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

Captain Litzinger Dies

Dr. A. O. Westover opened an office for the practice of osteopathy and neurology in the Jarrett building and guaranteed satisfaction to all those suffering with nervous trouble or muscle and joint troubles and he can immediately relieve by his methods of manipulation. He guarantees to fit those in need of glasses whose vision is imperfect at the most reasonable rates by his own prescription.

Joseph M. Webber, prominent theatrical producer of New York, sent Edward Locke’s lasting modern comedy with music entitled “The Climax” to the Opera House, October 16. This play heralded by the press and public as the purest play of the day with a competent cast gave a fine entertainment to a very good audience, who felt the pool at their heartstrings at the mini situations incident to the play. 

The large Grafton window glass plant in east Grafton with a force of men under Leopold Mambourg, the Superintendent, are rapidly putting the plant in readiness for operation. Fires are expected to be lighted during the latter part of October period this plant, erected by subscriptions of the people of Grafton, was, perhaps, one of the most complete plans in the state producing window glass and for a time paid handsome dividends to the stockholders. But difficulties over patent rights and trouble over the use of natural gas ended the activities of the plant and was the cause of the death of two of the most prominent citizens of Grafton and large stockholders in the plant.

If the town of Grafton had the industries it had in 1999, and all producing as it did then, there would be, probably, none of the unemployment that exists today. The passing of time in the many changes that occur, which none can foresee, often result in loss and suffering to those who toil with their hands and who’s outlay and essential prevents they’re laying aside the needs for the proverbial “rainy day.”

Edward H. Hostler, a veteran of the Spanish American war, who gave his services to the nation and fought against the savage tribes in the Philippines, established a plumbing and electrical shop and was prepared to add luxuries in his line in the homes in Grafton. A native son whose experience who gained in his line of endeavor under the tutelage of Creed O. Newlon, whose degree of master plumber made of those in his employee experts in their life work. Mr. Hostler alone survives of the many men in firms who engaged in this line 30 years ago. Competent, dependable and with long years of experience in all matters pertaining to sanitation, electrification, his work has proved so eminently satisfactory he still conducts his business in the town.

The death of Captain Dennis Augustus Litzinger on October 22, 1909, removed one of the most colorful figures in Grafton. Born in Pennsylvania in 1823, when a lad yet in his teens he heard the call of his country when the Mexican nation became troublesome over the annexation of the great state of Texas and enlisted under the banner of general Zachary Taylor and had part in the war that was too forever end all claims of Mexico to the greatest of all states in the union. At the close of hostilities, he received his honorable discharge and returned to his native Pennsylvania and was given a contract by the great Pennsylvania railroad for grading the bed of that road 1 the mainline from Altoona to Pittsburgh, and many of the feeder lines to that railroad.

Hearing of the opening of the coal mines at Newburgh in northwestern Virginia in 1855, he came to this section and contracted to sync the shaft at the famous Orrel mine, where, in January, 1886, occurred the first mine explosion from the accumulation of the deadly “black damp” in which took toll of the lives of some 85 minors down deep under the ground. At the completion of his contract, he was permitted to the position of paymaster for the mind. Business having a strong appeal for him, he opened a store for the convenience of the miners and residents of Newburgh. Then, with the outbreak of the great civil war in 1861, he organized a company of volunteers for service in the federal army and was chosen captain. He had his company mustered into the government of the United States and designated Company D of the Third West Virginia regiment, which saw and took part in many engagements against the confederate forces in the early part of the conflict. He contracted a chronic illness that forced him to retire from active service and the government reluctantly issued him his honorable discharge.

In 1865, he with his family located in Grafton and the business instinct still strong in him he purchased an interest in the business of James I. Love then at the corner of Main and St. Johns streets and for some time was engaged in this pursuit, but being a fine cabinetmaker and house Joyner, reluctantly abandoned the mercantile business to engage in the contracting business and found a great field for his talent in the construction of many homes and other buildings in the growing town of Grafton.

A musician of considerable ability he was one of the organizers and members of the first brass band made-up of local talent for the entertainment of the citizens and whose services were freely given at the many social affairs of the early years in the town.

With George W. Lambden, he contracted for the erection of brinkman hall in 1876, and at its completion was given the contract for the adjoining business house now occupied by Clyde G. Turner and the Love Drug company and completed in 1879. His next venture was to enter into a partnership with Samuel A. Shackelford under the firm name of Shackleford and Litzinger and this firm contracted with Samuel P. McCormick for the construction of the McCormick block, now the Y. M. C. A period building, which was started in 1880 and completed the following year. he retained his interest in the firm until 1902 and at the age of 80 years retired from a long and active career of usefulness. In the early years, he came into political promenade serving in the town council on numerous occasions and on the Board of Education. In 1851 he was united in marriage with Miss Eliza A. Carland, of Loretta, Pennsylvania, and who bore him a family of 16 children, nine of whom were gathered at his bedside at dissolution. Friendly wholesouled, a fine neighbor, and an upright citizen, his was a familiar figure about the streets of Grafton along those lengths he passed many structures created by his own hands. the passing of his life helpmeet, on April 25, 1890, was a sad blow to the aged man, and his loving daughters took the place of the devoted wife in their care of the father. On Christmas Eve, 1908, he was overcome with what the family feared was a fatal illness, but he recovered sufficiently to be about, but this was the beginning of the end for this grand man, who lingered until October the following year, and then the soul of him who saw so much and gave his services in two American wars for his country, his laborers on earth done, answered to the call of “taps,” and all that was mortal of him carried to the old Catholic cemetery and lowered into the earth to rest beside the body of his wife and other members of his family who preceded him to the great beyond.


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