Wetzel County Schools, West Virginia: A Historical Survey through Documents

School picture near Smithfield, WV; circa 1910, courtesy of John Zinn III
  •      Welcome to the History of Wetzel County Schools homepage!  The purpose of this website is to create a public space for our community to learn about the history of education in West Virginia and specifically in Wetzel County.  The first seven chapters describe the development of the education  from pre-colonial times, early settlement of western Virginia, statehood and the establishment of a free public schools system, and its evolution to the mid-twentieth century.  The eighth chapter outlines the evolution of the Wetzel County school system within the context of the greater historical narrative from the previous seven chapters.  Additionally, each magisterial district has its own page, including descriptions of historical schools, photo galleries, and PDFs of documents of those schools which the Wetzel County Board of Education has on file at its central office. 


          I would like to thank a few people for helping make this website possible.  First, a special thanks Jo Beth Simmons for her many hours of volunteering to help scan and preserve the documents pertaining to the historical schools of Wetzel County.  Thanks to Christine Mitchell who has gathered extensive research about historic schools of the Shortline area.  Also, thanks to Peggy Hunter who has done much to preserve local Wetzel County history with her contributions to the FaceBook genealogy page Real Folks of Wetzel County West Virginia- Their Stories.  I highly recommend for those interested in Wetzel County Genealogy to check out this group.  Also, a thanks to Joe Ward who has spent years collecting photographs of Wetzel County history.  Thanks to my local advisor, Jeffrey Shade, who has helped me throughout the writing process.  Last, but not least, thanks to all my friends, family, and coworkers who have encouraged me and helped me with this project along the way.


    Please contact me if you have information about any of the local schools so this website can continue to grow.  

    If you would like to contribute to this page, please email Tara Byard at tbyard@k12.wv.us