100-Years-Ago

Thursday,
March 22, 1916

Last week Arthur E. English, of Frederick, Maryland, was killed by his wife after a violent quarrel. The deceased was well known in this county where he used to come to hunt some twenty-odd years ago. He was a lawyer by profession and one of his hunting friends having been indicted for a trivial offense by the grand jury, he came here voluntarily to defend him… Mr. English was the son of the late Dr. Thomas Dunn English, who once lived in Logan county and who wrote the song, “Ben Bolt.” The reports state that English was killed after having threatened his wife with a revolver. The quarrel arose over the treatment of their children. The coroner exonerated the wife for her deed.

FIREBUG
When the third fire within ten weeks broke out in Marlinton at three o’clock in the morning, it was immediately seen that a firebug was at work in the town…
When the firebug was discovered at Mr. McClintic’s, he was at a table under a bright light playing with a great pile of matches, placing them at regular intervals on the table, like a child, oblivious as to time and place. He had cunning enough however to disappear through an open window.
When the word went through the town the next morning a kind of a dumb panic seized us all. It was like the cry of murder in the marketplace. Each turned upon his neighbor anxious eyes that asked: “Art thou the man?”
It speedily developed that there was someone here who had a habit of prowling over the town in the after part of the night and who looked into windows and came to men’s homes and left without knocking or making known his wants.
But developments were pretty rapid that morning. When the firebug got away the first thing to do was to send to Hinton for a blood-hound, or fire-dog, as he has since been called. Then the same infirmity of the mind which had been our danger became our safety. It so affected one of the business men of the town, who had not been suspected of insanity, that he went into the air, and demanded that he be arrested and locked up before the dog could arrive. With the inconsistency of a crazy man he made the most unreasonable accusations of other men, said that he was a Pinkerton detective, and that he had been working on the case for years and that if he was locked up before the dog came, that he could disclose the whole plot.
He succeeded in getting himself locked up and then it was remembered that he had a strong hereditary taint and that he had been restless, uneasy and sleepless for some time, and that he was over interested in the fires that had occurred lately, and was a member of the fire company…
When the blood-hound and his keeper got off the train, there was an immense throng to greet him, but much to the disappointment of the crowd, a line of armed men kept the crowd away from the hunt. The hound was one of the finest animals physically that has ever been seen here, and strange to say that as good looking as he was, he knew his business perfectly. The trail was about eighteen hours old, but the oil may have made it as easy to follow as that of a person whose favorite perfume is crushed peanut or extract of onion. Anyway, he circled in the approved fashion and led the keeper to the man in jail and laid down at his feet and indicated as strongly as a dog could that here was the man that he had been told to seek. The prisoner expressed it as his abiding belief that the dog was a damned liar, but the police dog did not resent his remarks in the least..
One of the vagaries of the prisoner was to ask Mr. McClintic to defend him as counsel, and Mr. Williams and Mr. Humes, two of the fires sufferers, to go on his bail…
There is a law that insures every accused person a speedy trial, but another law of the Virginias is very specific, that an insane man shall never be tried for a crime, if insane when the case is called…
The prisoner expressed himself to the sheriff as being as happy as a bee in a tar-barrel, and as the rest of the town is breathing easily, there is a kind of a universal satisfaction about the whole situation.

HELD ON INCINDIARY CHARGE
L. H. Harouff, proprietor of a restaurant, is in jail charged with having attempted to burn the residence of L. M. McClintic on last Thursday night… His story is a rambling one, in effect that all the recent fires in Marlinton were set in revenge for sending Arch Dilley to the penitentiary last spring…
Harouff is a man of about 38 years of age, a native of the Red Holes of Bath county, Va. About three years ago, he married Miss Birdie Hill, of Lobelia, a member of one of the best families of Pocahontas county. They have three little children. There is a strong hereditary taint of insanity in the Harouff family. One of his brothers committed suicide, and another brother died in the Staunton asylum Monday of this week.

STATEMENT
Of William Sutton, under sentence of death for the murder of Dr. Kennedy, of Mill Creek, Randolph county, last October, made to jailor Shreve of the Elkins jail:
“I was born in Pocahontas county, and was one of six children. I was poor, but had an opportunity to go to school, and did not take it. I did as I wanted to and went into a lumber camp when I was 13 years old. I have been earning my living ever since. I got with men and thought I was a man and took on bad habits until one thing led to another and the crime for which I am convicted was committed.
“I would like for boys, young men and old men to take warning from my life and try to live right from the beginning. I cannot blame any body for what has happened but myself, but others can use my life as a warning not to start on the wrong road. If I had gone to school as I could have done, and got some education I would have known better, and have had strength to stand against temptation.
“I ask for the prayers of all Christian people. I cannot now so much as read the Bible for my comfort, nor sign my own name to this statement.”
– – –
Washington, DC – Leland J. Burr, of Seebert, a railway mail clerk, objects to being penalized by the government for getting married. He was married recently and was given 100 demerits and required to pay for the day’s work of his substitute mail clerk as well as to lose his own day’s pay. He contends that a man has a legal and a moral right to marry and that he should not be penalized for doing so. Senator Chilton is trying to have the penalties imposed rescinded by the Post Office Department.
– – –
Why do you keep Abe Lilly’s picture in your window?
Don’t you know it is enough to make me scream:
I do not like his smug and smiling features;
He looks just like the cat that stole the cream.
I am one of this town’s most substantial voters;
I have sojourned in this village all my life,
I had hoped to end my days in peace and quiet,
And the last thing that I want is party strife;
But when I think of what he tried to do to Hatfield,
And how he worked to put my party in a hole,
I can hardly keep myself from sinful cursing –
Gol darn a peanut politician’s soul.

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