|Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from
an old newspaper clipping from the Grantsville News dated 3/19/1942.
Editor's Note: The following article was written by
Louis Reed, by request, for deposit in the corner stone of the new
house now under construction. This is a copy given Miss Nettie
by Mr. Reed, the original having been placed in the corner stone on
28, 1942, for future generations to think about:
The article follows:
A Short History of Grantsville, West Virginia
Grantsville is one of the newer West Virginia Municipalities in
of time. The first settler, appears to have been one Archibald
who settled here about 1810, and gave his name to Burrows Run.
has left many descendants in Calhoun county. An early settler on
the South Side was John Ball, who built a log cabin near the site of
present high school ruins, between 1835 and 1845. This cabin was
torn down in 1919, to make way for the school building. The log
which is now occupied by the family of Eddie Barnes was built by
Barr, a brother-in-law of John Ball, between 1835 and 1845. This
house has the unique distinction of having been in three counties and
states without changing its location. As late as the time of the
Civil war the present site of Grantsville, excluding the South Side,
a part of the farm of Simon P. Stump.
The founding of Grantsville as a Municipality was the result of a
year dispute between the residents of the West Fork and the Little
valley over the location of a county seat. When Calhoun county
founded in 1856, the bill passed by the Virginia General Assembly
that the court house should be located either at the mouth of Yellow
or at the Bigbend of the Little Kanawha River. (just below the
of Yellow Creek). This arrangement met with violent protest from
the inhabitants of the West Fork country who wanted the court house
at Arnoldsburg. For a time court was held both at Arnoldsburg
at the home of Collins Betts, four miles below Grantsville.
a compromise move made Brooksville the county seat, and a frame court
was built there by a man named E. McClosky. Again legal
were instituted in favor of Arnoldsburg, which resulting favorably,
the construction of a stone-cut basement for a new court house
Part of this basement is still standing.
In the meantime the Civil War had been fought to a
The name of General Ulysses S. Grant loomed large in contemporary
and the final move in the thirteen year old dispute was the founding
a new Municipality on the farm of Simon P. Stump, called Grantsville,
honor of the famous General.
The first Municipal officers of Grantsville were: Mayor,
Huffman Stump, the father of Nettie Stump and Charley Stump, present
residents of Grantsville; Reese Blizzard, Recorder. Reece
later became a Circuit Judge, and later still President of The
Banking and Trust Company, in Parkersburg, West Virginia. The
was not incorporated until 1887.
The court house now building is the fourth to stand on this
The first built in 1869, burned before it was occupied; the second, a
building, was torn down to make room for the third; the third, built
red brick, manufactured nearby, was completed in 1880, and stood for
one years, until it was demolished in the summer of 1941, to make way
the present structure. It may be of interest to succeeding
to know that the first three court houses, above referred to, stood on
a knob or eminence somewhat above the foundations of the present
This knoll was leveled in the summer of 1941.
Although Grantsville was the county seat, and as such the only
in the county from 1869 to 1900, its modern growth began with the
of the Yellow Creek oil field in 1901. The discovery of oil at
Creek, and later of natural gas in other parts of Calhoun county,
outside capital, and oil and gas development is now the chief industry
of Calhoun county and the basis for the growth and prosperity of
One of the earliest operators was Godfrey L. Cabot of Boston,
who formed the company known as Godfrey L. Cabot, Incorporated, which
employes a large force of men in the gas fields of the county, and
natural gas to the inhabitants of Grantsville. State Senator, L.
J. Morris, is the local Superintendent for the Cabot Company.
The Hope Natural Gas Company, with headquarters at Clarksburg, also
employs a large number of men in the gas fields, many of whom reside
Grantsville. The local Superintendent at the present time is A.
Amoung many independent operators are W. H. Bickle, L. P. Bickle,
N. Connolly, O. C. Howard, K. M. Hunt, P. P. Gunn, L. B. Carroll and
S. Ayers. Also Southeastern Gas Company.
Grantsville has a high school, a graded school and a municipal
in addition to the Court House and jail now being erected. There
are a number of stores engaged in the mercantile trade, three hotels,
restaurants, two cleaning and pressing establishments, one pool room,
moving picture theatre, one oil and gas well supply house and one junk
yard in active operation. Amoung the merchants are, The Wiant
Barr Store, A. B. Harris, Manager; Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company,
Lambiotte, Manager; W. B. Gibson; Amos Gibson; Raymon Boggs and Paul
Pearl Kelly; G. L. Strader; W. J. Mathews; Grantsville Drug Company,
B. Smith, Manager; Thompson Drug Company, John Burnell, Manager; P. P.
Gunn; The Calhoun Super-Service, Inc., Ernest Mollohan, Manager;
Service Station, Albert Stump, Manager; Bridge Filling Station, Lyle
Ayers, Manager; Mountain Chevrolet Sales, O. H. Copeland, Manager;
Supply Company, W. H. Britt, Manager. The Moving Picture Theatre
is operated by John Cook. The hotels are owned and operated by
J. Lowe, Rainbow Hotel; Mrs. Ida Jeffreys, Jeffreys Hotel, and Mrs.
Owens, Owens Hotel. The pressing shops are owned by A. A.
and Burl Gainer, respectively. The pool room is owned by A. A.
