Thomas C. Whited

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From the Logan Banner we find this entry for Thomas C. Whited, who resided at Logan, West Virginia:

“Uncle Tom” Whited, United States commissioner, one of the county’s oldest citizens, and poet, came to Logan, or the present site of Logan, on October 11, 1877.

He was born on a Russell county, Virginia, farm in a one-room log cabin on November 25, 1854, the son of Robert and Anna Meadows Whited, who reared a family of ten children, nine boys and one girl.

“Uncle Tom” has only one brother living, the Rev. Charles S. Whited, a preacher in Raleigh county. His sister is dead.

His home was broken up by the Civil War, and Mr. Whited began the life of a vagabond, wandering about over the country seeking happiness, but never finding it until he came to Logan. He discovered the little frontier settlement as he was making his way on foot back to his Virginia home to take a job in a store.

“I just dropped in here, tired and sore-footed and decided to attend a teacher’s examination that was advertised for the town–mostly just to see what kind of a certificate I could get among strangers,” Mr. Whited said.

He received his certificate and taught his first term of school at the mouth of Mud Fork in 1877. Then followed terms at Chapmanville, Craneco, Logan and Hart’s Creek until 1883 when he was asked to take a position in the clerk’s office as deputy clerk.

Among the well-known citizens that “Uncle Tom” taught in his educational forays in Logan county were the Rev. J. Green McNeely; Ewell Deskins; Mrs. Ella Godby of Huntington, mother of Mrs. W.W. Beddow of Slagle; J.C. (Cush) Avis, and several of the Conley family.

From the position as deputy clerk, Mr. Whited rose in succession to circuit clerk, county superintendent of schools, city councilman, and United States Commissioner. He served a total of 18 years as circuit clerk of Logan county.

In 1930 Federal Judge George W. McClintic appointed “Uncle Tom” United States Commissioner which office he will hold for life unless removed by the judge on charges of misconduct.

“Uncle Tom” is a poet of no mean ability. His poetry is recognized throughout the county and some think his best work was a poem dedicated to the old elm tree in the court house square which was recently cut down.

He was instrumental in saving the tree when it was just a sprout and John W. Buskirk was about to dig it up to plant a locust orchard near the site of the present courthouse. “Uncle Tom” requested that the sprout be left to grow. It was not moved from the original spot where it sprouted until it was cut down in 1931, Mr. Whited said.

Mr. Whited married Miss Harriet Totten, daughter of the Rev. John A. Totten, pastor of the Southern Methodist Church in Logan, on March 4, 1887.

The couple reared a family of five children–two boys and three girls. All are still living. They are Mrs. W.B. Johnson, W.G. Whited, and Mrs. H.A. Callahan, all of Logan; Mrs. Hattie Rothrock, Charleston; and Thomas Harvey Whited whose residence is unknown.

Though 81 years old, “Uncle Tom” still manages the affairs of U.S. Commissioner and finds time to dash off a line or so of poetry now and then.

Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 17 April 1937.

J.T. Morris Addresses Kiwanis about Blair Mountain (1923)

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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history regarding the Armed March, or the Battle of Blair Mountain, dated March 30, 1923:

Morris Tells of Logan’s Invasion

Speaking before the Kiwanis club at its luncheon last Friday noon, J.T. Morris, who is now located at MacBeth, Logan county, told in some detail of the visit to Logan county on Sunday, March 4th, of the emissaries of the American Civil Liberties Union, characterizing the “invasion” as a “fizzle,” and stating that free speech was as free in Logan county as anywhere else in the country, but that both the mine workers and mine operators of the county were unalterably opposed to the United Mine Workers of America, and were in solid compact against it.

Mr. Morris stated that every mine worker in the Logan field was bound by his contract of employment to resist encroachment of the U.M.W.A., and that the employers in turn were bound in the same way and would resist to the last ditch. It was under these contracts, approved by a decision of the United States supreme court, the speaker said, that the recent injunctions against the United Mine Workers of America had been secured, and that these injunctions covered every means of attack except that brought about through the American Civil Liberties Union; which has also been busy with propaganda in the interest of C. Frank Keeney in Morgan county.

