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West Virginia's
History Heroes
For 2010

What is a History Hero?


Dyer Anderson has re-invigorated the Pendleton County Historical Society membership by creating, composing, and co-editing the society newsletter since 2007, including researching and writing several in-depth articles on local history. As a direct result, membership has increased from 68 to 191. Anderson also maintains his ancestral historic Queen Anne-style house and has hosted society meetings and walking tours there.
Nominated by Pendleton County Historical Society

Susan Glasscock Arnold has been treasurer of the Elizabeth Ludington Hagans–Colonel John Evans Chapter, NSDAR, since 1998 and is webmaster for the chapter’s Web site. She is both Central District treasurer and state librarian (2007-2010) and, in 2006 and 2008, was named Outstanding Volunteer Genealogist for the East Central Division. She has conducted numerous DAR-sponsored genealogy workshops and has been actively involved in DAR digitization projects, indexing West Virginia-related books for the DAR Library and transcribing more than 1,100 applications to make these resources available electronically. A board member of the Monongalia Historical Society, Arnold is also chair of that group’s Genealogy Committee and has written articles for the newsletter.
Nominated by Elizabeth Ludington Hagans–Colonel John Evans Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

Charter members of the Mineral County Historical Society, Charles and Patricia Bonar have been devoted to the preservation and presentation of Mineral County and West Virginia history for more than 40 years. He was the society’s first president and first program chairperson, and she was secretary for 25 years. They have been active fundraisers, volunteers at information booths, and participants in the society’s annual Christmas program at Claysville Church. They were members of the museum committee and staffed the museum for 10 years. The Bonars have developed a Lewis and Clark Expedition living history program presented through the eyes of Sacajawea and her husband, which they present to local civic and school groups.
Nominated by Mineral County Historical Society

Patty Bailey Booth is past president of Chapter 1876, United Daughters of the Confederacy. She also has served as recording secretary for the West Virginia Division, UDC, and recently was appointed honorary president. In addition, Booth was recording secretary of the Matthew French Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. She has researched the Bailey-Calfee families for many years and contributed family information to three volumes of books on Richard Bailey. She has searched many cemeteries and marked nine burial sites. Booth works with many different organizations in Mercer County supplying information to preserve Mercer County’s and West Virginia’s history and heritage.
Nominated by West Virginia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans

Dina Braniff is a charter docent for the Henderson Hall Historic District and helps with tours of the Henderson mansion. She also is a member of the West Virginia/Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter, The Victorian Society in America, and a member of the Friends of Blennerhassett, through which she also serves as a docent for the state park. Braniff has held several offices with the Blennerhassett Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, and currently is chapter treasurer. She also is DAR state chairman of the U.S. Flag committee.
Nominated by Wood County Historic Landmarks Commission

Audrey Mick Brenneman has been a member of Hacker’s Creek Pioneer Descendants since 2006. She has been a library volunteer, board member, and secretary for the organization, and she currently is librarian. Brenneman’s most significant contribution has been the hours spent in archiving the photo and special collection and entering new acquisitions into the card catalog. She also assists patrons with their research. Brenneman is active in fundraising events and was instrumental in compiling and formatting the Central WV Veterans book.
Nominated by Hacker’s Creek Pioneer Descendants

A Civil War re-enactor, Roger L. Caldwell co-chairs Educational Day for the Guyandotte Civil War Days weekend, teaching children about the life of a Confederate soldier. He also provides living history education at local schools in the tri-state area and participates in battle weekends at several locations. He was instrumental in organizing the “Carnifex Ferry” event in Summersville and the “Federal Homecoming” event in Gallipolis, Ohio. A member of Cardot-Blessing Camp No. 126, Sons of Union Veterans, in Gallipolis, Caldwell has been the camp’s vice commander for 3 years.
Nominated by Guyandotte Civil War Days, Inc.

Debra Campbell was vice president of KYOWVA from 2002 to 2006 and has been president since 2007. Under her leadership, the society has relocated to a larger and more accessible facility. She constantly promotes genealogical and historical research and has presented workshops on web-based research and scrapbooking history. As chairperson of the book committee, Campbell was the leading force behind publication of the 2-volume History of Owens-Illinois (2008-2009) and was responsible for publication of The Regimental Court of Enquiry: 120th Regiment of Cabell County Virginia Militia (2009). She also is involved in compiling a 200th-anniversary history of Cabell County for publication in 2010.
Nominated by KYOWVA Genealogical and Historical Society

