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

First Flag Day Observed

The officers of Grafton Lodge No. 308, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, were notified by the Grand Lodge that the annual flag day services would be a ritualistic service to which the public would be invited, and in accordance with this notice the local order sent out invitations through the columns of the two town newspapers inviting all to attend this public service to be given in the Opera House, Monday, June 14, 1909. The auditorium and stage word decorated with the national colors and the Holy Bible rested when the beautiful colors of the nation’s flag. William B. Cruise gave the history of the flag from the time it was sewn together by Betsy Ross and her little home on Arch Street in the city of Philadelphia and the officers perform the ritual of erecting the replica of The Liberty Bell with proper ceremonies as the pieces were fitted together.

This purely American order that has no subordinate affiliations and other nations or countries in the world, whose members are solemnly pledged to follow the flag wherever it leads was first and fitting so to give recognition of the flag and what it means to the people of the United states who enjoy the blessings of liberty and freedom not permitted in any other country or nation on earth and this Flag Day service has been religiously observed on June 14th each succeeding year.

The service is providing the weather is suitable held in the open air at the front of the Baltimore and Ohio station and witnessed by a great throng of people who listened attentively to some or Raider recite valorous deeds by those who followed the colors in the many crisises That confronted the United states until with pride the flag was never lowered and defeat in any crisis. William B. Cruise, Phillip C. Preiss call mom and William Jennings who arranged this first public observance have been long gathered to their fathers but the day will continue to be observed as long as the great United States endures and the men love and Revere the nations emblem with the same spirit of liberty and freedom and patriotic devotion as those fathers who founded the nation. Flag Day and the annual lodge of sorrow are two services that all helps throughout the land observe, one to uphold and defend the flag and follow wherever it might lead, and the other to pay loving tribute to those who have gone before, their faults to be written on the sands and their virtues on the tablets of love and memory.

The motion picture theaters announced the shelling of the inauguration of President Taft, the very latest motion picture and invite the public to stay as long as they like at each showing for the price of five cents. This amusement at that time was still in its infancy, and required no costly machinery to project the pictures which were silent and many of the effects produced by a man back of the screen, then with the coming of talking pictures requiring costly machinery and sound machines, perforated screen through which the sound was filtered naturally this outlay forced the exhibitor to advance the price of admission to the rights of today.

William H. Barnes, prominent contractor for many years died at the home of his daughter at Morgantown July 8, 1909. Mr. Barnes came to Grafton in the early years of the town and through his efforts many of the dwelling houses were erected by him for the people of the 60s and the years following. A skilled artisan, himself, he was competent and a leader in his line of endeavor. A conscientious and Christian gentleman it can be said of him in all the years he was a citizen of Grafton no criticism of his character or his labor was ever heard in Grafton. An accident that left him a cripple and prevented his giving the same careful supervision to construction as in the early years and with the infirmities of age caused his health to become enfeebled and this coupled with a heart ailment proved fatal. His remains were returned to Grafton and his funeral conducted from Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church which he had attended during his lifetime in Grafton and friends carried the body to its last resting place in Bluemont Cemetery.

A glance at a Baltimore and Ohio timetable of 1909 reveals that 20 local passenger trains arrived and departed from the old Baltimore and Ohio station each day. These local trains carried untold numbers of passengers to their destinations on all four divisions leading out of Grafton, many of whom came here to purchase their needs, and two, these local trains were largely patronized by salesman of many different levels of merchandise who sought business from the local merchants who displayed their lines in the simple rooms of the Grafton, Central and Blen Avon Hotels and in many cases paid the fare of town dealers to come by train to select their purchases. The scenes about the old station was a busy one then, with people crowding the waiting rooms waiting for these local trains which have long since been a thing of the past period the automobile and hard surface roads has almost abandoned by all except a very few of those old time locals. The commercial salesman of today travels from town to town carrying his wares in an automobile and is able to make stops at towns not possible by train travel which is a great time saver for the salesman and his customers but his disastrous to local travel on the railroads and caused the abandonment of mini trains and the loss of employment to many men who operated those old locals.

About the same number of through passenger trains arrive and depart from the new station, but the through trains that in former years operated over the Wheeling division are no longer operated and have been replaced by locals that in their runs at Grafton and Wheeling.

With the surfacing of the roads of the state came travel by buses and while convenient and handy, there are considerable fatalities Connected with this motor travel according to the daily newspaper account, this rarely ever happened in train travel, this fact holds true when the statement is recalled that in the 82 years of operation of the Parkersburg branch not a single passenger has been killed or crippled in all the years of train travel on this part of the Baltimore and Ohio system.


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