Appalachia, Betty Shoals, Big Branch Shoal, Big Creek, Big Cub Creek, Blackburn Mullins, Burrell Morgan, Byron Christian, Chapman Browning, Charley Toler, Copperas Fork, Ed Robertson, Eli Blankenship, Eli Morgan, Elk Creek, Ellis Toler, Epson Justice, Fred B. Lambert, Fred B. Lambert Papers, G. Pendleton Goode, genealogy, Gilbert, Guyandotte, Guyandotte River, H.C. Avis, Hickory Shute, history, Hugh Toney, Humphrey Cline, Huntington, James A. Nighbert, James Pine Christian, Jesse Belcher, John Buchanan, John Justice, justice of the peace, Lane Blankenship, Lark Justice, Leatherwood Shoal, Lewis Mitchell, Little Kanawha Lumber Company, Logan County, Logan Court House, logging, Marshall University, Mingo County, Morrow Library, Paren Christian, Peter Cline Jr., Peter Cline Sr., Peterson Christian, Pineville, pushboats, rafting, Raleigh County, Roughs of Guyan, Salt River Shute, Sanford Morgan, Simon, Spice Creek, Staffords Mill, West Virginia, White Oak Cliff, Wyatt Toler, Wyoming County
Recollections of A. Peterson Christian of Simon, WV, provided by G. Pendleton Goode of Pineville, WV, January 1, 1944:
I was born on Spice Creek, Logan Co., now Mingo County, West Va. on Oct. 12, 1857 — Now 86 years of age, Son of Rev. Byron Christian, and grandson of James Pine Christian (1800-1892), one of the justices who organized Logan County in 1824.
About 1867, people began what we called saw-logging. Dr. Warren from Big Creek brought the first six yoke ox team to our neighborhood, used them two years and then sold them to Chapman Browning who lived on Spice Creek. There sprang up among us, what we called timber merchants, among those were Paren Christian, Chapman Browning, Col. John Buchanan, H.C. Avis, Blackburn Mullins and Epson Justice and many others. Besides hauling and rafting their own timber, they would buy rafts of other parties and run them to Logan Court House and sell others to John and Lark Justice and afterwards to Ed Robertson and James Nighbert.
I entered the logging business in 1875, on a small scale. Lewis Mitchell and I bought some timber and made up a raft, and when the river reached rafting stage, Brother Mont Lewis and I started down the river with the raft which swung across the head of “Island 16,” but when the big July 12th freshet came it swept our raft away and we lost it. My next adventure in logging was in the spring of 1876, when Mont and I bought some timber in the bluff opposite the mouth of Elk Creek and with some loose logs in “Island 16,” we made up two rafts, but there was no rafting stage that summer, but when the ice went out the next winter, both rafts went with it and we lost them also.
Rafting down Guyandotte River from Reedy to Logan Court house was a great art during the 1870s and 80s. There were different opinions about the bad places along the stream. People at Logan Court house thought that the river from Spice down was real bad; but the river men around Spice did not mind running from there down, but said that up Copperas Fork, the Betty Shoals, Staffords Mill, and the White Oak Cliff was too bad for anybody to run a raft. The river men around about Gilbert said that the river from there down was a little rough but they didn’t mind it, but from Epson Justice’s up to Reedy was so rough that no person had any business trying it. But when you came up to Big Cub, Long Branch and Reedy and talked with the old pilots, such as Jesse Belcher, Lane Blankenship, Peter Cline Jr., Humphrey Cline and Peter Cline Sr. and numerous other persons such as oar carriers and seconds they would say something like this, “Well, the river for a few miles is pretty rough, especially at Wyatt Toler’s mill dam, the Fall Rock, near Charley Toler’s mill dam, the Hickory Shute, the Leatherwood Shoal, the Big Branch Shoal and the Salt River Shute, but if a man has good judgment about the drain and the water he will have but little trouble.” So you see all depends on whom you are talking to as to where the rough is on the Guyandotte River. The only way to find this out is to go through on a raft yourself.
