Appalachia, Barboursville, Bill Herndon, Cabell County, civil war, Huntington, Main Street, Maurice E. Beckett, Morris Harvey College, Old Abraham, poems, poet, poetry, Tanyard Branch, Union Cavalry, West Virginia, writers
Appalachia, Barboursville, Bill Herndon, Cabell County, civil war, Huntington, Main Street, Maurice E. Beckett, Morris Harvey College, Old Abraham, poems, poet, poetry, Tanyard Branch, Union Cavalry, West Virginia, writers
Appalachia, Barboursville, civil war, Frank Ball, Guyandotte Valley, Hiram Hill, history, Kitchen, Logan County, Lorenzo Dow Hill, Mary Hill, Scott Hill, slavery, slaves, Tazewell County, Union Army, Virginia, West Virginia
The following article, written by Frank Ball, is taken from a Huntington-area newspaper clipping, the first part of which is missing.
…Americans are those who remember servitude as slaves. Barboursville has one citizen, Scott Hill, who remembers rendering such service. And little work he did as a slave, for he was but six years of age when the Civil War ended.
“Uncle Scott,” as he is familiarly known, was born the property of Lorenzo Hill, prominent orchardist and farmer of the Guyandotte valley. Lorenzo Hill, owner of several slaves, lived on a large tract of land across the river from the little mining town of Kitchen in Logan county. Here Barboursville’s “Uncle Scott,” son of Hiram and Mary Hill, was born Feb. 5, 1859. (Slaves usually took the surname of their owners.)
Mr. Hill remembers well the excitement created by the Civil War, and the frantic movements attendant thereto. His owner was a blender of the best whiskies in the valley and his home was widely visited by soldiers and citizens alike who sipped the choice brandies and exchanged the news of the day.
Hysteria in border states ran high during the war, and it was thought best by some slaveholders to move their slaves farther south for safe keeping. It was rumored that Union soldiers were taking the slaves by force and freeing them. So Lorenzo Hill, whom Uncle Scott affectionately remembers as “Ole Boss,” started with his slaves on a long journey into Virginia.
Uncle Scott’s memory of this trip and stay in Virginia is rather painful. To begin with, it meant the sacrifice of “Old Baldy,” a steer of which the slave children were exceedingly fond, to furnish meat for the journey. En route, Uncle Scott’s uncle and three of his uncle’s children were sold. Tearfully, his mother parted from her brother and her nephews and niece as the trip to Virginia was resumed.
Ole Boss left his remaining slaves with a planter in Tazewell county, and returned to Logan. A year in Virginia found Scott’s father and mother greatly overworked, and they and their children greatly underfed.
This treatment was in direct contrast to that given to them by their owner, and the mother had the nerve to “strike.” She hired herself to a neighbor slaveholder that her children might be fed. And despite the frenzied objections of the planter with whom she was left, she won out in this extraordinary action.
In the fall of 1864, wartime hysteria had subsided somewhat and Lorenzo Hill returned to Virginia for his slaves. They were overjoyed at seeing him. They were sure they would be well fed and treated kindly. In return they would work hard for Ole Boss.
Note: Mr. Scott’s true name was William Henry “Scott” Hill. His mother Mary was the daughter of her master, Lorenzo Dow Hill, and a slave named Julia.
Amos Williamson, Ann Brumfield, Appalachia, civil war, Confederate Army, county clerk, Curtis Ballard, Felix McConahoy, George Scaggs, history, James M. Duncan, Logan County, Paris Brumfield, Robert Thompson, Tolbert Ferrell, Vincent A. Witcher, West Virginia
Circuit Court Logan County
George Scaggs et al v. Amos Williamson
And the said defendant George Scaggs by Ferguson _ Samuels his attorney for plea says that at the time of the committing of the said supposed grievances in the said plaintiff’s declaration mentioned a state of actual war existed between the United States of America and the so called Confederate States of America, and that the said so called Confederate States of America were there and then a de facto government, to whom all the rights of bligerants had been and were then and there accorded by the said government of the United States, that at the time aforesaid he the said defendant was a regularly enlisted soldier in the military service of the said de facto government of the Confederate States of America and the said plaintiff was a regularly enlisted soldier in the military service of the said government of the United States, that the said defendant __ in the military service of the Confederate States of America, and in obedience to the orders of Col. Vincent A. Witcher, Lieutenant Felix McConahoy & Lieutenant Tolbert Ferrell his superior officers & captured from the said plaintiff one horse, while the said plaintiff was in the military service of the said government of the United States, which said horse was then and there contraband of war and was by the orders of the officers aforesaid appointed to the use of the said Confederate States of America, and not in any way to the private use of him the said defendant which is the same horse, and the man taking and c__ing in the said plaintiff’s declaration mentioned. And this the said defendant is ready to verify, wherefore he prays judgment.
