Thursday, January 25, 1923
I wonder how many of our boys and girls know the robins are spending the winter here. Just a few days ago, quite a lot were hopping around. They have been here all winter. It is the duty of every boy and girl to protect and study about our birds and observe them. When you find out how useful they are in protecting our grain and fruit and when you note the beauty of their song and color, you will become their friend. As a friend, you will keep them by feeding them in severe weather, by putting up some bird boxes, by protecting them against their enemies and, best of all, by making them welcome about your school, your home, your orchards, your gardens and your fields. Birds have a mission of song and cheerfulness that few of us realize.
Mr. Bud Houchin, who lived out on the Cheat Mountain road, died Saturday. Burial will be at Bartow graveyard Monday, 22nd.
Day by day in every way the road is getting “worser and worser.” We aren’t kicking about it tho, for during the greater part of the year, we have one of the best roads in the country and are rather proud of it, and more especially when we have strayed over into some of our neighboring counties.
The Monterey mail has been delayed to some extent during the past two weeks by the heavy snow on Alleghany. The schedule has been temporarily changed for this reason. The mail now leaving here about 7 a.m. instead of after arrival of the noon train, as it did formerly.
One of the highest winds on record blew through this section for several hours Tuesday. Its velocity was estimated at two hundred and eighty-eight thousand miles an hour. The estimate being based on observations by our local prophet of flying objects driven before the gale. It is stated that objects would blow by and vanish in an easterly direction, then would reappear in about five minutes coming from the west, which would indicate that they went entirely around. It is thought however, that our weatherman’s age has affected his eyesight to some extent.
G. D. McNeill
Pocahontas County has a few of the best elementary schools in West Virginia; it has a few schools that are all but worthless; it has scores falling between the two extremes. There are two reasons why a school in one neighborhood may be good while the school in the adjoining neighborhood is bad. In some instance, the patrons of one community are progressive. They take such interest in the education of the children that a very poor teacher is able to teach a successful school. In the adjacent community, the patrons are willing to sacrifice education to almost any other interest. Children are persistently kept from school to do chores, the most unimportant matter is considered as more important than going to school… In one instance, a patron took three children out of school for a day in order that they might be sent a mile to the store for a bottle of cough syrup…
Harry McDowell, an aged and highly respected colored citizen, died at his home in the Brush Country Monday morning, January 22, 1923… His age is about 82 years. He is survived by a large family of children. He was twice married.
Harry McDowell, in many respects, was a remarkable man. He was born a slave, and was raised by the Burgher family in Bath County, near the historical Windy Cove Church. At the outbreak of the War Between the States, his master and the other men folks went to the army and Harry was left in charge of the plantation, to care for the women and children. He was faithful to his trust in every particular, in trying times when the county was invaded time and again by the opposing forces.
Uncle Harry had a retentive memory, and his knowledge of the local history of Bath and Pocahontas county was unusual. When he was a man of mature years, he taught himself to read, his textbooks being the Bible and the county paper.
About 46 years ago, Harry McDowell came to Pocahontas county. He bought land and established a home in the Brush Country. He lived a useful life and was universally respected.
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Joseph H. Wilson, colored, aged 72 years, departed this life January 17, 1923, at the hospital at Denmar, where he had been under treatment for some time.
Thus passes one of the best-known and best beloved men of this county and state. He was born a slave on the Wilderness Farm in Bath county, and moved to this county as a young man 46 years ago and established a home in the Brush Country near Marlinton. He never married.
For about 40 years, he has, from time to time during each year, gone with hunting and fishing parties into the woods and in the intimate life of the camp came to know hundreds of the most prominent men in West Virginia and there never was a man who met Uncle Joe that did not like him. It is not too much to say that, during his long life, Uncle Joe never had a disagreement with anybody. He was a good man and a good citizen.
Judge McClinitc writes us from Bluefield: “I will send you before this week is over, a memorial and appreciation of Joseph Wilson. Only a court of many cases prevented my attending the funeral.”
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Joseph Newton Friel was born December 8, 1853 and died November 28, 1922. On February 11, 1875, he married Virginia C. Duncan, and to this union was born eleven children, Albert, Carl, Jeremiah, Josephine, Orlena, Mahala, Morris, Page, Dee and Grace. Ten of these children survive their mother, who departed this life April 9, 1897.
Mr. Friel’s second marriage was with Maggie J. Wilson…
Mr. Friel was a member of one of the oldest of Pocahontas families. He was a good citizen… His body was laid to rest in the Sharp graveyard…