Amateur historian Crutchfield to be DAR guest speaker
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Jack Crutchfield, an amateur historian from Huntington, will be the speaker at the Kanawha Valley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution's Spring Luncheon held at noon on April 13 at the South Charleston Public Library.
Crutchfield's love of history has developed over the years into a hobby of researching the lost or hidden graves of famous and sometimes infamous people, and attempting to preserve their final resting places. Some of the less obscure sites include the plots of Lucille Ball, John Dillinger, Patsy Cline, Erma Bombeck, Satchel Paige, and the lovable Aunt Bee from Mayberry, N.C.
Crutchfield has been all over the U.S. to find these forgotten and "Obscurely Famous" people. A documentary filmed about the forgotten graves of famous people buried in Cabell County has been turned into a PBS series on long-forgotten people that have been a part of popular history in West Virginia with each show is about a different county. Shows on Cabell and Mason counties have already aired, and a two-part episode on Kanawha County is scheduled to air this summer.
After finding more than 200 people nationwide, Crutchfield says his proudest moment was when a veterans group contacted him after watching the Mason County episode that featured a WWI Medal of Honor recipient whose grave was lost until he went into the wilderness with a machete to find it. The veterans group is trying to raise funds to have the grave moved to a state veterans cemetery, where it will always be honored.
Crutchfield lives in Huntington with his wife, Kris, and two children.