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This Week In History, 10-2-08


Updated on Wednesday*:

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The following reports are taken from The Calhoun Chronicle archives:


1933, 75 years ago

The county board of education met last week and awarded the contract for furnishing fuel for various schools of the county not supplied with gas.


E.W. Hall of Braxton County was awarded the contract for furnishing coal to the schools using that kind of fuel at the rate at 9½ cents per bushel.


Contracts for furnishing wood were awarded as follows:


H.L. Belt and Bruce Lanham, for O’Brien school, 12 cords at $1.90;


D.L. Meadows, for Little Creek, 9 cords at $1.40; for Cedar Grove, 8 cords at $1.98;


Asher Childer, for Mt. Beulah, 7 cords at $1.95;


O.G. Craddock for Craddock, 7 cords at $2; for Jessie’s Run, 12 cords at $1.98; for Barnes Run, 12 cords at $1.50;


Clyde Allen, for Cabin Ridge, 12 cords at $2.37; and


Little Leatherbark, bid rejected.



  1958, 50 years ago

A good number of Americans were shocked when an official predicted that the nation’s railroads would stop hauling passengers by 1965, except on exceptional routes.


An official government study of railroad operations concludes that nothing can be done to keep intra-city passenger trains from disappearing from the American scene. It indicated that passenger trains may disappear by 1970. Since 1947, which was a year of post-war travel and still scarce automobiles, railroads have been on the decline.


Among the statistics that lead to this conclusion is the loss of $725 million on passenger operations in 1957. Freight hauling was a profitable operation, but much of the profit was used to counter the deficit realized in passenger operation.


Who can replace the thrill in the child on seeing a fast passenger train, or long freight, speeding by with all the noise and drama of which the Iron Horse is capable? It seems a pity that coming generations will miss this old time thrill.



 1983, 25 years ago


Some days are not so good.


Consider the unhappy situation of beer truck driver Ed Barton of Parkersburg last Thursday. He works for City Beer of Mineral Wells and had to report to his boss that the truck he was driving that day was totaled and his load of hundreds of bottles and cans of beer was spread all over a Calhoun County hillside.


Barton drove his load of Falls City beer to the parking area of TJ’s Carry Out at Pleasant Hill. Barton had been having trouble starting his truck and, worried about stalling out, he left the motor running, and parked his 1973 Chevy C-60 truck at the edge of the parking lot over-looking the valley.


While Barton was in the store, James Basnett, who lives nearby, heard a fearful noise and his dogs began barking. He dashed outside just in time to see a beer truck disappearing in a gully a few hundred feet below TJ’s.


Somehow the truck’s brakes had let go and the truck bounced and pitched towards the streambed some 300 feet away. The side panels burst loose from the truck; with beer cans and bottles ejected left and right.


Word of the accident spread rapidly. Before long, onlookers and beer lovers arrived as if in response to a magical signal.


Beer lovers came to TJ’s through the rest of that after-noon and as late as 3 a.m. to descend the hill and scout the thick hillocks of grass for beer.

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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