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Meet
West Virginia's
History Heroes
For 2000


Randy Allan of Beverly is a 35-year member of the Randolph County Historical Society and has served as its president since 1981. He helped found the Randolph County Museum in Beverly, was a founding member of the Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation, and was instrumental in restoring the Lemuel Chenoweth and David Goff houses in Beverly. Nominated by Randolph County Historical Society.

Bessie Barnard of Pennsboro has been a member of the Ritchie County Historical Society since 1976, the year the society purchased the Old Stone House in Pennsboro. She was a key fund-raiser and has been very active in establishing and maintaining the house as a museum, conducting tours by appointment. She has written and published two booklets of her memoirs and family history. Nominated by Ritchie County Historical Society.

Paul R. Blankenship of Oceana is a retired high school teacher and college professor. He has written several books focusing on local history and heritage, including From Cabins to Coal Mines: A Bicentennial History of Oceana. West Virginia and Surrounding Areas, 1799-1999. He is a charter member of the Wyoming County Genealogical Society. Nominated by Wyoming County Genealogical Society.

Robert G. Bonar of Grantsville, Calhoun Historical Society president, high school history teacher, lecturer, researcher, writer and avid historical preservationist, is recognized as Calhoun County's foremost authority on local and regional history. He is recognized as possessing the unique ability to make history come alive for all ages. Nominated by Calhoun Historical and Genealogical Society.

Virginia Carey of Prichard, as registrar for the Westmoreland Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, has assisted more than half of the chapter members in the research and verification of their lineage, as required to qualify for membership. She is co-author of Alley Highlights and author of Carey Highlights. Nominated by Westmoreland Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Elena Chafin of Huntington is a charter member of KYOWVA, where for over a decade she has been correspondence secretary, co-author of the 1850 Cabell County census and contributor to most KYOWVA book projects. She also is involved in the D.A.R. and other area genealogical and historical societies. Nominated by KYOWVA.

Stan Cohen of Missoula, MT, is the author and most prolific publisher of West Virginia Civil War history. The Charleston native has assisted many authors and historians while himself vigorously promoting the state's history. He operates Pictorial Histories Publishing Company. Nominated by Kanawha Valley Civil War Roundtable.

Grace Dyer of Franklin has served the Pendleton County Historical Society for more than 20 years in various offices. She handles historical and genealogical research inquiries for the society and gave the society rights to republish her mother's publications. Nominated by Pendleton County Historical Society, Inc.

Darlene Ford of Grafton is past president and current treasurer of the Taylor County Historical Society and secretary of the county landmarks commission. She is noted for her work in researching the Adaland Mansion in Barbour County, resulting in its placement on the National Register and its being saved. Nominated by Taylor County Historical Society.

Marsha Fuller of Hagerstown, MD, is a genealogist whose expertise is the Harper family. She is rewriting the "Harper Family History, 1713-1995," is editor of The Harper Family Newsletter, designed and manages the Harper Family Website, and is planning the Harper family national reunion this August at Seneca Rocks. Nominated by Pendleton County, WV, Historical Preservation Association.

Carol Graley of St. Albans has been an active member of the St. Albans Historical Society for more than 15 years. Her work was essential in the publication of St. Albans History, which was published in 1993. She has directed the Christmas Candlelight Tour of Historic Homes for the past seven years, inventoried several local cemeteries, and assisted in the re-opening of the Morgan Kitchen Museum for open house on Sundays. Nominated by St. Albans Historical Society.

Susan Greenwalt of Bunker Hill organized a group of local history enthusiasts in 1991 for the purpose of presenting and preserving the history of Bunker Hill. She conducted 53 oral interviews focusing on the fruit industry, quarry and milling industry. A book entitled As Far As We Know...A Look at Historic Bunker Hill was published in 1993. In 1994 she began filming interviews for documentaries of Bunker Hill area history. Nominated by Martinsburg Public Library.

Joseph Hamil of Sutton is the number-one physical force of the Windy Run Historical Association. In the last four years he has helped to preserve, maintain and interpret the 1889 Windy Run One-Room School, the only one of its kind known to be preserved on its original site in central West Virginia. Nominated by Windy Run Historical Association.

Jim Henthorn of Middlebourne has served as vice- president and as site manager for the Tyler County Heritage & Historical Society museum buildings. He has been instrumental in the projects to relocate the log cabin and Ross Run One-Room School to the complex, built porches and ramps, as well as maintained the museum building, furnaces and equipment. Nominated by Tyler County Heritage & Historical Society.

