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Phinias G. McVay

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About Phinias G. McVay

  • Editor~Publisher Kalispell Union

ID Card

  • Role
    Supporting Character
  • Playby
    Goeffry Lewis
  • Full Name
    Phinnias Goeffry McVay
  • Goes By
    Phinn
  • Profession
    Newspaper man
  • Position
    Editor/Publisher
  • Birth Date
    1833
  • Status
    Widower
  • Height
    5'11"
  • Hair Color
    Brown
  • Eye Color
    Blue

Physical Description

Stands 5'11", medium of build with brown hair, p blue eyes. One hundred sixty pounds. Generally wears a sack suit with shirt & tye. Has a slight worn dark gray low top hat. When on the move, he wears the oldest of his clothes.

 

Traits & Characteristics

  • Fair and honest publishing. (+)
  • Tough when trouble comes. (-/+)
  • True to his given word or handshake. (+)
  • When forced he'll stand his ground. (-)

General Personality

Phinn is a likable cuss unless a printed story sheds a poor light on you. He is, for the most part, friendly and outgoing. Generally likes people and considers everyone a friend until proven otherwise.

 

 

Employment

Employment Details
None at this time

Professional Skills

  • Top writer and typesetter with the Grand Island Independent, Grand Island Nebraska 1869-1874
  • Printers Devil 1843, Apprentice 1850, Albany Dispatch
  • Pressman~Omaha World-Herald 1850~1858
  • Columnist~Omaha World-Herald 1858~1861

Expertise

Self Defense
 

Aliases / Nicknames

Phinn

Residense(s)

Current Residence

Newly arrived.

Place of Birth
Albany, Georgia

Kith & Kin

| FAMILY |

Father: Angus McVay ~ deceased

Mother: Danielle Hudson (McVay) ~ Deceased

Brother: None

Sister: Angelique Rose McVay

|NON-FAMILIAL CONNECTIONS |

Friends

None at this time, new in town.

Foes
None at this time, but, it's early yet. You know how newspaper men can be.

Life Events

1843 ~ 1850

Worked as a printers devil and lived at home. His schooling was working the type cases, counting sheets a paper to be printed. His mother took care of his writing, spelling and the like.

1850 ~ 1858

Ran away from home at 17. Pressman~Omaha World-Herald 1850

1858

Columnist~Omaha World-Herald 1858~1861

Talk of secession was spreading throughout the country and being southern born and bred, Phin headed south to join up just as the war broke out. he was assigned to the Tennessee Mounted Rifles and met then privet Nathan Forrest.

1861 ~ 1865

He is a fair shot with either rifle or pistol from his time in the War Between The States. He served with Nathan Bedford Forrest onward in the 3rd Virginia Cavalry and through his commands to the Forrest's Cavalry Corps. He discharged at wars end as a First Sergeant.

1865 ~ 1869

Fairly disillusioned, Phinn sort of drifted one meaningless job to the next until he found himself back in Omaha in where he did odd jobs until he saw an ad for a columnist in Grand Island.

1869 ~ 1874

Not only did he win the job, but he also agreed to take on typesetting job for which he was well trained.  Phinn emersed himself in the community where he met, courted and married Elizabeth "Beth" Howell if a middle-class family For the next three years they were the happiest couple in Grand Island. However, the winter of '74 was harsher than normal, Beth took a fall and contracted pneumonia. She could never regain enough strength to fight it and succumbed.

Once the funeral was completed, Phinn sold the hose and everything of value. Bought a wagon, two mules, a saddle horse, an old press and type cases along with paper and inks and headed west.

 

 

Character Notes

Education Details

Possibly the 8th or 9th grade
Languages Spoken:

English

Animals: A pair of grey mules to pull his wagon and black saddle horse

Character Concept:
Every town needs a newspaper, Phinn fills the bill and then some.

Player Notes

To be added later as needed.

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Recent Posts

  1. Phinias G. McVay
  2. Phinias G. McVay
    [McVay & Mudd]
     
    She made to go, but then, looking back at the kindly gent who flummoxed, at least, consented to look over her scribblings, she felt she owed it to him to give him a little advice, free of charge.
     
    Facing back to him, she approached Phineas and sort of patting him on the arm, like you might pet a dog or pat a horse, she said “And listen, you know when your speakin’ or writin, it’s best to say it plain so folks can understand what all your jawin’ about. Just a little pointer from a fellow writer.” She gave him a brave smile and left him to think it over.
     
    Old Sump himself couldn’t have given a better bit of advice.
     
    Phinn sat, befuddled. What had just happened? Thinking he had an reliable eye-witness to the robbery attempt and all that followed, instead he was treated to a torrent of words about the event. A overly dramatic presentation of distorted facts about what actually happened. Totally un-newsworthy. He glanced at what notes he had and shook his head in disbelief at what he had just witnessed.
     
    He paused the fractured thought process long enough to open the desk drawer and withdraw half empty pint bottle of whiskey, which was on hand for just such an occasion. He took a pull, re-corked the bottle and replaced it, closing the drawer.
     
