Download Full Text (1.5 MB)

Author Biography

"Dr. Jack W. Furbee recieved his early education in WetzeI County Schools in Paden City and New Martinsville, West Virginia. After being graduated from West Liberty State College in 1955, he taught in Paden City and New Cumberland, West Virginia, until 1959. From 1959-1961 in Lorain, Ohio, he taught English and dramatic arts along with counseling, then he became principal in La Grange. Ohio. during 1961-1962. He returned to counseling in Lorain Ohio, from 1962-1967. Jack and Donna Jean Huffman were married on November 25, 1960, in Elyria, Ohio. where their four children Jacqueline, Jennifer, Amy, and Andrew, were born. After employment as teacher, counselor, and principal for several years in West Virginia and Ohio, he began a doctoral program at West Virginia University in the fall of 1967. In 1968-1969 he interrupted his education to be a counselor in St. Petersburg, Florida. After finishing his doctorate in 1971 at WVU, he became Professor of Education at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais Illinois where he remained until retirement.

In 1998 he and Donna moved to Milford, Ohio, near Cincinnati where they celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in 2010 and later moved to Hillsboro, Ohio. At present they live near the beautiful campus of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois, where the author is Professor Emeritus. During their retirement both he and Donna enjoy inspiring campus activities at Olivet, an outstanding Christian university to which they devoted much of their lives. Gardening and woodworking fill Jack's hours with many diversions as he fondly recalls childhood memories in Van Camp near New Martinsville in Wetzel County West Virginia.

Everyone who knows Jack is aware of his affinity for Van Camp, the community where he grew up. He considers his home in West Virginia as part of a larger region of America Appalachia. Although his book, Growing up Appalachian, has its setting in Van Camp of Pleasant Valley in Wetzel County, West Virginia, he sees himself as an Appalachian being proud of his rich mountain heritage." --from the back cover of 2015 edition


Three miles south from the lovely Wetzel County Courthouse on Routes 2 and 180 is an almost forgotten community called Van Camp. In the nineteenth century, it flourished with a post office, store, church with cemetery, and school. My good fortune was to be born on the Bernan Hill amid the Van Camp lure so often expressed by my parents and grandparents. The hills of Van Camp were high and steep; the valleys were peaceful and inviting. It covered an area south from Cider Run along Point Pleasant Creek and Old Route 18 into Tyler County and west along Paden Fork. My earliest childhood was spent on the Furbee farm, where I was born, and Long farm on Bernan Hill. This is the story of that time and place.

Document Type




Publication Date



McClain Printing Company


Parson, West Virginia


Appalachia, family history, West Virginia, Wetzel County, Van Camp Community, Bernan Hill, Pleasant Valley

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery


Geography | Oral History | United States History


The full book was available for download on this site for a time. However, as of December 2017, only the introduction is available as a preview and free download. Visit the McClain Publishing Company site to purchase a hard copy. See "Buy This Book" button under image of book cover--upper left, on this page.

Readers may be interested in these reviews from Amazon customers.

Growing Up Appalachian:  In the Van Camp Community of Wetzel County, West Virginia