From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this poem titled “West Virginia” by Granville D. Hall, dated October 4, 1927:
“Child of the Tempest”–O, puny Ship of State!
Christened with the Crimson vintage of the War,
Fate gives thee launch upon a dark unquiet tide;
But the future signals welcome from afar,
Anchored to the Union, thou shalt ride
In haven safe while smiling fortunes wait!
“We know what master laid thy keel;
What workmen wrought thy ribs of steel;
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope;
What anvils rang, what hammers beat–
In what a forge and what a heat
Thy anchors grew–our Hope.” (*)
We laid deep with all our love,
With all our hopes, and bid thee go–
Despite the frowning skies above;
Breasting the heaving tides below–
Forth to the future, strong in right.
Time evens all, and God is just.
In thine own strength and to His might,
Our best beloved–our all–we trust.
Fare forth, O, rich imperial State!
Virginia’s last reluctant gift,
Award of War, the fruit of Fate.
The Sea subsides, the storm-clouds lift.
Take courage, Heir to halcyon years!
Beware the reef; the treacherous lee;
Beware the perils yet to be.
The Prosperous Isles, their lures and guiles;
Their apples of gold, their sirens’ smiles–
Are waiting to win thee from the Sea.
Once more the skies shall bend serene,
And placid seas He broad between;
The tempest past, the radiant bow
Shall arch the heavens above thy prow;
And golden shores beyond the Sea
Shall lift their fronds to welcome thee.
(Granville D. Hall was formerly the editor of the Wheeling Intelligencer. He is now living in retirement [in] Glencie, Ill.)
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From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this story titled “Sheriff Hurst and Registrars Ready to Enroll,” dated May 24, 1917:
SHERIFF HURST AND REGISTRARS READY TO ENROLL
Final Preparations are Made to Classify Men of Military Age In Logan County
Sheriff Hurst Wednesday gave final instructions to his sixty odd registrars who will enroll all men between the ages of 21 and 30, for military service as ordered by proclamations of President Wilson and Governor Cornwell for June 5, which will be a legal holiday in West Virginia as in other states.
On June 5, all male citizens are required to go to their regular voting places between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. and fill out a blank similar to the one printed in today’s Democrat. The governor has requested that all other public business be suspended on that day and that patriotic parades of school children be held. He also asks all owners of automobiles to help transport to the voting places men of military age and that every assistance possible be given the officers who will make the registration.
To Telegraph Result
As soon as the registration in Logan county is completed, the result will be telegraphed to Washington and then the machinery will be set in motion to select those who will be included in the first call for 500,000 men who will begin training in September. A board will sit in Logan who will select the available men to enter the first army. An absolute, fair and impartial administration of the law is insured as the local board will be directly responsible to the federal authorities and subject to stern penalties should any favoritism be shown. The state officers have nothing whatever to do with the army after the work of selection is completed. Those who will form the local conscription board are:
Sheriff Frank P. Hurst
Clerk, County Court, C.G. Miller
County Health Officer, Dr. S.B. Lawson
Robert Peck, (R.)
Elmer McDonald, (D)
The president in his proclamation ordered all men, 21 to 30 years old, excepting those already enlisted, shall voluntarily present themselves at the places to be designated for registration on June 5. Other main features of his orders follow:
Men away from home may register by mail.
Penalty for refusing to register; up to a year imprisonment.
All federal, state, county, city and village officers are liable for service for registration and draft.
Any person making a false statement to evade service or any official aiding in such an attempt, will be punished by a year’s imprisonment through civil authorities or by military court martial.
Persons ill or who will be absent from home should get registration blanks from the city clerk, if they are in towns of more than 30,000 inhabitants and from the county clerk, if they are in towns of less than 30,000 inhabitants.
The main parts of the president’s proclamation in which he explained the necessity for conscription follow:
“We are arrayed against a power that would impose its will upon the world by force.
“The man in the factories or who tills the soil is no less a part of any army than the man beneath the battle-flags.
“We must shape and train for war, not an army, but a nation.
“The sharpshooter must march and the machinist must remain at his levers.”
The whole nation must be a team in which each man shall play the part for which he is best fitted.
“It is not conscription of the unwilling but a selection from a nation which has volunteered in mass.”
Sheriff Hurst has volunteered to do his part of the work in registration without cost to the federal government. The other registrars will do the same. No trouble is expected in enrolling the entire military population of the country.
The list of registrars and enrollment places for Logan county follow:
Everett Dingess and Thomas Hensley, Queens Ridge.
