Photo by Charlie Myers, October 2006
Dr. Stuart McGehee
The obituary below is from
The Sunday Gazette Mail, Charleston, WV
January 14, 2010
Prominent West Virginia historian dies
By Staff reports
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The founder of one of West Virginia's most
comprehensive archives on the state's coal history, Charles Stuart
McGehee, died earlier this week.
McGehee, 55, was the founder of Bluefield's Eastern Regional Coal
Archives, a professor of history at West Virginia State University, and
the author of five books on West Virginia. He died Tuesday.
"Stuart was an absolute treat for the state of West Virginia and the coal
industry," said Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal
Originally from Birmingham, Ala., McGehee started his career in West
Virginia at Bluefield College in 1985, and quickly became one of the
leading historians and voices of the state's coal history.
"The great thing about Stuart was he didn't grow up here," Raney said. "He
came here and it seemed to intrigue him and he captured the real character
qualities of the legacy of West Virginia and why we are who we are."
McGehee was the author of five books and more than 50 articles that
appeared in national and regional publicans.
He also appeared in "West Virginia: A Film History" and the History
Channel's "Modern Marvels" series, in addition to several PBS
He attended the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and the University of
Virginia for his master's and doctorate in American history.
McGehee was also chairman of social sciences at Bluefield College and
chairman of the history department and dean of social sciences at WVSU.
"He found the value, the romanticism, the camaraderie and the family
togetherness in the coalfields," Raney said. "He captured the heart of the
people. I can't image there not being a huge void because he was a very
McGehee was also a member of the band Bluestone Wildcats.
There will be no memorial service. The family asks that instead of
flowers, a donation be made to the Craft Memorial Library, 600 Commerce
St., Bluefield, WV 24701.
Link to the obituary above.