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Pocahontas County Bicentennial ~ 1821-2021

August 10, 1928

L. S. Cochran gave us a “hand” of hemp, which was grown, pulled, bleached, broke, scotched and hacked by his great-grandfather, David James. It has been in the Cochran family for many years, and makes an interesting item in our collection of old and curious things, as comparatively few have seen the hemp which played so important a part in the household economy of a former generation.

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The Levels of Pocahontas was visited by a most terrific rain, hail and electric storm Saturday afternoon, and a great deal of damage resulted. Roads and corn grounds were badly washed and the dam at Warn’s mill was broken. Lightning struck and burned the large new barn of Harry Harper, on the Charles Beard place. The building and contents were worth over two thousand dollars. A number of cows, sheep and hogs were killed by lightning on different farms, and hay stacks of Lee Beard and John Hill were burned.

The rain centered from Droop Mountain to Millpoint and was only a few miles in width, no rain falling at Raine’s mill on Stamping Creek.


“No. 53 delayed twenty minutes in Cheat cut, account of running over bear and had to shoot him. We have him on train.”

Above is a copy of the report sent to the Western Maryland offices in this city Monday morning shortly after ten o’clock by Capt. Tom Lee, conductor on Coal & Iron passenger train which leaves Elkins at 8 o’clock.

Further details state that as the train, running late, dashed around a curve into the big Cheat Mountain cut, Mr. Bear was ambling along the track and was so surprised at the hissing steam of the monster mountain-climbing locomotive that he at once showed fight and made a dash toward the engine which won the first round…

The 400 pound carcass was placed in the baggage car. It was taken on to Durbin, then end of the run, and brought back on train No. 52 Monday afternoon. The capture of the big animal created a great deal of interest all along the Western Maryland line and in reply to Capt. Lee’s report Superintendent H. H. Berry wired from Cumberland, Md.:

“Please note and dispose of the bear; would like to have a sample of the meat, can also use the hide.” – Elkins Intermountain.

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The jail is being filled rapidly with cocaine and liquor sellers, no less than five new boarders having registered within a week. Three were brought from Cass, charged with wholesaling cocaine to a boardinghouse keeper. John Gwinn is again in the toils of the law, charged with selling both cocaine and liquor. If either charge is sustained and if John’s usual luck prevails, it will mean the penitentiary for this poor derelict, as he has been before convicted of selling whiskey, and under the McLaughlin law, selling cocaine is a penitentiary offense.

June 21, 1928
Andrew Price

An able critic says that I write too much. That is probably true. It is true, too, that the man who had hold of the bear’s tail exercised more than was good for his health.

In this day ‘s generation, it may be that any writing is too much. It is a feverish and excitable period. The philosopher said the other day that the younger set of people were being damned by the press, the pulpit and their predecessors.

It is an age of swift vehicles, motion pictures and radios, and there are signs of the human form divine reverting to the breechclout state of clothing. But with it, all the printed word keeps pace. There are more readers now than there ever were before and it has resulted in the production of a remarkable amount of trash. There is an appetite for that quality of literature.

Many years ago, it dawned on our mountain people that we might not be able to live in palaces or make the grand tours or frequent the fashionable resorts, but that through reading and observation we might become educated and cultured and in this way make something out of life beyond mere animal existence, for if he can not raise himself above himself how poor a thing is man!

And so we all commenced to read and think and that is the reason that so often the impressive stranger comes here and we are ready to crown him lord of all, until he opens his mouth and toads come out instead of pearls of wisdom.

Gascoigne said that a boy was better unborn than untaught. He meant taught to do his own thinking. As a man thinks so he is, not as a man is taught. We do not want to discourage the teacher. The child needs that kind of an associate.

A ripping wheeze was published the other day in a story, just like a bitter dose in a sugar coated pill. The man went into a restaurant and ordered two boiled eggs and a kind word. The waiter brought him the eggs and for a kind word, whispered to him not to eat the eggs. That is a good deal the office of the teacher in this day and time. He is not only to set before the child the hash, but also to give him a kind word…

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