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Clinch Valley Times
St. Paul , Virginia
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January 14, 2016     Clinch Valley Times
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January 14, 2016
 

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Vol. LVIII, No. 2 576 EX/C Smalltown Papers (~ 217 W. Cota Street Shelton WA 98584 " 'The time has come,' the walrus said, 'to talk of many things...' '" Thursday, January 14, 2016 Saint Paul, Virginia V i )2g i; ~,J~dL PRESS 50 cents The Willis Building Project took another step forward at an IDA Special Called Meeting on Monday, January 11, 2016. At that meeting, the board voted to accept a 2.25 mil- lion dollar letter of com- mitment for a construction loan with Virginia Community Capital. The proposed contract was board member last week so that they would have ample time to study, the docu- ment. Jack Kiser ask if any Stuard Keith dies at age 85 Castlewood. He is survived by two daughters, Glenda Lane and husband, Bennie of Castlewood, and Shirl Smith and husband, Keith of Chuckey, Tenhessee; two sons, Gene Keith of St. Paul, and Johnny Keith and wife, Debbie of St. Paul; two half-brothers, Roger Hall of Orlando, Florida and Don Hall of Abingdon; twelve , grandchildren, Callie Montgomery, Jamie Ray, Stacy Keith, Brandon Keith, Lindsey Smith, Morgan Engle, Erin Frazier, T. J. Boyd, Justin 'Boyd, Ethan Keith, Emily Keith, and Travis Hall; eight great grandchildren, Madison Ray, Sophie Ray, Gus Montgomery, Cash Engle, Nora Engle, Iva Keith, Gunner Hall, :and Fletcher Hall; several nieces and ne )hews. delivered to each " local people would be hired for the project. Harrison answered that local con- tractors would be used. After discussing all facets of the contract, Board member Bill Funeral Services for Stuard G. Keith were con- ducted at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 12, 2016 in Castlewood Funeral Home Chapel, Castlewood, with Dr. Gary Montgomery and Rev. Norman Mullins officiating. Committal Services were conducted at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 13, 2016 in Temple Hill Memorial Park, Castlewood. Family and Friends met at the funeral home and went in procession to the cemetery leaving at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Pallbearers were be Eddie Meade, David Statzer, Teddy Meade, Mike Sabo, Earl Carter, and Doug King. Honorary Pallbearers were Members of St. Paul Fire Department, Buck Hylton, Kenneth Holbrook, and Nath Meade. The family received friends from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 12, 2016 in Castlewood Funeral Home, Castlewood. On line con- dolences may be sent to the Keith family through our website and a video tribute may be viewed at www.castlewoodfuneral- home.com. Castlewood Funeral Home was in charge of the arrange- ments. Stuard G. Keith, 85, St. Paul, died Sunday, January 10, 2016 at Holston Valley Medical Center, Kingsport, Tennessee. He was born in Russell County, Virginia; son of the late Maudie Keith. He was preceded in death by his wife, Bessie Jewell Keith. He was not only known as a wonderful father, grandfather, and patriarch but also a com- munity leader. In 1968 he joined the St. Paul Fire Department as a Fire Fighter, then was promoted to Captain, to Assistant Chief, then in 1996 he was promoted to Chief and remained Chief until he retired in 2011, then he was made an Honorary Member for Life of the St. Paul Fire Department. His service to community did- n't stop there, he was well known for and took great pride in calling St. Paul home. He could be found at any given community event being held. Everyone knew "Pappy" and expected his quick wit while knowing him to be one of the most gentle and caring men this area has known. His community service is most memorably noted in the naming of the shelter at Matthews Park. He attended High Point Community .Church in AA-Sundays and Tuesdays: Big Stone Gap, 8 pm, Episcopal Church. Tuesdays: St. Paul, 6:00 pm St. Paul 13nited Methodist Church. Wednesdays: Wise, 8 pro, Trinity United Methodist Church. Fridays: Clintwood, 7:30 pm, Clintwood United Methodist Church. ST. PAUL IDA BOARD-Fourth Mondays, 6 pm, St. Paul Town Hall. ST. PAUL TOWN COUNCIL-Third Mondays, 6 pm, Town Hall. CASTLEWOOD W & S A - T h e Castlewood Water & Sewage Authority Board of Directors, 6 pm second Mondays. ALZHEIMER'S SUPPORT-First Tuesday, 1 pm, Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens office, Claypool Hill. Free. NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS- Tuesdaysand Saturdays, 8 pm Presbyterian Church, Norton. CASTLEWOOD LODGE #231-Stated meetings will be held the third Saturday of each month. The School of Instruction will be held on fourth Thursdays at 7. ST. PAUL LODGE #343-Second Thursdays, 7:30 pm, Stated Communication; First Thursday, 7 pm School of Instruction. VFW POST #8652, DAV CHAPTER 12- 4th Tuesday, 7 pm, VFW, Riverview, Coebum. NEIGHBORS AID- Thursdays, 9:30 to 12. St. Therese's Neighbors Aid Building, new & used clothing for sale. RUSSELL CO. BOARD OF SUPER- VISORS-First Monday, 6 pm, Lebanon. CLINCHFIELD LODGE #256-Stated Communication, 