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Laing expresses disappointment

By Staff | Feb 25, 2009

Dear Editor,

As a native of Sistersville with deep ancestral roots in the city and county, I enjoy keeping up with events and local issues in my hometown through your newspaper. However, I was deeply disappointed to read of Tyler County’s failure to honor an esteemed former governor and native son, the late Cecil Underwood, by the simple act of dedicating a school in his name. I would have expected wide public support for this, but it seems to have been sadly lacking.

You have an outstanding county high school in Tyler Consolidated, but its generic name, which is serviceable but not memorable or inspiring, hardly does this fine school justice. I find it hard to believe, and deplorable, that school officials would pass up the opportunity to rename it in honor of a distinguished West Virginian of local origin and a much-admired governor and human being.

My family and I knew Cecil Underwood well, and saw him frequently as a young, upcoming attorney in town during the time he had an apartment over Locke’s shoe store, which was a short distance from our home at 807 Wells. He is fondly remembered.

I sincerely hope school officials will reverse their negative decision in abruptly dropping the matter without discussion, and perform a public service that will honor both the school and Governor Underwood.


Joseph Thistle Laing

Arnold, Maryland