Aracoma Drug Company (1927)


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From the Logan Banner of Logan, West Virginia, comes this item of history relating to Aracoma Drug Company, dated May 20, 1927:

K. & H. Drug Store is Sold to New Co.

A new company composed of local business men has purchased of F. Kerwood the K. & H. drug store fronting the northeast corner of the Court House. An inventory of the stock was completed last night but the store will not be re-opened before June 1. Meanwhile, elaborate improvements will be made in the front and the interior.

The purchaser is the Aracoma Drug Company, newly incorporated, among the organizers being Victor N. Griffith, office deputy under Sheriff T.S. Hatfield, and his cousin, O.D. Griffith, present manager of the Valley Drug Store. The latter will be in charge of the business. He has been here about three years and is widely known in this section.

Mr. Kerwood, who has been engaged in this business for three years, has made no definite plans for the future, he said last night.

The founder of this store was W.O. Poole, now in the drug business in Williamson, and formerly of Omar. From him Ford McDonald acquired it. Then it passed to Charles Bennett by whom it was sold to Mr. Kerwood and J.G. Hunter, hence its name K. and H.

Matilda Wade (1929)


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In April of 1929, the Logan Banner profiled numerous prominent African-American residents of Logan County, West Virginia.

Matilda Wade

Teacher, Cora School

Miss Wade is a graduate of Douglas High School, Huntington, and West Virginia State College; she has done summer work at the same institution. This is Miss Wade’s first term as a teacher, but her adeptness and aggressive methods have the knack and precision of those of longer experience. Miss Wade has a pleasing manner in her school work which brings willing and immediate reaction from her pupils. Her ideals in education are high. With her disposition to apply herself, and the active and energetic methods she employs, she is bound to reach a high place in her profession. Miss Wade is a member of the West Virginia Teachers’ Association. She possesses another splendid quality in her ability to make friends among the patrons of her community.

Whirlwind News 04.12.1927


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An unnamed correspondent from Whirlwind on Big Harts Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on April 12, 1927:

Sunday school is progressing nicely at Trace.

A large crowd attended the last days of Howard Adams’ school Friday. All reported a fine time.

James Carter of Monaville was visiting home folks of Hoover Sunday.

Wonder if Daniel McCloud got all the news Sunday evening.

Howard Adams went up Hoover whistling “Hard Times.” His mustache caught on fire.

Wonder what Burl Mullins was interested in Saturday evening that he forgot to shave.

There are several sick children in our town with whooping cough at present.

Jackson McCloud is making his home at Daniel McCloud’s.

We are all listening for the wedding bells to ring on Hoover. Look out Burl, you will be sure to hear them.

Shade Smith of Whirlwind was calling on friends at Daniel McCloud’s Sunday.

Burnie Adams is very ill with whooping cough at this writing.

Wonder why Will Adams was stepping so high Saturday? He must have been afraid of getting his sox muddy.

Wonder why Lucy McCloud looks so down hearted these days? Cheer up Lucy, you have made a bad mistake.

The funniest thing we heard last week was Mrs. Dixie Adams making Howard change beds.

Daily happenings: Daniel losing his cane; Earl and his potatoes; Lucy lost her ___; May got disappointed; Alice and her job; Uncle Jack chewing his tobacco; Tilda going to see __; Charlie and his black eye; Clyde going to the store.

A History of Methodism in Logan (1927)


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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Methodists in Logan County, WV. The story is dated April 26, 1927:


Methodists from all parts of Logan county and even more distant points are expected to attend the dedication next Sunday of the new First M.E. Church in this city. As previously announced, an impressive program for the day has been arranged. Dr. Daniel Westfall, of Pittsburgh, Rev. J.E. Bird, of Huntington, and Rev. J.S. Thornburg, of Kenova, will be here to assist the pastor, Rev. Ben F. Donley.

It is more than a century ago that Methodism took root in Logan county. There are authentic records telling of the activities of the followers of the Wesleys as far back as 1825, the year the county was carved out of Tazewell, Giles, Cabell and Kanawha. Students of local church history are convinced that Methodist ministers labored in this field prior to that date. Their first goings and comings antedate the West Virginia Conference, which was established by the General Conference while assembled in Pittsburgh in 1848.

