Town of West Union, WV
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First Rejected Design
Second Rejected Design
Third Rejected Design
Fifth Design Not Submitted
Accepted design for 2005
The story of a Postage Stamp.
In the infinite Wisdom of the Mayors and town council of West Union, West Virginia, December 26 was officially declared as EPHRAIM BEE DAY.
It was noted that a special stamp design could be created and made official by the United States Postal Service. The decision was made to Create a Special Postage Stamp to Commemorate Ephraim Bee. A limited number of the 37 cent stamp, would be issued on December 26, 2005 (EPHRAIM BEE DAY).
The first submitted design was REJECTED as being vintage in nature and unacceptable.
Another design was made, using a photograph of a personage who was unfortunate enough to look like Ephraim Bee after eating horseradish. This too was Rejected.
The third design was taken from an altered drawing of Ephraim made by the Esteemed and Honorable Artist, Joseph Dim Debarr. This design was Rejected as well.
More designs were made, the fourth being a slight modification of third rejected design.
The fourth design was accepted as an official UNITED STATES POSTAGE STAMP.
The Ephraim Bee Day Stamp was issued at the Smithburg, West Virginia Post Office on December 26, 2005. Only 200 Ephraim Bee stamps have been printed Fewer First Day of issue covers were created and both will be prized by many as collector items.
4/23/06: by Barbara Gain
West Union, WV - The Town of West Union, West Virginia has requested a Proclamation from the office of Governor Joe Manchin III, the 34th Governor of West Virginia, declaring December 26 Ephriam Bee Day.
Ephraim Bee was born December 26, 1802 in Salem, New Jersey, and died October 23, 1888 on Cabin Run, Doddridge County, West Virginia. His parents were Asa Bee and Rhoda Cox.
Ephraim’s family moved to Western Virginia when he was nineteen years old. He was a self made man, having but four months of schooling in all his life. Ephraim was the first Clerk of the Middle Island Seventh Day Baptist Church.
In 1828 Ephraim and his first wife, Catherine Davis, established a log home on Meathouse fork of Middle Island Creek, now West Union, West Virginia. They built an Inn at Lewisport (also now West Union, WV), below the Blockhouse on the Northwestern Turnpike. It became a very popular place for travelers and locals to meet, revive themselves and to re-provision supplies for their journeys. He operated the first Blacksmith shop in the area. His farm, stables, tannery and a horseracing track were also added to increase the family income. Ephraim became involved in land speculation and owned some 40,000 acres of land.
When Doddridge County, WV was being formed out of parts of Harrison & Ritchie Counties, Ephraim rallied to locate the County Seat at Lewisport. His brother-in law, Nathan Davis, Randolph and others, won the County Seat for West Union, across the Middle Island River.
At the age of 60, he was a Captain of the Doddridge County Militia, which protected the area from roving Confederate forces, horse thieves & outlaws. He became a candidate for the First West Virginia Legislature in 1863, at Wheeling, the first Capitol of West Virginia. His opponent was Joseph H. Diss Debar, a talented French Alsatian who had settled in the area about 1843. He was an artist who drew caricature sketches of Ephraim Bee; some of these drawings are now in the State Capitol at Charleston, WV. It is ironic that it was Mr. Diss Debar who one day proclaimed that Ephraim’s Inn, which was buzzing full of the Bee children, was a “Beehive”. The name stuck.
Diss Debar was apparently elected and presented himself at Wheeling on June 20, 1863 to take his seat. Ephraim Bee also presented himself, filed his petition contesting the seat of Mr. Diss Debar. A committee of the house passed on the merits and the claims of each and after an impassioned speech by Ephraim, decided in favor of Mr. Bee. Bee then served in the First West Virginia Legislature of 1863.
Honorable Ephraim Bee of Doddridge County was returned to Wheeling to serve his beloved County for two more terms of office in 1866 & 1867.
Ephraim Bee was United States Postmaster for West Union and Grand Lama of the Ancient and Honorable Order of E. Clampus Vitus, a secret order for playing jokes, which he originated about 1845 and initiated all prominent people at Richmond, Virginia, when he was sent there on a political mission. He did the same in Wheeling when it became the Capitol of the new State of West Virginia.
Ephraim and Catherine Bee had 10 children who lived past childhood. He and his second wife, Mary Melissa (Polly) Welch, had seven children who lived past childhood. Ephraim and Polly’s youngest daughter, West Virginia Bee, was born January 01, 1863, the same day President Lincoln signed the Bill establishing the State of West Virginia.
After serving his terms of office, Ephraim Bee retired from public life. He is buried under a beautiful monument at Cabin Run Cemetery, with his second wife, near where they lived.
"A precious one from us has gone, a voice so loved is stilled.
A place is vacant in our home, that never can be filled
God in his wisdom has recalled the precious boon his love had given. Although the body molders here, his soul is safe in heaven."
"O Death, where is thy sting, O grave, where is thy Victory."
At the foot of Ephraim’s Monument is a small stone block inscribed with the letters “ECV”. This was placed by members of the “Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus” (ECV), the Fraternal Order founded by Ephraim.
A Historic Monument was created by ECV to honor him on the Bi-Centennial of his Birth, and the installation is planned to be coordinated with the July 22, 2006 Festival honoring the 125th Anniversary of the Town of West Union.
FOR QUESTIONS, PLEASE CONTACT:
101 MAPLE STREET, WEST UNION, WEST VIRGINIA 26456
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