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Seventy-Five Years Ago

Thursday, September 28, 1944

Our Army and Navy Boys

Mr. and Mrs. Jess Wilfong, of Boyer, have been notified by the War Department that their son, Dale, aged 19 years, of the United States Navy, is missing in action.

Mrs. Franklin J. Widney, of Elkins, has learned that her brother, Lt. L. E. Kisner, Jr., of Frank, reported “missing in action” on May 25, over Belgium, cabled his parents this week, “Am O.K. Have written. Will see you soon. Don’t worry about me. Love,”

Signed, Your son.

Lt. Kisner was overseas fourteen months when he was reported missing by the War Department. He was a bombardier on a B026 Marauder plane.

George Clark, son of Mrs. Lucy Clark, is home from the Army with an honorable discharge. He has seen long and hard service in India.


PFC. Loran S. Jordan writes from “Somewhere in India” under date of September 4th:

Dear Mr. Price;

I hope that you will not be too awfully bored with this letter, but as I had a little time, I thought I would arrange a few words for you. I received three copies of The Times the other day, and boy they sure was real news from back in good o’le West Virginia. There sure was some real good letters from the boys that are serving overseas, and I hope that there will never be any misfortune fall to anyone of them.

I received a letter from my sister-in-law today, and I sure was real sorry to hear of Emile Grogg getting killed in France. He was a real good boy, and I am sure he will be missed by everyone that ever knew him. There are quite a few boys here in this outfit from West Virginia, and they sure have what it takes to be a soldier. I have had boys from back in the good old USA write to me and say, “Boy, I wish I were over there with you.” But I’m sure it wouldn’t be very long until they would want to be back in the States…

When does school start this fall? I have a boy to go to school and it sure makes me homesick at the worst stage not to be there with him. I sure hope this war ends soon, for I have three of the sweetest babies, and their mother is what I call an ideal wife. It sure is hard to stay over here away from my family, but you know the army…

Best of luck always,
Loran S. Jordan


Clifford I. Sharp, who lives at the tunnel on the Greenbrier a dozen miles above Marlinton, took a little walk in Marlin Mountain the other day. The wildcats had been killing lambs for him all summer, and it was his day to look after his sheep. He carried his rifle along. On a south hillside in an open spot, where a big pitch pine had been turned out of root, he saw a big black rattlesnake all kinked up in the sun. Looking closer, he made out a big copperhead neatly coiled beside the rattler. Looking more carefully, the open spot was literally covered up by dozens of little, month old baby rattlers; dirty gray in color and about fifteen inches long.

While looking around for a long like stone to drop on the big rattler and copperhead to get both snakes at one stroke, the big rattler crept off to the hole left by the old tree, followed by a number of the baby rattlers. Mr. Sharp did drop the long stone. It crippled the big copperhead, and crushed the life out of several of the little ones. It also stirred up a nest of yellow jackets. One of the hot little stingers stung Cliff on the bare arm, and for a second he knew he was snake bit, and badly bitten.

Mr. Sharp then put the copperhead out of business with a well placed rifle bullet; killed as many little rattlers as he could find and then proceeded to get himself a long bull-horn pine knot to work on the snakes in the hole. As he put the stick in the hole, he thought he saw a flash like a snake striking at it, but he could not be sure. Pulling the stick back, he knew he had caught something. And sure enough, he had – two big yellow rattlesnakes. The snakes had hooked their poison fangs into the splintery wood, and were hauled out in the open, before the needle-like cat-claw fangs were pulled out or broken off.

Cliff killed these snakes and punched around in the hole for more. He could feel snakes in the hole, so he took a few shots with his high powered rifle gun. With his prodding and with his shooting, before he got too sick from the noisome smell of poisonous snakes, he checked in on a total of twenty-two little rattlers, four really big rattlers and one copperhead – a total of twenty-seven in all.


George H. VanReenan, aged 82 years, died at his home on the Jerico Road, September 23, 1944. On Sunday afternoon, his body was buried in the Cochran cemetery on Stony Creek. Mr. VanReenan is survived by his ten children, Ernest, William H., Roy and Theodore; Mrs. Nettie Baxter, Mrs. Mamie Moore, Mrs. Lanty Sharp, Mrs. Bessie Baxter, Mrs. Grace Smith and Mrs. May Morrison. His wife was Ora J. Curry, who preceded him to the grave about a year since.

The deceased was a son of the late Cornelius VanReenan, a native of Holland, and Martha Duncan VanReenan…

Paul Jay McNellan, aged 36 years, died September 21, 1944. On Sunday afternoon, his body was laid to rest in the family plot in Mt. View cemetery… The deceased was a son of J. J. McNellan and the late Mrs. Ocie Sellers McNellan… Mr. McNellan is survived by his wife, Mrs. Bertha Dunbrack McNellan and their five children, Gail Lee, Charles Kermit, Dreama Lee, Saundra Sue and Paula Eugene.

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