1885 Chronicle Resurrected in 1927

(07/03/2001)

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 11/10/1927.

Chronicle of 1885
Brings to Light Early History of County
Hot Race on For Superintendent of Schools
Low Prices for Commodities

Between the leaves of his mother's Bible, Wade H. Betts, a former resident of Grantsville, found a time-yellowed copy of the Calhoun Chronicle.  It is dated April 18, 1885, No. 47, Vol. II, the whole number being 97.  The paper's more than forty-two years old, but is in a fine state of preservation except where folded.

The paper was carefully preserved by Mrs. Betts, because it contained the obituary of her daughter, Miss Elizabeth Fannie Betts, who died April 20, 1885.

The Chronicle at that time was edited and published by R.M. Marshall, having been started by him about two years previous to that date.  It is a seven-column quarto, and bears every evidence of good workmanship.  The type faces, of course, are quite different from those of today.

The market report, which was corrected weekly by Hodges and Barr, the then leading merchants of the town, reveals some very interesting facts, and many will wish for a return of "them good old days."  Spring chickens are listed at 5 cents per pound, butter 12 cents, eggs per doz. 8-1/3 cents, lard 10 cents, coffee 16 to 20 cents; and just think of turkeys at five cents per pound.  Wouldn't those kind of prices fix up the family budget in great shape today and allow lots of room for gasoline, motor repairs and amusements.  Other prices were not greatly different from those of today.  Sugar sold at 9 and 10 cents a pound, potatoes 75 cents a bushel, flour $7.00 a barrel, wheat $1.25 and corn $1.00.

From the announcement column of the Chronicle of that date, it appears that an election was to be held; even though in what we call an off year.  Only candidates for county superintendent of free school had their announcements in the issue before us.  These were W.E. Metz, W.S. Ferrell, James E. Ferrell and J. Frank Griffin.  If we remember our county history correctly, W.E. Metz was nominated and elected.  All of the ten candidates have since passed to their reward, except James E. Ferrell, who now resides on the interurrban above Parkersburg.

General merchants at that time were Hodges & Barr, the firm being composed of James Hodges and Hagan Barr.  The former is long since dead.  Mr. Barr resides in Los Angeles, California, and is engaged in the manufacture of auto bodies.  S.P. Stump & Thomas advertised that "it will pay to go to the new store at the post office."  J.W. Pell advertised a general line of merchandise as did Knotts and Johnson and Minnora.

The advertisement of P. Hicks, tonsorial artist, announced that he would do shaving and hairdressing at the private rooms of his customers.  Mr. Hicks afterward and established a barber shop in Grantsville and conducted it for many years.  He still lives on his farm on Pine Creek and enjoys good help despite his advanced years.

T. E. Hodges and L.H. Trippett announced the opening of the select school to continue fifteen weeks at the rate of eight dollars for the term with an extra charge of two dollars per term for teaching language.

F.E. Ferrell was the local saddle and harness maker, while S.M. Ward advertised a line of furniture at Mount Zion.

Hotels advertising were: A. H. Stump, Main Street; Central House, H.N. Craddock, Prop., Glenville; J.W. Umstead at Brooksville; The Hays House, G.W. Hays, Prop., Arnoldsburg; The Tucker House, Burning Springs, R.C. and J.W. Tucker.

M. Hardman & Bros. warned the public not to catch logs afloat between the mouth of Steer Creek and burning Springs bearing the brand O. H.

County officers were: prosecuting attorney A. Knotts; clerk of both county and circuit courts, G. W. Silcott county commissioners H. R. Ferrell (father of present prosecuting attorney Bruce B. Ferrell), A. H. Sturm and W. W. Fogel; J.P. Knight was sheriff, L. H. Trippett, superintendent of schools, W.M. Bennett, surveyor and H. C. Goodnight assessor.  R. F. Fleming, of Glenville was judge of the circuit court.

Lawyers listed were I H. Lynch, George F. Cunningham and J. G. Schilling, of Spencer; N.M. Bennett, Glenville; Linn and Hamilton, Grantsville, and A. Knotts, Minnora.

Dr. A. D. Adams was then practicing at Stumptown.  The only physicians advertising in Grantsville were doctors W. H. Thomas and C.L.C. Atkeson.  H.A. Altizer advertised as a pharmacist and druggist at Arnoldsburg.

T.R. Stump was president of the Center district board of education and advertised for the letting of a contract for schoolhouse on Leafbank.

In all, the old copy is very interesting and the Chronicle is indebted to Mr. Betts for the opportunity to copy items from it.  Mr. Betts now lives in Corpus Christi, Texas, and was here for several days attending to business matters.  The other Betts boys, Ward H., S. Cav_ss and Charles F. are located in Picher, Oklahoma.


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