Construction Proceeding on Plaza Honoring Veterans

The northeast corner of the Marshall County Courthouse lawn is taking on a new look.

That area has for many years consisted of monuments, a fountain and benches. The new look will consist of five granite slabs, a new fountain, additional benches, walkways and lighting, along with the old monuments.

The granite labs will have the names of 549 individuals who died while serving their country, either during service or because of a service-related injury or disease.

People who have walked or driven past this area have seen workmen from JD&E Construction of Wheeling doing a lot of digging and the pouring of concrete, and if they had been in the vicinity this past Monday, they would have seen them installing the new fountain.

As to the granite slabs, they are in Pittsburgh where the names, years of service, and the conflict which they might have been involved are being engraved.

By the way, this area will have a name once everything is in place. It will be called: “Veterans Memorial Plaza.”

The new plaza has come about through the efforts of Joe Parriott and individuals who over the years have spent numerous hours at the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library researching newspapers and books to make sure that everyone from Marshall County who has served in the military has been recognized. Parriott has himself put together several books dealing with the military.

It was some 10 1/2 years ago that Parriott approached the Marshall County Commissioners about the possibility of erecting a granite monument on the courthouse lawn, adjacent to the fountain.

At that time Parriott informed the commissioners that he had discovered that several Marshall Countians who had died in service to their country had not been acknowledged, and that he believed that they should be, and that a monument should be displayed in their honor.

Since Parriott first approached the county commission, a committee has done additional researching of individuals who had died in combat, or who died otherwise while serving in the military.

As the result of the committee’s work, the commissioners agreed to proceed with upgrading the monument area, and some eight months ago awarded awarded the contract.

The original committee consisted of Bob Blazer, Mike Kuzma, William Harris, Joe Parriott and James Stultz, and later county Commissioner John Gruzinskas would become a member. Colette Trader and Tom James have been contributors to the committee in different ways. County Administrator Betsy Frohnapfel has been the coordinator between the committee and the Marshall County Commission.

As to the work of the committee, they have spent numerous hours and used many sources to obtain information. Among sources were microfilmed newspaper records from the Moundville Echo, the Moundsville Journal and the Cameron News, this information was stored at the city-county library in Moundsville, and the West Virginia Library in Morgantown. Other records used included veterans’ discharge records from the Marshall County Courthouse, veterans records at the West Virginia Division of Culture and History in Charleston, honor rolls and memorials compiled by churches, industrial plants, high schools, American Legion posts, and municipalities, grave markers in dozens of cemeteries, books complied by Gary Rider and his 1992 history class, and data sheets circulated by all five municipal offices in Marshall County.

Other sources were personal interviews with veterans and their relatives and friends at fairs, festivals, sporting events and the Marshall County Courthouse while citizens were paying taxes; Thomas S. Bonar’s search of West Virginia Adjutant general records; the History of Marshall County by Scott Powell; War Work of Marshall County by R.J. Smith; Civil War Veterans of the Northern Panhandle by Audrey Rickey Wayne; World War II Veterans of Marshall County by Joseph D. Parriott; Civil War-WV Lives Lost, by Linda Cunningham Fluharty; miscellaneous U.S. military records were found online.Moundsville and Union High School year books; World War I Monuments at Greenlawn Cemetery; War monuments in Benwood; veterans display at the Marshall County Courthouse; United States census records; and online resources including Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, FindAGrave.com, WVCulture.org, and LindaPages.com.

The committee established eligibility for inclusion on the memorial as follows:

Service in the U.S. military between 1861 and present (U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Merchant Marines during World War II, or those active in Reserve units of any of the previously mentioned. Marshall County citizens will be defined as those who have lived in Marshall County for at least one year during their lifetime.

Cause of death as outlined below:

Killed in action, died of wounds, died of as result of accident while on military duty, died for any reason while a prisoner of war, died as a result of disease, died within a reasonable time frame after receiving medical discharge, killed while in Merchant Marines (Merchant Mariners given veteran status after 1980); died while in military service but off-duty (recreational swimming, vehicle accident, disease acquired while on furlough, excessive alcohol consumption); died of an accident while performing military duties when the nation was not engaged in combat, died of a disease or physical problem acquired during active military service when the nation was not engaged in combat.

Excluded are those who were in the Canadian Army, those who died as a result of a psychological problem and those who died of Agent Orange.

As to the cost of the plaza, the county commission set aside money for this undertaking in both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 budgets.

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The 4th annual “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacation” community-wide food drive was very successful.

This year’s goal was 10,000 pounds of food/money, with a dollar representing one food item.

