Monday, December 03, 2007

Jesse Bragg Reporting

by David Parmer

Jessie (Riffle) Bragg wrote the Orlando News for the Braxton Democrat for many years. She began writing the column in the 1930’s and continued writing the column into the 1960’s. In May 1959, Jessie wrote about fierce windstorms which caused a great deal of damage to dwellings on Clover Fork. The following is Jessie’s interesting account of the Clover Fork cyclones.
Storm Hits Clover Fork
May, 1959
"Folks in the Clover Fork community suffered much damage due to a severe electric storm along with high winds and a downpour of rain Tuesday afternoon of last week. The worst hit was the Denzil (Dee) Posey home. Porches of the home were blown off, chimney tops were blown away and roofing was blown from the home. Small buildings were upset. Most of the furniture and clothing in the Posey home was ruined, along with most of the walls.”
Above: A recent photo of Dee Posey's home on Clover Fork.
Below: the Pres and Jessie (Riffle) Bragg home on Clover Fork. The two lads in the photo are their sons Joe Bragg and John Bragg. During the tornado, the Bragg garage, not pictured, was moved off its foundation.
“On Meadow Run, near the Short Riffle home, large trees were uprooted. Electric lines were torn down. Orlando residents, as well as Clover Fork folks were without electricity for over five hours. A garage belonging to P. J. Bragg, which is located near the late Sam Alkire farm, was blown from its foundation.”
A week later, in her Orlando column, Jessie wrote of a second storm which came a week after the previous storm.
“The Orlando community, as well as the Clover Fork community, again suffered a severe lightning, thunder, rain and hail storm last Sunday evening. The hail storm ruined gardens and small fruit trees and remained on the ground in drifts for several hours. Old folks in the community said it was the most severe storm and the largest, and most hail, they had ever experienced.”
Comment 1 by Donna Gloff
Jessie Riffle 1912-1965, was the daughter of Joe and Betty (Skinner) Riffle. Jessie is an example of the closeknit community which had developed along Oil Creek. All of her great grandparents were pioneers on Oil Creek and Clover Fork. There was a Riffle, a Blake, a Walton, a Conrad, a Posey, and a Robinson and two Skinners. To learn more about these Oil Creek pioneers whose fiber continues to shape the community see the Nov '06 entry First Settlers.
Jessie was a central figure in Orlando in her day. She was active in the Methodist Church, Ladies' Aid and the Orlando School's 4-H club, the "Tip Toppers".
To the left, l to r: Jessie (Riffle) Bragg, Vergie (McNemar)Henline, Josie (Riffle) Beckner, Irene England (wife of the UB preacher), Opal (Jeffries) McCrobie.
To the right is a celebration in Burnsville with members from the several Methodist churches which were charges of Rev. Forrest Armentrout. Preacher Armentrout is in the center, Jessie is to the left in the photo. Preacher Armentrout's son John married Jessie and Pres' daughter Margaret.
Jessie's husband Pres Bragg (to the left) was the mail carrier on the southern Orlando route that served the commuunity around Knawls Creek. See the Feb '07 entry, Pres Bragg's Retirement Party. Pres taught Sunday School at Mt. Zion Methodist Church.

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