10 Years Ago
Week of May 10, 2012
Good Old Days
Weren’t So Good
The “good old days” seemed to have life moving slower, neighbors helping neighbors, and everyone had a snug home and lived comfortably off the land. But perhaps the good old days weren’t always like that. There was no daycare for children, no food stamps or welfare stamps and no nursing homes. Families were a close unit; values were highly regarded, and regular Sunday worship was a high priority. Neighbors did help neighbors in times of trouble and want. For instance, if a neighbor became sick, one would tend his garden and farm his crops until he recovered. That custom also made one’s neighbor’s business one’s own business, because if even he or she made bad lifestyle decisions, one was still obligated to help out the family. If the neighbor wasn’t walking the straight and narrow path, it was up to one to push them back onto the path. Also, a man’s word was as good as a handshake!
20 Years Ago
Week of May 16, 2002
Life Cycle of
Hummingbird Proves Complex And Interesting
The hummingirds are here! If one hasn’t put up a feeder, it’s not too late. One can make their own nectar by mixing one part table sugar with four parts boiling water, cooled and stored in the refrigerator. The red dye is unnecessary. Nectar is purely a source of energy, enabling hummers to beat their wings 55 to 75 times per second. The first hummers to arrive each spring are males. They quickly set up protective territories around food sources, chasing competitors away. The name of the game is when the food attracts females. The courtship begins with the male performing aerial dance displays. The female is completely burdened with family life. She builds a tiny walnut-sized nest by using sticky spider silk to fasten bits of leaves, lichens and soft plant fibers to a small horizontal branch. Two tiny eggs are then incubated for about 16 days. Young hummingbirds leave the nest about three weeks after hatching. An array of predators watch from various levels of nature, namely: climbing snakes, squirrels, chipmunks, deer mice, hawks, bullfrogs and preying mantis. Hummingbirds live a tough life. The least one can do is provide a little nectar.
30 Years Ago
Week of May 21, 1992
Read Between the Lines To Get the Real
Meaning of Writing
Being able to “read between the lines” is an admirable trait to be able to spot the real meaning of something even when it is disguised, purposely. In early America, this phrase had a notably different meaning. Paper was of poor quality, costing a day’s wages, so annual letters to friends and family usually started at the top of the page. When the page was full, the writer couldn’t turn it over and write on the backside since only the front side was smooth, so the sheet of paper was turned top-to-bottom. This way the letter continued between the lines of what had already been written. Thus, the receiver of the letter who had good eyesight could “read between the lines” and could decipher everything that was written on the paper.
Irishmen Marked Hogs By Cutting Tails
How the Irishman marked his hogs as told by the old folks: first he cut off the end of the pig’s tail, then another piece of the end and still another, until he had three pieces. Another tale was when a farm animal was seen going about alone, it was like the Irishman hog going in a drove by itself. An Irishman is said to tell a man who was digging a hole in the ground—don’t go to deep or you will have the Chinese yelling at you. Just recently a minister added a new tale—it appears a minister was traveling in his car and came to a stop sign. A bishop following struck the rear end of the first car. When an Irish policeman came to the scene, the two men were fighting. The policeman said, “Father, how far back were you when the minister backed into you?”
50 Years Ago
Week of May 18, 1972
How Thorn Creek received its name is not fully known. It is the writer’s opinion, after much study, that it derived its name from the thorn bushes that once grew in abundance here. This wilderness area was known as “West Augusta.”
60 Years Ago
Week of May 17, 1962
100 YEARS AGO
Morgan, Belle Boyd
Capture South’s Eye
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.
While the South was fighting on a dozen fronts against seemingly overwhelming odds, 100 years ago this week, stories began circulating about little-known men and women who were becoming heroes and heroines of the common struggle.
Two of these persons—a man and a woman—came particularly to the public attention in mid-May, one in the western theatre of operations, the other in Virginia. They were John H. Morgan, hard-riding young man of 35 whose raids and guerrilla warfare were taking a toll in Tennessee and Miss Bell Boyd of Martinsburg (now West Virginia), a spirited young girl who had just turned 19 and whose loyalty to the South was beginning to have some little effect on the war.
John Morgan, Alabama-born and Kentucky-bred, appeared out of nowhere in early May on a road near Nashville at the head of some 600 men, and he immediately began a pestering job that would plague the Yankees for much of the rest of the war.
First a wagon train with about 400 federal troops disappeared, and it soon became known that Morgan was responsible.
A few days later, a band of federals charged into Lebanon, Tenn., where Morgan and his men were staying. Morgan quickly led his men away; the Yanks pursued, and a running gun and saber fight on horseback lasted for nearly 20 miles. A Pennsylvanian watched during the chase. Morgan, spotting a riderless and fleet-footed Yankee horse galloping near him, leaped from his black pacer into the saddle of the riderless horse and galloped off, outdistancing the pursuing federals, and made his escape.
