baseball, Brazil, Canada, England, genealogy, history, Huntington, Ireland, Jerry Crowley, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Marietta, Mt. Gay, Murphy's Restaurant, New York, Ohio, repairman, Stratton Street, Syracuse, Wales, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about J.E. “Dad” Crowley, a familiar Irish repairman, in 1937:
J.E. “Dad” Crowley Here Since 1884 As Repairman
Ninety-Year-Old Irishman Worked on Sewing Machines In Brazil, England, Ireland, Wales and Canada; Never Sick A Day
This will be the first time that Jerry E. “Dad” Crowley’s name has been in a newspaper.
Not that Dad doesn’t have an interesting story to tell, but just because no one ever “discovered” him before. (Dad has never been in jail, either, though he has walked twice across the continent and calls himself a “tramp.”)
Dad Crowley, 90-year-old sewing machine repairman who has been working spasmodically in Logan county since 1884, was born in Syracuse, New York, member of a family of 14 children.
During the 90 years since the time of his birth he has walked twice across the United States, gone across the continent more than 100 times by rail and has repaired sewing machines in Brazil, Wales, England, Canada, and Ireland.
Dad says he has never been sick more than a half day in his life, has had only one contagious illness, has never taken a drop of medicine to date and up to now has had no ache or pain more serious than a toothache or a corn.
His only illness was whooping cough. He had this affliction at Marietta, Ohio, when he was 76 years old.
“I guess the Master just figured I was entering my second childhood and had better give me something to remind me of the fact,” Dad said with a chuckle.
“I just whooped ‘er out, though. No doctor, no medicine, no thing.”
“Dad” says he’s not bothered with any aches or pains now.
“I haven’t any teeth no, so—toothache won’t bother me, and my feet are so battered up that a pain there wouldn’t be noticeable.”
When asked how many miles he believed he had walked during his 90 years, the leathery, little Irishman—he’s “Shelalaigh Irish” and proud of it—rattled off the figure of 23, 367, 798, 363 miles without a blink of the eye, then later admitted that “I lost track of mileage after the first 20 billion miles.”
Dad declared that in his first and last job of work that he held for a person other than for himself he walked more than 10,000 miles.
He was operator of a treadmill for a Syracuse citizen named Hamilton from whom he learned the mechanism of the sewing machine, thus making it possible for him later to be independent of all bosses.
The whitehaired old chap repaired his first sewing machine on the Mounts farm in Mount Gay in 1884 when he first came into this section of West Virginia from Huntington.
Since that time during his intermittent visits to Logan county he has canvassed nearly every home here and has worked on many of the sewing machines in the county.
Dad is a close friend of the Murphys who operate a restaurant and poolroom on Stratton street. He affectionately calls Mrs. Murphy “Mom” because he thinks she looks like his mother, who died when he was only two years old.
Dad can be found at Murphy’s Restaurant any afternoon when the baseball scores are coming in. Baseball next to repairing sewing machines, is his consuming passion. One will find Dad wearing a cap on his graying locks, smiling broadly and ever ready to spin a yarn or talk baseball.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 1 July 1937
Appalachia, baseball, Bible school, Breeden, Buck Fork, Bulwark, Burlie Riddle, Charles Curry, Charleston, croup, David Tomblin, Dora Workman, Earsel Farley, Ethel Chafin, gambling, genealogy, Harts Creek, history, Jacob Alperin, James Baisden, James Mullins, John M. Adams, Julia Mullins, Logan Banner, Logan County, Mamie Adkins, McCloud School, merchant, Mingo County, Mose Tomblin Jr., Naaman Borders, Roxie Mullins, Thomas Carter, Tom Smith, W.J. Bachtel, Wayne, West Virginia, Whirlwind, Will Farley
An unknown correspondent from Whirlwind in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on November 14, 1914:
Forest fires have done considerable damage in this section recently.
Drs. Carter and Ratcliff were Whirlwind visitors one day the first of the week.
Mrs. James Baisden of Dingess died at her home Thursday, November 12th.
Miss Burlie Riddle was shopping at this place on Tuesday last.
Misses Julia and Roxie Mullins were Whirlwind visitors one day this week.
Miss Mamie Adkins was visiting at Uncle Tom Smith’s Friday.
W.J. Bachtel transacted business in Mingo county the first of the week.
T.J. Carter is on the sick list at this writing.
Mrs. David Tomblin of Buck Fork was here Wednesday.
J.M. Adams transacted business at Whirlwind Friday of last week.
Mose Tomblin, Jr., made a business trip to Bulwark Friday.
