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West Virginia. Dept. of Archives and History.

Biennial report of the Department of Archives and History of the State of West Virginia (Volume 2) online

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Boy," a popular Kanawha river packet, to convey the Executive
officers with the archives and paraphernalia of the State Govern-
ment from Wheeling. At 5:00 a. m.. Monday March 28th, 1870,



306 Archives and History. [W. Va.



the "Mountain Boy" arrived at the wharf at Wheeling having on
board a Reception Committee appointed by the citizens of Charles-
ton to escort the State officials to that place. It was composed of Dr.
Albert E. Summers and Dr. Spicer Patrick of Charleston; Colonel
Jerome T. Bowyer of Winfield, Putnam county ; and Colonel Hiram
P. Howard and Hon. John M. Phelps of Point Pleasant, Mason coun-
ty. These gentlemen waited on Governor William E. Stevenson, and
the other State officials at an early hour, and informed them of the
plans for transportation. Preparations had been made for the re-
moval, and the day was spent in transfering to the steamer the
boxes containing the books, papers, records, etc. of the executive
officers, the State Library, and the baggage and household goods of
the officers. At midnight, the steamer enveloped in a mass of
flags and bunting, cast off her moorings and steamed down the
Ohio, having on board the State officials, archives and paraphernalia
of the government of the newest State east of the Mississippi. Par-
kersburg was the home of Governor Stevenson, and here the
' ' Mountain Boy ' ' made her first landing. Many persons of the town
and vicinity went on board to greet the officials. While this was
in progress, a little boy named Dobbins, strayed away from the boat ;
extended search was made, and he was found, after which the
voyage down the Ohio was continued. Early on the morning of
March 30th the Committee on Arrangements accompanied by the
Charleston brass band went down the Kanawha river on the steamer
"Kanawha Bell", to meet the State party. At ten o'clock a, m.
attentive ears at | Charleston, heard, in the distance, the shrill
whistle of the "Mountain Boy." An hour later, she came in sight
and steamed slowly up to the landing, while the United States
Artillery, then stationed at Charleston, fired a salute from the
head of the wharf. All was excitement, but all was in readiness.
The following is the programme of exercises for the day; it ex-
hibits the manner in which the people welcomed the seat of gov-
ernment to their town.

A procession formed on Front street, with the left resting on the
corner of Central avenue, half an hour before the arrival of the
steamer at the Avharf. It was under command of Colonel A. B.
Jones, Marshall of the day. Its order was: —

1st. The Charleston Brass Band.
2nd. Company of United States Artillery.

3rd. The Committee of Arrangements and Reception Committee,
mounted.







The Second State Capitoi. Building of West Virginia.
Erected by the State-House Company, at Chaiieston-on-Kanawha in 1S70-1.



]908] Capitals and Capitols of West Virginia. 307



4th. The Governor with all other Officers of the State, mounted.

5th. The Mayor and Council of Charleston, mounted.

Gth. The Mayors and Councils of other cities.

7th. The Judges of Court of Appeals and Circuit Courts.

Sth. Members of the Bar.

9th. Representatives of all neighboring cities.

10th. The Charleston Fire Company.

11th. The several Orders of Odd-Fellows present.

12th. The Orders of Masons present.

13th. The Temperance Societies present.

14th. The children of the Charleston Institute.

15th. The children of the Union School.

10th. The citizens generally.

The Mayor of Charleston with members of the municipal govern-
ment received the State officials, and he then delivered an ad-
dress of welcome. This concluded, the procession moved up Front
street, to Dunbar street, thence by Dunbar street to Church street ;
then down Church Street to Central avenue; thence up Central
avenue, to the residences provided for the Governor and other
officers of the State. It was a gala day, such as had never been
seen in Charleston before. As previously stated, the Capitol building
being erected by "The State-House Company" was not yet ready
for occupancy, but the people did all possible to accommodate the
officials, and aided in the transportation of the property. The Bank
of the "West gave the entire building theretofore occupied by it,
for the use of a number of the State Officers; the Merchants Bank
of Charleston furnished a portion of its building to the State
Treasurer; while the trustees of St. John's Protestant Episcopal
Church, gave the free use of its schoolroom for the State Library.
On the 20th of December, 1870, the "State House Company" made
formal delivery of the Capitol to the Governor and it was im-
mediately occupied by the State officials. Governor Stevenson,
in his ensuing message to the Legislature when speaking of the
building, said: "It is, as you cannot fail to observe, a neat, com-
modious, and substantial structure, and reflects much credit upon
the public spirited citizens under whose management it was com-
pleted and finished. " When completed it had cos.t $79,000.00.

