History enthusiasts gathered on Thursday, Feb. 22, in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater of the Cultural Center for the awards ceremony that kicked off a successful day of celebrating West Virginia history. First Lady Gayle Manchin was assisted by Dr. Robert S. Conte, chairman, and Dr. Kenneth R. Bailey, vice chairman of the West Virginia Archives and History Commission, in presenting History Hero awards to 52 individuals from around the state for their grassroots-level contributions to the preservation, promotion and perpetuation of the state’s rich history. City, county and state historical, preservation and genealogical groups and museums provided nominations for the awards. A complete list of this year’s recipients, along with a brief explanation of their contributions, is enclosed. Photos of the winners are available at www.wvculture.org/agency/press/historyday07c.html.
Throughout the day, the State Capitol Rotunda was filled with exhibitors and reenactors all eager to share their enthusiasm for the history of the state. The 11th History Day was a joint effort of the West Virginia Archives and History Commission, Friends of West Virginia Culture and History, Mining Your History Foundation, Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, Inc., West Virginia Humanities Council, West Virginia Association of Museums, West Virginia Historical Association, West Virginia Historical Society and West Virginia Division of Culture and History.
Next year’s event is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008. For more information about History Day or the History Hero awards, contact Fredrick Armstrong, director of archives and history for the Division, at (304) 558-0230, ext. 164.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Cultural Center in the state capitol complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action
The photo number links to an 8"x10" image approximately 500KB in size, suitable for printing. The caption for the photo is adjacent to the link, Several heroes were not on hand for the ceremony.
David and Renee’ Allison's restoration of "Edgarton," the oldest
home in Ronceverte, epitomizes their commitment to historic preservation. Originally
constructed in 1810, this Victorian structure was added to in 1885. For over
15 years the Allisons have worked to restore the interior and exterior of the
structure, ensuring that it remains an important part of the town's history.
They are also active participants in the Main Street Ronceverte program, working
with the downtown renovations of historic properties. The Allisons are good
neighbors and true History Heroes.
Nominated by Ronceverte Historic Landmarks Commission
Photo 108 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Perry W. Pauley, Jr., Dr. Robert S. Conte
Gerald Brownie Amick has been a member of the Ritchie County Historical Society
for more than 15 years. He first became involved with the society when he wrote
several articles for the historical society's 1981 book, The History of Ritchie
County, WV - To 1980. Amick assisted with the society's book, A Photographic
History of Ritchie County, WV Cemeteries - through 1993. Noted for his knowledge
of the timber/forestry and oil and gas industries, he constructed a working
model of the "endless cable system" that long ago operated numerous
oil wells in the Volcano/Petroleum oil field. His model is on display at Marshall
Hardware in Cairo and some of his timber/forestry items are on display at Mountwood
Park in Wood County. Amick has also served as a lecturer of historical stories
during festivals at Cairo, North Bend State Park and along the North Bend Rail
Nominated by Ritchie County Historical Society, Inc.
Photo 13 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Gerald Brownie Amick, Dr. Robert S. Conte
T. Vernon Anderson has spent more than thirty years compiling a database of
the genealogy and history of many Marshall County families. He readily shares
his abundant information on the Marshall County Virtual Genealogy Society Web
site, and co-authored a book about the Yoho family. In the course of his research,
Anderson has identified nineteen ancestors who served in American Revolution,
and successfully documented claims for three West Virginia Union Civil War medals.
Nominated by Marshall County Virtual Genealogy Society
Photo 109 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Jean Anderson (mother of T. Vernon Anderson), Dr. Robert S. Conte
Bill Archer, senior writer of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, has won a number
of awards for his work in journalism. His five pictorial histories of Mercer
County, McDowell County, Bluefield, Princeton and Welch, published between 2000
and 2006, have contributed to the preservation of southern West Virginia. Through
photos and accompanying information, these books trace the area’s history
and present-day landscape. He has been a community service leader for many years.
