100 Years Ago

Thursday, September 16, 1920

A West Virginia farmer lived in an isolated section of the state where there were no good roads, in fact nothing but mountain trails.

His wife was recently committed to one of the state asylums.

In discussing the matter with her physician, the farmer said:

“I do not know what made her go insane. She had nothing to bother her. We lived in a quiet place. Why, she had not been out of the kitchen for eighteen years.”

– – –

A stranger gave us some food for thought one day last week. He was travelling through the country in an automobile and wanted to know if there was any place to stay all night between here and Green Bank and, without thinking, we replied that there ought to be about a hundred good places. But it seems that we were wrong about it. In the twenty odd years that have passed since we travelled that road, they say that conditions have changed, and that it is no more the custom to drive up to a farmer’s house to spend the night, and that it is about as hard to break into exclusive family circles in the country as it is for a stranger to ring the bell at a city mansion and ask for a lodging for the night.

As we remember the county, entertaining stran-gers was part of the scheme of life. Thirty-odd years ago, there came a knock at the door. We answered it and found there a couple of decent looking men, who said they were Mormon missionaries and wanted to stay all night. With the intolerance of a half-grown boy, we chased them off and they went up to the old schoolhouse and stayed there that night. We have never felt right about it since. We cannot figure out why the Mormon part of it should have made us drive them off. We never discriminated against any other religion. One of the men was a striking looking man and we firmly believe that we have seen him since sitting in no less place than the United States Senate.

In the old days, the farmers carried out the Bible instruction and entertained angels and horse-traders. With the days of their prosperity has come exclusiveness, and the latch string no longer hangs outside.

“Trouble me not, for my door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed.”

The old rule was the stranger kindly bade me to stay, sat by the fire and talked the night away. The new rule is the stranger plainly told to git, camps in the road and makes the best of it…


At a congregational meeting on Wednesday night, it was decided to complete the basement of the Presbyterian church.

“Polly,” H. B. Morgan’s parrot, died the other day. The bird was 22 years old, and a fluent talker. Mr. Morgan got it in Cuba when he was there as a soldier.

Charles Galford had a finger severely mangled by a saw at Williams and Pifer’s sawmill on Laurel Creek, Saturday.

John R. Poage returned on Monday from Charlottesville Hospital where he had an eye removed, and is getting along well.

Harry Sharp who has a position in Pittsburg is spending his vacation with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Sharp on Lower Camden Avenue.

Elihu Hamrick has bought the Donnally property on Lower Camden Avenue. This is another good property to change hands on account of our good schools. Mr. Hamrick is moving here to put his daughters in high school.

John McGraw came home from the wars last Saturday, and is now with his father, J. J. McGraw, after nine years in the regular army. He served three enlistments of three years each. He was in France about a year. On the third day of the battle at Soissons, he was wounded by a high explosive shell as he was leading his company which had been reduced to thirty-five men. For three days Sergeant McGraw fought in the first wave of this great battle before being wounded. His wounds kept him in the hospital for months, but he is now in good shape again. He also had four doses of gas.


Robert Eades and Misses Vida and Virginia Hull will go to Alderson next week to attend school.

R. L. Shiflet bought the Snyder property near town and is busy harvesting the hay on the farm.

Albert Ash, of Burner, has a fine crop of hay and potatoes and acres of blackberries.

Luke Kisner is working at Glady this week.

J. S. McDonnel and his friend came out in the mountains of the Greenbrier and found seven bee trees. They got about 100 pounds of honey.

The Bartow garage has changed hands. It is now Orndorff & Patterson.

No politics yet. We have to wait to see how the women will vote.


Make hay while the suns shines, is being practiced in our neighborhood.

Dennis Underwood who has been very ill is recovering slowly.

Some of our young people attended Sunday school last Sunday which they reported progressing nicely.

Ernest Burr is preparing to take up his third year work in High School at Hillsboro.

Charley Ryder, of North Fork, lost a valuable cow by being choked on an apple.

A. G. Dean made a trip to Burr Valley last Sunday.


Myrtle Reed says: “Judging by the various books on the subject of luncheons, people do not eat at noon unless they have company.”

This is probably the rule, especially among women in families where the man of the house takes his luncheon downtown. The housewife, even if entirely alone, should have something hot and take it sitting down. People who do not take time to eat and sleep presently are obliged to take time to die. People who, from false notions of economy, live upon improper food, are shortly put to the greater expense of a funeral. It is better to spend money on fruits, vegetables, milk and eggs, than upon wreaths and gates ajar.

The one who leads the procession, with his friends riding behind him, might better have postponed this particular entertainment for a few years, and in most cases it could be done by taking more time to live while engaged in the business of living.

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