1896 Public Schools in Parkersburg WV
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1896 PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN PARKERSBURG
There is no better drawing card for an enterprising, wealthy little city than good public Schools. Valuable as good
business sites may be important as traffic facilities are, attractive as a generous and enterprising disposition on the part of citizens always proves, none of these advantages weigh more with desirable new-comers than progressive, well taught and well disciplined public schools. For years the schools of this city have been recognized by all unprejudiced persons as the best in the State. With the finest public school building in the Ohio valley, it is but meet that the standard of the schools should be high.
With the birth of the State was the beginning of the public school system in Parkersburg, and from that day to this an upward tendency has constantly characterized the school work. Like most towns south of the Ohio river the prejudice against public schools on the part of some of the better class of citizens had to be removed but that this prejudice has no longer an existence is unquestioned. The patrons of the public schools include the wealthest and poorest; the mechanic, the professional man, the capitalist, the day laborer; high and low, rich and poor, all alike believe in, patronize, and boast of the public schools. It is safe to say that in no part of the United States is there a stronger public school sentiment than in Parkersburg.
As evidence of the reputation. the schools of Parkersburg have abroad, is the fact that there are to-day pupils in attendance upon them whose homes are in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky, and who pay tuition in order to get the benefits of the public school instruction. For years pupils from neighboring localities and from many Counties the State have been regular attendance upon the public schools many of whom having completed the entire course. The history of the public schools began in one small, inconvenient, poorly arranged building, in which instruction was given by one teacher to a few boys arid girls, that were looked upon almost with derision. To-day there are fifteen commodious, well-equipped, handsome structures, occupied by nearly 2,500 of the Brightest and most promising boys and' girls in the State and whose teachers number more than half a hundred of the most intelligent, wide awake and successful men and women to be found in school work.
The high standard of excellence which the public schools have attained and the degree of popularity which they possess, has been brought about in no small measure by the wise administrators, economical, yet generous, management of the Board of Education. Parkersburg has been particularly fortunate in the selection of the men to whom have been entrusted the affairs of the public schools, and, so strong has grown the public school sentiment, that party ties bind but loosely in educational matters. Some of the members of the present Board of Education have been in office for nearly fifteen years and some of them a longer period. For twelve years one man was president of the Board, retiring about a year ago.
During this long term of service, in which time not less than half a million dollars has been provided for, appropriated and spent, there has not been so much as a breath of suspicion that the affairs of the Board have been handled in another than the most scrupulously honest manner. Such a thing as a "deal" on part of the Board of Education is of, and so generally known is reputation for honest dealing, that are daring enough to even temptation. under such administrative bodies the public schools been matured eloped into their present healthy & Vigorous condition. detailed account of the operations of the schools may not be without Interest
Parkersburg city and district or township has its public schools under special act of the Legislature, passed 1882. This act provides for a Board Education, which consists of a Present and four commissioners, elected the regular State and county elections November. They go into office January 1, following their election, and hold their positions for four years. Two commissioners and a president are elected at one time and the other commissioner's two years later. The Board fixes the levy for building and teaching purposes; appoints and removes teachers and janitors; determines salaries; sees that the enumeration of school youth is taken; determines the text books to be used in the schools; has power to condemn property for 1 school building purposes: can purchase all apparatus, furniture, etc. essential to the best interests of the schools and in general can make such appropriations and regulations as they may deem necessary to maintain and develop high standard of scholarship.
The school law requires not less than nine months of school in both the city and country schools and the usual school year is nine and one-half months. The levy for building purposes can not exceed forty cents on the one hundred dollars valuation and for teachers salaries can not exceed fifty cents. The Board has power also to levy for the purposes of establishing and maintaining a public school library.
The levy for all purposes during the past five years has been as follows:
Year Bldg Fd Tchrs Fd Total
YR BLD FG TCHS FD TOTAL
1891-2 40 cts 30 cts 70 cts
1892-3 40 cts 30 cts 70 cts
1893-4 35 cts 35 cts 70 cts
1894-5 30 cts 30 cts 60 cts
1895-6 25 cts 33/3 58 1/3 c.
