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Historical Note. . .

July 10, 2008 - Joselyn King
As most statewide offices are up for election this year in West Virginia, a certain oddity becomes apparent when you look at history and those who have held state offices in past years.

There have been few statewide office holders to come from the Northern Panhandle, and there has never been a Hancock County resident to hold executive office in West Virginia.

George Wesley Atkinson of Ohio County was elected governor in 1896, and Glen Dale resident resident Arch A. Moore was elected three times to the office -- in 1968, 1972 and in 1984. It seems that when West Virginia first became its own state in 1863, many of the first members of the new state government were locals who traveled to the state capital then in Wheeling.

Jacob Edgar Boyers of Tyler County was appointed as West Virginia's first secretary of state in 1863. Granville D. Hall was elected to the job in 1864; James M. Pipes of Marshall County in 1868; and Sobieski Brady of Ohio County in 1877.

Campbell Tarr of Brooke County was appointed West Virginia's first state treasurer in 1863. James A Macauley of Ohio County would be elected to the office in 1868; Sobieski Brady of Ohio County in 1876; and Thomas O'Brien of Ohio County in 1880.

In more recent times, Thomas E. Loehr of Wetzel County was appointed to the office of state treasurer in 1989.

Aquilla B. Caldwell of Ohio County was appointed as West Virginia's first attorney general in 1863. Thayer Melvin, also of Ohio County, would be elected to the post in 1866 and 1868, and would be succeeded by Caldwell again in 1869.

Two other Ohio County natives also were elected attorney general --Alfred Caldwell in 1884 and 1888, and Thomas S. Riley in 1892.

There has never been a state auditor to come from any Northern Panhandle county.


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