Jacob Alperin of Charleston was here on business one day recently.
Rev. N. Barber returned Sunday from a business trip to Mingo county.
Miss Ethel Chaffin of Wayne is visiting Naaman Borders at this place.
Little Earsel, the five-year-old child of Will Farley, took the croup last Saturday and died in a few hours. The bereaved ones have our sympathy.
Miss Dora Workman of this place visited relatives at Breeding last week.
The schools of this place taught by Mr. and Mrs. Borders are progressing nicely.
James Mullins, our prominent merchant, bought a fine span of mules recently.
Revs. Vance, Curry, and Border preached at McCloud school house Sunday.
The folks on Buck Fork have organized a Bible school, which all the folks are invited to take a part. That begins to look like the good people of that place are moving in the right way. If all our neighbors would do the same, our young men would find it even more interesting that the disgraceful card table or Sunday baseball. And I am sure it would do more to elevate our country. People are going to engage in something on Sunday, if it is things that are sinful. So let us interest them in something that is elevating and has a wholesome moral uplift. Where we have a Bible school or Sunday school we have a sort of round table in which all may have a say in the subject. There are a thousand and one things that are intensely interesting in the Good Old Book that many educated people are wholly ignorant of, and I am surprised to see so few school teachers that take such little interest in these things. How long will things be thus?
Now that the election is over and the lucky ones are happy and the unlucky ones have bid their loved ones at home goodbye and are on their way up the hated Salt River we wish the dear fellows all a safe voyage.
‘Lasses makin’ is over and the frost is on the pumpkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
Appalachia, Barker School, baseball, Bertie Barker, Big Creek, Billy Carper, Bob Hale, Chapmanville, Chapmanville School, Charles Farrette, Ed Haner, Edward Turner, Eliza Garrett, Emma Stowers, Farmers Telephone Company, genealogy, George Seagraves, history, Hot Springs Bryant, Howard Barker, John Dent, Johnny Fry, Lacy Browning, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lola Ferrell, measles, Myrna Sanders, Nora Stollings, Peter Ferrell, Ravenswood, Robert Homer, Robert Vickers, teacher, W. Conley, W.J. Bachtel, Wanda Ferrell, Wayne Brown, West Virginia
An unknown correspondent from Chapmanville in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on March 11, 1921:
The Chapmansville school is progressing nicely under the management of J.W. Batchel and Robert Vickers and Miss Eliza Garrette.
Some of the girls are looking to get plenty of boys in school, especially Miss Wanda Ferrell and Lola Ferrell. “Come on, Mr. Wayne,” is what Wanda says.
Mr. Steward can’t cobble shoes to do any good any more for the girls of Chapmansville.
Mr. Bob Hale bought in three fine Holstein cows from Ravenswood.
Mr. Edward Turner is swinging the girls now.
Mr. Charles Farrette of Big Creek is attending school now.
Miss Wanda Ferrell of Big Creek is going to be baptized Sunday.
Chapmansville is coming out of the kinks. She is going to organize a baseball team under the management of W.J. Bachtel.
Wayne Brown is getting sporty lately. He is sweeting the girls on candy, especially one on Big Creek.
Billy Carper and Jonnie Fry have no girls now. They visit the school house often. Cheer up.
Chapmansville is on a boost now. A soda fountain came in today for W. Conley and Hot Springs Bryant.
Six houses are being built in this village at present for Peter Ferrell.
Miss Eliza Garrett, who is teaching the primary department at Chapmansville, visited her home folks Saturday and Sunday.
Mr. Howard Barker and John Dent, who have been working at Big Creek, returned to their homes Saturday. They claim they have been exposed to measles.
Mrs. George Seagraves, who is teaching the primary department at the Barker school, says she will finish her school upstairs on account of her room being cold. She is behind three weeks. Miss Emma Stowers is principal, her term for this year closing March 9th.
Miss Emma Stowers and Bertie Barker attended church at the Lane Sunday.
Miss Bessie Barker, who has been visiting her homefolks for the past week, returned to her work at Logan Sunday.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Homer attended church at Lane Sunday.
Mrs. Ed Haner is on the sick list.
Misses Myrna Sanders and Nora Stollings attended church at the Lane Sunday.
Mr. Lacy Browning is on the sick list. The attending physician says he is threatened with fever.
The Farmers Telephone Company of this place have rebuilt their line and we hope that adjoining lines will do likewise.
