The West Virginia Archives and History Library of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History will continue its series of after hours workshops on Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 6 - 7:30 p.m. The session, entitled “A Glimpse at some Lesser-Known Prominent West Virginians,” will focus on 12 individuals who, in some way, impacted West Virginia’s past and present. The lecture will be led by Dr. Kenneth R. Bailey, historian and retired dean of the College of Business, Humanities and Sciences at WVU Institute of Technology. The program will take place in the library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. All sessions are free and the public is invited to attend. The library will close at 5 p.m., and reopen at 5:45 p.m. for workshop participants only.
“Over the years, I have been struck by how many folks had an influence on West Virginia’s history simply by living and working in the state,” says Bailey. “Each person has a story, admittedly some are more spectacular than others, but each has an impact. Investigating lesser known people of the past can make us realize how important our own actions can be.”
Bailey will discuss William F. Dusenberry, Cabell County diarist and dentist; James H. Ferguson, former legislator (1847-50), member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1850-51, lawyer, judge and mysterious character who lived until 1898; and Albert E. Humphreys, probably one of the wealthiest men to have been born in West Virginia. In addition, he’ll delve into the lives of Lucille Todd, the first female judge; Elizabeth Simpson Drewry, the first African-American woman elected as a legislator; and Naomi Hosterman, a well known artist, among others.
Bailey has been the editor for the West Virginia Historical Society Newsletter for a number of years. He has written articles for West Virginia History and other publications and is the author of several books including Alleged Evil Genius: The Life and Times Judge James H. Ferguson (2006); Kanawha County Public Library: A History (2004); and Mountaineers Are Free: A History of the West Virginia National Guard (1979, revised and expanded in 2008).
Future sessions include “Genealogy and the Law: An Introduction to some Legal Issues in Genealogical Research” with Scott Johnson, an assistant attorney general for the State of West Virginia, on Jan. 5, 2010; and “Digging into West Virginia’s 18th Century, Groundhog Style,” with Doug Wood, a living history hobbyist who teaches 18th-century Native American lifeways and interpretation skills and portrays Cherokee leader Ostenaco, on Feb. 2.
Registration is not required, but is requested to ensure proper seating. To register in advance, contact Robert Taylor, library manager for archives and history, at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information about the workshops, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.
The Archives and History Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. The library is closed on Sunday.
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 Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture 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 Employer.
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