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West Virginia deems Hoblitzell a History Hero

Paul C. Hoblitzell III

CHARLESTON — A Wood County man has been named a 2021 History Hero by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

Paul C. Hoblitzell III was nominated by the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society for his work on preservation of history in Wood and surrounding counties. He is a long standing member of the society.

Because of the pandemic, the Division of Culture and History will hold an online ceremony on March 1, History Day, on the Archives and History’s YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/userwvarchivesandhistory.

Hoblitzell’s efforts before and after 1989 have increased public interest, historical tourism and preservation efforts of oil, gas and industrial historical matters in Wood and Wirt counties, the state of West Virginia and beyond.

After discussion of a museum commemorating the history of oil and gas development in West Virginia, Hoblitzell and the late Dave McKain, with their knowledge and collections, on Sept. 8, 1989, created the Oil, Gas and Industrial Historical Association. Shortly thereafter the W.H. Smith hardware building on Third Street in Parkersburg became available and was purchased by the association for the Oil and Gas Museum.

He continues to serve as president of the non-profit association. The mission statement of the association, which also owns the Oil and Gas Museum, the Burning Springs Museum in Wirt County and Henderson Hall in Boaz, is “To honor and celebrate the rich history of West Virginia and the Mid-Ohio Valley oil and gas regions.”

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