National Geographic : 1950 Feb
ltil),rt Stigvers Touring Home State Ohio, Senator and Mrs. Robert A. Taft Pause for a Chat with Reporters The Taft family has played a prominent part in national and international affairs since 1838 when pioneer Alphonso Taft came to the Ohio Valley (page 211). Senator Taft is the son of William Howard Taft, only American to be both President and Chief Justice of the United States. At Batavia, in Clermont County, the Senator and his wife held a "porchside chat" with news correspondents. Left to right are Russell Mc Cormick. Cincinnati Post; Mrs. Martha Taft; Senator Taft; Bert Andrews, New York Herald Tribune; Glen Bayless, Business Week (standing); and Richard Forster, Cincinnati Times-Star. Irof. Robert I. Pearce and his wife, of the Iiram College faculty. By this stage work students gain college credits. After dinner we went up on the top deck, to watch student-actor Bill Reynard pound out A Bird in a Gilded Cage and other hoary ballads on the steam calliope. Then the troupe's brass band took over with lively airs, and people swarmed down the riverbank, onto the showboat, to hoot, hiss, and howl at the villain in The Drunkard-all correct behavior at that popular old play with-a-moral. A Pioneer Highway Hordes of cross-continent motorists know Wheeling because it stands on U. S. Route 40, the pioneer "National Road." This was the first big highway Uncle Sam built west; it led, later, to Indianapolis and St. Louis, and now runs to California. Day and night, in pioneer times, it was crowded with covered wagons, mounted horsemen, mail carriers, soldiers, and home seekers. Many walked, some driving livestock. Wheeling people still walk, but not behind tired cows. Now they walk over country clubs or golf links, or about the breath-taking beauties of Oglebay Park. In sumptuous suburban homes-far enough out in hills to avoid factory smoke-live old families; some have been in business here over 100 years. They, too, tell surprising tales about their river. Early in 1811 Wheeling had a "pumpkin flood." Then thousands of pumpkins, washed down from farms upstream, scattered all over the town. One Wheeling zero flood hour came on a gloomy March day in 1939, during the "Musi cal Steelmakers' " Sunday afternoon broad cast from high, dry Capitol Theater. Though worried by grim warnings of rising flood, 3,000 people were there.