The town council passed an ordinance requiring the owners of all public buildings and houses of entertainment of more than two stories to equip the structures with metal fire escapes for safety in case of a fire. The owner of the Central Hotel, the Jarrett building, the Opera House and the Central School on Wilford Street contracted with S. J. Willhide and Sons for the erection of the safety appliances for the protection of guests, tenants and pupils.
A. Q. Scammon’s comedy drama “Side Tracked” which visited the Opera House on several occasions in previous theatrical seasons improved most entertaining came to the Opera House on February 5, 1908, and the play lost none of its drawing power on this occasion.
The Grafton traction company began operations by sending the First Street car for a trial run to Fetterman Saturday, February 8, 1908. Manager George Hartley of the traction company, George Aboot, private secretary, and Ronald Bevins, chief clerk to Colonel John T. McGraw, rode the front platform as it emerged from the car born on east Main Street that Saturday morning 32 years ago manager Hartley acted as motor man on this first trial run. Quite a considerable gathering of people were on hand on that day eager to witness car No. 2 Make it advent on old Main Street and of course the ubiquitous lad always present on every and all occasions was out in force to witness the event it being Saturday and no school to keep them away. Their faces shown in the photograph taken on the occasion expressed lively interest in doubtless hope for an invitation to entrain on this first ride. Some of the lads now stayed citizens and have had their power in the political and other affairs of the town, others sad to say have been gathered to their fathers and sleep on slopes about the town and county.
Mrs. Laura Foreman Means, widow of John H. Means whom a tragic death in the dairy born on his farm in 1897 died at Huntington February 8, 1908. She was the preceptress of Marshall college at Huntington for some years and while occupying this position passed away. Her remains were sent to Grafton for Interment beside the body of her husband in Bluemont cemetery. Mrs. means was the daughter of the late Israel Forman and a sister of Alexander Forman, prominent photographer of Grafton. She was a member of the Woodman of the world and White Rose Grove no. 2 of the Woodman circle. Both orders conducted the funeral rites at the graveside.
A very beautiful love drama entitled “An Old Sweetheart of Mine” came to the Opera House February 11, 1908, and delighted a large audience. The characters “Shorty” and “Slim” and the sheriff furnished much amusement during the action of the play.
The death of Isaac Reese at his home on east Main Street on February 17, 1908, removed one of the colorful figures who as a youth joined the confederate forces organized at Fetterman in 1861 and served throughout the war period at its close he returned to his farm and tilled the soil the products of which he brought to the markets of Grafton for 21 years. In 1886, he saw employment in the transportation department of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad and was assigned to the Grafton and Cumberland division where he was employed for 22 years and was retired at the age limit. Isaac Reese was one of the most honorable and upright men of Grafton who had only the kindest feeling and word for all and his passing was one of the keen regret for those older citizens who new and served with him during his lifetime. His remains were interred in Bluemont cemetery.
Word was received in Grafton of the death of judge William T. Ice at his home in Philippi February 17, 1908. Judge ice was one of the most noted jurists in this section of West Virginia and stood high and enjoyed the respect of the bar and people. He began his career as a jurist and traveled over much of the circuit which included Barbour, Preston, Randolph, Taylor and Tucker counties before the coming of the railroads. Traveling on horse from one county to another this mode of travel at certain times in the year was attended by great physical discomfort and at times great hardship, but the coming of the railroad and later the hard surface roads and comfortable automobile has eliminated these discomforts in making journeys to the seats of the courts.
The wives and girlfriends of the members of the Silorf club tender the husbands and boyfriends are reception and dance and brinkman hall February 17, 1908. The decorations on this occasion were lavish and very beautiful and the wives and girlfriends reversed the usual custom by seeking their partners at the social affair. Vincent’s orchestra appeared in full evening costume to lend distinction to the swell event.
Professor Claude E. Vincent, bandmaster of Grafton with his full 42 members of his band, and orchestra gave an artistic musical concert in the Opera House February 20, 1908, under the auspices of the young men’s Christian association. This concert staged beyond anything yet given by a local organization. The stage grouped by the members presented a very fine appearance and the numbers presented were both of the classical and popular music than in vogue.
The members of the organization who took part in the concert were: Lester Beery drums, Charles E. Burke, trombone, C. J. Burnside, Alto, Carl D. Buyers, kettledrums, and tympani’s, Matthias Castle, Barytone, Robert Kenneth, cornet, Carrie Fawcett, violin, Genevieve Farnsworth, mandolin Wesley Fraser, bass violin; W. A period garlow, clarinet, Carl Glenn, trombone Louise Goudy, cello, James Haislip, cornet, Carrie Johnson, guitar, Henry Laban, Flute, Mary leads, piano, victor Lucas, trombone, frank Martin, clarinet, Homer mcdade, trombone, John McClung, baritone, Fred Morgan clarinet, Cleo Morgan, mandolin, Bertha Morgan, guitar, Eldon Nigh, cornett, Lyman Nigh, bass, Anna Peters, violin, Ursula PO, mandolin, Sarah Poe, guitar, Samuel Ridenour, trombone, Dorsey Ridenour, Alto, Elise Wrangler, violin, Ada Remlinger, violin Leo Rasche, clarinet Thomas Russell, cornet, George Reed, cornett, Nina Salvey, clarinet, Herbert Towel, Alto, end graced Whitescarver, mandolin. This event drew an immense audience both friends of the musicians and Y. M. C. A period who when Professor Claude Vincent stepped up on the Diaz he was given an ovation and was compelled to bow his acknowledgments several times.