The final total was 11,260 pounds, which will go to 11 food pantries/soup kitchens/and organizations providing food assistance.

The Marshall County Family Resource Network spearheaded the project. FRN Executive Director Stacie Dei expressed thanks to all the teams and individuals who assisted in this undertaking.

She noted that members of the current Basic Academy Class of the West Virginia Division of Corrections, which trains at the former West Virginia Penitentiary, last Monday saw food being dropped off at the WVP, and asked if it was too late for them to bring canned food items the next day. “Their contributions helped us to surpass our goal,” Dei said.

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Another successful undertaking this past week was the Fostoria Glass Convention.

The numbers of people taking part was the largest since 2015, while the proceeds from the auction were substantially higher. Money made at the auction goes toward the upkeep of the museum in Moundsville.

Also, in past years the yearly dinner, including the one in 2015, had drawn an average of 50 persons, and this year that figure rose to 75.

Museum curator Ralph Clark attributed the increase in numbers to the fact that 39 people had joined the Fostoria Glass Society of America in the past year, which brings the number of members to 353.

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The Moundsville Economic Development Council and the Moundsville Lions Club sponsored an American Red Cross blood drive this past Thursday at the Training Center at the former WVP.

The number of blood donors was 19.

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The two Salvation Army headquarters in the Northern Panhandle (Wheeling and Weirton) will welcome new officers this week.

Captains Mark and Jennifer Van Meter will be coming to Wheeling Corps, while Lt. Gene Hunt has been assigned to the Weirton Corps. Hunt is returning to the Ohio Valley after a year in Bluefield; he was previously in charge of the Moundsville Corps, which has since become a Service Unit for Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties.

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The Marshall County Commission Tuesday approved distribution of $60,000 to municipalities, organizations, associations, etc. in the county to enable them to undertake small projects.

A committee appointed by the commission reviews all applications and makes recommendations to the commissioners who they believe qualify for this assistance. There were 31 requests for funding with all but five receiving money.

The funds went to the following:

The Moundsville American Legion Post No. 3 baseball team, $4,500.

The city of Benwood, the city of Cameron (swimming pool), city of Moundsville, Big Run Community Association, Dallas Community Association, Graysville Community Association, Maxwell Acres Community Association, Limestone Community Association, Mount Olivet Community Park, Roberts Ridge Community Center, all $3,500.

Moundsville Veterans Honor Guard, $3,000.

Benwood baseball/softball, Glen Dale B&G ball, Moundsville Baseball Association and Sons of the American Legion Squadron No. 3, all $2,000.

American Legion Post No. 5 (McMechen) and American Legion Post No. 18 (Cameron), both $1,500.

Friends of Moundsville Parks and Recreation, Cameron Community Development Association, Marshall County Flag Football, Monarch Youth Wrestling and McCreary Cemetery, all $1,000.

Elizabethtown Festival, National Wild Turkey Federation and Valley Music Association, all $500.

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Upcoming events which will be taking place this week in Moundsville are as follows:

The Marshall County Chamber of Commerce’s June Business After Hours will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday at the Strand Theatre.

Prizes will consist of tickets for five upcoming events at the Strand. These include:

Missoula Children’s Theater (2 tickets) at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on June 29; a performance by Crandall Creek (2 tickets) on July 9; Musical Cabaret (2 tickets) on July 18; Summer Musical (2 tickets) on Aug. 2; Bridges (2 tickets) on Aug. 8.

Food for the June 20 BAH will be served picnic style and will consist of hot dogs, beans, coleslaw, pasta salad, lemonade, etc.).

There will also be a performance of the upcoming production of Mamma Mia & JM String Ouintet.

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Cassie Clark, co-curator of glass at the Fostoria Museum, will present the history of Fostoria and its many patterns, as well as events surrounding the Museum, at noon on Thursday, in conjunction with “Hungry for History” event hosted by the Marshall County Historical Society at the Cockayne Farmstead in Glen Dale.

Attendance is free and open to the public.

Although seating will be provided, those attending should bring a lawn chair if they want extra comfort.

If possible those planning to attend are asked to call and RSVP. The Farmstead’s phone number is 34-845-1411.

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The Marshall County Farm Bureau will be celebrating its 100th anniversary on June 24 by serving ice cream and cake on the lawn of the Marshall County Courthouse in Moundsville. The event will start at 6:30 p.m., and is open to the public.

In addition to the ice cream and cake there will be entertainment. Those attending are to bring their lawn chairs. It will go on rain or shine, and is the first of three events to be held this summer to celebrate the WVFB’s 100th year.

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