One of the rollicking dramas known as “McCarthy’s Mishaps” came to the Opera House, March 3,1902, and enjoyed a very good business and proved satisfactory to an audience who enjoyed each moment of this play filled with humorous situations and very catchy vaudeville numbers.
The strip comedy that was featured in many of the newspapers throughout the nation and known as “Hogan’s Alley,” was made adaptable for the stage and proved a drawing card where ever the comedy billed and Grafton was no exception in witnessing the hilarious play which came to the Opera House March 12, 1902.
Dr. Abel H. Thayer, prominent physician and surgeon, announced the sale of 30 town lots over in South Grafton most conveniently located on the east bank of the Tygart Valley river which he offered at very liberal terms to those seeing home sites. This property was one the holdings of the Woodyard family since 1791, at which time the first of the name John C. Woodyard, who married Hannah Lee, sister of General Henry Lee, of Revolutionary fames, and with his bride journeyed by horse from Westmoreland County, Virginia, to what is now Taylor County and erected their home high atop the hill near the corporate limits of Grafton. In this humble home, nine sons were born to this historic couple and this land which Doctor Thayer offered for sale was part of the original holdings of the Woodyard family. Walter A. Woodyard, a descendant of that first family, and prosperous mill owner, is still owner of a portion of the old family holdings.
In the town election held on Tuesday, March 17,1902, George F. Green received 503 votes and Samuel H. Gramm received 473 votes for the office of mayor. This was a most surprising upset to one of the most prominent citizens of the town.
For council in the First Ward, J.D. Riley received 206 votes; Theodore Bush received 151 votes.
For council, Second Ward, William L. Shaffer received 162 votes; Joseph C. Spencer received 129 votes.
For council, Third Ward, William H. Swindler received 104 votes; Oscar N. Rosier received 58 votes.
For council, Fourth Ward, Samuel A. Shackleford received 123 votes; Samuel M. Zinn received 116 votes.
Mr. Zinn asked for a recount of the vote in the Fourth Ward and the tellers appointed to count, reported the results of the recount the same as the first reported at the polls electing Shackleford as councilman in the ward.
A.E.N. Means was elected tax collector, receiving 587 votes against John A. McCabe, who received 474 votes.
Thomas E. Joyce was appointed town clerk.
Mayor Green appointed Oscar F. Riley chief of police and W. Leonard Doak, Joseph Fletcher, J. Emory Lake and Clarence E. Silmon, patrolmen.
Charles H. Straub was appointed superintendent of the town water system.
J.H.S. Barlow was appointed attorney to the town council.
One of those thrilling comedy dramas of the railroad tramp variety in which a hobo plays the hero entitled “Railroad Jack” came to the Opera House, March 27, 1902. This production with a carload of scenery and a caged enormous Nubian lion, featuring Madelon Caufman, a very clever singing soubrette, gave the audience a lifetime thrill when Miss Caufman was thrown into the lion’s cage and rescued under the very paws of the snarling beast by the tramp. The cast was most adequate and fitted nicely into their parts and some very clever specialties were given between the acts.
Fredrick Bloom died at his home east of the Curve Bridge, April 8, 1902, and was interred in Bluemont Cemetery. He was track supervisor for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for the section from Thornton to the east limits of the Grafton yards for a quarter of a century. He suffered a leg injury that caused the loss of a leg and made his retirement from the railroad service imperative. In 1874, when the streets of Grafton received their first resurfacing , and the authorities were not satisfied with the progress of the contractor, they called on Mr. Bloom to complete the work. Taking hold of the surfacing work to completion before the bad weather season to the satisfaction of the mayor and town council. A hustler himself, he saw to it that the men worked on the project and to his efforts the street was lifted from the mud and ready for traffic before the snow flew.
The buildings of the Beaumont Glass company west of Handley crossing were assuming shape and the tall brick chimney was rapidly rising above the buildings. A considerable number of dwellings were in process of construction to house the employees of this new industry when operations in the plant began. E.F. Redinger, a native of Bedford Pennsylvania, erected the first business house at the scene of the new industry and prospered generously until the plant was destroyed by fire.