Development of Education
By J. A. Vickers
This article was originally published in the 1952 Centennial Program Booklet published by the City of Logan, WV.
The history of Logan County dates back to the French and Indian War. The settlers were all uneducated me setting out into a strange country as pioneers, courage and a will to win being their only tools. Among these early settlers was a man by the name of Boling Baker, a deserter from General Braddock’s army. He was taken in Ohio by a tribe of Shawnee Indians whose chief, Cornstalk, decided to make him run the gauntlet. He was persuaded by his daughter to spare Baker’s life and put him in their tribe. Baker later married this daughter whose name was Aracoma, who became princess of the race. In 1765, they settled on what is now known as the Midelburg Island and the City of Aracoma was named in honor of the princess.
In 1799 William Dingess starter the first settlement in Logan. He built his home near the present site of the courthouse, this proved to be very desirable spot and soon more people settled here and in 1824 Logan County was created and received its name from a red foeman, Logan, the Mingo Chief.
The first store in Logan County was opened by Anthony Lawson in 1821. He brought his merchandise from Baltimore over the national road to Wheeling, down the Ohio River in flatboats, and up the Guyandotte. River in canoes.
The Guyandotte River received its name from Henry Guyan, a Frenchman, who had an Indian trading post at the mouth of the river before the county was settled by white men.
The county seat was then known as “The Islands.” In 1827 the name became Lawnsville; in 1852 the name was change to Aracoma, and finally, in 1907 it was changed to Logan because there had been a post office there for some time which was called Logan Court House.
The fist school house in the county was erected by Peter Dingess upon the ruins of an Indian lodge on the island. Later Lewis B. Lawson erected a log house near the mouth of Dingess Run for a school building. George Bryant taught the first school in this building, and was assisted by a Methodist circuit rider’s wife, whose name was Mrs. Graves, from Kentucky. In these schools there were no uniform rulings. Each teacher followed his own plan; each pupil studied what he pleased. One was considered sufficiently educated when he had finished McGuffey’s Reader and Ray’s Arithmetic.
The first high school in Logan was organized August 28, 1911, in what is now known as the Central Grade Building. F. O. Warner was appointed principal. There were sixteen pupils enrolled. Ths school was classified as a third-rate high school and it was not until 1914 that the school became a first-class high school.
During the years 1914-1915, the Junior High School building was constructed and was first occupied by the Logan High School. By 1921 the enrollment had increased to the point where it was necessary to have another building and the present Senior High School was built. In 1930 the school became a member of the Secondary Schools and Colleges.
Thus was the beginning of one of the wealthiest and most progressive sections of West Virginia as we see it today.
The content on this page is for educational purposes and is used in accordance with the Fair Use Law (Per Title 17—United States Code—Section 107).