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100 Years Ago

Thursday, October 17, 1918

We can assure our political editors that their political editorials do no harm. They are not read. Mr. Common Man has grown very adept at skipping this class of literature.

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The American soldiers will do the work that they have been sent out to do, and after the war is over, they will come traveling home again, one by one. The hero of the battlefield may come into the farmhouse just as the family is sitting down to the midday meal, and the old man will look up and say, “By gum, here is Jake, back home again. Sit down, son, and eat your dinner, and tell us where all you been.” It is all in a day’s work with clear eyed, cool, collected, efficient American men, this work of making the world safe for democracy.

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No man can watch the unrolling of the scroll of time and not be impressed with the fact that ours is the favored country of all time. We have thus contended from the beginning when our forefathers staked all on the theory that a free country was possible with intelligent people. The supreme test came with this war, when America was called upon to restore the equilibrium of the world. It is a great privilege to be alive at this time, when once more the truth of the French proverb is proven:

“The tree of liberty does not grow unless watered by the blood of tyrants.”

Extract from a letter of Private D. C. Adkison, Battery B, 313 F. A.
Somewhere in France

A friend of The Times:

I don’t know how to begin to write to you the things I would like to for I would never be able to tell you everything in two letters the size this one is going to be. But, first of all, I don’t think you would ever want but one trip across the Atlantic. It is a long tiresome voyage and I was sick with the rest of the boys, though we had the best of weather with no dangerous experiences.

Everything in this country is altogether different from what I expected to find and in many instances I have been surprised. The scenery is simply grand. There are no large mountains like in West Virginia, but just slight elevations that enables one to see a long distance over the beautiful landscapes, all of which is a continuation pleasing to the eye sight. There are places where one can see for miles and miles in any direction and as far as can be seen, the country is dotted with homes with numerous windmills on the highest elevations.

All buildings, both in the country and cities are constructed of cement or stone. I have not seen a single frame building anywhere and have been through one of the largest cities. The Cathedrals are wonderful structures and prove that the French long ago became master mechanics so far as stone work goes. Many of the Cathedrals are very old, some of them dating back as far as A. D. 800. I was through one in the city that was so old that it smelled musty inside.

The people are very friendly and show plainly their appreciation of our being here. We are greatly handicapped in that we are unable to talk freely with them, but some of them are picking up English rapidly and many of the U. S. Soldiers can already speak a little French.

The effects of the war are noticeable everywhere, yet not to the extent one would imagine after so long a siege of it. Of course, as we would naturally suppose, many women are wearing mourning, but they go about as tho there was nothing serious going on. Isn’t it strange how people can become hardened to such a thing and after so long show no emotional signs of its horrors? Everybody is at some kind of work, principally in agricultural pursuits. Women folk take their place in the fields and do a man’s work with apparently as much speed and skill. If you could have seen the beautiful fields of grain they harvested this year, you would know that they are at least capable of self support. I never expect to see a better harvest…
Since I started this letter, I have received a letter from Lura stating that a Hill boy from Greenbrier, Ross Hufford from Denmar, and Judge Williams’ son have been killed in action over here. This brings the thing right close to our homes but people will learn to expect such things before it ends…

With oceans of good wishes, and promising you one of the Kaiser’s teeth for a souvenir when I return.


Word has been received that Mrs. McNeel and Mrs. Hill, of Washington, who spent the summer here with their mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Beard, arrived safe at home, having crossed the continent in the usual time and without any trouble.

A.C. Stillwell just completed a new, very neat and comfortable eight room house on Main street into which Mr. Bartholomew and family moved at once, thus making room for Mr. and Mrs. Carl Beard who recently purchased the Holt property and are now in their own home.

Mr. and Mrs. Tom McNeel moved last week to their farm, the Will Callison place, on Locust Creek, where they will make their future home.

There are now about fifteen cases of Spanish influenza here and the epidemic is still spreading.

Fred Ryder worked in the store at Nottingham a few days last week – helping out while Mr. Learry and Mr. Hull were ill.

A daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Neighbors, of Nottingham, died Saturday, October 12, the victim of influenza and complications.

Thomas Kitzmiller, who has been visiting his mother, Mrs. Bucher, has returned to Akron, Ohio, where he is employed.


Price Moore died very unexpectedly on Monday, October 14, 1918, after a short illness of tuberculosis, aged about 46 years. Burial at the Moore graveyard on Knapps Creek, on Wednesday morning. He is survived by his wife and their three children. Pocahontas county had no better citizen or a more upright man. For years he had been a professing Christian, and at the time of his death was an Elder in the Presbyterian church.

The infant child of Henry Shearer died at the home of W. H. Shearer, Monday after a short illness.

Miss Nannie Palmer died at her home on Upper Camden, on Saturday, October 12, 1918, aged about 25 years. Burial Sunday afternoon at Mt. View Cemetery. She was a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Palmer, who came here from Narrows, Virginia, both of whom have died within the past year. She was a professing Christian, a member of the Baptist church.

H. L. McNichol died at his home at Cass on Wednesday night, October 16, 1918, of influenza. He was bookkeeper for the company.

A Mr. Coyle, a barber at Durbin, died of influenza Wednesday night.

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