Past wedding of John Travis

The Stewart Bell Jr. Archives at Handley Regional Library shared this photo labeled as the wedding of John Travis in the 1960s. They believe the man in the center with the carnation in his lapel is John Travis, but they don’t know the identities of the other men. If you do, call 540-662-9041 ext. 17 or email

100 years ago

Representative T.W. Harrison of this district, who returned recently from France and Germany with other members of the House committee on military affairs, has loaned to the Handley Library a large map, giving in detail the locations of the various American Army divisions during the war in France. It is one of the largest maps ever placed on exhibition here.

Returned soldiers can now take their friends to the library and show them the exact spot where the Winchester and Frederick County soldiers fought along the western front.

June 5, 1919

A larger crowd than has gathered for years was present in Winchester yesterday for the annual observance of Confederate Memorial Day. The size of the crowd was very conservatively estimated at not less than 10,000 persons.

The county hitching yard was crowded with buggies and carriages, which was to be expected for a Sixth of June celebration, but the number of motor vehicles was by far the greatest that has ever been brought into the city from the country districts. Long lines of cars were parked on practically every street.

In the parade which formed on Market Street and marched through several of the principal thoroughfares, were veterans of three wars, the former Confederate soldiers in their uniforms of gray and those of the war with Germany in the khaki of the United States Army. Among the latter were quite a large number of men who had seen service during the Spanish American war.

The Confederate soldiers rode in automobiles, and were the center of interest.

June 7,1919

The annual exhibit of woodwork, sewing, basketry, etc., of the colored schools of Winchester and Frederick County, will be held at the Douglas School, on East Piccadilly Street, on June 12.

The closing exercises of the school will be held at the John Mann Methodist Episcopal Church in the evening at 8:30. Professor P.W. Gibson is principal of the local colored schools.

June 9, 1919

This week marks the closing of the session of 1918-1919 in the Winchester Public Schools. In spite of epidemics, war conditions, and other handicaps, the schools have maintained their former standard.

Following the annual custom, the school will go in a body to Mount Hebron Cemetery to pay respect to the memory of John Kerr, benefactor of the schools. At this time his grave will be covered with flowers as will be that of Capt. J.C. Van Fossen, the former principal.

The graduating exercises of the class of 1919 will be held at the Empire Theater on June 13.

June 9, 1919

At the June meeting of the local council of the Boy Scouts of America, it was decided to unite the three local scout troops into one troop, to be known as the First Troop, under the leadership of Scout Commissioner L. Marshall Baker.

The Sixth of June was the first time in five years that the three troops have worked as one though the actual union will not take place until July 1.

June 10, 1919

The death of Milford Johnson, a former slave, who was born near Winchester, is announced in the Daily Leader of Kittaning, Pa.

Milford was born on the plantation of a Mr. Opie, near Winchester. Later when a daughter of Mr. Opie was married to George Riddle, Milford became her property. During the Civil War he drove a supply wagon in the Confederate Army. President Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation gave him his freedom. His wife, who was also a slave, was owned by an Englishman. They had 12 children, five of whom still survive. His wife and children place his age at 89 years. His wife had both feet amputated several years ago, but is still quite active.

June 10, 1919

75 years ago

Wherever two or more people were gathered together in Winchester and Frederick County today the vital topic of discussion was the invasion.

Planned for months and discussed an equal length of time through the press and radio with many guesses as to when it would take place, the official announcement of the Allied landings in France were calmly accepted by local citizens.

Radio stations started broadcasting reports from the German radio concerning the invasion shortly after midnight, the local raido station going on the air at 1:45 this morning. The first public announcement of the event here was at 4:53 when the fire sirens were blown.

The sirens blew longer than usual and were not accompanied by the sound of the fire trucks which led many people to believe that it was the long awaited invasion signal.

All city churches are open today and two have planned special services tonight.

D-Day services were combined this morning with Confederate Day memorial rites in Stonewall Cemetery.

Stores were closed. Schools now also dismissed. Streets will be crowded in spite of overcast skies.

June 6, 1944

The Winchester Common Council meeting in regular session last night, June 6th, D-Day, completed their order of business in the record time of 45 minutes.

Chief action of the evening was the granting of the Frederick County Farm Labor Committee permission to use the “Smithfield” land of Harry Butler, between the Virginia Avenue School and Kern Street, as a site for erecting a Prisoner of War labor camp.

June 7, 1944

50 years ago

Forrest E. Jones, safety and personnel director for Allegheny Freight Lines of Winchester, has been selected director of the 1969 Virginia Truck Roadeo to be held in Norfolk June 27 and 28.

At the Roadeo, truck drivers from throughout Virginia will display their driving skills and job knowledge. Only drivers who have had no traffic accidents during the past year may participate.

June 9, 1969

25 years ago

Winchester churches have been asked to ring their bells to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. More than 175,000 soldiers, including Winchester’s National Guard company, were involved in the assault.

The idea for the bell-ringing was suggested by John O. Marsh Jr., former Secretary of the Army, during a recent speech at Christ Episcopal Church.

June 4, 1994

The 50th Anniversary of D-Day also marked the dedication of the new headquarters for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division on U.S. 50 East in Frederick County.

Maj. Gen. John F. Sobke, deputy chief of engineers for the corps in Washington, D.C., said Monday that the thousands of soldiers who invaded France on June 6, 1944, would be proud of the accomplishments of today’s Corps of Engineers.

June 7, 1994

— Compiled by Priscilla Lehman

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