20 Years Ago
Week of January 23, 2003
Offer Alternative to Snowman/Snow Angels
As popular as snowmen are, there are only so many that a child can create in one season. But don’t give up and just place offspring in front of the television until spring.
“Snow brings joy to children,” says Trish Kuffner, author of “The Children’s Busy Book: 365 Creative Games and Activities to Keep Your 6- to 10-Year-Old Busy” (Meadowbrook Press).
“But to keep them entertained, you have to mix it up every once in a while,” Kuffner says. “By teaching them new games, you’ll make your children happy. And you’ll also have the knowledge that you are showing them how to be creative.”
From her book, Kuffner offers these unique games for children to play in the winter.
Target Practice — Cut three or four holes, each about a foot in diameter, in an old sheet or blanket. Fasten this target with lots of clothespins to a rope strung between two trees or posts. Have each child stand about 10 feet away and throw snowballs at the holes. Score one point for each snowball that goes through a hole. The first player to score a set number of points is the winner. A child playing alone can see how many snowballs it takes to score a certain number of points.
Snow Painting — Add a few drops of food coloring or a spoonful or two of tempera paint to a spray bottle full of water. Let the child paint the snow by spraying it, or brush on undiluted tempera paint poured into small containers.
Button, Button — This game requires four or more players. Make snowballs, one less than the number of players. Hide a brightly colored button inside one of the snowballs. Choose one player to be “it.” The other players stand in a circle around this person and pass the snowballs quickly until told to stop. The “it” person then guesses which player has the snowball with the button inside. The players break open the snowballs to see if the person has guessed correctly. If not, that person is “it” again. If that person guessed correctly, the player holding the button becomes “it.”
50 Years Ago
Week of January 18, 1973
On Spruce Knob
A two-page, full color spread in the January issue of Wonderful West Virginia Magazine “Is the most spectacular picture ever taken of a scene in the Mountain State,” says Ed Johnson, editor of the state publication.
The photo was made by the magazine’s photographer, Arnout Hyde, Jr., from atop the 4,860 foot Spruce Knob in Pendleton County during December when the temperature was 20 degrees with a 30-mile-per hour wind. The chill factor was many degrees below zero,” Hyde said.
The photographer had to use a four-wheel drive vehicle with chanis on each wheel to negotiate the long, deep, snow-covered road to the top of the state’s highest mountain.
The editor predicts that “There will be a lot of Mountaineer hearts skip a beat when they see this incredible photo.”
“It was one of those clear days when you could see forever—at least 50 miles in any direction. Spruce trees, covered by snow and ice, were multi-shaped wintry statues,” the editor declared.
Most people like to eat honey. Did you know a strong hive of bees contains approximately 70,000 bees? A honey bee makes 154 trips for one teaspoon of honey. The drones are fed by the working bees as they cannot feed themselves. Bees consume seven pounds of honey to make one pound of beeswax. Actual weighings have shown that it takes about 20,000 trips to bring in a pound of nectar from the flowers and blossoms.
60 Years Ago
Week of January 24, 1963
100 YEARS AGO
By LON K. SAVAGE
Editor’s Note—The following is one of a series of articles on the Civil War. Each weekly installment covers events which occurred exactly 100 years ago.
Burnside in Virginia
First it had been Gen. Irvin McDowell who was to lead the Federal army in a march over the 100 miles from Washington to Richmond early in the Civil War, and that march had ended ingloriously at First Bull Run 30 miles south of Washington. Then came Gen. George B. McClellan who had taken nearly a year to train his army and lead it up the Peninsula to Richmond’s outskirts, where it was defeated soundly by Robert E. Lee. Next came John Pope who set out again from Washington for Richmond, to see his hopes go up in smoke at Second Bull Run. The fourth general to try his hand at the Federal game of marching on Richmond was Ambrose Burnside, whose advance came to a bloody end at Fredericksburg.
Now, it was someone else’s turn to take General Lee. One hundred years ago this week, that selection was made. It was Joseph E. Hooker of Massachusetts—“Fighting Joe,” they called him—a veteran of nearly all the important battles in the East.
Hooker was a tall, blonde, blue-eyed man, known for his handsome face and self-confidence. He had witnessed the mistakes of his predecessors and, everyone thought, would know enough not to repeat them.
The change was made January 26, and on the same day President Lincoln wrote Hooker a letter that would become famous. Lincoln had gotten word that Hooker had been critical of his former boss, Burnside; he also had heard, second-hand, some remarks Hooker had made about the need for a dictator to run the country.
“I think it best for you to know,” Lincoln wrote Hooker, “that there are some things in regard to which I am not quite satisfied with you.” He then accused Hooker of criticizing Burnside—“a great wrong to the country and to a most meritorious and honorable brother officer.” Then, referring to the remark about dictatorship, Lincoln added: “Only those generals who gain successes can set up dictators. What I now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship.”
So Hooker took command, and almost immediately the battle-scarred Army of the Potomac began to perk up; morale rose; parades were held and Hooker was cheered by his men. Burnside stepped aside.
