Aldridge Coal Company, Amanda Avis, Anna Crovjack, Appalachia, Brandon Kirk, C&O Railroad, cemeteries, Charles Quinn, crime, Dwight Williamson, Ed Burgess, Elzie Burgess, Fintown, genealogy, history, Hugh C. Avis, immigrants, Ireland, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Logan Memorial Park, Mamie Thurman, Maude Steele, McConnell, Noah E. Steele, Q.L. Stewart, West Virginia, Woodmen of the World, Works Progress Administration
Logan Memorial Park was a “perpetual care” cemetery established in the late 1920s in McConnell, Logan County, WV. The cemetery contains the final remains of many noteworthy Loganites, including Mamie Thurman, whose 1932 murder continues to tantalize regional residents. The Logan Banner reported on the cemetery’s beginnings on September 7, 1928:
Work Rapidly In Developing Burial Park
With Brush Cut and Loose Rock Being Hauled for Surface, Road Work Starts Soon
BEAUTIFYING COMES SOON
Plans Call for Use of Skilled Landscape Gardeners to Aid in Placing Shrubbery
Conclusive proof that Logan is soon to have a modern burial part embodying all the improvements found in the highest type institutions of this kind anywhere was afforded a reporter of The Logan Banner in an inspection of the work being done near McConnell by the Logan Memorial Park company.
Much work was found to have been done already. Brush and undergrowth has been cleaned off the entire 20 acre tract. This will finally include the grubbing of stumps and raking up the trash until the entire tract can be mowed with a lawnmower. Several hundred sled loads of loose rock have already been hauled to the banks of the small stream that flows through the central part of the tract, where a rubble stone embankment will be built near the water course to be covered with vines and shrubbery.
All surface rocks will be removed, blasting being resorted to loosen the larger ones. Several hundred holes were drilled in the surface of the entire plot of ground before it was decided that it would be a suitable place for burial purposes. It was found that there was no ledge rock on the entire tract except at one small spot.
Work is now in progress in preparation for the concrete road to be built from the state road into the park. A ditch suitable for the placing of 26-inch tile to carry the small stream out of the park is being dug. The C. & O. had two steam shovels at work Wednesday cleaning off a sidetrack, unused for several years and submerged by silt from the roadside, preparatory to setting out a carload of tile. It will be laid at once and then the making of a grade for the concrete will follow.
This entrance is between the residence of Burgess and Aldridge. Options have already been secured on property adjacent so that a large stone and iron entrance can be built just off the state road. From that point the hard surfaced road passes up the hollow to where a natural amphitheater provides several acres of smooth land where the first section of the park will be developed. The improved road will entirely encircle this plot so that easy access will be afforded and each lot will be reached by either the roadway or paths.
At the lower end of the natural amphitheater stand several houses that were formerly the property of the Aldridge Coal Company. The present tenants have been ordered to vacate these and they will be torn down.
Water will be supplied to the entire section now being developed and in the spring the entire tract will be plowed and seeded to the best grass obtainable. At that time much shrubbery, from the best nursery stock, will be planted under the direction of competent landscape gardeners.
The Bannerman was in doubt as to the closeness of this tract to the Courthouse, so it was metered and clocked. It proved to be 2 1/2 miles in distance and it was driven easily in traffic in six minutes. Thus there will be the dual advantages of the great natural and enhanced beauty of the Logan Memorial Park site and proximity to the town.
The earnest desire of the company to get this memorial park ready for those desiring to use it is shown in the rush that characterizes the work of cleaning it of brush and rock and in getting in a permanent road. More than a dozen men have been at work ever since the charter was granted and others will be added as more projects get under way simultaneously. The permanent road is to be laid immediately. The rubble stone wall along the stream will come later, but every bit of the work is to be pushed as rapidly as men can do it.
The perpetual care which the charter confirms to the lot owner will no doubt be a great inducement. Already interested parties are inquiring about when it will be open for inspection. Q.L. Stewart, the manager, assures them that no avoidable delay will be allowed to intervene.
