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West Virginia's
History Heroes
For 1999

June Faye Booth Ashworth of Huntington has been an officer and board member in KYOWVA, the Wayne County Historical and Genealogical Society and the local DAR and UDC chapters. She assisted with Wayne County Cemeteries, is the author of the Walker Family History and writes a weekly genealogy column for the Wayne News. Nominated by: KYOWVA Genealogical Society.

Evelyn Miller Bane devoted her life to collecting the local and family history of Mineral County and assisting others in their family history research. Prior to her recent death, she was a major contributor to Mineral County, West Virginia: Family Traits, Tracks and Trails, 1980 by Robert L. Rummer Sr. and Allegheny Passage by Emmert F. Bittinger. Nominated by: Mineral County Historical Society.

Phyllis Baxter of Elkins is noted for her work in the preservation and interpretation of the Rich Mountain Battlefield and Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. She serves on the board of directors for Preservation Alliance, is the executive director of the Staunton- Parkersburg Turnpike Coalition and the Randolph County Historical Society, president of the Beverly Landmarks Commission and secretary of Historic Beverly Preservation. Nominated by: Randolph County Historical Society.

Dewayne Martin Borror of Franklin is an officer in the local chapter and state organization of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, as well as a member of the Sons of Union Veterans and the Pendleton County Historical Society. He was instrumental in reviving the Sons of Confederate Veterans' Reunion in Pendleton County and is an active participant in Civil War re-enactment groups and cemetery restoration projects. Nominated by: Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 7* WVInf. Camp #7.

Alyce Faye Bragg of Clay is known for her newspaper column, "This Holier is My Home," on West Virginia heritage and folkways, published weekly in the Charleston Gazette. Since 1981 she has written about family, home and the West Virginia land for The Clay County Free Press and The Clay Herald, and has conducted programs for students about heritage and games of the past. Nominated by: Clay County Landmarks Commission & Historical Society.

David Cain of Fairmont writes historical articles for the Times West Virginian regularly and has published in Goldenseal and Wonderful West Virginia magazine. His interest, research and writing in local history and archaeology led to his election as historian for the Marion County Historical Society. Nominated by:Marion County Historical Society.

Clyde Campbell of Guyandotte acquired his appreciation for history from Madie Carroll and has dedicated more than 10 years to the restoration of the Historic Madie Carroll House. He has spent countless hours excavating, scraping paint, and rebuilding, as well as instilling in others a love of history through his guided tours of the house. Nominated by: Madie Carroll House Preservation Society.

Mary Lucille DeBerry, who grew up in Harrisville, demonstrated her interest in history at an early age as a member of the West Virginia Club and recipient of the Golden Horseshoe award. Her interest in combining history and drama was first displayed in the West Virginia Centennial 4-H Project, "A Leaf Unfurled," which she wrote and directed in 1963. During her three-plus decades at the public television station in Morgantown she has produced a 40-part series on important dates in state history, and served as researcher, writer, and producer of numerous television magazine programs, such as "Forks of Cheat Church" and "The Hatfields and McCoys - A Hundred Years Later," as well as being published in Goldenseal, Appalachian Journal and Traditions. Nominated by: Ritchie County Historical Society.

Ellen Dunable of Wheeling is on the board of directors of the Wheeling Area Historical Society, the Oglebay Institute Mansion Museum Committee and DAR chapter chaplain. As an avid postcard collector, she has contributed to numerous local exhibits and programs. Nominated by: Wheeling Area Historical Society.

Wilma Fiber of New Martinsville is a major contributor to the programs and publications of the Tyler County Heritage and Historical Society. She has written numerous articles for the society quarterly, Heritage Windows, recorded many Tyler County cemeteries and compiled and published a book on the cemeteries in the Centerville District. Nominated by: Tyier County Heritage & Historical Society.

Col. John 0. Ford of Lewisburg played a primary role in the Greenbrier Historical Society's project to restore and house for display the 1780 Coffman Conestoga Wagon. He was active in raising funds and planning and working with the restoration expert to present the wagon for local interpretation. Nominated by: Greenbrier Historical Society Inc.

Connie Gibson of Terra Alta provided for the preservation of the Virginia Iron Furnace at Albright by arranging for the transfer of the property to the Preston County Historical Society. She spearheaded the project and organized volunteer efforts to clear and improve the site and neglected roadside park. Nominated by: Preston County Historical Society.

