Charleston Daily Mail, 12 Feb 1970:
Remembrances of Almost Ten Decades Given On Birthday
Mrs. Martha Miller of Grapevine is 99 years old today.
She’ll be having a second birthday cake with as many of the 99 candles as her great-great niece, Mrs. Hester Newhouse, can get on it.
Mrs. Miller had her first celebration on Sunday with a birthday cake baked by her great-great-great niece, Mrs. Woody C. Baldwin of Dunbar. It was a white cake with orchid -trim and nine candles, symbolic, of the decades in her life. Twelve members of the family shared a birthday dinner and wished Mrs. Miller good traveling to her 100th birthday.
During the party, she told them how as a child around nine or 10 years old, she visited in Charleston and saw the first automobile come through the city. “It drove by real slow. There was a chauffeur and a man and a woman in the back seat. Everybody all along the way came out of their houses to look.”
Mrs. Miller told her great-great niece, Mrs. Emory Young of Dunbar, that she also saw the first streetcar go into operation and the first gas lights to go into Charleston. “It was a great big old house in the middle of town. I don’t remember who owned it. She also reminisced about the time when there were no hospitals or funeral homes in the town.
Mrs. Miller said, “When they built the first bridge across the Kanawha River, a man fell from the top of it and was killed. There was only one man in town who would go get a body. There was no place to put the man’s body except on a porch where it had to stay until the family could get there. I remember how hot it was and how the sun kept shining on the man.”
When we talked to Mrs. Miller, she was resting in her favorite rocking chair. She quickly apologized because, “My mind plays tricks. Sometimes I remember. Sometimes I just can’t.”
She’s been living with Mrs. Newhouse for 33 years. “Everything I had got burned up.
“I was Martha Jane Baldwin. My Daddy was James Baldwin. I was born on Legg Fork of Tupper’s Creek and have lived on Tupper’s Creek all my life. I just kept comin’ this way ’til I got to Grapevine.”
Mrs. Miller was born Feb. 12, 1871, and married Irving Miller on Dec. 29, 1903. She said, “We were married in my home on Tuppers Creek. I remember there was one of the biggest snows that day I ever saw.
“We farmed and earned money by peddlin’ things. I’ve worked real hard in my life. When the children were little and when my husband was sick I was up all night sometimes waiting on them. I took care of my Dad and Mother when they were sick and I helped out the neighbors.”
Mrs. Miller raised two families and started on her third before she broke up housekeeping. She said, “My husband had a houseful of coungins [sic], when I married him. Then I raised my brother’s twin daughters and started to raise one of their boys.
“I love to sew and to read but I can’t see print anymore. I’ve got arthritis and I had an accident. Around 12 or 15 years ago I caught my hand in the wringer and lost two fingers. About all I can do now is make my bed and listen to TV. I like the news and some singin.’ That other stuff—I don’t care much for. I miss gettin’ out in the yard, cleanin’ it up and plantin’ flowers.”
Until the bad weather came along, Mrs. Miller went to church every Sunday. She said, “I was baptised 30 years ago in Grapevine Creek along with 17 others. It was in the spring around May, pretty warm day as I recall but that water was colder than I expected.”
Charleston Daily Mail, Wed., 09 Jun 1971:
Mrs. Wena Florence Baldwin, 78, of 1639 1/2 Seventh Ave., died Tuesday in a Charleston nursing home. Surviving: daughters. Mrs. Opal Reese of Fairmont, Mrs. Marie Blackmon of Houston, Tex., Mrs. Martha McLane of Charleston; sons, Willie Legg and Elmer Baldwin, both of Charleston, Harold Goff of Melvindale, Mich. John Baldwin of Dunbar, Jimmy Baldwin of St. Louis, Mo.; sisters, Mrs. Rosa Dennis, Mrs. Lou Fowler, Miss Nina Jones and Mrs. Lillian Jones, all of Charleston; brothers, Herbert Jones of Charleston, Golden Jones of Melbourne, Fla., Service 11 a.m. Thursday, Cunningham Funeral Home, the Rev. Charles F. Scraggs. Mairs Cemetery, Pocatilico. Callers after 1 p.m. today.
Charleston Daily Mail, 16 Apr 1976:
Short Illness Claims Area Woman At 105
Mrs. Martha Miller, 105, who lived with a niece, Mrs. Hester Newhouse of Sissonville, Legg Star Route, died Thursday at home after a short illness.
