The History of Taylor County: Chapter Two Hundred-Fifty-Eight

Plan New Railroad

Ernest F. Clark purchased the plumbing business of William Jennings and announced his readiness to bid on all work in his line no matter how small or large, gas fittings and heating materials promptly furnished. He had the agency for The Instantaneous Hot Water Heater guaranteed to give users instant hot water at a very low cost which could be seen in operation at the Clark building on West Main Street.

Benjamin Herzog established a tailor shop for the manufacture of woman’s custom made suits and coats at his place of business, 2010 West Washington Street. This new industry that gave employment to several men and women in measuring, cutting and fitting these garments and flourished for some few years but like all tailoring establishments they were forced out of business when the big clothing establishments in the cities with cheap labor produced garments at a price the local tailors could not meet.

Land agents for the Buckhannon and Northern railroad began purchasing a right-of-way for this carrier on the south bank of the Tygart Valley river through the town and country , and succeeded in taking up practically all of the land along Yates and Maple Avenues over in West Grafton. Then officials of the new railroad came before town council and applied for a franchise which was granted for which read:  Notice of Application For Franchise

“Notice is hereby given, as  required by Chapter 29 of the Acts of the Legislature of West Virginia of 1901, that an application has been filed before the Common Council of the City of Grafton, in the county of Taylor, State of West Virginia, by the Buckhannon and Northern railroad company for the right to lay and place a railroad trach upon Maple Avenue from the southern city limits in the eastern portion of West Grafton to Yates Avenue from Maple Avenue to the northwestern city limits, in said city to be used and operated by said railroad company as a railroad track in the conduct of its business as a railroad company. A copy of said application had been placed on file with the clerk of the Common Council of said city and same may be inspected by any persons and corporations so interested will be given an opportunity to be heard with reference to the action of the Council upon said application.”

“No action will be taken either granting or refusing to grant said franchise until this notice has been duly published for thirty days as required by law.

This notice is published for the first time of the 25th day of April 1902.

“George F. Green, Mayor”

“Thomas E. Joyce, Clerk.”

The Baltimore and Ohio railroad company through its officials raised strenuous objections to the new Buckhannon and Northern Railroad company crossing their tracks at the west end of their bridge over in West Grafton, pointing out danger to pedestrians, teams and drivers using the Beech street bridge and the delay of traffic to their trains at this dangerous crossing and suggested to the Council that the proposed railroad be required to construct a tunnel at a point below the old fair ground and emerge near the old Tygart Valley boom above town, thus avoiding all danger to people and unnecessary delay in traffic through both sides of the city.

Council advertised for bids for surfacing Washington Street from Haslup to Market Streets and Grand Street from Front to the corporate limits of South Grafton the street to be curbed and laid with paving brick. Hamiltan and Hoffman, a firm of Fairmont contractors, were the successful bidders on these two projects. They set a force of men at work grading and sinking trenches for gas, water, and sewer lines early in the spring in preparation for the brick surface.

Phil and Nettie Peters with a very good supporting company came to the Opera House for a three night engagement April 6-8, 1902, presenting a repertoire of comedy dramas that met with the approval of the local patrons, who demanded a return date from these to very clever entertainers.

Kennedy and company who operated the box factory producing cigar and stogie box lumber over in West Grafton moved the plant to the land opposite the new Beaumont addition where new timber operations , and a considerable saving in loading and unloading heavy timbers.

Ashby and Lucas announced the opening of their new livery in South Grafton and they were prepared to rent fine riding horses, new buggies and surries for parties excursions to nearby points and for funeral corteges. This equipment so necessary four decades ago would look out of place among the equipages in use today and their slowness in moving about would be a serious handicap to traffic in this machine age.


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