Appalachia, Battle of Blair Mountain, crime, Don Chafin, H.A. White, Kanawha County, Logan, Logan County, Mine Wars, Mingo County, sheriff, United Mine Workers of America, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this item dated September 2, 1921 about Kanawha County sheriff H.A. Walker and his role in the “armed march” on Logan County, WV, by UMWA miners:
IS KANAWHA PROUD OF HER SHERIFF?
We presume the citizens of Kanawha county are justly proud of their sheriff, H.A. Walker.
When Kanawha county citizens, all miners, last week decided that since Logan county was enjoying an unbroken peace of seventeen years, or from the time coal operations began, it would probably overlook the state pistol toting law and the United States treason laws and remain peacefully subservient thus allowing them to pass as quietly through Logan county as possible which might include pillaging a few homes and only a murder or two. Did Logan’s sheriff permit it? Let’s see.
This mob was allowed to gather in Kanawha county by their sheriff who visited their camp, saw armed sentinels and is said to have received authentic information of pillaging and looting and auto holdups in his county yet sends in the report of “everything orderly.” This then means that a person or several hundred persons may carry arms in Kanawha county so long as they are orderly even though he or they should hold up an auto or two “to see if the driver was carrying whiskey to the campers along the road.”
For shame, Kanawha. You permit a man to hold this high office who allows all of this in violation of his sacred oath, because he fears to disarm these men who came down through Boone leaving a trail of blood along the way, into Logan where families forsake their homes at two o’clock in the morning and drive to Logan city for protection; where every available man is pressed into service for fighting while his mother, wife, daughter and sister spend sleepless days and nights preparing food for him.
You should be pleased, Kanawha, that some of your citizens have produced this reign of terror, but it remained for Logan county’s sheriff to uphold the laws of the State of West Virginia and the laws of the United States and stop this mad rush of Kanawha county citizens into Mingo which would have ended in a manner which God alone knows.
There is no place in modern civilization for the Kanawha demonstration. It is wrong in principle, subservient to anarchy and flagrantly outrageous in the reputation it gives the state. It is the fault of Sheriff Walker that the name of West Virginia is once again disgraced as one of the United States, but thanks to Sheriff Don Chafin and Logan county citizens, the laws are upheld before the more serious encounters ensued.