“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Gap Mills in Monroe County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)

William J. Humphreys / Gap Mills

William J. Humphreys Face of Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2015
1. William J. Humphreys Face of Marker
William J. Humphreys. Nearby noted meteorological physicist born 2/3/8162; died 11/10/1949. John Hopkins U. Ph.D., 1897; Director Mt. Weather Observatory 1905; famous for 1909 research on stratosphere; retired, Weather Service, 1935. Winds of Peters Mountain author.

Gap Mills. Formerly Moss Hole, re-named for cut in Gap Mountain & area grist mills in 1849. Wood’s party in 1671 were first whites to view. Four Maxwell sister’s families settled in 1790; led 1835 formation of Carmel Presbyterian Church. General Hunter retreated via Gap, 1864. Birthplace of Spanish-American War hero Andrew S. Rowan; physicist W. J. Humphreys; first WV Ruritan Club, 1949; and State Park designation, Moncove Lake, 1990. Native son Hon. Marion Shiflet, past WV house majority leader.
Erected 2002 by WV Celebration 2000/ Archives & History and the West Virginia Division of Archives and History.
Location. 37° 34.059′ N, 80° 24.903′ W. Marker is in Gap Mills, West Virginia, in Monroe County. Marker is on West Virginia Route 3 just south of County Route 8, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gap Mills WV 24941, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers
Gap Mills Face of Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2015
2. Gap Mills Face of Marker
are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Andrew S. Rowan (approx. 0.3 miles away); Great Eastern Divide (approx. 4.9 miles away); Rehoboth (approx. 5.2 miles away); Rehoboth Church (approx. 5.3 miles away); First Corn Club (approx. 7 miles away); Union College (approx. 7.1 miles away); Bishop Matthew W. Clair, Sr. (approx. 7.2 miles away); Gen. John Echols House (approx. 7.2 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia entry for William Jackson Humphreys. “William Jackson Humphreys (February 3, 1862 – November 10, 1949) was an American physicist and atmospheric researcher.

“Humphreys was born on February 3, 1862 in Gap Mills, West Virginia to Jackson and Eliza Ann (née Eads) Humphreys. He studied physics at Washington & Lee University in Virginia and later at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1897, studying under Henry Augustus Rowland. He worked in the fields of spectroscopy, atmospheric physics and meteorology. In the field of spectroscopy he found the shift of spectral lines under pressure. In atmospheric physics he found a very good model for the stratosphere in 1909. He wrote numerous books, including a textbook titled Physics of the Air, first published in 1920 and considered a standard work of the time, though it was last published in 1940. He also held some teaching positions at universities.
View South image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2015
3. View South
He concluded that the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora was responsible for the subsequent cooling know as the ‘Year Without a Summer.’

“From 1905 to 1935 he worked as a physicist for the U.S. Weather Bureau, predecessor of the National Weather Service. He died on November 10, 1949 in Washington, D.C.” (Submitted on June 1, 2015.) 

2. Brief History Of Gap Mills Community. 1925 article by C.C. Ballard in West Virginia Archives and History. Excerpt: “In the village of Gap Mills there are twenty-seven homes including four colored families. The present population of the town of Gap Mills is ninety-six white and twenty-nine colored people. We have two flour mills (roller process) in this town, and a third mill is nearby, three churches - one of which is colored, a first class high school, a graded school, a one room school (colored), three stores, one hotel, one garage, one blacksmith shop, a barber shop, a harness shop, a cobbler shop, and a post office.

“The Gap Mills Community consists of 507 persons with 114 homes and an average of 4.44 people to each home. Ninety-one homes are owned by their occupants, and twenty-three are occupied by renters. Of the present population 297 were born here, 155 came from other communities, and 48 were born in other states. In recent years we have had two county superintendents of schools, two sheriffs,
View North image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2015
4. View North
two deputy sheriffs, two attorneys, five doctors, and forty-three school -teachers.

“Col. Andrew S. Rowan of Spanish American War fame was a native of this community. First Lieut. Percy Pharr of the World War and W. J. Humphrey, Physicist of the Metearological Bureau, Washington, D. C., were born in Gap Mills village. L. R. Neel, manager of Middle Tenn. Experiment Station was born and reared one mile from the village of Gap Mills.” (Submitted on June 1, 2015.) 
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 1, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 545 times since then and 263 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 1, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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