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100 Years Ago

Thursday, May 23, 1918


Every citizen of Marlinton should vote for the bonds in the special election to be held next Monday. The question is the issuance of bonds to the amount of ten thousand dollars to be used in putting the municipal water and light plant in serviceable condition…

If the bonds are voted down there are two alternatives, both of which are unthinkable.

One is to keep up the plant as best we can by devoting the whole of the revenue that can be raised by an exorbitant tax rate, and let the many other necessary things go to pot.

The other is to keep up the town as usual and abandon the light and water. If this would not set our town back, we don’t know what would. We have had a taste of what it means to do without light. The loss of water would be a calamity. The town would be scourged with fever, have no fire protection, insurance would be prohibited, and the amount already invested would go to waste.

The Town Council is to be trusted to expend the money wisely and well. This thing of serving on Town Council is a thankless job at best, but it is unthinkable to expect the Council to do things without the wherewithal to do it…


There will be a decoration at the Beaver Creek cemetery May 30th at 3 o’clock p.m. Let us show our patriotism by this beautiful memorial service, especially in respect to our brave boys who are now giving their lives for the sake of liberty and humanity. Ministers and other public speakers are especially invited to be present with us in this service…


Sam Sheets, of Hillsboro, was a business visitor here a few days ago.

Large crops of oats and potatoes are being planted and other things in proportion.

I. B. Moore and C. D. Newman, of Knapps Creek, brought their cattle here to graze.

Evangelist W. A. Grogg is holding a series of meetings here with good success. He is a very able preacher and a sin-killing man without fear or favor.


We are having some fine weather and the farmers are plowing and planting corn and potatoes by the acres.

Willis Gum made a quick trip to Headwaters in his car and got a man to do his farming, and they are farming to beat the band.

Andy Taylor has been trading horses and doing a good business.

We are sorry to see so many of our young men going to war, but are glad to say that we are going to get the Kaiser.


When a Sammy dies “over there,” we say he died doing his duty! When somebody “over here” eats a piece of cornbread or buys a Thrift Stamp, we call him a patriot!

If a Sammy hesitated as long in going “over the top” as some people do in complying with food laws, he would be court-martialed and shot for cowardice!

There isn’t any use in fooling ourselves! We must conserve wheat, sugar and fats – and we, who cannot use a bayonet, and won’t save in order that the boys who are fighting for us may not suffer hunger, have no right in the United States and no definition in the dictionary!


When this world conflict is ended,
And we once again have peace;
When the sound of drums and bugle,
And the roar of guns shall cease;
When the flower of our country,
Shall return as heroes true;
What answer will you make them
When you’re asked, “What did you do?”
When you meet the boys returning,
Who have faced the deadly foe;
And you miss from out their ranks,
Many who have been laid low;
When you’ve heard the awful stories,
Of just part that they’ve passed through;
What answer will you make them
When you’re asked, “What did you do?”…


Kind Friend; I have been reading one of your local papers of your interest in the Soldiers’ Tobacco Fund, and to assure you that your kindness and trouble are appreciated, I am sending you a poem that one of my friends gave me.

It is from a former Marlinton boy in the Regular Army.

What tobacco really means to a soldier has been voiced in more poetry – good, bad and indifferent, but always heartfelt – than almost any object of the war. This poem from the British army became so popular abroad that it has been reprinted and widely distributed.

Mrs. W. A. Bratton
Marlinton, W. Va.

When the cold is making ice cream of the marrow of your bones,
When you’re shaking like a jelly and your feet are dead as stones.
When your clothes and boots and blankets, your rifle and your kit
Are soaked from Hell to Breakfast,
And the dugout where you sit
Is leaking like a basket, and upon the muddy floor
The water lies in filthy pools, six inches deep or more;
Tho’ life seems cold and mis’ble and all the world is wet,
You’ll always get thro’ somehow, if you’ve got a cigarette.
When you’re lying in a listening post
‘Way out beyond the wire,
While a blasted Hun, behind a gun is doing rapid fire;
When the bullets whine above your head, and sputter on the ground,
When your eyes are strained for ev’ry move, your ears for ev’ry sound –
You’d bet your life a Hun patrol is prowling somewhere near;
As a shiver runs along your spine that’s very much like fear;
You’ll stick it to a finish – but I’ll make a little bet,
You’d feel a whole lot better, if you had a cigarette…

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