Andrew Elkins, Appalachia, Burbus Toney, coal, Corbin Bryant, David Dingess, farming, flatboats, Francis Browning, genealogy, Guyandotte River, Harvey S. Dingess, Henderson Dingess, Henry Conley, history, James Bailey, Jefferson Thompson, Kanawha County, Logan County, navigation, rafting, Ralph Lucas, sheep, Squire Toney, timber, tobacco, Virginia, West Virginia, West Virginia State Archives, William E. Browning, William Farley, William Toney
The following petition is imperfectly transcribed and will be corrected at a later date:
A Petition of Citizens of Logan County praying for the appropriation of money to clear out the obstruction in the navigation of the Guyandotte River (July 17, 1848)
Petition to the Senate and House of Representatives of the Virginia Legislature by the “citizens of the County of Logan” who “represent to your body that they live in a County of Boundless resources of wealth, with a soil adapted to the growth and culture of all most all the substantial ___ of Life. The Indian corn, Rye, oats, Tobacco, hemp, Flax, potatoes, cabbages, carrots, pumpkins are grown as well perhaps in this county as any other region in the commonwealth whilst there is no county can exceed it on firsts: Particularly Peaches by planting on the North Hill Sides they never fail to yield their fruits and the peaches often measure from 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter, it is believed also that the ___ would grow well and by proper and well directed enterprize and industry ___ may yet be made in our County to gladden the Hearts of the Citizens and strangers. That your Humble body may have some Idea of the Rich character of our County. They respectfully State as cattle can be gotten of the county, better than almost anything else, in which they could spend their capital or employ their time, that many cattle are annually raisen and drove from the County. That these vast herds of cattle live through the winter without being far from the Produce of the farm with the exception of a few days of Heavy snow and __ rains from the rich character of our hills fine grapes will soon upon them it is believed that no portion of the world would be better adapted to the growing of sheep as not much attention hath yet been paid to the growing of sheep there is no fine Breeds in the county yet our sheep are large and very thrifty. There is perhaps no county that can boast of finer growth of timber which now is and must continue to be in great demand upon the Ohio river and we have no doubt our County abounds with valuable minerals of many descriptions. There is every portion of in the county Rich and deep veins of Bituminous coal and several Banks of the Canal Coal have been found and doubtless the county is filled with it, this Coal above if it could be gotten to market would bring in a great resource of wealth.”
“Yet all of these vast resources are locked and remain valueless for the want of outlet or the means of getting them to market and the necessaries of Life brought to the county for Sale owing to the obstruction of the navigation of the Guyandotte river, and taxed something like one cent on the Pound, this on ___ coffee, nails, Tobacco &c, operates verry __ the Guyandotte River is here. Great chance of communication–the articles of salt may be brought across the county from Kanawha But almost everything else must and __ be Brought up the river and there is no other Possible __ of getting out with our lumber and coal and wool and other products.”
The petition hopes the “Honorable Body” will “appropriate a sufficient sum of money together with what may be raised By individuals to remove the obstructions of the navigation of said river By the ___ upheavals and the Flat Boat and Rafts Downwards at the proper stages of the tide.”
Some signatures of interest to me (there were many others):
William E. Browning
Source: Library of Virginia, General Assembly Legislative Petitions, Logan County, Reel 111,” located at the WV State Archives.
Appalachia, Bethel McNeely, Billy Workman, Chapmanville, Cherry Tree, Crooked Creek, Delmas Seagraves, Dempsey Branch, Dyke Garrett, Elizabeth McDonald, Elliott McNeely, farming, ginseng, Hatfield Island, Henlawson, history, Howard Suiter, J. Green McNeely, Jimmie McNeely, John Morrison, Lee Whitman, Lewis McDonald, Little Buffalo Creek, Logan Banner, Logan County, logging, Luther McNeely, Mill Creek, Peach Creek, Pete Minotti, preacher, Stollings, Susan White, timbering, West Virginia
On May 26, 1937, the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, profiled one of the county’s more renowned preachers: J. Green McNeely.
Rev. J. Green McNeely: One of County’s Most Beloved Ministers Will Soon Round Out Half Century Of Service; Has Married Approximately 3,000 Couples; Conducted 3,500 Funerals, And Is Still “Going Strong”
One of the county’s most loved and best known ministers will soon round out a half century of service to the citizens of Logan county.
Born October 29, 1871, the Rev. J. Green McNeely, clerk of the county court, has already lived a full life of service, but is hale and hearty and plans to continue “preaching the gospel until the end.”
