Bud McCoy, crime, Doc Mayhorn, Elijah Mounts, genealogy, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, history, Joseph Davis, Kentucky, Logan County, Mate Creek, Mingo County, murder, Pharmer McCoy, Tolbert McCoy, West Virginia
The killing of Tolbert, Pharmer, and Bud McCoy by a Hatfield-led gang on August 8, 1882 represented one of the most sensational events of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud. What follows is Elijah Mounts’ deposition regarding the affair:
Who was introduced by the [page torn] Commonwealth and state [page torn] Between the time we left [page torn] Jo Davis and before [page torn] met the Parties near the mouth of Mate [page torn] I have [page torn] Hatfield whoots who are [page torn]
This whooting was after all [page torn] shooting was done we ___ [page torn] along down below the the [page torn] mo. of Sulphur before I ___ [page torn] the whoots. I first Saw Dock [page torn] Mayhorn, about 50 yards [page torn] up from the Mouth of Mate [page torn] __ came _____ [page torn] ___ the river and Said [page torn] to me you have got back [page torn] with my horse. I then got [page torn] down off the horse. And I then heard the noise of others coming.
Appalachia, Bank of Huntington, Bob Greever, Bud McDaniel, C.W. Jones, Cabell County, Frank James, Henlawson, Henry Lawson, history, Huntington, Island Creek, Jesse James, Logan, Logan County, Merrill Mines, Robert T. Oney, Tennessee, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about the James Gang’s robbery of a Huntington bank…and the fate of a safe:
Historic Safe In Offices Merrill Mines, Henlawson
Bank Safe Robbed by Jesse James’ Gang at Huntington in 1875 Now in Fire-proof Vault at Henlawson
Used As Storage For Old Files
The Merrill Mines at Henlawson have a safe in their payroll office which has a unique history.
The safe is being used by the company as a storage place for old records and is in a fire-proof vault.
But it was not always thus.
According to Bob Greever, payroll clerk, who became interested in the history of the safe and clipped a news story from a Huntington newspaper to support his story, the depository was once in the old Bank of Huntington on Third avenue and Twelfth street and was robbed by members of Jesse James gang, who made their getaway with $14,500 on Twelfth street to Fourth avenue, thence to Tenth street and out Tenth street to the hills, closely pursued by a hastily formed posse.
Old-timers in Logan still remember the posse which followed the gang to Logan and lost its trail at the forks of Island Creek long enough for the gang to make their escape to Tennessee.
Reports came back to Logan that the posse overtook the band in Tennessee, killed one of the gang, Bud McDaniel, and arrested another by the name of Webb or Keen. The man the police arrested was brought back to West Virginia and was sentenced to the penitentiary for 20 years. Most of the money was recovered.
An excerpt from the news article describing the bank robbery reads:
“On Monday, September 6, 1875, between the hours of 1 and 2 o’clock a group of men later discovered to have been members of the dreaded James gang, descended on the Bank of Huntington and, at the point of a pistol, forced Robert T. Oney, cashier, to open the bank’s safe in order that they might rifle the contents.
“They complimented the cashier on his courage and insisted on restoring to him an amount of money shown to be his by a credit slip on the counter.
“Reaching the outside of the bank the four men sprung into their saddles, brandished their pistols in the air and galloped away, yelling like Comanche.”
“It was definitely learned that Jesse James was not among them, but there was uncertainty as to whether or not Frank James was in the party. Colder Young was present and may have been leader of the detachment.”
C.W. Jones, general manager of the Merrill Mines, said that the old safe, which weighs every bit of two tons, was first owned by Henry Lawson, lumber operator at Henlawson.
Lawson brought the safe from Huntington by pushboat and put it in his lumber offices on the site of the Merrill Mine offices.
When the Merrill Mines opened their workings, the safe was left near its original site and a fireproof vault was built around it.
The safe is showing the ravages of nearly a century of service. The combination is broken, it squeaks on its hinges, and some of the cement which is encased between steel plates on the safe doors is beginning to crack.
However, the safe is in its final resting place, the door of the vault is too small to get the safe through.
Logan (WV) Banner, 13 May 1937
Andrew Fowler, Appalachia, Chapmanville, Chilton Chapman, coal, Ed Turner, Elliott Bryant, Eva Barker, genealogy, Harriet Hill, Harts Creek, Henlawson, history, Kimball, L.T. Hicks, Logan Banner, Logan County, Maud McCloud, Millard Brown, Pete Ferrell, Seamon mines, Susie Hill, Ula Barker, Washington DC, Wayne Brown, West Virginia
A correspondent named “Mutt & Jeff” from Chapmanville in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on October 6, 1922:
We are having some cool nights. Soon be time for Jack Frost.
