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Weston was once known as  "Flesherville"

    My friend John Henderson lent me a booklet written by Mary Ann Maxwell Radabaugh titled "The Ties That Bind: The Generations of Charles Lewis Maxwell and Ella Woofter Maxwell."
     There's a wealth of information inside that little 36-page publication that's of interest to north central West Virginians. It contains considerable genealogy of the Maxwell family, so I found it a little difficult to simply jump onto the merry-go-round, so to speak.
    The first textual material reads as follows: "Thomas Maxwell was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Maxwell of East Nottingham township of Chester, Pa., as Robert's will, dated Dec. 30, 1791, and probated Nov. 13, 1792, mentions his son, Thomas. In 1799, Thomas's widow moved her six orphaned children to Harrison County, Va., now West Virginia, and settled near West Milford in a cabin owned by Col. William Lowther.
    "Here Jane Maxwell raised her children  one of which, Lewis Maxwell, became a congressman. Lewis was also one of the three men who realized the opportunity of there being a town of Weston. They bought this land and sold it back to the county for $300 and had Col. Edward Jackson lay it off in lots and streets. It was called Preston, then Flesherville, and in 1819, Weston.
    "The first county court meeting in Weston was held in Levi Maxwell's home. The Kroger complex on the west side of Smith Run Road was part of the Levi Maxwell farm. Lewis Maxwell was among those appointed to the first Lewis County Board of Education by the county court in 1818. Lewis Maxwell purchased a 200-acre farm in 1838 where Jane Lew is located, laid it off in lots and streets and named it Jane Lew for his mother.
    "This is where his mother had lived at the time of her death in 1835. Lewis Maxwell was among those men who, in 1847, sold capital stock to build a clay-surfaced turnpike from Weston to Jane Lew to Lost Creek."
    The account continued: "The name 'Maxwell' originated in Northnumberland County, England, near the year 1000, it being at first spelled 'Maccuswell.'" Prior to this date, the family came from Saxony, northeastern Germany, it is believed. They went from England to Scotland at the time of the conquest of William the Conqueror (1066) and are said to have figured in the border wars with Sir William Wallace (1272-1305, Scottish patriot and military leader, who was executed by the English) and (Robert Bruce, called "the Bruce") who was Robert I, King of Scotland, 1306-29, and who defeated the English at Bannockburn, 1314, and won recognition of independent Scotland, 1328. From "Scotia" they migrated to America before the year 1700, and settled in Connecticut and in New Jersey, and to the New Jersey branch of the family, the Ritchie County and Gilmer County Maxwells trace their ancestry."
    A bit later in Mrs. Radabaugh's book, Gilmer County was mentioned, as follows: "The first county court meeting in Gilmer County was held in the home of the son of William Stalnaker, Salathiel Goff Stalnaker, at DeKalb, WV, the oldest town in Gilmer County, on March 24, 1845. Salathiel's home stood near what we used to call "the old brick house," which had been William's home near Mill Seat Run Road.
    "An election was held on the fourth Thursday in April which moved the county seat upriver to 'The Ford,' later called Hartford, and in March 1856, the name was changed to Glenville. June 13, 1845, the county court met at the home of Thomas Marshall in Glenville. When a legal tangle developed over the acquiring of the land of William H. and Christian Ball as the site for the new courthouse, Salathiel Stalnaker offered his DeKalb home free as a temporary site for the county court.
"Once again, on Feb. 23, 1946, the county court moved to DeKalb. In April, 1846, when the land-deeding problems were resolved, the court convened once again in Glenville in William Ball's home, where it continued until the courthouse was completed in 1850 (taken from courthouse records)."
    We went back quite a few years in Bob-n-Along today to bring you a brief history of the Maxwell family members and their ancestors.

Another column Friday.
Take care!

