

On March 24, 1890, former Confederate General William Lowther Jackson died at age 65. Prior to the Civil War, the Clarksburg native had served as a Ritchie County judge, Virginia’s lieutenant governor, and president of the Virginia state senate.

The dominant teams in the late ‘40s and ‘50s were Garnet of Charleston and Douglass of Huntington.
e-WV / WV Humanities Council

On March 19, 1925, the state’s first basketball tournament for black high schools kicked off on the campus of West Virginia State College (now University) at Institute.

It featured 24 teams, with Lincoln High of Wheeling defeating Kimball in the championship. Kimball and other regions with large African-American populations were perennial favorites in the tournament. This included other McDowell County schools such as Gary and Excelsior High School of War as well as Beckley’s Genoa High.

February 20, 1883: The Grand Army of the Republic Met In Clarksburg

Feb 20, 2020
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

On February 20, 1883, the Grand Army of the Republic met in Clarksburg to form a state chapter, or department. The GAR, as it was known, was a national fraternal organization of Civil War veterans who fought on the Union side.

Formed nationally in 1866, the GAR’s membership grew slowly at first. It wasn’t until the 1880s that its numbers began to take off. By 1890, there were more than 400,000 members across the country.

Joseph F. Rutherford
Wikimedia commons

On December 24, 1942, the President’s Committee on Fair Employment Practices ordered that seven Jehovah’s Witnesses have their jobs reinstated at the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company plant in Clarksburg. The seven had been fired a year earlier after declining to participate in union-sponsored, flag-salute ceremonies due to their religious beliefs. Union truckers refused to accept glass produced by the workers, prompting the company to fire all seven Jehovah’s Witnesses. 

Robert C. Byrd
E-WV

  

On November 18, 2009, Senator Robert C. Byrd became the nation’s longest-serving member of Congress.  He was first elected to public office in 1946.  After serving two terms in the West Virginia House of Delegates and one in the state senate, he was elected to three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.  In 1958, voters sent him to the U.S. Senate, where he would remain from 1959 until his death in 2010 at age 92.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A third family has come forward in an investigation of multiple suspicious patient deaths at a Veterans Affairs hospital in West Virginia.

Attorney Tony O'Dell says Thursday he's representing the family of Navy veteran John Hallman after the 87-year-old died last year at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two deaths have been ruled homicides at a Veteran’s Affairs hospital in Clarksburg and an ongoing investigation is leaving families of the victims desperate for answers.

E-WV / WV Humanities Council

On August 16, 1890, Salem Academy in Harrison County changed its name to Salem College. The academy had opened its doors a year earlier with the help of the Seventh-Day Baptist denomination. One of the school’s founders was Jesse Randolph, the grandfather of future U.S. Senator and Salem alumnus Jennings Randolph.

It started with a single building on Main Street in Salem, which was in the heart of an oil boom at the time. Around 1900, a drunken mob with torches tried to burn down the college, but the school’s president backed down the rioters with a pistol and a shotgun.

As part of the massive National Steel conglomeration, Weirton Steel became our state’s largest employer and taxpayer, and the world’s largest tin-plate producer.
E-WV / The Humanities Council

On August 1, 1918, industrialist Ernest Weir renamed his company Weirton Steel. He’d founded the company with J. A. Phillips in Clarksburg in 1905 as Phillips Sheet & Tin Plate. After Phillips’ death, Weir moved his company from Clarksburg to a southern Hancock County farm that would become the city of Weirton.

July 23, 1900: Author Julia Davis Born in Clarksburg

Jul 23, 2019
Julia Davis lived and wrote in Jefferson County, near Media Farm, the scene of the happy childhood summers described in her book Legacy of Love.
Micheal Keller / Goldenseal

On July 23, 1900, author Julia Davis was born in Clarksburg, the daughter of distinguished lawyer and statesman John W. Davis. She began her literary career writing books for young readers.

  

Her first, The Swords of the Vikings, was followed by a biography of “Stonewall” Jackson and a narrative of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Davis also found success with adult fiction, historical and biographical writings, and drama—more than two dozen books in all—including the Shenandoah volume for the landmark Rivers of America series.

April 24, 1966: Attorney Lewis Johnson Dies in Washington, DC

Apr 24, 2019
In the 1948 election, Johnson chaired President Harry Truman’s finance committee, which helped engineer Truman’s surprise victory over Republican Thomas Dewey.
e-WV / WV Humanities Council

Attorney Louis Johnson died in Washington, D.C., on April 24, 1966, at age 75. The native of Roanoke, Virginia, had spent most of his life in Clarksburg before moving to Washington.

