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West Virginia's
History Heroes
For 1998

Gregory W. Adamson of Onego is an enthusiastic folklorist who is a local authority on early Pendleton County history. He participates in archaeological digs, gives presentations on Native Americans and colonial forts, and helps preserve area cemeteries. Nominated by: Pendleton Co.. W.Va., Historical Preservation Association

Dr. Robert E. Anderson of Bridgeport is a member of the Marion County Historical Society, Harrison County Civil War Roundtable, and Harrison County Writers Association. He has written newspaper articles of local historical interest as well as Civil War- based novels and poetry. Nominated by: Marion County Historical Society

Joycelyn A. Ayersman was instrumental in organizing the Rowlesburg Area Historical Society and serves as its president. Under her leadership, the society has acquired a number of historical properties and is in the process of renovating the old B & O Depot. Nominated by: Rowlesburg Area Historical Society

Mary Ellen Beam writes a weekly historic preservation column, "Let's Take Time," for the Moundsville Daily Echo. Through her efforts, "Kirkside," the Ferrell-Holt House in Moundsville, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nominated by: Marshall County Historical Society

Glenn Belcher of Princeton was a founder of the Flat Top Copperheads, Camp 1694, Sons of Confederate Veterans and serves as its commander. He organizes memorial services at the sites of newly discovered Confederate graves and regularly participates in Civil War reenactments. He is currently state commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and president of the Mercer County Historical Society. Nominated by: Mercer County Historical Society and United Daughters of the Confederacy, Princeton Chapter 1876

Mary Frances Bodemuller of Lewisburg initiated a cemetery project which has resulted in eight books about Greenbrier County gravesites. She has also completed the first book on African-American historical records in Greenbrier County. Nominated by: Greenbrier Historical Society

Walker and Jody Boyd have rescued a number of endangered historic structures in Sistersville and have adapted them for modern use. They have restored the Dr. Thrasher Office (now the Townhouse Gallery), Wells Inn, Farmers Bank (now the General Store) and are renovating the Paramount Theater. Nominated by: Tyler County Heritage and Historical Society

Margaret Brennan of Wheeling has been a driving force behind many efforts to preserve local history. As president of the Wheeling Area Historical Society, she promotes area history through her research, writing, and public presentations. She is the author of Florence Crittenton Home and Services: A Century of Service to Mothers & Babies, 1895-1995. Nominated by: Wheeling Area Genealogical Society

Dorothy Upton Davis of Salem is a noted author and local historian. Her History of Harrison County is the definitive study of the county and her articles have been a regular feature of the Harrison County Historical Society newsletter for the past 25 years. Nominated by: Harrison County Historical Society

Paul and Ruth Ellis of Hurricane have been members of the Upper Vandalia Historical Society for more than 30 years. He is a past president of the society and she chaired the production of the Putnam County Cemetery Book. They have developed a slide presentation about West Virginia's 55 county courthouses. Nominated by: Upper Vandalia Historical Society

Charles Gilchrist was a founder of the Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants, the Jackson's Mill Heritage Foundation, and the Mining Your History Foundation. He was instrumental in preserving the Weston Colored School and Mary Conrad Cabin, as well as the Mountain State Building and Blaker's Mill at Jackson's Mill. Nominated by: Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants

June Grossman and Kathryn Slasor are sisters, of Burgettstown, PA, who have worked tirelessly to promote Brooke County history. Their well- attended tours of historic sites in northern Brooke County are flavored with stories gathered from many hours of research and interviews. Nominated by: Brooke County Genealogy

Billie Hamill of Sutton has spent thousands of hours raising money and recruiting volunteers to restore the Windy Run Schoolhouse. Without her devotion, Braxton County would have lost this valued treasure. Nominated by: Windy Run Historical Association

Lorentz C. Hamilton of Grantsville is a long-time member and former president of the Calhoun County Historical Society. He has recently been the prime mover in establishing a Heritage Village at the County Park. Nominated by: Calhoun County Historical and Genealogical Society

Mary Lou Henderson is the president of the Wheeling Area Genealogical Society and helps coordinate the genealogy service in the Wheeling Room of the Ohio County Public Library. She has also worked extensively to translate and publish old German church records. Nominated by: Wheeling Area Historical Society

Nancy Jackson is a board member of Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants. She is a co-author of Colonel Edward Jackson, 1759-1828: Revolutionary War Soldier and is currently abstracting Lewis County chancery records. Nominated by: Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants

