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Pocahontas County Bicentennial ~ 1821-2021

Thursday, April 17, 1930

Trout season opened on Tuesday, and the streams were crowded. Weather and water were just right, and the trout plentiful. The early birds did not wait until daylight, but were ready to cast a hook one minute after midnight. J. L. Baxter was one of the first to check in with his limit of 25 trout.

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Floyd Baxter, a lively twelve year old boy of Edray, has added a fine Indian celt to our collection. Also from J. B. Sutton of Greenbank, has come a large set of buck antlers with six points to the beam and a small set with four points, and a fine double bitted Indian celt and an Indian pestle. The antlers are from deer killed on the Rams Horn, and the celt was picked up on Back Alleghany. The pestle was found near the well known as “Indian Ovens” near Greenbank.


On last Saturday morning, John Eagle, forest patrolman, found the body of a dead man one mile below the mouth of Bear Run on the North Fork of Cherry River, about eight miles west of Lobelia and some twelve or fifteen miles from Richwood. The body was badly decomposed and the man had probably been dead for several months. Papers in his pockets led to the belief that his name was B. F. Belfar, 16th Street, New York City.

The mouth of Bear Run is in Greenbrier County. The officers of that county came up Sunday and with the assistance of Deputy Sheriff Remus Bruffey, of Pocahontas County, the body was buried at the mouth of Bear Run. D. M. Kinnison was the undertaker.

Mr. Eagle was patrolling the forest and was putting up fire warning posters. He found the body near his path on an abandoned railroad grade. It was covered with an overcoat. It is thought he had perished during the storms of early winter. This is a wilderness country. A suitcase was lying beside the body, and it had about rotted away.

Messer gets 45 years

George W. Messer, Jr., 21 years old, was found guilty in the circuit court of Bath county, Virginia, last Saturday night of the murder of Sheriff Charles A. Gum last December. The jury of 12 Highland county men fixed his punishment at 45 years in the penitentiary.

Messer and his father, George W. Sr., got in a free-for-all at a road house, which culminated in the shooting of the old man by the sheriff. Young Messer made the plea that he shot Sheriff Gum only when the officer appeared to be turning upon him to kill him.


My friend Henry Wise Hull, of Lobelia, is visiting in Marlinton this week. He is named for the war governor of Virginia, and it indicates that he might be getting quite a few years checked up on his score.

But he looks like if he were given an axe and a spud he could make a hand at rail splitting yet. He says the most rails he ever split in a day was 609 out of red oak and white oak.

The timber had been cut and dragged out in the open and all he had to do was to go to it. Another record he made was cutting the timber, splitting 200 rails and laying them up in a day.

One time he had a contract to make 2,000 rails for the late Thomas Callison at 75 cents per hundred to be paid in corn at $1 a bushel.

These were sugar and oak rails. Long about the close of the day, a few more rails were needed and to hurry up things, it was decided to cut and split a fine looking chestnut tree. He got the chestnut down in a hurry, but it was so bindy and cross grained that he like never to split any rails out of it.

Mr. Price, I saw your rail making experience in the Times. I believe I could make them a little cheaper than 20 cents a rail. I believe I can make from 700 to 1,200 a day if the timber splits good. If you want any more rails made, call on me. I will show the city lads how to make rails. ~

Elihu Pritt


The post office at Frank was robbed Thursday night by an unknown robber. He got away with about thirty dollars.

The town council has designated May 4th as clean up day. We hope that the citizens of this town will clean their yards and alleys of tin cans and have it hauled away.

The Durbin baseball team has reorganized for the season with E. G. Helmintoller as manager.

Bear got into Adam Hevener’s sheep on Back Alleghany and killed one or more of them. Dogs were put on the bear’s trail after he was wounded and chased him into Cheat River, but failed to overtake him.


Dewey Choice, of Roanoke, Virginia, spent the weekend with his wife, Mrs. Ida Sue Choice, teacher of the Brownsburg school.
Mrs. Edna Knapper spent Sunday with friends in Watoga.

Mrs. Ella Harris and children, Miss Inez and James, Mrs. Henry Knapper and son spent Thursday evening with Mrs. Knapper’s brother, Royal A. Christian at Hot Springs, Virginia. Mr. Christian is private valet to Col. M. C. Kennedy, Vice-president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, who is enjoying a two weeks’ visit at this famous resort.

Morning Exercises at the local school in charge of Mrs. J. H. Mitchell were much in keeping with the occasion of Holy Week. Short talks were given practical in the extreme culminating in the resurrection of the Master. It is an established fact that in order to train the youth to take his rightful place in society the spiritual side of his nature must keep pace with that of the intellectual.


We had some fine weather the past week. The farmers have been plowing and hauling fertilizer.

The poultry house of C. C. Wanless burned down, destroying a large flock of old chickens and 75 or 100 little chicks recently received from Oak Crest Poultry Farm.

Charley Barlow, the Ford salesman from Marlinton, was at Cass Saturday. Buy one – and spend the difference.

D. J. Wright is getting along nicely building Parker Gragg’s new house.

Russell Colaw was doing some plowing for Austin Nottingham.


Mrs. Nannie Gay McCollam, aged 59 years, widow of the late J. Fletcher McCollam, died Tuesday morning, April 15, 1930. A few days before, she had suffered a stroke of paralysis. Burial at Mill Creek on Wednesday.

Mrs. McCollam was born and raised on Bucks Mountain near Marlinton. Her parents were John J. Gay and Sarah Auldridge Gay, both of whom have been dead for many years. Of her father’s family there remain a brother, Enos Gay, and a sister, Effie… She is survived by a family of eight grown children.

Mrs. Deborah Jane Jackson, wife of John M. Jackson, died at her home in Marlinton Tuesday night, April 13, aged 41 years, after an illness of one week of pneumonia. On Wednesday, she was laid to rest in the Marlinton cemetery… She is survived by her husband, a daughter, Effie, and three sons, Fred, Dennis and a baby in arms…

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