Exponent Editorial
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 1999

Praise for Bridgeport's
out-going city manager

    Bridgeport's first city manager, Harold Weiler, will be stepping down from his post this week to enjoy retirement. We wish him well and commend him for a job well done.
    When Weiler took the office five years ago, it represented a fairly significant change for Bridgeport. It was the first time that the city's government operated under a full-time city manager, and all indications seem to be that it was an intelligent change for Bridgeport.
    The full-time manager position would also seem to have been a necessary one, given that Bridgeport's budget is somewhere around $5 million. As Weiler himself pointed out, "You don't run a corporation like that with part-time help."
That makes sense. And so did a lot of Weiler's efforts during his tenure.
    While city manager, he was involved in such projects as the construction of a new sewer plant and the creation of the comprehensive plan, which outlines the city's goals for the next several years. He also saw that the Bridgeport cemetery was incorporated into the operations of the city itself.
    Weiler's accomplishments are worth acknowledging, and we wish him the best. We also welcome A. Kim Haws of East Palestine, Ohio, who will be assuming the role of city manager upon Weiler's departure. We are confident that he will carry on the work that was begun before him in making Bridgeport the best city it can be.

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.

Telegram Editorial
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 1999

Passage of Greenbrier gambling
bill would be a mistake

    Gambling at The Greenbrier appears to be a real possibility in  this year's West Virginia Legislature. Similar efforts to allow gambling at the historic hotel have failed in previous years. But a bill this session gaining momentum would allow local voters around The Greenbrier to decide the issue.
    We think its passage would be a huge mistake. Church leaders against gambling appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week with a compelling argument that gambling is against God's law. On the other side, a White Sulphur Springs banker said allowing a casino at the resort would boost that area's economy.
    Proponents say this is a very limited open door to gambling in the state. The bill would limit the customers of a Greenbrier casino to hotel guests. Ted Kleisner, The Greenbrier's president, contends the hotel needs the influx of guests the casino would bring, particularly in the winter months.
    So then, the battle would seem to center on morality vs. jobs. We don't discount the morality factor. We fully understand why the West Virginia Council of Churches opposes the bill. And we don't lightly turn our backs on new jobs in West Virginia. But we oppose gambling at The Greenbrier  (and anyplace else in West Virginia ) because of a concern about corruption.
    We believe that The Greenbrier management would undoubtedly operate a casino of the highest order. Our real concern isn't that corruption would occur at a Greenbrier casino or that anything illegal would occur there.
    But a casino at The Greenbrier is opening Pandora's Box. Our history in West Virginia has shown we elect legislators that can be corrupted. We have a dismal record when it comes to public corruption.
    The kind of money involved in big-time casinos is staggering. We're not talking a few million dollars here. We're talking tens of millions. And once legalized gambling gets a foothold in this state it is just a matter of time before it breaks out of narrow confines. You can bet would-be casino operators will return again and again to the Legislature asking lawmakers to remove restraints in the legislation.
    We don't think it is a stretch to be concerned that huge money put on the table might be too much of a temptation for some in our government to avoid. The last thing we need are more  public officials going to prison. And we don't need greedy, out-of-state casino operators making millions off from West Virginia.
    Supporters of the Greenbrier bill point out that none of West Virginia's border states allows casino gambling. They say gambling could be a huge tourist draw for the state. That means more jobs and a stronger economy, they say.
But what about the human cost? What about the thousands of West Virginians that would be tempted to gamble money that they can't afford to lose?
     Those local dollars would be spent more productively in food stores, retail outlets and auto dealerships where you get something in return for your money.
    We fear casinos would become a huge black hole where money flows out of the state with no productive goods coming back in. We're not sure how much it truly would benefit the state's  economy. But we suspect less than its proponents say.
    We suggest our legislators don't open a crack in our laws that allows legalized gambling to enter. The Greenbrier is a jewel in our state that we should support and want to prosper. But giving in to legalized gambling is giving too much.

Terry Horne
Telegram Editorial Board member

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