Andrew Chambers, Appalachia, Banny Shelton, baseball, Chapmanville, Charley Adams, Chester Chambers, Chester Farley, Clell Adams, Dillard Farris, Ernest Sanders, Fanny Chapman, Floyd Stollings, genealogy, Grace Stollings, Hattie Chambers, Hazel Stollings, history, Hurst Butcher, Ida Sanders, Jim Adams, John Cabell, Linna White, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lola Adams, Murman Campbell, Omar, Opal White, Raymond Lilly, Rhoda Adams, Ritchie Lilly, Russell Butcher, Staten Farley, Stratton Gore, Tina Conley, Vinal Stolliings, Virgil Farley, West Virginia, Yantus
An unknown local correspondent from Yantus in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on April 20, 1926:
Here we come with more news from Yantus.
We are glad that people are beginning to plant their gardens and flower beds at last.
We had an interesting ball game at the ball park, Sunday. Those present were Messrs. Ritchie Lilly, Floyd Stollings, Ernest Sanders, Charley Adams, Saleb Adams, Stratton Gore, Hurst Butcher, Jim Adams, Dillard Farris, Chester Farley, Staten Farley, Virgil Farley, Opal White, Hazel Stollings, Vinal Stollings, Linna White, Grace Stollings, Lola Adams, Rhoda Adams. All reported a nice time.
Mr. and Mrs. Muman Campbell were here visiting his father last week, but have returned to their home at Omar.
Misses Linna White and Grace Stollings were visiting their parents Saturday and Sunday.
Mrs. Russel Butcher of Chapmanville was visiting her parents, Sunday.
Charley Adams, Jim Adams, Chester Farley, Ernest Sanders, Ida Sanders, Grace Stollings and Hazel Stollings were out horse back riding Sunday.
Banny Shelton and wife were seen out walking Sunday.
Miss Linna White was the all day guest of Miss Opal White Sunday.
Ernest was looking blue Sunday. Wonder why?
Chester Chambers was visiting Bee Bud Campbell Saturday.
Clell Adams and Opal White were out walking Sunday. Wonder how they enjoyed the snow storm?
Raymond Lilly was visiting his parents, but has returned to Big Kanawha.
Dell Adams looked lonesome Sunday.
Bur Chambers was calling on Bessie Stollings Sunday. Look out Johnnie.
Mrs. Fanny Chapman was visiting her parents Sunday evening.
Charley was all smiles Sunday.
Miss Vinal Stollings made a flying trip to Chapmanville Saturday.
Mrs. Elva Scaggs is visiting her sister at Rocky.
I think the men will be wearing long hair before long as Peter Dingess has started the style.
Stratton Gore was calling on Linna White Sunday.
Mrs. Kate Chambers has started a beef shop. Come and buy your beef.
Mark Stollings called on Allen Adkins Sunday.
Mrs. Hattie Chambers was calling on her mother, Sunday.
Andrew Chambers is afraid to turn his horse out to range, he says the wind will blow him away.
Miss Tina Conley and John Cabell were seen plowing Saturday.
Combinations–Ritchie and his note book; Stratton and his big hat; Earnest and his blues; Andrew and his chickens; French and his axe handles; Hazel and her red dress; Linna and her coat; Grace and her slippers; Opal getting dinner; Ida and her boquet; Floyd and his sweetie; Charley meeting the train; Clell talking to Opal; Tina looking for John; Hurst and his glove; Dillard and his cap; Bee Bud and his plow stalks; Peter and his curly locks; Burl looking for Bessie; Woodrow and his pony; Charley and his tie; Raymond looking for a sweetheart; Mary and her geese; Emma and her yellow coat; Andrew and his fat horse; Sadie and her dirt; Bee Bud and his tobacco.
Albert Ferrell, Allen Nelson, Appalachia, baseball, Bernie Ward, Big Ugly Creek, Bill Duty, Brady, Bruce Wheeler, Burley Lucas, Charles Lucas, Charley B. Brumfield, Charley Pullen, Clerk Lucas, Dollie Toney, Dr. Hallahan, Dutch Smith, education, Floyd Payne, history, James P. Ferrell, Jim Mullin, Lee Toney, Leet, Lincoln Republican, Lottie Lucas, Midkiff, Nancy Jane Toney, Rector, Squire Spurlock, Susan Brumfield
Some one hundred years ago, Big Ugly Creek was a busy place. The county newspaper reported weekly on local events, mostly through correspondents who used such names as “Bobby,” “Rex,” “Blue Eyes,” and “Whistler” to inform readers of small but important news events. The timber industry, spear-headed by B. Johnson & Son of Richmond, Indiana, generated the most news, although other timber operations of a lesser size, such as Nelson-Brumfield-Shelton, also appeared in the newspaper.
