Appalachia, crime, Ethel, genealogy, history, Logan Banner, Logan County, murder, photos, true crime, West Virginia
13 Friday Nov 2020
Posted Italian American Historyin
Appalachia, crime, Ethel, genealogy, history, Logan Banner, Logan County, murder, photos, true crime, West Virginia
11 Saturday Apr 2020
Posted Battle of Blair Mountain, Coal, Huntington, Italian American Historyin
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.
29 Saturday Feb 2020
Posted Big Creekin
Appalachia, Big Creek, Bill Vance, Dick Justice, Ethel, genealogy, George Lilly, Henlawson, history, Limestone, Lizzie Saunders, Logan Banner, Logan County, Luther Elkins, Martha Elkins, Mary Abbott, Minnie Lilly, Sherman Lilly, Star Theatre, Valentines Day, West Virginia
An unknown correspondent from Big Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following news, which the Logan Banner printed on February 23, 1923:
Big Creek comes this week with lots of snow and ice.
Mrs. Lizzie Saunders was out skating this evening.
Mr. George Lilly has been on the sick list but is improving nicely.
Mr. Bill Vance and Sherman Lilly paid Limestone a visit Saturday night. Think they will both be married to some of the good looking girls of Limestone City soon.
Mr. Luther Elkins of Ethel is visiting his parents at Big Creek.
Mr. Dick Justice of Henlawson paid the Star Theatre a visit Thursday. He is still with his old pal.
Misses Martha Elkins and Minnie Lilly received some wonderful Valentines last week, we hear.
Big Creek is growing better and better looking every day. our streets are of pure mud. Come on and help us sing the blues.
Mrs. Mary Abbott is on the sick list this week.
11 Tuesday Jun 2019
Posted Boone County, Coal, Huntington, Loganin
A.H. Land, Al Litz, attorney, B.L. Holland, Bengal Coal Company, Billy Aldredge, Boone County, Cleveland and Western Coal and Coke Company, coal, coal operators, Cora Mining Company, E.H. Butts, Ethel, Ethel Coal Company, Flynn-Haislip Coal Company, Fred Haislip, George Aldredge, H.T. Proctor, history, Hotel Frederick, Huntington, Island Creek Colliery Company, J.J. Ross, Jack Dalton, Logan County, Logan Democrat, Loma Mining Company, Norfolk and Western Railroad, Riley Lilly, Tom Wilson, Washington D.C., West Virginia
From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this bit of information relating to coal companies in Logan County, printed on May 17, 1917:
BIG DEALS FOR COAL IN LOGAN ARE BEING MADE
Public Service Corporation Buying Huge Prices for Local Properties
Public service corporations which must have coal whether school keeps or not are becoming big investors in Logan county coal and many big deals are about to be made. Most of the business is being done at the Frederick hotel, Huntington, which at this time is swarming with Logan county operators and representatives of big interests.
So far, the following companies are as good as sold.
Loma Mining Company.
Cora Mining Company.
Island Creek Colliery Company.
The following companies have been optioned and are regarded as good as sold:
Ethel Coal Company.
Flynn-Haislip Coal Company.
Bengal Coal Company.
The Loma Mining Company and the Cora Mining Co., are reported to have been sold to Cleveland and Western Coal and Coke Company for $250,000 apiece. The Loma Mining company was capitalized at $100,000 while the Cora Mining company was capitalized at $50,000 so the investors in both corporations will clear up a handsome profit on their investment.
In the case of the Loma Mining company $100,000 already has been deposited in a Huntington bank to insure the deal so there is no chance of it falling through. The final papers in the Cora Mining company may not be signed for a few days yet but it is regarded as good as sold as it is a valuable property for any public service to own. Both companies have well developed seams of coal and are capable of great productivity. Island Creek Colliery sold for $475,000.
The Ethel Coal Mining company at Ethel, W.Va., is working on three operations. It is reported to have been optioned at $1,250,000 and the company notified by those holding the option that they intend to exercise their rights in the near future. It was not possible to get the amount of the proposed sale of the Flynn-Haislip company.
A.H. Land, the well known coal operator of Logan county, at present is in Washington, D.C. It is said that he is there on a big deal but it is not possible to give details.