For the following review of the history of Methodism in Logan, the Banner is indebted to an adherent of the church who has just been delving into the subject:

First Church Prepares for Dedication

Methodism had its beginning in what is now Logan county in the year 1825 of which we have record, but we feel sure that even before that there were Methodist preachers in the confines of the county.

The History of Methodism in Logan county beings even before we have a West Virginia Conference. It was established by the General Conference while assembled in Pittsburgh in 1848.

Methodism, like all other denominations in Logan county and elsewhere, has been intermittent, not always able to have ministers enough to supply all its work; but wherever possible having local men to exhort the people, and some of these men became great ministers of the church.

Logan County’s Methodism has fared somewhat like that. It has been intermittent in its work. They have had many ministers and many times they have been without a minister. Because of this a large portion of the history has been lost, so far as records are concerned, but in the heart and mind of Methodist people there remains the story of Methodism in Logan county which has been given to them by their ancestors.

At Guyandotte in 1804

We know from the general church history that Bishop Asbury preached in this section of the country before the year 1825 and the minister who was preaching in Guyandotte at the mouth of our river came into the county and preached as early as 1804.

The local church has within the jurisdiction property that was deeded to the church as early as the year 1844 and at this time is defending in the Circuit Court of Mingo county title to property that was deeded to the church in 1882.

The First Methodist Church has been using the old church building or 21 years. It was started by the Reverend J.W. Bedford, who is now living at Parsons, W.Va., and who is still active in serving a church. He began traveling this field in 1872. His circuit included these places as some of the appointments: Claypoool Chapel, Logan, Orville, Starr Chapel, and others that made a circuit of over a hundred miles in length. He walked most of the time and won for himself the name “Walking Joe,” which holds to this day.

The Rev. J.S. Thornburg, a brother of the Rev. Thornburg of this city, was the first preacher in the new church built in 1904. This building has served its people well, but now the needs of the present congregation are so great that they cannot be served in the old building.

In 1924 the Rev. Ben F. Donley was appointed pastor of the local congregation. Upon arrival he found a very much discouraged people, but that willingness that has characterized the Christian people from the beginning–a willingness to arise and work.

Without much ado, or even any shouting from the housetops as to what they were going to do, they set themselves to the task of doing what seemed the impossible.

Planning for Future

The church board made a survey of the community and of the church to find out its needs and to see if it were possible for them to supply them. The first one that arose was the need of a new church building, Sketches were drawn of a building that would care for the church for a number of years, but upon consideration it was decided that the coat was prohibitive. It was then decided to build a part now and complete the plans in the near future. This included departmental rooms and a modern parsonage.

Contract was let to the firm of Crump and Reardin, of Huntington, and ground was broken on November 23, 1926. The corner stone was laid January 13, this year by W.T. Workman, the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the A.F. & A.M., of West Virginia.

The new edifice to be presented for dedication on Sunday, May 1, is of English architecture, a very beautiful structure.

Don Chafin: The Most Famous Sheriff in the United States (1925)


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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this item about Don Chafin, sheriff of Logan County during the Armed March. The story is dated November 6, 1925.

Don Chafin Renowned as Sheriff of Logan

His Prowess During Threatened Invasion of Union Miners is Recalled in Mingo Republican

Bids Friends Goodbye

Don Chafin, former sheriff of Logan county, paid what might be his farewell visit to Williamson for a long time on Tuesday. While here he expressed to many his appreciation of their concern for him in his present plight.

Chafin was the most famous sheriff in the United States during his regime in Logan county, where he ruled with an iron hand. He was the main prop in the Democratic machine there and a prominent figure in the life of the county.

Sheriff Chafin won his greatest fame during the threatened invasion of Logan county by the armed march of 5,000 or more miners bent on destroying the Logan court house and finally reaching Williamson to release from the local jail a number of union men charged with violations of Gov. Morgan’s martial law.

