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The Spiker Gazette
Oxford, WVVolume  10Issue 11  November 2016
In this Issue:Political Persuasion ???


Political Persuasion ???

Written by:  Bobbi Spiker-Conley

     Do you remember meeting your sweetheart's family for the first time? A bit stressful, wasn't it? Worse than a job interview. More like facing a judge and jury. And everything you said or did could -- and would -- be held against you.

     So it seemed for Uncle Paul when he traveled to the Spiker farm to meet the family of his future bride, Aunt Kitty.  In a family story he submitted to us for publication, he recalled,

 "That first afternoon on the front porch grew into a catastrophe!" 

     You can read the entire tale from a book in our Library (click here,) but here's a little snippet...


"The Spikers threw out question after question.  What kind of farm did you come from? Answer: 'Well, it was not really a farm, just sixteen acres as a backup for my father, an industrial worker.' Sly glances again: This guy (Paul) a county agent? What church did you belong to? Answer: 'Free Methodist.' More glances, and from Mrs. Spiker: 'Never heard of it.' What are the politics like up your way? Answer: 'Most are Democrats.' What about your family? And again the truth: 'Democrats.'

Absolute silence fell upon the porch. Mr. Spiker cleared his throat and said quietly: 'I think we better eat.'"


     Jake Spiker's reaction makes me chuckle, but it comes as no surprise. I've heard that he was a strong man with strong convictions, yet recognized when it was better to get up, shut up, and move on to another topic. Especially when it came to a discussion of politics with his daughter's beau.

     That respectful avoidance seems so contrary to what we've seen throughout this election year. Everyone is spouting opinions, theories, and yes, a lot of misinformation, across all mediums. There are "Vote For ..." signs in our neighbors' yards, "enlightening" social media posts from our friends, and all sorts of persuasive arguments from subscribers to our community newspapers.

     So...has it always been this way? I'm going to say, "Yep. Pretty much." Our ancestors didn't have Facebook but they learned almost as much about their friends and community through the Local, Personal Mention, Society or Neighborhood Gossip columns found in most rural newspapers. And just like we've seen on modern-day media, the gossip was heavily sprinkled with political promos during major election years.

     Case in point -- the "Local News" section of the Ritchie Gazette dated November 3, 1916. (Transcribed by John Jackson of the Ritchie County, West Virginia History & Genealogy Group on Facebook.) I don't know who authored or edited this section but I am confident it was a Republican.


Ritchie Gazette, November 3, 1916

Local News

Every man owes it to himself and his country to vote. Every voter should turn out to the election next Tuesday. Vote.

K. S. Smith and wife returned home on Monday[.] They had been at Bremen, Ohio, for a month's stay with the former's son, R. B[.] Smith, and family.

Attorney S. O. Prunty and wife went to Parkersburg, Sunday, returning Monday.

Fred Foster was at Parkersburg the latter part of last week[.]

Mrs. Harriett Martin returned to her home at Fairmont, Wednesday. She had been here for several weeks the guest of her sons and daughter, C. R. and Charlie Martin, and Mrs. Will Chapman.

Miss Edna Matheny went to West Union on Friday of last week and remained until Monday of this the guest of her sister, Mrs. E. E. Hall.

Mrs. Florence Haymond and little daughter, Elenor, of Mole Hill, are here the guests of her sister, Mrs[.] J. [H.?] McGinnis.

Every Republican should show his loyalty by his vote next Tuesday. The Republican ticket is a good one from top to bottom.

Mrs. J[.] A[.] Coffield and daughter, Meriam, have been spending several days at Wheeling with relatives.

Mrs. Ulysses Jackson, of Parkersburg, and Mrs. Robert Kerns, of Gillespie, were here on Saturday and Sunday the guests of their sister, Mrs. W. H. Westfall.

Miss Jennie Iams was in town on Monday enroute to her home on Chevauxdfrise [sic]. She had been at Bellaire, Ohio, the guest of her sister, Mrs. Fern Corbett.

The Republicans of this county have a splendid ticket. It is well worthy of support. You will make no mistake by voting it straight.

Mrs. Charlie Jackson returned to her home at Salem, Tuesday. She had been here for several days the guest of her parents, E. L. McDougal and wife.

Dr. W. A. Rymer and wife and three of their children, Miss Mollie, Agnes and Frederick, of Glenville, came here Sunday and remained until Thursday with relatives. They spent Wednesday at Cornwallis the guests of J. A. Wells and wife.


 (continued at right)


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Every Republican should talk and work for his party next Tuesday. This is the way to secure Republican victory. If the Republicans will do their duty, there can be no doubt as to the result.

Rev. B. T. Trevey went to Parkersburg, Wednesday, and remained until today, Friday, attending the Meeting of the Ministers and Laymen of the Parkersburg District.

Mrs. John Wagner and tw[o] children left on Thursday fo[r] Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Wagne[r] has employment in that city and there they will go to housekeeping.

Mrs. A. C. Fisher went to Parkersburg, Tuesday, to remain a week with her sister, Miss Cora Blizzard.