1 st Thursdays, 7:30; . School of Instruction third Thursdays, 7 pm RECOVERY GROUP-TIle Wise County Mental Health Center conducts a recovery group for sub- stance abusers and fam- flies Fridays at 10 am Call 276-679-0810. ACOA MEETING- Adult Children of Alcoholics meet Mondays, 7 pm, First Baptist Church, Coeburn. Call 762- 0016, 276-395-6588 or 276-679-7371. LITTLE LEAGUE- The Clinch River Little League Board meets at 3 pm third Sundays at Ma Whitenack Little League Field. All inter- ested persons are invit- ed to attend. H.O.P.E. HOUSE- H.O.P.E. House pro- vides emergency shel- ter for victims of domestic violence in Wise, Russell, Dickenson, Lee, Scott and Buchanan counties and the City of Norton. Volunteers needed- training available. Call 1-800-572-2278. SENIOR CITI- ZENS-The Castle- wood Senior Citizens meet at 10 am Wednesdays at the Castlewood Lions Den. Anyone 60 or over is invited. The Dante Senior Citizens meet each Monday and Tuesday at 10 am at the Dante Fire Department. Russell County residents 60 or older are invited. RUSSELL CO. LIBRARY-Hours at the Russell County Public Library, Lebanon, are Tue & Thur 10am-8pm; Wed & Fri 10am- 5:30pm; Sat 10-3pm. Closed Sun & Mon. MATTHEWS LIBRARY-Hours at the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, St. Paul, are: 9:30am-6pm Monday; 10:30am-7pm Tuesday; Closed Wednesday; 9:30-6 pm Thursday and Friday. Saturday Closed. Sunday Closed. DICKENSON- BUNDY-The Dickenson-Bundy Log House is open weekly Thursdays through Saturdays, 10-3, and Sundays 12-4 pm. SOCIAL SECURI- TY-The Wise Social Security Office is open Mondays-Fridays from 9am-4pm. Phone num- bers are 1-800-772- 1213 or 276-679-7633. LIBRARY FRIENDS-Friends of the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, St. Paul meet at the .Library on first Thursdays at 4 pm. VFW POST 9864- VFW Post 9864, Lebanon, welcomes new members. If you served overseas during any war, write VFW Post 9864, P.O. Box 1419, Lebanon, VA 24266 and send name, address and phone number. Transfers wel- comed. HEALTH SER- VICES-The Wise County Health Department, Wise, is open from 8am-8pm first Thursdays. Clinics will be offered in family plan- ning, pediatrics, school and adult physicals, WIC, Paps and immu- nizations. Appointments are nec- essary for all but immu- nizations. For . an appointment, call 762- 328-8000. FACILITIES AVAILABLE-The Tacoma Community Center is available for reunions, birthdays and showers. All proceeds reha- bilitate the Tacoma School as a Community Center. For informa'- tion, call 395-6398. 100TH BIRTH- DAY-Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens recognizes personsin Russell, Dickenson, Buchanan and Tazewell counties who are 100 years old or older. Call Dana Collins, 1-800-656- 2272, to advise AASC of any upcoming 100th birthday. SUPPORT GROUP-Women sur- vivors of sexual assault are .invited to attend Clinch Valley Communication Action, Inc./Family Crisis Services' .sup- port group meeting with victims of similar situations Mondays, 10:30 am-12 noon. For information call Rande Hackler, 276-988-5583 or Ranetta Davis, 276- 889-8206. FREE ADULT ED- Free adult education classes are available in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton. Daytime and evening classes for adults who want to improve their basic skills. Instructors also assist adults with job- related skills including resume, writing and interviewing. For details, call 1-800-422- 3433 or 276-386-2433. TRANSPoRTA- TION- The Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens pro- vides disability trans- portation services in Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties to individuals with disabilities, regardless of age. Call 1-888-656-2272. GENEALOGY GROUP-The Russell County Genealogy Group meets 5:30 pm first Thursdays, Russell County Public Library, Lebanon. Group purpose is See CALENDAR, Page 8 calendar on page 3 IIl[ll!l!l!Jll!l[l!!ll!lill Church and church-related activities Wallace made a motion to accept the contract. The motion was seconded by Harry Kelly. Members present and voting were Chairman Bob Harrison aye, Wallace age, Mike Jessee aye, Frank Molinary aye, Jack Kiser abstained. Member J.D. Cassell was absent. There being no further business, the meeting adjourned. The Willis Building was the subject for a special called meeting of the St. Paul IDA Board on Monday, January 11. A 2.25 million dollar let- ter of commitment for a construction loan with Virginia Community Capital was voted on and accepted. by Jerry Couch In addition to the $100,000 worth of first mortgage trustees' certifi- cates offered by the Minneapolis Improvement Company in 1890, there were also $500,000 worth of scrip certificates offered for public sale in 1891 (refer to previous articles for transcriptions of related documents)- Each scrip certificate was valued at $10 and was secured by Minneapolis real estate; specifically, 2500 town lots. Each lot represented twenty shares of scrip, making the par value of each lot $200. At that time, the average anticipat- ed selling price of Minneapolis lots was $300 for a regular lot and $350 for a comer lot. Choice lots near the railroad and principal streets, and lots