William M. Kelley, Jr., of Charleston has volunteered countless hours to the West Virginia State Archives' audiovisual collection. He is uniquely qualified to assist in the cataloging of newsfilm from the 1960s and 1970s, given his career as a cameraman at three local television stations. Nominated by: West Virginia State Archives

Holly McCluskey of Wheeling is the curator of the Oglebay Institute Mansion Museum and a nationally recognized authority on West Virginia glass. She has developed a number of children's programs at the museum, including "Pioneer Living," "Ohio Valley Glass," and "A Journey on the National Road." Nominated by: Wheeling Area Historical Society

Madge McDaniel of Bridgeport has devoted 30 years to the Harrison County Historical Society and continues to serve as its treasurer. Her years of experience and knowledge of the society's museum are invaluable. Nominated by: Harrison County Historical Society

David McKain of Parkersburg has worked ceaselessly to promote the importance of oil production in West Virginia's history. He opened the Oil and Gas Museum and co-authored Where It All Began, a chronicle of the state's oil industry. Nominated by: Wood County Historical and Preservation Society

Lois McLean of Beckley was a charter member of the West Virginia Labor History Association and organized the Raleigh County Historic Landmarks Commission. For 35 years, she has researched and written about labor leader "Mother" Jones and has published several histories of local churches and cemeteries. Nominated by: Raleigh County Historical Society

William P. McNeel of Marlinton is editor of the Pocahontas Times and treasurer of the Pocahontas County Historical Society. He was instrumental in producing the society's History of Pocahontas County, 1981. He has worked diligently on the society's museum to preserve the Civil War, railroad, and logging history of the area. Nominated by: Pocahontas County Historical Society

Virginia Martin of Aurora is an active member of the Preston County and Rowlesburg historical societies. She wrote a booklet on the history of the Aurora United Methodist Church for its centennial celebration. She also wrote and produced a play, Next Door to Heaven, based on this research. Nominated by: Preston County Historical Society

Ernest Midkiff of Huntington personally renovated the main room of the KYOWVA Genealogical Society's library. He has also created a tribute to those from Cabell, Lincoln, and Mason counties who gave their lives during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Nominated by: KYOWVA Genealogical Society

Dr. John F. Montgomery of Lewisburg is an educator and author whose works on local history include The History of Old Stone Presbyterian Church and Come Walk with Me through the Streets of Historic Lewisburg. He was a charter member and former president of the Greenbrier Historical Society and a past president of Greenbrier College. Nominated by: Greenbrier Historical Society

Gregg and Fannie Moore are a husband and wife team of Belle who were charter members of the Clay County Historical Society and have been instrumental in its success. They co-authored the first edition of Clay County Cemeteries, worked on both volumes of History of Clay County, and collected data to publish Clay County Marriages: 1858-1958. Nominated by: Clay County Landmarks Commission and Historical Society

William B. Newcomb has served as historian for the First Presbyterian Church of Huntington and the Huntington Museum of Art and is currently president of the Madie Carroll House Preservation Society. He has written and lectured on numerous topics of local history, including steamboats and the Civil War. Nominated by: Madie Carroll House Preservation Society

Sheri K. Pettit of Huntington is active in numerous historical and genealogical societies, including the Cabell-Wayne Historical Society, KYOWVA Genealogical Society, Mining Your History Foundation, Guyandotte Historical and Improvement Association, and Madie Carroll House Preservation Society. She helps coordinate Guyandotte's annual Civil War Days and is compiling a book on the 5th West Virginia Infantry. Nominated by: Guyandotte Civil War Days and Raid on Guyandotte and Madie Carroll House Preservation Society

Maxine Pruitte of Farmington belongs to many local historical and civic organizations. She has served on the board of directors of Pricketts Fort Memorial Foundation, coordinated volunteers at the Marion County Museum, and publicized the West Augusta Historical Society's "Barn Again" exhibit. Nominated by: Pricketts Fort Memorial Foundation

Glenna C. Queen of Glenville manages the Gilmer County Historical Society's office and genealogical library, volunteering five and one-half days a week. Her contributions toward the publication and sale of Gilmer County History helped stimulate a second printing. Nominatedby: Gilmer County Historical Society