The Junk Company is owned and operated by Isadore Mendelson. R.
Knotts, Jr. owns and operates an automobile repair shop; C. C.
operates the Ben Franklin Store; Edward Plant is a store manager for
Gibson; Donald Witt owns and manages The Witt Lumber Company, a
mill; John Dandos manages the Coney Island Lunch; Woodrow Burch
a restaurant on South Side, and Bernard Marshall manages a News Stand.
There are five barbers in Grantsville and three barber shops.
Richard Marshall operates a shop in the Theatre building; Harvey Stout
and Ebenezer Ferrell work togeather in a shop in the Smith building;
Conley and Howard Brady work togeather in a shop on the Smith
There are two beauty shops, operated by Evelyn Grudier and Beatrice
The Francis Hardware Store is owned and operated by H. T. Francis.
There are three practicing physicians in Grantsville; Dr. S. W.
Dr. J. A. Morford and Dr. C. P. Artz, and one Osteopathic physician,
H. C. Toepfer. Also one dentist, Dr. A. G. Gilreath.
There are five practicing attorneys: A. G. Mathews, Bruce Ferrell,
C. Hamilton, Louis Reed and Stanley D'Orazio. Grantsville has
churches, the Bethlehem Baptist, with a history running back to 1810,
the Methodist Episcopal. Both churches are active, and
to the social and spiritual life of the community. Rev. Fell
is pastor of the Baptist Church, and Rev. C. C. Perkins is pastor of
Methodist Church. A new sect called Jehovah's Witnesses has
caused some apprehension and civil disturbance amoung citizens.
There are two newspapers published weekly: The Calhoun Chronicle,
and the Grantsville News, Republican. R. L. Hamilton is Editor
The Calhoun Cronicle, and H. F. Leggett for Woodyard Publications, is
of the Grantsville News.
The financial system of the county centers about The Calhoun County
Bank, in Grantsville, which now has assets totaling more than One
Dollars. A. Hardman is President, A. G. Mathews is Chairman of
Board, F. F. McCoy is Cashier. The Finance Committee on Loans is
composed of; A. Hardman, A. G. Mathews, F. F. McCoy, L. J. Morris and
The municipality of Grantsville owns its own water system, and has
disposal facilities. Its officers at the present time are, Mayor
A. G. Burns; Recorder, Ralph Morris; Councilmen, A. B. Harris, Z. N.
C. C. Kingsbury, Herbert Hayhurst and Roy Kemper. Former
still living in Grantsville include Logan McDonald, Tell McDonald,
S. Oles, A. E. Weaver, G. L. Strader, I. N. Snider, Ira N. Stump,
E. Ayers, Beulah Turner Bee, M. S. Peracy, Everett Proudfoot, F. F.
C. A. Witt and others.
Most of the elected county officials live in Grantsville. These
Ivan Umstead, Sheriff; P. P. Gunn, Circuit Clerk; R. P. Mollohan,
Clerk, and L. J. Wright, Assessor; L. C. Hamilton, Prosecuting
Lewis Smith, Member of the House of Delegates for Calhoun County lives
at Big Bend, W. Va. L. J. Morris, Senator for our present
District in the State Senate, lives here. Members of the County
Board of Education are: Leavy Stump, Apple Farm, W. Va.; Doddridge
Minnora, W. Va.; Kenna Lester, Pink, W. Va.; F. F. McCoy, Grantsville,
W. Va. and Everett Cain, Big Bend, W. Va.; Harold Proudfoot, County
of Schools, and M. T. Hamrick is Principal of the High School,
replacing Don McGlothlin. Joseph Haught is principal of the
Graded school Members of the County Court are: W. C. Farrar,
Foster Poling, Grantsville; and Fred Robinson, Russett.
The county has a Department of Public Assistance, now located in
of the brick buildings on Main Street, under the supervision of Miss
Gaynor. The County Health Nurse is Miss Margaret Arbuckle; the
Agricultural Agent is Harlan Hogue, and the head of the office of Farm
Security Administration is Merle Faulkner. Grantsville is
with electricity by the West Penn Public Service Corporation, whose
Superintendent is F. B. Felker.
The only funeral home in Calhoun county is located at Grantsville,
operated by I. N. Stump and sons. Gerald Stump, one of the sons
I. N. Stump, is County Coroner. Grantsville's Post Office is
in the Albert Jackson building. The Postmaster is W. O. Umstead,
Since the foundations of the present court house were laid, the
has been plunged into war, and as a result there has been formed in
county what is known as The Calhoun County Civilian Defense Council,
members are the following: Chairman, Louis Reed; Coordinator, Julia W.
Hamilton; Member for Protection, Dudley Lutz; Member for Utilities, F.
B. Felker; Member for Education, Fell Kennedy; Member for Veteran's
I. N. Snider; Member for Public Health, Dr. C. P. Artz; Member for
Bonds and Stamp Sales, W. O. Umstead, Jr.; Member for Information, R.
