The Rainbow End: A Poem (1928)


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The following poem appeared in the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, on August 7, 1928. The author was Fred Durham, address unknown.


At the end of every rainbow,

So we always have been told,

If we find its termination

Sits a pot of virgin gold.

There are those who take it serious

And their entire talent bend

To a lifelong ceaseless searching

For the fleeting rainbow end.

Some are harmless near Micawbers.

Some of lawless dangerous trend.

But they all have one objective

The entrancing rainbow’s end.

Some there are who hear the story

With a tolerant knowing smile,

Knowing that these little stories

Help to make life more worthwhile.

And to them life in its fullness

Will an untold blessing lend

They seek not but find contentment

At the phantom rainbow end.


This poem was brought to The Banner office last week either by the author or some one else who deemed it worth publishing. The editor, though knowing little indeed of the technique of versification, thinks it meritorious in several essential respects.

Aracoma Hotel in Logan, WV (1933)


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From the Logan Banner comes this bit of history for the Aracoma Hotel dated March 17, 1933:

Arters Brothers Lease Aracoma Hotel Property

Starting April 1st W.L. Davis and Dick Arters, of this city, and E.D. Arters of Huntington will operate the Aracoma Hotel. They have leased the hotel from the Ghiz estate, Mike Ghiz having been manager for the past six months. Dick Arters has been Mr. Ghiz’ assistant.

The Arters brothers are hotel men known the state over. At one time they operated the Faymont in Montgomery, and E.D. Arters was manager of the old Jefferson in Logan, when Dick Arters served in the capacity of assistant manager. The Arters and Mr. Davis have hosts of friends among the traveling public, as well as locally, who will be interested in this announcement. Mr. Davis, now with the Pioneer, used to be at the Aracoma and Mr. Arters has been on the same force. At the present time E.D. Arters is with the Huntington Hotel in Huntington, where he has managed the Farr.

Mr. Davis has lived in this county since 1914. He was superintendent of the Island Creek Coal Company for ten years, and has also been superintendent of the Monitor Coal and Coke Corporation. He became interested in the hotel business several years back. Mr. Davis when interviewed today, in behalf of the new management, said they planned on renovating the Aracoma as soon as they can take charge, give their particular attention to social gatherings, for which the hotel is an ideal place, and further stated that Mrs. E.W. Oakley would remain in charge of the dining room.

Don Chafin’s Deputies (1912-1915)


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The following list of Don Chafin’s deputies prior to the Battle of Blair Mountain is based on Record of Bonds C in the Logan County Clerk’s Office in Logan, WV:

Don Chafin was elected sheriff on November 5, 1912 and appeared on December 28, 1912 with his bondsman U.B. Buskirk for $40,000 (p. 215)

Name, Date of Appointment, Surety, Surety Amount, Page

Garland A. Adams…28 January 1913…J.W. Chambers…$5000…236

Joe Adams…14 October 1913…G.F. Gore, A. Dingess, David C. Dingess, Anthony Adams, Sol Adams, Sr., and Sol Adams, Jr….$5000…297

John Barker…5 February 1913…F.P. Hurst…$5000…241

J.E. Barlow…26 April 1913…S.B. Lawson…$5000…268

Joe Blair…28 December 1912…J.W. Chambers and Allen Mounts…$5000…224

John D. Browning…1 July 1914…Fidelity and Deposit Company…$5000…345

Bert Bush…6 January 1913…Monroe Bush…$5000…230

John L. Butcher…28 December 1912…Lewis Butcher, J.W. Chambers, Albert Gore…$5000…221

George Chafin…12 July 1915…James Toney…$5000…402

J.A. Chafin…20 June 1913…J.W. Chambers and A.A. Vance…$5000…275

John Chafins…31 January 1913…H.H. Farley and A.J. Browning…$5000…240

Art Chambers…25 July 1914…Cush Avis, J.L. Chambers…$5000…349

Charley Conley…18 June 1914…George Butcher, Ed Chapman, William White…$5000…342

Nim Conley…18 July 1913…Ed Chapman and W.W. Conley…$5000…281

R.J. Conley…25 March 1913…Albert Gore…$5000…252

A.J. Dalton…26 December 1913…Fidelity and Deposit Company of MD…$5000…315

Riley Damron…5 July 1913…Millard Elkins and J.E. McCoy…$5000…278

David Dingess…3 April 1913…J.W. Chambers and George Justice…$5000…254

Everett Dingess…10 November 1913…John F. Dingess and Burl Adams…$5000…304

Vincent Dingess…7 July 1913…Georgia Dingess, William Gore, and Albert Gore…$5000…279