Chris Hess of Wheeling has been very active in Wheeling's historic preservation efforts both as an advocate and financial supporter. An original member of Victorian Wheeling Landmarks Foundation, he has collected wood. working and molding equipment and produces needed Victorian period moldings. Nominated by Victorian Wheeling Landmarks Foundation and Eckhart House Tours.

Joseph Johnson of Wheeling has been active in the 1st WV Light Artillery, Battery D, for more than 10 years. He has volunteered his time for many events held at West Virginia Independence Hall since 1996, including the firing of cannon salutes during West Virginia Day celebrations, the Governor's special cabinet meeting and others. Nominated by West Virginia Independence Hall.

JoAnn Knode of Shepherdstown served as secretary for the Historic Shepherdstown Commission for 15 years and was very active in the group's successful efforts to have the Shepherdstown Historic District and the Entler Hotel placed on the National Register of Historic Places. She helped restore the Entler Hotel, worked with the museum and serves as a decent. Nominated by Historic Shepherdstown Commission.

John Lavery of Huntington has organized memorial services for Camp Garnett Chapter, Sons of Confederate Veterans, for the past several years. He has also undertaken a project to record the Civil War veterans interred in Huntington's Spring Hill Cemetery. He is a Civil War re-enactor and member ofGuyandotte Civil War Days, Inc. Nominated by Camp Garnett Chapter, Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Larry Legge of Barboursville serves as a district vice- president of the West Virginia Historical Society. Since his retirement in 1991, he has devoted his free time to collecting information on West Virginia veterans who died while serving their country during the 20th century. Nominated by Upper Vandalia Historical Society and West Virginia Historical Society.

John Lilly of Sandstone has served as president of the Summers County Historical Society for 6 years. He photographed cemeteries and participated in inventorying many of those for the county cemetery book, and sponsored the stone memorial to mark the former village of Lilly. Nominated by Summers County Historical Society.

Rabbi Daniel Lowy of Wheeling retired after 21 years as spiritual leader of Temple Shalom in Wheeling, where he served as volunteer archivist for the Craft-Good Archives. Since retirement, he has been researching and writing a history of the ISO-year contributions of the Jewish community in Wheeling. Nominated by Friends of Wheeling, Inc.

Chester Ludwig of Elizabeth has been instrumental in organizing the Wirt County Historical Society and serves as a director. He is an avid collector of local history who shares this collection with the community through the Dora Bee Woodyard Memorial Library. He was recognized in 1994 by the Wirt County High School Alumni Association for his local history efforts. Nominated by Wirt County Historical Society.

Paul Marshall of Bluffton, SC, is a well-known historic architect and preservationist who has been active in recording, preserving and interpreting West Virginia's historic cultural resources for a generation. Among his most notable accomplishments was restoration work on Graceland and the West Virginia State Capitol building. In addition to garnering numerous state and national awards, he has been a leading participant in West Virginia's historic preservation movement. Nominated by Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, Inc.

"Sarge" McGhee of Mullens is preserving Mullens area history through his colorful murals and is currently working on a series at the Veterans Memorial Building depicting United States involvement in all wars. He is also curator of the Virginian Railway Historical Museum housed in the old caboose in Mullens. Nominated by Mullens Chamber of Commerce.

Johnny G. Nance of Barboursville is the co-owner of The House Doctor, a building contracting company specializing in historic structures. He has contributed thousands of hours and considerable funds during the past 12 years to restoring the Historic Madie Carroll House in Huntington. He serves as vice-president of the Madie Carroll House Preservation Society, Inc., and also volunteers his time to advance other historic projects in the area. Nominated by Madie Carroll House Preservation Society.

Ann Nelson of Charleston orchestrated the revival of the Kanawha Valley Historical & Preservation Society during the successful campaign to save the Sunrise Mansion and has assisted in quadrupling the membership of the group. Recently her indefatigable efforts have resulted in successful fund raising to acquire, print and frame enlarged photographs of the 1885 Charleston and two Wheeling capitol buildings for display in the current Capitol. Nominated by Kanawha Valley Historical & Preservation Society.

Snookie Nutting of Wheeling has been involved in the restoration of more than 30 of Wheeling's important and historic structures. She was first president of Preservation Alliance of West Virginia and founder and first president of the Victorian Wheeling Landmarks Foundation. A member of the West Virginia Archives and History Commission since its inception in 1977, she received national recognition as West Virginia advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Nominated by Victorian Wheeling Landmarks Foundation and Eckhart House Tours.

Joe Ott of Ridgeley has been a major contributor to the preservation and documentation of Mineral County history for years. Among his accomplishments are the saving of Stewart's Tavern, and the county historic driving tour and county cemetery maps. Nominated by Mineral County Historical Society.

