Appalachian Heritage Day 2019

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On August 24, 2019, Appalachian Heritage Day occurred in Logan, WV. The event featured authors, musicians, speakers, all-day music performances by leading regional old-time musicians, old-time and bluegrass music workshops, a genealogy workshop, a writers’ workshop, and an old-time music concert. On August 28-29, 2020, Logan will host Appalachian Heritage Days at Chief Logan State Park Lodge and the Coalfield Jamboree.

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Kim Johnson led an old-time banjo workshop. 24 August 2019. Photo by Jackie Whitley

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Cody Jordan assisted Kim Johnson in the old-time banjo workshop. 24 August 2019. Photo by Jackie Whitley

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Almost Heaven Dulcimer Club! 24 August 2019. Photo by Jackie Whitley

Almost Heaven Dulcimer Club

Here’s the Almost Heaven Dulcimer Club on stage…they were wonderful! 24 August 2019

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Assisting Buddy Griffin in the bluegrass fiddle workshop! 24 August 2019. Photo by Jackie Whitley

Ku Klux Klan in Logan, WV (1922)

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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about the Ku Klux Klan in Logan County in 1922:

Has Logan An Organization of the Ku Klux Klan in her Midst?

Mysterious Fire Surrounded by Many Figures in Long Flowing Robes Observed

JUNCTION OF MUD FORK AND ISLAND CREEK ASSEMBLY SPOT

Ceremony Lasted Until Midnight, When Fiery Red Cross Was Raised and the Crowd Left

Has Logan a Ku Klux Klan?

Wednesday night a bright fire was observed on the mountain at the junction of Mud Fork and Island Creek, around which the figures of many beings were assembled. Many people that observed the fire made a closer inspection and they witnessed a secret meeting around a large, brightly burning fire, in which 60 or more figures dressed in long, flowing white robes participated. In the circle formed by these people could be observed the figure of the Chief, and the ceremony, while it could not be heard, was beautifully executed as each member arose and in a majestic manner saluted the Chief, and hastened to do his bidding.

The ceremony lasted until the hour of twelve when the fiery red cross was raised and the blazing emblem cast a ghostly shadow throughout the valley beneath. When the names from the flaming symbol had died away the clan evidently dispersed for the fire around which they had been assembled was ____ out and no further signs of the figures could be observed.

The Ku Klux Klan does not signify what the clansmen stood for during the reconstruction period. The Ku Klux Klan in this day assists in maintaining law and order, yet they still stand for supremacy of the white race. Unlawful acts and violence have no place within their councils, yet in their silent way they have a means whereby they are enabled to right wrongs and assist the authorities in maintaining the peace and dignity of the commonwealth. This invisible society is not to be feared by any that are law abiding citizens but to those who are inclined to do those things which are morally wrong yet probably within the law may sometime play host or hostess to a visit from these weird strangers.

Inquiry was made in the city as to whether or not there was a local branch of the Ku Klux Klan here. They are known to exist in many parts of the state and nation for the revival conducted at Charleston by Billy Sunday, which has just closed, was visited by members of the Klan there, who appeared in their weird attire. Of course no one here would speak authoritatively, but one prominent party of the town vouched for the information that they were here and in larger numbers than the public would suspect.

Strange and mysterious lights have been observed high on the peaks of the mountains about our city for some weeks. These lights have a habit of mysteriously appearing and suddenly disappearing. They occur at all hours of the night and in various places. Whether or not these strange lights have any connection with the meeting of Wednesday night is, of course, a matter of conjecture. However, those who observed the meeting of the Ku Klux Klan are inclined to believe all the lights signify individual members of the council which held forth Wednesday night.

Their future meetings will be observed with interest–if they can be discovered.

Logan (WV) Banner, 14 April 1922

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Ku Klux Klan Has Been Organized Here

Organization Which Has Sprung Up So Quietly Within Our Midst Gives Promise of Being Strongest of Any Other Body in the County if Information Gained is True

Perhaps the readers of the Banner were a little doubtful of the authenticity of the statement made in these columns a few weeks ago relative to the presence in Logan county of the Ku Klux Klan. If any doubt existed then it is well to rid your mind of further doubt, for the Ku Klux Klan is here and the organization is not holding “marshmallow roasts” as was thought by a contemporary newspaper.

According to information which we feel is authentic, the second meeting of the Klan was held in this city Wednesday evening at which time the organization was perfected but only those on the inside are aware of the place of the meeting and just what occurred that evening. It is understood leaders were elected and members were made acquainted with the purposes and objects of the organization.