During this period, of five years, it will be noticed that there has been no increase in the school taxes whatever, and a decided decrease during the last two years. When it is remembered that during this time the Board of Education has paid off $40,000 worth of bonds and nearly $7,000 additional for school buildings and grounds and that the number of teachers has increased from forty five to fifty-eight, it will be seen that property is not unduly burdened by school taxes, but rather that the school affairs have been managed in a thoroughly economical manner. Men desirous of making this city their home need not hesitate for fear that their property will be too heavily tax-ridden for the maintenance of schools. Before bonds can be, issued for school purposes, three-fifths of those voting at a special election, held for that purpose, must vote in the affirmative.
The secretary of the Board of Education is not a member there of. He receives a salary. The members of the Board receive no compensation. The present secretary has been in office nearly 17 years, and shares the credit with the members of the Board for fidelity to all trusts imposed upon him. The following are the names of the members of the Boards of Education from the beginning, in 1865, to the present time: The first members were J. G. Blair, J. T. Cooper and E. Drahosh; followed by K. S. Boreman, S. F. Shaw, George Dent, Solomon Prager, A. L. Peadro, Andrew McFarland, C. C. Cole, T. T. Davidson, Josiah Gould, George Loomis C. F. Scott. Up to 1879 the Board consisted of three members. When it was changed to five, in 1879,W. L. Cole was elected president, Josiah Gould, Fred Stahlman, J. H. Fischer and S. B. Crawford, commissioners. In January, 1881, S. B. Crawford resigned and, Alex. Laird was appointed to fill the vacancy.
The law was again changed, and the number of the Board reduced to three. In May, 1881,W. L. Cole, J. H. Fischer and Josiah Gould were elected. In 1882 the special school law for Parkersburg city and district was passed, and in October, 1882, T. I. Boreman was elected president, J. H. Fischer, R. B. Taylor, Alex, Lair'd and W. H. Smith, Sr., commissioners. In 1885, Alex. Laird, resigned and C. D. Merrick was appointed to the vacancy. In 1886 Daniel Gould and James A. Bryan were elected commissioners. The Board then remained the same until November, 1894,when S. S. Hazen was elected president in place of T. I. Boreman. The Board is therefore now composed of the following members: President S S. Hazen. Commissioners- J. H. Fischer, Dan iel Gould, R. B. Taylor and James A. Bryan. Secretary-So T. Stapleton, elected in 1879, and held the position ever since.
During the first few years of the public schools they were carried on wholly or in part in rented rooms, which afforded but few of the conveniences now enjoyed in most of the buildings. In 1864 the first public school began in what was then the Baptist church, and is now the property of the Colored M. E. Church, on the Corer of Ann and Sixth streets. The Baptists worshipped in the church on Sundays and rented for public school purposes during the week, Other rented buildings used later, were on Swan street, Pike street: Wells street and other places. The first school building erected by the Board of Education was the old Franklin building. It was frame, had three rooms, and was built in 1865 and 1866, on the corner of Ninth and Juliana streets.
In 1876 the frame building was moved to a lot on Ninth street, near Ann, and is now used as a residence. On the site was erected the present Franklin building, a brick and stone structure of four rooms. In the fall of 1866 the Board of Education began the erection of the old Washington building, which stood on the corner of Seventh and Green streets, on part of the lot now occupied by the High School building. It was completed and dedicated in April, of 1867, and as a contrast between the ideas of the present as to school architecture, and those prevailing thirty years ago, the following clipping from the local column of the West Virginia Journal published in this city, April 16, 1867, may be interesting: "The new brick school house dedicated Thursday last in the Fifth ward is an honor to the city. It contains four rooms capable of seating 250 scholars. The work throughout the building
is well done, and the painting and graining by Mr. Rice, the principal of the building, is very neat. The building cost $6,000." This building stood until 1890, when it was razed to make room for the present structure.
