• A visit to Union 2013. If you grew up in Union, West Virginia and you have not been able to return to Monroe County recently, chances are you will enjoy a little tour of Union and the area.

    View a Picture Tour of Union & Monroe County.


MEMORIES FROM A “49er” By Edgar “Ed” Dickson



I am Ed Dickson, Class of 1949 at Union High School, born and raised on the shores of Second Creek at Spring Valley Farm.


Ed as a student at UHS

From Union High School to VPI                                 

Ed at VPI


As you know, Spring Valley Farm is a large farm and I sure did my share of work there.  I took care of the chickens, milked the cows some and carried the firewood in the winter. In the summer the work was nonstop with harvesting hay, corn, wheat, gardening and on and on. At the end of a hot dusty day in the fields, my brothers and I would take a cake of Ivory soap and wash in the swimming hole in Second Creek near the house. I was a full time farm worker all through the years until I graduated from Tech and went off on my own.

I went to Fairview Elementary school between Second Creek and Pickaway through eighth grade. Leaving there to go to UHS was a far bigger step than the step from UHS to Virginia Tech! I rode the same school bus all the time I went to school there. A 1937 or 1938 International designated as #17. I can hear the drivers jamming those gears as they went around curves or up steep grades… even now.

I don’t have any pictures of Union High School days. In fact, I lost my senior yearbook years ago during one of my many moves. I regret that because it would bring up many memories.  My time at UHS may seem uneventful as I didn’t participate in any sports because (one), I lived nine miles away from high school and (two), I am totally non athletic and still am. My biggest memories are of the teachers, Louise Massey who taught chemistry. My mother insisted that I take typing which I have never regretted. I remember the endless typing drills under the scrutiny of Gethel VanStavern.  Also, taking driving lessons under Clayborne Campbell who was also the Vo-Ag teacher. I remember driving up the steep road up Bicketts Knob when he stopped the car in a hairpin curve and instructed me to continue driving. This required a lot of hand and foot coordination. I really thought I was going to burn up the clutch or blow out the engine which didn’t happen….and I made it.

After graduation I went to VPI, now Virginia Tech, an entirely different school, and graduated in 1953. After Army duty I worked for the next 40 years for State Farm and have lived most of that time in Richmond, VA. I come back to Monroe County several times a year and love seeing the rural scenery.  I am a mountain boy at heart but have finally begun to get used to living without mountains, especially Bicketts Knob, gazing down on me every day.

The Class of ’49 ( 49ers ) had several reunions over the years but the Grim Reaper has taken such a toll there aren’t many of us left to have a reunion. Sad to say, I’ve lost contact with all of them except Jack VanStavern who lives in Raleigh, NC, as does my son which makes it easy to visit him occasionally.

More recent pictures below, click to see a larger view:


Ed at Spring Valley Farm


Spring Valley Farm, Second Creek, WV


By Edgar “Ed” Dickson

UHS Class of 1949






















By:  Edgar “Ed” Dickson

UHS Class of 1949