The State of West Virginia
To the Sheriff of Logan County–Greeting:
We command that you summon Paris Bromfield, Jas. M. Duncan & Robert Thompson to appear before the Judge of our Circuit Court of Logan County, at the Court House of said County, on the 2nd day of the next May Term of the said Court, to testify and the truth to speak on behalf of George Scaggs, in a certain matter of controversy before our said Court depending, wherein Amos Williamson is Plaintiff and George Scaggs is Defendant; and have then there this writ, and show how you have executed the same. Witness: Curtis Ballard, Clerk of the said Circuit Court of Logan County, at the Court House thereof, the 2nd day of April, 1866, and in the 3rd year of the State.
Curtis Ballard, Clerk
Executed on Pairs Brumfield By Reading the within to his wife on the 4th day of April 1866.
37th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Appalachia, civil war, Confederate Army, Edward Siber, history, Isaac Morgan, James R. Perry, John DeJarnett, L.D. Chambers, Logan, Logan County, Thomas Buchanan, Union Army, West Virginia
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).
Appalachia, Cap Hatfield, civil war, Devil Anse Hatfield, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, history, Howard B. Lee, Island Creek, Kentucky, Logan, Logan County, Nancy E. Hatfield, Pikeville, Randolph McCoy, Tennis Hatfield, West Virginia
Howard B. Lee, former Attorney General of West Virginia, provided this account of Nancy Hatfield (widow of Cap) in the early 1970s:
“Mrs. Hatfield, your husband and his father bore the same given names: ‘William Anderson’. How did they get the nicknames of ‘Cap’ and ‘Devil Anse’?”
“It is very simple,” she replied. “Early in life Devil Anse’s name was shortened to ‘Anse.’ During and after the Civil War he was called ‘Captain Anse’. The son, because he had the same name as his father, was called ‘Little Cap’. As the boy grew larger, the word ‘Little’ was dropped. Also, because of their fierceness in feud combats, the McCoys called the father ‘Devil Anse’ and the son ‘Bad Cap’. The newspapers took up the names and they stuck. Devil Anse liked and cultivated the title; but eventually the word ‘Bad’ was dropped from Cap’s nickname.
“Was I afraid? For years, day and night, I lived in fear. Afraid for my own safety, and for the safety of my loved ones. Constant fear is a terrible emotion. It takes a heavy toll, mentally and physically.
“I now think that my most anxious moments, as well as my greatest thrill, came years after the feud was over. In 1922, Tennis Hatfield and another deputy sheriff went over to Pikeville, Kentucky, to return a prisoner wanted in Logan County. While there, Tennis visited the aged Randolph McCoy1, surviving leader of his clan during the feud. (Tennis was born long after the feud was over.) The old man was delighted to see Devil Anse’s youngest son’, and Tennis spent the night with him.
“The next morning, Randolph told Tennis that he was going home with him. ‘I want to see Cap,’ he said, ‘and tell him how glad I am that I didn’t kill him. I am sorry Devil Anse is gone. I would like to see him, too.’ Tennis was worried. He didn’t know how Cap would receive his old enemy. So he left Randolph in Logan while he acme up to our place to consult Cap.
“Cap listened to Tennis’ story, and said: ‘Does he come in peace?’ ‘Yes,’ said Tennis. ‘He comes in peace.’ ‘Does he come unarmed?’ ‘Yes, he comes unarmed.’ ‘Then I shall be happy to greet him in the same way. Bring him up for supper and he shall spend the night with us.
“My anxious moments were just before these two strong-willed men met. I knew how they had hated each other, that each had tried to kill the other, more than once, that each had killed relatives and friends of the other, and I was afraid of what they might do when they stood face to face.
“My thrill came when I saw them clasp hands, and heard each one tell the other how happy he was to see him. They talked far into the night, and bother were up early the next morning, eager to continue their talks. Tennis came about one o’clock to drive Randolph back to his Kentucky home. Cap watched them until they passed out of sight up the creek, and then remarked, ‘You know, I always did like that cantankerous old cuss.’
“Cap and Randolph never saw each other again.”
1Should be Jim McCoy, son of Randolph.
