The History of Taylor County: Chapter 280


G.H.S Class of 1903

With a mind keenly alert and mental faculties unimpaired, companionable and friendly, when in a reminiscent mood often relates many happenings and events connected with early life and the fine old folks who lived at Pruntytown before and after the great Civil War and the stirring times came about with the election and of President Lincoln in 1860. Asked for information concerning Edward J. Armstrong who seemed to be the prime mover in urging the people to petition the legislature of Virginia to establish a new county from parts of Harrison and Monongalia in western Virginia, as no record of the death of Mr. Armstrong available, Joseph Mason was asked concerning this man who was instrumental in presenting and having the bill passed in the session of the Virginia legislature in 1844, creating the new county of Taylor, in reply to the query concerning Mr. Armstrong he said after the Civil War Armstrong. Closed out his mercantile business at Pruntytown and with his family took up their residence at Richmond, Virginia, and where he died some time after leaving Taylor County, it is said in manner discreditable to one of his high standing while a resident of Taylor County.

Harry D. Comerford one of the most widely known telegraph. Operators in the employ of the Baltimore and Ohio afflicted with that strange disease, telegraphers’ paralysis, which affects the fingers and arms of the operators in this art, was compelled to resign from the service. He being versed in the druggist business opened a new drug store at 108 Latrobe street. Polite, obliging he found his business grow in time and enjoyed a very good patronage in his new venture.

The graduating class of Grafton High School doe 1903 was composed of 11 members who were: Ruby Brown, Carrie Burke, Louise Byers, Jessie Fawcett, Nina Gaskins ,Lillian Holt, Frederica Koelz. Lillian Leuthke, Eva Shafferman, Warder Tutt and Hazel Warthen.

Ruby Brown prepared for a teaching course and was employed in the public school system in the county and resigned to marry Charles Flanagan, of Grafton.

Carrie Burke began her career as a telephone operator for the Bell Telephone system and is now the wife of L. Karl Glenn and resided at home on East Washington street.

Louise Byers prepared for a teachers’ course and was employed in the West Grafton Elementary schools for some years and resigned to accept a position with the Parkersburg High school and is still a member of the faculty of the Wood County school system.

No information concerning Jessie Fawcett.

Nina Gaskins prepared for a teaching course, and for some years employed as an instructor in the Old Central school on Wilford street and resigned to marry H.C. Miller and now resided in the city of Martinsburg.

Lillian Holt married W.E. Rightmire, illness of her daughters caused her to take up her residence at Terra Alta where she made her home, until recently, but not lives in Grafton.

Frederica Koelz for some years was the bookkeeper and cashier for the William Archdeacon company. She is the wife of John Donaldson and resides at Morgantown.

Lillian Leuthke married her classmate, Warder Tutt, and resides at Washington, D.C.

Eva Shafferman married Clarence Bloom and resides at Fairmont.

Warder Tutt began his career as a clerk in  operating department of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and married his classmate, Lillian Leuthke.

Hazel Warthen married Marion Lucas of Grafton and at last account were residents of Morgantown.

An explosion in the power plant of the machinery department in the old stone shops of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad tore off part of the roof of the steam boiler room and instantly killed Charles Jaco the night fireman on the night of May 18,1903.

Lotus lodge No. 10, Ancient Order of United Workman, applied to the town council for permission to hold a street carnival for the benefit of their organization. The matter was placed in the hands of the street committee who placed the carnival on Front street, South Grafton, and notified the management of the carnival that shows must close at 12 o’clock Saturday night, the last day of the carnival and the debris and litter cleaned before Sunday morning and the South side had the noise and shouting had the noise and shouting that accompanies this outdoor amusement for the first time in its history when the booths, tents and riding devices of the street fair held forth during the week June 8,1903.

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