Appalachia, Battle of Blair Mountain, Charles Town, Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, coal, Democratic Party, deputy sheriff, Don Chafin, geography, history, Huntington, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, mine guards, politics, Republican Party, West Virignia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this editorial about mine guards, dated June 30, 1922:
MINE GUARDS OF LOGAN
The attorneys for the defense in the miners’ trials at Charles Town, which have been in progress for the past several weeks, have taken every opportunity of referring to the deputy sheriffs of Logan county mine guards as “thugs” and “two-gun men.”
Logan county is, and has been for several years, ruled by officers elected on the Democratic ticket. The Logan Banner adheres to the party of Lincoln, Grant, Roosevelt and Harding. It believes in the policy of the Grand Old Party and so long as that belief endures we will be found advocating the doctrines as preached by the leaders of this political organization.
Politics has no place in the discussion of the so called mine guard system in Logan county. We hold the love and respect of our homes far above any reverence to political parties and when the good name of Logan is attacked we forget political lines and join with the good people of this vast community in resenting any reflection on the fair name of Logan.
It has always been a mystery to us why the demand for the abolishment of the extra number of deputy sheriffs in this county should come from parties who are non-residents of the county? Who has demanded their abolishment? What cry has been heard from Logan county for aid? What facts have been presented of any unlawful acts committed at the hands of officers in this county?
Logan is filled with men of the highest type of intelligence. Likewise, they have many, many men here who are as brave as any men to be found in the nation. These men would not, for an instant, be a party to crimes in the county without raising their voices in protest. When it is all sifted down, it is found the hue and cry for a change of conditions is raised by those other than citizens of Logan county. Here are four points that must be borne in mind when considering Logan county:
- Due to the natural geographical conditions, Logan is rather isolated from other sections of the state.
- Due to this isolation and the fact that it is far removed from through transportation facilities, it is hard to attract labor here.
- In order to secure labor it becomes necessary to employ many who have had previous criminal careers.
- The county is mountainous, the operations are many and widely scattered, and the forces of deputies are not too many but otherwise too small to maintain order and uphold the law in an area of 400 square miles
Logan is situated among the mountains with but one natural outlet. This is by way of the C. & O. branch line to Huntington. The county is naturally divided by creeks, valleys, and branch railway lines. On these can be found many operations, employing hundreds of laborers, and to successfully cope with the lawless the sheriff is naturally required to employ more than the usual amount of deputies.
If Logan county was situated on the trunk line of any railway system, it would be a much easier task to supply the mines with labor, but due to the fact that it is far removed from any other section of the state and that in order to reach any other point, east, west, north or south it becomes necessary to travel over a distance of 75 miles to Huntington, labor is hard to obtain.
In securing this labor to fill the requirements of the large corporations operating here, it is necessary to visit the employment agencies located in the larger cities. Anyone acquainted with these agencies recognize the fact they are not scrupulous about whom they list, and the natural consequence is that many brought here on transportation are recognized criminals and members of all nationalities. Not all of them, thank goodness, are of the lawless class, but many are. They require constant watching and close scrutiny to see that their criminal tendencies do not become too pronounced. In order to do this it becomes imperative to have a large force of officers.
In view of the fact that there are 142 operations in this county and that approximately 50,000 people are laboring within our borders it can be readily seen that 35 deputies are a comparative small force to exercise supervision over such a huge population. Should a riot break out within our county it would require at least eight hours to obtain help from any section of the state. The fact that Logan needs as large a force of officers was amply attested when the armed march was made on Logan last August.
This article is not written in the defense of Don Chafin or his deputies. They need no defense at our hands. It is not written in defense of a policy adopted by any political party in the county. Regardless of the political affiliations of the sheriff, the Banner would earnestly recommend to anyone, be he the most rabid Republican in the county, if they should be sheriff, the retention of an official force as large as is now employed.
A great hue and cry has been raised because the salaries of these officers have been paid by the coal operators. Let us for a moment realize that the coal industry in the county is the sole industry in our midst. Upon the shoulders of these operators fall the burden of the peace and happiness of their employees. It is in order to furnish these employees protection and security that they have gone into their pocket books and paid for this protection. Who objects? Have you heard a taxpayer in Logan county object? Not one. They are perfectly willing that this cost shall be borne by the operators. They might as well object to the operators subscribing to better schools in Logan. Also voice opposition to better roads, the burden of which falls on the shoulders of the operators.
