The History of Taylor County Chapter Three Hundred-Sixty-Five


Historic Events of Grafton in 1909

Robert L. Heflin, former resident of Grafton, who succeeded to the position of Superintendent of bridges and stations after the fatality of Arthur Sinsel and who was transferred to take charge of the Baltimore and Ohio’s property at Sayre, Pennsylvania, died in that city March 1, 1909. He was one of the charter members of DeMolay Commandery No. 11, organized and Grafton in 1894 and served that society as Eminent Commander in 1897-98 and stood high among the members of the Masonic fraternity.

The comedy drama entitled “A Good Fellow” came to the Opera House March 1 and pleased a very good house.

Mrs. Savilla Woolard Barker, widow of Abraham Barker, one of the oldest women inhabitants of Grafton, died March 5, 1909. She with her husband came to Grafton in the beginning of the town who was employed as a conductor and the freight service of the Grafton- Piedmont division of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad and except for the period of the civil war, in which he served in the service of the federal government, his occupation as an employee continued until his death. One of those lovable slow spoken men who, perhaps, throughout life never harmed a soul, nor entertained an unkind thought of his fellowmen, but, improvident, he left his family in rather straightened circumstances and his widow managed to eke out a living at such employment as she could find to support her family. Then when the infirmities of age came to her and the finger of death was laid on her, kindly hands closed her aged eyes and folded her toil-worn hands and all that was more to love her was carried to Bluemont.

Much of the social activities in theatrical entertainment were abolished during the Lenten season, the folks of those days seem to observe this church festival more closely than those of today. Other than the few Lyceum numbers sponsored by the Y.M.C.A. little took place during that period of the season.

Patrick Moran, an employee of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad as a locomotive driver on the Grafton-Cumberland division, died very suddenly, April 2, 1909. He was a man of high character and held the esteem of his fellowmen during his long residence in Grafton. A member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and the societies of the Catholic Church who carried his remains to the old Catholic cemetery and entered him with the rights of the Brotherhood.

the comedy drama “Dan Cupid” came to the Opera House April 2, 1909 and set the hearts of the younger generation a-flutter by this play in which the “god of marriage” was featured.

James P. Flanagan (known to the whole community as Beef) died at his home April 5, 1909, from the terrible effects of cirrhosis of the liver. He was the oldest son of John and Mary Flanagan, one of the most prominent families of Grafton and began his career as an employee in the machinery department of the Baltimore and Ohio. Later he established his own business and conducted this until 1908, when his health suffered a breakdown and compelled him to retire. Popular and jovial he had a host of friends who regretted his passing. He was a member of Wheeling Lodge No. 28 Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, who sent a delegation to Grafton to assist Grafton Lodge No. 308 perform the funeral rites over their brother Elk at the graveside in the Catholic cemetery.

The Grafton baseball management gave a contract to the following players to report for trial for the season of 1909 and early April those selected to represent Grafton in the Pennsylvania- West Virginia league of professional baseball. Those reporting were Bail, Gainer, Mathers, McIlvaine, Cornelius, Cross, Fitzwater, Smith, Rothermel, Winters, Warren, Hinton, and Zinn, who began practice on the old Fetterman diamond soon after arrival. The eligibility of Second Baseman Ferguson seemed in doubt the Erle club of the New York state circuit claimed his services, but the baseball tribunal decided in favor of Grafton.

The death of Frank, son of the late Michael Flanagan, was regretted by many of his friends and associates who held a warm place in their affections for their friend “Spider” as he was familiarly known to them, who passed away at his home after suffering a year long illness on April 6, 1909. A member of the fraternal order of Eagles, frank Flanagan was born in Grafton and had reached the age of 32 years when the call came. Pleasant, friendly, with a cheerful greeting to those he came into contact it seemed an unkind fate to remove him from the midst of his many friends, yet when the call comes there is no escaping, no matter how much one is respected and useful in his particular community. The Lodge of Eagles had charge of the funeral rites and acted as pall bearer of their brother eagle at the close of the services conducted by Reverend Father John McElligott in St. Augustine Catholic Church.

Thomas Turner, pioneer merchant, and collector of town Texas, respected citizen, died at his home on West Washington street, April 10, 1909. A true Christian gentleman and of those kindly qualities that endear men of this disposition to friends and neighbors alike brought many to the Saint Augustine Catholic Church to pay their last respects to their longtime friend and neighbor. Reverend Father John McElligott paid a beautiful tribute in his sermon to the exemplary life of this good citizen and long resident of Grafton.

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