The Great Bend Tunnel near Talcott is completed Sept. 12, 1872. The tunnel provides the backdrop for the tale of John Henry, West Virginia’s best-known folk hero. It’s said he defeated the steam drill, at the cost of his own life, during the construction of a tunnel through the Summers County mountain.
J.R. Clifford is born Sept. 13, 1848, in present-day Grant County. A Storer College graduate and the first African-American to practice law, he makes civil rights history in 1898 when he takes a Tucker County case challenging the segregated school system. He goes on to help found the Niagara Movement, the precursor to the NAACP. He dies in Martinsburg in 1933.