St. Clairsville, Fairpoint, Maynard
St. Clairsville was once known as Newellstown, but later changed its name to honor Arthur St. Clair, who was North-west Territory Governor and Revolutionary War Major-General under George Washington.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited the Willow Grove Mine on May 21, 1935. It was her desire to learn first-hand how coal mines operate. Willow Grove was at that time consid-ered a model mine and one of the safest in the nation. Her visit was significant, not only because she was the First Lady, but also because it was a long held belief that if women would enter a mine, danger would follow. Eleanor stated of her visit to the mine that “It was too clean to be a coal mine.”
March 16, 1940, nearly five years after First Lady Eleanor’s visit to Willow Grove, the unthinkable happened: an explo-sion. Once a model mine now became the home to one of the greatest mining tragedies. Many families mourned the loss of the 63 men lost that day.
Benjamin Lundy was one of the first Abolitionists in the coun-try. His advocacy began in Wheeling upon witnessing a slave auction. He moved to St. Clairsville where in 1815 he, along with five others, established an anti-slavery association called the Union Humane Society. In a short amount of time the so-ciety grew to 500 members that included prominent people of that time period: Charles Hammond, James Wilson (grandfather to President Woodrow Wilson), and Joseph Howells. Lundy would eventually travel around the country setting up groups and giving lectures.
He is said to have logged tens of thousands of miles on foot.
Thomas Carr was the only man in Belmont County to be publicly executed. He was convicted of the murder of Louiza Fox, his 13-year-old fiancée`.
If you look closer at the ledger you will see that children as young as 10 years old were incarcerated with adults. Can you believe it took until the 1970s for this to change? Judge Edmond Sargus toured the county jail with county commissioners, upset at what he saw and stated he would not sen-tence juveniles to be in the same general lockup as adults. Unfortunately, Judge Sargus’s untimely death did not allow him the opportunity to see his vision through. However, his friends would not let his vision be lost, and in 1973 Sargus Juvenile Center was open.
Fairpoint was named by students, and was most likely chosen because of its location. Between 1900-1930 Fairpoint’s population rose to over 8,000 residents. The mining photos are of the three mining towns that surrounded the location that essentially made the town. The depot was also for the railroad that ran through Fairpoint (the B &O Depot).
The name Maynard is said to have come from Tennessee Representative Horace Maynard, who came to St. Clairsville to speak to Civil War veterans. Maynard would later serve under Ohio-born President Rutherford B. Hayes as Postmaster General from 1880-1881.
Nearly 100 years ago within Maynard alone, seven lan-guages were commonly spoken including English, Polish, Slavic, German, French, Italian and Hungarian. The pre-dominate languages were English and Polish.