Their method of approach, widely advertised by inflammatory statements, Mr. Morris described as an insult to the people of Logan county. What was actually said at the meeting was very tame in comparison, he said. They merely generalized on the subject of free speech, and that didn’t worry Loganites, for any man can come into Logan and speak without hindrance so long as he stays within the limits of the law, of common decency and of the public interest.

Mr. Morris read extracts from the addresses of what he dubbed the “wise men of the east.”

Logan county is a unit in its resentment against its defamers. The bar association, the clergy, the chamber of commerce, the Rotary club–all have passed stirring resolutions condemning the insults heaped on the community.

Reprinted from the Raleigh Register

Union Miner Fugitive Shoots State Witnesses in Ohio (1923)

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On May 11, 1923, the Logan Banner printed this item relating to the “Armed March” or the Battle of Blair Mountain:

STATE’S WITNESSES ARE SHOT TO DEATH IN OHIO BY MARCHER

J.W. Swanner and Edward Reynolds, Chief Witnesses in Houston Trial, Murdered By Fugitive

POMEROY, O., May 9.–J.W. Swanner and Edward Reynolds, West Virginia miners, were shot and killed in the mining camp of Vulcan, near here, at 10 o’clock this morning by J.E. Miller, a coal miner. Miller gave as his reason that he feared the two men had come to kidnap him and take him back to West Virginia in connection with the Logan armed march.

Miller’s wife went to the door of their house when Swanner knocked. She closed the door and called to Miller who came to the door with his revolver. He fired through the glass at Swanner, shooting him in the left breast. Reynolds, who was a lame man, attempted to run away and Miller stepped outside the door and fired three shots into Reynolds’ back. Both men died almost instantly.

Were Unarmed

Persons who saw the shooting telephoned to the sheriff’s office at Pomeroy and Deputy Sheriffs Elmer Ashworth and David Moore responded and arrested Miller at his house.

Search of the bodies of Swanner and Reynolds disclosed that they were unarmed. Swanner had in his pocket a letter from A.M. Belcher, offering Miller immunity if the latter would return to West Virginia to testify in the armed march trials.

Swanner and Reynolds had both turned state’s evidence in these cases. When this fact became known the feeling expressed in the mining camp was that both men had got what they deserved. This section is very strongly union in sentiment.

Prosecuting Attorney L.C. Davis…

[I cropped the story here by mistake.]

Union Miners Shoot State Trooper in Mingo County, WV (1921)

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The following story appeared in the Logan Banner on July 8, 1921, providing some history for events in Mingo County, WV, after the murder of Baldwin-Felts agents in Matewan and before the killing of Sid Hatfield at Welch:

Union People Fire on State Trooper LB 07.08.1921 5

TROOPER SHOT IN MINGO FRAY

WOUNDED MAN MAY LOSE USE OF ARM AS RESULT OF THE AFFAIR

Trooper James A. Bolles, of Charleston, who was shot June 14 while engaged in searching for arms in the Lick Creek tent colony near Williamson, Mingo county, may lose the use of his right arm as a result of the injury. The search followed a complaint that automobiles passing on the public highway had been fired upon from the tent colony.

A detachment of state police, assisted by some 10 citizens who had volunteered and been sworn in as special state police, went to the camp to seize arms found there in order to prevent further shooting, the identification of any person using his rifle viciously and recklessly being impossible while many of the residents of the colony had arms.

With a party of 15 special state police, Trooper Bolles came upon a group of armed men. He ordered them to put down their weapons but was answered by a number of shots. The trooper and the citizens with him returned the fire with the result that Alexander Breedlove, on of the armed group, was killed.

Shot From Hillside

Some person hidden away on the wooded hillside opened fire and Trooper Bolles was struck in the back, the bullet breaking several bones and severing a number of nerves. Although severely wounded, the state police officer attempted to lift his rifle. He fell to the ground and was guarded by two armed civilians while others attempted vainly to locate the man who had shot him.

