Mr. Doonan served as one of the town trustees before an administrative organization was effected and was one of the principal movers to procure a charter of incorporation for the town. He filled many office of trust during his life time and was true to fellow citizens in the handling the town funds entrusted to him. His business career handled with the same fidelity brought him rich returns and soon he became the leading merchant of the town and one of the largest property holders. He was one of the charter members of the First National Bank of Grafton and served on the board of directors until his death. Twice married, no issue came from either marriage and the considerable fortune he amassed in his long career went to relatives and the church of his faith. He retired from active business life in 1884 to devote his time to his property interests in the town offering his stock of merchandise and the business house at the corner of Main and Mackin streets to interested parties at reasonable terms. In preparing his will, he appointed John A. McCabe and his cousin, Peter Doonan executors to administrator his estate.
“The Sleeping City,” a melodrama of unusual title and written around the ruins of an ancient city on the continent, was the attraction offered on the local stage December 5,1902.
An auxiliary known as the Grand Army of Republic circle, an affiliate of Reno Post No. 7, was organized December 5,1902 by Mrs. Ann Hall of Wheeling in the Knights of Pythias hall on Main Street and the wives and daughters of the veterans met on December 13, for the purpose of enrolling new members in the newly formed organization and transacting such other business as may come before the circle.
“The Devil’s Lane,” a comedy of unusual merit from the pen of Eunice Fitch and featuring the Elmore sisters and James F. Green came to the Opera House December 13,1902. The unusual title and advertising brought out a capacity audience to witness this offering and they were more than pleased with the evening’s entertainment offered by the two sisters Elmore and the other members of the cast. The musical numbers introduced throughout the four act play given by Jennie and Mamie Elmore, James F. Green, Frank Farrel and Maurice Rene Coste during the “singing bee” on the farm house was encored repeatedly and the company was invited to visit the theatre for a return date.
Superintendent Darnell was rather badly injured in a train fight between oil field men and the crew of train No. 55. The oil men boarded the train at Clarksburg and refused to pay their fare/ Conductor Estep called on the train crew to eject the troublesome passengers and in the fight that ensued Superintendent Darnell of the Reform school was struck with a bottle that broke and laid open his head and cheek.
Disturbances such as these made the lives of the men in the passenger service a troublesome one during the exploitation of the gas and oil fields in this section of the state and train fights were a part of the duties of the train crews during the 90s and 1900s and at times the luckless passengers were injured in these rows. Superintendent Darnell was compelled to leave the train at Parkersburg and have the wounds on his head and face attended to and the gashes stitched together.
Lincoln J. Carter, whose productions proved such thrilling attractions from the unusual mechanical devices injected into his plays, sent his newest melodramatic success “The Darkest House,” to the Opera House December 17,1902. The big scene in this production was the waiting room at the depot of the Northwestern railroad, the approach of a train in the far distance with only headlights visible and toward the station and the audience witnessing the disappearance of the train before their eyes that brought shouts of wonder at this stage illusion. “The Rose Garden,” about the home of Doctor Dunning on which the curtain fell was a beautiful scene and gave the members of the cast an opportunity especially George L. Field as “Spittum Bill” ; Herman Field as “Bustem Ike”; and Blanche Boyer as “Kitty O’ Shaughnessy” to inject their peculiar kind of humor in the play to the delight of the gallery. All of Mr. Carter’s productions bordered on the sensational and were welcomed warmly whenever they were shown on the local stage.
Friedman Brothers leased a room in the Rendel building at 48 West Main Street and stocked the room with a line of jewelry for men and women, cut glass, art novelties and bric-a-brac fir the holiday season and invited the gift purchasing and other customers to inspect their stock of the newest designs and assortment of all new goods.
The Harris and Parkinson company headed by members of the company in a pleasing repertoire of stick plays came to the Opera House for the week of December 22,1902, and did the usual Christmas week business.