From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this story dated November 16, 1916 about whittling:
WHITTLING WOOD IS A LOST ART
Where are the whittlers of yesteryear–the jackknife experts who laboriously fashioned curious keepsakes out of soft wood, or who idly whittled sticks of toothpick dimensions as they sat and debated the problems of the nation in front of village stores? The old time Yankee was often ill at ease unless he had his knife in his hand with a block of wood on which to exercise it. He could not focus his mind on heavy questions–like the elections at the next town meeting–unless he was watching a shaving curl gracefully in the wake of his carefully sharpened knife blade.
Those who had abundant leisure often devoted themselves to elaborate carvings. Sailors were especially gifted in this way–deep sea sailors who occupied themselves on long voyages with miniature ships and other models. And while the back country Yankee was an inveterate whittler, he rarely tried to compete in artistic results with his sea faring brother of the coast.
But whittle, both as a habit and as an art, appears to have practically disappeared. The jackknife is no longer in evidence as it once was either in country towns or along the water front. The pace of life has quickened or else other interests have driven it out. And even the small boy, though he still cherishes his knife, does not number the expert use of it for carving among his ambitions.
In those days every boy who amounted to anything–one who was not a regular mollycoddle–possessed a jackknife, and knew how to use it. He demonstrated this not only by whittling out a hull, which, when supplied with masts and rigging, stood evenly on her keel, but which, when fitted with a suit of calls, rode safely every squall and boisterous sea and showed a clean pair of heels to the other little ships as they slipped across the duck pond.
This was not all the small boy with the handy pocketknife learned to make from inspecting what the sailors brought home. There were the wonderful chains, some square linked, others with double square links with wooden balls running freely within the length of the links, these having been carved out of the middle of the square of which each section of the chain was made.
It was a pretty proud boy who could show one of these chains with three or four links, the last one having a padlock swinging from it, for it gave him a certain high standing with the “fellers” not obtainable for any other reasons.
“I can recollect all the boys began chain carving with a piece of soft pine say an inch and one-half square. And when they had mastered the art they shifted to a hard pine stick, the successful manipulation of which showed the gift the boy had, for often it meant big blisters on the hands, so hard was the cutting.
“I have not seen a boy whittling on one of these chains or anything else in years. I think about the last whittling I saw them doing was in connection with peach stones, out of which they were making little baskets to be hung on the watch chain, and rings for the finger.
“There is another reason why the boy is not whittling as he formerly did. He had to make his kites, fashioning the backbone and making the bow with his knife. His mother furnished the paste by mixing flour and water. He covered the kite with a newspaper which had to be at least a month old before it was allowed to be taken from the closet–people held on to their newspapers in those days. Now he buys a gaudy kite for a few cents, or he don’t fly kites at all, which is more than likely, seeing that there is the attractive lure of the ball game and the ‘movies’.”
Allen Robinson, Anthony Tomblin, Appalachia, Barbara Dempsey, Bertha Browning, Big Branch, Big Ugly Creek, Caleb Browning, Caroline Brumfield, Charles Adkins, Charley Brumfield, Charley Curry, Emarine Dempsey, Fourteen Mile Creek, genealogy, Gordon Fry, Grant Farley, Green Shoal Creek, Guyandotte River, Hamlin, Harts Creek, Harts Creek District, Hiram Lambert, history, Ike Fry Branch, Isaiah Adkins, Jacob Adkins, Jefferson Lucas, Jerry Lambert, John Clay Farley, Josephine Robinson, Julia Lambert, justice of the peace, Laurel Fork, Lincoln County, Little Harts Creek, Lydia Evaline Dingess, Mary Clark Burks, Minnie Lambert, notary public, Paris "Witch" Brumfield, Risba Lambert, River Road, Short Bend, Short Bend Branch, Vira Brumfield, Wade Lambert, Wash Dempsey, Wash Dempsey Jr., West Virginia
The following deed index is based on Deed Book 57 at the Lincoln County Clerk’s Office in Hamlin, WV, and relates to residents of the Harts Creek community. These notes are meant to serve as a reference to Deed Book 57. Researchers who desire the most accurate version of this material are urged to consult the actual record book.
