West Virginia State Museum Education

West Virginia's Historic People

Important People

John Peter Hale

J.P. Hale

Historian, physician, and businessman John Peter Hale (May 1, 1824-July 11, 1902) was born at Ingles Ferry in the New River Valley of Virginia, the great-grandson of the legendary Mary Draper Ingles. Hale lived until 1840 at Ingles Ferry, then moved to the Kanawha Valley. In 1841–42, he attended Mercer Academy in Charleston. After studying medicine under Dr. Spicer Patrick, he attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where he graduated in 1845.

Hale was a leader in having the state capital moved to Charleston in 1870, and he led the group of private investors who built the first Charleston capitol building. In 1871, he became mayor. Hale was also instumental in the establishment of the West Virginia State Museum, as he helped found the West Virginia Historical and Antiquarian Society in 1890, along with Virgil A. Lewis, the predecessor of the State Archives.

Information cited from: Andre, Richard A. "John P. Hale." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 29 November 2012.

Helpful Links

e-West Virginia John P. Hale

e-West Virginia Virgil A. Lewis

e-West Virginia West Virginia Archives and History