Source: West Virginia Women (Richwood, WV: Jim Comstock, 1974), p. 152-153
Abe C. Ferrell, Appalachia, civil war, Devil Anse Hatfield, farming, genealogy, Greenville Taylor, history, Kentucky, Lewis Sowards, Logan County, M.C.W. Sowards, Peach Orchard, Peter Creek, Pike County, R.M. Ferrell, Thomas J. Sowards, West Virginia
The deposition of Anderson Hatfield taken on the 20th day of August 1869 at the house of Greenville Taylor near the mouth of Peter Creek in Pike County Ky. To be read as evidence in behalf of the defendant (Jacob Cline) in the suit of M.C.W. Sowards, Lewis Sowards, and Thos. J. Sowards, plantiff, against Jacob Cline, defendant, pending in Pike Circuit Court.
The deponent Anderson Hatfield of lawful age and being by me first sworn deposeth and says:
Question: State your age residence and occupation.
Ans. I am 30 years old my residence in Logan Co., West Virginia. My occupation is farmer.
Question by same: Are you acquainted with the defendant Jacob Cline?
Ans. Yes sir.
Question by : Do you or not know how deft Cline happened to go with the squad to take Sowards goods at Peach Orchard Ky.?
Ans. He had come back from the Federal army and give up to the rebels and they were talking around that if he did not join the rebels that they would kill him and he joined the rebels under these circumstances and went to Peach Orchard. He made several excuses to get out of going but none of them were availing and he had to go.
Question by same. Did he go willingly or unwillingly?
Ans. He went unwillingly.
Question by same. State if you know where defendant Cline was at the time Sowards goods were taken.
Ans. He was on the point this side of the store of Sowards. Something near half a mile distant. He was placed there as a _____.
Question by same. Do you or not know who got the goods after they were taken from Sowards?
Ans. I do not know who all did get goods.
Question by same. Did Jacob Cline get any of the goods taken?
Ans. If he did I do not know it. He did not take any from the store. I was with him and come out with him from there and if he had any goods I did not see them. If he had any goods I think I would have certainly seen them.
Question by same. Would he not have endangered his life by refusing to go, taking everything into consideration that is all the surrounding circumstances of the case?
Ans. He was threatened that if he did not join the company and go he would be killed and this was by men who did kill sometimes.
Question by same. State as near as you can the amount of goods taken from Sowards also how much they had in store at the time of the robbery.
Ans. I don’t think there was exceeding $500.00 worth of goods in Sowards store at the time and I think $300.00 would be the greatest possible amount of the goods taken. And further this deponent saith not.
Attest. Abe C. Ferrell, Ex Anderson (his mark) Hatfield
1 days attendance 26 miles $2.04
State of Kentucky
I Abe C. Ferrell Examiner for County and state aforesaid do certify that the foregoing deposition of Anderson Hatfield was taken before me and was read to and subscribed by him in my presence at the time and place and in the action mentioned in the caption the said Anderson Hatfield having been by me first sworn that the evidence he should give in the action should be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth and his statement reduced to writing by me in his presence the defendant Jacob Cline being above present at the examination. Given under my hand this 20th day of August 1869.
Abe C. Ferrell, Examiner
Examiners Fee 1 Deposition $1.00
Entering 1 witness 25 80 miles $4.00 $4.25
1 witness claim $7.29
[On the reverse side of the last paper:]
Jacob Cline & C
Ans: Deposition of Anderson Hatfield
M.C.W. Sowards & C
Filed Aug 24th 1869.
Abe C. Ferrell, D. for R.M. Ferrell, CPC
attorney general, Battle of Gravepine, Battle of Scary Creek, Cap Hatfield, Charleston, civil war, Confederate Army, crime, Dan Cunningham, detective, Devil Anse Hatfield, Ellison Mounts, feuds, Frank Phillips, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, Howard B. Lee, Jim Comstock, Johnse Hatfeild, Kentucky, Logan Wildcats, Nancy Hatfield, Roseanna McCoy, Tug Fork, Union Army, West Virginia, West Virginia Women
Howard B. Lee, former Attorney General of West Virginia, provided this account of Nancy Hatfield (widow of Cap) in the early 1970s:
Our next stop was at the home of Nancy Elizabeth, the same home where I visited with her and Cap during my campaign. For nearly three hours I asked questions and listened to that remarkable woman recount many of her experiences as the wife of America’s most celebrated feudist.
Nancy Elizabeth’s home also held a number of guns, pistols, and other relics of the feud days. But the most interesting item was Cap’s bullet-proof, steel breastplate, designed to cover the entire front half of his body from his beck to his lower abdomen.
“Mrs. Hatfield,” I said, “judging from the three bullet marks on it, this breastplate was a great protection to Cap; but what was to prevent an enemy from shooting him in the back?” Her eyes flashed as she replied: “Mr. Lee, Cap Hatfield never turned his back on an enemy or a friend.”
