Subscribe Today

Seventy-Five Years Ago

Thursday, October 12, 1944

Dear Editor;

… I personally think that you are in a rut as far as this precious paper is concerned. So many read it word for word and enjoy all you write but are more appreciative of anything else than a personal letter. The general comment is that there would be no Pocahontas Times if the war were to end. It seems to me that many years ago, when there was no war, your paper was chocked full of interesting things, field notes, etc., and often half a sheet more was edited. My opinion is that there is a store of know-ledge in your head that has not met the public eye. Please clean off the cobwebs and give generously to it… ~

Washington, D. C.

– – –

No, gentle reader, the old editor is not in a rut. It is the war which puts the country newspaper in the hole and piles on mountains of work. This extra is largely mechanical, and the head of a country paper who was not brought up to make a hand as a printer is just naturally out of luck in these troublous times. It is only just now and then that a body can bob up for air and write a piece.

This is newspaper week, and a good time to make confession that long ago I realized I did not know what was best to print, and what to leave out, and that I probably would never learn.

However, people are patient and long suffering, and right now they are putting up with my weakness for soldiers’ letters to double the postage bill.

I like to write and there is much to be written up in the years which may be yet ahead for me. It makes one feel fine to have appreciative mention made of one’s efforts, but it is also humbling to be brought to a realization that the less I write, the faster the circulation grows.

The business in hand now is to hold the line. As soon as this cruel war is over, I hope to be able to catch up with my hunting, fishing and rambling in the woods and thus, incidentally, pick up bigger and better field notes, that the children cry for.

Our Army and Navy Boys

Lieutenant Lloyd E. Kisner, of the Army Air Force, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Kisner, of Durbin, who was reported missing in action early last spring in the European area, arrived in Washington by plane one day this week.

Mrs. Ralph Coberly has received the Purple Heart awarded to her husband, Ralph Coberly. He was wounded August 6 in France. He is back in service.

Cliff C. Sharp, of Frost, has received word that his son, Private Beryl K. Sharp, was wounded in Italy. He is now in a hospital somewhere in Italy.

Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Beverage, of Marlinton, have received a telegram from the War Department stating that their son, P. F. C. Kenny R. Beverage was slightly wounded in action in Italy on September 14th and has been awarded the Purple Heart.

Private Arnold Burns, of the Army engineers, stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, was called home last week by the death of his brother, Corporal George Cameron Burns.

Sergeant Charles Edward McElwee has arrived safely in France. His brother, Lt. Alfred McElwee, of the Engineers, is in Holland. He saw service in the invasion of France.


Corporal George Cameron Burns, aged 33 years, died at the Woodrow Wilson Army Hospital in Staunton October 6, 1944. On Sunday, his body was buried in the family plot in Mt. View cemetery.

Corporal Burns was a son of the late Ham and Minnie Hiner Burns, of Cloverlick. He had been in the army over two years with 17 months of service in New Guinea and places in the South Pacific area.

He is survived by his sisters, Mrs. Mary White, Mrs. Maude Wright, Mrs. Margaret Wooddell and Mrs. Catherine Wooddell and two brothers, Arnold, of the Army, and William, of Cleveland, Ohio.


The following letter, which expresses regret, was received by Mr. and Mrs. George H. Hefner, of Marlinton, Elk Rt. from James M. Gavin, Brigadier General, U. S. Army Commanding Headquarters 820 Airborne Division.

Dear Mr. Hefner;

It is with deep regret that I write of the death of your son, Pvt. First Class Andy E. Hefner, a member of my Command, who was killed in action June 9, 1944, during the Invasion of France.

Your son was a member of the 401st Glider Infantry 82nd “All American” Airborne Division.

PFC Hefner was a member of a heavy machine gun squad. He was a loyal and fearless soldier, whose fine knowledge of his machine gun, leadership and outstanding courage in combat were admired by all who knew him.

Putting aside family ties, the admiration, respect and affection of comrades are a soldier’s most priceless possessions, because collectively these comrades are unfailing judges. These possessions I believe your son earned in full measure. Death of such a man leaves with each member of the Division a lasting sense of loss from which there comes to you a deep sense of personal sympathy.

James M. Gavin
Infantile Paralysis

Last week five cases of infantile paralysis in four families were reported from the Greenbank community.

Daniel Taylor, aged 15 years, was the fatal case. The schools of the whole district were closed, to open next Monday, if no more cases develop.


Born to Mr. and Mrs. Lee Smith, of Huntersville, a son. Mr. Smith is serving with the Navy, somewhere in the Pacific.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Jesse W. Baker, of Marlinton, twin daughters, Bonnie Jewel and Betty Sue. Mr. Baker is in the Army now stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland.

more recommended stories