Andrew Elkins, Appalachia, Burbus Toney, coal, Corbin Bryant, David Dingess, farming, flatboats, Francis Browning, genealogy, Guyandotte River, Harvey S. Dingess, Henderson Dingess, Henry Conley, history, James Bailey, Jefferson Thompson, Kanawha County, Logan County, navigation, rafting, Ralph Lucas, sheep, Squire Toney, timber, tobacco, Virginia, West Virginia, West Virginia State Archives, William E. Browning, William Farley, William Toney
The following petition is imperfectly transcribed and will be corrected at a later date:
A Petition of Citizens of Logan County praying for the appropriation of money to clear out the obstruction in the navigation of the Guyandotte River (July 17, 1848)
Petition to the Senate and House of Representatives of the Virginia Legislature by the “citizens of the County of Logan” who “represent to your body that they live in a County of Boundless resources of wealth, with a soil adapted to the growth and culture of all most all the substantial ___ of Life. The Indian corn, Rye, oats, Tobacco, hemp, Flax, potatoes, cabbages, carrots, pumpkins are grown as well perhaps in this county as any other region in the commonwealth whilst there is no county can exceed it on firsts: Particularly Peaches by planting on the North Hill Sides they never fail to yield their fruits and the peaches often measure from 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter, it is believed also that the ___ would grow well and by proper and well directed enterprize and industry ___ may yet be made in our County to gladden the Hearts of the Citizens and strangers. That your Humble body may have some Idea of the Rich character of our County. They respectfully State as cattle can be gotten of the county, better than almost anything else, in which they could spend their capital or employ their time, that many cattle are annually raisen and drove from the County. That these vast herds of cattle live through the winter without being far from the Produce of the farm with the exception of a few days of Heavy snow and __ rains from the rich character of our hills fine grapes will soon upon them it is believed that no portion of the world would be better adapted to the growing of sheep as not much attention hath yet been paid to the growing of sheep there is no fine Breeds in the county yet our sheep are large and very thrifty. There is perhaps no county that can boast of finer growth of timber which now is and must continue to be in great demand upon the Ohio river and we have no doubt our County abounds with valuable minerals of many descriptions. There is every portion of in the county Rich and deep veins of Bituminous coal and several Banks of the Canal Coal have been found and doubtless the county is filled with it, this Coal above if it could be gotten to market would bring in a great resource of wealth.”
“Yet all of these vast resources are locked and remain valueless for the want of outlet or the means of getting them to market and the necessaries of Life brought to the county for Sale owing to the obstruction of the navigation of the Guyandotte river, and taxed something like one cent on the Pound, this on ___ coffee, nails, Tobacco &c, operates verry __ the Guyandotte River is here. Great chance of communication–the articles of salt may be brought across the county from Kanawha But almost everything else must and __ be Brought up the river and there is no other Possible __ of getting out with our lumber and coal and wool and other products.”
The petition hopes the “Honorable Body” will “appropriate a sufficient sum of money together with what may be raised By individuals to remove the obstructions of the navigation of said river By the ___ upheavals and the Flat Boat and Rafts Downwards at the proper stages of the tide.”
Some signatures of interest to me (there were many others):
William E. Browning
Source: Library of Virginia, General Assembly Legislative Petitions, Logan County, Reel 111,” located at the WV State Archives.