Ed Eggers…21 April 1913…Paul Hardy…$5000…264

Joseph A. Ellis…30 January 1913…O.M. Conley…$5000…239

R.H. Ellis…undated…Elizabeth Ellis…$5000…233

H.H. Farley…29 January 1913…L.E. Steele…$5000…237

W.F. Farley…28 December 1912…Robert Bland…$5000…223

William Farley…13 January 1914…Wash Farley, A. Dingess, Lewis Farley, G.B. Farley…$5000…319

J.H. Ford…16 May 1914…P.J. Riley…$5000…336

Harry S. Gay, Jr….15 October 1913…S.B. Lawson…$5000…299

Albert Gore…28 December 1912…J.W. Chambers, G.F. Gore, Millard Elkins…$5000…222

Guy F. Gore…31 July 1913…Albert Gore and William Gore…$5000…286

William Gore…31 December 1914…W.E. White, James Ellis…$5000…377

Joe Hall…23 April 1913…C.P. Donovan, Paul Hardy…$5000…267

A.A. Hamilton…14 June 1913…A.A. Hamilton…$5000…273

Paul Hardy…20 February 1913…W.F. Farley…$5000…244

John Harrison…19 April 1913…J.S. Miller, M. Elkins, W.E. White, and James Ellis…$5000…262

E.R. Hatfield…6 January 1914…$5000…H.H. Farley…316

Tennis Hatfield…14 June 1915…James Ellis and Lewis Chafin…$5000…396

William Hatfield…28 December 1912…J.S. Miller and George Justice…$5000…229

J.O. Hill…17 April 1913…Katie Mounts…$5000…261

B.J. Hiner…23 April 1913…C.P. Donovan and Paul Hardy…$5000…266

Mat Jackson…13 October 1913…Albert Gore, Van Mullins, G.F. Gore, and David C. Dingess…$5000…296

Frank Justice…8 July 1914…America Justice…$5000…346

S.B. Lawson…12 April 1913…J.W. Chambers…$5000…256

G.W. Lax…21 April 1913…Paul Hardy…$5000…263

Harrison Lowe…5 March 1914…no surety [blank]…$5000…326

F. Middleburg…16 May 1914…D.V. Wickline…$5000…337

Charles H. Miller…25 November 1914…Don Chafin, W.E. White…368

J.M. Moore…14 May 1915…American Surety Company of NY…$5000…391

Allen Mounts…226

Cecil Mounts…11 June 1913…Allen Mounts…$5000…272

K.F. Mounts…28 December 1912…Allen Mounts…$5000…225

John D. Neece…21 March 1914…W.E. White, R.H. Ellis, and J.S. Miller…$5000…330

George Robinett…17 July 1913…George Justice…$5000…284

Joe Scaggs…231

F.A. Sharp…28 December 1912…W.F. Farley and L.G. Burns…$5000…217

Clark Smith…22 December 1913…Mary Chafin…$5000…313

L.E. Steele…29 January 1913…H.H. Farley…$5000…238

Noah Steele…6 September 1913…L.E. Steele, Jr….$5000…290

Charley Stollings…21 July 1913…Matilda Stollings, Tom Butcher, Bettie Stollings, W.I. Campbell, and Milton Stowers…$5000…283

T.B. Stowe…13 January 1913…Martha J. Stowe…$5000…234

Elias Thompson…16 April 1913…W.I. Campbell and K.F. Mounts…$5000…258

George E. Thompson…17 April 1913…A.F. Gore and Willis Gore…$5000…260

C.A. Vickers…12 January 1914…L.D. Perry and F.D. Stollings…$5000…318

Taylor Walsh…28 July 1914…W.E. White, Albert Gore…$5000…350

Moses Williamson…29 April 1913…L.H. Thompson…$5000…270

Clay Workman…28 December 1912…S.B. Lawson…$5000…228

This list will be updated soon to include more names.

Orville McCoy Recalls “Squirrel Huntin'” Sam McCoy (1990)


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On July 24, 1990, scholar Rebecca Bailey interviewed Orville McCoy (b.1922) of Raccoon Creek, Kentucky. What follows here is an excerpt of Mr. McCoy’s memories of his grandfather “Squirrel Huntin'” Sam McCoy and his book.

