Featured, Local History, The Centennial History of Hurricane

The Centennial History of Hurricane: Meet Some of Hurricane’s Oldest Families

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. Since the Centennial History is now out of print, the Breeze is reprinting articles from the book as space allows. This week’s selection will be the 184th installment of the Centennial History.


Submitted by Virginia Nall

John was born in Graves County Kentucky in 1922. He attended Murray State University and left school to enter the Army Air Corps during World War II. He served (with distinction) in Europe as a B-17 pilot. After the War, he entered Ohio University, from which he graduated in 1947.

John came to West Virginia as a salesman for Proctor and Gamble after graduation. He was married to Virginia Penick (Dickie), daughter of George and Mae Sims Penick. They made their home in Charleston where John was Assistant Director of the Industrial and Publicity Commission.

Virginia and John are the parents of one daughter, Lesley Ellen Oliverio. Lesley has both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Marshall University. John is retired as a factory representative, traveling the state of West Virginia for many years. Virginia, also a graduate of Marshall University is now teaching her twenty-seventh year at Hurricane Middle School. Virginia founded the American Cancer Society branch for Putnam County.

The family has been living in Hurricane since establishing a home here in 1955.


Much hard work and effort by many people went into the compilation of The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV. Published in 1988, the history incorporated family and business histories and local history. All this information was enclosed in a beautiful red and gold hardback volume, the pride of anyone wise enough to have purchased it. Unfortunately, the book is now out of print, so finding a copy will be difficult, if not impossible. It is a great shame that many do not know the existence of this fine book, so the Breeze is reprinting the articles in serialized form as space allows.

A digital copy of the Centennial History can be obtained from the Hurricane City Hall for a small donation. For more information, call the City of Hurricane at (304) 562-5896.

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