Melvin Conley and Charles Conley, Shively.
Cam Pridemore and French Dingess, Pitts Branch.
Vinson Ferrell and Ans McCloud, Chapmanville.
R.E. Lowe, Stone Branch.
G.F. Collins, Big Creek.
W.B. Phipps, Chapmanville.
Ed. Haner, Curry.
Marshal Gore and Frank Frye, Sharples.
Black Sanders and George Baldwin, Lake.
Henry Lawson and John Hill, Henlawson.
J.B. Wilkinson, Jr., and M.B. Taylor, Logan.
L.D. Chambers and Frank Perry, Rolfe.
Cecil Mounts and C.H. Baisden, Mt. Gay.
Willis Parsons and W.P. Vance, Holden.
R.W. Buskirk and William Lewis, Omar.
Melvin White and Robert Hill, Pecks Mill.
Elmer Gore, Ethel.
A.M. Hall, Ethel.
Arthur Townsend, Holden.
C.E. Lamp, Holden.
C.C. Chambers and Robert Straton, Logan.
A.P. Loyd and G.K. Mills, Holden.
Sam Scott and Bruce White, Monaville.
Dr. Smoot and Guy Pauley, Blair.
Lot Murphy, Mt. Gay.
Ed. Mapper, Wilkinson.
F.D. Stollings and John Claypool, Foley.
Millard Perry, Everett Buchannon, Emmett Scaggs and Dr. Thornberry, Man.
John Amburgey and W.E. Perry, Amherstdale.
Earl Summers and Frank Hutchinson, Manbar.
M.F. Waring, Laredo.
Ed. Riffe, Craneco.
Andrew Jordan and Bilton Browning, Barnabas.
Dow Chambers, Yolyn.
Jack Mason, Rum Creek.
Agnes Whitman, Appalachia, Chapmanville, genealogy, history, Huntington, Lillian Johnson, Logan Banner, Logan County, Nora Whitman, Rev. Shrives, Rev. Watkins, Sid White, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wetzel Raines
An unknown correspondent from Chapmanville in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on November 8, 1927:
Rev. Watkins of Tennessee is conducting a revival at the Holiness church at present.
Rev. Shrives’ wife is on the sick list at this writing.
Mr. Wetzel Raines and wife were calling on friends in Chapmanville Sunday.
Miss Lillian Johnson is sick at this writing. We hope for her a speedy recovery.
Miss Agnes Whitman was calling on friends in Huntington Sunday.
Miss Nora Whitman is visiting her sister Mrs. Sid White of this place.
Appalachia, Banco, Big Creek, C.E. Mitchell, Charles Mitchell, Emma Colegrove, Francis Lucas, genealogy, Grady Frye Lucas, history, Huntington, J.B. Lucas, J.B. Thomas, J.B. Toney, John Hunter, John Toney, Lincoln County, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Marie Lucas, Rector, typhoid fever, West Virginia
An unknown correspondent from Big Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on November 1, 1927:
The little son of Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Lucas was burned about the body and also the right arm, when he turned a cup of hot coffee over Thursday night.
John Toney and John Hunter both of Rector moved to Big Creek last week.
Mrs. Emma Colegrove of Huntington was the guest of her grandmother here Sunday afternoon.
Mrs. C.E. Mitchell was calling on Mrs. J.B. Lucas Sunday evening.
Mrs. J.B. Toney and children of Huntington were weekend visitors here.
Mrs. Francis Lucas of Banco has moved to Big Creek.
Miss Marie Lucas who has been going to school at Logan was visiting homefolks Saturday and Sunday.
Master Grady Frye Lucas, who has been ill with typhoid for some time is able to be out again.
Mrs. J.B. Thomas and Mrs. Chas. Mitchell made a flying trip to Huntington.
Good luck and best wishes to all.
Appalachia, Bertha Browning, Big Branch, Caleb Browning, Caney Branch, Charles Adkins, clerk, genealogy, George Browning, Guyandotte River, Harts Creek, history, Jack Browning, Jacob Adkins, Joseph Browning Jr., justice of the peace, Lincoln County, Robert Hager, Warren Browning, West Virginia, Willy Browning
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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this story titled “Logan County Boys Killed or Wounded,” dated November 8, 1927:
Logan County Boys Killed or Wounded
Prayers in behalf of peace are suggested for Armistice Day by President Coolidge. It will likewise be proper to recall the names of those who sacrificed most in the cause of peace, who died or were wounded in the dreary days before the signing of the Armistice ended the most colossal conflict of all history. Twenty young men from Logan county were killed in action. Half that number died of wounds. Their names and the names of others who died in the service of their country a decade ago are reproduced from the official records:
Killed in Action
Floyd W. Clay
John B. McNeely
William F. Munsey
James L. Robinson
Willie F. Smith
Ulysses B. Vance
Keefer Jennings Whitman
Died of Wounds
John L. Blankenship
Noble J. Lax
William R. Nowlan
Henry H. Runyan
Died of Disease (A.E.F.)
