Thursday, July 30, 1897
A SINGULAR phenomenon is interesting the people of upper Elk. Last Saturday the water below Gibson’s ceased to flow and upon examination it appeared that a gulf had opened into which the water poured with the noise and rush of falling water and disappeared into the depths of the earth.
This seems to be something entirely new in the history of this stream, so far as can be remembered, and it is worthy of special attention as to what subsequent results may be.
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LAST WEEK, James Cochran, of this county, an elderly man, started to walk to McClintic’s camp on Williams River. He left Jacob Simmons’ after dinner and had nearly reached the camp when night overtook him. He lay down in the woods and slept the night and on starting next morning, got confused and took the trail back to Pocahontas. He walked the whole day and was so weak from fatigue and hunger that he lay down perfectly exhausted. He was found near the Barlow Hacking and brought out nearer dead than alive.
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MRS. Isabella Varner, the aged widow of the late John Varner, Esq., of Split Rock, still lives on the well-farmed old homestead that she and her industrious husband and children reclaimed from the dense and rugged forest that is such a feature of the Elk regions.
She is eighty-two years of age and possesses untiring energy and will not keep from work. Last year, despite all persuasion to the contrary, she worked in her garden, and as her vision was too much impaired to see the weeds, in a standing posture, she worked on her knees. This year, her vision has so far failed that she could not discern weeds from garden plants – even on her knees. She has reluctantly given up her loved duties in the garden and exercises herself in other useful ways about the dwelling. She is a daughter of David Hanna, one of the pioneers of Elk and a soldier of the War of 1812. He settled on the place where William Gibson, Esq., resides.
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NOTHING definite has been heard of George W. Roberts and Ervine Houdyschell, who broke jail last week. Jailer Siple has resigned, and there is a wild scramble for the place. It is said that Houdyschell was seen near Jack Hook’s in the Frost neighborhood from whence he came. Roberts lives in Pennsylvania. He is of a good family.
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THE lumbermen from the wooly Williams River country were in town Saturday. We noticed Dick English, the Pennell brothers, Edmiston, Wanless, Trainer, Black Tom McDonald, the Desperado, and others. A Swago man got drunk as a biled owl and started out for blood and to round up the town. He was carted off to jail for a few hours.
The Case from Frost
Instead of printing a communication received, we will say that the case preferred against Mrs. T. J. Williams and Mrs. Dr. Guinn was an unwarranted affair, and that the evidence before the justice exonerated them completely.
One justice, Mr. W. H. Grose, had thought it best to refuse the warrant, and circumstances afterwards proved him right. The warrant issued by Justice Bird was willingly answered by both ladies and no arrest was necessary. It was simply a case of perfectly respectable persons charged with an offense of which they were innocent, and to which any person may be liable. Anyone who knows the ladies or anything about the case knows the foregoing to be so, and it is unnecessary to say more about it.
As to the prosecution, this paper has nothing to do with it, and we refuse to discuss that side of the case.
FOR MORE than a hundred years, the Wanless name has been a familiar one in our region of the country. According to tradition vaguely entertained, Ralph Wanless and Stephen Wanless, natives of England, came to Virginia and settled on the Wanless place near Mount Tabor schoolhouse in “The Hills,” five miles north of Huntersville.
One of Ralph’s sons was William Wanless, who married Nancy Wilson from Augusta county, near Fort Defiance. She was a sister of Margaret (Peggy) Moore, wife of Isaac Moore, senior, of Knapps Creek.
Mr. and Mrs. Wanless settled on Back Alleghany and were the parents of nine daughters and seven sons. The daughters were Rachel, Jane, Eliza, Martha, Nancy Ann, Margaret, died 7 years; Mary, died 15 years; Malinda, a young woman when drowned in Leather Bark; and Matilda. The sons were James Wanless, near Dunmore; Andrew Wanless married Margaret Potts and lived on Back Alleghany; Nelson Wanless, a Confederate soldier, was captured at the Big Spring and died at Beverly, 1863; Ralph Wanless and Allen Wanless, and then two unnamed sons who died in infancy.
A Postmaster’s Report
When it was arranged for postmasters to send in quarterly reports, many queer documents were furnished. The following is on file in the post office department:
Waterford, fulton c. ils.
July the 9, 1856
muster jimes buchanin, President of United States
Benn required by the instructions of the post office to report quarterly, I now foolfil that pleasing duty by reportin as follows. The harvstin has been goin on pretty well and most of their labors have got their cuttin dun. Wheat is hardly an average crop, on rollin lanscorn is yellowish and wont cut morn ten or fiftenn booshils to the aker. The health of the communities is only tolerable meesils and colery have broken out about 2 and a half miles from hear, there are a powerful awaknen on the subject of religun in the potts naborhood and meny souls are bein made to know their sins are forgiven miss nancy smith a near nabor had twins day before yisterday and one of them is a poor scraggy thing that wont live out half its days that is about all I know and have to report at present quarter give my respect to Mrs. Buchanin and subscribe myself yours trooley
pm at fulton Co ils