The Rev. McNeely has married approximately three thousand couples since he was ordained as a minister on March 28, 1891. He is proud to have been able to unite so many in the holy bonds of matrimony, he says, but he is prouder to know that the majority of the marriages “took,” he declares.
The first married he performed was on May 25, 1892. He married Lee Whitman and Elizabeth McDonald, both of Logan county. Mrs. Whitman is still living, but her husband preceded her in death several years ago. She lives on her farm in Henlawson.
The Rev. J. Green McNeely in addition to performing this amazing number of marriages, has conducted 3500 funeral services. His first service was for Billy Workman, 20, who was killed on Dempsey Branch by a falling tree. Workman’s death came in the fall of 1892.
The Rev. McNeely was born at the “Head of Dry Island” on a farm whose site is now occupied by the highway which runs down past Hatfield Island.
His parents were Elliott McNeely, farmer, Susan White McNeely. He had only a sister. She lives at Peach Creek at the present time. She is Mrs. Lewis McDonald.
The young man grew up on Mill Creek, his father having bought a farm there not long after where he attended rural schools and earned enough money chopping wood three months at $1.50 per month for the Mill Creek school to buy himself a suit of “store” clothes.
His first pair of “store” shoes were bought with a summer’s digging of the ‘seng.’ Young J. Green had dug a pound of the roots of the ginseng and dried them.
At nineteen the soon-to-be Rev. McNeely left home to do timbering work on Little Buffalo Creek at Henlawson. He had married by this time and “Uncle Dyke” Garrett, who was the Baptist evangelist who was responsible for the conversion of Rev. McNeely, performed the ceremony.
The Rev. McNeely’s conversion came a year after “Uncle Dyke” had married the couple in 1890.
He says: “I can remember that day yet. We had nearly completed a one-day revival meeting at the mouth of Crooked Creek in a grove where Pete Minotti’s house now stands, and I heard the call. ‘Uncle Dyke’ was a powerful preacher and he touched a responsive something in me that made me want to follow his example. So me and my wife were converted and were baptized by him.”
The Rev. McNeelys live in Cherry Tree. They are the parents of six children. The children are Mrs. John Morrison, Mrs. Howard Suiter, Mrs. Delmas Seagraves, Bethel, Luther, and Jimmie.
The Rev. J. Green McNeely, though “getting up in years” has not ceased active preaching. He delivers a Sunday message regularly to a church in Stollings once a month, Crooked Creek once a month, and in Chapmanville twice a month.
He says he has just closed the best revival meeting he has had in years. Thirty four persons were converted at the two-week’s meetings at Crooked Creek, and Rev. McNeely says: “It took us nearly half an hour to get the house cleared on the last night of the revival after the benediction. The people just couldn’t seem to get enough singing and praying.”
The Wyoming County Museum located in Oceana, WV, is one of the region’s best museums…and one of America’s greatest small town museums. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Here is a link to the museum website: https://wyomingcountymuseum.webs.com/
Appalachia, crime, farming, genealogy, Gilbert Creek, H.E. Ellis, history, James E. McDonald, James Stimpson, Joseph Bragg, justice of the peace, Logan, Logan County, Logan County Banner, logging, M.A. Hatfield, merchant, Mingo County, timbering, West Virginia, William Johnson
From the Logan County Banner of Logan, WV, come these items about Gilbert in present-day Mingo County, WV, dated 1894:
On yesterday William Johnson lodged James Stimpson and Joseph Bragg in jail here. They were sent on for further trial by Justice M.A. Hatfield, on a charge of breaking into the store of H.E. Ellis, on Gilbert creek. The boys confessed to the offense.
Logan County Banner (Logan, WV), 24 May 1894
From Waco, written on July 7, 1894 from Gilbert:
EDITOR BANNER: Farmers are very busy with their crops. Corn is looking as well as could be expected. Oats in most cases are promising.
Two or three applications have been made for our school, but it is thought that Prof. James E. McDonald will teach it.
That log tide which failed to materialize makes it hard on taxpayers and merchants.
