Veola Ann Runyon: Authoress-Poet of Logan County (1922)


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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Veola Ann Runyon, authoress-poet of Logan County. The story is dated January 13, 1922:


Mrs. Veola Ann Runyon, of Three Forks, Has Had Much of Her Work Published.

We never know in what nook or corner we may find unknown talent or beneath what bushel measure we may and a shining light unless, perchance, we may trip across a clue that may lead us to a welcome discovery. Such was the case with a representative of The Banner on a recent trip to Three Forks, when he fortunately learned of the presence there of Mrs. Veola Anne Runyon, a poet and talented writer of fact and fiction.

Mrs. Runyon was born in Ashland, Ky. Her grandfather was a French physician and author. From him she derived the gifted talent at at the early age of sixteen she began writing stories and for the past ten years she has been a regular contributor to several of the largest magazines of our country. She has in preparation at the present time a romance which will be happily connected with the coal mining industry, while she has in the hands of her publisher two other  books, one dealing with scientifical and botanical work and the other on entomological facts.

The story now in preparation will be eagerly sought by all readers in Logan County, due to the fact that part of the plot will be based upon knowledge gained within this county. Mrs. Runyon was requested by her publishers to write a story closely connected with the mining industry and so not knowing the details connected with the industry she came to Three Forks, and while stopping at the Club House there she is gathering facts that will prove invaluable in her latest work.

Mrs. Runyon is a gifted writer and is filled with the love of the work. She is also deeply interested in botanical work and the study of nature. Through persuasion we were able to secure some of her poems for publication in The Banner, and we are pleased to announce that arrangements have been made with her for regular contributions to the columns of this paper.

Her presence here will recall to mind another author who came to Logan County in years gone by. Dr. Thos. Dunn English recognized the beauty of these mountains and the nearness of true nature and came here during the period between 1850 and 1860. Some of his poems deal with life in the Guyan Valley.

With her ability and fluency of language, Mrs. Runyon should find in these grand majestic mountains and wonderful natural beauty an invaluable aid to inspiration that will enable her to complete a wonderful story that should attract the favorable attention of the most critical.

Note: I cannot locate any biographical information for this writer. Three Forks, according to one source, is also known as Saunders (Buffalo Creek).

Harts Area Deed Index (1887-1910)


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The following deed index is based on Deed Book 60 at the Lincoln County Clerk’s Office in Hamlin, WV, and relates to residents of the Harts Creek community. Most notations reflect Harts Creek citizens engaged in local land transactions; some reflect Harts Creek citizens engaged in land transactions outside of the community. These notes are meant to serve as a reference to Deed Book 60. Researchers who desire the most accurate version of this material are urged to consult the actual record book.

A.F. Morris, special commissioner, and E.W. Holley to John P. Fry     75 acres Fourteen Mile Creek     13 January 1900     p.72-73

Laura Aldridge to C.C. Fry     3 acres Big Ugly Creek     17 May 1909     p. 79-80

William Manns et ux to Josephine Robinson     75 acres Big Harts Creek     19 February 1887     p. 82

Georgia Perry to John W. Robertson     timber Big Branch Harts Creek     23 December 1909     p. 83-84

Sarah A. Perry to Georgia Perry     19 acres Ridge Between Dick Elkins Branch and Rockhouse Fork     14 September 1906     p. 85-86

Sarah A. Perry to Georgia Perry     26 acres Big Branch Harts Creek     15 September 1906     p. 86-87

Isaac G. Gartin to James M. Toney     56 acres and 35 1/4 acres Harts Creek District     3 January 1899     p. 125-127

Patten and Delana Thompson to J.W. and Mary White     102 acres and 22 acres Carroll District     22 February 1887     p. 136-137

Alvin Linville et ux to Roma Spears et ux     32 acres Big Ugly Creek     28 January 1910     p. 213-214

A.F. Morris et ux to Romie Spears et ux     32 acres Big Ugly Creek     19 July 1910     p. 214-215

