100-Years-Ago

Thursday,
May 6, 1915

The fine dwelling house of Edgar H. McLaughlin, at Hillsboro, was totally destroyed by fire Sunday morning. The fire caught in the woodshed which adjoined the house, and spread so rapidly that nothing could be done with the flames. Mr. McLaughlin and his family were at church when the fire started. The greater part of the furniture was saved from the building, but much of it was greatly damaged in handling. The house was a large nine room frame house, built some years ago by the late George McNeel, and stood on Mr. McLaughlin’s farm just below the village of Hillsboro.
Sunrise schoolhouse on Alleghany mountain in the Greenbank district was burned last week. The fire is supposed to be of incindiary origin as school was not in session.
Business may be dull, but there is money enough for automobiles. Their manufacturers know little nothing of trade depression. An organ of the trade computes that at the end of 1914 there were 1,750,000 of the machines in this country, an increase of 500,000 in 12 months. While some of these are used for business, the overwhelming majority are pleasure vehicles, the passenger cars outnumbering the commercial vehicles about 10 to 1.

WILLIAM STEWART GUILTY
William Stewart will be executed on July 2nd, for murdering George T. Shires, Chief of Police of Ronceverte, April 3rd, 1915.
Sentence was pronounced by Judge Dice in the Greenbrier Circuit Court at Lewisburg last Friday.
Stewart was found guilty after a trial lasting all day Thursday and Friday. The jury was out less than an hour. This is the first time in half a century or more that the death penalty has been imposed by a Greenbrier County Jury…
The entire list of jurors summoned for the term having been exhausted, twenty additional jurors had to be drawn before a jury could be secured.
The evidence was that Stewart had been bringing whiskey into the State and selling it; that on April 3rd, Chief of Police Shires had confiscated a lot of whiskey belonging to Stewart, and afterward arrested him. While under arrest Stewart drew a gun and shot Shires, killing him instantly. The State also showed that Stewart had said that he intended to kill the policeman if he attempted to arrest him.

OIL DEVELOPMENT
A part of the equipment for the exploration of this territory for oil arrived this week and it is the intention of the oil company which has been formed to put a hole down on Williams River. The test will be first made about eight miles west and at the right angle to the synclinal formed by the rock bed of the Greenbrier River. The formation may be roughly described as follows: In going west from the unbroken bedrock of the Greenbrier, the country rises rapidly to a summit about 1,200 feet above the river. At about 200 elevation is the bottom of the big lime which at this point is exposed and which is some 600 feet in thickness. Below the big lime, the big Indian sandstone is exposed. Above the big lime is the uniform layer of mauch chunk shale and above that the sandstone which is found in connection with the West Virginia coal measures. At the point that the well will be drilled, the big lime will be found entirely buried, though how deep is not known. Both local and northern capital is invested in the adventure. Several attempts have been made to explore this territory at a great depth but this is probably the first time that a rig of anything like the capacity of this one has been brought to the county.

BRIDGE
County Court will meet in special session Monday, May 10, to consider road and bridge matters. In 1914 the county court decided to rebuild the old county bridge across the Greenbrier at Marlinton, as it has become inadequate and highly dangerous under the heavy traffic at this point, and this work was included in the estimate for the levy o f that year. At his term of court the matter of rebuilding the bridge will be considered.

GREENBANK
We had frost May 1, but the fruit was too backward to be hurt.
Mrs. J. W. McNeil, wife of Rev. J. W. McNeil, died of cancer, April 30, 1915, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. F. P. Patterson. She had been a great sufferer for several years, yet not complaining. She fell on sleep and her spirit was wafted on the wings of the morning to the rest for the weary where there will be no more suffering.
Grady Arbogast left last week for Elkins, where he is foreman in an automobile garage shop. We wish him success as he is a natural machinist.
We ad fine rain last Sunday night which was badly needed to stop forest fires and to start vegetation.

EDRAY
John E. Barlow has about finished up his fine big new store building.
Clarence Barlow is quite a favorite among the ladies since he has a Ford car of Jimmie Baxter’s.
L.J. Moore and company has opened up a grocer store on Cooks Corner.
The gypsies are camping at John Swager’s, swapping horses and gelling fortunes.
The big fire on Elk mountain last week did quite a lot of damage.
French Hoover is able to come to town after being laid up with a bad case of measles.

DEATHS
Mrs. Nora Bird died at the home of her brother, George Bird, at Campbelltown, aged about 35 years.
The venerable Abram Sharp died at his home at Frost, Wednesday morning, aged about 80 years. Mr. Sharp was one of our best citizens, a man whose influence was ever exerted for the right. For many years he had been a consistent christian, a member of the methodist church.
Mrs. Amanda F. Sharp, wife of D. W. Sharp, living near Marlinton, departed this life in the city of Baltimore, on Friday, April 30, 1915, while undergoing a surgical operation. She was born January 19, 1866, and married December 22, 1881, and was the mother of thirteen children, two of whom are dead and eleven living, some of whom are grown and some quite young.
Her husband was present when she went to the operating table and she asked him to remain with her until she awoke from the influence of the anesthetic but she filed to rally. she told him among her last words that she was ready for life’s greatest change, and to take are of the children and do the best he could…Burial was at the Sharp cemetery.

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