Archer has also been the significant force in the restoration of Oakwood Cemetery
Nominated by Mercer County Historical Society
Photo 17 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Bill Archer, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Leoma Wiseman Ballard is a charter member and secretary for the Belle Historical
Restoration Society. She worked to raise matching funds for a grant to purchase
the Samuel Shrewsbury Mansion. As a well-known citizen of the Kanawha Valley,
her many contacts working with grants enabled the society to acquire surrounding
property that includes a park, carriage house and museum building that will
house the many artifacts she has acquired to display the progress of the valley's
Nominated by Belle Historical Restoration Society, Inc.
Photo 19 - Dr. Robert S. Conte, Leoma Wiseman Ballard, First Lady Gayle Manchin
A retired physician, James W. “Jay” Banks is a member of the Monroe
County Historical Society and has served as secretary, vice-president and president.
He has been corresponding secretary since 1990, and was involved in fundraising
for purchase of the building that houses the society’s museum. Banks is
also a member of the Greenbrier Historical Society and the West Virginia Historical
Society. He served as chairman of the Monroe Bicentennial Commission and is
a member of the Historic Landmarks Commission. Banks wrote the Monroe County
article for the new West Virginia Encyclopedia. He has published four books,
including House Calls in the Hills, Memoirs of a Country Doctor.
Nominated by Monroe County Historical Society
Frederick A. Barkey is a retired history professor and Professor Emeritus at
Marshall University Graduate College. He has been a Danforth Associate, and
was the Spring 1999 Rockefeller Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for the Study
of Ethnicity and Gender in Appalachia at Marshall University. Barkey has published
numerous articles and books on West Virginia labor history, and in 1988, was
knighted by the King of Belgium for promoting greater awareness of the contributions
of Belgian immigrant workers to West Virginia and the nation. He also served
on the South Charleston Museum Foundation Board of Directors for several years.
Nominated by South Charleston Museum
Photo 20 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Frederick A. Barkey, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Ronald W. Barnhill, a disabled Vietnam veteran, has been a member of Sons of
Confederate Veterans Camp No. 1694, Flat Top Copperheads, for five years, and
currently serves as color sergeant. He has been instrumental in preserving the
history and heritage of Confederate soldiers of Mercer County. His efforts have
helped in erecting a monument to the Confederate soldiers of Mercer County,
and a historical marker to recognize the Battle of the Clark House. Barnhill
volunteers at the newly erected Railroad Museum in Princeton and works to preserve
the history of Mercer County.
Nominated by Sons of Confederate Veterans - West Virginia Division
Photo 23 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Ronald W. Barnhill, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Charles "Rusty" Bash has served as historian for American Legion
Post 93 for 34 years. Each year, he maintains the activities scrapbook that
last year won first place in the state and finished high in the national contest.
Bash writes a guest article each month for the town of Ceredo's monthly newspaper,
which serves to preserve the community’s rich heritage. He also organizes
and directs the Veterans Day Parade and Memorial Day Service, annual events
that honor veterans and preserve their memories for the towns of Ceredo and
Nominated by Ceredo Museum
Margaret Bassitt was the chairperson of the first annual St. Albans Founders
Day in 2006. This citywide event brought together recent and former citizens
for a day of researching family history, historical tours and numerous historical
events throughout the town that included open houses and a Main Street Festival.
Through her leadership, this event was successful and will become an annual
celebration of St. Albans history. Since 2002 she has researched the life of
St. Albans's founding father, Phillip Rootes Thompson. Margaret is a retired
librarian and is active in the St. Albans Historical Society and other civic
Nominated by St. Albans Historical Society
After retiring from teaching, Lea Beachem didn't realize that seasonal work
as a clerk in the General's Store at WVU Jackson's Mill was actually the beginning
of a second career. Her skills in heritage arts such as spinning, weaving and
basketry and her easy manner make her a natural for workshops, demonstrations,
giving group tours, or working with individual guests. Beachem's dedication
to preserving and sharing Appalachian culture and history has established her
as an integral part of the core Historic Area team. This, along with her willingness
to try new things, continues to help foster an environment of growth for the
Historic Area and its programs.