Mrs. Dingess returned Monday after a few days visiting on Harts Creek.
We understand that Mr. Ula Barker is the proud owner of a gray mule.
Mr. Pete Ferrell is tipple boss at the Seamon mines.
Mr. and Mrs. L.T. Hicks are spending their honeymoon in Washington, D.C. We all wish them a happy life.
We see there is another new house going up in town.
Chapmanville is getting more like New York every day.
Miss Maud McCloud gets more letters than anyone else. Who is it that thinks so much of you, Maud?
Andrew Fowler wears a fifty cent smile these days. What is up, boys?
All of our boys have gone to work after a long vacation during the strike.
Mrs. Wayne Brown, Miss Harriet Hill, Chilton Chapman, and Susie Hill were out car riding Sunday. All reported a good time.
Millard Brown and his best girl were out walking Sunday.
Ed Turner and Miss Havner were seen out walking Sunday.
Eva Barker seems to get letters from Kimball real often.
Quite a number of the boys and girls of Henlawson visited Chapmanville Sunday. Come again. We are glad to have visitors.
Elliott Bryant was wearing a seventy-five cent smile Sunday. Who is she, Elliott?
Fanny, where was Cecil Sunday?
If this escapes the waste basket, will call again.
Andrew Lewis, Appalachia, Aracoma, Battle of the Island, Big Creek, Boling Baker, Coal River, Dingess Run, Elizabeth Madison, George Booth, Gilbert Creek, Guyandotte River, Hatfield Island, history, Island Creek, John Breckinridge, Kentucky, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Mingo County, Montgomery County, Native American History, Native Americans, Spruce Fork, Thomas Madison, Virginia, Washington County, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of information about Logan’s early history printed on April 26, 1937:
Land On Which City Of Logan Now Stands First Owned by Breckinridge
The tract of land on which the city of Logan now stands and the Island–now “Hatfield’s Island”–once belonged to John Breckinridge, scion of an old Kentucky family and leader of the attacking party which broke the control of the Shawnee Indians in the Guyandotte valleys in the “Battle of the Islands.”
Princess Aracoma was killed in this battle and Boling Baker, her renegade white husband, was banished forever from the lush river valley where he had spent his days since his desertion from the English forces in Virginia.
Captain Breckenridge led the attack which made the valley safe for white settlers, and, in appreciation of his services, the new government allowed him 300 acres at the mouth of Island creek.
The land grant was made early in the 1780s along with a few others on Island Creek, Dingess Run, Gilbert Creek, Big Creek and the Spruce Fork of Cole River.
Surveying parties from Montgomery and Washington county, Virginia, braved the wilderness and apportioned the land in Guyan Valley and vicinity to early Indian fighters who had contributed their services to opening the valley for white settlement.
Included in the surveys made by deputy surveyors from Montgomery county were grants apportioning much of Island Creek, Spruce Fork, and Dingess Run to persons whose names are still remembered in the county has holders of much of this county’s land.
In these early surveys Andrew Lewis was given 3000 acres on Island Creek along with 2000 acres on Big Creek, and 3000 acres on Gilbert Creek.
Thomas Madison was given 2000 acres on Spruce Fork, 1000 acres on Dingess Run, and 2000 acres on Gilbert Creek.
Others who figured in this early allocation of land were Elizabeth Madison, who was given much of Spruce Fork; George Booth, who was awarded several thousand acres along Guyan River and on Island Creek; and George Booth [same name listed twice in this story], who received much of the land along Island Creek.
Later in the waning years of the 19th century other grants were made by the new government with the stipulation that settlement be made immediately, but these early grants were rewards for work well done in opening the valley of the Guyandotte for settlement.
Albert Mullins, Almeda Baisden, Appalachia, Ben Browning, Bruce Conley, genealogy, H.L. Mullins, Harts, Harts Creek, history, James Baisden, Logan Banner, Logan County, Mount Era United Baptist Church, Pearly Ornton, Pumpkin Center, Rosie Mullins, Roxie Mullins, Van Mullins, Welthy Mullins, West Virginia
A correspondent named “For-Get-Me-Not” from Enzelo on Harts Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on September 1, 1922:
Wonder what is wrong with Ruth?
Mr. James Baisden and Miss Pearly Ornton were out walking Sunday.
Welthy and Rosie Mullins were seen horse back riding Monday afternoon.
Misses Almeda Baisden, Roxie and Welthy Mullins went to Hearts to church Sunday morning.
Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Mullins gave an apple peeling Thursday night. All reported a good time.
What’s “Black eyes” so downhearted about?
Bruce Conley and his little brother were the guests at Roxie’s home Saturday.