Thomas J. Cox
Fred E. Hahne
Joe Hardy (colored)
Johnie Johnson (colored)
Levi J. Vance
Died of Disease in U.S.
William O. Bailey
James Linford Brown
Wounded in Action
William H. Adkins
Lovel H. Aldredge
Frank J. Bell
Walter S. Blake
George F. Breeden
Hirse C. Brown
Guy T. Conley
George E. Covey
Dan Craft (colored)
Jim F. Crawford
John H. Crittenden
James G. Cyrus
Thomas Y. Davis
Rector H. Elkins
James M. Ellis
Robert L. Gore
Burton W. Gore
Ben H. Gosney
William E. Hanshaw
John H. Harris
William Harris (colored)
James Jackson (colored)
Thomas P. Justice
Charles Burton Litten
Herbert L. McKinney
William D. Maynard
Charlie M. Munsey
Thomas R. Newman
Clarence W. Parkins
James E. Peters
Arle J. Price
Finne Walter Pugh
Frank C. Reynolds
Burnie G. Sanson
John A. Shepherd
John Smith (colored)
Frank Ward (colored)
John L. Ward
John B. Wilkinson
Frank C. Wilcoxen
Will Wilson (colored)
It seems likely there are errors of spelling in the foregoing list, and perhaps some names have been omitted from the roster from which this list was copied. Desiring a complete and perfect list The Banner will appreciate having its attention called to any omissions or misspellings.
Appalachia, Beech Creek, Ben Creek, Bluefield, Bluestone River, Bob Browning, Boone County, Bramwell, Cabell County, Charleston, Coal Valley News, Commissioner of Agriculture, Crum, Davy, Devil Anse Hatfield, farming, Gilbert, Gilbert Creek, ginseng, Griffithsville, Guyandotte River, Hamlin, history, Horsepen Creek, Huntington, Iaeger, Island Creek, John W. Smith, Kanawha River, Lincoln County, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, M.L. Jones, Mate Creek, Pigeon Creek, Ranger, Route 10, Route 2, Route 3, Sarepta Workman, Tug Fork, Twelve Pole Creek, Wayne, Welch, West Hamlin, West Virginia, West Virginia by Rail and Trail, West Virginia Hills, Williamson
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Route 3 dated October 14, 1927:
“Changes Can Be Noted” In Island Creek Hills
Madison Editor Waxes Interesting on Old Times and Primitive Conditions–Surfaced Highways Mark the Paths Through Woodland That Were Traveled a Generation Ago.
An article of special interest to Logan folk is here reproduced from the Coal Valley News (Madison) of which M.L. Jones is editor. In a reminiscent mood he tells of road conditions and other conditions that prevailed hereabouts a generation ago. Exceptions might be taken to one or two statements, but the whole article is interesting indeed and informative.
It is considered appropriate that West Virginians should sing the “West Virginia Hills,” and year after year the teachers in their institution disturb their neighbors with this song, while “Tears of regret will intrusively swell.” There is some romance and merit in the song; but it strikes us that it is about time for a revision of this line.
“But no changes can be noticed in the West Virginia Hills.”
To prove our point we quote from memory.
For some years after 1882, there lived in the extreme head of the left fork of Island Creek, or Main Island Creek, a man named Bob Browning. It was 18 miles from Logan. The house was a two-room log cabin, surrounded by palings; and the valley was so narrow that it was difficult to find enough level ground for a garden. Apple trees and peach trees were scattered over a few acres of cleared mountain side. The family subsisted by a little farming, a little hunting and much ginsenging.
This place was between two low mountain gaps. A dim road, usable for wagons in dry weather, led down the creek to Logan, and forked at Browning’s house. One fork led east over one gap to Horsepen and Gilbert of Guyan; the other went west over the other gap to Pigeon creek, and by more or less roundabout ways connected with Ben Creek, Beech Creek, Mate Creek and Pigeon Creek, all of Tug river. Hence, it was a possible road route.
