Civil War in the Kanawha Valley: Ruffner Log Cabin and Craik-Patton House (2019)


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Terry Lowry is THE authority on the Civil War in the Kanawha Valley. He began his tour at the Ruffner Log Cabin and the Craik-Patton House. 29 September 2019. Here is a link to his latest book, The Battle of Charleston (2016):


Ruffner Log Cabin. Constructed about 1800 at 1536 Kanawha Boulevard; discovered in 1969; reconstructed here in 1976. Union General Joseph A.J. Lightburn made his headquarters in the cabin during the Battle of Charleston (09.13.1862). 29 September 2019


Craik-Patton House. Rev. James Craik constructed this home in downtown Charleston in 1834. George S. Patton, a lawyer and leader of the Kanawha Riflemen, later lived in the home. Patton led the 22nd Virginia Infantry before his mortal wounding in 1864. The house was moved to this location in 1973. 29 September 2019

Sheriff Don Chafin Offers Resignation (1922)


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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history for Sheriff Don Chafin. The story is dated February 10, 1922:


Don Chafin Presents Same to the County Court But Would Not Be Accepted


He Has Agreed to Serve Out Term of the Office After Urging of Court and Friends

Last week Don Chafin tendered to the county court his resignation as Sheriff of Logan county. The county court promptly rejected his resignation and Mr. Chafin was prevailed upon by his friends to let the matter drop and continue to serve the county in his official capacity.

The direct cause of his resignation was the lack of cooperation on the part of some of his deputies. To those who are unacquainted with the official duties of a Sheriff in Logan County the duties of the office might be considered one of ease and pleasure but to those who are initiated with the trials and tribulations of the position it is a well known fact that the life of a Sheriff in this county is anything but a bed of roses.

The Banner is directly opposed to the political policy of Don Chafin but it must be remembered that when Mr. Chafin offered himself as a candidate in the fall of 1920 for the office of Sheriff he was elected by an overwhelming majority in keeping with the choice as expressed by a majority of the citizens of the county. The Banner accepted the result and resolved to extend to the incoming Sheriff all the assistance within our power in fulfilling the duties of his office. Since that time we have had no occasion to regret our course. The previous term of Sheriff Chafin had satisfied us that the duties of the office would be fulfilled honestly and faithfully and the short time that he has served during the present term has justified our faith.

Logan county is in many respects far different from any other county in the state. We are in one sense of the word isolated from other sections of the state inasmuch as we are situated on a branch of a railway system with only one outlet. Consequently it is no easy matter for the mining operators in this field to secure labor. In their efforts to supply their mines with labor it is necessary for them to draw on the supply of raw labor of the larger cities. This brings into our midst an element of labor that is not always of the most lawful type but in many instances the men are of foreign  birth and of various races hence we are sometimes so unfortunate as to admit many men of criminal tendencies.

Not one tenth of the labor required in the various industries of the county are of native birth, the other 90 percent being men who have no interest here other than the wages they may receive. Thus if may be seen that it requires constant attention to duties by the authorities of the county to maintain the law and prevent crime. To do this not only requires courage but tact and diplomacy as well.

How faithfully Don Chafin has performed the duties of the office the world is well aware. When thousands of armed men had banded themselves together with the avowed intention of invading our peaceful county last fall it was he that said, “They shall not pass.” They did not pass. Don Chafin stood like a stone wall and while the army of angry men stormed at the gates of our county he firmly held his men on the defensive and saved our county from invasion. Ho well he performed this duty is attested by commendation from all parts of the nation and needs no repetition here.

This is the second term of Don Chafin as Sheriff of this county. The citizens to the county called him to serve. While the routine of his duties may prove most irksome and perplexing we trust that he may exercise the fullest measure of patience and continue to serve the citizens of Logan county during the remainder of his term. The Sheriff needs the cooperation not only of his official family but of every law abiding citizen of the county and we should be quick to express our appreciation of duties well performed by giving to him all the assistance within our power.