She was a member of the Grapevine Chapel.
In previous Daily Mail stories on her, Mrs. Miller reminisced about her younger days. She had talked of coming to Charleston at the age of 10 and seeing the first automobile in the city. She also spoke of seeing the first streetcar in operation, and the first gas lights in Charleston.
Born and reared on Legg Fork of Tupper’s Creek, Mrs. Miller married the late Irving Miller in 1903. She said they made a living by farming and ‘peddlin’ things. Although she did not have any children of her own, she reared two of her nieces.
Also surviving: several nieces and nephews.
Service will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. in Long and Fisher Funeral Home, Pocatalico, with the Rev. Bertram Young and the Rev. Donald Fisher officiating. Burial will be in Baldwin Cemetery, Sissonville.
Friends may call today after 7 p.m. at the funeral home.
Charleston Daily Mail, 26 May 1976:
Sissonville Woman Dies Of Gun Wound
Mrs. Doris Jean Atkins, 44, of Legg Route, Sissonville, was found dead in her bedroom Tuesday from a self-inflicted gunshot jwound, state police in Cross Lanes said.
Police said the body was found at 2 p. m. but they were not sure of the time of the shooting. A .22 caliber pistol was found in Mrs. Atkins’ hand.
She was a waitress at the Village Cafe.
Surviving: sons, Stephen of Sissonville, Jimmy of Hurricane; daughter, Mrs. Sheila Shivley of Sissonville;
brothers, James Baldwin of Sissonville, Clyde Baldwin of Pennsylvania; sisters, Mrs. Hallie Newhouse and Mrs. Ida Shaffer of Charleston, Mrs. Minnie Young of South Charleston, Mrs. Nina Flowers of Sissonville.
Friends may call today after 7 p. m. at Cunningham Funeral Home. [Photo]
Charleston Daily Mail, 22 Jul 1976:
Stanley C. Ranson, 62, of Red Oak Street, died today in St. Francis Hospital.
He was a retired employe of Columbia Gas Co.
Surviving: wife, June; sons, Clifford A. and James A. of Charleston; daughters, Mrs. Emily Jordan of Orlando, Fla., Miss Eldora Ranson of South Charleston, Mrs. Brenda Marion of Charleston, Mrs. Rhoda Hunt of Cottageville; half-sisters, Mrs. Sadie Skeen, Mrs. Lucy Caldwell, Mrs. Ruth Burdette, Mrs. Vernie Burdette and Mrs. Elizabeth Shivley of Charleston, Mrs. Emeline Argabrite of Clendenin.
Friends may call today after 7 p.m. at Cunningham Funeral Home.
Charleston Daily Mail, 05 Sep 1978:
Man Charged in Shotgun Slaying in Sissonville
Kanawha County sheriff’s deputies said Monday they charged Doyle Spencer, 27, of Kenna, Jackson County, with murder following the shotgun slaying of a Kanawha County man. Joseph D. Flowers, 25, Legg Fork
Road, Tuppers Creek, Sissonville, died of a gunshot blast in the chest.
Wounded in the Sunday evening shooting incident was Roger L. Kiser, 24, of Washington Street West, an ex-brother-in-law of the accused. He was taken to CAMC, General Division, where he was in stable condition. Sheriff’s Lt. W.T. Markem said Spencer, who was walking toward the main road, surrended to sheriff’s deputies as they drove up to investigate. Spencer has been lodged in Kanawha County jail.
Markem said the shooting apparently resulted from an estranged marital relationship. Spencer had been at his ex-wife’s home in Sissonville earlier in the evening and allegedly had words with Flowers, Markem said. Shortly thereafter, Flowers was shot to death with a shotgun as he stood outside the house and the man who fired the fatal blast walked into the house and shot Kiser in the lower abdomen, Markem said.
Flowers was a carpenter. Surviving: wife, Gatha; parents, Mr. and Mrs. Emmett Flowers of Sissonville; brother, Ed of Legg Fork; sisters, Mrs. Wilda Kessinger of Charleston, Mrs. Patricia Damron of Martins Branch, Mrs. Shirley Stone of Orlando, Fla., Miss Deborah Flowers of Sissonville.
Service will be 1 p.m. Wednesday in Cunningham Funeral Home with the Rev. Bertram Young officiating. Burial will be in Phil Baldwin Cemetery, Tuppers Creek. Friends may call after 11 a.m. today at the funeral home.