The chronicler, businessman, and state founder Granville Davisson Hall (September 17, 1837-June 24, 1934) was born in Harrison County. Hall began his career as a school teacher in Harrison County when he was 17. In 1859, he left Harrison County to work in the printing office of the Wheeling Intelligencer. He remained in Wheeling only a few months, but in 1861 Hall returned to record the proceedings of the Wheeling Conventions. These conventions led to the separation of Virginia’s northwestern counties and the creation of the state of West Virginia. Hall’s notes, later published as The Rending of Virginia, became the main source of information on the formation of the state.
Hall served in several different positions in the new state government. He was elected the first clerk of the House of Delegates on June 20, 1863. In 1865, he was elected secretary of state and the same year also served as private secretary to West Virginia’s first governor, Arthur I. Boreman. After the Civil War, Hall held several positions in the railroad industry and was eventually named president of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.
Hall gained fame as a writer and journalist. He edited the Wheeling Intelligencer, and published numerous works of fiction and nonfiction. His nonfiction books included Lee’s Invasion of Northwest Virginia, Two Virginias, and The Rending of Virginia. His fiction included Daughter of the Elm and Old Gold. Hall died at his home in Glencoe, Illinois, at the age of 96.
This Article was written by Christy Venham
Last Revised on November 29, 2012
Atkinson, George W. & Alvaro F. Gibbins. Prominent Men of West Virginia. Wheeling: W. L. Callin, 1890.
Davis, Dorothy. History of Harrison County. Clarksburg: American Association of University Women, 1970.
Comstock, Jim, ed. West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia vol. 10. Richwood: Jim Comstock, 1976.