Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram
Saturday, September 27, 2003 

Broad Oaks United Methodist to celebrate centennial

by Kim Mines


CLARKSBURG -- Special music, fellowship, and fond memories will mark the 100th anniversary of the Broad Oaks United Methodist Church on Oct. 4-5. 

Beulah Land Express will provide a special music presentation on Oct. 4 from 6-8 p.m. Refreshments will be served afterward. 

The Rev. Clifford Schell -- district superintendent, Wesleyan District -- will lead the morning worship service on Oct. 5. The service will begin at 11 a.m., and will be followed by lunch in the social hall. 

At 2 p.m. the congregation will get a "blast from the past" when members open up the time capsule that was buried in the churchyard in 1978. The capsule was buried there as part of the church's 75th anniversary celebration. 

"We're not even sure what's in there," said church member Nora Garrett. "Folks just started putting things in, like jewelry and things." 

Diane Hoskinson, however, remembers her contribution to the time capsule. 

"It was 25 years ago. I was 14 years old," Hoskinson said. "My dad was in a gospel group that played at the church, and he put in drumsticks. I couldn't think of anything, and someone suggested I write a letter about what I hoped my future would be like." 

Hoskinson wrote about an older boy named Sonny that she had a crush on. Even though Sonny had no idea she was even interested in him, Diane wrote in her letter that she hoped to marry him some day.

Twenty-five years later, as plans are made to unearth and open the time capsule, that dream has come true. Diane and Sonny Hoskinson have been happily married for 17 years and have two children, Kelsey and Logan. 

"I'm glad it worked out that way," Diane Hoskinson said with a laugh. "That would be pretty embarrassing otherwise!" 

Although no one seems quite sure what is buried in the time capsule with Hoskinson's letter, Garrett said they are sure about the history of Broad Oaks United Methodist Church.

In 1901, two lots were allotted for a church in what was then called the Alta Vista Addition of Broad Oaks. Goff Chapel, now First United Methodist Church, sponsored the new church until it was able to stand on its own. Garrett said that the new church was dedicated on March 29, 1903, and was named Ash Chapel in honor of David L. Ash, the presiding elder.

In 1920, the name was officially changed to Broad Oaks Methodist Church.

The church continued to grow, and eventually outgrew the building. On Aug. 27, 1933, the cornerstone was laid for the present church, which is located on the original lot. On June 10, 1934, it was dedicated and consecrated as a place of worship. 

In 1965, Broad Oaks Methodist Church and Trinity Methodist Church voted to merge. 

Today, the church is not only a place of worship, it is an important part of the community. Currently, the congregation of 150 is involved in social action and mission education. Broad Oaks United Methodist also operates a thrift store once a month. Broad Oaks' sister church is Hammond United Methodist

Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram
Wednesday, June 11, 2003 

Yearbook from WI's Class of 1927 a good work

by Bob Stealey


As a Washington Irving High School graduate, I was interested to look through a copy of the 1927 yearbook, "Reminiscences," which I thought was a magnificent specimen of high school journalism. 

The yearbook was lent to me by Carl Lantz of HC 74, Box 84, Alma, which is in Tyler County. I'd like to describe some of its contents.

The Harrison County Board of Education at the time consisted of Dr. Jesse F. Williams, Howard Robinson, Fred B. Deem and C.W. Robinson. J.A. Jackson was then superintendent of schools, and Orie McConkey was the principal at WI.

Some of the more memorable members of the faculty and the subjects they taught included: Grace Albright, Latin; Lillie M. Bauer, English and economics; Glyde Bailey, English; Mabel Cunningham, history; Lynn Faulkner, algebra and manual arts; Alice R. Griffin, librarian; J.E. Gudekunst, mathematics; Edith Heavner, domestic art; Florence Hollins, commercial branches; W.D. Judy, general science and biology; Mildred La Rue, English; Lillian C. Moore, domestic science; F.V. Philpott, manual training; E.M. Pritchard, mathematics; Ida M. Spahr, history; Lena G. Stutler, Latin; Emily Taylor, English and French; Christine Thornbury, mathematics; Elizabeth Walker, art; Preston Welch, biology and botany; Esther V. Wiest, English, and Maud Yoak, English.

Those were just some of the members of the faculty who taught at WI in the mid- to late-1920s. Senior class sponsors were Miss Eura Gray and Mr. Malden Stout.

Quite a number of WI seniors were pictured in "Reminiscences" in 1927 -- too many to mention and stay within the limitation of length for my column. However, I'd like to reprint a small section titled "Senior Class History" that lists a few of the names. It was initialed "B.W. '27" at the conclusion.

It read: "In September, 1923, the doors of Washington Irving opened to a rushing peppy Freshman class, who were all set to put their class on the map. The usual fears of Mr. McConkey and Miss Spahr being passed, they entered their Sophomore year. Although the photographer's camera collapsed when taking the class picture, the year passed uneventfully.

"Our Junior year was to be a more serious proposition. We chose Porter Chartrand to guide our bark through that rolling winter. Charles Stater, Frank Dienna and Virginia Koerner were chosen to assist him in this laborious undertaking. When May rolled 'round, we gave the class of '26 a banquet, such as has never before been equalled.

"But it was in our Senior year that real tasks presented themselves. We selected Paul Myers to lead us, with Georgia Flor his chief helper, Madge Robinson, our most beautiful girl, to manage the correspondence, and Howard Johnson to collect our dues. We were the first class to put the bust of Washington Irving, for whom our school was named, on our rings. The Senior class assumed two duties; one was to act as ushers for the lyceum numbers, the other to organize a courtesy committee which found plenty of work to do during the S.E.A. meeting in Clarksburg. A few days after taking our best girls to the annual "Prom," the Gray-Stout Class, 130 strong, received their diplomas and entered the pathway of life."