The following poem appeared in the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, on July 7, 1922. The author was Sally Godbey, who gave her address as the “State T.B. Sanitarium, Hopemont, Terra Alta, W.Va.”
THE HOPEMONT BLUES
When the golden sun is sinking
Behind the hills of old Hopemont,
When of home and friends I’m thinking
That “what-might-have-been” is not.
When the night birds’ soft notes falling,
Melodies sweet float on the air,
Then my thoughts go back to Logan,
And the friends that I left there.
When the sighing night-winds moaning,
Groaning through the old oak trees
and the strain of “Home Sweet Home”
Carry softly on the breeze,
Then is when my thoughts go roaming,
Filled with memories old and new
Days of gladness, days of sadness,
Nights so happy, nights so blue.
Though there’s many miles between us,
Little town I love you yet,
And I long to hurry back,
For I’m homesick and regret
That I ever left you Logan,
But I had to, so they say.
I’m lonesome for the old home town,
And I’m coming back some day,
They say that you are a dull little town,
They spell it with a capital D.
They wish that they could get away,
But you are all the world to me,
And though the world is a very big place
My home has always been with you.
And I find you quite a nice little town,
With friends both kind and true.
The Banner prefaced the poem with this: “The Logan Banner is the recipient of a constant chain of poems which would fill our columns if we even dared to publish them. People will never learn that poets are born, not made. However, we have just received one which is from a former Logan girl and now a patient at Hopemont. we are pleased to give this publicity and for genuine beauty of expression and sentiment it far excels many of those we see in the public print today. The author is Miss Sally Godbey and she calls the poem “The Hopemont Blues.” We will refrain from further comments but pass the beatufiul lines on to our readers with the request that they write Miss Godbey, care of State T.B. Sanitarium, at Hopemont, W.Va. and tell her what they think of her literary ability.”
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this poem by T.C. Whited titled “Dug and Dad”, written on May 30, 1928, and published on June 5, 1928:
DUG AND DAD
The voting now is over,
And I am rather glad
As we will have for J’s and P’s
Our good old “Dug and Dad.”
The other boys were good old “scouts”
Not one of them is bad,
But did not have the pull it seems
Like “Uncles Dug and Dad.”
If we don’t be more careful
Our days will be long and sad
As we pull the time and pay the fine
As fixed by “Dug and Dad.”
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this poem written by Evert W. Husk of Huntington and Three Forks titled “Life in the Railway Mail”, written on January 8, 1923 and published on January 19, 1923:
“LIFE” IN THE RAILWAY MAIL
“Put your overalls on, Buddy, and likewise your jacket blue,
For the porter soon is comin’ with four-wheelers–one and two.”
“Number one is mostly workin’, number two is all directs,”
Says the porter through the doorway but the clerk-in-charge corrects
That the two of them mean business and it proves as he suspects.
In old Forty-Three they load it, calling “workin'” one and two–
These R.P.C.’s in uniforms–their overalls of blue.
Pile it wide and straight and careful so that it will stand the shock,
When the drivers roll too swiftly and the coaches roughly rock,
And the “subbie” gets so frightened that his knees begin to knock.
When at length the car is loaded and the engine coupled-to–
First a slightly jerky motion, then it shakes you through and through,
Then you dump them on the table in an agitated way,
Grab and turn, and pitch and throw, as a tedder tosses hay,
Till you scarcely know time passes as you journey on your way.
While the clerk-in-charge sticks letters with the skill of a machine,
Striving not to make an error that his record may be clean.
Too, he has his “reds” to handle–job despised by one and all,
Signing cards for Mr. Peter, sending cards to Mr. Paul,
And the slightest little error means his very certain fall.
Then you hear the whistle sounded and the clerk-in-charge to shout,
“Here’s the package for this station, you had better lock it out.”
In the doorway next you stack ’em piled with skill and knowing care,
As you glance along the railway in a cinder flying glare,
See the pouch on crane is hanging and you “stab” it then and there.