Among the operators from this county who have been in the throng at the hotel Frederick during the last few days are Jack Dalton, H.T. Proctor, Fred Haislip, Al Litz, E.H. Butts, attorney for several Logan county operators, Riley Lilly, attorney for several Logan county interests, B.L. Holland, George Aldredge, Billy Aldredge, Tom Wilson, J.J. Ross and others.
Make Vast Sums
Logan county operators are now in a position, according to reports, to clean up vast sums of money on their investments. The public service corporations who have been depending on the open market have found that it is absolutely necessary for them to go into the coal mining business on their own hook in order to insure their supply and they are doing so.
At the hotel Frederick, many big deals have been pulled off for mines in Boone, the N. & W. territory as well as for Logan. A number of deals affecting Logan county interests are anticipated in near future.
The buyers of Logan mines intend to operate them on a bigger scale than ever before. They have the money to do so and intend to employ for it that purpose so that the general prosperity of the county is on a more solid foundation than ever before.
20 Saturday Oct 2018
Posted Big Creek, Big Harts Creek, Boone County, Civil War, Coal, Loganin
Appalachia, Aracoma, Big Creek, Boone County, Brooke McNeely, Camp Chase, Chapmanville District, Charles Williams, civil war, Claude Ellis, coal, Confederate Army, crime, Dave Kinser, Democratic Party, Douglas Kinser, Elbert Kinser, Ethel, Fort Branch, French River, genealogy, ginseng, Harts Creek, Hetzel, history, J. Green McNeely, Jake Kinser, Jane Mullins, Jefferson Davis, Jim Aldridge, John Carter, John Kinser, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, logging, Malinda Kinser, Malinda Newman, Mary Ann Ellis, Mud Fork, Otis Kinser, rafting, Scott Ellis, Smyth County, Stonewall Jackson, timbering, tobacco, Virginia, Washington Township, West Virginia, Wythe County
24 Monday Sep 2018
Posted African American History, Big Creek, Big Harts Creek, Boone County, Civil War, Crawley Creek, Holden, Logan, Man, Pecks Mill, Whirlwindin
A.B. White, A.L. Browning, A.V. Pauley, African-Americans, Andrew Jackson, Appalachia, Band Mill Hollow, Big Creek, Boone County, C.H. Gilkinson, civil war, Confederacy, Confederate Army, Crawley Creek, Curry, Dave Bryant, Dyke Bryant, Dyke Garrett, Ethel, genealogy, Gettysburg, Green Thompson, Harrison White, Harts Creek, Harvey Chafin, Henlawson, Henry Mitchell, history, Holden, House of Delegates, Hugh Avis, J. Matt Pauley, Jackson McCloud, James Zirkles, John Bryant, John Neece, Joseph Lowe, Judy Bryant, Kistler, Leslie Mangus, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lucinda Spry, M.T. Miller, Madison, Man, Martha Jane Smith, Melvin Plumley, Mingo County, Monaville, Mt. Gay, Pecks Mill, preacher, Shegon, Slagle, slavery, Steve Markham, Stollings, Union Army, W.C. Turley, Wade Bryant, Wayne County, West Virginia, Whirlwind, William C. Lucas, William Chafin, William Workman, Zan Bryant
In 1929, the State of West Virginia nearly opted to allocate a monthly pension to its Confederate veterans, as well as blacks who had served the Confederate Army in service roles. In covering the story, the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, compiled a list of its remaining Confederate veterans.
HOW MANY VETERANS?
A pension of $20 a month is provided for Confederate veterans of the state by a bill passed by the Senate last week and sent in the House for concurrence. Senator M.T. Miller, of Boone county, who said he could not vote to pension men who had carried arms against their government, cast the only vote against the proposal.
A Charleston paper says there are only about 60 Confederate veterans living. This paper cannot believe that, although it has no information on the subject. How many are there in Logan county? Does anyone know? Has anyone an approximately correct list? If so, will he or she make the fact known? Uncle Dyke Garrett probably knows most of them.
The Banner would like to obtain a list of both Confederate and Union veterans still living in the county, together with their post office address.
Source: Logan Banner, 26 February 1929.
AS TO OLD SOLDIERS
The Banner’s request for information about old soldiers living in Logan county has not been in vain, nor has the response been satisfactory. The names of four confederate veterans have been turned in, as follows:
Rev. Dyke Garrett, Curry, beloved and venerable minister; William Workman, Shegon, who fought at Gettysburg and is now 88; Steve Markham, Holden No. 20, who has been blind for 20 years; and William Chafin, who lives with his son Harvey, at Holden 5 and 6.
