Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 20, 1976 · Page 145
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 145

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 20, 1976
Page 145
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End of a Dream There is something tragic in watching what once was a grand mansion crumpled into rubble, ' When Selmon Wells built his home in upper Ben's Run during the 1860's, it was the fulfillment of his dreams. Materials that went into the construction were nothing but the best. Stones and bricks for it were cut and made on the site. While it was being constructed, Sel was courting a young lady attending a girl's school at Arville, Tyler County. After they were married, Sel and his wife made many trips to Pittsburgh to select the furnishings. It was built on a knoll. The front lawn swept down to the Ohio River. On one side was a flower garden. There was a large barn and servant's quarters in the back. The Wells liked to entertain, and their home had a large ballroom on the third floor. From the tall windows of the ballroom guests had a sweeping, panorama of the Ohio Valley at their feet. Sel and his wife had three children, George, Russell, and Ernma. They grew up in the mansion. Russell moved into his own home nearby George went to California. Emma became a medical doctor, married a Holdren, and lived on in the homeplace. She built on another room to serve as her office. As the years passed, changes were made in the mansion to keep it in tune with the times. Gas lights replaced the oil lamps. Electricity replaced the gas. Plumbing was installed. Eventually, the mansion was sold and over'the remaining years passed through the hands of several different families: the Whartons, Georges, and the Martins. In 1966, it was finally sold to the Hope Natural Gas Co. and sat empty for some time. Vandals broke in, stealing the beautiful chandeliers and some of the mantels. C. E. Tucker and his family moved in as caretakers. Finally, .without proper maintenance, the fine old mansion deteriorated to the place where it was no longer safe to live in, and the Tuckers moved into a nearby trailer so they could still keep an eye on it.Then Hope Natural Gas decided demolition was the most practical solution. Cables were laced through the windows and bulldozers pulled the grand old house apart. . The hopes, the dreams, the pride were gone. 6m CHARLESTON. W.VA. June 20, 1976. Sunday Gazette-Mail

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