Echoes of the Past is a collection of historical articles curated from The West Virginia News, The Greenbrier Independent, White Sulphur Star, and other publications archived since 1852. You may be exposed to content that you find offensive or objectionable. For historical accuracy, articles are reprinted in their original form, and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the publisher.
1922 – 100 years ago
Fall of a 20-ton meteor
The shock of a twenty-ton meteor which crashed to the earth in an isolated spot in Nottaway County, Va., 12 miles northwest of Blackstone, Va., late on the night of May 11, was felt for a radius of 50 miles, while the brilliant light of the incandescent body illuminated the heavens over southern Virginia and sections of North Carolina. The trail of light, as the meteor fell in a slow curve from the zenith at an angle of about 45 degrees, was visible in Richmond and at points along the James River, creating general excitement, and even consternation on the part of negroes.
The meteor, composed of a metallic substance, crashed into a grove of oak trees with an explosive roar, some distance from any house, making a hole with an area of 500 square feet, and burying several trees with it. Flames immediately shot up which were visible for many miles, while trees caught fire.
The shock of the fall was felt at Lawrenceville, Petersburg, Chase City, and other points.
The News prize of five dollars in gold for the best grade made by a pupil of the eighth grade of the Ronceverte public schools in a special test given a few weeks ago, was awarded to Madge Woolwine, whose score stood highest after careful grading by the committee selected by The News.
In recognition of high grades in certain subjects made by two other pupils, who fell short in the general score, two additional prizes were given, of two dollars and one dollar in cash, which were awarded to Annie Perkins and Lelia Hill, respectively.
Found dead on Cold Knob
George Boggs, who lived near Friar’s Hill, Greenbrier County, was found dead on Manning’s Knob on Sunday afternoon, May 7, by a traveler on the highway across Cold Knob. Mr. Boggs had been at Richwood for several days visiting his son who was confined in a local hospital. While here he had been drinking quite freely of the common moonshine so frequently vended in these parts. Boggs left here Saturday afternoon on his return home and stopped for the night at one Tom White’s, who lives on Cold Knob. He left White’s Sunday morning, resuming his journey toward home and was not seen by any known person, but was found as before stated, lying cold in death. He was removed Sunday evening to Trout, where an autopsy was held under the direction of Dr. Kessler, and from information we secured from Noah Payne, the stomach content developed the fact that the man had come to his death from poison probably contained in the “bug juice” he had been imbibing. The death is a very sad one as Mr. Boggs was the father of a family of children. He had a valuable farm in the Friar’s Hill section. -Richwood Republican.
Movies showing at the Grand Theatre in Ronceverte
Sure Fire, starring Hoot Gibson; The Angel of Crooked Street by Alice Calhoun; Kids is Kids; Silent Man starring William S. Hart; Elmo Lincoln in Adventures of Tarzan; Alice Brady in Out of the Chorus; Astry from Steerage; Frank Mayo in Go Straight; Business is Business.
1947 – 75 years ago
Two Lewisburg robberies
The robbery of two business places in Lewisburg late Friday night or early Saturday morning was reported by the owners. From the radio shop of J. M. Wilkerson, a portable radio valued at $60 was taken, by breaking a glass in the front door, which was left open by the thief. From the cleaning plant of O. P. Livesay, at least one suit and a coat, belonging to patrons, were missing. A suit, two jackets and a yellow shirt were discarded and left by the thieves.
Fair awards to total $31,000
Exhibitors at the second annual West Virginia State Fair, to be held August 18-23, will receive premiums valued at $31,000, an increase of more than $10,000 over the value of the 1946 fair awards, Secretary Robert E. Sydenstricker said.
Sydenstricker said exhibits from persons unable to attend the fair will be accepted by mail this year for the first time, and that an official to take charge of mail exhibits will be named. The secretary also announced that the association is erecting a large dining room and kitchen to be operated as a cafeteria under fair management during the showings this summer.
Lewisburg residents who have been appointed department chairmen for the event include Miss Margaret Carey, horticulture; Cosmo Chase, agriculture; Mrs. C. D. Henry, culinary; and Mrs. Grey Montgomery, domestic manufactures.