Nominated by Historic Area at WVU Jackson's Mill
Photo 24 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Lea Beachem, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Gerald E. Bills has been an energetic, unselfish member of the Pleasants County
Historical Society for many years. He has used his talents to find, clean and
restore forgotten or abandoned cemeteries, in particular veterans’ graves,
repairing or replacing their gravestones. Bills finds and notifies their families
and arranges for rededication services for them. His ongoing genealogical research
and cemetery preservation never stops, and he answers the inquires of all those
searching for their family histories. He maintains a current index of local
obituaries in addition to giving Pleasants County a very respectable internet
Nominated by Pleasants County Historical Society
Photo 27 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Gerald E. Bills, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Photo 115 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Gerald E. Bills, Delegate Woody Ireland
Carol Board, member of the Roane County Historical Society since 1993, has
served as treasurer and co-chairman of the Roane County Genealogical Fair, and
chaired Roane County's Sesquicentennial Committee in 2006. During the Black
Walnut Festival, this committee sponsored an essay contest for county school
children, sold commemorative baskets, sponsored a float, and held a county birthday
party. It also installed in the courthouse plaques of all officials elected
since the county was formed. To preserve a fifty-year-old newspaper, Board cut
and pasted articles into a book sold by the Roane County Historical Society.
Nominated by Roane County Historical Society, Inc.
Photo 28 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Carol Board, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Ruth Brinker, a native of Indiana, came to Randolph County in 1992 as Heritage
Program Leader for the Monongahela National Forest, overseeing historical and
archaeological resources including the significant Native American Villages
discovered at Seneca Rocks. She served on the Board of Rich Mountain Battlefield
Foundation and helped establish the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance (SPTA).
Following retirement, she worked as coordinator for Historic Beverly and SPTA,
helping to complete the Turnpike Corridor Management Plan and National Scenic
Byway nomination. She was a founding member of C-HOPE, and wrote the National
Register nomination for the Darden Mill building. Following a stroke in December
of 2005, she retired from active work, but still participates in community efforts.
Nominated by Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance
Photo 31 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Ruth Brinker, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Mary Ann Chatterton has been an integral part of KYOWVA's growth in 2006. She
represented the society in multiple functions, including 2006 History Day at
the Legislature, book fairs, and genealogical meetings. She also represents
KYOWVA in meetings of area organizations and is a volunteer at the society's
library. Chatterton has spearheaded successful fund-raising activities for the
society and offered her own property for a potential new building for the library.
She has been instrumental the last two years in decorating the Jenkins Plantation
and Museum for its 1860s Christmas party.
Nominated by KYOWVA Genealogical and Historical Society
Photo 33 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Mary Ann Chatterton, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Eunice Jean Childress has been a key member of the Upshur County Historical
Society, and has been extremely helpful to all individuals seeking historical
and genealogical information concerning Upshur County and its surrounding areas.
She has dedicated enormous amounts of time over the past few years in typing,
reformatting, and indexing important content collections held and published
by the society. Childress’s most recent effort has been to lead a team
compiling and indexing the 1910 and 1920 United States census for Upshur and
surrounding counties. Both these works and a compilation of Upshur County birth
records, 1897-1906, were published in book and CD form.
Nominated by Upshur County Historical Society
Photo 35 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Eunice Jean Childress, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Michelle Depp has been working for Rich Mountain Battlefield since 1997, providing
visitor services and organization management for historic sites. Depp's duties
have expanded through the years, and she is now executive director for both
Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation and Historic Beverly Preservation. She
is an outstanding tour guide and an energetic aggressive project manager, monitoring
all the details of a four-building, multi-year rehabilitation project of the
Beverly Heritage Center. She also serves on the boards of the Randolph County
Convention and Visitors Bureau and the West Virginia Association of Museums.
