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From H. John Rogers

February 22, 2012
Wetzel Chronicle

In the 1890s at the Fairmont Opera House in Fairmont, W.Va., a young student (he didn't last long at FSC), when challenged, stood, and said:

"I hail from Wetzel, beneath whose towering hills and babbling brooks and bushy dells, there lies a mineral and an oleaginous wealth that puts to shame the mines of Ophir or the Isles of Ind."

At footnote 12 in the annotated edition, The Servicemen, Delbert Throckmorton explains this reference: Ophir is the name of a place or region mentioned in the Book of Job and was generally fabled as a place where fine gold was easily obtainable. "Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks" (Job 22:24). Its actual location is not known. "The Isles of Ind" is an archaic way of referring to what is now the nation of India and is sometimes allusively used to refer to both the real and imagined riches of the Orient.

The peroration of this magnificent speech is, of course, known by all informed native Wetzel Countians.

In my opinion, this old text is what brought the minions of Chesapeake and Dominion to our county.


H. John Rogers

New Martinsville



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