The third building erected was one of four rooms, on the corner of Grafton and Latrobe streets, in the East End, and which now forms part of the Jefferson building. This was in 1869. In 1873 or '74 two rooms were added and in 1888 four more rooms making the present building of ten rooms. In 1873 the Avery street building, near the corner of Thirteenth, was built, It was a two-story frame structure, now a residence situated on Thirteenth street near Market. In 1880 it was removed and the present brick building on the corner of Thirteenth and Avery erected in its place, In 1883 the Board of Education erected the Garfield school building, a handsome brick structure of six large rooms, a comfortable cloak rooms and wide halls. In 1891 the present High School building was dedicated. It is generally recognized 'as one of the finest school buildings in the United States and by far superior to any other in West Virginia. It contains twelve ordinary school Rooms, the High school room, a two recitation rooms, two rooms for laboratory purposes, two society halls, a library rooms, Board of Education room and superintendent's office. It cost, including the ground, about $55,000. It is one of the objective points with all visitors.
In 1893 the Park building was remodeled from a residence belonging to Mr. C. A. Wade, situated in Elberon, and four school rooms made out of it,. It is a frame building. In 1895 the old residence of John C. Nash, on upper Murdoch avenue, was made into a school building of two rooms. This completes the buildings for the white pupils, within the city limits. In the High School building are located the High School pupils, Grammar grade pupils and a part of the highest primary. In all the other buildings are pupils of the primary grades. The buildings are provided with modern means of heating and ventilation, are situated on large lots and have abundant air space. A janitor is provided for each building. The Smead dry closet system and the flush system are both in use. Nearly every room has single desks and maps, globes, charts, dictionaries, etc., are found in every room where needed. Outside the city are seven one story buildings, some Brick and some frame, for the ungraded schools. These are furnished with all necessary apparatus
In the first ten years of the public schools there was but little, if any, supervision of the teachers work. Men who were spoken of as being at the head of the schools were simply principals of buildings, who devoted as much time to teaching as any subordinate teacher, and had little opportunity to see how the work generally was being conducted. These men did a great deal, however, to strengthen the public school sentiment, and, by honest, faithful effort, under circumstances by no means the most favorable, did much to establish the public school system. The schools of the entire district are now under the supervision of a superintendent, elected for the calendar year, whose duties are, to direct and superintend the educational work in all grades.
Most of his time is 'expected to be spent in the schools within the city limits, but the ungraded schools are also under his supervision and such attention is to be given them as time and circum stances will permit. While not a member of the Board of Education, he is Frequently in attendance upon their meetings, to suggest wand confer with them as to the best interests of the schools.
The selection text books and the preparation or modification of the course of instruction are left largely to him, subject, however, to the approval of the Board. Applicants for teacher's certificates are examined by the superintendent and two others appointed by the Board to act with him. At the close of the school year the superintendent is required to make a report to the Board of Education of the character work done by teachers, of the enrolment, attendance and proficiency of pupils and of such other matters as may be deemed necessary to keep the Board informed of the workings of the schools.
The superintendent has no direct teaching to, do. In each building there is a principal, who has a regular school room and gives instruction throughout the day. These principals are, held responsible tor the general order of the building, and are expected to give such assistance to other teachers of the same building as there duties will, allow. The public schools have had but three superintendents. In 1874 the Board of Education elected Mr. E. S. Cox, of Belpre, to the superintendency, which position he held until 1879, when he resigned to accept a similar position at Bellaire, Ohio. During these five years the schools were thoroughly graded and many necessary and useful changes made in the different departments of school work.
To the foundations which he so successfully laid are due many of the most valuable features of the present condition of educational affairs. He is now engaged in superintending the schools of Sidney, Ohio, Mr. Cox was succeeded by Mr. A. L. Purinton, of Morgantown, West Va. His administration was a most excellent one. By his active, zealous efforts, his thorough scholarship, and abundant resources, he left an impress upon the public school work of this city that renders the nine years of his work one of the most permanently valuable periods the public schools have known.
