The History of Taylor County Chapter Three Hundred-Fifty-Nine

Board of Trade Elects

James J. Kernan, a longtime resident of Grafton and son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Kernan, died at his home on West Washington street December 9, 1908. He entered the service of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad in the machinery department while a very young man and was affiliated with the local Mechanists Union organized in 1882 and was a charter member of this trade craft. He also was a member of Grafton Camp No. 4, Woodman of the World, both orders attending the funeral and participating in the funeral rites of their respective societies. His funeral was conducted by Reverend Father John McElligott, pastor of St. Augustine Catholic Church, and the remains carried to the Catholic cemetery and entered on the family lot.

The romantic play David Garrick came to the Opera House December 10, 1908, and pleased an audience familiar with the history of this great English actor of the 17th century whose writings and plays lived long on the stage of both England and the United States.

The Amuse U motion picture theater offers that fantasy of Washington Irving entitled Rip Van Winkle as a departure for motion pictures heretofore shown in the little playhouse. Manager belt had the stage altered to accommodate the scenery needed in the production whose cast included seven people with Mr. Tyrone McReady cast for the part of Rip Van Winkle. This age-old idyll of the Catskills produced many times on the local speaking stage since the 70s always had an appeal for lovable and irresponsible Rip, his daughter, Meena, and his dog, Schneider, and many who when is the play in the past crowded into the house to revive their memory of a play they had seen long before.

The strip comedy “Buster brown and His Dog Tige” And for the stage came to the Opera House December 14, 1908, and as was expected there was hardly breathing room in the theater. The comedy was amusing and seemed to please, the musical numbers were all new and the gods quickly took up the airs and sang the choruses at the invitation of the singers.

Professor Henry and Mamie Pracht entertain their dancing class as an invited guest at a dance Christmas night, 1908. The musical operetta, “The Toymakers,” came to the Opera House December 29, 1908, and did a fine business to an audience who was most appreciative of the clever production and the bright songs and dances given by the cast.

The Scilorf Club Dance the old year out and at the chorus of whistles in the local railroad yard they passed from the five minutes to wish each other a most Happy New Year while the superb orchestra Under the direction swung into the age old air “Auld Lang Syne.”

New Years Day, 1909, business was suspended in all lines except the restaurants and salons. The banks were closed, undergoing examinations by the board of directors and the theaters showing motion pictures. No program of special note was arranged to celebrate the day. House parties were held by many families, who invited guests to dinner and social entertainment during the day.

The drama “Lena Rivers,” from the pen of Mrs. Mary J. Homes and adapted for the stage came to the Opera House January 6, 1909, and drew a very large audience of admirers of the writings of this famous woman novelist whose books or perhaps the most widely read of an author or fiction at the time.

William C. Byers, prominent merchant, was elected president of the Grafton Board of Trade. He came to Grafton in the 70s and for many years was engaged in the mercantile business and was particularly fitted to preside over the deliberations of the trade body.

Add a meeting of the town council, Clerk Harry A. Spies was directed to destroy the last of the old Texter bonds No.’s 1 to 30 the treasurer having announced sufficient money on hand for the redemption of these bonds issued in 1874 in the amount of $15,000 for street improvements. At various times in the past some citizens advocated repudiating the bonds, but the men in control of the municipality since its organization have been inherently honorable and to whom the idea of voiding and honest obligation was abhorrent refused to entertain the idea and, in this year, the last of the issue of 1874 was cancelled.

The most interesting drama of heart interest entitled “When Women Love,” Came to the Opera House January 11, 1909. The title of the play was enough to stir the interest of the women of Grafton and they came to the theater and considerable numbers to witness a very nice play.

G. W. Dietrick, a representative the United States government, came before the town council with the request the members of the council abandon that part of Saint Mary St between main and Latrobe and deed this narrow street to the government as part of the site the Post Office Department would in the future erect a United States Post Office building on that part of the street. Mr. Dietrick told the council the government had acquired the properties of Ellen Jennings and Michael Lyons for a site for the building whose plans covered these properties and extended to embrace St. Mary street. Council informed Mr.Deitrick that the matter of abandonment would be taken up and assured him that after the legal matters covering the abandonment of streets in the municipality were compiled with the street name would become government property.


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