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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about a visit to Logan by United Mine Workers of America officials in 1925. The story is dated August 28, 1925.
Local Citizens Resent Visit of Union Officials
Chamber of Commerce Adopts Resolutions At Special Meeting, and Informs Visitors That They Are Unwelcome Guests
Just how thoroughly the citizens generally of this community are opposed to the activities and methods of the United Mine Workers of America was amply demonstrated this week when officials of the organization were frankly and almost bluntly told by committees waiting on them that their presence here was not desired and they were invited to make themselves conspicuous by their absence.
Two weeks ago eight officials prominent in the affairs of the organization paid a visit to this city and cloaked their activities with a secrecy which tended to excite suspicion. After a stay of a little over a day they departed for an unknown destination, leaving behind the information that they would return shortly. Tuesday four of them again made their appearance and immediately matters began to move with startling rapidity.
A special meeting of the Chamber of Commerce was hurriedly called. Before the visitors had been in the city a half hour members of the Chamber were being summoned by telephone and by messenger to assemble in special session. The response to the call was quite general for the business men of the community realized what the future promised where United Mine Workers methods prevailed. Pomeroy, Ohio and Herrin, Illinois, did not appeal to them as a possible future for Logan, so all other affairs were dropped and the meeting was promptly in session.
The subject of the visit was thoroughly discussed and it was unanimously decided that the best interests of the community demanded that unquestioned action should be taken. The experiences of other cities and communities where United Mine Workers methods prevailed were gone into thoroughly and in detail and the members went on record by unanimously adopting the following resolutions:
WHEREAS, it has come to the attention of the Chamber of Commerce of the City of Logan that certain officials of the United Mine Workers of America have made a recent visit to our city and are now back again, and
WHEREAS, we believe it is their desire and intention to stir up industrial strife in attempting to form an organization of the miners in this field, and,
WHEREAS, we have a peaceful, quiet community of good law-abiding citizens, and the miners in our section are now doing well and everything is peaceful and pleasant and that the relations between the coal operators and the miners is pleasant and agreeable, which is conducive to the peace and prosperity of our county; and
WHEREAS, the results and experiences in sections where efforts towards organization on the part of the United Mine Workers of America have been so destructive and disastrous to the industrial success of such communities such as Pomeroy, Ohio, Herrin, Ill., Northern West Virginia and Kanawha, Boone and Mingo Counties, which communities are still suffering from the effects of such attempted organization, and believing that the usual tactics would be pursued in this field if such organization is attempted.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that this body in meeting assembled, unanimously deplores the fact of any such attempted organization and go on record as being unqualifiedly opposed to say activities towards such attempted organization on the part of the United Mine Workers of America, or any of their agents, servants or employees.
AND, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be spread on the minutes of this meeting and also delivered to the press.
This resolution unanimously adopted this the twenty-fifth day of August, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Twenty Five.
Logan Chamber of Commerce.
H.A. DAVID, chairman
C.A. BRUBECK, secretary
It was decided that a committee be appointed to wait on the visitors and in plain language inform them that their presence here was not desired and inviting them to transfer their activities to some other territory remote from Logan.
Shortly after the meeting adjourned, a committee of some twenty-five or thirty members paid a visit to the Aracoma hotel, where the officials were making their headquarters, and conveyed to them the feelings and decisions of the business men of the community. When the officials entered the parlor, where the committee had gathered, the spokesman conveyed to the visitors the reason for their interview in substantially the following words:
Men: Those assembled represent the business interests of the community members of the Chamber of Commerce. We know that you are not here for any good purpose, either for the good of the business interests or the good of the citizens of Logan county or its interests. We know your history in the past. We know what you did to Boone county and we…
On September 27, 1927, the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, profiled Jack Dempsey’s mother:
MRS. DEMPSEY LEAVES FOR HOME; EXPRESSES HOPE FOR FINISH FIGHT BETWEEN HER SON AND GENE TUNNEY
Mrs. Cecelia Dempsey, mother of Jack, concluded her visit here yesterday and left that afternoon with her traveling companions, Mr. and Mrs. J. Kenneth Stoltz, for Charleston, thence to points east. They had motored here from their home in Salt Lake City and were quartered at the Aracoma during their six days’ stay in the city. Mrs. Dempsey called on many relatives and old friends and had originally planned to spend several days in Mingo county.
