Philippi during the flood of 1985

This Week in West Virginia History

Charleston, W.Va. – The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more, go to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at

Oct. 30, 1825: Randolph McCoy was born in Logan County. In 1878, McCoy accused a cousin of Anderson ‘‘Devil Anse’’ Hatfield of stealing a hog. It was the first episode of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud.

Oct. 31, 1877: Herman Guy Kump was born in Capon Springs, Hampshire County. He was the 19th governor of West Virginia, serving from 1933 to 1937.

Oct. 31, 1940: Gale Catlett, West Virginia University basketball player and coach, was born in Hedgesville. Catlett coached WVU to 13 20-win seasons before he retired in 2002.

Nov. 1, 1688: Morgan Morgan was born in Wales. Morgan is traditionally considered the first white settler of West Virginia. He settled in the Bunker Hill area in 1731, building a log house that still remains.

Nov. 1, 1848: Israel Charles White was born in Monongalia County. White was West Virginia’s first state geologist, appointed in 1897 and serving until his death in 1927, working without pay for all but two of those years.

Nov. 1, 1961: The first non-commercial radio station in West Virginia, WMUL-FM at Marshall University, began broadcasting. 

Nov. 2, 1859: John Brown was tried for murder, treason, and insurrection in the Jefferson County courthouse at Charles Town. Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry galvanized the nation, further alienating North and South and drastically reducing any possible middle ground for compromise.

Nov. 2, 1952: Tri-State Airport in Wayne County was dedicated, with the first official landing made at 11 a.m. by Piedmont Airlines.

Nov. 2, 1996: Baseball player Toni Stone died. Born in Bluefield, she joined the Negro Major League in 1953, becoming the first woman to play professional baseball.

Nov. 3, 1947: Kanawha Airport (now Yeager International Airport) was dedicated. World War I ace Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker was among the dignitaries present.

Nov. 4-5, 1985: Heavy rains led to devastating floods in parts of West Virginia. Forty-seven people were killed, and several towns were severely damaged.

Nov. 5, 1891: Alfred Earle ‘‘Greasy’’ Neale was born in Parkersburg. He was one of West Virginia’s greatest all-around athletes.

Nov. 5, 1922: Cecil Underwood was born at Josephs Mills in Tyler County. Underwood, West Virginia’s 25th and 32nd governor, served as the state’s youngest and oldest chief executive.

e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia is a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council.  For more information, contact the West Virginia Humanities Council, 1310 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston, WV 25301; (304) 346-8500; or visit e-WV at

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