The History of Taylor County Chapter Two-Hundred-Ninety-Seven


Noted Author Lived Here

G. Thomas Vance after graduation began his career as a grocers clerk and then entered the Merchants and Mechanics Savings bank as a teller. He was one of the first young men of Grafton to volunteer his services to his country in the Great World War and served to the end of hostilities in France and among the last of the American Expeditionary Force to return to the United States. He entered the race for commissioner of finance in the town primary on March 3, 1926, and received the greatest number of votes in a field of ten candidates for the three offices of commissioners of Grafton and with Thomas H. Cather and Jacob R. Morgan was elected to administer the affairs of the town for the three following years in the regular town election March 16,1926 and like in the primary he polled perhaps the largest number of votes, 2999, ever given a candidate for political office in the history of the town up to this time.
He was solicited to again become a candidate for the office of finance commissioner but refused to accept the management of the Grafton Credit Bureau and resigned to accept the position of cashier and book keeper for the William Archdeacon company. He was highly complimented on his accuracy in handling the town finances and the excellent book keeping system of his department while commissioner by the auditor of the state department in charge of the state municipal affairs.
Melville Davidson Post, who was to become one of the most noted authors in the nation in the latter part of his lifetime, came to Grafton and entered a partnership in the law business with Colonel John T. McGraw, and was admitted to practice law in the Taylor County courts. HE had already gained prominence in his profession at Clarksburg and was induced by Colonel McGraw to come to Grafton and look after McGraw’s immense interests throughout the state after some ten years, this brilliant lawyer and writer migrated to Wheeling to practice his profession in the Nail City.
The passing of Alexander W. Shaw removed one of the most prominent of the oldest settlers of Grafton. His was one among the first eight families to come to the settlement at the time the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was building through the town and his occupation as a house joiner provided him with much work in erecting homes for the people coming here seeking employment on the two railroads. He and his brothers, Samuel and James, were employed on the construction of the historic old Grafton Hotel, while in course of erection and did practically all of the inside finishing in the old hostelry.
He was one of the most prominent political figured in the early years serving in the town council more terms than any other man of his time.

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