It was during this period that the present school law was passed, without which legislation much of what is now most valuable would be impossible. He saw the schools grow until it came necessary to erect the Garfield and Thirteenth Street buildings, and to enlarge the Jefferson and Sumner buildings. He remodeled the course of instruction, and brought about the adoption of many needed regulations for the betterment of the discipline of the schools. He did much to popularize public school instruction, and much of the unfavorable sentiment he found existing, when he came, had vanished long before he left. In 1888 he resigned to d take up his special work of chemistry, and is now filling most successfully the chair of chemistry in the University of Nashville.
Mr. Purinton's successor is the present superintendent, Mr. W. M. Straus, who in 1888 was promoted from the principal ship of the High school to the superintendent of all the schools. Since appointment the teaching force has increased from 37 to 58 and enrollment from a little over 1500 to nearly 500. During this time the needs of the schools have justified the erection of the handsome High School building, a visit to which is always included in anything like a complete tour of the city's attractions.
The Park and Nash buildings, within the city limits, and the Fairview and Riverside buildings, just outside, are additional evidences of the growth of the schools during his administration. A scale of salaries for teachers, dependent upon proficiency and experience; the legislation which makes possible a large public school library; the change from stated examinations to promotion of pupils upon excellence in every day work: a radical change in the examination of teachers by which successful ones are continuously granted certificates to teach without examination, upon reaching a certain standard of excellence and carrying on a system atic course of professional reading; a system of reporting to parents the absence, conduct and standing of pupils each month, and the teaching of writing and music by special instructors are among the improvements that have characterized the present administration. That the schools to-day are generally recognized as being vigorous and progressive is evidenced by the generous patronage which they receive.
COURSE OF INSTRUCTION.
The public schools have a course of instruction covering twelve years. Of this period six years are devoted to primary work, three to grammar work and three to high school studies. The primary grades cover the branches generally found in the best schools, while the grammar grades, in addition to what is usually taught, include English, History, and Algebra. Pupils are thus thoroughly prepared for the High school before entering it. The High school course includes Geometry, Trigonometry and Algebra; Physical Geography, Physics and Chemistry; Latin, English, Rhetoric, Literature, Composition, General History and Civil Government.
Music is taught by a special teacher in all grades and writing by a special teacher in all grades below the High school. Graduates of the High school are prepared, with the exception of Greek, to enter almost any college in the United States. They are admitted to the State University at Morgantown without examination, Diplomas are issued to graduates.
It has not been the practice in the schools of this city to make frequent or many changes in the text books, and when they are made it is, as a rule, to the pecuniary advantage of school patrons and without sacrifice to the instruction. The following are the text books in use in the schools: Readers McGuffey. Supplementary reading.-Perry Mason Co., Riverside Literature Series, Alternate Readers. Spelling Book. Blewett's Word List. Arithmetic.-White. Algebra - Wentworth. Geography.-Mitchell. Maps, Eclectic. Language Tablets-Laning Co. Grammar.-Maxwell. Physiology.- Eclectic. History, U. S.-Barnes. History, Eng.-Thalheimer. Botany.-Youman. HIGH SCHOOL. Algebra.- Wentworth. Geometry and Trigonometry.-Robinson. Rhetoric.-Lockwood.
History =Weber. Nat. Phil.-Avery. Chemistry.- Youman. Phys. Geog.-Mitchell. Latin Language=-Allen & Greenough. Harper. Civil Government.-Andrews.
In each year of the school course teachers are required, frequently, to instill ideas of patriotism; to inculcate
the principles of obedience and respect for superiors in age or position and in general to uplift and develop the moral as well as the intellectual in youth.
THE TEACHING FORCE.
There are to-day teaching in this city three earnest, conscientious, successful women, who, from actual experience, know more of the history of the schools than any other persons connected with them. They are Miss Lizzie Hinckley, Miss Fanny Shaw and Miss Mary Tavenner. For a generation they have given their best efforts to make the schools what they now are. Associated with them in the sixties and during the , time prior to 1874,when the first superintendent was elected, were in part these men and women: Mr. Weaver, Thomas Farrell, Edward Rice, who waited so long for the old Washington building to be completed that he helped to finish it himself; N. B. Kain, D. M. Blair, Miss Lizzie Finn, Charles Rhoads, A. E. Wardner, S. H. Peirsol, Mrs. Lizzie Davis, Rev. W. C. Falconer, S. C. Sales and J. F. McCusiclc Some of these continued to teach until 1880.
