The History of Taylor County Chapter Three Hundred-Seventeen


Graduating Class of 1905

The graduating class of Grafton High School for 1905 was composed of ten members who were: Marie Cole, Edgar Dall, Lena Ford, Florence Hamilton, Jo Clair Hendrickson, Rhea Hildebrand, Holmes Wyckoff, Georgia Lowther, Charlotte Pilson and Beryl Tutt. 

Miss Marie Cole after graduation prepared for the teaching vocation and was engaged as an instructor in the public school system of Taylor County. Later her widowed mother and brother took up their residence at New Castle, Pennsylvania. She was matted to John Straight of New Castle and was a resident of that city at last account. 

Edgar Doll was engaged with an uncle in the lumber business for some years and at present is connected with some project sponsored by the Works Progress administration. 

No information concerning Miss Lena Ford. 

Florence Hamilton, after graduation, prepared for teaching music classes in the public school system and was made supervisor of this branch of study in the school system and is the wife of Earl Wilkinson. She, after the schools abandoned this position, taught classes in the system until all married women were declared ineligible as instructors of the Board of Education. She is at present director of the Womans Projects for that state Works Progress Administration with an office at Charleston. 

Miss Jo Clair Hendrickson is the wife of Harry Philips and resides at Ione, Nevada. 

Miss Rhea Hildebrand is married to her classmate of that graduating class, Holmes Wyckoff, who is connected with some large manufacturing concern and the couple reside at last account in the city of Trenton, New Jersey. 

Georgia Lowther is married to E.S. Kennedy, a businessman of Philippi, and the couple resides in the Barbour County city. 

Charlotte Pilson is the widow of the late Harrison Shafferman. The couple have for a number of years lived in Florida where Mr. Shafferman engaged in the clerical department of one of the railroads in that state. HE passed away at Miami and his remains brought back to Grafton for interment in Bluemont Cemetery. 

No information concerning Beryl Tutt. 

R.W. Kennedy, prominent manufacturer of Grafton, applied for a franchise of himself and other to pipes the streets and alleys of the town of Grafton with proper mains for natural gas for fuel and light, the proper pipes and mains to be underlaid on such streets and alleys as may be designated by Kennedy and his assigns. A copy of the franchise was placed on file with the clerk of the city of Grafton for the purpose of affording an opportunity to any citizen or corporation interested in granting or refusing said franchise to be heard. 

George Brinkman suffering with an acute ailment and in the hope of finding relief in some of the famous health reports of Germany accompanied by his youngest daughter, Gertrude, sailed from the United States on May 25, 1905. In a letter to the Grafton Sentinel, he said:

“I compared this voyage with my first when as a boy of 14 years, friendless and alone, I worked my passage across the sea to seek my fortune in the land of the free. Out of the haziness of my mind I recall that voyage of 1850, before the age of steam, of the buffeting of the small sailing vessel by the angry seas which often blew the ship miles out of her course, sometimes taking months to make the passage. Then it was a hardship from the time of embarkation to the time of debarkation and the sailors and passengers were pressed into service in case of damage to the ship during storms at sea. Then one making the ocean passage endured hardships that the people of today can not imagine. Now everything is comfortable, one’s wants are anticipated almost before the word is spoken, the service and food offered on the modern floating palaces to today are surpassed. The officers and the crew are gentlemen, educated and refined, who see that the desires of the passengers are fully gratified. On Memorial Day, May 30th, 1868, the American passengers aboard fittingly celebrated Decoration Day with patriotic speeches and a beautiful tribute to “Old Glory.” The ship band played American patriotic airs and the passengers lifted their voices in patriotic song. It was a beautiful day and was enjoyed by passengers and crew alike in this tribute to American. Standing on the deck at midnight on May 31, watching the restless upheaval of the bosom of the sea forming itself into untold thousands of small watery mountains capped with foam like eternal snow then losing themselves in oblivion was one of the grandest sights I have ever experienced, and the memory will live with me as long as life lasts. Thus far King Neptune has not exacted any offerings among the passengers. All are well aboard and speak highly of the ocean passage.” 

On his return to Grafton give months later, he was asked his impressions of his native land and if he would again like to take up his residence in Germany. To this query, he answered: 

“Nothing would induce me to go back again and live in the land in which I saw the light of day. I have so thoroughly imbued with the spirit and ideals of the American people in my long residence among them in Grafton who have accepted me as one of them and have showered favors and fortune upon me. No matter what inducements were offered to me, under no conditions would I renounce my American citizenship and return to my native land. Not for all I possess would I turn my back and leave the dear friends and kindly neighbors I have known since I took up my residence among them almost half a century ago.”

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