100 Years Ago

Thursday, February 10, 1921

Our attention has been called to the fact that we let Groundhog Day pass without mention of the fact. This is an error in journalism, but even Homer sometimes nods. After you have written about thirty chapters on this poor man among the animals, it is hard to think of anything to say, but here is some nunc pro tunc junk about Hibernia.

Up North, a farmer went into the business of preserving groundhogs last summer. He had five located in burrows near the bank of a little stream that he endured for the purpose of an experiment, though each one of them eats as much grass as a sheep. He was anxious to test the tradition that a groundhog will come on deck on the 2nd day of February and take the sun, to see how much latitude he can allow himself for sleep. So on the 2nd day of this month, he took his stand before daylight and watched the holes all day long and never saw a groundhog. About sundown, his small son came by on his way home from school and casually informed his father that he had caught five groundhogs at that place last fall. Rumor has it that the old man gave his son one of those unjust beatings that you read about so often.

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Lent began yesterday, Ash Wednesday. It is observed by the fast set. It is a forty day fast and suggested the question that led to the argument that Dr. Tanner produced that it is possible to live forty days without food if you have plenty of water to drink. They cannot live very long without water…

And speaking of Ash Wednesday, reminds one of the kind of coal that was peddled around this year. A bucketful of coal produced a bucketful of ashes. And there were indestructible pieces of rock in it, too. The kind of rock that you read about – the grates of hell could not prevail against it…. We bought two tons and have most of it yet. We have been reveling in wood fires, and they made us realize how far we had wandered from the Lord. The wood fire is the thing, but it is a fact that coal at $30 a ton is cheaper than wood unless you can induce your wives to cut it, and they do not like to do it, it is so hard on their diamond rings. But coal fires are pretty hard on the nostrils. They are the reason that the man who had gone to the place of departed spirits, known as Torment, sent back word that he was far from comfortable, but that he liked it better than Chicago.


James Persi one of our most valued Italian citizens came to his death at Cass last Thursday by a pistol shot from the hands of Nazzareno Cincilla, an Italian laborer. Persi has been contracting for A. D. Neill & Son Co., at Clover Lick, building railroad. He was one of the most successful contractors in the business and had a good deal to do with the Italian labor.

He had just finished one contract and was figuring on another, and went to his home at Deer Creek. His family consisted of his wife, who was a West Virginia girl, and four small children. On Thursday evening, Persi walked to Cass to visit Marco Archangelo, a countryman, when the Italian with the difficult name, whose nickname is Jumbo, so called because of his great size, entered the house and made a demand on Persi of some kind, the exact nature of which is not known, but is believed to be something that Persi resisted, for the men got into a struggle at once, and Persi, who was a very strong man himself, forced the intruder to the door of the house. Jumbo got a knife first, but that was taken away from him, and he quickly drew a revolver and shot Persi through the stomach from which wound Persi died the next day at the Marlinton Hospital.

By this time the man, Jumbo, was outside the house and he shot at three Italians walking by the house, getting Sozio Rez through the leg.

Jumbo got away and ran to the river and threw his pistol in the water and the next morning ate his breakfast at a place on the North Fork of Anthonys Creek, 35 miles as the crow flies, and then continued his flight but the fate of the killer was on him and walking in the forest without a guide by night, he was back at Cass, from whence he had started. It is quite possible that he walked over a hundred miles in twenty-four hours. Anyway, he was scratched and bruised and his feet are still so swollen that he cannot stand on them. He came into the boiler room Friday night and was captured without difficulty.

Jumbo had worked in this county some years ago, but went away. He had been back two or three days, coming from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He was poorly dressed and had evidently not been prospering lately. Prosecuting Attorney Edgar has been busy getting the case against him ready. P. T. Ward will appear for the prisoner.

The prisoner was committed to jail without bail.

PIEDMONT – The trapping of a 288-pound black bear at Henry, W. Va., on the Western Maryland railway, south of here, broke up a service held in a church nearby. The bear had been carrying off pigs, calves and sheep, and Arnald Stahl set a trap. En route to church with friends, Stahl stopped to look at his trap to find a bear standing nearly six feet high. Revolver shots only infuriated the animal, which became frenzied. Several well-directed shots from a rifle ended him. In the meantime, several hundred people, who had assembled for church, were attracted to the scene. The meat was divided among members of the hunting party and friends.


It is related that an umpire in a game of baseball on his home grounds was forced to give decision after decision against the home team until the fans were in a fury and the umpire began to distrust his own judgment. Finally he called a man safe on second, when a thousand eye-witnesses declared he was out.

The umpire called the players around him and pointing a finger at his own forehead, sternly ordered himself off the field.

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