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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: May 31, 1870

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To the Tax-Payers of Staunton
(Column 03)
Summary: An anonymous writer deeply criticized the plans of the recently elected candidates to increase the debts of the town. He displayed figures showing the town's current debt and the taxes property-holders must pay to relieve it. Vowed to fight against rising taxes at every turn.
Full Text of Article:

GENTLEMEN: -- The election of Thursday is over, and we desire no criminations or re-crimination; but while the election is over the politics and principles involved in that election are not over, and may not be in our generation, and as the much deplored social irritation, and unfriendly demonstrations are past, the issues involved are very grave to the tax-payers, and we invite, as it deserves, your earnest consideration. The real and only issue in the canvass was a large increase in the debt of the town, and whether those who were in favor of the increased debt or those who were opposed to it should be elected. And the only object of the gentlemen who organized the Court-house meeting was to defeat those who had been, and are still, opposed to an increase of the town debt; and they have succeeded in electing some that have not one dollar's worth of real property to tax, but whether they will accomplish their purpose, time alone will tell. It won't do, tax-payers, to say, when the tax gatherer comes around, that your hands were tied -- that you voted under pledges.

No amount of ridicule can change facts, or turn us aside from what we believe to be the interest of the town, in which we have a deep interest. The facts, in this case, go to show that we are correct in our assertions. What are the facts? The present debt of the town, now due, in round numbers, $27,650; Valley Railroad subscription, $100,000; proposed increase of debt for steam fire engine, &c., $10,000; purchase of plot for C. & O. R. R. work shops $6,000; and additional Valley Railroad subscription $27,000, making a total of $170,650. This is the amount of debt, then, proposed to be saddled on the tax-payers of poor little Staunton.

Now, let us see what our taxes will be on the real and personal property of the town, in order to carry this debt. The interest on $170,650, at 6 per cent per annum, is $10,239; present amount necessary to pay the current expenses of the town $10,000; add $5,000 for school purposes, and $6,000 for State taxes, and you have $31,239, to be raised annually by tax on the real and personal property of Staunton. You will remember, too, that the head tax is reduced to fifty cents, and the license tax is prohibited by the constitution of Va., which tax has heretofore paid two-thirds of the entire tax of the town. So the sum of $31,239 must be levied on the real and personal property. The present assessed value of the real estate is $967,128, and put down the personal property at $300,000 -- a very large estimate -- and you have $1,267,128, upon which to be taxed, and in order to raise annually the $31,239. We must pay a tax of 2 1/2 per cent on the dollar. -- To illustrate -- on a house worth $5,000 you now pay $20 tax; you then will pay $125.00.

These are facts -- facts that will make the tax payer groan. We ask you not to let a bitter spirit of hatred, and the false and malicious cry of nigger and Radical, which was raised in this canvass to cover up the real issue before the people, cause you to shut your eyes to what is going on about you in the impoverished condition of our town, and the burdens of debt under which our people groan. Ask the Sheriff how many executions are in his hands now for collection. Do you feel like entering upon this untried sea of debt and taxation? There may be a bright, delusive, promise, which never will be realized, held out to induce you to submit. Stop and consider before you consent to be bound by these biting chains of taxation.

In conclusion, we will state that we still adhere to, and no amount of abuse and slang can drive us one inch from the position heretofore taken, and when the people understand our position they will appreciate our motives, and we do not mean to have our hands tied and quietly submit to the gentlemen who organized the Court-house meeting. And whenever they came before the people to carry into effect the objects that prompted that meeting, we will fight them at every step. Tax-payers, we ask you to investigate these facts and figures for yourselves, and see "who is who," and what is at the bottom of this whole affair.


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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The Spectator briefly described a memorial service held in honor of Federal soldiers.
Full Text of Article:

On yesterday evening, for the first time in Staunton, the colored people turned out in procession to decorate the graves of the Federal soldiers interred in the cemetery near the Lunatic Asylum. The procession was large, orderly and very well conducted, consisting of men, women and children, bearing wreaths and boquets of flowers, and a large U.S. flag, and any number of small "stars and stripes."

