John Hall kills Lewis Wetzel: A WV Sesquicentennial Moment
October 22, 2012 ·
On October 23, 1862, John Hall walked into the Setzer, Beale & Company mercantile store in Point Pleasant and shot Lewis Wetzel. The newspaper editor and county court judge died almost instantly.
Wheeling Intelligencer said, “We most deeply regret this terrible
affair, inasmuch as it has cost the Union cause in Western Virginia, so needy
at the best, the services of one patriotic man and the influence of another.”
two men were prominent Mason County citizens and Union supporters. Hall, a
longtime county politician who lost two sons in the Civil War, presided over
West Virginia’s constitutional convention in 1861 and 1862.
a county court judge and acting editor of The Weekly Register in Point
Pleasant, represented Mason County at the Second Wheeling Convention.
shot Wetzel after reading Wetzel’s editorial about an unnamed, “highly
respectable citizen” who had suggested The Weekly Register be suppressed
because it had criticized the Restored Government of Virginia. That unnamed
citizen was Hall.
Wheeling Intelligencer later lamented, “Mr. Wetzel is dead and Mr.
Hall’s remaining days will count for nothing.”