Seventy-Five Years Ago

Thursday, March 22, 1945


Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Meeks were notified by the War Department that their son, Staff Sergeant Eugene B. Meeks, was killed in action in Burma on February 3, 1945. Mr. and Mrs. Meeks have another son, PFC Jesse H. Meeks, serving with the 3rd Marines on Iwo Jima, and a daughter, First Lieutenant Lucille G. Meeks, with the Army Nurses Corps in England.


A letter sent to his friend, Mr. John Hevener, of Stony Bottom, from Eugene B. Meeks, who was killed in Burma on February 3:
Somewhere in Burma,
January 29, 1945
Dear Mr. Hevener;

Will try and write you a few lines. I hope you are well. I have been getting along fine, although we have been having it pretty tough at times. We have been doing a lot of hiking over the mountains.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas. My Christmas wasn’t much this year, for that day we had to duck into our pill boxes to keep “Whistling Willie” from getting us.

Well, I’m hoping to get back home sometime in ’45.

We have church here about once a week and I go when I can. I know that I am not the boy I should be, but I have changed my ways a lot. I have seen several of my buddies fall beside me, so I believe the Lord is still with me.

As news is scarce, I will close for now.

Eugene B. Meeks

Our Army and Navy Boys

Mrs. and Mrs. Winters Jordan, of Hillsboro, have received word that their son, Staff Sergeant James Jordan, was wounded while serving in Belgium. This is the second time he has been wounded. They received the Purple Heart awarded him in January.

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Mr. and Mrs. Forrest Gibson have been notified that their son, Staff Sergeant Stanley Gibson, had been slightly wounded in action. He is up and going again, and will send his Purple Heart home.

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Pfc. Baxter Curry, son of Frank Curry, on Back Alleghany Mountain, is home on a months’ furlough. He is just back from Iran (Persia) where he spent twenty-eight months. He knew two other Pocahontas soldiers in Iran, Dale VanReenen, of Marlinton, and Albert Cummings, of Frank.

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Private First Class Edward Walker stationed in Utah spent 15 day furlough with his mother, Mrs. Susie Walker.

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Billy Evans, who has been in the Marines for more than a year is home with an honorable discharge.

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Chester McLaughlin, of the Navy, is home on a short leave with his father, Elmer McLaughlin.


Private and Mrs. Carl P. Beverage, of Marlinton, announce the birth of a daughter, Helen Irene. Mrs. Beverage is the former Miss Irene Wilson. Private Beverage is serving overseas with the Marines.


As of the first day of spring, I beg leave to report this has been a long, hard winter. While there was no extremely cold weather, there was plenty of cold with an unusual number of cloudy days, with much snow and ice. On the higher mountains, snow lay from November to March. While the Greenbrier River had no rises approaching flood stage, the streams hereabouts did contribute their share of water to the big flood in the Ohio River. The melting of the deep snows in the mountains was gradual, keeping the streams full for days, but not slopping over at any time. This run off was of clear water, too.

For the sake of record, let it again be printed that the ice went out of the Greenbrier on Christmas day, followed by no more breakups.

You know the old local saying that an ice breakup in the Greenbrier before Christmas means two more breakups after Christmas. This time the ice went out on Christmas day. This old sign is read in this way: This weather business kind of runs true to form, and the way a winter starts is likely to so continue. If the temperature varies so in December as to range from cold so low as to freeze up the streams, then to temperatures so high as to break up the ice, such variableness may be expected in the remaining two winter months to freeze and breakup again…

Then along comes a winter with plowing weather in December and January, and no ice to speak of. People will talk about the change in winters; about the shifting of the Gulf Stream to warm up things generally.

Years ago, we all paid a lot more attention to winter weather than we do now. For instance, the summer welfare and comfort of the family depended so much on a well filled ice house. Not every winter by any means could the Greenbrier or Knapps Creek be depended on for ice. There was a pond near where the Campbelltown bridge is now which could be depended on for ice any winter.

For the sake of the record, let it be published that the tradition in the Buckley family, at the mouth of Swago, is that the Greenbrier River is always clear of ice by March 4. This observation covers the period from 1773. There was one year possibly 1905, when people crossed the Buckley Eddy on ice the morning of March 4; however, during the day the ice went out…
For the sake of the record, let me again publish that our own Pocahontas County, a domain of a thousand square miles, is the birthplace of rivers. Here is a list: Greenbrier, Cheat, Tygart Valley, Elk, Gauley, Williams, Cranberry and Cherry, with Knapps Creek, the largest tributary of the Greenbrier, thrown in for good measure. Remember, too, the Potomac flows north from our borders and the drainage of the noble James is just over the eastern border.

You know it has ever been our proud boast that our own Pocahontas County never receives a drop of water other than the pure heavenly streams of rain and snow. The exception, however, is Panther Run, over in the Gauley Wilderness Country. This little water sprout of a stream heads up in the twelve-mile spur of Randolph County, lying between Webster and Pocahontas; pointing up on Turkey Mountain, where the Rebel Trail crosses straight away twelve miles to the mouth of Dry Branch. While hating to admit that we are beholden to anyone for even a drink of water, I have never felt the purling waters of Panther Run polluted us one bit, even though its fountain head is in foreign soil.

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