Peninsula Enterprise, September 12, 1896


Farmers -- Farmers' organizations

Pungoteague Grange meets on Thursday, 17th inst. -- regular meeting day. All members are requested to be present. Business of importance demands their attention.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - Commercial construction

The storehouse recently finished by Mr. A. J. Lilliston at Accomac C. H., is one of the largest and handsomest on the shore. It was occupied by Ashley & Beloate this week, who will have their grand opening day on Wednesday, 16th inst.


Moral -- Murder

Samuel Clayton, colored, was shot last Monday night at a church near Parksley by John Clayton, colored, and will die of the wound inflicted. The ball entered Samuel Clayton's head just above the left eye and he has not spoken since. John Clayton was lodged in jail by Constable Dix on last Tuesday. He claims that the shooting was accidental. He will be released on bail, if he can give bond in penalty of $350, that amount having been fixed by Judge Blackstone on Thursday.


Infrastructure -- Commercial - BanksArchitecture -- Commercial buildingsTransportation -- Water - Freight


Our bank building is completed and it is one of the handsomest south of Wilmington. It is a two story building, 20 X 32 feet, handsomely furnished and cost about $3000. Hon. W. S. Wilson and O. D. Collins, officers, and stockholders spent several days here this week, assisting the cashier in moving into the building. It is truly an ornament to our town.

Schooner Susan Jane arrived this week from Philadelphia with cargo of coal, and schooner Medora Francis from Norfolk with cargo of building material.


Transportation -- Railroad - Freight

New Church.

Sweets are being shipped from here in large quantities. Prices are only fair.

Tragedy in Upper Accomac.

Moral -- MurderFields -- Livestock - Swine

George W. Bunting shot and killed his father-in-law, William T. Thornton, near Temperanceville, last Monday morning. The evidence submitted at the coroners inquest and before Judge Blackstone on Thursday on application for bail, in regard to the homicide substantially was as follows. That Bunting and Thornton lived on the same farm -- that Thornton got over the fence into a lane on the farm used by both in which Bunting was passing and approached him with a large hatchet in hand, raised on a level with his breast -- that Bunting raised his gun and told him to come no further or he would shoot him -- that Thornton continuing to advance on him Bunting shot Thornton when he was a yard or so of him through the breast, inflicting a wound causing instant death.

Evidence was also submitted to the effect that the two men were not on speaking terms, that Bunting had been beaten by Thornton once, had run from him once or twice before, and had been threatened by Thornton of late that he would kill him.

The trouble which led to the homicide on Monday, according to the evidence of Samuel Thornton, nephew of the deceased, and Mrs. Bunting, his daughter, was caused by hogs. Thornton crippled the hogs of Bunting which got into his field on Sunday, by beating them with clubs and worrying them with dogs, and continuing to do it on Monday morning. Bunting took his gun along with him, as he states, to kill the dogs, with the result stated.

The finding of the coroner's jury was that Thornton "came to his death by a gun shot wound inflicted by the hands of George W. Bunting on the 7th day of September, 1896, in self defence."

Bunting, who had surrendered himself and was confined in jail, on application for bail before Judge Blackstone on Thursday, was released by giving bond for $7,500 for his appearance at next grand jury term.

Query Answered as to Freight Rates to New England Points.

Transportation -- Railroad - Rates and fares


Since so much has been said about the committee who went to Philadelphia in the interests of the farmers and the railroad companies, to try to get freight rates reduced, viz: that my motive was to advance my political aspirations to the supplanting of Hon. S. W. Matthews, and that freight rates would have been reduced soon any way, and therefore the committee did not deserve so much credit for what they did, and that others besides the committee were entitled to, and deserved, as much credit as the committee, and since the query published in last week's issue of your paper over the signature of W. L. Nock, it becomes necessary that I should give an explanation and also render an account of our stewardship to Mr. W. L. Nock. Before this effort to try to get the rates reduced was made, I was deeply impressed with the idea that if an effort was made in the spirit of an appeal and the railroad companies could be made to see that there was a necessity for it, they would reduce their freight rates, and under the plans I had formulated in my mind, there could be no risk in trying, as the effort need not cost anyone more than ten cents and realizing that if the effort proved a success it would be a saving of perhaps one hundred thousand dollars annually to the farmers of Accomac and Northampton counties I determined to make the effort. To prove I had no such selfish motives as I have been accused of, instead of writing an appeal myself, as I afterwards did, I asked two gentlemen to do it, one of whom was too unwell to undertake such a work, but did encourage me to do it; the other said he was too busy to do it. I then wrote the appeal and also a circular letter and had fifty copies of each printed and distributed them to representative men in every neighborhood in the two counties, asking these men to act as agents for me in getting names signed to the appeals, and also to collect five or ten cents from all they could who signed them, to raise a fund to pay the expenses of a delegate, or delegation I wished to send up to Philadelphia to make the appeal to the proper official of the railroad companies.

