Westover's Frank Morton -determined hobbiest in battle
THE WESTOVER SHOP AND MORTON
Dominion-Post Staff Writer
The following may be reprinted through the kindness of The
Dominion-Post newspaper of Westover, West Virginia 26505. We thank
them for the permission and an interesting story. Anna Mae
Frank Morton is a retired master mechanic, an individualist, and
a very determined man. His hobby is rebuilding antique engines and
he pursues the avocation with a great deal of determination.
He is also engaged in a hot-and-cold war with his neighbors and
the Town of Westover and he shows equal determination in this
His front yard, basement and house are filled with old gasoline
and steam engines and the parts, bits and pieces used to repair and
To a visitor, who is interested in ancient machinery,
Morton's yard is rather fascinating.
To his neighbors, it is an eyesore and nuisance.
Morton was fined $14.60 Thursday night for the alleged nuisance
his machinery is creating.
Westover Mayor John C. McKinney levied the- fine against him in
mayor's court after a warrant had been filed by Mrs. Raymond
Pierce, a neighbor.
Morton pleaded not guilty to the charge and now intends to
appeal the decision in the next term of the county circuit court in
early October. He contends that the Westover city ordinance which
holds operation of such a machine as illegal, is
One of the things that really troubles the neighbors about the
'junk' in Morton's yard is that he is an expert at
rebuilding the old equipment and most of the old engines actually
run. Since most of the motors are over 50 years old, they also make
a good bit of noise when they get going.
A key piece of equipment is a nicely painted, operative steam
jenny that he often uses to clean other equipment. In a petition to
the town board, his neighbors maintained that the jenny makes
noises and also emits unpleasant odors.
One of the problems with Morton and the neighbors is that he is
a man who is accustomed to solving problems in his own way. One of
the complaints leveled against his property was that a large amount
of unused lumber is stacked in the yard.
Despite the bitterness of the long running quarrel, Morton
conceded that the lumber was unattractive. 'Anyway, it was
warped and not much good.' He found a lady needing kindling and
immediately hooked up one of his 50-year-old Hercules gasoline
engines to a- saw and began sawing up wood.
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