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

Trolley Line Is Extended

John F. Caveney, a prominent hardware dealer of East Main Street, perhaps had intimate knowledge f the intention of the Baltimore and Ohio to construct the new passenger station on the land that his place of business was located and caused him to insert an advertisement in the local papers offering his entire stock of at bargain prices to close out his business at the very earliest time, and not delay operations if he location of the new station was definitely assured.

A meeting of the Woman Suffrage League was called to meet at the home of Mrs. J. B. Leamon in January 1910, and consider questions of importance concerning matters pertinent to the equal rights for women.

High waters, that inundated must of Front Street, South Grafton, and pars of Maple Avenue, West Grafton, in January 1910, caused a number of Grafton folks to journey to scenic Valley Falls and watch the rampaging flood pour over the falls and through the rock strewn gorge below the falls.

Colonel John T. McGraw gave the Ferris Bridge company a contract for the erection of a steel bride over the waters of the Tygart Valley river to extend his trolley line to West Grafton. Boyer, Patterson and Morris were given he contract for the erection of the concrete piers and abutments for the structure, which was to be erected next to the Beech Street bridge but independent of the latter structure. Mr. Farris promised work would begin on the street car bridge in the early spring.

The oil development in the Grassy Run section promised by Herbert W. Dent, William F. Faust, Richard Gertsell, Charles Goche, William Howard, Dr. D. C. Peck, Dr. N. E. Shai, William P. Samples, George M. Whitescarver, Guy Williams, Harry Wyckoff and Holmes Wyckoff rewarded the stockholders by coming in on New Year’s day, 1910, with a forty well producer.

Mrs. Selina Hirst, widow of Lewis E. Hirst, died at her home on West Wilford Street, January 5, 1910. Mrs. Hirst, born Selina Handley, daughter of William and Roena Handley, August 22, 1841, was one of the few living women born before the establishment of Taylor county at the time of her passing. In 1865 se was married to Lewis E. Hirst then an employee of the Baltimore and Ohio in the freight transportation department between Fetterman and Piedmont. In 1874, Mr. Hirst had the misfortune to lose an arm and he was given the position of caller of men for service on the runs out of Grafton. His was a familiar figure with his lantern hung on his crippled arm roaming over the hills of Grafton notifying employees of their turn for train service out of this terminal and it would be surprising to know the number of men he called in the 30 years he filled this position. At that time all the trains for the tree divisions of the Baltimore and Ohio were made up in the local yards and many of the men either lived in the town or occupied rooms in the boarding houses about the town. Some 30 passenger trains whose crews ended their runs here and approximately some 40 freight trains arriving and departing from Grafton kept a caller busy in providing crews for these trains. At that time, few homes were equipped with the telephone as they are now and practically all crews were called in this manner, saving the caller many miles of walking to notify the men of their turns out the terminal.

Mr. A. Belt, manager of the Dixie motion picture theater, appeared before the council and asked permission be granted to him to erect a brick theater on part of the John P. Straub lot on the southside of Main Street, the building to be of one story and cover the ground on which the shoe repair shop of George R. Lilly is located. Erection to start as soon as the council approves the request. He invited that mayor and the members of the council to be his guests at the showing of the motion picture, “The Highlander’s Defiance,” showing the famous mountain Spion Kop in South Africa, where three companies of Gordon Highlanders, were completely wiped out during the British-Boer war by General Peltrus Cronje’s command in that famous war.

Much talk was heard of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad having selected the west corner of the St. John and Main Street back of the line of the railroad property on which t erect the proposed new passenger station. IT was also rumored that the railroad officials were negotiating for the old Like Flanagan property of the opposite side of the St. John Street and have offered the hers the sum of $15,000 for the property, but neither of these rumors could be confirmed.

Harry W. Chadduck, cashier of the Grafton Banking and Trust company, was elected to succeed W. C. Byers as president, and Charles R. Durbin elected vice president, and Benjamin F. Poe. Secretary o the Board of Trade, at the meeting in January, 1910.

Thomas B, Henderson, for ten years the ticket agent at the old Baltimore and Ohio passenger station, tendered his resignation to accept a position as bookkeeper for the First National Bank of Fairmont. Competent and tactful in his duties in the office of the railroad company, he made many friend s among the traveling public by his courteous treatment and agreeable manner in his contact with the public and all wished him well in his new position at Fairmont.

Reverend J. W. Engle, pastor of the Andrews Episcopal Methodist Church, sought and obtained permission form the local officials of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad to conduct revival services among the employees of the mechanical department at mid-day of each week in the old stone shops. A daily attendance of some 400 men heard the eloquent pastor conduct those revival services, and some embraced the opportunity to become converts to the religion by Reverend Engle. 

The venerable Francis Jenkins one of the oldest and most highly respectable of the pioneer citizens died at his home on Washington street, January 28, 1910. Mr. Jenkins began his long career as a blacksmith in the road department of the North West Virginia railroad and when this road was absorbed by the Baltimore and Ohio he was made foreman of the smiths under Master Mechanic Samuel Houston in 1857 and continued in this capacity for many years. He left the service to operate a smithy on the rear of his Washington street property, until age forced his retirement from active duty, and he spend the rest of his days with his daughter, Mrs. Mary Leps, and son, Samuel R. A true Christian gentleman held in the affectionate esteem of practically the entire community, he passed out of life at the age of 88 years, after a lifetime of usefulness to his friends and the community. He, too, was one of the pioneer settlers who saw so much of the history of Grafton unfold and saw the little hamlet of some eight families at the beginning grow slowly and steadily into a sizeable town of some 7,000 of as fine folks as could be found anywhere. With the passing of the years saw the many changes brought about by time and man, and the many improvements, neither he nor his neighbors even dreamed of in the beginning of Grafton and would have looked on these improvements as miracles had they come into use in the early days. Man is a restive animal, whose brain is forever thinking of something new to better his own and his neighbor’s condition in bringing about many things for his comfort and well being and through methods of sanitation and proper attention to health conditions prevent mand of the infectious diseases that ravaged the people of the town in its beginning.


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