Look Back: Parkersburg goes to the dogs

Historical newspaper excerpts from the Wood County Historical Society

Photo from the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society Might this Ohio River Railroad train, nearing the bridge across the Little Kanawha River into Parkersburg, be involved in one of the stories in this column?


Editor State Journal: Has the city of Parkersburg an ordinance concerning dogs? If so, what are its provisions? Is the owner of a dog held responsible for depredations committed by his dog or dogs? Has a citizen any right of protection against dogs? If so, in what way may he proceed against dogs when they come within the enclosures of other property?? Is a citizen allowed to kill, by shooting, or in any other way, dogs that persist in coming into yards and other places and destroying property? If not, by what method are we to be relieved of at least 500 to 1,000 worthless curs? If a man insists on having dogs is there any law that will compel him to take care of the dog and keep it within his own enclosure? If there is no such law, has the City Council a right to enact such a requirement? Many of our citizens are constantly annoyed by dogs, that either belong to other people or have no owner. No one questions the right of any man to have a dog, but if he will deal in this kind of stock he should be required to keep it at home, and not allow it to annoy other people.


The Parkersburg Daily State Journal

Aug. 14, 1889


Humane Society

A meeting will be held at the Council Chamber next Monday night at 7:30 for the purpose of organizing a humane society for this county.

Addresses will be made by several ladies and gentlemen who are interested in the movement and arrangements made for procuring a charter for the society.

A number of our prominent people, who will give the new society their moral and financial support will be in attendance and will assist in the good work any way they can.

When the society is legally organized and ready for work they will have officers to report all cases of cruelty to animals and the offending parties will be dealt with according to law.

The Parkersburg Sentinel

April 28, 1892


A dog gone story

A cur dog that had been annoying a Ninth Street family for a long time was turned over to the police Thursday to be dispatched. The duty of ridding the earth of the forsaken canine devolved upon officers Vierheller and Hendershot, but they didn’t fancy the job. They led the dog down to the Ohio River bank, the place of execution.

The animal was a little suspicious and cast appealing glances at them and they did not have the heart to kill it. Instead they hired a skiff, and landed him on the Ohio side, after a pull against the rapid current, when they cast him loose and gave him another chance for his life.

Yesterday morning when the ninth street citizen went out to pick up the morning paper off the front porch, there was that pesky dog looking him square in the face. He lost no time reporting to police headquarters and wanted to know what sort of marksmen the officers were, anyhow. The animal was again handed over to the same officers and we suppose he is gone for good this time, as he was sent out in a freight car.

The Parkersburg Daily Sentinel

May 7, 1892


Bob Enoch is president of the Wood County Historical Society. Would you like to help preserve our past for future generations? The society offers informative monthly meetings and an interesting, 20-page quarterly newsletter. Dues are just $20/year. Send to: WCHPS, P.O. Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102.