The Wyoming County Museum located in Oceana, WV, is one of the region’s best museums…and one of America’s greatest small town museums. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Here is a link to the museum website: https://wyomingcountymuseum.webs.com/
Appalachia, Battle of Blair Mountain, Bearwallow Branch, C&O Railroad, C.W. Campbell, Camp Branch, Charleston, coal, Dingess Run, Dingess-Rum Coal Company, Don Chafin, Ethel, Ethel Hollow, Freeze Fork, history, Huntington, James L. Caldwell, John Q. Dickinson, Logan County, Mash Branch, photos, Red Campbell, Rockcamp Branch, Rockhouse Branch, Wanda, West Virginia
In the 1890s, land speculators James L. Caldwell, a banker from Huntington, C.W. Campbell, an attorney from Huntington, and John Q. Dickinson, a banker from Charleston, acquired many acres of land on Dingess Run and Rum Creek. The trio procured some of Logan County’s finest coal lands with six accessible seams of coal. They formed the Dingess-Rum Coal Company in June of 1903 to administer their lands, which totaled over 26,000 acres. They surveyed a railroad bed up Dingess Run and laid the cross-ties, leaving only the rails to be laid by the C&O Railroad, which occurred by late 1906. From there, the railroad extended up Right Fork and Left Fork (Ethel Hollow). At the juncture of the two forks, the company town of Ethel, named for the daughter or wife of an early coal operator, was established around 1907. In 1923, the town was populated by 2000 residents.
Ethel was originally located at the mouth of Left Fork (now Ethel Hollow) of Dingess Run. Today, Ethel includes Camp Branch, Freeze Fork (town and stream), Rockcamp Branch, Rockhouse Branch (now Georges Creek), Mash Branch (formerly Wanda), and Bearwallow Branch (formerly Red Campbell). It is situated at the base of Blair Mountain.
Alma Wagner, Anna Justice, Appalachia, Big Creek, Chapmanville, Cincinnati, Clee Conley, coal, Eustice Ward, genealogy, Hattie Clay, history, Hobert Spurlock, Huntington, Ida Butcher, Levy Hensley, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lola Ferrell, Maud Garrett, Mazie Bates, Morgan Garrett, Nettie Pauley, Oscar Langdon, Queeney Conley, Roy Hager, Ruby Wagner, Stone Branch, Wanda Ferrell, West Virginia, Wilbert Langdon
A correspondent named “Uncle Joe” from Chapmanville in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following news, which the Logan Banner printed on May 5, 1922:
We are still having fair days and cool nights.
Miss Ruby Wagner has returned from the hospital at Huntington and is getting along nicely.
Mr. Oscar Langdon has left our town for Cincinnati.
Miss Alma Wagner looked lonesome Sunday. Where was L.T., Alma?
We wonder where they go when they take a ride here?
We saw two sweet gigglers out promenading all alone Sunday. Where were the boys?
Bug makes several trips to town during the day, but what does he care, for he gets his rides free.
Miss Eunice Ward and Mr. Hobert Spurlock were at the show Saturday night.
Miss Queeney Conley was shopping in town this week.
Some of the young folks were calling on Miss Clee Conley and thought they were on a merry go round.
Every person is always anxious to know who sends in the news. We wonder, who sent this?
Still more improvements and better wages at the mines here. You ought to make good money, boys.
When is Rev. Langdon going to preach for us again? It seems a long time between times.
Did we see Miss Maud Garrett and Mr. Wilbart Langdon out walking Sunday, or was it just imagination?
You’re not in style in our town unless you have a gray cap.
Mr. Roy Hager, of Big Creek, was calling on Miss Ida Butcher Sunday.
The handsomest man of Chapmanville has gone to work.
Mrs. Levy Hensley and daughter have returned to their home at Chapmanville after a short visit at Stone Branch.
Anna Justice, Hattie Clay and Mazie Bates were calling on Lola and Wanda Ferrell Sunday.
Mrs. Nettie Pauley was visiting relatives in this town Sunday.
Mr. Morgan Garrett has gone to work in Logan.
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of news relating to coal miners on strike in Mingo County, dated March 31, 1922:
Mine Workers Cut Mingo Miners’ Wage
Will Reduce Strike Benefits to $3 to Men in Mingo Field, According to Letter
WANT AND FAMINE SURE TO INCREASE RAPIDLY
Fight Has Been a Losing One for Many Weeks and as Big Strike Looms Further Aid is Gone
The miners who have been fighting and striking in Mingo county for recognition of the union have just received word that their schedule of relief had been cut to $3 a week which would show that their fight has been a losing one.