Dorene Carse has contributed much to the Tyler County Museum. In addition to organizing records and family histories, adding new records to the collections, and assisting others with their genealogical research, she opens the museum several days a week, leads tours, and cleans and organizes rooms. Carse created a brochure about the museum in 2009 and writes for the newsletter. She also participates in fundraising and other museum events.
Nominated by Tyler County Museum

Nila J. Chaddock is vice president of the Marshall County Historical Society and chairperson of the Cockayne Farmstead Preservation Project. She has been society secretary and has served several terms on the board of directors. In 2009, she organized a county-wide West Virginia Statehood Day celebration. She spearheads fundraising activities for the Cockayne Farmstead project, was project manager during the exterior restoration, and was instrumental in the City of Glen Dale declaring the farmstead a historic preservation district in 2009. Chaddock is the primary grant writer for the historical society and performs all public relations functions for both the society and the farmstead project. The project would not have happened without Chaddock’s tireless work.
Nominated by Cockayne Farmstead Preservation Committee, Marshall County Historical Society

Alfred Clay has been president of the Webster County Historical Society for 10 years. He has worked to keep the society financially solvent, to ensure timely publication of the society’s semi-annual journal, to establish a county museum, and to keep the museum solid and watertight. The McLaughlin House museum had its first regular operating hours in 2009. Also in 2009, Clay researched and portrayed Eli “Rimfire” Hamrick at the woodchopping festival and at the opening day of the museum. Through his hard work, the decline in interest and membership in the society is reversing.
Nominated by Webster County Historical Society, Inc.

Patty Cooper, schoolmarm in residence at Wood County’s New Era One Room School for the past 9 years, has developed an interactive history program that allows more than 1,000 4th-grade students each year to experience a school day in 1901, complete with McGuffey Readers, slates, quill pens, and dunce caps. She also serves on the executive committee. Cooper provides History Alive portrayals of historic women such as Anne Bailey, Belle Boyd, and Eleanor Roosevelt for school and other groups. She also has worked as an interpreter at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park and is a member of the Wood County Historical Society, Daughters of American Pioneers, and Pioneer Fibercrafters.
Nominated by New Era One Room School

David Howard Corcoran Sr. has been vice president of the Gilmer County Historical Society since 2004, program chair since 2006, and publicity chair since 1995. He helped organize the society’s 50th-anniversary celebration in 2007 and participates at Gilmer County’s annual birthday celebration at the courthouse. He writes articles about the society for the local newspapers and also provides the press with a weekly list of historical events. In the 1970s, Corcoran was the first full-time executive director of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Foundation and was responsible for the Hillsboro house restoration and establishment as a museum.
Nominated by Gilmer County Historical Society

Carol Cronin is an active participant in projects seeking to preserve Roane County history, disseminating history through her collections of photos and printed media. She has contributed photos for display at the city municipal building in Spencer, for Heritage Day, and at the genealogy fair and other events. Since 2002, she has been editor and publisher of the Roane County Historical Society newsletter. She supplied research and materials for the Arcadia series book on Roane County and Spencer’s sesquicentennial calendar, both 2008, and also has compiled photographs and text for histories of Zion Hill Baptist Church and cemetery and Elana School.
Nominated by Roane County Historical Society

Norma Davis was secretary of the Ritchie County Historical Society for 4 years and currently is treasurer. She organizes all fundraising events and operates the concession stand at the Pennsboro B&O Depot. Davis cleans and organizes rooms at the Old Stone House Museum, including the genealogy library, where she catalogues books. She responds to genealogy queries and has contributed information to the society’s book on Ritchie County cemeteries. At present, Davis is the contact person for a massive project involving repairs to the museum and depot and development of a trailhead at the depot.
Nominated by Ritchie County Historical Society

John Douglas is the “go-to guy” on Morgan County history. He disseminates information about George Washington’s links to the area and participates in the Museum of the Berkeley Springs’ annual program for George Washington’s Bathtub Celebration. Douglas was a panel member for Tag Team History: Rumsey v. Fitch and a co-lecturer on the museum exhibit “Formation of the Town and Fires of Bath.” Through the Morgan Messenger, he brings local history alive to readers. Douglas also is interested in regional music and folklore: He was active in a yearlong celebration of music, dance, folklore, and visual arts in 2008-2009; and he is an informed writer and speaker on the John Henry legend.
Nominated by Museum of the Berkeley Springs

