KEYSER - JULY 1898
Condensations of Excerpts of a Keyser Paper of July 1898.
Taken from "History of Keyser by William Wolfe"
Keyser is on the main lines of the Baltimore and
Ohio and the West Virginia Central Railroads.
The population is now 3,300. Altitude 900 feet above sea level.
The water works - built at the expense of a $45,000.00 bond issue. The source, a spring 290 feet higher than the town, with a resulting pressure of 126 pounds per square inch. Now (1898) the bond issue is reduced to $37,000.00.
Mayor: Wm M. Welch
Sergeant and Treasurer - Charles F Vest
F M Reynolds
James T. Carskadon
James H. Rine
Harry G. Buxton
Recorder & Assessor - Silas N. Atkins
Total bonded indebtedness $37,000.00. Assessed value of real estate $465,000,000.00 The town taxes are 70 cents of $100.00.
Recently installed - operated under franchise by the Gordon Telephone Co.
The Burlington Telephone Co., is leased by the Gordon Telephone Co., as far as Burlington, where it connects with a complete system inn operation to Romney, Moorefield, Petersburg and Franklin.
THE B & O SHOPS
Were moved here from Piedmont in the early 1870's and in 1896 were moved to Cumberland MD, and then citizens here raised $10,000, for the R R company to move them back.
LARGEST CARRIAGE & WAGON WORKS IN THE STATE
A P Ritzell began in 1879, moved to West Street in 1883. A P Ritzell was born in Cumberland MD in 1853. He married Annie M. Keys in 1880.
THE KEYSER BANK
Chartered July 15, 1886; capital stock $50,000. President -F M Reynolds; Vice President -W J Babb; Cashier - James Thornton Carskadon; Assistant Cashier - Jesse A Sharpless.
Directors: John D Gelwicks, George T. Carskadon, N J Crooks and J H Markwood.
J B FITZER & CO
Store established October 1897. General Store
C W SIEVER & CO
Hardware, stoves and tinware, wholesale and retail business established June 1, 1895 at corner of Center and N. Water Streets
Corner of Main and Armstrong Streets. Run by Paul H Nefflin, son of Emil Nefflin of Piedmont, who began business there in 1854, and who came from Wurtemburg, Germany, coming to America in 1848. Paul H's grandfather, John Hefflin, was a prominent German jurist and author of several valuable books.
RICHARDSON BROS. & CO. FURNITURE MANUFACTURERS
Milton G and Richard G. Richardson located in Keyser in 1875, and began their furniture business on Davis Street, 1880. Business expanded and they bought a building on Armstrong Street, later occupied by the "Mountain Echo" paper. After they started the factory, they sold the store and undertaking business to J H Makwood in 1891.
M J MCNALLY
New Stock of Harness. Came from Elk Garden.
WILLIAM ELLSWORTH CROOKS
Born in Zanesville, Ohio, Nov 22, 1862. Raised in Hardy Co. Had position in US Census Office, Washington, and later was in realestate in Washington where he married a Mrs. Estes. Moved to Keyser in 1893. Had the cigar and stogie factory here at 107 South Main Street, named the Crooks Tobacco Co. He and his wife have a "palatial" home at 76 S Mineral Street known as the "Buckeye Cottage".
J R Criser -Proprietor, Lawrence L Kimes, Manager. North Main Street (Where Romigs Drug Store Was). Was opened a year ago, Mr.Kimes is a registered pharmacist, who has been in the drug business for the past 6 years. The proprietor, Mr. Criser, is a conductor on the B & O RR and has worked it for 36 years (since 1862).
DAN C QUINN, MERCHANT
Main Street (Where Rinards Jewelry Store was), Store was founded in 1882 by L M Shepherd& Co, of Cumberland MD. Mr. Quinn was its first manager. He purchased it in 1888. He was born in Hampshire Co, and was at one time a town councilman.
KEYSER PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Conducted on a professional basis. High School affiliated with State University.
Present school board head - Jesse A Sharpless; W E Fazenbaker - Commissioner; George R Davis, Piedmont - Secretary. The school building on S. Mineral Street was built in 1882 for $15,000.
Keyser's scholastic population is 752 whites, 55 colored. The amount of money spent for school salaries for term 1897 - 1898 is $4,986.00. The number of teachers employed is 12. School term - 9 months (teacher's pay about $400.00 per year).
The High School has an alumni association. R M Collins has been principal since 1895.
THE ELECTRIC LIGHT PLANT
Keyser Electric Light Co, North Mineral Street. Building erected in 1895. Capacity with motors now installed is 1000 - 16 candle power incandescent lights and 40 - 2000 candle- power arc lights. The town streets are lighted with arc lights.
Officers and directors:
F M Reynolds, President; Arthur W Coffroth, Vice President; N J Crooks, Manager and Treasures; Directors: W E Crooks, H G Buxton, J H Markwood and J T Carskadon.
Authorized stock $50,000.00.
J H MARKWOOD - FURNITURE & UNDERTAKING
N Main Street. In 1878, Mr. Markwood purchased the stock of several small furniture stores here, consolidating them into one store at the corner of Water and Center Streets, where he conducted his business until 1890, at which time he built a brick store building on N Main Street (now site of Farmer's & Merchant's Bank) carries a stock of $5,000 to $6,000.