Alice McGinnis Penzo of Aurora, an active member of the Preston County Historical Society, initiated the formation of the Aurora Area Historical Society in the fall of 1998, and has served as president since that time. She co-authored Aurora. WV in the Twentieth Century, and has been instrumental in researching and preserving photographs, genealogies and items of historical significance in her community. Nominated by Aurora Area Historical Society and Preston County Historical Society.

Koren Rawlings of Franklin is currently public relations officer for the Phoebe Warner Chapter Order of the Bonnie Blue and secretary of the Pendleton County Historical and Preservation Society. A member of numerous groups, she is currently entering the genealogy of the county into one database for researchers. Nominated by Order of the Bonnie Blue Phoebe Warner Chapter.

Evan M. Rogerson of Moundsville, who is known as "Mr. Marshall County," was a charter member of the reorganized Marshall County Historical Society, and served as its first president. He also has overseen the publication of History of Marshall County and was project coordinator for a professional survey of historical sites in Marshall County. Nominated by Marshall County Historical Society.

Frances Schmetzer of Glenville has provided outstanding leadership and a strong community voice for Gilmer County's historic preservation program. Her efforts and fund raising led to the renovation of the Duck Run Cable Suspension Bridge and the Ruddell General Store and their successful nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Nominated by Gilmer County Historical Landmarks Commission.

Cleo Zimmer Sears of Charleston served as Regent for the John Young Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution during the past year. Her monetary donations have resulted in the purchase of a microfilm reader for the State Archives Library and a photograph of the second state capitol for display in the Capitol. Nominated by John Young Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Glenn Shay of Tunnelton worked as a trackman on the B&0 Railroad for nearly 40 years and now uses his vast knowledge as a railroad historian. A dedicated member of the Tunnelton Historical Society, he has assisted in the renovation of the local depot. Nominated by Tunnelton Historical Society.

Mary E. Stevenson of Bradley served as president of the Raleigh County Historical Society from 1992-96. Her work was essential in the completion of Raleigh County West Virginia, written by Jim Wood. She also was responsible for the placement of two historical highway markers in Raleigh County. She is the author of three pictorial collections of coal towns in southern West Virginia. Nominated by Raleigh County Historical Society.

Raydine Westfall Teicheira of Jane Lew, a charter member of Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants, has served on the board of directors since 1986. She now serves as editor of the Hacker's Creek Journal and volunteers weekly at its library. Nominated by Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants.

Bill Theriault of Bakerton is chairman of the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission and director of Jefferson County Oral and Visual History Association. He created the Explorer Timeline and Jefferson County CD-ROM database, designed the West Virginia Memory Project and developed the Peter Burr Living History Farm. Nominated by Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission.

Joan Trimble of Delbarton, a teacher of travel and tourism at Burch High School, initiated a class project to give her students a sense of their local heritage and a desire to preserve it. She developed the "Postcard History" project with her students who chose particular sites to be photographed, traveled to those sites, photographed, did layout, edited and wrote the text to accompany the postcards. Nominated by Williamson Millennium Committee.

Kenneth Waddell of Fairmont, a retired school teacher and veteran of the Korean War, is active in preserving history and sharing it with others. He has been one of the major participants in the creation of a Veterans Plaza in Fairmont and served as an officer of the Marion County Historical Society. Nominated by Marion County Historical Society.

Maryellen Wiles of Rowlesburg was instrumental in establishing the Rowlesburg Area Historical Society and has served as secretary. In addition to helping with fund raising she is one of three who compiled and authored the pictorial history of the community. Nominated by Rowlesburg Area Historical Society.

Bob Williams of Franklin is active in a number of Civil War groups including Camp 7, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 7th WV Infantry, which he organized, and the South Branch Valley Civil War Society which is preserving Fort Mulligan in Petersburg. He also is active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and participates in several re-enactment groups. Nominated by Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 7th WV Infantry, Camp 7.

Elizabeth Wiseman of Lewisburg has played a significant role in the preservation of history in Greenbrier County for more than 30 years. She has served as a member of the Greenbrier Historical Society Board of Directors, secretary of the North House Museum Committee, and genealogist for the Greenbrier Historical Society. She has assisted families from across the United States in conducting genealogical research. Nominated by Greenbrier Historical Society, Inc.

Dr. Edward Wolf of Wheeling, professor emeritus of music history at West Liberty State College, has served as treasurer of the Wheeling Area Historical Society for more than 15 years. He is the recognized authority on Wheeling's music history, and has written articles and presented lectures on the German singing societies, Wheeling theaters and Eleanor Steber. He also serves on the board of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. Nominated by Wheeling Area Historical Society.

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For more information about the History Hero Awards, contact Joe Geiger.


West Virginia's History Heroes

West Virginia Archives and History