James Ferrell Log Cabin on Big Ugly Creek in Lincoln County, WV (1998)

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This log cabin was built by James P. Ferrell before the Civil War. 1998

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My friend Mayme Ferrell lived here. James P. Ferrell was her grandfather. 1998

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One time, I visited with Eunice (Peyton) Ferrell and Doska (Duty) Adkins. 1998

Armed Marcher Marries in Logan (1922)

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On February 17, 1922, the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, offered this little tale relating to the Armed March, or the Battle of Blair Mountain as it is mostly known now:

JAIL PARLOR IS SCENE OF HAPPY WEDDING FEB. 15

Miss Lacie Kirk, of Peach Creek, Becomes Bride of Jack Brinkham, of Charleston

That little goddess of love called Cupid simply will not be downed. Blows below the belt, solar-plexus blows and all others fail to knock the little fellow out and he remains constantly on the job. Obstacles are nothing in his life and no obstruction is so great as to be insurmountable by him. Cupid had shot his darts into the heart of Jack Brinkman, pianist for the Hippodrome Theatre of Charleston and also into the heart of Miss Lacie Kirk of Peach Creek some months ago and the wounds were to be healed on January 22, when they expected to appear before a minister and have the injury cured via the matrimonial route but Fate struck Cupid a blow that all but put the little fellow out for the count.

On the evening preceding the intended wedding, Capt. Lilly of the state police arrived in Charleston, and in his pocket he carried a warrant for the arrest of Brinkman, charging him with being a member of the armed band who marched on Logan county last August. Capt. Lilly executed the warrant and brought Brinkman to Logan and lodged him in the county jail, where he lingered until Wednesday of this week when he obtained bail.

In the meantime the wound in the heart of Miss Kirk had refused to heal and cupid kept alive the spark of love kindled in her breast in days gone by. She bided the time and with womanly patience and fidelity she counted the days until her intended husband should gain his freedom.

Brinkman was busy Wednesday making preparations for the ceremony and the parlor of the Jailor’s residence was obtained and the nuptial knot tied there. Mr. Wm. Chafin of Williamson was present and played for the wedding ceremony and many relatives and friends of the couple were present to witness the happy event, which was a very elaborate affair. The happy couple left the residence amid the congratulations and best wishes of those present and the day proved doubly happy to them in that the husband had again obtained liberty and likewise a lovely bride.

Chapmanville High School in Chapmanville, WV (1926)

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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes these items of history for Chapmanville High School, dated April 2 and April 16, 1926:

Chapmanville Plans to Vote on Bond Issue for High School Building

Total of $75,000 Proposed, $45,000 of Which to Establish New Structure; Balance to Remodel Others.

Four years of discussion is about to crystallize for the residents of Chapmanville in a High School that will provide for the instruction of both junior and senior high school students if the plans of the Board of Education of that district, which have already been launched, prevail among the voters.

At a recent meeting the tentative plans were prepared after the matter had been discussed with one hundred representative voters who had been invited by special letter to attend for the purpose of ascertaining their will in the matter. Of this number it was found that only four showed any disposition not in favor with the proposed bond issue to cover the completion of the project and these it is confidently expected will find their way over to those who are eager to establish a High School in the district.

Another meeting is scheduled to be held in the school house, at Chapmanville, April 10, at which time details of preparing the proposed $75,000 bond issue will be further discussed.

As proposed now, the bond issue will provide $45,000 to defray the cost of the new High School, and $30,000 to be devoted to converting one-room school buildings into structures of two or more rooms. In this latter, the members of the Board of Education feel that the item of continued maintenance for these old buildings will go a long way toward the cost of creating the new ____.

New buildings will be erected at various parts of the district where it is found they are needed.

Although there are at the present time 150 pupils ready to take up the courses offered in the High School, the structure tentatively planned will entirely care for the future, at least for many years to come.

The achievements of the Chapmanville district in the matter of progress in educational matters during the past six years has been very notable. In 1920, when the present Commissioners took charge, they had a $17,000 debt hanging over their heads.

That debt has dwindled down until now it represents only $2,700.

In 1920 the district boasted of 34 schools, part of them receiving scholars and part of them idle. Since then 13 elementary rooms have been added as well as a Junior High, with three teachers.

This year the school district will obtain $18,000 from the State for the fund devoted to elementary teaching. Also the State will allow the district a little over $1,600, about $350 of which will provide for the cost of the proposed bond issue election. The confidentially expected will find their ______, coal cost and other matters in connection with the upkeep of the schools.

The Board of Education consists of the following members: T.B. Ferrell, president, Big Creek; T.B. Stone, Secretary, Kitchen; Robert Sanders, Banco; and George Mullins, Queens Ridge.

***

Chapmanville Orders High School Plans

Architect Will Present Them At Special Meeting April 17; Points Named Where Improvements Will Be Made

At a meeting of the Board of Education of the Chapmanville district, last Saturday night, held for the purpose of further discussing plans in connection with the proposed bond issue of $75,000 for the erection of a High School and the improvement and construction of other school buildings in the district, the board authorized the architect present to draw tentative plans.

These will be presented at a special meeting to be held Saturday, April 17, at the Chapmanville school at 10 o’clock in the morning. At this meeting it is hoped that most of the details of the proposed bond issue will be decided upon and something definite reached regarding the election to take care of it.

It was reported at the meeting that sentiment has grown rapidly and opinion is practically unanimous in favor.

It was proposed that improvements be made in the elementary schools at Stone Branch, Kitchen, Godby Branch, Thompson, Rocky, Striker, White Oak, Browns Run, about the mouth of Smoke House. Also Trace and Buck Forks, Bulwark, Hoover and Upper Trace all repairs made on all buildings that cannot be combined with others.

