Nov. 30, 1796: Brooke County was established under an act of the General Assembly of Virginia. The county was formed from part of Ohio County and named in honor of Robert Brooke, governor of Virginia.
Dec. 1, 1797: Journalist and politician John S. Gallaher was born in Martinsburg. He owned or managed several Whig newspapers and was instrumental in establishing the free school system in Virginia. He played a prominent role in having early railroads routed through the Eastern Panhandle.
Dec. 2, 1859: John Brown was hanged at Charles Town in Jefferson County. Maj. Thomas J. Jackson, later nicknamed ‘‘Stonewall,’’ was among those commanding the Virginia forces standing guard at the execution of the abolitionist who led the raid at Harpers Ferry.
Dec. 3, 1871: Statesman Newton Diehl Baker was born in Martinsburg.
Appointed by President Woodrow Wilson, Baker served as secretary of war from 1916 to 1921. Baker oversaw U.S. involvement in World War I.
Dec. 3, 1921: Operatic soprano Phyllis (Smith) Curtin was born in Clarksburg. She made her debut with the New York City Opera in 1953, where she sang both classical and modern repertoire.
Dec. 3, 1949: WSAZ-TV provided the first telecast of a Marshall College (now University) basketball game. The television station, the 72nd in the nation and the first in West Virginia, was an affiliate of WSAZ radio station.
Dec. 4, 1883: Social reformer Stella Fuller was born Stella Lawrence Cremeans in Point Pleasant. In the 1940s, Fuller opened a relief operation on Huntington’s Washington Avenue. Eventually, the Stella Fuller Settlement expanded into the area’s largest haven for the disadvantaged and homeless.
Dec. 5, 1892: Daniel D. T. Farnsworth died at the age of 73 in Buckhannon. As state senate president, Farnsworth succeeded Governor Boreman, who resigned in the last days of his term after being elected as a U.S. senator by the state legislature.
Dec. 6, 1865: Artist Annie Virginia Latham Bartlett was born in Grafton. Her clay sculptures included conventional busts as well as figurines interpreting West Virginia’s historic and cultural past, with such titles as ‘The Moonshiner.’’
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.