I remember very well the thrill I got the first time I went through the “Roughs” on a raft. I got on at the mouth of Big Cub Creek; in a few minutes we were at the upper end of Leatherwood Shoal. We worked the raft to the proper position in the hole of water just above the shoal. We could look along the top of the water to the upper end of the shoal but there was such a fall there we could see the water until we dropped over the upper end of the shoal. The bow of the raft struck a wave and the water flew over our heads. I was carrying the oar and held the stern down on the raft while my second held my clothes to keep the oar from throwing me off. From there on to the lower end of the shoals (about ¼ mile) as soon as the raft would rise on one wave, it would plunge into another until we got through the shoal. From that time (1876), I followed running from Reedy to Guyandotte until about 1890.
It took 4 men to run a raft from Reedy or Cub to Spice. Then 2 men could take it from there to Logan C.H. Then we would latch two of those rafts together and 2 men would take those rafts through to Guyandotte.
In 1889, the Little Kanawha Lumber Co. came to Wyoming County and began logging on a big scale. The winter was warm and rainy. All goods and supplies were hauled from Prince Station on the C. and O. Ry. The roads through Raleigh were so muddy that a four-horse team could pull only 1000 or 1200 pounds, so in April Alec, Henry Blankenship and I made a push boat 50 feet long and 6 feet wide and 18 inches deep. We landed it at the mouth of Reedy Creek and started to Guyandotte with five men. I had about $95.00 in money, and the men from here to Elk sent money by me to buy flour. When I left Elk, I had about $260.00. Among the men that sent money by me to buy flour were Burrell Morgan, Ellis Toler, Eli Blankenship, Eli Morgan, Sanford Morgan and Chapman Browning and the only one alive now is Burrell Morgan. We reached Guyandotte the 3d day, where I bought 45 lbs of flour, 300 lbs of bacon and a lot of other things and after laying over at Capt. Toney’s for 2 days on account of high water, we arrived at the mouth of Spice Creek in 8 days from Guyandotte. I received $125 per 100 lbs. freight which gave me a nice profit for my trip. At that time and long before the people of Logan brought their goods up on push boats.”
Source: Fred B. Lambert Papers, Special Collections Department, Morrow Library, Marshall University, Huntington, WV.
Appalachia, Beech Creek, Ben Creek, Bluefield, Bluestone River, Bob Browning, Boone County, Bramwell, Cabell County, Charleston, Coal Valley News, Commissioner of Agriculture, Crum, Davy, Devil Anse Hatfield, farming, Gilbert, Gilbert Creek, ginseng, Griffithsville, Guyandotte River, Hamlin, history, Horsepen Creek, Huntington, Iaeger, Island Creek, John W. Smith, Kanawha River, Lincoln County, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, M.L. Jones, Mate Creek, Pigeon Creek, Ranger, Route 10, Route 2, Route 3, Sarepta Workman, Tug Fork, Twelve Pole Creek, Wayne, Welch, West Hamlin, West Virginia, West Virginia by Rail and Trail, West Virginia Hills, Williamson
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Route 3 dated October 14, 1927:
“Changes Can Be Noted” In Island Creek Hills
Madison Editor Waxes Interesting on Old Times and Primitive Conditions–Surfaced Highways Mark the Paths Through Woodland That Were Traveled a Generation Ago.
An article of special interest to Logan folk is here reproduced from the Coal Valley News (Madison) of which M.L. Jones is editor. In a reminiscent mood he tells of road conditions and other conditions that prevailed hereabouts a generation ago. Exceptions might be taken to one or two statements, but the whole article is interesting indeed and informative.
It is considered appropriate that West Virginians should sing the “West Virginia Hills,” and year after year the teachers in their institution disturb their neighbors with this song, while “Tears of regret will intrusively swell.” There is some romance and merit in the song; but it strikes us that it is about time for a revision of this line.
“But no changes can be noticed in the West Virginia Hills.”
To prove our point we quote from memory.
