EARLY CALHOUN CRIMES - "What Is The World Coming To"

By Bob Weaver

My grandmother, Mary Virginia Riggs McCoy, lived her entire 100 year old life in the Village of Hur, and can be remembered often saying, "What is the world coming to," after reading a headline about some atrocious event, usually a headline in the Parkersburg News.

With today's instant media, she would likely be using the phrase more often and become disoriented, operating under the assumption that things were much better in the good old days.

Frankly, things were not much better in the good old days, vicious events and crimes were slowly learned, but in fact, they occurred frequently.

-Captain Craddock Mutiny

The Democrat, Lewis County WV, April 12, 1869

Captain Craddock, of one of the regular "packets" poling up the river (Little Kanawha), was seriously assaulted and injured by the crew of his boat a few days ago.

It appears that about the time the boat arrived at Yellow Creek, in Calhoun County, some dispute occurred between the captain and his men, which resulted in open mutiny, and so violent was the attack made upon the former, that medical assistance had to be called in, and he still remains in a critical condition. We understand that no arrests have yet been made.

-Mrs. Johnson Kills Children In Calhoun WV

Nov. 7, 1884

In Calhoun County, W. Va, Friday, Mrs. Johnson gave arsenic, mixed with sugar, to her two step-children, and swallowed some herself, all three dying in a few minutes.

-J. W. Conrad Arrested For Forging Pension Orders

Wheeling Register 1886

J. W. Conrad, a well known citizen of Calhoun county, was arrested and brought here yesterday on warrants charging him with forging several pension orders and obtaining money thereby. He was placed under $1,000 bond to appear before U. S. Commissioner Barna Powell to day for preliminary examination. After the preliminary examination Conrad was put under bond of $1,500 to answer indictment.

- Dr. B. B. Enoch Arrested

A correspondent writing from Richardson, Calhoun county, to the Spencer Record 1888

Dr. B. B. Enoch was arrested here to-day by Sheriff Knight and taken to Grantsville jail for assaulting and robbing a drunken man near this place. There are several similar charges against him in this county. It is also rumored that he forged a check on the Hon. U. Gibson, and has negotiated several bad checks.

Most of the people in this county are not well enough posted to protect themselves against such "crooks" and we hope the officers of the law will do their duty in all such cases, and rid the country of such characters. He is a chronic wife-beater, which the citizens of this place will readily testify to. His wife was driven to her parents by neglect and abuse.

- Foul Play Suspected In Mysterious Death of Calhoun Farmer, C. K. Ball

Fairmont Newspaper 1905

While squirrel hunting near Hur in Calhoun County, yesterday morning, Clair McDonald found the dead body of C. K. Ball in the woods. Ball was a prominent farmer, school teacher and justice of the peace. He was 36 years old and leaves eight children and a widow. There were several blows in his head and foul play is suspected, although the coroner's jury returned a verdict of death of unknown causes. (A detailed account of this incident with photo is on Hur Herald)

-Frank Hicks Charged With Murder Of Child

Raleigh Herald 1907

Spencer, W. Va., - Frank Hicks, 40, Roane County, who recently married a young girl at Grantsville, W. Va., is under arrest. His wife recently gave birth to a child. A few hours after birth, it is said, Hicks buried the child, The warrant charges Hicks with burying the child alive.

-Grant Richards Murders Adam Richards

Wheeling Register 1892

Grant Richards, who stands indicted in our Circuit Court for the murder of Adam Richards, and who has confined in our county jail for about a year, will not be able for trial at this term of Court. He is quite low with consumption and is not expected to live until another term of Court.

- Sickles - They Enter Grantsville Disguised And Demanded Speedy Trial

Wheeling Register 1886

Sunday night, between 12 and 1 o'clock, about thirty men in disguise with blankets and sheets thrown over themselves rode into town (Grantsville) and inquired for Reece Blizzard, attorney for Sickles and Son, who assassinated young Sturm in April last. Not finding Blizzard, a note was left for him informing him that the defendant must be tried at the present term of court, which convenes tomorrow or the town would be visited again and Sickles and Son hanged to the first tree. (Detailed story of Sickles-Sturm murder on Hur Herald)

-Stabbed To The Heart

Wheeling Register 1890

The report of a fatal quarrel between two young men named Richards, cousins, in Calhoun county, has reached here. The men fell out over a woman. One of them stabbed the other to the heart and escaped, but was captured and confined in the Grantsville jail. The men are said to be members of good families.

-Rev. Scott William Scott Whipped At Sand Ridge

United Press Wire 1910

Dispatches from Grantsville, in Calhoun county, say Rev. Scott Williams, Holiness preacher, was dragged from his bed by fifty whitecaps and severely whipped, after which his tabernacle at Sand Ridge was burned.

Albert and Wesley Poling, who tried to persuade the crowd not to molest the preacher, are also said to have been whipped. The mob is said to have left with the warning that unless the preacher left the vicinity in ten days he would be visited again and "left hanging to a tree."

The Holiness preacher and his followers have been holding meetings at Sand Ridge for some time and have been the target for bitter criticism, having been threatened several times.

The mob forced its way into the preacher's home by using a fence rail as a battering ram and burst into the room where Rev. Williams and his wife and children were sleeping. To prevent an outcry, a pillow was held over the face of Mrs. Williams so tightly that she and her baby were almost smothered. The grand jury will investigate. (The Sand Ridge story has been issued in a number of stories on the Hur Herald)