The entire land area of the Alderson community on
both sides of the river was involved in a bitter law suit between
Summers County against Monroe and Greenbrier Counties. The
controversy started when John E. Harvey, Summers County Surveyor,
was directed by the Summers County Court to run the exact line
established by the Act of the Legislature in 1871 between Summers
and Greenbrier Counties. He found that all of Alderson and
considerably more territory were in Summers County, with about 1700
population. Summers County took legal steps to have the area annexed
A great and bitter dispute began, and as Alderson was
the object, the furor in Alderson was intense. Subsequently,
James H. Miller, Summers County Prosecuting Attorney, instituted
proceedings in the Circuit Courts of Greenbrier and Monroe Counties.
Circuit Judge A. N. Campbell declined to hear the case and Judge A.
F. Guthrie was secured.
The trial was in Lewisburg and the decision
was in favor of Greenbrier and Monroe. The decision was appealed to
the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals which threw out the case.
A. B. Fleming, an ex-Governor of the State, was agreed upon
to act as umpire. He could not serve, so George E. Price, an
excellent Charleston attorney, served.
This trial was held in
Alderson. The town was full of the Commissioners of three counties,
at least six lawyers representing the counties, and numerous
witnesses for each side. The hearing took several days. Umpire Price
decided for Greenbrier County against Summers, and Greenbrier kept
Alderson. The Monroe issue was abandoned by Summers and the decision
ended it, as no appeal was taken.
I know, you may not
have heard of this, but it happened just as written, in 1894. And you
thought it was an April Fool's joke.
Be sure to see
map on page
Ref: History of Summers County, W. VA. Judge
James H. Miller, 1908, pp. 66-70