After receiving several letters of encouragement from these agents to whom I had sent the appeals, and also encouragement from so many in my own town by giving me their names and ten cents, I was convinced that my plan for getting names and money were succeeding, and that I would get names enough to present a good showing and possibly money enough to send up three delegates. I then selected Dr. George W. LeCato, who I thought was eminently suited to aid me in the execution of the work already begun. I then sent for him to come to see me and we talked over the matter and decided to write to Mr. R. B. Cooke, and sent him a copy of the appeal and asked him to give us a name of the proper official in Philadelphia to whom we should go with our appeal, and also asking him to go with the delegation and as we then thought it best to send up at least five, and knowing we would not succeed in getting a fund sufficient to pay the expenses of five, we in our letter asked Mr. Cooke to give us half fare rates for five. Dr. LeCato and myself then mutually agreed on whom we would select to go with us to Philadelphia in case we, with Mr. Cooke's aid, could send five, viz: Dr. Charles Smith and Captain O. A. Browne to represent Northampton and Dr. LeCato, Hon. S. W. Matthews and myself to represent Accomac. But on hearing from Mr. Cooke, he did not notice our request for half fare rates for five, but said two was enough to go. Again, to prove I had no selfish motive, I then said to Dr. LeCato, if two were better than three to go I would stay as home and let him and Dr. Smith go and represent their respective counties, but this he would not consent to, saying, the credit was due me for starting and planning the enterprise in its beginning, and I, first of all, should go and help execute the work, and as I had in hand forty dollars and sixty-five cents after paying the cost of printing stationary and stamps, which amount would possibly pay the expenses of three, I decided to go, and with what results the following letter from Mr. Charles A. Chipley, the official to whom we presented our appeal, and who, with the concurrence of Mr. R. B. Cooke, reduced the rates, will show:

MR. S. R. NELSON; Onancock, Va.:

Dear Sir:

I have your favor of the 2d instant, and in reply thereto I beg to say that the representation made to me by yourself, Dr. LeCato and a gentleman by the name of Smith, I cannot now recall his name but I believe he was a member of the Virginia legislature, in regard to reduction in the rates on potatoes from your territory, was the cause of the reduction made by us, and had not the matter been presented to me in the manner it was we would not have made the reduction.

It is our desire at all times to work for the best interests of our patrons. Many times, however, we are importuned for reduction in rates when parties undertake to deceive us, and in cases of that kind reductions are seldom made, but when it can be shown as it was shown by yourself and the committee that waited on me that a reduction was necessary, as a matter of course, we had nothing else to do but to reduce the rates to help the farmers in your territory out. Yours truly, CHAS. A. CHIPLEY, A.G.F.A.

Now in answer to Mr. W. L. Nock's query. The reason we did not then ask for a reduction in rates to the New England markets was: First, because we took it for granted that the ten cents reduction allowed us to other points nearer by would also be allowed us to all points beyond, going the same direction, and we know that to ask specially for a reduction to the New England markets would require an agreement between the officials of the Pennsylvania system and the officials of the connecting lines leading to the New England markets, and therefore would delay the putting in force the reduction we did get. Second: We knew as a natural consequence if we got reduced rates to New York and other points near by it would not be long in force before a reduction in rates to the New England markets would follow, which did follow within fifteen days from the time the other reduction went in force; and we are willing to leave it to the public to judge whether or not we acted "intelligently" or made a "blunder" and deserve to be criticised and censured. Will Mr. Nock kindly tell us who appointed the committee, and to whom are they under obligations to render an account for their actions? If the query was made for the benefit of the committee, why was it not done by private letter to the committee instead of in a censorious manner through the public press? If the query was made in the interest of the farmers instead of a motive to censure and find fault with the committee, why was it done ten days after the reduction of rates had been in force to the New England markets? Surely Mr. Nock must have know this, as I believe he is engaged in drumming potatoes daily at Oak Hall station, therefore ought to have known this fact. We will not judge or attempt to express our opinion of the motive or the influence underlying the motive that prompted the writing of this query, but will leave it for the public to judge. It is but justice to say that Mr. Nock was one of the agents to whom I sent a copy of the appeal and he got names to the same and collected and sent me three dollars and twenty cents.

S. R. NELSON. Onancock, Va., Sept. 7, '96.



An inquiry has been propounded in your last issue, evidently addressed to the undersigned. Mr. W. L. Nock asks why the committee, which lately visited Philadelphia to secure a reduction of freight rates, failed to secure a reduction to New England points. He further says it is reported in his section that this reduction was offered the committee, and that they actually refused it. He declares, "for the benefit of the gentlemen composing the committee, and the satisfaction of the public," this matter should be made plain.

While it seems to us that a moment's reflection would suggest to anyone a satisfactory reply to his query, the committee will take pleasure in affording him this public explanation.

It is well known -- or certainly should be -- that the N. Y., P. & N. R. R. transports freight only to Delmar, and that our Eastern freights are carried to New York, and not beyond by the Pennsylvania R. R. In other words, the rates beyond New York to Eastern points becomes a matter of contract with New England roads. It will thus be seen that neither Mr. Cooke or Mr. Chipley, nor both of them combined, could have granted us a reduction of rates beyond their lines, had they both desired to do so. Though the committee understood this fact, and, of course, did not ask for what it was impossible to get, the point was actually raised, as an incident of the conference; Mr. Chipley taking the pains to explain that no proposition from us could be entertained by him looking to any reduction to New England points. These are simple facts. But how a report could have gained credence, in any section, that the Pennsylvania system had offered us what they had no power to grant; or that a committee, earnestly working for a reduction of rates, had actually refused a voluntary offer of reduction, is one of that sort of things "no fellow can find out." As a matter of fact, the committee never doubted that a corresponding reduction on Eastern rates would follow necessarily, as a matter of course, and so assured the few whose special interest in Eastern markets had inspired them with unreasonable and querulous complaints against a committee which had done its best to serve their interests. Our predictions has already been fulfilled; the through rates to Eastern points have already adjusted themselves to the new schedule. Respectfully, S. R. NELSON, GEO. W. LECATO, CHAS. SMITH.

Meeting to Appoint Inspectors.

Farmers -- Farmers' organizations

By request of the Board of Directors of the Truck Growers' Association, there will be a district meeting held at Onley on Saturday next, 12th inst., at 2 o'clock p. m., to appoint inspectors for Lee Magisterial District. All members and other interested are requested to be present. Mr. Nicholson, the general manager, is expected to be present and explain the workings of the association for the present season.

Peninsula Enterprise
Accomac Court House
September 12, 1896