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This Week In History, 7-22-10


Updated on Wednesday*:

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The following reports are taken from The Calhoun Chronicle archives:


1910, 100 years ago


O.J. Stump will commence work this week on raising the Chronicle office to a two-story building, the upper rooms of which will be used by A.E. Kenney as a law office.


Dowd Stump, George and Otis McEndree, and other out-of-town citizens were in attendance at a meeting of the Grantsville Division of the Citizens Telephone Co. on Friday.


The steamer Virginia, which was grounded high and dry during the recent flood in the Ohio River, some miles below Parkersburg, is again on the river, and will soon take up her regular trade.


The Glenville and Grantsville kids’ ball teams met at Latonia on Saturday and had a very interesting game, which resulted in a score of 9 to 8 in Grantsville’s favor.


Prices listed at City Market: eggs, 18¢ doz.; ham, 18¢ lb.; bacon, 18¢ lb.; chicken, 13¢ lb.; butter, 20¢ lb.; potatoes, 30¢ bus.; onions, $1 bus.; corn, 85¢ bus.; wheat, $1.25 bus.; and flour, $6.40 barrel. Paying $6 lb. for ginseng; 2¢ lb. for mayapple root; $1.35 lb. for yellow root.



1960, 50 years ago

Those who think that man’s latest scientific inventions, including the most powerful nuclear bombs now in existence, have made a mockery of nature’s power, would be impressed with a recent group of statistics published by a weather expert. The statistics show that the power needed to lift the water which falls in a normal summer thunderstorm over an area of only a few miles, is of staggering proportions.


Likewise, the force often exhibited by the wind in various storms, compares quite overwhelmingly with the force unleashed by an atomic explosion.


Watching a cumulus cloud build up into a cumulonimbus, that is, a thunderhead, in the summer, one cannot help but be impressed by the magnificent force involved in this display of aerial power. The power is derived directly from the heat of the sun.


The sun’s rays fall upon the earth, and heat the land. Because hot air rises, the warmed air sends a thermal aloft, and as this warm rises, it is cooled. Every cloud is the result of some cooling. As the warm air rises and is cooled it forms a cloud at the exact moment when the moisture contained in the air turns from invisible particles--condensation.


This process continues until a huge cloud is built up, with millions of gallons of water contained therein, which it unleashes at the appropriate moment. Such an explosion, as one might call it, is far more powerful, in a sense, than an atomic bomb. Were this power directed toward other purposes, it would be far more devastating than the effects of an atomic bomb.


All of which should prove to us that Nature has wisely provided that the tremendous power of nature, and the forces of weather in the atmosphere, be directed toward good, not evil. There is a lesson for mankind in this thought, and we hope that the comparatively puny forces of man, including the hydrogen bomb, are put to constructive, and not destructive uses.


 1985, 25 years ago

David P. Sidwell, 30, of Grantsville, was seriously injured last Friday, when Grantsville’s garbage collection truck lost its brakes on Elizabeth Street at about 12:20 p.m.


Sidwell, who had been working as part of a three-man crew on the truck, was flown by helicopter to St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkersburg, for emergency treatment. As of the beginning of this week, he was reported to be paralyzed from the waist down.


 According to police chief Rex McCartney, who investigated the accident, the driver of the truck was Russell L. Collins of Grantsville, a Workfare client assigned to the town. Serving as crew were Sidwell, also a Workfare client, and Opha Wilson, a town employee.


When the truck turned from High Street into Elizabeth Street, Collins told the police, he came to a stop and shifted into second gear so he could descend the steep hill slowly.


About halfway down, he said, his brakes failed and the truck picked up speed. It raced through the intersections of Main Street and Mill Street without mishap. As the truck descended the hill towards the Little Kanawha River, Collins stayed at the wheel of the truck, steering, and Sidwell and Wilson both jumped off the truck. Wilson escaped with minor injuries, but Sidwell apparently struck a tree in the yard of the Ricky Richards residence.


At River Street, the garbage truck crashed into a one-car garage owned by Herb Smith. The wooden garage was demolished and the truck broke through the back wall of the structure and dropped down to the soft ground of the river bank, where it finally came to a stop before reaching the river.


Wilson and Collins were sent to the emergency room, where their injuries were found to be minor.

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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