For some years after 1882, there lived in the extreme head of the left fork of Island Creek, or Main Island Creek, a man named Bob Browning. It was 18 miles from Logan. The house was a two-room log cabin, surrounded by palings; and the valley was so narrow that it was difficult to find enough level ground for a garden. Apple trees and peach trees were scattered over a few acres of cleared mountain side. The family subsisted by a little farming, a little hunting and much ginsenging.
This place was between two low mountain gaps. A dim road, usable for wagons in dry weather, led down the creek to Logan, and forked at Browning’s house. One fork led east over one gap to Horsepen and Gilbert of Guyan; the other went west over the other gap to Pigeon creek, and by more or less roundabout ways connected with Ben Creek, Beech Creek, Mate Creek and Pigeon Creek, all of Tug river. Hence, it was a possible road route.
The nearest house down Island creek and on Horsepen creek was two miles; and on Pigeon creek about three-fourths of a mile. A wagon, lightly loaded, passed here on the average six times a year. Horsemen may have averaged one a day, though often a whole week passed without a traveler. It was simply a log shack in the head of the hollow, four miles from a school, ten miles from a store, without anything “which exalts and embellishes civilized life,” and so very remote from the haunts of men that when “Devil” Anse Hatfield and his followers concluded to surrender Tug river to Frank Phillips and the McCoys, they picked their “last stand” on Island creek, four miles below the spot we have been talking about.
Now, in the close of 1927, can “changes be noticed?” We have not been there for over 30 years. But we recently received a present from John W. Smith, commissioner of agriculture , Charleston, W.Va., entitled “West Virginia by Rail and Trail,” containing 22 maps and 174 pictures reproduced from photographs of different parts of the state, and for which we sincerely thank whoever got our name on Mr. Smith’s mailing list.
From this book we learn that when we laboriously trudged through the Horsepen gap or the Pigeon gap, from 45 to 35 years ago, we failed to foresee that within on generation men would pick those two gaps, within less than a miles of each other, as a route for one of West Virginia’s leading roads; and not only for one, but for two, of West Virginia’s leading roads. As we will explain:
Route 3, connects Huntington, Wayne, Crum, Williamson, Gilbert, Iaeger, Davy, Welch, Bramwell, and Bluefield. From Huntington to Wayne and about 15 miles above Wayne, it is mostly on the waters of Twelve Pole creek. It then bears west to Tug river and follows it from Crum to Williamson, about 25 miles. It then bears east to Pigeon Creek, which it follows to the spot we are writing about, in the head of Island creek, some 20 miles. It then goes through the two gaps and down Horsepen creek to Gilbert, on Guyan; up Guyan and Little Huff’s creek, of Guyan, and across the mountain to Iaeger, on Tug river. It then follows up Tug, by Welch, to the head of Elkhorn and then on the waters of Bluestone to Bluefield.
In all, Route 3 is in seven counties, though less than a mile of it is in Logan county, in the head of Island creek. It is graded all the way about 60 percent of it is hard surfaced, including about 25 miles at and near the Bob Browning place. Thus Bob, if alive, can ride on a hard surfaced road from his old home almost to Williamson, one way, and to Gilbert on Guyan the other way; and he could continue south by graded road, until he strikes hard surface again. The last fifty miles next to Bluefield is all hard surfaced, also the lower 25 miles next to Huntington.
But this is not the only big state route hitting this “head of the hollow.”
Route 10 runs from Huntington to the very same spot, a distance of 100 miles, through Cabell, Lincoln and Logan, and is all on Guyan or its tributaries. It is paved, or hard surfaced, from Huntington to West Hamlin, on Guyan where the Hamlin-Griffithsville hard-surfaced road turns off. It is also marked paved for seven miles north of Logan and twelve miles up Island creek. This leaves six miles up by the “Devil” Anse Hatfield place to the Bob Browning place to pave, and it is marked, “paved road under construction.” The only drawback to No. 10 is that from West Hamlin to Ranger is a patch where the grading is not yet satisfactory. Doubtless, within three years both 3 and 10 will be hard surfaced all the way. Even now, from the Browning place, the people can take their choice between an evening’s entertainment in Logan or Williamson.