The nearest house down Island creek and on Horsepen creek was two miles; and on Pigeon creek about three-fourths of a mile. A wagon, lightly loaded, passed here on the average six times a year. Horsemen may have averaged one a day, though often a whole week passed without a traveler. It was simply a log shack in the head of the hollow, four miles from a school, ten miles from a store, without anything “which exalts and embellishes civilized life,” and so very remote from the haunts of men that when “Devil” Anse Hatfield and his followers concluded to surrender Tug river to Frank Phillips and the McCoys, they picked their “last stand” on Island creek, four miles below the spot we have been talking about.
Now, in the close of 1927, can “changes be noticed?” We have not been there for over 30 years. But we recently received a present from John W. Smith, commissioner of agriculture , Charleston, W.Va., entitled “West Virginia by Rail and Trail,” containing 22 maps and 174 pictures reproduced from photographs of different parts of the state, and for which we sincerely thank whoever got our name on Mr. Smith’s mailing list.
From this book we learn that when we laboriously trudged through the Horsepen gap or the Pigeon gap, from 45 to 35 years ago, we failed to foresee that within on generation men would pick those two gaps, within less than a miles of each other, as a route for one of West Virginia’s leading roads; and not only for one, but for two, of West Virginia’s leading roads. As we will explain:
Route 3, connects Huntington, Wayne, Crum, Williamson, Gilbert, Iaeger, Davy, Welch, Bramwell, and Bluefield. From Huntington to Wayne and about 15 miles above Wayne, it is mostly on the waters of Twelve Pole creek. It then bears west to Tug river and follows it from Crum to Williamson, about 25 miles. It then bears east to Pigeon Creek, which it follows to the spot we are writing about, in the head of Island creek, some 20 miles. It then goes through the two gaps and down Horsepen creek to Gilbert, on Guyan; up Guyan and Little Huff’s creek, of Guyan, and across the mountain to Iaeger, on Tug river. It then follows up Tug, by Welch, to the head of Elkhorn and then on the waters of Bluestone to Bluefield.
In all, Route 3 is in seven counties, though less than a mile of it is in Logan county, in the head of Island creek. It is graded all the way about 60 percent of it is hard surfaced, including about 25 miles at and near the Bob Browning place. Thus Bob, if alive, can ride on a hard surfaced road from his old home almost to Williamson, one way, and to Gilbert on Guyan the other way; and he could continue south by graded road, until he strikes hard surface again. The last fifty miles next to Bluefield is all hard surfaced, also the lower 25 miles next to Huntington.
But this is not the only big state route hitting this “head of the hollow.”
Route 10 runs from Huntington to the very same spot, a distance of 100 miles, through Cabell, Lincoln and Logan, and is all on Guyan or its tributaries. It is paved, or hard surfaced, from Huntington to West Hamlin, on Guyan where the Hamlin-Griffithsville hard-surfaced road turns off. It is also marked paved for seven miles north of Logan and twelve miles up Island creek. This leaves six miles up by the “Devil” Anse Hatfield place to the Bob Browning place to pave, and it is marked, “paved road under construction.” The only drawback to No. 10 is that from West Hamlin to Ranger is a patch where the grading is not yet satisfactory. Doubtless, within three years both 3 and 10 will be hard surfaced all the way. Even now, from the Browning place, the people can take their choice between an evening’s entertainment in Logan or Williamson.
But that is not all yet. The chances are heavy that there will never be but one hard surfaced road from Logan to Williamson. There will always be a heavy travel from Charleston to Williamson. It will be by our No. 2 to Logan; by No. 10 to the Browning place; and by No. 3 to Williamson. Within a few months it will all be hard surfaced.
From all this we conclude.
First; that we let a good chance slip when we failed to buy a half acre of land where No. 10 joints No. 3 for a hotel and filling station. We could have multiplied our investment by one thousand. But so far as we could see that spot was fit only to hold and the rest of the Earth’s surface together, and to get away from as rapidly as possible.
Second; that “changes can be noticed in the West Virginia Hills.”