Logan County Banner (Logan, WV), 12 July 1894
African-Americans, Alfred Beckley, Anna Brooke Hinchman, Bruno, Buffalo City, civil war, Claypool, Clean Eagle Coal Company, coal, Combs Addition, Confederate Army, Cyclone, Cyclone Post Office, Davin, Elk Creek, Forkner, genealogy, Guyandotte River, history, Hollow A. Davin, Huntington, John L. Lewis, Lake Claypool, Laura Hinchman, Logan, Logan County, logging, Lorenzo Dow HInchman, Mallory, Man, Man High School, Morris Harvey College, Oceana, Paul Hinchman, Pete Toler, postmaster, rafting, Raleigh County, Rosa Hinchman, splash dams, timbering, Ulysses Hinchman, United Mine Workers of America, Vic McVey, Walter Hinchman, West Virginia, Woodrow Hinchman, Wyoming County
Laura C. Hinchman was born on March 22, 1919 to Walter and Anna Brooke (McVey) Hinchman at Mallory in Logan County, WV. She was an educator for over fifty years and was very active in civic affairs. For more information about her background, see her obituary at this location: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/140834185/laura-caryl-hinchman
The following interview of Ms. Hinchman was conducted on July 16, 1984. In this part of the interview, she discusses her ancestry, community history, timbering, and coal mining.
Miss Hinchman, how did your family first come to this area?
Well, when West Virginia was being settled, people who were willing to come here were given land grants by governors of Virginia over different periods of years. This property was given by the governor of the commonwealth of Virginia at that time, Governor Nicholson. It was given in 1815 to my great grandfather, Dr. Ulysses Hinchman, who was a member of the legislature. He had land holdings in Wyoming County, and he laid out the town of Oceana. He is recorded in a lot of the books of the history of Wyoming and Logan Counties. According to the West Virginia Blue Book, that is how Man got its name. At first it was called Buffalo City. Then they decided to change the name. They thought Hinchman was too long and there was already a place called Hinch, so they named it Man in honor of my great grandfather. Now, that’s according to the West Virginia Blue Book.
Do you remember what your grandparents were like?
Now, both my grandfather and grandmother Hinchman died before I was born, so I don’t remember either of them. At that time, this was all timber land. My grandfather Hinchman, whose name was Lorenzo Dow Hinchman, was a timberman. We have a lot of records here in the house where he kept books of how much he paid the men and how much he sold, and all that. After this was cleared, then, of course, it became farmland. Now, they had no way of getting the logs that were cut to a market. So down there just below Woodrow’s, and this happened several places, they built what was called splash dams. They made a dam and dammed the water up and filled it with logs. Then there would be a great big lot of excitement. Everybody would gather and they would tear the dam lose and let the logs float down to the Guyan River. There were men who went with them, I suppose on rafts, and rafted the logs together, and floated them down the Guyan River to the Guyandotte. Now, my mother’s father, who came from Raleigh County, was Uncle Vic McVey. Of course, I remember him well, he lived here with us until he died at the age of ninety-four. He was one of the men who followed floating those logs down the river, and then they would walk back from Huntington. They had places that they stayed on their way back. I don’t know how many days it took.
Now, my grandmother Hinchman was a Chambers, which is also one of the early settler families in this area. She was a schoolteacher. At that time, it was possible to teach school when you got through the eighth grade, you were given a certificate. All first teachers in the one room schools here were just graduates of the eight grade, because the high school at Man was not built until 1919 or 1920, and that’s all they had. Now some people taught after they finished the eighth grade, and then went on when it was possible. I have a cousin Lake Claypool–that’s another old family in this area for which Claypool is named–that she taught after she finished the eighth grade then she went on to Man and finished high school and then went to Morris Harvey. But all the older teachers were just eighth grade. There was a one room school down here at Claypool. There was a one room school up at Vance’s. There were several one room schools on Buffalo Creek. There was a one room school up–what’s that creek up Bruno called–Elk Creek. My grandmother was a teacher, but as I say, both died before I was ever born. Now then, this place was called Cyclone. This is where Cyclone was. My grandmother Hinchman kept the Cyclone Post Office here for forty years. After she passed away, my mother–she was a McVey–and she married my father, Walter Hinchman, in 1910, and came here. I had Aunt Rosa Hinchman, who had never married at that time, who helped her keep the post office. The mail was carried on horseback from Huntington and the West, came that way, and from Oceana, from that direction they carried it. The postmasters met here, and they ate dinner here every day. My mother–ever who all was here, and at that time, you never knew who might be there for dinner… But when this house was built, this part wasn’t part of it. The kitchen and the dining room were in separate buildings. Now, of course, in the south they had slaves and all, but I do recall their talking about on black man, by the name of Sam. I don’t remember much about him but that’s the only black person that they ever had here, you know, on the farm.
