Allison R. and Opal J. Neely Family

By Wade Neely

My parents Allison and Opal Neely moved to Arthurdale in 1941 from Reedsville where I was born, September 29, 1940.  They had four children:  Patricia Joann Bjorkman (deceased), William “Bill”, Richard Lance, and myself, Wade A.  All children attended Arthurdale schools.  My mother was a cook at the school.  We lived at CR-1 and were the second family to live in that homestead house.  My brother-in-law, Dick Bjorkman, still resides in the family home.

I am married to Elizabeth “Liz” Goldstrom, originally from Masontown and a granddaughter of original Arthurdale homesteaders, Andrew and Alice Goldstrom.  My wife, Liz, after graduating from West Virginia University in 1964, taught first and fifth grades at Arthurdale in 1965 and 1966.

I attended Arthurdale schools, beginning in first grade in 1947, and continuing through 10th grade in 1956 when Arthurdale and Masontown were consolidated into Valley High School.  I graduated from Valley High in 1958.

I didn’t go to college right after high school.  I started my career as a clerk typist in 1960 in Washington, D.C. with the federal government.  In Washington, I attended Benjamin Franklin University at night and worked a full time job.  I never received a degree but my higher educational experience was a valuable tool in progressing up life’s ladder.  My major was financial management. I had a very successful career as a budget analyst.  I retired on May 31, 1996 with 36 years of federal service.

I think that my parents would be proud of all the accomplishments and/or success that their children have attained coming from such a small town in West Virginia.  That says something for the values instilled in young people by their parents.  I thank them for that.

I have a lot of good memories of growing up in Arthurdale.  I will always remember my first grade teacher, Ms. Liston from Kingwood.  Another memory is when they put a new floor in the gym and installed glass backboards.  There were a lot of good standing-room-only games played in the gym by some VERY GOOD Arthurdale High School basketball teams.  I will always remember those events and also playing on some good basketball teams as a freshman and sophomore.  I am glad that AHI acquired the school buildings and are in the process of restoration.

Arthurdale will always be a place I am proud of.

McQuain Grant and Neely Donation Enable Computer Upgrade

Arthurdale Heritage, Inc. (AHI) was recently able to upgrade its office computers by combining a $3,000 grant from the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust with a generous donation from Wade and Elizabeth Neely and daughters Debra and Michelle.

Wade Neely’s parents moved to their CR-1 homestead in 1941.  (SEE related story on this page.) He had many fond memories growing up in Arthurdale.  Even though he has moved out of West Virginia, Mr. Neely has remained an active supporter of AHI’s mission to preserve his boyhood community and its history. Earlier in 2009, he helped support AHI by donating an all-in-one printer to the organization.  Mr. Neely expressed his interest in providing future support for similar projects, so when it came time for a much needed technology upgrade in the AHI office, he and his family made the decision to give a generous donation.  They commented, “This donation shows our appreciation of all your hard work, along with everyone else who contributes time for this ongoing effort in the restoration of Arthurdale.”

The Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust was established by Mrs. Hazel Ruby McQuain, a renowned community benefactor who died in 2002 at the age of 93. The retired president of Ruby Enterprises, Inc., Mrs. McQuain was a longtime resident of Arthurdale. She was one of the founders of the Arthurdale Women’s Club that organized the 50th Anniversary celebration of the homesteading of Arthurdale; the event that resulted in the formation of Arthurdale Heritage, Inc.  Arthurdale Heritage named Mrs. McQuain an honorary board member in 1992, along with former WV Senator Jennings Randolph.

The new computer equipment will allow AHI to operate more efficiently both internally and in its educational outreach presentations. AHI would like to thank the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust and the Neely family for their continued support.