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Man is grandson of mayor who 'busted' gamblers

Bob'n'Along by Bob Stealey

EDITOR

This week I received an e-mail from David G. Allen, of 640 Davisson Run Road, in response to the second item in my Bob'n'Along column of Sunday, June 18. It pertained to a clipping from the Aug. 27, 1907 edition of the Hampshire Review, which was sent to me by Joy Gilchrist Stalnaker of the Hacker's Creek Pioneer Descendants in Lewis County.

The article dealt with then-Mayor Crile of Clarksburg, who ordered a raid on a gambling house. Allen identified Mayor Crile as Lafayette C. Crile, his maternal grandfather. He wrote:

"He was born on a farm in rural Greene County, Pa., and orphaned at age three, when his father was killed while felling a tree. Raised by a foster farm family, he nevertheless pursued an education and went on to graduate from Washington & Jefferson College at Waynesburg before receiving his law degree at West Virginia University in 1898.

"He came to Clarksburg to practice law in 1898, being about 28 years old. His wife was Sarah Lantz of Fairmont, the daughter of Morris Lantz, a grocer with two markets in Fairmont. They married in 1903 and had six daughters, the eldest of whom, Josephine, is now living in the Akron area. She and her husband, Thomas A. Jones, a native of Smithburg, are 95.

"In 1902, L.C. Crile was elected Clarksburg's mayor and was re-elected in 1904 and 1906. His six years as mayor were his only political office holding aside from his time spent as the city's judge. He practiced law full time in Clarksburg for the rest of his career and was a 50-year member of the Harrison County Bar Association.

"In 1950, he was staying with his daughter, Helen (Bauer), in Columbus, Ohio, where he passed away that October. In one of his last letters that he wrote to my mother, Sara, who was his only child still living here, he closes by asking her to 'write me about all of the gossip and scandal in Clarksburg. I'm sure there's plenty.'

"Thus, it seems that Clarksburg began the 20th century as it now ends it. Only now, not only is gambling a much bigger enterprise than it was in Mayor Crile's time, but it is sponsored by the state."

Very well put, Mr. Allen, and thanks for writing.

------

'Better late than never, I will say after receiving a fax from Carolyn Osborn, who works in the administrative offices of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas.

Her fax consisted of a poem from a former Clarksburg resident, Alexander D. Osborn, son of the late Alexander B. Osborn, to celebrate West Virginia's 137th birthday, which was yesterday. The item was faxed Monday, so since my column does not appear on Tuesdays, I am using it a day late.

The poem -- it's titled "Happy Birthday, West Virginia" -- follows:

"West Virginia, today is your day, I am happy to say,

"You are 137 years old today,

"Mountain State, that is 'great'.

"Some day I will return home,

"Never more to roam.

"Your beautiful mountains cannot be beat,

"And that is neat.

"I will never forget the fact,

"West Virginia made a big contribution to World War II, tis true.

"The beautiful Greenbrier Hotel was a hospital during World War II,

"We sent our sons and loved ones to war in World War II.

"Our soldiers trained on the Seneca Rocks,

"How to climb, and that's fine.

"Now! We have two medical schools;

"Tis true, let me tell you.

"Mountain State, you are great!"

Thanks, Mr. Osborn, for your thoughts, and thanks, Carolyn, for sending the poem our way.

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