Burnside’s last week commanding the Army of the Potomac had been pathetic. To recoup the disgrace of Fredericksburg, he had marched his beaten army January 20 down the Rappahannock River to try another crossing and launch another attack on Lee. Morale was so low that the army never really got moving properly. A heavy rain fell, and mules, wagons, artillery and even the soldiers got stuck in the mud. Within 48 hours the movement was abandoned as hopeless, and it went down in history derisively as Burnside’s “Mud March.”
So Burnside joined the ranks of demoted ex-commanders of the Army of the Potomac and went off to Ohio. There were fewer Rebels to worry about in that part of th country.
Next week: Fighting on the water.
70 Years Ago
January 29, 1953
HISTORY OF COUNTY POOR FARM
RECALLED BY WRITER
Many years ago we had poor peole in Pendleton county that were of the unfortunate type, or commonly called paupers that must be supported by others. But in days gone by they were supported in a different way from what they are now. The older people, matrons and little children who were unable to care for themselves were boarded and clothed in homes at various prices and usually a specified time in which the pauper or paupers were to remain in the home or place. Sometimes these unfortunate people were treated in the kindest manner that could be shown or bestowed upon any human being. Others were treated in just the opposite way.
Prior to 1850, it is authentically known of two little girls who were placed under a heavy tub, with air space and kept there until the man or woman would return home from their Sunday visits or doing errands. In a short time the girls were placed in other homes. The man went to the west. Some years later the same man came back on a visit, and went to visit the home in which the little girl (then a married woman) was living. The man of the house said to the married lady, “I guess you don’t know this man?” She replied rather loudly, “Yes sir, I know him.” In a moment the man hung his head in shame and ceased to speak until the married lady left the room.
Sometimes exorbitant or unsatisfactory bills were charged, but not always paid, unless contracted for at times when those in authority would tickle for those who tickled for them.
The County Court in 1885 was composed of six members as follows: James M. Temple, Leonard Harper, Martin Moyers, George Teter, Lewis Moyers and John R. Dolly. All were considered men of good judgment and very conservative. Martin Moyers made a suggestion to the court that too much money was spent in keeping the poor people called paupers. Why not buy a farm and keep the paupers there? Most of the court members thought it a wise plan.
The next question, who will locate a farm? All voted for Moyers to do so and report at the next meeting. He considered the Sol Cunningham farm on South Branch at Upper Tract the most suitable one he could find, considering the price.
When the next lawful meeting was called, Moyers made an oral report. Just a little hesitation. A few did not favor the deal whole-heartedly. Moyers replied slowly, “Alright, I will keep the farm myself.” After a little discussion by the court of its merits, viz: The fine bottom land for farming, the good grazing land, the large flowing spring, the beautiful flat topped hill on which to build houses, the convenient road through the place and timber land to boot.
The court entered into an agreement with Cunningham on December 9, 1885, for the farm, consideration $9,500.00 for 408 acres of land. On March 20, 1886, Cunningham made a deed to the court for same, Leonard Harper, president.
The court appointed Frank Keister the first superintendent of the farm and caretaker of the unfortunate. Isaiah Murphy is now superintendent and caretaker.
It is almost incredible to tell the price paid for the place, compared with what it is worth today—a real asset to Pendleton County.
If some of the good citizens in the county owned this farm, individualy, they would feel happier than Queen Elizabeth on the throne of England.—John Dahmer.
SIMPLE ARITHMETIC – – –
There have been ninety justices of the U. S. Supreme Court, but in the ninety-year history of West Virginia, the state has not had the honor of having a native son appointed to this high and august body. A judgeship on this bench is second in importance only to the presidency. The judges are appointed for life, and in one or two instances, a Supreme Court Judge has made a greater imprint on the history of our country than has several of our presidents.
All the bordering states have had members of the court. Ohio has had 8—6 since 1863; Pennsylvania has had 6; Kentucky 5; Virginia 5; and Maryland 4. This makes a total of 28 justices in the five states bordering West Virginia—our state has had none.
Is it because we are too small a state or that we have not produced men of the caliber necessary for the job? Neither proposal seems valid. As for the caliber of the men, there is probably no state in the Union, large or small, that has contributed more able men to the country’s service than has our state.
Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War during Wilson’s administration, Louis Johnson, recent Secretary of Defense, John W. Davis, Democratic nominee for president in 1924, J. J. Cornwell of Romney, one of the finest lawyers the state has produced—these are but a few of our outstanding leaders. A complete list would fill this column, indeed, even this page.
Since we have eliminated the logical criteria for the selection of a U. S. Supreme Court Justice, the only deduction is—we are sorry to say—that in many cases this high honor has not been awarded fairly or on merit or ability, but through the “spoils system” of politics has become a political plum tossed at powerful politicians or friends of political bosses in key states with a high electorial vote, with the next election in mind. States like New York has had 11 judges.
Is West Virginia to go ninety more years without one representative in the judicial branch of the federal government?