Charles and Caroline Brumfield to Paris and Vira Brumfield 70 acres Guyan River land for $750 references Little Harts Creek and River Road, left hand of Short Bend, coal bank, Ike Fry Branch 25 October 1910 p. 74-76
John C. Farley to Grant Farley 55 acres on Fourteen Mile Creek references Short Bend Branch of Fourteen 12 September 1902 Jefferson Lucas, NP p. 94-95
Mary Clark Burks, executrix to Gordon Fry 90 acres Big Ugly Creek references Laurel Fork of Big Ugly Paid $1 17 June 1908 p. 196-198
Lida Evaline Dingess to Charley Curry 45 acres Big Harts Creek references below Charley Curry house Paid $200 19 June 1908 Charles Adkins, JP p. 246-247
W.S. and Julia Lambert to Minnie Lambert 40 acres Greenshoal Creek references the garden 3 December 1910 Jerry Lambert, NP p. 335-336
Allen and Josephine Robinson to Hiram Lambert 30 acres Big Harts Creek references Anthony Tombourlin and Wash Dempsey 14 May 1907 Charles Adkins, JP p. 392-393
Wash and Emmarine Dempsey, Sr. and Barbary Dempsey to Risba Lambert 30 acres Big Harts Creek references Wash Dempsey, Jr., mouth of Big Branch, L.C. Browning Paid $200 25 February 1905 Charles Adkins, JP p. 394-395
L.C. Browning to Bertha Browning et al. 100 acres Big Harts Creek references Big Branch, Jacob Adkins, Isaiah Adkins 18 May 1908 p. 396-397
Note: I copied all of these deeds.
Appalachia, C&O Railroad, coal, Guyandotte River, Herald-Dispatch, history, Holden, Holden No. 22, Island Creek Coal Company, J.D. Francis, Logan County, Omar, Peytona Lumber Company, Tug Fork, West Virginia, Wiatt Smith, Y.M.C.A.
From a 1927 story printed in the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this interesting bit of history about Holden No. 22:
Island Creek Co. Plans Building of New Town
Contracts Will Be Let Within 30 Days For Houses, Highways and Also Tipple For Largest Mine In West Virginia, Says Vice President–May Spend $2,000,000.
Within the next year there will arise in one of the remote and hitherto inaccessible regions of Logan county, a new town. It will have a population approximating 2,000. It will have a Y.M.C.A., a community church, modern homes, paved streets, its own water system, electric lights–in fact, all of the modern conveniences. It will be connected by hard road with Logan, Holden and the great world beyond the mountains. At present, it has not even a name, writes Wiatt Smith for the Huntington Herald-Dispatch.
The new town is to arise at operation No. 22 of the Island Creek Coal Company.
Within the next 30 days, J.D. Francis, vice-president of the Island Creek Co., said Tuesday, contracts will be let for the erection of tipples, the building of houses, the paving of streets and the hard surfacing of seven miles of road which will connect the new community with Holden.
Operation No. 22 will represent when completed an additional investment on the part of Island Creek, ranging well beyond a million dollars, perhaps reaching two million, though Mr. Francis refused to hazard an estimate of definite figures.
For a number of months preparations for the opening of a new mine, which will be the largest in southern West Virginia, have been going forward. The two 400 foot shafts which will serve the mine are now nearly complete. The Chesapeake & Ohio is rapidly completing the four mile extension of the Pine creek branch which will provide an outlet for the coal produced. The Island Creek company is completing three miles of siding. Pete Minotti, the contractor, has finished grading the road from Holden to the mine.
By October, it is expected, the road will be surfaced, the town well under way and the great mine in operation. Output at the beginning will be small, as the number of workmen will be necessarily limited until the underground workings have been expanded by the removal of coal. The area to be worked is underlaid, experts say, with 50 or 60 million tons and the mining of the coal will, under normal conditions, require 50 years.
Work at the mine site in advance of the completion of the railroads has been made possible, Mr. Francis explained, by the use of the tram road of the Peytona Lumber company over which many thousands of tons of sand, gravel and supplies have been shipped. The completion of the railroad is awaited for the installation of the bulkier machinery and equipment.
The new rail extension will connect with the Chesapeake & Ohio’s Logan division main lines via Omar. The contact of the operative officials and the workers with the Island Creek center at Holden will be by means of the hard road, the construction of which, in itself represents something like an engineering adventure. For some three miles it follows the ridge that marks the crest of the watershed between the valleys of Guyandotte and Tug Rivers. Then it drops sharply to follow mountain side, hollow and creek valley to the mine operation.
Persons who have traveled the now graded road say that at points on the ridge it affords magnificent views which compare favorably with the most famous in the state. The road was graded and will be hard surfaced entirely at the expense of the coal company, which, in the preparations for its new development has followed the policy adopted many years ago when, upon the opening of its original operations, it established in Holden a mining community which was pointed out as a model throughout the United States.
Island Creek operation No. 22 will be the fifth shaft mine in West Virginia.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 25 March 1927.
