This week in West Virginia history
May 19—CHARLESTON — The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more, go to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at wvencyclopedia.org.
May 21, 1853: William M. O. Dawson was born in Bloomington, Maryland, just across the Potomac River from what is now the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. In 1905, he became the 12th governor of West Virginia.
May 22, 1947: Supreme Court Justice Margaret "Peggy" Workman was born in Charleston. After the election of November 1988, she became the first woman to serve on the West Virginia Supreme Court and the first woman to be elected 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 Gen. 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.
May 26, 1895: Athlete Ira Errett "Rat" Rodgers was born in Bethany. He was WVU's first football All-American, lettering in 1915 — 17 and 1919.
May 27, 1912: Legendary golfer Sam Snead was born at Ashwood, Virginia. When The Greenbrier reopened as a resort after World War II, Snead returned as the golf pro.
May 27, 1922: Labor leader Bill Blizzard was acquitted of treason charges following the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain. The trial was held in the Jefferson County Courthouse, where John Brown had been convicted of treason against Virginia in 1859.