10 Years Ago
Week of December 12, 2013
County Is 2nd
In Promise Scholarships
Pendleton County is second only to Monongalia County, home of the state’s flagship university, in the percentage of high school graduates who earned Promise scholarships in the 2011-12 school year, the most recent year for which data is available.
The merit-based scholarship program was championed by Bob Wise when he was governor and awarded funding by the state legislature in 2001. Wise maintained that the program is a way to help high-achieving state students financially while also encouraging the best students to attend college in-state.
Thirty percent of Monongalia County seniors received the Promise scholarship almost two years ago. In Pendleton County, the percentage of recipients—27.3 percent—was nearly as high.
Altogether, almost 10,000 students received the Promise scholarship during the 2011-12 academic year. Of that number, 4,447 attended West Virginia University, which brought the school about $22 million in state-funding tuition monies.
The total value of the scholarships in 2011-12 was $47.7 million.
The Associated Press reports that the number of scholarships went up while the number of high school students in the state has dropped somewhat.
To contain the program’s costs, eligibility requirements were later stiffened and tuition payments were capped.
For in-state high school students with a 3.0 GPA and a composite 22 on the ACT test or a combined 1,020 on the SAT exam, the Promise scholarship pays $4,750 of tuition costs. A 3.0 scholastic average must be maintained in college for the scholarship to be retained.
30 Years Ago
Week of December 16, 1993
At the Country Store
By Charles Teter
The happiest time of the year in the store business, to me, was Christmas. After Thanksgiving and the butchering were over, my grandfather, Charles G. Teter, and my father, George E. Teter, would start decorating the store and putting out the toys which were left over from the previous year and the new ones that they had ordered. My father would go out and get a small cedar tree, place it in the middle of the large front window, decorate it, and then surround it with a toy train amid piles of toys. There were wind-up trucks, toy soldiers, Jack-in-the-Boxes, airplanes, and dolls.
Every counter in the store, plus a few added tables were loaded with all kinds of toys and candies, Christmas cards, and gifts like perfume, sheet sets, and handkerchief sets. Usually during the evening from 6:00 until 9:00, people would come in with their children to look, buy, or lay away items until Christmas time.
Sometimes extra help was hired to make sure that the excited children didn’t handle the toys too recklessly and break them. This was in the days when there was no guarantees and if a toy was broken, it couldn’t be sent back. The most exciting time for me was when I was allowed to demonstrate the toys to interested children and their parents. My favorite was the wind-up train in the window and it sure did get a lot of wear and tear.
Prices were extremely low compared to today—the train set cost $3.00, the Jack-in-the-Box, 75 cents, large baby dolls were $1.00, and rubber balls, jacks, and packs of marbles of all different colors were a nickel. There were also all kinds of small toys like trucks, animals, army men made out of tin, checker boards, and Chinese checkers. A box of Christmas cards sold for 50 cents and the most expensive box cost about $1.00.
There were Christmas lights of all different kinds plus the bulbs that were used when one of the lights burnt out. The icicles and tinsels were placed next to the fragile Christmas balls.
One counter that I was forbidden to even get close to was the candy counter—I never could figure out why! I was a normal child and liked candy just like everyone else. My father bought the candy in twenty-five pound boxes and cut the top off of them and he angled the box on the counter so people could see what each box contained. There were gum drops, chocolate drops, hard tack, peanut brittle, peanuts, chestnuts, and all other kinds of nuts. These were sold by the pound and they normally sold for 10 to 15 cents a pound. We also sold candy by the box—chocolate covered cherries, filled chocolates, and other candies. These started at 50 cents a box and didn’t exceed more than $1.25.
Some people would pay by bringing in walnuts, hickory nuts, and eggs or they would use credit for a short period of time. The women and children would walk around the store looking at the different items and the men would sit or stand around the old potbelly stove which was glowing from a hot fire. Behind the stove was a five-gallon bucket with ashes in it. This was a place for the men to spit and throw their peanut hulls as they talked
Now and then you would see a man call my grandfather or father over and whisper in his ear, “Hey, George, set back that red towel set for my wife and I will stop by before Christmas and pick it up.”
Then you would hear a roar of laughter from the men and you would know that someone had told a joke. Mom always watched that I didn’t get close enough to further my education. Soon I would be told that it was time to go to bed. I always appealed the decision but was overruled with a “You’re going to bed because I said so!”
When Christmas was over, the counters were almost bare and the candy would be all gone. Yet it is wonderful to remember the old days when time didn’t mean too much and the dollar went a lot further. I will never forget those wonderful days before Christmas when I spent my time watching people and young children play and buy gifts at the Riverton Cash Store in Riverton.
