100 Years Ago

Thursday, September 27, 1917


We were deeply impressed on last Sunday evening as we stood in the large assembly of people who had gathered at Marlinton to bid farewell and God speed to our soldier boys… Our hearts were saddened as we looked upon the faces of these young men, the pride and joy of their fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, cutting loose from the scenes and tender associations of home to fight and, if need be, die for their country…

We feel deeply grateful for the spirit that so nobly prompted our young men to respond to the call to arms all over the nation. How admirable their allegiance to the flag of their country,

“For of all the signs and symbols, there is never another so full of meaning to mankind as the flag of our country. That piece of red, white and blue bunting means ages of struggle upward. It is the century plant of human hope in bloom. Our flag stands for no race. It stands for men, men of any blood who will come and live with us under its protection. It is the only banner that means mankind. It is not the flag of our King. It is the flag of ourselves. Our flag means a glorious past and a still more glorious future. It is the flag of our fathers and of our children, yet unborn. It stands for the open door of ambition and opportunity – of equal rights to everyone beneath the shadow of its fold. Our flag waves defiance at all the ghosts that have so long intimidated men; the ghosts of monarchy, the ghost of aristocracy, the ghost of war and all their kind that still lay shadowy hands upon life of Europe and Asia. Let us thank God that we live under that flag which means the redemption of the world.” – H. C.

The autumnal days have come again, when the frost is on the pumpkins and the fodder’s in the shock. The time will soon be here when nature dons her most gorgeous garb. There are no such colors as those with which she paints the leaves just before they fall. Where is symphony more pleasing to the ear than the rustle of the tinted leaves on the forest floor? Where is there days like the golden days of Indian summer? The snap, the keenness of vitality in the tingling air moves us all.

N. W. Beard has purchased the farm near here formerly owned by Samuel Sheets and known as the Renick place.

– – –

Somebody said that if the government seized a coal mine and worked it, that they could not make the owner take it back. That may be, but we are of the opinion that there are not many things that the government cannot do, and that looks like one of the least of these things to worry a government. The idea was to let Uncle Sam take her and keep her, and that would be hell for them both. That idea is borrowed from divorce jurisprudence.

– – –

When the Campbell railroad pulled up steel on Black Mountain, a half barrel of black strap oil was left near one of the switch backs. Some of the oil leaked out and ran down over a rock, and the oil in the barrel became thick like jelly. Passing there some time ago, Fred Galford, a forest patrolman, noticed that a big bear had been wallowing in the oil and rubbing himself with it. On another trip, Mr. Galford saw where the bear had rolled the barrel over and put his arms to the bottom of the oil. No doubt the bear found it useful in keeping off the gnats.

– – –

The belled buzzard was actually seen last week, while at work on his farm, Jasper D. Dilley heard the tinkle of a bell. The sound apparently came from overhead and looking up he saw a large old buzzard sailing over, with a bell to be plainly seen on its neck. The bell tinkled at every movement of the old bird’s body.

– – –

Two small boys stood on the street and looked at the soldiers who were assembled at Marlinton to take the train.

One of the boys was native born and the other, an insolent, arrogant little stranger. The strange boy was laying down the law to the home boy.

“None of them fellers will ever come back here. You’ll see. They was all born here, and they don’t know there is any other kind of a country than these here mountains. Soon as they get out and see what the other country looks like, they’re going to get wise, and they ain’t any of them going to live here no more.”

There was some wisdom in the little fellow’s dictum. The soldiers are going to travel and see the world…

They are at an age when a journey is a treat and a pleasure… They will see things as they are and some will have looked upon their native hills for the last time, either from necessity or choice, but sooner or later the most of them will come back, though it may be the evening of life which brings them home.

We have seen many go out from here to strange lands but we have seen most of them come back, and as for our personal experience, there has never been a time that home did not look good to us when we got back.

more recommended stories