Reverend M. D. Helmick
Daniel McClellan Helmick 1863-1921
Principal of the Glenville Branch of the West Virginia State Normal School
Daniel McClellan Helmick was born in Harrison County, WV on May 15, 1863. He was the son of Reverend D. G. Helmick and Sarah E. Dawson. His first experiences in the education system were when he attended the common schools of West Virginia as a child. He married Abigail Jane Dawson in 1884. He was 20, and she was 25. He had two children in the following five years. His daughter, Sarah Olive Helmick, was born on August 15, 1885, and his son, Charles Daniel Helmick, was born on July 6, 1888.
For his higher education he was enrolled in the Fairmont Normal, West Virginia University, and Adrian College, a church school. He received his A. B. Degree from Adrian in 1888. He would later be awarded an honorary D. D., Doctor of Divinity, degree from Adrian in 1901. Between 1888 and 1901, he served in four different prestigious positions. From 1888-1892, he was a Pastor at Newburg, WV, from 1892-1895, he served as the Principal of the Glenville Normal, from 1895-1899, he served as a Pastor in Harrisville, WV, and from 1899-1901, he served as the President of the West Virginia Methodist Conference. He would later serve as the Pastor of St. Mary’s in Buckhannon, WV from 1901-1907 and was the Democratic candidate for State Superintendent of Schools in 1904.
After serving several churches in Buckhannon and Elkins from 1907-1910, he would spend the rest of his career overseeing the recruitment of students from West Virginia to attend Western Maryland College, which is now known as McDaniel College. Helmick passed away on June 11, 1921.
Helmick’s name is of some interest because his birth and death information indicate it as being Daniel McClellan Helmick, but during his professional career, he was known as M. D. Helmick. There is no record as to why he chose to switch the arrangement of his initials. It may have simply been personal preference. There is actually no cited instance in which he was even known as Daniel or McClellan other than his birth and death information. M. D. Helmick held prestigious positions that dealt with education and religion over his 58 years of life. He dedicated himself to serving students, God, and a mixture of the two at different times. During his time at Glenville, he was known to teach psychology, chemistry, history, and language courses. Although the Glenville Normal was never considered a church school or took association with any certain denomination, the institution was known to take pride in its high standard of morality on campus and with-in the community. In the late 19th century, Christian church services were a required part of higher education at Glenville and many other institutions.