Week of December 23, 1993
At the Dahmer School 1927
Christmas at the Dahmer School December 1927: No Christmas decorations, no week off during Christmas, and the teacher taught right up to almost Christmas Day depending on what day Christmas came on. On this particular day, the teacher John Dahmer continued on as usual until all were seated after the last recess. He said, “Now put your book away. I have some candy for you.” The older girls were told to go wash their hands to help divide four boxes of pretty striped stick candy of different flavors. A small piece of white paper was placed on the teacher’s desk for each scholar to use. Paper was more precious than it is today. The older girls divided the candy while the little scholars gathered around watching, breathing a little loud, shivering a little with delight with sparkling eyes and told not to touch the candy until told to do so. Then the youngest scholar was told to have the first pick, on up by age and you can bet your boots the older girls made an equal division. The scholars did not make a hog of themselves eating candy, but took it proudly home to show it to others. The writer’s candy lasted until the New Year. Those enrolled in 1927, but not sure if all were present that day, were boys–W. Russell, John C. and A. Roy Blizzard, Byron Bowers, Johnny A. Dahmer, Alston L., D. Roy, Herbert, Russell B. Propst and H. Snyder; girls–Mary L., Lucy C. Bowers, Elvira J., Arla E., Jennie A. Dahmer, Edith and Mabel Mitchell, Lillie K., Tressie M., S. Pauline, Mabel L., Mary G. Propst, Mary M., Sallie C. Snyder and Nina C. Tusing.
60 Years Ago
Week of December 19, 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.
Gets Bragg’s Command
Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, sent off a telegram with a saddened heart 100 years ago this week. To Joseph E. Johnston, the telegram read: “You will turn over the immediate command of the Army of Mississippi to Lt. General Polk and proceed to Dalton and assume command of the Army of Tennessee.”
And in so doing, Davis gave in to the wishes of his enemies within the Confederacy. Joe Johnston, the hero of the first Battle of Bull Run, the pre-war quartermaster general of the United States Army, finally had climbed back into an important position in the Confederate Army.
The relationship between Johnston and Davis had been bad for more than a year. Johnston had been wounded at Seven Pines back in the spring of ‘62, and when he’d recovered, he’d found Robert E. Lee holding his old job as commander of the Confederate army in Virginia. That was the first blow to his ego.
Since then, nothing seemed to go right for him. He was assigned to the West, where he accomplished little of note. His bickering with Davis grew worse, and when Vicksburg fell in the summer of ‘63, Davis laid much of the blame on Johnston.
Davis had many detractors within the Confederacy, both in the army and in the Confederate Congress, and all of them seemed to rally around Johnston. Hence Johnston’s very existence was something of a thorn in Davis’ side.
Now, Davis was giving Johnston an important job. Why? The reason was mainly that Davis had little choice.
The Army of Tennessee had been commanded by Braxton Bragg, whose record was not impressive: he had been driven from Kentucky into Tennessee after the battle of Perryville; he had lost central Tennessee after the battle of Murfreesboro; he had been maneuvered out of southern Tennessee to Chattanooga, and in late November he had been beaten in Chattanooga and driven into Georgia.
So Bragg had been relieved of command immediately after his latest defeat, and Johnston was the only remaining person qualified to handle the job. Davis considered sending Lee, himself, to take the job but was talked out of it. Johnston’s many friends—Davis’ enemies—rallied to the general’s cause, and Davis saw that he could spare some friction by giving the appointment to Johnston.
So the telegram was sent. But even that did not patch up the quarrel between Davis and Johnston. As he headed for Dalton, Ga., and his new job, Johnston realized that Davis had waited two weeks after Bragg’s removal before appointing him; and that another man had been named to fill the position in the interim. To Johnston, it was another personal affront.
Next week: Christmas season.
Make Silver Lining
In West Virginia
For years, snow on the Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia meant only trouble—something to shovel out from under—to be scraped off windshields—or cindered by road crews.
But things have changed.
Nowadays, the Mountain State—bidding fair to become one of the nation’s handiest and most popular winter playgrounds—is rejoicing over the discovery that snow clouds have a silver lining in the form of tourist dollars.
Not only do the natives now look forward to snow, but they also welcome the opportunity to earn more money by playing host to a growing number of winter sports enthusiasts.
Blessed with the highest average elevation of any state east of the Mississippi River, boasting 115 mountain peaks towering more than 4,000 feet, West Virginia receives over five feet of snow annually. Residents of the Allegheny highlands can usually bank on a white landscape from mid-December until late March.
Although most of the Mountain State is south of the Mason-Dixon Line, three key factors—high elevation, central location, and lots of the white stuff—combine to make West Virginia a “natural” when it comes to winter sports. According to the last census, over 71 percent of the nation’s people live within 500 miles of West Virginia.
Since getting acquainted with the Mountain State, snow enthusiasts no longer find it necessary to trudge off to the north country to enjoy their favorite winter sport whether it be skiing, skating, ice fishing, sledding, or tobogganing. For millions, West Virginia’s winter wonderland is less than a half day’s drive away.
West Virginia proudly points to five major winter sports centers: Bald Knob near Beckley; Cabin Mountain and Weiss Knob near Davis; Chestnut Ridge outside Morgantown; and Oglebay Park at Wheeling.
All offer not only the full spectrum of winter sports but also, equally important, excellent accommodations at reasonable rates. In some cases, handsome lodges and warm, comfortable cabins with big stone fireplaces are located at or near the ski slopes.