The History of Taylor County Chapter Three Hundred-Forty-Seven


School Population Grows

Robert Emmett Blaney, an enthusiastic believer in the lasting qualities of the Sherwin-Williams brands of paints, who proudly stands and watches the men at work covering the homes of the people with this well-known brand and transforming a drab and unsightly structure into an attractive home by coating it in rich colors. Here in Grafton where smoke, soot and cinders of business in East Main Street will outlast and retain its brightness far longer than any brand on the market. “We have handled and sold paints in Grafton for many years, and this is the only brand I can guarantee. It’s used by the United States government and the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, who find it most satisfactory, ought to convince the people of its merits. The Sherwin-Williams company have improved over lead and oil to such extent it’s like the old-fashioned stagecoach compared to the modern railway coach. The people who come to Blaney for their paint will make no mistake in using a paint that will stay on, never blister or peel and retain its color longer. And I believe in time Sherwin-Williams will over the earth,” his advertising read. 

Word was received in Grafton that Charles Willhide, son of S. J. Willhide, of Washington Street, was found dead in bed in a lodging house at Connellsville, Pennsylvania. He was engaged in the transportation department of one of the railroads entering the Pennsylvania town and expired from a sudden heart attack on October 31,1907. His remains were returned to Grafton and entered in Bluemont cemetery with the funeral rites of the brotherhood of railroad trainmen.

Creston Clarke, a lineal descendant of Edwin Booth in possessing many of the traits of his famous uncle. Coming into the world and hemmed in about the environment of the stage, it was natural that he would turn to the profession of an actor period of fine stage presence, persuasive gestures and clear enunciation that provided and stirred the audience to enthusiasm one gets a word picture of this artist who plays the lead in a powerful political drama entitled, “The Power that Governs,” which came to the Opera House October 31, 1907. 

The constantly increasing school population gave the Board of Education grave concern. The enrollment in the high school and elementary schools increased 250 over the year 1906 in the question of erecting additional buildings or leasing vacant rooms in different parts of town to care for further overflow. The board asked the careful consideration of the people of the erection a new high school in the near future to accommodate the ever-growing population, growing faster than the room to house them.

Melville B. Raymond, prominent theatrical producer of New York, sent his newest production entitled, “The Lunatic and the Lady,” to the Opera House, November 5, 1907. The billing and the title of this drama set to music drew a fine audience into the theater and gave them the most pleasing evening entertainment.

Carcinoma, that most dreaded of all ailments which afflicted the human race, proved fatal to Mrs. Olive Summers Lake, of 28 W Bluemont St, November 7, 1907. She was the wife of William G. Blake descendant of one of the oldest families of Taylor County, and with her husband resided in Grafton for 24 years, where her husband was employed in the machinery department of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. For 30 years she was a member of the Church of Christ, having joined the congregation of the church at mount Nebo in Marion County. Her remains were carried to Bluemont cemetery, attended by a host of sorrowing friends.

McCauley and Patton production, “The Minister’s Son,” an instructive drama pertaining to the waywardness of the son of a good man in which pointed to the moral unheeded by many of the young and which at times resulted with dire consequences in year spent atonement. The play came to the Opera House November 13, 1907, and while not attended as well as it might have been, on the whole business was satisfactory to the company and house management. W. B. Patent, author and part owner of the production had a number of relatives in Grafton, who were his tested the performance.

The passing of Gerhart Faust at his home near Grafton Park removed a citizen honored and respected since he made his home in Grafton in 1867. Coming to Grafton in that year from Germany, he erected his family home far out in the suburbs of what is West Main Street today. Below his home he built the first abattoir in Grafton and engaged in the retail meat business damn providing the people with fresh meats that formerly sold from wagons and carts of rural butchers. Having gained a competence sufficient to provide for his wants and purchased a considerable acreage on the Tygart Valley River he retired from business in 1882, turning his shop over to his sons they continue it and moved his family to the farm. The death of his son Charles in March 1907, doubtless Hass and his death, his passing he mourned until his own passing on November 19, 1907. A faithful and zealous member of Saint Augustine Catholic Church, his remains were carried atop the hill and entered on the land far from the home of his nativity. The finest epitaph that could be carved on his stone would be “Here Likes An Honest Man.” 

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