Sean Duffy is active with several historical groups in the Wheeling area. He co-founded and organized Wheeling Jesuit’s first annual Constitution and Citizenship Day, which was the launch celebration for the completed Foundations of Freedom project. For the re-opening of the Capitol Theatre, Duffy located the original silent film that aired when the theatre opened in 1928 for showing on the eve of the re-opening. An employee of the Ohio County Library, he organizes the library’s Lunch with Books, a program that features local historians, writers, and performers. Author of The Wheeling Family (2009) about Wheeling’s immigration history, Duffy is working on a book for the Arcadia series.
Nominated by Wheeling National Heritage Area

E. Jean Egbert has been a member of the Wirt County Historical Society since it began and has served on the executive committee for 10 years. Her devotion and ideas are endless. She is the backbone from whom the society receives continuous support in its projects: the annual genealogy fair, the Pioneer Day celebration, and the annual Heritage Day at the Wirt County Primary Center. Her top priority is encouraging historical endeavors among Wirt County students.
Nominated by Wirt County Historical Society

A founding member of The Fort Edwards Foundation, Charles C. Hall was president 1999-2004 and currently is director of Research and Publications and a member of the board of directors. In addition to creating the display and video presentation for the Visitor Center, Hall helped create a program through which the center provides tours and presentations for school children. He coordinated archaeological digs in 2001 and 2004 and initiated the “Hampshire250” celebration in 2004. Hall compiled and edited General Braddock’s Defeat (2005), created two maps relative to the foundation’s mission (2006), and created a Web site dedicated to Hampshire County history. Recently, he initiated a multi-state project to create the George Washington Frontier National Heritage Area.
Nominated by The Fort Edwards Foundation, Inc.

Teresa Harris and Maricia Mlynek work as a team to promote the Calhoun County Historical Society. They plan imaginative fundraising activities to support projects, recruit volunteers, facilitate cooperation with other community groups, and donate countless hours working for the society’s benefit. They are currently working to restore the interior of the Stump Hotel and are assisting in planning the society’s second Civil War re-enactment. Harris and Mlynek are “idea people,” a driving force for progress who see things that need to be done, develop plans, and organize workers. In addition, Harris has been society secretary for 3 years, and Mlynek has been in charge of publicity for 4 years.
Nominated by Calhoun County Historical Society

Dennis R. Jones was secretary of the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center 2006-2008 and currently is president. He spent 9 years creating the Weirton Area History Game, a fun, educational time capsule with local history, including a historical picture show DVD. He also created Weirton’s 100th-anniversary photo gallery as a community project for display throughout the city. In addition, Jones wrote Weirton–A Pageant of Nations (2009) and “History of Holliday’s Cove School” (2008) and has contributed to other publications. He created and administers the museum’s Web site, prepared the 2010 historical picture calendar as a WAMCC fundraiser, and developed their first newsletter, which began publication in 2009.
Nominated by Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center

There is not an organization that prospers without the “dependable regulars,” and Hazel Kerby is that kind of member of the Wheeling Area Genealogical Society. She has been a faithful member and volunteer for a decade. Even though she does not drive, she assists with the registration table for workshops, files obituaries, which are glued on index cards, and makes herself available to assist in any way possible.
Nominated by Wheeling Area Genealogical Society

Joan Moore McClelland has held several offices with the Wheeling Chapter, NSDAR, and as regent from 2001 to 2004 was instrumental in revitalizing the chapter. She currently is treasurer for the state society and is on the president general’s (national) speakers staff. She was a charter member of the Ohio County old-fashioned fair at Oglebay, designed to keep historical and non-commercial skills alive. A certified genealogist, McClelland has helped many people trace their Revolutionary War patriots and has volunteered many hours in the Wheeling Area Genealogical Society’s Wheeling room at the Ohio County Public Library. She also headed the 75th-anniversary celebration of the “Madonna of the Trail” statue in Wheeling.
Nominated by Wheeling Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

D. D. Meighen has been a member of the Marion County Historical Society for 8 years. In addition to filming society events and broadcasting them on a local public access television station, he is creating living history tapes of the people and history of Marion County. He revived the History of the Father’s Day Church (Central United Methodist Church) and in 2009 portrayed Fletcher Golden. He also helped promote establishment of Miners Day in West Virginia. In 2009, he spearheaded the preservation of black history in Marion County through a series of events and is working on an oral history project to document the history of Fairmont’s African Americans.
Nominated by Marion County Historical Society, Inc., and Museum

Deborah Miller has been a volunteer and member of Arthurdale Heritage since 1991 and served two terms on the board of trustees (1992-1998). As a board member, she had the vision to make the homecoming weekend a marketable event outside the community, and her vision was realized when it became the New Deal Festival. It also was through her perseverance and knowledge that the board created the maintenance/salary endowment fund. In addition to contributing to the newsletter, she presently schedules volunteers for museum tours and serves as a tour guide. Arthurdale Heritage, Inc.’s “rock,” she was named Volunteer of the Year in 2009.
Nominated by Arthurdale Heritage, Inc.

