Thursday, March 4, 1898
FIVE YEARS pass away, an eventful five to that part of the world branded as Marlinton. Where once stood a howling wilderness, now stands the county seat. A great wave of improvement has swept over the place.
Where once was heard the thunderous voice of the Judge sentencing the criminal to the penitentiary, now is heard the pleasing hum of the carpenter’s saw; our bowling alleys turned into grinding mills, and everywhere are footprints that instead of terrifying the Pocahontas Robinson Crusoe, agitate his mind with hope, the footprints of the railroad engineer.
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A MAN and woman passed through Marlinton last Thursday, who are believed to be an eloping couple. Wednesday, under the guidance of William Fay, a backwoodsman, who lives near Cowen, they walked up Williams River, a distance of about 15 miles, on a bridle path through the forest. They cut trees across the river whenever it was necessary to cross. They arrived at H. Nathan’s where they stayed all night. Nathan was acquainted with the man, and he introduced the woman as his wife. She was apparently a girl in her teens and was poorly and thinly clad. She was a very pretty woman. The man represented himself to be a nephew of Senator Camden. They hired a team from Nathan to go to the depot at the Hot Springs.
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MONDAY MORNING at 4 a.m., Jailer Sharp was aroused by shouts of the prisoners, and rushing into the corridor found it full of smoke. The disturbance was caused by an insane man, who is confined there temporarily, who had set fire to his bed. While the fire was in progress, he had thrown a paper shotgun cartridge into the blaze and had an explosion.
GREENBRIER RIVER ROUTE
Captain Bartholomew, who had charge of the surveying corps in this county last summer, arrived here Friday with an assistant engineer, Mr. Hayes, for the purpose of examining the Greenbrier River route from Marlinton to Ronceverte. They waited here until Monday morning. A boat was built for them and they embarked for Ronceverte in the care of B. M. Yeager and Captain E. A. Smith. Captain Smith knows the river thoroughly, having driven logs the length of it every year for many years. He is much interested in the new railroad. The party is expected to be on the river for four days…
Ervine Houdyschell, who escaped with Roberts last June from the County Bastile, has been retaken and is now in jail. He is indicted for the burglary of a shoe shop. He was put into the steel cell with George Roberts, who had nearly killed his wife by cutting her with a knife, The cut a hole in the case-hardened cage and dug through the brick wall.
E. M. Arbogast, Sheriff of Highland county, located Houdyschell at Pond Gap, Augusta county. He arrested him on suspicion. He was going by an assumed name. He broke down, shed tears and confessed to his identity. Houdyschell says that he and Roberts, after they had made their escape, went by the most direct route to the state line, avoiding the county road, but traveling parallel to it. At Henry White’s near Driscol, Houdyschell got enough food to do them for several days. He told them he was a sanger…
It rains, snows, the sun shines warm, and Joe Buzzard works away in his blacksmith shop.
The good people of Anthony’s Creek made up a wagonload of corn, bacon, sugar, etc., for Napoleon Perry on Douthards Creek.
Charles Rider killed a large catamount a few days ago which measured three feet, and a wildcat about two feet. E. B. Vaughan, our schoolteacher, bought the pelts. We suppose he wants to make rugs to sit on when he gets old.
TOP OF ALLEGHANY
Bring forth another horse, ye traders.
W. J. Taylor made a flying trip to Klondike last week.
J. E. Lunsford saw another bear Sunday night. He says he is over half done traveling after dark.
The weather at this writing is just a shade too wet for sugar making, but we hope for something better.
THE ancestor of the Varner relationship in our county was Joseph Varner. He came from Pendleton County very early in the century and settled on the crooked branch of Elk, on property now in the possession of William M. McCallister, Esq. Mr. Varner’s parents, it is believed, came from Germany to Pennsylvania, thence to Pendleton County, among the earliest settlers of that county. The given names of these parents seem to have been forgotten. The father lived to the age of 112 years and died in Pendleton. The widowed mother came to live with her son Joseph on Elk, and died there. Her reputed age was 114 year, the oldest person that ever lived in this region.
Joseph Varner’s wife was Susan Herold, sister of Christopher Herold. They were the parents of four sons – John, Adam, Eli and Samuel. Their four daughters were Elizabeth, Alice, Susan and Amanda. The Varner sisters seemed to have been ladies by nature, and were remarkable for their beauty, sprightliness, attractive manners and tidy housekeeping…