30 Years Ago
Week of January 1, 1994
Local Records Indicate Big Snow of 1890
Was Hip Deep
The old folks who saw the big snow of 1890 have passed away. In an old McGuffey Speller, J. W. (Bud) Dahmer wrote big snow: December 16, 1890. The memories of the late Hugh Moyers: the snow started 11:00 a.m. December 16, 1890. How did Hugh remember this snow…because his father, Jasper Moyers, died of heart trouble and typhoid fever during the snowfall that lasted three days and laid on the ground until April. It was two weeks before a coffin could be brought in and he was not sure of the date buried. His grandfather, Harmon Moyers, died of fever January 6, 1891. A combined funeral service was conducted for Jasper and Harmon by Rev. William Milton Kibler on the front porch of the old log house on June 28, 1891. This old log house has been restored by a well-known citizen Mike Roberts. This snow was said to be hip deep to man by a number of older citizens. In the fall of 1890, there was a large mast for wildlife to live on. Joel Dahmer had some hogs out in the woods when the snow fell. He found several hogs in the spring near Ulrick Mountain under large oak trees surviving by eating acorns and some of his hogs he never found.
Dixie Gas Growth
Over 38 Years
In an effort to make area residents more familiar with local business firms, the Franklin Business and Professional Association is designating a local business firm as Business of the Month and providing a brief account of the firm. This month the firm is Dixie Gas and Oil Corporation.
By Joan Ashley
The Franklin branch of Dixie Gas and Oil Corporation, serving customers in five counties in West Virginia and two in Virginia, opened its doors for business in 1956 with the acquisition of Moyers Gas Company customers.
Named the Dixie Bottled Gas Company, it was first located for several years on a side street in Franklin before moving to a rented building on Main Street. In October, 1970, a large two-story house on North Main Street was purchased from Mrs. Golda Wimer and renovated into office space. The upstairs was rented as an apartment until 1990 when it was turned into storage space.
Beginning as a small cylinder exchange operation, the cylinders were filled at the Verona plant and trucked to a dock located along the South Branch of the Potomac River south of Franklin.
Because of space shortage, an important part of the business, a small appliance department was located in a section of the old John Deere Equipment Building next to Franklin High School.
As the propane business grew, demand for larger tank installations increased as did the volume of propane to be delivered. The bulk truck driver hauled propane from the Verona plant almost daily until 1975 when a storage plant was built on U. S. Rt. 33 west on an acre of land purchased from the Annie Kee estate. An 18,000-gallon capacity storage tank was installed and cylinder storage was moved to the new location. The land on which the old dock was located was later sold and during the 1985 flood was washed away. In April, 1987, a second acre of land adjacent to the plant was purchased for any future expansion. In October, 1993, a second 18,000-gallon tank was installed.
Branch manager Nancy Scott assumed her duties upon the death of Robert Gonshor in 1983. Because of her years of experience serving as secretary since 1971, “top management felt I was qualified for the job,” she said. She heads a work force of seven people
Dixie offers a complete line of Whirlpool and Roper appliances. Dixie also sells and services Toro lawn and garden equipment.
40 Years Ago
Week of January 5, 1984
Counselor Opens Office
David Fisher, a marriage and family counselor, has opened an office on Pine Street in Franklin. Both Fisher and his profession are somewhat new to the area.
The 34-year-old Harrisonburg native received his masters degree in counseling from James Madison University in 1982. Fisher, a former school teacher, became interested in the counseling profession through reading, taking courses in counseling and psychology, and through “my own experiences in therapy. I began to get real excited about what can happen in counseling—the growth, the healing, the discovery of what’s inside us and how we can use that—and I realized one day that I would like to do this work professionally.”
60 Years Ago
Week of January 9, 1964
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.
Lincoln, Davis Hold
New Year Receptions; Grant, Man of Honor, Boomed for President
A band of 78 horsemen from the Second Maryland Cavalry rode out from Harpers Ferry 100 years ago this week and went bounding across the snow covered fields of northern Virginia, hoping to find and destroy a group of Confederate raiders who had been plaguing federal troops in the area. They dashed to Hillsboro, to Waterford, to Purcellville and to Upperville, all in vain. Then, at Upperville—a shot rang out from nowhere, and a cavalryman went limp in his saddle, a bullet hole in his head.
So the year 1864 opened—the terrible year—the year that would bring thousands more to death, that would crush the Confederacy almost—but not quite—to its knees, that would pit Grant against Lee at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor and other points ever closer to Richmond. It would bring Sherman up against Joe Johnston in a horror filled fight for Atlanta, an ensuing “March to the Sea.”
But it opened rather pleasantly on New Year’s Day in Washington and Richmond, the capitols of the warring sides. In Washington, President and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln held a reception in the White House, while at Richmond, President and Mrs. Jefferson Davis held a reception in their home—“The White House of the Confederacy.” Callers at both said their respective presidents were unusually friendly and warm.
The Lincolns’ reception began at noon, when the doors to the White House swung open and a crowd of uniformed officers and smartly dressed men and women swarmed into the East Room. Lincoln greeted each cordially, often with a joke. Beside him stood Mrs. Lincoln who, one caller noted, was not in mourning for the first time since their son, Willie Lincoln, had died 20 months earlier.