Lucille Grimm of Rowlesburg, curator of the Rowlesburg Area Historical Society, compiled and organized the group's collection of objects and documents. Her work resulted in a slide presentation on local historical buildings. She has also been a major contributor to the window restoration project on the society building and in fund-raising activities to support its work. Nominated by: Rowlesburg Area Historical Society.

Pauline Davis Haga of Crab Orchard, a tireless worker in recording and publishing local coalfield history, has compiled more than 115 booklets of photographs, vital records and newspaper articles, and writes frequently for the Raleigh Register and United Mine Workers Journal. She donates her publications, with series titles such as Tribute to Miners and Chasing Ancestors, to the Raleigh County Public Library and other repositories, and works with numerous local groups in the preservation and dissemination of coalfield history. Nominated by: Raleigh County Historical Society.

Joyce McBride Harrison of Princeton helped found the Mercer County Confederate women's chapter, Order of the Bonnie Blue, and has served as president. She researches Confederate soldiers' records, organizes and participates in re-enactments, and presents programs in period dress to school and civic groups. Nominated by: Order of the Bonnie Blue.

Douglas Wayne Harvey of Hinton has been an active member and officer, including president and vice- president, of the Mercer County and Summers County historical societies and the Middle New River Genealogical Society. A descendant of many early settlement families, he was a major contributor to the Mercer County History books. Nominated by: Mercer County Historical Society.

Jennie Lou Judy Hott of Franklin serves as Pendleton County Historical Society secretary and as volunteer staff at the LDS Family History Center in Franklin. She assists many with their genealogy research, compiles and updates the county Grave Registers and is working on Pendleton County marriage records, 1853-1903. Nominated by: Order of The Bonnie Blue Phoebe Warner Chapter.

Naomi Lowe Hupp of Moundsville has served as Genealogy Committee Chairperson of the Marshall County Historical Society for more than 10 years. Her efforts led to the establishment of the History and Genealogy room, financially maintained by the society, in the Marshall County Public Library. Her publications about local schools and cemeteries are valuable resources for historians and genealogists. Nominated by: Marshall County Historical Society.

Norman Julian of Morgantown writes a regular feature column in the Morgantown Dominion-Post covering West Virginia historical and folk life topics. He has been a frequent contributor to Goldenseal and recently published his fourth book, Legends: Profiles in West Virginia Basketball - 1938-1998. Nominated by: Monongalia Historical Society.

John R. Logan of Wheeling has worked as a Wheeling Area Genealogical Society volunteer in the Wheeling Room of the Ohio County Public Library for more than 20 years, assisting family history researchers. He arranged to copy the St. Matthews Episcopal Church records and re-produced the Patent Map of Ohio County to provide public access to the wealth of family and local history. Nominated by: Wheeling Area Genealogical Society.

John C. McCord II of Wellsburg, as a fifth generation Brooke Countian, is a valuable resource on local families and history. He has compiled and maintains the Kadesh Chapel burial records and published the Early History of Brooke County, West Virginia and Kadesh Chapel United Methodist Church for the benefit of researchers. Nominated by: Brooke County Genealogy Inc.

Jean L. Miller of Charleston, a member of the Kanawha Valley Historical & Preservation Society for 22 years, has played the pivotal role of membership chair since 1976 and handled all organizational mailings. A recognized authority on antique furniture, she built and restored an 1847 hand-hewn log house. She conducts lectures, workshops and tours for numerous school children and historical groups. Nominated by: The Kanawha Valley Historical & Preservation Society Inc.

Rebecca Mitchell of Huntington, one of the founders of Guyandotte Civil War Days, has dedicated countless hours to making this one of the state's most successful re-enactments during the past ten years. She portrays a Civil War civilian in the Western Virginian Partisans and travels extensively to participate in reenactments. Nominated by: Guyandotte Civil War Days Inc.

Jack Moody of Nitro has spent years collecting and presenting objects, documents and photographs, including a tank and film footage, in a museum dedicated to the Nitro community and World War 1. He was founder of Poca Heritage Days and has been a member of the Upper Vandalia Historical Society, the Kanawha Valley Historical & Preservation Society and the West Virginia Historical Society. Nominated by: Upper Vandalia Historical Society.

