George Douglas “G. D” McNeill is pictured on his farm in Buckeye where he was born on May 22, 1877. He received his early education at the one room school in Buckeye and the Hillsboro Male and Female Academy. He then received his Teaching Certificate and began his teaching career at the age of 17 before heading to college and receiving his law degree. What followed were two years as County Prosecuting Attorney, a trip Around the World with “The Great White Fleet” and working as a lumberjack in the Northwest woods before returning to the farm in 1910.
G. D. McNeill is remembered most fondly in Pocahontas County as the admired and oft times feared Principal of Marlinton High School, a position that he held from 1923 to 1941, while continuing his education. He then spent 14 years as a Professor of History and Geography at Davis and Elkins College. In 1951, he was awarded the Honorary Degree “Doctor of Law.”
Dr. McNeill was a writer and historian. In the mid 1950s he worked with Ruth Morgan and W. E. Blackhurst to write the outdoor pageant “The Saga of Pocahontas.” This story of the history of Pocahontas County became a successful production at the Pocahontas County Fair in 1956 and 1957. In addition to numerous short stories and historical articles, he authored “The Last Forest” in 1940 and “Tales of Pocahontas County” in 1958.
G. D. McNeill married Grace McNeill in 1903. Their children were Ward K., Elizabeth, Louise and James. Dr. McNeill died in 1964. Photo courtesy of Ginny McLaughlin Shaw, ID PHP002150
Allegheny Mountain Radio will present the 16 stories from “Tales of Pocahontas County” Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. beginning February 1 during “Caroline in the Morning.” Each story will be read in its entirety by family and community readers with discussion to follow.
Access the “Preserving Pocahontas” Digital Library at www.pocahontaspreservation.org or www.preservingpocahontas.org If you have historical records or photographs to be scanned for the county Historical Archive contact Preservation Officer B. J. Gudmundsson at 304-799-3989 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Prints of photographs are available.