No one has heard a Macedonian cry from Logan for aid? Not even when union fields of the state were appealing for bread. If there was ever an example of the benefits of the non-union shop plan it was simply exemplified during the recent dull period. Logan worked and fared well. We have no ills to cure nor any abuses that need redress. The propaganda put forth pour from the foul mouths of others than citizens of Logan county and we beseech them to busy themselves with affairs other than ours, for we are perfectly able to take care of ourselves, and when we need their assistance, or advice, we will call for them loud and long.
A.B. Gillan, Annie Dingess, Appalachia, Atenville, Beatrice Adkins, Bessie Adkins, Bill Adkins, Bill Farris, Caroline Brumfield, Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, Cora Adkins, Fred Shelton, Hamlin, Harriet Dingess, Harts, Herbert Adkins, Huntington, Inez Adkins, Jessie Brumfield, Laura Lucas, Lincoln County, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Man, Myrtle Mobley, Nora Brumfield, Sadie Powers, Sand Creek, Sesco Messinger, Sylvia Shelton, Tom Brumfield, Vina Adkins, West Virginia, Whirlwind
An unnamed correspondent from Harts in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on November 27, 1925:
Here comes Harts at the tip top again.
Mrs. Vina Adkins and children of Man are visiting relatives at Harts at the present time.
Mrs. Chas. Brumfield and children were the guests of her daughter, Mrs. Robert Dingess, of Whirlwind, Sunday.
Miss Sylvia Shelton and Laura Lucas of Sand Creek were calling on friends at Harts Monday.
Mr. Bill Faris is quite a popular fellow with all the girls at Harts now.
We wonder why Mr. Spencer is taking dinner with Mrs. Sadie Powers so often now?
Mrs. Herbert Adkins attended the circuit court at Hamlin the past week.
Miss Cora Adkins of Logan spent Sunday with home folks at Harts.
Mrs. Beatrice Adkins was shopping in Logan Saturday.
Miss Jessie Brumfield is progressing nicely with her school at Atenville.
Mr. Tom Brumfield and Sesco Messinger have opened up their new garage at Harts.
Miss Myrtle Mobley of Big Creek and Fred Shelton of Sand Creek were seen out walking through Harts Saturday evening.
Mr. A.B. Gillan, C. & O. operator of Huntington was calling on Miss Jessie Brumfield Monday evening.
Miss Harriet Dingess of Logan is visiting friends and relatives at Harts this week.
Combinations: Sadie and her red coat; Inez and bobbed hair; Bessie and her wrist watch; Nora and her powder puff; May and her purple dress; Tom in his garage; Bill and his grey suit; Jessie and her diamond ring.
Dear old Banner, we will see you again next week.
Appalachia, Big Creek, Charles Brumfield, Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, Cora Adkins, Fisher B. Adkins, Florida, Fred Shelton, genealogy, Hardin Marcum, Harts, Hendricks Brumfield, history, Huntington, Jessie Brumfield, Lincoln County, Logan, Logan Banner, Mae Caines, Ranger, Robert Dingess, Sand Creek, Tampa, Tom Brumfield, Toney Johnson, Verna Johnson, West Virginia
An unnamed correspondent from Harts in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on November 13, 1925:
Here comes Harts with a splash again.
The C. & O. has erected a new operator house at Harts again. Look out all you flappers.
Mr. Tom Brumfield was calling on Miss Mae Caines Sunday.
Miss Cora Adkins of Logan was a guest of homefolks at Harts Sunday.
Mr. Hardin Marcum of Ranger was calling on friends in Harts Monday.
Mr. Fred Shelton of Sand Creek was in town Sunday.
Mrs. Fisher B. Adkins, of Harts, returned to her school at Big Creek Sunday.
Mrs. Robert Dingess of Harts was shopping in Logan Saturday.
Miss Jessie Brumfield of Harts is attending the Teachers’ Association in Huntington this week.
Mr. and Mrs. Toney Johnson, of Tampa, Florida, have been visiting relatives at Harts the past week.
Chas. Brumfield has been on the sick list for several days.
We are glad to see Hendrix Brumfield able to be out on our streets again.