J.H. Meek, trustee, to C&O Railway Company     right of way Harts Creek District     30 June 1910     p. 283-284

John W. Tomblin et ux to K.E. Toney     100 acres interest in coal, oil, cas, etc. Big Harts Creek     13 August 1910     p. 300-301

John Adkins et ux to K.E. Toney     45 acres interest in coal, oil, gas, etc. Lower Big Branch     5 July 1910     p. 301-302

Emzy Adkins et ux to Cora Adkins     40 acres Harts Creek District     4 February 1905     p. 304-305

Charles Brumfield et ux to Wilson and Sons     100 acres Ike Fry Branch     12 may 1902     T.J. Wysong, notary public     p. 375-376

A.F. Morris et ux to O.J. Spurlock     100 acres Big Ugly Creek     16 November 1909     p. 412-413

Andrew J. Browning et ux to K.E. Toney     200 acres coal, oil, gas, etc. Big Harts Creek     10 August 1910     JP Charles Adkins     17 August 1910     p. 425-426

Wash Dempsey et al to Thomas Browning     Big Harts Creek     24 January 1905     p. 426-427

C.W. Campbell, special commissioner, to John Dingess     Coal Branch     16 August 1898     p. 442-443

Note: I copied all of these deeds.

News Items for Logan, WV (1913)


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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, come these items of local news during the year 1913:

Logan Court House Rebuilt LD 05.01.1913.JPG

Logan (WV) Banner, 1 May 1913


The Call to Arms

Ladies of Logan, we need you, and ask your unfailing support against filth and flies. With your full assistance we expect to make the men “help the women do the work.” We want you to help us develop the pride and civic duty which promotes cleanliness. Enlist the whole household in this crusade against filth and flies–breeders of disease.

With the homes, the yards and the streets clean, screened receptacles for kitchen waste, which we will remove without expense, the free use of lime daily, our city will be respectable and commendable.

Lend us your aid and imbibe the slogan, “Cleaner, Healthier and Better Logan.”


Robert Bland, Mayor

By order of the Common Council.

Logan (WV) Banner, 23 May 1913


German Restaurant Ad LB 06.20.1913.JPG

Logan (WV) Banner, 20 June 1913.


The Latest Craze

In Logan now is PAINT–house paint and everybody’s doin’ it! The most recent ones are the Draper Bldg., Judge Wilkinson’s residence and office, Lanham’s plumbing shop, the Poole drug store, German restaurant, etc. More paint was spread in Logan this year than ever was known before, and considerable of it was “red” too. It can truly be said that nearly every building in town, of importance, has been or will be painted this year, in fact a few almost worthless old houses now look like new. A bucket of paint surely works wonders sometimes. A sign writer has also been at work the past week or two putting gold lettering on windows.”

Logan (WV) Banner, 4 July 1913


Logan County Prisoners Working Roads, They Like It Better Than Confinement

Two wagon-loads of prisoners were taken out of the county jail Wednesday morning, under guard, and worked on the roads in this vicinity. A 5-lb rod, about two foot long, was locked around an ankle of each prisoners. They seemed to like their outing.

Logan (WV) Banner, 12 September 1913

Buddy Griffin at Appalachian Heritage Day in Logan, WV (2019)


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Bluegrass fiddle workshop, AHD, SWVCTC, Logan, WV. Photo by Jackie Whitley. 24 August 2019


Bluegrass fiddle workshop, AHD, SWVCTC, Logan, WV. Photo by Jackie Whitley. 24 August 2019


Bluegrass fiddle workshop, AHD, SWVCTC, Logan, WV. Photo by Jackie Whitley. 24 August 2019

Buddy Griffin with Bluegrass Music Workshop

Bluegrass fiddle workshop, AHD, SWVCTC, Logan, WV. Photo by David O’Dell. 24 August 2019

