The History of Taylor County Chapter One Hundred-Sixty-Two

Republicans Meet

 The theatrical season in the new Brinkman Opera House was opened on Saturday afternoon for the school children of the town to witness the performance of a juvenile actor, Martin Hayden, a boy sailor and a splendid supporting company, presenting a thrilling musical melodrama entitled “A Boy Hero”.  The curtain fell to close the first act while a terrific storm was raging on the Gulf of Mexico and a rain storm of real water poured down on the scene.  This was a bit of realism so new to the Grafton theater going public and the children and older folks gasped at this fall of real water on the stage, which was accomplished by hanging on iron pipes in which minute holes were bored among the borders above the stage and connected to a hose from the fly gallery.  It must have been a most realistic scene from the front of the house to judge from the comments heard from those who attended the afternoon matinee of this opening of the new theatre.

  Reverend A.J. Yoke, pastor of the Methodist Protestant church, firmly believed oil was to be found on the land about the Knottsville section.  He interested a number of Grafton people in providing funds for sinking a test well on the land but the borings failed to reveal either gas or oil sufficient quantity to drill deeper or at other points in the territory and the project was abandoned and no further attempt made to find either of these fuels. 

  When the rumor that the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad had purchased a considerable tract of land opposite the National Cemetery over in West Grafton was verified.  It was the belief of many people in the old “Stone Shops” were to be abandoned and razed for trackage room, a new and stronger bridge built from West Grafton to the north bank of Three Fork creek and larger machine shops and round house erected on the newly acquired site, but if the plan was ever considered it was never carried out.  The old stone shops that stood for 85 years on the same spot on which they were erected by the North West Virginia Railroad eight and a half decades ago seem destined to stand until the end of time.

  Samuel H. Gramm, chairman of the Republican party of Taylor county called for a meeting on Saturday, October 13, 1888, for nominating a candidate for governor, state senator, judge, of the thirteen-judicial district, congressman for the Second West Virginia district, sheriff, assessor, prosecuting attorney, and county commissioner.  The chairman called the meeting to order and introduced Hon. Francis M. Reynolds of Keyser, candidate for congress, who heartily indorsed the nomination of Harrison and Morton nominated at Chicago for president and vice president and the polices and platform of the Republican party.  General Goff of Clarksburg was nominated for governor.  Thomas E. Davis of Grafton for state senator; Francis M. Reynolds of Keyser for congress; Joseph H. Hoke for judge of the Thirteenth Judicial district; Stephen B. Jenkins, sheriff; L.M.LaFollette, prosecuting attorney; Frederick J. Burdett, assessor, and William Wakins, count commissioner.

  Congressman William McKinley of Ohio, probably the greatest advocate of the tariff for the protection of American products of his time, took the stump in the interests of the candidacy of Harrison and Morton, spoke to the voters of the issues involved in this campaign on the night of Wednesday October 17, 1888.  He in his speech, recalled his first visit to Grafton as a mere lad of 18 years, enrolled as a private in Company B., 6th Ohio, under Captain Rutherford B. Hayes and the great reception tendered the First West Virginia, the Fourth, Sixth and Sixteenth Ohio Volunteers under command of Colonel B.F. Kelly and Ebenezer Dumont by the people of Grafton on that eventful Thursday, May 30, 1861, who came with baskets, boxes, and packages of the best things to eat he said tasted better than anything he had ever eaten after having subsisted on beans, bacon, hardtack and molasses for their regular army fare for more than a month.

  He told hid hearers his experience a a private in the ranks of the army was of untold benefit to him in meeting and judging men, at the most critical time of their lives.  He advocated a high tariff on all imports and conflicted with American products with illustrations in the cost of producing an article made abroad at the wages paid and compared living with conditions that surrounded the American working man who had so many luxuries and conveniences his brother workman of England, France and Germany could not have at the wages paid them abroad.  He paid a high compliment to the skill and ingenuity of the workman of the United States in all-lines who were benefited by a tariff that kept European countries from making a dumping ground of the nation with cheap and inferior low-priced goods made abroad and pleaded with the workers to keep the home market for the products of the factories and mills by electing men to the Halls of Congress in favor of maintain a protective tariff on imports conflicting with the home products. 

  Saturday, October 20, Chairman B.F. Martin called the meeting of the Democratic party of Taylor county to order and stated the object of the meeting was for the purpose of nominating a candidate for the House of Delegates, member of the State Senate, the office of sheriff, prosecuting attorney judge of the thirteenth judicial district, and assessor for the eastern and western district, member of the county court, and county surveyor.