Railroad in Webster County

Webster Echo
December 15, 1899

Vote the Subscription.

Before the next issue of the Echo reaches its readers the railroad election will be a matter of the past. The Echo, as it conscientiously believes, is an impartial organ, whose highest aim is to best serve the public; and it having a sincere belief in the wisdom of supporting the proposition it is but natural that in the last issue of the campaign it should be urgent. To those who wish to see a railroad to Addison, it is the most important proposition ever made. To start with, the Company has paid the cost of holding the election, and paid it in advance. This is a considerable item, and in all previous elections the County has borne the expense. As a further evidence of good faith, the Company proposes to either build the road or forfeit to the districts $1,000. If you want a railroad vote for it; if you are opposed to the railroad and have no faith in it, vote the subscription and your district will get its portion of the $1,000. In either event is this not worth the attention of every voter? Will the railroad pay? The Echo has an abiding confidence in the worth and merit of the resources of the Elk Valleys and the Holly Basin. We think that the lumber and the coal and the industry of the people are sources from which ample support could be had for a railroad. Then the freights that would be brought to the county would be a factor in addition to this. If it pays, then the stock allotted to the districts would pay as an investment and they would be in position to at any time exchange their stock for the amount voted. The railroad company has not asked the districts to give a single cent. The proposition is to subscribe to the capital stock, and the amount subscribed would be worth just as much to the district as a similar amount is to the company. Look into this proposition a little further. In 1897, the last year shown by the Auditor's report the district of Glade, in this county, received from the State as taxes on the W.Va. & P. railroad for road and district purposes, $2,218.72. No other district in the county had a dollar from this source. In other words by reason of Glade district having a railroad its people get the benefit of this tax and are therefore to the extent relived from payment of taxes. It is an enormous sum. With it they have five months of school, and pay $30 per month for teachers; while in the other districts we pay a higher rate of taxes, have only four months of school, pay teaches only $25, and they have twice as much as both these districts left to make good roads. The teachers are attracted to Glade because they have longer terms of school and pay better wages. This is natural. Do we want better schools, longer terms, better roads, and less taxes? If so, vote for the subscription. The taxes paid by the railroad company will pay the interest on the bonds and leave a surplus for a sinking fund that will in ten years pay off the bonds and leave the stock to the districts free. Then, again, the non-residents pay a large portion of the taxes and remember when you go to vote that the extent non-residents pay, you get the benefit, because we disburse the funds they pay as taxes, whether as interest on railroad bonds or what not.