Unlock, dump it on the table, hand the “pack” to C-in-C.
Then return unto your papers for you must not leave them be.
You are gaining headway slowly on the stalls of working mail,
And the engine ever signals as it speeds along the rail.
“Lock it out! and lock it quickly, lock it out or you will fail!”
It is thus the day unirksome speeds along to tireless noon,
And you eat a scanty dinner without knife or fork or spoon.
But there’s humor in the “Life,” boys, even fun in going stuck,
Don’t the fair ones in the doorways sometimes wave a sweet good luck?
Then the C.-in-C. grows peppy and the helper clerk shows pluck.
Piffle! Merits and demerits–five for this and ten for that.
Why the skinny one grows skinny and the fatter grows more fat.
Though we have to stick a section, pass on space and black book too,
‘Bout the first of every quarter of the bloomin’ year all through,
The “annual” and the “layoff” keeps us on and lures you.
You are not on duty, boys, in this layoff day or week.
But a few things keep you busy and of them my name must speak.
Slips to fold and cards to check up, and also correct your schemes,
Ans’wring this, explaining that often poils your sweetness dreams,
And with other things unmentioned, “lay-off” isn’t what it seems.
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this poem written by Harry Durham of Taplin titled “The Wanderer,” published November 20, 1928:
I have been in sunny Italy.
I have been in flowery France.
I have seen the silvery moonbeams
On the Alpine mountains dance.
I have been in quaint old China.
I have trod Great Britain’s land.
I have seen the heat elfs dancing
On Sahara’s burning sand.
I have rode the rattling rikas
Thru far Yokohama’s street.
I’ve eaten in snow-clad Igloos
Strips of frozen walrus meat.
I have sailed the broad Atlantic.
I have whaled in Arctic ice.
Steered a bastard thru Magellan.
Rounded bleak Cape Horn twice.
And the wanderlust keepings calling,
Mocking, just around the bend,
Leering me by empty promise
To a homeless, friendless end.
But its call is fainter growing
And its beck no longer thrills
For I’ve found a golden milestone
In the West Virginia hills.
For no matter where I’ve wandered
On a vain and empty quest,
I have left my heart behind me
In the land I love the best.
And when I sign articles
On that last and endless trip,
Let me sail thru-out the ages
On this rugged square rigged ship.
For I ask no sweeter nectar
Than to quaff its crystal rills.
For I’ve known a golden milestone
In the West Virginia hills.
From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this poem written by J. Rush Cook titled “Faithful Rover,” published January 21, 1915:
Old Rover was a faithful dog,
He stuck through thick and thin;
With me he crossed a thousand logs,
We’ve waded a hundred bogs
With the mud up to his chin.
We’ve hunted together, day and night,
He’s treed ten thousand mice;
He never retreated in a fight
Whether in darkness or in light,
And never barked but thrice.
One on the scent, one at the tree–
His gait was swift and strong;
Third, a long–that was for me,
Where e’er I might be,
To hustle and hurry along.
And when I’d reach the long sought spot,
Always on top of the hill,
A lookin’ wise there Rover sot,
Jump up and round he’d hop–
Could never keep him still.
And then, of course, the tree I’d cut
Old Rover sitting night;
Perhaps three, four feet at the butt
Pretty hard to crack such a nut!
But I did it without a sigh.
Down in the top old Rover would go,
To catch the game, you see;
But always in the tree below,
Old Rover would try to show,
Was the game for him and me.
With this repeated till at the foot,
He’d start up t’other side,
And then to me it began to look
As plain as an open book,
That Rover had surely lied.
I don’t think he meant to lie,
His guilt I could not own;
But in his eagerness to try
He always looked too high,
As others I have known.
Old Rover was built for strength,
Was deep across the chest–
His hips didn’t lack for breadth,
Neither his legs for length–
‘Tis needless to tell the rest.