Sid Hatfield and Ed Chambers, two well known union men of Matewan, had just been killed on the court house steps at Welch and the passions of the miners were thoroughly aroused. The armed march was once halted but was resumed after a midnight battle between the officers and miners on the county road near Sharples.

The invasion then began with forts and vigor. The defenders of Logan under the leadership of Sheriff Chafin were intrenched along a wide front and several clashes took place. The fame of the the doughty sheriff caused many from the outside to rally to his banner.

Mr. Chafin has numerous relatives and friends here to whom the parting was one of real regret. They are steadfast in their belief in his innocence, claiming that he is the victim of a frameup. Chafin was profuse in his expressions of gratitude over the loyalty of his friends on this side of the Logan line.

New Year’s Raid (1888): Randolph McCoy’s Testimony


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Randolph McCoy’s testimony in the Johnse Hatfield murder trial provides one version of the Hatfield raid upon McCoy’s home on January 1, 1888:

Q. “How old are you?”

A. “I was born in 1825.”

Q. “Begin in your own way, and tell all about the case that you know.”

A. “The first thing I knew about it the dogs woke me up. My boy came to the bed and said, ‘Pa, they are coming. Get up.’ And by that time I was up on the floor, and they had surrounded the house and 1 heard one of them say, ‘God damn ye, come out and surrender yourselves, prisoners of war.’ We never spoke. By that time, they had come past the upper house as we called it. We got behind that door that broke. They fired a volley each way in the house and I moved for I saw that I could not stay there. Next, I went to the fireplace. Calvin went to the back of the house. They shot cross shots from each side of the door, through the doors. I stayed there a good while. They kept shooting and, finally, I went into the loft. The firing kept up a long time. I thought it a long time. Finally, they fired the house, the room that I was in, me and my wife, Calvin, and Melvin was in the same room. I took a cup and when the blaze would come through the house I would throw water on it and it out. Finally, the water gave out. The boy had gone up in the loft and I went up where he was. We stayed in the house until three of the joists had burned and the end of the joists had fell down before we had attempted to leave the house. The boy then came to me and said, ‘Pa, ye stay here, I can out-run you and I will go to the barn and try to attract their attention in that direction and maybe I can save you.’ He started and got past the corner of the house when they began firing again. He never got to the barn. The little boy hung onto me but I shoved him loose at the door and went out among them. I stepped out of the house and saw Johnson Hatfield standing eight or ten steps from the rest of them, and just as I stepped out of the house and looked up his gun fired in the direction of Calvin. I discovered that his gun had caught fowl and he was humped down working on it. I fired into the crowd then turned and fired at Johnson. I aimed to shoot him in the neck, but I aimed too low and shot him in the shoulder. The burning house made it as light as day and I know that it was Johnson.”

Q. “What did you do when you shot Johnson, the defendant?”

A. “I ran down the creek.”

Q. “Where did you go then?”

A. “I crawled into the shuck pen.”

Q. “Did you have on your night clothes?”

A. “Yes sir.”

Q. “Where was Alafair McCoy?”

A. “She was in the upper part of the house. They did not fire that until the shots were fired at the other—the room we were in.”

Q. “What did you hear at that time?”

A. “I heard Alafair say, ‘Cap Hatfield and Hence Chambers, you would not shoot a poor innocent woman, would you?’ Then they said, ‘Shoot her, God damit, shoot her down. Spare neither men nor woman,’ and they shot her in the left breast. I heard her fall and struggle near the door. This was all before I came out of the house.”

Q. “Where did you stay that night?”

A. “In the shuck pen, I went back at daylight.”

Q. “What did you find?”

A. “I found my son lying there dead. My daughter dead with her hair froze in her blood to her heart.”

Q. “Was the house there?”

A. “No sir, it was burned up. The little girl had dragged her sister off from the house.”

Q. “How far from the house?”

A. “About thirty yards.”

Q. “How many shots did they fire?”

A. “No man could count them. They came in volleys and platoons.”

Q. “Did you have a gun too?”

A. “Yes sir.”

Q. “Was your wife in her night clothes?”

A. “Yes sir, they thought they had killed her, no doubt, or I think they would have done so.”