Bernard McDonough

This Week in West Virginia History: May 19-25

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

May 19, 1920: Ten people were killed in a shootout sometimes referred to as the Matewan Massacre or Battle of Matewan. Baldwin-Felts detectives came to Matewan to evict striking miners and their families, but Police Chief Sid Hatfield tried to stop the evictions as being unauthorized by law.

May 20, 1949: Nick Joe Rahall II was born in Beckley. When Rahall first entered Congress in 1977, he was its youngest member.

May 21, 1853: William M. O. Dawson was born in Bloomington, Maryland, just across the Potomac River from what is now the Eastern Panhandle. In 1905, he became West Virginia’s 12th governor.

May 22, 1947: Supreme Court Justice Margaret “Peggy” Workman was born in Charleston. In November 1988, she became the first woman elected to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and to statewide office in West Virginia.

May 23, 1862: In what became known as the Battle of Lewisburg, Union troops repelled a Confederate advance, killing 38 and wounding 66, while losing only 13 men.

May 23, 1941: Rod Thorn was born in Princeton. Declared by the legislature a state “natural resource,” Thorn attended West Virginia University, where he was an All-American guard. Thorn had a distinguished NBA career as a player and executive, which included drafting Michael Jordan.

May 24, 1896: Confederate General John Echols died in Staunton, Virginia. Echols served in the Kanawha Valley in 1862 and commanded Confederate forces at their defeat at the Battle of Droop Mountain in November 1863.

May 25, 1903: Industrialist and philanthropist Bernard Patrick McDonough Jr. was born in Texas. Starting with a Parkersburg construction business in the 1930s, McDonough built a Fortune 500 company with operations in hand tools, building materials and barge building. The Bernard McDonough Foundation remains one of the largest private foundations in West Virginia.

May 25, 1937: William H. “Teepi” Kendrick died in Morgantown. Kendrick was a pioneer in West Virginia’s 4-H program. He broadened the program to emphasize more than just agriculture, and he was primarily responsible for establishing the state 4-H camp at Jackson’s Mill.

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