The History of Taylor County: Chapter Two Hundred Ninety Three


1904 City Election

In the town election held on March 22, 1904, Abraham W. Burdett received 916 votes, and Charles H. Straub received 706 votes.

For council in the first ward, A. Hood Phillips received 173 votes, Charles H. Rector received 110 votes.

For council in the second ward,, John A. McCabe received 223 votes, Dr. Joseph E.R. Ellis received 207 votes.

For council in the third ward, Charles Stolzenfels received 308 votes, James W. Love received 346 votes, Thomas Bennington received 190 votes, and T.W. Heironimous received 186.

 This ward was consolidated to include East and South Grafton and was represented in the town council by two members and elected Stolzenfels from East and James W. Love from South Grafton as members. 

For council in the fourth ward, Millard F. Cather received 204 votes, Frank A. Rauscher received 177 votes. 

For collector of taxes and revenue, Charles M. Roach received 1009 votes , John J. Hamilton received 615 votes.

The town ordinance required the collector to post a bond in the sum of $15,000 for the faithful performance of his office and the accounting of all monies coming into his hands. Mr. Roach offered the bond of the Citizens Trust and Guarantee Company of Parkersburg as his surety which was accepted by the council, previous to this all collectors of the town posted a bond signed by individual citizens and this new departure relieved the collector from any obligation to the citizens and any uneasiness on the part of any of his sureties. 

Benjamin Gerkin came before the council and presented a bill for $201 damaged for injuries sustained by his son from falling through the broken timbers of the wooden bridge spanning Berkeley creek on Yates Avenue West Grafton. This frail structure which was made unsafe by the heavily loaded wagons in many years of use for these circuses to reach the old Fair grounds and very little attention paid by the town looking to its upkeep doubtless caused the lad to fall and sustain injuries from the structure. The members of the council argued if this claim was allowed each councilman would assess his share to pay the claim.

The death of S. Peter Kimmel removed one of the colorful citizens of Grafton who came to the town in the 60s and established a shoemaker’s shop in the small frame building that is now 21 West Main Street and brought his family from Evansville, Preston County and occupied the dwelling that stood on the site now covered by the home of Charles Boyd on Boyd Street. In 187, Mr. Kimmel sold his holding to General George W. Brown who erected the present two story brick building in which to house the office of the United States Internal Revenue Office of which General Brown was commissioned collector for West Virginia by President Grant. Mr. Kimmel moved his family to the home they occupied so long on West Washington Street and established his shoemaker shop in the old Captain Daniel Wilson home on the east side of Ethel Street, industrious and competent at his trade he amassed a comfortable competence and with this purchased a frame building on Railroad street erected by Dr. Thomas Kennedy and refitted it for use in his business, when the big fire of July 5, 1887 swept his place from its path he immediately has the building replaced with a brick structure. He purchased the lot at the west end of Main and Latrobe at Ethel street and erected the hotel building and leased it to Walter Bateman for a hostelry. Later he purchased the Henry Miller property at the time was perhaps the largest owner of real estate on Latrobe street. Then overtaken with an incurable malady he passed away at his home on West Washington Street May 7,1904 and was interred in Bluemont cemetery.  

The firm of Schwartz and Green a Philadelphia firm of dealers in woman’s clothing announced they would occupy the business room of the new William Jennings building on Main Street at its completion and offer to the woman of Grafton the finest line of ladies ready to wear to be found in the style centers of the large cities, a full line of dress accessories would be carried in stock and fill the needs of all the ladies who travelled out of town to procure their needs.

The Baltimore and Ohio railroad announced they had completed arrangements with the Camden and Atlantic railroad to honor all excursion tickets for Atlantic City, New Jersey and would run a number of excursion trains during the summer of 1904 to this great playground on the Atlantis Ocean at the low fare of $9.00 for the round trip. It doubtless would be surprising to know how many Grafton Folks have make the pilgrimage to this popular resort in the past 35 years.

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