The West Virginia Review was a monthly magazine published in Charleston for nearly 25 years. Begun in October 1923 by editor Phil Conley and managing editor Dwight Teter, the magazine likely was the outgrowth of Conley’s affiliation with the American Constitutional Association, for which he had worked since 1921. Conley’s work led him to conclude that West Virginia suffered from a negative image. The West Virginia Review was designed to counteract that image, while advancing a generally conservative, pro-business viewpoint.
The magazine offered readers a mixture of history, current affairs, and literature. Articles on business were a mainstay of the publication; under Conley’s editorship, the magazine printed numerous stories on the banking and coal industries, for example. The magazine also featured education and the state’s scenic beauty. Articles about women appeared regularly, and over the years many of the contributing authors were women.
Dwight Teter left the magazine in 1924. In subsequent years, Conley was assisted by several others, among them Walter Barnes, Jennings Randolph, Cecile Goodall, Boyd Stutler, and Roy Bird Cook. Some of them also worked with Conley on the West Virginia Encyclopedia (1929), which, in part, relied upon the magazine’s research files.
The West Virginia Review was published for much of its existence by Conley’s West Virginia Publishing Company. Conley sold the magazine in 1937 but reacquired it late in 1942 and resumed its publication in January 1943 after a brief hiatus. Sold once again in 1946, the magazine ceased publication in 1948. Today, its issues are a valuable research source, particularly for historians interested in the business and industrial history of early 20th-century West Virginia.
This Article was written by Mary Johnson
Last Revised on November 19, 2010
Hennen, John. The Americanization of West Virginia. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996.
Penix, Jan. West Virginia: A Matter of Pride. West Virginia Illustrated, (Aug.-Sept. 1971).