But that is not all yet. The chances are heavy that there will never be but one hard surfaced road from Logan to Williamson. There will always be a heavy travel from Charleston to Williamson. It will be by our No. 2 to Logan; by No. 10 to the Browning place; and by No. 3 to Williamson. Within a few months it will all be hard surfaced.
From all this we conclude.
First; that we let a good chance slip when we failed to buy a half acre of land where No. 10 joints No. 3 for a hotel and filling station. We could have multiplied our investment by one thousand. But so far as we could see that spot was fit only to hold and the rest of the Earth’s surface together, and to get away from as rapidly as possible.
Second; that “changes can be noticed in the West Virginia Hills.”
We might add that thousands can remember crossing the Kanawha at Charleston on the ferry, because there was no bridge; and few, if any, three-story homes. The writer hereof did his first plowing with a two-horse turning plow in the center of what is now Huntington. It was a cornfield then. It is a fashionable residence district now. He boarded at an isolated log house on a hill back of the Huntington bottom, where now are miles of mansions on paved streets. Even in and about Madison and all over Boone county, it is hard for people to visualize how things looked a short ten years ago. Mrs. Sarepta Workman, on her recent visit to her old…
Anna Ferrell, Appalachia, Arnold Thomas, Banco, Bennie Miller, Big Creek, C.L. Hager, Ed Stone School, Edith Chapman, Ella Gillenwater, Elm Street, Estep, Gardner Baisden, genealogy, Gilbert, H.F. Lucas, Hassell Ferrell, Hazel Thomas, history, Holt, Ida Hager, Jack Fugate, John Hager, Kathleen Hager, Logan Banner, Logan County, Nella Varney, Pearl Hager, Slab Town, Stone Branch, Thurmond Fugate, V.P. Conley, West Virginia
An unknown correspondent from Banco on Big Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on October 1, 1926:
Everyone is very busy around Banco as they are trying to get their tobacco in the barn before Jack Frost comes around.
A very interesting sermon was delivered at the Ed Stone School house last Sunday by Rev. White, after which Rev. Elkins and Rev. Pauley gave a short talk.
Thurmond and Jack Fugate of Holt have been visiting their sister on Elm Street.
Mrs. John Hager of this place and daughter Mrs. Ella Gillenwater and daughter-in-law Mrs. Ida Hager of Big Creek were the guests of Mrs. C.L. Hager at Stone Branch the former part of the week.
Arnold Thomas and Hassell Ferrell of Estep attended church at Banco last Sunday. Where was Anna, Arnold?
Misses Edith Chapman and Anna Ferrell of Estep were the Saturday night guests of Misses Pearl and Kathleen Hager and attended church at Banco.
Bennie Miller of Slab Town motored through Banco one day last week.
Mr. and Mrs. V.P. Conley and children of this place have been visiting with Mrs. Conley’s parents at Gilbert the past week.
Gardner Baisden of Estep was a pleasant caller in Banco one day this week. Wonder if he saw the girl he used to love so well?
Miss Marea Lucas of Chapmanville was the guest of homefolks on Elm Street the latter part of the week.
Misses Nella Varney and Hazel Thomas of Thomas Circle were calling at the Banco post office last Tuesday morning.
H.F. Lucas of Elm Street returned from a tour up North last Monday.
Wonder what has become of the ice man? We never see him in town any more.
Adolphus Spratt, farming, genealogy, Gilbert, Henry H. Hardesty, history, Jennie B. Spratt, John E. Spratt, Josie Spratt, Laura C. Spratt, Lettie Lee Spratt, Logan County, Mingo County, overseer of public roads, R.A. Brock, Richmond, Tazewell County, Thomas G. Spratt, Triadelphia District, U.S. South, Virginia, Virginia and Virginians, West Virginia, Wiley F. Spratt
From “Virginia and Virginians, 1606-1888,” published by H.H. Hardesty, we find this entry for Adolphus Spratt, who resided at Gilbert in Logan (now Mingo) County, West Virginia:
Was born Oct. 15, 1847, in Tazewell county, Va., and for quite a number of years has been an honored citizen of Logan county, W.Va. On Aug. 3, 1876, in this county, he was united in marriage with Laura C. Justice, who was born there June 11, 1859. Six children have been the result of this union: Jennie B., born Feb. 27, 1878; Josie, born April 19, 1880; Lettie Lee, born March 30, 1882; John E., born Jan. 27, 1884; Thomas G., born July 17, 1886, and died June 7, 1887; and Wiley F., born Feb. 15, 1889. Mr. Spratt is engaged in farming and running a saw mill, having also filled a number of county offices of trust and honor. He was trustee of public schools in Triadelphia district from 1886 to the present, and has for some time past been overseer of public roads. His post office address is Gilbert, Logan county, W.Va.