This long story of suffering, want and privation in Mingo county will now be added to with additional misery, for the coming strike cannot be reckoned in days. Surely we of Logan county should be glad of the fact that our miners are working with their employers and not against them, and the first man who would suggest the Mingo conditions as better than the ones we are now enjoying should be properly dealt with by his fellow workers who are sure of year around employment at good wages to the $3 a week or less that is given to the strikers in Mingo. Surely the union officials will realize some day the suffering their greed is causing and stop this movement toward anarchy.
The following is the letter sent to miners on strike in Mingo county:
Williamson, W.Va., Mar. 20, 1922
Dear Sir and Brother:–
As you well know the drain upon the International Treasury for sometime has been very great. Notwithstanding that we have continued to supply the miners of Mingo county with a very liberal amount of relief. The amount of relief issued in the Williamson field has been greater than that in any strike in the history of the organization. The miners have been working on slack time throughout the country and on March 31, 1922, the present working agreement will expire and the miners of Mingo county will be standing side by side with the other miners of the country. The other miners of the country have given you more consideration than they have given themselves and are still willing to give further consideration through the long duration of your strike.
It will require a considerable amount of money to carry on negotiations so that it will be necessary for us to reduce the relief at this time.
I am therefore advising you that beginning with the week of March 27th, the schedule of relief will be men $3, women $1, child 50 cents a week. I am not sure that I can continue to pay even this amount if the general suspense of mining should last any length of time. However the miners of this country will do the best they can and continue to send in the liberal relief amount as long as possible.
With every good wish, I am,
Very truly yours,
International representative and financial agent
United Mine Workers of America
Anna Adams, Appalachia, Bernie Adams, Carl Adams, Charlie Mullins, Clinton Adams, coal, Edgar McCloud, Frank Bradshaw, genealogy, George McCloud Jr., Harts Creek, history, Hoover, Hoover Fork, Howard Adams, Logan County, Lucy McCloud, Margaret Wiley, Mary Honaker, May Robinson, Mildred Adams, Mt. Gay, Mud Fork, Pearly McCloud, Peter Mullins, Queens Ridge, Roy Browning, Sol Adams, teacher, Trace Fork, West Virginia, Whirlwind
An unknown correspondent from Whirlwind on Big Harts Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following news, which the Logan Banner printed on August 24, 1926:
We are having plenty of rain at this writing.
Howard Adams is going to teach our school on Hoover. We are expecting a good school.
Miss Lucy McCloud visited her grandmother, Mrs. Margaret Wiley of Queen’s Ridge, last Tuesday.
Mrs. Anna Adams of Trace Fork is very ill at present.
Mr. and Mrs. Roy Browning of Mud Fork are visiting Mrs. Browning’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Mullins of Hart’s Creek.
Miss Pearly McCloud made a flying trip to Sol Adams’ Wednesday.
Charlie Mullins and Edgar McCloud have completed their coal tipple.
Carl Adams and Geo. McCloud Jr., are coal mining on the left hand fork of Hoover.
Miss Mildred Adams has returned from Mt. Gay where she has been visiting her sister, Mrs. Frank Bradshaw.
Mrs. Mary Honaker was the guest of Miss May Robinson last Sunday.
Clinton Adams was taking his vacation last week.
Wonder what makes Bernie Adams look so downhearted? Ask Tilda. She knows.
Howard Adams was seen coming up the creek with a broom. Wonder what’s going to happen?
Daily happenings: Edgar and his new slippers; Carl and his white hogs; Herb and his lantern; Pearl and her blue dress; Howard and his talking machine; Charlie and his kodak; Bernie and his cob pipe.