When first taken to hospital, Bolles’ chances of recovery appeared slight but the doctors later announced that he would get well but might lose the use of his right arm. The popularity of the injured trooper was such that many citizens of Williamson called upon him daily in the hospital.

Early Mahon: Banjoist in Mingo County, WV

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BANJO GUY COPYRIGHT

Early Mahon (1884-1969), son of Plyant and Vicie (Hatfield) Mahon. Plyant Mahon was a participant of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud. Early was the grandson of Valentine “Wall” Hatfield. The family holds the original photo.

Regional Place Names

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The following list of regional place names of streams is derived from Surveyors Record Book A at the Logan County Clerk’s Office in Logan, WV. Each document generally lists three dates for the survey; I chose to identify the earliest (Treasury warrant date) and the latest date (survey completion date). The purpose of this list is to document the earliest usage and spelling of a place name in my region. Logan County was extremely large in the 1820s and has since been partitioned to create new counties, so many of these places are not located in Logan County today. This list will be updated periodically.

Beech, a branch of Tug Fork (24 May 1825, 12 October 1825, p. 64)

Ben (26 July 1826, 13 October 1826, p. 89)

Bend of Guyandotte (30 April 1823, 3 March 1831, p. 129)

Big and Clear Fork of Guyandotte River (1 October 1818, 26 June 1826, p. 79)

Big Bottom Fork of Guyandotte (12 February 1823, 25 October 1827, p. 100)

Big Creek (11 December 1817, 25 October 1824, p. 34)

Big Fork of Guyandotte River (18 July 1825, 17 February 1826, p. 73)

Big Island [Logan] (16 February 1825, 17 January 1827, p. 94)

Bluff Mountain (1 October 1818, 21 February 1825, p. 37)

Bone Lick Bottom, New River (19 January 1824, 31 July 1830, p. 123)

Breckenridge’s forks of Cole River (31 January 1825, 27 February 1827, p. 100)

Buffalo (10 February 1825, 6 February 1827, p. 99)

Coal Branch of Guyandotte River (17 December 1824, 31 March 1825, p. 42)

Cow Creek of Island Creek (13 December 1823, 11 October 1826, p. 87-88)

Crawley (10 June 1824, 8 July 1825, p. 47)

Crawleys Creek (16 February 1825, 17 January 1827, p. 95)

Crooked Creek (16 February 1825, 1 April 1825, p. 43-44)

Defeats Branch on Little Huffs Creek (7 October 1830, 27 July 1831, p. 131)

Double Camp Branch of Clear Fork (1 June 1821, 29 December 1825, p. 69)

Drew’s Creek, one of the forks of Peech Tree, a branch of Marsh Fork of Cole River (22 July 1826, 15 October 1828, p. 109)

Elk, a branch of Guyandotte (14 January 1830, 22 November 1830, p. 127)

Elk, a branch of Pigeon (16 February 1825, 18 August 1825, p. 51)

Elkhorn Branch of Tug Fork (30 April 1825, 12 November 1826, p. 93)

Elkhorn River (30 April 1825, 1 November 1825, p. 65)

Flat Top Mountain (22 November 1824, 14 February 1826, p. 72)

Gilbert (14 January 1830, 26 August 1830, p. 121)

Grapevine, a small branch called Grapevine (8 July 1825, 14 October 1825, p. 63)

Green Shoal Creek (15 March 1826, 10 October 1826, p. 86-87)

Harts Creek (17 February 1824, 10 October 1826, p. 87)

Hewetts Creek, a branch of Spruce Fork of Coal River (20 May 1813, 11 April 1825, p. 44)

Horse Creek (10 February 1825, 22 July 1826, p. 92)

Horsepen Creek, a fork of Gilbert (14 January 1830, 26 August 1830, p. 121)

Huff Creek (11 December 1822, 11 March 1825, p. 40)

Huffs Creek (18 July 1825, 14 March 1828, p. 104-105)

Indian Creek (22 July 1826, 8 February 1827, p. 99)

