West Virginia State Civilian Conservation Corps Museum Association is
proud to announce that Paul Daniel was inducted into the West Virginia
State CCC Museum Hall of Fame at the Quiet Dell United Methodist Church
during the 2014 Spring CCC Jubilee, April 26, 2014.
Mr. Daniel was born November 6, 1917 in Harper, Raleigh County, West Virginia. He is the son of Martha Ann and Robert "Crum" Cumberland Daniel. Paul was 14 when his father passed away and two years later, a social worker recommended that Paul be placed in the CCC. "When the CCCs began in the 1930s, I was supposed to be 18 years of age to get in. I ran my age up; I was only 16 and should've been going to school."
In 1933, our Honoree was assigned to CCC Forestry Camp McKee, Kentucky. There Paul worked in forest management known as "TSI" (Timber Standing Improvement). He remembered being instructed on how to clean out unwanted growth in the forest. "We also worked in a rock quarry providing gravel for fire trails and roads. One time, when I was cleaning the cog pulley chain on the rock crusher, a Kentucky 'mountain man' suddenly appeared. This fellow was armed with a 'hog-leg pistol'. He stared at me and I stared at him. I was sixteen years old, so I kept my mouth shut. But then, he slowly walked away and I never saw him again." After his six month assignment at the camp was over, he returned home and worked wherever he could find jobs, one was with the sawmill at Stephen's Lake. As the Depression deepened, even those jobs disappeared. Mr. Daniel decided to go back to the CCC. He was assigned to Park Camp Price, Droop Mountain, Pocahontas County, West Virginia in 1935. The camp was located at the historic civil war battlefield. There he worked in the cabin-building project, cutting stone in the quarry for foundations and chimneys. After Camp Price, he returned to his home at Harper. His CCC days had provided vital income to his mother and family.
Paul recalls that 1940 was a turning point year. "I accepted the Lord, Jesus Christ that year. This molded my life from then on." He married the love of his life, Virginia Bell Elkins of Cabin Creek, West Virginia in March of 1941.
In 1943, our Honoree was drafted into the U.S. Army. Paul served in the 34th Division, 133rd Infantry Battalion at the Battle of Anzio, Italian Campaign. During the long battle, while waiting for reinforcements, Paul's sergeant asked him to lead the soldiers in a religious service. A soldier approached him. "What do you want me to read tonight?" Daniel remembers asking. "How about, 'Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid?" suggested the soldier. "You believe in God, believe also in me. For in my Father's house are many mansions," continued Daniel through John 14: 1-3 in the Bible. "At the close of my reading, I made a few comments and I prayed. "Many of the same men, including the soldier who had requested the Bible verse, was soon thereafter killed in action. "I remember reading about the Last Supper and how the men were so intent on hearing every word I said. I heard later that sixty six men in our group were lost at Anzio." Daniel was wounded in that battle, affecting his left leg and left arm. After recuperating, he went on to France and then home. Later, Paul was awarded the Purple Heart.
Under the GI Bill, Paul attended Spring Arbor Seminary and Junior College in Michigan. There he earned an Associate of Religion and Education Degree. From then on, our Honoree served the Lord as a pastor of many churches in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. In addition, Paul served as a missionary in Haiti.
Paul and Virginia retired to Florida in 1983 but Virginia passed away nearly 20 years later. Paul returned to where he grew up, in Harper, WV. Today he enjoys reading and discussing the things of God. In 2014, the West Virginia State CCC Museum Association recognized Paul Daniel at the Spring Jubilee in Quiet Dell.
Paula Daniel at the Fall Jubilee in 2012.