Wheeling a Second Time the Capital of West Virginia : — For
a time all went well with Charleston, but disappointment awaited the
people of that town. On the 18th of January, 1875, — five days after
the session began — Hon. Jonathan M. Bennett, of Lewis county, a
senator from the Ninth Senatorial District, introduced "Senate



308 Archives and History. [W. Va.



Bill No. 29," entitled "A Bill to remove the seat of Government
temporarily to "Wheeling." On the 13th of February this passed
the senate by a vote of thirteen yeas, to eleven nays. It was reported
to the House of Delegates the same day, and five days later, passed
that body, the vote standing thirty-eight yeas and twenty nays.
Governor Jacob did not approve this Act and on the twentieth of
February it became a law without his signature. This Act was in
form like many of those of the old time Virginia Assembly, that
is, it was an Act having a Preamble. In this it was set forth
that :—

"Whereas. Henry K. List, Michael Reilly, John McLure, Geo. W. Franz-
heim and Simon Horkheimer, citizens of Wheeling, have agreed to fur-
nish the State, without cost thereto, suitable accommodations, in said
city for the legislative, executive and judicial departments of the State, in-
cluding the state library, should the seat of government of the State be
removed temporarily to said city: and

Whereas, It appears to the legislature that the capital of the State
should be located at a more accessible and convenient point; therefore,

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia. That on and after
the passage of this act, until hereafter otherwise provided by the law,
the seat of government of ihe State of West Virginia shall be at. the city
of Wheeling."

This meant a new Capitol Building or State House at Wheeling,
and the people of that city proceeded with much energy, to erect
it. A Capitol Committee Avas appointed, Captain John McClure
being its Chairman. On the 17th of March ensuing, the city coun-
cil adopted an ordinance providing for an issue of city bonds to the
amount of $100,000.00, the proceeds to be used for the erection
of a Public Building. The Ordinance did not allude to the occu-
pancy of it but it was known to all that the State Government was
to be its tenancy as long as "Wheeling remained the capital city of
West. Virginia. This ordinance was approved by a vote of the
people on the first Monday in April, following. The bonds were
issued and put on the market. Bids aggregating $429,000.00 were
made for them, and all were sold above par on July 19th, the pur-
chasers being :

John J. Brown of Morgantown, West Virginia $20,000.00

Exchange Bank of Wheeling, West Virginia 60,000.00

Bank of Wheeling, West Virginia 15,000.00

Kingwood National Bank, Kingwood, West Virginia... 5,000.00

Total bonds • sold $100,000.00



1 90S 1 Capitals and Capitols of West Virginia. 309

J. S. Fairfax, a competent architect was employed and his plans
were accepted by the city council early in May. The estimated
cost of erection was $90,000.00. On the 19th of July, the contract
for the erection of the Capitol was let to A. R. Sheppard of Mead-
ville, Pennsylvania, his bid therefor being $82,940.00; he gave bond
in the penalty of $30,000.00 for the faithful performance of the
work. He immediately sub-let the contract for the stone work to
Henry Gunther who began work two days thereafter — July 21,
1875. On the 4th of the ensuing September, the foundation was
completed, and on the 18th of that month, the corner stone was
laid by the Masonic Fraternity.

But now the people of Charleston resolved to test the constitution-
ality of the Act providing for the removal of the seat of government.
The date fixe clfor this was the twenty-first day of May, — and sixty
days prior to this — March 30th — John Slack, Sr., John T. Cotton,
Edward C. Stolle, John C. Ruby, John T. White, Alexander H.
Wilson, and Gustave Stolle, representing the interests of Charles-
ton, applied to Evermont Ward, Judge of the Ninth Judicial Dis-
trict, for an injunction restraining the State officials from removing
the State Archives and other public property from Charleston to
Wheeling or elsewhere. The applicants having entered into bond
under the penalty of $5,000.00, the injunction was granted and thus
began, what proved to be in some respects at least, the most re-
markable legal proceedings recorded in the judicial history of the
State. On the 18th of May, John L. Cole, the State Librarian,
appeared in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, and asked that
the injunction be dissolved. James H. Ferguson and William A.
Quarrier, made able arguments in favor of its perpetuation, but
Joseph Smith, the presiding Judge, ordered the injunction dis-
solved. He. however, suspended his decree as to the dissolution
until the 27th, that the plaintiffs might apply to the Supreme
( Onrt for an appeal. This they did, and it was granted by Judge
Charles P. T. Moore at Point Pleasant on the 20th of May. The
time allowed by Judge Smith— from May 18th to 27th — extende.l
beyond the time — May 21st — the date on which the removal was to
have been made as fixed by law.

