John M. King, one of the most prominent citizens of Grafton who served as a member of the board of education in the 60s and who with Henry O’Leary and John Flanagan contracted for the erection of historical old Central School on Wilford street at a price of $15,000 at a time when this seemed a lot of money died.
Necessity forced the construction of a school building of sufficient size to accommodate the ever growing school population and discard the small unsafe and unsanitary little school rooms about the town whose rentals were costly to the taxpayers, and could be saved bu housing the entire school population except those of West Grafton and the colored children under one roof. West Grafton at the time was not yet incorporated and the school system on that side of the river was operated by the Court House district Board of Education of Taylor County.
Mr.King was one of the oldest members of the Odd Fellows fraternity and was active in the councils of Grafton Lodge No.31 during his lifetime. Perhaps the last duty of the lodge he took part in the funeral service conducted by the members for for Frank Crawford in 1895. He was among the oldest member of Grafton Presbyterian church and with his family worshiped in the old carpenter shop of the Baltimore and Ohio that stood in the rear of the present Wehn building and doubtless was prominent in the movement to construct the present house of worship at the center of Washington and Mackin streets, and took part in the dedication of this temple Sunday, Oct.6 1867. He dies at his home on Washington street July 18, 1896, and interred in Bluemont cemetery by the members of the Odd Fellows in the rites of that fraternity and laid among so many of the old settlers who laid the foundation for the town of Grafton.
The passing of Mrs. Emily Kinter of Fetterman, born 1827 died August 27, 1896, removed two of the oldest ladies of what is now the first ward of Grafton. Mrs.Kinter became a convert to the Presbyterian faith when a congregation was organized at Fetterman and for 50 years retained her membership in the church. Mrs. Jackson joined the Methodist Protestant faith in 1868 and retained her membership in the society for 28 years,
James I. Love, prominent East Grafton merchant, came to Grafton in 1860 from the village of Snickersville, Virginia. He leased the old brick building at the corner of Main and St. John streets that was erected by Augustus Pollock in 1856 and stocked the business room with probably the largest line of general merchandise in the Tygart valley. He brought T.Barton Love to Grafton a young man and his wife, Mary Latham Love, in the living quarters on the second floor of the building and placing him in charge of the business. A son was born to Mr. and Mrs. T. Barton Love March 27, 1861, who was destined to occupy a large part in the political and business history of Grafton.
James I. Love purchased the home of William D. burton on Christiana street that stood on the site now occupied on the home of Miss Allie Gaines and moved his family into this this dwelling after Mr. Burton was replaced as manager of the North West Virginia railroad when the property of the North West Virginia was taken over by the Baltimore and Ohio in 1857. Mrs. Burton, the wife, dies and was interred on the lot about her home and on leaving Grafton with his daughter he had the body of his wife exhumed and taken to Baltimore for burial. A short time after Mr. Love moved into the Burton home it took fire and burned to the ground with most of the household goods and he then purchased the old William Freeman property of East Main street where he lived the rest of his life. During the Civil war, Mr. Love conducted his store and possibly his boyhood friend and fellow townsmam. General Willaim E. Jones, the famous Confederate raider who created havoc in West Virginia in the destruction of property in 1863 saved the town of Grafton from the ravages of the Confederate raiders.
Jones possibly thought that a raid on Grafton would ruin his friend Love and instead of coming to Grafton, Jones marched through Preston county and raided Kingwood then on to Morgantown destroying bridges and running of stock for his soldiers. General James Mulligan, commander of the Federal forces at Grafton had fortified the hills that ringed Grafton and prepared to give Jones a warm reception, whether Jones thought his friendshio for Love or his wish to avoid “The Old Fighting Mulligan”, passed by that is a matter of speculation. When word reached Grafton that Jones was on his way to Fairmont to raid that town, Mulligan hastily loaded his canon on a flat car and rushed to Fairmont to aid the Federals in the town and save the railroad bridge, but he had his trouble for naught. Jones had destroyed the bridge and raided the town and departed toward Clarksburg and Beverly. Mr. Love’s family of sons and daughters were most prominent and the social, business, medical and political history of Grafton. Virginia Love married Dr. Able H. Thayer, prominent surgeon and a distinguished man of affairs in the town. Mrs. Thayer died in November, 1885; Arch C. Love, prominent business man and political leader; Dr, James H. Love, prominent physician ; Mary Love, who married George W, Creel, inspector of bridge and stations for the Baltimore and Ohio, who met a tragic death, in 1903 Mrs.Creel dies in 1917; H. Clay Love, former Grafton business man, married Anna, daughter of John W. Deck and is now a resident of California; Thomas G. Love, retired master plumber for the Baltimore and Ohio , and Miss Eva, daughter of the late Arch C. Love,are residents of Gradton. James I. Love died at his home on East Main street, September 10, 1896, and is buried in Bluemont cemetery.
Caleb D. Furbee, supervisor of maintenance for the Baltimore and Ohio for many years was stricken with paralysis that proved fatal on September 11, 1896. He came to Grafton in the 80’s and moved to into the old house erected by the North-West Virginia railroad in 1853, which housed the families of the Allee’s, Porter’s, Wisehart’s, Bradshaw’s, Sinsel’s and others high in positions with north West Virginia and the Baltimore from the beginning of the town of Grafton. In 1911 the three old houses that were built and stood along the right of way for 58 years were razed for the yard improvements that began in that year.