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100 Years Ago

Thursday, January 22, 1920

Of the twenty-five distinguished service crosses won by West Virginians in the war, two came to Pocahontas County.

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Dick Smith, the noted hunter, has bought himself a Ford car. He has caught five large red foxes this week, and the week is still young. He has not as yet trusted himself to chase a fox in the car, but he says it is a great convenience to haul himself and the hounds to and from hunting.

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When the New York legislature assembled the other day, the Speaker of the House called the six members who had been elected on the Socialist ticket from districts in New York City, where the foreign element is strong, and told them they were suspected of not being true to the government of the state and nation, and that they should not sit as members until their state of mind had been investigated.

A resolution was put forth and carried with but two dissenting votes, and the Socialists were forcibly ejected from the floor of the house. Thereupon the clouds began to lower upon that house.

The New York World threw its usual fit and declared that the legislature had committed a capitol crime against representative government, and that there could be never more any laying of heads upon pillows in peace and security in this country. Charles Evans Hughes and W. H. Taft and hosts of other authorities declared that the legislature had done a hellish thing, and for a moment the country was all but swept off its feet. We know that we were that way, but like a good many other lawsuits, what appears at the first glance to be plain, upon study and investigation, appears to be just the opposite of what was the first impression.

The case is very similar to those that were so common in the days of reconstruction after the Civil War when all of our kin were disqualified from holding office because they could not take the test oath, that they had not given aid or comfort to the Confederacy. The older men in this county remember when a Captain in the Confederate Army took this oath and was promptly indicted and convicted of perjury.

The proceeding in New York is based on the same general grounds that the Socialist party gave aid and comfort to Germany. Everyone will remember what keen anxiety was felt at the time that we entered the war over the question of whether we would hang together or fall apart. It meant the world and all to us.

At that time, the Socialists tried to stampede the country and bring confusion to the nation. They succeeded in disrupting their own party, many good Americans leaving it and repudiating its doctrines in a public way. To say the least, the loyalty of the Socialists was under suspicion, and this would justify the legislature in ordering an inquiry…

There does not seem to be any menace to our form of representative government in this proceeding. Just the reverse. The terms of the members were purposely made short so that the people could control the body by frequent elections and such questions as they are now considering is one of the things that they were elected for. If the course does not please the majority, then they will suffer at the next election. We have only two real safeguards in our government – the supreme power of the people at the polls, and the freedom of their representatives under the law while in office.

There is going to be a big trial over the Socialist members and much smoke will arise therefrom…

Editor Times:

I have just read an article in your paper of January 8th on noted trees, that brings to my mind a certain apple tree known fifty years ago as “The Tommy Tree.” This tree stands on the hill between Mill Point and Stephen Hole Run, on the land owned by Isaac McNeel. My father, Peter McNeil, moved to that place fifty years ago, and the tree was then of considerable age, and he has told me that tree was there when he was a young man, and that it was planted there by one Tommy Bradshaw – hence, its name. Father, if now living, would be past ninety years of age. I visited this tree eight years ago and of a large orchard it seemed to be about the sole survivor and was sound and vigorous. I passed there last May and as far as I could see it was still holding its own. I would suppose that this tree is not less than a hundred years old. It may be that some of the old residents who live near this remarkable tree can tell more about it than I can. The fruit of this tree was rather small and very acid.

Yours truly,
O.P. McNeil
Akron, Ohio


Dogs got into the fine flock of sheep of Austin Duncan last Friday night and killed and injured nineteen head. Mr. Duncan killed three of the dogs.


Report of Swago school for the third month ending January 8th. Number enrolled is 16. Edna McNeill, teacher. Pupils present 20 days this month: Goldie Jackson, Eva Beverage, Ruth Jackson, Susie Kellison, Pearl Barnes, Edith Armstrong, Glenna Barnes, Johnnie Hause, John Gay, Forrest Kellison, Lewis Gay. Pupils neither absent nor tardy, Susie Kellison, Ruth Jackson, Johnnie Hause.


Oscar Wilfong, aged about thirty-five years, died at Marlinton Sunday morning, January 18, 1920, from injuries received the day before at Deer Creek. He was loading logs on a car, and the load slipped, throwing him off and the logs catching him. He was brought to the Marlinton Hospital on the afternoon train, but he was so badly injured that he died that night. He was a native of Pendleton county, where his parents live. He is survived by his wife and their four children.

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Miss Ressie Griffin, aged sixteen years, daughter of Mrs. George Griffin, died at her home at Campbelltown, after a short illness, Sunday, January 18, 1920. Her body was buried at Mt. View Cemetery on Monday.

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