In the meantime, on April 24th, Governor John J. Jacob issued
a notice to the Auditor and all other heads of Departments to have
tli.' archives and paraphernalia of their offices made ready for
shipment to Wheeling on the 21st of May. He employed carpen-
ters in make boxes for packing the archives; draymen to convev them



310 Archives and History. [W. Va.

to the wharf -boat; these were arrested and taken into court
where they were held to answer the charge of violating the terms
of the injunction. "Writs were also served upon the State officials
all of whom made answer except Governor Jacob who gave the
matter no attention and he was not arrested. On the 12th of May,
the City Council of Wheeling appropriated $1,500.00 to defray the
expenses of the removal. The steamer "Emma Graham, " one of
the most popular passenger packets on the Ohio, was chartered at
a cost of $1,000.00 to transport the officials and State property from
Charleston. At the appointed time she steamed up the Great
Kanawha like the Ship " Argo" on the Colchis coast in quest of the
golden fleece, only she was a "capitol ship" in quest of a State
Government. She arrived at the landing at Charleston at 10:00
A. M., Thursday, May 21, 1875, and made fast to the wharf.
Captain John McClure, Chairman of the Wheeling Removal Com-
mittee, was on board and he hastened to notify the Government of
the presence and purpose of the steamer. All the State officials
went on board and selected their quarters, and at 12:30 P. M., the
steamer let go her lines and steamed down the Great Kanawha,
leaving all the public property behind in the custody of Judge
Smith, a responsibility which he was loth to accept. Point Pleas-
ant was passed that evening at seven o'clock; at Parkersburg all
passengers were transferred to the steamer "Chesapeake," bound
for Wheeling. When near Sistersville, the boat received an escort
Committee composed of twenty gentlemen from Wheeling, who had
descended the river on the steamer "Hudson'' for the purpose of
conducting the State officials to the new capital city. It was 8 :30
P. M. Sunday, May 23d, when the "Chesapeake" arrived at
Wheeling. The erection of the new Capitol Building was not yet
begun and on Monday morning the State officials established their
offices in the Linsly Institute Building — the State Capitol of former
years. The offices of the Governor and Superintendent of Free
Schools were on the first floor; those of Auditor, Treasurer and
Secretary of State were on the second. It was a peculiar condi-
tion of affairs, that of the State officials being in Wheeling, and the
State property-library, archives and paraphernalia.-in Charleston.
Nothing could be done until the Supreme Court of Appeals should
render a decision in the case. Then there were three Judges on
the bench, viz: Alpheus F. Haymond, John S. Hoffman and
Charles P. T. Moore. Arguments in the case were made August
23d, by E. Willis Wilson. William A. Quarrier and James H. Fer-



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3 90S] Capitals asd Capitols of West Virginia. 311

guson for Charleston; and by W. W. Arnett, Daniel Lamb, and
Henry Mason Mathews, the latter the Attorney-General of the
State, for "Wheeling. The decision of the Court dissolving the in-
junction was handed down September 13th, the opinion — an ex-
haustive one — having been written by Judge Haymond. Soon
after Edward A. Bennett, the Auditor, and Benjamin Daley, the
private secretary of Governor Jacob, left Wheeling to superintend
the shipping of the State property. This was boxed and placed on
two model barges and the steamer ' ' Iron Valley ' ' with them in tow,
left Charleston, at 3 :00 P. M. Thursday September 22d and at 3 :00
P. M. Saturday, the 25th, arrived at Wheeling. On Monday all
was taken to the offices of the State officials, and on the 28th Gover-
nor Jacob issued a Proclamation declaring the Linsly Institute
Building to be for the time the capitol, and Wheeling the capital
of West Virginia. The Legislature which met on the 10th of Nov-
ember assembled in Washington Hall. It was not until December
1, 1876, that the new Capitol Building erected by the city was
occupied by the State. On that day, the Governor made proclama-
tion thereof.