Appalachia, Elizabeth Adkins, Enos "Jake" Adkins, genealogy, Guyandotte River, Henry Adkins, history, Isaac Adkins, Isaiah Adkins, James Toney, justice of the peace, Letty Adkins, Lincoln County, Little Harts Creek, Logan County, Nancy Toney, Price Lucas, Spencer A. Mullins, Virginia, W.I. Campbell, West Virginia, William Straton
Appalachia, Aracoma, carnival, coyote, Fritz Gerber, Herbert's Greater Shows, history, Japanese Theatre, Joseph Herbert, K.F. Deskins, Logan, Logan County, Logan Democrat, minstrels, Second Virginia Regiment, West Virginia
In May of 1917, Herbert’s Greater Shows carnival visited Logan, WV, and generated several items of news in the Logan Democrat:
GOOD CARNIVAL HERE
The Herbert’s Greater Shows that have been exhibiting here for two weeks are very good, in fact high class shows.
Mr. Joseph Herbert has a reputation all over the country, excelled by no other showman, for carrying clean and up to date amusements.
The Silodrome, the feature attraction is one of the most sensational exhibitions ever witnessed by anyone. The rider, Mr. Fritz Gerber, the man with an iron nerve, is always entirely at the mercy of chance, rides the perpendicular wall with great ease and with his noted smile he always puts great thrill into the hearts of all who pay the Silodrome a visit.
The minstrels, Japanese Theatre are very good. These shows especially are equal to any of the big ones. No gambling devices are operated.
Source: Logan (WV) Democrat, 17 May 1917.
WANTED TO JOIN CARNIVAL
A young girl, about 15 years old, tried to hide from her father in a sewer near the power house Tuesday evening so as to run away with the carnival people. People living in the vicinity secured the help of some of those going to the circus and the young lady was induced to surrender to parental authority. When last seen, father and daughter were heading over the hill and from the faint echo of their words it was evident that the rod would not be spared when the woodshed was reached.
Source: Logan (WV) Democrat, 17 May 1917.
WILD ANIMAL KILLED
Soldier Shoots Coyote that Escaped From Carnival Thursday Morning
The first coyote to fall a victim of the white man’s rifle in Logan since the days when the dusty Indian maid, Aracoma, romped the hills hereabouts fell last Thursday to the accurate aim of Private Miller of the Second Virginia regiment at the power house.
The coyote belonged to Herbert’s Greater Shows. The animal escaped from his keepers and fled toward Logan. At the Power house a large pig, belonging to K.F. Deskins, suddenly appeared in the path of the coyote. The coyote decided to forego the bright lights of Logan temporarily to feast on $15 a hundred pork and in a few minutes was feasting on the fat of the land.
The pig’s squeals attracted the attention of Private Miller, who wears a medal for sharpshooting. He fired twice at a range of 100 yards and both shots took effect. The coyote keeled over dead.
Source: Logan (WV) Democrat, 24 May 1917.
Appalachia, Bill Bird, Capital Theatre, Chafin Hotel, Chapmanville, genealogy, George Chafin, Harts Creek, history, Hugh Butcher, Huntington, Irvin Carter, Logan Banner, Logan County, Mack B. Lilly, Main Street, Maston White, moonshine, moonshining, Perry Butcher, Wade Rice, West Fork, West Virginia, Yantus
Here’s a bit of history about the Huntington Advertiser newspaper of Huntington, WV:
THE HUNTINGTON ADVERTISER is nineteen years old today and it signalizes the event by appearing in a new dress.
It is not yet two years since the present owner became connected with the paper yet we look back with pride and satisfaction upon what has been accomplished in twenty months, and are encouraged to press forward with increased confidence in the complete success of the undertaking.
THE ADVERTISER was surrounded with many adverse circumstances when we first undertook its publication. The country was suffering from a long season of business depression and there was a lack of interest and enthusiasm on the part of those to whom the paper most naturally looked for support; and yet, notwithstanding the difficulties with which the paper has had to contend, it has steadily grown in popular favor as is attested by the largely increased subscription list. The increase in our advertising patronage has kept pace with the increase of circulation, and the paper is now published altogether at home in order to accommodate its increasing advertising business.
We believe that the city of Huntington and the country tributary to it, in common with the whole State, is entering upon an era of great development and prosperity, and it shall be our aim to make THE ADVERTISER a fit exponent and representative of the new era of progress and material advancement. In the future as in the past we will strive to disseminate Democratic principles and labor to promote the unity and success of the party under whose banner we do battle. We return thanks to our friends and the public for the generous patronage heretofore extended to the ADVERTISER; and to our brethren of the press we feel especially grateful for the many kind notices received at their hands. We shall endeavor to make the paper as worthy of their favor and approbation in the future as in the past.
Source: Huntington (WV) Advertiser, 30 April 1887.