Kiahs Creek, Wayne and Lincoln Counties, WV


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Black Bear, Francis Fork of Kiahs Creek, WV. Photo by Mom. 2015


House With the Rock, Wade Adkins Branch of Kiahs Creek, WV. 15 July 2016


Log Structure on Francis Fork of Kiahs Creek, WV. 31 August 2019


Mountain Home Cemetery, Trough Fork of Kiahs Creek, Wayne County, WV. 5 August 2017


New Salem Old Regular Baptist Church, Big Laurel Fork of Kiahs Creek, Wayne County, WV. 15 July 2016


Old School at Big Laurel Fork of Kiahs Creek, Wayne County, WV. 15 July 2016


Head of Big Laurel Fork of Kiahs Creek, Wayne County, WV.  15 July 2016


Head of Big Laurel Fork of Kiahs Creek, Wayne County, WV.  15 July 2016


Head of Big Laurel Fork of Kiahs Creek, Wayne County, WV.  15 July 2016

BK in Field on 12 Pole

Head of Big Laurel Fork of Kiahs Creek, Wayne County, WV.  Photo by Mom. 15 July 2016


Road in the Road, Wade Adkins Branch of Kiahs Creek, Wayne County, WV. 15 July 2016

Lawlessness in the Mountains (1915)


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From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this editorial originally printed by the Huntington Advertiser regarding mountain violence. The item is dated January 7, 1915.


From the Huntington Advertiser–

Every time neighbors fall out in the West Virginia or Kentucky mountains, and one of them is killed, the New York newspapers discover a feud, and discourse upon the lack of civilization that permits such things to be.

Yet in this same New York, the constituted authorities have proven themselves helpless in dealing with gangs of “gun men,” and there is more flagrant defiance of the law in certain sections of New York today than anywhere in the Kentucky or West Virginia mountains.

So complete has been the failure of the New York authorities to deal with the problem of the “gun men” in any effective manner, that the business men of the east side are organizing a citizens police force to accomplish the work the New York police have been unable to accomplish. This organization of citizens is no more, no less, than a revival of the vigilance committees in the hurly-burly days in the western gold fields, and that the greatest city on the western continent should be compelled to resort to the methods of the mining camp in dealing with offenders against the law and against the decency is a sorry comment upon the metropolis.

But the New York newspapers will remember nothing of this the next time there is a lynching in the south, or there is a “feud” outbreak in the mountains.

Veola Ann Runyon: Authoress-Poet of Logan County (1922)


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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Veola Ann Runyon, authoress-poet of Logan County. The story is dated January 13, 1922:


Mrs. Veola Ann Runyon, of Three Forks, Has Had Much of Her Work Published.

We never know in what nook or corner we may find unknown talent or beneath what bushel measure we may and a shining light unless, perchance, we may trip across a clue that may lead us to a welcome discovery. Such was the case with a representative of The Banner on a recent trip to Three Forks, when he fortunately learned of the presence there of Mrs. Veola Anne Runyon, a poet and talented writer of fact and fiction.

Mrs. Runyon was born in Ashland, Ky. Her grandfather was a French physician and author. From him she derived the gifted talent at at the early age of sixteen she began writing stories and for the past ten years she has been a regular contributor to several of the largest magazines of our country. She has in preparation at the present time a romance which will be happily connected with the coal mining industry, while she has in the hands of her publisher two other  books, one dealing with scientifical and botanical work and the other on entomological facts.

The story now in preparation will be eagerly sought by all readers in Logan County, due to the fact that part of the plot will be based upon knowledge gained within this county. Mrs. Runyon was requested by her publishers to write a story closely connected with the mining industry and so not knowing the details connected with the industry she came to Three Forks, and while stopping at the Club House there she is gathering facts that will prove invaluable in her latest work.

Mrs. Runyon is a gifted writer and is filled with the love of the work. She is also deeply interested in botanical work and the study of nature. Through persuasion we were able to secure some of her poems for publication in The Banner, and we are pleased to announce that arrangements have been made with her for regular contributions to the columns of this paper.

Her presence here will recall to mind another author who came to Logan County in years gone by. Dr. Thos. Dunn English recognized the beauty of these mountains and the nearness of true nature and came here during the period between 1850 and 1860. Some of his poems deal with life in the Guyan Valley.

With her ability and fluency of language, Mrs. Runyon should find in these grand majestic mountains and wonderful natural beauty an invaluable aid to inspiration that will enable her to complete a wonderful story that should attract the favorable attention of the most critical.

Note: I cannot locate any biographical information for this writer. Three Forks, according to one source, is also known as Saunders (Buffalo Creek).

Harts Area Deed Index (1887-1910)


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The following deed index is based on Deed Book 60 at the Lincoln County Clerk’s Office in Hamlin, WV, and relates to residents of the Harts Creek community. Most notations reflect Harts Creek citizens engaged in local land transactions; some reflect Harts Creek citizens engaged in land transactions outside of the community. These notes are meant to serve as a reference to Deed Book 60. Researchers who desire the most accurate version of this material are urged to consult the actual record book.