Nominated by Historic Beverly Preservation
Edward Dunleavy is president and founding member of the Shepherdstown Battlefield
Preservation Association Inc. (SBPA), an organization dedicated to preserving
three hundred acres of the site of the Battle of Shepherdstown as a Civil War
national park. Dunleavy has enlisted the support of historians, educators, county,
state and federal officials, and Civil War preservation groups in this effort.
Eighty-four acres have now been preserved and further development of the site
is halted. By educating the public about this previously ignored Civil War battle,
Dunleavy has been instrumental in saving an important part of the area’s
history. He also sits on the board of Historic Shepherdstown Commission and
is a member of the museum committee.
Nominated by Historic Shepherdstown Commission
Photo 38 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Edward Dunleavy, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Robert Edmunds joined the Board of the Madie Carroll House Preservation Society
in 1994. In addition to serving as treasurer of the organization, he acts as
docent and volunteers as a construction laborer. This year he assisted with
painting the Carroll House's metal roof. Edmunds and others are organizing a
group to plan the preservation and restoration of the historic Keith-Albee Theatre
in Huntington. Edmunds, who oversees maintenance of the historic theatre, is
a true historic preservationist who has also restored his 1904 Victorian home.
Nominated by Madie Carroll House Preservation Society, Inc.
Photo 39 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Robert Edmunds, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Keith H. Estep is a member of the Upper Vandalia Historical Society. A native
of Nitro, in 2006, he published the book Growing Up In Nitro, which details
the first eighteen years of his life, and provides a personal perspective on
life in the former World War I boom town. Estep’s stories of life in this
Kanawha County community have touched former residents around the country.
Nominated by Upper Vandalia Historical Society
Photo 42 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Keith H. Estep, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Jeanne Finstein is a major contributor to preserving the history and built
environment of Wheeling. She is president of Friends of Wheeling, a local preservation
group, and recently co-authored a book on a National Road community, Walking
Pleasant Valley. Finstein is a member of the board of directors of the Wheeling
National Heritage Area Corporation and chaired the dedication ceremony for the
new statue of labor leader Walter Reuther. She is a member of the commission
for the National Civil War Memorial proposed for Wheeling and was a facilitator
for a national DVD on the United States Constitution, Foundations of Freedom.
Nominated by Wheeling Area Historical Society
Photo 44 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Jeanne Finstein, Dr. Robert S. Conte
A former Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollee, Harlen C. Frederick is
an outstanding promoter and teacher of CCC history. Frederick is an active board
member of the West Virginia State CCC Museum Association and has been instrumental
in publicizing the CCC camp museum, resulting in numerous visitors and the donation
of CCC memorabilia. Thanks to his tireless efforts, six new members have recently
joined the association. He has served as judge of CCC social studies projects
and has given extensive, taped interviews about his life and accomplishments
in the CCC. A television documentary on this New Deal program featuring Frederick
aired several times state-wide on PBS last year.
Nominated by West Virginia State CCC Museum Association
Photo 47 - Delegate Mike Caputo, First Lady Gayle Manchin, Harlen C. Frederick, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Harold D. Garber of Grant County has inspired several generations to record
and preserve family and local history. A lifelong collector and researcher,
he has written about the history of the South Branch Valley, particularly Grant
and Hardy counties. Garber taught history in Grant County schools, Potomac State
College and Shepherd University. He organized the Grant County Historical Society
and served as president for more than thirty years. He reviewed books for West
Virginia History and was a member of the West Virginia Archives and History
Commission from 1985 to 1988. He served as Grant County Bicentennial Chairman
in 1976. Garber was the editor of Grant County, Our Heritage, contributed articles
to the West Virginia Encyclopedia, and has written columns for the Grant County
Press and the Moorefield Examiner.
Nominated by Grant County Historical Society, Inc.
Photo 48 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Harold D. Garber, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Photo 113 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Harold D. Garber, Delegate Allen V. Evans
Betty Lou Harmison is one of the founders and current vice president and exhibits
chair of the Museum of the Berkeley Springs. A favorite tour guide for the museum
and the community, she researched and developed the Hotels of Bath exhibit.
