The death of John C. Duffy at his home on Boyd street, August 10, came as a shock to the older citizens of the town who held him in the highest esteem and his true worth as a respected citizen of Grafton since 1863. He answered to the call of his adopted country during the dark period of the civil war and served four years in the army and contributed his might toward the preservation of the Union. At the close of hostilities, he returned to Grafton after receiving his honorable discharge, married miss Julia, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Lawrence Rooney, and this ideal couple took up their residence on what is now Boyd street. He sought and found employment in the transportation department of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad in the freight service on the old Main Line between Grafton and Wheeling and was one of the most trusted employees in the service and was one of the most faithful men in the service of the railroad. Those immediately acquainted with John and Julia Rooney Duffy new them for the highest type of citizens, modest, unassuming devoted to their fine family of sons and daughters who followed the teachings of a Christian father and mother and too became respected and honorable citizens in the places they chose for their residences and practice their professions.
John W. Vogel’s minstrel aggregation came to the Opera House August 14, 1908, and drew a fine house to open the fall season of 1908. New features were introduced and a bicycle act with a rider in an enclosed ring of slatted wooden strips which enabled him to ride within the circle at times in a horizontal position made possible by the speed of the rider attained encircling the enclosure. This act was a novel departure from the usual finale of the other ministrel shows.
“Under southern Skies,” a romantic drama of the South, came to the Opera House Sept 11, 1908, and please define audience who were romantically inclined and found pleasure and witnessing a fine play well acted.
Governor Charles E. Hughes, the governor of the great state of New York, now Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United states, had the distinction of opening the Republican campaign and Grafton who spoke to an immense throng from the rear platform of his train at the Baltimore and Ohio passenger station September 25, 1908. The distinguished statesman spoke in the interest of the candidacy of Taft and Sherman and the state ticket. His address was a scholarly one and delivered in a clear and distinct manner that was convincing to his hearers. He introduced Hon. William E. Glasscock of Morgantown, candidate for governor on the republican ticket, and asked that the voters give him their wholehearted support in the coming election.
Hon. Luther Schwenk of Mannington, the Democratic nominee for the state Senate from the 11th West Virginia district, was a Grafton visitor making arrangements for his campaign with the Democratic County committee September 26, 1908.
Sousa in his magnificent band of 50 artists came to the Opera House September 22nd 1908, and gave one of those fine and artistic concerts of which he was the master.
The congregation of the Andrews Methodist Church assisted by the talent of other congregations gave that grand historical entertainment “The Life and Times of John Wesley” in the Opera House Sept 28 and 29, 1908. More than 150 had part in the cast of the production which was staged by Miss Elizabeth E. Brown. The church orchestra under the direction of William T. Lilly with Mrs. C. F. Schroeder at the piano played the musical scores incidental to the action of the production.
Those who took part were George W. Lother, cast for the part of John Wesley; John C. Tibbetts for Charles Wesley; Henry Leps as William Gambold; Thomas F. Welch as Robert Kirkman; J. W. Law as Benjamin Ingram, and O. W. Grow as Thomas Broughton. Members of the Oxford University were represented by George B. Hamilton, Clyde H. Kimmel, C. S. Knapp, C. F. Schroeder, G. H. Souders, Howard Thompson. See. A period Kiefer was cast for the part of Sir Marmadude Gwinne, Jed W. Robinson for the part of Judge Lane, W. W. Tapp for Judge Persehouse, G. W. Bennet for Reverend Dr. Doddridge, Harry Loar for Lord Chesterfield, R. P. Reed for John Nelson, J. W. Law as Lord Bolingbroke, Thomas F. Welsh as the Vicar, C. S. Knapp as John Smith, C. H. Kimmel as James Morgan, Richard L. Clark as Henry Maxwell, Cline Gough as Uriah Grenoble, and F. G. Ford as Donald Kirkpatrick. The drum corps from a detail of the Woodman Band.
The English soldiers were represented by M. D. Allender, D. S. Newcome as Lady Chesterfield, J. P. Carder as Lady Shirley, W. Loar as Lady F. Hastings and Miss Kate Koelz as Lady Bolingbroke. O.W. Grow as Reverend Thomas Broughton, Thomas F. Welch as Reverend Griffith Jones. The Methody couples were represented by Miss Zeppa Furbee and R. P. Reed as leaders Miss Gertrude Lake, Cline Gough, Miss Harriet Schroeder, F. G. Ford, Miss Alma Jackson, R. L. Clark, Miss Anna Rendel, C. S. Knapp, Mrs. W. R. Loar, Clyde H. Kimmel. The Parliament of Nations Misses Della Ferguson, Myra Gibson, Pauline Gaskins, Sarah Hannon, Florence Hamilton, Daisy Haddix, Frederica Koelz, Ada Kimmel, Grace Loar, Maple Love, Naomi Lilly, della McFadden, Mamie Phillips, Lil Rector, Fay Reed, Gail Rogers, Catherine Shirer, Blanche Steele, Pansy Stansbury, Grace Tregallas, Ruth Tregellas, Hazel White, Helen Wells, Myrtle White, Carrie Wilkinson. Mesdames Fannie Bell, G. W. Bennett, A. L. Barker, Della Cryser, C. S. Knapp, Miss Dessie Jaco, Miss Ada Beall, Messrs H. G. Board, James Criswell, W. E. England, C. H. Loar, L. L. Mahaffey, R. L. Newlon, Lawrence Patton, Edwin Powell, Russell Knight.