From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Logan (then known as Aracoma) dated July 17, 1937:
Logan’s First Mayor Had Comparatively Few Worries
City “Clean-ups” Were Practically Unknown When J.B. Buskirk Served As Logan’s First Executive Back In 1893
Unlike the present-day affairs in the city of Logan with gambling, bootlegging, and all forms of vice causing the mayor, the police force, and the city council no little concern, the early residents of the city and their administrative bodies had little trouble in making and enforcing the laws.
Ordinances that would almost escape notice today, were they brought before the city legislative group, assumed the importance of grave administrative matters.
City “cleanups” were practically unknown, unless one could consider the annual spring drives against muddy thoroughfares and broken hitching posts as “clean ups.”
City legislators concerned themselves not at all with approving beer license ordinances, public health ordinances, and street marking programs. As to beer, the corner saloon was always handy and was somewhat a refuge from the law.
There was no such thing as “public” health, except in cases of epidemics when each citizen would pitch in and get everything as “clean as a hound’s tooth.”
Street marking in the early days could be construed only as the placing of a line of large rocks at regular intervals across strategic spots on the city’s one thoroughfare to enable pedestrians to cross from one side of the street to the other during the rainy season.
J.B. Buskirk, the first mayor of which there is record, elected with a city council to work with him, lived a life of ease compared with the administration of a present-day mayor.
Buskirk held sway in 1893 and, except for numerous resignations of public officials being continually tendered him, he had little cause to worry. Evidently the city fathers pined away in their chairs from boredom.
Record is made of the long-remembered council meeting of June 27, 1893, when Buskirk, with his council composed of Leander Cary, G.W. Morgan, John A. Sheppard, T.C. Whited, and S.B. Robertson met and passed the following ordinance:
“Be it ordained by the common council of the town of Aracoma: That any person found guilty of pitching horse shoes, rings or anything of like manner, or playing quoits, ball, marbles, or any similar game or games upon the streets or alleys of the town of Aracoma, shall be fined not less than one dollar nor more than five dollars at the discretion of the Mayor.”
The council did not indicate whether or not they considered these practices gambling.
Those were the days—from a mayor’s point of view.
NOTE: Aracoma was Logan’s official name in 1893.