A few days later, a 48-car freight train was burned on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad at Cave City, and a passenger train with several federal officers aboard was captured. Morgan was at work again.
While Morgan waged his guerrilla warfare in Tennessee, young Belle Boyd began waging a different kind of warfare in Virginia.
Miss Boyd (who already had killed a Union soldier and had been imprisoned in Baltimore on suspicion of spying) arrived in Front Royal, Va., in the middle of May, and she immediately found important work to do.
On the night of May 14-15, she hid in a closet on the second floor of a building and listened through a hole to a federal council of war taking place in the room below her. Late that night, she coded the information she had learned and rode 15 miles through the darkness to give it to an officer of “Stonewall” Jackson’s army.
Within the following week, the girl carried another message through federal lines to Jackson’s army, was placed under arrest by federal authorities and talked her way out of it.
And on May 23, she made one of her most famous exploits. She was in Front Royal when Jackson attacked the town. Quickly gathering information about the federal strength there, she ran from the town, white bonnet flying, through weeds and over fences, with gunfire and artillery popping around her, to Jackson’s army with the word that the federals were outnumbered—that Jackson could win an important victory if he attacked immediately.
Next week: Jackson on the warpath: Front Royal and Winchester.
70 Years Ago
Week of May 15, 1952
Rubbish Being Removed Today By Town Truck
This is clean-up day in Franklin, and if the town’s truck has not already passed your door, you may still have time to pack up your trash and place it on the curb in front of your home, where it will be picked up and taken away free of charge. Now is the time to get rid of that pile of tin cans, discarded glass containers and other accumulation of winter rubbish if you get busy and clean up your premises. The truck will not pick up quantities of ashes or tree trimmings. If it is raining hard enough to present the problem of cardboard containers bursting from getting wet, these containers may be placed on front porches but should be left in plain sight where the truckers will not fail to see them.
Two More Bike Clubs Formed By Cunningham
Two more chapters of the Pendleton Pedal-Pushers, bicycle organization for kids who ride bikes, have been organized, according to Trooper Bill Cunningham of the local detachment of the West Virginia State Police. Clubs have been formed at Brandywine and Mouth of Seneca. Objective of the clubs, which are meeting with endorsement of everyone in the county, is to teach the young cyclists the laws of the road and to preclude any accidents that might occur. “A kid on a bicycle has no chance against a moving vehicle,” the trooper said. “A bike-rider has his rights and a motorist has his. We hope to keep these two interests from ‘clashing’ with serious or fatal results.”
A meeting was held at Circleville Saturday and efforts will be made to form a club there, Trooper Cunningham said.
Week of May 22, 1952
Cost of Newsprint
Hits All-Time High
WASHINGTON, May 21.—U. S. newspaper publishers were in effect handed a bill for 50 million dollars a year last week when it was announced that exported Canadian newsprint will go up by $10 a ton on June 15.
The Truman Administration immediately asked the Canadian government to reconsider and rescind its approval of the price hike, which would be the second $10 boost in less than a year and which would raise the price of the paper on which newspapers are printed to an all-time high of $126 a ton.
Newspaper consumption runs at the rate of about 80 pounds a year for everyone in this country. About nine-tenths of all the U.S. newsprint comes from Canada.
“This additional cost increase will drive many small American newspapers out of business,” Ellis Arnall, price director, told the Canadian government in protest.
Now, a little history of the two-lane old wooden bridge across the Tygart River at Philippi, a noted landmark. It was in this region where the “Philippi Races” took place between the North and the South during the Civil War. The bridge was built in 1852.
James Reason Dickenson was born in 1852. When Mr. Dickenson was seven or eight years old, a circus came to Philippi and, of course, this was much agitated by the public and attracted quite a bit of attention and a large crowd was present. The manager of the show thought it not wise to let the huge elephant cross the bridge for it might collapse and cause trouble, so therefore, he had to wade the river. But the elephant had an idea in mind or the insult of having to wade. He marched into the river about midway, then he took a deadset, that is he would go no farther. He partially filled his trunk with water and made a thin spray over the people. The manager or keeper of the elephant talked to him but to no avail of leaving his post. Then he filled his trunk to full capacity. By this time quite a crowd had gathered on the bank. He raised his trunk into the air and caused a heavy rain to fall upon those on the bank. But still he would not leave his post. The manager went away and brought back a big basket of candy. The elephant could not resist the temptation of a handful and advanced a few steps from his post. So little by little the manager coaxed the elephant to the other side of the river, but the candy was all used up when he arrived on dry land.