A.M. Belcher, Appalachia, Battle of Blair Mountain, Bill Blizzard, Blair Mountain, Boone County, C.W. Osenton, coal, Coal River, crime, deputy sheriff, Dingess Run, Edgar Combs, George Muncy, H.W. Houston, history, J.E. Wilburn, James Cafalgo, John Gore, Lewisburg, Logan Banner, Logan County, Nellis, Ottawa, T.C. Townsend, United Mine Workers of America, Velesco Carpenter, W.B. Mullens
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this story about the trial that resulted from the “armed march” on Logan County, WV, by UMWA miners:
Widow Is Introduced At The Blizzard Trial
LEWISBURG, W.Va., June 27 — Two word pictures, one from the lips of the widow of George Munsy, coal digger who “never came back” from guarding his county, the other from one of the party that met and killed the outpost on the mountain side, lay tonight before 12 men who are to determine whether Sub-District President William Blizzard, of the miners’ union, was an accessory to the murder of Munsy.
Before these word pictures the jurors had heard counsel on both sides outline the story of the labor trouble of Southern West Virginia coal fields, the march of thousands against the Logan border, the interruption of that march after a brigadier general of the United States Army had intervened a midnight clash between miners and deputy sheriffs and state police, resumption of the march, fighting on the mountain ridges that separated the non-union Logan coal fields from the then union fields on Coal River, the meeting of 30 or 40 marchers with Deputy Sheriff John C. Gore, of Logan county, and two companions one of whom was Munsey, the volley of shots that answered the Logan pass-word, “amen,” and a wealth of detail about the march presented from point of view of both prosecution and defense.
Review Blair Battle
All the morning was spent in the opening of the attorneys, A.M. Belcher and C.W. Osenton, for the prosecution, and H.W. Houston and T.C. Townsend, for the defense. Then in the afternoon the jurors turned their attention to the witness box. First they saw W.B. Mullens point out the battle line and the points of interest in the march on a map that was tacked to the courthouse wall above the witness stand. Next Velesco Carpenter, facing an inexhaustible stream of questions in direct and cross-examinations told how he had gone from his home in Nellis to Blair, how in a party of about 35 he marched up Blair mountain, spent the night, and early the next morning set out and from his place in line watched the meeting with three men, one of whom he learned was Gore, heard the shots and saw the bodies after they had fallen. Then just before court adjourned Mrs. Munsy took the stand for her brief examination so that she might return tomorrow to her seven children in her home on Dingess Run Creek in Logan county.
Widow on Stand
“The night before he was killed was his time to come home but he never came,” Mrs. Munsy testified that her husband had been digging coal for about fifteen years before his death and that they had been married about 20 years. He had been “guarding for about a week, working for Logan county, for the coal operators,” she went on, but later when Mr. Houston cross-examined her on that statement her formerly quiet tone rose to the ringing declaration “he was defending his county.”
Carpenter did not know who fired the shots that killed Gore, Munsy and James Cafalgo. When the shooting began he ran back a few steps and dropped to the ground, he said. After it was over he went to a point near the body of “the foreigner,” and saw that of Gore, but could not see the third body. Edgar Combs told him he had killed the one Carpenter had designated as “the large man in the middle,” and later told another of the party this man was Gore.
He left Nellis, where he was employed as a pump man, on August 29, 1921, he said, after a man had come to the mines and threatened to “knock off” the “yellow” men who did not go. A journey on foot and by rail took about 30 in his party to Ottawa, and there Edgar Combs picked him and three others he named to go to Blair. The next day from the schoolhouse steps in Blair, he said, Rev. J.E. Wilburn made a speech and a party was organized that went into the hills. Some threw down their guns and refused to go but threats were made, and the men were lined up in single file, with leaders for squads of eight men. The original party of 50 or 60 divided, and the group of about 35, in which he went, camped on the top of the mountain until daybreak. They heard firing in the direction of the “gap,” through which previous testimony had shown the road from Blair to Logan ran and set out in that direction.
Then he told of the meeting with the “large man” and his two companions, and by pre-arranged signal the leader lifted his hat three times to indicate there was no danger. The large man beckoned to them to come on, and when the parties met there were mutual demands for the password. The shots were fired, Carpenter testified, when somebody said “amen,” and in the opening statements prosecution counsel had told the jury that it would be shown that “amen” was the Logan password. Wilburn, the preacher, was in the lead of the marchers column, and Combs next behind him, the witness said.
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.