“I have read two stories, Mrs. Hatfield, each purporting to give the true cause of the feud: One book stated that it was the result of a dispute between a McCoy and a Hatfield over the ownership of a hog. Another book said that it grew out of the seduction of a McCoy girl by Johnson Hatfield, oldest son of Devil Anse. Is either one of these stories true?”
“No, neither story is true,” she replied. “The McCoys lived on the Kentucky side of Tug River, and the Hatfields lived on the West Virginia side. Hogs don’t swim rivers. I never heard the girl story until I read it in a book, written long after the feud was over. Both stories are pure fiction.”
“The truth is,” she continued, “in the fall of 1882, in an election-day fight between Ellison Hatfield, a younger brother of Devil Anse, and three McCoy brothers, Ellison was shot and knifed. He died two days later. In retaliation, Devil Anse and his clan captured and shot the three McCoy brothers. It was these four senseless killings that started the feud.”
In answer to my inquiry, Nancy Elizabeth said: “Yes, there had been ‘bad blood’ between the two families since the Civil War. In that struggle the Hatfields were ‘rebels’,–loyal to their State, Virginia. Devil Anse organized and was the captain of a company of Confederate sympathizers called the ‘Logan Wildcats’. They were recruited for local defense; but they left the county long enough to take part in the battle of Scary, fought along the banks of the Kanawha River, a few miles below Charleston.
“The McCoys, and their mountain neighbors, were pro-Union; and to protect their region against invasion by ‘Virginia rebels’, they organized a military company called ‘Home Guards’. There were occasional border clashes between the two forces, with casualties on both sides. The war ended only seventeen years before the feud began, and the bitterness still existed in the minds of the older generation, and they passed it on to their children. It was the old sectional and political hatreds that sparked the fight between Ellison Hatfield and the McCoy brothers.”
Nancy Elizabeth declined to estimate the number killed on either side of the feud.
“It was a horrible nightmare to me,” she said. “Sometimes, for months, Cap never spent a night in our house. He and Devil Anse, with others, slept in the nearby woods to guard our homes against surprise attacks. At times, too, we women and our children slept in hidden shelters in the forests.
“But these assaults were not one-sided affairs. The Hatfields crossed the Tug and killed McCoys. It was a savage war of extermination, regardless of age or sex. Finally, to get our children to a safer locality, we Hatfields left Tug River, crossed the mountains, and settled here on Island Creek, a tributary of the Guyandotte River.
“No, there was no formal truce ending hostilities. After a decade or more of fighting and killing, both sides grew tired and quit. The McCoys stayed in Kentucky and the Hatfields kept to West Virginia. The feud was really over a long time before either side realized it.
“Yes, Kentucky offered a large reward for the capture of Devil Anse and Cap. The governor of West Virginia refused to extradite them because, said he, ‘their trials in Kentucky would be nothing more than legalized lynchings’. It was then that Kentucky’s governor offered the reward for their capture–‘dead or alive’. Three attempts were made by reward seekers to capture them.
“Dan Cunningham, a Charleston detective, with two Cincinnati detectives, made the first attempt. They came through Kentucky, and crossed Tug River in the night; but the Hatfields soon captured them. A justice of the peace sentenced them to 90 days in Logan County jail for disturbing hte peace. When released, they were told to follow the Guyandotte River to Huntington, a distance of 60 miles, and ‘not to come back’.
“Next, a man named Phillips led two raids from Kentucky into Hatfield territory. In the first, he captured ‘Cottontop’ Mounts, a relative and supporter of the Hatfields, and took him to Pikeville, Kentucky, where he was hanged. But the second foray met with disaster at the ‘Battle of the Grapevine’. Phillips, and some of his followers escaped into Kentucky, but some where buried where they fell.
“This was the last attempt of the reward seekers. However, Kentucky never withdrew the reward offer, and that is why Devil Anse and Cap were always alarmed and on the alert.”
Source: West Virginia Women (Richwood, WV: Jim Comstock, 1974), p. 151-152
Anna Meadows, Appalachia, Chapmanville, Charles S. Whited, Charleston, civil war, Craneco, deputy clerk, Ella Godby, Ewell Deskins, genealogy, George W. McClintock, H.A. Callahan, Harriet Totten, Harts Creek, Hattie Rothrock, history, Huntington, J. Green McNeely, J.C. Cush Avis, John A. Totten, John W. Buskirk, Logan, Logan Banner, Mud Fork, poetry, preacher, Raleigh County, Robert Whited, Russell County, Slagle, Southern Methodist Church, T.C. Whited, teacher, Thomas Harvey Whited, U.S. Commissioner, Virginia, W.B. Johnson, W.G. Whited, W.W. Beddow, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner we find this entry for Thomas C. Whited, who resided at Logan, West Virginia:
“Uncle Tom” Whited, United States commissioner, one of the county’s oldest citizens, and poet, came to Logan, or the present site of Logan, on October 11, 1877.