He had a curl in his tail
As nearly all dogs do,
But he straightened it out on the trail–
It might hook on a briar or rail
And get to bleeding, too.
The scent of the game be lost–
The smell of blood is strong,
This he knew at any cost,
If this trail he happened to cross
The game would surely be gone.
Old Rover has passed away
To the happy hunting ground;
And there I hope he’ll stay
And tree his game each day,
And do his own cutting down.
Anna Meadows, Appalachia, Chapmanville, Charles S. Whited, Charleston, civil war, Craneco, deputy clerk, Ella Godby, Ewell Deskins, genealogy, George W. McClintock, H.A. Callahan, Harriet Totten, Harts Creek, Hattie Rothrock, history, Huntington, J. Green McNeely, J.C. Cush Avis, John A. Totten, John W. Buskirk, Logan, Logan Banner, Mud Fork, poetry, preacher, Raleigh County, Robert Whited, Russell County, Slagle, Southern Methodist Church, T.C. Whited, teacher, Thomas Harvey Whited, U.S. Commissioner, Virginia, W.B. Johnson, W.G. Whited, W.W. Beddow, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner we find this entry for Thomas C. Whited, who resided at Logan, West Virginia:
“Uncle Tom” Whited, United States commissioner, one of the county’s oldest citizens, and poet, came to Logan, or the present site of Logan, on October 11, 1877.
He was born on a Russell county, Virginia, farm in a one-room log cabin on November 25, 1854, the son of Robert and Anna Meadows Whited, who reared a family of ten children, nine boys and one girl.
“Uncle Tom” has only one brother living, the Rev. Charles S. Whited, a preacher in Raleigh county. His sister is dead.
His home was broken up by the Civil War, and Mr. Whited began the life of a vagabond, wandering about over the country seeking happiness, but never finding it until he came to Logan. He discovered the little frontier settlement as he was making his way on foot back to his Virginia home to take a job in a store.
“I just dropped in here, tired and sore-footed and decided to attend a teacher’s examination that was advertised for the town–mostly just to see what kind of a certificate I could get among strangers,” Mr. Whited said.
He received his certificate and taught his first term of school at the mouth of Mud Fork in 1877. Then followed terms at Chapmanville, Craneco, Logan and Hart’s Creek until 1883 when he was asked to take a position in the clerk’s office as deputy clerk.
Among the well-known citizens that “Uncle Tom” taught in his educational forays in Logan county were the Rev. J. Green McNeely; Ewell Deskins; Mrs. Ella Godby of Huntington, mother of Mrs. W.W. Beddow of Slagle; J.C. (Cush) Avis, and several of the Conley family.
From the position as deputy clerk, Mr. Whited rose in succession to circuit clerk, county superintendent of schools, city councilman, and United States Commissioner. He served a total of 18 years as circuit clerk of Logan county.
In 1930 Federal Judge George W. McClintic appointed “Uncle Tom” United States Commissioner which office he will hold for life unless removed by the judge on charges of misconduct.
“Uncle Tom” is a poet of no mean ability. His poetry is recognized throughout the county and some think his best work was a poem dedicated to the old elm tree in the court house square which was recently cut down.
He was instrumental in saving the tree when it was just a sprout and John W. Buskirk was about to dig it up to plant a locust orchard near the site of the present courthouse. “Uncle Tom” requested that the sprout be left to grow. It was not moved from the original spot where it sprouted until it was cut down in 1931, Mr. Whited said.
Mr. Whited married Miss Harriet Totten, daughter of the Rev. John A. Totten, pastor of the Southern Methodist Church in Logan, on March 4, 1887.
The couple reared a family of five children–two boys and three girls. All are still living. They are Mrs. W.B. Johnson, W.G. Whited, and Mrs. H.A. Callahan, all of Logan; Mrs. Hattie Rothrock, Charleston; and Thomas Harvey Whited whose residence is unknown.
