Thursday, May 5, 1921
The bodies of Marvin T. Wilfong and Charles Clyde McLaughlin, who were killed in action in France in 1918, will arrive in New York on a transport, with about two thousand others, May 7th. The body of Marvin Wilfong, who is the son of Mrs. James Wilfong, of Marlinton, will be buried in the National Cemetery at Grafton, by request of the family. Some members of the family will attend the burial. Clyde McLaughlin, who is the son of Amos McLaughlin on Browns Mountain, near Huntersville, will arrive in Marlinton about May 10th, and will be buried at or near the home place.
THE BIG MILL
The big band mill of the Marlin Lumber Company started up Monday morning. Logs for many months’ sawing are in the woods along the railroad, and it is hoped the lumber market will justify continuous operation of the plant.
This Company owns ten thousand acres of fine timber land on Buckley Mountain. The oak and other hardwood is good, and the hemlock is of unusual good quality. The mill is located on Stillhouse Run, a mile below Marlinton, the stop being called Stillwell. Preparations are being made to build a large store, a boarding house and dwellings for the workers.
The people behind this big new industry are the Wilson family, successful lumbermen who have operated big timber holdings at Wildel, Mill Creek and other places. The general manager is Mr. Burton Wilson. In addition to being an experienced lumberman and operator, he has the advantage of a thorough training as a civil engineer, being a graduate of St. John’s College at Annapolis.
The mill is set about a quarter of a mile back from the railroad, and the yard extends to the railroad. The run will furnish sufficient water for the pond for most of the year. This mill is remarkably well arranged for convenience and efficiency.
This big mill’s payroll will be a welcome addition to the country’s business stream just now, and may they run long and prosper.
TWO MEN KILLED WHILE RESISTING ARREST
The Recorder is called upon to chronicle one of those tragic events common throughout the world and read of almost every day, but never brought so close home before.
Clarence and John Ryder, two brothers, aged 26 and 27 years, and sons of Andrew Ryder, were mortally wounded while resisting arrest by Sheriff Bird and a posse of sworn deputies near their home five miles east of Monterey Monday afternoon.
It is not the purpose of the Recorder to make of the unfortunate event a sensational, two column newspaper story, but to give, as briefly as possible, the deplorable details and circumstances leading up to and connected with the tragedy, and which are now being investigated and brought out by a coroner’s jury.
The trouble started when an effort was made to arrest one or all of the three – Lewis Wimer being with the Ryder boys when they drove their Ford car up Main Street at an unlawful and dangerous rate of speed. The officials had one of the brothers in hand when he broke away and ran. Later, Wimer was also in the officer’s hands when he broke to run but was caught, overpowered and locked up.
Meantime, the Ryder boys took a stand on the hill north of town and defied arrest, and it was then that the sheriff deputized a number of citizens to go with him. Knowing that the boys not only had a bad feeling for the town authorities, but also had fight in them.
The sheriff’s posse reached the neighborhood of the Ryder home ahead of the boys, having left their autos and approached on foot, and when the young men drove up in their car, they were practically surrounded.
What followed has been given with slightly varying details but, as nearly as we could learn, the officers, before advancing, urged the two boys to submit to arrest, go back to town quietly and that a small fine would end the matter.
The reply was a refusal and a threat.
As the sheriff’s men attempted to close in, a rock and gun battle followed, both the boys being killed. Robert Hedrick, one of the deputies, was struck by two rocks and was the only member of the posse being hurt.
Members of the posse hurried to a neighboring telephone and called Dr. Fox to the scene, but both victims were dead before he arrived. His examination showed that each of the young men had received a shot about the chest.
On Tuesday morning, Commonwealth Attorney A. L. Jones had E. D. Swecker sworn in as acting coroner and six citizens as members of the jury, and they were driven to the Ryder home to look at the ground, view the bodies, and take the testimony of witnesses over there.
The inquest was then adjourned to Monterey and the taking of testimony continued throughout the day. At 4 p.m., the body adjourned until 9 o’clock Wednesday morning.
VERDICT OF THE CORONER’S JURY
We the jurors sworn to inquire when, how and by what means John Ryder and Clarence Ryder came to their deaths, decide that John Ryder came to his death by gunshots from the hands of the sheriff and his posse in the execution of the duties required of them by virtue of their office, and that Clarence Ryder came to his death by gun shots fired carelessly and recklessly by the sheriff and his posse.
Signed: E. D. Swecker, Coronor; D. O. Bird, Russel Rexrode, Jas. M. Ralston, L. M. Pope, W. E. Snyder, G. D. Dudley, Jurors.
As a matter of course, the unfortunate affair was the chief topic of conversation, and as is also natural, sentiment was divided in fixing the blame. Not a few sensational rumors reached town ever and anon, and purely as a precautionary measure, Judge Holt, sitting at the spring session of court, had several constables sworn in while the investigation is in progress.
Thoughtful, conservative citizens feel confident that sober judgment and counsel will prevail and that any indiscreet act tending to renew or augment the trouble will be discouraged and avoided.
The funeral of the two unfortunate young men took place at Straight Creek church Tuesday afternoon at 2:30, both being buried in the same grave. The service was conducted by Rev. Mr. Thumm of the M. E. church and the gathering was one of the largest ever seen on a similar occasion in that community – Highland Recorder