He was born on a Russell county, Virginia, farm in a one-room log cabin on November 25, 1854, the son of Robert and Anna Meadows Whited, who reared a family of ten children, nine boys and one girl.
“Uncle Tom” has only one brother living, the Rev. Charles S. Whited, a preacher in Raleigh county. His sister is dead.
His home was broken up by the Civil War, and Mr. Whited began the life of a vagabond, wandering about over the country seeking happiness, but never finding it until he came to Logan. He discovered the little frontier settlement as he was making his way on foot back to his Virginia home to take a job in a store.
“I just dropped in here, tired and sore-footed and decided to attend a teacher’s examination that was advertised for the town–mostly just to see what kind of a certificate I could get among strangers,” Mr. Whited said.
He received his certificate and taught his first term of school at the mouth of Mud Fork in 1877. Then followed terms at Chapmanville, Craneco, Logan and Hart’s Creek until 1883 when he was asked to take a position in the clerk’s office as deputy clerk.
Among the well-known citizens that “Uncle Tom” taught in his educational forays in Logan county were the Rev. J. Green McNeely; Ewell Deskins; Mrs. Ella Godby of Huntington, mother of Mrs. W.W. Beddow of Slagle; J.C. (Cush) Avis, and several of the Conley family.
From the position as deputy clerk, Mr. Whited rose in succession to circuit clerk, county superintendent of schools, city councilman, and United States Commissioner. He served a total of 18 years as circuit clerk of Logan county.
In 1930 Federal Judge George W. McClintic appointed “Uncle Tom” United States Commissioner which office he will hold for life unless removed by the judge on charges of misconduct.
“Uncle Tom” is a poet of no mean ability. His poetry is recognized throughout the county and some think his best work was a poem dedicated to the old elm tree in the court house square which was recently cut down.
He was instrumental in saving the tree when it was just a sprout and John W. Buskirk was about to dig it up to plant a locust orchard near the site of the present courthouse. “Uncle Tom” requested that the sprout be left to grow. It was not moved from the original spot where it sprouted until it was cut down in 1931, Mr. Whited said.
Mr. Whited married Miss Harriet Totten, daughter of the Rev. John A. Totten, pastor of the Southern Methodist Church in Logan, on March 4, 1887.
The couple reared a family of five children–two boys and three girls. All are still living. They are Mrs. W.B. Johnson, W.G. Whited, and Mrs. H.A. Callahan, all of Logan; Mrs. Hattie Rothrock, Charleston; and Thomas Harvey Whited whose residence is unknown.
Though 81 years old, “Uncle Tom” still manages the affairs of U.S. Commissioner and finds time to dash off a line or so of poetry now and then.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 17 April 1937.
Albert Gallatin Jenkins Camp, Appalachia, Appalachian Heritage Day, archaeology, bluegrass, Buddy Griffin, Chuck Keeney, civil war, Craig Ferrell, fiddlers, fiddling, flintknapping, Glenville State College, Hatfield-McCoy CVB, history, Logan, Logan County, Logan County Commission, Mine Wars Museum, Native American History, photos, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Southern Coalition for the Arts, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Vinny Mendez, West Virginia, West Virginia Archaeological Society, writers, writing
Appalachian Heritage Day occurred on August 25, 2019 in Logan, WV. The event featured authors, scholars, guest speakers, information tables, a genealogy workshop, a writers’ workshop, numerous old-time and bluegrass music workshops, and an all-day concert. Special thanks to the Logan County Commission, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, the Hatfield-McCoy CVB, and the Southern Coalition for the Arts for sponsoring the event. For more information, follow this link to the event website: https://appalachianheritageday.weebly.com/
Appalachia, Aracoma, Athelyn Hatfield, Beatrice Taylor, Bertha Allen, Big Island, Big Rock, Bill Ellis, board of education, Brooke McComas, C&O Railroad, Charles Avis, circuit rider, civil war, Cleveland, Coal Street, Dingess Run, E.M. Ford, education, Elma Allen, F.O. Woerner, Florence Hughes, Fred Kellerman, Free School Act, G.O. Nelson, George Bryant, George T. Swain, Guyandotte Valley, Hickman White, history, Isabella Wilson, Island Creek, J.A. McCauley, J.L. Chambers, J.L. Curry, J.W. Fisher, James Lawson, Jennie Mitchell, Jim Sidebottom, Joe Perry, Joel Lee Jones, John B. Floyd, John Dingess, Kate Taylor, Kittie Virginia Clevinger, L.G. Burns, Lawnsville, Leland Hall, Leon Smith, Lettie Halstead, Lewis B. Lawson, Lillian Halstead, Logan, Logan County, Logan Democrat, Logan High School, Logan Wildcats, Lon E. Browning, Lucile Bradshaw, Maud Ryder, Maude Smartwood, Minnie Cobb, Morgantown, Ohio, Old Fork Field, Pearl Hundley, Pearl Staats, Peter Dingess, principal, R.E. Petty, Roscoe Hinchman, Sarah Dingess, Southern Methodist Church, Stollings, Superintendent of Schools, Tennessee, The Islands, typhoid fever, W.V. Vance, W.W. Hall, West Virginia
