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100 Years Ago

Thursday, December 14, 1916

The last snake of the season was caught at the mouth of Beaver Creek December 8, by Arthur Long, 12 years old. It was a copperhead, 40 inches long, and the boy found him dead in a steel trap which he had set in a rabbit’s hole.
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It has been suggested that a course in the life and teachings of Lincoln be made a part of the regular free school course in every state in the Union. This is a good idea and such a course would do much to inculcate in the minds of the coming generations those principles of liberty and equality which caused our ancestors to try the experiment of a western republic, and whose work is allowed to languish because the latter day generations do not realize the meaning of American liberty and freedom.
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Two below zero here this morning with two inches of snow on the ground.
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A large barn belonging to Withrow McClintic, at Buckeye was burned last Thursday afternoon. Men had been working about the barn, but it is not known how the fire started. The loss is not less than $2,500, with $500 insurance.The building was 80×40, shedded, and filled with feed.
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The home of Irvine Wilfong, three miles from Marlinton, burned down Friday evening. The cause was a defective flue. Little was saved. The loss was about $1,500 with no insurance.
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Mrs. Diana Barnett, widow of the late W. T. Barnett, died at her home near Stony Bottom last week, aged 88 years. Her maiden name was Duncan.
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We suppose that every county has its idiosyncrasies in the dispatch of the affairs of life, and the rule adopted by the circuit court of Pocahontas to docket and hear divorce cases on a certain day of the term, has established what we call Emancipation Day, during the term of court. And on that day there is material for a dozen novels. The crowd that assembles would be good material for a Dickens to work upon who could read in the lines of the face and a casual word whole years of suffering and pathos. There, the court lends his ear to many a sorry tale of disappointment and misadventure.
Judge Dice has made his position very plain that he will scrutinize the evidence very closely in divorce cases as there is no provision of law that is more apt to be misused. Judges feel their responsibility pretty keenly in this matter. There is a very plain inhibition to promiscuous divorce; “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.”
The saving clause is as to whether the match was really made in heaven or in the brimstone section. Cupid either skimped his work or sent a hand. Maybe these marriages were the kind that are furnished by the correspondence schools.
There were eleven divorce cases set for last Saturday, and the parties and the witnesses made up a good part of the crowd.
The Judge has not heard but one of these cases in the big courtroom, as we remember, and that was the first one. It will be remembered that two years ago the law was changed where the divorces are held by oral testimony instead of by depositions taken in vacation before a notary.
This first case was one between elderly persons and was for non-support and incompatibility. The attorneys assured the court that there was nothing in the evidence to shock the most fastidious and the case was tried in front of the bench. The lady was testifying and the court asked if there was any other reason why the couple had separated, and the lady said that there was, but that she did not like to tell what it was. The court was guarding against the salacious, and turned a reproachful eye on the attorneys who had assured him that there was nothing that the world might not hear with safety, and told the witness to answer. “Well, the real trouble was that he had the devil in him.”
Since then the judge goes into the large grand jury room and holds the divorce court and there the admission is limited to the hearings.
This winter the high school is being conducted in the courthouse when the court is not in session, as the new high school building is being built. The grand jury room is fitted up for the class in domestic science and the Judge sat at the head of the big kitchen table and looked across at a couple of cook stoves, and it was in these homely surroundings that the work of some painstaking ministers are undone.
The stories of domestic misery began to unfold, after the manner of the following: I come home unexpected one day and she were astanding in the door with a strange man’s arm around her and she didn’t seem to be making no strenuous effort to get away from him, and when she seen I had ketched her in something she says that she had been insulted by this here man and I says that I couldn’t help what went on while I was gone, and she says that by God she would live with no man what couldn’t protect her and she up and left and she never come back to me…

Born to Mr. and Mrs. A. L. McClure, at Woodrow, a daughter.
Born to Mr. and Mrs. Harry Cochran, at Buckeye, a daughter.
Born to Jasper Dillworth and wife, Annie, a son.
Born to Mr. and Mrs. James Lamb, a daughter.

The passing of 1916 prompts us to quote Benjamin Franklin when he said, “You may delay – but time will not.”
Many individuals today are dependent upon charity because they delayed too long in making provision against the flight of time.
A saving account prepares for the day when youth, health and physical strength will no longer be at your command.
Marlinton, West Virginia

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