The Mount Erie Sunday School will go to Pumpkin Center for the first Sunday in September on a picnic.
Roxie Mullins was Mr. and Mrs. Ben Browning’s guest recently.
Van Mullins, who has been on the sick list for some time, is recovering fast.
Albert Mullins was seen passing through here whistling.
Welthy Mullins has a new Beau. He’s rather cute, don’t you think so?
If the goat doesn’t eat this, I’ll come again.
A correspondent named “Jennings” from Halcyon on Harts Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on August 11, 1922:
Miss Freddie Dingess and Miss May Cooper were visitors in Halcyon this week. The girls seemed to enjoy themselves very much. They went in bathing in the creek, rode a log, turned turtle, went barefooted, rode a mule and so on. They sure were a jolly couple. They took back to Shamrock bottom lots of sunshine. Most of the people take back moonshine.
Miss Tom Dingess from the Logan hospital and Von Dingess of Shamrock Bottom were visitors in Halcyon recently. The jolly things they did were innumerable and is believed they took away both moonshine and sunshine to Shamrock valley.
Everything is unusual around here. We have good crops of which we are reaping the benefit of now. All are jolly and the goose is hanging high.
Appalachia, Burl Dingess, Caney Branch, Charles Gore, education, Everett Dingess, genealogy, Halcyon, Harts Creek, Hattie Dingess, history, Holden, Ira Gore, Joe Gore, Lee Dingess, Logan Banner, Logan County, moonshine, teacher, W.W. Gore, West Virginia
A correspondent named “Aunt Meg” from Halcyon on Harts Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on September 22, 1922:
Times are good and everybody happy and gay in the old town, but as some of us have never purchased our winter shoes our toes have begun to smell jack frost.
There is some town gossip that Everett Dingess will return to Pennsylvania with his wife and baby where he has spent a few years.
Miss Hattie Dingess has left our town and will teach school on Caney for a few months.
Our home school is progressing nicely under the supervision of Mr. Chas. Gore as teacher. His motto is: “Do good and leave moonshine alone.”
Pete, you walk as if you had spent your past few days in the White House. Has she gone back on you?
Mr. Ira Gore and Burl Dingess made a hurried trip to Holden last week. Boys, what’s your hurry?
Mr. W.W. Gore of Holden spent the weekend with his brother, Joe Gore, of this place.
I wonder why Lee Dingess rides so fast up the hill on his way to the ‘ville. Ask Kris. She knows.
Harvest time has come, boys. Shake off your sleepiness and go to work.
Good luck to the Banner and readers.
Alice Dingess, Anna Adams, Appalachia, Bob Dingess, Eunice Adams, Evert Hager, genealogy, Geronimo Adams, Harts Creek, history, Hollena Dingess, Ida Dingess, Kate Baisden, Logan Banner, Logan County, Mattie Adams, Ora Mullins, Pitt Branch, Trace Fork, West Virginia
A correspondent named “Dot” from Harts in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on October 6, 1922:
Miss Ora Mullins is very ill at this writing. Her friends earnestly hope for her speedy recovery.
Miss Hollena is conducting a good school on Trace.
Trace is very longely since Anna and Nora left. Come back, girls.
The teachers in this town take their pipes to school. Wonder what for?
Jerona Adams was calling on Misses Eunice and Mattie Adams.
There is going to be a wedding on Trace soon. Get the bells ready.
Miss Ida Dingess had a caller Sunday.
Miss Anna Adams had a caller Sunday, Mr. Evert Hager, of Pitt Branch.
Robert Dingess was calling on Miss Katy Baisden one evening this week.
Mrs. Alice Dingess has purchased a Buick car.
Andrew Johnson, Appalachia, Atenville, Cabell County, county clerk, genealogy, Guyandotte River, Guyandotte Valley Navigation Company, history, John Chapman, justice of the peace, Lincoln County, Lock No. 5, Logan County, Spencer A. Mullins, Virginia, W.I. Campbell, West Virginia, William Straton, Willow Bar
Appalachia, Boone County, Crawley Creek, Dick Johnson, Elizabeth Hart, Fred B. Lambert, genealogy, Harts Creek, Henderson Dingess, Henry Clay Ragland, history, Jacob Stollings, James Hart, John Baker, Lincoln County, Little Harts Creek, Logan Banner, Logan County, Logan County Banner, Mud River, Native Americans, Roane County, Smokehouse Fork, Stephen Hart, West Virginia
From the Logan County Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history written by amateur historian Henry Clay Ragland relating to Stephen Hart and the naming of Harts Creek in Lincoln and Logan counties, West Virginia, dated 1896:
On 13 April 1937, the Logan Banner printed another story about Hart and his relationship to Harts Creek. This latter story was generally derived from Ragland’s 1896 history.