Election Day
(Column 01)
Summary: The Conservatives won the municipal election, defeating the Independent ticket.
Full Text of Article:

ELECTION DAY. -- The election for municipal officers of Staunton resulted in the election of the ticket nominated at the primary election on last Tuesday. The day was a very disagreeable one, as there was a constant falling of rain. The contest between the "Independent" and "Conservative" tickets was spirited and brought out almost the entire registered vote of both wards. Mr. Trout's majority for mayor is 74. The cry of "Radical" swamped the "Independents," and they have applied themselves with fishing tackle, &c., preparatory to a trip up "Salt River." -- Some of them have already secured tickets, guaranteeing them a "free passage."

Presbyterian Fair
(Column 01)
Summary: The ladies of the Presbyterian Church hope many citizens will attend their fair. The highlight of the event will consist of a dinner, including ice cream, ices, and strawberries.
Election Results
(Column 02)
Summary: Printed the results of the election for municipal offices in Augusta.
Full Text of Article: N.K. TROUT, Conservative, for Mayor JOHN B. EVANS, Independent, for Mayor JAS. F. PATTERSON, Conservative, for Clerk S.T. PHILLIPS, Conservative, for Com's Att'y J.T. Parrent, Conservative, for Sergeant JNO. M. CARROLL, Conservative, for Treasurer HEBER KERR, Independent, for Treasurer GEO. H. HUDSON, Conservative, for Com'r of Rev J.M. HARDY, Conservative, for Councilman W.H.H. LYNN, Conservative for Councilman W.H. GORMAN, Conservative for Councilman WM. L. BALTHIS, Conservative for Councilman J.H. WATERS, Conservative for Councilman W.L. LUSHBAUGH, Conservative for Councilman C.T. Cochran, Conservative for Councilman W.J. NELSON, Conservative for Councilman W.A. BURKE, Conservative for Councilman J.B. SCHERER, Jr., Conservative for Councilman R.H. CATLETT, Conservative for Councilman W.B. KAYSER, Independent for Councilman R.G. BICKLE, Independent for Councilman B.T. BAGBY, Independent for Councilman H.A. GLEN, Independent for Councilman W. BLACKBURN, Independent for Councilman D.E. STRASBURG, Independent for Councilman JOS. EARMAN, Independent for Councilman J.F. BEARD, Independent for Councilman A.H. FULTZ, Independent for Councilman JAS. A. PIPER, Independent for Councilman G.F. ELICK, Independent for Councilman WARD NO. 1 246 156 374 379 406 279 123 403 313 285 288 270 259 253 251 254 246 247 247 178 167 156 148 152 149 145 147 143 84 36 WARD NO. 2 200 216 354 345 417 237 164 419 282 261 245 218 211 210 210 206 204 202 200 219 223 215 214 206 207 210 205 204 123 73 TOTAL 446 372 728 724 823 516 287 822 595 546 533 488 470 463 461 460 450 449 447 397 390 371 362 358 356 355 352 347 207 109 372 287 MAJORITIES 74 229


The following is a list of the officers elected in the various townships of this county on Thursday last. We have not the space to give tabular statements of all the votes polled, but merely give the names of those elected and to what offices, and the time for which the Justices and Constables were drawn.


For Supervisor John Paris received 363 votes.

" do Sam'l K. Taylor 1 "

" Collector Jas. N. McFarland " 213 "

" do Jas. W. Houseman " 142 "

do Clerk Joseph R. Meriken " 224 "

do do Wm. K. Piper " 85 "

do do W. H. Wayland " 36 "

do Assessor John M. Kinney " 336 "

do Com'r of Roads Jas. Henderson 262 "

do do do Michael McAleer, 2 "

do do do John A. Harman, 31 "

do do do Henry Mahaney 56 "

do Over. of Poor Michael McAleer, 242 "

do do do Wm. Croany 86 "

do Justices of the Peace L. R. Waddell, (1 year), A. W. Harman, (2 years), David Henkel, (3 years). For Constables -- J. T. Little, (1 year,) Wm. S. Young, (2 years), John A. Stuart, (3 years).

