World War Memorial

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World War Memorial at Kimball, W.Va.

Thousands of black soldiers, including 1,500 from McDowell County, served in World War I, and the first monument built in their honor was the the World War I Memorial Building in Kimball, West Virginia, designed by architect Hassell T. Hicks, of nearby Welch, West Virginia, in 1927. Its mix of Classical features and industrial metal-framed windows seemed to suit the community, where black miners enjoyed pay equality, comfortable company-built housing, and social opportunity not felt elsewhere in the U.S. With a large auditorium, kitchen, meeting rooms, library and trophy room, the building was a busy activity center through the 1970s. The memorial has been restored and is open by reservation for tours and special events.

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