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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 199th installment of the Centennial History.


Submitted by Ladena Hayes

George Nye Rooper was born at Teays, WV in 1902 and died in 1986. He was the son of George Washington Rooper (1871-1957) and Virgie Mae McDowell Rooper (1877-1962). George Nye, the oldest son, had three brothers and five sisters: Dallas, Raymond, Quentin, Estella, Leone (deceased), Flossie, Hallie (deceased) and Aladine (deceased).

George Nye married Cora Alice Isaacs (born 1904) in 1927. They had one daughter, Ladena Leah, born in 1929. In 1953 Ladena married Herman Lee Hayes (born 1923). They had one son, Gregory Lee (born 1954). In 1978 Gregory Lee married Diane Susan Schmidt (born 1952). They have two sons, Scott Gregory (born 1981) and Eric Lee (born 1983).

Gregory Nye attended local schools and at the age of seventeen enrolled in the Morris Telegraphy School of Valparaiso, Indiana. Upon graduation, he returned to West Virginia and went to work for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. Many of his forty-five years of service to that company were spent on the Guyan Valley line.

At the age of thirty-three, George Nye was ordained as a United Baptist minister. He was involved in evangelistic work throughout the region; at one point conducting services every night for six months while retaining secular employment. He also held pastorates in Cabell County.

In 1941, George Nye returned to Hurricane to work as freight/ticket agent at the depot. It was also during the l940’s that he served Hurricane as Town Recorder and interim Mayor.

In 1951, he opened Rooper’s Dry Goods store in the old post office building on Main Street. Later the store moved to the corner of Dudding Avenue and Main Street across from the Putnam County Bank. He retired in 1967 and sold the store to Vernon Craddock.


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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