Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Letters to the Editor

June 13, 2014

Story spurs fond memories of Worth

— — I really enjoyed Greg Jordan’s piece on Jake’s Grocery, however his dateline should have said Worth instead of Northfork.

Anything written about McDowell, I take great interest in, especially Worth. I was born there in 1934 in the white saltbox company house just above Jake’s for which my dad paid about one dollar per half — that is 12 days — .50 cents to Dr. Rivers who treated everything from common colds to measles to delivering babies, .50 cents for smithing, $4 for slag, maybe $15 to the company store. Now having grossed about $55 dollars, he was left with about $27 to raise his family. That’s not too bad considering he could always go to the company store for what was needed if the money ran out and buy on credit. And the beat went on for 26 years.

Dad started in the mines in 1917 with nothing and when he quit in 1943 because of his health he left with most of it.

I really didn’t mean to ramble, but Greg’s article about Worth brought up many fond memories.

Memories of wading in the creek behind our house not thinking about all the outhouses built over that stream. Ugh! Of the larger stream that ran black from coal washing that joined the Elkhorn at Northfork, of the local that ran daily and once a week up Indian Ridge mostly to restock the company store, of Mr. Stephenson who managed or clerked in the store, of Ronnie Porter and I hanging around the store until  the clerks got tired of us and gave us a sucker to get rid of us, of my aunt Jean Dalton who ran the post office that was across the road from Jake’s, of Methodist Church where I was baptized by sprinkling, and of the dump down toward Rolfe where Tommy Sisk went snake hunting and, to amazement, found one —  a copperhead that his brother dispatched to copperhead heaven.

That’s enough rambling ... thanks again to Greg.

Frank Dalton


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