From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, in a story titled “Schools and School Houses of Logan” and dated September 14, 1916, comes this bit of history about early education in Logan County, courtesy of G.T. Swain:
The hardest proposition encountered by the author in the preparation of this book was securing the following information relative to the early schools of Logan. We interviewed numbers of the older inhabitants, but owing to their faulty memories we were unable to obtain anything accurate. Nor were the county school officials able to give us any information regarding the schools of the early period. In making mention of this fact to Professor W.W. Hall of Stollings, who is District Superintendent of the free schools in Logan district, he graciously offered to secure as much information as he could from an old lady by the name of Sarah Dingess, who lives near his home. Thus, when we thought that we had exhausted every effort along this line, we were surprised and doubly appreciative of the efforts of Professor Hall, who secured for us the data from which the following article was compiled:
When the first settlers of Logan left the civilization of the East and came to the fertile Guyan Valley to carve homes for themselves and their children out of the forest, they brought with them a desire for schools for their offspring. One of the first pioneers of this valley, Peter Dingess, very early in the last century, erected a pole cabin upon the ruins of the Indian village on the Big Island, for a school house. That was the first school house erected within the limits of Logan county. In that house the children of The Islands (the first name of Logan) were taught “readin’, writin’ and spankin’.” After they ceased to use that house for school purposes, the people annoyed Mr. Dingess so much, wanting to live in the building, that he had his son, John, go out at night and burn it down. Thus the first school house for the children of Logan disappeared.
After the cabin on the Big Island ceased to be used for a school house, Lewis B. Lawson erected a round log house near the mouth of Dingess Run, where W.V. Vance now resides, for a school building. In that house George Bryant taught the children of Lawnsville (the name of Logan at that time) for a number of terms. A Mrs. Graves from Tennessee, wife of a Methodist circuit rider, also taught several terms there. Her work was of high order as a few of the older citizens yet attest.
A short time after Mr. Lawson built his school house at Dingess Run his brother, James, erected a school house on his land at the forks of Island Creek in the Old Fork Field, where J.W. Fisher now resides. The Rev. Totten, a famous and popular Southern Methodist circuit rider, taught the urchins of Aracoma (the name of Logan at that time) for several terms in the early ’50s of the last century.
After the passage of the Free School Act by the General Assembly of Virginia in 1846, the people of Aracoma and Dingess Run erected a boxed building for a school house by the Big Rock in the narrows above Bill Ellis’ hollow. The county paid the tuition of poor children in that school. Rev. Totten taught for several years in that house. He was teaching there when the Civil War began, when he discontinued his school, joined the Logan Wild Cats, marched away to Dixie, and never returned. Each of the last three named houses was washed away in the great flood in the year 1861.
When the Civil War was over and the soldiers had returned to their homes, they immediately set about to erect a school house. They built a hewn log house on the lower side of Bill Ellis’ hollow. That was the first free school building erected within the present limits of the city of Logan. In that house one-armed Jim Sidebottom wielded the rod and taught the three R’s. He was strict and a good teacher in his day. That house served as an institution of learning till in 1883 the Board of Education bought about an acre on the hill where the brick school houses now stand from Hickman White. A few years later additional land was bought of John B. Floyd in order to get a haul road from Coal street opposite the residence of Joe Perry’s to the school building. The old frame building was erected on the hill in 1883, and it furnished ample room for the children for more than two decades.
After the completion of the Guyan railroad to Logan the phenomenal growth of the city began. The growth of its educational facilities has kept pace with its material progress. In 1907 a brick building of four more rooms was added. Then they thought they would never need any more room. In 1911 they built a two story frame school house. In 1914 the magnificent new High school building was erected. Today, nineteen teachers are employed in the city, and within the next few years several more teachers must be employed, while the buildings are already taxed to their capacity.
