1. Life in the Iron Mills has been described as a short story, novella or novel by various writers. It is italicized in this essay as it is seen in other works, to avoid confusion. Life in the Iron Mills was written prior to Davis' marriage. However, the reprints bear the name Davis, not Harding.

  2. As a result of his tireless efforts, Comstock is traditionally West Virginia's most revered cultural historian and journalist.

  3. Louise McNeill Pease published under the name Louise McNeill but was most often referred to by her married name, Pease. Pease is used throughout the article. However, McNeill is used in the bibliography section.

  4. A form of the poet laureates' information appeared in WVW News Volume 18, #2, Spring 1994. published by West Virginia Writers, Inc.

  5. Interestingly, the contest to select the laureate received 115 entries. Winning third honorable mention was Louise McNeill Pease of Marlinton. (State Papers and Public Addresses, Press Statement November 3, 1943. Provided by Fredrick H. Armstrong, Director of Archives and History, West Virginia Division of Culture and History.)

Acknowledgements: Dr. Judy Byers, Director of the West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State College, served as editor of this revised essay and is a true champion of the state's literature.  Sharon Saye, Director of the Bridgeport Public Library, deserves special thanks for her vision to establish and for the courage to house the website MountainLit.  Penny Neeley, former reference librarian of the Bridgeport Public Library, provided regular research and suggested the site's name, MountainLit.  Bridgeport Library's former children's librarian, Anna Egan Smucker, lent her creative talents to the overall development of MounatinLit, plus researched and developed the Children's Section.  In addition to these staunch supporters, my research efforts receive regular encouragement from Ancella Radford Bickley, Edward J. Cabbell, Mary Lucille DeBerry, Sharon Diaz, Robyn Eversole, Charley Hively, Norman Jordan, Norman Julian, Jennifer A. Soule, Frederick Spring, Sandy Vrana, The West Virginia Humanities Council, and my husband Jim.  Charley Hively, reference librarian at Clarksburg-Harrison County Library and adjunct instructor of English for Fairmont State College, served as reader, reference source, and primary editor of the 1995 essay.  My late mentor, Jim Wayne Miller's example, enthusiasm, and wealth of knowledge are still a major source of inspiration and encouragement.

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My research efforts are encouraged by my husband Jim who also serves as graphic designer and photographer for the project.

Phyllis's project to record the multicultural literary history of West Virginia is an important contribution to the regional cultural heritage of Appalachia. Her critical essay Refuting the Legend of the PIWASH appeared in Vol.2, No.1 of Traditions: A Journal of Folk Culture & Educational Awareness


               Jim Moore                Phyllis Wilson Moore











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