Here’s a WPA map of the cemetery dating from the 1930s:
This 1938 map of the cemetery is located in the Logan County Clerk’s office:
Here are photographs of the cemetery in 2020:
50th Virginia Infantry, Appalachia, Battle of Charleston, Camp Garnett, Charleston, civil war, Confederate Army, Confederate Cemetery, genealogy, history, Joseph H. Conley, Kanawha County, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Spring Hill Cemetery, Stonewall Jackson Camp, Terry Lowry, United Confederate Veterans, West Virginia
22nd Virginia Infantry, Appalachia, Charleston, Confederate Army, Daniel Ruffner, French and Indian War, gas, George S. Patton, George Washington, Henry D. Ruffner, history, Holly Mansion, John McCausland, Joseph Ruffner, Kanawha County, Kanawha Riflemen, Kanawha River, Kanawha Street, oil, Revolutionary War, Richard Laidley, salt, Thomas Bullitt, United Daughters of the Confederacy, West Virginia
Appalachia, Brandon Kirk, cemeteries, Coney Isle, Ed Belcher, Elbert Garrett Family Cemetery, fiddler, Fort Branch, Frank Hutchison, genealogy, guitar, harp-organ, history, Lake, Logan Banner, Logan County, music, New York, Okeh Company, Omar Theatre, Peach Creek Theatre, piano, Sheila Brumfield Coleman, Stirrat Theatre, Stollings, West Virginia, West Virginia Rag, William Hatcher Garrett
Allen Hatfield, Altina Waller, Appalachia, Beckley, Beech Creek, Brandon Kirk, Cap Hatfield, Coleman Hatfield, Delorme, Devil Anse Hatfield, Dutch Hatfield, Ellison Mounts, Ephraim Hatfield, feuds, genealogy, Hatfield Cemetery, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, Henry Hatfield, history, History Channel, Jean Hatfield, Jim Vance, Johnson Hatfield, Levisa Hatfield, Logan Banner, Logan County, Matewan, Mingo County, Nancy Vance, Otis Rice, Randolph McCoy, Red Jacket, Route 44, Sarah Ann, Stirrat, Tennis Hatfield, The Hatfield and McCoy Feud After Kevin Costner, The McCoys: Their Story, The Tale of the Devil, Thomas Dotson, tourism, Truda Williams McCoy, Valentine Wall Hatfield, West Virginia
In 2001-2002, I wrote a series of popular stories for the Logan Banner that merged aspects of well-known Hatfield-McCoy books written by Otis Rice and Altina Waller in the 1980s. I had previously enjoyed Rice’s narrative and Waller’s analysis; I did not conduct any new research. Even though I believed the definitive Hatfield-McCoy Feud book remained unwritten, my purpose in writing these stories was not a step toward writing a book; my purpose in writing these stories was to revisit the narrative with some analysis for Banner readers. My hope was that readers would see what I saw: first, fascinating history (or folk story) for its own sake; second, the power of history to create a popular type of tourism.
I was fortunate during this time to meet Jean Hatfield. Jean, born in 1936, operated a Hatfield family museum at Sarah Ann, WV. Jean was not a native of West Virginia but had lived her entire adult life locally and had personally known several of Anderson Hatfield’s children. I really appreciated her desire to promote regional history. She “got it.” She inspired me. Anytime that I drove up Route 44, I stopped to visit Jean at the museum. She was always welcoming. Knowing her reminded me that every Hatfield (and McCoy) descendant is a source of information–-and that for the most part they have yet to tell the story in their own words. Three notable exceptions include The McCoys: Their Story by Truda Williams McCoy (1976), The Tale of the Devil (2003) by Coleman Hatfield and Bob Spence, and The Hatfield and McCoy Feud After Kevin Costner: Rescuing History (2013) by Thomas Dotson.
What follows is Part 4 of my interview with Jean, which occurred on August 7, 2001:
What kind of house did Johnse have?
Probably just a frame house.
I don’t know much about what he did for a living.
I really don’t know either. There’s not that much on him. Maybe he just spent his time chasing ladies. I don’t even know what type of work he did. But he had to work. He worked for his father, for one thing. But now there’s some of his grandchildren still living. But I’m like you, he’s not as good looking as most of the other boys were. But then when you’re like eighteen years old, everybody’s good looking at eighteen.
I wonder what Devil Anse thought about people taking his photo?
There was just always somebody wanting to take his picture. Now this is by Life magazine. They done a story.
I love the one in his hat.
That’s a very rare one. And the one with the long rifle. Because most of the time in the pictures you see him with his little shotgun. But that has the long rifle. I think that’s the muzzle-loading type.
