1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Summers County Attempts To Annex Alderson

Barry Worrell - April 1, 2012

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 to Summers.

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 the map on page two.

Ref: History of Summers County, W. VA. Judge James H. Miller, 1908, pp. 66-70

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