Pocahontas County Bicentennial ~ 1821-2021

Thursday, March 27, 1930

Fred Sizemore was before Squire T. S. McNeel on Monday morning and confessed to a charge of possessing moonshine whiskey and homebrew; his portion was a fine of $125 and costs, and thirty days in jail.

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Elmer Sharp had the misfortune to lose a valuable horse Saturday night. It was found dead in the stall. The same day, a bunch of his cattle broke out of the enclosure and got badly laureled.

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The 4.7 miles of State Road from Frost to the state line was let to contract to the Pocahontas Construction Company, of Cass, by the State Road Commission. The contract price is nearly $74,000…

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Mrs. Pearl Yeager has commenced building a log house on her lot near the courthouse.

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W. A. McLaughlin has rented Mrs. John D. Gibson’s farm on Elk. This is considered one among the best grazing farms in the county.

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Speaking about taxes (and everyone is talking about them), Mark Twain’s old gag about the weather fits in – too much said and nothing done about it. Some weeks ago The Outlook of New York published an article “Poor Insolvent Chicago.” A section of this article telling how that city got that way is printed here, because it describes a situation in Illinois that is not unlike conditions in West Virginia.

“If Chicago is prostrate today, it is because she got in the way of a warfare that has been going on in Illinois for generations – the ancient and endless war between the landed interests and the industrial interests, the homeowners against the bond owners, the real estate holders versus the stockholders. These hereditary enemies have been at odds ever since the agrarians first began to lose control of politics in the decade that followed the Civil War. Up to that time, Illinois had functioned fairly well under the old constitution of 1818. That instrument had said that all property must be taxed equally – a matter simple enough when almost all property was in the form of land or of animals and machinery that belonged to the land. But as the bulk of wealth began to shift to the manufacturers and the merchants, the poor land-owner found himself at a disadvantage.

“It is far easier for an industrialist to hide a sheaf of notes or bonds from an assessor’s eye than it is for a farmer to secrete a herd of cattle or 360 acres of corn. Furthermore the old constitution, despite attempts to adapt it to changing conditions in 1850 and 1870, remained wholly unfair to the industrialists. If tax assessors caught all the property of the latter class and wrote it down at full valuation, the effect was confiscatory. If enforced, the ancient laws would take from five percent to six percent in taxation from industrial or commercial investors. In such a situation only one thing was possible – ignore the law. This was done and taxation soon became, in effect, not so much a question of law as a tax assessor’s personal opinion. Caught between the devil of an impossible law and the deep blue sea of Doing Something, the assessors assumed extra legal powers and by common consent, proceeded to mark down the valuations to a point where business could stand the levy.

“The system, however sensible it was in aiding industry, continued to bear heavily upon the landowner. The great majority of people who got their wealth from industry went blithely along paying no taxes at all upon their personal wealth. The rickety old constitution made no adequate provision for catching their stocks, bonds, jewels and limousines, whereas the owner of real estate had no way of secreting his holdings…


As this paper goes to press, the word comes that Hon. Andrew Price died about 3 o’clock Wednesday afternoon, March 26, at the Greenbrier Valley Hospital in Ronceverte. As yet no funeral arrangements are known.


James Pierce Simmons, aged 58, died at Marlinton Monday morning, March 23, 1930… Service conducted at the Marlinton Methodist Church. Burial in Mt. View Cemetery near the graves of his parents. The pall bearers were E. M. Richardson, Pat Gay, R. S. Staton, B. F. Smith, Clarence Smith and Calvin W. Price.

Mr. Simmons was a son of the late Lewis Simmons… His brothers are L. O. Simmons, of Marlinton and Kenton Simmons, of Bolar; his sisters, Miss Fannie Simmons, of Marlinton, Mrs. Odie Campbell, of Staunton, Mrs. S. B. Yeager, of Washington, and Mrs. F. B. Bennett, of Caldwell.

Mr. Simmons was an industrious man and a good citizen.

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William T. Moore, died at the church service on Browns Creek Sunday morning, March 23, 1930. He had joined in singing a hymn and slumped in his seat and died from heart failure without a struggle. The day before he had been engaged in plowing. His age was 67 years. On Tuesday his body was buried in the McLaughlin graveyard near Huntersville, the service being conducted at the M. P. Church.

Mr. Moore was a son of the late Samuel Moore, of Marlin Mountain…

Mr. Moore was a most industrious man, upright in every walk of life…

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Mrs. Mary McLaughlin Moore, widow of the late Charles L. Moore, died at her home on Browns Creek Saturday afternoon, March 22, 1930. She passed away peacefully, as one going to sleep after a few hours illness, of heart disease. She was in her seventy-seventh year… On Monday afternoon her funeral was conducted from the Huntersville Methodist Church… Burial in the Huntersville cemetery beside the graves of her husband and her oldest son, Floyd Moore.

Mrs. Moore was the daughter of Lieutenant James E. McLaughlin and Rebecca Taylor McLaughlin. Her father was a Confederate soldier in the 25th Virginia Infantry and was killed in battle in the Valley of Virginia.

She became the wife of the late Charles L. Moore. To this union were born fourteen children – seven sons and seven daughters. Six sons and six daughters survive. The daughters are Mrs. G. W. Ginger, Mrs. G. W. Clark, Mrs. Oscar O’Connell, Mrs. R. E. Timbers, Misses Blanch and Madge Moore. The sons are Elihu, Elmer, Vernon, Frank, Fred and French Moore. A son, Floyd, and a daughter, Mrs. Lou Barlow, preceded their parents to the Beyond.

Mrs. Moore was one of the best of women, performing well her part as wife and mother, friend and neighbor. For many years she had been a member of the Southern Methodist Church.

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Jacob Gibson, aged about 65 years, died at the Greenbrier Valley Hospital in Ronceverte, Monday, March 24, 1930, after a short illness of acute Bright’s disease. The funeral was conducted from Mary’s Chapel and his body buried in the Gibson graveyard on Elk.

He was the son of the late James Gibson, Sr., of Elk…

Mr. Gibson was a good citizen and a prominent man in the affairs of his community.

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Mrs. Mary Shrader Fertig, aged more than 90 years, died at her home in the Hills, near Dilley’s Mill, on March 25, 1930 of the infirmities of age. Her brothers are R. C. Shrader and Squire J. H. Shrader. Among her surviving children are Amos, George, Charles and Fred Fertig. Her husband has been dead for many years.

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