The History of Taylor County Chapter Three Hundred-Forty-Nine

First Jewish Wedding in Grafton

The Swedish comedy “ole Olson” came to the Opera House January 5, 1908, and amused a very satisfactory audience. 

The telegraph message announcing the death of Mrs. Jennie Roonan Rooney was received by the families of John Duffy and Theodore Durkin stating her passing had occurred at her home in Kansas City, MO, Sunday January 5, 1908, and that the remains would arrive at Grafton on the eighth. Mrs. Rooney Was the adopted daughter of the late John Doonan of Grafton and was reared in the town where she was one of the best-known women of the early social set. After the death of the first Mrs. Doonan Dewey and she was married to Martin Rooney and employee of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad and later the couple migrated to Kansas City where Mr. Rooney was employed as a conductor on one of the railroads leading into that city. On the arrival of the remains at Grafton the body was taken to the home of Theodore Gerkin on Wilford Street until the time of the services in St Augustine Catholic Church. 

The modern woodmen of America entertained the members and friends at a lecturer and entertainment in Opera House January 6th, 1908. George W. Poe acted as master of ceremonies on the occasion and explained the objects and purpose of this society.

Ma’s New Husband an up roaringly amusing comedy farce with music came to the Opera House and did nice business to a police audience on January 7, 1908.

Peter Lambretch regarded as Grafton’s ablest scholar and perhaps the best posted man on all subject in the town was being congratulated on having attained his 77th birthday. He came to Grafton in 1881 to engage in jewelry business. A great linguist speaking more than half a dozen languages the officials of the town often called him to interpret languages of people speaking relatives in the territory and reading letters from relatives of people living in foreign countries to relatives and friends in Grafton. At the age of more than three score and ten he was perhaps more in touch with affairs in the world than any other local man of his time.

That ever welcome comedian George F. Hall with his latest production “True Blue” came to the Opera House January 11, 1908 and was greeted by an audience that filled the house and accorded him a grand welcome.

Word was wired the Grafton relatives of John Flanagan of his death at Parkersburg. This popular man for long years was a resident of Grafton and he played such a prominent part in the political history of Grafton was one of its outstanding men of his time.

The first Jewish wedding ever celebrated in Grafton was that of Miss Alma daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Friedman to Mr. Ralph Rothschild of Richmond, VA. The ceremony was performed according to the custom of the reformed Hebrew church and by the distinguished rabbi Dr. Calish pastor of the synagogue of the city who came to Grafton for this occasion on the evening of January 15, 1908. Miss alma Freedman was one of the most popular girls of the social set, a member of the magical club and other social clubs of the town. Mr. Ralph Rothschild was a very successful young businessman of Richmond VA, and the friends of the newlywed showered congratulations on the couple. Other than her Grafton friends those in attendance at the ceremony were Mrs. Rothschild and daughter, mother and sister of the groom, Charles Rothschild of Norfolk, miss Clara Reinheimer of Fairmont Mr. Charles Burke of Baltimore. After the wedding the young couple departed for Richmond where they will reside.

Mr. Lincoln J. Carter that master of stagecraft sent his latest production “Too Proud to Beg” to the Opera House January 15, 1908. Like all Carter productions this carried an entire set of scenery for all the acts. The company was well balanced and were greeted by a fine audience who were acquainted with so many plays by this famous author. 

The town council purchased a strip of land from the heirs of George W. Miller over in South Grafton to affect the joining of Barrett with High Street at the western end of Barrett St giving easy access to hush treat and eliminating the steep grade from Grand St.

The comedy “My Wife’s Family,” came to the Opera House January 16, 1908, and please do very good audience as the ludicrous situations that develop when a man wives relatives descend on his home and upset the orderly process which he was accustomed to.

James Wren Superintendent of the municipal water system reported there was 350,941,264 gallons pumped during the year 1907 an average of 29,245,205 gallons at the cost of 2 3-10 cents per gallon for which the consumers paid $15,172. His report for the 197 arc lights for street lighting cost the people 22 1-4 cents per lamp under the present system while the cost of the 70 arc lights under the old system costs the people 95-92 cents per lamp period the cost of carbons under the new system costs $83, business short answer while under the old system the carbon costs $506.05 a savings of $423.05. He strongly recommended the old-style lamps in the outlying residential sections be replaced with new lamps in affecting a considerable amount revenue in the municipal electric light plant.


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