Who are the others? Send in their names and addresses and any information you deem of interest concerning their careers as soldiers and citizens. The same information about Union soldiers, residents of the county, is likewise desired.
Logan Banner, 5 March 1929.
PREPARING THE ROLL
Another name has been added to the list of old soldiers that The Banner has undertaken to compile. Reference is to J. Matt Pauley, residing in Band Mill Hollow, post office Stollings. He was in the Confederate army, fought throughout the war and was wounded, writes Mrs. A.V. Pauley of Ethel. He is of the same age as Uncle Dyke Garrett.
The names of four survivors of the War Between the States, all living in Logan county, were published in Tuesday’s paper. There must be others. Who are they?
Today, W.C. Turley brought in a list of eight Confederate veterans, including the following new names: Wm. C. Lucas, Big Creek; Henry Mitchell, Henlawson; Hugh Avis, Green Thompson and John Neece, Logan; Harrison White, Pecks Mill.
Logan Banner, 8 March 1929.
On Confederate Roll
Two more names have been added to the roll of Confederate veterans that The Banner is preparing. These are James Zirkles of Man, whose name was sent in by Leslie Mangus, of Kistler, and Zan Bryant of Whirlwind, whose name was recalled by County Clerk McNeely. Are there not others besides nine or ten previously published?
Logan Banner, 12 March 1929.
Confederate Veterans Living Here Number at Least 17
There Are Probably Others–Will You Help to Enroll Them–All Merit the Tender Interest of Younger Folk
Seventeen names of Confederate soldiers, residents of the county, have been collected by The Banner. Wonder if any have been overlooked, or if the appended list is in error in including any Union veterans? If any reader knows of a Confederate soldier not listed here, please send in the name and address AT ONCE. There will be no further request or reminder.
This paper undertook to make up a list of these old soldiers for two reasons. Chief of these was a desire to prevent any of them being overlooked in case a bill to pension them was passed by the legislature–but the writer does not know yet whether or not that bill was enacted into law. Another reason for assuming the task was to test in a limited way a statement in a Charleston paper that there were only 60 Confederate veterans left in the state. That statement was doubted, and with good reason judging from the number polled in this county. Anyhow, the ranks have become terribly thinned. Every few days we all read of taps being sounded for another one here and there.
Middle-aged men and young folk should esteem it a privilege to do something to brighten the lives of these old soldiers. As the years roll by our pride will increase as we recall our acquaintance with and our kindness toward the “boys of ’61 and ’65.”
Here is the list. Look it over, and if there is a name that should be added or a name that should be stricken out, or any error or omission that should be corrected or supplied, speak up:
James Zirkles, Man; Zan Bryant, Whirlwind; J. Matt Pauley, Ft. Branch; Uncle Dyke Garrett, Curry; William C. Lucas, Big Creek; Henry Mitchell, Henlawson; Hugh Avis, Green Thompson and John Neece, all of Logan; Harrison White, Pecks Mill; Melvin Plumley, Crawleys Creek (post office not known); William Workman, Shegon; Steve Markham, Holden No. 20; William Chafin, No. 5 and 6.
Logan Banner, 15 March 1929.
Two Names Added Confederate Roll
Bill to Pension Them is Defeated By Parliamentary Tactics in House
Names of two more Confederate soldiers living in the county have been sent to The Banner. They are: C.H. Gilkinson, minister, resident of Holden, who was born and reared in Wayne county, and is the father of Dr. L.W. Gilkinson. Jackson McCloud, a resident of Whirlwind on Harts Creek. His name was supplied by A.L. Browning of Monaville, who says he feels sure that Mr. McCloud was in the Confederate service and fought at Gettysburg.
Assuming both names should be added to the roll, it means that there are at least 19 Confederate veterans still living in Logan county, seventeen names having been listed and published a week ago.
For many of them there will be disappointment in the information that the bill to pension them did not pass. Sponsored in the Senate by ex-governor A.B. White, the son of a Union soldier, the bill passed, that body, Senator M.T. Miller of Madison casting the only vote against it. In the House of Delegates it was amended, by a majority of one, to include Negroes, whether slave or free, who had served in the Confederate army of cooks, personal servants, or otherwise, and later tabled.