In 1913, Johnson co-founded the law firm that would become Steptoe and Johnson, which remains one of the leading legal practices in West Virginia. After serving in World War I, he helped found the American Legion and became its national commander in 1932.

The West Virginia Supreme Court chamber.
West Virginia Judiciary

Four West Virginia Supreme Court justices are speaking at a meeting this week.

They will speak Tuesday at the West Virginia Bar Association's Bench & Bar meeting in Clarksburg. A reception starts at 5:30 p.m., with the presentation following at 6:30 p.m. at the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center.

December 24, 1852: B&O Railroad Completed Near Moundsville

Dec 24, 2018
When West Virginia statehood leaders carved out the new state’s borders, the eastern panhandle counties were included primarily to keep the B&O in West Virginia and outside of Confederate Virginia.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / e-WV

On Christmas Eve 1852, the last spike was driven on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad between Baltimore and the Ohio River. The event occurred at Rosbys Rock near Moundsville.

theodoranian / wikimedia Commons

A West Virginia high school's assistant principal should be disciplined after questioning a transgender male student over his choice of bathrooms and saying, "you freak me out," the American Civil Liberties Union said.

December 11, 1905: Filmmaker Pare Lorentz Born

Dec 11, 2018
During World War II, Lorentz made hundreds of training films for pilots who were flying previously uncharted routes around the world.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / e-WV

Filmmaker “Pare” Lorentz was born in Clarksburg on December 11, 1905. After attending West Virginia Wesleyan College for a year, he transferred to West Virginia University, where he wrote stories for West Virginia Moonshine magazine. At the age of 20, he moved to New York City and began writing for some of the nation’s most popular magazines.

February 9, 1843: Politician Nathan Goff Jr. Born in Clarksburg

Feb 9, 2018
Nathan Goff Jr.
e-West Virginia Encyclopedia

Politician Nathan Goff Jr. was born in Clarksburg on February 9, 1843. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War, rising from a private to brevet brigadier general. In 1864, he was captured at Moorefield and sent to Richmond’s notorious Libby Prison. He was released in a prisoner exchange personally authorized by President Lincoln.

The new U.S. attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia has announced the leadership team of federal prosecutors and civil litigators, saying they bring more than a century of combined experience there.

This Feb. 15, 2017 photo shows railroad tracks along the West Virginia town of Matoaka, which once carried coal trains several times a day and at night.
Michael Virtanen / AP

A union official says a coal mine in northern West Virginia has been idled, with 260 workers losing their jobs, apparently because of adverse geological conditions and market issues.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Officials say a West Virginia Veterans Affairs medical center intentionally skewed patient data to reduce both the reported wait times and the volume of patients.

Sept. 8, 1841: Clarksburg Convention Highlights Education Inequalities

Sep 8, 2017
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On September 8, 1841, one of the most important education conventions ever held in present West Virginia convened in Clarksburg. At the time, a formal education was virtually unheard for families without money.

In 1829, the Virginia General Assembly had authorized counties to establish school systems but provided little funding. Monroe County opened a free school under this plan but soon discontinued it.

E-WV / West Virginia Humanities Council

Author Meredith Sue Willis was born in Clarksburg on May 31, 1946. She was raised in Shinnston, where both her parents were educators. After graduating from Shinnston High School, she attended Bucknell University for two years before dropping out to become a VISTA volunteer. She later earned undergraduate and graduate degrees and became an artist-in-residence in New York public schools and in New Jersey. She was also adjunct assistant professor of creative writing at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Cecelia Mason / WV Public Radio

The National Weather Service says last month was the warmest April on record in several West Virginia cities.

The weather service says Beckley, Clarksburg, Elkins and Parkersburg all set records for the average temperature during the month, while Charleston and Huntington each had their second-warmest Aprils on record.

John George Jackson
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

Early Western Virginia leader John George Jackson died on March 28, 1825, at age 47. He was born near Buckhannon in 1777. He represented Harrison County in the Virginia House of Delegates and promoted the 1816 Staunton Convention—which led to some of the first political reforms benefiting Western Virginia.

Airplane
Helmy oved / Wikimedia Commons

An airline is adding flights from North Central West Virginia Airport to Baltimore and Charlotte. 

The Exponent Telegram in Clarksburg reports that Via Air will add the service starting Oct 1. Airport Director Rick Rock announced Thursday that the Alternative Essential Air Service contract was approved by the federal Department of Transportation.

West Fork River
TimK MSI / Wikimedia Commons

The removal of a dam along the West Fork River near Clarksburg has been delayed.

The Exponent Telegram reports that the project has been delayed until late September or early October.

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