Not nearly as many photos of Randolph McCoy.
This one here, when we did the McCoy monument, they didn’t have any pictures. We had gathered up quite a few of the McCoys and we made a collage picture and that one was in it. That’s the one mostly you see of him is that one. But I have a couple here somewhere when he was younger but it’s not a very clear copy. But he looks very sad and very old and very sick in that one. But he was like thirteen years older than Grandpa, though.
Did your husband hold any grudges?
Was he raised to?
Oh no. He says on the History Channel tape that he went to school with McCoys and he never did have any animosity towards any of them. In fact, our postmaster down here, she was a McCoy before she married. And she and I get along real good.
So not all of Devil Anse’s brothers were involved in the feud…
Well now, like Wall Hatfield, he wasn’t concerned in it nowhere and they took him before a jury and found him guilty of murder, which he didn’t do. And he died in the pen just not long after he got in because he just couldn’t handle penitentiary life. And he’s buried down under that highway. The highway went over the graves of the prisoners that were buried there. Isn’t that terrible? That’s what the family said. Uncle Allen Hatfield from Beech Creek was one of his children. That’s where that come from.
Where did they bury Ellison Mounts?
I think he’s buried over at Hatfield Cemetery at Matewan. That’s where Grandma and Grandpa’s mother and father is buried. Ephraim. He was buried there.
Are they marked?
Yeah. I think they have a small marker is all. Devil Anse’s father was Big Eph Hatfield and she was Nancy Vance. That’s where Uncle Jim come in at. That was her brother. So that would have been Grandpa’s uncle. He loved Grandpa so well, he would kill for him, that was all there was to it. And Grandpa didn’t have to tell him. He went out on his own and done it. I think that had a lot to do with it. In all that I read, Grandpa’s personality just didn’t seem like he was that type of a person.
Did they ever talk about him doing things like singing or whittling?
He was a joker. Like my mother-in-law said, Tennis had give her a new diamond ring. And she was out helping Grandpa milk the cow and she was showing him her pretty ring and he said, “I’d just soon have a pewter button.” He was always joking with people and things like that. Now my mother-in-law was a very scary person. And if he’d a been a mean person she wouldn’t have stayed around him. But her and Tennis lived with them until they had two children. He couldn’t have been very threatening.
Who had the home when it burned?
Tennis. He inherited it from his momma. It burned after she passed. That was on the land that he inherited. All of the children got a certain amount of land.
Did Devil Anse sell out in Mingo County?
Yeah. Cline got it. He just let him have it all and he moved over here.
Who owned the old property where the cemetery is in Mingo County?
That’s part of the other estate, I’d say, Ephraim. That would be part of his. Delorme and up in that area was where they were all at mostly. Delorme, Red Jacket. I don’t know a whole lot about Mingo County. And we lost one of our good little relatives over there: Dutch Hatfield. He used to be chief of police of Matewan and he knew everybody. And him and Henry was really close together and they passed within a year of each other. But he was pretty well up on all of the relatives and who was whose child and all of that.
Why was Cap’s family not buried with the other Hatfields?
Cap and Grandpa and the boys, seems like there was a rift there all the time. He was at Grandpa’s funeral but they hadn’t had much dealings from what I can understand. So when he died he just wanted to be buried on his own land. They started their own little cemetery down there. They may have had some people die before that and buried them there.
Where is Johnse buried?
Johnse is buried up here.
Any of his wives buried with him?
That’s sad that he had so many wives and none are buried with him.
Yeah. That’s a lesson to those men. Better find one and be loyal to them.
I hope someone can figure out how to make this tourism work here.
If you happen to see them down at the Chamber of Commerce, you ask ‘em about a road up here. See if we can get it changed some way. Because if they’re going to use this for tourism they’re going to need to be able to locate it. This is 44. 18 miles from the boulevard to the top of the mountain—that’s as far as 44 goes. And they’re advertising it through the rest stop areas. And Sarah Ann’s not even on the map. Stirrat is.
They don’t have it together in the county seat either.
No. I think it’s one group pulling against another group and if they don’t get together nothing gets done.
Have you ever seen that play in Beckley?
No. I’ve had people say it’s good. I don’t like to stay overnight away from home. I’m a home body.
Jean died in 2011. I miss seeing her when I drive up Route 44.