Source: Logan Banner, 22 March 1929.
Slagle Man 17th in Confederate List
Zan Bryant Probably Oldest Veteran In County–Born in Jackson’s Time
Joseph Lowe of Slagle is the latest name to be added to the list of Confederate veterans that has been compiled by The Banner. However, that leaves the count at 17, as the name of Melvin Plumley of Crawleys Creek was erroneously included in the published list. He was a Union soldier, it seems.
Of all those listed Zan Bryant of Whirlwind must be the oldest. He is said to be 98 years old and his wife, Judie Hensley Bryant, 91. They have been married for 75 years and have a son, Dave Bryant, who is 73. There are five other children, Dave, John, Wade and Dyke all live on Harts Creek, most of them near their parents; Mrs. Martha Jane Smith at Gay, and Mrs. Lucinda Spry of Mingo county.
This venerable couple have spent all their years in the isolated Harts country, their home being on White Oak fork, and can be reached only by a long horseback ride.
When Zan was born Andrew Jackson was president and Logan county as a political subdivision was but five years old. He was 23 years old when married and 30 when the War Between the States began.
Logan Banner, 26 March 1929.
21 Tuesday Aug 2018
Posted African American History, Huntingtonin
A.A. Wright, A.D. Robinson, A.V. McRae, African-Americans, Albert Meade, Anna B. Harris, Anna C. Hunter, Anna Spencer, Appalachia, Aracoma, Ardrossan, Audra Wilson, B.H. Hall, board of education, Bruce Hull, Clara Lee Johnson, Clara Richardson, Clothier, Coal River, Copperas, Cora, Crystal Block, D.E. Hopkins, Daisy Sheffery, Daniel H. Wood, Dehue, Doratha Withers, education, Elaine Ferguson, Elizabeth Creasy, Elizabeth Notter, Elma Phipps, Esta Shriver, Ethel, Ethel M. Page, F.O. Woerner, Flossie Hatfield, Flossie M. Jones, Garlands Fork, Georgia L. Miller, Gertrude Huntsman, Grace V. Reynolds, Harold Starcher, Hatfield, Helen E. Jones, history, Holden, Huntington, I.G. Hollandsworth, Imogene Baker, Ione Hall Cook, Island Creek, J.C. Evans, Jane Walker, John Pelter, Joseph D. Cary, Josephine Vaughan, Laura Griere, Laura J. Bayes, Laurel Hill, Lillian Samors, Logan County, Logan District, Logan High School, Logan Junior High School, Louis Simmons, M. Amelia Brooks, Macbeth, Mary Smith, Matilda Wade, Micco, Omar, Page Hamilton, Peach Creek, Preston A. Cave, Rossmore, Sharples, Slagle, Stirratt, teacher, Theodora Bradford, Thomas Jordan, Virginia Spratt, W.H. Houston, W.H. Huston, West Virginia, Yolyn
Logan (WV) Banner, 26 August 1927. This photo is meant to show the headline of the story; teachers named here are “white.”