I do remember my granddad McVey quite well, and my great-grandfather came to Raleigh County with General Beckley and settled there. Then my mother’s grandfather was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. His name was Zirkle, which is the German word for circle. He ran away from home during the Civil War and joined the Confederate Army. After the war he came here and settled. He also lived with us until he was in his nineties. But my mothers’ mother, my grandmother McVey, died when my mother was only, maybe two years old, so I never knew any of my real grandparents except, you know, my granddad McVey.
Were you born here, at this house?
I was born here on March 22, 1919. My father passed away in February of 1920 when I was eleven months old. There were three of us Hinchman children: Woodrow, Paul, and I was the youngest, of course. I don’t remember my father, but Woodrow does. Then my mother married Pete Toler when I was twenty-three months old, a year after my father died. I remember his as my real father because he reared me. He worked this farm and I remember the first time I called him Daddy, now I don’t know how old I was.
There was a mine at Davin that was first called Forkner, and it was changed to the name of Davin after Hollow A. Davin, a prominent man in Logan who probably owned the mine, and that started in 1923. Then the post office was taken up the creek and then we had a post office at Davin. Then my dad ran a coal cutting machine. Men took those jobs by contract and they were paid for the number of cars that they cut. They could work as many hours as they wanted. The men who loaded the coal–they may have loaded themselves, I don’t know–they loaded the coal into wooden cars. Now, in order to get credit of the coal car that they had loaded they had a–what was it called? Well, it was a little round piece of metal with a number on it that they hung on that coal car. The coal was hauled out of the mine by mule or ponies. There was a tipple and everything there at Davin. Then the Clean Eagle mine went in later, I don’t remember when, but my dad worked there, and he also worked at Mallory. But when we were children, we never saw our dad until the weekend because he went to work before daylight, before we ever thought of getting up and he never came in until after we had gone to bed. That sort of thing kept up with miners until John L. Lewis, you see, organized the union.
Appalachia, Big Sandy River, Bragg Creek, Fort Gay, history, Horse Creek, Kenova, logging, Mingo County, Naugatuck, Ohio River, pushboats, rafting, steamboats, timber, timbering, Tom Brown, Tug Fork, Twelve Pole Creek, Wayne County, West Virginia
The following interview excerpt of Tom Brown (born c.1909) was conducted at Fort Gay in Wayne County, WV, on December 15, 1979.
It was probably hard to get around back then, to go to church.
Well the only way you could get around through this country was up and down creeks or on horseback or wagon. And roads were in the creek most of the way. And where they cut timber and logs they had tram roads built back in the heads of the hollows and they had tracks–they built their track out of 2″ X 4″s–and they hauled these logs or ties from the mills back to the heads of the hollows back to the railroads. And they logged out of the mountains and they ran lots of rafts down Tug River. I’ve see high as four to five. They started the rafts running in the spring. They run them out of Mingo County and generally a lot of them was set out in Naugatuck.
That’s how they got them, they used rafts and boats?
Yes, they used rafts. Logs. They’d put these logs together… Sometimes a raft would be maybe 200 or 300 feet long.
200 or 300 feet long?
Almost as wide as the river. The man would stay on that and they’d pull the men to, I guess, Kenova and the Ohio River down here. And they would log them through the winter. The spring waters came and they started down the rivers with the rafts. The river banks were all cut clean.
That’s what I was going to ask you about. They had to be cut clean, didn’t they?
Yes, they was all cut clean. But the rafts… Well they ran logs down Twelve Pole Creek to… Back then people used to put their logs in the creek when it would raise and run them plumb out down Twelve Pole to Kenova. Heads of these creeks… And sometimes I can remember Bragg Creek and Horse Creek… They was a sawmill. There was locks in at Saltpeter and they pushed just like water to Bragg Creek. I’d say along 1916-1917. And almost the travel was boats. It went down on a little showboat. It used to come up an old paddle wheel boat.
That was in about 1917?
About 1917, ’18, ’19, along that.
Could you get a ride on that showboat if you wanted to?
No, they just pulled in and parked and had a show every night, like the picture show, the movie picture show had.
How long did that showboat go up and down the river? How many years did that last?
Well, I don’t know. It would just come up every once in a while maybe, and just stopped at certain places maybe. Places you know at that time… That was about as far as it could get up. And then things was brought up on pushboat. They loaded ties and stuff like that. I remember them loading them on the boat at the river at the mouth of Horse Creek. It was about as far as boats could come up the river.