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Look Back: Valley’s relationship with animals has evolved

Editor’s note: This item includes reproductions of historical newspaper excerpts, and as such includes items that light-heartedly refer to deeds against animals that are understood to be abusive and criminal today.

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Charley Rauch’s fighting dog became defunct last night–that is to say he ‘kicked the bucket’ and was found dead this morning, dead as a nail. He was a good dog and we shed this ink drop to his memory.

‘Old Sancho’ll wail and drop his tail

When he is laid under the ground.’

The Parkersburg Daily Times

June 30, 1869

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About hogs

Chief of Police Mehen has been trying very hard to enforce the city ordinance which prohibits the keeping of hogs within the city limits. Some time ago he succeeded in getting the porkers all driven out of town, but recently some of them were brought back in the night time. Today, Mr. Mehen got after then again and their grunt will be missed from the varied music of the city.

The Parkersburg Daily State Journal

Aug. 20, 1888

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The rainmakers

The Little Kanawha Fishing Club left on the Oneida this morning for their fishing camp near Leachtown. Every year since the club was organized it has poured down rain the whole time they were in camp and there are good prospects for a similar experience this year. They are known as the rainmakers and Jonahs to the other fishing clubs, and all that is necessary to break a drought is to send them to camp.

The Parkersburg Daily State Journal

Sept. 4, 1892

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A fish story

A truthful friend of Grantsville, Calhoun County, writes narrating a marvelous fish story, which our readers can accept as perfectly true. He says that as T.R. Stump was standing on the bank of the Little Kanawha river the other morning a large fish hawk dived and brought up a large fish and started to fly away, but the fish was so heavy that it could only fly a short distance and Stump ran for his gun. Overtaking the hawk and fish he fired and succeeded in scaring the hawk away, securing its breakfast, which he says is the finest he has enjoyed all year.

The Parkersburg Daily State Journal

Oct. 5, 1895

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The residents of South Side who have time to spare are passing their idle moments with the pole and line. The fishing is quite good along the Kanawha and many fine specimens of the finny tribe are being landed.

The Parkersburg Semi-Weekly Sentinel

May 14, 1901

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Trial will be tonight

George Bentz will be tried this evening at 5 o’clock before Justice Thomas on the charge of keeping a ferret for the purpose of hunting. The case was set for last evening but did not come up that time. The accused will fight the case as he claims he did not use the ferret after he had found out that it was against the law to use for hunting. Bentz resides on the South Side. Arthur Black, another young man who resides in Tavennerville, was arrested last evening and given a trial on the same charge and he was found guilty and fined one dollar and costs which he paid and was dismissed.

The Parkersburg Daily State Journal

Dec. 9,1905

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Strange bedfellows

A gentleman related to us the other day a remarkable story illustrating the mother love in animals. He says that a short time ago a cat belonging to Bennett Dodrill had a litter of kittens. A few days later the kittens were disposed of by drowning. The old cat was deeply grieved at the loss of her babies, and one day came in with a young rabbit, which she nursed, and cared for as her own. Later she brought in another wee rabbit, and now seems as proud of the two cottontails as she did of the kittens. The rabbits, too, seem contented and are growing rapidly. But there will probably be trouble in that four-footed family one of these days. — Weston Echo

The Parkersburg Sentinel

July 20, 1908

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Bob Enoch is president of the Wood County Historical and Preservation Society. If you have comments or questions about Look Back items, please contact him at: roberteenoch@gmail.com, or by mail at WCHPS, PO Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102.

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