By the time they reached Sharples Mrs. Dempsey missed a hatbox containing a $3500 watch, a gift from her famous son, and two valuable rings. They returned at once to Logan and after an anxious search found the missing box with contents undisturbed alongside the Washington apartments. Evidently it had fallen into the street and some passerby had placed it against the building, presumably without knowledge or curiousity as to the nature of its contents.
“As far as I am concerned,” Mrs. Dempsey told a Charleston reporter last night, “I am satisfied with the way the fight went, but as long as the people feel the way they do, I hope there will be another fight arranged. Mr. Tunney is a fine man, and I suppose the judges did what they thought was right in awarding him the decision, but the people who have talked to me think it should at least have been a draw. It was, perhaps, Jack’s fault that he lost, because he did not know the Illinois rules, or forgot them if he lost his head in the excitement, and forgot what he should have done when he knocked Tunney down in the seventh round.
“I believe the people should cheer the champion,” she went on to say, “and yet I would like to see them better satisfied. I hope if Jack and Tunney fight again that they will not have to stop at ten rounds but will keep on until one or the other is knocked out. I want to see Jack either lick his man or get a good licking himself, and quit. But I want him to quit the game clean and with a good name.”
While Mrs. Dempsey seemed to have enjoyed her visit in West Virginia and expressed a hope that she could come back next year for a longer stay, she said she wouldn’t want to live back here again because of the difference in climate. However, the people are more sociable here, she added, and are much more friendly upon first acquaintance.
Mrs. Dempsey indicated she and companions would leave today for their home in Salt Lake City instead of going farther east. She has had to cut her visit in West Virginia a little short for fear of being unable to get through the snow in the passes of Utah, since the first storms often begin early in October, she said, and keep the roads blocked until spring. She expects Jack and his wife, the screen actress Estelle Taylor, to meet her in Salt Lake City, about October 10, and she is hurrying back to see her son.
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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, come these stories of rats in the city, printed in 1922-1923:
The Chamber of Commerce has collected quite a few rat tails since its announcement some days ago of the contest which ends on July 15th with a grand prize to the person having collected the greatest number from rats killed. The tails are delivered to Mr. McGuire each Saturday morning at the Chamber’s offices over the First National Bank building, at which time five cents are paid for each tail. The big prize will be given on July 15th, so it’s up to those who have been interested to get busy for the next two weeks.
Logan (WV) Banner, 30 June 1922
Extermination of Rats Contest Continues While Longer
Secretary Announces It Such a Success That Contest Will Continue
Five Pennies a Rat
Mr. Davis of East End, Leads in Contest With 113 of Rodents Killed
Such interest is being taken in the rat contest as inaugurated by the Chamber of Commerce that the body has decided not to close the contest July 15, as formally announced. The closing date will be announced later and in the meantime the Chamber wants every boy, girl, man or woman to be an active soldier in the extermination of this rodent.
So far Mr. Davis who lives near the Logan Planing Mill in the eastern portion of the city, has the largest number of rat tails to his credit, having delivered a total of 113 on last Saturday. These pests are said to be unusually numerous and active in this vicinity of the city and Mr. Davis has been unusually busy in killing everyone that he has been able to find. He is yet adding to his honor roll and will evidently keep the good work going until the end of the campaign when it is hoped he will be so fond of slaying rats he will continue the good work through life.
Many other citizens of the city are making records and there is one thing sure—when the rat campaign is over there will be a smaller number of the rodents in the city than there were when the contest opened.
Secretary McGuire calls for the citizens to keep up the good fight and announces that the more money the Chamber has to pay out for rat tails the better it pleases them and that he will be on hand each Saturday to reward the faithful exterminators and he hopes to see the number grow larger as each week-end roll around.