A native of Nicholas and Braxton counties, Buddy Griffin is a master musician on several instruments and a dedicated teacher and mentor. Raised in a musical family, Buddy began performing at an early age, excelling at banjo, fiddle, guitar, and mandolin. In 1973, he was hired in the staff band on the WWVA Jamboree in Wheeling, where he came into contact with Landon Williams, who lured him to Cincinnati to play in his band, The Hard Times. He and banjoist Jeff Roberts joined the Katie Laur Band in 1975. Buddy also played with the Goins Brothers. He later worked as an engineer at Vetco Records in Cincinnati and played in Charlie Sizemore’s band. He recorded with Mac Wiseman and has worked with Jim and Jesse, Larry Sparks, the Heckels, Sen. Robert C. Byrd, and Jesse McReynolds. He played in Branson, MO, for several years. In 1997, he returned to West Virginia and taught music at Glenville State College, where he was instrumental in developing the world’s first degree program in bluegrass music. He is a studio musician and has performed on various radio shows, including NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” In 2011, he was awarded the Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folklife honor. In 2016, he played fiddle with Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top X-Press. He often performs with the West Virginia All-Star Bluegrass Band.

Armed March on Logan County, WV (1921)


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Here is one article from the Logan Banner relating to Bill Blizzard and the Armed March on Logan County, WV, popularly remembered today as the Battle of Blair Mountain:

Blizzard Gloated at Gore’s Death, Said

“That’s fine! What’s the matter you haven’t killed any others?” William Blizzard, mine workers’ officer, was quoted as saying after he heard of the death of Deputy Sheriff John Gore and two companions at the hands of a party of union miners, according to testimony Monday at Blizzard’s trial upon an accessory to murder indictment growing out of the armed march against Logan county in 1921. Blizzard is charged with having participated in the plans that caused the death of George Munsy, one of the Logan defenders killed with Gore.

Hubert Ferrell, of Ferndale, the witness who quoted Blizzard’s words, declared the mine workers’ office made the statement in a speech to the armed miners gathered at Blair on the afternoon of the day after they had returned from Blair mountain where the Logan “defenders” were killed.

“It don’t seem like it would take any  more nerve to kill Don Chafin (Logan county sheriff) and his thugs than it would a sheep-killing dog,” Ferrell testified Blizzard continued in his speech. “Right tomorrow I want you to fix up to go over the top. It don’t matter about losing a few men. I want you to go over to Logan and let the men out of jail and tear the thing down to the ground.”

Under cross-examination Ferrell added that Blizzard had told the men he wanted them to eat dinner the next day “on the jail house step.”

Ferrell, according to his testimony, failed in his first effort to visit the men who participated in the armed march when he was stopped by guards at the mouth of Lens Creek where the marchers first assembled. He denied that he had ever desired to join the march and said he went there only to see if there were any men there whom he knew. T.C. Townsend, one of the defense attorneys, cross-examined Ferrell vigorously upon that point. The witness said he was on his way to Charleston to buy clothing at the time. Later he said he went to Blair intending to go on to Logan and visit his half-brother, but was prevented by the armed men in Blair from either going on or returning and eventually returned home on a special train after federal troops took charge of the situation.

While he was at Marmet at the mouth of Lens Creek and unable to go farther up the creek because he could not give the guards the password and did not belong to a union, Ferrell said Fred Mooney, secretary treasurer of District No. 17, United Mine Workers, and a man who was said to be C. Frank Keeney, the district president, were there in an automobile. Mooney, the young man told the jury, asked the guards if any guns and ammunition had arrived and on being told he had none informed them that two truck loads had left Charleston. The man pointed out as Keeney told the men he did not believe they were sufficiently prepared and that they would do better to go home, “get prepared and then go over and get Don Chafin and his thugs.”

On the day before Gore and Munsy were killed, Ferrell said Blizzard also made a speech from the porch of the school house that served as base for the armed forces on the union side at the mountain and asked what was the matter that they were not having more success and told them they ought to go over and “get Chafin and the thugs and get it over with.”

