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Friday, Feb. 12, 1999

Bob-n-Along

    What area community was once known as "Turtletown"? I'd like today to acknowledge Virginia "Peggy" Rogers and the History Book Committee of the Mount Clare United Methodist Church for making a copy of their fine paperback book available to me.
    It is obvious that considerable effort and hard work went into the compilation of the booklet, published several years ago, for inside are scores of stories and hundreds of photographs of not only the church, but also the surrounding community, dating back several years. It is likely I will be able to use a few of the pictures in "A Look Back in Time," a feature of the Telegram that appears on Page A2 daily Monday through Friday.
    I must say it was really difficult to pick out any one item from the booklet to mention in Bob-n-Along, but I looked toward the back of the publication, where I found "A Short History of Mt. Clare." The small incorporated Harrison County community situated approximately five miles south of Clarksburg along County Highway 25 is often abbreviated, when written, to "Mt. Clare," although when referring to it, I have spelled it out - "Mount Clare."
    The item, as prepared, follows:
    "Mt. Clare is located on what is known as Brown's Creek in Grant District."
"It has had two names. It was first called "Turtletown," because of the large number of turtles found along the stream. The turtles were of a vast size. The shells of these turtles were displayed in front of the Norman Tavern for travelers to see. (This tavern was located at Alpha on the property beside the present Mt. Clare Post Office, where a church is now located.) This was a popular stopping place for Teamsters. It was torn down in 1969.
    "John Haselden was the first settler of Mt. Clare. He came here in 1806 with his wife and two children from Philadelphia, Pa. He cleared a farm and operated a sawmill. His son, Sherman, brought the first modern sawmill to the area. It was located at Alpha. The rotted sawdust was hauled to gardens in the community, as it was an excellent fertilizer."
    "The name Mt. Clare was adopted in January 1876 at the suggestion of John Lynch, postmaster, who wanted it named after Mt. Clare, Maryland, a place he often visited." "The first telephone was installed in the home of J.S. Lowe in 1887. This property was later purchased by G.F. Rogers. The home was destroyed by fire and replaced with a brick residence, which is now (1992) occupied by Jim and Olive (Tangeman) Benninger.
    Mr. Claude E. Davisson owned the first automobile in Mt. Clare. He built the home now occupied by Bob Starr family. He is the grandfather of Patty (Bassel) Smith of Lost Creek.
    The population of Mt. Clare in 1918 was near 1700, due to the large number of mining employees. In 1940, the population was estimated at 1,271 with 301 families. However with the outbreak of World War II in 1941, Mt. Clare became once again a bustling town due to the demand for coal. The availability of heavy, earthmoving equipment and a ready market for coal perpetrated a "boom" in strip mining, which lasted about 15 years.
    "In 1911, the Clarksburg-Weston Electric Railway Company constructed a trolley line to Mt. Clare and in 1913, continued the line to Weston. Trolley service ended in August 1947."
 

    Before I stop today, I'll pass along a quote from noted comedienne Joan Rivers, who once said, "I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw my bath toys were a toaster and a radio."

Thanks for the collection of quotes, Bob DeCampli. And have a great weekend, one and all!


Tolerance is another key to economic  development

     West Virginia has a hard enough time attracting companies for investment in the state. We don't need people like Michael Vernon Wildman making it any tougher.
     Last week, Wildman was convicted in Harrison County Circuit Court for violating the civil rights of a black family in Quiet Dell. Wildman poured gasoline on the family's front lawn in the shape of a cross and then lit it.
     It only took the jury about 30 minutes of deliberation to come up with the verdict. Wildman faces up to 10 years in the state penitentiary and/or up to a $5,000 fine. He also faces up to one year in the county jail and/or up to a $500 fine for the misdemeanor destruction of property charge. He will be sentenced March 17.
    We support cracking down on those who can't tolerate other races or cultures. Companies look at many things when they locate in an area. Everything from electricity prices to the crime rate can influence their decisions. The last thing an area needs to be known for is having people who can't tolerate other races or cultures.
     Most of the private investment made in this state in the last five years has been made by people from outside of West Virginia  and the United States. Japanese and Taiwanese have been some of the major investors in the state.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Co., a Japan-based company, has built a motor manufacturing plant in Putnam County. A Taiwanese-based company has joined forces with U.S. firms to build an airplane manufacturing company in the Eastern Panhandle. We've even attracted some companies from Canada.
     The key to economic development is more than just incentives. It's also tolerance. We need to make certain that we don't allow intolerance in our community. Making sure those who commit civil rights violations based on race are punished is just a first step. But it's a step in the right direction.

Today's editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which includes William J. Sedivy, John G. Miller, Julie R. Cryser, James Logue, Kevin Courtney and Cecil Jarvis.


Easing the burden of federal regulations:
a Republican lead we should be following

Republicans in the House of Representatives are pushing to lighten the burden of federal regulations on Americans and American businesses.
    House Republicans have their own motives for pushing this issue. They want to put the impeachment debacle behind them and show America they can still guide the nation. To improve their chances of doing that, they have deliberately chosen an issue that Democrats are likely to support.
    Despite their less-than-ideal motives, Republicans have chosen a good cause. Complying with endless federal regulations is costing Americans, especially American businesses, a lot of money. The billions that businesses large and small spend on jumping through the federal rings and hoops could be put to much better uses uses that could benefit employers and employees, not just the federal bureaucracy.
    One bill being pushed by House Republicans would extend a 1995 law the gives businesses and state and local governments added protection against "unfunded mandates." Unfunded mandates are the extra costs that come with complying with new regulations; the federal government imposes new rules but offers no help with the added costs.
    Under another bill, small businesses that make small mistakes in filling out required federal paperwork could have their fines waived. Under a third bill, small businesses could more easily file paperwork by e-mail or telephone.
    Republicans aren't trying to hide their motives in pushing these bills. "They have bipartisan support and we can ring up a couple of legislative victories," said Pete Jeffries, spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
    Rep. David McIntosh, R-Ind., put it this way: Republicans want to show "Congress is returning to work on core issues" and that "Congress is getting back to the things that people care about."
    Some may call the Republicans' motives self-serving. But we find candor in the Capitol refreshing. And we think House Republicans have chosen a good cause to put their shoulder into. Easing the burden of federal regulations is something "that people care about." We wish the Republicans luck.
 
Tim Langer
Telegram Editorial Board member


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Copyright Clarksburg Publishing Company 1999