Logan (WV) Banner, 14 July 1922
Rodent Carries Ladies’ Outfit, But Dial Gets It
Chief of police Dial had a rather funny experience the other day. He was crossing Main street when he saw some sort of an animal moving down the street with a large package on its back that almost hid the animal from view. For some moments his brain was puzzled at the queer sight. He thought for an instant his eyes might be playing him a prank. Rubbing his eyes, he looked again and there it was moving along down the road.
Dial could not remember of imbibing any amount of “hootch” that might cause him to see things so he pulled his trusty pocket gun and fired away. The beast tumbled over and the package felt o the paved highway. Imagine his surprise when he discovered one of the large rats that inhabit the post office had escaped from the building and was making a get-away with a huge parcel post package. The address had been removed from the package by the rodent and several large holes punctured through the wrapping.
An examination of the package brought to light one voile skirt, a pink corset, two crepe de chine waists, 4 pair of bright colored hose, 1 chemise, 2 princess slips, 3 corset covers, 1 pair “knickers,” 2 pair of “Teddy’s,” 1 pair of fancy garters, 5 hair nets, 1 hair rat of auburn hue and two powder puffs.
The “he” rat had evidently made an inspection of the package and found therein a quantity of material with which to dress up Mrs. Rat and was on his way home with the package when he met his untimely death at the hands of the ever watchful chief of the city of Logan.
It is understood the post office rats held funeral services in the local office last Saturday night. There was much sorrow at the loss of one of their members but with the birth rate at a high figure his place will soon be filled and the deceased rat soon forgotten in the rush of rodents at the Logan post office.
Logan (WV) Banner, 11 August 1922
Pretty Poisoners Here For War On Rodents
Misses Wright and Caldwell Arrive in County For Rat Crusade
A rat extermination campaign was launched in Logan this week when Miss Anna Mae Wright, pretty Portsmouth, Va., girl and Miss Helen Caldwell, her aid-de-camp, began a cooperative drive with the city health department against the destructive rodents.
Women have entered many fields of endeavor but few of them have been of wider benefit to humanity than has Miss Wright in her plan of rat killing, municipal officials in nineteen states have testified following successful campaigns conducted in hundreds of towns and cities.
The germ of the idea for a national rat extermination was created in the mind of Miss Wright three years ago while she was assisting in a civic campaign against rats at Norfolk, Va. It was in this campaign that a government-tested West Virginia product was found to give best results. This product, barium carbonate, is a mineral manufactured from the waste products of West Virginia mines and through its use thousands of rats have been eradicated.
Enthused by the success of the Norfolk campaign and acting under the encouragement of the prominent health authorities in the east, Miss Wright, accompanied by a friend, Mrs. D.M. Staples, started on a tour of southern states during which they met with unusual success.
Romance, however, finally interrupted the partnership oft ese two young ladies in their strange business venture, when Mrs. Staples, a widow met and married a prominent Virginian. Undaunted, Miss Wright has continued her work and is coming to Logan to aid the municipal health department in its efforts to rid the city of rats.
A study of the rat family, made from statistics compiled from all parts of the United States, reveals that there are an average of two rats to every inhabitant in any city or town.
“On this basis,” Miss Wright explained, “Logan and vicinity has a population of 10,000 which costs the people $18,000 annually to feed.”
Upon the arrival of the young ladies in Logan, the Mayor was communicated with and they found him a willing helper. He secured for them the endorsement of the various civic bodies and then brought them to The Banner for the publicity campaign.
Their interviewer forgot at times these girls were “rat killers” and as the conversation would naturally turn to other channels he was soon reminded the campaign was against rats and not hearts.
“We’re not afraid of rats,” the girls answered to a query. “You see, we seldom see the live creatures anyway. We help set the bait and wait for results.”
The campaign was started in the business section immediately after their arrival and the girls are calling on the larger firms and assisting in the work. The residential sections cannot all be reached by them, but a supply of the barium carbonate may be had at any of the stores and if the directions are not thoroughly understood or proper results not obtained, Miss Wright or Miss Caldwell will be found at the Aracoma hotel and either will gladly help any person.
