Historical Societies: Why You Must Visit

Not all historical societies have a home, which is a shame. While in West Virginia, I had the opportunity to talk with the president of the Raleigh County Historical Society. Unfortunately, they do not have a home and I truly believe they need to.  I spent about a half hour talking with Tom, the president of the society, about local history and some of the founding families of the area.

Tom was kind enough to show us some old photo’s and other great things he has collected over the years. It was fascinating to see so many cool, historical things together.

My grandfather’s paternal family are pretty much both pioneers in the areas they settled in. So, it should not greatly shock me when I was shown a few great pieces of history that involved my families.

Following is the poll book for the election of Governor in 1859; the election was between William L. Goggin1 and John Letcher2. John Letcher won the election.

Poll Book, Samuel Richman's District No. 1, For electing Governor
Poll Book,
Samuel Richman’s District No. 1,
For electing Governor
1859 Poll listing
Listing of ballots cast for the election of Governor in 1859.
Jacob Richmond's Vote in 1859
Jacob Richman’s Vote in 1859

After each person voted, their vote was listed in the poll book. The historical society received this poll book from a resident who had it in their personal collection. I am very grateful for this gift to the historical society because not only was I able to take pictures of it, but I got to hold this piece of history in my hands. I totally believe there is nothing better than being able to touch a piece of history.

How amazing is it that we can look back and see how our ancestors voted? If I did not take the time to talk with Tom I never would have been able to touch this piece of history and be able to see how my ancestor voted.

**As a side note, Jacob Richman is my 5th great-grandfather and the brother of Samuel Richman, whose District No. 1 is the district that Jacob voted in.

  1. William L. Goggin, Wikipedia; accessed 12 Aug 2016 

  2. John Letcher, Wikipedia; accessed 12 Aug 2016 



Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.