Charleston a Second Time the Capital of West Virginia: —
The question of a permanent seat of government now came to be one
of earnest discussion by the people of the State, who, as it was said,
had grown weary of having the capital on steamers plying between
Charleston and Wheeling. The members of the Legislature in the
session of 1877, were made aware of this dissatisfaction, andaccord-
ingly sought to remove the cause. On the 16th of January, that
year, Peregrine Hays, a member of the House of Delegates from
Gilmer County, submitted "House Bill No. 25" entitled "A Bill
providing for the location of a permanent Seat of Government
for this State, and the Erection thereat of the necessary Public
Buildings for the use of the State." This passed the House Feb-
ruary 5th, by a vote of 40 yeas to 16 nays ; and on the 19th of that
month, it passed the Senate, yeas 12, nays 9.

By the provisions of this Act the sense of the people was to be
taken on the question of a permanent location of the Seat of Gov-
ernment, at an election to be held on the first Tuesday in August,
1877. The places to be voted for were Charleston, in Kanawha Coun-
ty; Martinsburg, in Berkeley County; and Clarksburg, in Harrison
County. The one receiving a majority of the votes cast was to be
the permanent capital of the State after May 1, 1885, — eight years



512



Archives axd History.



[W. Va.



thereafter. There was a spirited contest. The following shows the
vote by counties on this question : — ■



COUNTIES


5

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m

...

5
5


hi

5

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a

o

5
o

4
1

960;

951


COUNTIES


Clarksburg.


w

5
3


a



2

3




1,415

48


4
3,569


Mineral


561

1,188

8

40

15

2.165

189

446

259

1,798

5

2

859

1,572

2

3

1,086

363


160

4

573

1,193

146

8

"32

2
2

1

172

1


155




Monroe . . .


626

1,404

5




2!»:;

656

6

160


11






40 34 1


Ohio


965




2


1,832!

587

479

39

1.760
225
116

1,902

573:

95 i

594;

13

2,169
328

6,140
261

1,167
885
308
140
206

3,004

1.017


218






280


Clay




93




1,587


2


Pocahontas

Preston


241
42




653
310

160

414

226

3,875

68

41

42

1,436

1


1

87

"l49

8
187

1

1 . 340

2

29
' 1


1.654




Raleigh


1,034
31




Randolph


Hampshire


Taylor


145


Hardy


1.995

1,410

141






6




Tyler*








843

2

79

1.226

238

1,253

2


60
1

2
24

186


163




Wayne


2,011
362




Wirt


51
612




3,431

1,473

18


12
2S


Wood


1,302




Wyoming


566










29,942


8,046


41.243

















* No return.

Charleston had received a majority of all the votes cast. Thirty
days thereafter the Governor made proclamation of the result, and
declared Charleston to have been selected as the permanent capital
of the State, after the expiration of eight years.

The Act further provided that when the permanent location had
been decided by the people, the Board of Public Works should
select and procure a suitable site on which to erect the necessary
Public Buildings ; and it was authorized to receive such donations
in land or money or both, as should be tendered said Board. In
order to further aid in carrying into effect the provisions of the
Act the sum of $50,000.00 was appropriated from the State Treas-
ury. This money, together with such donations as might be re-
ceived, was to be expended in the erection of a new Capitol Building,
or in any building which might be upon the site acquired as afore-
said so far as might be deemed necessary to fit the same for occupa-
tion by the several Departments of the State Government.

The State House Company still owned the Capitol Building at
Charleston, which it erected for the State in 1870. This property



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1908| Capitals axd Capitols of West Virginia. 313

was conveyed to the Board of Public Works by deed bearing date
August 13. 1878; and thus the State came into possession of land
for which the State House Company had paid $8,000.00 and a
building thereon the erection of which had cost $71,000.00, the
total cost of the land and building aggregating $79,000.00. This
building had to be remodeled, in fact demolished, and a new one
erected on the site thereof. The Board of Public Works employed
C. C. Kemple and A. Peoples as architects to prepare plans and
specifications for the contemplated building; and on May 27, 1880,
the contract for its erection was let to A. H. Sheppard of Mead-
ville, Pennsylvania, the same who had erected the State Capitol at
Wheeling, his bid being $183,245.00. To meet this obligation on the
part of the State, the Legislature, in addition to the $50,000.00,
carried by the Act providing for the permanent location of the
Seat of Government, made additional appropriations of $50,000.00
in 1881; $34,000.00 in 1882; and $50,247.00 in 1883. Sheppard
failed to completehis contract, and in June, 1884, the Board of Pub-
lic Works, employed S. W. Howard as architect and superintendent
and let the contract for the completion of the work to Henry D.
Ruffner and James Grady of Charleston, whose bid therefor was
$61,500.00. Jones and Kelly of Pittsburg whose contract was signed
August 13. 1881, put in the steam-heating apparatus, ventilators,
plumbing, gas-fitting, machinery and elevators at a cost of $34,000.-
00. Then came the painting, carving, frescoing, metal ceilings,
glazing, stair-building, which brought the total cost of the building
jup to $389,923.58, atthe time it was formally received by the Board
of Public. Works, July 7, 1888.