He has studied embalming under Prof. Hohenschuh and Prof. Sullivan.
KEYSER WOOLEN MILLS
The town's most important industry. Corner of East and Mozelle Streets. The plant was founded by and is under the management of Arnold C Scherr, in 1893. Weekly out-put $750 - $1,800.
MRS. L A CRISER, FINE MILLINERY AND NOTIONS
North Main Street. Mrs. Criser is assisted by her two daughters, Clara and Nellie, and by Miss Etta Clary.
J M FISHER, ARTISTIC PHOTOGRAPHY
From Hardy County, a resident of Keyser since 1883
Organized in 1875 in the basement of Court House. Church erected in 1876. Membership now 250. Sunday School 300. Pastor, Rev J H Light.
Church at corner of Main and E Piedmont Streets, built in 1893; cost about $10,000. Present pastor, Rev J H Moore in 1890. Membership then 35, now 190. Until Rev Moore's advent here, the Piedmont church was included in this pastorate.
Meets in Carskadon's Hall - Pastor, Rev W H Patterson
ST JAMES CATHOLIC CHURCH
James Street, Father Drake
JANES M E CHURCH
A negro church
WM C CLAYTON, LAWYER
Born in Hampshire WV, Jan 24 1831, now 67 years old. Admitted to bar in 1859. His father was T Clayton, MD. of Romney. Attended Classical School at Romney and University of VA in 1847 - 1848.
JESSE A SHARPLESS
Born in Elk Garden in 1844. Attended Fairmont Normal School Taught school in Piedmont for seven years. Was County Superintendent of School for 3 terms. Moved to Keyser in 1881, where he was deputy sheriff for 8 years. Became teller and acting assistant cashier at Keyser's Bank in 1890. Married Carrie A Nesbit in June 1881.
GEORGE T CARSKADON
Founded store in Keyser in 1874, corner of Main and Center Streets.
DANIEL T GREENWADE
Storekeeper. Established Keyser store in 1884., and established a branch store in Cumberland later.
N J CROOKS
Born iin Zanesville, Ohio Jan 16, 1861, son of Capt W B Crooks (Civil War). His great uncle was General Crooks, the famous Indian fighter. Came to Keyser in 1880, traveling salesman for Bear and Sons Wholesale Grocery, Wheeling WV. Married Mrs. Emma Lee in Sept 1882.
CROOKS TOBACCO COMPANY
Factory located 107 S Main Street. Leading brands made - "Crooks Old Cuban" and "Congress Perfecto". Recent days shipment 32,000 cigars. Made of Havana tobacco with Sumatra filler.
President, N J Crooks; Vice President, E F Nine; Secretary, W E Crooks; Manger, J M Trexler.
J M BRIGHT'S LIVERY STABLE
Son of E C Bright. Father ran a stage between Morgantown and Fairmont for 31 years and came to Keyser in 1881. His father had a mail contract between Keyser and Moorefield, Maysville and Petersburg. Father bought livery stable from Knight and Purgitt in 1889. Three years later, father gave one half of livery stable to son, Jesse. On April 15, 1895, Jesse bought out father's half in location near the Keys House Hotel. Was born iin Morgantown in 1871. Married Nannie M McIlwee of Romney Oct 20, 1894.
GEORGE W BANE
Oldest Insurance Agency, Keyser
CITY MARKET, MAIN STREET
R M Workman, proprietor, employs James Roby as butcher. Father had a general store at New Creek in 1870s.
Grocer and market gardner. Came to Keyser after Civil War. Ws in pottery business in Roseville, Ohio, where he married Aurilla Weaver in 1868.
CYRUS P GRIMES
Livery stable, Davis Street
JOHN D GELWICKS
Shoe Merchant. Born in Boonsboro, MD Nov 1846. Hand made shoes a specialty. He was not a shoe mender. He measured the foot and made the shoe
Corner of Main and Armstrong Streets.
Mrs. Julia Haughton, Prop. 8 rooms and bar. Established in 1888. Home cooking "Old National Whiskey, rates per day $1.00.
DAVIS LODGE NO 5, A F & AM
Instituted Feb 24, 1889
IOOF QUEEN'S POINT LODGE NO 78
Instituted Sept 25, 1875
KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS, OLIVE BRANCH NO 25
Instituted March 3, 1875
ANCIENT ORDER UNITED WORKMEN, POTOMAC LODGE NO 7
Instituted Sept 7, 1891
JUNIOR ORDER, UNITED AMERICAN MECHANICS, ENTERPRISED COUNCIL NO 20 Instituted 1889.
MINERAL COUNTY OFFICERS
R W Dailey, Jr - Judge Circuit Court
J V Bell - Clerk, Circuit Court
Frank C Reynold - Pros. Attorney
W E Heskett - Sheriff
L V Davis - Deputy Sheriff
Floyd Knight - Deputy Sheriff
Thonas P Adams -County Surveyor
C F Hahn -Supt. of Schools
D C Arnold - Assessor, West District
P M Dayton - Assessor, East District
County Commissioners - P S Minshall, Michael Masteller, George Arnold
Clerk, County Court - J V Bell
Deputy to Circuit and County Courts - J A Fifer
Tax Rates for county purposes - 35 cents per $100
Populatioon in 1890 - 12, 085