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Progress in That Old Town of Martinsburg (1945)


December 10, 2020

Reprinted from the Herald of Dec. 6, 1945

That the old town of Martinsburg during the past fifty years has made progress in some ways, but in other ways has almost stood still, might be indicated by a comparison of conditions of that early day with the present.

The editor in The Herald fifty years ago pointed out what Martinsburg had and what it did not have.

The Herald of today is listing some of the things that the community then had: A good newspaper, a hotel, a bakery, two livery stables, four plumbers, an attorney, two barbers, three merchant tailors, two tin shops, two jewelers, a drug store, two coal yards;

Two physicians, eight ministers, seven church buildings, one bank, two undertakers, 1,200 inhabitants, two well drillers, three bricklayers and masons, three shoemakers, a marble cutter, two meat dealers, three stove dealers, four general stores;

Lots of pretty girls, two hardware stores, two furniture stores, an Athletic club, a Luther League, an Epworth League, a tannery, three boarding houses, four blacksmith shops, two large flour mills, two grain warehouses, several plasterers, two justices of the peace;

Grand Army post; two millinery stores, a planing mill, three harness manufacturers, several dress makers, plenty of carpenters, a good fire department, a lodge of Odd Fellows, a Young Men’s Social club;

A foundry and machine shop, two buggy and carriage factories, a cigar factory, four schools, a castle of the Knights of the Golden Eagle, the best mountain water in the state, good farmers surrounding the town, hospitable people, and a very few visits from the sheriff.

The editor also enumerated some of the things that were to be found in the community of which he could not boast. There were other things lacking. Among the things not so favorable to the community were:

Too many business men who did not advertise, a dead band, too many old maids, no electric street lights, a dead academy, no board of health, some scandal mongers, not enough of enterprise, some young men who ought to get married, a number of young women who would like to get married;

No large public enterprise to give employment to labor, some men and boys who use too much profane language on the streets, some children on the streets at night who should be home in their little beds, and lastly: A vast amount of latent energy that might be profitably expended in the social, moral, religious and financial betterment of a town with so many natural advantages.


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