A.F. Morris, special commissioner, and E.W. Holley to John P. Fry     75 acres Fourteen Mile Creek     13 January 1900     p.72-73

Laura Aldridge to C.C. Fry     3 acres Big Ugly Creek     17 May 1909     p. 79-80

William Manns et ux to Josephine Robinson     75 acres Big Harts Creek     19 February 1887     p. 82

Georgia Perry to John W. Robertson     timber Big Branch Harts Creek     23 December 1909     p. 83-84

Sarah A. Perry to Georgia Perry     19 acres Ridge Between Dick Elkins Branch and Rockhouse Fork     14 September 1906     p. 85-86

Sarah A. Perry to Georgia Perry     26 acres Big Branch Harts Creek     15 September 1906     p. 86-87

Isaac G. Gartin to James M. Toney     56 acres and 35 1/4 acres Harts Creek District     3 January 1899     p. 125-127

Patten and Delana Thompson to J.W. and Mary White     102 acres and 22 acres Carroll District     22 February 1887     p. 136-137

Alvin Linville et ux to Roma Spears et ux     32 acres Big Ugly Creek     28 January 1910     p. 213-214

A.F. Morris et ux to Romie Spears et ux     32 acres Big Ugly Creek     19 July 1910     p. 214-215

J.H. Meek, trustee, to C&O Railway Company     right of way Harts Creek District     30 June 1910     p. 283-284

John W. Tomblin et ux to K.E. Toney     100 acres interest in coal, oil, cas, etc. Big Harts Creek     13 August 1910     p. 300-301

John Adkins et ux to K.E. Toney     45 acres interest in coal, oil, gas, etc. Lower Big Branch     5 July 1910     p. 301-302

Emzy Adkins et ux to Cora Adkins     40 acres Harts Creek District     4 February 1905     p. 304-305

Charles Brumfield et ux to Wilson and Sons     100 acres Ike Fry Branch     12 may 1902     T.J. Wysong, notary public     p. 375-376

A.F. Morris et ux to O.J. Spurlock     100 acres Big Ugly Creek     16 November 1909     p. 412-413

Andrew J. Browning et ux to K.E. Toney     200 acres coal, oil, gas, etc. Big Harts Creek     10 August 1910     JP Charles Adkins     17 August 1910     p. 425-426

Wash Dempsey et al to Thomas Browning     Big Harts Creek     24 January 1905     p. 426-427

C.W. Campbell, special commissioner, to John Dingess     Coal Branch     16 August 1898     p. 442-443

Note: I copied all of these deeds.

News Items for Logan, WV (1913)


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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, come these items of local news during the year 1913:

Logan Court House Rebuilt LD 05.01.1913.JPG

Logan (WV) Banner, 1 May 1913


The Call to Arms

Ladies of Logan, we need you, and ask your unfailing support against filth and flies. With your full assistance we expect to make the men “help the women do the work.” We want you to help us develop the pride and civic duty which promotes cleanliness. Enlist the whole household in this crusade against filth and flies–breeders of disease.

With the homes, the yards and the streets clean, screened receptacles for kitchen waste, which we will remove without expense, the free use of lime daily, our city will be respectable and commendable.

Lend us your aid and imbibe the slogan, “Cleaner, Healthier and Better Logan.”


Robert Bland, Mayor

By order of the Common Council.

Logan (WV) Banner, 23 May 1913


German Restaurant Ad LB 06.20.1913.JPG

Logan (WV) Banner, 20 June 1913.


The Latest Craze

In Logan now is PAINT–house paint and everybody’s doin’ it! The most recent ones are the Draper Bldg., Judge Wilkinson’s residence and office, Lanham’s plumbing shop, the Poole drug store, German restaurant, etc. More paint was spread in Logan this year than ever was known before, and considerable of it was “red” too. It can truly be said that nearly every building in town, of importance, has been or will be painted this year, in fact a few almost worthless old houses now look like new. A bucket of paint surely works wonders sometimes. A sign writer has also been at work the past week or two putting gold lettering on windows.”

Logan (WV) Banner, 4 July 1913


Logan County Prisoners Working Roads, They Like It Better Than Confinement

Two wagon-loads of prisoners were taken out of the county jail Wednesday morning, under guard, and worked on the roads in this vicinity. A 5-lb rod, about two foot long, was locked around an ankle of each prisoners. They seemed to like their outing.

Logan (WV) Banner, 12 September 1913