Renda Morris of Beckley is director of the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, a site she has passionately developed to present labor history in the hand-loading era of coal mining and expanded to include life in a coal camp with the addition of a miner's home, superintendent's house, church, bachelor's quarters, and one-room school house under construction. She is also responsible for the Wildwood House Museum, home of Beckley's founder, and serves on numerous boards and committees in the promotion of heritage tourism and education. Nominated by: Beckley Main Street.

Marion O'Bryan of Hinton recorded 117 remote cemeteries in Summers County for publication in the Summers County Historical Society cemetery book. As a charter member of the society, he continues to contribute to the collection and preservation of the county's local history. Nominated by: Summers County Historical Society.

Mary Ann Maxwell Radabaugh of Glenville, a retired Gilmer County school teacher, has preserved local history through publications such as Tanner, West Virginia Oil and Gas Boom, 1920's, The DeTannera, a history of the Tanner High School, and The Ties That Bind. Most recently, her contributions made possible the historic survey of the Tanner Community funded by a matching state historic preservation grant. Nominated by: Gilmer County Historic Landmarks Commission.

Laura E. Salyers of Beckley, an avid genealogist, has been instrumental in the promotion of public awareness to local records preservation issues, and specifically in raising funds to preserve original record books in Monroe County. She is president of the Middle New River Genealogical Society, past board member of Mining Your History Foundation, for which she organized a district conference, and a member of the DAR, UDC and several southeastern county historical/genealogical groups. Nominated by: Tunnelton Historical Society.

Robert Clay Shatter of Tunnelton, as a founder and president of the Tunnelton Historical Society, initiated the project to preserve and restore the Tunnelton Railroad Depot. As an activist, he has cleared and improved the site, been a fund-raiser and remained patient with the bureaucratic process to restore the depot. Nominated by: Tunnelton Historical Society.

Estyl Shreve of Franklin, a former one-room school teacher and county sheriff, has been active in the preservation of the history, folklore and cemeteries of the Smoke Hole region of Pendleton County. His book, A Place Called Smoke Hole, is dedicated to his interest in preserving the area's local history. Nominated by: Pendleton County WV Historical Preservation Association.

Jack V. Stalnaker of Glenville, an outstanding Glenville State College alumni, former business leader and legislator, has been a member of the Gilmer County Historical Society for many years. He has collected and preserved photographs and historical materials documenting the county's one-room schools, floods, county officials, sites and structures, and shared these with any who ask or show an interest. Nominated by: Gilmer County Historical Society Inc.

Joy Gilchrist Stalnaker of Homer, co-founder, first president and currently executive director of the Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants, has published seven books including A Pictorial History of Old Lewis County. As a member of the Archives and History Commission she helped organize the Mining Your History Foundation and History Day program. A frequent speaker at genealogical and historical conferences and meetings, she recently developed a weekly radio program on the local history of central West Virginia. Nominated by: Hackers Creek Pioneer Descendants.

Amy Williams Tenney of Buckhannon is president of the Upshur County Historical Society and a major contributor to the success of its summer exhibits at its History Center and its publications of local history, such as Memories of a Barefooted Boy: Buckhannon From the Years 1865 to 1870 and Later. She easily moves from fund-raising and planning to research, construction, and opening events, providing a solid and constant base of organizational support for the society's members. Nominated by: The Upshur County Historical Society.

Jack Woodrum of Huntington, president of the Museum of Radio and Technology, provides the leadership to inspire members in the work of preserving and sharing early radio technology with the public. His success in collecting, maintaining, exhibiting and demonstrating radio technology, and in expanding membership and funding have established the museum as a popular visitation site for tourists and students in the tri-state area. Nominated by: WOWK-TV.

Marjorie Zirk of Old Fields, director of the Hardy County Public Library in Moorefield, is recognized for her devotion to developing a local history collection to assist South Branch Valley family and local historians. Her reference and research assistance to individuals and many contributions to local and family history scholarship have been recognized in many publications and programs on the area's rich settlement and Civil War history. Nominated by: McNeills Rangers, Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 582.


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

West Virginia's History Heroes

West Virginia Archives and History