The History of Taylor County: Chapter Two Hundred and Seventy Four


Fetterman Annexed

The successful melodrama entitled “Lost in New York,” under the management of Edwin DeCoursey featuring that clever little soubrette Miss Nettie DeCoursey and that sterling actor Charles Teresa supported by a very competent cast came to the Opera House February 3,1903. The scenery carried by this attraction, “Blackwell’s Island,” the detention prison of the great city of New York, historic Grammercy Park and the headquarters of the Blackmailer Queen provided plenty of thrills for an audience that filled the house. New song hits entitled “In the Good Old Summertime,” “My Brown Eyed Babe,” “I’se Got Company,” “Bill Bailey,” and “Dreamland” were most tuneful and acclaimed by the audience as was the “Conversation Song and Dance” by Misses DeCoursey, Vera Hamilton and John M. Kenyon. The witticisms and parodies given by John M. Kenyon on the topics of the day and the people were most timely and amusing and relished by the audience. May Cody Langdon as the Queen of Blackmailers and Frank Weed as Hackensack George, her confederate, were perhaps the cleverest pair of extortionists in their parts ever seen on the local stage and were roundly hissed for their part in this thrilling play.

The passing of Mrs. Carrie Dent, wife of Professor Robert A. Armstrong was the cause of the most pronounced sorrow when it was learned this young wife and mother , the only daughter of Judge M. H. And Mary Warder Dent, died at the home of her parents January 8,1903 from a malignant attack of typhoid fever. Mrs. Armstrong, a descendent of one of the oldest and most prominent families of Taylor County was born at historic old Pruntytown and on the removal of the family to Grafton, began her education at the old Central School where her mother before marriage taught the second intermediate classes in the historic old institution. She graduated with the highest honors in the class of 1894 at the age of 16 and the youngest in the class. To complete her higher education, her parents enrolled her in Wilson College at Chambersburg Pennsylvania, one of the leading in the nation and four years later took first honors of her class in this school. She entered West Virginia University at Morgantown and graduated with an A.B. degree from the institution, her emient father was the first and only graduate from law school with a Masters degree the very year she was born. It was while at the university, she met Professor Armstrong of the chair of English and one of the most efficient educators of the state. The acquaintance between the beautiful girl and the learned instructor ripened into real affection and in 1900 were married in the parent’s home in Grafton and the home life left for the young wife was ideally perfect and in time a beautiful baby daughter came to bless the union, and then that terrible scourge typhoid fastened itself upon the young wife and mother and nothing was left undone to alleviate her suffering but to no avail and then her young eyes looked on the world for the last time and then closed forever and loving hands carried all that was mortal of her to rest among the many in the peace and stillness of Bluemont cemetery.

 The Greater Grafton bill enacted as law permitting the annexation of the town of Fetterman was passed by the state legislature and the mayor and town council were given notice that as soon as the books, papers and monies in the hand of the treasurer and clerk of the town of Fetterman was turned over to the common council of Grafton the annexation would become effective.

The E.C. Wilson Theater company another theatrical attraction that seemed like a home institution from the number of weeks this company appeared in the local theatre came for the week of February 9 to 15, 1903, starring Miss Daisy Beverly in a repertoire of popular dramas. 

Citizens of West Grafton living on Maple Avenue petitioned the town council to have their street sewered and surfaced with brick which they agreed to pay two thirds of the expense of this needed improvement of that thoroughfare and lift it from the mud to encourage property owners to make this street one of the best residential streets in the town of Grafton. Council assured the petitioners that if the bond issue for the street improvements was ratified at the regular town election Maple Avenue would be improved.

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