Thursday, December 13, 1895
“My county, ‘tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the Pilgrim’s pride
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring.”
There are not many places in the United States where these words have not been sung. Their author, the Rev. S. F. Smith, of Newton, Massachusetts, died at a Boston depot lately. While waiting for a train, he was seized with heart failure. He was a minister of the gospel in the Baptist church for sixty years…
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R. B. YOWELL, Editor of the Huntington Evening Times, who has been very severe in his strictures on saloonists, gamblers and fisti-cuffers, was assaulted on the night of the 25th of November by five men with knives, brass knuckles and other dangerous weapons. He was found in a dying condition by some persons and taken home. He recognized two that were pugilists, and one a saloon keeper, who are now under bonds.
Trapping the Wolf
Among the interesting things remembered by Captain J. M. McNeill, is a wolf-snare he saw forty years ago that had been constructed by Alexander Wooddell before steel traps were available.
Alexander Wooddell lived where John S. Moore lives. About a half mile from the McNeill gate, at the confluence of the Little John Spring Run and the drain that heads near the gate referred to, it was found.
A hollow chestnut tree stood at the foot of a steeply-inclined bank, and next to the incline the tree had been notched about a foot above the ground, then about three feet higher, it was notched again, but not deep enough to penetrate the cavity. A slab was then removed leaving a smooth face. At the top, a large aperture was opened into the tree. Then a groove was made in this face from the base to the opening at the top.
The bait was placed inside at the bottom. The wolf would insert his nose and rising upward to the aperture would slip his head through the opening at the top of the groove, fitting the neck comfortably, he would slip down toward the bait and then attempt to pull it out, but the head is in the way, and it never occurs to the animal to slip back up, and so all that remains is to howl and let the hunter know what has happened.
From all available information and his own personal observation, the writer is clearly of the opinion that the tree occupied by Stephen Sewell in the winter of 1752-53 is near or at the place where the path crosses the slough between E. D. King’s residence and Knapp’s Creek. It was a sycamore of immense girth at the ground, but tapered to a comparatively small trunk at twelve or fifteen feet. Being a mere shell, the cavity could easily admit five or six persons, and was frequently used for shelter from rain and shade from heat by persons working the fields near to it.
Upon a well-remembered occasion, the writer was plowing corn nearby when a heavy shower came up and he went into the tree for shelter. While there, he observed the movements of a swarm of ants. The ant was red, about half the size of the largest black ants that feed on decayed wood.
They were coming and going from an aperture four or five feet above the floor. A foraging party who had found a large, dead gallinipper, laboriously ascended toward the opening. Upon coming to a crevice that crossed their track there was a pause and some moments seem to be spent in consultation. Presently one started off and leaping the crevice, hastened to the entrance and disappeared. In a short time, a dozen or more emerged and went straight to the party in waiting and arranged themselves directly opposite. The gallinipper was pushed forward until the others could reach and pull it over. The others then went to the spot where the courier had crossed and rejoined the relief, and assisted in bearing the booty. A few, however, not being needed, went on in advance.
When the entrance was reached, the insect was found to be rather large. After another apparent consultation, forefeet and nasal feeders gesticulating as if the ants were experts in the sign language. In the meanwhile parties began to dismember the prey. Wings and legs were pulled off and carried away, the body cut into fragments, and in a very little while all disappeared from view. It was now left to the imagination to picture the jovial scenes that transpire at the feast so amply and skillfully provided for.
W. T. P.
The Skunks and the Farmers
A good farmer tells the Watchman that it would be worth a good deal to the farmers of Monroe county if the trapping of skunks was stopped. We all remember what damage was done to the corn crop last spring by the cut worms, and nearly every season crops suffer from these pests. The soil is fairly alive with them and grub worms – more so than ever before – and the skunks should be let alone and given a chance to devour theses costly nuisances… Give the skunk an opportunity to help the farmer, and he will pay for the few chickens he eats. In fact, we are told that the skunk is much slandered in the matter of robbing hen roosts, and visits them very rarely while on the other hand he will completely clear the fields of worms if allowed to live. – Monroe Watchman
THE following unique notice by the Honorable Secretary of the Mingo Football Club, Mr. Arthur Lawson, posted at various places, announcing the coming match of that team with the team at Lee Bell, Randolph County:
FREE KICKS FOR NOTHING
“Pardon me one moment! Yes indeed! Go! “They’re off!”
The Ever-Victorious, “Never Say Die” Team of the Mingo Red Indians will encounter in struggle with the Ever-Gallant Team of Lee Bell Lady Killers in a football match, Friday, December 13th in Mr. Harmon Conrad’s meadow, near Valley Head. Play beings at 2 p.m. “Fair play and no favor!”
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Marlinton goes over to tackle the Elk Giants next Saturday, and expects to do what it can to win the game. The play will be worth seeing, and a big crowd is expected.