Appalachia, Beverly Spencer, Elm Tree Club, Gordon Riffe, Harmon McNeely, history, John Lee Buskirk, Kelly McNeely, Lee Justice, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Wallace Perry, West Virginia, William Forbes, Yie Buskirk
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history for the old “Court House Elm” that once stood at the Logan County Courthouse:
Court House Elm is Slowly Dying
The old elm that has stood on the western end of the court house plaza has given evidence that it is about ready to give up the ghost and pass away. Efforts have been made this week to water the roots and otherwise assist Mother Nature in bringing life into the old trunk that has stood there for many years. This tree has afforded shade for practically every inhabitant of the county and under its spreading boughs has, for many years, gathered what is known as the “Elm Tree Club,” composed of citizens who have grown in age and who are inclined to enjoy the comforts of the seats on the plaza and the breeze as well and to enjoy viewing all passing traffic. Should the old tree die, it is understood, Lee Justice will be called upon to deliver the funeral oration. It is said that Yie Buskirk, father of several of the prominent Buskirks who have lived in Logan, gathered the shrub while roaming in the mountains and brought it to the village and planted it where it now stands. The tender shrub grew with years until it gained a huge size, but recently when that part of the lawn was concreted, not sufficient amount of earth was left about its trunk to afford moisture and the tree has been declining for years.
Although it gives signs of budding forth this year, it will not remain with us many more years to afford us a pleasant shade.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 14 April 1922
Dying Elm Inspires Many Reminiscences
The article in the Banner of last week relative to the dying elm tree on the southwest corner of the court house square has brought the older citizens of the city to reminiscence of the days gone by when the “Elm Tree Club” was in full bloom.
This club was organized in 1908 and consisted of 8 charter members. The object of the club was to gather daily under the shade of this tree, swap jokes, tell tales of past experiences in life and otherwise entertain all who cared to listen while the members viewed the never ending line of traffic as it passed by every moment of the day.
The club was organized by Lee Justice, who was honored by being made President. William Forbes was elected secretary and the charter members consisted of these two gentlemen with Beverly Spencer, Kelly McNeely, Gordon Riffe, John Lee Buskirk, Wallace Perry, and Harmon McNeely forming the nucleus around which a large membership has grown at the present day.
The old elm is a favorite meeting place for people with a few idle moments to spare and the seats found there afford comfort and ease to the weary who are pleased to find a place to relax and rest while at the same time they are able to observe principally all the traffic for this point is traversed by practically all the traffic of the city.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 21 April 1922