In the last twenty years a small army of bright young men and women have come and gone, most of whom are deserving of the highest tributes for fidelity and earnest effort. Among these, some of whom are still teaching here, are Miss Nannie Vinton, Mrs. Dr. Safford, Mrs. McCreary, Miss Maggie McKee, Miss Clara Marsh, Miss Gay Pew, R. H. Adair, V. W. Leavitt, J. H. Charter, J. F. Laird, and Mrs. Geo. Bowles, formerly Miss Lena Harnish.
Nearly all of these were principals of buildings. Along with them are the names of many worthy women whose work entitles them to a more extended space than is allotted. The first principal of the High School was Thomas J. Slattery, who served from 1876 to 1877. Geo. K. Scott succeeded him from 1877 to 1879; and he was' succeeded by John L. Steele from 1879 to 1881. W. M. Straus was then principal of the High School from 1881 to 1888.His successors have been Frank Snyder, from 1888 to 1889; J. S. Cornwell, from 1889to 1891;F. P. Ames, from 1891 to 1894, and E. D. Albright, from 1894 to the present time. The assistant teachers in the High School have been Mrs. R. P. Hollett, formerly Miss Nellie George, Miss Maggie McKee, Miss Hattie Lyons, Miss Mary Oldham, E. D. Albright, Miss Dora Rodgers, Miss Fanny Shaw and N. L. Upson.
The teachers who to-day are trying to carry forward the work, so nobly begun by those referred to above, are as follows: High School-Principal, E. D. Albright; assistants, N. L. Upson, Miss Dora Rogers and Miss Fanny Shaw. Grammar Department-Misses Fanny Bradford, May Montgomery, Ada Virts, Linna Davis, Lizzie McDonald, Julia M. Cooke, Anna Alexander and Rena Johnson.
Primary Department - Principals, Flora Cooper, Nannie Vinton, Rosa Curry, Emma Tracewell, A. B. Cummins, D. C. Tabler. Assistants, Misses Bernice Farrow, Mary Tavenner, Jessie _ Leonard, Ida Welch, Kate Beckwith, Blanche Kendall, Lizzie Hinckley, Juliette Snodgrass, Anna Griffin, Elizabeth Cook, Hattie Worman, Julia Hatslep, Ethel Wandling, Caddie Gilfillan, Eloise Sutton, Anna Hix, Mary Weidman, Anna Neptune, Rosa Bosbury, Grace Jones, Hallie Kirkbride, Lulu Gale, OtiIIie Flaig, Anna Meerwein and Mattie Alexander.
Instructor in Writing-A. E. Caskey. Instructor in Music-N. B. Yeardley. In the suburban schools are Miss Addie Burke, A. H. Stanley, B. D. Gangwer, Geo. Hall, Mary Alleman, Elizabeth McIntosh, Isabelle Anderson and Sallie Adcock. Teachers are appointed annually, but the policy of the Board of Education has been to make tenure of position practically safe where efficient service is rendered. Salaries range from $30 to $l25.00 a month.
GRADUATES, LIBRARY, ETC.
Previous to 1877 the closing exercises l of the public schools were confined to public examinations and school room
exhibitions. The public examinations , were done away with several years ago. In 1877the first diplomas were granted to a class of eight. Ever since then regular public commencement exercises , have been held. The total number of High School graduates is 246, distributed as follows:
Class 1877, 8 graduates. Class 1878, 6 graduates. Class 1879, 6 graduates. Class 1880, 5 graduates. Class 1881, 10 graduates. Class 1882, 9 graduates. Class 1883, 16 graduates. Class 1884, 14 graduates. Class 1885, 9 graduates. Class 1886, 13 graduates. Class 1887, 14 graduates. Class 1888, 13 graduates. Class 1889, 11 graduates. Class 1890, 19 graduates. Class 1891, 17 graduates. Class 1892, 20 graduates. Class 1893, 26 graduates. Class 1894, 12 graduates. Class 1895, 18 graduates. This year's graduating class numbers 20 and the class of 1897 will graduate between 40 and 50 members. The class of 1898 is still larger.