29 Sunday Apr 2018
Posted Battle of Blair Mountain, Big Creek, Big Harts Creek, Chapmanville, Halcyon, Holden, Logan, Man, Pecks Mill, Shively, Stone Branch, Whirlwind, World War I, Yantusin
A.M. Hall, A.P. Loyd, Amherstdale, Anderson McCloud, Andrew Jordan, Appalachia, Arthur Townsend, Barnabas, Battle of Blair Mountain, Big Creek, Bilton Browning, Black Sanders, Bruce White, C.C. Chambers, C.E. Lamp, C.G. Miller, C.H. Baisden, Cam Pridemore, Cecil Mounts, Chapmanville, Charles Conley, county clerk, Craneco, Curry, Democratic Party, Dow Chambers, Earl Summers, Ed Haner, Ed Mapper, Ed Riffe, Elmer Gore, Elmer McDonald, Emmett Scaggs, Ethel, Everett Buchannon, Everett Dingess, F.D. Stollings, Foley, Frank Frye, Frank Hurst, Frank Hutchinson, Frank Perry, French Dingess, G.F. Collins, G.K. Mills, genealogy, George Baldwin, Guy Pauley, health officer, Henlawson, Henry Lawson, history, Holden, Jack Mason, John Amburgey, John B. Wilkinson Jr., John Claypool, John Hill, John J. Cornwell, Lake, Laredo, Logan, Logan County, Logan Democrat, Lorenzo Dow Chambers, Lot Murphy, M.B. Taylor, M.F. Waring, Man, Manbar, Marshal Gore, Melvin Conley, Melvin White, Millard Perry, Monaville, Mt. Gay, Omar, Pecks Mill, Pitts Branch, Queens Ridge, R.E. Lowe, R.W. Buskirk, Republican Party, Robert Hill, Robert Peck, Robert Straton, Rolfe, Rum Creek, Sam Scott, Sharples, sheriff, Shively, Sidney B. Lawson, Stone Branch, Thomas Hensley, U.S. Army, Vinson Ferrell, W.B. Phipps, W.E. Perry, W.P. Vance, West Virginia, Wilkinson, William Lewis, Willis Parsons, Woodrow Wilson, World War I, Yolyn
From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this story titled “Sheriff Hurst and Registrars Ready to Enroll,” dated May 24, 1917:
SHERIFF HURST AND REGISTRARS READY TO ENROLL
Final Preparations are Made to Classify Men of Military Age In Logan County
Sheriff Hurst Wednesday gave final instructions to his sixty odd registrars who will enroll all men between the ages of 21 and 30, for military service as ordered by proclamations of President Wilson and Governor Cornwell for June 5, which will be a legal holiday in West Virginia as in other states.
On June 5, all male citizens are required to go to their regular voting places between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. and fill out a blank similar to the one printed in today’s Democrat. The governor has requested that all other public business be suspended on that day and that patriotic parades of school children be held. He also asks all owners of automobiles to help transport to the voting places men of military age and that every assistance possible be given the officers who will make the registration.
To Telegraph Result
As soon as the registration in Logan county is completed, the result will be telegraphed to Washington and then the machinery will be set in motion to select those who will be included in the first call for 500,000 men who will begin training in September. A board will sit in Logan who will select the available men to enter the first army. An absolute, fair and impartial administration of the law is insured as the local board will be directly responsible to the federal authorities and subject to stern penalties should any favoritism be shown. The state officers have nothing whatever to do with the army after the work of selection is completed. Those who will form the local conscription board are:
Sheriff Frank P. Hurst
Clerk, County Court, C.G. Miller
County Health Officer, Dr. S.B. Lawson
Robert Peck, (R.)
Elmer McDonald, (D)
The president in his proclamation ordered all men, 21 to 30 years old, excepting those already enlisted, shall voluntarily present themselves at the places to be designated for registration on June 5. Other main features of his orders follow:
Men away from home may register by mail.
Penalty for refusing to register; up to a year imprisonment.
All federal, state, county, city and village officers are liable for service for registration and draft.
Any person making a false statement to evade service or any official aiding in such an attempt, will be punished by a year’s imprisonment through civil authorities or by military court martial.
Persons ill or who will be absent from home should get registration blanks from the city clerk, if they are in towns of more than 30,000 inhabitants and from the county clerk, if they are in towns of less than 30,000 inhabitants.
The main parts of the president’s proclamation in which he explained the necessity for conscription follow:
“We are arrayed against a power that would impose its will upon the world by force.
“The man in the factories or who tills the soil is no less a part of any army than the man beneath the battle-flags.
“We must shape and train for war, not an army, but a nation.
“The sharpshooter must march and the machinist must remain at his levers.”
The whole nation must be a team in which each man shall play the part for which he is best fitted.
“It is not conscription of the unwilling but a selection from a nation which has volunteered in mass.”
Sheriff Hurst has volunteered to do his part of the work in registration without cost to the federal government. The other registrars will do the same. No trouble is expected in enrolling the entire military population of the country.
The list of registrars and enrollment places for Logan county follow:
Everett Dingess and Thomas Hensley, Queens Ridge.
Melvin Conley and Charles Conley, Shively.
Cam Pridemore and French Dingess, Pitts Branch.
Vinson Ferrell and Ans McCloud, Chapmanville.
R.E. Lowe, Stone Branch.
G.F. Collins, Big Creek.
W.B. Phipps, Chapmanville.
Ed. Haner, Curry.
