Skip Navigation

As It Was in Hundred

Recalling Life in a Wetzel County Town

By Bob Masters

Men gather in front of Snyder’s Five-and-Dime on Pennsylvania Avenue in Hundred during the late 1950's
Men gather in front of Snyder’s Five-and-Dime on Pennsylvania Avenue in Hundred during the late 1950's. Photographer unknown.

At a recent high school reunion, some old friends and I reminisced about life in Hundred, the Wetzel County town where we grew up. We soon began to e-mail one another and share memories of the town during the 1940's and ‘50's, when we were kids. It was a time when Santa Claus came down the chimney on Christmas eve, when witches rode their broomsticks across the moon on Halloween, and when there was splendor in the grass on summer mornings. It was a time when this small West Virginia town was the center of our universe.

Looking back, we can remember a town with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, but which held all of the delights and amusements that a youngster could want. It was a place where kids could roam and play without being in any real danger. On Saturdays, the town teemed with folks who arrived early and stayed late. Sidewalks the length of Pennsylvania Avenue were crowded with people. All businesses located along this short thoroughfare were open until 9 p.m. There was a busy excitement about the place that is hard to imagine today.

Maxine (Bartrug) Straight recalls that she and her family came to Hundred every Saturday night. They would sit in their parked car and watch the people go by. She remembers seeing, on more than one occasion, Bob Keffer, the town cop, holding some miscreant by his shirt collar and escorting him to jail. Maxine’s family lived just outside of town in the Burton area. For several years now, Maxine and her husband, Gail, have made their home in Norwalk, Ohio.

My friends and I have been able to identify more than 50 locally owned businesses that existed in Hundred during those years. Here are a few we recall.

You can read the rest of this article in this issue of Goldenseal, available in bookstores, libraries or direct from Goldenseal.