Appalachia, Bowlin, C.C. Chambers, Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, coal, coal camps, Fayette County, fiddler, Frank Adkins, Gassaway, Jewell Encampment, John C. Hicks, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, music, Nick Roomy, Odd Fellows, W.M. Hornsby, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this favorable review by one prominent visitor in 1925. The story is dated Friday, June 5, 1925.
“Truth About Logan”
By W.M. Hornsby
Fayette County Man Who Attended Grand Encampment of Odd Fellows Here Makes Interesting Report.
The yellow journalists and just plain liars who have been telling everything about Logan county but the truth for many years may now prepare to receive a real kick in the slats. Their crazy illusions are due to get shattered.
No man ever came to Logan on a peaceful mission and went away to relate any stories of wrong treatment.
The finest group of men that have visited our city for many moons was here when the Grand Encampment of the Odd Fellows of the state was held in Logan recently. In their meetings at the Christian church many of the delegates confessed that they came to Logan fearful and trembling, all on account of the millions of lurid lies which they had read in various papers before coming here. It may sound like old stuff to say that “truth crushed to earth will rise again” but that is exactly what happened in this case. The delegates were recipients of the famous Logan hospitality. The keys to the city were theirs and they were accorded the kind of a reception which Logan has always given to anything good. After a pleasant visit the delegates departed for their homes with a true knowledge of the conditions which exist here, a knowledge of the fact that Logan is not different from any other prosperous mining section of the country.
One of the gentlemen who attended the Grand Encampment was Mr. W.M. Hornsby, of Bowlin, Fayette county. He too had been filled with the common ideas which prevail about Logan county, but during his visit here he discovered the real Logan, not the kind that exists in the putrid minds of the editors of the sensational yellow journals which have done a grievous wrong to Logan county. He discovered real friends with a handshake just as firm and a smile just as sincere as he had ever known. When Mr. Hornsby returned to his home he wrote a report to this lodge. That report is of vital interest to every Loganite and we are glad to reproduce it in the columns of this paper. The entire report is as follows:
“To whom it may concern…and I think it will concern all true hearted Americans:
“This is a true story of what took place during my stay in Logan county. To get a proper start, I must go back one year. On May 14, 1924, the Grand Encampment met in its annual session in Gassaway, W.Va. When the time arrived to choose a place for our next annual meeting, a good many towns offered invitations to the body. Among them was the town of Logan, and when Logan was mentioned there was silence in the hall, until finally some brother said: ‘Can we meet in Logan?’ For we thought by some of the newspaper reports that Logan county was the hell on earth and the town of Logan was the gateway to the bottomless pit. Then somebody got up in the midst of us and said: ‘Yes, you can meet in Logan, for I’m from the town of Logan.’ We looked over this monster from head to foot but could not see any horns and then our Grand Scribe stood up and declared: ‘Our own dear John wants us to come,’ and we answered, ‘If our own dear John wants us to come, we will go.’
“I started to Logan town on May 12, 1925, from Bowlin, Fayette county, wondering what was going to happen to me. We arrived at Logan the following day in a fine coach donated by the C. & O. for our convenience on the trip to Logan and return.
“When we got off the train at the Logan depot, some brother whispered, ‘Now where–and what?’ Just at that moment we found our way blocked–not by the sheriff and his so-called outlaw deputies as you might think–but by John Hicks with a three hundred pound smile for he is __ and by his side stood our own dear Captain of the Uniform Bank with his fine boys.
“The command was given about face, forward march, and we went up a finely paved street by skyscraper hotels and big mercantile houses to the court house. Instead of finding the so-called persecutors of the law awaiting, we ran into a committee of Jewell Encampment, No. 124, with some of the fairest of the fair sex assisting them and all wearing broad and welcoming smiles. We registered as customary and were assigned to our various hotels.
“After the grand body had been called to order in the Christian church by John C. Hicks, past grand patriarch, C.C. Chambers, mayor of Logan, gave us a fine talk and turned the town over to us, saying ‘the town is yours, do what you want with it,’ and common sense would teach that we were not going to destroy our own property. Next were a group of songs by Mrs. Frank Adkins and Mrs. Nick Roomy, accompanied by fine music, and followed in rotation by several fine speakers, and every one of them said ‘we welcome you,’ and by the smiles on their faces you could tell that they meant it.
