100 Years Ago

Thursday, November 8, 1917

“But since our women must walk gay, and money buys their gear,
The native born get out their traps for fur this time of year;
The golden seal and the ginseng deal, have passed with the summer sun,
and the boys with devilish cunning,
Set traps when their work is done.
The steel-trap grim, with triggers trim,
Now rests beneath the trail.
It goes kerplunk! Fox, mink or skunk
Give one despairing wail.
Then through the bitter winter night,
It writhes in fear and pain.
It bites the rigid iron jaws, and strains against the chain;
The lady dear, could she but hear,
and see, and understand,
That bruised and broken animal, she’d mark the cruel brand,
And cast that fur away from her,
and purge her bloody hand.”

– – –

The most valuable fur quoted is that of the black fox which brings $750 a pelt. This is a very glossy black hide the size of an ordinary red fox…

There is food for thought, however, in the fact that the year 1917 will be long known as the year without a summer when there were only ninety-five days between frost and frost, and when the women wore furs for twelve solid months…

– – –

Years ago when the Cranberry was an unbroken wilderness, we went to the Forks to catch trout and there was a trapper’s cabin indicating that the preceding winter a trapper had made his winter home there.

It was about the size of a pig pen. It was strongly built of logs and was about eight by five feet. The floor was about waist high from the ground and the only room was a rectangular space about the size of a bed and from floor to ceiling might have been about four feet. A small window enabled the trapper to crawl into the hut where he could lie down or sit, but could not stand up. The chinks in the logs were filled with moss, and it could be seen that it was a warm place to sleep. It looked too much like a vault or sepulcher to please most of us. But two of the boys decided that it was a good place to sleep and moved their bedding into it, but while they were twisting around to make themselves comfortable, they disturbed a good sized snake that was making its summer home in the camp. That gave them a distaste for sleeping in that constricted narrow cell, and they came back to the tent.

The trapper evidently cooked and ate in the open and laid up in his hut at night and when it rained.

It is by no means common to find a man who can endure his own company long enough to make a solitary trapper…

Time have changed.

The necessaries of life now form a list that would fill a page of this paper.

Our city is named for a trapper who made his camp here at the mouth of the creek. All he demanded of the outside world was gunpowder, steel traps and salt. Otherwise he was independent of the markets of the world.


To the People of Pocahontas County;

I have undertaken the work of attempting to send to our boys from Pocahontas, who have gone to the war, monthly packages of tobacco. Every man, woman and child should feel interested for these men have gone to fight for us, and in our places.

From all the armies comes the request for tobacco. It is admitted by the authorities that the tobacco has become more of a necessity than a luxury. Nearly every man who went from this county smokes and wants tobacco. It is hard and often impossible to get it in the army, and especially in France.

Of course, anything one may do is wrong in the eyes of some people; no one can do any one thing that would please every body. The boys want the tobacco, the authorities are anxious for it to be sent.

I have made arrangements with the National Cigar Store to send postage paid one dollar packages to every man every month or as often as I can raise the money. All contributions will be gladly and generously shown by the Times and Journal. I am counting on every body to help me every month, as a patriotic duty. ~ Mrs. W. A. Bratton


Dogs played havoc among the farmers’ sheep near Greenbank one night last week. A number of very valuable sheep were killed and crippled. Luckily a well-aimed shot put one worthless dog where dozens of others should be. With lambs at 15 cents per pound, the sheep owners are getting in line to enforce the new dog law, and after a few good, honest hardworking citizens have to dig down and pay for a few sheep that a worthless runabout cur has killed, the balance of such dog owners will see the handwriting on the wall and dispose of such nuisances.


Married by Rev. J. C. Johnson at the residence of Dr. and Mrs. H. W. McNeel, October 31, 1917, William Cackley and Miss Agnes McNeel.

Mrs. and Mrs. Forrest Pritchard spent Sunday with Mr. and Mrs. E. H. McLaughlin.

Miss Lyda McNeel spent the weekend with her grandmother, Mrs. Nannie Beard, at Beard.

Mr. and Mrs. Charley Arbuckle, of Florida, were visiting at the home of Mr. and Mrs. L. O. McLaughlin last week.


Evangelist Stark, of New York, closed a series of meetings here Sunday night. Much good was done and the church members warmed and revived, and young and old were led into the Gospel light. Mr. Stark left on the morning train for some points in Virginia.

Otho Ruckman, with his son and daughter, stopped off with friends in town while on their way to Marlinton.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Goodsell, November 4, a fine boy.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Lockridge, November 5, a boy. All are doing well.


Mrs. Frances Gay, wife of Wm. L. Gay, died at her home on Indian Draft, Thursday morning, November 1, 1917, of pneumonia, aged 46 years and 11 months. Burial at the family graveyard, services conducted by Rev. G. P. Moore. The deceased was the daughter of Godfrey Geiger. On January 30, 1890, she was married to Wm. L. Gay. To this union were born eleven children, nine of whom with their father survive their mother.

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