The High School library consists of number of well selected books of reference and for general reading. Owing to the fact that the spacious and handsome library room has not yet been fitted up in the High School building, the library is comparatively small, but the near future promises to supply is need, and in a few years it is believed that the High School will have one of the best libraries in the State. Annually at commencement time a small admittance fee is charged, the receipts from which go to swell the library fund.
The history of the colored schools is unique in at least two particulars: The first free schools in the city of Parkersburg were for colored children and supported by the private funds of colored men; the first public schools south of Mason and Dixon's Line for colored youth were in this city. These two statements, according to the best evidence at hand, seem to be settled beyond question. On the first Monday in January, 1862, a number of the best colored men in this city met to devise ways and means for the instruction of colored children.
An organization was perfected, a constitution and bylaws framed. A board consisting of Robert Thomas, Lafayette Wilson, Wm. Sargent, R. W. Simmons, Charles Hicks, William Smith and Matthew Thomas was elected to carry out the provisions of the organization. A school was established to which all colored children were admitted. Those who were able to pay it were charged one dollar a month tuition, but those who were not able were admitted free.
Among the first teachers were Sarah Trotter and Pocahontas Simmons, both colored, and Rev. S. E. Colburn, a white man. The first school enrolled about forty pupils. From that time to the present, the colored youth of this city have enjoyed school privileges. In the Weekly Times, a paper published here of date June 7, 1866, appears the following notice: "The first public free school for the colored children of the city of Parkersburg, West Virginia, was opened in the school ward lately removed. All colored children over 6 years of age and under 21, as the law directs, are at liberty to attend and are requested to do so.
REV. S. E. COLBURN, Teacher.
With this notice probably dates the beginning of the public schools for colored children under the provisions of the Constitution of the State, a time four years later than when colored schools began. After this the organization formed in 1862 ceased to exist and the colored schools have been under the same Boards of Education as the white schools. The last session of the colored schools under the original plan ended with a school exhibition, in 1866, by colored pupils in Bank Hall under the charge of the teacher, T. J. Ferguson. The colored schools struggled along overcoming many obstacles for ten or more years, when, with the appointment of a superintendent for all the schools, the course of instruction was improved, the work of the teachers inspected and the schools placed upon a better footing.
For some years the colored schools have had, so far as text books, supervision and course of instruction are concerned, the same opportunities as the white schools. The improved condition in the colored schools is generally recognized. After completing the same primary and grammar course as in the white schools, the pupils take up algebra, general history, geometry, civil government, physical geography, physics, rhetoric and Literature. A general review in the advanced work of the common branches is also given, and when the course is completed a teacher's certificate or a diploma is given, as the Board of Education may determine.
Daniel Gould,Commissioner. graduated and given diplomas in 1887 and every year since then except 1890 and 1892 there have been graduates. The total number of graduates is 23, as follows:
The present graduating class has 11 members. The colored school building is a brick structure of four rooms, on Avery street near Tenth. The building was originally two rooms, but was enlarged in 1883 to its present size. The teachers of the colored schools are subject to the same regulations and enjoy the same privileges as the white teachers. With the exception of the principals of the building, the colored teachers have been for years selected from home talent and several of the teachers have been graduates of the High School. the earlier principals of the colored schools included these men: E. Whitman, W. H. Horn, John E. Fletcher, Wm. Cross, in addition to those before mentioned. They were succeeded later by J. H. Champ, A. W. Pegues, T. D. F Scott and C. H. Barnett. The present corps of teachers is: John R. Jefferson, principal; Clara Thomas, Harriet Robinson and Bernardine Peyton, assistants. The future of the colored schools seems no less bright than that of the other schools and the education of the colored race promises .as successful results in this city as anywhere else in the United States.
