The New River

This Week in West Virginia History: Nov. 6-12

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 www.wvencyclopedia.org.

Nov. 6, 1863: Confederate troops led by Brig. Gen. John Echols were defeated at Droop Mountain by a larger federal force led by Brig. Gen. William W. Averell. This was one of the most important Civil War battles fought on West Virginia soil. 

Nov. 6, 1923: A methane gas explosion killed 27 men inside the Glen Rogers coal mine in Wyoming County. The mine, which opened in 1921, became one of the state’s largest. A total of 160 fatalities over a 31-year period occurred at the mine before it was closed.

Nov. 7, 1775: The historic Forks-of-Cheat Baptist Church was organized about six miles north of Morgantown. It is the oldest church with continuous records west of the Alleghenies in West Virginia.

Nov. 8, 1936: “It’s Wheeling Steel,” a half-hour musical variety radio program, debuted over WWVA in Wheeling, West Virginia. The program was an instant success with local audiences and later became a nationwide sensation.

Nov. 9, 1874: Matthew Mansfield Neely was born in Doddridge County. He was the 21st governor of West Virginia.

Nov. 9, 1952: The Huntington Museum of Art opened as Huntington Galleries. The museum is located on more than 50 acres in the Park Hills section of Huntington.

Nov. 10, 1777: Cornstalk, his son Elinipsico, and the sub-chief Red Hawk were murdered in captivity by enraged whites who blamed them for the recent killing of two white men. Cornstalk, a Shawnee leader who lived in what is today southeastern Ohio, commanded Indian forces at the Battle of Point Pleasant.

Nov. 10, 1978: The New River Gorge National River was established by Congress. It was designated a National Park and Preserve in 2020.

Nov. 11, 1929: The Memorial Arch was dedicated on Armistice Day in Huntington.  The Memorial Arch stands at the intersection of 11th Avenue and Memorial Boulevard. The arch pays tribute to Cabell County soldiers who fought in World War I.

Nov. 12, 1844: Henry Schmulbach was born in Germany. Schmulbach became a leading businessman in Wheeling, buying Nail City Brewery in 1882 and becoming president of the German Bank, now WesBanco.

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 www.wvencyclopedia.org.

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