Blue and Gold Blue and Gold Winter Edition 2020 | Page 6

Senate Bill News About the blues stories from and about Our Blue and Gold Family 122 b l u e f i e l d s tat e ’ s f o u n d i n g l e g i s l at i o n “A BILL to establish a high-grade school at Bluefield, Mercer County, for the colored youth of the state.” With those words, the West Virginia legislature in 1895 began consideration of Senate Bill 122. This bill established what was called initially the “Bluefield Colored Institute.” Fulfilling a campaign promise, it was introduced by Senator William B. Mahood (R-Princeton) and became law without the signature of Democratic Governor William A. McCorkle. This was just six years after Bluefield itself had been founded and the new coal fields were booming. According to an article printed in the April 27, 2012, edition of the Princeton Times Bluefield State College “was created…as the result of a county seat dispute…between Princeton and Bluefield in the mid-1890s. The establishment of a college was a way to placate the defeated side.” A High School for African Americans Area coal operators also supported a school so that their black workforce would stay. What began as a high school for African Americans is now Bluefield State College. 6 BLUE AND GOLD WINTER 2020 7