Marshal Gore and Frank Frye, Sharples.
Black Sanders and George Baldwin, Lake.
Henry Lawson and John Hill, Henlawson.
J.B. Wilkinson, Jr., and M.B. Taylor, Logan.
L.D. Chambers and Frank Perry, Rolfe.
Cecil Mounts and C.H. Baisden, Mt. Gay.
Willis Parsons and W.P. Vance, Holden.
R.W. Buskirk and William Lewis, Omar.
Melvin White and Robert Hill, Pecks Mill.
Elmer Gore, Ethel.
A.M. Hall, Ethel.
Arthur Townsend, Holden.
C.E. Lamp, Holden.
C.C. Chambers and Robert Straton, Logan.
A.P. Loyd and G.K. Mills, Holden.
Sam Scott and Bruce White, Monaville.
Dr. Smoot and Guy Pauley, Blair.
Lot Murphy, Mt. Gay.
Ed. Mapper, Wilkinson.
F.D. Stollings and John Claypool, Foley.
Millard Perry, Everett Buchannon, Emmett Scaggs and Dr. Thornberry, Man.
John Amburgey and W.E. Perry, Amherstdale.
Earl Summers and Frank Hutchinson, Manbar.
M.F. Waring, Laredo.
Ed. Riffe, Craneco.
Andrew Jordan and Bilton Browning, Barnabas.
Dow Chambers, Yolyn.
Jack Mason, Rum Creek.
18 Sunday Feb 2018
Posted Big Harts Creek, Logan, Manin
Albert Gore, Alfred Cabell, Alvin Mounts, Appalachia, Beech, Billie Hatfield, Bruce McDonald, Clay Workman, deputy sheriff, Don Chafin, Eli Gore, Ethel, F.A. Sharp, genealogy, Harts Creek, history, Holden, J.E. Flynn, J.L. Butcher, jailer, Joe Blair, Joe Rodgers, John C. Gore, K.F. Mounts, Logan, Logan County, Logan Democrat, Man, Mt. Gay, sheriff, T.O. Deaumer, W.F. Farley, West Virginia, Yuma, Zirkles Rapids
17 Saturday Jun 2017
Posted Battle of Blair Mountain, Big Creek, Big Harts Creek, Chapmanville, Logan, Man, Shively, Stone Branch, Whirlwind, Yantusin
Accoville, Amherstdale, Appalachia, Banco, Barnabus, Battle of Blair Mountain, Big Creek, Braeholm, Chapmanville, Christian, Clothier, Corco, Crites, Crown, Curry, Davin, Dehue, Emmett, Ethel, Fort Branch, Henlawson, Hetzel, history, Holden, Isom, Kistler, Kitchen, Lake, Landville, Latrobe, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lorado, Lundale, Lyburn, Macbeth, Mallory, Man, Manbar, McConnell, Micco, Monaville, Monclo, Mount Gay, Omar, Peach Creek, Pecks Mill, Robinette, Rossmore, Sarah Ann, Sharples, Shegon, Shively, Slagle, Sovereign, Stirrat, Stollings, Stone Branch, Switzer, Taplin, Three Forks, Verdunville, Verner, West Virginia, Whirlwind, Whitman, Wilkinson, Yantus, Yolyn
04 Tuesday Dec 2012
Posted Ed Haleyin
Appalachia, Ashland, banjo, Chapmanville, Charley Gore, East Tennessee Blues, Ed Haley, Ethel, fiddle, fiddler, fiddling, Fire on the Mountain, Great Depression, Harts, Harts Creek, Hell Among the Yearlings, history, Ira Gore, John Hartford, Johnny Hager, Kentucky, Lawrence Haley, Lee Trick Gore, Liza Mullins, Logan County, Mag Gore, Mona Haley, music, Ode Curry, Peter Mullins, Stoney Ferrell, The Dying Californian, U.S. South, West Fork, West Virginia, Wild Horse
Later in the evening, Pat put me in touch with Lee “Trick” Gore, an Ashland preacher and musician who remembered Ed Haley from his childhood days on Harts Creek. We met Gore the following day at his home in what was my first meeting with someone from Ed’s birthplace. He was a polite man with a loud clear voice, somewhat thick in stature and decked out in a tie and button-up sweater.
“I understand what you’re trying to do,” Gore said right away.
