Historians Recognize Contributions of Johnson
Through the efforts of three local historians, the West Virginia Department of Culture and History is set to recognize the contributions of a Tyler County native son.
Eli Henthorn, Gene Bell and Richard Neff recently called attention to the burial site of Col. Daniel Johnson, who fought bravely in many Civil War Battles. Soon after the state’s founding, Johnson was an early leader who served with distinction as state Senate President. He was appointed Regent of the State University in Charleston in 1873, and served as presidential elector in 1880.
Unbeknownst to many, Johnson’s simple grave is located in a cemetery next to an abandoned church along W.Va. 2 near Long Reach.
The state Department of Culture and History wants input from that notable trio of historians regarding where to place a highway marker along W.Va. 2, honoring Johnson’s service to the state and nation.
“The highway marker program is an excellent way to convey the rich heritage of West Virginia to both residents and out-of-state tourists alike. Additionally, many individuals and deeds that would otherwise be lost to history and popular memory are immortalized by these simple, yet poignant reminders of the past,” said Matthew McGrew, coordinator for the Highway Historical Marker Program/Archives and History Section for the state Division of Culture and History.
Along with the state’s first governor, A.I. Boreman of Middlebourne, Col. Johnson’s service shows what an important role Tyler County has played in our state’s history. The historical marker commemorating Johnson will remind us that to make a difference in people’s lives, it doesn’t matter where a person comes from, as long as they are dedicated to serving others.