Attorney Homer Adams and Bert Adams were at Pennsboro, Monday.

The election may be close between the Democrats and Republicans. This is a strong reason why every Republican should vote. This county may decide the election in West Virginia[.] West Virginia may decide the nation. It is important that every Republican work and vote for his party.

Miss Ethel B[r]oadwater went to Parkersburg on Friday of last week and remained until Sunday.

J. C. Jolliff returned to his home at Fairmont. He had been here the guest of his son, Creed Jolliff.

John Cornwell is the corporation candidate for Governor. He is backed by the big corporate influence of the State. If he is elected, it will be through their influence. The multi-millionaire Clarence Watson is financing Cornwell's campaign. Cornwell is riding over the State on a railroad pass furnished by the B. & O. railroad. The corporations want Cornwell elected because they believe he will aid their interests. The common people should see to it that he is defeated. We believe they will do this very thing.

Capt. W. S. Clark was at Pennsboro trying a case in Squire Fordyce's court Thursday.

F. A. Wagner was a business visitor at Parkersburg and St. Marys, Wednesday and Thursday.

J. P. Snyder was at Parkersburg on Thursday and Friday of last week.

Dr. W. E. Talbott returned home the first of the week. He was at Buckhannon to see his sister, Mrs. J. B. Gould, who is ill.

John B. Findlay, of Wood county, candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture on the Democratic ticket, will speak here at the court house on Saturday evening.

Make no mistake when you vote. Many ballots are thrown out because they are improperly marked. The only safe way to do is to make a cross under the eagle if you want to vote the Republican ticket, and not try to scratch your ticket. If you do so, you may make a mistake and lose your vote. Vote your ticket straight.

Miss Jessie Peirpoint went to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, to visit her brother, Z. M. Pierpoint, and wife.

Sheriff C. C. McKinley was a business visitor at Pt. Pleasant part of this week.

Sam Kinney was here from West Union on Wednesday and Thursday the guest of Andrew Davisson and family.

Okey Gainer and wife and Mrs. Sarah Hoffman, all of Barbour county, recently spent a few days here the guests of Mrs. G. W. Fisher and family.

John Cornwell is the same old partisan he has always been. He has worked against the Republican party all of his life. He will continue to do this if elected Governor. His power and influence will be increased if he should be elected and he would be in a position to do more harm to the Republicans. No Republican should vote for him.

Mrs. Sarah Ankrom and daughter, Cleo, went to Akron, Ohio, on Wednesday, to visit the former's son, Frank Ankrom, and wife.

Mrs. R. E. L. Frymier and little daughter, Margaret, who had been at Petroleum the guests of her sister, Mrs. Charlie Simmons! [sic] returned home on Wednesday.

For Sale--The home of the late B. W. Peebles; 11 room house, 1 1/2 acres ground, well, cellar, out buildings, barn, etc. Inquire of Mrs. Peebles, Harrisville, W. Va.

Gazette and Standard $1 a year if [p]aid in advance.

Lee Ankrom, who has employment in the rubber factory at Akron, Ohio, visited home folks near town from Sunday until Wednesday.

Otho Kinney returned to his home at Williamstown on Thursday. He had been spending a few days with Andrew Davisson and family near town[.]

Thos. Fordham returned to his home at Marietta, Ohio, on Thursday. He had been spending a week with Will Fordham and family at Goffs and W. R. Elder and family at Burnt House[.]

Mrs[.] Deborah McKinney, who had been the guest of her daughter, Mrs. Andrew Davisson, near town for a week, returned to her home at West Union Thursday.

Mrs. S. E[.] Welch and her son, Walter White, returned to their homes at Washburn on Thursday of last week. They had been at Lawrenceville, Illinois, for a week's stay at Akron, Ohio, with Henry White.


     I counted seven promotions for the Republican ticket in this neighborhood gossip column printed 100 years ago.

     Some things never change.


     Please exercise your right to vote.



♦  Submitted by: Drew & Katie Spiker -- "Thrilled to be home with our newest family member, Grace Marie Spiker, born November 9th at 12:32 am. She was 22", 8 lbs 14 ox and we're all three happy and healthy!"



♦  Submitted by: Bobbi Spiker-Conley --  Congratulations to Rob & Shelly Currey - Doddridge County 2016 Outstanding 4-H Volunteers.


Text from banquet pamphlet reads:

"Rob and Shelly Currey are a dynamic duo. Enthusiastic, hardworking, happy, giving and fun-loving are words to describe this super volunteer team. With the tremendous growth in the livestock program, these two started a special interest livestock club to support our youth. The club grew from 12 to 53 members within a couple of years. Their club's plan of work is very hands-on with lots of tours, workshops and activities including trips to the slaughter house, WVU livestock farm, showmanship clinic and livestock markets. They are committed to helping their young members give back to the community by providing several service-learning efforts, including a petting zoo for the preschool and nursing home. Rob and Shelly have given a lot of themselves to make this livestock club a great place for kids to learn and grow."