Harmison is a member of the Town of Bath Landmark Commission, which is currently
undertaking a historical survey of the town. In 1976, she was a one-woman bicentennial
committee, developing town historical markers and an original lot owners walking
tour, and hosting officials from Bath, England. Harmison wrote the National
Register of Historic Places nomination for Berkeley Springs State Park. She
is a member of the Morgan County Historical Society and Ye Olde Town of Bath
Daughters of the American Revolution. Harmison generously shares her extensive
local archives, and is currently working on a book about Park View Inn.
Nominated by Museum of the Berkeley Springs
Photo 50 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Delegate Daryl E. Cowles, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Gwen Hubbard and Bobbie Elliot formed Brooke County Genealogy, which meets
monthly and publishes a quarterly newsletter. Since 1994, they have worked tirelessly
together accumulating, compiling, and preserving the historical and family records
of Brooke County. The society maintains an active presence on the internet,
and the local genealogy library contains hundreds of their transcriptions of
court, cemetery and vital records. They have collected over three hundred family
records, and are generous with their time for persons conducting genealogical
Nominated by Brooke County Genealogy
Photo 54 - Delegate Timothy R. Ennis, First Lady Gayle Manchin, Ruby Greathouse, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Doris M. Hatton Jude is a charter member of the Wayne County Genealogical and
Historical Society. She has served as president, vice-president, trustee, member
of the board, and acting librarian since the society's inception. Her tireless
efforts in researching and recording archival records and microfilm at the Huntington
Library, the Herald Dispatch and the Wayne County News, as well as field trips
into cemeteries, have produced invaluable information. She was active in Pioneer
Days in Wayne, and Frontier Days at Fort Gay.
Nominated by Wayne County Genealogical and Historical Society
Photo 58 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Doris M. Hatton Jude, Dr. Robert S. Conte
A teacher of ninth grade United States history at Van Devender Junior High
School in Parkersburg, Gerry Kohler emphasizes the importance of primary documents.
She has organized, with her students, a Junior Historical Society, which has
helped in the restoration of two local pioneer cemeteries. Kohler is first vice
president of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society. Most recently,
she received the 2006 Preserve America History Teacher of the Year award at
a ceremony at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York.
Nominated by Wood County Historical and Preservation Society
Photo 60 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Gerry Kohler, Dr. Robert S. Conte
When the West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH) threatened the demolition
of the Historic Martha Bridge in 2005, Mary Jo Martin helped found Save the
Historic Martha Bridge, Inc., an organization dedicated to preserving the bridge.
After DOH refused to consider a proposal to save key significant architectural
features of the bridge, Martin joined others in requesting a court hearing on
the demolition. This took great courage and perseverance and makes her a true
History Hero. In addition to her work to save the bridge, for over twenty years
she has been an active member in twelve other organizations dedicated to preserving
history and heritage.
Nominated by Save the Historic Martha Bridge, Inc.
Photo 64 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Mary Jo Martin, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Helen R. Morris is an indispensable member of the Calhoun County Historical
Society. She can always be counted on to help out wherever needed and is a cooperative
and cheerful worker. She edits the society's newsletter and handles publicity.
An idea person, she organizes fund raisers, creates displays and develops programs
for monthly meetings. Morris is the society’s "good-will" ambassador,
welcoming guests and, when necessary, opening her home for overnight stays.
Each year, she hosts the society's Christmas dinner meeting, and she has permitted
the society to store its archives in one of her buildings while the museum is
Nominated by Calhoun County Historical Society
Photo 66 - Delegate William Stemple, First Lady Gayle Manchin, Helen R. Morris, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Mrs. Robert D. “Ginger” Nalley is a charter member of the Tyler
County Heritage and Historical Society and is currently serving as treasurer,
a position she has held for the past four years. She worked on histories of
Tyler County published in 1984 and 2005. Nalley has served on important museum
projects, preservation of the Civil War flag and many money-making projects
necessary to support the historical society. She is also a driving force in
community endeavors and is active in the National Society Daughters of the American
Revolution (DAR) as member of the Ohio Valley Chapter DAR, state director of
National Defense, and East Central Division vice chairman of the President General’s
Nominated by Tyler County Heritage & Historical Society
Photo 68 - Delegate William R. Romine, First Lady Gayle Manchin, Hilda Wright (mother of Ginger Nalley), Dr. Robert S. Conte
Mike Naylor of Parkersburg is the author of Volcano, West Virginia, a history
of this once vibrant oil community along the Wood/Ritchie County line. Naylor
also wrote a history of the Borland Springs Hotel in Pleasants County.
