|Editor Barr Attempts to Dispel Rumors in 1900|
Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle.
To Whom It May Concern
We hope our readers will pardon us for just this one statement and we promise, if you will, never to inflict you with another one of similar nature.
There is a Woman in It.
Thanksgiving evening, 1897, without my knowledge, Mrs. Dr. Blair left this town between dark and daylight, accompanied by Tom Ferrell of Leaf Bank, who was paid for accompanying her by J.T. Waldo.
C.H. Craddock, who was then in my employ, was the first to break the news to me. Later, Dr. Blair, who was absent from home, came back and began a search for his lost, strayed or stolen wife and finally located her at Tanner and sent Squire G.W. Ritchea and W.W. Brannon to see her, with letters written at his tearful request, from J.W. Pell, Jesse Scott, the writer and others to see if she could not be induced to return and live with him.
(Illegible) of the letter written by me is here appended. "Suffer the (illegible) of human nature to plead in his (meaning her husband's) behalf (illegible) ever loved him you will (illegible) love him still, and I verily believe, with all of his bad qualities, he loves you and will do more for you than any person living."
Nothing more was said nor heard by me for some time thereafter until one night, on my return from a business trip from Parkersburg, she, (Mrs. B.) called to me at the Watson Hotel, Harrisville, where she was stopping, and said she wanted to see me, and I agreed to see her as soon as I went to the Patton Hotel and ate some supper.
Agreeable to my promise I went to the parlor of the Watson Hotel and spent about one half or three quarters of an hour in conversation with her. The following day I came home and told Dr. Blair that I had seen and talked to his wife, and that if I could have truthfully told her he was staying sober I could have induced her to return to him.
Then he began to insist upon my getting her to come home, promising to drink no more nor beat her no more, and in time went so far as to go before a Notary Public and take an oath to that effect.
And, in good faith, I wrote the final letter about February 10th 1898 that caused her to return, after which time I went down to their home, congratulated and left with them my best wishes for peace and happiness, hearing nothing from them (illegible) time or until he got drunk and unmercifully beat her, after which she sent for me and most severely censured me for having induced her to come back.
This created in him a jealousy, that has since existed and for more than two years. I have silently endured his vile abuses (not to my face) and threats to shoot me until last Saturday night, a week, about eleven o'clock at night _.
T. Hodges called me in my office and said, "Dr. Blair is hunting for you with his shot gun," (and here (illegible) me for a declaration.
If a man don't want troubles of his own, he must not go gunning after me.) I immediately went to look for the Dr. and his gun, and upon arriving in sight of his house saw him and his (illegible) brother and wife in a fight or (illegible) and went to his house collared and shook him over a good sized patch of ground, hit him twice, to which he offered no resistance until his wife ran in, caught my arm, and then he landed the hardest lick in my face ever felt, which blacked my eye and hostilities, outside of cuss words ceased, I using the most of them.
And allow me to say that I had not seen nor spoken to his wife for almost a week and knew nothing of their troubles, but having induced her to return have always felt it a duty to protect her and have not, at any time, allowed the vile gossip of personal enemies to deter me from a plain duty under this or any other circumstance.
S.C. Barr, Editor