In October 1888, a weekly paper called the Valley Times appeared for a very short time, the editor seems to have been forgotten and as to its political complexion, it doubtless Democratic. Under the heading it proclaimed: “Unnecessary Taxation Is Unjust Taxation and Oppression.”
In the issue of October 26, the Valley Times printed a report of the Democratic County Convention held in the Taylor County Courthouse on Saturday, October 20, 1888. Hon. Benjamin F. Martin as chairman called the meeting to order. On motion of James H. Stout; Charles H. Straub, Isaac Evans, A.B. Barnett, William Sinsel, Jefferson Curry and Stephen Mason were named a committee to prepare a set of resolutions. While the resolutions were being prepared, Thomas J. Farnsworth, candidate for the Senate, was introduced and addressed the convention. The committee on resolutions being ready to report, the chairman, Charles H. Straub, offered the following:
“Resolved, that we, the Democrats of Taylor County in convention assembled endorse the platform of principles enunciated by the National Democratic party assembled at St. Louis, and endorse and approve of the nomination of Grover Cleveland for President and the nomination of Hon. Allen G. Thurman for vice-president; that we heartily approve of the wise course of our noble representative in congress, Hon. William L. Wilson and appreciate his manly efforts made on behalf of the people as against monopolies, trusts and gigantic corporations, that we endorse most heartily, the platform adopted by the Democrats of the state in convention at Huntington, and we further endorse the nominations of our standard bearers on the state and senatorial tickets; that the Hon. William T. Ice being a candidate for re-election to the responsible office of judge of the third judicial circuit, we deem it unnecessary to take any action in respect to of a judicial convention and concur in resolutions to that effect adopted in the various counties in this judicial circuit, and believing that Judge Ice, by honesty and faithfulness in this discharge of his duties in the past gives to all the assurance of c on tined fidelity of those duties should he be elected, we commend his to the circuit irrespective of party.”
Nominations for county officers were announced by Chairman Martin. Samuel Boyd placed the name of J.M. Lake of Webster in nomination for the house of delegates and Leonard Mallonee named Henry S. Wilson for his honor. Mr. Body withdrew the name of J.M. Lake and the convention nominated Mr. Wilson by acclamation.
For the office of sheriff, Hon. George W. Reynolds placed the name of John Flanagan of Grafton in nomination. No further nominations being offered, Mr. Flanagan was acclaimed the nominee for the office of sheriff of Taylor County.
Hon. M.H. Dent was nominated for assessor for the western and Z.M. Cochran placed the name of Lewis Hirst and E.S. Shackleford placed the name of Samuel A. Bainbridge for assessor of the eastern district. Mr. Cochran withdrew the name of Mr. Hirst and Mr. Bainbridge was nominated by acclamation. John W. Martin was nominated for county commissioner and Adolphus Bartlett for county surveyor.
A vote of thanks were tendered to the ladies for the artistic manner in which they arranged the decorations about the court room.
After the convention adjourned, Hon. William L. Wilson, congressman from the district of which Taylor was a part, and Senator Turpie and Hon. Henry Apthrop addressed the gathering and played the Republican party for high taxes, free whiskey and Republican demagoguery that pleased the largest gathering ever assembled in the courthouse at a political rally.
In 1919, the faculty of Grafton High School at the insistence of some of the students whose bent was toward the journalistic art established the school paper, the Mountaineer, to give those would be journalists an opportunity to provide a medium for exploiting the activities and interesting items among the students. The idea proved successful and in December 1919, the first issue of “The Mountaineer” came from the press. The business men of Grafton in sympathy with the venture used the columns of the paper to lend their aid to provide the means to make the journal a success. The students turned a most creditable paper that attained a high place among high school papers on several occasions met with praise from the Department of Journalism of West Virginia University and from that department of Columbia college at New York City.
In this year, the Grafton Leader suspended publication after an existence of 24 years.
A group of prominent Democratic men of Taylor County in order to provide an organ to keep alive the teaching and traditions of their party established the Grafton Press, a weekly journal, that made its appearance in 1920. The paper was ably edited and contained illustrations of historical interest of places and people who had part in Grafton’s history.