Though 81 years old, “Uncle Tom” still manages the affairs of U.S. Commissioner and finds time to dash off a line or so of poetry now and then.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 17 April 1937.
From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this poem written by three young female students of Marshall College, published May 22, 1913:
Shady tree, babbling brook
Girl in hammock, reading book;
Gold curls, tiny feet,
Girl in hammock, looks so sweet;
Man rides past, big mustache,
Girl in hammock makes a “mash”.
Mash is mutual, day is set,
Man and maiden, married get.
Married now, one year ago,
Keeping house on Baxter row;
Red hot stove, beefsteak frying,
Girl got married, cooking trying.
Cheeks all burning, eyes look red,
Girl got married, nearly dead;
Biscuits burn up, beefsteak charry,
Girl got married, awful sorry,
Man comes home, tears mustache,
Mad as blazes, got no hash,
Thinks of hammock in the lane,
Wishes maiden back again,
Maiden also thinks of swing,
Wants to go back too, poor old thing.
Hour of midnight, baby squawking,
Man in sock feet bravely walking;
Baby yells on, now the other
Twin he starts up like his brother.
Paregoric by the bottle
Emptied into baby’s throttle,
Naughty tack points in air,
Waiting some one’s foot to tear,
Man in sock feet, see him there!
Holy Moses! Hear him swear!
Raving crazy, gets his gun,
Blows his head off, dead and gone.
Pretty widow, with a book,
In a hammock by the brook,
Man rides past, big mustache;
Keeps on riding, nary “mash.”
From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this poem written by J. Rush Cook titled “Perception,” published January 7, 1915:
I have seen the rosebuds blowing
In the springtime’s early morn;
The shining dewdrops showing
On the petals newly born.
I have heard the happy bird’s song,
Wafted from the leafy bowers;
I have felt the heart beat strong
As I gazed at bird and flower.
I have seen a grander vision
Than dewdrops on the flowers;
A sweeter song to me is given
Than was wafted from the bowers.
‘Tis a vision of the feature,
When right o’er wrong prevails;
When man, the noblest creature,
No longer each assail.
‘Tis a song of love and duty,
‘Neath a bright or frowning sky;
Like the rainbow in its beauty
And its promise, by and by!
This poem was written by O. Benton and dedicated to Don Chafin, “a true son of Logan.” The poem relates to the Mine Wars, or as it was called by the Logan Banner, the “armed march.”
There’s a land of “Love thy brother”
By the sky-blue Guyandotte
Where the folks love one another,
And I know God loves the spot.
For he built those mighty mountains
And he touched their tops with blue,
From their sides gush crystal fountains,
Just to quench the thirst of you.
Oaks and poplars, pines and hemlocks,
On the mountainsides they grew.
There’ll be no coal beneath the mountains
For a million years or two.
In this glorious land of blessings
Long before the railroad came
Lived the honest, fighting people
Who have brought the country fame.
Now there’s mines beneath those mountains
And there’s towns most everywhere,
But with all the wealth and greatness
Freedom reigns and all is fair.
Some may say, “You think there’s freedom,”
But I’m saying what I know.
I have crossed the rushing rivers,
I have tramped the mountain snow.
I have sweated ‘neath those mountains
Where the motors screech and hum.
I have worked upon the tipple
Worked with pick and shovel some.
And I swear by all above me
That a man may have his say.
He may tell of any grievance
Unmolested, go his way.
For there is no lack of freedom
When the Court-House clock looks down
On the men who love their neighbors
In the busy coal-gorged town.
When the men from New York City
Told us that they were not free,
It was something quite unheard of,
Something free men cannot see.
If our misinformed brothers
Wish to DO, and not to mock,
Let them stay within the cities
Where there’s Hell in every block.
Let them stay away from Logan,
Where a man can be a man.
Take your creeds and go to New York
Where their brothers understand.
For the famous “Logan Wildcats”
And the lads who fought the Hun,
They are tired of soap-box teachings
And have said there shall be none.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 29 June 1923