RB: Okay. What kind of stories did you hear about the feud when you were growing up?

OM: Well, about such materials you’ll find in my book. I recorded just about everything I knew about it.

RB: Do you know how your grandfather came to write his manuscript?

OM: Yes, he wrote in the year, I believe it was, 1931 while he was in St. Louis, Missouri. We all also got that information recorded in the book.

RB: How come him to be in St. Louis? Do you know?

OM: Well, he went west in the year about nineteen and ten and I think he first went to California and then back to Kansas and…and then to St. Louis.

RB: Did he take his wife and children with him?

OM: Yes. He took his whole family except my dad. He was the only one stayed here at Racoon.

RB: Was he the oldest? Is that why he stayed?

OM: No, he wasn’t the oldest. Yeah. I guess he was the oldest. He was the only child by him and his first wife, America Goff.

RB: Did she die or did they divorce?

OM: Well, yeah. She died young.

RB: How old was your father when his father left to go out west?

OM: That would be pretty hard for me to figure, I don’t bet. You could go to my book and deduct and subtract a little there and come up with an answer.

RB: He was probably a young man, though, because he had twelve children by the time you were born so he was probably a young man and married.

OM: Yeah. I’d say he should have been around thirty, something like that.

RB: Did your father remember any of the events of the feud or hear about them?

OM: No, he couldn’t remember any of the incidents, I don’t think except what was told to him.

RB: Alright. Do you have much contact with any of your McCoy cousins?

OM: Oh, yeah. I correspond with them. I got some in Kansas. Joshua Tree, California, and Tacoma, Washington, Remington, Washington, Pennsylvania.

RB: We were talking off tape. You said that a lot of McCoys didn’t stay in this area.

OM: No, they was quite a few of them went out west.

RB: Did they go looking for work or…?

OM: I guess they was seeking adventure.

RB: How did you come to have the manuscript that “Squirrel Huntin'” Sam wrote?

OM: Well, I obtained it from Sam when he was out here to pay us a visit in 1937.

RB: What kind of person was he?

OM: Oh, he was quite a tall man. About six foot or better.

RB: What do you remember about him?

OM: Well, when he visited us, he came out here to visit us about three times in the thirties. First come in ’36. ’38. Maybe ’39. He died in ’40. They shipped him back here.

RB: Do you know where he’s buried?

OM: Yeah.

RB: Where’s he buried?

OM: He’s buried in Collins Cemetery in the head of Frozen Creek.

RB: Okay. Were you always interested as a child in in your family history?

OM: Well, not in the early years. I always held on to that book though and preserved it. I guess I was around fifty-eight years when I let them publish it.

RB: Would you tell me on tape again who published it for you?

OM: Dr. Leonard Roberts of Pikeville College.

RB: Why was he interested in it? Do you know?

OM: Dr. Roberts?

RB: Un-huh.

OM: Well, he was working for the college and that’s how he… Well, it benefited the college, you know, doing Appalachian study centers, they called it. He published books and so on for them.

Tom Chafin Recalls Story of Ellison Hatfield’s Killing (1989)


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On June 21, 1989, scholar John Hennen interviewed Tom Chafin (1911-1997) of Williamson, West Virginia. What follows here is an excerpt of Mr. Chafin’s story about the death of his grandfather Ellison Hatfield in 1882 and other general memories of the Hatfield family.

JH: Okay, let’s go ahead and just follow that line. Tell me about Ellison Hatfield. And of course Ellison Hatfield was one of the participants in the early days of the so called Hatfield and McCoy feud.

TC: He’s the one that the McCoys killed. Uh, he lived up Mate Creek at the mouth of a hollow they call Double Camp Holler. He came down to Matewan here and got with some of his friends and they had a saloon here. It was called a saloon then, not the liquor store like we call it.

JH: Do you have any idea where that saloon was?

TC: Uh…the saloon was close to where the liquor store is now.

JH: Okay.