    It was not so much the re-enactment of the robbery attempt, but what followed, in the form of a newspaper column, that made him shutter. For fear of some bizarre accident where the type was actually set, the words actually printed, and an issue actually delivered to the public, Phinn walked to the stove, opened the door and tossed the paper into the flames.

    It had been a most trying afternoon. He would close up early and retire to his rooms at the boarding house.
     
    Fini
  3. Phinias G. McVay
    “Oh, that’s all right, I write the questions, too!” Arabella explained breezily.
     
    He paused, looking at the young girl. “Aren’t you a bit young to be advising these people in matters of the heart?” And the moment it was out, Phinn regretted having asked.
     
    “Uh-uh” Arabella disagreed, shaking her head “Nearly 16’s the best age … I’m still optimistic!” she announced with unshakable logic.

    Shaking his head in begrudging agreement, as if at the magic age of sixteen the answers of life and love were there for the plucking. And in this case, for the publishing in the Kalispell Union for the entire county to read. He was beginning to fill slightly ill.
     
    “Anyhow, I made a few changes. For a start, I’ve expanded it to medical problems too, they’re even funnier to read about than folks’ love-life woes. Also, I changed the name to Ask Old Sump, I’d better not use my own name in case I give someone some dangerous advice, y’know? They might come looking for me.”

    “Yes, a risk of being published, to be sure. Old Sump is it?” He mistakenly asked, but it seemed she was preoccupied with something he might not want to now about, and may not have heard a word he said.
     
    The girl then felt around in her apron pocket and produced a piece of paper with writing on it in pencil, in an execrable hand.
     
    “I wrote you up a specimen – but I’m holdin’ my best stuff back, case you try and steal it.” she warned, handing him the tatty piece of paper, which read:
     
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dear Old Sump,
    My friends make fun of me because I smell. What shall I do?
    Yours ‘Pongy’ of Main Street.
     
    Dear ‘Pongy’,
    These people are not your friends. Find some folk who like you even though you have a bad odor. Then take a bath, your friends deserve it!
    -          OS
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dear Old Sump,
    I have a painful boil on the place I sit down, I cannot afford a doctor, what shall I do?
    Yours ‘Tender’.
     
    Dear ‘Tender’,
    Sit somewhere else!
    -          OS
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dear Old Sump,
    I worry that I am too bow legged to attract a woman, what shall I do?
    Yours ‘Cowboy’
     
    Dear ‘Cowboy’,
    Believe in yourself! Go out and find your woman – she is out there! But don’t try to stop a pig in a alley.
    -          OS
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Phinias G. McVay was in shock. Never in all his years in the newspaper business had he ever read anything to match the audacity, the credulous disregard for journalistic ability, vain attempt at something print worthy. At least in his newspaper.

    But, she was after all, a child, an impetuous, brash, unabashed young woman, so he attempted a smile. He had to think fast of some delaying tactic until he could let her down gently. As gently as would be possible.
     
    The Beatrice Fairfax of Kalispell beamed proudly as the veteran newspaper editor looked over her journalistic Opus. “You take that with you if you like and think it over Mr. McVey, but don’t dawdle, I think the New York Times might be interested if you ain’t.” she advised him.
     
    “Yes, yes, of course, unlike the Times however, I am bound to investors who would have to see your work,  and then would need to have a vote as to whether or not they could, or would, approve of granting you a column. You see there is a difference between could and would . They could most certainly approve of your prose, leaving the question, would they approve the inclusion in the Union as an on going column. You understand, such is business these days.”
     
    “They would need to know if you had obtained an agent, or manager on salary, which also brings into focus, if in fact they would be able to afford you as a paid columnist. Not having the final word on these matters I cannot say how this will proceed, nor how long it might take to receive a response."
     
    @Javia
  4. Phinias G. McVay
    McVay stopped and turned, hearing his name called, and the phrase “I saw the whole thing.” He smiled, nothing like an eye witness to the crime, or was it crimes? “Yes young lady, yes, saw it all did you? I suppose you and I need to talk then.”
     
    “Sure I did, sure!” declared Arabella, reaching the editor of Kalispell’s premier (and only) newspaper. “Arabella Sumpter Mudd, Miss, at your service!” she said, panting and enthusiastically thrusting out her hand.

    “Pleased to make your acquaintance, Miss Arabella Sumpter Mudd. A pleasure indeed.” he said politely and shook her hand gently.
     
    “You might remember my name, I left a note at the Newspaper Offices last month offerin’ to write a ‘Advice for the Lovelorn’ column in the Union for ya, and advisin’ you to write more stories about Tom Love and his outlaw gang. He’s my favourite. Cole Younger, close second.” She looked around at the carnage and devastation around them. “I mean, look at this mess, Tom Love and his boys would’a done a much better job of robbin’ that ol’ bank than this!” she told him in no uncertain terms.

    “Tom Love? Is he about? Hadn’t heard he was in the country.” Phinn asked, as this would be the first he had head of Love and his gang. “As for Mister Younger, I believe he is currently doing time, presently.”
     
