Photographic and Industrial History of New Straitsville Ohio 1907 – Page 2
Posted by JRW on October 23, 2010
cation and training of the youth of our little city. An excellent library, under the
management of Mrs. E. S. Martin, supplies the best reading matter obtainable to .the
people. It is connected with the Public School System.
A third class postoffice with a rural route is ably conducted by the present
WILLIAM C. H UGHES.
William C. Hughes is a native of Scotland, born March 12, 1849. His parents were
Joseph and Ann Hughes, who resided for many years in New Straitsville, and were among
the fir!;t residents of the town. Mr. Hughes was educated in the Public Schools of
Scotland, and has followed the occupation of coal miner since boyhood. He removed to
New Straitsville from- Scotland in 1872, and having always resided here, has been a
close observer of the growth of the town. He has always been an active worker in Republican
ranks, having served as Trustee of Coal Township from 1888 to 1892, and
was a member of the Town Council from 1892 to 1894.
He received his appointment as Postmaster from
President Roosevelt in 1904, and has endeavored in a
conscientious and painstaking manner to serve the
people and government faithfully in discharging the
duties of his office.
Mr. Hughes was united in marriage with Mrs. Mary
E. McMahon November 24, 1903.
The History of Straitsville is a history of coal mining.
The two are inseparable and also include an account
of the rise of the Miners’ Union, having its origin
and spread in the Hocking Valley mining region. The
account of the development of the vast coal fields lying
in the hills of Straitsville is interesting to the extreme.
Thirty-seven years ago the nearest settlements were
Old Straitsville and a few widely separated hamlets
lying in the hills and valleys of this region. The
mining town of Nelsonville was beginning to benefit
from the opening of mines along the Hocking Canal.
The hills in and about Straitsville were known to be
filled with giant seams of coal, waiting for the skill
and strength of the brave and hardy miner to dig the
black diamonds from their interior, and give a new
impetus to the commercial activities of the Buckeye
State and make famous the Hock-Hocking Valley.
As yet the hill town of Straitsville was the oldest settlement, and the place from
which the new and flourishing town was to take its name. Old Straitsville was laid out
;.. 1835 by Jacob and Isaac Strait. In its early history it had a few stores, a tavern and
the usual blacksmith shop. The land around on the hill tops and hill sides was fertile,
and the principal industry was farming. The settlement flourished, and was a gathering
place for the farmers for miles around. On week end days the village was given over
to recreation and trading–the farmers bringing produce to the village and receiving in
exchange such necessaries as the stores .afforded.
A race course located along one of the smoothest outlying ridges afforded an opportunity
for speed trials, and many and exciting meets were arranged to the enjoyment .
of the visitors and village people. Wrestling bouts among the strongest were a pleasing
diversion. The pioneers of those days who settled in the ‘hill country were men of sinew