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At one time, the actual ballots used in the election for the incorporation of the Town of Grantsville in 1896 were still on file in the office of the circuit clerk of Calhoun County. Small slips of paper, ¾ inch by 1¾ inches, handwritten, were used to conduct the election. The words, “For the incorporation” and “against the incorporation,” were written on these small slips. The voter merely crossed out the one he did not want. When the votes were counted, there were 27 for incorporation and 18 against, with a majority of nine voters favoring the issue. The small ballots were sewn together and stored with the other material concerning the election.

Everything was hand written. All of the orders and petitions presented to the circuit court, the surveyor’s reports, court orders, and all other papers were written by hand. The only printed document is a certificate of publication, given by S.C. Barr, Calhoun Chronicle publisher, showing that proper publication of the notice of the election had been made for four weeks prior to the election. The publisher donated the cost of the publication.

Alfred Stump was surveyor for the town. Some of the points on the survey were marked with stakes, but others were merely trees, such as a willow at one point, a black walnut at another. One was “a black oak opposite Lemaster Williams’ house” and one was “a corner of S.P. Stump’s fence.”

The surveyor’s map shows an area of 263 acres in the original portion of the Town of Grantsville and includes within the town all of the Little Kanawha River, but none of the adjoining land on the north side, which was not voted into the corporation until 1936.

Lemaster Williams, Jesse Scott and Samuel Barr were appointed commissioners for holding the election to decide the town officials. The election process was started when 45 people signed a petition that asked for incorporation. All of them signed under the column “For incorporation” and there were no signatures under the opposition column, though the actual voting was much closer. The petitioners were all males, and the voters were also all males, since this was 25 years before women had the privilege to vote. Only four women were listed as heads of households in the census: Mrs. S.R. Cook, Marie Hall, Mrs. Hattie Thomas and Mrs. Jane Hosey.

Men listed as heads of families in the census are: W.S.D Snyder, A.R. Johnson, Hagan Barr, C.W. Craddock, E.L. Austin, James Walsh, W.T. Roe, J.S. Stump, O.L. Petty, Dr. W.T.W. Dye, W.T. Keener, Rev. Bud Smith, Jack Jeffreys, John Gainer, John Hamilton, M.D. Fogle, Warren Brannon, R.M. Marshall, L.H. Trippett, Dr. J. Swetzel, William Stevenson, J.J. Thomas, A.H. Stump, Charley Stump, Capt. A. Knotts, A.G. Matthews, A.J. Barr, G.W. Ritchie, Jerome Hardman, William Norman, Alfred Stump, Dr. A.C. Blair, S.M. Scott, Jess Scott, Cyrus Hickman, J.T. Waldo, Simon Stump, Lemaster Williams, Perry Stump, Charles Westfall, Lindsay M. Stevens, Jim King, Lemuel Huffman and Samuel Barr.

(This information was first printed in The Calhoun Chronicle, date unknown, and later in Lines and Links, publication of the Calhoun Historical Society.)

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