Mrs. J.E. Wilburn, wife of the miner-preacher who was one of the principal witnesses for the state now serving a sentence of 12 years for his part in the killings on Blair mountain, testified that guns and ammunition were stored in the parlor of their home. She did not know Blizzard, she said, but men who took the arms into the house said Blizzard had brought them, she testified.

A.R. Browning, a merchant at Blair, told the court that members of the armed forces there got merchandise at his store and told him to charge it to the United Mine Workers of America. The things they got, he said, included shoes, overalls, and other clothing and also some women’s clothing, which he thought, they got for their wives and daughters.

H.M. Miller, a constable at Madison, said that just before Keeney made a speech at the ball park near there which he counselled the marchers to return to their homes, he had a conversation with the union president in which Keeney said that “if the federal troops would keep out he would take these men and go through Logan with them.”

Earlier in the day, J.L. Workman and A.C. Rouse of Marmet had testified as to the occurrence during the assembling of the men on Lens Creek. Workman told of “Mother” Jones’ efforts to get the men to go back to their homes and her declaration that she had a telegram from the President of the United States, which he said Keeney called a “fake.” Later that day both Workman and Rouse said Savoy Holt in a speech from the running board of an automobile said the union officials were their but could not address the men and that he had been instructed to tell them that the telegram was not genuine and that they were to “go on.” Rouse said Keeney and Mooney were in this automobile and that Blizzard was in another nearby. A man he did not know spoke from the running board of the automobile in which Blizzard was riding, telling the men to go on, and Blizzard’s car drove up Lens Creek followed by the armed hordes.

Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 6 July 1923

Isaac Adkins Heirs Deed to Isaiah Adkins (1855)


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Isaac Adkins Heirs to Isaiah Adkins Deed 1

Deed Book ___, page 447, Logan County Clerk’s Office, Logan, WV. Note: This property is located in present-day Lincoln County.

Isaac Adkins Heirs to Isaiah Adkins Deed 2

Deed Book ___, page 448, Logan County Clerk’s Office, Logan, WV. Note: Isaiah Adkins is my great-great-great-great-grandfather.

Teachers in 1896 (1937)


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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about U.S. teachers in 1896. The story is dated April 7, 1937.

Writer in 1896 Declared Teachers Earned No More Than Cobblers, Milliners

School teachers’ pay in 1896 assumed as prominent a place in public problems as it does today. The difference in the problem is in that the teachers of 1896 were said to receive about as much pay as milliners and cobblers while today they probably receive less.

But this is not an editorial.

A clipping from Forum in 1896 showed that teachers’ salaries ranged from $100 to $900 a year. The Forum writer wondered how the teachers could live on such a small amount. He’d be in a deeper quandary today.

The average salary for a school year amounted to approximately $318.36 for men and $262.92 for women. Duties included cleaning the schools and building the fires. The writer said these duties were not always considered hardships by the persons who took the jobs, the women having always been accustomed to such duties and the men didn’t find it hard because they could always induce students to perform the tasks for certain favors.

Nearly three times as many women teachers than men were employed in the country schools in the United States at that time. The percentage was higher in the country than in the city.

The teachers instructed their one roomful of children in all branches of learning up to grammar and algebra, the writer said.

He also said that “for what these teachers do they are quite adequately paid.” That wouldn’t apply today.

“A village schoolmaster will earn as much in the year as the cobbler; the schoolmistress will earn as much as the milliner,” the Forum scribe said.

“They do not belong as a general thing to a class better educated than the cobbler or milliner (remember, this was 1896) and they do not work any harder, the writer declared.

Here’s where he warms up a bit and applies to 1937.

“Those of them who have thought about their calling and who have ever been moved to feel that great responsibilities devolved upon them have realized that the conditions were such that they could not do next to nothing, and usually they have given over any efforts to secure a change in school administration.”

Fact for fact and condition for condition there is only a small change in the country schools left after many of them were consolidated. Consolidation was a boon to the country, but 41 years have passed and many teachers are still underpaid and have to teach under intolerable conditions.