“At the close of the morning session we had dinner in the basement of the church, where we saw some of our earthly angels sweating over a hot stove to prepare a feast good enough for a king, while two others rendered fine music and songs, accompanied by one of Logan’s imps–but he had a fiddle, not horns as you might think.
“During the afternoon session in stepped Little John, with the statement, ‘Grand Patriarch, the citizens of this town beg this grand body to let them take you out for an auto ride at your pleasure and show you some of Logan county.’
“___ for the ride, and promptly at that hour it was announced: ‘The cars are waiting.’ And we went out and loaded up according to the capacity of each car. It was found that there were not quite enough cars for all, so an appeal was made to the garage men of the town, and the latter stepped on the starters of some brand new machines and fell in line for our pleasure. Now, Fayette county garage men, would you have done that?
“The trip lasted two and a half hours over paved roads to the coal camps. I was told that part of the roads we traveled over were built by the so-called outlaw operators at a cost of $650,000 and when it was finished they walked into the court house and said to the county court, ‘your honors, we will give you this road if you will keep it up.’ Now, if this is so, I would not mind to have them for neighbors, would you?’ In going from one coal camp to another we met the miners coming from work. Walking? No! Sitting reared back in real cars–no Henry’s–and driving over hard roads built by the so-called outlaw operators for their use. I wish we had some outlaws like that in our town, don’t you?
I will say now, Mr. Newspaperman, wherever you may be over this great nation, listen to plain, honest-to-goodness, one-hundred percent American language. If you have been guilty of this dirty low-down, yellow dog propaganda about Logan county and its fine people. In the name of God and the love of humanity, I say stop right now. It’s a shame if you haven’t any respect for yourselves, for God’s sake have mercy on the people of the best county on earth and the country that gives you shelter for you may just as well stop right now for we have been there from every nook and corner in the United States, and we will not believe you anymore anyway. Cut it out or the devil will get you, for no one could write such stuff but imps. If you will just go to the town of Logan and walk around you will get ashamed of yourself and stop talking about your neighbors.”
Amon Ferguson, Annie Dingess, Appalachia, Arta Dingess, Beatrice Adkins, Bessie Adkins, Big Creek, Bill Vance, Caroline Brumfield, Charles Brumfield, Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, Columbus Lum Pack, Dorothy Workman, East Hamlin, Ed Brumfield, Enos Dial, Fisher B. Adkins, genealogy, Hamlin High School, Harts, Herbert Adkins, Homer White, Jessie Brumfield, Kentucky, Lexington, Lincoln County, Logan, Logan Banner, Marshall College, Minerva Brumfield, Nora Brumfield, Pearl Brumfield, Ranger, Robert Brumfield, Robert Dingess, teacher, Toney, Verna Johnson, Ward Brumfield, Wayne County, West Virginia
An unnamed correspondent from Harts in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on May 22, 1925:
Mrs. Fisher B. Adkins, of this place, has been visiting relatives at East Hamlin the past week.
Mr. Chas. Brumfield has moved in his new residence at Harts.
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Adkins and Robert Brumfield made a flying trip to Ranger and back in their car Friday evening.
Miss Jessie Brumfield, one of Lincoln county’s most popular school teachers, has completed her school at Ranger, W.Va., and returned to her house in Harts, where she will leave for Marshall College and was accompanied by Mrs. Tony Johnson of Lexington, Ky.
Mr. C.C. Pack, of Wayne county, was the guest of his daughter, Mrs. Robert Brumfield, at Harts Sunday.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dingess, of Logan, were the guests of her mother, Mrs. Chas. Brumfield, at Harts Sunday.
Mr. Edward Brumfield, of Hamlin High School, is spending a few days with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ward Brumfield, at Harts.
Mr. Bill Vance, C.&O. fireman, and Miss Dorothy Workman, of Big Creek, Miss Pearl Brumfield, of Toney, were calling on Miss Jessie Brumfield.
There were several from this place attended the examination at Logan last week.
Mr. Amon Ferguson and Miss Jessie Brumfield, Arta Dingess, Cora Adkins, Hazel Toney, Sylvia Shelton, Enos Dials, Edward Brumfield were car riding Sunday.
Homer White, C.&O. agent of Ranger and several others were calling on Chas. Brumfield at Harts Monday evening.