Miss Wright’s plan to work is quite simple, she explained. The right proportion of barium carbonate is mixed with delicate morsels of food which are invitingly displayed along the walls of rooms or in known runaways used by rats.
This powder is tasteless but deadly in its work, she explained. There is little to be feared of the rats dying underground or in the walls of buildings after they have eaten of the poison. Its action is such, she stated, that the afflicted rat always comes out into the open air in order to breathe more easily. It is a death of strangulation and the doped animals always come out of their retreats when they feel themselves afflicted.
The barium carbonate used in the local campaign will be furnished by Miss Wright at a nominal cost, city officials announced.
Logan (WV) Banner, 27 April 1923
American Revolution, Appalachia, Aracoma, Aracoma Hotel, Bluestone River, Boling Baker, C.A. Davis, Cornstalk, Daughters of the American Revolution, Edwin Goodwin, Elmer McDonald, Harris Funeral Home, history, Jimmy Browning, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lyle Burdette, M.R. Atkinson, Montgomery County, Native American History, Native Americans, photos, sheriff, Virginia, W.C. Turley, West Virginia
Princess Aracoma Memorial Given to the Public by D.A.R. Chapter is Formally Unveiled and Dedicated
The monument to Princess Aracoma was dedicated yesterday afternoon by the local chapter of the D.A.R. which bears her name, with a brief ceremony in which the romantic history of the chief of the first tribe known to have settled in this vicinity was reviewed.
The dedication service took place at 4:30 o’clock at the northeast corner of the courthouse, and was opened with an assembly bugle call by Boy Scout Edwin Goodwin. Rev. M.R. Atkinson led in prayer and Jimmy Browning gave the salute to the flag.
Mrs. S. Elmer McDonald, regent of Aracoma chapter, presided, saying, “We have gathered here to honor Princess Aracoma, an Indian princess who with her tribe first settled in this valley.”
W.C. Turley, whom Mrs. McDonald introduced as the descendant of one of the oldest families of the county gave a talk reviewing the traditional settling of the Indians in this vicinity.
“I think it striking evidence of patriotism for your Princess Aracoma chapter to place this monument in memory of Princess Aracoma,” he said.
Mr. Turley said that Princess Aracoma was born somewhere between 1740 and 1745, the daughter of Cornstalk, chief of the Shawnee Indians, who was killed in the first land battle of the Revolution.
“When the princess was a young girl she interceded in behalf of Boling Baker, a white soldier who had deserted from the British army and had been captured by her tribe. Through her plea his life was spared and he was initiated into the tribe.
“According to the Indian custom, when Princess Aracoma became of age she was given a portion of the tribe to settle under her leadership in new hunting grounds, and chose the island first settled in this territory. Shortly after settling in their new home, the Princess and Boling Baker were married at a large ceremony attended by Cornstalk and other chiefs.
“The tribe lived happily and prospered until, in 1776, a plague struck them taking many of their members including all of the children of the princess and her white husband.
“Baker, seeking to replenish the goods of the tribe went with some scouts to a settlement on the Bluestone river, where, posing as an escaped captive, he gained the confidence of the settlers. Then one night he led his scouts in a raid on the camp, stealing their horses and provisions.
“The sheriff of Montgomery county, of which Logan was then a part, designated Col. Breckenridge and Gen. Madison to lead a force of 90 men to seek revenge on the Indians. In the ensuing battle, which took place near where the power plant now stands, Princess Aracoma was killed.
“According to tradition, she was buried somewhere in the vicinity where the Aracoma Hotel and Harris Funeral Home now stand. Skeletons and Indian burial pieces were unearthed when the excavation for these buildings was made.”
At the close of Mr. Turley’s address, the monument was unveiled by Mrs. Lyle Burdette and Mrs. C.A. Davis.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 28 October 1936.
NOTE: This article incorrectly references the Battle of Point Pleasant as part of the American Revolutionary War.