Magnolia District: Justices of the Peace (1824-1895)

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The following list of justices of the peace for Magnolia District in present-day Mingo County, West Virginia, is based on historical documents available at the Logan County Courthouse in Logan. Several things to consider: (1) The list will be expanded over time based on new research; (2) the targeted area for this research is the Hatfield-McCoy feud region; (3) some justices included in this list may have in fact been located outside of the feud region; (4) dates for justices are primarily derived from deeds and county court/commissioner records; and (5) Mingo County was formed from Logan County in 1895.

John Ferrell (1838)

April 26, 1838

David Mounts (1838-1840)

April 26, 1838

January 31, 1840

March 23, 1840

August 22, 1840

Samuel F. Varney (1861)

March 14, 1861

Ephraim Hatfield (1861)

March 14, 1861

William Tiller (1867)

October 1867

Valentine “Wall” Hatfield (1870-1885)

February 11, 1873

April 8-9, 1873

August 12-16, 1873

February 10-12, 1874

October 13-14, 1874

December 8-12, 1874

December 29, 1874

August 10, 1875

October 12-16, 1875

August 8-9, 1876

elected October 10, 1876

July 1, 1878

October 1879

July 1880

December 10, 1880

December 14, 1880

appointed June 13, 1881

January 28, 1882

July 22, 1885

Asa McCoy (1873-1876)

February 11-12, 1873

August 12-16, 1873

December 9-12, 1873

June 16, 1874

October 22, 1874

December 9, 1874

February 11, 1875

June 9, 1875

June 13-17, 1876

August 8-9, 1876

Ephraim Hatfield (1876-1878)

elected October 10, 1876

February 11, 1878

A.W. Ferrell (1880)

April 1880

referenced on February 8, 1881 as a former justice

Joseph Simpkins (1882)

appointed to fill unexpired term, October 17, 1882

Michael A. Ferrell (1888)

elected November 6, 1888

Federal Troops Burn Logan Courthouse During the Civil War (1862)

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From Law Orders Book A 1873-1878 in the Logan County (West Virginia) Circuit Clerk’s office comes this entry regarding the destruction of the Logan County Courthouse in 1862:

On the 14th day of June 1878, came the following persons viz: John Dejarnett, Thomas Buchanan (except as to Investigation of the Regiment), Dr. Hinchman, who being duly sworn in open Court depose and say: That they know the fact that the Court House of Logan County West Virginia after being temporarily occupied by the 34th Ohio Regt of Federal troops commanded by Col. Seiber, was set fire to and burned up, in the month of Nov. 1862. The said Court House had not been occupied at any time by the Confederate troops, but was used alone for the administration of Justice and for the custody and preservation of the Records of the Several Courts of the said County of Logan. The building was Constructed of bricks and wood, and was a substantial, durable and convenient Exterior, and was worth at the least at the time of its destruction not less than four thousand dollars and belonged exclusively to the said County of Logan, which County has ever since been within the jurisdiction of West Virginia. The destruction of said building was a wanton and inexcusable act of the said Regt. and in no manner contributed to the prosecution of the war in behalf of the Federal Government.

At a County Court continued and held for the County of Logan State of West Virginia on the 14th day of June 1878. Present Isaac Morgan, President, and James R. Perry and L.D. Chambers, Justices, the Court with the view of obtaining Compensation for the destruction of said Court House from the Government of the United States, caused the gentlemen above named to be examined on Oath in open Court, and ordered the substance of the facts above stated by them to be spread upon the Records of this Court, and the Court further caused to be certified that the above named citizens of said County of Logan and that their Statements are entitled to full faith and credit and further that they are in no wise interested in this application except in common with other citizens of the County and Tax payers thereof.

Source: Law Orders Book A 1873-1878, p. 713-714. Note: The entry contains a few errors, such as the date of the courthouse’s destruction, the spelling of Col. Edward Siber’s name, and the correct name of the unit (37th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment).

New Year’s Raid (1888): Daniel Whitt’s Testimony

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Daniel Whitt’s testimony in the Johnse Hatfield murder trial provides one version of the Hatfield raid upon Randolph McCoy’s home on January 1, 1888:

Q. “Do you know Randolph McCoy?”

A. “Yes sir.”

Q. “Do you know Cap Hatfield?”

A. “Yes sir.”

Q. “Do you know Robert Hatfield, Ellison Mounts, Elliot Hatfield, Charles Gillespie, Thomas Mitchell, and Anderson Hatfield?”

A. “Yes sir.”

Q. “Do you remember of the old man McCoy’s house being burned?”

A. “Yes sir, I heard of it.”

Q. “Where were you a short time before that occurred?”

A. “Three days before Christmas I was in the neighborhood of the Hatfield’s.”

Q. “Who was with you?”

A. “Ance Hatfield, Jim Vance, Johnson Hatfield, Cap Hatfield, Charles Gillespie, and Tom Mitchell, I believe about all of the bunch.”

Q. “What were you doing together and how long had you been together?”

A. “About three days and nights.”

Q. “Were all of you armed?”

A. “Yes sir.”

Q. “What were you doing armed and together?”

A. “Just traveling in the woods most of the time.”

Q. “What did you sleep on?”

A. “We carried our quilts with us.”

Q. “Who was your captain?”

A. “Jim Vance.”

Q. “What was the purpose of your getting together?”

A. “They claimed the purpose was to get out of the way of the Kentucky authorities.”

Q. “What else did they claim?”

A. “When I left them we came to Henry Mitchell’s to get dinner. They wouldn’t let me hear what they had to talk about. Cap asked me if I was going to Kentucky with them. Said they were going to Kentucky to kill Randolph and Jim McCoy and settle the racket. He asked me if I was going with them and I said that I was not. He said that I would go or I would go to hell. I said that I would go to hell. Elias came and took me off. We slept in a shuck pen. When he got to sleep I ran away and went to Pocahontas and was there when this occurred.”

Q. “Was Johnson present when Cap was talking?”

A. “He was in the yard close enough to hear, and he came up to me when Cap was talking and took Cap out and had a talk with him.”

Source: Bill of exceptions at the office of the Clerk of the Court of Appeals in Kentucky, Frankfort, KY.

Queens Ridge News 05.13.1927

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An unnamed correspondent from Queens Ridge serving Upper Hart in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on May 13, 1927:

Mrs. Paralee Browning and Garnet Mullins of Lower Hoover were the evening guests of Cecil McCloud Sunday.

Ireland and Carl Mullins went up Hoover late Sunday enroute to Troy Town.

Mrs. Belle Dora Adams is going to have a son-in-law some one said. Gee, the girls will have to quiet fliring with Charley.

Lucy McCloud was visiting her aunt Mrs. Garnet Martin here Saturday.

Howard Adams made a business trip to New Orleans. Many tears were shed on account of his long absence.

Whirlwind News 05.10.1927

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An unnamed correspondent from Whirlwind on Big Harts Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on May 10, 1927:

Mrs. Alla Mullins was the guest of Daniel McCloud Monday.

Daniel McCloud made a business trip to Twelve Pole Monday.

All the farmers are getting very busy in this vicinity.

Wilburn Mullins was calling on friends at Daniel McCloud’s Sunday.

Lucy McCloud visited her aunt Lora Martin Sunday.

Bernie Adams has just returned from a business trip to Logan.

Daniel McCloud is teaching a singing school at the Bulwark school house. All report a nice time.

Daily Acts: Florence and her straw hat; Lucy and her pink dress; Lenville carrying milk; Roy making whistles.