Pamela Ball Redmond of Morgantown was a leading force in organizing the Riverfront Museums to preserve Monongalia County's glass heritage. Under her guidance, WVU history students have collected 50 oral histories of glass workers. Nominated by: Member, Archives & History Commission

Gerry Reilly of Wheeling is the director of West Virginia Independence Hall, the state's birthplace and a satellite facility of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. He was formerly the curator of collections at Oglebay Institute Mansion Museum and currently serves as president of the Victorian Wheeling Society. Nominated by: Wheeling Area Historical Society

Richard Ruddle, Jr., of Franklin, an avid collector of historical artifacts and photos, is president of the Pendleton County Historical Society. He has produced numerous historical exhibits for area festivals and offers tours of his Victorian home at Christmastime. Nominated by: Pendleton County Historical Society

William Sanders of Bluefield has long been interested in the local history and genealogy of the New River area. He has published four volumes of A New River Heritage. He has also written Lilly on theBluestone, Early Princeton and the Episcopal Church, and On the Skirmish Line. Nominated by: Middle New River Genealogical Society

Margaret Ann Scott of Athens has donated her time and talent to the Mercer County Historical Society for 23 years. She edited two volumes of Mercer County History, was secretary to the Mercer County Bicentennial Commission, served three years as county historian, and taught a county history course at Concord College. Nominated by: Mercer County Historical Society

Janice Cale Sisler of Bruceton Mills has published two volumes of Preston County cemetery readings, In Remembrance, and chaired the publishing of History of Preston County. She also spends an abundance of time responding to genealogy inquiries from all over the country. Nominated by: Preston County Historical Society

Taylor County History Book Committee compiled a valuable book published in 1986. The Taylor County Historical Society recognizes the efforts of Pearl Felton, William D. Fisher, Noel E. Goodwin, Wayne McDevitt, Leonard and Geneva Phelps, Grant J. Smith, and Melba P. Zinn. Nominated by: Taylor County Historical Society

William D. Tuckwiller of Lewisburg was a charter member and former president of the Greenbrier Historical Society and a past president of the West Virginia Historical Society. He has been active for more than 50 years in the preservation of Greenbrier County's historic landmarks. Nominated by: Greenbrier Historical Society

Dorothy Turman of Blacksburg, VA, was actively involved in compiling the Summers County Historical Society's two major publications, History of Summers County, West Virginia and Summers County, West Virginia, Historical Society Cemetery Book. She has served as secretary of the society for the last 16 years. Nominated by: Summers County Historical Society

James P. Vaughan of Parkersburg was a founder of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society. He was instrumental in saving the Wood County Courthouse in the early 1980s. Nominated by: Wood County Historical and Preservation Society

John Veasey, editor of the Fairmont Times-West Virginian, established "Marion Pride," a weekly forum for local historians and aspiring writers. He also writes a daily column, "Editor's Notebook," which often features historical tidbits. Nominated by: Fairmont Landmarks Commission

Barr Wilson of Pennsboro has compiled numerous genealogies of families from Ritchie, Doddridge, and Tyler counties and donated copies to area libraries and genealogical societies. He was a charter member of the Ritchie County Historical Society. Nominated by: Ritchie County Historical Society

Lemoyne Wentz Wolfe of Buckhannon was a charter member of the Upshur County Genealogical Society and played a key role in the county cemetery project, which resulted in the publication of six volumes. She has assisted in the compilation of an obituary book and the 1900 census of Upshur County and has published a Wentz family history. Nominated by: Upshur County Historical Society

Clive West of Weston and his late wife Mary spent years locating and inventorying cemeteries of Lewis and adjacent counties. He is an authority on central West Virginia and assisted author William Donnelly with The Wests of Duck Creek, Harrison County Virginia (now West Virginia). Nominated by: Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants

J. J. Young of Charleston is a nationally recognized photographer who donated more than 400 of his railroad photos to the West Virginia Northern Community College Alumni Association's B & O Railroad Museum Collection. His work and generosity have made it possible for future generations to have a visual record of a bygone era. Nominated by: WVNCC Alumni Association's B&0 Railroad Museum Collection

Virginia Williams Zetty of Tunnelton was actively involved in compiling the History of Preston County in 1974. As a Girl Scout volunteer, she has led several tours of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, bicycling the entire length of the historic towpath. Nominated by: Tunnelton Historical Society


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

West Virginia's History Heroes

West Virginia Archives and History