MIDDLE RIVER. -- John D. Craig, supervisor; Wm. L. Mowry, collector; Stuart M. Crawford, clerk; J. Alex. Kerr, assessor; D. R. Henton, com'r of roads; David Myers O. of P.; Chas. S. Roller, 1 year, John W. Gillespie, 2 years, and Casper Koyner, 3 years J. of P.; James C. McClung, 1 year, Arthur T. Grooms, 2 years, and Samuel N. Patterton, 3 years, Constables.

NORTH RIVER. -- John G. Fulton, Sr., supervisor; John G. Fulton, Jr., clerk; Peachy W. Wheeler, assessor; Robert G. Byers, collector; Phillip Airheart, commissioner of roads; John C. Rusmiel, overseer of poor; Thomas S. Hogshead, 3 years, Wm. S. Hiser, 2 years, James T. Clarke, 1 year, Justices of the Peace; Nelson Andrew, 1 year, Jonas Lowman, 2 years, and James F. Davis, 3 years, constables.

SOUTH RIVER. -- Dr. T. W. Shelton, supervisor; Charles R. Haynes, collector; Hugh N. Bateman, com'r of roads; Charles Brooks, overseer of poor; W. W. Clineqinst, 1 year, David W. Coitier, 2 years, and John Huff, 3 years, Justices of the Peace; Robert M. Hix, 1 year, Chas. R. Haynes, 2 years, and William H. Grooms, 3 years, constables.

RIVERHEADS. -- William T. Rush, supervisor; John S. McCorkle, clerk; George P. Lightner, assessor; D. A. Ott, collector; Adam Rusmiel, overseer of poor; John H. Rush, 1 year, Irving W. Gilkeson. 2 years, and A. A. Sproul 3 years, Justices of Peace; David B. Zimmerman, 1 year, Wm. H. Cale, 2 years, John B. Smith, 3 years, constables.

PASTURES. -- Henry B. Seig, supervisor; Lewis R. Boswell, assessor; Joseph A. Wilson, collector; John Waldrop, clerk; Baxter Crawford, com'r of roads; James M. Lickliter, overseer of poor; George A. Shuey, 1 year, John S. Guy, 2 years, Benjamin O. Furguson, 3 years, Justices of Peace; Geo. Lacky, 1 year, Thos. H. Cross, 2 years, James F. Hizer, 3 years, constables.

(Column 03)
Summary: James M. Hoover and Miss Rachel M. Teaford, both of Augusta, were married near Staunton on May 26th by the Rev. J. L. Miller.
(Names in announcement: James M. Hoover, Rachel M. Teaford, Rev. J. L. Miller)
(Column 03)
Summary: William L. Ayres of Rockbridge and Mrs. Martha R. Rice of Augusta were married in Staunton at the American Hotel on May 19th by the Rev. W. H. Forsyth.
(Names in announcement: William L. Ayres, Martha R. Rice, Rev. W. H. Forsyth)
(Column 03)
Summary: John Churchman died at his Augusta residence on May 29th. He was 78 years old. A funeral will be held at the Episcopal Church in Staunton.
(Names in announcement: John Churchman)
(Column 03)
Summary: Miss Lucy V. Myers died in Maryland on May 21st of congestion of the lungs induced by measles. She was 28 years old. She had joined St. John's Reformed Church in Augusta County "on profession of faith, and died in calm and confident hope of blissful immortality."
(Names in announcement: Lucy V. Myers)
(Column 03)
Summary: Frances DeSales Gorman, son of William H. and Julia Gorman, died in Staunton on May 18th after a protracted illness. "This little boy, who has left behind him so many aching hearts, was the pet of the community."
(Names in announcement: Frances DeSales Gorman, William H. Gorman, Julia Gorman)

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