Look Back: Happenings around Wood County

Historical newspaper excerpts from the Wood County Historical Society

Photo provided by Oil and Gas Museum The small, gas-powered boat seen above may be the one referred to in one of these articles.

Another letter from Union [District]. — Editors State Journal

There have been many letters from this neighborhood, I think it comes my turn to represent the backwoods.

There has been a great deal of timber gotten over this winter, such as cross ties, keg wood, etc. If it wasn’t for the timber trade, some people out in the hills would starve to death.

John B., of Valley Mills, can be seen each Sunday evening wending his way down Sugar Run. — John, it is getting warm weather now, and you won’t have to have such big logs that the chimney will get afire.

Mr. Henry H., when he visits church, goes around by Sugar Run to get home.

The writing school that has been going on at the Darling School House closed Saturday evening. — The six best writers were Miss Ida Rolston, F.C. Jones, W.M. Rolston, C. Rolston, J.L. Ogdin and Prof. Woofter.

Mr. H.H. Hoblitzell and others are taking music lessons under the instruction of Miss Dora Bond, of Valley Mills.

Some of the young ladies of this place have been feeling very badly over the disappearance of their friends, Messrs. “Sammie” and “Jackie;” but they will get over it.

A fine hotel is to be erected at the Boreland Wells, on Frank Triplett’s farm near Cow Creek.

Mr. Lewis Ogdin, of Union, is going to try the experiment on his farm of raising cotton. If any man can make it a success, he can. [Signed] Wild Bill.

The Parkersburg Daily State Journal

March 31, 1881


A small flat boat about 16 feet long and 7 feet wide, with a small stern wheel, worked by two men, now plies the waters of the Little Kanawha, between here and Elizabeth.

The Parkersburg Weekly Sentinel

Sept. 10, 1881


Everybody knows Capt. John Rider of the Williamstown ferry boat. The Captain is a good-hearted fellow any way, but seemed doubly so a few mornings ago. As he stepped aboard he was smiling clear up to the roots of his hair; he positively refused ferriage from his passengers, and was heard to sing, as he ascended to the pilot-hose, the well-known ditty: “Hush-a-by, baby, on the tree-top, when the wind blows the cradle will rock.”

It happened the night before that St. Peter had left the gates ajar and a bouncing baby boy had dropped down on a twinkling star! This is the way the Captain tells it.

The Parkersburg Weekly State Journal

Sept. 29, 1881


Death of a child

Little Minnie, infant daughter of John and Laura Spence, died at the home of her parents, near Lubeck, on Thursday afternoon, August 23rd. Minnie was one of a pair of twins born on the 17th day of November, 1887. She was a bright, cheerful baby, gladdening the hearts of her parents and many friends until the whooping cough, accompanied by the destroyer, Death, came and claimed her for his own and left little Mary. She too, was very ill, but God in His goodness is allowing her to improve and she may yet live to comfort her parents for Minnie’s departure.

The Parkersburg Daily State Journal

Aug. 18, 1888


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.