In order that these matters may be discussed and known to the citizens of the district all are urged by the Board of Education to be present at the next meeting.

Note: Chapmanville High School was consolidated with Harts High School in 2006-2007.

Elk Creek Community Cemetery at Emmett, WV (2020)

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Up this way to Elk Creek Community Cemetery… 5 February 2020

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Coal is not dead! For more information, go here: https://www.ramacoresources.com/mining-complexes/elk-creek/ 5 February 2020

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My parking spot. Miners helped me to find the cemetery, which was concealed by the mining operation. 5 February 2020

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Up this way to the (mostly neglected) cemetery! 5 February 2020

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Someone left this pretty cardinal painting here. 5 February 2020

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View from the cemetery. 5 February 2020

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The Sias graves. 5 February 2020

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My great-great-uncle is buried here. 5 February 2020

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Sias graves. 5 February 2020

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Sias graves. 5 February 2020

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Sias graves. 5 February 2020

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This little guy found me. Made a buddy. 5 February 2020

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Here goes Mom to decorate the graves. 5 February 2020

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Walter F. Sias (1896-1933) was a brother to my great-grandmother, Gertie (Sias) Frye. He is buried here with two of his children. 5 February 2020

Guyandotte River Navigation (1848)

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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):

Ralf Lucas

Burbus Toney

Henry Conley

Corbon Bryant

Squire Toney

Francis Browning

James Bailey

William E. Browning

Andrew Elkins

H.S. Dingess

William Farley

Henderson Dingess

Jefferson Thompson

William Toney

David Dingess

Source: Library of Virginia, General Assembly Legislative Petitions, Logan County, Reel 111,” located at the WV State Archives.

Where To Eat in Matewan, WV: Wingo’s Grill

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The menu is perfect for locals and tourists! 15 June 2018

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Open! 6 July 2019

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This is my preferred table. 6 July 2019

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Lots of seating with great ambiance…and a performing area (“Hatfield-McCoy Star Search”) in the corner! 6 July 2019

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Hatfield-McCoy-themed displays are prominent on this side of the restaurant. 6 July 2019

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Hatfield-McCoy Bluegrass Festival Sign. 6 July 2019

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This is my preferred meal at Wingo’s… 6 July 2019

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One dessert option… 6 July 2019

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My usual dessert option… 6 May 2015

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Support this business and these great people! 13 September 2014

J. Green McNeely: Logan County Preacher (1937)

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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.”

Sam Bias Recollections of Pioneer Life

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Ms 76, Bx 6, Nbk 14: Fred B. Lambert Papers, Special Collections Department, Morrow Library, Marshall University, Huntington, WV. 

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Ms 76, Bx 6, Nbk 14: Fred B. Lambert Papers, Special Collections Department, Morrow Library, Marshall University, Huntington, WV. 

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Ms 76, Bx 6, Nbk 14: Fred B. Lambert Papers, Special Collections Department, Morrow Library, Marshall University, Huntington, WV. 

Chapmanville News 07.07.1922

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Correspondents named “Somebody’s Baby” and “Katie” from Chapmanville in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following news, which the Logan Banner printed on July 7, 1922:

We are glad to report that we are having a nice Sunday school organized at the Holiness church.

Rev. Johnson delivered a very interesting sermon at the church Sunday.

Mrs. J.H. Vickers has returned from a pleasant visit with her parents at Columbus, Ohio.

Little Dan Cupid has been very busy in our town and to our surprise, he shot an arrow across Mr. Greenway Simms’ path and he fell a victim to the dart.

Mr. Everett Fowler and Miss Nona Collins were out kodaking Sunday.

We are sorry to say that Mrs. Garland Mounts is very sick at this writing and her many friends hope for her speedy recovery.

Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Bachtel were out walking Sunday.

A very nice wedding took place at Cove Creek Saturday when Miss Marie Asberry became the happy bride of Mr. James Bryant. They returned here to the groom’s home, Sunday night, and will make this place their future home.

We wonder why Millard Brown visits Mr. Perry so much? Ask Pearl, she knows.

Mrs. George Justice will leave on Thursday for Bowling Green, Ky., at which place she will be the guest of her daughter for several weeks.

Mr. Harry Conley was calling on Miss Ida Butcher Sunday. He says Ida is some S.L.T.

Miss Gladys Bryant is spending the week and with her grand parents at Yantus.

Miss Maud McCloud is very ill at this writing as she received a message that her husband is suffering from appendicitis in the C. & O. hospital.

Mr. Lorain Hill paid his daily visit to the Ward hotel Saturday night.

The boys all say they like to take their meals at the restaurant now as they have a pretty cook.

Miss Edith Robertson is the guest of her mother, Mrs. Bowling, at the present time.

Miss Devona Butcher will leave on Sunday to enter a summer normal.

Will call again if this escapes the waste basket.

***

We are having some rainy weather here these days.

Mr. Wayne Browning and Everett Fowler are off on a three weeks vacation during the Fourth.

The people of this town were much disappointed on the Fourth owing to the unpleasant weather.

Miss Tollie Ferrell called on Miss Elma Phipps Wednesday.

Bathing seems to be popular here nowadays.

Wonder why Misses Devona and Minnie Butcher stay at home so much now? Call more often, girls.

Mr. Donald Phipps has been confined to his bed with typhoid fever, but is improving slowly.

Edd Turner was out riding his jitney Sunday.

The Holiness people have an excellent choir now.

Well I don’t want to write all the serious news of our city. Leave it to you, Rebecca.

I will call again next week.