TC: I’m…I’m sure it was in the same building. That’s the Buskirk building. And he got with some of his friends and they got to drinking and was a having an election across the river in Pike County, Kentucky. Just across the river here. And he said to them said, some of his friends said, “Let’s go over and see how the elections goin’,” and when they got over there, they got into it with them and he was cut all to pieces with knives. He didn’t die in Kentucky. They loaded him up and hauled him back in a wagon. They hauled him back through the river up here at the upper end of Matewan and took him to Warm Holler. Now this is Warm Holler straight across from the bank on the right goin’ down there. You go across the railroad tracks. Uncle Anse Ferrell lived there. That was Ellison’s uncle. Uncle Anse Ferrell lived there in a big old log house. And they took Ellison there to his house that evening and he stayed there all that evening, all that night, and all day the next day and died the next evening. Just about dark. But in the mean time now, the Hatfields captured the three McCoy boys that they said did the killin’ of Ellison. Cuttin’ him up with knives. They captured them and took them up to a place they call North Matewan just out of Matewan here. They had and old school house there at the mouth of Rutherford Hollow. And they had an old school house there at the mouth of Rutherford Holler and that’s where they kept the three McCoy boys. All this evening, all night tonight, all day tomorrow, until tomorrow evening. And they brought him back down here, took him across the river and then a little drain, I call it, instead of a holler. It’s not a holler, it’s just a drain where water runs out where you go up to the radio station. That’s where they tied them to three papaw bushes. Now, we don’t have any papaw bushes around like we used to. We used to have whole orchards of them but they all disappeared. Why, they was papaws everywhere You could pick up a bushel of papaws anywhere when I was a boy. But you don’t even see a papaw tree any more. They said they tied them to three papaw bushes and killed all three of them.

JH: And this was after Ellison died?

TC: They waited until Ellison died. Say he died this evening and they went up there and got them and took them over there I believe the next morning.

JH: Who were some of the Hatfields involved in this?

TC: Well, to be exact, I’d say Cap… Cap was the head man. He was Devil Anse’s oldest son. 

JH: I’d like you to tell me a little bit more about Cap Hatfield and well, do you have a personal memory of Devil Anse? I know you have been to his house when you were a boy.

TC: No.

JH: You can’t remember anything directly about him?

TC: I’ve been to his house. I know where his house is. I knew what kind of house it was. It was a log house and it had a window in that end of it and a window in this end of it and it was across the creek. I could show you right where it is on Island Creek over there and I can remember goin’ over there with my grandfather Mose Chafin. Now, he was a brother to Devil Anse’s wife, Aunt Vicy. We’d go over and see Aunt Vicy after Uncle Anse had died. I believe he died in 1921 and I was ten years old when he died. And when I would go over there with him, probably I was twelve or thirteen or something like that, after Uncle Anse had died. And we’d ride a horse. I’d ride on the hind and my grandfather Mose Chafin. And I could tell you exactly how to go. We’d go up Mate Creek across the hill into Beech Creek and from Beech Creek into Pigeon Creek and Pigeon Creek into Island Creek.

JH: And Vicy was still living at that time?

TC: Yeah.

JH: So you knew her then?

TC: Yeah. She was a pretty big fat woman. She wasn’t too big and fat. She was about, say, hundred and sixty, something like that, I’m guessin’. I’m gonna guess it. About a hundred and sixty pound. Anyhow, she was a big fat woman.

JH: Now, Cap lived on up into…to be an old man?

TC: Yeah. Willis is the last man that…last one to die.

JH: He was the son of Devil Anse also?

TC: Yeah. I was with him at a birthday party for Allen Hatfield on Beech Creek. That was his cousin. Allen was Elias’ boy* and he was Ellison’s boy**. Willis was. That made them first cousins and Willis was the only Hatfield left on Island Creek so we got him to come to that… Allen’s boy Estil Hatfield got him to come over to the birthday party, and I believe Truman went with me. He died in seventy-eight. I can tell you when he died.

JH: Willis?

TC: Willis died. Last child that Devil Anse had died in seventy-eight. 1978.

*Should read as “Wall’s boy”

**Should read as “Anse’s boy”

Red Rock Cola in Logan, WV (1939)


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The Red Rock Company was founded in 1885 by Lee Hagan and G.T. Dodd of Atlanta, Georgia. Dodd initially introduced ginger ale as the company’s first product, which became popular in the South. The Red Rock Company was among the oldest producers of carbonated beverages in the U.S. Babe Ruth endorsed Red Rock! By 1938, Red Rock was an early leader in the distribution of carbonated beverages, distributing 12-ounce bottles by way of a distribution network of 200 bottlers. 
As of 1947, Red Rock products were bottled in 45 of 48 states, but by 1958, the company’s success began to decline. After the 1950s, the Red Rock Company seemed to vanish entirely and it is unknown when the company disestablished.