The movement for the organization in this country, while made secretly, spread like wildfire and applications for membership swamped those behind the movement and the Klan now numbers about 500 members, of which it is thought approximately 200 are to be found in the city while the remainder is scattered throughout the county and is composed of the most prominent business and professional men of the Guyan Valley.

The first meeting of the Klan was held a few weeks ago. Since that time the movement has grown with rapidity and it is understood several hundred applications for membership are now on file. New members are being carefully and systematically chosen and the Logan Klan will evidently take first rank with the numerous other Klans found throughout the state.

The Ku Klux Klan movement has met with the endorsement and approval of the most prominent men of the nation. The Rev. Billy Sunday, during his recent revival in Charleston, proudly announced he was a member and many of the Klans throughout the state number among their members, officials, professional men, and others whose moral character and community standing is above reproach.

The greatest secrecy attends all movements of the order and the identity of the members and the place of meeting of the Klan are secrets carefully guarded. secrecy is necessary in view of the old false prejudice against the order in the north, yet since the objects have become nationally known the order is experiencing its greatest growth in northern states. Membership is limited to native born Americans and initiation is open only to those who receive special invitation to join.

The Ku Klux Klan is described as an institution of picked men standing for “Chivalry, Humanity, Justice and Patriotism”; embodying in its genius and principles all that is chivalric in conduct, noble in sentiment, generous in manhood and patriotic in purpose; its peculiar objects being:

First: To protect the weak, the innocent, and the defenseless from the indignities, wrongs and outrages of the lawless, the violent and the brutal; to relieve the injured and oppressed; to succor the suffering and unfortunate, especially worthy widows and orphans.

Second: To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, and all laws passed in conformity thereto, and to protect the people thereof from all invasion of their rights thereunder from any source whatsoever.

Third: To aid and assist in the execution of all constitutional laws and to preserve the honor and dignity of the state by opposing tyranny, in any and every degree attempted from any and every source whatsoever, by a fearless and faithful administration of justice to promptly meet every behest of duty without fear and without reproach.

Logan (WV) Banner, 12 May 1922

Tom Dula: Ann Melton Grave (2020)

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Ann Melton, a married woman, was involved in a love triangle with Tom Dula and her cousin, Laura Foster. Up this way to Melton Cemetery, Elkville, Wilkes County, NC. 7 January 2020

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Anne Melton was charged with the Laura Foster murder, but was cleared by Tom Dula’s note shortly before his execution. Melton Cemetery, Elkville, Wilkes County, NC. 7 January 2020

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Ann Melton died a few years after Tom Dula. A Foster descendant suggested that I not put flowers at Ann Melton’s grave, but I did anyway. 7 January 2020

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Sources disagree as to Ann Melton’s cause of death. Family members recently placed this headstone. 7 January 2020

Logan: A Poem (1923)

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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

Mrs. Evva L. Hatch (1929)

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In April of 1929, the Logan Banner profiled numerous prominent African-American residents of Logan County, West Virginia.

Notable Blacks of Logan County LB 04.16.1929 18

Mrs. Evva L. Hatch

Teacher, McBeth School

Mrs. Hatch is a graduate of Garnet High School, Charleston, and West Virginia State College. She has done summer work at Ohio University and University of Chicago. Mrs. Hatch has taught for fourteen years in the state, twelve years of which have been spent in Logan county. She is a member of West Virginia State Teachers’ Association.

In her community and district and also through the county, Mrs. Hatch is regarded as one of the active and influential leaders in all of her activities that are promoted in interest of good citizenship. Her preparation and long service as a teacher makes her ability unquestioned. She is a leader in her field and all groups of citizens recognize her qualifications and hold her in high regard.

Big Creek News 10.03.1924

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An unknown correspondent from Big Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following news, which the Logan Banner printed on October 3, 1924:

A little bit of news again from our little city. It makes the Banner more interesting when the Big Creek news are added to its columns.

Our news seems to be scarce in the Banner of late. We all suppose the news bee must have flown away. So there is a few more left any way that will help the dear old Banner put out the Big Creek news.

Everybody seems to be lonely these rainy Sundays. The taxis can’t run.

There was a large crowd attended the Star Theatre Saturday night.

Miss Lou Harmon is very ill at this writing.

Mrs. Allie Chafins and son, Donnie, were the all day guests of Miss Tilda Harmon Sunday.

Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Hager will be citizens of our little town Big Creek.

Remember well and don’t forget, the Logan Banner is the best yet.

So good luck to the dear old Banner.

Every day happenings: Florence and her red dress; Jake and his straw hat. Gracie going up to the store. Pearl going to the post office. Earl and his mud scraper.