Nominated by West Augusta Historical & Genealogical Society
Photo 69 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Mike Naylor, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Beth Thorne Newcome, dean of the School of Health and Human Services at Fairmont
State, has been curator of the Masquers Vintage Clothing Collection since 1998.
The collection of nearly 10,000 items is made up of clothing and artifacts dating
from 1850-1950. Exhibitions include a show in the Brooks Gallery at Fairmont
State, in conjunction with National Historic Preservation Week. The collection
serves the West Virginia Folklife Center's Museum Studies degree and is an important
resource for students, faculty and the state. Newcome is the recipient of a
Fairmont State Faculty Achievement Award and the WVAFCS Outstanding Faculty
in Higher Education Award.
Nominated by School of Fine Arts Masquers Archives
Photo 73 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Beth Thorne Newcome, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Michael O’Brien delights in educating the community about Brooke County
history. A member of the Lewis and Clark Heritage Foundation, he coordinated
the 2003 re-enactors' stop at Wellsburg to honor Patrick Gass. O’Brien
portrays Johnny Appleseed at Wellsburg Primary School, as well as during the
Wellsburg Applefest, which he helped establish in 1979. He was selected as Wellsburg
Citizen of the Year in 1995, and received the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Volunteer
Award in 2006.
Nominated by Brooke County Historical Museum
Photo 54 - Delegate Timothy R. Ennis, First Lady Gayle Manchin, Ruby Greathouse, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Rose Wingo Peterson joined the Kanawha Valley Genealogical Society (KVGS) in
October 1986. She served as first vice president from 1987-1990, and since July
1990 has served as corresponding secretary. In addition to covering the duties
of this office, she has served as the society’s librarian since 1995.
Peterson worked with several members of the society to record the burials in
the Spring Hill Cemetery in Charleston, collated the data, and published it
in a four-volume set. She has also been involved in a number of other society
publications. Peterson was honored by the Federation of Genealogical Societies
as the 1997 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.
Nominated by Kanawha Valley Genealogical Society
Photo 76 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Rose Wingo Peterson, Dr. Robert S. Conte
James D. Phillips, a lifelong resident of Tucker County, demonstrates his focused
commitment to preserving and sharing the county's cultural and historic past
through his service with the Tucker County Historical Society. As the volunteer
curator of the society's museum, he maintains and promotes the facility and
is an invaluable resource to the public, genealogical researchers, school groups,
and visiting scholars. In the past Phillips has served the organization as its
president, vice-president, and is currently a board member. He provides significant
original material for the society's newsletter, works to increase membership,
and advocates for the Saint George Academy and McNeeley Cemetery.
Nominated by Tucker County Historical Society
Photo 77 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, James D. Phillips, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Mary E. Radabaugh and Doris M. Radabaugh are retired educators from Wood County
schools. Since 1985, they have filed obituaries published in the Glenville newspapers
for Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants Library. Resource persons for those researching
their Gilmer County roots, the Radabaughs have also provided research for cemetery
care fund raising and for the One-Room School Teachers' Honors and Memorial
at Cedar Creek State Park. They help host the Pisgah Methodist Church Homecoming,
and serve on committees for Job's Temple Homecoming. Doris has written articles
on Job’s Temple that were published in Goldenseal magazine and the West
Virginia Encyclopedia. Mary and Doris Radabaugh have published cemetery census
books for Gilmer County, edited a genealogy book, and helped provide historical
signs on Lower Cedar Creek Back-Way.
