2017: A STROLL THROUGH TIME IN BETHLEHEM'S 'CITY OF THE DEAD' - Meet Six Historical Characters


Visitors taken on a tour of Bethlehem Cemetery,
written about by Grantsville poet Nettie Stump - "City of
the Dead" (see below) meeting six of the areas historical
figures who will speak about their lives

By Bob Weaver 2017

It was a Bethlehem Cemetery "Stroll Through Time Tour," visitors led by guides with lanterns to six grave sites to meet the person represented with members of the Calhoun Historical Society portraying each character in costume.

Bob Bonar as Julius Pell

Julius Pell was in the Union Army during the Civil War, though he was just 11 years of age. How could that have been? Later in life he moved to Grantsville and became a successful merchant. Find out how Julius helped the town grow, and his connection to Calhoun County High School. Did you know there are streets named for him and his wife?


Terry Harris as Nettie Stump

Miss (Aunt) Nettie Stump was a well-known resident of Main Street in Grantsville. She lived until 1959, so some may well remember her. In addition to being a child of the first mayor of the town and running a fine hostelry - the Stump Hotel, she had many other talents, including writing and painting.

See NETTIE STUMPS "CITY OF THE DEAD" - Early Calhouner's Repose In Old Bethlehem Cemetery

Roger Jarvis as Dr. Dye

James Alexander Dye, MD (1867-1952) was born at Freed. He received his medical degree from Ohio State University and the Starling Medical School in 1891. He practiced medicine for 62 years and his last residence was at Chloe. The Calhoun Historical Society possess many of his instruments, some appearing gruesome.

Maggie Probasco as Minnie Hamilton

Minnie Blanche Hamilton is of German and Irish descent from her parents John M. Hamilton and Minnie Cook Hamilton who meet from early on decedents of Greenbrier County and later crossed paths in Calhoun County. They were married on October 29, 1885 and became parents of fifteen children. Minnie Blanche Hamilton the 10th child was born in 1900.

Minnie was a nurse and graduating from Saint Joseph Hospital School of Nursing in Parkersburg, WV in 1922. Through her 50 years of nursing she became a private duty nurse. She then became a surgical nurse at Grafton City Hospital from 1926 to 1933. Shortly after her stint she continued her medical career as a county school nurse in Calhoun County, her home town in 1933. At that time there was only one high school, one elementary school, and abundance of one room school houses. Minnie Hamilton always brought immunization to homes, schools, and facilities. She counseled in personal hygiene and problems of adolescence to children.

See BEYOND THE CALL - Minnie Hamilton's Legacy, Down The Muddy Roads She Went

Linda Jarvis as Gladys Stump

Gladys Weaver Stump Gainer may be best known as the owner of The Quality Shop, which provided fashionable clothing for the ladies of Calhoun County in the 50's and 60's. It was an experience to shop in her store and enjoy the conversations of Gladys and Lonnie Oles. They were two of a kind with their southern hospitality. She would tell you her greatest accomplishment was son Dr. Charles Albert Stump.

Maggie Bennett as Rachel Barr (No Photo Available)

Rachel Barr Ball was born in 1800 in Harrison County, Virginia, to John and Margret Barr. In 1820, she married John Wesley Ball in Randolph County, Virginia. The couple had five sons and four daughters and raised John's brother's surviving children after he, his wife, and infant son died of an epidemic that swept through the area in the mid-1800s.

Rachel and her husband relocated to what is now Calhoun County along with her brother Samuel Barr and his family. You may be surprised to learn that some of you may remember the location of their cabin. Rachel died in 1876, at the home of her son Levi on Bull River.

Julius Pell gives directions through Grantsville and Minnie
Hamilton asks forgiveness for all those dull needles


John and Rachel Barr Ball

Minnie Blanche Hamilton, a legacy of public health

Nettie Stump, a Calhoun artist and poet

Gladys Weaver Stump Gainer, a southern lady and businesswoman

Julius Pell, a Civil War drummer boy

James Alexander Dye, MD, longtime Calhoun physician