We were sorry to hear of the death of Mr. Jack Mullins, brother of Mrs. P.D. Bradberry of this place.

Miss Lulia Mobley was visiting her mother, Mrs. Nannie Mobley, Thursday.

We all sympathized with Mr. and Mrs. Vance of the death of their son, Thomas Vance.

Mrs. Albert Estepp is very ill. We hope for a speedy recovery.

Dr. White Hill is quite busy, as there is lots of sickness around here.

Miss Lilly Estep is the guest of home folks.

Tom Dula: Dula Cemetery (2020)

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Looking for Tom Dula’s grave in Elkville, Wilkes County, NC. 7 January 2020

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Up this way to the Tom Dula grave! 7 January 2020

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The Dula family cemetery is located here, but only Tom Dula’s grave is marked by a headstone. 7 January 2020

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Tom Dula was a Confederate veteran. 7 January 2020

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Sadly, visitors have chipped away part of Tom Dula’s headstone. Note: His death date is erroneously recorded as 1866. 7 January 2020

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This was the highlight of my trip. Tom Dula’s original headstone is housed at nearby Whippoorwill Academy and Village. 7 January 2020

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Tom Dula’s correct year of death is noted on his footstone. 7 January 2020

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Here is a glimpse of the landscape near Tom Dula’s grave. 7 January 2020

Mingo Miners on Strike (1922)

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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of news relating to coal miners on strike in Mingo County, dated March 31, 1922:

Mine Workers Cut Mingo Miners’ Wage

Will Reduce Strike Benefits to $3 to Men in Mingo Field, According to Letter

WANT AND FAMINE SURE TO INCREASE RAPIDLY

Fight Has Been a Losing One for Many Weeks and as Big Strike Looms Further Aid is Gone

The miners who have been fighting and striking in Mingo county for recognition of the union have just received word that their schedule of relief had been cut to $3 a week which would show that their fight has been a losing one.

This long story of suffering, want and privation in Mingo county will now be added to with additional misery, for the coming strike cannot be reckoned in days. Surely we of Logan county should be glad of the fact that our miners are working with their employers and not against them, and the first man who would suggest the Mingo conditions as better than the ones we are now enjoying should be properly dealt with by his fellow workers who are sure of year around employment at good wages to the $3 a week or less that is given to the strikers in Mingo. Surely the union officials will realize some day the suffering their greed is causing and stop this movement toward anarchy.

The following is the letter sent to miners on strike in Mingo county:

Williamson, W.Va., Mar. 20, 1922

Dear Sir and Brother:–

As you well know the drain upon the International Treasury for sometime has been very great. Notwithstanding that we have continued to supply the miners of Mingo county with a very liberal amount of relief. The amount of relief issued in the Williamson field has been greater than that in any strike in the history of the organization. The miners have been working on slack time throughout the country and on March 31, 1922, the present working agreement will expire and the miners of Mingo county will be standing side by side with the other miners of the country. The other miners of the country have given you more consideration than they have given themselves and are still willing to give further consideration through the long duration of your strike.

It will require a considerable amount of money to carry on negotiations so that it will be necessary for us to reduce the relief at this time.

I am therefore advising you that beginning with the week of March 27th, the schedule of relief will be men $3, women $1, child 50 cents a week. I am not sure that I can continue to pay even this amount if the general suspense of mining should last any length of time. However the miners of this country will do the best they can and continue to send in the liberal relief amount as long as possible.

With every good wish, I am,

Very truly yours,

DAVID FOWLER

International representative and financial agent

United Mine Workers of America

Tom Dula: Trial and Hanging in Statesville, NC (2020)

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Iredell County Courthouse, Statesville, NC. The courthouse that hosted Tom Dula’s trial between 1866 and 1868 is gone; this courthouse was built in 1899. 7 January 2020

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Col. Silas Alexander Sharpe House. Spectators here saw Tom Dula ride by from the courthouse to the gallows…supposedly playing a fiddle. 7 January 2020

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Col. Sharpe House. 7 January 2020

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Southern Railway Depot, built c.1911. Tom Dula was taken to a gallows near the original depot at what is called Depot Hill and hanged in 1868. The original depot stood 300 yards to the northeast. 7 January 2020

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Tom Dula was hanged somewhere in this vicinity. Perhaps as many as 3000 spectators attended the hanging. 7 January 2020

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Tom Dula was hanged somewhere in this vicinity. Sheriff William Wasson had never executed anyone prior to Dula. Photo by Mom. 7 January 2020

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Tom Dula was hanged somewhere in this vicinity. For some reason, no historical markers are here to help tourists find the spot. Photo by Mom. 7 January 2020