that were on level land, would obviously be worth more. Lots on the steep hillsides would be worth much less. Half of the money in excess of the par value of lots was to be paid to the scrip holders as a dividend upon surrender of their cer- tificates. The remaining profits were to be plowed back into the company to pay for improvements such as grading, streets, water lines', etc. To secure the lots for the benefit of the scrip holders, the Minneapolis Improvement Company conveyed a deed of trust to James D. Jones, President, and C. D. Fishburne, Cashier of the Bank of Albemarle in Charlottesville. Though the Minneapolis Improvement Company advertised its lots as being "unencum- bered," they were encum- bered. They were encum- bered by the sale of the first mortgage trustee's cer- tificates, the scrip that had been issued to investors, AND a troublesome law- suit brought by George Banner to enforce a ven- dor's lien against Thomas Rosser and the New South Mining and Improvement Company (the predecessor of the Minneapolis Improvement Company). The purpose of this suit was to collect $50,000 of the original purchase money which remained unpaid. This suit (Banner vs. Rosser) dragged on for years. It hung over poor, gasping Minneapolis like a cloud of doom. The suit was not settled until the late 1890's. George Banner did not live to see its conclusion. For assistance with the company's tangled legal problems, Thomas Rosser employed William Burns and J. C. Gent of Lebanon, and John B. Moon of Charlottesville as legal counsel. These men were to be paid $2500 for their services. As security for payment, Rosser handed over company scrip certifi- cates with a face value of $126,400. Around this time, Rosser also wrote a letter to George Banner asking for more time to come up with the unpaid purchase money. However, George Banner had problems of his own. He couldn't afford to be patient or sympathetic. The cordiality that had existed between the two men when things looked rosy was rapidly evaporat- ing. Despite these complica- tions, speculators did invest money in the Minneapolis Improvement Company. Today, the question is "Where did all the money go?" Why was the company so broke? Let's take a look at history for possible answers. The development of Minneapolis was not a typ- ical case where a local per- son subdivided the family farm and sold lots to local people for business and residential development. Instead, this was a case where a group of outside investors bought land they expected to re-sell to spec- ulators. In the process, they would turn a quick profit with little regard for the successful long-term outcome of the project as a whole. Minneapolis was a cash cow to be milked for profits which were to be churned into other lucra- tive schemes. In addition to his involvement in Minneapolis, Thomas Rosser was also engaged in land speculation in Cuba. At that time, American companies had monopo- lized the Cuban sugar industry and most of the country's output was being sold in the United States. Economic ties were further strengthened by Cuba's importation of American goods. Despite being a ter- ritory of Spain, Cuba was considered to have consid- erable potential for exploitation by the United States for a variety of pur- poses, including a possible military outpost. History is often represented as being a driver of economics. More often than not, it's the other way around. Along with Thomas Rosser, plenty of money- minded folks had been watching Cuba with a weather ~eye. They hoped to get in on the ground floor of the exploitation of Cuba. Meanwhile the country's internal politics could be manipulated in advantageous ways. Later, Rosser and other far-sight- ed individuals could cash in their chips when the plungers were drawn into the game. Another principal in the Minneapolis Improvement Company was Thomas Staples Martin, also of Char~ttesville. Martin was an attorney for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. He was also an aspiring politician who was becoming a behind-the- scenes power" in the Democratic party. In 1893, he rose from relative obscurity to seek the party's nomination for the U. S. Senate. His opponent was former Virginia gover- nor, Fitzhugh Lee. At that time, Fitzhugh Lee was very popular. He was a Civil War veteran and the nephew of General Robert E. Lee, It was gen- erally assumed he would receive the nomination. When that didn't happen there were immediate cries of "Foul ! Foul!" Accusations were made that railroad money had been used to grease palms. Who knows? Maybe some Minneapolis money made its way into the pot as well. At any rate, Martin took full advantage of his first big chance. Afterwards, he remained a force in Virginia politics until the end of his life. Without the Minneapolis Improvement Company's books, we will never know the amount of the principal's salaries. We also don't know how liber- ally they reimbursed them- selves for expenses. The company did not have stockholders, it had scrip holders. That meant there were no voting stockhold- ers to unseat the company's officers when money failed to roll in. Next week I'll tell you what happened to the scrip holders.