No city in the Commonwealth of West Virginia or the great Ohio Valley has a reputation equal to that of Parkersburg for substitutability and thriftiness. In point of population and commercial importance in the State, it ranks second only to Wheeling. Unlike many other cities in this country the growth and development of Parkersburg have been strictly characterized by conservative and reliable enterprise. This together with untiring energy on the part of the city's promoters has built up the institutions of the r city on a basis of solidity and worth most gratifying to all West Virginians, e and to the people of Parkersburg in particular. The manufacturing and job being interests of the city are not excelled by any city of similar population anywhere in the North or South and are second only in magnitude to those of Wheeling in the Mountain State.
The business men of Parkersburg are thoroughly up-to-date people, always keeping pace with the times and the populace of the surrounding territory can find no safer or more reliable base of supplies in the State than Parkersburg. The financial institutions of the city are as sound as Gibraltar and are a bulwark of strength upon which business people from far and near ever rely these institutions under all circumstances and at all times by their safe and judicious policy have gained the greatest confidence and mast profound respect of all patrons. In times of financial flurries and apprehension, which would embarrass s less ably managed houses they have never tailed to.
extend substantial aid to those who were striving to hold up a worthy enterprise. Architecturally no handsomer small city than this one is to be seen anywhere. The city is numerously dotted or adorned with public and private buildings of the mast imposing designs, finely paved streets in a well kept condition are to be seen electric lights brilliantly illume the streets and avenues during the night, gas, bath natural and artificial, is used far domestic purposes, street railways traverse the city from east to west and north to south, excellent water works provide an abundant supply of water bath far domestic and manufacturing purposes, an adequate sewerage system carries away the refuse of the city and every other metropolitan convenience is afforded.
But it is its social feature of which the city is so. justly proud, Here abound the mast blue blooded families, her people being principally of the old Virginia stock, they being characterized by honor, culture, Intelligence, morality and hospital it Always
generous and genial, they are possessed of a faculty of receiving an entertaining in a most agreeable manner. The public schools, which are graphically referred to. at length on another page of this edition, are of the highest order and are excelled by none for general efficiency. The city is well blessed with' churches, there being numerous ones of the various denomination for general efficiency.
The most liberal support is accorded them and the splendid attendance at all services evidences the general prevalence of religious ideas, which is certainly the highest indication of refinement, progress and intelligence. This splendid condition of affairs as here set forth allows Parkersburg to stand as a city altogether desirable tor residence} and business enterprise, and to all people seeking an advantageous location she extends a most hearty welcome. All of city's qualifications have not been mentioned yet for, added to them are cheap timber, cheap coal, fine clays, natural gas and best transportation facilities by the way of the Ohio River railway, the B. & O. and B. & O. S-W. Ry. and the Ohio and Little Kanawha River steamers.
The court house and jail are located in the city. The population is conceded to be nearly 16.000 and is constantly Increasing. In an educational way the facilities are of the highest order and the opportunities extended for the acquisition of an education in Parkersburg are surpassed by no other city in the Commonwealth. The people of Parkersburg have become conscious of the grand opportunities by which they are surrounded, and of which they were by nature possessed and have taken advantage of them and pushed to the front the interests of the city, attracting capital, locating manufacturing industries and founding jobbing houses until the city has but a single poor in the State.
The town has been converted into a great industrial center, teeming with scores of business enterprises and attracting the attention of the less Pushing cities of the State and the commercial world in general. Every citizen of the city is imbued with the spirit progress and proceeding on this basis they have built up a city that will in time be the foremost in rank in this State not only in population, but from a commercial and industrial standpoint as well. During the past decade the city's progressive strides have been almost miraculous ones and the business interests set forth in detail in the edition have all been principally acquired by straight out hustling and from a perusal of the various sketches one can readily obtain an idea of the magnitude of growth during the time mentioned.
Here are located the immense shops of the B. & O. S-W. and Ohio River railroads, where hundreds of men are employed at good wages, and various manufactories, refineries, mills, foundries and works, and its great wholesale trade tend to make this city a great commercial center. The opportunities for remunerative' investment in Parkersburg are most obvious and the manufacturer who, desires an advantageous location for any branch e of industry cannot afford to locate elsewhere than in Parkersburg, which is so soon destined to be to West Virginia what Pittsburg is to Pennsylvania
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