At Richmond, much the same type of scene transpired that day. At the Whie House of the Confederacy, the same types of crowds came in, although the uniforms were grey and the civilian clothing, perhaps, was not quite in such good condition. President Davis shook hands warmly with his well-wishers, while beside him stood his wife, Varina Howell Davis, who was in mourning for her father who had died at Montgomery, Alabama, the preceding March.
But there were great differences in those two White Houses that day. Those who crowded into the executive mansion at Washington spoke confidently of the victory they were sure would come to the United States in the Civil War. In Richmond, although they would not say so aloud, some feared that the greatest moment of the Confederacy had passed—that the fate of the Confederate States of America had somehow been sealed during the year that had just ended.
Ulysses S. Grant, the man of the hour in the United States of America, was riding through the mountains of northeast Tennessee and southeast Kentucky 100 years ago this week, and everywhere he went, crowds of mountaineers gathered to see him. As his party rode into the villages, the townsfolk would point and cheer at a distinguished, gray-haired man surrounded by a host of less prepossessing federal officers. As the people oohed and aahed, Grant—a short, bearded, rather scrubby man in his early 40’s—rode on unobtrusively, not bothering to inform the people that they were cheering the general’s surgeon rather than the general, himself.
Such was the position in which Grant found himself in early 1864. His name was on every lip; he was the hero of the United States Army; the man who had split the Confederacy in two and had driven the Confederates from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Georgia. Yet few persons knew anything else about him, few knew what he looked like and he, himself, made no attempt to correct the situation.
Even as Grant rode through the mountains (he was inspecting a supply line through Cumberland Gap), his name was being mentioned in New York City as the man to succeed Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States.
The “Boomlet” for Grant was being led by James Gordon Bennett, editor of the spicy scandal-filled “New York Herald,” the largest circulating paper in the nation.
“The Herald” had little use for President Lincoln; he could not bring rebellion to a close quickly, according to Bennett and when the war was over, Lincoln was not the man to build the Union. The candidate Bennett asserted, must be a man who stood clear of partisan politics and whose popularity was of such magnitude that it would unite all behind him. Such man was Grant.
But Grant, himself, had no such views. At first, he only joked at the talk: “I aspire only to one political office. When this war is over, I mean to run for Mayor of Galena (his home town in Illinois), and if elected, I intend to have the sidewalks fixed up between my house and the depot.”
Later, he became more serious about the matter. In a letter to his father in February he stated categorically: “I am not a candidate for any office. All I want is to be left alone to fight this war out.”
Next week: Politicking Picks Up.
We had a 12-inch snow and the thermometer registered zero weather 20 and 22nd of December, and cold winds most of the time during the Yuletide Season, but most churches had their Christmas programs.
70 Years Ago
Week of January 7, 1954
IN RETROSPECT – – –
The ending of an old year and the beginning of a new year always affords an opportunity for a bit of reminiscing. We who have the pleasure of living in small communities frequently indulge in the plaint that “nothing ever happens here,” and indeed it is not always unjustified. But a moment’s reflection will bring to mind quite a variety of events which have happened during the past year. Some were dramatic, some were tragic and some were humorous. A few of the stories that you have read in the Times during the past year are the following:
Wild Cat Kills 97 Chickens for Ralph Rexrode….County 4-H Poultry Judging Team Attains National Recognition….Body of Robert Hugh Gutshall Found in Smith Creek….Maxie Armentrout Sells Prize FFA Ham at World Record Price of $51 Per Pound….Two Washington Boys Found in Trout Rock Cave….Hazel Simmons and Infant Child Perish in Buffalo Hills Fire….Bank Deposits for Year Hit New High of $1,527,000 in Pendleton County….Fire Destroys Guy Keplinger’s Home at Fort Seybert….Charles Lambert Fails to Return From B25 Combat Mission Over North Korea….Man Finds Wife As Result of Ad in The Pendleton Times….5000 Horsepower Compressor Station Begins Pumping at Mouth of Seneca….Man Draws Penitentiary Term For Statutory Rape….Harlan V. Kimble Wounded in Korea Just Twelve Days Before Signing of Truce….Theodore Willis Released From Communist Prison Camp….Bob Pope Signs to Play Ball With Senators….93 Year Old David Clark Mowery Dances Jig at Birthday Party….10,000 Fishermen Catch 15,000 Trout at Spruce Knob Lake Opening….Man Robs Franklin Farm Supply on July Fourth….Randolph Minor is Killed in Auto Accident….200 Subscribe to Pendleton County Concert Association….Woodrow Vandevander Dies in Auto Wreck at Cherry Grove….Franklin Wins Allegheny League Baseball Trophy….Chester Arbogast Killed in Fort Bragg Maneuvers….648 Deer Killed in Pendleton County….
Although it is seldom sensational, the county news is always interesting. We laugh, we cry and we learn with our newspaper. We hope that the news during the new year will be good news—news of progress, accomplishments and prosperity. But whether it be good or bad we hope to have for our Times readers all the news that is fit to print every Thursday morning during the new year.