Appalachia, Elias Adkins, Harts Creek, history, Isaac Adkins, John H. Brumfield, Joseph Adams, Logan County, Peter Mullins, slavery, Thomas Dunn English, timbering, writing
Within a few years, by 1827, there were more settlers: Elias Adkins at Fowler Branch on the Guyandotte River, Moses Brown at Brown’s Branch of Guyan River and Marvel Elkins on Piney Creek of West Fork. Within three years, Isaac Adkins was at Harts and John Brumfield (father of Paris) was at the mouth of Ugly Creek. The Adkins brothers — Isaac and Elias — were the only slave owners in the section. They bought land at the mouth of Harts Creek in 1833.
In the early 1830s, Joseph Fry, John Lucas, and John Fry moved to the Harts area. Joseph Fry lived at Ugly Creek; John Fry, a War of 1812 veteran, lived at the mouth of Green Shoal; and John Lucas, a Baptist preacher, lived near Big Creek. With the arrival of these and other men, a school was organized to meet the educational needs of local children. “The first school was taught in a log cabin one mile above the mouth of Big Harts creek about the year 1832,” writes Hardesty. “The first house for educational purposes was built near the mouth of Big Harts creek in 1834. It was a five-cornered building, one side being occupied by the ever-present huge fire place.”
In the mid-1830s, Joseph Adams and Peter Mullins — both great-grandfathers to Ed Haley — arrived in the headwaters of Harts Creek. In 1838, Adams was granted 100 acres between the Forks of Harts Creek and the Rockhouse Branch. He became the patriarch of most Adamses in Harts, including Anthony and Ben Adams — key players in the Haley-McCoy trouble. In the early 1840s, Mullins was granted land on Hoover Fork and Trace Fork. He was a grandfather to Emma Haley.
At that time, in 1840, there were roughly 23 families in Harts. In the head of Harts Creek were Stephen Lambert, Moses Workman, Alexander Tomblin, and James Tomblin. Henry Conley and William Thompson were somewhere on the creek. Richard Elkins was at Thompson Branch and Isaac Adkins, Jr. was at Big Branch. Abner Vance was on West Fork. Isaac Adkins, Sr. and James Toney were at Harts. Moses Brown and Archibald Elkins were just below there. Harvey Elkins and Price Lucas were on or near Little Harts Creek. Above Harts was Elias Adkins and Squire Toney. At Ugly Creek were John Brumfield, Joseph Fry, and John Rowe. Charles Lucas and John Fry were at Green Shoal. John Dolen was somewhere in the area.
At that early date, folks were beginning to explore timber as a means of industry. “Isaac Elkins built the first saw mill in 1847 or 1848,” Hardesty writes. “It was constructed on the old sash-saw plan, and had a capacity for cutting from 800 to 1,000 feet per day.” To assist in the transport of timber and coal from the valley, locks and dams were constructed in the lower section of the Guyan and steamboats made a brief appearance in the valley during the 1850s, although they did not travel so far upriver as to reach Harts. There was some excitement, too, when Thomas Dunn English — a famous Northeastern writer — arrived in nearby Logan (then called Aracoma) and became mayor.