Centennial of Giles County.
Great Gathering at Pearisburg in Celebration of the Event.
Home-Coming for Many.
A Grand Parade With Beautiful and Unique Floats – Fine Speech.
(Special to The Times-Dispatch).
Pearisburg, Va., May 12. – The citizenship of Giles county was well represented here to-day in the celebration of the one hundreth anniversary of the county. On the 13th day of May, 1806, the county of Giles was established, being cut off from Montgomery county. The history of Giles during the past hundred years has been admirably written by the development of what was a sparsely settled district in the beginning into one of the richest, most prosperous and substantial counties of southwest Virginia.
The county of Giles is well known for its reliable and substantial citizenship, the prosperity of its people, rich blue grass farms, fine live stock and beautiful scenery.
The centennial celebration has been a pronounced success from every point. By far the largest crowd ever gathered in the county assembled here to-day. The most conservative estimate gives from five to six thousand people.
For the past two days and up to the arrival of the mountaineers to-day, people of all ages and sex have poured into the town of Pearisburg.
Thousands came from all sections of the county and many visitors were present. Hundreds of former residents of Giles came back home for to-day to meet relatives and mingle with old acquaintances.
The day has been one which will live long in the memory of the people of Giles county. The weather has been all that an ideal May day affords. Stirring and eloquent addresses which touched upon local and national patriotism, the love and esteem of man for his fellow-man, individual honesty and integrity and the resources of Giles, where delivered. Nothing to make the celebration a success was left undone by the committee on arrangements.
Mr. T. B. Shannon, of Popular Hill, chairman of the committee who took the first step toward the centennial exercises successfully carried out a well-arranged programme for to-day.
In the forenoon a parade took place made up as follows: Odd-Fellows’ Band, Confederate veterans, 250 strong, Order of Odd-Fellows Judiciary of the county, past and present, county and district officials, past and present, school teachers and children of the county, followed by many beautiful and unique floats.
After the parade the crowd gathered in the courthouse yard when able addresses were delivered by Rev. Tyler Frazier, Hon. James D. Johnston, of Roanoke, and Judge Robert C. Jackson, of Wytheville. Judge Martin Williams presided at the speaking and the speakers were introduced by Committee Chairman W. B. Snyder.
A basket dinner was served to the old soldiers by the Daughters of the Confederacy. The hospitality of the good people of Giles was never more manifest than was evidenced to-day by the super abundance of provisions provided for all present.
The business and dwelling houses were decorated in the national colors; music was furnished by the Odd Fellows Band, and the exercises were completed to-night with a band concert and a grand display of fire-works.
The following committee has been appointed to have a brief record of to-day’s exercises spread upon the records of the court: W. B. Snidow, J. T. Hogue, J. H. Durham, B. P. Watts, T. B. Shannon and Martin Williams. Judge J. H. Fulton, grand commander of the State Camp, was among the distinguished visitors present.
About four hundred dollars were raised for the erection of a monument to the Confederate veterans at Giles Court-house.
The Times Dispatch, Richmond, Va., 13 May 1906.