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This Week In History, 1-7-10


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The following reports are taken from The Calhoun Chronicle archives:


1910, 100 years ago


There were 95 marriage licenses issued by county clerk McClung during 1909, as against 112 in the preceding year. “Two bucks” per license may have caused the falling off in the matrimony record of the year just closed.


C.C. Starcher and J.S. Silcott have fixed up the basement to the Bank of Grantsville building and will conduct a flour and feed store in connection with their boating business. They are hustling men, and will make things warm for their competitors. Already there is talk of the price of flour falling about a dollar on the barrel.


Work on Bickel and Lehman’s gasoline factory was temporarily suspended last week on account of the cold weather.


W.H. Ayers, than whom is no better, more honest nor genial man, paid our sanctum a short visit on Saturday. He reports everything in the White Pine country, pursuing the even tenor of its way.


1960, 50 years ago

A post office that couldn’t sell stamps--one that borrowed stamps for a time for business places--that sounds impossible, but that’s what happened last week in Grantsville.


Last Thursday morning when the post office opened for business, it was discovered that the vault with all the stamps, money and supplies could not be opened. Try as they might, no one could get the door open, and the post office found itself in the peculiar position of borrowing stamps. Mail service went on as usual, and letters and packages went out on time, but it was a harrowing day for clerks without their supplies.


The vault was not opened until noon of the next day, after locksmiths had been summoned from Parkersburg. Even they were ready to give up after toiling half a day, and it was postmaster Umstead who finally managed to free the final clasp, by patiently working with two small parts. The locksmiths had managed to take off the combination lock, but had failed to move the door.


It was found that the lock was completely worn out. It has been in use for 60 years, ever since the building was erected. The vault was originally a bank vault and has a large steel door, and its walls are 20 inches thick. It was thought that entry would have to be made through the wall to get the vault open, until Umstead’s persistence paid off.


 1985, 25 years ago

It took the board of education only 24 minutes to complete its formal business when members met on Monday evening at the board office. Aside from routine matters, the main issue before the board concerned the new State law mandating voluntary contemplation, meditation or prayer in the schools.


The question before the board was how much time should be set aside each school day for this purpose? The decision, unanimously: one minute.


Following approval of transportation and facility requests, the board discussed the time allocation. Superintendent Ron Blankenship said that he had circulated to all county principals a copy of a Dec. 17, 1984, memo about the new prayer amendment from State superintendent Roy Truby.


Blankenship said he had instructed the county’s principals to “share the contents of the memo with all teachers and implement its stipulations immediately.”

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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