We might add that thousands can remember crossing the Kanawha at Charleston on the ferry, because there was no bridge; and few, if any, three-story homes. The writer hereof did his first plowing with a two-horse turning plow in the center of what is now Huntington. It was a cornfield then. It is a fashionable residence district now. He boarded at an isolated log house on a hill back of the Huntington bottom, where now are miles of mansions on paved streets. Even in and about Madison and all over Boone county, it is hard for people to visualize how things looked a short ten years ago. Mrs. Sarepta Workman, on her recent visit to her old…
Boone County, boxer, boxing, Cecilia Dempsey, Cecilia Smoot, Chapmanville, Charles Smoot, Chicago, Colorado, Don Ellis, Dyke Garrett, Enoch Baker, Gay Coal and Coke Company, Gene Tunney, Hiram Dempsey, history, Holden, Huntington, Huntington Hotel, Island Creek, J. Kenneth Stolts, Jack Dempsey, Jack Kearns, John B. Ellis, Joseph Ellis, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Manassa, Salt Lake City, Scott Justice, Simpson Ellis, Stratton Street, The Long Count Fight, Utah, West Virginia, Wiatt Smith
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about champion boxer Jack Dempsey dated September 9, 1927:
Jack Dempsey’s Mother Pays Visit to Logan
Travels from Utah to See Relatives and Old Friends and Neighbors
Maiden Name Cecilia Smoot
Uncle Dyke Garrett Among Welcomers; Dempseys Once Owned Site of Holden.
While Jack Dempsey is fighting to regain the heavyweight championship of the world, his mother Mrs. Hiram Dempsey will be the guest of Logan relatives and friends. She is expected to arrive at any hour for an extended visit to the scenes of her childhood.
Mrs. Dempsey arrived at Huntington Sunday and then planned to come here the next day. Later, word came that she would complete today the last lap of a motor trip from Salt Lake City to Logan.
Interviewed at Huntington Mrs. Dempsey told of her desire to revisit girlhood scenes and inquired about old friends. She spoke of Uncle Dyke Garrett and was pleasantly surprised to learn that he is still living. Uncle Dyke read the interview (his wife is an aunt of Wiatt Smith, the interviewer) and despite the nearness of his 86th birthday, came back up from his home back of Chapmanville to welcome Mrs. Dempsey.
This beloved old mountain minister never knew Jack Dempsey, but he remembers Jack’s mother as a girl, her maiden name being Cecilia Smoot. She was a daughter of Charles Smoot, who came to Logan from Boone county, and who lived and died up on Island Creek. After his death, Mrs. Smoot (Jack Dempsey’s grandmother) married Simpson Ellis, who died but a few years ago, after serving a long period on the county court.
Scott Justice, who divides his time between Huntington and Logan, was among those who greeted Mrs. Dempsey at the Huntington Hotel yesterday. He remembers the marriage of Hiram Dempsey and Cecilia Smoot, and also recalls that the site on which the town of Holden now stands was sold by Hiram Dempsey to Mr. Justice’s father when the family decided to migrate westward.
According to Mr. Justice, the tract of 200 acres changed hands for a consideration of $600.
“Uncle” Enoch Baker was another caller to greet the challenger’s mother. Mr. Baker was engaged in business in Logan county when the Dempseys lived here, being well acquainted with the family.
Mrs. Dempsey was accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. J. Kenneth Stolts of Salt Lake City. They made the trip from Utah, where Jack’s mother now has her permanent home, in a large automobile, traveling in easy stages. They arrived in Huntington Sunday evening and are leaving there today.
She called her famous son in Chicago by telephone Sunday night to advise him she had arrived here safely.
While in Logan, Mrs. Dempsey will visit her half-brothers, Don Ellis of Stratton Street, and Joseph and John B. Ellis of Island Creek, and others.
She has never seen Jack in the ring and will probably receive the result of the coming battle from friends in Logan.
The difference in the ages of the champion and challenger will not be an advantage to Tunney, Jack’s mother thinks. “If Tunney will stand up and fight, I expect Jack will give a good account of himself. But if Jack has to chase him all the time, Tunney may turn around and give him a licking in the end. I believe they are pretty evenly matched and lucky may figure in the outcome,” she said.
The Dempseys left Logan in 1887 and William Harrison (Jack) was born in Manassa, Colo., in June ’95. While he was a mere child they returned to Logan county. Jack remained here until a young man, having been employed by the Gay Coal and Coke Company as late as 1913, and then went west alone to seek pugilistic fortune. He met Jack Kearns on the Pacific coast, from which point his spectacular climb to the pinnacle of the heavyweight division furnished the sport with one of its most romantic episodes.
In view of the fact that Dempsey is said to have lived in this county and because of the interest in the approaching fight, the foll
Appalachia, Chapmanville, Chapmanville High School, Courtney Stollings, Curry, Dennie Blevins, Ferrellsburg, genealogy, history, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lula Blevins, Millard Curry, Opal Bryant, Peter Garrett, Roy Stollings, Ruby Baisden, Walt Chapman, West Logan, West Virginia
An unknown correspondent from Chapmanville in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on September 20, 1927:
The 7th and 8th grades and Junior high school are progressing nicely under the management of Mr. and Mrs. Rigdon and Mr. Dobbin.