Hamilton; Publicity Director, H. F. Leggitt; Member for Labor, H. F.
Member for Agriculture, Harlan Hogue. The Civilian Defense
has appointed the following members of the Rationing Board:
Nester, Chairman; H. T. Francis and A. R. Wolfe.
The Selective Service Board for Calhoun county is composed of the
members: C. C. Kingsbury, Chairman; H. C. Toepfer and Louis Reed; L.
Ferrell is Clerk.
The Master of the local Masonic Lodge is O. C. Hathaway,
employed by W. H. Bickel. Mildred Jarvis heads the Eastern Star.
The American Legion and the Americn Legion Auxiliary are quite
in Grantsville. The Legion hall is the center of Social
and also houses the offices of the Selective Service Board. I.
Snider is the present Commander, and Holly Nester is Adjutant.
Marshall is president of the Legion Auxiliary.
Among the present and former residents of Grantsville who have
distinction are: John M. Hamilton, Grantsville lawyer who
the district of which Calhoun county was a part, in the 62nd Congress;
John M. Wolverton, who resides at Richwood, and has served several
in Congress; Albert G. Mathews, Grantsville Lawyer, who was formerly
of the State Senate, and State Compensation Commissioner; S. P. Bell,
lawyer, former President of the West Virginia Bar Association, who is
in Who's Who in America; and Boyd B. Stutler, who served as Mayor of
at the age of twenty one years, and at present is Managing Editor of
American Legion Magazine in New York City.
Two Justices of the Peace have offices in Grantsville, and reside
namely, M. A. C. Board and Harry Stevens. M. A. C. Board, former
Sheriff, is now inactive, due to prolonged illness. Constables
Columbus Carpenter and C. E. Offutt, former Sheriff. Other
residing in and near Grantsville, are G. A. Richards, P. P. Gunn and
The telephonic communication is maintained by the Bell Telephone
with a line to Spencer, and the Citizens Telephone Company, a local
of which W. V. Knight is President. The local telephone
are Lillie Barr and Lida Hayhurst. Other business not heretofore
enumerated, are: Hayward Francis, Radio repairman and Coda Morrison,
repairman. Ora Campbell is Superintendent of the city water
Dudley Lutz is Town Sergeant, and Lewis Ferrell, Jr. is Superintendent
of streets and alleys.
Dudley Lutz also operates a shoe repair shop.
Grantsville is supplied with milk from three dairies, all of which
been given an A-rating by the State Health Department. They are
and operated by Daisy Whipkey, Art Huffman and M. S. Gherke.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is active in Grantsville, and
are the Rebekahs. Orval Hathaway is Noble Grand of
Odd Fellows, and Alma Ice, daughter of C. E. Offutt, heads the
We have organizations of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, under the
of Joseph Haught and Miss Opal Hardman respectively The Rotary
which meets weekly at Friday noon, in the basement of the Methodist
has sponsored a number of civic enterprises, amoung which is the
Red Cross drive for donations. Grantsville over-subscribed its
Current President of Rotary is Dr. A. G. Gilreath. Another
organization is the Youth Forum, sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. C. P. Artz,
of which David Hathaway, a high school junior, is now President.
A number of Federal and State Administrative agencies maintain
in Grantsville, notably the Works Progress Administration, The
Youth Administration and the State Road Commission though the latter
recently moved to new quarters near Mt. Zion. The Works Progress
Administration maintains a public recreation room in the basement of
Calhoun County Bank, where shuffleboard, table tennis, cards and
may be played, under the supervision of Wilbur Wallbrown. County
Superintendent of W. P. A. is Horace Haught. This court house is
being built by W. P. A. labor under the supervision of P. E. Lewis, an
engineer from Huntington, West Virginia. The National Youth
is administered locally by I. D. Smith and Mrs. Julia W.
The County Maintenance Engineer of the State Road Commission is C. A.
Ira Hardman, District Engineer for the State Road Commission,
a home in Grantsville, but his office is now at Parkersburg, W. Va.
While this manuscript was being typed, The Calhoun County High
was destroyed by fire. This occurred in the early morning of
21st 1942. It is believed that the damage can be repaired and
school, rebuilt, but there is no other building large enough to be
into a temporary high school. There are nearly five hundred
in the high school, many of whom come from distant parts of the county
The author of this brief history is a member of Eureka Lodge No.
and the preparation of material and transcribing the same was ordered
the Worshipful Master of the lodge, O. C. Hathaway, for the purpose of
preserving to posterity some small account of the people who lived
at the time this court house was built, and their background.
author acknowledges his indebtedness to Brother Lenna L. Ball of
for his invaluable aid in providing material and proof-reading the
and also to Miss Nettie Stump of Grantsville, for furnishing details
history not otherwise obtainable. Both Lenna L. Ball and Nettie
are direct descendants of the John Ball mentioned in the first
hereof. The manuscript was dictated by Louis Reed to Miss Lenna
Secretary to A. G. Mathews and Louis Reed, who typed the same.
Grantsville, West Virginia
February 23rd, 1942