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This Week In History, 5-21-09


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The following reports are taken from The Calhoun Chronicle archives:


1909, 100 years ago

A terrible murder occurred in Gilmer County at Stout’s Mills, Friday night, Charley Townsend shooting and killing Squire Wm. Moss and seriously wounding another man.


Townsend and his wife had been having some trouble for several days and a peace warrant had been issued for Townsend. He defied the officers, threatening to kill anyone who tried to arrest him, and succeeded in bluffing them and retained his liberty.


He had made several attempts to kill his wife, whom he kept under his watch at his home. Thursday night, she made her escape by dressing in men’s clothes, and went to her father’s, whose name is Blagg. Friday night, Townsend went and got her, stating as he left the house that he was going to take her down the road and kill her.


Her father got Moss and some of his neighbors to help rescue his daughter. They intercepted the man and woman at the bridge at Stout’s Mills and took Mrs. Townsend and started back with her. Townsend drew a revolver and began shooting; the first shot killed Moss, the second hit Blagg in the leg, and the third went through the woman’s hair. He snapped the revolver several times after that, but the balance of the cartridges failed to fire.


He made good his getaway, swearing that he would not be taken alive. Blood hounds from Weston were put on his trail, Saturday morning, but at this time he has not been captured.



1959, 50 years ago

One of the trends noted in modern-day civilization is conformity, which is thought to be caused by the better dissemination of news and pictures to every corner of the country. The most outstanding example is that of cigarette smoking.


Not so many years ago, this custom was not accepted by many, and women smoking was widely frowned upon. Through movies, magazines, newspapers, radio, and other means, the habit was sold to the majority.


Though drinking has been a custom for hundreds of years, there is no doubt that it has been popularized greatly by movies, in which the hero or heroine always downs a few in a tight situation, and by other media.


It is becoming unusual to find many youngsters who have resisted the trend to smoke and other things. Parents must increase their efforts to set a sensible example.


 1984, 25 years ago

On May 29, Greg M. Shaw of Hur will take off on what promises to be an adventure he will remember the rest of his life.


He will begin a 3,500 mile bicycle trip that will take him as far as Amarillo, Tex., north through the Oklahoma Panhandle, and out west to Colorado. He hopes to pedal his bicycle up to the top of Pike’s Peak.


On his return swing, he will travel through Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky before returning to West Virginia in early August.


He has had a dream of such an expedition for many years: “I’m doing it for personal satisfaction. I want to see more of our country and get to know people. This seems like a good way to do it.


Shaw, 18, has been getting his legs in shape by riding his bicycle up and down the hills of Calhoun and the immediate area, up to 30 miles a day.


His parents are Carl and Helen Shaw, who moved to the Hur area from Baltimore, Md., in November 1983.

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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