It wasn’t long until he and Lawrence were in a deep discussion about the people and places in and around Harts.
“We used to spend a week or two with Aunt Liza or Uncle Peter,” Lawrence said, prompting Gore. “Most of the time we’d ride the train up there and get off at Harts. They run passenger trains up into coalfields then. We’d get off there at the mouth of Hart and walk up and it was nothing but creek. You’d ford that creek a dozen times trying to stay close to the road and the road was in the creek half the time. You had to wade the creek half the way up through there. It’d take us half the day it seemed like.”
Lawrence said his father spent some time in Chapmanville, a town upriver from Harts about nine miles.
“I remember staying in Chapmanville, too. There was a beer joint or something that Pop wanted to stop at. They was some guy in there got to down-mouthing Pop. Stoney Ferrell, that’s exactly who it was. This guy kept aggravating him and Pop just edged toward his voice, you know. Instead of carrying a blind man’s cane, Pop carried a big heavy cattle cane. He got pretty close to him and he reached out and grabbed him around the neck with that cane.”
Gore said Ed used to come see his uncle Charley Gore at Ferrellsburg, a settlement about two miles upriver from Harts.
“Uncle Charley was a fiddler,” he said. “Charley was the principal of the school and Ed stayed with him. Well, once a year he’d happen by. That was right on the heels of the Depression. I was twelve. I was just learning to play the guitar then.”
Gore looked at Lawrence and said, “Either you or Mona was leading him.”
I asked Gore what Ed looked like at that time and he said, “He just dressed ordinary. He never dressed up, but he wasn’t dirty looking or nothing like that — just old-fashioned.”
He stopped for a moment, lost in thought, then said, “He was just something else. He was far ahead of a lot of fiddlers, buddy. There wasn’t none of this grinding on that violin. When he played it, it was just as smooth in that bow hand. I know he played ‘Hell Among the Yearlings’, ‘Fire on the Mountain’ and ‘The Wild Horse’. Uncle Charley played those tunes, too. I guess he learned them from Ed Haley.”
“I wish my daddy was alive,” Gore said. “Boy, he could tell you about Ed Haley because he loved him. Uncle Charley loved him dearly. And Ed knew that he was welcome at our house and that’s where he hung his hat buddy — where he was welcome. Do you know how I think of him? I think of him as kind of a mountain poet. He sung religious songs and them old mournful mountain tunes. It seems to me like he sung a song called ‘The Dying Californian’. I can’t remember the poetry to it, but it was a mile long.”
Ed sang while fiddling it.
Gore said Ed sometimes traveled with “Little Johnny” Hager, a banjo player who used to stay weeks at a time with his family when he was a boy. Lawrence Haley had shown me a picture earlier of Ed with Johnny Hager in Webster Springs in 1914.
I asked Gore if he knew that Ed could play the banjo and he said, “Seems like I heard him play it when him and Johnny was together. No doubt he could play it.”
Gore asked Lawrence if he remembered a man his father used to play with named Ode Curry (he didn’t), then said, “Ode Curry was just a fella that played the banjo and sang and he had a big nose, as well as I remember, and it’d vibrate when he’d sing because he sung through his nose. But let me tell you something: they would give him all he could drink to play and Ode knew some of the lonesomest, heart-breaking songs you ever listened to.”
Gore got his guitar and sang several songs for me, then whistled the melody for “East Tennessee Blues” and named it as one of Haley’s tunes. He said, “That’s funny how things come back to you when you sit down and get to talking about it, and reminiscing.”
I encouraged him to “play another tune and see what it stirs up,” so he strummed and whistled out a few more melodies.
At some point, Gore’s wife said she remembered seeing Haley play at Logan Court House and in a nearby coal town named Ethel.
Just before Lawrence and I left, Gore called his 85-year-old aunt, Mag Gore, about Haley. “Mag was a singer,” he said. “She married Ira Gore, her third cousin. She couldn’t get out of the Gore family.” He spoke with her briefly on the phone, then told us: “The only thing she remembers was that her husband Ira went to town one day and Ed Haley come home with him because Ira had a little bit of that good ol’ ‘moon’ they make over on the West Fork. They was a sipping that a little bit.”
West Fork, Gore said, was a tributary of Harts Creek with its headwaters in Logan County.
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