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100 Years Ago

Thursday, February 11, 1921

We are now enjoying a soft and muddy winter. It is certainly making the mail carriers live hard. Within a few years, the postal service has grown and broadened until certain interests are ready to crucify a gentleman by the name of Burleson who is handling more pounds of mail in one year than they used to handle in ten. It looks like the women of this country are sleeping with catalogues under their pillows, and it is certain that a big mail order catalogue occupies a position of honor along with the family Bible on the center table in most homes…

In the old days, the most important mail that came to this county was carried by a man by the name of John Donley who made the trip from Lewisburg to Hunt-ersville, a distance of forty-nine miles in one day, and made the trip back the next day.

The mail was carried in a two-horse wagon in summer time and on horseback in the winter. Donley was the most famous mail carrier that we ever knew. He belonged to the days when a big revolver was considered a part of the ordinary and necessary equipment for a carrier, and when the outfit changed hands, the revolver went with the trade.

Our recollection of Donley was that he was a very abrupt man. His driving was like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he drove furiously. There is a story connected with his taking up the hard life of serving the long mountain route. He was working for a farmer in Greenbrier county, and not answering the dinner bell promptly, and the farmer undertook to break him of that bad habit and drilled into him the necessity of dropping anything that he had in his hand when the dinner bell rang and attending to the business of eating. The training went on for some days, until the time came when Donley and the farmer were lifting off a big Newton wagon bed and got it part of the way up when the dinner bell rang. Donley let go of the rope and went to dinner, and the bed came down on the farmer and held him where he lay. About the time dinner was over, the farmer showed up with a club in this hand and ran Donley off the farm, whereupon he took up the life of a mail carrier which he pursued many years.


The fine cattle roam over the hills and meadows of the big stock farms like it was summer time. Eugene Gatewood, C. C. Beal, Dunlap Bros. and Russell Hannah all have fine herds.

We have had several cases of flu, but in the mild form.

The Linwood school taught by Mrs. R. F. Yeager is crowded to its utmost capacity and pupils have been turned away because there is not room for any more seats. We can get the seats but we cannot enlarge the building. The schoolhouse was burned a few years ago, caused by a defective flue. A temporary building was put up with a view to build a two-room school house later. The board of trustees condemned the schoolhouse and next year they hope to have a large two room building that will accommodate all the young people who want to attend school at Linwood.


Plowing and getting ready to make sugar is the order of the day.

Mr. and Mrs. Randolph Galford are building a new house on their farm. They rented their house and farm to Ham Burns last spring and moved to Cass. We welcome Mr. and Mrs. Galford back to the valley.

The sound of the tractor with the three gang plow is heard and seen running at the Siple Farm.

Jim Belcher, the big democrat, is running the school truck from Cass to the Greenbank High School, which gives the children in the valley a chance to attend the good school.

Uncle Jim Sutton, of Arbovale, still makes his two trips a week to Cass. He will buy anything that you have to sell that you can eat or drink, except old hen or moonshine.

Frank Young, at the Siple Farm, is feeding this winter for the W. Va. Pulp & Paper Co., 103 head of cattle of which 95 are calves. These calves were bred from registered Shorthorns and Polled Angus bulls, and we expect they are the best bunch of calves in the county.


Miss Sadie Rexrode, originally from Monterey, Virginia, died at Mrowa, Africa, while undergoing an operation for gall stones. She was a missionary of the M. E. Church and a most estimable lady.

– – –

Oriange Loman Sutton, only son and child of Mr. and Mrs. Jas. B. Sutton, near Green Bank, died in Hinton Hospital, February 12, 1921, age 17 years, 1 month and 13 days.

His illness extended over a period of nearly four weeks and death was due to blood poisoning with complications.

Standing on the threshold of life that summons came to him, and he met it courageously and fearlessly, expressing his readiness to go… The burial services were held in Wesley Chapel Church near his home, where he held his membership… The services were largely attended by loved ones, friends of the neighborhood, and a large number of the high school students.

He was in the third year of his high school course, was a good student, loved by faculty and student body generally, to whom he was devoted and eagerly asked for their presence during his illness.

He was a devoted son to his parents, and only our Heavenly Father knows their sore bereavement… In this sad hour, there goes out to these parents the tenderest sympathy from many a heart.

Another volume of the Book of Life has been closed, not many chapters written, but we believe it to be completed in letters that are eternal.

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