WVTAYLOR-L ArchivesArchiver > WVTAYLOR > 2004-11 > 1100638304
Subject: Pruntytown (West Virginia ) Industrial School for Boys
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2004 15:51:44 EST
I am responding again to this genealogy inquiry, this time giving personal
experiences and remembrances, rather than pure research.
During my high school years (early 1950s), one of my best friend's father,
Bill Currey, whom I believe was once an orphan, was the Assistant Farm
Superintendent of the School. He and his family lived on what might have been part of
expanded Industrial School property (a huge farm once owned by my ggfather,
Hugh Evans). They lived in the little white house directly across from what was
once called Valley Inn, near the intersection of the roads that go from
Grafton to Clarksburg and to Fairmont.
I recall that many nights while staying over night with my friend, a
telephone call would come in that one or more of the boys had escaped from the
Industrial School. Bill would jump into his truck, his daughter and I going along.
We would drive along the back roads around the Pruntytown, Meadville,
Middleville and Webster area until the missing boys would be seen along one of the
Bill never scolded them. He would just drive up alongside them and say,
"Boys, would you like a ride back to the school?" Never once did I see them try to
turn and run. It was as though they were glad to be found during the darkness
of the night!
With sheepish grins and friendly recognition of Bill in his official
Industrial School truck, they would nod in agreement and jump into the back of the
truck. We would take them "home", just as though they had been on a planned
I do not recall us not finding the missing ones! Bill just always seemed to
know where to go to find them.
I think that Bill Currey was one of the finest and kindest men I ever knew. I
never saw him ever mistreat a boy in any way. He used the tactics of love
and respect and the boys seemed to respond to him likewise.
Hopefully, in all of the years of the school, other employees responded to
these boys in the same way. Living in Grafton, I knew many of the employees
there and I recall them as well-respected person in the community. Hopefully,
things were this way for your relative who lived there in 1910.
Dr. Charleen Evans-Thomas, genealogist and author of articles and research
papers concerning the West Virginia Industrial School for Boys.