About The Pocahontas Times
The Pocahontas Times began in 1883 in Huntersville, then the county seat. Ownership changed hands twice before W.T. Price bought the publication in 1892 and moved its operations to Marlinton, where excitement about the railroad coming up the Greenbrier River was mounting and work on the new county courthouse had begun. A special election moved the county seat to Marlinton in 1891.
Rev. Price invested in the enterprise so that he could educate his children. He accomplished that, having three doctors and one attorney from his brood. Dr. Norman and Dr. Jim Price practiced medicine in the Marlinton area, made house calls and delivered many children. Dr. Susan Price was one of the first female physicians in the Alleghenies, eventually practicing medicine in Williamsburg, Virginia. Andrew Price, the attorney, was also Marlinton’s mayor and had a great hand in developing the first volunteer fire department.
But it was the youngest son, Calvin, who would take over the helm of the newspaper in 1906 and bring national attention to the small rural publication. Cal Price, dubbed “the Sage of Pocahontas,” traveled by train to New York City where he debated the editor of The New York Journal American, announcing that he knew all of his subscribers by name, while the big city editor did not. He was devoted to his county and was among the leaders of the conservation movement that would bring about the birth of the West Virginia Conservation Commission. He was one of the first board members of the National Wildlife Federation.
His interest in his craft branched out from his own newspaper and he was heavily involved with the West Virginia Newspaper Council, now the West Virginia Press Association. The P.I. Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University began while Cal Price was president of the newspaper council. It was his mission to educate the next generation of journalists to carry on the fourth estate in West Virginia.
When he died in 1957, his daughter, Jane, took over The Pocahontas Times and vowed to “keep going as long as she could.”
Jane Price Sharp, a widow with three children, married herself to the newspaper and made it her lifelong endeavor. Her husband, Basil, was killed at the Battle of the Bulge. They had three children, Basil, Jane and John, all of whom got a childhood job catching newspapers at the press.
Jane was the second female president of the West Virginia Press Association and made many trips to Washington, D.C., with the National Newspaper Association in the 1960s. Warned by West Virginia Hillbilly editor Jim Comstock that a woman couldn’t run a newspaper, she was roundly acclaimed by her peers in both associations and kept the newspaper going and growing as long as she was editor. Her political savvy was widely known, as well, and many a candidate dropped by The Pocahontas Times office for advice on how to run a campaign.
She handed over the reins to her nephew, William Price McNeel, in the 1980s. With his eye on the newspaper’s history, he maintained the paper’s traditional look and covered county government in depth. The author of two books, The Durbin Route and The Greenbrier River Trail, Bill McNeel is now retired and spends his winter months in warmer climes. He returns to Pocahontas County each spring to help maintain and operate the Pocahontas Historical Museum in Marlinton.
Much of the paper's current style and look was instituded by Pamela Pritt, who began at the newspaper in 1992 as an intern. She returned in 1993 to cover the three-week long Rainbow Murder Trial and became a full-time reporter in January 1995. When managing editor Russell Jessee, Jane’s grandson, decided to leave Pocahontas County to attend law school at his great-great-grandfather’s alma mater, Washington and Lee University, Pritt became a one-third owner in the county’s only newspaper. Since 1995, the newspaper has increased its scope to offer a monthly tourism supplement, Mountain Times, and several special sections throughout the year. The reporting staff has grown to cover more issues and events in greater depth, and the business has moved to Main Street to accomodate the expansion.
After two decades with The Pocahontas Times, at the end of 2012, Pritt stepped down as the paper's editor.
Today, Mountain Media, LLC, is the majority owner of The Pocahontas Times. The Editor is Jaynell Graham.
The Pocahontas Times website, www.pocahontastimes.com, is a fully interactive site that invites readers to participate in their community newspaper via the Internet.