Last Major Football Stadium Project Undertaken in 1955

With the new Monarch Stadium bleachers going skyward, this seems to be a good time to turn back the pages of time, especially those in the mid-1950s era.

It was in 1955 that the last major football stadium was built.

The structure, which was torn down to make way for the new Moundsville High School Stadium, was an all-wooden structure, surrounded by a wooden fence.

The reason for a new stadium was because the wooden structure was condemned.

The Moundsville Boosters Club spearheaded fund-raising efforts to construct the new stadium, which opened Sept 9, 1955.

The boosters’ fundraising resulted in $40,000 toward the project, along with five individuals signing bank notes of $10,000 each, and the school board provided the remainder of the needed funds.

The bleachers back then cost $76,000, with the total overall cost for the project being approximately $125,000.

Once local residents John Lautar and Tom Ferris completed the actual field layout, the project got underway.

There was at least one design change, that being that the playing field was moved 20 feet north. The reason for the moving of the field was so that if there was a need for additional bleacher space in future, it would be there.

One other issue which was addressed was that of lighting. Some of the old lighting was utilized. Wheeling Steel Corp. played a helpful role in the stadium lighting.

By the way, as to the payback to the five individuals who signed the bank notes, they received their money from gate receipts.

As to the first game at the then-new Moundsville Stadium, it was played against Linsly on Sept. 9, 1955.

Newspaper accounts from the Journal of Valley News reported that workmen were still working on the field two days prior to the opening game. The headline on the Wednesday JOVN prior to the season opener read: “Rush Stadium Work For Friday’s Opener–Bleachers, Lighting To Be Ready.”

The story reads: “Moundsville High School’s opening football game of the season with Linsly Military Institute will be played Friday night at the new Moundsville High Stadium as scheduled, Moundsville Athletic Director Walter Wilson, said today.” The story continued, “Workmen have stepped up their efforts and will have the bleachers and lighting system ready. All seats, concert walks and steps have been completed on the east side.”

The east side was the home side when the stadium was built, but a switch in sides was made several years ago.

As to bleacher side of the 2018 stadium, the only bleachers, at least for this year, will be on the west side.

In case you would like to know what was occurring the week of Sept. 4-11, 1955, here are some items from the Journal of Valley News that particular week:

Head coach Jack LaBay was the speaker at the weekly meeting of the Moundsville Lions Club, held Thursday noon at the Kreglow Hotel-Restaurant.

In his talk, the coach requested that the club and other organizations support the high school athletic teams. He said, “Teams play better when they are given the proper support from the fans.” LaBay told the Lions members that the team would have a number of “big” players and that they would be “in there fighting” at every game.

The coach added that he would appear back at a future club meeting to show moving pictures of the team in action.

During the past 15 years, I have been to all 30 Major League Baseball parks, some of which have also included tours of the facilities.

A question which I have been asked numerous times involves which park I liked the best. My answer has been PNC Park.

No one has actually inquired about which toured park that I liked best, so I’m going to give PNC Park the top tour award.

This came about as the result of my most recent tour, which included two guides, one with eight years experience and the other with four years experience. Actually, we had a third individual, who happened to be Steve Blass. He provided not only information about PNC Park, but some of Pirate players of the past.

Blass has been connected with the Pirates organization for many years, first as a player and in recent years as a member of the television/radio staff.

It was a very knowledgeable tour for everyone on the Uniglobe Ohio Valley Travel group.

If you have business at the Marshall County Courthouse on Monday, you may have to enter from the front door (Seventh Street), only.

Final installation work of the new security system has been undertaken the past few days and if everything is in place by Monday, the system will be a go.

If you have business on the second floor, you will also be screened there.

The Marshall County Commission over the past few weeks has approved the employment of additional individuals to handle the screenings.

Monday is first day that Moundsville residents can file for one of three city council seats. The deadline for filing is July 31.

The three positions which expire on Dec. 31 are Second Ward, Fourth Ward and At-Large. These seats are currently held by David Wood, Ginger DeWitt and Allen Hendershot.

Forms may be picked up in person at the city clerk’s office from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

There is a $25 filing fee.

Candidates no longer have to obtain petitions to be a candidate.

The candidate names will be on Nov. 6 General Municipal Election ballot.

Further Information may be acquired by contacting city clerk Sondra Hewitt at 304-845-3394.

Today is the deadline for submitting nominations for the 2018 John Marshall High School Wall of Fame.

Nomination forms are available at the Moundsville-Marshall County Library and on the school’s web page ( under tab “Information: Wall of Fame Nomination Information.”

Nominees are eligible for consideration for three years after their nomination is received.

For more information, call 304-845-3403.

The Marshall County Chamber of Commerce has chosen Kiberli Green as the Month of June employee of the month.

Green is finance director of the Marshall County Family Resource Network.

She started with the FRN in 2007 by providing substance abuse prevention programs to school, and has now provides financial and grant management for the agency.

Early American history will come alive at 4 p.m. on July 9 at the Benwood-McMechen Public Library, through a performance by Patty Cooper. She will perform “Betsy Ross and the Story of the American Flag.”

This presentation is for school age children and adults.

At 6 p.m., on July 10 at the Benwood-McMechen Public Library, there will be showing of the film, “My Cousin Rachel,” which is a drama-mystery-romance of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his late cousin’s wife.

A week ago, Fred Brunner was reappointed to the I-68/W.Va. 2 Authority by the Marshall County Commissioners, and this past Tuesday he was appointed for the first time by the commissioners to serve on the Marshall County Airport Authority.

Brunner told commission members that he is looking forward to being on the airport authority.

Also, on Tuesday Ron Morris was named by the commissioners to the I-68/W.Va 2 Authority.

The city of Moundsville’s annual fireworks show will take place at dusk on Wednesday at Valley Fork Park.

Should the event be rained out, it will be held on Saturday night.

George Holden, who was employed in the newspaper company’s Wheeling office for 38 years, and has been the custodian in Moundsville office for 12 years hung up his mop and broom as of Thursday.

He and his wife, Patty, plan to continue working at the House of the Carpenter II in Moundsville.

Happy Birthday to granddaughter Lillian Barrett, who will be celebrating her 9th birthday on Monday!


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