From the Archives
February 5, 1903
NOTES BY THE WAY
While Saturday afternoon, January 24th, is remembered by many at Marlinton as one of the most stormy, sombre and depressing days of the season, it is not so to be remembered by me personally.
As I was passing along the wall near the Times’ office, threading my way through the labyrinth of horses and mules hitched in sardine fashion, and near enough to be hurtful, I was accosted by a cheery voice and upon looking up saw it was one of my pet Pocahontas boys, coming towards me. His features radiant with good nature, brightening up still more as he extended his hand in cordial greeting, “you are the very man I have been looking for.” Then modulating his voice, almost to a whisper, he remarked, by way of explanation, “I want you to come to William McNeill’s next Thursday evening, and hook me up.”
While I made no claims to being the proverbial wise man, still the laconic phrase, “hook me up” was sufficient, and arrangements were planned accordingly…
There were some days of pleasing anticipation on my part, and one more nice delightful excursion to the Swago vicinity in sight. The following notes by the way, tell the story to some extent:
Thursday morning Greenbrier Valley was shrouded with a mist such as rarely occurs for density and moisture. The matting on the porches, and carpets in the halls, were wringing wet from the condensation.
The magnifying effects on all objects were remarkable. At about nine o’clock I set out, staff in hand, for a pedestrian jaunt to attend the marriage as arranged for three or four miles away.
About opposite the Kee Rocks, a horseman apparently of gigantic proportions appeared looming up in the mist and when near enough was recognized as one of the veterans that survived those who trotted with Sheridan from Winchester to Cedar Creek. The features of this Union veteran showed nothing however of the grim visage of war, for as he met me, he was all smiles and insinuated that I must have some expectation of being at a wedding, judging from appearances.
A mile or so further the home of another Union veteran came into view, looking about as large as the capitol at Washington as seen through the strange mist.
I found him getting ready for the wedding and looking for me to come along. And when he told me he had two horses doing nothing and proposed that I should ride one and he the other, he found it one of the easiest things he ever tried in his life to get my consent to what was proposed.
Thereupon, I hung up my walking stick, dined with the family and immediately after dinner two persons on white horses were heading for the pleasant home of Mr. and Mrs. William McNeill on Dry Branch.
Swago, one of the most headlong streams in this region, was on one of its periodical rampages, but our strong horses braved the waters successfully and safely and the home in question was soon reached.
The home is near the spot where the Bridger boys had their pioneer home, and whose tragic taking off at the Bridger Notch in 1786 is one of the saddest events on record in Pocahontas pioneer annals.
Forty or fifty relatives and friends assembled and everything passed off in the most approved and pleasant style, where the best of feeling ruled and kindest wishes expressed for the esteemed young people whose lives were now blended as one.
Three or four weeks previously, the groom was best man at a marriage that came near a mournful ending. The groom in question, was from the western part of the State and when starting home with his bride, the party attempted to canoe the Greenbrier at Buckley eddy near the Buckeye station, the canoe collided with floating ice and was overturned, throwing five or six persons into water chin-deep, two of them being the bride and her sister. All, however, turned out well, and ended in them escaping safely to land on the right side of the river…
Frost and Knapps Creek Items
Well, Mr. Editor, the new year beckons us onward. The paths are various which she has for us to tread. Not all rose strewn and happy, but be sure that for a brave true spirit the ending shall be peace and righteousness.
I see great improvements in the makeup of the Times. Slang not much used, and so neatly printed that we would like to see it in every home. Many paths would be brighter, and the young men of our county would have “ONWARD” for their watchword. We feel sure the articles from Uncle Billy Price have a great deal of influence over them.
Born to Mr. and Mrs. Clark Gum, a daughter.
J. C. Harper is the champion checker player. He now wears the belt.
Everything is on a boom.
Socials, visiting, parties, wood chopping are the order of the day.
The Hill Bros. have moved their saw mill to Joseph Smith’s place where they will cut five or six hundred thousand feet of lumber for Mr. Eastly, most of which will be cut into bill stuff.
Forest McClure and Dave Gladwell have returned home from Cheat Lumber Camps and report wages good.
Seymour Gladwell has tired of the carpenter trade and is now studying pharmacy.
Died, suddenly at her home in Dunmore, on the 26th day of January, 1903, at 4 o’clock p.m., Mollie Catherine McElwee, daughter of George W. and Hannah R. Siple, and wife of B. F. McElwee, aged 36 years, 5 months and 9 days.
To the many friends of this noble woman and her esteemed husband and family, her death was a great shock, as was shown by their tear-dimmed eyes and sad countenances. She was a woman of rare excellence of character; undemonstrative, often not letting the right hand know what the left hand did, but constantly in her home life and in her associations having an impression for good. The needy never went empty handed from her door. The death of this Christian lady demands more than a passing notice…