“Bernie Ward, an employee of the Nelson-Shelton-Brumfield saw mill, got his right hand in some of the machinery early Monday morning and the member was badly lacerated,” the Lincoln Republican reported on December 21, 1911. “Dr. Hallanan dressed the wound.”
Timbering was dangerous business, and workers often made the news when they were injured or killed on the job.
“Floyd Payne was severely injured last Friday by a log rolling on him,” the Republican reported on October 12, 1911. “The fact that he was in the creek and the sand being somewhat quickey saved his life; he was thought to be dead when the log was rolled off of him, but he has since rallied and it is now thought that he may recover.”
It was a hard life for timber men, yet they occasionally found time for sports.
“An interesting game of ball was played on the Midkiff diamond Sunday between Midkiff and Leet, the score standing 8 to 4 in Midkiff’s favor in the sixth inning, when the game was called on account of rain,” the Republican reported on June 29, 1911. “Charley Pullen, the famous Morris Harvey twirler, pitched for Leet, while B. McComas was on the firing line for Midkiff. Walter Scites of the Hamlin team played short for Midkiff.”
Progress accompanied timber. Worth noting was the arrival of telephone service on the creek.
“The Citizens Telephone company is now stringing wire along Big Ugly,” the Republican wrote on December 21, 1911. “The new line will be open for business by the first of the year. Squire Spurlock is putting in the line.”
In addition to the daily goings-on of timber and the modernization of the creek, the county newspaper also wrote briefly on the progress of schools.
“Miss Lottie Lucas is teaching a good school at Leet,” the Republican wrote on October 12, 1911. “Miss Dollie Toney is teaching a very satisfactory school at the Toney school house. Clark Lucas is wielding the rod with good results at the Lefthand branch school house.”
The rural mail carriers were also men of importance in those days, worthy of mention in the newspaper.
“James P. Ferrell who is 76 years old carries the mail from Gill to Rector, 6 times a week and is always on time,” according to the Republican on October 12, 1911. “James Ferrell is yet very feeble but is improved somewhat,” the paper wrote in July of the following year. “For almost a quarter of a century Mr. Ferrell has been a mail carrier in Lincoln county. Albert Ferrell, his son, carries the mail at present.”
There were occasional oddities in local news, such as when the paper reported on the medicinal qualities of a local spring.
“The water at the Big Sulphur Springs above here is said to possess splendid medicinal properties and Huntington parties during the past week took some of it away for analysis,” the Republican wrote on July 25, 1912. “It is especially beneficial in affections of the stomach and kidneys.”
Birth records were on oft-reported bit of news in those times.
“Born: To Bruce Wheeler and wife a 10 pound son,” the Republican wrote on July 25, 1912. “A stillborn child came to the home of Lee Toney and wife last Friday.”
It was a matter of great concern when residents moved away from the creek.
“Charley B. Brumfield and family, who have resided at Big Branch of Big Ugly for many years, have moved to the McComas farm near Bradyville,” the Republican reported on December 7, 1911. “Their departure has caused general regret among their many friends at the place.”
In those days, sickness was a regular problem for local residents.
“Mrs. Squire Toney narrowly escaped death from blood poison last week but she is improving nicely now,” the Republican wrote on October 12, 1911. “Mrs. John Brumfield has been ill with stomach trouble,” the paper wrote later in December.
Accidents in daily life were also frequent in those days.
“Ossie, the 9 year old son of Jim Mullin, while playing in a sled with other lads at the school house below, met with an accident and sustained a fracture of the leg,” according to the Republican on December 21, 1911. “Dr. Hallahan set the broken bones.”
Death was treated with great sensitivity.
“Burley, the thirteen year old son of Chas. Lucas and wife, died last Wednesday, after a brief illness from a peculiar ailment,” the Republican wrote on December 7, 1911. “A day or so before his death he began to lose the use of the muscles of his arms and legs.” That same day, the paper reported: “Mr. and Mrs. Dutch Smith have the sympathy of the entire community in the death of their one year old son.”
“Grover, the 3 year old child of Al Nelson, of Pigeon Roost, fell in the fire place at his home while his parents were absent last Wednesday,” according to the Republican on December 21, 1911. “The little fellow was horribly burned about the abdomen and breast and died Saturday as a result of the horrible burns.”
Funerals were often preached months after a person was buried.
“The funeral of W.R. Duty, who died about a year ago, was preached last Sunday near Rector, by Rev. Chapman. There was a large crowd from all over the county, and a big dinner was served on the ground,” the Republican wrote on October 12, 1911.