Overcome by smoke
Three men were arrested for drunkenness and disorder by town officers about 10 o’clock: Saturday night and lodged in the city jail. One of the three dropped off to sleep with a lighted cigarette and set a mattress on fire. When discovered about 12:30 by Policemen Boone and Ellis, the trio were overcome by smoke, one being in an alarming condition, and it was requested that he be removed to his home where better attention could be given him. After bond was arranged) for him, the mayor granted the request. The others were treated by a physician and kept in jail.
On Sunday afternoon one other arrest was made for drunkenness, the violator being placed in jail to await trial in the mayor’s court.
Renick High School Valedictorian of Renick’s graduating class is Sara Lou Callison, 17, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Callison, of Renick, while Lucille Williams, 17year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. T. Williams, of Renick, is salutatorian.
Twelve students received diplomas from Renick High School at final commencement exercises Tuesday, May 20. Everette R. Shaffer, of Lewisburg, delivered the commencement address. Rev. Edward Williams, pastor of the Renick Presbyterian Church, delivering the sermon Sunday.
Those to receive diplomas were Rosemund Antonese, James Boyce, Lillian Brown, Sara Lou Callison, Kathleen Christian, Jettie Eagle, Walter Lee Graybeal, Janet Harrison, Travis Hollandsworth, Lacy Jenkins, Ovid McMillion, and Lucille Williams.
Movies showing at the Grand Theatre in Ronceverte
Earl Carrol in Sketchbook; Jane Wyman in Crime by Night; Ida Lupino and Robert Alda in The Man I Love; Nancy Coleman and Michael O’Shea in Violence; Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy in Violence.
1972 – 50 years ago
New school won’t compete with hospital
Jack K. Bailey, Administrator of the Greenbrier College of Osteopathic Medicine, said Wednesday that “We are not in competition with ány general hospital or with any organization.
“There is absolutely no truth in any rumor to that effect.” The Greenbrier College of Osteopathic Medicine has assumed control and administration of Greenbrier Military School effective at the end of the current school year.
He continued, “The Greenbrier College of Osteopathic Medicine is here to serve people and we are willing to cooperate with every way possible with all civic organizations.”
As fashion moves to the ladylike look, gloves are becoming more important. It’s part of the classic trend, so take yours out of mothballs if you’ve fallen out of the glove habit.
1997 – 25 years ago
Collins Awarded Academic Achievement – Scholarship
Concord College has announced several scholarship recipients for the 1997-98 academic year. Among those recognized is Troy Collins who has been awarded the Academic Achievement Scholarship. Troy is a senior at Greenbrier East High School where he participates in football, track, and fitness walking club. His awards include Mu Alpha Theta, and a recipient of Who’s Who. Troy is the son of Harry and Carol Honaker who reside at Ronceverte.
“Dapper Bandit” tried and found guilty
The trial of a Beckley man accused of the November 25 armed robbery of the Fairlea Kroger store got underway Tuesday afternoon, May 21, 1997 and concluded with a guilty verdict on Friday, May 23.
Henry Burton, 48, of Beckley is charged with the felony offense of aggravated robbery and the misdemeanor offense of brandishing a weapon in relation to the incident.
He faces similar charges in Kanawha County and in Virginia.
The perpetrator of the robberies was dubbed the “Dapper Bandit” by the media because he was described by his victims as being well dressed and well groomed.
Ferguson designated certified fair executive
Marlene Pierson Ferguson, assistant manager of the State Fair of West Virginia, has been designated a Certified Fair Executive by the International Association of Fairs and Expositions. The certification is based on a rigid scorecard of management skills, education, leadership, and community service. The award designation was made May 3 at the I.A.F.E. Spring Manager’s Conference in Branson, Missouri.
Ferguson, a native of Lewisburg, is a graduate of Concord College and Clemson University, with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in the Travel Industry Management Field. She joined the fair’s staff in the summer of 1984 in the competitive exhibits department, worked for four summers in the ticket office, and upon graduation from Clemson was named the fair’s first full-time assistant manager on August 1, 1989.
Marlene currently serves as president of the Greater Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce, member of the Carnegie Hall Governing Board and belongs to Lewisburg Rotary.