I recently ran across this newspaper clipping from a 1903 edition of the Hinton Daily News. The story made me smile a bit. Hinton is a coal mining town in Southern West Virginia and there's no doubt that it was a tough place around the turn of the century.
It was particularly tough for traveling salespeople because neither the criminals nor the justice system had much respect for them...
LIFE IS CHEAP IN FAYETTE COUNTY
The case of Walter Smith of Mt. Hope who shot and killed a traveling salesman named Arrington in the Dun Glen dining room at Thurmond several months ago was called up in circuit court in Fayette County and was compromised by the court accepting a plea of assault and battery and fixing a minimum fine of one dollar and costs.
Today, that one dollar would be a whopping $23.95. Surely we're worth more than that today!