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Archiver > RAYMOND > 2008-11 > 1226848538

From: "Dora Smith" <>
Subject: Re: [RAYMOND] [WVPRESTO] Where was Grant Township, Preston County,West Virginia in 1870-80?
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 09:15:38 -0600
References: <004e01c94770$ba5ee420$640fa8c0@IBM39C0456AF0F><491F6D5C.3010705@frontiernet.net><009701c9478c$816da590$640fa8c0@IBM39C0456AF0F><491F7EEC.6040700@frontiernet.net><008201c9479b$0d847fa0$640fa8c0@IBM39C0456AF0F><491FB2D8.2000501@frontiernet.net>

Got it! Jesus, it made Time magazine. That's Time, the national hard news magazine with the colorful covers... And it happened more than once in the same Raymond family. Four times, to be exact. Since Janice (the cousin who still lives in the area) claimed it happened in the 50's in Chalk Hill and not in 1920 I did a broader search in the Google news archives and searched Raymond "Chalk Hill". No wonder Deb looks like she's running away, her family is "cursed", and there is serious family dysfunction here to boot. (Deb does have company - my branch of the New England Raymond family carries "madness and genius".)

I wonder if Deb's father left the area and that's why all she knew is her father said his father was meaner than a junkyard dog?! Sounds like everyone who knew him says that.

Incidentally Albert did not die in 1920 but in 1922 - it must be a transcription error. I may have failed to find it because I limited my search to 1920 since that's when the gravestone list said he died.

Get ready for this.

Now, I'm pretty sure these are all sons and grandsons of Albert, though Albert's father Daniel had other sons and Daniel's first cousin Conrad also lived in the area and had sons. There is clearly psychosis in this family (probably a mood disorder). It could have come from Daniel's wife who was Albert's mother (Daniel had three wives), though I still want to know teh story with wife number 3, and also why Daniel lived with son Albert of all his child. Usually people with bipolar disorder and its kindred illnesses selectively associate with each other. He asked several people to spread cinders on his driveway and then shot them? Never mind he lost it and killed his family (which he tried to do, but they got away).

Look out for them Rayman's. (LOL)

On a serious note, members of this family need to be aware that they probably carry a gene for bipolar or schizoid disorder. That illness can be mild, vague and hard to diagnose, it doesn't affect everyone who carries its genes the same way, it can subtly mess up one's life, and it's quite treatable. Most families that have it prefer to pretend that it's something else. More people with the disorder self medicate than do not, and alcohol aggravates the symptoms. Mean mountain men you have to look out for. Yup, I can just imagine the rest of this story. Now, the first sign I found of its trail in my Smith family was a genetic explosive mean temper. There was also a genetic affinity to Evangelical Christianity, which is a red flag for bipolar disorder. A lot of persistent digging and I found a trail of alcoholism, overdoses and suicide - in my first and second cousins. Not my father had been told about any of it. Some bipolar families also have a characteristic pattern of some members with brilliant careers, and that describes teh Smiths, as well as my branch of the Raymond family. Mean mountain men with serious family dysfunction may have had little chance, but if some members of this Rayman family left the area, as it is clear from the cemetery and census records that many did as sooon as they were old enough to leave home, they could have been more successful.

I bet more digging in Google archives using more helpful search criteria than I initially used would turn up more. I think that Uniontown and Pittsburgh are the closest large towns with newspapers.

Sounds like if Deb did what I did to learn much about my own Smith grandparents; call around the towns where these people lived, she'd get an earful of information very quickly.


Monday, Mar. 07, 1960
The Quiet One

Around Chestnut Ridge in southwestern Pennsylvania, mountain folk were wary of the mean-tempered, sharpshooting Raymond clan. In 1922 Albert Raymond had fussed with his wife, ended by shooting her and killing himself. Grandson Gerald Raymond had been led to jail recently for threatening to kill a man. Only a month ago, the family's hot blood ran true-and freely-when Patriarch Norval Raymond, 69, blasted a son-in-law in the face with a shotgun. Yet one Raymond seemed free of the curse of violence: short (5 ft. 5 in.), wiry Dan, 43, an avid hunter who liked his outdoor job as a pipeline worker for a natural gas company and lived with his wife and four children in tiny (pop. 300) Chalk Hill.

One evening last week. Dan Raymond took down his high-powered Magnum rifle with telescopic sight (one of 13 guns he owned) and said matter-of-factly to his wife Nellie: "I'm going to use this." Fearful of her strangely sullen husband, Nellie Raymond fled with the children.

A few minutes before 8 o'clock next morning, Raymond walked 20 feet from his red-shingled bungalow to the narrow country road, hailed a passing state highway department truck and asked the driver and helper to spread cinders on his driveway. After they agreed, Sharpshooter Raymond re-entered the house and opened fire. First he picked off the driver (his helper scampered for the woods, unhurt), then two women who were driving by, killed the mother and blasted the father and two children of a family driving down the road, wounded two other passers-by before state police arrived.

Firing from the small windows of his concrete block cellar, Raymond kept police pinned down from 8:30 a.m. to midafternoon, escaped the stream of bullets pumped into the house by a 30-cal. machine gun set up in a general store 200 yards away. Finally, frustrated state police sent an urgent appeal to Governor David Lawrence, who approved use of a Walker bulldog tank manned by National Guardsmen to flush the killer. Rushed in by flatcar, the 25-ton tank lumbered to Chalk Hill, circled the bullet-pocked bungalow as police fired from the cover.

Toward sundown, almost nine hours after the siege had begun, the bungalow caught fire. Shotgun in hand, Raymond leaped from a second-story window and sprinted for his car parked in the driveway. Machine-gun bullets ripped him down. Four innocent men and women were dead; five others were wounded. And the curse had claimed the quiet one.

Dora Smith
Austin, TX


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