Appalachia, coal, deputy sheriff, Don Chafin, history, Logan, Logan Banner, Mine Wars, politics, sheriff, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history for Sheriff Don Chafin. The story is dated February 10, 1922:
REJECT SHERIFF’S RESIGNATION
Don Chafin Presents Same to the County Court But Would Not Be Accepted
ACTION OF SHERIFF DUE TO LACK OF COOPERATION
He Has Agreed to Serve Out Term of the Office After Urging of Court and Friends
Last week Don Chafin tendered to the county court his resignation as Sheriff of Logan county. The county court promptly rejected his resignation and Mr. Chafin was prevailed upon by his friends to let the matter drop and continue to serve the county in his official capacity.
The direct cause of his resignation was the lack of cooperation on the part of some of his deputies. To those who are unacquainted with the official duties of a Sheriff in Logan County the duties of the office might be considered one of ease and pleasure but to those who are initiated with the trials and tribulations of the position it is a well known fact that the life of a Sheriff in this county is anything but a bed of roses.
The Banner is directly opposed to the political policy of Don Chafin but it must be remembered that when Mr. Chafin offered himself as a candidate in the fall of 1920 for the office of Sheriff he was elected by an overwhelming majority in keeping with the choice as expressed by a majority of the citizens of the county. The Banner accepted the result and resolved to extend to the incoming Sheriff all the assistance within our power in fulfilling the duties of his office. Since that time we have had no occasion to regret our course. The previous term of Sheriff Chafin had satisfied us that the duties of the office would be fulfilled honestly and faithfully and the short time that he has served during the present term has justified our faith.
Logan county is in many respects far different from any other county in the state. We are in one sense of the word isolated from other sections of the state inasmuch as we are situated on a branch of a railway system with only one outlet. Consequently it is no easy matter for the mining operators in this field to secure labor. In their efforts to supply their mines with labor it is necessary for them to draw on the supply of raw labor of the larger cities. This brings into our midst an element of labor that is not always of the most lawful type but in many instances the men are of foreign birth and of various races hence we are sometimes so unfortunate as to admit many men of criminal tendencies.
Not one tenth of the labor required in the various industries of the county are of native birth, the other 90 percent being men who have no interest here other than the wages they may receive. Thus if may be seen that it requires constant attention to duties by the authorities of the county to maintain the law and prevent crime. To do this not only requires courage but tact and diplomacy as well.
How faithfully Don Chafin has performed the duties of the office the world is well aware. When thousands of armed men had banded themselves together with the avowed intention of invading our peaceful county last fall it was he that said, “They shall not pass.” They did not pass. Don Chafin stood like a stone wall and while the army of angry men stormed at the gates of our county he firmly held his men on the defensive and saved our county from invasion. Ho well he performed this duty is attested by commendation from all parts of the nation and needs no repetition here.
This is the second term of Don Chafin as Sheriff of this county. The citizens to the county called him to serve. While the routine of his duties may prove most irksome and perplexing we trust that he may exercise the fullest measure of patience and continue to serve the citizens of Logan county during the remainder of his term. The Sheriff needs the cooperation not only of his official family but of every law abiding citizen of the county and we should be quick to express our appreciation of duties well performed by giving to him all the assistance within our power.