The History of Taylor County Chapter Three Hundred-Forty

Distillery is Established

The musical comedy, “Simple Simon Simple,” with a very large cast and special scenery came to the Opera House March 21, 1907. The unusual title of this production and the billing drew one of the best paying audiences into the theatre who enjoyed an entire evening enjoyment from the musical comedy adapted from the English nursery rhyme. The larger theatrical productions especially those carrying their own scenery and stage accessories always found a profitable business in Grafton where stage accommodations were ample to accommodate these productions. 

The Lyceum courses brought to Grafton by the Young Mens Christian Association often brought some of the best entertainers of nationwide fame who brought a message to the people from the world concerning topics making history in our own and the nations of the earth. Others entertained with music and proved themselves masters of their art, while others devoted their talents to humor and the lighter side of life. There were enjoyable treats to people who cared more for the higher class of entertainment afforded by the courses and to whom the usual theatrical entertainment had no appeal, this gave this class the opportunity of enjoying in their particular taste. 

People heard with sadness of the passing of Charles A. Faust at his home on Washington Street March 31,1907. This popular businessman, high in the councils of St. Augustine Catholic Church and a member of the many church societies connected with the church, had the respect of the entire community and held in the highest esteem by his fellow citizens. It can be truthfully said he was one man without a single enemy. He practically grew up in Grafton and for many years conducted a meat and provision market in town succeeding his father in this line of trade. He joined the first volunteer fire department organized at the time the town water system was installed and kept up his membership in the department. He was active in deliberations of Grafton Lodge No. 308, Benevolent Order of Elks, and served in all the principal stations of the order from the lowest to the highest, and represented the order in many state and national conventions. Then he like so many of lodge brothers was called to the Great Beyond and his kindly face and sage advice was no longer seen of or heard in the councils of church and order and who bore his inert form high atop the hill and attesting to his worth in the practices of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity all that was mortal od him was lowered into the earth from whence we all came. 

Fred Raymond sent his pastoral production “The Missouri Girl” to the Opera House for a return date April 3,1907, Miss Sadie Raymond, the star of this play lost none of her vivacity and charm on this appearance and gave the same clever and delightful performance as on her previous engagement. 

Dr. Absalom M. Jarrett was granted a permit to distill his famous brand of Dellwood whiskey in the still house he erected in the Keener hollow north of town. John White, a distiller once in the employ of J.M. Lake at Webster was engaged to operate the plant. Only the finest and purest ingredients went into the manufacture of this famous brand of spirits and soon Dellwood Whiskey became famous in this territory and had some interests invented in this local plant and enlarged it for production this brand so popular among the people of north West Virginia might have become one of the leading brands of the nation. 

The Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen held their annual convention in the Opera House April 11,1907. 

Frank Hennig, famous portrayer of Shakespearian roles, a native of Wheeling and for many years a member of Frederic Ward and Lawrence Barret’s companies in classical productions. After closing the road tours brought the principal members of the company to the Opera House April 18,1907, presenting Hamlet to an appreciative audience who enjoyed the Shakespearian classics, but the habituates of the gallery where really makes a play a success where conspicuous by their absence on this occasion. 

Reverend J. Dallas Simmons it was learned by the congregation of the First Baptist Church has passed away at Buckhannon April 30, 1907, whose condition became critical after suffering a stroke of paralysis in the Virginia Hotel at Buckhannon where he had gone to superintend moving his household goods to Parkersburg and permanently locate to take over the duties of publishing the Baptist Banner.

Reverend Simmons ministered to the congregation of the First Baptist Church of Grafton in 1900 and during his pastorate his beloved wife, Mrs. Hattie Simmons passed away at Wheeling January 3,1900. Sometime later he married Mary Straub of Grafton who was at the bedside of her husband at his passing. Mrs. Simmons later with the family of her brother, Charles H. Straub, took up her residence in the state of California where he is superintendent of an office in the administration of San Francisco. 

Grafton Lodge of Elks entertain the public at a minstrel show in the Opera House April 30,1907, after the initiation of a large class of candidates in the lodge room. 

The Woman’s Club held their May Festival in the Opera House May 1 and 2, 1907 and present the high class musical and vocal entertainment for which this club is noted.  


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