In the year 1911 the Board of Education employed W.W. Hall as district supervisor. He asked for the establishment of a high school, and the citizens strongly endorsed his recommendation. The high school was established and Mr. Hall went at his own expense to the state university at Morgantown to find a principal for the high school. He secured F.O. Woerner, and the school was organized in 1911, on August 28. The next year Miss Maude Smartwood of Cleveland, Ohio, was added to the high school teaching force. In 1913 J.A. McCauley died from typhoid fever before the school closed, and George EM. Ford was employed to finish the term. In 1914 the school offered for the first time a standard four-year high school course and was classified by the state authorities as a first class high school. Today it is regarded as one of the best high schools in the state. It has more than one hundred pupils enrolled and employs seven regular high school teachers. It has a better equipped domestic science department than any other high school in West Virginia. When the high school was organized in 1911, there were only seven pupils in eighth grade in the city school. These seven were taken and pitched bodily into the high school. Of that first class, Fred Kellerman, Leland Hall, Roscoe Hinchman, Leon Smith, Kate and Beatrice Taylor continued in school until they were graduated June 2, 1915.
The first common school diploma examination ever held in Logan county was conducted by Supt. Hall as the close of his first year’s work at the head of the Logan District schools. He also conducted the first common school graduation exercises ever held in the county, in the old Southern Methodist church, on May 28, 1912.
Logan is indeed proud of her schools, and the efforts made by the faculty and school officials toward the training and educational development of young America meets with the hearty approval and commendation of all citizens.
Those in charge of the county schools are: Lon E. Browning, county superintendent; W.W. Hall, Logan district supervisor; the Logan district board of education is composed of J.L. Curry, president; and J.L. Chambers and L.G. Burns, commissioners. Chas. Avis is secretary of the board.
The faculty consists of F.O. Woerner, Principal of the Logan High School and instructor in mathematics; Joel Lee Jones, languages; Minnie Cobb, science; Isabella Wilson, cooking and sewing; Maud Ryder, commercial subjects; Jennie Mitchell, history and civics, and Mrs. R.E. Petty, music.
Lucile Bradshaw, English, literature, and mathematics; Florence Hughes, geography, history, and physiology, of the sixth and seventh grades departmental.
The following are the teachers in the grades: G.O. Nelson, Principal; Athelyn Hatfield, Pearl Staats, Brooke McComas, Lillian Halstead, Elma Allen, Lettie Halstead, Pearl Hundley, Kittie Virginia Cleavinger and Bertha Allen.
Appalachia, Battle of Charleston, Battle of Winfield, Charles Brown, civil war, Confederate Army, history, Hoge House, James W. Hoge, John Bowyer, Kanawha Valley, National Register of Historic Places, Phillip James Thurmond, Putnam County, slavery, Tallyrand Brown, Terry Lowry, Virginia Secession Convention, West Virginia, Winfield
African-Americans, Alfred Beckley, Anna Brooke Hinchman, Bruno, Buffalo City, civil war, Claypool, Clean Eagle Coal Company, coal, Combs Addition, Confederate Army, Cyclone, Cyclone Post Office, Davin, Elk Creek, Forkner, genealogy, Guyandotte River, history, Hollow A. Davin, Huntington, John L. Lewis, Lake Claypool, Laura Hinchman, Logan, Logan County, logging, Lorenzo Dow HInchman, Mallory, Man, Man High School, Morris Harvey College, Oceana, Paul Hinchman, Pete Toler, postmaster, rafting, Raleigh County, Rosa Hinchman, splash dams, timbering, Ulysses Hinchman, United Mine Workers of America, Vic McVey, Walter Hinchman, West Virginia, Woodrow Hinchman, Wyoming County
Laura C. Hinchman was born on March 22, 1919 to Walter and Anna Brooke (McVey) Hinchman at Mallory in Logan County, WV. She was an educator for over fifty years and was very active in civic affairs. For more information about her background, see her obituary at this location: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/140834185/laura-caryl-hinchman
The following interview of Ms. Hinchman was conducted on July 16, 1984. In this part of the interview, she discusses her ancestry, community history, timbering, and coal mining.
Miss Hinchman, how did your family first come to this area?
Well, when West Virginia was being settled, people who were willing to come here were given land grants by governors of Virginia over different periods of years. This property was given by the governor of the commonwealth of Virginia at that time, Governor Nicholson. It was given in 1815 to my great grandfather, Dr. Ulysses Hinchman, who was a member of the legislature. He had land holdings in Wyoming County, and he laid out the town of Oceana. He is recorded in a lot of the books of the history of Wyoming and Logan Counties. According to the West Virginia Blue Book, that is how Man got its name. At first it was called Buffalo City. Then they decided to change the name. They thought Hinchman was too long and there was already a place called Hinch, so they named it Man in honor of my great grandfather. Now, that’s according to the West Virginia Blue Book.