    “Anyhow, here’s what happened. I was just walking down the street like this…” she mimicked walking on the spot. “… and then poor Mr. Olsen came a flying out of the bank like this…’They’re robbin’ the bank boys!’” she mimicked the late gentleman’s look of excitement and his last words in his last few seconds on earth. “And then he got shot like this… Bang! Arrrgghhhh!” She clutched her hand to her chest and fell in a dead heap on the ground, she lay with her eyes closed for a second, and then scrambled to her feet and dusted herself off.
     
    Phinn sat, mouth somewhat agape as he watched the demonstration before him. It was as if he were at the theater, not getting a first hand report of the robbery and murder that had just occured.

    “Anyhow, then I was real scared, case they shot me too, so I ran screamin’ all the way to the saloon, that’s where I live, see, and I ran in and said to Mr Flandry, he’s the barman, see, I says ‘Mr Flandry, they’re robbin’ the bank!’ and he says ‘Don’t you worry Arabella, I will protect you!’ and I said,…”
     
    Phinn Had ceased trying to write down the story of the event and just watched the performance on display in his office. He thought to say something, but figured that saying nothing might be the better tact to take as he was unsure exactly what might happen should he interrupt. So he pretended to be jotting in his notebook instead.
     
    She carried on for a good five minutes at poor McVey, mostly about her own non-role in the whole affair and how Mr. Flandry had gallantly rescued Mrs Blakeley, stopping every now and again to check he was getting it all down and spelling out hard words for him like M.u.d.d. and F.l.a.n.d.r.y and M.s. E.m. finally she finished, at the point where she had run up to him and totally wasted his time.
     
    Finally, spent on that topic, she took a deep breath, then asked “So, how come you never wrote back to me about ‘Ask Aunt Arabella’?

    All but stunned, Phinn looked at Arabella a long moment as he composed himself. “Oh yes, your note. I have and am considering it, however it needs questions to be asked by the, ah, lovelorn before we could do much of anything in the way of a column, and at present, expenses outpace income, though we are growing.
     
    He paused, looking at the young girl. “Aren’t you a bit young to be advising these people in matters of the heart?” And the moment it was out, Phinn regretted having asked.
    @Javia
  5. Phinias G. McVay
    “Hey!! Hey!!! Mr. McVay! I seen the whole thing!!” she yelled at the man as she ran toward him.
     
    McVay stopped and turned, hearing his name called, and the phrase “I saw the whole thing.” He smiled, nothing like an eye witness to the crime, or was it crimes? “Yes young lady, yes, saw it all did you? I suppose you and I need to talk then.”
    @Javia
  6. Phinias G. McVay
  7. Phinias G. McVay
    Like a bee to honey, or several other descriptors that could be used, Phinias was right there and standing in the middle of the street with his note pad and pencil jotting down what he saw as quickly as he could.  He watched as Marshal Guyer hustled a wounded outlaw down the street to the jail, just as Deputy Pike rounded the corner with another, also wounded. With him was Jack Ryker, a new man in town that  Phinn had an interest in, as he was a new man in town.
     
    There were three men in the street and a downed horse, one he recognized as Olson who had run the lumber company. He saw Missus Blakesley being escorted by the saloon keeper Ralph Flandry toward the Lickskillet, she looked a bit tousled, he would find out more about that, but not right at the moment. 
     
    It was clear that the attempted bank robbery had come to a violent, and unsuccessful end. Now his question was, who were these would be bandits? Where were the from? Was it a larger gang that Kalispell might have to worry about, or just a small group of inept amateurs. This would be an edition by its self!
     
    And the new owner, manager of the bank, Charles Wentworth Senior, what will he have to say about all of this? This was, as far as he knew, a first for Kalispell. Oh, there had been a good deal of outlawry  in the area, there had been attempt on the stagecoach, there was a good deal of rustling, and there was always the war on the "nesters" to contend with. Although that particular crime had been quiet for sometime, even before Whitefish met it's demise.
    @Any
     
  8. Phinias G. McVay
    Mature Content: Nope
    Author: Put your OOC username here ONLY if posting with a Shared NPC. 
    With: List characters and NPCs in the thread.
    Location: Add specific location information here.
    When: April 1876
    Time of Day: Morning
     

     
    Start your post here.
  9. Phinias G. McVay
    Mature Content: No
    When: December 1875

     

  10. Phinias G. McVay
    Not to be left behind and sure that his wartime experience could be of help, Phinn was one of the first to head the call when it came.  Of course, there was a story in it, it was a disaster after all. But his humanity took over, there were people left behind in Whitefish and they needed help.
     
    He would get that story and be of service to his fellow man, regardless of who they were, or where they were from. He had ceased to care much about prejudices after the surrender, as he saw no good was coming from it. Part of the reason he had moved west.
     
    Phineas McVay was hardly a perfect human being and admittedly so, but like some in his business, he was not callous to the suffering of others. He had seen far too much of that.
     
    Tag Players!

About Sagas

Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.

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