Welch

Army Transport Crashes Near Premier: July 1, 1942

Jul 1, 2019
Monument to soldiers killed in plane crash near
Geneva Steele Collection (1530 13)

Just after noon on July 1, 1942, a troop transport plane crashed and burst into flames on a mountainside about four miles from the McDowell County seat of Welch, located near the community of Premier. 

All 21 members of the U.S. Army Air Corps aboard the plane were killed.

December 4, 1883: Reformer Stella Fuller Born

Dec 4, 2018
Salvation Army officials thought Fuller was wielding too much power and was insubordinate.
appalachianhistory.net

Social reformer Stella Fuller was born in Point Pleasant on December 4, 1883. After graduating from a Huntington business college, she worked for a law firm in Welch. At age 23, she returned to Huntington and became actively involved in the Salvation Army. Her work with the organization turned into an obsession. She even lived for 20 years in the group’s citadel building.

Sid Hatfield
E-WV

On August 1, 1921, Matewan police chief Sid Hatfield and his friend Ed Chambers were gunned down by Baldwin-Felt Detectives in front of the McDowell County Courthouse in Welch.

The trouble between Hatfield and the Baldwin-Felts had started more than a year earlier. In May of 1920, a shootout in the Mingo County town of Matewan had pitted Baldwin-Felts detectives against Hatfield and a crowd of angry miners.

A shootout left seven of the detectives, two miners, and the town’s mayor dead in the streets of Matewan.

Opioids
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

A West Virginia mayor has joined the ranks of at least 11 communities suing some of the biggest U.S. drug distributors, bidding to make them pay for the damage done by addiction in a state already ravaged by the decades-long decline of coal.

Welch Mayor Reba Honacker says she'd like to establish a local rehabilitation center with any money her Appalachian city of 1,900 might gain from the lawsuit.

Bernie Sanders
David Becker / AP Photo

Former presidential candidate and Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is coming to the coal country of southern West Virginia for a Town Hall meeting about the needs of rural Americans.

Sanders will speak Sunday afternoon at Mount View High School in the city of Welch. The event is being hosted by MSNBC, which plans to broadcast it later, calling it "an unscripted, no-holds-barred conversation" with people from McDowell County about the issues facing them and communities like theirs.

Opioids
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

A southern West Virginia town has joined other communities in seeking to recoup the costs of dealing with opioid abuse.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the McDowell County town of Welch filed a lawsuit Monday against several out-of-state drug distributors.

Hardy’s hanging probably would have been the end of the story if not for a ballad written about the event.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

John Hardy was hanged in the McDowell County seat of Welch on January 19, 1894.

The black railroad worker had been convicted of murdering a man in a gambling dispute at present-day Eckman.

Hardy was just one of tens of thousands of African Americans who poured into southern West Virginia in the late 1800s and early 1900s to work in the coal and railroad industries.

Hardy’s hanging probably would have been the end of the story if not for a ballad written about the event. The song circulated by word of mouth, with the details changing over time.

World War I Ends: Nov. 11 1918

Nov 11, 2016
The last-surviving WWI veteran was Frank Buckles died at Charles Town in 2011 at the age of 110.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Frank Buckles, WWI, Charles Town,

On November 11, 1918, World War I ended after more than four years of brutal fighting. Nearly 39 million soldiers had been killed, wounded, or listed as missing. American soldiers arrived on the scene only during the last year-and-a-half of the war. Still, some 116,000 died in the conflict.

About 58,000 West Virginians served in the war. Of these, more than 1,100 were killed in action, and nearly 700 died in training. Many others died from influenza or other diseases.

The former Best Furniture building in downtown Welch will be the site of Renaissance Village.
Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Demolition will start soon on two buildings to clear the way for new apartments for teachers in a blighted southern West Virginia community.

A news release says the Best Furniture and Katzen buildings in downtown Welch will be torn down starting Thursday.

Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry
Justice Allen Loughry / West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

A West Virginia Supreme Court justice will speak this week in Welch during the McDowell County Law Day event.

Justice Allen H. Loughry II will be the main speaker at the event, set for 10 a.m. Friday at the McDowell County Courthouse.

Body Camera
Morgantown Police

Welch police officers have begun carrying body cameras to record all contact with the public.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports that Police Chief Eugene Muncy announced that the offers began carrying the devices on Tuesday.