The State of West Virginia has asked that state, county and local historical, genealogical, preservation, patriotic and/or museum organizations nominate a significant member for a History Hero Award for his/her dedicated service for the organization's programs or a recent significant contribution to state and local history through research, interpretation, publication or preservation. The winners are honored at an annual event in Charleston.

The Pleasants County Historical Society is proud to have selected the following History Heroes.

History Hero Award, WV Archives & History

2016 - LARRY ERNEST BUTCHER - Historical Society.

See 2016 History Heroes

2014 - DAWN ELAINE TAYLOR - Historical Society.

See 2014 History Heroes

2012 - JOHN ROBERT BILLS - Historical Society.

See 2012 History Heroes

2011 - CHARLES ROBERT ELDER - Historical Society.

Charles Robert Elder, a member of the Pleasants County Historical Society, has been mapping active and abandoned cemeteries and burial grounds in Pleasants County. He has visited, recorded GPS coordinates, and photographed 114 cemeteries and burial grounds in the county. Elder has cleaned and restored several old cemeteries, and he also has assisted in the placement of military markers on Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War veterans’ graves. He currently is restoring the Fetty-Hogue Cemetery in Monongalia County and placing a marker for Pvt. George Fetty. In addition, Elder has prepared genealogical studies on several Pleasants County families.


Commissioner of Culture and History Randall Reid-Smith, History Hero Charles Robert Elder, Archives and History Commission Chairman Robert Conte.

[Photo courtesy of West Virginia Division of Culture and History.]

2009 - JOHN EDGAR HADDOX - Historical Society.

John Edgar Haddox was the principal force in the establishment and organization of a sustained Civil War re-enactors group in St. Marys. He serves as commander of the group, which portrays Co.. F, 14th West Virginia Infantry (Union), and Kanawha Artillery, Battery D (Confederate). The group provides living history portrayals for schools, community events, and dedications in a multi-state area, including such events as dedication of Fort Boreman Hill Historic Park in Parkersburg and dedication of headstones for Civil War soldiers. The group also has restored and preserved a solid bronze cannon in St. Marys that was used during the Mexican and Civil War.


Archives and History Commission Chairman Robert Conte, History Hero John Edgar Haddox, Secretary of Education and the Arts Kay Goodwin

[Photo courtesy of West Virginia Division of Culture and History.]


Gerald Bills, with John & Jodi Haddox

Woody Ireland & John Haddox

2008 - BRYAN & JACKIE BILLS - Historical Society; MARY REA LAMP, D. A. R.

We have many photos from the event and they require a separate page.




First Lady Gayle Manchin, Gerald E. Bills, Delegate Woody Ireland.
[Photo courtesy of West Virginia Division of Culture and History.]

GERALD E. BILLS has been an energetic, unselfish member of the Pleasants County Historical Society for many years. He has used his talents to find, clean and restore forgotten or abandoned cemeteries, in particular veterans’ graves, repairing or replacing their gravestones. Bills finds and notifies their families and arranges for rededication services for them. His ongoing genealogical research and cemetery preservation never stops, and he answers the inquires of all those searching for their family histories. He maintains a current index of local obituaries in addition to giving Pleasants County a very respectable internet presence.



Robert Conte, chairman of the Archives and History Commission, History Hero Walter S. Carpenter,
Delegate Otis A. Leggett, and Kay Goodwin, secretary of Education and the Arts.

[Photo courtesy of West Virginia Division of Culture and History.]

WALTER S. CARPENTER, president of the Pleasants County Historical Society, is regarded as the county's leading authority on its history. Through his leadership, the society remains an active organization, and the society's archives continue to grow. An ongoing project is the collection of pictures and histories of Pleasants County's one-room schools. Mr. Carpenter provides support to the Pleasants County Public Library as well as to elementary, middle and high schools, on historical and genealogical projects and requests. The "Walter S. Carpenter Genealogical Room" at the library serves as a magnet for donation of family histories, reference books and genealogical files.


Walter Carpenter (left) with Otis Leggett, Pleasants County Delegate, and Bill Romaine, Tyler County Delegate.

Walter Carpenter with Frances Hill Webb, Tyler County History Hero.
Background, right: Otis Leggett, Pleasants County Delegate; Ray Harper, Ritchie County History Hero.

John Franklin Carpenter, Walter's brother; Walter Carpenter, History Hero

Photos by Gerald Bills.