Neither smallpox nor mumps mar the beauty of river valley

Briscoe items

Seldon Way, of Parkersburg, was visiting in the country last week.

Misses Viola and Annie Callahan and Miss Laura Shears spent last Sunday afternoon with the Misses Varner.

Miss Sadie Uhl, of Valley Mills, spent last Sunday with Misses Fannie and Bertha Mick.

Miss Ida Anderson is on the sick list with mumps.

Mr. and Mrs. A.S. Richards and Miss Bird Reed, of Athey, attended church at Briscoe last Sunday.

Rev. Mr. Jennings closed his protracted meeting at Briscoe last Sunday evening with nine accessions to the church, six of whom were baptized Sunday morning.

Mrs. Mary Chichester died last Saturday of consumption, and was buried on Monday. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Mr. Jennings. She leaves a husband and three children to mourn their loss.

The Parkersburg Daily State Journal,

March 26, 1889


Smallpox in the country

A mild case of smallpox is reported from Williamstown. A son of Chas. Uhl, living about three miles below the town, was taken sick and had symptoms of smallpox. Dr. Cotton was called and pronounced it a light case of smallpox. It is claimed that the young man contracted the disease at Parkersburg.

We are informed the person referenced to in the above paragraph is a son of C.D. Uhl, and that the family has been quarantined and that Mrs. Floyd Avers of this city, who was there on a visit, is among those in quarantine.

The Parkersburg Sentinel,

July 3, 1901


Note: The excerpt that follows is from an article about a trip that Charles Shattuck, president of the Parkersburg, Marietta and Inter-Urban Railway Lines, took in 1902 on the then-new line. Mr. Shattuck’s comments begin as his trolley leaves Vienna, heading toward Boaz and Williamstown.

“Away eastward from the river we are journeying again, and Briscoe church comes in ken. Summit is reached and here again the river appears, and the four-square keep of the Johnson homestead is limned upon the landscape. That river! God knows we mean it when we say we love it! Everyone of its sands is a jewel and each of its ripples a diamond necklace! Yes it is even so, because our mothers have walked upon its shores and gazed into its waters; and what more were needed to make that river holy, its waters sacred and its sands priceless!

“On past the Henderson home and hearthstone, where for a hundred years the golden milestone of its chimney has marked the returning and the returnless cycles of the hours along the highway of olden days; and the lights of Marietta and Williamstown appear, the year 1788 written over the arches of one and 1800 upon the records of the other.”

The Parkersburg News

Sept. 14, 1902

Those who study local history know of the accomplishments and deeds of Charles Shattuck, few however, knew of his mastery of beautiful words. The above is just a fraction of the article he wrote about the sights and scenes of this trolley trip.


The Wood County Historical Society works to preserve yesterday for tomorrow. For more information, contact P.O. Box 565, Parkersburg, WV 26102