Meantime, the date fixed by law for the removal of the Seat of
Government from Wheeling to Charleston — May 1. 1885 - arrived.
For days prior to this the State Officials had been busy packing
the public archives and paraphernalia in the Capitol at Wheeling,
and having it transferred to the river where much of it was placed
upon the model barge "Nick Crawley." Two steamers. the."Chesa-
peake," Captain William Prince; and the "Bell Prince." Captain
Kugler; were chartered and early in the morning of May 2. 1885,
the former having on board the State officials and their effects;
and the latter having the barge in tow. left the wharf at Wheeling
and began the descent of the Ohio. Large canvas banners decorated
the sides of the barge and steamers, and legends thereon informed
the populace along the river that the State Capital of West Virginia
was again in transitu. At 7:00 P. M. Sunday, May 3d. the



314 Archives and History. [W. Va.

steamers hove in sight at Charleston. A cannon on the deck of
the ' ' Bell Prince '' was fired every few seconds ; and all the steam-
ers in port kept up a continuous blowing of whistles. This was
the only demonstration, but the entire population lined the banks
of the river. Thus Charleston became the permanent capital oil
the State, from which place, so said the law by which it became
such, "shall never be removed, except by vote of the majority
of the qualified voters of the State cast at an election held for that
purpose, in pursuance of an Act of the Legislature."

From the foregoing it is seeu that the Seat of Government of
West Virginia has been located as follows, that is to say :

At Wheeling from June 20, 1SG3, to April 1, 1870.

Time — 6 years,, 7 months, and 11 days.

At Charleston from April 1, 1870, to May 21, 1875

Time — 5 years, 1 month, and 20 days.

At Wheeling from May 21, 1875, to May 1, 1885.

Time — 9 years, 11 months, and 11 days.

At Charleston from May 1, 1885, to present time, October 1. 1908.

Time — 23 years, 5 months, and days.

For data relating to the new Capitol Annex Building, see Frontis-
piece in this Report.



APPENDIX XIII.



WEST VIRGINIANS WHO HAVE BEEN MEMBERS OF Til E

FEDERAL CONGRESS SINCE THE STATE WAS

ADMITTED INTO THE UNION.



West Virginia was formally admitted into the Union on the 20th
of June, 1863, and her members of Congress — both Senators and
Representatives — took their seats in that body — the Thirty-eighth
Congress — on the 7th of December, ensuing. The Representatives
were three in number, and this was continued until, by the ap-
portionment made under the Census of 1880, the number was in-
creased to four ; no change occurred thereafter until by the Census
of 1900, the State became entitled to five members. The State's
representation in Congress since its admission into the Union has
been as follows: —

THE THIRTY-EIGHTH CONGRESS.

(From March 4, 1863, to March 3, 1865.)

SENATORS.

Waitman T. Willey Morgantown.

Peter G. Van Winkle Parker sburg.

REPRESENTATIVES.

Jacob Beeson Blair Parkersburg.

Kellian V. Whaley Point Pleasant.

William Guy Brown Kingwood.



THE THIRTY-NINTH CONGRESS.
(From March 4, 1865 to March 3, 1SG7.)

SENATORS.

Peter G. Van Winkle Parkersburg.

Waitman T. Willey Morgantown.



316 Archives and History. [W. Va.

REPRESENTATIVES.

Chester D. Hubbard Wheeling.

Kellian V. Whaley Point Pleasant.

George R. Latham , . Grafton.

THE FORTIETH CONGRESS.
(From March 4, 18G7, to March 3, 1869.)

SENATORS.

Waitman T. Willey Morgantown.

Peter G. Van Winkle Parkersburg.



Online LibraryWest Virginia. Dept. of Archives and HistoryBiennial report of the Department of Archives and History of the State of West Virginia (Volume 2) → online text (page 34 of 35)