Ingrams Branch, New River (6 October 1829, 4 December 1829, p. 117)

Island of Guyandotte [Logan] (17 December 1824, 18 January 1827, p. 96)

Island tract [Logan] (4 May 1826, 12 May 1830, p. 120)

Jacks Branch of Clear Fork (6 January 1824, 16 December 1825, p. 66)

Laurel Fork of Guyandotte River (17 February 1824, 27 August 1830, p. 122)

Left Fork of Island Creek (4 February 1817, 28 October 1824, p. 35)

Left Hand Fork of Ben, waters of Tug Fork (13 December 1823, 11 October 1826, p. 88)

Laurel Creek and Crooked Run, New River (10 May 1825, 25 August 1825, p. 56)

Laurel Fork of Pigeon Creek (17 December 1824, 10 October 1826, p. 85)

Laurel Fork of Twelve Pole (3 November 1813, 19 March 1825, p. 40)

Lick Branch (24 May 1825, 10 October 1826, p. 85)

Little Huff’s Creek (4 May 1826, 27 May 1829, p. 116)

Loop of New River (20 February 1821, 26 February 1825, p. 90)

Main Right Hand Fork of Big Creek (24 May 1825, 8 September 1825, p. 54)

Marsh Fork of Cole River (17 February 1823, 9 March 1825, p. 39)

Marshes of Cole River (30 April 1825, 3 February 1830, p. 118)

Mate, a branch of the Tug Fork of Sandy (8 July 1825, 11 October 1825, p. 62)

Mazzel, Little Huffs Creek (12 February 1825, 18 September 1829, p. 116)

Mill Creek, a branch of Guyandotte (18 July 1825, 28 January 1831, p. 128)

Mill Creek of Island Creek (10 January 1823, 29 October 1824, p. 36)

Millers Branch of Tug Fork (4 May 1826, 16 September 1826, p. 81)

North Branch of Big Creek (18 July 1825, 7 September 1825, p. 52-53)

North Fork of Big Creek (4 April 1825, 9 September 1825, p. 54)

Old Island survey [Logan] (22 July 1826, 17 January 1827, p. 95)

Peach Tree, a small branch called the Peach Tree (24 May 1824, 7 October 1825, p. 60)

Pete Huff’s Creek (18 July 1825, 27 August 1830, p. 125)

Peter Huffs Creek (13 December 1823, 12 November 1825, p. 66)

Pigeon Creek (16 February 1825, 15 October 1825, p. 63)

Pine Creek of Island Creek (4 February 1817, 27 October 1824, p. 35)

Pond Fork of Cole River (8 March 1826, 13 November 1828, p. 112-113)

Rock Creek (22 July 1826, 11 August 1828, p. 106)

Rock House Fork of Middle Fork of Island Creek (17 February 1824, 5 October 1825, p. 59)

Rock House Fork of Pigeon (6 February 1825, 22 March 1825, p. 41)

Rum Creek (23 November 1824, 17 July 1828, p. 105)

Sand Lick Fork of Cole River (14 May 1826, 31 January 1827, p. 97)

Shannon branches, Tug Fork (6 December 1828, 2 September 1830, p. 125-126)

Skin Fork of Cole River (12 February 1825, 29 October 1828, p. 111)

Spruce Fork of Coal River (16 February 1825, 22 April 1825, p. 45)

Tonies Fork of Big Cole and Horse Creek (10 February 1825, 22 July 1826, p. 92)

Trace Fork of Big Creek (16 February 1825, 8 September 1825, p. 52)

Tug Fork of Sandy River (10 March 1825, 24 March 1825, p. 42)

Turtle Creek, a branch of Little Coal River (13 December 1824, 12 April 1825, p. 45)

West Fork of Cole River (12 February 1825, 10 November 1828, p. 111-112)

Wolf Pen Creek, branch of New River (10 May 1825, 25 August 1825, p. 56)

Wolf Pen Creek at mouth of Rattlesnake Branch (10 February 1825, 11 January 1826, p. 71)