Source: Dr. R.A. Brock, Virginia and Virginians, 1606-1888 (Richmond, VA: H.H. Hardesty, Publisher, 1888), p. 840.
Albert Ellis, Annie B. Ellis, Appalachia, farming, Flora Ellis, Frances Ellis, genealogy, George R. Ellis, Gilbert, Henry H. Hardesty, history, Leander Ellis, Lloyd Ellis, Lloyd W. Ellis, Logan County, Mary Ellis, Mingo County, R.A. Brock, Richmond, timbering, U.S. South, Virginia, Virginia and Virginians, West Virginia
From “Virginia and Virginians, 1606-1888,” published by H.H. Hardesty, we find this entry for Leander Ellis, who resided at Gilbert, West Virginia:
The subject of this sketch, is a native of Logan county, W.Va., born June 30, 1856, and married in the same county to Miss Frances Elkins, born there also Jan. 25, 1862, their marriage being solemnized Oct. 6, 1876. To this union there have been five births: Annie B., born Sept. 15, 1877, and died Nov. 5, same year; George R., born Nov. 30, 1878; Lloyd W., born Oct. 26, 1880; Albert, born March 21, 1883; and Mary, born Sept. 28, 1884. Mr. Ellis’ parents are Lloyd and Flora (Spratt) Ellis, both yet living. He is engaged in farming and the timber business, and his address is Gilbert, Logan county, West Virginia.
Source: Dr. R.A. Brock, Virginia and Virginians, 1606-1888 (Richmond, VA: H.H. Hardesty, Publisher, 1888), p. 828-829.
Amanda Buchanan, Appalachia, Cleophus Buchanan, genealogy, Gilbert, Gilbert Creek, Henry H. Hardesty, history, James G. Buchanan, John Buchanan, John W. Hatfield, Leander Hatfield, Logan County, Louisa Buchanan, Lydia Buchanan, Martha W. Buchanan, Mary C. Buchanan, R.A. Brock, sheriff, Tazewell County, U.S. South, Virginia, Virginia and Virginians, West Virginia, William B. Buchanan
From “Virginia and Virginians, 1606-1888,” published by H.H. Hardesty, we find this entry for John Buchanan, who resided at Gilbert, West Virginia:
Farmer and timberman, was born April 23, 1833, in Tazewell county, Va., but for a number of years has been a citizen of Logan county, W.Va., elected by the people of this county sheriff in 1868, serving until 1872. Mr. Buchanan has been twice married; on April 13, 1856, he was united marriage with Mary Murphy, who died on Sept. 10, 1865, leaving issue: Cleophus, Amanda, and Louisa, all married. He was married secondly to Mrs. Martha W. (Tiller) Hatfield, widow of John W. Hatfield, who died Oct. 15, 1861, in his 25th year, leaving one son, Leander. Mrs. Buchanan was born Nov. 24, 1837, in Logan county, and married to Mr. Buchanan there. The result of this union has been: Lydia, born March 9, 1868, married; James G., born June 23, 1869; Mary C., born Aug. 29, 1872, and William B., born Sept. 29, 1874. James G. died Dec. 23, 1869. Mr. Buchanan’s post office address is Gilbert Creek, W.Va.
Source: Dr. R.A. Brock, Virginia and Virginians, 1606-1888 (Richmond, VA: H.H. Hardesty, Publisher, 1888), p. 821