Do you remember what your grandparents were like?
Now, both my grandfather and grandmother Hinchman died before I was born, so I don’t remember either of them. At that time, this was all timber land. My grandfather Hinchman, whose name was Lorenzo Dow Hinchman, was a timberman. We have a lot of records here in the house where he kept books of how much he paid the men and how much he sold, and all that. After this was cleared, then, of course, it became farmland. Now, they had no way of getting the logs that were cut to a market. So down there just below Woodrow’s, and this happened several places, they built what was called splash dams. They made a dam and dammed the water up and filled it with logs. Then there would be a great big lot of excitement. Everybody would gather and they would tear the dam lose and let the logs float down to the Guyan River. There were men who went with them, I suppose on rafts, and rafted the logs together, and floated them down the Guyan River to the Guyandotte. Now, my mother’s father, who came from Raleigh County, was Uncle Vic McVey. Of course, I remember him well, he lived here with us until he died at the age of ninety-four. He was one of the men who followed floating those logs down the river, and then they would walk back from Huntington. They had places that they stayed on their way back. I don’t know how many days it took.
Now, my grandmother Hinchman was a Chambers, which is also one of the early settler families in this area. She was a schoolteacher. At that time, it was possible to teach school when you got through the eighth grade, you were given a certificate. All first teachers in the one room schools here were just graduates of the eight grade, because the high school at Man was not built until 1919 or 1920, and that’s all they had. Now some people taught after they finished the eighth grade, and then went on when it was possible. I have a cousin Lake Claypool–that’s another old family in this area for which Claypool is named–that she taught after she finished the eighth grade then she went on to Man and finished high school and then went to Morris Harvey. But all the older teachers were just eighth grade. There was a one room school down here at Claypool. There was a one room school up at Vance’s. There were several one room schools on Buffalo Creek. There was a one room school up–what’s that creek up Bruno called–Elk Creek. My grandmother was a teacher, but as I say, both died before I was ever born. Now then, this place was called Cyclone. This is where Cyclone was. My grandmother Hinchman kept the Cyclone Post Office here for forty years. After she passed away, my mother–she was a McVey–and she married my father, Walter Hinchman, in 1910, and came here. I had Aunt Rosa Hinchman, who had never married at that time, who helped her keep the post office. The mail was carried on horseback from Huntington and the West, came that way, and from Oceana, from that direction they carried it. The postmasters met here, and they ate dinner here every day. My mother–ever who all was here, and at that time, you never knew who might be there for dinner… But when this house was built, this part wasn’t part of it. The kitchen and the dining room were in separate buildings. Now, of course, in the south they had slaves and all, but I do recall their talking about on black man, by the name of Sam. I don’t remember much about him but that’s the only black person that they ever had here, you know, on the farm.
I do remember my granddad McVey quite well, and my great-grandfather came to Raleigh County with General Beckley and settled there. Then my mother’s grandfather was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. His name was Zirkle, which is the German word for circle. He ran away from home during the Civil War and joined the Confederate Army. After the war he came here and settled. He also lived with us until he was in his nineties. But my mothers’ mother, my grandmother McVey, died when my mother was only, maybe two years old, so I never knew any of my real grandparents except, you know, my granddad McVey.
Were you born here, at this house?
I was born here on March 22, 1919. My father passed away in February of 1920 when I was eleven months old. There were three of us Hinchman children: Woodrow, Paul, and I was the youngest, of course. I don’t remember my father, but Woodrow does. Then my mother married Pete Toler when I was twenty-three months old, a year after my father died. I remember his as my real father because he reared me. He worked this farm and I remember the first time I called him Daddy, now I don’t know how old I was.
There was a mine at Davin that was first called Forkner, and it was changed to the name of Davin after Hollow A. Davin, a prominent man in Logan who probably owned the mine, and that started in 1923. Then the post office was taken up the creek and then we had a post office at Davin. Then my dad ran a coal cutting machine. Men took those jobs by contract and they were paid for the number of cars that they cut. They could work as many hours as they wanted. The men who loaded the coal–they may have loaded themselves, I don’t know–they loaded the coal into wooden cars. Now, in order to get credit of the coal car that they had loaded they had a–what was it called? Well, it was a little round piece of metal with a number on it that they hung on that coal car. The coal was hauled out of the mine by mule or ponies. There was a tipple and everything there at Davin. Then the Clean Eagle mine went in later, I don’t remember when, but my dad worked there, and he also worked at Mallory. But when we were children, we never saw our dad until the weekend because he went to work before daylight, before we ever thought of getting up and he never came in until after we had gone to bed. That sort of thing kept up with miners until John L. Lewis, you see, organized the union.
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