Last updated: July 23. 2014 1:47AM - 570 Views
By Charlie Miller Contributing Columnist



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July 24, 1914

Madison County Democrat — Mrs. Daniel Priest of Columbus, was called here by the sickness of her aunt, Mrs. James Chambers. (Daniel Priest had a cooper (barrel making) business on Pennsylvania Avenue along side of the railroad tracks in the late 1800s. Much oak timber was cut north of town and lumber and barrels were shipped out on the railroad.)


— Prof. E.L. Porter, superintendent of West Jefferson High School, is taking a post-graduate course in school supervision at Columbia University, New York City.


— A bomb hooking device, in many respects similar to a fishhook, by means of which a military aviator can angle for and destroy the most powerful leviathan of the air, and a system of pendent bomb units similar to submarine mines are soon to be tested out by the United States, England, Austria and Russia. The inventor is Joseph Steinmetz of Philadelphia, an automobile manufacturer and vice president of the Aero Club of Pennsylvania. The fishhook bomb is intended to be suspended from an attacking airship by a long wire like a fish line. The bomb is reeled out by gravity. The wire can be run out a thousand feet or more before the fatal charge is exploded into the gas bag or aluminum framework.


Part II

The Madison Press, Sept. 9, 1954 — Phil McDaniels, chairman of the West Jefferson Businessmen’s Association has received some rough estimates of the activity of the recent Ox Roast. Total attendance is estimated at 7,000 people. Four thousand three hundred sandwiches were served at the Ox Roast tent under the supervision of Ben Edwards. The greatest feature of the entire event, came following the Pet Parade, when 11 young belles appeared in the beauty contest before the judges. Miss Charlene Steinmetz of West Jefferson won the honor of being the Ox Roast Queen. The judges had given careful consideration of the charms and wiles of the other 10 contestants: Betsy and Betty Truitt, twins from Mt. Sterling, Karen Wolfe, Marcellia Chenos, Jean Christman, Barbara Hockenbery, Janet Jackson and Connie Newbury, all of West Jefferson, Marcella Underhill and Peggy Walters, of London. Miss Steinmetz received her tiara from Miss Pat McDaniels who had won the same honor in 1953. The three grand prizes went to West Jefferson residents, Robert Shipley, Mrs. Mark Rector and Mrs. Maud Kinnard. The main item of interests is “How much money was made?” This has not been determined as of yet. The amount cleared will be for the recreation project, which was the main purpose of the Ox Roast.


Charlie Miller is the former mayor of West Jefferson and local historian. He has been writing West Jefferson 100 years ago off and on since 1976. He can be reached at Charlie_m_miller@yahoo.com.

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