People from around Clarksburg

People from the Clarksburg area.








































Nicknames of people around Clarksburg



Paper Rosie: This lady not only sold paper roses but small wooden padded stools that were made mostly from Willow tree branches and bean pole branches. Her name was Rosie Grosse and was also known as “dirty neck Rosie” because she never seemed to bathe. She would cover her dirty cheeks with a lot of rouge. She often wore a hat. She and her family lived on Rail Rd. St. in Adamston section of Clarksburg. Her house caught on fire during WW II but the firemen couldn’t put it out because of live ammunition stored within. Her son, Joe, was a “Home Guard” during the war is the reason for the ammunition. They moved in with a relative who lived next door. All the homes on Rail Road Street were torn down for the new Clarksburg Expressway.


The picture is of Rosie The Flower Girl’s house which was located in Adamston.  The picture is from The Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram in 1938. A streetcar had jumped the track and nearly destroyed her house.

-------------------------------------------------------------



The Crook Brothers known as "Pop Bottle Pete" and "Wheel Borrow Willie" went around picking up glass pop bottles for a living. Do you remember them?
Pop Bottle Pete’s real name was Woody Crook.  When his son was old enough to travel around with him, he traded his wheel borrow for a wagon so he could take his along.
 Wheel Borrow Willie’s real name was Benny Crook. He always pushed a wheelbarrow (usually loaded with bottles).  If you saw him with a young boy, that was his nephew, son of Woody Crook.  They all lived with Benny's father on Indiana Ave in Nutter Fort.


Pete was killed crossing the road on old Rt. 50 [Bridgeport Hill] opposite Rollins Fruit Market. It was just after dark and the lady driver did not see him.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Wild Bill” McQuaid: Received his name by getting out of hand after drinking too much “Sweet Lucie”. He was in jail several times a year.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Henry “YUP-YUP” Drosky was born Henry Drosky on December 29, 1921, to Polish immigrant, Stanley Drosky (1892-1967) and his wife, Bertha (1900-1987), a coal miner and wife, who settled in Clarksburg, West Virginia. It is believed that they had three sons. Henry, the youngest, grew to be a tall, skinny guy with a dark shock of hair, a predominant nose, happy eyes and a perpetual smile, whose total focus in life was sports. He attended every local high school football game at Hite Field, a field shared by Clarksburg rivals, Victory High School and Washington-Irving High School. Always attired in a long raincoat, without fail, Henry could always be seen standing on a high rise just below the concession booth, near the corner where one would enter the home team side.
Mentally disabled from birth, his body jerked involuntarily. His fingers moved constantly, whirling the change in his pockets – snack money handed to him by passers-by.  Clarksburgers considered him one of their own – he had their affection and their protection. Everyone spoke to him, and his broad-grinned response to everyone was “Yup-yup, yup-yup”, hence, his nick-name.
Henry was moved to Morgantown, possibly to be nearer family following the death of his mother in 1986, it is not known for sure– but he readjusted. With transistor radio always at his ear, he began to attend all the West Virginia University football and basketball games, absorbing every sports statistic he heard.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Then there was "The Major" in his Eisenhower jacket replete with WW II ribbons, either hanging out at the pool halls, or mumbling to himself as he walked back and forth on Chestnut Street.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At the Stonewall Billiards, "Rack'm Ray" was a fixture.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There was also the ” fiddler” a small man with long white hair and beard that liked to join in on parades, playing a fiddle as he strolled through the marching bands.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Boyd “Jug Head” Robinson: a courthouse plaza regular who had a drinking problem. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Henry “Doc” Tetrick: Mr. Tetrick was at one time a registered pharmacist from a well known Shinnston family but lost his license around 1946 due to drinking problems. He lived in a flophouse in Glen Elk and was a courthouse plaza regular.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trou Morrison: Many WI students will remember him as the gentleman who had the news stand beside the old city hall building at W. Pike and Third Street. He was only about five feet tall and had bowed legs. His wife would take care of the newsstand while he would walk around selling his papers on the streets. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About twice a year Johnny Roventini, the Phillip Morse Cigarette midget would come to the courthouse and pass out samples. He would stand on the first floor steps and make his famous call.... “CALL FOR PHILIP MORRIS!”

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Joseph Paul Swanwich, affectionately known as “Whistling Pete,” or Pete the Whistler age 89, went to his heavenly home on Tuesday, February 9, 2010, at 5:45 p.m. following an extended illness.
He was born in Wheeling, WV, on July 10, 1920, and raised by the St. John’s Orphanage in Wheeling. At an early age, Sister DeSales brought him to Clarksburg to stay at the former St. Mary’s Hospital under the care of the Sisters of DeSales Hall.

Pete retired from the housekeeping department at St. Mary’s Hospital. He loved gardening and could be seen around Clarksburg helping friends with their gardens, always thinking more about others than himself. His greatest joy and love in life was singing, whistling, playing the organ and piano. Often seen and heard in the United Hospital Center Chapel playing the organ. The last two years of his life, he was cared for by Heartland of Clarksburg, where often times at lunch he would play the keyboard for the fellow residents.
Pete was preceded in death by his brothers and sisters, and is survived by several friends and family, which include the American Red Cross, Clarksburg neighbors and Karen Shuster and David Ireland, both of Elkins, WV.

Joseph Paul Swanwich was a faithful Catholic all his life and a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Our Lady of Perpetual Help on Friday at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Father John Ledford as celebrant. Family and friends may call at the Amos Carvelli Funeral Home, 201 Edison St., Nutter Fort, WV, on Thursday, February 11 2010, from 4-6 p.m. Interment will be in the Holy Cross Cemetery.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mildred “Purse Snatcher” Skidmore: Mildred was known for stealing purses in the ground floor ladies rest room of the courthouse. She was caught several times. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Truman “Trash” Griever” He used a homemade two wheel flat bed buggy to go around in back of local stores to collect the cardboard for resale. He made a living at this.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Can you remember the Blind man who sat in front of McCroys  5&10 and rang his bell on his tin cup for change...he had no eyes.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Few will remember “Cardboard Charlie”.  He was a black man who lived with wife or girlfriend in the shell of an old greyhound bus on Ohio Avenue in Glen Elk #2. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We can’t forget “Pop” Hamilton, an old timer who visited the courthouse plaza wall each day and would trade watches and pocketknives.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The court-house square/bus stop had more than its share of "watch-traders", hustlers and vagrants that used the space under Stonewall Jackson's statue as though it was their own personal space.


There are many more too numerous to mention that grazed the courthouse property. Their favorite cheap drink was “Bay Rum” which they purchased in the basement of G.C. Murphy’s Store. A pint would cost only fifty cents.

This gathering of characters phased out in the late sixties as most had passed away.



Click on the link below to return to category list.
Clarksburg My Home Town


1 comment:

  1. Also, I remember Tex, who wore his suede western jacket with fringes. He used to be in the wild West shows. He also brought me trinket gifts to my work at MC Donald's.

    ReplyDelete