A high school teacher in Florida, former Beckley resident Jeff Miller has made a significant contribution to preserving the history of Raleigh County and West Virginia through a Web site he created and maintains. The site began in 1999 as a means of allowing alumni of Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley to contact fellow graduates but quickly grew into more with the addition of a Raleigh County timeline, pictures, historical documents, books, and other materials relevant to the area’s history.
Nominated by Raleigh County Historical Society

Linda Miller is the founder of the re-enactment of the Battle of Barboursville and has been president of Barboursville Civil War Days since it began in 2007. With her determination and a small group of volunteers, the event has grown each year, in 2009 drawing an estimated 2,000 people. She works at fundraising throughout the year, contacts guest speakers and re-enactors, and works constantly during the 3-day event to make sure everything runs smoothly. In 2008 and 2009, she participated in West Virginia Heritage Day at the Village of Barboursville Elementary School, presenting the Civil War history of the village.
Nominated by Barboursville Civil War Days

For several years, Nick Miller has been a volunteer at the Historic Madie Carroll House. A Civil War re-enactor with the 33rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, he commands Federal troops in the living history presentation of the attempted burning of the house in November 1861. He also participates in re-enactments for Guyandotte Civil War Days, the Battle of Barboursville, and the Battle of Hurricane and does living history presentations at several local schools. Miller also has volunteered at the Jenkins Plantation museum, where he provided living history scenarios and set up encampments for heritage education events.
Nominated by The Madie Carroll House Preservation Society, Inc.

Ellen Mills-Pauley has been a member of the St. Albans Historical Society board of directors for several years. She served as vice president for 2 years and currently is secretary. She has helped plan and organize many society activities, including Founders’ Day and the historic homes tour, and even opened her own 19th-century residence for the 2009 tour. Through her efforts, the society was able to salvage and sell materials from a soon-to-be-demolished house, netting the organization more than $1,300.
Nominated by St. Albans Historical Society

The late David Naegele served the WVNCC Alumni Association as president (1999-2003) and vice president (2004-2007), and he was elected to another term as vice president in 2009. He also served on the board of directors. Naegele was responsible for creation of an electronic database containing more than 5,000 items from the association’s B&O Collection. For more than 10 years, he worked on an annual exhibit of historic B&O photographs and artifacts. Naegele was instrumental in creating West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation’s Web site, and he maintained that site as well as those of the alumni association and the West Virginia Association of Museums.
Nominated by West Virginia Northern Community College Alumni Association

Beverly Orr Paushel has always had a passion for the history of Shinnston and West Virginia. After researching her family history, she became interested in helping others research their roots. Since 2006, she has volunteered at the Lowe Public Library, where she manages the genealogy room, keeps documents in order, helps patrons, and answers e-mail. A painter and member of the Dabbler Art Group, Beverly has captured on canvas many old barns, homes, and other structures that are no longer in existence. She also served on Shinnston’s bicentennial committee.
Nominated by Bice-Ferguson Museum

Dale Payne is an active member of the Fayette and Raleigh Counties Genealogical Society. He has participated in numerous society activities, including the cemetery project, shares his expertise in research and Fayette County history and pioneer life, and recently was guest speaker at the 25th-anniversary banquet. In addition, he is a former president of the Fayette County Historical Society, during which time he was active in the restoration of the Fayette Theater in Fayetteville. Payne is the author or co-author of nine books on Fayette County, including pictorials of Paint Creek and Cabin Creek and volumes on frontier life.
Nominated by Fayette and Raleigh Counties Genealogical Society

Donald Shields is a hardworking member of the Rowlesburg Area Historical Society, giving of his time, knowledge, and resources for the society’s ongoing projects. He has spent many hours on the Cannon Hill project and on the upkeep and maintenance of the depot. He participates in the tours to the Cannon Hill Civil War site and has helped raise funds to support society activities.
Nominated by Rowlesburg Area Historical Society

