|Former Grantsville resident Mary Ann Barrows
died June 29, 2002 in Carlisle PA after an extended illness. Barrows had the longest
run as newspaper publisher and editor in Calhoun's history, starting at the end of
World War II. She was the mainspring of The Calhoun Chronicle until her
She was a member of the "Silver Girls" lunch bunch for many years, a group of ladies
who met in Grantsville each day for lunch, including Evelyn Campbell, who just
passed away, and the late Gladys Weaver Stump, among others who are still
surviving. It was a fascinating experience to listen to the women relive the bygone
days of Grantsville, with Mary Ann being a principal contributor.
Mary Ann was proud of her work with The Chronicle. "I always tried to report what
happened, but people would come in the next day and cancel their subscription."
She once told of living in a "refined chicken coup" during the war, to be close to her
Mary Ann Barrows was born December 7, 1917 in Bluefield WV. As a child she expressed an interest in music and became
a proficient piano player.
Later, as an adult, she found someone else who had a love for music, Olin J. Barrows. Mary Ann and Olin married on
January 1, 1942.
It wasn't too long before Olin was drafted into the Army. After some training in Kentucky, Olin was assigned to a base in
Seattle, Washington and Mary Ann joined him there.
Olin was released from active duty and he and Mary Ann moved around Texas and New Mexico to different newspaper jobs
that Olin had. Mary Ann became interested in newspaper work also and worked on the Odessa American in Texas.
Mary Ann became pregnant and she and Olin moved back to WV in 1945. Their son, David, was born that July in Bluefield.
Olin went to Grantsville and purchased The Calhoun Chronicle.
A short time later Mary Ann was working at the paper as well. She was very proficient at all aspects of running the
newspaper - selling advertising, reporting stories, typesetting, doing the billing, and keeping up with the latest postal
regulations. Sometime later, Mary Ann officially became the editor of The Chronicle.
Recently, a notepad was found among her possessions. In it were her notes from a meeting where a hospital administrator
was embroiled in a conflict. It was apparent that Mary Ann was proud of the work she had done to rid the hospital of an
administrator who should not have been entrusted to that position.
Later in her life, Mary Ann traveled abroad. At first she traveled to Europe. Then she went to the (then) Soviet Union and
Communist China. She said that she "wanted to see those people we were supposed to be afraid of and find out why they
were to be feared". In the stories she published about her travels, the worst thing she said about the Communist places was
they "did not provide wash cloths".
Mary Ann was involved with the Writers' Guild and Historical Society after her retirement. She edited several books about
Calhoun County for the Historical Society.
As she became unable to function by herself at home, Mary Ann moved to assisted living in Camp Hill, PA to be near her
son. It was not a move that she wanted to make, but she tried to make the best of it and made many new friends up
Her body has been cremated and will be returned to Calhoun County, at which time a
memorial service is planned.