Nominated by Gilmer County Historical Society
Photo 81 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Mary E. Radabaugh, Doris M. Radabaugh, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Tom Resler is one of the founders of the Museum of Radio and Technology in
Huntington. Past president of the organization, his efforts have led to recent
expansion and enhancement, and the museum is now recognized as one of the finest
of its kind in the world. Resler has been featured in the media during the past
year for developing the concept of a West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
He chaired the committee that chose the initial inductees and oversaw the installation
of an inspiring Hall of Fame exhibit at the museum.
Nominated by Museum of Radio and Technology, Inc.
Photo 82 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Tom Resler, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Nancy Lewellen Roe has served the Wheeling Area Genealogical Society (WAGS)
as its president, vice president, and secretary. She has been a volunteer in
the Wheeling room and has trained others to help. Always a willing worker, Roe
gladly volunteers to work at expos, book sales, fairs, and other events. She
has also done research for others and made contributions to WAGS's Web page
on the internet. At present, Roe is compiling Ohio County Infirmary (Poor Farm)
records and Oakland Cemetery records.
Nominated by Wheeling Area Genealogical Society
Michael Rolston, a descendant of the Henderson family, inherited Henderson
Hall in 1984. He left his job in New York and returned to Wood County to devote
himself full time to the care and preservation of the property. Through Rolston’s
efforts, the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in
1986, and it is through his continual guidance that the mansion remains one
of the foremost historical showpieces in Wood County.
Nominated by Wood County Historic Landmarks Commission
Dorothy Dakan Sedosky is the current vice president and treasurer of the Marshall
County Historical Society, and the current vice regent and chaplain of the Daughters
of the American Revolution. Her other memberships have included the Wheeling
Area Genealogical Society and the Marshall County Landmarks Commission. Sedosky
published a 472-page book on her family, and added an 83-page article about
Roseby's Rock, the village where she was born and still maintains the family
Nominated by Marshall County Historical Society
Photo 85 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Dorothy Dakan Sedosky, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Woodrow Godolphin "Jay" Simmons, Jr. is a life member of the Sons
of Confederate Veterans, helped organize the local camp, McNeill's Rangers,
Camp 582, and has served in various offices in that organization. He has researched
and privately published compiled data on Civil War soldiers and transcriptions
of slave schedules. Simmons has also written articles for the Moorefield Examiner;
and spoken about local history to various organizations. A member of the Appalachian
Blacksmiths Association, he has demonstrated the art of blacksmithing at schools,
fairs, and during the Hardy County Heritage Weekend. Simmons is a former board
member and curator of the Lost River Museum and is presently vice president
of the Hardy County Historical Society.
Nominated by Hardy County Historical Society
Photo 87 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Woodrow Godolphin “Jay” Simmons, Jr., Dr. Robert S. Conte
Paul A. Smith, pastor of Piedmont Presbyterian Church in Piedmont, organized
the 150th celebration of the Piedmont Church in November 2006. He spearheaded
the year-long celebration and wrote a pictorial history book of the church that
also contains a history of the community. Smith has been a member of the Mineral
County Historical Society for six years, and has been the keynote speaker at
the monthly meetings on three occasions. He leads the society's Christmas program
at the historic Claysville Church every year, is the co-editor of the society's
newsletter, and is chaplain of the society.
Nominated by Mineral County Historical Society
Photo 90 - Delegate Allen V. Evans, First Lady Gayle Manchin, Paul A. Smith, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Charles Henry Stone was born into a river family and grew up near the confluence
of the Kanawha and Ohio rivers. His love for the Ohio River began at a young
age, and he began to collect anything he could relating to it. Stone spent his
life working on the rivers, and is often featured as a speaker on river history.