Harts Creek Named After Stephen Hart—A Wanderer And Famous Deer Hunter
Much has been told about Harts Creek in late years, but little is known about the first settler who built his home in the long hollow and gave it a name.
Stephen Hart built a cabin on the farm which Henderson Dingess later owned at the forks of Hart’s Creek. He cared nothing for the soil, but spent his time hunting deer and curing the meat. He didn’t stay long in one place.
Near his cabin he built a house in which to store his cured venison between his infrequent trips to the settlements down the river and was altogether self-sufficient. His neighbors knew little about the man. There is no record of a family reared by him and he told neighbors little of his past history.
His was a roaming nature. He, like the Arabs, pitched his tent where the water was clearest, the game gamest, and the soil most fertile.
To commemorate his short stay at the forks of Harts, neighbors named the creek for him after he had loaded his gun, food stores and skins on a pack mule, and started west.
His few friends heard no more about him, but they remembered him as a “quiet man, a good shot, and a good neighbor.”
Just “around the bend and over the ridge,” Jacob Stollings, John Baker, and Dick Johnson brought their families and built their homes. From descendants of this family comes much of the record of Stephen Hart who gave the creek a name.
Hart’s venison was known for miles around as the tenderest, the most delicately cured meat in the Hart’s section and Stollings, Baker, and Johnson always put in a small supply of Hart’s meat for the winter, sometimes to take an unusually large supply off the hunter’s hands but most times just because they liked the venison.
John Baker married a daughter of Jacob Stollings, and Dick Johnson married a sister of Baker’s. Both men reared large families whose names are familiar in the county’s history.
But Hart left only the name of his beloved deer hunting grounds as a reminder that he had first set foot on Hart’s Creek.
MY NOTE: Of importance, much confusion remains regarding the source for the naming of Harts Creek, essentially relating to the fact that Stephen Hart was born too late to have inspired the naming of the stream. I first attempted to unravel this story when I published a profile of Stephen Hart in a Lincoln County newspaper in 1995/6. Stephen Hart, son of James and Elizabeth Hart, was born c.1810 in North Carolina; Harts Creek appears on a map printed prior to 1824 (Hart was still quite young). In the early 1900s, amateur historian Fred B. Lambert noted that Hart’s father had been killed by Native Americans at the mouth of present-day Little Harts Creek (according to a Hart descendant). Possibly it is Mr. Hart’s father who inspired the naming of the local stream. Problematic to this possibility is the fact that, based on Stephen Hart’s estimated year of birth, his father would have been killed in 1809-1811, which is about fifteen to twenty years too late for an Indian attack in the Guyandotte Valley. Stephen Hart did settle locally. He may well have squatted on Harts Creek land, as Ragland reported in 1896. Based on documentary evidence, he acquired 50 acres on Crawley Creek in 1839. He appears in the 1840 Logan County Census and the 1850 Boone County Census. By 1860, he had settled in Roane County, where he died in 1896–the same year that Ragland published his history. He also left plenty of local descendants in the Mud River section of Lincoln County. How did Ragland garble this section of his history so badly? For those who wish to avoid sorting out this confusing tale, consider this version: at least one early account states the creek was named “hart” due to the prevalence of stags in its vicinity.
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history relating to coal and the Guyandotte River, dated 1927:
UNPLEASANT AND HARMLESS TASTE NOTED IN CITY WATER—IS CAUSED BY PHENOL WASHED INTO RIVER
The local water company has lately been flooded with telephone calls relative to a strange taste and odor in the city water supply. At the request of the water company the County Health Department has made an investigation. It has been found that the queer taste and odor is not due to excessive use of chlorine disinfectant, as most people seem to believe. A great many people have remarked that the odor especially resembles that of carbolic acid. As a matter of fact, the compound causing it does not belong to the same family. The taste is caused by a phenol compound which is a coal tar product found in coal mine wastes. The heavy rains this week have washed some of this deposit from the upper Guyan Valley coal fields into the river. There is no known satisfactory method to remove phenol from water, so it goes through the water paint; part of it combining with the chlorine used for disinfecting and producing the taste so prevalent for the last few days.
The water is entirely safe and it is not injurious to health. It will probably last only a few days, until the flood waters in the rivers subside.
The situation is not a new one; various towns over the state, using stream water from coal field drainage districts, report “chloro-phenol” taste from time to time. The only remedy is to keep the coal waste from draining into the streams. Some work has been done in Pennsylvania along this line but so far little has been accomplished in West Virginia.
Logan County Health Department
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 21 October 1927