Ann Skaggs, secretary of the Fayette County Historic Landmark Commission 1997-2009, has long advocated demolition of dilapidated structures and preservation of noteworthy structures. She was active in fundraising and planning for a statue of the Marquis de Lafayette and wrote several grant applications for the project, which came to fruition in 2004. Skaggs has supported the Fayette County Historical Society museum and has served as a hostess/interpreter for visitors. Skaggs arranged for the cleanup of Westlake Cemetery and placement of new historic markers and prepared information on Ansted for the New River Convention and Visitors Bureau Web site, survey forms for the Hawks Nest Rail Trail, and three Civil War trail signs for Ansted.
Nominated by Fayette County Historic Landmark Commission

Cora Proffitt Teel has been a member of the Colonel Charles Lewis Chapter, NSDAR, for 50 years. She has served in positions at the chapter, state, and national levels and currently is state parliamentarian. As state society archivist since 1990, she collects records of disbanded chapters and other materials, and, as state chairman of genealogical records for 6 years, she compiled and indexed West Virginia records for the DAR Library in Washington. In 2008, Teel organized more than 600 pages of obituaries of West Virginia DAR members. She compiled, edited, and indexed A Comprehensive History of the West Virginia State Society NSDAR 1893-2007. She also compiled four booklets.
Nominated by West Virginia State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution

Mark Tennant has a lifelong interest in the Civil War. In 1989, he joined the 1st West Virginia Infantry, West Virginia Reenactors Association, and has participated in Civil War re-enactments since then. He also was an extra in the movies Gettysburg and Gods and Generals. For the last 4 years, he has conducted a Memorial Day weekend lantern tour and program at Grafton National Cemetery. While researching unknown soldiers buried there, he identified five of them and has been working to get headstones for their graves. Tennant also is a member of Buckhannon Camp No. 49, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
Nominated by Taylor County Historical and Genealogical Society

A retired school teacher, Betty R. Tustin serves on the education committee of the Ohio Valley Chapter, NSDAR, and as the chapter’s newspaper reporter. She researched, designed, and made two historically correct dolls, which she uses to explain early customs and dress. From 1983 to 2000, she demonstrated the heritage crafts at Fort New Salem. She continues to participate in demonstrations of weaving, spinning, and other traditional crafts at local fairs and festivals, as well as before club and school groups, and teaches the heritage arts at a local college. Tustin was instrumental in Tyler County Heritage and Historical Society’s acquisition of the old Tyler County High School in 1995.
Nominated by Ohio Valley Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

Rodger Ware, state commander of the West Virginia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, has coordinated numerous events commemorating the service of Confederate soldiers, including the 100-year rededication of the Confederate monument at Mt. Iser Cemetery in Beverly and the annual remembrance of the Battle of Corricks Ford at Parsons. He recently was named project liaison for the Corricks Ford Battlefield Foundation to assist the City of Parsons in the development of the park. He is a re-enactor and living history interpreter and has appeared before civic and school groups, historical societies, and Civil War roundtables. Ware also has served as camp commander of Camp No. 582, McNeill’s Rangers, SCV.
Nominated by East River Mountain Chapter 985, Vietnam Veterans of America

An avid genealogist, Henrietta Price White has spent countless hours preserving early Mercer County records, compiling three books of information on marriages (1853-1890), births (1853-1873), and deaths (1853-1890). She also has submitted history for Mercer County Historical Society books published in 1984, 1987, and 2002. She is an active member of the historical society as well as of Chapter 1876, United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Nominated by Mercer County Historical Society

Denny E. Williams is a retired social studies teacher who has not lost his love of history. He has researched and presented many programs of local historical interest for Brooke County Genealogy and other groups in the area, in particular topics from the early exploration and settlement period such as Christopher Gist and the Shawnee in the Ohio Valley.
Nominated by Brooke County Genealogy

Jack C. Wills has worked tirelessly to preserve the old Cooper’s Mill, the only remaining grist mill in Summers County. He helped organize Friends of Cooper’s Mill, Inc., to help preserve the mill and restore it to working condition. Wills has manned a booth at Hinton Railroad Days for several years to raise awareness and funds for the project, and he has co-authored two brochures on the historic structure. Wills also hosts the Early Little Bluestone Community Reunion.
Nominated by Summers County Historical Society

Betty June Wymer is a key resource in the study of Wheeling history. She is an authority on and collector of items made in Wheeling, especially glass such as Hobbs-Brockunier, Northwood, and Central and pottery such as Warwick China, and freely shares her knowledge. She has donated much of her collection to Oglebay Institute. She is a founder of the National Association of Warwick China and Pottery Collectors and is the former editor and current co-editor of the organization’s newsletter. Wymer also was the moving force behind the erection of a monument at Wheeling Heritage Port in 2009 to honor the workers and heritage of Warwick China Company.
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