He has compiled a large collection of river history preserved for the public's
use, and has been instrumental in the founding and operation of the Point Pleasant
River Museum, the only river museum in West Virginia dedicated solely to preserving
the state's rich river history. He also helped compile The History of the Marietta
Nominated by Point Pleasant River Museum
Photo 93 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Charles Henry Stone, Dr. Robert S. Conte
As a member of the Rowlesburg Area Historical Society, William Timothy Weaver
has been instrumental in helping the society add and upgrade tourist attractions
in the area. He purchased a replica cannon of the Civil War era that was placed
on the lot with the restored depot and caboose. As chairman of the Tourism Committee,
Weaver helped add a tourist information center with brochures and exhibits.
He also established a Web site for the town, its organizations, and its activities,
and helped add signage for the town and the society.
Nominated by Rowlesburg Area Historical Society
Joan Weiskircher is a dedicated member of the West Virginia Independence Hall
Foundation, and is actively involved in the current fund drive for the West
Virginia Civil War Battle Flag permanent exhibit. During 2006, she researched
the foundation's history, developed a Web site and created a database for the
fund-raising campaign. In the community, Weiskircher is involved in organizing
local observances of Black History Month. She has helped to collect and preserve
West Virginia Northern Community College's collections of Hazel Atlas glass
and B&O Railroad memorabilia, and also serves as secretary of the West Virginia
Association of Museums board of directors.
Nominated by West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation
Photo 94 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Joan Weiskircher, Dr. Robert S. Conte
A retired postmaster, Maxine Weser was named to the Shinnston's Board of Museums
in 2002. The board has since overseen the remodeling of a two story structure,
now the Bice-Ferguson Memorial Museum. In the past year, she has volunteered
extensively for the museum, managing other volunteers, attending workshops,
producing items for resale and planning special events. After donating countless
hours to the museum, she recently was hired as its director. She has been a
member of the Shinnston Historical Society for over thirty years and works with
the society's Shinn House. She also volunteers her time to manage the Lowe Public
Library's genealogy room, meeting patrons by appointment to aid them in their
Nominated by City of Shinnston Board of Museums
Photo 98 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, Maxine Weser, Dr. Robert S. Conte
May Straley White was one of the founding member of the Hacker's Creek Pioneer
Descendants (HCPD) when the organization was formed in 1982. White and her late
husband Charles have been extremely active members of the organization, and
she has served as corresponding secretary for many years. In this position,
she has done extensive hours of research for many people. White is an avid researcher
and her work has added much information to the collection held by the Central
West Virginia Genealogy and History Library. During the past year, she has assumed
the task of indexing a large number of materials to be published by HCPD. White
has completed five volumes that will assist in preserving this information in
a manner that will make researching the material much easier.
Nominated by Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants
Photo 100 - First Lady Gayle Manchin, May Straley White, Dr. Robert S. Conte
Jeanne Wray is a valuable asset to Guyandotte Civil War Days & Raid on
Guyandotte. She coordinates the sutlers, bringing them to the annual event to
sell their "period" wares. She is also the scenario/civilian coordinator,
organizing scenarios that help to piece together the actual history of the Guyandotte
area. Wray tries to give the spectators, as well as visiting re-enactors, the
proven historical events during the "Raid on Guyandotte" weekend.
Nominated by Guyandotte Civil War Days & Raid on Guyandotte, Inc.
Photo 102 - Delegate Carol Miller, First Lady Gayle Manchin, Jeanne Wray, Dr. Robert S. Conte, Delegate Jim Morgan
James Zoia became an invaluable asset to the Greenbottom Society in 1988 when
he joined its fight to get the Historic Jenkins House restored and opened to
the public. Through Congressman Nick Rahall's office, he has been able to assist
with drafting legislation that allowed Culture and History to sub-lease the
historic house and that charged the Army Corps of Engineers with its restoration
and preservation. Zoia is currently helping to draft legislation to require
the Corps to spend funds to restore the home, reconstruct outbuildings and construct
a visitor's center.
Nominated by Greenbottom Society, Inc.
Photo 105 - Delegate Carol Miller, First Lady Gayle Manchin, Dr. Robert S. Conte, Delegate Jim Morgan