Mr. and Mrs. Walter Chapman and children motored to Ferrellsburg Sunday.
Mrs. Dennie Blevins and children of West Logan passed through this town Sunday.
Mr. and Mrs. Millard Curry were visiting Mr. and Mrs. Peter Garrett, Sr., of Curry Sunday.
Miss Lula Blevins was visiting home folks over the week end at Curry.
Misses Opal Bryant, Courtney Stollings, Ruby Baisden and Roy Stollings are attending high school here.
Anna Duty, Appalachia, Aracoma, Arnold Thomas, Banco, Battle of Blair Mountain, Big Creek, Ed Stone Branch, Eva Ellis, Fannie Brumfield, genealogy, Gladys Ferrell, Harts, Hassell Vance, Henlawson, history, Huntington, J.A. Stone, J.W. Thomas, L.P. Swentzel, Logan, Logan County, McClintock Field Company, Peach Creek, Robert Varney, timber, timbering, Trace Fork, West Virginia
An unknown correspondent from Banco on Big Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on October 8, 1926:
Everyone is very busy in Banco at this writing.
Everything sure is lively around this town as there are three sawmills on the Ed Stone Branch.
L.P. Swentzel of Huntington who is working for the McClintock Field Company was calling in Banco last week.
Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Stone of Blair were calling in our town one day this week.
Wonder if Hassell Vance likes taffy? We believe he does as he has been visiting the taffy mill real often.
Miss Fannie Brumfield of Trace Fork left for her home at Harts Saturday accompanied by her grandmother.
Miss Eva Ellis of Ellis Fork was a business caller in Banco last Tuesday.
Miss Gladys Ferrell and two sisters of Henlawson are visiting relatives on Ed Stone Branch this week.
J.W. Thomas and son Arnold returned from a peddling tour at Peach Creek, Logan and Aracoma.
Wonder which H.F.L. likes best: the North Pole or the ‘ville?
Mrs. Anna Duty and small daughter returned from Logan where she has been visiting her daughter, Mrs. Robert Varney.
Appalachia, C. Russel Christian, Carl Christian, Huntington Advertiser, Kirbyville, Logan County, Marian Trent, Mick Hurley, Oceana, poems, poetry, The Irish Plowman, West Virginia, writers, writing, Wyoming County
C. Russell Christian (c.1861-1889) was a well known regional poet born in Logan County, WV. A son of B. and E. (White) Christian, he married Marian Trent, fathered at least one son (Carl), and died of typhoid fever at Kirbyville in Wyoming County, WV. He is buried in Oceana, WV.
THE IRISH PLOWMAN
One bright and balmy morn in May,
Ere the sun had kissed the dew,
Mick Hurley trudged the broad highway
In search of aught that he could do.
With heart so light and conscience free,
Each farmer he would ask:
“An’ have ye got a job for me,
No matter phwat the task.”
At last he met a farmer who
Did need a steady working man,
Who asked if he could farming do;
“Begorra,” said Mick, “you’re right I can.”
“Then hitch the horses right away–
You’ll find them in the barn–
The near one’s black, the off one gray–
And start to plowing corn.”
Though Mick spake up in accents bold
When the farmer asked the question fair,
He knew full well a lie he told,
For the beam he wot not from the share.
“Howly mother,” says Mick, “phwat’ll I do?
May the good St. Patrick now kape me from harm.
Begorra, but won’t the ould farmer look blue
When he sees Mick Hurley a-plowing his farm?”
But Mick made a start. In his throat was a lump.
He felt like a man just sentenced to death.
He hadn’t gone far when the plow struck a stump,
And heels over head went Mick, out of breath.
Ne’er daunted by fear, he tried it again.
“Be jabers,” says Mick, “I’m doing immense!”
But to steady the plow his trials were vain,
And each furrow resembled a crooked trail fence.
Old Sol had arisen quite high in the skies
When the farmer concluded to visit poor Mick:
But a glance at the field was such a surprise
That to look at the man you’d think he was sick.
“Stop! stop!” said the farmer, “or you surely will rue it;
To hold a plow with that team is nothing but play.”
“Howld it?” says Mick; “how the devil can I do it,
When two horses are trying to pull it away!”
Source: Huntington (WV) Advertiser, 9 July 1887.